Archive for the ‘Distro’ Category

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014


Easter tidings to you and yorn! In the spirit of rolling away the stone, we’ve got a trio of heavy ones catching some overdue rays on their pasty white bods. No matter what your spiritual denomination or de-motation may be today, I think we can all agree that everyone looks better bronzed in a bikini. So brush that cave dirt off your shoulder and go soak it up! You only live twice.


Simon Jones – Melanie & Me
(Strawberry Rain)

Melanie & Me was originally pressed up in a miniscule run to promote an Australian film of the same name, whose single 1975 screening became as much a rarity as the album. The good news is that Jones’ soundtrack plays just as well without the intended visual accompaniment, riding on a billowy cloud of atmospheric psych-folk that recalls everything from early Neil Young to Mike Nesmith’s bucolic, stunning concept album The Prison, to modern day off-shoots from the Japanese branch office, Maher Shalal Hash Baz and Nagisa Ni Te. A standout from the always-on-point Strawberry Rain label.


John Harrison – Creepshow soundtrack

Wow – Waxwork went whole-hog on this one! All you horror enthusiasts will know the Creepshow soundtrack was never officially released at the time, going missing for nearly 30 years. Lucky for us, the tapes were uncovered and restored and are now finally seeing the light in this deluxe reissue. Beyond the audio restoration, the packaging is gorgeous, featuring a booklet attached to the gatefold with art, interviews, and liner notes from George Romero and John Harrison. The full monty!


Twilight Nuages – Twilight Nuages
(Folk Evaluation)

Really unique and heartfelt DIY pop, and unlike most records you’ve heard lately. Twilight Nuages was a Connecticut high school teacher and a rag-tag team of his students coming together to make some truly transcendent homemade sunshine pop. For anyone familiar with the Langley Schools Music Project record re-issued a few years back, this will be icing on your muffin. Joyful, heartfelt transmissions that recall the insulated naiveté of the early Elephant 6 scene. Shine on!

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record store (913 NW 50th St., Ballard). The LITA record shop will be open on RSD, April 19th, from 9 am-5 pm.There will also be a 25% off sale on any non RSD products, along with some sweet giveaways throughout the day. 

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014


Why’s the man always tryin’ to keep us down?!  After taxes, social security, insurances, extractions, pet acupuncture, and new swaddling threads, we barely have two quarters to rub together for half a taco on the dollar menu.  It’s enough to make us wanna DROP-OUT.  For good!  This week we pay tribute to the weirdos, outsiders, and straight-up ahead-of-their-timers who didn’t give a flyin’ fig for the central scrutinizer and his rules – including the original WTF-er’s – creepy old white people!

Spike – Orange Cloud Nine
(Golf Channel Recordings)

Hot tamales! Just when we think there can’t possibly be anything left in the abandoned mine of forgotten/outsider/pop-weirdos…well, don’t look down – it’s a pit of SPIKE! Spike was a lone gunman in the profile assassination plot if ever there was one. An officially certified “fool” (by the Dutch government), Spike Wolters was a drop-out of all things drop-out-able. But instead of frittering away his unlimited free minutes playing Mario Kart, he got down to recording four home-made LPs of staggering originality and imagination. Orange Cloud Nine collects the best of these recordings and makes a pretty unimpeachable case for sticking it to the man, forever. Spike perfected a form of lo-fi, instantly memorable pop groove that brings to mind Ariel Pink, Cleaners From Venus, or Dire Straits on acid. Seriously amazing stuff here, and one of the more exciting, out-of-nowhere finds we’ve come across in awhile.


Various Artists – Anthology of American Folk Music Vol. 1-4
(Mississippi Records)

Big week for blowing it out of the water here! Mississippi went and did what they were born to do and reissued EXACT reproductions of Harry Smith’s indispensable Anthology of American Folk Music compilations! Each volume is two LPs – all sleeved in beautiful cloth-bound reproductions of the original packaging – including the booklets! That’s already three exclamation points, I know – but these records deserve it (!). Unavailable on vinyl for years, and never with the painstaking attention paid here, these are beyond essential documents of the Old Weird America. Highly limited, one-time limited pressings here. Get in touch with your haunted past before it disappears again forever.


Icecross – Icecross
(Rockadrome | Lion Productions)

Rippers Alert: Heavy shreddage on board! Icelandic skull-bangers Icecross unleashed their sole slab of raw power in the pivotal year of 1973 (the best year for music, according to sources). Neither punk nor metal were totally a “thing” yet, but this Arctic blast of insanity managed to channel the dark girth and complexity of emerging stoner bands like Black Sabbath while predicting the raw, fevered intensity of the punk scene to come. There’s also more than a hint of early Blue Oyster Cult and the Detroit garage contingent in here, somehow forging a totally unique take on all of these inter-related yet disparate influences. Incredibly obscure for decades, this is a heavy MUST for heavy heads.



George Brigman – Jungle Rot
(Obscure Oxide | Lion Productions)

The label describes this as “the sound of broken Baltimore,” and from the album cover depicting a young Brigman (monster doobie in lip) posed amongst the ruins of an abandoned building, to the fried sounds housed within, we can’t argue one bit. Jungle Rot was conceived in 1975 by the teenage Brigman as a conceptual tribute to British psych-blues band The Groundhogs. While the ‘hogs influence can certainly be felt, this is a distinctly American take on it – meaning way more punk and garage – and home-recorded. More psychedelic and blues-y than The Stooges, too raw and damaged for traditional heavy blues-rock fans, Jungle Rot also had the misfortune of arriving just a nose or two ahead of the punk movement – ensuring that the audience for this was limited to the pile of rubble on the album cover. Psych/Punk/Blues before you even knew!

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record store (913 NW 50th St., Ballard).

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014


Happy vernal equinox! To commemorate this most equitable of astrological events (50/50 day and night deal, y’all!), we’ve got a little light and dark to spread around this week. What’s that? Your seasonally insensitive supervisor has been exceptionally troll-like this week? Kick over that Ikea shelf he calls an office wall and give’m a taste ‘o some kiwi justice, AXEMEN-style! Life is for the livin’, and no one knows more about it than the AXEMEN! After you’ve come down from your adrenaline high (and 7 irish car bombs), you’ll probably be ready to transition into the “nox” portion of your equinox festivities – and we’ve got just what the doctor ordered! A little nacht music from France, Canada (not French-Canada) and even the good ole U.S.of A.! So get in here and illuminate your hemispheres – ’tis the season.


Axemen – Derry Legend
(Luxury Products)

Pieces of the Axemen puzzle have been slowly coming to light over the last few years via a slurry of short-run reissues. While much of this output is not for the faint of heart, those who lost the trail (or never found it in the first place) would be well-served to check back in for Derry Legend. By far the tightest and most tuneful the band ever was, we get a full-flowering of the dormant pop tendencies that had always bubbled below the surface. Kurt Cobain, known for his voracious musical appetite and impeccable taste, copped Derry Legend while on tour in New Zealand with Nirvana, and the album quickly became a fave – working it’s way into steady rotation on his mix tapes. An overlooked gem in the Flying Nun catalog, Derry Legend feels like an album who’s time has finally come.


Andre Georget – La France Interdite
(We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want)

A real sleaze-oid rarity, La France Interdite will be chum in the water for fans of grindhouse and sexploitation films of all stripes! Straight from the golden age of synth, Georget’s soundtrack complements the surreal and mysterious French underworld that beats at the dark heart of this film perfectly. We get all manner of sexual deviance and perversity served up here: peep shows, porn auditions, S&M clubs, transvestite behind-the-scenes – whatever’s your pleasure! And if you need help visualizing these stimulating scenes, the insert poster features stills from the film, which offer PLENTY of eye candy while you take in the Moroder-esque soundtrack. Limited to 300, these won’t be around long. Get naz-teeeee!


Psyche – Re-membering Dwayne / Crash Course In Science – Signals From Pier Thirteen
(Dark Entries)

Two fascinating and essential documents of North American post-punk / early Industrial on the always-compelling Dark Entries label! Psyche hailed from Edmonton, Canada and featured a young Dwayne Goettel, whose first recorded work appears here. Goettel would go on to join Skinny Puppy, and his sampling and synth-work became integral in developing the group’s unique aesthetic. Psyche betrays the same DNA that would inform Skinny Puppy and the whole Wax Trax proto-Industrial / Goth / Techno movement – Cabaret Voltaire and Suicide being prime influences. Great gritty, primitive studies!

Meanwhile Crash Course In Science were coming to their own conclusions on the other side of the continent. Comin’ straight outta philthy Philly, you can almost taste the grit and dirt of old industrialized east coast urbanity emanating from these tracks. Crude drum machine and synth form the framework of this EP, reflecting the stark atmosphere and mechanized clamor of the shipping pier where the group practiced and recorded these tracks. Despite the dark minimalism on display here, a couple of these tracks managed to become minor club hits in the early-80′s – a phenomenon hard to imagine in the era of Euro-disco revival and BIG CLUB ANTHEMS. Anyone remotely interested in Throbbing Gristle, minimal synth, or the history of Industrial music will wanna get on this ASAP.

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record store (913 NW 50th St., Ballard).

Medical Records | 2014 Record Store Day Releases

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014


Record Store Day 2014 is just around the corner and Medical Records is gearing up to release two exclusive titles celebrating the classic disco of 1980s Italy. First up is a very special hand-picked selection of early singles, as well as previously unreleased on vinyl tracks by Alexander Robotnick (aka Maurizio Dami). Maurizio Dami was one of the pioneers of the disco/electronic scene since the early 1980s. The first single on the record is “I Wanna Believe”, which was released under the moniker Gina & The Flexix in 1985 on the legendary Fuzz Dance label. It is a rare 12″ single featuring a dance-floor stomping beat, melodic synth leads and female vocals. The other single on the compilation is the 7″ version of “C’est La Vie” which was released in 1987. Most of the LP is comprised of tracks recorded from 1982-1984, which have only been released on CD in 2003 on the Rare Robotnicks compilation. All the tracks have been remastered by Martin Bowes at the Cage in the UK. This is a special collection that will appeal to the “Disco Freaks”, or for fans of classic Italo disco and fans of the Medical Records reissue Ce N’Est Q’Un Début. The album comes pressed on 180gram transparent blue/purple colored wax!



Next up is a very special compilation of rare and highly sought after 12” singles of Italo Disco that were originally released on the legendary Fuzz Dance label. This is volume 2 of Medical Records’ Electroconvulsive Therapy series which celebrates rare singles in the synth/wave/disco genre. The first single is Trophy’s “Slow Flight” (vocal + instrumental versions), released in 1982. A very hard-hitting percussive track with very interesting production that is quite gritty yet smooth with it’s vocoded vocals and synth melodies. The second single, which is probably the most rare is Zed’s “Plastic Love” (vocal + instrumental versions), released in 1983. Sultry female vocals and pulsing electro sequences make these two versions absolutely essential. The third is the vocal and instrumental versions of “Hesitation” by Mya & The Mirror, producted by Alexander Robotnick (Maurizio Dami) with female vocals. Also included as bonus tracks at the end of side A and B are Mon Bijou’s “Just a Lover” and Naif Orchestra’s “Check Out Five”. This comp is for fans of the classic/synthy side of Italo Disco (i.e. Casco, Sun La Shan, Amin Peck, etc). All the tracks have been remastered by Mino Cavallo with additional mastering and restoration by Martin Bowes at the Cage in UK. The album comes pressed on 180gram striped “Italian Flag” colored vinyl!

Free Basin’ Friday | Axemen – “Derry Legend”

Friday, March 14th, 2014


Another beautiful Friday is upon us, and that can only mean on thing… time for Free Basin’ Friday! This week we’re givin’ away a copy of Axemen - Derry Legend, out now on Luxury Products.  


Kurt Cobain was an avid Axemen fan, and many of the tracks found on Derry Legend were staples on his mix-tapes. In the spirit mix-tapes, for this week’s give away we would like you to list three of your all time favorite/classic mix-tape jams. The winner will be chosen next Friday via email.

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014


Hello! Welcome to March. What is it with this month?! It’s not spring and it’s not winter (it’s winter), but it IS enough to drive a guy to drink – if he were so inclined (which he’s not, OK?!). But why linger in past inglorious combats when there’s so much psychic warfare to be waged here in the present? Even a child will tell you there’s more existential angst now than ever – and to that end, we’ve conjured the perfect prescription for navigating the ever-quarrelsome “now.” If you thought you had problems, check out THESE guys…

Simon Finn – Pass The Distance
(Little Big Chief)

Been a long time coming on this hot biscuit! Pass The Distance is one of THE great cracked/acid/psych folk records of all-time. Judging by the cover, this seems to be just another bucolic strum o’er the hills of Dover – but once the needle drops, we’re a looong way from nature’s peace. Finn’s 1971 debut squats in the same damaged psychic loft inhabited by Bill Fay, Leonard Cohen, and Mayo Thompson’s inimitable Corky’s Debt To His Father. Like a desperate man trying to coax a rickety station wagon through a mountain pass before the wheels come off. The roads are rough, but the view’s great.


Susan Justin – Forbidden World // Joe Delia – Ms. 45
(Death Waltz)

Death Waltz digs deep and emerges out of the crusted mud like the Snoats brothers (Raising Arizona? jailbreak scene? anybody?) with this pair of synth-based soundtrack burners. Ms. 45 is an early Abel Ferrara joint responsible for launching the ever-popular “nuns with guns” trend. The soundtrack is a classic grit-bomb, conjuring the musical melting pot of the early-’80s Downtown NYC disco/no-wave/funk scene. Forbidden World features a slinky synth-pop groover of a score from Susan Justin, who incredibly performed this live at least once!


Bill Patton – A New Kind Of Man

Seattle journeyman, Bill Patton steps out of the shadows to tax us with the big questions. What is this new kind of man – we were just getting comfortable with the old one! Patton has done time in almost every esteemed NW neu-folk act in recent memory, including Fleet Foxes, The Head & The Heart, and J. Tillman (Father John Misty), who guests here. Undaunted by the weight of expectations, A New Kind Of Man takes it slow and low, riding the same shadow-lanes that Marks Lanegan and Kozelek carved out, with a dead-pan delivery and wry humor not-dissimilar to Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner. Basically, yer boy can hang with the big dogs. Oh, and did I mention the completely WTF “Jenny From The Block” cover?! Get in here.


Os Brazoes – Os Brazoes
(Moi J’Connais)

Long overdue restock of this Tropicalia classic! Moi J’Connais did the world a favor when they first re-issued this Brazilian obscurity a year or so back, and ever since, we can’t seem to stock enough copies of this. Os Brazoes got their start as Brazilian superstar as Gal Costa’s back-up band, but couldn’t be contained playing the support role – as this boiling pot of psychedelic stew deftly illustrates. This one deserves to be in the same convo as Os Mutantes and the early work of Caetano Veloso. Beautiful hand-screened covers seals the deal.

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record store (913 NW 50th St., Ballard).

Death Waltz Recording Company | Record Store Day 2014

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014


The word is out! Instead of keeping their plans shrouded in mystery, Death Waltz Records has decided to shed some light on their Record Store Day activity, including a look at ONE of the covers…

Randomly inserted within the records will be a Willy Wonka style golden ticket giveaway:

Bronze tickets – There will be 10 bronze tickets to be found that will give the holder three releases of their choice from our current (in print) Catalog.

Silver Tickets- There will be 5 silver tickets to be found that will give the holder every release for Death Waltz Subscription vol. 4 (6 releases in total)

Golden Ticket – There will be 1 golden ticket that will give the holder a Death Waltz foil printed box set to hold test pressings of every release for the next 12 months.


Nicola Piovani - l Profumo Della Signora In Nero (aka The Perfume Of The Lady In Black)


First up on the Death Waltz RSD roster is Nicola Piovani’s gorgeous score to Francesco Barilli’s highly-regarded psychological horror Ilprofumo Della Sisnora In Nero (a.k.a. The Perfume Of The Lady In Black). First performed in a classical style, the theme is reprised in many stylistic variations throughout the score, from a straightforward rendition that seems almost naively innocent, to lush pastoral reprisals, and even a big band version. Piovani uses the theme almost as a comfort zone, a false sense of security, before jarring the melody with piercing strings and harsh percussion to make you bolt upright. The score is haunting in places, with surreal melodies that almost sound like whale song and a slow piano piece that perhaps had an influence on John Carpenter’s Halloween. A mesmerizing experience that remains a highlight of Italian film music. The album has been remastered from it’s original tapes and comes pressed on solid orange with white swirl wax with a giant fold out poster!


Nico Fidenco - Emanuelle Perche’ Violenza Alle Donne? (aka The Violation Of Emanuelle)


Also available from Death Waltz for RSD is Nico Fidenco’s score to Joe D’Amato’s Emanuelle Perche’ Violenza Alle Donne (a.k.a. The Violation Of Emanuelle). Regarded as the best of the unofficial “Black Emanuelle” series, the film starts off with the same sexual freedom and exploration as the official one but ends up descending into a hard-hitting voyage of human trafficking and sexual violence. Fidenco’s music represents the character’s exploration of hedonism and philosophy, scoring hook-ups with a truck driver and a couple of Italian girls, and as such is pretty free-flowing and upbeat. The main theme is repeated throughout the album alongside some interesting supporting material, including some offbeat percussion and slinky melodies with a surprising amount of wind instruments, along with a subtle female voice. Synths appear frequently with an driving bass line. It’s not until the end when it gets darker and sleazier, a fascinating end to a smooth-flowing record. The album has been remastered from original tapes and comes pressed on 180-gram clear with solid white swirl wax.


Walter Rizzati - 1990 I Guerrieri Del Bronx (aka The Bronx Warriors)


Traveling twenty-four years into the past in a beat-up DeLorean, Death Waltz has returned from a post-apocalyptic wasteland to bring you the futuristic stylings of Walter Rizzati’s music to the cult classic 1990: The Bronx Warriors. The beauty of Rizzati’s score is that while it’s a tricked-out work of crazy genius for crazed biker gangs in a wasteland, it feels like a compilation of scores for movies that would only really play on the old 42nd Street. Like the others before it, the album has been master from it’s original tapes and comes pressed on 180-gram brown & red swirl wax.


Clint Mansell  - In The Wall


Last and certainly not least is Clint Mansell’s score to the award-winning 2007 horror short In The Wall. Telling the surreal story of a man who accidentally kills his pregnant wife and hides her body in a cavity wall, only to be haunted by visions of her corpse escaping. The score is anchored by the main theme, a versatile string melody that moves from sinister to emotional to tragic to perfectly match the shocking events of the film. Mansell expertly mixes the stripped-down string sound with electronic elements and percussion to create vivid imagery. A classic score from a truly brilliant composer. Available for RSD on 180-gram brown & red swirl wax.

All titles mentioned above will be available Record Store Day via our online shop or at our Seattle record store (913 NW 50th St., Ballard)!

Free Basin’ Friday | “Heavenly Ethiopiques” | 2xLP of Ethio-Jazz!

Friday, February 28th, 2014


It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing! Time to giveaway some wax! This week’s prize is Heavenly Ethiopiques: The Best of The Ethiopiques seriesout now on Heavenly Sweetness.

Heavenly Sweetness 2

Heavenly Ethiopiques is a collection of Ethiopian jazz selected by Francis Falcetto, founder of the 28 CD series, and the specialist of Ethiopian music. So, for a chance to win this week’s prize we want you to create your own definition for three of the song titles. The albums track list is featured below. The most creative submission wins! The winner will be chosen next Friday via email.

1. Tashamanaletch
2. Hamgnaw
3. Terew Nr
4. YmYed
5. M M
6. Presentiment
7. Muziqawi Silt
8. EwnYLagegnesh
9. Yégélé Tezet
10. Shell Bxophone
11. En Bay Man
12. Bn Sb Letlash
13. Htch Alu
14. Lantchi Biy
15. Tchqa
16. Selam temagwet
17. Ashasha Bw
18. Ab teqay qerebi
19. Kan Ati Fettun Isani Infedhani
20. Medjemerya feqrey

Label Spotlight | Strawberry Rain

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014


We’re back this week with our Label Spotlight series! In this latest installment, we checked in with our bud Moss at Strawberry Rain to talk about Indonesia psych-funk, Toronto’s dwindling dollar bin scene, and the label’s upcoming projects.


1. Hi Moss! What’s up with the name “Moss”?

It’s my producer handle. I’ve been producing music for around 17 years now for various artists, labels, and/or commercials, etc…

2. Tell us a little about Strawberry Rain—what prompted you to start the label, and when did you get started? What draws you to the specific records and genres you’ve focused on so far (Afro-rock, Thai/Indonesian, private press, etc)?

I was helping labels with masters for reissues and would offer them other stuff that I personally liked. They didn’t seem interested in the stuff I suggested, so I kind of decided to do it myself. In terms of the stuff I release, I’ve always liked to find music myself, so I’ve tried to buy records against the grain. It’s not so easy these days, but there are opportunities. I’m also just really into music. I love talking about it, hearing it, borrowing records, etc… I know a lot of people around the world who are big collectors and dealers, and we share info. Lastly (and probably my biggest asset is), I’m not afraid to take risks. If you’re not taking risks, you’re not going far enough. An example of that would be Indonesia. Maybe 11 or 12 years ago, I purchased the entire library of a radio station in the middle of an Indonesian jungle. I had no idea what most of the albums were, but in hindsight there was great stuff in there, lots of test presses and promo only material as well. It was a complete blind buy, but there was no market at the time so it wasn’t a huge investment. After we put out Those Shocking Shaking Days, the scene went nuts there, and this stuff isn’t around any longer.

3. How do you find the records you end up reissuing? Are you out there in the bins digging for weird stuff, or do you find a lot online via blogs, etc?

I own them or did at one point. I also have a lot of friends who I trade or deal with who put me on to albums or have records that only have one or two known copies. I’m lucky to know some of the more knowledgeable psych dealers and collectors in Europe and Asia rather well. I also travel and have been buying random crap for years and years now. Toronto’s Goodwills used to be loaded with random stuff in the 80s & 90s because of immigration. You’d be shocked at some of the international artifacts that used to turn up out here before the internet showed up. My mother grew up in Poland and was friends with the rock bands there so I always knew there were good records from other countries. When people were looking for James Brown, I was looking for records on Muzia or Pronit because we didn’t have soul distribution in Canada in the 70s. I’ve dug in other countries also. I’ve spent time in Zambia for example—easily the toughest place I’ve ever looked for records in my life. The internet has led me to some stuff, also; I’m sure that’ll continue as time passes.

4. Reissuing records can be a notoriously glacial process. What’s the longest you’ve ever worked on a specific release?

It’s hard to say. There are instances where things are delayed because of the source material, but I’d say from start to end the longest was the Benny Soebardja. That took around 18 months. It was really difficult. Benny had two photos of himself, and that was it. No music, no masters, no other photos. The real headache was the source material because it was cassette, and in Indonesia the sound varies depending on which factory was used, each small region having its own factory. The problem lies in that the tapes are warped or have flutter, so I have to piece together multiple tapes to make it happen. When buying multiple tapes you’re not guaranteed to find copies from the same factory, which makes them incompatible to piece together. On top of that, the Night Train tape is incredibly rare within Indonesia. It was into the 100′s on the collectors market, and even then sourcing a copy took a year! I had already owned it on LP, but most of the vinyl from Indonesia only contains half the album as the primary consumer format was tape. One song on the Benny reissue used 7 tapes to remake a single song by piecing it all together. The CD was 3 tapes/albums worth of material. It took boxes of tapes and 200+ magazines to make that reissue.

5. How’s the record scene in Toronto? Any good shops/digging spots to look out for when passing through?

I haven’t really been doing much shopping in the stores out here. We have a decent scene but the problem is the echo system in Toronto is out of whack right now. The cheaper bins are gone, and the stuff that used to be fun to guess on isn’t worth the rental space, so the shops are starting to all feel the same.

6. Without giving away any secrets of the game, do you have a dream reissue?

Yeah, I have a couple that I’ve been working on for many years. One I’ve spent 7+ years of licensing and am left with a headache. I have 20 signatures, and somehow it’s still stuck. Another has a single member who decided he never wanted it reissued, so once a year I call and still nothing. Last but not least, I have an acetate of an album that is simply incredible psychedelic garage, but I have no idea who it is. I got it from the estate of a big NYC record producer who had passed. It sounds like early Electric Prunes crossed with Ugly Ducklings. It’s a clean acetate LP—10 songs and just amazing music. I have no idea what to do with it. The labels are blank, as was the jacket. It came from the same collection that The Olivers’ reissue acetate came from.

7. What’s cooking at SR HQ? Can you tell us about any upcoming releases you’re excited about?

I’m excited about the Zambian comp of bands who never released albums. I can’t put into words how rare that material is and how incredibly lucky it was to get the audio as good as it is. All the Zambian stuff is bloody rare. I spent time in Zambia myself, and 9 years ago a guy named Adam who worked on Salty Dog with me had been as well, and over that time he was buying records as well, so I’ve got an idea of what it takes over there. In fact I’m doing a reissue soon that started 9 years ago in Zambia when he was there and found a record we’d never heard of. It took 9 years to gather all the material. Outside of that I think one of the other projects that’s going to be pretty cool is Peter Wale. He recorded a concert in South Africa in the 70s. He took 4 songs from the concert and pressed a 200 copy album that failed miserably before he moved to Brazil. It’s actually in Pokora 6001 with 5 stars. He did, however, keep the entire 14 song concert on reel, and I’m going to release it. It’s pretty awesome stuff loaded with flutes and guitars and recorded very well, unlike most concert material. Stefen Gnys is also one people have been asking about. It’s been a nightmare resorting, but it was never sold or pressed outside of an acetate. It rose to fame via the Pokora Books as well. A few other things I’m still trying to sign off on, but some unreleased psychedelic material from Hawaii is also on the radar, as are projects from various places.

For a list of Strawberry Rain titles available through our distribution, please visit Additional info about the label can be found at

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Happy President’s Day week! A week that conjures names like Jefferson. Kennedy. Washington. Taft. But what about the most exalted president of them all – the Black President, Fela Kuti! In honor of the high chief of hip-shaking, we’ve got a barge of killer new reissues from the African continent in the distro vaults this week. Step into the light!


Tony Allen – N.E.P.A. / Super Djata De Bamako – Vol. 1 & 2
(Kindred Spirits)

Remember the ’80′s?! Me neither. But from what I’ve heard on “classic rock radio”, there was a big technology breakthrough that made everything sound bigger and better than it was! That never happened in Africa. Which is why we can look you dead in the camera eye of your computer-phone and say that these ’80′s jams from are just as vital and no-frills as anything in the decade preceding them. Sure, the Tone-ster may throw a few phantom bleeps and bumps into the mix – but that don’t mean he forgot how to groove! Digi-Afro-beat – AWWNAWUDIDNNN!!!

And just in case this whole digital afro thing is freaking you out, we’ve got some fresh spins for the more ceremonious of listeners out there. These two Super Djata platters are pure-spirited steppers! One of the more unsung Malian guitar orchestras of the day, these self-titled records from the early ’80s show the jubilant nature of orchestras like Kanaga De Mopti and Super Biton De Segou marching undiminished into a new decade.


Heavenly Ethiopiques / Ethiopian Modern Instrumental Hits
(Heavenly Sweetness)

Everlasting big-ups to Heavenly Sweetness for bringing the Ethiopiques vinyl back in print! When this series first started trickling out on CD over a decade ago, it was something of a revelation. Ethiopian jazz had rarely, if ever been widely available in the States, and it caught like wildfire. If you’ve seen the movie Broken Flowers, that’s Ethio-Jazz’ main man, Mulatu Astatke’s grooves playing in the car during Bill Murray’s sad-guy drives. These two collections (first time for Heavenly on wax, as far as I know) are model emissaries for Ethio-Jazz’ totally unique and timeless appeal. So necessary!


Blue Phantom – Distortions

We’re still making it through the deep haul of Italian titles that washed ashore with our Goblin shipment a few weeks back – and guess what? There’s a WHOLE LOT of proggin’ goin’ on! But man cannot live on orchestral-prog and soundtracks alone (believe me, I’ve tried). The Blue Phantom record stands out as a complete anomaly in this company. All-instrumental, and way rawer than most of the Italian rock of this era, Distortions goes over like the Stooges or Hawkwind if they were more cinematically minded. Huge, huge record – and a welcome surprise!