…..news letter #701 – countered…..

After the deluge last week, this is a nice reprieve from new arrivals. Plus, we’ve been getting some pretty great used stuff lately. Old original blues records and 80s thrash metal. Who could ask for anything more!?

Also, come on down to 124th Street tonight for Shop Culture, a fun little night to check out all the shops along 124th Street and maybe win some prizes!

…..pick of the week…..

Shooting-Guns-Barn-Burner-7-inch

Shooting Guns: Barnburner (Riding Easy) 7″
New vinyl from our Saskatoon buds! The EP’s tracks are culled from Shooting Guns’ soundtrack to the acclaimed horror-comedy film Wolfcop, which has taken in $30 million since its release in 2014. Wolfcop was the Netflix ‘Movie of the Week’ in April 2015. Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, JUNO and Polaris Prize award nominees Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum, haunting the foggy moor between Sabbath-styled doom riffery and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock. Shooting Guns scored the soundtrack to Canadian horror-comedy WolfCop and released the official soundtrack in 2014 in partnership with One Way Static, RidingEasy Records, and Cinecoup. Their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram, released in 2013 through RidingEasy Records was nominated for the 2015 JUNO Metal/Hard Album of the Year as well as the Polaris Music Prize. Their debut LP, Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976, was also nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012.

File Under: Metal, Instrumental, Stoner, CanCon
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…..new arrivals…..

dead meadow

Dead Meadow: Howls From The Hills (Xemu) LP
Howls From The Hills was the second album from the Washington psychedelic/ stoner outfit and was originally released in 2001 on the Tolotta Records label run by Fugazi’s Jo Lally. Re-issued on CD on the bands Xemu Records label in 2007 the label now make it available on vinyl for the first time . Pressed on 140G vinyl, this initial pressing will be on orange and white swirl vinyl.

File Under: Indie, Psych, Stoner
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fourtet

Four Tet: Morning/Evening (Text) LP
After releasing a surprise album under his Percussions moniker earlier this year, DJ/producer Kieran Hebden is re-activating his other project, Four Tet, for a new LP. The follow-up to 2013’s Beautiful Rewind is entitled Morning/Evening and will arrive in early July through Hebden’s own Text Records. As Hebden revealed over a series of tweets, the album is made up of just two songs: the 20-minute, 24-second long “Morning Side”, and the 19-minute, 53-second long “Evening Side”.

File Under:
Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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bastards

Heartless Bastards: Restless Ones (Partisan) LP
Heartless Bastards have spent the past decade in motion, boldly pushing their unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll into new shapes over four acclaimed albums and nearly non-stop roadwork. Now, with Restless Ones, the band sets out once again, blazing a path to a place of shifting moods, seasoned songcraft, and unbridled spontaneity. Heartless Bastards’ fifth studio recording and follow-up to 2012’s breakthrough Arrow, the album finds singer/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom exploring as-yet-unvisited avenues of sound and sensation, her bravery and ambition readily apparent in the emotional timbre and the sheer physicality of her songs.

File Under: Rock
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rush moving

Rush: Moving Pictures (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. 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 complex songwriting and musical virtuosity reached new heights on eighth studio album, Moving Pictures (1981) and it became the band’s biggest selling album in the U.S., rising to #3 on the Billboard charts. It remains Rush’s most popular and commercially successful studio recording. Moving Pictures followed a more radio-friendly format and includes several signature tracks, including “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” “Red Barchetta,” and the band’s highly praised instrumental, “YYZ,” which is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport. The album cover is a monument to triple entendre. Movers are physically moving pictures, people are crying because the pictures passing by are emotionally “moving,” and the back cover depicts a film crew making a “moving picture” of the whole scene.

File Under: Rock, CanCon
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tame impala

Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Restocked with plenty of copies! Much has changed since Tame Impala first emerged with an EP of dusty home recordings in 2008. By and large Kevin Parker’s approach to recording has not, though the sound coming out of his home studio has vastly expanded, as has the number of people anticipating the fruits of his labor. Tame Impala’s third album is titled Currents, and on it Parker addresses a blindingly colorful panorama of transition in the most audacious, adventurous fashion he’s yet to capture on record. Dense with heady lyrical introspection, musically the most playful, bold and varied Tame Impala record to date, Currents is Parker putting down his weapons and embracing change as the only constant – sonically, thematically, and personally. Musically, Currents sounds like the work of a player on top of his game and having a blast, Parker indulging his whims and unafraid to dive down the rabbit hole after an idea. Again operating as a one man studio band, Parker’s resultant record calls to mind contemporary hip hop production, Thriller, fried ’70s funk, the irreverent playground Daft Punk presented on Discovery, swathes of future pop and emotional ’80s balladry, all filtered through a thoroughly modern psychedelic third eye. A genre-bending soundscape fueled equally by curiosity as it is consciousness, it’s exhilarating new territory for Tame Impala. Lyrically the record finds Parker in a very different place in 2015 to where he was seven years ago. Transitions in life, relationships, perspectives, mindsets – Currents maps Parker’s evolution through these and finds him a brand new person. In parts of both 2010’s Innerspeaker and 2012’s Lonerism Tame Impala sounded like a guy on the outer wanting in, now that he’s found himself on the inside Parker’s turned the spotlight in on himself. Stopping to reflect on the road behind, where he finds himself currently, and the road ahead, Currents spans a tumultuous time. The first track from the record to be unveiled, “Let It Happen,” is a perfectly encapsulating preview of what lies ahead. Coming in just short of eight minutes, “Let It Happen” traverses a swag of sonic terrain in its duration. The drums and Parker’s vocal introduction lull the listener with a sense of familiarity, until it all sweeps up into a cosmos once populated only by French robots, with insistent melody, broken machine loops, synthetic orchestration, surfing vocoder and a shredding guitar outro. Typically, initial Tame Impala recordings saw Parker’s vocal hidden beneath a layer of psychedelic fuzz, drenched in reverb, lyrics ambiguous. Currents finds his voice front and center, so no bones are made about his intent. Sketched out in planes, cars, hotels and homes since the completion of Lonerism in 2012, pieced together over the later part of 2014 and early 2015 at home in Fremantle, Western Australia, Currents was written, performed, recorded, produced and mixed by Kevin Parker. Tame Impala presents Currents, a soundtrack to life’s turbulent flow.

File Under: Rock
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titus

Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable Tragedy (Merge) 3LP
The Most Lamentable Tragedy is the fourth studio album by Titus Andronicus and the band’s debut for Merge Records. A rock opera in five acts, it will see its release in July 2015 on triple LP. The central narrative of TMLT (“a work of fiction,” claims singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelganger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him. TMLT was produced by frequent collaborator Kevin McMahon and Titus Andronicus guitarist Adam Reich. The core band is rounded out by the long-standing rhythm section of Eric Harm (drums) and Julian Veronesi (bass) plus rookie guitarist Jonah Maurer. Joining in throughout are pianist Elio DeLuca and violinist Owen Pallett, beside a cast of guests representing some of New York’s most exciting bands (The So So Glos, Baked, Bad Credit No Credit, Lost Boy?, etc.). TMLT is both the crown jewel of the band’s discography and the legend that contextualizes their entire body of work. It reveals that Titus Andronicus are what hardcore fans have said they are for years, and what the world must now recognize them to be: not merely the greatest rock and roll band of this era, but one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

File Under: Rock, Indie, Rock Opera
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rasta

Various: Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83 (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records new album Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83 charts the many links between reggae music and the Rastafarian religion. Spanning nearly 30 years of revolutionary music and featuring the music of Count Ossie, Johnny Clarke, The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, Bongo Herman, Roy Ashanti (The Congos), Earth & Stone, Mutabaruka and many more, this is an in-depth look at some of the most unique and righteous music ever made and comes complete with a 40+ page outsize booklet, containing exclusive photography and extensive historical and contextual sleeve notes. The new religion of Rastafari emerged in Jamaica during a time of intense political and social change in the 1930s. The first stirrings of anti-colonialism and workers’ rights were in motion, while Marcus Garvey’s Back-to-Africa movement was beginning to wane. But the pivotal catalyst to the birth of the Rastafari faith was the crowning of a black king in Africa in 1930. One of the earliest mentions of Ethiopia in Jamaican music can be found on mento singer Lord Lebby and the Jamaican Calpysonians’ 1955 recording ‘Etheopia’. In the song Noel Williams, aka Lord Lebby, discusses Ethiopianism, the political movement that calls for a return to Africa for black people. The 1960s saw the emergence of the first Rastafarian music on record with Count Ossie’s Rastafarian drummers. The visit of Haile Selassie to Kingston in 1966 was like an electric current throughout Kingston’s music scene – many of who had become adherents to the Rastafari faith.  By the 1970s Rastafarianism become practically synonymous with reggae, as many roots reggae artists became known throughout the world, led by the success of Bob Marley and The Wailers. At the source of the music of Rastafari is the figurehead master drummer and leader Count Ossie, who first bought the deeply spiritual nyabinghi and burro rhythms heard and played at sacred Rastafarian grounation (reasoning) sessions into popular Jamaican music through his many collaborations and performances with artists – from The Skatalites to The Folks Brothers – and producers – including Clement Dodd, Prince Buster and Harry Mudie. At the start of the 1970s Count Ossie formed the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari with saxophonist Cedric Brooks, which immediately became the most significant group of the Rastafari faith, bringing together authentic rasta nyabinghi drumming together with spiritual and avant-garde jazz influences of Sun Ra, John Coltrane and Albert Ayler into a truly unique and groundbreaking sound. As ‘roots reggae’ artists in the 1970s continued to spread the word of Jah (God) in their music, Rastafari reggae became the ultimate rebel sound throughout the world.

File Under: Reggae

…..restocks…..

Ryan Adams: Live at Carnegie Hall (Blue Note)  Box
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Dr. Dre: Cronic 2001 (Interscope) LP
Dr. Dre: Cronic (Death Row) LP
Drive Like Jehu: s/t (Hedhunter) LP
Earth: Hex (Southern Lord) LP
Earth: Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Fu Manchu: King of the Road (At The Dojo) LP
Grizzly Bear: Shields (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Have A Nice Life: Unnatural World (Flenser) LP
Daniel Johnston: Hi How Are You (Eternal Yip) LP
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) LP
Ministry: Twitch (Music on Vinyl) LP
Ministry: Land of Rape & Honey (Music on Vinyl) LP
Monolord: Vaenir (Riding Easy) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Of Monsters & Men: Beneath The Skin (Republic) LP
Portishead: PNYC: Live (Go Beat) LP
Portishead: s/t (Go Beat) LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Warner Bros) LP
Shannon & The Clams: Sleep Talk (1-2-3-4 Go!) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Music on Vinyl) LP
Tragically Hip: Up To Here (Music on Vinyl) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Ween: 12 Golden Country Greats (Plain) LP
Ween: The Mollusk (Plain) LP

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…..news letter #700 – seven HUNDRED…..

I don’t think when I started putting this news letter together about 14 years that I would still be toiling every Thursday to put this list out. Thanks to all of you who actually read at least somewhat.  Anyway, loads of stuff in this week, and I just bought a rather sick batch of old wax, all US originals, lots of blues, some soul, and other cool stuff. Come on down for a dig.

…..picks of the week…..

mcphee

Dean McPhee: Fatima’s Hand (Hood Faire) LP
Been waiting a long time for this one, and it’s exceeded my expectations! Fatima’s Hand is West Yorkshire based solo electric guitarist Dean McPhee’s second full-length album and the follow up to 2011’s critically acclaimed Son of the Black Peace. Fatima’s Hand is a meditative and quietly intense album combining influences from British folk, dub, Moroccan trance and ambient/drone. McPhee’s sparse, melodic and echo-laden guitar playing on Fatima’s Hand has been compared to Vini Reilly, Fripp & Eno and Loren Connors but his singular approach to the instrument is very much his own. Steve Barker of BBC Radio Lancashire’s On the Wire program described Dean as “definitely one of the leading contemporary guitar stylists in the UK, and in the world”. Fatima’s Hand features cover art by Federico Cortese which is beautifully presented on a matte laminate sleeve. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Guitar Soli, Ambient
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krog

Karin Krog: Don’t Just Sing (Light in the Attic) LP
“Newly remastered audio. Includes rare archive photos and liner notes Q&A with Krog. The work of Karin Krog may be unfamiliar to much of the world, but in her native Norway and Scandinavia at large, she’s practically a household name. This says much about the local enthusiasm for post-bop jazz but also about the tyranny of distribution: until 1994, Krog’s albums weren’t available in the USA or UK, meaning three decades of recordings were waiting to be discovered. With this anthology of her best recordings from 1963 to 1999 — curated with Krog’s own input — we hope to set the record straight. To listen to opening track ‘As a Wife Has a Cow’ is to jump into the deep end. It’s 54 seconds of words, voice, and technology, a looped, echoing reading of a Gertrude Stein poem. The effect is disquieting and alien but deeply rhythmic, too — and that’s Krog’s USP. Don’t Just Sing takes in these spoken experiments along with free jazz, improvisation, standards, contemporary covers, and electronic manipulation. It features some of the best regarded jazz players in Europe, not least her partner, John Surman, the English saxophonist/multi- instrumentalist and composer. Krog began singing jazz in the 1950s and started her first band in 1962. She not only had two tracks on the first ever Norwegian jazz LP, Metropol Jazz, but also became the first Norwegian jazz artist to record and release a full album (1964’s By Myself on the Philips label). Her sound developed as technological advances made new recording techniques possible, and she quickly embraced the album as the perfect form to contain her sonic experiments. ‘There is such a thing as too much manipulation,’ says Krog today. Recorded with tenor saxophonist Jan Garbarek and bass player Arild Andersen, 1968’s Joy is regarded as her masterwork. Tracks from it can be found on this compilation, as can a couple of interesting covers: Joni Mitchell’s ‘All I Want’ and Bobby Gentry’s ‘Ode to Billy Joe,’ both of which show how Krog brought jazz aesthetics to pop songs of the day. ‘I remember that there was a lot of buzz around Blue, and Joni Mitchell is, as everybody knows, a very talented singer and songwriter,’ says Krog in the new liner notes.”

File Under: Jazz, Vocal, Post-Bop
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…..new arrivals…..

airaksinen

Pekka Airaksinen: Buddhas of Golden Light (Arc Light Editions) LP
Reissue of legendary underground release Buddhas of Golden Light by Pekka Airaksinen, Nurse-With-Wound-listed founding member of legendary Finnish improv group The Sperm. Buddhas of Golden Light is a highly sought-after crate-digger’s classic, originally self-released in 1984. Airaksinen originally recorded the album to tape, using an 808 and DX7, with improvised saxophone taken from an epic week-long solo session and Antero Helander featured on one track. Buddhas of Golden Light is a true underground record that sounds like very little else ever made before or since. Simultaneously alarming and disarming, Airaksinen’s work co-opts the sound of the 808 and manipulates the DX7 for a cosmic spiritual jam, Sun Ra style. Airaksinen has been actively making music since the 1960s. Buddhas of Golden Light is from a series of albums he began making in the 1980s, each of which is dedicated to one of the thousand Buddhas and many of which were self-released. At the time of this reissue, he is about a hundred Buddhas deep. Airaksinen is mainly known for his role in the controversial Finnish underground group The Sperm, formed in 1967. The collective’s recordings resembled the noise and industrial music of the ’70s and ’80s, with a pro-drug, pro-sexual revolution rhetoric and a Dadaist sense of humor, influenced by American free jazz, underground rock, and anarchism. After The Sperm disbanded in 1970, Airaksinen continued making experimental music in his own studio. His music is characterized by out-of-sync rhythms, intense dynamics, and feverish visions. His approach is consciously unpolished, spontaneous, and improvised, resulting in a cosmic electro-jazz sound fusing free jazz and the 808. In the ’90s he began to incorporate techno influences, filtered through his Buddhist philosophy, and he is still making music at the time of this reissue.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Experimental, New Age
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arnalds

Olafur Arnalds/Nils Frahm: Stare (Erased Tapes) LP
Originally released as a limited 10″ for Record Store Day 2012, this long-sold-out must-have for fans of these two artists is now reissued as a 12″. Erased Tapes label-mates Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm recorded and mixed their first collaborative record between Reyjkjavík and Berlin as a surprise release for label founder Robert Raths. The ambient electronic work features long-time collaborator Anne Müller on cello. All graphics created by close friend of the label, designer Torsten Posselt of FELD.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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basho

Robbie Basho: Twilight Peaks (Smeraldina Rima) LP
Formal reissue of Twilight Peaks, guitarist Robbie Basho’s last recordings. It was originally issued in 1984 on a tape label called The Art of Relaxation, and never got any reviews or attention at the time. For this proper release it was mastered by Glenn Jones (of Cul de Sac fame) and Matt Azevedo, from the original demo tapes, provided to Glenn Jones by Basho himself as he was working on the album.

File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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biosphere

Biosphere: Microgravity (Biophon) 3LP
A remastered version of Biosphere’s debut album Microgravity with a bonus album of previously unreleased tracks. From Wikipedia: “Geir Jenssen began releasing his music as Biosphere on obscure Norwegian compilation albums. His first Biosphere releases were the 12-inch single The Fairy Tale and the album Microgravity, both of which were rejected by SSR as unmarketable. Microgravity was released in 1991 on the Norwegian label Origo Sound, and saw wider release via the R&S Records subsidiary Apollo in 1992, to much critical acclaim.” All tracks written and produced by Geir Jenssen. All tracks on sides E-F are previously unreleased. Recorded in Skippergata 42, Tromsø, Norway, between 1990 and 1991. Mastered by Stefan Betke. Artwork by Philip Marshall.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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bong

Bong: We Are, We Were and We Will Have Been (Ritual Productions) LP
We Are, We Were and We Will Have Been continues Bong’s unregulated experiments in tonal prolonging. Solemn in its delivery and frightening in its implications, this album signifies a point of no return from the Pied Pipers of mesmeric drone; its two near-20-minute tracks will surely loop and envelop indefinitely, freeing the listener from this increasingly unfamiliar material world and mercifully trapping them in the weightlessness of Bong’s sonic void. Microtonal adjustments and invading frequencies are pleated into a tapestry of gooey guitar and midnight-ritual percussion, melting at a glacial pace across “Time Regained” and “Find Your Own Gods.” The first of the two tracks creaks under the weight of residual distortion and unfathomable density, while the second opens with the powerful command of the track title, evoking a deity-defying thought process that unravels through the duration of the song, providing the synth-mist and distant rumbles with an origin so ancient it predates comprehension. We Are, We Were and We Will Have Been is Bong’s report from their explorations past the point where others fear. The album was captured and mixed in November 2014 by Mark Wood at the Soundroom in Gateshead, England, and the cover art is from “Thomson’s Aeolian Harp,” by famed pre-impressionist painter J. M. W. Turner, picturing an infant London in the background.

File Under: Drone, Metal, Stoner
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cowley

Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras: Catholic (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem have teamed up to release “Catholic”, the lost opus of disco pioneer Patrick Cowley and Indoor Life vocalist Jorge Socarras. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the canon of disco music, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, “The San Francisco Sound.” “Catholic” is a genre-bending concept album that ranges from minimalistic proto-techno to synth-driven post-punk, pre-dating the dance punk acts LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture by almost 30 years. It shows a much broader range than any Cowley or Socarras material available and gives a totally new perspective to one of the most inspiring eras in music history. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, the Velvet Underground, and Roxy Music, “Catholic” prefigures acts like Talking Heads, Units, The Human League or Chris & Cosey. Patrick forges a unique electronic sound from his collection of synthesizers, modified guitars, and self-constructed equipment while Jorge’s vocals go from hypnotic to camp, singing about gay love juju and tackling classics by Donovan and Stoller & Leiber. Featuring over 80 minutes of music never before released on vinyl, this compilation contains two bonus tracks not featured on the CD release. The tapes were meticulously restored by mastering guru Rashad Becker at D+M in Berlin, then remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl comes housed in a glossy dual pocket gatefold featuring the intended album cover from the original “Catholic” photo shoot in 1979, and the original hand-lettering by Arch Connelly aka A. Style intended for the first 45rpm single. Inside the gatefold sleeve contains lyrics and an essay from Jorge Socarras. For the 32nd anniversary of Patrick’s death, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem present a glimpse into the minds of these two geniuses. These recordings shine a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon. All proceeds from “Catholic” will be donated to the San Francisco AIDS Housing Alliance.

 File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop, New Wave, Post Punk
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miles

Miles Davis: Fillmore West 15-10-70 (Hi Hat) LP
1970 was a turning point for Miles Davis, and it proved to be the most consistently intriguing year of his decades-long career. Davis had previously performed exclusively in jazz clubs and festivals, and Dave Holland, when he arrived from England in 1968, noted that he was “shocked at how few people were coming to Miles’s concerts.” But by the beginning of 1970, in conjunction with the April release of Bitches Brew, Davis began appearing at rock venues, sharing the bill with established rockers like Steve Miller, Grateful Dead, and Neil Young and often playing to audiences of thousands. His appearance at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West on October 15, 1970, highlights the transitional phase in Davis’s career, with his septet following a relatively consistent set list in order to provide a cross-section of his repertoire to a young and relatively unfamiliar audience. In hindsight, this was an important move, and an acknowledgement of the reality that this was the demographic Davis would need to capture if he were to remain both fresh and relevant. This performance was rapturously applauded by a fresh audience, fully endorsing Davis’s profound ability. Hi Hat presents the complete KPFA-FM radio broadcast of this performance, a tribute to the iconic jazz musician that portrays the depth and diversity at work at such a vitally important point in his career. Played by Miles Davis: trumpet; Gary Bartz: soprano and alto saxophones; Keith Jarrett: electric piano and organ; Michael Henderson: bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Airto Moreira: percussion; and Juma Santos: percussion. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Includes insert with analytical liner notes and photos. Remastered sound.

File Under: Jazz

exotericExoteric Continent: Referendum (Hospital Productions) LP 
Barcelona’s Exoteric Continent follows cassette drops for Opal Tapes and Second Sleep with his first ever vinyl release. Exploring ascetic techno and electronic noise, this vinyl edition combines both of his Referèndum tape volumes, originally released on Hospital in 2014, on one fine slab. Something of a relative outsider in the balearic climes of his home city, Arnau Sala Saez pushes an intense, probing sound, both with his own music and via closely associated cohorts N.M.O., or Eric Frye and Helmer, who’ve released on his brilliant Anòmia label. With Referèndum, Exoteric Continent draws the listener into the awkward spaces and styles around the shifting, jagged borders of techno and noise, using drums, percussion, magnetic tape, and synthesizers to outline nine atonal and enigmatic silhouettes. The work ranges from the creeping slow-techno misshape of “Percentages” thru the sagging chamber feeling of “Posicions” to the Soisong-like gamelan tones of “Transició” and the kinky industrial swing instincts of “La Mirada Llarga”; he mixes rugged structures with stranger, keening electronics in the insectoid logic of “Autoritat” and the rubbled electro-acoustic texturhythm of “Agrupació Civil” to forge a fractious, unstable brace of noise techno that sits somewhere between classic Pan Sonic and his Hospital lablemate Alberich. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial
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flashbackFlashback #7 Mag
Issue #7 of Flashback, Summer 2015. Edited by Richard Morton Jack (co-founder of Sunbeam Records and editor of the Galactic Ramble and Endless Trip books), it features writing from some of the world’s leading pop music authorities. In this issue: Vashti Bunyan: In the summer of 1968, Vashti Bunyan set out for the Western Scottish Islands in a horse-drawn wagon. The album she made en route — and the journey itself — have become the stuff of legend. Here she tells her story in greater depth than ever before… Jukebox: Wolf People’s Dan Davies and Tom Watt on 12 tracks that have inspired them. Album by Album: Dave Green and Trevor Tomkins were perhaps the leading rhythm section in 1960s/’70s British jazz. Here they talk us through several of their classic recordings. Phonograph Record Magazine: The history of this groundbreaking newspaper and its enigmatic founder-editor, the late Martin Robert Cerf. First Person: Bill Evans’s late sister-in-law Pat describes the brilliant pianist’s unique relationship with her husband Harry. Placebo: The fullest account yet put together of Marc Moulin’s pioneering early ’70s Belgian jazz-funk outfit. Raw Material: Responsible for two of the most sought-after LPs of the progressive era, this British quintet’s story is finally told. Euphoria: Having met on the Sunset Strip in 1964, William D. Lincoln and Hamilton Wesley Watt Jr. conceived one of the more audacious and extravagant albums of the decade. The Beach Boys: A long-overdue reprint of Michael Vosse’s eyewitness account of the genius and chaos of Brian Wilson as he toiled on the doomed Smile album. Fuzzy Duck: They were together for less than a year, but Fuzzy Duck made one of the most enduring hard rock albums of their era. Oriental Sunshine: Late ’60s Norway was far from pop’s cutting edge — but this sitar-toting trio’s sole album is a lost classic. Jimmy Page: A long-lost interview from September 1970, just before the release of Led Zeppelin III, exhumed from the pages of Rock magazine. Van Morrison: Two illuminating articles that appeared shortly after the release of Astral Weeks, and have barely been seen since. Down Underground: Fifty classic antipodean LPs from the heyday of underground rock. Crying to Be Heard: The sole release by Shaun Davey & James Morris, unheard since 1973.

File Under: Psych, Magazines

fiems

Mike Fiems: I Would Dream (Mapache) LP
Mapache invites you to the amazing dream of Mike Fiems. An impressive mixture of sunshine folk pop. A true musical adventure produced by legendary Vernon Wray, an outlaw from the music business who helped to create one of the most beautiful secrets of the seventies. Recorded at The Record Factory in the Arizona Desert in 1974, the album includes songs like “I would dream”, “Desert sands” and “I’m here” and shows a greatest and forgotten songwriter. Originally released on Wray’s own label Vermillion Records on a very limited number, this album has become a collector’s item.

File Under: Folk, Pop
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ford

Ford Proco/Coil: Expansino Naranja/Ecuacion de las Estrallas (Mannequin) LP
Previously unreleased collaboration between Mexican industrial godfathers Ford Proco, formed in 1986, and UK electronic pioneers Peter Christopherson and John Balance aka Coil, recorded in autumn 1999. Apparently Ford Proco members Robert Proco and Wito Lavolt met Christopherson in LA on the occasion of a performance by The Orb, and Christopherson later invited them to be extras for Ice-T videos. These tracks feature Christopherson on sax, drums, and effects, and John Balance providing his magnificent voice. Directly transferred from original DCC (Digital Compact Cassette); remastered by Rude 66. Cover art by Alessandro Adriani; label sacred geometry logos by Maximiliano Lizárraga.

File Under: Industrial, Electronic
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ghostface

Ghostface Killah: 12 Reasons to Die II (Linear Labs) LP
“Fans who have been waiting for the past two years can finally rejoice: Adrian Younge’s and Ghostface Killah’s Twelve Reasons To Die II is coming soon. To up the ante this time around, Ghostface has added a very important lyrical companion to the mix: Raekwon. The chemistry that was cemented two decades ago on Rae’s classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is as strong as ever, clearly heard on five out of the album’s 13 songs. And on the topic of chemistry, executive producer and Wu-Tang patriarch The RZA returns to Part II as the story’s narrator. Where the first installment of Twelve Reasons To Die was based in 1960s Italy — detailing the machinations of the feared DeLuca crime family — Part II inhabits the grimy streets of mid-1970s New York City. Descendants of the DeLucas are running the city, but a powerful, younger crime syndicate is percolating, commanded by black gangster Lester Kane (personified by Raekwon). As Kane’s power grows, he takes on the DeLucas and a bloodbath ensues. Kane has always known the legend of Tony Starks, who was killed by the DeLucas in Italy and whose remains were partially used to create twelve vinyl records. When played back in the ‘old world,’ the Ghostface Killer rose and destroyed the Italian faction. This plays into the story’s conclusion at the end of Part II. The storyline for Part II is vividly brought to life with the help of Younge’s never-endingly evocative and unique brand of cinematic, psychedelic soul. The music — on which Younge himself plays upwards of 10 instruments on certain songs — was recorded strictly on analog tape, to bring out the true grit of the ’70s era that provides the Twelve Reasons backdrop. Twelve Reasons To Die II is another heavy feather in the caps of all involved, especially Younge and Ghost, who again poured their skills and intellect into this dramatic and engaging tale. It all fits perfectly into the Wu-Tang family tree as well as Younge’s always-expanding musical universe, which now proudly relies on Linear Labs to house it.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Wu Tang
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JOANNA GRUESOME ... Peanut Butter (Fortuna Pop)

JOANNA GRUESOME … Peanut Butter (Fortuna Pop)

Joanna Gruesome: Peanut Butter (Slumberland) LP
Rival groups will be disappointed to learn that the record is a further experiment in combining hyper melodic pop music with sonic violence. Officials have confirmed that the album contains a record number of hooks, traces of nut and elements of jangle pop, British hardcore punk, atonal music, screaming and drone organs. Yet they have issued warnings of “a marriage of radical politics with peanut butter spread”. One authorized statement reads: “Weighing in at a concise 25 minutes, the album hurtles through its ten songs, each one a succinct, powerful gem.” Like their debut Weird Sister, the new album was recorded by MJ from Hookworms, with the aim of heightening the group’s “pop” and “aggressive” elements to excessive and hitherto unrecorded levels. The record has also seen the group explore new and potentially dangerous lyrical territory.

File Under: Indie Pop, Noise Pop
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hancock

Herbie Hancock: Omaha Civic Auditorium Nov 17,1975 (Hi Hat) LP
This superlative set at The Omaha Civic Auditorium, November 17th, 1975, was taped for FM broadcast soon after the release of Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking 1975 Man-Child album, and finds the great keyboardist backed by the awesomely tight combo of DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight (guitar), Bennie Maupin (reeds), Paul Jackson (bass), Bill Summers (percussion), and Michael Clarke (drums). This selection of Hancock’s finest tracks includes his early classic “Watermelon Man,” and is offered here in its complete form as originally broadcast, with remastered sound, background notes, and rare images. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Includes insert.

File Under: Jazz

hedlund

Rasmus Hedlund: Alster (Ljudverket) LP
“Outstanding, varied, deep, widescreen, and star-crossed electronica from Finland — the label boss — in the best traditions of ambient dub, drone, and classic Berlin techno.”

File Under: Electronic, Dub, Techno
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joe

Joe & Bing: Daybreak (Mapache) LP
Mapache is proud to present the original Joe & Bing’s first album Daybreak.There aren’t many records as magical, as transcendent and as deserving of rediscovery as this one. This is the adventure of two young american songwriters who had the chance to get in the studio with Brazilian composer, arranger and superstar Deodato. The album they recorded is full of magical moments like “Daybreak”, “Summer Sound” or “Sail”. The record was never officially released in the US but different records with different covers and different mixings appeared on different countries like Brazil or Italy.You hold in your hands the album just like should have been. Cover and sound. And we’re sure you’ll love it.

File Under: Rock, Folk
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jet age

Kare & The Cavemen: Jet Age (Round 2) LP
The legacy of Jet Age, originally released in 1997, has been slowly building over the years and is now widely regarded a true Norwegian classic. Led by guitar ace Knut Schreiner (who later became Euroboy in the infamous Turbonegro), Kåre and The Cavemen burst into the mid-nineties post-grunge scene with something really different. Inspired by exotica, bargain bin easy listening records, surf movies, Dick Dale and Link Wray they represented something new and fresh. The instrumental trio however managed to totally transcend any well-dressed retro genre, with sophisticated compositions that betrayed the band members young age, hinting to the dark seriousness of post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys and high flying Wrecking Crew-sessions. Round 2 is proud to present the first ever vinyl issue of Jet Age, with remastered audio, exclusive artwork, liner-notes by the band members, and a bonus track.

File Under: Exotica, Surf, Turbonegro
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ksiezyc

Ksiezyc: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
Księżyc (Moon) was a project from Poland active in the 1990s. Members included Agata Harz (vocals), Katarzyna Smoluk (vocals, piano), Robert Niziński (wind instruments, keyboards), Lechosław Polak (accordion, keyboards, synthesizers), and Remigiusz Mazur-Hanaj (lyrics, tapes). The spirit of Księżyc captures early and late music with a medieval sound, rooted in Slavic tradition combined with elements of minimalism and vocal experiments of the 20th century. The alchemy of these constituent parts results in a breathtaking original music, both delicate and sinister. The surreal, fairy-tale-inspired lyrics add to the inherent beauty, sadness, and madness within. Originally released on cassette and 10″ vinyl by OBUH Records in 1996, the group’s defining statement has now been remastered by Piotr Nykiel at Nykiel Audio and cut on 12″, allowing for vastly improved sound quality. This reissue is presented in a beautiful gatefold with printed inner sleeve; an elegant reworking of the artwork introduces lyrics including English translations for the first time. Highly Recommended!!!

File Under: Experimental, Medieval, Minimalism, Classical
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dude

King Dude: Songs of Flesh & Blood (Not Just Religious Music) LP
King Dude’s latest full length is his most personal writing to date. This is not only a spiritual revelation, but also a revelation of the life of the man behind the music. TJ Cowgill’s own recent real life experiences with love, loss, death & violence are illuminated & explored herein, sure to be canonized alongside the rest of his work.

File Under: Folk, Neofolk, Rock
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kinkgong

Kink Gong: Tanzania (Discrepant) LP
Another unique document of Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong’s electronic deconstructions, this time stepping away from his usual Southeast Asia area of expertise and releasing some of his first reinterpretations and field recordings made in the late ’90s in Tanzania, Africa. “December 1999, Tanzania. I had an appointment with James Stephenson an American friend from the 90s in NYC, he used to skip the American winter every year to be with the Hadzas bushmen and other Tanzanians tribes in Tanzania. Whilst there, James and I lost completely track of time and did not give a shit about what day Christmas was, or New Years for that matter — with the majority of the planet knowing they were heading into the 21st Century. At some point end of December or early January 2000(?) we asked a group of Hadzas we were hanging out with, ‘what’s the date today?’ None understood the question but one Hadza who had been sent to school in the early 70s answered that we must be in 1975! Tanzania in 1999/2000, this intense trip away from all the millennium bullshit celebrations. I gathered all kinds of sounds, not only music, that expresses proximity and that was the first time I decided I was going to remix those raw recordings into a decent soundscape. It was also the first time I was pleased with the result — to go into a direction of redefining world music, away from the commercial clichés. This has been the direction I’ve taken and focused on ever since with the recomposing of my Asian recordings” –Laurent Jeanneau, Berlin, 2015. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Cover photography by James Stephenson. Limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Field Recordings, Ethnic
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ladd

Mike Ladd: Welcome to the Afterfuture (Va Va) LP
Timely reissue of Mike Ladd’s crucial and seminal 1999 work Welcome to the Afterfuture. Summoning b-lines, electronic spatter, jazz wig-outs, hard hip hop, Indian ragas, and soundtrack ephemera, Mike Ladd chooses a different voice (and sometimes an absence of voice) for each tune. He runs hyper-literate, pun-stuffed rap against pitched-down crooning; pif-punk call-and-response against uninflected reportage; preacher’s cadences against poetry. This deluxe double LP reissue is packaged with an 11″ x 11″ booklet containing exclusive pictures, lyrics, and literature from prominent writers and critics, as well as exclusive vinyl-only bonus tracks and a download code. “Bladerunners” features Company Flow.

File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
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marie

Marie Et Les Garcons: s/t (Gonzai) LP
Originally released by Ze Records in 1980, the sole album by Marie et les Garçons is not really what one might call an album. It collects tracks from two singles from 1977 and 1978, live recordings from 1977, and modernist songs that the band recorded in 1979 in New York. It took only three years for the band to switch their style from early punk to something more aligned with new wave. The A-side of Marie et les Garçons traces this transition, from the opening riff of “Rien a Dire”; through the band’s biggest hit, “Rebop,” produced by John Cale; to the discoid “P 4 Nº 2.” The B-side includes live recordings of the band playing their Velvets-esque art-punk in 1977. Marie et les Garçons was one of the most exciting late ’70s French bands, especially because of Patrick Vidal’s twisted and repetitive French lyrics, in a unique style that many songwriters would later imitate. With so many bands citing Marie et les Garçons as a significant influence, this first-ever reissue is long overdue. RIYL Television, The Velvet Underground, Wire, PiL, Teenage Jesus and The Jerks.

File Under: French, Post Punk, No Wave, Art Punk
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micalizzi

Franco Micalizzi: I Due Volti Della Paura (Sonar Music Editions) LP
Yet another jewel reissued for the first time by Sonor Music Editions, originally released as a promo-only edition on the cult Pegaso label. This score was written in 1972 for the giallo film directed by Tulio Demicheli and starring George Hilton, Luciana Paluzzi, and Anita Strindberg. A sleazy psychedelic lounge masterpiece featuring sinister and thrilling themes. Fine, intense atmospheres accompanied by magnificent vocals from the bewitching Edda dell’Orso, along with harpsichord, glistening e-piano vamps, phased flute, and amazing cinematic beats and breaks. Restored audio; pressed on high-quality 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: OST, Library, Italian, Breaks
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cannibal

OST: Cannibal Apocalypse (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company has taken another step into the infamous genre of flesh-eating monsters in order to bring you a much-requested score from the field of Italian horror – Alexander Blonksteiner’s Caniibal Apocalypse (aka Apocalypse Domani). Directed by Antonio Margheriti (Yor, Hunter From The Future) and starring John Saxon (A Nightmare On Elm Street), Apocalypse is a nightmarish vision where two Vietnam vets – Saxon and infamous horror actor John Morghen – unleash horror upon the world via a virus that makes the infected want to consume human flesh. Scoring the film is a soundtrack as intense and crazed as the cannibals themselves, although this may not seem immediately apparent. The opening is a lovely sweeping melody with gentle piano and flute (what is it with cannibal movies and these melodies?) and sets a serene and calm stage for the apocalypse to latch onto. The apocalypse itself scores a nine on the funkometer, with militaristic drums and sinister strings being overtaken by wah-wah funk and guitar noodling in a prog-rock vein. It’s both melodic and dischordant, with harsh alternating synth notes combining with shimmering music box notes, and a love theme with a sax that wails more than your average teenager. If you must chow down on someone, make sure Cannibal Apocalypse is spinning on your turntable.

File Under: OST, Horror, Cannibals
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fulci

OST: Lucio Fulci’s Horror & Thriller (Mondo) LP
A collection of 29 tracks from the films of the Italian horror master Lucio Fulci. Featuring cues from A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin, The New York Ripper, Manhattan Baby, The Beyond, Demonia, The House By The Cemetery The Door To Silence.

File Under: OST, Horror, Mondo
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martin

OST: Martin (Ship to Shore) LP
February 2nd 2015, NYC, NY – Ship to Shore PhonoCo. announced today that the score from George A. Romero’s Martin, once named “one of the top 100 coolest soundtracks of all time” by Mojo Magazine, will be available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1978. “Donald Rubinstein contributes a haunting, melancholy score punctuated with sudden, passionate riffs. It is the perfect accompaniment to this tale of lost souls in a barren, nearly post-apocalyptic environment.” – Roy Frumkes, producer of Street Trash and director of Document of the Dead. The LP soundtrack to George A. Romero’s Martin has been a highly sought-after collector’s piece for many years, and now – thanks to Ship to Shore PhonoCo – it is finally available again. It’s not only a must-have for fans of Romero, but also connoisseurs of film scores in general. Due to its limited run, it’s expected to sell out fast!

File Under: OST, Horror, Vampires
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pieces

OST: Pieces (We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want) LP
“You do not have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre!” The soundtrack for cult slasher movie Pieces (1982) is now available for the first time ever on vinyl. A plot filled with so many holes it’s impossible to follow, chainsaws cutting heads left and right, downright terrible acting, hilariously absurd scenes, and a brilliant soundtrack — Pieces is exactly what you think it is: one of the best movies ever made! Praised by the likes of Eli Roth (Hostel (2005), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Grindhouse (2007)…), this rare slasher has become a fan-favorite over the years and can be seen in horror movie festivals around the globe. Its original score is surprisingly elegant, full of eerie jazz, menacing synths, and soulful escapades — a well-balanced mix finding its influences in giallo and blaxploitation soundtracks of the ’70s and classic horror movie music of the ’80s. This limited vinyl edition includes numerous songs by Italian composer Stelvio Cipriani, the man behind the superb soundtrack of poliziottesco movie La Polizia Sta a Guardare (1973) (the main theme of which was reborn in 2007 in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof), multiple scores for Spaghetti Western movies starring Tony Anthony, and winner of a Nastro d’Argento award for best score for The Anonymous Venetian (1970). Also found on Pieces are compositions by Carlo Maria Cordio, who scored Joe D’Amato’s gorefest Absurd (1981) (which some might know as Anthropophagus 2, Monster Hunter, Horrible, or The Grim Reaper 2), a movie so shockingly violent it became one of the “Video Nasties” of the UK and was successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Acts in 1984. Lucio Fulci’s frequent collaborator Fabio Frizzi (responsible for the music of classic horror movies Zombie aka Zombi 2 (1979), L’Aldilà aka The Beyond (1981), City of the Living Dead aka The Gates of Hell (1980), and the list goes on) also makes a special appearance with the sexy “Cocktail Molotov.” Also included on the soundtrack are tracks by Stephen Ham & Alain Leroux and Enrico Pieranunzi & Silvano Chimenti, and, as a bonus, an audio recording of Pieces’ original movie trailer!

File Under: OST, Slasher

perrin

Chuck & Mary Perrin: Brother & Sister (Mapache) LP
Mapache is proud to present the first ever vinyl reissue of The Chuck & Mary Perrin album: Brother and Sister. Recorded in 1968, this gem is one of the biggest secrets of US folk. Full of amazing melodies and beautiful songs, this is one of the hardest to find records for collectors of folk, psych and singer/songwriters style records. Includes covers by Donovan or John Sebastian plus stunning originals like “Commencement”, “Mornings” or “Babe can you see” . Only 500 copies were pressed, and originals of this rarity have been sold for more than $1.000. This is one of the highest rated albums on record collectors guides.

File Under: Folk, Psych
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parks

Tess Parks/Anton Newcombe: I Declare Nothing (A Music) LP
Born in Berlin in early 2014 and nurtured over the following summer, I Declare Nothing is the spine-tingling collaboration between Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre), co-written and co-played by the duo and released to coincide with their 2015 European tour, following their Record Store Day 2015 Cocaine Cat single. A native of Toronto, Tess Parks moved to London, England, at the age of 17, where she briefly studied photography before deciding to focus on music. Parks made an impression on industry legend Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records, though the timing of their meeting could hardly have been less ideal; McGee was no longer involved in music and Parks was due to move back to Toronto. After moving back to her hometown in 2012, Parks formed a band on the advice of McGee and less than a year after their meeting, he returned to music with his label 359 Music. Parks became one of his first signings and released her debut record, Blood Hot, in November 2013 to excellent reviews. One reviewer described her as “Patti Smith on Quaaludes.” Others have mentioned her “gauzy psychedelic sound” and “smouldering voice.” Alan McGee himself said, “She’s only 24 and is already an amazing songwriter… she just doesn’t quite know she is yet — her most beautiful quality is her lack of ego. Tess is an amazing lady.” Anton Newcombe is the leader of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, who returned in May 2014 with their 14th full-length album, Revelation, to critical acclaim, and released Musique de film imaginé in 2015. The band’s first album to be fully recorded and produced at Newcombe’s recording studio in Berlin, it was supported by a successful European tour. Named in tribute to the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist and his influence in introducing Eastern culture and music into the world of Western rock ‘n’ roll, The Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in San Francisco, California in 1990. Through two dozen band members and numerous “ups and downs” (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. LP pressed on amber 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: Rock
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rider

Pig Rider: Bloody Turkey Sandwiches (Sommor) LP
Bloody Turkey Sandwiches is another ultra-rarity by British psychedelic folk band Pig Rider; only six copies were originally privately pressed by custom label Deroy Sound Service in 1974. The music here is much in the same vein as their famous Heterophonies album, but even more crazed. Some of the tracks bring to mind the more experimental side of The Olivia Tremor Control/Black Swan Network or even They Might Be Giants — but 20 years before those bands existed. Electric acid folk with stoned homemade atmosphere, lo-fi sound, bizarre and funny lyrics, effects, backward bits, surreal humor, psychedelic skiffle, old-timey music hall parodies, brilliant folk-rock-pop, and titles like “Interdrive Overstella,” “Be Glad for the Song Has an Ending,” “Pus In Our Time,” and “Have You Seen Your Neighbour in the Bath?” Recommended if you like The Incredible String Band, The Bonzo Dog Band, Syd Barrett, R. Stevie Moore… First ever reissue. Includes insert with photos and lyrics. Master tape sound. Limited to 300 copies.

File Under: Acid, Folk, Psych, Lo-Fi
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reed

Lou Reed: Banging on my Drums (Keyhole) LP
This superb live triple LP set contains rare recordings made by the legendary Lou Reed in America, Canada, Australia, and Holland between 1975 and 1977. Taking in Velvet Underground classics, gems from his incredible solo albums from the period, and a smattering of unreleased tracks, it finds him at what is arguably the peak of his powers, and comes complete with rare photos and an illuminating background interview. Previously released on CD in 2014. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Remastered sound.

File Under: Rock, VU

roelens

Puccio Roelens: Research of Sound (Sonar Music Editions) LP
From start to finish, this album features the most insane jazz-funk tunes ever released on a library LP from Italy. Amleto Armando “Puccio” Roelens was a great and in-demand composer and arranger of his time, working for Rai and Vedette Records and as an orchestra leader and pianist. Along with his 1977 album Rock Satellite, Research of Sound, originally released by the Italian Edipan label in 1976, is a killer funk record all the way through, and the most similar record to Stefano Torossi’s mythical Feelings (1974). Incredible b-boy drum breaks in this session with spacey Fender Rhodes, cosmic synth, mad fuzz and treated wah-wah, heavy basslines, and a huge horn section that sounds like it features Dino Piana’s jazz trombone… This first-ever reissue is remastered from the original master tapes and pressed on high-quality 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: Library, Italian, Breaks, Funk
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rocchi

Oscar Rocchi e il Suo Modern Sound: Erbe Selvatiche (Sonar Music Editions) LP
Originally released in the mid-’70s, this scarce Italian library LP composed by maestro Oscar Rocchi was released on the same Fonovideo label that put out Giancarlo Barigozzi’s famous Woman’s Colours (1974); Barigozzi most likely played in this session. This is one of the finest records of jazz-funk and breaks from the Italian library circle, with terrific drums breaks, stoned flute, fuzzy guitars, and Fender Rhodes solos. Many tracks here are perfect b-boy samples, and have chipped in to make this LP just legendary. This first-ever reissue is remastered from the original master tapes and pressed on high-quality 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: Library, Italian, Breaks
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roch

John Michael Roch: With You In My Arms (Subliminal Sound) LP
First ever reissue of a very special, mega-rare, and practically unknown Los Angeles mid-1970s pop-rock-psych private press treasure, dedicated to the memory of Patrick “The Lama” Lundborg (1967-2014), author of the groundbreaking psychedelic literature The Acid Archives (2006) and Psychedelia (2012). Although collectors have been searching frantically to turn up every unknown North American psych treasure from the past for some time, there are still unknown and mind-blowing nuggets to be found out there! This reissue includes in-depth liner notes by the artist himself and photos. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Private Press, Pop, Psych

sadaka

Sadaka: Premonition (Jazzman) LP
The album Premonition is a masterpiece of spiritual jazz, and reflects the spiritual awakening of a natural musical genius, Umlah Sadau Holt. In the 1970s, Holt was involved in all kinds of jazz, reggae, and world music projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over time he absorbed the global rhythms that can only come from extensive involvement with a variety of international musicians, and he integrated them into his own developing ideas of jazz. When his friend Emmanuel Nado returned from Africa one day, Umlah was fascinated by his pictures and stories and was inspired to learn more about his heritage — even to the extent of learning to play soccer! He was also inspired to use his skills to create music that would bridge the spiritual gap between the continent in which he now lived and that of his ancestors. Drawing upon his close friends and a varied selection of session musicians, the concept for an album developed, and eventually Premonition was born. Umlah composed and arranged all the songs on Premonition, his first and only album, and released it on his own private label in 1981. Yet despite an enthusiastic response from jazz aficionados and favorable reviews by the critics, as is often the case with independently produced records, sales were poor. In the time since, the LP has become an elusive — and expensive — collectors’ item. With this first-ever reissue, Premonition finally receives the exposure it deserves. Here is an album that is the sole representation of an inspired jazz artist who had the talent and dedication to see his dreams materialize. A work significant and important enough in the heady realms of spiritual jazz to be rescued in its entirety from obscurity. Another exceptional album in the Jazzman Holy Grail Series.

File Under: Jazz, Spiriutal
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seaweed

Seaweed: Actions & Indications (Merge) LP
Seaweed formed out of the fertile northwest punk scene of the mid-to-late ‘80s in Tacoma and Olympia Washington. Singer Aaron Stauffer, fresh off a stint in the little-known Spook & the Zombies, founded the band with best friend Clint Werner, who assumed guitar duties. After the recruitment of guitarist Wade Neal, bassist John Atkins, and drummer Bob Bulgrien, Seaweed began playing clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. From 1989 to 1999, Seaweed recorded five punk-pop LPs and played over a thousand shows. According to All Music Guide, “they played D.I.Y. with the Sub Pop label for their first three records, went ambitiously astray by signing with Hollywood Records, then did the cool right thing by returning to indie Merge.” This August, Merge Records offers the vinyl reissue of 1999’s Actions and Indications, remastered and pressed to high quality vinyl, with three unreleased bonus tracks (digital only) added. Originally recorded at Tacoma’s Uptone Electric studio in the summer of 1998, Actions and Indications is a tour de force of power chord dynamism.

File Under: Punk, Indie Rock
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seekers

Seekersinternational: Her Imperial Majesty (Boomarm National) LP
“10 tracks of potent, crackling dub abstraction and sound system meditations. This album is a special SKRS dedication to the all powerful divine feminine force, the international Gyal dem! Housed in an incredible gold, black, & white printed sleeve designed by SKRS in-house visual wing, MYSTERYFORMS. Limited to 550 copies.”

File Under: Dub, Electronic
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sogmusobil

Sogmusobil: Telefon (Subliminal Sound) LP
First ever reissue of rare, sought-after, and stoned-to-the-max Swedish underground psych/progressive/experimental treasure from 1971, originally released on the legendary Gump label and featuring the mythic underground personalities and musicians Einar Heckscher and Johnny Mowinckel. Side A is sung in English and side B in Swedish. The band name has been mixed up many times by collectors, mistaken as either Telefon Paisa (an earlier incarnation of the band) or Telefon (the album title), but this reissue sets the record straight and tells their story. Includes booklet with lots of previously unpublished photos and in-depth liner notes. Limited edition 600 copies.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Experimental
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souleyman

Omar Souleyman: Bahdeni (Monkeytown) CD/CS
Perhaps Syria’s most successful musical export, international singer Omar Souleyman returns with his second proper studio effort and most personal album to date, Bahdeni Nami. For the album Souleyman opened his doors to collaborations with a number of renowned electronic producers, all of whom were established fans eager to offer unique interpretations of his sound. Four Tet returns to produce a track, Gilles Peterson lends his considerable talents to one song, Modeselektor turn in the two fastest dance numbers of the set, and Legowelt offers a remix of the title-track. Additionally, a 7″ planned for release in August 2015 will feature a thoroughly distinctive remix of one of the album’s heartrending ballads by The Black Lips’ Cole Alexander. Bahdeni Nami was recorded closer to home, in Istanbul, and appropriately the singer is joined by traditional accompaniment. Souleyman has reunited with his favorite poet, Ahmad Alsamer (who penned his pre-west hits “Kaset Hanzel,” “Khattaba,” and “Shift -al Mani”), heard throughout the album offering claps and wails of encouragement. The songs come alive with musical contributions and support from the virtuosic sax work of Khaled Youssef, another longtime collaborator from his hometown. Rizan Sa’id’s keyboards improvise devotedly to every tune and turn of Souleyman’s choice. The lyrics are familiar territory for the singer — declarations of eternal love, consolation of one’s aching heart, pleas to his lover to sleep in his arms forever — realized as four fast dance numbers, an introduction mawal, and an elaborate araby style ballad. Omar Souleyman continues to tirelessly bring his wild dance party to all corners of the globe, everywhere from SXSW to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert to rock clubs in cities around the world. Originating from the Hasake region of Syria, Souleyman earned his reputation by singing and leading years of weddings, birthdays, christenings, corporate parties, and more, answering invitations from all peoples living in the region — be they Muslims, Christians, Kurds, Iraqis, Syrians, Assyrians. Those parties yielded hundreds of cassette tapes at first offered as gifts and later distributed throughout the region and other Arab countries. Despite the world’s insistence in associating him with his home country’s unending war, Omar Souleyman gives back nothing but love.

File Under: Dabke, Syria, Dance Party, Wedding Singers
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tapes

Tapes: No Broken Hearts on This Factory Floor (EM) LP
Shifting tectonic plates, as two island nations collide! London resident Jackson Bailey aka Tapes makes Jamaica-drenched lo-fi bass music, a forward-looking mix of dub, dancehall, and electro roots channeled and filtered through old-school rhythm machines, synths, spring reverb, and delay. Recorded with glorious grit on cassette, sometimes in the red, tape hiss intact but somehow sounding bigger, better and beatier than it should, with a sweet analog patina. There’s an aquatic feel here on this first full album from Bailey, a rich brew of deep and soulful sunny JA roots, hints of UK melancholy and industrial smoke, even some icily funky NYC early electro. With an old island soul and a new ear to the future, this first album from Tapes features six previously unreleased tracks plus ten tracks previously issued on his own label and other labels, including Jahtari, in various formats, included here with remastered sound in previously unreleased mixes. With a total running time of 43 minutes, these 16 tracks are available on double LP (45 RPM). UK, JA, NYC: all these letters, and more, spell Tapes. Front cover art by Jimmy Cauty (The KLF). Co-production of EM Records and Corner Stone Music.

File Under: Electronic, Dub

tommaso

Giovanni Tommaso: Vivere A Tokio (Sonar Music Editions) LP
Yet another jewel reissued for the first time by Sonor Music Editions, originally released as a promo-only edition on the cult Pegaso label. This score was written in 1972 for the giallo film directed by Tulio Demicheli and starring George Hilton, Luciana Paluzzi, and Anita Strindberg. A sleazy psychedelic lounge masterpiece featuring sinister and thrilling themes. Fine, intense atmospheres accompanied by magnificent vocals from the bewitching Edda dell’Orso, along with harpsichord, glistening e-piano vamps, phased flute, and amazing cinematic beats and breaks. Restored audio; pressed on high-quality 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: Library, OST, Italian, Breaks
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toure

Amara Toure: 1973-1980 (Analog Africa) LP/CD
“Latin music, is it really foreign to us Africans? I don’t think so. Listen to the drums, to the rhythm. It all seems very close to us — it feels like it’s our own culture” –Amara Touré. In late-’50s Dakar, Senegal, producer Ibra Kassé and his Miami nightclub spearheaded a movement blending the Cuban styles of son montuno and patchanga with local folk traditions. Through the unique cultural fusion of West African and Caribbean influences, Latin music took on a new and unique sound, brought a breath of fresh air into Dakar’s nightlife, and attracted numerous musicians from surrounding countries. One of the musicians who answered this call was percussionist and singer Amara Touré, from Guinea-Conakry. In 1958, Kassé invited Touré to join Le Star Band de Dakar, led by Mady Konaté, a group that was immensely important for the development of Senegalese modern music. Touré’s talent on percussion was undeniable, but it was his raw, powerful voice and his interpretations of Cuban music that captivated the producer. In 1968, after ten years with the Star Band, Touré headed to Cameroon and formed the Black and White ensemble, with which he performed live through the late ’60s and early ’70s and released three singles between 1973 and 1976. These singles, included as the first six songs on this compilation, fully epitomize and distill the essence of what Touré had learned during his career. His Mandingue roots fused with the Senegalese sound that he had mastered — the perfect foundation for his Cuban interpretations. In 1980 Touré went to Libreville, Gabon, to team up with the powerful Orchestre Massako, with which he recorded Accompagné Par L’Orchestre Massako. This LP has since gained a reputation as one of the very best African albums, and its complete contents are included here as the compilation’s last four tracks. These ten treasures, representing Touré’s complete discography, have been carefully remastered from original session tapes and vinyl records, and are reissued here for the first time. After the release of his LP in 1980, Touré seems to have disappeared. Apparently he was last seen in Cameroon but his whereabouts are unknown at the time of this release. His music, however, is undeniably alive.

File Under: Latin, Afro-Cuban
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treat

Steve Treatment: All Dressed For Tomorrow (Munster) LP
Brilliant DIY ‘n’ roll from Steve Treatment, one of the most fascinating but less heralded figures of the late ’70s British punk/DIY scene. Bonding over a shared love for Marc Bolan, Steve and the nascent Swell Maps would play and hang out together around London. The Maps backed Steve on his first single, released on their own Rather Records in 1978. All Dressed for Tomorrow includes said record and Steve Treatment’s other two singles from 1979, plus chosen highlights from 1977-1979 recordings, unreleased at the time. Raw, unkempt, experimental glam rock magic. The extensive liner notes by Chuck Warner (Hyped to Death, Messthetics), accompanied by copious photos and memorabilia, cover not just the music but also Steve’s varied interactions with Marc Bolan, the Swell Maps, The Moors Murderers, Derek Jarman… among others.

File Under: DIY, UK, Punk
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moggi

Piero Umiliani: Omaggio Ad Einstein (Dagored) LP
Omaggio ad Einstein has a special place among the many albums of electronic music composed by Piero Umiliani. In this homage to the German physicist, Umiliani subverts the rules of space and time in music and creates an album with 23 compositions, all of them less than two minutes long, instead of following the traditional 7-10 tracks usually present in an LP. This is an original and experimental album, with a peculiar and epic catchiness, tied to Piero Umiliani’s masterful use of synthesizers and great experience in the field of soundtracks. The themes of Omaggio ad Einstein take us to sidereal spaces, wandering across the universe with their clear sounds and wonderfully creative titles (“The Celestial Vault,” “Nuclear Valkyries,” “Galactic Abyss”…). This is the first reissue of this album, which was originally released in 1976 by Umiliani’s Omicron label.

File Under: Electronic, Library
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ugk

UGK: Ridin’ Dirty (Get on Down) LP
Pressed on clear vinyl. “Ridin’ Dirty is the third studio album by dirty south legends Bun B and Pimp C — together known as UGK. It is easily considered one of the greatest southern hip hop albums ever made, but let’s drop all the labels this is just pure good rap music, for any region. It’s all right there, everything that people have come to expect from Houston rap: candy-painted cars, wood-grained steering wheels, flashy jewelry, late-night odes to lean and weed, passing references to DJ Screw tapes, those warm funk synthesizers that sound like radio oldies. All of Ridin’ Dirty feels iconic now — among other reasons, because so many of its lyrics have since been cribbed by everyone from Slim Thug to Jay Z. There’s the laid-back badassery of ‘Diamonds and Wood,’ the zoned-out celebration of ‘3 in the Morning,’ the ridiculous boasting of ‘Fuck My Car.’ Everything here is essential. Ridin’ Dirty was produced entirely by Pimp C and features start to finish bangers such as ‘One Day’, ‘Murder,’ ‘Hi Lif,’ and of course the title track ‘Ridin’ Dirty.’ Pimp C makes use of perfectly chosen soul, funk, and gospel samples to create a perfect soundscape for he and Bun B to trade verse over. Despite there being no singles or videos released from the album, the set went on to be a pivotal moment in southern hip hop as well as UGK’s best-selling and most critically acclaimed release.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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units

Units: Digital Stimulation (Futurismo) LP
Finally, after 35 long years! Futurismo have the privilege to be the first label ever to re-release one of the most sort out and revered electronic albums of the early 1980’s – Digital Stimulation by Units. Inspired by punk in ideology, though not necessarily in sound, San Francisco’s Units were a young breed of dystopic visionaries art space prodigies and trash culture futurists set on reshaping sound for a new age. Leading the charge, along with only a couple of others such as Screamers and Chrome, they lit the touch-paper for a new sound, a new scene. A new approach. Equally as influenced by experimental cinema, performance art and Brechtian street theatre as they were the music of Suicide and Devo, Units offered a glorious glimpse into how and what pop music could be. Their influence has stretching all the way through synthpunk and new wave pop into the most contemporary electro musicians. Originally released in 1980, Digital Stimulation was Units true calling card and masterpiece. Containing the now famous opener ‘High Pressure Days’, this is a time capsule brought up from the dawn of the digi-age; all metronomical rhythms, wry lines and ice-cold delivery…part of a lineage that includes Neu!, Tubeway Army, ‘Being Boiled’-era Human League and Cabaret Voltaire, making this a vital recording for anyone interested in electronic music at all – past or present. It’s relevance reinstated by the recent remixes and coverage by contemporary musicians including Erol Alkan, Health and Todd Terje…and with original copies selling at extortionate prices this is a rerelease that’s long overdue. Coming 22nd June 2015 for a Worldwide release Futurismo present a remastered redux version of this long out of print LP on 180g limited edition coloured vinyl, as well as a never before released CD. Both versions come with new stylized artwork, metallic ink sleeves, rare imagery, hidden tracks and a huge fold-out double sided poster containing brand new liner notes by Scott Ryser. There’s no gratification without Digital Stimulation. This summer get ready for the climax, only on Futurismo.

File Under: New Wave, Synth Pop
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wapassou

Wapassou: s/t (Lion) LP
“With their first album, legendary French art-rock band Wapassou found a distinctive musical voice: well-developed melodies, rhythmic organ, prominent droning violin, and guitar doubling-up as a rhythm instrument. They often conjure up what it might have sounded like had John Cale and Stereolab formed a band in 1974, the year this album was released. The five tracks are highly original, varied and inventive, steeped in post-psychedelic rock. Although Wapassou are noted for playing without a rhythm section, the two most striking songs include bass and drums. Why some enterprising dj hasn’t created a chill mix from the drum track and provocative vocals on ‘Chatiment’ (guitarist Karen Nickerl murmuring about the cigarettes she has consumed and that she is a killer, ‘Je suis l’assassin,’ in the midst of the pulsing drone of the band), we don’t know. The 13+ minute long ‘Trip’ is a revelation: for the first two minutes you will think you stumbled into the Cocteau Twin’s ‘Victorialand'; the band then jam for six and a half minutes before they drop one of the trippiest ethereal breakbeat grooves you’ll ever hear; the last two minutes of solo sitar are sonic lysergia of the highest quality. Lest we startle you with excited pronouncements of how good this album is, we’ve forced ourselves to be matter of fact! it is unique, with slight nods to groups like Amon Düul, Popol Vuh, Czar, and Ash Ra Tempel. A colorful insert has the detailed history of the making of the album, plus photos and other marvels. Remastered and sounding better than it ever has.”

File Under: Prog, Psych
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weaver

Jane Weaver: Silver Globe (Bird) LP/CD
The Silver Globe expands: as one of the most industrious female multi-instrumentalist songwriters in modern pop, Jane Weaver literally doubles the content of her acclaimed 2014 album for the double-CD version of this synth-ridden special release. 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 vocal pop was in no way spoon-fed to editors or playlisters. Nor did it fall within the lines of what might have been considered fashionable or culturally relevant. The Silver Globe was judged on its own merit as a brilliant, uncompromising pop record. By the end of 2014 The Silver Globe had been announced as Piccadilly Records’ best album of the year, earned a spot in Gilles Peterson’s top ten Worldwide Tracks of the Year, garnered repeat plays from virtually every specialist DJ on BBC Radio 6 Music (among many more global radio stations), found DJ mix support from Andrew Weatherall, and filled most of the pages in a 12-month diary with gig and festival requests. This expanded double-CD edition of The Silver Globe includes a second full-length disc called The Amber Light, which 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 synthpop. The Amber Light’s four original songs are accompanied by three exclusive instrumental themes (including a commissioned theme from an American vampire film), and three collaborative re-workings/duets based on tracks from The Silver Globe, with co-production from Tom Furse (The Horrors), Andy Votel, Suzanne Ciani, members of Demdike Stare, and original Silver Globe inhabitants Pete J. Phillipson and Martin King. Substantiated by other deluxe editions, including a silver vinyl version of the The Silver Globe, a series of compact cassettes, and a single release of standout robotic-roller-rink track “Don’t Take My Soul” (as a split single with Bird label-mate Tender Prey), the Silver Globe/Amber Light project reciprocates the positive energy shared by Jane Weaver’s loyal audience and a wide host of new converts who have allowed her self-sufficient songs and synthetic soundscapes to flourish. The Silver Globe is still turning.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Vocal
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time wept

Various: Time Wept (Honest Jons) LP
Stunningly beautiful, poignant music from Bilād al-Shām — “the countries of Damascus,” known nowadays as Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine — including performances from the very first recording sessions in the region. The legendary, moody Beirut singer Būlus Ṣulbān is here — some historians have him singing before Egypt’s Pasha Ibrāhīm Bāshā during his military campaign in Syria, in 1841 — and Ḥasība Moshēh, Jewish “nightingale of the Damascene gardens.” Thurayyā Qaddūra from Jerusalem; Yūsuf Tāj, a folk singer from Mount Lebanon; Farjallāh Bayḍā, cousin to the founders of Baidaphon Records… Musical directors like the lutist Qāsim Abū Jamīl al-Durzī and the violinist Anṭūn al-Shawwā (followed by his son Sāmī); such virtuosi as the qanun-players Nakhleh Ilyās al-Maṭarjī and Ya’qūb Ghazāla, and lutist Salīm ‘Awaḍ. Even at the time, notwithstanding such brilliance, public music-making was frowned upon as morally demeaning, especially for women. Musical venues were generally dodgy. Ṣulbān once cut short a wedding performance for the Beiruti posh, after just one song, he was so disgusted with the attitude of his audience. “If I had to tell you about the catcalls,” one commentator wrote about musical theater in Beirut, “the stomping of feet, the sound of sticks hitting the ground, the noise of the water-pipes, the teeth cracking watermelon seeds and pistachio nuts, the screams of the waiters, and the clinking of arak glasses on the tables, I would need to go on and on and on…” Also includes tracks by Aḥmad al-Shaykh, Na’īm Sem’ān, Ḥikmat Ḥajjār, Bāsīl Ḥajjār, Muḥyiddīn Ba’yūn, Muḥammad al-‘Āshiq, Aḥmad al-Mīr, Iliās Shahwān, and Yūsuf al-Naḥḥāl.

File Under: Ethinc, Damascus, Folk

…..Restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Albert Ayler: Spiritual Unity (ESP Disk) LP
Boogie Down: Sex & Violence (Get On Down) LP
Built To Spill: Perfect From Now On (Warner) LP
Butthole Surfers: Independent Worm Saloon (Plain) LP
Phillip Cohran & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
College: Secret Diary (Invada) LP
Dead Prez: Let’s Get Free (Get On Down) LP
Deltron 3030: s/t (Deltron) LP
Destroyer: This Night (Merge) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP/CS
Goblin: Zombi (AMS) LP
Husker Du: Zen Arcade (SST) LP
Husker Du: New Day Rising (SST) LP
Jurassic 5: QC (Get on Down) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (Madlib) LP
MF Doom: Mmm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Ministry: Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (Music on Vinyl) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 Chambers (Get On Down) LP
OST: Hannibal (Mondo) LP
Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information (Epic) LP
Vito Ricci: I Was Crossing A Bridge (Music From Memory) LP
Slum Village: Yes (Get On Down) LP
Spiritualized: Fucked Up Inside (Plain) LP
Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers (Modern Love) LP
Benny Soebardja: Night Train (Strawberry Rain) LP
Suicide: s/t (Red Star) LP
Suicide: Half Alive (Roir) LP
Sun Ra: Monorails & Satellites (Saturn) LP
Taj Mahal Travellers: August 74 (Phoenix) LP
Various: Brand New Wayo (Comb & Razor) LP

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…..news letter #699 – back, sigh…..

Well, the unforeseen advantage/disadvantage of going out of town and skipping a news letter is that it makes for a monster list this week. If you’ve been in in the last week you may have seen some of this stuff in here already, but some of it is also showing up tomorrow morning so, there. Anyway, I’m out of practice and this has taken way too long to put together, sorry about that.

…..pick of the week…..

evol

Sonic Youth: Evol (Goofin) LP
The third studio album by Sonic Youth, originally released in May 1986 on SST Records, shows the first signs that the band was ready to transform their no wave past into a greater alternative rock sensibility. “EVOL … mark[s] the true departure point of Sonic Youth’s musical evolution,” says Pitchfork, who place the album in the #31 slot of their Top 100 Albums of The 1980s. “In measured increments, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo … bring form to the formless, tune to the tuneless, and with the help of Steve Shelley’s drums…, [impose] melody and composition on their trademark dissonance.” Stereogum likewise praises the album as one that is “full of suspense…, the cornerstone [of] the Sonic Youth sound…, ground zero for the combination of chiming guitars and atonal skronk… [and] muggy delirium…. The virile ‘Tom Violence’ sounds less written than coaxed from a cauldron, the sort of song that fogs windows. The off-kilter [droning love song] ‘Starpower’ … is sung [by Kim Gordon] in a frosty [Nico-evoking] monotone. ‘In The Kingdom #19,’ featuring Mike Watt on bass and … vocals [by Ranaldo]…, is a harrowing story of a highway wreck over a suitably edgy instrumental backing punctuated by … live firecrackers into the vocal booth.” “EVOL slithers into the unconscious,” notes Popstache. “Once the [detuned melodies and haunting riffs and] final whispers of feedback [of ‘Expressway to Yr. Skull’] depart from the speakers…, the music [leaves] a faded footprint, forever reeling the listener back for another strange trip.”

File Under: Experimental, Indie Rock, Essential Grooves
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…..new arrivals…..

adams

Ryan Adams: Live at Carnegie Hall (Blue Note) 6LP Box
This limited edition 180g 6LP box set edition of Ryan Adams’ Live At Carnegie Hall spans 42-songs and is comprised of two full sets the esteemed singer/songwriter performed and recorded over two nights at the historic New York venue near the tail end of 2014. The first 3LPs feature the Saturday, November 15th concert while the remaining 3LPs feature the Monday, November 17th concert. The career-spanning box set includes takes on many of Adams’ classic songs as well as new songs from his most recent Grammy nominated eponymous release, which debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200. Live At Carnegie Hall was recorded and mixed by Charlie Stavish at The Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. “When you look up into the crowd at Carnegie Hall there is a feeling of reverence. I know what the seats feel like. I know the angle of the stage from the seats…so I sort of have an idea of what is happening…Strangely my only thought ever up there is to make the people feel relaxed and like there is no pressure. I love diffusing it. I cannot explain why but once diffused it can build to an even deeper place. Once you destroy the 4th wall you can rebuild. I like to rebuild the emotional space with the audience. It feels like the best thing. It feels real.” – Ryan Adams

File Under: Folk, SSW, Live
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adamson moss

Barry Adamson: Moss Side Story (Mute) LP
Barry Adamson’s work as a bassist for Magazine and Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds gave little indication of the complex, cinematic works he has composed as a solo artist. After leaving the Bad Seeds in 1987, Adamson decided to follow the path of film composers like John Barry, Ennio Morricone, and Bernard Herrmann, whose work had intrigued him since childhood. His first full-length album, 1989’s Moss Side Story, is a tour de force, blending post-punk, industrial, spy guitar, and various classic movie composer quotes into a seamless 54-minute soundtrack to an ominous film noir that didn’t exist.” This recording led to Adamson’s work on soundtracks for actual films in the early ‘90s, including Delusion, Gas Food Lodging, and Shuttle Cock. Now, Barry Adamson’s evocative debut solo album, Moss Side Story is being reissued back on vinyl for the first time since it’s original release in 1989 courtesy of Mute Records.

File Under: Pseudosoundtracks, Noir, Nick Cave
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adamson oedipus

Barry Adamson: Oedipus Schomedipus (Mute) LP
Barry Adamson’s work as a bassist for Magazine and Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds gave little indication of the complex, cinematic works he has composed as a solo artist. After leaving the Bad Seeds in 1987, Adamson decided to follow the path of film composers like John Barry, Ennio Morricone, and Bernard Herrmann, whose work had intrigued him since childhood. After some releases with more of a beat-heavy pop feel, Adamson moved back into the land of noirish soundtrack with the release of 1996’s Oedipus Schmoedipus. Nick Cave adds a guest vocal to (and co-writes) “The Sweetest Embrace”; Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker can be heard on the co-written “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Pelvis.” Adamson’s skill in layering and devising unusual sound textures still qualifies him as one of experimental rock’s more imaginative composers and producers. With this reissue, Oedipus Schmoedipus is being released on vinyl for the first time in North America.

File Under: Pseudosoundtrack, Noir, Nick Cave
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alceu valenca

Alceu Valenca: Molhado De Suor (Sol Re Sol) LP
“I am the fruit of the culture of my country, Violas, the singers, the guitar players, the Lusitanian pastoris, the frevo and blocks, maracatu, black, and the Moorish thing.” —Alceu Valença Brazil in the early 1970s had one of the vibrant music scenes in the world. Tropicalia was going strong, a challenge to both the music establishment and the state. Música Popular Brasileira (or MPB) was firmly established. Up in the northeastern corner of Brazil, centered in Recife, was another exciting strain of Brazilian culture called Udigrudi. Lula Cortes, Ze Ramalho and Satwa were a few artists from the movement; but none is more celebrated than Alceu Valença. Valença grew up with the expectation of being a lawyer. He did go to law school, but he ditched the legal life for his first passion: music. In 1970, he played with Ave Sangria. Soon after he made a couple records with his friend, the artist and musician Geraldo Azevedo. However, his first solo album Molhado De Suor is what truly caused people to take notice. While other Udigrudi musicians melded traditional northeastern Brazilian music and rhythms with folk rock and psychedelia, it was Molhado De Suor that set the mark high. Aided by Lola Cortes and Geraldo Azevedo, Valença’s rich vocals combine with driving guitar work, moody arrangements and unusual trips. Molhado De Suor is a record Slipcue calls innovative, insistent and vital. It is considered a Brazilian classic, often landing in Brazilian “Best of All Time” lists and sought after by collectors. Valença followed its release with many albums, each one establishing him as not only superstar, but the one artist who most successfully integrated the sounds of his native region, Pernambuco, with pop and rock. He’s collaborated with filmmaker Sérgio Ricardo, acted in film and on stage, played Montreux Jazz Festival and countless other festivals, and has received or been nominated for numerous awards including a Latin Grammy. And what is probably the biggest honor of all, in Brazil he is known by one name, Alceu. Molhado De Suor was originally released in 1974 on the Som Livre label and has never been reissued. Sol Re Sol is proud to bring this important album back in print.

File Under: Rock, Brazilian, Prog
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bridges

Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Columbia) LP
Leon Bridges is the ‘out of almost nowhere’ story that only comes along once in a while. Awareness of Bridges and his unique craft continues to grow authentically and consistently. It was only last summer that Leon was singing open mics in his hometown of Fort Worth, TX. One of those open mics was attended by Austin Jenkins and Josh Block of the notable indie band White Denim who were absolutely floored by Leon’s voice, songs, and creative vision. They soon after set-up shop in a makeshift studio and recorded the throwback rhythm and blues album’s title cut “Coming Home” completely live to tape. This first take is exactly what you hear opening the record. The remaining 9 songs including previously released tracks “Better Man” and “Lisa Sawyer” followed in a burst of creativity and inspiration. “Recorded live at Jenkins and Block’s Niles City Sound studio, using only vintage equipment, “Coming Home” explores the reasons why gospel meeting soul worked so magically at the dawn of the 1960s: the swing, the intimate relationship between background and lead vocals, the way the descending organ line works a pirouette around the triplets Bridges sings. This kind of perfection is always relevant.” – Ann Powers, NPR

File Under: Funk, Soul, Rhythm & Blues
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buckner

Richard Buckner: The Hill (Merge) LP
On the 100th anniversary of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, Merge is reissuing the epic it inspired: Richard Buckner’s The Hill. The Hill started in 1996 in The Ranch Olancha Motel, a dusty place near the mouth of Death Valley, California. Buckner, who was en route to Tucson, Arizona, to record what would become Devotion & Doubt, stayed a week in a room with no phone, no television, carrying his guitar, a four-track recorder, and a copy of Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. He tinkered with a few of the book’s poems, put them on a cassette, and forgot about it until an acquaintance discovered it in his truck four years later. Beset with writer’s block and looking for a distraction, Buckner would find in the tape the spur he needed. Recorded in Edmonton, Alberta, and Tucson, The Hill converts Spoon River poems to music. Each page of Spoon River Anthology reads as a final, postmortem dictum of a different deceased resident—more than 250 of them now passed—in the fictional Midwestern town of Spoon River. The epitaphs are important for Buckner because, in death, these people strip the breathing city of its dishonesty. Each one, from Reuben Pantier to Elizabeth Childers to Oscar Hummel, is no longer concerned with whispers and pointed fingers that are often the consequence of a life laid bare for all to see. They’re unleashing themselves, without fallacy or attachment. Buckner chooses 18 of these confessions, each given a unique rendering. Backed by Calexico’s Joey Burns and John Convertino and surveyed with Buckner’s unflagging vocal desperation, Spoon River’s residents come back to life. Like so much of his career, Buckner disappeared into Spoon River and returns to us with its story.

File Under: Folk, Alt. Country
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caminiti

Evan Caminiti: Meridian (Thrill Jockey) LP
Evan Caminiti’s slow but steady progression towards electronic music from sand-swept guitar drone mirrors the pace of the music he makes. It has been measured, each move well-considered and clearly intentional. Caminiti has immersed himself in electronic production on Meridian, creating organic sounds through his machines, patching sounds that recall the brassy resonance of horns and hazy choral clusters. Synthesizers hiss and crackle under layers of reverb and fog. Sounds undulate and implode in upon themselves, with bursts of noise dropping in and out to create shadows of rhythm. Caminiti’s electronic systems do not run autonomously – the sounds heard on Meridian required real-time human interaction to bring them to life, and that human touch is essential to the mysterious atmosphere he produces on this new album. On Meridian, Caminiti expands upon the themes he began developing on two of his previous solo works, Dreamless Sleep and Night Dust, and with his other project, Barn Owl. Barn Owl’s most recent album, V, incorporated more electronic textures and layers than their previous works, hinting at the direction that Caminiti takes on Meridian. While Dreamless Sleep and Night Dust were centered around Caminiti’s guitar and his manipulations of the instrument, Meridian highlights Caminiti’s dextrous synthesizer work and production skills. Chiming tones float above monstrous swells of sub-bass, creating the illusion of a massive spacial divide. Caminiti adds rhythms and dynamic swells to abstract sonic textures and field recordings taken over the course of two years, grounding the album in specific times and places, however obscured from the listener. The album takes its name from the concept of energy flowing throughout the body along different paths called meridians.  The pieces on Meridian were developed through live performance and made with the intention of being played at full volume, causing the sounds to course through the veins and along the meridional paths. The tracks pulsate and flow, from the throbbing beat of “Collapse” to the orchestral sounds of “Wire,” all connected by the foggy, atmospheric framework established on album opener “Overtaken.” Meridian was recorded and mixed in San Francisco and New York between 2013 and 2015. Caminiti plans to do some rare solo touring around the release.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Electronic
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meltonCarlton Melton: Out To Sea (Agitated) LP
The voyage is long, the voyage is joyous. Out to Sea is the most focused of all Carlton Melton’s recordings to date. Leaving their geodesic dome behind, they hitched their magick karpet to San Francisco’s El Studio for a fried weekend in July 2014 with The Fucking Champs / Trans Am’s Phil Manley at the production helm (and occasionally contributing to the furor—Manley plays guitar on “Similarities” and synth on “Peaking Duck”). Out to Sea sees Carlton Melton expand the psychedelia and free outrock sound of their previous output to its furthest horizons. Huge rhythms, outta space riffage, sparkling synths, pastoral passages, searing shards of molten guitar, smothered ambience and gentle guitar-picking all flow together into waves of sound to lap at the shores of your senses. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

File Under: Psych, Space Rock
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running

Chromatics: Running From The Sun (Italians Do It Better) LP
A collection of unreleased material from Chromatics’ Kill For Love sessions. “After hours of tracking at the studio in Montreal, we’d clear the channels on the mixer, open a bottle of wine, and feel around in the dark, working our way through the atmospheric elements and peeling back layers of rhythm. Throwing the songs into the abstract pile and playing them while driving home in the snow.”—Johnny Jewel

File Under: Electro, Synth Pop, Italo
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pink

Cocteau Twins: The Pink Opaque (4AD) LP
Long out of print, early-80s compilation, The Pink Opaque is back as 180 Gram UK import LP with download. In 1986, The Pink Opaque brought together the best of the Cocteau Twins’ early works to become their first official release in the US. Already a cult band on college radio, some classics like “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” and “Aikea-Guinea” were given new mixes for this release, while it also featured “Millimillenary,” the first run out for incoming band member Simon Raymonde. To this day, it remains a great entry point to a wonderful band. “Wax and Wane” is re-mixed from the album Garlands, recorded in spring 1982, when Cocteau Twins comprised Robin Guthrie, Elizabeth Fraser, and Will Heggie. By the summer of 1983 Will Heggie had departed and material was produced for the subsequent release Sunburst and Snowblind, from which “Hitherto” and “From the Flagstones” are taken. Simon Raymonde joined Cocteau Twins in late 1983 and new material included “The Spangle Maker,” “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops,” and “Pepper-Tree,” which were released as a 12″ EP, and the song “Millimillenary,” which appeared on an NME compilation tape. “Lorelei” was recorded in the summer of 1984 for the album Treasure, and “Aikea-Guinea” produced for 7″ and 12″ EP release in early 1985. All songs produced by Cocteau Twins except “Wax and Wane,” Cocteau Twins/Ivo. “Millimillenary” was performed live during 1984/85.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ethereal
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cocteau

Cocteau Twins: Tiny Dynamite/Echoes in a Shallow Bay (4AD) LP
When they first emerged in the early 80s, the Cocteau Twins were compared most often to Siouxsie & The Banshees, but in truth they never sounded like anyone – or anything – else. Taken together, their nine albums, and sixteen EPs/singles, sound less like a band and more like an element of nature. Which was very 4AD. Ivo Watts-Russell has always claimed that his aim was to unearth music that was timeless, free of any trend, movement or era and even in their earliest incarnation, the Cocteau Twins were true to that remit, firmly charting their own course. Following 2014’s represses of Cocteau Twins’ Blue Bell Knoll and Heaven or Las Vegas come the combined EPs of Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay and long out of print, early-80s compilation, The Pink Opaque. Using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes, both albums will receive 180g vinyl pressings in July 2015 (also coming with download codes). With a history of releasing singles between albums, the two EPs of Tiny Dynamine and Echoes In A Shallow Bay were originally released two weeks apart back in November 1985. Seen as companion pieces, they both acted as a precursor to their fourth studio album, Victorialand. 30 years later, they’re now being married together on to one piece of vinyl, completed with reformatted artwork.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ethereal
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alice

Alice Coltrane: Universal Consciousness (Superior Viaduct) LP
Originally released on Impulse! in 1971, Universal Consciousness is a major turning point in Alice Coltrane’s momentous career. While her previous albums pushed the limits of spiritual free-jazz and featured much of her late husband’s band, Universal Consciousness expands the harpist / pianist’s compositional palette with organ and strings (working with Ornette Coleman). “Oh Allah” is the finest example of Coltrane’s new direction: tense violins dissolve into sublime organ solos and exquisite brushwork from long-time Miles Davis collaborator Jack DeJohnette. While the title track undulates with a fierce clamor, “Hare Krishna” showcases Coltrane’s uncanny ability for transcendent and slow-paced arrangements. In The Wire’s “100 Records That Set the World on Fire,” David Toop writes, “[Universal Consciousness] clearly connects to other dyspeptic jazz traditions—the organ trio, the soloists with strings—yet volleys them into outer space, ancient Egypt, the Ganges, the great beyond. The production is astounding, the quality of improvisation is riveting, the string arrangements are apocalyptic rather than saccharine, the balance of turbulence and calm a genuine dialectic that later mystic / exotic post-jazz copped out of pursuing. Her lack of constraint was dimly regarded by adherents of ’70s jazz and its masculine orthodoxies, yet Alice deserved better credit for virtuosity, originality, and the sheer will power needed to realize her vision.” This first-time vinyl reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.

File Under: Free Jazz, Spiritual
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desaparecidos

Desaparecidos: Payola (Epitaph) LP
More than a decade after putting out their first album, Desaparecidos return with a follow-up that breathes new life into their brutal fusion of protest music and punk. Though the band never truly parted ways, vocalist/guitarist Conor Oberst, guitarist Denver Dalley, keyboardist Ian McElroy, bassist/vocalist Landon Hedges, and drummer Matt Baum have spent much of the past 13 years pursuing other ambitions (including Oberst’s work as a solo artist and Bright Eyes frontman). Fueling their Epitaph Records debut Payola with the same spirit of unrest that propelled 2002’s Read Music/Speak Spanish, Desaparecidos now match that passion with a fuller, more furious sound and gut-punching commentary on everything from immigration reform and the healthcare debate to gun control and Wall Street bailouts. With its title capturing what McElroy calls “these endless examples of what’s wrong with the whole money culture happening in America today,” Payola was co-produced by the band and their longtime collaborator Mike Mogis (First Aid Kit, The Faint, Man Man). Recorded in several bursts over the past few years at ARC Studios in Omaha, the album’s 14 tracks pack a barrage of outcry and insight into each sharply crafted lyric while storming forward with a ferocious energy. And in their implausibly melodic blend of blistering riffs, lead-heavy rhythms, and savage vocal work, Desaparecidos reveal a bottled-up intensity that suggests a band whose chemistry’s stronger than ever before. “It wasn’t like we were trying to recapture some former glory,” says Oberst of Desaparecidos’ long-planned reunion in the studio. “It was like we had to do this, and we had to do it now.” Limited Edition (2000) deluxe colored LP features a diecut cover that continues the tradition begun with Read Music/Speak Spanish for exceptional packaging and design from this band.

File Under: Punk, Rock, Bright Eyes
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flying saucer

Flying Saucer Attack: Instrumentals (Drag City) LP
Something thought lost forever re-enters your life. How do you respond? How do you even begin to negotiate the vortex of mixed emotions whipped up by such a reappearance? The world shifts sideways. Logic is confounded. The uncanny takes a hold. West Country feedback outfit Flying Saucer Attack are a case in point. In recent years it’s become clear that the Bristol based group were prescient to a considerable degree. The amplified pastoralism of the group and its various offshoots might have seemed out of step with the times during its initial emergence at the height of Britpop, but the rural has since emerged as a rich source of inspiration for numerous artists in the fields of experimental rock and electronic music. Enter Instrumentals 2015. Comprised of 15 fresh Dave Pearce solo performances recorded in characteristically lo-fi manner on tape and CD-R, Instrumentals 2015 is an album that will appeal both to FSA diehards and those wholly unfamiliar with the outfit’s recorded output. The 15 tracks present an impressionistic narrative which transports the listener through the excoriating dronescapes and rueful introspection of the album’s early pieces to the more redemptive cadences of its closing half. Given its sense of momentum, maintained through Pearce’s thoughtful sequencing, this is an album that should be experienced in its entirety, the better to appreciate its deliberate emotional arc.

File Under: Ambient, Space Rock
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high on fire

High on Fire: Luminiferous (E1) LP
World-renowned power trio High On Fire will release its highly-anticipated new album, Luminiferous, in June 2015 via eOne Music. Recorded at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou, the record is the follow-up to the group’s 2012 release, De Vermis Mysteriis, an album hailed as “not for the faint of heart ” by The New Yorker and “a fantastically constructed bloodbath” by Entertainment Weekly. Universally recognized as one of the most potent acts in music today, High On Fire creates molten heavy metal that merges primal fury and aggression, blackened bombast and hall of fame heaviness. The group’s seventh studio album, Luminiferous, is a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume, delivering calculated catharsis as a volcano of revolving riffs and hailstorm of thundering drums combine to beam a blazing spotlight towards the future of modern metal music. “We’re doing our part to expose The Elite and the fingers they have in religion, media, governments and financial world downfall and their relationship to all of our extraterrestrial connections in the race to control this world,” comments vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike. “Wake up, it’s happening. All while we stare at a socially engineered lie we think of as normalcy. Unless we wake from the dream, there will come true doom.” After nearly two decades of trailblazing new passageways to heaviness, High On Fire’s strong, stunning archetype continues to both sharpen and evolve; the trio’s vision has never been clearer. The riff, as always, is king! “High On Fire are Gods to a generation of bikers, barbarians and beardos, and Luminiferous is one of their finest hours.” – Rolling Stone

File Under: Metal, Stoner, Doom
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joy div

Joy Division: Substance (Rhino) LP
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” in June 2015, Rhino Records is pleased to announce the re-issue of four iconic Joy Division releases on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl. The studio albums Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) will be available in June and will be followed in July by Still (1981) and an expanded version of Substance (1988), both available as double-LP sets. Each design replicates the original in painstaking detail, including the gatefold covers used for Still and Substance. The music heard on the albums was remastered in 2007 when Rhino introduced expanded versions of the albums. The lone exception is Substance, which features audio remastered in 2010 for the +- singles box and for the first time on vinyl, the expanded tracklist from the original CD release, plus two additional songs: “As You Said” and the Pennine version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Joy Division recorded two albums before singer Ian Curtis tragically took his own life in 1980. But what the Manchester quartet lacked in longevity, it more than made up for in quality. The band’s only two studio albums were groundbreaking and helped shape the sound and mood of the alternative music that followed in the band’s wake. Curtis (guitar/vocals), Bernard Sumner (keyboard), Peter Hook (bass), and Stephen Morris (drums) released their debut, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979. By the end of the year, the album’s atmospheric sound had won over fans and critics with tracks like “She’s Lost Control” and “Day of the Lords.” Closer, the group’s second album, arrived the following year and its dark and melancholy tones continued to earn rave reviews for songs like “Isolation” and “Heart and Soul.” The compilations Still and Substance fill in the missing pieces of the band’s history with non-album singles (“Transmission” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”), unreleased studio tracks (“Something Must Break” and “Ice Age”), and choice live recordings (“Disorder” and the only performance of “Ceremony”).

File Under: New Wave, Rock
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still

Joy Division: Still (Rhino) LP
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” in June 2015, Rhino Records is pleased to announce the re-issue of four iconic Joy Division releases on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl. The studio albums Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) will be available in June and will be followed in July by Still (1981) and an expanded version of Substance (1988), both available as double-LP sets. Each design replicates the original in painstaking detail, including the gatefold covers used for Still and Substance. The music heard on the albums was remastered in 2007 when Rhino introduced expanded versions of the albums. The lone exception is Substance, which features audio remastered in 2010 for the +- singles box and for the first time on vinyl, the expanded tracklist from the original CD release, plus two additional songs: “As You Said” and the Pennine version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Joy Division recorded two albums before singer Ian Curtis tragically took his own life in 1980. But what the Manchester quartet lacked in longevity, it more than made up for in quality. The band’s only two studio albums were groundbreaking and helped shape the sound and mood of the alternative music that followed in the band’s wake. Curtis (guitar/vocals), Bernard Sumner (keyboard), Peter Hook (bass), and Stephen Morris (drums) released their debut, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979. By the end of the year, the album’s atmospheric sound had won over fans and critics with tracks like “She’s Lost Control” and “Day of the Lords.” Closer, the group’s second album, arrived the following year and its dark and melancholy tones continued to earn rave reviews for songs like “Isolation” and “Heart and Soul.” The compilations Still and Substance fill in the missing pieces of the band’s history with non-album singles (“Transmission” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”), unreleased studio tracks (“Something Must Break” and “Ice Age”), and choice live recordings (“Disorder” and the only performance of “Ceremony.”)

File Under: New Wave, Rock
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kakraba

SK Kakraba: Yonye (Sun Ark) LP
SK Kakraba Lobi is a Master Xylophonist from Ghana, the nephew of Master Xylophonist Kakraba Lobi. SK is a Master of the Gyil, which means that he is both an instrument maker and a virtuoso performer. The Gyil is the Ghanian Xylophone, and the primary instrument of the Lobi, Sisala, and Dagara people of Northern Ghana. It is constructed of 14 wooden slats suspended over calabash gourds that have been fitted with resonators. SK was an instructor of the gyil at the International Centre for African Music and Dance at the University of Ghana, but has recently moved to Los Angeles, CA. SK has performed at festivals in Europe and the Middle East, and he has toured West Africa and America.

File Under: Ghana, World
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love

Calvin Love: Super Future (Arts & Crafts) LP
Only once with every blue moon comes an artist that seems so familiar yet out of space as Calvin Love. On Super Future, his first album for Arts & Crafts, the young charmer from Edmonton, Alberta, steeps songs of psychedelic wisdom in celestial sensuality. Calvin Love arrives an enigma, a strutting, crooning contradiction: as menacing as he is magnetic, like sex and murder wrapped together in a trench coat. With coolness that defies contrivance, Love links sounds and images of science-fiction vintage with an auspicious version of the future. “Automaton” plays late summer knight-rider funk like a factory machine, while soul-drenched bass and electric guitars chase each other in flirtatious dialogue. Love’s reedy tenor phases in the same atmospheric register as age-old synthesizers, singing: “Now off in the distance, her machine calls out ‘I wish you were my robot’ so I wouldn’t feel left out’.” The music drips with crystal aura, blending obsession with the beauty of artifice and the inner systems of real and natural things. It’s this infallible match of the authentic to the inventive that makes Calvin Love’s Super Future so strange and inviting.

File Under: Pop, Indie Rock, CanCon
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makoto

Kawabata Makoto: Astro Love & Infinite Kisses (VHF) LP
Kawabata Makoto emerges from a period of relative quiet with his first widely available solo release in several years, the blockbuster Krautrock-flavored Astro Love & Infinite Kisses. This lovely and impressionistic record showcases the other side of Makoto’s outrageous works with Acid Mothers Temple. Taking cues from classics of the genre like Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra and Steve Hillage’s Rainbow Dome Musick, “Dos Nurages” is the album’s centerpiece, a 41-minute hypnotic epic, with echoplex’d guitar anchoring a stream of expertly done glissando. The title track is a darker drone in the tradition of Kawabata’s Inui series of releases for VHF. “Woman From Dream Island” closes the record with a thick buzz of tamboura overlaid with trippy backwards guitar, before giving way to a gentle, finger-picked acoustic coda.

File Under: Kosmische, Psych, Acid Mothers Temple
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miller

Sidney Miller: Linguas De Fogo (Sol Re Sol) LP
Sol Re Sol Records is happy to announce the reissue of Sidney Miller’s lost classic Linguas De Fogo. Originally released in 1974, Miller’s third album is one of the best Brazilian records of its time. A seamless mesh of Brazilian pop, psychedelia and Bossa Nova, Linguas De Fogo could almost be mistaken as Tropicalia—if Miller hadn’t distanced himself from the genre. Of Linguas De Fogo, Flabbergated Vibes writes, “The record is dreamy, hazy, psychedlicized, progressive MPB that evokes early Lô Borges, or Beto Guedes, or the first Nelson Angelo / Joyce album…. The arrangements are all great, balancing his relaxed, almost sedated vocal lines against taught, double-tracked flute harmonies or funky electric piano or keyboards or fuzzy electric guitars that sometimes sound like it was plugged straight into the mixing board and using the input as an overdrive…. This album is very deserving of that tag of ‘lost masterpiece’ that gets thrown around a little too freely these days.” Miller first received notice in 1967 when Nara Leão recorded five of his songs (along with four by Chico Buraque, to whom Miller was compared). This was soon followed by his own album and recordings of his songs by Quarteto em Cy. He then contributed music to film (many for his friend director Paulo Thiago) and plays (one of which he collaborated on with Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil). While his songs were recorded by Veloso, Leão, Quarteto em Cy, MPB-4, Alaíde Costa and Gal Costa, Miller released only two more albums in his lifetime, Linguas De Fogo being his last. That he did not receive the acclaim his peers did was not due to his lack of talent. Miller was incredibly shy; he loathed to take the stage and masked his shyness with drugs and drink. He passed away young, at age 30 in 1980. How he died is disputed. Though Linguas De Fogo is highly regarded among diehard Brazilain music fanatics and the original vinyl pressing is much coveted, Miller has been a secret pleasure yet undiscovered by the general public. However, recently he has been rediscovered by a new crop of Brazilian artists, and hopefully this release will further push interest in his music.

File Under: Brazilian, Psych, Pop, Bossa Nova
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mdou

Mdou Moctar: Akounak Tedalat Taha (Sahel Sounds) LP
Rocking soundtrack recording from Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it, a revolutionary story of guitars, motorcycles, cellphones—and the music of a new generation. Original compositions from Mdou Moctar from the film about his rise to fame in the city of Agadez. From the raucous heavy psychedelic to the beautiful pentatonic sublime. Includes original compositions and reverb-heavy intermission film score.

File Under: African, Tuareg, Desert Blues
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moroder

Giorgio Moroder: Déjà vu DLX (RCA) LP
Deja Vu is the first solo album in over 30 years from disco founder and electronic music trailblazer Giorgio Moroder. The long awaited 12-track offering features a superstar line up of collaborators including Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Mikky Ekko, Foxes, Kelis, Marlene and Matthew Koma. Comments Moroder: “So excited to release my first album in 30 years; it took quite some time. Who would have known adding the ‘click’ to the 24 track would spawn a musical revolution and inspire generations. As I sit back readily approaching my 75th birthday, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m incredibly happy that I got to work with so many great and talented artists on this new record. This is dance music, it’s disco, it’s electronic, it’s here for you. Once you listen…you’ll feel it…déjà vu.” Music icon Giorgio Moroder made his mark as an influential Italian producer, songwriter, performer and DJ. At 74 years-old, Moroder still has his hands in the center of EDM culture, swinging back into the spotlight as a guest collaborator on the Grammy Award-winning Daft Punk album Random Access Memories (“Album Of the Year”), remixing Lady Gaga’s and Tony Bennett’s “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love,” Coldplay’s “Magic,” along with remixes for Donna Summer, Haim and his Scarface motion picture soundtrack. He has a newfound station as a live DJ which included major festival slots in Japan, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, the HARD’s Day Of The Dead in Los Angeles, and at the Pitchfork Music Festival earlier this year. Over the course of his career, Moroder has worked with some of the most famous names in music including Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Donna Summer, Cher, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Freddie Mercury, Blondie, and David Bowie to name a few. He is heavily noted for being the key player in the Queen of Disco Donna Summer‘s rise to fame throughout the 1970s, collaborating with her on her biggest hits including “Love To Love You Baby,” “Hot Stuff” and “I Feel Love.” In 1997, Moroder and Summer won the Grammy Award for “Best Dance Recording” for the song “Carry On.” He recently teamed with Verve records to honor Summer with Love To Love You Donna, a collection of her most notable hits remixed by Afrojack, Hot Chip, Laidback Luke, Masters at Work, and others. Moroder’s music charted success everywhere the disco craze touched down but he is also responsible for some of the most classic film scores to date including Scarface and Midnight Express, as well as timeless soundtrack numbers like “Take My Breath Away” (Top Gun), Irene Cara’s “Flashdance,” Blondie’s “Call Me” (American Gigolo), as well as compositions on films such as The Never Ending Story, Superman III, Rambo III and Beverly Hills Cop II. From these, Moroder has accumulated three Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, four Grammys and more than 100 gold and platinum records. Giorgio Moroder was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

File Under: Dance Pop, Electronic
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of monsters

Of Monsters And Men: Beneath the Skin (Republik) LP
Beneath The Skin is the long awaited second full-length album from the critically acclaimed multiplatinum Icelandic quintet Of Monsters And Men. The group spent the past year working on Beneath The Skin with co-producer Rich Costey (Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, Interpol) between studios in Iceland and Los Angeles. Propelled by gargantuan drums, resounding acoustic guitars, an orchestral hum, and a massive refrain, first single, “Crystals” leads the charge and is a treasure in its own right. Of Monsters And Men have come a long way from their native Iceland. They quickly became a phenomenon in 2011 with the quadruple-platinum “Little Talks” and their chart-topping debut, My Head Is An Animal, which has since moved 2 million copies worldwide.

File Under: Iceland, Indie Folk
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bronson

OST: Bronson (Milan) LP
Before Nicolas Winding Refn made a worldwide impact in 2011 with his Ryan Gosling starring hit Drive, the maverick filmmaker directed Bronson. The 2008 film, starring Tom Hardy, tells the story of Charles Bronson, a young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office and eventually ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. He has become the most notorious inmate in England. Bronson is home to many elements that we’ve come to associate with Winding Refn’s films including its pumping soundtrack. A modern day Clockwork Orange, Bronson features unforgettable music with the recurring electro-pop “Digital Versicolor” by Glass Candy, the menacing “The Electrician” by The Walker Brothers and additional evocative material from the likes of New Order and Pet Shop Boys. Balancing this modern act, the film includes beautiful classical compositions by Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner and more. Surprisingly this exceptional original motion picture soundtrack has never been available to a wide audience – except for a quick CD release in the UK. Milan Records continues its blossoming relationship with the director by releasing the complete soundtrack to Bronson here on double LP for the very first time!

File Under: OST, Refn, Drive
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castlevania

OST: Castlevania (Moonshake) LP
Vinyl release containing tracks from Castlevania I, II, II and IV. Of dubious origin, but you still probably need this in your life… don’t you?

File Under: OST, Video Games
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ex-machina

OST: Ex-Machina (Invada) LP
Invada Records is proud to announce to the release of the score to Alex Garland’s 2015 Sci-fi film Ex Machina, by Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow on double CD and double vinyl. Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow join forces for a second time since their creation of Drokk, their unused score for 2012 motion picture Dredd, to create the dark, synth heavy score for Ex Machina.

File Under: OST, Sci-Fi, Portishead
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nes

OST: NES Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Moonshake) LP
Another dubious video game collection featuring tracks from Contra, Bionic Commando, Bubble Bobble, Double Dragon, Mother, Final Fantasy, Punch Out, Tetris, Wizards & Warriors, River City Ransom and many more.

File Under: OST, Videogames
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paper

Paper Dollhouse: Aeonflower (Night School) LP/CS
An exploration of warped, dream-like atmosphere and taught, noise-ingrained electronics, Paper Dollhouse has evolved from the solo work of Astrud Steehouder into an expansive, cinematic project now involving visual artist Nina Bosnic. Recorded with a stronger focus on electronic processes and with a deeper, light-starved aesthetic, Aeonflower’s emboldened use of crushed-noise dynamics takes the London-based group’s debut A Box Painted Black frame into darker, murkier and more thrilling territory. Aeonflower is the slow decent of a newly-discorporated spirit into a fogged, neon-lagoon, a drowned world still-lit. If the first LP was a box of raw secrets with hints of obscured folk roots, Aeonflower is the endless rain of expression, experience and change. On this outing both artists’ vocals are expressive, forgoing complex lyrical concerns for minimal text invested with emotive power. Opener “Oracle” bleeds into Stand, the first of Steehouder’s haunted vocals, a fragile minimalism augmented with barren guitar. “Helios” sees a drum-machine kick + ride cymbal pin down an dark, enveloping vocal duet until “Psyche” obliterates it all with billowing noise, a thrilling shock to the system. The swirling synths and suppressed emotion of “Your Heart” peak in the centerpiece “Diane,” a shadowy piece highlighting Steehouder’s minimalist approach. Side 2 acts as a mini-suite, with Diamanda Galas-inspired vocal abstractions and walls of sound coming down with stand out ambient track “Black Flowers.” Dark and light interplay beautifully on album closer “Siren,” a turbulent if ambiguous build-up of harmony and noise. A cinematic portrayal of an internal hinterland, Aeonflower is a complete, encompassing world.

File Under: Darkwave, Experimental
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arvo

Arvo Part: Passio (Ajna Offensive) LP
Comprised mostly of Arvo Part’s signature hypnotic tintinnabuli, performed by Anthony Pitt and Tonus Peregrinus, Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem is a slow-moving liturgical piece that offers a vastness, solemnity and intimacy which allows for contemplation of the mysteries and suffering of the canonical text taken from the Gospel of John, chapters 18 and 19. Winner of the Cannes Classical Award.

File Under: Classical
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peacers

Peacers: s/t (Drag City) LP/CS
Sliding up from out from under, from the old heart of the Bay Area…from out of nowhere even—it’s a special new band. Hands up for the sweet and sour popsicles of Peacer! Pop music in the new century—what’s it all about? In the hands of Peacers, it is BAKED—a vanillan cake with sweet sooty icing. Shades of the Bratish invision: compressions and crushes, bone-shakes and glutinous thinks, a wisp of the blues, ardor and romance scraping like the ceiling at your back. Carrying on like rock and roll never happened already, Peacers unpack a century’s-worth of progress in fresh tunage, capering to classic beats such as ‘jetset,’ ‘showtunes,’ ‘British psych (blues),’ ‘D.I.Y.,’ ‘subterranean homesic,’ ‘EMI (pistols)’ and the rest. Peacers’ debut is a max dash through the gutted and the gutter, all of which is written home about with a gleeful cock of the skull and twinkle in eye. The perspex of the songs and production both is saddled and well-traveled, but fresh under the glass —unmistakably out the poison-nib(well) of Mike Donovan whose hits with Sic Alps will live forever, like candy wrappers glittering up from the sewer. And who’s producing you, Peacers? Mike D’s ole SF cohort himself, Ty Segall, whose rhythm sections and arrangement-commendations re-cast most of the tunes on the rec with copacetic co-ness!

File Under: San Fran, Psych, Sic Alps, Ty Segall
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radioactivity

Radioactivity: Silent Kill (Dirtnap) LP
Seems pretty safe to assume that almost no one doubted Radioactivity’s ability to follow up their 2013 Dirtnap debut with something equally stunning. Frontman and chief songwriter Jeff Burke (The Marked Men, The Reds, The Potential Johns) has certainly done more than enough to earn that kind of expectation and pressure. But Silent Kill, which finds Burke backed by Marked Men compatriot Mark Ryan and two-thirds of Bad Sports (Daniel Fried and Gregory Rutherford), does more than merely match the virtues of its self-titled predecessor. Radioactivity’s first LP was rightly hailed as a sort of sequel to The Marked Men’s remarkable run through the first decade of the millennium, and while Silent Kill bears the unmistakable hallmarks of that band’s tightly wound “Denton sound,” Radioactivity can now lay claim to a sonic territory of their very own. Burke’s distinctive hooks dig as deep as ever, but the scope of his vision has expanded, and now that the Burke/Ryan/Fried/Rutherford all-star team has had some time to cohere, Radioactivity can do all sorts of damage in less than thirty minutes. Although the twelve songs on Silent Kill abide one strict rule–providing garage punk pleasure at all costs–Radioactivity bend that mandate in myriad ways. Breathless ragers like “Battered” and “No Alarm” are as fleet and raw as anything in the combined canon of Radioactivity’s members, while mid-tempo heartbreakers “Way Out,” “Connection” and “Where I Come From” find Burke and company opening up their sound to let in a little tenderness. And then there are songs like “Not Here” or “With You,” which enact perfect unions of melody and kinetic energy. Admirers of Burke’s legacy will be not only satisfied, but pleasantly surprised.

File Under: Punk, Marked Men
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ratatat

Ratatat: Magnifique (XL) LP
In July 2015 Ratatat releases its fifth full-length album, Magnifique, on XL Recordings, a solid five years after Mike Stroud and Evan Mast’s last release, LP4 from 2010. Following up on the experimental sounds of LP3 and LP4, Ratatat return to their core guitar-driven sound on Magnifique. “I feel like it’s our strongest record,” Evan says. “We did it in spurts. We made a few trips to different locations where we’d set up a studio and work.” Mike and Evan spent time in Port Antonio, Jamaica, upstate New York (at the same studio where LP3 and LP4 were recorded), Long Island, New York and at their own studio in Brooklyn. Combining the bedrock beats and primordial riffs from their first two albums with the sonic experimentation and production prowess of LP3 and LP4, Mike and Evan arrived at a new plateau with Magnifique. “We used to nearly always start tracks with a beat, but with this album we were often starting with melodies and adding beats and percussion after the fact,” Mike says. “We were all about getting strong melodies.” With more time, tools and experiences to work with, Evan and Mike created their most fully-realized album with proper “Intro” and “Outro” tracks and palette-cleansing interludes made to sound like someone tuning in music from an alternate world, often creating stark juxtapositions between lo and hi-fi sounds. “There’s something cool about having those two types of sound right next to each other,” Evan says, talking about their new song, “Abrasive,” which, “starts off a bit grimy and shitty sounding and then slowly builds into this ultra hi-fi construction of layered guitars and keyboards. Some of the guitars were recorded an octave lower and then sped up to give them an unnatural gloss, it almost sounds like guitars on steroids. I like having that intensity and then getting down to tape hiss, where you can hear the amp that’s dying as you’re playing the guitar.” The secret weapon on Magnifique’s slower tracks is the pedal steel guitar, an instrument most commonly heard in country music, “but it’s a really futuristic sounding instrument,” Evan explains. While Mike and Evan have long been fans of mid-century instrumental duo Santo & Johnny who famously employed the pedal steel on their timeless hit, “Sleepwalking,” they dove much deeper into the world of pedal steel on slower songs like, “Drift,” “Supreme” and their first ever cover tune, “I Will Return,” originally recorded in 1972 by a one-man-band called Springwater. “We were watching clips from the Lawrence Welk show because he used to have these slide guitar players doing instrumentals live on the show,” Evan says. “And some of the guys he had on were just unbelievable, their level of skill is unreal.” “Ever since we started working on this record we’ve been talking about how we wanted to bring the focus back to guitars,” Stroud says. Debuting moments after Ratatat closed out the Sahara Tent at Coachella, the album’s lead single, “Cream on Chrome” builds on a pocket 4/4 beat and walking bass line with a hypnotic guitar figure before getting crushed under wave after wave of guitars and synth washes. “We learned so much about song writing doing the last two records,” Evan says. “Once we knew what we knew having recorded LP3 and LP4, we wanted to go back to our old sounds and we what we could do with that same palate. We wanted to do some more aggressive stuff too, songs that would be really fun to play live.”

File Under: Electro, Rock, Funk
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refused

Refused: Freedom (Epitaph) LP
Refused came to an end in front of 50 kids at a basement show in a Virginia college town in 1998, just as their release of the same year, The Shape of Punk to Come, was taking its first steps toward becoming an acknowledged classic and a massive influence on a generation of bands. Refused Are Fucking Dead! became the slogan, as kids discovered Shape and its breakout track “New Noise” only to find their new heroes disbanded. Refused Are Fucking Alive! After a 2012 invitation to reform for the Coachella festival, Refused followed its first shows in 15 years with a triumphant tour, as every kid who had discovered them after death came out to see them reborn. Now comes Freedom, the first album in almost 20 years, on Epitaph, the label that released The Shape of Punk to Come all those years ago. Freedom explodes out of the speakers with opening track “Elektra,” as frontman Dennis Lyxzen’s throat-shredding declaration that “nothing has changed” catapults Refused into the 21st century. If Shape blasted apart the constraints of the punk and hardcore worlds with which Refused had long been associated, Freedom goes a step further by incorporating the wide-ranging influences that have shaped each band members’ personal tastes. Produced by Nick Launay (Gang Of Four, Public Image Ltd., Nick Cave, Arcade Fire) with additional work by fellow Swede and longtime Refused fan Shellback, Freedom is not just a follow-up to Shape, but a living breathing snapshot of a band, alive, now!

File Under: Punk
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rev

Martin Rev: Clouds of Glory (Permanent) LP
Martin Rev’s (Suicide) second long layer finally back in print for the first time in 30 years. Haunting second album of minimalist analogue synth experimentation from Suicide’s Martin Rev. Never before pressed to vinyl in the States. Previously available as an import on French label New Rose. A killer follow-up to his debut LP reissued in 2013 by Superior Viaduct. Edition of 350 copies on black vinyl.

File Under: Minimalism, Synth, Experimental
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sela

Eden Sela: Purgatory (Thin Wrist) LP
Composed and recorded for the most part alone in her bedroom over a span of four years, Eden Sela’s debut album, with its haunting voice and distinctive sense of folk and dark gospel lull, leads her audience somnambulant, floating hand-in-hand, through delusions, desires, dreams and fantasy. 180-gram vinyl. Includes digital download.

File Under: Blues, Gospel, Soul
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smokey

Smokey: How Far Will You Go? (Chapter Music) LP
“Chapter Music presents the first ever collection of recordings by wild and outlandish 1970s LA pre-punk icons Smokey. Featuring cameos from James Williamson of The Stooges, Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne), members of The Motels, King Crimson, Tin Machine, Suburban Lawns, and many others, the Smokey story has to be heard to be believed. In 1973, two wide-eyed young music fans made their way to Los Angeles and were introduced by a notoriously touchy-feely road manager for The Doors. John ‘Smokey’ Condon was a bewitchingly beautiful Baltimore transplant, himself no angel after spending his teenage years partying with the John Waters crowd. EJ Emmons was a budding record producer from New Jersey, already starting to work in small studios around Hollywood. Condon had marched in New York the night after the Stonewall Riots in 1969, and so by the time he and EJ created Smokey, they weren’t about to hold back. Released in 1974, debut single ‘Leather / Miss Ray’ wasn’t just openly gay, it was exultantly, unapologetically gay, examining front-on the newly-liberated leather and drag scenes thriving in America’s urban centers. The single was shopped around to labels using Emmons’s industry contacts, but doors were regularly slammed on the duo. ‘We can’t put this out, it’s a fucking gay record, what’s the matter with you,’ said one record exec, while adding, ‘it’s really good though.’ Undeterred, they self-released five singles that span pre-punk, stoner jams, disco, synth-punk, and more, all stamped with Smokey’s fearless candor. 1976 single and compilation title-track ‘How Far Will You Go…? features guitar from EJ’s studio buddy James Williamson, fresh from his adventures recording Raw Power with Iggy and The Stooges in London with David Bowie. Smokey even remembers a few mid ’70s jams with Williamson, with a vague view towards replacing the rehab-bound Iggy as The Stooges’ frontman! The live band played almost weekly at Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, with a band featuring 14-year-old future Quiet Riot-ers Randy Rhoads and KELLY GARNI. Restored by Emmons from original master tapes; mastered for vinyl by Emmons with his own cutting lathe. With extensive liner notes and photos, How Far Will You Go? tells the story of America’s greatest ’70s should-have-beens, a band so amazing that the only reason you haven’t heard of them is because they were faggots, and they didn’t give a shit.”

File Under: Yacht Rock, Almost Disco
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bali high

Michael Sena: Bali High OST (Anthology) LP
As part of our ongoing Anthology Surf Archive series, Anthology Recordings is recognizing the classic 1981 underground film, Bali High, directed by filmmaker Stephen Spaulding. Bali was still an untapped resource of waves in 1977 and Spaulding was struck by its uncrowded tubes, towering volcanoes and rich Hindu culture. He would spend the next three years chasing waves from Indonesia to Kauai, filming now legendary surfers Rick Rasmussen, Peter McCabe, Tommy Carroll, and Larry Blair. The end result was Bali High, a preservation of this era of travel and adventure. Most surf film soundtracks were bootlegged straight from the director’s record collection without much thought given to licensing rights or fees. Spaulding’s original soundtrack featured favorites from The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, and Santana, but as the subculture grew commercial traction Spaulding had to rethink how to legally sell the film without paying for song rights. For the 1984 re-release Spaulding sought out the help of Kauai based musician and producer MICHAEL SENA to compose an original score that could match the action and vibe of his previous soundtrack. Sena wrote, produced, and recorded the entire album himself in just three months. The resulting 26 tracks lend the film its signature flavor and cover an impressive variation of genres, featuring moments of folk, dubby rock, synthesized disco, tropicalia, jazz fusion, and hyper-tempo power rock.

File Under: OST, Surfers
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arawAraw ‘Trio’ XI: Gazebo Effect (Sun Ark) LP
Araw “Trio” XI is a new configuration of the Sun Araw Band, the live-action collaborative branch of Sun Araw. Over the course of several studio dates in Hollywood, California, “Trio” players Cameron Stallones, Alex Gray and Mitchell Brown successfully planted a garden of “non-dimensional” objects, not only spontaneously generating these objects but also mastering their nurture and cultivation. Gazebo Effect is a 2xLP nocturnal stroll into the depths of the garden, its upper lawns and outbuildings.

File Under: Rock, Experimental
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tame impala

Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP/CD
We were massively shorted on our initial order on this, but we’ll have another stack in about 10 days so, if you miss out on this batch don’t worry! Much has changed since Tame Impala first emerged with an EP of dusty home recordings in 2008. By and large Kevin Parker’s approach to recording has not, though the sound coming out of his home studio has vastly expanded, as has the number of people anticipating the fruits of his labor. Tame Impala’s third album is titled Currents, and on it Parker addresses a blindingly colorful panorama of transition in the most audacious, adventurous fashion he’s yet to capture on record. Dense with heady lyrical introspection, musically the most playful, bold and varied Tame Impala record to date, Currents is Parker putting down his weapons and embracing change as the only constant – sonically, thematically, and personally. Musically, Currents sounds like the work of a player on top of his game and having a blast, Parker indulging his whims and unafraid to dive down the rabbit hole after an idea. Again operating as a one man studio band, Parker’s resultant record calls to mind contemporary hip hop production, Thriller, fried ’70s funk, the irreverent playground Daft Punk presented on Discovery, swathes of future pop and emotional ’80s balladry, all filtered through a thoroughly modern psychedelic third eye. A genre-bending soundscape fueled equally by curiosity as it is consciousness, it’s exhilarating new territory for Tame Impala. Lyrically the record finds Parker in a very different place in 2015 to where he was seven years ago. Transitions in life, relationships, perspectives, mindsets – Currents maps Parker’s evolution through these and finds him a brand new person. In parts of both 2010’s Innerspeaker and 2012’s Lonerism Tame Impala sounded like a guy on the outer wanting in, now that he’s found himself on the inside Parker’s turned the spotlight in on himself. Stopping to reflect on the road behind, where he finds himself currently, and the road ahead, Currents spans a tumultuous time. The first track from the record to be unveiled, “Let It Happen,” is a perfectly encapsulating preview of what lies ahead. Coming in just short of eight minutes, “Let It Happen” traverses a swag of sonic terrain in its duration. The drums and Parker’s vocal introduction lull the listener with a sense of familiarity, until it all sweeps up into a cosmos once populated only by French robots, with insistent melody, broken machine loops, synthetic orchestration, surfing vocoder and a shredding guitar outro. Typically, initial Tame Impala recordings saw Parker’s vocal hidden beneath a layer of psychedelic fuzz, drenched in reverb, lyrics ambiguous. Currents finds his voice front and center, so no bones are made about his intent. Sketched out in planes, cars, hotels and homes since the completion of Lonerism in 2012, pieced together over the later part of 2014 and early 2015 at home in Fremantle, Western Australia, Currents was written, performed, recorded, produced and mixed by Kevin Parker. Tame Impala presents Currents, a soundtrack to life’s turbulent flow.

File Under: Rock
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unicorn

Unicorn: Playing With Light (Fabrica) LP
Issued a decade ago as a CD on Housepig, Unicorn’s beautiful and sinister album Playing With Light is re-introduced to listeners as a rearranged and remastered LP. Unicorn is WT Nelson, known previously as party to ’90s avant-hardcore outfit Man is the Bastard and its spawn, the prolific Bastard Noise. Playing With Light features three tracks originally prepared to accompany short films by Stephanie Miller, and, interspersed with standalone compositions, work cohesively to limn a world where the alien oscilloscapes of Bastard Noise merge with earthy synths and electric mandocello. The album opens with a transfixing music box motif that wouldn’t be out of place ushering in the opening credits of a vintage thriller. In “Spots,” the ten-minute centerpiece track, a mostly unaccompanied synth melody uses syncopation to create the impression of stumbling through darkness. “Clay & Fire” threatens to burst into full-bore power electronics territory but doesn’t; the narration we hear is not a transgressive confession but instead a factory worker’s discovery of pottery as a respite from his labor. From there the record offers an electronic crescendo before resolving in the almost-comforting “Far Away; Close To You,” which trails off in Morse code blips clearly transmitted but only possibly received. Playing With Light is unique in Nelson’s discography and is entirely deserving of this vinyl reincarnation. “Rhodes, Electric Mandocello, Various Trogotronic Electronic / Electro Acoustics Prototypes & Field Recordings.” Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk (Grouper, Mississippi Records, Sublime Frequencies).

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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von till

Steve Von Till: A Life Unto Itself (Neurot) LP
A Life Unto Itself is as much the name of Steve Von Till’s fourth solo album as it is a perfect description for the 25-plus years he’s spent forging, with his brothers, the incomparable musical force that is Neurosis—not to mention the numerous sonic tapestries he’s woven with Tribes of Neurot and under his alter ego Harvestman. One can hear that deep musical history, and all the life experience that goes with it, on A Life Unto Itself. As with his previous solo works, Von Till’s weathered, distinctive voice and sparse acoustic guitar provides the foundation. Quiet and subdued for the most part, these songs still evoke vast emotional power as Von Till’s raspy whisper dives deeply inward and speaks of visions, memories and self-reflection in a way both seasoned and exposed. While his last couple albums took on a more traditional approach with respectful nods toward Americana and Celtic ballads, A Life Unto Itself ventures into a wider variety of sonic landscapes, often borrowing from the rural psychedelia of Harvestman, weaving in strains of vintage synth and electric guitars. Von Till was assisted in creating the album’s myriad textures by viola master Eyvind Kang, pedal steel wizard J. Kardong and percussionist Pat Schowe, all under the supervision of engineer and producer Randall Dunn, with whom he recorded and mixed the album at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle. Von Till and his fellow travelers take the listener on a pilgrimage through hidden inner worlds, occasionally surfacing for brief sojourns through the American West (“In Your Wings”), Old World Europe (“A Language of Blood”) and more modern points unknown (“Night of the Moon”).

File Under: Folk, Rock, Neurosis
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Massey 12" Template

Bry Webb & the Providers: Live at Massey Hall (Idee Fixe) LP
On May 31, 2014, Bry Webb graced the stage of Massey Hall. The timing couldn’t have been better, a mere 11 days after the release of his second solo album Free Will. The invitation to participate in a special concert series designed to revitalize the perception of the storied venue by attracting a younger audience was a dream come true. Having performed with Rich Burnett as his only backing musician at Massey in late 2011while opening for Feist on her Metals tour, this was now a chance to bring a full band to the stage. The resulting recording, Bry Webb and the Providers Live at Massey Hall, is very much a band album. The rhythm section of Nathan Lawr on kit, Anna Ruddick on bass and Thom Hammerton on keys masterfully created the wide dynamic of the night’s proceedings. At opposite sides of the stage sat Richard Burnett and Aaron Goldstein whose lap steel/pedal steel combination created the signature Provider sound. The record opens with Undertaker – big muffed steel guitars and wavering keys stand in for the original’s horn arrangement, all supporting Webb’s voice reverberating through the famous hall. The band immediately shift gears into a scorching version of Lowlife which stands in complete contrast to the cut as it appears on Bry’s first solo album Provider. The song, replete with wide swing, sits waaaaaaay back as the band weaves in an out before coming together for a glorious vamp admittedly “lifted straight from the dead”. Similarly, Fletcher, Big Smoke and Asa are reinterpreted for the big stage revealing their celebratory nature. The Providers really open up on album closer Receive Me, filling the hall with the song’s insistent bass and trademark distorted steels. Recorded to multitrack for broadcast by SiriusXM, the night was also captured by director Mitch Fillion of Southern Souls fame in a multi camera shoot which has become a part of the Live at Massey Hall film series. When we first saw and heard what Massey had put together we immediately knew it was the perfect release to pay tribute to the band who would cross Canada more than a few times during the remainder of 2014. On May 26, 2015, Idée Fixe will release Bry Webb and the Providers Live at Massey Hall in a limited red vinyl edition. The LP’s artwork was created by Halifax natives Yorodeo and is an example of their recent work using anaglyphic (red/cyan) 3D glasses. Yorodeo’s front and back cover artwork showcase the famous venue by bringing you on stage and in the audience with the first 3D photographs ever taken inside Massey. Conveniently, the packaging will include a set of 3D glasses to view the images. To celebrate the release Bry Webb and various configurations of the Providers are heading out on tour this summer and fall starting at Sled Island in Calgary on June 25.

File Under: Folk, SSW, CanCon, Constantines
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wilson

Renny Wilson: Punk Explosion/Extension (Mint) LP
Punk Explosion / Extension, or Punk Ex for short, is the latest musical detour from the loins of Canadian avant-pop artist Renny Wilson. Recorded between 2007 and 2014, Punk Ex follows Wilson’s natural progression from the breakup of his high school garage punk band The Subatomics to his present-day life in Montréal. Originally available in an extremely limited, abridged cassette version simply titled Punk Explosion, the album was a collection of Wilson’s more abrasive recordings from the past seven years. Adding a handful of previously unreleased songs recorded at his home studio in Park Ex, Montréal, in late 2014, Punk Explosion / Extension sees the original recordings back and bulkier than ever. Recalling snotty ’70s punk, cornball classic rock and scratchy ’90s garage punk, the album makes more than subtle hints at the past while painting a clear picture of the future. From the lighter fare of “Youngsters” and “Clean” to the cheeky cock-rock of “Stiffed” and the guttural, cartoonish power-pop of “Escaping Alive,” Punk Ex offers a variety of leather-jacket-bound jams, as one would expect from an album made over so many years. Setbacks and stylistic evolutions aside, Wilson’s own personal Chinese Democracy is available to the public at last!

File Under: Punk, CanCon
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wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe: Live At Roadburn (Outer Battery) LP
First time available in North America! This is an extremely limited edition repress of Chelsea Wolfe’s Live at Roadburn LP. Featuring eight tracks from LA’s enigmatic folk doom-weaver, Chelsea Wolfe’s appearance at Roadburn was the buzzed about set of the festival. With original copies of this LP selling for well over $100, don’t miss your chance this time around! Limited edition pressing on blue vinyl.

File Under: Folk, Doom, Goth
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…..Restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Psychedelic Sounds of (Snapper) LP
Acid Mothers Temple: La Novia (Prophase) LP
Courtney Barnett: Double EP (Mom & Pop) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think (Mom & Pop) LP
Black Keys: Thickfreakness (Fat Possum) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Butthole Surfers: Psychic.. Powerless… (Latino Buggerville) LP
Chromatics: Kill For Love (Italians Do It Better) LP
Chromatics: Night Drive (Italians Do It Better) LP
Cluster: Zuckerzeit (Lilith) LP
Desire: II (Italians Do It Better) LP
Django Django: Born Under Saturn (Because) LP
Elder: Lore (Armageddon Shop) LP
Faith Healer: Cosmic Troubles (Mint) LP
Aretha Franklin: Lady Soul (4 Men With Beards) LP
Follakzoid: II (Sacred Bones) LP
Follakzoid: III (Sacred Bones) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (4 Men With Beards) LP
B.C. Gilbert: 3r4 (Superior Viaduct) LP
Tim Hecker: Dropped Pianos (Kranky) LP
Tim Hecker: Harmony in Ultraviolet (Kranky) LP
Tim Hecker: Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky) LP
Mark Hollis: s/t (Ba Da Bing) LP
King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King (Panegyric) LP
King Khan & BBQ Show: s/t (In The Red) LP
The Knife: Shaking the Habitual (Mute) LP
LCD Soundsystem: The Long Goodbye (DFA) 5LP Box
Led Zeppelin: I (Warner) LP
Magma: Merci (Jazz Village) LP
Mammatus: Heady Mental (Spiritual Pajamas) LP
Mammatus: The Coast Explodes (Holy Mountain) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Lee Morgan: Cooker (Blue Note) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Drop (Castle Face) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Floating Coffin (Castle Face) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Help (In The Red) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Warm Slime (In The Red) LP
OST: Deep Throat Anthology 2 (Light in the Attic) LP
Reatards: Teenage Hate/Fuck Elvis (Goner) LP
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Polydor) LP
Ty Segall: Lemons (Goner) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) LP
Television: Marquee Moon (Rhino) LP
Todd Terje: It’s Album Time (Olsen) LP
Timber Timbre: Creep On Creepin’ On (Arts & Crafts) LP
Torres: Sprinter (Arts & Crafts) LP
Chelsea Wolfe: Apokalypsis (Sargent House) LP
Various: After Dark (Italians Do It Better) LP
Various: After Dark 2 (Italians Do It Better) LP
Various: Princess Nicotine (Sublime Frequencies) LP

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…..news letter #698 – counterwait…..

Here we go, the weeks we’ve all been waiting for. The weeks in the middle of summer where pretty much nothing comes in at all. Although this week we did get two killer reissues which you totally need. Plus, we’ve got A/C. So get off your duff and get over here. Also, no news letter next week. You’ve been warned.

…..pick of the week…..

pole

Besombes/Rizet: Pole (Gonzai) LP
This is a psychedelic masterpiece, a stunning piece of work made mainly by synths from various kinds (VCS, Farfisas, Mellotron,  etc), backed up occasionally with drums and other sounds. The tracks are mainly instrumental and takes the listener through a trip, like the gods of psychedelic music intended. “Think the Germans had the market cornered on dark-edged electronics in the 70s? Guess again, because this mid 70s gem from Frenchman Philippe Besombes easily rivals the most progressive work of the Kraut scene of the time! The album’s a collaboration with Jean-Louis Rizet – and features both artists duetting on a variety of analogue electronics – sometimes in a melodic way, but often in more experimental modes that are quite textural at times – and which stand as a key link between initial German electronics in the 70s, and some of the murkier British uses of the instrument a few years later. “This epic album just oozes sanctified mystery, psychic menace and playful insanity and exists in a timeless zone of tripped-out lysergicity all its own. I’ve never heard anything quite like it, nor quite as special for the kind of music that it is (and really, there’s not that much of this kind of thing, from then or now). Have you heard Achim Reichel’s ‘Echo’? That special – but quite different again, in another parallel sphere but just as exalted in my mind and heart. Psychedelic progressive synth-based music doesn’t get much better than this, in my opinion, though it’s clearly not for everyone – some people just find it cold, too weird, and occasionally too repetitive or slow and can’t get into it. It’s the kind of album with heaps of textural depth you need to give time and attention to, and I’d never put it on as background music. It demands to be taken seriously (though it occasionally has some strange fun) and I treat this album as a piece of sacramental music to be played only when all present are prepared to lay back quietly, shut their eyes and let it work its way inside for the next 75 minutes (maybe with a smoke break and breather in the middle!). Indeed, it’s ideal for thorough shamanic journeying without New Age namby-pambying, and after previewing some of the first track when a friend introduced it to me (the same friend and the same time I was introduced to Besombes’ ‘Libra’), I first listened to the whole album whilst tripping on mushrooms, and was utterly blown away. Those two albums changed my life, completely altered my perspective of what was possible on that mind-bending night. Likewise both are still potent aural experiences listened to without psychedelic boosting (and still never fail to impress me), but they are totally and authentically in their element with it – again, even more impressive given the lack of psychedelic experience of the modest genius from whose mind they sprang (although, certainly this collaborative album under review here must give equal credit to Rizet, I still believe most of the insane and often unpredictable creative madness to be heard here derives primarily from Besombes, but both men are brilliant at creating incredible, vivid and deeply psychically affecting synth textures). I can’t guarantee of course that you’ll embrace this stuff as warmly and completely as I have, as I’m a bit of a rarely rabid enthusiast for 70’s Besombes, but you should at least give it a listen to see how it grabs you if you haven’t heard it before and like vintage experimental synth rock. Spoiler alert: if you already think this might be up your alley and you want to listen to it tripping (where legal, of course ;-)), don’t over-familiarise yourself with the descriptions of the music. This is best when you’re not sure what’s coming next. Enjoy! ” Julian Cope, Headheritage

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..

erics trip

Eric’s Trip: Love Tara (Sub Pop) LP
Love Tara is the first full-length album by Canadian indie band Eric’s Trip. It was originally released in 1993. This vinyl reissue is the first time the album has been available on that format in over 15 years. In Cart’s Top 50 Canadian Albums of All Time polls, Love Tara ranked 35th in 1996, and 37th in 2000. It was also ranked 39th in Bob Mersereau’s 2007 book ‘The Top 100 Canadian Albums’. Eric’s Trip hailed from Moncton, New Brunswick. Formed in 1990 when musicians Rick White and Christopher Thompson of The Forest joined Julie Doiron and Ed Vaughnan (who was later replaced by Mark Gaudet of Purple Knight), they took their name from a Sonic Youth song. They emulated the distorted guitar of Dinosaur Jr., the folk leanings of Neil Young, and the lo-fi aesthetic of Sebadoh. Rick White described their sound as “sappy melodic pop music on top of thick distortion.” Eric’s Trip were the first Canadian band to be signed to Sub Pop. The band broke up in 1996, but reunited in 2001, and again in August 2006, to play at the Sappy Records Festival in Sackville, New Brunswick.

File Under: Indie, Lo-Fi, Fuzz, CanCon
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fist city

Fist City: Everything Is A Mess (Transgressive) LP
Fist City is excited to announce the release of its sophomore LP, Everything Is A Mess, on Transgressive Records. Recorded in October 2014 with producer Ben Greenberg (The Men, Hubble, Uniform) at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, ‘Fuck Cops’ is the first single to be released from the album, which is set to hit the shelves on June 19. Supercharged Southern Alberta quartet Fist City burst from basement studios onto the stage in 2009. The twin sibling duo of Kier and Brittany Griffiths — musical collaborators from the womb to the tomb — found ideal foils in frenetic guitarist/songwriter Evan Van Reekum and powerhouse drummer Ryan Grieve. A solid string of releases from labels such as L.A.’s Dead Beat, Victoria’s La Ti Da, and Transgressive have been coupled with tours at home and abroad, glowing reviews, recording with Don Pyle, a Nardwuar interview, and other thrills. 2014 marked a transitional year, including personal changes among the band members, the reissue of their debut LP, It’s 1983, Grow Up! from Transgressive Records (originally issued by L.A.’s Black Tent Press in 2012) and the recording of Fist City’s sophomore salvo, Everything Is A Mess. The new album, laid down with producer Ben Greenberg (The Men, Hubble, Uniform) at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, finds them primed to take the future by storm. Everything Is A Mess seizes onto the group’s influences, both musical (The Wipers, Sonic Youth, the Flying Nun roster) and spiritual (John Waters and Divine), then sends them into overdrive. Guitars chime like bells or shred like buzzsaws, while the rhythms hit harder than ever before. Lyrics are based on the band’s immediate environments in Lethbridge and Calgary, Alberta with gut-punching reactions to murderers, cops, bigots, Rob Ford, and unrequited love. From life in a small town scene to facing the consequences of violent acts, or even the experience of sleeping in the back of a speeding van, these songs paint a vivid portrait from the minds of artists and outcasts set loose on the world.

File Under: Punk, Garage, CanCon
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fogg

Fogg: High Testament (Tee Pee) LP
Fort Worth, Texas power trio Fogg will release its new album, High Testament, June 2015 via Tee Pee Records. The record is the follow-up to the group’s 2014 debut, Death, a record that was hailed as “wasted skater doom,“ “witchy, down-tuned zoner psych” and “heavy, tranced-out and freaky as fuck.“ High Testament will drop on cassette via Under the Gun Records, who will co-release the LP version of the album in conjunction with Tee Pee. Fogg worship at the altar of the almighty riff, conjuring leaden tombs of amp-destroying sound. The warped riff-riders – who have been burning up the southern heavy music scene – crank howling psychedelic​ metal and 70’s biker doom topped with gnarly shredding and strangely unique vocals that hover distantly over landslides of chest-rattling bass and drum tumble. High Testament deals heavy quantities of hazy hooks and woozy timbres, which combine to paint a dreamy aesthetic; a hazy, neon form that sounds like metal chords trapped in a never-ending film dissolve. Enter the Fogg!

File Under: Stoner, Metal
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jaill

Jaill: Brain Cream (Burger) LP
Jaill’s brand new album “Brain Cream” out on Burger Records!!! First there was Jaill’s “There’s No Sky (Oh My My)” album in 2009, followed by two albums on the renowned Sub Pop!!! Now they’re back on Burger with their best album yet – jangly guitar pop sweetness!!!

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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niko

Nikolaienko: Sounds of Pseudoscience (Graphical) LP
Graphical Recordings and Muscut have teamed up to co-publish Nikolaienko’s “The Sounds of Pseudoscience” (12″ LP). Nikolaienko’s upcoming full length is a playful and intriguing archive of sounds influenced by the works of electronic music pioneers and experimenters. The album acts as a tribute to early-electronics’ golden era, playing out as a requiem, pondering the theme of nostalgia through warm analogue, space-aged sounds. For the artist, it’s an odd and ironically funny sound document, which he hopes declares some other way that electronic music can be today.

File Under: Electronic, Early Electronic
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 …..Restocks…..

A Tribe Called Quest: Beats, Rhymes, and Life (Jive) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Dan Auerbach: Keep It Hid (Nonesuch) LP
Courtney Barnett: Double EP (Mom & Pop) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit (Mom & Pop) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Capitol) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Broadcast: Noise Made By People (Warp) LP
Budos Band: III (Daptone) LP
Nick Cave: Boatman’s Call (Mute) LP
Clean: Anthology (Merge) 4LP
Clutch: From Beale Street To Oblivion (Weathermaker) LP
Colour Haze: CO2 (Elektrohasch) LP
Colour Haze: To The Highest Gods We Know (Elektrohasch) LP
Colour Haze: s/t (Elektrohasch) LP
Colour Haze: She Says (Elektrohasch) LP
Daft Punk: 2007: Alive (Virgin) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (Virgin) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (Virgin) LP
Daft Punk: Human After All (Virgin) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (4 Men With Beards) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Power Slave (Parlophone) LP
Lumineers: s/t (Dual Tone) LP
OST: Interstellar (Music on Viny) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (EMI) LP
Radiohead: Amnesiac (EMI) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (TBD) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (EMI) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (EMI) LP
Ramones: Rocket to Russia (Rhino) LP
Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (Abkco) LP
Rolling Stones: Let it Bleed (Abkco) LP
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Polydor) 2LP
Run the Jewels: s/t (Mass Appeal) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks (Rhino) LP
Timber Timbre: s/t (Arts & Crafts) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Blood Lust (Rise Above) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Ween: White Pepper (Plain) LP
Ween: God Ween Satan (Plain) LP
Ween: Pure Guava (Schnitzle) LP
Various: Best of Trojan Ska 1 (BMG) LP
Various: Killed By Death 1 (KBD) LP

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…..news letter #697 – pain in the glass…..

Unlike me, sitting in this nice air conditioned room with piles of killer wax all around me, you are very well likely in Calgary at Sled Island. But maybe you aren’t! Or maybe you don’t get paid until Monday and you’ll be spending all your spare cash on records next week anyway. Which if it’s either of those two options, then we’ve got a load of killer stuff in this week for your ears….

…..pick of the week…..

berrocal

Berrocal/Fenech/Epplay: Antigravity (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Legendary trumpeter Jac Berrocal joins two fellow travelers in the French avant-garde, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay. A lugubrious mise-en-scène in which ice-cold outlaw jazz meets musique concrète, DIY whimsy, and dubwise studio science, all watched over by the lost souls and hungry ghosts of rock ‘n’ roll. The trio’s first album together, Antigravity is a richly imagined universe combining original compositions and détourned standards. Berrocal revisits his own signature piece “Rock ‘n Roll Station,” which first appeared on his ’77 LP Parallèles with chain-wielding, leather-clad wildman of British rock ‘n roll Vince Taylor singing the lead, and Berrocal on mic’d up bicycle; here, the Frenchman takes the vocal reins. A barely recognizable interpretation of Talking Heads’ “The Overload” pushes beyond the bush of ghosts into a fourth world dread-zone of stalking drum-machine rhythms, humid electronics, and jagged guitar phrasing, while “Where Flamingos Fly” reroutes the Gil Evans Orchestra’s classic rendition through the seamiest back-streets of the 13th arrondissement; there, as on the trio’s reading of “Kinder Lieder,” the mood is romantic, but stark, isolationist: imagine Chet Baker falling through the glacial sound-world of early PiL or Scott Walker’s Climate of Hunter. Originals include the agitated Iberian psychedelia of “Spain,” and “Panic in Bali,” which begins in seemingly trad-jazz fashion only to swell into a cacophony of a gurgling electronics and fevered “Lonely Woman” quotations. “Solaris” is a swirling, suspenseful arabesque of whiplash guitars and Black Ark FX, Berrocal’s trumpet hitting deep blue notes while his vocals are sliced and diced and tossed into a yawning void of tape-delay — like Antigravity at large, the result is oblique, dissolving, forever out of reach. Despite the chilly, sometimes austere mood of the album, it is, ultimately, a deeply human and welcoming work, with a playfulness and sly humor pervading; see the anarchic cross-hatch of “Ife Layo,” or the CD-only track “L’essai des Suintes ou le bal des Futaies,” Berrocal’s poetic disquisition on the infinite variety of female genitalia. Mischief and misdirection are rife here, and fans of Officer!, Henry Cow, and the ReR axis will find much to chew on. Play, as we know, is serious business. Put another way, and to quote Berrocal entirely out of context, Antigravity is completely crazy, completely timeless, completely out. As its title suggests, the objective is nothing less than lift-off, weightlessness, a total unshackling from earth. Sunglasses on, collar up, let’s go.

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

alvanoto

Alva Noto: Xerrox 3 (Raster-Noton) LP
After a break following the 2009 release of Xerrox Vol. 2, Alva Noto continues his Xerrox series with Xerrox Vol. 3, titled Towards Space. This is a journey that started with Xerrox Vol. 1, referring to the “old world,” and Xerrox Vol. 2, heading “to the new world.” Using the process of copying as a basis, the Xerrox series deals with the manipulation of data by means of endless reproduction. Due to the inherent vice of the procedure that becomes especially visible when copies are made from copies, everyday sounds are so much altered that they can be hardly associated with the source material anymore. As a result, entirely new sounds are created that, being copies of originals, become originals themselves. On Xerrox Vol. 3, a new aspect enters the scene. Inspired by childhood film memories from the 1970s including Tarkovsky’s adaption of Solaris (1972) and La isla misteriosa y el capitán nemo (1973), based on Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, the album shows Alva Noto’s private side. With its very intimate atmosphere, it is a personal reflection of dreams, an imaginary journey through emotional landscapes or, as he himself puts it, a “cinematographic emotion of a soundtrack to a film that actually does not exist in reality.” Alvo Noto further states, “I see Xerrox Vol. 3 as my most personal album so far. I have to admit that this emotional output is a surprise even for myself. It remains exciting how the last two albums of this series will sound.”

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Ambient
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zoyd

Art Zoyd: Generation Sans Futur (Sub Rosa) LP
Génération Sans Futur (Generation Without a Future), Art Zoyd’s third LP originally released in 1980 through Atem Records, returns to the sound (and lineup, plus Daniel Denis (Univers Zero)) of the group’s first album, Symphonie Pour le Jour où Brûleront les Cités. The 17-minute “La Ville” is a powerful epic, featuring Thierry Zaboïtzeff’s prehistoric grunts, complex time shifts, and a tribal/ritualistic feel once again close to the spirit of Magma. But unlike “Musique pour l’Odyssée” (the title-track of Art Zoyd’s second album), the music here is fast-paced, less atmospheric, more organized. It plays on the tension that would remain the basis of Art Zoyd’s originality: a tribal, atavistic feel contrasting with contemporary classical aesthetics. Actually, Génération Sans Futur may lean more toward the contemporary side, as exemplified by pieces like “Divertissement,” “Trois Miniatures,” and the manic “Speedy Gonzales.” “Génération Sans Futur,” on the other hand, taps into a more visceral progressive rock format and percussionist Daniel Denis actually gets to play drums for a couple of minutes, giving the piece an unusual drive. A strong album, unavailable for years, now reissued with new artwork.

File Under: Prog, Classical, Avant Garde
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baird

Meg Baird: Don’t Weigh Down The Light (Drag City) LP
MEG BAIRD is back! Don’t Weigh Down the Light is her first album since 2011’s Seasons On Earth, and it arrives alive with mystery and color buoyed by a voice that’s a warm, mesmerizing call across time. Meg Baird’s last decade would be remarkable by any artist’s standards. She co-founded and recorded three albums with Espers; one of the most distinctive and hypnotic bands of the century’s first decade. She recorded two solo LPs for Drag City: Dear Companion and Seasons on Earth. She also collaborated with Will Oldham, Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten, and Steve Gunn and toured with the legendary Bert Jansch. And while it’s been four years since her last release, the days since have been anything but restful. She played drums and recorded with Philadelphia cave punks Watery Love, and toured with Michael Chapman, Michael Hurley, Vile, Cass McCombs, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Lambchop. And after more than a decade as a fixture in Philadelphia’s boiling-over musical scene, Meg moved west to San Francisco where she joined forces (as drummer and lead vocalist) with members of Comets on Fire and Assemble Head to form the moody and thunderous Heron Oblivion. She also wrote and recorded this LP. Like Meg’s previous LPs (and much of Espers output,) the foundation of Don’t Weigh Down the Light is her lyrical, precise, and propulsive fingerstyle guitar work and a voice that moves from soaring and tender to soothing and spellbinding. A voice that more than a few have likened to folk’s greatest female voices: Sandy Denny, Jacqui McShee, and Shirley Collins.

File Under: Folk
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butthole

Butthole Surfers: Independent Worm Saloon (Plain) LP
“Independent Worm Saloon is the major-label debut by the Butthole Surfers originally released by Capitol Records in 1993. Riding the wave of the early ’90s alternative explosion the band used some of that major label money and hired former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones as producer and the result is a tight in your face album that didn’t tone down the band at all. Gibby Haynes is in fine form with his often hilarious and bizarre vocals and lyrics working their way into your brain on all out rockers like ‘Who Was in My Room Last Night?’ and ‘Goofy’s Concern’ and on the more mellow numbers such as ‘The Ballad of Naked Man’ and ‘You Don’t Know Me.’ First time ever domestic vinyl release.”

File Under: Punk, Weirdo, Grunge, 90s
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container

Container: LP 3 (Spectrum Spools) LP
Ren Schofield’s Container took the world of underground electronic music by storm with the debut LP in 2011. Following massive amounts of touring and the powerful follow-up LP, LP, in 2012, the project became a must-experience staple everywhere from U.S. basements to Berghain. After two fantastic EP recordings on Morphine and Liberation Technologies, Container returns with the first full-length album since 2012, simply titled LP. LP is the most explosive offering in the Container oeuvre, capturing the raw and unhinged essence of the live Container experience while exploring new compositional and sonic limits. Opener “Eject” wastes no time with its instant feedback squeal backed by a barrage of pounding, distorted percussion. The concomitant storm of misfiring FX and derailed drum patterns sets the stage for the aural pandemonium to come. “Remover” and “Peripheral” are dense and intricate structural compositions ruthless in their delivery and infectious in rhythm, stretching the known limits of the project’s sound into welcome new realms. Tracks like “Appliance” and “Cushion” find Schofield in his most vicious form, with floor-destroying tempos and a miraculously adroit sense of arrangement. Somehow, LP manages to simultaneously be the most palatable and most damaged contribution yet. Patchwork polyrhythm motifs, melodic (albeit fully blasted) hook sensibilities, and ballistic synthesized sounds are melted down together and shaped into some of the most rewarding, enjoyable works yet heard on any of the LP offerings. The closing “Calibrate” pounds with a hypnotic churn, growing into a stasis of red-hot squelches and deranged electronic malfunction that recalls some of the earliest tape works Schofield created. LP gives a sense of “full circle,” blurring the end and the beginning into a baffling riddle that can only be admired and never solved. Schofield has enigmatically crafted his most insane Container album to be the most architecturally dexterous and club-minded, never compromising his fundamentals while evolving the project in an utterly satisfying fashion. LP is his most locked-in full-length recording to date, long overdue and absolutely essential.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial
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czarface

Czarface: Every Hero Needs a Villain (Brick) LP
Includes the first issue of the Death & Abduction comic book. “CZARFACE — Wu-Tang founding MC Inspectah Deck and veteran Boston duo 7L & Esoteric — isn’t concerned with the glitz and the B.S. that modern consumer culture is pushing. And neither are the group’s fans. In 2013, the trio appeared relatively unassumingly with their self-titled debut, which was chiefly produced by DJ 7L and included guests ranging from Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna to Vinnie Paz, Action Bronson and Roc Marciano. The soon-to-be acclaimed group found out quickly that there was a groundswell of hip-hop fanatics thirsting for the lunchpail, lyrics-above-all-else rap they fell in love with in the ’90s. Several pressings of the album on CD, 2-LP and even cassette later, they are back and ready to up the ante. The fighting analogy — whether drawn from pugilism or ’80s wrestling, both which figure into Every Hero Needs A Villain — is an apt one, considering the unrelenting lyrical attacks that Deck and Esoteric unleash on track after track, each trying to one-up the previous verse. Best of all, it is friendly camaraderie, based around a loose theme of renegade mutant MC talents running wild. DJ 7L explains, ‘All three of us are influenced by comics, sci-fi movies, TV, wrestling. Czarface encompasses all of that, and it helps with the visuals as well.’ On the production side, 7L shows yet again — as he did with the group’s debut — that he remains a formidable yet underappreciated musical force, constantly providing hard, funky and alternatingly ominous backdrops for the assembled MCs to use as lyrical luge paths.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Wu-Tang
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dreyblatt

Arnold Dreyblatt: Second Selection (Black Truffle) LP
“Black Truffle is honored to present a major collection of archival recordings by seminal minimalist composer, performer, instrument builder and visual artist Arnold Dreyblatt. Following on from the archival compilation Choice (Choose Records, 2013), Second Selection presents eleven pieces selected by Oren Ambarchi from Dreyblatt’s extensive archive of previously unreleased recordings. Recorded in beautifully varying fidelity between 1978 and 1989, the pieces range from solo works to documents of various iterations of Dreyblatt’s long running Orchestra of Excited Strings. The ensemble pieces here possess the singular, hypnotic quality of Dreyblatt’s vintage work, underpinning the shimmering overtones of his self-devised twenty note microtonal scale with primordial, thudding rhythms that undergo surprising but economical shifts in group dynamics and sonic density. Like the court music of some imaginary ancient civilization, this music unfolds unhurriedly, relinquishing traditional melodic and harmonic movement in favor of a single-minded search for the world of sound inherent in a single string. There is much to wonder over here for the Dreyblatt connoisseur, including variants of pieces found on classics such as Nodal Excitations and Propellers in Love. But Second Selection also unearths some elements of Dreyblatt’s work that have gone undocumented until now, including an incredible pair of solo pieces for modified electric guitar and electronics performed in Europe in 1988. The second of these, ‘Luftmenschen II’, has to be heard to be believed, consisting of 15 minutes of insistent and frenetic rhythmic irregularity sourced to multiple electric guitars run through a digital noise gate controlled by a recording of malfunctioning escalators. Second Selection is presented as a high-spec gatefold double LP with archival liner notes including contemporaneous selections from Dreyblatt’s notebooks and an early conversation between Dreyblatt and Phill Niblock. This is both a gold mine for long-term fans and an ideal introduction for those still awaiting initiation into Dreyblatt’s rapturous science of the string. These are stunning examples of one of the most unique and fully realized sound-worlds of contemporary music; as Dreyblatt always recommends, they are best experienced at maximum volume!” –Francis Plagne. Artwork design by Stephen O’Malley. Vinyl cut made by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Experimental, Classical
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eyelesssEyeless in Gaza: Rust Red September (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
A welcome re release of this early and much sought after classic Eyeless In Gaza album. Rust Red September finds the group further moving away from the brusquer hooks of its earliest days to a calmer reflectiveness. Eyeless In Gaza remain a curiously attractive band; their uniqueness and Englishness making a record like ‘Rust Red September’ very treasurable indeed.

File Under: New Wave, Electronic, Ambient
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gaza

Eyeless in Gaza: Drumming The Beating Heart/Pale Hands I Loved So Well (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
This double LP brings together two classic Eyeless In Gaza albums, on limited edition coloured vinyl for the first time. Eyeless In Gaza are a post-punk/new wave musical duo of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker. This double LP brings together two classic Eyeless in Gaza albums.

File Under: Electronic, New Wave, Ambient
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faith

Faith Healer: Cosmic Troubles (Mint) LP
Long before Jessica Jalbert began recording under the Faith Healer moniker, she fostered a tight collaborative friendship with fellow Edmonton-bred polymath Renny WIlson. They’ve made boppy garage rock in Tee-Tahs, kicked up a racket in Punk Explosion, and even played in a smattering of cover bands. In 2011, Wilson was a key contributor to Jalbert’s solo album Brother Loyola. So when Jalbert set about creating her first album as Faith Healer, she naturally called on her old buddy to help out. The result of these productive sessions is the debut LP Cosmic Troubles. Jalbert wrote this material while absorbing a steady diet of psychedelic rock from the ’60s and ’70s. This fixation translates into inventive songs that combine the sun-kissed sparkle of classic pop harmonies with head-swimming trippiness and forays into thundering fuzz. She and Wilson played all of the instruments themselves, with the latter also handling production duties. Cosmic Troubles captures the warmth of the Summer of Love along with an eclectic sense of anything-goes adventurousness. Clearly, Jalbert and Wilson bring the best out in one another. They have already covered a lot of ground over the years, but Cosmic Troubles is their greatest triumph. Pressed on dark red vinyl and includes free digital download.

File Under: Indie Rock, Local, CanCon
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foat

Greg Foat Group: Dancers at the Edge of Time (Jazzman) LP
Includes printed inner sleeve. Limited to 1000 copies. This major release from The Greg Foat Group sees the celebrated jazz quintet making the most of the acoustics of an ancient church, accompanied by a full ensemble of supporting musicians. The fourth album from the celebrated jazz combo will further delight Foat fans who have been consistently enthralled by the taste and finesse with which they execute their beguiling arrangements and instrumentation. During England’s long, hot summer of 2014, a couple of tons of vintage studio gear were bundled into an ancient church on the charming and picturesque village of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. There the centuries-old church organ was the centerpiece and the Group was accompanied by a string quartet and woodwinds to create a musical style like no other. The resulting hauntingly sublime sounds need not only fill vaulted chapel ceilings, but our hearts and ears as well. Recorded across three of the hottest days in that summer, direct to one-inch tape, with all the rich, live analog sound and the hallowed magnificence that church acoustics can bring, The Dancers at the Edge of Time features the classic Foat Group with guesting local musicians and friends, and celebrates the summertime and beach ambience of living on the island.

File Under: Jazz
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frahm

Nils Frahm: Victoria OST (Erased Tapes) LP/CD
Nils Frahm presents his first film score, composed for single-take feature film Victoria (2015). Filmed in Berlin, Victoria centers on a runaway party girl who’s asked by three friendly men to join them as they hit the town. Their wild night of partying suddenly turns into a bank robbery as the music changes from techno to subdued piano sounds. For the recording session at Studio P4 in Berlin, Frahm enlisted the help of long-time collaborator and cellist Anne Müller, violist Viktor Orri Árnason, and ambient artist Erik K. Skodvin of Deaf Center on guitar. “Dear viewer and listener, I’ve finally written music for a film. It took me some time to do so, as I was patiently waiting for a movie that would truly speak to me. When director Sebastian Schipper invited me to work on Victoria, I knew it was worth the long wait. Does such a strong film even need music? I realised it wouldn’t be easy to create a score that embraces these bold pictures. Luckily we were given unusual creative freedom by approaching the movie together with Sebastian Schipper, who was keeping the production and direction to one single team. The score was recorded in a special location, the former GDR broadcasting production facilities that today host Studio P4. We simply put a big screen in the middle of the room, filled it with microphones and instruments, set the movie on loop and kept improvising on top of it together — my good friends and I. The guest musicians started their recording session by playing a cohesive take over the course of the whole movie. This was the most interesting part of the day, since they hadn’t seen the film before. They became spectators and creators at once, intuitively recording hundreds of different cues that way. You are about to listen to some of its highlights. I hope they do Victoria and your ears justice. With love, Nils Frahm.” Victoria was awarded the Berlinale Film Festival prize for Best Cinematography and received seven Deutscher Filmpreis nominations, including a nomination for Best Score. The release of this soundtrack follows the film’s release in Germany on June 11, 2015, and precedes an international release in the UK and beyond. The soundtrack opens with an edit of “Burn With Me” by German producer DJ Koze.

File Under: OST, Electronic, Ambient, Classical
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alemi

Hayvanlar Alemi: Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara (Glitterbeat) LP
Formed by three school friends in the Turkish capital of Ankara in 1999, Hayvanlar Alemi have established themselves at the vanguard of global psychedelic sound. Their acclaimed 2010 album Guarana Superpower (SF 062CD) was released on the buzz-label Sublime Frequencies and showcased the band’s unrepentant eclecticism and wide-eyed cosmic spirit. Interfacing with the golden age of Turkish psychedelic rock, surf music, Cambodian pop, West African guitar motifs, Middle Eastern traditional music, and the knife-edge of indie rock, it was clear from the beginning that Hayvanlar Alemi was an instrumental rock band for our radically interconnected millennium. But in 2010 they also recorded and released (online) a dramatically different sort of album. The band had flirted with dub-reggae stylings since their inception and with Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara they at last realized their dream of making a full-blown dub album, though clearly a dub album that also embraced their own agenda. The album includes covers of the Eek-a-Mouse classic “Assassinator” and a legendary Turkish radio jingle, and blends together re-workings of older Hayvanlar Alemi songs with freshly minted, dubwise explorations. Drummer Işık Sarıhan explains the album’s inception this way: “We were listening to a lot of dub and reggae during the days leading up to this album. We even ended up playing in a reggae festival at some point; we were invited for some reason, maybe because we had some reggae rhythms on a bunch of songs on the previous demos. Anyway, we had this fantasy of creating a dub record, but in our own psych-rock fashion which led to Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara. The title is a reference to the African Head Charge album Vision of a Psychedelic Africa.” Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara is the flashpoint where dub music and global psych-rock melt together. It is a feast for all well-appointed sonic explorers. This is its first vinyl release, pressed on 180-gram vinyl, presented in a gatefold sleeve, and limited to 500 copies. Side A is the complete Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara (2010) and side B is a collection of related, previously unreleased songs and experiments titled Selected Visions (2009-2011).

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Surf, Dub
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helm

Helm: Olympic Mess (Pan) LP
London-based experimentalist Luke Younger (aka Helm) returns to PAN with Olympic Mess, a record born of destructive practice, competing desires, and troubled optimism. Where his previous effort, 2014’s The Hollow Organ, dealt in dense, distressed sonics, Olympic Mess is Younger responding to a period spent engaged with loop-based industrial music, dub techno, and balearic disco. These musical references, all of which can induce hypnotic states and feelings of euphoria, inform ten evocative aural landscapes that unfurl over the course of an hour and act almost as a counterpoint to the turmoil that spawned them. “It’s about exploring a perverse desire to pull the rug from under yourself, and the struggle to achieve a healthy equilibrium between one’s personal and artistic lives,” Younger says. “Dealing with the problematic consequences of pushing your own limits, forming and dissolving relationships, transient lifestyles, physical and mental exhaustion, excess, and other kinds of personal chaos.” Crafted using an array of heavily processed samples, found sound, and electroacoustics, personal conflict manifests in “I Exist in a Fog” and “Outerzone 2015,” in which visceral noise disintegrates into veiled, ambient strata. The disquieting crescendos of “The Evening in Reverse” and “Fluid Cloak” offer no such relief, while the title-track and “Don’t Lick the Jacket” are mineral, multilayered abstractions twisting around a brittle pulse. Following a period of extensive touring throughout the States and Europe, which included 20 dates in support of Danish punk group Iceage, Olympic Mess was recorded in London, New York, and Berlin by Sean Ragon, Luke Younger, and John Hannon. The album is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. It features photography by Kim Thue and artwork by Bill Kouligas.

File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient, Techno
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orb

The Orb: Moonbuilding (Kompakt) 3LP
Deluxe triple LP version. Includes two exclusive jams plus a J Dilla tribute on the bonus record. Includes CD. Housed in a gorgeous tri-fold sleeve. Iconic electronic music pioneers The Orb return to Kompakt with Moonbuilding 2703 AD, another major slice of psychedelic synth bliss, obscure loops, and deep ambient textures tossed in swinging breakbeats and powerful basslines. Installing a forward momentum rather unusual for a genre-defying project like this, the latest effort from masterminds Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann follows their 2005 album success on Kompakt, the cheekily named Okie Dokie It’s The Orb On Kompakt — as well as several contributions to Kompakt’s Speicher and Pop Ambient series — but, more importantly, it finds the legendary duo at the peak of its creativity, ringing in another essential phase in what can only be called a groundbreaking career. True to form, Moonbuilding 2703 AD features a small track list, but turns each one of its four cuts into a mini-epic in its own right. Opener “God’s Mirrorball” hits the ground floating, employing a handful of cozy statics to great effect before finally discharging into an intricate mosaic of atmospheric, melodic sketches and gripping rhythms. With a hypnotic runtime of more than 14 minutes, it immediately establishes a blueprint for the other album tracks to follow, perfectly illustrating the vast extent of the artists’ vision and their impressive skills in luring in listeners — welcome to The Orb’s sonic labyrinth, where nothing is what it seems and the unexpected waits just around the corner. Likewise, follow-up track “Moonscapes 2703 BC” presents itself as a uniquely versatile affair sitting comfortably between ambient flourishes and beat-driven focus, holding as many twists and turns as a caper movie, but carefully grounding every single one of its cliffhangers in its impeccable flow. With a runtime of approximately nine minutes, “Lunar Caves” is the shortest jam of the bunch — and also the most ethereal, keeping its rhythmic content to a bare, pulse-like minimum and opting for enticing, freewheeling synth textures instead. Album closer and title cut “Moonbuilding 2703 AD” introduces a surprisingly jazzy vibe mingling rather well with the wealth of electronic tricks up its sleeve — even indulging in abrasive bass sweeps and a breathtaking multitude of different rhythm sections constantly switching places. It’s a fitting closing act for a full-length as multifaceted as this, as idiosyncratic as possible and as muscular as needed. Cover design by iconic graphic wizards The Designers Republic.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Dub
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pigrider

Pig Rider: Robinson Scratch Theory (Guerssen) LP
Bedroom/lo-fi psychedelia by unsung heroes of the ’80s DIY cassette culture scene. From outsider synth-pop to Barrett-esque lysergic folk; from lo-fi garage-punk to basement prog: acid-fuzz guitars, cheap keyboards, primitive electronics, homemade vibes, and bizarre, funny lyrics. Pig Rider were formed in Kent, UK, in the late ’60s by John Mayes and Colin Kitchener. With the help from some friends they recorded and self-released a series of acetate-only psych-folk albums in the mid-’70s (Heterophonies, Bloody Turkey Sandwiches…), which are prime examples of early DIY psychedelic music, highly sought-after since a review of Heterophonies appeared in Richard Morton Jack’s Galactic Ramble book. In 2013, collector Alexandre Mansuy (from the influential Somewhere There Is Music blog) found Mayes and Kitchener and was astonished when they told him their story: Heterophonies was only one of their many, many great recordings, 22 in all, including 45s, acetates, and tapes. Thanks to Mansuy, Guerssen is launching a comprehensive Pig Rider reissue campaign, starting with The Robinson Scratch Theory. The compilation includes tracks originally recorded between 1980 and 1986 and released as private cassettes. Pig Rider’s sound brings to mind obscure DIY bands like The Desperate Bicycles, Instant Automatons, or Beyond the Implode — if those bands knew how to write catchy and well-crafted songs. But the most amazing thing is that Pig Rider were creating this kind of music for their own amusement without any knowledge of the post-punk or DIY movement. Although they were listening to bands like the Bonzos, Pink Floyd, and The Misunderstood — “I played their ‘Children of the Sun’ 45 until the groove was worn out!” says Kitchener — Pig Rider claim that the main influence on what they played was the availability of instruments and what they could do with them — not always what they were designed for — and always pushing their limits. The Robinson Scratch Theory is presented in master tape sound with an insert/booklet containing detailed liner notes and photos. The compilation is released in advance of first-ever reissues of two of Pig Rider’s ultra-rare ’70s acetates, Bloody Turkey Sandwiches (1974) and Heterophonies (1975). Welcome to the twisted world of one of the truly pioneering DIY psychedelic pop bands.

File Under: Psych, Bedroom Lo-Fi
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racker

Racker & Orphan: Sounds of Insects (Hood Faire) 10″
In one form or another all insects produce sound. Many of these are audible to the human ear whilst others go unheard by us without the aid of specialist audio equipment. Sounds of Insects sees N.Racker (Pre-Cert Home Entertainment) and David Orphan (Folklore Tapes) calling into question the value of human modes of communication, taking due care to unravel the innermost workings of the arthropod mind. Bringing to mind elements of the work of artists like Faust, Pierre Henry and Autechre, Sounds of Insects is a mysterious synthesis of specialized field recording, homemade instrumentation and sympathetic reassembling where it is uncertain where one sound source ends and another begins. A direct homage to the Scholastic Folkways Sounds Of Insects recordings by Albro T. Gaul and informed by viewing countless nature documentaries, this artifact attempts to form an entomological soundscape of wonder and intrigue, a minutiae of alien environments and meetings. Plays at 45rpm. Limited edition of 250 copies — housed in a reverse board sleeve with protective bag.

File Under: Electronic, Field Recordings, Concrete
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robertson

Don Robertson: Celestial Ascent (Black Sweat) LP
If his 1969 debut album, Dawn, offered a magical ethnic sound from an 80-string guitar-zither, American multi-instrumentalist Don Robertson’s 1980 follow-up, Celestial Ascent, uses the Austro-Germanic instrument as a viaticum for a timeless journey into the depths of the soul and psyche. The album was originally released as a cassette, and this is its first reissue since then. Traditionally designed to accompany the singing of psalms in religious communities, here the zither is the perfect way to explore the power and the formal purity of the natural pentatonic scales of eastern derivation, investigated by Robertson in New York City at the end of the ’60s. According to the same respect for the cosmic rhythms also found in Indian ragas, the album is divided into two parts: the first side (“Oracle of Love”) is the music of the day, while the second (“Isis Unveiled”) is the sound of the night. “Music for Elevation and Transformation” with an extraordinarily peaceful effect and a holistic and transcendent approach that aligns it with other investigations of the sacred sound, like those of Stephan Micus, Paul Horn, or Deuter.

File Under: New Age, Ambient
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jesters

Royal Jesters: English Oldies (Numero) LP
Twenty-eight homespun stunners from the Alamo City’s scrappiest souleros. The Royal Jesters were the kings of San Antonio’s cross-cultural teen scene in the 1960s, soundtracking lovelorn slow dances with their heart-sick harmonies. For the first time, English Oldies gathers the best early doo-wop, R&B, and blazing Latin rock and soul from these Tex-Mex masterminds—a simmering melting pot of diverse regional flavors, best served hot.

File Under: Doo-wop, R&B, Soul
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sleepstep

Dasha Rush: Sleepstep (Raster-Noton) LP
Sleepstep’s subtitle, Sonar Poems for My Sleepless Friends, describes its underlying concept — Sleepstep is a trip through electronically alienated micro-compositions and sound collages that, interwoven with text passages, aim at creating a dream-like atmosphere. The album’s journey strives for oblivion of time, an immersion, a drifting in universal states — moving through the stations of death, life, birth, grief, desire. The titles often appear to be raw sketches; fugitive, surreal short stories. The musical arrangements are rather subtle and fragile, and, though the pieces are electronically manipulated, no production technique pushes itself to the fore. Dasha Rush’s sonar poems for her sleepless friends are feminine, subtle, and personal reports. A musical dream journey in the form of a classical concept record, and an album that also stands in the tradition of ambient music. Dasha Rush is already known as a techno DJ and producer. Here on Sleepstep, she celebrates her alter ego.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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studio sardena

Studio Sardena: s/t (Nashazphone) LP
DJ Sardena is a major player in the current electro-shaabi wave that has taken over Egypt in the past few years. Better known locally as mahragan, electro-shaabi is characterized by heavy auto-tuned loud vocals and beats featuring synthesizers and various electronic effects. Studio Sardena, located in the Matariya disctrict of Cairo, is home to a number of singers and produces dozens of tracks every month. This LP compiles five tracks representing Sardena’s very special, stripped-down and minimal mahragan style, featuring an array of major MCs such as Salsa El-Ageeb and Halabessa. Limited to 500 copies pressed on green vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Electro, Egypt
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toop

David Toop: Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul (Sub Rosa) LP
Mixed by Lawrence English. Recordings from 1978 by David Toop of Yanomami ritual songs, shamanistic ceremonies, and rainforest sounds. The voices of spirits and animal familiars, ventriloquial illusions of sound in dark spaces, secret spirit languages, the clap of thunder that links shamanic trance with the sleep language of Finnegans Wake… Out of these passages of the everyday, intensity flares like flames caught by a gust of wind. Skin burns or oozes blood, the wind blows up havoc as the spirits move about. Includes 40-page booklet with text and pictures telling the full story of Toop’s fascinating journey in 1978 through the Amazon jungle to meet and record the last Yanomami shamans.

File Under: Ethnic, Field Recordings, Ritutals
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igly39

Ugly Things #39 Magazine
“We gave two attention-grabbing cover stories this time… Brian Jones was one of ’60s rock’s most iconic stars — and also one of its most maligned and misunderstood. Harvey Kubernik sets the record straight, weaving together interviews with many people who knew or worked with Brian. The Clingers were one of the first all-female rock groups, four beautiful sisters whose story is a gripping saga of teenage drama and determination. We also have an in-depth feature one of the ultimate UK freakbeat groups, The Mickey Finn, and an interview with Michael Des Barres about his rock ‘n’ roll days with Silverhead. Other interviews include Chris Bailey of The Saints, Tim Warren of Crypt Records, and Aussie rocker Ross Wilson of The Pink Finks and Daddy Cool. Plus stories on the San Pedro garage band The Grapes of Wrath, The Soul Vendors, French Ye-Ye girl Annie Philippe, and folk-rock duo David & Anthony. Cyril Jordan of the Flamin’ Groovies revisits 1969-70, and of course there’s our comprehensive review sections covering all the latest reissues, in-depth, and rock ‘n’ roll-related books.”

File Under: Psych, Garage, Magazines

usuah

Mary Afi Usuah: Ekpenyong Abasi (Voodoo Funk) LP
A stupendous blend of scintillating highlife, smoking Fela, and spaced-out, funkdafied black jazz, from 1975, reissued for the first time. Mari Affiong Usuah from Oron, by way of Calabar, in southeastern Nigeria, fronting a knockout band led by Daniel “Satch” Asuquo from the Atomic 8 (and formerly of Bobby Benson’s orchestra). The afrofunk cuts are especially killer — with James Brown just percolating through by the end — but it’s a stunning, magnificent album, through and through. Beautifully sleeved, too, with excellent notes by Uchenna from Comb & Razor. “Gob, smacked,” he recalls, about his first listen; “mind, blown.”

File Under: Afrobeat, Highlife, Soul
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oswald

Moritz Von Oswald Trio: Sounding Lines (Honest Jon’s) LP
The Moritz Von Oswald Trio opens a new chapter. There’s a new configuration to the project, with Tony Allen joining original members Moritz von Oswald and Max Loderbauer. Allen, the legendary drummer who’s amassed a formidable catalog both as a solo artist and as part of Fela Kuti’s band, has taken over percussion duties from Vladislav Delay. Together, von Oswald, Loderbauer, and Allen form something close to a dream team, two masters of the electronic sphere meeting an afrobeat pioneer. Allen had already established a rapport with the group before they entered the studio to record Sounding Lines — he’s been touring with von Oswald and Loderbauer for more than a year, playing live shows around the world. There has been an evolution on each new Moritz Von Oswald Trio record, and Sounding Lines is no different. The album, which was mixed by Ricardo Villalobos, maintains the project’s trajectory — a fearless exploration of dub techno, classical music, and jazz — but the prevailing mood feels looser and more organic than ever before. Allen’s imperious percussive work sits tantalizingly in the mix. His drums meet the electronics of von Oswald and Loderbauer in a way that renders the project in new, vivid colors. There are 4/4 tracks, beatless interludes, and complex jazz structures, with propulsive recordings (“3″) coexisting alongside more languid moments (“1″). Sometimes Allen provides flourishes of drums (notably on “4”) while at other times spectral synths come to the fore (as on “5”). Von Oswald, a masterful composer and arranger with a deep understanding of space, paints the crevices of each composition on Sounding Lines with rich detail. Individually, von Oswald, Loderbauer, and Allen are formidable and hugely influential musicians. As a trio, they’ve conjured something remarkable. Tony Allen, drums; Max Loderbauer, synthesizers; Moritz von Oswald, percussion sequencing, synthesizers, additional electronics. Artwork by Marc Brandenburg.

File Under: Electronic, Dub Techno
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zallaM. Zalla: Problemi d’Oggi (Black Sweat) LP
Italian maestro Piero Umiliani, during his period of fascination with psychedelic and electronic atmospheres, composed a good number of musical portraits dedicated, as this title reveals, to the problems of his time. In the early ’70s, Italians were worried about the mafia, terrorism, and social conflicts; and one can sense that the music represents these anxieties in its experimental nature. Dark, disturbing, and unique in the long and extremely productive career of Piero Umiliani. And if, in 2015, titles like “Mondo in Crisi,” “Problemi Sociali,” “Azione Sindacale,” and “Mafia Oggi” sound sadly relevant, it’s even more surprising to find that the music of Problemi d’Oggi (Problems of Today) still sounds alien and unique. The record, released under Umiliani’s M. Zalla alias in 1973, presents various styles, from Pink Floyd atmospheres (or The Braen’s Machine, if you prefer…) to compositions characterized by a great use of drum machines and Moog synthesizers. One listen to the beginning of the opening track “Produzione” justifies the words of Sean Canty (Demdike Stare), citing the music as the first techno/trance track in history. But between the grooves of this record, reissued here for the first time, it’s easy to find moments that many other artist and musicians — from The Residents to Aphex Twin and Four Tet — may have caught during their careers.

File Under: Italian Library, Electronic
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newlife

Various: A New Life (Jazzman) LP
Thought you knew about British jazz? Think again. Diving into the unknown world of the private pressing, Jazzman Records presents some of the rarest and wildest British jazz ever recorded! The major stars of British jazz such as Stan Tracey, Michael Garrick, and Joe Harriott are now rightly recognized as the giants they were, and the legendary Brit jazz recordings of the 1960s are amongst the most highly-prized of all collectable records. But what happened to jazz in the UK when the recording industry lost faith in it? A New Life is the first survey of British jazz labels and musicians that went their own way in the 1970s, bringing to the light the unknown indie gems and outsider private pressings that let jazz musicians keep the faith into the 1980s. From the time-bending spirit music of London’s Lori Vambe to the psych-jazz of Birmingham’s Poliphony, via Spot the Zebra’s jazz dedication to David Attenborough and Indiana Highway’s modal Christmas carolling, A New Life chronicles a compelling selection of lost and obscure jewels of the British jazz underground. Compiled by Francis Gooding and Duncan Brooker (the team responsible for the acclaimed Next Stop Soweto series), and presented with comprehensive and detailed liner notes with pictures and information on each track, created from interviews with the musicians involved, A New Life is the first major British jazz collection since Gilles Peterson’s Impressed series (2002-2004), and the first ever to shed light on the forgotten legacy of independent, regional, and experimental Brit jazz. All tracks fully licensed and digitally restored. CD includes 24-page booklet with pictures and extensive notes based on original research. Gatefold double LP limited to 1000 copies. Also includes tracks by Joy, Nottingham Jazz Orchestra, Billy Jenkins & The Voice of God Collective, London Jazz IV, Graham Collier, Quincicasm, Frank Evans, Edge, Walsall Youth Jazz.

File Under: Jazz

thai beat

Various: Thai Beat A Go Go 3 (Subliminal Sounds) LP
Available on vinyl again! Volume three of the legendary Thai Beat compilation including 5 (!) awesome extra tracks that were not previously available on the CD! Incredible and ultra-rare recordings from Thailand in the 1960s. The amazing Thai Beat A Go-Go Vol 3 concentrates on Shadow music string bands, cosmic surf instros, mad garage/beat, mystic go-go organs, wild guitar rave-ups and psychedelic mind-benders, exotic female singers, wild Moog funk, disco madness, funky and soulful with extreme sensuality and emotions, surreal and groovy, all with a totally otherworldly Thai flavor. Experience the blossoming Bangkok night club scene with the exotic bar and lounge go-go bands! These recordings have a sound that’s completely inexplicable, despite the use of standard rock instrumentation and song structures combining a fascinating and primal version of rock n roll, surf, r ‘n’ b — sometimes all in one song. Don’t miss this ultimate Thai ’60s compilation. Limited edition of 1,000 copies worldwide. Housed in a beautiful full-color gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Garage, Beat, Thai
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tooslow2

Various: Too Slow To Disco 2 (How Do You Are?) LP
More late ’70s/early ’80s West Coast yacht-pop you can almost dance to! Buoyed by the incredible love felt for Too Slow to Disco in summer 2014, Berlin’s renowned pop archaeologist, that master musical excavator DJ Supermarkt, has leapt straight back into the soft-top and been out digging for the lost gems you’ll find here on volume two. This is another perfect collection of missing-in-action, late ’70s/early ’80s smooth, singer/songwriter, AOR-paced, yacht-based pop and blue-eyed soul. Every song brims over with that West Coast sunshine, and for this second volume DJ Supermarkt/Mellow Mafia have dug even deeper into obscure corners of LA, London, even Cologne, to create an even more potent soundtrack to that lost world that’s somehow always with us. So join another sunset trip in the company of these lost luminaries. Bask in every detail of that glorious over-production, and recall an era when the music industry had the time, money, and sheer musical talent to make everything BIG. Pay no mind to the cynics, the cooler-than-thou-erati, or the buzzkills of the sincerity police. These are big tunes that deserve to be hits, even if it’s taken 40 years to get there, driving slowly up that winding California coast road in the wonderful warm summer air. CD includes O-card and liner notes; double LP pressed on heavyweight vinyl and presented in gatefold sleeve with poster and download code. Includes tracks by Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ben Sidran, Jimmy Gray Hall, Eric Kaz, Leblanc & Carr, Dave Raynor, R & J Stone, Larsen/Feiten Band, Byrne and Barnes, Paul Davis, Joe Vitale, Niteflyte, Bruce Hibbard, Streetplayer, Michael Omartian, and Michael Nesmith.

File Under: Yacht Rock, Almost Disco
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…..Restocks…..

Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Infectious) LP
Mulatu Astatke: Ethio Jazz (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Touch & Go) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Brotzmann/Wertmuller/Pliakas: Full Blast (Jazzwerkstatt) LP
Tim Buckley: Happy Sad (4 Men With Beards) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Dettinger: Intershop (Kompakt) LP+CD
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Alemeyehu Eshete: Ethiopian Urban Modern Music (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Expo 70: Where Does your Mind Go? (Immune) LP
FKA Twigs: LP 1 (Young Turks) LP
Flower Travelin’ Band: Satori (Phoenix) LP
Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes (Warp) LP
Nils Frahm: Solo (Erased Tapes) LP/CD
Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge… (4 Men With Beards) LP
Funkadelic: Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (4 Men With Beards) LP
Future Islands: Singles (4AD) LP
Elias Hulk: Unchained (Sommer) LP
Bobby Hutcherson: Oblique (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Imaginary Softwoods: s/t (Digitalis) LP
Jamie XX: In Colour (XL) LP/3LP
Kavinsky: Outrun (Rec) LP
Kenney/Kang/Parker: At Temple Gate (Weyrd Son) LP
Laraaji: Celestial Music (All Saints) 3LP
LCD Soundsystem: 45:33 (DFA) LP
Hailu Mergia: s/t (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
My Morning Jacket: Waterfall (ATO) LP
Milton Nascimento: Clube Da Esquina (4 Men With Beards) LP
The National: Boxer (Beggars) LP
Neu: Vinyl Box (Gronland) 5LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Nisennenmondai: Live (Clouds) LP
Nisennenmondai: N (Petite Blast First) LP
Penny Penny: Shaka Bunda (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (EMI) LP
Lou Ragland: I Travel Alone (Numero) 3LP
Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream (Virgin) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Vampire Weekend: s/t (XL) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Late Great.. (Omnivore) LP
Jack White: Blunderbuss (Thirdman) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Thirdman) LP
Various: Funky Chicken Vol 1 (SDBan) LP
Various: Funky Chicken Vol 2 (SDBan) LP
Various: Wizzz! 1 (Born Bad) LP
Various: Wizzz! 2 (Born Bad) LP
Various: Wizzz! 3 (Born Bad) LP

Tagged , , , , ,

…..news letter #696 – cabinets…..

A shockingly large amount of stuff in this week, and some pretty big deals too. Sticky Fingers, with the zipper, reissued! And you can never go wrong with new Arthur Russell stuff. Never.

Also, this Sunday, we will be one of the venue’s for the Make Music Edmonton festival. We will be hosting 5 local artists playing music live out front. There are a pile of people performing at various locations on 124th street on Sunday. Check out the Make Music Edmonton website for more details.

…..pick of the week…..

arthur russell

Arthur Russell: Corn (Audika) LP
It has been seven years since Audika last issued an album of Arthur Russell material. The wait ends this summer with Corn, nine tracks Russell recorded in 1982 and 1983. In collaboration with Russell’s partner Tom Lee, Audika’s Steve Knutson compiled Corn from Arthur’s original, completed 1/4” tape masters. Russell himself compiled this material on three separate test pressings—labeled El Dinosaur, Indian Ocean, and Untitled, respectively—in 1985. Russell fans know something of the Corn sound from Audika’s debut release, Calling Out of Context (2004), which included four songs from these sessions: “The Deer In The Forest Part 1″, “The Platform on the Ocean”, “Calling Out Of Context,” and “I Like You!”. This new collection includes rhythmic alternate versions of “Lucky Cloud,” “Keeping Up,” “See My Brother, He’s Jumping Out (Let’s Go Swimming #2)”, “This Is How We Walk on the Moon”, and “Hiding Your Present From You,” along with “Corn,” “Corn (Continued),” “They and Their Friends,” and the closing instrumental “Ocean Movie,” one of the most beautiful and curious Russell tracks ever to see the light of day. With Corn, Audika reveals yet another side of Russell’s staggeringly diverse artistry, following the avant-electro disco of Calling Out Of Context, and its companion EP, Springfield; the orchestral works “Instrumentals” and “Tower Of Meaning”, compiled and released as First Thought Best Thought; the “Buddhist Bubble Gum Pop” collected on Love Is Overtaking Me, and Russell’s definitive solo masterpiece, World Of Echo.

File Under: Pop, Cello, Experimental, 80s, Essential Grooves
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…..new arrivals…..

39 clocks

39 Clocks: Subnarcotic (Luxury Product) LP
Germany’s self-crowned “Psycho Beat” combo, 39 Clocks were a low-lit shadow unit inhabiting a cultural corner all their own. Subnarcotic may be their finest moment, distilling and stretching the art-primitivism of their debut to it’s logical breaking point. Oozing out shock waves of bad acid trips, decayed guitar, and the dull stomp of a tiny beatbox, Subnarcotic is American garage and proto-punk filtered through some shadow-filled masterpiece of German expressionism.

File Under: Post-Punk, New Wave, Garage
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adams

Ryan Adams: 10 Songs from Live at Carnegie Hall (Blue Note) LP
Ten Songs From Live At Carnegie Hall is a condensed version of Ryan Adams’ 42-track, 6LP Live At Carnegie Hall box set which is comprised of two full sets the esteemed singer/songwriter performed and recorded over two nights at the historic New York venue near the tail end of 2014. The career-spanning 10-track offering includes takes on many of Adams’ classic songs as well as new songs from his most recent Grammy nominated eponymous release, which debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200. Live At Carnegie Hall was recorded and mixed by Charlie Stavish at The Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. “When you look up into the crowd at Carnegie Hall there is a feeling of reverence. I know what the seats feel like. I know the angle of the stage from the seats…so I sort of have an idea of what is happening…Strangely my only thought ever up there is to make the people feel relaxed and like there is no pressure. I love diffusing it. I cannot explain why but once diffused it can build to an even deeper place. Once you destroy the 4th wall you can rebuild. I like to rebuild the emotional space with the audience. It feels like the best thing. It feels real.” – Ryan Adams

File Under: Live, Folk, SSW
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air2

Air: 10,000 Hz Legend (Parlophone) LP
2001’s 10000 Hz Legend is the second full-length album from French postmodern electro duo Air – acronym for “Amour, Imagination, Reve” (love, imagination, dream) – comprised of sound auteurs Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel. Much more idiosyncratic and less pop oriented than its predecessor Moon Safari, 10000 Hz Legend finds Air sounding as futuristic as ever and approaching prog and avant-garde territories with the help of guest artists like Beck, Jason Falkner and Buffalo Daughter.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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air1

Air: Pocket Symphony (Parlophone) LP
Pocket Symphony is the fifth full-length album from French postmodern electro duo Air – acronym for “Amour, Imagination, Reve” (love, imagination, dream) – comprised of sound auteurs Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel. Ever since the release of their classic debut Moon Safari Air has straddled the line between the experimental and the accessible. And not since that first album have they done it as well as they do on Pocket Symphony. Co-produced by Nigel Godrich, Pocket Symphony features vocals by Dunckel and Godin but also from Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy). Air once again achieves that rare supernova of artistic vision that dares to reconcile palpable, unapologetic ambience with unpretentious soulful simplicity. They create the alternate now, an environment that begs escapism without denying humanity. While conventional instruments continue to play a great role, Air fashioned several tracks with the addition of Far East classical instruments which Godin learnt to play from Shoko, a Japanese master – namely the Koto (usually referred to as a Japanese floor harp) and the Shamisen, a 3-stringed instrument which is one of Japan’s most popular classical instruments and resembles the banjo. Working their way throughout the album as musical ricochets, these unearthly sounds of an alien nature add another motif to Air’s sonic architecture.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Synthpop
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air3

Air: Premier Symptomes (Parlophone) LP
1997’s Premiers Symptômes is the cult classic debut EP from French postmodern electro duo Air – acronym for “Amour, Imagination, Reve” (love, imagination, dream) – comprised of sound auteurs Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel. Featuring early instrumental singles released between 1995 and 1997, the dreamy downtempo 5-track affair stands up against anything the pair has released since and if ever there was an album designed for the turntable, it’s this one!

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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air5

Air: Talkie Walkie (Parlophone) LP
Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin have an uncanny ability to continually coax a magical range of tones from the wide array of instruments – analogue and digital – that they turn their hands to. Their third full-length, Talkie Walkie might not feature the stellar cast of collaborators that 10,000 Hz Legend gathered, but it certainly doesn’t relinquish their tight grip on unashamedly synthetic postmodern pop. Tracks like “Venus” and “Cherry Blossom Girl” recall the skewed pop of French pre-cursors Indochine. Dissonance, flipped melodies and synthetic held tones – that hold up to scrutiny against the high points of progressive rock – form the backbone of Air’s ensemble moments. “Alpha Beta Gaga” – it’s title forms an apt summary – encapsulates their talents precisely. Five minutes of collision-fun featuring: trickling analogue pulses, synthesized whistles and finger picking banjo in a context that amply demonstrates the (artificial) intelligence that forms the cornerstone of their prodigious output.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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air4

Air: Virgin Suicides (Parlophone) LP
Released in 2000, The Virgin Suicides was director Sofia Coppola’s first feature film, Kirsten Dunst’s first major screen role, and Air’s first foray into film scoring. 15 years after its initial release, Warner/Parlophone will issue The Virgin Suicides: Deluxe Edition box set and a remastered 180g vinyl version of the original soundtrack. On the same day, Warner/Parlophone will also release Air’s five album discography on 180-gram vinyl with original artwork, including their first EP Premiers Symptômes (1997), Moon Safari (1998), 10,000 Hz Legend (2001), Talkie Walkie (2004) and Pocket Symphony (2007). The Versailles duo – Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin – started to record new music by watching VHS tapes of the film during the autumn of 1998. Eerie, synthetic and tempestuous, The Virgin Suicides soundtrack’s first single “Playground Love” featured Gordon Tracks (an alias of Thomas Mars, the lead singer for the band Phoenix). The recording process was finished when drummer and soundtrack supervisor Brian Retzell called the duo from Los Angeles. “The microphones and the amps were packed and we needed a song for the ending credits! It happened on a Saturday afternoon. We called Thomas Mars from Phoenix. He wrote the lyrics, played some drums and sang on ‘Playground Love,'” remembers Dunckel. The Virgin Suicides premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1999. Much to the duo’s surprise, Air’s soundtrack had been heavily edited and 80% of the recorded tracks had been abandoned in the final cut of the film. Godin comments, “You can do everything with editing. That was the first big lesson. The film turned out lighter and more evanescent. I felt that we didn’t get what Sofia wanted.” Despite these regrets, The Virgin Suicides soon became a cult soundtrack and, most of all, one of the most celebrated albums in the electronic performers’ fascinating discography.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, OST
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angelo

Michael Angelo: s/t (Anthology) LP
The 1977 psychedelic rarity Michael Angelo (aka The Guinn Album), by Kansas City, MO based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Michael Angelo Nigro, is a staggering, hookfilled, hi-fi snapshot of one man’s inner space via dreamy folk-rock, Anglophile-pop and light psychedelia. Filled with poetic, contemplative, imaginative and arresting lyrical imagery and a Beatle-esque vocal presence that etches lovely figures, there’s little to ally the album to its time. Michael Angelo taps into the forever, ruminating on timeless life concerns in an oblique and direct manner. Ethereal and mellifluous, the album isn’t just a collection of songs, but a cohesive album-length statement with strummy, jangly folk-rock guitar, incendiary lead lines, big, resonant piano chords and plaintive tinkling, aided by keyboard coloring, and stands as a heavy-hitter in the pantheon of “out-of-time” treasures. Coming to form in local professional studios where he worked as a mid-to-late ‘70s session man, Michael plays all instruments on the album (spare drums, handled by Frank Gautieri). Original copies of this obscurity have long traded for close to four figures. The more affordable versions previously available have been shoddy bootlegs with poor sound. While the original master tapes vanished decades ago, this edition has been treated to a new re-master from a sealed original mint copy – and with Michael’s full involvement and blessing – rendering it as near the sound of the original LP as possible. We can now all drift within a sea of dreams with Michael Angelo!

File Under: Psych, Folk
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black mountain

Black Mountain: s/t 10th Anniversary Edition (Jagjaguwar) 2LP
It’s only a cliché because it’s true, but the greatest records are timeless. Black Mountain’s self-titled debut album is just such a record. It is a new classic rock, with reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible. The work of a small collective of musicians operating from Vancouver, Canada, far from any industry buzz but firmly in the eye of their own storm of creativity, Black Mountain’s debut album was, of course, a beginning, but it also marked an ending. Begun as the fourth album for Jerk With A Bomb, the 4-track bedroom project turned non-rock band led by Stephen McBean that preceded Black Mountain, the songs grew from skeletal sessions cut by McBean and Josh Wells and honed on the road in empty North American clubs along with Amber Webber. “We’d lay down the bed tracks, the guitars and drums,” remembers McBean. “Matt [Camirand, bass] joined, and we changed the band name after a dream of how life could be different in the B section between Black Flag and Black Sabbath. Josh’s roommate Jeremy [Schmidt, keys] was lurking about. We asked him if he wanted to add some synth bleeps or whatever. He came back with all these orchestrated keyboard parts, and we said, ‘Oh, you should probably join the band now.’” They cut the album at the Hive and their jam space in Vancouver, recording in “a big cement room with a tall ceiling, nice boomy acoustics, lots of natural reverb, on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorder.” During the sessions, these elemental first tracks found their true shape: wry and giddy, hypnotic and gracefully heavy, the dark and powerful blues, and mysterious chugging murk. The album’s initial success saw the band take to the road, leaving their Vancouver enclave for stages across the world. “It felt like there was a real explosion of excitement at shows,” remembers McBean. “We wouldn’t write setlists, we’d just feel the energy in the room and call things out, jamming on songs like ‘No Hits’ and ‘Druganaut.’ It was a good time for live rock’n’roll: DJ booths were being transformed back to drum risers, people were digging 20 minute heady jams and there were bands like Comets On Fire and Oneida out there who we felt kinship with. I was into Faust and Amon Duul but had no idea of the scene of modern bands doing that stuff. And then we met those bands, and it was cool. And then we went on tour with Coldplay…and the adventures continued.” Their jaunt across the world as guests of perhaps the biggest band in the world is a tale for another time, perhaps: the start of Black Mountain’s next chapter, and all that followed. For now, savor the compact, spacey brilliance of that cosmic, heavy and subtle debut album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives. “Once you’re done recording and touring a record, it’s hard to listen to it again for a long time,” says McBean. “But it’s fun when you hear your songs in strange contexts and don’t recognize them at first, like the other night I was watching some new Kevin Bacon show with a surreal orgy scene and Black Mountain playing in the background. Listening back to the first album again for the remaster, there were lots of things I dug about it, and it brought back a bunch of memories. When we made it, there were no expectations. We were hoping maybe twenty people would dig it. So everything that happened with it was really, really cool.”

File Under: Stoner Rock, Rock, CanCon
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crosss

Crosss: Lo (Telephone Explosion) LP
CROSSS are back with a dense, ominous and cerebral album that expands on the formula which made Obsidian Spectre such a critical success. Once again, the band straddles the line between metal and psych, with a noticeable shift toward the former. This is a record that hits hard on many levels.

File Under: Psych, Metal, Stoner
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ffs

FFS: s/t (Domino) LP
Collaborations don’t work, or that’s what FFS would have us believe on their debut album. When the seminal Los Angeles duo Sparks and Glasgow-based quartet Franz Ferdinand decided to record together, it was a flawed and potentially disastrous idea, right? Wrong, as FFS is one of the strongest albums of either bands’ distinguished career. Produced by Grammy-award winning John Congleton (St Vincent, David Byrne) at London’s RAK Studios, the album FFS took 15 days to complete. Kimono My House-era Sparks fans will recognize how FFS highlights their classic pop rock DNA, and Franz Ferdinand fans won’t be disappointed to hear the band at the peak of their powers as they bring their exhilaratingly unique and witty modern rock sound to the collaboration. Very much a new project, FFS doesn’t truly sound like either band, but a striking and fascinating mutation. “The real motivation was to make something new, not ‘Franz featuring Russell Mael’, or ‘Sparks with Franz Ferdinand backing them,” says Alex Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand). “You can’t chart what is Sparks and what is Franz Ferdinand,” suggests Ron Mael (of Sparks). “I think each band unconsciously relinquished a little of who they were in order to enter new territory.” So in the right hands, collaborations do indeed work, and beautifully as FFS wholeheartedly attests. The strength of the two bands is bigger than the sum of the parts. 2LP-set pressed on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl with four bonus tracks and an MP3 download.

File Under: Pop, Rock, Sparks
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cosmosBernard Fevre: Cosmos 2043 LP
In May 2015, Anthology Recordings commemorates the anniversaries of Bernard Fèvre’s 1975 LP Suspense and 1977 LP Cosmos 2043 with their first ever vinyl reissues. Suspense exemplifies Fevre’s cinematic skills in composing proto-electro vignettes and dramatic melodies befitting of the album’s title. Cosmos 2043 is it’s follow up, a wild, science fiction-themed library LP in which the enigmatic French synthesizer wizard conjures a far future populated by space-age electronics. Both albums have been remastered from the original tapes. “Cosmos 2043 and Suspense were made one after the other in 1975,” recalls Fèvre. “I chose to do everything myself, because I didn’t trust the other producers and musicians; I thought they were way behind the times.” Truly sui generis, Fèvre has since become a touchstone for countless generations of electronic musicians. This two album retrospective marks the first chapter in the Anthology Cinema Studies division, Anthology Recordings ongoing exploration of this diverse genre. “The idea to re-release these records, and for the first time in their original format, is very dear to me. I really like the word origin, because it’s very important to know where things and people come from. I hope that others can see that I have been an originator not an imitator, although I never considered myself futuristic or revolutionary at the time. The important thing with these reissues is the fun that they will bring to the fans that have demanded them for so long. I understood it was going to make people happy. I wanted to re-master my old tracks myself because I didn’t want to have a modern filter that would take away the charm of my old work, and new details would even appear in my work. “In the end, the 1970s need to be heard: it’s important for the magic of listening. Listeners will have the exact sound of the studio that I was using at the time, hardly utilized by me for the original Revox tapes. It will be a journey to my dimension in a universe that I was the only one to know until now. I had the chance to work from magnetic analogue master tapes, which have not traveled far from my 1975 studio / chambre de bonne and the Paris suburbs where they were archived, since the object ages less quickly than its creator…It’s still amazing to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of Suspense and 38-year anniversary of Cosmos 2043 (which came out in 1977).” – Bernard Fèvre

Under: Electronic, Library
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suspense

Bernard Fevre: Suspense (Anthology) LP
In May 2015, Anthology Recordings commemorates the anniversaries of Bernard Fèvre’s 1975 LP Suspense and 1977 LP Cosmos 2043 with their first ever vinyl reissues. Suspense exemplifies Fevre’s cinematic skills in composing proto-electro vignettes and dramatic melodies befitting of the album’s title. Cosmos 2043 is it’s follow up, a wild, science fiction-themed library LP in which the enigmatic French synthesizer wizard conjures a far future populated by space-age electronics. Both albums have been remastered from the original tapes. “Cosmos 2043 and Suspense were made one after the other in 1975,” recalls Fèvre. “I chose to do everything myself, because I didn’t trust the other producers and musicians; I thought they were way behind the times.” Truly sui generis, Fèvre has since become a touchstone for countless generations of electronic musicians. This two album retrospective marks the first chapter in the Anthology Cinema Studies division, Anthology Recordings ongoing exploration of this diverse genre. “The idea to re-release these records, and for the first time in their original format, is very dear to me. I really like the word origin, because it’s very important to know where things and people come from. I hope that others can see that I have been an originator not an imitator, although I never considered myself futuristic or revolutionary at the time. The important thing with these reissues is the fun that they will bring to the fans that have demanded them for so long. I understood it was going to make people happy. I wanted to re-master my old tracks myself because I didn’t want to have a modern filter that would take away the charm of my old work, and new details would even appear in my work. “In the end, the 1970s need to be heard: it’s important for the magic of listening. Listeners will have the exact sound of the studio that I was using at the time, hardly utilized by me for the original Revox tapes. It will be a journey to my dimension in a universe that I was the only one to know until now. I had the chance to work from magnetic analogue master tapes, which have not traveled far from my 1975 studio / chambre de bonne and the Paris suburbs where they were archived, since the object ages less quickly than its creator…It’s still amazing to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of Suspense (and 38-year anniversary of Cosmos 2043, which came out in 1977).” – Bernard Fèvre

File Under: Electronic, Library
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fuckedup

Fucked Up: Year of the Hare (Deathwish) LP
Fucked Up is one of the most prolific hardcore punk bands of our generation. Since their 2001 inception, they’ve challenged listeners with thoughtful artful chaos and a seemingly limitless drive for musical experimentation. Because of this, they’ve also become a record collectors worst nightmare; releasing over 80 recordings and collaborations on countless labels that include Arts & Crafts, Matador, Jade Tree, and more. The Year of the Hare EP is the latest installment of their Zodiac themed releases. Over a two year period, it was recorded and constructed at Electrical Audio, Key Club Studios, and Candle Studios. Title track “Year of the Hare” is a 21 minute epic that frantically mixes traditional instrumentation, piano/synths, flutes and sax, experimental editing/soundscapes, and guest vocals from great Isla Craig into one dizzying experience. While B-Side “California Cold” slowly builds and deconstructs over an 8 and a half minute stretch. Organically shifting from jangly melodic-punk anthem into a fuzzed out psychedelic jam session. Eclectically blending musical styles and voices in the most, well, Fucked Up way possible.

File Under: Punk, Hardcore, CanCon
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glass family

Glass Family: Electric Band (Lion) LP
The origins of The Glass Family start in West Los Angeles. Jim Callon formed a band to play surf music and covers at frat parties to make some money. They went by a few different monikers at that point; the Carpet Baggers and the Soul Survivors amongst them. “Los Angeles at that time was a wonderful place to be,” Callon said. “There were these pockets of communities all over the place. Everything [was] about what was going on and [what] we were a part of really had a good intention. It was people expanding their minds with LSD and marijuana. People just wanted to try new things and change the way that they were expected to live their lives.” A few years later when the band members were at Cal State LA for grad school, they changed the band name to The Glass Family. They played all over Los Angeles, gigging at notable venues like The Troubadour, The Topanga Corral and The Whiskey A Go-Go, sharing bills with The Doors, Vanilla Fudge, and Love. By 1967, they’d secured a record deal with Warner Bros. Records, who released their record in 1968. Although it never became the hit that they’d hoped for, the more important result was that the Glass Family were a piece of the puzzle of the times: playing gigs with Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Bros, Canned Heat, Big Brother and The Holding Company with Janis Joplin, and The Grateful Dead. “The gigs we played with The Dead at The Fillmore were the most memorable. Owsley Stanley would walk around backstage and place little paper cups full of coke or punch dosed with the best Owsley acid. Then he’d walk through the audience handing out cups.” ‘House of Glass’ is the impressive opening track, full of tension and convincing vocals over some 13th Floor Elevators style grooves; ‘Once Again’ and ‘Sometimes You Wander’ are nice soft-psych tunes; ‘The Means’ is an excellent hallucinogenic flying into the Beatles territory; ‘Do You Remember’ is not far from Pearls Before Swine. ‘I Want To See My Baby’ has nice fuzz guitar, and reminds one of Country Joe & The Fish’s ‘Death Sound Blues’. We’ve always thought that this was one of the better underground psych albums, so we’re glad to see an official version hit the streets. Gatefold includes unique band photos and a biography of the band’s experiences in psychedelic 1960s Southern California. The first LP is a reissue of the band’s original Warner Bros. album. The second LP contains unreleased tracks—how the band intended the songs to sound. Initial recording sessions for the album took place in the summer of 1967 with Richie Podolor (producer for Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night) at the helm. Those recordings were rejected by Warner Bros. So the band went back into the studio late in 1967 and early 1968 with Podolor in hopes of creating something more palatable to the label folks. These later sessions are what eventually comprised the original Glass Family album, “Electric Band.” The first Glass Family sessions from 1967 are what you’ll find on the second LP of this release.

File Under: Psych
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hudson

Hudson Mohawke: Lantern (Warp) LP
Lantern is the first solo full length in nearly six years from Hudson Mohawke. The producer has been on a meteoric rise, working with some of the biggest names in hip hop, pop and dance music. From age 15 he was an award winning scratch DJ producing happy hardcore on cracked software – he came to define a generation of electronic fusion producers but unlike many of his peers, Hudson has matured into a fully fledged contemporary hitmaker continually working to break the mold. Born of the underground club scene in the UK, ‘Hud Mo’ has been cultivating a formidable presence in the community, right from the earliest days producing on Fruityloops from his bedroom. His US break-out came in 2012 with TNGHT, the collaborative project with fellow producer Lunice, which saw their production influence the A-list in rap (being jumped on by the likes of Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne) and help reintroduce the US dance/EDM scene to Hip Hop as club music. In the two years following, Hudson has worked on releases from Drake, Kanye West, John Legend, Young Thug, Pusha-T, and Antony Hegarty. Despite becoming one of pops go-to producers, to his avid fans he’s never been tied to one genre – and with Lantern we hear the realization of everything he has been working on since that Glasgow bedroom.

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop, IDM
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in camera

In Camera: ERA (4AD) LP
By 1982 the quartet had fallen apart. The Fin EP was their 4AD epitaph: a Peel session from December 1980 which Ivo licensed from the BBC. Easily the band’s strongest release, it featured the 12-minute monolith ‘Fatal Day’. Gray remained affiliated with the label, co-founding The Wolfgang Press in 1983, while In Camera briefly reformed in 1991 to record some new material for the compilation CD 13 (Lucky For Some). Throughout the 1980s, 4AD was both a record label and a mood. That number combined with those two letters signified music that was dark, dreamy, and decorous, its roomy reverb conjuring quiet drama of introversion. While the sound of Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, and Dead Can Dance more or less defined the label, 4AD also made room for the combustible punk of the Birthday Party, the fractured rhythms of Rema Rema, In Camera and eventually the gritty American indie of Throwing Muses and the Pixies. Nevertheless, the imprint quickly became identified with a very specific emotional bleakness. Ringleader among them was Ivo Watts-Russell, scion of faded aristocracy who co-founded the label in 1979 (its original name was Axis, after Jimi Hendrix) and steered it through the 80s and into the 90s. No businessman, he signed and funded acts regardless of their commercial viability. Some, like Cocteau Twins and the Pixies, became highly successful and proved incredibly influential. Others, such as Ultra Vivid Scene and His Name Is Alive, can be generously described as cult acts. Never forsaking their past, 4AD continue to look forward, re-defining the present.

File Under: Post Punk
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lorenz

Rudiger Lorenz: Invisible Voices (Anthology) LP
When he wasn’t dispensing prescriptions in his day job as a pharmacist, the late German synth wizard Rüdiger Lorenz followed a truer passion, casting his own unique presence on the world of New Age music, and self releasing a significant body of work on his own Syncord label. His vinyl debut, 1983’s Invisible Voices, highlights when Lorenz’s busy, sprawling compositions and untraditional tone banks came into their own. More restless and spirited than many of his musical colleagues, Invisible Voices presents a vision of aural wanderlust, built for the journey and one’s reflection on it afterwards.

File Under: Electronic, New Age
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'71

OST: ’71 (Touch Sensitive) LP
Inspired by a number of conversations between director Yann Demange and music producer David Holmes, the majority of ’71’s score was created before the film was shot. Yann likes to shoot with music already written – an idea that resonates with the collaborative work of Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. With reference to CAN’s soundtrack work, in which only Irmin Schmidt would have seen the film, David would describe the emotion, tone and atmosphere of the scene with the other band members before recording and then editing to picture after. He says “It frees your imagination to try and capture a world that only you can see and feel but in total relation to the directors overall vision. Living in Belfast for most of my life was also a big inspiration.” Musically influenced by John Carpenter’s ‘Assault On Precinct 13’ and ‘Escape From New York’, John Paul Jones’ ‘Four Minute Warning’ and Tony Conrad’s ‘The Pyre of Angus Was In Kathmandu’, the music pulses with the tension and potential terror of war-torn Belfast streets n 1971.

File Under: OST
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absurd

OST: Absurd (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to unleash another cult classic from the video nasty era (and their first in an ongoing series with the legendary CAM Records from Italy). Carlo Maria Cordio’s musical score to Joe D’Amato’s notorious ABSURD (aka ROSSO SANGUE) is a pseudo-sequel to ANTHROPOPHAGUS, the film reunited D’Amato with George Eastman, star of the previous film, and brought the action from Greece to America where the near-invincible Mikos escapes from a hospital to go on a typically gory killing spree. Using drills, band saws, axes, scissors, and an oven, Mikos terrorises the kids of an American (Italian) family until he gets his inevitable comeuppance courtesy of a drawing compass. Carlo Maria Cordio’s score is centred around a versatile seven-note piano riff that gets an amazing amount of use without ever feeling too stale or repetitive. Cordio augments the riff in interesting and varied ways, sometimes going down the Goblin route with the big and impactful percussion and the funk beats, with a healthy dose of synth, or going for a bit of a chilled out proto-LETHAL WEAPON tune, with noodling electric guitar. Tension is the order of the day much of the time, with synths, an electric keyboard, and a snare drum being Cordio’s weapons. If you love your prog-rock horror music, ABSURD will be right up your alley. Just leave the axe at home, no?

File Under: OST, Horror
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broadchurch

OST: Broadchurch OST (Mercury) LP
A vital element in the success of the critically acclaimed 2013 British drama Broadchurch was the hauntingly beautiful, BAFTA Award-winning score by the young Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. To coincide with the arrival of the highly anticipated second season of Broadchurch, Mercury Classics is releasing a full soundtrack album of musical highlights from the first season as well as newly composed music for the second season, all appearing on one full length album for the first time. The first season of Broadchurch, about a hunt for the killer of a young boy in a small coastal community, was hailed as ”a bona fide national obsession,” by Entertainment Weekly. Produced by Kudos for ITV, it gained an audience of 10 million viewers, making it the highest-rated drama on the UK’s main commercial channel. The show has enjoyed similar international success in 135 countries. The critical response was equally impressive, and particular emphasis was placed on the score. In addition to scooping three BAFTA Awards (including Best Drama Series), it won another BAFTA Craft Award for Arnalds’ emotionally powerful and austere soundscape. In the Radio Times, Alison Graham wrote, “The terrific music is important in building Broadchurch’s chilly atmosphere and dark mood. Like the best music, it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t tell you what you should be feeling.” In the New York Times, Mike Hale called the score “a tasty icing of gloom and foreboding,” and Televisual commented, “The soundtrack was as big as the Broadchurch landscape…and as melancholic as its tragedy and hidden secrets.” It is fitting that the score should be praised as highly as Broadchurch as a whole. Author Chris Chibnall was a long-term fan of Ólafur Arnalds’ albums – which combine contemporary classical influences, avant-garde electronics, and evocative ambient sounds – and listened to them when writing the script. The mysterious and melancholy atmosphere of the show had Arnalds’ music in its creative DNA from the very beginning. After getting a green light for his project, Chibnall then approached Arnalds (via his website) to compose the score. The Icelander was just 26 when he was commissioned, but was already a hugely successful composer and performer both in his homeland and internationally. “Ólafur’s music just broke my heart. I instinctively felt if we could get him, it would be amazing,” said Chibnall. In a remarkably short space of time, Arnalds created an atmospheric and hypnotic score that captured both the mood and direction of the plot and the imaginations of millions of viewers. He assigned evocative themes to the most important characters and elements of the story, including the bleak and dominating Broadchurch cliffs. “The music is a narrative all of its own,” commented Chibnall. Composed for string quartet, piano and synthesizer, the music was recorded in an empty church in Reykjavik. The soundtrack also includes two vocal tracks –  “So Close,” sung by Arnór Dan and featured in Season 1, and a new song recorded for Season 2, “So Far” also featuring vocals by Dan which will play at the closing of each episode.

File Under: OST, TV
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deadgirl

OST: Deadgirl (VCR) LP
Joseph Bauer’s original score to one of the most brutal independent horror movies of the last five years, Deadgirl, is now available for the first time on vinyl. With music sourced from the master recordings as provided by the composer, the 12″ LP will be released in a limited edition of 500 copies on 180 gram, two tone vinyl.

File Under: OST, Horror
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far cry 4

OST: Far Cry 4 (Invada) LP
UK’s Invada Records are delighted to announce the release of the soundtrack to the upcoming Ubisoft video game Far Cry 4 on limited edition, multicoloured triple vinyl, with music from acclaimed Hollywood composer Cliff Martinez, limited to 1500 units. The album will be released with 45 minutes of bonus material not included on the digital release, and will be issued on tripled vinyl, housed in a gatefold sleeve along with a download card. The colours are as follows: Solid Orange / Solid Blue / Solid Green vinyl. Despite not exclusively being a soundtrack label, Invada Records have proved to be a major force in the market for film and video game music. Their previous releases include the soundtracks to Ubisoft’s video game’s Watch_Dogs and Far Cry 3: ‘Blood Dragon’. Invada have also been involved in several Cliff Martinez projects, with their own release of the popular soundtracks to crime thriller Drive and science fiction film Solaris. Cliff Martinez has recently finished scoring the critically-acclaimed Showtime TV show The Knick, with his anachronistic music being recognised as one of the key elements of the show’s success. Far Cry 4 is Cliff’s first foray into the world of video game music. Label Manager Redg Weeks states “Ubisoft are not only a huge company in the video game world, they put huge emphasis on the soundtrack to their games – the fact they’ve brought in Cliff to score FC4 shows the lengths they go to to deliver a real top-notch overall product.  We’re pleased to further develop our relationship with Cliff Martinez, whose work continues to astound us at every turn.”

File Under: OST, Videogames, Drive
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hannibal

OST: Hannibal (Mondo) LP
Featuring 20 cues from the first two seasons of the hit television show, (10 from each) curated by the composer himself. This compilation is essential for Hannibal fans, Just in time for the Season 3 premiere. Featuring an informative interview with the composer, and original artwork by Phantom City Creative.

File Under: OST, TV
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maniac cop

OST: Maniac Cop 2 (Mondo) LP
Mondo is thrilled to present Jay Chattaway’s chilling, pulsing score to ‘Maniac Cop 2’ on Vinyl for the first time ever. Years after our release of Chattaway’s soundtrack to ‘Maniac’, we are honored to add another of his scores to our growing discography. This superior sequel is one of our favorite horror films of all time, and we are excited to pay tribute this film nearly 25 years later. This limited edition, one time pressing also features the infamous Maniac Cop Rap.

File Under: OST, Horror
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once

OST: Once (Dual Planet) LP
From the bizarre Polish-cinema-inspired imagery of the album’s artwork to the private-press aesthetics of the original LP, the Once soundtrack has long been a mysterious artifact among rare film and electronic music collectors alike. Written and directed by ‘the father of virtual reality’, the obscure art film is an allegorical tale of ‘Creation’ and ‘Destruction’ and the battle for humanity. With no surviving prints of the film traced to date, all that remains is the remarkable soundtrack. Composed by Israeli-born classical composer, Aminadav Aloni, the score is a collection of other-worldly spatial analogue electronics, field recordings and strong overtones of haunting Jewish liturgical music whose synergy create a soundtrack as beguiling and enigmatic as the film itself. Liner notes by Wire/Uncut journalist, Jon Dale. One-time limited pressing of 500 copies for the world.

File Under: OST, Electronic
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starry eyes

OST: Starry Eyes (Waxwork) LP
Waxwork Records proudly presents the debut LP release of 2014’s Starry Eyes. Composed by Sub Pop recording artist Jonathan Snipes (clipping, Room 237), Starry Eyes has been hailed not only as one of the best horror movies of 2014, but one of the best horror films of the last decade. The LP features an incredible 100% analog synth score composed and performed by Snipes that has grabbed the attention of fans of the film worldwide. Starry Eyes and it’s score has received countless awards and accolades. Time has called the film one of the ten best films of South by Southwest.

File Under: OST, Horror
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sticky fingers

Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Universal) LP/2LP
Hear ‘em knocking from a moonlight mile away. Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones’ swaggering and swaying 1971 opus that ranks among the greatest rock records ever made, gets restored on this explosive reissue featuring an outer wallet, white bag, and 12×12 insert. The remastered analog sound makes Mick, Keith, ace lead guitarist Mick Taylor, and company come alive in vivid, raw, blues-soaked detail. Wild horses won’t even be able to drag you away. Sticky Fingers captures the band at the absolute peak of its powers on timeless tracks such as “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Bitch,” “Sister Morphine,” and “Dead Flowers.” The effort was was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Stargroves, Mick’s country home, and Olympic Studios in London. Produced by Jimmy Miller, the set ranks #63 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list and originally came out released shortly after the Stones became exiled in the south of France. The first sessions that led to Sticky Fingers took place as far back as December 1969, in the remote location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Alabama. The band then reconvened, back home in the UK both at Olympic and with the Rolling Stones Mobile parked up at Jagger’s Stargroves home. Soon after the album hit, Sticky Fingers became the band’s sixth UK #1 LP. Its four-week reign was matched by its performance in the US, and it also raced to the top in Australia, Canada, and through much of Europe. Today, it’s rightly considered a near-peerless classic.

File Under: Rock
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run the jewels

Run The Jewels: s/t (Mass Appeal) LP
El-P and Killer Mike, two of the most distinctive and celebrated names in rap, might have seemed like an unlikely pairing on paper, but the duo subverted and pulverized all expectations with their critically lauded Run The Jewels collaborative LP in 2013. Tapping into the creative synergy they’d discovered in 2012 on Mike’s R.A.P. Music album (produced by El-P) and El’s Cancer 4 Cure album (featuring Mike ), plus subsequent tours together, Run The Jewels cemented their musical alliance with an album of uncompromisingly raw, forward thinking hip-hop. Ten tracks of speaker obliterating beats and razor sharp verses, laced with searingly honest emotion and pitch black humor not to mention guest appearances by Big Boi, Until the Ribbon Breaks and Prince Paul. Due to an overwhelming high demand, the group will be reissuing a physical version of their now-classic debut album for the first time since 2013. “Just when you thought Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne was guaranteed to be the hip hop collaboration of the decade, along comes the equally thrilling co-production Run The Jewels.” – NME

File Under: Rap, Hip Hop
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daily dance

Doug Snyder & Bob Thompson: Daily Dance (Cantor) LP
Finally managed to dig up more copies of this one! “After meeting at a Stooges/MC5 concert, drummer Bob Thompson and guitarist Doug Snyder met one fine day in October 1972 in Thompson’s kitchen and bashed out this set of fiery improvisations, seemingly influenced as much by Iggy’s proto-punk moves as John Coltrane’s whole sheets of sound ethos; the result is a mythical frenzy of distorted guitar and improvised drums, creating walls of psychedelic noise; its sound is unparalleled for its time, preceding its closest kin, New York’s no-wave explosion, by a solid five years. And because of its lack of pretensions (it was done almost innocently), the record comes off as something, dare we say, a little more ‘spiritual’ than is the norm for such excursions. It is a singular recording, one that mainlines the classic high energy pantheon of the Velvet Underground, Stooges, Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Sharrock, etc. while anticipating the free jazz/noise/no wave synthesis of groups that would follow in their footsteps. Thompson and Snyder get into some abstruse territory, with Snyder tearing industrial gamelan shapes from his six strings while Thompson uses the guts of his kit as the basis for new tonal alphabets. But it’s all rendered with a strong savage ethos that effortlessly equates monochord rock obliteration with the celestial freedom of Cecil Taylor/John Coltrane, et al., while establishing new territory as advanced as that attained by the most far-reaching visionaries of the rock n roll blueprint… still hard to believe that this was recorded in 1972. A major historical unearthing, remastered from the original tapes, and beautifully packaged in a Stoughton paste-on mini-LP jacket, with an informative Obi/U-Card, and an extensive 20-page booklet of liner notes and photos. Produced in conjunction with Cantor Records, who recently made Daily Dance available on vinyl for the first time in 35 years. Includes one bonus track (not included on the LP reissue), which was intended for the original release, but left off at the last moment for time considerations.”

File Under: Free Improv, Drone, Psych
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law unit

Umberto & Anton Maiovvi: Law Unit (Death Waltz Originals) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company are proud to bring you an all-new aural experience via the latest installment of the Death Waltz Originals imprint. Law Unit is a brand new creation by maestros Umberto (Prophecy of the Black Widow, Night Has A Thousand Screams) and Antoni Maiovvi (Yellow, Delta City), an original concept that in the composers’ own words “moves past the retro-futurist works of their individual solo releases to explore a world of early industrial and experimental music”. The resulting album is made up of ten dangerously cool and evocative cuts, the kind of tracks that put you in the mood for LA circa 2019, or the Detroit of 1987. Law Unit feels like exactly that; to paraphrase a certain TV show, “a lone crusader in a dangerous world”. Like a one-car journey into the night of Hades, dissonant synths and intent percussion surrounding you at every move. The cacophony at times is terrifying, the apocalyptic feeling echoing through distant electric guitars and sampled vocal chorus, following you, hunting you. Or are you hunting them? But what makes this record doubly worth your time are the snatches of beauty, of wonder, hidden within Reflective synth lines, guitar, sometimes ambient, other times in the foreground. Law Unit is a masterpiece of hard beats and harder synths that you’ll want on your stereo when you’re making that next trip into the dark unknown.

File Under: OSTish, Electronic
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…..Restocks…..

Tony Allen: Black Voices (Kindred Spirits) LP
Animal Collective: Prospect Hummer (Fat Cat) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Jorge Ben: Ben e Samba Bom (Polysom) LP
Bjork: Vulnicura (One Little Indian) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Volume 4 (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Rhino) LP
Blue Phantom: Distortions (AMS) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Body/Head: Coming Apart (Matador) LP
Brothers & Sisters: Dylan’s Gospel (Light in the Attic) LP
Bunalim: s/t (Pharaway Sound) LP
Alex Calder: Mold Boy (Captured Tracks) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Spoon) LP
Caribou: Swim (Merge) LP
Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP
Chrome: Box (Cleopatra) Box
Mikal Cronin: III (Merge) LP
Daphni: Jiaolong (Merge) LP
Earth: Hex (Southern Lord) LP
Donnie & Joe Emerson: Still Dreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic) LP
Donnie & Joe Emerson: Dreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic) LP
Lee Fields: Problems (Truth & Soul) LP
Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin: J’Taime (Light in the Attic) LP
Goblin: Zombi (AMS) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Got A Girl: I Love You… (Bulk) LP
Honey Ltd.: LHI Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Etta James: Rock the House (Jackpot) LP
Jarvis Street Revue: Mr. Oil Man (Lion) LP
Daniel Johnston: HI, How Are You? (Eternal Yip) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Kinks: Kinda Kinks (Sanctuary) LP
Erkin Koray: Arap Saci (Pharaway Sound) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Man-Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
J.D. McPherson: Signs & Signifiers (Universal) LP
Medusa: First Step Beyond (Numero) LP
Modest Mouse: Interstate 8 (Glacial Pace) LP

Monks: Black Monk Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Monolord: Vaenir (Riding Easy) LP
Ngozi Family: Day of Judgement (Now Again) LP
OST: It Follows (Milan) LP
Ought: More Than Any Other Day (Constellation) LP
Max Richter: Blue Notebooks (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Ty Segall/White Fence: Hair (Drag City) LP
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjum (XL) LP
Sigur Ros: Med Suo I… (XL) LP
Sigur Ros: Von (XL) LP
Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain (Red Ink) LP
Ray Stinnett: A Fire Somewhere (Light in the Attic) LP
Stone Roses: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Stone Roses: Turns Into Stone (Modern Classics) LP
Sun Ra: On Jupiter (Kindred Spirits) LP
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar) LP
Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) LP
Weezer: Pinkerton (Geffen) LP
Wet Secrets: Free Candy (Rawlco) LP
Wipers: Is This Real (Jackpot) LP
Neil Young: After the Gold Rush (Reprise) LP
Tom Ze: Estudando O Samba (Polysom) LP
Tom Ze: Todos Os Olhos (Polysom) LP
Tom Ze: Correio Da Estacao Do Bras (Polysom) LP
Various: Darkscorch Canticles (Numero) LP
Various: Our Lives Are.. Mowest Story (Light in the Attic) LP

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…..news letter #695 – wait…..

Well, this is the first of what I am willing to guess will be many slim lists over the summer. Still some plenty of stuff in the bins and new used hitting the shelves every day. Come for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

highlife

Various: Highlife on the Move (Soundway) 3LP/2CD
In conjunction with compiler and highlife researcher Dr. Markus Coester, Soundway Records present a very special release. Double CD & triple 180g gatefold vinyl (with a bonus 7 inch). This 45 includes the two first ever recordings by a certain Fela Ransome Kuti with his band The Highlife Rakers. Recorded by Melodisc in London in 1960 both tracks have been unearthed after more than fifty years in hiding. In many ways this compilation is a prequel of sorts to Soundway’s groundbreaking Nigeria & Ghana Special compilations, telling the early story of modern highlife’s foundation & formulation. It traces the music from West Africa to London, adding elements of jazz, mambo and calypso along the way and paving the way for the afro sounds of the 1970s. Accompanied by a 44 page CD booklet and 12 page vinyl booklet, the notes by Dr. Coester include rare photographs, labels and advert reproductions alongside some stunning and very rare recordings.

File Under: Highlife, Afrobeat, Ghana, Summer
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…..new arrivals…..

braxton

Tyondai Braxton: Hive1 (Nonesuch) LP
Nonesuch releases HIVE1, the label debut from Tyondai Braxton. Written and recorded throughout 2013 and 2014, the recording comprises eight pieces that were originally conceived for a performance work called HIVE that debuted at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2013. Following its New York premiere, HIVE was performed at the Sydney Opera House, the MONA FOMA festival in Tasmania, and London’s Barbican Centre as part of Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary celebration. The piece was created as a live multimedia work that was part architectural installation and part ensemble performance with five musicians sitting cross-legged atop their own space-age oval pods. Designed by Danish architect Uffe Surland Van Tams, each pod was programmed to complete the sonic mood of the piece with ever-changing LED light emitting through its perforated wooden walls. The piece derived its name, as Braxton told London’s Guardian, because “there’s a very social aspect to what’s happening in this project. Technologically speaking, the performers of the piece are very connected together.” Praised by the Washington Post as “one of the most acclaimed experimental musicians of the last decade,” Braxton has been writing and performing music under his own name and collaboratively, under various group titles, since the mid-1990s. He is the former frontman of experimental rock band Battles, whose debut album Mirrored was both a critical and commercial success. Since departing Battles in 2010, Braxton has focused on composing music for HIVE, as well as composing commissioned pieces for ensembles such as The Bang on a Can All Stars, Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, and Brooklyn Rider. In 2012, he collaborated with Philip Glass during the ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror festival. He has also performed his orchestral work Central Market with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and New York’s Wordless Music Orchestra.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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coliseum

Coliseum:  Anxiety’s Kiss (Deathwish) LP
Founded by Louisville musician Ryan Patterson and including Kayhan Vaziri and Carter Wilson, power trio Coliseum have grown to become one of today’s quintessential contemporary punk bands. Successfully melding progressive musicianship, hardcore fervor, and vital social awareness into one constantly evolving artistic vision. Over the last decade Coliseum have released music on a host of labels including; Temporary Residence, Relapse, Level Plane, Auxiliary (Ryan’s own label), and Deathwish. Anxiety’s Kiss is the new album from Coliseum, recorded at The Magpie Cage by producer/engineer J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines). Anxiety’s Kiss is a hook-laden maturation of the Coliseum sound. Nods to their early D-Beat leanings are there, but it is their willingness to embrace Post-Punk melody and explore the space between notes that make Anxiety’s Kiss so alluring. Confidently growing within the punk world, without ever leaving it behind. “We Are The Water” kicks things off with a synth-driven stomp while lyrically serving as a poignant social awakening and call for human empathy. Amidst a tangle and twang of melody, “Course Correction” and “Wrong/Goodbye” then emerge to tackle the ripe subjects of class division and police brutality. “Drums & Amplifiers” picks up pace, taking on those who reflect on their punk past rather than absorb the spirit that still charges the air around us. It’s not all social and subcultural commentary though. The dizzying “Dark Light Of Seduction” and sultry “Sharp Fangs, Pale Flesh” (where J. Robbins guests performing the BulBul Tarang) are darkly provocative narratives about the power of lust and love. In soul and tone, they both interject an emotional underbelly to it all. Robbins also adds bass on “Comedown,” an industrial-tinged romp led by Vaziri’s baritone guitar and Wilson’s booming toms. Coincidentally, it is also the first Coliseum song ever recorded to not feature Patterson on guitar. “Sunlight in a Snowstorm” is the band at their most melodic, with a snow-covered New York City as its lyrical backdrop. The high beam lit, cinematic noir of “Driver at Dusk” and infectious, fuzzed-out “Escape Yr Skull” lastly descend to close out the album. A flawless, yin and yang pairing that is Coliseum at the peak of their experimental and anthemic powers.

File Under: Punk, Goth
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brown sugar

D’Angelo: Brown Sugar (Virgin) LP
In 1995, D’Angelo – born Michael Eugene Archer and Virginia-raised to a Pentecostal preacher father – made an undeniable impact on the music world with the release of his 4x Grammy Award nominated debut album Brown Sugar, ushering in a new and inescapable neo-soul sound with classic hits such as the album title track, “Lady,” “Cruisin,” and more. The multi-talented artist handled nearly all of the production, instrumentation, arrangements, songwriting and vocals on the acclaimed 10-track stunner and strategically positioned himself as the next Hendrix-like deity in black music, after Prince and Lenny Kravitz. In celebration of the 20 year anniversary of this classic album UMe will be reissuing it back on vinyl for this first time in almost 10 years, on limited edition colored vinyl!

File Under: Soul, R & B
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racontwoer

Racontwoers: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
The Raconteurs are made up of four old friends. While Brendan Benson, Jack White, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence have all known each other since meeting in the late ‘90s on the underground Detroit garage circuit, it took an unfinished lyric by Benson in the summer of 2004 for them to coalesce as a band. That lyric (“find yourself a girl/and settle down/live a simple live/in a quiet town”) once completed by White (“Steady as she goes”) while Lawrence and Keeler were nearby (ready to drop some serious bass and percussion backing respectively) was the birth of the Raconteurs. Their songs are perfect modern approximations of classic rock. On Record Store Day, April 17, 2010, Brendan Benson and Patrick Keeler along with Mark Watrous and Andrew Higley performed a re-worked set of Raconteurs songs in celebration of the re-release of Broken Boy Soldiers on LP at Third Man Records. 20 flight rock!

File Under: Rock, White Stripes

ruscigan

Ruscigan: Viaggio Nel Domani (Dagored) LP
A daring experimenter and former student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Guido Baggiani aka Ruscigan collaborated with Piero Umiliani at Umiliani’s Soundworkshop Studios to create Viaggio Nel Domani, originally released in 1972. It still surprises the listener with its clarity of execution and sense of musical adventure. This first ever reissue is pressed on clear blue vinyl and limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Library
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stark reality

Stark Reality: Roller Coaster Ride (Now Again) LP
Despite their relatively short career, the Stark Reality’s catalog is among the most celebrated and storied in the world of far-out psychedelic jazz in which they operated. Their album Roller Coaster Ride has long been one of the most sought-after pieces of their output, unavailable until it was issued by Now Again Records in 2003 as 1969. Roller Coaster Ride features the original six tracks restored and remastered from the original tapes, along with extensive liner notes and annotations by Egon of Now Again Music and legendary musician Ahmad Jamal, who released the band’s legendary album …Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop on his boutique label AJP Records in 1970.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Psych
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yob

Yob: Clearing the Path to Ascend (Relapse) LP
Two years after leveling the expectations of critics and listeners alike with Atma, doom trio powerhouse Yob unleashes Clearing The Path To Ascend, an aptly titled album for what will undoubtedly be the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music as commanding as it is cathartic. As is the Yob way, the tracks here don’t simply offer a vacuous glimpse into the already riff-soaked doom genre. These songs demand the tandem attention of mind, body, and soul – etching a mark across a sound that finds Yob as formidable and unequaled as they’ve ever been. True ascension requires a destruction of those barriers that prevent any movement forward. Unsurprisingly, Yob pummels any and all of these obstacles with absolute authority, clearing the way for a genuinely visceral listening experience and climbing upward into a realm that sets the band in a heavy metal place that has been and will always remain wholly their own. Yob’s music is not unlike the path that’s led them to their current place among heavy metal’s elite, slowly building from a hushed ethereal vapor into the thunderous and masterful tumult of sound domination. The ethereal mists of Eugene, Oregon no doubt provided the perfect catalyst for founding member and vocalist Mike Scheidt to call up the signature of surging doom that would soon come to garner Yob its current position as one of the most respected and revered bands in all of heavy metal. While giving due sonic credit to cornerstone influences such as Cathedral, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath – Yob immediately set out to define a sound wholly singular and utterly devastating in its cathartic enormity, incomparable to any other music being created at the time. Those threads of progressive rock and drone that have always underscored the music of Yob are now fully realized with Clearing The Path To Ascend, as each track forges into the next with a ferocity that’s as completely unhinged as it is utterly focused. Drummer Travis Foster wields his signature rhythmic furor here with bombastic precision while bassist, Aaron Rieseberg, coils around the sonic tide with an unforgiving churn – all the while in a deadly synchronicity with Scheidt’s uncanny vocal range and its pendulous movement between the triumphant howls of a medieval madman and the earth splitting growls of a war-battered titan. With Clearing The Path To Ascend, Yob explores a thunderous dimension that’s familiar in its auditory clout but completely new in the execution of its trajectory, taking the band’s sound into a remarkable place as ethereally compelling in its aesthetic as it is merciless in the magnitude of its sound. LP includes download card for entire record.

File Under: Metal
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…..Restocks…..

Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
Belle & Sebastian: Boy with the Arab Strap (Matador) LP
Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas (4AD) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Lightning Bolt: Fantasy Empire (Thrill Jockey) LP
Tim Maia: Nobody Can Live Forever (Luaka Bop) LP
The National: Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
William Onyeabor: Who Is? (Luaka Bop) 3LP
William Onyeabor: Boxset 1 (Luaka Bop) 5LP
Pixies: Doolittle (4AD) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow OST (Jagjaguwar) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Tool: 10,000 Days (Fanclub) LP
Tool: Anima (Fanclub) LP
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires in the City (XL) LP
War On Drugs: Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian) LP
Patrick Watson: Love Songs for Robots (Secret City) LP
Zombies: Begin Here (Repertoire) LP
Zombies: Odessey & Oracle (Repertoire) LP

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…..news letter #694 – floor…..

Holy moly, it just doesn’t stop! Between all the new arrivals and all the boxes of records I bought in the last week, we are practically bursting at the seams around here! Stop in for a dig….

…..picks of the week…..

tribo massahi

Tribo Massahi: Estrlando Embaixandor (Goma Gringo) LP
Originally released in 1972 in very limited numbers. A trip of an album rich in percussive energy and African chant – made in Brazil! The sounds of continents colliding in a young, funky & soul fueled 70s ….this is one is on full burn from start to finish ! This the only album by Massáhi Tribe and it became notorious for it’s unique sound and the almost complete lack of information about its creators. Check! The Label says: ’ This is a sound made in Brazil. All the members are Brazilians. But the goal is to show the young African music, with all his distinctions that features the origin of the black continent’s music. In this record we launch several curious things. Starting from a rhythmic draw, based on the camel steps that match the division 4/4, on the same line of YÁ YÁ YÁ and SOUL MUSIC, which was given the name of OGA, this, because in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, is an intimate treatment among friends. There, a man feels good when compared to a OGA (camel). Purposely and proudly we launch this new and different LP, not only dedicated to all record collectors in the world but also to all party lovers, nights in club, and even for who’s loving, because on both sides, there aren’t intervals. It’s a contagious and crazy rhythm.” This is how, in 1971, Embaixador and Maestro João Negrão described the record on his back cover. These words did not aged a bit. We are very happy and proud to announce, 44 years later, the first 100% official reissue of this genuine work that became legendary and considered as the “Holy Grail” of Brazilian music among collectors around the world.’

File Under: Brazil, Psych, Afro-Psych, Grails
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blue ruin

OST: Blue Ruin (Blackest Rainbow) LP
Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin premiered at 2013 Cannes Film Festival to great critical acclaim and won the FIPRESCI Prize. It gained distribution and opened in the US to April 2014 to a great response from critics and audiences. This revenge thriller focuses largely on the consequences of revenge, and the main act of revenge you expect will be the focus of the film happens early on and it spirals progressively into even darker and grim territory, dramatically enhanced by the score by brothers, Brooke and Will Blair. The relationship between composers and director has been long standing, having all known each other since they were kids, with Jeremy and the film’s Macon Blair, who plays lead protagonist Dwight, working on films for quite sometime. Macon, also happens to be the elder sibling to Brooke and Will. Brooke and Will composed music to most Jeremy’s previous work, and Macon also starred in some of this output. Being so familiar with one another personally, Jeremy’s horror and 80s inspired early work, and his love of Carpenter’s music, the brothers settled a synth based score, which feels remarkably organic, and at times even almost classical. Minimal tones gliding through one another, with the tense and melancholic themes of the film, percussion seemed like it would detract from the tone of the film. However at times there is a slight percussion sound, which was created from a sample of Macon’s heartbeat, that was unexpectedly captured on set by his lavalier mic on set. Editor Julia Bloch sent them a short file, which was manipulated into a “drum”. It seemed appropriate to incorporate Dwights’ actual life force, his heartbeat into the score. The intensity of this picture is driven home through the power of this score. Blue Ruin will be pressed in an edition of 400 copies. Housed in a UV gloss finished sleeve. 150 copies available on blue vinyl with a rust haze effect, and 300 copies on blue vinyl with a rust splatter effect.

File Under: OST, Ambient, Bleak
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…..new arrivals…..

abrams

Joshua Abrams: Magnetoception (Eremite) LP
On Magnetoception, Joshua Abrams is back exploring new contexts for the guimbri, the three-stringed north African bass lute at the heart of his Eremite recordings Natural Information (2010) and Represencing (2012). The artist’s first large-scale work on vinyl, Magnetoception began as a commission by Eremite for Abrams to make a double LP based in extended performances by an ensemble of Abrams, guitarists Emmett Kelly and Jeff Parker, and drummer Hamid Drake. The group recorded the nucleus of Magnetoception live to two-track, circled around vintage Neumanns and a woodstove in a Berwyn, Illinois attic in February 2013. Over the next year at his Chicago studio, Parlor One, Abrams added solo pieces for harp and clarinet, along with Lisa Alvarado’s harmonium, Ben Boye’s autoharp, and percussion embellishments by Drake. Abrams’s compositions are a fascinating nexus of ideas from non-western traditional musics, minimalism, and jazz designed to catalyze his musicians toward a single group-mind organism of sound. On his 2012 album Represencing Abrams presented his music in capsule-length pieces realized by duo and trio groupings drawn from a pool of a dozen musicians. Magnetoception presents one ensemble methodically unfolding his compositions over longer durations. The performances intricately layer rhythm, melody, and drone into sonic textiles of extraordinary expressive breadth, by turns dense or spacious, repetitive or indeterminate, clattering or placid. In addition to his masterful contributions on trap kit, tabla, conga, and frame drums, Hamid Drake acts as a direct link to the visionary music of Don Cherry, one of Abrams’s essential artistic models. Magnetoception is the fullest measure yet of Joshua Abrams’s sound world. It sounds like no other music being made today. Presented in a heavyweight Stoughton “laserdisc” gatefold sleeve; mastered by Helge Sten at Sten Audio Virus Lab, Oslo, Norway; vinyl cut at Sterling by Steve Fallone and manufactured by RTI. Edition of 875 vinyl copies.

File Under: Jazz, Avant Garde, World
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amanaz

Amanaz: Africa (Now Again) 2CD
Now available on 2CD! “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, Zamrock, Africa
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ambarchi

Oren Ambarchi: Sleepwalker’s Conviction (Black Truffle) LP
“Sleepwalker’s Conviction documents a 2014 performance by Oren Ambarchi in collaboration with a 20-piece ensemble conducted by Ilan Volkov and featuring members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Speak Percussion. Foregoing the rhythmic propulsion and distortion-saturated harmonics that have featured in much of Ambarchi’s recent work, the LP’s single 40-minute piece inhabits a hushed, almost static space of extended tones, percussive shimmer, and creaking strings. Rather than adopting the position of a soloist, Ambarchi allows his sub-bass guitar tones and swirling Leslie textures to blend seamlessly with the ensemble, made up of double basses, horns, and percussion. The group sound has a near-cavernous depth, as waves of low beating tones and distant percussive textures gently wash over one another, coalescing into an undulating mass. Steering clear of bombast and new music clichés, the result is a work of meditative beauty that touches on the haunted ambience of late Luigi Nono, the submerged sonics of Bryars’s The Sinking of the Titanic, and the melancholy rituals of Christoph Heemann and Andrew Chalk’s Mirror, while remaining unmistakably marked by the singular sensibility Ambarchi has developed over countless performances and recordings” –Francis Plagne. Design by Stephen O’Malley with cover artwork by crys cole. Vinyl cut made by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 300.

File Under: Electronic, Modern Classical
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basho

Robbie Basho: Falconer’s Arm Vol. 1 (No Label) LP
First reissue of Robbie Basho’s The Falconer’s Arm, Vol. 1, originally released by John Fahey’s Takoma label in 1967. The Falconer’s Arm pair of LPs (this record and the simultaneously reissued Vol. 2 (C 1018LP)) is widely considered Basho’s best work; monumental pieces of folk guitar invention from the pioneer, fusing the drones of Indian raga with flamenco and traditional folk. Fully remastered with excellent sound. Limited edition pressing of 500 copies.

File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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basho2

Robbie Basho: Falconer’s Arm Vol. 2 (No Label) LP
First reissue of Robbie Basho’s The Falconer’s Arm, Vol. 2, originally released by John Fahey’s Takoma label in 1967. The Falconer’s Arm pair of LPs (this record and the simultaneously reissued Vol. 1 (C 1017LP)) is widely considered Basho’s best work; monumental pieces of folk guitar invention from the pioneer, with guitar lines in unusual tunings influenced by both blues and Indian music. Fully remastered with excellent sound. Limited edition pressing of 500 copies.

 File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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bazar

Bazar: Drabantbyrock (Sommor) LP
Bazar was one of the hardest-working progressive bands from Scandinavia. This is the first reissue of their killer second album from 1974. Wah-wah-fuelled guitar action, organ, flute, melodic vocals, and radical lyrics. Drabantbyrock combines heavy numbers, West Coast guitar jams, and dreamy moments, featuring the superb guitar playing of Bent Patey. Kick-ass psychedelic/progressive hard rock from Norway, highly recommended for those into Swedish hard rock bands such as November. 24-bit remastering. Includes insert with liner notes by Klemen Breznikar (It’s Psychedelic Baby!) and photos. Features original artwork in gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Psych, Prog
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bontempi

Marcel Bontempi: Witches, Spiders, Frogs & Holes: Demos & Recordings 2009-2014 (Stag-o-Lee) LP+7”
Witches, Spiders, Frogs & Holes contains the solo output from 2009 to 2014 of the artist known as Marcel Bontempi. Unearthed from record bins all over Europe and the dusty archives of little-known specialty labels from as far afield as Frankfurt and Beverungen to Málaga and painstakingly gathered, this is the most comprehensive collection of this twisted genius’s recordings. Born Marcel Sala Kelkel sometime in the early 1970s to a German mother and a Catalan father, Marcel was encouraged by his father, an accomplished sculptor in his own right, to doodle, draw, and paint for most of his waking hours, though it wasn’t long before this simply wasn’t enough and the young Marcel discovered music. Soon his affair with the devil’s music began. Around 1994 Marcel formed the band that would eventually become The Montesas, who have since released quite a few records and are still active at the time of this release. In 2013 and 2014 Marcel explored his own personal take on “hillbilly” and “rootsy” styles and formed another combo under the moniker Dr. Bontempi’s Snake Oil Company, with releases on Squoodge Records. Throughout the years of playing or singing in bands, Marcel has recorded solo material, from rockabilly and harmonious doo-wop to R&B, taking well known classics and warping them to his own vision or borrowing an obscure hillbilly song and adding a mambo, salsa, or beat influence to the mix, making it something unique. This album showcases just a small fraction of his recordings made over the years. They cross genres and styles, some originals, some cover versions. Some from as far back as the ’40s and into the ’50s and ’60s, all bearing the unmistakable sound and imprint of Mr. Bontempi. Includes seven previously unreleased tracks.

 File Under: Experimental, Minimalism, Garage
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brinkmannThomas Brinkmann: What You Hear (Editions Mego) LP
Thomas Brinkmann is renowned for audio works that hover among forms such as techno, minimalism, and ambient. Alongside such pioneering works as Klick (2000), Studio 1 – Variationen (1997), and 2012’s duo with Oren Ambarchi, The Mortimer Trap, with What You Hear (Is What You Hear) Brinkmann moves further to separate his art, not only from descriptive musical terms that oppress creative output, but also from the notion of an author in the act of creation. The 11 tracks on display form a series of self-perpetuating rhythms that exist more as sound structures than as any kind of traditional sound forms. Any associations, emotions, and reactions are purely in the reasoning of the listener as the artist makes a strong and deliberate move away from intent. This is a strident development in the conceptual thinking of Brinkmann’s solid career, one that places the listener simultaneously inside and outside objective parameters. Dedicated to Zbigniew Karwkowski. Design by Stephen O’Malley.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Minimalism
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CF012LP_PROD

Peter Brotzmann/Fred Van Hove/Han Bennink: FMP 0130 (Cien Fuegos) LP
Cien Fuegos presents a reissue of an untitled LP by Peter Brötzmann, Fred van Hove, and Han Bennink, originally released on FMP in 1973. Peter Brötzmann: clarinet; alto, tenor, baritone, bass saxophones. Fred van Hove: celesta, piano. Han Bennink: drums, khene, rhythm-box, selfmade clarinet, gachi, oe-oe, voice, tins, homemade junk, elong, dhung, kaffir piano, dhung-dkar. Recorded by Dietram Köster on February 25, 1973, Bremen. Photographs by Dagmar Gebers and Krista Brötzmann; design by Peter Brötzmann.

File Under: Free Jazz
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clark

Clark-Hutchinson: A = MH2 (Sunbeam) LP+CD
As virtuoso musicians and members of Sam Gopal’s Dream, Andy Clark and Mick Hutchinson were well known to regulars at legendary London clubs such as UFO and Middle Earth when they decided to branch out as a duo. Recorded in two intense overnight sessions in May 1969, A=MH2 is a scorching blend of jazz, raga, blues, and psychedelia that has long been regarded one of the key recordings to have emerged from the UK psychedelic underground. It’s presented here as a single LP with two CDs: one of A=MH2, the other containing their March 1969 recording debut, a previously unreleased collection of acid blues that features some equally stunning musicianship. The sleeve comes complete with a large-format eight-page booklet containing detailed notes and previously unpublished photos, making it the most comprehensive edition of this groundbreaking music ever assembled. Digitally remastered.

File Under: Folk, Raga, Psych, Blues
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cohen

Charles  Cohen: Brother I Prove You Wrong (Morphine) LP
Composer, improviser, and Buchla Music Easel master Charles Cohen returns to Morphine with a suite of material recorded in 2014. In keeping with the timbre spectrum of his semi-modular system, Brother I Prove You Wrong is built around pointillist analog tones — Cohen’s cosmic “beeps and boops” — that swarm and scatter in mesmeric patterns across four sides. Moving through surrealistic textural overlays and industrial miasma, the album’s nine tracks reveal a more introspective and personal side of the artist, following a retrospective LP trilogy released via Morphine in 2013 (The Middle Distance, Group Motion, Music for Dance and Theater). Those assembled works, dating back to the late ’70s, quickly became essential listening and brought Cohen — at the time largely unknown outside Philadelphia’s experimental circuit — to critical renown. Brother I Prove You Wrong was recorded in Berlin in September 2014 using the Buchla Music Easel, with production help and support from Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel and curated and designed by Tank Boys; cover art by Nathalie du Pasquier.

File Under: Electronic, Buchla, Ambient, IDM
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darkel

Darkel: Man of Sorrow (Prototyp) LP
Darkel is the solo project of Jean-Benoît Dunckel, half of the French duo AIR with Nicolas Godin. His self-titled solo debut as Darkel was released in 2006, at the same time as Charlotte Gainsbourg’s album 5:55, which Dunckel and Godin produced. As well as participating in mythical soundtracks with AIR (The Virgin Suicides (1999), Lost in Translation (2003), Marie Antoinette (2006), Quartier Lointain (2010), Pioneer (2013)…), Dunckel composed the scores for Bee (2011), Je m’appelle Hmmm… (2013), and Cyprien (2009), always with an organic electronic spirit. His soundtrack for Alanté Kavaïté’s 2015 film The Summer of Sangaile will be released in 2015.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Air
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dawn of midi

Dawn of Midi: Dysnomia (Erased Tapes) LP
Clear vinyl double LP version. Includes download code. Limited to 500 copies. Channeled madness — the sound Dawn of Midi spent years shaping culminates in their most mesmerizing work yet. With Dysnomia, the Brooklyn-based group abandons improvisation in favor of composition, utilizing sophisticated rhythmic structures from North- and West-African folk traditions to weave a sonic tapestry of trance-inducing grooves. “We didn’t want to create anything cerebral,” says pianist Amino Belyamani, “we wanted something visceral, something that would awaken our instinctive dance impulses.” The manner by which a trio of solely acoustic instruments ends up sounding like electronic music has to do with the unconventional ways the group play their instruments on Dysnomia. The record comes to life in the trio’s critically acclaimed live shows, a test of endurance and trust that involves performing their hand-looped acoustic minimalism note for note, just as the compositions were recorded. Dawn of Midi’s sets are as energetic and rhythmic as a seamlessly mixed DJ set, mesmerizing fans in the same way the group’s favorite experimental and electronic acts have for decades. The album was recorded to two-inch tape at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York, a former church that was purchased and transformed into an analog recording playground by the great engineer Henry Hirsch. Rusty Santos then mixed the album to make sure it would hit as hard as the group’s favorite electronic albums do in spite of being entirely acoustic. “We wanted to make a record that sounded both musically futuristic and sonically vintage,” explains bassist Aakaash Israni, “and since the album never saw a proper international release, it is very exciting to see what might happen when more people are exposed to it. And to be aligned with Erased Tapes, whose enthusiasm for the music they release has done a lot for exposing unique instrumental and electronic music, makes it that much more interesting.” Swiss artist Fabian Oefner created the cover image by placing paint on a spinning drill bit and firing it at a canvas, then capturing it with high-speed photography. Formed in 2007, the band happened upon their name after drummer Qasim Naqvi casually uttered the phrase in reference to the improvised music the trio was making at the time; they had no idea that years later they would make an album like Dysnomia that would make their name appear fateful.

File Under: Jazz, Minimal, Experimental
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dettinger

Dettinger: Intershop (Kompakt) LP
Late RSD! After rereleasing the sold-out Kompakt classics Triumph by Jürgen Paape and The Field’s From Here We Go Sublime for past Record Store Days, Kompakt now directs its attention to another almost mystical release from days of yore. Just like The Field’s iconic debut album, Dettinger’s 1999 full-length milestone Intershop has never seen a vinyl release — a much-deplored oversight now rectified. Restored to breathtaking beauty, the newly mastered Intershop is one of the label’s most renowned pre-millennium offerings, a surprise best-seller and a style-defining predecessor of the then-nascent pop ambient genre. A massive fan favorite, it was originally released on CD only and held seven masterfully crafted cuts introducing the listener to a new blueprint for electronic music. Wayfaring somewhere between field recordings, pop stylings, and dreamy textures, sonics like these were simply unheard of. The tracks latch onto early ambient experiments from artists like Wolfgang Voigt, but take a different path to pop epiphany. Dettinger carved out a niche on his own that was soon to become the breeding ground for a whole generation of ambient-minded artists. Also, Intershop has been utterly sold out for a while now — another perfectly good reason to return to this masterpiece with a fresh set of ears. Let’s lounge like it’s 1999!

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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eek

Eek: Kahraba (Nashazphone) LP
Kahraba is the debut studio album of Islam Chipsy’s EEK. Recorded in late 2014 in downtown Cairo, it contains four tracks perfectly representing Chipsy’s wild and inimitable artistic spectrum, ranging from the frenzied sound signature technique that brought him his fame (“Trinity” and “Kahraba”) to the band’s individual maneuverings of typical Egyptian standards such as the Northeastern Nile delta “Simsimiyya” in “El-Bawaba” or Upper Egypt’s traditional “Mouled Saidi” in “Mouled El-Ghoul.”

File Under: Electronic, Egypt, Techno, Left Field
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foot hair

Foot Hair: s/t (Box Records) LP
An absolute must for fans of Brainbombs, Upsidedown Cross, Kilslug, Drunks With Guns, etc. Box Records is proud to present the debut album by Newcastle-based noise-mongers Foot Hair, featuring members of HaiKai No Ku and Obey. Their self-titled debut album reduces sonics from the likes of Brainbombs and Upsidedown Cross into an unforgiving mash of dirge. It’s simple, raw, and extremely powerful stuff. Rarely do bands manage to create such a cacophony of hedonistic terror while simultaneously projecting a sense of abject absolute apathy and nihilism. Foul, frightening, and completely cathartic, this is one of the most nailed-on noise rock records out there — Box Records practically begged the band to let them release it. Not to be missed! T.H. (bass), P.M. (guitar), S.B. (vocals), T.H. (drums), M.A. (guitar). Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Sam Grant, Blank Studios, Newcastle.

File Under: Noise Rock, Punk
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gripper

Derek Gripper: One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali (Matsuli Music) LP
“Matsuli Music presents an album of kora interpretations that astonished John Williams into saying he thought it was ‘absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it.’ When Kora maestro Toumani Diabate heard these recordings he disbelievingly asked his host and producer Lucy Duran to confirm that she had actually seen one guitarist play this music on just one guitar. Recorded at an all-night session Gripper’s guitar magically conjures anew this centuries-old African musical heritage. One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali captures Gripper’s extraordinary six-string interpretation of Toumani Diabate’s 21-string Kora compositions. Gripper’s ‘guitar has found the Kora-playing spirit, he captures the magic bound up in the way it is played,’ says Williams, who has invited Gripper back a second time to collaborate in ‘The John Williams Series’ at the Globe Theatre, London, in June 2015. For more than ten years Derek Gripper has produced some of South Africa’s most extraordinary musical works, fusing the country’s disparate creative traditions with styles from around the world. His music draws on European classical traditions, avant-garde Brazilian works, Malian kora works, Cape Town’s folk styles such as goema and vastrap, and Indian classical music, all the while synthesising them into a style uniquely his own. Tim Panting writing in the Classical Guitar Magazine describes this as ‘…one of the most atmospheric recordings of guitar music, of any kind, that I have heard.’ And in music journalist Richard Haslop’s words ‘Anybody wondering why one would want to hear a South African guitarist play this music when the incomparable original recordings are available, need only listen to this album.’ Originally only available on CD, Matsuli Music is proud to be releasing this breakthrough album on heavyweight vinyl in a deluxe limited edition with accompanying sleeve-notes from Derek Gripper.”

File Under: Guitar, Folk, Worlk, Kora
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laurel

Alicia Bay Laurel: Music From Living on the Earth (Em) LP
Alicia Bay Laurel is well known as the writer and illustrator of one of the classic books of the back-to-the-earth movement, the 1970 hand-written guide to living the good life, Living On the Earth. She is also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist, the latter skill honed by studying with John Fahey. The songs on Music from Living On the Earth were composed concurrently with the writing of the book, permeated by the sun and soil of the commune life. Bright and earthy paeans to the natural world, featuring ABL’s pure, strong, and uplifting voice atop her fluid, confident, and deft steel-string acoustic guitar fingerpicking, her style showing that she learned well from Fahey. She also collaborated with San Francisco Tape Music Center co-founder Ramon Sender Barayón, who contributes the 40-voice choral arrangement for the closing track. Although these songs were written as the ’60s became the ’70s, Music from Living On the Earth was actually recorded in 2000, first issued as a self-produced CD, and reissued on CD by EM Records in 2006. This 2015 15th anniversary edition is its first appearance on vinyl, and includes liner notes by the artist as well as English and Japanese lyrics, allowing listeners to again hear ABL’s blues, jazz, and Indian music influences meld with folk roots to glorious effect.

File Under: Psych Folk, Guitar, Blues
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lopez

Francisco Lopez: Untitled #300 (Taiga) LP
Pressing of 300 copies on crystal-clear 200-gram virgin vinyl packaged in a custom letterpress jacket printed, die-cut, and hand-assembled at Studio On Fire in Minneapolis, with particular care taken to retain the fine detail of the cover’s microscopic type. “Francisco López is internationally recognized as one of the major figures of the sound art and experimental music scene. For more than 30 years he has developed an astonishing sonic universe, absolutely personal and iconoclastic, based on a profound listening of the world. Destroying boundaries between industrial sounds and wilderness sound environments, shifting with passion from the limits of perception to the most dreadful abyss of sonic power, proposing a blind, profound and transcendental listening, freed from the imperatives of knowledge and open to sensory and spiritual expansion” –Pedro Higueras, Sonom Studios. “UNTITLED#300 is an LP based on multi-track field recordings I did in 2011 of a large colony of seagulls in a group of small islands right in front of the Moroccan-Algerian border, together with hydrophone and contact mic recordings of sea creatures underwater from the same location (side A and B of the LP, respectively). Being interested in going beyond a traditional ‘soundscape’ perspective, I’ve played freely with mixing and editing, in an unorthodox way, different multi-channel recordings I did. Side A (‘abovewater’) is the large seagull colony. In side B (‘underwater’) what you hear is predominantly millions of very small shrimp-like crustaceans, dolphin sonar (the beating pattern of the first section), and occasional fish (the ‘frog-like’ calls)” –Francisco López. Original environmental sound matter recorded in the Chafarinas Islands off the coast of Morocco, summer 2011. Edited, mixed, and mastered at mobile messor, The Hague, the Netherlands, summer 2012. Field work carried out with the collaboration and support of the SIGEIN-Chafarinas research group (Integral Ecological Management System of the Chafarinas Islands), directed by Francisco J. Acosta (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) and coordinated by Javier Zapata (Spanish National Park Service).

File Under: Ambient, Field Recording, Experimental

marks

Richard Marks: Never Satisfied: The Complete Works 1968-1983 (Now Again) LP
“2-LP with a 20 page booklet with full annotation, extensive liner notes and essays and never-before-published photos. Download card included. Seven years in the making, Never Satisfied is our collection of legendary soul and funk singles by Atlanta guitarist/singer/songwriter Richard Marks. This 21-track anthology follows Marks’s stylistic development, from his earliest work for the legendary Tuska label, from 1968 until approximately 1972, through his more mature releases on the Shout label and smaller regional labels like Note, Free Spirit, and RSC. It also includes two tracks never released in any form, found on reels Marks had maintained in his Atlanta home. Marks’s story is that of an unsung soul and funk hero; a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter whose number was in Al Green’s, Barry White’s, and Eddie Kendricks’s rolodexes, but whose talents have only been heard in sporadic bursts since his 45s were released and disappeared into Atlanta’s urban expanse. This is the story of a father and husband who managed to keep his family together as he gigged the third shift six nights a week. The story of a man who wished for more and whose talent is overdue for reassessment. He and his music are unknown to the majority, but to an obsessive minority, he is a lightning rod, that singular point at which numerous Southern soul and funk musicians converged and exploded, spreading wondrous music in all directions. Marks’s impeccable run of 7″ singles, released largely on tiny, local labels, are the stuff of legend, and are hen’s-teeth-rare. Marks died of cancer in May of 2006, never having issued an album, either in the ’60s and ’70s, when many of his peers were able to find a way to issue an LP, or in anthology form in his later years. He never granted an interview. Given the caliber of his recordings and the near-complete lack of information available about him before the issue of this anthology, Marks stands out as the most mysterious talent to originate from Atlanta, a city that birthed no shortage of genius, from acclaimed worldwide (the Mighty Hannibal), obscure yet celebrated (Lee Moses), and local, but well documented (Tommy Stewart).”

File Under: Soul, Funk
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micachu

Micachu: Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling III (Demdike Stare) LP
Mica Levi more or less owned 2014 with the release of that astonishing soundtrack to Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, followed by this hour-long album-cum-mixtape for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, which was released at the end of the year and sold out in a flash. It has now been reworked for this vinyl edition, and given a full remaster by Matt Colton. Levi is an artist who basically seems to channel attention deficit into exploring and re-shaping a myriad of musical ideas and directions without bound — sometimes all at once. She’s an artist who has by her mid-20s merged the disciplines of codeine-laced, cough syrup-drankin’ early ’90s Houston hip hop legend DJ Screw with the rarified sound of London Sinfonietta on her incredible Chopped & Screwed album (2011), got Matthew Herbert to produce her brilliant 2009 debut Jewellery, and acquired Björk as a fan in the process. She’s produced a bunch of killer, off-beat pop tracks for up-and-comer Tirzah and supplied an impromptu 30-minute Boiler Room set that’s still one of the best they’ve ever put up. And yeah, that’s before that Under the Skin soundtrack that showcased another side to her production altogether — all discordant, intense, Ligeti-influenced strings, muffled percussion, and frozen drones that came off like a feverishly-dreamt collaboration between David Lynch and Nate Young. When asked about the score and working with someone as high-profile as Jonathan Glazer she told Pitchfork “He’s a nice bloke — I certainly didn’t think he was a wanker.” Which basically tells you that you ain’t dealing with the ordinary or conventional when it comes to anything Micachu is involved with. And this hour-long session is perhaps her best work yet. More or less split into three seamless segments referenced in the title, it journeys out from tense, concrete-fuelled strings to brilliantly ramshackle tape beats and odd pop edits, spooled through her singular, totally inimitable box of tricks. One is hard-pressed to think of any contemporary artists who have as broad and limitless an ability to continuously re-contextualize the familiar into something that feels never-before-heard — even going back as far back as Prince or Arthur Russell to reference anyone who has really managed to tap into as many diverse musical disciplines with this much originality. And if you think that’s a bit far-fetched — give this a listen and knock yourself out.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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moore

Steve Moore: The Guest (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company has yet another ace up our sleeve with the soundtrack to one of 2014’s best action films, Adam Wingard’s The Guest, with a musical score by Steve Moore. Critically acclaimed, the “guest” in question is David, a young man who lands on the doorstep of the Peterson family claiming to be a comrade of their son, who was killed while on tour in Afghanistan,. But while David appears to a model citizen, the family daughter discovers several clues that make her wonder “Just who is this man?” Just like the film is a throwback to 80s thrillers like The Terminator, Steve Moore’s score belongs in another time, another place. Homaging rather than emulating, the music feels not only absolutely authentic but also fits the film like a glove. Great synth melodies are plentiful, the electronics swell with mystery and intrigue, and the sense of the robotic electro music has is perfect for the character of David. It’s an intense journey but not one without reward – don’t be afraid to let The Guest into your home and onto your turntable. Death Waltz is excited to offer this gorgeous vinyl package with artwork by Alan Hynes, offering the first collectible to fans of The Guest – a film that has already solidified a spot as a cult classic that lovingly subverts the action genre with the precision and confidence of its titular character. “The score, by Steve Moore (of the band Zombi), also drives the movie along with style. It’s pure, catchy synthesizer heaven. A throwback to the 70s and 80s but with the feeling of Drive and Grand Theft Auto from the equipment used by John Carpenter. It tells the audience while what we are seeing might seem dramatic, it’s supposed to be fun.” – Slashfilm “Moore’s music is probably going to be one of my favorite scores of the year. It’s so 80s, but in the best way possible.” – Collider

File Under: OST, Electronic, Synth, Zombi
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oppen

Oppenheimer Analysis: New Mexico (Minimal Wave) LP
“Minimal Wave proudly presents a newly remastered deluxe double album of archival material by pioneering ’80s minimal electronic duo Oppenheimer Analysis. Oppenheimer Analysis was formed in London, England, in 1982 by Andy Oppenheimer and Martin Lloyd. Their first meeting though was at the 1979 World Science Fiction Convention in Brighton. They quickly became good friends, sharing an interest in the work of David Bowie, electronic music, and early synthesizer bands such as the Human League and Soft Cell. They also shared a love of old science fiction movies and 1950s graphics and comic book imagery, and a fascination with post-World War II propaganda, the politics and aesthetics of the Cold War, and the social impact of the atomic bomb. Over the next few years Andy and Martin frequented the growing club scene, including Studio 21 on Oxford Street, and became involved in the developing Futurist and New Romantic style sub-cultures. During this period Martin recorded as Analysis, both alone and with David Rome of Drinking Electricity. They released their first single, Surface Tension/Connections on David’s Survival label in 1981. In 1982, Oppenheimer Analysis began writing and recording together at Feedback Studio in Battersea, and performed several times at The Bell, Islington, the 1983 World David Bowie Convention in Hammersmith, the Starzone Birthday Party at Camden Palace, the 1984 European Science Fiction Convention in Brighton, and other live venues. Their first demo tape and 12-song New Mexico cassette were sold at gigs and by mail-order, and were reviewed in Melody Maker, Sounds, and Soundmaker. For the years to follow, Oppenheimer Analysis became recognized among electro-music aficionados as a pioneering duo that influenced countless other bands during the club and home-recording era of the early 1980s and beyond. Their cassettes became massively collectible. In 2005 they re-formed with the release of a self-titled four-song 12″ EP of selections from the New Mexico cassette, including ‘Cold War’ and ‘The Devil’s Dancers.’ This marked the first release on Minimal Wave. Now in 2015, we’re happy to present the entire New Mexico collection, newly remastered and cut to vinyl for the first time ever, to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. This first edition of 1000 copies is pressed on deluxe ‘nuclear’ style black-and-white 160-gram vinyl and housed in a glossy gatefold silver-and-black printed sleeve, featuring all the song lyrics on the inside of the sleeve.”

File Under: Electronic, Minimal
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death line

OST: Death Line (Spinney) LP
The film Death Line, an eerie horror story set in the London Underground, directed by Gary Sherman and starring Donald Pleasence and Christopher Lee, was released in 1972 in the UK (and as Raw Meat in the US). In 2001, Spinney Records released Wil Malone’s original soundtrack, an amalgamation of groovy rhythm and blues with fantastic squelching synths intended to be truly horrible. Wil Malone has been composing and arranging music since the 1960s. Initially, he was a member of the UK psych combo Orange Bicycle, which had a number of singles on Columbia and Parlophone between 1967 and 1971 and an eponymous album in 1970. Since that time he has been responsible for some of the most sublime string and brass arrangements to come out of the UK. The strings on Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy” were his work (of which he is particularly proud) as was The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” (with a little help from Andrew Oldham!). He has also worked with artists as diverse as Depeche Mode, U.N.K.L.E., Black Sabbath, Paul Weller, Kylie Minogue, and London Grammar.

File Under: OST, Horror
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hollywood

OST: Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (Death Waltz) LP
Available for the first time on ever on Vinyl, Michael Perilstein’s (The Deadly Spawn) score to one of the most absurd horror films ever put to celluloid. Part Noir, part sexploitation comedy, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a cult classic with a truly killer soundtrack that is just as goofy as the film it underscores. Complete with a collection of bonus cues newly recorded by Perilstein. Featuring original artwork by We Buy Your Kids, and all new liner notes by the composer.

File Under: OST, Horror, Cult
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killer nun

OST: Killer Nun (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to present yet another soundtrack from the video nasty age, guaranteed* to cause you harm and go out and murder and rape others, this time in the name of the lord. Corrupting your mind this time is Alessandro Alessandroni’s score to Giulio Berruti’s nunsploitation classic KILLER NUN (aka SUOR OMICIDI). Anita Ekberg stars as Sister Gertrude, a member of the sisterhood who descends into shocking depths of homosexuality and drug addiction while shocking her little town. But while she’s undoubtedly deranged, is she guilty of murder? Like the film, Alessandroni’s musical score is a strange one, opening with a religious choir and heavy piano notes. You might think that’s pretty standard for a movie like this, so Alessandroni starts messing with you by injecting some proto-hip hop beats with flutes and synth melodies. Things get stranger the further you get in as we have dissonant electronics that sound like chiptunes, funk beats, chilled electric guitar, and interludes of operatic vocals. And then there’s the amazing downbeat guitar piece that sounds straight out of a spaghetti western. It’s mad and it shouldn’t work – but you can probably say that about a movie called KILLER NUN anyway. This ain’t your normal convent!

File Under: OST, Exploitation, Alessandroni
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nightsatan

OST: Nightsatan & The Loops of Doom (Death Waltz) LP
NIGHTSATAN caught the ear of the attentive laser metal enthusiast with their debut album, Midnight Laser Warrior, in 2010, and now the trio debut as movie stars in Nightsatan And The Loops Of Doom. The movie draws inspiration from the very same source the band does: ’80s post-apocalyptic science fiction. The synth trio NIGHTSATAN hail from the doomy city of Turku, Finland, and they place themselves in the post-apocalyptic laser metal genre. In the beginning, the synth warrior Wolf Rami envisioned the band’s music as “the soundtrack to Miami Vice meets heavy metal.” During their career, the band’s sound has extended to both ends of that spectrum, and the synth-metal riffs of the early material have given way for a more progressive and atmospheric approach. Given the international cult fame gained with the already quite cinematic debut album – with kudos given by the likes of Monocle, Empire, and Popvoyage – and live shows in their native Finland and Sweden, it is fitting that the trio’s next step is a movie soundtrack. Directed by Chrzu, better known as the director of animated films such as Curse of the Remote Island (2008), Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom is a proud tribute to vintage Italian post-apocalyptic sci-fi. It is a very unusual short epic, full of sex, violence, and general sense of wonder. The soundtrack album is a considerably more epic and measured affair than its predecessor. Recorded and produced by the band’s second keyboard wizard Mazathoth, the album features full-length versions of all tracks from the movie.

File Under: OST, Laser Metal
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pye corner

Pye Corner Audio: s/t (Death Waltz) 10″
Death Waltz Recording Company are proud to unleash a new offering in our Originals line, this time from the acclaimed Head Technician of Pye Corner Audio taking you on a sonic journey through yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Mystery abounds; the hiss and buzz of old machinery envelops you – the voyage has begun and you have awoken from cryogenic slumber. Welcome to 2080. A doom-laden synthesiser riff takes control and guides you with unerring precision, the inevitably incredible beat providing weight and heft along the way. Electronic screeches echo in the darkness, suddenly silenced. Of course John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream come to mind, but PYE goes beyond those influence and transcends them, creating its own frame of reference. Dystopian, foreboding, dissonant, like an unearthed soundtrack to a great piece of science fiction, one that you yourself can imagine. Just strap yourself in, close your eyes, and let your mind wander, intertwined with the terror and the colour of space that is Pye Corner Audio.

File Under: Electronic, Synth
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retrib

Retribution Body: Aokigahar (Type) LP
Boston, Massachusetts-based Matthew Azevedo is a world-class technician, and by day engineers architectural acoustic simulations, teaches students about musical acoustics at Berklee College of Music, and occasionally finds time to master the odd record. It’s this rare set of skills that can be heard on Aokigahara, an album made up of two long slabs of low-frequency drone. Aokigahara’s focus on bass isn’t necessarily anything new — it positions itself alongside tomes such as Earth’s seismic Earth 2 (1993) and Sunn O)))’s soupy ØØ Void (2000) — yet Azevedo manages to inject something very different into the mix. Unlike many contemporary drone records, the album is an acoustic recording made in a concert hall, something which adds a certain magic that’s impossible to recreate using software trickery. Azevedo’s use of the space is the record’s power, and occasionally you find yourself focusing not on the booming sub-bass but the airy flutter around it, or the echoing distortion that rips through like thunder. This is not a record to listen to on laptop speakers or through your flimsy, white Apple headphones. To experience its literal punch to the gut you need to make sure you’ve got the right gear to hand — a good subwoofer is highly recommended.

File Under: Drone, Ambient

ricci

Vito Ricci: I Was Crossing (Music From Memory) LP
On the leading edge of NYC’s underground music scene, Vito Ricci produced only a handful of self-released cassettes and one LP between 1983 and 1985, with most of his work recorded for experimental theater and performance art pieces. Taking their label name from Ricci’s only LP, Music From Memory brings together a compilation of works by one of the unsung heroes of New York’s downtown music scene. Starting out as a percussionist, Ricci’s early musical journey led him to improvised and experimental jazz; working alongside such luminary musicians as Rashied Ali, Byard Lancaster, Peter Zummo, and Yousef Yancey. He quickly became involved in the avant-garde scene with spoken word performances, film scores for independent movies, and even performances with punk bands at venues such as CBGB’s and the Mudd Club, and his compositions drew on all of these influences while channeling them through his experiments with synthesizers and drum computers. Drawing comparisons with New York’s downtown no-wave scene, Vito’s compositions blend his unique use of intricate percussion with a wide sphere of musical influences to create a world of hypnotizing ambient, meditative minimal-synth, dubbed-out electronic funk, and even left-field boogie. With most of Vito Ricci’s music remaining previously unreleased, the compilation I Was Crossing A Bridge unveils Ricci’s unique and visionary take on electronic music.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Techno
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stark

Stark Reality: Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop (Now Again) 3LP
The Stark Reality’s legendary album, …Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop, is a funky, jazzy, fuzz-toned cult classic, consists of very original interpretations of a children’s album written by Hoagy Carmichael and was originally released on Ahmad Jamal’s boutique label, AJP Records. For years, the album made the rounds in underground hip-hop circles (being sampled along the way by the likes of Large Professor, J-Live, Madlib, and Black Eyed Peas), trading hands for ridiculous sums on the second-hand market — even after it saw a reissue on Now Again as part of the Acting, Thinking, Feeling 6xLP boxset which gathered other recently discovered, previously unreleased material from the band’s career. Now, …Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop is available on vinyl for the very first time since its initial 1970 release in a deluxe 3-LP release including 56 page booklet with never before seen photos, extensive liner notes by Egon of Now Again Records with commentary by AJP founder Ahmad Jamal and annotation and an interview with Monty Stark, the band’s frontman. “The music of the Stark Reality is as playful as it is wild… as fantastic as it is frazzled.” – Rolling Stone. “One of the most prized ‘funk’ artifacts of all time, Stark’s project allies Hendrix-stoned guitars, heavily-fuzzed vibraphone and Bitches Brew rhythms” – Mojo Magazine.

File Under: Psych, Funk, Jazz, Children’s
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stoneroses1

The Stone Roses: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Some albums hold the blueprint for something bigger than can be contained on twelve inches of vinyl; the self-titled debut album by The Stone Roses is one of them. Despite clocking in at less than fifty minutes long, it’s a record that shaped the next two-and-a-half decades of British music. Released in 1989, The Stone Roses was a fusion of rock music and the nascent rave scene in the group’s native Manchester. For a period of a few years, the industrial English city that gave us Joy Division, The Fall, and The Smiths was home to a drug-fuelled, club-based scene that earned the town a new nickname–Madchester. Falling squarely in that point of transition, The Stone Roses created guitar music that made people dance, fostering the baggy scene that paved the way to Britpop and Manchester’s next mega band, Oasis. The Stone Roses were the full package: they had the tough demeanor and insular mentality of any group of friends from a rugged city, they had a unique look comprised of bucket hats, Adidas sportswear, baggy jeans, and oversized T-shirts, and they talked a mean fight in interviews. But musically they were groaning with talent–Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfied (bass) and Alan ‘Reni’ Wren (drums) made complex rhythms seem effortless, guitarist John Squire could give his beloved Jimmy Page a run for his money, and frontman Ian Brown balanced punk sensibility and hippy mentality. In the UK, the album is the stuff of legend, its cover still seen on T-shirts in any given gig venue. Around the world, its influence was less tangible, most likely due to the fact that the group was hamstrung by a legal wrangle with the Silvertone label following the album’s release. Musically, it’s a mix of the grandiose and the intimate, containing songs so forceful and emotive they’ve become terrace anthems (“This Is The One” is Manchester United’s walk-on music) alongside introspective tracks like the anti-monarchy madrigal “Elizabeth My Dear.” In “Waterfall,” there are cascading guitar lines that describe its title like musical onomatopoeia, and in “Made Of Stone” and “She Bangs The Drum,” there are perfect pop songs too. Most significantly, there are songs in which the band etch their own myth in earth-rumbling basslines and grandiose statements: “I Wanna Be Adored,” which opens the album, and “I Am The Resurrection,” which closes. Reissued on Light In The Attic on deluxe double-vinyl, this is your chance to discover the album for the first time or to own it in its most beautiful presentation yet.

File Under: Brit Rock
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stoneroses2

The Stone Roses: Turns to Stone (Modern Classics) LP
You can tell a lot about a band by the songs they leave off their albums. Manchester’s Stone Roses released just two albums–the self-titled 1989 debut and, five years later, the follow-up, Second Coming. But those albums tell only part of the story. The missing bits can be found on Turns Into Stone, originally released in 1992 and scooping up early singles and B-sides that didn’t appear on the debut album. The album’s provenance speaks nothing of its quality: here can be found some of the greatest songs the four-piece ever recorded, from their poppets single, “Elephant Stone,” to the towering “One Love” and the anthemic “Fools Gold,” the track on which their hybrid of atmospheric indie and acid house found its most perfect balance. It’s the track that allowed the group’s rhythm section of Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfied (bass) and Alan ‘Reni’ Wren (drums) to shine and the one that gave them cred beyond the indie scene–Run DMC sampled it on 1990’s “What’s It All About?” Quite why The Stone Roses chose not to put these songs on an album is a mystery, but Turns Into Stone itself was controversial at the time. In a protracted battle with record label Silvertone, the band were unable to release any new material for several years due to an injunction against them, and Turns Into Stone was released without input from the band–unlike the majority of their releases, it boasts no cover art from the guitarist, painter and sculptor John Squire. The title is taken from the closing line in “One Love”–“What goes up must come down/Turns into dust or turns into stone.” The lyric proved prescient for The Stone Roses who split acrimoniously following the divisive Second Coming and a poorly received performance at the UK’s influential Reading Festival. It took eighteen years for the group to reunite, and when they did, they played to 220,000 people in three nights at Manchester’s Heaton Park. For a time, relations between the band did indeed turn to dust. The band’s legacy, which lives on in those three albums, is rock solid.

File Under: Brit Rock
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sun ra1

Sun Ra: Heliocentric Worlds Volume 1 (ESP) LP
50 Anniversary edition on Esperanto green colored vinyl; #’d edition of 1000 copies. The astonishing sessions that went light years beyond “free jazz” improvisation to create a music of deeply felt, explosive and gentle gesture made from sound itself without reference to previous notions of melody or harmony are now reissued on 180 gram vinyl with Sun Ra’s original, self-created cover art. Recorded by Richard Alderson on April 20, 1965, this set of tunes finds Sun Ra breaking ground by using synthesizers and having the Arkestra musicians double on percussion. Remastered on 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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sun ra2

Sun Ra: Heliocentric Worlds Volume 2 (ESP) LP
50 Anniversary edition on “Esperanto Green” colored vinyl; #’d edition of 1000 copies. Volume two of Sun Ra’s classic Heliocentric recordings from the 1960s. The astonishing sessions that went light years beyond “free jazz” improvisation to create a music of deeply-felt, explosive and gentle gesture made from sound itself without reference to previous notions of melody or harmony are now reissued on 180 gram vinyl with Sun Ra’s original, self-created cover art. Recorded by Richard Alderson on April 20, 1965, this set of tunes finds Sun Ra breaking ground by using synthesizers and having the Arkestra musicians double on percussion. More explorations of outer space by the spokesman for the space age. Manufactured in the U.S. by the original label. Digitally re-mastered.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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vhshead

VHS Head: Persistence of Vision (Skam) LP
Picking up from and advancing on his well-received 2010 debut full-length offering Trademark Ribbons of Gold, VHS Head continues in his exploration of emotive sketchbook electronics, cutting up and sampling reams and reams of old school VHS tapes to create a baffling, arresting and nostalgic trip into the world of twisted, lo-fi, tape-compressed electronica. VHS Head perverts all manners of sound sources, both musical and not, in a melting pot of deranged creativity, wrangling melodies out of disparate snatches of sounds and welding the results over a variety of differing percussive beds and beats ranging from the pastoral lushness of “Angels Never Sleep” or “Do You Understand” travelling through the gamut of styles, all the way through to barbed, hyperactive, glitched-out IDM-inspired workouts such as the glitch-funk of opener “Enter the Devil.” Children of the ’80s will undoubtedly recognize snatches of sounds from their childhood on this record along with the comforting, fuzzy warmth of the obsolete format that is VHS tape. It contains snatches of quizshow-esque excess, sleazy softcore porn twangs and salutations, crazed kids’ TV themes, liberal smatterings of video nasty nastiness and an ’80s bad hair, power-rock, noirish edge that at points recalls the feel, tone and subdued menace of Twin Peaks and its ilk. It is a record for 2014, referencing the hazy days when we were all growing up — a compendium of time and place for the MTV generation and beyond.

File Under: Electronic, IDM
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jeunes

Various: Des Jeunes Gens Modernes: Post Punk, Cold Wave et Culture Novo en France, 1978-1983 Volume 2 (Born Bad) LP
The long-awaited follow-up to Des Jeunes Gens Mödernes, with five killer previously unreleased tracks. Volume 2 continues to explore the vaults of French post-punk, electropop, and no wave. Between the late ’70s and mid ’80s, in the wake of punk wave and in parallel to other types of music like disco, funk, ska, and reggae, a prolific and chaotic music scene began to develop in France, combining the energy of rock and the nihilism of punk with electronic experimentation. The period was not, on the whole, one of optimism and joy, played out as it was against a background of economic crisis and the cold war. A whole section of France’s youth found itself confronted by the contradictions of the times it was living in: young people were torn between the sensation of living on the edge of an abyss and hope for the dawning of a new world; they were deprived of tangible ideological landmarks but resistant to the post-hippy utopias of the previous generation. In search of an identity, they recognized themselves in the dark lyrics, the cold synthetic music, and the laid-back attitude of the new groups bursting up all over the country, as much in the provinces as in Paris. Des Jeunes Gens Mödernes (Modern Young Men) reactivates this French post-punk/novo diskö/new- and cold-wave scene, highlighting a cross-section of the specific creative diversity of this scene. The new wave drew upon artistic avant-garde movements from the past (Constructivism, Futurism, symbolism, Dadaism, socialist realism, and so on), as well as literature (Romanticism, science fiction, etc.), cinema (new wave, German expressionist cinema), and the latest technological advances (electronic, robotic, nuclear). Drawing on traditional culture as well as the underground subcultures to which various magazines and fanzines gave voice (American countercultures; endless references to William S. Burroughs, for example; pop art, etc.), the new wave embraced all areas of creativity together, and built bridges between the different artistic disciplines (music, visual art, design, literature, cinema…) to an extent never before seen. Digipak CD includes 32-page booklet. Includes tracks by ADN Ckrystall, X Ray Pop, Eli & Jacno, Les Fils De Joie, Les Stagiaires, Medikao, La Bande Au Col Roule, Radio Romance, A.R.T, KaS Product, Frantz Kultur & Les Krames, Meca Rythm, and Perspective Nevski.

File Under: Post Punk, Cold Wave

don't thing

Various: Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten (Dust-to-Digital) CD
Specially priced in our listening post! On April 17, 1975, Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian rock and roll was no more. Its star musicians were targeted and killed, record collections were destroyed, clubs were closed, and Western-style music-making, dancing, and clothes were outlawed. The deaths of approximately two million Cambodians and the horrors of the Killing Fields have been well-documented; add to this John Pirozzi’s fascinating tale of Cambodia’s vibrant pop music scene, beginning in the 1950s and ’60s, influenced by France’s Johnny Hallyday and Britain’s Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The filmmaker has assembled rare archival footage, punctuating it with telling interviews with the few surviving musicians. Cambodian culture has long been synonymous with a love for the arts. Pirozzi’s 2014 film Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten pays homage to the country’s rock legends who paid for their creativity with their lives. Through the eyes, words, and songs of its popular music stars of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll examines and unravels Cambodia’s recent tragic past. This soundtrack to Pirozzi’s important film, compiled by the director, is very cinematic in nature. The sequencing and newly-remastered audio transport the listener through the rock and roll history of Cambodia in a similar fashion as Pirozzi’s documentary film. It is both entertaining and essential to hear so many tracks that are available outside of Cambodia for the very first time. Includes tracks by The Royal University of Fine Arts, Sinn Sisamouth, Chhoun Malay, Huoy Meas, Baksey Cham Krong, Ros Serey Sothea, Pen Ran, Sieng Vannthy, Va Sovy, Drakkar, Pou Vannary, Yol Aularong, and Cheam Chansovannary.

File Under: Cambodia, Rock
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taboo

Various: Taboo Volume 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10”
Stag-O-Lee inaugurates its Journey to the Centre of the Song series, dedicated to celebrating one song at a time in its many guises and interpretations, with Taboo. The classic “Tabu” was written by Margarita Lecuona (also responsible for “Babalu,” a classic as well), a cousin of the famous Cuban composer and pianist Ernesto Lecuona. “Tabú” (also recorded as “Tabou,” “Tabu,” and “Taboo”) is a jazz and popular music standard that was first recorded by Cuarteto Machín in 1934 and later made popular by the Lecuona Cuban Boys (included here) and others. The aforementioned guises and interpretations span genres, represented here by Charles Blackwell Orchestra’s upbeat surfstrumental shaker, the brassy exotic tones of Tito Rivera & His Cuban Orchestra, the Cumbian island sounds of Cyril Diaz & His Orchestra, Sylvie Mora’s silky-smooth popcorn rendition, and versions by The Shangaans, Caterina Valente, and Frankie Trumbauer’s Orchestra. Completing the record is Arthur Lyman’s crazy voodoo lounge version that evokes visions of palm trees and sun-drenched white sand. Sit back and enter the intoxicating world of… “Taboo.”

File Under: Surf, Exotica

tropica

Various: Tropical Disco Hustle Vol. 2 (Cultures Of Soul) LP
“Cultures of Soul is proud to release the highly anticipated follow-up to the widely successful Tropical Disco Hustle, an album full of rare disco tunes that exude a Caribbean flavor. This album takes us back to Trinidad and Jamaica and sends us on a few new adventures in St. Lucia and Guadeloupe. Three tracks by Wild Fire including ‘The Dealer,’ as well as two other classic disco tracks, ‘Dance With Me’ and ‘Try Making Love,’ can be heard on this new compilation. The album also features two killer disco workouts by the Tru Tones, ‘Dancing’ and ‘Let’s Party,’ with the latter having been heavily influenced by the Jacksons. Both tracks are rare and in demand by DJs and record collectors alike. Also featured here is an excellent cover of Chanson’s ‘Don’t Hold Back’ by reggae legend Derrick Harriott, and the under-the-radar, African-influenced disco tune ‘Caribean People’ by Camille Hildevert. This album was compiled and researched by Deano Sounds, with edits by french DJ-extraordinary Waxist Selecta and legendary UK disco DJ Al Kent.”

File Under: Disco

wizzz

Various: Wizzz! French Psychorama 1967-1970 Vol. 3 (Born Bad) LP
Includes six-page booklet. One, two, three… hold your breath for 40 minutes for a peregrination through a special kind of pop music “made in France” between 1967 and 1970, a mix of ribaldry, flashes of brilliance, and adventurous twists on familiar sounds. We will plunge into French-style pop, unapologetic and defiant; blue-white-and-red pop that does not take itself seriously, not out of line with its “yé-yé” contemporaries, who were themselves uninspired by the boring, commercial teenage music that dominated in France at that time. It is pop music fueled by creativity — though not always well-focused — with peculiar arrangements, inspired compositions, and precarious production… but oh so tasty! WIZZZ 3 spotlights French artists who dared to try, to experiment… Includes tracks by Dansez avec Moa, Bernard Chabert, Joanna, Pierre Paul Jacques, Evariste, Jean-Bernard de Libreville, Crischa, Long Chris, Nato, Papy, Fatty Nautty, Balthazar, Jane et Julie, Bruno Leys, and Marcel Artero.

 File Under: Psych, French, Pop

…..Restocks…..

Antena: Camino Del Sol (Numero) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Albert Ayler: Spirits Rejoice (Esp) LP
Bad Guys: Bad Guynaecology (Riot Season) LP
Black Angels: Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizon) LP
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Musique de Film Imagine (A-Musik) LP
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth: s/t (Neurot) LP
Philip Cohran: On The Beach (Tizona) LP
Alessandro Cortini: Forse 3 (Important) LP
Cramps: Songs the Lord Taught Us (Vinylisssimo) LP
Cramps: Psychedelic Jungle (Vinylisssimo) LP
Elder: s/t (Headspin) LP
Elder: Dead Roots Stirring (Headspin) LP
Faith No More: The Real Thing (Music on Vinyl) LP
Jon Hassell/Brian Eno: 4th World: Possible Musics (Glitterbeat) LP
Jesus Lizard: Goat (Touch & Go) LP
Minor Threat: Out of Step (Dischord) LP
Minor Threat: s/t (Dischord) LP
Moondog: Viking of 6th Avenue (Honest Jon’s) LP
Nazoranai: Most Painful… (Idealogic Organ) LP
OST: The Holy Mountain (Real Gone) LP
Parker/Bailey/Bennink: Topography of Lungs (Otoroku) LP
Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers (Third Man) LP
Schlippenbach Trio: Pakistani Pomade (Cien Fuegos) LP
Ty Segal: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Nina Simone: To Love Somebody (4 Men With Beards) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Omar Souleyman: Haflat Gharb (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Spoon: A Series of Sneaks (Merge) LP
Spoon: Girls Can Tell (Merge) LP
Spoon: Kill The Moonlight (Merge) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Spoon: Transference (Merge) LP
Sprawl: s/t (Trost) LP
Toro y Moi: What For? (Carpark) LP
Piero Umiliani: Tra Scienza (We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Mind Control (Rise Above) LP
Verckys & Orchestre Veve: Congolese Funk (Analog Africa) LP
Virgo: s/t (Rush Hour) LP
Warpig: s/t (Kreation) LP
Weakerthans: Reunion Tour (Anti) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP
Various: Forge Your Own Chains (Now Again) LP

…..news letter #693 – mud…..

I must be making some progress on my reno, since this week I think i’ll be spending more time in the store than at home, yay! Anyway, Nora & James have been holding down the fort while I’ve been playing general contractor and lots of goodies have come in this week so get down here and grab some cool new tunes for your yard parties.

…..pick of the week….

sauvage

OST: La Planete Sauvage (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow! Finally available again, don’t sleep on it this time! Animated sci-fi masterpiece La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a. Fantastic Planet), winner at Cannes Film Festival in 1973, is a bizarre and beautiful film. Towering blue-skinned figures, tiny humanoids in the midst of revolt, and drug-induced Tantric sex transport viewers to a truly magical setting. Composer Alain Goraguer creates an equally hypnotic score from a palette of effects-laden guitars, flutes, Fender Rhodes and strings. While the lush arrangements are reminiscent of Goraguer’s collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg in the 1960s, space-age synth flourishes suggest a more psychedelic era. Moody vignettes flow together in tense, slow-paced funk rhythms and Baroque textures. It comes as no surprise that La Planète Sauvage has been cited as an influence on contemporary artists such as French duo Air and American hip-hop producers J Dilla and Madlib. Gorgeous, interplanetary soundscapes resemble the surreal meeting point between Pink Floyd’s Obscured by Clouds and Broadcast’s Future Crayon. This long out-of-print vinyl release features the original soundtrack recording and newly designed artwork. Recommended for fans of Ennio Morricone, Basil Kirchin and David Axelrod.

File Under: OST, Sci-Fi, Animation, Breakz
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…..new arrivals…..

algiers

Algiers: s/t (Matador) LP
The debut LP by Algiers is haunted by promises of the past: the rapturous call and response of millenarian gospel, the bellowing urgency of ’60s protest soul, the scene-searching intensity of DC hardcore and the smeared viscosity of post-punk and no wave. After all, as Marx once said: “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.” But rather than revel in a state of nostalgia, the band wields these burdened visions to charge headlong into the future. Over the album’s eleven tracks, these three émigrés of the American Deep South lay waste to appropriators, oppressors, revivalists and the cultural shock troops of capitalism. Vocalist Franklin James Fisher’s every shriek and incantation will take you from the sweaty fervor of Dennis Edwards-era Temptations through the righteous rebellion of Nina Simone to the solitary midnight howls of PJ Harvey. Shards of Lee Tesche’s guitar, along with Ryan Mahan’s bass pulses and synthesizer slashes, pierce through the processional, transforming neo-modernist hymns with explosions of foreboding and dread that evoke the vanguard of pop experimentation from Suicide to Roland S. Howard. In an era when political subjectivity and human connectivity have been smashed to pieces by the demands of finance capital, Algiers has taken its stance: to maintain fidelity to these subversive spirits and trudge toward the light. While they may never arrive at their destination – consigned  to a life of wandering – they conjure the dead sound to life in frightening new directions. “This is revolutionary music in the truest sense of the word. It demands action. It requires penance. It destroys expectations.” – Stereogum “The Death Grips of gospel torching the South’s dark underbelly.” – Rolling Stone

File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
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areski

Areski & Brigitte Fontaine: Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow! Following their groundbreaking collaboration with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Comme à la Radio, Areski and Brigitte Fontaine began recording almost exclusively together as a duo. Originally released in 1973, Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme is their first record billed under both names. Deeply rooted in North African and European folk traditions, the album features evocative vignettes with breezy vocals and minimal accompaniment of classical guitar, strings and woodwinds.  As always, there is a mercurial quality to their lyrics. The title track (translated as “I Do Not Know This Man”) suggests at once Apostle Peter’s denial and a poetic acknowledgement. On “C’est Normal” Fontaine playfully questions the status quo while Areski offers satirical answers. What makes Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme one of their best-loved albums, though, is its remarkable sense of intimacy—as if Areski and Fontaine beckon listeners into their strange and beautiful world. This first-time domestic release continues Superior Viaduct’s reissue campaign of Fontaine’s classic ’70s catalog.

File Under: French Pop, Avant Garde
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murderballads

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Toward the end of Bad Seed (Ian Johnston’s autobiography of Nick Cave), a fleeting clue is dropped about a new song Cave was in the process of writing at the time. With the working title of “Red Right Hand II,” it relates the tale of a father of three that murders his entire family – the very same scenario laid out in “Song of Joy,” the opening track of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 1996 album Murder Ballads. The references to “his red right hand” and other Miltonian citations sprinkled throughout link the two songs; but the gory details in “Song of Joy” make it clear that Cave had left behind the baleful romantic brooding of Let Love In, and this was to be a more bloodthirsty successor. Reaching back to Birthday Party days, Cave’s lyrics never suffered for lack of violence. Proto-murder balladry weaves throughout Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ oeuvre in the form of both cover songs and originals; but the notion of a flagrantly slaughter-themed album had been on Cave’s mind for a while. “It actually started as a joke,” he explains. “The idea of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds dedicating an entire album to murder appealed to us in some way.” Despite the album’s appalling subject matter, Conway Savage points out, “It’s always been loosely referred to in the band as a ‘comedy’ record.” Not only is the album rife with dark humor, some tracks positively radiate an inappropriately joyful mood. A virtual open invitation was extended to sundry family and friends to drop by the studio during the recording of the album. Co-producer Tony Cohen recollects seeing “probably more than twenty people sitting around the floor, shaking things and banging things and having a laugh.” Mick Harvey remembers a brisk, unfussy attitude towards getting takes: “We just trundled through everything and listened to it two days later.” Cave observes that “We learned a lot from that record: that the recording experience can be playful.” Martyn Casey affirms, “It’s a party record.” Despite all that, Cave maintains that the underlying objective was “to make a record that would piss people off.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cave’s plan backfired, thanks at least in part to the cavalcade of guest stars invited to participate: Shane MacGowan, Anita Lane, PJ Harvey, and most notably, Kylie Minogue. Murder Ballads remains Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds biggest worldwide success to date. The single “Where Wild Roses Grow” reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart, breaking the Top Ten in several European countries, and was certified Gold in Germany and Australia. MTV even nominated Nick Cave for their “Best Male Artist” award that year; but the nomination was withdrawn at Cave’s personal request.

File Under: Rock, Nick Cave!
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coachwhips

Coachwhips: Bangers vs. Fuckers (Castle Face) LP
In tomorrow! Feeling listless? Falling asleep behind the wheel? Need a soundtrack for your backyard Fight Club (with the lucky possibility of a muddy mid-fight kiss)? We have just the thing: a fully re-spruced version of the Coachwhips’ classic LP, Bangers Vs. Fuckers.  If you’re unfamiliar, this record may be the loudest thing ever put to tape. Weasel Walter’s mastering job is more of an act of terrorism than anything else but it perfectly captures the intensity of seeing them live in, say, your bathroom. This record right here is Coachwhips at their bloody-nosed best, way past in the red, shoving white-hot heart-attack anthems like “You Gonna Get It,” “Evil Son” and “Thee Alarm” straight through your reptilian brain and into the sweaty crowd behind you. Essential listening for anyone with a pulse and a chip on their shoulder.  Remastered and recut at 45 RPM for maximum blunt force. We found the artwork all beat up but we nursed it back to health. It’s never been louder, clearer or more fun than this, and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

File Under: Punk, Garage, Oh Sees
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crocs

Crocodiles: Boys (Zoo Music) LP
In tomorrow! Crocodiles have always traveled their own particular road of excess; playing, recording, dreaming and scheming in various far-flung corners of the globe. For their fifth album Boys, the boys decamped to Mexico City where producer Martin Thulin captured this psych-pop masterpiece. Trashy in some places and beautiful in others, this colorful album sees the band revisiting familiar Crocodilian themes that have earned them worldwide acclaim while also cooking with many new flavors.Take the salsa-punk of tracks like “Crybaby Demon” or “Kool TV”; noisy guitars mesh with Latin rhythms to create a new sound that can only be described as “muy chingón!” Beautifully lush soundscapes on “The Boy Is a Tramp,” “Don’t Look Up” and “Blue” are sure to seduce the listener. “Foolin’ Around” is a bonkers car-crash of influences, something the punks can do The Hustle to. Crocodiles’ bizarro-pop craftsmanship shines brightly on “Peroxide Hearts,” “Transylvania” and “Hard.”Boys is an album for boys and for girls and for boy-girls and mutants, back-alley poets, thieves, space cadets and alien babes, righteous tricksters, sonic deviants, and everything in between. But most of all, Boys is an album for you.

File Under: Rock, Pop, Psych
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deviants

Deviants: Ptooff! (Cleopatra) LP
In tomorrow! Special limited edition reissue of the seminal debut LP from UK underground garage rock heroes The Deviants. Founded by legendary counterculture figure Mick Farren and Russell Hunter and inspired by The Fugs, the Deviants were the first of the anarchic groups to emerge from the Ladbroke Grove area of London. Two years before Hawkwind burst on to the underground scene, the Deviants were preaching revolution and creating their own form of musical anarchy. Ptooff! was the band’s classic debut, originally released in 1967. Only available by mail order from the pages of International Times, Ptooff! was truly one of the first independent British rock albums. Presented on colored 180 gram vinyl sequentially numbered with original 12-panel foldout poster courtesy of Cleopatra Records.

File Under: Garage
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django

Django Django: Born Under Saturn (Ribbon) LP
In tomorrow! Born Under Saturn is the sophomore album from Ribbon Music recording artist Django Django. This new collection of songs is the work of a confident and experienced band pushing beyond their DIY roots; it expands on the slippery, indefinable nature of their self-titled debut, applying all of its giddy art-rock imagination only across a much larger canvas. Django Django – producer/drummer Dave Maclean, bassist Jim Dixon, guitarist Vinnie Neff and keyboardist Tommy Grace – met at art school. They took their time evolving a unique open-minded sound in which every influence is welcome yet remains clutter free. Like before, Django Django are oblivious to genre rules. You’ll find Beach Boys harmonies and Link Wray riffs crisscrossing with house music pianos, classical keyboard flourishes with Jamaican and African rhythms, and all of it flows. Truly, Born Under Saturn finds magic in the unexplored spaces between genres. Underneath it all lies an undeniable knack for a hook, but as pop music this collection of songs is keenly intelligent. Tracks like the radio-friendly “Shake & Tremble” ripple muscular guitar riffs before dissolving into harmonic choral bliss. Standout, “Reflections,” builds pulsing piano house before surprising with a knockout clarinet solo – something you won’t hear on any other rock record this year. The album fascinates with ambition, and pulls it off with pop aplomb. Double heavyweight LP housed in gatefold jacket with full color printed inner-sleeves and download code.

File Under:
Electronic, Rock
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germsGerms: Forming (Superior Viaduct) 7″
In tomorrow! The Germs’ debut 45 is often cited as the first true Los Angeles punk record. “Forming,” the first song written by Darby Crash and crudely recorded in guitarist Pat Smear’s parents’ garage, captures the band’s cultish allure and crushing lack of musicianship. The B-side track, “Sex Boy,” was recorded live on the set of Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke. As Claude Bessy gushes in Slash magazine in 1977, The Germs are “beyond music … mind-boggling … inexplicably brilliant in bringing monotony to new heights.” This reissue comes with original sleeve design and lyric sheet. Limited edition green vinyl.

File Under: Punk
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hayden

Hayden: Hey Love (Arts & Crafts) LP
In tomorrow! On Hey Love, Hayden’s eighth full-length record, the Toronto musician and songwriter writes the most intimate passage yet in his decades-deep story. The follow-up to 2013’s Us Alone, his sonically warm and emotive debut record on Arts & Crafts, is a heartrending love letter of hope and disarray, the album’s thirteen songs among Hayden Desser’s most affective, tactile, rousing yet restrained work to date. On Hey Love’s first single “Nowhere We Cannot Go,” triumphant piano mingles with tattered synthesizer and electric guitar, conjuring resilience from the throes of personal reckoning. Both familiar and new, “Nowhere We Cannot Go” places us on the rickety frontier of Hayden’s home studio, where the certainty of pain and reward both figure prominently on the horizon.From the arresting low register of his 1996 arrival, Everything I Long For, through the enigmatic Skyscraper National Park (2001), and the steadfastly fragile Elk-Lake Serenade (2004), Hayden has woven one of the most consistent through-lines of musical narratives imaginable, leading his audience through a scrapbook of downtimes fought and resolved, love lost and love solved. Hey Love is a snapshot of this relationship: Hayden at his most prolific, and perhaps Hayden at his most celebrated. Hey Love was performed and produced almost entirely by Hayden at his Toronto home studio, Skyscraper National Park. Additional recordings took place at Revolution Studio in Toronto with contributions from his live band featuring Jay McCarrol, Taylor Knox, and JJ Ipsen.

File Under: Indie Rock, SSW, CanCon
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jamiexx

Jaimie XX: In Colour (Young Turks) LP/3LP
In Colour is the Young Turks/XL Recordings debut album from Jaimie xx. The eleven track LP includes previous releases “Girl” and “Sleep Sound” as well as forthcoming single “Loud Places,” which features vocals from Romy Madley Croft. The release of In Colour comes on the back of an incredible six year creative period, which has seen him alternate effortlessly between his role as founding member and producer of The xx, and creator of more electronic and club orientated music as Jamie xx. A string of acclaimed productions in recent years including debut solo single “Far Nearer,” remixes for the likes of Adele, Radiohead and Florence & The Machine, production work for Drake and Alicia Keys plus We’re New Here – Jamie’s seminal reworking of Gil Scott-Heron’s final studio album – hinted at what was to come. With In Colour – a bold, celebratory, emotional record that features collaborations with The xx band mates Romy Madley Croft (“Seesaw” and “Loud Places”) and Oliver Sim (“Stranger In A Room”), Young Thug and Popcaan (“Good Times”) and Four Tet (“Seesaw”) – Jamie delivers his definitive artistic statement. “In Colour doesn’t feel like my first album because it’s the end of six years’ work. It’s about all of the music I’ve been inspired by in that time; the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been. I’ve gone from being a fan of electronic music, admiring great artists and producers, to feeling like I’m a part of their world. In Colour is about transition and transformation – going away, coming home, going away again, coming home again – and how that journey changes me every time. I love touring, and the places I’ve visited, but when I’m on my laptop I’m always thinking about home or music. I love being in a band, being a producer, being a DJ. This album is about all of that. In Colour isn’t the end of an era, it’s the start of what’s next.” – Jaimie xx

File Under: Electronic, House, UK Garage, Pop
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koerner

Spider John Koerner: Some Old American Folk Songs… (Nero’s Neptune) LP
In tomorrow! After moving to Denmark in 1972 and abandoning music for a spell, the legendary Spider John Koerner returned to the U.S. in 1974 to record an LP for Dave Ray s Sweet Jane label.  The resulting record is one of the finest of his 50-plus year career. As its title implies, the album displays a conscious move away from the folk blues stylings of earlier recordings and towards an embracement of traditional American folk music. The enduring quality of its songs is evidenced by their continued inclusion on Koerner s set lists 40 years later. This is our fourth release by Spider John on Nero s Neptune. Available in a limited artist s edition, the record is mastered from remarkably well-preserved first generation reel-to-reel tapes. The lacquers were cut by Ralph Karston at Atma-sphere, and the LP pressed at RTI. There is no digital technology used anywhere in the process. Not only is the sound better than on the original 1974 release, but the beautiful, hand printed covers feature new and improved artwork from a woodblock designed by Nero s Neptune art director and recording artist Paul Metzger. Edition of 300 copies.

File Under: Folk

l7

L7: Bricks Are Heavy (Plain) LP
In tomorrow! Bricks Are Heavy was the third album by L7 originally released in 1992. Produced by Butch Vig, Bricks Are Heavy is somewhat poppier with more focused songwriting than their previous LPs and was the bands breakthrough album fueled by the success of the single “Pretend We’re Dead.” L7 was often associated with the then raging grunge movement (even though they were from L.A.) and it’s not hard to see why as the album features abrasive, sledgehammer guitar riffs and plenty of heavy rockers with the songs “Wargasm,” “Slide,” and “Everglade.” The group emphasized their feminist and Riot Grrrl side with “This Ain’t Pleasure” and “Diet Pill.” First domestic release on vinyl for this early ‘90s alternative classic.

File Under: 90s, Riot Grrrl, Grunge
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little wings

Little Wings: Explains (Woodsist) LP
In tomorrow! “Kyle Field, professionally known as Little Wings, is a living legend. He is the modern embodiment of the traveling bard and the singing troubadour. Kyle’s discography is vast and impressive, full of tunes that are plucked from the lexicon of great American songwriting. On his latest effort, Explains, he crafts melodies so haunting and familiar; it’s as if he’s not composing them at all. He is tapping into something greater, acting as a vessel for the collective unconscious that is folk music. This is an album that is immediately accessible and also unfolds slowly, revealing greater depth with each listen. Kyle’s lyrics are direct yet poetic, funny yet sad. Explains is a fantastic record that celebrates the enduring spirit of a great artist. Its release on Woodsist is all too fitting – a label whose very foundation seems based on lasting creative integrity.” – Alex Bleeker

File Under: Folk, SSW
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mastery

Mastery: Valis (Flenser) LP
In tomorrow! Valis is the first proper Mastery full-length and the most extreme record The Flenser has ever released. As its name and sigil demands, Mastery is a vessel to ascend the partial mind; one impulsive and chaotic, the other of collected illumination. A meditation unto the will subconscious. The solo black metal entity is the product of mastermind Ephemeral Domignostika (Pale Chalice, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, Horn of Dagoth). Once a follower in the tradition of fellow Bay Area acts Leviathan, Crebain and Weakling, Mastery has evolved into something more. Valis is like a form of free jazz black metal—twisted and complex, with upwards of 100 riffs per song. Eschewing traditional songwriting and conceptual forms, Domignostika creates through spontaneous composition, cut ups and free performance. His extremely unique guitar style, polyrhythmic drum patterns and urgent vocal delivery bely the fact that Valis is the work of one person playing everything with the utmost intentionality.  Mastery has previously released five extremely limited (and long sold out) demos since 2004, a collection on the tUMULt label in 2011 titled Barbaric Usurpation of the Hypereonic Black Metal Throne, and split albums with with Skullflower and Palace of Worms.  “One can only assume that Mastery mastermind Ephemeral Domignostika is an extremely dangerous career sociopath after being subjected to this spastic sonic evisceration; either that or a deeply disturbed black metal savant.” —That’s How Kids Die “Mastery is total berzerker black metal, rooted in the tradition of true grim blackness, but filtered through Mastery’s cracked perception, transforming this into something beyond true; a droned out and damaged, outsider blackness, that sounds pretty much unlike almost any other black metal.” —Aquarius

File Under: Metal, Black Metal
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oh sees

Thee Oh Sees: Mutilator Defeated at Last (Castle Face) LP
In Tomorrow! Here we have a new batch from Thee Oh Sees for your absorption—nine muscular tunes primed to pummel. Last year’s Drop was more schizophrenic, ranging from heavy to whimsical and back; Mutilator Defeated at Last has more in common with the monolithic hugeness of Floating Coffin. With only two brief reprieves from its onslaught, this record is made to be played loudly and demands bodily sacrifice.  Despite the plutonium heavy feel, Thee Oh Sees continue to be omnivorous. Synths and acoustic guitars wind throughout the album like veins of gold through granite. Any and all that stands in its way will be devoured and assimilated. This is the sound of a band doing what they do best.

File Under: Punk, Garage
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it follows

OST: It Follows (Milan) LP
Back in stock! The acclaimed score to It Follows by Disasterpeace is receiving the vinyl treatment. This release, limited to 1,000 units, is pressed on color 180g vinyl and features original artwork by Midnight Marauder and a digital download card. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows has been a highly praised film on the festival circuit. The horror/thriller tells the story of 19-year old Jay who, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her teenage friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind. Video game composer, Disasterpeace, composed the synth heavy and pulsating score. The electro, 80’s influenced score is a character itself in the film and has been praised wherever the film has been screening.

File Under: OST, Horror
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redredmeat

Red Red Meat: Bunny Gets Paid (Jealous Butcher) LP
In tomorrow! “At the time, I felt like we’d made a classic rock record,” Red Red Meat main-man Tim Rutilli (Califone) says. “I was like, ‘This is our Astral Weeks.'” But listening back 20 years later, Rutilli recognizes the band’s ambition, a desire to break songs down to their barest, most primitive elements to “see what survives.” Arguably the band’s most complete album, the record pairs Stones-indebted blues-rock roots with beautiful songs, sounding miles removed from the era’s grunge and radio-friendly alternative rock tropes. Released for the first time on vinyl in 20 years, originally released by Sub Pop in 1995, comes with download, and includes 8 additional tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
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soak

Soak: Before We Forgot How to Dream (Rough Trade) LP
Early on, much was made of the young age of Bridie Monds-Watson – who performs as Soak – but as her accomplished, wise-beyond-her-years songs and breathtakingly lovely voice reached more new listeners, the pixie-ish, tattooed skateboarder’s appeal has transcended her youth. Before We Forgot How To Dream is a beautifully-wrought album, full of musical turns that showcase Watson’s uniquely sweet and haunting voice, as well as lyrics that marry a sunny and romantic sense of nostalgia with frank treatments of human failings, hopes, and – yes – dreams. Before We Forgot How to Dream is a stunning snapshot of Soak’s formative years growing up in Northern Ireland, touching variously on the themes of isolation, family and what to do with your future. Already compared with the likes of Laura Marling and Beach House, Bridie has been a rising star in her hometown of Derry since the age of 14. Soak’s debut album traces her extraordinary journey to this point, and marks Bridie’s graduation from raw talent to a significant songwriter for the years ahead. Already a household name in the UK, with “Sea Creatures” in BBC Radio 1 A-list rotation and prominent festival bookings throughout the season, Soak’s debut appearances in NYC and SXSW in March 2015 found her playing before capacity crowds – “the only performer to stun the crowd into silence,” noted Consequence of Sound. US press heavyweights like NPR and the New York Times anointed her one of SXSW 2015’s breakout performers. The stage is set for Soak to win the hearts of US audiences, and we know she’ll win yours, too, once you listen.

File Under: Indie, SSW, Pop
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surfer blood

Surfer Blood: 1000 Palms (Joyful Noise) LP
1000 Palms marks a return to Surfer Blood’s DIY ethos. Abandoning the big time studio, the band decided to head back home to self-record and self-produce their third full-length album. Free of major-label-influence, Surfer Blood has delivered a uniquely compelling album, unlike anything in their catalog. The story of 1000 Palms began on January 1st 2014, after playing a New Year’s show in Portland, OR. The band decided to stick around for the rest of the month, renting a practice space and sorting through a backlog of ideas. By February, as their lease ran out, Surfer Blood had recorded demos for most of the tracks that are now featured on the follow-up to 2010’s Astro Coast and 2013’s Pythons. After a frustrating time at their previous home, Warner Bros., the quartet was beyond ready to return to a more DIY recording process, completely void of the middlemen scrutinizing every bar of their previous LP. With the band self-recording, it was in the glamorous setting of an attic studio above a doctor’s office where drums were committed to tape. Of the work, frontman John Paul Pitts states “fortunately none of us are strangers to DIY recording, so this seemed like the kind of challenge well-suited to our band.” The making of 1000 Palms also owes a lot to the kindness of friends and family, with the remaining instrument sessions taking place at the home of drummer Tyler Schwartz’s parents, while they were on vacation. Following a few days of very little sleep and after the band pooled resources and called in favors, they managed to craft everything you now hear on 1000 Palms.

File Under: Indie Rock
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hip

Tragically Hip: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
The Tragically Hip is the self-titled debut album of Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip in 1987. The album is interesting because it harnesses their music in its rawest and earliest stages. At the time of The Tragically Hip, the band was still playing extremely small venues, so its appeal lies within its freshman sound and its link to what the band later become. The first outings comes through tracks like “I’m A Werewolf, Baby”. The track “Last American Exit” sounds like it could have come from their accomplished Road Apples album. The album includes the bonus track “All Canadian Surf Club”.

File Under: Rock, CanCon
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umo

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar) LP
The threads of our past never unravel, they hover like invisible webs, occasionally glistening due to a sly angle of the sun. On Multi-Love, Unknown Mortal Orchestra frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson reflects on relationships: airy, humid longing, loss, the geometry of desire that occurs when three people align. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together. Multi-Love adds dimensions to the band’s already kaleidoscopic approach, with Nielson exploring a newfound appreciation for synthesizers. The new songs channel with the spirit of psych innovators without ignoring the last 40 years of music, forming a flowing, cohesive whole that reflects restless creativity. Cosmic escapes and disco rhythms speak to developing new vocabulary, while Nielson’s vocals reach powerful new heights. “It felt good to be rebelling against the typical view of what an artists is today, a curator,” he says. “It’s more about being someone who makes things happen in concrete ways. Building old synthesizers and bringing them back to life, creating sounds that aren’t quite like anyone else’s. I think that’s much more subversive.” While legions of artists show fidelity to the roots of psychedelia, Unknown Mortal Orchestra shares the rare quality that makes the genre’s touchstones so vital, constant exploration. “A genre-smashing blend of off-kilter funk and new wave romanticism.” – Consequence of Sound

File Under: Rock, Indie, Psych
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white eyes

White Eyes: s/t (Numero) LP
Hailing from the Show-Me State, White Eyes lugged their heavy psych and harmony-clad ballads across the Midwest, honing their live set wherever audiences were abundant. Whether it be the famed Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City or the nearest American Legion, the quintet of long-haired bohemians loaded a double bass drum set, a wall of Marshall amplifiers, and a array of acoustic guitars into their 1953 Cadillac hearse to deliver their impeccable stage show across the plains. Despite years of relentless gigging, White Eyes never caught their break. This previously issued LP, recorded between the fall of 1969 and 1970, was originally intended as a demo for talent buyers and industry prospectors. Well-crafted arrangements and pro-sounding production make this an exceptional piece of lost psychedelic pop.

File Under: Psych Pop
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wire

Wire: s/t (Pink Flag) LP
Wire’s 13th studio album – simply titled Wire – comprises material that was written with an album in mind, but toured extensively first, as well as songs that singer and guitarist Colin Newman introduced to the group in the studio just prior to recording. The idea was to get the most spontaneous reaction possible from the musicians, and far from the rough and ready results one might expect from such a tack, Wire is full of swooning pop melodies with a ’60s tinge and an irresistible, near motorik rhythmic momentum. One can recognize certain melodic inflections, guitar and bass motifs, and drum rhythms from Wire’s idiosyncratic vocabulary but it has a remarkable freshness. The basic tracks were recorded at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth, with overdubs added at Brighton Electric last December following the group’s Drill: Brighton Festival. The 11 tracks selected for release were the ones that came together most naturally. From the outset Wire was an alliance between four very different characters and continues today with the addition, in 2012, of It Hugs Back guitarist Matthew Simms, who is around thirty years younger than the other group members. “With Matt there was a really new dynamic that had appeared in the group’s sound and that was something we wanted to capture, utilise and be creative with,” says Lewis. Wire is the first album where Simms has been involved in formulating the material from the ground up, but when the group’s particular chemistry starts working he is now very much part of the process. “With ‘Sleepwalking’, I don’t think we even ran all the way through it before we recorded it.” Newman says. “Wire do this thing so well and there’s instant atmosphere. There’s my rhythm guitar, Matt playing lap steel, Graham (Lewis) playing bass with effects – there’s as much effects as bass – and Rob’s tolling drumming. It was already almost sustainable for six minutes with just that.” Lewis also provides most of the lyrics for the album, their subject matter encompassing love songs, cryptic narratives and coded messages. One time, Newman asked Lewis to send over some unfinished, unformatted text so he wouldn’t be bound by what to use for the chorus. This material spawned two songs written on the same day, “Split Your Ends” and the droll “In Manchester.” The latter has one of the album’s loveliest melodies, but it’s no coded paean to the city in its Baggy heyday. Instead this process led to the disorientating and rather absurd situation of having “In Manchester” as a soaring chorus, when the song is not about Manchester beyond a single line in the lyric. As the album progresses, some of the sunlit pop tunes become more shadowy and it ultimately plunges into the musical black hole of “Harpooned,” eight churning minutes of the group’s darkest, most abrasive music to date, and a favorite in live performances since 2013.

File Under: Punk
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znr

ZNR: Barricade 3 (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow! ZNR was the French duo of Hector Zazou and Joseph Racaille (hence, Zazou ’n’ Racaille) active in the mid to late ’70s. Their 1976 debut, Barricade 3, is an anti-pop masterpiece that truly defies categorization; it makes perfect sense that ZNR appears on the infamous Nurse With Wound list.  Featuring an array of seemingly dichotomous instruments (piano, synthesizers, woodwinds, electric guitar and more) as well as genuinely bizarre vocals, the album is composed of fifteen odd experiments using a loose framework of analog electronics, avant-garde rock, jazz influences, and post-structuralist études.  As The Shadow Ring’s Graham Lambkin writes, “The debut ZNR LP has long remained one of my all-time faves. A collision of eccentric Satie-esque miniatures, strange keyboard / synth explorations and the occasional song, delivered in a mixture of French and Spanish tongues. I always think of the creepy, over-ripe vocals on ‘Seynete’ as one of the LP’s most memorable moments, but there are many.” Despite its schizophrenic mystique, Barricade 3 is very witty and surprisingly accessible with hints of Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Perrey-Kingsley. This long out-of-print vinyl reissue reproduces the original gatefold design including illustration by Don Van Vliet.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Abstract
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saved

Various: Saved & Sanctified: Songs of the Jade Label (Numero) LP
The rawest, DIY gospel ever resurrected. The West Side of Chicago was just an annex of the deep rural South for Gene Autry Cash and his flock of recent Old Dominion transplants looking to cut their fiery, unadorned sounds indelibly to plastic. His Jade label absorbed those God-fearing artists: family bands with wailing kids and barely amateur groups sourced from local parishes, infused with reverberations of country and western and deep soul. Glinting authenticity shines from every track like a diamond in the unpolished rough—each group completely convinced that salvation comes through song.

File Under: Gospel
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Aphex Twin: Richard D. James (1972) LP
The Band: Last Waltz (Rhino) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Columbia) LP
Beirut: Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing) LP
Best Coast: Make You Mine (Group Tightener) 2×7″
Bikini Kill: Yeah Yeah Yeah (Bikini Kill) LP
Black Lips: 200 Million Miles (In The Red) LP
Black Lips: Good Bad Not Evil (In The Red) LP
Black Lips: Let It Bloom (In The Red) LP
Broadcast: Tender Buttons (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Future Crayon (Warp) LP
Broadcast & Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults… (Warp) LP
Cocteau Twins: Blue Bell Knoll (4AD) LP
Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas (4AD) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: Steady Diet of Nothing (Dischord) LP
Jon Gibson: Visitations (Superior Viaduct) LP
Grouper: Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill (Kranky) LP
Grouper: The Man Who Died In His Boat (Kranky) LP
King Crimson: Lizard (Panegyric) LP
Dan Mangan: Club Meds (Arts & Crafts) LP
Jackie McLean: Let Freedom Ring (Blue Note) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice All (Boner) LP
Hank Mobley: No Room For Squares (Blue Note) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Mumford & Sons: Wilder Mind (Glass Note) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
Oh Sees: Floating Coffin (Castle Face) LP
OST: Under The Skin (Milan) LP
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (Nonesuch) LP
Terry Riley: A Rainbow in Curved Air (Columbia) LP
Ty Segall: Lemons (Goner) LP
Ty Segall: Singles (Goner) LP
Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP
Nina Simone: Black Gold (RCA) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hollow (Rhino) LP
Spoon: Kill he Moonlight (Merge) LP
Thin Lizzy: Jail Break (Universal) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
War on Drugs: Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
White Stripes: s/t (Third Man) LP
White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Third Man) LP
Jack White: Blunderbus (Third Man) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Yob: Clearing the Path To Ascend (Relapse) LP

Tagged , , , , ,

…..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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