Welcome to ISC HiFi. Explore new records daily from 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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80's

Techno-Bush is Hugh Masekala and the Medu Art Ensemble’s Afro-futurist vision of South Africa. Protesting through sound and dance, Masekala and crew crafted a futuristic “techno-bush” with a […]

A textural masterpiece, Cocteau Twins third album Treasure is possibly the group’s finest work and a definite 4AD record during the label’s creative peak. Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde, […]

Originally formed as the backing band for androgynous pop star Kenji Sawada (formerly of Group Sounds band The Tigers), The Exotics took their one and only step into […]

The underrated Bobby Caldwell album, Carry On sees the pop funk soul singer dive into deeper subjects beyond love and simple attraction. A2 “Sunny Hills” almost sounds like […]

Featured in the “Mellow” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Only Love Can Sustain is Argentinian rock legend Luis Alberto Spinetta’s first album released outside his […]

Possibly the greatest female reggae MC of all time, Ranking Ann delivers six powerful cuts of dancehall perfection on her debut album A Slice of English Toast produced […]

One of the more underrated Prince side projects released on Paisley Park Records, The Family’s self-titled debut is, like many Prince projects, essentially a collection of Prince songs […]

Hukwe Zawose was the most internationally recognized musician from Tanzania’s Gogo ethnic group (pastoral nomads native to the deserts of Dodoma region), and this flawlessly recorded release captures […]

A must-have for fans of the David Mancuso Loft staple “Rude Movements”, Raw Movements / Rude Movements presents previously unreleased demos from UK duo Sun Palace. Compiled by […]

Like many of our favorite records, Paul McCartney’s quirky, experimental pop album was poorly received by critics upon release but has since gained a cult following and recognized […]

The follow up to Sade’s brilliant debut, Promise builds on the smooth soul jazz of Diamond Life with even tighter rhythms and elegant compositions. Led by singer Sade […]

Internal conflicts, contract obligations, touring commitments… The Stones were dealing with the whole nine when tasked to turn in a new album to follow up their underwhelming 1980 […]

Originally released in Japan on JVC’s excellent Music Interior series but also later in Germany on Klaus Schulze’s Innovative Communication, Seigén Ono’s debut album is a minimal masterpiece […]

Bruce Springsteen’s sixth studio album Nebraska is a DIY loner classic released long before the term “bedroom producer” was a thing. The album was recorded with the assistance […]

The debut solo album by Mexican ambient pioneer Jorge Reyes, Ek-Tunkul is a powerful statement of purpose from an artist whose sound was wholly his own. After leaving […]

Detroit’s Wendell Harrison is as much a teacher as he is an acclaimed reed player. Besides playing alongside numerous greats like Marvin Gaye, Sun Ra, and Aretha Franklin, […]

‘Missa’ is the third release by experimental American composer Daniel Lentz, a true unsung genius of the 80s modern classical age. According to the album’s performance notes, the […]

Produced by the legendary Eumir Deodato, Intimate Connection by New York City–based ensemble Kleeer is a groundbreaking boogie funk masterpiece and roller disco favorite. The album was released […]

The debut solo album by Harald Grosskopf, the enigmatic percussionist behind Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, and Cosmic Jokers, Synthesist is a masterpiece electronic album that is widely […]

Germany’s Sacred Summits recently reissued this long-lost album of Erik Satie synthesizer interpretations by the legendary minimal composer Morgan Fisher. Fisher, whose career spans over fifty years, started […]

Compiled by Melody As Truth’s Jonny Nash, Melodies In The Sand is a collection of modern classical works that mix European folk traditions with Cocteau Twins dream pop […]

One of the first albums by a female artist to have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut is an essential listen with humble […]

Walias Band was formed in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa in the early 70’s during a tumultuous time.  The band remained prolific alongside contemporaries like legendary vibraphone player […]

Music for healing from our good friends at Séance Centre… On Music of the Five Elements, electronic composer Sam McClellan applies the ancient Chinese philosophy of medicine to […]

Years before releasing her seminal solo work Through the Looking Glass, Japanese percussionist Midori Takada led an ensemble of percussionists exploring African drum traditions, environmental music, and minimalism. […]

One of our favorite underrated ECM cuts… And She Answered by one time project AM 4 aka saxophonist and flutist Wolfgang Puschnig, pianist Uli Scherer, and vocalist Linda […]

Partially recorded in Los Angeles, Izumi “Mimi” Kobayashi’s Coconuts High is a perfect tropical fusion album featuring American studio legends Abraham Laboriel (Quincy Jones), Paul Jackson (Patrice Rushen), […]

Recorded by George Michael at just twenty years old, 1983’s Fantastic would prove to be a promising yet extremely flawed debut for the future pop phenoms. Following the […]

Featured in the “Psychedelic” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Phase II – Go Go Pongs is the second and last album by amateur guitarist Klaus […]

Released on Island Records’ “Antilles New Directions” sublabel, Bush Dance by master Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos is an upbeat, world fusion record that has made its way onto […]

Low Profile is the first album by the laid-back Dutch guitar hero Spike Wolters, a little-known Oegstgeest bedroom artist who home-recorded and privately released a series of progressive, […]

4AM

4AM is the recently unearthed DIY synth-pop manifesto by UK duo Steve Kirby and Kevin Finch. Their lone release was originally privately pressed in 1990 to a dismal […]

Originally released on tape in 1984, David Toop and Steve Beresford’s experimental dub masterpiece Danger in Paradise is a major highlight of the 80’s improvised music scene in […]

Spearheaded by the acid-tongued icon Mark E. Smith, This Nation’s Saving Grace stands as the best from the Beggars Banquet era Fall and is widely accepted as one […]

At the advent of the CD-era when recorded music was headed in a digital direction, William Ackerman’s Windham Hill produced records that were an entirely analog affair. Perhaps […]

A cult classic from Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes’ Bronx-based label, Love Joys’ Lovers Rock Reggae Style is a landmark album mixing conscious roots reggae and soulful lovers rock with […]

Dubbed “one of pop music’s sneakiest masterpieces” due to its low-key but lasting popularity, Donald Fagen’s post-Steely Dan solo debut The Nightlfy is a semi-autobiographical concept album looking […]

A true “balearic” full length album from cover to cover, Reaching For The Sky is the second and arguably greatest album from the short lived Dutch pop rock […]

Featured in the “Experimental” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Fluchtweg Madagaskar, which translates to “escape route to Madagascar,” is the cult classic debut album by […]

One of our favorite ECM Records bands, Codona features free jazz trumpeter Don Cherry alongside sitar player Collin Walcott and Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos. The band’s name is […]

Little information can be found of the mysterious UK singer Jeanette Dwyer, labeled by a small number of passionate fans as “one of the great forgotten artists of […]

This is music for intrepid explorers of sound. Bruno de Chénerilles of Alesia Cosmos developed sci-fi soundscapes for the radio station France Culture before self-releasing Exclusivo! in 1983. […]

Established experimental film-maker David Hykes’ interest in traditional and sacred music, specifically western Mongolian khöömi performed in Tantric Tibetan Buddhism, would lead him to form The Harmonic Choir […]

Considered by many to be one of the crowning achievements in the ambient genre, Structures From Silence was a dramatic departure from Roach’s previous heavily sequenced Berlin-school favored […]

After spending most of the 70s in Los Angeles and a number of incredible jazz fusion laced records with Azymuth, Marcos Valle returned to Brazil to record this […]

Founded in 1984 in Brazil’s federal capital of Brasília, Finis Africae features a cast of rotating musicians around the core members Juan A. Arteche, Luis Delgado, and Javier […]

Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, better known as just Simone, is one of the most popular Brazilian MPB singers of all time. She sold more records than any other […]

Happy Ambrosia is a little known kraut release by Alto, a side project by Kraan “alto” saxophonist Johannes Pappert. The band was apparently not a proper band and […]

North Marine Drive is the 1983 debut by Londoner Ben Watt before he joined forces with Marine Girls’ Tracey Thorn to create the mainstream 90s UK indie duo […]

We first came across this album on Japanese record collector Dubby’s Ondas shop. Palle Mikkelborgs Journey To… is a Danish jazz fusion gem featuring musicians who would later […]

David Sylvain’s first taste of international acclaim came by way of his band Japan. Struggling to win over fans in the mid 70’s UK punk era, Japan ironically […]

On Sonidos De Aquel Dia, which translates to “Sounds of that Day”, two talented young prodigies come together to deliver a melodic, latin fusion masterpiece. Bassist César Franov, […]

Released on JVC’s excellent Music Interior series, Lisa is the first solo effort from revered Japanese musician/producer Masahide Sakuma. Sakuma started his career playing bass in B-52s-inspired new […]

Kevin “Mr. Groove” McCord had his hand in a lot of 70’s and 80’s Detroit records… With almost 300 writing credits, he wrote, performed, or arranged a wide […]

Produced and compiled by Obscure Sound’s Chee Shimizu, Amarillo: Grabaciones Originales 1980-1987 collects the works of obscure Mexican pianist/composer Gerardo Bátiz. Not much is known about Bátiz other […]

After making a name for himself in the late 70’s Amsterdam jazz scene playing with Cascada and Ritmo Natural, keyboardist Ronald Langstraat began seeking his own musical curiosities […]

The debut solo LP from Italian saxophonist/composer Gianni Gebbia is a beautiful contemporary jazz masterpiece that we first discovered circulating around Japanese shops like SHE Ye, Ye and […]

We first heard this wonderful obscurity on the excellent Okonkole y Trompa music blog curated by record collectors Satoshi Yamamura and PAM. Comme Au Moulin is the self-released […]

Extractions is the third album by the underrated instrumental quartet Dif Juz ( a play on ‘different jazz’) and their penultimate full length before dismembering in 1986. Shortly […]

Ghanian band Edikanfo’s manager had the idea to get Brian Eno on board to produce the the group’s debut album. Eno had some visibility in the West African […]

Portuguese composer Nuno Canavarro’s cult classic debut album Plux Quba is a sublime collection of electronic experiments created using only an 8-bit sampler and 8-track tape recorder. The […]

Ann O’Connor’s runaway youth days in late ’70s New York is the stuff of legends. She was living on her own at 16 and with no overt desire […]

The result of over a decade of comprehensive research on the pre-Columbian instrumentation of Mesoamerica, Ipan In Xiktli Metztli is Mexican multi-instrumentalist Luis Pérez’s debut album and magnum […]

Shiny Two Shiny is the cult 80’s minimal pop duo of Gayna Florence Perry (aka Flo Sullivan) and Robin Surtees. The pair came together after the dissolution of […]

Featured in the “Floating” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Tropic by pioneering Czech electronic duo ORM and vocal duo Kamelie is an impressive DIY electronic […]

Alex Malheiros is well known globally as a founding member of influential jazz fusion group Azymuth. After amassing a following in Brazil in the early 80’s, the group […]

Beautiful was ironically the product of a band in complete turmoil. Multiple failed attempts at mainstream success combined with feverish internal tension within Aussie new wave band The […]

You may have already heard Brazilian singer Maria Rita through Music from Memory’s excellent Outro Tempo compilations. Still, Glasgow DJ Optimo and Sao Paulo’s Selvagem took the extra […]

Singer Fairuz is often regarded as “the Soul of Lebanon” and, in collaboration with the famed Rahbani brothers, created the modern Lebanese musical tradition. Post-colonial Lebanon in the […]

The 1982 self-titled debut by Japanese synth-pop quartet Pegmo is a little hard to place sonically. Off-kilter new wave, synthesizer doo-wop, electronic cabaret or Jacques Brel chanson meets […]

Released on the cult new age label Higher Octave Music, William Aura’s Half Moon Bay is a highly sought after New Age gem that was one of the […]

Before releasing Awakening in 1980, Hiroshi Sato was already one of the most respected keyboardists/session players in Tokyo, appearing on countless classics while also building his own indelible […]

Celestial Sky is an underrated disco-funk gem by Norman Connors’ Starship Orchestra. Connors is a brilliant composer/producer and one of the more unsung jazz greats even though he’s […]

Most of the songs on Anna Domino’s brilliant solo debut East & West were written in her childhood bedroom in the late hours of the night on a […]

Walter Bachauer’s solo debut under the alias Clara Mondshine is a brilliant example of early ambient music born out of the 70’s Berlin School movement, an offshoot of […]

In 1983, Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Ryuichi Sakamoto starred in his first film alongside David Bowie and legendary Japanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano aka “Beat Takeshi.” The film, Merry Christmas, […]

Here I Come is a dancehall classic by “Mr. Cool and Lovin’” himself, Barrington Levy. Recorded at the legendary Channel One Studios, the album embraces the sound of […]

French keyboard player Wally Badarou had only been in London for a year when he was asked to come to Island Records’ recording studio in the Bahamas to […]

You may not have heard the name Ini Kamoze before, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard his voice. The refrain “Out in the street, they call it […]

Entering the world of 80’s Japanese synth-pop can be a little overwhelming. The amount of music seems infinite with thousands of offshoots, sub-genres, and artists. If you’re just […]

The one and only recorded release from the ambitious German jazz-rock group that would eventually share their name with a majorly successful US boogie outfit, Shake It showcases […]

Vernal Equinox’s New Found World is the DIY synth manifesto of two Ontario-based electronic enthusiasts Timothy Rempel and Steven J. Brenner. The duo worked together at a keyboard […]

Here’s another album that we picked up from our friends over at Séance Centre. Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Svend Undseth’s Windshave is a one of a kind work that blends […]

Kofi’s Black… With Sugar is one of the great modern masterpieces of lovers rock released on Ariwa Sounds, the legendary boutique label and four-track recording studio that was […]

The second of only two records released by the duo compromised of bassist Jorge Degas and percussionist Marcelo Salazar, Muxima finds the pair of musicians taking a much […]

Deutsche Wertarbeit is the brilliant and lone solo release by Dorothea Raukes, ex-singer of the prog-rock group Streetmark, and one of very few female artists operating in the […]

Echoes is a compilation of ethno-wave songs from multi-instrumentalist Frank Harris and Venezuelan singer Maria Marquez. Dating back to 1985, this collection combines both headliners’ strong suits with […]

When Bernard Wright released his debut album ‘Nard in 1981, he was only 18 years old. The only son of Roberta Flack had generated quite a bit of […]

Peter Ivers was somewhat of a behind-the-scenes L.A. figure of the ’70s and ’80s best known for writing “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” for David Lynch’s […]

Billy Higgins may not be a household name in jazz, but the master drummer was certainly one of the most revered in the scene. In fact, Higgins is […]

Like a lot of great music we enjoy, Roger Melt’s Pleine Lune is completely unique and difficult to place, and also the only solo release from the Geneva-based […]

The first release on the legendary On-U Sound label featuring members of The Slits, The Pop Group, Roots Radics, Aswad, Raincoats and Flying Lizards, The New Age Steppers […]

Bip Redon, Dominique Lentin, his sister Isabelle Lentin (of Virgule IV), and a few other unknown musicians make up the mysterious L’Empire des Sons. Not much is known […]

Featured in the “Floating” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Universal Ave is the sole album by Double Fantasy, a project by German duo Robert Schroeder […]

A masterpiece of uncanny soul, In a Mood is a holy grail find and one of only two albums by the late-great outsider guitarist Harry Case. A bit […]

A collaboration between English jazz vocalist Dianne Ford and German fretless bassist Manfred Lins, Lonely Shadow is the one and only record made by the low-profile duo. Mostly […]

Old Rottenhat is the fourth solo album from ex Soft Machine drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt. This album was released ten years apart from his last solo release and features a […]

Rare Silk was an 80’s vocal jazz group, a genre that at the time was defined by it’s multi-part vocal harmonies, pop sensibilities and mix of swing and […]

A vibrant album of revelry from internationally renowned self-taught singer/songwriter Ali Hassan Kuban, who is hailed as the Godfather of Nubian music. Raised in Cairo, Kuban became an […]

A heartbreakingly intimate and rare private press record featuring American folk singer Kath Bloom accompanied by experimental musician Loren “Mazzacane” Connors. The record was originally issued in limited […]

Düsseldorf-based DJ, producer, and Salon Des Amateurs resident Jan Schulte, aka Wolf Müller or Bufiman, pulled together this excellent concept album featuring his personal favorite “tropical drum” music […]

Trippy, experimental dub from famed UK producer Adrian Sherwood’s On-U-Sound. “African Head Charge” was formed as a studio project inspired by Brian Eno’s “vision for a psychedelic Africa” […]

A one-time musical anomaly created from the ashes of influential UK post-punk trio This Heat, Lifetone’s For A Reason brings together the political angst and energy of This […]

Prior to this Captured Tracks compilation, copies of Saâda Bonaire’s first and only single “You Could Be More As You Are” fetched a fortune, and their other songs […]

All Keyed Up by keyboardist Ben Tankard is not what you’d expect from a gospel artist… In fact, there’s not much expected or “normal” to Ben Tankard’s life […]

A highly underrated lovers rock classic. Bassist George Oban formed “Motion” to explore his own unique musical ideas after leaving the legendary UK reggae group Aswad. His departure […]

What do Kate Bush and Khruangbin have in common? They’ve discovered a secret to creating a successful album: recording in a barn on a farm where time stands […]

A balearic pop classic. Hoping for Love is French pop/jazz singer Isabella Antena’s 1987 second solo venture and was released five years after Antena’s monumental Camino Del Sol. […]

A costly vinyl rarity until 2018 when Frederiksberg Records released a reissue, Goodbyes and Beginnings is a cult classic that sounds like the lovechild of 60’s folk and […]

11,000 Dreams is a compilation spanning two decades and three different projects of Belgian artist Jan Van den Broeke. The songs are dreamy minimal synth musings that combine […]

Though released to little fanfare in 1981, like all bizarre and wonderful records Point of View has gained an underground following over the years, with record collectors spending […]

A brilliant, slightly under the radar, new compilation of Urugauyan 80’s new wave pop, fusion, ambient folk and electronics, compiled by Spanish DJ and collector Javi Bayo. Similar […]

Essential UK street soul recently reissued by Toronto’s Invisible City, “Street Soul” compiles the most beloved tracks by Soul Connection, a late 80’s duo made up of producer/pioneer […]

In 1979, Laraaji was hammering away at his zither in Washington Square Park alone, in a lotus position, eyes closed, filling the air with his stream-of-consciousness harmonics only […]

From the expert curation of Numero Group comes an extensive anthology of rare cassette releases, deep cuts and previously unreleased gems by prolific electronic music pioneer Joanna Brouk. […]

Welcome to the spirited, enchanting world of Japanese musical visionary Yasuaki Shimizu. You may know him from his work with Ryuichi Sakamoto, or as the innovative bandleader of […]

Talk Talk’s commercially disastrous, cult classic Spirit of Eden is an absolute must listen for any music fan. Recorded over three years in “an endlessly blacked-out studio, an […]

E2-E4 is a one hour long improvisational piece split into two sides. Recorded in one take at Göttsching’s home studio in Berlin, the album is an accidental masterpiece […]

Zummo With an X is the debut album of Peter Zummo, a multi-instrumentalist and frequent collaborator/friend of the great Arthur Russell. Zummo’s playing can be heard on some […]

This 1987 release by Mexican composer Eblen Macari was originally written for the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium in Mexico City, and was performed there for a few weekly concerts. […]

The aptly titled Traveller is an icy ambient journey through the harshness of a 
midwestern winter. Enveloped by nature and snow, Sampson recorded the Traveller entirely alone in […]

Commissioned by Japanese toy maker Bandai in 1984, the Hosono-composed Mercuric Dance is the soundtrack for a contemporary ballet piece of the same name. Each track is inspired by […]

A highly sought after release in digging circles, the sole release by the mysterious Aragon was finally reissued in 2016 by the great Chee Shimizu on his Japanism […]

In an unlikely collaboration between folk singer Laura Allan and New Age pioneer Paul Horn, Reflections captures two artists in perfect harmony of their talents. Allan, in addition […]

Steve McQueen also known as Two Wheels Good is the brainchild of Prefab Sprout’s frontman/songwriter Paddy McAloon and producer Thomas Dolby. The story goes that after hearing that Dolby was […]

Recorded in just 5 hours on a four-track recorder purchased from illustrious producer Bill Nelson and later overdubbed with drummer and percussionist Bruce Mitchell, Durutti Column’s second and […]

A Walk Across The Rooftops, the debut album from The Blue Nile, laid the blueprints for what would come to be their signature sophisticated, polished, and highly personal […]

“Kankyō ongaku,” Japanese for “environmental music,” was a popular genre of functional ambient music in Japan in the 80’s led by electronic artists Hiroshi Yoshimura, Takashi Kokubo, Joe […]

One of the all time great instrumental dub albums, East of the River Nile ticks all the boxes… It was recorded at legendary studios Channel One, King Tubby’s, and […]

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