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Maher Shalal Hash Baz

First Two Cassettes

Midheaven Dubbing Service

Released: 24th September 2021

2x cassette boxset£29.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched tomorrow.

Essential limited edition double cassette boxset featuring faithful replicas of the first two Maher Shalal Hash Baz releases. Comes in block printed cardboard box and reverse board lyric booklet.

One of the great privileges of my life was working on a compilation of Maher Shalal Hash Baz music for Geographic, our label. Katrina and I had been introduced to them by David Keenan who talked about them in mythical, hallowed terms. The music was extraordinary and immediate for both of us. We tracked down Tori Kudo (their mainstay) and his wife, Reiko, via David and Rough Trade and set enthusiastically to work on various projects.

While working on the compilation, From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt) Tori said that some of his favourite Maher music had only come out on two small run cassettes, Maher Shalal Hash Baz and Pass Over Musings. This music was from 1995 and 1996 and Tori had archived copies which we worked on in Abbey Road with Steve Rooke, our favourite mastering engineer. The music was wild and vivid, earlier takes of Unknown Happiness and Great Gothic Country Song and other blocks of chaotic genius. It was clear that Maher had immediately hit a glorious peak with Hiroo Nakazaki’s slightly imperfect euphonium playing and Tori Kudo’s brilliant Syd Barrett styled guitar. It confirmed that this was the group for us, our flagship group.

Holding those TDK tapes felt special, holy grail, I will always remember that. The feeling easily came back to me with this emphatic reissue on Midheaven Dubbing Service. It’s a beautifully realised reissue (although on Maxell as TDK tapes were unobtainable) - so much love and detail has gone into it, the music still sounds unbeatable. Turn it up to 10 and live in it, Tori would probably suggest 5, but we all deserve the best.

Stephen Pastel