2016 gives us ‘The Rhythm Of Life’ on LP (finally)

Last November we released (sort of) the long-awaited reissue of Mike Lundy’s 1980 Hawaiian holy grail, The Rhythm Of Life. It was accepted with great reviews from critics and listeners worldwide—the title track made it onto Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Winners 2015 list, which broadcast in December.

“The crown jewels of Hawaiian funk, from 1980 — with an open, upful ‘island sound’ attuned to the spaced-out, mystical vibe of classic, late-seventies Roy Ayers, Gary Bartz and co.”

—Honest Jon’s, January 2016

The Rhythm Of Life on deck at Hungry Ear in January 2016.

The Rhythm Of Life on deck at Hungry Ear in January 2016.

While many enjoyed listening to TROL streaming online or as a digital download, many also patiently waited for the vinyl LP to arrive. Delays at the pressing plant pushed our planned November 2015 release out to January 2016. And so we are finally here, and here’s why:

Test pressings just didn’t sound right—a non-fill noise issue here, too much sibilance there—and it happened more than once. We did about 5 rounds of tests. It was deja vu for Lundy. Back in January 2015 at the first AGS release party, our friend shitzr brought in his ridiculously rare copy of an original 1980 test pressing for TROL. Maybe the only one left in existence?? Lundy was floored, you should’ve seen the expression on his face!

Shortly thereafter, Lundy recalled that the original 1980 LP went through a series of test pressings—at least 5—until the sound was just right. This was months before we would receive the first round of tests for our 2015 (um, 2016?) reissue. Something of a coincidence, or perhaps the state of vinyl manufacturing and demand in the 21st century.

Rare as hen's teeth! DJ shitzr's original 1980 test pressing.

Rare as hen’s teeth! DJ shitzr’s original 1980 test pressing.

The bottom line: The Rhythm Of Life has been out-of-print for 35 years, and so taking the necessary steps to ensure Aloha Got Soul gives it the best possible re-release treatment is worth the extra effort (and extra wait).

By the time our shipment of LPs arrived at our doorstep in Honolulu it was already Christmas, and the remainder of the year proved to be so busy that there was just no time to pack and ship all the pre-orders that had poured in since September! It wasn’t until after the new year—after getting married on New Year’s Eve on the Big Island!—that we were able to get the LPs out.

So now that I’ve finally had a chance to catch my breath to write a blog post and all pre-orders have shipped, I want to let you know that a handful of LPs are stocked in our online shop as of today. Once they’re gone… well:

We pressed 1,000 copies total, with no immediate plans for a repress.

Mike Lundy 'The Rhythm Of Life' LP going up on display at Hungry Ear Records.

Mike Lundy ‘The Rhythm Of Life’ LP going up on display at Hungry Ear Records.

We also did a short run of CDs.

There’s a handful of Lundy 7’s left. We don’t plan to repress those, either.

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