Now that most of the Beatles-esque psych recordings cut by Lima's We All Together during the early 70s have been reissued - notably their stellar self-titled debut and a snazzy singles set put out by Repsychled/Lion - it makes sense that a compilation of the members' side projects and studio moonlighting jobs from the same period would follow.
Essentially an odds 'n' sods collection, the 19-track We Are Not Together (Repsychled/Lion) disc isn't all gold, but it has more than a few dazzling moments. The tunes backing Monik , like the amazing Thank You and The World Is Getting Worst, could easily be mistaken for Isobel Campbell singing over lost Badfinger backing tracks. And the Hendrix-damaged bashing beauty Wicked Man by Manuel Guerrero 's Smog is too good to miss, even if it's not on sky-blue vinyl like the original Mag 7-inch. www.repsychled.com .
While Mulatu Astatke ruled Addis Ababa's modern jazz scene of the early 70s, it was the bluesy-voiced Alèmayèhu Eshèté who was battling Mahmoud Ahmed, Tiaoun Gèssèssè and Bzunèsh Bèqèlè for the title of Ethiopia's soul brother number one.
The Ethiopiques Vol. 22 (Buda Musique) reissue of Eshèté's incredible recordings from 1972 to 74 show the rock-'n'-roll-schooled artist formerly known as the "Abyssinian Elvis" stepping confidently into his new role as the "Ethiopian James Brown" with the help of the pounding grooves laid down JBs-style by the propulsively funky Alem-Girma Band and Shèbèlé Band .
But Eshèté and cohorts weren't only looking to the Godfather for inspiration; they were also checking a lot of deep Southern soul from Memphis, Muscle Shoals and even Miami, copping the bits they needed and then kicking it all out with slinky organ lines and devilishly dope off-kilter beats. A surefire party rocker. www.budamusique.com .
Not since the mid-80s heyday of New Zealand's Flying Nun label - when the Chills, Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings and Doublehappys were trying to top each other with each successive single - has an indie rock label inspired me to track down every new release as the UK's Stolen Recordings has.
The fabulously packaged Stolen... CD compilation (SR-003) released in an edition of 500 copies last year and boasting 22 quirky pop thrillers was a stunning revelation, and the recent Stolen Recordings follow-up (SR-008), held together with tape and a paperclip, is no less of a jaw-dropper.
Groups like Pete and the Pirates and Tap Tap are starting to get some attention, but the stuff here by Mathew Sawyer & the Ghosts , Hot Silk Pockets , Dylan Levine , the Factory Owners , Ship on Fire , Pet Politics , Temporary Shelters , Freak Paeans , Candy and others will leave you wondering why they're not car-wrecking celebrities already. www.stolenrecordings.co.uk .