…..news letter #728 – more more more…..

It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a shipment late, I almost forgot how annoying it is! Who am I kidding, it’s like riding a bike. Anyway, TOMORROW there’s gonna be heaps of great stuff in stock. Today, there is still some great stuff in, but tomorrow… oh baby!

…..pick of the week…..

not waving

Not Waving: Animals (Diagonal) LP
In tomorrow…. London-based Italian artist Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving presents Animals, the project’s most versatile album to date. It’s an unruly yet emotive bender taking in dancefloor-mauling new beta and endearingly beery post-industrial synth music. Animals harnesses the wanderlust of Natalizia’s spate of self-released albums and records for Ecstatic and Emotional Response but dials up the wildness, spitting out a careering sequence of tracks that feel as warped, deep-raved, and giddy as a night out in the city where they were forged. And make no mistake, although Animals occasionally bites hard at the business end of the dancefloor, this is Diagonal’s most pop album yet, with Natalizia’s songwriting sensibility conjuring moments of tenderness and beauty to offset the manic strobe lighting and dropping sweat. Opener “Believe” is one such moment, a twisting synth workout that bounces along over rock-ist live toms. The tie is loosened on “Head Body,” as Not Waving unleashes a raging kosmic EBM showpiece that morphs across six sprawling minutes. Next up is “24,” the album “hit” that delighted and destroyed dancefloors throughout 2015, with clear influences from Front 242 and Ancient Methods. The shunting “Gutsy” and whopping industrial stress-test “Work Talk” buckle down like mutant Powell cuts, whereas “I Know I Know I Know” and the thrashing EBM-pop of “Face Attack” run The Sound of Belgium through a distinctly Diagonal filter, all smart edits and unruly arrangements. The great strength of Animals, though, lies in how Natalizia marries the clammy peaks of contemporary club music with oddly emotive runs into acidic Canterbury pop (as on “Tomorrow We Will Kill You”) and cyborg despair (see “Punch”) before the bittersweet “They Cannot Be Replaced.” In short, this is Not Waving laying down some of his most sophisticated songwriting and finding an entirely appropriate home for his own distinctive sound. Animals is Diagonal’s sixth artist album, following releases by Russell Haswell, The Skull Defekts, Shit & Shine), and Death Comet Cre. Art by Diagonal whiz Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.

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

amm

AMM: AMMMusic (Black Truffle) LP
In tomorrow…. First vinyl reissue of the landmark 1967 debut album by AMM, AMMMusic. Remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Exact replica sleeve by Stephen O’Malley. “Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of its recording in 1966, this reissue makes one of the cornerstones of the experimental music tradition available again in its original form, replete with Keith Rowe’s beautiful pop art cover and the terse aphorisms by the group that served as its original liner notes. A testament to the interaction between the experimental avant-garde and the countercultural underground, the album was originally released on Elektra, recorded by Jac Holzman (the label’s founder, responsible for signing The Doors, Love, and The Stooges) and produced by DNA, a group that included Pink Floyd’s first manager, Peter Jenner (the title of Pink Floyd’s ‘Flaming’ is a tribute to AMM’s ‘Later During a Flaming Riviera Sunset’). Formed in 1965 by three players from the emerging British jazz avant-garde — Keith Rowe and Lou Gare had played with the great progressive big band leader Mike Westbrook and Eddie Prévost played in a post-bop group with Gare — AMM quickly evolved from a free jazz group into something decidedly more difficult to categorise. By the time these recordings were made, two more members had joined the group: another Westbrook associate, Lawrence Sheaff, and the radical composer Cornelius Cardew. Then at work on his masterpiece of graphic notation Treatise, Cardew brought with him extensive experience of the post-serialist and Cageian currents in contemporary composition. Using a combination of conventional instruments and unconventional methods of sound production (most famously Keith Rowe’s prepared tabletop guitar, but also prepared piano and transistor radio), the group performed improvised pieces often running for over two hours and ranging from extended periods of silence to terrifying cacophonies. On AMMMusic, long tones sit next to abrasive thuds, the howl of uncontrolled feedback accompanies Cardew’s purposeful piano chords, radios beam in snatches of orchestral music. AMM’s clearest break with jazz-based improvisation concerned the idea of individuality. Initially through an engagement with eastern philosophy and mysticism and later though a politicized communitarianism, AMM sought to develop a collective sonic identity in which individual contributions could barely be discerned. In the performances captured on AMMMusic the use of numerous auxiliary instruments and devices, including radios played by three members of the group, contribute to the sensation that the music is composed as a single monolithic object with multiple facets, rather than as an interaction between five distinct voices.” –Francis Plagne

File Under: Experimental, Classical, Avant Garde
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bishop

Sir Richard Bishop/Ava Mendoza: Ivory Tower (Unrock) LP
In tomorrow…. The third installment in Unrock’s string-related Saraswati Series features Grandseigneur Richard Bishop performing with his rough charm and maximum elegance, along with one of the hottest kick-ass avant-guitar players around, the now-Brooklyn-based Ava Mendoza. Besides her work in Unnatural Ways, she improvises constantly on NY’s avant-stages along with Elliott Sharp, Jim Black, William Winant, Paul Flaherty, Tim Dahl, and others. Rumor has it that she was even in Caroliner. Recorded in full at Ivory Tower (Unrock Headquarters), the Sir opens up stepping deep into music history (as we know it), messing carefully around with the mysterious track that the New York Times focused on in their 2014 review of one of his live performances. An electric version of “Safe House,” a bone-dry 2015 update on “Abyss,” an eruptive outbreak from “Multiple Hallucination” into “Black Eyed Blue,” and a mild and mellow reflection (“Ivory Tower”). Miss Mendoza is wild at heart and gives you the boot with what she’s best at: thunderous, eruptive, twisted improvisations and perfect songs. Shadowtrapping.

File Under: Folk, Guitar, Sun City Girls

nipples

Peter Brotzmann Sextet/Quartet: Nipples (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow…. The legendary, rare Brötzmann album finally reissued on vinyl for the first time, with the special fold-out leporello on the front. One-time pressing of 1000. Originally released on Calig in 1969. Side A: The Peter Brötzmann Sextet: Peter Brötzmann: tenor sax; Evan Parker: tenor sax; Derek Bailey: guitar; Fred van Hove: piano; Buschi Niebergall: bass; Han Bennink: drums. Recorded at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg, Germany, on April 18, 1969; recording engineer: Kurt Rapp. Side B: The Peter Brötzmann Quartet: Peter Brötzmann: tenor sax; Fred van Hove: piano; Buschi Niebergall: bass; Han Bennik: drums. Recorded at Rhenus Studio, Godorf, Germany, on April 24, 1969; recording engineer: Conny Plank. Cover design: P. Brötzmann.

File Under: Free Jazz
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Neko_Case_-_Blacklisted

Neko Case: Blacklisted (Anti) LP
Available now. First very limited run on color violet vinyl ! (Sold-out in the US) This will revert to the standard black vinyl version near April. This limited edition, vinyl re-issue marks the return of Neko Case’s album which has been long out of print. The title has been remastered from their original analog tapes and come complete with full album download cards. Blacklisted is a sought after fan favorite that has been missing on wax for over 6 years. The enigmatic Neko Case returns with Blacklisted, the follow-up to 2000’s critically acclaimed Furnace Room Lullaby. On this, her third album, Case gracefully adds to her repertoire, taking on the roles of songwriter and musician, in addition to vocalist, with an intuitive ease. The haunting, lush layers of Blacklisted serve as a showcase for Neko’s formidable vocal strengths and her talent for creating this intensely intimate work. Unlike her previous releases, Case wrote most of the songs and played a wide variety of the instruments on Blacklisted including regular guitars and tenor guitars, piano, saw and even drums. The album reflects this lost, almost homesick, feeling – each song aches with vivid images to stunning results.

File Under: Country, Folk
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jungle echoes

Chaino & His African Percussion Safari: Jungle Echoes (Black Sweat) LP
In tomorrow…. “A young boy found and raised by American missionaries, the only survivor of a nonviolent African tribe whose members, entranced by ancient rhythms, had the ability to communicate with animals and run like cheetahs… Pulled away from this original enchanted world, he grew up among Westerners. He tried to adapt as much as he could but remained very much rooted in the land of his ancestors. Still haunted and nourished by his origins, he engraved the rhythms of his land into the grooves of an Omega Disk…” The year is 1959 and exotica music is in full swing. Beautiful women with banana belts and flower necklaces are gathering serious attention by seducing each and every average Joe dreaming of sunny holidays on exotic islands populated by colorful birds. Low-cost travel and mass tourism were on their way. Chaino and His African Percussion Safari were capable of playing for 17 hours straight — seven percussion instruments at the same time. They recorded Jungle Echoes in a sublime delirium; it’s an absurd myth and an imaginary product of the past. A unbelievable record made of rhythms and shouts; a jungle, a furnace, a disturbing trip into the imaginary world of this unrivaled percussionist, this son of Africa — regardless of the myth surrounding his real origin. A dangerously addictive and syncopated atomic bomb of a record. Reissued by Black Sweat Records with Moi J’Connais.

File Under: Jazz, Afrobeat
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coil

Coil: Queens of the Circulating Library (Eskaton) LP
Queens of the Circulating Library is a 2000 album by the experimental British group Coil. It is unusual in the sense that it is perhaps the only release without participation from Peter Christopherson. On this album, Coil were: “Thighpaulsandra & John Balance with Dorothy Lewis as the queen of the circulating library. Thanks to Simon Norris.” The lyrics were written by John Balance and spoken by Dorothy Lewis, Thighpaulsandra’s mother. The line “It’s in the trees, it’s coming” that appears in the lyrics is from the 1957 British horror film Night of the Demon, and had previously appeared in sampled form in the song “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush. The album was initially released on the date of the Coil Presents Time Machines concert.

 File Under: Ambient, Drone
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cooper

Mike Cooper: New Kiribati (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow…. First vinyl release of Kiribati, the first installment in the acclaimed Ambient Exotica Soundscapes series by veteran English experimentalist Mike Cooper. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500. “This was the first release on my Hipshot c.d.r label in 1999. I wanted to create an album of imaginary soundscapes from imagined exotic places based on my travels in the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. Kiribati was the first in a series of three CDs of Ambient Exotica Soundscapes — played on lap steel, electronics, prepared guitar, sampler, live environmental recordings (from Bali, Malaysia, Australia and Italy) and acoustic and electronic percussion. (The other two are Globe Notes and my award winning Rayon Hula.) Kiribati was (and is) dedicated to the people and islands of Kiribati because they were slowly sinking into the Pacific Ocean. Although the palm trees are often 25 metres high, the islands themselves, made from gravel and sand, are only 4 or 5 metres above sea level and a rise in sea levels of just 15 centimetres, as has happened over the past 100 years due to global warming, is a disaster. Kiribati was recorded in my studio on a four track cassette, using a Casio SK1 sampling keyboard. A tool I used for many years both for recording and live sampling.” –Mike Cooper

File Under: Ambient, Exotica, Lap Steel, Electronic
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corner

Philip Corner: OM Entering. And Once Enterd (Kye) LP
In tomorrow…. “The latest LP from veteran fluxus composer Philip Corner. OM Entering. and Once Enterd comprises four previously unreleased recordings with the Barton Workshop, taken from performances in the Netherlands, and South Korea, between 2000-2007. ‘OM ENTRANCE. OM ENTERTRANCE. which one does….because the performance is a real “passage from the material to the spiritual” unless the “real” world is just as spiritual already which i like to think it is. As perhaps an everyday awareness is already to be entranced which i have been told it is, really. To the facts: musicians’ coming-in already the performance of everything has to be done to get ready from unpacking to tuning and all that is done in the concentrated and exalted spirit of real music. Multiplicity moves noise to instrument possibilities with virtuosity show-offs slowing down to a perfect tuning in a quiet circle from where there is nowhere else to go but the sustaining of a quiet long tone. My old friend and colleague also great composer Jim Fulkerson is there as he has be, as he was even at the first performance way back must be almost 50 years by now joining the Creative Associates at the University of Buffalo on his initiative as likewise these performances in Holland with his group he calls The Barton Workshop and for sure he is there playing trombone too. The movement from SANG/TEH (SITUATIONS). Guard duty in a cold Korean winter. This piece was a major turning-point in my work. My life too you-could-say. “Of Ancient Times and Modern Sounds” i wrote then: a better world—much much better—than being in the American Army. The heterophonic melody-only texture learned from their “Ah Ahk” court music (“Soo Je Chun” the most beautiful music in the history of the world!) imposed on a thoroughly modern chromatic note structure. Occidental instruments absorbing the traditions of subtle sound colours so-long absent from the West. Public performance in Seoul. That must have been the Spring of 1961 just before they “shipped me out”, to bring all that back home. Before that the wonderful and exceptional opportunity to “run through” some of it with the indigenous instruments of the Koog Ahk Wun (National Music Institute) thanks to the cultural open-mindedness of the classical kayageum master Byungki Hwang. And Jim has not only played the 3rd movement often, but brought if back to Korea once at the Pan Music Festival. But my long-waiting-for performance in Korea on native instruments has yet to take place. The CHOPIN PRELUDE piece is one of two, reworking passages from his D Major Prelude for piano, and a part of the “as a revelation” series which “looks into” moments from the classics which usually go by too fast. Begun with Mozart, the series has “got a lot of mileage” out of Satie, as well as including Buxtehude, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Verdi, Ives, Berlioz,, and others.’ (Philip Corner, 2015)”

File Under: Classical, Post Modern
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dadawah

Dadawah: Peace & Love (Dug Out) LP
In tomorrow…. Available again! Dark, hypnotic, tripping nyabinghi from 1974. Led by Jamaican Rastafarian singing hand-drummer Ras Michael over four extended excursions, the music is organic, sublime and expansive, grounation drums and bass-heavy (with no rhythm guitar; rather, Willie Lindo brilliantly improvising a kind of dazed blues). Lloyd Charmers and Federal Studios engineer George Raymond stayed up all night after the session to mix the recording, opening out the enraptured mood into echoing space, adding sparse, startling effects to the keyboards. At no cost to its deep spirituality, this is the closest reggae comes to psychedelia. Previously squandered in an incongruous 2-for-1 reissue, now lovingly returned to its original, singular glory at Abbey Road. Pressed on super-fly vinyl and housed in new standard-printed sleeves.

File Under: Reggae, Roots Reggae
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fennesz

Fennesz: Mahler Remix (Touch) LP
In tomorrow…. Mahler Remix was recorded live at Radio Kulturhaus, Vienna, in May 2011. This recording is mostly based on samples taken from Gustav Mahler’s symphonies. The performance also includes an early version of “Liminality’ from the bécs album, released in 2014 on Editions Mego. Mahler Remixed was a commissioned work performed together with the visual artist Lillevan. The piece was only performed live three times, at Radio Kulturhaus in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Borusan Music House in Istanbul.

File Under: Electronic

hordeHorde Catalytique Pour La Fin: Gestation Sonore (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow…. Souffle Continu presents the eighth release in its series of reissues from the catalog of the cult French underground Futura label. “We just wanted the sound, the raw sound-texture, before being treated and shaped by any cultural code,” recalls Georges Alloro, member of Horde Catalytique pour la Fin. Formed in 1967, the French avant-garde quartet played instruments from Western, African, Middle-Eastern, and Far-Eastern cultures. Their sole album, the unique Gestation Sonore (1971), is the intriguing result of an improvisational session that unsurprisingly later found its way onto Nurse With Wound’s famous list. This is its first-ever vinyl reissue, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram reverse-printed sleeve with obi strip. Limited edition of 500.

File Under: Jazz, Free Improv, Futura
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psych

It’s Psychedelic Baby #2 Mag
In tomorrow…. The second issue of the printed version projected from well-known leading psych website It’s Psychedelic Baby! This issue is focused on US psychedelic folk, with articles and interviews with artists such as Michael Yonkers, Dave Bixby, Dana Westover, Linda Perhacs, The Tree People, Gary Higgins, and others, as well as ten pages of new release reviews. 48 pages (40 black and white; eight in color).

File Under: Psych

free the mind

Johan Johannsson: Free The Mind OST (NTOV) LP
In tomorrow…. “From Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer of the scores to the hit movies Prisoners (2013) and The Theory of Everything (2014): the score to this meditation documentary is now available on vinyl for the very first time! Gatefold sleeve, with MP3 download coupon.”

File Under: OST, Classical
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khola

Khola Cosmica: s/t (New Records) LP
In tomorrow…. After many years of putting out strictly vintage ’60s/’70s/’80s reissues, Guerssen inaugurates its New Records imprint and (again) begins releasing albums from current bands that the label truly loves. New Records focuses on ’90s-and-beyond psychedelia, hard rock, folk, progressive, etc. Listeners can expect Guerssen’s usual attention to detail and nice artwork designs. The first release on New Records is the first vinyl edition, with new artwork, of Japanese band Khola Cosmica’s overlooked 2011 self-titled CD. Hailing from Tokyo, Khola Cosmica are not your average “stoner rock” band. This brutal power trio plays some of the most extreme, psychedelic doom metal you can find. Long tracks featuring devastating, loud, in-your-face fuzz riffing, hypnotic drones, and dark atmospheres destined to destroy your mind. Remastered sound. Includes insert.

File Under: Japanese, Psych, Stoner
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konstrukt

Konstrukt & Peter Brotzmann: The Message (Holidays) LP
In tomorrow…. Limited edition of 200. A meeting with the giant. In this live session recorded in 2014, the konstruKt quartet’s basic lineup reunites again with Peter Brötzmann, with whom they recorded the amazing studio album Dolunay (rec. 2008, rel. 2011) and Eklisia Sunday (rec. 2011, rel. 2013; also with Hüseyin Ertunç and Doğan Doğusel). As the title says, all are invited to listen to the message hidden in these rhapsodic vibes, where the energy of an elephant stampede is channeled into a coherent structure of percussion (and the drumming here is absolutely mind-blowing), electric guitar, double bass, and two whirling — but still clearly discernable — saxophones.

File Under: Free Jazz, Turkey
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kosugi

Takehisa Kosugi & Takashi Kazamaki: Enban Live @ Strange Fruit (Fool) LP
In tomorrow…. “Avant-primitive improv from the duo of Takehisa Kosugi (Violin, Recorder, Voice) and Takashi Kazamaki (Percussion, Harmonica). Recorded in 1983, Kosugi shows yet another side of himself, trading his drone for a more free-hillbilly style, which meshes perfectly with Kazamaki’s masterful tumbling and clattering. Euro Import with paste-on covers. Limited edition of 250.”

File Under: Free Improv, Taj Mahal Travellers

lightdreams

Lightdreams: Islands in Space (Got Kinda Lost) LP
In tomorrow…. First reissue; remastered sound. Includes full-color booklet containing informative liner notes by collector Jack D. Fleischer prepared from artist interviews, as well as full lyrics and rare photos. Mirroring the sentiment of the prescient UK radio legend in his Vibrations column for the International Times in the ’70s, LightDreams leader Paul Marcano took one step beyond his intimate colleagues and chose to spread his ideals concerning peaceful outer-space colonization to all with open ears. Islands in Space, dotted with acoustic jams, backward guitars, lyrics alluding to the British progressive era, smoking-hot electric leads, synths galore, and the dreamiest of melodies, is both Marcano’s love letter to the work of science-fiction author Gerard K. O’Neill and the psych-tinged folk explorers who came before him such as McDonald and Giles. Originally privately issued in 1981 in an edition of 1,000 copies, Islands in Space explores space travel and cosmic ideology in a sci-fi psych odyssey and is filled with atmospheric, lysergic creations atop a hybrid of sounds from the cosmic psych/progressive folk/new age spectrum. Home-recorded (yet hi-fi), Islands in Space carries a singular quality, defies easy categorization, and has long been savored by collectors of otherworldly joys. This singular, beatific work now has another chance to shine from Earth’s surface to the outer reaches of the galaxy. RIYL: Dreamies; Donovan; Pete Fine; Robert Lester Folsom’s hazy, synth-led moments; McDonald and Giles; Ramases; Simones; the out-of-time bliss of Bobb Trimble; et al.

File Under: Psych, Sci-Fi, New Age
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lowe

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Cognition/Observation (Demdike Stare) LP
In tomorrow…. Cognition/Observation is the very necessary follow-up to Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s physically modelled modular trance impulses heard on Timon Irnok Manta, which was issued to critical acclaim by Type in 2012. Bypassing academic practice in pursuit of fluid, instinctive progression, “Cognition (Forbes)” and “Observation (Sophrons)” unfurl two long, knotted sequences entangling intricate West African drum patterns and visual motifs in a buoyant, propulsive abstraction of techno and earthed-yet-cosmic electronics. Bass is thick as treacle and buffered by a scratchy, semi-organic flux of dancing sparks and mbira-like metallic twang in “Cognition (Forbes),” before the same elements refract and tessellate in a more nuanced echo chamber sound, distinctly recalling the shape of Dynamo’s 2002 classic Außen Vor as much as Hieroglyphic Being’s hypnotic improvisations. Rarified, transcendent music of the strongest order. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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mcphee

Joe McPhee/Survival Unit III: Barrow Street Blues (Holidays) LP
In tomorrow…. “This is the third and final iteration of a musical survival concept, which began in as solo project in 1969. Survival Unit III was formed in 2004 at the invitation for a recording date. Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang and I were members of the Peter Brotzmann Chicago 10tet and by that time, we had been working together for five years. So in preparation for the recording, a tour was organized but the recording was cancelled at the last moment. Left to our own devices and thanks to the tireless efforts of Fred and Michael, we play.”

File Under: Free Jazz

nuel

Nuel: Hyperhoreal (Further) LP
In tomorrow…. Italian DJ and producer Manuel Fogliata hasn’t released a lot of records since emerging in 2006, but the few he has put out have all been worth tracking down. Perhaps best known for his work alongside Donato Dozzy in creating the much sought-after Aquaplano records at the tail-end of the 2000s, Nuel has been just as consistent and impressive on his solo outings. Whether taking on metallic electro or syrupy, bass-heavy ambience, Nuel’s attention to detail and his keen ear for a groove have made each release something to treasure. Nuel’s only previous full-length, Trance Mutation (Further Records, 2011), is a masterpiece of minimal repetition. While initial impressions might suggest little in the way of continuity between Trance Mutation and the colder, more mechanical sounds of Hyperboreal, Nuel’s ability to go deep into a particular mood — a particular sound — links the two. Recorded using just one semi-modular synth — the boutique and sadly discontinued Ekdahl Polygamist — and a handful of pedals, Hyperboreal came together in just a few days while Fogliata was staying with Giuseppe Tillieci (aka Neel, famed mastering engineer and one-half of Voices from the Lake) at Tillieci’s apartment in Rome. Hyperboreal begins ambiguously, with the fluttering dissonance and shadowy aggression of “Steppin’ Stone” immediately setting the mood. The opener’s flutters become a swirling mass on “Polaris” and a venomous rattle on the title-track, before “-Om” evens out the maddening, almost frantic pulsations into a bed of twitching feedback and resonant echoes. There’s even a hint of a regular beat, barely audible beneath the buzzing tones of synthesized electricity. “Intensity plays a fundamental role in what I do,” says Fogliata, and listening to the opening half of Hyperboreal, one would have to agree. These are not casual sonics. Penultimate track “Be Well” lifts the shadows somewhat, and though closer “The Rest Is Noise” seems to return to a darker place, it does so with the memory of sunlight, warmth, and life. As its title suggests, this is an album for colder climates; for stark, inhospitable landscapes. At first, it seems a truly unsettling void of vaporous tones; a blizzard of sound refusing to coalesce and refusing to make sense. Slowly, though, Hyperboreal opens itself up, emerging patiently from an abyssal darkness into a beauty as still, as sharp, and as breathtaking as an Arctic dawn. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract
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slug

Slug Christ: The Crucifixion of (Biophon) LP
In tomorrow…. Slug Christ is a rapper-producer based in Atlanta, Georgia. “My style is very 808 heavy. I’m very trap influenced, I’d like to consider myself doing the next version of trap music, more abstract.” Trap music boasts itself as some of today’s most tightly sequenced hip-hop music, but Slug Christ’s loose, drug-induced delivery has helped him establish his own style within the genre. If you miss the rawness that rap feels like it’s missing these days, then look no further than Slug Christ. Features appearances from Father, RichPoSlim, Lord Narf, Pyramid Quince, Stalin Majesty, and GAHM and production by Slug Christ, Ethereal, KCSB, Dexter Dukarus, Jesus, Lucifer, and GAHM. Originally released digitally in 2015. Undergrind: “Weird has become a cliche in hip-hop as of late, with spacey oddballs popping up all over the place. However, with Slug Christ, weird is truly an artform. As a member of Atlanta’s Awful rap collective, Slugger has become one of the hottest young hip-hop artists by opening his consciousness and releasing it onto the track for thousands to hear.” Redbull.com: “As twisted as most of the members are from the diverse Atlanta crew that is Awful, Slug Christ is easily among its weirdest. And perhaps its most polarizing, too (alongside producer GAHM). His lackadaisical delivery registers close to the woozy rhyme schemes of fellow Awful member Ethereal (who produces Track 3), but Slug’s more about impressionistic channelings of his ‘fourth-dimensional’ self, wrapped here in his own mythological crucifixion. In fact, his crucifixion (‘Crucifixion Day’) is produced by Lucifer himself (Jesus produces its previous track, ‘Wanderer’), who together turn in one of the most epic, experimental rap tracks in recent memory. And it just gets more bizarre from there. Cameos by fellow Awful members Father, Lord Nard and Pyramid Quince top this fantastic release.” The Spectrum: “In fact, it wouldn’t far-fetched to state that Slug Christ is a pop artist who takes the sounds of mainstream hip-hop and reinvents them in his own unsettling, but enlightening way.” Classic Entourage Magazine: “Music Heads: Slug Christ is SWAG’s savior. Slug Christ is an artist booming onto the underground trap music scene. He is signed to Awful Records and performed at SXSW where he produced a killer set.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Trap
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sorensen

Nicklas Sorensen: Solo (El Paraiso) LP
In tomorrow…. Solo is the first solo album from Papir guitarist Nicklas Sørensen. While there are certain similarities with the oeuvre Sørensen has created with Papir, it quickly becomes apparent that this is something quite different. Throughout Solo, the Copenhagen native explores his primary instrument, the guitar, as a generator of otherworldly sounds, as a compositional tool, and — perhaps most importantly — as a transmitter of pristine, cascading melodies. There’s a peaceful, savory quality to the album that indicates a musical maturity. With help from Papir’s rhythm section as well as Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk (who also recorded the album in El Paraiso’s studio), Sørensen has created a wide, shimmering sound that seems to allude to a multitude of different styles and traditions. Considering that Sørensen is best known as a hard-rocking guitar player with a knack for improvisation, it’s perhaps surprising that his inclination for pattern-based minimalism and blissed-out ambience dominates throughout this set. This is the kind of album that rewards repeated listens, constantly revealing new layers in the architecture of the sound. Solo is an affable, slow-burning album in which each component is given its own space and place to gently unfold and work its magic in the mind of the listener.

File Under: Psych, Krautrock
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sousa

Tiago Sousa: Um Piano nas Barricadas (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow…. Since his first release (2006’s Crepúsculo), pianist and composer Tiago Sousa has been consistently developing his very own aesthetic; through his relatively large body of work, one can identify an artist on the search for his own expression and identity. Um Piano nas Barricadas (“A Piano in the Barricades”) follows three largely successful endeavors, all centered on the piano: Insónia (2009), Walden Pond’s Monk (2011), and Samsara (2013). In the time between those works and Um Piano nas Barricadas, Sousa composed the score for the 2013 Portuguese film Bibliografia (included here) and the large-scale theater piece O Coro das Vontades, which premiered in 2012. Um Piano nas Barricadas is another development in this unique body of work by one of the most interesting and intriguing musicians to come out of the burgeoning Portuguese music scene, cementing his place as one of the most distinct voices in piano-driven minimalism. Includes collaborations with Tó Trips, Ricardo Ribeiro, Balthazar Molina, and Rebecca Roth. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Modern Classical
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surgeonSurgeon: From Farthest Known Objects (Dynamic Tension) LP
In tomorrow…. This is the seventh Surgeon album. “While exploring new production techniques using old and unlikely hardware, the results were so unusual that I really had the sense that these pieces of equipment didn’t actually create these sounds, rather they were in fact some kind of elaborate reception device that allowed me to tune into transmissions from Distant Galaxies. The music I could hear was actually the received transmissions of Pop Hits from those Distant Galaxies that were being played on their radio stations. I quickly recorded all that I could before losing the transmission. I consulted with Dr Andrew Read, the astrophysicist with whom I recorded Guitar Treatments in 1999. He has worked on the discovery of the most distant galaxies and astronomical objects in the Universe. Together we came up with a possible list of where these musical transmissions may have come from.”

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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thingThe Thing: Shake (The Thing) LP
In tomorrow…. In 2013, Swedish-Norwegian free jazz trio The Thing launched their The Thing Records label with their acclaimed Boot! album; in 2015, they return with another heavy, wonderful monster of a studio album, Shake. Intense, passionate, and precise, they continue to define their own genre within a genre. Mats Gustafsson: tenor and baritone saxophones; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: electric and double bass; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums and percussion. Additional guests on “Aim”: Anna Högberg (alto saxophone) and Goran Kajfes (cornet). Recorded June 1st and 2nd, 2015, by Jørgen Træen at Duper Studio, Bergen, Norway. Mixed June-July 2015 by Johan Berthling and Andreas Werlin, Stockholm, Sweden. Mastered by Lupo at Calyx Mastering. Cover by Lasse Marhaug.

File Under: Free Jazz

travellingTravelling: Voici la Nuit Tombee (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow…. Souffle Continu presents the seventh release in its series of reissues from the catalog of the cult French underground Futura label. Travelling was a keyboard-based trio that probably represents best what the Futura’s RED series was about — jazz, rock, and experimental inquisitiveness. Often described as the French answer to the Canterbury scene, Voici la Nuit Tombée contains echoes of Soft Machine, Caravan, and Supersister, especially on the sidelong opening track, “Voici la Nuit Tombée.” It’s the album’s tour de force, with its fuzz bass, distorted organs, piano jazz, and complex meter. This is the first-ever vinyl reissue of this pioneering 1973 prog jewel, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram reverse-printed sleeve with obi strip. Limited edition of 500.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Futura
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triode

Triode: On N’a Pas Fini D’avoir Tour Vu (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow…. Souffle Continu presents the sixth release in its series of reissues from the catalog of the cult French underground Futura label. Triode was a French psych prog band from the early ’70s. Their sole album, 1971’s On n’a pas fini d’avoir tout vu, combines the fascinating flute playing of Michel Edelin, the psychedelic guitar sound of Pierre Chérèze (also of YS and a collaborator of Bernard Szajner), and the groovy rhythm section of Didier Hauck and Pierre-Yves Sorin. Obscure even in prog circles, this instrumental jazzy prog monster is finally available again in its original form. This is the album’s first official vinyl reissue, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram matte sleeve with obi strip. Limited edition of 500.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Futura
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universUnivers Zero: s/t (Sub Rosa) LP
In tomorrow…. Univers Zero’s 1977 debut album, reissued as a double LP with a bonus track “La Faulx” spread over sides C and D. Long-running Belgian chamber rockers and avant-garde pioneers led by drummer and composer Daniel Denis, Univers Zero formed in 1974 with co-composer and guitarist Roger Trigaux (who left the band in 1980). This is their first album, recorded between August 2 and 5, 1977. “The rhythmic energy and dissonant riffs, the distinctive sound of the bassoon and strings, and the tricky, fragmented time signatures make for a challenging and highly distinctive listening experience.” –AllMusic

File Under: Avant Garde, Prog, Jazz
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utherUther Pendragon: San Francisco Earthquake (Guerssen) 3LP
In tomorrow…. Three-LP box version in purple-and-gold hot-foil-stamped box with eight-page insert and poster. A treasure trove of previously unreleased West Coast guitar psychedelia, 1966-1975. “Uther Pendragon was more than just a band, it was a family. Closer than brothers, they lived together, made music together, worked, played, laughed, cried and dreamed together.” –Mike Stax (Ugly Things) This is the incredible story of Uther Pendragon, a lost psychedelic band from San Francisco whose music has remained buried until now. Formed in the Bay Area in 1966 as a teen garage group called Blue Fever, Uther Pendragon lasted from 1966 until 1978. During that time, the band went through different names and phases, as their music evolved from garage to psychedelia to hard rock, but the core of the band always remained the same: Mark Lightcap (rhythm guitar, vocals), Bruce Marelich (lead guitar, vocals), and Martin Espinosa (bass, vocals). After finding their ultimate drummer in Mike Beers, the group finally settled on the Uther Pendragon name in the early ’70s. But despite being active for all that time and recording at numerous studios (including their own in Palo Alto), Uther Pendragon never released any recordings. Their complex and fascinating story, which involves winning a Bay Area Battle of the Bands and playing with Country Joe & The Fish, recording a killer garage-psych 7″ acetate in 1967, going to the legendary Pacific Recording Studios in 1969 to record a demo, living as a family in the same house for many years and rehearsing seven days a week, building their own recording studio and music corporation, being managed by Craig Pedersen (Something Wild, Tripsichord Music Box), being involved in an occult-themed rock opera called Sabbat, and much more, is told with all the details by Mike Stax from Ugly Things in this set’s extensive liner notes, with rare photos. Produced from the band’s vast archive of original master tapes, San Francisco Earthquake includes their unknown-until-now 7″ acetate from 1967 (fab garage-psych in the vein of The Human Expression or The Music Machine); tracks from 1966-’69 including a groundbreaking, moody psycher from 1966; a demo tape from 1969 recorded at Pacific Recording — an incredible document for any lover of early SF garage-psych (think Oxford Circle, The Savage Resurrection, Moby Grape . . .) — and many tracks recorded at their home studio in Palo Alto. 100% unadulterated West Coast guitar psych and hard rock that recalls QMS and even Kurihara-era White Heaven.

File Under: Psych
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bostonVarious: Boston Creative Jazz Scene (Cultures of Soul) 2LP Box
In tomorrow…. “This deluxe overview of Boston’s creative jazz scene is presented as a double LP set, packaged in deluxe box with each piece of vinyl housed in its own euro-style glossy jacket. Also included is an 8 ½ x 5 ½, 80 page book documenting the rich history of the music with in-depth analyses and photos.” Artists: The Mark Harvey Group, Thing, The Phill Musra Group, Worlds’, Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism, and Baird Hersey with Dave Leibman.

File Under: Jazz
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chang fo jiVarious: Chang Fo Ji: Buddha Loops From China (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow…. Chang Fo Ji are small, plastic, battery-powered soundboxes, available throughout China and Tibet, that play a variety of Buddhist loops, from poppy modern Chinese Buddhist prayers to ancient recordings of famous Tibetan Buddhist masters. They can be taken everywhere, offering the listener portable immersion into the hypnotizing, minimalist world of Buddhist prayers. Both sides of this record contain various loops from various Chang Fo Ji gathered in China by Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong) between 2006 and 2011, with some pressed as locked grooves. Chang (唱): to sing. Fo (佛): Buddhism. Ji (机): machine. Art by Ruben Pater. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.

File Under: China, Buddha Machines, Ambient
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music of zinjiang

Various: Music of Xinjiang (Sublime Frequencies) LP
In tomorrow…. Limited-edition LP with full-size insert of text and photographs by compiler Laurent Jeanneau. Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan) is China’s biggest province. The musical landscape here is one of the world’s richest. The Uyghur and the Kazakh are the two main ethnicities represented on these recordings made by Laurent Jeanneau and Shi Tanding in June of 2009. The Kazakh (nomadic) and Uyghur (agricultural) have multiple linguistic ties. Much of this music shares many influences from the Arab world, Turkey, and Persia. The sound is that of the Islamic tradition stretching from Turkey to the most eastern frontier of the Chinese empire. These recordings and performances feature some of the area’s greatest musicians playing instruments like the satar, tanbur, dotar, rawab, rushtar, and dongbra, among many others. These tracks represent ecstatic examples of the region’s rich musical voice. Buzzing plucked strings and epic tales of the life and legacy of one of the oldest (2500 years) and richest cultural areas of central Asia. Performers include Kurban, Pa Hat, Adengr, Kali, Jaymanur Ajabek, Kurmanjiang Zaccharia, and Jaymanur Ajabek.

File Under: World, China, Field Recordings
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outlierVarious: Outlier: Recordings from Madagascar (Sublime Frequencies) LP
In tomorrow…. Limited-edition LP with full-size insert of text and photographs by compiler Charles Brooks. This collection is an impeccable and crystalline assortment of beautiful music from the deep southwestern provinces of Menabe and Tulear in Madagascar, recorded and assembled by Charles Brooks. Brooks has made many friends in these lesser-travelled regions since the 1990s. Outlier: Recordings from Madagascar represents a compilation of his encounters from 2011-2012. “Madagascar is an island that would bleed into obscurity if not for the rhythm of its name and the mysterious tailwind that follows it. Filled with natural wonder, it’s a land where places, conversations, and names are spoken with a liquid tongue, where people and setting come together to create a unique array of music and culture. Sites can become extraordinarily charged with an unseen presence where heavy air, summoned spirits, and a transformative energy collapse natural constraints of place. The Malagasy call this mingling of forces ‘maresaka’ — a permeating vibrational aura. Maresaka pulls you in and places you in the moment, to participate through a saturation of sounds, smells, and colors. When caught inside this kind of atmosphere, levity comes; you release your anchors of self-control. Beautiful unfettered music surfaces. Here, that is to say where I’ve been brought to listen, music lives and moves. The artists represented in this compilation play, and their music has many different roles — both natural and supernatural. Music can be performed as much as it can be recorded, but here it’s mostly played. These exceptional artists share within such practice” –Charles Brooks, 2015. Performers include Manatsoa, Tanka, Angeline, Tafara Justin, Justin Velonjoha, Masy Germaine, Mony, Mahavita, Leonel, Lisa, Jean-Francois, Marinette, Vincent, Alvine, Tsingezo, and Taomanana.

File Under: World, Africa, Field Recordings
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…..restocks…..

African Head Charge: Environmental Studies (On-U Sound) LP
African Head Charge: Drastic Season (On-U Sound) LP
African Head Charge: Off the Beaten Track (On-U Sound) LP
Beat of the Earth: This Record is an Artistic Statement (Radich) LP
Built To Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (Up) LP
Don Cherry: Eternal Rhythm (MPS) LP
Anthony Child: Electronic Recordings From The Maui Jungle Vol 1 (Editions Mego) LP
Decemberists: Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Mac Demarco: Rock n Roll Nightclub (Captured Tracks) LP
Diiv: Is the Is Are (Captured Tracks) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Dinosaur (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr.: You’re Living All Over Me (Jagjaguwar) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (TeePee) LP
Electronic Hole: s/t (Radich) LP
Explosions in the Sky: The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (Temporary Residence) LP
Floating Points: Elaenia (Luaka Bop) LP
Greg Foat Group: Dark is Sun (Jazzman) LP
Nils Frahm: Screws Reworked (Erased Tapes) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Du Chant A La Une! (Dol) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Trois Et Quatre (Dol) LP
Keith Hudson: Flesh of my Skin… (Basic Replay) LP
Massive Attack: Mezzanine (Virgin) LP
Meters: s/t (Josie) LP
Ennio Morricone: Spazmo (Dagored) LP
Ennio Morricone: Hateful Eight (Third Man) LP
Necks: Vertigo (Northern Spy) LP
Os Mutantes: Everything is Possible (Luaka Bop) LP
Parquet Courts: American Specialties (Play Pinball) LP
Iggy Pop: Lust for Life (4 Men With Beards) LP
Roly Porter: Third Law (Tri Angle) LP
Roly Porter: Aftertime (Subtext) LP
Rammellzee: Crayzay (Gamma Proforma) 12″
Rammellzee: Fight My Fire (Gamma Proforma) 12″
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Nina Simone: At Town Hall (4 Men With Beards) LP
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (Bethlehem) LP
Nina Simone: Live at Carnegie Hall (Dol) LP
Souls of Mischief: 93 til Infinitey (Traffic) LP
Tortoise: Millions Now Living… (Thrill Jockey) LP
Ugly Casanova: Sharpen Your Teeth (Sub Pop) LP
Unwound: Rat Conspiracy (Numero) LP
White Stripes: Icky Thump (Warner) LP
Stevie Wonder: Inner Visions (Tamla) LP
Stevie Wonder: Music of My Mind (Tamla) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Various: Son Cubano: NYC (Honest Jon’s) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

….news letter #727 – sleep year…..

A few more new gems this week, and as usual, loads hitting the used bins up front. Come down for a dig!

…..pick of week…..

porter

Roly Porter: Third Law (Tri Angle) LP
As one half of pioneering duo Vex’d (alongside Jamie Teasdale, aka, Kuedo), Roly Porter was intrinsic in the development of what would come to be known as dubstep. When Vex’d decided to go their separate ways in the mid-2000s Roly pursued a solo career in an attempt to escape the genre constraints he felt had become a restriction. With two solo albums behind him (Aftertime and Life Cycle of a Massive Star), his output has primarily been fueled by a desire to write beat-less music, something Roly is keen to specify he doesn’t view as being the same as ambient music. Roly’s music isn’t about ‘day to day’ life. Instead it’s an opportunity for him to think about ‘larger’ things outside his personal experience, which in turn has had a profound impact on how Roly is able to see his own life and that of others around him. Third Law is about combining everything Roly has loved and missed about producing sound-system music, with the more compositional ideas he began to explore on his solo work. While Third Law is related to his past, for Roly this album represents finally coming to terms with his goal of leaving dance music as it is, free to explore ideas of rhythm, bass, sound design within his own world without having to shape any of these elements to fit any preconceived ideas or rules.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial
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…..new arrivals…..

all them

All Them Witches: Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (New West) LP
In tomorrow… “Inspired” and “heavy” are words that come to mind when taking in Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, the third long-player from Nashville’s All Them Witches. In recent years, All Them Witches’ live rep has become nearly mythical as they combine mercurial yet sensitive singer/songwriter lyricism, tripped-out post-psych hard blues, and stoner rock metallic thud. The album was recorded in an isolated cabin on a Pigeon Forge, Tennessee hilltop overlooking Dollywood far below. It was cut mostly live from the floor by Mikey Allred, with overdubs added later. One song opens onto another as it unfolds into a labyrinthine, head-expanding ride. On “Call Me Star,” gently fingerpicked acoustic guitars are adorned by a weeping slide; snares and tom-toms frame bassist Charles Michael Parks, Jr.’s lonesome, from-the-void vocal, which recalls prime Robert Plant. The restraint gives way to a spacy rockist vibe, but never loses its rootsy feel. A basic one-chord electric guitar vamp introduces the massive “El Centro.” It quickly gives way to a massive blown-out bassline from Parks. Ben McLeod’s wiry fuzz guitars and Robby Staebler’s rolling drums add punch and urgency. (Few bands know how to make use of a really good drummer; All Them Witches have that down cold.) Squalling guitars rife with feedback and tense rhythms à la Loop mesh with the heavy, hard, and head-nodding plod of Sleep. Eight minutes feels like half an hour as time and space slip the ropes. By contrast, the cut-time “Dirt Preachers” is a brief wonky 12-bar punk blues with metal guitar vamps. The great Mickey Raphael guests on “This Is Where It Falls Apart,” a snail-paced psychedelic blues delivered with tense restraint and colored with dubwise effects. On “Open Passageways,” Staebler’s declamatory drumming (which recalls the earthiness of Otha Turner’s Rising Star Fife & Drum Band with the dark authority of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks”) gradually extends to Allan Van Cleave’s melodic old-world violin break before the entire band erects a doomy climatic architecture. “Talisman” commences as Americana fare, but at over six minutes dissolves into a trance inducer of roiling drums and snaky, overdriven guitars and bass. Everything is on stun. Van Cleave’s Fender Rhodes is the only thing binding it to the earth. At first, “Blood & Sand/Milk & Endless Waters” sounds like a cyclic return to “This Is Where It Falls Apart,” but its fuzzed-out rolling thunder brings in the heaviness of “El Centro” too. The jam comes into its own when layers of fiddle and silvery blues guitar ripple forth before Staebler’s fat, grooving drums help rock it to a close. Dying Surfer Meets His Maker showcases All Them Witches in complete control of their songwriting, arranging, producing, and performing. Slow-burning albums that provide this much weight, creativity, surprise, and enduring pleasure are rare.

File Under: Rock, Psych
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cows

Cows: Cunning Stunts (Amphetamine Reptile) LP
“Cunning Stunts is recognized as one of the scummy high water marks the Cows left in the bathtub of punk rock noise. Originally released back in 1992; the lurching, queasy rhythms, barked vocals, tuneless trumpet playing and viciously funny lyrics slapped the underground on the ass.”

File Under: Punk
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diiv

Diiv: Is The Is Are (Captured Tracks) LP
Is the Is Are, the highly-anticipated sophomore release from Brooklyn-based DIIV, is an album years and many personal struggles in the making for it’s architect, Zachary Cole Smith. Recorded and mixed in various locations in Brooklyn, it showcases everything you know and love about DIIV, and many things you did not, all with an added nuance and depth. It is a 17-song, double-album statement intended to resonate with its audience in much the same way that Bad Moon Rising or Tago Mago has for Smith himself. An extension and deepening of the musical ideas first expressed on 2012’s critically-lauded Oshin, Is the Is Are yields a multiplicity of textures, lyrical themes, and moods. It is a more diverse world than Oshin, with different parameters and ideals. Dark and honest to a fault, the new songs are dynamic, loud, quiet, sad; they are songs that hiss and snarl; songs that, as Smith wrote recently, represent “the real me.” Smith’s vocals, too, are much closer to the foreground, layered legibly on top of tidal waves of shimmering guitar and melodic bass weaving in and out, leaving a distinct and indelible imprint.

File Under:
Indie Rock
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grimes

Grimes: Geidi Primes (Arbutus) LP
Geidi Primes is Grimes’ debut LP. Originally available as a free download and a limited release of cassettes in 2010, it’s now being issued worldwide on vinyl for the first time. It has a strange air of being created unconsciously while the artist herself was asleep. It is a vastly intriguing set of pop tunes highlighted by its amazing fifth and sixth songs: “Avi” and “Feyd Rautha Dark Heart,” which are each frighteningly reminiscent of an unaccountable psychic experience you may have never had. It seems like an album made for very tall people about what it’s like to be very small. It calls to mind the glowering of a child king amidst the many vestments and decorations of his coronation. Listening to Geidi Primes is what its like to suddenly realize you are being watched while taking a cold shower…on the moon.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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junior boys

Junior Boys: Big Black Coat (City Slang) LP
In tomorrow??? Junior Boys return with Big Black Coat, their first album in almost five years and first for City Slang. A strikingly energized and intuitively dynamic set of songs, Big Black Coat is shaped by what Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus have been doing in the five years since their last release. The Hamilton, Ontario duo have racked up four albums since they formed in 1999, including their 2004 debut Last Exit and 2006’s So This Is Goodbye, two rapturous – and rapturously received – records that were as poignant as they were impeccably produced, and prefigured the digital R&B so beloved of many an artist in the last few years. Two albums followed, the last being It’s All True in 2011. A renewed vigor surges through Big Black Coat. It’s what carries its overall sharp mix of sounds. It’s what encouraged the pair to strip their original “complicated” version of “Love Is A Fire” down to its compellingly looped bare bones and made Greenspan experiment with vocal treatments, as he does on the idiosyncratically Auto-Tuned “Over It.” But it’s the title track that sets the album’s scene. “Big Black Coat” gradually warms and spreads light as it builds over seven minutes, nodding to Yellow Magic Orchestra and Plastikman as it goes. It also features a conceptually crucial percussion sound, made with a modular synth. The previously released “What You Won’t Do For Love” sees Junior Boys revising Bobby Caldwell’s over-easy soul track from 1978, adding a subtle undercurrent of UK bass to what is only their second ever cover. Elsewhere, there’s an acknowledgement of ESP’s 1986 proto-house tune “It’s You,” which uses an ultra-rare Synton Fénix synth (“M + P”) and a ballad that reignites Greenspan’s love affair with the hushed, soulful pop of Prefab Sprout, 10cc and Scritti Politti, via contemporary R&B (“Baby Don’t Hurt Me”). Detroit is a strong undercurrent flowing through the record too, with nods to heavyweights Robert Hood, Dan Bell and Richie Hawtin throughout. Fusing disco and soul with the industrial pop and techno of Greenspan’s formative teens is what makes Big Black Coat so distinctive and compelling. It’s the sound of Junior Boys both cutting loose and reconnecting. As Greenspan sees it: “The fact that we haven’t put out an album in a long time has been liberating, in that we haven’t been so phenomenally successful that everyone knows who we are. With this album, a lot of people will be hearing us for the first time. There’s a freedom that comes from that.”

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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nebular wave

Nebular Wave: s/t (Oak Apple Records) LP
Nebular Wave is the refined result of late night jams, early morning freak outs, and mid day improvisations. Time has no meaning in the Nebular Wave, therefore you never grow up and you never grow old. It’s far out, and far in. Under the swirling Canadian Northern Lights lies Edmonton, Alberta, home of space groove rockers Nebular Wave. Repetitive, yet groovy and infectious, the instrumental music on Nebular Wave’s debut album will take you to another Solar System in the blink of an eye. Drums and bass escort you through the space out, as shimmering and vibrating synths move past in the non dimensional space. Meanwhile, in the meantime, soaring e-bow Stratocaster pierces through the nether. Recorded at Zounds of Sounds studio, and released on Oak Apple Records, Nebular Wave will appeal to fans of post rock, ambient, and soundtrack. If Pink Floyd is the supernova, Nebular Wave is stardust. Only 100 pressed! Includes download!

File Under: Space Rock, Ambient, Kosmiche
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let it be

Replacements: Let It Be (Rhino) LP
Let It Be is the third studio album by American rock band The Replacements, released on October 2, 1984 by Twin/Tone Records. It is a post-punk album with coming-of-age themes. The band had grown tired of playing loud and fast exclusively by the time of their 1983 album Hootenanny and decided to write songs that were, according to vocalist Paul Westerberg, “a little more sincere.” Let It Be was well-received by music critics and later ranked among the greatest albums of the 1980s by All Music and Rolling Stone magazine. Now considered a classic, Let It Be is frequently included on professional lists of the all-time best rock albums, being ranked number 241 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

File Under: Rock, Punk
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sorry ma

Replacements: Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out The Trash (Rhino) LP
Part of the Replacements’ appeal always was that they didn’t quite fit into any tidy category and nowhere was that truer than on their 1981 debut, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. Falling over themselves to fit into the Minneapolis hardcore scene, the ‘Mats played fast and loose, which was part of the problem — they were too loose, lacking the discipline to fit within hardcore, which even in ’81 was adhering to the loud-fast rules that would later morph into straight-edge. Then again, that was a common problem in the Twin Cities, as Hüsker Dü also were too big and blustery to be a standard hardcore band, but where the Huskers traded in violence and fury at this early stage, the Replacements wallowed in cheap thrills. Danger still pulsated in their music, but the group didn’t inflict emotional damage: they were a party spinning out of control, getting sloppier with every beer swilled. The messiness on Sorry Ma is hardly confined to the cheap, thin recording or the band’s playing — they sound as if they’re stumbling upon each other as they fumble for the next chord — but how the songs pile up one after another, most not managing to get close to the two-minute mark. Such brevity could be dubbed as hardcore, but apart from the volume and speed, this doesn’t feel like hardcore: there’s too much beer and boogie for that. Then, there’s also the fact that the Replacements reveled in mid-American junk culture, with Paul Westerberg boasting that he’d bought himself a headache the very year that Black Flag sneered that they had nothing better to do then having a bottle of brew as they watched the TV. Neither did the Replacements, but they sang about this with no disdain, as they enjoyed being “Shiftless When Idle,” as one of the best songs here called it. This could be called defiant if it seemed like the ‘Mats were raging against anything besides garden-variety suburban troubles, as there’s nothing that attacks other punkers (quite the opposite; there are love letters to Johnny Thunders and Hüsker Dü), and even when Westerberg is chronicling Midwestern ennui, there’s a sense of affection to his laments, as if he loves the place and loves acting like an angry young crank. This strain of premature curmudgeonly humor is undercut by the boundless energy of the band, so happy to make noise they don’t care if they’re recycling old-time rock & roll riffs that are closer to amped-up Rockpile than the Ramones, as there’s more swing to the rhythms than that — swing that careens wildly and madly, but swings all the same. And that’s what made the Replacements seem so different with their debut — they didn’t fit anywhere within American punk, but there’s no defiance here; there’s a celebration of who and what they are that’s genuinely, infectiously guileless. It may not quite sound like any other American punk record but Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash is one of the best LPs the entire scene produced in the early ’80s.

File Under: Punk, Rock
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slow season

Slow Season: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
Visalia (central California) quartet Slow Season have a revamped version of their 2012 self-titled debut album to be released on RidingEasy Records. The band’s sound effortlessly nods to greats of the 60s-70s like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, et al, without sounding like a caricature. Rather, as one can immediately hear, this is hypnotic, heavy, and howling rock ‘n’ roll that defies both musical and temporal categorization. Having recorded both of their albums live on reel-to-reel at Tarbell’s home studio, the band eschews the digital trappings of music today to give their analog sound its crackling, kinetic energy.

File Under: Stoner Rock, Blues Rock
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domkirke

Sunn o))): Domkirke (Southern Lord) LP
Available on vinyl again! In tomorrow… For 16 years, Sunn O))) have been challenging the way we think about music. From 1999’s The Grimmrobe Demos to 2009’s Monoliths And Dimensions, core members Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have forged connections between the worlds of metal, drone, contemporary composition, jazz and minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density and weight. Dømkirke is a live album by Sunn O))) that was recorded at Bergen Cathedral in Bergen, Norway, during the Borealis Festival in 2007, and originally issued on Southern Lord in 2008. The album was pressed only on vinyl, never to be released on compact disc. It is a double album that features one track on each side of the limited edition 180g 2LP-set. The packaging of Dømkirke features artwork by the Norwegian visual artist Tania Stene. Stoughton old style tip-on gatefold jacket.

File Under: Drone, Metal, Doom
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talk talkTalk Talk: Laughing Stock (Polydor) LP
In tomorrow…. one of our all time favorites is available again! Talk Talk began as a quartet consisting of Mark Hollis (vocals), Simon Brenner (keyboards), Lee Harris (drums) and Paul Webb (bass guitar). They were generally associated with the New Romantic movement; more specifically, in their early years, they were often compared with Duran Duran, as both bands not only featured a double-barrelled name and a Roxy Music-inspired musical direction, but also shared the same record label (EMI) and producer (Colin Thurston). Active from 1981 to 1991, the group had a string of international hit singles including “Today,” “Talk Talk,” “It’s My Life,” “Such a Shame,” “Dum Dum Girl” and “Life’s What You Make It.” In their later years the band’s commercial appeal receded, and their critical reputation increased as they moved from synth-pop to a more experimental form. Their last two albums, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, were highly acclaimed and remain influential to experimental alternative rock genres. Laughing Stock, the group’s 1991 final album, took a year to make, and yet it has required decades to fully appreciate. Following up on the abstract and composerly Spirit of Eden, which sufficiently alienating pop fans of the band’s earlier material, Laughing Stock took spaces in recorded music to new extremes, with layers of silence breathing through strings, woodwinds, percussion and Mark Hollis’ delicate vocals. The record exists as one complete thought, albeit with jagged diversions and tangents. Ultimately Laughing Stock has made an indelible imprint in the evolution of human musical expression, becoming evermore intriguing with each spin. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!! 

File Under: Post Rock, Ambient
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millions

Tortoise: Millions Now Living Will Never Die (Thrill Jockey) LP
Available again! Millions Now Living Will Never Die is the second full-length offering from Tortoise, originally issued in 1996. The majority of the material was first conceived during an idyllic 10-day retreat in Northern Vermont, where the group were able to explore their ideas in a setting that fostered introspection and inspiration: the results are clearly evident in the washes of Klangfärben (tone color) and rhythm that permeate the album. The sounds and ideas contained therein can be viewed as a logical extension of those found their first (eponymous) LP on Thrill Jockey where the group outlined an agenda exploring texture, space, and mood. MNLWND, however, offers not only an expansion of those ideas but also the introduction of several new elements into the musical equation. New instrumental textures (marimbas and other mallet percussion on “Djed” (pronounced “jed”); conventional electric guitar on “Glass Museum”; analog synthesis/sequencing and found sound on “Dear Grandma and Grandpa”) and structural ideas (the extended formal procedures of “Djed”; the non-narrative song “Along the Banks of Rivers”) represent clear developments and redefinition’s of the group’s sound. Recording commenced immediately upon returning to Chicago, though due to a variety of reasons, the entire recording and mixing process became elongated. This less hurried approach to album making allowed the group to explore more of the possibilities inherent in the material; the 21-minute “Djed” is ample proof of this. The final version of the track went through approximately 15 different stages of mixing and editing. Like their debut, MNLWND was recorded and mixed by John McEntire (who has also recently produced material by Stereolab, Run On, The Sea and Cake, Trans Am, and Come). The majority of the album was recorded and mixed at Idful Music Corporation in Chicago, with the remainder being realized at the newly established SOMA Electronic Music Studios. MNLWND is the first studio recording to feature the talents of David Pajo, who joined to fill the position vacated by Bundy K. Brown in late 1994.

File Under: Post Rock
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standards

Tortoise: Standards (Thrill Jockey) LP
Following the massive success of their 1998 album TNT, Tortoise delivered Standards in 2001. The tunes are direct and immediate, yet they maintain the exploratory edge that has always characterized the group’s output. The fusion of instrumental sounds (electric, acoustic and synthesized) is subtle and subversive while the group’s fluency within the studio environment gives the finished work a quality that alternates between artifice and reality. Whilst TNT was constructed in the studio using segments recorded, improvised or altered electronically, the Standards sessions began after a period of rehearsal and composition. The contrast, simply stated, is that the studio was used extensively as a compositional tool for TNT, whereas with Standards it was used predominantly as tool to realize and enhance the existing new compositions. The results then are in many ways reminiscent of Tortoise’s unadorned self-titled debut.

File Under: Post Rock
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ulver

Ulver: ATGCLVLSSCAP (House of Mythology) LP
House of Mythology proudly presents the new Ulver gatefold double album vinyl, with over 80 minutes worth of material. This album consists of multi-tracked and studio-enhanced live, mostly improvisational, rock and electronic soundscapes, 2/3 of which has never been heard before. The basis for Atgclvlsscap – which the band has been working with under the moniker 12 – arrives from recordings made at twelve different live shows that Ulver performed in February 2014, in which band the band vaulted into the deep end of an improvisatory approach to their performance. Once the tour was over, it was down to Daniel O’Sullivan to take charge of these multi-track recordings, sculpting and editing hours of material in his North London enclave. Anders Møller, Kristoffer Rygg and Tore Ylwizaker got involved a bit later, honing things from their end in Subsonic Society and Oak Hill Studios, Oslo, before the vinyl cutting process took place at THD Vinyl Mastering, also in Oslo, in which the band was fully involved in the crucial initial cut of the 14″ lacquer. What resulted is the widescreen sweep and atmospheric splendor of Atgclvlsscap, ultimately a piece of work that exists above and beyond any conventional live recording, rather a hallucinatory travelogue as potent an experience to bear witness to as it was to construct. As always in the world of Ulver, influences are disparate and diverse, yet as Rygg notes, “It’s quite tributary in a way, there are clear nods to sounds from the past.” Many of these dwell in progressive, electronic and krautrock realms, heralding a lifelong love within the band for the music of the 70s. Even when the band revisits an earlier gem from 2000’s Perdition City album, as on “Nowhere (Sweet Sixteen),” its reinvigorated by their expansive and emotionally charged approach. “We always feel like, independently of what kind of instrumentation we use, we’re still playing the same nocturnal stuff,” adds Rygg. “There are a few motifs that keep recurring all the time in what we do, and if it’s in a rock form or an electronic form, it’s always there.” Yet as true as this may be, by shaking up their creative process, the band have summoned up a unique testimony to the creative power of a mighty force who remain blissfully free of genre or convention, Atgclvlsscap is progressive in the truest sense of the word, a record that may be this capricious band’s pièce-de-resistance.

File Under: Rock, Krautrock
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showcase

Various: Studio One Showcase (Soul Jazz) LP
Studio One Showcase brings together a fine selection of classic tracks from Horace Andy, Freddy McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Wailing Souls and other seminal reggae artists all recorded at Studio One in the 1970s. By the start of the 1970s, Clement Dodd’s Studio One record label was at a crossroads. The previous two decades had given the producer and record label more success than most aspired to in a lifetime. From the mid-1950s on, the Downbeat Soundsystem had conquered all opponents – from Duke Reid to Prince Buster – and shaped and led the musical landscape of the dancehall. In the 1960s the establishment of Studio One Records at 13 Brentford Road in Kingston, Jamaica, had led to a Ford Motors-esque production line of hits that similarly defined reggae music. The 1970s were to be Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s most challenging and yet ultimately most creative decade of all. Like the most zealous and resourceful of pioneers, Studio One was about to embark on a stunning era of reinvention, adaptation, stripping down and versioning, each step of which marked new musical developments in reggae music – roots reggae, deejay, dancehall, rub a dub and more. This album presents an overview of this exciting and ground-breaking decade of the 1970s at Studio One, during an era where, despite challenges from new producers, political turmoil and almost constant musical and technological innovations in reggae, Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd was able to maintain his position as the pioneering leader in reggae music and to maintain Studio One as the number one sound in reggae music.

File Under: Reggae

…..Restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Psychedelic Sounds of (Snapper) 2LP
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns) LP
Beatles: Red (Apple) LP
Beatles: Love (Apple) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has The Right to Children (Warp) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
City & Colour: If I Should Go… (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out To Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Doom: Born Like This (Lex) LP
Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes (Warp) LP
Funkadelic: Let’s Take It To The Stage (4 Men With Beards) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: La Chanson de Prevert (Doxy)
Serge Gainsbourg: Initials BB (4 Men With Beards) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Grimes: Art Angels (Crystal Math) LP
Herbie Hancock: Empyrean Isles (Blue Note) LP
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland (Reprise) LP
Billie Holiday: Lady in Satin (Sony) LP
Jawbreaker: Dear You (Blackball) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (Castle Face) LP
Mission of Burma: VS (Fire) LP
Mogwai: Hawk is Howling (Rock Action) LP
Ennio Morricone: The Hateful Eight (Third Man) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden of Delete (Warp) LP
OST: Jackie Brown (Rhino) LP
OST: Sicario (Varese) LP
Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter 3 (Constellation) LP
Nina Simone: Silk & Soul (RCA) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Joe Strummer: Global A Go Go (Anti) LP
Joe Strummer: Streetcore (Anti) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemado) LP
Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) LP
Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) LP
Wo Fat: The Conjuring (Small Stone) LP

…..news letter #726 – hack…..

Another quiet week for new arrivals, but some killer restock stuff from our Euro pals. And as usual, tons of used gems hitting the crates as well. The weather is warm, come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

mugger

Ty Segall: Emotional Mugger (Drag City) LP
Brand new full-length album from Ty Segall and his first of 2016. Twelve songs! “get in the booth—punch in the number when they pick up don’t say a word just listen shout at the double from the damned from a dry throat dry eye chuckle insistent / elastic (but never plastic) thick / butt jump pierced by the kids sweet angel voice sinister (what are they thinking) guitars sliced with scribble graffiti sprawled across the hemispheres; stuttered, stunted, dual-mono machine dreams flashing sudden stereophobic and back again / two screens alone together squeezing shaking oozing metallic pool like brain blood, slowly draining away all mental life. shaking ass / nihility at most corrodes candy’s gone no more fun.”

File Under: Garage
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…..new arrivals…..

pond scum

Bonnie Prince Billy: Pond Scum (Drag City) LP
There are no Peel sessions anymore—that tradition was buried in the pyramids with John Peel himself upon the great man’s passing. Of the thousands left in the wake, six are ascribed to BONNIE PRINCE BILLY—and of those six, three have been combined to form the deeply congruous experience of Pond Scum. A span of eight years is covered, in reverse, and many chestnuts are rolled out, freed of former contexts with sparse arrangements. “(I Was Drunk at the) Pulpit” feels, ten years from inception, more vividly worn; “Death to Everyone” is loosed from its frame, the bones decoupled and spread out, giving the song a reflective air (as opposed the biting declamation of the original); “Arise, Therefore” adapts its metronomic base, the evangelic twist of its roots made palpable. With the center of the performance in stark relief, the gnomic qualities of two “Get On Jolly” pieces are intensified. Further accenting the devoted spirit of this collection is the inclusion of “When Thy Song Flows Through Me,” from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda, as well as the previously-unreleased original “Beezle.” Bonnie’s lone shadow casts over this lot, accompanied on the first four tracks by David Heumann, but otherwise playing solo through a set of original songs (and two covers) representing a decade of progress in the almost unbearably intimate-yet-unknowable manner that was so often the vibe of those strange and wondrous days. Peeling backwards through time produces a curious hypnosis that we may not have felt for some while (we don’t actually recall) and may not feel again (who knows?) — until we skim another essence-laden dipper-ful of Pond Scum.

File Under: Folk
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crooked

Crooked Fingers: Bring on the Snakes (Merge) LP
Crooked Fingers is the solo project of singer/guitarist Eric Bachmann. In the wake of the 1998 dissolution of his much-beloved previous band Archers of Loaf, Bachmann founded Crooked Fingers in early 2000. Since then, Crooked Fingers has morphed and evolved to include many band members and tours extensively. Bachmann is also an in-demand record producer and guest player in other touring bands. Bring on the Snakes, originally released in 2001, is the sophomore album by Crooked Fingers. On vinyl now for the first time, the package features an essay by The National’s Matt Berninger and a download of the full album plus bonus demos of each track. Merge will also be reissuing Crooked Fingers’ 2000 self-titled debut. In his liner notes, Berninger writes: I had been a fan of Eric Bachmann’s songs since the first Archers of Loaf record, Icky Mettle, but here I felt he was after something different, something intimate and important. His writing was inspired. It sounded to me like Byron, drunk at a party, talking to some girl about a different girl that he was in love with. I remember thinking, this guy reads a lot more than I do. The vocal and guitar melodies were unbelievably lovely, and his lyrics careened from crushingly sad to self-lacerating to hilarious. The record achieves that strange, special magic: it’s catchy, visceral, and emotionally devastating.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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deafheaven

Deafheaven: New Burmuda (Anti) LP
FINALLY AVAILABLE WITH THE LIMITED DELUXE COVER/COLORED VINYL!!! San Francisco’s Deafheaven found massive critical success when their 2013 album Sunbather was an unexpected crossover hit, earning the band a 92/100 Metacritic score and ending the year as the best reviewed album of 2013. No one could have anticipated a band that drew from equal parts Weakling and My Bloody Valentine ascending to such heights, and that incomprehensibility added to the band’s singularity and allure. Two years later, founding members George Clarke and Kerry McCoy began working on their ANTI debut, New Bermuda, with a new perspective. Says Clarke: “Sunbather yearned for something better. New Bermuda focuses on the idea of false promise, achieving something and wondering if it’s what you really wanted in the first place.” McCoy shares that sentiment: “Sunbather sounds like people who have nothing but are satisfied with life. There’s an uplifting quality to it. But New Bermuda is a very tense record.” McCoy cites death metal demigods Dissection and Morbid Angel, the blackened death pioneers Behemoth, and Cliff Burton-era Metallica as influences on the new album. As New Bermuda progresses, Deafheaven travels further outside of their comfort zone, feasting on other niches of underground metal and offsetting the blunt force of their feral rage with more complex and nuanced beauty. A sophisticated and subdued pop element kicks off “Baby Blue,” before the band abruptly shifts into an amalgam of NWOBHM’s anthemic urgency and thrash metal’s racing chugs. There’s a brief comedown where the band veers into the musique concrete soundscapes and hushed melodrama of early Godspeed You! Black Emperor before “Come Back” resumes the band’s merciless assault of stampeding drums and vitriolic guitar harmonies, only to shift mid-song into the somber territories of 4AD’s early catalog. Which is not to say that Deafheaven have softened their approach; New Bermuda offers the most punishing music of the band’s career in the wake of their greatest success.

File Under: Black Metal, Shoegaze
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kode9

Kode 9: Nothing (Hyperdub) LP
Nothing is Kode9’s first solo album and it’s about Nothing. The album throws horror soundtracks, sampled library and j-pop records into a no man’s land between grime, early dubstep and Chicago footwork. Mostly instrumental, it zigzags between hypnotic, downcast loops, growling drones, and jagged cut-ups of androids gone haywire, threaded through twitchy, transatlantic rhythms and sub-bass inaudible through your laptop speakers. Building slowly, but more upbeat than previous albums, many of these tracks have more in common with Kode9’s recent singles from the last few years than they do with his two previous albums with collaborator The Spaceape, Memories of the Future (2006) and Black Sun (2012). Yet Nothing is haunted both by The Spaceape’s presence (he died in 2014 after a prolonged battle with cancer), on “Third Ear Transmission,” a communiqué from a zone of digital immortality, and his absence, on “Void,” whose spaces were originally intended for the vocalist, and “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which closes the album with a 9 minute silence. Now confirmed for release as a double-LP, the initial run will be a limited edition pressing on glass-effect translucent vinyl, housed in a high quality gatefold jacket and inner sleeves displaying Optigram’s remarkable artwork to its fullest effect. Also included is a complimentary MP3 download code.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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nightbeats

Night Beats: Who Sold My Generation (Heavenly) LP
Night Beats play pure psychedelic R&B music that spikes the punch and drowns your third eye in sonic waves of color. Theirs is a bastard blues, contorted and distorted into new shapes for 21st century wastoids – once tasted never forgotten. This is music to melt your sorry little minds. Make no mistake: their new album Who Sold My Generation sounds like it has been created against a backdrop of burning Stars and Stripes flags and with the whiff of napalm hanging in the air – an alternative universe where “Helter Skelter” is the national anthem and Charlie Manson is still on the loose. Acid-test heaviness is Night Beats’ currency, but this is no out-right nostalgia trip either. Instead of Nixon and Vietnam, Night Beats have their own epoch of God and guns and bombs and drones to rail against…or flee from. Besides, bad vibrations, blues jams and id-shattering explorations are timeless pursuits – why shouldn’t today’s young generation be allowed to take a ride down the slippery spiral that sits within the centre of each of us? Recorded on old two-inch tape in Echo Park, Los Angeles at the home of producer Nic Jodoin and featuring co-production and guest bass playing from Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, new album Who Sold My Generation goes beyond merely being a retreading of well-worn garage/R&B path. Instead it offers a contemporary take on the psychedelic experience, a heady set of hoodoo voodoo songs. Mordant and corrosive opener “Celebration #1” sets the tone with its wailing guitar jams and Messiah-like monologue, while “No Cops” makes like the imaginary soundtrack to an orgiastic party somewhere in the LA hills as the summer of love gave way to an era of greed and paranoia. “Sunday Mourning” is the sound of blood dripping on the twitching remains of a generation’s super ego and with a rockabilly strut, “Egypt Berry” chases the White Rabbit down into a cosmic underworld while shaking its burning tail feathers.

File Under: Psych, Garage, R&B
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parquet courts

Parquet Courts: Monastic Living (Rough Trade) LP
Monastic Living is the new limited edition 12″ EP from Brooklyn garage punks Parquet Courts and their first new music since the pair of acclaimed 2014 releases Sunbathing Animal and Content Nausea. The EP also marks Parquet Courts’ first worldwide release for new label Rough Trade Records. Featuring artwork by band member Andrew Savage.

File Under: Punk, Garage

savages

Savages: Adore Life (Matador) LP
It’s about change and the power to change. It’s about metamorphosis and evolution. It’s about sticking to your guns and toughing it out. It’s about now, not tomorrow. It’s about recognizing your potential. It’s about self-doubt and inaction. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about you and me and the others. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about finding the poetry and avoiding the cliché. It’s about being the solution, not the problem. It’s about showing weakness to be strong. It’s about digging through your dirt to look for diamonds. It’s about claiming your right to think unacceptable thoughts. It’s about boredom and the things we do to drive it away. It’s about being on your own so you can be with people. It’s about knowing what it means to be human and what it might mean one day. It’s about the parts and the sum of the parts. It’s about the music and the message: together, one and the same. It’s about bass, guitars, drums, and vocals. It’s about opening-out and never, ever dying. But most of all it’s about love, every kind of love. Love is the answer. Savages’ second album, Adore Life, was recorded at RAK Studios, London in April 2015. Johnny Hostile was the producer and Richard Woodcraft the engineer. Anders Trentemøller took care of the mixing in Copenhagen. All songs were written and played by Savages – Ayşe Hassan (bass), Fay Milton (drums), Gemma Thompson (guitar), Jehnny Beth (vocals). Lyrics by Jehnny Beth.

File Under: Post-Punk, Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Beastie Boys: Licensed To Ill (Fanclub) LP
Bjork: Selma Songs (Fanclub) LP
Black Sabbath: Walpurgis (Fanclub) LP
David Bowie: Live at the BBC (Fanclub) LP
David Bowie: Man Who Sold The World (Fanclub) LP
David Bowie: Space Oddity (Parlophone) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: Nocturama (Anti) LP
Danzig: s/t (Fanclub) LP
Danzig: II: Lucifuge (Fanclub) LP
Danzig: III: How the Gods Kill (Fanclub) LP
Deafheaven: Sunbather (Deathwish) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Drake & The Future: What A Time to Be Alive (Fanclub) LP
Drake: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Fanclub) LP
Ex Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
Fall: This Nation’s Saving Grace (Beggars) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Jay-Z: Unplugged (Fanclub) LP
Joy Division: New Dawn Fades (Fanclub) LP
Metallica: Ride The Lightning (Fanclub) LP
Metallica: Kill Em All (Fanclub) LP
Metallica: And Justice for All (Fanclub) LP
Metallica: Metal Up Your Ass (Fanclub) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Isn’t Anything (Fanclub) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Fanclub) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In An Aeroplane Over The Sea (Merge) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island (Merge) LP
Joanna Newsom: Have One on Me (Drag City) LP
Nirvana: From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (Fanclub) LP
Notorious BIG: Ready to Die (Arista) LP
Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Fanclub) LP
Frank Ocean: Unreleased, Misc (Fanclub) LP
Pearl Jam: Yield (Fanclub) LP
Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Fire) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Fanclub) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Fanclub) LP
Pink Floyd: Pompeii (Fanclub) LP
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: s/t (Fanclub) LP
Samhain: Initium (Fanclub) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Dust & Chimes (Holy Mountain) LP
Tool: Anima (Fanclub) LP
Tool: Salival (Fanclub) LP
Tyler, The Creator: Cherry Bomb (Fanclub) LP
Kurt Vile: B’Lieve I’m Goin’  (Deep) Down (Matador) LP
Kurt Vile: Childish Prodigy (Matador) LP
Warsaw: s/t (Fanclub) LP
Neil Young: Dead Man OST (Fanclub) LP
Neil Young: Harvest Moon (Fanclub) LP

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…..news letter #725 – here comes sickness…..

Well, not the busiest week for new arrivals around here. Which suits me just fine cuz my head feels like it’s going to explode. Yay!

…..pick of the week…..hateful eight

OST: The Hateful Eight (Third Man) LP
Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features original compositions from world-renowned, award-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone. While Tarantino is a lifelong fan of Morricone’s work and has used his music in his past five films, this historic collaboration marks the first time Morricone has recorded original music specifically for one of Tarantino’s films. It is also the first time Morricone has scored a Western film in nearly 50 years, since the release of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. In The Hateful Eight, set years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of red rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former Union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of red rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate general Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

File Under: OST, Morricone
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…..new arrivals…..

all them witches

All Them Witches: Lightning At The Door (New West) LP+7”
Heavy, heady and hypnotic, All Them Witches, who take their name from Roman Polanski’s 1968 masterpiece Rosemary’s Baby, concoct a powerful and potent psychedelic sound that fuses bluesy soul, Southern swagger and thunderous hard rock. With their transfixing releases, Our Mother Electricity and Lightning At The Door, and a jam-filled live show where no two shows are the same, the band has amassed a devoted following and have become something of a sensation in the underground rock scene. “When I first saw All Them Witches live I was immediately struck by their creativity and raw energy as a rock band,” says John Allen, President of New West Records. “If there’s one defining factor of all New West artists it’s that they all know who exactly they are and there’s immense gravity in that. We are very excited to be part of All Them Witches’ epic vision and believe their potential is limitless.” 2014 witnessed the release of All Them Witches’ Lightning At The Door. Birthed to the world was an 8-song, kick you in the teeth, swirling mixture of rock, blues, psych and jam. A supernatural commutation channeling darkness and illumination. In anticipation of a 2015 follow-up record, Lightning At The Door is being reissued with two bonus tracks from the original recording sessions. “The band seemingly channels the churn of the universe and connects with a big, bad, uncaring cosmos,” wrote the Boston Globe, adding, “There is a primal ebb and flow at the core. The band’s mystic atmosphere, dark but not brutal, is the result of a tireless work ethic, a grueling tour schedule, and a tape trader’s compulsion for  documenting every show.”

File Under: Stoner Rock
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sabbath

Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) 2LP
Black Sabbath has never sounded more ominous, powerful, or dynamic than on this audiophile 180g 2LP version pressed at QRP. Featuring the sonically superb 2012 remaster of the original album, along with a second LP of nine tracks previously unreleased in North America, Black Sabbath (Deluxe Edition) enhances the 1970 album that became the blueprint for an entire genre and set the stage for untold bands that developed in its wake. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward’s groundbreaking self-titled release features the iconic title track along with the classics “The Wizard” and “N.I.B.” This 2LP deluxe edition of Black Sabbath boasts nine bonus tracks, including studio outtakes from the 1969 sessions for the album, alternate versions of “Black Sabbath” and “N.I.B.,” and two versions of the UK single “Evil Woman (Don’t Play Games With Me).”

File Under: Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock
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paranoid

Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) 2LP
You’ve never experienced Black Sabbath’s gloomy tempos, doomy riffs, bellbottom-blowing grooves, drop-down tunings, and panoramic percussion on 1970’s Paranoid like this. Iron Man finally sounds like he’s really made out of cast iron. Featuring the 2012 remaster of the original album, and pressed at QRP for true audiophile quality, the English quartet’s signature album brims with unrivaled low-end depth, vivid immediacy, and tonal decay that makes every note that much heavier—and better. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward’s metal masterpiece has gone on to be certified 4x platinum and includes such scorching fare as “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” “Faries Wear Boots,” and the title cut. This Deluxe Edition features phenomenal instrumental takes on “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” and more, along with versions of “Paranoid” and “Planet Caravan” with alternate lyrics.

File Under: Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock
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frahm

Nils Frahm: Screws Reworked (Erased Tapes) LP
Fascinated by the results of the Screws Reworked submissions, Nils Frahm selected nine reworks to feature on a special edition re-issue which will be released as a limited edition 2LP-set that also includes his original Screws. American composer Keith Kenniff, better known as Helios, Bug Lover from Hamburg and French artist Fred Yaddaden are amongst Nils’ final selection, housed in an inner sleeve carrying a visual rework created by Bertrand Sallé. “Whenever you have to decide between two things, you end up favouring one over the other. In the case of this record, I had to choose nine out of hundreds of songs – but I didn’t want to follow this logic, I didn’t want the songs to compete against each other. I never liked music competitions, neither when I was a kid playing classical music contests nor today when the best album of 2015 is awarded. Having been in the situation to pick my own tracks for my own records, I knew that the only way to manage this tough job is to concentrate on the cohesiveness of listening to the songs all together. Screws Reworked should sound like a record, not like a random collection of tracks. “The motivation to make such a record came with the release of Screws in 2012 as a gift to my listeners. I thought about it as a starting point for people to make their own interpretations of the songs. The feedback was overwhelming. A couple of months later, we counted over 300 contributions. Without going through a selection process, they were all available only online until now. It seemed essential to make it a real record as I imagined how happy it must make those who would find their names – in most cases for the first time – on a real record. “Now is the time to thank you all for your numerous and beautiful contributions. In case you don’t find your track here, please don’t think it stands behind the others. This record means, in fact, that some of the most beautiful songs couldn’t be included as they simply weren’t ‘good neighbours’ and because there is only one rework for each of my original compositions. However all of you opened your hearts and minds and shared your uniqueness with us and I feel incredibly blessed by each and every single rework of Screws. Thank you!” – Nils Frahm

File Under:
 Piano, Classical, Electronic
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hills

Hills: Frid (Rocket) LP
Third-eye visionaries Hills present their third opus, a dizzying journey that traverses through the band’s origins and beyond to new dimensions. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based band have released two full-length albums since forming in 2006, the second of which, 2011’s Master Sleeps, saw a vinyl outing on Rocket in 2013. Part of a rich local scene that also includes friends and Rocket Recordings label-mates Goat, they form the next chapter in a tradition of Swedish psychedelia that found its origins in late-’60s and early-’70s freakouts and mind-melts by the likes of Baby Grandmothers and Älgarnas Trädgård — not to mention the unholy trinity of Pärson Sound, International Harvester, and Träd, Gräs och Stenar — before being developed by the likes of The Spacious Mind and Dungen around the turn of the millennium. These inspirations make their mark on Frid by journeying inward, via mantric repetition and hip-shaking pulsations — as on the ten-minute monolith “Och Solen Sänkte Sig Röd” — yet they can also lurch into the unknown via the fuzz/wah odysseys of the aptly-monikered “National Drone” and the ceremonial exhortations of the closing “Death Will Find a Way.” As they also showed at a rare and spellbinding appearance at the 2014 Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, Hills have landed on a rich and intoxicating sound that sidesteps the clichés and humdrum stylistic foibles that often plague modern-day psych, and, in the process, breathed new life into an approach that can sometimes seem in danger of appearing redundant through lack of imagination. Frid crystallizes everything that makes these Scandinavian satyrs stand out from the global herd: adventurous experimentation and fearless hallucinatory intensity, rendered with brass-knuckle fortitude. The end result is 38 minutes that translate into a feast for seasoned crate-diggers and fresh-faced converts alike.

File Under: Psych
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jackiebrown

OST: Jackie Brown (Rhino) LP
Limited edition 180-gram yellow vinyl 13 classic tracks from Bill Withers, Minnie Riperton, Bobby Womack + dialog from the film

File Under: OST
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hootenanny

Replacements: Hootenanny (Rhino) LP
Standard weight, regular color (black), essential vinyl for every ‘Mats fan The Twin/Tone era LPs are available again after being out of print for over 20 years. Hootenanny, the 2nd full length record, brilliantly showcases Paul Westerberg’s heart-on-sleeve balladeer-ing (‘Within Your Reach’), the comedic sarcasm in ‘Lovelines’ and ‘punk rock mastery of ‘Run It’

File Under: Rock
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The_Replacements_-_The_Replacements_Stink_cover

Replacements: Stink (Rhino) LP
When the Replacements’ second 12″ release, the “Stink” mini-LP, dropped in June 1982, the band members had emerged from their respective garages to become an epic force in Minneapolis’ vital music scene. Much tighter than their debut LP released a year earlier, it sounds as if the band is merciless, barely even stopping for air between tracks. Paul Westerberg’s songs bristled with anger against all manner of middle-class irritants, as he spit vitriol at his “God Damn Job” and told school to go fuck itself. An adrenaline-fueled masterpiece, this classic finds the group’s legendary founding line-up ripping through eight songs in a breathless fifteen minutes.

File Under: Rock
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staples

Vince Staples: Summertime ‘06 (Def Jam) LP
In tomorrow… Summertime ’06 is the highly anticipated two-segment studio debut from Long Beach, CA rapper Vince Staples best known as one-third of Cutthroat Boyz. Executive produced by trailblazing producer and Def Jam Recordings executive Dion “No I.D.” Wilson, the album touches on events that happened in his life in the summer of 2006 at the age of 13 and onward. With Summertime ’06 Staples delivers the type of introspective reality-based street lyricism that has made him one of rap’s rising stars. Hailed by Pitchfork as the Best New Music of 2015, the auspicious 20-track effort features the preceding singles “Senorita,” “Get Paid” and “Norf Nort.” “Love will tear us apart. Nov 30th, 2005 was the beginning of the loss. The following summer multiplied it. Beaten paths, crowded with the hopeless. Same song every day, listening to the words of a dead man destroyed by his own mind and body. Why? Because at the end of the day we’re all dead anyway. At least where I come from. Love tore us all apart. Love for self, love for separation, love for the little we all had, love for each other, where we came from. Jabari, Chris, Shard, Tom, Richy, Tyson, Tony, Shelly, Phil, Marcel, Brandon, Steve, Jaron, Tay. “Too many to name, too much to forget. Some lost to prison, some lost to Forest Lawn, some turned snitch. Some still here but it will never be the same. Bandanas, Stealing Levis and Nike Sb’s. Derringers and Sidekicks. Its crazy how little you notice and how greatly those things impact. Summer of 2006, the beginning of the end of everything I thought I knew. Youth was stolen from my city that Summer and Im left alone to tell the story. This might not make sense but that’s because none of it does, we’re stuck. Love tore us all apart. Summertime ’06, June 30th.” – Vince Staples

File Under: Hip Hop
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tortoise

Tortoise: The Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey) LP
Simply put, Tortoise has spent nearly 25 years making music that defies description. While the Chicago-based instrumental quintet has nodded to dub, rock, jazz, electronica and minimalism throughout its revered and influential six-album discography, the resulting sounds have always been distinctly, even stubbornly, their own. It’s a fact that remains true on The Catastrophist, Tortoise’s first studio album in nearly seven years. And it’s an album where moody, synth-swept jams like the opening title track cozy up next to hypnotic, bass-and-beat missives like “Shake Hands With Danger” and a downright strange cover of David Essex’s 1973 radio smash sung by U.S. Maple’s Todd Rittman. Throughout, the songs transcend expectations as often as they delight the eardrums. Tortoise, comprised of multi-instrumentalists Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Doug McCombs, John McEntire and Jeff Parker, has always thrived on sudden bursts of inspiration. And for The Catastrophist, the spark came in 2010 when the group was commissioned by the City of Chicago to compose a suite of music rooted in its ties to the area’s noted jazz and improvised music communities. Tortoise then performed those five loose themes at a handful of concerts, and “when we finally got around to talking about a new record, the obvious solution to begin with was to take those pieces and see what else we could do with them,” says McEntire, at whose Soma Studios the band recorded the new album. “It turned out that for them to work for Tortoise, they needed a bit more of a rethink in terms of structure. They’re all pretty different in the sense that at first they were just heads and solos. Now, they’re orchestrated and complex.” The album’s single “Gesceap” embodies the transformation of the original suite commissions, as it morphs from two gently intersecting synth lines into a pounding, frenzied full-band finish. “To a certain extent it’s more of a reflection of how we actually sound when we play live,” says McEntire of Tortoise’s heavier side. “That hasn’t always been captured as well on past albums.” Elsewhere, “Hot Coffee” resurrects an idea abandoned from the band’s 2004 album It’s All Around You, gliding through only-on-a-Tortoise-album sections of funktastic bass lines, straight-up dance beats and Parker’s fusion-flecked guitar bursts. “It’s progressive experimental music with pop sensibilities,” says Parker. “Rock On,” which McEntire says he and McCombs simultaneously had the idea to cover after having remembered hearing it on the radio all the time as kids, isn’t the only vocal moment on The Catastrophist. Also included is the bittersweet, honest-to-goodness soul ballad “Yonder Blue,” sung by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley. “We’d finished the track and decided it would be good to have vocals on it,” recalls McEntire. “Robert Wyatt was our first choice, but he had just retired and politely said no. We were discussing asking Georgia to do something, but not that track in particular. Then we realized it would totally work.” As ever, Tortoise has conjured sounds on The Catastrophist that aren’t being purveyed anywhere else in music today. There’s a deeply intuitive interplay between the group members that comes only from two decades of experimentation, revision and improvisation. And at a time when our brains are constantly bombarded by myriad distractions, The Catastrophist reminds us that there’s something much greater out there. All we have to do is listen.

File Under: Electronic, Post Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Animal Collective: Feels (Fat Cat) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Blur: Parklife (Parlophone) LP
Broadcast: Haha Sound (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Berberian Sound Studio (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Noise Made By People (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Tender Buttons (Warp) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Chvrches: Every Eye Open (Glassnote) LP
John Coltrane: Dakar (Original Jazz Classics) LP
Loren Connors: Blues The ‘Dark Paintings’ of Mark Rothko (Family Vineyard) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die (Interscope) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die (Paradise Edition) (Interscope) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Grimes: Art Angels (Crystal Math) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
Ministry: Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (Music on Vinyl) LP
Nirvana: Live at Reading (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Royal Headache: High (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) LP
White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Sky (Third Man) LP

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…..news letter #724 – rip starman…..

Well, that was a rather terrible way to start the week…

So, some pretty massive shipments this week with some pretty major releases. The This Heat records are beyond essential and have been hotly anticipated so don’t sleep on those! And while you’re at it, there’s a ton of other killer wax in this week too. And our dollar is the worst in years, yay!

…..picks of the week…..

this heats

Hell yes! These are some of the most essential albums ever released, from one of the most singular and innovative bands you’ve barely ever heard of! So far ahead of their time, nothing ever sounded like This Heat, before or after. We’ve stocked up on these badboys, but do not sleep, we expect these to fly out the door..

This Heat: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Isn’t it so often the case that the most innovative works of art – the ones that break the ground where others follow – are the ones that seem to reach only the ears of those who take those ideas and run with them? So it is with This Heat and their eponymous debut album frequently referred to as ‘blue and yellow’ for its ultra-minimal jacket. Within its 48 minute run time, the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock can be found. Formed in Brixton, a multicultural, and – at the time – down-at-heel part of south London, This Heat were born into a music scene in rapid flux, first thanks to the punk explosion and then via new wave and its myriad offshoots into pop, rock and art-rock. But while many sought to apply punk attitude to chart-friendly sounds, This Heat were concocting some of the most experimental ideas ever committed to tape, taking influence from musique concrète, krautrock, the burgeoning industrial scene and even the dub reggae blasting out in their home borough. Their debut album had – for the time and for the DIY scene – an unusually long gestation, recorded in sessions between February 1976 and September 1978 in a variety of studios including their own Cold Storage, a converted cold storage room in the Acme Studios complex. Innovating throughout, they combined loops and tape manipulation with live performance and haunting vocals to a complex, dissonant whole. The band recorded everything they ever did – including gigs – and tracks such as “Water” were entirely improvised in the studio. Given the difficult, abrasive, and involved nature of their sound, This Heat never found anything approaching mainstream success, but patronage by the influential Radio 1 DJ John Peel meant they reached a national audience – whether that audience was ready for them or not. Celebrating This Heat’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band’s catalog – 1979’s This Heat, 1980’s Health and Efficiency, and 1981’s Deceit – with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat’s process can once again be a revelation for new audiences.

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This Heat: Health & Efficiency (Modern Classics) LP
With their self-titled debut, This Heat sowed the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock. The album took the trio – Charles Bullen, Charles Hayward and Gareth Williams – two years to create, and placed them at the forefront of experimental music. The follow-up, the 20-minute Health and Efficiency, proved to be a less labored – and more conventional – record to make. Bridging the gap between the debut and their masterpiece, Deceit, the 1980 release found the band settling into a groove at their Cold Storage Studio. The eight-minute title track, remembers Charles Hayward, “was improvised pretty much fully-formed,” and included the sound of the neighboring school’s playground and the band rolling bottles around in the gallery space next to their studio. That’s where they found the maxi-single’s sleeve too – Pete Cobb’s blue and white image was on display in the same gallery. The track was recorded using a mobile unit found in the back of Melody Maker – the 16-track Zipper Mobile studio – and elements of second album Deceit were laid down at the same time. As Charles Hayward notes: “Everything seemed to fall into place.” On the B-side, the drone for “Graphic/Varispeed” came from the song “24 Track Loop” on the first album, albeit manipulated, slowed down and sped up. “In the process, we realized that we liked the morphing of the sound from one state to another as the vari-speed combed the sound across the equalization, like a microscope. So we recorded the process itself, which is what you hear here,” says Hayward. The intention was for the single to be able to be played at 33, 45 or 78 RPM – which you’re welcome to do with this reissue, too. This Heat were feeling their way around the recording process, trying things that had never been done before. And though they had just one album left in them before Williams departed on another voyage of discovery to India, there was still much experimentation to come from the Brixton trio. Celebrating This Heat’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band’s catalog – 1979’s This Heat, 1980’s Health and Efficiency, and 1981’s Deceit – with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat’s process can once again be a revelation for new audiences.

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This Heat: Deceit (Modern Classics) LP
With their debut album and follow-up maxi single Health & Efficiency, This Heat sowed the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock, placing the trio – Charles Bullen (guitar, clarinet, viola, vocals, tapes), Charles Hayward (drums, keyboards, vocals, tapes) and Gareth Williams (keyboard, guitar, bass, vocals, tapes) – at the forefront of experimental music. However, 1981’s Deceit is the one that truly deserves its reputation as a classic of the post-punk era, tying up the myriad threads of their work so far and adding accessibility and melody to the still furiously forward-thinking sound. “At the beginning of the ’80s, global events were taking a bad path with the USA defense policy Star Wars against Russia’s Evil Empire and the aptly named Mutually Assured Destruction,” remembers Hayward in the liner notes accompanying this long-overdue remaster. “We made a shift towards song.” Recorded in a variety of studios including the band’s own Cold Storage and the Zipper Mobile unit hired from an ad in British paper Melody Maker, the 11 tracks put that sense of social anxiety and global paranoia to the fore. Some lyrics were “harvested” from TV commercials (“Sleep”), others described the curtain-twitching of surveillance society (“Triumph”), and some were screamed with raw, ragged abandon, like on “Makeshift Swahili”. “Makeshift was a big learning situation for me,” says Hayward. “I learned to let go with my voice, to release the energy that each song required, no matter where that might lead. The song, about the collapse of language, was central to the Deceit idea.” Musical innovations abound too – drum tracks were recycled from other recordings, albeit in manipulated and mutated form, and “Independence” reverses the melody of earlier track “Fall Of Saigon”. It’s an album whose themes and sounds unfurl before the listener, the mood of edgy, pre-apocalyptic tension growing throughout. Says Hayward: “I still think of this record as a dream within a dream.” This Heat split a year after the release, with Bullen and Hayward completing the final tour without Williams. Hayward went on to form Camberwell Now and Bullen recorded as Lifetones. A tentative 2001 reunion came, tragically, too late – Williams died of cancer within a month of them meeting to rehearse. Celebrating This Heat’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band’s catalog – 1979’s This Heat, 1980’s Health and Efficiency, and 1981’s Deceit – with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat’s process can once again be a revelation for new audiences.

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File Under: Art Rock, Post Punk, Experimental, Rock, Essential Grooves

erotic

Two new volumes of these killer comps from the same folks who brought us the Ecstasy of Gold series…

Various: Library of Sound Grooves: Action Beat & Psycho Grooves (Semi Automatic) LP
Action Beat & Psycho Grooves is yet another sensational explosion of audio excitement from the 1960s/1970s Italian cinema and library scene. Landmark recordings of top-shelf compositions by Ennio Morricone, Nora Orlandi, Cipriani, Fidenco, and others from the pantheon of the genius Italian composers pool. Performed by some of the best studio musicians on earth at the time, the works on this volume range through shimmering psych, mod-pop nuggets, breathless Euro folk-rock, sinister crime hard-rock, and a host of other addictive tracks that will blow your mind! Full-color gatefold sleeve bearing collage artwork with still shots from Italian films of the period. Limited edition of 750. Also includes tracks by Stefano Torossi, Loredana Mongardini (as Valeria Mongardini), Guido & Maurizio de Angelis, Francesco de Masi & Alessandro Alessandroni, Gerardo Iacoucci, Berto Pisano & Jacques Chaumont, Piero Piccioni, Roberto Pregadio, Armando Trovajoli, Salvatore lo Turco & Walter Rizzati, Bruno Battisti d’Amario, Augusto Martelli, Piero Umiliani, Carlo Pes, Peppino de Luca, Gianni Ferrio, Girolamo Ugolini, Marcello Giombini, and Franco Campanino.

Various: Library of Sound Grooves: Erotic Vibrations & Bossa Moods (Semi Autoatic) LP
Erotic Vibrations & Bossa Moods is the definitive alchemical mix of seductive lounge, sensual moods, and breezy bossa from the never-ending well of the Italian composers’ genius. These velvet arrangements are imbued with sexy vocals, impeccable melodies, and tight instrumentation hailing from all points “erotique” from deep inside the Italian soundtrack/library scene of the 1960s/1970s. Many of the greatest composers of the time (Nicolai, Morricone, Alessandroni, Bacalov, and many others) are featured here in this gorgeous collection, which has been lovingly assembled to provide the most pleasurable listening experience possible. Gatefold sleeve bearing lavish full-color collage artwork with still shots from Italian films of the period. Limited edition of 750. Also includes tracks by Bruno Battisti d’Amario, Armando Trovajoli, Daniele Patucchi, Chico Buarque, Piero Umiliani, Mostra Colletivvo, Gianni dell’Orso & Gianni Oddi, Stelvio Cipriani, Gianni Ferrio & Mina, Ennio Morricone & The Sorrows, Gianfranco Plenizio, Antonio Amurri, Franco Pisano, and Giovanni Fusco.

File Under: Library, OST, Italian, Rare Grooves
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…..new arrivals…..

billy bao

Bao Billy: Lagos Sessions (Munster) LP
Munster Records, Billy Bao, and Night School Records present Lagos Sessions, featuring Billy Bao, Ambido, Diana Bada, Duro Ikujenyo, Mark Ido, Oduyomi Isaiah Oluseye, Joel Isioma Okoh, Orlando Julius, Mendo, and Emeka Ogboh. Presented in gatefold sleeve with liner notes by Kunle Tejuoso and Ed Emeka Keazor. “Experimental; Conceptual? That’s what these sort of things are usually called, when references are anything but immediate: in the feeling, hearing, and seeing, especially by many. Even more troubling, when the accustomed in us gets ajar… We lack articulation of the seemingly unfamiliar! Even at that, I think the most charitable review of this live electronic exploration will suggest the four sections bordering on insanity. How else? Even when not a few self-styled patriots were booking their flights out of the country, with an election looming to signal the end of a nation, and a band of modern day faith-heads detonating grenades in every other street corner, two dreamers swim against the currents and sneak through the lagoon into the country collecting inputs of derelict art; of garbage can noise; of hooting; honking horns on screeching brakes squelching tar; rackety generator booms? For an imagined program! What’s that? Who, what do these doods think they’re doing with Lagos?! I’ll call it rebirth. That simple. How to find a centre here? The output? The hum-drum of the street’s daily accent compels the sense of the immediate, the terrestrial; and then those primitive, primeval-seeming echoes of the earliest beginnings of the big bang and its wavesound simultaneously releasing Sun Ra’s reverb sensation of end time! This should not be danceable but these guys are suggesting the possibility of rhythm in the inchoate. Believe me, you can’t miss the Lagos Faaji, Sakara flow, Awurebe, Afrobeat slices; its jazz, highlife/Euro-Afro funk/rock/rap and seedy night echoes too. But in their otherworldly dimension. No matter the accolades, I will encourage a therapy of some sorts to the creators of this production.” –Sola Olorunyomi (poet, bassist, co-editor of Glendora Review) & Kunle Tejuoso, Jazzhole, Lagos

File Under: Punk, Afrobeat
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brown

Miles Brown: Séance Fiction (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Originals is proud to present Séance Fiction, the debut solo album by composer and musican Miles Brown. Coming after the success of Pavor Nocturnus by Brown’s gothtronic trio The Night Terrors (released on an exclusive colourway by Death Waltz), Seance Fiction is a haunting dystopian work that refracts the future through the past, evoking emotional reflection via striking synth melodies. Brown’s unique textures convey a sense of conflict, of the common thread of humanity struggling against the robotic claws of technological superiority, with the results sounding like the combined efforts of a choir from a religious cult whose deity is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Seance Fiction represents that dichotomy; a cavalcade of amazing electronic melodies with vocals that both fight and support the synthetic, the latter in a terrifying display of Orwellian influence. Repetitive chanting and moodier material convey claustrophobia, but Brown retaliates with stunning operatic vocals, a life-affirming human response to light the darkest hours. Seance Fiction is a spectacular journey, whether you want a deep and resonant narrative to follow or you just want to infuse your brain with some of the greatest chiptunes known to man. Just don’t be surprised if it inspires your Mega Drive to conquer the world, or at least your bedroom.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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cooper

Mike Cooper: White Shadows in the South Seas (Sacred Summits) LP
“A blend of ambient, exotica and field recordings, inspired by Frederick O’Brien’s travel book. ‘Twilit dreams spanning Pacific shores in pulsing waves of richly-coloured rythyms, tropical sound fields and Polynesian-inspired slide guitar. Moving deconstructively beyond a passion for Islander kitsch, this is a unique, self-questioning kind of Blues, infused with other musics, bearing witness to the complexities of relationships between Islander people and visitors.’ First time out on vinyl; in silk-screened sleeves, with metallic ink.”

File Under: Ambient, Guitar, Blues, Exotica
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muscle

Patrick Cowley: Muscle Up (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records have teamed up again to release another volume of gay porn soundtracks by San Francisco-based musician and producer, Patrick Cowley. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the canon of disco music, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, “The San Francisco Sound.” Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco at the age of 21. He studied at the City College of San Francisco where he founded the Electronic Music Lab. During this time, Patrick, along with his classmates Maurice Tani and Art Adcock, would create radio jingles and electronic pieces using the school’s equipment: first a Putney, then an E-MU System, and finally a Serge synthesizer. He would make experimental soundtracks by blending various types of music and adapting them to the synthesizer. By the mid-70’s, Patrick’s synthesizer skills landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco superstar Sylvester, including hits like “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance Disco Heat” and “Stars.” This helped Patrick obtain more work as a remixer and producer. His 18-minute long remix ofDonna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and his production work with edgy New Wave band Indoor Life were both of particular note. By 1981, Patrick had released a string of dance 12″ singles, like “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”. He also had founded Megatone Records and released his debut album, “Menergy”. Around this time Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with a then-unknown illness: that which would later be called AIDS. Throughout 1982, he recorded two more Hi-NRG hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester, and “Right On Target” for Paul Parker, as well as a second solo album “Mind Warp”. On November 12, 1982, he passed away. In 1979 Patrick was contacted by John Coletti, owner of famed gay porn company Fox Studio in Los Angeles. Patrick jumped on this offer and sent reels of his college compositions from the 70s to John in LA. Coletti then used a variable speed oscillator to adjust the pitch and speed of Patrick’s songs in-sync with the film scene. Muscle Up is a collection of Cowley’s instrumental songs recorded between 1973 and 1980 found in the Fox Studio vaults. This compilation also includes bonus compositions found in the basement of Megatone Records owner John Hedges and the attic of former bandmate Maurice Tani. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Giorgio Moroder, Patrick crafted an electronic sound from his collection of synthesizers, percussion, modified guitars, and hand-built equipment. The listener enters a world of forbidden vices evocative of Patrick’s time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. The songs on Muscle Up are divided into four sides, each showcasing a different facet of Cowley’s work. Side one opens with an ambient journey through the Amazon. Tension builds on side two, with the instrumental demo version of the slow-chugging masterpiece “I Need Somebody To Love Tonight”. On sides three and four things go interstellar with ecstatic space-funk and galactic workouts. Featuring 75 minutes of music, this compilation contains soundtrack music from two Fox Studio films, “Muscle Up” and “School Daze”, plus additional songs from the same era, never before released on vinyl. The tapes were restored and transferred using the same speed and pitch settings, then remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl comes housed in a extra wide spine jacket and giant fold-out poster featuring a handmade collage using photography and xerox graphics of classic gay porn imagery from the Fox Studio vaults by Berlin-based artist Gwenael Rattke. Each double album also contains a 8×11 glossy promotional “Muscle Up” replica poster with original VHS artwork plus an essay from Maurice Tani. For Patrick’s 65th birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records present a glimpse into the futuristic world of a young genius. These recordings shine a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon.

File Under: Electronic, Funk, Ambient
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detroit

Eddie Detroit: Shock-A-Lock-A-Lickum (Assophon) LP
Where to start with Eddy Detroit? Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, it was there, in 1966, that he was in attendance for the first Iguanas gigs (Iggy Stooge’s first band). He joined the White Panther party in Detroit and was “there” for the pre-punk sounds of The Stooges and MC5 (“We all smoked dope on the state Capitol and got beat up by the cops”). In the early ’70s he traveled to London, where he stalked Marc Bolan and tried to seduce Tony Visconti’s then-girlfriend Mary Hopkin. It was with Ms. Hopkin, when he was dropping off a demo tape at the Apple store, that he witnessed the moment when Ringo found out that The Beatles had broken up! (We’ve got the pictures to prove it!) In the mid-’70s, Detroit settled in Hollywood and started The Terminal Wave Band (bongo/synth/punk) which was the soundtrack to the hippy/biker/S&M/satanic/polyamorous scene that Detroit ruled in dingy, underground LA — that’s when he wasn’t trying to seduce Nico (The Velvet Underground) to become one of his muses and lovers (“True story bub”). When rents in LA got too much for an acid-fried biker/S&M/punk, Eddy moved to Phoenix, AZ, and was seminal in fostering one of the most interesting underground musical scenes of the early ’80s. He was an unofficial member of the Sun City Girls, toured with the Meat Puppets and Mighty Sphincter, and was the pith-helmeted shaman-in-residence at his club The Grotto! This LP contains recordings made from 1979 to 2010. They run the gamut of Detroit’s musical landscape, from the UK acid-folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Incredible String Band through bongo-fueled satanic calypso to his new phase as a troubadour recounting tales of hobos, whores, and one-eyed jacks from the old west. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Underground, Exotica
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epic sound

Epic Soundtracks: Sleeping Star (Mapache) LP
“I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was playing in Koln, Germany when I heard Sleeping Star – I was so cynical about “new” music by then that it took a lot to catch my ear. But I was so enamoured of Epic’s blend of Todd Rundgren meets Carole King piano based ballads that I called Bar None the next day and made arrangements to release the CD in Europe…..you need to hear this, it’s the missing link between Pet Sounds and Big Star’s Third.” (Pat Thomas. Writer, musician and music archivist.) “A laconic sweetness and oblique humor mixed with melancholy characterises Sleeping Star’s shaggy blue-eyed pop-soul, which is filled with echoes of Laura Nyro, Carole King and Wild Honey era Brian Wilson. He writes songs at the piano, fooling with chords until they suggest a lyric fragment. (Request magazine, 1995) “Sleeping Star is a more spare album than Rise Above adorned with haunting violin and cello. A devastating romantic break up inspired songs on both LPs” (Holly George Warren, Option magazine)

 File Under: Alternative, Rock
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epic

Epic Soundtracks: Rise Above (Mapache) LP
“Rise Above is an album that fell through the cracks – in 1992, records by singer-songwriters were more likely to be ignored than they were 20 years before in the early 1970’s or would be 20 years later in the early 2010’s. It was certainly critically acclaimed but unnoticed by the world at large. Time, surely, for these dozen classic songs to be re-assessed. (Chris Coleman) “Rise Above is a work of pensive autumnal fragility and of such high quality, that it would be a monumental injustice to halt the fresh flow of Epic’s muse.” (Melody Maker) “one of the “10 Best Albums Of The Year” (Spin) ” a gem out of left field….a bounty of delightfully anachronistic rock tunes here, in league with the best of Alex Chilton.” (Billboard) “….it’s even Mr Soundtracks’ version of Dennis Wilson’s “Pacific Ocean Blue”. People will come across “Rise Above” in ten years’ time and wonder where the hell it came from. For now, here’s the out-of-the-blue album of 1992.” ( Select magazine’s Andrew Perry)

File Under: Alternative, Rock
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tous

Francoise Hardy: Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles (Future Days) LP
Between 1962 and 1966, Françoise Hardy released one French-language album per year. Each, strictly speaking, was eponymously titled and each was collected from a series of contemporary four-track, seven-inch, picture-sleeve EPs–pop music’s main format in France, known as le super 45. In them, we see the maturing of one of the decade’s most singular talents– a pop singer with the heart of a chanteuse, a singer-songwriter in an age before such a thing was known, and a style icon who valued privacy and modesty. Remastered from the original tapes, we present the first five Françoise Hardy albums in their original French format, on deluxe LP and CD. Raised by her mother in Paris, Hardy’s upbringing was strict, and she was, she notes today, “a very, very shy person.” Records and Radio Luxembourg provided escape and inspiration–her two loves were Chanson Française, the Gallic style of Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour, and rock‘n’roll. The Everly Brothers, she says, were a “lightning bolt.” Sent to The Sorbonne to study political sciences, Hardy instead pursued a career as a singer, auditioning for a number of labels before Johnny Hallyday’s Disques Vogue snapped her up, intending to market her as a female rocker–the track “Oh Oh Chéri” here gives you a window into their vision. Hardy had other ideas and was determined to record her own songs, written in French, too. The runaway success of one of her own tracks, the iconic “Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles,” proved Hardy right. Hardy soon captivated the rest of the world–she was immortalized in 1964 in a poem by Bob Dylan, she associated with The Stones, and dined with Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison. She also soon gained more creative control over her music, and she now distances herself from these early recordings where this was not the case. “Even if I had been able to say something about the production,” she says now, “maybe I would have been listened to, but I didn’t know anything.” In the album’s title track, Hardy sang about being a soul in torment, and this is the Hardy that emerged–a complicated, pensive outsider, part pop singer, part chanteuse, and utterly unique. And she will forever personify a particularly French brand of cool.

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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premier

Francoise Hardy: Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour (Future Days) LP
Between 1963 and 1966, Françoise Hardy released one French-language album per year. Each, strictly speaking, was eponymously titled, and each was collected from a series of contemporary four-track, seven-inch, picture-sleeve EPs–pop music’s main format in France, known as le super 45. In them, we see the maturing of one of the decade’s most singular talents–a pop singer with the heart of a chanteuse, a singer-songwriter in an age before such a thing was known, and a style icon who valued privacy and modesty. Remastered from the original tapes, we present the first five Françoise Hardy albums in their original French format, on deluxe LP and CD.  Like her 1962 debut, the cover of the following year’s Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour had Hardy staring enigmatically at the listener. On the album itself, the sound had changed in line with Hardy’s solidifying vision and voice; where Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles was produced by a series of collaborators who struggled to understand her style, Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour gave fans the most significant insight so far into the identity of Françoise Hardy. In 1963, at a time when Serge Gainsbourg was tentatively dipping a toe into pop and the term yé-yé was only just being coined, Hardy was a rare thing: a singer-songwriter with heaps of her own material but not a folk singer in any sense. Hers was pop music that took the weight of chanson on its shoulders. Here, “Comme Tant D’Autres” says, “I know well that life is short, and I’ve been around”–hardly “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah.” For the tracks on Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour, Hardy was produced by arranger Marcel Hendrix. As well as her own compositions, “L’Amour D’Un Garçon” saw Hardy adapt Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “The Love Of A Boy.” In a contemporary interview, she said she would not perform songs where there was no sense of the words touching her intimately. “A song–it is your own story, or it is nothing,” she said. It was another year before Hardy’s records were issued in Britain and another year before she started to brush up against the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Stones, but life was changing for the 19-year-old. Her unique sound would take her far, despite admitting now that she “had no ambition. At the beginning, my ambition was to record something. I thought anything outside France was an impossible dream, but I did what I could to make it come true. It was like a current that carried me.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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mon am

Francoise Hardy: Mon Amie la Rose (Future Days) LP
“Includes exclusive interview with Françoise Hardy and liner notes by Kieron Tyler. Following the French success of 1962’s Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles and 1963’s Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour, 1964 was the year Hardy went truly international. Having competed in the Eurovision Song Contest and acted in a Roger Vadim film, this was the year Dylan dedicated a poem to her on the sleeve of Another Side and the year she ventured to Britain to record English language songs for the first time. Hardy’s first three French EPs of the year, from which just ‘Pourtant Tu M’aimes’ appears on Mon Amie La Rose, were largely recorded on home soil with Paris-based arranger Mickey Baker. After the third, Françoise changed tack, abandoned French studios and arrangers, and headed to London’s Pye Studios. She would not record again in France until 1968, instead employing a series of British producers and musicians that even included then-studio guitarist Jimmy Page. ‘It was very difficult for me to convince my record company to go to London for the production because my artistic director was having lots of success with very bad arrangements,’ she says dryly. ‘Since they were having success with bad arrangements, they could continue like that.’ Hardy got her way and, working with arranger Charles Blackwell, a former protégé of Joe Meek, set about creating a new interpretation of her glacial, existentially yearning music: part pop, part chanson, part soul music. On one hand, she was marrying yearning melodies with lyrics examining feelings of otherness. On the other, she was interpreting the music coming from Britain and America — both that of Phil Spector and country, too. Blackwell was the first arranger with whom Hardy was happy, and Mon Amie La Rose was the first album she thought of as more than an afterthought. ‘She chose her own songs and was very in control,’ says Blackwell. ‘She was very much a perfectionist.’ As Hardy’s sound was changing, so was her life; the British were enchanted by her Parisian style and sophistication and didn’t see her as the shy, sad soul that those at home painted her as. A new era was beginning, and Hardy’s music was traveling further than ever.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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lamitieFrancoise Hardy: L’Amitie (Future Days) LP
Between 1963 and 1966, Françoise Hardy released one French-language album per year. Each, strictly speaking, was eponymously titled, and each was collected from a series of contemporary four-track, seven-inch, picture-sleeve EPs–pop music’s main format in France, known as le super 45. In them, we see the maturing of one of the decade’s most singular talents–a pop singer with the heart of a chanteuse, a singer-songwriter in an age before such a thing was known, and a style icon who valued privacy and modesty. Remastered from the original tapes, we present the first five Françoise Hardy albums in their original French format, on deluxe LP and CD. By 1965, Françoise Hardy was truly international. She’d hung out with The Beatles and The Stones, played high-profile shows in London, established a working relationship with British producer Charles Blackwell, and appeared in the film What’s New Pussycat? She was also a fashion icon seen in the pages of Marie Claire and Vogue and on the cover of Elle, and her first US album was issued that year. In France, Hardy was to release album number four, the second album to be recorded in London, where her celebrity was rapidly growing–at odds with her natural shyness. “In London, it was the first time I’d been made to think I had a certain charm or charisma,” she says now. “Thanks to the time in England, I became aware I could be seductive.” L’Amitié, with its evocative, close-up album cover and late-night sound, is the result. Produced by Jacques Wolfsohn alongside arranger Charles Blackwell, the sessions were notable for some distracting visitors. “Mick Jagger was there a few times with various entourages of his at Pye [Studios],” recalls Blackwell. “There was a long seat in front of the mixing desk where they used to sit.” Hardy was, however, not the epitome of the swinging ‘60s idyll; she was an intellectual, into yoga and Buddhism and astrology, and she still noted French chanson singers George Brassens and Jacques Brel as favorites alongside Elvis, Dionne Warwick, and The Rolling Stones. Despite her new links to the world of fashion, the tentative steps into film, the growing international awareness, and the attention she brought sheerly through her presence, music remained Françoise’s focus, and her fourth album more than demonstrated this. A mix of Hardy’s own songs, Blackwell’s songs, and tracks from writers including Jean-Max Rivière and Gérard Bourgeois (who wrote the title track), the sound focused on stirring, heavy pop, not least in the yearning “L’Amitié.” “I’m still very proud of ‘L’Amitié,’” says Françoise, who’s wont to undervalue her own work. “The French lyrics are so very moving.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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maison

Francoise Hardy: La Maison ou J’ai Grandi (Future Days) LP
“Includes exclusive interview with Françoise Hardy and liner notes by Kieron Tyler. Hardy’s fifth album was a collection of English-language recordings. For her next, released in October 1966, the focus was back on her home market in France, where things were changing quickly. Writing much of her own material was no longer a novelty — her future partner, Jacques Dutronc, was doing the same, and artists like Antoine were following Dylan’s lead. 1966 was the year Hardy met Dylan, who demanded an audience with her at his Paris gig and later performed for her at a party. ‘It was only later that it occurred to me that he was singing “I Want You” because he actually wanted me,’ she says. Françoise said Dylan was not part of her world. As La Maison Ou J’Ai Grandi proved, Hardy’s world was perfect and fleshed out and set — five albums in, she had a sound, mood, and feel all her own. Recorded in London, the hit ‘La Maison Ou J’Ai Grandi’ solidified what Hardy did best: marrying French chanson songs to epic production influenced by Phil Spector, Dusty Springfield, and George Martin; the toweringly powerful ‘Je Changerais D’avis,’ which opens the LP, is a prime example. Though Hardy had formed a strong working relationship with producer Chris Blackwell, nine of the twelve tracks were arranged by Johnny Harris, known for his work with Petula Clark and Tom Jones. Although the artist and language were French, the album drew from an internationalist, polyglot world — six tracks were penned by Hardy, the remainder cherry-picked from French, British, and Italian songwriters. And despite its varied sources, the album was a cogent artistic statement. Françoise had returned to acoustic sounds like with her earliest songs, accompanying herself on a Spanish guitar, and was reasserting her own vision of her music. These were yearning songs delivered with an intimate authority, at odds with the perception of Hardy in Britain and beyond, where she was seen as an ultra-fashionable, ultra-hip Parisian sophisticate, but totally in line with everything she’d ever striven for musically.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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intersystems

Intersystems: s/t (Alga Marghen) 3LP
First historical edition! Three-LP box version. One-time limited edition of 500. Remastered by Intersystems founding member John Mills-Cockell; mastered for vinyl by Giuseppe Ielasi. Includes Number One Intersystems (1967), with the correct side sequence and (for the first time) the original tracks’ sub-section divisions, in the original 1967 avant-press sleeve designed by Intersystems founding member Michael Hayden; Peachy (1967), with (for the first time) the correct track separations, timings, and titles; and Free Psychedelic Poster Inside (1968), with (for the first time) the original (double) track titles, in a silkscreened envelope reproducing the original 1968 sleeve. Also includes a 132-page book with the detailed chronology of all the Intersystems Presentations and 110 full-page images illustrating for the first time ever the story of this essential collective, as well as the following texts: “How the Mind Excursion came to be” by Michael Hayden, covering details on Intersystems Presentations and meetings with Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, John Cale, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Ralph Metzner, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Allen Ginsberg; “Intersystems” by John Mills-Cockell, introducing his sonic adventures from the early encounters with Ann Southam and Udo Kasemets to the accomplishment of the Intersystems multimedia works; “Selected Poems” by Intersystems founding member Blake Parker; “Notes” by Michael Hayden; “Network” by Bart Schoales and John Mills-Cockell, on the early mixed-media Presentation of the same title and meeting with Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, founders of the Yippie movement; “Intersystems” by Nick Storring, including a short introduction to Blake Parker as well as analysis of Intersystems’ sonic productions in relation to their historical context; “Radically Rethinking Art” by Dennis Reid, analyzing the chronology of Intersystems Presentations in relation to contemporary art; “Intersystems and Allied” by Jack Boswell (founder of Allied Records); “Intersystems and Moog” by William Blakeney; “Recalling Intersystems” by Tom Recchion; “The 60s: something happened but what?” by Ed Fitzgerald; “Memoir” by Russ Little, on John Mills-Cockell; and “Notes on the mastering of Intersystems recordings” by William Blakeney.

File Under: Experimental, Early Electronic, Can Con
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jarvis

Jarvis Street Revue: Singles (and More) (Lion) LP
Jarvis Street Revue’s only album (1970), “Mr.Oil Man,” is an absolute heavy psychedelic monster that leaves no one who hears it untouched by it’s sheer avalanche of psychedelic heaviness, wasted acid leads and great vocals. After recording it, Jarvis Street Revue toured for three months. “We were treated like gods,” Jarvis leader and Neil Young running mate Tom Horricks said. The band did a cross-Canada tour to promote the album but unfortunately for them, as was often the case in those days, the album was not released until after the tour. So much for stardom. The band soon broke up. But tucked somewhere in the band’s murky history were recording sessions that produced three stupendous psychedelic singles, plus tracks for an unreleased second album, “Strands of Time.” Sure, those singles and strays appeared on our Jarvis Street Revue CD, but most tracks make their vinyl debut here; as for the incredible, rare singles, they’ve never been compiled until this very moment! Insert includes band history, photos, and images of sheet music for several songs. “Back in 1970, up in the cold North of Ontario, Canada hailed a group that had already had prophetic visions of the corporate, strictly-business, profit-driven, polluting, oil addicted, don’t let the environment-get-in-the-way-of-a-buck bullshit world that we currently live in.” —Helios Chrome

File Under: Psych, Can Con
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johns

John’s Children: Orgasm (Radiation Deluxe) LP
The sole album from unhinged UK psychedelic mod rock outfit John’s Children, recorded in 1966, right before Marc Bolan joined the band. Produced by The Yardbirds’ manager Simon Napier-Bell, who referred to them as “positively the worst group I’d ever seen,” John’s Children’s debut LP was shelved for three years due to its then-unthinkable title, Orgasm, and released only in 1970, on the US White Whale label. Acclaimed by many as precursors of glam rock for both their theatrics and music, John’s Children quickly disbanded in 1968, leaving behind a half-dozen singles ranking among the most collectible British ’60s rock artifacts ever.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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lamar

Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Tomorrow! Finally an actual shipment with copies to go on the shelf! Seven months after it debuted atop the Billboard 200 in March 2015 West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album To Pimp A Butterfly is finally getting the vinyl treatment with a 180g 2LP pressing housed in a double gatefold jacket. Following the success of his major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, in 2012, the acclaimed rapper’s highly anticipated follow-up, To Pimp a Butterfly is about carrying the weight of that clarity: What happens when you speak out, spiritually and politically, and people actually start to listen? And what of the world you left behind? Home to the dark and distinct singles “i,” “The Blacker the Berry,” “King Kunta” and “Alright.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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mantis

Mantis: Turn Onto Music (Universal) LP
“PLAY THIS ALBUM MANTISSIMO (That means loud baby).” So it says on the back of one of the rarest NZ pressed albums, by the greatest Fijian rock band ever. Mantis recorded the legendary Turn On To Music LP during a four month visit to Wellington, New Zealand in 1973. Some serious FIJIAN funk with a garagey-Santana feel , and sometimes almost Stooge-like in parts, the album was released in NZ only on local Vertigo in a limited run of 300 copies. Lead guitarist was famed albino Fijian guitar hero Waisea ‘Wise’ Vatuwaga who had cut his teeth in the Suva rock scene of the sixties. Originally named The Dragon Swingers, they were the in-house band at Suva’s Golden Dragon night club run by Ken Janson who still owns the establishment to this day. In 1973 they took up a casual offer from a NZ film crew to make the three hour flight back to Wellington. Snapping up the invitation they were hosted by renown NZ producer Eddie O’Strange who secured them live work at his nightclub Ziggys. He also got them signed to Polygram NZ. O’Strange would produce their Pacific blend of funk and super hard rock for their only album Turn On To Music. While side one was live favourites, including a bone crunching rendition of Mississippi Queen, and a sacrophiliac scrunching version of Jo Jo Gunne’s Shake That Fat, it was on side two where MANTIS literally brings the noise. Three out-of-control, percussive instrumentals ! All clocking in at over six minutes with strong lashings of fuzz, wah wah and dominating power chords of violent volcanic proportions. Eddie would add insane theramin like action with an ARP synthesizer while the band replicated the sound of the hurricanes that would regularly batter their tiny islands. The three instrumentals are sonic interpretations of modern Fijian culture of the time from the tiny Pacific nation that had only recently gained independence. This is the first official re-issue of the album from master tapes.

File Under: Rock, Funk, Soul, New Zealand
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nwwNurse with Wound: Surveillance Lounge (Norton North) LP
“4 tracks, one for each side: on the first ‘Close to you instantly’ opens a different dimension made by slow piano sound waves, 15 minutes of pure rarefied atmosphere, a spiritual vision of a ritual focused on a dusky note in this hypnotic broken record. The second ‘The Golden Age Of Telekinesis’ trembles in the deep listening of mysterious reverberations, a clear attempt to breathless run after the flash of a nightmare to drop into a chaotic hole made of screaming voices. The third titled ‘The Part Of Me Which Is That Part In You Is Now Dead’ calmly introduce the listener in a peaceful landscape to make him experience a dissonant reality. The last ‘Yon Assassin Is My Equal’ announces the end of a mental voyage towards whispers of recurring litanies and slowed voices in continuous metamorphosis. This is, without doubt, one of the most representative album by Nurse With Wound and it is recommended to use the best care for your acoustic sound system to maximize the pleasure of this experience. Artwork: Babs Santini. Voices: Freek Kinkelaar, Maude Swift, Melon Liles, Miranda Kinkelaar, Nadja Belabidi, Olly Louis Mathura O’Keeffe, David Tibet. Double vinyl, deluxe gatefold cover in tobacco’s paper.”

File Under: Experimental, Noise, Ambient
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turbo

OST: Turbo Kid (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to present another contemporary classic from the depths of genre cinema with Quebec-duo Le Matos’ score to acclaimed science fiction picture Turbo Kid. A stirring tale of a boy, a girl, and a BMW amidst a post-apocalyptic landscape, the film is a delightful throwback to the teen wish-fulfilment fantasy films of the 1980’s through the prism of modern splatter, complete with a deliciously villainous performance by legendary genre character actor Michael Ironside (Scanners, Total Recall). Propelling this insanity is an incredible score that cherry picks its influences from the best of electronic film music from the past thirty five years, running the gamut from the inevitable John Carpenter bleedthrough – with some beautifully malevolent atmospheric pieces – to riffing off of the classics of Van Halen all the way through to Modern French electronic music from the like of Daft Punk & Ed Banger Records. Turbo Kid is diverse but not disparate; it plays fast and loose but not at the expense of cohesion, so there are moments where you can just lie back and relax to the mesmerising ambience and dream of authentic alien landscapes, or freak out to the best of the 80’s hedonistic synthpop, or let yourself be inhabited by an eerie chill from the evocative electro-goth vocals. Turbo Kid – A place beyond your dreams, a record beyond your imagination.

File Under: OST, Electronic
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hangon

OST: Super Hang-On (Data Discs) LP
For our fourth release in partnership with Sega, we are proud to present the soundtrack to one of the defining arcade games of the 1980s: Super Hang-On. Using audio sourced directly from the original 1987 arcade machine sound board, this carefully restored and remastered edition presents the unforgettable soundtrack to SEGA and Yu Suzuki’s classic racer on vinyl for the first time outside of Japan. Housed in a meticulously designed custom die-cut sleeve, on 400gsm matt finish cardstock, with 300gsm printed inner sleeve and a traditional OBI strip. 180g vinyl cut at 45rpm for maximum driving power! Music by Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Shigeru Ohwada.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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tetsuo

OST: Tetsuo (Kaijyu-Theater) LP
“23 years after its first release on CD, the Original Soundtrack of the first two episodes of the famous trilogy Tetsuo, composed by Chu Ishikawa, is being released on vinyl record. This classic of Japanese underground cinema, directed by Shinya Tsuakamoto, first hit the big screen in 1989. Its mix of gore and science fiction paved the way for the cyberpunk movement in Japan. Tetsuo does not follow a classical film narrative but rather consists in a series of twisted sequences, which makes it unique and considered by many as a height of experimental cinema. It opens on a car crash where a man – the anti-hero of the film — is hit by a car. His body then becomes a sort of magnet that inexorably attracts all the metal objects present in our society, slowly transforming him into a monster made of flesh and steel! The trilogy’s uncompromising and violent directing, supported by its original score, soon contributed to make it a classic. As a matter of fact, director Tsukamoto and composer Ishikawa managed to produce a sensory experience in which visual and hearing assaults go hand in hand to make it a total work of art. The film is at the crossroads of Metropolis, Videodrome and Blade Runner in its depiction of a post-industrial world where machines have surpassed humans and taken possession of their bodies. Chu Ishikawa, born in 1966, started his musical career in various bands when he was only 15 years old. He then gained some success as a founding member and percussionist of two industrial bands: Zeitlich Vergelter and Der Eisenrost. That is when he came to the attention of Tsukamoto, who asked him to compose the soundtrack of his film. Ishikawa’s transgressive and provocative music is the perfect sound illustration of the Tetsuo trilogy. Mixing techno drum loops with a dark ambient mood flirting with harsh noise, the Japanese composer translates the convulsive and metallic quality of Tsukamoto’s images into oppressive sound blasts that will delight the fans of Test Dept. Foetus and Esplendor Geometrico. Limited to 1000.”

File Under: OST, Industrial
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love of

Swans: Love of Life (Young God) LP
Love of Life, the band’s eighth studio album, followed soon after in 1992. According to Allmusic’s Ned Ragget, “Love of Life continues the astounding creative roll Swans found themselves on … yet another Swans masterpiece.” The vinyl version of this album has also been unavailable since its original release.

File Under: Art Rock, Post Rock
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swansSwans: White Light…/Love of Life (Young God) Box
Limited Edition Box Set Includes the 2LP-gatefold White Light album from 1991, Love of Life LP from 1992 and a CD of Outtakes & Live material. + Download Card!

File Under: Art Rock, Post Rock
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teethTeeth of the Sea: Highly Deadly Black Tarantula (Rocket) LP
Since their debut in 2009, the iconoclastic four-pronged force of Teeth of the Sea has traversed from its origins in North London pub gigs and basement rehearsal rooms to far-flung locales that its members could scarcely have considered possible when they first began. Yet this band has never lost sight of its original vision to reconcile a fearless experimental drive with a primal lust for noise and to exist outside of all or any compromise, yet never to lose sight of the crucial irreverence of their inception. Their fourth album, Highly Deadly Black Tarantula, in all its malevolent glory, may well be the apex of their mission thus far, following in the wake of the 2013 release of their mind-melting third album Master. As 2015 dawned, the band set about reinventing themselves once again, both returning from the ornate and expansive sounds of Master to their gnarled roots and pushing firmly forward in search of adventure anew. What resulted was Highly Deadly Black Tarantula, their most focused and aggressive album yet. Machine-driven yet melodically abundant, the widescreen industrial expanses of this album combine the influence of long-time band favorites like Aphex Twin, Angelo Badalamenti, and Throbbing Gristle with new inspiration that spans from Chicago footwork to black metal. What’s more, it’s a collection as rich in scope as it is powerful in intent. While the pummeling and incisive “Animal Manservant” and the kinetic dancefloor attack of “Field Punishment” maintain an audial assault both concise and corrosive, the monomaniacal “Have You Ever Held a Bird of Prey” represents a fearless plunge into the experimental deep end. Elsewhere, the bleak cinematic drama of “All My Venom” strikes like hammer to anvil, and “Love Theme for 1984” may be the most richly emotive work the band has yet created. This is no less than a vital reinvention, abusing technology and warping convention to arrive at a monochrome psychedelia as stylish as it is savage. Yet even while ushering in delight and deliverance for both fans of this band and the uninitiated, Highly Deadly Black Tarantula — a fearsomely coherent assault of post-everything dementia — sounds like no one but Teeth of the Sea. The amazing album sleeve image is courtesy of photographer Oli McAvoy.

File Under: Experimental, Kraut Rock, Psych
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theilBob Theil: Songs from the Margin (Strawberry Rain) LP
Bob Theil’s self proclaimed opus, ‘Songs from the Margin’ was supposed to be the follow-up album to ‘So Far’ which debuted in 1982. The project spanned seven years with ‘Fading Ways, Fadings Faces’ being written as far back as 1977, and the remainder of the album being written between 1982 and 1984. Sadly this project was finished but never went as far as being released until now. The material on ‘So Far’ didn’t translate well to the climate of the folk club scene of that time, so the Margin songs that Bob was writing at the time (along with other material) were an effort on his part to create music that reflected his admiration for the Sandy Denny/Richard Thompson area of modernized folk and rock. It was also an attempt to have material that would be more suited to performing at folk clubs. With ‘So Far’ being considered one of, if not the best folk records from the 80’s, this is a sure buy for many collectors. Top shelf material.

File Under: Folk
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tinariwen_live_paris_615Tinariwen: Live in Paris (Anti) LP
Traveling to exotic lands is nothing new for Tinariwen. The Saharan blues band have performed the world over bringing their signature mix of hypnotic rock guitar with the traditional instruments and vocal stylings of their native Tuareg roots to their adoring fans. But this night in Paris would be different, and this live recording captures the magic. That night, under the auspices of this festive celebration of Tamashek culture, the Malian group invited everyone to celebrate the earthy, electrifying nuptials of the guitar and the tindé (small drum): A unique soirée normally reserved for more intimate spheres – around a fire in the desert in southern Algeria perhaps, or in the yard of house somewhere in the northern Mali. Touareg culture donned its finest apparel, there in the heart of Paris, in the name of communion, emotion, dance and trance. Tinariwen pay an extraordinary homage to the grandeur and vitality of Tamashek culture. The recording of that night will no doubt remain in the annals of music, just as it will remain carved in the head and heart of its audience.

File Under: Tuareg, Desert Blues, Mali
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umiliamiPiero Umiliani: Fishiando in Beat (Schema) LP
A true icon of the world of soundtracks, Piero Umiliani (1926-2001) and his rich discography have enchanted several generations of listeners. His modern sound, famous and imitated, was a trademark of Italian movies from the end of the 50s through the 70s. Umiliani, which already had worked with Jazz Men like Gianni Basso and Oscar Valdambrini, signed the first Italian Jazz soundtrack in 1958 (I soliti Ignoti). It was just the beginning of an unrivalled career that brought him signing soundtrack like ‘Smog’ with the participation of Chet Baker and Helen Merrill, ‘Una Bella Grinta’ with Gato Barbieri, and ‘Accattone’ by Pier Paolo Pasolini where Umiliani worked with Maestro Rustichelli and Ivan Vandor. Umiliani’s versatility enabled him to work with a great variety of styles and directors, for all kinds of movies. Umiliani recorded music for radio and tv, playing a pivotal role in bringing Jazz to Italian households. In 1969 the Maestro conquered music charts all over the world, when ‘Mah nà Mah nà’ became the theme of the famous Muppets’ Show created by Jim Henson. Umiliani wrote more than 150 soundtracks, let alone the music he composed for documentaries, theatre and television. He was also a great collector of music instruments from all over the world, and in 1970 was one of the first in Italy to experiment with the Moog and other electronic keyboards. The last two decades have seen the rediscovery of lounge music and the revival of Italian soundtracks from the 70’s, especially thanks to directors that loved Umiliani’s music, like the American director Quentin Tarantino. Many labels have came across the rich production of the Maestro, allowing many fans, old and new, to encounter his music.

File Under: Italian, OST, Library
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synthiPiero Umiliani: Synthi Time (Schema) LP
Synthi Time is perhaps one of the most suitable albums – within Umiliani’s incredibly vast discography – to fully appreciate the composing and experimental genius of the Maestro. For once away from the classic soundtracks that made him popular, this project veers away also from refined works of library music such as Genti e paesi del mondo (People and countries of the world) or Problemi d’oggi (Today’s issues), released under the moniker of Zalla. In this case, we like to imagine him absorbed in his Sound Work Shop studio, experimenting with synthesizers with the same enthusiasm of a newbie in search of the perfect sound. Without renouncing to pop(ular) elements, Umiliani seems almost to anticipate (or at least to be fully consistent with) the sound research that will characterize the careers of musicians such as Roedelius and Moebius in Germany. As the same subtitle reveals, this was ‘a new way of making music’ through the use of the electronic synthesizer – this happening in 1971 – with occasional interventions by the spinet and the Hammond organ. And, with the exception of other little masterpieces such as Il mondo dei Romani and Tra scienza e fantascienza, the most ‘avant-garde’ Umiliani can be found here, among tracks such as Synthi grottesco, the outstanding Synthetic Water, Synthi pianola and Synthi pastorale, excellent examples of a Maestro exploring new sounds and the future of the music. Often forgotten and overlooked even by those self-proclaimed Umiliani lovers and fans, Synthi Time is actually one of his best works.

File Under: Italian, Library, Synth
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alright

Various: Alright in the City (Universal) LP
Thunderous! Mammoth! And thats just the drum breaks! Add fuzzy guitars, full on wah-wah action, deep grooves and that KLASSIC KIWI D.I.Y attitude – ALRIGHT IN THE CITY is a collection of late sixties / early seventies F-U-N-K-Y hard rock from New Zealand. Post-Woodstock, the NZ rock scene accelerated from the beat years of the mid sixties, gobbling some psychedelics on the way and concentrated on the G-R-O-O-V-E. With the availability of even-louder locally made amps and sympathetic producers, rhythm sections of the time could now easily compete with the screaming guitars. Bass players who had cut their teeth on many a garagey nugget in the NZ sixties scene Neil Edwards from The Underdogs, Dave Orams (ex Breakaways, Underdogs, & Bitter End) with Quincy Conserve, Rick White (ex Tom Thumb) in Farmyard all lay down some philthy bottom end action in their respective combos. The NZ guitar gods of the time are all present on Alright In The City: Billy TK with his self penned track Highway for the Human Instinct; Jesse Harper / Doug Jerebine from his legendary UK recordings of 1969; Eddie Hansen blazes with Ticket on their 4+ minute monster Highway Of Love; and Harvey Mann leads The Underdogs on It’s A Blessing. Co-compiler Grant Smithies writes … “With its rhino heavy drum breaks … Harvey Mann sounds seriously seedy throughout, with his petulant nasal whine and grubby off mic groans, and his treble heavy guitar solo is sharp enough to draw blood” Quincy Conserve provide the title track and to quote Grant Smithies – “it’s a miraculous pile up of blaring horns, syncopated handclaps, and (singer) Hayman’s distinctive husky howl all nailed to the floor by drummer Richard Burgess, who just won’t quit banging out those funky breaks.” This is the same Richard Burgess who would go on to produce Spandau Ballet and have some hand in starting the New Romantic movement.

File Under: New Zealand, Rock, Fuzz

britxoticaVarious: Britxotica! (Trunk) LP
So you thought exotic recordings only came from Hawaii or the USA? Well, you’re wrong. Here’s a collection of amazing, far-flung sounds from the UK. Rare, wild, and just itching to turn your turntable into a strange pagan place of sonic worship. Just try to keep those cocktails from flowing and your clothes on. “Britxotica” (pronounced “Britzotica”) is a word you may never have come across before. Trunk hadn’t either until DJ and tastemaker Martin Green made it up in 2014. This term neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles musical scene in which famed UK composers, singers, and bandleaders threw convention to the wind and went wild wild wild! Drawing influences from Hollywood, Hawaii, and holiday (any hot and frantic destination would do) they conjured up sounds to suit a modern but fledgling escape from the gray trudge of postwar London. The result is a bunch of rare, mod, wild, and naïvely experimental trips into the tribal, but keeping the white suit, shirt, and tie firmly in place no matter what the temperature. Fascinating, sometimes fierce, and often absolutely bananas, this new album of old toss is an absolute trip! All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks aka The Advisory Circle. Single LP. Standard black wax. None of this dicking around with 180-gram tip-ons, multi-colored wax, obis, useless inserts, or unwanted novelty extras. Just rare and interesting music. Performers include Lyn Cornell, Ted Heath, Allan Bruce, Rawicz and Landauer, Lucille Mapp, Sounds Incorporated, Nadia Cattouse, Brian Fahey, Tony Mansell and Johnny Dankworth, Reg Owen, Harry H Corbett, Laurie Johnson Orchestra, Edmundo Ros, Maxine Daniels, Cherry Wainer, and Jerry Allen.

File Under: Exotica, Jazz, Pop
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hillbilliesVarious: Hillbillies in Hell (Iron Mountain) LP
Largely unknown and unheralded, this collection of Hell-Bound Hayseeds will come as a revelation. Mostly cut on microscopic or private-press labels and distributed in minuscule amounts, these Tortured Troubadours tell of torments, temptations and tumults – Satan, drugs, murder, suicide, demonic visions, infanticide and redemption – all in one handy LP package. A labor of love – years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ presents 18 timeless testaments of transgressions, tribulations and moral turpitude. Originally issued on forgotten 45s, some of these sides are indescribably rare and are reissued here for the very first time, all for your listening pleasure.

File Under: Country

…..Restocks…..

Alessandro Cortini: Forse 2 (Important) LP
Current 93: Swastikas For Noddy (Spheres) LP
Cursed: II (Deathwish) LP
Daphni: Jiaolong (Merge) LP
Destroyer: Poison Season (Merge) LP
Destroyer: Kaputt (Merge) LP
Earthless: Meets Heavy Blanket: (Outer Battery) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (TeePee) LP
Earthless: From the Ages (Tee Pee) LP
Ex-Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Float Along (Flightless) LP
Kinks: Arthur Or The Decline… (Sanctuary) LP
Ksiezyc: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
Ksiezyc: Rabbit Eclipse (Penultimate Press) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening (DFA) LP
Les Rallizes Denudes: Heavier Than A Death In The Family (Phoenix) LP
Dean McPhee: Son of Black Peace (Blast First) LP
Mogwai: Rock Action (Rock Action) LP
Moondog: Story of Moondog (4 Men With Beards) LP
Moondog: Viking of 6th Avenue (Honest Jons) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: YS (Drag City) LP
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving) LP
Rancid: And Out Come the Wolves (Epitaph) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Searching for Sugarman (Light in the Attic) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling Out of Context (Audika) LP
Arthur Russell: World of Echo (Audika) LP
Mamman Sani: Taaritt (Sahel Sounds) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Spelljammer: Ancient of Days (Riding Easy) LP
Kurt Stenzel: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
Andy Stott: Luxury Problems (Modern Love) LP
Andy Stott: We Stay Together (Modern Love) LP
Andy Stott: Passed Me By (Modern Love) LP
Sun City Girls: Torch of the Mystics (Abduction) LP
Willie Thrasher: Spirit Child (Future Days) LP
Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable (Merge)
Unwound: No Engery (Numero) LP
Unwound: Empire (Numero) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP
Various: Son Cubano: NYC (Honest Jon’s) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticals (Numero) LP

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…..news letter #723 – normal…..

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and got all kinds awesome records and stuff from yer loved ones. Anyway, as usual this time of year, there’s not a whole in this week… like at all. So a few of these are things that came in since the last proper news letter and a couple things just hitting the shelves for the first time this week.

ALSO…. for you jazz nuts, I’ve done something I haven’t done in a long time, I shuffled some stuff around and put out a crate of all new on the shelf used jazz records, and this is one heavy crate. Lots of really sweet classics and original pressings, so you may want to come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week….. 

expo70

Expo 70: Kinetic Tones (Oaken Palace) LP
One of Drone’s most prolific artists, Justin Wright aka Expo ’70 can look back on an impressive discography counting more than 40 albums since 2003, which have undoubtedly influenced many other musicians in the Experimental/Psychedelic/Drone community and attracted a huge followership in the scene. This has resulted in extensive touring, the last one through 11 countries in Europe, and several live releases. Now Expo ’70 returns with a brand-new studio album, showcasing his trademark organic guitar drones that propel the listener ever deeper (or higher?) into other states of consciousness. Kinetic Tones was recorded all to analog reel-to-reel with no over-dubs, which gives the whole album an even more personal and intimate feel. The album spans over four tracks that range from minimalist Drone over spooky Psychedelia to harmonic and beautiful soundscapes, reaching a total running time of just under 40 minutes. Expo ’70 dedicates his release to the critically endangered Flores hawk-eagle. Due to ongoing habitat loss within its small range across the Indonesian forests of Flores, Lombok, and Sumbawa, capture for the cage bird trade, and persecution due to its habit of taking chickens, the Flores hawk-eagle is evaluated as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that less than 100 pairs remain.

File Under: Drone, Kosmische, Psych
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…..newish arrivals…..
adams

Ryan Adams: 1989 (Blue Note) LP
The wait is over: Ryan Adams’ much-anticipated track-by-track reinterpretation of Taylor Swift’s chart-topping 2014 album 1989 is finally here! Swift who proclaimed that, “Ryan’s music helped shape my songwriting. This is surreal and dreamlike,” has even provided a countdown to Adams’ 1989 release. Inspired by the music of the Smiths and Bruce Springsteen, Adams explained the unique project’s emotional resonance to Zane Lowe: “You could kind of hear people going, ‘Is this [1989] a dance record? Is this a retro ’80s record’ But I was hearing all the emotional content here and becoming curious about it.” Swift on Adams’ take to Lowe, “The album is absolutely gorgeous and you can tell it was something well thought-out and conceptualized, not just thrown together….What struck me immediately is that they’re not just cover songs, they’re re-imaginings of my songs. He was in a different place emotionally than where I was when I wrote them. There’s this beautiful aching sadness in this album that doesn’t exist on the original.”

File Under: Pop, Folk
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bowie

David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
This might show up tomorrow? I dunno. The otherworldly Blackstar is a musical journey like no other and serves as further evidence David Bowie will not rest on his laurels or repeat the past. In every regard, the British legend’s 28th studio album and first set since 2013’s critically acclaimed The Next Day bows as one of the most focused, intriguing, nuanced, and multi-textured recordings of his incomparable career. Co-produced with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti and featuring seven new tracks, 2016’s Blackstar coincides with Bowie’s 69th birthday and shows the chameleon-like artist in peak form while also pursuing jazz directions. Boldly both departing from and finding new ways to express pop music, Blackstar has drawn rave reviews from both sides of the Atlantic. Mojo states “it’s breathtakingly apparent that David Bowie isn’t so much back on the horse as riding bareback towards a cliff edge.” Uncut praises its “nuanced approach,” while Q says it entices “you to follow Bowie further down this freshly rediscovered, individualistic path where sonic surprises lurk around every corner.” Rolling Stone declares it “a ricochet of textural eccentricity and pictorial-shrapnel writing.” This is a must-hear recording. Columbia’s 180-gram LP is housed in a special die-cut cover art gatefold jacket and includes a 16-page color booklet with custom varnish. The die-cut cover allows you to “look through” and see the vinyl inside. Most importantly, the sonic quality meets the level of Bowie’s boundary-pushing artistry.

File Under: Pop
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grimes

Grimes: Art Angels (Crystal Math) LP
More in stock tomorrow… Grimes is the multimedia project of Canadian artist Claire Boucher. She is best known for her work as a producer, singer and songwriter, although Grimes also encompasses her work as a director, painter and writer. Spanning thirteen tracks, Grimes new 4AD album Art Angels features collaborations with Janelle Monáe and newcomer, Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. It was recorded primarily in her home studio in Los Angeles, CA, where she relocated to in 2014. Like all of her previous albums, Art Angels was written and recorded entirely as a solo endevour. The album also features more live instrumentation than ever before on a Grimes record. She plays piano, guitar and violin, continuing her evolution as a musician and a producer for her most ambitious album to date.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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king-gizzard-paper-mache-dream-balloon-bootleg-lp-1

King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Now available in the limited bootleg cover version… Like many of the world’s greatest artists, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is one of the most difficult bands to pin down. The Australian-based septet constantly zig when you think they’re about to zag. Starting out in 2010 as a solid garage rock group, they’ve followed their collective muse wherever it chose to lead them, whether that be the bluesy alien psychedelia of their 2014 album Oddments or the expansive, almost jazzy, Dead-like head trips of Quarters! For their latest opus, they initially thought it was going to be filled with the darker, heavier material that the band has been playing live of late. But Stu Mackenzie soon decided that it was time to put aside the longer, more conceptual pieces and go in a completely new direction. Hence, the band’s seventh album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon was recorded using nothing but acoustic instruments. The result is a lovely, lilting pop masterpiece that still evokes the same intoxicating exuberance as KGATLW’s most recent work, but with a more pastoral, communal feel to it. That spirit came alive in the writing and recording process. Unlike the last two albums, there is no overarching theme tying it all together. So, rather than cooking the whole thing up as a group in the studio or rehearsal space, the various members of KGATLW wrote separately, bringing their songs to the group as they finished them. “There was a lot of collaboration,” says Mackenzie, “but in smaller combinations.” That could have made for a schizophrenic batch of tunes, but the band are so deeply connected at this point that they each reached the same sonic conclusions, combining the rambling pulse of T. Rex (“The Bitter Boogie”), the free-spirited bliss of The Free Design (“Dirt”), and the countryside wanderings of late ‘60s Kinks (“Bone”, “Most of What I Like”). While embracing the limitations of their choice of only acoustic sounds, KGATLW were able to get a little experimental as well. To fill out the sound, they borrowed a batch of instruments that they had never played before – clarinet, double bass, and cello, among them – and eked sounds and melodies out of them. That only helps to add to joyous jumble that is Paper Mâché Dream Balloon. Too, the band eschewed traditional recording methods for most of this new LP. The bare bones of many of the songs were laid down by Mackenzie in a shipping container that sat on his parents’ farm on the Victorian coast of Australia. From there, the band stitched the rest of it together with overdubs and new recordings in their bedrooms and home studios, outside of the closing instrumental “Paper Mâché,” which was captured with the help of Unknown Mortal Orchestra bassist Jake Portrait while they were in New York.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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swans

Swans: White Light From The Mouth of Infinity (Young God) LP
Swans continue their remastered reissues series on Young God Records with the release of White Light from the Mouth of Infinity and Love of Life in December 2015. The two albums will be initially released together as a limited edition 3LP box set with a bonus CD of outtakes and contemporaneous live recordings followed by limited edition standalone vinyl configurations. White Light from the Mouth of Infinity, Swans’ seventh studio album originally released in 1991, is considered the starting point for the second section of the band’s inimitable history. Described as “…the glistening, glimmering sounds of the pensive countryside,” by Stereogum, this will be the first time White Light from the Mouth of Infinity has been available on vinyl since its original release on Young God Records in 1991. The vinyl issue will also include the track “Blind,” not included in the original release.

File Under: Rock
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…..Restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: s/t (International Artists) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Baby Huey: Living Legend (Curtom) LP
Doug Hream Blunt: My Name is Doug Hream Blunt (Luaka Bop) LP
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Twoism (Warp) LP
Johnny Cash: American IV (American) LP
Chvrches: Every Open Eye (Glassnote) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Darkthrone: Under a Funeral Moon (Peaceville) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Doors: s/t (Rhino) LP
Doors: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine (Rhino) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic (Interscope) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
P.J. Harvey: Let England Shake (Island) LP
Julia Holter: Have You In My Wilderness (Domino) LP
Necks: Vertigo (Northern Spy) LP
Nirvana: In Utero (Geffen) LP
Of Monsters & Men: Beneath The Skin (Republic) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Columbia) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Harvest) LP
Portishead: Third (Mercury) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (TBD) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (EMI) LP
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: s/t (Stax) LP
Replacements: Twin/Tone Years (Rhino) LP
Roxy Music: s/t (Capitol) LP
Run The Jewels: Meow The Jewels (Mass Appeal) LP
Wayne Shorter: Adams Apple (Blue Note) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Queen is Dead (Rhino) LP
Strokes: Is This It (RCA) LP
Strokes: Room on Fire (RCA) LP
Velvet Underground: And Nico (Verve) LP
Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat (Verve) LP
Tom Waits: Closing Time (Rhino) LP
Jack White: Blunderbuss (Thirdman) LP
Witch: In The Past (Now Again) LP
Witch: Lazy Bones! (Now Again) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) LP

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…..news letter #722 – Eve…..

Well, if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping by now, I’d say you are pretty much screwed. But given the last couple of weeks around the shop, I think everyone is going to have a rather merry morning tomorrow. This is our last list of the year so I’ll keep it short. Obviously no new arrivals, instead we’re going to share our favourite releases of the year. I also want to thank everyone who reads these lists and comes to the shop and still BUYS music in a brick and mortar store. It still blows my mind that I’m able to unlock the door and sit behind that counter every day selling records to such great customers and call that my job. Happy Holidays to all of you and your family!

Our hours over the holidays will be….

Thursday Dec 24 11 – 4
Friday Dec 25 closed
Saturday Dec 26 11 – 5
Thursday Dec 31 11 – 4
Friday Jan 1 closed

…..picks of the year…..

…..Kris’ Tops of 2015…..

…..New Releases…..

Berrocal/Fenech/Epplay: Antigravity (Blackest Ever Black)
Coil: Backwards (Cold Spring)
Alessandro Cortini: Forse 3/Risveglio (Important/Hospital)
Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled (Kranky)
Kenney/Kang/Park: At Temple Gate (Weyrd Son)
Ksiezyc: Rabbit Eclipse (Penultimate Press)
Luxury Apartments: s/t (Dead Cert)
Dean McPhee: Fatima’s Hand (Hood Faire)
Abul Mogard: Circular Forms (Ecstatic)
Mutamassik: Symbols Follow (Discrepant)
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving)
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
Kurt Stenzel; Jodorowsky’s Dune OST (Cinewax)
Matt Valentine: Midden Mound (Golden Lab)
White Birch: Weight of Spring (Glitterhouse)

…..Reissues…..

Alessandro Alessandroni: Industrial (Dead Cert)
Algarnas Tradgard: Framtiden at ett Svavande Skepp… (Subliminal Sounds)
Loren Connors: Airs (Recital)
Dettinger: Intershop (Kompakt)
Ariel Kalma: Le Temps Des Moissons (Wah Wah)
Ksiezyc: s/t (Penultimate Press)
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats)
Keith Mlevhu: The Bad Will Die (Strawberry Rain)
OST: The Holy Mountain (Finders Keepers)
Popol Vuh: Nosferatu (Wah Wah)
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (Nonesuch)
Masahiko Sato: Belladonna (Finders Keepers)
Six Organs of Admittance: Dust & Chimes (Holy Mountain)
Sun City Girls: Torch of the Mystics (Abduction)
Michael Yonkers: Grimwood (Nero’s Neptune)

…..James’ Tops of 2015…..

…..New Releases…..

Royal Headache: High (What’s Your Rupture)
Radioactivity: Silent Kill (Dirtnap)
Alessandro Cortini: Forse 3/Risveglio (Important/Hospital)
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving)
Fist City: Everything is a Mess (Transgressive)
Jom Comyn: Black Pits (Bart)
Viet Cong: s/t (Flemish Eye)
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City)
MV & EE: Alpine Frequency (Feeding Tube)
Natural Snow Buildings: Terror’s Horns (Ba Da Bing)

…..Reissues…..

Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse)
Unwound: Empire (Numero)
Maki Asakawa: s/t (Honest Jon’s)
Lee Hazlewood: Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood (Light in the Attic)
Buzzcocks: Another Music in a Different Kitchen (Parlaphone)
Besombes/Rizet: Pole (Gonzai)
Amanaz: Africa (Now Again)
Paki-Visnadi: Imaginary Choreography (Antinote)
Stringtronics: Mind Bender (Fifth Dimension)
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go)

…..Nora’s Tops of 2015…..

Yannis Kyriakides/Andy Moor: A Life A Billion Heartbeats (Discrepant)
Loren Connors: Blues- The ‘Dark Paintings’ of Mark Rothko (Family Vineyard)
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving)
Dean McPhee: Fatima’s Hand (Hood Faire)
Kawabata Makoto: Astro Love & Infinite Kisses (VHF)
The Love Machine: Electronic Music to Blow Your Mind By (Wah Wah)
Keith Mlevhu: The Bad Will Die (Strawberry Rain)
Jean-Claude Vannier: L’enfant Assassin Des Mouches(Finders Keepers)
Bill Orcutt & Jacob Felix Heule: Colonial Donuts (Palilalia)
Sunburned Hand of the Man: Mind of a Brother (Feeding Tube)
The Electronic Hole: S/T (Radich)
Tatsuya Nakatani: Confirmation (Taiga)
White Eyes: S/T (Numero)
Besombes/Rizet: Pole (Gonzai)
Ellen Fullman: The Long String Instrument (Superior Viaduct)

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…..news letter #721 – 8…..

Uh, we’re swamped. Loads in this week, so, dive in….

Oh ya, our hours over the holidays will be….

Thusday Dec 24 11 – 4
Friday Dec 25 closed
Saturday Dec 26 11 – 5
Thursday Dec 31 11 – 4
Friday Jan 1 closed

….picks of the week…..

lrd

Les Rallizes Denudes: Live 77 (Victory) LP
Les Rallizes Dénudés are one of the earliest and most revolutionary Japanese psychedelic rock bands, and existed off and on through four decades. The band formed in November of 1967 at Kyoto University, inspired by Exploding Plastic Inevitable-era Velvet Underground as well as the over-amplified rock of Blue Cheer and Mario Schifano’s avant-garde ensemble Le Stelle. By 1968 they were gigging live and even began a regular collaboration with an avant-garde theater troupe, which ended the next year because of Les Rallizes’ penchant for extreme volume. Not only did they use massive amounts of feedback at loud volumes, their stage shows used strobe lights, mirror balls, and other effects for a live experience that was a total sensory assault. This historic performance recorded in Tachikawa in 1977 is perhaps the most beloved document of the band’s sound: extreme feedback and distressed guitar with detached vocals laid over languid rhythms — unbelievable in intensity.

File Under: Japanese Psych
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forse2

Alessandro Cortini: Forse 2 (Important) LP
Super limited 2015 repress. “Alessandro Cortini’s second release in his Forse trilogy is full of thick analog brightness and deep analog warmpth. Despite also being fully composed on a Buchla Music Easel, the feeling of Forse 2 is quite different from Forse 1 and this deluxe double vinyl release is the ultimate way to experience this engaging work. Pressed in an edition of 500. ‘All pieces were written and performed live on a Buchla Music Easel, in the span of one month. I found that the limited array of modules that the instrument offers sparked my creativity. Most pieces consist of a repeating chord progression, where the real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion, filtering, wave shaping, etc) are just as expressive as a chord change or chord type, and often reinforce said chord progressions. Of all the years with Nine Inch Nails the period spent writing and recording the instrumental record Ghosts I-IV is probably the one which changed my approach to music making the most. After that record I started getting more into instrumental composition, although I tried to approach it in a different way. While we had a vast array of tools and instruments at our disposal then, I decided to approach my pieces limiting myself to one instrument only, as I found myself being more decisive when faced with a limited creative environment.'”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Buchla
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…..New Arrivals…..

purple

Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns) LP
“We’ve been down in a basement for the past two years, shivering and/or sweating out a new record. It’s an understatement to say that we are proud of the result, and we cannot wait for its release, so that we can finally begin to play these songs on tour for our audience. It has taken three years to rebuild, restrengthen and reforge Baroness into a new form; and while the wait was grueling at times, it’s already been worthwhile. “We needed to write an album that would push us forward, reinvigorate our creativity, and offer a further challenge for ourselves and our fans alike. We needed to write something exciting. We really set ourselves to task to trim fat, write better songs, and speak with a more direct and unique voice through our music. We have never been nor will we ever be interested in following trends, adhering to stylistic rules or fitting securely in any format. “Our goal is to write, record, and perform music that excites us. If we can get amped up and feel these songs in earnest, then we believe that you can too. Purple is the recorded experience of Baroness piecing ourselves back together in order to become something more than we had ever imagined we could be. In short, we are thrilled. We have never been as uniformly psyched-up by a record of ours…You will be hearing much more from us soon. ‘Til the wheels fall off…” – Baroness

File Under: Metal
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beat of the earth

Beat of the Earth: This Record is an Artistic Statement (Radich) LP
From 1967, Phil Pearlman (The Electronic Hole and the majestic Relatively Clean Rivers) leads a free assemblage of local Southern California acid-heads through loping Velvetica tribal incantations. The Beat of the Earth earns its name in two side-length jams brimming with eastern-tinged luminosity. It is the sun-dappled mirror of The Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray.” Instead of the urban decay and black and white pop art of the Warhol scene, The Beat of the Earth represents the same idea, looking west across the Pacific. This comes from the same yet intrinsically polar opposite frame of mind from the VU noise marathons of their epic live shows. Mind-expanding psychedelia done by sun-gobbed hippies that were totally out of step with everything else happening in Southern California of the pop-psych ’60s. This record stands as much an outsider statement as ESP-Disk’s Cromagnon record, or any of the Swedish bands of the Silence stable. It is a truly zonked masterpiece of tribal hippy culture dosed to the gills! Limited edition of 300. -Radich

File Under: Psych, Raerz
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alarm

Peter Brotzmann Group: Alarm (Cien Fuegos) LP
First vinyl reissue of Alarm by the Peter Brötzmann Group, originally released on FMP in 1983. Harry Miller: bass; Louis Moholo: drums; Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano; Peter Brötzmann: saxophone; Frank Wright: saxophone; Willem Breuker: saxophone; Toshinori Kondo: trumpet; Alan Tomlinson: trombone; Hannes Bauer: trombone. Recorded during the 164th NDR Jazzworkshop, November 12, 1981, at the Funkhaus Hamburg. Produced by Peter Brötzmann and Jost Gebers. Cover design by Peter Brötzmann.

File Under: Free Jazz

drones

Goncalo F. Cardoso & Ruben Pater: A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics (Discrepant) LP
Much of the discussion around unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) is directed toward its capabilities of surveillance and attack. However for those living in areas of conflict, it is the engine sound of the drones that has devastating psychological effects. Military drones fly at high altitudes and are more easily heard than seen. Even the origin of the word “drone” is rooted in sound, and comes from the sound of the male honeybee. The sound of drones in areas of conflict creates soundscapes of terror that can go on for many hours. The buzzing of the engines has generated nicknames like “zanana” in Palestine and “bangana” in Pakistan. A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics is an auditive investigation by composer Gonçalo F. Cardoso (Discrepant) and designer Ruben Pater (Drone Survival Guide). What kind engines are drones equipped with? What do they sound like? What are the psychological effects of the sounds in areas of conflict? Side A features field recordings of 17 drone types, ranging from small consumer drones to large military drones. The B-side presents a soundscape by Cardoso, inspired by the abusive and destructive power or drone technology. The composition focuses on the conceptual (sound) life and death of an aerial drone machine in the 21st century. The project is intended for use in installation in various museums and festivals. The sounds are available for free at droneacoustics.org. Concept by Gonçalo F. Cardoso and Ruben Pater. B-side composition written and composed by Gonçalo F. Cardoso. Voice by Emmet O’Donnell. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin. Metallic finish sleeve by Ruben Pater. Includes 12-page booklet.

File Under: Field Recordings, Drone
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electronic hole

The Electronic Hole: s/t (Radich) LP
The Electronic Hole (1970) is a raw, noisy, droning, and completely mesmerizing album recorded by Phil Pearlman between the first Beat of the Earth album and Relatively Clean Rivers. Pearlman assembled The Electronic Hole in 1969. Recorded in local studios during off-hours, the album is entirely different from Beat of the Earth, as it abandons a free-form improvisational approach in favor of “compositions,” including a wild cover of Frank Zappa’s “Trouble Every Day.” Pearlman plays sitar to great effect on the album, and another track has the thickest wall of fuzz guitars imaginable. It stands as the closest approximation of the West Coast version of what The Velvet Underground were doing with their first two albums. This is deep, brain-frying psychedelia in its purest definition. Limited edition of 300 copies. -Radich

File Under: Psych
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eleh

Eleh/Tara Jane O’Neil: split (Important) LP
Sound sculptures and gongs by Harry Bertoia unite the sides of this split LP from Tara Jane O’Neil and Eleh. O’Neil’s composition was commissioned by Venessa Renwick for her Medusa Smack video installation (originally screened in 2012 at the Oregon Biennial). The piece is partially created from sounds recorded by Bertoia on his own Sonambient sound sculptures, as well as O’Neil’s recording of Athanasius Kircher’s Bell Wheel at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Eleh’s side consists of 100 gongs synthesized on a Serge modular system to honor the 2015 centennial of Bertoia’s birth. Vanessa Renwick recalls the conception of Medusa Smack: “In the ’70s I was a bike messenger in Chicago and whenever I had downtime, I would hang out in front of the huge Bertoia sound sculpture outside of the Standard Oil Building. The winds off Lake Michigan whipped his masterpiece about, clanging and banging. Years later, in Oregon, I came across a small Bertoia sound sculpture, I clasped its rods together within my hands and released them. The exquisite noise they made immediately whispered Tara Jane O’Neil to me. I knew that someday I would make a film and Tara would incorporate this very noise into the score. Along came my idea to create a giant mother-jellyfish-shaped screen, the Medusa Smack, for people to lay beneath, with moon jellies and pacific sea nettles projected upon it. I asked Tara to create the score, and incorporate Bertoia’s own sound recordings into it. Harry Bertoia’s son, Val, granted his permission. This beauty to lull you away to the deep is the result.” Packaged in deluxe letterpress-printed jackets. Edition of 700.

 File Under: Ambient, Drone, Gongs
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scott fagan

Scott Fagan: South Atlantic Blues (Saint Cecilia Knows) LP
Scott Fagan’s debut album, ‘South Atlantic Blues,’ is a genuine lost classic — a mystical, mythical and deeply soulful masterpiece. Recorded when Scott was just 21, virtually homeless and with pennies to his name, it was released in 1968 on Atco Records but remained obscure, confounded by a series of frustrating near-misses. From being mentored by Doc Pomus to being discovered by Jasper Johns, Scott’s incredible story and music unfolds on ‘South Atlantic Blues,’ remastered and reissued for the first time ever on CD and vinyl on Saint Cecilia Knows in association with Scott Fagan’s own lil’fish records. Steeped in delicate psych, soul and resonant acoustic guitars “that stroke and stone you to the core” (Shindig). It’s an epic song cycle about Fagan’s hard-scrabble life in the Virgin Islands, where he was raised and lived until 19 before returning to his birthplace of New York City. A teenage prodigy, mentored and managed by songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Scott recorded early material for Columbia and Bert Berns’ BANG label before signing with Atco. In 1969, artist Jasper Johns discovered ‘South Atlantic Blues’ in a cut-out bin, fell in love with the record, and used it as the inspiration for three artworks, known as ‘Scott Fagan Record.’ The pieces are now housed in the permanent collections of MOMA, the Met and the Walker Art Center. Born on 52nd Street, Scott was the son of a sax player and singer who fraternized with jazz greats. That familial connection with music would come full circle when Fagan discovered he was the biological father of songwriter Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. They did not meet until the premiere of a documentary about Doc Pomus in 2013.  Saint Cecilia Knows also released the acclaimed Mickey Newbury box set, ‘An American Trilogy.’ The initial pressing of the vinyl comes as a limited edition, hand-numbered, 180gram vinyl with a reproduction of Jasper Johns’ 1970 lithograph, ‘Scott Fagan Record’, as cover art, and includes a digital download.

File Under: Pop
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omniverseHartmut Geerken & Chris Trent: Omniverse Sun Ra (Art Yard) Book
Revised and expanded second edition of Hartmut Geerken and Chris Trent’s comprehensive reference Omniverse Sun Ra, originally published in 1994. Full-color 304-page hardcover book. French fold cover with metallic silver foil blocking on cyan faimei cloth. 290mm x 245mm portrait. Omniverse Sun Ra features many previously unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and His Arkestra in New York in 1966 and Germany in 1979 by Val Wilmer, and Hartmut Geerken’s previously unpublished photographs from Heliopolis in Cairo, Egypt, in 1971, in addition to an updated comprehensive pictorial and annotated discography by Chris Trent, including chronological discography and alphabetical record title, composition, personnel, and record label indexes, as well as indexes of shellac 78RPM records, 45 RPM singles, jackets, and labels. Also includes essays and photo documents by Hartmut Geerken, Chris Trent, Amiri Baraka, Robert L. Campbell, Chris Cutler, Gabi Geist, Sigrid Hauff, Karl Heinz Kessler, Robert Lax, and Salah Ragab.

File Under: Jazz, Book

blind baby

Les Rallizes Denudes: Blind Baby Has It’s Mother’s Eyes (Phoenix) LP
Legendary Japanese rock outfit Les Rallizes Dénudés were formed in 1967 and incredibly, for a group that had only one official release (Oz Days Live, a double vinyl compilation release in 1973), played their last gig almost 30 years later in October 1996. The band’s name apparently means “fucked up and naked,” which more than adequately describes their music. Formed by band leader Mizutani Takashi, the music remained remarkably familiar over the years, and is best described as high volume, raw, lo-fi, repetitive, feedback-drenched guitar-noise fests with nods in the direction of The Velvet Underground and Blues Creation, but without the electronics. Radical left-wing politics were never far from the band’s agenda, with one original band member (Wakabayashi) being involved in the Japanese Red Army’s hijacking of a flight to North Korea. Consequently, the group’s live appearances became less frequent and increasingly clandestine. All the band’s albums were released in very small quantities, and because of the group’s reputation for secrecy and violence, as well as the difficulty in tracking down their recordings, Les Rallizes Dénudés has assumed almost mythical status. Blind Baby Has Its Mother’s Eyes sits at #11 on Julian Cope’s list of top Japanese albums.

File Under: Japanese Psych, Essential Grooves
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heavier

Les Rallizes Denudes: Heavier Than a Death in the Family (Phoenix) 2LP
Phoenix Records releases the oft-bootlegged Heavier Than A Death In The Family by legendary Japanese rock/psychedelic noise band Les Rallizes Dénudés. This “album” is in fact, a blistering assemblage of live performances (all recorded in 1977, except for “People Can Choose,” which was recorded in 1973) which sits at an esteemed #3 position on Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler top 50 list. Reverb so heavy, it will split your frontal lobe in two.

File Under: Japanese Psych, Essential Grooves
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macchi

Egisto Macchi: Citte Notte (Roma) LP
Citta Notte’s heady melange of cosmopolitan folk tropes, abstract sonic gestures, distressed and scattering percussion, beatific melodies and ominous VCS3 drones exists in a sublime universe all of its own. Atmospheric, smokey, urbane and sophisticated “Citta Notte” is a seamless and stunningly timeless jewel in the expanding cosmology of rediscovering Library/Production music. Haunting, profound and hypnotic, one of the rarest Library LPs is no doubt also one of the most beautiful and rewarding.

File Under: Italian, Library
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melnek

Lubomyr Melnyk: Rivers & Streams (Erased Tapes) LP
Lubomyr Melnyk returns with his new album Rivers and Streams, the embodiment of his signature style. The Ukrainian pianist has often felt that his unique Continuous Music playing is akin to water – flowing and ever connected. As he further developed his technique, and the more the notes flowed, the closer to water he felt, “I found my hands and arms and everything inside them changing from normal muscle and flesh to well… water.” With his latest album, Rivers and Streams, Lubomyr focuses deeply on this connection to water, to the point where the music itself begins to embody its liquid form. Produced by Robert Raths and Jamie Perera, the album flows seamlessly from the live recordings of “The Pool of Memories,” captured in a church, to pieces entirely born in the studio, such as “Sunshimmers” and “Ripples in a Water Scene,” which feature Perera on acoustic and electric guitar. Amorphous, ever-changing, Lubomyr as performer becomes subsumed into the natural ebb and flow of the keys as the album drifts between nascent upstream trickles and deeply reflective passages through winding river valleys. The album reaches its climax in “The Amazon,” a 20-minute piece dedicated to the world’s largest river. Raths invited Korean flautist Hyelim Kim to guest on the first part, before Lubomyr closes the album with cascades of arpeggio figures, stretching across the breadth of the keyboard with rapid virtuosity. Following on from 2013’s Corollaries album and last year’s Evertina EP, Lubomyr Melnyk’s latest offering compounds upon his existing fluid signature style, and breathes an organic vitality, both nuanced and thoughtful.

File Under: Classical, Piano
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indiantalking

Robert Millis: Indian Talking Machine (Sublime Frequencies) 2CD+Book
Robert Millis’s Indian Talking Machine is a 244-page full-color hardcover book with two CDs containing 46 tracks from shellac discs spanning 1903 to 1949, which Millis collected in India and compiled for their first-ever CD release; the book contains over 300 photographs of 78rpm record collections, collectors, and ephemera, as well as detailed track notes and an essay. Limited-edition one-time pressing of 1000 copies. These photos are true “record porn” (that is, shellac 78rpm record porn) — photographs of shelves groaning under the weight of unimaginable titles, beautiful label- and sleeve-designs from long-gone eras, wind-up talking machines, crammed antique shops, forgotten artists, and more, all of which somehow survived (often barely) India’s archival obstacles — dust, heat, floods, rebellion, partition, and war. Indian Talking Machine is the result of nearly a year in India photographing record collections, interviewing collectors, and visiting archives and record markets; a personal take on the vast worlds of Indian music and the intricacies of collecting sound. One of the earliest non-Western outposts of the “recording industry,” India’s first recordings were made in 1902. The country’s music is as beautiful as it is complex, as subtle as it is profound, and as divine as it is simple; these recordings offer virtuoso instrumental performances, jaw-dropping vocal renditions, folk music, comedy recordings, and even animal impressions. The 78rpm records were transferred by Jonathan Ward (Excavated Shellac) and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Michael Graves (Analog Africa, Dust-to-Digital, Hank Williams: The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 (2014), and more). Robert Millis is a founding member of Climax Golden Twins and AFCGT, a Fulbright Scholar, a solo artist, and a frequent contributor to the Sublime Frequencies label. He compiled and co-produced Victrola Favorites in 2007 (DTD 011CD), and created both the Burmese Crying Princess (2013) and Korean Scattered Melodies (2013) LPs for Sublime Frequencies, as well as the films This World Is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope and Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan (2006). In short, he knows what he is doing. You will not be disappointed. Includes performances by Professor Abdul Aziz Khan, Gauhar Jan, Mysore Chaudiah, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Bangalore Nagaratnam, the Vyas Brothers, Talim Hossein, Babu Aughor Nath Chuckerbutty, L.C. Bural, Veena Shanmuga Vadivoo, Professor Barkatullah Khan, and many more.

File Under: Books, Victrola

TAIGA031LP_PROD

Tatsuya Nakatani: Confirmation (Taiga) LP
200-gram opaque red virgin-compound LP housed in a custom heavyweight yellow paper jacket with silver and metallic black foil stamping made at Studio on Fire in Minneapolis. Edition of 430. Nomadic percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani travels worldwide, his performances blooming with ceaseless expanse. Although Nakatani is a valiant collaborator, joining with other musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and beyond, solo percussion is the root of it all. Simply stated in Nakatani’s own words, this album is “Confirmation of all of my acoustic solo percussion performance since 1998. Recorded live at Nakatani-kobo in Easton Pennsylvania USA during snow season of beginning of 2015. No overdubbing and used the fewest effects possible on this LP.” Confirmation is Nakatani’s third release on Taiga. The label initially saw the vibrant color of his collaboration with Mary Halvorson and Reuben Radding as MAP on Fever Dream (TAIGA 009LP, 2010). This was followed by Nakatani Gong Orchestra (2012), a woven blend of heavy vibrations from Nakatani’s one-off group experiments on the road. Now there’s number three, solo percussion, the foundation of his practice, charged with thunders, screams, sparks, and countless other ineffable sonic textures. Mastered by James Plotkin and cut direct to copper, Confirmation is Nakatani’s first solo percussion album to be released on LP.

File Under: Percussion, Experimental
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revolutionaries

Revolutionaries: Sounds Volume 2 (Deeper Knowledge) LP
“First ever reissue of this classic Channel 1 material. Housed in a two color silk screened jacket with an 18″ x 24″ poster of the iconic cover art. Revolutionaries Sounds Vol. 2 is the stellar 1979 follow up to the groundbreaking 1976 self-titled first volume. The Revolutionaries were the house band of Channel 1 studios, and their style defined the sound of reggae in the second half of the 1970’s. The band was a who’s who of the top players of the decade, featuring the core unit of Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Ranchie McLean and Rad Bryan. Augmented by a revolving cast of the top hornsmen, keyboard/organ players and percussionists, The Revolutionaries not only backed the in-house production output of their ‘home base’ studio of Channel 1, but countless other productions done by producers renting the studio. The 1976 first volume released in Jamaica was an instrumental affair, with the iconic Che Guevara image by Ras Daniel Heartman on the cover complimenting the militant sounds contained on the album. For this 1979 follow-up originally released in the UK, Che again adorns the album, with the tracks being a mixture of classic instrumentals recorded at various points in the few preceding years, and then previously unreleased dubs to some of the studio’s hardest original rhythms, such as Alton Ellis’ ‘Tell Me’ and the Enforcer’s ‘Ride on Marcus.’ Previous to this album, some of these tracks had been coveted dubplates on the sound system scene of the day. Reissued for the first time ever, this is a fantastic touchstone for fans of ’70s roots reggae, and with a terrific selection of tunes that should satisfy the hardcore roots fans, serious dub heads and across-the-board reggae fans just the same.”

File Under: Reggae
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meow

Run The Jewels: Meow The Jewels (Mass Appeal) LP
Very few things can infuriate you quite like cats. So, when Run The Jewels jokingly offered a cat-inspired remix version of Run The Jewels 2 as a limited edition pre-order package, Mass Appeal laughed and secretly prayed it’d never come to fruition. However, once an official Kickstarter campaign surfaced to fund the project and El-P announced they’d donate the proceeds from the project to the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the label realized a catnip-laced record from hip hop’s best tag team would actually be ridiculously amazing. Now, just over a year later, Mass Appeal is ecstatic to announce that Meow The Jewels is finally here! Is it everything you’ve dreamt of? Probably not – unless you have some weird fucking dreams. It’s more like everything you never dreamed of and worse, a nightmarish goulash of meows, hisses, and purrs. Take your allergy meds and put a few litter boxes near your speakers before you give this one a spin.

File Under: Hip Hop, Cats, Silly
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sciasciaArmando Sciascia: Violin Reactions (Roma) LP
Armando Sciascia – by day, notable composer for Italian erotic and exotic cinema – by night, experimentalist and nocturnal avant-gardener. Lovingly crafted in his hand-built Vedette studio, Sciascia’s “lust for experimental research” has never been mre evident than on these precious, never before commercially released 1974 Library recordings. “Violin Reactions” is a violently unique work, studiously constructed out of multi-tracked strings, ominous VCS3 drones and the drum breaks of Tullio De Piscopo. Part futurist broadcast, part Middle-Eastern short-wave trasmission, anchored by De Piscopo’s breakbeats and calisthenic percussion – strangely melodic and at times hauntingly otherworldly.

File Under: Italian, Library
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shapednoise

Shapednoise: Different Selves (Type) LP
Shapednoise is Italian producer Nino Pedone, and since emerging in the early 2010s he’s built a name for himself issuing music that bridges the gap between the basement and the club. Noise and techno are proven bedfellows at this point (for better or for worse), but Pedone pushes harder and further, and Different Selves, as the title suggests, is his most diverse and challenging work to date. Fusing the industrial grind of early Godflesh (Justin K. Broadrick even makes an appearance on opening track “Enlightenment”) with the raw power of mid-’90s D&B, the visceral pleasure of early grime, and the ominous scrape of dark ambient, Shapednoise expertly navigates unfamiliar territory. Whether traversing beatless outworld landscapes with “Travels in the Universe of the Soul” or assaulting the senses with the acidic, rhythmic blast of “Heart Energy Shape,” there’s a sense that Shapednoise is exploring his own boundaries. Different Selves is a challenging, unruly selection of tracks; not a deconstruction of club music, but an amplification, blowing every sound out to near cacophony. The result is truly explosive. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Edition of 500.

File Under: Industrial, Electronic, Techno
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spoon

Spoon: Gimme Fiction (Merge) LP
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Spoon classic, Merge will release a deluxe limited-edition version of Gimme Fiction on double 180g vinyl. The reissue contains the album remastered by Howie Weinberg from the original tapes, a second LP with 12 previously unreleased demos from the era, 9 additional bonus tracks via digital download, and a 24-page full color book containing photos and an extensive oral history of the making of the album. The deluxe LP package will also include a 24″ x 36″ poster. Gimme Fiction dragged the sonic pointillism of Kill the Moonlight further into dub-influenced weirdness as the increasingly confident Spoon went crazy in the studio, experimenting with everything from warped hip-hop samples to horse whinnies. How all this directionless Dylan worship and psychedelic goofing resulted in an album as sharply realized as Gimme Fiction is a testament solely to Spoon’s self-assurance and tastefulness (and some hard work, and a bit of luck). Whatever digging or strange alchemy had to go into it, they only produced more gold. Gimme Fiction deserves special recognition because it’s the album where Spoon – backed into a corner – took some crazy leaps, all of them forward. It’s a “departure point” for a band that, lucky for us, has never made a real departure. And when it came time for a reissue, Merge knew it deserved a lasting place on vinyl, right alongside every other indispensable record in Spoon’s discography.

File Under: Indie Rock
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super mama

Super Mama Djombo: s/t (New Dawn) LP
The Super Mama Djombo orchestra, from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, recorded these songs in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1980. These six archival recordings have been remastered from the original reels and are now available on vinyl for the first time. Super Mama Djombo is one of West Africa’s greatest roots orchestras, especially for the people of Guinea-Bissau. The band marked a new national identity and reinvented Portuguese Creole as a language of national unity. Before a nation can become real, it must first be imagined. It is fitting that Super Mama Djombo, the orchestra that has been the cultural stamp of Guinea-Bissau’s national identity since independence, was born in the fertile imagination of children. Hailing from a boy scout camp deep in the jungle of late-1960s Guinea-Bissau, Super Mama Djombo’s founding musicians have come a long way to display their wonderful music to the world. Drummer Zé, singer Herculano, and original guitar players Gonçalo and Taborda picked the name “Mama Djombo” as an homage to a local goddess revered by independence fighters. The tiny country of Guinea-Bissau is located between Senegal, on its northern border, and Guinea, on its eastern and southern borders. Formerly a part of the mighty Mali Empire, it was then one of the last African countries not to have gained its freedom from Portugal, its colonial power. Hence a fierce war for independence struck the country, until independence was eventually won in 1974, after many years of suffering. In the early 1970s, the Mama Djombo underground orchestra played mostly for secret political rallies supporting the PAIGC, the major independence movement for Guinea and Cape Verde. Adriano Atchutchi became the bandleader after independence, bringing a book full of his songs. Atchutchi recruited singer Dulce Neves, adding creole sweetness to the group’s already heady mix of juvenile enthusiasm, candid melodies, and touches of luso-tropicalism.

File Under: Africa
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sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt: I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside (Tan Cressida) LP
I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album By Earl Sweatshirt is the confessional second solo studio effort from Los Angeles, CA rapper and former Odd Future member Thebe Neruda Kgositsile and follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 debut Doris. Self-produced under the alias Randomblackdude, the heavy and hopeless 10-track release debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and is home to the single “Grief” along with features from Dash, Wiki, Na’kel and Vince Staples.

File Under: Hip Hop
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manny

Third Man Records Kid’s Turntable
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, CD & digitally 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! How can you fully introduce your children to the magic of vinyl records without letting them interact with the record player a bit themselves? Third Man Records realizes your high end turntable might not be kid-friendly, so they are co-releasing a portable, suitcase record player just for the kids. The new Third Man Records children’s turntable made by Jensen is compact and portable, featuring images of Manny, the Third Man mascot. The three-speed turntable with built-in speakers has a USB port for converting vinyl records to digital, an automatic return tone arm, and is as lightweight as a portable turntable can be.

File Under: Gear

cubistAlan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn: Cubist Blues (Light in the Attic) LP
The unlikely union of Suicide’s Alan Vega, Big Star’s Alex Chilton, and singer-songwriter Ben Vaughn happened in December 1994 in a fog of cigarette smoke at two barely-lit, all-night improv sessions at Dessau Studios in New York. What transpired was the group’s only release, a brilliant album called Cubist Blues. Some kind of alchemy happened. The elements are disparate–Vega, known for Suicide’s grinding, pre-industrial drone, Chilton for his ultra-melodic FM rock, and Vaughn for his outsider art. Put together, what came out was something totally unexpected, a long, mesmeric incantation built on Elvis-meets-Ian Curtis vocals, rockabilly guitar, growling synths, and metronomic drums. A jam session at heart–albeit a very productive one–the songs took shape as they were recorded. “I showed up with lyrics for one song and figured we would see what happened,” says Vega, recalling the first night in the brand new liner notes. “Little did I know, we would record for hours and hours. By the last song, my brain was burning up. I literally felt myself on fire. I was depleted. Yet, we could have gone on and on.” So-called supergroups get a bad rap for not equalling the sum of their parts. Vega, Chilton, and Vaughn add up to something from a place beyond any of them. Originally released by Henry Rollins on his 2.13.61 label via Thirsty Ear, the album failed to find any sort of audience–remarkable, considering its players, but reflective of the lull following Kurt Cobain’s death and the collapse of the all-conquering grunge sound. The group played two live shows and then promptly went their separate ways. “At the time, I didn’t fully realize how unique the Cubist Blues experience was,” says Ben Vaughn now. “Looking back, it was magic to work with those guys.” Timeless, groundbreaking in sound even now, this is a chance to hear a woefully overlooked album that–had it not been so–might have re-shaped the next decade of music.

File Under: Rock, Legends
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live cubistAlan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn: Live at Trans Musicales (Light in the Attic) LP
If a music critic could design their own super group, it might look something like the one that released the experimental, unique, and pulse-quickening 1996 album, Cubist Blues. The trio–Suicide’s Alan Vega, Big Star’s Alex Chilton, and singer-songwriter Ben Vaughn–are outsiders each and cult heroes in their own right. Their unlikely union happened in December 1994 in a fog of cigarette smoke at two barely-lit, all-night improv sessions at Dessau Studios in New York. After that fateful session, the three reunited to play one NYC show and promptly flew to Rennes, France to play Trans Musicales 1996. Vaughn recalls, “the place went wild. It was a great reaction. Alan is truly famous in France, so they were going nuts. For the encore, Alex called out ‘I Remember,’ an old Suicide song. It immediately fell into place, and the vocal Alan delivered was astounding. The memory of listening to his voice through the monitors during that song still kills me. What a gift he has.” The next day, as the musicians we were being dropped off in Paris for their flight home, the driver handed them a DAT tape of their set from the festival. Vaughn states, “I put it in my guitar case where it stayed for over ten years.” “Looking back, it was magic to work with those guys,” continues Vaughn. “Two nights in the studio, two live shows, and then it was over. That material was never performed again.”

File Under: Rock, Super Group

white birchWhite Birch: Star is Just a Sun (Glitterhouse) LP
Rodge played keyboards and bass in The White Birch. Together with Hans Christian Almendingen and Ola Fløttum he released four albums and one EP between 1996 and 2005. After that the band disappeared, until Fløttum returned with the album The Weight of Spring in 2015. Thirteen years before, The White Birch released its masterpiece, Star Is Just a Sun, on Glitterhouse Records. Keyboard spaces, piano melodies, soundscapes, a slow pulsating bass, and quiet drums, with Fløttum’s warm, high voice adding even more gentle textures. The White Birch are from Oslo, Norway, and were musical comrades to Savoy Grand. It was the second wave of slowcore. Unlike their British label-mates from Nottingham, The White Birch spread out a warm carpet, on one side depressingly heavy and on the other gentle. Their sound was painted in a dark, blurry yellow, like falling leaves in autumn. Maybe Star Is Just a Sun could only have emerged in that period. A monument to silence. At that time print media was the gatekeeper to most music aficionados. It was word of mouth — and occasionally blogs — that spread the news of the existence of this new band. They brought pop into slowness. Like Mark Hollis’s masterpiece The Colour of Spring (1986), Slint’s Spiderland (1991), Codeine’s Frigid Stars LP (1990), or even Savoy Grand’s Burn the Furniture (2002), Star Is Just a Sun stands the test of time. A painting without darkness can’t be warm and beautiful. Remastered from the original tapes by Helge Sten (Supersilent, Motorpsycho, Nils Petter Molvær). CD in digipak; includes booklet.

File Under: Indie Rock
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caribbeanVarious: Caribbean Disco Boogie Sounds 1977-1982 (Favorite) LP
“It’s now pretty obvious that disco’s powerful influence extended beyond western clubs to musicians all around the world, from France to Brazil, as Favorite Recordings proved with the previous volumes of the Disco Boogie Sounds compilations. The islands of the West Indies are no exception. Indeed, in the late ’70s and early ’80s in the Caribbean territories, local musicians and producers seized on the sound of their US counterparts and made it their own, melding disco, funk, and boogie (even early rap) elements with some more traditional local styles. The significant size of the Caribbean diaspora in the US, Canada, and UK has also played a huge role in making those two musical worlds meet. The musicians of the Caribbean not only tried to reproduce US dance hits locally, but also bred their own version of disco. Apart from some obvious titles that made it to the charts (‘Trinidad’ by John Gibbs (1977), to name one), very few of these productions are widely known, played only by a handful of record collectors and DJs. Having grown up for most of my childhood and teenager years in a small island from the Indian Ocean, I was immersed in the ‘sun & sand’ vibes at an early age, which helped molding my musical tastes. If the sound of the Caribbean Islands is very different from the Indian Ocean’s one, it’s anyway no surprise that I have been attracted quickly by the West-Indies’ 70s music productions, as a DJ and record collector. From an initial pre-selection of 40 tracks, Favorite Recordings and I teamed up to narrow down the actual tracklist. With no pretention to be exhaustive, this selection represents a tiny sample of a broader ocean of quality Caribbean Disco/Boogie tunes. It will take you to various places like Virgin Islands, Jamaica, or Trinidad, as well as a couple of Western major cities, where West-Indies diaspora is strong (New York, London). The soundtrack of this journey goes from Disco/Rap sounds, with the obscure ‘Macho Man’ by Eddie and the Movements, to weird Afro-Disco/Funk influenced songs, such as ‘My African Religion’ by Jamaican singer Paul Hurlock. Also featured here are a couple of personal secret weapons such as instrumental ‘Bermuda Triangle’ by Musicism, or ‘Going to the Party’ by Barry Bryson” –Waxist. Also includes tracks by Beres Hammond, Ray Williams, Oluko Imo, and Teddy Davis.

File Under: Disco, Boogie

christiansVarious: Christians Catch Hell: Gospel Roots 1976-79 (Honest Jon’s) LP
In 1977 Henry Stone invited Thomas Spann down to Florida. Spann was founder and leader of The Brooklyn All Stars, one of the most celebrated gospel quartets in the US; Stone headed T.K. Records, the biggest independent record company in the world. The All Stars’ contract with Jewel Records just happened to be ending. “He called me and asked me would I meet him in Miami,” recalls Spann. “And I flew down to Miami, and I met him and we went to this place that sold all these motor homes. He said, ‘Pick out one, pick you out one that you want.’ And I did so. I drove it off the lot that same day. I didn’t take a plane back. I drove that motor home back to North Carolina.” Christians Catch Hell is a scorching, sublimely soulful survey of the Gospel Roots label, subsidiary of the mighty T.K. Records, at the height of the Miami Sound — 1976-’79. Includes tracks by The Brooklyn All Stars, Pastor T. L. Barrett, Camille Doughty, The Howard Lemon Singers, The Fantastic Family Aires, Jean Austin & Company, The Jordan Singers, The Phillipians, The Fabulous Luckett Brothers, Bright Clouds, The O’Neal Twins, The Original Sunset Travelers, Reverend Edna Isaac and the Greene Sisters, and The Fountain of Life Joy Choir. Includes a glorious 40-page booklet containing thorough artist-interviews and rare photographs. Mastered at Abbey Road.

File Under: Gospel, Soul, RnB

lebanonVarious: Groovy Sounds of 1970s Lebanon (Cedarphon) LP
Beirut, Lebanon’s beautiful capital city on the Eastern Mediterranean waterfront, was once hailed as “the Paris of the Middle East,” until a brutal civil war began in 1975; the country was all but destroyed by the time the violence ended many years later. During the early 1970s, the center of the Middle East’s music industry was located in Beirut. Many great artists flourished in its nightclubs and recording studios as the city became the entertainment playground for the entire Arab world. Some of the greatest Arabic musicians and performers of the 20th century were either living there or frequently passing through — legends like Fairuz, Sabah, Farid El Atrache, Omar Khorshid, Taroub, the Rahbani Brothers, and many others. This album, which features some of these legends along with others who are less well known, showcases the breadth of musical styles flourishing in Beirut. Arabic pop yeh yeh, Latin jazz, orchestral groove, folk rock melancholia, surf guitar, and a host of beguiling approximations on every genre of the time, yet all singular in their Arabic, cosmopolitan flair. These tracks represent a magnificent period when, for a brief number of years, Beirut was the place to be. Performers include the Bandali Family, Filmon Wehbi, Elias Rahbani, Ziad Rahbani, Taroub, Nabil Abdel Ali, Sabah, Mike Hegazi, and Georgette Sayegh.

File Under: Middle Eastern, Jazz, Yeh Yeh

rareVarious: Rare Psych Moogs & Brass
(Buried Treasure) LP

“Germany’s Sonoton library remains one of the largest independent production music companies in the world. This compilation focuses on psychedelic grooves, synthesized funk and big band belters produced for Sonoton between 1969 and 1981. Founded in 1965 by Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz, Germany’s SONOTON library remains one of the largest independent production music companies in the world. This compilation focuses on psychedelic grooves, synthesized funk and big band belters produced for Sonoton between 1969 and 1981. Many of the featured composers also worked for other libraries – John Fiddy for KPM & Bruton, Walt Rockman for Studio One, Sammy Burdson for Conroy & Colorsound and Claude Larson for MFP. Compiled by audio archivist & electro producer Alan Gubby (Revbjelde / Jung Collective) who also produced the BBC Radiophonic Workshop compilation The John Baker Tapes on Trunk. Rare Psych, Moogs & Brass is the first album release on Buried Treasure & a must for collectors of dusty grooves, moog-tastic funk and psychedelic jazz.”

File Under: Library, Jazz, Moog

senegalVarious: Senegal 70 (Analog Africa) CD
Analog Africa, in partnership with Teranga Beat (the current leading label for Senegalese music), proudly offers an insight into the musical adventures that were taking place in the major Senegalese cities during the ’60s and ’70s. This compilation reflects the unique fusions of funk, mbalax, son cubano, and Mandingue guitar sounds that transformed Dakar into West Africa’s most vibrant city. The creation of Senegal 70 began in 2009 when Teranga Beat founder Adamantios Kafetzis travelled from Greece to Senegal to digitize the musical treasures he had discovered in the Senegalese city of Thiès — reel tapes recorded by sound engineerMoussa Diallo, who had spent the previous four decades immortalizing bands that performed in his legendary Sangomar club. Three-hundred Senegalese songs that nobody had ever heard before were discovered; five of them were selected for this compilation, and appear alongside seven other tracks from the era, all compiled by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb in cooperation with Kafetzis. Thanks to its history of outside influences, Senegal — the westernmost country in Africa — became a musical melting pot. Urban dance bands swiftly embraced son montuno from Cuba, jazz from New Orleans, and American soul tunes, intuitively merging them with local styles. The seminal Afro-Cuban group Star Band de Dakar formed in 1960, and the 1970s brought a new generation of stellar bands, including Le Sahel, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Number One de Dakar, Orchestra Baobab, Dieuf-Dieul de Thiès, and Xalam 1, who fused traditional Senegalese percussion instruments with organs and keyboards. Dakar soon began attracting international stars. The Jackson 5, James Brown, Tabou Combo (Haiti), Celia Cruz (Cuba), and an array of African stars like Tabu Ley Rochereau (Congo), Manu Dibango(Cameroon), and Bembeya Jazz (Guinea) joined in with the local scene, improvising jam sessions and bringing new flavors to the vibrant community. Senegal 70 includes a comprehensive 44-page booklet attesting to the decades of transformation that led to modern Senegalese music. Featuring biographies of music producers and a legendary record cover designer, as well as the life stories of all the groups represented here, the booklet also includes a fantastic selection of never-before-seen photos. Includes tracks by Fangool, Orchestre G.M.I – Groupement Mobil D’Intervention, Orchestre Bawobab, Le Sourouba de Louga, King N’gom et Les Perles Noires, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Amara Touré et le Star Band de Dakar, Le Tropical Jazz, and Gestü de Dakar.

File Under: Africa, Afro Beat, Funk
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…..Restocks…..

A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP
Albarn/Bocoum: Mali Music (Honest Jon’s) LP
Black Mountain: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule (Anti) 9LP
Cluster: II (Lilith) LP
Miles Davis: A Tribute to Jack Johnson (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Miles in the Sky (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Filles de Kilimanjaro (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Nefertiti (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Sorcerer (Mofi) LP
Death: For The Whole World to See (Drag City) LP
J Dilla: Dillatronic 2 (Vintage Vibes) LP
J Dilla: Dillatronic 3 (Vintage Vibes) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Faust: s/t (Lilith) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Goat: Live Ballroom (Rocket) LP
Mark Lanegan: One-Way Street (Sub Pop) 6LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: Trials & Errors (Secretly Canadian) LP
Joanna Newsom: Ys (Drag City) LP
Steven O’Malley: Gruides (Demdike Stare) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Bad Timing (Drag City) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
Harry Partch: World of Harry Partch (Columbia) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Searching for Sugarman (Light in the Attic) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Sleep: Volume One (Tupelo) LP
Smog: Dongs of Sevotion (Drag City) LP
Songs: Ohia: Axxess & Ace (Secretly Canadian) LP
Kurt Stenzel: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Stone Roses: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
The Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemado) LP
The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial) LP
Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable… (Merge) LP
Willie Trasher: Spirit Child (Future Days) LP
White Fang: Chunks (Burger) LP
Various: Africa Boogaloo (Honest Jon’s) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #720 – 15…..

Oddly, even though there hasn’t been much in this week it seems like we’ve been putting out records non-stop. Anyway, with just 15 days until Christmas it’s time to start buckling down and finishing up your shopping. We’ve put a little list of great gift ideas for the vinyl fanatic on your list, or if that’s you… then for you. Also, Rega has extended their Black Friday pricing on the RP1 Turntables! So those will be available for $399 for the entire month of December, or until they are gone, which ever comes first!

…..pick of the week…..

crate

Wood Record Crates
Finally and just in time for Christmas! After much plotting and planning we finally have our very own custom made record crates available for sale! These aren’t just crates though! They are designed to work both as crates, but also as a modular shelving system that allows you to grow your storage as your collection grows. And you are are able to do whatever you want with them… stagger them, off set them, place a shelf across a couple of stacks. Build a pyramid. Build a coffee table. They are handmade here in Edmonton out of Baltic Birch which is known for it’s strength and stability, which means they will last a lifetime.

File Under: Crates, Storage

…..Great Gifts…..

rp1-cool-grey-cut-out-main

Rega RP 1 Turntable
Our best selling turntable, the RP1 comes ready to go out of the box, complete with a Rega Carbon cartridge mounted on the tone arm. This is a great sounding turntable for both someone just getting into the hobby, or for someone looking to replace their turntable. Available in Cool Grey, Titanium, and White.
On sale for $399 all December!

File Under: Gear, Sale

spin-clean-record-washer-mkii-completeSpin Clean Record Washer
The spin clean record washers is a great and affordable option for cleaning both your used and new records. We highly recommend it if you buy a lot of used vinyl. Easy to use and cheap to run, keeping your vinyl clean not only improves the sound, but helps maintain your entire collection as dirt can build up on your needle and damage all your other records. Basically, unless you can grow money on trees, this is bar none your best and most effective cleaning option. $100

File Under: Accessories, Cleaning

dustawayTonar Dustaway
Ok, so you’ve bought a record-cleaning machine. How do you keep those records clean during plays? Get yourself a Dustaway Carbon Fiber Brush. It’s actually two brushes and a cleaning pad all in one small hand-held unit. Great for removing dust, dog and cat hair, and miscellaneous fuzz that seems to always ends up on your LP’s. Comes with a nice metal stand for holding the brush during storage. A must have for vinyl spinners. The Dustaway Brush features two rows of carbon fiber bristles with a wide felt pad in between. Unlike other felt brushes, it actually picks up dirt instead of moving it around the record. A very effective dry brush! $30

File Under: Accessories, Cleaning

discwashr

Discwasher Record Cleaning Kit
Our best selling brush… A favorite among collectors for many years. Use the brush dry or wet with the included 1.25 oz. fluid. The D4+ Record Care System is the result of intensive scientific research on safe record cleaning. The D4+ System is a cleaning system unlike other products, which reduce record dynamics and fidelity. The more active, yet safe, D4+ fluid is actually able to lift and suspend contaminants in solution on the record surface so the D4 pad can easily and efficiently remove debris. Containing less residue than tap water, D4+ fluid will clean without depositing new residues on the record surface; it will not encourage any biological growth. For longer life, Discwasher recommends that records be lightly cleaned each time before playing. New records should also be cleaned before their first play. Although presumed clean, many new recordings still have mold release compounds in their grooves, thus requiring cleaning. $25

File Under: Accessories, Cleaning

…..New Arrivals…..

cave

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Nocturama (Mute) LP
The dramatic procession of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds entered a new phase in 2003. The supremely crafted albums which came out towards the close of the century, Murder Ballads and The Boatman’s Call, affirmed what many have known since the band formed out of the ashes of Australian legends The Birthday Party in 1983: as an expressive force The Bad Seeds are entirely in a class of their own, and Cave is one of the few truly great, genuinely maverick songwriters and performers of the present day. The twelfth Bad Seeds album Nocturama displays a renewed strength of purpose within the band, and is marked by an immediacy of recording technique and thematic diversity. The sessions took place in early 2002 when the band decided to use free time on an Australian tour to try out new compositions. They ended up learning and recording the album in a week. “The idea was to take some of the preciousness about the making of the record away, and possibly create records more like they did in the old days which was a faster turn around,” says Cave. “The way I wrote this record was to get the musical idea down, and a set of lyrics, and then put it to one side and start a new one. I didn’t reflect on the songs again, or play them again. Once they were written, that was it. Whereas with the record before – No More Shall We Part – I’d arranged the whole thing before I went in, which perhaps inhibits the band a little. If something’s already complete and all they have to do is play the parts, it doesn’t give them much breathing space, and with this record they had a lot more room to play.” An objective point of view was brought to bear on proceedings in the form of Nick Launay. The LA-based British producer had worked with Cave many years before when he produced The Birthday Party’s 1981 single “Release The Bats,” and at the behest of Mick Harvey Launay agreed to record the sessions. The band’s sheer pleasure in playing together built on the intention to loosen up the process saw Nocturama emerge with a rawness in both the driven and the gentle songs. While admitting to the influence of a handful of poets – Auden, Thomas Hardy amongst them – and song writers – Dylan and Van Morrison – Cave is still clearly inventing his own traditions on Nocturama. The mood swings are impressive, spanning emotional surrender to venomous black humour. He engages with a wide range of themes. There is a tender sunset song of hope; an elegant piano song of longing; a yawing, dark violin waltz; a swaggering pledge of love; a raucous abominable tale; a sorrowful evocation of loss; a nostalgic meditation; a fragrant love epiphany; and one final, lustful demonic epic. Nocturama might just well be the complete Cave and The Bad Seeds panorama. Some of the loveliest, most compelling songs are the gentle ones like the opening “Wonderful Life” or the simple rendering of nostalgia with “There Is A Town.” “Bring it On” sees the band hitting a bold, superfly noir groove. The song benefits from an outstanding duetted vocal from Chris Bailey, formerly the singer with Brisbane’s glorious pre-punk nihilists The Saints. “Dead Man in My Bed” follows immediately from “Bring it On” and further raises noise levels as Cave takes the perspective of a woman afflicted with a useless partner. The album’s most spectacular song is saved until the end when the Bad Seeds unleash the flaming jam “Babe, I’m On Fire” demonstrating their mastery of demonic relentlessness. At fifteen minutes it’s an epic with 43 verses (or more, as many didn’t make the recorded version) in which a bizarre cast of high and low characters testify to the burning lust of the singer. The song was played just once prior to recording. “It was just an idea that steamrolled,” says Cave. “It’s the kind of song you write when you’re not writing a song.”

File Under: Rock
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sicario

Johan Johansson: Sicario (Varese) LP
In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past (Benicio Del Toro), the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing the FBI agent to question everything that she believes in order to survive. The 2016 Oscar contender’s original motion picture soundtrack features music by Icelandic composer Jóhann Johannsson and marks his second collaboration with director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners). The reigning Oscar winner of the Academy Award for Best Score for his work on Theory of Everything, Johannsson is also a solo artist formally signed to 4AD Records.

 File Under: OST
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greenwood

Shye Ben Tzur & Jonny Greenwood: Junun (Nonesuch) LP
In tomorrow…. Nonesuch Records releases Junun – an album from composer/musician Shye Ben Tzur, guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and the Rajasthan Express, a group of Indian musicians – in November 2015. Recorded earlier this year in a makeshift studio inside the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India, the album was made with Radiohead’s producer Nigel Godrich, who worked with the ensemble to create this two LP collection. The album comprises Ben Tzur’s compositions, which feature devotional Sufi qawwal musicians who sing in Urdu as well as in his native Hebrew. The filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, a friend and frequent collaborator of Greenwood, came along to document the recording sessions as well as daily life and the close camaraderie of artistic collaboration. Anderson’s resulting impressionistic film, also entitled Junun, debuted at the New York Film Festival on October 8 and begins streaming exclusively on MUBI. Greenwood made a guest appearance last year during Ben Tzur’s London concert, where they previewed some of the music of Junun, and this summer, the two were joined by the qawwali party for two performances at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival. Further concerts are being planned for the future, as are additional screenings of Anderson’s film. Shye Ben Tzur is an Israeli composer/producer/poet and performer who lives in India and Israel. He composes qawwalis – instrumental and devotional music – in Hebrew, Urdu, and Hindi. A concert by Zakir Hussain and Hariprasad Chaurasia that Ben Tzur attended as a young man was life-changing. “It touched my heart so deeply,” he says. “It was at the time the deepest musical experience I had gone through. It moved me so that I could do nothing but go find out what it is. I feel I’m still in that spot. I don’t think I have achieved it. Indian music is so vast and so deep and the more I learn different things about it, I realize how ignorant I was. It just doesn’t stop.” “When I was in the Negev desert in southern Israel a couple of years ago, I heard a band playing a song using an Arabic violin called a rehab,” Greenwood told London’s Evening Standard. “It was a strange mix of Arabic and traditional Indian music, one that I’d never come across before. The best song, I found out, was written by Shye Ben Tzur, an Israeli musician who had been living in India until this year. I set out to discover more about him…I’m always a little wary of rock bands half-heartedly dabbling in world music – itself a slightly greasy term – but there are exceptions. Damon Albarn is one: his work with musicians in Mali is something he’s clearly fully committed to. And I think Shye Ben Tzur is another.” Widely known as the guitarist for Radiohead, Jonny Greenwood is also a highly respected composer. In addition to his soundtracks to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, There Will Be Blood, and The Master, Nonesuch also released his score for Norwegian Wood and his collaboration with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

File Under:
World, Electronic, India, Radiohead
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washingtonKamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
The Epic is a brazen new release from young Los Angeles jazz giant, composer, and bandleader Kamasi Washington. It’s unlike anything jazz has seen, and not just because it emanates from the boundary-defying Brainfeeder, which isn’t so much a label in the traditional sense as it is an unfurling experiment conducted by the underground producer Flying Lotus who has featured Washington on his albums Cosmogramma and You’re Dead! The Epic is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington. Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly ten-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet – including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Cameron Graves, and trombonist Ryan Porter. Patrice Quinn’s ethereal vocals round out the ensemble. The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and its members – who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West Coast Get Down” – have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two. The rest met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively in the tens of thousands. “Nothing compares to these guys,” says Barbara Sealy, the former West Coast director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, who has championed Kamasi and his compatriots from the beginning. “I challenge any group to go out on stage with them and see if they can keep up with it…Kamasi is at the top of his game, and only getting better.” “These young guys,” the rapper Common says, “remind me of why I love music.” And the story The Epic tells, without words but rather through some combination of magic, mastery, and sheer force of imagination, is the story of Kamasi Washington and the Next Step and their collective mission: to remove jazz from the shelf of relics and make it new, unexpected, and dangerous again. They seek to both honor and alter tradition: as The Epic’s opening track announces, they are the “Changing of the Guard.” The sound can be felt like flames, sometimes waving in the coziness of a fireplace, in other moments sweeping everything around like a backdraft. But Kamasi is always in control of the burning. “He just plays the craziest shit, man. I mean, everything – the past, present, the future,” Flying Lotus says, whose family lineage includes one of Washington’s direct musical forebears, John Coltrane. “It’s hard to find unique voices in this music. Especially in jazz, more so lately, everybody is trying to do the same shit. I don’t want to hear ‘My Favorite Things’ anymore… What I am hearing is a leader among artists.” 3 x black 180g 12″ vinyls in artworked 3mm spined sleeves all housed in a rigid board outer slipcase. Half speed cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering. Includes 2 x 12″ poster inserts featuring exclusive artwork by KC Woolf Haxton and story adaptation and calligraphy by Kenturah Davis. MP3 download code also enclosed.

File Under: Jazz, Fusion, Funk/Soul
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (Cleopatra) LP
Bibio: Fi (Warp) LP
Bibio: Ambivalence Avenue (Warp) LP
Black Mountain: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Built To Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (Up) LP
Kenny Burrell: Midnight Blue (Blue Note) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Circles Around The Sun: Interludes for the Dead (Warner) LP
Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (Parlophone) LP
Mac Demarco: Another One (Captured Tracks) LP
Mac Demarco: Rock n Roll Nightclub (Captured Tracks) LP
Destruction Unit: Negative Feedback Resistor (Sacred Bones) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic 2001 (Death Row) LP
Electric Wizard: Time to Die (Spinefarm) LP
Electric Wizard: We Live (Rise Above) LP
Fist City: Everything is a Mess (Transgressive) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man in Paris (Blue Note) LP
PJ Harvey: Let England Shake (Island) LP
Andrew Hill: Point of Departure (Blue Note) LP
Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl (Sacred Bones) LP
King Tuff: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
King Tuff: Black Moon Spell (Sub Pop) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-all (Boner) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (Big Brother) LP
William Onyeabor: Box 1 (Luakabop) 5LP
William Onyeabor: Box 2 (Luakabop) 4LP
Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain (Red Ink) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Dust & Chimes (Holy Mountain) LP
Sleater Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop) LP
Songs: Ohia: Hecla & Griper (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t it Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Stark Reality: Discovers Hoagy Carmichael… (Now Again) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Jagjaguwar) LP
War on Drugs: Slave Ambient (Jagjaguwar) LP
Various: Ork Records (Numero) 5LP Box

…..news letter #719 – phenol…..

What a great weekend! Thanks to all of you who came out and made last weekend our most successful anniversary sale ever! Unfortunately there’s a ton of great new stuff in over the last week again so, you’ll just have to come back and buy more rad records. Or send in your loved ones to grab you some killer Christmas wax…

….picks of the week…..

tranceformer

Geoff Krozier & Generator: Tranceformer (Finders Keepers) LP
“Finders Keepers really hit the crackpot, erm I mean jackpot this time! This is most excellent and a must have gem — I promise you won’t regret owning this glimpse of Krozier’s weird and wonderful world… It took me two seconds to love this record” –Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre). Imagine a coven of Jodorowsky, Daevid Allen, Mr. Crowley, Rameses, and Arthur Brown, then combine them into a one-man mutant magician and add the finest Australian synth duo since Cybotron. Behold… Geoff Krozier and The Generator. This faithful reproduction of one of Australia’s rarest synth-post-prog vinyl artifacts bequeaths the only recorded fruits of their precious magick, recorded months before Geoff Krozier’s untimely death in 1981. Combining shamanic spoken-word with nodding kosmische instrumentation, this album is fueled by ARP, Roland, and Australian ETI synth technology and leaves fans of synthetic soundtracks, electronic experimentalism, and stubborn synthpop salivating for more (and more there is). Meet Geoff Krozier, collaborator with NY punk band Kongress, Sydney’s official 1980 Magician of the Year, and “the high priest of exorcism-rock,” and watch him and his trusty studio wizards provide fans of Bruce Haack and Doris White with one of the most absurd electronic private-press LPs to come from either end of the pointed planet, faithfully reproduced here. Welcome to the house of the sun.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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sunn

Sunn o))): Kannon (Southern Lord) LP
Composed in the aftershadow of Sunn O)))’s most recent successes in immersive collaboration – the group having worked with Scott Walker on Soused, and Ulver on Terrestrials in 2013 and 2014 – and also from the broad and influential wake of their epitomic Monoliths & Dimensions, Kannon emerged both independently as a conceptual entity and with roots in the legacies of those projects, yet was fully realized years later in 2015. The album consists of three pieces of a triadic whole: “Kannon 1, 2 and 3.” Kannon celebrates many Sunn O))) traditions; the album was recorded and mixed with Sunn O)))’s close colleague and co-producer Randall Dunn in Seattle, in Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast!, and the LP includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, and Steve Moore to name a few. At the core, the composition centers around the dynamic and intense guitar and bass interplay of Sunn O)))’s founders: Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson. It is possibly the most figurative album Sunn O))) has created, which is unusual as they usually dwell in layers of abstraction and subjectivity. On the other hand the album is the most outright “metal” in years, drawing personal associations and memories of cherished albums like Panzerfaust and Twilight Of The Gods again to the forefront of consciousness. Kannon is also very close to the cyclical character of mantra which the band has evolved into as a living creature, the enormity of intense sensate detail and manifestation of the live in concert element of Sunn O))), the organism that has flourished, metamorphosed and transcended tremendously over the past ten years. The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha: specifically “goddess of mercy” or “Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World.” She is also sometimes commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: 觀音菩薩) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many Asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea. Sunn O))) commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to write text and liner notes around these ideas and topics. She also explores the relations and perceptions to their approach to these ideas via the metonym of music and Sunn O)))’s place/approach within the framework of music and metal overall. The band also enlisted Swiss designer/artist Angela LaFont Bollinger to create the cover artwork, an abstracted sculpture of vision of Kannon. French photographer Estelle Hanania captures portraits of the core trio (Csihar, Anderson, O’Malley) in the impressive and obscurant Emanuel Vingeland mausoleum in Oslo.

File Under: Doom, Metal, Drone
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…..new arrivals…..

avengers

The Avengers: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
In the late ’70s, The Avengers established themselves as one of the US’s preeminent punk bands. Fusing incisive guitar hooks, explosive rhythms and adolescent venom, the group forged some of the most in-your-face songs of the era. Their live shows were legendary, playing up and down the West Coast and even blowing Sex Pistols off the stage at the latter’s final performance. As Byron Coley writes in the liner notes, “Of the best bands of San Francisco’s first wave in 1977, The Avengers were by far the coolest and youngest sounding. They roared without irony, as though this were indeed Year Zero (and, for a moment, it was), with history being overwritten by the new. The honesty of their belief was carried by their sound. And it was convincing!” Originally released in 1983, four years after the band’s dissolution, The Avengers’ self-titled LP is often referred to as “The Pink Album” for its magenta-hued cover design. Frontwoman Penelope Houston’s iconic voice and razor-sharp lyrics resonate on anthems “We Are The One” and “The American In Me,” while penetrating ballads like “Corpus Christi” reveal a truly out-of-body euphony. The Pink Album remains The Avengers’ definitive statement—collecting their classic Dangerhouse EP, sessions recorded with the Pistols’ Steve Jones and a half-dozen revelatory demos. While much has been written about The Avengers in the past three decades, rock critic Greil Marcus puts it succinctly, “The word I always come back to is mystical, and that remains almost theirs alone.”

File Under: Punk
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beathappening

Beat Happening: Look Around (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to announce Look Around a compiled retrospective from the legendary Beat Happening. Formed in the early ‘80s at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington by Calvin Johnson, Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford, Beat Happening combined a modern primitive pop sound with the D.I.Y. ethos of ‘anyone can do it’ and inspired countless bands and labels along the way. The music community that arose around the band and their label, K, was in many ways, the sonic antithesis of their Seattle neighbors (and friends) but was no less influential. Look Around is a remastered, career-spanning double album anthology, handpicked by the band and a great starting point for the uninitiated as well as a refreshing reminder to those who caught the wave the first time around. The legend of Beat Happening, and of K, is full of big names they worked with before they were stars (Beck, Modest Mouse, The Gossip), and big names they influenced (Kurt Cobain, Sleater-Kinney). Less acknowledged, however, is that the band created some of the most original and surprising music to come out of the often deliberately weird American punk rock tradition.

File Under: Pop, Indie Rock
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butthole larryland

Butthole Surfers: Electriclarryland (Plain) LP
Originally released in 1996, Electriclarryland features the Butthole Surfers’ only top 40 hit with the song “Pepper.” Although the sound on this album continues the more streamlined approach they started with Independent Worm Saloon, this record is by no means mainstream, even with the hit. With pile driving rockers, pop-punk raves, acid freakouts and their demented sense of humor and bizzare perspective intact—the Surfers take no prisoners! Three sides of music with the fourth side featuring etchings by Gibby Haynes.

File Under: Punk, Indie Rock
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case

Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule (Anti) 9 LP Box
Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule is the complete Neko Case discography on vinyl including The Virginian, Furnace Room Lullaby, Canadian Amp, Blacklisted, The Tigers Have Spoken, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, Middle Cyclone, and The Worse Things Get, The More I Fight, The More I Fight, The More I Love You. Remastered from the original analog tapes, many of these hard-to-find and out of print LPs are now available together for the first time. Includes an 80 page full-color photography book designed and curated by Neko (exclusive to this collection!) and a vinyl slipmat – all in a handy-dandy storage box. A letter from Neko Case: “Have you ever wanted to be in a band? It doesn’t end up looking like you think it will; it’s WAY more strange and interesting than you can imagine. If you are looking for glamour, however, you’ve come to the wrong job. Glamour is for dicks anyway. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. I thought I would end up a painter; I even went to art school. I never did a single, solitary painting. I did a lot of printmaking, photography and played in bands. I had played drums in bands since I was 17, and I toured with bands on the road from the time I was 23. Strangely enough I had no idea that this was a “job.” Music was, and is, my obsession, but I guess I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I also didn’t feel worthy of calling myself a “musician.” It was just too sacred. “Ten years later I had to quit both of my jobs in Chicago because I was always on the road. It finally dawned on me; maybe I WAS a musician? But where were the trappings of success? You know: money? Fringey scarves and car services? My own recording studio? Regular meals? Heat? The “rewards” were not to come in any length of time I could speculate, or at all in some cases, but it didn’t matter, because I had the people I loved. People of all stripes who have contributed in invaluable ways over the years, with skills too numerous to mention here, for I fear it would fall short of the tribute they deserve. Luckily, I still have these good people and I am so very grateful they can still stand me. But most of all, I am grateful that they were willing to be a part. “Being in a band isn’t a race to an awards platform; it is a life, a great and complicated, messy, anxious, hilarious and home-made life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, ever. I gave up a lot of what makes people “normal”, but it was always my choice. That is a victory in itself. This is a LONG story, which I will continue later, but for now, here are some images and music to take in and wonder about. I made all this for you and me. Without you, however, the circuit does not complete. Thank you for being here with me and making music.”

File Under: Alt Country
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chapman

Michael Chapman: Fish (Tompkins Square) LP
In recent years, the revered British guitarist and songwriter has seen his classic Harvest records from the 70’s reissued by Light In the Attic, and he’s toured with Bill Callahan, Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. On the eve of the Fully Qualified Survivor’s 75th birthday, ‘Fish’ finds Chapman vital as ever. Tompkins Square also released Chapman’s 2010 double CD ‘Trainsong : Guitar Compositions 1967-2010’ and a tribute album, ‘Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done : Friends Play Michael Chapman’ featuring Hiss Golden Messenger, William Tyler, Lucinda Williams and Thurston Moore among others.

File Under: Folk
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coldplay

Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams (Parlophone) LP
A Head Full Of Dreams is the seventh studio effort from global superstars Coldplay. The album, recorded in Malibu, LA and London, was produced by Norwegian duo Stargate together with the band’s long-time collaborator Rik Simpson. It features more guests than any previous Coldplay record, with Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Merry Clayton among those appearing across its 11 tracks (12 if you count the buried treasure of the hidden track “X Marks The Spot”). A Head Full Of Dreams is the widescreen follow-up to 2014’s fragile and lovelorn Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s sixth consecutive worldwide chart topper, award winner and multi-million seller. The band chose not to tour Ghost Stories and headed straight back into the studio to record A Head Full Of Dreams. Revitalized, they’ve made an album that’s bursting with energy, color and big, life-affirming moments such as the ebullient first single “Adventure Of A Lifetime” and the rocket-powered “Hymn For The Weekend.” Coldplay have never enjoyed making a record more than this one. Nor have they been happier with the results. And, this time, they plan to take it around the world.

File Under: Pop
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deafheaven

Deafheaven: New Bermuda (Anti) LP
San Francisco’s Deafheaven found massive critical success when their 2013 album Sunbather was an unexpected crossover hit, earning the band a 92/100 Metacritic score and ending the year as the best reviewed album of 2013. No one could have anticipated a band that drew from equal parts Weakling and My Bloody Valentine ascending to such heights, and that incomprehensibility added to the band’s singularity and allure. Two years later, founding members George Clarke and Kerry McCoy began working on their ANTI debut, New Bermuda, with a new perspective. Says Clarke: “Sunbather yearned for something better. New Bermuda focuses on the idea of false promise, achieving something and wondering if it’s what you really wanted in the first place.” McCoy shares that sentiment: “Sunbather sounds like people who have nothing but are satisfied with life. There’s an uplifting quality to it. But New Bermuda is a very tense record.” McCoy cites death metal demigods Dissection and Morbid Angel, the blackened death pioneers Behemoth, and Cliff Burton-era Metallica as influences on the new album. As New Bermuda progresses, Deafheaven travels further outside of their comfort zone, feasting on other niches of underground metal and offsetting the blunt force of their feral rage with more complex and nuanced beauty. A sophisticated and subdued pop element kicks off “Baby Blue,” before the band abruptly shifts into an amalgam of NWOBHM’s anthemic urgency and thrash metal’s racing chugs. There’s a brief comedown where the band veers into the musique concrete soundscapes and hushed melodrama of early Godspeed You! Black Emperor before “Come Back” resumes the band’s merciless assault of stampeding drums and vitriolic guitar harmonies, only to shift mid-song into the somber territories of 4AD’s early catalog. Which is not to say that Deafheaven have softened their approach; New Bermuda offers the most punishing music of the band’s career in the wake of their greatest success.

File Under: Metal, Shoegaze
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ditmasBruce Ditmas: Yellow Dust (Finders Keepers) LP
Bruce Ditmas is a unique, heavy musician from one of those special tightknit communities that tried (and almost succeeded) to change the face of progressive pop music and jazz via musical technology. Raised in Miami (an unknown incubator for future synthesists), Ditmas carved the image of a teen prodigy playing jazz drums at the most exclusive Miami Beach hotels. After being whisked off to New York by none other than July Garland he became immersed in free music, recording compositions by Annette Peacock and Carla Bley before setting up house with vocal artist Joan La Barbara (later Mrs. Morton Subotnick) in 1975, who, via her own label, encouraged Ditmas to pursue his very specific experiments in heavy electronic rhythms. Yellow Dust is compiled from the solo Moog drum compositions from his only two albums (Aeray Dust and Yellow, both released in 1977) created using a Mininoog (donated by Gil “Hendrix” Evans), an ARP 2600, and a wide range of treated percussive instruments that littered this enfant terrible’s bedroom floor throughout the 1970s. Meet your new favorite drummer, and the best Moog drum record in your whole collection.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Experimental
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four tet

Four Tet: Pink (Text) LP
Spanning studio albums, remixing, and outstanding live shows amongst many other things, British artist and Text Records boss Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet’s career remains rooted in all kinds of musical camps. His brilliant 2012 collection Pink is finally available on vinyl. The Boston Phoenix exclaimed that, “…this patchwork of 12-inch singles is Kieran Hebden’s most delectable album-as-album” while XLR8R hailed that, “Pink is a triumph and the new high-water mark for one of this generation’s finest producers.” Half-speed mastered for audiophile-quality reproduction. Double LP packaged in a stunning heavyweight spot-color jacket.

File Under: Electronic
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harry pussy

Harry Pussy: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Harry Pussy emerged out of the Florida swamps in 1993. Formed by Adris Hoyos and Bill Orcutt, the duo became legendary for their volatile live shows, which often devolved into violent clashes with audience members. Obliterating the lines between hardcore, noise and free jazz, the unclassifiable Harry Pussy were at once all of these things and none of them. Originally released on Siltbreeze, their self-titled debut album reveals an antagonistic and visceral approach to music: Hoyos’ self-taught, wild-style drums and shrouded screams tangling with Orcutt’s high-tension blues guitar. As David Keenan writes in the liner notes, “Harry Pussy played at such a heightened speed-of-thought climactic future-primitive peak that they outstripped technique so completely that people thought they couldn’t actually play at all.” From the opening blasts of “Youth Problem” to the spasmodic, electro-convulsive take on Kraftwerk’s “Showroom Dummies,” Harry Pussy is an absurd and devastating statement. Twenty-plus years later, rock ’n’ roll’s collective ears are still ringing. This long out-of-print vinyl release is recommended for fans of The Dead C, Royal Trux and Mars.

File Under: Punk, Noise Rock
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special world

Lee Hazlewood: The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood (Light in the Attic) LP
A reissue of the 1966 album The Very Special World Of Lee Hazlewood, the first of three Lee Hazlewood recorded for MGM. The LP found Hazlewood gunning–in as much as he ever did–for commercial success, blending country, pop, novelty, mariachi, and lounge music into something unusually of-the-moment. Lushly orchestrated and half-sung, half-spoken in a way that Hazlewood made all his own, the album collected solo versions of songs made famous by Sinatra and others (“Sand,” “Boots,” “So Long Babe,” “Summer —included as a bonus duet with Suzi Jane Hokom) alongside some of his career-best solo compositions, among them the Morricone-like opener, “For One Moment.” It’s a record of extremes: “When A Fool Loves A Fool” is as light and throwaway as anything he ever laid down, while the wistful “My Autumn’s Done Come” (sample lyric: “Let those I-don’t-care days come in, I’m tired of holding my stomach in”) is as raw and honest. LP housed in deluxe gatefold jackets.

File Under: Folk, Country
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hazlewoodism

Lee Hazlewood: Lee Hazlewoodism (Light in the Attic) LP
The mid-to-late ’60s were strange days for Lee Hazlewood. Having struck gold as songwriter and vocal foil for Nancy Sinatra, he signed up to MGM as an artist in his own right, and between 1966 and 1968, produced three ambitious solo albums that were eclectic, idiosyncratic, and most of all, unpredictable. It was a happy time for Lee; his music was hot on the charts, he was fully immersed in his collaboration with his muse, Suzi Jane Hokom. The second of his MGM trilogy—1967’s peculiarly named Lee Hazlewoodism: Its Cause And Cure—took on countrified French ye-ye (“The Girls In Paris”), a tale of a young bullfighter built on Spanish guitar and choral cowboys (“Jose”), a string-drenched song about the passing of time (“The Old Man And His Guitar”), and a western epic about a Native American tribe (“The Nights”). And that was just the first four tracks. Elsewhere, the honky tonk madness of “Suzi Jane Is Back In Town,” the Byrds-like jangle of “In Our Time” and–in the bonus tracks–an instrumental named “Batman” confirm this to be one of Hazlewood’s most far-ranging, far-out LPs ever. LP housed in deluxe gatefold jackets.

File Under: Folk, Country
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somethingspecial

Lee Hazlewood: Something Special (Light in the Attic) LP
Where 1966’s The Very Special World Of Lee Hazlewood and 1967’s Lee Hazlewoodism: Its Cause And Cure had employed an arranger, Billy Strange, and a full orchestra, Something Special stripped things back and brought in a flavor of jazz and blues, complete with gravelly-voiced scatting courtesy of collaborator DON RANDI. This sat alongside tracks like “Little War” and “Hands,” the kind of late night, acoustic balladeering Hazlewood would later seize for his career-highlight LP, Requiem For An Almost Lady. The sound was that of a stripped-down nightclub jazz/blues/folk combo, fully rejecting the psychedelic music going on all over the world. LP housed in deluxe gatefold jackets.

File Under: Folk, Country

heads

Heads: Time In Space (Rooster) LP
Originally pressed in a limited edition for sale at Liverpool Psych Fest, The Heads’ Time in Space compiles twenty-two tracks from their highly collectable tour CDR series. Cut by Shawn Joseph and showcasing Sam Giles artwork, this collection of studio outtakes, rehearsal sessions and live tracks is the ticket to some serious cosmic adventures. This one-time pressing of 600 copies comes on translucent vinyl with orange and blue splatters. Bristol’s The Heads got back on the live circuit this year after a half-decade hiatus, with extremely well received live sets at Roadburn and Liverpool Psych Fest. The group just announced an appearance at Stewart Lee’s ATP for 2016.

File Under: Space Rock, Psych
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ilitch

Ilitch: 10 Suicides (Superior Viaduct) LP
In 1980, Ilitch mastermind Thierry Müller released his second LP, 10 Suicides, on the French imprint S.C.O.P.A. Unlike his debut Periodikmindtrouble (also available from Superior Viaduct), which featured intricately layered instrumentals, 10 Suicides explores a more art-damaged pop sensibility. While distorted guitars and atmospheric synth workouts remain a part of Müller’s signature sound, several songs credit the mysterious Ruth Ellyeri, who was not an actual person, but rather Müller’s female alter-ego. Opening track “Elle Voulait Que Je Sois Drôle” shows Ilitch’s new direction with overloaded vocoders, driving Moog basslines and soft, Eno-like melodic flourishes. The androgynous vocals on “Waiting For Mabelle (Je Ne Viendrais Pas)” resemble an upbeat Gregorian chant bent through a 20th Century lens. 10 Suicides is a staggeringly personal album that still sounds years ahead of its time. This first-time vinyl reissue comes with 16-page booklet and is recommended for fans of Ghédalia Tazartès, Chris & Cosey and Monoton.

File Under: Industrial, Avant Garde, Electronic
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ilitch1

Ilitch: Periodikmindtrouble (Superior Viaduct) LP
In the mid-1970s, Parisian composer and multi-instrumentalist Thierry Müller began operating primarily under the Ilitch moniker. Juxtaposing dark, electronic soundscapes and solo guitar improvisations, Ilitch created some of the most enduring music of the era. It comes as no surprise that Nurse With Wound included Müller on their famed list of influential avant-garde artists. Originally released on Oxygene Records in 1978, Ilitch’s debut Periodikmindtrouble was a shot across the bow for the French underground scene. Comprised of instrumental four-track recordings made in Müller’s dorm room, the album features gritty tape loops, analog synth swells and angst-ridden guitars. “Sequence 4” fills the stereo field with eerie harmonium and kosmische textures, while the side-long title track is a bona fide organ soliloquy, exploring both abrasive and ambient sonorities. “Derriere La Fenetre (Behind the Window)” dives deeper into acoustic patterns to reveal the expressive quality of Müller’s singular style. Periodikmindtrouble lays the groundwork for an impressive body of work that has grown only more unsettling over the past three decades. This first-time vinyl reissue comes packaged in a gatefold jacket and is recommended for fans of Cluster, Fripp / Eno and Heldon.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Experimental
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king gizzardKing Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Like many of the world’s greatest artists, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is one of the most difficult bands to pin down. The Australian-based septet constantly zig when you think they’re about to zag. Starting out in 2010 as a solid garage rock group, they’ve followed their collective muse wherever it chose to lead them, whether that be the bluesy alien psychedelia of their 2014 album Oddments or the expansive, almost jazzy, Dead-like head trips of Quarters! For their latest opus, they initially thought it was going to be filled with the darker, heavier material that the band has been playing live of late. But Stu Mackenzie soon decided that it was time to put aside the longer, more conceptual pieces and go in a completely new direction. Hence, the band’s seventh album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon was recorded using nothing but acoustic instruments. The result is a lovely, lilting pop masterpiece that still evokes the same intoxicating exuberance as KGATLW’s most recent work, but with a more pastoral, communal feel to it. That spirit came alive in the writing and recording process. Unlike the last two albums, there is no overarching theme tying it all together. So, rather than cooking the whole thing up as a group in the studio or rehearsal space, the various members of KGATLW wrote separately, bringing their songs to the group as they finished them. “There was a lot of collaboration,” says Mackenzie, “but in smaller combinations.” That could have made for a schizophrenic batch of tunes, but the band are so deeply connected at this point that they each reached the same sonic conclusions, combining the rambling pulse of T. Rex (“The Bitter Boogie”), the free-spirited bliss of The Free Design (“Dirt”), and the countryside wanderings of late ‘60s Kinks (“Bone”, “Most of What I Like”). While embracing the limitations of their choice of only acoustic sounds, KGATLW were able to get a little experimental as well. To fill out the sound, they borrowed a batch of instruments that they had never played before – clarinet, double bass, and cello, among them – and eked sounds and melodies out of them. That only helps to add to joyous jumble that is Paper Mâché Dream Balloon. Too, the band eschewed traditional recording methods for most of this new LP. The bare bones of many of the songs were laid down by Mackenzie in a shipping container that sat on his parents’ farm on the Victorian coast of Australia. From there, the band stitched the rest of it together with overdubs and new recordings in their bedrooms and home studios, outside of the closing instrumental “Paper Mâché,” which was captured with the help of Unknown Mortal Orchestra bassist Jake Portrait while they were in New York.

File Under: Psych, Rock, Folk
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quarters

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
Count on this group of Australian weirdos to come up with an idea like this – a 12” of four songs, each 10 minutes and 10 seconds long, accompanied by an insane painting of four different worlds melding together. Who are we to refuse them? This not quite an EP not quite an LP take a sharp turn into the wispy and mellow – The River tumbles down a Brubeckian 5/4 meander right into a Leslie’d wicker counter-pattern, Infinite Rise rides a groovy yawning wake-up call through the commune, God Is In The Rhythm effervesces like a prom dance when the acid starts kicking in, and Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer circles ever upward like a friendly smoke signal from a beach fire – at 10 minutes apiece, the boys have plenty of room to stretch out around the songs, and they do so with loose limbs and stoned smiles. Altogether it feels like it flies in on dragonfly wings, lazily basks in the sun for a bit, and follows the sunset over the horizon…no doubt to write another record. Black vinyl pressing packaged in poster sleeves with polybag.

File Under: Psych
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lamartine

Lamartine: Reportage (Finders Keepers) LP
The name Lamartine was a true mystery of library history. In keeping with the habitual culture of library music, the mononymous Lamartine was thought to be one of many creative nom de plumes designed to disguise the true identities of the artists. Having faded from the memories of the ex-employees of the defunct production music departments at CAM and RCA, the truth behind this uncelebrated electronic pioneer had remained a mystery for decades. It wasn’t until the 2000s, when the Italian independent production music label Flipper — the parent company responsible for the imprints Union, Octopus, Flirt, and Deneb, among others — decided to digitize its catalog, that a gleam of hope appeared via a sealed, misfiled master tape. The archiving team at Flipper found the name “Lamartine” written on a single tape box with the name “Reportage” and corresponding legal papers pertaining to a little-known Italian conductor and composer for stage and popular song named Mr. Radicchi. Fabio di Bari at Flipper recounts that, throughout the extensive paperwork at Flipper, the music of Radicchi or Lamartine was never licensed out for synchronization and doesn’t appear on any of the associated labels’ discographies. “The music was never even pressed on to vinyl and the master tape remained in our store room for all these years,” he told Finders Keepers in 2013. After cross-referencing track-times and titles, di Bari could also reveal the full name of the artist to be Odoardo (aka Eduardo) Radicchi — a senior member of the Italian music scene from the same generation as Nino Rota, Giorgio Gaslini, and Gian Piero Reverberi. Rendered in the hinterland between Italian cinema’s penchant for psychedelic rock and the onset of the synthesizer music and Italo disco movements later in the 1970s, Lamartine’s Reportage, recorded in 1974, is part of a community of laboratory projects that researched the capacity of electronic music before it swept the nation’s media. Lamartine — once an anonymous, dubious genius in the library micro-genre — can now be named and recognized as a unique artist with a distinctive sound, adding new colors to the vibrant palette of Italian studio artists and painting a wider sonic picture of the evolution of Italian pop and film music. The Italian library liberation front keeps growing; it’s the genre that keeps on giving. It’s time for artists like Lamartine to name and claim their places in electronic music history.

File Under: Italian, Library
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lanegan

Mark Lanegan: One-Way Street (Sub Pop) 6LP Box
One Way Street set compiles the first five solo albums recorded by Mark Lanegan, the Pacific-Northwest icon also known for his work with Screaming Trees, Gutter Twins, Mad Season, Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell, and more. The Winding Sheet, Mark Lanegan’s first solo work, is notable in its departure from the characteristic sound of Screaming Trees, the band he fronted from 1985 until 2000. Its follow-up, Whiskey for The Holy Ghost, released during the grunge explosion of the early 1990s, showcases Lanegan’s growing maturity as a songwriter and vocalist. Scraps at Midnight could be considered the final installment of a trilogy of albums featuring Lanegan’s interpretation of American roots music accompanied by his troubling lyrics of loss, sin, and redemption. I’ll Take Care of You, Lanegan’s fourth solo effort, consists entirely of cover songs with interpretation of songs from a wide variety of songwriters, including Tim Rose, Tim Hardin, Booker T. Jones, and Buck Owens. On Lanegan’s fifth and final solo album for Sub Pop, Field Songs, Lanegan seems to have taken the best elements from his previous work to create one of the most fulfilled, and fulfilling, albums of his career. Field Songs also includes “Kimiko’s Dream House,” which Mark co-wrote with Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun Club. Three of these five albums have been out of print on vinyl for many years; I’ll Take Care of You was only released on vinyl in Europe, and Field Songs was only issued on CD. Each album in the One Way Street box set was pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and is housed in a sleeve reproducing the art for its original release.

File Under: Indie Rock
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mammatus

Mammatus: Sparkling Waters (Spiritual Pajamas) LP
Heavy space rock outsiders Mammatus return with their fourth album, and most ambitious to date. Sparkling Waters is a double LP featuring four multi-movement pieces, each designed to recalibrate the shanga array in your mind. In order to achieve the highest levels of sensory clarity, the group enlisted Phil Manley (Trans Am, Life Coach) as their guiding light throughout the studio production. As a result, these tracks shimmer with a far out, casual glow, like an aural reflection of a Risan steam pool. On Sparkling Waters, Mammatus expands upon the astral grooves and heady riffs of their previous compositions and set a course for the furthest horizon. Celestial arpeggiations of electric guitar ricochet infinitely across vast expanses of cosmic debris. Heavy riffs thunder with a rhythmic groove, like the exploding coast of Ornia spoken of in days past. Pastoral passages of mellow, slow-burning psychedelia give way to Native American flute melodies and the chanting of spiritual incantations filtered through canyons of delay. Heavenly dual guitar leads soar like a hawk gliding over a mountainside redwood canopy. Radiant synthesizers harmonize to create a shapeshifting formation of ambient space that envelops the rock and in some places completely takes over. Sparkling Waters is bound to appeal to a wide range of discerning listeners, as it incorporates elements of heavy riff rock, prog and breath metal while it also features the enhancing textures of kosmische sound coloration, soaring synth leads and astral voyages through deep space. This amalgamation of tones is presented in a way that is wholly original, casting Mammatus as the solitary practitioners of a unique sound that was invented with the express purpose of making you feel… shanga. So breathe deeply, strap on those headphones, drop the needle and get far out.

File Under: Space Rock, Metal, Stoner, Prog
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milk linesMilk Lines: Ceramic (In The Red) LP
The husband-and-wife songwriting talents of Jeffrey Clarke (Demon’s Claws, Hellshovel) and Emily Frances give one the feeling that Milk Lines have been commissioned by time itself to build a dream-like bridge, so that reality might have the chance at a glimpse… Their wide range of influences and unique brand of music are organic, primitive yet thoughtful. The lo-fi, trippy and sometimes country-laced tunes display a fresh and original sound. After having played a few select events in the Montreal-Toronto area, Milk Lines were noticed by Toronto’s Fucked Up and asked to record their first and only release to date, the Crystal Crown single. The band has since been tapped by The King Khan & BBQ Show to support them on two of their US tours. In The Red is now proud to announce the release of the band’s debut full-length, Ceramic.

File Under: Psych Rock
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mr lifMr. Lif: I Phantom (Mellow Music) LP
2LP on red, wite & blue splatter vinyl. The legendary debut album from Mr. Lif has returned. Originally released on Definitive Jux in 2002 this concept album that Rolling Stone called “graceful” is finally available again. This classic features Run The Jewels’ El-P, Aesop Rock, Jean Grae, Edan, Insight, Akrobatic and DJ Fakts One.

File Under: Hip Hop
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anythingWilliam Onyeabor:
Good Name
Crashes in Love
Crashes in Love (Second Version)
Tomorrow
Body & Soul
Great Lover
Hypertension
Anything You Sow
(Luaka Bop) LPs

William Onyeabor was born outside Enugu, a small, rural town in Eastern Nigeria, he created his own genre of African electronic funk in the late 70s and early 80s, making music completely unique for his time. Today, he is reaching cult status among a growing list of admirers, including everyone from Damon Albarn and Hot Chip to Carl Craig and Madlib, with some likening him to the Kraftwerk of West Africa, or a precursor to LCD Soundsystem. Among the crate-digging few that knew of him, he is considered a complete myth. While he has never performed live and almost never given interviews, his fantastical biography is scattered and has to this day not been verified. And, though he is still alive, he refuses to speak about anything regarding the past. According to various rumors, he left home following the Biafran War and went to study cinematography in the Soviet Union, returning in the mid-70s to start his own film company and record label, Wilfilms. He then self-released eight remarkable records from 1978-1985. He wrote and produced everything on his own, and possibly played every instrument himself. Then, at some point of his life, he became born again and denounced his earlier music, deciding it is something he would never speak about. Now for the first time, all of William Onyeabor’s original albums will be available as individual LPs courtesy of Luaka Bop including: Crashes in Love (Original & 2nd Version) (1977), Atomic Bomb (1978), Tomorrow (1979), Body & Soul (1980), Great Lover (1981), Hypertension (1982), Good Name (1983) and Anything You Sow (1985).

File Under: Africa, World, Afro Beat, Electro
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antwerpOST: Antwerp Killer (Finders Keepers) LP
One of the rarest vinyl horror soundtracks of all time, 1983’s The Antwerp Killer consists of remarkable homemade electronic experiments created by a wunderkind synth designer for a smart-talking teenage movie maverick. Combining self-propelled punk attitude and uninhibited confidence, the hyper-proactive work of these DIY prodigies pinpoints an important era when youthful ambition and creative technology met. By the age of 16 Eric Feremans had started building modulators and eventually his first proto synthesizer; he later played a concert with Belgian electronica pioneer Karel Goeyvaerts. Feremans founded a school for building and playing synthesizers, the EEF, where volunteers ended up producing about 20 or 30 build-your-own packages. After appearing as a guest on a national television show, the demand for his courses exploded, and Feremans began lecturing internationally, even attracting the king of the Amsterdam mafia, who was driven down from Amsterdam with two body guards in his Rolls-Royce every week. One day Feremans got a visit from a Luc Veldeman, a 16-year-old with a manner of speech way beyond his age and larger-than-life projects. Veldeman was making Antwerp’s first crime movie, The Antwerp Killer. He had seen Feremans play live and he wanted some of his music to be used as the score, and to press as an album to promote the film. Feremans gave him one of the rare recordings he had made with the synthesizer, a session he had just recorded upon installing his new studio; a session, according to Feremans, that was the result of the pure joy he experienced at having such a wonderful machine in his studio and the bottle of vodka he downed during the session. Veldeman cut up that session and it turned it into the soundtrack of The Antwerp Killer. The press and the audience shared a general reaction to the film: bad acting, bad editing, bad script — cool soundtrack, though. Veldeman, who had rented the film equipment under a false identity and dumped it in a canal after shooting, was nowhere to be found, and his investors lost their money. A magnum opus by a true criminal and the synthesizer teacher of the Amsterdam mafia king, The Antwerp Killer remains a prime document of the broody Belgian ’80s and a heck of a soundtrack. This first-ever reissue was beautifully remastered with the full cooperation of Eric Feremans himself. Includes liner notes by Belgian archivist Gerd de Wilde.

File Under: OST, Electronic, Ambient
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army of darknessOST: Army of Darkness (Mondo) LP
Just in time for the next chapter in the Evil Dead saga (TV series Ash Vs. The Evil Dead) Mondo is proud to release the soundtrack Sam Raimi’s Army Of Darkness. Returning along side star Bruce Campbell, is masterful composer Joe LoDuca who also crafted the terrifying scores to the first and second Evil Dead. Like the film, LoDuca’s score to Army Of Darkness is an ambitious blending of genre that was ahead of its time. Part swashbuckling adventure, part horror, part comedy, Army Of Darkness saw LoDuca reaching new heights with his composing which would later become his forte, as he bounced back and forth between composing Horror films and adventure televisions series such as Hercules and Spartacus. Performed by The Utah Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. “March Of The Dead Theme” by Danny Elfman.

File Under: OST, Horror
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holy mountainOST: The Holy Mountain (Finders Keepers) LP
Unanimously considered amongst fans of all strains of alternative pop culture the flamboyant cinematic masterpiece known as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain can proudly claim, amongst all its other accolades, one of fantastique cinema’s greatest red herrings of all time. In the interest of anti spoilerism we are not referring to the film’s reconstituted plot here (recycled from René Daumal’s 1952 fictitious mountaineering journal) but rather the film’s devious inverted end title sequence, a murky pond which harbours the true crimson fish that has quite frankly wasted record collectors time for over four bloody decades. The immortal, fatal, deviously distracting and plain EVIL strap line that reads “Forthcoming soundtrack available of Abkco Records and Tapes” has served a repeat menu of wild goose chase soup followed by red herring salad served in half a camouflaged curveball with a glass of muddied water in your own personal smoked screen booth for most of our adult lives. The gift that keeps on not giving.  For those of us addicted to black plastic circles, if there was ever to be a sequel to The Holy Mountain then a two hour title card reading “we decided not to release the soundtrack to the original film” would have saved a lot of time, fingertip skin and want list paper and ink…  In fact, in keeping with Jodorowsky’s grand vision for the film, this rug puller was (unbeknown to him) the final illusion. If it wasn’t for Jodorowsky and Allan Klein’s thirty-something-year “temporary stand-off” (leading to release schedule cancellation) we might have already got over how amazing this soundtrack is. In fact, with all its quite unrequired Beatle connection hyperbole it might be in your old dad’s all-time favourite lists as the only token alternative/soundtrack/jazz record he ever bought, and you might have learned to hate it. But that never happened, and as the forbidden fruit idiom commands THIS IS NOW YOUR FAVOURITE LP OF ALL TIME AND YOU CANT LIVE WITHOUT IT. So we need to write a press release. One which will sound like we are talking about seven different albums in one and for those that have seen the film, that will make perfect astrological sense. Where do we start? The unreleased soundtrack to the most fantastic transcendental spiritual cinematic explosion of our time? The lost Don Cherry album? The missing Jazz Composers Orchestra album featuring Charlie Haden, Carla Bley and Frank Lowe? The Elephant’s Memory soundtrack follow-up to Midnight Cowboy? The lost soundtrack album secretly funded and A&R’d by John Lennon and Yoko Ono? The music to the film that George Harrison was sacked from because he didn’t want us to see his butt hole? The orch rock LP made by the arranger of the collectable Mandrake Memorial prog pop LP? Walter Sears’ undiscovered studio experiments? The record that The Beatles’ managers didn’t want you to hear? The true axis between New York psych rock, free jazz and Swedish prog rock?  All are relevant, all are true and all clearly outlined in liner notes exclusive to Finders Keepers’ bespoke vinyl pressing of this grail-trail double-slab of psychedelic vinyl film history. Featuring the original cues, composed-to-scene, and mastered from the original studio master tapes via Record Plant, A&R, Sear Sound and Electric Ladyland and housed in exclusive packaging based on one of the rarest European posters for the film’s original release. This first edition also includes exclusive interviews and lost information from Neneh Cherry, Ronald Frangipane and the Swedish members of the original Don Cherry Holy Mountain line-up Bengt Berger and Christer Bothen alongside commendable quotes from Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). Alongside this release Finders Keepers, in collaboration with ABKCO will also present special vinyl editions of Jodorowsky’s other two Allen Klein produced films, El Topo and The Dance Of Reality, housed with the same unique design features and liner notes driven by the label’s long-term commitment to a project that has taken over a decade to release.  The wait has been too long.  Zoom back camera! Break the illusion and enjoy your salad.

File Under: OST, Psych
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dune

OST: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
This is the soundtrack to the story about the greatest film that never was. Jodorowsky’s Dune tells the tale of cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unsuccessful attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, Dune, to the big screen. Composer Kurt Stenzel gives life to a retro-futuristic universe as fantastic as Jodorowsky’s own vision for his Dune–a film whose A-list cast would have included Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, and Mick Jagger in starring roles and music by psychedelic prog-rockers Pink Floyd. Building upon director Frank Pavich’s idea for a score with a “Tangerine Dream-type feel,” Stenzel lays out a cosmic arsenal of analog synthesizers that would make any collector green at the gills: among other gems are a rare Moog Source, CZ-101s, and a Roland Juno 6, as well as unorthodox instruments like a toy Concertmate organ and a Nintendo DS. “I also played guitar and did vocals,” says Stenzel, “some chanting… and some screaming, which comes naturally to me.” The score also features narration by Jodorowsky himself. As Stenzel notes, “Jodo’s voice is actually the soundtrack’s main musical instrument–listening to him was almost like hypnosis, like going to the guru every night.” This highly-anticipated soundtrack LP was sequenced and mixed by Stenzel with the listener in mind and flows through a “four-sides” LP approach. “I wanted it to play like the records I grew up with, where every side was a journey.”

File Under: OST, Electronic
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beyondOST: The Beyond (Death Waltz) LP
We at Death Waltz Recording Company are nothing if not traditionalists, so in the great tradition of Zombie Flesh Eaters and The House By The Cemetary, we’re bringing you another killer score to a gorehound classic, in this case Fabio Frizzi’s musical masterpiece The Beyond. The second in director Lucio Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy after City Of the Living Dead, The Beyond is an exercise in bone-chilling terror, atmospheric horror, and eyes being driven through by eight-inch nails. Chuck in an evil book, murderous spiders, and the zombie equivalent of Pippi Longstocking and you have a film consistently referred to as a masterwork of the splatter genre. However, The Beyond goes a bit deeper than your average bloody feast in illustrating a ghostly mystery of blind girls, warlocks, and Joe the plumber. All of this is masterfully orchestrated by Frizzi’s music, with two standout pieces that every fan of this picture should recognise. The first is an eerie piano motif that echoes throughout the score, while the second is the opposite, a fierce and madcap vocal piece that acts as the main title. Couple these with some great funk beats and some classic N’awlins blues, and you have an album that’ll knock you on your ass so hard you’ll end up in that creepy painting for forever and Beyond.

File Under: OST, Horror
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tarantulaOST: Black Belly of the Tarantula (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to bring soundtrack fans a huge classic of Italian horror. With music by one of cinema’s greatest composers, Ennio Morricone, Paolo Cavara’s La Tarantola Dal Ventre Nero (Black Belly of the Tarantula) is considered one of the best gialli ever made. Starring celebrated genre actor Giancarlo Giannini, the terrifying film is about a homicide detective hunting down a psychotic killer who has been paralysing and slaughtering women just as the deadly Pepsis grossa – the Tarantula Hawk wasp – does to its own eight-legged prey. Ennio Morricone’s score is equally frightening, though you wouldn’t immediately believe it. The initial melodies of the score conjure up memories of the hits of Serge Gainsbourg, with an upbeat keyboard riff mixed with the breathy and seductive vocals of Edda Dell’Orso, and there’s some jazz fusion along the way. But from there it starts to spiral and spiral into the unknown, with disquieting atonal sounds, creepy insectoid strings, stabbing percussion. The mix of an unhinged piano and drums feels like the buzzing of the wasp, and the music gets so uncomfortable you feel paralysed – with fear – and that’s when it really starts to terrify you. Such is the power of maestro Morricone and Black Belly of the Tarantula.

File Under: OST, Italian, Horror
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jurassic worldOST: Jurassic World (Mondo) LP
Mondo is pleased to announce a first vinyl pressing of the soundtrack to this year’s biggest blockbuster: Jurassic World – composed by the incredibly talented and prolific Michael Giacchino. Deftly balancing the playful heart, warm nostalgia and action packed elements of this film, the soundtrack to Jurassic World crafts unique earworm melodies that stand triumphantly in the canon of this franchise’s massive musical legacy. Featuring original artwork by Stan & Vince.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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belladonna

Masahiko Sato: Belladonna (Finders Keepers) LP
“There was a time when the strength of a musician’s vision transcended all labels; here is a chance to dip into that pool again, and emerge not just refreshed, but alive again with the sense that we all can live in that world again, but most importantly raise the flag for excellence. Fantastic.” Jim O’Rourke An unholy grail of near mythical status finally joins the Finders Keepers Records discography in the form of this first-ever reissue of Masahiko Sato’s elusive sensual psychedelic free jazz score to the stunning Japanese witchcraft animation Belladonna Of Sadness (Kanashimi no Belladonna) directed by anime screenwriter Eiichi Yamamoto in 1973. An early feature-length example of a micro-genre in which Japanese anime producers collaborated with the “pink” film genre, Belladonna’s challenging occult, sexual and political subject matter was the cause of the film’s notoriety for many years, earning Yamamoto’s work a critical platform amongst some of the best counterculture animation films of the era such as La Planète Sauvage ( René Laloux/Roland T poor, France 1973), Marie Mathématique (Jean-Claude Forest, France 1967), Wizards (Ralph Bakshi, US 1977), Heavy Metal (Gerald Potterton, Canada 1980) and Time Masters (René Laloux/Moebius, France 1982). Drawing further stylistic similarities with Shuji Terayama/Tenjo Sajiki associated poster artist Aquirax Uno and the Hara-Kiri magazine cartoon strips Pravda/Jodelle by French artist Guy Peellaert, as well as the early flamboyant Klimtesque imagery of Jean Rollin collaborators Philippe Druillet and Nicolas Devil, Belladonna Of Sadness brought a strong European flavour to its sophisticated and stylish Japanese application which accentuated the French origins of the plot loosely based on accounts taken from the 1862 book La Sorcière (The Witch) by French historian Jules Michelet. Over the last decade Belladonna Of Sadness has risen from the ashes and now shines brighter than ever. Now on the eve of its third or fourth global DVD release, fans no longer have to wait four months for third generation VHS telecine rubs from “that guy” in the States, or stuff their ambitious wish lists into the hands of any lucky friends visiting Tokyo in the summer. Belladonna has been used as nightclub projections by clued-up VJs and been restored by discerning feminist folk singers and improv bands while influencing illustrators, fashion designers and other creative types along the way. Original copies of the soundtrack, however, are much less likely to rear their heads on a weekly basis, with prices literally doubling each time the original stock copies swap hands amongst the same Italian dealers at central European record fairs. Italian soundtracks are expensive anyway, but this one, as I’m sure you’ll agree, has got extra credentials. Finders Keepers Records, in direct collaboration with Sato himself, agree that this record should finally be liberated amongst those who know the magic words. With our decision to keep this album “strictly Sato” we removed a track – the main orchestral love theme by Asei Kobayashi and Mayumi Tachibana, which in all honesty is very much detached from Sato’s psychedelic soundtrack. Kept intact, however, are the songs sung and penned by Sato’s then wife Chinatsu Nakayama, including the track entitled TBFS (answers on a postcard?) that only appears on the master tapes and never actually made it to the theatrical cut of the film (although the theme is briefly alluded to, in different instrumentation, in a cut-scene available on the German DVD). This reissue project also marks the beginning of a longer intended relationship between Finders Keepers and Masahiko Sato, exploring his recorded work in both film music, jazz and avant garde composition.

File Under: OST, Psych, Jazz
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scientistScientist: Best Dub Album in the World (Superior Viaduct) LP
Hopeton Brown, better known as Scientist, has been a pioneering figure in the world of dub for nearly 40 years. His early love of electronics proved fruitful when (still a teenager) he was hired at King Tubby’s studio in Kingston. Brown quickly ascended the ranks and became heir to Tubby’s throne, producing imaginative and technically impressive mixes that solidified his forward-looking nickname. Introducing Scientist – The Best Dub Album in the World, his 1980 debut LP, lives up to its boastful title. Recorded with Sly & Robbie at Channel One Studio and mixed at King Tubby’s, the album features hypnotic basslines, reverb-drenched keyboards, and fluid, start-stop rhythms. Opening track “Steppers,” with its well-balanced phrasing and organic contours, shows Scientist’s mastery of the studio-as-instrument concept. On “Scientific,” the effects-laden guitars are stretched to their outer limit to create magnificent, spaced-out textures and muted tension. Introducing Scientist displays the talents of a man obsessed with every element of production, drawing out the very best of the dub form.

File Under: Reggae, Dub
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shavitAmi Shavit: In Alpha Mood (Finder Keepers) LP
“The music of this record was stimulated by the theory and practice of biofeedback. It is aimed to create a calm, relaxed, meditative mood associated with alpha brain wave” –original back cover. Part outsider electronic album, part physiological experiment, part work of art, this is not your average new age record. The brainchild of a reclusive Israeli multimedia artist fascinated with philosophy, technology, and sound by the name of Ami Shavit, In Alpha Mood is the result of a personal and artistic effort to both overcome a personal trauma and push the boundaries of a fledgling physiological understanding while utilizing the burgeoning domestic synthesizer technology of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Shavit sought to combine his love of electronic music acts like Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass, and synthesizer technology with his fascination with the relatively new technique of biofeedback, but his work was interrupted when, in 1973, he was conscripted into the army during the Yom Kippur War. As he struggled to come to terms with his wartime experiences, he began adding battlefield soundbites to his recordings, and found a sort of catharsis. He returned to his work, and soon a longtime friend and owner of the Mango record shop (a Tel Aviv institution at the time) suggested he press some of his recordings on vinyl. Rather than cull disparate excerpts from his expansive tape archive of home recordings, Shavit began what would become the culmination of his years of experimentation and the centerpiece of his work with the music-induced state of working relaxation he called Alpha Mood. Recorded in Shavit’s studio during a handful of sessions with no post-production, In Alpha Mood was mastered at Triton Studios (where Arik Einstein and Tamouz had also recorded), pressed by Hed Arzi Music (one of Israel’s oldest and largest labels and manufacturers), and released on Shavit’s Amis Records in 1977. Only 500 copies of a planned run of 5000 were pressed, and, with no publicity, it was sold to discerning record-buyers with little or no understanding of the record or its maker outside of his status as a prominent visual artist. Apart from a handful of Alpha Mood exhibitions in Israel, those 500 copies and six remaining master tapes (including that of In Alpha Mood) are the only remaining artifacts of Shavit’s Alpha Mood experiments. This first vinyl reissue of In Alpha Mood was remastered from the original master tapes sourced from Shavit’s private archive.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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sigur rosSigur Ros: Takk (Krunk) LP
2005’s Takk, Sigur Ros’ fourth album, has been out of print on vinyl for a while and has been going for big bucks online. When you get it, you’ll see why. The deluxe vinyl package (180g 2LP + 10″), thick card dual gatefold sleeve with embossed artwork on the front and rear, and a center insert with a single sided 10″ for “Mílanó” (other side contains an etching). Written, performed and produced by the band (along with co-producer Ken Thomas) at their studio in Alafoss, Iceland, Takk is the record to justify every amazing claim ever laid at this exceptional band’s door. Huge and intimate, orchestral and gossamer-light, rich, layered and essentially simple, Takk is the work of a band operating at the very top of their game.

File Under: Ambient, Indie Rock
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tall dwarfs

Tall Dwarfs: Weeville (Flying Nun/Captured Tracks) LP
The influence of lo-fi pioneers Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate and their legendary New Zealand band Tall Dwarfs’ brand of fractured pop has been felt far and wide in the American independent music community for many years. Their lengthy list of fans include Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Neutral Milk Hotel. As the opening liner notes of their 1990 masterpiece proclaim, Weeville is, “the first straightforward LP by Tall Dwarfs – uh…in terms of having the same number of tracks on each side – both of which play at the same speed and which ain’t a compilation.” Nonetheless, Weeville is filled with the Tall Dwarfs’ eclectic mix of homespun psychedelia, densely textured pop songs and a wallop of hard nosed punk. Now, re-issued again on LP, Weeville is wired with hypnotic tunes, weird and wonderful instruments and brilliant songwriting. Whether that be the raw spookiness and two guitar harmony of “Breath” and “Crawl” or the oddly compelling “Skin Of My Teeth” and “Bodies” all brushed with a scent of the macabre. Along with a 20 page booklet featuring the duo’s individual art and design, Weeville is a fantasy land built on tape loops, feedback and distortion. It’s pop music just how they like it. “We would listen to the Tall Dwarfs [legendary N.Z. Flying Nun band] and we’d think, ‘Gosh, these guys are recording stuff on four-track, it sounds totally hi-fi.’ We’d listen to The Beatles and The Beach Boys and think, ‘These guys recorded this on four-track, it sounds totally hi-fi.’ We said to ourselves, ‘We have a fourtrack, it doesn’t sound so hi-fi, but it’s something to shoot for.’ So we decided that these recordings that we were making weren’t just us fucking around, they were albums.” – from a 1998 interview with Robert Schneider of The Apples (in Stereo) / producer Neutral Milk Hotel & The Olivia Tremor Control

File Under: DIY, Indie Rock
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thraherWillie Thrasher: Spirit Child (Future Days) LP
Spirit Child is the debut LP from Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher. Thrasher was born in Aklavik, a hamlet located in the Inuvik region of the Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1948. At five years of age, Thrasher was taken from his family and sent to a residential school where he was forbidden to practice his Inuvialuit culture, a shameful initiative by the Canadian government to assimilate Indigenous people into mainstream society. Music was a way for Thrasher to escape the pain and longing. In the mid-1960s, Thrasher drummed for The Cordells, one of the first Inuit rock bands. One evening, a stranger recommended that the group tap into their Aboriginal roots instead of the charts for inspiration. This prompted Thrasher to take up the guitar and write songs about his life, people, and the environment. Despite losing a portion of his left middle finger in a work accident, Thrasher became a musical vagabond, travelling across Canada and the United States throughout the 1970s and well into the 1980s meeting many other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit musicians. Spirit Child was released by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1981 and provided a further opportunity for Thrasher to reconnect with his Native heritage and share this love and understanding with people from other cultures. “Silent Inuit” became a northern hit for Thrasher, but with limited commercial support and little promotion outside of northern communities, the album eventually fell to the wayside. Today, Thrasher lives in the town of Nanaimo, B.C., where he performs as a city sanctioned busker with his partner Linda Saddleback. The global attention garnered by Light In The Attic’s Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985 has led to recent performances at the Austin Psych Fest and Levitation Vancouver. Wherever he may be, Willie Thrasher is a trailblazing troubadour with an Indigenous heartbeat sound. Let Spirit Child open your ears, heart, and mind to a new folk-rock reality.

File Under: Folk, Native North America
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vanayLaurence Vanay: La Petite Fenetre (Lion) LP
“My ship of stone, tonight I came as a passer-by. Yet I gave you everything, my joy, my love, my freedom. I feel like singing, dancing, laughing like in the old times.” —Jacqueline Thibault (from ‘Mon vaisseau de Pierre,’ a tribute to the Hérouville castle) Jacqueline Thibault (Laurence Vanay) often worked for other artists at the legendary Château d’Hérouville studio as arranger, keyboardist, co-composer, and assistant sound engineer. Between sessions she sometimes managed to record her own music. Several years after her two acknowledged masterpieces, “Galaxies” and “Evening Colours,” she was able to bring together the tracks for “La Petite Fenêtre” (The Little Window). As the 1970’s ended, trouble with the Château finances meant that again it was impossible for her to present her work to interested record labels. Instead, “I worked in another recording studio in Paris for fashionable artists,” she said, “and I managed after a time to resume and complete my unfinished songs.” By that time, the French record companies were not interested in instrumental music anymore. The recordings therefore found themselves asleep on Parisian shelves, pending potential better days. Sublime compositions: unique, melancholic and very powerful.

File Under: Prog, Rock, Magma

vannier

Jean-Claude Vannier: L’enfant Assassin Des Mouches (Finders Keepers) LP
To mark the ten years of Finders Keepers we present a lovingly remastered and repackaged release of the album where it all began. Within the last ten years the resurgence of sixties Gallic pop, once known as Ye-Ye music, has escalated beyond an inter-stellar dizzy height. What might have been a waning, embarrassing genre destined for a shelf life/death gathering dust amongst the Eurovisions of yesteryear, the ‘jerk-beat’ psychsploitation records of the latter day French disco had soon found new floor space in some of the most credible nightspots in London and Japan. Without a shadow of doubt, the flagship LP with best odds on becoming a discerning household object was Histoire de Melody Nelson by one Serge Gainsbourg. An inimitable, 45-minute concept LP handcrafted by a bass-driven psychedelic rock group and a heaven sent, 1001 piece orchestral and choral symphony. The album left hip hop producers alongside progressive rock aficionados crying out for more and more for years to come. This LP was in a league of its very own… or was it? The seldom-sung musical arranger for Melody Nelson has become one of the most enigmatic names in French-funk; lorded by many as the “French David Axelrod” Jean-Claude Vannier’s name is the lesser-spotted, tell-tale seal of sample-friendly quality when it comes to crate-digging ‘en Francais’. Suitably, when rumours amongst French record dealers claiming “the band who played Melody Nelson recorded a follow-up lp” became a legend of psychedelic folklore. Another unconfirmed rumour about JCV taking the remaining out-takes of the beloved Melody Nelson to create a promo-only experimental rock LP left sample hungry producers and DJs in turmoil… For those in the know the answers to these mysteries lay flat between the anonymous gatefold sleeve of an undiscovered conceptual album bizarrely entitled “L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches” by a custom-built avant-rock entourage called Insolitudes. The rocking-horse manure treasure hunt began. So here we have it. The mythical teen-tonic for all those suffering from Melody Nelson withdrawal symptoms. For record collectors looking for that special something, this LP contains the extra special EVERYTHING. Peruse the following genres: psychedelic, classical, soundtracks, jazz, hip hop, samples, avant-garde, funk. Then place a copy of L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches in each section. History denotes that when ‘our man in Paris’ Msr. Gainsbourg first heard the initial bones of this LP he took his poetic pencil to paper providing bizarre liner notes, thus consummating the most extraordinary concept album of all time. The story “The Child Assassin Of The Flies” was to be included as the only information to grace the LPs highly collectible, concertina gatefold sleeve. The story in full is reproduced in its native-tongue on this very special re-release package. DJs and Producers such as Jim O’Rourke, Stereolab’s Tim Gane and David Holmes have spent sleepless nights in perusal of original copies of this perfect release and now regard it as ‘One Of The Best’. Recent copies on eBay have commanded ridiculous price tags, and is now one of the most sought-after articles amongst the vinyl hungry hip-hop community. Highest Recommendation!

File Under: Psych, Experimental, Essential Grooves
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plastic danceVarious: Plastic Dance (Cache) LP
Having spent exactly ten years living off the small change and 45 adapters of each others pockets, Finders Keepers/Cache Cache Records co-founders Andy Votel and Doug Shipton spread their wings and pool their DJ bags for a new series of sporadic various artists compilations focussing on the global punk and makeshift electro records that have kept their beer soaked dance floors and distorted sound systems moving in recent years.  Meet the younger sarcastic sisters of some of the classic Finders Keepers family and their spotty friends then watch what happens when jazz punk underdogs cock their legs to their overqualified elder brothers.Plastic Dance presents ten unacquainted and elusive slices of synthetic squat pop, angular funk, teapot kosmische and fraudulent disco from self-propelled imprints and global co-ops. Named after Günter Bernas obscure DIY anti-band this ongoing series combines rare, unknown and untravelled wax nuggets of night club punk, art school Zeuhl and quasi-political pop united by soldering irons, C-60s and sarcastic synth tones. Featuring a cross section of unobtainable unreleased unknown and unwanted reluctant punk and snide synth pop with sleeve-notes by respected DJ/Haç hack/Situationist addict John McCready and artwork by airbrush legend Terry Pastor (Ziggy Stardust/Soft Machine/Arthur C. Clarke) Plastic Dance becomes flexible under heat.

File Under: Electro Punk, Synth Pop
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…..restocks…..

Black Devil Disco: Disco Club (Anthology) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Volume 4 (Rhino) LP
Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven (Latino Buggerville) LP
Mac Demarco: 2 (Captured Tracks) LP
Dr. Dre: Compton (Interscope) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic (Death Row) LP
John Fahey: Days Have Gone By (4 Men With Beards) LP
John Fahey: New Possibility (Takoma) LP
Follakzoid: II (Sacred Bones) LP
Fucked Up: Hidden World (Deranged) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Historie de Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy) LP
Steve Hauschildt: Where All Is Fled (Kranky) LP
Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl (Sacred Bones) LP
Jackson 5: The Christmas Album (Universal) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Float Along (Flightless) LP
La Luz: Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art) LP
Low: Christmas (Kranky) LP
Low: Secret Name (Kranky) LP
Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge) 6×10″
Master Musicians of Bukkake: Totem One (Important) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Snowbringer Cult (Ba Da Bing) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Terror’s Horn (Ba Da Bing) LP
Om: Conference of the Birds (Holy Mountain) LP
Om: God is Good (Drag City) LP
Armando Sciascia: Sea Fantasy (Phenom) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
She & Him: A Very She & Him Christmas (Merge) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hallow (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Smiths: s/t (Rhino) LP
Space Lady/Burnt Ones: split (Castle Face) LP
Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift For You (Legacy) LP
Talking Heads: Name of this Band is Talking Heads (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (Rhino) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain (4AD) LP
Useless Eaters: Live in San Francisco (Castle Face) LP
Tom Waits: Heart of Saturday Night (Rhino) LP
Tom Waits: Closing Time (Rhino) LP
Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Ocean) LP
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Frank Zappa: Freak Out! (Zappa) LP
Various: Christmas in Soulville (Stax) LP
Various: Soul Christmas (Warner) LP

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