This Just In: Sisters

Hey beat heads! Are you paying attention to Leaving Records? They’ve been releasing some of the most solid electronic/hip-hop/beat-infused material on every freaking format (like really, VHS too) since 2010. We’ve got a bunch of their stuff in the shop, and one of my new favorites (from and all-time favorite producer) is Odd Nosdam’s Sisters. Nosdam is well-known for atmospheric rhythms and vocal samples/cut-ups that he’s been slowly dropping since the late 90’s. He’s released titles on Mush, Anticon, and most recently, Leaving. Sisters features his unmistakable style, a collaboration with Teebs, and even a freakin’ Boards Of Canada remix – YASS! Listen to a track and read more about the album below. Sorry – the VHS is sold out 😉

We’ve also got a spring-fresh in-stock list with all sorts of other beats and non-beats, and even a brand new BEAT MACHINE COLORING BOOK. -MLE

Odd Nosdam – Sisters LP
Listen: “Burrow”
“Odd Nosdam makes his second appearance on Leaving Records and greets 2016 with Sisters. Throughout, Nosdam splits his time between cosmic, slow burning beats and reflective soundscapes littered with intriguing textures and mind bending samples. Analogue sounds are generous and knowingly manipulated. Gorgeous samples are deployed, sturdy yet emotional. Cymbals explode.

Already a long revered figure in underground beats, in the last several years Odd Nosdam has been able to test his new productions on the world class sound system of Low End Theory. Much of Sisters was inspired by those room shaking sonics, so it is fitting that kindred spirit Teebs makes an appearance here in a dreamy collaboration. Although Sisters contains plenty of absolute bangers, its quieter moments also stun with their hypnotic beauty.

Nosdam writes of the inspiration for the title track, ‘when the sun finally breaks through on an overcast day, Sisters was very much inspired by that wonderful moment… and the longing for it.’” -Leaving Records

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This Just In: Mexrrissey

Wow – Sweat’s 11 years old. Holy crap! And tonight we’re celebrating with a huge party ft. Ordinary Boys, Miami’s killer Smiths/Morrissey cover band. Another fun Smiths/Morrissey-related thing hits our shelves today, Mexrrissey’s No Manchester. Yes – as we all know (or should know), Morrissey is essentially considered a prophet in Mexico, so it’s no wonder an incredible group of Mexican musicians created the ultimate tribute band, performing selections of the finest Moz tunes in Spanish, with traditional instrumentation. And like the originals, these covers are infectious, clever and super-duper danceable. Take a listen to Mexrrissey’s rendition of “Suedehead” below and read more about the band’s origin and approaches to their unique tribute. See you all tonight at the show!

Mexrrissey – No Manchester LP
Listen: “Estuvo Bien (Suedehead)”
“In Mexico Morrissey has always been a prophet with honour. His songs of love, loss and longing, with powerful imagery and metaphors have found a huge audience and chimed with generations raised on rancheras and mariachis and their singers who were not afraid to cross the line.

Now the love has been returned, with a band made in Mexico City reinventing Morrissey’s and The Smiths’ songs south of the border. Together they sound like a brass and string led combo from the smallest village with the biggest bleeding heart. The first of the gang is Camilo Lara, the force inside Mexican Institute of Sound, who has put together, in Mexrrissey, a team of musical gunslingers from Mexico’s finest bands.

The band has had an incredible trajectory from a first try out show in Mexico City in April 2015 swiftly followed by a sold out mainstage debut at the Barbican in The La Linea Festival in London, a UK tour (including an emotional sold out Manchester gig) and triumphant shows at BAM in New York and The Regent in Los Angeles.

The band’s debut album, No Manchester, released in March 2016, was recorded in Mexico DF and Tucson Arizona. The album was produced by Camilo Lara. The arrangements are by Lara and Sergio Mendoza. The album was mixed by Jack Lahana, winner of multiple Grammys for his work with Phoenix and Daft Punk. ‘No Manchester’ is a Mexican slang phrase meaning ‘No Way’ or ‘Are you kidding me?’ but more than that it means that these songs, born in Manchester, have grown up, changed their hair and the clothes they wear and are living in Mexico under an assumed name.

Taking us on a journey of love, loss and longing is an incredible team of big hitters from Mexico’s rock and pop world, who immediately said yes to Mexrrissey’s invitation. Live the band performs as a seven piece with a revolving and evolving line-up of the whos who of the whats what of the new Mexican music scene, which includes underground legend Chetes (Zurdok) on guitar, Jay De La Cueva (Moderatto /Titán) on bass, Ceci Bastida (Tijuana No) on keyboards, Adan Jodorowsky (Adanowsky) on guitar, Liber Teran (Los de Abajo) on guitar, Alejandro Flores (Café Tacuba’s favourite violin player), Alex Gonzales on trumpet (Twin Tones), Ricardo Najera on drums (Furland), Sergio Mendoza and Jacob Valenzuela (both from Calexico) on vibes and accordion and trumpet respectively and always Camilo Lara adding his trademark sampling and electronics. Vocals are shared between four of the band who also add other flavours from a range of traditional instruments.

Andy Wood, Director of the La Linea Festival in London approached Camilo Lara with the initial idea to put together Mexrrissey. Andy says, ‘It just felt like time. I had a sense of the feeling for Morrissey in Mexico and the way that his music could connect with so much in Mexican music. It was time to return the love and Camilo was the man who could round up the right posse of dirty pretty things.’ Camilo takes up the story, ‘I always thought that there were these invisible lines between what Morrissey and Manchester represents and what Mexico City and Mexican pop culture has. And if these are tiny coincidences, we’re making them a little bit bigger on this occasion with a concert of broken hearts and forgotten dreams.’

Sergio Mendoza worked on the arrangements with Camilo, ‘I think we took a really big risk with all these arrangements and the way we’re really flipping these songs.’ One starting point was to either find a song with a Mexican connection or something that Camilo and Sergio could imagine recasting with a Mexican flavour. There are some obvious selections like Morrrissey’s paean to the country Mexico. Another starting point was to simply select a song that they were big fans of such as, Everyday is Like Sunday.

Camilo Lara says “I think for the people that know the songs (which is probably everyone!), I’m sure that they will be amazed that the songs can go into these directions of cumbia and boleros and sound actually as if they were written in that style. Though it’s the words, the playful turns of phrase, and the sighs that are the trickiest to translate into Spanish. Camilo adds ‘We try to get a glimpse of the poetry in Morrissey’s work and to capture the irony, the anger and the happiness at the same time, that has been a challenge.'”

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This Just In: You & I

Hey! You! There are new (old) Jeff Buckley recordings now available on fancy vinyl and slightly less-fancy CD. I’m not gonna go on some long Jeff Buckley tirade here, because if you don’t know about this mythical, magical creature already, all you have to do is LISTEN (below). We’ve also got a ton of other new records and CDs in stock this week, but why would you want to listen to anything else besides Jeff Buckley anyway? Just kidding – there’s plenty of other great stuff, new and used, all up in the racks here. Come dig! -MLE

Jeff Buckley – You & I 2LP, CD
Listen: “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”
“It’s hardly a new observation that when entertainers die prematurely, they tend to stay fixed in our imagination as forever young and beautiful — free of blemishes, missteps and the twin ravages of age and commercial decline. In the case of Jeff Buckley, who died at age 30 in 1997 after only a few years of recorded output, the phenomenon is even more pronounced: Because the years leading up to his death have been so picked over, vault-diggers have had to delve ever further into the past, all the way back to early, developmental recordings like 2002’s Songs To No One, a batch of songs he’d recorded with Gary Lucas in 1991 and ’92. To hear some of Buckley’s oldest known recordings now is to watch an already ethereal musician age in reverse.

You And I collects 10 of his demos, which were recorded in February 1993, shortly after he’d signed to his label. For more than 20 years, they sat forgotten in the vaults — and, more to the point, were never bootlegged or otherwise circulated. Newly unearthed, they showcase a late-blooming 26-year-old artist who’s still finding and harnessing his voice: learning how to manipulate its gale-force power, learning when and whether to hold back, and learning how to fully translate his influences into a sound of his own.

Most of these songs are covers, and the artists represented help lay out the contours of Buckley’s own style: Two of the best (‘I Know It’s Over,’ ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’) are by The Smiths, while Bob Dylan, Sly & The Family Stone, Bukka White and Led Zeppelin help round out a set that also includes ‘Calling You’ (written by Bob Telson and recorded by Jevetta Steele) and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin” (popularized by Louis Jordan, Ray Charles and others). Other anthologies have captured Buckley’s love of even clearer influences on his voice — Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nina Simone, et al — but the eight covers here still help provide a sense of where his rock and pop influences dovetailed with his love of blues and jazz. (Buckley rarely touched the catalog of his long-dead father, Tim Buckley, whom he famously resembled in both appearance and sound.)

Then there are the two originals: ‘Grace,’ written with Lucas, would become one of Jeff Buckley’s signature songs, while ‘Dream Of You And I’ jots down the barest framework for what would become ‘You And I.’ That’s where this collection is most illuminative. When the final version of ‘You And I’ was released posthumously on 1998’s Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, it had fleshed out the ideas and sounds explored here — but it was still technically unfinished, which means Buckley spent roughly four years translating an evocative moment from a barely remembered dream into something he still couldn’t quite embrace.

That’s part of why collections such as this hold so much value: They show how songs breathe and evolve, and help explain how their creation can unfold over the course of many years. Bob Dylan’s many archival sets showcase the same phenomenon all the time, but unlike Dylan, Buckley was anything but prolific as a songwriter; he interpreted more songs than he wrote. ‘Dream Of You And I’ demonstrates how difficult it is to transform a few hauntingly sung words (‘You and I, you and I, you and I / All for you’) into a finished work, while also capturing a few compelling moments of conversation wherein he lays out the song’s meaning.

Like so much of Jeff Buckley’s posthumous output — nearly 20 years’ worth, at this point — You And I was never meant to be heard by the public. Under ordinary circumstances, it’d be little more than a curiosity, trotted out for obsessives only. But as it is, it’s another crucial piece of a puzzle that, by definition, can never feel complete.” -NPR

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SHABAZZ PALACES Live at Sweat’s Record Store Day Get Down!

Friends! We are extremely excited to announce this year’s revamped RSD block party: Sweat’s Record Store Day Get-Down on Saturday, April 16th! AND we’re even more excited to announce that this year’s headliner is none other than SHABAZZ PALACES!!! To reiterate, we’re still having a block party for Record Store Day, we’re just putting the …

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This Just In: Zelalem

Another “This Just In,” another feature on a release from RVNG Intl. No, they’re not paying us to feature stuff, it’s just that their releases are consistent FIRE! And this one is absolutely nothing like the last one we featured. It’s a simple equation – strong, varied releases bolster specialty labels. You might know Mikael Seifu from his releases on PPU (who also rock the specialty label equation quite well). He merges traditional Ethiopian instrumentation, form and rhythm with electronic glitch-groove-progressions, and the result is hypnotic and captivating. This merging is an E-MERGING underground form in Addis-Ababa, for which Seifu has coined the term “Ethiopiyawi Electronic.” Much like the Ethio-Jazz popularized by the likes of Mulatu Astatke, these combined forms intrigue the mind and ear, especially if you’re unfamilar with them, which many of us are. Take a listen to a track below and read more about Seifu’s style and approach. Don’t forget this week’s in-stock list as well, which is also FIRE! -MLE

Mikael Seifu – Zelalem 12″
Listen: “How To Save A Life (Vector Of Eternity)”
“Mikael Seifu’s Zelalem is an ode to – and a fearless break from – the storied lineage of Ethiopian music.

The literal Amharic translation of Zelalem is “eternity,” and through Seifu’s conceptual frame it becomes a “vector of light.” Seifu shines this light on the music of his home country while guiding us through an uncharted “Ethiopiyawi Electronic” – a coinage Seifu uses to describe the music he and his peers are producing in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis-Ababa.

Illuminating the rich sounds of Addis-Ababa’s azmaris, Seifu’s music becomes a “dream brew” in which these traditional musicians collaborate and contribute vocals and lead voicings from folk instruments such as the Masenko and the Krar.

Seifu was educated at the Lycée Guebre-Mariam in Addis-Ababa. The French academy’s international group of students was Seifu’s first exposure to a world outside Ethiopia; his second was at Ramapo College in suburban New Jersey. Here Seifu met a mentor in Ben Neill, the composer and music technologist who trained with La Monte Young. Seifu was inspired by Neil to take serious his calling in music.

A calling of a different, spiritual nature brought Mikael back to Ethiopia. As a repatriated young man in Addis-Ababa, Seifu felt a renewed sense of allegiance to his home country and allowed its ubiquitous music to guide his creations. Seifu’s early work was shared across a string of EPs for stalwart Washington D.C. imprint 1432 R, demonstrating an interplay of regional folk music and international electronic music.

Mikael’s music does not westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music. Instead, Seifu uses Ethio-Jazz’s spirit of brewing estranged styles for his own musical tincturing. Seifu’s passion above all else is to create something befitting of its time, yet “eternally Ethiopian.” The latter phrase was the mantra guiding Seifu through the creation of Zelalem, and a source of inspiration for the cover artwork.

Zelalem spotlights the music of Ethiopia’s past as well its future. Mikael Seifu illustrates the potential for reinterpreting sacred and proud sources through energized palettes. His latest effort heralds the future of this new music and signals the genesis of Ethiopian Electronic, where the known and unknown commune.” -RVNG Intl.

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Red Bull Music Academy Info Session at Sweat This Thursday

Attention all South Florida music makers, producers, vocalists, DJs and instrumentalists! Join us at Sweat Records this Thursday, March 3rd at 6pm to learn about becoming involved with Red Bull Music Academy. We’ll be hosting an info session with RBMA Ambassadors Jsin Jimenez and Adrian Douzmanian, who will be on hand to talk about the …

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