Vinyl pressing alert! All the news on the mighty Kvasir from Portland! New song release, new art & record release show info! The full album “4” will be released June 28 and LPs will be ready to ship right away… or better yet go watch these guys rock out and grab an album while you’re there! Live music!!!
Slime green color vinyl pressing! On Blind Obedience we find Taphari on a journey of self-actualization, transcending suffering through the power of self-love and authentic musical expression. This hard-hitting, confident debut centers the skilled rapper’s syllable hopscotch over mutating beats. Staying in a lane he’s forged for himself, the rap alien’s rage is explosive out the gate. On lead single “Table 42” featuring seasoned rapper Pink Siifu, Taphari sings of lost love and the end of the world over drum ‘n bass beats. “Back Soon” featuring label mate Benét is a generous breath from this kinetic collection of bangers.
180 gram vinyl pressing! Since making her debut with the 2008 album Tea Bye Sea, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Becca Stevens has tested the limits of musical identity, mining everything from jazz to Irish folk to indie-rock in her striving for complete and authentic expression. In her latest musical endeavor—WONDERBLOOM —the North Carolina-bred, Brooklyn-based artist again defies all expectation, this time dreaming up a groove-heavy, dance-ready sound infused with elements of pop and funk and R&B. But despite its brighter textures and uptempo rhythms, WONDERBLOOM finds Stevens achieving a profound complexity in her lyrics, ultimately redefining what’s possible in creating music that elevates and edifies.
Centered on the captivating vocal presence she’s showcased as a member of David Crosby’s Lighthouse Band, WONDERBLOOM telegraphs an unabashed joy that Stevens partly attributes to the project’s production. In a bold new turn for her musical career, Stevens co-produced and co-engineered WONDERBLOOM alongside Nic Hard (Snarky Puppy, Ghost-Note, The Church), overseeing every aspect of the recording and claiming a sense of agency that had long eluded her in the studio. “Nic and I truly worked as equals, trusting each other to get the job done, and it was an incredibly empowering experience for me,” she says.
Palette is inspired by Nicadrio Lee’s musical journey, which began in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has brought him to study in New York City.
Nicadrio’s own encounters in music and interactions with people prompted a question: “What makes a song sound and feel good?” He discovered that a song is not labeled “good” simply because of who is playing the music or because of how well an instrument is being played, but because an artist is able to inspire emotion through vibration, mood through sound, and life through music.
Palette tells a complete story of Nicadrio Lee’s experiences to date. It marks the beginnings of the journey in music that awaits this young musician.
Now in its sixth year as a fully fledged record label, Aloha Got Soul enters new territory with teenage guitarist Nicadrio Lee and his self-produced Palette, a bedroom city pop, math rock album of original songs recorded and performed entirely by the 19-year-old guitarist.
Evolfo’s homegrown musical universe is forever expanding.
If the Brooklyn-based pysch rockers felt pressured to repeat the successes of their 2017 album Last of the Acid Cowboys, they certainly didn’t show it. One might think a band that racked up 6 million plus streams on their debut record would try to capitalize on this by doing more of the same. But when the 7 members of Evolfo piled into the tiny, sweltering, attic-turned-recording studio of band leader Matt Gibbs’ Ditmas Park home, they intended to spring confidently forward into fresh sounds and more vivid conceptual subject matter. They have flipped the world of the Acid Cowboy on its head, departing the earth bound adventures in melting landscapes, rat cities, and desert sojourns for metaphysical territory and the mountains of the mind. On their brand new album Site Out of Mind, Evolfo reaches far beyond the confines of genre to create a colorful echo drenched psych rock dream all their own.
Partially inspired by concepts pulled from science-fiction and one group psychedelic drug trip, Site Out of Mind is a thrilling spiral into the depths of the spiritual mind and the afterlife. During late-night overdub sessions, the band would tweak lyrics line by line until it resulted in poetic verses like those of “In Time” and “White Foam.” Composed of one-take recordings and produced by Evolfo co-founder Rafferty Swink, the album features organ-heavy songs like “Orion’s Belt”, which makes you feel like you’ve walked into a mind-exploding jam session where everyone is so in tune that they don’t even need to make eye contact. Or heavy, rhythm-driven cuts like “Strange Lights”, which jolts with an energy akin to Can. Evolfo don’t just channel ‘60s psychedelia on Site Out of Mind, from saxophone electronics to droning violinists, they warp the genre with experimental flair. The resulting album is a collection of songs that are unexpected, absorbing, and blissfully tripped out, all topped off with a vivid album cover by visual artist Robert Beatty.
It’s 1993. 3 years into the 16-bit era, Squaresoft releases Secret of Mana for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Mana is a top-down multiplayer action role-playing game, offering a distinct, vibrant art style, strategic real-time battle system, and memorable soundtrack, all encapsulated in a high-fantasy world driven by themes of magic, nature, and life-giving “mana”. A young Natsukashii is taken in by its vivid colors, animated characters, and engaging gameplay… but its rich, varied soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta leaves the strongest impression. As he plays, Natsukashii often places his character standing in Mana’s world in order to listen to the looping themes again and again, filling his young heart and mind with Kikuta’s masterful music.
It’s 2020. The world is gripped by a pandemic. As economies are shaken and self-isolation becomes the new reality, a cultural gravitation towards nostalgic comfort grows. An older Natsukashii shares this longing and revisits Secret of Mana once more. While some aspects of the game have not quite stood the test of time, its soundtrack remains largely lauded. As he plays, Kikuta-san’s timeless melodies again stir Natsukashii with that same fervent essence he knew 27 years before, filling his spirit with inspiration. Heartfelt and determined, he begins to create Manawave.
Kikuta’s compositions provide the foundation for this modern homage, as Natsukashii infuses 12 selected tracks with crafted downtempo beats, lush synth instrumentation, textural ambiance, and dottings of environmental sounds and vocal samples. Lending serendipity to the project, Hiroki Kikuta himself generously provides liner notes, and art from legendary Secret of Mana artist Hiroo Isono is featured on the cover. Sometimes pensive, sometimes playful, always impassioned; Manawave is a genuine love letter to an enduring classic.
First Ever Vinyl Reissue of this title! Officially licensed reissue courtesy of Real Gone Music and pressed by Gotta Groove Records on high-quality 150 gram vinyl, in GGR branded rice paper innersleeves. Lacquers cut by Clint Holley and Dave Polster at the Well Made Music studios.
With long-standing stints in Tower of Power and Santana, Chester Thompson just might be the most decorated and distinguished keyboardist in all of rock and R&B, let alone of the Bay Area musical scene. It’s little wonder that this 1971 album, then, is one of the rarest and most coveted albums on the highly collectible Black Jazz Records label
This is Thompson’s debut record, cut a couple of years before he joined Tower of Power, with a smokin’ band featuring fellow Black Jazz recording artist Rudolph Johnson on sax along with ace drummer Raymond Pounds (Pharoah Sanders, Stevie Wonder, Pointer Sisters) and trombonist Al Hall (Johnny Hammond, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris). And, yes, Powerhouse comes by its title honestly – it’s jazz, all right, but injected with a jolt of electricity courtesy of Thompson’s Hammond B-3, and with just four tunes spread out over two sides, it’s pretty much a nonstop groove.
Newly remastered, and with liner notes featuring quotes from fellow Tower of Power member Dave Garibaldi and Bay Area keyboardist Todd Cochran a.k.a. Bayeté that testify as to Chester Thompson’s greatness, this is another long-lost triumph from the Black Jazz label.
A reliable traditionalist with a penchant for bittersweet songs of heartbreak and loss, Ashley Monroe pulled a complete 180 for her spectacular new album, Rosegold, riding the joyful emotional wave that followed the birth of her son to create her most ecstatic, blissed-out collection yet. Written and recorded over the past two years, the record finds the Grammy-nominated Nashville star pushing her sound in bold new directions, drawing on everything from Kanye West and Kid Cudi to Beck and The Beach Boys as she layers lush vocal harmonies atop dreamy, synthesized soundscapes and sensual, intoxicating beats.
Pre-order for Rosegold‘s 4/30/21 street date. Single vinyl pressing in matte finish gatefold jacket!
Esperanza was a short lived band from the Los Angeles/Victorville area who took their influence of 80’s D.C. hardcore and crafted 11 songs that are presented here through their complete studio recordings compiled on one release.
Esperanza was important for many reasons, chief among them the ability to identify and delineate serious problems rooted in immediate experiences and connecting them to larger socio-political phenomenon while doing it in a time of relative comfort…when it is harder to be “angry” but even more important to be vigilant…as we all learned with the era that would soon be birthed on September 22, 2001…leading us the present uncertainty of COVID19 and everything thing that connects the two…One of the last hardcore punk bands out of Southern California before the Y2K takeover, whose members went on to become professors, scholars, builders and DJs.
Quietly Blowing It is an intimate and introspective offering that finds M.C. Taylor ruminating on themes of growing up, alienation, obligation, hope, purpose, family, class, self-discovery, healing, and rebuilding, fashioned with impressionistic tones.
He says the record “feels like the most personal album that I’ve made because I’m not trying to explain anything to anyone except myself.” Taylor reckons with these turbulent times in deeply personal terms and seeks to inspire listeners to do the same.
Musically, the new songs are steeped in gospel, Southern soul, indie folk, and alt-country with tinges of blues, rock, and jazz influences running throughout. Highlights include the minimalist R&B of “It Will If We Let It,” the rolling country groove of “The Great Mystifier,” and the heartfelt, smoky lament of “Painting Houses” (co-written with Gregory Alan Isakov).
Quietly Blowing It features special guests that include Griffin and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Zach Williams of The Lone Bellow, Nashville guitar great Buddy Miller, and producer/musician Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman.
Pre-order now for late June delivery – available from Merge Records. There is an exclusive vinyl version available through indie record stores as well.