Originally issued as a hand-dubbed demo tape in 1982, Elisa Waut’s icy debut gets its first vinyl issue. The Flemish trio of Chery Derycke and siblings Elsje and Hans Helewaut took new wave to its natural conclusion; trading Europe’s organic post-punk approach for the new cold war order of synth and rhythm box. Soviet paranoia, isolation, suicidal musings, and other miscellaneous bouts of young adult depression are covered in both French and English. A 28-minute minimal wave masterpiece.
Best listened to from inside the womb, Duster's 1998's debut Stratosphere simultaneously capped off and reinvented the slow core's first wave. A four track dreamscape that will wake the neighbors and then lull them back to sleep. Hazy, arpeggiated guitars layer over a deliberate drummer with no real place to be, as semi-inaudible vocals warn of millennial malaise and subtly encourage the listener to "rock out, rock out, rock out, rock out."
A muffled cry into the technological darkness, Contemporary Movement slid into the world right as the MP3 was seeping out of college dorms. A 39-minute drift into the void, drenched in Cold War-era reverb and then submerged in four track hiss for good measure. Duster constructed a Brutalist masterpiece on the outskirts of a suburban mall, as if to say, "We were here."
The second issue of our semi-annual publication Periodical Numerical continues the mission of diving deeper into the vast Numero Group universes. Edited by Numero's west coast A&R head/new age guru Douglas Mcgowan, The New Age Issue is not a collection your usual muddle-headed, what’s-the-point circa 2019 music writing, but a deeply informed look at all of the new age artists and records in the fabled Numero catalog. The full color, perfect bound issue begins with a rarely-seen 1983 essay on the genre by the legendary Iasos, followed with choice nugs like "Growing Up Syntonic" by Environments creator Irv Teibel's daughter Jennifer Ballow, profiles on Alex Johnson, Don Slepian and David Casper, and never before seen writings by such luminaries as Jordan de la Sierra and Joanna Brouk. Interview with Laraaji? Sure, we’ve got it. First ever interview with the illusive and mysterious Wilburn Burchette? We’ve got that too. 72 copiously illustrated pages of real content. All killer, no filler.
Static filled signals emanating deep from inside the walls of Laurel Canyon, bouncing off clusters of incipient late century technology, are pulled through the twisted rabbit ears of a Chevy Astro Van. Planisphere. The equivocal sound of hippies fresh from their back-to-land sojourns shuttling drum machines through heartworn aspirations, as if the music section of the Whole Earth Catalog came to life. Let out from astronomy class with an arm full of Brain and Sky label releases, these 9 nomads scribble plein air narrations over a landscape turning its back on the sun. Bask in the reverberations of our celestial home sweet home.
Our Planisphere, for those within the 30-40 degree zone, will provide you with a fairly discernible chart for discovering both deep-sky objects and telluric emotional pulses.
From the blown-out motherboard of West Philadelphia’s Master Control Programmers, Charles Grossman broke off to explore his own personal outer space experience. With just a DW-8000 to keep him company, University City’s loneliest cyborg issued this eight song electro-mellow statement in 1989. Spectral synths, pulsating programming, and yes-a keytar-set the soundtrack to your next game of Spy Hunter. Jam on to a sound more sophisticated.
Barely disco and hardly jazz, Rupa Biswas' 1982 LP is the halfway point between Bollywood and Balearic. Tracked in Calgary's Living Room Studios with a crack team of Indian and Canadian studio rats alike, Disco Jazz is a perfect fusion of East and West. Sarod and synthesizer intricately weave around one another for 37 transcendent minutes, culminating in the viral hit "Aaj Shanibar." Remastered from original analogue source material and issued with permission and blessing of the producers and performers.
San Jose's sonic cure-all for the Y2K hangover that never materialized, Duster emerged from a cloud of lonely bong rips to take indie rock to the moon, and beyond. Scotch-taped guitars toggle between a chorus of brittle winter trees and a blanket of distorted fuzz. The low rumble of a cardboard box being kicked in a dead mall keeps pace in the background, as muffled, sung-spoken vocals ponder the great mysteries of modern mundanity. Three years of home recording accidents and blown-out 2AM studio experiments are spread across four LPs, gathering the short-lived trio's Stratosphere and Contemporary Movement albums, 1975 EP, singles, demos, and other miscellaneous debris into one escape pod, now free to drift in the endless void of space.
A hero’s quest worth of staccato synths, crack house Casios, off-brand drum machines, minimal Morricone, four-track fantasia, and a variety of other speculations on what the 1980s thought the future would sound like. Packaged in a 12”x12” Nintendo Entertainment System-styled jacket, replete with game sticker, die-cut outer sleeve, debossed cartridge inner sleeve, and art from our first video game, playable from the comfort of your PC.
Pre-dotcom electro-funk from the long-running S.F. collective New World Music, gathering the best of their opium-hazed Macola-issued singles on one tidy 12". Winding keys loosely hug an over-worked 808, as a slapping, watery bass gallops alongside, the looming bummer of the mid-'80s drug war hanging heavy over the whole affair. Intellectual Thinking finds New World Music jamming towards a techno future that never arrived.
The definitive Unwound. All seven of their studio albums, nine singles, 24 compilation tracks, complete Peel Sessions, original demo tape, original Fake Train recorded with Tim Green, Live Leaves, a disc of live rarities, and pre-unwound band Giant Henry's complete recordings (plus 2001 reunion show), plus a 90-minute DVD filled with live footage, videos, and other detritus of the VHS era. Foil-wrapped hardcover book contains David Wilcox's complete 40,000 word liner notes, reflections by Justin Trosper, Sara Lund, and Brandt Sandeno, map of Olympia punk houses, dozens of previously unpublished photographs, a flyer gallery, and annotated discography.
1982, Brussels: Living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, Antena manage to make a contemporary bossa nova record that provides the missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk. The original Camino Del Sol has been given back its spacious mini-LP quarters, recasting this short-lived combo's forward-thinking mile marker as a modern-day masterstroke.
Synth chutes, synth ladders, popcorn 808 beats, dirge-y chants and busted sub-woofer hums from inner-galactic soul pioneers Nathaniel Woolridge and Anthony Freeman intertwine to create this hypnotic, mythical 1984 LP from Newark, New Jersey. The most damaged party record ever set to black, or the most partied cry of the heart ever howled into personal space. Probably both.
Snarling Aussie punk from the the western burnout paradise of Perth. Recorded in 1980 and issued on the short-lived White Rider label, "Last Night" arrived just before The Scientists abandoned their power pop hooks and went on an unhinged swamp-grunge tear. Replicated down to the tiniest detail, The Scientists E.P. has been remastered from the original analog tapes and presented in a heavy weight picture sleeve.
The missing link between her Barry andColumbia singles, "I Can’t Stand It" b/w "OnlyYesterday" is Thelma Jones with her back againstthe wall of an empty and indifferent HolidayInn lounge and nothing to lose. Washed out ofthe recording business by the age of 30, Jonesand her then-husband/manager James Hazleyrelocated to Tampa to work the hotel circuit andfigure out what - if anything - was next. Followinga chance encounter with Blair Mooney, Jones wasinvited to workshop a few stray originals at hisStudio 70 compound in 1972. "He seemed tobelieve in me more than I did at the time,"Jonesremembered of the Tampa studio impresario.Jones signed with Columbia a few years laterand hightailed it out of The Big Guava, leavingtwo sides of country-politan soul on the shelf tobe forgotten about. This Eccentric Soul 45 is afirst time issue, carrying the banner of Mooney'sGimp label and mastered directly from theoriginal analog tapes.
The Unwound album that ended all Unwound albums. Recorded in a moldering farmhouse basement at the crest of the new century, Leaves Turn Inside You is the no-wave response to Spector’s wall of noise call. Infinite layers of choppy guitar stabs and bridge scrapes, guttural bass thronk, thrift store synths, and monotone chanting wash over suffocating rhythms to deliver the world’s only choral grunge LP. Remastered from the original analog tapes and pressed on heavyweight vinyl for the discerning noise-nik.
The song that burst Blondie out of the streets of the Bowery to #1 on the charts, "Heart of Glass" was the pivotal moment in punk's choreographed slamdance with the mainstream. Inspired by Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, Blondie transformed their campy "Disco Song" into a Roland-driven juggernaut and never looked back. Explored and exploded via six distinct versions remastered from the original analog tapes, the history of "Heart of Glass" is documented here in a copious essay and it's art reimagined by noted American illustrator Shepard Fairey.
Switched-On Eugene documents the Eugene Electronic Music Collective and some of the many synthed-out figures in and around Oregon's iconic hippie stronghold during the 1980s. Whether connected by membership, geography, or the tape trading scene, the artists in and around the EEMC shared compelling visions of the future we now inhabit, vividly captured on home-recorded tapes and distributed via zines, classifieds, and local radio. Switched-On Eugene is a deep dive into a heretofore forgotten sonic microcosm unlike any other.
Who do we become when we live our dreams? It's all here - the high hairdos, the dreams and schemes, the tender camp, the wedding bell fantasias and chaste tragedies. Sister acts, studio receptionists, classmates, angelic voices of the 1960s; some legendary, many hidden in the basement of expired rainbows. Gathered on this deluxe double LP (or CD) are 28 (56 on the compact disc!) foiled escape attempts, now free to soar in girl group heaven.
From a basement in New Jersey, Tommy Falcone remade himself into a DIY Phil Spector. From 1962 to 1970, he founded and ran Cleopatra Records, discovered and mentored young Garden State talent, wrote songs and produced wild studio effects, and quit his day job to promote it all himself. Trained as an accordionist, Falcone had a whirlwind imagination and an omnivorous approach to genre, expressed through acts like the Centuries, the Tabbys, Johnny Silvio, the Inmates, Bernadette Carroll, the Hallmarks, Vickie & the Van Dykes, the Shandillons, Eugene Viscione, the Shoestring, and more. Cleopatra became a time-capsule of every 1960s pop style imaginable - garage rock, psychedelia, surf, girl groups, soul, novelties, exotica, even a crooner - a kaleidoscope of sound in search of the ever-elusive hit record.
The first authoritative compilation of American dream pop artist Happy Rhodes, whose singular songwriting and four-octave vocal range emanated from the pastoral confines of upstate New York in the 1980s. Her melding of classical music influences with synthesizer and acoustic guitar, and her enchanting and idiosyncratic singing, are favorably compared to heralded English chanteuse Kate Bush. Fans of such artistic pop music would be remiss to overlook Rhodes's similarly remarkable and otherworldly sonic transmissions, traversing tales of dreamers, outsiders, lovers and other lovely and terrifying creatures born of a wellspring of wild creativity and bold imagination. Affectionately remastered from the original tapes, Ectotrophia gathers essential songs from Rhodes's mid-'80s salad days, many written when she was just a teenager-wildly ahead of her time and unafraid to bare her soul to regional audiences, the ectophiles who’d eventually coin an entire subgenre of pop music in her honor. Dive deep into ecto, with the woman who started it all.
Soaring falsetto lead from 13-year-old Johnnie Gee, who, alongside brothers Jerome and Dewitt and a handful of kids from their Milwaukee stomping grounds, formed Step By Step in 1969. Gee and company's 1972 sweet soul double sider for Jim Kirchstein's regional powerhouse Cuca Records is among the rarest singles produced by the Sauk City outfit over its 13 year run, barely making it outside of Wisconsin before appearing on 2007's Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul album. Step By Step's "Time After Time" has since become a highly sought after single on the low rider circuit, and was prominently featured in season two of Aziz Ansari's breakout Netflix series Master of None. Both sides have been remastered from the original analog Cuca masters, with two additional songs tacked onto the digital version.
Though not a household name, Bernadette Carroll is one of the more successful teen vocalists of the girl group era. She charted as a member of the Angels, as a solo act, and as a for-hire backup singer, performing on at least two #1 hits, selling over a million copies of each. You've heard her voice, whether you know it or not.
Her early '60s work with Hazlet, New Jersey, producer Tommy Falcone resulted in a handful of singles for the Cleopatra and Julia labels, including the syrupy ballad "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)" and the upbeat dancer "Heavenly." "Laughing" was buried in a New Jersey basement until we pulled it from obscurity for last year's "End of the F***ing World" for Netflix, which garnered the track five million streams in its first three months.
Bernadette Carroll will be featured prominently on Teen Expo: The Cleopatra Label and Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground, both due this fall.
"Our new print-only publication Periodical Numerical serves as an entertaining and informative guide to the latest and greatest of the vast Numero Group universe. The inaugural Exotica Issue charts the in depth history of the exotica genre as well as stars from Numero's epic new Technicolor Paradise compilation, including Darla Hood, the Gems, Nicky Roberts, and Pony Sherrell. Marvel at a gallery of the legendary Sandy Warner record covers shot by Murray Garret and Gene Howard, get caught up with a Cuca Records primer, and inform yourself with short and to the point features on Numero digital-only releases from the Jiants, Jack Adkins, Mark Jones, Mouse Bonati, the Revelons, and Knightmare II. This 64-page, perfect bound rag is printed in glorious full color and illustrated with dozens of previously unpublished photographs. Limited to 1000 copies."
It was a musical cocktail born in a marketing meeting: Two parts easy listening, one part jazz, a healthy dollop of conga drums, a sprinkling of bird calls, and a pinch of textless choir. Serve garnished with an alluring female on the album jacket for best results. Exotica! The soundtrack for a mythical air conditioned Eden, packaged for mid-century, tiki torch-wielding armchair safariers. Be it mosquito-bitten torch singers, landlocked surf quartets, fad-chasing jazz combos, mad genius band leaders, D-list actors, or a middle aged loner programming bird calls into a Hammond, Exotica was always more concerned with what geography might sound like over who was conducting. Captured across three albums are 48 (54 on the CD) curious examples of the short-lived genre's reach, each summoning their own sonic visions of Shangri La, bringing their versions of the Pacific, Africa, and the Orient to the hinterlands of America. Technicolor Paradise is where one makes it, after all.
The Creation's only LP, cut from the original mono masters for the first time since 1967. Producer Shel Talmy masterfully captured every bow scrape, tom rattle, and mod growl before the UK quartet imploded after two brilliant, but short years. Originally issued only in Germany, We Are Paintermen collects the Creation's first three singles and adds a handful of period covers culled from the band’'s raucous stage show. Pressed on heavy-weight pink vinyl to make even the most seasoned collector nerd sweat.
In the wake of 2017's Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht, the Numero Group is proud to present another addition to the soft rock cannon: W2NG. Set your FM dial to smooth and sail away with 42 minutes of uninterrupted easy glide, pontoon rock, and whispery disco. Featuring unreleased burners from Gary Hyde, Love Transfusion, Marshall Titus, and Phillips, alongside scarce cuts from Nannette, Greenflow, Jim Spencer & Son Rize, Larry Sanders, Kettner & Shawe, Orphans of Love, and Lion, W2NG is sure to surprise even the most devout boat shoe enthusiast.
The 20th volume of our flagship Eccentric Soul series has all the boxes checked: Gun-toting, skip-tracing record producers, child stars, rip-offs, the "World's Greatest Bail Bondsman," swindles, soaring falsettos, and a dwindling rust-belt cityscape offering mere glimpses of hope before the record industry escaped for the coasts. Helmed by the O'Jays Bobby Massey, Saru was a creative vortex that pulled Cuyahoga County's greatest talent in, making a strong case for Cleveland to contend with Detroit, Philly, and Memphis as America's soul music's capital. Includes obscure and unknown sides from the Out of Sights, the Elements, Pandella Kelly, David Peoples, Sir Stanley, the Ponderosa Twins + 1, Ba-Roz, Bobby Dukes, and of course, the O'Jays.
An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike. From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother.
Vision Songs Vol. 1 (1984) is the LARAAJI album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel. It is both his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century.Discovered busking in Washington Square Park by Brian Eno in the late 70s, engagement with the eternal flow has led Laraaji to, seemingly by magic, emerge as the most beloved avatar of the unstoppable new age music revival of recent years.Now Vision Songs rewrites Laraaji's musical history. Vision Songs is literally a revelation -- of a master songwriter whose unbelievably catchy best compositions such as "We Shall Be Lifted", "All Of A Sudden", and "Is This Clear?" belong in any great American songbook.Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment, "channeled," as Laraaji states in the album's eloquent liner notes, "from the sky," previously available in an edition of 100 cassettes sold at yoga retreats and on the streets of New York City, Vision Songs is humbly offered on vinyl, CD, and streaming for the very first time.