To save you some digging time we’ll be compiling a list of our favourite reissues and retrospectives each month. Here’s January’s selection…
Colonel Abrams – The 8-Track Tape Demos (Echovolt Records) [Buy]
The reissue game is strong and Echovolt in particular can hold their collective head up high for some sterling contributions. Unsurprisingly, the Athens-based label have done it again, following-up last year’s EP of forgotten Boyd Jarvis cuts with the Jarvis-produced proto-house of Colonel Abrams. Originally recorded in 1984, this marks the first official release for both title track and closer, while Abrams’ rendition of ‘Release The Tension’ gets a long-awaited release after being discarded in favour of an updated James Dees version. Like the Boyd Jarvis tracks, these were recorded straight to tape in Timmy Regisford’s basement – hence the rawness of the recordings – but that just adds to the charm of the antecedent excavations.
Leo Mas Presents Mediterraneo – Rare Balearica Vol 2 (Music For Dreams) [Buy]
When it’s time to put together a special compilation of obscure balearic gems, who better to turn to than one of Ibiza’s finest? Leo Mas was born and raised in Italy, but he cut his teeth as a DJ between the walls of the famed Ibizan club Amnesia and the seasoned selector has been tasked with the curation of an upcoming Music For Dreams compilation. Exploring sounds that have featured heavily in Leo’s sets over the years, the man’s exceptional taste for sun-kissed sonics was always bound to deliver something rather special, with a second vinyl sampler testament to that.
Harmonia – Musik Von Harmonia (Grönland Records) [Buy]
The term “supergroup” shouldn’t be used liberally but it was more than appropriate when Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius of Cluster began making music alongside Neu! guitarist Michael Rother. Even without Brian Eno the original ensemble was a mouth watering triumvirate and the debut album remains an essential purchase for krautrock and kosmische collectors to this day. Highly influential, Musik Von Harmonia is a genre-bending, motorik masterpiece that took mid-70s electronic experimentation to new heights.
Admas – Kalatashew Waga (Major Problems) [Buy]
Calling it a beautiful accident would be a disservice, but in the same year Jamie Principal and Adrienne Jett recorded ‘Your Love’, Admas were busy working on something in a similar vein. But while some would eventually label ‘Kalatashew Waga’ as proto-house, it’s unclear whether the Ethopian band were aware of what was happening in Chicago at the time. Reissued via Dublin’s Major Problems label, the captivating original still sounds incredibly contemporary, while Andras Fox pairs some of the luxurious synths his own stripped-back groove for a truly modern interpretation on the flip.
Boo Williams – Residual EP (Rush Hour Recordings) [Buy]
A slew of top-notch releases filled shelves of reputable record stores throughout 2015 and Rush Hour are back at it again. Whether it’s contemporary sounds or the music of yesteryear, they rarely put a foot wrong and this Boo Williams retrospective marks another successful outing for the label-come-record store. Selecting four cuts released between 1998-2001 on the now defunct Residual Recordings, it’s the latest nod to Chicago from an institution indebted to the North American city. Full of thudding kicks and shimmering melodies that never fail to mesmerise, this is Boo at his finest.