"Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, 'I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.' Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur's 'greatest achievements'. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur's most elusive compositions, 'Reach One', and 'Sketch For Face Of Helen'. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation, 'Reach One' is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. 'Sketch For Face Of Helen' was inspired by Arthur's work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur's musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur's coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time."

ARTHUR RUSSELL - Instrumentals 2LP

The first-ever compilation of χαβάγιες ("havagies"), the nearly forgotten Hawaiian-influenced music of 1930s Greece, focused on the compositions of Kostas Bezos and his ensemble White Birds. A world-class slide guitarist, political cartoonist and sleepless Bohemian, Kostas Bezos created some of the most unique music of any era: surrealist guitar portraits blending Athens and Honolulu, haunting tropical serenades, wild acoustic orchestras, and heartbreaking steel guitar duets. Incredibly, this is the same musician responsible for the legendary "Kostis" rebetika recordings (see A. Kostis "The Jail's a Fine School" [OLV-002 / MRP-098]).Includes a 32-page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein and Dimitris Kourtis, many rare photographs, lyrics, obituaries and a bonus CD containing 18 additional tracks. Restored and mastered from original 78s by Michael Graves, this release is limited to 1,000 copies. Co-released by Olvido Records (OLV-002) and Mississippi Records (MRP-098) on January 30th, 2017. Produced by Gordon Ashworth, Tony Klein, Dimitris Kourtis. Articles by Tony Klein, edited by Gordon Ashworth. Newspaper Research and Bezos Drawings provided by Dimitris Kourtis. Photographs provided by the Kalliris Family, Stavros Kourousis, Lia Dimitriou, Hugo Strötbaum. Translations by Tony Klein, assisted by Dimitris Kourtis, Charles Howard and Vasilis Varelas. Audio Sources courtesy of Manthos Manios, Les Cook, John Marsden. Audio Transfers by Norman Field, Stavros Kourousis, Manthos Manios. Restoration and Mastering by Michael Graves at Osiris Studio. Lacquer Cutting by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Audio. Vinyl Production by Cascade Record Pressing. Design by Gordon Ashworth. Cover Production by Dan Fried. Offset Printing by Eberhardt Press.

Kostas Bezos and the White Birds LP

Born in Bolgatanga in rural Ghana, King Ayisoba was a prodigy on the kologo, playing locally until he’d outgrown the possibilities of the area. Moving to Accra, the country’s biggest city, he eventually released the song “I Want To See You, My Father.” There was nothing modern about it. No hiplife rap, no electronic beats. But somehow it conquered the country and brought the tradition firmly into the mainstream. “It was Song of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year,” says album producer Zea. “He also had a song called “Modern Ghanaians” that said we shouldn’t forget the tradition. Instead we should use it to fight modern problems.” With that mantra, King Ayisoba became the unlikeliest star. His music was a strong weapon for Ghana’s traditions. What he wanted, though, was to play with a band, to bring what he called the “man-power” to give the full drive to his sound. On the album Wicked Leaders, with Zea producing, that’s exactly what he did.After that Ayisoba toured Europe together with Zea, opening up solo, providing guitar, vocals and live electronics on stage, and Francis Ayagama joined King Ayisoba’s band on djembe and bemne drums Alone or with beats, ultimately the power that propels 1000 Can Die comes from the band itself, from the sense of history that forms every piece of music. It’s there in every musician. They all go home and farm. They’re connected to the land, and the songs are part of the harvest they bring from the fields and from their own families.“Ayisoba’s grandfather played the kologo,” Zea says. “But only in the house. He was a healer, a shaman. People would come and tell him their problems. He’d make a connection with the spirits, then play and start singing, and his stories would include solutions.” On 1000 Can Die, King Ayisoba is digging a new future from Ghana’s soil.

King Ayisoba - 1000 Can Die LP