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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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 at all. He’s a former professional basketball player, credited as the Godfather of Gospel Jazz, a Reality-TV dad, Aircraft pilot, and also an extremely gifted multi-instrumentalist in […]

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 may have seemed strange at the time given the group’s success, but listening to Motion’s self-titled debut, it’s clear that Oban had a distinct musical vision and […]

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 still. Mostly recorded in the relaxed, magical environment of a 24-track barn studio on her parents’ farm, Hounds of Love reaped the benefits of time (at least […]

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. With the original running order, Side A consists of the synth pop and mellow dance hits while the B is a latin and samba inspired suite arranged […]

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 80’s new age. A few songs in and you might think you are listening to a Celtic folk obscurity from the 60’s – then suddenly the use […]

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 elements of post punk and ambient music to great effect. Vocal samples, drum machine, soothing synth pads and jangling guitars all come together to create a sound […]

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 $200-plus for an original copy. Today you can easily purchase the Be With Records reissue released in 2018. Marti Caine was a known British TV variety entertainer […]

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 in approach to Music from Memory’s critically-acclaimed Outro Tempo, América Invertida explores the more experimental side of Uruguay’s underground music scene in the 80’s where traditional Candombe […]

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 Toyin Agbetu and indie label head Earl Myers. Agbetu was a prodigious computer programmer turned musician, pioneering the UK street soul sound, which combined soul music with […]

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 to have Brian Eno walk by. Eno had just started his Ambient series and was in awe of this ethereal free-flowing sound. He dropped his phone number […]

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. An early contributor to the electronic music genre with an extensive electronic music education (UC Berkeley B.A.; Mills College M.A. with training under Terry Riley), Brouk took […]

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 Japanese cult band Mariah, notable for their 1983 masterpiece Utakata No Hibi. In a sense Utakata No Hibi and Kakashi are companion albums, with Kakashi laying the […]

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 oil projector in the control room, strobe lighting and five 24-track tape-machines synced together” the resulting album is a deeply moving and spiritual trip with elements of […]

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 and a pivotal moment captured to tape. Göttsching originally recorded the piece to have something to listen to on his Walkman on a trip the following day […]

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 of Russell’s most classic records such as Dinosaur L’s “Go Bang #5” and “The Platform on the Ocean.” Russell in turn plays cello on this album. The […]

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. Conceptually, the album is meant to be a soundtrack to “a voyage through the galaxy” and it shows – the compositions are celestial and cosmic with an […]

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 a bedroom closet in Minnesota, with only a Yamaha DX-7, a guitar, and a four-track TEAC reel-to-reel. Shortly after its scant 1987 release and generally poor reception, […]

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 planet (or the moon), an idea, though simple, that translates completely during the listening experience. It’s an immersive and atmospheric record with large-scale dynamics, much akin […]

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 imprint. Hardly any information is available about the group, which consists of session musicians, Tatsuo Hayashi the drummer of Hosono’s Tin Pan Alley, and a few other […]

Virginia Astley’s conceptual debut is a collection of tone poems meant to represent the sounds and mood of an innocent summer day. The album is notable for its use of field recordings and natural sounds, which Astley used as the foundation for these gorgeous improvised piano pieces. The playing is beautiful, simple, melodic, and evokes […]

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 to being an incredibly gifted songwriter, was something of a string instrument prodigy and made instruments for other Laurel Canyon heroes including Joni Mitchell and David Crosby. […]

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 a fan of their music, McAloon sent the producer a “trove of some 40 to 50 demos,” which were then carefully whittled down, directed, and orchestrated to […]

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 most personal record LC would see Vini Reilly dive deeper inward and expand on the group’s DIY sound. “I recorded from about two in the morning till […]

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 take on Pop Music. Written in their hometown of Glasgow and recorded over the course of 5 months in Edinburgh on a new label deal from hi-fi […]

“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 Hisaishi, Toshifumi Hinata, Jun Fukamachi, among others. Air in Resort is a quintessential record of the genre with a unique story – it was originally commissioned by […]

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 Lee Perry’s Black Ark, includes an all-star supporting cast with members of Bob Marley’s Wailers, and features pioneering melodica playing from the virtuosic Pablo, the first musician […]

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