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The Analog Vault Top 25 picks from 2018!

The Analog Vault Top 25 picks from 2018!
What a year for music 2018 has been! Here, in no order, are our top 25 favourite releases and reissues of the year: 



John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once

A recently discovered recording from 1963 - this brilliantly captures the intensity of Coltrane’s great quartet and hints at the boundary-stretching musicality to come.


Jon Hassell - Listening to Pictures



His first album since 2009, this LP is rich with melody and unbounded rhythms, exploring in a dreamlike manner but still grounded in its vision. One of our favourites from the Vault!⠀

 
Haruomi Hosono - Philharmony



This is the second solo record from the unbelievably prolific Haruomi Hosono, one of the major architects of modern Japanese pop music. Philharmony is a wild listen, veering from abstract ideas, to synth pop, to tight, funky tunes for the dancefloor.



Yellow Magic Orchestra - Self Titled



The first album by the legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra, made up of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yukihiro Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono. This boundary smashing debut from 1978 blends synth pop with early electro, hip hop and bleep techno. Seminal and  essential!


Ryu Fukui - Scenery



Unquestionably one of the most important Japanese jazz albums ever recorded! Scenery reveals Ryo Fukui as a miraculously brilliant self-taught pianist fusing modal, bop, and cool jazz influences for a very personal, dexterous and game-changing take on classic standards made famous by Bing Crosby and John Coltrane among others.


Sons of Kemet - Your Queen is a Reptile



A mainstay in our Modern Jazz collection, this emotionally and rhythmically-charged jazz album is definitely worthy of repeated listens!


N'Draman Blintch - Cosmic Sounds



One of our favourite reissues of the year - A synth-heavy, psychedelic disco record, with artwork to match, Cosmic Sounds marries the sci-fi boogie sounds of US and European dance floors with a Afro-funk grooves for an endless boogie.


Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth



Saxophonist Kamasi Washington's 2018 release is such a thrilling multi-genre journey through musical ideas, cementing his place as one of the Jazz greats of today. 

Various - J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969 - 1984



This amazing compilation is packed with obscure and sought after rarities that takes the listener on a wonderful journey. From deep spiritual jazz, post-modal Impressionism and dance floor material from artists & composers whose names are generally known to committed collectors of Japanese Jazz.



Various - We Out Here



An incredible compilation by Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood Recordings from earlier this year, this brilliantly showcases the UK's flourishing jazz scene. Spearheaded by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, who is credited as musical director, and features sounds from Hutchings, Maisha, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, and more


Arthur Verocai - Self Titled



In this LP lies perfect doses of Bossanova, Samba, Jazz, Funk, Breaks and Psychedelic Rock. Listeners here can expect a 29 minute long LP of unique song arrangements and interesting sonic timbres. Perfect for a windy day and lovers of Madlib, as described as an album he could listen to every day for the rest of his life :) 


Various - Onda De Amor: Synthesized Brazilian Hits That Never Were 1984 – 94



An awesome compilation selected by Millos Kaiser, one half of Sao Paulo's Selvagem DJ and digging duo. This LP features 16 rare tracks from the 80s & 90s, exploring sounds from Brazil. Packed tight with balearic rhythms, synth driven melodies and classic drum machine grooves of the 80s, this LP is a must have for both DJs and vinyl heads. Perfect for a samba-boogie and an ice cream while listening!


Nujabes – Metaphorical Music



After a long, long wait, this genre defining breakbeat album from the late great Nujabes has finally been made available on our favourite medium, vinyl :)


Various – Untinted: Sources for Madlib’s Shades of Blue



 Untinted contains the source material for Madlib's seminal 2003 project 'Shades of Blue' and is a fantastic intro to compare all the material from both recordings. It's a great dose of jazz in which Madlib focuses on the soul and jazz he used for the remixes. With songs by among others Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver and Donald Byrd the 12-track album gives you an indication of the way Madlib created his pieces. 


Alfa Mist – Antiphon



Perfect for a late night listen, an insight into Alfa Mist's journey as an artist. Here, modern jazz meets hip hop with style, finess, and tasteful musical vocabulary.


Nils Frahm – All Melody



Nils Frahm's 7th studio album is actually the first out of his works from his new studio in Berlin, painstakingly crafted over two years, deconstructing and reconstructing the entire space from the cabling and electricity to the woodwork, before moving on to the finer elements; building a pipe organ and creating a mixing desk all from scratch with the help of his friends. All Melody is born out of the freedom that his new environment provided, allowing Nils to explore without any restrictions and to keep it All about the Melody.


Weldon Irvine – The Sisters



Throughout the 70s, Weldon Irvine released a series of seminal albums full of deep, soulful, funky grooves. "The Sisters" is a collection of lost tracks and demos from his late-1970s studio sessions with fellow Jazz-Funk luminary Don Blackman. Soul-Jazz at its finest!


Jon Hopkins – Singularity



Moving effortlessly through acid house and ambient bliss, Jon Hopkins' first album since 2013 is a wonderful journey through electronic styles, constantly changing - his tracks feel unbound from the metronome, his style cemented and present, his emotions ever so resonant. Singularity is a keeper. 


Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today



Mixing jazz with hip-hop and dub production influences, Joe Armon-Jones - Starting Today features a band including Nubya Garcia (whose new solo EP Armon-Jones plays on), Moses Boyd, Oscar Jerome, and Maxwell Owin.


Charles Mingus – Jazz In Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery

 

A must have for Mingus fans - nearly four hours of previously unreleased live material by the legendary bassist, all recorded on a single night in February 1973 for Detroit public radio. This  is the glowing intersection of tradition and abstraction.


Mkwaju Ensemble - Mkwaju



The 2018 reissue of MKWAJU  (Midori Takada's first album).  Here Takada leads the ensemble with marimbas, vibraphone and other percussive elements blending Eastern and Western minimalistic traditions along with afro-latin rhythms to give a truly unique LP. The album covers a wide spectrum of sound, ranging from the spirit of Jazz through its improvisational qualities to hypnotic dance-floor ready percussive pieces, a beautiful listen throughout.


Abstract Orchestra – Madvillian Vol.1



A jazz deconstruction & re-imagining of the classic MF Doom/Madlib collaboration played live! A jazz album as much as it is a hip-hop album, Madvillain, Vol. 1 explores the reciprocal territory between the genres.


Mansur Brown – Shiroi



An integral part of the groundbreaking Yussef Kamaal album, (and also a contributor on one of the standouts on this year`s We Out Here collection), guitarist Mansur Brown comes into his own with his debut, Shiroi. Drawing on on percussive electronics, trap and jazz fusion, Brown's dextrous playing comes into full form on this one.


Carlos Maria Trindade / Nuno Canavarro – Mr. Wollogallu



On this fantastic collaboration,  Carlos Maria Trindade and Nuno Canavarro manage an enchantingly adventurous and sophisticated soundscape from a range of sources; disparate instruments from across the globe, synthesizers and samples melt into each other with the use of vintage electronic production techniques. Packed with distinct, contrasting elements, the movements make for a baffling, yet comforting journey. A lovely LP to get lost in.


Aphex Twin – Collapse EP



 How often does a late career comeback happen? Richard D James aka Aphex Twin is making some of the best music of his life right now. Joyous, meticulous, skippy, and smooth, Collapse has to go down as one of his finest. The joy is infectious, the programming and sound design ever virtuosic. A definite grin generator for any raver.


Blaxploitation Classic 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' Has Been Reissued On Vinyl

Blaxploitation Classic 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' Has Been Reissued On Vinyl

As part of Memphis record label Stax Records, massive 60th anniversary reissue campaign they have reissued the soundtrack to blaxploitation film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.

Written, produced, directed and even starring Melvin Van Peebles himself in 1971. The film's soundtrack featured a then unknown Earth, Wind and Fire who had worked alongside Van Peebles to compose the soundtrack together. The soundtrack had also foreshadowed the use of sampling in hip hop through alternating hymn-based vocalization and jazz rhythms.

The film was ahead of its time in that Van Peebles had considered the soundtrack as an integral part of the film as quoted, "Most filmmakers look at a feature in terms of image and story or vice versa. Effects and music [...] are strictly secondary considerations. Very few look at film with sound considered as a creative third dimension. So I calculate the scenario in such a way that sound can be used as an integral part of the film."

Check out the full soundtrack below.

Return To The 37th Chamber With El Michels Affair's Latest Wu-Tang Tribute

Return To The 37th Chamber With El Michels Affair's Latest Wu-Tang Tribute

El Michels Affair will be paying tribute to the Wu-Tang Clan once more with the follow up to their underground cult classic Enter The 37th Chamber. Recorded completely analog, Return To The 37th Chamber will cover more Wu classics reinterpreted for the live band.

They'll be taking on classic tracks like '4th Chamber' and 'Wu-Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit', even deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s 'Snakes', Raekwon’s 'Verbal Intercourse', and 'Shaolin Brew', from Wu-Tang's 1994 St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign.

Several Big Crown labelmates will be featured such as Lee Fields providing vocals on 'Snakes' and Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of 'Tearz'. Also making an appearance on their cover of the Method Man joint 'All I Need' is Lady Wray. Original interludes will be interspersed throughout the record to tie the album together giving it a proper cinematic narrative as all El Michels Affair records do.

The vinyl edition of the album will feature 4 different hand painted covers. Originally painted on two sewn together flour sacks in Accra, Ghana by two of Ghanaian Mobile Cinema scene's legendary artists and regular contributors to the Deadly Prey Gallery in Chicago, Heavy J and Stoger.

The album will drop on 14th April. Check out 'Verbal Intercourse' off the album below.

 

New Compilation of Helena Hauff's Early Works Has Been Pressed On Vinyl

New Compilation of Helena Hauff's Early Works Has Been Pressed On Vinyl

DJ, producer and ex-resident of Hamburg's Golden Pudel Club, Helena Hauff has released a compilation of her earliest recordings from 2011 and 2014 via Dark Entries Records.

The compilation titled, A Tape, was originally released on limited run cassette tape by  Handmade Birds in 2015. The collection spans Hauff’s musical universe, from jacking acid-techno to krautish zone-outs and scuzzy feedback interludes. Featuring deep, sinister analog synth sequences, industrial dissonance, and heavy percussion.

All tracks on the vinyl was mastered by James Plotkin with vinyl EQ and lacquer cut by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Housed in a custom made jacket designed by Eloise Leigh, featuring a checkered graphic and black lines, highlighted by yellow and green for maximum visual tension. Also included is a double-sided postcard with notes.

Check out samples of the tracks below.

Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbooks To Be Reissued For Her 100th Birthday

Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbooks To Be Reissued For Her 100th Birthday

In honour of her centennial celebrations, Ella Fitzgerald's 1959 album with the Nelson Riddle OrchestraElla Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Books, will be reissued in a spectacular 6 LP box set.

Born on 25th April 1917, Ella Fitzgerald is often regarded as one of the most important and influential jazz vocalists of all time, becoming highly synonymous with countless jazz standards.

Remastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios in Hollywood where the album was originally recorded in 1959 under the supervision of Verve Records founder Norman Granz. The box set will consist of the original 5 LP album with a new 10-inch instrumental EP. Which includes orchestra tracks and additional session material, one of which is a mono alternate take of "Oh! Lady Be Good!" on vinyl for the first time ever. 

The set also includes replicas of the five lithographs by French impressionist painter Bernard Buffet and a hardcover book, Words And Music, which has been updated with additional historical information and an afterword by noted author David Ritz.

The box set will be released on 21st April.

Listen to the original album below.

New Album 'Motor City' Features Unreleased J Dilla Instrumentals

New Album 'Motor City' Features Unreleased J Dilla Instrumentals

Motor City curated by J Dilla's mom Maureen 'Ma Dukes' Yancey will feature unreleased Dilla instrumentals. Conceived as a 'letter' to her son, it collects 19 tracks inspired by Dilla's native Detroit.

Both CD and vinyl editions of the album are packaged in a limited-edition mailing envelope, complete with a handwritten message from Ma Dukes to Dilla inside. While in the deluxe package, CD, LP, T-Shirt, Cassette Tape (featuring an alternate mix by J Rocc), Slipmat, Flexi (with J Rocc blends) are to be included.

Due to drop on the 21st of April.

Check out ‘Motor City J. Rocc Blend #1’ below.

Arrested Development's 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life Of... To Be Reissued

Arrested Development's 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life Of... To Be Reissued

For its 25th year anniversary, Music On Vinyl will be reissuing Southern Hip Hop group Arrested Development's debut album, 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life Of...

The album's title is a reference to the length of time it took Arrested Development to get a record contract. Choosing to focus on spirituality, peace and love. The album stood out in a time where gangsta rap was the most prevalent form of hip hop on the airwaves. The popularity of the album marked the beginning of Southern Hip Hop's rise in the mainstream.

Hit charting singles off this album are 'People Everyday', 'Mr. Wendal' and 'Tennessee'. With 'Tennessee' being listed on the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

For this reissue, Music On Vinyl has pressed the album on 180 gram audiophile vinyl, with the first 2,000 pressings on white vinyl with remaining copies on black vinyl. An insert with song lyrics will also be included.

Set to drop on the 31st of March.

Check out the full album below.

Jazzman Records' Next Instalment In Spiritual Jazz Series Focuses On Islamic Jazz

Jazzman Records' Next Instalment In Spiritual Jazz Series Focuses On Islamic Jazz

The next instalment in Jazzman Records' deep and comprehensive Spiritual Jazz compilation series is set to feature jazz inspired by the Islamic faith during the era of 1957 - 1988.

Following the story of Islamic influence on notable public figures Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who were strong proponents of African American liberation politics during the civil rights era. Which lead to many musicians converting to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam, which included several legendary jazz pioneers Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Ahmad Jamal and Yusef Lateef (who is featured on this compilation). Subsequently the music that was recorded drew heavily from Middle Eastern music, invoking the spiritual and esoteric sounds of Islamic Africa.

The compilation features feature tracks that have never been reissued before and is pressed on double vinyl.

Check out Yusef Lateef's 'Morning' off the compilation and full tracklist below.

Tracklist:
01. Maurice McIntyre - "Humility In The Light Of Creator"
02. Ritual Trio - "Africanos/Latinos"
03. Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim - "Kalahari Suite"
04. Creative Arts Ensemble - "Uhuru"
05. East New York Ensemble De Music - "Mevlana"
06. Idrees Sulieman - "The Camel"
07. Yusef Lateef - "Morning"
08. Sabu & Sahib Shihab - "Nus"
09. Abdelrahman 'Abdo' Elkhatib/Solar Plexus - "Ah Ya Zen"
10. The Lightmen - "All Praises To Allah" (parts 1 & 2)
11. Ahmed Abdul-Malik - "Nadusilma"
12. Dawan Muhammad - "Taumbu"

Mayer Hawthorne And Jake One's Tuxedo Are Back With A New Album!

Mayer Hawthorne And Jake One's Tuxedo Are Back With A New Album!

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One's brand of infectious boogie and G-funk inspired music will be back with the release of their sophomore album, Tuxedo II. With the debut of their lead single '2nd Time Around' off their latest album on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, the duo have announced the album will be available on 24th March via Stones Throw Records.

Check out their lead single below.

Alternative Hip Hop Favourite 'Dr. Octagonecologyst' Will Be Reissued For 20th Anniversary

Alternative Hip Hop Favourite 'Dr. Octagonecologyst' Will Be Reissued For 20th Anniversary

Described by Kool Keith as 'sci-fi, science and sex. And cannibalism, mixed. Space, sex and ‘Psycho,’ all at the same time.' Dr. Octagonecologyst is definitely one of the most unique alternative rap records of all time and for its 20th anniversary it will be getting a deluxe reissue treatment by Get On Down.

Dr. Octagonecologyst was the solo debut of Ultramagnetic MCs' Kool Keith under his Dr. Octagon persona. Featuring production work by Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and KutMasta Kurt, and not forgetting the fiery turntable acrobatics of DJ Qbert. The album is one of the most influential independent rap records, often cited as revitalising the alternative hip hop scene in the mid-90s. With critics praising for its abstract, avant-garde lyrics and clever blending of psychedelic, trip hop, horrorcore, and electronic music elements.

The album will be housed in a custom octagonal box featuring original cover artwork by Pushead, 40 page liner notes booklet and 5 additional unreleased songs only available for this reissue.

The reissue is set to drop in early May.

Check out the video to 'Blue Flowers' off the album.

 

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