Compilations / Library / Lounge / Spoken

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Martin Denny
Hypnotique

American pianist and composer Martin Denny made a brand of lounge music that became known as exotica. Denny himself was known as the “Father of Exotica”. Denny played original compositions and original arrangements of popular songs. Included on his fourth album Hypnotique, originally released in 1959, among the originals are classics penned by George Gershwin and W.C. Handy.
  • Vinyl LP (JPR066LP)
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Martin Denny
Quiet Village

A re-issue of Quiet Village, the eighth studio album from the father of exotica, Martin Denny. Sub-titled The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny to make it appear like a compilation, it originally came out in 1959, and as a package, complete with its famous artwork, it served as a perfect introduction to Denny’s aesthetic. 
  • Vinyl LP (JPR065LP)
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Martin Denny
Exotica

Martin Denny was an American pianist and composer. His now classic 1957 LP, Exotica, gave a name to a whole new sub-genre of lounge music. Denny became known as the “Father of Exotica”. Vibes and Marimba player Arthur Lyman and percussionist Augie Colon feature alongside Denny. Ltd LP on Jackpot.
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Cocteau Twins
Stars and Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990)

Liz Fraser’s ethereal vocals, often lyrical gobbledegook, coupled with the sparse backing from Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde (who replaced Will Heggie in 1983) made The Cocteau Twins one of the ‘80s most unique and special artists. The label had a knack back then for signing such acts. Along with Pixies, The Cocteau Twins top the list of their greatest finds. Stars And Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990) is the ideal place to start if you want to get an overview of the band's work. It’s Likely that you will then move quickly to buy Heaven Or Las Vegas.
  • Vinyl Double LP (CAD2K19)
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Alison Mosshart
Sound Wheel

Alison Mosshart is best known for being in the duo The Kills and the supergroup The Dead Weather along with Jack White et al. Sound Wheel is her first spoken word album and is the audio version of her new book Car Ma which is made up from short stories, poetry, paintings and photographs. On Third Man.

Various
Bruton Brutoff – The Ambient, Electronic and Pastoral Sounds of The Bruton Library Catalogue

Containing beautiful and evocative pieces of instrumental music from the likes of John Cameron, Alan Hawkshaw, Francis Monkman and Brian Bennett, the self-explanatory Bruton Brutoff – The Ambient, Electronic and Pastoral Sounds of The Bruton Library Catalogue is curated by genre expert Jonny Trunk. 
  • Vinyl LP (JBH088LP)
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Jon Benjamin
Jazz Daredevil : The Soundtrack Collection

Jon Benjamin voices the title roles in Bob Burgers and Archer. He also seems to be a musician. He released a jazz piano album in 2015 despite not being able to play the piano. Once again he’s not letting little things such as musical ability stand in his way and has recorded another one - Jazz Daredevil: The Soundtrack Collection. On Sub Pop.

ATA Records
The Library Archive, Vol. 1

A hand-picked compilation of library music overseen by ATA Records bosses Neil Innes and Pete Williams, The Library Archives, Vol. 1 is the first of what they hope will be an on-going series. Conjuring up the best library music of the Sixties and Seventies, it includes big-band funk, weird thriller-movie-esque soundscapes and haunted organ sounds, among many others. 

Jay Richford & Gary Stevan
Feelings

Generally held to be one of the best (and rarest) ever albums in the ‘library music’ genre, Jay Richford & Gary Stevan’s beloved Feelings makes a reappearance on vinyl, this time on a double 7” single package. Spanning four tracks, the record explores everything from loose-limbed funk to orchestral-based jazz. 

Various
THE BRITXOTICA! BOX - Three Amazing Albums Of Primitive Pop And Savage Jazz From The Wild British Isles!

Wow, Trunk’s quality weirdo compilations of Britxotica get rounded up into a full box-set of Primitive Pop And Savage Jazz From The Wild British Isles! All sorts of strange and wonderful pop sounds can be found here, with each disc having particular focuses (e.g. ‘Casbah Jazz’ and ‘Polynesian Pop’). Reasonably priced triple CD set, containing a whole 48 tracks.
  • CD box set (JBHBOX001L)
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John Shuttleworth
The A1111 And Other Ones!

John Shuttleworth is quasi-comic character creation of Graham Fellows (also the inventor of Jilted John!), and The A1111 And Other Ones! is a compilation of Shuttleworth’s greatest hits. He’s a pretty funny fella, singing songs of Yorkshire, caravans, soap, travel etc. All your favourites are here! The CD edition is released by Chicken and the double LP edition is out on Free Range Product.

Cosmic Neighbourhood
Library, Vol. 1

York-based illustrator and musician Adam Higton releases his first album of library music in his Cosmic Neighbourhood universe of work. Presented on 10” vinyl, Library, Vol. 1 is a blend of vintage electronics and soft orchestral instrumentation to give proceedings the feel of a soundtrack to some imaginary kids TV programme. 

Various
Uneven Paths (Deviant Pop From Europe 1980 - 1991)

Even by the standards of Music From Memory, this is an oddball. Label founder Jamie Tiller gets together with Parisian crate-digger Raphael Top-Secret to comb the annals of 80s/early 90s European music and find the weirdest stuff they can that still has a hint of a pop sensibility about it. Unsurprisingly, it’s a mixed bag - synthwave sits alongside avant-jazz; spoken-word pieces suddenly break out into Depeche Mode-style electro-pop; disco beats come topped with shoegaze atmospherics. A lot of fun to be had here.

Various
Heavenly Ethiopiques – The Best of the Ethiopiques Series

Culled from 28 CD releases to date, this is a compilation of highlights from the well-regarded Ethiopiques series. An incredible range of artists known and unknown populate this release, including Getachew Mekuria and Seyoum Gebreyes. The perfect introduction to the series. Lushly packaged double LP on the delightfully named Heavenly Sweetness label.

Seahawks
Island Visions

Seahawks are made up of Jon Tye and Pete Fowler and over the last decade have been making a distinctively psychedelic sound with balearic influences. Their latest missive is Island Visions  - an attempt to take the listener away from the mundane everyday. With influences from library music to kosmische synth to ambient house and new age its another melting pot of ideas from the intrepid duo. 

Various
Esterno Notte Vol. 3

Esterno Notte is the name given to a series of compilations that explore through the lost backwaters of Italian cinematic groove music, lost jazz funk and urban disco. Volume three contains tracks from some names you'll know from the Italian underground including Alessandro Alessandroni, Pippo Caruso (as performed here by Goblin) and Stelvio Cipriani. 

Arawak
Accadde A.......

This album by Arawak (aka Luciano Simoncini) is a rare and elusive library music favourite from the homeland of such things, 1970’s Italy. Accadde… A is a funky, laid-back suite of sounds, well-suited to sexy lounges and dreamy boudoirs. This reissue is available on either black or splatter vinyl, from Golden Pavilion.

Victor Cavini
Japan

German musician Gerhard Trede can play 50 instruments. He is also known as Victor Cavini, maker of the supreme library music album, Japan. The album has been very hard to track down, but the good folks at Be With have found it and reissued it. It is a sampler’s treasure trove featuring traditional Japanese music as played by a western musician in 1983.
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Various
Soundway Records Present - Ten Cities

Soundway brought together as many electronic artists as they could count on about ten hands and asked them to collaborate in a variety of different recording studios. A noble and intensive undertaking, no doubt, but the result is a rainbow of sounds, from dubstep in one city to jazz in another and techno in the one over from that -- I mean, I don't need to tell you where the techno comes from, right? 'Soundway Records Present - Ten Cities' celebrates the vibrant specialism of the world's greatest sonic cities.

Various
Seed Records Volume 2


  • CD (SEEDCD15)
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Alex Puddu
The Golden Age Of Danish Pornography

The sleeve art and concept may be a bit naughty but Alex Puddu's soundtracks are pretty legendary to anyone who enjoys a bit of evening funk, cocktail mood music and '70s breaks. Containing three tracks not on the original release, this is a re-press of Puddu's soundtracking for a series of four hardcore Danish pornography films. A dirty job but I suppose someone has to do it. 

Various
Esterno Notte Jazz

The first in the Esterno Notte Jazz series, out on Four Flies, this record is dedicated to the rich jazz featured in Italian films from the '60s, stopping by noir,melò, giallo, dark comedy and crazy 'musicarelli' along the way. A result of research that plundered the soundtrack archive of RCA Italy, this is a killer selection that features Piero Umiliani, Romano Mussolini, Amedeo Tommasi, Robby Poitevin, Piero Piccioni or Armando Trovajoli.
  • Vinyl LP (FLIES31)
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BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Fourth Dimension

A vinyl only reissue of Paddy Kingsland of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's 1973 solo album, 'Fourth Dimension'. Much sought after by synth-sniffers the world over, this record features plenty of VCS 3 and 'Delaware' Synthi 100 action backed by a 1970's session band. Includes funfair favourite and Doctor Who Theme B-side 'Reg'.

Various
Spider-Jazz – KPM Cues Used In The Amazing Animated Series - That We Are Not Allowed To Mention For Legal Reasons

I would have to believe that the title says it all, for this one. A 1967 cartoon about a web-slinger (maybe) who has become an internet sensation (maybe) is given the physical soundtrack it deserves, it's dramatic detective jazz given this beguiling release. A must-have for fans of music and mishaps in television history.

Various
Tele Music, 30 Classics French Music Library, Vol. 1

Tele Music is arguably France’s premier music library - it’s been operating for over half a century and has almost 500 (!) albums in its catalogue. Featuring work by composers like Bernard Estardy and Mat Camison, this new BMG France collection Tele Music, 30 Classics provides a fine introduction to the label’s sound. Off-kilter renderings of funk, jazz, early electronic pop and more are all delivered with an insouciant Gallic shrug.
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Various
The All American Powerhouse

Just look at that vehicle. It suits perfectly this re-issued album of library jams from the mid '70s. The theme is super smooth soul and West Coast funk with lashings of sax and brass over funky bass and drums. Written and played by key library music composers of the era the album is a sunshine-y blast of laid back funk and soul. Re-issued from the original masters with carefully re-produced sleeves.  

Various
Breath Of Danger (Themes)

Breath Of Danger (Themes) saw a who’s who of library music types working together such as Alan Hawkshaw, David Lindup, Brian Bennett, Barry Morgan, Alan Parker, Kenny Salmon and Ray Cooper. It was originally released in 1974 and is dripping with funk and breaks with a kinda cinematic horror vibe.

Peter Ludemann & Pit Troja
The Now Generation

Simon Francis of Be With Records is responsible for another timely re-release of a classic library record. Emerging in 1983 and the work of musicians Peter Ludemann and Pit Troja, The Now Generation was full of exciting cuts of beat-driven, dancefloor-oriented exotica, and now gets a 140g vinyl re-issue, mastered from the original analogue tapes.

Anthony Burgess
Conversations with the Anthony Burgess Cassette Archives (1964-1993)

Anthony Burgess is best known as the author of dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange. His wife carried a tape recorder around with them all the time, eventually amassing over 1000 cassettes of their family life. Conversations with the Anthony Burgess Cassette Archives (1964-1993) is a 2CD or 2LP set that contains one disc of Burgess’s last conversations and one disc where 23 different artists have remixed Burgess’s conversations, giving a unique insight into the author’s life.

Shawn Lee & Paul Elliott
Mexican Marimba

Shawn Lee & Paul Elliott made a film called The Library Music Film. To do this they travelled the world visiting amazing and renowned studios. The two songs on this 7” were recorded during impromptu jam sessions. Mexican Marimba came to life at Telecine Sound Studio in Rome and French Attack was recorded in Studio CBE in Paris. The recording of the latter makes a brief appearance in the film.
  • Vinyl 7" (LEGO183)
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Alan Parker & Madeline Bell
The Voice Of Soul

The Voice Of Soul is a library-soul LP by session singer Madeline Bell and composer Alan Parker. Originally released in 1976, the record is notable for two reasons - being issued simultaneously with its instrumental album The Sound Of Soul, and for ‘Love Is All’ and ‘You’ve Got What It Takes’ being used in infamous porno-comedy flick Pretty Peaches. Now it’s been given a remaster and reissue job by Be With Records, a label which is really going in hard on the library music at the moment.
  • Vinyl LP (BEWITH048LP)
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Mattias Uneback
Voyage Beneath The Sea

Mattias Unebeck is known for being a member of Swedish rockabilly band The Test Pilots and as a member of exotic lounge jazz outfit Ixtahuele. He expands on his experience with Ixtahuele on his new album, Voyage Beneath The Sea. He combines exotica of the ‘60s with library music from the ‘70s to create a journey through underwater worlds that are both fictional and factual.  
  • Vinyl LP (SUB131LP)
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Various
The Hunter (Drama Suite) / Adventure Story

A crack team of session musicians was assembled for The Hunter (Drama Suite) / Adventure story. The band was made up from Brian Bennett on drums, Clive Hicks on guitar, Duncan Lamont on sax, Dave Richmond on bass and Steve Gary on keyboards. It’s a dramatic album of musical treats that was plundered for a number of TV cop shows from the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Various
Visual Impact

The ‘library music’ genre has always been a gold-mine for collectors, but not that many have a universal appeal. Visual Impact, a compilation originally released back in 1976, is one of those exceptions. Featuring pieces spanning from easy-going funk to head-nodding grooves from the likes of Brian Bennett, John Scott, Steve Gray and Jim Lawless, the record now gets a re-issue on Be With Records. 

Jungle / Various
Back To Mine

The latest in the Back To Mine series sees modern soul collective Jungle choosing tracks they’d like to play you when winding down after a good night out. It features some of the bands favourite tracks from the likes of Barbara Moore, Merle, Drumtalk, Mocky, Kamaal Williams, BadBadNotGood and Mansur Brown. Also includes exclusive Jungle track, Come Back A Different Day.

Various
Music from Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service

There's something so smug and matey about 6 Music's choice of successful musicians as DJs. Jarvis Cocker however escapes my ire because first of all he seems an okay chap but secondly just look at that playlist on this collection of music from his Sunday Service show. He puts Art Garfunkel right alongside Cabaret Voltaire for example. And anyone who puts Jake Thackray on prime time radio has my applause. A curious but fascinating collection of lesser known music.   

Smith & Mudd
Tea With Holger

An instalment in the KPM label’s digital-only ‘Album Shorts’ collection, but released physically on Be With Records and presented as a classic ‘KPM K1000’ green sleeve library album. Ben Smith and Paul “Mudd” Murphy named this mini-album Tea With Holger in honour of the time they spent with the late Can founder and ambient pioneer, Holger Czukay. 

Various
Andy Warhol and Music

Andy Warhol and Music. Well, he was at the centre of the scene involving one of the greatest bands ever to have existed in The Velvet Underground, so why not. This compilation celebrates the life of Andy Warhol by focusing on the music around at the time of this creative boom in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Debbie Harry, The Isley Brothers, Lou Reed and Tina Turner are just some of the artists included.
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Various
Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs present Paris In The Spring

I love Paris in the Spring. Don’t we all. But guess who really love Paris in the Spring? St. Etienne duo Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Paris uprising, they’ve curated this bumper collection of chansons, ye-ye and French pop ditties, all of which emerged in the years following those heady few months in 1968. Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy and the other usual suspects all get a look in.

Various
The Moon and Back

38-track, double-CD compilation of new tracks from indie legends celebrating the NASA team that landed the first team of men on the Moon fifty years ago. The Moon And Back tells the story of the journey, with songs from the likes of The Popguns, Darren Hayman, Rocketship and the Leaf Library, interspersed with haiku readings. 

Piero Milesi
The Nuclear Observatory Of Mr. Nanof

The exhumation of the archives of Italian soundtrack master Piero Milesi uncovers The Nuclear Observatory Of Mr. Nanof, a collection of field recordings and pieces made for various films. Done with melodic but glacial and meditative synthesisers and a small chamber ensemble, the compilation is available on vinyl for the first time in 33 years. 

Spacebomb House Band
Known About Town: Library Music Compendium One

Spacebomb House Band feature, most famously, Matthew E. White. Trey Pollard, Pinson Chanselle, and Cameron Ralston make up the four piece. Known About Town: Library Music Compendium One maybe this four-piece’s debut album but their fingerprints are all over other releases. Natalie Prass, Foxygen, Helado Negro, Slow Club and Nadia Reid have all benefited from their talents as musicians arrangers and producers.

Giuliano Sorgini
Africa Oscura

Originally made for the function of TV documentary score, Guiliano Sorgini’s Africa Oscura sees the composer explore his own take on African music and mythology. Sorgini has a background as interesting as it is extensive, working often in the field of soundtrack, largely for peculiar b-movies and horror. This LP, previously unreleased and salvaged by Four Flies Records, finds the composer at the height of his abilities.

Smuggler Brothers
Musione

This one's for the fans of the hot new things, 'library music'. Smuggler Brothers are from Sicily, and so are perfectly pitched to draw from Italy's rich history of library music, while incorporating influences from all the cultures who touch the mediterranean. Musione is progressive-funk that's not afraid to give itself over to other musical traditions. 

Various
Trevor Jackson Presents: Science Fiction Dancehall Classics

Trevor Jackson, compiler extraordinaire, has another carefully chosen collection of danceable history for you. Science Fiction Dancehall Classics is an incredibly enticing title, and the contents live up to the billing. Wondrous weird dubness from the likes of Neneh Cherry, Mark Stewart + The Maffia and Missing Brazilians. 2 CDs or 3 LPs.

Dean Hurley
Anthology Resource Vol. II: Philosophy Of Beyond

Following his close work with David Lynch on the third series of the cult classic series Twin Peaks, Dean Hurley turns his attention once again to his Anthology Resource output.⁣⁣These 12-tracks weave together rich and celestial soundscapes made up of tape loops and sampled field recordings to create a unique sonic tapestry. Hurley explores themes of death, the afterlife, and escaping our physical form, specifically near-death experiences, alien encounters, and psychedelic incidents. Spooky stuff!

Various
Esterno Notte Vol. 2

'Esterno Notte Vol. 2' is the second release from Four Flies featuring jazz-funk, latenite breaks, cinematic prog and psychedelia from previously untapped Italian film music archives. A limited-edition release, this volume is dedicated to sounds designed for a mid-century cityscape full of action, car-chases and high-tension scenes set in smoky nightclubs.

Alan Parker & Alan Hawkshaw
Black Pearl

Re-issue of the much-loved Black Pearl album, released originally in 1973 by musician Alan Parker and composer Alan Hawkshaw and which utterly sums up kind of driving, orchestral funk that soundtracked so much of the early Seventies. It’s also long been a treasure trove for hip-hop artists seeking samples! 

The Tango Saloon
Transylvania


Various
Keith Haring: The World of Keith Haring

Keith Haring’s influence on popular culture is so profound that it’s strange to think that, at one point, he was just some dude in New York City with a few cans of paint. That NYC is captured in The World Of Keith Haring, another fabulous compilation from Soul Jazz Records. All the sounds of Haring’s city are represented here, from the house of Paradise Garage to the Mudd Club’s no-wave and the electro/hip-hop sound that was all over the streets. Sylvester, Talking Heads (CD only) and Yoko Ono are but three of the artists featured on The World Of Keith Haring.

Alan Hawkshaw
The Road Forward

I wonder what Alan Hawkshaw envision these compositions of his would be used for. Once again Be With Records have gone to drink from the KPM well and have developed a case of The Road Forward. Mysterious and compelling scores wrought from synths, beats and grooves. Features one track called 'Strangelands' and one called 'Strangeways'.

Alan Parker / John Cameron
Afro Rock

John Cameron has composed numerous film scores in his time, chief among them being Kes. Alan Parker is a virtuoso guitarist who has worked with cameron on a number of projects including songs by Donovan and the CCS version of 'Whole Lotta Love' which was used as the theme to Top Of The Pops in the ‘70s. On Afrorock they have fun mixing some funky African rhythms, fuzzy wah wah guitar an library music. It’s basically the best soundtrack to a ‘70s cop film that never was. On Be With.

John Cameron
Jazzrock

John Cameron has worked with artists as diverse as Donovan, Cilla Black and Hot Chocolate and was a member of CCS who famously covered Led Zeppelin’s 'Whole Lotta Love' way back when. He’s also responsible for the soundtracks to many films, most notably, Kes. Jazzrock is percussion-heavy, soundtrack-esque, full of funk breaks and has been enormously influential in its time. On Be With.

Alan Hawkshaw / Keith Mansfield
Beat Incidental

Here's one for all of the people who want to get their scrobble numbers up. Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield worked together to create 32 tracks, some of which are under 10 seconds long. And you know what, a lovely 10 seconds they are too. Be With Records continue their raiding of the KPM archives, and if Beat Incidental is anything to go by, they probably shouldn't stop.

Bob Stanley / Pete Wiggs present
Three Day Week

Three Day Week is the fourth compilation album curated by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs. This time they’re concentrating their efforts on 1973-1975 when Britain was a bloody miserable place to be (Apparently, I was a carefree baby). There were some lovely sounds though, and this eclectic mix exists to show you just that. Features tracks from Mungo Jerry, The Kinks, Hawkwind, The Strawbs, Adam Faith, David Essex, The Troggs and more. LP and CD on Ace.

Various
Plastic Dance: Volume Two

The second edition in the inscrutable Plastic Dance series of compilations, curated by Andy Votel and Doug Shipman. Consisting of ten tracks spanning everything from dissonant jazz, sharp funk and twisted disco, Volume Two is a lovingly constructed clearing house for all manner of strange pieces of music. 
  • Vinyl LP (CACHE021LP)
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Various
Plastic Dance 1

Andy Votel and Doug Shipton have decided to pool their collective expertise to produce a new series of Plastic Dance compilations, This, the first, is jammed to the gills with sharp and funky electro-jams and arty punk types: I am literally dancing in my chair as I write this. On Finders Keepers / Cache Cache.

Various
Antipodean Anomalies

Antipodean Anomalies is a nine track compilation of tracks from some of the best Australian and New Zealand atmospheric sound artists from the 1970's and 1980's including Free Radicals, Toy Division and Rainbow Generator. This is available on your ever-reliable standard issue black vinyl LP and is released on Left Ear Records. 
  • Vinyl LP (LER 1015)
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Kate Tempest
Brand New Ancients

An interesting one here from Kate Tempest, one of our favourite new rappers in recent years. Here we have Tempest performing her poem Brand New Ancients, a poem which won the Ted Hughes Prize for innovative poetry. Written before her album Everybody Down, the poem creates a link between the ancient myths and the modern day.

Esquivel & His Orchestra
King Of Space-Age Pop

As the title of this LP points out, Esquivel was The King Of Space-Age Pop, otherwise known as lounge music, lounge jazz or even space-age bachelor pad music. Mexican band leader Juan Garcia Esquivel was a pianist of some repute and wrote music for TV and film in the ‘50s and ‘60s. His music has influenced Stereolab’s more quirky moments. 180g LP on Vinyl Passion.

Various
Moodsetters: From The Amphonic & Soundstage Library

A very fine suite of library music, curated by Moodsetters from Syd Dale’s Amphonic & Sound Stage library. Whether you are filled with a thrill by the sight of names like Paddy Kingsland and Anne Dudley, or whether you don’t care who any of these people are, you will love the cool, weird, atmospheric library tracks gathered here on this Buried Treasure LP.

José Pharos
Boucles Rythmiques

Jose Pharos was a pseudonym of the great Jacky Giordano: an outlet for idiosyncratic disco grooves. Boucles Rhythmiques is a seventies rarity, and a real joy to hear, with gorgeous sound design tying together driving rhythms with good-times funky instrumentation. Reissued on vinyl by Le Tres Groove Club.

Joe Tossini and Friends
Lady of Mine

1989 LP of crudely drawn lounge beauty here from Joe Tossini and Friends. Lo-fi to the core, ‘Lady of Mine’ is all plodding Casio percussion, rough mixed vocals/sax, and melodies embryonic but unforgettable. It’s a record easily lovable, amateur yes, yet you wouldn’t want it any other way. You get a real sense this isn’t contrived or self-conscious, merely the work of someone who wants to make a lush sound, but only has the tools at hand

Jacky Giordano
Pop In Devil's Train

New from the makers of the Le Tres Jazz Club label is a new label, Le Tres Groove Club, which of course has a groove focus. Reissue number one is Jacky Giordano’s library music gem Pop In Devil’s Train, a set of vivid, sleek, wonderful funky tunes. As with the best library music, it simultaneously puts you in mind of some wild kitsch vintage TV show and makes you want to dance like hell.

Various
Unusual Sounds

Since launching in 2014 the Mexican Summer reissues offshoot Anthology Recordings have unearthed some excellent old things from the likes of Pharaoh Sanders and The Nightcrawlers. For their latest trick they delve into the world of library music. The twenty tracks of Unusual Sounds are exactly the sort of cerebral oddities that we now expect as standard from these releases. Comes with liner notes from David Hollander - this is good because he’s curated an extensive history of library music that shares its title with this compilation and as such he’s rather knowledgeable on the subject.
  • Vinyl Double LP (ARC0631)
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Les Baxter
Space Escapade / Music Out Of The Moon

Les Baxter has been officialling dubbed 'the founding father of Exotica', and here's a timely reissue of one of his greater works. 'Space Escapade' was Baxter's spectacular 1958 piece de resistance, featuring his trademark eclecticism and lush orchestral effects. Also included is 'Music Out Of The Moon' with its six songs originally having seen the light of day as 3 separate shellac '78s in 1947. Bandleader Baxter was joined by composer Harry Revel and Dr Samuel J Hoffman on theremin. Remastered, 180g vinyl LP on Vinyl Passion. 

Alan Hawkshaw & Brian Bennett
Synthesis

Brian Bennett & Alan Hawkshaw see their 1974 LP Synthesis reissued as part of Be With Records’ KPM Music Record Library series. Coming out in the same year as the pair's celebrated Synthesizer And Percussion album, Synthesis is another cutting-edge (for the time) fusion of library jazz-funk and the electronic styles that were just beginning to filter into mainstream music. Stereolab and Ghost Box were likely paying close attention back in the day.

Alan Hawkshaw & Brian Bennett
Synthesizer & Percussion

Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett are among the creme de la creme of library music composers. For 1974’s Synthesizer And Percussion the pair chose to put the ARP synth - a relatively unexplored piece of gear at the time - through its paces. The resulting is a record of oddball jazz-funk instrumentals. Its title is something of a red herring - the final five tracks find former Cliff Richard & The Shadows drummer Bennett taking a backseat and giving Hawkshaw free reign to noodle away on the keys. Now reissued by Be With Records.

Alan Hawkshaw & Brian Bennett
Full Circle

While you might not know Alan Hawkshaw or Brian Bennett by name it’s quite likely that you’re familiar with their work. The library compositions of the pair have been sampled by everyone from Kanye West to Drake to The xx to Nas. Their latest LP Full Circle is classic stuff from the duo, all big-band modes and laid back jazz-funk.

Keith Mansfield / John Cameron
Voices In Harmony

Reissue fanatics Be With Records have recently snapped up the rights to some releases from the catalogue of KPM Music Recorded Library. KPM specialised in - yep - library music, so it’s no surprise to find a few records by the BBC’s Keith Mansfield on their roster. On 1973’s Voices In Harmony Mansfield is joined by John Cameron for a selection of David Axelrod-ish incidentals.

Nick Ingman
Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement

Nick Ingman’s done it with the best of them. A distinguished arranger and conductor since the early 1970’s, Ingman has worked with everyone from Madonna to David Bowie to Paul McCartney down the years. Back in 1976 he released Distinctive Themes/Race To Achievement on KPM Music Recorded Library. The first half of the album attempted to emulate a range of composers - Satie, Elgar and so on - in Ingman’s trademark library-jazz style, while the second was “a study in the pressure and rewards of achievement”. Right. Anyway, this one’s been reissued by Be With Records.

Alan Hawkshaw / Brian Bennett / John Fiddy
Hot Wax

In 1976 a trio of acclaimed session musicians and library/film/TV composers came together to create an LP for the KPM Music Recorded Library that showcased ‘the latest trends in production music’. Said album? Hot Wax. Said artists? Brian Bennett (a former Cliff Richard & The Shadows kit man), John Fiddy and Alan Hawkshaw (one-time member of The Tony Visconti Orchestra). Be With Records have done the sensible thing and capitalised on a resurgent interest in library sounds by reissuing the record.

Keith Mansfield / Alan Hawkshaw / David Snell
Big Business / Wind Of Change

This LP may have the names Alan Hawkshaw and David Snell on the spine, but the bulk of the work here is done by Keith Mansfield (he of the Grandstand theme fame). For this 1973 album now reissued by Be With Records, Mansfield crafts a series of pomp-and-circumstance instrumentals. Hawkshaw and Snell cameo with a piece apiece. Big Business/Winds Of Change is a good cop for all you library music fans out there.

Francis Coppieters
Piano Viberations

Yes, it is meant to be spelled like that. Piano Viberations is named as such because it is a record of incidental jazz where piano and vibes take centre-stage. The work of little-known Belgian pianist/composer Francis Coppieters, this is perhaps the most intriguing of Be With Records’ current crop of library music reissues.

Alan Parker
The Sound Of Soul

Originally released in 1976 as the instrumental accompaniment to Themes International's The Voice Of Soul, Alan Parker’s much-coveted record of library-soul now gets reissued by Be With Records. Original copies of The Sound Of Soul regularly fetch mega-money on the vinyl black market, so it’s a good job that this new edition comes in at a fraction of the price. Les Hurdle and Mike Moran - both members of the de-facto Themes International house band The Rhythm Section - also contribute a couple of numbers.

James Clarke
Mystery Movie

Back in the 1970’s it was the job of people like Themes International Music Records and the KPM Music Recorded Library to keep up with the new demand for library sounds. In 1974 the former commissioned James Clarke to come up with an album of tense incidental sounds for them to keep on file. The resulting record - unsurprisingly entitled Mystery Movie - fuses blaxploitation soundtracks, jazz-fusion, funk, soul and more for an album of rare groove. Now the collection has been reissued by Be With Records.

Various
Exclusive Blend Volume 2 (Featuring KPM Allstars)

Reissue of Volume 2 from the classic groundbreaking Blow Up presents Exclusive Blend music library series sees Paul Tunkin, DJ & founder of legendary Blow Up club, entering the vaults of De Wolfe, Amphonic and once again KPM. As with a bulk of Exclusive Blend 1, many of these tracks were receiving their first commercial airing on this album’s release. Released in 1997, the album also introduced James Clarke’s Wild Elephants to the world, which was subsequently picked up by Gap and used on the 1999 ‘Khaki A Go-Go’ worldwide campaign. As a thankyou from the writer it was re-titled ‘Blow Up A-Go-Go’ and became the title track for the successful V2 / Blow Up compilation ‘Blow Up A-Go-Go! Dancefloor Classics from The Legendary Blow Up Club’.

Various
Incantations For Tape

Hard as it is to believe, there was a time when pitch wobble, reversed recordings, noise and abstract bleeps and bloops were truly surprising and groundbreaking things to hear in musical recordings. Sound Miracle offers a polite introduction to a few of the boffins and weirdos who were hard at work developing these (and many other) techniques when they first became possible at all. Though space wasn’t found for Halim El-Dabh or electroacoustic poster boy himself Pierre Schaeffer, the compilation is bursting with such other pioneers as Daphne Oram, Bülent Arel and György Ligeti.

Bruno Spoerri
Rare & Unreleased 1971-1998

The fantastic We Release Whatever The F**K We Want Records (WRWTFWW) continue to shine the light on rare recordings. This time it's the Swiss electronic pioneer, Bruno Spoerri. Through a mix of samples and field recordings, Spoerri's experimentations move from playful to threatening and all within a mysterious electric soundscape.   

Various
Musica Per L'Immagine II - Lost Italian Library Music Of The 1970s/80s

Lorenza Bandiera follows up his 2017 compilation of Italian library music. The second volume of Musica Per L’Immagine furthers Bandiera’s case to prove that there is more to Italian incidental music than Ennio Morricone and Giallo. As such the twelve tracks here take in jazz-funk, aquatic piano jazz, kitsch disco and more.

Various
Ethiopian Modern Instrumentals Hits

Before Bob Geldof and Midge Ure decided that the best way to help Ethiopians facing starvation in 1985 was by inflicting a badly-written, factually incorrect and borderline racist song on the world, Ethiopians were doing some fantastic musical pieces, untouched by European influences. Ethiopian Modern Instrumental Hits is out on vinyl.

Various
Music Minds

Triple CD fundraiser compilation for World Mental Health Day. Seems that Music Minds will net you tracks from artists like Chris Difford from Squeeze, Nik Kershaw and Phil Manzanera out of that Roxy Music, though that’s just scratching the surface of this very hefty tracklisting. Reasonably-priced 3CD boxset from Fretsore Records Ltd.

Yan Tregger
Ducks & Drakes

1979 French library music from Yan Tregger. Like almost all of its library music brethren, Ducks & Drakes has of course been rare as hen’s teeth on vinyl for countless years, so this readily available BBE reissue is a delightful development. Entirely created by Tregger himself, this is an incredibly groovy disco-funk set that you need to hear.

Yan Tregger
Catchy

1978 French library music from Yan Tregger. Like almost all of its library music brethren, this album, the first of two originally recorded for Musical Touch Sound, is monstrously rare on vinyl, so its so good to be able to hear this material properly. Weird and wonderful disco music, heavy with spacey vibes and funk grooves. Reissue editions from BBE.

Various
Goosebumps – 25 Years Of Marina Records

Who knew it was 25 years since Marina Records started releasing indie pop. Well it is. And to celebrate they've unleashed this 3LP or 2CD set of all their most important bits so you can celebrate in style. Contains tracks from the past present and future such as Shack, the Pale Fountains, the Pearlfishers, Paul Haig and many many more. 

Various
Britxotica Goes Wild! Percussive Pop and Crazy Latin

Trunk brings us the latest instalment -- volume 5! Five! -- of the ongoing Britxotica series of compilation LPs. Legendary tastemakers Johnny Trunk and Martin Green cull and round up 16 more obscurities from pre-Beatles Exotica Britain with the emphasis on lively and fun, always. A previously (somewhat shady), forgotten genre of the era it's fair to say. Latin dance, cha-cha flavours and too-excitable-for-loungecore numbers abound; includes a great version of "House Of Bamboo" and plenty of other things of their time -- including a Ted Heath track that introduced classic telly "John Craven's Newsround". My, we are showing our age now.

Papernut Cambridge
Mellotron Phase: Volume 2

An exciting foray into the endless possibilities of music made on a Mellotron or “contemporary tape/disc-based playback instruments.” Who am I even kidding? Papernut Cambridge has made an album that sounds like high-resolution covers of early RPG soundtracks. And that's not a bad thing, if it's your thing. If you liked Mellotron Phase: Volume 1, you'll love Mellotron Phase: Volume 2.

Various
Paradise: The Sound Of Ivor Raymonde

Not many people are in the position to release records by their dad but head Bella Union honcho Simon Raymonde had a most unusual childhood. From seeing Scott Walker in his back garden to watching dad on 'Hancock's Half Hour' the boy didn't realise at the time the range and influence of his dad. But now he does and here is a lovingly compiled compilation of dad's best bits from hits with Dusty Springfield and the Walker Brothers to obscurities, unearthed gems and everything in between.   

Various
Speedy Wunderground – Year 3

I hope you don't think I'm ageist when I say I was astonished that Dan Carey is 47. I had him down as a young whippersnapper. It only makes me respect him more for his worth ethic producing all the spontaneous recordings for the likes of Melt Yourself Down, Warmduscher, Flamingods etc etc as we all know when you get to your mid 40's you start to feel very tired indeed. 

Various
The Shildam Hall Tapes

The Shildam Hall Tapes come with a backstory that I haven’t the time to investigate the veracity of, but suffice to say that what is presented here is a set of fragments from multiple artists(?) such as Sproatly Smith, Field Lines Cartographer, The Heartwood Institute, giving off a hauntological kind of vibe. Straightforward CDr or CDr boxset with notes and stickers and badges available.

Margaret Cho & Neil Hamburger
I Drink / How Little Men Care


  • Vinyl 7" (MDP004)
  • £6.49 £2.99 (saving: £3.50)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

The Green Birds
Diapason

Italian library music from the year 1971. I can only assume that the brief given to The Green Birds (that’s Renato Sperduti, Franco Bonfanti and Romano Rizzati, library fans) requested something weird and psychedelic, with a little bit of lounge here and a little bit of spooky there. Either way, that’s what they delivered. Diapason has now been reissued by For Flies in an edition of 500 LPs.

M. Fusciati (G. Iacoucci / M. Vinciguerra)
Urbanistica

Library music is rare almost by definition (since it was never supposed to be commercially released), but Urbanistica is ever rarer than most. G. Iacoucci and M. Vinciguerra were evidently given a brief to groove up the screen for this set: this music is totally funky, totally fun! Edition of 500 on 180g vinyl, out on Four Flies.

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