New and Reissued Vinyl 

Electronic, Rare Groove and Beyond

It's not too often I pick up a record and start weeping automatically. Those of you who grabbed the phenomenal Red Hot & Riot: A Tribute to Fela Kuti (MCA) a few months back probably noticed one of the best cuts was the Bugz in the Attic version of "Zombie." Well, I cried tears of joy upon discovering that a nine-minute version of the tune is now available as a 12-inch on UK's Bittasweet Music, with an alternate mix on the B-side that incorporates Seiji's "Loose Lips." This gem is a must for fans of broken beat. Nab it now before it disappears!

The Cinematic Orchestra has released Man with a Movie Camera (Ninja Tune), a score to Dziga Vertov's groundbreaking 1929 Russian silent film of the same name. Some songs are variations and alternate mixes of tracks from the Orchestra's previous album, Everyday, but Camera stands on its own as another modern masterpiece in the Ninja Tune catalog. Look for a DVD full of extra goodies, including concert footage and videos. The Orchestra played Bimbo's in San Francisco recently, but not along with the film; apparently, only an NYC audience got that privilege.

The red-hot 12-inch of the month belongs to Red Astaire (GAMMRecords). "Follow Me" transforms a D'Angelo snippet into a catchy vocal hook that floats above a beautiful samba-flavored downtempo beat. The flip side is a decent James Brown-style cut-and-paste edit track. Nab this immediately -- it's one of those shady "promo only" pressings, which means rights were not cleared and it will be gone in an instant.

On the reissue tip, I just can't believe that three amazing but incredibly obscure albums were just released by one of my favorite musicians, Mulatu Astatke. His late-'60s/early-'70s recordings have a sound all their own: Imagine Ethiopian jazz (!) with funk, Latin, Middle Eastern, and African flavors. Sound incredible? It is. Mulatu cut two albums in Ethiopia for the Amha label (Ethio Jazz and Ethiopian Modern Instrumental Hits), which now sell for about $1,000 each in their original form. Both have now been reissued on vinyl on the French L'Arome label. (You can find the CD version as Ethiopiques Vol. 4). Finally, Astatke's psychedelic and funky Mulatu of Ethiopia, originally on Brooklyn-based Worthy Records (selling for a mere $500), has been re-released, with two more reissues rumored to follow. The reissues are cheaper, honest.


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