Welcome to ISC HiFi. Explore our growing collection of classics and rarities from around the world. Discover the stories behind the records. Experience the ISC listening space from home through our (( ROOM RECORDING )) audio player below.

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Nudge your Serge Gainsbourg record over a smidge to make room for another fabulous, eccentric Frenchman in your collection: Michel Polnareff. Polnareff’s is well worth a full listen, perhaps even twice in a row – in just 37 minutes you will seamlessly cycle through the many sounds of the wonderful world of Polnareff: baroque/pop/jazz/funk/psychedelic, executed […]

L.A. Turnaround was recorded a year after the dissolution of Bert Jansch’s group Pentangle, and saw the artist at a shifting point in his life and sound. The Scottish singer had left his record label and signed to  Charisma, which led to label owner Tony Stratton-Smith recommending Jansch to team up with ex-Monkee turned country-rock […]

Shoes were formed in the early 70s by longtime friends John Murphy and Gary Klebe in Zion, Illinois before the two even owned their first instruments. The duo would exchange letters and cartoons they drew of themselves taking the world by storm with their music. Then in 1974 the two bought guitars, a 4 track […]

If you have a road trip playlist, this album is a perfect addition. There are some songs that just make you want to hit the road and embrace the feeling of freedom, even if it’s a feeling you can only borrow for a weekend, a day, an hour, a moment. Haangala’s sweet, warm voice comforts […]

These Trails were the Hawaii based couple Margaret Morgan and Patrick Cockett. They never played a show and recorded their sole album in 1973. They were joined in the studio by singer-guitarist Carlos Pardeiro who lends a couple songs to the album, and Dave Choy, who along with producing the album and arranging the songs, […]

Featured in Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound guidebook for record collectors, Bazar De Los Milagros is a masterpiece album from one of the true legends of Argentinian rock. Nebbia was a founding member of the group Los Gatos, who are considered part of the founding trinity of Spanish-language rock in Argentinian. The album masterfully blends instrumental […]

In 1969, four young, ambitious musicians—Haruomi Hosono (bass, vocals), Eiichi Ohtaki (guitars, vocals), Shigeru Suzuki (guitars) and Takashi Matsumoto (drums, lyrics)—found each other in Tokyo. They bonded over their love for obscure rock music of the time such as Buffalo Springfield, Procol Harum and Moby Grape. First known as Valentine Blue, the band soon changed […]

Maria Monti, a talented Italian folk singer and actor who appeared in films by Bernardo Bertolucci and Sergio Leone, was backed by some incredible talent on her fifth album Il Bestiario. To name just a few, there’s legendary avant-garde composer Alvin Curran on synthesizers and composition, jazz legend Steve Lacy on soprano saxophone, and lyricist […]

John Abercrombie’s first musical output as a band leader was in his own words originally conceived as an “organ record”. The product of persistent nagging from Manfred Eicher, the founder of ECM Records, Abercrombie enlisted close friend and former roommate Jan Hammer to play hammond organ alongside his current bandmate, drummer John De Johnette. Timeless […]

From RVNG Intl. comes a 2017 anthology of self-released trans-temporal new age music by Bay Area composer/synthesist Pauline Anna Strom, assembled from seven albums composed and recorded between 1982-1988. Blind since birth, Strom’s impairment seemed to sensitize her navigation of the world through the auditory plane, creatively immersing her deeply and thoughtfully in the listenable […]

A true summertime album, whether you’re melding the sunshine of the Lijadu Sisters’ sound with real life Vitamin D, or need to dial in the feeling of sunshine on a colder, darker, grayer day. The Lijadu Sisters (consisting of identical twin sisters Taiwo and Kehinde) were a popular, important staple of the Nigerian music scene […]

The long-awaited reissue of Ernest Hood’s private press masterpiece is a must-have for any ambient music fan. Released in 1974 before the term “ambient music” was even coined, Neighborhoods is a deeply nostalgic record that brings back memories of times past, lost youth, suburban streets, and children at play. Musical narration is the central component […]

When you think of classic digger records, Lonnie’s albums are sure to come up. Endlessly sampled (the most famous being Digable Planets’ “Pacifics”) and sought after for his warmly produced cosmic funk, Visions of a New World is a slight departure from the artist’s typical sound. Much of the record dives into a more soulfully […]

Hard Candy, Ned Doheny’s blue eyed soul opus, offers a lesson in everything going right for a record, yet still failing commercially. After his debut album failed to chart, Doheny teamed up with Average White Band’s Hamish Stewart in 1974 to write some songs. The resulting demos caught the attention of guitarist Steve Cropper (Booker […]

Jon Lucien is known as one of the most focused and emotional balladeers to ever step in front of a microphone, but it’s his soothing baritone voice that really sets him apart from the rest. On Rashida, Lucien creates an amalgamation of many cultures with his Caribbean folk meets r&b soul/ jazz infused orchestral arrangements. […]

Another Green World is Brian Eno’s transitional record from glam rock to the ambient minimalism that he would later be more recognized for, and essential listening for any music fan. It is a hybrid album that isn’t lost in its footing but an amalgam of his best musical efforts, before and after. The record is […]

Stepping Into Tomorrow is a classic jazz-funk bomb from the great Donald Byrd featuring an all star cast including Gary Bartz on saxophone, Chuck Rainey on bass, and the legendary Mizell Brothers on writing as well as production duties. Byrd was in a new creative phase of his career, moving away from the hard bop […]

Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues is a multi-faceted jazz masterpiece. Musically, it represents a departure in Shepp’s music from the free jazz leanings of his previous output to cohesively span jazz, funk, soul, r&b, and gospel with a large ensemble of musicians and vocalists. Politically, the record functions as a powerful piece of social commentary, a […]

An often overlooked classic, Kraftwerk’s third album is a bridge between the experimental krautrock of the first two albums and the proto-synthpop and electro that would define them as a band. Working again with legendary producer and engineer Conny Plank and recorded at their Kling Klang studio in Dusseldorf, Ralf und Florian is a gorgeous, […]

Italian multi-instrumentalist and composer Pepe Maina describes his music as “ambient & prog rock music for dreams and illusion.” His debut album Il Canto Dell’Arpa e Del Flauto which translates to The Song of the Harp and the Flute matches that description perfectly – a beautifully diverse mix of ethnic rhythms, delicate harp, psychedelic guitar, […]

Bobby Brown’s debut is a difficult to classify outsider opus that has become a sort of grail for rare psych collectors (it’s featured in the highly renowned Acid Archives guide to underground psych, folk, and outsider sounds). A manifestation of a singular star child, Brown built and plays all 50 homemade instruments, which he combined […]

American composer and multi-instrumentalist Alvin Curran’s fantastic debut Canti E Vedute Del giardino Magnetico, which translates to Songs and Views from the Magnetic Garden, consists of two sidelong pieces. The first side, a blend of cymbals, glass chimes, harmonica, flugelhorn and soprano vocals from Margherita Benetti, is pure avant-garde experimental music, and a bit more […]

Linda Cohen was a mostly self taught musician from Philadelphia who along with being a fixture in the local avant-garde music scene, worked diligently as a classical guitar teacher for over 35 years. Her solo debut Leda is a perfectly minimal blend of gentle, fingerpicked acoustic guitar with baroque, blues, and classical stylings. Cohen is […]

San Francisco is the perfect introductory album to American jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Featuring his right-hand man Harold Land on reeds, the duo’s style takes a step forward from their previous post-bop and hard bop sound that didn’t sweep records off the shelves, into more commercial jazz fusion territory, without compromising on edge, intricacy, intellect, […]

Blacks and Blues was recorded in 1973 when American jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey was just 23 years old, two years after becoming the first African-American female instrumentalist signed by Blue Note. And yet, the only indication of her age is her sweet sugary timbre as she makes her vocal debut. The success of Blacks and […]

If you’re new to Alice Coltrane, this is an exciting first album to catapult you straight to her planet, whereas other albums might fly you there more slowly. Recorded in two days and featuring a string orchestra of 16, this sonic kaleidoscope features originals by Alice Coltrane, as well as upside down inside out reimaginings […]

It comes as little surprise that Miles Davis was a great admirer of Ahmad Jamal. The critically acclaimed jazz innovator, known for his understated playing and elegant arrangements has been referred to as “the zen master of piano”. It is rumored that his pianos sometimes needed to be tuned between sets due to the percussive […]

Steve Reich’s organic minimalist tour de force is a ground breaking record that would become an influence for much of the electronic records we hear today. Reich creates an underlying harmonic undertone with two rhythmically different time signatures occurring simultaneously. Though the movement from chord to chord is often just a re-voicing, inversion or relative […]

Charlie Haden’s Closeness is comprised of 4 duet collaboration based melodies crafted by Haden. On each number, Haden (the bassist) pushes the musical envelope playing opposite an artist he respected and was excited by: Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, and Paul Motian. For Haden, “Closeness” is part of the creative process of feeling close […]

This record finds Neil at a crossroads musically somewhere between country, rock and blues. While the title suggests summer breezy, On The Beach finds Neil in a more cynical mood, playing in a more hard edge fashion with stark tones reflecting what was going on at the time. Loneliness and confusion seem to to be […]

Cited as being an entry point to genres such as trip hop and ambient, Solid Air is undoubtedly John Martyn’s magnum opus. A true balance of dark and light, the album name and title track serve as a dedication to his friend and label mate Nick Drake whose noticeable depression was of deep concern to […]

When Pharoah Sanders’ Love in Us All was released in 1974, it was already becoming clear that the artist was shifting away from the wilder experimentations of his earlier days. After leaving Impulse! and taking a three year hiatus from recording solo material, Pharoah would re-emerge in 1977 with an entirely new band and release one […]

One of the most sensual records of all time. Janis Gaye, whom the album is dedicated to, recalls “I’m pretty sure if you took a poll of how many babies were born in 1976, 1977 and 1978 most of them listened to this album at one point or another.” With track titles like “Feel All […]

Fluid Rustle is a subtle, beautiful piece of storytelling music – the themes and titles reflect on a passage from Richard Adams’ 1972 classic Watership Down. Through the 4 tracks, the artist blends minimalism, chamber music, ambient, and jazz with touches of eastern influence, most notably in Weber’s use of the Indian tarang on the […]

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