Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Obscuro LP Finds

My dear friend and former employee Peter Fast used to say “You CAN tell a book by its cover.” When it came to records we both firmly believed that in many instances a weird, interesting or unexpected album cover could lead to the discovery of a lifetime. Anyone who has gone deep in the record collecting game has probably discovered some of their favorite albums just flipping through and having their eye caught by a strange image. How many times have I looked at a record, said to myself “what is this,” put it on the headphones and thought “wow, this needs further exploration.” Literally, some of my favorite albums have been discovered this way. Working in a record store obviously gives one the crash-course opportunity to explore anything that looks even slightly interesting. Sometimes it turns out to be crap, but sometimes it opens up an entirely new world of musical exploration. Let me share a few of my favorites with you.

Howard Roberts - Antelope Freeway - one of the all-time greats. Straight jazz session guitarist takes a completely weird and psychedelic trip with the help of super producer and onetime Colorado resident Bill Szymczyk.

Bobby Brown - The Enlightening Beam of Axonda - Gentle Hippy making strange music with homemade instruments. Cover sells itself.

Friends - One of John Abercrombie’s first albums from 1972 - a jazzy, funky, surprise.

Wilburn Burchette - Opens The Seven Gates Of Transcendental Consciousness - an impressive outsider guitarist with a lot on his mind.

Victor Brady - Brown Rain - Psych album led by a steel-drum player - sounds like a cross between Gentle Giant, Red Krayola and The Esso Steel Band.

Tripsichord Music Box - Gentle S.F. Psych with an absolutely haunting cover.

Médico Doctor Vibes - Liter Thru Dorker Vibes - Indescribable Calypso, Funk, Reggae, dark dub weirdness from 1979. Like walking through stoney molasses.

Harvey Averne Barrio Band - Another session guy makes his own statement with this great boogaloo, r&b masterpiece.

Ernest Hood – Neighborhoods - saved the best for last. An inexplicable album of great beauty and intimacy. Hood uses guitar, synths, zither and field recordings to make music that is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic. One of the great finds of my life.

Paul Epstein

No comments: