CDs + Vinyl:
Patti Austin – Street Of Dreams CD (Water Music)
From queen of the jingle to the diva behind R&B’s jazziest pop, Patti Austin is one of the clearest voices in contemporary pop music. This collection of classic standards and some newer tracks showcases Austin at her best.
Eddie Baird – Hard Graft [Reissue/1976] CD (Prog Temple)
Lincolnshire, England-born multi-instrumentalist Eddie Baird is best known as a member of Amazing Blondel. This solo album is, however, far removed from that band’s renaissance folk style. A classy set of concise pop rock songs played entirely by Baird, it was recorded in Cornwall, England, in the summer of 1975 and released in 1976. It makes its long-overdue CD debut here.
Baumann/Koek – Baumann/Koek [Reissue/1979] CD (Bureau B)
Baumann/Koek is another hitherto undiscovered treasure of German electronic music, the only album by the electronic music pairing of Wolfgang Baumann and Ata Koek, both from Kempten, Bavaria, Germany. It was mixed in Conny Plank’s studio and distributed, without a label, by the duo themselves in 1978. The music owes much to the Berlin School; layered sequencer patterns, swirling chord tapestries, a computer beat here and there. Eastern elements or hints thereof add a particular charm to Baumann/Koek, reissued here for the first time.
Beacon – Escapements CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
“Our very own 2011 Band To Watch honorees Beacon tinker with beat-driven, addictive electro-pop goodness that works just as well on the dance floor or in headphones, and their newest single ‘Preserve’ is no exception to the rule. The Brooklyn band start off with hard-hitting bass beats alongside a sparkling flurry of synths, driven by anchored, steadied resolution. It flits towards the more ambient-pop side of the spectrum and leans away from the likes of R&B, but its frothy beats will be hard to resist under the lights of the disco ball. “Preserve” is pulled from Beacon’s LP titled Escapements.” – Stereogum
Jacob Bellens – Polyester Skin CD (HFN)
Jacob Bellens’s Polyester Skin is sure to amaze left-field pop enthusiasts and singer-songwriter fans alike. The locally celebrated and award-winning singer-songwriter’s third solo album is a wonderful mix of heartfelt lyrics, crisp and modern pop production, and Bellens’s signature vocals, which never fail to captivate.
Billion Dollar Babies – Chemical God CD (Metalville)
New album from the Swedish hard rockers.
John Cale – Music For A New Society/M:FANS [Reissue/1982] 2xCD (Domino)
Cale’s long out-of-print 1982 masterpiece, Music For A New Society, has been remastered and is now reissued along side a radical new reworking of that critically-lauded album entitled M:FANS. (Both were released on vinyl a few weeks ago.)
Michael Cerveris – Piety CD (Low Heat)
After years of high volume punk and alternative rock, Cerveris follows up his indie-rock guest star-studded 2004 Dog Eared solo debut with a return to his southern roots for this album of lushly orchestrated, melodic Americana. Vinyl edition due March 4.
Circle Jerks – VI [Reissue/1987] CD (Real Gone Music)
Digitally remastered edition of an overlooked punk classic.
Cirque Du Soleil – Toruk – The First Flight CD (Cirque Du Soleil)
Inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, Toruk – The First Flight, a live experience by Cirque du Soleil, envisions a world beyond imagination thousands of years before the events depicted in the film.
Jason Collett – Song And Dance Man CD/LP (Arts & Crafts)
“Song And Dance Man,” the title track from Jason Collett’s sixth full-length album, finds the singer/songwriter back at center stage, with three-minutes-and-change and a story to sing. Featuring the bright production touch of Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen, “Song And Dance Man” covers the trials and triumphs of the modern musician with poignant poetry: If you can tweet something brilliant, you got a marketing plan. Song And Dance Man’s thirteen songs bear the wit and melody of classic Jason Collett: contemplative reflections on getting older, backed with an affinity for freewheeling ‘70s dance music. The album’s conspiring themes of love and loneliness, sun and shadows, are buoyed by its soaring sound. Each song rises into an easy, spacious groove, lead by Jason’s languid melodies and Afie’s sun-drunk bass.
Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari – Tales Of Mozambique [Reissue/1975] CD/2xLP (Soul Jazz)
Count Ossie is the central character in the development of Rastafarian roots music, nowadays an almost mythical and iconic figure. His importance in bringing Rastafarian music to a populist audience is matched only by Bob Marley’s promotion of the faith internationally in the 1970s. Soul Jazz Records reissues Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation’s seminal 1975 album Tales Of Mozambique in a fully remastered edition, expanded with two bonus rare single-only tracks.
The Cult – Hidden City CD/2xLP (Cooking Vinyl)
Following up their 2012 album, Choice Of Weapon, singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy teamed up for the writing as the band’s only remaining original members. Explaining the concept behind the new record, Astbury said, “Hidden City is a metaphor for our spiritual lives, our intimate interior lives,” adding “I find today’s gurus are trying to peddle some cure, product or insight as if it’s a new phenomenon. My place is to respond, not react, to observe, participate and share through words and music. There is no higher authority than the heart.” The song “Dark Energy,” opens the album with a jumpy, swinging rhythm that sees Astbury’s signature croon enter shortly after. Keeping the bouncing rhythm, Duffy injects his ethereal, textured guitar playing hinting back at the band’s post-punk and goth rock days while maintaining their modern day sound.