The 50 best Reissues of the year 2023

01.12.2023
For decades, it was impossible to get your hands on a physical copy of some of these albums. Thanks to these reissues, it’s now possible. Reason to get your feet wet!

Tried and tested rule of thumb: the faster the world turns, the more people turn their backs to the present. Although this year went into overdrive in geopolitical and economic terms, the HHV-Mag editors nevertheless felt somewhat helpless when it came to compiling the best reissues of the year. It was just too easy. Where normally there are dozens of potential candidates and hours upon hours of discussions around them, this year we quickly reached a consensus. The following 50 were the true treasures, beyond which there was very little that we felt was seriously worth the PVC consumption. »A year for new music, that’s cool,« was how one of us put it in a nutshell. Or is there simply nothing left that hasn’t already been cut to wax twice or three times in five different colours?

A quick glance at the long list of the year’s real highlights contradicts this. From unheard-of wonders such as Sylvester’s home recordings, Ruth Anderson and Annea Lockwood’s telephone flirtation, Svitlana Nianio’s ballads for theatre and the Japanese private press madness of The Air Music International, a lot has been finally unearthed that the world had been desperate to hear—albeit without knowing it. The fact that some albums were finally available on vinyl again, or at all, rounded things off. Bill Wells & Maher Shalal Hash Baz, the De La Soul catalogue, a milestone by Hiroshi Yoshimura, the definitive album by Pharoah Sanders or the last record by Umeko Ando are far too essential to be left to the Discogs sharks. And in between, there are plenty of albums that are worth (re)discovering in an otherwise disappointing year with the reissue industrial complex. Kristoffer Cornils


Alain Pierre
Des Morts (Of The Dead)
Finders Keepers • 1979 • from 24.99€

»Des Morts (Of the Dead)« ist so etwas wie der ultimative Shortcut zwischen den jeweiligen Soundentwürfen von Alan Lomax, Jon Hassell und Klaus Schulze. Als Soundtrack für einen Dokumentarfilm über Totenrituale in aller Welt konzipiert, stapft diese im Jahr 1979 in kleinem Kreis veröffentlichte LP rückblickend betrachtet in eine Menge Fettnäpfchen und tut das auf (fast) visionäre Art und Weise: Exotismus und kosmische Verkifftheit treffen aufeinander, reiben sich aneinander und nie wird ganz klar, ob das alles ernst gemeint ist. Es ist ein enigmatisches Album, dessen Tracks zum Teil schlicht aus Feldaufnahmen von zum Beispiel einer Mariachi-Band bestehen und dann wieder die Synthies anwerfen.

Kristoffer Cornils
Arne Nordheim
Electric
2023 • Rune Grammofon •

Arne Nordheim war ein Student der Musique concrète und komponierte irgendwann die Musik für die Winterolympiade in Lillehammer. »Electric« dokumentierte im Jahr 1998 Performances von fünf seiner Stücke aus den 1960ern- und 1970er-Jahren, die klar unter den Zeichen ihrer Zeit standen. In den blubbernden Kompositionen für Synthesizer hallt das Erbe von Stockhausen und Xenakis ebenso nach, wie es bereits die Techno-Abstraktionen von Sähkö oder die kalte Eleganz eines Florian Heckers vorzubereiten scheint. In seiner Heimat Norwegen reagierte die Kritik dereinst unwirsch, heutzutage steht »Electric« aber auf der richtigen Seite der Musikgeschichte.

Kristoffer Cornils
Bill Wells & Maher Shalal Hash Baz
Osaka Bridge
Karaoke Kalk • 2006 • from 25.99€

Dilettantism at its best. Not a single note is right on »Osaka Bridge«, and yet Tori Kudo and his collective Maher Shalal Hash Baz, under the aegis of Scottish master of ceremonies Bill Wells, play the most enchanting melodies. 17 big hits, in small arrangements, written (besides Kudo and Wells) by Stefan Schneider, Barbara Morgenstern, Annie Whitehead, Reiko Kudo. Incidentally, the artwork was done by Jad Fair of Half Japanese.  First released in 2006, Karaoke Kalk finally issued a re-release in 2023.

Sebastian Hinz
Black Renaissance
Body, Mind And Spirit
Luv N' Haight • 1976 • from 30.99€

Holy Grail! »Body, Mind And Spirit« could make dead soil sprout, turn drought into torrential rain and found entire civilisations. Black Renaissance's honeypot is overflowing with soul jazz, deeply rooted in the motherland, with Latin American hip swing — the sound that turns doubters into lovers of life. First the bass line. Then the saxophone. The saxophone! And then the great incantation begins.

Pippo Kuhzart
Charlie Megira & The Hefker Girl
Charlie Megira Und The Hefker Girl
Numero Group • 2023 • from 27.99€

As if Elvis fiddled with Joy Division: on their second album together, »Charlie Megira & The Hefker Girl«, Israeli musicians Charlie Megira and Michal Kahan combine the dark sound of the 80s with schmaltzy vocals. Hearty rumbling and hearty rumbling. The record was originally released seventeen years ago as a home-recorded rough cut, but the smart people at Numero Group recognised its timelessness. That's why the whole thing has been reissued on vinyl this year.

Pippo Kuhzart
Clifford Jordan
Clifford Jordan In The World
P-Vine • 1972 • from 48.99€

Compared to other trumpeters in his field, Clifford Jordan is radically underrepresented. At least on Wikipedia. He deserves more, because the guy got some air for the esteemed jazz canon and produced a bunch of records that were all pretty good. »Into The World« may be a few years old in the jazz canon, but it's his screw-it-it's-Sunday record. Maybe yours too, after all Strata East is putting back on what should have been put on a long time ago for shameless disco greed.

Christoph Benkeser
Conrad Schnitzler & Ken Montgomery - Cas-Con II - Konzert in der Erlöserkirche, Ost-Berlin, 3.9.1986
Bureau B • 2023 • from 27.99€

Die Erlöserkirche diente als Anlaufpunkt für die Punk-Szene Ostberlins. »CAS-CON II« dokumentiert eines der dort abgehaltenen klandestinen Konzerte. Conrad Schnitzler selbst war nicht zugegen und schickte stattdessen von Westberlin aus Kassetten mit seinen Kompositionen rüber, gemischt wurden sie vor Ort von Ken Montgomery. Mit orgel-, ja sogar glockenähnlichen Klängen begrüßte Schnitzler sein Publikum, die 40-minütige Aufnahme umweht tatsächlich eine irgendwie liturgische Stimmung. Sie ist zugleich aber vom klassisch Schnitzlerischen Humor geprägt. Der verblüffend klare Sound und wunderbar nuancierte Mix tun ihr Übriges.

Kristoffer Cornils
Crawling With Tarts
Tearoom
Concentric Circles • 2023 • from 33.99€

11 carefree DIY evaporations. Recorded in 1984, originally only released on cassette. Crawling With Tarts play by all the rules of the home studio, cutting, dropping, holding together divergent ideas through the great intimacy that their »Tearoom« exudes. Dycus-Gendreau sometimes sings a little, sometimes she talks more. Her performance will not motivate anyone to lift weights. Add to that bass, household drums, a woozy electric guitar and circulatory problems.

Pippo Kuhzart
David Cunningham
Grey Scale
Superior Viaduct • 1976 • from 23.99€

David Cunningham erlebte seine formativen Momente in der Ära von Ikonoklast:innen der Neuen Musik wie Cornelius Cardew auf der einen und den freien Improvisationen eines David Toops auf der anderen Seite. Dann schrieb er mit The Flying Lizards einen Chart-Hit. »Grey Scale« ist Minimalismus, der maximal weh tut: Ineinander verknotete Phrasen, gegeneinander laufende Pulse, schroffes Sounddesin – selbst in einer Umbruchszeit wie den späten 1970er-Jahren war das harter Tobak. Dieses Album sitzt komplett zwischen den Stühlen, im Geiste ist radikaler als der zeitgleich aufkommende Industrial-Sound, aber von unglaublicher Strenge, die eine fast punkige Freiheit erlaubt.

Kristoffer Cornils
De La Soul
Stakes Is High
Chrysalis • 1996 • from 29.99€

2023 was supposed to be the year for De La Soul, with their entire back catalogue finally becoming available on all streaming portals. But then, on 13 February, the tragic news of David »Trugoy the Dove« Jolicoeur's sudden death broke, plunging the entire hip-hop family into a deep state of shock. So it is bittersweet to hear Dave's voice on one of the streaming services or on vinyl, as all of De La Soul's albums from the 90s and early Noughties have finally been re-released. To symbolise this, we have chosen »Stakes Is High« for our review, the secret fan favourite from 1996, whose title track seems more appropriate than ever even more than 25 years later. #DaveForever 

Benjamin Mächler
Dickie Landry & Lawrence Weiner
Having Been Built On Sand
Unseen Worlds • 2022 • from 26.99€

»Having Been Built On Sand With Another Base (Basis) In Fact. Auf Sand gebaut. Tatsächlich auf anderem Grund.« lautet der Volltext eines Kunstwerks von Lawrence Weiner, das sich Dickie Landry als Ausgangspunkt für dieses im Jahr 1978 aufgenommene Album hernahm. Eingespielt wurde es im Studio von Robert Rauschenberg mit Saxofonen, Klarinetten und Flöten, die Spoken-Word-Einlassungen von Tina Girouard, Britta Le Va und Weiner selbst umspielen. Es liegt eine nervöse Energie in dieser … »Performance« ist wohl ein besserer Begriff als »Musik«, oder besser noch »Sprachinstallation für Bläser«. Es geht um die Ordnung der Dinge und die des Raums und wie er konstruiert und befüllt wird. Das macht schwindelig.

Kristoffer Cornils
Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung
Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung
Sub Rosa • 2023 • from 18.99€

Minimal Music und Neue Musik im Allgemeineren, Klezmer, Jazz, irgendwie auch Post-Rock: Wer heutzutage ein Reissue der Alben von Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung bei Sub Rosa abstaubt, wird sich kaum vorstellen können, dass die belgische Band einst bei Major-Labels unter Vertrag stand, mit der einen von Technotronic kollaborieren und beim Pukkelpop vor Tausenden spielte. Es ist schlicht sonderbarer Kram, irgendwo zwischen Mittelaltermarkt, Kuriositätenkabinett, verräucherte Bohème-Spelunke und besoffener Kammermusik – der Blueprint für die folkloristischeren Constellation-Platten, aber viel mehr als das. In der Essenz sehr belgisch, das heißt komplett weird und toll.

Kristoffer Cornils
DJs Di Guetto
DJs Di Guetto
Principe • 2023 • from 31.99€

The name is not at all flirtatious: DJs Marfox, N.K., Jesse, Pausas, Fofuxo and Nervoso hail from the suburbs of Lisbon, home to the descendants of immigrants from Portugal's former colonies. In 2006, with the compilation »Djs Do Guetto Vol. 1«, they laid the foundations for a music that combines African roots and modern electronics. 13 of the 37 tracks are now available on vinyl—and they sound just as exciting as they did then.

Andreas Schnell
Ghia
This Is
The Outer Edge • 2023 • from 19.99€

Ghia, a brotherly love from Bielefeld with a knack for Sade synthesizers, synthesises the 80s at the end of the 80s, hires a singer with a Sade voice and lets the Sade vibes set in for three and a half decades. What ferments for a long time proves itself — at some point, as you know, some lifestyle gigolos will discover this record as a potential Sade demo and come up with a good story for it. What can you say? »This Is« is happening, albeit in a different way. And we should be very grateful for that.

Christoph Benkeser
Grupo Pan
Pan
Vampisoul • 2022 • from 26.99€

Sounds of freedom out of a dictatorship. In 1975, Brazilian trio Grupo Um recorded their début album in São Paulo, but couldn't find a label. This was finally rectified at the beginning of this year. For the musicians, who also played in Hermeto Pascoal & Su Grupo, freedom went hand in hand with free jazz and Latin fusion, created on keyboards, bass, drums and berimbau. Whether with funk or research, they always made things energetic. A good start in every respect.

Björn Bischoff
Grupo Um
Starting Point
Far Out • 2023 • from 28.99€

Sounds of freedom out of a dictatorship. In 1975, Brazilian trio Grupo Um recorded their début album in São Paulo, but couldn't find a label. This was finally rectified at the beginning of this year. For the musicians, who also played in Hermeto Pascoal & Su Grupo, freedom went hand in hand with free jazz and Latin fusion, created on keyboards, bass, drums and berimbau. Whether with funk or research, they always made things energetic. A good start in every respect.

Tim Caspar Boehme
Hako Yamasaki
Tsunawatari
WRWTFWW • 1976 • from 30.99€

»Tsunawatari« is the Japanese word for tightrope act. With her deeply sad folk music, Hako Yamaski walks a fine line between self-destruction and navel-gazing. But the 19-year-old confidently keeps her balance. Yamasaki dances between emotional expression and formal reduction, juggling psychedelia, jazz and soft rock. Her show is not over yet, and the audience is itching to see her sister act »Tobimasu«. But be warned: Yamasaki's world-weary melodies can take your breath away.

Michael Zangerl
Hiroshi Yoshimura
Soundscape 1: Surround
Temporal Drift • 1986 • from 47.99€

Was bei Discogs mittlerweile im Original für vierstellige (!) Preise geht, das hat einen Reissue verdient. »Soundscape 1: Surround« ist freilich neben »GREEN« das wohl bekannteste und (nicht nur bei DJ Sidebar auf YouTube) beliebteste Album von Hiroshi Yoshimura beziehungsweise der sogenannten kankyō ongaku, Umgebungsmusik alias Ambient japanischer Provenienz. Eine Neuauflage von »A・I・R (Air In Resort)« inklusive Duftprobe ist hoffentlich auch in Arbeit, solange bleibt dieses Album ein absoluter Meilenstein der komplett synthetischen und doch warmen, eleganten und zugleich gefühlvollen Möbelmusik der Bubble Economy.

Kristoffer Cornils
Hugh Maddo
Pop Style
333 • 1987 • from 23.99€

This is a killer reggae dancehall album from Hugh Maddo. The quality of »Pop Style« can be quickly conveyed by some name-dropping: »Pop Style« was recorded at Byron Lee's (The Dragonaires) studio in Jamaica with grade A session musicians like Winston Wright, Dwight Bobby Ellis, Willie Lindo and Mikey Boo. Maddo sounds like Barrington Levy in style and vocal range. And when he praises a barefoot »country girl«, all the dials are turned up to reggae perfection.

Pippo Kuhzart
Kenny Wheeler
Gnu High
ECM • 1975 • from 38.99€

Having Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette behind you definitely can't hurt, but it's also only half the battle. The other half is won by taking your time and letting the trumpet do its thing. »Gnu High«, first released in 1975 via ECM, includes only three pieces of varying lengths, which means that the four musicians give each other space, respectfully and lovingly letting the others do their thing. Kenny Wheeler is obviously in charge here, but he is also a leader who himself only follows his instrument to unlock its possibilities.

Kristoffer Cornils
Khan Jamal
Infinity
Jazz Room • 2023 • from 25.99€

»Infinity« is a long-lost jazz gem, characterised by an interplay of silence and liveliness. On this album, Khan Jamal combines timeless jazz with avant-garde sounds and authentic soul rhythms. Although he is known as an improviser, the musician's vibraphone always gives the album a touch of accessibility and incredible calm. A work that allows me to escape the pain of the world for a moment.

Celeste Dittberner
Kio Amachree
Ivory
Mondo Groove • 1981 • from 23.99€

Kio Amachree kombinierte Funk, Boogie, Reggae und Disco mit einem Understatement, das sein im Jahr 1981 veröffentlichtes Album »Ivory« fast wie eine No-Wave-Platte klingen lässt. Der Charme und Spirit des Unperfekten, eine Art Genialer Dilletantismus umweht diese Aufnahmen des weiterhin auf eigene Faust als Musiker aktiven Amachrees, weshalb es wohl kein Wunder ist, dass »Ivory« zu einem, na ja, Heiligen Gral™ in Digger-Kreisen und darüber hinaus wurde. Selbst das Rundfunk-Tanzorchester Ehrenfeld (!?) hat den Titeltrack schon gecovert. Freudvolle Anarchie, Balsam für die Seele.

Kristoffer Cornils
Larry Heard
Love's Arrival
Alleviated • 2001 • from 32.99€

I like deep house. Well, sometimes. The five million or so records that Larry »Mighty« Heard has left us are more than enough to satisfy my craving for a kick drum tick-tick-tock every now and then. »Love's Arrival« is no exception. This album, which is actually three vinyls now though it used to be two, can be played after even a 72-hour afterparty to get everyone dancing once again.

Christoph Benkeser
Various Artists & Mad Professor
Ariwa Sounds: The Early Sessions
Melodies International • 1984 • from 34.99€

Mad Professor founded his Ariwa Sounds label in 1980 and continues to release music on the label today. A selection of tracks recorded between 1979 and 1981 in a living room in Thornton Heath, South London, using 4-track equipment was released on the compilation »Ariwa Sounds: The Early Sessions«. They are mainly dub and reggae, but also touch on soul and doo-wop, and above all they are chill. Melodies International, the label from Floating Points and Elliot Bernard, remastered and reissued the album in 2023.

Sebastian Hinz
Malcolm McLaren And The Bootzilla Orchestra
Call A Wave Remixes
Be With • 2023 • from 34.99€

Imagine one of the most unlikely constellations in music history—and you get »Call A Wave«. Bootsy Collins, Jeff Beck and Malcolm McLaren on a track with a sample by Barry White, to be heard on the 1989 album »Waltz Darling« and on a promo DJ single with the same song in five remixes. Limited to 300 copies at the time, it has been reissued this year. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but always impressive and deeply imbued with the sound of the 80s.

Björn Bischoff
Milford Graves / Don Pullen
Nommo
Superior Viaduct • 1967 • from 25.99€

April 1966, New Haven: Drummer Milford Graves und Pianist Don Pullen sind in Yale zu Gast, um aus dem Moment heraus Geschichte zu schreiben. Der Mitschnitt ihres Konzerts ist so mächtig, dass er von Graves auf seinem Label SRP in zwei Teilen veröffentlicht wird. »In Concert at Yale University« und »Nommo« markieren nicht nur einen Wendepunkt im Schaffen des damals erst 25-jährigen Graves. »Nommo« ist feuriger, ausufernder und doch in jeder Sekunde hochkonzentrierter Avantgarde-Jazz, der »The Shape of Jazz to Come« wie ein Wiegenlied nach Abzählreimprinzip klingen lässt. Die Zukunft hatte die Bühne betreten.

Kristoffer Cornils
Miss D.
Moving
Edition Hawara • 1984 • from 16.99€

Nothing against the cops, but: A Kiwara is ka Hawara. In this respect, you're on the right side with Edition Hawara if you like very good disco funk soul jazz from the smoky pubs of the past or use your old flat as a private record shop. In any case, the Viennese label releases slick 7-inches that informed industry publications like to call »obscure«. Well, it's fine by me. Either way, Miss D's »Moving« will be in rotation.

Christoph Benkeser
Monolake
Hongkong
Field • 2023 • from 33.99€

A classic through and through. Perhaps the most influential Berlin techno album of all time. Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles have been making music as Monolake since 1995, releasing on the legendary Chain Reaction label, where »Hong Kong« was their début album two years later. Mixing techno with dub and ambient (the field recordings were made in Hong Kong and Guangzhou), they developed a style of music widely referred to as minimal techno that has defined the sound of the city for at least a decade. The album cries out to be heard on vinyl, but it was not released until 2023.

Sebastian Hinz
Movietone
Movietone
World Of Echo • 2023 • from 24.99€

Post-rock from Bristol in 1995, now finally re-released as a deluxe double LP and an absolute must-have. Movietone's self-titled début displays the ravishing pissed-offness of Algebra Suicide, a weariness, a whateverness that, as of today, somehow no longer exists. You don’t have enough strength to sing, and it's raining too much to make getting out of bed worth it. Great coolness tinged with universal sadness and occasional bursts of noise, oh England, where hast thou gone? 

Pippo Kuhzart
Naná Vasconcelos
Africadeus
Altercat • 1973 • from 23.99€

Naná Vasconcelos was a devil's violinist, although he never played a violin and wasn't a devil. He was a so-called virtuoso on the berimbau — an apparatus that looks like a multifunctional tool somewhere between a bong and a bow. In any case, »Africadeus« introduced »this instrument« to the world. Which somehow makes sense. Naná then picked it up for Bono and Talking Heads, ECM wanted some solo records and Altercat used the magic wand again.

Christoph Benkeser
Operating Theatre
Spring Is Coming With A Strawberry In The Mouth / Rapid Eye Movements
Allchival • 1979 / 1981 • from 28.99€

Operating Theatre is an almost forgotten group of performers led by the Irish eccentric Roger Doyle. The All City sub-label Allchival released a compilation of the single albums »Spring Is Coming With A Strawberry In The Mouth« (1979) and »Rapid Eye Movements« (1981) this year. With his electro-acoustic experiments on »Oizzo No« (1975) and »Thalia« (1979), Roger Doyle had already gone a step further than most. On »Spring Is Coming With A Strawberry In The Mouth« he discovered sampling and drum machines, giving himself at least a five-year head start on music history. This is the first time a Fairlight CMI sampler was used in an Irish studio and is said to have attracted the interest of Bono Vox. You just learned something! »Rapid Eye Movements« delivers a little more of the musique concrétè madness we know from his earlier records, and not a jot worse. 

Sebastian Hinz
Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Deluxe Edition
Luaka Bop • 2023 • from 51.99€

How many bootlegs did you have to screw up before »Pharoah« finally made it into the right hands? Quite a few. And with each bootleg, its creator, the great saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, became a little sadder. He finally died in 2022. But not before the people of Luaka Bop had a chance to set the record straight. Sanders didn't live to see the real reissue, but he would have liked it anyway, at least that's what I say, and I've heard the record.

Christoph Benkeser
Phew
Our Likeness
Mute • 2023 • from 33.99€

YES, YES, YES! »Our Likeness« is the second album by the Japanese avant-garde musician Phew. Who were the musicians she worked with on it back in 1992? Well, Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten fame, CAN legend Jaki Liebezeit and Chrislo Haas (DAF, Liasons Dangereuses). There is a corresponding amount of groove on the album, which of course remains artistic in character, with noise, heavy guitars, metal drums and plenty of theatricality. Truly amazing, what she allows to coexist. 

Pippo Kuhzart
Piero Piccioni
Fatevi Vivi La Polizia Non Interverrà
Musica Per Immagini • 2023 • from 26.99€

Piero Piccioni knew a thing or two about sex, drugs and mysterious murders. That's why he was able to write a few songs about them throughout his life. That is, of course, a gross understatement: Piccioni has catapulted 300 gangster flicks out of the orchestra pit. More or less — at least enough to provide a soundtrack for the next few decades, for which you can take out Duolingo and feel like a suburban Al Capone after three rounds of Setscho.

Christoph Benkeser
Ramuntcho Matta
Ramuntcho Matta
Wewantsounds • 2023 • from 33.99€

It wouldn’t be weird to suspect Aztec sounds here, given the title. But Ramuntcho Matta is no wooden god, he is a Frenchman—and a young one at that, when this album was released in 1985. »Ramuntcho Matta's« musical heart is in the right place. There is still a bit of punk blood coursing through his veins, but everything is so mature now even pop is allowed. The label says avant-funk on the front of the record, but it's much easier to understand when you compare it to the fixated anti-pop with shuffling guitars that has been coming out of the two islands (ENG/AUS) in recent years.

Pippo Kuhzart
Rico Toto
Fwa Épi Sajès
Invisible City Editions • 2022 • from 35.99€

Last year's »Lèspri Ka: New Directions in Gwoka Music from Guadeloupe 1981-2010« compilation already brought together some idiosyncratic interpretations of a traditional sound, but with »Fwa Épi Sajès«, finally someone sheds some light on that movement’s luminaries. Released in 1993, this album saw Rico Toto entlist the ensemble Moundjahka as well as working with a variety of electronic gadgets that would make even Superbooth raise their eyebrows. The end result is somewhat inevitably reminiscent of Jon Hassell or the tropical drums of Germany at times, but according to Toto was simply called Electro-ka. That’s a handy term for an infinitely rich genre right there.

Kristoffer Cornils
Robert Rockwell III
Androids
Mad About • 1974 • from 28.99€

Saxophonist Robert Rockwell III released his début album »Androids« in 1974: Jazz with its fingers on the pulse of the times, a little funky, a little free, a spiritual note, hard bop as a foundation. All the musicians are from Minneapolis, Minnesota. With Bobby Lyle on piano and electric piano, he is also a real heavyweight, who later played with Pharoah Sanders, Gábor Szabó and Sly & The Family Stone. Bassist Billy Peterson has also made his mark on music history as a member of the Steve Miller Band. Not a groundbreaking, but an ambitious and surprisingly well-rounded début, which will be re-released in 2023 for the first time in almost 40 years.

Sebastian Hinz
Roger Bekono
Roger Bekono
Awesome Tapes From Africa • 2023 • from 26.99€

Roger Bekono has even been allowed to compose for the Pope: in the 1980s, he was one of the most important musicians in Cameroon. With the album »Roger Bekono«, he made the Bikutsi sound known beyond the borders of the country using driving tresillos over a steady, electronically based »four-to-the-floor« basic beat, refined by Bekono's smooth voice. Awesome Tapes From Africa re-released this classic this year.

Andreas Schnell
Rosanna & Zélia
Baiao Da Luna
We Jazz • 1990 • from 15.29€

Zweimal Musik und einmal Räggi findet man auf dieser schnuckligen 7inch von We Jazz Records. Dafür steckt man uns extra ein Zettelchen zu, mit dem sich die Verwandtschaftsverhältnisse der besprochenen Protagonistinnen über mehrere Generationen zurückverfolgen lassen. Glücklicherweise erfährt man auch weniger relevante Dinge, zum Beispiel, wie Rosanna und Zélia Ende der 80er von Brasilien nach Finnland gekommen sind.

Kristoffer Cornils
Ruth Anderson & Annea Lockwood - Tête-à-Tête
Ergot • 2023 • from 32.99€

Ruth Anderson and Annea Lockwood were romantically and creatively involved for roughly half a century. This album, dedicated to the late Anderson, is probably the only logical coda to their relationship. The centrepiece is »Conversations«, comprising recordings of their very first phone conversations, edited in a way that it almost exclusively features their laughter. What they are laughing about is never really clear, but it becomes palpable why they do it: captured here is the excitement of young love. As if that weren’t enough, the album is rounded off by one solo piece each.

Kristoffer Cornils
Schlammpeitziger
Freundlichbaracudamelodieliedgut
Imara • 1996 • from 27.99€

Handlicher Titel! Bei A-Musik hatten sie aber bekanntlich noch nie etwas gegen die komplette Ausuferung einzuwenden. Jo Zimmermanns zweites Album als Schlammpeitziger, »Freundlichbaracudamelodieliedgut« aus dem Jahr 1996, wurde in diesem Jahr auf Michael Mayers Label Imara neu aufgelegt – Hauptsache, das Ding bleibt in Köln. Es ist als Einladung zu verstehen, dieses bizarre Wunderwerk des Post-Krautrock-Neo-Synth-Pop-Meta-Technos noch einmal neu zu durchdringen. Der anarchische Geist (und nicht zuletzt: Humor) eines Conrad Schnitzlers schwebt genauso durch diese Tracks wie sie auf den Sound of Cologne reagierten. Volle Fahrt in Richtung Gegenwart, auch heute noch.

Kristoffer Cornils
Stuart Dempster
Underground Overlays From The Cistern Chapel
Important • 2023 • from 44.99€

The pun doesn't work in any other language but English. But the »cistern« in which Stuart Dempster, a companion of drone pioneer Pauline Oliveros, gathered some colleagues almost 30 years ago to shake the vaulted ceiling with trumpet sounds, takes on a sublime quality that would pass as a harmonic answer to the »Sistine Chapel«. To illustrate this, the album cover also features Michelangelo's divine finger from the ceiling fresco in the Vatican Chapel. An exaggeration? Not with this music.

Tim Caspar Boehme
Svitlana Nianio
Transilvania Smile
Shukai • 2023 • from 25.99€

Music for a theatre performance by the Ukrainian Svitlana Nianio, this could be used to shock the savage. »Transilvania« is carried entirely by piano, harmonium and Nianio's moving falsetto. A deeply folkloric spirit gives the recordings their emotional scope, but the formal rigour still pushes »Transilvania« more in the direction of avant-garde than regional reissue.

Pippo Kuhzart
Sylvester
Private Recordings August 1970
Dark Entries • 2023 • from 19.79€

Der schönste Archivfund des Jahres: »Private Recordings, August 1970« entstand gut sieben Jahre, bevor sich Sylvester als Disco-Diva etablierte. Er nahm mit Mitbewohner Peter Mintun am Piano eine Reihe von Blues- und Jazz-Standards als intime Home Recordings auf. Hin und wieder poppen die Plosive, klingen die höchsten Höhen von Sylvesters Falsettgesangs verzerrt und immer wieder ist das Klicken von Mintuns Tasten zu hören. All das aber steigert nur die atmosphärische Qualität dieser Darbietungen. Es gibt einige besondere Momente, die rein aus den äußeren Umständen resultieren und die interne Dramaturgie dieser fantastischen Performance verstärken.

Kristoffer Cornils
The Air Music International - Pass The Santa-Lucia Gate In Manila
Music That Shapes • 1984 • from 43.99€

Jetzt werden also sogar die Reggae- und Dub-Interpretationen japanischer Band aus den frühen 1980er-Jahren abgestaubt, aber … Hey, okay! The Air Music International veröffentlichten »Pass The Santa-Lucia Gate In Manila« angeblich in einer Auflage von hundert Exemplaren, das slowakische Label Music That Shapes hat dieses absonderliche Meisterwerk-aus-Versehen nun neu aufgelegt. Jamaika markiert hier sowieso nur den Ausgangspunkt, es geht mit schrammeligem No-Wave-Punk weiter, bevor dann richtig abgeskronkt wird – James White klingt dagegen wie Smooth Jazz. Alles davon ist sehr richtig, weil es so falsch wirkt. Und »​​Igirisu No Koucya« ist der nervigste/schönste Ohrwurm aller Zeiten.

Kristoffer Cornils
The Future Sound Of London
Papua New Guinea
Jumpin & Pumpin • 1992 • from 22.99€

32 years after its release, »Papua New Guinea« is still a hardcore milestone that sounds fresher, better, and more authentic than anything its epigones are blowing into the ether today. This is primordial soup music whose re-release does no one any harm. The breaks, the bassline, the choirs, the piano—everything about this classic by The Future Sound Of London sounds so majestic that it makes you want to bow down. Remixes by legends like Graham Massey of 808 State or Andrew Weatherall only add to this. Nevertheless, the »Dumb Child Of Q Mix« still remains a real favourite.

Maximilian Fritz
Tolerance
Divin
Mesh-Key • 2023 • from 44.99€

The second and last album by Japanese dental student Junko Tange aka Tolerance, originally released in 1981, was and still is a blast. It's hard to believe that a student with limited resources could have made this album a good 40 years ago. »Divin« is proto-dub techno, proto-industrial, lo-fi tape aesthetics, with borderline dissociative vocals by Masami Yoshikawa, whiplash, total BPM openness and engaging atmospheric density. 

Pippo Kuhzart
Touch Of Noise
Percussionproject
Goddess Music • 1994 • from 22.99€

Dass DJ Swagger über sein Label einem Bielefelder Projekt aus den 1990er-Jahren Platz freiräumen würde, das auf den »Tropical Drums of Deutschland« einen Platz verdient hätte, konnte niemand auf der Bingo-Karte für das Jahr 2023 haben. Umso schöner, dass mit »Percussionproject« ein veritabler Appropriations-Clusterfuck zwischen Drumcircle-Logik und Kamillentee-Jazz (Swagger vergleicht Touch of Noise etwas vollmundig aber nicht grundlos mit den perkussiven Werken Midori Takadas, das Mkwaju Ensemble am ehesten eine Referenz) als faustdicke Überraschung aus der Ramschecke zurück ins Tageslicht getreten ist.

Kristoffer Cornils
Umeko Ando
Upopo Sanke
Pingipung • 2003 • from 30.99€

Mit der Neuauflage von »Ihunke« brachte Pingipung die Rede wieder auf die Ainu-Künstlerin Umeko Ando und ihren den aufreibenden Mix aus ihrem Spiel der Mukkuri, idiosynkratischen Gesang, komplexen Grooves und dubbigem Sound-Design. »Upopo Sanke« erschien kurz vor Andos Tod vor gut zwei Jahrzehnten, und verzeichnet neben Oki Kano an der Tonkori und dem Chor Marewrew noch andere Musiker:innen in seinen Credits. Es ist das Destillat der gemeinsamen Arbeit einer stetig schrumpfenden ethnischen Gemeinschaft, deren Sprache und Traditionen in zeitgenössischer Form dokumentiert wurde. Sie vereinen Vergangenheit, Zeitgeist und Perspektiven in sich.

Kristoffer Cornils
Vladislav Delay
Whistleblower
Keplar • 2023 • from 32.99€

Sasu Ripatti released »Whistleblower« on CD under the pseudonym Vladislav Delay on his own label Huume in 2007. Now Keplar has released it on vinyl for the first time. And this version is different. I don't just mean the artwork, but the tracks themselves. Ripatti has taken another look at the original music, and this re-release features remixes on more than half of the tracks. This makes the music sharper, edgier, more raw. »Whistleblower« already marked a turning point in Vladislav Delay's creative work. It is the last record on which he predominantly used analogue equipment. And it is the last record he made in Berlin. Musically, too, there is a mood of departure, with the loose ends lying bare on the floor. Rhythmically, he steals away, not without leaving behind traces. 

Sebastian Hinz