Lovely Recordings Hosted by Andrew Short

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Bandcamp. The convenience and sheer variety of music available is mind boggling. All of the Lovely Music choices featured here are from Bandcamp. 99% of the time the music posted on Bandcamp lets you stream complete albums, so you get to hear exactly what you're buying. You are able to select the format that you are downloading in. I download in FLAC and in general the sound is excellent and often is in 24 bit. Having a 3 Terabyte USB hard drive has allowed for a lot of downloading and experimenting with music that is free to download or "Name Your Price" from Bandcamp. Another bonus is that you can click on fans or supporters of the artist and see their music libraries to get ideas of similar music and genres.

Thematically I have broken my Lovely Music selections into three categories: reissues, self-released and labels releasing new music.

l 1. Reissues of classic and rare collectible records

Il Balleto di Bronzo: Ys (Mellow Records, 1999)
In North America, Italian Progressive Rock doesn't get the same level of respect that it gets in Europe and Asia. Balleto di Bronzo's Ys is an epic concept album in every sense of the word. Featuring a dramatic and gloomy atmosphere of a doomed city being drowned by the ocean and comes from a French folktale. Moog squelches abound as well as lots of dynamic variety in the band's playing.

Mellow Records specializes in Italian progressive rock and has lot's of vintage and modern titles available through Mellow's Bandcamp website.

Available from Bandcamp

Nono Belvis/Kike Sanzol/M.I.A.: Qué están celebrando los hombres (VIAJERO INMÓVIL Records, 1982)
Even more obscure is Argentine progressive rock, which was an outlet for protest against the country's dictatorship in the 70s and early 80s. This title demonstrates the diversity of what constitutes progressive with a guitar and vibes set. Multi tracked acoustic guitar and slide guitar are augmented with latin percussion. In modern music genre terms this album could be labeled post rock.

Viero in Movil Records has lots of 80s and current Argentine progressive titles. Because of the repressive nature of a military dictatorship, the music scene in Argentina was in a five year delay loop, so an album released in the 80s sounds like a 70s album in terms of style and production. Some of the Argentine records feature tango mixed with progressive which I find appealing.

Available from Bandcamp

Linda Perhacs: Parallelograms (Kapp Records, 1970)
Parallelograms is a legendary acid folk album that is currently out of print and as far as I know is only available directly from Linda Perhacs in Bandcamp. The album is dreamy and mellow with lots of multi-tracked vocals. The album was originally released on Kapp Records in 1970 and received minimal promotion and faded into obscurity until collectors revived interest and Sundazed reissued it in 2010. Her much belated follow up album The Soul of All Things from 2014 is also quite excellent. Her vocal range even at 70 remains impressive.

Available from Bandcamp

Laurence Vanay: Galaxies (SFP/Société Française De Productions Phonographiques, 1974)
Laurence Vanay, is the nomme de plume of Jacqueline Thibault. This album has a strong Stereolab vibe and I am guessing the wordless vocals and instrumental layering was a partial template for the Stereolab sound.

Repsych has an interesting melange of French, Canadian and South American obscurities.

Available from Bandcamp

Various Artists: Murderers' Home (Death Is Not The End, 2014)
Death Is Not the End specializes in reissues of blues 78s needle drop transfers and field recordings. Murderers' Home is as good a pick from their catalog as any. The main theme is incarcerated African-Americans doing folk music: field hollers (complete with the rhythms of chopping axes and crunching hoes), a capella and even some delta blues.

Available from Bandcamp

2. Private pressings/artist released recordings

One of the hot record collector genres is private pressings (records self released by the artist in microscopic quantities). If the private pressing music is psychedelic, acid folk or spiritual jazz, collectors often pay four digit amounts to buy these rare obscurities.

Is a private pressing inherently good? The fast answer is no. In fact most aren't... but collectors spend time and money scouring dusty thrift shops, swap meets, book stores, estate sales and record shows trying to dig up that unknown record that is amazing.

There are many cool things about Bandcamp and one the coolest is that it's filled with virtual private pressing recordings. Just like in real crate digging, virtual crate digging can yield interesting musical results if you are willing to put in the time and energy.

Steve Linnegar's Snakeshed: Classic Epics (Guerssen Records, 2014)
Classic Epics is a private pressing record from 1982. Steve Linnegar was a hotshot guitarist in Cape Town, South Africa and collaborated with some other local scenesters to make this record featuring organic acoustic guitar layered with synth and electric guitar and laid back singing.

Guerssen Records has a diverse catalog of megararities: unreleased Krautrock, acid folk, punk, progressive and stoner/proto-metal.

Available from Bandcamp

Hjördis-Britt Åström: IV (Hjördis-Britt Åström, 2016)
Hjördis-Britt Åström is a singer who has a deep catalog of self-released music and IV is good a place to start as any with her ouvre. Her complete catalog as well as other released on her label can be purchased for 22.40 euros. She has her music tagged as bedroom and synthpop and there is some of the icy starkness of Cold Wave in her music as well. Her music is uniformly of high quality and there are similar artists on her label that I enjoy equally.

Available from Bandcamp

Rusalnaia: Time Takes Away (Cambrian Records, 2016)
Rusalnaia is a collaborative project between Sharon Kraus and Gillian Chadwick. Kraus is a phenomenal signer that deserves wider recognition and typifies the 60s UK folk sound with her tart and melancholy singing. Time Takes Away is evocative and darkly atmospheric.

Available from Bandcamp

Lisa Bella Donna: Looking Out, Looking On (Lisa Bella Donna, 2016)
Lisa Bella Donna's Looking Out, Looking On is an interesting mixture of jazzy and spacey that defies easy genre placement and features tons of keyboards (Fender Rhodes, Mellotron and synths) as well as percussion. The sound is excellent in 24bit (at least when downloaded as FLAC). She also plays in the band progressive rock band Eye who manage to nail the classic 70s sound.

Available from Bandcamp

Sahn: Kaikhosru (Sahn, 2014)
Sahn's recordings are oud (middle eastern string instrument that was the inspiration for the lute) based performances recorded in different architectural environments incorporating the acoustics of the space with the music. The recordings are beautiful and meditative.

Available from Bandcamp

3. New music labels

Various Artists : Mawimbi, Vol. 0 (La Belle Electrique, 2014)
Mawimbi features electronic music with a strong basis in African rhythm. I found this label clicking on the afrofuturism tag. Fans of the dub and the On U sound may find the recordings on this label a new twist on a familiar style.

The label's VS- Flamingo Hangover EP is also highly recommended with 24-bit resolution.

Available from Bandcamp

DJ Nirso: Nirsonico (Sello Regional, 2015)
Regional specializes in electro-cumbia which is essentially very dubby sounding cumbia with lots of delay and filtering. Nirsonico has all of the positive attributes of electro-cumbia and is lots of fun to listen to.

Available from Bandcamp

Klaus Morlock: The Bridmore Lodge Tapes (Aumega Project, 2015)
Aumega Project is an interesting label that features Krautrock and Stoner/Psychedelic music, many of which feature "Name your Price". Klaus Morlock's albums are soundtracks to imaginary films from the 70s and evoke a nice vaguely haunted creepy feeling. He has four releases and they are worth checking out if Mellotron and keyboard laden instrumental music is your thing.

Available from Bandcamp

Marissa Nadler: Marissa Nadler Folkadelphia Session 3/16/2014 and 11/10/2013 (Folkadelphia, 2014)
The Folkadelphia project is from a radio show and features completely free downloads (Folkadelphia's own wording) of folk bands and singers. Many musicians are well known to Audiostream readers and you will be pleasantly surprised to find them on Folkadelphia's website on Bandcamp. Marissa Nadler's set is a good place to start your Folkadelphia listening experience.

Available from Bandcamp

Kikagaku Moyo: Forest of Lost Children (Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, 2014)
The Beyond is Beyond label has lots of really great recordings that are worth checking out and one of my favorites is Kikagaku Moyo's Forest of Lost Children. It's a blend of electric and acoustic psychedelic music with a Japanese flavour. Unlike many modern psych bands they have varied dynamics and instrumentation with quiet and loud passages. Their other albums are worth checking out too.

Available from Bandcamp

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

valius55's picture

Thank you ! very strong list. And very fresh on this site here !!

garrettnecessary's picture

I'll listen to all of this, starting with the electro-cumbia!

Greyfossil's picture

Going to work my way through this collection. Some good stuff there.

jrhud's picture

I don't know any of these and can't wait to listen to them, who knows, might hate all of them, but the chance to discover something new is awesome.

valius55's picture

Best lovely recordings list ever on Audiostream. Thanks

Anton's picture

I wonder if Joanna Newsom knew the original Ys album existed.

Did Il Balleto di Bronzo's Ys remind you of her Ys at all?

Fascinating overlap, I will seek that out!