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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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 […]

Included on the excellent Aloha Got Soul (Soul, AOR & Disco in Hawai’i 1979-1985) compilation, Lemuria was a jazz-funk and soul group formed by Kirk Thompson, an influential […]

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 […]

A roller disco classic from one of the founding members of the great SoCal jam band War, Lee Oskar’s Before the Rain is a pleasant harmonica funk album with […]

Released on K. Leimer’s Palace of Lights, Marc Barreca’s debut album Twilight is a collection of improvised ambient compositions using techniques and methodologies pioneered by Brian Eno on […]

A landmark album that inspired an entire musical programming format and genre, Smokey Robinson’s A Quiet Storm was a return to form for the influential Motown songwriter and […]

Big thanks to our friend Andrew “Lovefingers” for this gorgeous selection. The Singers Unlimited were a vocal jazz quartet formed by master singer / vocal arranger Gene Puerling. […]

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 […]

Les McCann’s drum break classic Layers was conceived in his mind long before the tapes were rolling at Joel Dorn’s Regent Sound Studios in New York. With just […]

John Coltrane’s spiritual dedication A Love Supreme is a four movement masterpiece recorded in a single session at the legendary Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. […]

The great Roland Kirk’s most famous composition, The Inflated Tear is an “awakening and a cry for love” presented in a five-minute package that within it contains traces […]

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 […]

Undeniably one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever, J Dilla’s influential “rap album without rappers” LP Donuts is now back in stock at Stones Throw. The story of […]

A story gone wrong… Mythical funk goddess Betty Davis’ Nasty Gal was meant to catapult her into superstardom. Instead, it practically ended her career. Davis had just signed […]

One of the most obscure albums to make the Billboard Top 200, Karen Beth’s The Joys of Life is an Acid Archives favorite featuring a gorgeous voice that […]

The last EWF release before the group broke into superstardom with That’s The Way Of The World, Open Our Eyes is a stripped back, jazz, funk and R&B classic […]

Named after a collection of William Blake poems, Song of Innocence is the debut solo album by Capitol Records’ multi-talented musician, producer, composer, arranger David Axelrod. The album […]

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 […]

David Crosby’s solo debut If Only I Could Remember My Name is psychedelic folk-rock perfection from The Byrds / CSNY legend backed by other Laurel Canyon heroes including […]

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 unexpected first time collaborative effort by experimental electronic musicians Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails) and Daniel Avery was created remotely across several times zones over several years. […]

An absolute Detroit electro classic – Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café is the last album by Drexciya’s James Stinson before his untimely death in 2002. At the time […]

Compiled by Egon (Now Again) for Stones Throw Records, The Complete Works by Bay Area soul-jazz singer/songwriter Matthew Larkin Cassell comes with a bit of a story. Hip-hop […]

The debut solo LP by The Velvet Underground’s electric viola player John Cale, Vintage Violence is a deeply personal singer-songwriter album by an artist reflecting on his life, […]

Before Mort Garson’s soothing ode to houseplants (the 1976 LP and now cult phenomenon, Plantasia), Garson spent a decade building one of the most varied and bizarre resumés […]

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 […]

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 […]

This oft sampled record by drummer Idris Muhammed is a cinematic jazz funk classic. Opener “Could Heaven Ever Be Like this” is as joyous as its name sounds […]

Undoubtedly the best of the three H.P. Lovecraft albums released in the late 60s / early 70s, H.P. Lovecraft II is a cosmic, West Coast mushroom trip that […]

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 […]

A perfect record for sunny days, this classic record under Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity umbrella is full of funky anthems. The inaugural track “ Hey, Uh, What You Say […]

Numero Group has spent the last seventeen years reanimating rare music from all around the globe. One of our all-time favorites is their 2012 ode to the FM […]

The stunning debut by Brazilian guitar phenom Fabiano do Nascimento landed during a big year for Brazilian reissues, and, interestingly enough, found a perfect home on LA-based reissue […]

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 name like Philamore Lincoln would seem enough to intrigue a potential record buyer into a blind buy. Yet Philamore’s lone album, The North Wind Blew South, released […]

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 […]

Often credited as the “Mother of Hip-hop”, Sylvia Robinson was a seminal blues-turned-soul singer, producer, and writer who released a slew of sultry and sensually charged records in […]

Tommy McGee never got a chance to make it in his day, but this comp by Numero Group has made a classic of McGee’s soulful funk. I’m A […]

From the extended world of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi… Buddy Terry’s Pure Dynamite seems to be a bit slept-on but we think it ranks with the best of the fusion-leaning […]

An undisputed masterpiece from Lovely Music’s “Blue” Gene Tyranny, here are some words by NY label Unseen Worlds, which recently reissued it for the first time ever last […]

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 […]

One of the great holy grails of the 70s, Body, Mind, And Spirit by Harry Whitaker’s Black Renaissance is a soul-jazz masterpiece with plenty of myth and magic […]

With a name like OM, it comes as no surprise that this band has the ability to lull you into a mesmerizing trancelike state. On Advaitic Songs the […]

Leon Thomas might not be a household name in jazz, but you’ve likely heard his voice if you’re a fan of Pharoah Sanders. Thomas was the vocalist and […]

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 […]

Air

Not to be confused with the French electronic duo, Long Island’s Air is a jazz-rock band from the 70’s consisting of four core members – Tom Coppola, John […]

An underrated album from George Duke’s vast catalog, The Aura Will Prevail was released during a time when Duke was experimenting with incorporating R&B vocals into his music. […]

Included in the “cosmic” section of Chee Shimizu’s Obscure Sound disc guide, Paradise Space Shuttle is tenor saxophonist George Adam’s first U.S. release as a bandleader. Adams was […]

You probably know Patrice Rushen from her 1982 hit “Forget Me Nots” and the countless other R&B and disco classics she put out on Elektra in the late […]

J.O.B Orquestra’s Open the Doors to Your Heart is a highly underrated album from the 1970’s New York afro-spiritualist movement that would later become a favorite amongst hip-hop […]

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 […]

Although not a household name, Austrian pianist Joe Zawinul is known by many jazz fans to have been one of Miles Davis’ secret weapons during his Bitches Brew/ […]

Legendary Motown songwriter Leon Ware’s sensual masterpiece Musical Massage is a soul classic that should honestly be a lot more popular than it is. Some say its failure […]

After finding success in composing hits for other artists in the early 60’s (such as the Monkees’ “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like a) […]

Art Blakey & the Afro Drum Ensemble’s The African Beat is a landmark jazz percussion album. Released in 1962, the album was one of the first to bring […]

We came across this one randomly while digging in a $5 and under bin… Inspired School Of Astral Music is the ambient side project of Portland-based experimental producer […]

Stanley Cowell was a highly influential figure within the jazz community who somehow never broke through to the mainstream despite his long and storied career. Cowell started out […]

Gris-Gris by Dr. John is an invocation of the spirit of Bayou Funk and Louisiana Blues mixed with playful psychedelic rock. What’s most exhilarating is being able to […]

Recorded shortly after Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi band broke up, Love, Love continues right where the group left off with two long tracks of deep, avant-garde fusion. The Mwandishi […]

Kathy Smith began as a fixture around the Los Angeles hippie and folk scene of the 60’s and 70’s, playing regularly at venues such as Paradox, the Troubador, […]

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 […]

Originally recorded in 1996 but never officially released due to “creative differences” from their then label, London Records, Sleep’s Dopesmoker first made its way to the public in […]

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 […]

Craig T. Cooper is an LA-based guitarist who recorded two incredible smooth-jazz influenced funk records in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Both albums contain a slew of […]

To say that Le Noise is one of Neil Young’s of most experimental and underrated records would be an understatement. The record, along with its accompanying live DVD, […]

On Sweetnighter, jazz fusion supergroup Weather Report take a decidedly different approach from their first two outings. While still adventurous and free form, the music here is funkier […]

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, […]

Released in 1961, Sunday At The Village Vanguard is a timeless classic that’s routinely ranked as one of the best live jazz recordings of all time. The album […]

An all-time jazz classic, Joe Henderson’s The Elements is a beautiful meeting of five singular talents propelled to cosmic dimensions by the one and only Alice ‘Swami Turiyasangitananda’ Coltrane. […]

On The Corner remains to this day, one of Miles Davis’ most polarizing efforts. Scorned by critics and fans alike upon its release, the free form jazz funk […]

One of the all time greatest 70’s jazz-funk albums, Gears features organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith in collaboration with the legendary Mizell brothers. The album was released in 1975 […]

Famously deleted from the catalogue of Asylum Records, with David Geffen pointedly trying to erase it from history, No Other is the lost and recently found masterpiece by […]

Under the moniker Fools, Chris Bear (the longstanding drummer/multi-instrumentalist of Grizzly Bear, and composer for HBO’s High Maintenance) recently released his first solo album on the Music From […]

Chrome were an experimental rock band formed in San Francisco in 1975. After their first album, the group’s mastermind, Damon Edge, met guitar player Helios Creed and the […]

One of our favorite ECM records, The Jewel In The Lotus is the debut solo album from master bass clarinetist Bennie Maupin. Though not a household name, Maupin […]

Perhaps the most significant thing about Seasons for Pete Jolly was that this album broke away from the more traditional approach that Jolly had been familiar with in […]

Batteaux is a long treasured and notoriously under appreciated 70’s underground folk-funk classic. The only release by the Batteau brother duo is a perfect mix of balearic blue […]

Chicago house music pioneer Larry Heard steps away from the dance floor to circle back on the downtempo and ambient themes previously explored on his 1996 album Alien. […]

Sun Ra’s Angels & Demons at Play is a diptych of a record created from two separate recording sessions recorded four years apart (Side A-1956 and Side B-1960). […]

In 1968, the Everly Brothers had nothing to lose, at least as pop artists. They hadn’t charted in three years, hadn’t been in the Top 10 for a […]

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 […]

When Prince entered the studio to lay down the tracks on For You, the stakes were high. He would be the youngest artist in Warner Bros. history to […]

If you’re familiar with Jessica Pratt’s first two records, her third album, Quiet Sign, isn’t a tremendous departure, per se. But while the first two albums are bedroom […]

Brazilian drummer & percussionist Airto Moreira’s second solo LP Seeds On The Ground – The Natural Sounds Of Airto is a “world music” masterpiece that blends a variety […]

Harumi’s self-titled debut and sole release is one of those quintessentials as far as rare records go. It checks literally all the boxes necessary for what you’d expect […]

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 […]

Most listeners seem to discover the highly regarded avant-garde trumpeter Jon Hassell via his Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics collaboration with Brian Eno which was not just […]

Motown’s Syreeta Wright is a bit of an unsung hero. Although her voice was not as outright powerful as the other soul divas of her day (Aretha, Diana, […]

Sextant, the first record Hancock cut for his new label Columbia Records, was considered a commercial flop upon its release in 1973. The record showcased Hancock’s early adoption […]

I’m the One is the debut LP from avant-garde singer and composer Anette Peacock. Peacock was a mostly self-taught musician who grew up in California and moved to […]

Los Angeles-based singer / ambient musician Ana Roxanne’s debut EP ~~~ is a sacred work of astral ambient music that lands perfectly on local favorite Leaving Records. Through […]

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 […]

Pharoah Sanders’ final album for Impulse! is a joyous message of love for all times. “Love is Everywhere” begins with a gorgeous bass vamp followed by steadily cascading […]

Sensations’ Fix is the brainchild of Italian musician Franco Falsini. In the sixties, Falsini developed his musical chops playing in a beat style band in Florence before moving […]

This surreal and transcendental work by the American avant-garde giant was the first iteration of what would be Robert Ashley’s televised 1983 opera Private Lives. A theatrical work […]

A record that we’d instantly pick out of the stacks based on cover alone, Paul Parrish’s The Forest of My Mind is a wonderful trip through mellow, psychedelic […]

What started as a “just for fun” side project from a little known guitarist has since become a rare and quite sought after 70’s private press, breezy psychedelic […]

It’s no accident that Paranoid is considered one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. “Paranoid is important because it is the blueprint […]

Joni Mitchell’s 8th studio album Hejira has the imagery of highways, small towns and snow, in large part because it was written on a cross country road trip […]

You may not have listened to tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon’s One Flight Up but you’ll feel like you have when you do. As original as he is timeless, […]

One of our many favorites from the legendary Oakland-based label Black Jazz, double bassist Henry Franklin’s The Skipper At Home takes off right where his solo debut The […]

Steve Kuhn’s 1971 self-titled melancholic free jazz opus was written and recorded after he returned from living in Sweden for several years in the wake of his break […]

Time Capsule’s third release is the first-time vinyl reissue of 2003’s Illuminated Audio by Gigi (or rather: producer, bassist and spouse Bill Laswell). It’s essentially a remix album […]

A truly transcendent crossover gospel album by Chicagoan pastor and activist T.L. Barrett and his beloved youth choir. Barrett was the pastor at the Mount Zion church, whose […]

As a possible ode to Mort Garson’s Plantasia, Olive Ardizoni designed their first record as Green-House to communicate with plant life and the people who care for them. […]

Another archeological music discovery by Numero Group, Edge of Daybreak’s Eyes of Love was a long lost prison letter and portrait of incarcerated soul. It was recorded entirely […]

Welcome to the cosmic playground of The Space Lady, the Queen of Outsider Music. The Space Lady (AKA Suzy Soundz; born Susan Dietrich Schneider) has a heart as […]

After a making his way playing guitar and pedal steel in several different psych-rock and modern country groups over the last two decades, Raymond Richards debuts his first […]

A great way to travel when you’re stuck at home is to listen to Houston-based trio Khruangbin, whose band name is the Thai word for “flying engine” or […]

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 […]

It’s hard to pin down where to start with an artist that suffered such an incredibly turbulent life and at the same time, composed – on par with […]

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 […]

A stark, off-kilter, angst-driven, supercharged debut album by British/German political-journalist-turned-singer Annika Henderson, performing as Anika, backed by the experimental electronic rock band BEAK>. The album consists primarily of […]

A free form jazz guitar record by a pioneer of the genre. Metheny plays with a carefree breezy dexterity here, yet manages to keep things tight with his […]

A cult classic originally released as a private pressing in 1975 that became a costly collector’s item over the years, and is now available to the masses thanks […]

Released in 1969, the In A Silent Way Sessions, as they were known, was all recorded in a day. These recordings were a departure for Davis and would […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ever wonder how many amazing unreleased or unheard acetates currently sit in total obscurity, on a shelf somewhere, with decades’ worth of dust, unreleased, or perhaps even completely […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

The debut release from NYC based artist Chester Raj Anand serves as something of an audio diary retelling the experience of a solo trip to Tokyo. The story […]

“I strove to produce a musical work which uplifts the spirit by calming the mind and organically stimulating the subtler dimensions of physiology, in a manner consonant with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

An essential for any Arthur Russell fan, Another Thought is the enigmatic artist’s first posthumous release after passing from AIDS in 1992. Compiled by producer Don Christensen from […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tim Buckley’s third album represented many important changes for the young songwriter. He stopped working with the lyricist of his first two albums and began to write his […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

An In Sheep’s Clothing nighttime favorite, Barbara & Ernie’s only release is a complex combination of soul, folk rock, and late 60’s psychedelia. At first listen, it doesn’t […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

A good rule of thumb if you want to dive into an enormous artist discography and don’t know where to begin: trust the artist’s own recommendation. In this […]

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 […]

What makes this record so special is the sublime interplay between Bill Evans piano playing and Jim Hall’s guitar work. These two masters of their craft found a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A monumental jazz big band record, Masterpieces by Ellington was one of the earliest releases to take advantage of the extended time available on Columbia’s brand new 12-inch […]

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 […]

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 […]

A daytime favorite at ISC, John Carroll Kirby’s solo piano album Tuscany on NYC label Patience is music inspired by a time and a place. The Los Angeles-based […]

A timeless masterpiece by Simon Jeffes’ Penguin Cafe Orchestra. PCO’s sound is difficult to categorize but perhaps best summed up as a mishmash of Jeffes’ eclectic influences – […]

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