The lone album by Jun Togawa Unit, a side project from the Japanese singer alongside sound producer Yoichiro Yoshikawa and recording engineer Yoshifumi Iio, 極東慰安唱歌 (Far East Comfort […]

Anita Baker is pure elegance and a powerhouse vocalist best known for her quiet storm work in the ’80s. Her path to stardom wasn’t exactly smooth… At 16, […]

One of the great electronic bands, The Art of Noise was formed by engineer/producer Gary Langan and programmer J. J. Jeczalik, along with keyboardist/arranger Anne Dudley, producer Trevor […]

A selection from Growing Bin’s Basso, Haindling 1 is the debut album by the Bavarian jazz-pop band led by Hans-Jürgen Buchner. The group is essentially a solo project […]

Junior Delahaye’s Showcase is a classic and sought after lovers rock album from Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes’ Bronx-based Wackies label. Delahaye actualy worked as an engineer for Wackie’s and […]

Not Drowning, Waving (styled as not drowning, waving) was an indie rock band from Melbourne, Australia led by classically trained musicians David Bridie and John Phillips. The group’s […]

Don “Minister of Funk” Blackman had an illustrious musical career starting when he was only 15 years old with Charles McPherson, who was his neighbor growing up in […]

Inspired by Weather Report, Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Tangerine Dream, Frippertronics, Indian classical music, and seminal German label ECM, Picture Music was a small collective of like-minded musicians […]

Moving further away from his early city pop classics (Prophetic Dream and Seaside Lovers’ Memories In Beach House), legendary Japanese keyboardist/composer Akira Inoue dives into avant-new-wave-pop and experimental […]

“Dream Theory In Malaya is titled after a paper by visionary anthropologist Kilton Stewart, who in 1935 visited a remarkable highland tribe of Malayan aborigines, the Senoi, whose […]

Promise Nothing is a compilation album produced by Why-Fi following Virginia’s departure from the label. It contains classics from her Why-Fi catalog along with two tracks from her […]

Released in Japan on Alfa music sub-label Yen Records and the US on William Ackerman’s Windham Hill, Interior was the short-lived passion project for Haruomi Hosono and the […]

It’ll End In Tears is the classic debut album by 4AD family band This Mortal Coil featuring members of Cocteau Twins, Magazine, and Dead Can Dance. 4AD described […]

Ambient pioneer Steve Roach teams up with Santana percussion virtuoso Michael Shrieve and ECM Records’ David Torn on this classic ’80s ambient / new age album. Quite a […]

Debra Laws is the sister of Hubert Laws, Ronnie Laws & Eloise Laws; talent obviously runs in the family. Very Special is the first solo record Debra made […]

Soft Machine and Matching Mole drummer turned multi-instrumentalist / songwriter Robert Wyatt presents a collection of political protest songs and cover versions of Chic, Billie Holiday, and Ivor […]

Lyle Mays’ self-titled debut album followed a string of excellent collaborations with ECM mainstays Pat Metheny, Eberhard Weber, Steve Swallow, and John Abercrombie, as well as Windham Hill’s […]

Queen of the avant-garde Laurie Anderson teams up with iconic bass maestro / producer Bill Laswell on her classic second studio album Mister Heartbreak. As usual with Anderson’s […]

One of our favorite deadstock finds of the year, Myles Davis and Ray Herrmann’s Hybrid Vigor is private press gold from two virtually unknown musicians from Stamford who met […]

McCoy Tyner’s saxophonist and early Pan Afrikan Arkestra member Azar Lawrence steps confidently into the mid ’80s with Shadow Dancing, his first solo album in almost a decade […]

Played at the Paradise Garage by Larry Levan, Aretha Franklin’s “Jump To It” is an instant party starter produced by Luther Vandross with his songwriting partner Marcus Miller. […]

A private press “jangle-pop” gem picked up in the UK by Bruno of Perfect Lives, The Compromise is perfect low budget crying music featuring drum box grooves, washed […]

The album that introduced Luther Vandross to the world, Glow of Love is the classic debut album by Change, an Italian-American post-disco group formed in Bologna by businessman […]

Japanese guitar master Masayoshi Takanaka presents a collection of more vocally-driven tropical fusion songs on his thirteenth album for Kitty Records. Takanaka’s slick ’80s guitar is obviously all […]

A favorite of our good friend Justin Gage of Aquarium Drunkard, Cycles is the second solo album by cellist David Darling on Manfred Eicher’s seminal ECM Records. With […]

MFSB, which stands for Mother Father Sister Brother, was the studio band for Philadelphia International Records. The collective of over 30 musicians worked closely with production duo Gamble […]

Featured in Toshihito “Dubby” Maeyama’s Midnight in Tokyo Vol.2 compilation for Mule Musiq, Jugando was a short-lived Japanese latin fusion band formed by guitarist Masayuki Furuya. The group […]

The landmark debut album by Durutti Column, a Factory Records project consisting of genius guitarist Vini Reilly and legendary Manchester producer Martin Hannett, The Return Of The Durutti […]

Long considered a grail of city pop but only recently reissued on vinyl, Seaside Lovers’ Memories in Beach House brings together three Japanese music icons of the ’80s […]

A dollar bin classic featuring the incredible 18.5-minute long “Macho City,” a near masterpiece which was played by David Mancuso at his legendary Loft parties. While Steve Miller […]

Compiled by Stroom Records’ Ziggy Devriendt, Tropisch Verlangen, which translates to “Tropical Desire,” is a collection of handcrafted analogue electronic compositions by Belgian musician Cybe aka Siebe Baarda. […]

“Pre-dotcom electro-funk from the long-running S.F. collective New World Music” reissued by the great Numero Group. The three tracks featured here were compiled from the group’s highly sought […]

A bargain bin classic and underrated favorite, I Scare Myself is essentially a Compass Point All Stars record led by songwriter Barry Reynolds. The album features all members […]

Meditative, ambient minimalism from influential new age composer Steve Roach… “Floating like the breath of a sleeping child, Steve Roach’s third recording of quiet music evokes the high, […]

Featured in the “Ethnic” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Solar Wind is the lone release from short-lived ’80s Japanese fusion band Om. Apparently inspired by […]

DIY electro-acoustic experiments from Seattle based composer Kerry Leimer. Produced with a Minimoog, an Oberheim module, piano and home-made electric guitar on two TEAC 3340 4-track machines, the […]

A cult classic album from the ’80s Italian avant-garde music scene, Scorie by Tiziano Popoli and Marco Dalpane is a surprisingly accessible work weaving new age pop sensibilities […]

An underrated release from Mad Professor’s consistently great Ariwa Sounds label, Man And Machine Dubbing In Harmony is the debut album from the Robotiks, Ariwa’s in-house band. While […]

A timeless record that continues to find new audiences today, Keyboard Fantasies by transgender musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland combines meditative new age and folk songwriting with a Detroit style […]

Featured in the “Cosmic” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Pinnacles is the cult classic sixth solo album from Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese. Inspired by the […]

An obscure and quite underrated ’80s electronic folk album, Karácsonyi Magyar Népdalok (Hungarian Christmas Folk Songs) might not be the most appealing title tag, but trust us, this […]

We don’t often feature 12″ records here but this one is too good not to… Public Image Limited’s bass maestro Jah Wobble puts together a one-off trio featuring […]

Quirky minimal electronic music from Southampton-based musician Steve Hartwell composed in 1983 using sequencers and the MSX computer, one of the first generation of home computers used for […]

Guitarists Kevin McCormick and David Horridge collaborated on this wordless, dream-like album back in 1982, using only guitars and the occasional fretless bass to express themselves. The obvious […]

Ethereal electronic minimalism from the great Italian architect / music installation & soundtrack master Piero Milesi. The Nuclear Observatory Of Mr. Nanof is a collection of soundtrack compositions […]

The underrated sophomore release from new age composer Jordan De La Sierra, Valentine Eleven “explored notions of new biology, quantum alchemy, modern chemistry, and relativity, all with a […]

One of the great success stories of the reissue age, Japanese composer Midori Takada now tours the world sharing her singular take on ambient and minimal percussion music. […]

One of Ghana’s greatest producers and arrangers, Ebo Taylor delivers a perfect fusion of African highlife and afrobeat with American soul, jazz and funk on his 1980 classic […]

An absolute gem of a record revived by Portland’s Musique Plastique, Daedalus is the score to a deeply moving avant-garde production of the Greek myth that toured the […]

The Eno brothers and pedal steel master Daniel Lanois soundtrack the Apollo space landing on this Editions EG ambient classic. Originally recorded for Al Reinert’s 1983 landmark documentary […]

A seminal post punk classic, Gang of Four’s debut Entertainment is a perfectly stripped down mix of punk, funk, and dub with highly political lyrics taking aim at […]

LS: How would you describe your music? LS: I wouldn’t. People often ask me to do that, and it seems impossible. Music isn’t verbal or conceptual. I try […]

The inaugural release on Kunihiko Murai’s legendary Yen Records, Philharmony is a landmark electronic work by Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Haruomi Hosono. The album was recorded almost entirely by […]

A massively underrated release from the unsung American post-experimental composer Daniel Lentz, On the Leopard Altar shines bright with voices, digital keyboards, and tuned wineglasses. While Lentz’s music […]

Viento Sur is a sublime compilation of breezy classics from the southern shores of South America compiled by Argentine DJs and collectors Bárbara Salazar and Alejandro Cohen (dublab). […]

The AB’s debut album is a collection of soulful fusion jazz that’s often looped in with other “city pop” releases on Moon Records, but transcends many of the […]

A classic from legendary British R&B group Loose Ends, A Little Spice is perfect ’80s boogie for dance floors of yesterday and today. Much like their contemporaries S.O.S. […]

Released on vinyl for the first time on Chee Shimizu’s 17853 imprint, Pier & Loft is a timeless collection of “kankyo ongaku” style ambient compositions written for a […]

Featured on Music from Memory’s excellent Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe 1980-1991, Härte 10’s Welcome To Germany is a delightful set of oddball tracks that can probably […]

John & Yoko’s first album after a long hiatus from music following the birth of their first son Sean, Double Fantasy received largely negative reviews from critics but […]

Featured in the “Psychedelic” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Melody & Menace is the self-released debut from Toronto-based progressive rock group Terraced Garden. Led by […]

I Wah Dub is an absolute classic dubwise album by Blackbeard aka Dennis Bovell, one of the godfathers of British reggae. The multi-talented Bovell follows in the footsteps […]

Featured in Numero Group’s Nu Leaf smooth jazz compilation, George Shaw’s Encounters is an underrated jazz album that you probably wouldn’t pick out of the stacks based on […]

Possibly David Sylvian’s greatest solo work (it’s hard to pick), Secrets of the Beehive is a deeply introspective work of slow, electronic art rock featuring an all-star supporting […]

Barton Smith’s gorgeous “one-person orchestra” tape compositions using a mixture of acoustic, electronic, and found instruments. While clearly experimental in approach, the music was actually composed with the […]

Featured in Shotaro Matsumoto’s Walearic Disc Guide, Comme Des Garçons Volume One is, like its title suggests, a commissioned piece for the luxury Japanese clothing brand. While this may […]

Released in 1988 on the new age sub-label of Polygram dubbed Theta, Spanish guitar maestro Joan Bibiloni’s For a Future Smile continues the artist’s work of presenting the […]

The essential ambient masterpiece from Titanic and Avatar composer Michael Stearns… “I imagined myself shot out of the Earth’s resonance. We were Earth sensors sent out to bounce […]

Melancholic keyboard works by Belgian composer Dominique Lawalrée on his Editions Walrus “non-commercial music” label. The compositions feature a range of keyboard sounds using Bösendorfer piano, Hohner and […]

Cosmic / balearic synth explorations from Danish keyboard maestro Klaus Schønning. While not as popular or deep as his debut Lydglimt, Schønning’s third studio album Nasavu is still quite […]

Featured in the “Organic” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Life Line by Michael Bierylo is a simple but gorgeous new age guitar album that seems […]

Selected by the great Jeff Parker in our 5 Selects feature, Marley Marl’s In Control, Volume 1 is the debut studio album by “the greatest sampling producer and one […]

Terry Riley’s triumphant return to CBS over a decade after 1969’s A Rainbow In Curved Air, Shri Camel is a meditative masterwork blending the feeling of eastern music […]

Leroy Hutson might not be a household name, but you might’ve heard his work through another great soul singer, Donny Hathaway. Hutson was Hathaway’s roommate at Howard University […]

A crucial and once overlooked Japanese band, Ichiko Hashimoto and Atsuo Fujimoto’s Colored Music formed in 1980 after both musicians took part in Yellow Magic Orchestra’s first tour […]

Part of a trio of privately released albums on David Oliver’s own Damiana Records, Hope For La Roo is a gorgeous collection of minimal jazz compositions centered around […]

Absolutely sublime minimal-experimental-ambient music from the criminally underrated Hungarian composer Tibor Szemző. Szemző’s solo debut Snapshot From The Island features computer drums, voice, flutes, synthesizers, and a sound […]

An EBM classic that influenced generations of artists from around the world, Liaisons Dangereuses is the debut and lone LP by Düsseldorf-based producers Beate Bartel and Chrislo Haas […]

Quite underrated, laid-back kosmische with acoustic guitars, synths, organs, piano, flutes, drum machines, extended solos and broken english from brothers Klaus and Rolf Fichter (formerly of Yatha Sidra). […]

Blending traditional Wassoulou sounds with modern synthesizers and drum machines, South Malian singer Nahawa Doumbia crafted an 80’s Afro-pop classic with her debut release on France’s Syllart Records. […]

The lone solo LP from guitarist / electro-acoustic composer, producer, and mastering engineer Scott Fraser, Architecture contains an endearing mix of chamber music, bird sounds, santur, experimental electronics, […]

An indie new age classic that went platinum, Ray Lynch’s Deep Breakfast melds classical baroque technique with cosmic new age sounds. You’d think with those two genres the […]

Marnie Weber’s Songs Hurt Me is a seminal performance art meets post-punk album from 80’s Los Angeles. A multifaceted artist, Marnie cut her teeth in Los Angeles’s punk […]

One of the early pioneers of boogie and R&B, Kashif (born Michael Jones) cut his teeth with 70’s funk group B.T. Express and later made a name for […]

The “Music Interior” flagship released in 1985 on Klaus Schulze’s Innovative Communication: Morning Picture. Bassist Yoshio Suzuki’s debut on the imprint was his sophomore solo release, one that […]

Everyone knows the 80’s Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).” It’s been played countlessly on radio stations around the world for decades and is likely playing […]

One of the great Brazilian jazz albums of the 80’s, Sexteto Do Beco’s debut and lone album has a bit of everything – psychedelia, soul, folk, swing, and […]

One of the unsung heroes of the Japanese environmental music scene, Yas-Kaz is credited for introducing Balinese gamelan music to Ryuichi Sakamoto, Midori Takada (Mkwaju Ensemble), and Shoji […]

“Fela Kuti-meets-Kraftwerk-on-the-dancefloor” by French composer Hector Zazou, Congolese singer Bony Bikaye, and electronic music composers CY1. Released in 1983 on seminal Belgian label Crammed Discs, Noir et Blanc […]

Produced by the great Norman Connors, Back For More is the major label solo debut of Al Johnson from Washington D.C. soul group the Unifics. Johnson had spent […]

Featured in the “New Age Electronics” section of Shotaro Matsumoto’s recent Walearic (Japanese Balearic) Disc Guide, Apsaras’ lone album is an underrated Japanese gem that’s surprisingly cheap and […]

Composed entirely with his own voice, Todd Rundgren’s A Cappella features overdubbing techniques with the legendary E-mu Emulator. The power of sampling is in full effect with Rundgren’s […]

Created seven years before the collapse of Yugoslavia during a period of heavy turmoil, Zora by Slavic disco pioneer Boban Petrović is a psychedelic disco masterpiece that would […]

Part of a trilogy of albums produced by Robert Fripp in the late 70’s showcasing his “Frippertronics” guitar method, Sacred Songs is an unexpected but strangely beautiful avant-garde […]

A crucial collection of balearic jazz folk from Spanish singer, guitar player, songwriter Javier Bergia, Eclipse followed a string of reissues surrounding Spanish ambient collective Finis Africae. Bergia […]

Brenda Fassie and “The Big Dudes” from South Africa quickly rose to fame with their 1983 hit debut “Weekend Special.” The single became the best selling record in […]

Tribal electro ambient jazz composed as the soundtrack for a Japanese TV documentary “Tadayuki Naito Zebra” about the life of a zebra… What’s more to say? Jack DeJohnette […]

Originally issued on Salsoul Records in ’81, Logg is the undisputed masterpiece by the godfather of boogie, Leroy Burgess. Burgess first made a name for himself as the […]

We don’t often put up 12″ singles on this site but this one is a classic… A simple drum machine beat, glossy production, slightly melancholic vocals – Clio’s […]

French-catalan composer Pascal Comelade presents 18 minimal compositions featuring his signature “Bel Canto” sound, which is characterized by mixing cheap toy instruments (plastic guitars and accordions, toy pianos, […]

An interesting one to be listening to now that it’s firmly Fall, but there’s no wrong time for balearic music right? On the Beach is a yacht rock […]

Transfer Station Blue is a cult classic Berlin School style album recorded by Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, his brother Kevin, and legendary German electronic composer Klaus Schulze. The […]

Nobody can be you, but you! The powerful and positive opener on Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame Vol. I contains a classic drum break and was a favorite […]

Released nearly two years after their first no. 1 hit The Game, Queen’s Hot Space was a departure from the group’s typical layered arrangements and orchestral sound into […]

Released in 1983 and recorded at Mark Freeman’s Battery Sound recording studio, where Arthur Russell operated out of in the early to mid-1980s, Lost Tribe is an essential […]

An underrated gem from one of the Japanese jazz greats, Susto is essentially Masabumi Kikuchi doing his best Miles Davis electric period impression… and it works! Kikuchi brings […]

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 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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