Midnight cleaners and danger in paradise: the month’s 10 most important reissues and archival releases

By , May 2 2012
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CLEANERS FROM VENUS
BLOW AWAY YOUR TROUBLES / ON ANY NORMAL MONDAY / MIDNIGHT CLEANERS
(CAPTURED TRACKS LPs)

Cleaners From Venus are DIY pop music’s greatest secret: while in recent years the likes of Ariel Pink and MGMT have been vocal in their admiration for the British band, they remain a culter-than-cult concern, not least because their charming albums have only ever been available on cassette. Until now! New York’s Captured Tracks have released Blow Away Your Troubles (1981), On Any Normal Monday (1982) and Midnight Cleaners (1982) on vinyl for the very first time, replete with bonus tracks – perhaps now the dubbed-out suburban psychedelia of Martin Newell and Lol Elliott will receive the wider praise it’s due. TF


DANNY BROWN
XXX
(CARGO 2xLP + 7″)

One of the most compelling rap albums of 2011, originally released as a free download, given the lavish wax treatment for Record Store Day.  Copies of Cargo’s limited edition – two LPs, pressed on white vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve, plus a bonus 7″ – are still floating round post-RSD, but they won’t be for much longer. RR


DAVID KILGOUR
HERE COME THE CARS
(DE STIJL)

Clint Simonson’s magnificent De Stijl is an example of how a record label can establish its own aesthetic continuum by giving archival finds and new releases near equal space and prominence in its catalogue. As well as bringing us original material from Hype Williams, Black To Comm, Wet Hair et al, in recent years De Stijl has revived simpatico outsider classics from the likes of Michael Yonkers, Poetry Out Loud, and now David Kilgour. Kilgour is co-founder and guitarist of veteran Kiwi indie-pop outfit The Clean, remembered most fondly for their releases on Flying Nun in the 80s and 90s; Here Come The Cars was his first solo album, originally released on ‘Nun in ’91 and now receiving its first ever vinyl pressing. It’s stood the test of time well, thanks to its songwriting classicism, plangent fretwork and vocals that span sexed-up Jagger-swagger and a deep weariness, all bound up in the evocative but never overbearing production of Nick Roughan. KS


GENERAL STRIKE
DANGER IN PARADISE
(STAUBGOLD LP)

Recorded between 1979 and ’84, this set – originally released on cassette by Touch – Danger In Paradise finds sonic adventurers David Toop and Steve Beresford at their most accessible and communicative, applying their improv talents to pop and mutant jazz forms (look out for the two Sun Ra covers). The ocean-deep, dubwise production and tape treatments of David Cunningham lend a real psychedelic weight and presence to the group’s toy instruments and found sounds, making for a very British, very eccentric head music. KS


THE HEADS
RELAXING WITH THE HEADS
(ROOSTER LP)

Fuzz-coated, riff-laden, skunk-driven space-rock from Bristol – but don’t let that put you off. Relaxing With The Heads was a flop upon its release in 1996, but its stock has risen gradually over the last 16 years, to the extent that many now regard it as a lost classic. I’m not sure it’s the landmark that those people would have you believe, but there’s no denying that it’s a trip, coming over like some bastard amalgam of Hawkwind, Spacemen 3, Loop and Mudhoney. Agreeably saucy cover art too. TF

TALK TALK
SPIRIT OF EDEN
(EMI LP+DVD)

One of the greatest artworks of the late 20th century, remastered and reissued on both vinyl and CD. The vinyl is accompanied by a DVD featuring the album in a 96kHz/24-bit LPCM stereo mix, and a bonus track, ‘John Cope’. Spirit of Eden never gets old; its magic and mystery seem only to deepen with time. There is literally no excuse not to own it. RR


THE TRYPES
MUSIC FOR NEIGHBORS
(ACUTE RECORDS LP)

Literate, psych-tinged rock genius from the same close-knit community of bookish New Jersey musicians that brought us The Feelies (Feelies drummer Glenn Mercer was indeed a member of The Trypes, first on drums and then guitar). Acute Records, one of the superior post-punk reissue imprints out there – Ike Yard, The Lines and Fire Engines are some of the other 70s/80s artists it’s worked with – has put together a Trypes collection entitled Music For Neighbors. Side A houses their entire officially released output – 1984’s four-track The Explorers Hold EP and one song from the ’85 compilation Luxury Condos Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon – while side B features a selection of raw, never-before-heard demos. KS


VIVIAN STANSHALL
MEN OPENING UMBRELLAS AHEAD
(POPPYDISC LP)

Poor mad Viv’s solo debut, which featured contributions from various members of the Bonzos and Traffic as well as an “unidentified West Indian taxi driver”. Lyrically it’s quite dazzling, whether the Ginger Geezer is talking about his penis (“Gotta strap him to me leg to go shopping”) or more serious socio-philosophical issues (“Tomorrow’s children will be sold / and unwittingly enrolled / In the night-soil of your selfishness”), and moreover it’s been unavailable on vinyl for 38 years. This edition, originally planned for Record Store Day but as yet to emerge, is limited to 500 copies. KS


WIL MALONE
WIL MALONE
(MORGAN BLUE TOWN LP)

Whimsical British psych from the heyday of whimsical British psych, 1970 (check out what he’s wearing on the cover photo). Until now it’s never been reissued on vinyl; for as long as I can remember it’s been one of those sides that only jowly record fair-goers willing to spend £50+ could hope to own. Malone never made another album like it, instead choosing to focus on an illustrious career producing and arranging for other artists – Massive Attack (‘Unfinished Sympathy’), Take That, The Verve and Basement Jaxx are among the countless groups to have benefited from his orchestral touch. He also composed the bizarrely funky score for ’72 cannibal horror flick Death Line (aka Raw Meat). KS


ZOMBY
WHERE WERE U IN ’92?
(CVLT LP)

Long overdue vinyl pressing for Zomby’s cult debut album, a hyperactive tribute to ‘ardkore originally released on CD through Actress’s Werk Discs in 2008. This edition comes comes courtesy of Zomby’s own newly established label, CVLT Music. TP

 

Trilby Foxx, Tim Purdom, Richard Rossiter, Kiran Sande

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