Left Ear Records celebrate Australian great again with Peter Westheimer’s Cool Change comp

Cool Change from Left Ear Records is the new compilation of Peter Westheimer and it’s a welcome examination of a musical polymath.

Westheimer is a a medical doctor, played violin in the Australian Youth Orchestra, he’s been an actor, a former deputy mayor, a street theatre performer and a documentary soundtrack composer.

The Aussie label has released a treasure trove of his music recorded between 1981 and 1993 on Cool Change. Westheimer’s debut Move was released in 1985 and sounded unlike anything else with a unique brand of distinctly Australian synth work. The second and third LPs of this intriguing artist were similarly unique (Sooner Than Laughter in 1986 and Transition in 1992). Those three releases are covered by Left Ear with six previously unreleased tracks also on this compilation.

Left Ear state: “Popular music landscapes were cultivated and subsequently redeveloped many times over during that period and certainly Peter’s sound evolved, but each track on Cool Change maintains a certain indescribable quality; a timbre that whispers Westheimer.

“If you walk into a record store you might discover Peter’s recordings filed under the usual headings: electronic, ambient, experimental or new age. Peter has long loved blending sounds from around the globe, with both Asian and European classical influences often finding comfortable spaces beside his synth pop sensibilities within his soundscapes. In the record stores of our minds you might also file some of Peter Westheimer tracks like Walking On The Edge or Elastic Smiles under mutant disco or divergent dance music.”

Check it out:

Soon on Left Ear Records: Shahara Ja’s ‘I’m An Arabian Knight’

Australia’s Left Ear Records are planning the reissue of this cult record – Shahara Ja’s I’m An Arabian Knight.

This great video of the late 1980s oddity gives us a taster. The label has so far reunited us with the Yoruba Singers, Brother Resistance, Starship Commander Woo Woo, Andre Tanker and Leong Lau.

More at Left Ear Records.

Interview: Mori Ra – European tour

Mori illustrationMori Ra of Japan has embarked on his European tour and WTM has spoken to him.

His forthcoming edit is of Black Pepper by Guyanese artists Yoruba Singers. The 1984 version of the track released in 1975 will be on a lovely 12″ reissued for the first time by Left Ear Records, alongside Mori’s edit. It follows up on Mori’s body of work for labels such as Macadam Mambo and Passport To Paradise.

WTM – How did the forthcoming re-edit for Left Ear come about? Was it a record you were already familiar with?

I was DJing in Melbourne last January. When I visited Melbourne, I met the owner Christopher of Left Ear Records. He gave me to guide the local record shops and I listened to a lot of records in his room, we shared a lot of music. He has the knowledge of a lot of records and he became a good friend. This release and doing the edit was offered by him, I listened at that time for the first time to the sound source. Of course, I accepted the offer immediately as it is such a great sound source.

WTM – What future projects are you looking forward to working on?

A new 12″ EP is scheduled for release with contributions from Berceuse Heroique later this year.
The Oriental Forest EP was sold out immediately when released in the spring of this year and is scheduled for reissue. There are other offers that I will work on after the EU tour. I am also looking forward to DJing at outdoor festivals, such as in Perth, Australia, in October of this year.

WTM – Where do you go digging for records?

I am mainly digging for records in my local Osaka used record shop. In Osaka there are a lot of good record shops. Osaka digging is so easy because the record shops are clustered nearby. I can find interesting records that keep up the curiosity and enthusiasm.

WTM – What is your working process when re-editing a tune?

First I listen to a lot of records. I have a lot of records that I want people to dance to, except they may be a little difficult to play at the club. So I will edit them to play. They are recorded on Pro tools running on Mac OS9.

WTM – who are DJs you dig at the moment?

In no particular order: Daniel Baldelli, Ponzu Island, Ruf Dug, Sacha Mambo, ASN.

WTM – How did you get into music?

I first heard punk. Is the time of high school students. Long journey of records from began there. It is still the middle. I have heard the record around the world. 90s alternative bands, grunge, lo-fi, scum, hardcore, intelligence techno, jungle, etc. ,, 80s around the world of the New Wave, especially German New Wave, recommended records, 70s psychedelic, progressive rock, especially krautrock, noise music, industrial music, dub, free jazz, sound art, contemporary music, minimal music, electronic music, proto-techno, Italo disco, disco, Library music. And I came back to Japan of music. I like music that there is anyway fresh discovery. Introduction moment hear the cool music that I thought please is a new discovery.

WTM – who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by the many records. I am inspired by recorded music and the various ages of the studio work, the originality and commitment, music that is not categorised by the genre.

Mori EU tour

Quality Thesda reissue on Left Ear Records

Melbourne’s Left Ear Records continues its sterling work with this official re-release of Thesda’s killer LP.

Thesda’s musical ideas collided in a small studio with Spaced Out pressed in very small numbers. The only distribution it got was as a Christmas present one year and interest was reignited in April 2007 after a record collector in Washington, DC, found the album at a thrift store. It has changed hands for ridiculous prices before this reissue.

The story of Thesda begins in the mid-70s with Eugene Hagburg. Alongside his musical moonlighting he was Director of the Management Academy for the United States Postal Service then located in Bethesda, Maryland (notice where the band got its name from – BeTHESDA). He later became Assistant Postmaster General in charge of Delivery Operations in the US. Hagburg and Thomas Crawford led the group in creating two albums released on their private press label Integrated Performance Systems International Incorporated (IPSI): Crawford’s The Peak Experience and Thesda’s Spaced Out. Both IPSI LPs are extremely rare and collectible.

Hagburg accumulated enough equipment to record Thesda’s LP in his home by the time Thesda was recorded in 1979.

Visit Left Ear Records here.

Check out WTM’s Australian records feature: https://worldtreasuresmusic.com/oz/.