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Re-Issues Of The Month: October

Once again, we’ve listed our favourite re-issues of the last month – from Italo-Disco to Afro-Jazz and rare contemporary electronic experiments…

Whether you’re a 90s House fan or a Jazz enthusiast, hopefully you’ll find something to be excited about in the re-presses listed below. If you’re looking for new dancefloor material or fancy pondering what even ‘counts’ as music – these newly pressed cuts should provide something to satisfy curious ears.

Hailu Mergia and the Wallias Band – ‘Musicawi Silt’

Following their re-press of Mergia’s ‘Shemonmuanve’ last year, Awesome Tapes From Africa are giving the super rare 1977 album ‘Tche Belew’ a new pressing. When I say super rare, I mean it – an original sold for over $4000 on Ebay a couple of years ago. ‘Tche Belew’ is a fascinating soundtrack from 70s Ethiopa, and this new pressing throws Mergia some much deserved attention – he’s been on tour around Europe this month.

Tony Esposito – ‘Je Na’’

After a seemingly eternal wait, Archeo Recordings’ re-press of Tony Esposito’s elusive 1983 record Je Na’’/Pagaia’ was finally released at the start of the month. The original was released on Italian Italo-Disco label Bubble, and like many of the greats from the style and era it became an elusive record. Both tracks were recorded after a trip to Jamaica and in them you can hear the influence of Bob Marley, with whom Esposito worked with in both Italy and Jamaica.

B.W.H. – ‘Livin’ Up’

Another classic from Italo-Disco’s golden era, also released in 1983. Original copies aren’t cheap, so October was your chance to get an affordable copy of the ‘Livin’ Up/Stop’ 12”. Huge synths stabs, grooving bass and driving drums make this an essential party track.

Shirley Lites – ‘Heat You Up (Melt You Down)’

It seems 1983 was a good year for music… New York’s West End continue to re-press their back catalogue – this time it’s Shirley Lites’ ‘83 anthem ‘Heat You Up’ that gets re-mastered and issued once again for the first time in many years. Drum machines, squelchy bass lines and Paradise Garage friendly diva vocals are amongst the ingredients that make this a timeless dancefloor classic.

Julian Bahula’s Jazz Afrika – ‘Woza Cindi’

Strut have created a tribute to the highly influential South African percussionist Julian Bahula in the form of the ‘Spirit of Malombo’ compilation – documenting his work in both SA and the UK between 1966-84, in his groups Malombo Jazz Makers, Jabula and Jazz Afrika. ‘Spirit of Malombo’ portrays Bahula’s fascinating musical journey in a new package that includes rare photos and extensive sleeve notes. ‘Woza Cindi’ originally appeared in 1982 on the ‘Sun Of The Soil’ LP, released on Bahula’s Tsafrika in the UK.

Apple And The 3 Oranges – ‘Love Brings Out The Best Of You’

Drummer Edward ‘Apple’ Nelson originally released ‘Love Brings Out The Best Of You’ on his own Sagittarius label in 1971. The few 7”s that the label pressed are elusive and have long been hunted by collectors. Now re-issued thank to Jazzman’s Soul7 imprint, this slab of ‘pure Californian funky soul sunshine’ is readily available to grab.

Joe Hicks – ‘Life And Death In G & I’ 

In 1970 The Family Stone were a big deal, but Sly Stone was moving into new musical areas. In 1969 he’d started his own label Stone Flower which released a series of five 45s, but lasted less than two years. It was the imprint for the almighty LP ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On’. Light In The Attic have compiled the 7″s, as well as ten additional previously unheard tracks for a new compilation titled ‘I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-1970’. Joe Hick’s original single is one of the rarer records, and one of the ‘bleakest’ moments Sly Stone ever created on disc.

Kerri Chandler – ‘Rain’

Nervous have produced another welcome re-press – this time Kerri Chandler’s ‘The Mood EP’, originally released in 1998. Of the four tracks on the EP, ‘Rain’ is the only vocal number. Soulful melodies over a Deep House drum track, alongside lazy chords and jazzy marimba lines – classic ‘Kaoz’.

J. K. Randall – ‘Mudgett’ (excerpt)

The Institute of Contemporary Arts & The Vinyl Factory have joined forces to re-issue ‘Cybernetic Serendipity Music’ – a record which, at the time of its release in 1968 in conjunction with ICA’s groundbreaking robotics exhibition, was the world’s first compilation of electronic music. Now, as the ICA’s archival Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition is running this month, it seemed fitting to re-press the original vinyl, a real collectors item for fans of contemporary music (the original handful pressed often value over £150). But be warned – the ‘music’ is whacky at the best of times…

Jonathan Kambskarð-Bennett