…..news letter #718 – lucky 14…..

We might not be American, but that’s not gonna stop us from getting our hands on a whack of all the special Black Friday RSD items coming out. But more importantly, come help celebrate or 14 years of slinging all the best wax in town! It’s hard to believe that I get to do this every day, and that is entirely thanks to you, our fine customers. So to thank you for allowing us to run this little slice of heaven we’re having a sale all weekend for you! Stop in and take advantage of sale pricing. Finish up your Xmas shopping. Start your Xmas shopping. Xmas shop for yourself. Send your loved ones to Xmas shop for you…

saleTo thank you all for another year of support we are giving you 20% off all new and used records and CDs all weekend long! Starting at 10am Friday until 5pm Sunday!

Rega RP1s are $399 (reg. $499)
Rega RP1 w/ Upgrade kit are $599 (reg. $699)

*Sale excludes Record Store Day exclusives, Brand Fucking New Arrivals, special orders and holds, local releases, and consignment items. All other gear is 10%.

…..Black Friday Exclusives…..

Ariel Pink: Heaven Knows (MVD) Pink Ninja Star 7”
B-52s: Live! 8-24-79 (Rhino) Gold Vinyl LP
Beck: Dreams (Capitol) Blue Vinyl 12”
Bedouin Soundclash: Sounding A Mosaic (Side 1 Dummy) LP
Behemoth: Pandemonic Incantations (MVD) LP
Big Star: Jesus Christ (Omnivore) Blue Vinyl 10”
David Bowie: Earthling (Friday Music) Green Vinyl LP
Buzzcocks: Another Music in a Different Kitchen (Parlophone) Orange Vinyl LP
Cardigans: Lone Gone before Daylight (Fugitive)
Johnny Cash: Man in Black Live in Denmark 1971 (Legacy) Red & White LP
Coheed & Cambria: Color Before the Sun (Warner) Clear Vinyl LP
Dictators: The Next Big Thing EP (Epic) 10″
Eagles of Death Metal: Zipper Down (T-Boy) Cassette
Easy-E: Merry Muthafuckin’ Xmas (Universal) 7”
Faith No More: We Care A Lot (Manifesto) LP
Felt: Felt 2 Tribute to Lisa Bonnet (Rhymesayers) Coloured 4LP
Curtis Fuller: Blues-ette (Savoy) LP
Green Day: American Idiot (Reprise) Red, White & Black 2LP
Ben Harper: Fight For Your Mind (Virgin) Red & Green 2LP
Neal Hefti: Batman Theme (Legacy) 7”
John Lee Hooker: Two Sides of John Lee Hooker (Concord) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: London Sessions
International Submarine Band: Safe At Home (Sundazed) Mono White LP
Isley Brothers: Groove With You… Live! (Sony) LP
Jesus & Mary Chain: Barbed Wire Kisses (Rhino) Red LP
B.B. King: The Thrill is Gone (Geffin) 10”
Kinks: Kwyet Kinks (BMG) 7”
Kinks: Dedicated Kinks (BMG) LP
Paul McCartney w/ Michael Jackson: Say Say Say (Hear Music) 12”
Nine Inch Nails: Halo I-IV (Concord) 4LP Box
OST: Color of Noise (MVD) LP
OST: High Fidelity (Walt Disney) Orange LP
OST: True Detective (Capitol) LP
Charlie Parker: Charlie Parker Story (Savoy) LP
Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz at Massey Hall (Concord) 3×10” Box
Les Paul & Mary Ford: Christmas Cheer (Capitol) 10”
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody (Hollywood) 12”
Otis Redding: Shake (Rhino) 7”
Rockabye Baby: Lullaby Renditions of Fleetwood Mac ( ) Blue LP
Ty Segall: Ty Rex (Goner) LP
Sonics: 50 (Light in the Attic) 3LP Box
Spoon: TV Set (Concord) 10”
The Sword: High Country (Razor & Tie) Picture Disc LP
Tenacious D: Live (Sony) LP
Stevie Ray Vaughan: A Legend in the Making (Epic) LP
Vitamin String Quartet: Modest Mouse: Moon & Antarctica (Vitamin) LP
Mike Watt: Back in the Microwave (ORG) 7”
Ween: The Pod (MVD) Clear LP
Frank Zappa: Feeding the Monkies At Ma Maison (Zappa) 12”
Zombies: Live at the BBC (Varese) 2LP

…..news letter #717 – disco disco disco…..

I sure do like boxsets. I’ve spent all day playing the Volcano the Bear boxset through while putting this news letter together. Needless to say, it’s been a pretty great afternoon. Anyway, I’ve got a ton to do so, read on!

Also after I close up tonight I’ll be heading down to the Black Dog to spin some records with Ian “Raebot”. Come on down and hang out!

And lastly, next Friday is Black Friday Record Store Day. Yes we’ll have some of the exclusive releases and yes, we’ll be having our annual anniversary/pre-xmas sale. So come on down and start/finish your xmas shopping!

…..pick of the week…..


Volcano the Bear: Commencing (Miasmah) LP 
Leicester, England — mid-1990s. Aaron Moore, Nick Mott, Clarence Manuelo, and Daniel Padden create a freeform group called Volcano the Bear out of their frustration with standard musical limitations. Now, in 2015, after 20 years of experimenting with improvisation, folk, Dada, post-punk, krautrock, noise, surreal comedy, pure avant-garde, and more, the group has obtained a cult following and high critical praise across the globe. Renowned for their highly theatrical and obscure live performances, as well as their mind-blowing catalog of releases, Volcano the Bear truly is a one-of-a-kind group, consistently pushing forward with their own unique, experimental approach to sound making. Commencing manages to be both a retrospective of the group’s 20-year history since their formation in 1995 as well as its own unique release filled with vast amounts of material. The five LPs presented here, each in individual covers with liner notes for each track on the back and housed together in a deluxe silkscreened box, contain 64 tracks and clock in at over four hours in length. Expect an abundance of previously unreleased material, alternate versions, tracks from early cassette albums never before released on vinyl, live recordings, pieces from forgotten compilation appearances, and more, all mixed and compiled together to form five standalone albums. The set also includes a 50-page book of writings, photos, artwork, and flyers from the band’s long history, along with a download code for the complete set plus a bonus album of ten tracks that didn’t make the final cut. This is the ultimate Volcano the Bear release for fans of the group and of surreal, experimental musical history in general. “Listening to the wealth of mainly unreleased and live material presented here, one’s mind boggles at the wonderful, extraordinary and frankly bizarre pallet these guys have to offer. They take us on a sure fire journey into some of the most healthy and unambiguous, crazed and deadly, astonishing and timeless music to push our pleasure buttons up to 13!” –Steven Stapleton, Cooloorta, May 25, 2015

File Under: Underground Rock, Experimental
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…..new arrivals…..

9th9th Wonder & Talib Kweli: Indie 500 (It’s A Wonderful World) LP
“Two of Hip Hop’s most cherished icons, Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder have come together to create what undoubtedly will go down as an instantly classic album. INDIE 500 features an All Star supporting cast, including Problem, Slug (of Atmosphere), Rapsody, Pharaoh Monch, Brother Ali, Hi-Tek, NIKO IS and more. After exploding on to the scene as one half of the legendary Black Star alongside Mos Def in 1998, Talib Kweli quickly followed up in 2000 with the album Train of Thought, his collaborative effort with producer Hi-Tek. As fans,critics and his peers unanimously agreed, Kweli was cemented as one of hip hop’s top lyricists and continued to release one acclaimed album after another – garnering direct praise from Jay-Z on his song ‘Moment of Clarity’ from Jay-Z’s classic The Black Album. A collaboration between Kweli and 9th almost seemed to make perfect sense, but INDIE 500 represents even more to the artists.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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Adele: 25 (XL) LP
Adele is set to release 25, her highly anticipated third studio album, which will be available globally via Columbia/XL Recordings in November 2015, and is the Grammy-winning singer’s follow-up to her monumental 21 and first new music since her Oscar winning single “Skyfall” in 2012. The 11-track album will be preceded by album opener and debut single “Hello,” available Friday October 23rd. “When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12 I just wanted to be 18. Then after that I stopped wanting to be older. Now I’m ticking 16-24 boxes just to see if I can blag it! I feel like I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away. Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored. Wishing I wasn’t so matter of fact all the time. Wishing I’d gotten to know my great grandmother more, and wishing I didn’t know myself so well, because it means I always know what’s going to happen in the end. Wishing I hadn’t cut my hair off, wishing I was 5’7”. Wishing I’d waited and wishing I’d hurried up as well. “My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. But I haven’t got time to hold on to the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done. Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk. “I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won’t come back. When I was in it I wanted out! So typical. I’m on about being a teenager: sitting around and chatting shit, not caring about the future because it didn’t matter then like it does now. The ability to be flippant about everything and there be no consequences. Even following and breaking rules…is better than making the rules. 25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising. And I’m sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened.” – Adele

File Under: Pop
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ADMX-71: Coherent Abstractions (L.I.E.S.) LP
Adam X is back with his third album release under his industrial guise, ADMX-71. Following releases with the legendary label Hands and his own imprint, Sonic Groove Experiments, Adam paired up with L.I.E.S Records in 2014 for The Redacted Files, a 12″ of slowed-down and tense EBM wizardry. Adam now returns to the L.I.E.S. front with Coherent Abstractions, an album of singular experiments that pull from every corner of electronic music’s landscape into a comprehensive and propulsive full-length. Coherent Abstractions pulsates with fractured rhythms, vacillating melodies, and mesmerizing compositions that showcase Adam’s impressive history working in all aspects of the underbelly of electronic music. Noise and industrial elements seep into the album’s 11 songs, churning the cold and abrasive into feverish new territory. Though Coherent Abstractions operates primarily in sounds of solitude, guest vocalist Janina joins “Bound and Broken” for a rare vocal collaboration on an ADMX-71 track. We also hear a frantic vocal performance from the producer on “Nearing Obliteration,” which is undoubtedly the apex of the album. Throughout the album the music sweeps from breakbeat noir and anxious electronic dub to reflective industrial modes, making Coherent Abstractions an engaging and varied listen, updating a late-’80s EBM tone into modern sound design environments while pushing a reverence for the past and heading into the deep unknown of the future. For those unfamiliar with Adam’s deeply rooted history in the New York underground, he and his brother, Frankie Bones, pioneered techno in a post-disco, pre-Giuliani New York City through the late ’80s and onward past the ’90s, producing countless records under various guises and finally opening their own shop and record label, Sonic Groove. At the same time they began throwing renegade parties, known as Storm Rave, throughout the five boroughs — a practice that was unheard of at the time in such a major US metropolis and opened the door for what was to come.

File Under: Techno, Industrial, Noise
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Alessandro Alessandroni: Angoscia (Intervallo) LP
Originally released in 1975 by Italian label Octopus Records, a label devoted to thematic libraries, Angoscia is one of the best works by Italian composer Alessandro Alessandroni. Famous for his film-score work — often with such masters as Piero Umiliani and Ennio Morricone, with whom he collaborated to create some truly immortal soundtracks (especially those written for Sergio Leone) — Alessandroni also developed a parallel career as an author of library music, freely crossing and touching every music genre. Alone, or together with friends and pupils like Rino de Filippi (aka Gisteri) and Giuliano Sorgini (aka Raskovich), he always managed to push the boundaries of experimentation, but with great taste and personality, never giving up on the majestic orchestrations characteristic of his art. Angoscia, released when Alessandroni was at his creative peak, features 12 tracks revolving around the album’s core theme of angoscia, or anguish; the pieces move through dismay, desperation, uncertainty, pride, resignation, frustration, desolation, agony, prostration, obsession, and, finally, fear. Thirty minutes of anguish have never seemed so enticing and nuanced… Edition of 300 copies; first-ever reissue; remastered sound.

File Under: Italian, Library
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Bembeya Jazz: Sous la Direction de Diaoune Hamidou (Editions Syliphone Conakry) LP
One of four albums in a series of reissues that represent a unique moment in African music, all originally released on the Guinean state-funded label Editions Syliphone Conakry. Faithfully recreated from the best original sources. In the late 1940s West Africa was bursting with energy, as first Ghana, and then, in 1958, Guinea, gained their independence. In the case of Guinea, its birth was sudden and dramatic; France, the colonial power at the time, withdrew within one month of the vote for independence, famously taking “everything including the lightbulbs.” Guinea had to start from scratch, not least in its approach to the arts, which the new state wanted to modernize while still remaining true to tradition. This policy was called authenticité. Music was its focus and Syliphone its record label, and Guinean music soon became a shining example for other emerging African nations. It even attracted artists and activists such as Miriam Makeba and her then-husband, ex-Black Panther Stokely Carmichael who, harassed by the CIA, moved to Guinea in 1968. Under authenticité, musicians were employed by the state, given instruments, and encouraged to create a new but traditionally-rooted music. A whole system of regional and national bands was established, with regular competitions to establish precedence. It’s also worth noting that from the Guinean perspective, this “tradition” included Latin music, the African roots of which were considered so obvious as to be beyond debate. Very quickly, three bands rose to the top: Orchestre Paillote, later to become Keletigui et ses Tambourinis (SLP 001LP); Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, later to become Balla et ses Balladins (SLP 002LP); and, perhaps the strongest of them all, Bembeya Jazz. This is the first reissue of the first full-length album recording from Bembeya Jazz, faithfully recreated as originally presented, sequenced, and released in 1967.

File Under: African, World
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Jill Cislaghi: Friends of Mine (Yoga) LP
Jill Cislaghi cut her one and only album in 1977, during her senior year at Regis College in Massachusetts. She recorded solely for friends, family, and as a memento for the members of her graduating class. Friends of Mine describes the loves and tribulations of Cislaghi’s life with a mixture of naiveté and wisdom. With nothing more than her voice and (mostly unplugged) guitar, Cislaghi’s folk sound is singular and resonant, bold yet humble. Friends of Mine’s hopeful yet wintry vision should appeal to fans of Sibylle Baier, Karen Dalton, Ruthann Friedman, and Ted Lucas. First-ever reissue; includes previously-unreleased bonus track “Lazy J.” Eco-rational 135-gram vinyl and high-quality tip-on sleeves. One-time limited pressing of 500. A coproduction of Yoga Records and Music Inside Records.

 File Under: Folk
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Coil: Backwards (Cold Spring) LP
Gatefold double LP version. Includes insert and download code. After the groundbreaking release of 1990’s Love’s Secret Domain album, Coil were not dormant; their main project was Backwards, which was started in 1992, updated considerably between 1993 and 1995, and transferred in 1996 to New Orleans, where it was finished in the magic of the Nothing Studios of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). The album saw the fruition of Jhonn Balance’s recent vocal-coaching, which produced haunting, passionate vocals while reaching new heights. Now, in 2015, 23 years after its initiation, these tracks have been beautifully preserved by Danny Hyde and are finally available in highest quality audio. Differing substantially from the later, remixed incarnation, The New Backwards (2008), Backwards contains the original versions of Coil’s much-loved tracks “A Cold Cell” and “Fire of the Mind,” which have appeared on various compilations over the years, and are now presented as originally intended. This album is the essential bridge between LSD and the later Musick to Play in the Dark series; an essential conduit to understand the journey that Coil took.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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Jack Costanzo: Mr. Bongo (Jazzman) LP
Twenty-six red-hot, skin-slappin’, bongo-bashin’ Latin jazz ‘n’ mambo bangers! The phrase “living legend” is undoubtedly overused, but there can be few people more deserving of such an accolade than Jack Costanzo. Born on September 24, 1919, Costanzo is arguably the most significant percussionist of the modern era. Playing with many key orchestras, leading his own band, appearing in numerous TV shows and films, and tutoring bongo playing to the stars, more than any other figure Jack Costanzo brought percussion, specifically Latin percussion and his trademark bongos, to widespread attention. But he wasn’t merely a popularist; he was revered by his peers and critics alike for his natural ability, invention, and, perhaps most importantly, his sheer versatility. He became known as “Mr. Bongo” (first coined by jazz critic Leonard Feather), and the tag could hardly be more appropriate. Latin music and its influence in general is often criminally overlooked in music history, but as a white Italian American who rose to prominence playing Latin music at the height of the mambo craze of the 1950s, Jack Costanzo has probably been even more neglected. This 26-track retrospective seeks to give him the special treatment his spectacular career deserves. Showcasing many of the musical highlights of his mid-’50s peak and featuring extensive liner notes based on new interviews with Costanzo himself, Mr. Bongo serves as a perfect introduction to the many who may not yet be aware of Jack Costanzo, and provides those who are already fans with the ultimate collection of his work. All tracks digitally restored from original sources.

File Under: Latin Jazz, Bongos
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Miles Davis: Live in Tokyo 1975 (Hi Hat) LP
On his tour of Japan in early 1975, Miles Davis presented some of the most searing electric fusion ever heard in concert. The performances on this double LP set, from a soundboard recording for FM broadcast, hail from a January 22 gig at Shinjuku Kohseinenkin Hall in Tokyo. Staged ten days earlier than the February 1 shows at which his Agharta and Pangaea LPs were recorded, this includes some songs not contained on those albums, and spotlights one of the most adventurous bands Davis assembled. The complete broadcast is presented here in remastered sound with an insert of background liners and photos.

File Under: Jazz


Dr. Dre: Compton (Aftermath) LP
In tomorrow…. It’s official, the Doctor is back with a masterful body of work, dedicated to the people of the city where he came from: Compton, California. Marking the hip-hop legend’s first new album in over 15 years, the 16-track effort that’s musically “ornate and grand-scaled,” as noted by the New York Times, is rich with imagery and ideology about life in the infamous southern Los Angeles neighborhood. It has been heralded – via Rolling Stone, who remarks Compton “contains some of his most ambitious, idea-stuffed production ever,” the Guardian, who names Dre’s “gift for rejuvenation remarkable,” and Grantland who calls it “the first undeniably earth-shifting and socially abstract eyes-wide-open moment in a solo career” – as offering a unique new view of the city’s evolution over the last several decades, since Dr. Dre and N.W.A. put Compton on the cultural map with the 1988 release of their classic record, Straight Outta Compton. Featuring production assistance from Focus, DJ Dahi, Free School, DJ Khalil and DJ Premier plus guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Cold 187um, The Game, Ice Cube, Xzibit, and Jill Scott among others.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Hartmut Geerken: Insistency! (Holidays) LP
Third — and sadly last — chapter of the archival recordings fixed on tape by Hartmut Geerken during his stay in Kabul in the ’70s. Insistency! was recorded at the Goethe-Institut Afghanistan in Kabul on same day as the duo session of Hindukush Serenade — May 22, 1977 — but also sees Maqsud Schukurwali and Ghafur Rasul — members of the Free Jazz Group Kabul — joining Geerken and John Tchicai and playing an insistent anthem, also featuring an eight-year-old Olaf Geerken on congas. On side B, the music gets quieter and Tchicai finds the perfect moment to release his yelled, ecstatic chant, slowly turning into a hypnotizing song. Edition of 250.

File Under: Jazz, Improv, Experimental


Giovanni Di Domenico/Jim O’Rourke: Arco (Die Schachtel) LP
Starting with this release (despite the fact that its catalog number numerically precedes ZEITC 017CD), Die Schachtel switches its Zeit Composers series to the vinyl format and begins opening up to international artists besides the usual Italian suspects. This LP features the collaborative effort of Belgium-based composer Giovanni di Domenico (of Italian origins) and avant-everything master Jim O’Rourke. A long composition for strings and electronics, Arco is a piece for sustained tones and drones, vividly immersive and almost physical. The subtly shifting tones, the way the overtones interact with each other, the evolution of the piece, are all impeccable, much in the vein of acclaimed composers like Catherine Christer Hennix, Éliane Radigue, and David Behrman, although with a “warmer” soul. It explores the antinomy between stillness and movement, building toward a hypnotic (and rewarding) aural experience. In Giovanni di Domenico’s words: “Arco is born out of two necessities, strongly interrelated: 1) creating a sonic space where the concept of waiting (patience?) can turn into form, and 2) doing this together with Jim O’Rourke, a musician who finds in form and its use his true greatness; The structure of the composition is quite simple: it is based on a cell of four repeated notes (the ‘DNA’ of the piece), forming a melodic/harmonic texture which slowly freezes into suspended, levitating chords, in which the passing of time itself becomes a sort of harmonic extension, and in which the strings and the splendidly rich sonic palette of the electronics fuse into the true essence of Form.” Each LP contains a 90x30cm-long tri-folded silver-and-black offset art print designed by Dinamomilano. Edition of 350. Giovanni di Domenico: string score; Jim O’Rourke: electronics. Ananta Roosens and Benoit Leseure: violins; Nicole Miller and Jef Durdu: violas; Marine Horbaczewski and Jean-Philippe Feiss: cellos.

File Under: Drone, Ambient, Minimalism
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Haku: Na Mele A Ka Haku (Music of Haku) (EM) LP
Synthesizers and the human voice. Hawaii. The 1970s. Haku, aka Frank Tavares, a writer and musician, had a deep respect for the multiethnic character of his native Hawaii, and composed a number of theater pieces and songs to highlight this culture. However, he avoided many of the standard musical tropes, choosing to build his own studio and make all the music on synthesizers, a first for Hawaii. New age musical elements, traditional Hawaiian music, and unclassifiable madness, all played on glorious analog synths, are the foundation for songs and stories delivered in Hawaiian, Japanese, and English, reflecting Hawaii’s multiethnic nature. Developed and recorded over several years, released in 1975 on vinyl, and woefully hard to find, it is now reissued for the first time.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Hawaii
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Hawkwind: Warrior on the Edge of Time (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Deluxe vinyl edition. “Warrior on the Edge of Time” is Hawkwind’s fifth studio album. It reached number 13 on the U.K. album charts at the time of it’s initial release and was their third and last album to make the U.S. Billboard chart, where it peaked at number 150. Warrior on the edge of time truly shows that it is possible for lightning to strike the same place twice. With this record being equal in stature and ability to Hall of the Mountain Grill. 180 Gram yellow vinyl – limited edition.

File Under: Space Rock
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Gerardo Iacoucci: Simbolismo Psichedelico (Intervallo) LP
Gerardo Iacoucci attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and, later, founded the Scuola Popolare di Musica di Testaccio in Rome, but he is mainly remembered as an excellent jazz pianist. During his long career, the musician born in Veroli, Italy, explored — with great dedication and talent — various different music genres and recorded many libraries, many of which qualify as small masterpieces. One of the most famous is Simbolismo Psichedelico, originally released in 1970 by the small Deneb label (home of other heavyweights such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Amedeo Tommasi, Stefano Torossi, and Daniela Casa), and also pressed in France by the St Germain des Prés label with the title Symbolisme Psychédélique. These 11 tracks tirelessly explore the boundaries of an “expressive urge,” which is the signature style of a master like Iacoucci. The disturbing atmospheres of “Fantasmi Lunari,” the avant-garde drive of “Ipnosi” and “Inibizioni” (two short sketches at the end of the album), and the free mood of “Psicopatologia” are just a few among the best and most essential moments of this gem. There are no limits or fears in Simbolismo Psichedelico — this is an incredible, and truly hallucinatory, sensory experience. Edition of 300 copies; first-ever reissue; remastered sound.

File Under: Italian, Library
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Kyoka: Is (Is Superpowered) (Raster Noton) LP
Limited deluxe edition of Kyoka’s 2014 album Is (Is Superpowered) (R-N 153CD). 180-gram LP packaged in handmade cardboard slipcase with silkscreened Kyoka logo designed by Hamburg-based illustrator Alex Solman. Includes CD and download code for the 12 tracks on the CD plus a Japan-only bonus track. On Is (Is Superpowered), Kyoka uses her own voice much more often than usual, in the form of short snippets as well as longer sung melodies. These elements are set and arranged as if they were an autonomous instrument. Sometimes these voices give the impression of being a Babel-esque language mix-up, or even a kind of cryptic message for the listener, as found in the song “Meander.” The production process of the record was heavily supported by her label-mates Frank Bretschneider and Robert Lippok — a unique production team in the history of Raster-Noton. While Lippok focused on preserving the roughness and complexity of Kyoka’s compositions, Bretschneider concentrated on refining their fluidity and focus. Both tried to keep the vitality and hyperactivity of the initial tracks without losing their distinctive eccentricity. Although Kyoka’s sound is often somewhat chaotic, it is by no means stressful, but energizing and easy to enjoy. The only exception to this can be found in “Piezo Version Vision,” the noticeably roughest track of the record. Her particularly progressive style is best reflected by the song “Re-pulsion,” a rolling groove combined with unusual clicks and snares and topped with crazy-sounding voice fragments. The album thus further deepens what she initiated with Ununpentium/iSH (R-N 115EP), released in 2012 as part five of Raster-Noton’s Unun series. It presents a stylistically broader spectrum of Kyoka’s music, but at the same time exhibits the fresh and positive, sometimes even child-like attitude for which she is already known.

File Under: Electronic, Glitch
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landLand: Anoxia (Important) LP
The second L A N D album, Anoxia, sees Daniel Lea return alone with an outing that marks a shift from the industrial-inflected jazz-noir of 2012’s Night Within into distinctly new terrain. Mixed by Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík; mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin. CD packaged in a combination offset/screenprinted jacket. “Anoxia” means “total absence of oxygen,” and in Lea’s hands the term heralds aural environments that are full of the dreams of humanity yet may well be devoid of its living presence. The Anthropocene era in which we live has seen the rise of many human-made monuments that add up to a total presence that humanity will leave behind; Lea’s labyrinthine arrangements are a soundtrack to such a world, one without humanity that is nevertheless fully marked and constructed by humans. From the very first moments of the pummeling djun djun skins and the growing bowed rototoms of “Labyrinthitis,” the direction is one of a more radical constructivist sound rooted in modernist architecture. Lea has elevated his practice to the point at which he cleaves space sonically, and Frost is the perfect person to mix such spaces. The results are visions of a brutalist world slowly decaying, but with the mellifluous harmonics of vegetation and fluid matter entwining through the ruination. Other tracks rise up like towers in a city, growing from the metallic chimes and structured percussion; one sees visions of the Balfron Tower or the Genex Tower, but such associations do not tether this work to geographical real-world locations. Anoxia may well be in a time outside of time. On “Anoxia,” cello harmonics swing their head and screech like prancing komodo dragons, marking the entry to the final track, the “End Zone,” with which Lea carries out his own initiation ritual, a dance between those edifices left beneath the growing millennial weeds and forests. Monuments that will long outlast their creators. Daniel Lea: sound design, field recordings, processing, electronics, composition, production. With Rupert Clervaux: drums, percussion, aluphone, crotales, copper pipes; Jamie McCarthy: cello on “Metamorphosis,” “Equinox,” “Transition,” and “Anoxia” and bowed percussion and copper pipes on “Equinox” and “Anoxia”; Clive Bell: shakuhachi on “Drop City,” “Equinox,” and “Anoxia”; Leo Abrahams: processed guitars on “Neutra,” “Transition,” and “End Zone”; Mark Wastell: tamtam on “Neutra,” “Equinox,” “Transition,” “Anoxia,” and “End Zone”; and Dom Garwood: clarinets on “Labyrinithitis.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Heather Leigh: I Abused Animal (Idealogic Organ) LP
I Abused Animal is Heather Leigh’s first solo album for Ideologic Organ, following solo albums on Kendra Steiner Editions, Golden Lab Records, Not Not Fun, Fag Tapes, Wish Image, Volcanic Tongue’s label, and more. Renowned as a fearless free improviser, Leigh showcases her songwriting prowess on I Abused Animal, foregrounding her stunning voice and her innovations for the pedal steel guitar. Warmly recorded in a secret location in the English countryside, the album transports the power of her captivating live performances to a studio setting, capturing her tactile playing in full clarity while making devastating use of volume and space. Leigh explores themes of abuse, sexual instinct, vulnerability, memory, shadow, fantasy, cruelty, and projection. I Abused Animal is a personal, idiosyncratic, and deeply psychedelic work, ranging from almost Kousokuya-scale black blues through the kind of ethereal electro-ritual of Solstice-era Coil. At times the intimacy of the recordings makes you feel like she’s singing directly into your ear, playing just for you. Leigh has performed and released music since the 1990s as a solo artist and with a wide range of uncompromising collaborators including Peter Brötzmann and Jandek, and has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Her playing is as physical as it is phantom, combining spontaneous compositions with a feel for the full interaction of flesh with hallucinatory power sources. With a rare combination of sensitivity and strength, Leigh’s steel mainlines sanctified slide guitar and deforms it using hypnotic tone-implosions while juggling walls of bleeding amp-tone with choral-vocal-constructs and wrenching single-note ascensions. She’s played, performed, and released music with Ash Castles on the Ghost Coast, Charalambides, Scorces (a duo with Christina Carter), Dream/Aktion Unit (a group with Thurston Moore, Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano, and Matt Heyner), Taurpis Tula, Jailbreak (a duo with Corsano), Termas (a duo with Lynda), Annihilating Light (a duo with Stefan Jaworzyn), Richard Youngs, Blood Stereo, MV & EE, Robbie Yeats of The Dead C, John Olson of Wolf Eyes, Smegma, Jutta Koether, Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Bär, and many others. I Abused Animal was composed and performed by Heather Leigh. Recorded and engineered by Joe Gubay in Surrey, October 2014. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering in Berlin, July 2015. Photographs by David Keenan. Spiritual adviser: Dean Roberts. Ideologic Organ curation and art direction by Stephen O’Malley; manufactured and distributed by Editions Mego.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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Jacques Lejeune: Early Works 1969-1970 (Robot) LP
This LP of early compositions by Jacques Lejeune features three seminal works: D’une Multitude En Fête and Petite Suite, originally released in the Perspective Musicales series in 1970, and a previously unpublished composition, Géodes, from the same period. These three pieces (not included in Robot’s 2013 Parages and Other Electroacoustic Works 1971-1985 three-CD set (ROBOT 042CD)) are some of Lejeune’s earliest music for tape and may be considered a “prequel” to his later, more thematic works. Still, his concise musical narrative is ever-present in these first recordings. The side-long D’une Multitude En Fête (1969) refers to multitude, number, celebration, and any crowd situation as a form of ceremony — all evoking a circular gaze, as topics of the different aural events and their anecdotal development emerge, leading to the dream, as a story we tell to ourselves. Géodes (1970) features percussion improvisations by Lauréat Dionne with Lejeune’s tape work inflecting prisms deep into its thundering, rhythmic core. This concert version appears on vinyl for the first time. Concluding the album is Petite Suite (1970), with each section referencing a traditional musical form using both anecdotal as well as instrumental flourishes. The original drum and guitar elements are performed here by Michel Foudrinoy and Jean-Pierre Vassout. These pieces have been compared to Pierre Henry’s bold rock themes in Messe Pour Le Temps Présent and also recall the peculiar atmospheres of some of the great early Nurse with Wound records that would follow. In contrast, Lejeune’s early approach was heavily steeped in sonic narratives, combining unusual and ambiguous events to create a sound world uniquely his own. Early Works 1969-1970 explores the first precision splices by one of the true visionaries of musique concrète.

File Under: Early Electronic, Musique Concrete
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med blu

Med Blu Madlib: Bad Neighbor (Bang Ya Head) LP
With 100% beats by Madlib, “Bad Neighbor” is the brainchild of MED – a cornerstone in Stones Throw’s history — and Blu – the voice behind modern classics like “Below the Heavens” — who instantly clicked a decade earlier on tour with Emanon. The album is an exclamation point on the idea that began with “The Burgundy EP”, expanded to include Dam Funk and Mayer Hawthorne on “The Buzz EP”, and continued until contributions from Anderson.Paak (Dr. Dre’s Compton), Hodgy Beats (Odd Future), and the one-and-only MF DOOM made “Bad Neighbor” ready to launch. But “Bad Neighbor” isn’t the first time MED and Madlib’s orbits have collided. A fellow head from the fertile crescent of Oxnard, CA, MED not only guested on the now-classic “Soundpieces” by Lootpack in ’99, he also dropped into Madvillain’s “Raid” (“Madvillainy”, 2004) and made his mark on Quasimoto’s “Unseen” (2000), not to mention making the sole MC appearance on Madlib’s acclaimed “Shades of Blue”. Madlib, in turn, provided the lion’s share of production on MED’s “Classic” and “Push Comes to Shove” alongside J Dilla and Oh No. Meanwhile Blu, besides earning HipHopDX’s “Rookie of the Year” bona fides, put LA back on the map alongside Exile and as a self-produced solo artist. “Bad Neighbor”, although hazy, heavy, and blunted under the influence of Madlib’s aesthetic backbone, floats effortlessly above the smoke by virtue of MED and Blu’s sometimes topical, sometimes acrobatic, and always on-point interplay. The album is undoubtedly an extension of all three artists’ signature sounds, but it simultaneously defies all precedents to reaffirm each individual’s position at the forefront of LA’s legendary hip-hop landscape.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Moonsocket: Eurydice (Noyes) LP
Moonsocket is Chris Thompson, and Chris Thompson is a Canadian treasure. Eurydice is his first Moonsocket release in 18 years. Since 1997’s Take The Mountain LP, Chris Thompson has released two critically acclaimed records as part of The Memories Attack, and also embarked on wildly successful reunion tours as part of Eric’s Trip, whose seminal Love Tara record was recently reissued on Sub Pop. Eurydice sees Thompson return to the Moonsocket moniker and craft a collection of songs that are equal parts intimate, heartbreaking, and brilliant.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon, Eric’s Trip
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moufangMoufang/Czamanski: Live in Seattle
(Further) LP

In May 2013, at a nondescript Seattle space called 1927 Events, two-thirds of Magic Mountain High — Germany’s David Moufang aka Move D and the Netherlands’ Jordan Czamanski of Juju & Jordash — teamed up for the kind of live performance during which you say to yourself, “I hope to hell somebody’s recording this.” Thankfully, somebody was doing just that, and the 99-minute Live in Seattle is the sterling result. People throw around the word “deep” to describe electronic music with cavalier frequency, but in the case of Moufang and Czamanski (who also records as Jordan GCZ), that adjective barely encapsulates the kind of fathomless sound they create. Live in Seattle captures them working at the zenith of their improvisational powers for a rabid crowd. The show begins with anticipatory cymbal taps and a beautifully morose melodica motif that wouldn’t sound out of place in an Ennio Morricone soundtrack. A few minutes in, faint pulses enter earshot and a minute later the clap-enhanced beats and synth-bass burst into the forefront to form a strutting mid-tempo rhythm with a subliminal drone swirling beneath it. Masters of dynamics, Moufang and Czamanski incrementally intensify and ingeniously arrange the elements, especially that underlying keyboard drone, until you’re in a state of panic and ecstasy. Over the course of the set, the two producers flaunt their expertise for pacing. They avoid the obvious and subvert expectations throughout the performance, sporadically letting the beats drop out in order to luxuriate on a particularly alien organ oscillation, a sinister bass rumble, an ominously pulsating synth, an unsettling thumb-piano motif, or a mind-warping 303 acid ripple, to name just a handful of examples. Of course, Moufang and Czamanski also keep things danceable for stretches of time, and about 78 minutes in, they even shift out of their foundation of oddity and into heavenly techno mode with a gloriously ascendant melody. For their well-deserved encore, Moufang and Czamanski reprise the intro’s mournful melodica reverie and then infiltrate it with a series of percolating and disorienting bleeps and a celestial drone worthy of new age legend Laraaji. This stellar ambient coda reflects Moufang and Czamanski’s exceptional, eccentric musicality. Techno is not known for its live albums, but Live in Seattle sets the standard for the format, with its abundant, sublime tunefulness, textural richness, and enchantingly enigmatic tangents.

File Under: Techno, Ambient
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Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden of Delete (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. Through an intricate unveiling of song snippets, film clips and a rabbit hole of internet postings involving a mysterious character named Ezra and world of music revolving around the band Kaoss Edge, Daniel Lopatin has revealed his latest release as Oneohtrix Point Never entitled Garden of Delete. After spending time on tour with Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, Lopatin found himself gravitating towards the idea of creating a more rock inspired record. Building up from simple piano arrangements, the songs play with the idea of a 3 minute, “one-point-perspective” of a traditional rock song, but through the lense of Oneohtrix Point Never. Songs like “Ezra,” “Lift” and lead single “I Bite Through It” all hint at a verse-chorus-verse structure of a rock song, buried beneath layers of abstraction and manipulation one would expect from an Oneohtrix Point Never track, while the album’s magnificent 8 minute long centerpiece “Mutant Standard” shifts and changes, finding it’s closest rock relatives amongst prog and jam bands. Like Aphex Twin and the Prodigy before him, Lopatin manages to meld these seemingly distant sounds into a sound that is truly his own. Outside of his work as Oneohtrix Point Never, Daniel Lopatin founded Brooklyn-based Software Recording Company and has collaborated with a multitude of talented artists, directors, musicians and leading arts institutions; from Sofia Coppola to Ariel Kleiman, Antony & The Johnsons to Nine Inch Nails, Tate Modern to MoMA. Gatefold 2LP-set with printed inners and 8-page 12″ size insert.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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Orchestre Paillote: Sous la Direction de Traore Keletigui (Editions Syliphone Conakry) LP
One of four albums in a series of reissues that represent a unique moment in African music, all originally released on the Guinean state-funded label Editions Syliphone Conakry. Faithfully recreated from the best original sources. In the late 1940s West Africa was bursting with energy, as first Ghana, and then, in 1958, Guinea, gained their independence. In the case of Guinea, its birth was sudden and dramatic; France, the colonial power at the time, withdrew within one month of the vote for independence, famously taking “everything including the lightbulbs.” Guinea had to start from scratch, not least in its approach to the arts, which the new state wanted to modernize while still remaining true to tradition. This policy was called authenticité. Music was its focus and Syliphone its record label, and Guinean music soon became a shining example for other emerging African nations. It even attracted artists and activists such as Miriam Makeba and her then-husband, ex-Black Panther Stokely Carmichael who, harassed by the CIA, moved to Guinea in 1968. Under authenticité, musicians were employed by the state, given instruments, and encouraged to create a new but traditionally-rooted music. A whole system of regional and national bands was established, with regular competitions to establish precedence. It’s also worth noting that from the Guinean perspective, this “tradition” included Latin music, the African roots of which were considered so obvious as to be beyond debate. Very quickly, three bands rose to the top: Orchestre Paillote, later to become Keletigui et ses Tambourinis; Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, later to become Balla et ses Balladins (SLP 002LP); and, perhaps the strongest of them all, Bembeya Jazz (SLP 004LP). This is the first vinyl reissue of the first full-length album recording from Orchestre Paillote, faithfully recreated as originally presented, sequenced, and released in 1967.

File Under: Africa, World
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jardinOrchestre Du Jardin De Guinee: Sous La Direction de Onivogui Balla (Editions Syliphone Conakry) LP
One of four albums in a series of reissues that represent a unique moment in African music, all originally released on the Guinean state-funded label Editions Syliphone Conakry. Faithfully recreated from the best original sources. In the late 1940s West Africa was bursting with energy, as first Ghana, and then, in 1958, Guinea, gained their independence. In the case of Guinea, its birth was sudden and dramatic; France, the colonial power at the time, withdrew within one month of the vote for independence, famously taking “everything including the lightbulbs.” Guinea had to start from scratch, not least in its approach to the arts, which the new state wanted to modernize while still remaining true to tradition. This policy was called authenticité. Music was its focus and Syliphone its record label, and Guinean music soon became a shining example for other emerging African nations. It even attracted artists and activists such as Miriam Makeba and her then-husband, ex-Black Panther Stokely Carmichael who, harassed by the CIA, moved to Guinea in 1968. Under authenticité, musicians were employed by the state, given instruments, and encouraged to create a new but traditionally-rooted music. A whole system of regional and national bands was established, with regular competitions to establish precedence. It’s also worth noting that from the Guinean perspective, this “tradition” included Latin music, the African roots of which were considered so obvious as to be beyond debate. Very quickly, three bands rose to the top: Orchestre Paillote, later to become Keletigui et ses Tambourinis (SLP 001LP); Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, later to become Balla et ses Balladins; and, perhaps the strongest of them all, Bembeya Jazz (SLP 004LP). This is the first reissue of the first full-length album recording from Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, faithfully recreated as originally presented, sequenced, and released in 1967.

File Under: World, Africa
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orcuttBill Orcutt & Jacob Felix Heule: Colonial Donuts (Palilalia) LP
Guitarist Bill Orcutt and drummer Jacob Felix Heule (Ettrick, Fred Frith, Sult) have been performing regularly around the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, but this is their first release together. Recorded in Orcutt’s living room in the early months of 2015 and named after a chain of Oakland coffee shops, Colonial Donuts collects 13 compact, stylistically diverse duets for electric guitar and drums, ranging from hushed, socially anxious folk to sprung electric blues to dense, pummeling free improvisation. Mixed by Frank Falestra at Dan Hosker Studios in Miami Beach; mastered by James Plotkin; designed by Bill Orcutt.

File Under: Guitar, Improv
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Osiris: s/t (Pharaway Sounds) LP
First-ever vinyl reissue of this prog/psych masterpiece by cult Arabian band Osiris, their 1982 debut album. A killer blend of ’70s-sounding hard, progressive/psychedelic sounds with long, ripping Minimoog and analog synth attacks smashed into mellow vibes and Arabian folky touches, with hard lead guitar, exotic percussion, floating rhythm section, and English vocals. Osiris formed in Bahrain, the small island country in the Persian Gulf, in the late ’70s, but its story goes back to 1969, when talented brothers Mohamed and Nabil Alsadeqi formed a funk rock band called Witch. The band broke up when Mohamed left to pursue his studies in Texas, while his brother Nabil left for London. Upon returning to Bahrain in 1980, the two brothers decided to form the first progressive rock band from Bahrain. It was not easy to find like-minded musicians in their town, but they succeeded, with help from Mohammed Shafii (bass), Sami Al-Jamea (keyboards), Mohamed Amin Kooheji (guitar, bass, vocals), and Abdul Razzak Aryan (keyboards). Mohamed and Nabil began working out an original repertoire that would fuse musical complexity, melodic richness, and Arab culture. They took the name “Osiris” from Egyptian mythology, not only for its sound but also for its associations with Arab culture, youth, and fertility. But the definitive Osiris line-up came up when they added a charismatic singer named Isa Janahi. Osiris made their live debut at the end of 1981. Janahi wore flashy, colored clothes and capes and captivated the audience with his presence on stage. The group also used lasers, a light show, and smoke bombs, all deftly handled by friends of the band. Osiris was recorded at the only eight-track studio in Bahrain at the time. It was recorded and mixed in just three days. As there weren’t any record pressing plants in Bahrain, the band had to press the albums in the Philippines. They sold 1000 copies in Bahrain, but a few made their way to the USA and the UK, appearing in some rare records list by those in the know. Osiris will please not only those into classic prog-rock in the vein of Camel, Yes, or Pink Floyd, but also those for looking for exotic, psychedelic sounds and beats. Master tape sound. Includes insert with photos and liner notes.

File Under: Psych, Prog
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part wildPart Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides: ike/Portent (Golden Lab) LP
Utterly stunning album from the long-running (and just-married) duo of Kelly Jayne Jones and Pascal Nichols, better known to the world as Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. They’ve moved so far, now, from their Japanese-esque psychedelicised beginnings back in the mid-’00s where celebratory flute and drums cascaded into one another like competing tsunamis. Not that what they were doing back then wasn’t already brilliant — in fact, they heralded what felt, at the time, like it might be a whole new era of British drone (a movement that never really came to pass). It’s just that, since then, they’ve become such masters of their craft that it’s hard to feel anything but awe upon listening to Pike/Portent. For starters, they do less. In other words, they seem to be as obsessed nowadays with the space between sounds as they do with the sounds themselves. Resonance too. This record sounds like it was recorded in a cave by the ocean, it’s as simple as that. Secondly, while it’s still an exploration of the transitory potential of the relationship between the embellished trapezoid drum kit and the naked flute, it’s just more interrelated, more dynamic, more alive. Jones, in particular, seems to have found the perfect spaces in which to interject complementary and/or jarring sounds (clanking pebbles, pouring water, electronics, etc.). It’s almost impossible to consider the result in terms of improvisational music — it’s just so considered, so accomplished, so communicative. 140-gram vinyl. Limited edition of 250.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Improv


Rocket Robert: s/t (Got Kinda Lost) LP
Those who’ve dirtied their fingers searching high and low for analog synth nuggets can rejoice at the arrival of under-the-radar synthesizer maverick “Rocket” Robert Moore. This first-time reissue is less a reissue than an exhumation, as Moore originally released his singular, unique 1982 Rocket Robert LP in edition of 142 hand-screenprinted copies on his own Salem, Oregon-based Future Records; few copies circulated outside Oregon. Rocket Robert drifts in the backward-looking sounds of early synth innovators while also mining the kraut-tinged moments of punk-era instro-synth explorers and the first breaths of synth-pop — rather than carrying similarities to the new wave that was then taking hold of the masses. Moore’s debut is simultaneously lighthearted and shot through with ominous oscillations, and offers up a darkly-throbbing, otherworldly vibe that is sure to ensnare synth-heads, beat-diggers, and those searching the margins of the private-press phenomenon alike. RIYL Delia Derbyshire, Fad Gadget, Mort Garson, Gershon Kingsley, Martin Rev, Morton Subotnick, etc. Includes two previously-unreleased, spaced-out electro-pop songs from the album sessions. Insert features informative liner notes by Dave Segal (staff writer for Seattle’s alternative weekly The Stranger) based on interviews with Moore, as well as rare photos from Moore’s archives. Original master tape sound.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop, Private Press
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salomanGabriel Saloman: Movement Building Vol 2 (Shelter Press) LP
Gabriel Saloman presents the second volume in his Movement Building trilogy, continuing the release of original compositions commissioned for contemporary dance works. Following the enthusiastically received first installment — Vol. 1’s album-length The Disciplined Body — Saloman offers up five tracks that combine shimmering bowed guitars and reverberant acoustic percussion into a meditative and powerful break from anything he’s produced before. Mobilizing the frequencies of contemporary electronic music (fine-tuned to speaker-rattling effect by Helmut Erler at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering), Movement Building Vol. 2 abandons the conventional instrumentation- and genre-motifs embraced by many of Saloman’s peers in favor of a unique hybrid of avant-drone, psych-rock, and Japanese traditional music. In 2013 Saloman was commissioned by the Vancouver, Canada-based dance company 605 Collective to collaborate on the multimedia dance performance The Sensationalists (2015). An early inspiration for both The Sensationalists and the music collected in Movement Building Vol. 2 was Yasunari Kawabata’s 1956 novel Snow Country; its tragic love affair became a thematic and contextual source for early phases of the project, and much of the music on this album is a result. Borrowing compositionally and tonally from Taiko drums and Gagaku (an ancient drone-based imperial court music), Saloman reproduced sounds originating in traditional Japanese drums, wind, and string instruments almost completely on guitar, ride cymbals, and snare drum. This influence is most explicit in the undulating rhythms that open the first side of Vol. 2 (“Contained Battle/Ascend”) and the layered escalation of “Gagaku,” a methodical combination of rhythm and drone that climbs to a peak of psych-tinged burning guitar lines. Concluding the album is a version of Miles Davis’s classic ballad, “My Funny Valentine,” an uncanny combination of original percussion and guitar, collaged together with what may be a live recording of Davis’s “second great quintet” taken from YouTube, processed, and time-stretched on tape. Just as Saloman’s previous output has combined cinematic atmospheres with guitar-driven climaxes that easily appeal to fans of neo-classical experimentalism and post-rock-informed drone, this record opens new compositional territory while maintaining a recognizable melancholy ambience. Exposure to the monolithic bass and open spaces of dub-influenced EDM has led Saloman in a different direction than many of his peers (including artists such as Cut Hands, Vatican Shadow, and former Yellow Swans bandmate Pete Swanson) and toward something that moves bodies and triggers their nerve endings, but with no concession to the dancefloor.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Modern Classical
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Silkworm: It’ll Be Cool (Touch & Go) LP
Founded in 1987, Silkworm were: Andy Cohen (also in Bottomless Pit, and Mint Mile) on various stringed instruments with frets, Michael Dahlquist on drums and cymbals and occasional guitar, and Tim Midgett (Bottomless Pit, Mint Mile) on bass and other guitars. With the core members in place, It’ll Be Cool also includes Matt Kadane (Bedhead, The New Year) playing his natural instrument of piano as well as other keyboard-based devices. It’ll Be Cool was the ninth Silkworm album. Originally released in 2004 on CD only and now available on LP for the first time in over 11 years. It’ll Be Cool was pored over meticulously for almost a year from start to finish. Everyone associated with the record is confident of its worth, and they offer it to you with the best of intentions and open hearts. “…Silkworm have moved above and below the cultural radar… The band’s signature sound, laced with an experimental approach to the formal elements of rock, has made them equally loved and ignored, depending on various fashions. Thankfully, however, Silkworm has never bothered to respond to fashion…” – Dusted “Silkworm’s songs are full of holes, but… wide-open spaces can inspire some crazy-ass dreams. Welcome to the new weird America.” – SPIN

File Under: Indie Rock
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6oaaSix Organs of Admittance: Hexadic II (Drag City) LP
Sounding forth from a resonating body, the music of Six Organs of Admittance seems to reach us from an ancient remove. Ben Chasny’s 6OOA vehicle is a wide-ranging craft, spanning over a dozen albums whose gaze is always shifting, but whose focus never wavers, descending through a labyrinth of contrasting lexicons (both linguistic and musical) in an attempt to resolve existential codes while engaging the listener and the musician in shared pursuit. With Hexadic II, Ben Chasny’s unique touch on acoustic guitar is brought back to our ears after what feels like a kind of forever. What may signify to some ears as folk music is caught in an equally compelling undertow of powerful subterranean energy. Ghostly vocals of divergent timbres sing over the fluid interplay of guitars, harmonium, violin—and pure space, as the reverberant room around the sounds plays as much a part in the experience as the music.

File Under: Guitar, Psych
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Steven Stapleton & Christopher Heemann: Painting with Priests (Robot) LP
Robot Records, in association with Yessmissolga and Elica Editions, presents the vinyl release of the long-fabled duo collaboration by Steven Stapleton and Christoph Heemann. This historic live performance took place on November 21, 2009, at the ancient Ivrea Synagogue in Ivrea, Italy. After working together for many years on various Current 93, Nurse with Wound, and H.N.A.S. sessions, these two old friends met for a rare moment of performance completely independent of thematic material and engaged in a near-telepathic, mysterious one-to-one improvisation, where textural worlds merge, hot, on the spot. While one may discover an intriguing intersection between each of their respective solo works, the real magic of this duo encounter evokes something strangely unfamiliar and altogether new. With this generous edit of the highly acclaimed concert, Painting with Priests exhibits a rare session of both artists’ eccentric talents in a palette of colors and mystery across a highly detailed musical canvas. Front cover features new artwork by Stapleton, with back cover featuring a previously unpublished drawing by Heemann.

File Under: Experimental, Ambient
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turmanRobert Turman: Macro (La Delirante) LP
“Macro was originally going to be titled Roots, because it really goes back to what I was doing 40 years ago, just more modernized technique. I had always taken small snippets of tape and records, repeated them, slowed down, modified, and layered etc. Macro was all done on the computer. I’d been thinking about how in the old days, pop songs were always between two and three minutes long. Most of my music has always been longer extended pieces. I wanted to recreate the feel of noise in the pop song format, so I specifically created an album’s worth of songs, all at exactly three minutes, a concept album I suppose. Micro samples were cut, copied, pasted, and totally whacked out. As with all of my music, I have always defied anyone to identify the samples” –Robert Turman. Previously released on cassette by Fabrica Records in 2012, with the separate tracks crossfaded to make each side a continuous track. Here, the individual tracks are divided as originally conceived. Limited edition of 218 screenprinted and numbered copies.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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visionistVisionist: Safe (Pan) LP
Having partnered with Bill Kouligas in 2015 to relaunch his Lost Codes imprint as Codes, Visionist takes a defining step forward with the release of his debut album, Safe. The South London artist born Louis Carnell broke during a period of experimentation in UK music when, with the disintegration of the dubstep scene, emerging producers began looking to juke and Chicago house for inspiration. A pair of EPs on Lit City Trax (and a collaboration with Fatima Al Qadiri) in 2013 and ’14 introduced Visionist’s minimalist take on fractured R&B and liquid grime, establishing him as a leading voice in new wave UK soundsystem culture. On Safe, Visionist sculpts and extends that signature into new terrain and makes his most personal statement yet. Distilling his influences down to a sparse palette of manipulated folk, pop, and R&B a cappellas; icy synths; and metallic drum samples, he plays off ever-present anxiety and his own battle not to let it overwhelm him. “Comfort, protection, salvation — this is what we search for,” he says. “We are taught that a life of no worries is better for us, and therefore we try to create one that is ‘Safe.'” But while safe as a musical concept implies conformity, Safe as an artistic statement is anything but. At a moment when the UK scene, once known for innovation, has settled into rehashing old tropes, Visionist continues to propel his sound into more experimental territory. The album traces the arc of an anxiety attack, from its onset through to recovery. Following the stately discord of brief opener “You Stayed,” the grimy, ballistic assault of “Victim” sends its targets diving into mirrored corners. “I’ve Said” is a brutal, almost militant advance, its sound cutting in and out as though transmitted via shortwave radio. “Too Careful to Care” trades in skittering paranoia, with the soporific “Sleep Luxury” closing out affairs. Since 2012, Visionist has toured extensively throughout Europe, The Unites States, and Asia, appearing at industry standard clubs and festivals like Fabric, Berghain, Sonar, and Unsound as well as various underground venues. He has scored music for Kenzo, Liam Hodges, and Roxanne Farahmand in the world of fashion, and remixed Kelis, Ghostpoet, and Glasser. In 2014, he supported FKA Twigs on her first-ever UK tour. Photography and artwork by Daniel Sannwald; layout by Bill Kouligas.

File Under: Electronic, Grime
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Various: [Cease & Desist] DIY! (Optimo) LP
[Cease & Desist] DIY! Cult Classics from the Post-Punk Era (1978-1982) collects 15 UK 7″ singles recorded between 1978 and 1982, compiled by JD Twitch to showcase the DIY spirit of those times. “If Punk was the nuclear detonation, the fallout that came after was where a lot of the most interesting music of that era was made. People who would never have thought to release a record before realised it was something they could do, and the end result was a DIY explosion. I’ve always loved music that doesn’t try to fit in a particular genre, that is anti-canonical and doesn’t care what else is going on in music at that time, that takes risks and is full of imagination and ideas that may or may not make any logical sense but that resulted in something unique, that ignores conventions about how a record SHOULD be produced and that was created simply because its creators felt the urge to express themselves and share the results with some other people. This compilation compiles 15 tracks that fulfil all those criteria. None of them had any success, most are (unjustly) obscure but every one of them has inspired me and would be in my ultimate 7″ singles box” –JD Twitch. This release has been a real labor of love, involving tracing long-lost artists to far-flung corners of the globe, persuading them that the modern world needs to hear the music they made several decades ago, tracking down masters — lovingly restoring 7″s in place of lost masters in some cases — and conceiving an elaborate package with detailed sleeve notes to house the double album. Unfortunately, the original choice of title for this release infringed on the copyright of a series of well-known pop compilations released by a certain major label. They sent a cease and desist letter (hence the title of this edition), and did not accept proposed modifications to the original sleeves, so this edition is released in a more conventional package than was intended. Gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves containing sleeve notes and detailed overviews of each individual track by JD Twitch and an introduction by New York’s DIY expert Dan Selzer. Includes tracks by Tesco Bombers, Sara Goes Pop, People in Motion, Nancy Sesay & the Melodaires, The Distributors, Dorothy, Thomas Leer, Visitors, The Murphy Federation, The Cro-Tones, Fatal Microbes, Spunky Onions, The Fakes, and The Prats.

File Under: DIY, Post-Punk
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this recordVarious: This Record Belongs to __________ (Light In The Attic) LP
“We are pleased to announce that Light In The Attic & Third Man Records are joining forces to show impressionable, young minds the virtues of good music and vinyl records with our exclusive children’s compilation, This Record Belongs To______ available November 6th on LP and CD accompanied by Third Man Record’s new portable light-weight children’s turntable with built in speakers and a USB port for converting vinyl records to digital. Parents everywhere rejoice! What if your favorite children’s book were not only a timeless story but came with a soundtrack of tunes that kids and grown-ups alike would love? Hold onto your boots… it’s here! This Record Belongs To______ is the antidote to your standard kids compilations. You won’t find boy bands, princesses, or purple dinosaurs here. Instead the record consists of two halves?an upbeat side for daytime dancin’ and a mellow side for bedtime lullabies. Among the many gems featured include songs from Carole King, Woody Guthrie, Donovan, Harry Nilsson, Jerry Garcia, Nina Simone, Kermit The Frog and more. Inspired by the classic Little Golden Books Series and Sesame Street’s In Harmony albums, This Record Belongs To ______ stems from a love of music, reading, and a passion for teaching future generations the interactive experience of holding an album in your hands, putting needle to groove, and immersing yourself in the pages of a record’s sleeve as the music plays. The compilation was compiled and sequenced by DJ and friend, Zach Cowie, who is as dear to our hearts as this collection of songs (previously passed around as a gift between friends) and is the soundtrack for many LITA & TMR offspring. These kiddos now all have undeniably excellent taste in tunes. The record is accompanied by an original, full-color storybook illustrated by acclaimed artist, Jess Rotter, which tells the tale of five forest pals who find a mysterious object — a round, flat disc that they proceed to investigate. The animal friends finally solve the mystery and learn how to play a record and let their bodies move to the groove (within the grooves).”

File Under: Rock, Kids
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Maki Asakawa: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Capitol) LP
Nick Cave: Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed) LP
Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
D’Angelo: Black Messiah (Sony) LP
Daft Punk: 2007: Alive (Parlophone) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Human After All (EMI) LP
Del Tha Funky Homosapien: Wish My Brother George Was Here (Traffic) LP
Ellis/Graingeer: At Dusk (El Paraiso) LP
Fat Boys: s/t (Tin Pan Apple) LP
Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Warner) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (Blue Note) LP
Ariel Kalma: Osmose (Black Sweat) LP
KMD: Bl_ck B_st_rds (Metal Face) LP
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening (DFA) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
MF Doom: Mm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Mission of Burma: VS (Fire) LP
Pere Ubu: Modern Dance (Fire) LP
Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Fire) LP
Psicomagia: s/t (El Paraiso) LP
Purity Ring: Another Eternity (Last Gang) LP
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: s/t (Stax) LP
Vito Ricci: I Was Crossing (Music From Memory) LP
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Polydor) LP
Rush: Counterparts (Anthem) LP
Rush: Fly By Night (Anthem) LP
Rush: Moving Pictures (Anthem) LP
Shigganaon: Sela (El Paraiso) LP
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (Bethlehem) LP
This Heat: Deceit (This Is) CD
Various: African Scream Contest (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas (World Psych) LP
Various: Ork Records (Numero) LP Box
Various: Son Cubano N.Y.C. (Honest Jon’s) LP


Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule… en route
Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… en route
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… who knows
Sigur Ros: Takk… now December sometime
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA

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…..news letter #716 – dirty boots…..

This list may be short, but it sure seems like there’s a lot in this week. Maybe it’s just a lot of restocks. Anyway, Black Friday Record Store Day is creeping up on us so, lots to do here, so I’ll leave you to it….

Oh ya… I’ll be DJing down at the Black Dog next Thursday night after I close up shop with Ian Rae for Dig it Thursdays. If you live down there you should come out and listen to me play some bonkers tunes.

…..pick of the week…..harmoniaHarmonia: Complete Works (Gronland) 5LP Box
In tomorrow... Few bands match the pastoral beauty and majesty of Harmonia, the short-lived German band that existed from 1973 to 1976. The ‘Krautrock’ supergroup, brought together Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, and Michael Rother of NEU!, who were later joined by Brian Eno. The box set contains five vinyl records: Musik von Harmonia (1974), Deluxe (1975), Harmonia & Eno ’76 / Tracks and Traces (1997), Harmonia Live 1974 (2007) and the previously unreleased Documents 1975, plus extras: a lush 36 page booklet including previously unreleased photography documenting the history of Harmonia, the original Harmonia live poster, and a beautiful pop-up presenting the Harmonia headquarters in Forst. Additionally, there is a download code for all of the songs in the boxset.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmische
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…..new arrivals…..


Diiv: Oshin (Captured Tracks) LP
DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and frontman of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new Brooklyn four-piece. Recently inked to the uber-reliable Captured Tracks imprint, DIIV created instant vibrations in the blog-world with their impressionistic debut Sometime; finding its way onto the esteemed pages of Pitchfork and Altered Zones a mere matter of weeks after the group’s formation. Enlisting the aid of NYC indie-scene-luminary, Devin Ruben Perez, former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, and Mr. Smith’s childhood friend Andrew Bailey, DIIV craft a sound that is at once familial and frost-bitten. Indebted to classic kraut, dreamy Creation-records psychedelia, and the primitive-crunch of late-80s Seattle, the band walk a divisive yet perfectly fused patch of classic-underground influence.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled (Kranky) LP
“Steve Hauschildt’s new album is his first since the late 2012 release of Sequitur. Although Where All Is Fled sonically harkens back to his earlier albums such as Rapt for Liquid Minister and Tragedy & Geometry, it slowly becomes apparent that it is also a divergence from those recordings. Both the artwork and the music on this new work were heavily inspired by surrealist landscape paintings, early alchemical emblems, and recurring visions Steve had from dreams. The result is a pristine series of cascading melodies, fantastical terrains of layered lattices, and overlapping patterns of synthesizers superimposed with orchestral instrumentation. Hidden in the crevices of the album are processed crowd sounds, re-sampled text-to-speech synthesis, piano, and animal noises which reveal themselves after repeated listens and blur together notions of artificial and natural sound. While slowly unfurling, each sound is given it’s own place and space, never hurried, never cluttered. The album is a modern kosmische milepost, and the most accomplished statement of Steve Hauschildt’s vision yet.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Kacy & Clayton: Strange Country (Big White Cloud) LP
Second cousins Clayton Linthicum and Kacy Anderson grew up in the Wood Mountain Hills of southern Saskatchewan, and they’re familial connection grew into a musical one. Teaming up with the Deep Dark Woods’ Ryan Boldt, the duo released their debut The Day Is Past & Gone in 2013, and they’re continuing to look forward with the new LP. Through a stint playing with Boldt in the Deep Dark Woods, Linthicum met fellow Saskatchewan musician Shuyler Jansen, who ended up producing the new album. The band describe the new material as a collection of songs that shows off a “darker and more worldly side of life.” These stories are told through “the imagery and language of the old folk forms,” but manage to bring a fresh perspective and sound to Canadian folk music that is all their own. It shines through on Strange Country, which is due out on November 13 through Big White Cloud Records.

File Under: Folk
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Loscil: Plume (Kranky) LP
“This is the first vinyl issue of the classic fourth loscil album originally released in May of 2006. from the original onesheet: Scott Morgan notes: Compositionally, many tracks on Plume are similar in approach to First Narrows; they started with a harmonic root from which sounds were processed into a loose structure over which the live players could improvise. There was substantially less editing this time around with the live tracks. I opted to choose the better improvised passes and merely mix them in and out rather than cut them up. I think this leaves a lot more natural space and balances the heavily structured and repetitive electronic elements with more organic performed layers. Jason Zumpano returned from the First Narrows ensemble and I also recruited long time friend Steve Wood and my partner Krista to play some ebow guitar as well as Josh Lindstrom to play some xylophone and vibraphone which added some new elements into the mix. Thematically, I stuck with things that are quintessentially loscil; flow, subtle movement, gradual transition, growth. Also of significance to this album is the family connection. ‘Charlie’ was composed after seeing and hearing my daughter Sadie through ultrasound while still in the womb. The track was also composed as a womb-like sound experience for her to sleep to after she was born, hence the heart beats.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Majical Cloudz: Are You Alone? (Arts & Crafts) LP
In 2013, the Canadian musical-performance art project Majical Cloudz released Impersonator via touchstone indie label Matador, garnering praise from tastemakers and mainstream media as one of the year’s best and most notable albums. Since then, principle writer and vocalist Devon Welsh has been fastidiously crafting the band’s second studio album, Are You Alone?, while simultaneously touring the world with producer Matthew Otto. Building off a solidly-laid visual and sonic foundation, the conceptual narrative remains – simple yet emotionally forthcoming lyrics showcasing raw vulnerability, backed by sparse instrumentation and minimalist production. Welsh delivers melancholic but melody driven vocals echoing off elemental tones, praising love and friendship, commiserating over heartbreak and sadness. Written and recorded between Montreal and Detroit, Are You Alone? features drum, viola and piano support from Canadian composition genius Owen Pallett, known for his work with Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Death from Above 1979, and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. Coming as no surprise, Welsh and Otto have created another soulful novella, continuing to contribute to the evolution of sound in pop, indie, and electronic music.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Pop
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The Necks: Vertigo (Northern Spy) LP
The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world. It follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’. In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.” Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures. One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo.

File Under: Jazz
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Panda Bear: Crosswords (Domino) LP
Panda Bear’s latest five track collection, Crosswords EP, sees wind in his sails as we follow him on his next wide-eyed quantum leap from 2015’s acclaimed album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper with the escalator firmly jammed on up. On his Crosswords EP, Noah Lennox bequeaths five fresh and finely observed body-pop wonders – three new songs: “No Mans Land,” “Jabberwocky” and “Cosplay” – and two re-castings of previous ore – “The Preakness” – previously heard in spirited demo form on 2012’s Tomboy LP boxset – and the whole shebang treasure-topped with a fresh take on his PBVSGR soul tour de force “Crosswords.” Aided on studio production duties by Sonic Boom, the five EP tracks take us tumbling down the metaphorical rabbit hole once more…as Noah’s latest Adventures in Wonderland continue. The 12″ comes appropriately enveloped in eye-popping fashion with artwork by Swiss artist Marco Papiro and with custom type-faces by Black Dice’s Bjorn Copeland.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Soldiers of Fortune: Early Risers (Mexican Summer) LP
Soldiers of Fortune started back in 2004 as an antiband! The idea was to put together a cracked mercenary “dirty dozen” type of outfit, who were never gonna write songs, never gonna practice, never gonna record music, make any product for public consumption or ever hit the road! Their only goal was to play a rare show every now and then that they could assault, terrorize, and shred, relying only on instinct, intuition and the chemistry of the band of bros in the moment of battle (show) – it was either sink or swim, or death before glory. Now here we are, ten years later: Mexican Summer A&R gave Soldiers of Fortune the opportunity to record a dozen embryonic ‘song ideas’ over an afternoon. The band called up friends who know how to sing and finished up the damn thing in like three days. The result is an LP called Early Riser, and beyond the core troupe consisting of Brad Truax (Interpol), Kid Millions (Man Forever, Oneida), Barry London (Oneida), Matt Sweeney (Chavez), Jesper Eklow (Endless Boogie), Mike Bones, and the elusive Papa Crazee (Oneida) they abused the superior vocal stylings of Clark “Yeremias” Bronson, Stephen Malkmus, Cass McCombs, Dan Melchior, Ethan Miller and Matt McCaley. Early Risers is the sound of utter confusion and unfocused tender hatred in song form. Mastered by Greg Calibi and pressed on standard black vinyl cut at 33 rpm. Housed in a 12″ single pocket jacket on reverse board stock with accompanying digital download code.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Spelljammer: Ancient of Days (Riding Easy) LP
Ancient of Days is not just the band’s third release, but in many ways, a rebirth. It’s Spelljammer’s first recording as a trio – with Olsson taking over bass duties and new drummer Jonatan Rimsbo battering the skins – and the culmination of a progressive move toward a heavier, doom-laden sound, away from the desert rock leanings of their 2010 debut Inches From the Sun. Vol II saw the band spreading out into darker territories. After writing sessions fell apart in 2013 for a followup to Vol II (reissued in early 2015 by RidingEasy Records) Olsson and guitarist Robert Sorling scrapped nearly everything following the departure of half of the band. The two began to build from the ground up as a duo with new ideas that resulted in the invigorated Ancient of Days. It’s the band’s most focused and deliberate in both its complexities and simplicities. There’s the pummeling heft of detuned guitars rumbling across the rugged expanse of unwieldy drums counterbalanced with moments of Master of Reality-era Sabbath’s introspective acoustic breaks and Pink Floyd’s Meddle-era psychedelia. These extreme shifts in dynamic give the band’s third album a sense of epic depth unlike most of Spelljammer’s peers.

File Under: Metal, Stoner Rock
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Ugly Casanova: Sharpen Your Teeth (Sub Pop) LP
Ugly Casanova is Isaac Brock, of Modest Mouse. Or, possibly, it is a mysterious savant named Edgar Graham, who imposed himself on Modest Mouse at the Denver show of the band’s 1998 tour, introduced himself as Ugly Casanova, and, through a haze of unnerving instability, shared some rough songs with the band. His songs, though delivered hesitantly…shamefully, even…displayed unmistakable talent. By the end of Modest Mouse’s tour, Ugly Casanova, with much reluctance, was persuaded to record some of these songs and hand them over to record labels for issue as singles or parts of compilations. Predictably, immediately after he had done so, he disappeared. Other than a sheaf of ramblings delivered to Modest Mouse’s singer Isaac Brock in the summer of 1999 that then inspired that band’s The Moon and Antarctica nothing had been heard from Casanova in years and those that still thought of him grew fewer. Then in November of 2001, a faded and water-damaged bundle was discovered among a stack of old packages during one of those general decontamination purges that so often follows a mail scare. Addressed simply to “Sub Pop, Seattle, WA,” there was little evidence of its origin. Inside, swathed in tape, Silly Putty and pelts of three identifiable rodents was a greeting from the long-lost Graham. Numerous tapes and a list of requests that alternated between raving demands for destruction of said tapes and meek pleas for recognition of their contents were extracted from the mess of the package. Fortunately Sub Pop recognized that the tapes held promise, and released them in 2002 as Sharpen Your Teeth. Until such time as Graham/Casanova resurfaces to take credit for his work and add a bit more to whatever understanding of him still exists, Sharpen Your Teeth will have to suffice. Produced by Brian Deck and Isaac Brock at Glacial Pace Studios (Oregon), Ugly Casanova’s songs are here performed by Misters Brock and Deck, as well as John Orth (Holopaw), Tim Rutili (Califone, Red Red Meat), Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession), and a handful of like-minded collaborators. This 2015 vinyl edition includes four bonus tracks originally released on long-deleted 7″ singles.

File Under: Indie Rock, Modest Mouse
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Various: A Funky Trip (BGP) LP
Original Motown Funk Brother Dave Hamilton is known for his stunning and in-demand northern soul productions, but he also made some of the very best Detroit funk recordings. In the last decade those productions have been sought after by DJs and collectors. This compilation combines his biggest successes with music that has until now never been available on vinyl. Billy Garner’s ‘Brand New Girl’ is one of the biggest vintage funk tracks of the last decade, whilst Prophet & The Disciples’ ‘You Fool, You Fool’ is a £500 single being reissued on vinyl for the first time. Other cuts released on record for the first time include Johnny Walker’s ‘Funky Trip’ and James Carpenter’s ‘Party Time’ and could soon join them on the dance-floor.

File Under: Funk, Soul


Various: Brown Acid: The First Trip (Riding Easy) LP
Expertly archived compilation (assembled by LA’s Permanent Records along with Riding Easy) explores the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner lost rock tracks from the past 30 years. Brown Acid: The First Trip opens with the slithering buzzsaw guitars and hard-rock howl of Zeke’s’ “Box”, a monster that gives Blue Cheer a run for their leaden blues. Snow sways into “Sunflower” with a touch of Steppenwolf’s swagger and wind-in-their-hair wildness. Elsewhere, Zebra proves they were “Wasted” with a soul-inflected groove, while Bob Goodsite leans in on his wah-wah and phaser pedals, determined to out-Hendrix Jimi himself on “Faze.” Raw Meat’s “Stand By Girl” serves up a fierce, stomping riff intercut with Iron Butterfly style operatics. Bacchus kicks out a hostile sounding boogie, demanding to “Carry My Load.” Josefus caps it all off nicely with a hooky power-pop meets Bob Seger System meets Lollipop Shoppe anthem with the undeniably catchy chorus, “hard luck – keep truckin’!”

File Under: Pre-Stoner, Proto-Metal
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Alkoholiks: 21 & Over (Euro Repro) LP
Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam (Domino) LP
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say… (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: Humbug (Domino) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Capitol) LP
Beach House: Bloom (Sub Pop) LP
Beck: Odelay (Euro Repro) LP
Beck: Mutations (Euro Repro) LP
Beck: Mellow Gold (Euro Repro) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light In The Attic) LP
David Bowie: Low (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Lodger (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Heroes (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Man Who Sold The World (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Scary Monsters (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (Euro Repro) LP
Damned: Damned Damned Damned (Euro Repro) LP
Dangermouse & Jay-z: Grey Album (Euro Repro) LP
Death Grips: Exmilitary (Euro Repro) LP
Decemberists: Florasongs (Capitol) LP
Desert Sessions: 1/2 (Euro Repro) LP
Eric B & Rakim: Paid In Full (Euro Repro) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honey Bear (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Gza: Liquid Swords (Geffen) LP
Jurassic 5: Quality Control (Get on Down) LP
Kadavar: Berlin (Nuclear Blast) LP
Killers: Hot Fuss (Euro Repro) LP
Kraftwerk: Ralf & Florian (Euro Repro) LP
Kraftwerk: Computer World (Euro Repro) LP
Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge) 6×10″
Mogwai: Rave Tapes (Sub Pop) LP
Mogwai: Hardcore Will Never Die (Sub Pop) LP
Mudhoney: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (Sub Pop) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Euro Repro) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Isn’t Anything (Euro Repro) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Night Beats: s/t (Trouble in Mind) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 1 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 2 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 3 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 4 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 5 (Euro Repro) LP
OST: Eraserhead (Euro Repro) LP
Pearl Jam: Avocado (Euro Repro) LP
Pearl Jam: Binaural (Euro Repro) LP
Pearl Jam: Yield (Euro Repro) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (EMI) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf (Euro Repro) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: s/t (Euro Repro) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Real Estate: Atlas (Domino) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Hometowns (Paper Bag) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Departing (Paper Bag) LP
Shins: Oh Inverted World (Sub Pop) LP
Sigur Ros: ( ) (Krunk) LP
Smog: Red Apple Falls (Drag City) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Swans: s/t (Young God) 12″
Swans: Filth (Young God) LP
System of A Down: Toxicity (Euro Repro) LP
System of A Down: Hypnotize (Euro Repro) LP
System of a Down: Mezmerize (Euro Repro) LP
Tool: 10,000 Days (Euro Repro) LP
U2: Actung Baby (Euro Repro) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrink Dust (Flemish Eye) LP
Tom Waits: Bone Machine (Euro Repro) LP
Wire: Chairs Missing (Euro Repro) LP
Women: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
Women: Public Strain (Flemish Eye) LP
Neil Young: On the Beach (Euro Repro) LP
Neil Young: Harvest Moon (Euro Repro) LP


Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule Box… Nov 20
Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 27
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now DEC!
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Tinariwen: Live in Paris… now Nov 27
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA

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…..news letter #715 – november rain…..

Well after the endless amount of boxes last week, this week has provided a bit of reprieve. However there are still some killer slabs in this week, and considering how much came in last week, most of you probably still have some catching up to do!

…..pick of the week…..


Shooting Guns/Zaum: Himalaya to Mesopotamia (Pre-Rock) LP
Another killer split from our pals Shooting Guns! “Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, JUNO and Polaris Prize award nominees Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum, haunting the foggy moor between Sabbath-styled doom riffery and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock. Shooting Guns recently created the score for the movie WolfCop and won the 2015 Western Canadian Music Award for Metal/Hard Music Recording of the Year with the WolfCop Soundtrack, which was released in 2014 through One Way Static Records, RidingEasy Records and Cinecoup. Their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram released in 2013 via Riding Easy Records, was nominated for the 2015 JUNO Metal/Hard Album of the Year as well as the Polaris Music Prize. Their debut LP, Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 was also nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012. ZAUM is a passage toward the dark realizations of the ancient middle east; in the form of a monolithic doomy mantra based meditative experience forged by bass and drums interwoven with sitar and synth textures. Based in New Brunswick – their live presence is very true to its recorded form both melodic and dark vocal styles met with elements of sectional Mongolian throat singing. Observers experience a calming process of reality whereby the astral and physical planes can co-exist and be understood from a natural perspective. Their debut album Oracles released in June 2014 was nominated for an ECMA Award for Best Loud Recording and reviewed nearly 100 times – subject to much critical acclaim primarily throughout Europe.

File Under: Metal, Stoner, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..


Built to Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (Up) LP
Up Records (via Sub Pop) will reissue Built To Spill’s much loved classic There’s Nothing Wrong with Love, the second full-length album released by the legendary indie rock band. It was originally issued in September 1994 on the Up Records label with the stellar line-up of Doug Martsch, bassist Brett Nelson, and drummer Andy Capps, with Phil Ek producing. The album features the enduring singles “In the Morning,” “Car,” and “Distopian Dream Girl.” There’s Nothing Wrong with Love was exceptionally well received by critics upon its release. It went on to earn “Best Albums of 90’s” notices from the likes of Pitchfork, Paste and SPIN. This new, vinyl edition is the first time the album has been available on vinyl since its original run. Let the rejoicing commence!

File Under: Indie Rock
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Floating Points: Elaenia (Luaka Bop) LP
It was the arrival of a Studer A80 master recorder at the front door of Sam Shepherd – otherwise known as Floating Points – that caused him to begin building the studio that led to the creation of his debut album, Elaenia. After a slight miscalculation meant that he could not physically get the thing inside his home, what happened next can only be described as a beautiful example of the butterfly effect. Breaking away from making electronic music on his laptop, the DJ, producer and composer spent the next five years engineering Elaenia, all the while deejaying in cities across the globe and working towards his PhD in neuroscience. An incredibly special album that draws inspiration from classical, jazz, electronic music, soul and even Brazilian popular music, Elaenia – named after the bird of the same name – is the epitome of the forward-thinking Floating Points vision in 2015. For the past ten years, all roads Shepherd has followed have slowly been leading to Elaenia – an album with roots deep in his formative years that draw upon everything Shepherd has done to date. His debut album proper, Elaenia is the culmination of all things Sam Shepherd: the Eglo label boss, the ensemblist, the producer, scientist and visual artist – and that’s only scraping the surface. The mesmerizing ebbs and flows of Elaenia span moments of light and dark; rigidity and freedom; elegance and chaos. There is the lush, euphoric enlightenment of “Silhouettes,” a three-part composition that acts as a testament to those early days Shepherd spent playing in various ensembles – complete with an immensely tight rhythm section that ends up providing a cathartic, blissful release. Elsewhere, Shepherd’s knack for masterful late night sets bare fruition to the hypnotic, electronic pulse of “Argenté,” a welcome change of pace. Elaenia draws upon the many parts of Sam’s life, from DJ to artist to inventor, and provides the clearest context of his musical skills to date – it’s the end result of the direction he has always been moving in. Elaenia is a series of suites designed to be devoured in one sitting that has its own unique voice, with only one track – the title track – speaking a direct and tangible story, relating to a dream Shepherd had about a migrating Elaenia’s life being absorbed by a forest. Ultimately, Elaenia packs performances that are at times delicate and intense – the first full-bodied, complete Floating Points work so far, and provides context to the music that Shepherd has been making to date. Every DJ set he’s performed, every talent he has produced, every composition he has written are thought of as precursors to Elaenia – a dazzling score which puts Shepherd in the spotlight as a composer who has produced an album that bridges the gap between his rapturous dance music and formative classical roots.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, House
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Sonny Knight & The Lakers: Do It Live (Secret Stash) LP
For Sonny Knight & the Lakers, 2014 was equal parts unexpected and deserved. The release of their debut album, I’m Still Here, nearly 50 years after a young Sonny recorded his first single, began a tidal wave of accomplishments that includes a successful international tour and attention from major media outlets. From the album release party in May, through the end of the year, Sonny Knight & The Lakers developed their live show into a full-blown soul music extravaganza. Clocking in at just under 90 minutes of seamless music, the show is reminiscent of the tightly orchestrated performances of James Brown and Sam & Dave. After returning from a European tour in October, they booked a two night stand in December at long standing Minneapolis club, The Dakota. They put on two shows per night for a hometown crowd. Secret Stash Records turned the venue’s green room into a make shift recording studio control room, bringing in their own console, outboard gear, tape machines, and microphones. All four shows were mixed live and cut directly to 2″ track tape, and the best performances were culled for Do It Live. From the call and response chaos of “Cave Man,” to the heart wrenching delivery of “When You’re Gone,” this double LP set proves why Sonny Knight & The Lakers are one of the best on the road today. If you listen to Otis Redding’s Live in Europe, you quickly realize that the MGs are in full-on rock and roll mode. When the Lakers are on, they do the same thing. Eric hits harder, Blair plays a little faster, and Sonny screams. The whole band turns into danceable, hot muscle.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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69Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge) 6×10″
Legend has it that Stephin Merritt came up with the idea for 69 Love Songs while sitting in an elegant midtown Manhattan piano bar. He originally planned for it to be a live musical revue, performed with a rotating cast of singers in the plush hotel bars and cabarets of New York City. Spanning indie pop, folk, cabaret, jazz, and chamber pop, 69 Love Songs was originally released in September of 1999 and immediately established Merritt as one of this generation’s most talented songwriters. It drew worldwide attention with comparisons to legends Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. SPIN graded it 10 out of 10, Rolling Stone described it as “gorgeous,” and the New York Times hailed the triple CD-set as a work of “genius.” It remains one of the most beloved albums in the Merge catalog. This remastered limited edition 6 x 10″ vinyl reissue is beautifully packaged in a slip case box with three double gatefold sleeves and the original booklet in 10” size!

File Under: Indie, Pop
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power glove

Power Glove: EP II (Invada) LP
Red Vinyl +DL. The mighty Power Glove make a speedy return to Invada after their EP I was released in April as part of Record Store Day. Much like 2014’s Far Cry 3 soundtrack, this sold out instantly and was one of RSD’s most sought after releases. Invada are proud to present Power Glove’s 7 track follow up – ‘EP II’ This new record features the incredible ‘Motorcycle Cop’ and PG’s remix of The Fauns’ ‘4AM’.

File Under: Electronic, Cyberpunk
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sigur ros

Sigur Ros: ( ) (Krunk) LP
( ) – Sigur Ros’ celebrated third album, and for many people – especially in the US where it remains their biggest selling work – the most quintessentially Sigur Ros record of their career to date. It’s the only album where Jonsi sings entirely in the wordless lyrics of Hopelandic. This desire to elide meaning and allow the listener to bring their own interpretation to the music extends to the eight songs, all of which are nameless. The music is broadly split into two halves, divided by a critical 36 seconds of silence. The first half of the album is lighter and more optimistic, the second bleaker and more melancholic, culminating in the thundering climax of “Untitled #8,” the closing song of every Sigur Ros show since the song was written in 2000. ( ) was recorded at the band’s studio Sundlaugin, icn Mosfellsbaer outside Reykjavik, in 2002, co-produced by the band with Ken Thomas, who also helmed their breakthrough second album, Agaetis Byrjun. For the first time since its initial pressing, the vinyl album now comes in its full Grammy-nominated artwork, including die-cut sleeve and spot UV varnish inner bags. The 72-minute double album is also once again pressed on limited edition (3,000 units) colored 180 gram double vinyl with CD.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ambient
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Timmy’s Organism: Heartless Heathen (Third Man) LP
Fronting some of the most original, compelling and unpredictable bands (not only in Detroit, but the world) for over two decades, Tim Lampinen’s work with the Epileptix, Clone Defects, and Human Eye has always held a rapturous cult following. Yet his work with his current trio, Timmy’s Organism, presents Lampinen (aka Timmy Vulgar) along with bassist Jeff Giant and drummer Blake Hill, ready for their close-up. With Heartless Heathen the group touches on their artistic and spiritual forbears of Captain Beefheart and Destroy All Monsters, while amply ramping up the slop culture rapture of classic punk ‘n’ roll like Chrome, Crime, and the Damned as well as contemporaries like Thee Oh Sees. There’s a reason why Lampinen won a $25,000 Kresge Grant for his work with his bands…he creates music that borders on art, live shows that border on theater. It’s high time the rest of the world takes notice. Are you ready?

File Under: Rock
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White Fang: Chunks (Burger) LP
Chunks is the newest endeavor from White Fang aka four freebird freaks getting high on life who’ve been shredding since circa 2007. Produced and recorded by mad genius Bobby Harlow (King Tuff, The Go, Magic Jake) at Studio B and issued on Burger Records, the sixteen track burner features such song titles as “Full Time Freaks,” “Bong Rip,” “Drugs I’ve Taken,” “Pissing In The Driveway” and “Shit On My Shoe,” and is primed to please fans of the band and the underground label. Deluxe tip-on jacket with accompanying download card.

File Under: Rock, Stoner
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Wolf Eyes: I Am A Problem: Mind in Pieces (Third Man) LP
Having eschewed the “noise” moniker to describe their sound in favor of the self-proclaimed “Trip Metal,” Wolf Eyes are at the forefront of a wide-ranging, experimental, impossible-to-categorize world. With over 500 releases since their inception in 1997, the group has been lauded by Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins and countless other stoned basement malcontents. With previous full-lengths on labels like Sub Pop and Troubleman, I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces is their debut release for Third Man Records and signals an ever-so-slight shift with the appearance of guitar and even drums. I Am a Problem is as much a classic Wolf Eyes record as no one would’ve ever predicted such a pulverizing left-turn at this juncture of their career. This is social audio dissent. 150-gram vinyl in direct-to-board jacket with download code.

File Under: Noise, Trip Metal
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Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) LP
Dead Ghosts: Love And Death And All The Rest (Burger) LP
Destroyer: Streethawk: A Seduction (Merge) LP
Julia Holter: Have You In My Wilderness (Domino) LP
Mission of Burma: VS (Fire) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Nightly Coercion… (Ba Da Bing) 4LP
Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Fire) LP
Django Reinhardt: First Recordings (BHM) LP


Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 27
Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled… next week
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now DEC!
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #714 – salvation…..

Well this is something I’d never have that would happen! This week I get to start selling one of my favorite albums of all time in bulk! Those in the know have been dreaming of this day, and those who aren’t don’t even know how glorious it is that they can walk in the door and pick up a copy of Torch of the Mystics. And on top of that, we’ve received a ton of other rad stuff this week, so read on and come for a dig…..

…..picks of the week…..


Sun City Girls: Torch of the Mystics (Abduction) LP/CD
Torch of the Mystics, the most popular and revered Sun City Girls album, was recorded in the summer of 1988 and became the first LP released on the Majora label in January of 1990 in an edition of 1000 copies (the original CD version was released by Tupelo Recording Company in 1993 and is long out of print). Reissued here for the first time, this record has influenced and inspired a wide variety of musicians and artists and continues to blow the minds of those hearing it for the first time today. Arguably as unique a ‘psychedelic’ statement as anything else that has appeared since the early 1970s, Torch of the Mystics cannot easily be compared to any other album you’ve heard. Here is Byron Coley’s original review from the May 1990 issue of Spin magazine: “Just out of the box, and so majestic that it makes my brain do out-skull jigs across my sizzling, glass-strewn floor, is the Sun City Girls’ new LP, Torch of the Mystics. As the heppest of you undoubtedly know, the Girls are a death-defying improv-rock band from Arizona who number no females amongst their membership, but who still bleed profusely on a near-monthly basis. Their recordings tend to be scattershot fiestas of lump-rich style gumbo, and Mystics is easily the richest, lumpiest puddle of guh they’ve yet emitted. The sounds on this record have moments of style-lifting, however, that should endear them even to fans of olden-days out-rock (a notoriously Luddite audience). At one point you’ll ‘hear’ the circa-65 Mothers chanting ‘Help I’m A Rock’ while being pushed into a kettle of boiling oil by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band; at another you’ll swear that your head is stuck in a lardy commode while one of the Fugs’ ESP recording sessions rages around your sweat-soaked and heaving trousers. ET-fuckin-CETERA. But these ‘cops’ are not central parts of the whole. They pop up, rather, amidst swirling, psychedelic ethnic forgeries that will make Can fans renounce post-Landed Kraut Rock wax. Combined with this is greasy, long-wound-out puling that could come from nowhere but the small Arizona trailer park that birthed these honchos. The mix is nothing short of bo-weaving and I can’t imagine that this disc will have many equals in 1990.” Remastered by Mark Gergis.


File Under: Underground Rock, Psych, Essential Grooves
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Abul Mogard: Circular Forms (Ecstatic) LP
Abul Mogard presents his debut LP, a suite of four analog synth pieces. Mogard was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and spent most of his life working in a metal factory, only beginning to approach music after his retirement. Following two highly regarded cassette releases on Steve Moore and Anthony Paterra’s VCO label and a series of compilations and split releases, Mogard makes a surprising departure on this debut album for Ecstatic Recordings. Circular Forms channels a wealth of soulful modular explorations and shadowy white-noise clouds. The end result is evocative, unsettling, and beguiling modern synth music. There’s a real emotive essence to his almost lyrical arrangements that is very much removed from the contemporary modular revival. Composed and recorded in solitude using a limited equipment array of Farfisa organs in conjunction with a self-built modular synthesizer, the album’s intoxicating distortions and extreme low frequencies translate into personal space and beautifully restrained impressions. Abul Mogard: “Lately I have been reading and appreciating visual art and paintings and this has informed my work on this album. Compared to my previous albums, this was the first time that I had a clear visual representation of my music, as geometrical forms — each element of a track suggested a form that intertwined with the other elements.” White vinyl; edition of 300.


File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Doug Hream Blunt: My Name is… (Luaka Bop) LP
Originally self-released recordings of home-brewed, proto-chillwave dance funk, recorded with washy and chirpy synths and genuinely out there guitar solos, with songs about dancing, fly guys and ladies’ butts. Kind of a smoother Wesley Willis (ok, much smoother!) with Jimi Hendrix dreams, Blunt’s genuinely infectious musical enthusiasm shined through on each track. Doug is finally having his well-deserved, big moment of larger recognition and discovery via David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label, with this reissue of his complete recordings which include the two previously self-released discs: Gentle Persuasion and Big Top, remastered and put together for the first time – these tracks have never sounded better! A lo-fi but breezy outsider funk, made with repetitive cheap-sounding keyboards loops and tones (the kind being currently exploited by Dam-Funk, Ariel Pink, and James Pants, all Doug Hream Blunt fans by the way), strange metallic tropical guitar tones that sound more like steel drums and flute sounds than actual guitar, and sly, laidback vocals and catchy, infectiously naive grooves that work their way into our heads and never let go. So delightful!! Back in 1985, when Doug was 35, he decided he wanted to learn guitar and found an extended learning class called ‘How To Form A Band’ run by Victor Flaviani out of his garage. Victor taught Doug the guitar, even though Victor barely knew the instrument himself, and Doug set about writing and recording the songs with his other class mates. We remember seeing the video of Gentle Persuasion we found on Vimeo from a cable access TV video with Doug and what seemed to be an all-girl band, which turns out were his fellow classmates, which included Victor and his wife Angela too on drums and guitar respectively. For fans of that Personal Space compilation of private press electronic soul, Dam-Funk, Ariel Pink or Dean Blunt, who apparently took the Blunt name in tribute to Doug!


File Under: Funk, Soul, Electro, Lo-Fi, Private Press
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…..new arrivals…..


4th Coming: Strange Things (Now Again) LP
“They had a catchy, but inappropriate name: there is nothing forthcoming about Los Angeles’ 4th Coming, unless one counts a copious amount of releases — on rare 7″ singles — that didn’t sell farther than vocalist/principal Henry ‘Hank’ Porter’s Datsun 1200 could take him. When 4th Coming records surfaced in the ’90s, they were often disregarded as novelty. And some of their records were so rare that it took until the late ’00s for them to reemerge, after the sinking of their initial pressing runs. Assembling a complete set of 4th Coming recordings was nearly impossible, until the issue of this, the lost 4th Coming album. At its core, the 4th Coming was a songwriting duo — Porter and Jechonias ‘Jack’ S. Williams — and a rotating cast of musicians — including members of lauded LA funk ensemble the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band — that Williams assembled at Artist Recording Studio to realize the pair’s ideas. They existed only from the latter half of 1969 until 1974; during that time they issued eight singles as 4th Coming and one as Impact! on Al Firth’s Alpha imprint. And now, Strange Things, a thrilling listen, a mysterious trove of recordings made possible by an open minded and well-funded indie impresario, which document a very real and very weird Los Angeles of the past. It’s a city we’ll never know again, and one that might never again produce an ensemble like the 4th Coming. If Firth’s faith only rolled snake-eyes in terms of commercial success, in terms of documenting Los Angeles’ vibrant soul and funk underground, he rolled boxcars. This, the album Williams and Firth always hoped would bring them real success, now sees its complete release and allows us to ponder the might-have and the would-have beens — had a 4th Coming album come together in the mid-’70s.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Maki Asakawa: s/t (s/t) LP
A stunning survey of the 1970s heyday of great Japanese singer and countercultural icon Maki Asakawa (1942-2010). Deep-indigo, dead-of-night enka, folk, and blues, inhaling Billie Holiday and Nina Simone down to the bone. A traditional waltz abuts Nico-style incantation; defamiliarized versions of Oscar Brown Jr. and Bessie Smith collide with big-band experiments alongside poet Shūji Terayama; a sitar-led psychedelic wig-out runs into a killer excursion in modal, spiritual jazz. Existentialism and noir, mystery and allure, hurt and hauteur. With excellent notes by Alan Cummings and the fabulous photographs of Hitoshi Jin Tamura. “Japan’s answer to Scott Walker, with a visual aesthetic and a death-decadent appeal that is straight out of the Keiji Haino songbook.” –Volcanic Tongue

Highly Recommended!

File Under: Folk, Blues, Jazz, Japan, Noir
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John Baker: Vendetta Tapes (Buried Treasure) LP
“A brand new compilation of rare material by John Baker from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop! John Baker (who worked for the BBC alongside Delia Derbyshire) ranks as one of the world’s most influential electronic musicians. His talent as a jazz pianist & ability to manipulate tiny fragments of tape into new sound is legendary. Whilst working on The John Baker Tapes compilation for Trunk Records, producer Alan Gubby unearthed several reels of music & sound effects from the 1960’s BBC TV series Vendetta — a mafia themed cop thriller starring Italian actor Stelio Canelli (Barbarella, Django, Planet Of The Vampires). The theme tune for the show was composed by John Barry whilst Baker produced all the incidental music. He created brilliant, tense, rhythmic & unhinged James Bond style themes for the show between 1966 & 1968, featuring radiophonic beats, twanging bass lines & screaming jazz solos. Available for the 1st time ever, Baker’s soundtrack for Vendetta displays his skill in fusing groovy tape loops, ambient drones & bass textures with real instruments. The music is thrilling, sleazy, deranged & very hip. Highlights from the score are presented on this compilation alongside other rare & previously unreleased Baker tracks, all digitally remastered by Mark Ayres from the Radiophonic Workshop archive.”

File Under: BBC Radiophonic, Early Electronic, OST
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bell witch

Bell Witch: Four Phantoms (Profound Lore) LP
Seattle funeral/death doom duo Bell Witch (comprised only of bass, drums, and vocals) made a massive impact on the doom metal scene with their 2012 debut Longing. Its highly anticipated follow-up, Four Phantoms (recorded and engineered by the legendary Billy Anderson) is easily Bell Witch’s most crushing and most moving work yet. With a more honed focus on song structure and more intricate composition, all while taking their sound to even heavier depths that ever before, Four Phantoms is a doom metal triumph for the ages, an album that will go down as one of the genre’s most triumphant moments of the 2015 and beyond. Features a guest lead vocal appearance by Aerial Ruin sole mastermind Erik Moggridge on the standout number “Somniloquy.”

File Under: Metal, Doom
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Blackalicious: Imani Vol 1 (Black Mines) LP
Blackalicious is Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) and the duo’s long awaited fifth studio album – Imani Vol. 1 will finally be available in September 2015. Ten years after The Craft Blackalicious brings us the Imani Movement. Imani, the word for faith in Swahili is a three volume series. Three years in the works, this album stays true to the wordplay of Gift of Gab and the clever mechanics of live instruments and production from Chief Xcel. The Sac-Town duo has never left. Between Gab releasing three solo albums and Xcel working with soul singer Ledisi, collaborating with General Eletriks and many others, they were ready and eager to start the next Blackalicious chapter. Gift of Gab explains, “In 2012, we came together like ‘Okay, it’s time to go back to the mothership. I equate working with different artists to travel…when you come back to your city after traveling to these other places, you have this broader perspective of what life is. I think that that’s what happened with Blackalicious.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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Bruce & Vlady: The Reality (Vampisoul) LP
Going by the sleeve alone, it’s clear that this record has all the right ingredients: hypnotic artwork, enigmatic title, unusual Hammond and drums line-up… However, the album didn’t sell well upon its original 1970 released in Sweden, and has been long-forgotten since then. This is the first ever reissue of American Hammond player Bruce Powell and Polish drummer Wladyslaw Jagiello’s wonderful, unique record of hypnotic progressive jazz. Its story is also told here for the first time, thanks to Powell himself: “I was introduced to trumpeter Ernie Englund. He told me he needed an organist who could read music and had his own instrument… he hired me to play with his big band at the Grande Hotel in Stockholm. That was December 1969. My Hammond B-3 was somehow damaged on the trip over and Ernie decided to send me back to the United States. My wife, however, had arrived two days after I got there, so I decided to stay in Stockholm and make a go of it on my own… I met Vlady one night at a rock club. He and I both were sitting in with another band. He liked the way I played and I liked him… We got hired for several engagements at [Klub Ernst]. A friend of Rune Wallebom [Svensk American Records co-owner] heard us one night and told him about our music… Rune came to hear us and loved it. He came up after the show and offered me a recording contract… I don’t remember the name of the studio but I do remember that we did four takes. After reviewing them all, we decided upon the ones that appear on the album. There are two more takes out there somewhere. I had the tapes from the sessions but they got lost over time… Not long after, Rune came to me with a sad face and told me his wife was divorcing him. She was co-owner of Svensk American Records and was dissolving the company. This happened just after the album was released; therefore it went no further. The promotion and distribution ceased. I never received any monies or royalties for my work… When my grandmother passed, I decided to return to the United States (September 1970). I lost track of Vlady and never was able to contact Rune about what happened to the album.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Joe Bussard: Year of Jubilo (Dust to Digital) LP
Legendary collector Joe Bussard is putting records out once again! After running the last 78-RPM label in the US (RIP Fonotone Records, 1956-1974), Bussard had relegated his efforts to promoting old-time music by making cassette tapes for people hungry to hear his rare treasures and producing his Country Classics radio show for stations in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. But in 2014, Bussard and his daughter Susannah Anderson had the idea to produce a compilation of Civil War tunes; they rang the office of Dust-to-Digital to gauge interest in distributing such a compilation. It was an easy decision for DTD. CD in digipak with 36-page booklet. Includes introductory essay by Kevin Fontenot and liner notes by Tony Russell. Includes tracks by Ernest Stoneman, Blue Ridge Mountain Singers, Grant Brothers & Their Music, Red Mountain Trio, Buell Kazee, G. B. Grayson – Henry Whitter, Ward & Winfield, Chubby Parker & His Littleold-Time Banjo, Da Costa Woltz’s Southern Broadcasters, Capt. M. J. Bonner (The Texas Fiddler), Cherry Lane Express, Henry C. Gilliland and A. C. (Eck) Robertson, The Foreman Family, Asa Martin & James Roberts, McGee Brothers & Todd, and Fiddlin’ John Carson & His Virginia Reelers.

File Under: Blues, Country
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chaoLily Chao: Chinese Folk Songs (Akuphone) LP
As the first entry in its catalog, French label Akuphone presents a reissue of Lily Chao’s Chinese Folk Songs, originally released by Four Seas Records in 1968. This edition includes four previously unheard titles and exclusive liner notes containing Lily Chao’s biography and lyric translations. Chao Xiao-Jun aka Lily Chao was born in Taiwan in 1948, while mainland China was rapidly undergoing major changes immediately following the end of the Chinese Civil War. After experiencing hard times in her girlhood, she ventured out into singing quite unwillingly. Indeed, at age 19, Lily Chao was compelled to give up her studies to support her family and start a career as a singer, after passing an audition at the Taipei Cabaret in Taiwan. The cabaret industry was in full swing at the time, offering destinations for popular entertainment, and Lily Chao’s efforts to launch her singing career immediately attracted producers’ attention. Her appearances at the Taipei Cabaret as part of its shows, which combined music in Mandarin, poetry, drama, magic, and other fine arts, soon earned her a reputation. Despite the immediate success that her numerous stage performances and appearances on the national television channel won her, Lily Chao led a chaotic and painful private life. As she smiled very little and tended to appear distant, the audience dubbed her the “Ice Queen,” a nickname that she would keep for the rest of her career. This barely-concealed melancholy can be felt throughout Chinese Folk Songs, as well as in her very particular way of singing, which is both jerky and perfectly fluid. The album stands halfway between Mandarin folk songs and rock singing inspired by The Shadows, all surf guitar and garage sounds recorded with pinpoint precision and enhanced by saxophone and organ touches, while Lily Chao’s intoxicating vibratos bring a pinch of soul to the music. An outstanding achievement of timeless pop music from the 1960s.

File Under: Asia, Folk
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Current 93: Swastikas For Noddy (Spheres) LP
Reissue of Current 93’s seminal and liminal 1986 album Swastikas for Noddy, including the 1987 re-recording of the album, Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God. Packaged in a full-color gatefold bearing the original artwork plus a previously-unpublished photograph of Current 93 by Ruth Bayer, tinted by Ania Goszczyńska. Includes insert with track listing, group line-up, and a photograph of Current 93 at the time of the recording, again by Ruth Bayer. One record is opaque green; the other is opaque lilac. Swastikas for Noddy has been unavailable on vinyl since 1987. Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God has never been available on vinyl. Both have been beautifully remastered by the bricoleur.

File Under: Goth, Neo-Folk, Industrial
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Dikeman Noble Serries Trio: Obscure Fluctuations (Trost) LP
American saxophonist John Dikeman, Belgian guitar experimentalist Dirk Serries, and legendary English drummer Steve Noble team up for an impressive improvisational record. Inventive, harsh, precise! Recorded at Sound Savers, London, in 2015. John Dikeman: saxophone; Steve Noble: drums; Dirk Serries: guitar.

File Under: Jazz, Improv
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Aaron Dilloway: Psychic Driving Tapes (Trilogy Tapes) LP
“Coruscating cut-ups yanked still dripping and yowling from the belly of the beast. Dazzling and invigorating, scary and discombobulating. ‘Psychic driving was a psychiatric procedure in which patients were subjected to a continuously repeated audio message on a looped tape, in order to alter their behavior… often hundreds of thousands of repetitions of a single statement over the course of their treatment. They were also concurrently administered muscular paralytic drugs such as curare… The psychic driving procedure was a chronological precursor to Cameron’s depatterning, involving massive doses of ECT combined with similarly large doses of psychedelic drugs like LSD. The intent was to break down the subject’s personality — theoretically psychic driving could then be used with some efficacy in establishing a new personality’ (Hanson Records).” Originally released on cassette by Medusa in 2010.

File Under: Electronic, Noise, Minimal
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Donato Dozzy: The Loud Silence (Further) LP
In April 2015, Donato Dozzy took a set of mouth harps to his parents’ house in the Italian countryside and set about exploring the possibilities of that most basic of instruments. The mouth harp had been calling to Donato Dozzy ever since childhood, and he had begun to see in this peculiar, ancient sound the roots of the music he’d been making and playing in clubs. The Loud Silence is the result of those explorations, an accompanied deep-dive into childhood memory, social history, and the roots of psychedelia. Recorded indoors and outdoors; halfway up mountains and on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, the album is meditative but also powerful. Each track maintains an inviolable central pulse, while delicate, fluttering sounds hint at vast spaces waiting for the listener to connect with them. Field recordings hover below the resonating harps, adding to the mysterious atmosphere. Tracks like “The Loud Silence” and “Downhill to the Sea” are wrapped up in simple rhythms, their strict throb drawing the listener in. The organic physicality of the sound, made in concert with the body itself, generates a primal response in the listener; an undeniably visceral understanding; an empathetic resonance. The Loud Silence is Donato Dozzy’s second solo album, and it sees him return to Further Records, with which released his first solo album, K, in 2010. The two albums share a sense of dynamic movement within a limited sphere. It’s not minimal, exactly — it’s hard to describe such a rich sound as minimal or reduced in any way — but it gets the most out of a small, well-chosen set of tools. As on his 2015 album Sintetizzatrice, a full-length collaboration with singer Anna Caragnano, the ability to make a single element the center of a musical world is enthralling. Anyone who has followed Donato Dozzy’s work, whether the celebrated Voices from the Lake collaboration with Neel, the otherworldly mixes he’s done for mnml ssgs and electronique.it, or, particularly, his 2013 album of Bee Mask remixes for the Spectrum Spools label, will see that The Loud Silence is a continuation of a lifelong fascination with sound and its potential to bring people, times, and places together. This album is the first in Further’s series exploring the depth of one instrument, preceding a solo record from Nuel focused on the Ekdahl Polygamist synthesizer.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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Edge of Daybreak: Eyes of Love (Numero) LP
Incarcerated funk has no right to feel this free. Musical convicts and actual convicts from across the Commonwealth, The Edge Of Daybreak’s membership wrote and recorded Eyes Of Love while serving out sentences of six to sixty years. Set to tape inside Powhatan Correctional Center on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, these intimate 1979 sessions unlock the prison gates and peer into a collective consciousness concocted by a core of four confined artists. Assembled from distant love ballads and fanciful odes to freedom, Eyes Of Love is a prison letter composed by committee, recorded hastily, and circulated regionally amongst adventurous clientele willing to take a chance on these felonious talents.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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el vy

El Vy: Return to the Moon (4AD) LP
El Vy (pronounced like a plural of Elvis; rhymes with ‘hell pie’) is the musical collaboration between Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National, and Brent Knopf, the Portland musician and producer best known for his work in Menomena and his more recent band, Ramona Falls. Their debut album Return To The Moon will be released in October 2015 via 4AD. The album is a project Berninger and Knopf have been thinking about for years. Their friendship spans nearly a decade, starting back when the National and Menomena played small half-empty clubs along America’s west coast. Feeling an immediate musical kinship, the pair kept in touch, Brent sending Matt occasional rough sketches of music and Matt responding with melodies and lyrics. Finally, in the winter and spring of 2014-15, they actually got together to make an album. Return to the Moon sounds exactly like you’d hope a collaboration between these artists would: Berninger’s darkly funny, lyrical storytelling and his immediately identifiable sense of melody offset by Knopf’s playful, architectural arrangements and inventive production. Knopf explains, “I never worried about sending Matt something unfinished. He’s able to imagine where it can go. He can grab the four bars that will become the core of the track and develop them into something amazing.” The National and Ramona Falls are both currently preparing upcoming releases, so El Vy is not a replacement or a side project, but a glimpse into an alternate musical universe: a universe in which Berninger never left Cincinnati, and Midwestern punk Mecca the Jockey Club never closed. A universe in which Mike Watt and the late D. Boon of the punk band Minutemen are every bit as iconic as Mick and Keith, and a teenager’s sense of rebellion is fed by the dark social politics of middle America. “This record is more autobiographical than anything else I’ve written,” says Berninger, “but the details aren’t true. It’s written in the voices of a few invented characters, composites of different people – myself, my wife, and other people I was thinking about.”

File Under: Indie Rock, The National
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evil blizzard

Evil Blizzard: Everybody Come to Church (Louder Than War) LP
Like Hawkwind on even more acid or Sunn O))) meets Butthole Surfers/P.I.L. with four bassists and droning powerful songs… Those masked marauding architects of cacophonic, bombastic, psychedelic, bass-bothering rock have been at it again, making another album of unrivalled and quintessentially unique rock music. To say that Everybody Come to Church has been eagerly awaited in many quarters is an understatement; fellow Northwest England-based musician Mr. Mark E. Smith, who’s been heard to say of the Blizzard, “I like Evil Blizzard, they give me hope that music is alive and kicking,” would no doubt agree. The Guardian are also huge fans of the band, having featured them on their cover and described them as “a fearsome collision of Hawkwind, krautrock, molten noise, dazzling psychedelic lights and weird, gnarly looking masks.” The album was “recorded live in one day with minimal overdubs at Magnetic North Studios… a fierce, spontaneous outburst of evil noise.” They had only four songs written before entering the studio and the rest of the album just happened around ideas they’d had kicking around. Everybody Come to Church features eight tracks of brooding, sinister psychedelic rock that will melt your mind and soul.

File Under: Metal, Psych, Rock
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Express Rising: Fixed Rope (Numero) LP
One-take ambient instrumental travels, composed in strict committee by the trio of Kevin Blagg, William Suran, and Dante Carfagna. Recorded spontaneously in rural Arkansas, bulging sub-woofers lope through fissures of skeletal banjo and pitched down pedal steel, while delicately arranged basins of synth and guitar reverberate, providing a steady stream of granular epiphanies. Utterly faded, yet still possessing crystalline clarity, these twelve songs continually attain summits rarely reached within the span of four-minute transmissions.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic 
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fat boysFat Boys: s/t (Tin Pan Apple) LP
“The Fat Boys were the highest profiled hip hop group in the early 1980’s next to Run DMC. They were part of the first corporate sponsored rap concert (Fresh Fest), they were featured in the movie Krush Groove, one of the first rap groups to travel to Europe, and they sold hefty amounts of records and continued to balloon throughout the decade. Their beginnings were humble like most but quickly catapulted into full stardom. Appearances on radio, TV, full tours, magazine spreads and they even had their own embroidered satin jackets! Their first single; ‘Reality’ under the name Disco 3 was released unnoticed and that’s when their fearless management of Charles Stettler and Lynda West decided to bring in one of the hottest names in rap at the time to produce; Kurtis Blow. The single ‘Fat Boys’ with Kurtis became a instant hit and it also became the new name of the group. Kurt enlisted his music team to assemble what became the debut album by the Fat Boys. Larry Smith (Run DMC’s producer and arranger), Davy DMX, Don Blackman, and a whole slew of other session players laid the raw backbeat for the three boys from Brooklyn to rock the house! What separated their album from the majority of other rap records at the time was the pure rawness of the songs. The humorous element dominated the record but there was a prime roughness to their style that gave them a hardcore edge. Songs like ‘Stick ‘Em,’ ‘Fat Boys,’ ‘The Place To Be’ & ‘Human Beat Box’ easily display their boisterousness.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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Tim Hecker: Norberg/Apodalifa (Room40) LP
In 2015, Room40 celebrates 15 years of editions and events; as part of the celebrations, the label is reissuing a number of editions in various formats that are out of print. One of these editions brings together two of the pieces the label had the pleasure to publish by Tim Hecker. These two works were both created in conjunction with Hecker’s visits to Australia and were released in limited quantities. The 2010 7″ edition of Apondalifa basically vanished upon release. It was also originally split across both sides of the record. On this edition, cut by the wondrous Lupo at Calyx, the piece is available on vinyl for the first time in its extended format. Norberg was originally released in 2007 as a 3″ CD; Room40’s original description reads, “Recorded at the Norberg Festival (Sweden) amidst the mineshafts and cluttered buildings strewn throughout parts of the city, this 21 minute live piece summarises much of what makes Tim Hecker’s music so vital and compelling. Adept at counter-pointing the most ferocious of distorted platters with smooth beds of ambient sound and potent melodic overtones, Tim Hecker creates music with a vast depth. On Norberg, this depth seems almost endless, as layer upon layer of sound are compiled into a swelling and altogether visceral oceanic sound wave.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Philip Jeck: Cardinal (Touch) LP
Philip Jeck writes: “To make this record I used Fidelity record players, Casio keyboards, Ibanez bass guitar, Sony MiniDisc players, Ibanez and Zoom effects pedals, assorted percussion, a Behringer mixer and it was edited it at home with MiniDisc players and on a laptop computer.” “…and they sparkled like burnished brass” “Out of the depths of our complaints, it could be all so simple. To be never fooled by the finesse of a long-yearned for solidity, but in the momentary aplomb of a sleepy walk threading through familiar streets we’d hum our way, alto, baritone and tenor toward some harmonious end. An effect like some wonderful recollection of one or other of those technicolour movies. Not real for sure, but if you are in the mood…” “I would like to acknowledge the influence the writer Marilynne Robinson has had on this work. I would recommend reading any/all of her four novels and also When I was a Child I Read Books (Virago, 2012). This collection of essays includes ‘Austerity as Ideology,’ which dissects prevailing economic thinking, and ‘Open Thy Hand Wide,’ which continues with a celebration of liberal thinking as Generosity (and also turned over my received knowledge of Calvinism). Her ability to convey a love of humanity and sense of wonder about the great mystery of existence in her writing has, since I first read a book of hers, found a way into the way I think about my work — not illustrating but meditating upon.” (April 2015) Philip Jeck works with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops, turning them to his own purposes. He really does play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Jeck makes genuinely moving and transfixing music in which one hears the art, not the gimmick. He started working with record players and electronics in the early ’80s and has made soundtracks and toured with many dance and theatre companies in addition to his solo concert work. His best-known work, Vinyl Requiem (with Lol Sargent), a performance for 180 ’50s/’60s record players, won the Time Out Performance Award in 1993. In 2010, Jeck won a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Composers Award. This gatefold double LP comes with a download code for Jeck’s “Live in Caen,” recorded by Franck Dubois on February 28, 2015, at Impressions Multiples #4 (ésam Caen/Cherbourg), with thanks to Thierry Weyd.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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Johnny Kafta Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra: s/t (Discrepant) LP
Initially a combination of two of Lebanon’s most-active and longest-standing groups, Johnny Kafta Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra was founded when Scrambled Eggs (punk rock band founded in 1998) and “A” Trio (free improv trio founded in 2002) joined forces and mixed styles to record Beach Party at Mirna el-Chalouhi in January 2009, combining each trio’s distinctive sound to create something genuinely new, somewhere between punk and krautrock, free jazz and improvisation. Though self-released and self-distributed in a printed envelope on Al Maslakh sub-label Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu, the 2010 CD received very positive feedback, leading to several concerts in Lebanon under the band’s new identity. On one occasion the band was joined by seminal American guitarist and composer Elliott Sharp, and in their European debut, they were augmented by Australian drummer Tony Buck. In August 2012, the band finally recorded this self-titled album, adding a strong element of composition to their usual improvisations to create works ranging from noisy ambient atmospheres to full-energy free rock explosions.

File Under: Improv, Free Rock
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King Midas Sound/Fennesz: Edition 1 (Ninja Tune) LP
King Midas Sound is comprised of Kevin Martin (also known for his work under The Bug moniker), singer/poet Roger Robinson, and vocalist Kiki Hitomi. Their landmark 2009 debut Waiting For You on Hyperdub quickly established them as falling sonically somewhere between sub-electronic lovers’ rock, dub and the bleakest, slowest mutation of narco hip-hop, while on the live front they were nestled somewhere between the apocalypse and FX-drenched, shoegaze laments. In both arenas they are known as a brooding sonic force. With a move over to Ninja Tune plus the release of 2013’s lauded Aroo single and in particular its b-side “Funny Love” an even deeper sense of spaciousness began to set in. That track’s dramatic tonal shift acted as a catalyst for the idea of a conceptual collaborative project to be born. Hence this first edition (in a series of four), appropriately titled Edition 1. Looking even further back it does seems fitting that the person (Kevin Martin) who once curated a compilation called Isolationism is one of the key contributors behind this truly mesmeric examination of melancholy and desolation, Edition 1 features collaborator number one, Austrian guitarist / electronic musician Fennesz. His 2001 album Endless Summer was a swirling mix of electric tonal guitars and sweeping emotional shifts which inspired and sparked an admiration within Kevin and Roger to bring him onboard. Utilizing improvised guitar tracks, samples, and unreleased material from Fennesz’s archive, Edition 1 took shape within the KMS framework. In the wake of Kevin’s last Bug album Angels & Devils, he wanted to create a record focused on kaleidoscopic sonic beauty, bathed in the bluest emotional lyricism. This record reflects the group’s past, present, and a truly extraordinary future. Edition 1 is a tide coming in. A fog reaching out into nothing, and encapsulating everything. An ultimate parting note drifting into absolute loneliness, swept up in a sumptuously blurred, dronal haze. Hallucinatory tone poems of heartbreak, despair, disappearance, and displacement. Seductively spatial sketches of long goodbyes. Music to cling to or to be used to move past. Sounds set adrift on their own tonal plain and reigned back in by Roger and Kiki’s complimentary, yet extremely different deliveries. Cosmic blues meets a siren’s song. A zonal re-examination of “It’s Raining Today” or an audio representation of a Sugimoto “Seascapes” photo… A high water mark forever etched to memory. Edition 2 through 4 to follow, with collaborators kept under wraps, each one to be a genre-stretching and boundary-pushing surprise, packaged with a conceptual continuity.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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leeAlan Lee: Australian Jazz Anthology (Jazzman) LP
There are few Australian originals in jazz, but vibraphonist Alan Lee surely ranks among the best. Australian jazz is and always will be an interpretation of the American art form, but throughout his long career Lee has ploughed his furrow undaunted; as he puts it, “What I want is the fire! Whether it’s John Coltrane’s ‘Blues Minor’ from Africa/Brass or ‘Backwater Blues’ by Leadbelly, I want the emotion, the gut wrenching pain, the cry from within!” A musician and bandleader who cut a number of jazz sides for small independent Melbourne labels from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, Lee has always searched for this fire, evident in the broad styles he’s covered throughout his career. From ’60s soul jazz to the deep modal sounds of the early ’70s and cross-genre experiments exhibited in his chamber jazz, the tracks included in this anthology — the first of Lee’s music — were recorded by various incarnations of Lee’s band and are taken from three albums recorded in 1973 and 1974 — Lee’s sole albums as a bandleader and collectors’ items in their own right. The deep modal version of “Love Song” and Freddie Hubbard’s perennial spiritual jazz standard “Little Sunflower” are both taken from the 1973 LP The Alan Lee Jazz Quartet. The 1973 album Gallery Concerts 1973, which was recorded for Bruce Clarke’s jazz sub-label Cumquat Records, provides us with a fierce electric-jazz version of Igor Stravinsky’s “Dance of the Adolescents” from The Rite of Spring, plus the plaintive chamber jazz of John Lewis’s “Sketch” as well as two tracks featuring vocalist Jeannie Lewis — “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” and the beautiful “Bailero.” Completing this compendium is a cover of the Milt Jackson-penned “Enchanted Lady” taken from the 1974 follow-up recording for Jazznote, The Smilor. This anthology is filled out by Lee’s stories, including his correspondence with fellow vibraphone player Gary Burton on how to achieve advanced extended techniques for the vibraphone (resulting in pages of technical diagrams) and a story about travelling across the US to purchase an original 1940s Deagan Imperial vibraphone from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra “just to get that Milt Jackson sound.” There are moments of deep introspection and intellect in Lee’s playing; this is emotional music that contains and shares a common spiritual oneness, seeking the thrill Lee experienced after first listening to Lionel Hampton and The Benny Goodman Quartet.

File Under: Jazz
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mecanicaMecanica Popular: Que Suede con el Tiempo? (Dead-Cert) LP
Behold, a cultishly coveted slab of freeform new wave dance/tape music from 1984 Madrid, Spain, reissued by Andy Votel, Sean Canty, and Doug Shipton’s Dead-Cert label. Notable not only for including Beppe Loda’s Typhoon favorite, “La Edad del Bronce” — which sounds uncannily like a cut from Craig Leon’s Nommos (1981) — this album also features the beguiling concrète funk of “Galilea: Centro de Datos,” which, by any measure, bears a striking, prototypical resemblance to Photek’s “Ni – Ten – Ichi – Ryu” and has become something of an oft-asked-about staple in Dead-Cert’s polysemous, polymetric DJ sets. Founded in 1978, Mecánica Popular was the brainchild of Luis Delgado (also a member of Finis Africae) and Eugenio Muñoz, conceived and nurtured during after-hours sessions in Madrid’s Estudios RCA using exclusively tape loops — no samples involved. They did, however, use an innovative set-up including a Polaroid 600 camera, an Eventide H910 Harmonizer, and an ARP Odyssey, all fed thru a matrix of FX to make a wonky, clanking sound that could be happily compared with the output of Conrad Schnitzler, Chris Carter, Jon Hassell, or Kerry Leimer during that fertile early-’80s era. For the DJs and post-punk fanatics, this one way is just too good to miss out on. Edition of 500. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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morelliRon Morelli: A Gathering Together (Hospital) LP
A Gathering Together is Ron Morelli’s second full-length for Hospital Productions, a “techno” cacophony brought to its granular detail and reduced to its most elemental tonal depths. A cohesive fusion of surreal and feverish déjà-vu loops, brittle noise, fucked rhythms, scrap-metal percussions, pro-one metal synths, and an injection of near-buried Drāno vocal samples, it’s a fearsome celebration of brokenness and of amplified surroundings, with stereo-shifting drones and driving rhythms that tell the stories of those now gone — more a soundtrack for a wake than 4/4 crafted for the dancefloor. There’s a naked anxiety at work that doesn’t turn away from loss but runs with an excited melancholy toward a future that won’t exist. The boldness of the gestures is not to be confused with exuberance. With this effort Morelli has shown remarkable restraint and patience, most notably highlighted on title-track “A Gathering Together,” an intense cut born from rapid-paced dead-end urban environments that force people together. It’s a calling to do more, include more, and celebrate the many forms within those inconspicuous places. Upon numerous listens, it’s clear that the sound-design is a reflection of heavy compositional themes that suggest a greater whole. This is hard, dirty techno — humid, reduced, bare-bones, yet dense and dissolved to its electronic soil. Heavy without being oppressive, it is the culmination of many elements pulled from all spheres of modern electronics, eaten, digested, and spit back out. Produced at the end of 2014, with final mixdown and additional production in spring 2015 by Krikor Kouchian and Ron Morelli in Paris. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Ambient
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lone wolfOST: Lone Wolf & Cub (K.O.) LP
“Rediscover in its vinyl release for the very first time the original soundtrack of the cult movie series in 6 parts played by the Baby Carts and produced by Kenji Misumi after the adaptation of famous manga entitled Lone Wolf & Cub, created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima. In medieval 17th century Japan, during the Edo period, Ogami Ittō, the implacable and stoic Shōgun’s executioner, played by legendary Tomisaburo Wakayama, is dismissed from his title and position as part as a masterplan plotted by the Yagyū clan. After the murder of his wife and the slaughter of all their household, Ogami Ittō throws himself into a blood battle to avenge the death of his clan and his disgrace by becoming a rōnin, a samourai with no lord or master. Together with his young son Daigorō, whom he wheels about in a stroller replete with weapons of all kinds, they become known from now on as Kozure Okami, which literally means ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’, they wander the country with an unwavering drive as an assassin-team to be hired by the highest bidder to avenge themselves in bloodshed and vowing to topple the Yagyū clan. As a result of an unexpected mixture of traditional Japanese music and psychedelic rock music with multiple echoing and resounding effects, as well as musical elements that are reminiscent of the blaxploitation film genre of the 1970s, these 24 tracks perfectly convey the dramatic stance and epic dimension of the series. Moving from dream-like and hypnotic passages played by an orchestra of violins and wind instruments to faster ones, in which the taiko – percussion instruments – gallop their way through the Japanese landscapes of this medieval fantasy, these compositions created by Hideaki Sakurai give pride of place to the shakuhachi, a typical Japanese bamboo flute. With its diverse and changing forms, Sakurai’s music takes on different shades that give it an atypical side ? at times funky, as in the Besieging Army of Ura Yagyu piece, it can also become more jazzy, as in the final theme of the Baby Cart In Peril. Although they keep their original identity, these rare instruments abound in influences and will ravish the fans of the series, but also more widely-speaking all music lovers, thanks to their overflowing of richness and inventiveness. This DELUXE edition comes with embossed sleeve, red vinyl, a poster reproducing the first part of the saga’s original one, and an exclusive seven-inch single including 3 tracks from the TV series. LIMITED TO 500 copies only. Be quick or be dead!”

File Under: OST
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parkerEvan Parker/John Edwards/Chris Corsano: The Hurrah (Otoroku) LP
The Hurrah is the second recorded outing from the universe-shifting free jazz trio of Evan Parker, John Edwards, and Chris Corsano. This trio has been playing together since 2006, sometimes expanding into quartets with the likes of Noah Howard, John Russell, Joe McPhee, John Coxon, and Paul Dunmall. The material on this LP was recorded by James Dunn at Cafe OTO in London on August 22, 2014, during Corsano’s four-night residency. All material recorded live; no editing or post-production. As raw and liberating as it was on the evening. Evan Parker: tenor saxophone; John Edwards: double bass; Chris Corsano: drums. All compositions by Evan Parker/John Edwards/Chris Corsano. Artwork by Dennis Tyfus. Mixed by Rupert Clervaux at Grays Inn Road, London. Mastered by Andreas “Lupo” Lubich at Calyx, Berlin.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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regisRegis: Manbait (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Manbait is a survey of Regis’s 2010-’15 productions and remixes for Blackest Ever Black. In addition to three originals (in several different versions) and his celebrated remixes of Raime, Vatican Shadow, Ike Yard, and Dalhous, it features three previously unreleased tracks: a Regis take on a lost song by his own teenage synth-punk group Family Sex, an alternate mix of Tropic of Cancer’s “Plant Lilies at My Head,” and an edit of his own “Blinding Horses.” Regis — real name Karl O’Connor — requires little in the way of introduction. Founder of the Downwards label, lynchpin of the late Sandwell District collective, one half of British Murder Boys (with Surgeon), and instigator of numerous other projects (among them Ugandan Methods, Concrete Fence, Kalon, and Sandra Electronics), the eternally shape-shifting O’Connor is one of techno’s last true visionaries. O’Connor’s arrival on Blackest Ever Black in 2010 coincided with a radical recalibration, and heightening, of his production work, and the tracks collected on Manbait document nothing less than an artist at the peak of his powers. One can hear elements of Sandwell District’s Berlin-incubated warehouse minimalism, the brutish dancefloor provocations of Regis’s ’90s Downwards material (what will always be known, against his wishes, as ‘The Birmingham Sound’), the DIY drone-pop and darkwave of Sandra Electronics, the high-torque breakbeat experiments of British Murder Boys. Throughout the listener is treated to some of the most morbidly atmospheric sound design in all electronic music (the shadowplay of ’80s goth and industrial made thrillingly contemporary), and to urgent, cyclical, ruthlessly avant-garde drum-programming informed by jungle, dubstep, and grime… but always unmistakably, irreducibly Regis. Manbait’s key track actually predates O’Connor’s association with Blackest Ever Black by several months: “C U 1,” a nauseous, low-slung production credited to his alias Cub, and originally self-released, incognito, on an imprint of the same name in April 2010. With its coarsely broken-beat, disarmingly slow tempo, and deep pools of low-end pressure, it set the tone for O’Connor’s productions in the ensuing half-decade. In 2015, five years after its release, it’s still pretty much untouchable. All tracks mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy, London, except “Loss (Regis Version),” mastered by Veronica Vasicka, and “C U 1,” mastered by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering. CD housed in full-color digipak. With exquisite cover art (Survivor, 1987) by none other than Val Denham, this is an anthology that no conscientious stableboy or girl can refuse. Life hurts!

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Techno
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rodiniaRodinia: Drumside/Dreamside (Now-Again) LP
“Ambient Krautrock in line with Cluster, Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream. Now-Again Records has enjoyed a long and creative partnership with Munich-based multi-instrumentalist JJ Whitefield, creative force behind the Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Brothers and Karl Hector & The Malcouns. Rodinia, his latest project, is quite different than anything that’s come from his oeuvre to date, but follows in the line of the Poets of Rhythm’s great Discern/Define, as it reaches back to Krautrock’s experimental heyday but pushes its boundaries with a post-hip-hop approach. That’s to say that everything you read in the header above is true, but the ambient sound Whitefield and his Rodinia collaborator — saxophonist and keyboardist Johannes Schleiermacher — reached for found itself morphing over the course of a year. What was originally recorded in a two-day studio lock-in, which found Whitefield and Schleiermacher hooking up ‘all our vintage synths (Korg MS-20, Moog Prodigy, Roland Juno 60, Jen SX 1000, Korg Polysix), triggering everything with a vintage Korg rhythm box, absorbing some mind altering substances and jamming out,’ was later turned into two, side-long suites, with over-dubbed reeds, drums and guitar, and self-made Moroccan field recordings introducing the project on its Drumside.”

File Under: Ambient, Pseudo Krautrock
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romperayoRomperayo: s/t (Discrepant) LP
Psychedelic cumbia discharges from Bogotá, Colombia. Romperayo’s full-length debut reunites Pedro Ojeda (from projects such as Los Pirañas, Frente Cumbiero, Ondatrópica, and Chúpame el Dedo) on drums, percussion, and timbales; Eblis Álvarez (from internationally-acclaimed bands Meridian Brothers and Los Pirañas) on samplers and synths; virtuoso organist and pianist Ricardo Gallo on synthesizers; and renowned bassist and composer Juan Manuel Toro on bass. Romperayo’s sound is a fast-moving musical journey through Colombian tropical folklore, a mischievous modern interpretation of the up-tempo rhythms of descarga and the psychedelic sounds of ’70s cumbia. By cleverly incorporating urban sounds and sampling techniques into the tropical music of the past decades, Romperayo embodies Colombia’s modern folklore scene. Artwork by Colombian artist Mateo Rivano. Cut and pressed at Optimal.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Cumbia
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manuvaRoots Manuva: Bleeds (Big Dada) LP
Not only one of Britain’s greatest musical artists, but one of the greatest lyricists full stop, Roots Manuva is back with a dazzling new album, Bleeds. Past collaborations with everyone from Gorillaz to the Maccabees to Leftfield to Coldcut to the Cinematic Orchestra, Rodney Smith’s influence can be heard right across the musical landscape. Now, with his sixth studio album, he has made his most concise and focused record to date, his most emotionally affecting and powerful release since his breakthrough, Run Come Save Me. Drawing upon production assistance from young British producer, Fred, together with musical heavyweights Four Tet, Adrian Sherwood and Switch’s new production team, With You, the title of the record is, in the man’s own words, an “egocentric jest of daring to do things in the tradition of Jesus: I’m ready to bleed for the artform.” It is, of course, also a reference to the way in which genres, in the sonic world of Roots Manuva, have a tendency to bleed into one another, so that hip hop, reggae, techno, funk, neo-classical, all blend together to create “liquid soul, the blood, the bleeds that paint infinite sacred wonders in our dreams and unfold in our day-to-day.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Soul, Electronic
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shiggajonShiggajon: Sela (El Paraiso) LP
It’s tempting to categorize Danish collective Shiggajon as a spiritual jazz ensemble. But while there’s an element of ritualism present, there’s also a postmodern tendency to absorb everything from Sufi music to krautrock and contemporary electronic drone. Heavily modulated guitar pedals and processed vocals accompany layers of flutes, strings, bells, and percussion as the most natural thing in the world. It’s the kind of music that demands openness and surrender. These two long, multi-layered, cacophonous pieces occasionally come off as slightly abrasive and dissonant, but ultimately the music is a process resulting in joyful catharsis and healing.

File Under: Jazz, Drone, Kosmische
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small blackSmall Black: Best Blues (Jagjaguwar) LP
Gracing the cover of Brooklyn band Small Black’s new record, a mysterious woman walks alone on the dunes at dusk, amid pockmarked sand. She’s the subject of a found photo, one of many rescued with the warmth of a blow dryer and a fireplace, by singer Josh Hayden Kolenik after Hurricane Sandy flooded his family’s Long Island home. The faded image offers clues and invites viewers to construct their own narrative, one that escapes even the picture’s taker, Kolenik’s father. To put it simply, Best Blues is an album about loss, the specific loss of precious people in our lives, but also the loss of memories and the difficult fight to preserve them. “I spent months trying to scan all these images and letters, most covered with ocean dirt, and in doing so discovered what people often find in their family’s past: that they are a hell of a lot like those who’d come before,” says Kolenik. The chorus of standout “Boys Life” echoes this sentiment with the refrain “pictures of youth/picturing you,” over a track that itself was an old demo re-discovered by accident by the band, during a late night jam session at a cabin in Upstate NY. The compassion of the record collects itself in the soft repeating mantra-esque hook in “No One Wants It To Happen To You.” The group’s third full length release, written and recorded at their Brooklyn home studio, nicknamed 222, showcases a band still evolving, and embracing the unpredictable. Kolenik (keys, vocals), Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski (bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums) have been recording, writing, and often living together, throughout the life of the band, establishing a closeness that has allowed them to achieve easy creativity and unspoken chemistry. After a year of recording, that band enlisted mixer Nicholas Vernhes (War on Drugs, Deerhunter) of Rare Book Room Studio to help complete the record. Best Blues finds the band in their sweet spot: the smoky intersection of considered and vulnerable songwriting and loose, almost nonchalant ambience. The addition of piano flourishes, trumpet (Darby Cicci of The Antlers), hidden acoustic guitars and Kaede Ford’s ethereal vocals provide new dimensions to the band’s already expansive sonic palette. Cut-to-the-chase rippers “Back at Belle’s” and “Checkpoints” embody and build on the group’s signature gritty yet focused electronic sound. While the more pastoral tracks, such as “Between Leos,” and “XX Century,” skeletally based on recorded improvisations, find the band painting a more nuanced, assured aural portrait. The repeating of the line “twentieth century” on closer, “XX Century”, serves as a coda for the album, offering a simple summation of what Best Blues’ intent has been from the opening Casio stab: an attempt to reexamine the past, but also one to let it go.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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sunburnedSunburned Hand of the Man: Mind of a Brother (Feeding Tube) LP
“Amazing archival retrieval (with extra material on the download) of the first release by long-running human zoo known as Sunburned. Forged in the heat of Kristin Anderson’s Charlestown loft, the group more or less descended straight from the corpse of Shit Spangled Banner, although they did not assume the band name until 1997 (two years after the first protean jams had started). The material on the album was recorded in 1997 & ’98, often deep in the grip of acid flashes, and it really shows. Over the course of their nearly two-decade lifetime, Sunburned has been many things, but it’s easy to forget how spacily jazzoid and proggily psyched-out their initial gushes were. The music here is wildly explorative and crazily inventive, sharing a clear affinity with fellow travelers No Neck Blues Band. Indeed, the second edition of the CDR of this album was created to be sold on a 1999 tour which was No Neck, John Fahey, and Sunburned. One can only shudder at the mere thought. Anyway, this may well be one of the best Sunburned albums. It has a bizarre sweetness I never noticed in the band back then, because they always seemed like thugs underneath everything else. But you can really sense it here. And Rob Thomas’s excellent liner notes attest to the benign flow of their early visions. How nice to hear where this weird trip started.” –Byron Coley, 2015

File Under: Abstract, Psych, Rock
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taeggiAndrea Taeggi: Mama Matrix Most Mysterious (Type) LP
Italian artist Andrea Taeggi’s Mama Matrix Most Mysterious is a rich exploration of tense, rhythmic minimalism. Unlike his work with Koenraad Ecker as Lumisokea and his material under the Gondwana moniker, the album showcases Taeggi’s interest in finding strength in simplicity. Taeggi was able to limit himself by working on old modular synthesizer systems — the Buchla and the Serge, to be exact. “I needed to adapt to them,” he admits. “I don’t actually master them, which isn’t necessarily a disadvantage.” This playfulness buoys Mama Matrix Most Mysterious throughout, distancing it from the litany of self-involved modular synth LPs filling the shelves right now. The Serge and Buchla systems allowed the Italian producer to realize his rhythmic and timbric visions; Taeggi filters decades of beat-driven electronic music through these machines to come up with a record of chattering, bass-heavy experiments that sound like little else. You’d struggle to dance to it, but Taeggi’s sound is so physical that you can almost feel the electricity running through the circuits. And isn’t that exactly what electronic music should be about? Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. RIYL Pan Sonic, SND, Raster-Noton. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Synth
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thomasJr. Thomas & The Volcanos: Beware (Truth & Soul) LP
“Junior Thomas is a songwriter, musician, vocalist, and producer born north of Minneapolis, MN. He developed a sincere devotion to classic Jamaican music at a young age, listening to such artists as Dave Barker, The Bleechers, The Wailers, Phyllis Dillon, and Alton Ellis. ‘I wanted to make a record that was honest and true to the golden era of Jamaican music’ says Thomas. The Volcanos are a collective of Southern Californian musicians specializing in Reggae’s late 60s early 70s sound.”

File Under: Reggae
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bibleUnited Bible Studies: The Ale’s What Cures Ye (Mie) LP
The Ale’s What Cures Ye by United Bible Studies is a compendium of traditional and modern folk songs as interpreted by the band and inspired by Folkways. United Bible Studies in The Ale’s What Cures Ye are David Colohan (Raising Holy Sparks), Michael Tanner (Plinth), Áine O’Dwyer, Nicholas Palmer, Alison Cotton, Richard Moult, Louise McGrath, and Sharron Kraus. Mixed by Michael Tanner; mastered by Patrick Klem; sleeve by Lucy Duncombe. Edition of 300; includes download code. The record also comes with a booklet of words by the band members. Here are three extracts: “Titled after the Black Sands of ‘Sweet Streams of Nancy’ and pieced together from the relative geographies of melodies found elsewhere on the album, ‘Blacksands’ represents, to my mind, the band as a whole — waxing and waning between various members offerings and sewn together with a shared understanding of something more unified and ancient. Recorded in various parts of the English countryside and the Irish midlands.” “Dave brought the Litany to the table, and I was only faintly familiar with it from the Hart/Prior version. F.W. Moorman’s paean to itinerant labouring hardships, the piece always conjured images of the families left behind in the search for pit work — A concept which lead to the creation of a kind of coda, The Burning Sea — with Alison Cotton’s vocals from Ten Thousand Miles echoed here in an altogether different form… that of a distressed wife abandoned overseas, set against a scree of gradually deconstructed/decaying viola lines.” “Many’s the tip Johnny Moynihan offered me regarding the songs I was singing whilst touring with him one Summer. Singing ‘The Recruited Collier’ exactly as Anne Briggs had done was one of them. However, on this recording, Nature intervened. The tide was fast approaching & in our haste, I sang ‘take my heart’ rather than ‘break my heart’. Not only that, but I sang it twice, perhaps recalling Pavement’s advice to repeat any mistakes you made so as to make them seem deliberate. With no room for second takes, we made good our escape from the smugglers cave & I swore to never haul a harmonium up & down a cliff face ever again.”

File Under: Folk, Experimental
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voicesVoices From The Lake: Live at MAXXI (Editions Mego) LP
After their respective releases on Spectrum Spools, Italian techno masterminds Donato Dozzy (Sintetizzatrice) and Neel (Phobos) return as the duo Voices from the Lake with Live at MAXXI on the motherlabel Editions Mego. A marvelous, organic live set of hypnotic, ambient techno that proves the outstanding and elegant craftsmanship of the pair’s renowned sonic sculpture work. As expected, they stay true to their polyphonic topography of liquid scapes, with aquatic sceneries embedded in soaking dense atmospheres, gently gyrating the listener into a trance. Sometimes soft echoes of sirenic voices are heard — the only remnants of human traces in these spaces that have suspended time, where smooth silky textures are channeled into fractal structures that induce a state of transcendence. The haptic quality of their sound adds up to a sonic matrix provoked by gentle glides and dynamic beat patterns of an almost tribalistic quality. Dunked in a bath of dark fluid, sometimes washed away at the shores of kosmische, Voices from the Lake’s tunes seduce the listener into a condition of haziness, culminating in a cover of Paolo Conte’s “Max,” a dazzling sample of sweet, dreamy melancholia. With this release Voices from the Lake succeed again in strengthening their position as supremely refined ambient techno producers. All music written and produced by Donato Scaramuzzi and Giuseppe Tillieci, except “Max,” written by Paolo Conte. Guitar overdubs and arrangements on “Max” by Brando Lupi. Mastered by Giuseppe Tillieci at Enisslab Studio in Rome. Recorded at MAXXI in Rome on October 25th, 2014, during the Open Museum Open City exhibition. Photography and cover design by Koto Hirai.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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wrightFrank Wright Quartet: Church Number Nine (Calumet) LP
This is the free jazz record that everyone wants. Its long, mythic history is shrouded and whispered about because of it rarity. Church Number Nine was recorded on March 7, 1970, but remained buried until it was released in 1973 on the Calumet label, a Parisian venture that instantly evaporated into thin air. Only 300 copies of the album made it into circulation; the rest were apparently destroyed. The line-up is one of free jazz’s greatest, the same quartet as Frank Wright’s legendary BYG Actuel outing One for John: Wright on tenor, Noah Howard on alto, Bobby Few on piano, and Muhammad Ali on drums. The opening track is a monumental 26-minute slab of holy-rolling free gospel. Heavily indebted to Albert Ayler, Wright’s take on the spiritual is spiced up by adding additional percussion. This is when Wright and Howard are not blowing their horns to smithereens — they both unleash an all-incinerating racket, an ominously heavy whirlwind of feverish, infernal blowing. Bobby Few is a standout in these sessions and exerts explosive and alternating churchy licks and furious clusters until the whole comes crashing down like the walls of Jericho under the blasts of the horns. The second piece comprises tight bursts of energy, ripping notes to pieces like there is no tomorrow. Possessed vocals from various members imbue the proceedings with an air of a possession ceremony amid the fractured tone-clusters of the torrential sonic storm. This record is heavy, ecstatic, and mind-blowing! Church Number Nine is without a single doubt one of the greatest free-blowing jazz discs ever to be put down on wax. One-time pressing of 300 copies. Faithful to the original.

File Under: Free Jazz
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reedsVarious: Excavated Shellac: Reeds (Parlotone) LP
Includes eight-page booklet and download code. Reed instruments are capable of some of the most impassioned music on the planet, due to the malleability of the reeds themselves — historically made of plant tissue — which vibrate when air hits them. The origin of most reed instruments is steeped in rural, pastoral culture. Many insistent, loud, often joyful reed instruments have always been played outdoors as traditional accompaniment for dancing and celebrations. This compelling album is the second volume in the Excavated Shellac release series, featuring rare, never-before-issued 78-RPM records from around the world centered on a unique theme. The previous volume (Excavated Shellac: Strings (DTD 044CD)) focused on stellar stringed-instrument performances. This release examines some of the most intense and hypnotic music set to disc during the early years of international recording, all featuring reed instruments.. All records have been carefully transferred and mastered. Featuring rare and historic photos, jaw-dropping graphics from the 78-RPM era, and extensive liner notes by compiler Jonathan Ward, founder and author of the acclaimed Excavated Shellac website. Includes tracks by I Tre Antonio della Basilicata (Italy), Sylvain Poujouly & Achille Marc (Auvergne, France), Karzana Oyun Havasi (Turkey), Tufanpur Orchestra (Iran), Ahn Ki-Ok and Kin Yin Kuan (North Korea), Guangdong Troupe with Da Kai men (China), T. Rajarathnam Pillai (India), Selim (Albania), Obdulia Alvarez, “La Busdonga” (Asturias, Spain), Jhande Nath (India), Hoseynkali was Roofakah (Kurdistan), Mohamed Efendi Baz (Upper Egypt), Ngoma Ya Kitokomire (Tanzania), Mqonga Sikanise (South Africa), Musicians of Radio Studio Skopje (Macedonia), uncredited musicians (Tajikistan), and Parush Parushev (Bulgaria).

File Under: World, Folk
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icantgiveVarious: I Can’t Give You the Life You Want (Blackest Ever Black) LP
“Blackest Ever Black US exclusive release manufactured and distributed by Mount Analog. 500 copies worldwide featuring unreleased and brand new material from Tropic of Cancer, Bremen, Tarcar, Cut Hands, Exploring Jezebel, Dalhous, Secret Boyfriend, 500 Stamps (Veronica Vasicka), Infrastructure Zero and more.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial
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orkVarious: Ork Records: New York, New York (Numero) 4LP/2CD
Where in the mythos of punk is there room for a frizzy-haired cinephile San Diegan? How could the defining rock attitude and look of the late 1970s get brainstormed by two go-nowheres from a boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware – a D student and kid voted Most Unknown by his senior class? Forget the worn-out yarns about London gobbers and safety pin piercings – the true story of the birth of punk rock on 45 is the story of Ork Records, captured by Numero Group on four hefty LPs and told across 120 high-gloss pages filled with insider photos and sordid details. It is a story populated by iconic names like Television, Alex Chilton, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell, the Feelies, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Blondie and the Ramones. And it’s a tale told from the hallowed grounds of CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, and Ardent Studios. It all began with Terry Ork, a Jewish SoCal film nerd enthralled by Andy Warhol’s posse as they made a transgressive surfing flick, who moved cross-country to manage a movie memorabilia shop on the grubby streets of the Lower East Side. Made in the shadows of disco and dereliction in late-‘70s Manhattan, Ork Records: New York, New York is not just the genesis of punk, it is the birth of the New York City scene and indie culture as we know it.
• 49 total tracks, including previously unreleased recordings by Richard Lloyd, Alex Chilton, Feelies, Erasers and the first singles by Television and Richard Hell
• 120-page hard cover coffee table book featuring previously unpublished photos by revered NYC punk photographers David Godlis, Ebet Roberts and Roberta Bayley (Ramones)
• 37,000-word essay detailing birth of punk rock on 45, populated by iconic artists like Television, Alex Chilton, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell, the Feelies, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Blondie, and the Ramones
• A comprehensive look into early punk and the NYC music scene from 1975-1979

File Under: Punk, Rock
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Various: Uchronia: Field Recordings from Alternate Realities (Sahel Sounds) LP
“Ethnographic documentation of a fictional Bamako where Abubakari II discovered America. Musical recordings of future manding, bamako nu-wave, hip hop visionaries, and the sounds of an imagined geography. Includes 60 page booklet of photographs. Collaboration between photographer Maciek Pozoga and musicologist Christopher Kirkley, and a number of Bamako’s artists, ethnologists, musicians, and designers. Soundtrack for the exhibition ‘Uchronia : The Unequivocal Interpretation of Reality.'”

File Under: World
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Badbadnotgood: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Beastie Boys: Sold Gold Hits (EMI) LP
Biosphere: Substrata (Biofon) LP
Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Cypress Hill: s/t (Get on Down) LP
Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain (Sony) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Sony) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic (Interscope) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic 2001 (Interscope) LP
Fairport Convention: Liege & Lief (Rhino) LP
Ben Frost: Steel Wound (Room 40) LP
Half Japanese: Vol 1 (Fire) 3LP
Alan Jefferson: Galactic Nightmare (Trunk) LP
Tobias Jesso Jr: Good (Arts & Crafts) LP
Fela Kuti: Fear Not For Man (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: Live with Ginger Baker (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: Roforofo Fight (Knitting Factory) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening (DFA) LP
Luxury Apartments: s/t (Dead-Cert) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
Dean McPhee: Fatima’s Hand (Hood Faire) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Modest Mouse: Good News For People… (Epic) LP
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Universal) LP
Annie O’Dwyer: Music for Church Cleaners 1 & 2 (Mie) LP
OST: Drive (Invada) LP
Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance (Fire) LP
Purity Ring: Shines (Last Gang) LP
Purity Ring: Another Eternity (Last Gang) LP
Ugly Ducklings: Somewhere Outside (Yorkville) LP
Jane Weaver: Silver Globe (Bird) LP
White Stripes: s/t (Thirdman) LP


Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule… now Nov 20
Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 20
Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled… next week???
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now Nov 6
Sigur Ros: ( )…. en route!
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA
Wolf Eyes: I Am A  Problem… Next week

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #713 – fuzzy…..

Yow! It would seem as soon as I finish receiving one shipment another arrives, every day this week! Making this one hefty list! I’m swamped, so come buy some of these records!

…..picks of the week…..


L. Voag: The Way Out (Superior Viaduct) LP
The first-time vinyl reissue of the 1979 solo debut from The Homosexuals bassist Jim Welton (a.k.a. L. Voag) includes a bonus 7-inch of the rare Move EP. The Way Out is recommended for fans of Desperate Bicycles, This Heat and Mark Perry. “The start of recording The Way Out crossed over with the last days of my involvement with the Homosexuals. Lovely as they were, the guys were demanding unswerving, vanilla rock ’n’ roll fealty from me—something I just couldn’t provide given my need to taste eight thousand musical ideas at once. “The gravity around which The Way Out took shape issued from a decidedly asinine idea: what if we lived in a world where the music of the avant-gardists (Stockhausen, Oliveros, Henry) provided the best-selling, chart-topping pabulum of the day, while pop music (as we know it) was an obscure, nigh impenetrable, elitist niche product? L. Voag is a fiction used to describe a character from the pop milieu who, desperate for a hit, attempts to knock out a crossover album combining both worlds. Not surprisingly, he fails miserably. “The Way Out was recorded at Surrey Sound Studios, founded in 1976 by brothers Nigel and Chris Grey. While Nigel (sensibly?) concentrated on music biz staples The Police and others, Chris—a visionary with at least one if not both feet planted in the future—opened up the studio to all manner of experiment, actively inviting mavericks and crazies to participate. Maniacs like the Homosexuals, Milk From Cheltenham, and L. Voag were granted access to gold standard, 24-track recording equipment, so long as it was during so-called dead time between 1:00 and 7:00 A.M. The brothers were unfailingly generous, even on the occasion when Lepke retuned Sting’s hand-turned lute to the obscure Mixolydian mode—by accident. “The middle of The Way Out sessions, which took just over six weeks to complete, were disrupted when L. Voag found himself arrested on trumped-up charges by the Special Patrol Group (SPG), London’s own out-of-control paramilitary police force. Held for two days, L. Voag was dragged by the SPG to his Bloomsbury squat, special guest of a proposed drugs raid. As they smashed the doors in, he burst into a famous rendition of his now forgotten masterwork, “The Police Are Raiding the Fucking House!” Halfway through the first verse, he discovered the boot of an SPG thug dancing up and down on his face and promptly stopped singing. Some days later in the slow dead hours before dawn, L. Voag sang again. If you listen carefully to The Way Out, you will hear the lisping special effect of twelve stitches applied to the lip. Beat that if you can, songbirds.” —L. Voag

File Under: Lo-Fi, Punk, Experimental
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sea fantasy
Armando Sciascia: Sea Fantasy (Pheon) LP
Pheon is a new label started by Jonny Trunk with James Pianta from Votary / Roundtable. Both have a love of obscure library music, film music and jazz. Using those musical fields as a starting point, the label will be issuing very limited, vinyl only short runs of desirable and obscure LPs, compilations and new old discoveries. The first Pheon Records LP release is a rare trip underwater, with one of the masters of Italian film music and library, Armando Sciascia. Famed for his mondo scores and experimental library music, Armando Sciascia reached a peak in 1972 with this experimental, modern classical, plugged-in dive down to the murky seabed. The twelve superb library cues, taken from the original master tapes move like a jellyfish from beautiful calm drifts to wild electronic tension and all points in between. Respected by many as the finest example of underwater conceptual composing, this has to be one of the greatest examples of not just library music but also the sub aquatic sounds. Think De Roubaix, Jacques Cousteau and bathtime. At last this amazing LP is available to mere mortals. But be quick.

File Under: Library, Italian, Underwater
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…..new arrivals…..


Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm: Loon (Erased Tapes) 12″
‘Loon’ is a 5-track EP that was recorded in autumn 2014 across five days at Nils’s Durton Studio in Berlin, and continues with the ambient sounds of ‘Stare’ but with the addition of more percussive elements and dub influences. For ‘Loon’ they wired the Oberheim 4 Voice and a Korg PS3100 to the patch bay/mixing desk and performed live takes. With all four hands on its pots, all mixes were recorded straight onto 2-track ½-inch tape.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Beach House: Thank Your Lucky Stars (Sub Pop) LP
Thank Your Lucky Stars is the sixth full-length effort from Baltimore, Maryland dream pop duo Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) and second of 2015 alone following the August release of fifth album Depression Cherry. The band stated that Thank Your Luck Stars, “is an album being released the way we want. It’s not a companion to Depression Cherry or a surprise or b-sides.” Single-LP in tip-on gatefold jacket packaging with custom dust sleeve and MP3 coupon.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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john carpenter

John Carpenter: Lost Themes Remixed (Sacred Bones) LP
John Carpenter has inspired countless musicians since his earliest minimal, synth-based film scores. The themes to his features like Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, and Escape from New York have remained instantly recognizable since he penned them nearly four decades ago. In February 2015, Sacred Bones released his first solo record of non-soundtrack music, Lost Themes, to overwhelming critical success. The Horror Master proved that not only could he perfectly score his own films – he could also score the movies in your mind. Eight pivotal contemporary electronic artists were moved to reshape the original songs on Lost Themes in tribute to one the genre’s great pioneers. Several of the remixes were released as part of the digital deluxe edition of the album, but Lost Themes Remixed marks the first time any of the tracks have been on vinyl.

File Under: Not OST, Electronic, RMX
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The City: Now That Everything’s Been Said (Light In The Attic) LP
We all know the Carole King who wrote some of the biggest hits of the ‘60s, from “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” to “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” via “The Locomotion” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” We also know the singer-songwriter behind Tapestry, the album that launched King as a solo singer in her own right. But in between–and not nearly as well known–is King’s band, The City, and their album, Now That Everything’s Been Said. By the mid-‘60s, King’s marriage to Gerry Goffin, with whom she’d written many of those wonderful hits, had hit the rocks. A divorce loomed, and King all but retired to raise their two daughters. She headed west to Laurel Canyon in ‘67, taking the children with her, and made the previously unlikely move of joining a progressive folk-rock band. King formed The City with future husband Charles Larkey on bass and Danny Kortchmar on guitar and vocals. With King on piano and vocals, they created a folk rock sound that pre-empted the singer-songwriter boom of the ‘70s. Produced by Lou Adler and featuring Jimmy Gordon on drums, The City’s sound is deep and soulful, imperfect but passionate. And the songs, with King writing or co-writing all but one, are as exceptional as you’d expect and as widely covered as her factory work. “Now That Everything’s Been Said” was a hit for American Spring, “A Man Without A Dream” was tackled by The Monkees, and “Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)” was a hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears. Central to the album’s appeal is King’s own stirring reading of her track “Wasn’t Born To Follow,” covered masterfully by The Byrds for the Easy Rider soundtrack. King had been used to a life on the sidelines, and her stage fright left the trio unable to tour the LP which adversely affected their fortunes. That, plus some behind-the-scenes distribution problems, meant the album was quickly deleted, and it remained so for the next thirty years–partly at King’s request. Even so, its failure was a surprise to those concerned. “I was 26 when Now That Everything’s Been Said was released in 1968,” King says of the album. “[We] expected it to zoom to the top of the charts within, at most, a few weeks. Individually and together, we optimistically imagined the album’s success as if it had already happened. Danny and Charlie kept telling each other, ’It’s a great album. The City is gonna be Number 1 with a bullet!’” Listening now, you can feel the threads that lead to Tapestry and to the hugely successful performing career that followed. It’s not so much an oddity in King’s work as the missing link between her two lives. Reissued here in deluxe vinyl, this is, at long last, a chance to own this lost album.

File Under: Folk Rock
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Cuntz: Force The Zone (Homeless) LP
Third album for Melbourne’s Cuntz. With Alex MacFarlane (Boomgates, Constant Mongrel, The Stevens) behind the desk again, Cuntz offer an even more bitter pill to swallow this time around in Force The Zone. Always polarizing critics, mainly due to the band’s chosen moniker, those that didn’t get the sardonic humor present missed out on fully enjoying Aloha and Solid Mates, although one commenter nailed it when stating “…the informed listener can choose to either get it or be put off by the irreverence. Cuntz are dedicated to the hoon, and dedicated to supporting each other in their own respective hoons, and they don’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks about that.” Includes download.

File Under: Punk
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dead ghosts

Dead Ghosts: Love And Death And All The Rest (Burger) LP
Vancouver-based garage rockers Dead Ghosts recently reissued their 2010 self-titled debut through Burger Records, but now they’re looking ahead with a brand new full-length. It will be the band’s third album and follows 2013’s Can’t Get No. Love and Death and All the Rest hears the band taking a refreshing DIY approach to recording, eschewing a standard studio in favour of a dilapidated barn on the outskirts of Vancouver. According to a press release, the self-produced album features a slightly more restrained feel, opting for a “fuller, less abrasive sound” than heard on previous releases. The first sampling of that can be heard on the new single “Drink It Dry,” which has been given an accompanying video. The clip features grainy footage of the band on a walk through a cemetery, though things get a little weird upon a meeting with a mysterious spiritual leader. The song itself is a charming blend of bluesy riffs and psychedelic pop.

File Under: Garage, Psych, CanCon
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The Deep: Psychedelic Moods of The Deep (Lion) LP
Expanded deluxe edition of The Deep’s one and only album, originally released in 1966 and now well-established as a psychedelic classic. One night in a darkened Philadelphia studio, the Deep (Rusty Evans, songwriting partner and producer Mark Barkan, the legendary David Bromberg, whose credits include playing with Bob Dylan and many others, plus a bevy of talented musicians) laid down tempestuous garage punkers, sweetly-twisted ballads and ambiguous weirdness, all rife with hyper-psychedelic lyrical flashes of a rolling midnight expressway through the subconscious mind. A perfect representation of the psychedelic sound: free-form poetry, infectious drum beats, fuzzed out guitar, and playfully plucked bass (and vibes and tympani and so on), swirl together, coalescing into some of the most impressive psychedelic rock you’ll hear. Cuts like ‘Your Choice To Choose,’ sound very Seeds-like or proto-Velvet Underground, Lou Reed snarl and all; others like ‘Shadows On The Wall’ and ‘Wake Up and Find Me’ are haunting acid ballads: the whole point of the album was to thoroughly explore the hallucinatory agony and ecstasy of a 12-hour Technicolor dream… although the end result is more amphetamine edgy than acid-soaked trippy. The Deep “Psychedelic Moods” pre-dates its closest kindred sprit in sound and energy (albeit not subject matter): “The Velvet Underground and Nico” came along five months later, and the world of music shifted on its axis—but too late for the Deep. This 3xLP release of “Psychedelic Moods” is taken from the original four-track master tapes. In addition to the superlative master takes, there are three sides of out-takes and alternates from the Deep original four-track session tapes. This set also marks the vinyl debut of all known recordings by Inner Sanctum (aka Hydro Pyro), another LSD trip project produced by Mark Barkan in 1966. Tip-on gatefold art has liner notes detailing the mysterious rise and fall of this New York City band. Made with full co-operation of original Deep producers, Mark Barkan and Rusty Evans. A definitive example of the psychedelic sound.

File Under: Psych, Garage
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deerhunterDeerhunter: Fading Frontier (4AD) LP
“Fading Frontier” is the new studio album from Deerhunter. The record was made by founding members Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Moses Archuleta, and bassist Josh McKay. Written in their hometown of Atlanta, GA, production duties were shared by the band and Ben H. Allen III, continuing a collaboration that began with 2010’s “Halcyon Digest”. Following the death-rattle garage catharsis of “Monomania”, the group have shifted towards something strikingly balanced, focused on melody and texture. The songs are brighter; if not in content, then in the album’s production. Starkness plays against clutter in what is the band’s most complex yet accessible work to date. Cox and Pundt share lead vocal duties (a first for the band) on the enthralling ‘Breaker’, while the darker ‘Take Care’ (featuring Broadcast’s James Cargill on synthesizers and tape manipulation) and ‘Leather and Wood’ – a strange hybrid of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian grey-skied science fiction, and the most spartan Motown downer imaginable – paint a varied spectral landscape. Elsewhere, the likes of ‘Snakeskin’ showcase a sinister flirtation with minimalist funk, whilst Pundt makes a typically masterful statement with the synth-diffused ‘Ad Astra’, which culminates in one of the album’s most transcendent moments. Fading Frontier shows that a decade in, Deerhunter has lost none of its intensity. As the group matures, so they have grown into the most consistent purveyors of art-rock of their generation.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Departmentstore Santas: At the Medieval Castle  (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Departmentstore Santas’ LP is a underground rock classic of the highest order—from its carnivalesque front cover to the sixteen home-schooled tracks contained inside. Information about this mysterious band has been as scarce as original copies of their self-released album, yet purveyors of lo-fi pop esoterica have whispered about the Santas’ raison d’etre for the better part of the past three decades. Recorded in the early ’80s in La Mesa, California, At the Medieval Castle Nineteen 100-Year Lifetimes Since features quirky sing-alongs, wide-eyed lyrics, echoey instrumentals and outsider folk-punk à la Daniel Johnston. While bandleader Joseph D’Angelo’s unique charm may not fit comfortably in any one style, his preternatural world is united by the warmth and grit of these bedroom recordings. Out of step with other music of its era, Departmentstore Santas uncannily anticipated the 4-track movement of the ’90s. This first-time reissue is recommended for fans of Television Personalities, Guided By Voices and Cleaners From Venus.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Alternative
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Diat: Positive Energy (Iron Lung) LP
The long awaited debut full length has finally arrived. And the wait was well worth it. DIAT have worked, worked and reworked these 8 songs until they were perfect. Who is this band you ask? Let us introduce you: “Brought together by a shared enthusiasm for bleak UK punk and a history of playing in hardcore bands, Berlin based DIÄT have created a sound that they have described, perhaps not entirely seriously, as ‘tough new wave’. Fans of Crisis, Killing Joke and The Mob (UK) should be pleased by the band’s unlikely synthesis of depressive drift and cranked, accelerated energy. ‘Positive Energy was recorded last Winter while huddled in a practice space overlooking the industrial landscape of frozen East Berlin, the album finds Diät reining in the threads of malignant enthusiasm still peppered throughout their earlier recordings (both 7″s previously released on this fine imprint) to focus on the cynicism and dejectedness that binds them as a band.” Packaged in a high quality reverse board jacket with a 12-page lyric booklet only available in this version of the LP. All copies on black vinyl. The download comes with the “Hurricane” video as well.

File Under: Punk
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Disclosure: Caracal (Capitol) LP
Disclosure is Guy and Howard Lawrence, two brothers from the UK making house/future music. The duo’s long awaited second studio album, Caracal, home to the previously released hit singles “Holding On,” feat. Gregory Porter “Omen,” feat. Sam Smith and “Jaded,” has finally arrived! Its name refers to a desert lynx, playing on the notion of being “completely unique” with no comparison to the everyday crowd. Caracal is a muscular and nuanced record, with a depth to it that will pin it to the canon of dance music history. It’s crunchy and gets under your skin. A proper album album, you might say. “We feel like a band now, instead of just releasing tracks for the club. We wanted to really step out with a solid body of work and tour for two years. We’re very much an album band,” says Howard. However, Disclosure is still doing what they do best – taking house and giving it a massive injection of musicality – but there’s a renewed depth and skill to this latest work. It’s not just musicality. It’s songwriting in its classic form. The pace across Caracal is generally slowed down. “With dance and electronica, your genre is defined by a BPM. As Disclosure we want to be known sonically, for our sound. We want to go through a variety of speeds and even genres and focus on mix and production,” adds Guy.

File Under: Electronic
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Esmerine: Lost Voices (Constellation) LP
Montréal chamber rock ensemble Esmerine return with Lost Voices, the most dynamic and incendiary record of the group’s career, following its acclaimed and Juno award winning 2013 release Dalmak. Led by co-founders Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) on mallet instruments and Rebecca Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Saltland) on cello, Esmerine also includes drummer Jamie Thompson (The Unicorns, Islands, Little Scream) and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson. Lost Voices is the result of multiple recording sessions led by Vid Cousins (Kid Koala, Amon Tobin, Colin Stetson) and was mixed/produced by Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) at his Breakglass Studio in Montréal. The album features several tracks that are hands down among the band’s most rocking, making newfound use of electric guitars (courtesy a variety of guest players) alongside the group’s nucleus of marimba, strings and percussion. Esmerine also welcomes bassist Jeremi Roy (who began touring with the group in 2013) as an official member; his contrabass work adds potent low-end to the heavier jams on the new album. Lost Voices is equally notable for the appearance of Godspeed/Mt. Zion violinist Sophie Trudeau as a featured guest; her intense, incomparable string sounds/styles elevate the potency of the record’s most soaring and high-octane pieces, particularly on opener “The Neighbourhoods Rise,” “19/14” and “Hakanting.” Thompson’s drumming comes to the fore on these pieces too, and on the rock-steady minimalism of “A River Runs Through This City,” which harkens back to the likes of Tied & Tickled Trio, June Of 44, Shipping News and Lungfish. Lost Voices can fairly be called Esmerine’s ‘rock’ album, expanding upon the band’s celebrated prowess at deploying structure and dynamic, balancing melodic expression against methodical restraint through a diversity of stylistic touchstones (minimalism, post-rock, math-rock, desert rock) while allowing for explosive crescendos of exuberant density and maximalism that most notably distinguish this record from previous work. The album nonetheless includes several instances of more spacious, searching and/or tender compositions – not only in some of the opening sections of the rock songs, but in stand-alone marimba-and-string-led pieces like “Pas Trop Pas Tropes” and “My Mamma Pinned A Rose On Me” and in the two piano-and-string minuets that close each side of the record. Lost Voices is a deeply satisfying and evocative journey and another brilliant iteration of Esmerine’s distinctive instrumental chamber rock: cerebral and visceral, controlled and volatile – and wholly cinematic in scope throughout. Includes art print and download coupon.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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fullmanEllen Fullman: The Long String Instrument (Superior Viaduct) LP
Ellen Fullman began developing her installation The Long String Instrument in 1981, in search of tonalities that could not be achieved with traditional instruments. This large-scale work consists of 70-foot-long metallic wires, anchored by a wooden resonator, across which the performer moves backwards and forwards with rosin-covered fingers. The overall effect has been rightfully compared to the experience of standing inside an enormous grand piano. Recorded during Fullman’s 1985 residency at Het Apollohuis in Eindhoven, Holland, The Long String Instrument album is the first document of her acoustic explorations. “Woven Processional,” which features Fullman alongside artist Arnold Dreyblatt, conjures an enchanting drone from the elongated strings and dissolves into organ-like overtones and otherworldly textures. Several tracks bring to life another Fullman invention, The Water Drip Drum, constructed from water dripping into an amplified aluminum pan and manipulated by foot pedal. Thirty years since its initial release, Ellen Fullman’s debut LP remains a major contribution to the histories of sound sculpture and minimalist composition. This first-time reissue is mastered from the original analog tapes and recommended for fans of Pauline Oliveros, Charlemagne Palestine and Harry Bertoia.

File Under: Drone, Avant Garde
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Fuzz: II (In The Red) LP
Fuzz has abandonment issues. Abandoning expectation. Abandoning reservation, consummation, resignation and trite dictation. Instinct is all there is when it comes to the divination of harsh salvation. Segall, Moothart and Ubovich are exploring all the blank-ations of what will be, or has always been, Fuzz II. Tried and true methods mixed with tongue-twisting, teeth-shattering, seizure-inducing stabs at the norm. Who knows… maybe that’s wrong. Maybe it’s all done. Played out. Maybe it’s not for want of new but for lack of old. But probably not. Bathe in the heat wave that is Fuzz, and regret nothing in the time freeze. Necessity is the mother of creation; and devolution stakes its claim in the past as it continues to bind itself to the future. San Francisco, Los Angeles, heaven, hell, lunar fields, subterranean hallucinations, traffic jams, sleepless days, hazy nights, recollection or blind reflection. It is all there and so should be you. 2015 and 2016 will bring a new surge of slime, fuzz and otherwise bittersweet concoctions of earthly lettering. It will be heavy, chaotically controlled, softly serpentine and blindingly barbaric. To translate the auditory from ethereal to saliva-soaked semantics is to shatter a promise as it’s made. In the meantime, Ty, Charles and Chad walk on. It is what it is. Just like everything else. And if you don’t know, now you know. This message brought to you by In The Red Educational Services… as it was before and is it will be again.

File Under: Garage, Psych
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Bruce Haack: Haackula (Telephone Explosion) LP
“Telephone Explosion reissues for the first time on vinyl ever Bruce Haack’s cult masterpiece Haackula. The releases feature the full Haackula album along with Russell Simmons (RUN DMC) co-produced electro banger ‘Party Machine.’ Limited to 1,000 copies… essential in every minimal synth, experimental, outsider, electro collection.”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Weirdo
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Intelligence: Vintage Future (In The Red) LP
Fittingly born at the dawn of the 21st Century, The Intelligence’s brand of art-smarm surf has become a touchstone for with-it rock ’n’ roll of the era. Perhaps a surprising assertion, especially considering their primitive and personal origins, but one cemented by the dedication and continual reinvention fostered by main-brain Lars Aldric Finberg. For all their longevity and prolificacy, The Intelligence is a restless, ever-evolving vehicle for Finberg, showcasing his presumably patented knack for sharp pop songwriting that rides waves from both the past and heretofore unknown. Hence the emergence of Vintage Future, the band’s latest album. Finberg has always playfully flashed fangs with The Intelligence, but the hard targeting here makes Vintage Future the most thematically biting offering thus far. Across the record, Finberg combs over relationships, ambitions and his own values for trouble spots and indignities, highlighting his findings and skewering as needed. Jabs at the absurdities of band life have been a focus since The Intelligence’s inception, but tunes like “Nocturnal Admissions,” “Refuse to Pay the Dues” (a sure-fire cornerstone of any Greatest Hits package assembled) and “Platinum Janitor” confront living in rock ’n’ roll with an honesty bordering on the sadistic. Songs like “Sex” and “Whip My Valet” (the band’s most singularly aggressive and punk moment ever) manage to be intensely personal ruminations, nervously humorous and all-out rockers simultaneously, all with a wink. It’s precisely that charm coupled with intensity that makes The Intelligence so crave-worthy. Well, that and the copious panic-stabs of guitar. Vintage Future thankfully shows The Intelligence continuing to move in whatever goddamn direction they want, keeping it permanently casual in this inhuman Business That We Call Show. Is there any better way?

File Under: Garage, Indie Rock
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Jawbox: s/t (Desoto) LP
Jawbox was formed in Washington, DC in 1989 by guitarist/vocalist J. Robbins, bassist Kim Coletta, and drummer Adam Wade. The trio released their debut 7” in 1990 as a split between Dischord Records and their own label, DeSoto. Over the next three years, Jawbox put out two albums and three 7” singles. Grippe, released in ’91, was the band’s first full-length. Second guitarist/singer Bill Barbot joined the line-up in time to record ’92’s Novelty. Both albums were released on Dischord. Zach Barocas took over drumming duties that same year, performing on For Your Own Special Sweetheart, which was released in 1994 on Atlantic Records. Recorded in Hoboken, NJ with John Agnello in winter of 1995, Jawbox was the band’s fourth and final album. If Sweetheart presented the band’s music in a straightforward and unembellished state, Jawbox found the group more open to experimentation. Arrangement-wise, it contains some of the band’s densest compositions (“Chinese Fork Tie”), but also some of its most concise and tuneful songwriting (“Excandescent”). While the basic tracks were recorded more or less live, the songs were later augmented with sounds—toy drum kit, Hammond B3 organ, and saxophone—that were outside of the band’s established palate. Long out of print, Jawbox has been remastered on LP by Dan Coutant at Sunroom Audio and is reissued by Dischord and DeSoto Records.

File Under: Punk, Indie Rock
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Egisto Macchi: Bioritmi (Roma) LP
“Genius meld of avant orchestrations, brooding modular composition and electronically processed percussion. Extended and fastidiously sculpted pieces that range from spacious abstractions to tantalizingly ominous melodic interludes and intense propulsive arrangements. Mimicking the pulmonary and cardiovascular actions of the human body, the microscopic landscape of bacteria and the urban heartbeat of bustling cities and electronics, Macchi intriguingly charts rhythm, pulse and biosphere. Moondog in the bloodstream, Phil Glass meets “Fantastic Voyage” – Alvin Lucia

File Under: Library, Italian, Avant Garde
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Milk From Cheltenham: Triptych of Poisoners (Superior Viaduct) LP
The first-time vinyl reissue of the sole album from UK DIY legends Milk From Cheltenham, originally released in 1983 on famed It’s War Boys imprint, is recommended for fans of Swell Maps, The Faust Tapes and LAFMS. “Flashback to no-when (1978) in a musty cellar beneath a record store in Brixton, later to become the humble 8-track recording studio of It’s War Boys. Milk From Cheltenham would regularly jam and invite friends / enemies to participate with whatever weapons / instruments they chose to deploy, making live recordings on an odd triple microphone input cassette player. By the time of the recordings at Surrey Sound in 1981-82, we had reduced in size from a hive of toxicity to a triptych of poisoners: Victorr Lounge, Salamander and myself. “Like rabid quantum monkeys with broken typewriters, we were allowed to run loose in the studio, under the supervision of tonmeister Chris Grey and head zookeeper L. Voag. There was always a cornucopia of exotic instruments including kettle drums, synthesizers and electric sitar. To make some of the basement tapes sound bigger, Chris would play them through vast speakers and re-record the results. The footsteps you hear is our mate strolling around in cowboy boots on top of one of the speakers. “Milk were hot—like a triplet mega-brain generously juiced on creative steroids—and this was before our special splice-and-be-damned bricolage of the tapes, interpolating into the jams a pastiche of Morricone lock grooves, early Sparks, radio fragments, a JFK speech and samples from our most cherished record, Christmas Carols With Breezy (a creepy singing rabbit). One track mined a session at Cold Storage (home studio of This Heat) where everyone played in different parts of the building, separated according to instruments and without much idea of what anyone else would be doing. “I remember scrawling a dead cow on a napkin in a café. The albums, all printed by hand, took longer to make than the recording because the screens would often disintegrate. The back cover art was printed at Recommended Records and spray glued—poor ozone layer! Almost half the song titles were borrowed from Le Corbusier’s book The Radiant City. The record was released to spectacular indifference and just 500 copies made their way into an unsuspecting world.” —Lepke B

File Under: Punk, DIY, Art Rock
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big gundown

Ennio Morricone: The Big Gundown (Mondo) LP
Music Composed & Conducted by Ennio Morricone. Continuing our relationship with the one and only Grindhouse Releasing Mondo are pleased to bring you a re-issue of the soundtrack to The Big Gundown. Undoubtedly one of the finest Spaghetti scores recorded, we are thrilled to present you with this brand new remaster with 25 tracks split across 2 heavyweight 45rpm records. The icing on the cake for this release has to be the insert that features an interview with Morricone, conducted especially for us. Wrapped in a beautiful gatefold sleeve by the legendary Geof Darrow.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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Ennio Morricone: Controfase (Roma) LP
“Controfase is an unknown (and almost lost) masterpiece. A shadowed giant of compositional skill and deft application – a moment when all the stars and their cycles align – unique, harmonious, undeniably perfect. From Walter Branchi’s skeletal web of processed VCS3 duetting with mournful violin, to Egisto Macchi’s demonstrative percussion jousting Edda Dell’Orso’s breathless siren’s call, Morricone and Nicolai have crafted a radiant, forbidden jewel.” – Alvin Lucia

File Under: Library, Italian, Avant Garde
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Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
“Good heavens—five years go by—what can one do? Dive, listener, knowing that your next hour will be filled with diversions aplenty: a wheeling circuit of sci-fi sea-shanties and cavalier ballads, narrated from parts unknown; a family of polysemic song-sets; a paranomasaic Liederkreis of harmonic sympathies and knotted hierarchies; a fanfare of brazen puns and martial lullabies, blazing in sorrow and horseplay and love, in turns symphonic and spare, joined by Mellotrons and Marxophones and Moogs, clavichords and celestas—and of course the harp, thrumming its threnodies of circadian invasions and avian irruptions and strange loops of Shepard-toned resonant-frequencies and something called goddamned Simulacreage. The music of Divers is a wonder of considered arrangements—a taut line, threaded with the pearls of passed and passing times… a round, a chant, an incantation… a ray of light diverted eleven ways, into eleven songs that striate, in chromatic collusion, their simultaneous arc… a span that takes in lifetimes, but is immaculately sequenced for telescoped brevity. The music speeds with dissociative dread over montaged cityscapes; it hoofs with delight among the collaged quotations and sepia-toned codices of Popular Song…”

File Under: Indie Rock, Harp
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Spooner Oldham: Pot Luck (Light In The Attic) LP
Legendary ivory-tickler Spooner Oldham is synonymous with the Muscle Shoals sound. The southern soul pioneer famously backed the likes of Etta James, Jimmy Hughes, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, and many more, but his lone solo album, Pot Luck, finds Spooner in a rare role: front and center. Oldham moved west in the late ‘60s when the patronage of bands like The Stones and The Flying Burrito Brothers made southern soul the in-demand sound. He joined the house band at Hollywood’s Producer’s Workshop and was soon playing for The Lettermen and Liberace. While recording the latter, it was suggested that Oldham make his own album. “I don’t really think I wanted it so much,” Oldham says now. “I think it was shoved on me. We’d got all this stuff set up, and now what do we do?” Pot Luck is very much a record of two halves; Side A is an amalgamation of rarities penned with the likes of Dan Penn and Freddy Weller, while the B-side is a conceptual, seven-song medley covering some of the biggest hits Oldham played on, including “Cry Like A Baby,” “Respect,” and gospel standard “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” The sessions were largely unplanned. “We just went in,” says collaborator Emory Gordy. “That’s the best way Spooner works.” In 1972, the album was released and quickly sank. Before long, the Producer’s Workshop disbanded, too. Oldham carried on regardless, performing with The Everly Brothers, Bobby Womack, Gene Clark, Neil Young and–well, you name it. With this deluxe reissue of his solo LP, it’s time for Oldham to get his own dues. “I don’t think anybody, anywhere, at any time, has ever heard it,” he says. “I’m just happy someone wants to hear it now.”

File Under: Piano, Funk, Soul
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Pronto: s/t (Slovenly) LP
Slovenly Recordings presents a new black jewel in the rough from Australia: Melbourne scuzz squad Pronto, and their self-titled LP will steal your purse n’ pills before kicking holes in your speakers! Pronto hits hard from the gate with a rare breed of aggression that mercilessly attacks your better senses with scraping vocal chords, three or less guitar chords and brash, unrelenting rhythmic fuckery. This decroded piece of plastic devolves from hammering rock’n’roll into psyched-out meltdowns, never neglecting the breed of anthemic choruses that were perfected during the first wave of UK punk in a twisted post-punk application. Pronto is making good with ruthless threats of thuggish damage. They’re knocking at your door, and you need the hurt.

File Under: Punk
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Secret Chiefs 3/Ishraqiyun: Perichoresis (Web of Mimicry) LP
Ishraqiyun has been characterized as the “neo-Pythagorean electro-folk” side of Secret Chiefs 3, and followers of the band’s live shows in the last decade will recognize it as the most familiar and dominant aspect of the band. For many years, the Ishraqiyun repertoire of mysterious, catchy, original tunes—composed in ratio-based rhythms for non-Western tunings and instruments (saz, sarangi, esraj, etc.)—has been blasted out at inordinately high volume to many adventurous ears. Now, after persistently touring and playing this music in more than 40 countries during the last few years, Secret Chiefs 3 unveil the first proper set of studio recordings of Ishraqiyun material. As a bonus, they have included a healthy dose of new, previously unheard tunes (actually half the album). The diverse musicians on Perichoresis are drawn from several configurations of the band over the years and include Eyvind Kang (viola), Ches Smith (drums, percussion), Rich Doucette (sarangi, esraj), Peijman Kouretchian (drums), Mike Dillon (tabla), Shahzad Ismaily (bass), Timba Harris (violin), Jai Young Kim (keyboards) and many more, all led by composer / producer / bandleader / multi-intrumentalist Trey Spruance. Though concert-goers will welcome definitive editions of some of their favorite live songs, none of what is presented on Perichoresis has ever appeared on any previous Secret Chiefs 3 album. Never content to rest on the familiar, SC3 pushes Ishraqiyun into uncharted terrain, stretching the envelope most particularly on the mega-opus title track “Perichoresis.” This is the first recorded composition to introduce Spruance’s evolving system of musical ideas patterned upon the specific geometrical relationships found in certain polyhedra and the tesselating patterns from which they are derived. These kinds of techniques could result in lifeless and cerebral art, but Spruance’s approach is more akin to martial arts than nerd rock. It’s not about “math,” it’s all about being moved (or moving with) the mysterious power of forgotten fundamentals. It’s music for the antiquarian and barbarian alike, and the cacophonous banquet halls up there on the modernist Olympus are about to be pelted with this golden apple.

File Under: Rock, Experimental, Electronic
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Space Lady/Burnt Ones: Split (Castle Face) LP
Announcing a totally far-out split release from unexpected corners: fave Hoosier-via-SF tripper transplants Burnt Ones sweet-talked the one and only Space Lady into a sharing an album, and the results are magical. In her inimitable style The Space Lady sparkles through “Across the Universe,” “Starman,” a brand-new original called “The Next Right Thing” and an achingly elegaic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” These beautiful tunes are wonderful additions to her lovely repertoire. For their half, Burnt Ones mellow down their sound, crafting a warm cocoon on two kaliedoscopic creepers, peaking just a little with a floweringly spaced-out version of the Space Lady’s greatest hit, “Synthesize Me,” and closing with another druggy lullaby. It’s sweet and mellow ride through both sides and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

File Under: Rock, Psych
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Chris Walla: Tape Loops (Trans) LP
Chris Walla has said little publicly about his 2014 departure from Death Cab for Cutie, a band that he co- founded and called home for 17 years. He begins to break his silence with Tape Loops, a full-length album that doesn’t so much provide answers or explanations, but invites the listener into the instrumental landscapes of his inner world. Sidestepping the specificity of narrative songwriting in favor of immersive aural topographies, Chris Walla’s Tape Loops offers up a quietly dynamic listen that is as beautiful as it is masterful. Leaning into the constraints of analog loop-based recording, Walla’s virtuosity as a composer and producer shines. The album’s richly layered arrangements reveal their powerful “I can’t change a closed, physical tape loop with a mouse-click or a keystroke, and that’s precisely the point,” Walla explains. “Digital recording and editing often feels like working in a spreadsheet—it’s not always a place for dreams.”Chris Walla is a writer, musician and record producer. Tape Loops is his first solo album since Field Manual (2008). A founding member of Death Cab for Cutie, he was the guitarist, producer and co-writer from 1997 to 2014.

File Under: Ambient, Death Cab


Wilco: Star Wars (Anti) LP
The Chicago band Wilco has digitally released a new album, Star Wars, through its own dBpm Records. The album was made available the day after Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy revealed news of its existence during a live interview with Pitchfork at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Wilco headlined the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and started out their set by playing the album in its entirety. Star Wars will be available on 180g vinyl in August 2015. Star Wars is the Grammy-award winning band’s ninth studio album and its first since 2011’s The Whole Love. Wilco has been a pioneer of pre-releasing albums and making its music available for free since 2001 when the band streamed its breakthrough release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The decision to make Star Wars available quickly and for free continues to see the band exploring new ways to release its music and reach its fans, while keeping the album release process fun and interesting to its members. “Why release an album this way and why make it free? Well, the biggest reason, and I’m not sure we even need any others, is that it felt like it would be fun,” Tweedy said. “What’s more fun than a surprise? Enough of this 20th anniversary already, here’s something fresh.” The new album was recorded at the band’s Chicago loft and features 11 original Wilco-penned tunes. Wilco is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, and its label dBpm has recently released two anniversary-related collections: Alpha Mike Foxtrot, a box set of rarities and What’s Your 20?, a compilation of studio tracks from the band’s first eight albums. “We’ve been feeling very fortunate lately being reminded of how long we’ve been able to do this,” Tweedy said. “We believe one of the primary reasons for our good fortune has been our audiences reaction to our impulse to be heard and our habit of erring on the side of that desire to override financial ambition. Not that we don’t enjoy getting paid. We do. But this is a recommitment to the idea that music is more important to our lives. Art is more worthy of our striving. And fun is more sustaining than cash. It’s not intended to be a comment on the music business, just one band’s wish to give our fans a jolt of joy: a fun surprise. In that spirit we hope you will accept this gift and if not, well, maybe next time.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators: Happiness in Every Style (Timmon) LP
Nicole Willis returns with her third album accompanied by the Finland-based Soul Investigators since 2005: Happiness In Every Style. As the name suggests, the new release—her fifth solo outing since 2000—offers plenty of variety and lands on a sunnier side of the street, following her darker, acclaimed 2013 release, Tortured Soul. Nicole and the Soul Investigators offer upbeat modern soul and embrace sophisticated melodies alongside their highly evolved raw funk sound, whose wares share vinyl shelf space with fans of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley. To get a taste of the new album’s strength and appeal, one has only to put on the first single, “Paint Me In A Corner,” “Let’s Communicate” or the ebullient “One In a Million” to hear the vocalist’s energy and skill, honed by decades in the music game. From minor key ballads such as “Thief In The Night” to the unapologetically poppy “Angel,” the new album is a perfect showcase not only for her sweet, evocative, powerful voice, but also excellent songwriting by Willis and the group.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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yo la tengo

Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Matador) LP
Yo La Tengo began life as one among hundreds of Velvet Underground-inspired bands, banging out dark, skittish tunes that displayed guitarist/vocalist Ira Kaplan’s affection for Lou Reed as well as the band’s commitment to creating a gently subversive groove. Over the years, the group, which also features Kaplan’s wife Georgia Hubley on drums and vocals, has gone through more identity changes than David Bowie, from acoustic folk-rock to wailing, Sonic Youth-like guitarchitecture. On their 1997 fan favorite I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, YLT consolidates their sound as they expand it, incorporating bossa nova, electronica and ’60s pop into a gorgeous shimmering whole that is something more than the sum of its parts. The laconic-but-expressive vocals of Kaplan and Hubley provide the songs with just the right combination of detachment and naivete, and the trio (which also includes bassist James McNew) sounds like one person with six arms, three brains and one big heart.

File Under: Indie Rock
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young rival

Young Rival: Interior Light (Paper Bag) LP
Working with producer Graham Walsh – whose work the band admired on records by Viet Cong, Metz and Alvvays – Young Rival never stopped ripping at the seams of these songs, as though figuring out what really made them tick. Interior Light, their debut on Paper Bag Records and first new music since 2012’s Stay Young, doesn’t sound like the culmination of ten years worth of hard work. Instead, it sounds like a new start and a springboard for further experimentation and exploration. “We listened to a lot of Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers, stuff like that,” says the band’s Aron D’Alesio. “We brought in some psych elements as well. So ‘croon psych’ became a term we were throwing around at each other in the studio, like Sinatra dropping acid with Deerhunter.”

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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Zombi: Shape Shift (Relapse) LP
After the lengthy break that followed their beloved last album Escape Velocity, 2015 sees Zombi ready to reclaim their rightful role as space-rock overlords with their sixth full-length Shape Shift. The album was self-produced by the band and recorded at Machine Age Studios in Pittsburgh, PA and Steve Moore’s private studio in central New York. Darker, heavier and more dynamic than their more recent works, Shape Shift finds the duo in “live band” mode, a fitting return to their roots after their successful North American tour with the legendary Goblin in 2013 and a triumphant headlining appearance at the prestigious Roadburn Festival in April 2015. Whether you’re an adventurous listener or die-hard fan, delving into the latest chapter of Zombi’s expansive and ever-progressive oeuvre will not disappoint!

File Under: Metal, Electronic, Prog
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Various: Greater Manchester Punk 1977-81 (Vinyl Revival) LP
Fourteen rare and previously unreleased punk and post punk tracks from the more obscure original Manchester bands of the time. The majority supported established acts such as the Buzzcocks and Joy Division and some went on to form legendary bands in later eras (Mike Joyce, The Hoax). In the spirit of the DIY ethos of the punk era, most were recorded in small studios and released in limited pressings and have become a must have for the discerning punk collector. Features tracks from V2, The Reporters, Elti-Fits, Pure Product, The Panik, The Enigma, Steroid Kiddies, The Hoax, The Critics, The Change, Armed Force, The StillL, Fast Cars, and The Things.

File Under: Punk

small town

Various: Small Town Country Vol 1 (Orion Read) LP
The songs that make up this unprecedented album were gathered and compiled by Austin­ based musician and record collector JASON CHRONIS. He visited countless small towns across Texas and beyond, in search of anything and everything that might be etched on vinyl. From mountains of material, he chose these fourteen forgotten odes and put them in an order that tells a story. Like Harry Smith’s visionary anthology of folk music, this selection of private press country music captures the joys and the sorrows of people who sang for themselves. These songs speak directly to the concerns of real people, our experiences and dreams, and the gap between them. Of course, these musicians had also hoped to score on the charts, a desire that almost defines country music, but it didn’t happen that way. Now, 30, 40, 50 years after these records were handed to friends and mailed to local radio stations, perhaps country music is in for some definition expansion. More than half of these raw and intimate songs came out of Texas, where there has always been a strong regional music tradition. As history recedes and country music shakes off the commercial dominance of the Nashville hit machine, Texas country music, with its straightforward, ‘take it or leave it’ sentiment and rugged, stripped down sound, will be known for its influence on all types of musicians and songwriters. And perhaps the unknown country musicians that made the music on this LP were right when they pooled resources, asked favors, and poured their hearts out onto 45s…thinking they had a hit on their hands!

File Under: Country, Folk


Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works (Apollo) LP
Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do (1972) LP
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs (Merge) LP
Belle & Sebastian: Tigermilk (Matador) LP
Beta Band: Champion Versions (Rhino) LP
Beta Band: Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos (Rhino) LP
Beta Band: Patty Patty Sound (Rhino) LP
Black Keys: Rubber Factory (Fat Possum) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Carlton Melton: Out To Sea (Agitate) LP
D’Angelo: Voodoo (Modern Classics) LP
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) LP
John Fahey: Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death (4 Men With Beards) LP
Funkadelic: Free Your Mind (4 Men With Beards) LP
Funkadelic: Standing On The Verge of Getting It On (4 Men With Beards) LP
Glass Candy: Beat Box (Italians Do It Better) LP
Al Green: Get’s Next To You (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: Greatest Hits (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: I’m Still In Love With You (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: Let’s Stay Together (Fat Possum) LP
Jesus & The Mary Chain: Stoned & Dethroned (Plain) LP
King Khan & BBQ Show: s/t (In The Red) LP
King Khan & BBQ Show: Invisible Girl (In The Red) LP
Kraftwerk: Man-Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Acivity (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Karin Krog: Don’t Just Sing (Light in the Attic) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Liquid Liquid: Optimo (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Olivia Tremor Control: Black Foliage (Chunklet) LP
OST: Hannibal (Mondo) LP
Pack: s/t (Ugly Pop) LP
Ann Peebles: Greatest Hits (Fat Possum) LP
Ann Peebles: Straight From The Heart (Fat Possum) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Real Estate: s/t (Woodsist) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP/CS
Rolling Stones: Their Satanic Majesties’ Request (Abkco) LP
Silver Jews: Natural Bridge (Drag City) LP
Silver Jews: American Water (Drag City) LP
Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Evol (Goofin) LP
Jim Sullivan: UFO (Light in the Attic) LP
Sumac: The Deal (Sige) LP
Supergrass: I Should Coco (Parlophone) LP
Swans: My Father Will Guide Me (Young God) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
U.S. Girls: Half Free (4AD) LP
Wipers: Is This Real? (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Over The Edge (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Youth of America (Jackpot) LP

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…..news letter #712 – late…..

As of this week, I’ve decided to start a new section in this news letter, “Delays/Late”. You will find it at the bottom of the news letter. It would seem that pretty much every record will spend some time on this list now. At least now when you don’t see something on the new arrivals check there, cuz it’s probably delayed! Anyway, this list may be short, but next week is gonna be a doozy! Sun City Girls, Fuzz, Newsom, and more!

…..pick of the week…..


Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
In tomorrow… The 1983 cult-classic ‘Mariah – Utakata No Hibi’ sees its re-release for the first time. The long sought after final record on the legendary Better Days label, Utakata No Hibi is the culmination of composer and bandleader Yasuaki Shimizu’s early-80s work, often compared to his contemporaries Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono, as well as experimental new wavers Flying Lizards/David Cunningham, all of whom Shimizu has worked with. Recognized in Japan for the hit, ‘Shinzo No Tobira,’ the entire record is a masterful studio production of Japanese folk and pop idioms filtered through a chamber disco, new wave, synth production, sounding more relevant today than upon its release over 30 years ago. Issued by Palto Flats Records, Utakata No Hibi is fully licensed by Columbia Japan and the Artist, and remastered by Dubplates in Berlin. The packaging features additional artwork from Ira Okudaira, who created the original stunning jacket drawings. It retains the original double 12” 45 rpm play format, and includes a full English translation of the Japanese and Armenian lyrics on the printed inner sleeves. RIYL: Blood Orange, YMO, Arthur Russell, Julee Cruise

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Japanese
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…..new arrivals…..

deerhunterDeerhunter: Fading Frontier (4AD) LP
In tomorrow???? “Fading Frontier” is the new studio album from Deerhunter. The record was made by founding members Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Moses Archuleta, and bassist Josh McKay. Written in their hometown of Atlanta, GA, production duties were shared by the band and Ben H. Allen III, continuing a collaboration that began with 2010’s “Halcyon Digest”. Following the death-rattle garage catharsis of “Monomania”, the group have shifted towards something strikingly balanced, focused on melody and texture. The songs are brighter; if not in content, then in the album’s production. Starkness plays against clutter in what is the band’s most complex yet accessible work to date. Cox and Pundt share lead vocal duties (a first for the band) on the enthralling ‘Breaker’, while the darker ‘Take Care’ (featuring Broadcast’s James Cargill on synthesizers and tape manipulation) and ‘Leather and Wood’ – a strange hybrid of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian grey-skied science fiction, and the most spartan Motown downer imaginable – paint a varied spectral landscape. Elsewhere, the likes of ‘Snakeskin’ showcase a sinister flirtation with minimalist funk, whilst Pundt makes a typically masterful statement with the synth-diffused ‘Ad Astra’, which culminates in one of the album’s most transcendent moments. Fading Frontier shows that a decade in, Deerhunter has lost none of its intensity. As the group matures, so they have grown into the most consistent purveyors of art-rock of their generation.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Mild High Club: Timeline (Circle Star) LP
Mild High Club is the home for the musical output of Alexander Brettin, a jazz-schooled musician transplanted from the Midwest to Los Angeles. Premiered originally via Stereogum, they write of the blissed out psych track, “it feels like a lost ‘60s tune, each note sustained with a twirl of vibrato creating an elongated nonchalant West Coast vibe…it’s sweet, in all senses of the word.” Recording with a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder, MacBook, 12-string electric guitar, PortaSound keyboard, bass, drum machine, software instruments “and whatever was lying around,” Brettin began recording Timeline in 2012. In addition to the pure pop of singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren, sixties psych wields an obvious influence over Mild High Club’s music. Brettin strips away the opulence and over-thetop arrangements and oddball tomfoolery commonly associated with it in favor of phased melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Mild High Club recently toured with post-punk pioneers Wire and has shared the stage with the likes of Mac DeMarco, Ariel Pink and Mikal Cronin. This summer, he’ll embark on a string of North American and European dates with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, so make sure you catch KCRW’s “local artist we love” with the “woozy dream pop” sound that has NME excited.

File Under: Rock, Psych
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Parkland: Singularity (Offseason) LP
After almost a decade performing under the banner of devilsplender, Rob Malowany has reinvented himself on Singularity, the debut album from Parkland. While retaining a solid singer-songwriter foundation, his immersion in the Vancouver creative music scene inspired Malowany to mix improv and sonic exploration into his direct and honest songs. Along the way, he also collaborated with songwriter/poet Rodney DeCroo, providing music and sound design to DeCroo’s spoken word on the stunning Allegheny album, which Discorder Magazine called “a gorgeously lush and intensely captivating piece of work.” Recorded entirely in Malowany’s own studio, Singularity moves from reflective midnight piano improvisation and field recordings (“Wonderful Heartache”), Tenor-ion generated electronic pulses (“Compatriots”), skittering interpretation (Fond of Tigers leader Stephen Lyons’ drumming on the title track), and understated but lush orchestration (featuring fellow Fond of Tigers member Shanto Acharia on cello, and experimental trumpeter Kevin Elaschuck), to impassioned, heart-laid-bare songwriting. The result is a diverse and far-reaching sonic document that sets the tone for further and freer exploration from Parkland. Rob’s omnivorous musical taste and deep involvement in the music community also finds expression through his podcast, Satan’s Cabaret, which features long-form, conversational interviews and intimate live recordings with artists both known and not-so-known, local and from further afield. Past guests have included Stephen McBean (Black Mountain), Jose Contreras (By Divine Right), Jesse Zubot, Carole Pope (Rough Trade), Paul Pigat, Ryan Boldt, and scores of other musicians. Singularity is the first document of an artist that is at once in transition, and completely at home with his process.

File Under: Ambient, SSW
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Matt ‘MV’ Valentine: Midden Mound (Golden Lab) LP
A massive, expansive work by Matt “MV” Valentine, featuring a host of guest performers, including Erika Elder, J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Jeremy Earl (Woods, Woodsist), P.G. Six, and Michael Flower. An 11-track combination of sprawling jams including the incredible Rudy Rucker-inspired “Freeware” and other beautiful songs across two slabs of wax. A truly wondrous, sun-blinded summer stoner record that throws its sandals in the duffel bag, lets the sand slip through its toes, and tramps off in the direction of a mirage of a gigantic effigy of Ganesh. Double LP pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a stunning, super-heavyweight, UV-coated gatefold jacket with enormous poster insert. Absolute must-have and Golden Lab’s personal record of the year. Do not miss!

File Under: Psych, Folk, Blues, Cosmic
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Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflector (Sonovox) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Neko Case: Middle Cyclone (Anti) LP
Neko Case: The Worse Things Get (Anti) LP
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Neurosis: Through Silver In Blood (Relapse) LP
Ty Segall: Twins (Drag City) LP


Beach House: Thank Your Lucky Stars LP… due next week
Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 6
Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled… next week???
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now Oct 30
Sigur Ros: ( )…. now Oct 30
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA
Wilco: Star Wars… expected next week

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…..news letter #711 – vuuuuuh…..

Oh boy! As you will see below, we got a massive shipment of prog from Spain this week. Obviously, the Popol Vuh reissues are the highlight, but there’s some really killer other gems in there as well. As well as many other swell new releases as well, so dig in….

…..picks of the week…..

popol vuh

Popol Vuh: Aguirre (Wah Wah) LP
Werner Herzog’s 1972 film Aguirre, The Wrath Of God  was the first collaboration between the famed director and Popol Vuh. Florian Fricke was approached by old friend Herzog to do the soundtrack for his third movie. Three years later, in 1975, after the international success of Herzog’s film, Popol Vuh issued the LP Aguirre. It featured material recorded for the movie plus some other songs. Some of them recorded prior to 1975 – the Aguirre soundtrack ones, of course, plus there is the presence of the big Moog from Popol Vuh’s early albums, and also contains Morgengruss II, an update of the Morgengruss song that had prevously appeared on Ensjäger Und Siebenjäger. “Popol Vuh’s “hypnotic music” for Aguirre met with considerable acclaim. Roger Ebert wrote, “The music sets the tone. It is haunting, ecclesiastical, human and yet something else… The music is crucial to Aguirre, the Wrath of God…” AllMusic noted, “The film’s central motif blends pulsing Moog and spectral voices conjured from Florian Fricke’s Mellotron-related “choir organ” to achieve something sublime, in the truest sense of the word: it’s hard not to find the music’s awe-inspiring, overwhelming beauty simultaneously unsettling. The power of the legendary opening sequence of Herzog’s film…owes as much to Popol Vuh’s music as it does to the director’s mise-en-scène.” Herzog explained how the choir-like sound was created, “We used a strange instrument, which we called a ‘choir-organ.’ It has inside it three dozen different tapes running parallel to each other in loops. … All these tapes are running at the same time, and there is a keyboard on which you can play them like an organ so that [it will] sound just like a human choir but yet, at the same time, very artificial and really quite eerie.” In 1975, Popol Vuh released an album entitled Aguirre. Although ostensibly a soundtrack album to Herzog’s film, the six-track LP included only two songs (“Aguirre I (L’Acrime Di Rei)” and “Aguirre II”) taken from Aguirre, the Wrath of God. The four remaining tracks were derived from various recordings done by the group c. 1972–1974. At the time of Aguirre, the band members were Fricke (piano, Mellotron), Fichelscher (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums), Djong Yun (vocals), and Robert Eliscu (oboe, pan pipe).” (Wikipedia) Werner Herzog: “The music in my films is also very much neglected, if I may interrupt you, in Germany as well. Since AGUIRRE, my friend Florian Fricke, has done the music for almost all my films – for STEINER, for LA SOUFRIERE, for STROSZEK, and for HEART OF GLASS – and I’ve tried to push very hard so that he would be given the National Film Award this year. They’ve never given it to him, and there has been complete neglect of his work. Not even a single mention! And this year they just by-passed him once again!” [From: Images at the Horizon, 1979] Popol Vuh has been nominated three times for an Oscar for best original score:
 1972 (Aguirre), 1979 (Nosferatu) and 1987 (Cobra Verde). There have been several different editions of Aguirre and each has varied slightly or quite a lot from the original issue. Several reissues change the last track (the 17 minute long Vergegenwärtigung) to include material from other Popol Vuh albums, even in cases the song is listed on the sleeve the music is from completely different sources. Thanks to the accurate archive work of SPV on offer here is the original version of the album as it was first released in 1975. Limited edition featuring one bonus track, remastered sound and original artwork plus an insert with liner notes and photos. It has been master Cut by Lex Van Coeverden @ www.thevinylroom.nl for a high quality sound pressing that will satisfy the most exquisite audiophile. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Ambient, OST, Krautrock
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Popol Vuh: Nosferatu (Wah Wah) 2LP
The story of the Nosferatu soundtrack editions through the years appears a little caotic. Several editions, with several sleeves and completely different tracklists have appeared in different countries. What we tried to offer here is the definitive edition of Popol Vuh’s works for this fantastic Werner Herzog 1979 tribute to the old Murnau classic. When asked for a new soundtrack for Herzog’s project, Florian Fricke and Daniel Fichelscher came out with a magnificent album that once again, as it had happened with Hosianna Mantra, opened new paths to follow. The album, although having been recorded with the movie in mind, was not titled Nosferatu. Instead it was released as Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts, which can be translated as “Brother Of Darkness – Son Of Light”. It first came out in 1978 featuring amazing new age / ambient escapades based on repetitive passages and instrumentation of incredible beauty, recorded with the help of Al Gromer (Amon Düül) on sitar, Bob Eliscu (Between) on oboe, Ted de Jong on tamboura plus a complete church choir ensemble from Munich. Brüder des Schattens…, also issued in other editions as Nosferatu, makes disc one on this gorgeous double LP set. Disc two of the Wah Wah edition features the LP that was originally released as the Nosferatu Original Sound Track album, also known as On The Way To A Little Way. A 1978 release, although it contained material recorded prior to that date. Right in the middle of the film production, Herzog felt he needed more music and asked Fricke for obscure, scary material. He searched the Popol Vuh archives and compiled the great collection that Nosferatu / On The Way… is. It came out a varied selectionç where older Moog tracks mix with more reflexive material that already gives clues of what’s to come in Brüder des Schattens… Nevertheless, despite all the variety -or maybe thanks to it,- Nosferatu / On The Way To… turned out to be a fantastic, classic Popol Vuh album. We have added one bonus track previously unreleased in vinyl format. Werner Herzog: “The music in my films is also very much neglected, if I may interrupt you, in Germany as well. Since AGUIRRE, my friend Florian Fricke, has done the music for almost all my films – for STEINER, for LA SOUFRIERE, for STROSZEK, and for HEART OF GLASS – and I’ve tried to push very hard so that he would be given the National Film Award this year. They’ve never given it to him, and there has been complete neglect of his work. Not even a single mention! And this year they just by-passed him once again!” [From: Images at the Horizon, 1979] Popol Vuh has been nominated three times for an Oscar for best original score:
 1972 (Aguirre), 1979 (Nosferatu) and 1987 (Cobra Verde). Collected in a gorgeous limited edition double LP set, first half of the edition issued in transparent red vinyl, are the two albums that relate to Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu. Housed in a fantastic silver sleeve with the Klaus Kinski / Isabelle Adjani artwork from the movie poster as used for the 1979 PDU Italian issue. The gatefold cover artwork is completed with graphic material from On The Way To A Little Way plus photos from the movie kindly provided by Werner Herzog himself. A killer 50 x 70 cm full colour reproduction of the movie poster is included, as is an insert with detailed liner notes and one bonus track not on the original albums. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Ambient, OST, Krautrock
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letzePopol Vuh: Letze Tage, Letze Nachte (Wah Wah) LP
Letzte Tage, Letzte Nächte is probably the most “rock” sounding work of Popol Vuh’s production. Recorded by the classic trio of Fricke, Fichelscher and Yun, plus Ted de Jong on tamboura and Amon Düül members Al Gromer on sitar and Renate Knaup on additional vocals, its sounds seem to be more based on power than on ambient. Strong guitar passages emphasize this, with Fischelscher’s playing being harder than the Conny Veit ethereal parts on earlier records. The title track is also the first time that Popol Vuh record English words on a song. “With his blistering and emotional guitar work Fichelscher made his mark on many of the Popol Vuh albums. An album like ‘Letzte Tage, letzte Nachte’(1976) would not be possible without him. But also this album would be impossible without multi-tracking, a technique that Popol Vuh was heavily dependent on throughout their existence. This album shows Popol Vuh from its most rocking and dynamic side. But even here it is evident that a remarkable spiritualism defines the music. In a down-to-earth way Fricke wanted his music to be a ‘healing force’, an ‘uplifting experience for the human soul’. This spiritual quality is inherent and constitutive for all the music he made during his career. This proves Fricke was successful in communicating these intentions to the musicians involved.” Dolf Mulder (www.popolvuh.nl) Limited edition, featuring one bonus track not on the original vinyl and remastered sound, issued in a reproduction of its original sleeve and with an insert featuring photos and liner notes.

File Under: Ambient, Krautrock
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…..new arrivals…..


Battles: La Di Da Di (Warp) LP
In Tomorrow… As any consciously relevant social-interest story will inform you post-haste, we are living in an increasingly Networked Age. As a society we are connected in more ways than ever before, technologically linked with one another through an ever-growing web of invisible electronic pathways, which as they evolve begin to approach the kind of cognition we used to associate with the idea of ESP or ‘psychic’ behavior. We’re able to tell where each other went on vacation or what each other had for lunch without ever having to utter a word to one another, or even be in the same room, let alone time zone. While on the macro level humankind grapples with how best to utilize this newfound capacity for awareness, on the micro level small groups of individuals have spent years finding more functional applications for it. Battles are the Networked Band, or perhaps the-band-as-network. An island chain linked by a unique combination of artistry, experimentation, technology and singular focus. A three-headed cyborg that forces our aptitude for pure physical industry to flirt lasciviously with our encroaching digital reality. A band that holds computerized loops in their brains, leaves sweat on their machines and whose sonic heartbeat is almost brutally human. It only makes sense that such bastards of both the hi/low-tech worlds would look for an alternative means of communication. La Di Da Di is the prompt, the exclamation and the riddle to hang in the air while we try to make sense of just what Battles have done now. Dave Konopka, Ian Williams and John Stanier have turned the tables on themselves this time, confronted their own ideas of what Battles is – and here on their third album, have willed an answer to that question into existence. The tangled wires and entrails of Mirrored and Gloss Drop have been pulled out, flung against the wall and scraped into an unruly pile to be tread upon. As the name might imply, La Di Da Di is a mushrooming monolith of repetition. Here is an organic techno thrum of nearly infinite loops that refuse to remain consistent. The rhythmic genus of Battles is here as ever; full frontal, heightened and unforgiving – the gauntlet through which melody and harmony must pass, assailed at every turn. “The Yabba” squawks to life, tumbling down the stairs before it finds it’s own dislocated gait. The title of “Dot Net” hints at its propulsive bait-and-glitch, while “FF Bada” and “Summer Simmer” twitchily reach dizzy heights of forward-gazing no wave bluster. For a ‘breather’ “Cacio e Pepe” isn’t much of a breather, all unsettling harmonic shafts of light, like a short walk on an especially strange beach. The album’s middle section that it bookends with it’s spiritual cousin “Tyne Wear” are surely some of the more mutated deployments of conventional rock instrumentation you’ll have heard in some time. It’s about at this point that you begin to realize the truly bionic reimagining of what a band can sound like. That seems like hyperbole until you lurch into the eerie skank of “Megatouch”, and by the time you realize that genre’s been swept out the window you’re thrown unapologetically through the percussive “Flora>Fauna” and into the seeming zero-gravity of “Luu Le” which reveals itself to be a shapeshifting carnival ride, eventually depositing you gently at the exit gate – wondering how it is you’ll explain what La Di Da Di means.

File Under: Indie Rock, Prog, Math Rock
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Century Expanded: Concerto for Wah Wah (Wah Wah) LP
Wow, what a discovery! A previously unknown gem from 1970. Originally released on the ultra-rare Perspection label, this generous 30-minute jam feast of mind blowing psychedelia features two long tracks. Wah-wah, fuzz and tremolo dueling guitars, searing organs, spacey vibes and trippy percussion set the atmosphere, in that out-there psychedelic sound reminiscent of San Francisco’s Summer Of Love and at the same time as hypnothic and adventurous as kraut rock innovators Neu! First ever vinyl reissue, presented on textured sleeve and remastered sound in a limited edition of only 500 copies worldwide.

File Under: Electronic, Psych, Krautrock
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City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone) LP
In Tomorrow… “There’s a line that I’m trying to find, between the water and the open sky,” sings Dallas Green on “Friends,” the penultimate track off of his fifth release as City and Colour, If I Should Go Before You. For someone like Green, it’s hard to imagine that there’s much left to search for – he’s traversed the globe on tour, released numerous albums (one most recently as You+Me with Alecia Moore, aka P!nk) and collected scores of accolades. Though Green is a musician, he doesn’t make a show of things: that’s the songs’ job. Thus he’s done this all quietly, intentionally, still looking for the next answer or dog-eared chapter each record holds. And this time, on If I Should Go Before You, he once again uncovered something new: a certain kind of family in his bandmates. “It’s been a very special two years for me,” says Green, about the period since the release of 2013’s The Hurry and the Harm, which has seen him touring with the consistent ensemble of Dante Schwebel (guitar: Dan Auerbach, Rumba Shaker), Doug MacGregor (drums: Constantines), Jack Lawrence (bass: The Raconteurs, Dead Weather) and multi-instrumentalist Matt Kelly. “They inspired me to want to create new music, just to create it with them – I don’t think I wrote these songs for the band, per se, but I certainly wrote them because of the band.” Green had always been an introspective, solitary writer, demoing songs in his basement, working up every instrumental part by himself. But he considers If I Should Go Before You to be a band record, where the input of these trusted comrades was of the upmost importance. Even more pivotal was trying to capture the essence of their live show symbiosis in the studio; which comes through with an undeniable force. For a project that was very much about the inner world of Green, these relationships have morphed City and Colour into something with more emotive power than ever before: the layers go beyond just music and lyrics, into the people creating the songs themselves. But there was one thing that Green did want to do himself this time: produce the record. He returned to Blackbird Studios in Nashville, where The Hurry and the Harm was made, but decided to take the production reigns himself, with the help of friend Karl Bareham as his partner and engineer, along with the masterful mixing skills of Jaquire King (Dawes, Kings of Leon, Tom Waits). Everyone who had a hand in the making of the record was or became part of the City and Colour family. Green’s songs have always had a striking, visceral feel that pumps through the veins like oxygen, and, this time, it became a sort of translatable DNA. It’s a perfect time to think of everything he has done – and If I Should Go Before You is a celebration of that. With instrumentation recorded live off the floor, it comprises every part of the person Green has become over the years: chugging ballads that tug at the gut, aching confessionals set to slicing guitars, little licks of pedal steel for his new southern-swept soul, moody distortion from punk rock roots. Though he’s recorded in many incarnations, If I Should Go Before You acts like a roadmap through all of them, showing that none of these were simply “projects,” but they were part of the same whole. The album opens with the sweeping, “Woman,” a track that very well could be a surprise to those who might expect a simpler, acoustic-based entrance gate. At over nine minutes long, it’s a sultry and dynamic ode to everlasting love expressed through a powerful, layered build of sounds and emotions like a complex sweep of watercolors – a percussive heartbeat, echoing riffs, Green’s grounded yet ethereal falsetto. You can almost picture the stage lights spiral across a crowded auditorium; it moves with a life outside just the studio walls.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Code III: Planet of Man (Wah Wah) LP
Brothers Manfred and Wolfgang Schunke were pioneers of the Kunstkopf Stereophonie (artificial head, dummy head) binaural recording system. This recording technique was created in the Technical University of Berlin in 1974 with the aim to reproduce real stereo sound as the human ears perceive it. Human ears listen to the sounds in a concrete way that is affected not only by the sound frequencies themselves but also by the position of the listener in respect to the different sound sources. The Schunke brothers wanted to experiment this recording technique, and as early as 1974 they set their own kunstkopf recording studio, Delta Acustic, with the help of Klaus Schulze. Code III was the vehicle for Manfred Schunke to explore the possibilities of kunstkopf recording. To do so, he joined forces with two Berlin-resident americans: Ed and Mary Key. Lyrically, Planet Of Man verses on the big theme of the creation of Earth, as The Crack In The Cosmic Egg book details it: “The music on PLANET OF MAN is a sonic depiction of the history of the Earth, from the void of empty space, via the formation of the planets, the evolution of life, through to man’s domination of the planet, and ultimately back to the void. The opening and closing excursions, involving atmospheric electronics, injections of a dreamy folk song, and disembodied resonant female voice, hint a little at Brainticket’s CELESTIAL OCEAN, although the mood is much spookier. Confusingly “Dawn Of An Era” (the lyrics are sung in the previous track) involves what sounds like demented Neanderthals involved in some weird drum ritual. “Countdown” adds up to a blend of atmospheric electronics with abstract use of voice collage and effects (and Indian music), onto a remarkably clever accelerating space-rock burn-out featuring Klaus Schulze at the drum stool! Returning to weird space music at the end, it all adds up to a remarkable and unique album.” Planet Of Man was one of the six releases on the Delta Acustic label, all recorded using the Kunstkopf Stereophonie techniques. After that, the Schunke brothers would quit the studio and move to new adventures. Manfred continued experimenting with dummy head recording, he would work, among others, on albums by Can and also use his binaural engineering experience on Lou Reed’s 1978 Lps Street Hassle and Take No Prisoners, among many others. There were originally two different versions of the album, the Wah Wah edition reproduces the longer, uncut one. First ever official vinyl reissue, with remastered sound and an insert with liner notes curated by Wolfgang Schunke for the occasion.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
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Coeur De Pirate: Roses (Dare to Care) LP
In Tomorrow… Roses is award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Cœur de pirate’s highly anticipated third album. Roses, a collection of songs dating as far back as 2012, was written mostly in Montreal and recorded in studios in Stockholm, London, Bristol and Montreal. The album was recorded in Stockholm with producer Bjorn Yttling (Peter Bjorn and John, Robyn, Lykke Li), in Bristol, UK, with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Bat For Lashes, Cold Specks), and with Ash Workman (Metronomy, Christine and the Queens) at London’s Church Studio, where Adele’s Skyfall fame took its roots. Roses is the object of a very meticulous marketing plan. The advertising plan prepared by the label features both the album and the tour dates in all the different markets to maximise the visibility of the promotion initiatives. A national ad campaign will take place in advance of the release to promote the artist and draw attention towards her tour dates as well as her upcoming album. We plan to market the upcoming album through a combination of radio advertising, television spots, online and print ads. Our strategy includes live radio sessions, TV performances, combined with our strong radio promotion and aggressive postering campaign across Canada. Cœur de Pirate is the solo project of award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Béatrice Martin. She released her self-titled debut album in September 2008, to immediate national and international acclaim, before returning in November 2011 with her sophomore album, Blonde. In 2014, Martin provided the soundtrack to Radio-Canada’s hit TV series, Trauma, as well as the original score to Ubisoft’s video game, Child of Light. Cœur de Pirate has now sold more than one million albums worldwide and counting.

File Under: SSW, Indie Rock, CanCon
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COS: Postaeolian Train Robbery (Wah Wah) LP
An obscure classic from the 1970’s Belgian jazzy prog scene that has become a much sought after piece in the collector’s market since it was originally released in 1974. Highly inspired by both the UK’s Canterbury scene and the zeuhl sound, the debut album by Cos has been compared to the likes of Soft Machine, Gong, Hatfield & The North, National Health, Gilgamesh, Egg, Placebo, Magma or Zao, with Pascale Son’s unique wordless vocals and nonsense syllables singing in a voice that some sources have compared to Flora Purim’s. The origins of Cos date back to the second half of the sixties when Daniel Schell joined forces with Jean-Paul Musette, Pascale Son and Robert Pernet to form Classroom. When Classroom split, Daniel Schell and Pascale Son moved ahead and formed Cos together with Charles Loos, Alain Goutier and Bob Dartsch. They produced an experimental jazz rock sound linked to the influences above mentioned, but without being mere copycats since they always managed to keep to their own personality. The album was released on the small obscure label Plus, and has arised interest not only among prog-rock psych-heads and jazz experimentalists, but also among those looking for breaks and bits to sample. The Wah Wah reissue comes housed in a beautiful reproduction of the original gatefold sleeve, featuring the original booklet and an insert with photos and liner notes. Mastered from the original tapes. First official LP reissue in a limited edition of 500 copies, licensed from and with the collaboration of Daniel Schell.

File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock
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Gregor Curten/Anselm Rogmans: Planes (Wah Wah) LP
Wah Wah Records proudly presents a luxury vinyl reissue of this rare 1974 private pressing. Cool long electronic experiments splitted in two tracks, one on each side. Recorded in one take and offering an astounding combination of synth drones, wordless vocals, ambiental electric organ and ethereal guitar arpeggios. An outstanding work that moves away of the more classical kraut cosmische sounds to walk darker paths, yet retaining some early Kluster reminiscences. The Wah Wah reissue comes to life thanks to the cooperation of Gregor Cürten himself, this new LP and the 2012 CD release on Entr’acte are the only legit reissues of this great lost piece of kraut music history. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Limited to only 500 copies. Remastered sound and featuring an insert with liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Krautrock
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dungenDungen: Allas Sak (Mexican Summer) LP
Dungen returns after a five year hiatus with Allas Sak, picking up where 2010‘s Skit I Allt left off, but sounding bolder and livelier, feistier yet more focused. One of the best and most consistently inventive psych rock bands in the world, the quartet jams with greater purpose and principle on songs like the otherworldly instrumental “Franks Kaktus” and the stately “En Gång Om Året,” while the prismatic “Flickor Och Pojkar” and closer “Sova” reveal subtle nuances in the band’s arrangements. “Åkt Dit” moves like a well-told story, with piano and bass setting the scene, the vocals tracing the rising action, and a saxophone solo providing the climax. Allas Sak is about everyday matters: family, friends, the fine texture of life. Common but never mundane, these subjects anchor the music in the here and now, while the music lends a certain grandeur to ordinary moments. “Lyrics are very important to me,” says primary songwriter Gustav Ejstes, who sings almost exclusively in Swedish. “These songs are my everyday experiences, my thoughts and stories from the life I live. I hope people can create their own stories around the music and maybe we can make music together, the listener and I.” “This is music made in blissful oblivion…and made to conjure it, too.” – The New York Times

File Under: Psych, Indie Rock
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Eagles Of Death Metal: Zipper Down (T-Boy) LP
In Tomorrow… Jesse Hughes and Joshua Homme, co-founders of American rock band Eagles Of Death Metal, return with their fourth album, Zipper Down, the project’s first new studio release since 2008. For the Zipper Down sessions at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, CA, Hughes and Homme co-wrote all of the album’s songs (with the exception of their cover of Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer”), and performed all of the instruments and vocals themselves. The album was produced by Homme. “The new album, Zipper Down, really represents to me an attitude and philosophy of life,” says Hughes. “One should not zipper up, they should zipper down and let it all hang out.” Homme says, “In an independent study, four out of three doctors say Zipper Down is an eargasm trapped inside a crazerbeam. And I believe them.” About the album’s lead single, Homme explains, “‘Complexity’ is the musical equivalent of holding a lucky rabbit’s foot with the unlucky rabbit still attached.” “‘Complexity’ is sort of our way of saying, ‘Keep it simple, stupid,’” adds Hughes. EODM was formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, CA by best friends Jesse Hughes and Joshua Homme. Despite their band name, EODM is not a death metal band. The story goes that a friend was introducing Homme to the death metal genre, and he wondered what a cross between the Eagles and a death metal band would sound like. With that, EODM was born. The band released Peace Love Death Metal in 2004, followed by Death By Sexy in 2006, and Heart On in 2008.

File Under: Rock, Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss
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Hans Edler: Elektron Kukeso (Wah Wah) LP
After having served in the rich Swedish beat 1960’s scene as a member of The Ghostriders and We 4, a.o., at the end of the decade Hans Edler became one of the pioneers of psychedelic electronic sounds experimentation in Europe. His “Elektron Kukéso” LP is a landmark in the genre. Released in 1971, it featured his explorations in electronic avant-garde music from the period 1969-1971. It was recorded at the Electronic Music Studio foundation, one of the world’s most advanced studios in the era, and one of the few prepared for the creation of electronic music. Influenced by the works of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and using techniques similar to those of Pierre Henry or Raymond Scott, Edler brought a psychedelic edge into electronic music just like Silver Apples had done in the USA. The album has also a strong rock attitude plus a certain pop sensitivity in some passages, not far from that of David Axelrod’s, which confers it a distance from what used to be the more serious appeal of what most electronic pioneers had been doing, giving the album an accessivity that is closer to the electronic hits of artists such as Gershon Kingsley, Jean-Jacques Perrey or Dick Hyman. However, be it because of the songs being sung in Swedish or the outsider reputation Edler seems to have in the Swedish musical scene, this great LP remained an obscurity – hardly spoken of outside a small circle of connoisseurs and collectors. “It really doesn’t get much better than this. In these days of harsh turmoil to uncover a rock & roll sweetheart like Hans Edler it really proves the gods to be smiling. Bonafide electronic experimentation with a heart full of pop is a love potion most desirable. Listen to the religious Brian Wilson-meets-Jandek orayer hymns of young Edler and travel to a time when long haired girls and dope-laced boys were truly getting it “on”. The hybrid fascination of electronic space composition and soul sweet pop-love in such a fresh state has me floating to my tombstone cloud.” Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth). “Hans Edler’s Elektron Kukéso reflects a man who, musically speaking, is in a world of his own. Edler’s music seem to be totally uninfluenced by the music of his day. On the contrary, Edler seemed to be making up his own musical rules, and if the rest of the world didn’t follow, that was probably fine with him. As for his tunes…(they)… resemble folk music, but in a strange, contorted way. I have never heard an album that is so devoid of musical influence of others, and to me, that’s what makes it remarkable.” Dana Countryman (Cool and Strange Music Magazine). Since the original LP was pretty short, seven bonus tracks not appeared on the original release have been added. These songs predate the LP tracks and are from 1969 / 1970. Remastered sound, an insert with photos and liner notes complete this great reissue of this legendary Swedish electronics LP.

File Under: Electronic, Psych
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mark jenkins

Mark Jenkins: Analog Archives (Wah Wah) LP
A leading figure in the UK’s electronic music scene, Mark Jenkins has played with White Noise, Arthur Brown and members of Can, Gong, Van Der Graaf Generator and Tangerine Dream. He is the author of the acclaimed books Analog Synthesizers and iPad Music (Jenkins became the first musician in the world to release a CD created entirely on the Apple iPad). Analog Archives is a collection of recordings from the early to mid eighties. Armed with his Moog Sonic Six, Sequential Prophet 600, EDP Wasp & Spider and other legendary electronic weapons Mark Jenkins delivers envolving electronic textures that could be filed along those of artists like Klaus Schulze or Ash Ra Tempel. These recordings are issued in vinyl format for the first time ever, in a limited edition of 500 copies only.

File Under: Early Electronic


Ariel Kalma: Le Temps Des Moissons (Wah Wah) LP
First solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. Kalma is also known for have played  in albums by other French experimental artists like Delired Chameleon Family, Nyl, Heldon… Nowadays very rare and hard to find private pressing, some copies came with a hand drawn cover and some in printed form. The Wah Wah reissue reproduces the original printed sleeve, comes mastered sound from the original tapes, 2 bonus tracks and an insert featuring liner notes and photos, in a limited edition of only 500 copies.

File Under: New Age, Ambient, Experimental
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Mark Kozelek: Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer (Badman) LP
Mark Kozelek has recorded six studio albums with Red House Painters, four solo albums, and two with Sun Kil Moon. Kozelek has toured the world extensively as a solo artist and with Red House Painters. His songs have appeared in numerous movie and television soundtracks. Kozelek acted in the Cameron Crowe film “Almost Famous.” He played the bass player for Stillwater. He also compiled, and contributed tracks for Take Me Home – A Tribute to John Denver. Mark Kozelek’s (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters) singer/songwriter’s debut solo album. 3 1/2 Stars – Rolling Stone. “Best of 2000” – Amazon.com

File Under: Indie Rock, Red House Painters
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Hardy Kukuk: Atemnot (Wah Wah) LP
One of the biggest rarities from the cosmische kraut underground scene has to be Hardy Kukuk’s lost 1981 top Berlin School electronic masterpiece Atemnot. Kukuk’s synth explorations take the adventures of masters of the genre like Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze one step further into the early eighties. Kukuk is joined on these recordings by Andreas Schneider on guitar and congas and Klaus Bloch (of A La Ping Pong fame) on guitar and tape effects. After Atemnot Kukuk recorded a second LP, Timeless, before joining forces with Matthias Culmey in the early 2000’s to form the electronic duo Beatboys 2000. The Wah Wah reissue comes with remastered sound and housed in a faithful reproduction of original private pressing sleeve. It also includes an insert with cool photos and liner notes. First ever vinyl reissue limited to 500 copies only!

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock


Franco Leprino: Integrati… Disintegrati (Wah Wah) LP
It was 1977, the year when punk rock exploded in the face of disco-music, but some thinking heads in Italy managed to escape the set trends of the year and walk a totally different path. Pioneers like Franco Battiato had already been experimenting with a crash of rock and electroacoustic music since the beginning of the decade, and others like Roberto Cacciapaglia or Riccardo Zappa would explore farther in those lands, mixing acoustic instruments with the bourgeoning synth technology. Among all these artists, an obscure little gem missed the attention it deserved:  Integrati… Disintegrati, by Francesco Leprino, is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the genre. More freely unchained from the prog rock links that albums like Battiato’s celebrated Fetus and Pollution LPs or Zappa’s Celestion still retain, Leprino merges a very pure classical instrumentation of Spanish guitar, piano and flute with more modern electric guitar sounds, 12 string guitar and -of course- a V.C.S. 3 and Moog synths background that creates highly avantgarde atmospheres. Binson tape echoes, Hammond and Thomas organs, oboes, vibraphone and other additional instruments add texture richness to the final mix. An outstanding opus split through both sides of an LP in two 20 minutes long pieces that has become a much sought after album among collectors. It will appeal those interested in the development of synth music, beautiful athmosferic landscapes and electronic-acoustic orchestrated sounds. Reissued under license from Francesco Leprino in a 500 copies limited edition that respects the original artwork, comes with remastered sound and includes an insert with liner notes and photos.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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love machine

The Love Machine: Electronic Music to Blow Your Mind By (Wah Wah) LP

Hey fans of Free Pop Electronic Concept, Jimmie Haskell, Astro Sounds for the Year 2000, Pierre Henry or Les Maledictus Sound, here’s one for you! KILLER exploito psych LP from 1968 by the Love Machine, “Electronic Music to Blow Your Mind By!!!” – and trust me, it CAN be done – on the Design label. One of the harder-to-find exploito-psych albums with an absolutely KILLER psychedelic cover. Like all these studio cash-in albums, you need to approach this one in the right state of mind, and by that I mean altered. But the great thing about these budget albums is that someone behind the controls seems to be trying out ALL the latest psychedelic effects – stereo panning, phasing and whatever electronic gadgetry they had left over from the last time Beaver and Krause blew through town.  And so, if you can get past the fact that no REAL bands were involved here, this is still one heck of a BLAST to listen to! The Love Machine add in a steady stream of outer space synth and moog sounds, like some rejected soundtrack to an episode of “Star Trek” (the original one, kids, with William Shatner), all echoed and delayed in suitably “cosmic” fashion. Remastered sound, killer sleeve with backflaps and limited to 500 copies only!

File Under: Rock, Psych
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Wolfgang Orschakowski: Zippo Zetterlink in the Poor Sun (Wah Wah) LP
Wolfgang Orschakowski is one of the most free spirits of the krautrock underground. Hailing from Hamburg, he has been producing music, paintings and all other kinds of artistic projects for the past four decades, always active with dozens of new projects boiling inside his head. Zippo Zetterlink In The Poor Sun, originally released in 1971 as a self produced private pressing that is nowadays impossible to find unless you are ready to pay some amounts of money in the collector’s market, was his first ever release. It is at last reissued in vinyl, a properly licensed edition done with the kind cooperation of Wolfgang himself and housed in an exact repro of its original sleeve. The music contained could be taken as the seed to Orschakowski’s music world : free-form underground sounds, a way-out trip through expansive guitar riffs and strumming, hypnotic bass lines, killer drum breakbeats and elusive percussion, plus the occasional vocal, some blues freak-out and psychedelic effects. It will appeal to fans of other kraut classics like Amon Düül’s Psychedelic Underground, early Guru Guru and the likes. The Wah Wah reissue comes with a fantastic bonus CD featuring another of Wolfgang’s projects: the acid psych music of WoOZ! performing their Катюша / Katyusha, カチューシャ, red point on g-spot 10-song album. Reissued under license from Wolfgang Orschakowski in a 500 copies limited edition that respects the original artwork, comes with remastered sound and includes a bonus CD by Orschakowski’s psychedelic project WoOZ! housed in a fold-out poster sleeve with liner notes and photos.

File Under: Krautrock, Blues Rock
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Pack: s/t (Ugly Pop) LP
Nobody can tell us that this 1978 German monster isn’t one of the best footlongs of the era, a gnarly slab of pure ’70s punk rock recorded in an abandoned WW2 bunker with two mics in one session. Pack is just hit after hit, killer songs delivered with snarl, style and non-stop energy. Essential first generation punk, remastered with extensive liner notes and vintage photos!

File Under: Punk
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Placebo: Without You I’m Nothing (Virgin) LP
In Tomorrow… This U.K. three-piece’s self-titled debut often got compared to Smashing Pumpkins and Rush–Smashing Pumpkins for its unashamed mid-’70s prog-rock allusions and Rush because of singer Brian Molko’s unusually high-pitched, almost androgynous voice. In reality, Placebo were far more salacious, downright dirty, and culturally confusing than either. (The band is a mix of American, Swedish, and English, with some Lebanese and Luxembourgian thrown in.) For their second album, Placebo have looked to the late ’70s for inspiration, to the sound of early New Order and the Banshees–with a dash of the ’90s thrown in: “Brick Shithouse,” for example, starts like the most balls-out Prodigy song. If their debut was the sound of a no-holds-barred sexual drug frenzy lasting way into the next day, then Without You I’m Nothing is the resultant rumpled, libidinous comedown. As such, it’s much classier, cerebral and great to listen to when hung-over. “I’m unclean / A libertine / And every time you vent your spleen / I seem to lose my power of speech,” Molko breathes on the awesomely overcharged title track. In a year when Marilyn Manson and Bauhaus continue to revitalize the goth movement across America, Placebo’s moment may well have arrived. –Everett True

File Under: Alternative Rock
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Popol Vuh: Das Hohelied Salomos (Wah Wah) LP
We start our second series of Popol Vuh reissues with the fantastic Das Hohelied Salomos, which takes it over from where Einsjäger Und Siebenjäger left it. It features the classic trio of Florian Fricke, Daniel Fichelscher and Djong Yun, plus the help of Amon Düül’s Al Gromer. The theme of the album is taken from biblical passages, using verses from King Salomon’s tales on The Old Testament. The music is superb, great guitar soloing, amazing percussion work and the mesmerizing voice of Djong Yun on nine songs that echo previous works, mostly Einsjäger…, but also Hosianna Mantra comes to mind here and there. A perfectly balanced record that merges progrock sounds, eastern influences through the use of sitar and tabla and spiritual meditation. The Wah Wah limited edition will have three bonus tracks and come housed the beautiful original sleeve artwork printed on art type paper, as it was first released, and feature a triptic insert with liner notes. It has been master Cut by Lex Van Coeverden @ www.thevinylroom.nl for a high quality sound pressing that will satisfy the most exquisite audiophile.

File Under: Ambient, Krautrock
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Popol Vuh: Herz Aus Glass
Popol Vuh: Coeur de Verre (Wah Wah) LP
Another classic soundtrack produced by Popol Vuh for a Werner Herzog film was Herz Aus Glass. Its music still retains the powerful emphasis given to the previous LP in certain passages, although it goes back to their more reflexive ambiental athmospheres yet presenting that concept one step further into more evolutive structures and even adding some touches of a certain folk music feel. Djong Yun is not present anymore, but Daniel Fichelscher and Florian Fricke can still count on the collaboration of Al Gromer on sitar, plus the addition of Mathias von Tippelskirch on flute. Werner Herzog: “The music in my films is also very much neglected, if I may interrupt you, in Germany as well. Since AGUIRRE, my friend Florian Fricke, has done the music for almost all my films – for STEINER, for LA SOUFRIERE, for STROSZEK, and for HEART OF GLASS – and I’ve tried to push very hard so that he would be given the National Film Award this year. They’ve never given it to him, and there has been complete neglect of his work. Not even a single mention! And this year they just by-passed him once again!” [From: Images at the Horizon, 1979] Popol Vuh has been nominated three times for an Oscar for best original score:
 1972 (Aguirre), 1979 (Nosferatu) and 1987 (Cobra Verde). On offer here two different sleeves to chose from. Half of the copies will come in its original blue cover, as it was originally issued in Germany, the other half will be housed in the beautiful French sleeve, originally released as Coeur de Verre. Audiophile fidelity remastered sound plus an insert with photos and liner notes.

File Under: Ambient, Krautrock, OST
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Protomartyr: The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art) LP
Consider the urgency with which Protomartyr has approached everything – three albums in three years, each more extraordinary and rewarding than the last. This music is inherently, unassumingly high stakes. October 2015 marks the release of The Agent Intellect, their third and finest work to date. Named after an ancient philosophical questioning of how the mind operates in relation to the self, it’s an elegant and often devastating display of all that makes Protomartyr so vital and singularly visceral an outfit. Over the course of several months, guitarist Greg Ahee waded through more than a hundred song fragments until he reached the bottomless melodies of “I Forgive You” and “Clandestine Time,” the inky depths of “Pontiac ’87” and titanic churn of “Why Does It Shake?” Lyrically, frontman Joe Casey is at his most confident and haunting. He humanizes evil on “The Devil in His Youth,” and, amid the charred pop of “Dope Cloud,” he reassures us that nothing – not God, not money – can or will prevent our minds from unraveling until we finally fade away. We are no one and nothing, he claims, without our thoughts. It’s a theme that echoes through the entirety of the record, but never as beautifully as it does on “Ellen.” Named after his mother and written from the perspective of his late father, it’s as romantic a song as you’re likely to hear this or any year, Casey promising to wait for her on the other side, with the memories she’s lost safely in hand. All LPs include a lyric zine, poster insert and download code.

File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
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Shindig! #50 Mag
Shindig! 50th Birthday Issue! It’s a big one for anyone; us particularly, considering what 2015 threw up. And here we are, alive and kicking at 50. The issue hits the shops ( we will also unleash our Podcast with interviews and chat with TEMPLES, GHOSTBOX and WHITE FENCE recorded at Green Man). Shindig! Magazine is a publication put together with genuine understanding, sincerity and utter belief. We seek to end mediocrity in music magazines… to bring the scope and knowledge of old fanzines and specialist rock titles to a larger readership: quality journalism, columns, music and film history; exciting new bands and culture. From the most far-out ’60s sounds through country-rock and folk to soul and electronic experimentation. It’s all there. We have already inspired every major music mag… so let us inspire you too!


Suck Electronic Enciclopedic: Asfixia al Carrer Valendia (Wah Wah) LP
We are proud to present for the first time ever the lost 1976 / 1977 recordings by this legendary band from Barcelona. Suck Electrònic Enciclopèdic were born in 1975, in the last days of Franco’s dictature, when Spain was awaking again to democracy and everything was possible. Even with the menace of an army too friendly to the old regime a fresh new breeze was spreading the change, and S.E.E. were an important part of its musical underground movement and the ones who brought influences from their kraut cosmische heroes Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream to it. The constant line-up changes (over 30 musiccians have been members of S.E.E. at one time or another, with some of them moving to other important projects of the era – like Neuronium, for instance) made it difficult for them to produce a consistent recorded work. Actually they only released one LP and it was already in the 1980’s, but the recordings contained on Asfixia al carrer València where done in their early days, when they were at the peak of their creativity in 1976 / 1977. At that time they had a unique sound that no one else shared since they were building their own synthesizers and they were the only Spanish band to feature four keyboardists, and also one of the few to tour with bands such as Embryo, Etron Fou Leloublan, Potemkine or Henry Cow. They were part of the Rock In Opposition (RIO) collective along with Stormy Six, Univers Zero, Samla Mammas Manna, Art Zoyd, Art Bears, and other experimental progressive avant-garde outfits. The Wah Wah LP is a selection of tracks from more than three hours of material that was recorded but never released. Plans for LPs produced by Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt were made, as others to record in France – first in Avignon’s Free Son Studios under production from Daevid Allen and David Vorhaus with the collaboration of Shakti Yoni, and then in Tolouse’s Tangara Studio with Jean Pierre Grasset from Verto – but they never materialised. A phenomenal document of the electronic psychedelic sound that Suck Electronic Enciclopèdic were exploring in their early days, including plenty of photos and memorabilia to transport the listener to their world of science ficcion imagery, psychedelia and progressive experimentation that was to supply a lot of influences to many bands to come in the Barcelona scene. Previously unreleased, recorded between 1976 and 1977, the Wah Wah issue will come housed in a quality glossy laminated gatefold sleeve printed on silver cardboard, remastered sound by Bob Drake (of Henry Cow fame), and featuring a 20 page booklet with photos and liner notes and a comic strip. Limited edition of only 500 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Psych, Space Rock
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Supergrass: I Should Coco (Parlophone) LP
In Tomorrow… To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Brit-pop forerunners Supergrass’ chart-topping platinum 1995 debut full-length, I Should Coco, Parlophone Records is reissuing the time honored classic on 180g vinyl with remastered audio complete with a colored copy of the 7” single “Stone Free” / “Odd?” which was originally released with the album. Supergrass burst onto the UK music scene in 1994 with the hit singles “Caught By The Fuzz” and “Mansize Rooster.” Their infectious blend of power-pop melodies, youthful punk attitude and wicked sense of humour set them apart from their Britpop contemporaries. Their sound was not tied to a particular artist or era, so has allowed their music to remain timeless. When I Should Coco hit the shelves in 1995, it was an immediate smash, reaching the #1 spot on the UK album chart making it the biggest selling debut album for Parlophone since The Beatles’ Please Please Me. The album featured two Top 10 hits: “Lenny” and “Alright,” the latter becoming one of the defining songs of their career. These young men devoured a lot of music in their youth; combining the melodicism of The Kinks and The Beatles, the ferocious rhythms of The Who, the Anglo-centric vocals of Madness with the punk/pop energy of The Buzzcocks into a musical stew that sounded like no one but Supergrass. They delivered a nearly perfect album to kick-start their career; a record that still resonates and charms two decades on. The LP includes a special bonus: The original 7” single of “Stone Free”/”Odd?” on red vinyl with a reworked red/yellow classic Parlophone 45 label but in its original retro ‘Parlophone’ housebag. “Stone Free” was originally recorded during a long night at Falconer Studios on April 12, 1995 just after the band returned home from their first American tour. “Odd?” was recorded at BBC Maida Vale on January 10, 1995, as part of their first John Peel session which was initially broadcast 4th Feb 1995. It was also Rob Coombes’ first appearance on keyboards with the band.

File Under: Rock, Brit Pop
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Ticket: Awake (Wah Wah) LP
Here’s a hard dose of amazing guitar driven heavy psych from New Zealand’s pride Ticket! Having served in several NZ 1960s bands like The Challenge, The Blues Revival or The Jamestown Union, members Paul Woolright (bass guitar, vocals), Eddie Hansen (lead guitar, vocals), Trevor Tombleson (lead vocals, percussion) and Ricky Ball (drums and percussion) got together as Ticket to perform an explosive electric mixture of bluesy psychedelic sounds under the influence of Hendrix, Cream, Traffic or Sly & The Family Stone, plus adding their very own touch and some funky rhythms in the same vein Atomic Rooster did in the era. Awake was the first of their two LPs, and it collected several songs that had been released as 45s during 1971, plus some extra material recorded specifically for the LP in 1972. Eddie Hansen would relocate to Australia teaming up with another music legend, Harvey Mann. Ricky Ball became the back-beat of Hello Sailor. Paul Woolright would become part of the Pink Flamingo’s and Hello Sailor. Trevor Tombleson changed his name to Trevor Richards, went to England and played in the Keith Hartley Band. Originally released in Down Under in 1972, the Wah Wah reissue will come housed in a quality glossy laminated, three backflaps sleeve reproducing the original artwork, amazingly remastered sound and an insert with photos and liner notes. Limited edition of only 500 copies.

File Under: Psych, Blues Rock
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Annexus Quam: Osmose (Wah Wah) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Capitol) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: 4 (Rhino) LP
Donald Byrd: A New Perspective (Blue Note) LP
City & Colour: Little Hell (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
Clear Light Symphony: s/t (Wah Wah) LP
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Get on Down) LP
John Coltrane: Giant Steps (Atlantic) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
Dead Weather: Dodge & Burn (Thirdman) LP
Destroyer: Poison Season (Merge) LP
Doors: LA Woman (Rhino) LP
Doors: Morrison Hotel (Rhino) LP
Doors: Soft Parade (Rhino) LP
Doors: s/t (Rhino) LP
Doors: Waiting For The Sun (Rhino) LP
Kenny Drew: Undercurrent (Blue Note) LP
Emtidi: s/t (Wah Wah) LP
Emtidi: Saat (Wah Wah) LP
Fairport Convention: Liege & Lief (Universal) LP
Bill Fay: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up (Blue Note) LP
Andrew Hill: Point of Departure (Blue Note) LP
Billy Holiday: Strange Fruit (DOL) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (Blue Note) LP
Inner Space (Can): Agilok & Blubbo (Wah Wah) LP
Fela Kuti: Box 3 (Knitting Factory) Boxset
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Jackie McLean: Capuchin Swing (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Turnaround (Blue Note) LP
Lee Morgan: Search For A New Land (Blue Note) LP
Neu!: s/t (Gronland) LP
Neurosis: Through Silver In Blood (Relapse) LP
Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Wayne Shorter: Juju (Blue Note) LP
Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil (Blue Note) LP
Spacecraft: Paradoxe (Wah Wah) LP
Swans: My Father Will Guide Me (Young God) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemedo) LP
Television: Marquee Moon (Rhino) LP
Unwound: Empire (Numero) 4LP
Bernd Witthuser: Lieder Von Vampiren… (Wah Wah) LP

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…..news letter #710 – atomized…..

Well, I think today is the first day in about a week and a half that I DIDN’T buy any used records for the shop. Probably for the best though, we’ve got a major backlog going on here now. I’ve made a small list below of just SOME of the stuff we’ve put out recently to whet your appetite. Come down this weekend and have a dig.

…..pick of the week…..


Big Black: Atomizer
(Touch & Go) LP

So, there’s so much to love about this album. So frantic, so angsty, so abrassive. It’s the auditory equivalent of crashing through the windshield of your car and then skidding on your face for a block and living to tell the tale. “Originally released in 1985, and now remastered by Steve Albini and Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering, Big Black’s first full-length album Atomizer will be re-released in September 2015. To save you having to do the math in your head, yes, that makes this a 30th anniversary reissue. This remastered version of Atomizer also includes the song “Strange Things” which appeared on the first pressing, but was not present on subsequent vinyl pressings nor on The Rich Man’s Eight Track CD. It also comes with a double sided insert and a digital download coupon. To put this release into context for the uninformed: Big Black began in 1982. Steve Albini, then a sophomore at Northwestern University, fanzine writer and loudmouth, released the Lungs EP on the Chicago co-operative label Ruthless (whose other artists at the time included Naked Raygun and the Effigies). Lungs was recorded in his apartment on a borrowed 4-track for the price of one case of beer. After that record’s release, Jeff Pezzati (singer for Naked Raygun) and Santiago Durango (Naked Raygun, Arsenal), both linchpins of the burgeoning Chicago music scene, joined Big Black. During this period, the band established itself as a live act, recorded two more records, the Bulldozer EP and the Racer X EP, toured the U.S., and had -in general – a pretty good time. Pezzati’s other obligations precipitated his departure from the band in 1984, when he was replaced by Dave Riley, bass player for Chicago swing-punk band Savage Beliefs. This lineup persisted until the band’s self-destruction in August of 1987. Big Black toured the U.S., England, Europe, and Austrailia. They recorded a shitload of records: Il Duce 45, Atomizer LP, Headache EP (which bore the heartbreakingly-honest disclaimer “Warning! Not as good as Atomizer. Don’t get your hopes up, Cheese.”), Heartbeat 45, He’s A Whore 45, Songs About Fucking LP, and the Pig Pile LP.” HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

File Under: Punk, Albini, Drum Machines
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…..new arrivals…..


Born Ruffians: Ruff (Paper Bag) DLX LP
The deluxe edition is loaded with unique surprises! We could tell you what makes it so special, but in the internet age there’s little mystery left in music and Born Ruffians love surprises. Order the deluxe edition and discover all the hidden treasures when you receive the vinyl on release date! The deluxe edition will be signed by the band, but that’s about the only surprise that we can share. *Deluxe Edition comes with limited edition Born Ruffians slip mat! The record is RUFF – simultaneously a return to form and a departure from expectations. Songs of refutation, lamentations of forgotten past lives and ecstatic self-erasures that say “eat shit, we did it!”. RUFF, as an idea, is everything – sound, message, band. If Birthmarks was polished and presentable, RUFF is the ugly innards that hide beneath.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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Chvrches: Every Open Eye (Glassnote) LP
In tomorrow…. A lot has changed for CHVRCHES in the past few years. When the Glaswegian trio wrote and recorded their debut, The Bones Of What You Believe (2013), no one had heard of them. The three members (Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry) came together with the idea of working on a writing project together, unsure of what path that would take other than one which belied their previous musical projects and foregrounded melody and classic songwriting styles before everything else. There were no pre-existing ideas of what the record would or should be like, no pre-conceptions and nothing to live up to – just three people in a basement studio in Glasgow making music they believed in. The album went on to sell over 500,000 copies and earned rave reviews far and wide. Approaching the new album, Every Open Eye, one could argue that everything is different for the band but they tried not to treat it that way. CHVRCHES returned to the same hometown studio that had housed them during the recording of their first LP, their basic goal to shut off the outside world and get back to what they know best: writing. Made in CHVRCHES’ Alucard Studios – a converted three-bedroom flat on the southside of Glasgow – Every Open Eye offers an alternative approach in a climate of music written by committee or the same handful of well-known songwriters, going back to the idea that a band can write, record and produce their work entirely by themselves. Using some ideas the band had recorded in venues during their time on the road as a starting point, the band found riffs, loops and melodies they wanted to develop or started from scratch on the synths, pads and machines they had been gathering in their basement to create the instrumentals of the songs. Vocal melodies were developed as the songs took shape with the lyrics added last, developed from words and sentences from notebooks Lauren Mayberry had kept on tour. Musically, Every Open Eye seeks to do more with less. To make big sounds without racking up endless tracks within Cubase sessions. To make something intense and urgent and visceral, using the basic tools of melody, rhythm and arrangement rather than the mentality that ‘more is more’. Sonically, Every Open Eye develops CHVRCHES’ signature style, juxtaposing the light and the dark, creating their own brand of twisted pop music that uniquely merges the organic with the electronic, molding sounds and ideas forged over two years on the road into an electronic-pop record with a heart. Lyrically, Every Open Eye is not a break up album. It is a record about past heartbreaks and getting over them (“Leave A Trace”). About perspective and the benefit of hindsight. About being unapologetic and not being told what to do or who to be (“Bury It,” “Never Ending Circles,” “Playing Dead”). About moving on to better things, holding on to the good and letting go of the bad (“Down Side Of Me,” “Clearest Blue,” “Afterglow”). Mixed by Spike Stent and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

File Under: Electronic, Synth-Pop
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Daft Punk: Tron Legacy (Disney) LP
In tomorrow… A few years ago this came out, and everyone was like “It’s too expensive…” then it sold out and started selling for 4-5 times as much online. Well, now you can buy it for slightly less than it originally cost, so, maybe waiting paid off… “Continuing to exploit their creative urges to their ends, multi-platinum electronic duo Daft Punk (Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) took on one of their most ambitious projects to date in 2008, when they agreed to score the modern remake of the hugely influential 1982 film, Tron. Daft Punk’s reverence of the original film and the themes that define it (the evolving relationship between humans and technology, specifically) rendered them discontented working within the means of their own studio. “We knew from the start that there was no way we were going to do this film score with two synthesizers and a drum machine,” stated Guy-Manuel. Enlisting a 100-piece orchestra, they emerged from the studio after two years with a work whose importance superseded the editing process of the actual film – the movie was cut to the score, atypically. Tron: Legacy peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and was awarded with a gold certification for 500,000 units sold shortly thereafter.”

File Under: Electronic, OST
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Discharge: Toronto 83 (Ugly Pop) LP
In tomorrow… Discharge are one of the greatest punk bands of all time, and this 1983 set captures them in ferocious form. Rescued from an old tape, the sound is violent, dirty and powerful, a raw document of a raw band blazing through 14 tracks of relentlessly furious hardcore. Fully legit and authorised, not a bootleg. WARNING: do not expect NOFX CD sound– this is noise not music!

File Under: Punk, Hardcore
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girl band

Girl Band: Holding Hands With Jamie (Rough Trade) LP
Holding Hands with Jamie, Girl Band’s debut album, comes a few years into their tenure; a few years after their first tour, nine days crammed into a Fiat Panda; a few years of stamping 7″ sleeves to sell at merch tables and mail-order; a few years of writing songs and touring and developing a live ferocity unmatched by nearly anyone. Recorded in April 2015 in their home town of Dublin at Bow Lane Studios over two days after returning home from their first-ever US tour, the nine tracks making up Holding Hands with Jamie capture, more than any previous recordings, the tension and abrasive energy of a Girl Band performance. Recalling any number of things but for only milliseconds at a time, Girl Band make a mockery of comparisons, because you can only get as far as “oh this bit sounds like” before a guitar scuff-screams, the bass crunches like a car in a bailing press, or something else visceral and glorious comes from the speakers, and the thought’s erased. But ultimately, anyone who’s paying attention can only conclude, like Noisey did: “The one blindingly obvious thing about Girl Band is that this is fucking great.” “Paint-peelingly vicious” – Toronto Star. “One of the most confident, shit-kicking bands around.” – NME. “You don’t so much listen to a Girl Band song as get strapped into it” – Pitchfork.

File Under: Punk, Noise Rock
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Helen: The Original Faces (Kranky) LP
“When I was a child, I spoke to Helen. “Helen is a pop group from Oregon. Liz Harris (vocals/lead guitar), Jed Bindeman (drums/tambourine), Scott Simmons (bass/guitar), and Helen (backup vocals). Originally started with the intention of being a thrash band, it turned into something else entirely. The Original Faces was recorded over a period of several years in Portland by the band members and their friends Nick, Chris, and, largely, Justin Higgins. Written together, some songs based on Liz and Scott’s demos.”

File Under: LoFi, Shoegaze, Grouper
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Mark Lanegan: 2002 Houston Publishing Demos 2002 (Ipecac) LP
In tomorrow… Mark Lanegan first rose to fame with his band the Screaming Trees in the ’90s. Like other noted artists Lanegan has carved out a strong identity of his own as a vocalist and songwriter informed by the blues but willing to take his darkly poetic sensibility wherever his muse was pointing him, from hard rock to electronics. Cut to 2002, The Screaming Trees had just recently disbanded and Lanegan was in the early years of his solo offerings (at this point he had released a mere five solo albums). The songs on Houston Publishing Demos 2002, were written, recorded, then shelved until now, with the release of this 12-song collection of previously unreleased demos on Ipecac Recordings. In addition to familiar tunes like “Has God Seen My Shadow?,” “Halycon Daze” and “Gray Goes Black,” most of the material here is being unveiled for the first time. Houston Publishing Demos 2002 was produced by Justice Records’ Randall Jamail while the artwork for the album was done by The Mekon’s John Langford.

File Under: Indie Rock
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rateliffNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: s/t (Fantasy) LP
In tomorrow… BACK IN STOCK! Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats practically explodes with deep, primal and ecstatic soulfulness. This stunning work isn’t just soul stirring, it’s also soul baring, and the combination is absolutely devastating to behold. You don’t just listen to this record – you experience it. So it’s entirely fitting that the self-titled album will bear the iconic logo of Stax Records, because at certain moments Rateliff seems to be channeling soul greats like Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. But as this gifted multi-instrumentalist honors the legacy of the legendary Memphis label, he’s also setting out into audacious new territory. Those who were beguiled by In Memory of Loss, Rateliff’s folky, bittersweet 2010 Rounder album, will be in for an initial shock when they spin Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. But when you delve beneath the rawboned surface of the new album’s wall-rattling presentation, with its deep-gut grooves, snaky guitars, churning Hammond and irresistible horns, you’ll find that same sensitive, introspective dude, who bravely tells it like it is, breaking through his reticence to expose often harsh truths about the life he’s lived, the people he’s hurt and the despair he’s struggled with. The difference between the two albums is that the Nights Sweats’ funkiness insulates the starkly confessional nature of Rateliff’s songs while at the same time underscoring their emotional extremes. As the band blazes away on the soul-rock rave-up “I Need Never Get Old,” the visceral “Howling at Nothing” and the supercharged “Trying So Hard Not to Know,” which open the album with a sustained outpouring of torrid intensity, Rateliff is opening himself up emotionally as well as physically, the raw grit in his voice conveying anguish and hope in equal measure. The buoyant immediacy of the music makes the hard truths embedded in the songs easier to swallow than it would be in Rateliff’s other primary mode – a solitary guy with a guitar, the brim of his baseball cap pulled down, putting his heart and guts on the line without the protection of his simpatico cohorts. Make no mistake, these songs would stop you in their tracks presented in that naked way as well, but the additional layers of soulfulness provided by the Night Sweats – its core comprising guitarist Joseph Pope III, drummer Patrick Meese and keyboardist Mark Shusterman – bring a convergence of intensities, musical and psychological, to the performances. “S.O.B.” sits at the dead center of the album, between the brutally honest confessionals “I’ve Been Failing” and “Wasted Time.” Thematically, the song is the album’s linchpin – partly a rebuke, partly a cry of defiance, “S.O.B” is the “fuck it all” anthem of a blue-collar kid from the Heartland whose conditioned idea of therapy is a shot and a beer chaser, and then another round, on the way to sweet oblivion. From there Rateliff contemplates some of the sustaining aspects of existence, from redemption by way of the forgiving love of another in “Thank You,” “Look It Here” and “I’d Be Waiting” to sexual heat in the N’awlins-style strutter “Shake.” The album ends on a hopeful note with the relatively laidback “Mellow Out.” When it came time to pick a producer, Rateliff went with Richard Swift, a polymath who has made records under his own name, helmed projects for Damien Jurado, the Mynabirds and others, and has played with The Black Keys and the Shins. Swift’s specialty is summoning (and capturing) inspired performances in the moment, and the synergy in the studio, first with Rateliff and then with his band, was instant and palpable. Rateliff and the Sweats already had the arrangements of the new songs down cold, having shaped them on the road. Swift, knowing a good thing when he heard it, set the mics, honed the sound, giving it plenty of space so that the studio itself served as an integral sonic component. Then he pressed “record” and coaxed it into happening organically.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Blues
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Max Richter: From Sleep (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
One of Britain’s leading contemporary composers has written what is thought to be the longest single piece of classical music ever to be recorded. Sleep is eight hours long – and is actually and genuinely intended to send the listener to sleep. “It’s an eight-hour lullaby,” says its composer, Max Richter. The landmark work is scored for piano, strings, electronics and vocals – but no words. “It’s my personal lullaby for a frenetic world,” he says. “A manifesto for a slower pace of existence.” Sleep will receive its world premiere this September in Berlin, in a concert performance lasting from 12 midnight to 8am at which the audience will be given beds instead of seats and programmes. The eight-hour version will be available as a digital album while a one-hour adaptation of the work entitled From Sleep will be released on double vinyl, both from Deutsche Grammophon. “You could say that the short one is meant to be listened to and the long one is meant to be heard while sleeping,” says Richter, who describes the one-hour version as “a series of windows opening into the big piece.” Richter does not expect anyone to sit down and listen to Sleep in its entirety, although some surely will. “It’s really an experiment to try and understand how we experience music in different states of consciousness.” He says he came up with the idea because of a long-standing fascination: “Sleeping is one of the most important things we all do,” he says. “We spend a third of our lives asleep and it’s always been one of my favourite things, ever since I was a child.” Coinciding as it does with the renewed interest in durational works within the fine art community, Richter says: “This isn’t something new in music, it goes back to Cage, Terry Riley, and LaMonte Young, and it’s coming around again partly as a reaction to our speeded-up lives – we are all in need of a pause button.” Richter adds, “I’m perpetually curious about performance conventions in classical music, our rigid rules that dictate how and what music we can appreciate. Somehow in Europe over the last century, as complexity and inaccessibility in music became equated with intelligence and the avant-garde, we lost something along the way. Modernism gave us so many stunning works but we also lost our lullabies. We lost a shared communion in sound. Audiences have dwindled. All my pieces over the last few years have been exploring this, as does Sleep. It’s a very deliberate political statement for me.”

File Under: Classical, Ambient
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Telekenesis: Ad Infinitum (Merge) LP
When it came time to make Ad Infinitum, the fourth Telekinesis album, drummer/songwriter/principal architect Michael Lerner found himself in a predicament. In just under five years, he had released three fantastic records—Telekinesis! (2009), 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2011), and Dormarion (2013)—each more ambitious than the last. He had toured all over the world, shared stages with great bands, and enthralled fans of his infectious, ebullient power pop. Newly married and happily ensconced in the home studio he’d assembled in his West Seattle basement, Lerner found himself asking the question that has haunted modestly successful bands down the ages: What do you do after the rock and roll dreams you had when you were 19 have come true? “I went down to the basement,” Lerner recalls, “and started playing the same chords I always play… I just felt like I’d exhausted everything I knew. I was not excited at all. I just could not make another power-pop album.” While many artists have made fruitful use of vintage sounds and production techniques in recent years, Ad Infinitum is a different animal. It feels less like a time capsule and more like a time machine. In the movie version of the story, Lerner would stumble on his way down the stairs, hit his head, and wake up in 1983, and the only way he could get back to the present day would be to make a record using available instruments. Then he’d wake in 2015 to discover he’d been in his basement studio all along. And the record he’d made in that strange dream state would turn out to be Ad Infinitum, the most ambitious and assured Telekinesis release to date.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Wand: 1000 Days (Drag City) LP
Recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco in between tour days, 1000 Days finds Wand searching in corners. Where have all the people gone? Where have they put them? Panoramas of the body history are viewed through Wand’s spy-glass as it sweeps the horizon. Major mutations blooming and ballooning in the cities. The vault where plans for an invasion gather dust. The latest fables buzzing down the civil wire. All these and more are folded and packed neatly into a traveler’s trunk stuffed with tonal frequencies – sounds that tickle a Pavlovian response, the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel, the tug of our highest ideals. All by punching a key or playing a chord – an illusion made of parts representing a sequence or set of steps that, taken together, add up to an exploded diagram of a subject and its perception, meant to be swallowed as a whole. Whether it addresses a way of life, a homebrewed philosophy, a dark part of history or a cacophony of personal desires, the song remains truly a thing, regardless of the angle of affection.

File Under: Psych Rock
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Elyse Weinberg: Greasepaint Smile (Numerophone) LP
The unreleased second album by an original lady from the canyon. Recorded and recanted in 1969, Greasepaint Smile is more assured than its self-titled, Tetragrammaton-issued predecessor. Weinberg’s finger-picked acoustic is layered over distant drumming, while her gravel-pit voice evokes life, love, and mortality. Fellow Torontonian Neil Young sears “Houses” with his signature fuzz-tone, casting chaos over the beautiful ballad, while J.D. Souther, Kenny Edwards, and Nils Lofgren, pick up the slack. Masterfully produced by David Briggs, Greasepaint Smile has climbed out of the canyon and is bound for every turntable east of the 405.

File Under: Folk
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Neil Young: Monsanto Years (Reprise) LP
In tomorrow… Neil Young + Promise of the Real have joined forces for the new ecologically/environmentally-focused studio album, The Monsanto Years, inspired by the food industry conglomerate Monsanto. For this guitar-centric, full steam-ahead and highly-charged rock album, Young is joined by Promise of the Real, an LA-based rock band fronted by Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), along with Micah Nelson (guitar, vocals), Anthony Logerfo (drums), Corey McCormick (bass) and Tato Melgar (percussion). The album’s artwork is a send up of the famous American Gothic painting featuring Young and his girlfriend Daryl Hannah.

File Under: Rock
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Youth Lagoon: Savage Hills Ballroom (Fat Possum) LP
In tomorrow… Trevor Powers, the Idaho musician known as Youth Lagoon, has found what used to be destructive is now what gives him life. “I’ve never felt truly comfortable. It’s this feeling of uneasiness that follows me everywhere I go because my thoughts never shut up,” says Powers. “It used to exhaust me, but I’ve learned discomfort is invaluable. Safety makes us numb. It’s when we find ourselves in territories we’re unfamiliar with that we can really grow.” While on tour throughout Europe, Powers received a phone call from home informing him that one of his closest friends had drowned in the local river. After canceling the tour and flying home for the funeral, the following months marked a defining shift in Powers’ approach to songwriting. “Just how entwined we are never truly hit me before that,” claims Powers. “We are all connected. Even strangers. Our existence is one dazzling pattern that repeats itself endlessly. What makes us distinct is our flaws. In our defects lies something great.” Youth Lagoon’s third album Savage Hills Ballroom is rooted in discomfort, rather than avoiding it. Influenced by society’s desire to exude a flawless existence, the album’s musical direction and visual aspects were conceived on Powers’ late-night walks through Idaho’s suburbs. “When I see rows and rows of seemingly ideal houses, I can’t help but think that humanity has an innate craving to look perfect. And usually the better someone’s life seems from the outside, the more they’re hiding,” states Powers. “I’ve had a lot of barriers for a long time that I haven’t let people past, and I’ve gotten really sick of playing pretend.” Shortly after meeting co-producer Ali Chant through a series of webcam chats, Powers relocated to Bristol, UK for two months to record Savage Hills Ballroom at Toybox Studios — an underground recording space in a vaulted Georgian basement.

File Under: Indie Rock
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daptonegoldIIVarious: Daptone Gold 2 (Daptone) LP
In tomorrow…The Daptone Gold II double LP is packaged in a silver foil gatefold sleeve and comes with a poster, liner notes and iron-on. CD is packaged in a deluxe embossed silver foil digipak with liner notes. A collection of fan favorites, 45 only, and exclusive killers soooo good it turns Gold to Platinum. Dig on 21 tracks hand-picked by Daptone Staff, Musicians, and fans. But what’s REALLY special are the exclusive tracks by Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, as well as “The Baddest Band in the Land” The Dap-Kings, who offer up a dance-floor dominator, “Thunderclap.” Still need more convincing?  How about extensive liner notes from the foremost authority on SOUL Music, Mr. Fine Wine – the DJ behind WFMU’s longest running SOUL program, Downtown Soulville. For the vinyl enthusiast, there are a couple special goodies inside each silver foil embossed 2xLP Gatefold: a double-sided FULL-SIZED poster adorning all the album artwork that has made Daptone the world’s #1 source for the modern yet classic aesthetic.  And for you crafty sorts, there’s an iron–on Daptone Logo sporting the mantra “There’s no Business Like Soul Business”, you can put on the back of your favorite white demin jacket. …just saying.  It’s the perfect album for those down with the Daptone Sound, but who also enjoy consolidation. Voila! Daptone Gold Volume II.

File Under: Funk, Soul

…..used goodies…..
Haven’t done one of these in a long while, but we’ve had a flood of great used stuff coming in lately so I figured I’d tease those of you who don’t come dig through the bins on the regular. We probably put at least 100 new used records out every week, be sure to come dig…..

Richard Abrams: Levels and Degrees of Light (Delmark)
Albert Ayler: The Last Album (Impulse)
Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (Philips)
Arthur Blythe: The Grip (India Navigation)
John Cale: Fear (Island)
Jaki Byard Experience: s/t (Prestige)
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Four and More (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Water Babies (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Get up With It (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Live Evil (Columbia)
Eric Dolphy: Iron Man (Columbia)
Chico Freeman: Kings of Mali (India Navigation)
Marvin Gaye: Live at the London Palladium (Motown)
Buddy Guy: I Was Walking Through The Woods (Chess)
Humble Pie: s/t (A&M)
The Kinks: Kink Kontroversy (Reprise)
JB Lenoir: Natural Man (Chess)
Memphis Slim: Real Folk Blues (Chess)
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah um (Columbia)
Van Morrison: Astral Weeks (Warner)
Mothers of Invention: Freak Out (Verve)
The Move: Shazam (A&M)
James Newton: Password Del Mar (India Navigation)
Pharoah Sanders: Live at the East (Impulse)
Archie Shepp: Atttica Blues (Impulse)
Sly and the Family Stone: Fresh (Epic)
Spooky Tooth: It’s All About… (Island)
Sun Ra: It’s After The End Of The World (MPS)
Television: Marquee Moon (4 Men With Beards)
Townes Van Zandt: Flying’ Shoes (Tomato)
Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat (Verve)
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise)
Various: Blues Piano Orgy (Delmark)
Various: Heavy Heads Voyage 2 (Chess)
Various: Mississippi Moaners 1927-1942 (Yazoo)
Various: The Roots of America’s Music 1 (Arhoolie)
Various: Sanctified Singers Part One (Folkways)


Air: Pocket Symphonies (Parlophone) LP
Air: Talkie Walkie (Parlophone) LP
Air: Virgin Suicides (Parlophone) LP
Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) LP
Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
John Fahey: Great San Bernardino Birthday Party… (4 Men With Beards) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP
Half Japanese: Box 2 1987-1989 (Fire) Box
Iron Maiden: Book of Souls (Parlophone) LP
Kinks: Something Else (Sanctuary) LP
Kinks: Village Green Preservation… (Sanctuary) LP
Kinks: Arthur of The Decline.. (Sanctuary) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobaun (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Man Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour de France (EMI) LP
Fela Kuti: He Miss Road (Knitting Factory) LP
LCD Soundsystem: 45:33 (DFA) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: In Through The Out Door (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Warner) LP
Lootpack: Soundpieces: Da Antidote (Stones Throw) LP
Lumineers: s/t (Universal) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-All (Boner) LP
MF Doom: Mmm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
Neu!: 75 (Gronland) LP
Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Night Beats: s/t (Trouble In Mind) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV (Null) LP
Nine Inch Nails: The Slip (Null) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Roxy Music: s/t (Capitol) LP
Roxy Music: Country Life (Capitol) LP
Shannon & The Clams: Gone By The Dawn (Hardly Art) LP
Silver Jews: Natural Bridge (Drag City) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond The Black Rainbow OST (Jagjaguwar) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Viet Cong: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP

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…..news letter #709 – listening…..

The time as arrived! Tonight we are hosting a Listening Party for the new DEAD WEATHER album! We’ve got swag to give away and prizes to be won. Party starts at 7pm come on down and hang out!

…..picks of the week…..


Kurt Vile: B’lieve I’m Goin (Deep) Down (Matador) 3LP
In tomorrow? Kurt Vile does his own myth making; a boy/man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else, which is why his sixth full-length record and first in two years – the focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid B’lieve I’m Goin Down… is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, the album is a handshake across the country, East to West coast, through the dustbowl history of Woody honest straight forward talk Guthrie, and a Cali canyon dead still night floating in a nearly waterless landscape. The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of singer songwriter upcycling. Capturing Vile both deeply introspective and briskly self-assured, he explains: “I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me. I really wanted it to sound like it’s on my couch – not in a lo-fi way, just more unguarded and vulnerable.” The Deluxe Version of Kurt Vile’s newest Matador Records endeavor is entitled B’lieve I’m Goin (Deep) Down… and comes pressed on limited edition triple gatefold vinyl with 6 bonus tracks for a total of 18 in all plus an extra printed innersleeve. “It’s a weird, accepting, mature record, acknowledging the inherent immaturity of being a person whether father, husband, partner, adult, musician, not perfect, but compelling for its understanding…that’s life though so sad to say…” – Kim Gordon

File Under: Indie Rock, Stoner Folk
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Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Back in with enough stock to last more than an hour… Times Of Grace is yet another ferocious war cry from Oakland, CA seminal hardcore auteurs Neurosis. Their sixth full-length offering overall is brutally honest, original, and categorically defiant, a bold work which lures with its vivid rhythms, strikes with a siege of emotion, and consumes with abysmal force! Relapse Records is pleased to offer super deluxe vinyl reissues of Neurosis’ Through Silver In Blood (originally released in 1996, first time on vinyl in 10 years), Times Of Grace (originally released in 1999, first time on vinyl in 15+ years) and the Times Of Grace companion piece, Tribes of Neurot’s Grace (originally released in 1999, never before on vinyl). All three records are pressed on 180 gram vinyl and are housed in heavy duty ‘tip-on’ jackets.

File Under: Metal
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…..new arrivals…..


AFX: Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 (Warp) 12″
For the first time since the Analord series released through 2003-2005 on his own Rephlex Records imprint, Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin revises his legendary AFX guise with an 8-track collection of tracks for the alien dancefloor. Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 appears on an initial run of special spot-glossed and die-cut packaged 12″ vinyl LPs made in the Designers Republic. Previous AFX releases include Analogue Bubblebath (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Smojphace and Hangable Auto Bulb. Hangable Auto Bulb is the only previous standalone AFX release on Warp, originally released on 2 x 12”s and compiled to CD with new artwork in 2005.

File Under: Electronic
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Beta Band: Champion Versions (Rhino) LP
Formed in 1996, Scottish cult act The Beta Band was renowned for their ability to mix together a truly eclectic range of genres and influences – folk, reggae, rap, rockabilly, electronica, rock, and soundtrack music – all filtered through the band’s experimental vision. Signed to the Parlophone Records imprint Regal, the band issued their hugely acclaimed 4-track debut EP Champion Versions (“Dry the Rain,” “I Know,” “B+A” and “Dogs Got a Bone”) in 1997. This was followed by two more critically lauded EP’s – The Patty Patty Sound (1998) and Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos (1998) – later collected together as the compilation The Three EP’s.

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
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Beta Band: Los Amigos Del Beta Banditos (Rhino) LP
Formed in 1996, Scottish cult act The Beta Band was renowned for their ability to mix together a truly eclectic range of genres and influences – folk, reggae, rap, rockabilly, electronica, rock, and soundtrack music – all filtered through the band’s experimental vision. Signed to the Parlophone Records imprint Regal, the band issued their hugely acclaimed debut EP Champion Versions in 1997. This was soon followed in 1998 by two more critically lauded EP’s – The Patty Patty Sound and Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos (“Push It Out,” “It’s Over,” “Dr. Baker” and “Needles in My Eyes”) – later collected together as the compilation The Three EP’s.

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
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Beta Band: Patty Patty Sound (Rhino) LP
Formed in 1996, Scottish cult act The Beta Band was renowned for their ability to mix together a truly eclectic range of genres and influences – folk, reggae, rap, rockabilly, electronica, rock, and soundtrack music – all filtered through the band’s experimental vision. Signed to the Parlophone Records imprint Regal, the band issued their hugely acclaimed debut EP Champion Versions in 1997. This was soon followed in 1998 by two more critically lauded EP’s – The Patty Patty Sound (“Inner Meet Me,” “The House Song,” “The Monolith” and “She’s the One”) and Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos – later collected together as the compilation The Three EP’s.

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
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David Bowie: 1969-1973 Five Years (Warner) Box
This 10 album/13-piece 180g vinyl set is the first in a series of box sets spanning David Bowie’s career and features all of the material officially released during the nascent stage of his career from 1969 to 1973 including: David Bowie AKA Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane, PinUps, Live Santa Monica ‘72 and Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture Soundtrack. Exclusive to the box sets will be Re:Call 1, a new 2-disc compilation of non-album singles, single versions and b-sides. It features a previously unreleased single edit of “All The Madmen,” which was originally set for a U.S. release but was never actually released. Also included is the original version of “Holy Holy,” which was only ever released on the original 1971 Mercury single and hasn’t been available on any release since. Also exclusive to all versions of Five Years 1969–1973 will be a 2003 stereo remix of The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars by the album’s original co-producer Ken Scott, previously only available on DVD with the LP/DVD format of the 40th anniversary edition of the album. The box set’s accompanying 84 page book will feature rarely seen photos as well as technical notes about each album from producers Tony Visconti and Ken Scott, an original press review for each album and a short foreword by legendary Kinks front man Ray Davies. An alternate cover has been created for the 2003 mix of Ziggy Stardust by Ken Scott, which features an outtake from the original Heddon Street photo session. There is also newly originated artwork for Re:Call 1 featuring a 1973 in-studio image from renowned photographer Mick Rock.

File Under: Rock
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dead weather

Dead Weather: Dodge & Burn (Third Man) LP
Way back in October 2013, The Dead Weather and Third Man Records announced an incredibly special 7″ featuring “Open Up (That’s Enough)” b/w “Rough Detective” as part of Vault Package #18. These two tracks were a fierce battle cry heralding the announcement of a brand new Dead Weather album that was to be released in a revolutionary fashion. Teased out over the past year and a half via a series of 7″ singles, the physical versions of which were ONLY available via The Vault (Third Man’s one-of-a-kind subscription mail-order service), the band promised this would culminate in a brand new album in 2015. The third Dead Weather LP would be a full length album comprised not only of the previously released 7″ singles, but newly recorded, previously-unheard material. Now The Dead Weather officially present their new album Dodge & Burn. The 12-track set will be released worldwide in September 2015 on Third Man Records and will feature eight brand new songs, along with the four previously released tracks remixed and remastered. Alison Mosshart, Jack White, Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence spent their rare and sporadic free moments over the past year recording together in Nashville. With the members of the band heavily involved in other projects, The Dead Weather will not be touring in support of the new album. Thankfully the thick and heavy Dodge & Burn will satisfy your urges for the dark magic that is The Dead Weather for a very long time.

File Under: Rock
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Lana Del Rey: Honeymoon (Interscope) LP
Throwback singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey’s new Interscope/Polydor album Honeymoon follows up 2014’s million-seller Ultraviolence and features more signature dreamy pop collaborations with producers like Mark Ronson, Daniel Heath, Rick Nowels, Emile Haynie and Justin Parker. The highly anticipated 14-track set from pop’s newest femme fatale is preceded by the cinematic singles “High by the Beach” and “Terrance Loves You” and is presented here on limited edition colored double 180g vinyl in gatefold packaging complete with a 16 page booklet. Del Rey tells Billboard: “It’s very different from the last one and similar to the first two…I’m kind of enjoying sinking into this more noirish feel for this one…I’m doing a cover of ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.’ After doing a cover of ‘The Other Woman’ [the song by R&B writer Jessie Mae Robinson that Del Rey recorded on ‘Ultraviolence’], I like summarizing the record with a jazz song…”

File Under: Pop, Electronic
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empressEmpress Of: Me (Terrible) LP
“Can I make it clear?” Lorely Rodriguez asks within the opening moments of her debut album, Me. If clarity is what she seeks, Lorely has found it: her voice upfront, every word audible and strong. Her singular voice is the centerpiece of Me, her first full-formed vision of an album, following her previously shorter and more abstract releases as Empress Of. “Don’t tell me who I am,” she sings seconds later. Where her previous recordings worked in moody abstractions, layered soundscapes hinting at a voice deep under the surface, Me plays out like diary entries from one female voice musing on the personal, the political, and all the middle ground between. Bringing to life her unique blend of deeply personal yet incredibly celebratory dance music. However, “this record…it’s about me,” Lorely adds. “It’s very much about my experiences. I learned how to let my voice out through this record. I learned how to record, how to produce. I learned how to write way better songs. I didn’t realize this until I was almost done with it, but it was all about growth, and all about kind of being selfish and taking time for myself to really understand what events in my life have shaped me as a person.”

File Under: Synth Pop
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Faith No More: The Real Thing (Rhino) LP
In celebration of the release of Sol Invictus, Faith No More’s first new album in nearly 20 years, Rhino Records is reissuing the back-to-back classic albums that helped establish the band’s vital and visceral musical legacy with Deluxe Editions of The Real Thing and Angel Dust. Each album will be offered as a 2LP-set with the original release accompanied by a second disc filled with rarities related to the album. Like all bands who transcended their time to become cornerstones of an era, Faith No More sounded like nobody else. The group’s commercial breakthrough came in 1989 with the release of The Real Thing. It was the band’s third album, but the first to feature the line-up of Mike Bordin (drums), Roddy Bottum (keyboards), Bill Gould (bass), Jim Martin (guitars), and Mike Patton (vocals). The album was incredibly diverse, yet every song was linked by the band’s own developing style. It peaked at #11 on the charts and was certified platinum, spawning the singles, “From Out Of Nowhere” and “Falling To Pieces,” as well as “Epic,” which was ubiquitous on radio and MTV. The bonus disc puts a different spin on many of the album tracks with a remixed version of “Falling To Pieces,” by Matt Wallace as well as live performances of “Surprise! You’re Dead!,” “Underwater Love,” and the Black Sabbath classic “War Pigs.” The cut “Sweet Emotion” from Kerrang! Flexible Fiend is also included.

File Under: Rock
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Faith No More: Angel Dust (Rhino) LP
In celebration of the release of Sol Invictus, Faith No More’s first new album in nearly 20 years, Rhino Records is reissuing the back-to-back classic albums that helped establish the band’s vital and visceral musical legacy with Deluxe Editions of The Real Thing and Angel Dust. Each album will be offered as a 2LP-set with the original release accompanied by a second disc filled with rarities related to the album. Like all bands who transcended their time to become cornerstones of an era, Faith No More sounded like nobody else. The group’s commercial breakthrough came in 1989 with the release of The Real Thing. It was the band’s third album, but the first to feature the line-up of Mike Bordin (drums), Roddy Bottum (keyboards), Bill Gould (bass), Jim Martin (guitars), and Mike Patton (vocals). The album was incredibly diverse, yet every song was linked by the band’s own developing style. It peaked at #11 on the charts and was certified platinum, spawning the singles, “From Out Of Nowhere” and “Falling To Pieces,” as well as “Epic,” which was ubiquitous on radio and MTV. After extensive touring, the band returned in 1992 with Angel Dust. It climbed to #10 on the U.S. album charts and would later be recognized as one of the most influential releases of the era. The album swings between extremes-aggressive and disturbing, but also beautiful and soothing-showing off every facet of the band’s quirky eloquence on such diverse tracks as “Midlife Crisis,” “Jizzlobber,” “R.V.” and “Small Victory.” Among the eight tracks featured on the bonus disc is a mix of “Midlife Crisis” by the band’s longtime producer Matt Wallace, a trio of live recordings from a concert in Munich, Germany, as well as a covers of the Dead Kennedys’ “Let’s Lynch The Landlord.”

File Under: Rock
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Fidlar: Too (Mom & Pop) LP
Too is the second full length from Fidlar. Produced by Jay Joyce, Too was recorded in Nashville over the span of just two weeks. The 12-song collection of pop-infused garage rock expands on the band’s 2013 self-titled album that put them at the forefront of modern punk music. The new album showcases a band that continues to fine-tune its sonic approach while also highlighting a more introspective and revelatory approach to songwriting. It also marks the first time the band has worked with a producer. “We could have made record number one again…but instead we decided to challenge ourselves and admit that we don’t know everything,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Zac Carper. “Up until this point we had recorded everything ourselves, so working with a producer taught us so much. I didn’t want to make a standard rock record. The goal for this album was to think outside the box and I think Jay really helped us do that.” The band unveiled the first taste of new music from Too via a music video for the album’s leading track and first single “40oz. On Repeat/” Directed by Ryan Baxley, the must-watch video is a hilarious “Be Kind Rewind” tribute to past music video masterpieces, sure to conjure loving nostalgia for anyone who came of age during the glory years of MTV’s afternoon video countdown show Total Request Live. “In the late 90s and early 2000s, music videos were such a huge deal,” adds Carper. “We decided that instead of making one overly slick music video, we would nod to 15 of our favorite music videos that we grew up with. Everyone in the band threw in their ideas.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Julia Holter: Have You In My Wilderness (Domino) LP
Have You In My Wilderness is Julia Holter’s most intimate album yet, a collection of radiant ballads. Her follow-up to 2013’s widely celebrated Loud City Song explores love, trust, and power in human relationships. While love songs are familiar fodder in pop music, Holter manages to stay fascinatingly oblique and enigmatic on her new album. Have You in My Wilderness is also Holter’s most sonically intimate album. Here, she and producer Cole Marsden Greif-Neill lift her voice out of the layers of smeared, hazy effects, putting her vocals front and center in the mix. The result is striking—it sounds as if Holter is singing right in your ear. It sounds clear and vivid, but also disarmingly personal. The focused warm sound and instrumentation — dense strings, subtle synth pads — adds to the effect. Like Holter’s previous albums, Have You in My Wilderness is multi-layered and texturally rich, featuring an array of electronic and acoustic instruments played by an ensemble of gifted Los Angeles musicians. Have You In My Wilderness deals with dark themes, but it also features some of the most sublime and transcendent music Holter has ever written. The ten songs on the album are shimmering and dreamlike, wandering the liminal space between the conscious and the subconscious.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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Khemmis: Absolution (20 Buck Spin) LP
Over the course of the last ten years 20 Buck Spin has worked with the best of the best in the crowded doom genre—bands as diverse as Samothrace, Graves At Sea, Pallbearer, YOB, Mournful Congregation, Lycus, Atlantean Kodex, etc. In that tradition, the label is proud to present Khemmis from Denver, Colorado, who brings together components of many of the aforementioned label alumni to forge a venerable testament to what heavy doom rock is in 2015. The six meticulously crafted songs on Absolution reveal a level of musicianship and writing skill seldom heard on debut albums. Often within the scope of a single song Khemmis veers effortlessly between the crushing heaviness of Southern sludge and the somber melodicism of traditional doom, cohesively weaving the disparate styles into their own immediately recognizable form. The band incorporates dual vocals, sometimes harsh, but mostly via a stunningly smooth classic doom / heavy rock style that even adamant fans of Pete Stahl and Wino will applaud. The powerfully adept rhythm section perfectly anchors the towering riff mastery and colorful dual guitar harmonies, all brought together by Dave Otero’s (Cobalt, Nightbringer) pitch-perfect production work. Khemmis is most certainly a live act and will tour at intervals throughout the remainder of 2015 including a planned West Coast run in Summer 2015.

File Under: Metal
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Metric: Pagans in Vegas (Metric) LP
Pagans in Vegas is the sixth full-length album from Canadian rock band Metric. In an effort to translate the gratifying experience of discovering an artist you love, Metric has packed their new album with reverent references to artists who’ve inspired them, from Depeche Mode to Joy Division and Underworld. Frontwoman Emily Haines explains that it was about finding “the romance of another time without falling into nostalgia.” The concept is also perfectly captured on the album’s cover, which features a shot of Memphis’ Hotel Chisca, the spot where Elvis Presley did his first broadcast interview. But despite a few glances in the rearview, Pagans in Vegas stitches together its acoustic and synthetic foundations with a crisp, unique now-ness that captures the quandaries of life in an age where bad news is unavoidable and great art is a life-saver. “With this record we were making music for the joy of it,” says guitarist and producer James Shaw. “We’re still in the game as musicians and people, although the game has gotten increasingly unrecognizable to us.” Pagans in Vegas will be the first of two new albums from Metric, with the second expected in 2016. Their time spent writing in 2014 – Shaw at his studio in Toronto, delving into the CS80 synth and Haines with acoustic instruments in Nicaragua and Spain – yielded an unprecedented amount of material that revealed itself across at least two major musical veins. Realizing they had composed enough music for two very different albums, they decided to let each collection of songs stand on their own.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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Micachu & The Shapes: Good Sad Happy Bad (Rough Trade) LP
Three years after the release of their last record, Micachu & The Shapes’ return is almost an accident: the trio of friends decided to rehearse in an East London studio and found themselves immersed into an hours-long jam. Drummer Marc Pell had an Edirol field recorder in hand, and unbeknownst to his bandmates, recorded the whole session; Bell, Mica Levi, and Raisa Khan were so enamored of those off-the-cuff audio experiments that they became the underpinnings of a new record. “For me it’s the most free we have been,” Levi explains. Rather than showing up to the studio with songs written out, the trio started with a collaborative improvisation, from which Levi chose sections to develop into songs, writing lyrics to the entire record “non-stop, in one avalanche.” With one listen, it’s easy to hear why they loved the tracks. Good Sad Happy Bad maintains the experimental-pop sensibility the band has brought to previous efforts, combining the lightness and bounce of their best singles with the sonic textures of field recordings, industrial effects alongside straightforward instrumentation. Levi’s affected vocals eschew easily readable emotional tone, instead relying on quixotic lyricism, repetition, and immersion into the song’s landscape, to evoke warmly – rather than show – the sentiments underpinning the songs. Conversely, because the band worked out the final mixes together over a number of months – rather than in a traditional, multi-track studio over a shorter period – Pell found a new degree of creativity. “I think the best drum part I have ever written is the stick-clicking at the beginning of “Peach” – a moment, he explains, that he wouldn’t have been able to notice without the luxury of seeing the recorded tracks as more than simply songs, but as collections of sonic ideas. In the years since the band’s last work together, Levi’s star in the world of modern composition has risen, due in large part to her work on Jonathan Glazer’s standout 2014 film, Under the Skin, whose eerie depth is due in large part to Levi’s precise, otherworldly score, for which she won a European Film Award and was nominated for a BAFTA.

File Under: Rock
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Miguel: Wildheart (RCA) LP
Grammy Award winning recording artist Miguel first hit the mainstream in 2010 with the infectious first single “All I Want Is You,” from his major label debut album of the same name, a song which blended a stark hip-hop beat with the singer’s creamy vocals to form a sound that was absent from the radio and established Miguel as one of the most unique and soulful voices in modern R&B. The album also featured “Sure Thing,” which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B chart and second US #1 “Quickie.” Miguel’s follow up was his critically-acclaimed, four-time Grammy Award nominated, sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream, which featured his third US #1 hit single “Adorn,” the intoxicating “How Many Drinks?,” “Do You…” and “The Thrill.” In 2013 Miguel was nominated for a total of 5 Grammy Awards. Lead single “Adorn,” written and produced by Miguel, garnered his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and resided at #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hip Airplay chart for more than 23 weeks becoming the longest running #1 in the chart’s history. Miguel makes his welcome return in 2015 with his highly anticipated third studio effort, Wildheart, due out on ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records and preceded by the lead single “Coffee.” The album also boasts guest appearances by Kurupt and Lenny Kravitz. This 180g 2LP Deluxe Edition includes a handful of bonus tracks including “Gfg,” “Damned” and new mix of the song “Simple Things.”

File Under:
Hip Hop, Soul
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New Order: Music Complete (Mute) LP
Music Complete finds the group revitalized, and where the group has previously pushed toward electronics or guitars, here the two are in balance. Music Complete also marks a return to the studio for Gillian Gilbert; this is her first album with New Order since 2001’s Get Ready. Music Complete is produced by New Order, except ‘Singularity’ and ‘Unlearn This Hatred’, both produced by Tom Rowlands (Chemical Brothers), while ‘Superheated’ features additional production by Stuart Price (Madonna, The Killers, New Order). Long-term collaborator Peter Saville (Factory Records) provides art direction.

File Under: Electronic, Rock
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oughtOught: Sun Coming Down (Constellation) LP
Ought returns with their second full-length album Sun Coming Down, following a break-out year for the Montréal-based rock quartet that saw its 2014 debut More Than Any Other Day make well-deserved waves for its blend of authentic, anxious, controlled and restive energy, with a Best New Music nod from Pitchfork and appearances on a wide range of year-end lists. Having spent most of 2014 on the road vitalizing audiences with no-nonsense post-punk and the feverishly observational testifying of singer/guitarist Tim Darcy (who officially changed his name from Tim Beeler this year), Ought settled into a long harsh Montreal winter hibernation, spending the first few months of 2015 writing, playing the occasional local gig, and eventually heading back to the Hotel2Tango recording studio in the spring to lay down a batch of fresh tunes. Sun Coming Down maintains the band’s tight, twitchy and economical sound, with the unfussy, understated rhythm section of drummer Tim Keen and bassist Ben Stidworthy anchoring Tim Darcy’s electric guitar and Matt May’s fuzzed-out keys (sounding, as often as not, like a second guitar). Ought pursue an artistically apposite austerity in committing these new songs to tape, referencing the arid and unvarnished production of no-wave and early indie rock while balancing carved-out angularity against an evolving comfort with textural coalescences and measured pacing. It makes for an album that’s consistently, insistently propulsive but also feels unhurried and pleasantly unhyped. Songs like “Beautiful Blue Sky” (already a fan favorite from live shows) and “Never Better” unfold with gradual and deliberate ebb and flow, where scratchy guitars play like dappled shards of light on gently roiling waves of bass and organ; “The Combo” and “Celebration” keep things crisp and concise. Darcy’s voice and lyrics continue to distinguish and define the personality of the band: his blend of ironic detachment, declarative insistence, fragmentary stammering poetics, and the occasional direct aside to the listener, finds various ways to weave within or drive through the mixes. Sun Coming Down confirms the distinctive vitality and purposive naturalism of this band; Ought resists facile primitivism and overhyped dynamics in equal measure, keeping things hermetic but never airless, ascetic but never dispassionate, literate but never prolix. The band’s steady and subtle charms don’t make them the cool kids or the iconoclastic freaks – just a satisfyingly unrefined and substantive rock band that eschews indulgence or aesthetic bandwagoneering to seek a humble, thoughtful corner from which to articulate a position within and contribute meaningfully to a 40-year continuum of indie, punk and DIY tradition.

File Under: Punk, Indie, CanCon
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Kurt Vile: B’Lieve I’m Goin’ Down (Matador) 2LP
In tomorrow? Kurt Vile does his own myth making; a boy/man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else, which is why his sixth full-length record and first in two years – the focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid B’lieve I’m Goin Down… is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, the album is a handshake across the country, East to West coast, through the dustbowl history of Woody honest straight forward talk Guthrie, and a Cali canyon dead still night floating in a nearly waterless landscape. The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of singer songwriter upcycling. Capturing Vile both deeply introspective and briskly self-assured, he explains: “I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me. I really wanted it to sound like it’s on my couch – not in a lo-fi way, just more unguarded and vulnerable.” “It’s a weird, accepting, mature record, acknowledging the inherent immaturity of being a person whether father, husband, partner, adult, musician, not perfect, but compelling for its understanding…that’s life though so sad to say…” – Kim Gordon

File Under: Indie Rock, Stoner Folk
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Action Bronson: Mr. Wonderful (Atlantic) LP
A$AP Rocky: Long. Live. A$AP (RCA) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think (Mom + Pop) LP
Beirut: No No No (4AD) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Black Flag: Jealous Again (SST) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Bully: Feels Like Home (Columbia) LP
Nick Cave: No More Shall We Part (Mute) LP
Coil: Selvaggina (Threshold) LP
Destroyer: Kaputt (Merge) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland (Reprise) LP
Billie Holiday: Lady Sings the Blues (Jazz Wax) LP
Husker Du: Metal Circus (SST) LP
Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Southeastern) LP
Joy Division: Substance (Rhino) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Nightly Coercion… (Ba Da Bing) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Terror’s Horns (Ba Da Bing) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Pixies: Doolittle (4AD) LP
Red House Painters: Songs for a Blue Guitar (Universal) LP
Tom Waits: Mule Variations (Anti) LP
Weeknd: House of Balloons (Republic) LP
Weeknd: Thursday (Republic) LP
Weeknd: Echoes of Silence (Republic) LP

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