Tamao Koike - Automne Dans Un Miroir

[Edit: the song has been completely removed from Youtube! However, you can download a zip file of multiple Koike songs here]

A combination of obscurity and Japanese language barriers make Tamao Koike (or 小池玉緒) an elusive character online. This song, a slice of Francophile synth-pop, was supposedly written by Yellow Magic Orchestra, associates of Koike. With shades of Jane Birkin or a young Charlotte Gainsbourg, this track is utterly gorgeous and unique in its approach.

Label: Yen Records
Year: 1983
Genre: Synth Pop, Dream Pop, Yé-yé

Guest Post: Ed Askew presents Tracks From My Shelf Mix

It is contributions like this that evolve my love for this site - Ed Askew is the massively talented and prolific singer-songwriter, whose career began in 1968 with the release of cult-record Ask The Unicorn. His music is an enchanting stew of folk, psych-pop and jazz; often melancholy, often gleeful. In this exclusive mix, Ed has selected six songs from his record collection: from Margaret Leng Tan's interpretation of John Cage's 'Suit For Toy Piano' to Do Make Say Think's folk-slanted post-rock. Along the way are cuts from celebrated Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell, former-choir boy Liam O'Kane, Harry Partch (who built all of his own instruments) and the renowned ensemble the Kronos Quartet. 

Ed Askew presents...
Tracks From My Shelf Mix:

Margaret Leng Tan - Suite For A Toy Piano 1948
Baden Powell - Berimbau
Liam O'Kane - Politeness Is Free
Harry Partch - Chorus Of Shadows
Kronos Quartet - Cold War Suite from How It Happens
Do Make Say Think - A Tender History In Rust

Many thanks to Ed.

Resonance FM 16/10/13

Wednesday night saw the last in the first series of Dig That Treasure on Resonance FM. 'Series' is used loosely here, and I'll be back in six weeks or so with a new run of episodes. In the meantime, you can catch up on the latest show, in which I played songs from soundtracks, buskers and Iran...

Dig That Treasure (16/10/13)
Shelley Duvall - He Needs Me
Marzieh - Mayzadeh
Neway Debebe - Yitikimt Abeba
The Motifs - Tell Me More
The Motifs - Night Sky
The Space Lady - Synthesize Me

Doug Tielli - A Dream That I Am

Having missed his flight home to his native Toronto, Doug Tielli spent a couple of months living at the base of his label, Tin Angel Records. This song - from his recent record Keresley - combines the folk of rural England and the blue-eyed soul of the US, producing a gorgeous stroll through spirit and beauty.

Label: Tin Angel Records
Year: 2013
Genre: Folk, Soul, Jazz, Chamber Pop

Alemayehu Eshete - Ayalqem Tedengo

Not untypical of Ethiopian music, Ayalquem Tedengo is a song with undeniable charm: an uplifting groove coloured by dancehall pianos, guitar licks and utterly loveable vocals - towards the end, Alemayehu Eshete laughs his way through the final "ay ay ay..." A wonderful cover version by French band Akalé Wubé is available here.

Label: n/a
Year: 1969-74
Genre: Ethiopian Jazz, Afro-Pop

Mutual Benefit - Advanced Falconry

Mutual Benefit is the musical project of Jordan Lee, master craftsman of exquisitely rich electronica-stroked folk. This new cut, 'Advanced Falconry', provides the perfect transition from summer to autumn, with delicate finger-picking, sun-soaked strings and warm vocals.

Label: self-released
Year: 2013
Genre: Folktronica, Folk, Experimental

The Space Lady - Synthesize Me

The most haunting music comes from the most unexpected places. The Space Lady is Susan Deitrich, a street performer based in Colorado, loosely classified as an 'outsider musician'. Her music holds a mystic quality, enhanced by both her cosmic themed aesthetic and her commitment: having performed for over thirty years, her casiotone-based music has become truly timeless and out of this world. 'Synthesize Me' is the embodiment of this - a fragile trip through time and space, asking us to "synthesize me, hypnotise me, humanise me".

Label: n/a / Night School Records (reissue)
Year: 2013 (reissue)
Genre: Synth-Pop, Outsider, Experimental

Brian & Brenda Russell - Think About You

Brian & Brenda Russell were a married couple who made cheesy soul-pop that perfectly captured a certain sound of the 70s. Brenda went on to work with Tina Turner and Diana Ross, and Brian went on to work with Steely Dan and Coldplay. And yet, their records as a couple went strangely unnoticed.

Label: The Rocket Recording Company
Year: 1977
Genre: Pop, Soul

The Pastels - Love, It's Getting Better

The Pastels are nothing short of legendary, putting out numerous albums since 1981, collaborating with Tenniscoats, Jarvis Cocker and Teenage Fanclub and gaining fans in Nirvana among others. Easily one of my favourite bands, their sound is ever-developing and always startlingly fresh. This cut, however, takes a step back in time. A cover of a track by Northern Soul outfit The Groove, this was the fragile (yet somewhat soulful) b-side to The Pastels' 1995 single 'Worlds of Possibility'. Katrina Mitchell's strained vocals are beautiful and sit wonderfully atop the loose instrumental.

Label: Domino
Year: 1995
Genre: Indie Pop, Northern Soul, Twee

Resonance FM 9/10/13

Wednesday saw Dig That Treasure number six on Resonance FM. I span music from Ethiopia, South Africa and Nigeria, as well as a Private Press obscurity and a new-wave rarity! It is available to hear below, along with the tracklist.

Dig That Treasure (9/10/13)
Mag & The Suspects - Thousands Dead
Eddie Callahan - Shake Your Woogie
Dear John Love Emma - When Our Love Moves So Quietly
Dear John Love Emma - Music For a Flood
Alemayehu Eshete - Ayalqem Tedengo
William Onyeabor - Fantastic Man

Eddie Callahan - Shake Your Woogie

Back in August the wonderful South African experimentalist Hleger curated a mix of Private Press music for Dig That Treasure. One of the artists featured there was Eddie Callahan, an American 'outsider' musician who made breezy West Coast pop. 'Shake Your Woogie' is a cut from his 1976 LP False Ego, a little slice of boogie-woogie, reminiscent of Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and other psych-pop weirdos.

Label: Ocean Records
Year: 1976
Genre: Psychedelia, Pop, Private Press, Boogie Woogie

Resonance FM 2/10/13

For yesterday's Resonance show I was joined by the marvellous Huw Oliver as a co-host. Huw played songs from Cambodia and Martinique, whilst I played a 70s soul rarity and - of course - an Ethiopian track among others. I ended the show with a song very special to the blog, for one very clear reason. Listen below...

Dig That Treasure (25/9/13) tracklisting:
The Sylvers - I'll Never Be Ashamed
Muluken Melesse - Lakilign
Graves - Pine Cone
Barel Coppet et Mister Lof - Jeunesse Vauclin
Dengue Fever - Tiger Phone Card
Cryptacize - Dig That Treasure