Top Reissue Picks Of 2011

Listen to our favorite international compilations and reissues of the year


Shin Joong Hyun – Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea’s…

(Light In The Attic)

Shin Joong Hyun, the godfather of Korean rock, finally gets his first proper retrospective from the west. Filled with 14 of his most essential tracks, it encompasses his many bands and collaborations that spanned from 1958-1974. While best known for pioneering psychedelic western-style guitar playing in Korea, he also had a prolific career writing and producing records for other singers that include the Pearl Sisters, Kim Choo Ja, Kim Sun, Bunny Girls and many others. His trademark sound was unmistakable. His moody reverb drenched guitars displaying just the right amount of fuzz would blend seamlessly with traditional Korean styles and the result was a sound that was unique to only himself. Check out “Please Don’t Bother Me Anymore” which features his backing band, Golden Grapes.

Jokers – Jokers

(Fading Sunshine)

The Jokers release takes the honor of being the most left-field reissue of the year. These unissued master tapes from the 1970s were recently recovered from a studio in Iran and released on Fading Sunshine for the first time. To total surprise, they owned the heaviest sound to come out of Iran, which is why it never saw the light of day in its time. The album is comprised of four loose guitar rock jams, most likely recorded with a single mic, where the band violently shred in the vein of Hendrix and MC5.

Check out the nearly 15 minute jam “Jokers Theme”.

Marijata – This Is Marijata


Marijata’s 1976 LP is perhaps the most sought after African record, with originals often fetching upwards of $1000. That makes this Academy/Voodoo Funk reissue much welcomed. Recorded live, the album features four massive cuts with relentless beats, raw horns and hair-raising screams. The liners mention that in order to retain the gritty in-the-red sound, the album was not digitally altered in anyway for the reissue. I will be anxiously awaiting Academy’s reissue of Marijata’s first LP, Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata, which will hopefully be out sometime in 2012. Listen to “We Live In Peace”.

Los Ovnis – Hippies


Originally founded as The Teddy Bears in 1961, the band changed their name to Los Ovnis, translating to The UFOs, in 1965. This year their 1968 album Hippies, a holy grail of Mexican psych, got a proper reissue through Shadoks. While Hippies was by far their most innovative release, it unfortunately faded into obscurity as the Mexican audience were not prepared for it’s heavy psychedelic sounds at the time. The album’s lack of commercial success resulted in an extremely small pressing run that has made the original record incredibly elusive to collectors. Los Ovnis went on to split up shortly after the release, although they reformed years later and continue to play in Mexico City to this day. Listen to the aggressive “Infinito”.

El Rego – El Rego


El Rego was one of the first Bininese artists that I had become acquainted with when I began to take a strong interest in African records. Since then singles of his have appeared among several Analog Africa compilations, although he has been long deserving of a tribute all his own. In 2008 I first received word that Daptone/Voodoo Funk was taking on the retrospective, although as the years passed I became concerned it would not happen. Flash forward to 2011 and Daptone/Voodoo Funk deliver with a solid collection of El Rego’s top funk and soul sides. There is also an accompanying 45 that compiles the massive funk bomb “Vimado Wingnan” and Afro Latin groover “E Nan Mian Nuku”. Check out his cover of the Super Eagles’ “Feeling You Got”.

The Sound Of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam In Thailand 1964-1975 – Various Artists


2011 proved to be a prolific year for Thai reissues. Soundway, collaborating with international digger Chris Menist, jumps continents to compile this colorful array of Thai funk. Standout tracks include the instrumental funk track “Soul Lam Plearn” by The Petch Pin Thong Band, Waipod Phetsuphan’s “Ding Ding Dong” and Onuma Singsiri’s clubby groover “Mae Kha Som Tam” (listen).

Thai? Dai!: The Heavier Side Of The Luk Thung Underground – Various Artists

(Finders Keepers)

In 2009 when Finders Keepers released their teaser 45 of Sroeng Santi’s “Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng (Up Up Down Down)”, a bizarre tribute to Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, I was immediately intrigued. Thai? Dai!, full dark hard rock riffs, quasi covers and twisted out-of-tune instrumentation, conjures an expedition into the mysterious dark side of Luk Thung. Check out Sroeng Santi’s “Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng”.

Those Shocking, Shaking Days: Indonesia Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk 1970-1978 – Various Artists

(Now Again)

Now Again seized the opportunity to be the first to cull a compilation from the vast, prolific Indonesian music scene of the 1970s. Those Shocking, Shaking Days, proves to be an ambitious collection, bringing many obscure Indonesian gems to light for the first time. The sound ranges from hard rock to progressive to funk and back again. Beautifully packaged as a 3 LP set with extensive liner notes, Those Shocking, Shaking Days stands as the lone testament to Indonesian psych. How about a Volume 2? Listen to The Brims “Anti Gandja”.

Kourosh Yaghmaei – Back From The Brink

(Now Again)

This exquisite 3 LP/2 CD compendium compiles the complete recorded catalog of legendary Iranian artist, Kourosh Yaghmaei. The tracklist consists of his four rare 45s as well as a large number of previously unreleased songs. The liners are a well detailed first person reminiscence from Kourosh himself. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Now Again released a box set including exact reproductions of all Kourosh’s picture sleeve 45s. Check out his brooding ode to solitude and loneliness in “Hajme Khali”.

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One comment

  1. Jangles

    Well, you’re going to be waiting a LOOOONG time for that Marijata! lol, don’t hold your breath. That guy has been holding it hostage for years now.

    Love all those Finder’s Keepers releases. Great stuff.