Left Ear press 1993 jams by Jay U Experience – you must hear these synth and drum machine experiments from New York

This is otherworldly music by Nigeria’s Jay U Experience, soon to be available on vinyl via the Melbourne based label, Left Ear Records. We’re big fans of this label and their intrepid musical excavations, but even by Left Ear’s impeccable standards, this is a real dig and insanely good.

This EP release is extracted from a lost ’93 CD/Tape only album, where the famed artist has used modern technology from the decade, with timeless African Rhythms. Jay U Xperience is the pseudonym of acclaimed Nigerian musician Justus Nkwane.

“His first release Enough Is Enough was a heavy blend of psychedelic rock and funk epitomising 1977 and yet foreshadows Justus’ experimental and genre-spanning inquisitiveness,” Left Ear’s Chris Bonato explains.

“Justus wouldn’t record another album until 1993 while living in New York City. Here he emerged with Ancestral Call an album that he describes as a “once in a lifetime event”, something from his “inner spiritual guts”. Equipped with a Roland R-5 drum machine and a Roland U-20 synthesizer to extract melodies, he was able to create tunes that encapsulated contemporary technology with timeless traditional African rhythms, creating a work that sounds just as relevant today as it did then.”

Available soon  via Rush Hour, Seance Centre, or Left Ear.

South African smasher kicks off 2019 for Left Ear Records

Lungile Masitha & Jimmy Mngwandi (Co-Writer & Arranger), pictured together in ’85. This snapshot is taken from their 12” single ‘Let’s Get Up’, while performing with their group ‘Image’

Melbourne’s Left Ear Records continue their output with two supreme South African dancefloor hits from the 1980s. Lungile Masitha was the short-lived studio name for renowned SA artist Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala, who played with such iconic bands as Harari and Umoja. However, in the mid 80’s his name was under license to one of the major labels and so he recorded under the name ‘Lungile Masitha’. This is how he linked up with long term friend Jimmy Mngwandi to co-write and arrange the two tracks Vuyani and Makoti, both sung in his native Tsongan tongue.

Vuyani shows off Chicco’s unique vocal style, backed with piercing drums and distorted choruses, while Makoti is a mellow blend of floating keys and choruses sung by local kids in an effort to expose “emerging talent”. It’s out now through Rushhour.

Left Ear’s selection of Antipodean Anomalies brings us special music from an “isolating” place

The wait is finally over and Left Ear’s compilation of music from Australia and New Zealand – made in a “unique” time and space in the 1970s and 1980s – is finally here…and these Antipodean Anomalies sound like nothing else.

Compiled by Left Ear Record’s own Chris Bonato and  Umut Turkeri, tracks such as Rainbow Generator’s City Of The Sun is a psychedelic walkabout and is anchored by Balearic ramblings about the beach – but it is the more traditional sounding instrumentation and melodies that elevate this beyond mere new-wave, post-punk or leftfield music.

The duo at Left Ear Records explain how these lesser-known artists have constructed such culturally fused and unique visions in their compositions:

“For musicians inhabiting the Antipodean countries of Australia and New Zealand during the 70’s and 80’s, it was a geographically and culturally isolating environment. Boutique shops, community radio and mail order exchanges championed independent and contemporary music from across the globe. It was, however, this isolation that caused a number of small community-focused scenes to evolve, creating their own unique interpretation and reappropriation of outside influences. Through both these scenes and government initiatives, a vast amount of music emerged on self-released and independent labels.

“Yet, even among small scenes that were creating unique sounds, a number of artists seemed to be making music that was neither here nor there, often meshing together numerous genres and influences to create anomalous sounds.

“Artists like Olev Muska along with Ingrid Slamer meshed traditional folk songs of their Estonian heritage with cutting edge computer technology. Ngahiwi Apanui used his native language of Te Reo and a “cheap drum machine” to create a pulsating tale that highlights the creation of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand); while the Free Radicals would sing through PVC pipes to construct their vision of post-apocalyptic tribal music. Sydney’s Nic Lyon used his classical training to craft a distinctive gem which matched eastern and African influenced instruments with synchopated drum machines, while artists like Delaney Venn and Toy Division managed to challenge their post-punk sensibilities by blending both dub and atmospheric sounds respectively.”

Once again Left Ear have shown their expert curation and diversity, although looking closer to their Melbourne home than with recent releases – having reissued Kingsley Bucknor’s electro-disco from Nigeria, undiscovered synth legend Omer Coleman (also Starship Commander Woo Woo), fellow U.S countrymen Workdub and their brand of dub experiments, Shahara-Ja’s soulful electro, Yoruba Singers of Guyana, the spaced out jazz-funk of Thesda, the rapso of Brother Resistance, Minoru Hoodoo Fushimi’s blend of Japanese tradition and electro-funk, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Andre Tanker.

Left Ear have also reissued Antipodean artists, including Peter Westheimer and Leong Lau, the latter just receiving a much needed repress. The documentary below provides a window into Lau’s world. You can also click here: for more anomalies from Australia and New Zealand.

The Egyptian Lover reaches out to the Arabian Knight for Left Ear remix

Australian label Left Ear Records reissued the cult electro-soul jam by Shahara-Ja last year – here’s the amazing video of I’m An Arabian Knight if you missed it. Now, another cult star of electro – the Egyptian Lover – is remixing the track.

These reissues, remixes and a new audience has reignited a flame in the Arabian Knight. Here is Shahara-Ja performing in Melbourne last year.

From a lost Australian electro-soul gem we now have the Egyptian Lover’s remixes. The guys at Left Ear said: “Shahara-Ja’s I’m An Arabian Knight has gained much momentum since it’s 2017 reissue, so much so that the Egyptian Lover reached out to the label proclaiming he’d do a remix. The electro innovator,  who the original release appears to be highly inspired by, seemed like a perfect fit for this sleazy late Night groover. The result is three fresh mixes using elements of the original session tapes and the perfect touch of the Egyptian Lover’s signature 808.”

Here is a preview of the forthcoming remix:

The Egyptian Lover started out as an L.A DJ and began recording around Los Angeles in 1982 as a member of the Radio Crew, as well as Uncle Jamm’s Army. He released some of the earliest rap LPs, but they were less popular than his singles. His most popular single was Egypt, Egypt. After a break in the early 1990s, Egyptian Lover returned in 1994 with Back from the Tomb, his first full-length album in over ten years. The Egyptian Lover also established his own record company, Egyptian Empire Records. His 2015 release, 1984, continued his tradition of using solely analog equipment, including his famed Roland TR-808. His music continues in 2018.

Shahara-Ja ‎– I’m An Arabian Knight (Egyptian Lover Remixes) is out on April 1st.

Listen: C. Scott and Plaster open new World treasures Music radio show

The latest show for KMAH Radio features new electronica from Europe and the U.S, before a tour of African music via Ghana and Uganda, plus Spanish synth-wave and South African bubblegum. Click below to listen:

Transition is the new studio album from experimental electronic producer Plaster (Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri). This LP for Kvitnu has taken a more minimal approach using only analogue gear and hardware in mostly live and improvised compositions. Plaster were originally founded in 2008 by Giuseppe Carlini and Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri in Rome. This WTM show casts off with the throb of opening track Casual Encounter from the album.

Next up is C. Scott (Charlie Scott) with one of his hip-hop influenced jams from the forthcoming EP Pittsburgh Tracks. Scott is an MPC virtuoso who first started producing music in 2009, inspired by the hypnotic, jazz-influenced sound of hip-hop’s golden era. This is Charlie’s return to vinyl with a seven track EP featuring a range of tempos and styles from deep house to trip-hop and more.

The mix then features new recordings of traditional music from Uganda, with four tracks during the show from the Mubashira Mataali Group on UK label Blip Discs, as well as the sublime reissue of Basa Basa’s High Life Music on Amsterdam’s Vintage Voudou Records.

Also featured is Left Ear Records’ latest reissue of Respuesta Alternativa, highlights from the Gumba Fire compilation of South African bubblegum and synth-boogie for Soundway Records and some Brazilian music to end the mix from Tahira’s recent compilation for Jazz and Milk Recordings.

Full tracklist available soon – once it’s written up 🙂

For more shows for KMAH Radio, visit the playlist section below (or click here for more mixes).

 

Left Ear Records revive Respuesta Alternativa’s cassette only ambience and synth-wave

Australian label Left Ear take their musical excavation to Spain and have compiled five deep and immersive compositions by Respuesta Alternativa on vinyl. Respuesta Alternativa, or ‘alternative response’, was a backlash production to traditional music at the time resulting in the cassette only album Grata Compania.

Jesús Mª Catalán (former keyboardist of Clandestine Modes) played keyboards and percussion, while also enlisting the help of Julián C. Pérez on guitars, bass and production. There were also collaborations by Fernando Largo and Carlos Redondo, the EP is dedicated to their memory. It was recorded and mixed at Estudios Frassinelli, in Oviedo, Spain, in 1985 and 1986.

The record is out now and is to the usual high standards of this trans-nationally orientated label.