Tokyo's self-proclaimed King of Digging DJ Muro takes a break from releasing his popular mix discs to launch his great new Deep Jazz Reality series for the Universounds label, reissuing overlooked Japanese jazz and funk recordings from the 60s and 70s.
To kick things off, he's just put out the super-funky rare-groove gem Head Rock by Jiro Inagaki & his Soul Media , originally released as part of Columbia 's Takt Jazz Series, along with Takeshi Inomata 's fabulously named Sound Of Sound Ltd album, which should thrill break fiends looking for the perfect beat.
The 24-bit CD remasters come lovingly packaged in cardboard mini-LP sleeves with all the original album artwork intact. Watch out for Kiyoshi Sugimoto 's Country Dream, Masahiko Sato 's Bridge Over Troubled Water. Sample mp3s at www.universounds.net/cds.htm .
Totally folked up
The second instalment in Andy Votel 's lost classics of the hippie era series, Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word 2 (Delay 68) picks up where the splendid first volume left off, uncovering more of the same eerie and/or freaky acoustic numbers earnestly sung by sad-eyed young men and women destined for obscurity.
The best of the bunch here are the more elaborately arranged recordings that may already be familiar to freak folk fans, like the Pentangle B-side I Saw An Angel, Susan Christie 's glorious Paint A Lady and Chuck & Mary Perrin 's sweetly soaring ditty Flying.
One of the more impressive finds in the solid collection is the haunting lullaby Softly by German actor Sibylle Baier , whom Wim Wenders aficionados may recall as the star of his 1974 film Alice In The Cities. Evidently we all owe Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis a debt of gratitude for discovering Baier's lone reel-to-reel tape of home-recorded wonders, from which this gem was rescued.
Just makes you wanna join hands and sing kumbaya. www.delay68records.co.uk .
A flock of remixes
From the jazz remix experiments I've heard, the pairing of talented producers with amazing original recordings results in disaster more often than delight. So it seems like a wise move for Do Right! to shore up Elizabeth Shepherd 's Besides remix collection with the Juno nominee's session outtakes, live performances and new recordings.
That's not to say the retouches here are terrible. The beat-bolstered revamps of Reversed (by Nostalgia 77 ) and Start To Move (courtesy Natural Self ) should meet with head-nodding approval from hiphop fans, but it's Shepherd's glorious takes on Chick Corea's Open Your Eyes and Pierre Leduc's swinging Soya that demand to be heard. Catch her NXNE gig at the Gladstone Thursday, June 7 at 11 pm. www.dorightmusic.com.