LULU'S DECEMBER 19 NEWSLETTER
Here is the December 2019 Newsletter, emailed at the start of the month to our mailing list and sent hard copy with all instore orders.
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Featured in this newsletter:
Originally released in 1984 as an extremely limited edition book + cassette package, Haroumi Hosono's "Watering A Flower" release has gone from obscure curio to crown jewel of his oeuvre in a few short YouTube-algorithm-assisted years. While the elevation of this particular release (alongside "Pacific", a similarly once-ignored piece of the Hosono puzzle), at first baffled many long-term fans, its content is so pure in vision, so totally distilled Hosono, that in retrospect it's little wonder why it has attracted such widespread attention.
Originally commissioned by Japanese minimal homewares brand Muji for store background music, the two pieces that lay on either side of this cassette are appropriately sparse in their design. Surprisingly dark at times, the two tracks take the extremely Japanese approach to jingles (as heard in train stations, pharmacies, from speakers on the street - just about anywhere you go) and stretch them to their logical extreme. The melodies repeat, slowly shifting, turning in on themselves, inverting and coming back around. The effect is both mesmerizing and slightly unnerving; the hooks having a habit of slowly wrapping themselves around your psyche without you even realising what's happening. Truly bizarre given their original intended use (there is some debate as to whether this music were ever actually played in-store; Muji may have bit off more then they could chew with this one), these pieces work beautifully even when divorced from fluorescent lights and storage solutions.
This cassette release marks the first time the content has been available in it's original format since 1984. The release takes it's visual cues from the original book design, adorned with an appropriately minimal sketch of stream and sparrow alongside the beautiful original calligraphy. Limited copies.
Black vinyl with hand screened covers, pullout A3 insert/poster & stickers.
Just a few weeks after completely ripping the casing off with their debut 7” comes Leather Lickers - Eye Of The Scared EP. Laid to tape during the same recording session at The Barracks in Geelong, Eye Of The Scared is made up of songs which were written in 2015-2016 and at the time only saw the light of day on a very small run of cassettes and an even smaller string of live shows. These burning jams capture the essence of the band’s approach and have been mastered well into (and beyond) the red to reflect the core: ferocious as hell. Leather Lickers play LOUD and feel it. So should you.
This is a collection of
lyrics from the last decade.
This booklet was
printed for the
in M---------- and our tour of Vietnam and Japan in Nov / Dec 2019.
First edition of 200 copies.
Another Hosono cassette, another piece of the puzzle. On December 14, 1975 Hosono performed a radio session at a venue called Loft in the now extremely hip hub of Shimokitazawa (there still exists a venue called Loft in Shimo, though whether it's the same venue isn't clear). Hosono was riding the success of his second solo record Tropical Dandy and was taking his first steps outside of the folk/psych/rock landscape that he occupied for much of the 1960s and early 70s. This particular performance saw Hosono backed by the then newly formed Moonriders (yeah *that* Moonriders; the same that would play on Steve Hiett's Down On The Road By The Beach eight years later), in what I believe to be the only time they played together publicly. The result is a delightfully unique run through several high points of Hosono's early solo career, the band obviously having a ball playing with and rearranging his compositions to fit their current line-up. Five months following this performance Hosono would record the live album Harry Hosono & Tin Pan Alley In Chinatown with a lineup that featured among others Shigeru Suzuki, Akiko Yano, and a fresh-faced session musician named Ryuichi Sakamoto; a meeting that would go on to change not only their own lives, but the face of music worldwide.
Now here’s a cut from deep within the racks for all you heads out there.
Craig Leon isn’t necessarily a name everyone’s going to recognise but there isn’t a chance you haven’t somehow touched upon his work at some point.
One of punk and new wave’s most influential personalities, A&R man for Sire and producers his illustrious credits include The Ramone’s and Blondies self-titled debuts, Richard Hell’s ‘Blank Generation’ EP, signing Talking Heads, working with everyone from Lee Scratch Perry to the Fall and one of his finest achievements – the incredible production on Suicide’s untouchable debut (PS. that ain’t a space echo).
His first two solo LPs languished in obscurity for years until a rights dispute and subsequent reissue caused Leon to revisit and revise his old work resulting in this years ‘The Canon – Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2’.
Though his work bares more resemblance to that of Hassell and Eno as opposed to his work with Vega and Rev don’t let all those fourth world concepts fool you – this is ambient music infused and informed with the spirit of NYC’s thriving scene in the late 70s/early 80s.
Rhythm, harmonics and feedback take precedence over form and melody resulting in a transcendental, disorientating, meditative mix that sets Leon apart from his peers.
It’s a truly masterful visionary who can pick up where they left off thirty years later and produce work of this quality.