…..news letter #660 – given…..

Holy moly! Another week of stacks of stuff piled up all over. And here I thought short weeks were supposed to give a bit of a reprieve, but no. Tons of killer stuff is on it’s way for next week too. It’s as though everyone is trying to get a new record out before there is no more vinyl left to press… man, that’d suck.

…..picks of the week…..

stranger

The Stranger: Bleaklow (History Always Favors The Winner) LP
One of the most destitute and absorbing albums in Leyland Kirby’s canon is finally given a much-needed vinyl pressing, following on from its initial CD release in 2008. Bleaklow is harrowing from the start, the opening “Something to Do with Death” reverberating dread via layers of unstable, radiant drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. “Solemn Dedication” adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it’s on “Indefinite Ridge” that things really take a turn towards that eerie, destabilizing sound Kirby can do so well, like a standout BoC vignette pounded by the rattle of industrial machinery malfunctioning in the background; it’s at once deeply unsettling and oddly comforting. “A Melody Drags Me Back” recalls the spirit of Kirby’s best-known productions as The Caretaker, except in place of those old 78s you get just the vaguest hint of life and color beneath the endless layers of sonic unease. The album ends with “Ominous Sunset,” an incredible 6-minute coda that’s perhaps best compared to Kirby’s Sadly, the Future Is No Longer What It Was set, sounding like Vangelis’ score for Bladerunner aged and degraded yet still somehow conveying all its retro-futuristic romance. It’s an astonishing ending to one of Kirby’s finest albums. Fully remastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Dark Ambient, The Caretaker
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soused

Scott Walker + Sunn o))): Soused (4AD) LP/CD
When Sunn O))) first approached Scott Walker about appearing on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, they didn’t know what it would actually lead to. Four years on, Scott returned with something even more enticing, collaborating on Soused, a body of work he was writing with them in mind. Recorded in London in early 2014 and produced by Walker and long-time ally Peter Walsh with the assistance of musical director Mark Warman, Soused is a 5-track, 50-minute record that cements the status of both acts’ wide-reaching and otherworldly renown. The vinyl edition consists of two 180g LPs, pressed on black vinyl and housed in a heavyweight tip-on sleeve. The artwork was designed by Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, featuring photography by Gast Bouschet.

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

ambarchi

Oren Ambarchi/Jim O’Rourke/Keiji Haino: Only Wanting To Melt Beautifully… (Black Truffle) LP
“Begun as a one-off collaboration in 2009, the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi has now become a solid working group, refining its craft through a series of annual concerts at Tokyo’s legendary SuperDeluxe. Much of their recorded work has focused on their intense, ritualistic take on the rock power trio of electric guitar, bass and drums. Presenting the entire first set of the trio’s March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the second set will follow on Black Truffle later this year), Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen is their fifth release and blows the instrumental palette wide open for a single continuous piece focused on acoustic strings, synth, flute and percussion. Featuring one of Haino’s most delicate and moving recorded vocal performances, the opening section of the record takes the form of a spare duet between O’Rourke’s 12-string acoustic guitar and Haino’s kantele (a Finnish variant of the dulcimer), behind which Ambarchi provides a hovering backdrop of wine glass tones. While on previous releases the listener has often sensed that Haino was firmly in the driver’s seat, here O’Rourke takes center stage with an acoustic guitar performance that takes the lyricism of John Abercrombie or Ralph Towner and refracts it through the free improvisation tradition of his mentors Derek Bailey and Henry Kaiser. The atmosphere of meditative, abstracted song is reminiscent of some of Haino’s greatest recordings, such as the legendary Live in the First Year of the Heisei volumes recorded with Kan Mikami. After this stunningly beautiful opening sequence, the performance moves organically through a number of episodes, including a dramatic central passage in which Haino moves to synth and drum machine, crafting a current of raw electricity that unfurls slowly over the gently pulsing foundations of Ambarchi’s cymbals and builds to heights of manic intensity. When Haino later turns to wooden flute, Ambarchi answers him with nimble hand-drummed percussion in a passage that calls to mind Don Cherry’s liberated combination of free-jazz improvisation and non-Western musics. The trio’s move away from the power trio dynamic bespeaks a risk-taking and questing spirit that refuses to be satisfied with repeating past glories, and yet the organic, immersive flow of this single improvisation attests to the intuitive bond that has formed between them over the last five years. Exuding the signature mystery and emotion of Haino’s greatest works, this release is perhaps the strongest statement yet from this acclaimed trio, and holds out a tantalizing promise for everyone hooked on their continuing exploration of ‘those things said to be as of yet unseen.’ –Francis Plagne

File Under: Psych, Japanese, Improve
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Brilliant-Career-PR-Image

Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
If You’re Feeling Sinister
Tiger Milk
Fold Your Hand Child…
Life Pursuit
Etc.
(Matador) LP
All ten albums repackaged in resealable mylar bags, each with customized obi “It Could have been a brilliant career’ + all album art. Download coupons included plus brand new cover art for ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’. “Push Barman…,” “The Life Pursuit,” and “Dear Catatrophe Waitress” back in print after a long absence from the market.

File Under: Indie, Pop
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bong

Bong: Stoner Rock (Ritual) LP
Gatefold double LP version. Ultimate drone-lords Bong have summoned the tones of the elder gods with their epic new genre-defining album, Stoner Rock, their fourth full-length release on Ritual Productions. Recorded at Blank Studio, Newcastle, the album “is a tongue-in-cheek dig at our usual classification as ‘stoner rock’ and what the term has come to represent. The idea is to create our own definition of ‘stoner rock’ by creating an album so utterly stoned and repetitive to be a million miles away from the usual definition. Those who know Bong already will get both the humor and the philosophical redefinition… those who don’t know us will either get it when they listen or will never understand Bong at all.” Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, sonically speaking, Stoner Rock ventures further into the abyss, gravitating toward an endless void, and with the magnitude of their ritualistic, mesmeric drones, we have no choice but to follow. Featuring artwork by Zdzislaw Beksinski.

File Under: Drone, Metal, Doom
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buck65

Buck 65: Neverstory (Warner) LP 
“People of Earth! Today I bring news I’ve been waiting to share with you for a long time. I’m very happy to announce that a new album called Neverlove will finally be released on September 30th, 2014. A great deal of time and pain and joy and refinement went into the making of this one. Some of the saddest and silliest and strongest songs I’ve ever written are on this record. I’m excited and terrified for you to hear it.” – Buck 65

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap, CanCon
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brood

Elliott Brood: Work & Love (Paper Bag) LP
For their fifth album, Elliott Brood wanted to break things. 2008’s Mountain Meadows was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, and the band’s last record, Days Into Years, won a 2011 Juno award for roots album of the year. Now was the time to smash the precedents, break the mould. To withdraw to a farmhouse in Bath, Ontario, hammering out nine songs in two weeks. For the first time, Elliott Brood decided to work with an outside producer: Ian Blurton, who has helped make roaring records for the Weakerthans, Skydiggers and Cursed. And for the first time, the group’s two songwriters decided to mine the bare histories of their own lives: penning verses about the ends of relationships and the tests of adulthood, long drives, childhood retreating in a rear-view mirror. “Work and love will make a man out of you,” the Constantines sang; and so here is Elliott Brood’s Work and Love, their most personal album to date, the sound of a grown-up band searching their hearts for all they’ve lost and gained. Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso and Stephen Pitkin recorded Work and Love in the cold spring of 2014, as the ice was coming apart on Lake Ontario. They deserted their families and holed up in the Tragically Hip’s Bathhouse studio, scarcely emerging – waking and playing and playing and playing, one song a day. The magic usually happened some time after midnight, when they were “just tired enough”. Blurton would come out and lure them into a new place: a different, even truer landscape. They called him “the Wizard”. Blurton the Wizard and engineer Nyles “the Mad Scientist” Spencer, filling the corners of songs with burred effects and tape loops. Elliott Brood had “played it safe” for four records, they claim: Blurton sharpened their sound, weathered and interrogated it, forced the three musicians to confront their own habits. And it made for a full-length that gestures toward the Hip and the Cons as much as it does to Richard Buckner and Whiskeytown. Adding dimension to select tracks on the album, the band is joined by Aaron Goldtein (City and Colour, Daniel Ramano) on Pedal Steel and John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer) on bass (for ÔEach OtherÕs Kids). These songs are loud and quiet but mostly loud, and always reaching toward something. First loves, lost loves, fuck- ups and young men’s just desserts. Laforet has called Work and Love a “lament for youth”, but it’s also a eulogy for the moments that came just after, on the doorstep of manhood. It’s music of remembered abandon, new burdens, and those nights, years ago, when the moonlit fields seemed to go on forever. It’s Elliott Brood at their sheerest, facing forward and backward at the same time.

File Under: Folk, Country, CanCon
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fennesz

Fennesz: Venice (Touch) LP
Special 10th anniversary edition & first time available on vinyl. Gatefold double LP release — 14 tracks. Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft. Featuring David Sylvian (vocals) and Burkhard Stangl (guitar). Venice, the fourth studio album by Christian Fennesz, finds electronic music at a crossroads between its early status as digital subculture, and the feeling that there has to be something more, an emotional quality that rises above noise and moves towards melody and rapture. It was voted No. 3 in The Top 50, The Wire, December 2004, was album of the week at BBCi on its release and remains Christian Fennesz’s best-selling record to date. Prefix (USA) noted: “Although Fennesz’s breakout record Endless Summer was followed by a live release and a collaboration with Jim O’Rourke and Peter Rehberg as Fenn O’Berg, Venice is the true heir to that album’s ascendant pop. Venice is not as unabashedly poppy as its predecessor (the lack of Beach Boys references can attest to that), but still mines much the same vein. It was marked by critics at the time as a move away from the relatively robotic music spawned by the IDM craze of the late nineties. Instead, its melodic, emotive tracks foresaw an electronic music that could be purely human.” Pitchfork Media (USA), in a lengthy review, also noted: “Venice’s quality extends beyond its sound. Touch proprietor Jon Wozencroft — through his breathtaking design and photography — continues to fight the good fight against records-as-pure-data by making the CD a value-added prospect.” and The Declaration Online (Web): “Two blue empty row boats left listless on rippling water. Red orange green riverbed foliage reflected in the water’s gauzy oil slick surface. An airport enveloped in dull gray stratus and snow. Upon seeing the photography and packaging accompanying Christian Fennesz’s latest recording, Venice, it is clear that the record label Touch remains intent on not simply putting out records but creating audio-visual imprints dedicated to inextricably tying sound and vision.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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black emanuelle

Nico Fidenco: Black Emanuelle (Dagored) LP
The legendary Nico Fidenco’s score for Black Emanuelle is by turns sultry and serious, fun and funky. The sound is sophisticated, groovy and melodically memorable; mixin’ latin rhythms—in a continuous sexual tension with the exotic images of the beautiful Laura Gemser—and electronic textures that show the influence of early techno masters such as Giorgio Moroder and Kraftwerk.

File Under: OST, Italian
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emanuelle

Nico Fidenco: Black Emanuelle Orient Reportage (Dagored) LP
Nico Fidenco’s Black Emanuelle Orient Reportage aka Black Emanuelle Goes East is one of the seminal soundtracks that will set you on an Italian groove odyssey! The film is probably the most depraved of all the volumes of the Emanuelle series. Maestro Fidenco relies heavily on layered strings, horns, flutes, violins and an array of exotic instruments and aims for eclecticism in playing with versions of the main theme. No one is ever the same after…Black Emanuelle! Mastered at 45rpm.

File Under: OST, Italian

fvs

Function/Vatican Shadow: Games Have Rules (Hospital) LP
Function and Vatican Shadow have combined forces on Games Have Rules for Hospital Productions, simultaneously stripping back each producer’s more prevalent production elements — the dancefloor-focused techno structures of Function; the experimental cassette-roots of Vatican Shadow — to create an album of dynamic electronic ambient music, equal parts rhythmic and atmospheric. As befitting what began life as an “emotional acid” album best suited for an after-hours home-listening experience, Games Have Rules was created in the early hours at New York’s Hospital Productions and Berlin’s Inanimate Objects studios, helping imbue the record with a sense of night turning into day, and the shifting contrasts of dark and light the music evokes. Although not created as the result of improvisation, the album retains an effortless, free-flowing structure, while simultaneously introducing the traditional techno drum kit over the course of the record, deconstructing the ever-changing, looming presence of New York City’s skyline. Ambient in the most traditional sense, Games Have Rules omits the top-heavy reverb saturation of so many modern releases and builds from the ground up with an arsenal of hi-fi and lo-fi production techniques/equipment with a cinematic sequence over the arc of the record. But whereas New York City has so often been depicted in film as a prison, Games Have Rules is an embracement of the city’s endless possibilities: the LP’s gatefold black and white image of The Empire State Building lit up at night from the inside; the ongoing stories of rise and decline lived out at its base.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno, Industrial
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ATOZ_12in_TIPONSteve Gunn: Way Out Weather (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
In Donald Barthelme’s 1982 story “Lightning,” the narrator, a journalist investigating lightning strike survivors, reflects that “lightning changes things; the soul burns, having been struck by lightning.” He wonders about aesthetic (and supernatural) dimensions—is “lightning an attempt at music on the part of God?” Three decades later, as the catastrophic effects of climate change encroach upon the realms of science fiction, how might our communications and social conventions change, becoming correspondingly weirder and darker? Weather is, after all, both a formulaic conversation starter across cultures and a shared condition that connects us experientially. So what happens when “How about this weather?” becomes a less banal and much more compelling, and dangerous, question? While ecological unease worries at the edges of Steve Gunn’s bold new full-band album Way Out Weather—the breathing sea of the billowing title track, the bad wind and moon over “Wildwood,” the polluted pyramid and blue bins in “Shadow Bros,” the desert heat sickness of “Atmosphere”—the resonance of the title is primarily metaphorical and oblique. Written largely while on tour, the record is an elliptical but seductive travelogue, more engaged with navigating foreign (“way out”) emotional landscapes, and with grasping at universal threads of language and narrative, than with bemoaning rising sea levels. Despite the album-opening lyric to the contrary, “Way Out Weather” is an uncommon song in Steve Gunn’s discography. Sonically and lyrically the album demonstrates a radical evolution, lighting out for lusher, more expansive, and impressionistic territories; it’s his first major work as an artist for whom the studio provides a critical context. A more enigmatic and elevated affair than its predecessor, Way Out Weather completes Gunn’s satisfying transformation into a mature songwriter, singer, and bandleader of subtlety and authority. It ranks as most impressive and inviting record yet, an inscrutable but entirely self-assured masterpiece.

File Under: Folk Rock, Psych, Blues
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helio

Heliocentrics/ Melvin Van Peebles: Last Transmission (Now Again) LP/CD
“An interplanetary space/love odyssey featuring Melvin Van Peebles (Brer Soul, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song). Following Heliocentrics’ Out There and 13 Degrees of Reality albums. 2 CD set — Instrumentals included on bonus second disc. Van Peebles makes for the Heliocentrics’ ideal foil: he did graduate work in astronomy in Holland in the 1950s and maintains an avid interest in cosmology. The Heliocentrics, as their name conveys, draw inspiration from both the philosophic leanings of the likes of Stephen Hawking and interstellar mysteries, like those surrounding the Malian Dogon tribe’s knowledge of the Sirius B star hundreds of years before it was discovered. Their music is as indebted to Sun Ra’s interstellar jazz as it is inspired by psychedelia’s spiritual expanse. The Last Transmission, presented as a vocal album and an expanded instrumental selection on a bonus disc, can be taken as both the band’s interpretation of Van Peebles’ poem and a musical voyage inspired by Van Peebles’ vivid imagery. The band considers it their defining work, the result of more than a decade of playing and recording together. They’ve found a voice as a band, one that meshes with Van Peebles,’ as he weaves an intergalactic ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’ In between producer/drummer Malcolm Catto’s thunderous syncopation and producer/bassist Jake Ferguson’s bellowing bass lines, amidst the analog electronics and atmospheric interference naturally accorded by their organic analogue process, Van Peebles’ voice floats in and out, spectral in its tone, complete in its conviction in the unfathomable sense that life’s eruption in the cosmic expanse made, and in love’s ability to transform and transcend death.”

File Under: Funk, Library
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jawbreaker

Jawbreaker: 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (Blackball) LP
One of the most popular and successful underground bands of the early- / mid-’90s, California’s Jawbreaker was comprised of Blake Schwarzenbach (guitar and vocals), Chris Bauermeister (bass) and Adam Pfahler (drums). The band melded raw vocals, a driving rhythm section and grinding guitar with complex song structures and literary lyrics, forging a distinctive style that has since, along with Schwarzenbach’s subsequent band Jets to Brazil, influenced a generation of independent music. By the end of 1993, Jawbreaker was in full stride. The band had completed a full US tour in the summer, played several shows that October with Nirvana, and was attracting significant major label attention. 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, released in early 1994, was Jawbreaker’s third album. After the more “progressive” Bivouac, the trio had returned to a straightforward, poppier sound, and the resulting full-length is widely regarded as their best. The bulk of the recording was done by noted independent producer Steve Albini (though it is officially credited to Albini’s cat, Fluss). Following the mainstream success of fellow Californians Green Day and Rancid, Jawbreaker decided to sign with DGC. They released a final studio album, Dear You, before calling it quits in 1996. A feature-length documentary on the band is currently in the works.

File Under: Punk
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jayhawks

Jayhawks: Rainy Day Music
Sound of Lies
Smile
(American) 2LPs

The Jayhawks couldn’t be more excited to announce that the long-awaited reissues of Sound of Lies, Smile and Rainy Day Music are now available on American Recordings/Universal. Smile was never released on vinyl (in the US) and Sound of Lies and Rainy Day Music were only originally released on vinyl in very limited quantities. The new 2LP editions will released on 180g high quality vinyl and will contain bonus tracks. All of the original tracks were remastered in April 2014 by renown mastering engineer Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC using original analog sources whenever possible, offering a fresh new look at these classic albums. The Jayhawks were definitely swimming against the tide when they emerged from a crowded Minneapolis music scene halfway through the 1980s – a memorable decade that saw the likes of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, Husker Du and Prince put Minnesota on the musical map in a big way. Forging a rootsy sound that wasn’t quite rock or country – “Hank Williams on speed” somebody once memorably called it – The Jayhawks quickly turned into one of the most important bands of the post-punk era. Over the course of two decades, several albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while wining the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process. Named after “The Hawks” – as in “Levon and the Hawks,” the name of Dylan’s backing band in the ’60s before they became known as “The Band” – The Jayhawks and their fellow travelers even helped make the world safe again for artists who weren’t afraid to fuse traditional rock, country and folk influences into something that was both timeless and modern, just like the best American bands always have.

File Under: Alt. Country, Rock
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jorge

Seu Jorge & Almaz: s/t (Now Again) LP
2014 repress with download code. Originally released in 2010 “Listening to this remarkable album for the first time you’ll surely be struck first by the deep, soul-piercing voice of that great Brazilian singer, Seu Jorge. Yes: he’s a singer first and foremost. Many may know him as an actor for his screen-stealing performances in the likes of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic and Fernando Meirelles’ City Of God but Seu has known since he was a child that we was destined to sing. He’s a Brazilian singer who speaks the truth through samba, to paraphrase a well-known Seu Jorge quote. But this project is about a band: Almaz. Drummer Pupillo and guitarist Lucio Maia from the stalwart Nação Zumbi; bassist and composer Antonio Pinto from the soundstages of movies starring Seu Jorge. They came together naturally to record a song for a Walter Salles film; they enjoyed the experience so much that they recorded an entire album of music that inspired them. Songs famous within the Brazilian diaspora (Tim Maia, Jorge Ben) mesh with classic American (Roy Ayers, Michael Jackson) and European (Kraftwerk, Cane and Abel) soul songs begging for a bit of psychedelic samba. They enlisted producer and fellow Brazileiro Mario C. (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson) to put the finishing touches on the project. Their album is both warm and dark; psychedelic and yet grounded, uplifting but at times somber. To listen to it is to join them in the studio, where the only bandleader is the music and the only agenda is to follow your heart.”

File Under: Brazilian, Psychedelic, Samba
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maclean

The Juan Maclean: In A Dream (DFA) LP
The dance world way too often privileges the new, and not many dance artists write albums as good as In A Dream, the third full-length album by The Juan Maclean, this far into their career. The Juan Maclean have weathered electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house, and whatever we can call the sound of today. They never feel totally in step with the moment, but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there’s always something exciting to say about these guys. Let’s start with Nancy Whang. Nancy’s voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan Maclean records, but this album is her triumph. Just take a look above at the album art where she’s front and center This is the Nancy Show — you get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs, but emotions run wild. And you can’t pull this off without Nancy — she’s not living in these songs, she’s leading them. Like every Juan record, this one quotes freely from house and techno and disco. Dead drums and vintage synthesizers. This is a DFA record, after all. But early on in their career, The Juan Maclean stopped sounding like genres and just started sounding like The Juan Maclean. Part of that is lyrical — how the words interact with the melodies that carry them. The diction is always off in all the right ways. Another part is how much fun Juan and Nancy have with the arrangements of their songs. Different parts interact and play off one another in a way that’s remindful of the interplay on classic disco records.

File Under: Electronic, Dance, DFA
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lss

Legendary Shack Shakers: Agri.Dustrial (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Right in time for their reunion Stag-O-Lee releases Agri.Dustrial, the latest album by Legendary Shack Shakers on vinyl for the first time. The album features a new track, a new running order and a proper vinyl remastering. A roots rock juggernaut from Nashville, TN, the Legendary Shack Shakers are a hot-rodded foursome combining blues, rockabilly, country, and rock & roll into one manic assemblage boasting all the gloriously explosive instability of an M-80. Fronted by the manic JD Wilkes, who when not busy with music (he also leads the Dirt Daubers) is also known as a visual artist, publishing comic books and creating elaborate “carnival art” murals on discarded roll-up projection screens. The Legendary Shack Shakers existed from 2000 until 2010 with Agri.Dustrial from 2010 being their last release, although only on CD back then. On this record we hear new guitarist Duane Denison (Hank III, Jesus Lizard), who plays with the enthusiastic power of his predecessors, while new drummer Brett Whitacre drives his kit like it’s a semi full of dynamite rolling down a steep hill with no brakes. Singer Colonel JD Wilkes matches the mania of his bandmates, and with longtime bass man Mark Roberts in tow, they deliver a disc packed with sizzling slabs of rock mayhem. This is one sweet and evil ride. Sixteen songs in 38 minutes. Fasten seat belts. The Legendary Shack Shakers play like their lives depend on wringing the maximum force out of every note. Agri.Dustrial — already a timeless classic.

File Under: Rockabilly
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kink gong

Kink Gong: Gongs (Discrepant) LP
Since the end of the ’90s, Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong has been recording the music of mostly endangered minorities of South East Asia. Alongside his relentless pursuit of remote exotic and unpublished musical traditions, he also creates electronic versions by combining raw recordings with natural sounds, archival material and electronically-treated sounds. For Gongs, Laurent returns to his soundscape approach not heard since the Xinjiang LP (2011) and further develops his unique re-versions around the extensive gong orchestra recordings he made on location in the remote regions of Cambodia & Laos. All tracks were recorded on location and re-arranged by Laurent Jeanneau in Dali, Paris & Berlin. Vinyl pressing of 500 copies.

File Under: Field Recordings, Asia
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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Mr. Twin Sister: s/t (Twin) LP
This is the second full length album by the five members of Twin Sister, now known as Mr Twin Sister. For this record, the band returned to the creative process they had employed on their first two EPs- working individually or in small, shifting groups, slowly building and rebuilding, before ultimately polishing with the full band. There was a new depth to the process this time- prior to 2010, the band had never before been in a proper studio. Now having spent time in one, they knew better how and when to use it, and were able to combine its benefits with a more methodical songwriting approach for the first time. Revolving around themes of self-identity and isolation, we are given eight songs stretching 38 minutes, something far deeper, darker, and more substantial than anything they have done before.

File Under: Indie Rock, Synth Pop
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stevens

Cedric Stevens: Hanging in the Wires (Discrepant) LP
After a busy spell collaborating with the likes of Fennesz and My Cat Is An Alien, Belgium experimental stalwart Cédric Stevens still finds time to complete a meditative LP of modular electronics, electric guitar and Indian tambura. Taking his trademark modular synth textures further into the ether zone, Stevens continues his flirtations between the fragile lines of noise and celestial drones, offering again another beautiful glimpse into his ongoing studio experiments at the reclusive Hermetic garage. With a gentle A-side of modular synths, guitars, and field recordings, the B-side plunges the listener into a grandiose meditating raga piece entitled “Benares Crescent.” Based exclusively on recordings of an Indian tambura and developed by Stevens over the last 5 years, “Benares” swooshes through Indian psychedelic drones, evoking a sometimes wild others meditating, electrified Indian harmonic soundscape. The logical continuation of the Belgium “school” of exploratory electronics. Fans of Baudouin Oosterlynck, Léo Kupper, Folke Rabe or Remko Scha take note.

File Under: Drone, Raga, Electronic
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supersilent

Supersilent: 12 (Rune Grammofon) CD
Rune Grammofon are delighted to welcome back the mighty Supersilent with a brand-new record, their first in four years. Recorded during three different sessions back in 2011, Supersilent 12 is produced by Deathprod from hours of recordings at his own Audio Virus LAB, Athletic Sound in Halden and the Emanuel Vigeland Museum, known for its 20-second natural reverb. Since the very beginning, Supersilent have always moved forward with the greatest integrity. Supersilent music is collective work, total group improvising, and not a matter of individual grandstanding. They never rehearse as a group and don’t discuss the music with each other, meeting only to play concerts or to record. Every recording and every concert is a unique occasion, not to be repeated, and their music lives in a no-man’s-land between the genres, somewhere between avant-garde free-jazz, rock, electronica and modern composition. It can sometimes appear to be written or at least arranged, again making it clear that these musicians communicate on a high, almost telepathic level. Supersilent 12 brings further evidence to the above. Known as being heavy on electronics, this time they have moved further towards the avant-garde territory populated by Deathprod and current Arve Henriksen releases Chron and Cosmic Creation. It features some of their darkest and most eerie soundscapes, but there’s still room for Henriksen’s lyrical trumpet. Supersilent was formed in Oslo in 1997 after producer, musician and sound artist Helge Sten approached improvising trio Veslefrekk with the idea of forming a new quartet. The first time they played together, without prior rehearsals, was at Bergen Jazz Festival the same year. Their first album, the triple set 1-3 was released in late ’97, also being the first release on Rune Grammofon. Drummer Jarle Vespestad left the group in 2008 without being replaced. Ståle Storløkken is a member of Humcrush, Elephant9, BOL, Reflections In Cosmo and Terje Rypdal’s Skywards trio and a couple of other projects. Arve Henriksen has released eight solo albums, seven of them on Rune Grammofon, and he has recorded with David Sylvian, Trygve Seim, Jon Balke, Christian Wallumrød and many others. Helge Sten aka Deathprod was a former member of rock group Motorpsycho and is now a permanent member in Susanna’s trio. As Deathprod he has released three albums as well as a retrospective 4CD box set. He is a producer on the various independent scenes in Norway, with credits including Jaga Jazzist, Nils Petter Molvaer, Motorpsycho, The White Birch, Susanna, Jenny Hval, and several others. Helge Sten (audio virus, electronics); Ståle Storløkken (keyboards, electronics); Arve Henriksen (trumpet, electronics).

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Improv, Jazz
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jmt

Jone Takamaki Trio: Universal Mind (Arc Light Editions) LP
Arc Light Editions follows up two successful vinyl-only releases (Arthur Russell, Ingram Marshall) with Jone Takamäki Trio’s Universal Mind, a forgotten Finnish spiritual improv record from 1982, fully authorized by Jone himself. The tracks on Universal Mind are based on traditional Indian arrangements, with Japanese influence, leaning towards Alice Coltrane’s spirituality and pace. In addition to traditional improv instrumentation (saxophone, bass, drums), the record also includes synthesizers, gongs, finger pianos, a vibraphone and washbasins. Jone says, recalling making the record: “We played a lot together, daily, at our rehearsal space before recording. We went through the melodies and talked about how to handle them with a kind of different angle, improvised a lot with different sounds. We talked about tempos, especially we were diving deep into special moods, how each of those melodies talked to us. They are mostly old love songs from India, more folk songs than classical music.” After the recording, they left immediately on a European tour. “I told the people at the record company not to do anything to the record before we came back, but it was released while we were away. We saw the record on the windows of different record shops when we drove into town from the tour!” The record has never appeared on CD, and the 1982 vinyl release has rarely been heard outside Finland. The only place the release has re-emerged in recent memory is with the track “Bhupala I” selected on Son of Arctic Hysteria, a CD compilation of Finnish avant-garde and experimental music.

File Under: Finnish, Improv, Spiritual Jazz
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teenanger

Teenanger: E P L P (Telephone Explosion) LP
This eight-song offering is simultaneously their most accessible AND diverse to date. Here’s a review from Exclaim: “Teenanger have never been an easy band to peg — 2012’s Frights found the band kind of, but not quite, shrugging off their garage-y past, while 2013’s Singles Don’t $ell rode the line between direct punk poppiness and a new wave sheen. As the title suggests, E P L P is a continuation of the band’s ambivalence toward stasis or definition, sounding like a culmination of all of their previous ideas while still incorporating some new ones into their honed hooks. Most notably, Jon Schouten has opted for a sharper, crunchier guitar tone throughout the record, giving everyone else a bit more room to step up and be heard. Bassist Melissa Ball’s backup vocals play a greater role, even taking the lead on “Mild Survivor.” The changes might be slight, but like the bleating saxophone solo on “Twisted,” or the stabs of synth on “Negative Zeroes,” they’re essential to giving E P L P a sound that’s difficult to classify easily, while still making it distinct from its predecessors.”

File Under: Punk, CanCon
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tin man

Tin Man: Ode (Acid Test) LP
What does a rave sound like the next day? The strobe lights in a dark warehouse, the pounding kick, the blur of ecstatic faces lead to a morning-after emptiness, all fade into memories of the friends you once had. On Ode, Tin Man (proper name Johannes Auvinen) explores this feeling, offering tracks which possess an exhausted joy, the aural equivalent of the stretch of time beginning when the last record is played and stretching on towards the doleful contemplation of last night’s unmade sheets. Appropriately, Tin Man’s melancholic dance music is more club-ready than ever. The opening tracks explore the spacious atmosphere first proposed on Neo Neo Acid and the (recently-repressed) Acid Test 01 collaboration with Donato Dozzy. Auvinen continues to coax unique, bittersweet sounds out of the 303 — his control is akin to a virtuosic Theremin-player, all dramatic lunges and dynamics. Yet on tracks like “Depleted Serotonin,” the memories of half-remembered nights surface. That track reprises the minor-key rave breakdown, ending with nearly three-minutes of knackered techno throb. Similarly, “What a Shame” sounds like a forgotten Warp classic run through Tin Man’s palette of tasteful reserve. Always conceptual, Tin Man is commenting on big-room techno music by presenting his thoughtful, hungover version of it. On “Vertigo,” he reins in the acid box acrobatics — opting instead for a rudimentary, early-Chicago style pattern, eventually following optimistic chords skyward. It’s a simulacrum of that end-of-the-night moment when the music is so charged and utopic that all fatigue is forgotten. Auvinen’s recognized talent to imbue machines with complex human emotion draws us into his world. With Tin Man’s music, there is always something left unsaid — he uses familiar elements yet his perspective remains singular and mysterious. Each dream-like track is another clue. He ends the set with the intensely dramatic “Memoraphilia” and “Ode.” The former concludes on an ominous note with strings that evoke paranoia, yet this feeling, too, will pass. The final (and title) track begins with the Deepchord-level percussive filtering that acts as the album’s textural base. Almost immediately, Tin Man introduces an octave-jumping acid refrain. The four-bar loop reaches operatic heights of yearning. “Ode”‘s rave stabs indicate this drama comes from the implacable notion of being alone in the crowd — an emptiness which can remain long after it’s disbanded. What comes when the dance is over?

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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unicorns

Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Xemu) LP
2003’s Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? is the third and final album from Montreal, Quebec band The Unicorns. The release features thirteen tracks deeply rooted in careful songwriting and lo-fi pop experimentalism. The Unicorns have a gift for blending a morbid sense of humour with irresistible pop melodies caked with beautiful vocals employing thoughtful, near-sacred lyrics. The recording opens with “I Don’t Wanna Die,” a plea to the makers of the universe to “grant me one more breath”, setting the tone for the overall theme of the album. “Tuff Ghost” takes the intensity up a notch with The Unicorns’ attempt to cash in on the disco punk sound. “Ghost Mountain” is a lyrical tale of colonialism blanketed in a taut metaphor of one journey to the top of a haunted mountain, boasting classic lines like ‘There was heat from the fire, but I still froze when I saw the ghost.’ Completing the ghost trilogy, “Sea Ghost,” a pithy pop tune in the purest form, will stick with you for days, eating at your insides and turning your skin green, not unlike a parasite attached to your leg at the bottom of the ocean. In terms of sonorous diseases, “Jellybones” is maybe the most infectious pop tune on the record, ending too soon, but sticking around so long. Analog synthesizers never sounded this good. But suddenly, the smoking urgency of “The Clap” re-awakens the unsettling undercurrent of the album, in a wiry, unforgiving 1:25. The band’s sing-along Motown-inspired “I Was Born a Unicorn” serves as the band’s confrontational anthem, flatly asking: ‘Are you a believer?’ “Tuff Luff” will make Jay-Z wet his pants when he hears it! The song’s hook comes in the form of a penny whistle, but the impact remains in the wry critical observations of U.S. foreign policy. And then, just as you’ve embraced the Unicorns as your favorite band… it’s over, sharply abrupt and sad (like slipping off a cliff to one’s demise) with “Ready to Die,” a naive dirge, relenting to the unavoidable reality of mortality.

File Under: LoFi Pop, CanCon
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univers

Univers Zero: Relaps (Sub Rosa) LP
First limited edition: solid blue, black and clear mixed vinyl. Gatefold sleeve. Founding members of the original “Rock In Opposition” (R.I.O.) movement and the inventors of “chamber rock,” mythic Belgian band Univers Zero have continued to change and grow and develop over their entire career, while still keeping an ensemble sound and spirit that is easily recognizable. These recordings were previously unavailable in an LP format. Longstanding dark-hued Belgian chamber rockers and avant-prog pioneers led by drummer/composer Daniel Denis, Univers Zero was formed in 1974 with co-composer and guitarist Roger Trigaux (who left the band in 1980). This 2LP documents the final 1980s line-ups before the band’s long sabbatical from recording and touring. Despite many line-up changes over the years, their overall sound remained fairly consistent.

File Under: Prog, Rock in Opposition
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unwoundUnwound: No Energy (Numero) 3LP Box
As a robust rock underground got swallowed alive by the Major Label Industrial Complex, the very autonomous Unwound “Olympia, Washington’s Great Noise Hope” toed the troublesome line between pay check and Check Engine light. Captured in the gaps of a ruthless touring schedule, defining fourth and fifth albums The Future of What and Repetition were issued in the back-to-back springs of 1995 and ‘96. Both find the band severing their post-hardcore roots, for gripping detours into Echoplex, kraut, D&B, and Mingus, as guided by a sun-worn copy of Book Your Own Fuckin’ Life. No Energy collects both of these 1990s masterworks, beginning with Justin Trosper’s home-made haircut stabs on ‘New Energy’, continuing with Vern Rumsey’s reanimating bass on ‘Corpse Pose’, and closing in a wall of Sara Lund crash cymbals on ‘For Your Entertainment.’ This 33-song collection is buttressed by singles and period live tracks, a pile of double-exposed photographs, and a 10,000 word essay by latter-day Unwound diarist David Wilcox.

File Under: Punk
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x2

X: Aspiriations (Ugly Pop) LP
“The Sydney band’s 1979 debut is one of the all-time great Australian records, a devastatingly tough yet diverse album featuring 14 tracks of superb punk rock, equal parts wiry tension and savage release. This antipodean classic has fallen out of print again in recent years but should always be available, so Ugly Pop is pleased to announce that we’ll be reissuing it with new insert and unseen photos.”

x1

X: Spurts (Ugly Pop) LP
“Before their legendary debut LP, X recorded a 1977 demo session that is a brilliant snapshot of the period, and a treasure for anyone with an interest in world-wide first wave punk. Ten tracks, perfect raw/full recording, seething with desperation and urgency, this is the sound of early AC/DC meets ‘Pink Flag’ with everything cranked. 37 years on, Ugly Pop presents the first ever vinyl appearance of this seminal document.”

File Under: Punk, Australian
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haino

Zeitkrazter/Keiji Haino: Live at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum (Karlrecords) LP
LP version of 2014 release Zeitkratzer + Keiji Haino. 180 gram pressing, gatefold sleeve, limited to 500, includes download code. On his second release with Zeitkratzer, Keiji Haino concentrates solely on his voice. No electronics are used except for amplification. Nevertheless, this live recording is even more radical than the first one. Radical is the concentration on the very limited but frenetic musical material, worked out in detail, which is rarely heard in the noise context — enabling Keiji Haino to sit on it, fly over, to merge or just to oppose. Zeitkratzer’s amplified instruments, played with extended techniques as developed by the group and its outstanding musicians over more than a decade and Haino’s incredible richness in voice timbres and noises complement each other perfectly. It’s one of the closest and most natural cooperations Zeitkratzer ever had. Wild and beautiful. Shouting, scratching, screaming, piping, chattering, crying, rumbling, oscillating, roaring, clashing, juttering, tinkling, singing, … and at the end, it’s hilarious, powerful music, pure noise and pure melody. As the Chicago Reader noted: “The supernova finally occurs!” and The Wire agreed: “A real highlight, with Zeitkratzer enfolding Keiji Haino in its grasp like some tentacular kraken of the deep. Haino effectively becomes another member of the group.” Rock-a-Rolla cheered: “Forceful and utterly compelling!” Nothing left to say than: listen! Zeitkratzer is directed by Reinhold Friedl: Frank Gratkowski (clarinets); Hild Sofie Tafjord (French horn); Hilary Jeffery (trombone); Reinhold Friedl (piano); Marc Weiser (acoustic noises); Maurice de Martin (percussion); Burkhard Schlothauer (violin); Anton Lukoszevieze (violoncello); + Keiji Haino (voice); Recorded live at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, Ruhrtriennale. Recorded & mixed by Martin Wurmnest . Mastered by Rashad Becker.

File Under: Modern Classical, Experimental
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burlesqueVarious: Burlesque Temptations:
Swinging Sound
Sleazy Sound
Sophisticated Sound
(AC) LP

Swing it, baby! Welcome to a fantastic three volume series dedicated to Burlesque music. Intended as an inspiration for performers who are searching for new tunes, as well as presenting a pleasant listening experience for fans of the newly re-born art of Burlesque, these volumes are the perfect soundtrack to a Burlesque club night or any retro cocktail party. Featuring the most swinging, lascivious, and provocative sounds the 20th century had to offer, the Burlesque Temptations series will please any and all fans of Sazerac and garter belts. The series has been compiled by Rome’s own legendary guru/mentor of the thriving contemporary Burlesque scene, Alessandro Casella, and featuring beautiful original artwork from one of the UK’s finest retro aficionados, Tony Diavolo. Each volume is presented on 140 gram vinyl with a free accompanying CD.

File Under: Exotica, Jazz, Swing

falco

Various: Tav Falco’s Wild & Exotic World of Musical Obscurities (Stag’o’Lee) LP
Tav Falco, the Memphis legend (of Panther Burns fame) compiled 25 of his favorite tunes from ’50s rockabilly to tangos, waltzes & other wonderful obscurities. Songs he loves, songs he covered with Panther Burns, songs that influenced him, thus shedding much light upon the music that incessantly ignites Falco’s muse. This is a wild and wonderful ride. A Back to Mine-style compilation that will open your ears. Double vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with extensive liner notes by the maestro himself. Artists include: The Johnny Burnette Trio, Don Willis, Bobby Lee, Allen Page, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Jimmy Lloyd, Benny Joy, Alexander Princes, Bachicha Bianco, Anton Karas, Los Indios Tacunau, Carlos Di Sarli, Orchestra Juan D’Arienzo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Elmore James, Bobby Blue Bland, Chet Baker, Fred Buscaglione, Martin Denny, Dion & The Belmonts, Shorty Rogers, Charlie Feathers, and Alex Chilton.

File Under: Rockabilly, Exotica

…..restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Easter Everywhere (Snapper) 2LP
Alexisonfire: Crisis (Dine Alone) LP
Alexisonfire: Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Dine Alone) LP
Alexisonfire: Watch Out! (Dine Alone) LP
Bjork: Homogenic (One Little Indian) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Magic Potion (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch) LP
Caribou: Swim (Merge) LP
Caribou: Andorra (Merge) LP
Chrome: Visitations (Cleopatra) LP
City & Colour: Bring Me Your Love (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & the Harm (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Little Hell (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
Clash: s/t (Epic) LP
Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) 4LP Box
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get On Down) LP
Grateful Dead: Aoxomoxoa (Rhino) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
M83: Hurry Up We’re Dreaming (Mute) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
New Order: Power, Corruption, & Lies (Rhino) LP
New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (Last Gang) LP
Pallbearer: Sorrow & Extinction (20 Buck Spin) LP
Placebo: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: s/t (Rekords) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyse (Music On Vinyl) LP
Laetitia Sadier: Something Shines (Drag City) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyrum Vio Spilum.. (XL) LP
Sleaford Mods: Divide & Exit (Harbringer) LP
Sun Kil Moon: Benji (Caldo Verte) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings… (Rhino) LP
Tweedy: Sukierae (Anti) LP+CD
Robert Wyatt: The End of an Ear (Cherry Red) LP
Ahmad Zahir: 70s Aghan Psychedelic Folk-Pop (Guerssen) LP
Various: Guardians of the Galaxy OST (Hollywood) LP
Various: Original Raw Soul 3 (Now Again) LP

Tagged , , , , ,

…..news letter #659 – opening…..

Well, I hope everyone has plans for a lot of food and family this holiday weekend. We’ll be open all weekend, with reduced hours on Monday (12-5). There’s so much great stuff out in the last few weeks, and even more in this week. Get yer ass in here and grab some wax.

…..pick of the week…..

sunbaked

Boris w/ Merzbow: Sun Baked Snow Cave (Hydrahead) LP
What truly inspired an hour-plus collaboration between two of the most respected names in extreme experimentation? The album itself contains a statement that says it all: “A story like this deserves to be born.” Japanese doom radicals Boris have spent more than two decades releasing wildly diverse music that’s mesmerized audiences clamoring for sludge, rock or unbridled pop. Their impressive and extensive release history, though, pales in comparison to Merzbow aka Masami Akita. The noise paragon has almost 400 releases to his name, and over the course of 35 ear-tattered years he’s influenced multiple generations of artists and musicians. After these two forces first came together in 2002 for the landmark Megatone album, they spent years perfecting a worthy follow-up. And in 2005, Sun Baked Snow Cave was the overwhelming culmination. Considering that these two forces are capable of eradicating most any listener, the album at first seems like a striking illustration of restraint and reflection. But the lonesome, mournful void of a strummed acoustic guitar is soon enough smothered by drones and swarms of feedback that intertwine with pulsating, yowling electronics – two worlds that both harmonize and struggle against each other. The sound of visionaries trying to draw blood. (First time on vinyl! Limited pressing of 1200 copies.)

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

aisler

Aisler Set: How I Learned to Write Backwards (Suicide Squeeze) LP
The Aislers Set occupy an enviable place in the pop pantheon. Brimming with drunken romanticism, sharp pop sensibilities, and timeless melodies, The Aislers Set reveled in the history of great pop, spiking their classicist 60s-tinged tunes with pure post-punk energy and originality of bands like the Fire Engines and The June Brides. Every song is a meticulously constructed sound world, where the arrangement and instrumentation sublimely and uncannily bring each tune to completeness. Although they stopped playing and recording together by 2004 due to life commitments, their reputation has only grown; sporadic reunion shows and mini-tours have been met with rapturous response. Alas, Suicide Squeeze is proud to present the 2014 reissue of the seminal album “How I Learned To Write Backwards” remastered and resequenced by John Greenham at Infrasonic Sound in Los Angeles, and on vinyl LP again for the first time in over a decade. The band will play a select set of shows this fall, and Suicide Squeeze and Slumberland Records will be teaming up to co-release a new album of singles and rarities to be released in early 2015.

File Under: Indie, Pop
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yetiAmon Duul II: Yeti (Cleopatra) LP
A gorgeous limited edition deluxe vinyl reissue from one of the most groundbreaking rock bands of all time, Amon Düül II! This 1970 2LP masterpiece is the most well-known and best loved ADII album of all-time, which we’ve digitally remastered, pressed onto orange vinyl, and packaged in a sequentially numbered, glue-on chipboard gatefold jacket!

File Under: Kraut Rock, Psych
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caribou

Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP
Our Love is formed around a mixture of digital pop production, hip hop-inspired beats, muted house basslines, and a love of shuffling garage that can be traced all the way back to the time of Start Breaking My Heart – all of which, of course, are filtered through Dan’s own unique perspective. The warm analog sounds of classic soul should not be overlooked either, for they weave themselves most intensely into the record’s DNA. In fact, Our Love is probably Caribou’s most soulful record to date, chock-full of heartfelt lyrics and organic nature that cut through bubbling synths and the blissful euphoria of their synthetic constructions. It’s not all downbeat of course; whilst some thoughts linger on mortality, loss, and letting go, there is always an element of celebration. Having followed up his Polaris Prize-winning 2007 record Andorra with the universally adored Swim in 2010, Dan has spent the intervening four years touring the world, bringing not only the sounds of Caribou to the stage but proving his immeasurable worth as a DJ, with epic 7½-hour-long sets. In 2012, Caribou were personally invited to join Radiohead on the road whilst Dan released his first album under the guise of his dancefloor-loving pseudonym Daphni to widespread critical acclaim. Following the shape-shifting sounds of JIAOLONG and the brightly textured, fluid constructions of Swim – both inward looking records in their own way – Dan withdrew to the basement once more to work on Caribou’s next opus. Only he didn’t: Our Love isn’t the sound of isolated creation but the sound of Dan at his most connected – with love for his listeners, his collaborators, and those closest to him. Caribou will be On Tour in Canada this November.

File Under: Electronic, CanCon
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140819-cohen-popular-problems

Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems (Sony) LP
In Popular Problems, his thrilling new studio album, Leonard Cohen gets down into the avenues of our dreams and sets a new tone and speed of hope and despair, grief and joy. Cohen here is an astonished lover rocking to the human condition as “the soul unfolds in the chambers of its longing.” His legendary basso resonates as never before with a presence and urgency that arises from the very depths of the heart. The clarity and strength of these nine hypnotic songs will have us singing them over and over. In collaboration with co-writer Patrick Leonard, Popular Problems is a masterpiece from the ever-fresh imagination of a musical legend whose songs continue to captivate new listeners and devoted fans. Popular Problems is Cohen’s 13th studio album. Popular Problems was produced by Patrick Leonard, mastered at Marcussen Mastering and was recorded and mixed by Jesse E. String with additional mixing by Bill Bottrell.

File Under: Legends, CanCon
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black star

Mos Def/Talib Kweli: Black Star (Universal) LP
Universal Music Enterprises will continue its Respect the Classics tribute to many of hip-hop’s finest with the vinyl release of rap icon Talib Kweli’s four historic Rawkus Records albums, including the underground classic, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, in a limited edition two-tone black on black picture disc. Established in 1996, Rawkus Records jump-started the careers of legendary artists such as Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch, among many others. Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star was originally issued in August 1998, to critical acclaim. The title is a reference to the Black Star Line, a shipping company founded by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey. The album deals with modern-day issues, philosophies and life in Brooklyn. The two MCs had planned to release solo albums around the same time, but decided instead to collaborate on a full-length album. The first single, “Definition,” is a reaction to hip-hop’s fascination with death, dedicated to both Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., with a chorus that gives a nod to Boogie Down Productions’ “Stop the Violence.” “Children’s Story” is a re-imagination of the Slick Rick original, featuring Mos Def cautioning against materialism. The second single, “Respiration,” featuring Common, includes a Hi-Tek produced beat that samples Don Randi’s “The Fox” and another from the hip-hop documentary Style Wars. The track offers a melancholy ode to city life, with references to organic life functions such as breathing, eating and sleeping, but with an ominous edge, as Kweli raps about “sitting on shitty steps/we stooped to new lows, hell froze/the night the city slept.” The album peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 13 on the Hip-Hop Albums chart, but has become considered a classic since then.

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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earle

Justin Townes Earle: Single Mothers (Vagrant) LP
After two and a half years since his last release, Justin Townes Earle is back and pleased to announce his fifth studio album (and first ever on Vagrant Records). Single Mothers is comprised of ten tracks that showcase exactly why Justin Townes Earle is considered a forefather of Contemporary Americana. As a recently married, sober man JTE writes from a point of maturity and content we’ve not seen before on past records. “One day I just realized it’s not cool to die young, and it’s even less cool to die after 30,” Justin explains as he reflects on a life past and his new found clarity. What he’s created with Single Mothers is an album that’s raw, honest and personal in a way he hasn’t touched upon since his debut EP, Yuma. Once compared to a man who wears many suits JTE has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally, in thirty-two short years. Between releasing four full-length critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. Single Mothers serves as the perfect platform for such narrations.

File Under: Americana, Folk
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electric wizard

Electric Wizard: Time To Die (Spinefarm) LP/CD
Visually intoxicating, uncompromisingly heavy and revered for making music and lifestyle one, Electric Wizard have completed work on their new studio album, Time To Die, the band’s first release through Spinefarm Records. Formed by vocalist/guitarist Jus Oborn in 1993, Electric Wizard (based in the UK’s South-West) have thus far released seven studio albums – an increasingly influential body of work recorded on vintage analogue gear with as little technology as possible intruding on the signal. Result: some of the heaviest, dirtiest, most evil-sounding audio ever put to tape, and more importantly to vinyl, with both Come My Fanatics (1997) and Dopethrone (2000) being lauded as landmark releases. A cultural as well as a musical force, Electric Wizard have left an indelible mark on a host of different genres, the likes of doom, stoner and sludge; at heart, however, they stand as an iconic British metal band, cast in the great tradition, with lyrics and artwork reflecting the hypnotic weight of the music, and subject to the same intelligence and detail. Wreathed in occult ritual and drug-culture references, with classic ’70s horror an inspirational seam, Electric Wizard are poised to turn a page; there’s the new deal with Spinefarm Records, plus – after a nine-year hiatus – the return of Mark Greening (the drummer on Dopethrone), who completes the line-up of Oborn, US guitarist Liz Buckingham, a key member since 2003, and new bassist Clayton Burgess (Satan’s Satyrs). Fueled by strong emotion and the harder sounds of late-’60s Detroit, the remodeled line-up – isolated by choice, giant stacks glowing red – set about crafting an eighth studio album to both rival and exceed the milestone recordings of the past, with Buckingham keeping things suitably monolithic and the band generally looking back to some of their earliest influences. Toerag Studios in London was once again charged with capturing The Sound, and (encouragingly) words like “raw,” “hateful” and “sickeningly heavy” are being traded. Says Oborn: “Our master plan is this. Real metal!! We stand for rebellion, we are with the kids; we fight, puke, smoke weed, etc… Electric Wizard is an entity, with its own history, its own symbols, its own iconography, and with this new album, we wanted to return to basic values. It’s primitive. We needed to claw it back down to the evil core – sex, drugs, violence, revolution…to go back to being a band that hung out and jammed hard. No teaching songs, just feeling them out. If you jam enough and you are on the same level – artistically, musically, whatever, you gotta be committed – then good music will happen. I totally believe that…”

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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esben

Esben & The Witch: A New Nature (Nostromo) LP
Third album from Esben and The Witch, released on their own label. Produced by Steve Albini in Chicago, this strips out the electronics for a more live feel and the songs get even more expansive – The Jungle is almost 15 minutes long. The band say “We wanted to create a record that had a level of purity to it. To strip away the layers and loops and see what lay beneath. To keep things naked, unadorned and raw. The three of us, in a room, making noise. We looked to create a more primal record, full of human emotion and sonic intensity. Drawing on themes of endurance, strength, determination and self-actualisation. Themes that have always inspired us but perhaps, only now, a few years down the line, a few years of touring under our belts, we feel we have the confidence and maturity to explore and shout about.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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ex hexEx Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
Ex Hex is a power trio hailing from Washington, DC, making the music you’ve been waiting for. Drums, bass, guitar, P90s, searing leads – this is unapologetic rock ’n’ roll spat out in the discipline’s mother tongue. With Wild Flag on hiatus, Mary Timony (Autoclave, Helium) needed a new outlet, so she retreated to her basement and started writing. To her surprise, the songs came easily and the hooks practically wrote themselves. Mary found Laura Harris (The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree) and they hit it off immediately. Laura is a monster on drums: intuitive, solid, and just a bit rough around the edges. The pair played together for a couple of months in a tiny carpet-lined practice space shared with half a dozen hardcore bands and what appeared to be the better part of a B.C. Rich Mockingbird. In walked Betsy Wright from the wilds of Virginia. She and Mary have similar tendencies, both defaulting to denim and The Voidoids. Betsy is a performer and an ace piano player, and before long, she was slinging a cherry SG as the third member of Ex Hex. The group played a handful of shows and a couple of months later, in the spring of 2014, headed into the studio. Working furiously, they recorded over the span of two weeks in North Carolina with Mitch Easter (Let’s Active) and in the basement of Mary’s home with frequent collaborator Jonah Takagi. Bobby Harlow (The Go, Conspiracy of Owls) was tapped to mix because of his unique take on making rock records. What results is Ex Hex Rips, twelve songs about underdogs, guys stealing your wallet, schoolyard brawls, and getting bent. The record happens pretty quickly, so don’t blink.

File Under: Indie Rock
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flyloFlying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Youre Dead! is a shamanic pilgrimage into the psychedelic unknown of the infinite afterlife. A sonic, visual and metaphysical fusion of technological innovation and technical virtuosity that amounts to a transcendent, mind-expanding plasm that could only exist between our world and another. The enduring universe of Flying Lotus’ supporting cast has expanded and evolved to feature in order of appearance, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, Niki Randa, alongside mindblowing original artwork by Japanese comic book artist Shintaro Kago. “The album isn’t about the end, it’s really the beginning. Its a celebration of the next experience. Its the transition and the confusion. Its not hey you’re dead. It’s hey you’re dead!” – Flying Lotus “Trailblazing…contains everything from prog to hip-hop, all unified as a 38-minute journey about the concept of death.” – Rolling Stone

File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
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foxygen

Foxygen: …And Star Power (Jagjaguwar) LP
Foxygen follow up their critically acclaimed 2013 debut album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic with an ambitious romp through the charred fields of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk and the cosmic vortex of Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard A True Star. Foxygen …And Star Power is a cinematic auditory adventure for the speedy freaks, skull krunchers, abductees, and misfits made by Foxygen at Dream Star Studios in their Secret Haunted House with the UFOs flying around in the sky. A gaggle of guest stars. Roman-numeraled musical suites. Vocals recorded on a shoddy tape machine at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Chateau Marmont. A svelte 82-minute run time of psych ward folk, cartoon fantasia, songs that morph into each other, weaving in and out of the head like UFO radio transmission skullkrush music. ADHD star power underground revolution. Soft-rock indulgences, D&D doomrock and paranoid bathroom rompers. Process is the point. A kaleidoscoping view. Blasphemy even the gods smile one. Rock and roll for the skull…

File Under: Indie Rock
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musk

Musk: s/t (Holy Mountain) LP
MUSK is the new flesh, or at least what’s secreted from the glands located under the skin. Frontman Rob Fletcher is the last guy in the world you’d think had pheromones; they might work on him, but his voice is definitely in the “let’s get the fuck away from this guy” category, with his undeniable ability to growl, spit, shriek and wretch while the band attacks. Drummer Brendan Leonard is a total can-basher, and bass-player John Laux is sublime. The weird thing about MUSK is that on top of all this malign beauty – what sounds like the six movies John Saxon made in Italy that nobody except the biggest creeps in the world know about, or Beefheartian blues lurch juxtaposed against that lost ’80s pigfuck clangor.. guitarist Chris Owen bleeds reverb everywhere, as if his amp had a heart to be stabbed, but it’s just a cone about to rupture. His leads give off a sick, dusty twang, pained as if in their death throes (which is saying something, because the guy looks like the dad from The Family Circus). Each dying twitch and every belligerent throb was captured by engineer Chris Woodhouse (Oh Sees, Fuzz, Ty Segall, Intelligence). Whether working the muggy Southern Gothic angle or treading knee-deep in NYC’s pungent sewers, all routes on Musk lead to a cold, shuddering finality. Long live the new flesh! “Primitive sludge with an ample amount of weirdness, MUSK’s music is deft combination of Flipper, later Scientists, various AmRep swamp dwellers and DEVO if the Akronites were forced to play in a tar pit.” – Scott Soriano, S-S Records

File Under: Punk, Psych, Garage
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my brother

My Brother the Wind: Live at Roadburn (Roadburn) LP
Roadburn Records is proud to announce the next installment in their ongoing Live At Roadburn series. This time its the gig My Brother The Wind played at Roadburn 2013 and is available now on double (but 3-sided!) vinyl. Who is this My Brother The Wind they talk about you say, well… Led by Anekdoten‘s Nicklas Barker, the chemistry between Barker, Mathias Danielsson (guitars), Ronny Eriksson (bass) and Tomas Eriksson (drums) is really something special, as captured on their latest album, I Wash My Soul in the Stream of Infinity, recorded in only 4 hours during a cold Swedish winter’s night in 2011. With the focus less on guitar solos and more on group virtuosity, the instrumentation is altered to create interesting and intricately layered rock soundscapes, seemingly influenced by King Crimson, Amon Düül II and Sweden’s seminal prog-pioneers, Träd, Gräs och Stenar. This particular influences serve in distinguishing My Brother The Wind‘s instrumental odysseys from the current crop of European jam-bands. My Brother The Wind takes the best elements of improvised kraut and prog-rock, and once the spaceship has escaped the pull of Earth’s gravity, they drift into magnificent droning space rock and psychedelic orbits.

File Under: Metal, Space Rock
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whatsthestroy6000000

Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Big Brother) LP
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, the follow-up to Oasis’ landmark debut album Definitely Maybe, is the British act’s biggest-selling album with 22 million copies sold worldwide. It was recorded between May and June 1995 in Rockfield Studios, Monmouthshire, with Owen Morris and Noel Gallagher producing. Released on October 2, 1995, it spent 10 weeks at No.1, is the 5th biggest-selling album in UK chart history and became the band’s breakthrough album in the US where it sold 4 million copies. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? features many of Oasis’ biggest hit singles, including “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” “Wonderwall,” “Champagne Supernova,” “Some Might Say” and “Roll With It,” and won the Best Album at the 1996 Brit Awards. This new 20th anniversary gatefold 180g 2LP-set has been meticulously remastered from the original 1995 half inch tapes by Ian Cooper at London’s Metropolis Studios, supervised by the album’s producer Owen Morris. Also includes high quality download code for B-sides, plus unreleased and rare tracks including demos and live recordings. Highlights of the download bonus content include: Previously unheard demos of “She’s Electric” and “Rockin’ Chair” recorded at Mark Coyle’s Manchester studio. Demos of “Some Might Say,” “Hey Now” and “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday” recorded by Mark Coyle for the first time at the band’s soundcheck, Club Quattro in Tokyo in September 1994. Live recordings from legendary gigs such as Knebworth House, Maine Road Stadium, Earls Court and Bath Pavilion. All of the Morning Glory singles and acclaimed B-sides including “Talk Tonight,” “Acquiesce,” “The Masterplan” and “Underneath The Sky”

File Under: Britrock
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pelicanPelican: Arktika (Oblique) LP
With Arktika (their first stand alone live record), Pelican cements their position atop the post-metal throne by delivering a live album that doesn’t just slavishly recreate standards from the band’s expansive discography, but transforms the songs into something altogether sludgier, grittier & reminiscent of the bubbling tar pits of the Russian tundra, from whence both came. Recorded in St. Petersburg in July 2013. Contains tracks from across Pelican’s discography, coating them all with a layer of distortion & darkness unheard on the studio versions. 2LP Black vinyl pressing limited to 300 copies, includes download code.

File Under: Metal, Live
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pharmakon

Pharmakon: Bestial Burden (Sacred Bones) LP
Four days before New York noise musician Margaret Chardiet was supposed to leave for her first European tour as Pharmakon, she had a medical emergency which resulted in a major surgery. Suddenly, instead of getting on a plane, she was bedridden for three weeks, missing an organ. “After seeing internal photographs taken during the surgery, I became hyperaware of the complex network of systems just beneath the skin, any of which were liable to fail or falter at any time,” Chardiet said. “It all happened so fast and unexpectedly that my mind took a while to catch up to the reality of my recovery. I felt a widening divide between my physical and mental self. It was as though my body had betrayed me, acting as a separate entity from my consciousness.” Consumed by these ideas, and unable to leave her bed, Chardiet occupied herself by writing the lyrics and music that would become Bestial Burden, the second Pharmakon LP for Sacred Bones Records. The album is a harrowing collection of deeply personal industrial noise tracks, each one brimming with struggle and weighted with the intensity of Chardiet’s internal conflict. Bestial Burden was recorded at Heaven Street Records in Brooklyn, N.Y. with Sean Ragon (Cult of Youth, Venerence), who also recorded 2013’s critically acclaimed Abandon. Ragon allowed Chardiet to experiment with a mix of live recording and tracking, and some of the vocals were recorded live with a small group of people packed into the studio so she could feed off their energy. The result of those sessions is the bar-raising follow-up to Abandon, and an invitation to go even deeper into the sometimes terrifying, always fascinating labyrinth that is Margaret Chardiet’s mind.

File Under: Industrial, Noise
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reed

Lou Reed: Hassled in April (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Deluxe vinyl edition, a rare Lou Reed FM broadcast from 1978! The broadcast recordings included on this release showcases Lou Reed’s eighth solo album, “Street Hassle”, which was issued in February 1978, during the most prolific period of the man’s recording career. Featuring massive hits by Lou including ” Walk on the Wild Side”. Available in two different versions: Standard and Limited Coloured vinyl. 140 gram double blue vinyl with different artwork. 1000 copies.

File Under: Rock, VU

jetpacks

We Were Promised Jetpacks: Unravelling (Fat Cat) LP
We Were Promised Jet Packs present us with Unravelling, easily their most accomplished album, and a new direction in songwriting for the band. Recorded in Glasgow at the infamous Chem19 Studios with Paul Savage (The Twilight Sad, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai), the album focuses all the power and fury of the Jetpacks to a finely controlled point. These songs focus the power that’s always been present in Jetpacks’ records to a fine point, crafting from both youthful catharsis and skillful maturity. The band’s spring US tour proved that as much as fans love the chest rattling crescendos of their catalog, they’re equally ready for the bit of sheen that’s found its way to the forefront of the new songs. Particularly instrumental to the widening sound is the addition of new member and longtime friend Stuart McGachan, a multi-instrumentalist described by the band’s Adam Thompson as “an accomplished keys, piano and guitar player as well as having a lovely little singing voice,” all of which added greatly to the development of the band’s new direction. Live, the five-piece setup only adds to the power and bombast that echoes from the stage, but in the studio the new flexibility has lead to an album with widescreen vision, supple emotional shading and particularly catchy hooks laced throughout.

File Under: Indie Rock
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new or soul

Various: New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz) LP/CD
For more than ten years Soul Jazz Records have been exploring and documenting the sound of New Orleans Funk. Now we turn their attention to the flipside of this musical coin – New Orleans Soul. These two musical forms share a lineage that begins with the city’s enormous rhythm and blues explosion in the post-war 1940s and 1950s. New Orleans Soul incorporated the soulful vocals of the gospel church, the driving beat of rhythm and blues, as well as traces of the second-line parade bands and the latinized rhythms of the city. Here you will find New Orleans soul in all its glorious variations – from the deep, deep soul of singers Aaron Neville, Willie Tee and Robert Parker to the storming northern soul of Maurice Williams and Eldridge Holmes, the funky soul of Eddie Bo, Lionel Robinson and Ernie K-Doe all alongside the Crescent City’s finest soul sisters – Irma Thomas, Betty Harris, Jean Knight, Inell Young and more! The main force behind New Orleans Soul is Allen Toussaint, a virtual one-man hit-making machine in the 1960s, writing, arranging and producing hit after hit for an unending list of unbelievably talented local singers such as Eldridge Holmes, Maurice Williams, Betty Harris, Ernie K Doe and Diamond Joe all of whom are featured. New Orleans is also a city of great musical families. Vocalist Aaron Neville was the brother of Art Neville (who formed The Meters) and later in the 1970s joined with brother Cyril to form The Neville Brothers. Soul vocalist supreme Willie Tee is also known as Wilson Turbinton, who alongside brother Earl, formed the super-heavy funk band The Gaturs and backed the Mardi Gras Indian group The Wild Magnolias. Also included here are rare, lost and killer soulful tracks from New Orleans artists Eddie Bo (and protégée vocalist Inell Young), Jean Knight, Jimmy Hicks, Francine King and more! This album tells the story of New Orleans Soul and comes complete with extensive sleevenotes, exclusive photography, supreme sound quality and comes as deluxe CD with slipcase + outsize booklet, and super-heavy, super-loud limited-edition double vinyl album + download code.

File Under: Soul

…..restocks…..

A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Alt-J: This is All Yours (Atlantic) LP
Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Beatles: Mono Box (EMI) 14LPs
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Blonde Redhead: Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch & Go) LP
Blonde Redhead: Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (Touch & Go) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bonnie Prince Billy: Singers Grave (Drag City) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Can: Soundtracks (Mute) LP
The Clean: Anthology (Merge) 4LP
Dark: Around The Edges (Machu Picchu) LP
Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism (Barsuk) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Ella Fitzgerald: 3 Classic Albums (Art of Music) 3LP
Jimi Hendrix: Cry of Love (Reprise) LP
La Luz: It’s Alive (Hardly Art) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is (Luaka Bop) LP
Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) LP
Pulp: Different Class (Plain) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (TBD) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (EMI) 2×10″
Rural Alberta Advantage: Hometowns (Paper Bag) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Mended with Gold (Paper Bag) LP/CD
Salem’s Pot: Lurar Ut Dig Pa Prarien (Riding Easy) LP
Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP
Slint: Spiderland (Touch & Go) LP
Subrosa: More Constant Than The Gods (Profound Lore) LP
Timber Timbre: Creep on Creepin’ on (Arts & Crafts) LP
Tobacco: Ultima II Massage (Ghostly) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP

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…..news letter #658 – zombie…..

It just doesn’t seem to be slowing down! Piles of killer stuff in again this week. We’ve been pricing some real nice used stuff lately too. All in all, it’s a pretty great time to come down and flip through the stacks.

So… if you haven’t heard already, I’ve been DJing up the road at Daravara (10713 124 Street) occasionally, and that occasion has arrived once again. I’ll be spinning records next Wednesday Oct 8 from 9pm until close. Come on down and have some beers and listen to some groovy tunes.

…..picks of the week…..

braen

Braen Raskovich: Abnormal Sensations (Cacophonic) LP
Collectively known under their production pop group moniker The Pawnshop, Italian Giallo/Spaghetti legends Alessandro Alessandroni, Giuliano Sorgini and Giulia De Mutiis (using their Giallo-psych alter egos of Braen, Raskovich and Kema) would reconvene behind the curtain in 1973 to craft this lost full-length LP as a mythical addition to their tiny group discography. Pin-pointing a bona fide crossroads between the composers’ individual library grails The Underground and Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue, this previously commercially unreleased slice of abstract Giallo stoner funk combines Alessandroni’s inimitable twang-happy growling fuzz and desperately inquisitive guitar/harp/ dulcimer manipulations (akin to his work on All The Colours Of The Dark, Marquis De Sade and Danger Diabolik) with Sorgini’s eery industrial scrapes, moaning echoes and face-slapping percussion grooves (found on his rare TV soundtracks like Zoo Folle or the undercover work he did for library labels like Leo, Leonardi, National and Lupus). The inclusion of Alessandroni’s wife Giulia De Mutiis on groaning wordless vocal duties not only completes The Pawnshop trinity but adds the essential Giallo sheen popularised by Morricone regular Edda Dell’Orso (evoking clear comparisons to that of Lizard In A Woman’s skin and Veruschka). For fans of Giulia’s work on Bruno Nicolai’s The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave (dir. Jess Franco) and most notably Morricone’s Sospiri Da Una Radio Lontana (from Henri Verneuil’s The Night Caller) and Venus (on the Nereide label), the distinction glistens in the detail. These twelve tracks were circulated amongst TV and cinema production houses in the mid-70s for potential film synchronisation by library label Octopus under the title Judicial Inquiry (Inchiesta Giudiziaria) in what was perhaps an effort to capture the imagination of directors of the growing trend in Italian crime cinema. Track titles such as Abnormal Sensations and Psychic Getaway, however, indicate the trio’s natural penchant for the absurd and supernatural, rendering this particular beast quite specific and unique as its own dedicated non-release. For fans of extrovert Italian freak funk, avant garde pop and European horror sountracks this LP should sit comfortably in the company of your Bruno Nicolai and Gruppo Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza records and draw striking comparisons to international horror soundtracks by Don Gere, Pierre Raph and Andrzej Korzynski while exposing another secret hiding place for some of Italy’s finest A-List composers making rich experimental noise for B-Movie masterpieces.

File Under: Library, Italian, Avant Garde, Jazz, Psych
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neotantrik

NeoTantrik: Blue Amiga (Pre-Cert Home) LP
Andy Votel and Demdike Stare’s Sean Canty’s concept group, NeoTantrik, return with the fruits of recent performances alongside Buchla maestro Suzanne Ciani, Swiss jazz legend Bruno Spoerri, and folk artist Jane Weaver. Recorded during sporadic visits to theaters and art spaces across the world, Blue Amiga follows one year on from their Intervisions (VHSX 009LP), further flinging the coordinates of their improvised alloys to encompass, extract and reduce a broad spectra of influences and disciplines taken from theatrical sound design, Italian library and computer music with general abstract and unrehearsed mechanical/human/electronic interfaces. Put simply; it’s a trip. Augmented by the presence of synth music and electro-jazz pioneers Ciani and Spoerri — both subjects of excellent reissues by Votel’s Finders Keepers label — plus the return of Jane Weaver and home-made music by the Sound Awareness blog’s Martin Young, the team sweep us through engrossing soundscapes fanning out from sub-aquatic drone to radiant electro-acoustica, gloomy cues and strung-out, opiated ambience of a deeply romantic, adult nature. Garbed in Asia Argento’s gorgeous cover design — featuring an image depicting the private family swimming pool photography of giallo actress Daria Nicolodi — Blue Amiga wears its cinematic influences quite literally on its sleeve, while musically rebuking the obvious stylistic blinkers of European film music in favor of genuine naked exploration and expansion.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Pseudo-Library
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…..new arrivals…..

abate

Maurizio Abate: A Way to Nowhere (Black Sweat) LP
Maurizio Abate is a self-taught guitarist, active since the 2000s, with a distinctive approach to experimentation. Since 2006 he has done several recording sessions, released on some LPs under his own name and other collective groups, and has collaborated with David Vanzan and Virginia Genta (Jooklo), Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Luca Massolin (Golden Cup), and many others. He is currently involved in the project Eternal Zio and plays live in the project BeMyDelay. This record aggregates many of his recent influences, from the meditative Krautism of Popol Vuh to an inalienable passion for blues guitar. Some of the tracks were sketches that he worked on, others were the result of long improvisations which were rearranged and mixed later. The record also features contributions from good friends such as Rella The Woodcutter, BeMyDelay and Alberto Boccardi, and features an excerpt from an interview with Aldous Huxley on “Towards the Outside.”

File Under: Psych, Electronic
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Alexisonfire_-_Alexisonfire_(2002)Alexisonfire: s/t (Dine Alone) LP
Alexisonfire: Crisis (Dine Alone) LP
Alexisonfire: Watch Out! (Dine Alone) LP

Vinyl reissues of these Ontario boys’ first three albums.

File Under: Punk, City & Colour, CanCon
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BCCD_PROD

Basic Channel: Q-Loop (Basic Channel) 12″
Basic Channel have pressed a new 12″ vinyl with three tracks taken from the original Basic Channel BCD compact disc that so far hadn’t been available on vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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bebeyu

Francis Bebey: Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984 (Born Bad) LP
Double LP version with printed inner sleeve. Born Bad Records presents the music of Cameroonian musician Francis Bebey, circa 1982-1984. “The first time I saw a sanza (a type of African ‘thumb piano’), it was just sitting there on a piece of furniture in my family’s living room/dining room — a space that our father also transformed into a recording studio every day. It seemed more like a box than a musical instrument: a mysterious instrument, which arrived at our house, like many things, in a somewhat miraculous way. The sounds it produced seemed particularly bizarre; to my young musician’s ears, trained in Western classical music, it sounded out of tune. That’s because, like my brothers and sisters, I had been trained on the piano. I had trouble understanding how anyone could endure these tones and, honestly, our father’s passion for ‘unusual sounds’ did not interest me. I was in secondary school at the time (the very late 1970s) and was not at all oriented toward musical projects. I planned to graduate, and then become a chef. In the early 1980s, my interest in music picked up. I was still undecided about my career. I was content to pursue my ‘serious’ English studies while hanging out at jazz clubs at les Halles in Paris, where I sometimes joined jam sessions. Next, I put together my first band with professional musicians; I had hidden my age and lack of experience from them. France was just beginning to accept ‘world music.’ Musicians of every nationality were performing in Paris. It was a wonderful period. My father asked my brother Toups and me to accompany him for a few concerts. In particular, we toured Tunisia together at the time of the 1983 Carthage International Festival. Back then, my father was renowned across the French-speaking world. Everyone looked forward to hearing his humorous songs, like ‘Agatha’ and ‘La condition masculine.’ But, behind the scenes, he continued his research concerning electronic music, the sansa, pygmy polyphony, etc. One day he put a sansa in my hands, without saying a word. He was sending me a message: ‘Let’s see what you can do with it!’ That’s when I really discovered something. Exploring the instrument and playing, I transcended the ‘imperfect’ aspect of its sound and began to discover its fascinating potential. Playing the sansa, you enter a world that enraptures you in a very serene and mesmerizing way. I think its sounds evoke a rainbow, with rain falling while the sun shines. A very peaceful feeling. It allows you to make music that truly sounds like life. The sansa is also the instrument that my father and I shared the most because I am a pianist and he was a guitarist. I also share this eminently African instrument with my musician brother, Toups. Our father loved to tell us one of the legends of the sansa: how it even managed to dispel the boredom felt by… the Creator himself! This instrument gives life to the world, to beings and things. I did not participate in the production of the various records that my father devoted to the sansa. He did it himself, you might say, in his ‘laboratory.’ Yet today, I cannot imagine playing a concert without using a sansa. The piano remains present so that listeners don’t become disoriented and wonder about the weird sounds invading their ears! However, I find the eccentric and disturbing side of sansa interesting. And the sansa always affects the audience: in reality, it excites them. The secrets of this instrument are surely its beneficial powers and… its magic!” –Patrick Bebey

File Under: Electronic, African
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afro rock

John Cameron & Alan Park: KPM 100: Afro Rock (Tummy Touch) LP
Probably the most well known and well loved KPM of all time, “Afro Rock” has at least a dozen tracks that qualify as being classics in the library music field. Any collaboration between John Cameron and Alan Parker is a match made in heaven and you can sense the chemistry these two have in the studio, this is exemplified by the creativity that courses throughout each track. Despite the title there is hardly anything “rock” about this collection ( aside from the opener “Heavy Water” ) and the only relation it has to afro is in some of the percussion. In reality the record is more jazz and funk inspired but tracks like “Heat Haze” and “Swamp Fever” defy such labels and this is one of the reasons why they are so intriguing. I can’t look past “Punch Bowl” in terms of funky brilliance, I must have played this song hundreds of times over the years and still love it just as much today. The version here is slightly longer than the one featured on “Sound Gallery Vol.1″. Simply put, you cannot have a collection of KPM’s or library music in general without “Afro Rock” being a part of it. It’s a truly magnificent album.

File Under: Library, Funk, KPM
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caribou

Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP/CD
Our Love is formed around a mixture of digital pop production, hip hop-inspired beats, muted house basslines, and a love of shuffling garage that can be traced all the way back to the time of Start Breaking My Heart – all of which, of course, are filtered through Dan’s own unique perspective. The warm analog sounds of classic soul should not be overlooked either, for they weave themselves most intensely into the record’s DNA. In fact, Our Love is probably Caribou’s most soulful record to date, chock-full of heartfelt lyrics and organic nature that cut through bubbling synths and the blissful euphoria of their synthetic constructions. It’s not all downbeat of course; whilst some thoughts linger on mortality, loss, and letting go, there is always an element of celebration. Having followed up his Polaris Prize-winning 2007 record Andorra with the universally adored Swim in 2010 (selling nearly 175,000 copies worldwide and being named Album of the Year by Rough Trade, Mixmag, and Resident Advisor whilst also hitting The Guardian, Pitchfork, Spin and Mojo’s Top 20), Dan has spent the intervening four years touring the world, bringing not only the sounds of Caribou to the stage but proving his immeasurable worth as a DJ, with epic 7½-hour-long sets. In 2012, Caribou were personally invited to join Radiohead on the road whilst Dan released his first album under the guise of his dancefloor-loving pseudonym Daphni to widespread critical acclaim. Following the shape-shifting sounds of JIAOLONG and the brightly textured, fluid constructions of Swim – both inward looking records in their own way – Dan withdrew to the basement once more to work on Caribou’s next opus. Only he didn’t: Our Love isn’t the sound of isolated creation but the sound of Dan at his most connected – with love for his listeners, his collaborators, and those closest to him. Caribou will be On Tour in Canada this November.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, CanCon
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casa

Daniela Casa: Sovrapposizione Di Immagini (Finders Keepers) LP
In an alternate universe the Rome born female synthesist Daniela Casa would be a household name. A genuine pioneer of experimental pop music, abstract electronics, Giallo jazz and even heavy drone rock jams, her elusive and infectious music joins the dots and loops between other Italian female electronic composers such as Giulia De Mutiis (later Giulia Alessandroni), Doris Norton and Suzanne Ciani while retaining one of the most individualistic and diverse composing styles of an advanced mechanical musician regardless of their nationality or gender. This LP compiles, for the first time, a multifarious selection of previously commercially unavailable instrumental music composed at her home studio in the late 70s before her untimely death at the age of 42. Originally designed for use in radio, film, TV and other industry specific applications, these seldom heard selections combine ingenious homemade and hi-tech disciplines, providing scores for Italian thrillers, nature documentaries, educational projects and commercial sound installations. Mastered from the vaults of the sought-after Deneb/Flirt/Canopo library labels (home to some of the rarest records by Fabio Frizzi, Giuliano ‘Raskovich’ Sorgini, Gerardo Iacoucci, Alessandro ‘Braen’ Alessandroni amongst others) these rare tracks reveal Daniela Casa in her most fertile environment (composing as a young mother) in both a solo capacity and alongside incredible Italian session musicians, often sharing release schedules and track lists with her maverick maestro husband Remigio Ducross. These multi-layered musical images remain as vibrant and authentic today as they did thirty-five years ago. Close your eyes and unravel the Sovrapposizione Di Immagini…

File Under: Library, Early Electronic, Italian
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causa1

Causa Sui: Pewt’r Sessions 1-2 (El Paraiso) LP
2014 repress of this release from 2012. Pewt’r Sessions 1-2 collects two limited vinyl-only Causa Sui albums, originally released in 2011. The two albums, released in April and August respectively, both feature American musician Ron Schneiderman and both sold out immediately after release. Schneiderman from American improv-rock collective Sunburned Hand of the Man first got together with Danish stoner/Kraut/jazz ensemble Causa Sui in December 2006 for a loose, improvised gig at the old cinema at Christiania — Copenhagen’s autonomous, and notorious, free commune. A live recording of this gig was released the following year, under the curious bandname Pewt’r jjjjj, and became widely admired among fans of free-form psychedelic rock for its updated version of late 1960s/early 1970s freak-out bands such as Blue Cheer, Guru Guru and Ash Ra Tempel. In the early summer of 2009 Schneiderman was back in Denmark, this time for a three-week stay as co-curator of the art-and-music event Festival of Endless Gratitude. During this period the group was united again for a few shows and a couple of recording sessions in Causa Sui’s studio in Odense, which resulted in the Pewt’r Sessions albums. These records consist of loosely structured sun and beer-fueled jams that were later edited and mixed by Causa Sui guitar player and producer Jonas Munk. While all the psychedelic fury from the Christiania live recording is still very prevalent on these studio sessions, they also see the group channeling into new territories, such as pieces heavy on analog electronics and motoric grooves. Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2 are albums that could only be recorded in an impulsive mode. Yet there is an alternative kind of structure taking place in almost every piece — some intuitive, almost psychic connection, which moves the sounds from one place to another.

File Under: Psych, Freakout, Krautrock
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causi2Causa Sui: Pewt’r Sessions 3 (El Paraiso) LP
Causa Sui returns with a third round of mind-bending jams featuring Ron Schneiderman! The savage, kaleidoscopic improvisations of the quintet’s previous two volumes instantly gained reverence among fans of free-flowing Krautrock and detuned stoner rock, and this brand new addition, recorded in the late summer of 2013, fulfills the group’s potential entirely. The Krautrock grooves, the low-end heaviness and the sprawling furor is still very much present — but this set is also permeated by a rare free jazz sensibility, at times recalling American masters of improvisation such as John Coltrane and Don Cherry in spirit. Ferociously experimental, yet absolutely welcoming and corporal. “Incipiency Suite,” which takes up the entire B-side of this record, stands as the high pinnacle of what this group is capable of with the inclusion of Ron Schneiderman: an afternoon of spontaneously-recorded parts, cut-and-pasted into an abundant whole by studio wiz Jonas Munk, creating a unique interplay between in-the-moment improvisation and creative studio editing. History: Ron Schneiderman (aka Pewt’r) from American impro-rock collective Sunburned Hand Of The Man first got together with Danish stoner/Kraut/jazz ensemble Causa Sui in December 2006 for a loose, improvised gig at the old cinema at Christiania — Copenhagen’s autonomous, and notorious, free commune. A live recording of this gig was released the following year, under the curious bandname Pewt’r jjjjj, and became widely-admired among fans of free-form psychedelic rock for its updated version of late 1960s/early 1970s freak-out bands such as Blue Cheer, Guru Guru and Ash Ra Tempel. In the early summer of 2009, Ron Schneiderman was back in Denmark, this time for a three-week stay as co-curator of the art-and-music event Festival of Endless Gratitude in Copenhagen. During this period the group was united again for a few shows and a couple of recording sessions in Causa Sui’s studio in Odense, which resulted in Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2. The group got together again for a performance at 2012’s Roskilde Festival and later again at Festival of Endless Gratitude in the summer of 2013. It was during the latter sojourn that Pewt’r Sessions 3 was recorded.

File Under: Psych, Freakout, Krautrock
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deafDeaf Center: Recount (Sonic Pieces) LP
Deaf Center is seemingly never of the times. Whether it’s the nostalgic component often associated with Pale Ravine and Owl Splinters, or the time between releases, waiting and remembering are part of the experience. Recount is a bridge between full albums, where time and familiarity are mesmerizingly suspended. Recorded during rehearsal sessions in 2012 and 2008, “Follow Still” and “Oblivion” make full use of the Deaf Center spectrum. In the direction of a live performance, Recount plays off of experience and reaction; a balancing act of improvisation, sonic detail, and emotion. “Follow Still,” recorded in Berlin 2012, brings you to a recent past. The 13-minute track leads you down a melancholic pathway and into tunnels of memory. Minimal piano passages and warm repeating organ sounds are at the core, slowly blurring your sense of time while faint guitar amp noise and the sound of effect-pedals switching off and on makes you feel present at the recording. Engraved with intricate details and quiet moments, “Follow Still” pursues the night until dawn. “Oblivion,” recorded 2008 in Oslo, recalls the live sets that followed the release of Pale Ravine. With this era condensed into one long track, the piece is an overwhelming mass of orchestral haze, crying strings and droning bass. The dense fog doesn’t burden but calms, and as it starts to clear, reveals a true grandiosity. Recount is both a division and fusion of sound and time. Two tracks, two years, two people, two cities; ultimately, Deaf Center straddles worlds to lead to something unquantifiable and timeless.

File Under: Dark Ambient, Electronic
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doum

Al Doum & The Faryds: Cosmic Love (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records presents an album from Milan-based psychedelic band Al Doum & The Faryds. Good vibrations and resonances are distributed along nine tracks, which explores worlds of peace. Jungles, abysses, distant stars — every place can be the location for the expression of Cosmic Love, thanks to the usual blend of traditional and exotic instruments (sitar, balafon, rabab, djembe, conga, quena), including space effects and loving choirs. Recorded at El Guscio studio in Milan at the end of 2013. Limited edition of 400 vinyl copies.

File Under: Psych, Krautrock, World
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fates

The Fates: Furia (Bird) LP
Originally scheduled for release on Halloween 1985 this privately pressed all female post-punk/broken-folk collective concept LP was resurrected from the ashes of the original line-up of The Fall and Velvet Underground singer Nico’s Blue Orchids backing band at the command of pioneering Manchester female punk icon Una Baines before disappearing into the annals of UK punk purgatory. Comprising all the DIY traits and snarling attitudes of Manchester’s smartarsed punk retaliation, with haunting mechanical folk, pastoral drones and a back story that unites sleeve artist Linder Sterling (Ludus), Spider King, Martin Hannett, Tony Baines, Martin Bramah and John Cooper Clarke with the 16th Century Pendle Witches, this virtually unknown LP is a vital missing piece in Manchester’s self-help anti-pop industry.  Lost in the ether, lauded by collectors and likened by Mark E. Smith to the Third Ear Band this unclassifiable arty-fact renders tags like Pagan punk utterly redundant.  File-Under-Ground.

File Under: Post Punk, Folk, The Fall
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gamble

Lee Gamble: Koch (Pan) LP/CD
Following up from the success of his emphatic PAN releases Dutch Tvashar Plumes and Diversions 1994-1996 in 2012, PAN is excited to announce Koch (pronounced “cotch”), the new album from London’s Lee Gamble. Sharing some stylistic affinity with his previous records, which excavated his deeply personal history with UK jungle and rave, and techno, this new work dives even deeper to reveal a singular and intimate musical vantage point, shifting to approaching music as projection, state, hallucination, another place. In Koch, we experience an artist constructing a future, after time spent deconstructing the past. In the music we witness such dimensional abstraction, zooming between epic macro-scenery and claustrophobically close detail, disorientation and absolute focus. Rhythms fuse together and phase apart, club tracks tunnel into an anxious wilderness, with themes and textures emerging as threads throughout the record, wormholing between each track. There is a sense of the seen and the unseen, an honest tension between music as function (for this world) and as artistic exploration (for another world) as cracks in the surface appear to reveal the odd and alien minutiae within. Koch represents an intimate and revelatory new phase in Lee Gamble’s practice. Producing tracks that can live and grow on their own in a club or personal listening environment, the artist’s exploratory framework creates threads of consistency and tension between disparate spaces, locations, and mental states.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Techno
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goethals

Lucien Goethals: s/t (Cacophonic) LP
As the pearls of Finders Keepers exclusive adventures in the deep vaults of Belgium’s Alpha Records we are proud to present this collection of outstanding experimental magnetic music by Lucien Goethals. Simply one of the best examples of organic and electronic music interfacing taken from rescued mastertapes spanning 1964 and 1975, here we find Goethals recomposing transposing and reducing taped recordings of organic instruments such as Cello and Clarinet to make early magnetaphone compositions that defy convention from the heart of the revolutionary IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music). These melodic explorations into advanced mechanical music provide further likeminded context for the likes of Dariush Dolat Shahi, Delia Derbyshire and Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza and beg comparison to Zdenek Liska’s score for Ikarie Xb1. Lucien Goethals was born in 1931 in Ghent, Belgium. He completed his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in 1956 where he was awarded the highest accolades for advanced organ, history of music and theoretic notions, after which he eventually pursued his studies of seriated music technique and electronic composition with G.M. Koenig. He was awarded further awards for composition in both his own country as well as abroad, and was a member of the renowned Spectra work group. In 1963 he was appointed to the post of producer of the BRT (Flemish division of the Belgian Broadcasting and Television System) and later a key producer in the division known as IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music). From 1971 he taught musical analysis at the Music Academy of Ghent. Goethals was an exponent of the stricter direction in the aesthetics of contemporary music. His work is still recognised as a valuable contribution, on a global scale, to the fields of seriated and trans-aleatoric music of the past half century. His recorded achievements within experimental music include a dozen rare compositions for solo “magnetophonic” music and a set of works for combined orthodox instruments with magnétaphone. Outside of the electronic field Goethals was also recognised for his chamber music, symphonic orchestration, cantata and lied compositions. This compendium focuses on Lucien’s magnetophonic work recorded during, and prior.

File Under: Early Electronic, Avant Garde
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cow-palace-19761

Grateful Dead: Live at the Cow Palace (Friday Music) 5LP Box
Now for the first time ever as an exclusive 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl 5 LP Box Set, Friday Music is very honored to announce the limited edition Grateful Dead authorized release of Live At The Cow Palace-New Years Eve 1976. Mastered for vinyl by Joe Reagoso (Grateful Dead/Deep Purple/Yes) at Friday Music Studios and at Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, this wonderful album will truly be a welcomed addition to your Dead collection. The Grateful Dead’s Live At The Cow Palace album will be packaged in a stunning box set, with Timothy Truman’s artwork detailed beautifully, a rich looking black background inside the box set itself, with a poly lined LP sleeve to preserve the rich details of each of the five albums. Wonderful retro LP label artwork is also provided for each vinyl album. The legendary Bay Area rock superstars Grateful Dead scored with a plethora of wonderful recordings throughout their incredible career that encompassed four decades. Their concerts were of legendary proportions, and during the bicentennial year of 1976, a whole new audience was discovering their magic thanks to their From the Mars Hotel (Friday Music 102) and Blues for Allah albums. As a new year was approaching, the Dead celebrated it together with a very appreciative hometown San Francisco audience at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. This masterful performance went on to become one of the most revered ever in their long concert history. Always known for being on top of the audiophile medium, the Dead would record a lot of their shows over the years with state of the art equipment. This particular show was of no exception as long time associates Betty Cantor Jackson and Bob Matthews recorded a number of shows during this much touted tour era and together with the definitive Dead archivists David Lemieux and James Austin compiled the long awaited Live At The Cow Palace – New Year’s Eve 1976. Friday Music is very pleased to announce the exclusive first time 180 Gram Audiophile 5 LP Deluxe Box Set of the Grateful Dead’s Live At The Cow Palace – New Year’s Eve 1976. This amazing limited edition treasure trove features the historic concert in its entirety. Filled with 22 stellar first time audiophile vinyl performances, The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kruetzmann, Keith Godchaux and Donna Godchaux truly radiate with some of their finest playing and singing ever, making this a wonderful listen and highly collectible album for years to come. Many favorite Grateful Dead classics and superior rarities abound in this lengthy limited edition audiophile dream box including the long-awaited audiophile vinyl releases of Bertha, Wharf Rat, Eyes Of The World and Jerry Garcia solo favorite Deal. Known for their lengthy jams, four solid masterpieces get their due on this amazing set like the 23+ minute performance of Playing In The Band, Sugar Magnolia, Scarlet Begonias and Samson and Delilah. The band went back real deep into their arsenal of classic tunes and picked even more of their most loved repertoire including a fine reading of Tim Rose’s Morning Dew and of course Dead masterpieces Uncle John’s Band, Slipknot! and Looks Like Rain.

File Under: Psych, Dead, Audiophile
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have a nice

Have A Nice Life: Deathconsciousness (Flenser) LP
In 2008, Have A Nice Life released their now cult classic Deathconsciousness LP to a whimper and critical non-interest. Six years after its release the band followed up with 2014’s stunner The Unnatural World, Deathconsciousness has become a force of influence and fanatic obsession. Seamlessly blending, with unparalleled depth and weight, shoegaze, post punk, new wave, industrial and noise. The album was originally released by Enemies List Home Recordings founded by HANL members Dan and Tim. The album has since floated in and out of production, with the last instantly out of print vinyl pressing occurring in 2009. Now, longtime HANL collaborator The Flenser will re-issue Deathconsciousness with deluxe packaging, including a lengthy accompanying zine and colored vinyl. Have A Nice Life commented, “Working with Flenser lets us keep things comfortable on our end, while also pressing enough copies to actually meet the need and not creating an artificially-inflated collector’s market, as happened with some of our past releases.” The Flenser’s reissue of Deathconsciousness will be accompanied by a 75-page booklet detailing the dark and forgotten history of the Antiochean cult. Blurring the lines between novella, liner notes, and academic text, the zine itself presents an engrossing narrative. The album is rhythmic, primal and expansive and is a gloomy-post-punk masterpiece; a mediation on death, loss and unrequited love. Deathconsciousness feels more fresh and engaging with every listen and has held up as a remarkable piece of art. Fans of Have A Nice Life exhibit both cultic thought and action for good reason. It is perhaps a fanbase as dark and mysterious as the Antiochean’s, the album itself revolves around. Now The Flenser is honored to rerelease Deathconsciousness a gorgeous and disarming contribution to the modern lexicon for a larger audience.

File Under: Shoegaze, Gloom, Post Punk
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henriksen

Arve Henriksen: Nature of Connections (Rune Grammofon) LP
Arve Henriksen stumbled across the title of his latest album while reading a book about furniture-making. “The author mentioned the complexity of making a chair and all the people involved in the process,” the Norwegian trumpet player says. “The high quality of the different fields and the wide range of professions that, after a long process, turns into a product which can easily be compared to the process of making this album.” The Nature of Connections finds Arve working in harness with some of Norway’s most distinguished and dynamic musician-craftsmen, drawn from the fields of folk, improvisation and jazz. Each one brought specialist components and skills honed over many years to Arve’s workshop, where the results were assembled and polished to a high gleam. The Nature of Connections almost entirely features pieces composed by Arve’s collaborators. Recorded in the sparkling acoustics of Oslo’s legendary Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug, it’s an album with closer ties to Nordic folk and contemporary, minimalist chamber music than any of Arve’s previous releases. The trumpeter had planned to make an album with a string quartet for many years but never quite found the right formula. Finally, a specially commissioned tour brought him together with violinists Nils Økland and Gjermund Larsen, cellist Svante Henryson and double bassist Mats Eilertsen, all of whom now appear as the central planks in The Nature of Connections. Another welcome guest is drummer Audun Kleive, veteran of Norwegian jazz ensembles including Masqualero, JoKleBa!, Generator X, Terje Rypdal and Jon Balke. “The brilliant thing about collaboration with others is that your collaborators very often have better ideas than yourself,” says Arve, typically modest. “At the same time, some naive and simple ideas from my head are sometimes enough to illustrate that moment and that special feeling of a story. I have gradually started to trust that feeling.” His instincts are correct, leading to some of the warmest and most organic sounding music of his career. Highlights include the solemn chamber music of “Seclusive Song,” and the stately progress of “Hymn” — composed by Arve’s keyboardist partner in the long-running Norwegian improv ensemble Supersilent, Ståle Storløkken — which paces itself around Henryson’s repetitive, gently churning cello. Born in Norway and currently living in Sweden, Arve Henriksen is Scandinavia’s most distinctive trumpeter and improviser. He played in various jazz ensembles in his youth before co-forming Supersilent in 1997, a prolific free music group with Helge Sten (Deathprod) and Ståle Storløkken, which is still ongoing. His trumpet, augmented with effects and electronics, has appeared with David Sylvian, Terje Rypdal, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Balke, Terje Isungset and Iain Ballamy’s Food. With Supersilent he recently collaborated with former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. In September 2014 he’ll be participating in an architectural installation/performance as part of Oslo’s Ultima Festival of contemporary music. Since 2001 he has created a series of exquisite solo recordings (on Rune Grammofon and ECM), which combine electronic textures, horns, woodwinds, ethnic instruments, percussion, keyboards, and his mournful, yearning singing voice. Henriksen’s music reflects both the stunning beauty of virgin wilderness and the shifting, cosmopolitan environments experienced by the 21st century traveler. The Nature of Connections is the latest link forged in an ever-growing chain. Arve Henriksen (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, piano); Nils Økland (violin, Hardanger fiddle, viola d’amore); Svante Henryson (cello); Gjermund Larsen (violin, Hardanger fiddle); Mats Eilertsen (double bass); Audun Kleive (drums).

File Under: Ambient, Trumpet, Jazz, ECM, Electronic
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fela

Fela Kuti: Box 3 (Knitting Factory) 7LP
Knitting Factory Records is proud to release the third of the long-awaited vinyl reissues from the Fela Kuti catalog. These seven albums – London Scene (1971), Shakara (1972), Gentleman (1973), Afrodisiac (1973), Zombie (1976), Upside Down (1976) and I.T.T. (1980) – were chosen by long-time admirer, Brian Eno. In addition to the seven 180g LPs, the box set also includes a 12″ x 12″ 12-page book that includes a forward from Eno, album notes from Chris May, translated lyrics, photos from Bernard Matussiere and 16.5″ x 22.5″ poster. Fela’s discography stretches from the mid 1960s with Fela Ransome Kuti & His Highlife Rakers, to the early 1990s with Egypt 80, and there are masterpieces all along the way. But the 1970s, with Africa 70 and then Afrika 70, was the decade during which Fela’s Afrobeat went through its most dramatic changes – musically and politically. Says Box set curator, Brian Eno, “Before about mid-September 1973 I didn’t have much interest in polyrhythmic music. I didn’t really get it. That all changed one Autumn day when I walked into Stern’s Record Shop off Tottenham Court Road. For reasons I’ve long forgotten, I left the store with an album that was to change my life dramatically. It was Afrodisiac by Fela Ransome-Kuti (as he was then known) and his band The Africa 70.” He adds, “I remember the first time I listened and how dazzled I was by the groove and the rhythmic complexity, and by the raw, harsh sounds of the brass, like Mack trucks hurtling across highways with their horns blaring. Everything I thought I knew about music at that point was up in the air again. The sheer force and drive of this wild Nigerian stuff blew my mind. My friend Robert Wyatt called it ‘Jazz from another planet’ – and suddenly I thought I understood the point of jazz, until then an almost alien music to me.” Eno’s selection presents four from this period – Shakara, London Scene (1972), and Afrodisiac and Gentleman (both 1973). On these albums, Fela began to compile Afrobeat’s various signature characteristics – its rhythm patterns, interlocking twin guitars (rhythm and tenor), call and response vocals, use of Broken English rather than Yoruba, style of horn arrangements, and political message. Upside Down, one of Eno’s other selections, features Sandra Izadore on vocals. It was recorded in 1976 during one of several trips she made to Nigeria. The penultimate album in Eno’s selection is late 1976’s Zombie, a vicious skewering of the Nigerian military and Fela’s biggest hit record to date. No coincidence then, that on February 18, 1977 over a thousand soldiers attacked and destroyed his self-declared independent republic of Kalakuta – a live/work compound which included housing for the Afrika 70 family. 1980’s I.T.T. is among the first clutch of discs Fela recorded following the break-up of Afrika 70 in late 1978/early 1979 and the formation of his new band, Egypt 80. I.T.T. is one of several albums Fela recorded around this time which featured only one song – an extended instrumental on side one, and a long-form lyric on side two. The format is a little closer to the way Fela performed live than it is on an album made up of several shorter tracks.  Incudes: London Scene (1971), Shakara (1972), Gentleman (1973), Afrodisiac (1973), Zombie (1976), Upside Down (1976) ad I.T.T. (1980)

File Under: Afro Beat, Essential
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vodoun

Hisham Mayet: Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast (Sublime Frequencies) DVD
Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast explores the ceremonial splendor of sacred dance and ritual in Benin, the birthplace and cradle of Vodoun. Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin was also called the Slave Coast due to its importance in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Today, the worship and supplication of Vodoun gods remains integral to everyday life in Benin. Shot in January 2011 during the country’s rich annual Vodoun celebrations, this film offers an impressionistic glimpse of the major ceremonies and delirious musical performances associated with this ancient religion. Guided by the otherworldly rhythms and colors of Vodoun pageantry, Hisham Mayet presents an intimate view of metaphysical dramas enacted in magisterial costumes: The cult of Sakpata, fearsome god of pestilence, disfigurement and healing. The Egoun-goun, ancestral visitors from the realm of the dead, who bring blessings and warnings for the living. And the Zangbeto nightwatchmen, ambulatory haystacks who serve as Vodoun’s secret police. Traveling in a malarial fever dream from the clutter and bustle of village markets to the palace of Ahosu Agoli-Agbo Dedjalagni, the King of Abomey, Mayet provides an unforgettable portrait of secular and sacred life in Benin. Digipack with 12-page booklet of photographs from various Vodoun ceremonies throughout Benin; 48 minutes/color; all-region DVD, NTSC format. Limited one-time edition of 1,000 copies.

File Under: DVD, Benin, Ceremonial
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me

Montgomery Express: Montgomery Movement (Numero) LP
Funk’s answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Florida’s Montgomery Express stood at the crossroads of politically conscious soul and mystically awakened dance music. Comprised of two blind musicians in their 20s and a teenage rhythm section, their lone LP was cut in 1972 for Orlando’s Dove label, then reissued on Folkways two years later. Although the label usually steered clear of soul music and anything remotely commercial sounding, Montgomery Express tapped into Folkways’ Guthrie-cum-Chamber Bros. nerve with The Montgomery Movement. “My whole life, I heard music in the air, beautiful music. I’ve been involved in supernatural things, spoken with spirits. I have heard an orchestra up in the air. I know I’ve heard it.” – Paul Montgomery

File Under: Funk
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nicolai

Bruno Nicolai: All the Colours of the Dark (Finders Keepers) LP
As part of a devoted series of releases focusing on Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack music to the films of Edwige Fenech, Finders Keepers proudly unveil what is perhaps the crowning moment for both actress and composer with the film that inaugurated them (alongside director Sergio Martino) into the critical Giallo royal family in the early 1970s. Presented here with previously unpressed tracks as an alternative to the extremely rare 1973 Gemelli library edition, this Finders Keepers special release includes the recently uncovered 1972 hard-hitting left-field psychedelic pop themes that unified yet another unholy trinity comprising of sitar wielding Alessandro Alessandroni (in true Pawnshop Braens Machine mode) and Italian cinematic songbird Edda Dell’Orso to create (under Nicolai’s gaze) what is regarded by many unified euro horror video collectors and vinyl detectives as the cream of this well furrowed crop. Recorded in January 1972 at Morricone’s Ortophonic studio in Rome (home of Goblin’s Roller and Alessandroni’s Sangue di sbirro amongst many others) Bruno Nicolai balances psychotic free jazz, aggressive bass driven beats, schizoid Eastern motifs and childlike lullabies – the latter exacerbating director Martino’s proud Rosemary’s Baby influences in this Giallo tale of a rehabilitated relationship plagued by recurring nightmares and vague memories of a religious cult that teeter on the edge of Fenech’s consciousness. To claim this score as Nicolais’ all time best is perhaps a little ambitious for a versatile composer of such acclaim and widespread appeal, but for fans of that unique window of unhinged musical opportunity which came with the Giallo boom of the early 1970’s you’ll be hard pushed to find a record that covers all bases from an alternative universe where Fabio Frizzi, Goblin and Walter Rizzati were (haunted) household names.

File Under: Library, OST, Italian
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gotg

OST: Guardians of the Galaxy (Hollywood) 2LP
In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan. In order to evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a group of misfits including Gamora, Rocket, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Staring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, John C. Reilly as well as the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. This deluxe double vinyl edition of the soundtrack to the James Gunn-directed 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy includes classic 1970’s songs from the movie like Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream,” 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love,” the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” and The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” plus the film’s original score composed by Tyler Bates. Music plays a major role in Guardians of the Galaxy as the 1970’s songs featured in the film are part of the storyline in a unique way. Explaining how the songs come to play in the story, director James Gunn says, “One of the main story points in the movie is that Quill has this compilation tape [Awesome Mix #1] that he got from his mother before she died that she made for him. It was of songs that she loved, all songs from the 1970s, and that’s the only thing he has left of his mother and that’s the only thing he has left of his home on Earth. He uses that as a connection to his past and to the sadness that he feels of having left all that and lost all that.”

File Under: OST, Awesome Mix 1
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peakinglights

Peaking Lights: Cosmic Logic (Weird World) LP
Los Angeles duo Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, aka Peaking Lights will release their new album Cosmic Logic through Weird World. Vivid, nocturnal and sensual, the eleven lean and lithe pop songs of Cosmic Logic follow 2012’s much-lauded Lucifer and are another progression in the band’s ever-evolving sound; their free-wheeling, far-reaching production and mesmeric, mantra-like songwriting pushing into brighter, bolder spaces than ever before. Coyes engineered and produced Cosmic Logic in the band’s newly built Los Angeles studio, designing many of the luminous sounds used himself over the eighteen months of its making. The record was mixed by Matt Thornley (DFA, LCD Soundsystem) at C’mpny Studios in LA in the spring of 2014. Even in an era where omnivorous consumption and assimilation of different cultures has become almost common place in pop, there remains something special about the depth and passion of Coyes and Dunis’s musical knowledge as evident on Cosmic Logic. It’s a record where a loving homage to “Der Song von Mandelay” – the first song on The Flying Lizards’ debut album (opening track “Infinite Trips”), The Carpenters re-interpretation of 70’s prog rockers Klaatu (the interplanetary groove of “Telephone Call”) and the deliriously catchy digi-dub of lead single “Breakdown” all coalesce with elements of  Jamaican digital dancehall, Cosmic Italo, Chicago house and acid house, Afrobeat and Zamrock, early West coast hip-hop and disco boogie crossover into something both instantly recognizable and delightfully alien. Looking both to other cultures and the cosmos for inspiration, Cosmic Logic is a record that searches – a beacon in dark times. Or, as Coyes puts it — “Peaking Lights’ whole thing has always been based on an idea of ‘Fucked Modern Pop but exactly what that is, we don’t know…we’re still trying to figure that out.”

File Under: Indie, Dance, Pop
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pissed jeans

Pissed Jeans: Shallow (Sub Pop) LP 
Pissed Jeans and Sub Pop have teamed up to reissue Shallow, the Allentown, PA band’s long out-of-print debut album. The 8-song album features Pissed Jeans classics “Boring Girls” and ”Closet Marine,” and this reissue includes the bonus tracks “Throbbing Organ” and “Night Minutes” from the band’s first single (bonus tracks are included as a 7” in the LP version). All songs have been remastered for this release. Pissed Jeans were noisy as a motherfucker and proud of it on Shallow. The album sounds like a big pile of mud and broken glass ripping through your stereo speakers in the most killer way imaginable. Shallow was originally released by Pissed Jeans in June of 2005, not long after their 2004 single, “Throbbing Organ” b/w “Night Moves.” All tracks were originally recorded by Dan McKinney at Dan’s House in Center Valley, PA, and Shallow was first released via New Jersey hardcore label Parts Unknown. The recordings feature longtime members Matt Korvette and Bradley Fry, along with then drummer Dave Rosenstraus and bassist Tim Wynarczuk.

File Under: Punk, Reissue
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sensational

Sensational Saints: You Won’t Believe It (Numero) LP
Formed in the early ’50s under the watchful eye of Tuskegee, Alabama, transplant Charles Chambliss, the Sensational Saints were handpicked from a Cleveland clothing store, a pool room, and from a group of friends singing from a third story window. After years spent rotating members and issuing stray singles for assorted non-denominational imprints, the group connected with the vocally inclined Reverend Melvin Kenniebrew at the close of the ’60s, making good on their “Sensational” boast. “With God in their hearts and singing on their minds,” the Sensational Saints mounted their crown jewel in 1973 with You Won’t Believe It. Pressed in conservative quantities by local gospel magnate James Bullard on his King James label, the group’s lone long-player perfectly encapsulates the intersection of funk and gospel as only the religious conversion of a Bill Wither’s tune can do.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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sleafordSleaford Mods: Austerity Dogs (Harbinger) LP
Sleaford Mods started out sometime during 2006 while Jason Williamson was living in Nottingham. Born out of part frustration and part accident, it quickly found its feet as an aggressive verbal onslaught on all that is contrived and connected to the day-to-day hammer of low paid employment and domestic situations arising from that trap. After a year of working ideas out in both the studio and in live performance around Nottingham, Williamson moved south and took the cause to London for a couple of years, before returning to Nottingham in 2009. Soon after that he met Andrew Fearn and the Sleaford Mods became a duo. Fearn’s first work was on the production of Wank — the Mods’ fifth CD-R album. Soon after, he started stalking the studio and stage with Williamson. Just after the release of Wank, the duo were invited to play a three-day festival curated by Nottingham’s Rammel Club. During that weekend they were introduced to the Harbinger Sound label. A meeting which — a year later — resulted in the release of Austerity Dogs. Numerous shows around the UK and Europe followed, including further festival appearances. Rave reviews of the album have appeared in magazines as diverse as The Wire and Uncut, along with interviews being published both on paper and on the internet, both here and abroad. With more international dates on the horizon including excursions to Poland and Sweden, the interest in the Mods continues to spread.

File Under: Punk, Hip Hop
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smoke clears

The Smoke Clears: Listen (Further) LP
Those who know the respected Irish producer John Daly for his bubbly, melodically-nuanced house and techno tracks may get thrown off balance by his latest work under the Smoke Clears handle. While his 2011 release for Further, Sea Level, hinted at his fondness for Manuel Göttsching/Klaus Schulze-like kosmische ambience, on Listen Daly veers off into more introverted and arcane abstraction terrain. The title-track kicks off the album on a decidedly downtempo, contemplative note while maintaining Daly’s knack for understatedly beautiful melodies. It sounds like the best song Morr Music never released. “Plumb” exudes a paradoxically chilled and urgent aura, with woodblocks seemingly made out of ice and heavily reverbed claps providing the hypnotic rhythm. The glistening IDM of “Star Shine” could be an outtake from Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 1985-1992 (it’s that gorgeous). The beautifully hoarfrost-y “Trace” evokes Seefeel’s forays into fusing shoegaze atmospheres with abstract electronic beat matrices. With Listen, The Smoke Clears decisively steps off the dancefloor and enters one of the chilliest chill-out rooms a ’90s clubber ever chilled in — but the music’s still a-bristle with all sorts of fascinating movement and textures. Despite Listen’s banquet of ultra-cool tones, your neurons will work up a nice sweat.

File Under: Kosmische, Ambient, Electronic
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tape

Tape: Casino (Hapna) LP
The new album from alternative music veterans Tape marks their 14th year of activity. It’s called Casino and was recorded in the legendary Atlantis studio in Stockholm by engineer Janne Hansson in December 2013. The music of Tape still continues its growth, in its own way, separated from the rest of the world in many ways. This time the emotional depth and interest in details are even stronger and clearer. The album has been mixed by Andreas Werliin and mastered by Mell Dettmer. Swedish trio Tape was set up in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling with Tomas Hallonsten. Taking cues both from pop, experimentalism, and minimalism, their sound, with a mixture of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, has become recognized internationally and is clearly something of its own. Their first album Opera (HAPNA 040CD) was released on the Häpna imprint (which Johan is a co-owner of) in 2002. Working intuitively, all by themselves, they created mini symphonies out of electronic sounds paired with a stunning melodic lyricism. 2003 saw the release of Milieu. These recordings had a more arranged feeling and a clear pop sensibility in some parts. In 2005 they went to Cologne to have Marcus Schmickler produce and record their third album Rideau. This was done in his Piethopraxis studio in Cologne and his involvement left traces; an almost architectonical approach was taken and some of the intimacy that characterized the first two albums was replaced by a somewhat harder edge. In 2006 they collaborated with Japanese duo Tenniscoats on their album Tan-Tan Therapy. That same year they recorded in Tokyo with Japanese quartet Minamo, which resulted in the record Birds of a Feather. Since Luminarium (2008) they have been working out of their own Summa studio in Stockholm and there they also recorded what became Revelationes (HAPNA 044CD), their fifth album. After a hiatus for two years the group did a tour of Europe in November 2013. They tried out new material, which later was recorded in Stockholm at the Atlantis studio and is now released as the album Casino. It’s their sixth full-length album if you omit all the different collaborations and other stuff they’ve done throughout the years (all released on Häpna). Johan Berthling plays guitar and more in Tape but is also the bass player for the trio Fire! with Mats Gustafsson & Andreas Werliin and is involved with many other projects ranging from free-jazz to rock. His collaborators include Oren Ambarchi, Akira Sakata and Paal Nilssen-Love. Tomas Hallonsten is a keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist running the trio Time Is A Mountain, including Berthling on bass and drummer Andreas Werliin. He is a much-in-demand musician and works in many different contexts. Andreas Berthling is a musician using modular synthesis and laptop as his instruments. He has released a string of recordings under his own name.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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ABT040 TOPS LP-Jacket 11183 v2Tops: Picture You Staring (Arbutus) LP
TOPS are a four-piece band from Montreal, equal parts girls and guys, delivering a raw punk take on AM studio pop. Their new record, Picture You Staring, is a lush array of timelessly crafted songs. Singer Jane Penny gives a new voice to the silent girl at the edge of the circle, disillusioned but honest and unpretentious, a tone complemented by David Carriere’s seamless guitar playing and the measured drumming of Riley Fleck. TOPS’ subtle arrangements are delivered with a cool restraint that blend with the individuality and self-assured desire of their female lead. Picture You Staring gathers strength through intimacy. Self-written, recorded and produced at Arbutus Records’ studio in Montreal over the course of a year, this album contains 12 impeccable examples of pop craftsmanship that will reward repeat listeners.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, CanCon
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triccaEmma Tricca: Relic (Bird) LP
Raised into a unique pop-cultural landscape surrounded by Giallo Comic books, whistling Morricone film scores, vibrant religious imagery and expensive furniture design, Italian born Emma Tricca’s childhood playground formed a very different backdrop to that of the many whispery femme-folk revivalists that have popped up and pooped-out over the last hum-strummed decade. Emma Tricca didn’t fall into a comfy kaftan via her parents bottle fed record collection during her pre-paid college off-years nor was she torn out of a style mag via a few guitar lessons to decorate the post-club chill-out festivals. Emma Tricca is the real deal, unaffected by whimsical press-penchants and influenced by long European road-trips, heavy guitar cases and tough love relationships. In danger of spitting paganistic fluff, Emma is simply an ergonomic reaction to her environments and their stories – folk music personified. While splitting her time between Rome and London she awkwardly melts a stiff upper-lip into the hot-blooded passion which has fuelled her finger-picked momentum through all of her adult life. As folk slips from the newspaper colour supplements and becomes a four letter word once again, Emma Tricca basques in its exorcism and stands hand in hand with her peers, counting the likes of John Renbourne, Bonnie Dobson and Judy Collins as friends and stage mates, while eerily drawing comparisons with the lost music of English-Italian 70s acidic folk mystery Mark Fry. Tricca was first recognised by her long black hair, battered guitar case and sturdy Italian heeled boots by Jane Weaver and Andy Votel on stage in 2006. It was ultimately her unique and infectious vocals talents that inspired the Northern non-label bosses to release her unanimously five-star rated debut LP Minor White via the Bird Records imprint, a family of which Emma has been a faithful friend and ambassador ever since. Taking trips across central Europe to the West coast of America and stopping off at too many English, Irish and Welsh Festivals to count in between (Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown, Festival Number 6, Green Man) the emergence of Emma’s new set of songs-of-experience come from a creative soul that has travelled far, practiced long and shared a heart, through intimate songwriting, with unfaltering abundance. Previously honing her craft with minimum means fuelled by maximum motivation her ability to spontaneously exude yearning melodic handcrafted folk songs to dewy-eyed audiences still renders todays hi-tech back-lines and expensive studios surplus to requirement. 2014 will see Emma undertake more live commitments, as well as her first musical appearance in a film starring Sir Patrick Stuart as she winks back to Cinecittà. On her new LP, Emma, for the first time, embraces the minimal use of mechanical percussion and home-made orchestrations collaborating with Italian and English musicians such as members of Welsh proggists Colorama, Edwyn Collins producer Carwyn Ellis and Sam Mcloughlin (N.Racker) who brings some Northern rural radiophonics to this ROMANtic relic. To subtitle a John Fahey song… behold the Giallo princess.

File Under: Folk
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vaselines

Vaselines: V is for Vaselines (Rosary) LP
In 2010, Scottish indie-pop outfit The Vaselines ended a 20-year hiatus with the release of their third studio album, Sex With An X. Since then, they’ve made a rather fluid transition back to the promotional cycle, touring the world and playing a bevy of festival gigs. The reunion train rolls on with the announcement of their latest album, V for Vaselines, due out September 29th via Rosary Music. The band self-produced the 10-track effort at Mogwai’s studio, the awesomely-named Castle of Doom, in Glasgow. According to a press release, The Vaselines recruited a number of their other fellow countrymen to make various cameos, including Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Frank Macdonald (Teenage Fanclub), and members of Olympic Swimmers, 1990s, Mandrake Shepherd, and Sons & Daughters. The press release adds that V for Vaselines was inspired by both The Ramones and guitarist Eugene Kelly’s need to “write some really short punk rock songs, just get into people’s ear really straight away, and then get out of there really quickly.” As our first taste, the band’s unveiled “One Lost Year”. If nothing else, the track readily achieves Kelly’s punk-inspired goal: spanning three minutes, “One Lost Year” is a hyperactive cannon shot of fuzzy guitars, chunky percussion, and spirited, multi-person harmonies. Its infectious hooks and rousing energy will stick to you tighter than actual Vaseline.

File Under: Indie, Pop
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vaudou game

Vaudou Game: Apiafo (Hot Casa) LP
Vaudou Game is a contemporary live band of six members playing an authentic Togolese funk based on voodoo chant scales, and led by Peter Solo, a singer and composer born in Aneho-Glidji (Togo), birthplace of the Guin tribe and place of the voodoo culture. He was raised with those traditional values of human and environmental respect. Apiafo is a 12-track album, entirely recorded, mixed and mastered with old analog tapes, and played with vintage instruments, recalling the sound of bands like Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou or El Rego. Peter Solo invited his uncle, Roger Damawuzan, famous pioneer of the ’70s soul scene in Togo, to sing on “Pas Contente” & “Wrong Road.” The result of their collaboration is without a doubt two amazing future dancefloor classics. The idea of integrating these haunting lines, sung in honor of the Divinities, into an energetic ’70s Afro-funk style, was, in Peter Solo’s mind, an obvious extension of the analogy he found between the voodoo tradition and trance-inducers such as soul, funk, as well as the rhythm ‘n blues of James Brown or Otis Redding. Vaudou Game will be touring all over the world to promote this new Afro-soul classic album.

File Under: Funk, World, Afro-Funk, Voodoo
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wada

Tashi Wada: Duets (Saltern) LP
Tashi Wada’s Duets LP is the first release from Saltern, his new imprint distributed through Important Records. Duets features a recording of Wada’s series of string duos brilliantly realized by cellists Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann. From Curtis’ liner notes: “How far can we enter into a single moment, such that for that brief speck of time, for an instant, unison is registered? This would suggest a different sense of unison, as a state of complete integration hidden behind the disparity and change caused by the passing of time.” Edition of 425. Recorded by Tom Erbe and cut at 45 RPM by Rashad Becker. Pressed at RTI and housed in jackets with design by Marco del Rio and printed at Stoughton. Cover image by Marcia Hafif.

 File Under: Drone, Minimal, Avant Garde
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williams

Lucinda Williams: Down Where The Spirit Meets the Bone (Thirty Tigers) 3LP
The new album from Lucinda Williams, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. Produced by Tom Overby, Greg Leisz and Lucinda Williams, Recorded and Mixed by Dave Bianco, Mastered by Joe Gastwirt. The new album is her most ambitious release to date. Twenty + songs were recorded off and on between September of 2013 through March of 2014. Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone finds Lucinda tapping into her southern roots for this double album. The songs are amplified by a range of musical talents that include Greg Leisz, Tony Joe White, Pete Thomas, Gia Ciambotti, Bill Frisell and Jakob Dylan.

File Under: Folk
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wold

Wold: Postsocial (Death of Rave) LP
Postsocial is the breathtaking eighth album from Wold, an infamous black metal unit with strong binds to the landlocked plains of Regina, Saskatchewan in central Canada. Stephen O’Malley’s reissue of their Freermasonry (SOMA 014LP) LP first introduced us to their work — subsequently igniting the most gratifying discovery of an exceptional back catalog. Postsocial is a culmination of ideas core to Wold’s philosophy, heading deeper into a world of visceral howls and internalized harmonics. Due to the inherent limitations of vinyl, the album now unfolds in a different sequence to the CD, manifesting a crucially-altered beast. The two opening pieces, “Throwing Star” and “Inner Space Infirmary” remain in place, employing the eviscerated howl and cackle of clan leader Fortress Crookedjaw’s possessed vocals and electronics in roiling, chokingly affective storm systems that leave us flayed and gasping. At this point the vinyl version inverts the tracklist, placing the aching atmospheric sehnsucht of “Sapphire Sect of Tubal Cain” at the cyclone’s epicenter. On the B-side, the sustained intensity of “Five Points” and near 15 minutes of “Spiral Star Inversion” expand on the five-pointed star metaphor with labyrinthine results, culminating in “ritualistic conjuration and copulation of the hag,” detailed further in the lyric sheet. To be honest, we’ll probably never fully grasp this group: they remain a largely unquantifiable entity — an enigmatic band with a genuinely original, inimitable, often impenetrable sound — making them one of the most fascinating units operating in experimental music today, and marking Postsocial as an elementally rare, vital sensation which should resonate with myriad sub-cultures.

File Under: Metal, Black Metal, CanCon
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arkansas

Various: Arkansas at 78 RPM: Corn Dodgers & Hoss Hair Pullers (Dust-to-Digital) CD
For the traveling recording men of the late 1920s, Arkansas offered enticing pickings. The region was thronged with vigorous, idiosyncratic string bands. This album carries the listener from the hillbilly music craze of the ’20s to the song-based country music of the late ’30s. Scarcely more than a decade, but a period, in music as in all American life, of galvanic change. This CD serves as the soundtrack album to the newly-released photograph book, Making Pictures: Three for a Dime by Maxine Payne. All of the photos in this package are from the same cache of photographs taken by the Massengil family in their mobile photo-booth trailer throughout rural Arkansas in the 1930s-1940s. “It is indeed gratifying to know our program has made so many minds and hearts drift back to the earlier days when all was well, when the ‘hoss hair pullers’ of old were in due form and all parties concerned were in a receptive mood for tipping of the fantastic toe… My aggregation from this district claim that their music and songs are not suggestive of anything except good and wholesome exercise … So everybody come to the Arkansas Ozarks, where you can eat the best fruit in the world; where home-cured meat is found in the smokehouse and corn and hay in the barn; where you can juice your own cow, feed your own chickens, fish in the wonderful White River, meet these men of the Missouri Pacific and natives, and you will then say, ‘Yes, indeed, you have the most wonderful country in the world.'” –Henry Harlin Smith, March 1926 on Hot Springs radio station KTHS Includes a CD digipak with a 32-page booklet with liner notes by country music scholar Tony Russell. Newly remastered 24-bit audio transfers from the Music Memory archive. Features original 78 RPM recordings made between 1928-1937.

File Under: Blues
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clocktower

Various: Clocktower Records Collector Series Volume 1 (Clocktower) 7×7″
Tracklist: Cornell Campbell – “Gun Court/Gifted And Black”; Johnny Clarke – “Creation Rebel”/The Aggrovators – “Creation Dub”; Augustus Pablo – “Jah Light”/”Jah Light Drum And Bass”; Devon Irons – “When Jah Comes”/Lee Perry – “Jah Dub”; Burning Spear – “Travelling”/”Walking In Dub”; Johnny Clarke – “None Shall Escape The Judgment”/King Tubby – “Judgment Day”; Lee Perry And The Aggrovators – “Ski-Wa-Wa”/Junior Byles – “When Better Will Come” “The 7” box set first of the series featuring, rock classics reggae from the Clocktower catalogue. We know you will enjoy this 1st 7” collector box set with a magnetic lid. All of these are from the 70”s and are in mint condition and some are in color vinyl. To all our fans who continue to buy and support the Clocktower releases whether on 12”, 10” or 7”, we thank you! So please add this to your personal collection and listen and enjoy to the music of life.” — Alfred Newman

File Under: Reggae

higher ground

Various: Higher Ground Vol 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Eight wild and gritty gospel tunes with an R&B edge from the late ’50s/early ’60s. Compiled by Duke Jens-O-Matic of Jim Jam Gems fame. Comes in a vintage-style brown 10″ cover (with hole) with a screenprint in gold on the front. Numbered and limited to 500 copies. First in a new series. Artists include: The Voices Of Jordon, Juanita Johnson & The Gospel Tones, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Sister Wynona Carr, The Happyland Singers, The Chosen Gospel Singers, The Gospelaires, and The Swan Silvertones.

File Under: Gospel, R&B

…..restocks…..

Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do (1972) LP
Aphex Twin: Richard D. James Album (1972) LP
The Band: Last Waltz (Rhino) 3LP
Beak: >> (Invada) LP
Glenn Branca: Lesson No. 1 (Superior Viaduct) LP
Buck 65: Talkin’ Honky Blues (Warner) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed) LP
Coil: Megalithomania (Threshold House) LP
Crime: Murder By Guitar (Superior Viaduct) LP
Earth: Bees Made Honey… (Southern Lord) LP
Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Emerald Web: The Stargate Tapes (Finders Keepers) LP
Ben Frost: By The Throat (Bedroom Community) LP
Ben Frost: Theory of… (Bedroom Community) LP
Ben Frost/Daniel Bjarnason: Solaris (Bedroom Community) LP
France Gall: Double Best of (Barclay) LP
Son House: Father of Folk Blues (Columbia) LP
Daniel Johnston: Story of a Artist (Munster) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Talib Kweli: Beautiful Struggle (Universal) LP
Talib Kweli: Quality (Universal) LP
Mastadon: Once More Round The Sun (Reprise) LP
Nirvana: Feels Like The First Time (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Old Crow Medicine Show: Remedy (Six Shooter) LP
Opeth: Pale Communion (Roadrunner) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Hometowns (Paper Bag) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Stereolab: Dots & Loops (1972) LP
Stereolab: Transient Random-Noise Bursts (1972) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: DOA (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 2nd Annual Report (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Heathen (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Greatest Hits (Industrial) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Ruth White: Flowers of Evil (Black Mass Rising) LP
Ruth White: 7 Trumps… (Black Mass Rising) LP
Various: Ecstasy of Gold Vol 5 (Semi Automatic) LP
Various: Man Chest Hair (Finders Keepers) LP
Various: Pomegranates (Finders Keepers) LP

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…..news letter #657 – master control program…..

Well, I knew this week was gonna be a bit bonkers, it seems like I just can’t receive stuff fast enough. Tons of big, exciting releases rolling in this week and flying out the door almost just as fast. So much stuff to stick in yer ear… Aaaaaaaand Soundcloud is being a jerk today, so sorry about all the youtubes.

…..picks of the week…..

wolfcop

Shooting Guns: Wolfcop OST (One Way Static) LP
PRE-ORDER!!! Two things to know about this release… One, our pals from Saskatoon made this killer soundtrack. And two, despite this being a MondoCon exclusive, we’ve managed to secure copies of this killer slab, however due to the limited nature of this release, it is imperative that you pre-order now as they won’t last forever and we may never see it again. Copies are due to arrive any day and you don’t want to be left out in the cold…”Wolfcop is currently wrecking havoc at multiple festivals baffling audiences all over the world. Equally remarkable is the killer soundtrack provided by Shooting Guns. A unique blend of heavy carpenter electronics mixed with Black Sabbath-esque riffs and even a hint of country. Upon hearing it, we just knew we had to release this. Limited to #1000 copies worldwide on RED & BLUE MARBLED VINYL. Vinyl packaged in a deluxe gatefold old school tip-on jacket with original artworks by RANDY ORTIZ (Marvel Comics, Mondo,…). Also included is a FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD CARD. This item will ONLY be available at MondoCon taking place on September 20-21 in Austin TX. Cover artist Randy Ortiz will be present for a signing session at the One Way Static booth. Remaining copies will also be sold at Beyond Fest taking place from September 25 through October 5 in Los Angeles CA.”

File Under: OST, CanCon, MondoCon, Stoner, Metal, Psych
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tagomagoCan: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
Finally, after years of talk, the Can catalog is seeing finally being legitimately reissued as a painstaking labor of love. Not just a quick repress, these reissues sound amazing. And of course, if you were to only ever buy just one Can record (although why you’d do that, I don’t know) this would be the one. A monster of a record, you need this. “Can was founded in 1968 by Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit who formed a group which would utilize and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music. Throughout the changing eras of the band, they enlisted the talents of different powerful singers like Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki and collaborators such as Reebob Kwaku and Rosko Gee. Can’s influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in subsequent acts who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Kanye West and Radiohead. 1971 Krautrock classic Tago Mago, the group’s third album and first album with Damo Suzuki on vocals, features a Can line up of Holger Czukay on bass, Michael Karoli on guitars, Jaki Liebezeit on drums and Irmin Schmidt on keyboards. Of all the band’s oeuvre, the unclassifiable Tago Mago has been most often cited as an influence for a host of artists including John Lydon, The Fall, Ariel Pink, Fuck Buttons, Sonic Youth, Factory Floor and Queens Of The Stone Age. “It’s a fool’s errand to try to describe the styles and genres that Can touch on here; suffice to say that if there were an HMV category called Shockingly Beautiful And Pulsatingly Thunderous Space-Jazz-Concrète, Tago Mago would be at the front of the racks every time. Invoking and evoking just about all the spontaneity and scariness that you’d want from rock’n’roll, Tago Mago can offer experiences as spellbinding as the sequence that originally comprised side one (“Paperhouse”, “Mushroom”, “Oh Yeah”), or can be so extreme that you feel yourself under attack by maniacs.” – David Cavanagh, Uncut  “A landmark release in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.” – MOJO”

File Under: Krautrock, Essential Grooves
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…..new arrivals…..

altj

Alt-J: This Is All Yours (Liberator) LP
This Is All Yours (Liberator Music/Infectious Music) is the highly anticipated sophomore album from English rock act Alt-J now comprised of a trio featuring Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums). They released their debut album, An Awesome Wave to critical acclaim in June 2012. The album sold over a million copies, won the Mercury Music Prize in November 2012 and was nominated for British Album of the Year at the Brit Awards in February 2013. The New York Times called the band’s sound “a handsome alloy of dry acoustic timbre and reverberant effect, suggesting a very British convergence of texture-minded electronic music and psychedelic folk.” This Is All Yours is home to lead single “Hunger Of The Pine” which samples Miley Cyrus’ “4×4,” and follow-up “Left Hand Free” which Consequence Of Sound says “…packs a lot more of oomph than the normal synth-driven sound we’re accustomed to hearing from the band.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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FINAL MASTER SYRO DIGIPAK.indd

Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp) 3LP/CD
Aphex Twin to release first new album in 13 years!! Whenever one of the most celebrated and influential electronic fartist, Richard D. James can compete with the music flip to influence built. The better part of a decagon, James Polygon Window, Caustic Window, GAK and maintain, including `Aphex Twin has unreleased music under several thousand monikers great pace. Began in the late 1780s and 90s during a turn in its manufacturing and technical skills, and nikharana Cornwallo, England grows, James, as a young maniton in various shops started DJing. Area of various musical score, James Analogue Booblebath EP was released in 1891, the results of the first series, he decided to record his gown music. 1896 under the name Aphex Twin record his fourth eponymous EP Girl / boy. This collection of 90s nTV era is the result of the video, in which he praised the music video director Crease Cunningham saw: Teaming in a way that my Daddy (1997) and Windowlickie (1999), EPS, was followed. Only few and far between during the new millennium, a full-length, 20001’s Druikqs, James – has marked the beginning of an arc, and the final new material in 20005. A lot of the music in any way is often a lack of communication and leadership to be fallacious rumors of new material for his fannies and his enthusiasm has not diminished hope. However ambitious this year, 9014, they uncovered new mats in almost a decade distribution crowdfund rallied together his army of fans: A precious gift that can not be the same as the new Phex Twinnipicks material is still unquenched thirst. Syria, September 23, 2014, along with records of Aphex Twin’s new album to be released. For the owner of Triple vinyl format will be available.

File Under: Electronic, IDM, APHEX!
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666

Aphrodite’s Child: 666 (Universal) LP
The Greek progressive-rock outfit Aphrodite’s Child marks Vangelis Papathanassiou’s and Demis Roussos’ first dalliance with international fame after finding success with their respective bands in their native country. They recorded three albums together between 1969 and 1972, stock full of excellent pop, psychedelic and progressive-rock fare.  Originally released on Vertigo in 1972, 666 is their third and last album. Hailed as one of the best and most original European albums of the ’70s, it has sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide and stands as Aphrodite’s Child’s magnum opus.

File Under: Electronic, Drone
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athanor

Athanor: Inside Out: The Demos (Guerssen) LP
The follow-up to the acclaimed Flashback finds Athanor (the duo formed by Greg Herriges and Rick Vittenson) digging deeper into their archives and coming out with an amazing set of previously-unreleased recordings, done at their state-of-the-art home studio back at the time. Captivating Beatles-esque, fuzzed-out psychedelia and folk-rock full of Lennon-esque vocals and 12-string Rickenbackers by this ’70s Chicago wunderkind duo. 1973-1977 recordings plus one ’70s-era track cut in 2014 with Jeff Murphy (Shoes) on back-up vocals. Basement psych-pop and proto-power pop has rarely sounded better. Remastered sound from the original tapes. Includes an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Ugly Things/Got Kinda Lost) and Jeff Murphy (Shoes).

File Under: Psych
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black rainBlack Rain: Dark Pool (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Dark Pool is the new studio album from Black Rain, the project’s first in 18 years. Produced in New York City by Stuart Argabright, Black Rain’s founder and figurehead, Dark Pool is a work of hard-edged sonic fiction rooted in cyberpunk’s quintessential neo-noir cityscape/dataspace but projecting into a farther future of biotechnological advancement and alienation. Stuart Argabright first landed in New York in 1978. By day, he worked as a landscape gardener for the upscale likes of Rock Hudson and Bob Dylan, while at night involving himself in all manner of subcultural activity — the reverberations of which are still being felt today. He co-founded seminal no wave minimalists Ike Yard (whose early 1980s work has been cited as an influence by the likes of Kode9, Young Echo and Silent Servant), collaborated with the late Rammellzee in futurist hip-hop outfit Death Comet Crew (recently reactivated for an LP on Powell’s Diagonal label) and as Dominatrix scored a bona fide club hit with the downtown electro classic “The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight” (1984). Black Rain was revived in the wake of 2011’s Now I’m Just a Number’s release and Argabright has toured extensively under the name and in 2013 released an EP of live recordings, Protoplasm, on BEB. Three of the EP’s four tracks appear here on Dark Pool in radically revised and expanded form: the stuttering ribofunk of “Endourban” is now anchored by ominous string pads faintly redolent of Argabright’s label-mates Raime, while “Data River” revisits the accelerated beat-stream of Black Rain’s 1996 album Nanarchy, and the low-slung “Protoplasm” has evolved into a sprawling, syncopated techno epic — the sound of red dawn rising on an illegal replicant rave. A further seven new productions feature. “Burst,” its title perhaps a nod to Sogo Ishii’s 1982 biker gang saga Burst City, harks back to the scrap-metal-banging brutalism of Black Rain mk.1; “Xibalba Road Metamorph,” the album’s angry, anguished centerpiece, externalizes the sadness and self-loathing of Jeter’s oppressed post-human workforce. “Night in New Chiang Saen” reimagines dub as the viral product of one of AgriGen’s morally-suspect scientific initiatives in The Windup Girl, before “Who Will Save the Tiger?” calls upon spidery, Metalheadz-esque breakbeats and wailing guitar drones to summon a 23rd century Ark. Vocals (on “Profusion” and “Profusion II”) from Zoe Zanias (Keluar), and a brief spoken intervention from Sean Young (who of course played Rachel in Blade Runner) are simply the most audible manifestations of a dejected feminine presence that haunts the entire album. For all its textual references, Dark Pool is a visceral and straight-talking affair: its body-hammer rhythms and brooding sound design require no explanation for their impact to be felt.

File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient, Industrial
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Bonnie-Prince-Billy-2014-Cover

Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Singer’s Grave- A Sea of Tongues (Drag City) LP
Bonnie Prince Billy has a new album coming out. “At the locus of five corners, mythos is in the wind; a sea of tongues boils forth, mountains spurting forth from the magma. Bonny sings for who he was and will be, and for all of us, in time.” If you enjoyed some of his other albums, you’ll probably enjoy this one too. Ina recent interview, Billy claims it’s “music you can spit in your hands to.” He supposedly “accidentally swallowed a can of donkey water” and decided to make an album to stop the purple liquids that were leaking from a hole in his foot.

File Under: Folk, Indie
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can

Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Can was founded in 1968 by Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit who formed a group which would utilize and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music. Throughout the changing eras of the band, they enlisted the talents of different powerful singers like Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki and collaborators such as Reebob Kwaku and Rosko Gee. Can’s wide-reaching influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in subsequent acts who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Kanye West and Radiohead to John Lydon, The Fall, Ariel Pink, Fuck Buttons, Sonic Youth, Factory Floor and Queens Of The Stone Age. Ege Bamyasi, originally released in 1972, is the fourth album from the German rock experimentalists and follow-up to their critically acclaimed 1971 album Tago Mago. The album finds the band transitioning from the edgy excursions of their earlier albums to the more nuanced ambience of their later fare, a sound that would lend itself to many soundtrack opportunities. Ege Bamyasi features the single “Spoon,” which became the theme tune for the crime thriller “Das Messer” and also the band’s first chart success in Germany. The track, which was the first time that Can used an early version of a drum machine, led to a Goldene Europa TV award in recognition of the band’s soundtrack work. The album also included the music from another TV crime series in the form of “Vitamin C.” “I didn’t see anything written about Can, I didn’t know anything about them except this okra can on the cover, which seemed completely bizarre. I finally picked that record up, and I completely wore it out. It was so alluring. Something about it made Can seem to be playing outside of rock ‘n’ roll. It was unlike anything else I was hearing at the time.” – Thurston Moore “I played Can’s Ege Bamyası album every night before I went to sleep for about three years.” – Stephen Malkmus

File Under: Krautrock, Essential Grooves
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tron

Wendy Carlos: Tron OST (Audio Fidelity) 2LP
“Disney’s video game crossover movie TRON was a notable landmark in the synthesis of electronic and traditional orchestral music. Wendy Carlos created a brilliant orchestral recording with symphonic backgrounds by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the UCLA Chorus which was later enhanced and upgraded with an electronic score. The result is an impressive soundscape that successfully and seamlessly fuses organic and electronic music. The multi-Grammy award winning Wendy Carlos best-known for her popular Switched on Bach series of albums also composed and performed on the soundtracks of two Stanley Kubrick cinema masterpieces, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. The distinctive gatefold jacket holds two 180 gram translucent blue vinyl records and includes colorful photos from the popular cult film as well as generous and informative liner notes written by the composer as well as music maven, Michael Fremer who, at the time, served as the film’s soundtrack supervisor. Fremer also oversaw the Audio Fidelity mastering by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. The TRON soundtrack has two additional tracks (‘Only Solutions’ and the rock guitar-driven instrumental, ‘1990’s Theme’) provided by Journey, one of America’s best-selling and most beloved bands.” Housed in a gatefold sleeve; on 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: OST, Early Electronic, SciFi, Best Movie Ever?
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chromeChrome: Feel It Like A Scientist (King of Spades) LP
“With the untimely passing of Damon Edge in ’96, Helios Creed has taken over the helm of Chrome, overseen the mixing, mastering and release of last year’s Half Machine From The Sun, The Lost Tracks album, and assembled a band of veteran and newer members. This is their brand new studio album.”

File Under: Acid Punk
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eternityEternity: s/t (Got Kinda Lost) LP
Got Kinda Lost Records — named after the song by ex-Big Star founding member Chris Bell — is the newest reissue imprint by the Guerssen Label Group. Curated by Jeremy Cargill (Assistant Editor for Ugly Things Magazine), the label’s focus is archival and reissue work specializing in the realms of proto-punk, ’70s pop/power pop, glam, psych, privately-pressed hard rock, and “out of time” treasures. If you’re forever searching for lost treasures, and yearn for a time when hard rock was free of pretense, look no further — Got Kinda Lost Records presents the wasted, basement hard rock of Eternity. Originally recorded in 1979-1980, and released on a private label in 1981, many songs originate from an earlier period in the ’70s, giving the release an “out of time” quality. Led by the confidant vocals of Wallace Stoneking and the “human-riff” creativity of Frank Monroe, Eternity created a groove-oriented, no-frills brand of hard rock, capturing the flair of their heroes existing a decade prior — and within this set Wallace Stoneking tells of all the surreal interactions and experiences that colored their time together. This set is sure to please fans of ’70s proto-stoner, hard-rock, “out of time” private press treasures, and your uncle who still drives that ’72 Camaro. Recommended for fans of Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Nazca Line, Led Zep, Magi, Leaf Hound, and Stagefright. 24-bit remastering. Includes one bonus track taken from a non-LP 45.

File Under: Hard Rock, Stoner
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fdup

Fucked Up: Year of the Dragon (Tank Crimes) 12″
At their performance at NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge this weekend, Fucked Up debuted the latest single in their Zodiac series. “Year Of The Dragon” is exactly the kind of sprawling hardcore anthem you’d expect from the Canadian band and is set to be released in April. When we talked to lead singer Damien Abraham last week, he said that the follow up to 2011’s David Comes to Life is “coming to a head” and that the next record is “about living in this weird fantasy world where you have achieved everything you could have possibly hoped to want to have achieved, but at the same time feeling like you’ve compromised your beliefs a little bit to do so.

File Under: Punk, CanCon, Rock
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karaca

Cem Karaca: Nem Kaldi? (Pharaway Sounds) LP
Cem Karaca announces his intent to slay all enemies of Istanbul’s leftist counterculture with stompin’ prog keyboards. Sophisticated and passionate, with flamboyant taste in sunglasses, Cem Karaca led Istanbul’s music fans through a period of violent political turmoil. Karaca reworked traditional folk lyrics with molten electric bass lines that played up both a poet’s broiling righteousness and also his listeners’ common ground with their elders in Turkey’s history. 1975’s Nem Kaldi? gathers more ’60s-’70s singles that lead the listener through Karaca’s own musical history, skipping across various collaborations. Sink deeper into the intrigue both musical & otherwise as fractious personnel changes & real-life assassins multiply, yet the double-time drums & badass synthesizer schwings pound on.

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Anatolian Invasion
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lewis

Lewis: Romantic Times (Light In The Attic) CD
“Earlier this year (2014), we released the mysterious, bewitching L’Amour, a 1983 private press record thought to be the only release by one of music’s true lost talents: Lewis. So lost, in fact, was Lewis, he eluded every effort to track him down. Scant details were known: just a series of possibly apocryphal stories about a sports car-driving Canadian with a model on his arm and a habit of skipping town when there were bills to be paid. Deciding that Lewis’ spider web-delicate songs demanded to be heard, we put the album out anyway, offering to present the due royalties to anyone who could prove they were Lewis. One sure thing was this: Lewis was a man of many names: Randall A. Wulff among them. Now we have either found another alias — or perhaps even his real name — on the sleeve of a completely unknown album. Sourced soon after the re-release of L’Amour, Romantic Times is the 1985 follow-up to L’Amour — and it’s released as Lewis Baloue. The name may be slightly different, but this is absolutely our man: a familiar blond posing on the sleeve, a familiar, tortured voice pouring his heart out over languid synths and synthetic waltz beats. Remastered from a sealed, vinyl copy of the ultra-rare album, the album was discovered in the vaults of DJ and collector Kevin ‘Sipreano’ Howes in Vancouver, BC. It’s so rare that what is, at present, the only other known copy — found in the same Calgary store where Aaron Levin discovered a batch of sealed copies of L’Amour — is presently soaring into quadruple digits on eBay. Even engineer Dan Lowe, credited for working on the album at Calgary’s Thunder Road Studios, remembered little about the session other than that Lewis seemed to be ‘under the influence’. Yet the music is utterly captivating. The album further fleshes out the Lewis myth — we see him pictured in that white suit with his famous white Mercedes and a private jet too; we hear him focussing more intently on matters of the heart, and appearing to unravel in the process. ‘I felt like I was witnessing a full-blown exorcism of a phantom clad in the finest linen,’ writes filmmaker and historian Jack D. Fleischer in his brand new liner notes. ‘This record went further [than L'Amour]. It was a personal plea, of sorts. Something had gone wrong. Nerves were clearly exposed.’ It paints Lewis, then, as being more like a David Lynch character than even his debut did, exposing the darkness beneath the sheen.”

File Under: Private Press, Weirdos, CanCon
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mato

Mato: Homework Dub (Stix) LP
40 year-old percussionist and drummer Thomas Blanchot started his production outfit Mato Production in 2001, under which he collaborated and directed many projects as composer, music publisher and producer of music for TV, advertising, films and records. He also began a career as a reggae producer in 2006, under the name Mato. Since then, he’s released music through various projects, coming out on labels such as Makasound, EDR Records or Big Singles. In the meantime he developed a real trademark: taking classic French songs, hip-hop, or pop songs and making them into roots/reggae-dub new versions. Since 2010, Mato’s built a solid reputation thanks to his many remixes of hip-hop classics on Stix Records. It is therefore natural to find him back with a new concept on the Favorite Recordings’ sub-label: seasoning the notorious Homework album by Daft Punk with his special reggae-dub sauce. Once again, Mato achieves a brilliant rendition with Homework Dub, almost making dreadlocks grow out of the French robots’ heads. Using kick-effects, delays and roaring bass, he reinvents one of the most famous albums of electronic music as if it were straight out of Scientist, King Tubby or Mad Professor’s studios in Jamaica.

File Under: Reggae, Daft Punk
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mudhoney

Mudhoney: My Brother The Cow (Music on Vinyl) LP
180 gram audiophile vinyl. Including a bonus 7″. Mudhoney didn’t invent grunge, but they were one of the first bands to truly define the style, and thanks to the bizarro-world logic that has defined their career, they seemed to lose interest in the stuff once you could actually make serious money playing it, ensuring that they wouldn’t have to deal with the mainstream adulation that made followers like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden into multi-platinum cash cows. By 1995, Grunge’s brief fling on the charts was pretty much over, just in time for Mudhoney to decide they liked the stuff again, and make the finest album of their career, My Brother the Cow. Produced by Jack Endino, the album includes numerous direct references to bands that influenced Mudhoney’s sound. The song “F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers)”, for example, is a reference to the Bad Brains song “F.V.K. (Fearless Vampire Killers)”. “Orange Ball-Peen Hammer” alludes to the song “Orange Claw Hammer” by Captain Beefheart, as well as containing lyrics borrowed from Led Zeppelin. “1995” is a homage to the Stooges song “1969” and also includes musical references to “L.A. Blues”, another Stooges song. The Music On Vinyl reissue contains the promo 7″ single as it was released in 1995!

File Under: Punk, Grunge
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mutual

Mutual Understanding: In Wonderland (Beatball) LP
“First ever LP reissue, re-mastered from the original tapes. Features 140-gram vinyl, beautiful old school tip-on jacket, and insert with rare photos and extensive liner notes by Kevin ‘Sipreano’ Howes (Voluntary in Nature, Light in the Attic Records.) For many born after 1968, the group vocal and orchestra sound of the Mutual Understanding’s In Wonderland may seem like the product of another dimension. Despite releasing a handful of recordings, the Mutual Understanding was not a group in the traditional sense, but rather a connected collective of Toronto, Ontario-based producers, arrangers, session musicians, and singers, brought together to create musical magic. In Wonderland is an album that harkens back to a gentler and more innocent time. Any which way, the swinging 1960s-meets-the-classics feel of In Wonderland wasn’t rock and roll enough for younger audiences, yet it was likely too progressive and hip for older jazz aficionados. Proper distribution and lack of support on retail and radio levels only compounded the problem and caused the album to slip through the cracks for years. Unfortunately, this was not an uncommon problem for Canadian recordings of the era. Overshadowed by a steady influx of well-promoted discs from the United States and England, it took many decades for In Wonderland to find its rightful audience. As vinyl collectors from Asia and Europe starting scouring the used and delete record bins of North America in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mutual Understanding started to gain prominence in certain collector circles. It has now achieved cult status in Japan, England, and Korea.”

File Under: Sunshine Pop, CanCon, Pop-Psych
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nihilist_1024x1024

Nihilist Spasm Band: No Record (Lion) CD
Vinyl in soon! One of very few indie label releases on Spin Magazine’s list of 100 top counter-cultural records, ahead of legends like Mulatu Astatke, Brigitte Fontaine, Parson Sound, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Harry Partch, and Os Mutantes. Zowie! “In 1965, eight guys from London, Ontario, decided to start a free-improv group – “free” to the point of building their own instruments, which they decided couldn’t be set up to produce specific pitches. Their vocalist, schoolteacher Bill Exley, banged on a cooking pot and bellowed hilariously about stupidity and destruction and Canada. They didn’t treat what they were doing as an advanced, visionary form of experimental music, but as a big, stupid, fun, ecstatic noise. By the ’90s, noise artists finally recognized NSB as their ancestors – and almost 50 years after they started, the surviving members of the Nihilist Spasm Band still play every Monday night while their children haunt loft spaces the world over.” – Spin Magazine “The record you’re holding is one of the masterworks of that big gray area of noise/weirdo/freak-out music. It’s still hard to believe that No Record was released in 1968. This was a time when popular music was still growing up, and these outsider guys from Canada came out of nowhere and made this mindfuck of a record that was years ahead of itself. And as with albums like Trout Mask Replica, and The Faust Tapes, it still sounds fresh today. No Record is mandatory listening.” – Lasse Marhaug

File Under: CanCon, Classics, Weirdo, Experimental
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crystal voyager

OST: Crystal Voyager (Anthology Surf Archives) LP
Part of the ongoing Anthology Surf Archive reissues, Crystal Voyager is another classic soundtrack enjoying its first ever US reissue. Directed by Albert Falzon and David Elfick, Crystal Voyager is shot and narrated by the legendary surfer and innovator, George Greenough (also known for creating the modern surfboard fin). G. Wayne Thomas and the Crystal Voyager Band provide a transcendent sonic backdrop of soft psych rock and breezy folk. First ever US LP reissue (fully authorized) – LP housed in heavy stock paper sleeve – Pure reproduction of original art – Liner notes by G.Wayne Thomas – Includes xeroxed 70s George Greenough surfboard ad

File Under: OST, Surfer, Psych
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morning of the earth

OST: Morning of the Earth (Anthology Surf Archives) LP
The most fitting first reissue of the Anthology Surf Archive – transcedent and as vital as ever, the Morning of the Earth film stands toe to toe w/ The Endless Summer as perhaps the most widely recognized (and worshiped) surf film. Anthology is proud to present the first ever US reissue of the soundtrack from this 1971 classic directed by Albert Falzon. Timeless and meditative jams that capture the spirit of 70s Australia surf culture – the sound of escapism. Featuring G. Wayne Thomas,Tamam Shud, John J. Francis, Brian Cadd and more. – First ever US LP reissue (fully authorized) – LP housed in heavy stock paper gatefold sleeve – Pure reproduction of original art

File Under: OST, Surfer, Psych
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ouba

Ouba: s/t (Out-sider) LP
Canadian rarity from 1968, recorded under the influence of hallucinogenic substances by a bunch of underground musicians: Michel Pagliaro, Tony Roman, Denis Lepage and Andy Shorter. The album consists of just one long freak-out jam divided in two sides: raw basement sound, acid guitar, stoned vocals, keyboards and loud drums, similar to early Soft Machine, Pink Floyd at their most free-form phase, or Can. Newly-remastered sound, insert with photos and liner notes.

File Under: CanCon, Underground, Psych, Freakout
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mmm

Lou Reed/ Zeitkratzer: Metal Machine Music: First Full Instrumental Version Performed Live (Karlrecords) LP
180 gram pressing. Gatefold sleeve. Includes download code. About 10 years after their first, critically-acclaimed performances of Lou Reed’s adventurous album, Zeitkratzer presents an audacious new interpretation of this 20th century avant-garde classic. Here, for the first time ever, all four parts of Metal Machine Music, played by Zeitkratzer on one recording. This new version of Metal Machine Music is even more transparent, instrumentally pure and radical than the shortened 2007 release. Live recordings from concerts in Rome and Reggio Emilia, Italy, mixed and mastered by Rashad Becker. A real sound experience! After their first performances in 2002 (documented on the 2007 CD release on Asphodel), Zeitkratzer gave Reed’s album a new thorough listen and transcribed the sounds to create an acoustic score for the ensemble to play live. Those familiar with the oft-criticized two-disc album might wonder how they pulled this off, but they did, and their interpretation of the work brought it to the attention of a wider audience. It is therefore partly thanks to the Zeitkratzer version that Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music has been rediscovered as a classic of the 20th century. It was at the live performance with Zeitkratzer in Berlin that Lou Reed spoke for the first time in public about the musical details of his composition, in an interview with Diedrich Diedrichsen. Zeitkratzer was clearly ready for the challenges of performing Metal Machine Music live, and drew packed houses for their presentation of the work. This confirmed their assertion that rock’n’roll as serious contemporary music has been ignored for too long, in too arrogant a way. The relentless sound forces the mind to put aside its preconceptions about what music is supposed to sound like, or feel like, or look like. The brain starts to implode, or explode, or dissolve Zen-like into the controlled chaos of the performance, discovering a strange exhilaration, accepting an invitation to explore the outer reaches of texture and timbre, to experience a sonic freedom that’s rare in any art form. These recordings from Metal Machine Music have become even more intense and worked out during the 10 years of Zeitkratzer playing it live at numerous international festivals — contemporary music festivals, noise festivals, improvisation festivals — it’s impossible to limit this music to one genre. Metal Machine Music has gained a new quality of clarity, sound transparence and musical intensity. Real radical contemporary chamber noise music! These recordings from the Festival Romaeuropa in Rome and the Festival Aperto in Reggio Emilia (2012) present Zeitkratzer not only at their very best, the splendid mix by Rashad Becker also reveals new aspects of this 20th century avant-garde classic. Frank Gratkowski (clarinets); Matt Davis (trumpet); Hilary Jeffery (trombone); Reinhold Friedl (piano); Marc Weiser (guitar); Maurice de Martin (percussion); Burkhard Schlothauer (violin); Anton Lukoszevieze (violoncello); Uli Phillipp (double bass).

File Under: Not VU, Chamber Noise, Avant Garde
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rra

Rural Alberta Advantage: Mended with Gold (Paper Bag) LP/CD/CS
FREE MUG WITH PURCHASE! Mended With Gold makes it clear that The Rural Alberta Advantage have reached the next level. Two key elements led to the band composing the most fully-realized work of their career: the band’s road warrior status and the chance to take full advantage of their time in the studio this time around. The trio spent months shaping the songs, sometimes first on keyboard, then guitar (and visa versa), and taking others on the road to workshop live. “We spent this past winter both touring and writing. We’d never combined the two before,” Amy Cole reflects, “We’d try out a new song live on stage, listen to the recording of that performance the next day in the van and then repeat the whole process again the next night. I think you can really hear how the three of us came together to shape the songs on this record.” While the sonics have now evolved, through the help of long-time live sound engineer Matt Lederman co-producer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett, Austra, F*cked Up), the plaintive lyrics and creative arrangements that helped define the band have remained. Standout tracks “Terrified,” “On The Rocks,” “Runners in the Night” and “Vulcan, AB” confront ideas of love, loss, and heartbreak through the pain of going through such experiences and the person that comes out on the other side of it. Nils Edenloff recalls, “Last spring, I rented a remote cottage up in the Bruce Peninsula on the recommendation of some friends to try to do some writing for the new album. It turned out to be a pretty terrifying place to be alone with your thoughts- locals told me to watch out for black bears, the heat wasn’t working and at night it sounded like the cottage was surrounded by wolves. I slept with a pocket knife at arms-reach. It’s funny the lines that will run through your head when you’re alone like that and trying to get yourself to sleep- they inspired “To Be Scared” which is probably one of my favorite songs on the record.” The ideas and moods created in these songs tie back to the album title Mended With Gold, embracing the idea that the breakage and repair of an object becomes part of its unique history and ultimately makes it more valuable instead of a blemish to disguise. The Rural Alberta Advantage have taken all of their successes, losses, adventures, and heartbreaks over the past few years, and forged them together into an unforgettably powerful work of beauty.

File Under: Indie, CanCon
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sadier

Laetitia Sadier: Something Shines (Drag City) LP
Laetitia Sadier’s new album has just been delivered, and it’s a joy! Something Shines was recorded and matured more slowly than either Silencio or The Trip. It took nine months, and you know what that means, baby! Something Shines was initially recorded in Switzerland, where Laetitia’s collaborator David collects amazing old keyboards and organs from people who have inherited them but find no space or usage for them – so they let go of these useless things (useless to them, mind bogglingly desirable and necessary for us!) for a symbolic franc. Laetitia recorded a lot of the content in London, including all the vocals, guitars, additional electronics and soundtrack effects as well as final mixing, which wrapped up this Spring. The desire was for the songs of Something Shines to alternate between a riveting caress and an invigorating shake. To start from the Earth and to tilt up, towards the sky, before coming back down to the planet again. The production is relaxed and expert; Laetitia’s choices fit the breathing quality of the songs, and wear their arrangements easily. The many tiny details within the sound-scope of Something Shines reflect the lives that hang in the balance between the issues, lives that are often too small to see yet contribute to the world as a whole. Something Shines consistently elevates itself, addressing its audience with lyrical confidence and intimacy and an arcing musicality that allows it to go to the hearts and minds of every listener.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Stereolab
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senni

Lorenzo Senni: Superimpositions (Boomkat) LP
Superimpositions is the hyper-colored conceptual follow-up to multi-disciplinary Milanese artist, Lorenzo Senni’s landmark LP, Quantum Jelly (EMEGO 152LP). It further consolidates, accelerates and evolves his idea of “Pointillistic Trance” — an ascetic, extreme approach to the aesthetic essence of ’90s-style trance/hard-trance — with a broader range of song structures, minimalist moiré patterns, and tantric dancefloor arrangements, all executed to visceral impact and challenging, exhilarating effect. Angling deeper into his stripped set-up — a computer-controlled JP8000 Roland Digital-Analog Modelled S-Source Synthesizer — Superimpositions reveals seven glistening examples of Lorenzo’s current praxis, finding the biting-point between emotional, real-time human input, and the sleek tension of synthesis. Opener “Happic” arches up with breathtaking effect, and never quite gives it back during its seemingly infinite ascent, while “Elegant, and Never Tiring” is a spine-tingling exercise in aerobic coefficients, and the title-track tiers teasing chords in a Sisyphean struggle for deferred gratification. At the LP’s blinding, white-hot core, the heart-rush flux of bass arpeggios and spiraling hi-end in “Forever Headline” threaten to careen off the platter, harnessing the rush of a million ‘crasher kids circa ’98, before closer “PointillistiC” broadsides with a cascade of lip-bitingly beautiful, melancholic chords. It’s the tenth, and arguably most impressive original release on cherry-picking label, Boomkat Editions. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi in Milan, cut at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering. Edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Trance
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slowlearnersSlow Learners: Grow On You (Debt Offensive) 12″
Members of Ladyhawk, Baptists, Lesser Negatives and Twin Fangs follow up two highly regarded 7″s with this brand new 12″ EP. The six songs contained herein are highighted by vocalist John Johnston’s dark lyrical content juxtaposed by catchy power pop songs that harken back to the college radio heyday of the 80s and bands like The Replacements, Lemonheads, Asexuals, the Nils, etc. all the while sounding as fresh and invigorating as anything out there today. “As previously reported, the record was tracked with producer Jesse Gander (White Lung, Japandroids) at the since-shuttered Hive Studios in Burnaby, BC, while the tracks later bounced over to Rain City Recorders to be mastered by Stu McKillop (Baptists). Like the group’s earlier pair of 7-inches, Slow Learners flirt with the melancholic power chord anthems of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy-era Jawbreaker on tracks like “When I Was Fun” and “Grow On You.” John Johnston’s scratchy, nervous grumble, meanwhile, takes on vintage Heartland punk textures on the Replacements-styled “Worst at Home.” ” – Exclaim!

File Under: CanCon, Ladyhawk, Twin Fangs
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subotnik

Morton Subotnick: The Wild Bull (Karlrecords) LP
Re-issued on vinyl for the first time since its original 1968 release! Based on an ancient Sumerian poem, Morton Subotnick’s follow-up to his highly influential milestone Silver Apples of the Moon (KR 014LP) is no less an adventurous sonic trip on the Buchla synthesizer. Limited edition (500 items) audiophile 180 gram LP, especially mastered for vinyl. Born in 1933, Morton Subotnick is a key figure in the progress of electronic music: along with Pauline Oliveros and Ramon Sender, he co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1961 and from 1963 on he worked with Don Buchla on the development of the early synthesizer “Buchla Series 100.” In 1967 the composer and musician released his debut Silver Apples of the Moon, which proved to be one of the most influential albums and an undoubted milestone in electronic music (which was even selected for the Library of Congress in 2009). A year later Morton Subotnick presented his adventurous follow-up, The Wild Bull. Loosely based on/inspired by an ancient Sumerian poem of the same name — a lament about loss and death caused by war — the two parts embark on further explorations into the hitherto unimagined creative possibilities of the synthesizer. Forty-six years after its initial release, The Wild Bull has not lost a single bit of its visionary magnitude and is still an adventurous sonic trip, finally available on vinyl again as an audiophile 180 gram LP that was cautiously remastered for vinyl. Limited to 500 items worldwide.

File Under: Velvet Underground
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500px-Tangerine_Dream-Phaedra

Tangerine Dream: Phaedra (Universal) LP
This is the first Tangerine Dream album to feature their now classic sequencer-driven sound, which launched the Berlin School genre. This album marked the beginning of the group’s international success and was their first album released on the British Virgin records label. It achieved six-figure sales in the UK, reaching No 15 in the charts in a 15-week run, with virtually no airplay, only by strong word of mouth. It also earned the group a gold disc in seven countries, and yet in their native Germany it sold barely 6,000 units. The title track was originally based on an improvisation recorded in the studio, and unintentionally exhibits one of the limitations of the analog equipment used at the time. As the equipment warmed up, some of the oscillators began to detune (they were highly temperature-sensitive), which was responsible for some of the changes in the music towards the end of the piece. The title track and “Movements of a Visionary” rely on Christopher Franke’s use of the Moog analog sequencer as a substitute for bass guitar. “Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares” features Edgar Froese soloing on a Mellotron which is treated to slowly sweeping filter effects. “Sequent C'” is a short but memorable piece by Peter Baumann on flute, with tape echo. The All Music Guide to Electronica describes the album as a milestone for the band as “one of the most important, artistic, and exciting works in the history of electronic music”. Phaedra is commonly cited as one of Tangerine Dream’s best albums and is listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In the Q and Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album also came in at 38 in its list of “40 Cosmic Rock Albums”. Now available on 180gram vinyl!

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
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tinariwen1Tinariwen: Amassakoul (Modern Classics) LP
By the time the west caught on, Tinariwen had a two-decade career behind them. Formed in and around the Algerian town of Tamanrasset by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib in 1979, they were initially a traditional group playing weddings, baptisms and parties – until they heard Bob Marley and Bob Dylan during military training in Libya and duly went electric. Their early music – banned in Mali – spoke of ethnic pride, drought, political struggle, and rebellion. Members of the band fought in the Touareg rebellion that broke out in Mali and Niger in the 1980s, leading to the popular image of the group with a guitar on one shoulder and a machine gun on the other. Returning to Mali after a 1994 ceasefire when the ban on their music was lifted, Tinariwen continued to document the changing lifestyle of their persecuted people. Amassakoul, released in 2004, was made by a band in which four of the six players were newcomers and represented a shift to a more produced, intricate sound. It preserved the loose, camelback rhythms, call-and-response vocals, lively guitars, and handclaps of Tinariwen’s unique sound but added vocal drone and influences from Jamaican toasting. The album’s name tellingly translates from Tamashek to “The Traveler.”

File Under: Desert Blues, Tuareg, Psych
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tinariwen2Tinariwen: Radio Tisdas Sessions (Modern Classics) LP
2001’s The Radio Tisdas Sessions marks the point at which the band first made strides to global acclaim. Where previous albums had been issued only on cassette for regional markets, The Radio Tisdas Sessions was released on CD and distributed worldwide. It saw the group working with British producer Justin Adams and French collective Lo’Jo, but despite the outside influence, there was no softening of their sound: hard guitar licks and wild rhythms color their spare, dust-beaten music. Recorded at the titular studios in Kidal, capital of the stark Iforas region of Mali, the album was made in difficult conditions. They were able to work only between 7pm and midnight, as those were the sole hours when electricity was available. The desert is an overwhelming presence throughout the album – you can hear the vast expanse of the landscape in the very grooves. Concluding the album is a live track “Tin-Essako,” recorded live at Mali’s Festival of the Desert in January 2001. Showcasing the band’s ferocious performance skills, it created an appetite for their live show around the world.

File Under: Desert Blues, Tuareg, Psych
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tweedy

Tweedy: Sukierae (Anti) LP+CD
Those in first will be getting the special edition COLOR VINYL version, for a limited time only! Tweedy, the band, is a collaboration between Jeff Tweedy, best known as the founder of the pioneering Chicago rock band Wilco, and his 18-year-old son and drummer Spencer Tweedy. On September 23rd dBpm Records in conjunction with ANTI will release Sukierae (sue-key-ray), the debut release by the aptly-monikered duo Tweedy. Sukierae features 20 new songs penned by Jeff, performed by Tweedy father and son along with a host of musical guests. “When I set out to make this record, I imagined it being a solo thing, but not in the sense of one guy strumming an acoustic guitar and singing,” Jeff said. “Solo to me meant that I would do everything – write the songs, play all the instruments and sing. But Spencer’s been with me from the very beginning demo sessions, playing drums and helping the songs take shape. In that sense, the record is kind of like a solo album performed by a duo.” With Spencer on drums, Jeff handles his usual guitars and vocals, as well as bass and keyboards. Backing vocals on Sukierae come courtesy of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the Brooklyn-band Lucius. Musician Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., The Minus Five, The Baseball Project) lends additional keyboard support on Sukierae.

File Under: Rock, Pop, Folk
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umiliani

Piero Umiliani: 5 Bambole Per La Luna d’Agosto (AMS) LP
“5 Bambole per la Luna d’Agosto” (5 Dolls for the August Moon), directed by the Italian master of thriller Mario Bava, is today considered a great cult film of Italian cinema. Underestimated by many, due to unconvincing screenplay and dialogues, the work has to be rediscovered thanks to its chromatic and photographic techniques, on which at the time – and in many ways still today – Bava was second to none: the same horror Maestro Dario Argento paid homage to him several times in many of his films. In the cast we also find a young Edwige Fenech, still far from the frivolity of the Italian comedy of the following years. In the same way the music of Goblin is perfectly suited to Argento’s moving pictures, “5 Dolls for the August Moon” cannot be separated from its beautiful soundtrack of another great composer, Piero Umiliani, who fully lived the evolution of popular music in Italy, from the first late ‘50s rock’n’roll stirrings through beat, psychedelia and the early ’70s progressive rock. All these influences are mixed in this musical commentary, with a solid jazz background, which Umiliani was a true exponent of, and a pinch of lounge atmospheres that made his style quite unique. Originally published in 1970 on Cinevox Record, in conjunction with the release of the film, the soundtrack of “5 dolls…” is among the rarest and most sought after items in the Cinevox catalog, and has never been reissued on LP until now. This edition, as well as the original version tracks, retrieves the song “Ti risveglierai con me” played by the Balletto di Bronzo and featured in the film ending credits. A must have reissue for a classic of Italian underground cinema!

File Under: OST, Italian Thrillers
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med1

Joel Vanderoogenbroeck: Meditations Volume 1 (Aguirre) LP
Volume one of two. Continuous atmospheric sounds for enigmatic landscapes, metaphysical situations and prehistorical periods. The story continues. Aguirre released Joel Vandroogenbroeck’s first solo effort Biomechanoid in March 2014, an outstanding dark electronic ambient album. Now the label presents his two Meditations albums, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. In these library albums the emphasis lies on his flute talents, paired with some great Moog-y electronics and mellow pre-new age ambience. Both volumes still stand after all these years and prove Joel’s ability to create wonderful library albums. Think Klaus Schulze, Harmonia, JD Emmanuel and Joanna Brouk. Though the Belgian-born Vandroogenbroeck, 74, may not be a household name; in an ideal world, he would be. As the founder, flautist, harpist, sitar player and keyboardist of the seminal acid-fried Swiss psych outfit Brainticket, he spearheaded the group’s three main (and collectible) releases in the early ’70s — Cottonwood Hill, Celestial Ocean and Psychonaut. Combining a love of exotic instruments coupled with mind-bending out-of-body excursions, the ever-changing collective developed something of a cult following throughout Europe and earned a reputation as one of the heavier psych outfits on the circuit — which was something of a double-edged sword. While their experimental sound resonated with hippies everywhere, it didn’t with the authorities, who associated the act with heavy drug consumption and subsequently began a ban of their music, especially the Psychonaut album, if for the title alone. After that bitter brush with censorship, the group quietly disbanded in 1972. After the dissolution of Brainticket, Vandroogenbroeck departed for the island of Bali with the intent of learning to build and play the gamelan — an ensemble of primarily percussion instruments from Indonesia. It would become yet another weapon in his ever-growing arsenal of exotic instruments: he was already proficient in the sitar, harp, kalimba, assorted percussion oddities and all woodwinds by this point. Vandroogenbroeck became so enraptured with the frenetic sound of the gamelan that he subsequently left the tropics to start up a joged bumbung (a variation on a gamelan) band back in Switzerland. While playing small festivals and civic events with this group, Joel began to slowly gravitate towards the synth-heavy Kraut sounds of artists like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze at the same time. And once he began dabbling with oscillators, he never turned back. After inking a library deal around this time with the nascent Coloursound label, who gave him complete creative control, Vandroogenbroeck began turning out releases at a rapid rate, often three to five a year, and under a variety of aliases like V.D.B. Joel, J.V.D.B, and Eric Vann. Starting with the desolate synth drone of Biomechanoid, he continued to expand his sound palette while on Coloursound, moving from early arpeggiators on Computer Blossoms to percussive sound collage on Birth of Earth; and from Oberheim DMX drum-breaks on Video Games & Data Movements to Apple II ambient programming on Digital Project.

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Kosmische
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med2

Joel Vanderoogenbroeck: Meditations Volume 2 (Aguirre) LP
Volume two of two. Continuous atmospheric sounds for enigmatic landscapes, metaphysical situations and prehistorical periods. The story continues. Aguirre released Joel Vandroogenbroeck’s first solo effort Biomechanoid in March 2014, an outstanding dark electronic ambient album. Now the label presents his two Meditations albums, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. In these library albums the emphasis lies on his flute talents, paired with some great Moog-y electronics and mellow pre-new age ambience. Both volumes still stand after all these years and prove Joel’s ability to create wonderful library albums. Think Klaus Schulze, Harmonia, JD Emmanuel and Joanna Brouk. Though the Belgian-born Vandroogenbroeck, 74, may not be a household name; in an ideal world, he would be. As the founder, flautist, harpist, sitar player and keyboardist of the seminal acid-fried Swiss psych outfit Brainticket, he spearheaded the group’s three main (and collectible) releases in the early ’70s — Cottonwood Hill, Celestial Ocean and Psychonaut. Combining a love of exotic instruments coupled with mind-bending out-of-body excursions, the ever-changing collective developed something of a cult following throughout Europe and earned a reputation as one of the heavier psych outfits on the circuit — which was something of a double-edged sword. While their experimental sound resonated with hippies everywhere, it didn’t with the authorities, who associated the act with heavy drug consumption and subsequently began a ban of their music, especially the Psychonaut album, if for the title alone. After that bitter brush with censorship, the group quietly disbanded in 1972. After the dissolution of Brainticket, Vandroogenbroeck departed for the island of Bali with the intent of learning to build and play the gamelan — an ensemble of primarily percussion instruments from Indonesia. It would become yet another weapon in his ever-growing arsenal of exotic instruments: he was already proficient in the sitar, harp, kalimba, assorted percussion oddities and all woodwinds by this point. Vandroogenbroeck became so enraptured with the frenetic sound of the gamelan that he subsequently left the tropics to start up a joged bumbung (a variation on a gamelan) band back in Switzerland. While playing small festivals and civic events with this group, Joel began to slowly gravitate towards the synth-heavy Kraut sounds of artists like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze at the same time. And once he began dabbling with oscillators, he never turned back. After inking a library deal around this time with the nascent Coloursound label, who gave him complete creative control, Vandroogenbroeck began turning out releases at a rapid rate, often three to five a year, and under a variety of aliases like V.D.B. Joel, J.V.D.B, and Eric Vann. Starting with the desolate synth drone of Biomechanoid, he continued to expand his sound palette while on Coloursound, moving from early arpeggiators on Computer Blossoms to percussive sound collage on Birth of Earth; and from Oberheim DMX drum-breaks on Video Games & Data Movements to Apple II ambient programming on Digital Project.

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Kosmische
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…..restocks…..

Bahamas: Is Afie (Brushfire) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Angels: Indigo Meadow (Blue Horizon) LP
Black Angels: Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizon) LP
Blonde Redhead: In An Expression of the Inexpressible (Touch & Go) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Death From Above 1979: Physical World (Last Gang) LP
Demdike Stare: Forest of Evil (Modern Love) LP
Demdike Stare: Liberation Through Hearing (Modern Love) LP
Demdike Stare: Voices of Dust (Modern Love) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Earth: 2 (Sub Pop) LP
Earth: Phase 3 (Sub Pop) LP
Earth: Pentastar in the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) LP
Electric Wurms: Musik Die Schwer Zu Twerk (Warner) LP
Nils Frahm: Felt (Erased Tapes) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Yer Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanquii UXO (Constellation) LP
Hawkwind: In Search of Space (Rock Classics) LP
Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido (Rock Classics) LP
Haxan Cloak: s/t (Aurora Borealis) LP
Billie Holiday: Strange Fruit (Dol) LP
Julia Holter: Tragedy (Domino) LP
Honey LTD: Complete LHI Recordings (Light in the Attic) LP
Daniel Johnston: Hi, How Are You? (High Wire) LP
King Tuff: Black Moon Spell (Sub Pop) LP
Erkin Koray: Mechul (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Kyuss: Blues for the Red Sun (Elektra) LP
Metallica: And Justice For All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Kill Em All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Ride the Lightening (Blackened) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Big Brother) LP
OST: Surf Nazi’s Must Die (Strange Disc) LP/CS
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Phish: A Picture Of Nectar (Junta) LP
Otis Redding: Sings Soul Ballads (4 Men With Beards) LP
Wendy Rene: After Laughter Comes Tears (Light in the Attic) CD
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Ty Segall: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) 2×10″
Ty Segall: Sleeper (Drag City) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Nina Simone: The Amazing Nina Simone (4 Men With Beards) LP
Nina Simone: At Town Hall (4 Men With Beards) LP
Nina Simone: To Love Somebody (4 Men With Beards) LP
Steel Mill: Jewels of the Forest (Rise Above Relics) LP
Taj Mahal Travellers: August 74 (Phoenix) LP
Todd Terje: It’s Album Time (Oslen) LP
White Lung: Deep Fantasy (Domino) LP
Various: Country Funk 2 (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Forge Your Own Chains (Now Again) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Sorrow Come Pass Me By (Dust to Digital) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #656 – minipops…..

Another week with a relatively short list, however once again, filled to the brim with killer titles. And if that isn’t enough, there’s even more en route for next week, which is going to be another killer list….

…..pick of the week…..

goat

Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP/CD
There is no direct association between mysterious Swedish psychedelicists Goat and Argentinian master of magical realism, Jorge Luis Borges. Yet their mission appears to be the same. Borges generated his ideas from historical curiosities across the globe – knife duels on the South American plains, Middle Eastern heresiarchs, Chinese pirates – and twisted them into fictions that blurred the lines between footnotes and outright fantasy. Goat’s sound is the sonic embodiment of this principle, working heavy psych-rock, Nigerian afrobeat, German krautrock, Anatolian funk, and a host of other micro-niches into a hallucinatory celebration of rock’s diverse manifestations. Despite the success of Goat’s critically-acclaimed 2012 debut, World Music, the individual identities involved remain shrouded in mystery: Goat performs in masks, and spokespersons maintain that the group is simply an ongoing multi-generational collective of musicians from the isolated, Swedish locality of Korpilombolo, a junction of native Sami people, Scandinavian settlers, and the rare wayfaring outsiders. Beyond that, Goat divulges very little. It’s as if Goat are taking cues from Borges’ short story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” wherein a clandestine enclave of intellectuals attempt to create a new reality by inserting articles on a fictitious, puzzling state into modern encyclopedias. Borges’ secret society wanted their heretical ideologies to infiltrate common thought through an invented past; Goat wants to revitalize the communal experience of rock music by creating an alternate origin story. Ultimately, it is Goat’s music that speaks the most about them, and on Commune they deliver a heavy dose of acidic grooves, hypnotic incantations, and serpentine guitar lines, building on the much-lauded sound of World Music to explore new territories. Starting with the layered percussive groove, Eastern guitar flourishes, and convoking vocals of “Talk To God,” Commune re-establishes the trance-inducing rhythms and exotic blaze of guitar that characterized World Music. From there, the album launches into darker and more propulsive territories, occasionally emerging for breaths of transcendental ‘60s psych-pop and driving proto-metal fuzz. “Goat is mainly a symbol of sacrifice. To sacrifice the individual for the collective good. To become one with the rest of humanity and universe,” said an unnamed Goat conspirator in a rare correspondence. With that philosophy, Goat is propagating their crossbred music and mysticism by sharing Commune with the world. And, while we’ll never see Goat’s faces on the cover of a glossy magazine, their intoxicating conjurations are poised to infiltrate our collective psyche with the subversive magical allure of a Borgesian fable.

File Under: Psych, World, Fuzz
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…..new arrivals…..

allahlas

Allah-Las: Worship the Sun (Innovative Leisure) LP
Allah-Las met while working at Amoeba Music, a key destination for music lovers in Los Angeles. While this experience helped shape their sensibility, their sound was forged in an underground basement where they came together as a band. They began gigging in LA in 2008, refining their live performance, and finally released their first 7″ single “Catamaran” / “Long Journey” in 2011. In 2012, they began their relationship with Innovative Leisure, releasing their first self-titled album, Allah-Las, anchored by their second single “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)” / “Sacred Sands.” The release was met with critical acclaim and the band toured extensively in the States and abroad before going back into the studio to record their follow-up. Allah-Las’ second album, Worship The Sun, expands on the sound establishment by their maiden effort, honing their fusion of West Coast garage rock and roll, Latin percussion and electric folk. As richly textured and timeless as a Southern California beach break, the songs are evocative of Los Angeles’ storied past, Beatniks, artists, surfers, nomads, Remnants of a bygone Sunset Strip, Golden tans and cosmic sunsets. One can feel the warmth of the sun, but the band deftly avoids the kitsch so often indulged by lovers of these things. Hints of Byrds, Love, Felt and those who follow are threaded into the tapestry. LA’s seminal Ferus Gallery – the home of Wallace Berman, Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston – is paid homage in an eponymous instrumental, broadening the scope beyond mere sea, surf, and sand. The lyrics reveal a new maturity; reflections of a band that has grown together through experiences on the road and in the studio. Worship The Sun is at once the perfect soundtrack for the greatest surf film never made and for a golden hour drive through Topanga Canyon. Yet, while grounded in the Southern California experience, the appeal of the album is not limited by locale. It is a teenage symphony to the sun, for all those who know its grace.

File Under: Garage, Surf, Psych
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bird

Andrew Bird: Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of (Wegawam) LP
Things are Really Great Here, Sort Of …. is the latest self release by Andrew Bird, consisting of his versions of songs by a band he has loved for many years, The Handsome Family. The Handsome Family is husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks, who have collaborated as a couple for more than 20 years. Bird, who has long been a fan and first covered their track “Don’t Be Scared” in 2003, toured with the band last fall and was inspired to begin working on this collection. Things are Really Great Here, Sort Of… includes an updated rendition of fan favorite “Don’t Be Scared,” along with “Far From Any Road,” the main title theme song for the HBO series True Detective. Along with his band, The Hands of Glory (featuring Tift Merritt, Alan Hampton, and Eric Heywood), Andrew recorded these songs in May 2014 and released them a mere month later.

File Under: Indie Rock
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bland

Christian Bland & The Revelators: Unseen Green Obscene (Reverberation) LP
The musical mind of Christian Bland seems to overflow with colors. The lyrics and even titles of his output with his primary project (the psychedelic mothership, The Black Angels) drip with kaleidoscopic imagery. ‘Indigo Meadow’, ‘Black Grease’, ‘You In Color’, ”Yellow Elevator #2′. His side project, Christian Bland & The Revelators has followed a similar path, and has released a red album, 2010’s The Lost Album, and 2012’s Pig Boat Blues. Unseen Green Obscene, records the third solo flight from Bland and his band, The Revelators. Like all his work, it’s richly detailed with references to Bland’s musical and artistic influences. Revered touchstones Bo Diddley, Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson are honored here, each with their own track. The label that Bland co-founded with the other producers of Austin Psych Fest, ‘The Reverberation Appreciation Society’ gets it’s own theme song, complete with thunderous gong. His motorcycle gets a sendup too, in ‘CB160′. The thread that runs through all of Bland’s work – whether it’s his visual artwork, music with The Black Angels, and the myriad projects of The Reverberation Appreciation Society – Austin Psych Fest and it’s offshoots, the record label, and now an East Austin record store – is a timeless spirit of rock and roll, and in particular the psychedelic kind, circa 1968. He champions it. Lives and breathes it.

File Under: Rock, Psych, Black Angels
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can

Can: Monster Movie (Mute) LP
Can was founded in 1968 by Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit who formed a group which would utilize and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music. Throughout the changing eras of the band, they enlisted the talents of different powerful singers like Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki and collaborators such as Reebob Kwaku and Rosko Gee. Can’s wide-reaching influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in subsequent acts who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Kanye West and Radiohead to John Lydon, The Fall, Ariel Pink, Fuck Buttons, Sonic Youth, Factory Floor and Queens Of The Stone Age. Can’s 1969 debut Monster Movie is regarded as one of the forebearers of the Krautrock movement and the band’s only full-length to feature the free-from stylings of original vocalist Malcolm Mooney. Played and recorded spontaneously and driven by repetitive rhythms, the album was recorded directly onto a 2-track machine and then extensively edited. The album encapsulates many of the band’s trademarks from the Velvet Underground-esque “Father Cannot Yell” to the hypnotic 20-minute second side epic “Yoo Doo Right” while truly remaining unique in their vast and revered catalog.

File Under: Krautrock, Classics
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can1

Can: Soundtracks (Mute) LP
Can was founded in 1968 by Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit who formed a group which would utilize and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music. Throughout the changing eras of the band, they enlisted the talents of different powerful singers like Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki and collaborators such as Reebob Kwaku and Rosko Gee. Can’s wide-reaching influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in subsequent acts who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Kanye West and Radiohead to John Lydon, The Fall, Ariel Pink, Fuck Buttons, Sonic Youth, Factory Floor and Queens Of The Stone Age. Originally issued in 1970, Can’s second official album, Soundtracks, offers up an excellent collection of title songs and soundtracks for which the band wrote the music including material from Cream, Deadlock, Bottom, Deep End and Madchen mit Gewalt. The 7-song set features contributions from both the band’s original singer Malcolm Mooney and Kenji “Damo” Suzuki who would take up the mantle on Can’s next three albums Tago Mago (1971), Ege Bamyasi (1972) and Future Days (1973).

 File Under: Krautrock, Classics
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diop

Aby Ngana Diop: Liital (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Aby Ngana Diop was the most famous taasukat in Dakar, Senegal in the 1980s and 1990s. Taasu is a Wolof-language poetic style, usually performed by women griots over frenetic drum patterns, with an aggressive verbal flow thought to presage rap. Her only album Liital was groundbreaking in the history of Senegalese music because it was the first commercial recording to feature a traditional female taasukat performing to the modern accompaniment of mbalax, Senegal’s quintessential pop genre. The distinctive style is captured in all its ear-popping, left-field glory on the recording, which was massively popular upon its release. Diop’s powerful chants and incantations above urgent female chorus, cross-rhythmic blasts of the sabar and tama drums, as well as synthesizers, drum machines, hand claps, tambourine jingles and horse and train engine samples. When Aby Ngana Diop died unexpectedly on July 4, 1997, the country mourned her passing, but continued to celebrate her music. Although this cassette has caught the attention of some African music aficianados who have stumbled upon it in recent years, it remains largely unknown to the wider world. Hopefully this re-release from Awesome Tapes From Africa will change that.

File Under: West Africa, Senegal, Taasu
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equitorialFripp & Eno: Equatorial Stars (Pangea) LP 
Few contemporary albums can claim as much lasting influence as No Pussyfooting by Robert Fripp & Brian Eno. When initially recorded in late 1973, Eno had recently left Roxy Music, while Fripp was in the midst of one of the defining periods with the then current King Crimson lineup. Electronic music was barely understood, rarely heard, the very thought of it ever becoming a popular or mainstream form must have seemed the wildest of pipedreams. Yet thanks to the popularity of both individuals and an inexpensive launch price to attract the curious, the album quietly built an avid following. Its reputation enhanced by word of mouth, it went on to have an effect that seeped slowly into every corner and facet of mainstream popular music over the next 40 some years. It’s safe to say that for the vast majority of buyers at the time this was their first exposure to that area of music. It’s equally safe to say it wasn’t their last. The equipment used was, by modern standards, primitive. The ideas expressed were, by any standards, enormous. Many went on to have careers based on the possibilities suggested by the album. Fripp & Eno, to their eternal credit, were too busy working as musicians to ever “milk it” in that sense. One further full album, Evening Star, was issued in 1975. There were occasional collaborations. But no further recordings under the Fripp & Eno banner until the emergence of The Equatorial Stars in late 2004 as a limited edition release initially available only via the artists websites. Over 40 years later things are very different. Electronic music has become not just popular but omnipresent. The equipment necessary to produce electronic music is cheap and accessible, the avenues for releasing such music wildly expanded. Not that greater availability is necessarily an indicator of an equal amount of quality, but the music is there in everything from soundtracks to ringtones. Paradoxically, this makes the need for electronic music of substance perhaps even greater than at the time of No Pussyfooting. The Equatorial Stars consists of a series of seven soundscapes. As with previous recordings made individually and in collaboration by Fripp & Eno, it is the evident care taken in the construction & presentation of the sound world that makes the totality of the work so convincing. The textures and atmospheres forming the heart of each track manage to subtly change and alter, while leaving ample space for Robert’s guitar solos and sounds to emerge from the center. Put simply, the album allows Fripp & Eno the opportunity to redefine an area of music they helped to launch into the mainstream in the first instance. One other key difference between the release of The Equatorial Stars and No Pussyfooting, this time there’s an audience ready and waiting.

File Under: Ambient, Eno, King Crimson
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khun

Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band: s/t (Innovative Leisure) LP
It all started over a year ago with the caption “MINDBLOWING PSYCHEDELIA FROM THAILAND” – the Youtube video that accompanied this headline on the Dangerous Minds Blog was exactly that. Here was a group of Thai musicians being filmed parading through a remote village hundreds of miles away from Bangkok playing some of the heaviest Psych known to mankind out of a crazy homemade soundsystem. Who were these men and how on earth was this not some unearthed archived footage from the ‘60s or ‘70s?! The Youtube clip quickly made its rounds amongst music enthusiasts leaving many in the Western hemisphere to question who this group of contemporary Thai villagers (loosely named Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band) was. Six months after that first encounter with Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band, a Los Angeles music producer named Josh Marcy used Facebook and some unlikely interpreters at his local Thai restaurant to get in contact with the band and inquire whether they’d be interested in having him travel to their town to record their music for a global audience. At first the band was naturally suspicious, but through subsequent interactions the group’s leader and namesake Khun Narin (also known simply as “Rin”) warmed to the idea of having Marcy come visit. And so began the journey of uncovering who these mysterious men from an obscure blog post actually were. To capture the essence of the group and their sound, Marcy recorded them in their natural environment by doing a proper field recording, literally in a field outside the city of Lom Sak, in the valley of mountains that form a rough border between Thailand’s North and Northeast. The result was 40 minutes of hypnotizing psychedelia filled with heavy drum breaks that sounds like something RZA would sample for a Quentin Tarantino film.

File Under: Psych, Thai
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king tuff

King Tuff: Black Moon Spell (Sub Pop) LP
King Tuff’s new record is called Black Moon Spell. It was produced and recorded by Bobby Harlow at Studio B in Los Angeles, California, in the hot winter of 2014. No one involved was prepared to make a record, but an invisible hand pushed them to do it. Perhaps it was God or that special someone we all know and love called The Devil. God and The Devil actually have very similar interests. They both love electric guitars and they both want you to listen to Black Moon Spell and freak the fuck out. There were many strange occurrences during the recording session- Dracula landlords, flashes of mysterious light, haunted microphones, songs that mixed themselves, demonic vortexes swirling in coffee cups, etc. Under the Black Moon Spell you may experience euphoria, demented visions, wet dreams, bouts of backwards laughter, and dazed confusion resulting in primordial dancing. Fire played a very important role in the making of this album. King Tuff loves fire. For some reason, no one can really explain how the Black Moon Spell came to be. It just appeared one day and demanded heavy rock music and meatball subs. Backwards messages may be found on this record. Los Angeles, full of its screaming coyotes and creeping helicopters, surely slathered its sexy, twisted, hairy, polluted spirit all over Black Moon Spell. The Sunset Strip shat itself when it heard all these guitar solos. A lot of people always ask King Tuff when he’s gonna put out a new record. The answer is September 2014. Punks, squares, skaters, farmers, bartenders, grandparents, stoners, carpenters, hobos, heshers, babes, babies, plumbers, strippers, art teachers, teenagers, townies, moms, dads, truck drivers, and witches will all love this record. Listen to Black Moon Spell and give your ears what they’ve been begging for all year; a heavily weird, heavenly dark, hysterically magical Rock & Roll sexperience.

File Under: Indie Rock, Garage, Power Pop
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nachtmystium

Nachtmystium: World We Left Behind (Century Media) LP
Nachtmystium have existed since 2000. Formed by Blake Judd and Pat ‘Noctis’ McCormick, they started off as a primitive 4-tracker black metal band. Over the years, they’ve progressed through many lineup changes and the sound has constantly matured, stepping away from the typical black metal thematics and embracing different influences with the sound, while maintaining a raw and harsh edge that’s unique to the black metal genre. The incorporation of other influences have helped the band create a sound that is unique to them specifically, and they have worked as an ever-expanding unit with the ultimate goal to create metal music that pushes boundaries and walks into uncharted territories. The World We Left Behind is Nachtmystium’s swansong, the final chapter in a tumultuous, controversial and always provoking history. Founder and mainman Blake Judd has faced his demons and written an album full of desperation and gloom that oozes depravity. Though they have previously toured with Opeth, Cradle of Filth, 1349, Boris, Goatwhore, Sunn o))), Watain and countless others, this is truly the end. No tours. No fanfare. No bullshit. This is the final Nachtmystium record and a full-circle fuck you before they ride off into the black night.

File Under: Metal
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t2

OST: Terminator 2 (Silva Screen) LP
A ONE-OFF EXCLUSIVE PRESSING!! – (THEY WON’T BE BACK!!!) A limited edition of just 750 copies WORLDWIDE – Gatefold sleeve double album on 180g Vinyl ! One of the finest action movie soundtracks ever written, Brad Fiedel’s iconic Terminator 2 soundtrack will be released on vinyl for the first time. The claustrophobic layering of electronic sounds and orchestral instruments create a tense sonic landscape which has become synonymous with the film’s theme of the battle between man and machine.

File Under: OST, Skynet
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vessel

Vessel: Punish, Honey (Tri Angle) LP
Punish, Honey the follow up to Vessel’s critically acclaimed debut album Order of Noise finds the always unpredictable Bristol based producer continuing to challenge himself and listeners alike. Wishing to move away from working with archetypal electronic sounds, with Punish, Honey Vessel sought to create something that felt more organic even if the sounds themselves didn’t always feel inherently organic. That lessening interest in electronic sounds was concurrent with a burgeoning interest in natural sounds, in particular, how the physical body has a direct effect on the nature of the sound, whether it be harsh or pure, messy, violent, seductive, or strange. Using sheets of metal as percussion, sawing up bikes to make flutes and creating harmonic guitars all by his own hand, Vessel created his own set of crude instrumentation exclusively for this record. Combined with an interest in notions of national identity, Vessel asking himself the question “What does Englishness in music really mean?” Punish, Honey is an uncompromising and dizzying experience. Traversing the queasy glam stomp of “Red Sex,” the chugging, cinematic soundscapes of “Anima” and the medieval industrial tones of “Euoi,” Punish, Honey is the by-product of an artist striving to create his own unique lane.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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wire

Wire: Document & Eyewitness (Pink Flag) LP
For those unfamiliar with Document and Eyewitness, it really doesn’t do it justice to describe it simply as a collection of live recordings from three turn-of-the-80s Wire gigs. What makes it more than that is the unorthodox nature of the main performance and the way it was presented on record. The centrepiece of the original vinyl release was a recording of the final gig of Wire’s ’70s phase. Wire’s set was composed of largely new (and often under-rehearsed) work, accompanied by a series of artistic actions and interventions. The evening was memorable for the unusually hostile reaction from sections of the audience, which has perhaps elevated it beyond a simple passing moment. If the crowd was expecting a standard gig, the level of outrage, expressed in vociferous abuse suggested that the band’s intentions were lost on those in attendance, who were instead confounded by the apparent artistic pretensions on display. The approach was to couple selected live tracks with a spoken commentary on the proceedings by long-term Wire fans Adrian Garston and Russell Mills. Hence the title, Document and Eyewitness. For the album, the Electric Ballroom material was supplemented with recordings from a July 1979 show at the Notre Dame Hall (a straightforward band performance), along with one track from a 1979 gig in Montreux. Packaged in a gatefold sleeve. LP1 is the same as the original vinyl, albeit remastered and re-edited. LP2 features the original selection from the Notre Dame Hall show on side one and the two singles and B-sides on side two.

File Under: Punk
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…..restocks…..

A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive Time) LP
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Atlantic) LP
Beatles: Mono Box
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas (4AD) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Dark: Round the Edges (Machu Picchu) LP
Descendents: Somery (SST) LP
Ned Doheny: Separate Oceans (Numero) LP
Electric Citizen: Sateen (Riding Easy) LP
ENo + Hyde: High Life (Warp) LP
FKA Twigs: LP2 (Young Turks) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Mark Hollis: s/t (Ba Da Bing) LP
Daniel Johnston: 1990/Artistic Vice (High Wire) LP
Kyuss: Welcome to Sky Valley (Elektra) LP
Lambchop: Live at XX Merge (Merge) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
Charles Mingus: Eastcoasting (Wax Time) LP
Charles Mingus: Blues & Roots (Wax Time) LP
Mr. Bungle: Disco Volante (Music On Vinyl) LP
The National: High Violet (4AD) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (EMI) LP
Propagandhi: Potemkin City (Fat) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (TBD) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (EMI) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP
Shovels & Rope: Swimming Time (Dine Alone) LP
Spoon: They Want My Soul (Republic) LP
Stereolab: Sound-Dust (1972) LP
Temple of the Dog: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City (XL) LP
Chelsea Wolfe: The Grime & The Glow (Sargent House) LP
XX: XX (XL) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Outskirts of Deep City (Numero) LP

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…..news letter #655 – some of them, spectacular…..

Well, not  a LOT in this week, but all things that required a LOT of copies! And next week doesn’t let up. In fact, the next month or so is going to be gang busters! Loads of killer releases coming up, time to switch to Lucky for a few weeks.

…..pick of the week…..shellac

Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP/CD
As always, a new Shellac album drops upon us with virtually no warning. I’m told it can’t be found on the interwebs to hear. But let me tell you, the title says it all…. “Dude Incredible is Shellac’s – Steve Albini (guitar), Bob Weston (bass) and Todd Trainer (drums) – fifth LP. Recording took place sporadically over the past few years at Albini’s Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, Illinois. The 9-track record was then mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road. Audio quality is paramount, as always, with Shellac. The LP was mastered entirely in the analog domain, using the DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) process. The LPs are being manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, using their HQ-180 system. The pressings are 180 gram audiophile quality. The LP version of Dude Incredible come packaged in a chipboard album jacket with two high gloss, full color monkeys on the front cover. The LP also includes a CD of the full album. Other than the information found here, Shellac’s Dude Incredible will have no formal promotion. There will be no advertisements, no press or radio promotion, no e-promotion, no promotional or review copies, no promotional gimmick items, and otherwise no free lunch.”

File Under: Rock, Punk, Power Trios, Big Black

…..new arrivals…..

beatles

Beatles: MONO LPs!
They saved the best for last. Cut from the original 1/4-inch analog master tapes and pressed at Optimal in Germany on dead-quiet 180g LPs, The Beatles In Mono LPs are made by and for audiophiles. More collectable than its stereo and digital processors, and featuring utterly transparent-to-the-source sound, it is completely different than its stereo analog counterpart by way of the all-analog cutting process and audiophile-focused manufacturing. Purists rejoice: NO DIGITAL is involved in any part of the chain. The Beatles as they were meant to be heard, in spectacular mono sound. Mastered from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by Grammy-winning engineer Sean Magee and Grammy-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz, The Beatles In Mono LPs exemplifie sonic transparency and analog purity.  While The Beatles In Mono CD box set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records for The Beatles In Mono LP box by employing the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers. Working in the same room at Abbey Road where most of the Beatles’ albums were initially cut, the pair first dedicated weeks to concentrated listening, fastidiously comparing the master tapes with first pressings of the mono records made in the 1960s. Using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine to play back the precious tapes, the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe. An exclusive 12×12 hardbound book featuring new essays, rare studio photos, archival documents, and an engrossingly detailed history of the mastering process by author Kevin Howlett rounds out this world-beating analog reissue, certain to be one of the decade most celebrated releases of the decade. Available individually, or as a glorious 14LP boxset.

File Under: Beatles, Classics, Mono
Listen to 100 copies of the White album at once

brh

Blonde Redhead: Barragan (Blonde Redhead) LP/CD
Forming in 1994, Blonde Redhead were thrown together following a chance meeting in New York between Japanese siren Kazu Makino and Milanese twin brothers, Amedeo and Simone Pace. Taking their name from a song by fellow New York no wave artists DNA, location was to prove key to the band’s initial experimentations. Forging a sound reflective of New York’s rich musical legacy, the early years of Blonde Redhead were very much haunted by the squalling underground scene that has forever pulsed throughout the city. While indebted to their geography, the release of their self-titled debut in 1994, swiftly followed by the self-produced La Mia Vita Violenta a year later on Steve Shelley’s Smells Like label, showed signs that Blonde Redhead were soon to escape the shadow of New York. Indeed, a move west to esteemed Chicago imprint Touch And Go provided the band the opportunity to stretch their wings. The release of Fake Can Be Just As Good with Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto in 1997 and it’s sequel, In An Expression Of The Inexpressible, offered gradual refinements of their artful chaos, but it wasn’t until the band’s swansong for Touch And Go, 2000’s Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons, that a turning point was reached. The tumult and discord of their earlier records was pared back, emphasis instead placed on the windswept, minor-key melodies that have since come to be the defining trait of the band. Not long after signing to 4AD on a worldwide deal in 2004, Kazu suffered a near-fatal horse riding accident, which understandably was to colour, both visually and lyrically, their debut for the label, Misery Is A Butterfly. Four years later, they returned with their most commercially successful album to date, 23. Testament to the band’s ability to reinvent who they are without losing any of their emotional resonance, the record was a lucid reflection of Blonde Redhead’s will to connect with its audience in striking and affecting ways. 2010 then saw the release of eighth studio album Penny Sparkle, another sonic twist in their adventurous canon. Barragan is the enigmatic trio’s ninth studio album – produced, engineered and mixed by Drew Brown (Beck, Radiohead, The Books) – and recorded at Key Club Recording in Benton Harbor, Michigan and the Magic Shop in New York City. The new 10-song set is preceded by the sleek lead single “No More Honey.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, Electronic
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dfa

Death From Above 1979: Physical World (Last Gang) LP/CD
The wait is finally over. Ten long years after Death From Above 1979’s highly successful debut album, 2004’s You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, the band will drop its not so patiently awaited follow up, The Physical World, produced by D. Sardy (Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Wolfmother, Oasis). The 11-song set comes a decade after that universally acclaimed debut, which made Jesse F. Keeler (bass, synths, backing vocals) and Sebastien Grainger (vocals and drums), an underground sensation who quickly transitioned to mainstream. DFA 1979 broke up in 2006 while the first album and subsequent remix album continued to sell inexplicably. The guys decided to reunite in 2011 and began to perform live, picking up where they left off without missing a beat. Their rabid cult has only continued to amass just as inexplicably. “No matter what Jesse and I do, on whatever scale of success it’s sat on, there’s always some kind of reference to Death From Above,” Sebastien Grainger said. “It’s only frustrating because it’s so lazy. So we’re putting out a Death From Above record and if the press is like, ‘It’s not what we expected,’ or however they react to it, it’s like, ‘Well, you’ve been fucking asking for it.’”

File Under: Rock, CanCon
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earth

Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Earth’s career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from “the riff”. This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume and feedbacking drone or via a sparse unraveling take on folk. With Primitive And Deadly, Earth’s tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to come full circle twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music. For the first time in their diverse career, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of Earth’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is the prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of Earth into something approaching traditional pop structures. On “Rooks Across the Gates” Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. “From the Zodiacal Light,” meanwhile, takes a late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour. This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where Earth recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions). Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is Earth reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock. (And yes, Earth will be touring extensively in support of this album)

File Under: Metal, Doom, Southern Lord
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electric wurms

Electric Wurms: Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk (Warner) LP
Electric Wurms is the new side-project from Flaming Lips members Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, whose debut abum Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk will be released in August 2014. It all began in the ’70s when someone invented the right kind of acid that could make you fly. It seemed that everything was, at last, possible. And the overly optimistic freaks of the day began flying into outer space. They flew in spaceships that were, at first, made of futuristic super metal but before too long they didn’t even need ships. They became the ships and they called themselves Electric Würms. I think because they became just bolts of electrified electricity that could penetrate wormholes in the far reaches of the unknown heaven. And before they died they sent back to earth beings a sonic bible of discoveries and failures. It  was, until now, a strange unsolvable mystery of frequencies and rhythms. Two groups of determined musicians and weirdo thinkers set forth to decipher its message. Two members of The Flaming Lips (Steven and Wayne) and four members of Linear Downfall (Charlee, Chance, Doom and Will) were the chosen ones. What you have is the first of what could be endless communicated sound stories. It is titled Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk, which predicted this modern day dance move by almost forty years ago. Some of it is indeed hard to twerk to but some of it, is not. There is a particular track called “Transform!!!” that closely resembles a drug fueled boogie freak rock track by Miles Davis. Another verse “Heart Of The Sunrise” sounds vaguely like a song by the prog folk group Yes. Of course Yes also turned themselves into space ships so it’s no wonder these songs share a similar vibe. The ensemble leans toward a hypnotic mood for most of the space bible readings. It is a scary truth that we are hearing and then forced to ponder. The pulsating poem “Living” states… “live as if you were living already for the second time. And that you had acted wrong the first time.” So they call themselves Electric Würms after the greatest of the super freaks. But they are not a super-group. They are like Sherpas climbing with you. To help you. To love you. All the secrets that they know they tell you. That’s what love is.

File Under: Flaming Lips, Krautrock
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interpol

Interpol: El Pintor (Matador) LP/CD
El Pintor is Interpol’s fifth and most exhilarating studio album. It’s a driving, relentless record, taut and epic in equal measure. The album, recorded as a three-piece with frontman and guitarist Paul Banks picking up the bass, kicks off with “All The Rage Back Home,” signaling a return to what Interpol does best, layering pulsing bass, bursts of guitar, and driving drums beneath Banks’ instantly recognizable voice. Meanwhile, “My Desire” features a throbbing beat and insistent guitar riffs that shoot off like flares into the night, while on “Same Town, New Story” Banks crafted up an unexpected melodic context for Daniel Kessler’s laser-sharp guitar lines. In contrast with previous records, Interpol took a step back on El Pintor and let the songs happen. What emerged is something urgent and compelling, something revitalized and reenergized. The result is as accomplished and thrilling a collection as the band has ever released. El Pintor also features Brandon Curtis (The Secret Machines) playing keyboard on nine songs, Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (Beck) playing keyboard on “Tidal Wave,” and Rob Moose (Bon Iver) playing violin and viola on “Twice as Hard.” The 10-song set was mixed by Alan Moulder, and mastered by Greg Calbi.

File Under: Indie Rock
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softawalls

Soft Walls: No Time (Trouble In Mind) LP
Brighton, UK’s Dan Reeves is a busy guy. In addition to running his own label, Faux Discx Records & playing in the band Cold Pumas, he also records under the moniker ‘Soft Walls’. These 10 songs are meditations on the passing of time itself & the pre-concieved notions (both external and internal) of what you can & should be doing with it. Filled with avant-leaning psych drones, dreamy guitar ragas, motorik head-boppers, & pop tunes that shimmer enticingly, these are songs to get lost in; to discover & re-discover. Don’t worry – there’s plenty of time.

File Under: Psych, Drone, Krautrock, Pop
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…..restocks…..

Birthday Party: Live 81-82 (4AD) LP
Dead Weather: Horehound (Thirdman) LP
Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards (Thirdman) LP
DJ Shadow: Endtroducing (Mo Wax) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
Earthless: Sonic Prayer (Gravity) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From a Cosmic Sky (Tee Pee) LP
Kiki Gyan: 24 Hours in a Disco (Soundways) LP
The Haunted: s/t (Hungry for Vinyl) LP
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (Discipline) LP
Modest Mouse: Good News for People… (Epic) LP
Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In An Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Pallbearer: Foundations of Burden (Profound Lore) LP
Sigur Ros: Hvarf/Heim (XL) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyrum.. (XL) LP
Stereolab: Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1972) LP
Stereolab: Mars Audiac Quintet (1972) LP
Stereolab: Dots & Loops (1972) LP
Stereolab: Sound-Dust (1972) LP
Kurt Vile: Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze (Matador) LP
White Stripes: s/t (Thirdman) LP

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…..news letter #654 – skool’d…..

Another massive pile of new stuff hitting the shelves this week, and loads on the way for next week as well. Just in time for those student loan cheques….

…..pick of the week…..

madrigal

Madrigal: s/t (Lysergia) LP
Finally a reissue of one of the great lost Grails of the NYC freak underground! Trading hands for $3-4000 on the rare occasions it is offered, Madrigal has grown into a legend among fans of psychedelic drone music. Here’s what the Acid Archives has to say: “…A rather amazing do-it-yourself descent into the murkiest depths of the early 1970s underground. It’s two guys sitting in what sounds like a boiler room, equipped with a drum machine, an electric guitar & bass and some oscillators, hotwiring themselves into the lysergic flow of the Now. The music drones and cavorts while incomprehensible screams and dialogue lurk in the background, as heard through a locked door. The atmosphere is as thick as in a nightmare…” But Madrigal’s strongest achievement may be the seamless shift from the harrowing visions of machinery and faceless suffering on side 1 into a string of dark, haunting folk-rock numbers on side 2, a transition as natural as if these were simply the two sides of the same unclassifiable coin. Pioneering at the time and still unique today, vague parallels could be made to Suicide, the Patron Saints and Velvet Underground’s third LP, but first and last Madrigal can only be understood on its own. Re-mastered for superior sound, retaining the original artwork and pressed in a limited edition, 180 gram virgin vinyl, housed in a deluxe case with a wrapped tip-on-sleeve, and including an insert with in-depth liner notes.

File Under: Psych, Raers, Holy Grail
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…..new arrivals…..

ambass

Les Ambassadeurs: du Motel de Bamako (Sterns Africa) 2CD
On sale in our listening post! The supernal singer Salif Keita, groundbreaking guitarists Kante Manfila, Ousmane Kouyate and Amadou Bagayoko (now famous as half of Amadou & Mariam), saxophonist Moussa Sissoko, organist Idrissa Soumaoro, and the extraordinary bala-xylophonist and fiddler Keletigui Diabate — they (and as many others) were all in the great West African band called Les Ambassadeurs. They came together from several bands from four different countries (hence their name) in Bamako, Mali, in 1970. The man behind this all-star ensemble was a high-ranking officer in the military junta that governed Mali. He was eager to affirm his influence by entertaining VIPs at his favorite hangout, the Motel de Bamako, located among shady mango trees along the Niger River, and to succeed he needed an attraction at least as strong as the Rail Band, which was in residence at the popular Buffet Hotel adjacent to the city’s central train station. Les Ambassadeurs immediately created a sensation with their skill at various styles, including Afro-Cuban, jazz, R&B, rock, and modernized Manding classics, and in 1973 the Rail Band’s star vocalist, Salif Keita, left the Buffet Hotel to join his peers at the Motel de Bamako. In the mid-’70s Les Ambassadeurs were the pre-eminent Malian band, releasing hit after hit, touring West Africa, and even making appearances in France. The new Sterns Music 2CD album includes 18 recordings made by Les Ambassadeurs in Bamako between 1975 and 1977 (before politics compelled them to relocate to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where they became known as Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux). Most of these tracks have never previously been reissued on CD, and two of them — Radio Mali live recordings — have never been released until now. The album booklet contains illuminating notes, rare photographs, and reproductions of LP covers.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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apostles

The Apostles: Punk Obituary (Beat Generation) LP
The Apostles were formed in 1979 in the Islington area, London by Bill Corbet, Julian Portinari, Dan McIntrye and Pete Byng-Hall. With this line-up, the band didn’t play any gigs, but were featured in diverse fanzines such as Paroxysm Fear and New Crimes. In the summer of 1981, Andy Martin joined them as vocalist and they played their first gig in September of 1981 and recorded their first demo, The Apostles. With the addition of Martin, the band started to work something out from the anarcho-punk scene, more into mixing diverse sounds such as industrial, English folk, some gospel and avant-garde stuff. In 1982, all the band’s members left except Andy Martin, who called some friends from other bands as Political Asylum and Innocent Bystander to continue with the band’s work. With this new line-up, the band recorded four 7″s and seven 12″ LPs between 1984 and 1990. Punk Obituary was originally released by the great Motorhate label, run by the English band Conflict. This album is to anarco-punk what London Calling was to mainstream punk, a total seminal record that helped to create a new sound and style. Also the lyrics turned from anarco-punk themes to more personal and intellectual ones. A total absolute must-have record, for sure. Features replica cover art and inside artwork including a big newspaper/fanzine. Limited edition of 500 copies on 180 gram black vinyl with a gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Punk, Anarco-punk
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bajas

Bitchin’ Bajas: s/t (Drag City) LP
“…and at the heart of Bitchin Bajas, there is pure peace. Bitchin Bajas have been around the world in five years; chasing sonics through space and time and coming up with a lot of conclusions along their discographical path. Always, they push forward, recklessly consuming processes in order to realize their own works — but the sound and the music regularly emerges with tranquil essence, bringing them and their listeners into a shared experience. Bitchin Bajas’ output has been remarkably diverse in search of this singular goal, which makes for great listening across multiple albums etc. — and with the release of this new double-LP, they have mapped and traversed their own ecosystem as they journey in search of the aural epiphany, the true unknowing. With plenty of room stretched over four sides, Bitchin Bajas use their many methods to attain perfect flow throughout the 76 minutes of this self-titled record. Self-titled because this is who they are at their core; these are the flares and oscillations of their soul. They will be other things again, horizons will continue to rise and fade away in their path as they continue forward and upward — but this self-titled record is a pure vision at the heart of Bitchin Bajas. Acoustic is the beginning. Eastern tonalities relocate Bitchin Bajas farther inside the source, finding the timeless time from long ago and slowly sliding via fader until then is now, until acoustic goes analog. Something pure and natural is happening — within the sound, within the songs; in the album and in you. The shifts that come makes changes in your moods and your body temperature. Something delicate yet definite, gradually washing over your consciousness. Electricity just comes, it doesn’t even begin. Bitchin Bajas is climate-controlled comprehension — on one hand, an ultimate album, and on the other, barely even an album at all. What began in randomness, pitch-shifting and tape manipulation emerged in the cutting as a single direction, a journey in scales, divided by the format perfectly into four stages, eight discreet parts. Bitchin Bajas reach high and low in their consciousness as expressed through equalization to see (hear) what affect it will have on them — and what it does to them, reaches through to you. The space found on Bitchin Bajas was located with organ, synthesizer, winds, xylophone and autoharp, employing a 1″ 8-track tape machine to the fullest extent. Additional contributions from strings, keys, guitar and field recordings helped make Bitchin Bajas everything that it is.”

File Under: Electronic, Drone
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charlatan

Charlatan: Local Agent (Umor Rex) LP
“Local Agent is the fourth LP by Charlatan, a.k.a. Brad Rose, label-head of Digitalis, also known as The North Sea and one half of Safiyya. Local Agent is Charlatan’s streamlined statement, an amalgam of spy and sci-fi techno with touches of abstract dub, finely mastered by John Tejada. Local Agent is a great culmination of several years’ work by Brad Rose, who has been studying and styling a conceptual and abstract merge between industrial-beat and techno structures, with a sensitivity for narrative and the description of futuristic landscapes (retro-futuristic / Lab style). While employing his usual set of tools (electronic synthesis, cyclical melodies and techno/abstract rhythms), this time around Brad Rose/Charlatan is also playing inside the most turbulent dub territories, jointed by crushed and anonymous bass lines, to create tracks loaded with kinetic content, pieces that move within the grounds of science fiction and spy thrillers, a paranoia-rich sound apt for a J.G. Ballard novel.” Limited to 300 copies; pressed on transparent yellow vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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ct

Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas (4AD) LP
The celebrated last two albums Cocteau Twins released on 4AD will finally be back in the vinyl racks. The first time either have been pressed since release, both will come on heavyweight 180 gram black vinyl and are being cut from brand new HD 96/24 masters. Both also include MP3 download coupons. Heaven or Las Vegas followed in 1990 and was to become their most commercially successful release, reaching number seven in the UK album charts. Numerous publications have since declared it one of the best albums of the 90s, Pitchfork calling it “a core of ungodly gorgeous songs that is every bit as moving and relevant today as it ever was.” Label founder Ivo Watts-Russell goes further, candidly revealing in the recent 4AD biography, Facing The Other Way, that this album wasn’t just his favourite Cocteaus album but also his favourite all-time 4AD album, and “by a long shot’, calling it “the perfect record.’ And with tracks as majestic as the title track, ‘Cherry-Coloured Funk’ and ‘Iceblink Luck’, who’s to argue? “From the start, Heaven… is simply fantastic: on “Cherry-Coloured Funk,” Guthrie’s inimitable guitar work chimes leading a low-key but forceful rhythm, while Raymonde’s grand bass work fleshes it out. Fraser simply captivates; her vocals are the clearest, most direct they’ve ever been, purring with energy and life. There are many moments of sheer Cocteaus beauty and power, including the title track, with its great chorus, and two spotlight Guthrie solos: “Fotzepolitic,” a powerful number building to a rushing conclusion, and the album-ending “Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires.” Possessing the same climactic sense of drama past disc-closers as “Donimo” and “The Thinner the Air,” it’s a perfect way to end a near-perfect album.” – AllMusic.

File Under: Ethereal, Downtempo
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dawson

Smoke Dawson: Fiddle (Tompkins Square) LP
“Reissue of Smoke Dawson’s 1971 private press LP, Fiddle. George ‘Smoke’ Dawson played banjo in MacGrundy’s Old-Timey Wool Thumpers with Peter Stampfel (later of Holy Modal Rounders) in 1960, lived for years at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and roamed around the US as an itinerant bagpipe and fiddle player for decades. His life is laced with small triumphs, and lots of tragedy. But he’s still with us. Tompkins Square reissues his only album, a remarkable 1971 private press LP. This is his story. Excerpted notes by reissue producer / Tompkins Square label owner Josh Rosenthal : ‘I was doing some research for a box set of music recorded at Cafe Lena, the hallowed folk music venue located in Saratoga Springs, NY, when I came upon a photograph of a musician I didn’t recognize. He looked like a sixth member of The Band – a handsome fiddler with wax moustache, goatee, black Western hat. There was a traditional air to him, a seriousness, but there was also something wild there. I needed to know who he was, and everything about him. The producers told me his name was Smoke Dawson, and they had tape on him. We listened, and his live version of ‘Devil’s Dream’ made it onto the box set. Then I started digging. I found a 1996 blog post from someone named Oliver Seeler, who claimed to have recorded a solo album by Dawson in 1971. I called the number on the site, not expecting much from an 18 year old blog post. But he picked up. He gave me background on the record. And, he gave me Smoke Dawson’s phone number…'”

File Under: Folk, Old-Time, Holy Modal Rounders
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earth

Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) CD
Vinyl in next week! Earth’s career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from “the riff”. This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume and feedbacking drone or via a sparse unraveling take on folk. With Primitive And Deadly, Earth’s tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to come full circle twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music. For the first time in their diverse career, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of Earth’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is the prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of Earth into something approaching traditional pop structures. On “Rooks Across the Gates” Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. “From the Zodiacal Light,” meanwhile, takes a late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour. This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where Earth recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions). Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is Earth reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock. (And yes, Earth will be touring extensively in support of this album)

File Under: Metal, Doom, Southern Lord
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eno

Eno-Hyde: High Life (Warp) LP
The collaboration between Brian Eno and Karl Hyde (Underworld) continues with second full-length record High Life on Warp Records. The experiment drew inspiration from the repetitive minimalism of composers like Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, and from the polyrhythmic music of Fela Kuti and funk, as well as continuing the work that Eno and Hyde have done separately.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, ENO
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gambleLee Gamble: Kuang EP (Pan) 12″
Lee Gamble is a UK-based artist and electronic music producer with roots in the original jungle-techno and extreme computer music fields. The Kuang EP heralds the release of Gamble’s keenly-awaited 2nd LP KOCH with three tracks of dissociative ambient/techno. “Kali Wave” opens with a bittersweet breakbeat roller sounding something like early AGCG playing in a hall of mirrors, whereas “Mimas Skank” diffuses oily acid and dry dub techno inna dancefloor wormhole, and the detached ambient drift of “Girl Drop” rends a gasp of post-rave bliss into 12 minutes of spectral sublime or precipitous dread, depending on your perspective.

File Under: Ambient Techno
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arveArve Henriksen: The Nature of Connections (Rune Grammofon) CD
Arve Henriksen stumbled across the title of his latest album while reading a book about furniture-making. “The author mentioned the complexity of making a chair and all the people involved in the process,” the Norwegian trumpet player says. “The high quality of the different fields and the wide range of professions that, after a long process, turns into a product which can easily be compared to the process of making this album.” The Nature of Connections finds Arve working in harness with some of Norway’s most distinguished and dynamic musician-craftsmen, drawn from the fields of folk, improvisation and jazz. Each one brought specialist components and skills honed over many years to Arve’s workshop, where the results were assembled and polished to a high gleam. The Nature of Connections almost entirely features pieces composed by Arve’s collaborators. Recorded in the sparkling acoustics of Oslo’s legendary Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug, it’s an album with closer ties to Nordic folk and contemporary, minimalist chamber music than any of Arve’s previous releases. The trumpeter had planned to make an album with a string quartet for many years but never quite found the right formula. Finally, a specially commissioned tour brought him together with violinists Nils Økland and Gjermund Larsen, cellist Svante Henryson and double bassist Mats Eilertsen, all of whom now appear as the central planks in The Nature of Connections. Another welcome guest is drummer Audun Kleive, veteran of Norwegian jazz ensembles including Masqualero, JoKleBa!, Generator X, Terje Rypdal and Jon Balke. “The brilliant thing about collaboration with others is that your collaborators very often have better ideas than yourself,” says Arve, typically modest. “At the same time, some naive and simple ideas from my head are sometimes enough to illustrate that moment and that special feeling of a story. I have gradually started to trust that feeling.” His instincts are correct, leading to some of the warmest and most organic sounding music of his career. Highlights include the solemn chamber music of “Seclusive Song,” and the stately progress of “Hymn” — composed by Arve’s keyboardist partner in the long-running Norwegian improv ensemble Supersilent, Ståle Storløkken — which paces itself around Henryson’s repetitive, gently churning cello. Born in Norway and currently living in Sweden, Arve Henriksen is Scandinavia’s most distinctive trumpeter and improviser. He played in various jazz ensembles in his youth before co-forming Supersilent in 1997, a prolific free music group with Helge Sten (Deathprod) and Ståle Storløkken, which is still ongoing. His trumpet, augmented with effects and electronics, has appeared with David Sylvian, Terje Rypdal, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Balke, Terje Isungset and Iain Ballamy’s Food. With Supersilent he recently collaborated with former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. In September 2014 he’ll be participating in an architectural installation/performance as part of Oslo’s Ultima Festival of contemporary music. Since 2001 he has created a series of exquisite solo recordings (on Rune Grammofon and ECM), which combine electronic textures, horns, woodwinds, ethnic instruments, percussion, keyboards, and his mournful, yearning singing voice. Henriksen’s music reflects both the stunning beauty of virgin wilderness and the shifting, cosmopolitan environments experienced by the 21st century traveler. The Nature of Connections is the latest link forged in an ever-growing chain. Arve Henriksen (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, piano); Nils Økland (violin, Hardanger fiddle, viola d’amore); Svante Henryson (cello); Gjermund Larsen (violin, Hardanger fiddle); Mats Eilertsen (double bass); Audun Kleive (drums).

File Under: Jazz, Trumpet, Supersilent
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hiss

Hiss Golden Messenger: Lateness of Dances (Merge) LP
Hiss Golden Messenger is Durham, North Carolina-based songwriter M.C. Taylor. Lateness of Dancers is the fifth full-length from Hiss Golden Messenger. It’s an open, confident, immediate album, and it feels, at times, like a direct response to the darkness of Taylor’s last record, 2013’s Haw, or to the searching of 2010’s Bad Debt, the stunning acoustic LP he made at his kitchen table shortly after the birth of his son. Lateness of Dancers was recorded in a tin-roofed barn outside of Hillsborough, North Carolina, last fall and includes many of Taylor’s longtime collaborators, like Phil and Brad Cook of Megafaun, the guitarist William Tyler, and his erstwhile recording partner Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man contributes backing vocals; her tender, wooly voice both complements and challenges Taylor’s. The record takes its name from a Eudora Welty story, which is noteworthy not because of its origins – although there are hints of Welty in Taylor’s work, and not just Welty but Flannery O’Connor and Faulkner and Barry Hannah and Larry Brown and the whole pantheon of brutal and exquisite southern writers – but because Taylor is the type of person who recognizes the beauty in a phrase like that. It is a record about self-discovery and self-knowledge, and how impossible it is to outsmart yourself. I don’t know how you learn a lesson like that, except the hard way. “The misery of love is a funny thing / The more it hurts / The more you think / You can stand a little pain,” he sings on ‘Mahogany Dread’, one of Lateness’ most telling tracks. These are the kinds of lies we tell ourselves to feel the things we want to feel, even when those pleasures are buried in a whole lot of hurt.

File Under: Folk, Rock, Psych
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hoff

James Hoff: Blaster (Pan) LP
New York-based conceptual artist James Hoff returns to PAN with Blaster, a document of his explorations of computer viruses as agents within the composition process. Specifically, Hoff used the Blaster virus to infect 808 beats and then utilized the mutated results as building blocks for seven new compositions. Hoff’s interest in computer viruses lies in their ability to self-distribute through (and ultimately disrupt) networks of communication and Hoff’s agency as an artist centers on placing these parasitic forms into pre-existing genres, such as dance music. Blaster is a timely exploration of the infectious qualities of sound, and how it too, as a carrier, makes its way through social networks, reduced to bits and programmed to infiltrate and replicate. “Viruses, like art, need a host. Preferably a popular one.” Interested in ways in which the virus works could mutate and spread socially, the first side of Blaster contains these sonic presentations, and the second houses all of the artist’s infected samples and serves as a scratch record for DJs, an object of utility, and ultimately a provocation, mobilizing its new hosts as a point of potential transmission. Blaster is a logical progression from Hoff’s PAN debut LP How Wheeling Feels When the Ground Walks Away, which dealt with aural documents of riots and disruptions, and the record is part of a larger body of work by the artist that also includes virus paintings.

File Under: Electronic, 808
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james

Etta James: Rocks the House (Jackpot) LP
Best known for the lush 1961 rendition of the ballad “At Last” – a slow-dance staple at wedding celebrations everywhere,she is also celebrated for having recorded one of the best live albums of all time, Rocks the House. Recorded in 1963 at the New Era Club in Nashville, James is captured at her performance peak. The foundation for her reputation as a fiery no-holds-barred performer was firmly established in this recording. Blues, soul, jazz, R&B, and rock vocalist Etta James needs no introduction. An icon from early rock’n’roll’s pantheon of divas, she has inspired five decades of listeners and fellow artists with her vocal stylings. From Janis Joplin to Beyonce, her expressive and guttural style has been imitated but never quite matched. Jackpot Records is honored to release this momentous record on stellar blue vinyl, with the original album artwork and including 3 bonus tracks which have only ever been released previously on CD. Her powerful version of “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” will shake you. Her impassioned version of “All I Could Do Is Cry,” will break you.

 File Under: Soul, RnB, Blues
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lambchop

Lambchop: Live at XX Merge (Merge) LP
First time pressed to vinyl – (Clear vinyl pressing!) LP includes coupon for full digital download – audio & video both. As Merge fans know, Lambchop has been on the label since 1993, releasing a string of widely varied but consistently brilliant records. But the live Lambchop experience has been somewhat elusive in the U.S. While the band has toured the gilded theaters of Europe and elsewhere for nearly two decades, the Nashville group has seldom toured their home country. To help celebrate Merge’s 20th Anniversary the band showed up in one of their largest lineups in recent memory — 11-strong, including multiple guitars, keyboards, piano, and a horn section. By the end of their set, everyone in the packed Cats Cradle – band and audience both – was levitating a few inches off the ground. Lambchop’s set at XX Merge was professionally recorded and filmed, and is available now on vinyl for those who missed it, or for those who want to go back again. “..the Nashville weirdos have never gotten the popular attention they’ve long deserved. Friday night, they won the capacity crowd at the Cradle forever. It was a revelatory moment, suggesting that we’ve got five years from right now to reconsider Lambchop.”- PITCHFORK // “The results are in and it’s unanimous — Lambchop stole the show at XX Merge.” – WASHINGTON POST

File Under: Folk, Country, Indie
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lsd

LSD Underground 12: s/t (Lysergia) LP
Before there was psychedelic music, there was LSD Underground 12. Recorded under mysterious circumstances in Los Angeles in the summer of 1966, this mind-blowing musical journey represents the earliest known case of musicians recording while under the effect of LSD. The result is a pioneering aural kaleidoscope of shifting moods and complex atmospheres unlike anything done before and hardly since. Recorded at a time when psychedelic music did not yet exist as a genre, it is not surprising that the music flows freely across genres, from eerie Middle Eastern desert moods and nocturnal West Coast jazz grooves into full-blown acid-rock guitar soloing, while the hallucinogenic tension is sustained and released through outbursts of piercing avant-garde, Fluxic chaos and minimalist stasis. Sold briefly via mail-order, the 1966 record was only rumored to exist until Lysergia’s recent research verified its existence. In view of its pioneering historical status and outstanding musical quality, LSD Underground 12 should rank as one of the greatest psychedelic music discoveries of the past 20 years. A pioneering acid-head sound unlike anything that came before it and hardly anything since… a musical riddle rising from the psychedelic catacombs. Presented by Patrick Lundborg and Lysergia, LSD Underground 12 is available in an exclusive limited LP edition, 180 gram virgin vinyl, housed in a deluxe case with a wrapped tip-on-sleeve, and including an insert with in-depth liner notes.

File Under: Psychedelic, LSD, Avant Garde
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merch

Merchandise: After The End (4AD) LP/CD 
First gaining notoriety with the LPs “Children of Desire” (2012), which Pitchfork hailed for its “glistening and emotive, earbleeding noise pop”, and then Totale Nite (2013), which NME likened to “a cultural jumpstart” in their 9/10 review. Merchandise continue their ascent with the highly-anticipated new album, “After The End”. Drawing from too many places to be classified punk, they’ve certainly been informed by its ethics, earning all they’ve achieved. Still self-recording and producing their music, this time over a six month period in the house they share in Tampa, “After The End” is a real achievement in showing what bands can achieve themselves. The only outside influence this time came when they enlisted mixing help from Gareth Jones, the man famed for his work on Depeche Mode’s Berlin Trilogy of “Construction Time Again”, “Some Great Reward”, and “Black Celebration”, and more recently Interpol, These New Puritans and Grizzly Bear.

File Under: Indie Rock
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new porn

New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (Last Gang) LP
Brill Bruisers is the first new release in four years from the acclaimed supergroup, who have been called, “virtually peerless in the world of power-pop and indie-rock” by NPR Music. Additionally, the New Yorker describes the band’s music as, “…magnificent and clever,” while Stereogum proclaims, “In recent history, no group has featured so much formidable established talent, collaborating on a regular basis.” Of the album, lead-singer and main songwriter AC Newman comments, “This is a celebration record. After periods of difficulty, I am at a place where nothing in my life is dragging me down and the music reflects that. I’m grateful.” Produced by band-members John Collins (bass) with Newman, the 12-track album was recorded primarily at Little Blue in Woodstock, NY and at JC/DC Studios in Vancouver B.C. with additional recording in Austin, Brooklyn and Vermont.

File Under: Pop, Power Pop, CanCon, Neko Case, Destroyer
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ngozi

Ngozi Family: Day of Judgement (Now Again) LP/CD
“Guitarist/vocalist Paul Ngozi’s debut album — under the name Ngozi Family — is an important record: not just in the Zamrock genre, but in the global rock canon. Day of Judgement is an introduction to the most intense, raw and inimitable golden era Zamrock recorded, as it paved the way for a dozen Paul Ngozi and Ngozi Family releases (the most famous being drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo’s My Ancestors) that straddled the line between funk and punk, of driving hard rock and Zambian folk melodies and rhythms. Day of Judgement was released in 1976, the same year as other, now famous, Zamrock albums, from Witch’s Lazy Bones!! to Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia. But it sounds like none of its counterparts. Part of that stems from its frenzied primitivism, the Ngozi Family’s attempt to overcome a lack of musical acumen with sheer force of will. That will allowed Paul Ngozi to overcome a humble upbringing to become the most unlikely combination: Zamrock’s most beloved star in its brief but now-well chronicled arc; the only musician to maintain his fame and recording prowess in the dark ages of the ’80s; an inspiration to not only aging but young Zambians — and now others, beyond Zambia’s borders. But one cannot imagine Paul Ngozi without this album, a full-on aural assault that sounds as wild nearly forty years after its release as it must have sounded in the developing Zamrock landscape from which it emerged. We listen to this anachronistic yet prescient album now as a wholly original, completely unpredictable album in line with those from mavericks from across the world — from the Ramones to the Sex Pistols to Death. And, though it’s been over two decades since Paul Ngozi’s passing, his voice and vision still seem exciting, powerful, unique, unvarnished, new. Packaged in a deluxe hard cover case book.”

File Under: Fuzz, Psych, ZamRock
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godzilla

OST: Godzilla (Death Waltz) LP
For the first time ever on vinyl, the full score to the legendary monster movie that started it all! Death Waltz Recording Company are proud to be unearthing the legendary monster of our time and bringing him to vinyl in the shape of Akira Ifukube’s score to Godzilla. Starkly different to the usual view of The Big G as the ultimate monster wrestler, Ifukube’s music is intense, dark, and reflects Ishiro Honda’s film as a pure horror film. While the score opens with the jaunty riff that would eventually become Godzilla’s Theme, the majority of the music alternates between pounding brass and mournful strings as we witness the death and destruction that comes in Godzilla’s wake. Help us celebrate the 60th birthday of the greatest monster to walk the earth, and the powerhouse musical experience that is Akira Ifukube’s Godzilla.

File Under: OST, Death Waltz
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phantom1

OST: Phantom of the Opera (One Way Static) LP
The Phantom of the Opera is perhaps one of the most iconic horror films in history. Directed by Rupert Julian in 1925, this silent movie starred Lon Chaney in the lead role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star. As legendary as its many adaptations on the silver screen and on stage is its history of fitting soundtracks. Throughout the decades that followed many composers and artists worldwide took up the task to write fresh new scores for this iconic picture. One Way Static Records proudly presents the latest installment in this tradition with a brand new modern re-score composed and performed by UK septet THE LAZE. The Laze have developed quite a reputation across the UK for their spine-tingling live performances and expansive soundscapes. Influenced by a history of horror soundtracks, from Bernard Hermann and Angelo Badalamenti to Goblin and John Carpenter, The Laze implemented elements of Progressive Rock, Classical, Jazz, Heavy Metal and Electronica in their score. The original soundtrack will be the group’s fourth long-player. The band’s last release was 2010’s Spacetime Fabric Conditioner, a Sci-Fi concept album, which went on to be remixed by Steve Moore (Zombi), Forest Swords and Brontt Industries Kapital.

File Under: OST, Horror, Goblin, Carpenter
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raid 2

OST: The Raid 2 (Spacelab 9) LP
Score by Joseph Trapanese, Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal. Scheduled for a North American theatrical release on March 28, 2014, The Raid 2 picks up right where the first film left off and follows Rama (Iko Uwais) as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and uncover the corruption in his own police force. Already earning a reputation worldwide as one of the year’s most gritty and violent flicks.

File Under: OST
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street trash

OST: Street Trash (Lunaris) LP
The original motion picture soundtrack from the ultimate melt movie, Street Trash. Composed by Rick Ulfik, the soundtrack has previously been unreleased since its creation in 1987. For fans of lo-fi synthesizer based soundtracks. Cover artwork and design created by Philadelphia based graphic designer Haunt Love.

File Under: OST, Lofi Synth
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pigz

P.I.G.S.: Bloody Belgium (Ugly Pop) 7″
One of the crown jewels of worldwide first-wave punk, this Belgian band’s sole release really is as good as it gets. All three songs here are excellent but “Bloody Belgium” and “Stooges” are stone classics. Unavailable since it was released in 1978, with original copies fetching up to four figures, and finally back in print through cooperation with the band. Includes eight page booklet with liner notes, original press clippings and unseen photos!

File Under: Punk, Belguim
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commando

PF Commando: Manipulerade Mongon (Ugly Pop) LP
Self-released in 1979 by one of Sweden’s most notorious bands, this monster debut was the country’s first punk LP, packing in 15 tracks of pure three-chord bash at its most primal and aggressive. Vocals are alternately barked and snarled, guitars slash and buzz, the rhythm section thrashes along maniacally– no pop, no art, just PUNK in the vein of Dead Boys, Viletones, Germs and early Black Flag! Ugly Pop is very pleased to be making this hard-to-find slab available again in its first legitimate vinyl pressing since 1979, with all new insert.

File Under: Punk, Sweden
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potterColin Potter: Entering Again (Sacred Summits) LP
“Five tracks of drone and loopy minimalism, based on the cassette-only album out in 1982 on A Gain. The beautiful, mesmerizing opener ‘On Entering York Minster’ sets the stage. Gorgeous, silk-screened sleeves.”

File Under: Electronic, Drone, Nurse With Wound
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early lou

Lou Reed: Early Lou: Pre-Velvet Underground Recordings 1958-1965 (Andy) LP
Tracks: The Jades (“So Blue – Leave Her for Me” single, 1958), Lewis Reed (“Your Love – Merry Go Round” 1962 Demo), The Primitives (“The Ostrich – Sneaky Pete” single, 1964), The Intimates (“I’ve Got A Tiger In My Tank”, 1965), Donnie Burks (“Why Don’t You Smile Now”, 1965), Lou Reed (“Heroin” Demo Pickwick Studios, 1965), The Roughnecks (“You’re Driving Me Insane”, 1965), The Beachnuts (“I’ve Got A Tiger In My Tank – Cycle Annie”, 1965), The Surfsiders (“Little Deuce Coupe – Surfin'”, 1965) and The All Night Workers (” Why Don’t You Smile Now”, 1965).

File Under: Velvet Underground
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revelateur

Le Revelateur: Extreme Events (Root Strata) LP
Five years after founding Le Révélateur, Montreal-bred musician Roger Tellier-Craig returns to Root Strata with Extreme Events, a collection of dense sonic studies that betray a futuristic and timeless beauty. Alongside collaborator Sabrina Ratté, who creates the project’s videos and live visuals, Le Révélateur operates at the ideological intersection of audio and visual, analog and digital, nostalgic and anticipatory, human and machine. Extreme Events is characterized by complex rhythmic asymmetry and twinkling aesthetic resonance — ultimately a prescient re-vision of hypothetical cyberpunk futures realized in the desert of digital decay and burgeoning artificial ecologies.

 File Under: Electronic, Fly Pan Am
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jack rubyJack Ruby: s/t Volume 2 (Feeding Tube) LP
“When Don Fleming was doing the initial transfers of the tapes we’d gotten retrieved from Randy Cohen’s barn, every evening seemed to bring a new surprise. But nothing was a bigger jawdropper than the material which makes up the second LP of our Jack Ruby archival series. The central core of the album is the 16 & a 1/2 minute track, “Destroy/Lost,” recorded at the band’s rehearsal space in January ’74. Robin Hall vocalizes and Boris plays electric viola, but the bulk of the piece is screaming analog synth weirdness from Randy Cohen’s Serge synthesizer. According to Robin, the track was recorded in hopes that it might be pared down to a single. Hard to imagine how the hell it might’ve been done (or in what universe), but it is a masterpiece of long-format insanity — with Boris and Robin providing a context for the massive gallumping of the Serge. Additional players appear on some of the shorter tracks — new music/free jazz saxophonist, Pete van Riper, on “Lithium Serenade”; Boris’s electric viola on “Hydrogen Lullaby”; Chris Gray’s guitar on “Mandible Mambo”; Rich Gold’s Serge joins Boris’ strings on “Ghost Note.” The rest is the product of Randy’s whacked-out compositional notions and his mastery of the Serge’s patch-cords. Some of the material was recorded pre-Jack Ruby at Cal Arts (where Randy and Boris first met). The rest was from a performance in New York in early ’74. Heard as a whole, it is a bizarrely shaped piece of the pre-punk/free-form puzzle that was Jack Ruby. Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.” –Byron Coley; Includes download card. Edition of 600.

File Under: Punk, Experimental, Pre-Punk

shit shineShit & Shine: Powder Horn (Diagonal) LP
The next release on Diagonal is the latest album from Texas-based demolition artist Craig Clouse aka Shit & Shine. Titled Powder Horn, it follows-up Clouse’s 2013 Diagonal debut 12″, which channeled his shape-shifting sound into sharp shocks of mangled club music. On this new album, his first full-length since 2012’s Jream Baby Jream, Clouse voyages still deeper down his own sonic wormhole. Its raucous slabs of deviant funk, wiry disco and burnt-out acid are sculpted to soundtrack strung-out dancefloors and their seedy early-hours aftermath, yet they still bear crucial traces of Shit & Shine’s history in noise rock. Drums bound, crash and detonate to drive the music forward in fits and starts, their sound veering from the chest-busting thud of a techno kick to the hollowed-out clatter of a live punk band. Writhing acid lines do battle with taut, spidery guitar motifs, wrenching the momentum abruptly sideways. “Hiss” is bare-chested post-punk, strutting across the stage, caked with sweat and fizzing with static interference. Deeper into the night, “Acid Minor” wrenches up the gear to explode into full-bore acid techno, with Clouse repeatedly hammering the brakes and triggering space itself to distort around you. This provocative yet playful approach has long been a defining characteristic of Clouse’s music. Over the past decade he’s gained a reputation for Shit & Shine’s remarkable live shows — mesmerizing blasts of rhythmic noise featuring multiple drummers — as well as a string of albums exploring starker noise rock and industrial-infused sounds. His recent shift towards more club-centered music, then, makes sense. Both Powder Horn and his previous Diagonal EP further hone his fascination with the energizing effects of rhythm on the mind and body, while retaining the unpredictable and confrontational nature that’s always made Shit & Shine such a wild proposition.

File Under: Electro, No Wave
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shovels

Shovels & Rope: Swimmin’ Time (Dine Alone) LP
The ring-of-fire chemistry captured on Shovels & Rope’s 2012 debut album, O’ Be Joyful, turned into a river of accolades for husband-and-wife duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, including the No. 3 spot on American Songwriter’s Top 50 Albums of 2012 list – and No. 1 on the Top 50 Songs list for the single ‘Birmingham’. And now they’re ready to paddle that river again with the August 26 release of Swimmin’ Time on Dualtone Music. The couple’s energetic mix of country, blues, rock, folk and punk also earned them the Emerging Artist of the Year title at the Americana Music Association’s 2013 Americana Honors & Awards, and ‘Birmingham’ won Song of the Year honors.” – Lynne Margolis

File Under: Country, Folk
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snd3

SND: Travelog (Special Extended Edition) (SND) LP
travelog was the third EP released by Mat Steel and Mark Fell as SND, arriving in 1999 just before the release of their influential debut album Makesnd Cassette on the Mille Plateaux label. Of the three EP reissues in the series, travelog contains the most developed and satisfying work from the pair, edging their reduced production palette into more fully-realized dimensions, coloring-in those instantly-recognizable bass notes and isolated percussive elements with a slow, sublime trickle of melody. The six extra tracks included are indispensable — extending the original EP into an hour of mesmerizing, slowly immersive rhythmic pulses that still sound pretty much unlike anything you’ll have heard before — a perfect bridge between house, techno and UKG re-imagined within a stripped structure that should act as a masterclass for a new school of producers trying to balance out rhythmic complexity with space. The opening A1 encapsulates this asymmetry brilliantly, bare swing and shuffle riding chiming chords that add warmth and space to an already intoxicating blueprint, while A3 takes those same elements and sharpens them into a slow, undulating alignment bolstered by that immaculate mastering treatment from Rashad Becker. B3 takes things deeper — a slow percussive edit slowly drowned-out by a growling analog drone, while the closing side joins the dots between this EP series and that trio of albums for Mille Plateaux that would soon establish SND as the most forward-thinking and still resolutely original producers from an otherwise largely-forgotten musical era.

File Under: Electronic, Mille Plateaux
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spacemen3

Spacemen 3: Live at the New Morning, Geneva, 5.18.89 (Mental Groove) LP
A bootleg of this show has been floating around for a while but this is the first time that this particular Spacemen 3 performance has had any kind of official release, albeit in slightly truncated form. Sonic Boom concedes in his sleeve notes that “the set presented here, is as it was…except the show was twice this length. We tuned and smoked for almost as long as we played.” So it’s pretty much the show minus all the tuning, smoking, and one rendition of “Revolution”, which the band had taken to playing twice at the time to milk the audience reaction due to its minor hit status. From Sonic Boom’s liner notes: “I seem to remember this show more distinctly than most, and always did. Spacemen 3 was a band not overly loved in their day. It was tough, or at least uneasy. Musically, people thought we were some sort of twisted joke. Which in some ways we were. You needed to be bloody-minded to make this music at that time. Our disenfranchise moment from this show, installed to filter the wheat from the chaff in our audiences – the sprawling “Suicide” wheeled out here in a long mischievous version. We slipped away mid song amongst much fog and dry ice. With taped down keys and feeding back guitars propped against our speaker cabs keeping the song pulsating and screaming. Disappearing back down to the already too familiar dressing room. We rolled large smokes and cracked fresh drinks. And finally after an extended “break” re-appeared on stage. Not to wind down as normal at that juncture, but to re-fire up the piece for a further onslaught. Extending the maelstrom as bloody mindedly as we could.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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sugar

Sugar Stems: Only Come Out At Night (Dirtnap) LP
Betsy, Jon, Steph, and Drew are back with their third and finest album – and this time they’re joined by Andy Harris (ex Goodnight Loving) on organ! “Only Come Out At Night” is the second Sugar Stems album to be released on Dirtnap and follows last year’s wonderful and warmly received “Can’t Wait”. Sugar Stems are still the best power pop band going today, and again the band has delivered a beautifully crafted and immaculately produced collection of songs. Continuing in the direction of “Can’t Wait”, this album finds Betsy’s songwriting reaching new levels of sophistication and maturity. And with the added dimension of keyboards, the band’s sound is fuller and richer than ever. Longtime fans hoping for impossibly catchy melodies and big hooks will not be disappointed in Only Come Out At Night. “The One” and “Radio Heartthrob” will have you wondering aloud why they’re not massive radio hits. And tracks like “Haunted” and “Run Rabbit Run” demonstrate that Sugar Stems can still rock with the best of ‘em. But by no means has the band delivered a mere repeat of previous albums. The ’60s-inspired “Some Might Say” and acoustic “Million Miles” are gorgeous pop gems that pick up where previous masterpieces like “Love You To Pieces” left off. And while “growing up” can sometimes be the death of a pop band, the 1-2 opening punch of “Baby Teeth” and “I Know Where I’m Going” suggests that Sugar Stems are only getting better as their music probes deeper into fully adult themes. Betsy has become a veritable powerhouse on vocals, and the band as a whole has never sounded tighter or more assured. Boasting the band’s most beautiful melodies to date along with near flawless production, Only Come Out At Night will delight existing Sugar Stems fans and attract a whole lot of new ones. Whether you’re a power pop aficionado or a lover of great music in general, this is one you won’t want to miss. Cover art is an original water color painting by Betsy!

File Under: Garage
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surgeon

Surgeon: Basictonalvocabulary (Tresor) LP
Tresor presents a classic repress on vinyl of a seminal album by Surgeon, originally released in 1997. Surgeon fires up his second album release (following 1996’s Communications LP on Downwards) with his first album on Tresor. Basictonalvocabulary expands from Tony’s more dance-oriented 12″releases via more a bstract sound shapes and deft frequency control. Neither total dancefloor nor outright home-listening, this album explores a more nocturnal collage of sound design where rhythms form the underlying framework for subtle twists to accent the sound architecture with depth and feeling. Tony’s work is about universal communication where cultural and social barriers are bridged by personal, raw electronic snapshots set within minimal sonic contexts. Basictonalvocabulary speaks a new global sound language for worldwide interpretation. The machine code is on the tape: open your ears and decipher. Stupefying electro-trance of the most stratospheric order.

File Under: Techno, Electronic
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young

The Young: Chrome Cactus (Matador) LP/CD
Matador are releasing the 3rd album from Austin TX quartet THE YOUNG, ‘Chrome Cactus’. Simply put, their followup to 2012’s ‘Dub Egg’ is nothing short of a monster guitar album, but one that’s always in service to the band’s vastly improved songcraft. In Chrome Cactus, The Young have created a HUGE sounding, timeless rock album that reinforces and revitalizes everything that is great about American Rock Music in 2014. Taking influence from early ZZ Top, Link Wray, Lungfish, Dead Moon – Chrome Cactus is a ball of power and controlled feedback disguised as ten of the catchiest songs you’ll hear this year. Chrome Cactus is a far darker version of Austin’s The Young than ever before. The breezy optimism of their earlier albums has been switched out for sinister, creeping dread in both the lyrics and music. The rhythm section of drummer Ryan Maloney and new bassist Lucas Wedow drive a heavy foundation for guitarists Hans Zimmerman and Kyle Edwards, who have reached dizzying new heights. Expertly produced by fellow sonic assassin Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses, The Fucking Champs), Chrome Cactus is the moment where Zimmerman’s vocal delivery is perfectly matched with the skillful, intuitive interplay, which at this point is fully realized.

File Under: Indie Rock
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total14Various: Total 14 (Kompakt) LP
Double LP version, featuring the seven tracks from the 25-track CD that are exclusive to this compilation. Exciting new tracks from some of Kompakt’s most cherished artists – such as Superpitcher’s dreamy “Delta,” Saschienne’s neon-lit “Horacio Delirium,” the Tobias Thomas and Michael Mayer-helmed “Unter Holzern,” Voigt & Voigt’s cybernetic ditty “Tischlein Deck Dich,” The Modernist’s pop-infused “Die Fette Gazelle and the Hidden Sixpack” and Jürgen Paape’s “Heuriger,” the long-awaited (and slightly insane) follow-up to his Total 10 classic “Ofterschwang,” and the Amsterdam duo’ Weval.

File Under: Techno

under

Various: Under The Influence Volume 4 (Z Records) LP
Double LP version in gatefold sleeve. Features 9 tracks from the 21-track double CD: Jean Adebambo’s “Say That You Love Me” (DJ Nick The Record Re-Edit), Katunga’s Palo Bonito (DJ Nick The Record Re-Edit), Blackway & Helene’s Music for Us (Instrumental), Betty & Beverly Prudhomme’s Tut Tut Twins (DJ Nick The Record Re-Edit), Skye’s Ain’t No Need (DJ Nick The Record Part 1 & 2 Re-united Re-Edit), Boogsie’s Can’t You See Me, M.C. Roscoe’s Feel the Beat (Instrumental) (Nick The Record Minor Tweek Edit), Santth’s Do You Want Me Baby, Like I Want You, and The Family Tree’s 150th Psalm. Following on from the phenomenal success of the Italo House and Remixed with Love compilation plus more Joey Negro-compiled albums including GoGo Get Down, Backstreet Brit Funk, Destination Boogie and the ever-popular Soul of Disco series, Z Records continues to release high-quality compilations filled with lesser-known disco, funk and boogie. Now it’s the return of the highly-regarded Under the Influence series with volume four compiled by Nick The Record. “My whole life has revolved around records. I was buying hip-hop and house in the ’80s as it was released and I got heavily into tracing the steps back through breaks and sample sources that were used in hip-hop records. I also joined the dots between disco & modern club & house music & spread my music explorations from rare groove to rare disco. There were very few people interested in this vein of music history at the time & even fewer as obsessed as me, so when the re-emergence of disco exploded, I was well ahead of the curve, not only in collecting but historical knowledge. The best thing about record collecting is it never ends, and after 35 years of buying, after 25 years of selling & playing records, there is still old stuff to discover & new releases to endeavor to keep up with. So as something of an expert in all things disco I get quite a few offers to release compilations, but as a record obsessive, my natural hoarding mentality makes me cautious to give up the goods. As anyone who’s been aware of my record-selling web site http://www.djfriendy.co.uk over the last 10 years and my paper sales lists (now that’s old school) for more than 10 years preceding, I could easily put together a compilation of the rarest disco & boogie 12″s, and there are, of course, some of those included, but I wanted to share more than that here. I feel this Under the Influence series offers the chance to put together a more personal comp, which reflects the many different flavors of my taste & my collection & gives you a feel of my DJ style at the same time.” –Nick The Record, May 2014

File Under: Soul, Disco

…..restocks…..


Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Arkells: High Noon (Universal) LP
Arkells: Michigan Left (Universal) LP
Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (EMI) LP
James Brown: Raw Soul (Polydor) LP
James Brown: The Popcorn (Polydor) LP
James Brown: Super Bad (Polydor) LP
James Brown: Black Caesar (Polydor) LP
Burzum: The Ways of Yore (Back on Black) LP
Chrome: The Visitation (Cleopatra) LP
Chrome: Half Machine Lip Moves (Cleopatra) LP
Coachwhips: Get Your Body Next Ta Mine (Castleface) LP
Coliseum: s/t (Deathwish) LP
Crime: Murder By Guitar (Superior Viaduct) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Donnie & Joe Emerson: Dreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic) LP
Flower Travellin’ Band: Satori (Phoenix) LP
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get on Down) LP
Lee Hazlewood: LHI Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Imogen Heap: Sparks (RCA) LP
Tim Hecker: Ravedeath 1972 (Kranky) LP
Hollywood Stars: Shine Like A Radio (Last Summer) LP
King Jammy: Dub Explosion (Jamaican) LP
Laraaji: Celestial Music (All Saints) LP
Lewis: L’Amour (Light in the Attic) LP
Lurussia: Industriale… (Hospital) LP
M83: Before The Dawn Heals Us All (Mute) LP
M83: Dead Cities… (Mute) LP
M83: s/t (Mute) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Re-Load (Blackened) LP
Ennio Morricone: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (AMS) LP
The National: High Violet (4AD) LP
Paul Ngozi: The Ghetto Zambia (Shadoks) LP
Nilsson: Pandemonium Shadow Show (Sundazed) LP
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (4AD) LP
Pulp: Different Class (Plain) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP/CD
Silver Apples: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Soul Syndicate: Dub Classics (Jamaican) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Marcos Valle: Previsos Do Tempo (Light in the Attic) LP
Vampires Weekend: Modern Vampires in the City (XL) LP
White Fence: For the Recently Found Innocent (Drag City) LP/CS
White Stripes: De Stijl (Thirdman) LP
White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Thirdman) LP
Wu Tang Clan: s/t (Music on Vinyl) 4LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) LP

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…..news letter #653 – ost heaven…..

Oh boy! A killer week for soundtrack fans! First off one of the best soundtracks of modern times, the epic soundtrack to the Canadian made Beyond the Black Rainbow. And then the soundtrack to the classic anime film Akira! My head nearly exploded receiving these both on the same day, and so can yours!

…..pick of the week…..
btbr.lpjacketOUTstoughton

Sinoia Caves: Beyond The Black Rainbow OST (Jagjaguwar/Death Waltz) LP
Jagjaguwar and Death Waltz Recording Company are excited to announce that they are co-releasing the soundtrack to Panos Cosmatos’ Beyond The Black Rainbow on. This supposed “lost film” from the 1980s is inspired by obscure scifi movies and classic dystopian fiction. Created by Sinoia Caves, the ongoing project of Jeremy Schmidt a disciple of longform cosmic synthesizer soundscape, and member of Canadian psych and prog pioneers Black Mountain the soundtrack draws on inspiration from Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos andJohn Carpenter. Schmidt artfully navigates the various sonic sensibilities of his predecessors, incoporating touchstones such as mellotron choirs, glacial analogue synthesizer pads and arpeggiators. The result is ominously beauitful, otherworldly and terrifying. Housed inside a super glossy Stoughton tip on (Casebound) sleeve, we have managed to get a hold copies of the limited edition pre-order clear vinyl. This is a record collector’s record. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!!

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Prog, OST, Dystopia, Black Mountain
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…..new arrivals…..
 
bug
The Bug: Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) LP
With recent reports from various think tanks predicting we have somewhere in the range of 15 years left before the collapse of society begins, it would seem like Kevin Martin’s sonic predictions of dystopian London that were set out on 2008’s London Zoo were pretty accurate. And if we are in fact declining rapidly to chaos, there’s no better time then the present to take the focus of that sonic assault from earthly domains and blast it to the netherworlds above and below. London Zoo is where Martin, found his true voice. Pulling the fringes into a collective, unilaterally hateful assault. A psychological warfare driven by bass that on one hand captured a moment of London, yet also encapsulated a global message influenced by years of timeless and classic out-music. The latest offering from the The Bug, Angels & Devils, escapes the London cage, drawing on it for influence yet blowing it up into a world-view now seen from Martin’s new Berlin home. A record that simultaneously draws on London Zoo, completes a triptych cycle which started with his Bug debut Pressure, and fills the spaces between and inserts what was missing previously. Both a year zero re-set and a continuation of what has been. Like the Bowie/Eno classic Low, or Can’s Tago Mago, the album is split into two distinct themes and explorations of light & dark. Bringing the Angel & Devil voices together under a single common banner. Antagonist at times, but not solely for the sake of being antagonistic, there’s a beauty and lush sparseness to be found within, even when at its most chaotic. Truly only The Bug could find the common ground between Liz Harris (of Grouper) and Death Grips and make it seamless. Angels & Devils stretches the polarity of its predecessor in both directions simultaneously and is even more extreme for its new found seductiveness and added intensity. Deep space is explored, and physical assault is administered. In these days of YouTube quick fixes, and single tune memory spans, its a joy to witness Martin actually charting a cohesive narrative that rejoices in celebrating life through sonic sex and violence, beauty and ugliness. This is an audio thriller that delights in pursuing its own singular path/vision. With the Angel side(s) up first, things kick off with Liz Harris (of Grouper) in the submerged lushness that is “Void.” Followed by contributions from ex Hype Wiliams half copeland (“Fall”), the blissed out patois of touring partner Miss Red (“Mi Lost”), two truly zoned Bug instrumentals, and rounded out by Gonjasufi on “Save Me/” It’s a collection of heady, dubbed out cinematic blissfulness with a lurking darkness before giving way to devils… Devils leads off with the return of long time collaborator Flowdan on the mic and the guitar of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh / Jesu) bringing a complete about face to the proceedings and setting the tone with “The One.” Roll Deep’s Manga steps up next with the instant Bug classic “Function,” which is being currently smashed on dubplate, by Mala, Kahn and Logan Sama. Death Grips raise the antagonistic bar with “Fuck A Bitch.” Flowdan and Justin Broadrick come back for the cinematic death crawl of “Fat Mac. “Warrior Queen steps in for hands down the nastiest vocal she’s ever delivered (which is saying a lot) for “Fuck You,” and finally Flowdan steps up again to round it all off with a Devils battle cry of sorts “dirty, fuck that murky…” The concept is completed by the artistic expression it’s packaged in, courtesy of Simon Fowler (Cataract). Known for his work for Sunn O))), Earth, and others, Simon has delivered a stunning hand drawn illustration, that sort that would make Bosch proud, showing the duality of the proceedings. Utopian/dystopian, black/white, complexity/singularity, negative/positive…Angels/Devils.
 
File Under: Electronic, Grime, Dancehall
 
castleJennifer Castle: Pink City (Idee Fixe) LP
A collection of intimate reflections on both the internal and external world, Pink City displays a sharpened musical focus showcasing Jennifer’s powers as a writer and performer amidst a new sense of sonic clarity. The reunited production team of Castle, Dave Clarke and Jeff McMurrich invited a host of musical friends to embellish their vision. Owen Pallett provides string arrangements for a number of songs including the cinematic opener Truth is the Freshest Fruit and stirring ballad I’m Like A Gun. Other notable guests include American folk legend Kath Bloom providing inspirational harmonica on side A closer Down River. Throughout the album downtown Toronto’s finest musical stalwarts, such as Ryan Driver (piano,flute), Mike Smith (bass, arrangements), Paul Mortimer (guitar), Jonathan Adjemian (piano and keys) and Brodie West (saxophone), provide stunning support.

File Under: Singer-Songwriter, CanCon
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cfv3
Cleaners From Venus: Living With Victoria Grey (Captured Tracks) LP
The late summer of 1985 was a rather pleasant one for Martin Newell. Now past 30, and sick of being at odds with the London music industry, he decided to give up – not music exactly – but any attempt to make a living from it. Though Newell and his new musical partner Giles Smith continued to casually record and Under Wartime Conditions continued to pick up good reviews, including one in the UK’s Sound magazine, there was no intent to continue on. Yet it was due to this sporadic period of recording that the Cleaners came to, quite nonchalantly, release the cassette Living With Victoria Grey. After sending the nearly unmarked cassette to a few fanzines and selling the cassettes for $2 apiece (or even giving them away), Newell once again forgot about music until a young man named Andy McQueen offered Newell an interesting deal: though there would be little money, he and Smith could record a high quality Cleaners record without the interference of a producer. The two began working on Going to England. Although 7 of the songs from Living With Victoria Grey would appear on the album, the cassette was all but forgotten, the only master copy having been lost. It wasn’t until almost 10 years later that Newell was approached by a man he’d never met before who said, “You sent me this, many years ago and told me to look after it. I did. I thought you’d like it back now.” It was the master copy of Living With Victoria Grey. Over 10 years after its initial, quiet release, Captured Tracks is pleased to present Living With Victoria Grey on vinyl for the first time as part of the final installment of the Cleaners from Venus collection. 

File Under: UK Indie Rock
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cfv2Cleaners From Venus: Number Thirteen (Captured Tracks) LP
Following the release of Living With Victoria Grey, Martin Newell and the Cleaners from Venus once again began taking their musical careers seriously, releasing a few singles and two vinyl LPs. However by late 1988 Newell and bass player Peter Nelson left the band and ended up forming a side project by the name of The Brotherhood of Lizards. After busking and loosely recording some demos, the band was signed to the independent label Deltic Records. Newell and Nelson gained quite a bit of media attention for their guitar driven rock by refusing to tour by anything but bicycle. This generated a lot of attention for the band, but unfortunately Nelson left the band before it could fully come to fruition. What we find in Number Thirteen is a transitional period from Newell. Intended as a demo, the cassette received positive feedback, but ultimately led no where. At 37 years old, Newell reflected upon the almost two decades of hard work and musical activity which had led him to this point. One morning he got up and began to coolly put his instruments away. He turned his small upstairs music studio into a room for books and writing. He decided to turn to the life of gardening that he’d always thought upon. However the simple life of a gardener would not last long. Newell soon found success with his poetry and writing, penning a semi-regular column for London’s Independent, appearing on many TV and radio programs and publishing several collections. Finally, in the autumn of 1992, through another series of connections and coincidences, he was asked if he would like to make a solo album, with none other than XTC’s Andy Partridge in the producer’s chair. The first thing he did, before dusting off his long abandoned instruments, was send Partridge a handful of songs from the Cleaners from Venus’ Number Thirteen cassette. Four of these would eventually form the basis of what became his first solo album and international success, The Greatest Living Englishman. The quartet of songs chosen by Partridge were, “The Jangling Man,” “Home Counties Boy,” “A Street Called Prospect” and “Christmas in Suburbia.” Number Thirteen is one of the many stepping stone releases that have led Martin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus through their storied career. Available for the first time on vinyl, and seeing its first wide release, Captured Tracks is pleased to give you Number Thirteen.
File Under: UK Indie
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cfv1Cleaners From Venus: My Back Wages (Captured Tracks) LP
Considered the “last ever” Cleaners From Venus release, My Back Wages is comprised primarily of songs written in 1992 while Martin Newell was quarantined with the Chickenpox. While some songs made it onto Newell’s The Greatest Living Englishman, many fell into obscurity, never to be released. That is until some 8 years later when long time Cleaners supporters JAR Music Germany, a small DIY label, released a collection entitled My Back Wages. Newell claims to have had no knowledge of the release, but the punning title of the album has his paw prints all over it. After spending the years between 1992 and 2000 focusing on his writing, poetry and gardening, and when the release surfaced in 2000, Newell had little recollection of even sending the songs to his friends at JAR. When Newell heard it, he was surprised to find that musical additions had been made to the tracks, which polished up his spontaneously and sometimes sloppy recording style. Newell felt touched that anyone would be interested, or even care about something which he’d regarded as a rag-bag of demos. Conversely, as a natural musical anarchist, the idea that anyone, anywhere, considered that they knew better than he did, annoyed him. This version of My Back Wages as issued by Captured Tracks, therefore, is Martin Newell’s own ‘producers cut’ of oddities, out-takes and ‘orphan songs’. “Crane Drivers” for instance, was made after a friend with a brand new Roland U20 keyboard, lent it to Newell for two days, challenging him to make a complete song using only the sounds contained within its pre-sets. “Haunt Your House” was a demo written for The Damned, who were short of songs for an album at that time. It was never used. Over 20 years later, Captured Tracks is thrilled to give Newell the chance to release this material on his own terms and put the Cleaners to rest once and for all.

File Under: UK Indie Rock

 
etron fouEtron Fou LeLoublan: Les Troise Fou’s Perdegagnent (Replica) LP
Second album by Etron Fou LeLoublan avant-rock / rock-in-opposition French pioneers. Etron Fou LeLoublan had definitely moved up a notch with this release and things would actually get even better with the next release! Still, this album is quite a juicy steak that will take quite some time to devour with the end results exceeding beyond the initial anticipations.
 
File Under: French, Rock In Opposition, Prog
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godflesh
Godflesh: Decline & Fall (Avalanche) LP
Justin K Broadrick’s most-recognized band, the influential and innovative Godflesh — formed in 1988 with bassist Ben Green, disbanded in 2002, and reformed in 2010. “Decline & Fall” is a 23 minute EP containing four brand new tracks, their first original recordings since 2001’s ‘Hymns’, issued on Broadrick’s Avalanche label.
File Under: Industrial, Metal
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half jap
Half Japanese: Overjoyed (Joyful Noise) LP
One of the most influential bands in rock history, Half Japanese was founded in the bedroom of brothers Jad and David Fair in 1974. Ignoring musical conventions like chords, rhythms, melody, and song structure, the brothers pioneered DIY and lo-fi punk aesthetics simply by being themselves. Passionate, fearless, and relentlessly unique, they self-recorded and self-released recordings by mailing out cassettes with handmade packaging, pressing their own vinyl, and brazenly marketing their music with bizarre magazine ads. This unbridled enthusiasm for the act of creating rock music led them to record dozens of amazing records (including the classic albums 1/2 Gentleman/Not Beasts and Charmed Life), and to inevitably influence countless artists such as Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, Kurt Cobain, and many many more. Their first album in 13 years, Overjoyed, shows the band’s aggressiveness as well as its friendly charisma. Produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, its 12 songs are unlike anything in the bands catalog, each unapologetically positive and surprisingly accessible. Overjoyed contains a deep purity, exceptionally rare amongst “reunion albums.” They neither attempt to recreate their old sound, nor are they aware of current musical trends and conventions. As a result they sidestep common pitfalls and create something new, interesting, and needed.

File Under: Punk, Lo-Fi

 
leon
Craig Leon: Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 (RVNG Intl) LP
Craig Leon’s seminal synthesizer albums Nommos and Visiting are finally re-editioned in definitive form as the Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 for RVNG Intl.’s archival series. Issued respectively by John Fahey’s Takoma record label in 1980 and Leon’s Arbitor private press in 1982, Nommos and Visiting were the twin brainchildren of studio wizard Craig Leon. Leon’s production was pivotal in realizing the debut recordings by Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and Suicide. While those albums broke ground in new worlds of sound, Leon’s own debut album was arguably, if not literally, more alien. In 1973, the Brooklyn Museum hosted a comprehensive collection of sculptures by the Dogon of the Republic of Mali, a tribe whose religion is based in reveries and recollections of a visit from an extraterrestrial species they named Nommos. Years after experiencing the exhibit, Leon remained fascinated by the idea of alien visitors sharing not just stories of their home-planet, but musical traditions as well. For the classically trained Leon, a puzzle was presented and a challenge in place: what would music sound like if handed down from an ancient alien species? And how best to imagine it? Upon meeting Fahey in the late 70s, Leon pitched the concept as an opportune time to employ the latest and greatest synthesizer technology available. An avant empathist and eternally free spirit, Fahey enthusiastically green-lighted the project for his Takoma imprint. After a secluded week in an Austin, Texas studio with his partner, wife and collaborator Cassell Webb, Leon returned with a collection of incorporeal melodies generated by the Oberheim OB-X, Roland JP-4 and Arp 2600 synthesizers propelled by primitive rhythms programmed on a prototype of Roger Linn’s nascent drum-machine, the LM-1. Issued by Fahey with zero expectation of the same radio airplay Leon accomplished with his pop productions, Nommos now stands as an innovative example of cosmic-synth composition that wasn’t made for its time or any other. For this edition, Leon has in fact re-animated Nommos by re-recording the exact audio signals as preserved in the album’s original studio notes. Every patch, tape-delay speed and outboard setting was transcribed as first scored, materializing the best possible audio of an album whose masters were unaccessible to Leon due to a major label merger milieu from years ago. Additionally, the re-master of Visiting was supervised firsthand by Leon. As its title suggests, Visiting materialized in 1982 as a conceptual continuation of Nommos. The album is in equal measure more improvisatory and constructed than its predecessor. Both albums were intended to be listened to as a set in the first volume of Leon’s Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music (the title was an homage to Harry Smith’s influential collection of folk music issued two decades prior). A creative evolutionist, Leon made subtle edits and compositional additions to both albums to enhance the connectivity and encourage infinite interpretation. While reissues and bootlegs have appeared to relieve the demand for these records, this collection will stand as definitive versions authorized by Craig Leon himself. The vinyl edition will be housed in a 2xLP set that includes detailed artwork and two essays by Leon. The first tells the complete story of the stargazing Dogon people and their prescient understanding of cosmology. The second details Leon’s adventure in creating the Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1, an epic story bookended on this side of history as one seamless synth classic.
File Under: Kosmische, Synth, Experimental
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akira1
 
OST: Akira (Victory) 2LP
Victory records release their double LP edition of the soundtrack album for Katsuhiro Otomo’s ‘Akira’, the seminal 1988 Japanese animated cyber-punk film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The dystopian Tokyo the film is set in is perfectly soundtracked by Japanese musical collective Geinoh Yamashirogumi, from the percussive ‘Kaneda’ to the immersive, otherworldly ‘Requiem’. “The Japanese Geinoh Yamashirogumi collective was founded in 1974 by scientist and composer Shoji Yamashiro and gathers over a hundred amateur musicians. As they come from all walks of life, some members of the band have jobs that are far apart from the artistic field, which makes Geinoh Yamashirogumi unique in its kind. It has also been noted for being able to perform different pieces of traditional music from all over the world, while mastering at the same time state-of-the-art technologies available to musicians, and in particular the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) protocol. Symphonic Suite Akira is no doubt the band’s most famous work, owing to the global success of the manga, followed by Katsuhiro Otomo’s animated film adaptation. Released in 1988, this soundtrack is the second part of a mysterious trilogy, Ecophony Rinne being its first part released in 1986, and Ecophony Gaia its second part released in 1990. These unique compositions, which hardly belong to any one style, convey marvelously the landmark manga’s futuristic and post-apocalyptic universe.”

File Under: OST, Anime, Japanese
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akira
OST: Akira (Victory) LP
Single LP version of this killer classic soundtrack. Distilled down to the bare essentials at a somewhat nicer price. “The Japanese Geinoh Yamashirogumi collective was founded in 1974 by scientist and composer Shoji Yamashiro and gathers over a hundred amateur musicians. As they come from all walks of life, some members of the band have jobs that are far apart from the artistic field, which makes Geinoh Yamashirogumi unique in its kind. It has also been noted for being able to perform different pieces of traditional music from all over the world, while mastering at the same time state-of-the-art technologies available to musicians, and in particular the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) protocol. Symphonic Suite Akira is no doubt the band’s most famous work, owing to the global success of the manga, followed by Katsuhiro Otomo’s animated film adaptation. Released in 1988, this soundtrack is the second part of a mysterious trilogy, Ecophony Rinne being its first part released in 1986, and Ecophony Gaia its second part released in 1990. These unique compositions, which hardly belong to any one style, convey marvelously the landmark manga’s futuristic and post-apocalyptic universe.”

File Under: OST, Anime, Japanese

 
captain futureOST: Captain Future (Victory) LP
Yuji Ohno is a Japanese jazz musician born in 1941. He’s principally known for his musical scoring of Japanese anime-television series, of which Lupin III and the feature film The Castle of Cagliostro are his most well known works. Ohno is also well-known as a member of a jazz trio with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Lenny White. Later anime series scored by Ohno include Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, the 1982 series Space Adventure Cobra and this Captain Future: A rare & legendary soundtrack performed by Yuji Ohno & his You & The Explosion Band featuring Takao Naoi, Eiji Arai, Takeru Muraoka, Jake H Concepcion and Pepe Anai. Produced in the late seventies, the famous japanese Space Opera animated series known a great success around the world. This series is based on stories of Edmond Hamilton which were published in the Pulp Magazine between 1940 & 1951. The soundtrack is based on Space Jazz Funk, Smooth Jazz & deep grooves served by the Korg Synthesizer and its particular sound. Titles include Space Jazz Funk tunes Andromeda No Kanata Ni & Kirameku Inner Space, opening & ending theme (Yume No Funanori, Poplar-Doori No Uchi), the songs Oira Wa Sabishii Spacemen & Ok! Captain with the chorus from Sendai.
File Under: OST, Anime, Japanese
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plasmaticsPlasmatics: New Hope For The Wretched (Drastic Plastic) LP
Limited foil-numbered editions of 1,500 on 150-gram opaque yellow vinyl manufactured for pristine sound at Quality Record Pressings. Part art piece, part punk, part metal: The controversial Plasmatics broke taboos and blew the lid off what critics and audiences alike knew as punk music. Incorporating theatrics, barking vocals and a focus on end-of-the-world visions, 1980’s New Hope For the Wretched is a technically solid punk record from a groundbreaking band. Drastic Plastic Records is pleased to present our superb repressing of Plasmatics’ first album in all its chainsaw-guitar-solo glory, along with a poster and insert, recreated from its original release.
File Under: Punk
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pye corner
Pye Corner Audio: Black Mist (Front & Follow) 12″
Front & Follow, in collaboration with The Outer Church, present a stunning new EP from Pye Corner Audio – The Black Mist EP. The EP features an extended mix of the title track Black Mist (the original featured on last year’s Outer Church compilation), new track Bulk Erase and a remix of Black Mist by fellow OC collaborators Old Apparatus.Pye Corner Audio is the audio recovery project of the Head Technician, a mysterious and studious figure who has developed the ability to travel sideways through time and space via a) the use of rewired analogue recording equipment and b) the judicious application of moss and fog. Alongside the self-released Black Mill Tapes research series (recently collected on vinyl and CD by Type Records), the Head Technician has released music through Dekorder, Type, The Tapeworm and Boomkat Editions, not to mention a full-length album, Sleep Games, on Ghost Box. The Head Technician claims not to know where the bodies are buried, but would be happy to show you his reels. Old Apparatus were specially selected by the Head Technician to remix Black Mist, and have turned in a distressed deconstruction in keeping with their rusted iron aesthetic. A collective of shady individuals most often found muttering obscure invocations in the low-rent drinking dens of North East London, their stubbornly uncategorisable sound debuted in 2011 with a hissing, creaking self-titled 12″ on Mala’s esteemed Deep MEDi label. Their debut album, Compendium, was released on their own Sullen Tone label in 2013. The outfit has in addition birthed a number of intriguing offshoots such as Harem, Saa and Penny. One of them may be standing behind you right now, reading this over your shoulder. Don’t look.Much imitated but never equalled, The Outer Church is a shadowy Brighton-based organisation dedicated to the promotion of uncanny sound and vision. Its semi-human representative is music writer and persistent meddler Joseph Stannard (The Wire, Mojo, Red Bull Music Academy, The Quietus etc). Since its inception in 2009, The Outer Church has presented live audiovisual performances from Demdike Stare, Raime, Pye Corner Audio, Some Truths, Ekoplekz, Kemper Norton, Hacker Farm, Umberto, High Wolf, Grumbling Fur and many, many more. “Magnum Innominandum. A random access myth. The clarion signals the opening of the portal. Remember to take a reading. A hex and a pox and the land is ours.”

File Under: Electronic
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zammuto
Zammuto: Anchor (Temporary Residence) LP
Following the dissolution of his groundbreaking collage-pop duo, the Books, Zammuto rebounded with an eponymous debut album submerged in transitional anxiety and audio effects designed to intentionally obscure the very humanistic qualities that marked Nick Zammuto’s best work in the Books. It was in many ways the most essential album of his career, in that it established his post-Books path and introduced him to a new group of musicians (most notably renowned percussionist Sean Dixon) who have immeasurably contributed to the creative inspiration and execution of his most compelling work to date, the aptly titled Anchor. An enormous weight has been lifted from Nick Zammuto, and you can hear as much in the opening minutes of Anchor. The arrangements have more space, the songs are more dynamic, and the vocals are delivered with a confident intimacy that is almost alarmingly beautiful (the collaborations with the enchanting Daniela Gesundheit of Canadian indie-pop duo Snowblink are particularly transcendent). Written, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely at home in Zammuto’s converted tractor garage recording studio (pictured on the front cover) using an expanding array of vintage analog outboard equipment, Anchor embodies the very DIY lifestyle and self-sufficient approach that has come to define all that is Zammuto. His is a rarified art made on its own terms – far away from the insular feedback loop of trend cycles and commodified expectations. His home is his anchor, and Anchor is his home.

File Under: Electronic, The Books
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…..restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Sam Cooke: The Wonderful World of… (Doxy) LP
Mike Cooper: Trout Steel (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Mike Cooper: Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co… (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Death: For The Whole World to See (Drag City) LP
Faith No More: The Real Thing (Music on Vinyl) LP
Harmonia: Deluxe (Lilith) LP
Mayhem: Esoteric Warfare (Season of Mist) LP
Ministry: Twitch (Music On Vinyl) LP
Modest Mouse: Good News… (Epic) LP
Mr. Bungle: Disco Volante (Music on Vinyl) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island (Merge) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In An Aeroplane over the Sea (Merge) LP
Nilsson: Aerial Ballet (Sundazed) LP
William Onyeabor: Who Is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop) LP
Pink Mountaintops: Get Back (Jagjaguwar) LP
Django Reinhardt: Anthology (Not Now) LP
Sensation’s Fix: Music is Painting in the Air (ReRVNG Intl) LP
SNFU: Never Trouble Trouble Until… (Cruz) LP
Swans: To Be Kind (Young God) 3LP
Sharon Van Etten: Are We There (Jagjaguwar) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrink Dust (Flemish Eye) LP
War On Drugs: Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Capsoul Label (Numero) LP
Various: N.Y.C. Hardcore (Revelation) LP

Tagged , , , ,

…..news letter #652 – happy b-day pa!…..

Hm… what a week! Tons of great stuff in! Sadly, the album I was planning on flogging as the Pick of the Week sold out before I even put it on the shelf. But really that just saves me from having 2 picks this week, although really, I could easily just pick 5, that’d be much easier. Anyway, lots for you to digest today, and lots for me to still do, so……

…..pick of the week…..
heldon

Heldon: Allez-teia (Superior Viaduct) LP
Allez-Téia, the second album by French guitarist Richard Pinhas under the Heldon moniker, was originally released in 1975 on the artist’s own Disjuncta imprint. Far from the band’s prog-tinged trio lineup, Allez-Téia features a menagerie of guitars, Mellotron and analog synthesizers.  While opening track “In the Wake of King Fripp” pays homage to King Crimson in its title, the album’s heady textures and rhythmic meditations are more reminiscent of the German Kosmiche movement (Cluster, Harmonia, et al.) and post-rock experimentalists, such as Jim O’Rourke and Gastr del Sol. Acoustic guitar even makes a rare appearance—on the beautiful and melancholy “Aphanisis.” With front cover artwork depicting the events of May ’68 in Paris (by renowned photojournalist Gilles Caron), these dark ambient sounds make Allez-Téia perhaps the most revolutionary release in Heldon’s influential catalogue, foreshadowing Pinhas’s incredible solo work for decades to come.

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

bahamas

Bahamas: Is Alfie
(Brushfire) LP

In tomorrow! Follow up to hugely succesful ‘Barchords’ album from this epic Canadian musician, having played for hit acts such as Feist, Howie Beck, Jason Collett, Jack Johnson, The Weather Station, and Zeus, to name a few. Afie Jurvanen isn’t from the Bahamas. He’s a Finnish-Canadian from Barrie–a working class town in rural Ontario. But his chosen epithet is fitting. Since 2009 he’s been making music under the name Bahamas–writing songs about sunsets, love affairs, and making out with crooked smiles. Through simple arrangements, he charts an escape route from the snow belt to the coral reefs.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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coffey

Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs: Gates of Hell (Southpaw) LP
From countryesque ballads, to power-pop anthems, to straightforward punk rippers…and everywhere in between: Sam Coffey is no stranger to evolution or variety. With Gates Of Hell the band finally unloads an agglomeration of it all! This is their first proper full-length, and it’s bound to explode power-pop hearts everywhere! Four of the more anthemic tracks were recorded by Ben Cook of Fucked Up and Young Guv fame (among a slew of other projects). Coffey tracked the rest of the record himself as the band grew into their own. A serious lineup change from a four piece to a six piece, and a move from the scenic views of Waterloo, ON to the more bustling streets of Toronto, ON have proven to be positive exercises for Coffey’s songwriting. Gates Of Hell finds the band successfully crossing the sounds of The Exploding Hearts and Thomas Function while Coffey plays ringleader, bellowing the band forward with a Strummeresque yowl. Mixing the classic overblown power-pop of a group like Cheap Trick with the updated simplistic sound of the current garage-rock explosion isn’t an easy task, but Coffey n Co. pull it off seamlessly. AND don’t for a minute think this is your dad’s teenage puppy-love power-pop record: Coffey is the next demonic denizen bound to melt your face (and heart) with happily haunting melodies and emotionally charged deliveries. The title says it all “Gates Of Hell”. For fans of The Nerves, The Dentists, The Exploding Hearts and The Romantics. LP includes digital download code.

File Under: Punk, Power Pop, CanCon
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balls

Coloured Balls: Heavy Metal Kid (Desperate) LP
1974’s Heavy Metal Kid is a true proto-punk slab of dynamite, right up there with similar recordings by the likes of the MC5 and the Pink Fairies. Featuring a mix of growling punkers (the title track, ‘Private Eye’), ’50s rockers (a cover of ‘(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care,’ ‘Need Your Love’), hi-energy boogie (‘Do It’, ‘Dance To The Music’), cosmic rock (‘Back To You,’ ‘Metal Feathers’) and even a ballad in there, it’s an eclectic mix held together by its outlaw sense of purpose. Along with , Ball Power, Heavy Metal Kid is THEE sound of the great Sharpie stomp of 1970s Melbourne. This edition on Desperate is fully licensed from Lobby Lloyde’s estate, expertly remastered by Aztec Records’ Gil Matthews from the original tapes (it sounds amazing) and comes housed in an exact replica of the original gatefold sleeve with a heavy-duty tip-on cover, as well as an insert with lyrics and decorative obi strip. It’s pressed on high-quality 180-gram vinyl. In other words: this limited edition is the one to get.

File Under: Aussie Punk, Hard Rock
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com truise

Com Truise: In Decay (Ghostly) LP
In Decay provides a fascinating alternative routemap for the idiosyncratic journeys of New Jersey producer Seth Haley – aka Com Truise – through the history of electronic music. A compilation of unreleased, early recordings, In Decay encompasses 13 tracks that have previously been either only available as demos online or are entirely unheard tracks dating from before Haley’s official releases – his debut Cyanide Sisters EP, its follow-up full-length Galactic Melt, and last year’s Fairlight EP. While the ’80s-influenced synth sounds, rubbery basslines and sci-fi flavors that inform Haley’s later work are in full effect here, they’re assembled in manners different enough to make this both a fine record in its own right, and also a fascinating insight into the development of the distinctive Com Truise sound. It also finds the producer exploring a number of facets of that sound, from 8-bit influenced experimentalism to distinctly danceable beats – often within the confines of the same track. “Controlpop,” for instance, announces itself with an intro that sounds like a Commodore 64 being hit with a hammer, but resolves into slow liquid synthfunk that recalls Galactic Melt highlights like “VHS Sex” and “Flightwave.” Its slow-burning dance vibe is shared by several other tracks – “Colorvision” and “Yxes,” amongst others – while elsewhere, Haley drops the tempo and channels the psychedelic cosmic meanderings of forebears like Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh. Dreambender” sounds like it should be soundtracking a voyage into uncharted digital innerspace, while “Video Arkade” cruises along on a woozy rising-and-falling synthline that’s like drifting on some sort of virtual reality rollercoaster. Like all Haley’s work, it’s like stepping into a strange, digital parallel world – a place constructed out of sounds both immediately familiar and yet somehow rendered thoroughly fresh, and a place that’s worth staying for quite some time.

File Under: Electronic, Down Tempo
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crime

Crime: Murder By Guitar (Superior Viaduct) LP
San Francisco’s first and only rock n’ roll band, Crime loomed over the entire Mabuhay Gardens scene with their blistering 1976 single “Hot Wire My Heart.” Crime’s loose, damaged rock n’ roll was as immediate as it was controversial. They were Punk by any definition, yet shunned the label with a guttersnipe sneer. Their meticulously cultivated aesthetic of S&M graphics and police uniforms produced some of the era’s most indelible imagery. One of their finest moves was playing in the San Quentin prison yard.  Formed by guitarists/vocalists Johnny Strike and Frankie Fix, Crime enlisted bassist Ron The Ripper and drummers Ricky “Tractor” Williams (later of The Sleepers), Brittley Black, and Hank Rank. Joey D’Kaye later joined on keyboards and bass duties.  For the first time, this LP release collects the sick energy of Crime’s three singles along with nine previously unreleased studio recordings from 1976 to 1980. The visceral churn and unwieldy leads on tracks like “Frustration” and “Piss On Your Dog” make Murder By Guitar the definitive statement from this prescient American underground band.

File Under: Punk
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dead c

Dead C: The Twelfth Spectacle (Grapefruit) 4LP
A follow-up to last year’s immense Armed Courage is not easy, but The Twelfth Spectacle comes as close as anyone could hope. This four-LP set collects live recordings from the past decade by a band whose infrequent performances have become part of their legend. Captured herein is THE Dead C at their most dynamic, oblique, challenging and consuming. Each disc has its own title and origin. To wit:

 * Arena: Recorded at La Dynamo Pantin, Paris, and Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels, April 2013
* Permanent LSD: Recorded at Luminaire, London, December 2006
* This Century Sucks: Recorded at The Smell, Los Angeles, March 2002
* Year of the Rat: Recorded at The Swap Meet, New York, October 2008

This is a retail version of the Grapefruit Records subscription-only version released via mail order, and is only available in stores. The set comes bagged together in brown cardboard jackets, each one stamped and marked. Limited to 80 copies. 

File Under: Experimental, Legends, Live

demdike6

Demdike Stare: Testpressing 006 (Modern Love) LP
Demdike Stare unleash the 6th installment in their ongoing Testpressing series, a split session focusing on damaged dancefloor articulations on the A-side, and demented metal edits on the flip. “40 Years Under the Cosh” finds Demdike in feisty form, re-framing the bare-boned floor-bound funk of classic Artwork and Anthony Shakir within more brutal parameters. “Frontin'” heads somewhere else entirely once again, unloading an agitated, freeze-framed metal loop and turning it into a barely-contained bass-and-drums session that, unsurprisingly, sounds like nothing you’ll have heard from this lot before.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial

wildstyle

Kenny Dope: Presents Wild Style Breakbeats (Kay-Dee) 7×7″ Box
“Kay-Dee Records, the online store and label owned and operated by Kenny Dope, takes things to the next level with the debut of its ‘Book Series.’ Kenny’s vision for Kay-Dee’s first book was to create a premium set with a mix of well-known and never-before-seen ‘Wild Style’ photos, in addition to liner notes detailing the stories behind the music of one of his favorite films. Teaming up with Get On Down, the record label and online boutique dedicated to presenting and celebrating music with unique packaging and exclusive extras, the two have come together to release this impressive and historically-significant musical trophy item: The Wild Style Breakbeats. The book features the following elements: 13 songs total, spread out over seven “big hole” 45s (each with a different label color); re-EQed audio with re-edited / extended audio versions of each song, modified from original source tapes; extensive liner notes in a 28-page book, including dozens of images — from ‘Wild Style’ director Charlie Ahearn, among other sources — as well as interviews with Fab 5 Freddy, Chris Stein and GrandWizzard Theodore; the 14th side (the B-side of the seventh 45) features unique etchings with different ‘Wild Style’ graphics; unique ‘Kay-Dee Casebook’ packaging — all seven 7-inches fit into a book as self-contained pages.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Breaks
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dorji

Tashi Dorji: s/t (Hermit Hut) LP
Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Access to any music created outside the country is limited, as are most cultural options, given the geologically isolation of the country. How Dorji went from a life so remote to developing his innovative and revelatory guitar style is mind-boggling. Yearning for access to the world outside, Dorji pursued and obtained a fully-paid scholarship to a liberal arts school in Asheville, NC, in his early twenties. He’s since settled in there (save a short stint in Maine), soaking up a vast array of music, most notably the works of Derek Bailey and John Zorn. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world. After a handful of cassettes on various labels, Dorji presents his first proper album on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and inspired by spreading word of Dorji’s talents. The six compositions here are hand-picked by Dorji and Chasny as the most representative and far-reaching of his recordings. Taken together, they announce a new guitar music unlike anything being made today.

File Under: Solo Guitar, Improv
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fontaineBrigitte Fontaine: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Never one to settle on a single musical style, Brigitte Fontaine followed up her debut, Est…Folle, and her astonishing collaboration with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Comme à la Radio, with the most eclectic release of her lengthy career, 1972’s Brigitte Fontaine. It is telling that Fontaine chose an eponymous title for her third album, the sole release from her venerable ’70s catalogue attributed to her alone. Here the actress-cum-singer has finally arrived. From the introspective opening track, simply named “Brigitte,” seductive melodies perfectly hang above slithery bass lines and acoustic strumming. On “Moi Aussi,” a sparse and trance-like duet with long-time collaborator Areski, Fontaine muses, “They put me in a cage and after they told me ‘You fly down.’” Brigitte Fontaine is an unmatched European art-pop masterpiece anchored by both vocal and lyrical dexterity—in many ways, Fontaine’s most compelling work and an excellent entry point for those unfamiliar with this unique French icon.

File Under: French, Art Pop
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grateful

Grateful Dead/John Oswald: Grayfolded (Important) 3LP
Here it is, Deadheads, the ultimate “Dark Star” is now on vinyl. Deluxe audiophile pressing cut in Toronto under the watchful ears of John Oswald. Heavy-duty triple gatefold jacket includes liner-notes by musicologist Rob Bowman featuring interviews with Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Robert Hunter, plus two “time maps” which chart the source concerts of “Dark Star.” Music performed by The Grateful Dead (c) Grateful Dead Productions Inc. & Ice Nine Publishing Inc. Taken from over 100 performances of “Dark Star” recorded between 1968 and 1993. Built, layered and “folded” to produce one large, new re-composed “Dark Star.” Original recordings of the Grateful Dead in performance have been processed using Plunderphonic techniques.

File Under: Psych, Grateful Dead, Jam
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grosskopf1

Harald Grosskopf: Synthesist (Bureau B) LP
“Harald Grosskopf was in his early twenties when LSD ‘blew [his] reality away,’ as he recalls. Born in Hildesheim in 1949, he had previously drummed in fairly conventional rock bands, most recently for Wallenstein. Their label-boss Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser was fond of facilitating jam sessions for musicians on his Ohr und Pilz label, often supplying his ‘cosmic couriers’ with LSD (unbeknown to them, on occasion). In one such session, the drug inspired something of an epiphany in Grosskopf: ‘There I was playing the drums when, in the midst of my euphoria, I realized that I had been imitating other drummers. Suddenly a voice spoke to me: stop trying to sound like Billy Cobham or Ginger Baker. From that moment on I felt liberated, free to drum without having to shine in a particular role.’ Having discovered his own musical identity, Harald Grosskopf understood that a standard rock combo was not the ideal conduit through which to express it. Grosskopf: ‘I was completely in thrall to electronic music and the total freedom that it offered. This was the music I wanted to create. I knew it would be a success, the energy levels were so high.’ Grosskopf consequently left Wallenstein. ‘I fell into a hole at first, wondering what I was going to do. So I sold my prized drum kit and used the money to buy a guitar, amp and echo device.’ A few days later, the doorbell rang. It was Manuel Göttsching, on his way back to Berlin from a tour of France. They knew each other from Berlin’s electronic scene and recording sessions for the likes of Ash Ra Tempel. Göttsching invited Grosskopf to sign up for his new project Ashra and the rest is history: Ashra (Grosskopf, Gottsching, Lutz Ulbrich alias Luul) released a series of successful albums in the years that followed. It was not until the summer of 1979, however, that he finally felt ready to release a solo album. Synthesist comprises eight instrumentals, recorded largely by Grosskopf on his own. His melodies, carried along by synthesizers and drums, were reminiscent of works by Berlin electronic friends such as Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, as well as those ‘cosmic’ sessions of the early 1970s — yet each melody retains a unique timbre. Synthesist is thus regarded as a classic by electronic music enthusiasts all over the world, evoking a thrilling musical era of the past with equal capacity to excite today.” –Christoph Dallach

File Under: Kosmische, Krautrock, Electronic
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grosskopf

Harald Grosskopf: Oceanheart (Bureau B) LP
“Tired of the rock format and excited by the freedoms promised by electronic music, Harald Grosskopf quit Wallenstein, a conventional rock band, in the mid-’70s to turn his attention to electronica. Grosskopf thus became the first drummer to specialize in the electronic music field. He played drums on Klaus Schulze’s Body Love album and on YOU’s Electric Day. When Manuel Göttsching from Ash Ra Tempel asked him if he would consider enrolling as the regular drummer in the group now rechristened Ashra, he did not need to think about it for long. Grosskopf changed course again in the ’80s, this time in pursuit of commercial success: he played in the NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle) group Lilli Berlin and backed Joachim Witt on his best-selling Silberblick LP, which featured the hit ‘Goldener Reiter.’ Sky, the record company, were more than a little disappointed with the performance of Grosskopf’s first solo effort Synthesist, so there was no great sense of urgency as far as its successor was concerned. ‘They even halved my advance!’ Grosskopf recalls. Oceanheart was released some six years after Synthesist. ‘The album title reflects my love of transcendental meditation, of course it might be taken for watery esoterics.’ (A similar vibe was evident in the cover art, hence fresh artwork has been created for the reissue). Musical equipment for the production was limited by the label’s ongoing thrift program. The first Oceanheart recordings took place ‘under the roof’ in the Lilli Berlin Studio, Kreuzberg. They were completed at the Spandauer Studio by former Tangerine Dream member Christoph Franke. ‘We mixed everything down and recorded the drums there.’ Harald Grosskopf again played everything himself, except for the tablas. In keeping with its predecessor, Oceanheart was no best-seller, but, like Synthesist, it attained cult status, rediscovered in recent years through the internet by a younger generation. Harald Grosskopf himself needed time to appreciate the work: ‘I only really discovered the musical quality of Oceanheart years later. I finally realized that I had created something quite special.'” –Christoph Dallach

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
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gruppo

Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consananza: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Considered the first collective of experimental composers, Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza formed in 1964 in Rome to chase the expressive potential of live improvisation to its furthest reaches. Led by Franco Evangelisti, Gruppo also included Ennio Morricone before he found fame composing soundtracks. The ensemble advanced the innovations of 20th century avant-garde in laboratory-like studio settings where the intuitive interplay between members flourished. Before 1976’s benchmark release, Musica Su Schemi, Gruppo recorded this eponymous album in 1973. Whether the passages are jarring or soothing, clamorous or silken, the ensemble retains astounding organic coherence. An ultra-rare entry in Gruppo’s formidable discography, Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza is finally reissued for the first time ever.

File Under: Italian, Improv, Avant Garde, Morricone
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fridays

Lee Hazlewood: Friday’s Child (1972) LP
Riding the crest of successive hit-making for Duane Eddy, Sanford Clark, Dean Martin and Nancy Sinatra, the ever-industrious Lee Hazlewood still found time to release his excellent third solo album in 1965. His second solo recording for the Reprise label, Friday’s Child indulges his signature country-pop flare and pioneering use of vocal reverb. With electric guitar leads, harp and female backup vocals, the album finds Hazlewood embellishing his arrangements, though some of its strongest moments draw their impact only from his rich timbre. Some artists develop their voice for years; Hazlewood’s third album proves it was an innate and irrevocable gift. Weepy guitar leads kick off the title track and Hazlewood takes up the story of twinkling sorrow and bad luck. He often speckles pain with humor, but “Friday’s Child” is one of his most purely somber ballads. Elsewhere, with finger snaps, sparse backup vocals and Hazlewood’s emotive intonation, the intro of “Houston” alone could carry on entirely a cappella and still endure as a classic. The composition made a hit for Dean Martin, but the Friday’s Child version shows Hazlewood’s inimitable skill as a vocal stylist. Mostly lacking the dada-esque humor of his first two albums, Friday’s Child places Hazlewood in league with the era’s greatest traditional songwriters, though one for whom pop conventions were to be bucked and cast aside.

File Under: Country, Pop
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lovecrimes

Lee Hazlewood: Love & Other Crimes (1972) LP 
Originally released in 1968 on Reprise, Lee Hazlewood’s Love and Other Crimes merges countrified balladry and lounge styling with light psychedelic pop touches. Perhaps relaxing after his mid-decade semi-stardom as Nancy Sinatra’s foil, the devout Europhile decamped to Paris and assembled an ace backing band of fabled “Wrecking Crew” sessions players to record Love and Other Crimes. His stream-of-consciousness notes on the LP’s back cover suggest Parisian days and nights of endless revelry and debauched excess in a land of unfamiliar languages and customs, but the music is high-class and impeccably performed—another contradictory Hazlewoodism to mark the man’s unique career. The lounge atmospherics of “She’s Funny That Way” find Hazlewood’s voice deep and resonant, piano runs skittering between each of his lines. At the last minute, the entire band ascends to a booming, ecstatic release, while Hazlewood vows to drown in his own tears. “Rosacoke Street” is a sleazy blues ballad about a host of restless characters, and “She Comes Running” pairs Hazlewood’s voice with gusts of harpsichord. On “Pour Man,” his voice descends to seemingly impossible depth, while “Morning Dew” treats the standard to a rollicking up-tempo arrangement of swells and bursts. Hazlewood reinforced his own enigmatic mythology even more after Love and Other Crimes, treating all of Europe as his stomping grounds. Love and Other Crimes places Hazlewood at the helm of an incredible ensemble, and synthesizes a bit of everything he lent to others as a producer. The result: one of the most diverse and consummate albums of his singularly eclectic and often confounding career.

File Under: Country, Pop
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nsvip

Lee Hazlewood: The N.S.V.I.P.’s (1972) LP
Lee Hazlewood’s partnership with Reprise Records in the 1960s resulted in timeless hits for Dean Martin and Nancy Sinatra. Throughout the decade, though, the label also released three of the artist’s most highly regarded solo works: The N.S.V.I.P.’s, Friday’s Child and Love and Other Crimes.  Hazlewood’s 1964 sophomore album The N.S.V.I.P.’s (Not So Very Important People) is the perfect companion to his classic debut, Trouble Is a Lonesome Town, released the year prior. Setting his signature spoken intros to a new cast of small town eccentrics (perhaps modeled on his childhood locale in Mannford, Oklahoma), this early career high-point presents Hazlewood with all of his singular assets already intact: playful lyrics veering toward the bizarre, wry delivery and wonderfully understated pop-country song craft. “First Street Blues” opens The N.S.V.I.P.’s with the saga of Leroy, the once-irascible dragon who converts to a cheerful wino. The small-town drunkard’s likely story merges with fantastic whimsy in Hazlewood’s strange world. Elsewhere, he waxes absurd on “I Had a Friend” about Tarzan’s deficiencies as a citizen and marital prospect for Jane. He even imparts some simple wisdom about the presidential election on “Save Your Vote for Clarence Mudd.” As always, Hazlewood’s tongue is firmly rooted in cheek. Still, it’s easy to just forget that and live inside the poignant songs he creates for each and every one of the not so very important, but absolutely riveting, people—and dragons, too.

File Under: Country, Pop
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holter

Julia Holter: Tragedy (Domino) LP
The much anticipated Domino vinyl re-issue of Tragedy – the hugely celebrated, long out-of-print and intensely coveted debut album by Los Angeles based artist Julia Holter. Originally released in two runs of five hundred copies only on Los Angeles label Leaving Records in November 2011, Tragedy proved to be that year’s most captivating, adventurous and inspired debut album and announced the arrival of a major new talent. Inspired by Euripides’ Hippolytus, the sheer scope and scale of ambition evident in Tragedy’s fifty minutes is staggering. Comprised of voice, synths, drum machines, piano, cello, saxophone, samples, vocoders, ensemble musicians and a chorus, Tragedy is a transcendental amalgamation of avant garde and pop conventions and of organic and electronic compositional forms – an entire universe of a record blessed with its own beautifully peculiar logic.

File Under: Indie, Ethereal, Pop
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inryo

Inryo-Fuen: Early Works 1980-1982 (EM) LP
Innersleeve with liner notes and lyrics, as well as photos. With this release, EM Records shine a light into the dark and yet strangely uplifting world of Inryo-fuen’s early ’80s wonderland: a surreal, adventurously analog, positively negative realm of freedom. Following the EM Records release of Inryo-fuen’s enigmatic Ho-aku (EM 1125CD), Early Years 1980-82 collects the band’s earliest recordings, originally released on flexi and vinyl, here re-edited, re-mixed and remastered. With enlightening notes by band member Jun Harada providing historical background and recording information, stressing their love of improvisation and their ongoing quest for liberation, this is a landmark release, offering a glimpse into a hitherto inaccessible netherworld of the Tokyo/Yokohama post-punk underground. The music here, all improvised, with many of the pieces recorded live, have an edge-of-the-world electricity, informed by the group’s fascination with the Surrealist idea of Automatic Writing. The launch point is a brutalist, knuckle-dragging Conrad/Faust thug-riff featuring the hectoring rants of a stage-invading student activist, dramatically melded with the music by the sound engineer. From there we traverse manifold realms, variously propulsive and static, dense and pointillistic, threatening and whimsical, opaque and translucent. Inryo-fuen’s searching use of the basic rock instrumentation of drums, bass and guitar is augmented with keyboards and, on one piece, acoustic instrumentation. No overdubs, no vocals. Only sound and freedom.

File Under: Japanese, Post Punk, Experimental
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jefferies

Peter Jefferies: Electricity (Superior Viaduct) LP
Peter Jefferies (This Kind of Punishment) released his brilliant sophomore album Electricity in 1994. While his solo debut, 1990’s The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World, has drawn comparisons to classic singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and Townes Van Zandt, Electricity is a far more sparse and nocturnal affair. Jefferies’ earthy baritone weaves between piano, guitar, cello and analog tape machine noise, pulling in listeners to the deep pastoral life of his music.  With guest appearances from heavyweights in the New Zealand music scene (Straitjacket Fits’ Shayne Carter, Plagal Grind’s Robbie Muir and the Dead C’s Bruce Russell), Electricity has garnered a cult following among fans, yet the songs possess a singular quality—every note, utterance and flourish reflect back to Jefferies alone. The simple arrangements, in particular on ballads such as “By Small Degrees,” convey fiercely intimate moments as well as Jefferies’ tremendous range and playfulness as a writer.  This first-time vinyl reissue includes four bonus tracks from 1992’s Swerve EP and is highly recommended for fans of Flying Nun Records, John Cale and Jim Shepard. After 20 years, now is the time to revisit the groundbreaking work of this New Zealand legend.

File Under: New Zealand, Flying Nun
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dkilgour

David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights: End Times Undone (Merge) LP
End Times Undone, the latest album from David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, was recorded in his native New Zealand between 2012 and 2014, but that’s a bit misleading. The album took so long to finish only because Kilgour assembled his bandmates every four or five months, and then only for a couple days at a time. And when they convened, the tape was rolling almost from the start. It’s the perfect way for Kilgour to operate these days, more than 30 years into a career that is equally compelling, consistent, and influential. From his first recordings with The Clean, the iconic band who remain active and whose legend deservedly grows mightier every year, Kilgour has had a distinct sound that has inhabited all of his albums and sounds fresh with every new release. Over just ten songs, End Times Undone offers a robust sampling of all the various styles Kilgour has mastered over the last three decades. For an album that comes so late in one’s career, it’s a surprisingly convenient entry point into Kilgour’s body of work. And to talk about a Kilgour album without talking about the guitar playing would be irresponsible. He has always been an understated guitar hero, playing with an efficient elegance, equally adept at heady drones or twinkling solos. The interplay with de Raad accounts for highlights on every track. End Times Undone will be released shortly after a reissue of The Clean’s Anthology, a 46-track set that serves as the band’s defining document that can attest to their pantheon status. End Times Undone is a perfect companion piece to that collection that left off in 1996, and in many ways feels like it could have simply been the next album helmed by Kilgour instead of one that comes nearly 20 years later. That’s what happens when you have an artist so comfortable with his sound and approach that you just turn on the amps and start playing.

File Under: New Zealand, The Clean, Flying Nun
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hkilgour

Hamish Kilgour: All of it and Nothing (Ba Da Bing) LP/CD
Incredibly, after all his work as a founding member of both The Clean and The Mad Scene, Hamish Kilgour has never released a proper solo album of his own, until now. Fans of his work over the years will no doubt be pleased with this debut release. All of It and Nothing is an ode to the power of jangle, highlighting Kilgour’s innate ability to both gleam the melodic cube and let the choogle of a chord progression ride itself to greatness. Written and recorded in collaboration with Gary Olson, who captured the album at his Marlborough Farms studio and accompanies Kilgour on some songs, the album carries a distinct hushed intimacy, full of soft-spoken phrases and light guitar play that belie the power of the music it provides.

File Under: New Zealand, The Clean, Flying Nun
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gizzardKing Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Float Along – Your Lungs/Oddments (Flightless) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard crank up the fuzzbox and set the Memory Man delay on infinity, assembling a cosmic force field that draws their sonic creations of the recent past into one unified, throbbing whole. Housed in a gatefold jacket for special release in the USA, this compilation features the truly intergalactic Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (dateline September 2013) together with its sister album Oddments (dateline Match 2014). The Melbourne, Australia, seven-piece just finished their maiden North American tour, including a run of club dates along with appearances at Austin Psych Fest, Canadian Music Week and a slot at Northside Festival alongside Thee Oh Sees, Mac Demarco, Omar Souleyman and more. The remainder of King Gizzard’s American vacation saw them holed up in Sky Lodge in the Catskills for a month, recording what will be their sixth LP (tentatively scheduled for early 2015 release). They have also just recorded their fifth LP at Daptone in Brooklyn, due out at the end of 2014. The band return to Australia for the rest of the summer before heading back Stateside in October to open a White Fence tour, and then a European tour in November, including a slot at the Iceland Airwaves Festival. In short, there is no slowing this band down. Float along and fill your ears.  

File Under: Psych, Rock, Australia
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kivelMatt Kivel: Days of Being Wild (Woodsist) LP
Days of Being Wild was recorded over the course of six weeks in the summer of 2013 with Paul Oldham in a small detached shed in Los Angeles. The album art features original drawings by Max Markowitz. “I had worked with Paul on the last record I did, 2013’s Double Exposure, and I was lucky because he decided to move to LA right after that record was finished. My friend Brian Cosgrove has this house in the Echo Park hills, kind of a punk house where everyone who lives in it plays in bands. It’s got a front porch with a refrigerator on it and it’s got a one room shed in the back where bands rehearse. A lot of bands have rehearsed there over the years. Paul and I started meeting there over the summer and I would buy Paul beer. We drank whiskey on the first day, but I think we both got too drunk to do anything productive—well, at least I did, Paul’s from Kentucky, so he has an even higher threshold—so we switched to beer and things went smoothly from then on. I played most of the instruments, Paul played bass, and my friend David Kitz joined in on drums for two of the harder songs. Paul told me some great stories about all of the musicians he’s worked with over the years. He even told me the secret to I See a Darkness—Bunny Wailer’s ‘Blackheart Man.’ Supposedly he and Will were listening to that a lot when they made that record— one of my favorites. So, I started listening to it myself. It’s fantastic. When I wrote these songs I was trying to do something that felt more social, something that reached out a little bit more to other people and that’s why there are more drums on it. People like to rock! I also wanted to use more electric guitar. I was listening to the radio a lot at this time. I was really sick of my record collection and I started listening to the classic rock stations and for the first time I really started enjoying that music—Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, The Cars, Fleetwood Mac—I was really feeling that stuff. My friend Eric Deines told me that some of the songs feel like ‘super-minimal, outsider transmissions of “Jesse’s Girl”’ and I kind of like that. Todd Ledford from Olde English Spelling Bee was also very helpful after the recording was done. He was the first person I sent these songs to and he gave me a lot of good advice about mixing and recording and life. He thinks there are a few potential hits on this album … but which ones? I guess we’ll have to watch the Billboard charts to find out.” —Matt Kivel

File Under: Rock, Folk, Psych
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fela4

Fela Kuti: Confusion (Knitting Factory) LP
1974 – This epic Afrobeat album contains just one eponymous track clocking in at just over 25 minutes in length, and beginning with a mysterious and psychedelic musical interplay between Fela on organ and Tony Allen on drums. As the song takes on a righteously funky groove, Fela evokes the chaos of Lagos – the multitude of regional dialects, the gnarly traffic jams, the absence of a policeman to take charge – as a metaphor for the larger problems of post-colonial Nigeria.

File Under: Afro-beat, Psych, Funk
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fela5

Fela Kuti: Sorrow, Tears & Blood (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela wrote the title track of this album as a response to the Soweto Uprising of 1976 in which thousands of South African students protested the forced teaching of Afrikaans, the colonial language of Apartheid. During the uprising and the ensuing riots, hundreds of students were killed. The song calls out killings that have gone on in the name of authority and totalitarian rule as well as the instruments of repression of colonial Africa – the police and the army. In this way the song indirectly references the brutality that Fela and his family have experienced in the series of raids on his family compound, the Kalakuta Republic. The musical composition parallels the somber tone of the lyrics; focused and direct, the track avoids the bombastic funk of many of Fela’s compositions. ‘Colonial Mentality’ follows in the same manner, pointing out that those who wish to live in a post-colonial mentality are in essence living as slaves. Musically, the Africa 70 returns to a more funk and jazzy grooves while relaying a pertinent message to those who looked to Fela as a leader of the resistance.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Funk
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felaFela Kuti: Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (Knitting Factory) LP
1986 – “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense: Fela explains the role of the teacher in any society with the concept that: all the things we consider as problems, and all the good things we accept from life as good, begin with what we are taught. The individual teaching begins with when we are children – our mother is our teacher. When we come of school age, our teacher is the school-teacher. At the university, the lecturers and professors are our teachers. After university – when we start to work, government becomes the individual’s teacher. When then is government’s teacher? ‘Culture and Tradition’ says Fela. This is the order of things everywhere in the world. However, it is the problem side of teacher and student that interests Fela in this song. Because every country in this world except in Africa, it is the respective culture and tradition of that country that guides the government on how to rule their people.” – Mabinuori Kayode Idowu

File Under: Afro-Beat, Funk
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bunnyBunny “Striker” Lee & The Roots of Reggae: I Am the Gorgon OST (Kingston) LP
Bunny “Striker” Lee’s standing in the Jamaican recording business has remained unassailable for over four decades, and he was known by many aliases, including “Gorgon.” The legend of the Gorgon originated in Greek mythology some 3,000 years ago and has become a common image in art, literature and in Jamaican music. The name actually derives from the ancient Greek word “gorgos,” which means “dreadful,” appropriate when one considers that the avalanche of Gorgon-inspired records came as a direct result of the influence of the Rastafarian movement on the Jamaican musical mainstream and the dreadlocked hair of the Rasta brethren was likened to that of the Gorgon sisters. ”About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror… and therein is the head of the dread monster, the gorgon, dread, awful….” –Homer; Artists include: Bunny Striker Lee All Stars, Delroy Wilson, Cornell Campbell, Dennis Al Capone, The Uniques, Ken Boothe, Horace Andy, Johnny Clarke, The Upsetters And The Aggrovators, Max Romeo, Don Lee, Stranger Cole And Tommy McCook, Tappa Zukie, U Roy, Derrick Morgan, John Holt, I Roy, Prince Jazzbo, Jah Stitch, Linval Thompson, Don Carlos, and King Tubby & The Aggrovators.

File Under: Reggae
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liturgy

Liturgy: Renihilation (Thrill Jockey) LP
“Thrill Jockey is happy to present a vinyl re-issue of Liturgy’s 2009 debut full-length, Renihilation. The album is unrelenting and hyper-focused, an astonishing balance of pure chaos and meticulous composition, and never wavering in its dedication to its own conceptual core. Even as it introduced the band to the metal community at large, Renihilation established Liturgy as a group that refused to play by the same rules that had dictated black metal aesthetics up to that point, instead blazing their own white-hot path that used black metal as a means to express something much grander, and much more elusive. It simultaneously works within and against these preexisting forms, and even five years after its initial release, seems completely alien and unparalleled. These are the first recordings of the band’s quartet line-up of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, Greg Fox, Bernard Gann, and Tyler Dusenbury, laid to tape just several months after it coalesced. Renihilation is the work of a band pushing their limits physically and musically to organically realize music that was conceived completely in the abstract.”

File Under: Metal
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lunch

Lydia Lunch & Rowland S. Howard: Shotgun Wedding (1972) LP
High priestess of macabre rock and assaultive poetics with impeccable taste in collaborators, Lydia Lunch first joined forces with guitarist and songwriter Rowland S. Howard in the early ’80s in Europe. The duo improvised clamorous live séances as an opening act before Howard’s sets with the revered Australian post-punk act The Birthday Party. The fortuitous meeting spawned 1982’s Some Velvet Morning EP, and Howard guested on Lunch’s excellent 1987 album, Honeymoon in Red, but the pair’s next true collaboration took until 1991, when they travelled to Memphis to create Shotgun Wedding with producer JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Coil). As Lunch wrote in the liner notes for an earlier CD edition, “Shotgun Wedding is a sassy scrapbook of bruised love songs, somehow buoyant in spite of its obsession with death.” Indeed, the guests at this wedding are ghastly phantoms and shifty junkies, but the chemistry between Lunch and Howard produces deviant bliss, and Shotgun Wedding showcases each artist equally. Lunch dominates vocal duties, but Howard’s oaken backups propel the rollicking “Endless Fall” to a feverish and resplendent musical climax. Elsewhere, his teardrop guitar leads and penetrating sustain create a menacing atmosphere on “What Is Memory” for Lunch’s trenchant speech to ride atop. A cover of Alice Cooper’s “Black Juju” closes out the original album—its sinister brooding and fiery outbursts the perfect cap to an album of mad incantations and tarnished eros—while this reissue ends with the cover of Lee Hazlewood’s classic “Some Velvet Morning.”

File Under: Alt. Rock
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lussuria

Lussuria: Industriale Illuminato (Hospital) LP
One of the most intriguing artists on the Hospital Productions roster, Lussuria came to prominence with the release of three tapes as part of the American Babylon series in 2012 which were eventually compiled into a double vinyl edition in 2013. His opiated atmospheres brought together the ritualistic appeal of late ’70s and early ’80s Italian industrial music crossed with the claustrophobia of early material from The Cure and the decadent, voyeuristic compulsion of Pasolini flicks so enamoured by Coil. Having been in the works through late 2013 and in post-production for several months since, Industriale Illuminato is in some respects the first release by Lussuria conceived as a standalone album, and is perhaps his most unique, unsettling body of work to date. Inspired by Deconstructionism and an overriding sense of anxiety, the album revolves around the dislocated narrative of album opener “Boneblack,” a dense and evocative fade into shadowy realms inspired by composer Giacinto Scelsi and the enigmatic mind-tricks of Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad. “Petra Marina” sees Lussuria use real drum sounds alongside electronic ones for the first time, layered through with odd, foreboding drones constructed out of handmade Japanese music boxes, feedback manipulation and mangled tape loops which together sound like an industrial, shadowy counterpart to the hazy nostalgia of Boards Of Canada. “Venus in Retrograde” was inspired by and evokes the paranoid narrative of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, making use of snatches of barely tangible dialogue to form an unnerving backdrop, before “Breath of Cinder” brings the first half of the album to a close with field recordings made in deepest provincial France overlaid with a detached narrative evoking that cold, abandoned landscape. The second half of the album takes us further into this airless environment, the intriguing widescreen ambience of “Eyes of the World” offset by the percussive rattling and decimated 3 pinch harmonics of “Angelshare,” while “Wind Carries Soot” recalls the aggression of Mika Vainio sedated and tamed into an altogether more narcotic kind of beast, before “Art of Veins” closes the album with a mangled and inverted message — like some kind of Satanic directive embedded for posterity.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial, Electronic
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mascis

J Mascis: Tied To A Star (Sub Pop) LP/CD
News of a new record from J Mascis – the well-loved, bespectacled, silver-haired, magical-seeming, wizard-like figure of independent music – is not only actual music to our ears but figurative music to our ears. Tied to a Star is the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut Several Shades of Why. The acoustic album, led by the songs “Every Morning” and “Wide Awake,” was recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA and features guest appearances by Ken Maiuri, Pall Jenkins, Mark Mulcahy and Chan Marshall. “It makes perfect sense that I was asked to write a bio for J Mascis. Let’s face it, he and I have a long history. It all started the first time I saw him live. It was in New York City. I don’t remember when or where, but I think he was walking around. I was probably walking around, too. The second time was also in New York, at a Mexican restaurant in the East Village (the one that takes credit cards now, but didn’t used to). Years later I actually met him at the SXSW festival though a friend who works at Sub Pop. “I guess that meeting went well, because when that friend from Sub Pop got married, she sat me at the same table as J. Sounds unbelievable? I suggest you look at the picture below. Now keep staring at that picture until August 26th. That’s when J’s new acoustic album Tied to a Star comes out on Sub Pop Records. It features appearances by Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power). Had I been in the area, I’m sure I would’ve been asked to play on it, too.” – comedian Todd Barry

File Under: Indie Rock, Dinosaur Jr.
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melchior

Dan Melchior Und Das Menace: Hunger (Castle Face) LP
“The first time I heard Dan Melchior I felt betrayed that no one had turned my ear to his strange sounds before then. The LP was called Hello, I’m Dan Melchior and it starts with the line ‘I once did mushrooms with Björk…’ Goddamn, he had me at mushrooms.  “Since then, I’ve been blessed with unearthing several of his masterpieces from LP bins all around the world. Dan has made mighty and copious marks upon the world of wax. Every record is a wade through the primordial poem-brain that is Dan Melchior’s creative force. “What we have here is a fabulous collection of classic Melchior und das Menace. We asked, he let us dig through the archive, and lo and behold: Hunger, a grip of unreleased Melchior gold. It will take less than ten seconds for the high to kick in after the rush of greasy guitars consume you at the get-go of ‘A Wizard Doesn’t Need a Computer.’ And yes, he’s taking the piss.  “I’ve also been lucky enough to do some touring with him and his lovely wife and co-conspirator Letha. They may be the only white cats I know who don’t look weird in dashikis. I wish I was kidding…quite comely. Letha has been duking it out with a heavy illness, and although strong as ever, the bills are piling up and they could always use a hand. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this record will go to aid them in this fight. Here’s a link to the website, should you feel the urge to donate otherwise: http://melchiorfund.blogspot.com/ “So please dig in with open ears and hearts. Let Dan melt your brains as he has ours at Castle Face.” —John Dwyer

File Under: Garage Rock
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mvee

MV & EE: Alpha Lyrae (Children of Microtones) LP
“I was feeling rockets all the time when we were creating and listening to this record. sometimes they were bottle rockets, imaginary rockets, Estes, space crafts and gimongous star machines that haven’t been built yet. more importantly I was feeling stages, secondary…tertiary…beyond growth. definitely alotta triangulation with the ‘eye’ and geometric eye in the sky -> always liftoff/ground, fruit/roots. ()() philosophies. those kinda sounds often bless our head to remind us heads, they peak and peek out of the spectra as explosions. hopefully that translates for you, it will if you are that kind. maybe dig it in headphones if at first you don’t succeed. in many ways this LP represents the cosmic fire of orgasm. we waited for a long time…”–Matt Valentine, Maximum Arousal Farm (Vermont 2014). Beautiful deluxe silkscreened cover with offset insert. LP edition of 600 copies.

File Under: Psych, Blues, Cosmic Blues
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nirvanaNirvana: Feels Like the First Time (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Previously unreleased broadcast of the seminal Pier 48 gig. Also included is a second Nirvana broadcast of the bands show at The Palace, in Melbourne, Australia on 2nd February, 1992, with Nirvana showcasing much of what was then their new album, “Nevermind”. Finally an additional four tracks from the two appearances Nirvana made on legendary American sketch show Saturday Night Live are also made available. Together, these vintage recordings complete this career spanning package and provide the ultimate collection of live Nirvana performances. Includes rare versions of “Come As You Are”, “Lithium” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. FANTASTIC 180 GRAM BLUE VINYL RELEASE OF THIS COLLECTION OF BROADCASTS, 1000 ONLY LIMITED EDITION.

File Under: Grunge

oliveros

Pauline Oliveros: Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970 (Important) 12CD
Dense 12 disc retrospective of Pauline Oliveros’ early and unreleased electronic work, including her very first piece for tape made in 1961. The majority of these pieces had never before been released. Organized chronologically by studio, this set not only documents Pauline’s earliest electronic music, but it also functions as an early history of electronic music itself. Extensive liner notes including essays from Pauline Oliveros, Alex Chechile, Ramon Sender, David Bernstein, Corey Arcangel and Benjamin Tinker. This box set was originally released in conjunction with Pauline Oliveros’ 80th birthday celebrations. Pauline Oliveros, composer, performer and humanitarian, is an important pioneer in American Music. Acclaimed internationally, for four decades she has explored sound — forging new ground for herself and others. Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation, she has created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly effects those who experience it and eludes many who try to write about it. Oliveros has been honored with awards, grants and concerts internationally. Whether performing at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., in an underground cavern, or in the studios of West German Radio, Oliveros’ commitment to interaction with the moment is unchanged. She can make the sound of a sweeping siren into another instrument of the ensemble. Through “Deep Listening Pieces” and earlier “Sonic Meditations,” Oliveros introduced the concept of incorporating all environmental sounds into musical performance. To make a pleasurable experience of this requires focused concentration, skilled musicianship and strong improvisational skills, which are the hallmarks of Oliveros’ form. In performance Oliveros uses an accordion which has been re-tuned in two different systems of her just intonation in addition to electronics to alter the sound of the accordion and to explore the individual characteristics of each room. Pauline Oliveros has built a loyal following through her concerts, recordings, publications and musical compositions that she has written for soloists and ensembles in music, dance, theater and interarts companies. She has also provided leadership within the music community from her early years as the first Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (formerly the Tape Music Center at Mills), director of the Center for Music Experiment during her 14 year tenure as professor of music at the University of California at San Diego to acting in an advisory capacity for organizations such as The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council for the Arts, and many private foundations. She now serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at Mills College. Oliveros has been vocal about representing the needs of individual artists, about the need for diversity and experimentation in the arts, and promoting cooperation and good will among people.

File Under: Drone, Electronic, Experimental
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pallbearerPallbearer: Foundations of Burden (Profound Lore) LP
The vinyl edition of the new Pallbearer album ‘Foundations Of Burden’ is a double LP presented on thick vinyl (limited red-black two-sided coloured edition also available), in a gatefold jacket with a printed/designed insert. In the short timespan that they’ve been a band, Little Rock Arkansas’ Pallbearer have literally defined and set a new standard in the realm of modern-day doom metal. Their 3-song ‘The Legend’ demo which was first released already had made a huge impression in itself amongst the doom metal scene. Said demo would just be a harbinger for what would become the band’s debut full-length LP, 2012’s ‘Sorrow and Extinction’ which made a massive impact not only in the doom metal scene but the entire metal scene in itself along with crossing over even within more mainstream territory. In turn ‘Sorrow and Extinction’ was one of the most praised metal albums of 2012, landing on pretty much every metal best-of year end list and being praised by such notable outlets as Pitchfork, Decibel, SPIN, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, and Entertainment Weekly, just to name a few. The band would do some great tour runs likewise in support of ‘Sorrow and Exctinction’ touring with the likes of St. Vitus, Boris, and Enslaved, and along with playing such notable festivals as Roadburn, Hellfest, MDF, Scion Rockfest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and Hopscotch Fest respectively. Now, with their new album ‘Foundations Of Burden’, Pallbearer are prepared to take it to the next level unparalleled by creating an album much more advanced, moving, and sonically glorious than their debut. If ‘Sorrow and Extinction’ created massive waves in the metal scene, ‘Foundations Of Burden’ will create the stuff of legends. Captured by legendary producer Billy Anderson (Agalloch, Sleep, Neurosis, The Melvins etc.) at Type Foundry studios in Portland Oregon, ‘Foundations Of Burden’ sees Pallbearer expand their sound even further and going beyond into an emotionally driven sonic landscape more epic, vast, and ultimately more glorious and triumphant.

File Under: Metal
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frank

Ragtime Frank: I’m A Rocketship For My Lord (Little Big Chief) LP
Avant blues with voice like Derek Bailey’s guitar, and guitar like Joan La Barbara’s voice, paired up with percussion worthy of The Monks. Ragtime Frank’s brand of anti-art is a laser beam of moonshine-imbued vitriol with discernible if haggard structure. Beautifully ramshackle and indecipherable.

File Under: Avant Blues
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ramone

Cassie Ramone: The Time Has Come (Loglady) LP
The debut album from Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls, Babies) features Ariel Pink on bass for several tracks and has a somewhat contemporary take on what a modern day Karen Dalton record may sound like. “This is Cassie’s first record. she used to sing and play guitar in the Vivian Girls. she recorded these songs by herself over the last year or so. she hopes you like the record. goodbye.”—Ariel Pink First pressing of 300 copies on colored vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock, Vivian Girls
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roll the diceRoll The Dice: Until Silence (Leaf) LP
Until Silence marks a monumental shift for Roll The Dice. The characteristic framework of piano and synthesizer is reinforced with a newly conscripted string section: dramatic arrangements grind against furnace blasts of static, and phases of unrelenting rhythmic intensity collapse into moments of frayed, fragile beauty. The Stockholm-based duo’s most powerful and nuanced work to date is by turns harrowing and searching, pushing their sound to monolithic, foundation-shuddering heights of ambition and scale. For Until Silence, Peder Mannerfelt and Malcolm Pardon enlisted Erik Arvinder to work on string arrangements for several of the album’s tracks, which were then recorded with a 26-piece ensemble. Arvinder’s contributions further heighten the natural cycles of tension and release that are cornerstones of the Roll The Dice sound. During the album’s harshest moments, they sharpen every piano note and rhythmic sub-bass throb so the music cuts jagged from the speakers, while during quieter phases they carve open huge spaces within the music. Matching their use of orchestral instrumentation, Until Silence also pushes compositional methods further into uncharted territory. The influence of the duo’s individual projects on the collective sound of Roll The Dice has always been tangible. Pardon, who works as a composer for film and TV, has a natural flair for evocative composition and narrative arc, while Mannerfelt is a remarkably skilled sculptor of electronic sound and bass tones. Mannerfelt’s recent solo explorations under his own name, including the stark and brutalist electronics of his current Lines Describing Circles album, have clearly fed their own energy back into Roll The Dice—with Until Silence, they take the electronic core of their sound into harsher and more heavily processed textural domains. The dark and stormy nature of Until Silence strikes a chord at a time when the socioeconomic and political state of affairs gripping Europe and further afield is grim indeed. Yet throughout, the music is pockmarked with flashes of light where proactive optimism for the future intermingles with nostalgia for fond memories buried beneath the rubble. That Pardon and Mannerfelt have crafted so ambitious, deep and multifaceted an album isn’t necessarily a surprise given their acclaimed tenure as Roll The Dice. With it they continue to stake their position as one of the most fascinating and vital units currently operating in electronic music.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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segallTy Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP/CD/CS
The Segall has landed. And it’s fully loaded, with everything that Ty Segall (and you and me) are gonna need in the world to come. Heads up! It’s coming down fast. Sticking his hand deeper into the machines all around him, TY is reaching ever further to the outer limits of inner space orbited throughout Twins and Sleeper. And now more than ever, the chunks of the world that came before are like asteroids formed in his image . . . picking up speed . . . .Still fighting the power with all the energy that a determined mind-patriot can conjure, Ty’s a fighter who loves, a surfer, a spaceman, and yeah, a casualty – like you, he’ll never be free. But unlike you, he knows it – and when he goes down and his head cracks in two, out pour the multi-colored manias that make up Manipulator. Soursweet declarations featuring freaks and creeps alike: ‘The Singer’, ‘The Faker’, ‘Mister Main’, ‘Susie Thumb’, the ‘Connection Man’, and ‘The Crawler’, to name but a mutant fistful. Three-quarter quartets raising their din in a few key places. Waves of sparkling acoustics with ominous, Love-ly undertones – and then, torrents of filthy git-grunge, exploding into the chorus, washing everything away, fusing the blackness of Sabbath with the grime and grab-ass of the Stooges and the sweet swinging tones of the Stones. All in the name of getting higher on the music. Why have one guitar solo when you can have a few in the same space? There’s so little time, and a LOT to say. In order to ensure that he got it all out, Ty called a few friends to fill in special parts on certain Manipulator songs. He got great touches from Chris Woodhouse (piano, synth & percussion), Sean Paul Presley (vocals), Brit Lauren Manor (vocals), Steve Nutting (drums), Irene Salzer (violin), Jessica Ivry (cello), Matthias Mcentire (viola) and the Ty Segall band (Mikal Cronin, Charles Mootheart, Emily Rose Epstein). Plus, Mikal arranged the strings – and everyone played awesomely. The clarion call / siren song of his guitar . . . . clouds of guitar billowing, blood rushing to the head, the temperature going from blue to red . . . . TY’s on a mission, working to change chemistry through music with the steam-lined pop and helium-cooled vocals of Manipulator.

File Under: Psych, Garage, Glam
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snd

SND: Newtables (SND) LP
Mark Fell and Mat Steel’s second EP as SND arrived a year after their debut Tplay (SND 1SE) and continued to explore a distinct, highly individual take on electronic minimalism, house and UK garage stripped to its bare bones. The tracks here more or less split themselves into three distinct categories: the first detailing the brilliant swing and shuffle of their reduced UKG mutations, with “22” in particular perfecting the balance between academic reduction and kinetic, feminine motion. The second outlines a more linear approach utilizing reduced house and techno templates, while the last includes more experimental works such as the proper fwwwwd bass-pulse arrangements on the previously unheard B2 and the frequency fxxckery of closing track D3. With the original DAT tapes remastered and cut by Rashad Becker, this series is a real treat to followers of SND and Mark Fell, and an essential eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with this incredible early material.

File Under: Electronic
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spider bags

Spider Bags: Frozen Letter (Merge) LP
Formed in 2005, Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Spider Bags were largely a revolving cast, with only Dan McGee (guitars, vocals) persevering through the various incarnations of the band. But during the 2011 recording of Shake My Head, the current lineup consisting of Steve Oliva (bass) and Rock Forbes (drums) was finally solidified. Building upon the foundation laid down by its predecessor, Frozen Letter rocks with the clairvoyance of three musicians who have spent a lot of time recording and touring together over the last few years. “When we started this record, we weren’t even thinking about it being released. We just did it to have fun and keep moving forward,” says Forbes. This approach allowed the band to push itself further out into the psychedelic frontier than ever before, aided by engineer/producer Wesley Wolfe. Recorded mostly live over the course of a few days, there’s an exhilarating urgency to the record, as heard in riff-driven rockers like ‘Back With You Again in the World’ and ‘Chem Trails’. The band brings the tempo down a notch for ‘Coffin Car’, which finds them mining an ominous morbidity over one of their prettier chord patterns. ‘We Got Problems’ comes on like a true acid trip, alternating between utter terror and unfettered joy. Featuring a heavy and repetitive pattern, a slew of effected guitars, and searing guest leads from Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan, the song encapsulates an entire Spider Bags epoch in under six minutes. Frozen Letter is the band’s fourth full-length record overall and first for Merge Records.

File Under: Indie Rock
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spiritualizedSpiritualized: Fucked Up Inside (Plain) LP
“Fucked Up Inside” is the first live album ever issued by Spiritualized, it was originally released as a limited edition of 1,000 mail order only LP in 1993. Recorded on tour in 1992 while supporting Spritualized’s debut release ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’ this is the first album to document the power of the band live and has long been an out of print collector’s item since it’s initial release. Includes three songs from ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’, two from the future Spiritualized album ‘Pure Phase’, plus the Spacemen 3 favorite ]Walking With Jesus’. Limited edition of 3,000 in a recreation of the original cover.

File Under: Psych, Spacemen 3
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suzuki

Damo Suzuki: Seven Potatos (Noiseagonymayhem) LP
Krautrock pioneer Damo Suzuki, vocalist of Can, has influenced generations of creative musicians. This enigmatic singer has continued the journey, traveling the globe to perform improvised music with a unique collection of musicians. The lucky few that perform with him he calls his Network or Sound Carriers. Canadian Sound Carriers have included members of Black Mountain, Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think, among many others. On a warm night in June he set down in Nanaimo, BC for an epic night of long, heavy space-rock jams in front of a rabid sold-out crowd at the historic Globe Hotel. The result is a sprawling, transcendent, seamless soundscape. Damo’s vocalizing feeds off the energy and dynamics of the band. A strangely hypnotic and melodic repetition of phrases and countered with low, guttural growls delivered in his own language. The legacy of Can is always evident. The auditory capture was superb and the result obvious. It must be shared. David Read of Vinyl Record Guru immediately decided to release it as a co-production of NoiseAgonyMayhem Records and Lance Rock Records. The recording captures Damo’s memorable performance with a psychedelic rock orchestra assembled from Nanaimo’s thriving independent music scene, featuring members of Clumsy Lovers, Colliding Canyons, Moths & Locusts, and Wolf Parade. Two synth stations, fuzzed-out guitars, and three drummers coalesce behind Damo’s commanding presence. Limited to 300 copies.

File Under: Psych, Kraut, Can
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smog

Piero Umiliani/Chet Baker: Smog (Doxy) LP
The long forgotten soundtrack to a hip early 1960s Italian cult movie, with music by Piero Umiliani and the legendary Chet Baker. Helen Merrill’s vocal theme is just outstanding, rarely bettered, the jazz is playful, mysterious and charming. This is just inspired and incredible music. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Jazz, OST, Italian
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White-Hills-Glitter-Glamour-Atrocity-Artwork

White Hills: Glitter Glamour Atrocity (Thrill Jockey) LP
“Glitter Glamour Atrocity is a snapshot of the band in the midst of an incredible burst of creativity, and was recorded during the same sessions that produced Heads on Fire and Abstractions & Mutations. Sonically, it is radically different from anything else coming out of the New York underground at the time, and it set the template for the singular concoction of heavy psychedelic music, krautrock, and a worship of pure sound they have explored in different variations ever since. Throughout the album the band explores themes of greed, misinformation, war, hypocrisy and their outcomes within the world’s political and economic systems, presenting these weighty topics with the same air of mystic understanding that underpins their music.”

File Under: Psych, Rock, Stoner
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williams

Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels On A Grave Road (Music on Vinyl) LP
FIRST TIME ON VINYL! “It isn’t surprising that Lucinda Williams’ level of craft takes time to assemble, but the six-year wait between “Sweet Old World” and its 1998 follow-up, “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”, still raised eyebrows. The delay stemmed both from label difficulties and Williams’ meticulous perfectionism, the latter reportedly over a too-produced sound and her own vocals. Listening to the record, one can understand why both might have concerned Williams. Car Wheels is far and away her most produced album to date, which is something of a mixed blessing. Its surfaces are clean and contemporary, with something in the timbres of the instruments (especially the drums) sounding extremely typical of a late-’90s major-label roots-rock album. While that might subtly alter the timeless qualities of Williams’ writing, there’s also no denying that her sound is punchier and livelier. The production also throws Williams’ idiosyncratic voice into sharp relief, to the point where it’s noticeably separate from the band. As a result, every inflection and slight tonal alteration is captured, and it would hardly be surprising if Williams did obsess over those small details. But whether or not you miss the earthiness of Car Wheels’ predecessors, it’s ultimately the material that matters, and Williams’ songwriting is as captivating as ever. Intentionally or not, the album’s common thread seems to be its strongly grounded sense of place — specifically, the Deep South, conveyed through images and numerous references to specific towns. Many songs are set, in some way, in the middle or aftermath of not-quite-resolved love affairs, as Williams meditates on the complexities of human passion. Even her simplest songs have more going on under the surface than their poetic structures might indicate. In the end, “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” is Williams’ third straight winner; although she might not be the most prolific songwriter of the ’90s, she’s certainly one of the most brilliant.” – All Music Guide (5/5 stars).

 File Under: Country, Folk
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wire

Wire #367 Mag
“On the cover: Dean Blunt (David Keenan talks black metal, free jazz and life after Hype Williams with East London’s shapeshifting samplist). Inside the issue: David Rosenboom (From brainwaves to stellar oscillations, the US composer finds sonic inspiration in all possible worlds); The Primer: Pharoah Sanders (The freewheeling saxophonist’s career spans decades, encompassing some of free jazz’s essential recordings); Cross Platform: Sarah Angliss (Secret histories of sound are animated by the Brighton artist’s uncanny inventions); Invisible Jukebox: Justin Broadrick (The Godflesh founder feels the weight of The Wire’s mystery record selection); Drew Mulholland (The Glasgow hauntologist formerly known as Mount Vernon Arts Lab resurfaces with an album of chamber music); Catherine Lamb (Patience is a virtue in the evolving tones of this Berlin based composer); Slackk (The London grime producer thinks outside the box).”

african gems

Various: African Gems (SWP) LP
This is some of the best traditional African music ever recorded. The music is the star — of course — then comes the wonderful musicians who performed it, but it was the recordists who make it possible for us to listen to the genius in African music captured on these magnificent tracks. After having released the 22-CD series “Historical Recordings by Hugh Tracey,” it is time to pay homage to some who came after him. Thanks to Charles Duvelle, Jos Gansemans, Benoit Quersin, and David Fanshawe, for these great recordings. Over 73 minutes of magic. Each track is a gem. There is nothing coincidental in this music: it is based on a deep understanding of interconnectivity — consequently also of time and space — and has been developed over many centuries. Yet it sounds so modern! Each track has its own swing, and this danceable quality is a profound thing: it is participatory, revitalizing, communal, relaxing, healing.

File Under: African, Ethnic, World
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congo

Various: Congo Traditional (SWP) LP
Music from another world! This collection of magnificent recordings merely touches on the richness and diversity of the traditional musics of the Congo, as found by Hugh Tracey in the 1950s. In the ensemble tracks we can hear his hand-held microphone technique, as he moves around with his one mike to highlight one instrument after the other — a kind of instant mixing. But how many of these musical traditions have been lost since they were captured on tape — urbanization and satellite TV have taken their toll. We are lucky to have these recordings, but they especially are a gift to the peoples involved, for the legacy as played by their forebears belongs to them. A compilation of tracks from the CDs SWP 009: On the Edge of the Ituri Forest, SWP 011: Kanyok and Luba, SWP 016: Forest Music. This LP is a 140 gram pressing by Pallas.

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

A.R. & Machines: Die Gruene Reise (Fanclub) LP
Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do (1972) LP
Aphex Twin: Richard D James Album (1972) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Beck: Mellow Gold (Fanclub) LP
Beck: Odelay (Fanclub) LP
Beirut: Riptide (Ba Da Bing) LP
Bjork: Post (One Little Indian) LP
Nick Cave: Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: Boatman’s Call (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: First Born Is Dead (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: The Good Son (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: Let Love In (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Fanclub) LP
Nick Cave: No More Shall We Part (Fanclub) LP
Chromatics: Kill For Love (Italians Do It Better) LP
Chromatics: Night Drive (Italians Do It Better) LP
The Clean: Oddities (540) LP
Coil: Musick to Play in the Dark (Fanclub) 3LP
Death in June/Current 93: Uonna Club (Fanclub) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Lee Fields: Let’s Talk It Over (Truth & Soul) LP
Flesh Eaters: Minute to Pray, Second to Die (Superior Viaduct) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (4 Men With Beards) LP
Galaxie 500: On Fire (202020) LP
Galaxie 500: Today (202020) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (4 Men With Beards) LP
Gun Club: Fire of Love (Fanclub) LP
Ignatz: Can I Go Home (Fonal) LP
Daniel Johnston: Fun (Original) LP
Kraftwerk: Minimum (Fanclub) LP
Kraftwerk: Maximum (Fanclub) LP
Kraftwerk: Live at MOMA (Fanclub) LP
Medusa: First Step Beyond (Numero) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Melvins: Ozma (Fanclub) LP
Mr. Bungle: California (Plain) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Fanclub) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Broken/Fixed (Fanclub) 2LP
Officer!: Ossification (Megaphone) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Dog Poison (Castle Face) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Drop (Castle Face) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Floating Coffin (Castle Face) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Hounds of Foggy Notion (Captcha) LP+DVD
Thee Oh Sees: Singles 3 (Castle Face) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Sucks Blood (In The Red) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Warm Slime (In The Red) LP
Angel Olsen: Strange Cacti (Bathetic) LP
Angel Olsen: Halfway Home (Bathetic) LP
Phish: Fuego (ATO) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Fanclub) LP
Pink Floyd: Piper At The Gates of Dawn (Fanclub) LP
Pink Floyd: Pompeii (Fanclub) LP
Iggy Pop: The Idiot (4 Men With Beards) LP
Iggy Pop: Lust For Life (4 Men With Beards) LP
Pretty Things: SF Sorrow (Charly) LP
Rock*a*teens: Sweet Bird of Youth (Merge) LP
Screamers: Strength Through Intimidation (Fanclub) LP
Ty Segall: Lemons (Goner) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
Ty Segall: Singles (Goner) LP
Ty Segall/Mikal Cronin: Reverse Shark Attack (In The Red) LP
Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) 2×10″
Slowdive: Souvlak (Music on Vinyl) LP
System of a Down: Toxicity (Fanclub) LP
Teenage Fanclub: Man Made (Merge) LP
Teenage Fanclub: Shadows (Merge) LP
Teeth of the Sea: Master (Rocket) LP
Teeth of the Sea: A Field In England Reimagined (Rocket) LP
Unwound: Rat Conspiracy (Numero) 3LP
Urinals: Negative Capability (In The Red) LP
Witch: Lazy Bones (Now Again) LP
Witch: In The Past (Now Again) LP
Neil Young: Dead Man OST (Fanclub) LP
V/A: This is Boston, Not LA (Fanclub) LP

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…..news letter #651 – shower…..

Well, as you can see, next week is going to be a big week, since this week is rather light. But that’s ok, we’ve been pricing and buying some pretty cool used stuff, so come on down and dig through the bins.

…..pick of the week…..

haackBruce Haack: Electric Lucifer Book 2 (Telephone Explosion) LP
“The original Electric Lucifer was released back in 1970, and basically invented electronic music as we now know it. Bruce Haack was ahead of the entire electronic music game! Over the years, that album has been hailed as one of the most important in modern music, and is seen as a sacred thing to many, many music nerds. What a lot of people don’t know is that Bruce Haack continued to make amazing music well after Electric Lucifer, and a decade later actually recorded a follow up, aptly titled Electric Lucifer Book II. Tragically, this absolute gem was not released upon original completion, and has never been given the proper North American vinyl treatment…UNTIL NOW!”

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

49th

49th Parallel: s/t (Lion) LP
In the spring of 1969, 49th Parallel had a hit in with ‘Twilight Woman’, a lovely song that sounds like a poppier version of what bands like Tomorrow were doing in England. That success led to the release of 49th Parallel’s only album. All hyperbole aside, it is easily one of the top Canadian rock albums of the psychedelic era. The album is strong throughout—from the pulsating psychedelia of ‘Lazerander Filchy’ and the ultra-strange ‘(The) Magician’, the shimmering beauty of ‘Twilight Woman’, to the quintessential slashing guitars punk edginess of ‘Now That I’m a Man’ and ‘(Come On Little Child &) Talk To Me’. Dan Lowe’s blazing fuzz guitar work stands out on ‘Missouri’ and also when matched by organist Jack Velker’s brilliant work on ‘Eye To Eye’, ‘Talk To Me’ and ‘(The) People’.

File Under: Psych, Garage, CanCon
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cocteau

Cocteau Twins: Bell Bell Knoll (4AD) LP
When they first emerged in the early 80s, the Cocteau Twins were compared most often to Siouxsie & The Banshees, but in truth they never sounded like anyone – or anything – else. Taken together, their nine albums, and sixteen EPs/singles, sound less like a band and more like an element of nature. Which was very 4AD. Ivo Watts-Russell has always claimed that his aim was to unearth music that was timeless, free of any trend, movement or era and even in their earliest incarnation, the Cocteau Twins were true to that remit, firmly charting their own course. Blue Bell Knoll is the fifth album by the Cocteau Twins. Originally released in 1988 by 4AD in the UK and Capitol in the US, Pitchfork listed the album as one of the best albums of the 1980s. This was the band’s first full studio album to be released in the US via a distribution deal with Capitol. The album also marked a major turning point for the band. Robin Guthrie stated, “At first you’re just trying to make a record, and then you’re trying to make a really good record. And then you’re trying to go further…Blue Bell Knoll was a really important record to me. It really sticks as one of my favorites. Perhaps not because of how it came out, although it is quite listenable, but because of the experience of making it.”  Blue Bell Knoll’s vinyl via Capitol wasn’t re-pressed after the initial release, and therefore hasn’t been available for at least 25 years. It has been remastered from the HD 96/24 masters and comes pressed on heavyweight 180g black vinyl with an accompanying MP3 download coupon.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ethereal, Dream Pop
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fka

FKA Twigs: LP1 (Young Turks) LP+7″
LP1 is London-based producer, singer, songwriter, video director, classically trained ballerina, and choreographer FKA Twigs’ defining artistic statement to date. The 10-track offering builds on the success of her two previous EPs and accompanying videos (EP1 and EP2) which have elevated FKA Twigs from a word-of-mouth secret to global obsession over the past two years. LP1 features none of these previously released songs; instead each of the tracks on LP1 is brand new, born out of FKA Twigs’ artistic philosophy of spontaneous creation and collaboration in the studio.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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jerusalem

Jerusalem: s/t (Lion) LP
First official vinyl reissue of this timeless, heavy UK hard rock album from 1972, produced by Deep Purple’s legendary frontman, Ian Gillan, originally released on the Decca/Deram label. It was Gillan who said of them: “Not many bands really excite me. But this one’s so raw and completely unpretentious. They make the biggest, bloodiest noise you can imagine, tempered with moments of extreme emotion.” And, of course, he’s right—the music is a menacing combination of over-the-top vocals and screaming lead guitars that could easily pass for something from the early British heavy metal scene. A favorite among vinyl collectors, the album is presented here in its ultimate glory, with all tracks taken from the original master tapes and housed in a high quality old-style gatefold cover; insert has liner notes written by bassist Paul Dean + rare photos. Rough, raw, and doomy!

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
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chopping mall

OST: Chopping Mall (Wax Works) LP
Waxwork Records proudly presents the fully remastered release of Chuck Cirino’s original score to the B-Movie horror classic, Chopping Mall, directed by Jim Wynorski and starring scream queens Barbara Crampton and Kelli Maroney. This release marks the first vinyl release of Chopping Mall, featuring liner notes from composer Chuck Cirino and the film’s writer, Steve Mitchell.

File Under: OST, Horror
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city of

OST: City of the Living Dead (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company have been hard at work exhuming a true classic of horror scoring, and the result stands out like a nail through an eyeball. Directed by gorehound favourite Lucio Fulci, City Of The Living Dead’s incredible score comes from a true master of ferocious film music, Fabio Frizzi (The Beyond, Zombi 2), and provides a sonic experience not easily put down. All the ingredients you’d imagine are here: eerie synth lines, horrific violins, and the funkiest bass known to man or zombie – and Frizzi uses them to maximum effect to overwhelm the listener like the hordes of undead they score. What Frizzi does so easily is make the instruments into weapons to assault your senses, and as such City is an intense aural journey, but certainly not one that’ll have you reaching for the off switch. The score is mesmerising with some moments of true beauty, not least in the instrumentation. Electric guitar in particular is used wonderfully to provide colour, and both real and electric pianos add a certain foreboding mood to the score. And then there’s that portentous male choir, always there in the background, waiting. Like the zombies themselves, it’s omnipresent and a symbol of inevitability. And it’s inevitable that you will adore City Of The Living Dead. 17 tracks newly remastered including a previously unreleased cue Occhi Di Brace and an exclusive 10 minute suite of the score recorded live at the Union Chapel in 2013 during Fabio Frizzi’s first ever live performance in the UK and included here as a precursor to a full live album coming in the fall of 2014.

File Under: OST, Horror
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surfnazis

OST: Surf Nazis Must Die (Strange Disc) LP
Strange Disc Records is proud to announce their debut release, the soundtrack to Surf Nazis Must Die. The film itself was released in 1987 by Troma Entertainment, but the soundtrack has never seen the light of day until now. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where Neo Nazi group, the Surf Nazis have taken control of the beaches and terrorize anyone who steps foot in their territory. Jon McCallum’s score suits the post-apocalyptic setting with heavy synth – fans of Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter’s scores will be at home on this record. McCallum is the composer behind Miami Connection, Terror Eyes and Soul Taker. Aside from his composing work he worked on the special effects for Phantasm 2 and George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You,” music video. At long last, it’s time to catch the wave!

File Under: OST, Troma
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severed1

Severed Heads: Since The Accident (Medical) LP
Medical Records comes correct with this pair of striking and iconic reissues. The first of two Severed Heads reissues is 1983’s Since The Accident. Severed Heads are one of the most diverse and expert sound palette engineers and are also repeatedly overlooked and far underrated. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, they formed in 1979. The group’s early recordings were characterized by manipulated tape loop experiments, cleverly modulated noise elements and repetition. Over time, the sounds morphed into more melodic leanings with pop elements and more prominent synth leads and backbone. Since The Accident exemplifies the transition point between experimental structure and loops into the catchy pop hooks that would later come to the forefront. Difficult to classify, it is a masterpiece of electronic music. Though commonly misclassified with a lot of the late 80s industrial/goth scene, Severed Heads would be in good company with acts such as Cabaret Voltaire, early Coil, and Chris & Cosey.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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severed2Severed Heads: City Slab Horror (Medical) LP
Second up of two Severed Heads reissues is 1985’s City Slab Horror. This LP seems to move slightly into darker territory in general with it’s synth textures and slower tempo tracks but overall offers a nice continuity from Since The Accident, with obvious technological evolutions. The opening track “Spasm” drags the listener down the Sev Head mental rabbit hole instantly with it’s heady samples and eloquent drum machine rhythm. “4.W.D.” is a great sneak peak into the sound of the Sev Heads LPs to come with it’s treated vocals and pop hooks. Next to last is the amazing “Goodbye Tonsils,” which is unstoppably catchy and features more of the creative use of samples which made this group so interesting. Though signed to 80’s industrial label icon Nettwerk in North America and often classified in the same vein, these records are not easily definable and actually have a life of their own. Great stuff!

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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spoon

Spoon: They Want My Soul (Republic) LP/CD
Finally IN STOCK in quantity!  Artful Austin, TX rock ‘n’ rollers Spoon make their welcome return with They Want My Soul, the band’s long awaited eighth full-length offering and first since 2010’s Transference. The loose and upbeat 10-song set finds the band working with outside producers for the first time – Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, U2, Tori Amos) and Dave Fridman (MGMT, Weezer, OK Go) – as well as new member Alex Fischel from Britt Daniels’ side supergroup Divine Fits. Lauded by NPR Music as “unmistakably a Spoon record, with fantastically infectious grooves and melodies,” They Want My Soul is preceded by the punchy swagger of lead single “Rent I Pay” and also boasts a cover of Ann-Margret’s “I Just Don’t Understand.” “The album was recorded this past winter, mostly at Public HiFi in Austin and Tarbox in Cassadaga, NY. It was the first time we’ve had the chance to work with Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT, Creaming Jesus) and we’re pretty sure that the levels indicate this to be our loudest record — it’s also Deux Deux’s favorite…Side One begins with the gnarliest Jim Eno drum sound ever recorded and Side Two ends with Rob Pope’s bass amp completely breaking down to fuzz + hiss at the end of a take. The record’s got beats, whispers, chants, guitars, whistles, secret codes, and horror-movie strings. It’s got songs about holy rollers, back masking, real life properties of physics, love during the apocalypse and a brief reappearance of Jonathon Fisk.” – Britt Daniels

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..restocks…..

Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Buck 65: Talkin’ Honky Blues (Warner) LP
Donnie & Joe Emerson: Dreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic) LP
Roky Erickson: Don’t Slander Me (Light in the Attic) LP
Future Islands: Singles (4AD) LP
Il Balletto Di Bronzo: Sirio 222 (Lion) LP
Jungle: s/t (XL) LP
Kris Kristofferson: Please Don’t Tell Me… (Light in the Attic) LP
Louvin Brothers: Satan is Real (Light in the Attic) LP
Charles Mingus: Black Saint & The Sinner Lady (Speakers Corner) LP
Minoru Muraoka: Bamboo (Superfly) LP
New Order: Low Life (Rhino) LP
New Order: Technique (Rhino) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (EMI) LP
Pixies: Bossanova (4AD) LP
Pixies: Trompe La Monde (4AD) LP
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (4AD) LP
Pixies: Doolittle (4AD) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (EMI) 2×10″
Radiohead: Pablo Honey (EMI) LP
Radiohead: OK Computer (EMI) LP
Sharpling & Wurster: Rock, Rot, & Rule (Flannelgraph) LP
Timber Timbre: Hot Dreams (Arts & Crafts) LP
Vampire Weekend: s/t (XL) LP
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires in the City (XL) LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) LP

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