We’ve been quietly beside ourselves chez Flavorpill of late awaiting The Lost Tapes, the collection of hitherto undiscovered and/or unreleased Can tracks that’s due out this week. It’s the crowning glory of a six-month period that’s been pretty great for reissues/remasters/compilations, so we thought that with the midpoint of the year nigh, it’d be a good time to go ahead and share the other old/new material that has floated our collective boat in the past several months. As ever, we’re open to suggestions as to what we might have missed, so let us know what’s been on your shopping list.
Can — The Lost Tapes
No, we don’t actually have a copy of this yet, but we still feel pretty confident in saying that a bunch of unearthed tracks from era-defining German geniuses Can will go straight into our Top 10 somewhere.
We’ve waxed lyrical about our love for German label Bureau B before — as well as releasing a bunch of interesting new music, they seem to have the keys to the vault of a shitload of material from the country’s recent past. This year’s standout reissue is the debut album by DAF, the Mute-affiliated Düsseldorf post punk/experimental pioneers. This isn’t the first time this record’s been reissued — it was re-released in 2000 on Mute’s Grey Area imprint — but still, the idea of owning this on nice 180-gram vinyl is very appealing indeed.
My Bloody Valentine — Loveless
There’s surely no reissue this year that comes with a better back story — the reissues of My Bloody Valentine’s back catalog have been mooted for years, but they finally arrived last month, along with accusations from Kevin Shields that the process took so long because Sony hid the masters for Loveless, and also suspicion that the two remasters that were finally released were somehow mislabeled. It all adds up to one of the more fascinating reissues of the year, quite apart from the fact that Loveless is an enduring masterpiece.
Various Artists — Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984
Regular readers will know that we’re fascinated by the early days of electronic music here at Flavorpill, and this compilation is a intriguing insight into the time when electronic sounds first began to become accessible for bedroom DIY types. It’s a compilation of artists — none of whom, we’re perfectly willing to admit, we’d ever heard of before — who used the rudimentary synths and drum machines available to them in order to make approximations of soul music. The results are strange and often wonderful.
Sleep — Dopesmoker
Epic stoner riffery and nice heavy vinyl? We’re sold. (The only possible drawback is having to unstrap yourself from the bucket bong every 15 minutes to flip/change the record.)
Various Artists — Fame: Jon Savage’s Secret History of Post Punk
In which punk historian Jon Savage — the author of the marvelous England’s Dreaming, and a man who generally Knows His Shit — curates a double-LP primer for one of music’s most interesting eras. If you’re looking for somewhere to begin with post punk, or just a killer compilation for your iPod, this is an excellent place to start.
Before Will Oldham became known as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, he went by various permutations of the name “Palace”: Palace Brothers, Palace Music, and plain old Palace. He released five albums under these monikers between 1993 and 1997, and all five got the deluxe reissue treatment in February. Result.
Both NMH albums on vinyl, along with two 10″ EPs and three 7″ singles. There. Now you know what to get the Mangum devotee in your life for his/her birthday. (Assuming he/she didn’t already snap this up the second it was released, that is.)
Sure, this has been reissued about a gazillion times already. But still, if it somehow isn’t on your shelf — or you just want a really lovely version on vinyl — then the reissue that came out earlier this month is definitely worth getting hold of.
Thrill Jockey, generally
This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of America’s most progressive record labels, and they’re marking it with a shitload of reissues. We’re particularly enamored by the abundance of Tortoise material (especially the classic Millions Now Living Will Never Die, which was reissued in early May), but there’s apparently plenty more to come.