…..news letter #692 – board…..

Look at that, I take most of the week off and stuff just keeps coming in! And I some how managed to also buy a nice stack of psych, prog, and garage raers. Anyway, my time is limited here this week so I’d best get to it….

…..picks of the week…..

sleezy

Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson: The Art of Mirrors (Black Mass Rising) 2LP
Shortly before his musical partnership as Coil ended following the death of Jhon Balance, Peter Christopherson performed a live soundtrack to his old friend and collaborator Derek Jarman’s abstract 1973 Super 8 short The Art Of Mirrors in Paris. Sleazy had worked with Jarman on many occasions, including providing the music as a member of Throbbing Gristle for In The Shadow Of The Sun in 1974, Coil’s highly-charged compositions for The Angelic Conversation, as well as their singularly psychedelic disco contributions to the director’s final swansong, Blue. Since The Art Of Mirrors is barely six minutes long, quite how Christopherson made more than an hour of music to accompany the film’s screening is something those who were there can answer best, but ultimately it’s more or less irrelevant to the music as it appears here. Split carefully across three sides of vinyl, the LP divides a continuous performance into what are now essentially three interrelated movements. Each ebbs and flows with the same hallucinatory feeling that so much of the music that Christopherson made with others has, especially in Coil, and it soon begins to seem that time itself has become far more of an unnecessary frippery than usual. As each side of vinyl unfolds, Christopherson’s adherence to his oft-stated intention that his music was made to provoke a change of state in the listener is fully apparent. Anyone who saw Coil or (to a lesser extent Throbbing Gristle) live will attest to their preference for hypnotic digital mandalas which were often as much a part of the experience as the music and their elaborate and sometimes bizarre costumes. On his own here, Sleazy shifts and slides from deceptively calm stretches of almost-brittle digital electronics complete with passages of birdsong or human chanting into bass-heavy tremors shaking the floors like nobody’s business. They fill up space with the pressure of spectral presences and tectonic rumblings. These digital ghosts in Sleazy’s machine fall somewhere between later Coil instrumentals which aimed for a particular psychotropic effect on the listener (such as the epic, mind-altering Time Machines) and Christopherson’s later work with Ivan Pavlov (COH) as SoiSong. So while there are many recurrent elements for those already familiar with Sleazy’s role in other groups – the  sampled hurdy-gurdy loops in particular raise a few neck hairs, and not simply because of their uniquely resonant trebly tones – the music is also identifiable as Christopherson pursuing his own particular ideas alone, and perhaps unfettered. The quality is generally excellent throughout, the dynamic range stretched nearly as much as it must have been over the venue’s PA, and while there are occasional audience noises to be heard, they serve to give the recording a live atmosphere – it certainly feels like being in the room. Even if that means that all the coughs and splutters of a concert hall environment are therefore registered with similar fidelity to the music proper.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Coil
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DFTITENtest-1

Devon Folklore Tapes Vol.I: Ian Humberstone / David Chatton Barker:  Two Witches (Folklore Tapes) 2×10″ + Book
‘Two Witches’ is where it all began. This inaugural volume resulted from a postal correspondence between David Chatton Barker and Ian Humberstone in 2011, and was released as a split cassette housed in a hollowed-out hardback book later that year. Long out-of-print and highly sought after, the original recordings have been completely remastered for this lavish reissue, which is presented as a double ten-inch vinyl sited in a gatefold sleeve, complete with expanded research notes and artwork. This release is the definitive edition and marks the beginning of a wider reissue series for Folklore Tapes’ back catalogue, further editions of which will arrive throughout 2015. The release itself provides a sonic impression of two long-forgotten figures from Devon lore: Hannah Henley and Mariann Voaden. Though they never met, both women lived in rural Devon during the nineteenth century and fostered highly idiosyncratic careers in the provision of charms and curses, at a time when belief in the reality of witchcraft was in decline. Hannah and Mariann were thus engaged in an age-old profession experiencing its death throes, the last in a long line of wizened crones to provide their neighbours with folk-remedies and blessings, to threaten them with hue and cry. Building upon the scanty historical record, these recordings recreate the world of Hannah and Mariann as a living soundscape, giving flesh to the bare bones of their stories. Through acousmatic sound and composed music, Hannah’s curses recover their voice in the night. With rumbling thunder and detuned harmonium, the wind blows once more through the walls of Mariann’s crumbling cottage. And in the gathering dark, through the whirls and rattles, the creaks and drones, the tales of the long since departed might live and breathe again.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Field Recordings, Experimental
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DFTI(MA)

Devon Folklore Tapes Vol.II: Anworth Kirk / D.Orphan & The White Funz: Graves (Folklore Tapes) 2×10″ + Book
Graves was originally released in early 2012 and features two explorations of burial sites in Devon by Anworth Kirk and D.Orphan with The White Funz. Long out-of-print and highly sought after, the original recordings have been completely remastered for this lavish reissue, which is presented as a double ten-inch vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve, complete with expanded research notes and artwork as well as two completely new recordings. A new introduction has been written by Barum Ware for this volume. The release itself offers a sonic impression of two characters and their eventual resting places in Devon: Kitty Jay and Richard Cabell. Jay’s grave is one of the best known landmarks on Dartmoor, a lonely little grave wherein lie the bones of an orphan girl, Mary (Kitty) Jay. Born in 1790, she fell pregnant in her late ‘teens and with no means of obtaining help or sympathy in those hard days ended up hanging herself. It is said that Jay’s ghost can be seen walking by her grave at certain hours of the day. Flowers, always bloom from the ground in which her remains lie, no matter how inclement the weather may be. Squire Richard Cabell was known to be an unsavoury character; he reputedly persecuted young maidens in the environs of his manor near Buckfastleigh. When he came to die in 1677 his end was said to be unpleasant. There are accounts involving the infamous whist hounds (inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’) who were said to chase him to his death as punishment for his terrible reputation. Cabell is buried in the grounds of The Holy Trinity church in a large tomb, and such was the locals fear of ghostly reprisals in that time, a giant stone wasplaced atop the grave along with iron bars to seal him in. Legend has it that by running around the tomb thirteen times and inserting your finger into the keyhole, Cabell would gnaw at it. Building upon reports found within the book Devon Ghosts (1982) by Theo Brown, these recordings recreate the lives and burial sites of Kitty Jay and Richard Cabell as a living soundscape, giving flesh to the bare bones of their stories. Field trips were taken to the sites and the sound recordings made here form the grounds from which these characters come to walk once more. Acousmatic sound and playfully composed music-tones and drones, loops and moans- are used to shine light into the murkiest recesses of these dark and often unsettling worlds.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Field Recordings, Experimental
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…..new arrivals……

bjork

Bjork: Vulnicura (One Little Indian) LP
Vulnicura is the eighth studio album from Icelandic artist Björk. Vulnicura was written, produced and recorded in collaboration with Venezuelan producer Arca and British musician The Haxan Cloak. Of the album’s nine tracks, six are written by Björk with two co-written with Arca and one co-written with Spaces. Six songs are produced by Björk and Arca, one by Björk, Arca and The Haxan Cloak and two by Björk. All string arrangements are by Björk. The album was mixed by The Haxan Cloak, except two songs mixed by The Haxan Cloak and Chris Elms, and mastered by Mandy Parnell. Vulnicura is Björk’s first release since the 2011 album/multimedia project Biophilia. “I guess I found in my lap one year into writing it a complete heartbreak album. Kinda surprised how thoroughly I had documented this in pretty much accurate emotional chronology…like 3 songs before a break up and three after. So the anthropologist in me sneaked in and I decided to share them as such. First I was worried it would be too self indulgent but then I felt it might make it even more universal. And hopefully the songs could be a help, a crutch to others and prove how biological this process is: the wound and the healing of the wound. Psychologically and physically. It has a stubborn clock attached to it. “And then a magic thing happened to me: as I lost one thing something else entered. Alejandro contacted me late summer 2013 and was interested in working with me. It was perfect timing. To make beats to the songs would have taken me 3 years (like on Vespertine) but this enchanted Arca would visit me repeatedly and only few months later we had a whole album! It is one of the most enjoyable collaborations I have had! “I then went ahead and wrote string and choir arrangements and recorded them in Iceland and whom else to lure into singing with me my worship-of-love-song “Atom Dance” than my goddess of love: Antony? Towards the end of the album I started looking around for a mixing engineer and was introduced by a mutual friend of ours, Robin Carolan to the Haxan Cloak. He mixed the album and also made a beat for one half of “Family.” Together with Chris Elms the engineer we kinda formed a band during the mixing process and this is the album we made!” – Björk

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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moncur

Grachan Moncur III: Evolution (Blue Note) LP
The first avant-garde jazz trombonist, Grachan Moncur III recorded two dazzling classics for Blue Note during 1963-64: Some Other Stuff and Evolution. In the 1950s J.J. Johnson’s boppish trombone style was dominant, resulting in scores of young trombonists sounding quite a bit like Johnson. Moncur, who picked up experience with Ray Charles and the Jazztet, was a very different case. While very familiar with Johnson, Moncur expanded the emotional range of the trombone, and led to its acceptance in free jazz. By 1963, Moncur was fully formed and sounding unique on Jackie McLean’s famous One Step Beyond album. Nearly the same group (with McLean, Bobby Hutcherson and a teenaged Tony Williams) is on Evolution plus the great trumpeter Lee Morgan. The four Moncur pieces are dramatic, lengthy, episodic and full of surprises. The titles (“Air Raid,” “Evolution,” “The Coaster” and especially “Monk In Wonderland”) give listeners hints as to the wild, innovative and unpredictable nature of this dynamic music which is unlike anything heard anywhere else. The wit and colors, along with the brilliant playing, make Evolution a very memorable set even during the extremely fertile period of the mid-1960s.

File Under: Jazz, Blue Note
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mouse

Modest Mouse: Building Something Out of Nothing (Glacial Pace) LP
Modest Mouse was originally formed in 1993 in Issaquah, WA and over the last two decades has become the indie rock standard and one of the few bands capable of treading the narrow path where massive popularity is possible without sacrificing their longtime fans. Following the 2015 release of Strangers To Ourselves, the first new studio album from the band in eight years, the Modest Mouse / Glacial Pace reissue machine will keep rolling with vinyl pressings of the Interstate 8 EP and the singles collection Building Nothing Out of Something. Interstate 8 was originally only pressed on CD in limited quantities in 1996, this will be the first time it appears on vinyl. As with the original CD, it will include the Live in Sunburst Montana demo. Building Nothing Out of Something was originally pressed on vinyl in 2000, but has been out of print for over a decade now. Both releases will mark the end of the band’s highly sought after Up recordings. The 12-track compilation Building Nothing Out of Something gathers various singles and rare cuts from the band’s indie-label years circa 1996-1998 including three tracks from the Interstate 8 EP and “Baby Blue Sedan” from the vinyl version of The Lonesome Crowded West.

File Under: Indie Rock
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monolord

Monolord: Vaenir (Riding Easy) LP
Like Sleep, YOB, and Electric Wizard before them, Swedish doom trio Monolord bring an individualistic psychology to heavy music. They’re not out to reinvent the riff so much as test its boundaries. On the band’s second album, Vænir, Thomas V Jäger lets his guitar lines wander and build off one another to glorious, colossal effect, like Captain Beyond crossed with Slowdive. At its core, the album is more of a prog psych journey than a straight-up metal record, but there are plenty of signature riffs and sludginess to satisfy those looking for the latter. Crushing opener “Cursing the One” provides a contender for doom riff of the year. Jäger’s guitar is downtuned so that his feedback mingles and interplays with Mika Häkki’s bass; their call-and-response tradeoffs pace the song for nine minutes without ever growing tired. The clarity of the production recalls Scott Burns’ masterworks. The purr of the guitar tone is captured in its every detail; drummer Esben Willems’ thrashing cymbal work (especially on “We Will Burn”) rings out, seemingly uncompressed. Vænir is a distinctly modern record both for its organic production and amorphous, genre-bending songcraft. Steeped in heavy reverb, Jäger’s hazy vocals carry hazy melodies, a la Deftones’ Chino Moreno: distinct enough to provide hooks (the chorus of “Died a Million Times” is an earworm) while remaining unobtrusive to Monolord’s meditative plod. With six tracks amounting to more than 50 minutes of music, Vænir drifts along almost like a Sigur Rós record, with massive buildups giving way to quiet passages of minimalist guitar. The 16-minute closing title track is built on those kinetic heavy/soft dynamics. When the drums drop out toward the end, leaving only dissonant chords, it creates a looming uncertainty that lingers and lingers — like a scene in a horror film when the killer is about to pounce on a victim — before Willems ends the silence with one last breakdown. It’s a punctuating close to one of the most satisfying heavy albums in recent memory.

File Under: Rock
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nirvana

Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Released in September of 1991, Nirvana’s sophomore album and major label debut, Nevermind elevated Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl from a critically acclaimed Aberdeen, Washington cult band to generational spokesmen who’d unwittingly created a cultural shift and musical touchstone. Rising to #1 the world over by year’s end and ultimately selling over 30 million copies worldwide, Nevermind would come to be much more than one of the most successful and influential albums of its or any era. As the album that returned unaffected rock ’n’ roll integrity and passion to the top of the charts, Nevermind would prove a singular inspiration to fans and musicians alike over the last two decades, and will undoubtedly do so for generations to come! “The overnight-success story of the 1990s, Nirvana’s second album and its totemic first single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” shot up from the nascent grunge scene in Seattle to kick Michael Jackson off the top of the Billboard album chart and blow hair metal off the map. No album in recent history had such an overpowering impact on a generation – a nation of teens suddenly turned punk – and such a catastrophic effect on its main creator.” – #17 on Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’

File Under: Rock, Grunge
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reichSteve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (Nonesuch) LP
RSD restock of this essential slab of minimalism… This has to be Steve Reich’s most difficult work to perform; but he’s done it. Several times. Music for 18 Musicians is for violin, cello, two clarinets doubling bass clarinet, four women’s voices, four pianos, three marimbas, two xylophones, and a metallophone (vibraphone with no motor). It’s a 1974 composition that focuses entirely on the rich staccato that gives minimalism its unique sound. However, Reich turns all of this into actual music by adding the richness of the metallophone and the women’s voices. Whatever else people may have said about minimalism, pro or con, a work such as Music for 18 Musicians demonstrates its legitimacy. –Paul Cook

File Under: Experimental, Minimalism
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hemisphers

Rush: Hemispheres (Mercury) LP
In 2014 UMe/Mercury reissued Rush’s self-titled debut on heavy-weight vinyl in celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary. Now in 2015, let the Rush 40 celebration continue with ’12 Months of Rush’ reissues – in chronological order – starting with 1975’s Fly By Night on LP and Blu-Ray Pure Audio. During the ’12 Months of Rush’ campaign all 14 of the band’s Mercury albums will be remastered on 200-gram heavy-weight vinyl at legendary Abbey Road, all from original analogue masters. All LPs will also include a digital download code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download. In addition to Fly By Night, A Farewell to Kings and Signals will also be reissued on Blu-Ray Pure Audio. Another favorite of true Rush fans, this sixth studio album, released in 1978, once more explored fantasy and science fiction themes in Neil Peart’s lyrics. The final track, the ambitious nine-and-a-half minute “La Villa Strangiato,” was the band’s first instrumental. The album peaked at #47 on the Billboard charts, and was the group’s fourth consecutive gold album in the U.S., featuring the singles “The Trees” and “Circumstances.” “Their influence is undeniable…and their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone. I think it’s safe to say that Rush are indeed a band that has balls…and they’ve always been cool.” – Dave Grohl inducting Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

File Under: Rock, CanCon
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…..Restocks…..
Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (Cleopatra) LP
Courtney Barnett: The Double Album (Mom & Pop) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Columbia) LP
Behemoth: Satanist (Metal Blade) LP
Booker T & The MGs: Green Onions (Sundazed) LP
Booker T & The MGs: And Now! (Sundazed) LP
Captain Beefheart: Safe as Milk (Sundazed) LP
Nick Cave: Your Funeral… My Trail (Mute) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
John Coltrane: Giant Steps (Rhino) LP
Sam Cooke: Mr. Soul (Music on Vinyl) LP
Daft Punk: 1997: Alive (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
De La Soul: 3 Feet High & Rising (Rhino) LP
Doors: s/t (Rhino) LP
Doors: L.A. Woman (Rhino) LP
Doors: Strange Days (Rhino) LP
Bob Dylan: s/t (Sundazed) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Sundazed) LP
Nils Frahm: Spaces (Erased Tapes) LP
Fugazi: End Hits (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: The Argument (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: In on the Killtaker (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: Red Medicine (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: Steady Diet of Nothing (Dischord) LP
Dexter Gordon: Go (Blue Note) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man in Paris (Blue Note) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Billie Holiday: Lady in Satin (Columbia) LP
Husker Du: Warehouse (Rhino) LP
Jesus & The Mary Chain: Psycho Candy (Warner) LP
Kyuss: And The Circus Leaves Town (Elektra) LP
Kyuss: Welcome to Sky Valley (Elektra) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
John Mayall: Blues Breakers (Sundazed) LP
John Mayall: Hard Road (Sundazed) LP
Millennium: Begin (Sundazed) LP
Modest Mouse: Strangers to Ourselves (Epic) LP
Modest Mouse: This is a Long Drive… (Epic) LP
Lee Morgan: Sidewinder (Blue Note) LP
OST: Birdman (Milan) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Sony) LP
Pearl Jam: Vitalogy (Sony) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Island) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely (Thirdman) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (Capitol) LP
Radiohead: OK Computer (Capitol) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: In Person (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: The Soul Album (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Sundazed) LP
Django Reinhardt: Anthology (Not Now) LP
Django Reinhardt: Djangology (Cleopatra) LP
Santigold: Master of My Make Believe (Atlantic) LP
Shakey Graves: And the War Came (Dualtone) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Soft Machine: s/t (Sundazed) LP
Soft Machine: Volume 2 (Sundazed) LP
Sonics: Introducing (Sundazed) LP
Speedy Ortiz: Foil Deer (Carpark) LP
Alexander Skip Spence: OAR (Sundazed) LP
Spoon: They Want My Soul (Republic) LP
Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska (Sony) LP
Cecil Taylor: Unit Structures (Blue Note) LP
Timber Timbre: Hot Dreams (Arts & Crafts) LP
Tool: Undertow (Zoo) LP
Eddie Vedder: Into The Wild (Music on Vinyl) LP
Yardbirds: Roger the Engineer (Music on Vinyl) LP

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…..news letter #691 – gut…..

Well finally the weekend I’ve been waiting for! The next six weeks are probably going to be rather grueling, but should be worth it. Not that it has anything to do with any of you, or records. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty of great reno stories for you as things progress. Anyway, some really swell stuff in this week so without any further adieu…

…..pick of the week…..

simple

Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP/CD
“Yes, Simple Songs is an album of songs sung by Jim O’Rourke all the way through! It has been ten years since Jim’s voice rang out from a new album. Ah, when James Michael was just a wee lad, he sang all the time, with a lovely little lilt to his voice, like all the children do. But the songs he sang gave his parents no end of consternation: ‘Great Decei-verrr! Cigarettes, ice cream, figurines… of the Vir-gin Mar-eeee!’ Aye, if only we’d-a been there — little Jimmy’s career would have started much sooner. Child labor laws be damned! It’s hard to believe it has been nearly fourteen years sinceInsignificance. When that album hit in late 2001, we heard once or twice how it was too bad that it wasn’tEureka Part 2. Sissies! Then in 2009, when The Visitorreturned Jim to the orchestrated instrumental feel ofBad Timing, people wondered when we’d have another album like Insignificance! Grrrr…. now, has the world caught up with Jim? Maybe — but only because he let us. What Simple Songs sounds like…. At this point, the range of sounds and songs that have turned Jim’s head are numerous enough to have crushed together into something that is unmistakably his — the vast, glossy and glittering O’Rourkian (yes, like Kervorkian) wall of sound. The music’s got OCD quality, played so immaculately by so many instruments, and most of them by the creator’s hand. This time’s really the widest screen yet for Jim’s popular song-style, truly breathtaking! As for the songs themselves, one may have to resist the urge to skim the lyrics to try and guess who the target of each ditty might be — but this ain’t ‘You’re So Vain,’ okay kids? And you’re definitely NOT Warren Beatty. Simple Songs was worked over, from source material to finished mix, for five years or more now. Jim’s writing is kinda rooted in the approach of Insignificance — frosted pop tarts that leave a darkly bitter aftertaste. So bilious not even Jim can listen to it all the way through! Fine, it’s not for him to listen to anymore — WE can’t stop from listening. It’s like a beautiful car wreck we can’t look away from or stop feeling AMAZING about. Super fun stuff.”

File Under: Pop, Indie
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…..new arrivals…..

acid-king-middle-of-nowhere-center-of-everywhere-2lp-

Acid King: Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (Svarte) LP
Roll out the red carpet – Acid King are breaking their ten year studio silence with a new, deliriously heavy album, “Middle Of Nowhere, Center Of Everywhere”. On their fourth outing, the three-piece maintains the corrosive concoction at the heart of their identity, while simultaneously progressing. In order to achieve that goal, the musicians riffed away in their Bay Area practice space, and the good old fashioning jamming yielded eight artfully architected tracks bookended by an Intro and an Outro, fusing together a cohesive journey. “Middle Of Nowhere, Center Of Everywhere” was recorded at both Sharkbite and Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, mixed at Different Fur Studios and produced by Acid King and Billy Anderson. Striking artwork from famed tattoo artist Tim Lehi (who has designed cover art for High On Fire, Earthless and Witch) provides a preliminary indication of the cosmic scope of the musical innards. Certain pillars uphold the underground. Their influence pervades throughout future generations, shaping the sound, style, and spirit of artists for years to come. Such can be said of Acid King, bubbling up from San Francisco in 1993 through a fog of revved up riffs, thunderous drums, and hypnotic vocal howl. This unholy triumvirate of visionary, vocalist, and guitarist Lori S, drummer Joey Osbourne, and bassist Mark Lamb existed before terms like “stoner rock” and “doom metal” entered the musical lexicon. Their seismic chemistry transfixed audiences everywhere from high-profile festivals such as Hellfest and Roadburn to now iconic shows alongside peers such as Sleep and Mystick Krewe of Clearlight. Acid King returns to its throne with 2015’s full-length “Middle Of Nowhere Center Of Everywhere”.

File Under: Metal, Doom, Stoner
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bitchwax

Atomic Bitchwax: Gravitron (Tee Pee) LP
New Jersey’s legendary, riff-centric power trio The Atomic Bitchwax (aka TAB) returns with gargantuan riffs and jaw-dropping psych sonics on its sixth full length LP,Gravitron. Now featuring TWO members of Monster Magnet – bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik and drummer Bob Pantella – alongside shred-tastic gunslinger Finn Ryan, the band has perfected its unique style of NYC hard rock that High Times appropriately tabbed, “thunder-boogie.” On Gravitron, The Atomic Bitchwax’s Rush-like riff mazes and carpal-tunnel-inducing riffs are on full display; every note bleeds with urgency. There’s far too much exuberant energy on the record to lazily tag this as “Stoner Rock”; this is high-octane, ’70s-based hard rock infused with stabs of psychedelia and landslides of Tommy Bolin-inspired guitar heroics ! Gravitron is an A-level masterclass in bad ass Rock’N’ Roll and cements the The Atomic Bitchwax as an undeniable force in today’s heavy music landscape.

File Under: Stoner, Psych, Hard Rock
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blanck

Blanck Mass: Dumb Flesh (Sacred Bones) LP
Blanck Mass is Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power. His initial ambient creations were to be studio only, and were a collection of beat-less shimmering soundscapes, released on Mogwai’s Rock Action label. Interest steadily grew and soon his crafted worlds were to reach the ears of billions as his track, “Sundowner,” was used extensively in the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Ben then followed up his self titled debut with a successful EP release on Software into a more beat driven territory, and has since taken Blanck Mass out of the studio and into the live sphere, touring as main support to the likes of Sigur Ros and Jon Hopkins. Blanck Mass’ newest album Dumb Flesh will be released on Sacred Bones Records in May 2015. Power explains, “There must have been at least three occasions where I re-produced the whole thing, replacing instrumentation and experimenting with new machines until I was happy with where the evolution of the project had arrived. That’s the difference between the subject matter of Dumb Flesh and the process of creating it; an end point can be reached. Saying that, I don’t like to stick around in one place too long so we’ll see where this leads to next.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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henry

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Henry’s Dream (Mute) LP
1992’s Henry’s Dream, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ seventh studio album, contains songs critics and fans alike have come to regard as indisputable classics from the band’s oeuvre: “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry,” “Christina the Astonishing” and “Jack the Ripper,” to name just a few. Yet, for the band, Henry’s Dream undeniably epitomizes – much more so than any of their other albums – the loss of control that ensues when one has exerted but a slippery grip on some very vertiginous circumstances. “Henry’s Dream,” explains Cave, “was one of the first records that I came to with an absolute sound in my head as to how this record should be. What I wanted to make with Henry’s Dream was a very violent acoustic record, basically using storytelling and acoustic instruments to create a really fucked up and violent sound, but which was in no way heavy. This, sadly, didn’t happen.” The Good Son had evidenced a decided shift to a more “classic” form of songwriting; combined with less jarring arrangements and overall smoother production than earlier albums, it seemed to betoken a broader potential appeal. In Mick’s evaluation, Nick’s songwriting had become “a lot more coherent and focused.” Compared to his earlier work, a tune like “The Ship Song” could “maybe seem a bit like a straight pop-rock song, if you want to look at it that way.” Apparently their record label did look it at that way: “Mute suggested that we get a ‘real’ producer to produce our next record. I think they heard The Good Son, heard a whole lot of ballads there, and possibly thought that they weren’t exploited or recorded in the right way,” conjectures Cave. Mick confirms, “Daniel [Miller, head of Mute] just suggested, ‘Maybe it’d be good to actually get a producer this time and see what happens.’ So we did.” Nick knew exactly what he was looking for in a producer: “I remember sitting and going through records and I was actively trying to find a record that sounded the least produced. That’s why we came up with David Briggs; it felt like he just let those Neil Young records just happen organically and had little involvement in them. It felt like he recorded Neil Young and his band as he found them.” Band personnel had changed substantially since recording The Good Son. The core of Nick, Blixa, Thomas and Mick remained unchanged. Kid Congo Powers had returned to The Gun Club (leaving Mick to handle rhythm guitar duties) and two new members were welcomed into the fold, both of them Australians: Conway Savage on piano and ex-Triffid Martyn Casey on bass. This unit proved to be rough and ready and fully capable of tackling Cave’s material head on, especially when it came to throwing down live studio performances. Blixa Bargeld enthuses, “What was really great about this record is the majority of that material was recorded together as a band – one take, classical way, all of them playing together – which is something that I cherish a lot.” It appeared all systems go for a hell of a record, but the band’s warm glow of anticipation quickly dissipated. Briggs didn’t want to fly out to NY to record, so the band came to California, ending up out in Van Nuys, at Sound City studio in the San Fernando Valley. Unfortunately, Mick found Briggs’ choice of studio (like the one they had to use in Brazil for The Good Son) lacking. Normally when deciding on a studio, Mick notes that he “would choose quite ambient rooms so that we could get the room sound going. I thought there had been a mistake made with the studio when we went to LA. We let all that stuff go, but in the back of my mind was the feeling that it was the wrong decision.” Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds took in many hard-learned lessons from their exposure to Briggs’ modus operandi. One of the more positive drills ingrained by their tormenter was the value of multiple basic takes. Mick acknowledges: “We’d always just get lazy and go ‘Ah, that’ll do.’ Briggs actually just kept us playing on, like two or three takes beyond where we’d normally have stopped. So we learned from that, a lot actually: we learned to push that a bit harder and it was worth it. Even if it felt like a bit of a drag, it was worth it and that stayed with us I think.” Thomas on the other hand, is skeptical that Briggs actually had a clue what to look for in those takes: “He didn’t say anything. He just stood there in the control room next to us, playing the air guitar.” Nick found it impossible to deal with Briggs. “It sounds ridiculous, but you had to be there,” says Nick. “No matter how angry or pissed off we got, he was just on the controls and did what he wanted. At some point, we all gave up.” Cave’s worst fears had been realized: “We watched our record be taken away from us. It just sounded to me really different from the record that I wanted to make.” Evidently Briggs understood it as his designated duty to assume command of a bunch of guys who didn’t really know how to make a record and deliver what he thought was the best possible product; but having this extraneous person in the equation in an unassailable position of authority had impaired Nick and the band‘s ability to communicate freely and effectively between them. Blixa’s succinct summary of the whole mess: “I think too many people worked on this record.” Ironically, Henry’s Dream became one of the Bad Seeds most loved records.

File Under: Rock
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ceremony

Ceremony: The L-Shaped Man (Matador) LP
Ceremony’s fifth studio album, The L-Shaped Man, uses singer Ross Farrar’s recent breakup as a platform to explore loneliness and emotional weariness, but it is by no means a purely sad album. Rather than look inward, Farrar uses his experience to write about what it means to go through something heavy and come out the other side a different person. In order to tell Farrar’s story, Ceremony have almost completely stripped back the propulsive hardcore of their previous records, turning every angry outburst into simmering despair. “We’ve always tried to be minimalists in writing, even if it’s loud or fast or abrasive,” says lead guitarist Anthony Anzaldo. “It’s really intense when I hear it. Not in a way where you turn everything up to ten. Things are so bare, you’re holding this one note for so long and you don’t now where it’s going – to me, that’s intensity.” That intensity is apparent on “Exit Fears,” the first full song on the record. It meticulously pairs Justin Davis’ loping bassline, which pulls the track along, with Anzaldo’s icy, minimal guitar work. It brings to mind some alternate version of Joy Division that hasn’t quite lost all hope. It gets close to exploding, but instead plays the shadows, never quite rising above a nervous simmer. The sound is abetted by producer John Reis, who honed his skills in seminal bands like Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes. Much of the gravelly aggression he experimented with in those bands is present on The L-Shaped Man. “Recalling the post-punk of Joy Division, the Fall and Wire – if those bands had spent more time in weight rooms than art galleries.” – Rolling Stone

File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
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circuit

Circuit Des Yeux: In Plain Speech (Thrill Jockey) LP
Haley Fohr’s music strikes a unique balance between the personal and universal. As Circuit des Yeux she creates music that embodies the complexity of human emotions, juxtaposing tenderness and grief, ecstasy and horror, using sounds as representations of the emotional spectrum that we all experience. Fohr’s striking voice, an impassioned baritone, is the music’s centerpiece and guiding force. On In Plain Speech, Fohr is joined by some of the most progressive musicians in the Chicago music community; Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas), Whitney Johnson (Verma), Rob Frye (Bitchin Bajas), Adam Luksetich (Little Scream), and Kathleen Baird (Spires That In The Sunset Rise). Fohr cements her reputation as a fearless songwriter and inventive arranger with this stirring collection of songs that are both gorgeous and emotionally potent. In Plain Speech represents the start of a new, more collaborative chapter for Circuit des Yeux. While previous works were solo affairs, not only in performance, but emotionally tied to a sense of confinement and place, these new songs were composed after a move to a collective living space, giving Fohr an opportunity to break free of the isolation that informed her previous albums. Fohr brought her community, literally, to the recording. In Plain Speech continues her collaboration with Crain, but it is her first recording with a full band, who are all leaders in Chicago’s new wave of creative musicians. Her songs, while always potent when delivered solo, shine in this new band context. Companionship and solidarity are themes woven throughout the album. “Do The Dishes” is a meditation on sisterhood, and a message to other women to take risks, follow their passions deeply and to love themselves. “Fantasize the Scene” explores the idea of eternal friendship. Extensive touring after Circuit des Yeux’s acclaimed 2013 album Overdue influenced the making of the album in several ways. On that tour, which stretched for months throughout Europe and the US, Fohr toured solo, no band, no tour manager, no driver, and in that solitude learned to commune with the audience in a way that she hadn’t ever before. That connection sparked in her mind a conversation with the audience, and many of the lyrics on In Plain Speech are directed at “you,” the listener. She also became acutely aware of disquiet, a pervasive anxiety, which permeated society in almost every city she visited. “I felt an uneasiness that superseded phonetic communication,” she writes. “Something dim is in the air, and it is looming large.” This anxiety creeped into songs like “A Story Of This World,” which is a call for change of priorities and values among the world’s leadership.

File Under: Rock, Experimental
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dreyblatt

Arnold Dreyblatt: Nodal Excitation (Drag City) LP
“By the late ’80s most of the burgeoning minimal underground had been forgotten, especially one amazing character, Arnold Dreyblatt. Dreyblatt only had one record, Nodal Excitation (on the mostly post-AACM jazz label India Navigation), before he packed and moved to Berlin, where he concentrated on his other activities, making only two more records over the next 10 years. But for those who caught the action, Arnold was the man. He was more rock that any of the others combined, and he was also the only one to really tap into that massive proto-minimal sound that Conrad had squelched out of his tin-contact mic violin in the early ’60s. Indeed, in the early ’70s after being in school in Buffalo, where Conrad taught, Dreyblatt moved into Manhattan to work for Young, where he witnessed first-hand, and listened first-ear to those legendary recordings of the Theatre of Eternal Music. He got interested in long string sounds, and bought a bass that he wired with piano wire. By hitting the strings instead of bowing them, Dreyblatt was able to get those ringing overtones, but he also had added something new: pure rhythm. Dreyblatt couldn’t get the rock singles he’d grown up with out of him, and couldn’t become the full-on new-music man that seemed to be a requirement in the ’70s, and it wasn’t until the ’80s that the fence could be straddled, if not knocked over. It was time to start a band. In 1998, dexter’s cigar were on the scene, excavating the valuable stuff from that semi-recent past for Nodal Excitation’s first-ever appearance on CD. It brought it into a lot of new ears — but times have changed and so have the ears. So what you have here is the first ever LP reissue of Arnold Dreyblatt’s freshman record, a slice of minimal history that is STILL as potent now, if not more, as it was in ’98 and ’81 before it. It was a lighthouse that was aiming the wrong way when the tugboat came by, but now it’s shining right in your face.”

File Under: Experimental, Minimalism
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fantasma-free-loveFantasma: Free Love (Soundways) LP
Fantasma, the latest project of South African innovator and creative pioneer Spoek Mathambo, is a five-man collective which weaves together electronica, hip-hop, traditional Zulu maskandi music, shangaan electro, South African house, psych-rock and punk to form a unique, original and fresh hybrid. The godfather of ‘Bacardi House’, producer DJ Spoko joins with former Machineri guitarist André Geldenhuys, drummer Michael Buchanan and maskandi multi-instrumentist Bhekisenzo Cele to complete the line up. Fused by Spoek Mathambo’s futurist vision, Fantasma pulls inspiration from all corners of South Africa: the sounds and spirits of townships and cities as well as the rural countryside. It is diverse not only in its membership but also in its forward-looking music.

File Under: African, Punk, Hip Hop, Electronic, Shangaan
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froth

Froth: Bleak (Burger) LP
Hailing from the sleepy beach town of El Segundo, CA, Froth was founded in 2012 by a couple of high school friends with a shared love of music and lack of musical ability. However, while their ambitions may have been modest, the band quickly progressed from South Bay slackers to focused psych-rock songsmiths after a self-released demo and a string of solid local shows put their name on the shortlist of L.A. bands to watch. Froth’s debut LP, Patterns, was released in fall 2013 on Burger Records and Lolipop Records, and bared witness to the young group’s rapid musical growth and developing ear for composition. A shimmering mix of jangly 12-string guitars and swirling omnichord sounds, the album offers plenty of moments of pure psych-pop bliss; however, the band also flirts with a darker, driving element that they have continued to explore on subsequent releases. For their sophomore album, Bleak, Froth has largely traded in the sun-soaked 60s pop of their first long-player in favor of a maximalist shoegaze sound that combines screaming guitars with muscular drumming and throbbing, nervy bass lines. The result is a mature, confident record built upon tight songwriting and carefully honed tones. Lead singer and guitarist Joo-Joo Ashworth displays an equal knack for noisy, fuzz-driven leads and economic pop hooks, while drummer Cameron Allen holds down the beat with machine-like precision and bassist Jeremy Katz infuses the album with a unique groove that has become a necessary ingredient in Froth’s signature sound. With the arrival of a new record, Froth has also introduced a second guitarist, Cole Devine. The former Cosmonauts drummer and current Black Sea front man adds to the band’s already rich textural palette, bringing his distinctive dream pop sensibility into the fold. After tirelessly touring the U.S. and sharing the stage with scene standouts like The Growlers, The Dream Syndicate, La Luz, Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel, Mystic Braves and many more, Froth continues to attract new fans with their infectious music and high-energy live show. Recent stints across Europe and work with fashion legend Hedi Slimane have further cemented the band’s reputation with an international audience. As always, though, Froth remains dedicated to pushing their own boundaries and exploring new sonic avenues, both on the road and in the studio.

File Under: Fuzz, Pop, Psych, Shoegaze
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gibson

Jon Gibson: Visitations (Superior Viaduct) LP
“Since the mid-1960s, Jon Gibson has played a key role in the development of American avant-garde music. No other artist has performed in the world premieres of Terry Riley’s ‘In C,’ Steve Reich’s ‘Drumming,’ and Philip Glass’s ‘Einstein on the Beach,’ three major works that changed the course of musical history. While his expertise on woodwind instruments made Gibson a go-to collaborator in Reich’s, Glass’s, and La Monte Young’s ensembles, less known are his remarkable contributions as a composer and visual artist. Visitations, Gibson’s first release under his own name, originally appeared on the Chatham Square imprint in 1973. Inspired by the books of Carlos Castaneda, Gibson departs from the structured repetition of his minimalist peers and takes the listener on an aural journey — spanning organic field recordings, ambient flutes and synthesizers, and free-flowing textures. Visitations’ two side-long tracks are at once solemn and unsettling, making this an astonishing debut that firmly establishes Gibson as a pioneer in his own right. This first-time vinyl reissue is recommended for fans of Cluster, Harold Budd, and Phill Niblock.”

File Under: Ambient, Minimalism
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holy serpent

Holy Serpent: s/t (Ridin’ Easy) LP
Music often instigates a connection. Melbourne, Australia’s HOLY SERPENT, instantly bonded over a healthy diet of Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Witchcraft, The Melvins, and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats in 2014. Their shared passion for riffs, reefer, and righteous half-pipes then blossomed into writing songs together. The quartet’s magnetism billows out from under a THC-spiked haze of doom riffs and psychedelic rock bombast, it’s hypnotic.

File Under: Metal, Doom, Stoner
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hotchip

Hot Chip: Why Make Sense? (Domino) LP/DLX LP
Hot Chip’s new album, Why Make Sense?, restates the band’s intentions and redefines the very things that made them relevant in the first place. Its ten tracks shun modernist dancefloor tropes in order to flick through the dusty corners of the band’s teenage record collections, back when they were experimenting with music on primitive computer programs. This, their sixth album, comes on the back of the highly successful In Our Heads and a touring period that saw them headline venues such as the iconic Hollywood Bowl and close out major festivals the world over. Why Make Sense? represents the first time the Hot Chip live band has recorded together residentially. The result is a revelation. Alternately jarring and chaotic, pared back, thundering, then pulsating and gloriously mellifluous, Why Make Sense? confidently displays its influences. You get clattering analogue post-punk (“Why Make Sense?”), Philly disco (“Dark Night”), and even outer-space acid dub (“Easy To Get”) while the crisp, snapping ’90s R&B of “Love Is The Future” calls in guest spots from De La Soul’s Posdnuos and Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside on vocals and arrangements respectively. The record also eschews Alexis Taylor’s vocals in favour of a carefully chosen sample that adds huge clout to the emotionally charged core of the album, “Need You Now.”

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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nosaj thing

Nosaj Thing: Fated (Innovative Leisure) LP
We seek the new because of the numbness. If you listen to enough music, you’re familiar with the feeling. Sounds get recycled so often that they can seem like geometric configurations organized via Wav files. Trends get time-stamped faster than a triplicate trap hi-hat. The most rare records emerge outside of any clearly delineated orbit. They’re solitary visions that supply their own rhythm and arsenal. Music that reverberates through heart, brain, and spine. This is Nosaj Thing’s third album, Fated. “I just tried to escape really, and escape even what’s going on in the music world,” says Nosaj Thing, the LA producer born Jason Chung. “It just felt so suffocating in a way. I just wanted to do my own thing.” It’s been six years since Nosaj Thing emerged among the vanguard of Low End Theory-affiliated producers. His debut Drift created 31st century tones and chromatic textures so sleek that they inspired innumerable Soundcloud imitators. None could match its moody iridescence, faded sadness and funky swing. Bach collided with Boards of Canada. Spaceships came equipped with rear view mirrors and a booming system bumping G-Funk and warped soul. Pitchfork called it “gorgeously haunted.” Resident Advisor said it “exists in its own dimension and feeds off its own exhaust: full of alien choirs, conquered computers, and refracting stained-glass light.” Fated exists in this same alternate dimension, but further out. If comparisons previously existed with other artists within the LA beat scene, Nosaj has rendered them baseless. His second album on Innovative Leisure (after 2013’s Home) seeks celestial escape through streamlining. “The last record took out so much of me. I just wanted to go back to simplifying and overthinking so much. It was a battle,” Nosaj says. “The soul of a song, the essence of a song – whatever you want to call it – should be simple.” By stripping away all but what’s really necessary, the sounds harness an unusual directness. Guest appearances are rare, save for vocals from Whoarei on “Don’t Mind Me,” and Chicago rap phenomenon, Chance the Rapper. The latter gravely spits on “Cold Stares,” invoking terminal fevers, empty beds, devil’s whispers, and insomniac fears. If comparisons crop up, Fated has most in common with records like Burial’s Untrue or Dilla’s Donuts. Requiems that canvass the shadowy hinterlands between life and death, darkness and light, loneliness and love. Eternal themes re-imagined in ingenious fashion. “The album name came from all these coincidences that just kept on happening to me,” Nosaj says. “Specific interaction with specific people in unexpected places. A perpetual feeling of déjà vu.” It’s foundation rests on that intangible thing that some call fate or primordial feeling. Numbness receding, old emotions flooding back, un-tampered visions. Fated is what you can’t explain, so it’s best to just listen.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Hip Hop
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palma

Palma Violets: Danger in the Club (Rough Trade) LP/CD
While Danger In The Club, the follow-up to Palma Violets’ barnstorming 2013 debut 180, certainly trades on the primal and joyous hook-laden rock of their debut, their sophomore LP also finds the band with a new sonic looseness, revealing far more expansive influences than the still-quite-young quartet had on their first outing. This is the sound of a preternaturally talented group of musicians and songwriters continuing to develop, while keeping their focus squarely on the type of well-crafted, singalong anthems that have earned them the adoration of fans and critics. Produced by the legendary John Leckie and recorded at Rockfield Studio in Wales, Danger In The Club is a brilliant step forward. “Girl, You Couldn’t Do Much Better On The Beach” and “Hollywood (I Got It)” build on 180’s exhilarating, primal rock and roll, whilst the hook-heavy choruses and imaginative lyrics of “English Tongue” and “Coming Over To My Place” demonstrate how much Palma Violets – still all in their early twenties – have matured as first class songwriters and honed their own unique sound.

File Under: Indie Rock
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prefuse

Prefuse 73: Rivington Nao Rio (Temporary Residence) LP
Rivington Não Rio revels in the kind of compassionate complexity that marks Prefuse 73’s greatest works, with a profound new element added to the mix: Patience. Guillermo S. Herren’s ability to marry the manic to the melodic has always been uncanny, but here it feels downright magical as the songs inhale with his trademark sense of urgency…then exhale in longer, more revealing breaths. The prismatic textures that have long been a staple of Prefuse 73 are bound to beats and melodies with the spirit of hip-hop and the subtlety of modern minimalism. The album’s guests treat the material with a hushed respect: Roc Nation songwriter and Jessie Ware collaborator Sam Dew turns “Infrared” into a sublimely soulful, dimly-lit portrait of inverted R&B; Milo & Busdriver’s vicious, rapid-fire verses contrast a pastoral downbeat to brilliant effect; and elsewhere, Pinback’s Rob Crow and Latin electronic-folk crooner Helado Negro navigate splintered tropics with passive grace. As a stand-alone album, Rivington Não Rio ranks extraordinarily high in the Prefuse 73 canon. As a centerpiece to an epic triptych that includes the Forsyth Gardens and Every Color of Darkness EPs, it’s a new peak from a pioneer who appears to only just now be hitting his prime. For an artist who has played an undeniably integral role in the careers of so many influential artists, it’s not just refreshing to hear him return to top form…it’s revelatory.

File Under: Electronic, Hip hop
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richter

Max Richter: Blue Notebooks (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Max Richter is a British-based, German-born pianist and composer. Following 2002’s highly-acclaimed Memoryhouse – performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and released on the BBC’s classical label, Late Junction – 2004’s The Blue Notebooks is his second solo album, a distinctive and adventurous work that is beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope. Opening with a text from Franz Kafka over a sparse piano melody, the album moves through gorgeous, heart-wrenching string swells of “On The Nature Of Daylight” (which quotes a tune from Memoryhouse); through to sparse but lyrical piano pieces; hazy, swirling atmospherics, avalanche pulse-beats and partially occluded melodies that recall Aphex twin’s ‘Ambient Works’ albums; and to reverberant organ / choir recordings. Utilizing piano, cello, violin and viola, alongside electronic beats (made using a variety of antique electronics and Reaktor), spoken word passages and the occasional field recording, other sounds were generated via old guitar pedals and vocoders. The organ music was made for a chapel near Tourtres in South-West France, whilst the environmental sounds are mainly recorded around London. The tone of the album is generally downbeat – a series of bittersweet articulations that seem suspended somewhere between a certain dreamy sense of wonder / awe and a heavy melancholia. Peppered across Richter’s music like diary entries (and backed with attendant typewriter clatter) are a number of literary texts or ‘shadow journals’ (lifted from Kafka’s ‘the Blue Octavo notebooks’, and from Polish author Czseslaw Milosz’s ‘Hymn Of The Pearl’ and ‘Unattainable Earth’). Apparently chosen by Richter on instinct, they were recorded by acclaimed British actress, Tilda Swinton. These brief passages muse over time, memory, and the impermanent nature of things. With Richter playing piano, the other featured players here are his regular collaborators, Louisa Fuller (violin), Natalia Bonner (violin), John Metcalfe (viola), Philip Sheppard (cello), and Chris Worsey (cello).

File Under: Classical
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shamir

Shamir: Ratchet (XL) LP
Shamir Bailey is a 20-year-old Las Vegas native who grew up not on the strip but in the desert. His verve for life makes him almost impossible to categorize. As a young musician, he moves in and out of soul, R&B, house, disco, rap, and pop – in the tradition of artists like Prince, Grace Jones, David Bowie, and Madonna. Genre is a tool for Shamir, not a boundary. Or as Shamir would put it, “It doesn’t matter what you sound like – you just have to be you.” With an androgyne croon that recalls Nina Simone, Shamir rose from the suburbs of Vegas after sending demos to Nick Sylvester, who runs the GODMODE label out of New York. Together they made Northtown, Shamir’s debut EP (2014), and continued their working relationship for Ratchet, his first LP for XL Recordings. It’s an ecstatic dance-pop record that also has some dust and age to it, sparkling with the grit of a desert geode. The songs are about growing up in Vegas, though not the Vegas you think you know. The music is fun even when it’s mostly introspective, introspective even when it’s mostly fun. There’s an obvious fluidity to Shamir. He transcends boundaries – genre, gender, age, geography. If he feels solitary, it’s because there’s literally no one else like him.

File Under: Electronic, Soul, Pop
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tanlines

Tanlines: Highlights (True Panther) LP
Highlights, Tanlines’ first collection of new material since their critically-lauded debut, Mixed Emotions, in 2012, began in a basement in Pittsburgh and ended in a church in Brooklyn. It trades world music sounds for a more alive, realized approach, the result of Emm and Cohen knowing they wanted to break from their ‘two guys, one screen’ writing style. Influenced by their time spent on the road touring Mixed Emotions, primarily in the States, they reached for the sounds of 90’s New York hip-hop drums, Detroit techno synths, and lots and lots of guitars. The result could almost be called an homage to the sonics of America or “the album where things started making more sense.” Between working in Los Angeles with producer Patrick Ford, and their hometown of New York City with Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear) in his 100 year-old church studio, they eventually settled on the ten songs that make up the record. Highlights is like a renaissance for a band that began in 2008 as a one-off remix project. The upbeat dancefloor-ready tracks are imbued with colors and emotional range that go much deeper than ever before, with Emm’s vocals and lyrics, at once personal and observational, taking center stage.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
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torres

Torres: Sprinter (Arts & Crafts) LP
Torres knows the darkness. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter otherwise known as Mackenzie Scott waits until anything – an idea, an emotion, a memory – gnaws at her, tearing at her fingers and throat until she releases it in song. Her husky voice strains against its human biological constraints like a wildeyed horse, whispering desperately “Don’t give up on me just yet” on one end and yowling about jealousy with unnerving intensity on the other. Following her self-titled debut in 2013, Torres pushes herself to even noisier extremes on Sprinter, a punishing self-examination of epic spiritual and musical proportions. A keen awareness of Scott’s place in her family and in the world suffuses Sprinter, contributing to themes of alienation throughout. “You’re just a firstborn feeling left behind,” she sings on the ominously brewing “Son, You Are No Island,” which references one of Scott’s influences on this record: English poet John Donne’s 1624 poem Devotions upon Emergent Occasions. Scott’s tortured wailing circles spirals downward around itself, reflecting in a dark mirror the feelings of an adopted child. “Whether it be abandonment, or fear of rejection, or perhaps inability to connect with people, comes down to that fear of isolation, of not being good enough,” says Scott. “Those are themes that have cropped up in my personal life, in my writing.” But Scott escaped the confines of her churning mind in order to find herself by recording Sprinter in the market town of Bridport in Dorset, England; and then at the Bristol studio of Portishead’s Adrian Utley. With his guitar riffs and synthesizers lingering in the background like a lowland mist and PJ Harvey’s Robert Ellis and Ian Olliver on rhythm – the two fortuitously reuniting 23 years after the release of Dry, and in Scott’s 23rd year of living – she crafted a “space cowboy” record. “That’s as simply as I can say it,” says Scott, who cites inspirations as diverse as Funkadelic and Nirvana, Ray Bradbury and Joan Didion. “I wanted something that very clearly stemmed from my Southern conservative roots but that sounded futuristic and space-y at the same time.” It seems like an odd thing to look for in the picturesque seaside green, rolling hills in the south of England, but Scott had never been there before, and as a stranger in a strange land she found what she was looking for: a lost childhood. Sprinter was recorded in a room that had formerly been used as a children’s nursery, which combined with the alien landscape fuels the self-searching that roils Torres’ music. “Cowboy Guilt” perfectly encapsulates the contrast of Deep South conservatism with future sounds, juxtaposing George W. Bush parodies with wearing one’s Sunday best, bouncing on a mechanically whimsical melody.

File Under: Indie Rock
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vincent

Sonny Vincent & Rocket From the Crypt: Vintage Piss (Swami) LP
Vintage Piss is the baby whose seed was planted on the 2003 Rocket From The Crypt US tour, which also paired some members of the band with legendary 1970s New York outta control rock ’n’ roller Sonny Vincent. After the Swami release of Vincent’s previous band Testors’ Complete Discography, Speedo (John Reis), Ruby Mars (Mario Rubalcaba) and The Notorious ND (Andy Stamets) served as the man’s backing band and slashed through his Testors repertoire resulting in a primo barrage of 1970s neo-proto-punk. After one particularly meaty performance in Chicago amidst high fives and ass slaps signifying a job well done, the inspiration to write and record new songs struck. Back in San Diego, late 2003, the group incubated in Drag Racist Studio (where Rocket From The Crypt recorded Live From Camp X-Ray and Hot Snakes Suicide Invoice). They employed a steam-of-consciousness approach to making noise by recording songs and ideas live in the studio without rehearsal. With Vincent’s voice and blazing, James Williamson-esque Les Paul attack leading the way, the band followed him into the punk abyss, emerging with a record that is both Sonny Vincent and Rocket From The Crypt. Unfortunately, the studio and Swami Records became buried by transition. It was to be the last thing recorded at Drag Racist before the studio shut its doors. The recording lay dormant, unmixed and unfinished. With the 2013 reformation of Rocket From the Crypt and the continued rerelease of Sonny Vincent and Testors material, a rekindled interest in the lost artifact of rock ’n’ roll led Swami to revisit these masters eleven years later. Tapes in various state of degradation were baked and restored to playability, resulting in the unearthing of a true forgotten gem. Produced and recorded by John Reis, mixed by Ben Moore, mastered by Dave Gardner at Magneto Mastering and featuring artwork by savage visionary Chris WeThreeClub, Vintage Piss is essential for fans of Rocket From The Crypt, Sonny Vincent, Testors and those attracted to the maverick, Cro-Magnon spirit of punk rock’s beginnings.

File Under: Punk

weed

Weed: Running Back (Lefse) LP
In September 2013 WEED released an LP of sentimental dream-grunge called Deserve on Seattle’s Couple Skate Records and started doing laps around the continent, silencing the critics (literally, in some cases) and stirring up a loyal fanbase lovingly referred to as the Field Trippers. With a 7” out this past February, tours booked in both the US and Europe, 2015 proves to be a busy year for Weed as they put all of their efforts behind this new full-length.

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Organs
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white hills

White Hills: Walks for Motorists (Thrill Jockey) LP
White Hills are proponents of psychedelia as transformation. The music made by Dave W. and Ego Sensation is risky and cutting edge, rooted in dystopian futurism and hyper-conscious of society’s constant desire for a new and better drug. That progressive aesthetic is at the heart of White Hills’ newest album Walks For Motorists, a radically stripped-down record that emphasizes rhythm and groove. The album bursts forth with a new kind of intensity, one born out of laser-focused precision and detail-oriented songwriting. Possibly surprising to fans familiar with the Hawkwindian guitar squall of earlier albums, the songs on Walks For Motorists began as a keyboard melody or bass line, and several songs on the album don’t even feature guitar at all. This is propulsive, open music, surreal to its core but made to inspire people to get out of their seats and move. Walks For Motorists was recorded with David Wrench (Caribou, Bear in Heaven, FKA Twigs, Owen Pallet) at Bryn Derwen Recording Studio in Bethesda, Wales which borders the Snowdonia National Forest. The band had 24-hour access to the studio, which allowed them to work whenever inspiration struck. Wrench’s expertise producing and mixing electronic music was an essential asset when perfecting the crisp tones heard throughout the record. This is the first album the band has recorded outside of New York City, and the vast, rolling Welsh landscape that surrounded the studio influenced its uncluttered sound. Walks For Motorists is also White Hills’ most diverse album to date. Fuzzed-out rockers sit comfortably next to kraut-infused grooves, and there are more vocal contributions from Ego than ever before.

File Under: Psych, Fuzz, Kraut
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roots

Various: Best of Trojan Dub 1 (Sanctuary) LP
First wave in a series of LPs celebrating the re-launch of Trojan Records in the US. First popularized in in the early seventies, dub developed through the work of a small number of talented Jamaican studio engineers and producers. The essential collection, The Best Of Trojan Dub Vol. 1, showcases 10 of the deepest and heaviest dub tracks of all time, including classic material from the likes of The Upsetters, Joe Gibbs & The Professionals, The Observers & King Tubbys and more! Launched in the summer of 1968, Trojan dominated the UK reggae scene throughout the late sixties and early seventies, issuing the best new sounds that both Jamaican and British music makers had to offer. Between 1969 and 1975, the company released well over two thousand 7” singles, of which no less than 28 breached the UK Top 50 chart. During the same period, it issued some 300 albums, highlighting the latest Reggae chart toppers, such as Desmond Dekker, John Holt, Toots & the Maytals and Ken Boothe, along with music from lesser-known artists, whose number included future legends, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. Trojan’s astounding success during this period was instrumental in introducing reggae to a global audience and in so doing provided the foundations upon which Jamaican music has since been able to develop and prosper. Today, more than four decades after its launch, Trojan remains one of the most iconic music labels in the world, continually attracting new fans with its vast catalog of music that encompasses a wide range of styles from sixties ska and rock steady to the more recent sounds of roots, dub, lovers rock and dancehall.

File Under: Reggae, Dub

reggae

Various: Best of Trojan Reggae 1 (Sanctuary) LP
First wave in a series of LPs celebrating the re-launch of Trojan Records in the US. Towards the close of 1968, the Jamaican music scene experienced the latest of a series of major musical revolutions, as the cool sound of rock steady was usurped by a jumpier, less sedate style that quickly became widely known as reggae. The Best Of Trojan Reggae Vol. 1 features 12 tracks including classics from Desmond Dekker & The Aces, Dave & Ansel Collins, John Holt and more! Launched in the summer of 1968, Trojan dominated the UK reggae scene throughout the late sixties and early seventies, issuing the best new sounds that both Jamaican and British music makers had to offer. Between 1969 and 1975, the company released well over two thousand 7” singles, of which no less than 28 breached the UK Top 50 chart. During the same period, it issued some 300 albums, highlighting the latest Reggae chart toppers, such as Desmond Dekker, John Holt, Toots & the Maytals and Ken Boothe, along with music from lesser-known artists, whose number included future legends, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. Trojan’s astounding success during this period was instrumental in introducing reggae to a global audience and in so doing provided the foundations upon which Jamaican music has since been able to develop and prosper. Today, more than four decades after its launch, Trojan remains one of the most iconic music labels in the world, continually attracting new fans with its vast catalog of music that encompasses a wide range of styles from sixties ska and rock steady to the more recent sounds of roots, dub, lovers rock and dancehall.

File Under: Reggae

rocksteady

Various: Best of Trojan Rock Steady 1 (Sanctuary) LP
First wave in a series of LPs celebrating the re-launch of Trojan Records in the US. During the long, hot summer of 1966, Jamaica’s national sound underwent a dramatic transformation, culminating in the rapid tempo of ska ultimately supplanted by the slower, more soulful sound of rock steady. The Best Of Trojan Rock Steady Vol. 1 collects 12 of the most influential records from the original rock steady era, performed by Desmond Dekker & The Aces, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Upsetters and more! Launched in the summer of 1968, Trojan dominated the UK reggae scene throughout the late sixties and early seventies, issuing the best new sounds that both Jamaican and British music makers had to offer. Between 1969 and 1975, the company released well over two thousand 7” singles, of which no less than 28 breached the UK Top 50 chart. During the same period, it issued some 300 albums, highlighting the latest Reggae chart toppers, such as Desmond Dekker, John Holt, Toots & the Maytals and Ken Boothe, along with music from lesser-known artists, whose number included future legends, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. Trojan’s astounding success during this period was instrumental in introducing reggae to a global audience and in so doing provided the foundations upon which Jamaican music has since been able to develop and prosper. Today, more than four decades after its launch, Trojan remains one of the most iconic music labels in the world, continually attracting new fans with its vast catalog of music that encompasses a wide range of styles from sixties ska and rock steady to the more recent sounds of roots, dub, lovers rock and dancehall.

File Under: Reggae, Rock Steady

roots

Various: Best of Trojan Roots 1 (Sanctuary) LP
First wave in a series of LPs celebrating the re-launch of Trojan Records in the US. The early seventies witnessed the development of roots – an inward-looking reggae style that drew inspiration from the Rastafarian faith, political wrongdoings and cultural heritage. The Best Of Trojan Roots Vol. 1 features 10 of the greatest Jamaican recordings from the genre including tracks form Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and more! Launched in the summer of 1968, Trojan dominated the UK reggae scene throughout the late sixties and early seventies, issuing the best new sounds that both Jamaican and British music makers had to offer. Between 1969 and 1975, the company released well over two thousand 7” singles, of which no less than 28 breached the UK Top 50 chart. During the same period, it issued some 300 albums, highlighting the latest Reggae chart toppers, such as Desmond Dekker, John Holt, Toots & the Maytals and Ken Boothe, along with music from lesser-known artists, whose number included future legends, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. Trojan’s astounding success during this period was instrumental in introducing reggae to a global audience and in so doing provided the foundations upon which Jamaican music has since been able to develop and prosper. Today, more than four decades after its launch, Trojan remains one of the most iconic music labels in the world, continually attracting new fans with its vast catalog of music that encompasses a wide range of styles from sixties ska and rock steady to the more recent sounds of roots, dub, lovers rock and dancehall.

File Under: Reggae, Roots

ska

Various: Best of Trojan Ska 1 (Sanctuary) LP

First wave in a series of LPs celebrating the re-launch of Trojan Records in the US. The early seventies witnessed the development of roots – an inward-looking reggae style that drew inspiration from the Rastafarian faith, political wrongdoings and cultural heritage. The Best Of Trojan Roots Vol. 1 features 10 of the greatest Jamaican recordings from the genre including tracks form Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and more! Launched in the summer of 1968, Trojan dominated the UK reggae scene throughout the late sixties and early seventies, issuing the best new sounds that both Jamaican and British music makers had to offer. Between 1969 and 1975, the company released well over two thousand 7” singles, of which no less than 28 breached the UK Top 50 chart. During the same period, it issued some 300 albums, highlighting the latest Reggae chart toppers, such as Desmond Dekker, John Holt, Toots & the Maytals and Ken Boothe, along with music from lesser-known artists, whose number included future legends, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. Trojan’s astounding success during this period was instrumental in introducing reggae to a global audience and in so doing provided the foundations upon which Jamaican music has since been able to develop and prosper. Today, more than four decades after its launch, Trojan remains one of the most iconic music labels in the world, continually attracting new fans with its vast catalog of music that encompasses a wide range of styles from sixties ska and rock steady to the more recent sounds of roots, dub, lovers rock and dancehall.

File Under: Reggae, Ska

…..Restocks…..

A Winged Victory for the Sullen: s/t (Kranky) LP
Agalloch: The Serpent & The Sphere (Eisenwald) LP
Angels of Light: Sings Other People (Young God) LP
Angels of Light: We Are Him (Young God) LP
Captain Beefheart: Ice Cream for Crow (4 Men With Beards) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
Flipper: Generic Album (4 Men With Beards) LP
Growlers: Chinese Fountain (Everloving) LP
Jesus Lizard: Down (Touch & Go) LP
Jesus Lizard: Goat (Touch & Go) LP
Jesus Lizard: Head (Touch & Go) LP
Jesus Lizard: Liar (Touch & Go) LP
Jesus Lizard: Pure (Touch & Go) LP
Master Musicians of Bukkake: Totem 3 (Important) LP
Modernettes: Teen City (Sudden Death) LP
Mother Love Bone: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
OST: Interstellar (Music on Vinyl) LP
OST: Under The Skin (Milan) LP
Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) LP
Nina Simone: Here Comes The Sun (4 Men With Beards) LP
Sleater-Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater-Kinney: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater-Kinney: The Woods (Sub Pop) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Spoon: Gimme Fiction (Merge) LP
Spoon: Girls Can Tell (Merge) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) LP
White Lung: Deep Fantasy (Domino) LP
Chelsea Wolfe: Pain is Beautiful (Sargent House) LP
Various: Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (Yep Rock) LP
Various: New Orleans Funk (Soul Jazz) LP

…..news letter #690 – short summer…..

Oh boy! So many great things coming out right now, this list is a real monster. Of course this is likely the storm before the calm of summer, but we’ll take what we can get. Strap on your reading glasses folks….

…..pick of the week…..

burchette

Wilburn Burchette: Opens the Seven Gates Transcendental Consciousness (Fifth Dimension) LP
First reissue of this stunning, dark, mysterious instrumental 1972 work by Wilburn Burchette, mystery of 1970s experimental guitar music. In place of regular songs there are several layers of chord and melody patterns shifted upon each other, performed on a semi-distorted electric guitar with a strong echo effect. A few other instruments may have been used as well, but it’s also possible that there are only electric guitars on this album. Even the oscillating buzz of “Transformation” could easily be created with a guitar and a few effect machines. Halfway through the tune the music knocks over into some very bright and jubilant guitar melody structures. The album as a whole has a krautish vibe, due to the repetitive layer-upon-layer structure of the compositions. It has an ethnic folk edge due to the use of Spanish and eastern folk harmonies. Burchette intended to create spiritual music to expands the listener’s mind in a positive way, and bring the soul and body into a state of enlightenment. Global folk music surely had an influence on this guitar masterpiece, and even though there are many mood changes, from the obscure lairs of the ancient druids to the light-filled Celtic springtime ceremonies, this record really lifts the spirit and cleanses all stress, anger, and pain from it. Although it was not created in Germany, this album could be a typical experimental and even cosmic release of the krautrock scene from its era. The years from 1970 to 1974 saw quite a few similar releases. The closing track, “Realization,” in particular, is a beautiful example of cosmic guitar music as it was produced only in that short period of time. It begins with some whistling fizzling buzz and then changes to a calm and mystical chord structure with strange echoes and spooky howls in the background. “Realization” slowly develops into a maelstrom that drags the listener into a musical black hole. Not as wild and heavy as the early Ash Ra Tempel albums, this piece could easily be a composition of guitar legend Manuel Göttsching. For fans of blues- and folk-based yet utterly freaked-out and dirty echo guitar music and cosmic sounds such as A.R. & Machines, early Tangerine Dream, early Kraftwerk, the aforementioned Ash Ra Tempel, Walter Wegmüller, or Gulââb.

File Under: New Age, Guitar, Kosmische, Private Press
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…..new arrivals…..

edne

Eden Ahbez: Eden’s Island (Captain High) LP
It is 1960. Rock ‘n’ roll has just lost a couple of its protagonists during this and the previous year. The time of the great balladeers has just begun but soon will run out, due to the new and exciting beat invasion. In the US mainstream, the tiki culture has reached a certain peak and is about to collapse, but still goes strong, and with it comes the so-called “exotica” music, a crossover between smooth jazz and swing, Latin grooves, and haunting melodies rooted in global folk traditions, plus weird sound effects that often create a spooky jungle or dreamy island beach atmosphere. See palm trees growing out of your speakers; witness monkeys and parrots having fun in your room. Eden Ahbez (1908-1995) lived a consistent dropout and hippie lifestyle way before the movement was born in the mid ’60s. As a poet and composer, he wrote the hit tune “Nature Boy” that gave Nat King Cole his first big success in 1948. On Eden’s Island, originally released in 1960, he approaches the field of exotica music from a different point of view, creating an epic concept album about a utopian society living in peace and harmony on an island far away from the modern western world as we know it. Relaxed grooves; easy-listening swing; Latin patterns; peaceful, dreamy, even transcendent vocal melodies; tinges of folk music from around the world; and a whole color palette of mind-expanding sounds, with narrated lyrics and eden ahbez’s wood flute. A truly unique effort; highly recommended to exotica aficionados who, for example, love Frank Hunter’s 1959 White Goddess album. Psychedelic music before the term was even invented.

File Under: Exotica, Psych
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best

Best Coast: California Nights (Tompkins Square) LP
Best Coast – singer/songwriter/guitarist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist Bobb Bruno – return with their third full-length album, entitled California Nights. Produced by Wally Gagel (Miley Cyrus, New Order, Muse), and recorded at WAX LTD in Hollywood, CA – the appropriately titled collection is a brighter, more sparkly, more sophisticated, more psychedelic Best Coast album across the board, embodying the rich lightness and stinging darkness of a California state of mind. The love stories Bethany spins on California Nights all detail the highs and the lows of relationships, similar to the juxtaposition of the band’s native Los Angeles – a place tinted by candy-colored palm trees and pale blue skies while existing within the loneliness and desperation of waterless place. More than that, there is a literal meaning to the record’s title – Cosentino is a well-documented insomniac whose creativity spirals out in the early hours of the morning, allowing her to write, undisturbed, the finest album Best Coast has made to date. “If you have ever lived in California, you know what nighttime here feels like. You know what the sky looks like when those epic sunsets begin, and you understand that feeling and the way things change when the sun finally sets. In LA, or maybe just personally to me, when the sun sets – I feel like there is a large sense of calmness in the air, and I feel like everything that happened to me prior in the day, whether crappy experiences or good ones, at night, it all goes away and I sink deep into this different kind of ‘world.’ “It also ties in with the idea that, in LA, there’s a real darkness that you don’t see unless you know where to look. That’s a theme we very consciously decided to explore and play with when making this record. We related to the idea that things may look or sound fun and upbeat, but they may not actually always be that way – much like our songs. A lot of the writing for this record consisted of me getting to know myself again and remembering where Bethany ended and Best Coast began. I took a much needed step back and I was able to breathe deep for a moment and really focus on what I was doing. The end result of all of that, is California Nights. It’s about a journey, accepting the things you have no control over; it’s about dealing with life like an adult, and at the end of the day, reminding yourself that there really is no reason to be sad, and you have every right to feel okay.” – Bethany Cosentino

File Under: Pop, Psych
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jonestown

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Musique de Film Imagine (A Recordings) LP
Musique de film imaginé (music for film imagined) is a soundtrack that pays homage to the great European film directors of the late ’50s and ’60s, such as François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard (to name but two), created by Anton Newcombe on behalf of The Brian Jonestown Massacre for an imaginary French film. Named in tribute to the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist and his influence in introducing Eastern culture and music into the world of western rock and roll, The Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in San Francisco, California in 1990. Two dozen band members and numerous ups and downs later (some of which have been famously sensationalized in the media), the one thing that has always remained consistent for this psychedelic collective is frontman Mr. Anton Alfred Newcombe. The Brian Jonestown Massacre returned to wide acclaim in May of 2014 with their 14th full-length album, Revelation, the first of the band’s albums to be fully recorded and produced at Newcombe’s recording studio in Berlin. Also recorded in Berlin, Musique de film imaginé features vocals from French chanteuse and multi-instrumentalist SoKo and Italian actress, singer, and director Asia Argento. SoKo is signed to Because Music and her track “We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow” was featured in the viral video “First Kiss,” which has garnered over 63 million views; the track debuted at number 9 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014. Argento, who has starred in music videos for Marilyn Manson, Placebo, and Tim Burgess, wrote the storyline for A$AP Rocky’s 2013 cinematic music video “Phoenix,” which has had over 5.5 million hits. Both vocal performances are in French. Newcombe recorded this daring symphonic experience in August 2014 after a successful European tour with The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Newcombe describes the work as “a soundtrack, my own creation, a tribute to great directors and filmmakers [and] to an era that now seems to be behind us. Leaving the smart person to care to imagine that this art could now be in the shadow of its former glory. The interesting thing about this project is that the film does not exist either. Even so, I imagined and I realized its soundtrack… Now it’s your turn, you are the listener to imagine the film.”

File Under: Rock, Psych, OST
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chra

Chra: Empty Airports (Editions Mego) LP
The title of Empty Airport, Chra’s second LP and her first on Editions Mego, may be read as a reference to Brian Eno’s ambient classic, though this time we find ourselves in a territory of transit that sounds like a dystopian swan song on civilizatoric debris — a heterotopia emptied of human remains, with only ghostly echoes behind. Chra aka comfortzone foundress Christina Nemec has traced out a post-anthropocene area in which acoustic entries of field recordings are stratified in layers of deconstructed noisescapes. Partly interspersed with clunky technoid basslines, an introspective space is opened, which excavates in a discreet and subtle manner layers of abandoned wasteland. Nemec, who is a member of various projects including Shampoo Boy (together with Peter Rehberg and Christian Schachinger) and the female berserker formation SV Damenkraft, has succeeded in producing a significant LP that merges dark techno and industrial with found sounds and ambient scapes, resulting in a compositoric minimalism that ushers us into a state of existential trance. Recorded and produced by Christina Nemec in Vienna and Hornerwald, 2012-2014. Additional mixing on “Abandoned House” by Christian Fennesz. Guitar on “Soca Valley” by Christian Schachinger, recorded at Twisted, Vienna. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, 2015. Artwork by Susi Klocker.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Field Recordings
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connors

Loren Connors: Blues: The ‘Dark Paintings’ of Mark Rothko (Family Vineyard) LP
Blues: The Dark Paintings of Mark Rothko is one of Loren Connors’ most cherished and sought after albums. Originally released in a handmade edition of around 300 copies on Connors’ own St. Joan label in January 1990 under the name Guitar Roberts – this album has been unavailable in any form until now. At the time of its release, Connors was still an inscrutable guitarist whose matchless and alien rendering of the blues was just gaining recognition despite more than two dozen solo and collaborative releases since 1978. Connors’ classic, song-based In Pittsburgh had only been available for three months when Blues welcomed the new decade. It would be the first of four solo albums issued by Connors that year and distilled the blues form into bleak, minimalist lines and tone; a compound of influences spanning Louisiana guitarist Robert Pete Johnson to painter Mark Rothko. “Moving with the slow, stately weirdom we expect of Connors’ late ’80s sound, the music is all shards, all pokes in the eye, as though Rothko’s gray scale had exploded, sending shrapnelized paint rocketing through your brain,” music historian Byron Coley writes in the liner notes of this reissue. “Just as Connors’ notes ricochet hauntedly through its recesses.” For this reissue, the audio has been restored to Connors’ specifications of how these seven instrumentals were originally intended to sound. Cover art is an untitled 1969 Rothko work – one of the paintings that influenced Connors to record this album. The original LP art and liner notes are replicated as a full-color inner sleeve. New liner notes by music historian Byron Coley chart Connors development and Rothko’s effect on the music.

File Under: Guitar Soli, Blues
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cronin

Mikal Cronin: MCIII (Merge) LP
MCIII is the third album from Californian singer-songwriter Mikal Cronin. Marked by the lush arrangements, stunning melodies, and deeply personal lyrical work for which Cronin is now known, the album is also a deliberate attempt to simply “go big.” Written and recorded over the course of 2014, between long bouts of touring, MCIII finds the Laguna Beach native splitting his latest full-length statement into two distinct halves. On Side A, behold a shimmering tsunami of furious, undeniable pop songs. On Side B, marvel at a beautifully wrought concept record in miniature, built around the radiant retelling of what Cronin calls his “coming-of-age” story. After leaving California to go to school in the Pacific Northwest, he found himself alone and adrift, struggling with debilitating back pain and a dissolving sense of self. “It’s about a pivotal moment in my life that changed things, just within a couple of months,” he says. “It was a shifting point that sent me on the path to doing what I’m doing right now.” As he did on his self-titled 2011 debut and 2013’s MCII, Cronin arranged and played nearly all of the record himself, including the tzouras, a traditional Greek string instrument he heard and subsequently bought while on tour in Athens. There’s French horn, saxophone, and trumpet. There are mood-altering crescendos and heartbreaking turns-of-phrase, guitars both gorgeous and pugnacious. No longer satisfied with the sound of “just one string player,” Cronin arranged parts for a full string quartet instead. “It’s a continuation of what I’ve been trying to do up until now, but I’m finding a better way to do it,” he adds. “I’m finding a more successful way of working those unexpected elements and textures and instruments into a rock record, of exploring that wormhole and mushing everything together harmoniously. I like riding the line between the two,” he adds. “I like finding new ways to bring different musical worlds together.”

File Under: Rock, Pop, Ty Segall
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courtis

Anla Courtis/Aaron Moore: Bring Us Some Honest Food (Dancing Wayang) LP
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl; housed in Dancing Wayang’s customary hand-screenprinted wrap-around sleeve featuring a bold potato-print design by the label’s own Anna Tjan. Exclusive liner notes courtesy of Tom Recchion (Smegma, Los Angeles Free Music Society). Dancing Wayang is thrilled to release Bring Us Some Honest Food, a collaboration between Argentine guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Alan Courtis and Brooklyn-based British drummer Aaron Moore. Recorded at London’s Fish Factory Studio in 2014, it sees both musicians explore sounds and instruments far beyond their regular guitar and drums setups, utilizing anything from grand piano and balafon to metal lampshades and wooden staircases. Courtis (formerly Anla Courtis) co-founded Argentine power trio Reynols, and has collaborated and performed with Kawabata Makoto, Oren Ambarchi, Lasse Marhaug, and many more; Moore has détourned music most regularly as part of Volcano the Bear, who came to attention in the late 1990s through their imaginative live performances and recorded output. Bring Us Some Honest Food merges and develops the postal collaboration techniques of their previous releases; this is music created in real time, face-to-face in London, then layered and collaged afterward by (digital) post across continents to produce the intricate découpage effect heard here. It is a disorienting experience to listen deeply to this music. These lengthy pieces sound densely structured and composed with the precision of a Glenn Gould tape edit, but with a seat-of-yr-pants improv feel that brings the threat of collapse and chaos. In that sense it echoes krautrock pioneers going crazy with tape and razor blades decades ago, with a similarly kosmische expansiveness, but filtered through a wealth of avant knowledge and praxis. In short, neither salon nor sweat-pit, though informed by both. Bring Us Some Honest Food is all noir and shadow. The slammed piano chords of “Portions of Honesty” are repeated maddeningly, feeling like the shadow of Nosferatu creeping up the stairs. The muted trumpet of “Dishonest Dessert” accrues portentousness over 20 minutes, echoing the ever-more-insistent piano. Throughout the album sounds drift in and out, from foreground to background, cut off, backwards. Vocals are muffled, distorted; recognizable sounds redacted. The listener’s ears skitter across the stereo envelope like an extra-wired sentry on guard duty. This is an involving, demanding, rewarding, and immersive album. Chance encounters are mercifully all around us but while all are welcome few are as serendipitous as this bizarre and blessed encounter of Brooklyn and Buenos Aires, and now London.

File Under: Experimental, Improv, Volcano the Bear
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deathDeath: N.E.W. (Tryangle) LP
“Since the discovery of Death in 2008 and the release of the archival LP …For the Whole World to See, the story has been often told. Three African-American brothers, David, Dannis, and Bobby Hackney, tapped into the surging energy of their hometown rock-and-roll scene (mid-’70s Detroit) to produce a style and a set of songs that, while completely unappreciated in their day, proved later to be a powerful missing link in the evolution of punk rock. The question always asked was, Will there be a new record? Now, there literally is, and Death and Drag City are proud to bring it to you, titled simply N.E.W. Inspired by the positivity brought to them by ever-increasing numbers of new fans, the current performing Death (Bobby Hackney, Dannis Hackney, and Bobbie Duncan) completed several songs started back in the late 1970s by Bobby and David, and composed entirely new songs that continue the timeless vibe, feel, and resolve of Death with remarkable drive and vigor. For many years after disbanding the original Death, Bobby and Dannis played different styles of music, but with the same deep spiritual investment. Bringing that spirit back to Death, their ability to make new songs in the same vein is fantastic.”

File Under: Rock, Soul, Blues
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deathcab

Death Cab For Cutie: Kintsugi (Atlantic) LP
Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Interpol), the album takes its title from the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum, highlighting cracks rather than hiding them. As such, Kintsugi represents a compassionate aesthetic philosophy in which damage and wear are embraced as part of an object’s history. “Considering what we were going through internally, and with what a lot of the lyrics are about, it had a great deal of resonance for us – the idea of figuring out how to repair breaks and make them a thing of beauty,” says bassist Nick Harmer, who suggested the name to singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard and drummer Jason McGerr. “Philosophically, spiritually, emotionally, it seems perfect for this group of songs.” For nearly two decades, Death Cab for Cutie has been hailed as one of contemporary music’s most compelling and creative collectives. Born in Bellingham, Washington in 1997, the band followed a long relationship with the Seattle-based independent label, Barsuk, by making their Atlantic Records debut with their fifth studio release, 2005’s Plans. The album proved Death Cab for Cutie’s popular breakthrough, earning RIAA platinum certification as well as spawning the chart-topping singles, “Soul Meets Body” and “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” The latter track was honored with a Grammy nomination as “Best Pop Performance By Duo Or Group With Vocals,” with Plans receiving the nod as “Best Alternative Album.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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engelberts

Brigth Engelberts & The B.E. Movement: Tolambo Funk (Hot Casa) LP
Killer obscure Afro-funk album from an unknown Cameroonian bass player and lead singer. Recorded at EMI Studios in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1978, the sound definitely echoes the American soul funk scene, while mixing it with deep Afro harmonies, a great horn section, and tremendous percussion. A few tracks have been bootlegged since its original release, but this is the first complete reissue of this rare gem. Remastered sound.

File Under: Afro-Funk, Afro-Beat
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garson

Mort Garson: Mother Earth’s Plantasia (Fifth Dimension) LP
Mort Garson is well known as one of the pioneers of electronic music in the late ’60s; some may have heard of his contributions to quite a few pop hits back in the day, when he wrote and conducted orchestral arrangements for one or another popular artist. During the second half of the 1960s Mort Garson and his sidekicks Paul Beaver and Jacques Wilson, among others, discovered Robert Moog’s synthesizer and made it an integral part of their future-pop music even before Wendy Carlos released her famous and fabulous Switched-On Bach album in 1968. Garson recorded and released Mother Earth’s Plantasia a few years after his albums The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (1967), The Wozard of Iz: An Electronic Odyssey (1968), and Lucifer: Black Mass (1971). Every fan of unique psychedelic (The Zodiac) and mind-bending electronic music (the two others) should certainly lend an ear to these three masterpieces, but there was more to come. Plantasia, originally released in 1976 and not reissued since until now, is subtitled “warm earth music for plants… and the people who love them.” As you can imagine, it’s a rather bright affair, far from the dark and seething atmosphere of the earlier electronic pieces. A shining diversity of stylistic devices creates dreamy and colorful compositions, warm yet haunting, with a rather sinister vibe in their most playful and surreal moments. It’s a feeling that, despite the apparent peace and relaxation, something utterly dire is about to rise up. Still, these are only a few passages, and when Mort Garson and his mates move on from lush orchestral soul arrangements to more tribal sounds, you will drift with them from one scene of your inner mind-movie to the next. The technical options had improved since the late ’60s, and the album features electronic percussion that conjures up memories of records by German electronic pioneers from the same era such as Cluster, Kraftwerk, and Tangerine Dream. And despite the twinkle-toed harmonies and big arrangements that point at the big band music and orchestral pop from which Mort Garson originated, the whole work is futuristic and intriguing. Rather like an old science fiction movie than a horror film, though its identity is open to interpretation. The best way to enjoy this masterpiece of synthesizer music is to lay back and close your eyes while drifting away into a territory still unknown to man.

File Under: Early Electronic, Moog, Kosmische
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heard

Larry Heard: Alien (Alleviated) LP
One of Larry Heard’s most under-rated albums finally remastered. Known for his classic early house releases, Larry Heard’s productions always hinted at deepest outer space, but his 1996 Alien album was his first actual science-fiction record. It’s almost as polished as the most mainstream dance production, but just as sublime as any Detroit producer. Heard’s house roots often show themselves, while the chords and shimmering production make this an album almost on par with Heard’s mid-’80s peak. The project was a recording and sound-development experiment that was mostly constructed around a Korg O1/W workstation keyboard that was left at Larry’s studio to check out by Victor “Melodious Myles” Houston along with some of the staples of his studio, including the Roland d550 and Oberheim Matrix 1000. Mr Fingers’ magic touch can be heard all over the album, and this showcases the incredible musical talents of the man, whose name by now can’t be left out from any hall of fame when you’re talking music innovators from the last century.

File Under: House, Electronic
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i-lp-o

I-LP-O In Dub: Communist Dub (Editions Mego) LP
“Communist Dub is Pan Sonic member Ilpo Väisänen’s second solo album for Editions Mego (Asuma having appeared 2001). This striking new release is a statement against technocracy and the erosion of human community. Whilst Jamaican dub and ska are often cited as an influence on Väisänen’s work, this album utilizes dub as strategy as opposed to genre — the precise manipulation of sound and the removal of all extraneous material to create a disorientating landscape of austere spaces. Pulled into a sucking pit of reverb and echo, the listener can choose whether to be pummeled into submission or to reflect on their situation. Väisänen’s intricate rhythmic structures propel the listener from monochrome machinic matrices to head-wrecking abstraction. The ten track titles hint at failed emancipatory projects of the last century with a nod to the present situation — ‘Donetsk Disciples: Bolsheviks meeting the farmers (and wiping them out),’ ‘Benghazi Affair: Libyan connection and arming the forces, but history is taking over. A burning man in Tunisia starts the future.’ Communist Dub is a ruthless criticism of everything existing, but one ultimately tempered by hope” –John Eden. Tracks by Ilpo Väisänen. Recorded sometimes in here. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Photos and cover idea by Ilpo Väisänen. Layout by Stephen O’Malley. Nation of versions, i-shent recommended. Dedicated to victims of isms.

File Under: Electronic, Pan Sonic
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kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Ba Power (Glitterbeat) LP
Ba Power, Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba’s fourth album (and their first for Glitterbeat Records) is a striking, career-defining record marked by mesmerizing songs, razor-sharp riffs, and full-throttle emotions. Following two years of worldwide touring for the much-heralded Jama Ko, Bassekou’s band, Ngoni Ba, has turned up the volume and dynamics significantly and Bassekou’s masterful ngoni playing has achieved a new level of intensity that can only be called: Afro-rock. Distortion and wah-wah and propulsive rhythms now form the defining backbone of his songs and the white-hot vocals of his wife, Amy Sacko, serve more than ever as his passionate and perfect foil. When asked what Ba Power means to him, Bassekou replied, “‘Ba,’ in Bambara, means ‘strong’ or ‘great’ and it also means ‘group.’ I called the album Ba Power because I think the messages on it are very important and strong, and it is also definitely the album with the toughest sound I’ve ever made. I want these songs to grab as many people as possible.” Ba Power was recorded in November of 2014 at MBK Studios in Bamako, a studio just down the road from the Kouyaté family home in the hills at the edge of the city. Produced by Chris Eckman (Tamikrest, Aziza Brahim), the album began with Ngoni Ba playing together live in a relaxed, intimate space. Features appearances from legendary Songhai blues guitarist Samba Touré on “Fama Magni,” soku master Zoumana Tereta on “Fama Magni,” vocalist Adama Yalomba “Waati,” massively influential composer and trumpeter Jon Hassell on “Ayé Sira Bla,” guitarist Chris Brokaw (The Lemonheads) on “Siran Fen” and “Abé Sumaya,” and drummer Dave Smith (JuJu, Fofoulah, The Sensational Space Shifters with Robert Plant) on four songs including opener “Siran Fen.” Ba Power contains all the swagger, precision, and wide-eyed excitement that the title implies. It is the album on which Bassekou’s music engages with the world in unprecedented ways, and the album with which he confirms his status among the 21st century’s most relevant musical artists. “I think African music and culture deserve to be spread to the broadest audience possible. That is what I want to accomplish with Ba Power” –Bassekou Kouyaté. Bassekou Kouyaté: lead ngoni; Abou Sissoko: medium ngoni; Mamadou Kouyaté: bass ngoni and backing vocals; Moctar Kouyaté: calebash; Mahamadou Tounkara: yabara, tamani, tamaba; Bina Diabaté: medium ngoni ba; Amy Sacko: lead vocal and backing vocals. Housed in a gatefold sleeve.

File Under: African, Folk, Mali
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mac

Mac McCaughan: Non Believers (Merge) LP
Non-Believers is the first solo album from Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan under his own name. McCaughan wanted to use the album to explore his attraction to that early-’80s era of music when punk evolved into something more introspective, focusing on themes of isolation and eventually turning into post-punk and new wave. As he puts it, he was thinking about a time when bands were “using keyboards and drum machines to relate through their music a disaffection or alienation” from society, school, whatever. The record is about a fascination with art that could only be made by someone far from where you are, but who maybe shares the frustrations and awkwardness of youth. It’s about “the irony that comes with being 16 and having a car but not knowing where to go in it, or having a keyboard or a guitar and not knowing how to play it.” McCaughan’s songwriting isn’t limited to sheer nostalgia; it’s also about the more relatable theme of the point when people who grow up feeling isolated have to choose if and when they are going to join the mainstream, and about the emotional journey tied to weighing those options. “What appeals to me is songs that deal with the messiness and ambiguity that come with any transitional period,” says McCaughan. Given that McCaughan comes from the indie and punk rock worlds, he’s always shied away from the perceived hubris of putting out a record under his own name. “There’s something about it that’s way too ‘look at me,’” the singer and songwriter admits. However, given the fact that Non-Believers explores a very personal set of influences, putting out an album as simply Mac McCaughan for the first time just makes sense.

File Under: Indie Rock, Superchunk
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menzies

Alex Menzies: Order & Disorder (Kathexis) LP
Alex Menzies, more commonly known as Alex Smoke, began his techno career in the early 2000s, with years of international performances and DJ sets culminating in a string of heady 12″s for the inimitable R&S label in 2013 and ’14. Menzies’s techno prowess has always carried with it a keen sense of compositional rigor, with harmonic outlining pads and strings adding emotional depth and weight. A classically trained cellist, Menzies has shifted his attention back to composition, cello, and the piano, collaborating on abstract installation work with visual master Florence To. The second release on Ricardo Donoso’s label Kathexis and the first in a two-part series of BBC documentary soundtrack work, Order & Disorder sees Menzies using a sound palette of mostly orchestral instrumentation, including, voice, cello, and prepared piano, as well as electronic sources like the ondes Martenot. Each different cue of electronic and acoustic hybrid miniatures develops throughout the album, each piece carrying with it a profound depth and gravity that is unique and unrivaled in its beauty. For a high-level physics documentary focusing on entropy and information, presented in a strikingly engaging manner, Menzies’s score provides a serene take on the slippery concept of energy. Angelic harmony runs in parallel with more unpredictable elements like prepared piano, tape hiss, percussive clicks, and smothered field recordings, truly encapsulating the documentary’s themes and our relationship to the world around us — chaotic, beautiful, but most of all full of wonder and awe. Limited to 300 copies; initial copies on mint-colored vinyl.

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Electronic
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metz

Metz: II (Sub Pop) LP
“I look at it like this,” Metz frontman Alex Edkins says. “You start a band, just as something to do, because music’s what makes you tick, the thing you dream about and think about and that’s it. You never think that you’ll be able to do it all the time. But then, for some inexplicable reason, people actually listen and latch on and the band begins to take on new meaning. All of a sudden there are expectations and pressure, real or imagined, to change who you are. It was important to us, when making this record, not to give in to that pressure.” What happens when a seemingly irresistible force meets an immovable object is a serviceable metaphor for the music Metz creates, both live and on record. Now behold II, the concussive new full-length from what is arguably North America’s finest touring rock band. Written and recorded in 2014, after two years of constant touring behind their rightly adored self-titled debut, II is Metz at their most true to form – as pure an expression of what they do as can currently be committed to tape. The guitars are titanic, the drums ill-tempered, the vocals chilling, and the volume worrisome. From the exhilarating grind of “Spit You Out” to the blunt-force thrills of “Landfill,” herein reside 10 songs as uncompromising in their ferocity and abrasiveness as any collection this record label has had the pleasure of releasing to date. While the band’s debut was often “clean and clinical,” II is what Edkins describes as a “much heavier, darker, and sloppier” affair, with many of its roughest edges and ugliest tones kept intact. Its lyrical matter, Edkins notes, stems from a year of loss and doubt, of contemplating our relationships with death and the planet. “I consider myself a pretty massive pessimist, but a pessimist who knows how lucky he is,” he says. “A lot of things in everyday life drive me crazy: how we relate to each other; how politics, media, technology, money and medication influence our lives. This band, in a lot of ways, is an outlet.” What we’re left with is the sound of an already monstrous band improving in both subtle and terrifying ways.

File Under: Rock, Punk, CanCon
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mumford

Mumford & Sons: Wilder Mind (Glassnote) LP
British folk-rock act Mumford & Sons follow up their 2012 Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year with third full-length album Wilder Mind. It was recorded at Air Studios, London and produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, HAIM, Florence & The Machine). Wilder Mind features 12 new tracks, written collaboratively by the band in London, Brooklyn and Texas. A number of the new songs were written and demoed at Aaron Dessner’s (The National) garage studios in Brooklyn. The band also returned to Eastcote Studios in London, where they recorded debut Sigh No More, for further writing and demo sessions. This new album marks a significant departure for the young band from their previous records, 2009’s Sigh No More, and 2012’s Babel. The early sessions in New York and London witnessed a change in the band’s approach not just to writing and recording, but to texture and dynamics, too. There is a minimalist yet panoramic feel to the new album, whose sound Marcus Mumford describes as “a development, not a departure.” It came about by both accident, and by conscious decision. He adds, “Towards the end of the Babel tour, we’d always play new songs during soundchecks, and none of them featured the banjo, or a kick-drum. And demoing with Aaron meant that, when we took a break, we knew it wasn’t going to involve acoustic instruments. We didn’t say: ‘No acoustic instruments.’ But I think all of us had this desire to shake it up. The songwriting hasn’t changed drastically; it was led more by a desire to not do the same thing again. Plus, we fell back in love with drums! It’s as simple as that.” “It felt completely natural, though,” says Ben Lovett, “like it did when we started out. It was very much a case of, if someone was playing an electric guitar, drums were going to complement that best; and, sonically, it then made sense to add a synth or an organ. We chose instruments that played well off each other, rather than consciously trying to overhaul it.”

File Under: Folk, Rock
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nochexxx

Nochexxx: Plot Defender (Type) LP
Dave Henson has been producing electronic music on the fringes of any discernible scene since the late ’90s, operating outside of the boundaries of good taste and slowly formulating his own very particular sound. Since 2010 he’s been recording as Nochexxx, and firing the influence of vintage electro and early bleep techno through an arsenal of barely-working gear to create a sound that’s as grubby as Wolf Eyes but with the unmistakable slap of late ’80s Detroit. Plot Defender is Henson’s third proper album under the Nochexxx moniker, and is his most developed to date, anchored by clattering tape-distorted rhythms and synth squelches that make the TB-303 sound well-mannered. Whether giving the nod to Incunabula on “Between Two Stations” or to the masters Drexciya on “Stinson Fish,” Henson’s vision is never anything but unique, offering a cracked-glass vision of the last few decades of electronic music and doing so with a very British nod to the camera. Anyone who fell in love with 2014’s transmissions from Ekoplekz would do well to investigate. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Grime
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onda

Aki Onda/Loren Connors: Lost City (Audiomer) LP
“The images were shot in New York between 2001 and 2002. It was during the time when we were still in shock from 9.11. The stars and stripes suddenly became visible everywhere in the city. Soon after, the invasion of Afghanistan started. Everybody was living under an indefinable fear — not knowing what would happen in the future” –Aki Onda. Lost City started as a series of photographs shot by visual artist and composer Aki Onda in New York right after September 11, 2001. A decisively introspective response to a major world event, his pictures were devoid of direct references, but documented his immediate surroundings, focusing on how what happened resonated on a personal micro-level. Since 2005, Onda has been presenting this series as slide projections, which function as a visual score for improvisation, and performing with NYC avant-garde musicians Loren Connors and Alan Licht. The two improvisations on this LP were recorded at Anthology Film Archives in NYC in 2007. Lost City contains the vinyl, a folded 20 x 30 inch poster with the complete photograph series, and an A4 risoprinted booklet containing the accompanying text written by NYC-based curator/writer Niels van Tomme. The record’s A-side is a duo piece between Connors and Licht that consists of wandering, buzzing guitar drones with occasional noisy eruptions. It highlights the almost twin-like connection between the longtime collaborators, with telepathic intersecting guitar lines and a sense of unease seeping through. The B-side is Connors’s lyrical, atmospheric solo performance, equally sparse and spacious. Limited to 350 copies.

File Under: Guitar, Field Recordings, Experimental
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palestine

Charlemagne Palestine/Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra: Ggrreebbammnnuucckkaallooww!!! (Important) LP
In 2013, when Daniel O’Sullivan was invited to curate the sixth installment of Ravenna, Italy’s Transmissions festival, his first request was for Charlemagne Palestine, the shamanic world-maker, sacred toy emissary, and one-time student of Pandit Pran Nath associated with the New York ’60s minimalist scene and known primarily for extended performances with Bösendorfer piano, cathedral organs, and falsetto voice. After Transmissions O’Sullivan invited Palestine to play a two-night residency at London’s Cafe OTO, the second night of which was a collaboration with Grumbling Fur, the duo of O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker. The performance at OTO was a ritualistic union of crystalware, processed strings, live tape manipulations, Indian harmonium, shimmering piano clusters, bleating cattle, a Japanese orgy, disembodied vocal harmony, and rousing choruses often led by sing-a-ma-jigs (singing Fisher-Price toys affectionately referred to as “the singing assholes”). A continuous flow of overtones and plainchant sieved through mutant simulations of processed pulses, orbiting strings, and heliotropic vocal mantras. Following 2013’s Glynnaestra and 2014’s Preternaturals, both of which The Wire listed in its top avant rock albums of their respective years, this is the first incarnation of the Grumbling Fur alter-ego Time Machine Orchestra, an alias put together to explore extended drone works, improvisation, and automatic composition. Recorded at Cafe OTO and Fur Island and assembled by Grumbling Fur. LP pressed in an edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Drone, Minimalism, Experimental
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robertson

Tim Robertson: Outer Planetary Church Music (Aguirre) LP
A friend of Aguirre recalls meeting Tim Robertson by chance in a thrift store in Barcelona, while eyeing a dusty Hammond organ: “He was born in Honduras, but moved out of there at a young age to several other countries such as Perú, France, and Norway. His parents were devoted to some religious organization and they were spreading the word all around. The last place they were sent to was Barcelona, hence the reason he was there. He learned to play the keyboards as a kid and performed in church. He told me his life changed after spending some years in Niger and Ethiopia. He returned from that experience totally renewed and decided to somehow capture all the ideas he had during his stay in Africa. He bought an old four-track recorder and started jamming around the simple but complex idea of how church music in space would sound. During the next two years he got obsessed with creating the compositions of the future temples on Saturn and Neptune. He recorded hours and hours of music. In the end, feeling totally frustrated, he decided to throw to the bin all those tapes. Well, not all of them. Happily he kept two as a gift to his parents. Sadly, his parents passed away some years later. While cleaning their apartment he found the tapes and with the passing of time he decided to keep them as a memory of that crazy time. I was really curious about those tapes so I asked him if it would be possible to listen to them. After a couple of minutes I was totally captivated by them. It was so strange. The kind of repetitive music with cheap keyboard presets. So rough, basic, and fragile. It was then I told him that I felt more people had to listen to those recordings. After quite a bit of arguing, he finally accepted. ‘At least I’m sharing the word of God with more people,’ he said. So 20 years after they were originally recorded I’m proud to share with everyone out there these seven tracks by a man who had a strange vision: compose the perfect soundtrack for the buildings where future space travelers would praise the lord. You can now judge with your own ears if he achieved his goal or failed. Peace!” Recorded in 1993. Remastered from the original tapes by Anders Peterson. Pressed on milky white vinyl. Artwork by Tim Robertson. Layout by Jeroen Wille.

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Organs
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rrose

Rrose Plays James Tenney: Having Never Written A Note for Percussion
(Further) LP

Rrose (Sandwell District, Eaux, Stroboscopic Artefacts) has found her own niche in the American techno underground. Her hypnotic tracks incorporate ideas from ambient and minimalist music as prominently as they do the history of dance music, operating in the same fruitful cross-section between techno and the abstract as many other Further Records releases. Rrose’s debt to experimental music has never been more obvious than on September 20, 2012, when he performed legendary composer and electronic/computer music pioneer James Tenney’s Having Never Written a Note for Percussion live in Washington, DC. The simple yet colossal piece requires the performer to play one percussive instrument constantly, taking it from the quietest point to the loudest and back again. Done well, it’s a fascinating exploration of tone, volume, and decay, and a showcase for drone music’s unusually transportive powers. Never Having Written a Note for Percussion has always been a personal favorite of Rrose’s. He was inspired to try it out after touring Dupont Undergound, a performance space in a disused trolley tunnel beneath downtown DC, where the possibilities of “seemingly endless and unpredictable reverberations” seemed perfect for Tenney’s composition. He made a 32-inch gong played with two mallets the central device of his performance, creating a towering leviathan of sound capable of the softest highs and the deepest lows. It’s a vastness that comes across especially well on the live recording of that 2012 performance, a breathtaking 30 minutes that seems daunting at first but moves with a grace as easy as breathing. Rrose’s take is almost definitive: not only does he stretch out the piece to 30 minutes beyond its usual eight-to-12-minute duration, but, even more importantly, she offers two versions made in two very different settings. The A-side features a performance recorded in a studio during his practice sessions. Dry and mic’d up close, its almost stuffy quality is the direct opposite of the live version, like it’s coming from inside your head, where the live recording on the B-side surrounds you with the booming sound of the gong. Never Having Written a Note for Percussion is a powerful study not only in minimalist composition but the importance of the room and environment that a performance, or just pure sound, takes place in, and a potent example of the kind of experimental tendencies that make Rrose one of techno’s more fascinating figures. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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schlip

Schlippenbach Trio: Pakistani Pomade (Cien Fuegos) LP
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Cien Fuegos presents a reissue of Pakistani Pomade by the Schlippenbach Trio, originally released on FMP in 1972. Evan Parker: soprano and tenor saxophone; Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano; Paul Lovens: drums. Recorded by Dietram Köster in November 1972, Bremen. Artwork by Benjamin von Schlippenbach; layout by Peter Brötzmann.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz, Brotzmann
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segall

Ty Segall/King Tuff: Live at Pickathon (Easy Sound) LP
Culled from four incredible performances over the first weekend of August 2013. Wild, late nights with King Tuff and a very special debut of the Ty Segall Sleeper Band (recorded three weeks before the release of Sleeper). The second release from the Live at Pickathon series. A vinyl-only/limited-pressing endeavor, which focuses on the festivals historically diverse lineups and intimate one-of-a-kind performances. Each release hand selected from the massive archive of more than 15 years of recordings; remixed, mastered and wrapped in original artwork featuring illustrations by Travis Bone of Furturtle. Limited edition of 1,500 copies.

File Under: Garage, Punk, Psych
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shampooboy

Shampoo Boy: Crack (Blackest Ever Black) LP
The Vienna-based trio’s second LP following 2013’s crushing debut Licht, Crack finds Peter Rehberg, Christina Nemec (comfortzone), and Christian Schachinger crafting a powerful alloy of extreme electroacoustic music, luminous ambience, and the mineral fundaments of rock and black metal. Opener “Spalt” immediately signals a departure from the monolithic doom of Licht, conveying instead a sense of adrenalized movement, of acceleration toward an ever-receding horizon. There is no percussion, yet Nemec’s chasmic bass and Rehberg’s protean electronics give rise to an unstoppable momentum. Schachinger’s highly lyrical, spiraling guitar improvisations nod to Fripp and Göttsching, but Shampoo Boy’s vision of the cosmos is more hard-boiled and unforgiving than that of their forefathers. On “Riss,” slow, ceremonial down-strokes suggest a return to Licht, with the addition of Rehberg’s unintelligible conversation-snippets, machine noise, and nameless natural currents mingling in pernicious hybrid forms that curl and ricochet about the stereo field. Subterranean bass tones, meanwhile, seem to reverberate from an ancient and appalling source. It’s typical of Crack’s unorthodox Weltanschauung, however, that just when we think the game is up, we are faced not with oblivion but with potential absolution: “Riss”‘s closing section is a gravely serene tone-painting. Side B is given in its entirety to the three-part “Bruch,” the most potent and pugilistic manifestation of Shampoo Boy’s brute psychedelia to date. Part I is a near-gothic assemblage of tortured computer processing, abyssal drones, and stray industrial noise. This gives way to the calm but agonized concrète of part II, sparse, minimalist, dub-damaged. The broiling digital synthesis of part III complements annihilating slow-motion riffage; a thuggish monochord attack that feels almost Stooge-ian — grungy, swaggering, sewer-savvy — but doubles back into abstraction. It becomes impossible to distinguish individual instruments, processes, or contributions; the group mind takes over, the third eye is on fire, and the album climaxes in a black flash of negative ecstasy. Epic in scale, complex in mood, and dazzling in technique, Crack is a momentous achievement from three improvising musicians at the height of their powers. A lived-in and emotionally charged work, harrowing but energizing, it is also a sustained achievement of arrangement and post-production remarkable even in light of its makers’ pedigree: the harshest and heaviest passages are rendered with a sense of space and richness of detail that is truly otherworldly. Russell Haswell’s astute mastering amplifies this, resulting in one a supremely exhilarating and rewarding work.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial, Dark
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shankar

Ananda Shankar: And His Music (Far East Sunshine) LP
The name “Shankar” is most famously associated with Ravi Shankar, the grand master of contemporary Indian folk music who was very popular in the ’60s due to his connection with the American music industry, despite staying away from pure pop music by maintaining his classic sitar-and-tabla-style drone ragas to express himself musically. Bengali musician Ananda Shankar was Ravi Shankar’s nephew, and he also traveled to the USA, to gather inspiration from rock artists like Jimi Hendrix, among others. His 1970 self-titled debut album, a conglomeration of classic Indian folk tunes and instrumental versions of the hottest rock songs of the day clothed in a veil of sitar melodies and backed up with tabla drum grooves, was an attempt to combine the spiritual approach of his cultural origins with the light-minded blissful attitude of western psychedelic pop music — a groovy little album. After its release, Shankar took a five-year break from recording to create his second album, reissued here. The cover tunes were replaced by all-original compositions with a lush instrumentation that features the typical sitar, tabla, and bowed string instruments such as the sarong and the sera, mixed with sounds that have a definite western origin such as rock guitars, Hammond organ, and Moog synthesizers, plus full drum kits to enhance the actual groove. Psychedelic rock, raga, fusion-jazz, and funk flow into each other quite naturally, giving birth to something fresh and exciting one might call “Bengali pop.” The borders between eastern and western music dissolve. For the most part, Ananda Shankar and his Music is quite accessible, and comes with a certain slickness. Still, there is the other side of the coin, the spiritual depth that pop music often lacks. This might have been too far out for the average western mainstream fanatic back in 1975, when disco began its rule, but it is an awesome sound trip for fans of psychedelic dance music like the Incredible Bongo Band and all eastern-influenced popular rock.

File Under: Eastern Pop, Raga
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smith

J.B. Smith: No More Good Time… (Dust to Digital) 2CD
In 1965 and 1966 Bruce Jackson visited Ramsey State Farm in Rosharon, Texas, where he recorded the remarkable epic songs of Johnnie B. Smith, a prisoner-composer doing a 45-year bid for the murder of his wife. Three of the recordings included on this two-disc set appeared on Ever Since I Have Been A Man Full Grown, an LP produced by John Fahey’s Takoma Records in 1965. The other 15 — traditional work songs and J.B.’s original pieces — are issued for the first time. Folklorist Bruce Jackson was among the last to record work songs. He met Smith, prisoner #130196, during a 1964 visit to Ramsey State Farm. A native of Hearne, Texas, Smith was 46 years old and on his fourth prison term. In his younger days, Smith toted lead hoe in a flat-weeding gang and led the work songs. But he also sang other songs, different songs — those he’d made up to occupy himself while chopping sugarcane or picking cotton. He referred to them as his “little ol’ songs.” The longest stretched to 33 verses, or more than 22 recorded minutes. Although Smith knew and sang a variety of melodies, to an assortment of work songs and sacred pieces, he employed only one tune for his compositions. What changed were the tempo and the ornamentation with which he individualized them. “The Major Special,” “No More Good Time in the World for Me,” “Ever Since I Been a Man Full Grown” — each song Smith charged with its own emotional ambience, as a seasoned preacher intuits the particular colors and atmospheres that should imbue each portion of his service. Smith was paroled in 1967, a year after his final session with Jackson. That summer, Jackson arranged for him to sing at the Newport Folk Festival, at which he appeared on stage with Pete Seeger, and, in one of the only photos that survives of him, in the company of Robert Pete Williams and Muddy Waters. No More Good Time in the World for Me includes 18 remastered recordings, 15 of which are previously unreleased, and is presented in a digipak with a 36-page booklet containing liner notes by Nathan Salsburg (curator of the Alan Lomax Archive), full lyric transcriptions, and never-before-published photographs of J.B. Smith. Produced by Nathan Salsburg and Lance Ledbetter, founder of Dust-to-Digital.

File Under: Blues, Prison
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speedy

Speedy Ortiz: Foil Deer (Carpark) LP
Foil Deer is the sophomore album from Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz. “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss,” Sadie Dupuis sings on first single “Raising the Skate,” invoking in spirit one half of the Carter-Knowles clan and echoing the other’s wordplay. And wordplay makes sense, considering Dupuis – the band’s songwriter, guitarist, and frontwoman – spent the band’s first few years teaching writing at UMass Amherst. She’s drawn to the dense complexity of Pynchon, the dreamlike geometry of Bolaño, the confounded yearning of Plath – all attributes you could easily apply to the band’s 2013 debut Major Arcana, which fans and press alike have invested with a sense of purpose and merit uncommon in contemporary guitar rock. Dupuis wrote much of Foil Deer at her mother’s home in the Connecticut woods, where the songwriter imposed a self-regulated exile and physical cleansing of sorts, finding that many of the songs came to her while running or swimming alone. “I gave up wasting mental energy on people who didn’t have my back,” she says. “This music isn’t coming from a dark place, and without slipping into self-empowerment jargon, it feels stronger.” Many of the songs deal with a similar sense of starting over, editing out the unnecessary drama. “Boys be sensitive and girls be, be aggressive,” she sings on “Mister Difficult.” And while their debut album was recorded on the fly, Speedy Ortiz spent almost a month in the studio on Foil Deer. Mike Falcone’s drums are taut, mechanistic; Darl Ferm’s bass ranges from the aggressive rattle of an AmRep classic to smoother, hip-hop inspired lines. Devin McKnight, meanwhile, lends spacier, textural riffs to complement Dupuis’ wiry, melody-driven guitar style. It was recorded and mixed at Brooklyn’s Rare Book Room with Nicolas Vernhes (Silver Jews, Enon, Deerhunter), with the record mastered by Emily Lazar (Sia, Haim, Beauty Pill), lending a more polished sound and a pop sensibility that will stand out to existing fans and new converts alike.

File Under: Indie Rock
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sprawl

Sprawl: s/t (Trost) LP
Trost presents the first vinyl edition of Sprawl, the intense and beautifully harsh collaborative project of drummer Michael Wertmüller (16-17, Alboth!, Full Blast), originally released on CD in 1997. Remastered and re-cut by Wertmüller and Alex Buess. The original release of this work marked the beginning of Trost’s cooperation with Peter Brötzmann, after they organized an Alboth! show with Wertmüller. Wertmüller’s intention for Sprawl was to gather the musicians he appreciates most and has worked with in various contexts for a special one-time recording project. The main idea was to create an album that incorporates the rough energy of “Machine Gun” based on improvisation, the electricity of 16-17, and the application of experimental recording techniques that give the album its own, very special feeling. Alongside Wertmüller and European free jazz legend Brötzmann, the project includes New York-based bassist William Parker, one of the most important US free jazz bassists and a long-time collaborator with Cecil Taylor, Charles Gayle, Rashied Ali, and others; saxophonist Alex Buess, frequent collaborator with British musician and producer Kevin Martin and member of Paul Schütze’s Phantom City, ICE, GOD, Cortex, and 16-17; and guitarist Stephan Wittwer, who has played with Irène Schweizer, Rüdiger Carl, Radu Malfatti, Cowwf-Quintett, Sludge 5-0, Red Twist & Tuned Arrow, and Polyphonie Zürich. Peter Brötzmann: tenor and baritone saxophones; Michael Wertmüller: drums; William Parker: bass; Alex Buess: electronics, reeds; Stephan Wittwer: guitar.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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stringtronics

Stringtronics: Mindbender (Fifth Dimension) LP
This album, originally released in 1972, can be put in the field of so-called “library music,” records made for use in movies and TV productions, commercials, and for similar purposes to enhance the tension of the atmosphere in very dramatic scenes or accompany the more mellow and relaxed moments with lush harmony carpets. And of all these library albums, this is one of the most sought-after by collectors around the world due to the musical quality of its content. And so we sit back, relax, close our eyes and get ready for the movie that only exists in our imagination. Stringtronics take us on a journey from the dark city gorges of any North American metropolis, where steaming hot, funky, and jazzy rhythms amalgamate and are clothed in a veil of lush string arrangements, to the banks of the river Seine, where painters draw portraits of tourists and people sit in the sun, relaxing to the typical chanson melodies full of melancholy and joy. In there is a tinge of the 1950s exotica music here and there, alongside Latin grooves and some rock elements shining through in the soundscape. It is fantastic but not easy to categorize — it could appeal to fans of US movie soundtracks from the early ’70s and late ’60s created by folks like George Clinton, but also to those who enjoy the early works of such electronic pop pioneers as Wendy Carlos, and to space-age pop aficionados. It is all here, and the participating musicians paint their melody-and-rhythm patterns with an enormous feeling for depth and emotion.

File Under: Library, Space Age, Electronic
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tallest

Tallest Man on Earth: Dark Bird is Home (Dead Oceans) LP
Dark Bird Is Home doesn’t feel like it came from one time, one place, or one tape machine. The songs and sounds were captured in various countries, studios, and barns, and they carry a weather-worn quality, some dirt and some grit. If you’re a fan of The Tallest Man On Earth, Dark Bird Is Home pays real tribute to the old records you fell for, and goes new places you’re going to love as well. If you’re new to the band, enjoy these songs, and know there are 40 or more other gems waiting on earlier albums and singles. Early in Dark Bird Is Home, toward the end of the opening track, we hear other voices and sounds backing Kristian Matsson’s own. One of them, later credited in the liner notes with Angel Vocals, shows up several times throughout the record, adding new color to the familiar palette. And so the story grows and expands. That first song has horns and a piano, keyboards, synthesizers, and other modern noisemakers…and by track two you’ve got The Tallest Man on Earth as full-throttle rock and roll. While Dark Bird Is Home is The Tallest Man on Earth at his most personal and direct, deeper and darker than ever at times, it’s also an album with strokes of whimsy and the scent of new beginnings – which feels fresh, and well timed. Reliably, the melodies and arrangements are sturdy and classic, like old cars and tightly wound clocks. The lyrics and their delivery are both comforting and alarming, like tall trees and wide hills. The other musicians and layers on this recording put a wide lens on familiar themes. Fear and darkness, sleep or lack of it, dreams in the dark and in the light. Moving, leaving, going. Distance and short stops, long straight lines, temporal places. More hopefully, a grateful nod to a traveling partner, a healing mind. Maybe a little forgiveness needed. Definitely some things to forget. And of course, that last song. The title track. If there is a little legend-building to be done here, let it be this scene a few of the album’s early-listeners can recount: Kristian gently warning them over their shoulder before track ten begins: “Watch out for this one.” You should expect the loudest and proudest sounds yet from The Tallest Man on Earth on album number four, but also the softest and the lowest. For the next few years, the Dark Bird Is Home tour will come to your city or a town nearby, and for the first time The Tallest Man on Earth is bringing a band to the stage with him.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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walls

Walls: Urals (Ecstatic) LP
Walls (Alessio Natalizia and Sam Willis) return with their third and final studio album, Urals. Urals is the conclusion of a three-album cycle that began with their self-titled debut in 2010, and continued in 2011 with Coracle. This album is an accumulation of four years of studio exploration, inverting their signature sound into a new, more intense dimension, the duo once again exploring futuristic vistas with their coruscating synth lines, spiraling guitar figures, and howling distortion and noise. Informed by the creation/curation of their burgeoning Ecstatic Recordings imprint that has seen them release music by kindred spirits such as Pye Corner Audio, Axel Willner (The Field), and L/F/D/M, among others, as well as their own individual explorations (Natalizia’s caustic, minimal synth workouts as Not Waving, and Willis’s lurid, ritualistic techno as Primitive World) Urals pushes the envelope a long way from the template they set out with on tracks such as “Burnt Sienna” or “Hang Four.” From the stumbling, off-kilter groove of the title-track to the probing kosmische pulses of “Altai” to the intense, ear-shredding acid of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” to the sublime synth-scape paean “Radiance,” it’s clear that Willis and Natalizia are taking leave of the Walls project at the top of their game. Mastered by Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3, Spectrum) at New Atlantis Studios.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Synths
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warner

Eddie Warner: Progressive Percussions (Fifth Dimension) LP
Eddie Warner, born in Magdeburg, Germany, in 1917, was one of the leading figures in European exotica in the 1950s, operating from France, where he ended up at after the war. His repertoire of styles included several kinds of jazz- and Latin-based dance music such as mambo, baião, and chachachá, but, as a tireless explorer, he also found refuge in the library music and electronic sounds department. A cornerstone of his work in that field, Progressive Percussions, was originally released in 1968 and has not been reissued since, until now. Library music was always meant to be used for the soundtracks of movie and TV productions or commercials, so not many people outside of that world have taken notice of this colorful masterpiece. It was not uncommon for such late ’60s productions to consist of powerful, funky, and jazzy rhythms; fuzzed-out guitars; and steaming keyboard work. Eddie Warner and his compatriots spice up these standardized elements with freaky electronic chimes, Morse code sounds, and even outbursts of free-format psychedelic eruptions that will blow your mind. The title suggests that Eddie Warner and his musicians often emphasized the groove; a tight netting of polyrhythmic patterns is conjured by the regular drummer along with some skillfully executed xylophone work and some handy percussions that rattle and ping somewhere within this jungle of grooves. Rock and heavy funk are the predominant styles from which this studio band starts its musical expedition. Despite being European, Eddie Warner and his mates hit the frequency of pure hot-blooded power-funk and heavier west coast rock played mostly by American bands from California to Detroit and NYC in the late ’60s. When this group calms down a bit and gets in the mood for a Latin- and jazz-influenced jam, you as the listener find yourself in a smokey psychedelic club somewhere in San Francisco until the song and your trippy dream end. While most of the time you could imagine a rampant jam session of Sly & the Family Stone, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Jefferson Airplane, the pure electronic moments here are years ahead of their time and should have been a massive influence on later German pioneers such as Kraftwerk, NEU!, or Cluster. An adventurous piece of music for fans of groovy, sexy, and mind-expanding music based on what the pop scene in 1968 had to offer. Close your eyes and join the space dance.

File Under: Library, Electronic, Funk, Latin
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watson

Patrick Watson: Love Songs for Robots (Secret City) LP
Now approaching a decade as a band, it has been a truly interesting journey for Patrick Watson and his cohorts. Having accomplished such feats as playing to over 100,000 people at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival, composing 15 scores for film and television, receiving Canada’s elite Polaris Music Prize in 2007, and most recently performing two songs in Wim Wenders’ current 3D epic Every Thing Will Be Fine, his career has had many peaks, with more to come with the release of his forthcoming album, Love Songs For Robots. Still standing proudly at the helm, Love Songs For Robots marks Patrick Watson’s fifth release since he first galvanized this “temporary project” in 2006. His latest installment in his already impressive body of work follows up on his stunning 2012 release Adventures In Your Own Backyard. The new album was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Pierre Marchand Studio in Montreal. His hard-fought lyrical pearls are now guided through newfound psychedelic and soul swagger influences, as left of center instrumentation and arrangements cover up well-beaten tracks, and makes this a rewarding and truly original statement. Love Songs for Robots bears Watson’s indelible stamp, and manages to create a piece of work that is not only stirring, daring, and deeply personal, but also represents his creative high water mark. It’s all too rare to see an artist wear their heart on their sleeve while never growing weary of the battle against cynicism and callousness, but Watson and band’s aim remains true.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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woven

Wovenhand: s/t (Bang) LP
No doubt Wovenhand is one of the most intense contemporary American bands in existence. Bang! Records presents the first vinyl edition of Wovenhand’s 2002 debut self-titled album. This is the very first effort by David Eugene Edwards after 16 Horsepower — the start of a new era in his musical career, diving into foggy and shady passages of folk and blues. Take a walk on the darkest side of American music. A mandatory album for fans of The Gun Club/Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Johnny Cash, Mark Lanegan, The Beasts of Bourbon, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

File Under: Folk, Blues
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yamasuki

Yamasuki: Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki (Far East Sunshine) LP
The weirdest exploito-pop attempting to fuse western popular music with folkloristic elements of different origins came from the ’60s and early-to-mid-’70s. Among tons of more or less entertaining releases a few diamonds could be found and Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki (1971), the brainchild of French composers Jean Kluger and Daniel Vangarde, is definitely a stand-out production in this field. “Yamasuki” is a fictional Japanese person about whom Kluger and Vangarde created a musical concept story with a black-belt judo-master doing all the battle-shouts and a female choir, the so-called Yamasuki Singers, taking the lead vocal duties. All-Japanese-language lyrics, of course, with strange grammar. At least, it sounds Japanese — that’s all that matters. The music itself is a simmering mixture of typical bloomy late ’60s pop music with a psychedelic edge, elements of funk in the rhythmic department, and some fuzzed-out acid rock tunes thrown in for good measure. The Eastern flavor might just be an illusion due to the language but all in all Yamasuki is a beautiful western pop art vision of Japanese music. In fact it sounds and feels like many contemporary bands and projects that combined colorful power pop with a heavier guitar sound and regional peculiarities, resulting in a simmering sound cocktail with fresh and exciting melodies. Yamasuki comes close to Omega (Hungary), AKA (Indonesia), and San Ul Lim (South Korea), even as an exploito-pop project. Fans of rich melody patterns will have their minds blown by this album. With Latin-based funk and samba rhythms flowing beneath a lush vocal arrangement, as in “Okawa,” Yamasuki is made to abduct you from reality and lead you into some exotic dreams. Well produced and well executed. Close your eyes, drink some sake, and find yourself transported to an ancient Japan as it exists only in your dreams.

File Under: Exploit-pop, Funk, Psych, Fuzz
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…..Restocks…..

A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Amanaz: Africa (Now Again) LP
Tori Amos: Under the Pink (Warner) LP
Broadcast: Haha Sound (Warp) LP
City & Colour: Bring Me Your Love (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & The Harm (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
John Coltrane: Bahia (Original Jazz Classics) LP
John Coltrane: Giant Steps (Rhino) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Nick Drake: Family Tree (Universal) LP
Electric Wizard: Time to Die (Spinefarm) LP
Brian Eno: Small Craft on a Milk Sea (Warp) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: I Love you Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Nils Frahm: Felt (Erased Tapes) LP
Nils Frahm: Screws (Erased Tapes) LP
France Gall: Double Best of (Barclay) LP
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get on Down) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: F#A# (Constellation) LP
Elias Hulk: Unchained (Sommer) LP
Knife: Silent Shout (Mute) LP
Kreng: The Summoner (Miasma) LP
Fela Kuti w/ Ginger Baker: Live (Knitting Factory) LP
Minsk: Crash & The Draw (Relapse) LP
Modest Mouse: This is a Long Drive (Glacial Pace) LP
Old Man Gloom: Ape of God (Sige) LP
William Onyeabor: Box 1 (Luaka Bop) 5LP
William Onyeabor: Box 2 (Luaka Bop) 4LP
William Onyeabor: Who is? (Luaka Bop) LP
OST: Darjeeling Limited (Abkco) LP
OST: Gone Girl (Columbia) LP
Lee Perry: Super Ape (Get on Down) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Island) LP
Raime: Quarter Turns… (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Django Reinhardt: Djangology (Cleopatra) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Shakey Graves: And the War Came (Sixshooter) LP
Nina Simone: Nuff Said (Music on Vinyl) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds… (Thirty Tigers) LP
Souls Of Mischief: 93 til… (Traffic) LP
St. Vincent: S/t (Universal) LP
Suicide: Half Alive (Roir) LP
Suuns & Jerusalem in My Heart: s/t (Secret City) LP
Temple of the Dog: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Mind Control (Rise Above) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Blood Lust (Rise Above) LP
Unwound: Rat Conspiracy (Numero) LP
Viet Cong: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
White Stripes: De Stijl (Third Man) LP
White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Third Man) LP
Wibbley Brothers: Go Weird (Trubshaw) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Nickel & Penny Label (Numero) LP

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…..news letter #689 – mayward…..

Well, things are slowly getting back to normal around here. Not quite as many boxes to open up this week. That said, lots of great new stuff in this week and a long awaited restock on the brilliant Native North America box set. RSD stuff is still slowly trickling in and restocks are becoming available on some of the better titles too! Hopefully your bank card has recovered and you can come buy some wax!

…..pick of the week…..

gnod

Gnod: Infinity Machines (Rocket) 3LP
Salford, England-based Gnod’s Infinity Machines explores a unique vision informed by experimental élan and metaphysical intensity. In an era in which the word “psychedelic” too often tends to signify a reductive and retrograde rag-bag of second-hand shapes, it was in Gnod’s nature to venture forth in search of new and expanded sonic terrain. At first, this led them to pursue a purely electronic sound in the live arena, yet as they knuckled down to chronicle this expansion and experimentation for posterity, it became clear that a mixture of live instrumentation and binary audial research would be the path that would prove most fruitful. Thus began the process that would ultimately produce these recordings, and a far-reaching mission that would result in uncanny crepuscular atmosphere locking horns with sinister electronic intensity. Infinity Machines traverses between and beyond a variety of different headspaces, from the bleak to the beatific; yet, while touching on nocturnal jazz, soothing yet unsettling ambience, menacing aggro-industrial battery, and opiated bliss-out alike, it’s shot through with an undercurrent of fiery countercultural zeal and small-hours revelation, as if the hive-mind of their home collective had manifested itself on disc. Tracks were put together from an initial blank canvas, and as the band themselves emphasize, “We got pretty tactical in the approach. We have certainly noticed that the emphasis has shifted from full on ‘throw everything at it’ Gnod vibes to a more stripped spacious sound which was not fully intentional but more of a natural progression.”

File Under: Electronic, Future Jazz, Experimental, Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

akkor

Kamuran Akkor: s/t (Pharaway Sound) LP
Turkey’s musical history is littered with bottled blondes who put on a lot of eyeliner, made a few singles, and disappeared. And since the mid-1970s, those twin queens Ajda Pekkan and Sezen Aksu have maintained a semi-rivalry while bulldozing their way over pop charts and sales counters. Piles of Turkish psych and folk reissues have begun to hit the west, and yet how many have given the luscious ladies of Anatolia their due? So go beyond Selda, and get your gal power on. It’s time to steam up your windows with this foxy arabesque singer who’s a real-life Stevie Nicks next door. Waka waka funk rhythm guitar, sweet little organs, pumping bass, winging and buzzy synths, electric baglama, syrupy disco strings, and Kâmuran Akkor’s little swallowed yodels… It’s all here, collected singles released by İstanbul Plak between 1971 and 1975. Whether she’s covering European hits with retrofitted Turkish lyrics or ghost-voicing a musical scene in a high-profile movie, Akkor often sings like outbursts of tears or frenzy are just beyond her words. And seeing how she always played second fiddle to her classier, more famous sister Gönül, maybe Kâmuran just felt like a little drama was in order. You might have caught a couple of scant cuts on compilations like Turkish Freakout 2 (2011) or İstanbul 70 (2011), but there’s way more to discover, and now you can.

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Funk, Disco, Fuzz
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alabama

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
“Sophomore LP from Alabama Shakes is breakout effort of 2015: Brittany Howard and co. transcend revivalist soul label with powerhouse record steeped in rock, blues, and psychedelia.” Resisting any notion of a sophomore slump, and putting to bed the “revivalist soul” label, Alabama Shakes return with a humdinger. Replete with moody vibes, intricate textures, atmospheric grooves, and confident playing, Sound & Color encompasses blues, psychedelia, R&B, and garage rock while ceding the floor to powerhouse singer Brittany Howard. To say the band has arrived would be a colossal understatement. “We took our time to write this record, and I’m really glad we did,” explains Howard. “This record is full of genre-bending songs – it’s even harder now when people ask, ‘What kind of band are you?’ I have no clue.” With Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes prove that the response to Boys & Girls was no fluke. Expanding on the soulful blues-rock base that made their name, they defy predictable expectations and map an exciting, surprising, and innovative new direction. The album’s twelve songs reveal a band honed by years on the road, and drawing from a wide range of influences. “These songs are not simple,” says Howard. “They’re intricate, like a spider web or a tapestry. Our drummer, Steve, has put in a lot of work, gotten so much better – we all have.” Indeed, press surrounding the quartet’s first shows from the tour (staged more than a month before the record’s release) has taken note of the phenomenal creative growth and evolution. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed: “Energetic front woman/guitarist Brittany Howard remains Alabama Shakes’ guiding force. A lightning bolt of a singer that can move from whisper-quiet delicacy to rafter-rattling belting within one line, she conveyed a broader scope of emotion and more formidable vocal range than in years past.” “Everybody has really advanced on their instruments,” says guitarist Heath Fogg. “Brittany’s vocals have gotten so much stronger, she’s able to do more things than she even knew she could.” “I feel like I’m capable of anything,” the singer responds. “It took a lot of patience to make this record, and to communicate so well with each other. I know now we’re the kind of band that can do that.”

File Under: Blues, Rock, Soul
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blind shake

Blind Shake: Fly Right (Slovenly) LP
Slovenly Recordings is hyped as hell to announce our inevitable teaming with Minneapolis, MN bald headed freaks The Blind Shake. This intense trio led by The Brothers Blaha (Jim and Mike, plus drummer / brother from another Dave Roper) has been plowing through massive waves of reverberation since 2003, releasing a heap of deep records along the way, including a few collaborations with legendary space-punk Michael Yonkers. Taking a more melodic approach than on previous releases, this nine-cut Fly Right EP is another sonic hurdle for the band, steadily alternating between bold, phaser heavy garage-punk wail (“Tar Paper,” “Holy Road”), trippy spaghetti-western tinged surf (“A Clock, A Window, A Pyramid,” “Diamond Days”) and viscerally dramatic scare tactics (title track “Fly Right”). The Blind Shake has forged a unique concept with their bizarre visual assault, combined with instigating on-stage behavior and a virtually bottomless well of haunting songs that all seem to draw from a specific pinpoint of punk rock twang, and have concocted another hypnotic document for an unworthy world.

File Under: Punk, Garage
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calexico

Calexico: Edge of the Sun (Anti) LP
For the better part of two decades, the acclaimed band Calexico has crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With their forthcoming record Edge of the Sun, they take inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before in Mexico City, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way. The first outside invitation came when the band’s Joey Burns was writing the track ‘Bullets and Rocks’ and recognized space for a former Calexico collaborator. “When putting vocals on that song, it immediately reminded me of the Iron & Wine feel,” says Burns. “So I texted Sam (Beam), who wrote back quickly and got it going.” Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists from the Greek band Takim, and Neko Case. Burns’ brother John Burns lent a hand to some lyrics and songwriting, and the band’s keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs, ultimately co-producing the album along with Burns, John Convertino, and longtime associate Craig Schumacher. Negotiating borders and the spaces within, then inviting others inside those edges: may be the recipe for Calexico’s success. As its empire expands and the familiar pieces join with fresh ideas and a new cohort to pass under wires and across fields and time, the band now finds itself here in 2015 on the solar precipice, navigating the edge and trying to find hope in that balance of darkness and light. “The ‘edge of the sun’ could be coming from the direction of darkness seeking light, or riding the line between both,” says Burns. “All in all, this album is about pushing through the blue to brighter days. Calexico has always had that element of hope, going back and forth between a positive outlook and embracing desperate or dark themes that I think we all share.”

File Under: Indie, Roots, Tex-Mex
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craig

Ian William Craig: A Turn of Breath (Recital) LP
Recital here presents the premiere LP by vocalist Ian William Craig (b. 1980, Edmonton). Ian, a trained opera singer,  delivers an elegant balance between theatrical and ambient sentiments. A Turn of Breath combines the essence of a choral LP from Angel Records or Deutsche Grammophon with the spontaneity of experimental home-recording. This collection holds twelve works for voice and 1/4″ tape, recorded from 2011-2013. Voice appears as the Sun’s light through a vast storm; still obscured by tape malfunctions and manipulations. A system of reel to reels is employed, which yields a lovely sort of morphing repetition. Each iteration crumbles as more harmony is placed on top, residual tones spilling off the sides into nothingness. Craig’s innate ability to sing beautiful, sorrowful melodies carries each track. The pieces on A Turn of Breath vary from grand choral meditations to quiet interludes, and even a few impressionistic ‘songs’ accompanied by faint acoustic guitar. An overarching warmth resonates through each side, making this a very pleasant listen. A suitable compliment to a pot of coffee in the morning or a glass of armagnac in the evening.

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Opera, Tape Decay
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deadghosts

Dead Ghosts: s/t (Burger) LP
Dead Ghosts originally formed in late 2008 in the basement of Drew and Michael Wilky’s parent’s house in Vancouver, Canada with friend Bryan Nicol. Influenced by Pebbles comps and girl group records, they began writing and recording, addding bassist Maurizo Chiumento not long after. It didn’t take long for blogs and labels around the world to take notice, writing and praising about their songs uploaded to Myspace (yeah, those were the days…). In less than a year their first single “What To Do” was released on the Milk‘n‘Herpes imprint, the ball got rolling. After another single on Boom Chick we released the split single with Smith Westerns on Bachelor with fantastic artwork by C.M.Ruiz, this one sold out in a wink. More singles followed, leading up to this, their first full length put out on Florida’s Dying in 2011. The S/T LP, a mix of twang balladry soul stompers was a hit with the garage rock community from all over. Here it is reissued again on Burger.

File Under: Garage, Punk, CanCon
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jaccoJacco Gardner: Hypnophobia (Polyvinyl) LP
Hypnophobia, the brand new album from ‘baroque pop’ prince and Dutch producer / multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner, casts a majestic and vibrant psychedelic spell that will hypnotize listeners at the point dreams and reality meet. Capturing a true sense of exploration, Hypnophobia combines Gardner’s newfound love of travel with his continued passion for collecting and playing vintage instruments. A stunning exhibit of lush instrumental tracks as well as songs that boast lyrics worthy of any great pop number, the record features a Wurlitzer electric piano that was purchased on tour, waltzing alongside mellotrons, harpsichords, an Optigan, and an antique Steinway upright piano sold to Gardner by a local church. Akin to the sonic boom of maverick contemporaries John Maus, and Tame Impala, his is a sound that holds fast next to fellow paisley performers Syd Barrett and Curt Boettcher, with the airy dynamics of Stereolab or Simon & Garfunkel. Yet what truly marks Gardner from his musical ancestors and accomplices is his forward-thinking, hi-tech approach.

File Under: Pop Psych
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jarvis

Jarvis Street Revue: Mr. Oil Man (Lion) LP
In Tomorrow… “From the original master tapes. Limited to 500 copies. Heavy tip-on gatefold jacket + insert with band history, photos, images of sheet music for several songs, and lyrics for the band’s greatest statement, Mr. Oil Man. Poised between Toronto and Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Ontario became the refuge for every touring band in Canada; a mandatory break while crossing the perilously vast Canadian Shield. No doubt, Canada’s vastness can be heard in much of the Northernly musical output. There is perhaps no better example of this than Thunder Bay’s Jarvis Street Revue. Their lone LP, leased to Columbia for release in 1971, leaves no one untouched by the band’s sheer avalanche of psychedelic heaviness, wasted acid leads and harrowing vocals. Every song is laced with a conviction born from the physical landscape they called home. Jarvis Street Revue spent (literally) a month of Sundays recording the album and bouncing tracks to create effects. ‘Chuck Williams was so freaked out, he used to leave the room,’ Jarvis leader and Neil Young running mate Tom Horricks said. ‘It was so anti-establishment.’ Creative and far-seeing… and not without some chemical support. The album’s (and band’s) concern with the environmental — including bold statements on the use and abuse of the oil reserves, rapacious business men, and the depletion of Earth’s natural resources — were truly visionary. Heavy tip-on gatefold jacket. Insert has band history by Tom Horricks, plus photos, images of sheet music for several songs, and lyrics for the band’s greatest statement, Mr. Oil Man.”

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock, CanCon
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girl

OST: A Girls Walks Home Alone At Night (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow…. Many film music LPs both old and new come thick and fast, but Death Waltz Recording Company is very proud to release what is sure to be one of the soundtracks of 2015. From director Ana Lily Amirpour and Executive Producer Elijah Wood, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a Western vampire noir set in a small fictional Iranian town called Bad City that has an effortlessly cool soundtrack featuring music from artists such as Kiosk, Radio Tehran, White Lies, Farah and Federale. With no solo composer providing a score, the sound of the film has instead been curated by Amirpour with a variety of tracks selected to supply a unique atmosphere, recalling less traditional vampire films such as Near Dark and Only Lovers Left Alive. Despite not being score, the music selected by the director nevertheless bears heavy influence from the film music world, particularly the electronically ethereal work of Tangerine Dream, and the inescapable Western sounds of Ennio Morricone. The eclectic nature of the soundtrack is immediately noticeable – with the traditional accordion and Iranian crooning of Kiosk’s ‘Charkesh E Pooch’ a clear opposite of Radio Tehran’s punky and irreverent ‘Tatilat’. White Lies’ ‘Death’ gives off a new wave melodic vibe, while Farah’s ambient ‘Dancing Girls’ does its best to seduce you with its spoken word vocals. Both creepy and eerie and fun and energetic with its mixing of traditional and alternative musical genres, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is an instant classic.

File Under: OST, Electronic
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GD30OB2-N 12" Gatefold 4mm spine_DHC

OST: Boxtrolls (Mondo) LP
Continuing in the tradition of Coraline & Paranorman, Mondo is honored to present the soundtrack to Laika’s third animated gem: The Boxtrolls. Composed by Dario Marianelli, and featuring songs by Loch Lomond, the soundtrack perfectly captures the whimsical & frantic energy of the fictional world of Cheesebridge, where a human boy raised by trash-collecting trolls must stop a sinister exterminator from his selfish campaign to rid the town of the titular scavengers. Available for the first time on vinyl and featuring amazing new artwork by artist Rich Kelly, The Boxtrolls is an exciting addition to the Mondo / Laika collection. The record is pressed on 180 Gram Black Vinyl (Black is Limited to 500 Copies).

File Under: OST, Animation
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phase4

OST: Phase IV (Waxworks) LP
Never before released in any format, and what is highly regarded as a holy-grail for soundtrack enthusiasts, Waxwork Records and Paramount Pictures are honored to announce the definitive soundtrack release of the 1974 mind bending science-fiction masterpiece, Phase IV. Directed by the late, legendary poster artist and graphic designer Saul Bass, Phase IV has gained a cult following while influencing numerous films such as Beyond The Black Rainbow. The unique, psychedelic synth-driven score is composed by Brian Gascoigne and David Briscoe, and full packaging artwork has been created by Swedish artist, Kilian Eng. Waxwork Records has worked closely with the Bass family and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create the ultimate Phase IV soundtrack experience. The LP package comes complete with never before seen production and marketing photos, and unreleased conceptual art by Saul Bass that has been locked away in The Academy vaults for 40 years. Each LP package features a heavyweight Stoughton old-style tip-on gatefold jacket and a 12 page booklet with unreleased photography, liner notes from Sean Savage of The Academy, and a bonus art spread by Kilian Eng. The score has been mastered for vinyl by former White Zombie guitarist, J. Yuenger and pressed on 180 gram yellow vinyl.

File Under: OST, Sci-Fi, Synth
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palmeira

Palmeira: s/t (Pharaway Sounds) LP
Can you imagine a Dutch band playing top-notch ’60s/’70s sounding Brazilian music? Originally released as a private pressing in 1983, Palmeira’s only album will please any lover of bossa, jazzy-and-Latin-fusion sounds. Beautiful femme vocals, superb musicianship featuring the awesome lead electric guitar of Jeanette van der Pligt, self-penned songs and choice covers of Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto, and Rita Lee, and others. Palmeira was a Brazilian-styled band formed by Angelo Noce Santoro (ex-Cosmic Dealer) along with some Dutch, North American, and Brazilian musicians. The group existed from 1979 until 1985, playing lots of gigs at jazz venues and nightclubs in Holland. In 1983 they released their only album in a private edition of 500 copies on Santoro’s ANS label. A cult item for fans of bossa-jazz, it was first reissued in 2007 as a limited edition in Japan, which has since gone out of print. The CD edition of this reissue features six bonus tracks, including one that was not included on the Japanese reissue. The bonus tracks, recorded the same year as the album, come from Santoro’s tape archive and include some great covers of giants like Edu Lôbo and Jorge Ben, and others. Master tape sound; includes insert/booklet with liner notes and pictures.

File Under: Brazilian, Bossa Nova, Latin Jazz
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angelo

Angelo Noce Santoro: For You (Pharaway Sounds) LP
First ever reissue of this 1979 Latin-funk-psych-prog trip featuring groovy jazzy flute, superb acoustic and electric guitars, funky rhythm section, exotic percussion, and some cool Thai and Brazilian vibes. Dutch guitarist Angelo Noce Santoro was a founding member of legendary psych-prog band Cosmic Dealer; he has also recorded and released albums under his own name and with Palmeira (the first Dutch band to play Brazilian music), Santoro Brothers, and Oriental Guitars, among many others. His unique guitar style, which incorporates surf, psychedelic, jazz, and eastern influences, has received praise from such connoisseurs of obscure instrumental sounds as Jello Biafra, who got in touch with Santoro after discovering one of his solo albums in a second-hand shop in the ’80s. For You was Santoro’s first solo effort, released as a private pressing in 1979 on ANS, his own label. Santoro played bass, acoustic, and electric guitars; flute; and percussion. He was joined by ace flute player Steven Bishop, drummer Herman Muller, and Lodewijk Hulsman on acoustic guitar. Santoro wrote most of the tracks before 1979, and some date back to his time with Cosmic Dealer in the early ’70s. Master tape sound; includes insert/booklet with liner notes and photos. CD comes with two previously unreleased bonus tracks from 1979: a second part of “Raindance” and a cover of João Gilberto’s “Undiú.” File under: Latin, psych, funk, breaks, jazz, fusion, library, Brazilian, East Asian.

File Under: Latin, Psych, Funk, Library
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sfa

Super Furry Animals: Mwng (Domino) LP
Originally released in 2000 on the band’s own Placid Casual label (between deals with Creation and Sony), the Super Furry Animals’ career-defining fourth album Mwng was the band’s only Welsh language long player. It reached number 11 on the UK album charts and was their highest selling record globally up to that point. It remains the biggest selling Welsh language album of all time. On its original release, the record was praised in an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons for its significant part in promoting the language and culture of Wales. 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of Mwng’s release and the 20th anniversary of the band’s first gigs. This 15th anniversary vinyl reissue of Mwng contains the original 10 track album pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, a 4 page booklet, printed inner sleeve and an MP3 download card.

File Under: Pop, Welsh
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useless

Useless Eaters: Singles 2011-2014 (Slovenly) LP
Slovenly Recordings is honored to present a new collection from one of our favorite punk rock stalwarts Useless Eaters! Seth Sutton is the primary UE punk in question, and “Singles: 2011-2014″ compiles the best tracks from their outofprint singles from coolassed labels like Goodbye Boozy (Italy), Tic Tac Totally and Nashville’s Dead, to name a few. The electrostatic shock of “The Moves” is here, and it sounds like the LSD is just about to take over, only you’ve been chewing on a tab that you never quite wrangled out of its aluminum foil wrapper. Fatter, lo-fi decimating sounds abound with tracks like “Bloody Ripper,” and “I Hate The Kids” (feat. TY SEGALL) makes an appearance here as well. This is a fully realized set that somehow works even better than flipping through your Eaters’ 7″ stack, which is likely incomplete.

File Under: Punk, Garage
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nna

Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP/2CD
FINALLY AVAILABLE AGAIN! Largely unheard, criminally undocumented, but at their core, utterly revolutionary, the recordings of the diverse North American Aboriginal community will finally take their rightful place in our collective history in the form of Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985. An anthology of music that was once near-extinct and off-the-grid is now available for all to hear, in what is, without a doubt, Light In The Attic’s most ambitious and historically significant project in the label’s 12-year journey. Native North America (Vol. 1) features music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, recorded in the turbulent decades between 1966 to 1985. It represents the fusion of shifting global popular culture and a reawakening of Aboriginal spirituality and expression. The majority of this material has been widely unavailable for decades, hindered by lack of distribution or industry support and by limited mass media coverage, until now. You’ll hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. You’ll hear echoes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and more among the songs, but injected with Native consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony. The stories behind the music presented on Native North America (Vol. 1) range from standard rock-and-roll dreams to transcendental epiphanies. They have been collected with love and respect by Vancouver-based record archaeologist and curator Kevin “Sipreano” Howes in a 15-year quest to unearth the history that falls between the notes of this unique music. Tirelessly, Howes scoured obscure, remote areas for the original vinyl recordings and the artists who made them, going so far as to send messages in Inuktitut over community radio airwaves in hopes that these lost cultural heroes would resurface. With cooperation and guidance from the artists, producers, family members, and behind the scenes players, Native North America (Vol. 1) sheds real light on the painful struggles and deep traditions of the greater Indigenous community and the significance of its music. The songs speak of joy and spirituality, but also tell of real tragedy and strife, like that of Algonquin/Mohawk artist Willy Mitchell, whose music career was sparked by a bullet to the head from the gun of a trigger-happy police officer, or those of Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher, who was robbed of his family and traditional Inuit culture by the residential school system. Considering the financially motivated destruction of our environment, the conservative political landscape, and corporate bottom-line dominance, it’s bittersweet to report that the revolutionary songs featured on Native North America hold as much meaning today as when they were originally recorded. Dedicated to legendary Mi’kmaq singer-songwriter and poet Willie Dunn, featured on the anthology but who sadly passed away during its making, Native North America (Vol. 1) is only the beginning. A companion set featuring a crucial selection of folk, rock, and country from the United States’ Lower 48 and Mexico is currently in production.

File Under: Folk, Rock, CanCon, Essential Grooves
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…..Record Store Day Late Arrivals & Restocks…..

Black Star: Fix Up 7″
Neko Case: Fox Confessor.. (Anti) LP
Dead Milkmen: Beelzebubba (Asbestos) LP
Deep Purple: The Book of Taliesyn (Harvest) LP
Immortal Technique: Revolutionary Vol 1 LP
Sharon Jones: Little Boys With Shiny Toys (Daptone) 7″
Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Question The Answers (Asbestos) LP
Willie Nelson: Teatro (Modern Classics) LP
OST: Shogun Assassin (Cinevox) LP
Jaco Pastorius: Anthology (Warner) LP
Sun Ra: Planets of Life & Death (Strut) LP
Various: Creation Artifacts (Creation) 10×7″ Box
Various: Truth & Soul 2015 Forecast (Truth & Soul) 10″

Incoming next week….

Amanaz: Africa (Now Again) LP
OST: Darjeeling Limited (Universal) LP
OST: Star Wars Rebels Theme (Disney) 7″
Wibbley Bros: Go Weird LP

…..Restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Sir Richard Bishop: Tangier Sessions (Drag City) LP
Bjork: Homogenic (One Little Indian) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
James Brown: Love, Power, Peace (Polydor) 3LP
Will Butler: Policy (Merge) LP
Caribou: Andorra (Merge) LP
Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Betty Davis: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (Light in the Attic) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Aby Ngana Diop: Liital (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Ex Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
Faith No More: Angel Dust (Music on Vinyl) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire De Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Husker Du: Zen Arcade (SST) LP
Daniel Lanois: Flesh & Machine (Anti) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
MF Doom: Mmm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Mirkwood: s/t (Macchu Picchu) LP
Mother Love Bone: s/t (Music On Vinyl) LP
OST: Surf Nazi’s Must Die (Strange Disc) LP
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City) LP
Rangda: Formerly Extinct (Drag City) LP
Refused: Shape of Punk to Come (Epitaph) LP
Django Reinhardt: Are You In The Mood? (Monk) LP
Run The Jewels: 2 (Mass Appeal) LP
Salty Dog: s/t (Strawberry Rain) LP
Nina Simone: At Town Hall (4 Men With Beards) LP
Slint: Spiderland (Touch & Go) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Geffen) LP
Spoon: A Series of Sneaks (Merge) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Spoon: Kill The Moonlight (Merge) LP
Jim Sullivan: UFO (Light in the Attic) LP
Supreme Jubilees: It’ll All Be Over (Light in the Attic) LP
Swans: Filth (Young God) LP
Swans: To Be Kind (Young God) LP
Wand: Golem (In the Red) LP
Weezer: Pinkerton (Geffen) LP
White Stripes: s/t (Thirdman) LP
Yardbirds: Roger the Engineer (Music on Vinyl) LP
Various: Country Funk (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Country Funk II (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP/2CD
Various: Sly’s Stone Flower (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Wheedle’s Groove (Light in the Attic) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #688 – record store daze…..

Holy moly! That was just plain crazy! I hope everyone had as much fun on Saturday as we did! Big thanks to everyone who patiently stood in line to score some cool wax, and then in line again to pay! Big thanks to James & Nora for kicking butt on the till all day and Mike for being our doorman again this year. Congrats to all our winners of our draw, I’m sure Chad is already in heaven playing his RSD scores on his new RP1. But fortunately, RSD doesn’t entirely screw up the system, loads of new stuff in last week and this week. So on to the goods……

…..picks of the week…..

mcgreevy

Don McGreevy: Aichmophobia (Self Released) LP
As one of the founding members of Seattle’s Master Musicians of Bukkake, and bassist for Drone-Doom pioneers Earth, multi-intrumentalist and chord-smith Don McGreevy forces us to abscond into a dimension of pastoral pastiche ala instrumental mayhem. Picture this: If John Fahey or Robbie Basho listened to too much early Genesis or Yes, and had serious leanings toward Popol Vuh, Brian Eno, Henryk Gorecki and Giacinto Scelsi. Even modern totalist school minimalists like Glenn Branca rear their ugly heads periodically on Aichmophobia. Its a record written and recorded with acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars as the primary instruments. Slung with badoliers of synths, bolstered by mellotrons and fuzzy electric guitars, we’re definitely in the seat of a soothing, yet relatively unexpected sojourn of chords, textures and finger-picked Appalachian goodness. There’s even a glockenspiel in there somewheres, too. Its a nice, heady listen. It whisks the listener away into the the high, icy clouds allowing the observer to behold the earth in all its glorious, dark and melancholic spleandor; It’s modalities move and shake slowly below. Sure to lull one past the confines of ordinary listening pleasures, strap on your best headphones, let go, and enjoy the journey.

File Under: Kosmische, Guitar Soli, Krautrock
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suuns

Suuns + Jerusalem In My Heart: s/t (Secret City) LP
Beginning in November 2012, Suuns (Ben Shemie, Liam O’Neill, Max Henry and Joseph Yarmush) and long time friend, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, rented a studio in Montreal for seven days. The idea was to collaborate on rough sketches of song ideas and to complete as much recording as possible without discrimination. The session was successful, yielding many vibe-laden songs featuring heavy analog synths, Arabic influences and electronic sensibilities. After the session, the recordings layed dormant. Both bands were releasing individual albums; touring was to ensue shortly. Some editing time was squeezed in between tour dates but a full year passed before the songs were heard by an audience. The collaborative band did a live show at Pop Montreal 2013 and then another the following March. At that point, the project was kickstarted into gear. The band over dubbed and re-worked the songs in the summer of 2014 and finally, whilst on tour in October, finished the vocal overdubs and mixing. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart did the tracking and most of the mixing while Max Henry of Suuns handled some mixing as well. The live show is very much a performance with less emphasis on replaying the recordings note for note, but more about recreating the excitement of the initial recording sessions

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, CanCon
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…..new arrivals…..

amt2

Acid Mother’s Temple: High on New Heaven (Safety Meeting) LP
Acid Mother’s Temple & The Melting Parasio U.F.O. celebrates it’s 20th year as Japan’s premiere psychedelic freak-out collective with the release of this intimate live 4/20/2013 recording. Recorded on site at Cafe Nine in downtown New Haven, CT, Kawabata and crew delivered a solid live show totally deserving of the holiday it was conceived on. Sometimes heavy, sometimes slow and quiet, the set endlessly climbed through the frequencies delivering the fuzzy and hypnotic to a sweaty, gleeful, bleary-eyed room of psychedelic enthusiasts. Tiple LP packaged in wide spine jackets with download. Limited edition of 400 copies. “Today is 420, so please, High On!”

File Under: Psych, Japanese, 420

ambiq

Ambiq: s/t (Arjunamusic) LP
German pianist Max Loderbauer, in continuing his work with the Buchla 200e synthesizer system, joins two Swiss musicians and veterans of ECM Records, clarinetist Claudio Puntin on clarinets, mini mallets, and electronics; and percussionist Samuel Rohrer on drums, Kaoss Pad, and electronics to form ambiq, a group dedicated to the exploration of remote musical universes. Their debut self-titled album, released on Rohrer’s label arjunamusic records, aims to open doors of perception to the electronic scene by means of enhanced possibilities of instrumental interaction. Rohrer, as an improvisatory sound pilot, is able to elegantly navigate beats and anti-beats. He expands the world of rhythmic functions with his artistic, cross-style overall concept to include striking emotional components. His percussion style flows with an implicit quality into his electronic arrangements, returns enriched with seductive energy, and presents itself as the crucible for the contributions of his fellow passengers. Claudio Puntin’s unmistakably smooth sound as he plays on all members of the clarinet family, with the support of mallets and electronics, is familiar from numerous CDs and performances, as well as from film, audio-drama, and theater productions. His live concept of floating electronic spaces and layers of overtones and loops, which he customizes for his clarinet sounds, opens up divine dimensions while creating the harmonic, melodic, and tonal orbit for the satellites of his fellow musicians. With its unique blend of modular synthesizer, drums, electronic rhythms, clarinet, and electronics, ambiq develops mysterious electro-acoustic soundscapes, somewhere between the outer reaches of techno, electronica, and jazz.

File Under: Electronic
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bad guys

Bad Guys: Bad Guynaecology (Riot Season) LP
Recorded in a snake pit, in a quarry, on top of a mountain, in the desert, at night, during a thunderstorm, Bad Guynaecology is the second album from Hackney’s Bad Guys. Full of heavy riffs, pounding drums, and wild vocals laid down on seven-foot-wide steel tape, then smelted into WAVs by an irritable dwarf in an ancient forge, in space, Bad Guynaecology truly is the soundtrack to your generation. Whoever you are. Production duties on this album fell to esteemed metal producer Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost, Cathedral, Angel Witch). For fans of Motörhead, Harvey Milk, Melvins, Thin Lizzy, The Jesus Lizard, Torche, MC5, Killdozer, Black Sabbath. Bad Guys are a southerner, a midlander, a Canadian, and a Hungarian. They have played at several ATP festivals without ever being asked, razed a chalet to the ground on one occasion and got heavily fined, then next time played directly outside the security guards’ accommodation and got shut down. Learning from experience, they opted to play inside the main building next time and were shut down due to being a fire hazard. They’ve played on the fourth plinth in Trafalger Square as part of Antony Gormley’s One and Other art installation, where they were told to shut down as well even though you were supposed to be able to do whatever you like. They’ve played in a theater, as part of a poorly judged bit of experimentalism by a director. They weren’t shut down but it was clear everyone wanted them to leave. Then they played in the life-drawing room in the Royal Academy (the oldest life-drawing room in the country), where they performed naked and people drew them, with varying degrees of success. They weren’t shut down and lots of intellectuals said it was interesting. As well as all this stuff they’ve played in countless pubs and clubs and parties up and down the country and around Europe and have been generally very well received. Apart from in Glasgow, where the promoter didn’t bother turning up, the DJ played techno to warm up, and one drunk woman kept shouting at them to shut up.

File Under: Rawk, Metal, Stoner
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baxter

Les Baxter: African Jazz (So Far Out) LP
Composer, conductor, arranger, and musician Les Baxter is fondly remembered as one of the forefathers of the 1950s exotica sound, alongside other luminaries such as Arthur Lyman, Martin Denny, and Juan Garcia Esquivel. 1959’s African Jazz is one of his most renowned and sought-after titles, at times moody and dark, at others light and whimsical, sometimes within the same song. Quintessential mood music from the master himself. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: Exotica, Jazz
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braids

Braids: Deep In The Iris (Flemish Eye) LP
To record their third album, Deep In The Iris, Braids decamped to a series of retreats in the mountains of Arizona, Vermont, and upstate New York. Surrounded by nature in all its warm vitality, the longtime bandmates strove to shed the fabric of their day to day relationships, being bare and vulnerable before one another. What resulted is Deep In The Iris, their strongest record to date – powerful, yet fragile; immaculately sculpted, but deeply human. Driven by roomy acoustic instrumentation and tasteful electronics, Deep In The Iris is easily Braids’ sunniest and most immediate record. While the icy, airless production of their second album Flourish // Perish suited the songs’ inward gaze, the widescreen warmth and full-bodied punch of Deep In The Iris is the perfect complement to its unflinching lyricism. Raphaelle Standell has always had a formidable voice but rarely has it sounded as vital, focused, and powerful as it does here. True to the process that birthed it, the record explores a number of heavy subjects, including pornography, abuse, and slutshaming. Standell’s emotional vulnerability becomes a triumphant weapon in its own right: scything through wrongdoing and shame with equal aplomb, and clearing the way for the many others who will find resonance in the bravery of these lyrics. Written from a place of inspiring strength and unblinking lucidity, the lyricism of this record is a cathartic gift.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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ferreyra

Beatriz Ferreyra: GRM Works (ReGRM) LP
Argentine electroacoustic composer Beatriz Ferreyra describes each of the pieces included on GRM Works: Demeures aquatiques (1967): “This electroacoustic piece, articulated into two clearly distinct parts, draws its sound source from the classical and unorthodox instruments — metal sheets, glass rods, etc. — invented by the Baschet brothers. I wanted to show the contrast between the rhythmic repetition of a sounding object, which gives out a feeling of fixity, an electroacoustic flavour and the continuous re-creation of the same sensation through similar yet not identical sounds.” Un fil invisible (2009) For Christine Groult: “This piece was inspired by the various stages of Medieval Alchemy. The alchemical process is one of transformation, whose actual subject is the alchemist himself. Here, the process is inextricably tangled with the transformation of sounds and the very structure of the piece.” Médisances (1968/69): “This electroacoustic piece for 4 channels was produced by manipulating such items as orchestral instruments, a mouth bow, breath and some unexpected technical defects.” Les Larmes de l’inconnu (2011): “This is the first part of a work inspired by the Qabalists Carlos Suares (consciousness-energy), Rivka Cremici (charm of the mystic energy) and Shinta Zenke (dazzling Hebrew calligraphy) to whom I dedicate this music. Through its letters-numbers, the Qabalah expresses three different levels of ‘primordial equation of the universe': the level of the archetype, that of the event and the incarnation, and the universal and cosmic level… I would like to thank the wonderful flutist Hernan Gomez for his kindness and his musicality during the recording.” “The music of Beatriz Ferreyra bears a magnetic force, which generates a truly recognisable style that could be defined as a unique sense and intuition for sound. Whether in her early works (‘Médisances,’ ‘Demeures aquatiques’) or in the more recent ones featured here, one can easily perceive a freedom-loving musical personality. A pioneer alongside Pierre Schaeffer, in the ’50s and ’60s, she worked on the development of the famous Solfège de l’Objet Sonore (Music Theory of the Sounding Object) before freeing herself from the institution to focus on creating a challenging and independent music.” –Christian Zanési and François Bonnet, Paris, 2015. Digital transfer by Jonathan Fitoussi; layout by Stephen O’Malley; photos by Laszlo Ruszka (1983/87) © Ina, Bernard Perrine (1969); translations by Valérie Vivancos. Coordination GRM: Christian Zanési & François Bonnet. Executive production: Peter Rehberg. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, November 2014.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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casa

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz: Tyranny (Cult Records) LP
Tyranny is Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas’ sophomore solo album following 2009’s Phrazes for the Young. Credited to Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, the group is rounded out by Jeramy “Beardo” Gritter (guitar), Amir Yaghmai (guitar), Jacob “Jake” Bercovici (bass/synthesizers), Alex Carapetis (drums/percussion) and Jeff Kite (keyboards). Produced by Shawn Everett, the wide-ranging 12-song set is preceded by the singles “Human Sadness” and “Where No Eagles Fly.” Casablancas explains the album’s title: “Tyranny has come in many forms throughout history. Now, the good of business is to put above anything else, as corporations have become the new ruling body. Most decisions seem to be made like ones of a medieval king: whatever makes profit while ignoring and repressing the truth about whatever suffering it may cause (like pop music, for that matter).” “A far cry from the bite-size chronicles of effortless New York cool that Casablancas made his name on, the Strokes frontman’s latest collection of songs finds him grappling with big, serious, universal subjects such as morality, selfishness, public ignorance, and the myriad ways twenty-first century democracy is broken. The real departure, though, is the sound of the thing: Casablancas and his band chose to address those topics in the context of the most abstract, experimental music of his career.” – Chris DeVille, Stereogum

File Under: Indie Rock, Strokes
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devo

Devo: Miracle Witness Hour (Futurismo) LP
Spuds rejoice, for the Miracle Witness Hour is at hand! In 1977 Devo played an intimate show to an eager handful at biker bar turned total dive The Eagle Street Saloon in Cleveland, Ohio. Unbeknown to those canny onlookers, they were to testify to the healing power of Devo! But what of us now? Beautiful mutants fear not, Futurismo are here to rectify your late party syndrome. Televised through the antennas of time we give you Devo’s most intimate unreleased live record ever – Miracle Witness Hour! Released for the first time on any format, this remastered document of de-evolution is finally given the attention it truly deserves. A rare glimpse into the embryonic stages of the groundbreaking band way before the masses knew how to ‘whip-it good’, the Miracle Witness Hour boasts primal versions of the bands most recalled avant-pop songs, juxtaposed against some of their rarer experimental gems. Seemingly fitting for the kind of off the wall experience that would have Devo’s dehumanised art house sci-fi set against the backdrop of Eagle Streets dingy and ruptured old world interior, it’s the playful live imperfections in this recording that genuinely make the Miracle Witness Hour an original and intimate experience. This Futurismo release revitalises this event with exciting artwork and packaging that represents the bands forward thinking approach to the aesthetics that shaped the following decade. The outer sleeve comes die-cut revealing the box-fold reversible cover inner sleeve, itself containing a second sleeve, and housing rare images as well as brand new liner notes by Devo founding member Gerald Casale. It also comes on heavyweight 180g coloured vinyl with Free download. Also available on CD. Praise the lord! We must repeat D-E-V-O.

File Under: Rock, Punk

fay

Bill Fay: Who Is The Sender? (Dead Oceans) LP
Ask Bill Fay about his relationship with his instrument and he says something revealing, not “Ever since I learnt to play the piano,” but “Ever since the piano taught me.” What the piano taught him was how to connect to one of the great joys of his life. “Music gives,” he says. And he is a grateful receiver. But, it makes him wonder, “Who is the sender?” Fay – who after more than five decades writing songs is finally being appreciated as one of our finest living practitioners of the art asserts that songs aren’t actually written but found. Shown a simple piano piece by his sister-in-law when he was around 15, Fay began exploring how it worked and opened up a whole new world, the realm of chords. Once he’d discovered their emotional power, and how finding the right blend of chords and harmony made him want to sing melodies and conjure words, he became immersed in that world, and has been ever since. He recorded two phenomenal and completely different sounding albums, Bill Fay and Time Of The Last Persecution for Decca offshoot Nova in 1970 and 1971, which were largely overlooked at the time, but whose undoubted power sent out enough ripples to find important admirers many years later. Among them was label owner Colin Miles who reissued them on CD in 1998 and thereby alerted a new generation to Bill’s work. After 27 years of neglect, people like Nick Cave, Jim O’ Rourke and Jeff Tweedy were praising those records in glowing terms. Tweedy even began covering Fay’s “Be Not So Fearful” at Wilco shows. Another original fan of those early albums was James Henry, a Californian Vietnam veteran who somehow came across them and found something in the spiritual ruminations of a young man from North London that resonated with him. He passed his enthusiasm on to his son Joshua who grew up to be a producer and who, in 2010, contacted the elusive, almost reclusive Fay and asked if they might make some new recordings. Touched by the unexpected connection his music had made with this young man in Nevada City, Fay agreed. Henry recruited world-renowned engineer Guy Massey and a crack squad of musicians, including current, in-demand players Tim Weller, Matt Deighton and Mikey Rowe, and Bill’s cohorts from the Decca days, Alan Rushton and Ray Russell. This pan-generational team proved a perfect conduit for Bill’s work and the results, released as Life Is People in 2012 were breathtaking and lauded around the globe. Now that team, with some new additions, has convened for a second album. Cut in just 13 days in Ray Davies’ Konk Studios, North London, Who Is The Sender? sees Bill expanding upon themes he has touched on from the beginning, spiritual and philosophical questions, observations about the natural world and the people in the city he has lived in all his life. You can hear them in “Garden Song,” the first song on his debut album in 1970 and in “Underneath The Sun” and “How Little” on this album, with its refrain “It’s all so deep.” The joy and sadness are indeed deep in this material, which Bill describes as “alternative gospel.” Though it clearly stems from his belief, he doesn’t seek to proselytise or convert anybody, but just hopes to share the concerns he puts into the words and the feelings that he receives from the music: “Goodness, beauty, comfort. If something gives in the world, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Maybe that’s what music wants to do.” “Bill Fay is one the greats!” – Nick Cave

File Under: SSW, Folk
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frahm

Nils Frahm: Solo (Erased Tapes) LP/CD
Berlin-based composer and pianist Nils Frahm celebrates the first annual Piano Day (March 29, 2015, the 88th day of the year) with the release of Solo. The group behind Piano Day, made up of Frahm and his closest friends, plans to support various exciting, piano-related projects; the first of these is the building of the world’s tallest piano, the Klavins 450. As the life-long dream of David Klavins, it will exceed the current record-holder, the Klavins M370. Located in Tübingen, Germany, the M370 weighs 1.8 tons, stands 12.14 feet tall, and boasts strings up to about 10 feet in length. It was on this piano, in one sitting, that Frahm recorded the eight improvised piano motifs that form Solo. Once recorded, Frahm began to think of ways to release the album as a gift to his fans, and came up with Piano Day. Solo was made available as a free download on Piano Day 2015, as a way of easing Frahm’s fans into sharing their money for the Klavins 450 project. All direct donations and a portion of all record sales will go to the Klavins 450 project until the target has been hit. In his liner notes for the album, Frahm writes, “David got to work in 1985 and finished his instrument two years later. Back then I was five years old, with no idea of how much I would fall in love with it. When I finally met David Klavins and his enormous piano 27 years later, in the very beginning of 2014, I arrived with empty hands. I didn’t know what music, what songs I was about to record in the next three days… The eight pieces featured on this album were selected out of hours of improvising, happy hours… The joy of playing and listening to the sound of the instrument made me play slower and slower, softer and softer, as if almost every new note was destroying the immense beauty and sustain of the previous note. I was preparing the instrument with parts of my felt collection, carefully tuning mic positions with the help of my dear friend and recording gear wizard Matthias Hahn, and simply playing whatever came to my mind. In conversations about this I am still struggling for words in order to praise David’s instrument. Words simply don’t do it justice, so listen for yourself. With lots of love, Nils Frahm.”

File Under: Ambient, Neo-Classical, Piano
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fukuda

Hiiragi Fukuda: Seacide (Trouble In Mind) LP
Hiiragi Fukuda turned a lot of “heads” with his 2013 album My Turntable Is Slow—released on NY label Selection Records. TiM hopes to carry his name into 2015 with the release of Seacide—Fukuda’s first foray into synthesizer music. Originally released as a criminally limited cassette on Sloow Tapes, Seacide is entirely instrumental & improvised, with it’s hypnotic drones & pulses echoing out of his practice amplifier and carving out sonic territory akin to NY pioneers Suicide as well as UK Industrial godfathers Throbbing Gristle.

File Under: Psych, Synth, Drone
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gd

Grateful Dead: Three From The Vault (Future Days) 4LP
Following on the heels of Light In The Attic’s vinyl LP release of One and Two From The Vault comes the final release in the trilogy of From The Vault releases by the Grateful Dead. These releases are distinguished from the more abundant Dick’s Picks series in that Dick’s Picks are “direct from the soundboard” recordings, while the From The Vault series were professionally recorded on multi-track tape and then mixed down (decades) later for release. Recorded live at the Capitol Theatre (Port Chester, NY) in 1971, this is the worldwide vinyl debut release of this seminal show featuring the 5 piece line-up of Pigpen, Garcia, Weir, Lesh, and Kruetzmann (Mickey Hart had temporarily left the band at that point), freshly remastered in 2014 by Joe Gastwirt for your pleasure. 20 classic songs on 8 sides of wax, this show has previously only been available on CD; this is the first ever vinyl LP release! The band played six shows over the course of seven nights at the Capitol Theatre in February of 1971, and this was the second of that run, recorded on the 19th. Their previous two studio albums had been their landmark recordings of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and while songs from those albums were certainly featured, the Dead debuted seven brand new songs on this night–all of which went on to become Dead “standards” including “Playing in the Band,” “Greatest Story Ever Told,” and two absolute classics: “Bird Song” and “Deal.” Essential Dead.

File Under: Dead
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kalma

Ariel Kalma: Open Like A Flute (Black Sweat) 2LP
Originally composed between 1981 and 1984 and initially appeared only on tape in two different editions, the proposed material from Ariel Kalma for this work confirms his pantheistic vision of the ethnic sound that had already emerged in 1978 with the masterpiece Osmose. The deep consciousness of the compositional techniques of Indian ragas is mixed here with embroidered electronic textures on which flute and sax explore the most secret archetypal elements of nature. In this way Kalma offers to the listener a personal idea of sacred music with luminous and oneiric tones but always dialoguing with a higher cosmic conception of things. With a clever use of effects, harmonium, delays and exotic percussions, Kalma becomes the creator of soundscapes from the endless myriad shades. Such a fusion of Western avant-garde and eastern tradition approaches other big names of the international panorama such as Popol Vuh, Angus MacLise or László Hortobágyi. The master comes from the original 1/4” analog tape from the ’80s. Limited edition of 300 copies in a gatefold cover with info.

File Under: New Age, Ambient
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kauffman

David Kauffman & Eric Caboor: Songs From Suicide Bridge (Modern Classics) LP
You’ll find a Suicide Bridge in almost any big city you care to visit, but few are more impressive than the Colorado Street Bridge connecting Pasadena to Los Angeles, which earned its nickname by being the scene of suicides in triple figures. It’s also the scene of a photo shoot in which singer-songwriters Eric Caboor and David Kauffman posed on the deserted structure, capturing an image that would eventually inform the spare, detached mood–and title–of their majestic debut album, 1984’s Songs From Suicide Bridge. Indeed, there’s a fatalistic quality to this LP that has much to do with its origins. Kauffman, from Madison, New Jersey, and Caboor, from Burbank, California, met in 1982 playing the coffee houses of Los Angeles. Each was painfully used to playing to half-empty venues, which is a situation only half of the partnership would have been at peace with. “Dave had come to California to have a career in music,” Caboor says. “I don’t think it was quite the same for me. I was always kind of reluctant to go all out.” Every week, the pair met in a converted utility shed in the backyard of Caboor’s childhood home in Burbank to play each other the songs they wrote. They were never a duo in the conventional sense–rather, as Kauffman put it, “two loners who happened to join forces.” After two frustrating years of trying and failing to catch a break in a music industry that was focused on new wave, pop, AOR–anything but the folk-rock the duo were offering–the pair conceded defeat. One of them suggested, half joking, that they should put all their darkest and least viable works together on one record, if only to spite the industry that had rejected them. The more they thought about it, the better an idea it seemed, and when they started to plot out a tracklist from their vast catalog of songs, something unique and special begun taking shape. The opening track, “Kiss Another Day Goodbye,” in particular, set out the stall: “I don’t know how much longer/ I can feel the way I feel/ And never cry/ I don’t know how much longer/ I can kiss another day goodbye,” it says. Home-recorded on a four-track, Songs From Suicide Bridge was released on the pair’s own Donkey Soul Music in 1984. If this were a movie, the album would have been a huge success. Instead, the 500 copies pressed found their way to few willing ears. Though real life encroached, Caboor and Kaufmann continued to work together, releasing albums as The Drovers in 1989 and 1992. Now, their debut is to be released by Light In The Attic Records with brand new liner notes by Sam Sweet. Hopefully, it will finally find its audience–a listener who can see hope in the darkness. “People would tell us those songs were depressing,” Caboor says in his interview with Sweet, “but it wasn’t depressing to us. In a lot of cases, playing those songs in that little room was one of the only things that made us feel better.”

File Under: Folk, Drifter, Private Press
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kenney

Kenney/Kang/Park: At Temple Gate (Weyrd Son) LP
At Temple Gate immerses you in a kind of shamanism of which the echo has long since been lost. It is an interstitial album which marries a modal ancestrality with the power of electronic soundscapes, revealing a duality, an incantation at the threshold of death. The Sound is what immediately strikes the listener, even before the Logos, the word, the music itself; At Temple Gate is a kind of sonic ritual. It is not the dead, these deities, who are terrifying, but the living and their ever more ardent desires to communicate with those whose bodies have spread throughout the cosmos into a billion particles of stardust; where we come from and where we end up, ashes to dust. At Temple Gate is evocative of all of this: the bait of Time, Cruelty, the bite of Sound. Jessika Kenney: voice, electronics; Eyvind Kang: viola, electronics; Hyeonhee Park: percussion, electronics; with Timm Mason: modular synth. Numbered edition of 300 copies.

File Under: Electronic, World, Experimental
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birth

Jim Linderman: Birth of Rock & Roll (Dust to Digital) Book
“Collector and Americana yay-sayer Jim Linderman is an archivist of the obscure. His collections tell vast stories in sotto voce, allowing curios and objects shadowed by mainstream culture and ideology to converse and be heard. What we hear is an enormous American sub-culture speaking in forbidden, marginalized languages: stuff discovered boxed in the attic out of embarrassment or zealotry, smutty ash trays crowing next to religious pamphlets, each claiming a part of the complex, sometimes contradictory, always conflicted American imagination, a chaos of memories that will one day vanish. In The Birth of Rock and Roll, Linderman’s arranged a storyboard of sorts that dramatizes the spirit, if not the chronology of rock and roll. Poetically, the photos evoke without naming, and have little to do with conventional iconography of the birth of rock and roll — i.e., young white men in Memphis, poodle skirts, Alan Freed, Bill Haley’s Brylcreem, etc. Instead they document, and celebrate, the pure but indefinable essence of rocking. Ordinary, nameless men, women, and children, some white, some black, are holding guitars and strumming while looking relaxed or frantic, but nearly always blissful. Some of the action takes place in rural fields, some in dance halls, some at civic events, some in living rooms and basements. Wherever there is an urge to make acoustic or electric music — whether to help at a rent party, busk in front of a crowd, or testify in the name of Jesus — there’s an uncredited photographer there to snap an image” –Joe Bonomo. “I wanted them all to be anonymous, but several were identified, and the Carter Family was included because it is such a lovely snapshot [and it has never been published before now]. I like to think rock and roll emerged from a large collective of unknown folk ‘down there’ rather than from some stars ‘up there'” –Jim Linderman. Includes an introduction by Jim Linderman and an interview with Jim Linderman by Joe Bonomo. Jim Linderman is a writer, art historian, collector, and publisher. He maintains a network of websites on art, photography, and culture. Joe Bonomo is an essayist and music writer. His books include Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band; Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found; and Conversations With Greil Marcus. Book designer: Martin Venezky. 160 pages; 12 x 9.75 inches; 134 images reproduced in full color.

File Under: Books

male gaze

Male Gaze: Gale Maze (Castle Face) LP
Blow-out enthusiasts, make ready to scarf this down without chewing: “How many licks does it take to get to the spider egg in the center of this sugar bomb? “You got the jitters, and dude, there’s blood on your shirt. “I like gore with my goth.  “Hey, you got your pop sensibilities on my explosion!” Strong vocals à la Modern English, back-beat complete and foamy bass bleached onto half-inch tape specially for Castle Face. Seven headstrong tunes to clatter your phonograph needle. I’ve always loved Matt Jones’s (ex-Blasted Canyons) vocal stylings, rich with tenor muscle flexes. Over the top in its endeavors and reaching, always reaching. Primal gas-guzzler drumming, center speaker from Adam Cimino sets the ear up for a beating. And hell, it’s got the old (and I mean old) bass player, Mark Kaiser, from Mayyors; solid-state aggression at its mid-low, knuckle-dragging finest. A slap in the brain done up nicely here on wax. Enjoy. —John Dwyer

File Under: Punk
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mirage

Mirage: Blood For The Return (Old English Spelling Bee) LP
“Most people just start a band, reiterate what they like, get a buzz, and when it slows down they start a new band — but it’s like a new name with mysterious photos. But it’s all the same people. You see the stuff over and over again.” – Johnny Jewel of Italians Do It Better in a Pitchfork interview from 2012. The above quote contains an extra layer of meaning considering that Johnny Jewel himself has an occasional solo recording project that also uses the name “Mirage”. This Mirage is not him. Nor is this Mirage who it was pretending to be. But, of course, what better name to use than Mirage when attempting to pass off a false persona to the world? Earlier this year I was contacted by Robin Nydal, aka Mirage, a 19-year old musician from Los Angeles who had just put his debut album titled “Blood For The Return” on Bandcamp. His initial email solicitation was bizarrely unconventional — instead of asking me to listen to his songs he only wanted me to listen to very brief sections of his songs — to quote his first email in full: “listen to the outro of Anne @ 1:06 and the harmonies @ 40 seconds on Blood For The Return” So I took the bait on the novelty of a hopeful musician asking me to listen to only the “good parts” of their songs — the problem was that I didn’t hear why the prescribed sections were any more remarkable than the entirety of the album. It was a stunning listen from start to finish and I was quickly on board to help him release it, not fully realizing what I was getting myself into. I was soon reminded of that saying: “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. In the following months, while the brief 6-song album metamorphosized into a full-length 11-track monster, the myth behind Mirage underwent a complete deconstruction as well. I’m accustomed to working with some very eccentric artists but nothing could have prepared me for the Twilight Zone that is Mirage. Dozens upon dozens of insane, demanding, and non-sequitur emails – every single day. Ranging from hilarious to bratty to downright menacing — it was like being in a movie — my very own “psychological thriller” — heavy emphasis on “psycho”. First he asked if he could transfer his Bandcamp account over to OESB because the income he was making off sales was jeopardizing his family’s status as welfare recipients (?!?!). His story didn’t completely make sense and his home address pointed to a nice neighborhood in a Los Angeles suburb — so the request was a head-scratcher — but sure, done. In the meantime I had sent his music to a couple of writers which resulted in some enthusiastic coverage on both Pitchfork and Fader. About a week after the articles appeared I received a cryptic email from Jack Shankly of Weird World/Domino requesting a phone call. Since OESB had been more or less dormant I assumed that he wanted to speak with me about Mirage. When I mentioned Jack’s request to Robin he said “well, I’m in neck-deep with you but I am already in knee-deep with Jack” !?!? “What does that mean exactly?” I replied and then Robin explained that he was already under contract to Weird World/Domino for all of his music but “don’t worry about it — what are they gonna do, spank us?” !?!? So this kid was frustrated that Domino was in no rush to release his music so he came up with a new project name and started shopping it around in hopes that Domino wouldn’t notice — and of course made no mention of any of this to me until Domino came calling. Oops, looks like your cover is blown kid!! I knew that Robin Nydal was a clever but fairly obvious pseudonym: Robin = BOB & Nydal = DYLAN. But “Robin” certainly acted like a bratty 19-year old who was still living with his parents. So how did boy genius already have this secret record deal with Domino? A few minutes of Google-searching shed plenty of light on the poorly constructed mystery. The Blood For The Return cover image had been used way back in 2010 for a write-up on one of his previous projects — and his list of guest musicians on BFTR led to articles on several other past bands he’d been in with the same guys. Robin used a different pseudo-name as the bandleader for each, but there was nothing for him to be ashamed of — all of the previous bands made extremely well-crafted experimental pop that had generated some healthy blog buzz yet failed to break into the indie mainstream. Curiously in nearly every write-up between 2009 and 2012 the music for these different projects was credited to a “19-year old from Los Angeles”. Guess he’s got one of those “fountains of eternal youth” in his backyard!! “And so I wake in the morning, And I step outside, And I take a deep breath and I get real high.. And I scream at the top of my lungs What’s going on? And I say, hey hey hey hey… I said hey, WHAT’S GOING ON?!?!”. BUT IT GETS EVEN STRANGER FROM THERE — his Wolfmother-esque high-school rock band was somehow able to secure a slot as the opening act for The Who’s Roger Daltrey on his North American tour in 2009. WTF!?!? Turns out that Linda Perry from 4 Non-Blondes had discovered a 13-year old Mirage at a Guitar Center (of course!!), bought him a guitar as a gift that very same day, and took him and his friends under her wing as their “manager/band mom” for six years. But after getting thrown into the deep end of the pool on the Daltrey tour their debut release flopped and they disbanded to pursue a series of re-inventions that leaned more towards proggy art-rock. Each project sounding more haunted and lo-fi until crystallizing into the funhouse-mirror mindfuck that is Mirage. So that helps explain some things — Mirage is suffering severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his teenage music-biz experiences and close calls with rock stardom. Too much, too soon. The big dream was within reach yet slipped his grasp. Now he’s a lunatic making recordings far more hermetic in nature — while playing twisted mind-games with record labels and the world at large. But, ultimately — none of this failed mythology matters. Because the music is coming from a very real and unique place. The intricately convoluted fantasy realm that he exists in reveals itself in vivid colors upon listening to these songs. That’s why Mirage has been compared to pop-experimentalists from the 70?s like Robert Wyatt, Van Dyke Parks, and Peter Gabriel — all of whom were known for going “beyond the song” and creating their own idiosyncratic sound-worlds. For a more contemporary point of reference Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene said that Mirage “recalls what a Grizzly Bear demo might sound like that had spent the last ten years buried in someone’s vegetable garden.” Hey everyone — grab a shovel — let’s go dig!! – Todd Ledford, Olde English Spelling Bee

File Under: Dream Pop
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modernettes

Modernettes: Teen City (Sudden Death) LP
Modernettes were pop / punk phenoms from Vancouver, Canada—a city Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover magazine claims had the greatest undiscovered punk / new wave scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s. This is the first time the group’s debut release has been reissued in its original format since 1979. Produced by the legendary Bob Rock in his seminal days, Teen City delivers six classic anthems ranging from the über-catchy “Barbra” (chorus: “B-A-R-B-R-A, Barbra”) to the teen-angst-tinged “Confidential” to the cool of “Celebrity Crackup.”

File Under: Pop, Punk, CanCon
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rhythm aces

Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces: Dedication of Love (Jazzman) LP
Limited numbered edition of 1000. Much is said in the mainstream media about million-selling records, yet the opposite is true of the no-hitters — the obscurities that sold badly and sank without a trace. Represented here is the bittersweet experience of a hard-working soul band that experienced the elation of a million-selling chart-topper (1965’s “Searching for My Love”), but also the dejection of a self-released flop that sold so few copies that barely a handful can still be found. The 1976 album Dedication of Love by Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces is that flop, and it exists in 2015 as only a handful of copies, selling for up to $2000 on the highly competitive rare soul market. This is its first ever reissue. From Jazzman’s exclusive interviews with long-standing band member Bobby Moore Jr., this reissue’s detailed liner notes tell the story of Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces from inception through 2015, including all the highs and lows that membership of a touring soul band can bring, as well as some spectacular, previously unseen vintage photos. The notes dig deep to find out just why this record was made, and why, despite such a wonderful array of heartfelt soul, street funk, and downhome funky blues, it became such a rarity. Part of the Jazzman Holy Grail Series.

File Under: Soul, Funk, Private Press
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nilovic

Janko Nilovic: Soul Impressions (Underdog) LP
Following Underdog Records’ 2014 reissues of brilliant and underrated Montenegrin-French multi-instrumentalist and composer Janko Nilovic’s ’70s albums Pop Impressions and Super America, the label now presents a remastered reissue of Nilovic’s 1975 album Soul Impressions. Nilovic was certainly one of the great studio talents of 1970s Europe, but his prolific output was mostly released on library music labels and largely not available for sale. His compositional wizardry encompassed the styles of jazz, funk, Latin, psychedelic, easy listening, classical, and pop; these genre-blending arrangements have since become a rich source of samples for contemporary hip-hop artists, including Jay-Z, Dafuniks, and Guts.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Library
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omg

Old Man Gloom: Meditations in B (Hydra Head) LP
Meditations in B. A simpler time. Like Pepperidge Farms, and Little House on the Prairie. Two beautiful young men (Aaron Turner and Santos Montano) set off on their own, in the peak of their sexual virility, to forge a new path in brutally sludgy, crushing, apocalyptic, post-metal, post-hardcore, pre-Y2K, post-math, pre-friendster, post-rock riffs. It was a magical time, before they added a few “session players.” Still regarded by some (mostly the guys who played on it) as Old Man Gloom’s finest hour, 2000’s Meditations in B was written in one afternoon, then recorded and mixed in just 12 hours. They also had the privilege of recording it in their home town of Santa Fe, New Mexico at Stepbridge Studios. Within months of this, they used this monumental piece of music to convince Nate Newton (Converge) to join, and once they had him, it was a little easier to convince Caleb Scofield (Cave In) to come aboard.

File Under: Metal, Cave In, Converge
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tp0004c_SP_DPGate_Cover

OST: Nekromantik (One Way Static) LP
One Way Static Records is proud to be bring you their latest release, a release where we had the chance to work with German visionary Jörg Buttgereit and his trio of go-to composers : Daktari Lorenz, Hermann Kopp & John Boy Walton. Nekromantik is known to be frequently controversial, banned in a number of countries, and has become an international cult film over the years due to its transgressive subject matter (including necrophilia) and audacious imagery. Daktari Lorenz, Hermann Kopp & John Boy Walton make up the holy trio of composers called upon by film maker Jörg Buttgereit. Between the three of them they produced some of the most haunting and beautiful tracks to be paired up with Buttgereit’s controversial on-screen works of art. The Nekromantik score displays the dynamic ability and range of the composers. It strikes a perfect balance of beauty, horror, joy and dissonance. The score is both minimalistic and hauntingly atmospheric at the core, and yet remarkably complex at the same time. A wide variety of instruments and sound effects are utilized throughout it’s making. Kopp wastes no time displaying his mastery of the violin, which takes center stage, captivating the listener with his powerful, rhythmic, and beautiful solos. He also uses the violin to create some of the strangest tracks on the album, significantly slowing down the rhythm, creating an ominous, off-key droning sound. Kopp is no slouch on the piano either, with a number of beautiful piano interludes that appear throughout the score. In sharp contrast are the tracks which sound as if they are from an old school industrial album. Harsh noise, clanging metal, pounding drums, synthesizers, and various sound effects come together to create a truly dark and desolate picture. The moog synthesizer, also makes a few appearances. This is an amazing collection of music that appeals to a wide variety of people. Today we bring you for the first time on vinyl and cassette the EXPANDED original 1987 motion picture soundtrack from Nekromantik.

File Under: OST, Horror
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visitorOST: The Visitor (Mondo) LP
More Mondo! Original music composed, arranged and conducted by Franco Micalizzi.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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pow!

Pow!: Fight Fire (Castle Face) LP
POW! is re-chromed and ready to soundtrack your dystopian near future. Harsh neon synths battle with zipline guitars for space above a dark and teeming cityscape. Your guide is always in the shadows, you can’t make out his face but you hear his crazed diatribe as he wards off all affronts.  Razor-sharp punk at its core, Fight Fire is fleshed out with inventive and catchy synth work—and the floating bits of atmospheric expansion between tracks only heighten the paranoid atmosphere. These tunes have a sci-fi depth, a moody bite, and a startling clarity sharpened to a point by the wizard hand of Chris Woodhouse, who helmed the magnetization. Recommended listening for future-punk teens and grown adults alike.

File Under: Punk, Garage, Electro
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redolfi

Michel Redolfi: Pacific Tubular Waves/Immersion (ReGRM) LP
Packaged with 3D cover art; includes Anaglyphic 3D glasses. “Pacific Tubular Waves” (1979): Electronic music for Synclavier digital synthesizer. “The first four movements frame different visions of the energy delivered by the rolling waves as a kind of auditory surfing on the crest and into the trough of the wave (movements 1-3), followed by a high speed crossing within the tubular cyclone (4). The piece ends with easing waves at dusk… In terms of the making, ‘Pacific Tubular Waves’ is a purely electronic music, a solo performance on the first digital Synclavier synthesizer. The flexibility of its touch keys enabled me to intuitively program a sonic organic life quality with a concrete quality. Here the computer was used to magnify the texture and behavior of the oceanic material though never mimicking it.” “Immersion” (1980): Electroacoustic music for Synclavier synthesizer and underwater recordings. “Composing ‘Immersion’ started with underwater recordings using a hydrophone. After recording the shifting sands and the rolling pebbles under the breakers, I came up with the idea of dipping a sonar loudspeaker underwater to diffuse my ‘Pacific Tubular Waves’ piece (made the previous year) below the surface. The music was thus shuffled by the waves and unexpected filtering effects resulted from its passing through clouds of foam. Its dispersion at sea by currents would send back incredibly smooth harmonic echoes… The recording of this natural remixing process is the guiding thread of the piece. It is interspersed with sequences composed in the studio with the Synclavier. Alternating dry/wet, for a gradual immersion through increasingly calm and dense increments… Three-dimensional Visible Images through the glasses attached hereto. Analogous to stereo, the anaglyph graphic process consists of two left and right points view of the same object… The feeling of space is expanding proportionally to the distance of observation, from 80 cm to several meters” –Michel Redolfi. A singular figure of the electroacoustic landscape, Redolfi debuted in 1980 with Pacific Tubular Waves/Immersion on INA-GRM. Recollection GRM presents the first reissue of this record. Digital transfer by Diego Losa. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, July 2014. Original 3D artwork and inner sleeve wave photo by Michel Redolfi. All other photos and portrait by Donna Cline. Sleeve and new Anaglyph 3D design by Stephen O’Malley. Anaglyphic 3D supervision by Guy Ventouillac. Coordination GRM: Christian Zanési and François Bonnet. Executive Production: Peter Rehberg.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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rich

Charlie Rich: So Lonesome I Could Cry (Fat Possum) LP
The Hi recordings of Charlie Rich are in many ways the most reckless and adventurous of his career. In 1966 and 1967, Hi, a small Memphis label that hosted acts such as Willie Mitchell (and later Al Green) and the Bill Black Combo believed, like Sun, RCA , and Mercury before them, in Rich’s prodigious talent but had no idea where to put him categorically. Mostly here are the songs associated with Hank Williams. They are revelatory in that they reveal just how wide-ranging Rich’s vision was. Beginning with Williams’ own “My Heart Would Know,” Rich takes the songs deep into his own musical soul and, like Ray Charles before him with Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, makes them his own, turning them into timeless pop classics. Among Rich’s recordings, these 12 songs are some of the most enduring. This collection is essential for Rich fans, and something to consider for any fan of timeless, restless country-soul from the 1960s.

File Under: Country, Soul
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run the jewels

Run The Jewels: 2 (Mass Appeal) LP
BACK IN STOCK! Run The Jewels, the super dynamic duo of El-P and Killer Mike, two of the most distinctive and celebrated names in rap, are set to release their sophomore album, Run The Jewels 2, on Mass Appeal Records. The immensely anticipated album includes guests ranging from Zack de la Rocha to Travis Barker amongst others, but the duo maintains that the album is first and foremost about the creative partnership between the MCs themselves. As Rolling Stone notes, Run The Jewels is “two masters whose kinship clearly elevates each other’s game, in, what from the outside, looks like the platonic ideal of reverent collaboration.” Lead single “Blockbuster Night Part 1” was named “Best New Track” by Pitchfork. “We can make no promises about the safety of any animals involved in the creation of this record. It is the best rap group album since RTJ1!” – Killer Mike “We are very excited to bring you the next chapter of Run The Jewels via the good folks at Mass Appeal.” –  El-P

File Under: Hip Hop
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shlohmo

Shlohmo: Dark Red (True Panther) LP
Dark Red is the second full-length album from Shlohmo, aka 25 year-old Los Angeles native Henry Laufer. The album is an uncanny marriage of his ever-evolving, richly textured sound with shades of 90s IDM, R&B, cassette-tape Jungle, and, in an unexpected turn, sludge metal. “It sounds like if Electric Wizard tried to make an R&B record,” he says, “or Boards of Canada meets Burzum by the River Styx.” Shlohmo’s music thus far exists in the poles between the subtle textured tracks of 2011’s Bad Vibes and the booming sinister synths and hi-hats s of his production work and remixes (split EP with Jeremih, Banks’ “Brain”, remixes for Drake + The Weeknd). Dark Red utilizes Shlohmo’s existing palate but also mines the noises and imperfections inherent in analog production and naturally damaged sounds. Side-stepping current trends that lean towards pristine, computer-generated production, Dark Red explores natural distortion, fuzz and noise as compositional tools, intentionally distressing sounds to echo the feeling of the icy menace and emotional charge found on early black metal tapes. The result is a deeply personal listen, Shlohmo’s boldest statement yet. “If Shlohmo weren’t a producer, he’d be a pyromaniac. His music, a sludgy mix of techno and electro-soul, burns slowly until it crumbles to a foggy, smoldering heap.” – Pitchfork

File Under: Electronic
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sy

Sonic Youth: Bad Moon Rising (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth’s second full-length LP Bad Moon Rising was originally released on Homestead and Blast First in 1985. The album is a fascinating examination of “the junction where hippie idealism [meets] the cold hard world,” says guitarist Lee Ranaldo, “where Woodstock [meets] Altamont—Death Valley, Charles Manson, Brian Wilson, musicians, murderers, heroes and villains.” Its original eight-song tapestry of droning guitar feedback, distant clattering percussion, and sullen vocals, all held together with interstitial noise loops and shadowy haze, ambles through a long, dark night before the feverish “Death Valley ’69,” driven by runaway guitar riffs and a frantic Thurston Moore / Lydia Lunch vocal duet, pounds the capstone into place. Sonic Youth’s big leap forward from Confusion Is Sex and Kill Yr Idols “reflects the spirit of the time,” to quote All Music Guide. Bad Moon Rising views “American gothic through the glassy eyes of willful moonlit paranoia.” Back in print on Goofin’ Records, this reissue includes bonus tracks “Flower” and “Halloween,” both from a 12- inch single of the same era. The sound collage morsels “Sa- tan Is Boring” and “Echo Canyon” are your cue to begin moving toward the exit and get out while you can.

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Punk, Classics
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toro

Toro y Moi: What For? (Carpark) LP
Deluxe limited gatefold edition of 2000 on blue and white starburst vinyl with exclusive poster and sticker. Incl. Download. Opening to the scream of F1’s speeding around a racetrack, and maintaining that intensity with booming guitar riffs and psychedelic effects throughout, the forthcoming album from Toro Y Moi is definitely making a statement. Or maybe a few statements. But Chaz Bundick, the frontman and songwriter, is leaving it up to you to figure out what they are. While it is obvious that each song is crafted around a personally meaningful experience, Chaz seems to purposefully leave the lyrics just vague enough to let each listener mold it into something unique. Chaz presents you with a few themes: love, beauty, nature; and gently lets go of your hand so you can wander off on your own. A feeling of searching for something threads its way through every song on the album, which is aptly named What For? It feels contradictory in a very human way, like Chaz is swinging between waiting for something and not being able to wait anymore. But the swinging isn’t panicked or frustrated, it’s just a situation that he’s reflecting on. The songs are heavy with nostalgia, too, for simpler times, better music, more fulfilling relationships. Chaz references Weezer to warn you that “there is no one to destroy your sweater” and, in another song, recalls Big Star to declare that “rock and roll is here to stay.” It feels like he misses everything (even things he wasn’t around for yet), but is somehow excited for what comes next. What For? is a glimpse into the life of a guy trying to figure out what it all means. The music is influenced by bands like Big Star, Talking Heads, Tim Maia, Todd Rundgren, but it doesn’t quite sound like any of them in particular. And it isn’t trying to. It has that special something that Chaz imbues in every Toro Y Moi album, his personal filter on the world he experiences. So whatever message you take from the album, don’t forget that it’s good. As Chaz himself so candidly believes, “Good is good. Good finds its own audience.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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waxahatchee

Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) LP
Waxahatchee, the solo musical project of Katie Crutchfield, is named after a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama and seems to represent both where she came from and where she’s going. Ivy Tripp drifts confidently from its predecessors and brings forth a more informed and powerful recognition of where Crutchfield has currently found herself. The lament and grieving for her youth seem to have been replaced with control and sheer self-honesty. “On her group’s third and most structured album, Ivy Tripp, [Waxahatchee’s] Katie Crutchfield takes stock of circumstances, possibilities, and worries from close-up perspectives informed by first-hand experience and imagined scenarios.” —Bob Gendron, TONEAudio, April 2015 “My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs,” says Crutchfield. “I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that.” Recorded and engineered by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio at Crutchfield’s home on New York’s Long Island – with drums recorded in the gym of a local elementary school – Ivy Tripp presents a more developed and aged version of Waxahatchee. “The title Ivy Tripp is really just a term I made up for directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today, lacking regard for the complaisant life path of our parents and grandparents. I have thought of it like this: [Waxahatchee’s last album] Cerulean Salt is a solid and Ivy Tripp is a gas.”

File Under: Folk, Pop
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chicas

Various: Chicas Vol 2 (Vampisoul) LP
“Much of the music made by Spanish women in past decades didn’t reach its potential audience. Too much. For varied reasons, the more personal and daring work couldn’t break the barriers imposed by a society with a narrow and prudish view of what a woman’s role should be. This second volume of ¡Chicas! must disprove again the lie that says that in the ’60s and first half of the ’70s, Spanish female artists hardly sang anything but ye-yé, singer-songwriter, copla, or romantic songs. Despite all the social determinants and repressive archetypes which stigmatized anyone who left the queue, the most courageous women began their paths in new music roles which they immediately considered their own… Whether it was as solo artists or as part of a band, along with men or other women, the real turning point for our more groundbreaking pop female singers at the time was their ability to associate. Suddenly, breaking the isolation that until then considered them mere instruments in the hands of men, those daring girls got involved in ambitious projects and tried to do it by themselves, obtaining a normality denied until then. Exquisite experiences of select avant-garde, brave examples of groove and funk or adventures in ’70s rock; of course, there were also incursions in twist, bossa, ska, soul, or the emerging gipsy rock trend… The tracks featured here are the proofs of this wonder, and the line-up of female artists that make this record possible — many of them sadly unknown or forgotten until now — are the wonderful and still relevant cast of this story” –Vicente Fabuel. Many of these tracks, originally released between 1963 and 1978, are reissued here for the first time, including very hard-to-find records. CD and double LP include extensive liner notes by Vincente Fabuel featuring all of the original record sleeves and artist photos. Includes tracks by Claudya Con Ramón y Sus Showmen, Donna Hightower, Claudine Coppin, Blanca Aurora, Ana Kiro, Marina, Elsa Baeza, Antón García Abril, Edda Dell’Orso, La Nueva Generación, Elia y Elizabeth, Satin Bells, Karina Con los Jaguars, Rocío Durcal, Sola, Las Trillizas de Oro, Bárbara, Los Quandos, Los Jolly’s, Anabella y los Platinos, The Zara’s, La Llave 3, Paloma San Basilio, Morena y Clara, Alicia Granados, Los Cenits, Las Chic, Los Unísonos, and Elia Fleta.

File Under: Spanish, Vocalists

french disco

Various: French Disco Boogie Sounds 1975-1984 (Favorite) LP
French label Favorite Recordings follows up with focus a on its native language. With assistance from a close connoisseur friend, DJ and collector Charles Maurice presents a fine selection of tracks that, in his estimation, best represent the amazing energy of a specific French movement from 1975 to 1984. With ten rare titles, he paints a perfect picture of what one could find in French record stores at that time. On one hand, tracks by Over Drive, Marché Noir, Didier Makaga, and France Lise were produced by underground artists and labels from the French Caribbean and African community and filled with a raw, tropical spirit. On the other hand, tracks by Beckie Bell, Kelly, Le Club, and Bernard Guyvan were released by major labels such as Trema, Carrere, Disques Vogue, and Pathé Marconi, thanks to confirmed independent producers working not only in France, but also in Canada and the US. Today, Favorite Recordings and Charles Maurice are very proud to shed some light on these gems, and offer them a new life on your turntable. Also includes tracks by Contessa and Toulouse.

File Under: Disco, Boogie

…..Record Store Day Late Arrivals & Restocks…..

Death Cab For Cutie: Kintsugi (Atlantic) CS
Koes Barat: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Heartbreakers: Live At Max’s (Universal) LP
Hollerado: 111 Songs (Universal) 7″
Joan Jett: Flashback (Universal) LP
Arto Lindsay: Encyclopedia of (Northern Spy) LP
Placebo: s/t (Universal) LP
Residents: Intermission (Music on Vinyl) LP
Tough Age: Plays Cub (Mint) 7″
TV On The Radio: Trouble Double (Universal) LP

In Next week….

Black Star: Fix Up 7″
Neko Case: Fox Confessor.. (Anti) LP
Dead Milkmen: Beelzebubba (Asbestos) LP
Immortal Technique: Revolutionary Vol 1 LP
Sharon Jones: Little Boys With Shiny Toys (Daptone) 7″
Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Question The Answers (Asbestos) LP
Elvis Presley: My Happiness (Third Man) 10″
Sun Ra: Planets of Life & Death (Strut) LP
Various: Creation Artifacts (Creation) 10×7″ Box
Various: Truth & Soul 2015 Forecast (Truth & Soul) 10″

…..Restocks…..

A Tribe Called Quest: Beats, Rhymes & Life (Jive) LP
Alessandro Alessandroni: Industrial (Dead Cert) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Magic Potion (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Attack & Release (Nonesuch) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Cure: Disintegration (Elektra) LP
D’angelo: Black Messiah (RCA) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Human After All (EMI) LP
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Music on Vinyl) LP
Gong: Camemebert Electrique (Snapper) LP
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat) LP
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Warner) DLX LP
Modest Moust: Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides LP
OST: Under The Skin (Milan) LP
Popol Vuh: Kailash (Soul Jazz) 2LP+DVD
Portishead: Dummy (Island) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (Parlophone) 2×10″
Radiohead: Ok Computer (Parlophone) LP
Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (Parlophone) LP
Radiohead: Pablo Honey (Parlophone) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Squadra Omega: Il Serpente (Holidays) LP
Taylor Swift: 1989 (Big Machine) LP

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…..news letter #687 – t-minus…..

Alright! Here we go! Weeks of ordering and receiving and plotting and in about 36 hours, all hell is gonna break loose around here. Tomorrow night we’re gonna close up early and completely strip the walls and replace everything will all them glorious RSD exclusives.

AND just in case you don’t get what you wanted, or maybe you don’t want any of the exclusives, all the other records in the shop will be 20% off and gear will be 10% off.

AND if that isn’t enough we’ll be giving away all kinds of swag through out the day.

AND if that isn’t enough, if you get hungry waiting in line and need to replenish your strength to be able to push the buttons on the PIN pad, we’ll have a food truck on site.

AND IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH SOMEONE IS GOING TO WIN A $500 REGA RP1 TURNTABLE JUST FOR SHOPPING HERE ON SATURDAY!

AND if you don’t win the turntable you could still win some cool swag from Yellowhead Brewery, or Sled Island.

Not so fine print… We will be opening at an hour early, 10am. However,  people do start lining up well before that. We do try process this all as fast as possible, but it will likely be crisp out in the morning. Plan to spend a good while outside in line, and dress accordingly. Some exclusive releases are extremely limited, and we have very few copies. Others, not so much. Exclusives are first come, first served and one per customer.

Also, we’ll be launching some new Listen swag on Saturday with some sweet deals on them Saturday only…

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New t-shirts, red and charcoal! Regular $20, $10 all day on RSD!

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Listen Records slipmats! $5 or free with $100 purchase on RSD!

…..top rsd picks…..

amanaz

Amanaz: Africa (Now-Again) 2LP
“Issued in 1975, this is the articulation of Zambia’s Zamrock ethos. While other albums — Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia, Witch’s Lazy Bones!! — are competitors, it’s hard to best this album as it covers each major quadrant of the Zamrock whole: it came from the mines; its musicians were anti-colonial freedom fighters, it envelops Zambian folk music traditions, and it rocks — hard. Amanaz were serious, and they made a serious stab at an album. They titled their album Africa, according to original band member Keith Kabwe, ‘because of how it was shared and how its inhabitants were butchered and enslaved, its resources stolen… all the atrocities slave drivers committed. ‘ Thus, their ‘Kale,’ a blues sung in Nyanja, that traced the continent’s arc from slavery to Zambia’s independence closes the album. Kabwe and rhythm guitarist John Kanyepa have a winsome softness to their vocals, which sit politely aside the feral growl of drummer Watson Baldwin Lungu, bassist Jerry Mausala and bandleader/lead guitarist Isaac Mpofu. Africa’s vibe ranges from anxious (‘Amanaz’) to escapist (‘Easy Street’) to straight-up pissed-off. On the ‘History of Man,’ his voice whiskey-burned, his distorted guitar buzzing like swarming hornets, Mpofu indicts his species. There’s a darkness to Africa not found on any other Zamrock records, and a melancholy drifts throughout, specifically on Mpofu’s more restrained ‘Khala My Friend,’ which stands as an effective, bleak situation for the Zambian everyman, the average citizen of a struggling, new nation, who might have had relatives in conflict-torn countries on the horizon, who might have been struggling to find his next meal, who might have seen a bleaker future than his president promised. Then there’s the clear Velvet Underground-influence on the nostalgic ‘Sunday Morning,’ which, as Kabwe recalls, was the first song written for the album, back in 1968, when Velvet Undergound and Nico was a new release — and the underground funk of ‘Making the Scene.’ The album also tackles traditional Zambian music and early-’60s rock — punctuated, of course by Kanyepa’s wah-wah and Mpofu’s fuzz guitars. But every time Amanaz get too deep, too violent, they come back with an accessible song and woo their listener back to the groove. ‘Green Apple’ is a civil song, featuring Kanyepa’s sighing guitar. It is a perfectly arranged album, from the dichotomy of Mpofu’s and Kanyepa’s lead and rhythm guitars, to the vocal harmonies, to the rhythm section’s sense of space and time, which allows Africa’s funk to build. Inexplicably, Africa was given two separate mixes and two separate presses: one version is dry, with the vocals and drums mixed loud, the other slathered in reverb, with the vocals and drums disappearing into the mix, and with the guitar solos mixed much louder. We’ve presented them both here as they each have their appeal: it’s up to the listener to pick the one he or she prefers. This is a highpoint of the Zamrock scene and we hope that this can be seen as its definitive reissue.”

File Under: Psych, African, RSD
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koesbarat

Koes Barat: s/t (Sub Pop) LP 
In 2010, Sun City Girls legend Alan Bishop asserted his fandom of Indonesian ‘60s/’70s pop legends Koes Bersaudara (aka Koes Plus) with two archival releases on his and Hisham Mayet’s Sublime Frequencies label. But that wasn’t enough. Feeling an overwhelming urge to interpret Koes tunes, Bishop recorded Koes Barat in less than a week of sessions with some of his favorite musicians and producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Marisa Nadler). The result is the most immediate, fun collection that the prolific Bishop has ever led. This album is a Record Store Day exclusive, limited to 3,800 worldwide.

File Under: Psych, Indoesian, Sun City Girls, RSD
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thai pop

Various: Thai Pop (Sublime Frequencies) 2LP
Thailand is one of the most traveled to destinations in the world, but music is not a popular attraction for outside visitors, despite an incredibly rich history of classical, folk, and popular music there. While Thai classical and folk music has been studied by ethnomusicologists for decades, Thai pop history has been ignored and neglected by the international musical community for far too long. Combing mountains of vinyl and cassette relics from across the Kingdom, Sublime Frequencies has uncovered countless Thai musical treasures, rich with unique instrumentation, crafty arrangements, twisted breaks, odd production, and brilliant vocals. Bangkok — always the hub of the Thai recording industry — attracted musicians and singers from across the country who were informed by tradition and inspired by the wealth of international sounds entering the region via radio and imported records and tapes, many of which were brought in by Americans and their allied military personnel stationed at bases throughout the country. In this compilation you will hear older Thai styles combining with elements of surf, rock, and funk music as well as romping disco and comedy tunes. These creative sounds formed by hybrids with western instrumentation and genres result in an incredibly dynamic music that remains distinctively Thai. The artists featured on Thai Pop Spectacular range from modest players of their time to major stars. The collection includes one of the earliest tracks from Pumpuang Duangjan (dubbed “the queen of luk thung”), who brought that style into popular music to stay. Also featured is the “shadow music” string sounds of Johnny Guitar, legendary comedian Sangthong Seesai, two classic tracks from Thai films, blazing examples of Bangkok disco from the 1970s, and the most outrageous version of “The Night Chicago Died” you’ll ever encounter. Thick horn sections, wah-wah guitars, tight drums, and funky organs round out this superb collection, which proves beyond a doubt that the Thai were a completely unique and powerful force during the global popular music explosion of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s. Gorgeous double-LP heavy gatefold vinyl release of the long out-of-print CD originally compiled by Alan Bishop and Mark Gergis in 2007. Also includes tracks by Buppah Saichol, Onuma Singsiri, Plearn Promdan, Chailai Chaiyata & Sawanee Patana, Gawao Siangthong, Chai Muang Sing (aka: Man City Lion), Kampee Sangthong, Generation, Phet Potaram, Kabuan Garn Yor Yod Yung Yong, Pairoj, Setha, Duongdao and Chailai, and Chalermpon Malakum.

File Under: Pop, Thai, Asia, RSD
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los

Various: Lows in the Mid-Sixties Vol 54: Kosmic City (Numbero) LP
In the spirit of AIP’s dodgy regional garage rock series Highs In The Mid Sixties comes Lows In The Mid Sixties Volume 54: Kosmic City Part 2. This set of roughhewn cobblestones was culled from the remnants of Cavern Sound—Independence, Missouri’s subterranean studio of choice— and covers that thin swath of the late sixties when American teens were imitating the Beatles. All of the artists here barely mustered a session of cover tunes, much less a single, taking this compilation beyond Nuggets; These songs are gold flecks in the rustiest of mining pans. All brought to you by team Numbero. Numbero: We dig deeper in graveyards so you don’t have to.

File Under: Garage, RSD
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heada

Heads: Nobody Knows (Rooster) 2LP
1200 Copies on black vinyl – No Download and no repress. In 2014 The Heads reissued their 2000 album ‘Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere; in full remastered / deluxe boxet glory, and to much acclaim. In the boxset, they added a 70 minute Compact Disc of demos, unheard versions etc of material pre -2000 recorded in the rehearsal room on a walkman. For Record Store Day 2015, and to celebrate their rare live performances at Roadburn 2015,  Simon Price has taken the material he edited for the bonus CD, and added more tracks to the pot. With the mastering expertise  / tape polishing skills of Shawn Joseph, Price has created a warts’n’all  document of the time in the heads’ rehearsal space just prior to the making  / construction of the Every Knows album. This double LP is 10 tracks of the Heads in their element, raw and alive in the rehearsal room prior to 2000, tracks being formed, prototype Heads’ riffs in the sonic gloop. Hear this era of the Heads in its speaker blowing, walkman warping glory, a true psychedelic rock morass. Wrapped in a Simon Price sleeve, a gatefold sleeve to boot! naturally! A “fin de seicle” of sorts, ‘Nobody Knows’ is a closing chapter, a sonic glossary to the band’s Everybody Knows’ legacy.

File Under: Psych, RSD

…..Record Store Day Exclusives…..
Alrighty folks, the part you all really care about, the exclusives. These items are all either here, or are due to arrive tomorrow. I gotta say, this year things seemed better than previous years, but in someways, it’s as bad or worse. It is what it is….

!!!: All U Writers (Warp) 12”
101ers: Elgin Avenue Breakdown (Revisited) (Parlophone) 2LP
a-ha: Take On Me (Warner) 7”
A$AP Rocky: LPFJ2 (RCA) 7”
Air: Playground Love (Parlophone) 7”
Alex Chilton: Jesus Christ (Munster) 7”
Amanaz: Africa (Now Again) LP
Amon Tobin: Dark Jovian EP (Ninja Tune) 2×12” [etched vinyl in bespoke rubber wheel]
Anton Newcombe & Tess Parks: Cocaine Cat (A Records) 10”
Antorchas: s/t (Munster) 7”
Bardo Pond: Is There A Heaven EP (Fire) 12”
Billie Holiday: Lady In Satin (Columbia) LP
Black Keys: Meet Me In The City (Fat Possum) 7”
Blue Mountain Eagle: s/t (Rhino) LP
Bob Dylan: The Night We Called It A Day (Columbia) 7”
Bob Dylan & The Band: The Basement Tapes (Mono – 180gm vinyl) (Other People) LP
Bob Moses: All In All (Domino) LP
Bonnie Prince Billy & Broeder Dieleman: Gloria/Drie Vragen (Snowstar) 7”
Brenton Wood: Oogum Boogum (Concord) LP
Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (Columbia) LP
Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run (Columbia) LP
Bruce Springsteen: Darkness on the Edge of Town (Columbia) LP
Bruce Springsteen: Greetings From Ashbury Park, N.J. (Columbia) LP
Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska (Columbia) LP
Bruce Springsteen: The River (Columbia) LP
Bruce Springsteen: The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle (Columbia) LP
Built To Spill: Untethered Moon (Warner) LP
Buzzcocks: The Way/Generation Suicide (1-2-3-4 Go!) 7”
Chet Atkins: My Brother Sings (Sundazed) LP
Citizen Dick: Touch Me I’m Dick (Legacy) 7”
Clutch – From Beale Street To Oblivion – LP
Cold War Kids: Five Quick Hits (Downtown) 10”
Country Joe And The Fish: Together (Vanguard) LP
Courtney Barnett: Brand New Song (Mom & Pop) 12”
D’Angelo and The Vanguard: The Charade b/w 1000 Deaths (RCA) 7”
David Bowie: Changes (Parlophone) 7”
David Bowie/Tom Verlaine: Kingdom Come (Rhino) 7”
Death By Stereo: If Looks Could Kill, I’d Watch You Die (Indecision) LP
Death Cab for Cutie/Freedy Johnston: Bad Reputation (Atlantic) 7”
Death From Above 1979: Trainwreck 1979 (Last Gang) 10”
Dils: I Hate The Rich (Superior Viaduct) 7”
Dionne Warwick/The Stranglers: Walk On By (Rhino) 7”
DJ Vadim: Black is the Night (BBE) 7”
Doc Watson / Merle Haggard: Ballads From The Gap (Vanguard) LP
Don Flemons: What Got Over (Fat Possum) 10”
Don Van Vliet And The Magic Band: Rough, Raw, and Amazing (Ozit) LP
Dwarves: Fun to Try (Burger) 7”
Electric Wizard: Time To Die (Spinefarm) LP
Ennio Morricone: Spasmo (Hand Edition) (Dagored) LP
Ennio Morricone: Spasmo (Mouth Edition) (Dagored) LP
Eric Siday: Sounds Of Now (Dual Planet) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) 7”
Field Music: Drifters (Memphis) LP
Flaming Lips: Bad Days (Warner) 10”
Flaming Lips: This Here Giraffe (Warner) 10”
Flipper: Lover Canal (Superior Viaduct) 7”
Fujiya & Miyagi: Daggers /Little Stabs At Happiness (Yep Roc) 12”
Germs: Forming (Superior Viaduct) 7”
Giant Sand: Valley of Rain (Fire) LP
GO! Team: Ye Ye Yamaha / Til We Do It Together (Memphis) 7”
Goldfrapp: Felt Mountain (Mute) LP
Grizzly Bear: Horn of Plenty (Kanine) LP
Grouplove: Under The Covers (Atlantic) 10”
Guided By Voices: Do The Collapse (TVT) LP
Guided By Voices: Isolation Drills (TVT) LP
Hagerty-Toth Band: Qalgebra (3 Lobed) LP
Half Japanese: Volume 3: 1990-95 (Fire) 3LP
Happy Mondays: Live Brixton Academy (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Happy Mondays: Pills Thrills n’ Bellyaches (Rhino) LP
Hawkwind: Live Seventy Nine (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Hawkwind: Quark Strangeness and Charm (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Hawkwind: s/t (Parlophone) LP
Heads: Nobody Knows (Rooster) LP
Heldon: Live In Paris 1975 (Souffle Continu) LP
Heldon: Live In Paris 1976(Souffle Continu) LP
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Universal) LP
Holger Czukay: 11 Years Innerspace (Gronland) 2×10”
Holger Czukay: Hit/Flop (Gronland) 2×10”
J Dilla: Love ft. Pharoahe Monch (BBE) 7”
Jaco Pastorius: The Warner Bros. Years VBO (Rhino) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Purple Haze b/w Freedom (Legacy) 7”
John Butler Trio: Ocean (Because) LP
John Prine: Sep-78 (Oh Boy) LP
Johnny Cash: Koncert v Praze (Legacy) LP
Jon Hopkins: I Remember (Late Night Tales) 10”
Junior Brown: Better Call Saul (Spacelab 9) 7”
Junior Wells: It’s My Life Baby (Vanguard) LP
Jurassic 5: Quality Control (Get on Down) LP Wood Box Set
Kiasmos: Looped EP (Erased Tapes) LP
Kind Of Like Spitting: Nothing Makes Sense Without It (Run For Cover) LP
Kinks: Kinksize Hits (Sanctuary) 7”
Kinks: Kinksize Session (Sanctuary) 7”
Kinks: You Really Got Me Live (Sanctuary) 7”
Koes Barat: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Larry Young: In Paris (Resonance) 10”
Lee Scratch Perry: Back On The Controls (Upsetter) 5×7
Leila Gobi: Leila (Clermont) LP
Lord Sitar: Lord Sitar (Parlophone) LP
Lydia Loveless: I Would Die 4 U (Bloodshot) 7”
Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible 20th Anniversary LP
Marc Moulin: Placebo Years (Music on Vinyl) LP
Master Musicians Of Joujouka: Into The Ahl Srif (Ergot) LP
Mastodon: Atlanta (Atlantic) 12”
McLusky: McLuskyism (Too Pure) LP
Metallica: No Life Till Leather (Blackened) Cassette
Miles Davis: Prestige Volume 2 (Legacy) 10” Box
Mission Of Burma: Signals, Calls and Academy Marches (Fire) LP+7”
Mystery Artists: Mystery (Rhino) 7”
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Universal) Tape
Of Montreal: Snare Lustrous Doomings – LP (yellow & orange vinyl, ltd to 3000)
OFF!: Live From The BBC (Vice) 10”
Okkervil River: Sleep And Wake Up Songs (Jagjaguwar) 12”
Oneohtrix Point Never: Commissions II (Warp) LP
Otis Redding: Otis Blue (Rhino) 2LP+7”
Pagans: Pirate’s Cove 9/24/79 (Thermionic) LP
Phish: New Year’s Eve 1995 Madison Square Garden (Jemp) 6LP Box
Pizza Underground: PU Demo (Jett) 7”
Pop Group: Versions Galore EP (Freaks R Us) LP
Power Glove: EP1 (Invada) 12”
Pullman: Turnstyles & Junkpiles (Thrill Jockey) LP
Pullman: Viewfinder (Thrill Jockey) LP
Pulp: Dogs Are Everywhere (Fire) 12”
Pulp: They Suffocate At Night (Fire) 12”
Rainbow Ffolly: Sallies Fforth (Mono) (Parlophone) LP
Red House Painters: Collection (4AD) 6LP Box
Residents: Satisfactions (Superior Viaduct) 7”
Reverend Horton Heat: It’s A Rave-Up b/w Beer, Write This Song (Victory) 7”
Ride: OX4 (Rhino) LP
RPM Turntable Baseball: Two Games, One Record – 7”
Run The Jewels: Record Store Day Release (Fool’s Gold) 12”
Ryan Adams: Come Pick Me Up When (Universal) 7”
Shugo Tokumaru: L.S.T (Polyvinyl) LP
Shugo Tokumaru: Night Piece (Polyvinyl) LP
Sic Kids: Rhythm Girl (Munster) 7”
Siouxsie & The Banshees: Join Hands (Universal) LP
Sleaford Mods: Tiswas (Invada) 12”
Sloan: Alternates (Yep Roc) 12”
Sly & The Family Stone: Live at the Fillmore East (Legacy) LP
Soundtrack: 30 Days of Night (Invada) LP
Soundtrack: Big Bad Wolves (Death Waltz) LP
Soundtrack: Brian May – Patrick (XOZMIQ) LP
Soundtrack: Brian May – The Day After Halloween (XOZMIQ) LP
Soundtrack: Brian May – Thirst (XOZMIQ) LP
Soundtrack: Cristobal Tapia De Veer – Utopia 2 (Silva Screen) LP
Soundtrack: Darjeeling Limited (Abkco) LP
Soundtrack: Frank (Silva Screen) LP
Soundtrack: Hedwig And The Angry Inch (Atlantic) LP
Soundtrack: Serial (Manque) LP
Soundtrack: The Wonderland Philharmonic – Shogun Assassin (Cinewax) LP
Soundtrack: Star Wars Rebels Theme (Walt Disney) 7”
Spaceape: Ghost Town (Hyperdub) 7”
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto: Selections From Getz/Gilberto (Resonance) 10”
Steve Earle & The Dukes: Terraplane Blues (New West) 10”
Steve Reich: Music For 18 Musicians (Nonesuch) LP
Stooges: Live at Ungano’s (Rhino) LP
Sun Ra: Calling Planet Earth (ORG) LP
Supergrass: Sofa (Of My Lethagy) (Parlophone) 7”
Surfer Blood: Astro Coast (Kanine) LP
Swans: EP (Young God) 12”
Syd Barrett/R.E.M: Dark Globe (Rhino) 7”
Tegan & Sarah: Live At Zia Records (Warner) 12”
Temples: Mesmerise Live EP (Fat Possum) 12”
The Decemberists: Picaresque (KRS) LP
The Doors: Strange Days (Mono) (Elektra) LP
The Dresden Dolls: Yes Virginia & No Virgina (Atlantic) 3LP
The Gods: Genesis (Mono) (Parlophone) LP
The Replacements: Alex Chilton (Rhino) 10”
The Saints: Eternally Yours (Parlophone) LP
The Waterboys: Puck’s Blues (Sony) 10”
Thelonious Monk: London Collection Volume 2 (ORG) LP
Tomorrow: Tomorrow (Mono) (Parlophone) LP
Tough Age: Plays Cub’s Hot Dog Day (Mint) 7”
Trey Anastastio Band: Bounce/Never (ATO) 7”
U2: Songs Of Innocence (Sony) 2LP
Val Stephen: Abstractum: The Electronic Music Of Val Stephen (Dual Planet) LP
Vampire Weekend: Step (XL) 12”
Various: Continuum (Young Turks) 7”
Various: Creation Artifact Box (Creation) 10×7” Box
Various: Guitar Safari (University of Vice) LP
Various: Lows In The Mid Sixties Volume 54: Kosmic City Part 2 (Numero) LP
Various: Next Life (Hyperdub) 3LP
Various: Ork Complete Singles (Numero) 16×7”
Various: Party After Hours (Jazzman) 10”
Various: R&B Hipshakers Vol. 3 (Vampi) LP
Various: The Rough Guide To African Rare Groove (Vol. 1) (Rough Guide) LP
Various: The Rough Guide To Bollywood Disco (Rough Guide) LP
Various: The Rough Guide To Latin Rare Groove (Vol. 2) (Rough Guide) LP
Various: The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia (Rough Guide) LP
Various: The Rough Guide To Psychedelic India (Rough Guide) LP
Various: The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Salsa (Rough Guide) LP
Various: Soho Scene ’62 – Jazz Goes Mod: LP (Rough Guide) LP
Various: Sun Records Vol. 2 Curated By RSD (ORG) LP
Various: Texas Soul ’64 (History of Soul) LP
Various: Thai Pop Spectacular (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Various: The Walking Dead: Original Soundtrack Vol.2 (Spacelab 9) LP
Various: The Wrestling Album/ Piledriver (Sony) LP
Various: Truth & Soul 2015 Forecast (Truth & Soul) 10”
Various: Whatever Nevermind (Robotic Empire) LP+7
Various: Down Beat Special (Studio One) 7” Box Set
Various: Polyvinyl 4-Track Single Series, Vol.1 (Polyvinyl) LP
Various: Rude Boy Rumble (Trojan) LP
Various: When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936 (Tompkins Square) 3LP
Venetian Snares: 2370894 (Planet Mu) LP
Venetian Snares: Winter in the Belly of a Snake (Planet Mu) LP
Venetian Snares: Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding (Planet Mu) LP
Venetian Snares: Rossz Csillag Alatt Szuletett (Planet Mu) LP
Venetian Snares: Making Orange Things (Planet Mu) LP
White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan – RSD Edition with Lenticular Cover (Third Man) LP
William Tyler: Deseret Canyon (Merge) LP
William Onyeabor: Atomic Bomb Remix (Luaka Bop) 12”
Willie Nelson: Teatro (Light in the Attic) LP
Wu Tang Clan: Protect Ya Neck (Get on Down) 12”
X: Adult Books (Superior Viaduct) 7”
Xiu Xiu: Fabulous Muscles (Polyvinyl) LP
Young The Giant: Mirrorball (Fueled By Ramen) 10”

These guys are the outliers. These rogue records likely won’t be here on Saturday, but WHO KNOWS! Some are definitely delayed while others we may just have gotten stiffed on. Only time will tell.

Arto Lindsay: Encylcopedia of Arto (Northern Spy) LP
Black Star (Mos Def/Talib Kweli): Fix Up/You Already Knew (Javotti) 7”
Black Tamborine: No Action (Easy Action) 7”
Bob Dylan & The Band: The Basement Tapes (Mono – 130gm vinyl) (Other People) LP
Charlie Feathers: Charlie Feathers (Sundazed) 10”
Charlie Musselwhite: Stand Back (Vanguard) LP
Charlie Parker: Charlie Parker Story (Savoy) LP
Cloud Nothings: – Here And Nowhere Else Remixed (Northern Spy) LP
Coachwhips: Bangers Vs. Fuckers (Castle Face) LP DELAYED
Curtis Fuller Quintet: Blues Ette (Savoy) LP DELAYED
Cypress Hill: The Funky Feel One/How I Can Just Kill A Man (Get on Down) 12”
Dead Milkmen: Beelzebubba (Asbestos) LP
Deep Purple: Black Night / Speed King (Parlophone) 7”
Deep Purple: Book of Taliesyn (Mono) (Parlophone) LP
Don Cherry & Latif Khan: Music / Sangam (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Flaming Lips: Brainville (Warner) 10”
Foo Fighters: Songs From The Laundry Room 10
Frank Zappa: 200 Motels – 7” DELAYED
Heartbreakers, The: Live At Max’s Kansas City Vol 1 & 2 (Jungle) LP
Hollerado: 111 Songs (Royal Mountain) 7” DELAYED
Iggy Pop: Shot Myself Up (Easy Action) LP+7”
Mark Kozelek: What’s Next To The Moon (Badman) LP
Mark Mothersbaugh – Lego Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Spacelab 9) LP
Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Question The Answers (Asbestos) LP
Mike Watt: Shit On Me (ORG) 7”
Mumford & Sons: The Wolf Believe (Glassnote) 7”
Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti) LP DELAYED
Placebo: Placebo (Universal) LP DELAYED
Pulp: Freaks (Fire) LP
Pulp: It (Fire) LP
Pulp: Little Girls With Blue Eyes (Fire) 12”
Pulp: Separations (Fire) LP
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: Little Boys With Shiny Toys (Daptone) 7”
Sun Ra: Planets Of Live And Death (Strut) LP
TV On The Radio: Trouble Double (Universal) LP DELAYED
Wibbley Brothers: Go Weird (Trubshaw) LP

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…..news letter #686 – 9 days…..

Alright! Record Store Day stock is starting to pile up around here! Still lots of stuff needs to ship, but hopefully everything turns up in time, and in reasonable quantities! We’ll fill you in on all the details next week. We have all sorts of goodies arranged. And since it was such a huge hit last year, we’ve decided to do it again this year… we’ll be giving one lucky customer a FREE REGA RP1 turntable! So stay tuned and we’ll see you on RSD.

…..pick of the week…..

popol vuh

Popol Vuh: Kailash (Soul Jazz) LP/CD
In tomorrow… Super-deluxe collectors very limited edition Popol Vuh box set vinyl + DVD and 2CD + DVD! Kailash is a new collection of work from Florian Fricke, leader of Popol Vuh, seminal group in the German rock scene of the 1970s (Can, Faust, Amon Duul, Ash Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream) and creators of classic soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog (Aguirre the Wrath of God, Nosferatu, Fitzcaraldo and others). Popol Vuh took their name from an epic mythological text from the 16th century Quiché Maya people of Guatemala, the name translates as ‘meeting place, together or common house’ Kailash brings together essential and unreleased piano recordings, together with Fricke’s travelogue film Kailash, about his spiritual voyage to Tibet’s 22,000 ft. Kailash mountain, ‘Throne of the Gods’, and the accompanying soundtrack album to this film. This collection is released as a deluxe 2CD + DVD set and as a one off 1000 copies worldwide collectors bespoke box set 2LP + DVD with bonus cards/inserts. Essential Piano Recordings:  For the first time, this compilation on Soul Jazz Records unites a careful selection of Florian Fricke’s most favourite piano tracks and compositions, both released and previously unreleased. Aside from his groundbreaking work with Popol Vuh, Fricke’s background is that of a classical composer and it was one of his late wishes to release ‘piano only’ recordings. These essential piano recordings by Florian Fricke should be considered as something like the core, or the heart, of many Popol Vuh compositions. They contain tracks from 1972-1989 that Florian Fricke would have liked on a piano only album, enriched with further song improvisations that have been found posthumously, after he passed away in 2001. Some of these are studies for key tracks of Popol Vuh (for example ‘Hosianna Mantra’, 1972). Others are reoccurring patterns and sequences, with Florian often working with recurring motives frequently further developed with the group. This record is devoted to his inspiration and creativity as a contributor to an ongoing spiritual journey for others. Kailash – Pilgrimage to The Throne of the Gods:  The holiest mountain in Asia, in a far away corner of west Tibet, amidst wild and ragged landscape, nearly entirely cut off from the rest of the world, is called Kailash. For the pilgrims of four religions this 6675m high mountain is the ‘throne of gods’, or ‘navel of the world’ – a place where the divine takes an earthly shape. For thousands of years pilgrims have travelled to this place to worship the mystery of the mountain circumnavigating it on foot. The path around Kailash is an archaic ‘path of initiation’. Florian Fricke and filmmaker Frank Fiedler (also an original founding Popol Vuh member) made their own spiritual trek along this path and documented the journey. Accompanying epic landscape scenes in the film is the music of Florian Fricke and Popol Vuh, spiritual music inspired by this unique journey. This posthumous project has been put together with the full cooperation and assistance of Florian Fricke’s family.

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

biosphere

Biosphere/Deathprod: Stator (Touch) CD
stator (ˈsteɪtə) n
1. (Electrical Engineering) the stationary part of a rotary machine or device, esp of a motor or generator
2. (Aeronautics) a system of nonrotating radially arranged parts within a rotating assembly, esp the fixed blades of an axial flow compressor in a gas turbine [C20: from Latin: one who stands (by), from stāre to stand] Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen, a Norwegian musician who has released a notable catalog of ambient electronic music. He is well known for his “ambient techno” and “arctic ambient” styles and his use of loops and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His 1997 album Substrata is generally seen as one of the all-time classic ambient albums. Deathprod is a pseudonym used by Norwegian artist Helge Sten. Sten began creating music under this name in 1991, and in 2004 a self-titled retrospective box set collecting most of his recorded work was released. Sten uses homemade electronics, old tape echo machines, ring modulators, filters, theremins, samplers, and other devices to craft his sound. Jenssen and Sten previously collaborated on Nordheim Transformed (RCD 2005CD), a 1998 collection of reworked Arne Nordheim compositions. Stator is a split release, with three tracks by Jenssen and four by Sten. Mastered by Sten at Audio Virus Lab, Oslo. Commissioned by Tape to Zero. Vinyl soon….

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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blackout

Blackout: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
With food, beer, and America at the forefront, it only makes sense guitar player Christian Gordy and drummer Taryn Waldman would meet at Gordy’s 2011 July 4th cookout in Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. With no direction and zero discussion the two instinctually began banging out some massive caveman jams that could party as much as they could crush. In the following months, the two recruited fellow rager Justin Sherrll for bass, and things got loud and heavy. BLACKOUT-referring to blackout drunk, power failure, or a mobster hit on an entire family, was a no brainer for a name. For fans of Acid King, Weedeater, Trouble, and Black Sabbath.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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blackshaw

James Blackshaw: Summoning Suns (Important) LP/CD
Summoning Suns is James Blackshaw’s tenth studio album and the first recording to feature his voice and lyrics. Drawing inspiration from ’60s and ’70s singer-songwriters, baroque and orchestral pop, and folk music, while still sounding contemporary, Summoning Suns is Blackshaw’s foray into more traditional forms of songcraft. Blackshaw sings in a gentle but assured voice while his words combine his personal experiences, neuroses, and fantasies through many layers of abstraction, poeticism, and dark humor. While the deft acoustic guitar fingerpicking of Blackshaw’s previous recordings is still a prominent part of the sound, the songs are lushly and intricately arranged for drums, bass, piano, violin, flute, and pedal steel guitar and feature contributions from Simon Scott (Slowdive), Annie Nilsson, and Japanese musicians Mori Wa Ikiteiru and Kaoru Noda (with whom Blackshaw duets in Japanese on one song). LP pressed in a first edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Folk, Guitar
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busta

Busta Rhymes: When Disaster Strikes (Get on Down) LP
“By the time Busta Rhymes hit with his second solo album, When Disaster Strikes, he was already cemented as one of the most powerful voices in the rap game. With a lead single that countered that statement ‘Put Your Hands Where MY Eyes Can See’ he proved he is more than just a one act man. The single was an immediate smash and was followed by an equally amazing album. The albums second single ‘Dangerous’ continued to push Busta creatively and was accompanied with a stellar video gained him major air play on BET and MTV. Critics and fans alike applauded this release for its depth and well-crafted songs which made it platinum at the time of its release. Songs like ‘Turn UP,’ the Flipmode-assisted ‘We Could Take It Outside,’ and ‘Rhymes Galore’ showcase Busta at his best; rapidfire delivery over hard pounding beats. Other standout cuts include ‘So Hardcore’ and ‘One,’ which is a great collaboration with Erykah Badu. On the production side Busta brings along his trusted team; Rashad Smith, Dilla, Rockwilder, and DJ Scratch to serve him just what he needed for When Disaster Strikes to be full on dope!”

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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danava

Danava: s/t (Riding Easy) 2LP
Speedy and sinuous, Danava out rocks, out progs, out psychs and out retro-proto-metals all comers. Led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Greg Meleney, the quartet creates utterly unique astro-rock that is a thing of spectral beauty. Described as “a journey into a parallel sonic universe,” Danava’s sidelong songs are sprinkled with spacey synth-y FX that push the band’s sound into outer space. This is progressive riff rock; barn-burning scorchers full of unison and tongue-twisting melodic runs that melt listener’s brains. Danava’s relentless fret-board wizardry – cast in the spirit of Iommi and Schenker – produces extended elliptical structures that live in a proto-magic era somewhere between Lemmy in Hawkwind and Lemmy in Motörhead, leaving sufficient room for wailing, noodling solos and a vocal croon that is halfway between Ian Gillan or Geddy Lee’s high-pitched, semi-operatic prowess and Ozzy Osbourne’s insidious howl. The band’s songs list from side to side like a vessel cast adrift on an ocean of battering soundwaves. Available for the first time on double LP courtesy of Riding Easy Records, when Danava’s self-titled debut first came out on Kemado Records in 2006, Pitchfork hailed the group as true leaders, calling them “the sole working owners of this sound, an almost glam-rock, Hawkwind thing” and Guitar World lauded the band for their “chaotic psych-metal brew.” This is rock ‘n’ roll to the core and definitely not your parents kind of party. For fans of Earthless, Ted Nugent, Yes, Kyuss, Red Fang, Nebula and Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats.

File Under: Metal, Stoner, Spacerock
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dauby

Yannick Dauby: Penghu Experimental Sound Studio Volume 1 (Discrepant) LP
Yannick Dauby is a sound artist based in Taiwan since 2007. He relentlessly explores the soundscapes of his adopted island through field recording, audio documentaries, and community projects. He has created soundtracks and sound environments for contemporary dance, public art, and films, and has been involved in various ecological and local traditional activities. Dauby stayed in Penghu, an archipelago located in the Taiwan Strait, during several months in the first half of 2013. His daily activities included beachcombing, study and documentation of the reef animals, field recording, some teaching, and composing musique concrète in a temporary studio, an old building from which he could hear the seashore and announcements of the itinerant sellers as well as the rituals from a temple nearby. Immersed in this environment, Yannick composed the two sides of this record, using the sounds of the underwater fauna, the omnipresent waves, soundscapes of harbors, music played during funerals, shortwave radio broadcasts, in-site or indoor improvisations using old artefacts, and various sessions using analog electronic instruments.

File Under: Field Recordings, Experimental
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deathgrisp

Death Grips: Powers That B (Harvest) LP
Experimental rap-noise duo Death Grips, consisting of Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett and Zach Hill formed during late 2010 in Sacramento, California. The band soon dropped the highly acclaimed mix tape Exmilitary featuring the standout track “Guillotine,” Time Out NY’s #1 single of 2011. From inception, the band has received unparalleled critical praise from tastemakers across the board while also being featured on countless “best of” lists. In 2012, Death Grips followed up Exmilitary with their full length debut, The Money Store. The album built on Exmilitary’s unique punk rap sound and explores new territory with standout tracks “Get Got,” “Blackjack” and “I’ve Seen Footage.” The album quickly solidified the band’s position as one of the most intense and visceral bands around. Death Grips was named the most legally downloaded band on the internet for the first half of 2012, racking up an impressive 34 million downloads on BitTorrent. Delivering on the promise of putting out two albums in 2012, Death Grips dropped No Love Deep Web in October for free online. The album was streamed over 100,000 times in the 24 hours following its release. The sonically intense music, coupled with provocative album art was received with unprecedented critical and commercial attention. Death Grips followed that up with the release of their fourth album Government Plates as a free digital download in November 2013. In 2014 the group announced their dissolution with the following farewell message: “We are now at our best and so Death Grips is over. We have officially stopped. All currently scheduled live dates are canceled. Our upcoming double album The Powers That B will still be delivered worldwide later this year via Harvest/Third Worlds Records. Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision. Above and beyond a ‘band.’ To our truest fans, please stay legend.” Death Grips’ fifth and possibly final record, the double album The Powers That B, will be issued in March 2015 on Harvest Records and consists of two separate albums – Niggas on the Moon and Jenny Death. The first album, Niggas on the Moon features chopped vocals from Bjork and was previously released as a free digital download in June of 2014 on the Death Grips website.

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap, Experimental, Noise
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DLDRMS_coversDoldrums: Air Conditioned Nightmare (Sub Pop) LP
The title was spawned by Henry Miller upon his return to the US after ten years as an expatriate. Keen to rediscover the country he left behind, Miller found it a stifling place of big business, pollution, credit, misinformation and prejudice. In short: a spiritual, moral, cultural and aesthetic vacuum. “Nowhere else in the world,” he wrote in his 1945 collection of essays “is the divorce between man and nature so complete”.  The Air Conditioned Nightmare. Seventy years on and the book lends itself to the title of the anticipated second album by Doldrums, the band lead by 25 year old musician Airick Woodhead. They apply a punk rock ethos to electronic music, creating songs using samplers and DJ gear in place of guitars. Bold, anxious, dream-like, uplifting, glacial, hypnotic, constricting, expansive, alien – this is an album that is ever-changin.

File Under: Indie Rock
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jezebel

Exploring Jezebel: On A Business Trip To London (Blackest Ever Black) LP
On a Business Trip to London is an album of curious electronics and sissy dance conceived under the shadow of Big Ben by Vivid Extreme. Initial research carried out at Ibis City Hotel, London; purple nail polish applied in Berlin and New York City. The result is the perfect and perhaps overdue meeting of emasculated P.E., limp-wristed ornamental industrial, sickly minimal synth, and cheap suntanned trollop techno. What’s more, its tinny rhythmic ringtone cycles of humiliation and debasement evince an unlikely humanity: there is yearning behind the red ballgag and loud make-up cake; Duck’s piggy eyes betray an implacable melancholy. Indeed, despite the sexually explicit nature of its content, On a Business Trip to London is a highly accessible and often disarmingly pretty work that will appeal to the belissima ballerina in all working men. Required listening for all who admire those qualities most fascinating in a woman: allure, magnetism, power, and dominance. This release is for ADULTS ONLY. It contains uncensored sexually explicit material unsuitable for minors. You must be at least 18 to purchase this item. Access and/or ownership may be prohibited in certain states/countries.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Ambient, Techno
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fab 3The Fabulous Three: Best of (Truth & Soul) LP
“A ‘Best of’ collection by the very mysterious, very enigmatic, and always psychedelic, six piece funk ensemble that goes by the name… The Fabulous Three. The Fabulous Three was discovered by legendary Soul Fire/Desco label head Phillip Lehman. In the early 2000s, he recorded a series of 45s that showcased their psychedelic, spiritual-jazz sound. In these recordings they seamlessly jump from reggae to spiritual jazz, afro-funk to soul ballads without it sounding the least bit contrived. Lehman released one 45 by the Fabulous Three on the Psycho subsidiary of Soul Fire before he closed shop and moved to the Dominican Republic. Since then, their music has been comped on Soul Fire: The Majestic Collection and Fallin Off The Reel but never has their entire catalog been compiled on one LP.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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king khan

King Khan & BBQ Show: Bad News Boys (In The Red) LP/CD
After a five-year hiatus, rock ’n’ roll’s renegade-angel savior the King Khan & BBQ Show returns with a brand new album of high-energy, low-brow rockers! Known as the hottest duo from Montreal to come out of Berlin, the King Khan & BBQ Show is dirty, funny, irreverent and always a good time. Their raw, stripped-down mix of doo-wop, early rock ’n’ roll, soul and punk is drenched in pure energy. Known to their mothers as King Khan and Mark Sultan, these guys make this stuff sound simple, but make no mistake – it takes serious talent as well as balls to pull this off. Bad News Boys takes its title from the original moniker the duo gave themselves when they first started over ten years ago. They recently threatened to revert to this name before deciding that it might make things too confusing. Bad News Boys serves up twelve sizzling slabs – from the beautifully soulful “Buy Bye Bhai” to the juvenile and obnoxious “D.F.O.” (which stands for “Diarrhea Fuck Off”) – with all the rocking lunacy that their legion of fans has come to expect.In their storied, sordid career, these guys have endured a roller-coaster of successes, trials and tribulations that would’ve buried lesser men. They’ve played with some of the coolest names in rock. Their relentless touring schedule has included countries where few bands venture. They’ve been kicked off tours. They’ve headlined and sold out some of the most prestigious venues in the world. They’ve played some of the worst dumps imaginable. They’ve been busted and jailed for shrooms mid-tour. They were hand-picked by Lou Reed to play the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. They were ejected from the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. They’ve suffered mental and physical exhaustion. They’ve enjoyed dizzying highs and suffered crushing lows. They’ve broken up. They’ve gotten back together. Through it all, they continually make incredible and real rock ’n’ roll music like no one else, always with smiles on their faces, always with middle fingers held high.

File Under: Garage, Soul, Punk
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southland

Rudiger Lorenz: Southland (Bureau B) LP
Just when you thought you had heard everything that German electronic music of the 1980s had to offer, up pops an artist who has resolutely stayed off the radar all these years, in spite of having a discography which lists no less than 18 albums. (Hobby) musician Rüdiger Lorenz, a pharmacist by trade, completed an album almost every year beginning in the early 1980s, first as limited runs of two to three hundred on cassette, then switching to vinyl in 1983, and CD in 1990. His last album was released in 1998. Two years later Lorenz died — unexpectedly and far too soon. In his youth, Lorenz became familiar with bands like Kraftwerk, NEU!, Can, and Cluster. These bands had a lasting influence on his relationship with music, guiding him toward electronica. Electronic music carried a huge practical advantage for Lorenz in pursuing his craft: he was by nature more of a loner, rather than someone who fed off the group dynamic of playing in a band. Soon after purchasing his first synthesizer set-up he quit his band and installed a studio of sorts in his living room. In 1981 he released his first cassette album. Initially intended merely as something to be handed out to friends, the music was surprisingly well received, encouraging Lorenz to persevere. Year in, year out. After work and on weekends. Most copies were sold in the USA. His synthesizer collection grew larger, containing kit pieces, home-made elements, and newly purchased units. One of his own creations, the Loran Modular synthesizer, even found its way into various synthesizer lexica. Lorenz, however, was by no means a classic electronics tinkerer. His technical skills were limited to soldering, as he admitted in a radio interview for HR3, the only interview he ever gave. Southland was created in 1984 and perfectly encapsulates the two facets that dominated German electronic music at that time: on the one hand, poppy, at times absurd tracks, informed by such pre-NDW (German new wave) musicians as Pyrolator; on the other hand more plangent, spherical music echoing Tangerine Dream and the like. His son Tim, thirteen then (now a member of Andreas Dorau’s live ensemble), can be heard speaking a few lines into a vocoder on “Strange Feelings,” and later, as a graphic design student, Tim prepared artwork for his father’s releases.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmische, Electronic
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birdman

OST: Birdman (Milan) LP
Birdman is the Academy Award winning film by visionary Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros, Babel, Biutiful). Part comedy, part tragedy, part fantasy, Birdman tells the story of a washed-up actor (Michael Keaton) who once played an iconic superhero. He must now overcome his ego and family troubles as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory. Rounding out the wonderful cast is Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Amy Ryan. It was lensed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuael Lubezki (Gravity) in a way that gives the appearance that the entire film is one continuous shot. Music plays an important role in Birdman. The non conventional, drum-only score was composed by acclaimed drummer Antonio Sanchez – one of the players behind Pat Metheny in his new Pat Metheny Unity Group. It is the first time a score to a film features drums as the sole instrument. Sanchez’s music brings rhythm and movement to this unique visual experience. Alongside Sanchez’s evocative score is a selection of classical music pieces by composers such as Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Mahler and Tchaikovsky. Remastered and pressed on limited edition 180 gram black vinyl of 3,000 units. Also includes a 12 x 12 insert an accompanying digital download card.

File Under: OST
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ghost

OST: Ghost in the Shell (KO) LP
“Famously known for his numerous compositions for movies soundtrack, Japanese anime, video games or television programs, the tokyoïte composer Kenji Kawai signs with the soundtrack of the cult manga Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow, one of his greatest hits. Originally published on paper in October 1991 by the Japanese journal weekly devoted to manga, Young Magazine, it was in November 1995 that Ghost In The Shell was suitable for the first time on screen by Mamoru Oshii. And it’s Kenji Kawai who was chosen to recreate the futuristic cyber-punk atmosphere that emanates from this manga, into music. Assisted by the percussionist Yuhki Sugawara, Kenji Kawai reached the summit of his art by delivering captivating music, halfway between ambient electronics, traditional Japanese music and Buddhist ritual singings. The synthetic and ethereal soundscapes, almost disturbing, blend perfectly with gongs, bells or female choirs filled with echoes. The listener is plunged into a dreamlike fable sound with a striking and evocative poetry that is reminiscent of the soundtrack of a certain Akira. Reissued for the first time on vinyl, this rare edition is limited to 500 copies and comes with an A3 poster format.”

File Under: OST, Anime, Ambient
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interstellar

OST: Interstellar (Music on Vinyl) LP
2014’s Interstellar, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, paired the creative forces of highly decorated composer Hans Zimmer and esteemed director Christopher Nolan, who collaborated previously on The Dark Knight film trilogy and Inception. “Chris wanted us to push the limits,” offers Zimmer. “Every conversation was about pushing boundaries and exploring new territories. This movie virtually dictates that you put everything on the line and keep the laboratory doors wide open and experiment to the very end. It tested our limits: the limits of what musicians are capable of, the limits of what could be recorded, the limits of everyone’s stamina, commitment and invention, and I think we got it.” “I believe that Hans’ score for Interstellar has the tightest bond between music and image that we’ve yet achieved,” Nolan reflected. “And we’re excited for people to be able to revisit the soundtrack once they’ve had the chance to experience the music in the film itself.” Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow and Michael Caine. With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.

File Under: OST, Sci Fi
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pioulard

Benoit Pioulard: Sonnet (Kranky) LP
“‘The basis of the album was a series of field recordings of tones and unintentional harmonies that I made in the summer & fall of 2013 — whistling industrial air conditioners, bird songs, locust drones, washing machines — that I mimicked or interpreted on the guitar, making loops that developed into fuller compositions. Several of the pieces are recreations of harmony loops that I heard in a series of extraordinarily vivid dreams, and then woke up and recorded. A few pieces had lyrics and vocal parts that I ultimately removed; at a certain point the album became an exercise in restraint, so I strove to leave only what I felt absolutely essential. Unlike most of my previous recordings, there are no digital/software after-effects on the album; all sounds are from analog tape and/or my few guitar pedals’ –Thomas Meluch (Benoit Pioulard). The sound of the fifth Benoit Pioulard full-length is lush and verdant, a temperate rainforest of ear ecstasy that reflects the environment surrounding the artist. A mostly instrumental work, it is an adept melding of song and sound, melody and texture, the intangible and the palpable, that in an abstract sense recalls the more fractured and loose end of the ’70s krautrock movement.”

File Under: Field Recording, Ambient
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redred

Red Red Meat: There’s a Star Above the Manger Tonight (Jealous Butcher) LP
With its final album, Chicago-based quartet Red Red Meat completed a journey started in the early ‘90s, concluding a study in evolution, moving from its shambolic blues rock roots into an experimental combo capable of synthesizing “a field recording with a Can aesthetic.” Yet, There’s a Star Above the Manger Tonight is the sound of a band blooming even as it folds in—finding Tim Rutili (Califone), Brian Deck, Ben Massarella (CalifoneE/Orso), and Tim Hurley incorporating samplers, loops, and computers, marrying disparate threads of hip-hop, Krautrock, and dub to folk forms, stomps and blues. Originally released in 1996 on Sub Pop. Artwork re-envisioned by John Herndon (Tortoise). Vinyl only release includes a download with five extra tracks from the original sessions.

File Under: Indie Rock, Califone
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saucedo

Rick Saucedo: Heaven Was Blue (Guerssen) LP
First ever legit vinyl reissue of Rick Saucedo’s mind-expanding, one-man, multi-tracked private press miracle in sound from 1978. Master tape sound; original artwork; includes insert with interview with Saucedo and detailed liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Got Kinda Lost/Ugly Things). Heaven Was Blue drifts in the same sonic milieu as fellow travelers in ’60s square peg joy Darius, Marcus, D.R. Hooker (without the lounge allusions), or late period psych adventurers Michael Angelo and Bobb Trimble — and his concentration and vision equals or exceeds these international underground heroes. Rick Saucedo is an internationally-known Elvis tribute artist, actor, and singer-songwriter from Chicago. In 1978, after some years of doing his Elvis show, he decided he wanted to have his own identity, and recorded an album with his own songs, influenced by The Beatles and Pink Floyd. All instruments on the album were played by Rick with help from a couple of friends. Songs like “Reality,” which was written in a graveyard just after the passing of Mr. Presley, or “In My Mind,” which dates back to 1967, written just after Sgt. Pepper had come out, are prime examples of dreamy acid psych with Lennon-esque vocals, lysergic guitars, and studio effects. There’s also a couple of fuzz rockers with a strong ’50s vibe, and then there’s the album centerpiece: the impressive 18-minute “Heaven Was Blue” suite, which Rick envisioned as an “acid trip dream.” In words of Patrick Lundborg, “Saucedo pulls it off. Somehow like how you turn the wheels on a kaleidoscope, new melodies, guitar figures and arrangements emerge out of the old ones every three minutes, each sequence more swirling and enchanting that the last, with a sense of progression throughout.” This expanded reissue offers a full extra album of bonus tracks: “Oh My God” was the conclusion to “Reality” and “In My Mind,” recorded in 1978 but omitted from the original album at the last moment. Previously unreleased on vinyl until now. “Baby in the Sand” and “It Burns Again Today” were written during the Heaven Was Blue sessions but went unrecorded until 1991; they’re terrific sitar-drenched melodic psych in the same vein as the original album. Previously unreleased on vinyl until now. And there’s also both sides of the post-album single Reality/History Makin’ – Country Shakin’, which featured different mixes and an alternate mix of “Reality.” These tracks were originally released as promo 45s in very limited quantities.

File Under: Psych, Private Press
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squadra

Squadra Omega: Il Serpente Nel Cielo (Holidays) LP
Il serpente nel cielo is the first of three Squadra Omega titles to be released in less than six months in 2015. This two-piece jam was recorded live at Outside Inside Studio, with the always-evolving group reduced to three core elements: OmegaFrank (drums, xylophone), OmegaG8 (synth, bass), and OmegaMatt (sax, acoustic and electroacoustic percussion). The trio hauls its instruments through a free-form improv-ambient session frequently peaking with moments of free jazz, sustained by a skeleton of intense droning electronics, and wonderfully rendered by an exquisite cut made at SST in Frankfurt. Cover artwork by Re delle Aringhe.

File Under: Free Jazz, Free Improv
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groovallegiance

Various: Groovallegiance (Soul Patrol) LP
Since 1993, Soul Patrol have established themselves as an indisputable reference when it comes to funky soul music. Soul Patrol made its name with compilations of obscure tracks originally released on 7″, paying tribute to some artists who couldn’t make the living they deserved with their music. Here, Soul Patrol strikes stronger than strong with Groovallegiance. Like its previous compilations, there are some gems to discover, some surprises, and some ear-openers, such as Spitting Image’s “JB’s Latin” or the ultra-efficient “Foxy” by Sam Jacobs, as well as “And I Love You” by The Darling Dears & Funky Heavy Prod…. Music from a time when soul music reflected political violence and misery, with dignity and freedom of the utmost importance. This record is a true gem, for the most curious listeners. Also includes tracks by T. J. and the Group, The Originals Orchestra, Monica, New Directions, The Concepts, Funk Machine, and Cool Creations of St. Maarten. Edition of 500

File Under: Funk, Soul

…..Restocks…..

A Tribe Called Red: Nation II Nation (Sony) LP
Alabama Shakes: Brothers & Sisters (ATO) LP
Amon Duul II: Yeti (Cleopatra) LP
Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch) LP
Boards of Canada: Trans-Canadian Highway (Warp) LP
Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (Music on Vinyl) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Don Cherry: Organic Music Society (Caprice) LP
Cure: Disintegration (Elektra) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Dead Kennedys: Gimme Convenience (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: Plastic Surgery Disasters (Manifesto) LP
Death From Above 1979: Physical World (Last Gang) LP
Faith No More: Angel Dust (Music on Vinyl) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: Equatorial Stars (Panegyric) LP
Futuro Antico: Dai Primitiva (Black Sweat) LP
Dexter Gordon: Go (Blue Note) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Kyuss: And the Circus Leaves Town (Elektra) LP
Kyuss: Blues For The Red Sun (Elektra) LP
Kyuss: Welcome to Sky Valley (Elektra) LP
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Warner) DLX LP
Mutamassik: Symbols (Discrepant) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks (Null) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (Null) LP
Charlemagne Palestine/Rhys Chatham: Yooouuu (Sub Rosa) LP
Portishead: PNYC (Go Beat) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Go Beat) LP
Django Reinhardt: Djangology (Not Now) 2LP
Django Reinhardt: Three Fingered Lightning (Doxy) LP
Django Reinhardt: Plays Gershwin & Ellington (Doxy) LP
Rush: 2112 (Anthem) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hallow (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Queen is Dead (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Strangeways Here We Come (Rhino) LP
Andy Stott: Passed Me By (Modern Love) LP
Trader Horne: Morning (Flashback) LP
TV On The Radio: Seeds (Harvest) LP
Unwound: Kid is Gone (Numero) Box
Unwound: No Energy (Numero) Box
U-Roy: I Am The… (Kingston) LP
White Birch: The Weight of Spring (Glitterhouse) LP
Various: Ska From the Vaults of Wirl (Kingston) LP

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…..news letter #685 – hare wax…..

Easter is upon us! Which means a few things…

1. Our Hours this weekend will be…
– Friday 12 – 5
– Saturday 11 – 6
– Sunday Closed
– Monday 11 – 6

2. Candy
3. Eggs
4. Saskatchewan

Also, Record Store Day is quickly approaching. Orders are in, stock has even started shipping and hopefully will start arriving next week. We have all sorts of goodies arranged. And since it was such a huge hit last year, we’ve decided to do it again this year… we’ll be giving one lucky customer a FREE REGA RP1 turntable! So stay tuned and we’ll see you on RSD.

…..pick of the week…..

disco dildar

Various: Disco Dildar (Finders Keepers) LP/CD
Never one to merely scrape the surface of a niche genre the Finders Keepers bloodhound digs deeper still into the core of the Indian subcontinent exhuming a concise party pack of opulent, off-centre Pakistani party targets driven by the pounding drum box rhythms of some of Lollywood pops most notorious studio scientists. Disco Dildar features rare plugged-in proxy pop from some of the country’s lesser-known teen flicks spanning the late 1970s and 80s featuring drum heavy disco guesstimates built around multilingual lyrics celebrating Saturday nights, Disco Dildars and Hindustani Hogmanays. These original synth-dripped 45 EPs are not from the front of the pile, nor the quirky result of some token musical tourism. The music found here once soundtracked rebellious all-nighters and hotel bar rendezvous from films of which your parents might have not approved hence their scarce obtainability. Again the Sounds Of Wonder team who bought you Thai Dai, Life Is Dance, Ilectro, Bollywood Bloodbath and others share equal doses of the excitement, wonderment and bewilderment that comes when first needle-dropping these elusive gems. Featuring the cut and paste, electronics and fuzz tones of flightless super heroes such as Tafo, Ashraf, Rana and Ahmed, whilst voiced by Mehnaz, Runa Laila and Queen Noor Jehan, it is plain to hear why the work of these DIY cosmic composers have eclipsed the collectable desirability of filmic fruits igniting dance floors and providing sample fodder of the wider continent for Wu-Tangular producers in their stride. This workshop funk redefines both DIY and disco revealing a whole new side to world music and marks Pakistani pop cultures transformation from disposable and indefinable to indispensable. Form a circle Disco Dildar is now in rotation.

File Under: Electronic, Disco, Lollywood, Pakistan
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…..new arrivals…..

chavez2

Chavez: Gone Glimmering (Matador) LP
No stranger to the brain-cracking power chord, Chavez differs from bands both from the mid-’90s and now in the application of extraordinary minor-key harmonies and mindblown, fiercely joyous lyrical subjects. These sit easily atop the silver-electric guitarage of Matt Sweeney and Clay Tarver. Scott Marshall’s huge bass moves give space and counterpoint to the shattering anti-rock drumming of James Lo.  Indeed, the band claimed Carl Maria von Weber as a major influence, and it is not hard to think of the lower-Manhattan-based quartet as the reincarnation of 19th-century romanticism via incredible chops and a musical upbringing soaked in the Kinks, AC/DC and Pretty Things. Ferociously rocking with a high-wire fragility, Chavez’s music stuns and satisfies like nothing else. Gone Glimmering was recorded over weekends in December ’94 and January ’95 at various locations with various producers/engineers (Bob Weston, Bryce Goggin and John Agnello). Their efforts have been described by know-it-alls in terms like “an odd hybrid of ringing, shifting guitar riffs; ample doses of catchy, subtle melodies and harmonies that weave their way above, below and through the music.” Someone else was caught claiming that Chavez were “the future of hard rock as filtered through nearly two decades of New York neo-noise.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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chavez1

Chavez: Ride the Fader (Matador) LP
Blessing the house with some of that old time religion, NYC’s Chavez were proselytizing and profilin’ in ’96 with Ride The Fader. Most first-time listeners are engaged by the upwardly mobile arrangements and whirly dissonance, then hooked by their wholesome candy-ass pop bonhomie. This was a style that could really rally the kids together. Indeed, both affected highbrow nerds and unibrow uncivilized rocker bonded over Chavez’s debut, Gone Glimmering, and while that effort met with responses ranging from intrigued fence-sitting to spastic huzzahs, Ride The Fader confidently blows it to bits in every category. Any occasionally awkward baby steps on the debut have been mercilessly slapped and bashed into submission. Everything’s harder, more boombastic, cocksure etc. while simultaneously managing to be more kissable and cuddlier (i.e. the power ballad action of “Unreal Is Here”). The songs are trim motherfuckers too with all the extraneous fat burned off for easier digestion.

File Under: Indie Rock
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emerald web

Emerald Web: Whispered Visions (Finders Keepers) LP
Sharing social circles and spiritual ideologies with artists such as Iasos, Connie Demby and Deuter, whilst splitting label release schedules with Laraaji, Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos, the unique Florida raised soul mate duo known as Emerald Web released their privately pressed debut LP at an axis where post-prog rock met proto-new age and ambient electronic music. Sharing social circles and spiritual ideologies with artists such as Iasos, Connie Demby and Deuter, whilst splitting label release schedules with Laraaji, Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos, the unique Florida raised soul mate duo known as Emerald Web released their privately pressed debut LP at an axis where post-prog rock met proto-new age and ambient electronic music. Notes by Kat Epple When originally released, one music reviewer described Whispered Visions as: “A cosmic tapestry of sound, woven with threads of shimmering synthesizer timbres and luminous flute melodies” This album was made using early synthesizers, sequencers, Lyricon and flutes. When it was recorded in 1980 our synths were regarded as “state of the art” technology. Originally released exclusively on compact cassette it was our second of a total of fourteen independent releases. The band Emerald Web consisted of Bob Stohl and myself and our goal was to create innovative synthesizer orchestration and blend electronic music and acoustic instruments. From 1978 to 1990 we recorded, toured and performed in planetariums whilst composing soundtracks for Carl Sagan, amongst others. Bob and I were consultants for (and were lucky enough to be sponsored by) companies and individuals that were creating the latest music technology. At the time Emerald Web was one of the few “Space Music” bands which performed live in concert using synthesizers and sequencers, most of which had volatile memory and no pre-set sound banks. Unfortunately, Bob passed away in 1990. Since then I have continued to compose music for film and perform in concert as a solo artist, as Emerald Web and with various other ensembles.

File Under: New Age, Ambient
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faithnomore

Faith No More: Superhero (Reclamation) 7”
Faith No More, who reunited in 2009 for a series of sold out performances and international festivals, will issue Sol Invictus, their highly anticipated first full-length album since 1997’s Album of the Year on Reclamation Recordings/Ipecac Recordings in May 2015. Sol Invictus was produced by Billy Gould and recorded in the band’s Oakland, CA studio. “What I can say is that I think through our experience as musicians over the years, I think what we’re doing reflects where we’ve gone since we made our last record as Faith No More. I think this kicks things up a notch,” explained Bill Gould in a recent Rolling Stone interview. “And I think there’s parts that are very powerful and there’s parts that have a lot of space. Everything we do, with our chemistry, the way we play; it’s always going to sound like us. It’s just what we do, that makes us feel good.“ Limited edition 7-inch release “Superhero” b/w “Superhero Battaglia” (Remixed by Alexander Hacke) is the second single to be issued from the forthcoming album following sold out first single “Motherfucker.”

File Under: Rock, Mike Patton
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godspeed

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress (Constellation) LP/CD

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE) returns with its first single LP-length release since the group’s earliest days in 1997-99. Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress clocks in at a succinct 40:23 and is arguably the most focused and best-sounding recording of the band’s career. Working with sound engineer Greg Norman (Electrical Audio) at studios in North Carolina and Montreal, GYBE slowly and steadily put the new album together through late 2013 and 2014, emerging with a mighty slab of superlative sonics, shot through with all the band’s inimitable signposts and touchstones: huge unison riffage, savage noise/drone, oscillating overtones, guitar vs. string counterpoint, inexorable crescendos and scorched-earth transitions. Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress finds Godspeed in top form; a sterling celebration of the band’s awesome dialectic, where composition, emotion and ‘note-choice’ is inextricable from an exacting focus on tone, timbre, resonance and the sheer materiality of sound. LP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a heavyweight gatefold jacket with full-color printed dust sleeve, pull-out art poster and download code for 320 kbps MP3 copy of the album.

 File Under: Rock, Post Rock, Drone
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chambers

Chilly Gonzales: Chambers (Gentle Threat) LP
Canadian pianist and entertainer Chilly Gonzales returns with Chambers, his much anticipated follow-up to Solo Piano II. Since the release of Solo Piano II, Gonzales composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re-Introduction Etudes, produced and released Octave Minds, the piano-meets-electronica album with Boys Noize and, most importantly devoted himself to finding a modern take on chamber music. The result is Chambers, an album for piano and string quartet (and a few surprises along the way). Inspired by the deepending relationship with Hamburg’s Kaiser Quartett, the album re-imagines Romantic-era chamber music as today’s addictive pop. Gestures from rap, ambient, easy listening and the avant-garde co-exist as always in Chilly Gonzales’ musical universe – this time with strings attached. Know equally for his intimate piano touch as for his showmanship, ‘Gonzo’ aims to be a man of his time, approaching the piano with classical and jazz training but with the attitude of a rapper. Chilly holds the Guiness world record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours and performs and writes songs with such diverse artists as Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake. In 2014 he won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk’s Best Album of the Year.

File Under: Modern Classical, Piano Music, CanCon
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inventions

Inventions: Maze of Woods (Temporary Residence) LP
Inventions are the collaborative sum of longtime friends Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. Their 2014 eponymous debut album introduced an ambition to create music that was both challenging and comforting. Their new album, Maze of Woods, opens with a vocal sample declaring, “I wanted to do something that I don’t know how to do.” Using this as a mission statement, Inventions have crafted a complex and exuberant album from an array of instruments, samples, found sounds, beats, chants, and raw bursts of noise, with a much greater emphasis on strong vocal accompaniment in every song. Two albums released in the span of 11 months speaks to the drive that these two have felt since they started playing together. Much like on the first record, they again mixed the album in a house on the Oregon coastline, with final mixing and production all done by Smith and Cooper. Inventions have stated that much of the inspiration for Maze of Woods comes from the closing paragraph of Denis Johnson’s novella Train Dreams. In that paragraph, Johnson describes the nonverbal howl of a feral wolf boy, a pre-language that is yearning and instinctual; a statement of wordless distress and love. Maze of Woods is the product of two masters of their craft getting lost in the wilderness, “doing something that they don’t know how to do,” and emerging with something wholly unexpected and beguilingly beautiful.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Post Rock
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goonTobias Jesso Jr: Goon (Arts & Crafts) LP
Goon is the debut LP from True Panther Sounds recording artist Tobias Jesso Jr. Goon was recorded over the last two years and features production from Chet “JR” White (formerly of Girls), Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, and Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend, Haim, Sky Ferreira). Pitchfork hailed the album as “Wonderfully plainspoken songs, which bring to mind a less snarky Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson, or a more hopeful Nick Drake.” “In 2008 I moved to LA to play backup bass for a Pop singer. That job didn’t work out, but I ended staying in LA for four years. I returned to North Vancouver because my mother had been diagnosed with cancer (she’s better now). I wrote most of the songs on my album Goon about my time spent in LA. It was a reflection that included, like the most popular of love clichés, a tough break up. “In my haste returning to Vancouver, I had left all my instruments in a storage locker in LA. My sister had moved out and left her piano at my parent’s house, an instrument I had yet to explore. The first song I wrote on that piano was ‘Just A Dream.’ It was also one of my first attempts at singing. I have yet come to terms with my singing voice, but at the time I was left with no other option. “I recorded the demo, and then did a few more. Afterwards I sent the demos to JR White [Girls], someone who had produced one of my favorite records of the past few years (and was also signed to True Panther, the label I’m currently on). Soon after, he asked me to come down to San Francisco to record an album. After a series of visa issues and border complications, I finally met him and spent the next few months jumping from San Francisco to Los Angeles, recording in studios and bedrooms with friends. “After all that was said and done, I got offered to have a few more of my songs produced by Patrick Carney [The Black Keys] in Nashville, and Ariel Rechstaid in Los Angeles. I owe the sound of the record to the great effort of everyone involved, the producers and musicians doing and playing things I couldn’t and treating the production with the same reverence I treat my songwriting. The writing will always be the most important to me; the production, playing and singing I am still figuring out. I still play a bit of guitar, but I’m mostly sticking to the piano these days.” – Tobias Jesso Jr.

File Under: Indie Rock
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lanegan

Mark Lanegan: A Thousand Miles of Midnight (Heavenly) 2LP
Following career-best reviews and a Top 20 chart entry for Phantom Radio, Mark Lanegan Band return with A Thousand Miles Of Midnight, an album of remixes of tracks from both ‘Phantom Radio’ and ‘No Bells On Sunday’, the EP that accompanied it. The album is made up of a brilliant array of remixes by artists as diverse as UNKLE, Moby, Greg Dulli and soulsavers. Mark Lanegan says of the album: “I thought these tunes would lend themselves to remixing and that it would be interesting to hear what other artists might make of them. All the people who did remixes are musicians whose work I greatly admire.”

File Under: Rock, Remixes
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lituryLiturgy: The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey) LP
Liturgy is a Brooklyn-based, self-styled “Transcendental Black Metal” band whose yearning, energetic music exists in an uncanny space between avant rock, black metal, fine art and shamanic ritual. Led by songwriter and conceptual architect Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who is joined by guitarist Bernard Gann, bassist Tyler Dusenbury and drummer Greg Fox, the band exists as a 21st century total work of art (gesamtkunstwerk): activating divine potencies by means of music and culture even as it underscores the contradictions inherent in such a project during the internet era.  Their third full length, The Ark Work, is a quantum leap forward, a radical change in sound that paradoxically sounds more like Liturgy than ever. The album hums and churns with Hunt-Hendrix’s inventive arrangements – drenched with glockenspiels, bagpipes, strings, ritual chanting, and MIDI horns. It supplements its metal energy with motifs from unlikely, disparate genres; cross-fertilizing hardstyle beats, occult-oriented rap, and the glitched re-sampling of IDM and with structures from Medieval sacred music, Romantic classical music, and minimalism. The result is a rich, seething cyber-fantasia that is improbably listenable, conveying the disarming, authentic emotion that is Liturgy’s hallmark – a blend of startling invention, high caliber musicianship, raw energy, and profound, cosmic sadness. Liturgy began as the solo project of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who remains their sole songwriter.  After a few self-released cassettes, the project began in earnest with the release of the Immortal Life EP (2008) and the crystallization of the aims to adapt black metal’s typical genre markers – including blast beat drumming and rapid tremolo picking – along new, life affirming lines of artistic development, and to treat a rock band as a real-time visionary performance/art/life project. The band expanded to its current quartet for the recording of Renihilation (2009). Their fervid and cohesive live presence, in particular Fox’s unorthodox and dynamic drumming, quickly earned them a following both in the global metal underground and the Brooklyn art punk scene. Controversy erupted, along with interest from the wider world, around the companion piece to Renihilation: the text Transcendental Black Metal: A Vision of Apocalyptic Humanism, which Hunt-Hendrix delivered at the now-legendary Hideous Gnosis Black Metal Theory symposium that year. With the release of 2011’s Aesthethica, the friction between Liturgy’s multiple worlds sparked and caught fire. Liturgy crossed over to perform to huge crowds at major festivals and at art institutions, including MoMA, where Hunt-Hendrix delivered his manifesto next to a Joseph Beuys sculpture. Aesthethica was listed as Spin’s top metal album of the year and featured on two different New York Times lists for top 10 albums of 2011 while the band graced the cover of Metal Hammer’s Subterranea magazine.  For the next two years the live band functioned as a duo while Hunt-Hendrix began the long process of composing what would become The Ark Work.  In 2014, Fox and Dusenbury returned to record the album along with Hunt-Hendrix and Gann, adding their dynamic energy to the mix.  The result is the first true sonic realization of Transcendental Black Metal: a musically cohesive alchemical fusion, an artistically reflexive work of theandery, and a mind-bending album that is as original as it is beautiful.

File Under: Black Metal, Rock, Ritual
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lonelady

Lonelady: Hinterland (Warp) LP
‘Hinterland’ (literally “the country behind” in German) conjures impressions of decayed Manchester outskirts and reclusive inner landscapes obsessively throughout the record, as Lonelady’s Julie Campbell continues her fascination with the post-industrial ruinscape. As with her 2010 debut ‘Nerve Up’, on ‘Hinterland’ Campbell continues to pay homage to the post-punk era. I can hear many influences in her punk-funk style – A Certain Ratio in occasional basslines, Viv Albertine (the Slits) and Andy Gill’s (Gang Of Four) guitar sound (skeletal, harsh, chiming) , dark and brooding drones, cello and synths (Joy Division, Nico etc), but Lonelady transcends all these reference points to come up with her own sounds. Crucial to her elevation above mere pastiche is Campbell’s agile, urgant vocals and her ability to come up with pop hooks that weave their way through the tracks, from the edgy, fidgeting ‘Bunkerpop’, via breakout disco-not-disco single ‘Groove It Out’ to the low-slung sleaze-funk of title track ‘Hinterland’.  In Campbell’s words: “It’s channelling Parliament / Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, Rufus, Prince, Arthur Russell… among others. A strange – but nonetheless real – meeting of funk and… me from Audenshaw, Manchester.”

File Under: Post Punk, Factory
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gone girl

OST: Gone Girl (Columbia) LP
While perhaps best known as the founder and sole member of the groundbreaking industrial music project Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor is also a multi-talented creative force whose drive and passion has extended to film, video games, and digital music services. Producer/programmer Atticus Ross began writing incidental music in 2004, when he scored the television series Touching Evil. He has since composed scores for other acclaimed television series and films, including as New York I Love You, The Book of Eli, Days of Grace and Broken City, among other projects. Gone Girl marks the third time the NIN frontman has collaborated with director David Fincher. Along with Ross, Reznor composed the scores to The Social Network (2010) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), which won the duo an Oscar and a Grammy, respectively. Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck as a man who becomes a suspect in his wife’s disappearance.

File Under: OST, NIN
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jsbx

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Freedom Tower (Mom & Pop) LP
It’s all here: The Hustler and The Trust Fund Baby, the Mosh Pit Casualty, the Celebrity Chef, the Crooked Cop, the Struggling Artist, the Sucker MC, the forgotten Sex Workers and Last-Chance Cinderellas. Within these grooves are cold-water tenements, blue-chip galleries, dingy Avenue B studios, and the last real warrior poet whose dark magick brings garage rock ghosts back from the grave!

File Under: Blues Explosion!
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11183_JKT

Scientist: The Dub Album They Didn’t Want You to Hear (Jah Life) LP
Totally killer previously unreleased dub companion LP to Flick Wilson’s “School Days” LP. Jah Life was no slacker when it came to mixing dubs, and sat in with Scientist at King Tubby’s for the mixing of many of the classic Junjo/Radics/Scientist albums. But more importantly, they also mixed a ton load of dubs for Jah Life himself, many of which, like this album, remain unreleased…until now! Nine out of ten tracks from the Flick Wilson album are dubbed here, and one track from the Wayne Jarrett “What’s Wrong…” album. Classic Scientist 1980 style mixing, nothing else like it, hard stuff. Cover features a fantastic previously unseen photo from Beth Lesser.

File Under: Dub
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Scientist_Meets_the_Space_Invaders_(Scientist)_album_cover

Scientist: Meets The Space Invaders (Dub Mir) LP
The cosmic theme is well served on ten effects-riddled tracks, with the rockers style material being littered by all manner of stratosphere-breaking sounds from the mixing board, strategically adorned with snatches of ghostly echo and pneumatic percussion. It’s certainly an appropriate mood for a post-apocalyptic battle involving cartoon machines! Another DUB ESSENTIAL ALBUM from the legendary SCIENTIST!

File Under: Dub
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big showdown

Scientist: Big Showdown (Dub Mir) LP
Hopeton “Scientist” Brown and Lloyd “Prince Jammy” James both learned their dubcraft at the feet of the universally-acknowledged master of the art form, King Tubby. The 10 tracks from this classic LP from 1980 sound pretty strong in terms of style and approach, all of them are quietly brilliant, reflecting a complete mastery of the form. Rhythms are supplied by the unstoppable Roots Radics band!

File Under: Dub
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Scientist-RidsTheWorld

Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dub Mir) LP
Rids the World of the Curse of the Vampires (1981) not only ably displays the mix masters varied approach of, but clocks in as one of his best outings! Scientist keeps things lively with plenty of reverb and echo-treated percussion, ghostly piano parts, video game sound effects, and other various wobbly interjections from the mixing board. And adding to the record’s expert evocation of the Halloween spirit are some fiendishly voiced intros, the cover art’s cartoon potpourri of horror film characters, and the dubious claim made in the liner notes that Scientist mixed it all at midnight on Friday the 13th (reach for the flashlights kids). Along with Keith Hundson’s Pick a Dub and Lee Perry’s Blackboard Jungle Dub, this excellent Scientist release is one of the essential dub albums available.

File Under: Dub
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scientistencounterspacmanA

Scientist: Encounters Pac-Man at Channel One (Dub Mir) LP
In this great LP Scientist delivers one of his most progressive mixes, deconstructing the originals down to their skeletal base and adding just the right amount of mixing board-generated Echoplex and reverb with his patented minimal sound, a landscape resplendent with steely piano, depth-charge drums, and futuristic dub effects. A mind-warping yet eminently enjoyable way to check into dub central!

File Under: Dub
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stevens

Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP/CD
Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) is the newest offering from pop-art singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. These are aggressive times. Each morning we awaken to a psychic blitz of breaking news, social outrage, and millions of images and voices shrieking look at me and this onslaught does not cease until late at night when the last glowing screen fades to black.  This world demands our attention with one hand and destroys it with the other. That such a noisy age can deliver an album as graceful and honest as Carrie & Lowell should reassure anyone losing faith these days. Let no one say philosophy is dead, for here is a 44-minute meditation on mortality, memory, and faith. Carrie & Lowell sounds like memory: it spans decades yet does not trade on pastiche or nostalgia. Stevens’ gauzy double-tracked vocals wash across the dashboard of long-finned, drop-top Americana, yet as we race towards the coast we are reminded that sunshine leads to shadow, for this is a landscape of terminal roads, unsteady bridges, traumatic video stores, and unhappy beds that provide the scenery for tales of jackknifed cars, funerals, and forgiveness for the dead. Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without either myth or miracle – and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. If youth knew, if age could.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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tusques

Francois Tusques w/ Barney Wilen: Le Nouveau Jazz (Cacophonic) LP
With track titles translating to Song For The Devil and The Witches, Francois Tusques’ rarest commercially released LP casts an early stylistic premonition of the vampire themed improvised soundtracks recorded for director Jean Rollin merely months after its release. Assembling the very same group of musical sorcerers this albums personnel (featuring, amongst others, soprano saxophonist Barney Wilen) reads like a who’s who of France’s early improvised music/free jazz scene resulting in a wholly unique European flavour while preserving the essence of other global inter communal travellers such as Don Cherry and Krzysztof Komeda. Originally extracted from three separate recording sessions in early 1967, Le Nouveau Jazz opens with themes conjured up for the short film Coda by French jazz documentarist Marc Pauly highlighting the composers adept ability in his multi-disciplined art further aligning him with the aforementioned pioneers. The rest of the album combines frenzied macabre picture music (akin to Detroit’s Wendell Harrison) and emotive piano improvisations (Mal Waldron anyone?) with the sui generis inclusion of a double double bass formation courtesy of Bernard “Beb” Guerin (Sonny Sharrock/Kühn Brothers) and Jean-Francois Jenny Clarke (Enrico Rava/Giorgio Gaslini). As Tusques’ second official album (after the seldom sighted Free Jazz from 1965) this LP expands on this important French musicians vision and follows up Cacophonic’s repress of his mega rare Don Cherry art installation collaboration from 1964 this time introducing extra rhythmic arrangements courtesy of Italian drummer Aldo Romano (Robin Kenyatta). Housed in the elegant original Witches artwork sleeve by comic illustrator Jean Vern with French liner notes by French psychiatry/beat poet/crime fiction writer Yves Buin this worthy reissue hopes to find a unique uninhabited part of your collection from an era that changed the Parisian underground prior to the important developments of labels like BYG Actuel and Futura Records in the early 1970s.

File Under: Jazz, Improv
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weaver

Jane Weaver: The Silver Globe (Bird) LP
When a handful of broadsheet music columns and reputable blog pages began to mention the vaguely familiar name Jane Weaver in the “Here’s One We Missed” themed features during 2014s end of year round-ups it became quickly apparent that the singer’s concept album The Silver Globe had already independently garnered a “must have” status amongst virtually any self-respecting music buyers. But unlike so many other big label “campaigns” that vied for PR attention via ego-fuelled video promos and down your throat advertising, this unassuming, dedicated, focused piece of experimental female vocal pop was in no way spoon fed to editors nor playlisters.  Nor did it fall within the lines of what might have been considered fashionable or culturally relevant. The Silver Globe defied species, and for once, was judged on its own merit as a brilliant uncompromising pop record. The sixth album by a long-standing pillar of the North West music scene (loosely based on a lost Polish dystopian feature film and a French novella featuring a personnel of vintage Atari music composers next to Australian synth pioneers) was a simply typical product of the way Jane Weaver has always operated – as an independent and resilient female experimental songwriter, on her own label, on the outskirts of anything that resembles a music industry. Throughout her twenty-year “career” she has stayed focused, avoided whimsical fads and distractions and used her experience to work as hard as she can when she can.  By Christmas The Silver Globe had been announced as Piccadilly Records’ best album of the year, earned a “worldwide” top ten track of the year accolade by Gilles Peterson, gleaned across the board full-stars and thumbs up from the music press, benefitted unanimous repeat plays from virtually every specialist DJ on BBC6 Music (amongst many more global radio stations), found DJ mix support from Andrew Weatherall, and filled most of the pages in a twelve month diary with gig and festival requests. Meanwhile, Jane’s own Bird Imprint (via Finders Keepers) has to worked around the clock to keep up with stock demands of her new (and old) music. Album collaborators such as David Holmes, Andy Votel and BC Camplight share gushing pride in the project and with this unanimous critical support (and long earned respect) Jane has reacted in the only way she knows best – to keep creating. In March, barely six months since its initial release, following tours with friend and sonic sister figure Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) and one time backing band Black Rivers (two thirds of Doves), Jane will release an expanded edition of The Silver Globe – including a second full-length disc called The Amber Light which follows the original LP with the same dedication and adventurous zeal as its much loved synth driven sister record. With a title that alludes to the toils of trepidation and a running theme of industrial procreativity and DIY handy craft, The Amber Light carves a niche between new age motivational music, radiophonic folk and snarling krautrock echoing the kosmische stylings of The Silver Globe with the punk urgency of 80s domestic-synth pop. Featuring four brand new songs, three exclusive instrumental themes (including a commissioned theme from an American vampire film) and three new collaborative re-workings/duets based on tracks from The Silver Globe, this extensive package harbours work from Tom Furse (The Horrors), Andy Votel, Suzanne Ciani, members of Demdike Stare and original Silver Globe inhabitant Pete J. Phillipson. Substantiated by other extra format editions, including a silver vinyl version of The Silver Globe, a series of compact cassettes and a single release of standout robotic roller rink track Don’t Take My Soul (presented digitally as well as a split single with Bird Records label mate Tender Prey) Jane’s expanded Silver Globe/Amber Light project reciprocates the positive energy shared by her loyal readership and a wide host of new converts who have allowed Jane’s self-sufficient songs and synthetic soundscapes to flourish on he cusp of 2014/2015. Showing little signs of slowing down, Jane Weaver alongside her Bird Records family looks set for an airborne year. The Silver Globe is still turning and catching many a siege in its electric rays.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Indie
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sciencefiction

Various: Science Fiction Park Bundesrepublik (Cache Cache) LP/CD
In the summer of 1982, in a cottage in the Bavarian forest a thirteen-year-old boy sits with his brother on the sofa and stares at the television. What he sees will transform his life. In rapid, revue-like sequences, young costumed people jump around in front of a painted background. They serenade tulips that are sparingly lit, twist and stretch under rubber sheets and with eyes taped over, iron on empty boards. Sometimes they just stand there, staring brazenly or absently into the camera, cryptic texts intoning through stiff mouths. The entire spectacle might be a direct transmission from Mars. The music accompanying all this is so radically new that the terminology to describe it doesn’t exist yet. Most of all, it is unexpectedly bizarre, minimalistic and electronic. The astonishing performance is garnished by four amateurish dancers obviously assigned to the musicians by a decree of the TV broadcaster. Nothing fits together, yet the combination is pure genius. The demeanor of the group is so shockingly modern and uncompromising that the boy in front of the television has to repeatedly pinch himself to prove he isn’t dreaming. This is the music he has waited years for. This is his music, and it sets off a catalytic spark in him. His little brother is drafted to write down the names of the bands Palais Schaumburg, Der Plan, Deutsch- Amerikanische Freundschaft, Lorenz Lorenz, Der Körper und die Seele (The Body And The Soul)… One can imagine the creative spelling that made it on to the list. Back home in Hamburg, as if possessed, the boy begins to experiment with a synthesiser, home organ, and voice and tape recorder. He is not the only one to begin explorations in this direction. The entire Federal Republic of Germany is just at the boiling point. A new form of home music is coming into existence. It has nothing to do with violin playing children, scratchy sweaters and well- combed relatives listening on the sofa, but rather combines the fears and dark abyss of industrial society. Remarkably it is the same industry that made the tools available to the raging youths: cheap Casio keyboards, synthesisers, drum computers and four track tape recorders. Suddenly anyone can acquire his own means of production to use in protest against the industrial forces. In Germany especially, that neurotic country whose dark Nazi past and subsequent East/West division filled its closet with skeletons, the electro-industry’s advance falls on fertile ground. The four-track tape studio becomes the medium of the collective unconscious; becomes the embrasure, the lighting rod and the magnetic witness to the fears of an imminent nuclear war. On top of that most of the recordings are born without strategy or intention of commercial exploitation. They are eruptions out of the crater of a society that had reached a deadlock during the so-called German Autumn with its failed RAF movement. Everyone was waiting… But for what? For the end of the world, approaching via an insane arms race? A new youth movement? A new kind of ice cream? In their freshly established home studios the protagonists practice the new underground music, the “undirected aggression of liberated sounds,” as Frank Apunkt Schneider expressed in his book Als die Welt noch unterging (As The World Was Still Ending). Everything that isn’t nailed or riveted down is used as an instrument: baking trays, cartons, room lamps, toys, wooden flutes, whistles, cans, trays, record players, televisions, a doorbell, a telephone. Out of the living rooms of the nation drones an obsession with noise, sparing not even the children. And what became of that thirteen-year-old boy who sat in front of the television back then? He hasn’t had a television for the last twenty-five years and is just now writing these lines. His enthusiasm for the cassette scene has remained to this day. And while collecting the pieces for this compilation he had to keep pinching himself in the arm. Compiled by German sound futurist Felix Kubin this eccentric compilation features 25 rare and mostly unheard tracks by bands like Plastiktanz, Neros Tanzende Elektropäpste, chbb, Holger Hiller and Pyrolator, as well as several one hit wonders by the rural tape label Pissing Cow Tapes.

File Under: German, Tape Music, Experimental, Home Recording
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…..Restocks…..

AKA KAK: Obaa Sima (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
William Basinski: Melancholia (Temporary Residence) LP
Belle & Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister (Matador) LP
Belle & Sebastian: Girls In Peacetime… (Matador) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Black Mountain: Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar) LP
The Bug: Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) LP
Chrome: Chrome Box (Cleopatra) Box
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Dead Kennedys: Gimme Convenience… (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: In God We Trust Inc (Manifesto) LP
Death Grips: Money Store (Epic) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Eternal Tapestry: Wild Strawberries (Thrill Jockey) LP
Ex-Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
Faith No More: The Real Thing (Music on Vinyl) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
FKA Twigs: LP 1 (Young Turks) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Harmonia & Eno: Tracks & Traces (Gron) LP
Daniel Johnston: 1990/Artistic Vice (Eternal Yip) LP
Moon Duo: Shadow of the Sun (Sacred Bones) LP
The National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is.. (Luaka Bop) LP
Pissed Jeans: Shallow (Sub Pop) LP
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyum Vio Spilum… (XL) LP
Sleater Kinney: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: Call the Doctor (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: The Hot Rock (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: One Beat (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: Start Together (Sub Pop) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemedo) LP
Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Caterpillar) LP
Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrink Dust (Flemish Eye) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) LP
Scott Walker/Sunn o))): Soused (4AD) LP
Yo La Tengo: Extra Painful (Matador) LP

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…..news letter #684 – income wax…..

Well, if the bridge construction didn’t make traffic around here bad enough, 124th is just plain silly now with Groat Road completely shut down. But the good news is, if you are going to be stuck in traffic, you might as well park and came dig through the racks. Loads of great stuff coming in these days!

Also, Record Store Day is quickly approaching. The ‘official’ RSD list has been posted…. here. Please take a look at it and if there is something you’d like to be able to pick up on RSD here, please let us know ASAP. While we obviously order everything we thing our customers would be interested in, if you want to pick up that Dolly Parton LP as much as I do let us know so we can be sure to order enough so you and me aren’t fist fighting in the parking lot over it. The cut-off for orders is quickly approaching so let us know if you will be looking for something random sooner than later.

…..picks of the week…..

umiliani

Piero Umiliani: Tra Scienza e Fantascienza (WRWTFWW) LP
First vinyl reissue of a highly-sought after electronic abstract future jazz release by Italian soundtrack and library music composer Piero Umiliani, originally released on Umiliani’s label Omicron in 1980 under the pseudonym Moggi. Umiliani’s releases are generally expensive and hard to find, and Tra Scienza e Fantascienza is no exception. Umiliani was a master, gifted with a never-ending passion for music, and an experimental innovator who manipulated synthesizers with ease, forging a sound that could be reductively termed avant-garde. Timeless atmospheres and alien hypnotic sonorities that are modern and charmingly retro; minimal and complex; arranged with precision. Umiliani was way ahead of his time; hear, for instance, “Happy Accompaniment”: it sounds like a 2015 minimal house track.

File Under: Electronic, Library, Italian, Raerz
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CREP014LP_CU

Mutamassik: Symbols Follow (Discrepant) LP
FILE UNDER: AfrabiroQ.+Martial MelanQ.+Qubti FunQ.+… Mutamassik aka Giulia Loli: producer, musician, improviser, artist, synesthete. The follow-up to 2012’s Rekkez (ini.itu). “…uneasy… uncompromising… unapologetic” –Sam Davies, The Wire. “Deftly maneuvering the space between tradition and innovation, acoustic and digital, familiar and unexpected” –Okay Africa. “The headiness of the treated strings and clattering percussion sets her mixes apart from anyone culling beats” –Owen Strock, CMJ. “From the jungles of Brooklyn to a cave in the mountains of Italy via Cairo; Mutamassik keeps relocating headquarters for immigrant punkjaw revolution” –Anna Gavanas. MELANQOL BAROQUE parq dunq ARABIFIED SWAMP MUSIC darq punq QUBTI BEATS in addition to transcendental sonic experiments. From liner notes: “There born the excitement, from the loins of broken gear and deft midwife. Music for disinfection, in order to heal. To build a dream on. Because before we or they or us learned to ignite and harness fire existed. It only let us. Aggressive Atheists are being used to show how inevitable structured reverence is by inadvertently establishing their own religion by way of dogma, righteous conviction, intellectual punishment, headed by scientists as the new priests, technology as the ritual tool of salvation. With or without their knowing it Religious Zealots are being used to martyr their own religions on altars of utter faithlessness by carrying out just icing, consequentially projecting an image of a weak, untrustworthy god. With or without their knowing it.” “Plosive polyrhythmic instinct deep cut with ancient future inscriptions fashioned by hand — unfashionably — beveled metal revealing wood grain anima(l). Proof of origin. Lines of red paint on volcanic rock. Syncopathic shimmering soundtrack + magnetic tension. Symph slam somber chroma + hymns. Melancholic and sanguine and faith. Purposeful Anachronism for new dance. New spirituals.” –Mutamassik

File Under: Electronic, Ethnic, Collage, Experimental
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…..new arrivals…..

bird

Andrew Bird: Weather Systems (Wegawam) LP
Described by Pitchfork in 2003 as “music for the ages that demands to be heard”, the songs on Andrew Bird’s second solo album reveal themselves at a confidant, unhurried pace reflecting the thoughtfulness with which they were conceived. Weather Systems originated in a barn converted to studio/living space in remote western Illinois, as creating music was becoming central to Bird’s everyday life. The virtuoso instrumentalist employs violin, glockenspiel, organ, whistling, and tape loops to set the scene for the intimate, haunting stories he tells through his lyrics. It’s a lush, gorgeous collection of seven original songs plus Bird’s own adaptation of a Galway Kinnell poem and a Handsome Family cover “Don’t Be Scared” (which Andrew recorded again on his 2014 covers album, ‘Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of”), showcasing his gift for conveying subtle emotional states purely through music. Originally released in 2003, Weather Systems is now available on vinyl for the first time (150 gram/re-mastered for vinyl) through Wegawam Music with reimagined art by Jay Ryan.

File Under: Indie Rock
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fields

Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy: Sintetizzatrice (Spectrum Spools) LP
Sintetizzatrice is the first recorded document of the collaboration between veteran DJ and producer Donato Dozzy and female vocalist Anna Caragnano. Through his solo work, and in his collaboration with Giuseppe Tilleci (Neel) as Voices from the Lake, Dozzy has achieved some of the most remarkable vistas contemporary electronic music has seen since the turn of this century. By removing himself from his areas of mastery to shift his focus on the voice, he has achieved a new peak with Sintetizzatrice. Over nine tracks, Dozzy works exclusively with the voice of Rome-based vocalist Anna Caragnano, with no other instruments. Heavy layering and effects processes are used to display an astoundingly versatile voice-centric vocabulary. Rarely can a record morph from R&B to kosmische, through traditional Italian folk music, to Fluxus styles and traditional chamber choir with no additional instrumentation. Just a singular, beautiful voice. The results are simply phenomenal. With the opening, “Introduzione,” an immeasurable cosmic weight arrives and remains through the duration of the album. “Star Cloud” ascends with melancholy extended drones that evaporate concepts like time and being, rendering basic human perceptions void all the way through “Parallelo.” “Parola” dances around the stereo field with dazing rhythms and melodies, while “Festa (A Mottola)” is an homage to the traditional music found in the rural region where, coincidentally, both Dozzy’s mother and Caragnano were born and raised. The album’s closing pieces “Love Without Sound” and “Conclusione” hit hard in a way to which no words can do justice. By fearlessly entering uncharted territories, Dozzy and Caragnano have made a collaboration which is truly experimental. Sintetizzatrice is a grand debut for Anna Caragnano and a fantastic twist for Donato Dozzy. Produced and mixed by Dozzy at Alaska Studio, Rome, in 2014. Mastered by Giuseppe Tilleci at EnissLab Studio, Rome. Transferred to tape by Pietro Micioni, Angelo Compagnoni, and Massimo Zuccaroli at Village Studio, Rome. Cut by Christoph Grote-Beverborg at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Front cover painting by Angela Scaramuzzi. Cover design by Koto Hirai.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Vocal
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cortini

Alessandro Cortini: Forse 3 (Important) LP
Forse 3 is the final release in Alessandro Cortini’s Forse Trilogy. Like parts 1 and 2, Forse 3 has a distinct sound and feeling. Edition of 500. Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, How To Destroy Angels) recorded Forse using a Buchla Music Easel; of which only 13 are known to exist. “Forse,” meaning “maybe” in Italian, is a series of three double LP releases. “All pieces were written and performed live on a Buchla Music Easel, in the span of one month. I found that the limited array of modules that the instrument offers sparked my creativity. Most pieces consist of a repeating chord progression, where the real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion, filtering, wave-shaping, etc.) are just as expressive as a chord change or chord type, and often reinforce said chord progressions. Of all the years with Nine Inch Nails, the period spent writing and recording the instrumental record Ghosts I-IV is probably the one which changed my approach to music-making the most. After that record I started getting more into instrumental composition, although I tried to approach it in a different way. While we had a vast array of tools and instruments at our disposal then, I decided to approach my pieces limiting myself to one instrument only, as I found myself being more decisive when faced with a limited creative environment.”

File Under: Electronic, Synth, Ambient, NIN
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fields

Lee Fields: Emma Jean Instrumentals (Truth & Soul) LP
“Instrumental version of Lee Fields & The Expressions’ Emma Jean record.”

File Under: Soul, Funk
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fort

Fort Romeau: Insides (Ghostly) LP
Like many others, Ghostly International became enamored with Fort Romeau’s idea of “slow listening,” the concept of enriching relationships with music through careful attention and focus. His understated take on deep, groove-friendly house started pushing this practice three years ago, when the producer’s debut LP, Kingdoms, appeared via 100% Silk. The native Londoner, born Mike Greene, has evolved considerably since then, finessing his sound over the course of three breezy 12″s, one EP, and lengthy DJ sets at some of the best clubs in Europe – not the least of which were Berlin’s famed Panorama Bar, London hotspot Plastic People, and Robert Johnson in Frankfurt. Those years Greene spent immersed in his craft and new inspirations have generously informed the eight stunning productions which comprise Insides, Fort Romeau’s long-awaited sophomore album. “Playing in those clubs definitely had an affect on how I approach composition and pacing,” Greene shares. “I want to allow things to breathe and develop gradually over longer track lengths, rather than cram everything into four or five minutes.” His patient methods are a central component to the billowy house music on Insides, though this isn’t an indulgent album of gratuitous buildups and tiresome breakdowns. Each production is pointed and purposeful, as the artist crafts every second of analog electronics with rich detail, nuance, and refinement. Throughout Insides, Fort Romeau guides us down misty corridors lined with supple synth pads, quietly thumping kicks, and elastic low-end sequences reinforced by an emotive confidence.

File Under: Electronic, House
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francis

Francis the Great: Ravissante Baby (Hot Casa) LP
Rare funk and avant-garde soul from a seven-year-old kid singer featuring the best musicians of France and the Cameroonian diaspora, recorded in Paris in 1977. The album contains two nicely dramatic tracks: “Ravissante Baby (Negro Phasing)” is a long, hypnotic, funky soukous track with a tremendous lead guitar and a long spoken-word and soulful kid vocal about the beauty of nature; “Look Up in the Sky (Negro Nature)” is a stretched funk groove with psych synth by Michel Morose, bubbling bassline by the great Victor Edimo, the famous Toto Guillaume on guitar, and a brilliant poetic lyric by Francis the Great, who at that time studied in Ménilmontant, Paris. Originally produced by his father, a great impresario of African artists in Paris during the ’70s, and coordinated by his mother, this album is unique, fresh, and almost unclassifiable. It’s universal funk! Hot Casa Records is proud to reissue this holy grail after years of research. Includes interview; officially licensed with Francis Mbarga himself, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Avant-Garde
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gaussianGaussian Curve: Clouds (Music From Memory) LP
Music from Memory’s fourth release sees the Amsterdam-based label taking an exciting sidestep with the release of Clouds. It’s the debut album from Gaussian Curve, a collaboration between Italian ambient pioneer Gigi Masin, Land of Light’s Jonny Nash, and Marco Sterk (also known as Young Marco). The trio came together during a weekend-long recording session in April, 2014, with no preconceived ideas. Developed around improvised jams, the eight tracks on the album are all single-take live recordings. The three musicians succeed in developing a musical language all of their own, with Gigi Masin on Rhodes and piano; Jonny Nash on guitar, melodica, synths, and trumpet; and Marco Sterk on synths, rhythmic structures, and production duties. Recorded in the heart of Amsterdam’s red-light district, the album reflects the unusually warm spring and the buzz from the open windows that filled the derelict downtown studio space during that particular weekend. And on the more introverted late-night compositions, the music quietly soars, reflecting the brooding melancholy of an evening in that particular part of the city. Clouds is a simple, heartfelt record of an inspired meeting of unique souls in unique surroundings.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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godspeed

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress (Constellation) LP/CD
Out March 31st! Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE) returns with its first single LP-length release since the group’s earliest days in 1997-99. Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress clocks in at a succinct 40:23 and is arguably the most focused and best-sounding recording of the band’s career. Working with sound engineer Greg Norman (Electrical Audio) at studios in North Carolina and Montreal, GYBE slowly and steadily put the new album together through late 2013 and 2014, emerging with a mighty slab of superlative sonics, shot through with all the band’s inimitable signposts and touchstones: huge unison riffage, savage noise/drone, oscillating overtones, guitar vs. string counterpoint, inexorable crescendos and scorched-earth transitions. Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress finds Godspeed in top form; a sterling celebration of the band’s awesome dialectic, where composition, emotion and ‘note-choice’ is inextricable from an exacting focus on tone, timbre, resonance and the sheer materiality of sound. LP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a heavyweight gatefold jacket with full-color printed dust sleeve, pull-out art poster and download code for 320 kbps MP3 copy of the album.

File Under: Rock, Post Rock, Drone
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komodoKomodo Haunts: Suijin (Aguirre) LP 
Komodo Haunts is the psychedelic drone solo project of Ollie Tutty (aka Mt. Tjhris), from Lincolnshire, UK. With his music he explores drone structure, sonic textures, meditative zones, and personal fictions. Making use of analog and digital technologies; tape jams playing on human familiarity, natural ambiances, faux-exotica, mythologies, “reality therapy.” Taking inspiration from drone masters and new-age wanderers, the Suijin album is all about getting into “the zone” and could be the soundtrack to an unreleased Tarkovsky movie. Building up from a basis of minimalistic stylings in the vein of Terry Riley’s Persian Surgery Dervishes and adding rich instrumental and vocal layers later. Notes on Suijin/notes on water: liquid forms; Suijin, the Shinto god of water — water as a force — the symbolic status of water — people-water relationship. Instruments range from shifting tape loops to reverb-laden electric guitar and dark synths, human voice, wind, distorted bass, ceramic ocarina, acoustic strings, processed electronics, and oscillating waves. Artwork by Tutty. Glossy finishing. Limited to 250 copies.

File Under: Drone, Ambient, Minimalism
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moor

Yannis Kyriakides/Andy Moor: A Life A Billion Heartbeats (Discrepant) LP
A Life Is a Billion Heartbeats continues Yannis Kyriakides and Andy Moor’s exploration and mining of the rich and mysterious terrain of Greek rebetika music from the early 20th century. Their first release of this project (simply titled Rebetika (2010)) was for the most part taken from a live recording at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, in 2006. In the years that they have been performing the set since, the songs and improvisations featured on this LP have grown and expanded in repertoire and range of expression, giving more space for rhythmic and hypnotic elements to come to the fore. The music ranges from more composed and arranged renditions of the old tunes to completely improvised pieces that try to capture a sense of the gesture and tonalities of the source music, albeit with a contemporary edge. The material derives again from the golden period of rebetika music, the late ’20s and early ’30s, including voices such as Rita Abatzi, Markos Vamvakaris, Giorgos Batis, and the great guitarist and singer Kostas Bezos. Mastered by Kyriakides. Limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Avant Rock, Greek, Rebetika, Collage
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fabiano

Fabiano do Nascimento: Danca Dos Tempos (Now Again) LP
“Dança dos Tempos is the debut album from thrilling, young Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, and it features legendary percussionist Airto Moreira in his first album project in over ten years. Dança dos Tempos follows folkloric Brazilian music as experienced through the mind and able fingers of an expansive musician, not yet thirty years old, and combines the heady ’60s and ’70s experimentalism of Hermeto Pascoal and Baden Powell with the childlike elegance of music played and passed down by native Brazilians for generations. It is the second Brazilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz. Moreira, the bandleader, songwriter and producer who recorded a bevy of titles under his own name, with his wife Flora Purim, and whose resume contains the names of — seriously — every musician worth mentioning from America or Brazil from the past 50 years — plays percussion on the album and is joined by do Nascimento’s long time drummer, Ricardo ‘Tiki’ Pasillas on trap drums. Do Nascimento and Kana Shimanuki handle vocals on what is otherwise an airy instrumental album that allows the guitarist’s virtuosity to shine through originals, folkloric Brazilian songs, and select covers by the likes of Pascoal and Powell, both formative influences on the guitarist. These duets show the camaraderie that two master Brazilian musicians — of two different generations, but of the same spirit — share with comrades of ages past as they imagine music for the years to come. These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, straight to 2″ analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances.”

File Under: Brazilian, Folk
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bruco

Bruno Nicolai: La Dama Rossa Uccide 7 Volte (Dagored) LP
First time ever on vinyl – Exclusive remastering – Exclusive artwork – in collaboration with Beyond Horror Design – Bonus poster (first pressing only) – Bruno Nicolai met Morricone when they were both studying at Rome’s Santa Cecilia music academy. Nicolai was the conductor on many of the maestro’s scores from For a Few Dollars More onwards, but also found himself with plenty of composing work of his own throughout the 60s and 70s. Nicolai became almost as prolific as the maestro himself, particularly within the western and giallo genres. The Red Queen is a great example of his giallo work. It has a distinctive and memorable main theme, and a second ascending piano-led theme that accompanies some of the suspense sequences. The first instance of the main theme comes right at the beginning, hauntingly sung by a small child on ‘Preludio & Titoli’. In ‘Minaccia’ we find that heavy suspense/chase bassline that Nicolai so often used in his giallo and Jess Franco scores, lush, atmospheric, and decidedly ‘euro’.

File Under: OST, Italian, Giallo
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notwist

The Notwist: Messier Objects (Alien Transister) LP
When The Notwist returned with their acclaimed seventh studio album Close to the Glass in early 2014, many were enchanted by the epic instrumental track “Lineri.” It was the only instrumental track featured on that album, but according to Markus Acher, the band’s vocalist, instrumental works had an important role in the album. Indeed, while the band’s members pursued solo projects between 2008’s The Devil, You + Me and 2014’s Close to the Glass, The Notwist also composed instrumental works for several theater productions and radio plays, some of which are compiled here as The Messier Objects. The collection obviously brings to mind the ghosts of library music and ’70s soundtracks, but can also be heard as a summary of the band’s ever-evolving musical cosmos. The 17 featured pieces range from sample-based electronic collages to the buoyant post-rock of “Das Spiel ist aus.” Whether the band is experimenting with modular synthesizers, analog percussion, or even horn sections (“Object 11″), there remains a constant flow of gentle grooves that makes this open-minded collection more than just a companion piece to Close to the Glass. The double LP edition is presented in a screen-printed cover, features an etching on side D, includes a download code, and is limited to 2000 copies worldwide.

File Under: Electronic, Instrumental
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twilight

OST: The Twilight Zone (Sonitron) LP
Released on Columbia Records in 1960. The Twilight Zone is a cornucopia of space age sounds and great space age pop names. Jerry Murad on harmonica, Mundell Lowe on guitar; Lois Hunt sang the ethereal wordless vocals, while Harry Breuer played the vibes and Phil Kraus covered miscellaneous percussion. Manning himself covered keyboards, using both Ondioline and Ondes Martenot. The album also earns a footnote in musical history as one of the very few recordings to use a serpent, the instrument, that is. Manning got his start during the Big Band era, and he was working as a freelance arranger by the early 1940s. He worked in radio, arranging and conducting for a variety of NBC and CBS shows, and began a long relationship with Columbia Records in the early 1950s. He arranged and conducted on many of Tony Bennett’s earliest hits, such as “Rags to Riches,” and he went on to provide backing for most of Columbia’s roster of singers through the late 1960s, including Vic Damone, Buddy Greco, Andy Williams, Robert Goulet, and Barbra Streisand. His arrangement for Bennett’s biggest hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” won a Grammy Award in 1962, and he was nominated several other times for other arrangements for Bennett, Perry Como, Brenda Lee, and others. The Twilight Zone opens with a version of the show’s well-known title music and is a very odd and different approach to “space pop.” Band leader Manning plays the Ondioline and the “Martinot” (sic), accompanied by a stellar cast of studio helpers including Mundell Lowe (guitar), Jerry Murad (harmonica), and Harry Breuer (percussion). There is so much percussion, in fact, that at times this sounds like “jungle exotica” gone to outer space. Special effects are attributed to Attilio J. Macero. Song selections include “Forbidden Planet,” “The Unknown,” “The Moon Is Low,” and “Far Away.” The industrial-sounding arrangement on the latter is referred to in the liner notes as a “tuned motorboat.” The effect-laden “Night on Bald Mountain,” featuring screams by vocalist Lois Hunt and electric guitar by Lowe, is another highlight. Limited edition of 300 copies.

File Under: OST, TV
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palestine

Charlemagne Palestine/Rhys Chatham: Youuu + Mee = Weee (First) (Sub Rosa) LP
Sub Rosa presents Youuu + Mee = Weee (First), a vinyl edition of the first disc of the three CD set Youuu + Mee = Weee. Youuu + Mee = Weee is the first recorded collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine and Rhys Chatham. And it’s precious. Following the musical meetings with Z’ev (Rubhitbangklanghear Rubhitbangklangear), and with Tony Conrad, these new Sub Rosa sessions create a sort of trilogy. Rhys Chatham began his musical career as a piano tuner for avant-garde pioneer La Monte Young, also working as a harpsichord tuner for Gustav Leonhardt, Rosalyn Tureck, and Glenn Gould. He soon studied under electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick became a member of Young’s group, The Theater of Eternal Music, during the early ’70s. Chatham also played with Tony Conrad in an early version of Conrad’s group, The Dream Syndicate. In 1971, while still in his teens, Chatham became the first music director at the experimental art space The Kitchen in lower Manhattan. His early works, such as Two Gongs (1971), owed a significant debt to Young and other minimalists. His concert productions included experimenters Maryanne Amacher, Robert Ashley, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, and early alternative rockers such as Fred Frith, Robert Fripp, Arto Lindsay, and John Lurie. He has worked closely with visual artist and musician Robert Longo, particularly in the 1980s, and with visual artist Joseph Nechvatal on an experimental opera called XS: The Opera Opus (1984-6). By 1977, Chatham’s music had become heavily influenced by punk rock after an experience at an early Ramones concert. He was particularly influential upon the group of artists music critics would label “no wave” in 1978. Members of the New York City noise rock group Band of Susans began their careers in Chatham’s ensembles; they later performed a cover of Chatham’s “Guitar Trio” on their 1991 album, The Word and the Flesh. Chatham began playing trumpet in 1983, and his more recent works explore improvisatory trumpet solos employing amplification and effects. Youuu + Mee = Weee (First) features Charlemagne Palestine on Bösendorfer piano, Yamaha organ, and voice and Rhys Chatham on trumpet, loop pedal, and electric guitar. This first edition is pressed on clear red vinyl and limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Drone, Minimalism, Experimental
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papir

Papir: Live at Roadburn (El Paraiso) LP
After four studio albums, Papir unleash their first live album. It’s surprising it took so long, since the band’s shows have long been revered among fans. Recorded at the 2014 Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands, where Papir were asked to perform three times. It’s the complete recording of the first and finest of these shows that Papir have chosen for this release, and it’s all here: Christoffer Brøchmann’s jaw-dropping drum chops, easing from delicate jazzy drumrolls one second into deranged math-psych explosions the next; Nicklas Sørensen’s vast array of guitar styles, blending post-rock drones with majestic wah-drenched soloing; and Christian Becher keeping it all together with his bouncing and booming bass lines, as well as utilizing his groovemaker to make blistering ethereal soundscapes. From the first note, Papir show just how far they’ve travelled over the span of a few years, catapulting a motoric track off their 2010 self-produced DIY self-titled debut into new soaring heights. The show also reworks “Monday” and “Sunday #2″ from Stundum, their first El Paraiso release, and drops a highlight from 2014’s IIII into the equation. As if this wasn’t enough, they premiere two tracks with the same stamina, making sure that Live At Roadburn is not just a roadmap of where they’ve been, but very much an up-to-date snapshot of one of Europe’s hardest working instrumental outfits. The album was mixed and mastered by Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk from a 24bit multitrack recording.

File Under: Rock, Psych
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raica

Raica: Dose (Further) LP
A former globetrotting DJ, Further Records founder Chloe Harris shelved that lifestyle and aesthetic for a more stable family life in the Seattle area and a more cerebral approach in the studio. With this collection of exploratory compositions, originally released as a limited cassette in 2012, she decided to experiment with an array of synthesizers, mainly the Waldorf Q. Working on the eight tracks here in her home setup, Harris would “layer as much as I could or sometimes there was no layering at all. I tried to let the machines talk. I was trying to find my own voice. It was sad and melancholy because I stopped DJing and decided to try something new in my career.” This change had financial and creative risks, but Harris has transitioned boldly into this more adventurous musical mode. Each track on Dose is a distinctive foray into beatless sound design. There’s too much happening here to describe this album as “ambient” or “chillout,” yet it’s not typically academic-sounding, either. Harris lets her intuition guide her and those finely calibrated instincts lead to gripping pieces that subtly evolve over their three- to six-minute durations. A thrilling sense of otherworldliness becomes the norm on Dose. “Water Dragn” achieves an aquatic grandeur with its teeming drones beneath elastic pulsations, throbbing with the subliminal ominousness of mid-’70s Tangerine Dream. “Tiwie” is the most up-tempo track here; marked by a wonky motif of what might be pitch-shifted seal utterances or some other sea-life’s emissions, it generates a woozy pattern that nudges the listener into a delirious reverie. “Couchfire Dron” is a deeply poignant and morose atmospheric work that suggests an infinite expanse of paradoxically exhilarating gloom. Similarly, the dank, frigid auroras of “Skrt” are shot through with skittering rhythms not made by drums but rather what seem like rapid intakes of breath, their textures hitting the ear like frantically sweeping ice-scrapers on windshields. “Harchone” unspools a psychedelic mélange of tones and textures swirling in a chromium abyss, reminiscent of Nik Raicevic’s mind-altering synthesizer abstractions recorded in the early ’70s. When album-closer “Entrldam” blooms into earshot, its profound whorl of gray drones signifies a momentous conclusion to a work that proves Harris has reached a new peak. Further Records now presents a vinyl reissue of this opus, spurred on by the urging of Italian techno magus Donato Dozzy. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Space, Experimental, Dub
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silence

Silence: The Silence (Drag City) LP
“Batoh announced the end of Ghost, a band whose first work reached back to 1984. Quick on the heels of this heady announcement, Batoh declared the beginning of The Silence. Still in need of direction, he turned to another old companion and original Ghost-mate of the many years gone by, Ogino. Tasked with the production and arrangement of The Silence, Ogino selected Jan Stigter on bass, Ryuichiro Yoshida on flute and saxophone, and himself on organ and piano. With Okano playing drums and percussion and Batoh supplying guitar and vocals, The Silence was complete. The debut album from The Silence is at last available! Drawing deep into a collective musical soul that extends many eras into the past, the songs of The Silence fill the air with the richness of powerful rock and roll and the deep mystic resonance of the ancient traditional musics of the world. From the rich melodies of Silence originals, ‘Lemon Iro No Cannibis’ and ‘Jewels in Tibet,’ to their flute-and-power chord-laden version of ‘Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,’ to the flowing liquid psychedelia of ‘Triptycon,’ the guttural cabaret mutterings of Can’s ‘Tango Whiskeyman’ and the frantic, explosive dimensions of ‘Pesach,’ The Silence runs through instrumental colors like passing thoughts in the mind, making each one of them music and making an incredible rock album for this century!”

File Under: Rock, Psych, Prog, Ghost
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spectre

Spectre: Ruff Kutz (Pan) LP
PAN digs into the archives of WordSound label founder Skiz Fernando Jr. (aka Spectre) to reissue for the first time his 1998 experimental hip-hop mixtape, Ruff Kutz, originally released as an extremely limited edition cassette. A definitive mixtape featuring hits, remixes, previously unreleased tracks, and dub-plate specials from Sensational, Mr. Dead, Bill Laswell, Jungle Brothers, Kevin Martin, and many more. The early ’90s witnessed a spike in mutant strains of future dub. In Bristol, trip-hop and jungle were on the rise; in Manhattan it was noise and breakbeat. But in Brooklyn, hip-hop experimentation was gaining momentum, led by Skiz’s independent label WordSound. With support from Bill Laswell, WordSound charted the experimental edge of hip-hop and dub, taking equal inspiration from Bronx rap and Jamaican roots music as they pioneered a lo-fi sound both primal and futuristic. By the turn of the decade, the combination of dub, ambient, and hip-hop aesthetics had been baptized by The Wire magazine as “illbient” — a short-lived classification now being exhumed in the form of Spectre’s obscure mixtape, Ruff Kutz. Ruff Kutz revisits the years between 1994 and ’98, a formative era for WordSound and experimental beats in general. The original cassette, according to Skiz, was composed of alternative mixes, obscure beats, and unreleased tracks and edits. Unsigned material from Dubadelic (supergroup of Bill Laswell, Ted Parsons, DXT, and others), rapper Sensational, Kevin “The Bug” Martin’s Techno Animal project, Professor Shehab as his lyrical alter-ego Psycho Priest, Djini Brown, Mr. Dead of the Metabolics, Doc Israel, Scotty Hard, and Slotek all appear throughout this vinyl reissue, fully mastered for the first time from the original DAT tapes in their original sequence. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Hip Hop, Experimental, Illbient
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stevens

Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP/CD
Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) is the newest offering from pop-art singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. These are aggressive times. Each morning we awaken to a psychic blitz of breaking news, social outrage, and millions of images and voices shrieking look at me and this onslaught does not cease until late at night when the last glowing screen fades to black.  This world demands our attention with one hand and destroys it with the other. That such a noisy age can deliver an album as graceful and honest as Carrie & Lowell should reassure anyone losing faith these days. Let no one say philosophy is dead, for here is a 44-minute meditation on mortality, memory, and faith. Carrie & Lowell sounds like memory: it spans decades yet does not trade on pastiche or nostalgia. Stevens’ gauzy double-tracked vocals wash across the dashboard of long-finned, drop-top Americana, yet as we race towards the coast we are reminded that sunshine leads to shadow, for this is a landscape of terminal roads, unsteady bridges, traumatic video stores, and unhappy beds that provide the scenery for tales of jackknifed cars, funerals, and forgiveness for the dead. Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without either myth or miracle – and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. If youth knew, if age could.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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tredici

Tredici Bacci: 13 Kisses (Feeding Tube) LP
Edition of 300. Originally released digitally in 2013. “First vinylization of the great debut by this large Boston ensemble, helmed by Simon Hanes (ex-Guerilla Toss) and dedicated to reinventing the sounds that drove Italian cinema throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Their touch is goddamn perfect, including technical tropes you’ll recognize as updates of everyone from Nino Rota to Ennio Morricone and way way beyond. Largely instrumental, the sound blends mysterious lone trumpets, plonking percussion twangers, syrupy organ bleeds, swathes of strings (real or imagined), and clomping rhythms in a way that’ll make you sit straight up in your chair and yell, ‘Ciao!’ A bunch of these players were also involved with Survivors Breakfast, who played with Anthony Coleman on his most recent Tzadik disc, The End of Summer (2013), but this project trumps all others. Great stuff. Can’t wait ’til they hook up with Asia Argento.” –Byron Coley, 2015

File Under: Pseudo-OST, 60s/70s Italian, Homage
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uneven eleven

Uneven Eleven: Live at Café OTO (Sub Rosa) LP
Supergroup power trio featuring drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat), guitarist Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple), and bassist Guy Segers (Univers Zero) caught in wild act at Cafe OTO, London, on May 24, 2013.

File Under: Rock, Experimental
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biomech

Joel Vandroogenbroeck: Biomechanoid (Aguirre) LP
Biomechanoid is the classic 1980 album by composer and flutist Joel Vandroogenbroeck. It’s 1980, in Munich, Germany. Upstart production music label Coloursound Library releases their debut album. Capitalizing on the success of Ridley Scott’s Alien film, the label dropped Biomechanoid, featuring cover art commissioned by H.R. Giger — whose horrific Necronom IV lithograph served as the basis for the design of Alien — and the music of the relatively unknown Joel Vandroogenbroeck. Comprised of bleak, cinematic synth soundscapes and percussion, the album served as an inaugural calling card for what would be a decade of dizzying solo releases by Vandroogenbroeck for Coloursound, running the gamut from Mesopotamian ethno-folk to synth sequencer funk to electro drum breaks to in-utero ambient delights. 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 on 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. Biomechanoid stands after all these years as an album full of dark, strange, disturbing soundscapes, the obscure side of Brainticket, proving how Joel was still a creative artist. Matte finishing. Double-sided insert. Pressed on 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Prog, Experimental
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vatican

Vatican Shadow: Death Is (Modern Love) LP
Death Is Unity With God finds Dominick Fernow returning to the kind of feral, burned-out productions that dominated 2012’s Ornamented Walls. This double LP includes 12 of the 20 tracks included on the original 2014 limited six-cassette release of Death Is Unity With God, in advance of Modern Love’s triple-CD edition compiling all the material. It clocks in at an hour and a half and features some of the most compelling productions from Fernow yet. Nodding to classic Muslimgauze, but also inspired by the parallels between religious fundamentalism at home in the USA and abroad, the oppressive atmospheres and destroyed rhythms isolate the gutted toil and drone in “It’s to Come,” while “F.B.I. God” reduces the drums to scorched blasts against some harrowing, darkside chords. The quasi-speed torment of “Manufactured Silencers Under Direct Orders” ends the A-side with dread, flowing into the haunting chorales and chiming percussions of “Living On and Off At the Shadows Motel” and the scything techno roil of “Small Explosives and Blasting Caps Inside the Pages of a Phonebook,” before a particularly effective chamber-like meditation, “McVeigh Figure,” draws aesthetic lines between ambient black metal, Coil, and early Autechre. “Waco Postmortem (Murrah)” ends the set operating nearly out of earshot with those incredible, sashaying synth motifs persisting in their struggle against the patina of hiss and exasperated rhythms blurred around the edges. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial
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watts

Alan Watts: This Is It (Numero) LP
Wayyyy out there cacophony & tribal GLOSSOLALIA from 1962!! Psychedelic music all began with the tiniest possible bang: a minuscule pressing of a self-produced LP by Zen Buddhist scholar Alan Watts. In one cosmic flash of inspiration and group improvisation, the next two decades of musical innovation was pre-supposed: psychedelic rock, spiritual jazz, and even new age. As this micro pressing barely made it out of the ashram, it was his writings that actually spread his ideas, usually through osmosis: he was profoundly influential on the beat poets and the subsequent counter-culture. He became the forebear of ‘60s counter-culture’s spirituality, much as William Burroughs was the forebear of its hedonism. Released in 1962, This Is It is an imaginative cacophony of percussion, non-verbal chanting, and free-flowing expression, punctuated occasionally by leisurely passes at a terrestrial piano, marimba, or french horn. It is at once, experimental, intellectual, and experiential. Three years before Ken Kesey’s inaugural Acid Test, This Is It! constitutes the first transmission for a tuned-in counterculture of hippies, beats, and psychedelic revolutionaries of all stripes. For fans of Cromagnon, Nihilist Spasm Band, or maybe even Terrence Mckenna.

File Under: Psychedelic, Experimental, Ground Zero
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wilson

Gary Wilson: Music for Piano (Feeding Tube) LP
“Although it might sound perverse to say so, Music for Piano may well be my favorite Gary Wilson record. Most people who dig Wilson are very into his lyrics, but I actually find them to be a bit taxing after a while. Those early records all sound and feel amazing, but what I really wanted was to hear the music without the words. I had high hopes when I found a copy of Another Galaxy, the 1974 Gary Wilson Trio LP, but it had a very different heft than that which Gary displayed on You Think You Really Know Me. It was really just a jazz LP. Well, here’s some instrumental material from the same mid-late ’70s time frame as You Think, and it’s pretty amazing. There’s one side of classic youthful piano destruction by Gary and the late Vince Rossi (one of Gary’s most dependable collusionists). And the second side has five shorter tracks with a trio, that moves like oddball soundtrack music from ’70s exploitation cinema (which is exactly what I’d hoped Another Galaxy would be like), before ending with the vocal track ‘I Love Gary’ — as maniacally collapsed a ‘pop song’ construct as anyone could hope for. It’s a great record. A bit more overtly avant than the other three GW LPs we’ve done. But surely you can handle that.” –Byron Coley, 2015

File Under: Piano, Weirdos
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xaba

Ndikho Xaba & The Natives: s/t (Matsuli) LP
“Ndikho Xaba was born in 1934 in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa. For thirty-four years — 1964-1998 — he lived in exile in the US, Canada and Tanzania. Originally issued by Trilyte Records out of Oakland, California, this 1970 recording is bracing, freewheeling Now Thing, suffused with SA idioms, and focused by a political urgency wiring together US Black Power, Black Aesthetics and the anti-apartheid front-line like nothing else. You can hear Trane from the off — ‘a spiritual offering to my ancestors’ — and plenty of Sun Ra, with whom The Natives several times shared double-bills. (Xaba was to become close with Phil Cohran and the AACM.) Freedom is a gutbucket-soul rendition of the people’s anthem; Nomusa is dedicated to Xaba’s new wife, a poet and CORE activist from Chicago. The thunderous finale Makhosi features drummer Keita from the West Indies, and Baba Duru, who studied percussion in India, before winding up with Xaba blowing eerily through a horn made from a giant piece of tubular seaweed. Hats off to Matsuli for this outstanding reissue.”

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual, African
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yonkers

Michael Yonkers: Neverending Light-Beam From Planet 00’s (Mystra) LP
“Do you know the numbers on people who are in it for life? They’re small. Real, real small. Kids & jobs come along to make regular adults out of most musicians. Even the ones who get that glossy magazine coverage or score that signing bonus can usually be found selling insurance 10 years down the line. A select few balance against family time. Fewer still find jobs teaching, and often have no energy left for their own stuff. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, just keeps going. It’s too hard. Michael Yonkers makes the energizer bunny look bad. He started making his own distortion (by slicing speaker cones) in the mid-1960s, built his own pedals, souped up his own guitars, and he’s still making distortion now that he’s in his late 60s. Even more unusual, his sound has gotten, if anything, cruder along the way. This is a collection that Yonkers put together from CD-s that he gave out to friends once a year between 2001 & 2008. What’s here are hard rock songs, and they’re goddamn well-written. Most of what you’ll hear are huge, scratched up, convulsive whorls of distortion piled all on top of themselves until you can barely discern the pitch underneath. Wow…The guy also ran a record & ephemera shop named Loonland during the 80s. He’s been a sheep breeder & a dance choreographer. He’s built a home studio or two, at least one of which had to work while he was confined to a hospital bed that was installed in his house. Yonkers suffers from adhesive arachnoiditis, a nerve swelling that seizes up your back, brought on by a 1971 accident where 2000 lbs fell on him, and permanently exacerbated by a nasty dye used to get xrays of the spine…. His voice has aged a little, but It’s still got a vibrato to it, mostly masked by the guitar here. But it’s better suited for these lyrics, as they’re a kind of burned & haunted you rarely hear.” –excerpt from Angela Sawyer’s liner notes. Silkscreened and hand-painted covers. Limited edition one-time pressing.

File Under: Psych, Fuzz, Garage

young, r

Roland P. Young: Confluences (EM) LP
The fourth release from Roland P. Young on EM Records sees him moving ever deeper, earthbound and rooted, yet simultaneously flying further out, expanding his exploration of untethered celestial realms. Recorded in 2014 following a move to Tel Aviv, the title Confluences hints at the blend of cultures and histories in his new homeland, and is reflected in the music, which shows a range of cultural influences, filtered through Young’s unique sensibility and vision. This is a calm, spiritual set, evidencing an inner comfort that was less prevalent on his Brooklyn recordings. This is not to imply that RPY is no longer searching; this release brings to fruition the promise of earlier recordings such as Isophonic Boogie Woogie and Istet Serenade, made complete via Young’s multi-instrumental chops on sax, bass clarinet, kalimba, and keyboards working in tandem with his rhythm and bass programming skills, his multi-track studio mastery, and an ever-evolving sense of musical form and drama. The confluences of cultures are of course swirling throughout this release, but also the confluences, as noted above, of the earthy and the celestial, as well as the temporal confluences of the past, present, and future. Perhaps more than any of his previous releases, Confluences realizes Young’s description of his own work as “Afro spiritual minimal electronic space music.” This release is the next stage of Roland P. Young’s never-ending voyage.

File Under: Spiritual, Minimal, Space
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boom

Various: Boom-a-Lay (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Vinyl-only 10″ release. Stag-O-Lee presents Boom-A-Lay: Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Volume 7, released alongside Chug-A-Lug: Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Vol. 8 (STAGO 071LP) and following volumes one through six, which sold out almost immediately. Amazing, danceable tunes from the late ’50s and early ’60s — a handful of popcorn dancefloor smashes, a few grinding tittyshakers, awesome rhythm and blues, most of them with an exotic twist! Includes tracks by Plas Johnson & His Orchestra, Chance Halladay, Nick Anthony, Nicky de Matteo, David Seville, Ted Jarrett & Band, The Astro-Jets, Titus Turner, Ronny Savoy, Malcom Dodds, Alan Arkin, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

File Under: B&R, Exotica, Party

charred

Various: Charred Remains (Radio Raheem) LP
“In the annals of early 80’s American hardcore, no compilation holds more seminal weight than Charred Remains. Initially released in 1982 on cassette through Bob Moore’s Version Sound label and available in limited supply, the release served the world the first earfuls of such groundbreaking and legendary bands such as Hüsker Dü, Die Kreuzen, Void, Violent Apathy, Toxic Reasons, Articles of Faith, Rebel Truth, Personality Crisis, and Sin 34. Besides the actual sounds contained on the tape, Charred Remains was a testament to that primary quake of DIY ethics that empowered many a short-haired youngster to start bands, record labels, and fanzines and forge the underground to where it is today. To find an original copy of this compilation and not have to give up a kidney in exchange would be quite a feat, but now Radio Raheem waves their magic wand and Charred Remains is something for everyone to enjoy in the vinyl format. Re-mastered from the original master tapes with liner notes from Bob Moore and Die Kreuzen vocalist Dan Kubinski, Charred Remains is rescued from the collector ghetto and plopped right down into your lap to behold.”

File Under: Punk, Hardcore

chug

Various: Chug-a-Lug (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Vinyl-only 10″ release. Stag-O-Lee presents Chug-A-Lug: Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Vol. 8, released alongside Boom-A-Lay: Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Volume 7 and following volumes one through six, which sold out almost immediately. Amazing, danceable tunes from the late ’50s and early ’60s — a handful of popcorn dancefloor smashes, a few grinding tittyshakers, awesome rhythm and blues, most of them with an exotic twist! Includes tracks by Dick D’agostin & The Swingers, Don Carroll, Mike Shaw, Chance Halladay, Deane Hawley, Jim Burgett, The Viscounts, Bobby Scott, Malcolm Dodds, Trini Lopez, Jimmy Ricks, and Oscar Perry.

File Under: B&R, Exotica, Party

rise

Various: Rise & Fall of Paramount Records Volume 2 (Thirdman) 6LP Box
‘Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 2 (1928-1932)’ contains: * 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 175 artists * 90+ fully-restored original 1920s-30s Paramount ads from Chicago Defender * 6 x 180g LPs pressed on alabaster-white label-less vinyl, each side with its own hand-etched numeral and holographic image * 250 pg. large-format clothbound hardcover book featuring original Paramount art and the label’s curious tale * 400 pg. encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist bios & portraits and full Paramount discography * Polished aluminum and stainless steel cabinet, evoking 1930s high art deco stylings and America’s own Machine Age modernism * First-of-its-kind music and image player app containing all tracks and ads, housed on sculpted metal USB drive. On Nov 18th, Jack White’s Third Man Records, in partnership with John Fahey’s Revenant Records, will unlock the second and final chapter chronicling the curious tale of America’s most important record label with ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 2 (1928-1932).’ A stunning omnibus of words, music, art and design, ‘Volume 2′ picks up where the ”spectacular” (New York Times) and ”unprecedented” (Rolling Stone) ‘Volume 1′ left off. It documents the label’s final 5 year period between 1928-32, a stunning second act in which Paramount birthed the entire genre of Mississippi Delta blues and issued some of the most coveted recordings in the history of the medium: Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Geeshie Wiley, The Mississippi Sheiks, Willie Brown, King Solomon Hill, and hundreds of others. ‘Volume 2′ contains six LPs, a sculpted metal USB drive with 800 songs and 90+ original hand-drawn ads from the Chicago Defender, a large-format hardcover book telling the label’s story via new writing and original images, and an illustrated Field Guide with biographies and recording information for each artist represented in the set. It is all housed in a streamline case of polished aluminum modeled after a portable phonograph in 1930s American ”Machine Age” Art Deco style. Like ‘Volume 1′, the collection was co-produced by leading Paramount authority Alex van der Tuuk. Paramount Records’ open-door recording policy led it to the very bedrock of America’s untamed blues, jazz, gospel and folk sounds. In the process the label provided the earliest and most representative snapshot of America’s sonic landscape. ‘Volume 2′ offers a magnificent conclusion to this story of how a Wisconsin chair company, despite producing records on the cheap, changed how America thought of itself by allowing this young country to hear what it really sounded like, in all its stripes, for the very first time.

File Under: Blues, Boxsets

slow 4

Various: Slow Grind Fever Vol. 4 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee presents the fourth volume of Slow Grind Fever. Compiled by London’s DJ Diddy Wah, who is known for his Diddywah Blog, his radio show, and his constant presence as a host and DJ for London club nights like Heavy Sugar, Get Rhythm, and others. The decade between 1953 and 1963 offers an endless supply of danceable, up-tempo tunes. We’re talking rhythm ‘n’ blues, and the phase in the early ’60s when it morphed into soul (now called new breed), as well as popcorn — Belgian music with a mid-tempo style and a high groove-factor. The Slow Grind Fever series highlights the slower side of this period, and takes its title and inspiration from an Australian club night billed as “Melbourne’s only slow dance party.” These events would include only the “slowest, spookiest, sweetest records” the DJs could find, with folks dancing “real slow in a haze of smoke and dim red light.” Stag-O-Lee was convinced that this was a great concept for a compilation series, and have collaborated with those behind the Melbourne club night to present Slow Grind Fever, the fourth volume of which includes tracks by Jay Hawkins, Yvonne Fair & James Brown Band, Nappy Brown, Bobby Peterson Quintet, Big Daddy and His Boys, Roy Brown, Varetta Dillard, John Greer and His Combo, Duane Eddy, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, The Jaguars, Yvonne Baker and the Sensations, The Stone Crushers, Cozy Cole, and El Pauling and The Royalton.

File Under:  R&B, Dance, Sleaze

spiritual

Various: Spiritual Jazz Volume 6 (Jazzman) LP/CD
The power of the human voice, especially when held in song, has long been known to be immensely influential, potent, and emotive across all of humankind. The sixth installment in Jazzman’s Spiritual Jazz series showcases jazz vocals in a collection of jazz messages that are united in voice. The majority of the tracks here are as political as they are theological, but they all share an inner sanctity. In fact, as the distinction between the theological and the humanistic is blurred, so is the definition of song — many of the tracks are atypical in that they do not possess lyrics with a beginning, middle, and end. Likewise the voices that convey them often can’t be said to be singing in the usual sense of the word; we hear solemn chanting, intense wailing, earnest poetry, and ardent recitation in between bouts of singing, the quality of which is often nothing short of exquisite. The styles of performance encompass modern jazz, the avant-garde, and jazz fusion, and include elements of styles from the long and winding path of the African diaspora, including Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean, and other Pan-American rhythms. Spiritual Jazz 6: Vocals examines some of the rarest and most extraordinary vocal jazz recordings. The selection includes some well-known songs as well as some of the most obscure. There are tracks recorded for major labels and some that were issued privately. But all of them speak or sing of a better place or a better world, and the world can only be a better place when they are played. This is esoteric jazz, modal jazz, spiritual jazz — as performed with the human voice. Includes tracks by Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Sadaka, Norman Riley, E W Wainright, Clifford Jordan, Pharoah Sanders, Linda Theus, Dr Haki R. Madhubuti, Eddie Gale, Gary Bartz, Byron Morris, and Vibration Society. All tracks fully licensed and digitally restored from the original master tapes. Features comprehensive liner notes with notes for each track and original stories direct from the musicians involved. CD edition includes 24-page color booklet with in-depth liner notes, album cover scans, and previously unpublished photographs. Double LP edition presented in glossy gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual, Free Jazz

tumba

Various: Tumba Rumba (University of Vice) LP
The most torrid tropic-o-Latin record ever! A collection of fast, hot and intense Latin songs played by Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, Peruvian and Mexican wild dance orchestras. Recorded in the ’40s/’50s/’60s, and originally released on vinyl and 78rpm shellac records. Savage bongos, volcanic trumpets, atomic rumbas, mambo inferno and primitive boogaloo for a successful party of exotic ecstasy. Artists include: Tojo y su Orquesta, Orquesta Ciudad Trujillo, Chico Salas, Orquesta Riverside, Noro Morales, Tino Contreras, Beto Ovalle, Chino Ortiz, Miguelito Valdés, and Joe Valle.

File Under: Latin, Exotica, Tiki

uhf

Various: Ultra High Frequencies: Chicago Party (Numero) LP/CD
For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime of local postdisco casualties. Unfettered nightlife and outlandish humor poured out of oddball outpost The CopHerBox II and onto TV screens, presented here as a 100 minute video mixtape on DVD. Its companion compilation features five previously unreleased tracks, joined by music culled from a trove of self-released 45s and small-time 12″s. Die-cut cathode-ray jacket and six inpackage stills put the Party at your fingertips. Available on CD or 2LP, each edition of Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party will arrive in one of six cover configurations, all of which are interchangeable via printed inner sleeves and enclosed booklet. Both editions include our entertaining DVD mix tape, isolating the most absurd and outrageous moments from the original broadcasts. Play functions enable viewers to enjoy 23 unique musical performances, as well as a mini-documentary about the creation and realization of The Chicago Party. For fans of electronic soul with a public access aesthetic, Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party is the place to be.

File Under: Electro-Soul, 80s, UHF
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…..Restocks…..

A Winged Victory for the Sullen: s/t (Kranky) LP
Afrika Bambaataa: Planet Rock (Get on Down) LP
Algarnas Tradgard: Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntiden (Subliminal) LP
Jorge Ben: Ben e Samba Bom (Doxy) LP
Sir Richard Bishop: Tangiers Sessions (Drag City) LP
Sir Richard Bishop/Bill Orcutt: Road Stories (Unrock) LP
Black Flag: Loose Nut (SST) LP
Black Flag: Who’s Got the 10 1/2? (SST) LP
David Borden: Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments (Spectrum Spools) LP
Charles Bradley Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Brand Nubian: In God… (Traffic) LP
Brotzman/Haino/O’Rourke: 2 City Blues (Trost) LP
Don Cherry: Eternal Rhythm (MPS) LP
Jordan De La Sierra: Gymnosphere (Numero) LP
The Drones: Miller’s Daughter (Bang) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Jon Hassell/Brian Eno: 4th World: Possible Musics (Glitterbeat) LP
Kink Gong: Xinjiang (Discrepant) LP
Konstrukt/William Parker: Live (Holidays) LP
Ma_Doom: Son of Yvonne (Fat Beats) LP
Master Musicians of Bukkake: Far West (Important) LP
MDC: Millions of Dead Cops (Beer City) LP
Mr. Bungle: California (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mr. Bungle: Disco Volante (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mr. Bungle: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Jonas Munk: Pan (El Paraiso) LP
Os Mutantes: s/t (Lilith) LP
Raekwon: Only Built 4 Cuban Links (Get on Down) LP
Souls of Mischief: 93 ’til Death (Traffic) LP
Spelljammer: Volume 2 (Riding Easy) LP
Ghedelia Tazartes: Hysterie (Holidays) LP
The Thing: Garage (The Thing) LP
Muddy Waters: After the Rain (Get on Down) LP
White Birch: Weight of Spring (Glitterhouse) LP
Various: Killed By Death #5 (KBD) LP

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…..news letter #683 – dig, dug…..

It must be the calm before the RSD storm, as there isn’t a whole lot in this week. A few big releases though, and of course, our used bins are crammed full of awesomeness these days. Come down for a dig through the stacks.

As you may know…. Record Store Day is quickly approaching. The ‘official’ RSD list has been posted…. here. Please take a look at it and if there is something you’d like to be able to pick up on RSD here, please let us know ASAP. While we obviously order everything we thing our customers would be interested in, if you want to pick up that Dolly Parton LP as much as I do let us know so we can be sure to order enough so you and me aren’t fist fighting in the parking lot over it.

…..pick of the week…..

eternal-tapestry

Eternal Tapestry: Wild Strawberries (Thrill Jockey) LP
Portland, Oregon’s sonic explorers Eternal Tapestry have always had a feeling of interplay between their impressionistic music and the dense forests that surround their hometown, but on their newest album, Wild Strawberries, they take that naturalistic inspiration to a new level. Wild Strawberries is a massive double album, which was recorded in a secluded cabin under the shadow of Mount Hood in Zigzag, OR. The Zigzag River flowed nearby, and the group spent time between takes learning about the area’s floral make up and relaxing under the stars. This idealistic lifestyle, however temporary, helped to chart the course of the recording process. Wild Strawberries’ artwork and song titles, which are named after plants specific to the region, both speak to the influence of that environment. The lush atmosphere combined with a week long sequestration from the outside world had a pronounced impact on the music, which unfolds in a panoramic slow burn. Wild Strawberries yields vast rewards for those who spend time in its aural forest. The contrast between the openness of the massive Oregon sky and the denseness of the trees is echoed in Wild Strawberries’ expansive guitar tones and looming organ drones. The album is thick with the lysergic leads that populated their earlier releases, but the airiness of the woods has seeped into Nick Bindeman’s guitar playing, refining it and opening it up to new modal possibilities. The album as a whole unfolds patiently, but not without purpose. Prior to the recording session drummer Jed Bindeman came across 700 Phish cassette bootlegs, and it was on these cassettes that the sessions for Wild Strawberries were taped, using an eight-track recorder. Thanks to the relaxed vibe of the cabin, the band was able indulge in extensive improvisational experiments, playing around with the limits of the tape machine. The wealth of material allowed them to select only the most successful of their many pieces.

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

dodos

Dodos: Individ (Dine Alone) LP
For the Dodos “the best time to make a record is right after you’ve finished one” says vocalist and guitarist Meric Long. Having just wrapped up the sessions for their previous record Carrier, and fired up on the level of comfort achieved with brothers Jay and Ian Pellicci at Tiny Telephone studio, the duo immediately began laying to tape the batch of songs that would result in their latest and sixth record, entitled Individ. “There were things I didn’t want to forget, sounds that we had just scratched the surface of making that record that I wanted to capitalize on. Songs came together easily, there was not a lot of questioning, just moving ahead with the feeling that we were on the right track. We were freed up to do whatever came naturally” says Long. And for the Dodos, their natural inclination is to create music that sounds positively epic. “In a lot of ways making this record brought us back to making Visiter,” their 2008 critical and commercial breakthrough, “relying heavily on the movement that occurs between just two instruments, guitar and drums. From the first take of the first song we tracked, things sounded huge and that set the tone for the entire thing.” Individ’s first single “Competition” is a shining example of this proclivity, built on dueling guitar lines that overlap above and below a persistent drum beat as Long’s assured vocals soar above it all. At other points, “Goodbyes and Endings” infuses a similar up-tempo feel while changing time signatures every few bars. “Retriever” chugs along on one of the dirtiest guitar riffs the Dodos have ever set to tape, all the while accompanied by drums that are more akin to gunshots. As the album closes with “Pattern/Shadow” (a track that features vocals from Thee Oh Sees’ Brigid Dawson), Long sings “Your shadow remains / I cannot resist / The mirrored escape / Of your pattern.” It’s a moment that lyrically reinforces the record’s guiding force of acceptance, imparting a lesson to a band whose name inherently calls into question its future: resilience isn’t always about changing or adapting to a new environment, sometimes it’s about staying true to your instincts and asserting yourself in this ever changing atmosphere. Explains Long, “Carrier was about breaking habits, recognizing and imagining yourself away from the washing machine that has you trapped. That’s why the cover image was of someone watching a tornado go away from him. This record is about accepting what is natural for you or maybe even a part of you. Individ is what it sounds like inside the tornado.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Mark_Kozelek_-_Live_at_Biko

Mark Kozelek: Live at Biko (Caldo Verde) LP
Mark Kozelek alienated a lot of people in 2014, from the War on Drugs to Meredith Graves to “fucking hillbillies.” Still, there are plenty of people who remain loyal to his work, so it will come as good news to many that the songwriter’s recent concert album Live at Biko will be getting a vinyl pressing. The album was recorded in the spring of 2014, and came out digitally and on CD in the summer through Calo Verde Records. While it’s billed under Kozelek’s own name, most of the material comes from his work as as Sun Kil Moon, with a number of tracks drawn from last year’s Benji LP.

File Under: SSW, Folk, Indie, Sun Kil Moon
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marlingLaura Marling: Short Movie (Ribbon) LP
Laura Marling returns with her fifth studio album in seven years Short Movie. The album, a follow up to 2013’s Mercury Prize nominated Once I Was An Eagle, marks a new chapter in her sound and development as an artist. Marling produced the album, which was recorded at Urchin Studios in London and aided by her long time drummer Matt Ingram and studio engineer Dan Cox. Short Movie sees Marling moving into new musical territory and may surprise fans with it’s prevalence of electric guitar. This apparent shift in sound can be attributed to her extended period of reflection and a conscious attempt to change her routine. The songs portray a striking new confidence in their mood, sound, and temperament. “I realized that I hadn’t been in one place for longer than two or three weeks since I was 16” she explains, “I thought I wonder what would happen if I try and root myself somewhere?” Short Movie is what happened – an album freer and looser sounding than anything she has done before. Recording since the age of 17, Laura Marling’s flawless output has established her as one of the most respected artists of her generation. Her career so far includes two Brit Award nominations (winning in 2011), three Mercury Prize nominations, as well as an NME Award for Best Solo Artist. “It’s the first to feature Marling moving from acoustic to electric guitars, and that shift has added a heft to her exquisitely crafted and performed songs.” – Los Angeles Times

File Under: SSW, Indie
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modest mouse

Modest Mouse: Strangers to Ourselves (Epic) LP/CD
Strangers To Ourselves marks the first album in eight years from Pacific Northwest luminaries Modest Mouse and the long awaited follow-up to their platinum 2007 release We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Their sixtth full-length recording overall, the 15-track offering is preceded by the well received lead single “Lampshades on Fire.” We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, featuring The Smith’s Johnny Marr, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and was released to rave reviews. In 2009, the band issued a collection of unreleased songs and b-sides entitled No One’s First And You’re Next, and, in 2012, they premiered a 45-minute documentary on the making of 1997 masterpiece The Lonesome Crowded West. Since playing Coachella in 2013, the group headlined Fun Fun Fun Fest and re-released their critically-acclaimed albums This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About, and The Lonesome Crowded West, on Glacial Pace. Both earned “Best New Reissue” ratings from Pitchfork, with The Lonesome Crowded West earning a perfect 10/10 score.

File Under: Indie Rock
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2112Rush: 2112 (Mercury) LP
In tomorrow! In 2014 UMe/Mercury reissued Rush’s self-titled debut on heavy-weight vinyl in celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary. Now in 2015, let the Rush 40 celebration continue with ’12 Months of Rush’ reissues – in chronological order – starting with 1975’s Fly By Night on LP. During the ’12 Months of Rush’ campaign all 14 of the band’s Mercury albums will be remastered on 200-gram heavy-weight vinyl at legendary Abbey Road, all from original analogue masters. All LPs will also include a digital download code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download. Rush’s fourth album, 2112, originally issued in 1976, proved a breakthrough, highlighted by its seven-part title suite written by Lee and Lifeson, with lyrics by Peart, recounting a dystopian story set in the year 2112. It comes in at #2 on Rolling Stone’s list of “Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time” and most Rush fans consider it the band’s definitive recording. 2112 has sold in excess of 3 million copies in the U.S. alone and is certified triple-platinum. “Their influence is undeniable…and their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone. I think it’s safe to say that Rush are indeed a band that has balls…and they’ve always been cool.” – Dave Grohl inducting Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

File Under: Prog, CanCon
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rush allRush: All The World’s A Stage (Mercury) LP
In tomorrow! In 2014 UMe/Mercury reissued Rush’s self-titled debut on heavy-weight vinyl in celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary. Now in 2015, let the Rush 40 celebration continue with ’12 Months of Rush’ reissues – in chronological order – starting with 1975’s Fly By Night on LP. During the ’12 Months of Rush’ campaign all 14 of the band’s Mercury albums will be remastered on 200-gram heavy-weight vinyl at legendary Abbey Road, all from original analogue masters. All LPs will also include a digital download code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download. Rush’s 1976 double-live album, All The World’s A Stage was co-produced with Terry Brown and recorded at Toronto’s Massey Hall on June 11-13, during the band’s 2112 tour. Named after the William Shakespeare play As You Like It, the record climbed to #40 on the U.S. Billboard chart and is certified platinum in both the States and Canada. The band explained that, “This album to us, signifies the end of the beginning, a milestone to mark the close of chapter one, in the annals of Rush.” “Their influence is undeniable…and their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone. I think it’s safe to say that Rush are indeed a band that has balls…and they’ve always been cool.” – Dave Grohl inducting Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

File Under: Prog, CanCon
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spelljammers

Spelljammer: Vol II (Riding Easy) LP
Stockholm’s Spelljammer VOL. II is like a herd of bison running off a cliff. Not for the faint of heart, this is one of the best doom albums of the last 10 years. If you like your music heavy and slow, there is nothing that quite satisfies the itch the way that Spelljammer does. Out previously on a very limited run of vinyl that has fetched $100 and more, this record is now made available to the masses via RidingEasy Records on LP and CD (for the first time ever). For fans of MONOLORD, Conan, Sleep & Electric Wizard.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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Twin-Shadow-Eclipse-Cover-Art-Final-608x608Twin Shadow: Eclipse (Warner) LP
In tomorrow! George Lewis Jr.’s Twin Shadow project exists in a careful balance between style and substance, with ’80s pop and R&B tropes and tones punctuated by sharp hooks and his crooning vocals. At the centre of Twin Shadow though, is Lewis himself, a popstar trapped in indie music’s anti-star world. So it comes as no surprise that Lewis made the jump to a major label to realize his grand musical ambitions. Yet Eclipse, the first product of this new partnership, puts this delicate balancing act out of whack. On the one hand, tracks like “To the Top” and “Old Love/New Love” find the musician working at the peak of his powers, as both songs expertly build to a sublime catharsis. But many of these tracks lack the musical subtleties that make Twin Shadow records such a joy to revisit. The production on Eclipse — the most contemporary-sounding of his career — is more Bastille than Morris Day. It grabs listeners on first listen, yet it lacks the idiosyncratic charm of Lewis’s previous work. What’s most surprising of all, though, is how Lewis himself fades into the background on his own record. Rather than constructing this new, contemporary sound around his Twin Shadow persona, Eclipse finds the singer shoehorning himself into an awkward space between the Weeknd and any number of faceless pop-rock groups like One Republic or Maroon 5. Home to both some of Twin Shadow’s best and worst moments, Eclipse suggests Lewis is at a crossroads between his popstar ambitions and his affinity for paving his own sonic path. There are moments here where he manages both in one fell swoop, but on his third time out, he can’t sustain the momentum for an entire album.  (Warner)

File Under: Indie, R&B
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wutang

Wu-Tang Clan: A Better Tomorrow (Warner) LP
Emerging in 1993, when Dr. Dre’s G-funk had overtaken the hip-hop world, the Staten Island, NY-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-90s – and only partially because of their music. Turning the standard concept of a hip-hop crew inside out, the Wu-Tang Clan were assembled as a loose congregation of nine MCs, almost as a support group. Instead of releasing one album after another, the Clan was designed to overtake the record industry in as profitable a fashion as possible – the idea was to establish the Wu-Tang as a force with their debut album and then spin off into as many side projects as possible. Surprisingly, the plan worked. All of the various Wu-Tang solo projects elaborated on the theme the group laid out on their 1993 debut, the spare, menacing Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Taking their group name from an powerful, mythical kung fu sword wielded by an invincible congregation of warriors, the crew is a loose collective of nine MCs. All nine members work under a number of pseudonyms, but they are best known as RZA , GZA/Genius, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP), Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and Cappadonna. The vision of the Wu-Tang Clan is undoubtedly due to the musical skills of RZA. Under his direction, the group – through its own efforts and the solo projects, all of which he produced or co-produced – created a hazy, surreal, and menacing soundscape out of hardcore beats, eerie piano riffs, and minimal samples. Over these surrealistic backing tracks, the MCs rapped hard, updating the old-school attack with vicious violence, martial arts imagery, and a welcome warped humor. The collective has issued five acclaimed full-length albums including Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993), Wu-Tang Forever (1997), The W (2000), Iron Flag (2001) and 8 Diagrams (2007). Warner Bros. Records has signed a global recording contract with the legendary group which now includes RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna. As a group, Wu-Tang has sold over 6.5 million records in the US, while they’ve sold nearly 40 million records worldwide, including individual members’ album sales as well as group sales collectively. The group’s first release on the label will be the highly-anticipated 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which serves as Wu-Tang Clan’s first release in 7 years. RZA on the album to Billboard: “It’s a record to me that merges the way music was made in the classic essence, in an analog way. As well as merging what’s going down the digital way. All the entire 10 Clan members are on it. All the [living] members, which is a beautiful thing. And the album has a small concept in a sense, musically it travels from a guy who is going through difficulties, tries to find himself, gets involved with some violence, some troubles, but then realizes that it’s best sometimes to walk away from the past and all the bad times and maybe work on making his life better, and making a better tomorrow.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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Young-Guv-Ripe-4-Luv

Young Guv: Ripe 4 Luv (Slumberland) LP
In tomorrow! Who’s @youngguv? He’s still underground, but everyone will know him soon. Right now, he only has 1500 followers, so we need to get this kid a checkmark as soon as possible. Here’s the rundown: He’s a white boy in a backwards snapback with fake Emoji neck tattoos. He’s a ripped bald kid fronting one of the most important and successful hardcore bands in Toronto history. He’s a ghostwriter eating pasta as he pens al dente tunes for the likes of Sum 41, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, a few Canadian Idols, Snow, a slew of hardcore bands, Maroon 5 and one or two OVO affiliates. He’s a tortured artist turning down Katy Perry’s edits to his tunes because she didn’t like his babies as they were. Do I need to go on? @youngguv is Ben Cook, and he’s putting out an album, Ripe 4 Luv, on one of the greatest labels ever, Slumberland Records. Having been around for a minute, Guv has decided to put together a set of pop tunes that shows off his range as a performer, singer, songwriter, style icon and retweet-worthy pop star. Guv got it right the first time with his band No Warning, one of the only Canadian hardcore acts to achieve recognition from major labels in the U.S. He parlayed this experience into a successful career as the creeper peaking through the curtain as better-looking people sing his songs to an appreciative audience. In addition to writing for pop royalty and no-name punk acts, Young Guv has spent the last 7 years playing guitar in fellow Toronto legends Fucked Up, selling 10’s of 1000’s of singles recorded in various bedrooms, and helping put the East End back on the GTA’s music map with his Bad Actors imprint. Guv has been around for a while, and now he’s helping new, young talent get around and release classic records. How could you not like this guy? He’s got the bone structure to go viral at any moment. Ripe 4 Luv is a beautiful album for beautiful people. Plus, it really shows off his range. There’s only one way to describe this record: Guv sings like Prince into expensive audio-nerd mics over power pop backing tracks that evoke Big Star after they got some nookie but before they became depressed about their failure to appeal to the right audience. If that’s not good enough for you, then it sounds like Cheap Trick produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Or how about Drake’s producer 40 manning the boards for a Hall & Oates session? Any of those will help sell this record to the blogs, just pick one and run with it.

File Under: Indie Rock, Fucked Up, Cancon
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…..Restocks…..

A Tribe Called Red: Nation II Nation (Sony) LP
Band: Last Waltz (Warner) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daphni: Jiaolong (Merge) LP
Dead Kennedys: Bedtime For Democracy (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Descendants: Milo Goes To College (SST) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Sundazed) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Sundazed) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Sundazed) LP
Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Sundazed) LP
Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline (Sundazed) LP
Bob Dylan: Times They Are A Changin’ (Sundazed) LP
Bruce Haack: Electric Lucifer II (Telephone Explosion) LP
Husker Du: Zen Arcade (SST) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Kraftwerk: Radioactivity (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans Europa Express (EMI) LP
Lucero: That Much Further West (Sabot) LP
Madvillian: Madvilliany (Stones Throw) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-All (Boner) LP
Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66: Look Around (Music on Vinyl) LP
Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Mos Def: Black On Both Sides (Universal) LP
Nas- Ill-Matic (Def Jam) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged (Geffen) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (EMI) LP
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City) LP
Royal Blood: s/t (Warner) LP
Nina Simone: Forbidden Fruit (Dol) LP
Nina Simone: At The Village Gate (Dol) LP
Strokes: Is This It? (RCA) LP
Swans: My Father Will Guide Me… (Young God) LP
Weezer: Pinkerton (Geffen) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP
Wu-Tang Clan: Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (BMG) LP
John Zorn: Song Project (Tzadik) 6LP

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