…..news letter #706 – wong leekend…..

Summer must be over because there’s a ton of stuff in this week! And the new releases aren’t going to let up anytime soon either. Lots of big titles are coming out before the end of the year. We’ve also been chippin’ away at all the unpriced used stuff we’ve been sitting on…. All in all, lots to dig though these days.

…..picks of the week…..

jimh

Jerusalem in my Heart: If He Dies, If If If If If If (Constellation) LP
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh returns with a second full-length album from his acclaimed Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) project, conceived and recorded in his dual homes Montréal and Beirut. Known for his production and engineering work with artists as diverse as Matana Roberts (all three chapters of her Coin Coin recordings to date), Aids Wolf, Ought, Eric Chenaux (with whom he also released a collaborative album for the Grapefruit Records Club) and Suuns (with whom he also released a collaborative album on Secretly Canadian in spring 2015), Moumneh has been firing on all cylinders over the past few years. He has brought JIMH to mesmerized live audiences in Canada, Europe and the Middle East since the release of his first album in 2013, following many years during which the project was a strictly Montréal-based live/theatrical happening. While JIMH continues to expand to include a larger cast of players for select engagements and commissions, the group is currently an immersive and performative audio-visual duo at its core, with Moumneh responsible for all sound/composition and filmmaker Charles-André Coderre creating 16mm visuals and live projections/installations. Moumneh expands his compositional palette on If He Dies, If If If If If If, exploring new deconstructions and juxtapositions of both traditional and popular Arab musical currents, with an album that oscillates between powerfully emotive vocal tunes and instrumental works that primarily make use of Radwan’s expressive acoustic playing on buzuk and zurna as a point of departure. One of Moumneh’s finest melismatic a cappella vocal performances opens the album, followed by the uncharacteristically literal-titled “A Granular Buzuk”, where said instrument is processed, re-sampled and otherwise disrupted through Radwan’s real-time custom signal patches. “7ebr El 3oyoun” follows with languidly plaintive vocals set against a gradually accelerating riff underpinned by hand percussion, and Side One closes with a scabrous white noise intervention wherein the entire audio mix is fed through a contact mic placed in Radwan’s mouth. Moumneh continues to channel his love for Arabic pop and Casio/cassette culture on the silky lo-fi disco of “Lau Ridyou Bil Hijaz?” which opens Side Two, then pays homage to the until-recently exiled Kurdish poet and singer Sivan Perwer on the traditional-minded, unadorned folk tune “Ta3mani; Ta3meitu”. The album closes with a tour-de-force drone piece built from Bansuri flute (performed by guest player Dave Gossage) and a delicate acoustic number set against the sound of waves recorded on a beach in Lebanon. (Song titles employ the transliterative characters used in Arabic phone texting.) If He Dies, If If If If If If is an adventurous, scrupulous, impassioned and highly original work of modern contemporary Arabic music and a gratifying sign that Jerusalem In My Heart is situating itself in recorded works with the same thoughtful and dynamic intensity previously accessible only in live performances. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Experimental, CanCon
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nsb

Natural Snow Buildings: Terror’s Horns (Ba Da Bing) LP
In Tomorrow! After a string of Natural Snow Buildings reissues, each more elaborate then the last, Ba Da Bing! presents their first ever release of new material from the band. For a group known for its use of horror imagery and lyricism, perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that this album clocks in at just under 45 minutes. If there ever was a release that served as the proper entry point for Natural Snow Buildings, Terror s Horns is it. It would be a stretch to call this Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte’s pop record, for Terror’s Horns continues the duo’s tradition of combining many layers into sometimes blissful, sometimes contemplative, often menacing conditions. Stringed instruments trill, percussion gongs, feedback hisses and vocals maintain near monotone as if in a cultish trance. The songs still unveil themselves slowly, and the album’s progression lends the impression of descending down through the depths, past hidden cavities and chambers never to be unseen once experienced. Terror s Horns features new artwork by Gularte that pays tribute to the backwoods horror of massacres involving chainsaws. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Psych, Folk
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yonker

Michael Yonkers: Grimwood (Nero’s Neptune) LP
In Tomorrow! I’ve been after this LP for quite some time, this is a much welcome reissue! Michael Yonkers’s Grimwood finally receives its long-overdue vinyl re-release (with download code included). Yonkers’s first four LPs were released simultaneously in 1973, but it is Grimwood, his first, that regular commands the biggest bucks on the collector-scum market. Recorded in 1969, less than a couple years after the material eventually released as Microminiature Love, Grimwood sounds like it emanates from another universe entirely. Straightforward on the one hand, yet fascinatingly and psychedelically abstruse on the other, Grimwood remains an essential “outsider” document that sits comfortably (and irreplaceably) alongside Spence, Grudzien, Tweddle, and a few select others. “It would seem that Yonkers followed a trail that psychologically parallels the sun life highway, and his private flight took place in a presumably small hut, nestled on a lemonade lake, and from his chimney wafted rainbow smoke, in the fantastical haven of the mystical, mythical grimwood town for which the rec is named, as he attempted to allow light / space into areas of his psyche that hadn’t seen enough of either in some time.” –Karl Ikola, liner notes to 2007 CD reissue HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Folk, Acid Folk
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…..new arrivals……

amt

Acid Mother’s Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO: Benzaiten (Important) LP
Edition of 1000. Another smoker from Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., in typically fine form. Benzaiten is an In C-style homage to the classic Osamu Kitajima record Benzaiten (1973). Acid Mothers Temple covers the title-track and reprise using Kitajima’s original composition as a departure point to explore the outer realms of AMT territory. Further instrumental explorations reveal textures of the original composition while launching out further into the cosmic domain. Numerous Acid Mothers originals are scattered in between. Benzaiten!

File Under: Japanese, Psych
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aqua

Aqua Nebula Oscillator: s/t (Rewolfed Gloom) LP
A song title like “Ready to Fly” actually provides all the information necessary to categorize this album as the kind of psychedelic space rock that will bring you back to the ancient days of the 1970s when Hawkwind ruled and LSD was the hot shit to get up from the ground and trip through open space. “Ready to Fly” is certainly a typical up-tempo space rock song with a straight and hypnotic beat, oscillating synthesizer lines, swishing distorted guitars, and monotone chants buried under layers upon layers of echo effects. What was great in 1972 can still capture your spirit in 2015. But there is more behind this album, originally released in 2008, than meets the ear. It begins with a four-minute-long drone titled “Kâ,” made of sitar sounds coupled with swirling synths and strange voice samples. Next comes “Ready to Fly,” the prototypical space rocker, followed by “Take a Long Walk,” which could not be more different. Here we have folky psychedelic music that flows gently with a haunting, melancholic melody and some fine guitar leads lost in reverie. Early P.F., during their days as the hottest band in the 1967 London underground club scene, come to mind. The album continues with heavily grooving yet utterly washy and simmering power rock with vocals that mill into your mind, before returning to gently floating psychedelic folk with guitar sounds that feel like whale chants, swirling synthesizer noises in the back, and dark and melancholic vocal harmonies. If you like your spaced-out, heavy psychedelic music colorful, these French trippies deliver the goods in a way that will please every acid rock fundamentalist focused on the ’60s and ’70s, as well as all the desert rock aficionados who were born too late for the freak-outs back in the day. This is the key to unlock the gate to a world of color, joy, and passion where love can be felt as a physical force. The 1960s garage psych of bands like The Third Bardo, the acid outbursts of embryonic P.F., and Hawkwind’s straight-ahead space rock drive combined could hardly match with the music of their heirs.

File Under: Psych, Space Rock
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ataraxia

Ataraxia: The Unexplained (Fifth Dimension) LP
Electronic impressions of the occult, reissued for the first time. The late, great Mort Garson (1924-2008) was a hotshot of electronic music’s pioneering days, known for his groundbreaking occult works such as The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (1967) and Lucifer: Black Mass (1971). A different side of his creativity emerged in his 1976 Plantasia project, an inspired album of Moog compositions to be played for growing plants. The previous year he released this hypnotizing album, which takes the listener on a weird trip to an even weirder sound-world. Metallic drum loops add a proto-industrial feel to the swirling waves of colorful synthesizer melodies, which draw from jazz and exotica music of the ’50s and ’60s as well as mysterious detective movie soundtracks and pulsating psychedelic rock. There are moments of freeform electronic oscillations with layers of synthetic whistling and buzzing shifted over each other, and passages with hot-blooded grooves let the listener drift away on a gently flowing river of sound. Recommended for all lovers of the more experimental 1970s electronic music, The Unexplained definitely competes with such fine German artists as Cluster, Tangerine Dream, and Klaus Schulze. The album will also appeal to freaks who love progressive soundtracks for Italian horror movies of the same time by Goblin and other masters. A fascinating album that prefigures the pulsating synthesized rhythms that would later appear in many dance productions. Another pioneering work from a true artist who loved the challenge of crossing borders and exploring new territories of sound.

File Under: Early Electronic, Mort Garson
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basin

William Basinski & Richard Chartier: Divertissment (Important) LP
Divertissement is the third collaborative full-length from minimalist composer William Basinski and sound artist Richard Chartier. The duo utilizes electronics, piano, tape loops, and short-wave radio to evoke a dense atmosphere suggesting hundreds of years of history rising up from the depths of a reverberating cathedral. Subtle, buried, and intense murmurs of melody morph through this deeply consuming and slowly evolving composition in two parts. William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who employs obsolete technology and analog tape loops to create haunting, melancholy soundscapes that explore the temporal nature of life and resound with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His epic four-disc masterwork The Disintegration Loops was chosen by Pitchfork Media as one of the top 50 albums of 2004; upon its reissue in 2012, Pitchfork awarded it a score of 10 and the title of best reissue of the year. Installations and films made in collaboration with artist and filmmaker James Elaine have been presented in festivals and museums internationally, and his concerts are presented to sold-out crowds around the world. Basinski was chosen by Antony Hegarty to create music for Robert Wilson’s 2011 opera The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic. Maxim Moston’s orchestral transcriptions of The Disintegration Loops have been performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Swiss festival La Bâtie. Richard Chartier (b. 1971), sound and installation artist, is considered one of the key figures in the current of reductionist electronic sound art that has been termed both “microsound” and neo-modernist. Chartier’s minimalist digital work explores the interrelationships between the spatial nature of sound, silence, focus, perception, and the act of listening itself. Chartier’s work has been presented internationally, including at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and he has performed his work live across Europe, Japan, Australia, and North America at digital art and electronic music festivals and exhibits. In 2000 he formed the record label LINE and has since curated its continuing documentation of compositional and installation work by international sound artists and composers exploring the aesthetics of contemporary and digital minimalism. In 2010, Chartier was awarded a Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship to explore the National Museum of American History’s collection of 19th-century acoustic apparatus for scientific demonstration.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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bass comm

Bass Communion/Freiband: s/t (Important) LP
This is the third collaborative release by Steven Wilson (Bass Communion) and Frans de Waard (Freiband), following two well-received 3″ CD releases on de Waard’s My Own Little Label. Early in 2014, de Waard extended an invitation to Wilson to take part in his Brombron project, in which one artist works in residence with another musician for one week, on music to be performed in concert at the end of that week. That other musician turned out to be Thomas Köner, the date December 2014, the location Extrapool, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. In the middle of this residency there happened to be a day off when Köner needed to be out of town. Rather than waste the day, Wilson and de Waard decided on an impromptu concert performance, and spent the day preparing the music. The concert took place that evening in the relaxed environment of Extrapool for a small audience of invited friends. This record contains a slightly reworked recording of the performance on 12″ vinyl with a total playing time of 26 minutes. No additional overdubs were made, but parts of the music on the second side were subsequently layered and recycled in the studio. On the A-side, “Courage” is in the tradition of ambient musique concrète, and continues the style and approach of the previous Bass Communion/ Freiband releases. On side B, “Cowardice” shatters expectations with a slab of psychedelic noise assault, complete with exploding rhythm machines and gnarled electric guitar. Presented in a beautiful sleeve designed by Carl Glover. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Porcupine Tree
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cortini

Alessandro Cortini: Forse 1 (Important) LP
Super limited 2015 repress! “Deluxe double LP. Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails/How To Destroy Angels) composed the Forse series using a Buchla Music Easel. Forse, meaning ‘maybe’ In Italian, is a series of three double LP releases Cortini recorded for Important to release in 2013. ‘All pieces were written and performed live on a Buchla Music Easel, in the span of one month. I found that the limited array of modules that the instrument offers sparked my creativity. Most pieces consist of a repeating chord progression, where the real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion , filtering, wave shaping, etc.) are just as expressive as a chord change or chord type, and often reinforce said chord progressions. Of all the years with Nine Inch Nails the period spent writing and recording the instrumental record Ghosts I-IV is probably the one which changed my approach to music making the most. After that record I started getting more into instrumental composition, although I tried to approach it in a different way. While we had a vast array of tools and instruments at our disposal then, I decided to approach my pieces limiting myself to one instrument only, as I found myself being more decisive when faced with a limited creative environment.'” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, NIN
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chromatics

Chromatics: Drumless (Italians Do It Better) LP
In Tomorrow! An atmospheric drum-free version of Chromatics’ beloved Kill For Love album.

File Under: Indie Rock
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dangerdoomDangerdoom: The Mouse & The Mask (Lex) LP
10th anniversary reissue of the hugely successful collaborative album between super producer Danger Mouse and underground rap legend MF Doom. The album features notable guest spots from Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah and pre Gnarls Barkley, CeeLo Green. The album also features skits and contributions from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim characters Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sea Lab 2010, Space Ghost and more. The album was a critical and commercial success and the iconic UK version of the vinyl designed by longterm Lex collaborator EHQuestionmark has been long sought after. The outer sleeve is made from thick translucent textured plastic with Doom’s mask printed on the cover, and mouse ears on each side of the mask forming a pattern that looks like a Rorschach test (a technique reused in another Danger Mouse project six months later). The inner sleeves, visible through the outer at first glance pattern based on an Ishihara test, but inside the circles in the pattern are tiny icons depicting a different disasters – climate change, acid rain, holy war, nuclear leaks. The reissue is presented in the exact same spec as the original double vinyl including the custom made frosted plastic outersleeve, spot flouro and metallic pantone printed inner sleeves. The album originally debuted at #2 on the Billboard independent albums charts. Subsequent releases from Danger Mouse include Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz and Broken Bells, as well as production work for Beck, A$AP Rocky and the Black Keys. Doom is, of course, the legendary producer/MC behind the Special Herbs series, Madvillainy (with Madlib) and collaborations with Jneiro Jarel and Bishop Nehru.

File Under: Hip Hop
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eastley

Max Eastley /Derek Bailey /Coum/ Feminist Improvising Group: Another Evening at Logos 1974/79/81 (Sub Rosa) LP
Previously-unreleased recordings from live sessions at the Logos Foundation, Ghent, Belgium, recorded in 1974, 1979, and 1981. This double LP, the first release in a vinyl-only series, includes the following recordings: a 1979 performance by Max Eastley and Logos Ensemble (Max Eastley, Godfried-Willem Raes, Moniek Darge, and Rob Keymeulen playing xylophone bars, Aeolian flutes, springboard, sanzas); a 1974 performance by Feminist Improvising Group (Georgie Born: cello, bass guitar; Lindsay Cooper: bassoon, oboe, sax, flute; Maggie Nichols: voice, piano; Sally Potter: voice, sax; Irène Schweizer: piano, drums); a 1974 performance by COUM (Genesis P-Orridge, Paul Woodrow, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Joseph L/R Rose) and Logos Ensemble (Godfried-Willem Raes, Moniek Darge, Luc Houtkamp, and others); and a 1981 performance of guitar improvisations by Derek Bailey. Logos Foundation, founded in 1968 by Godfried-Willem Raes and based in Ghent, Flanders, Belgium, is a unique professional organization for the promotion of new music and audio-related arts by means of new music production, concerts, performances, composition, technological research, and other activities related to contemporary music.

File Under: Free Improv, Jazz

emptyset

Emptyset: s/t (Subtext) LP
The 2009 debut self-titled album by Bristol-based project Emptyset (James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas), reissued here, formed the initial departure for the duo’s ongoing exploration of time, structure, and analog technology. The album highlights the project’s development and the foundation of its studio-based production process, forming the first part of a triptych spanning Demiurge and Recur. Emptyset creates the first point within this narrative, initiating a dialogue between full-frequency audio, noise, and the emergent properties of sound, and the starting point for their contained sonic approach.

File Under: Electronic
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frnk

Jackson C. Frank: The Complete Recordings 1-3 (Ba Da Bing) LP
In Tomorrow! While Jackson C. Frank’s eponymous 1965 album and other material has enjoyed numerous official and unofficial reissues, Jackson C Frank: The Complete Recordings is the first to compile his entire recording career. Released in conjunction with Jim Abbott’s book, Jackson C. Frank: The Clear Hard Light of Genius, The Complete Recordings contains a total of 67 tracks, 24 of which have never appeared before. Every song has been mastered or remastered, a number of them straight from the original, brittle reel-to-reels on which they were originally laid down. Plagued by tragedy with the most haunting music to show for it, Frank’s life can be heard through his music, which has been covered by the likes of Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkel, Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, John Mayer, South Korean jazz singer Nah Youn Sun, French singer Graeme Allwright, and sampled by Nas for “Undying Love.” While never fully recognized as one of the great musicians of the ’60s, Frank clearly had his fans. The artist’s story is a cautionary tale for the dangerous pitfalls of a life lived. At the age of eleven, he was the victim of the infamous Cleveland Hill School Fire in a New York suburb, leaving him burned and disabled, and killing fifteen of his classmates. He spent an agonizing eight months in the hospital, during which time he picked up a guitar for the first time. Scarred both physically and psychologically, and left a shell of his former self, Frank would never fully recover from the wounds. His never-released second album was to include the song “Marlene,” which honors his childhood girlfriend lost in the fire. After an aborted attempt at college, where he formed a folk trio, Frank, along with a Martin guitar and his then-girlfriend Kathy Henry, caught The Queen Elizabeth in February 1965, on which he apocryphally wrote his first, and now his most famous, song “Blues Run the Game.” He soon found himself making the rounds of the London folk clubs and rubbed shoulders with Jansch, Renbourn, Roy Harper, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Mike Seeger and Sandy Denny (who became Jackson’s girlfriend and later wrote the somber song “Next Time Around” about him). Frank’s music caught the interest of another young American songwriter in London named Paul Simon, who offered to record and produce his album Jackson C. Frank in 1965. Simon brought Al Stewart along to play guitar, while Denny, Judith Piepe and Art Garfunkel kept them company (and supposedly even ran out for teas for the performer). After recording his album, however, Frank’s health took a turn for the worse and the following years were unkind. He met future wife Elaine Sedgwick, cousin of Edie Sedgwick, at a London party, and when his money began to run out he left London for Woodstock, where they married. The relationship was marked by a miscarriage and the death of their first-born son to cystic fibrosis, and Frank’s subsequent mental unraveling. He was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and battled excessive weight gain from a thyroid problem developed after the fire. Additionally, he went through bouts of intermittent homelessness between stays at various upstate shelters. One day, while Jackson waited in a park to be moved to a new facility, he was shot and blinded in his left eye by neighborhood children with a BB gun. The light from this period of his life came from Jim Abbott, who looked after Frank until his death in 1999. Frank’s recordings span four decades of a hard-lived life, and every experience, every trial, is reflected in his voice. If ever a person’s individual journey could be traced through his music, it’s Frank’s, and The Complete Recordings is nothing less than a representative map of the artist’s high points and deepest, most shadowed valleys. While the 1965 debut album has seen intermittent reissues, an expanded double-CD edition appeared in 2003 from Sanctuary, with 33 songs that had never appeared before. Jackson C Frank: The Complete Recordings contains a total of 67 tracks, including all the Sanctuary material, plus 24 more songs.

File Under: Folk
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guerin

Jean Guerin: Tacet (Souffle Continu) LP
Highly surreal and wonderfully futuristic, Tacet, one of the best kept secrets of the Futura catalog, is the 1971 soundtrack work of Jean Guérin for Claude Faraldo’s anarchic 1971 film Bof… Anatomie d’un livreur. This avant-garde psychedelic jazz masterpiece is a blend of abstract vocals, unusual electronics, twisted sound envelopes, and nervous brass instruments. This first-ever officially-licensed vinyl reissue is the fourth in Souffle Continu’s series reissues of Futura reissues, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram reverse-printed gatefold sleeve with obi strip. Limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Avant-Garde
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guffin

Lum Guffin: s/t (Mississippi) LP
In Tomorrow!  Lum Guffin has been called “The Walking Victrola” a human depository of many musical styles and songs. This LP features great performances recorded in the early 1970’s of Lum playing guitar and singing. His style is distinctive and beautiful. A true great of the blues genre who has been seldom heard. We are proud to present this beautiful limited edition of his material with a silk screened cover (4 different color variations have been made you will get a random selection when ordering). A co-release with the king of blues reissues label, Sutro Park.

File Under: Blues
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hewitt

P.E. Hewitt Jazz Ensemble: Winter Winds (Now Again) LP
“The three lost albums by the Bay Area vibraphonist/composer/arranger P.E. Hewitt will now be available as stand alone releases for the first time since Richard Nixon was in the White House. Masterpieces in deep/modal/spiritual jazz from a teenaged wunderkind, recorded and released from 1968-1970, P.E. Hewitt was but 16 years old when he recorded and released — in a pressing of 50 copies — his debut album Jawbones. By the time he sold through the 100 copies of this third, Winter Winds, he was approaching the ripe-age of 20. The three albums he and his young compatriots wrote, recorded, pressed, and — if you can call it that — distributed are three of the rarest damn-good ’70s jazz albums you could ever hope to come across. That’s a subtle, but important distinction. There are many rare jazz albums in every imaginable subgenre — funk, free, fusion, but Hewitt’s three albums were so damn-good that neither micro presses nor forty years of silence could suppress their reemergence. We at Now-Again decided against compiling a best of anthology out of respect for Hewitt’s monstrous achievements and because, well, these albums are so damn good. Thus, we offer you this series of reissues designed to be as close to the original pressings as possible down to their hand-painted covers. First in the series, Hewitt’s legendary 1970 release Winter Winds, a mix of modal, Latin-tinged, and ethereal vocal jazz.”

File Under: Jazz, Modal Jazz, Spiritual
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cochin moon

Haruomi Hosonno: Cochin Moon (North Korea) LP
“Originally released in 1978 in Japan, this album is a soundtrack to a fictional Bollywood film. It features a tapestry of weird floating electronic grooves parsed within menacing rants of jungle birds and night sounds. Fans of Ash Ra Tempel guitarist Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4, Cluster, Achim Reichel & Machines, or even Aphex Twin will be in heaven with this electronic psychedelic trip of sounds and colors. Way ahead of its time, this is a magical treat from beginning to end. Cover artwork is by no other than Tadanori Yokoo (often referred to as the Japanese Andy Warhol). Limited to 500 copies on vinyl.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Electronic, Psych, OST
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hulburt

John Hulburt: Opus III (Tompkins Square) LP
In Tomorrow! Guitarist and singer-songwriter Ryley Walker discovered the 1972 private press LP in a Chicago record store, loved what he heard, and teamed with Tompkins Square to produce the reissue. John Hulburt (1947-2012) was a member of legendary mid-60’s Chicago garage rock band The Knaves, whose records were recently reissued by Sundazed. Opus III showcases his exceptional talent on the acoustic guitar, proving somewhat of an anomaly in a city not known for its solo guitar recordings during this era. Walker writes in his liner notes, “Solo acoustic guitar music was adopted by several in the Berkeley school and the ever expansive roots fanatics in the South, but here in the middle of the country with harsh winters and the landlocked prison of corn fields, it was almost destiny that the amplifier assault of electric blues and controlled chaos of dance music came from the South Side.” Opus III has another notable Chicago connection : It’s one of the earliest studio credits for Styx and Ohio Players engineer / producer Barry Mraz. Styx’s debut album would also be released in 1972. Includes liner notes and vintage photographs.

File Under: Folk, SSW

moon gasDick Hyman/Mary Mayo: Moon Gas (Captain High) LP
The jazz genre spawned a couple of quite colorful subspecies that were part of important pop cultural movements to let the ordinary man escape from the daily grind. Two of the most prolific pop jazz spheres were exotica, which accompanied the tiki culture that was omnipresent throughout the ’50s and early ’60s, and space age music, a rather pop-oriented, accessible style with hints of swing and vocal jazz spiced up with quite mind-altering sound effects. Moon Gas, a 1963 collaboration between pianist and organist Dick Hyman and singer Mary Mayo, hits the center of the space age genre directly, with its dreamy tunes; haunting, melancholic vocal melodies; and groovy, swinging compositions that invite the listener to an easy dance. Strange little sounds whistle and sparkle around the rather uncomplicated, easy-listening, jazz-pop compositions. The songs alone would certainly be on par with the best contemporary hit tunes of their age, but what really makes them outstanding is this combination with the sound-world of a space laboratory or starship. 1963 was definitely a year in which the USA found itself in competition with the Soviet Union for dominance in space, so this type of music fit well with the dreams of the average man to explore distant galaxies. About six or seven years later, when psychedelic rock had reached a peak and the music was ready to leave the earth behind, these early sounds were developed into space rock by such groups as Hawkwind. In 1963 we are still far away from this, and what Dick Hyman, Mary Mayo, and their unnamed band members create is a rather smooth and calm affair that still pushes one’s mind towards certain borders of reality. All these funny noises transport the listener into a world of huge computers with flashing lights on board interstellar space ships traveling from one galaxy to the next. At its core, it’s cool vocal jazz music, surrounded by arrangements of bleeping, rattling, and swooshing. The sweet, enchanting melodies evoke a futuristic dream; the musicians are tight and professional; and Mary Mayo sings in a distinctive and harmonic style that soothes the senses. Take a relaxed trip to the stars with this classic album.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Space-Age
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konstrukt

Konstrukt/Akira Sakata: Kaishi: Live at Kargart (Holidays) LP
Another chapter in the ongoing series of live recordings of the Turkish quartet Konstrukt, this time teaming up with saxophonist Akira Sakata, a key figure of the Japanese free jazz movement since the 1970s. Recorded at kargART in Istanbul on January 17th, 2015, this 70-minute long jam is one of the band’s most psychedelic to date, with Sakata’s growling shōmyō-like chant finding the perfect setting — like a snake charmer — in a jungle of constantly reinvented sound. Edition of 200.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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ll1

Liquid Liquid: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
In Tomorrow! “Liquid Liquid emerged from New York City’s vibrant Downtown scene in 1981. Formed by drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Sal Principato, and marimba player Dennis Young, the group cut their teeth in underground clubs and street art circles before solidifying their trailblazing style — a fusion of irresistible basslines, junkyard percussion, and urgent, free-flowing lyrics. Their three EPs, all originally released on legendary 99 Records, would heavily influence dance-oriented indie rock of the early aughts (LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, et al.). Their eponymous debut establishes Liquid Liquid’s uncompromising vision, from its startling black-and-white sleeve design to the minimalist grooves found within. While Principato’s striking pitch-shifted shouts on ‘Bell Head’ lead hypnotic circular rhythms, ‘Rubbermiro’ brings in dub-inflected melodica and Richard Edson (Sonic Youth, Konk) on trumpet, closing appropriately in a locked-groove.”

File Under: Rock, Dance, Funk
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ll2

Liquid Liquid: Successive Reflexes (Superior Viaduct) LP
In Tomorrow! “Liquid Liquid emerged from New York City’s vibrant Downtown scene in 1981. Formed by drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Sal Principato, and marimba player Dennis Young, the group cut their teeth in underground clubs and street art circles before solidifying their trailblazing style — a fusion of irresistible basslines, junkyard percussion, and urgent, free-flowing lyrics. Their three EPs, all originally released on legendary 99 Records, would heavily influence dance-oriented indie rock of the early aughts (LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, et al.). Following their debut in 1981, Liquid Liquid wasted no time with their second release the same year. Successive Reflexes picks up where the previous EP leaves off with ‘Lock Groove,’ a slow-paced deconstruction of Fela Kuti and Can that shows how quickly the band was able to capture their stripped-down approach in the studio. ‘Push’ drives forward with unapologetic funk, yet still sounds utterly unique. Like their 99 labelmates ESG, Liquid Liquid created music on their own terms and artfully avoided the trappings of any single genre.”

File Under: Rock, Dance, Funk
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ll3

Liquid Liquid: Optimo (Superior Viaduct) LP
In Tomorrow! “Liquid Liquid emerged from New York City’s vibrant Downtown scene in 1981. Formed by drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Sal Principato, and marimba player Dennis Young, the group cut their teeth in underground clubs and street art circles before solidifying their trailblazing style — a fusion of irresistible basslines, junkyard percussion, and urgent, free-flowing lyrics. Their three EPs, all originally released on legendary 99 Records, would heavily influence dance-oriented indie rock of the early aughts (LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, et al.). Liquid Liquid continued toward dance-floor perfection with their third EP. 1983’s Optimo features the band’s best-known songs and remains a high water mark for post-punk aficionados. The title track positively erupts when the bass enters, forcing even the stiffest person in the room to move. While it would be an understatement to say that ‘Cavern’ may sound familiar (due to its gross sampling in Grandmaster Melle Mel’s ‘White Lines’), Liquid Liquid were indeed the originators of this iconic New York riff.”

File Under: Dance, Rock, Funk
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ll4Liquid Idiot/Idiot Orchestra: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
In Tomorrow! “Prior to forming Liquid Liquid in 1981, the band members were in two other groups: Liquid Idiot and Idiot Orchestra. While these ensembles sounded more experimental than groove-oriented, the beginnings of Liquid Liquid’s spatial/conceptual framework can be heard here. Liquid Idiot started at Rutgers University in the late ’70s and soon relocated to NYC where they performed at various lofts and clubs including Tier 3, Mudd Club, and CBGB. The band even encouraged audience members to bring their own instruments to their early shows. Idiot Orchestra was an offshoot that included a dozen or more players (clarinet, sax, trumpet, violin, cello, synth, bass, marimba, and drums) resembling a no wave version of Raymond Scott’s big band. As musician and artist Richard McGuire recalls, ‘We weren’t trying to sound like anyone. We weren’t imitating anyone. We were just playing. I keep using “outsider art” as a reference to what we were doing. None of it was made for a market; it wasn’t made with any intention other than the enjoyment of making it.’ This split archival LP collects two rare 7-inches from 1978 and 1980, both of which were originally pressed in hyper-limited editions and self-released by the bands. The package also features a fanzine of ephemera, rare photos and new interview with McGuire.”

File Under: Art Rock, No Wave
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luxuryLuxury Apartments: s/t (Dead Cert) LP
Germany-born and Derbyshire-raised musician, painter, and mathematician David Tyack began working under his Luxury Apartments moniker in the summer of 2002, exploring potential film and animation synchronization with nods to his growing penchants for neoclassical, free jazz, and minimal music. He had recently finished a self-penned conceptual LP with original Can vocalist Malcolm Mooney, and been writing and recording for then-yet-to-be-mixed LPs by Jane Weaver’s Misty Dixon and his own band D.O.T.; his Luxury Apartments work, a series of experimental recordings made at his compact home studio on Clyde Road in Didsbury, Manchester, counterbalanced his ambitions to record a fully-realized singer-songwriter album. Completed just months before Tyack’s untimely accidental death on the island of Corsica, Luxury Apartments reveals him at his uninhibited best, displaying some of his most adventurous, dedicated, and unapologetic solo excursions into sound-design, improvised composition, and electroacoustic territories — the result is a unique blend of dark ambient, mechanical folk, PINA stylings, and coldwave DIY rhythms. Drawing comparisons to the varied works of Sorgini, Eno, Liska, Stabat Stable, Martin Zero, Luc Mariani, Walter Branchi, and the lost electronic work of Don Cherry, these previously unheard tapes are presented here in unedited form, compiled exactly how Tyack intended the record to be pressed should any independent record label have the foresight to take the plunge into his creative pool. Released with blessing and encouragement from the Tyack family, this is the first unreleased music to come from Tyack’s extensive archive, which was shared with close friends and creative collaborators regularly during his creative years in Manchester between 1997 and 2002. Artwork and liner notes by Andy Votel. Limited edition of 500 copies. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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lyonNorma Lyon: The Music of Norma Lyon (Little Axe) LP
In Tomorrow! A collection of 16 pieces privately released by Norma Lyon in the late 1960s. All are original compositions for piano and organ. Dark, moody and dramatic, each of these ‘sketches’ was inspired by a place Ms. Lyon has lived. The tone of the record is set by its fantastic titles, including “Flight of the Spirit Geese,” “Phantom Cathedral of the Sea” and “Dirge of the Sea Gods.”  The first side, “Dune Sketches,” is based on a period when she lived amidst the dunes in southwest Oregon.  The second side, “Sea Sketches,’ is drawn from the time she spent living with her twin sister overlooking the ocean in Coos Bay. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Private Press

claraClara Mondshine: Luna Africana (Fifth Dimension) LP
Clara Mondshine was a musical project of the late radio director, journalist, and composer Walter Bachauer, who worked for RIAS Berlin in the ’70s and ’80s. Mr. Bachauer was also involved as musician in projects with electronic artist Peter Michael Hamel and krautrock act Between in the ’70s. With Clara Mondshine he was able to score three albums before his untimely passing in 1989; Luna Africana, originally released in 1981, is the first of these, and it fits exactly into that era, when the sluggish grinding of early cosmic music had vanished and a new peppy drive could be felt in the spacious soundscapes of electronic music. Still rather lo-fi, with primitive machine grooves and swirling waves of analog synthesizers to which some hypnotic drones were tastefully added, this music has learned a lot from the grand masters of the ’70s, especially the motorik style of krautish electronics. Its simple melodic patterns and heavily rhythmic approach, layering pulses and drones upon repetitive structures, induce a trance state in the listener. This music is quite imaginative and picturesque, evoking a trip through a dark galaxy where only starlight guides your vessel. Quite a typical example for later krautish electronics and certainly a must-have for fans of the Eno/Harmonia collaborations, Cluster’s Zuckerzeit, and other similar motorik electronic albums. It also has a Kraftwerk feel, but without the vocals. Now this long-hidden secret gem is reissued for the first time and unveiled for your stellar listening pleasure. But beware; some of you might get lost in the depths of outer space.

File Under: Early Electronic
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jungleNino Nardini/Roger Roger: Jungle Obsession (Fifth Dimension) LP
Though it may look like a sexy piece of exotica from the heyday of tiki culture — the ’50s and early ’60s — Jungle Obsession was originally released in 1971 by the French Neuilly label. Nino Nardini was a master of library music for movies, TV series, and other media back then, and this album is his interpretation of what legends like Martin Denny and Frank Hunter had created a decade before — the ultimate listening experience for people who needed to escape from the struggle of everyday life through dreamy music that combined easy, relaxed jazz with jungle sounds and colorful melodies to create an atmosphere of exotic places. Nardini refreshes those — already ancient by 1971 — musical values with more contemporary elements of hot-blooded funk, particularly its wild percussion patterns, sweet wah-wah guitars, and an ever-present, rocking rhythm section. Blues and psychedelic rock flow gently into the mix to expand the effect on the listener’s imagination. Lush, with great arrangements of grandiose string patterns that evoke an atmosphere of great mysticism and a peaceful world of swirling colors. The earthy rock aspect of the music then comes to the fore, bringing the listener back to smoky urban clubs, where the air is heavy and sweat drips from the ceiling. All in all this is a beautiful soundtrack for fans of both worlds — the urban funk of the early ’70s and the dreamy exotica music of the ’50s and ’60s. Both styles come close to each other and at some points blend together. Jungle Obsession is a fine example of well-executed 1970s library music, conjuring up a movie in the listener’s head with its variety of moods. Sheer excitement if you can catch the flow.

File Under: Exotica, Library, Funk
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omalleyStephen O’Malley: Eternelle Idole (Shelter Press) LP
This double LP documents Stephen O’Malley’s Eternelle Idole, his score for Paris-based choreographer Gisèle Vienne’s artistic ice-skating piece of the same name. Comprising 47 minutes of music spread over three sides and enhanced by an elegant and chilling photoset by Estelle Hanania, the album features familiar O’Malley collaborators Steve Moore, Daniel O’Sullivan, Peter Rehberg, Jesse Sykes, Bill Herzog, and Randall Dunn. Recorded between Brest, France; Seattle; and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the score sees O’Malley taking several creative detours, utilizing modular synthesizers and programming as key elements for much of the composition. Eerie keyboard- and piano-phrases draw a white, monochrome stage for a young girl’s stark and emotive elegy. Clavichord and guitars weave through the darkness, supported by Sykes’s prophetic voice. Mirroring the score, Hanania’s 16 photographs of the choreographic piece display the grace, sustain, geometry, telemetry, distance, and perfection of ice-skating, as well as possible falls and gloomy shadows. Metal against ice; tights and knots; spirals and scratches; shouts and winds — field recordings mold a crispy atmosphere while instruments draw lakes, ice skating rings, cosmic belts, and a terrestrial cloud passage and eventual landing platform for a flying saucer. 180-gram white double LP with 16-page, 30 x 30-cm, saddle-stitched, full-color booklet in 350-gram sleeve with gloss varnish. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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savantSavant: Artificial Dance (ReRVNG) LP
The story of electronic music pioneer K. Leimer continues with a focus on his auteurist studio project Savant. Compiling the standalone album, 1983’s The Neo Realist (At Risk), with Savant’s debut 12” and a grip of compilation and unreleased tracks, Artificial Dance documents Leimer’s complete collaborative venture into the unpredictable realities of music, exploring the gulf between what is expected by its creators and what is eventually – and eternally – committed to tape. Savant was designed by Leimer to tap into entropic truths, asserting an uncaged counterpart to the loop-based minimalism he produced in isolation (recently surveyed on RVNG Intl.’s A Period of Review (1975-1983)). Aligning himself with the Cage-ean principles of chance operations and musical contingency, Savant was a band sans jam. Allegorically, a blindfolded collaboration whose happenstance source music Leimer would sample, loop and sculpt at will. Leimer was creatively autonomous to the point of being a persona absentia in Seattle’s 80s rock scene. Unconcerned by social status, Leimer enlisted musicians from experimental and post-punk groups in the area to come record as Savant at his home studio, Tactical. Among them were ambient composer Marc Barreca, John Foster (founder of Op Magazine – the experimental music publication), Jim and David Keller of the New Flamingos, and their bandmate Alex Petit. Others, like Roy Finch and Dennis Rea, came from a similar orbit. Even with these musicians at his beck and call, Leimer implemented a disarming musical strategy. Savant would have no fixed line up and often musicians would be asked to play instruments far outside their forté. Leimer would however give loose rhythmic direction for the musicians to develop spontaneously against click-tracks. When the performance locked in with Leimer listening at the controls, he’d capture it to tape. These moments became the soul of Savant and the combustive elements that would variegate its timbres. Savant tonally operates in a space between This Heat’s dark primitivism and the found sound collage of Brian Eno & David Byrne’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. These analogies are simply stylistic, as the narrative behind The Neo-Realist’s production makes clear Leimer was concocting via more alchemic means, avoiding genre aspirations by looking for accidental moments of musical intrigue and discovery. Leimer explains this process in the collection’s liner notes: “I was looking for flaws, for faults to act as the stand-out features of the music.” Far from a provisional stab at avant-garde sensibilities, Savant represents Leimer’s repudiation of ambient music’s passive side. Artificial Dance embodies a perfectionist’s family portrait of outré musicians conforming to Leimer’s nonconformist musical ethos. Fitting for its name, Leimer created conditions for asocial brilliance with Savant, materializing an outward offering from an inward studio and a collaboration of audacious invention. Double LP packaging features unique reverse flap exterior, full color Eurosleeve, 16 page booklet and download card.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal
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hvalSusanna & Jenny Hval: Meshes of Voice (Susannasonata) LP
“Mythical animals were a big inspiration,” says composer and songwriter Jenny Hval about Meshes of Voice, her collaboration with Susanna. “We looked at Medusa, Athena, and Harpy (a combination of woman and bird) — as examples of depictions of woman — the ugly, the goddess-like, the gruesome,” agrees Susanna. This collaboration — featuring the two strongest Nordic voices around today — started back in 2008 as an exchange of letters, then developed into two live performances, one at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in March 2009, which turned out to be this album, the other at Oslo Jazz Festival. Mixed and mastered by Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent), Meshes of Voice presents a stunning vocal universe of confessions, whispers, and seductions. Tracks like “I Have Walked This Body” seem to rise monstrously and threateningly out of some mythological fog of distorted improvised noise. A key inspiration was film maker Maya Deren’s surrealist, cyclical Meshes of the Afternoon, a milestone of visionary film from 1943. Deren’s famous image of a cloaked figure with a reflective face recurs on “A Mirror in My Mouth,” creating a complex world of musical fictions akin to those of Julia Holter and Joanna Newsom. Meshes of Voice is released on SusannaSonata, which Susanna launched in 2001 as a self-operated outlet for her to curate her own back-catalog and develop new music. Upon its release as a CD in 2014, Meshes of Voice received much acclaim from the music critics and the audience, and won the Norwegian Grammy in Open Category. This double LP edition is limited to 500 copies, with the same gorgeous cover art made from art by Arne Bendik Sjur and designed by Johanna Blom. Jenny Hval: voice, effects, noise, samples, guitar, autoharp, piano; Susanna: voice, grand piano, effects, noise, samples, electric harmonium; Anita Kaasbøll: voice, effects, noise, drums; Jo Berger Myhre: double bass, zither, effects, noise. Recorded at Henie Onstad Arts Centre, Høvikodden, Norway, on March 8, 2009, by David Solheim. Mixed and mastered at Audio Virus Lab.

File Under: ELectronic, Pop, Ballad
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susSusanna & The Magical Orchestra: Melody Mountain (Susannasonata) LP
Melody Mountain was recorded in 2005 at several locations in Norway; in no ordinary recording studios, but in living rooms, in huts, at the Academy of Music, and at Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum. Songs by AC/DC, Leonard Cohen, Sandy Denny, Kiss, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode were all transformed into Susanna and the Magical Orchestra’s sparse and stark universe. The music critics went overboard with praise when Melody Mountain was released on CD in 2006, particularly for Susanna’s version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” which has received much attention and was a part of The Observer’s list of “The Greatest Covers Ever.” The duo Susanna and the Magical Orchestra split up in 2011, after recording three albums together and touring widely in Europe, Asia, and the USA. Both Susanna and Morten Qvenild have remained active since, each with his or her own projects and bands. Susanna records as Susanna, in her regular trio, but also in collaborations with such artists as Ensemble neoN and Jenny Hval. Both these collaborations have been awarded a Norwegian Grammy in Open Category. Melody Mountain was produced by Deathprod, with arrangements by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. Susanna: vocals; Morten Qvenild: piano, cembalo, autoharp, vibraphone, church organ, and keyboards; Stian Carstensen: pedal steel on “It’s Raining Today.” Recorded by Helge Sten at Dagaliveien14, Østre Nes, Tomba Emanuelle, Lindemansalen, and Audio Virus Lab, Norway, in 2005. This vinyl edition features a new cover design by Magnus Voll Mathiassen. The album was mixed by Helge Sten in Oslo, Norway, mastered by Bob Katz in Florida, cut by Bernie Grundman in Los Angeles, and pressed in the Netherlands by Record Industry. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl; limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Ballads
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billyBilly Synth & The Turn Ups: Off The Deep End (Mind Cure) LP
In Tomorrow! Mind Cure Records is proud to announce the release of two LPs from Pennsylvania Punk legend Billy Synth. Besides being a pre-internet authority on rare Garage Punk records and the mastermind behind the essential Psychedelic Unknowns comps Billy’s personal pedigree is of the highest caliber releasing records and tracks on Sordide Sentimental, Bomp/Voxx and Bona Fide�though the bulk of his recordings have up to this point been self released. This LP is a reissue of the first Billy Synth and The Turn Ups album originally issued in a run of 300 copies in 1980 on Billy’s own Cracked Records label originals of this LP regularly change hands for over $100 so here�s your chance to get it on the cheap. Includes liner notes by Dave Martin and a download.

File Under: Garage, Punk
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billysBilly Synth: We Have Got To Make It On Our Own: Collected Tracks ’78-83 (Mind Cure) LP
In Tomorrow! Mind Cure Records is proud to announce the release of two LPs from Pennsylvania Punk legend Billy Synth. This LP collects tracks from various releases across Billy’s discography both solo and with his bands The Janitors and The Turn Ups. This overview has a little bit for everyone: solo synth paranoia, unhinged Punk Rock and covers from the cannon of Garage Punk Unknowns. Culled from a string of records released between 1978 and 1983, heavily influenced by Billy’s encyclopedic knowledge obscure ’60s garage Psychedelia and his Punk contemporaries these songs are so damaged and demented that in today’s no-stone-left-unturned world of record collecting they almost sound too crazy to be real.  Includes liner notes by Joh Olson and a download.

File Under: Punk, Garage
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vitetBernard Vitet: La Guepe (Souffle Continu) LP
Bernard Vitet was a key figure in the French free jazz and improv scene of the early ’70s. This mythical avant-jazz LP, originally released in 1972, is the result of a truly magical session he put together in December ’71 with Beb Guérin, Jean Guérin, Françoise Achard, Dominique Dalmasso, Jouck Minor, Francois Tusques, and Jean-Paul Rondepierre. Not just free jazz from the ’70s, the music has some 20th-century elements that recall some of the most memorable albums on the Italian label Cramps Records. This first-ever officially-licensed vinyl reissue is the fifth in Souffle Continu’s series reissues of Futura reissues, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram reverse-printed sleeve with obi strip. Limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv, Avant-Garde
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muddyMuddy Waters Blues Band: Live at Ebbets Field (Klondike) LP
Muddy Waters had only recently completed his Australasia tour, which had begun in late April and finished in Perth on May 11, 1973. He arrived just two days later in Vancouver before performing five dates at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go in Los Angeles. He then made his way into a small downtown Denver nightclub called Ebbet’s Field for five shows. This recording is a milestone in vintage blues: a rare and exclusive performance from Mississippi giants Muddy Waters and B. B. King. Sharing the stage for one night only, this joint appearance from May 30, 1973, is finally available. Long considered to be a classic performance, but lost to time, this inspiring performance is presented in its entirety as originally broadcast on FM radio, with digitally remastered sound and background liners.

File Under: Blues
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cold wavesVarious: Cold Waves of Color (Lion) LP
In Tomorrow! Collection of rare UK cold wave tracks taken from Color Tapes label cassettes released in micro editions between 1981-1985. Color Tapes was the brainchild of future Sun Dial leader Gary Ramon: “Living in East London, it was a very grey and bleak time. Huge imposing tower blocks, gasworks and concrete just about everywhere. You couldn’t walk through some areas without the risk of being shot at by an air rifle, or worse. Luckily, salvation was in the music. The musical landscape was changing. I saw a very early gig by an unknown all-synth band called Depeche Mode at a dingy pub under a flyover called The Bridge House in Canning Town, London. Following this I saw Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and started buying records by the likes of Afrika Bambaataa. At the other end of the musical spectrum, we were picking up records by Stockhausen, John Cage, Pierre Henry and Moondog, and combing junk shops for anything else that looked interesting!” The UK cassette scene and DIY ethos were thriving. Color Tapes was born. Home multi-track recorders were luxury items. They had to make do with sound on sound recorders, bouncing between reel-to-reel and cassette machines if they wanted stereo. What you’re about to hear for the first time since those days is a snapshot of Color Tapes: released material and other unissued tracks too. This compilation is the first of a series of Color Tapes/Lion Productions releases of material from the Color Tapes archives.

File Under: Electronic, Cold Wave
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pakistaniVarious: Early Pakistani Dance Music (Ovular) LP
“A wonderful LP of exotic sounds from Pakistan in the ’60s and ’70s. The tracks really deliver on the excellent sleeve packaging and cover design by Bwtchd Grfx. ‘We wanted the world to know what fantastic music these guys played in Pakistan in those days,’ says compiler Florian Pittner, who focused on instrumentals which were released on two-track 45rpm EPs and listed as either ‘Dance Music’ or ‘Title Music.'” Artists: M. Ashraf, Azam Shaik, A. Hamid, Ghulam Ali, Tassaduq Hussain, Mohammed Ilyas, Lal Mohd Iqbal, Kamal Ahmed, and M. A. Shad.

File Under: World, Dance

folksongsVarious: Folksongs of Another America (Dust-to-Digital) 5CD/DVD/Book
Folksongs of Another America is a compilation of field recordings made in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin between 1937 and 1946. Armed with bulky microphones, blank disks, spare needles, and cumbersome disc-cutting machines, several folklorists had the foresight to document and preserve a significant but overlooked part of the nation’s musical heritage, made by immigrant, Native American, rural, and working-class performers. Almost all of these restored dance tunes, ballads, lyric songs, hymns, laments, versified taunts, political anthems, street cries, and recitations are issued here for the very first time. This five-CD set is filled with African-American, Austrian, Belgian, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French-Canadian, German, Ho-Chunk, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, Luxembourger, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Oneida, Polish, Scots-Gaelic, Serbian, Swedish, Swiss, and Welsh performers, recorded by Sidney Robertson, Alan Lomax, and Helene Stratman-Thomas. The bonus DVD includes the documentary film The Most Fertile Source: Alan Lomax Goes North, with never-before-seen footage shot in Michigan in 1938. It combines digitally restored silent color film footage, related field recordings, voice-over readings from Lomax’s correspondence and field notes, and onscreen text to create an audiovisual narrative featuring the performers and scenes that captivated Alan Lomax during his 1938 Upper Midwestern foray. The accompanying 456-page hardcover book includes extensive liner notes, lyric transcriptions, and translations by James P. Leary, co-founder of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This project is a co-production between Dust-to-Digital and the University of Wisconsin Press in collaboration with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Association of Cultural Equity/Alan Lomax Archive.

File Under: Folk, Blues, Books

strange townVarious: I’m In A Strange Town (Mississippi) LP
In Tomorrow! Compilation of top notch Gospel and blues recorded between 1927 and 1967. A mix of very well known artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Gary Davis and Robert Wilkins and more obscure folks like John Lee and Charles White. A record filled with some of Mississippi Records favorite recordings—ripping guitar work outs, soulful ballads, loping drunken jug bands and more. All songs are on the theme of travel, death and transcendence. Got an existential crisis? This may be the record for you.

File Under: Blues

total 15Various: Kompakt Total 15 (Kompakt) LP
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Eight tracks from the 24-track double CD: Wassermann’s “Eisen Mein Herz,” Jürgen Paape’s “Manipuri,” Michael Mayer’s “Humm,” Superpitcher’s “Freiherr,” Weval’s “Gimme Some (Hunter/Game Mix),” Patrice Bäumel’s “Fenomeno,” Voigt & Voigt’s “Akira (Reeperbahn Mix)” and The Black Frame’s “Sacrosanct.”

File Under: Exotica, World

sigh ofVarious: The Sigh of Silver Strings From Suvannabhumi (Little Axe) LP
In Tomorrow! During the 1800s, various Western stringed instruments came to Burma by means of traders, explorers, and colonizers. These instruments: the acoustic slide guitar, mandolin, banjo, violin, and zither, were quickly and ingeniously adapted to the intricacies of Burmese music. The music draws from Burma’s rich vocal tradition, and the centuries-old royal repertoire of the Burmese harp and xylophone. Recorded and produced by Rick Heizman. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: World, Burma, Folk

troubledVarious: Troubled Waters (Mississippi) LP
In Tomorrow! Compilation of blues and gospel recordings made by George Mitchell between 1962 and 1976! The deep hill country stomps and blues  of RL Burnside, Rosa Lee Hill and Jesse Mae Hemphill, The hard driving electric guitar and drum music of James Davis, the haunting gospel ballads of Robert Johnson (not the one your thinking of) and James Shorter, the flowing beautiful blues of Joe Callicott, Furry Lewis and Jesse Lee Vortis, the drum and fife music of Napoleon Strickland and much more. This is the third in the Mississippi series of releases of field recordings by George Mitchell. (the first and second are the Been Here All My Day’s and Sticks Over My Shoulder LP’s.) Some of our favorite songs of all time and not to be missed.  Old school “tip on” covers.

File Under: Blues, Gospel

…..Restocks…..

Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works II (1972) LP
Bachs: Out of the Bachs (Out-Sider) LP
Brand New: Deja Entendu (Triple Crown) LP
Eric’s Trip: Love Tara (Sub Pop) LP
Follakzoid: III (Sacred Bones) LP
Bridgette Fontaine: Est… Folle (Superior Viaduct) LP
Bridgette Fontaine: Comme A La Radio (Superior Viaduct) LP
Glass Candy: Feeling Without Touching (Italians Do It Better) LP
Glass Candy: Ghetto Boys (Italians Do It Better) LP
Glass Candy: Warm in the Winter (Italians Do It Better) LP
Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP
Grouper: The Man Who Died in His Boat (Kranky) LP
Le Tigre: s/t (Wiiiji) LP
Moondog: Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jon’s) LP
Nirvana: In Utero (Geffen) 2LP
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving) LP
Om: Pilgrimage (Southern Lord) LP
Pantha Du Prince: Black Noise (Rough Trade) LP
Pantha Du Prince: Elements of Light (Rough Trade) LP
Reatards: Grown Up Fucked Up (Goner) LP
Red House Painters: Ocean Beach/Shock Me (4AD) LP
Sigur Ros: Valtari (XL) LP
Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) 4LP
Sonic Youth: Destroyed Room (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Dirty (Goofin) LP
Omar Souleyman: Haflat Gharb (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Spiritualized: Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Plain) LP
Stereolab: Cobra & Night Phases Group (1972) LP
Andy Stott: Luxury Problems (Modern Love) LP
Sunn o))): Black One (Southern Lord) LP
Sunn o))): 00 Void (Southern Lord) LP
Sun Ra: Space is the Place (Sutro Park) LP
Sun Ra: Strange Celestial (Saturn) LP
T Rex: Slider (Fat Possum) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
White Birch: Come Up For Air (Rune Grammofon) LP
Wipers: Is This Real? (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Over the Edge (Jackpot) LP
Various: Diablos Del Ritmo Vol 2 (Analog Africa) LP
Various: International Vicious Society Vol 2 (University of Vice) LP
Various: International Vicious Society Vol 6 (University of Vice) LP

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…..news letter #705 – more boxes…..

It seems to be a running theme around here lately, but it isn’t my fault so many great boxsets are coming out all around the same time! And then of course there’s some seriously big new releases other than said boxsets as well. Another short but sweet list.

…..pick of the week…..

unwound

Unwound: Empire (Numero) 4LP Box
The climactic entry in Numero Group’s four-set Unwound exploration, Empire compiles the final pair of albums by the Olympia, WA trio. On 1998’s Challenge For A Civilized Society, the band toyed with conventional verse/chorus form, stacking layers of noise and distraction on top of tightly constructed melodies. They’d abdicate entirely just three years later with 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You, executing a 14-song masterclass in home recording that observed a crucial band in graceful transition from post-hardcore trio to experimental quintet. The mammoth double album was lost in the chaos of a post-9/11 media, baffling onlookers and exhilarating fans in successive breaths before it fell far out of print. At their reinvention and terminus, Unwound ultimately asked “Who Cares”? The Empire box-set teems with period singles, B-sides, unreleased studio tracks, and demos, alongside a 15,000-word essay exploring the terminal stages of the ’90s, indie rock, Unwound, and civilization as we know it.

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

beach house

Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) LP/CD
“Beach House is Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. We have been a band for over a decade living and working in Baltimore, MD. Depression Cherry is our 5th full-length record and was recorded at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana from November ’14 through January ’15. This time period crossed the anniversaries of both John Lennon’s and Roy Orbison’s death. “In general, this record shows a return to simplicity, with songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role. With the growing success of Teen Dream and Bloom, the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our natural tendencies. Here, we continue to let ourselves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.” – Beach House Here are a few quotes that Beach House feel relate to the feeling and themes of Depression Cherry: — “I’ll never be able to be here again. As the minutes slide by, I move on. The flow of time is something I cannot stop. I haven’t a choice. I go. One caravan has stopped, another starts up. There are people I have yet to meet, others I’ll never see again. People who are gone before you know it, people who are just passing through. Even as we exchange hellos, they seem to grow transparent. I must keep living with the flowing river before my eyes.” – from Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto — “We inhabit a world in which the future promises endless possibilities and the past lies irretrievably behind us. The arrow of time… is the medium of creativity in terms of which life can be understood.” – from The Arrow of Time by Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield — “Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” – from Parerga and Paralipomena by Arthur Schopenhauer — “Hark, now hear the sailors cry, feel the air and see the sky, let your soul and spirit fly, into the mystic…when the fog horn blows, I want to hear it, I don’t have to fear it” – from “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

File Under: Indie Rock, Dream Pop
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destroyer

Destroyer: Poison Season (Merge) LP
Destroyer’s new Merge Records release Poison Season opens with Vancouver native Dan Bejar swathed in Hunky Dory strings. He’s a dashboard Bowie surveying four wracked characters – Jesus, Jacob, Judy, Jack – simultaneously Biblical and musical theatre. This bittersweet, Times Square-set fanfare is reprised twice more on the record – first as swaying, saxophone-stoked “street-rock” and then finally as a curtain-closing reverie. “The first and last songs are actually one song tracked live with quintet,” explains their author. “I even sang with the band. That song always swung between super austere and super mid-’70s Springsteen/Bowie street-rock. In the end, I decided I wanted both. Couldn’t really figure out a way to sequence the orchestral version within the record, so I decided to carve it up as a book-ending motif, with the rock version squarely in the middle.” Mr. Bejar has long displayed a chameleonic instinct for change while maintaining a unified aesthetic (rather than just pinballing between reference points). No two records sound the same, but they’re always uniquely Destroyer. His latest incarnation often appears to take sonic cues from a distinctly British (usually Scottish, to be precise) strain of sophisti-pop: you might hear traces of Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, Orange Juice, or The Blow Monkeys. These songs merge a casual literary brilliance with intense melodic verve, nimble arrangements, and a certain blue-eyed-soul sadness.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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fnm

Faith No More: Sol Invictus (Ipecac) LP
In tomorrow! Faith No More, who reunited in 2009 for a series of sold out performances and international festivals, will issue Sol Invictus, their highly anticipated first full-length album since 1997’s Album of the Year on Reclamation Recordings/Ipecac Recordings in May 2015. Sol Invictus – which is preceded by lead single “Superhero” – was produced by Bill Gould and recorded in the band’s Oakland, CA studio. The music of Faith No More has lived through five presidents, endless wars, economic boons and busts, global meltdown and revolutionary rebirths. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the hard-edged group’s hybridized sound has scored the soundtrack to a time of change, and now in the 21st century, the legendary band has evolved once more to return with a powerful new album and a new focus. “What I can say is that I think through our experience as musicians over the years, I think what we’re doing reflects where we’ve gone through since we made our last record as Faith No More. I think this kicks things up a notch,” explained Gould to Rolling Stone. “And I think there’s parts that are very powerful and there’s parts that have a lot of space. Everything we do, with our chemistry, the way we play; it’s always going to sound like us. It’s just what we do, that makes us feel good.”

File Under: Rock, Mike Patton
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frog eyes

Frog Eyes: Pickpocket’s Locket (Paper Bag) LP
“My dad left me his acoustic guitar in his will; it was all he had to give, because he wasn’t a rich man. I wrote ten songs on it, and I think that was the real gift he gave me: a love of music, not just the way you all love it (music lovers), but also a love of creating it, sowing myself, in some small way, into the story of music. I was holding the guitar a lot, kind of savoring it: a Martin D-18. I had been making records for a few years with a computer, piling tracks on tracks, writing words over guitar licks already recorded in a studio. “I came to think of an acoustic guitar as somehow akin to a computer, only in the sense that they are both tools of transmission, both effective in their own way. An acoustic guitar is still, in 2015, a very effective way of transmitting one’s songs. I made a deal with myself: write ten songs, write all the words before anyone gets to hear any of the songs, memorize the songs so that I become the hard-drive that the acoustic guitar accesses. I mostly, if not totally, kept to this deal, which is rare: I’m generally pretty easy on myself. “I wrote about Joseph Beuys, about B. Traven, about God and Abraham and Isaac, about my dad being addicted to speed when he was 17. I needed my crew and I found them. Three women: Melanie Campbell, my life-partner and long-time drummer, returned to the band after a hiatus. And my old friend Shyla Seller, an archivist and book designer who happens to also be a really precise and powerful piano player. And Terri Upton, who plays both stand-up bass, and electric bass. “And then we needed some more crew, and we found them: our old friend and colleague Spencer Krug, who wrote string parts over the songs. And then Jesse Zubot, who played every string part on the record in one 10-hour day. And John Paton, who plays saxophone. And Paul Rigby, who caught a taxi cab over with his pedal steel guitar. I wanted the following: Douglas Sirk strings, a noble spin on Corky’s Debt to His Father, some Darkness on the Edge of Town vibes.” – Carey Mercer “Howling voices, waves of super-fuzz, swirling riffs that are always tantalizingly out of grasp and the wild guttural sound of Tom Waits, Scott Walker or The Natinoal when they still had a pair.” – NME

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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jayz

Jay-Z: Magna Carta… Holy Grail (Third Man) LP
Jay-Z’s twelfth studio album, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, is now pressed on two 180 gram LP’s, heavy as the material carved into them, complete with a printed lyric insert, poetic as the gatefold it’s slipped in between. Most exciting about this double LP is certainly the concealed postcard flexi disc hidden within the back cover and only accessible to those willing to take a knife to the iconic packaging. Once freed of its casing, this flexi disc plays a super secret hidden track. You’ll just have to hear it for yourself, because we sure don’t plan to ruin the mystery of it here. Originally issued in July 2013, the double platinum Magna Carta…Holy Grail debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it Jay-Z’s thirteenth consecutive studio album to top the chart. Includes guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Nas, Rick Ross, Frank Ocean and Beyonce Knowles.

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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syl

Syl Johnson: Complete Twinight Singles (Numero) 2LP
Syl Johnson began the ’60s a blues singer and session guitarist and concluded it having synthesized his own brand of gritty Chicago soul. Their first signee, Syl Johnson set the tone at Twinight Records, writing and producing fifteen 45s during his four year tenure with the label. This double LP neatly bundles each side of each of Johnson’s Twinight 45s, from the heavily-sampled grunts on “Different Strokes,” to the ghetto-conscious “Concrete Reservation.” “There are many great soul singers, but few has inspired hip hop from its early beginning to now. Syl Johnson is a unsung pioneer of musical fusion.” – RZA

File Under: Soul
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replacements

Replacements: Twin/Tone Years (Rhino) Box
In tomorrow… Along with Prince and Hüsker Dü, The Replacements put Minneapolis on the rock map in the 1980s. Among America’s greatest alternative acts of the last two decades, the ’Mats rose from chaotic noise-makers to polished craftsmen, leaving at least three unqualified masterpieces in their wake. In a perfect world, Let It Be, Tim, and Pleased To Meet Me would have all gone platinum – but then again, endearing imperfection was always a hallmark of this band’s music. The Replacements formed in the wake of the punk explosion of the late 1970s. Their anarchic stage shows had earned them considerable notoriety in local clubs (in fact, they had to change their name from The Impediments after a particularly disruptive performance in one such nightspot). Indie label Twin/Tone took note and signed the quartet, and their first album, Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash was issued in 1981. That record and the Stink EP that followed in the next year were both pretty much standard-issue hardcore thrash. With 1983’s Hootenanny, however, audiences began to take notice of the songs beneath all the sound and fury; “Color Me Impressed” had exactly that effect on discerning rock listeners. By 1984’s Let It Be, The Replacements’ exponential growth as musicians – and most particularly, Paul Westerberg’s growth as a writer – was undeniable. The album topped critic’s polls across the country and earned The Replacements a place on the roster at Sire Records. If you’re a ‘Mats purist who believes that the band was never the same after they signed to Sire, then you’ll dig this! The Twin/Tone Years box set, which includes the aforementioned Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981), the Stink EP (1982), Hootenanny (1983) and Let It Be (1984), will be limited to only 8,000 numbered copies, so if you’re looking to enjoy the band’s earlier, more rambunctious material in the best way possible, then you’ll want to hop to it!

File Under: Punk, Indie Rock
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scientists

Scientists: s/t (Numero) LP
The Scientists’ 1981 wild debut bewildered Perth, Australia’s punters with its charging anthems centered on themes of young love and alienation. Obvious in its rebellion yet more pop than punk, the self-titled “Pink Album” deftly embodied the tough-yet-danceable outsider aura of The Ramones, and its unheard of, feverish clip shook the shores of the geographically confined Swan Coastal Plain of down under. Recorded just as the lineup of guitarist-vocalist Kim Salmon (The Cheap Nasties), drummer James Baker (The Victims) and bassist Ian Sharples were breaking up, the album stands as a testament to the contagious chops of Perth’s swelling pool of musical talent, and to the promise of Salmon’s unwavering vision that would become one of the most celebrated acts of the Aussie underground.

File Under: Aussie, Punk
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the-scientists-blood-red-river-1

Scientists: Blood Red River (Numero) LP
After trekking east from the suburbs of Perth to take new root in Sydney, in 1983 the Scientists hooked up with producer Chris Logan, who’s credited with the album’s imposing sonic girth and rumbling low end, and premier Aussie punk label Au Go Go for an album that would define their unmistakably swampy, psychotic aura. These six songs revisited band leader Kim Salmon’s interest in the Cramps and the Stooges, while adding in the repetitive dementia of Suicide and elements of cow punk twang, with Salmon’s distinctly unrefined Australian accent snarling tales of lust, confusion and angst.

File Under: Aussie, Punk
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turner

Frank Turner: Positive Songs For Negative People (Interscope) LP
In tomorrow… British singer-songwriter Frank Turner will release his new album, Positive Songs For Negative People, in August 2015 via Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor UK /Interscope. The record is the London-based Turner’s sixth full-length effort and serves as the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2013 release Tape Deck Heart. Turner recorded the 12-track set with his trusted backing band The Sleeping Souls and it was produced by Butch Walker in Nashville. “I feel like this record is my definitive statement, a summation of the first five records,” Turner says. “When a band makes a debut record, there’s a freshness and excitement to it that bands often lose as time goes by. I wanted to make a record with that young, exciting feel.” After a period of writing and perfecting the songs at a rehearsal studio in England, they headed to the US to work with Walker for an intense nine-day recording session. “Pretty much all of it is live,” Turner adds. “The end result is everything I wanted it to be.”

File Under: Folk, Punk
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…..restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Psychedelic Sounds of…. (Snapper) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Badbadnot: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has The Right To Children (Warp) LP
Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Columbia) LP
Broadcast: Haha Sound (Warp) LP
Broadcast & Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults (Warp) LP
Nick Cave: First Born is Dead (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Henry’s Dream (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Let Love In (Mute) LP
Cream: Disraeli Gears (Universal) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born To Die (Interscope) LP
Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence (Interscope) LP
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Island) LP
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (Tamala) LP
High On Fire: Luminiferous (Eone) LP
Jay-Z: Vol 3 – Life & Time of S. Carter (Rush) LP
Cate Le Bon: Me Oh My (Control Group) LP
M83: Before the Dawn Heals Us All (Mute) LP
Portishead: Third (Mercury) LP
Portishead: PNYC (Polydor) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Dusty Springfield: Dusty in Memphis (4 Men With Beards) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Wilco: A Ghost is Born (Nonesuch) LP
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) LP
Witch: Lukombo Vibes (Now Again) LP
Witch: s/t (Tee Pee) LP

Tagged , , , , ,

…..news letter #704 – handled…..

Well these summer weeks of short lists are going to soon be coming to an end. Lots of big releases coming up in the next few months so you might want to start logging some overtime at work. I know I’m pretty much back in the saddle permanently from now on. Some nice stuff this week, including a small repress of one of the best boxsets ever… get on it.

…..pick of the week…..

sperm

Sperm/Samsa Trio/Pekka Airaksinen: Works 1968-1976 (Vinyl on Demand) 5LP Box
Pekka Airaksinen is a Finnish composer of electronic music. Airaksinen formed his first band, The Sperm, in late 1967. The Sperm mixed elements of avant-garde music with free jazz and psychedelic pop. Throughout its existence, the group’s members included Antero Helander, Ilkka Lehtinen, J.O. Mallander, Markus Heikkerö, Mattijuhani Koponen, Nikke Nikamo, and Peter Widén. By 1970 Airaksinen had started his own label, O Records, to produce and distribute his solo LPs, including One Point Music (1972); The Sperm’s Shh! Heinäsirkat (1970); and a 1972 LP by his free-jazz-dominated project Samsa Trio (together with Helander and Koponen) — all included here. Live performances by Airaksinen and The Sperm often took the form of confrontational performance art; two of The Sperm’s members were arrested for simulating sexual intercourse and screening pornographic films. Following The Sperm’s breakup in the mid-1970s, Airaksinen turned to Buddhism, but kept producing music in the years to come, integrating Roland 808 drum machines into his music and releasing classic LPs like 1984’s Buddhas of Golden Light. Works 1968-1976 contains The Sperm’s 3rd Erection EP (1968) with three bonus tracks, Shh! Heinäsirkat (1970), and Suite 71 (originally included on the 1998 CD reissue of Shh! Heinäsirkat on Dharmakustannus); Samsa Trio’s 1972 self-titled album; Airaksinen’s One Point Music (1972) and his Pagoda EP (1973) with Omar Williams and Donald Bane; and Golden Age (1976) by Mytologinen Duo (Airaksinen and Helander).

File Under: Experimental, Electronic, NWW List
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…..new arrivals…..

bender

John Bender: Memories of Mindless Mechanical Monologues 1976-1986 (Vinyl on Demand) 7LP+7″
AVAILABLE AGAIN!!! John Bender is without a doubt the protagonist, if not the inventor, of the musical genre known as minimal wave. His synthesizer sounds carried elements of techno and acid a decade before the invention of techno. His voice and his somewhat sentimental, mournful lyrics made his music outstanding and extraordinary, an unprecedented mixture of elements. His three self-released LPs — I Don’t Remember Now (1980), Plaster Falling (1981), and Pop Surgery (1983) — are must-haves for every serious collector and anyone interested in coldwave, minimal synth, and techno sounds. This seven-LP box set (with bonus 7″) includes I Don’t Remember Now, Plaster Falling (with selections from several tape releases known as Plaster: The Prototypes (1981)), Pop Surgery (also with selections from Plaster: The Prototypes), Packing List (1982), At the 4th St. Cage 1/83 (1983), Do the Cage (1983), and tracks from The Cassette (1986), originally released under Bender’s Johnny Vortex moniker. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!!

File Under: Minimal Wave, Electronic, Essential Grooves
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bajas

Bitchin’ Bajas & Natural Information Society: Automaginary (Drag City) LP
Wrapped up in a screen-printed jacket from visual artist Lisa Alvarado, whose aesthetic sense is a touchstone for the vision of Natural Information Society, Automaginary is psychedelic and ambient and jazz — yet none of it either, the whole being more than the sum of former parts. This is music of unique variance, a remarkably perfect congregation of the two tribes that are Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas. Natural Information Society, like their partners in time Bitchin Bajas, live their days in flow motion. Rhythms come and go, instruments sound as a means to a greater end. Music is the way of their life. Their debut convergence, Automaginary, feels as natural as it does inevitable. Both groups were first heard in 2010, both emerging from solo endeavors that accessed a vastness, more room than a single player might ultimately fill — a place then for fellow travelers! Joshua Abrams, a questing bassist and improviser by trade, with an extensive discography of solo recordings and collaborations with a wide variety of artists, formed Natural Information Society as a conduit for the live presentation of his guimbri music. Abrams had delved into the sound of the three-stringed Gnawan lute on his own, intrigued by the instrument’s ability to provide melodic and rhythmic direction with a minimal, hypnotic palette. Over several years, many shows and three albums, Natural Information Society has featured some of Chicago’s most remarkable musicians while developing a sound situating Abrams’ compositions and playing in diverse sonic settings, amid ultimately consonant sounds from electric guitar, percussion, harmonium, reed instruments, bells, vibes and synthesizer. Over this time, a core lineup has emerged, featuring Frank Rosaly, Emmett Kelly, Ben Boye, Mikel Avery and Lisa Alvarado.

File Under: Reggae, Calypso
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minecraft

C418: Minecraft Volume Alpha (Ghostly) LP
Minecraft is a dreamscape, a limitless world where anything is possible. Minecraft is a tool, a means of bringing the imagination to life. Minecraft is a community, a platform on which inventive minds of all ages can share their creations and ideas. Minecraft, of course, is also a game, the most popular and best-selling video game of all time. Created in 2009 by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson, this cultural phenomenon speaks volumes of our current zeitgeist’s love for virtual spaces, but its unprecedented success couldn’t be pinned on one factor alone. Countless layers of thoughtful artistry flow through Minecraft’s singular experience, not the least of which is its transportive soundtrack. And now for the first time since releasing digitally in 2011, the music of Minecraft will be issued on vinyl by Ghostly International. Minecraft Volume Alpha, the first installment of a two-part OST, is the work of German composer and musician Daniel Rosenfeld. Using C418 as his moniker, Rosenfeld crafted the sweeping soundtrack and vibrant sound design which helped breathe life into Minecraft’s voxel-based universe. Fans and critics were universally enamored with his beatless, nuanced electronic pieces upon release. Popular gaming site Kotaku named it among The Best Game Music of 2011, calling the music “remarkably soothing,” and The Guardian has compared Rosenfeld’s delicate piano and sparse ambient motifs to legendary artists Erik Satie and Brian Eno. In an interview feature with C418, Polygon distilled Volume Alpha to its essence: “It’s not bound by the retro aesthetic of Minecraft’s graphics. It transcends them. The album is an attempt to uplift the combined game/music experience into the sublime.” But for all of the critical praise, C418’s crowning achievement has to be his insatiable fan base, the seemingly endless swath of players and listeners who treat his music like gospel. They are exactly who this physical release of the Minecraft soundtrack was conceived for, though Ghostly hopes to bring Rosenfeld’s music to a whole new audience as well. As any cursory listen of the touching sounds will reveal, this isn’t a record meant solely for lifelong gamers and MineCon diehards; anyone in love with ambient, neo-classical, or minimal music needs to hear Volume Alpha.

File Under: OST, Video Games, Ambient, Endermen
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dva

Clock DVA: Horology 2: The Future & Radiophonic Dvations (Vinyl on Demand) 5LP Box
This five-LP box contains material that predates the contents of the 2012 Horology box set. Horology 2 is a companion collection of experimental recordings made in late 1977 and 1978 by Adi Newton before and during the formative period of development of Clock DVA. The first LP in the box includes recordings made by The Future, the trio of Newton, Martyn Ware, and Ian Craig Marsh, before the group developed into The Human League and Clock DVA. The Future pioneered an electronically synthesized sound that would later dominate the 1980s and synthpop. The remaining four LPs, titled Radiophonic Dvations, include previously unreleased experimental analog tape and synthesis works inspired by early acousmatics, radiophonics, psychotronics, the occult, and avant-garde electronics. These recordings are from the earliest period of Adi Newton’s research and development, pioneering experimental work made at the outset of what became industrial and minimal electronic music in the late 1970s. Horology 2 includes a 40-page booklet that examines infrasound, psychoacoustics, psychotronics, and the development of tape music and radical experimental electronics, illustrated throughout with archival photos and artwork.

File Under: Experimental, Industrial
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fahey

John Fahey: Dance of Death and Other (4 Men With Beards) LP
John Fahey is widely recognized as one of the most influential acoustic guitarists of his generation. His early-60’s Takoma records have inspired countless disciples and imitators, but Fahey’s uniquely original imagination and his mastery of traditional styles put him in a class by himself. The Dance Of Death And Other Plantation Favorites was Fahey’s third Takoma record and one of his best. The flights of fancy of the original pieces are contrasted with traditional tunes from country blues and old-time Appalachian sources, and the two strains come together on tracks like “Variations on Coocoo” among others. Fahey’s dark sound, quirky humor, and moody slide work are all in evidence on this historic release!

File Under: Folk, Guitar Guru, Guitar Soli
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golden rules

Golden Rules: Golden Ticket (Lex) LP
South London producer Paul White and Florida vocalist/rapper Eric Biddines are Golden Rules. The languid yet life-affirming previously released single “Never Die,” featuring Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) is lifted from their debut album, Golden Ticket, a collection of soulful, psychedelic hip-hop due for release via Lex Records. A Some context: Paul White counts Madlib and Diplo among his fans and is best known for his production for the likes of Danny Brown and Charli XCX. Described as “a 21st Century DJ Shadow” (The Independent), he’s released several hip hop-related albums, an EP on Stones Throw with Homeboy Sandman, and an experimental album on cult electronic label R&S. This is his first full-length collaboration with a single artist. Eric Biddines has an unusual background for a rapper: brought up in a Jehovah’s Witness household on a Florida farm, he spent his childhood listening to Al Green and Motown before falling heavily for Southern rap in his teens. With no local music industry, he built his own label and released several albums independently. His 2013 album Planetcoffeebean 2 was a breakthrough, garnering support from Complex and 2DopeBoyz and regular video rotation on MTV Jams. After discovering Planetcoffeebean 2 online, Paul White sent some beats over email on the off-chance Eric would listen to them and a few days later was surprised to find several finished tracks in his inbox. The chemistry was obvious: Eric’s molasses-thick harmonies and laid-back storytelling rap verses were a perfect match for Paul’s offbeat and addictively catchy tracks. Before long Eric was on a plane to London to plan an album and form their group.

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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henry

Pierre Henry: Choix d’oeuvres de 1950 a 1985 (Vinyl on Demand) 10LP Box
Limited to 400 copies. This ten-LP box set, presented in a deluxe book-like folder in an outer box, covers half a lifetime in musical history. It is more than a regular retrospective; it shares Pierre Henry’s personal listening, organized by theme and technology. The box set emphasizes previously unpublished works, and highlights comparisons and contrasts between them. This ultimate anthology covers the first 35 years in the career of the French mastermind of electronic and electroacoustic music, the avant-garde, and musique concrète, enhanced by careful remastering and restoration in correspondence with the artist’s intention and approach to the recordings. Transparency, detail, and logical history are the substance of this release.

File Under: Experimental, Early Electronic
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pigeon breeders

Pigeon Breeders: Concrescence (Shaking Box) CS
“Concrescence” is the fourth album by Edmonton-based experimental trio Pigeon Breeders. Released on Calgary’s Shaking Box Music label (Bitter Fictions, Ashley Soft), this will be their first cassette. While previous releases have been formed through paring down one or two full improvisations, this is the first to compile various material over a two year period. The recording captures the band playing in a variety of local spaces (including the old Mile Zero Dance Studio above The Artery). The resulting sonic journey is their most challenging to date, and the most accurate in presentation of the group’s scope: introspective ambience, tense and spastic electroacoustic interplay, scrappy free jazz, apocalyptic free-form drone rock, and beyond in short, complete and blissful abandon into sound. Concrescence  urges the listener to pick their poison, light some incense, and turn off the lights.

File Under:
Experimental, Drone, Improv
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reatardJay Reatard: Better Than Something (Factory 25) LP+DVD+Book
For Jimmy Lee Lindsay, known to his fans and detractors as Jay Reatard, life was a race against time. After growing up fast among Memphis crack addicts, he managed to blaze a path through the rough-and-tumble underground rock scene of the early aughts, releasing over 100 singles, EPs and full-length records in fourteen years. Then on January 13, 2010, not yet 30, he died. With their feature documentary Better Than Something, filmmakers Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz let Jay tell his own story: a poverty-stricken childhood, teen years spent as a two-fisted tunesmith battling fans and band mates alike, and a short-lived adulthood of focused and relentless productivity. Jay said “I just try to make as much as I can with the time that I have.” By any measure, that is exactly what he did. Better Than Something is both a testament to Jay Reatard’s indisputable legacy and a tribute to his vital, thrilling, and all-too-brief life.

File Under: Punk
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down colorful

Red House Painters: Down Colorful Hill (4AD) LP
In 2015, each of Red House Painters’ original studio albums released on 4AD will be reissued on individual vinyl after being out of print for years. Originally released between 1992 and 1995, titles include Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster), Red House Painters (Bridge), and Ocean Beach (which has been reformatted as a double 12” LP to also include the Shock Me EP). Singer Mark Kozelek wrote songs that defied conventional structure. His lyrics were poetic and plainspoken. He wrote about what he knew. The band played along. Drummer Anthony Koutsos ignored the standard time-keeper temptation to speed things up. He understood the value of playing against such instincts. Bassist Jerry Vessel locked into place, sustaining notes until the setting was nearly ambient. Guitarist Gorden Mack added subtle flourishes, tonal colorings that aided the songs‚ sombre hues. Anyone who persevered, who accepted the fact that these songs took time, was amply rewarded. 4AD chief Ivo Watts-Russell sensed this and after minimal remixing, the label released six songs in 1992 – all taken from the band’s original demo tape – as Down Colorful Hill, the first introduction to the world of Kozelek and the Red House Painters. Out of print since its original release, it remains one of the 4AD’s strongest offerings.

File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
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rollercoasterRed House Painters: s/t (Rollercoaster) (4AD) LP
In 2015, each of Red House Painters’ original studio albums released on 4AD will be reissued on individual vinyl after being out of print for years. Originally released between 1992 and 1995, titles include Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster), Red House Painters (Bridge), and Ocean Beach (which has been reformatted as a double 12” LP to also include the Shock Me EP). Singer Mark Kozelek wrote songs that defied conventional structure. His lyrics were poetic and plainspoken. He wrote about what he knew. The band played along. Drummer Anthony Koutsos ignored the standard time-keeper temptation to speed things up. He understood the value of playing against such instincts. Bassist Jerry Vessel locked into place, sustaining notes until the setting was nearly ambient. Guitarist Gorden Mack added subtle flourishes, tonal colorings that aided the songs‚ sombre hues. Just one year on from their brilliant 1992 debut, Red House Painters were back with not one, but two albums. Both eponymously titled and released just months apart in 1993, the first of which was this ambitious double album. With a rollercoaster on the cover to give it its unofficial title, it’s now seen as one of Kozelek’s most fully realized collections, containing such career highlights as “Grace Cathedral Park,” “Katy Song” and “Mistress.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
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red house painter

Red House Painters: s/t (Bridge) (4AD) LP
In 2015, each of Red House Painters’ original studio albums released on 4AD will be reissued on individual vinyl after being out of print for years. Originally released between 1992 and 1995, titles include Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster), Red House Painters (Bridge), and Ocean Beach (which has been reformatted as a double 12” LP to also include the Shock Me EP). Singer Mark Kozelek wrote songs that defied conventional structure. His lyrics were poetic and plainspoken. He wrote about what he knew. The band played along. Drummer Anthony Koutsos ignored the standard time-keeper temptation to speed things up. He understood the value of playing against such instincts. Bassist Jerry Vessel locked into place, sustaining notes until the setting was nearly ambient. Guitarist Gorden Mack added subtle flourishes, tonal colorings that aided the songs‚ sombre hues. The second of the band’s eponymous albums of 1993 and with a bridge on the cover to give it its unofficial title, this set was shorter, collecting eight more tracks from the studio sessions the band embarked on upon signing to 4AD. Holding back signature classics like “Evil,” “Uncle Joe” and “Blindfold” for this record, it’s arguably the most experimental and darkest of their 4AD releases, reflecting the winter month it was issued in. It’s also notable for containing the first “Kozeleked” cover versions, with “I Am A Rock” and the “Star Spangled Banner” both getting the Red House Painter treatment.

File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
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huns

Sons of Huns: While Sleeping Stay Awake (Riding Easy) LP
“The sophomore slump is for suckers, and the mamas behind Sons of Huns didn’t raise no fools. The Portland heavy rock power trio have hauled out the big guns for their stoned-to-the-bone new record (and second full-length for RidingEasy Records), “While Sleeping Stay Awake”. Melvins drummer Dale Crover brings the thunder on “Philosopher’s Stone,” and doom veteran Wino lends his grizzled pipes to a duet with vocalist/guitarist Pete Hughes (also of Danava) on “An Evil Unseen.” – VICE.

File Under: Metal
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sword

The Sword: High Country (Razor & Tie) LP
There’s an unspoken edict handed down through the ages when it comes to rock bands: there are no rules. Nobody picks up a guitar to be constricted or oppressed. It’s all about feeling free artistically. Now, The Sword – John Cronise (vocals, guitar), Kyle Shutt (guitar), Bryan Richie (bass), and Santiago Vela III (drums) – cut out boundaries since day one. Their style never stood predicated on a trend or a template. They always create what feels right and let the results speak for themselves. When it came time to record the group’s fifth full-length album, High Country, Cronise landed at something of a spiritual crossroads. Following the final tour for their critically acclaimed Apocryphon, he holed up in his North Carolina home and eventually began writing new songs. The material began to veer into a different space that at the time Cronise felt was somewhat outside of The Sword’s sphere. “I didn’t even intend for the demos to be Sword songs,” he explains. “But then I realized that I had taken on a sort of limiting view of what The Sword was, and that wasn’t actually what I wanted it to be. I think the new album is more reflective of the music I listen to and where our heads are at collectively. With each of our albums, it’s become less about fury and bombast and more about trying to write good songs. We realized that our music can go wherever we want it to go. There’s no pre-determined course here now, and there never was.” High Country became new territory for The Sword, and they began doing things differently. That approach included more attention to backing vocals and harmonies, implementing more synthesizers and percussion elements, and tuning to E-flat instead of all the way down to C. As a result, the guitars stand out as more vital and vibrant than ever. Inspired, the boys headed to Church House Recording Studio in Austin, TX to cut High Country with Adrian Quesada of Brownout and Grupo Fantasma producing, Stuart Sykes (The White Stripes) engineering, and J. Robbins mixing. Over the course of four weeks, they hammered out the album’s 15 tracks in the old converted church.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (Ato) LP
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (Ato) LP
Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) LP
Badbadnot: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time For Dreaming (Daptone) LP
James Brown: Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Polydor) LP
Brand New: Deja Entendu (Triple Crown) LP
Budos Band: Burnt Offering (Daptone) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Spoon) LP
Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence (Interscope) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Dinosaur Jr.: Where You Been (Rhino) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Jesus & The Mary Chain: Darklands (Demon) LP
Joy Division: Substance (Rhino) LP
Kid Koala: 12 Bit Blues (Ninja Tune) LP
Ministry: Psalm 69 (Rhino) LP
OST: Whiplash (Varese) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Sony) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris (Ipecac) 2×10″
Otis Redding: Blue (Sundazed) LP
Steve Reich: Music For 18 Musicians (Nonesuch) LP
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Universal) LP
Omar Souleyman: Wenu Wenu (Domino) LP
Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable (Merge) 3LP
TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain (Beggars) LP
Women: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
Women: Public Strain (Flemish Eye) LP

Tagged , , , , ,

…..news letter #703 – marching gone…..

Well friends, another week another stack of killer wax in from around the globe. Of course everyone is away holidaying. That’s alright, I’ll be camping this weekend too. Anyway, cool stuff in, both new and used. Come dig.

…..pick of the week…..

alessandroni

Alessandro Alessandroni: s/t (Cometa Edizioni Musicali) LP
Multifaceted Maestro Alessandro Alessandroni: composer, conductor, and arranger. Among the various activities that he still performs to this day, he is also a mandolinist, guitarist, fisarmonicist, sitarist, whistler, and pianist. Most of all, he is a musician, highly renowned in international TV and cinema. The Maestro has composed and conducted over 50 film scores and documentaries, and has collaborated in the production of many songs, achieving great success. The activity of the Maestro seems restless, especially during the period in which director Sergio Leone was shooting one after the other his most famous movies, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More, Once Upon a Time in the West, and A Fistful of Dynamite. The director gave Maestro Ennio Morricone the opportunity to compose the scores for these movies, and in the recording sessions, a very special trio was formed that soon after became very famous: Alessandro Alessandroni as whistler and guitarist, Franco De Gemini on harmonica, and Edda Dell’Orso’s vocals, the three alternating their performances as soloists and members of the orchestra. Very successful in the pop music field, Maestro Alessandroni is the founder of the Cantori Moderni choir. He still performs publicly as well as on radio and TV throughout Europe, and has been commended for his professionalism and originality all over the world. On this CD, which features previously-unreleased tracks in addition to the contents of the “Alessandro Alessandroni” LP that was released by SerMi in the 70s, the instruments are played in a very peculiar way, like solo instruments, and contribute to create a sound typical of that which earned the composer a great degree of success. The arrangements, the harmonic language, and the instrumental dialogue of the various cues combine to create in the listener romantic sensations both lovely and contemporary.  LP “Alessandro Alessandroni” is one of the most sought after Italian libraries, because it includes some fantastic vocal and psycho beat, bossa beat . The song “Giovane Flirt” is on the soundtrack of the movie “The Opening of Misty Beethoven.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

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

basinski

William Basinski: The Deluge (Temporary Residence) LP
Cascade and The Deluge are variations on the latest tape-loop and delay composition from the inimitable William Basinski. Cascade is the CD/Digital variant, and The Deluge is the vinyl LP companion – pressed on exquisite 180 gram white colored vinyl. In Cascade, a single ancient lilting piano tape loop repeats endlessly carrying one along in its tessellating current. In The Deluge, the same loop is processed through a series of feedback loops of different lengths, creating a spiraling crescendo of overtones that eventually fades away to silence. In the denouement, a series of limpid piano loops leads to an urgent orchestral theme that builds and gradually dies. Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 30 years in NYC and most recently, California. Employing obsolete technology and analogue tape loops, his haunting and melancholy soundscapes explore the temporal nature of life and resound with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His epic 4-disc masterwork, The Disintegration Loops received international critical acclaim and was one of Pitchfork’s Top Albums of the Decade. Installations and films made in collaboration with artist-filmmaker, James Elaine have been presented in festivals and museums internationally, and his concerts are presented to sold-out crowds around the world. Basinski was chosen by Music Director, Antony Hegarty to create music for the Robert Wilson opera, The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic which had its world premiere at the Manchester International Festival in July 2011 and toured Europe in 2012 and North America in 2013. Orchestral transcriptions of The Disintegration Loops by Maxim Moston have been performed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queen Elizabeth Hall and La Batie Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. Basinski is currently touring the world in support of his latest works, Cascade and The Deluge.

File Under: Ambient, Modern Classical
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brother

Brother Resistance: Rapso Take Over (Left Ear) LP
Originally released in 1986, Brother Resistance’s Rapso Take Over blends calypso, reggae, disco, funk and poetry to create the artist’s signature Rapso sound. A progressive form of poetry from Trinidad and Tobago, Rapso emerged as a means by which to articulate the daily suffering symptomatic of the social unrest afflicting the nation throughout the 1970s and 80s. Brother Resistance played a significant role in the Rapso movement, deploying his music to spread messages of hope and liberation. The authorities took Brother Resistance’s rising status seriously, destroying what they could of his studios and in the process leaving only a small amount of his music in circulation. Now for the first time we can hear Brother Resistance’s finest work remastered and repressed by Left Ear Records. The music and the message live on through Rapso Take Over’s stripped back rhythms infused with steel and strings, all carried by the voice of resistance.

File Under: Reggae, Calypso
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descloux

Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Press Color (Light in the Attic) LP
Lizzy Mercier Descloux may have come of age in Paris, but was in New York’s Lower East Side that she really came alive. The French punk pioneer, a friend of Patti Smith and Richard Hell, moved to New York in 1977 and soon immersed herself in avant-garde poetry, performance art, and punk music. Closely associated with the founders of ZE Records (home to Was (Not Was) and Kid Creole & The Coconuts), Descloux released her debut album, Press Color, in 1979, revealing a punk-funk sound that positioned her as the French answer to the UK group The Slits or New York’s own ESG. Just as The Slits gave “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” a makeover fit for warehouse parties on their celebrated Cut LP, Descloux’s album revealed a penchant for the unexpected cover version too. It kicks off with a brilliantly rhythmic take on The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown’s Fire–a hit, like Marvin Gaye’s in 1968. There’s also a version of Lalo Schifrin’s theme from Mission Impossible that appears to predate the breakbeat scene by a good twenty years. Elsewhere, we hear echoes of Serge Gainsbourg’s Afrobeat-influenced work, Blondie’s disco-inflected punk, and Talking Heads’ world music-inspired art pop. Backed by guitarists/bassists D.J. Barnes and Erik Elliasson plus drummer Jimmy Young, Descloux creates a naïve musical world in which rhythm is everything—not a byproduct of the song but the reason for its existence. It’s neither played nor sung with any great skill, but it has feel and character in spades and a looseness that’s all too rarely achieved. Of course, an artist with song titles including “Tumor” (a cover of “Fever” with amended lyrics) and “Herpes Simplex” is never a shoo-in for mainstream acceptance, and like many a No Wave classic, the album sold little. Now regarded as a cult classic, this Light In The Attic reissue is presented in an extended 18-track edition, collecting much of Descloux’s work, including “Morning High,” recorded with Patti Smith. Descloux returned to Paris upon scoring a contract with CBS and soon found herself travelling to Africa to research the Afrobeat sound experimented with–from afar–on Press Color. The hit single “Mais où Sont Passées les Gazelles?” and album Zulu Rock followed. By the 1990s, Descloux had turned her back on music in favor of painting and writing, which she continued until her death in 2004. Her playful spirit lives on in this LP.

File Under: No Wave, New Wave
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gam

Gam: Eisziet (Dirty Knob) LP
Underground German kosmic rock band GAM recorded their sole record, Eisziet, in 1978 and then shelved it after the master tape disappeared. Comprised of echo-guitar pioneer Günter Schickert, guitarist Axel Struck, and drummer Michael Leske, GAM’s record sat undiscovered and thought lost until The Crack in the Cosmic Egg authors Alan and Steven Freeman tracked down Günter, found out that he had a copy of the recording, and released it on CD on their label, Cosmic Egg, in 2004. Championed by Julian Cope, GAM wove echoed guitars and tripped-out vocals together over a tight rhythmic groove that still sounds current thirty odd years after their recording date. Günter, a veteran of the Berlin experimental and free jazz music scene, was a frequent visitor to the legendary German club/art space, Zodiac Free Arts Lab (founded by Conrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius), where he encountered fellow German music pioneers and witnessed seminal live performances by now-lauded German bands. In 1974, prior to GAM, Günter self-released his first solo record, Samtvogel, which the Brain label reissued in 1975. Following work with Klaus Schulze, Günter recorded a second solo record, Uberfallig, on Sky Records in 1979. Eiszeit will appeal to fans of early Ash Ra Tempel, Cosmic Jokers, and Achim Reichel and the Machines.

File Under: Synth, Kosmische
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goldberg

Goldberg: Misty Flats (Future Days) LP
Barry Thomas Goldberg was 23 in 1974, the year his Minneapolis power pop group, The Batch, split up. Rudderless, he set about recording solo album Misty Flats, and though few would hear it in its day, he hit on something very special indeed. “In 1974, the world was weary, the Vietnam War was ending, America was at this place where it didn’t know where it was heading, it was the fumes of Watergate days,” says Goldberg now. “I’d just left my band, and I didn’t know where I was heading either. And that’s what Misty Flats represents: neither high road nor low, but somewhere in between.” Where The Batch were a harmony-drenched power pop band in the mold of Big Star and The Rubinoos, Misty Flats was an album of ecstatic desolation, an unhinged loner-folk gem that came from a unique place: “I wanted to make the first punk rock album, and if I’d recorded those songs with a band, maybe that’s what it would’ve been,” Goldberg says. The album was, instead, recorded in mono in a two-day recording binge on a two-track Ampex tape machine. It features just Goldberg and his friend Michael Yonkers, author of the cult 1968 LP Microminiature Love, playing guitar, bass, harmonica, and vocals between them. In it, we hear echoes of Goldberg’s childhood in Las Vegas, where trips to the movies were surrogate babysitters for his single mother. “Hollywood” and “Stars In The Sand” dream of LA life, where “Pop And Ice” has a narrative straight from hard-edged ’70s cinema about a drummer who’s drafted into the army. Back in ’74, Yonkers had crushed several vertebrae at work and used his payoff to fund five albums: four of his own and Goldberg’s Misty Flats, which was pressed in a run of just 500. “We were into art, not commerce,” notes Goldberg now, but at the time he was frustrated his album was allowed to drift off into obscurity. Goldberg forged ahead to record a 24-track rock album called Winter Summer which languishes in the vault to this day; Misty Flats, however, is finally widely available in this deluxe LP, CD, and download.

File Under: Folk, Psych
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no joy

No Joy: More Faithful (Arts & Crafts) LP
More Faithful is No Joy’s third full-length for Mexican Summer. Throughout the album, singer/guitarist Jasamine White-Gluz, guitarist Laura Lloyd, drummer Garland Hastings, and bassist Michael Farsky (formerly of Dirty Beaches’ live band) push themselves to new peaks of intensity. The album bears the fruits of a band that has refined its work ethic in the gulf of time between recording sessions. The outcome – a juxtaposition of unrest and calm, beauty and chaos, truth and fantasy, in the throes of maxed-out amps and hair-whipping guitar goddess rock music – is as unwavering as ever. Where No Joy’s last album, Wait To Pleasure balanced textural differences with the freewheeling novelty of the studio environment, More Faithful documents a much more rigorous creative process and performance. For More Faithful No Joy worked with musician and producer Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Chairlift, Lansing-Dreiden). Recording was split between tracking at Brooklyn studio Gary’s Electric and an old farmhouse in Costa Rica. In this rural Costa Rican setting, Elbrecht created a makeshift but nurturing studio environment where he and No Joy did the mixing, overdubs and cut vocals for 12 hours a day. Repairing themselves to an isolated environment strengthened No Joy’s regimented approach to making a record that satisfied their vision. There is no question that More Faithful is the most forward, throttling record No Joy has made, taking their sound to the wall in a brazen display of beauty-laced power. At times More Faithful is heavier than anything they’ve done yet, while also their fastest – riffs shooting upward in discord and drifting down in angelic harmonies.

File Under: Indie Rock
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lowdown

OST: Low Down (Cinewax) LP
This soundtrack is not only an aural companion to Low Down–the acclaimed biopic of jazz pianist Joe Albany, based on the memoirs of his daughter Amy-Jo Albany–but also the perfect primer for Albany’s lifework. Comprised of Albany’s own compositions alongside those of Coleman Hawkins, Max Roach, Thelonious Monk, and selections from Ohad Talmor’s score, this album conjures both a feel for Albany’s own avant-garde, quick-tempo, bebop jazz and a mood that evokes the life of Hollywood’s notorious jazz hustler. The album meets with the deep approval of Flea, who took the role of executive producer and co-star of the film. “This is the music that makes me think that human beings aren’t so bad,” writes the bassist in the liner notes. “This is the sound that gives me the energy to go out into the world and try to shine a light. As a child, this is the music I listened to that blew my mind; it let me know that all things were possible. If human beings were capable of doing this, then anything could happen.” “This soundtrack is a beautiful homage to Joe Albany’s extraordinary talent and life,” says Amy-Jo Albany. “It takes me back in time and breaks my heart. It reminds me why music is as essential as air. And if my dad’s spirit is still out there dancing in the high blue, I know he is–as he used to say–’digging it the most.’”

File Under: OST, Jazz
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GD30OBH5.pdfOST: Mad Max Fury Road (Mondo) LP
Mad Max: Fury Road is a modern action masterpiece. Returning to the franchise after almost 30 years Writer / Director George Miller has crafted a new vision of the future, and of his Post Apocalyptic hero Max Rockatansky, this time teaming him up with a group of female refugees in a cross country, relentless chase to escape the evil Warlord who has been imprisoning them all. The soundtrack’s composer Junkie XL utilized the movie’s vast landscape to explore a diverse range of musical territory, from beating drums to sweeping strings and electric guitar-driven operatic themes, utilizing nearly 200 instruments. “The score includes almost everything in a composer’s arsenal. The instrumentation ranges from big, brutal percussion and an 80-voice choir, with string sections and musical sound design, and everything in between. I used anything I could get my hands on.”

File Under: OST, BEST MOVIE!
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shaun

OST: Shaun of the Dead (Mondo) LP
We are proud to be releasing Shaun of the Dead – never before released in ANY format – on gorgeous 180 Gram Vinyl. While aware that they were working on a comedy, composers Daniel Mudford & Pete Woodhead wanted to make a score that was deadly serious and let the comedy do its own thing. “We wanted to “play a straight bat,” as the English say, and treat the film as though it was a sincere and genuinely terrifying scenario.” says Mudford. In doing so, they crafted a score that fits in perfectly alongside the great horror scores that inspired it. Pete & Dan’s band, ‘The Sons Of Silence,’ was previously featured in Edgar Wright’s television show Spaced before it became part of the behind the scenes soundtrack to the writing, and casting portions of production of the film. “Indeed, many of the doomier, dubbier tracks of from The Sons of Silence would blend in perfectly with my playlist, made up of John Carpenter scores, Goblin rock outs and library tracks from Dawn of The Dead. So even before Dan and Pete were definitely scoring the movie, they were already scoring the movie.” Says Edgar.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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wicked

OST: Wicked City (Tiger Lab) LP
Tiger Lab Vinyl proudly announces their first release ‘Wicked City’ (Original Anime Soundtrack) by Osamu Shoji. Wicked City is an electronic score filled with goth-esque pads, lounge piano lines, 80s bass grooves, and classic drum samples composed, performed, arranged, and written by Osamu Shoji. The Tiger Lab Vinyl release is the original 1987 video animation soundtrack restored and remastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering. It will be available on 180 gram Classic Black and Wicked Green vinyl with gatefold packaging and artwork created by Clint Carney, co-founder of Tiger Lab Vinyl, including an art print of the cover image. Osamu Shoji is a well known synthesizer performer and programmer. He released numerous records in the late 70s and 80s filled with electronic and synth-driven disco/funk themes.

File Under: OST, Anime
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pavement

Pavement: Secret History Vol. 1 (Matador) LP
The strangest thing about Pavement? Not that there were ever many non-strange things about Pavement? Even though they made their era’s finest rock albums, the albums only told half their story. Pavement also made some of the nineties’ best albums that never happened. Until now! Pavement made five proper album-as-albums: Slanted and Enchanted (1992), Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994), Wowee Zowee (1995), Brighten The Corners (1997) and Terror Twilight (1999). Each has its own sound. Each has its own legend. But each of their official albums has a shadow album – and it’s usually as strong as the album that actually did come out. It’s time for the world to hear the albums Pavement could have made, if they’d been a little less ambitious about music and a little more ambitious about the music business. If they’d been the kind of band to sweat the legacy. But if they were that kind of band, would they have written so many great songs? Much less these great songs? No. Matador is finally releasing a series of these shadow albums. The first, naturally, is The Secret History Vol. 1, collecting the songs that got away during the era of Slanted and Enchanted, which Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg and Gary Young recorded on the cheaper-than-cheap in January 1991. Secret Slanted History collects gems from Peel Sessions (“Kentucky Cocktail,” “Circa 1762”) and seven-inches (“Baptist Blacktick”) as well as live slop from the first European tours, with Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich in the fold. Some are outtakes from Slanted – imagine leaving these tunes off your first album, when as far as you know or imagine, it’s your only album. These tracks (some of which had never been rumored among Pavement freaks) came out on the 2002 Slanted and Enchanted reissue. But they’ve never been separately available as an album in their own right, and many of them have never been on vinyl before. The rarities collected here could have been – or maybe even should have been – cobbled together into a quickie stopgap album, a Slanted sequel.

File Under: Indie Rock

prurient

Prurient: Frozen Niagara Falls (Profound Lore) 3LP
Known as America’s most prominent noise figurehead, for nearly 20 years under the moniker of Prurient (AKA Vatican Shadow / Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement / Christian Cosmos / Etc.), Dominick Fernow has created a sonic entity unlike any other in the realm of experimental, ambient, and noise music respectively. Throughout a massive repertoire that consists of full-lengths, EPs, splits, singles, limited cassette runs and 7” releases etc. Prurient is one of the most important artists to define and reinvent the genre of noise music which in turn has made Fernow one of the premiere visionaries in the entire genre of experimental music. Throughout the years Prurient has been known to constantly shape shift its sound into many mutations and incarnations within the noise genre through massive layered walls of sound consisting of harsh feedback, tortured vocals, meticulous sampling, machine-like industrial pounding, entrancing synth work, enticing beats, and waves of electronica to create an aura that treads the fine line of harsh noise extremity and atmospheric beauty. Prurient’s first full-length album since the 2011 game changer “Bermuda Drain” sees Fernow deliver the most ambitious and massive Prurient album to date. A double-album clocking in at a near 90-minutes entitled “Frozen Niagara Falls”, the new Prurient album is set to define Fernow even more as a master within all the genres Prurient tends to crossover into. In what encompasses moments familiar from the entire Prurient catalog along with creating something entirely new and different from what Prurient has previously done, “Frozen Niagara Falls” (in which its journey began to manifest in late 2013 and was finally completed on Valentine’s Day 2015) could very well be recognized as the Prurient magnum opus.

File Under: Noise, Doom, Metal
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shootin

Shooting Guns: Wolf Cop (One Way Static) LP
BACK IN STOCK!!! One Way Static Records is proud to present the soundtrack to ‘Wolfcop’ an hilarious modern classic about a cop turned werewolf. Equally remarkable is the killer soundtrack provided by Shooting Guns. A unique blend of heavy carpenter electronics mixed with Black Sabbath-esque riffs and even a hint of country. Upon hearing it, we just knew we had to release this! The first pressing sold out so quickly that we did a repress on Amethyst Colored vinyl limited to #450 copies worldwide. Vinyl packaged in a deluxe gatefold old school tip-on jacket with original artworks by Randy Ortiz (Marvel Comics, Mondo,…). Also included is a free digital download card and a bonus 7″ containing 3 promo tracks by Shooting Guns on randomly inserted black or white vinyl with a picture sleeve.

File Under: OST, Metal, Stoner
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wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe: Abyss (Sargent House) LP
Chelsea Wolfe has returned with her fourth full length album, Abyss, out August 7th 2015 on Sargent House, and you can hear / download the first single “Iron Moon” now. Originally premiered via Rolling Stone, who called it a, “haunting, doomy exercise in loud-quiet-loud dynamics” and her “darkest, heaviest and most personal album yet.” “Abyss is meant to have the feeling of when you’re dreaming, and you briefly wake up, but then fall back asleep into the same dream, diving quickly into your own subconscious,” says Wolfe.To conjure this in-between world, Wolfe continued her ongoing collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and co-writer Ben Chisholm and drummer Dylan Fujioka, with Ezra Buchla brought on board to play viola and Mike Sullivan (Russian Circles) enlisted to contribute guitar. The ensemble traveled to Dallas, TX to record with producer John Congleton (Swans, St. Vincent). In the back of her mind burned the words of designer Yohji Yamamoto: “Perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” The resulting eleven songs reflect that philosophy as they smolder with human frailty, intimacy, quiet passion, anxiety, and deep longing.

File Under: Goth, Indie Rock
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tower of power

Various: Tower of Power (Cometa Edizioni Musicali) LP
“Freedom Power” (released in 1976 on label Cometa Edizioni Musicali CMT 4 ) is one of the most popular albums of the ’70s and Italian library collects compositions of Maestro Gabriele Ducros with the contributions of other  composers and musicians like Sandro Brugnolini , Enrico Pieranunzi and Silvano Chimenti . ” Tower Of Power ” is the sequel to that lucky LP and includes unreleased material recorded during the same session of 1976 , songs that as in the case of those of the first volume push the accelerator on the jazz – funk soundtrack that was in Italy in those years fertile ground thanks to the great success of the movie cop.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Library, Italian
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…..restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Easter Everywhere (Snapper) LP
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Infectious) LP
Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam (Domino) LP
The Band: Islands (Universal) LP
The Band: Moondog Matinee (Universal) LP
The Band: Northern Lights (Universal) LP
The Band: Rock of Ages (Universal) LP
Beach House: Bloom (Sub Pop) LP
Beach House: Teen Dream (Sub Pop) LP
Black Keys: Big Come UP (Alive) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP
Bombino: Nomad (Nonesuch) LP
Boris: Heavy Rocks (Sargent House) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time For Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Broadcast: Haha Sound (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Tender Buttons (Warp) LP
Budos Band: 3 (Daptone) LP
Don Cherry: Organic Music Society (Caprice) LP
City & Colour: Bring Me Your Love (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & The Harm (Dine Alone) LP
Loren Connors: Departing of a Dream (Family Vineyard) LP
Dead Meadow: Warble Womb (Xemu) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Bug (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Earth: 2 (Sub Pop) LP
Earth: Pentastar in the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) LP
Brian Eno: Small Craft on a Milk Sea (Warp) LP
Faith Healer: Cosmic Troubles (Mint) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Jamie XX: In Colour (Young Turk) DLX LP
Joy Division: Substance (Rhino) LP
The Knife: Silent Shout (Mute) LP
Mutoid Man: Bleeder (Sargent House) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Interscope) LP
Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (Big Brother) LP
Postal Service: Give Up (Sub Pop) LP
Real Estate: Atlas (Domino) LP
Arthur Russell: World of Arthur Russell (Soul Jazz) LP
Elliott Smith: Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Elliott Smith: Roman Candle (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Viet Cong: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
Various: Can You Dig It 1 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Can You Dig It 2 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Punk 45: Extermination Nights in Sixth City (Soul Jazz) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #702 – kitchen!…..

Finally! I’ve finished my reno’s just in time for Festival season! Which makes the traffic in the store a little bit light, but for those of you who do come in, we’ve got lots of great new and used stuff hitting the shelves every day.

Also, next Wednesday, if you are bored and like to drink, I’ll be spinning records at Daravara from 9-12. Come have a drink or four and let me play some records for ya.

…..picks of the week…..

not waving

Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving) LP
Alessio Natalizia’s limited three-volume Voices cassette series (2014) is reworked and extended for this limited double vinyl release, marking a point of transition for Natalizia’s Not Waving project in advance of a crushing dancefloor album for Diagonal, forthcoming at the time of this release. These 18 reshaped mixes of the tapes’ original 23 tracks are shuffled up like a deck of tarot cards to form a new narrative. Drawing inspiration from Ivan Pavlov, Oliver Sacks, B. F. Skinner, and “the relationship between perception, memory, attention and comprehension,” they render a quietly burning mind full of ideas and synæsthetic sensation, from the lush drone harmonics of “A Part of Thought” to pulsing EBM lab golems like “The Behaviourist Approach,” with a really special touch for beautifully wistful, Eldritch/Italian analog electronics in the likes of “No Kill” or lump-in-throat closer “Voices.” Perhaps the best comparison would be with Pye Corner Audio’s Black Mill volumes, but Not Waving’s varied yet coherent aesthetic feels more like a lost compilation of library music or early industrial music than the work of one super-talented guy. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Retro
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omar

Omar Souleyman: Bahdeni Nami (Monkeytown) LP/CD
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: Syrian, Dabke, Wedding Singers
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…..new arrivals…..

abAlvarius B: Chin Spirits (Durga) (Unrock) 10″
Unrock’s Saraswati series continues with a trip into the spiritual wonderland of Alvarius B. aka Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls, Invisible Hands). Deep down, heavy, Sun-City-Girls-flavored Dada deluxe. Crackling midgets, purist psychedelia. A cocoon of seven colorful, shiny monoliths of essential nonsense, each dirty pearl standing by itself. Limited edition one-time pressing.

File Under: Sun City Girls, Weirdness, Guitars

bachman

Daniel Bachman: Miscellaneous Ephemera & Other Bullshit (Feeding Tube) LP
“First off, the cover. Let’s make it clear — this was totally Daniel’s idea and is based on the original art for Tony Rice’s California Album (Rebel SLP-1549, 1975). Why? We cannot say exactly. The album is considered to be in Rice’s all-time top five. But so what? Who amongst us can claim to have fully plumbed the depths of Bachman’s mind? The guy is a genius and those types just have ‘their ways.’ So shut up about the cover already. This album itself was released under the title Daniel Bachman by an English label — Lancashire and Somerset — in 2014. But copies evaporated like mom’s milk, so here’s a sonic jug from which we can all suckle with warm ease. Miscellaneous Ephemera is an amazing record — filled to the brim with music that extends the concept of acoustic guitar manipulation beyond the range of mere vaseline machine guns. The pieces range from disruptive scrambles and neo-Tuvan throat aktion worthy of late-period Fahey to Kabra-style ragas and the more easily-anticipated particles of primitive guitar brilliance. There is also some adult content on the second side, so radio programmers — be alert! Bachman has been a growing force in the acoustic underground for a few years now, and this new one really rips a new hole in the side of the style’s star-cluster. Join forces with it today. Or else” –Byron Coley, 2015. Edition of 500.

File Under: Guitar Soli, Folk

bachs

The Bachs: Out of the Bachs (Out-sider) LP
’60s garage-psych moody monster! Out of The Bachs was originally released in 1968 as a private pressing of 150 copies; it’s one of the rarest USA ’60s garage/teenbeat albums ever. The band consisted of five young kids from Chicago, regulars at local teen dances, who decided to release an album for their fans before splitting up. Recorded and mixed in just ten hours at a makeshift studio, Out of The Bachs offers 12 amazing self-penned songs with a sound ahead of its time. Pure teenage-angst vocals, crashing Rickenbackers, fuzz outbursts, killer moody tracks… Sadly, all previous reissues of the album failed to capture the true sound of the original, until the Time-Lag label reissued it in 2011 with remastered sound from a pristine original vinyl copy. This reissue uses the same audio master as the out-of-print Time-Lag edition. File next to The Rising Storm, The Fantastic Dee-Jays, The Savages. Includes insert with detailed liner notes and rare photos.

File Under: Garage, Psych, Raers
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cortini

Alessandro Cortini: Risveglio (Hospital Productions) LP
Though known as a touring and recording musician associated with Nine Inch Nails, Alessandro Cortini has really come into his own via his Forse trilogy, and his 2014 Hospital Productions debut, Sonno (HOS 412CD). For his Hospital follow-up, he maintains the grittiness and intimacy introduced on his debut, but expands on it, offering a wider spectrum of emotion and depth. Like Sonno, Risveglio was written and recorded while on tour. The drive to create intimate works during late-night downtime reveals Cortini to be committed to a personal vision beyond the call of duty. While Sonno was created using only a 202 and delay, Risveglio adds a TB303, synced to the 202. In Cortini’s words, “The 303 can be such a haunting instrument used in a certain way, and I felt it completely fit the mood of the previous work I have done on the 202, especially when given a specific location in space… it’s such a living instrument.” The addition of TR606 gives one of the pieces a rhythmic pulse that separates it from the preceding synthscapes and renders Risveglio an altogether more dynamic affair than Sonno. With Risveglio, Cortini emphasizes the imperfections and visceral textures of electronics absent from so much contemporary solo synthesizer music. He carves out a similar space to that formed by Kevin Drumm’s releases for Hospital in the worlds of drone and noise by finding the emotional and, ultimately, human voice within synthesis.

File Under: Synth, Drone, Nine Inch Nails
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deaf wish

Deaf Wish: Pain (Sub Pop) LP
When Deaf Wish found themselves in a room together for the very first time, they agreed on a guiding philosophy: “Let’s not make anything that’s going to last. If we’re together for just two shows, then that’s what it is.” They’ve deviated some. Over the course of eight years, the Melbourne foursome – bassist Nick Pratt, drummer Daniel Twomey and guitarists Sarah Hardiman and Jensen Tjhung, with each member contributing vocals – have instead amassed one of rock’s most exhilarating bodies of work, a concise run of wooly seven-inches and white-knuckle LPs whose legendary live translation has been most accurately described as “unhinged.” All this despite their being scattered across multiple continents, with no way of getting to know one another outside of intermittent touring. “We didn’t really know what this band was,” Tjhung says. “We had something, but it wasn’t clear – we had to figure out what that was.” This year marks the arrival of Pain, the first they’ve written since coming together again semi-permanently in Melbourne, and their appropriately titled first full-length for Sub Pop. The St. Vincent EP was their proper Sub Pop debut. It is a miraculously dissonant, wonderfully immediate display of Deaf Wish at their mightiest, alive with the same wild chemistry and sense of possibility that made their first recordings so vital. With more time together than they’ve ever had before, they’ve found themselves confronted with ideal (yet foreign) conditions. Two-minute freakouts like “Eyes Closed” share airspace with the meditate squall of “On” and the guitar-born majesty of “Calypso.” Everything was captured in three takes or less, in a bleak, nondescript studio on the lifeless outskirts of Melbourne. Pain was mastered by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control). “It’s a simple thing,” Tjhung says of their approach. “Simple takes the worry out of it. If we try to step it up and go sideways, it just doesn’t seem to work. But we’ve grown up and been through some shit. To get to this point you have to bust through a few walls. It’s easy to be new, and I think, in the end, this is what it is. When you put these people in the room, it’s Deaf Wish.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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demarco

Mac Demarco: Another One (Captured Tracks) LP/CS
Like the days of Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson or Prince releasing a classic every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco’s Another One, a mini-LP announced almost one year to the date of the meteorically successful Salad Days. Conceived and recorded entirely by himself in a short period between a relentless tour schedule at his new place in Far Rockaway, Queens, Another One is eight, freshly written songs, expanding the arsenal of Mac’s already impressive catalog. There’s a bittersweet, romantic sensibility present. The overall feeling is lost love, or perhaps love never found, yet Mac embraces this without making it an overly somber experience for the listener. It’s at times haunting and warm, and a bit more refined and sophisticated, but still plenty playful, retaining the guts and soul of classic Mac. With two full-length albums and two EPs released and hundreds of sold out shows performed in the last several years, it seems as Mac DeMarco nears his 25th birthday, he’s outgrowing any sort of slacker stigma.

File Under: Indie Rock
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ducktails

Ducktails: St. Catherine (Domino) LP
Unfurling out of Los Angeles comes St. Catherine, Matt Mondanile’s fifth outing as Ducktails. St. Catherine is a finely-honed collection of baroque pop songs that take the blissful, cascading melodic fretwork that Mondanile has made his signature with both Ducktails and his other band, Real Estate, and applies it to songs of considerable new emotional heft and dynamic range. Mondanile partially wrote and recorded St. Catherine over the course of 2014 and then finished off recording at the start of 2015. The longest time he has ever spent working on a record, it took place in bedrooms and studios predominantly in east LA and Glendale, but venturing as far as Berlin and New York as Mondanile worked on tracks around heavy periods of Real Estate touring. When Mondanile finally settled back in LA at the start of 2015, it was Rob Schnapf, co-producer of Elliott Smith’s classic albums XO and Either/Or, that he turned to in order to help put the finishing touches to St. Catherine. Together, the pair added a new crispness and punch to the record’s more upbeat, psychedelic pop tracks (such as James Ferraro featuring, lolloping lead single “Headbanging In The Mirror,” and the soaring “Into The Sky”), that recalls the artful muscularity of Smith’s later work, whilst title track, the heavenly “St. Catherine” boasts one of Mondanile’s greatest ever lead guitar lines and benefits greatly from Schnapf’s warm, rich feel. Where St. Catherine impresses even more so, however, is when Mondanile steps out of his comfort zone, as he does frequently and with great success. The Julia Holter-featuring “Church” and “Heaven’s Room,” tracks which see Mondanile flex his muscles as a composer and arranger, introducing complex, interlocking vocal harmonies, gorgeously sweeping string parts and a host of off-kilter electronic elements into his sonic palate – channelling the likes of Broadcast, and Stereolab but with a younger, wide-eyed sensibility.

File Under: Indie Rock
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enhetEnhet For Fri Musik: Dokument 1 (Holidays) LP
Arisen from the always-surprising Swedish underground (or undergrowth), Enhet för Fri Musik — featuring members of Sewer Election, Ättestupa, Neutral, Makthaverskan, and Blod — gathered in the woods and recorded this music to make all wild souls dance. A real gem. Folk unit mixed with tape music. Loose thin line between composed and improvised, or, as member Dan Johansson defines it, “quite sparse outsider anti-music.” The Enhet starts where Ättestupa left off. Strictly limited to 150 copies, then on to Dokument 2.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Improv
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genta

Virginia Genta/Dag Stiberg/Jon Wesseltoft/David Vanzan: Det Kritiske Punkt (Feeding Tube) LP
“Spine-tingling free improv fire-blast from an international quartet with deep underground roots. Italian reeds player Genta and drummer Vanzan form the basis for all Jooklo aktion (Duo, Golden, Stellar, et al.). Norwegian reeds dude Stiberg and guitar/electronics manager Jon Wesseltoft also collaborate in Maranata. Together in Olso in 2012, the quartet laid down this very hard-blown and stylish session. There are let-ups in the attack, but there aren’t many. Broken into five parts, ‘Det Kritiske Punkt’ (‘The Critical Point’) surges along like an unbroken chain of climaxes. Even when one or two of the instruments start to move laterally, as though things are preparing to wind down, the other two almost invariably get more sput in their gutteral sails and start to howl like their brain stalks are under attack. The only real break comes on ‘Pt. III’ where it starts to sound like one of the AACM’s little instrument jamborees. But that is a feint. Soon enough you’ll feel your scalp begin to raise again. And it’s off to the races we go. One does not generally think of the Italians and the Norwegians forming an affinity group. But they do share a love of fish. And perhaps sometimes that’s enough.” –Byron Coley, 2015

File Under: Free Improv

gianni

Gianni Giublena Rosacroce: Musica da Camera Oscura (Holidays) LP
Gianni Giublena Rosacroce is the solo project of Stefano Isaia (Movie Star Junkies, La Piramide di Sangue), created with the intention of sonically exploring the Middle-Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. After two tape releases and a split 12″, here’s the debut long-player, recorded between home and the mountains with the help of Galilea Mallol between 2013 and 2014 and featuring companions Reverend F. Murphy and Mai Mai Mai on the side-long track “Compendium Maleficarum.” A caravan of percussion — lead by the haunting sound of the clarinet — wandering and dancing between the stands of a crowded market. Edition of 250.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Folk, Psych

jefferson

Alan Jefferson: Galactic Nightmare (Trunk) LP
A homemade 86-minute epic space adventure, conceived, written, played, sung, and illustrated by an amateur musician in his bedroom in Hull, England, from 1979 to 1985, and reissued here for the first time. When Alan Jefferson heard The War of the Worlds, he thought he could make something similar, maybe better. This was in 1979. So, he set about it, with limited equipment — a Moog, a reel-to-reel, a guitar, and some pedals. Six years later, in 1985, Galactic Nightmare was finished, and made available to readers of the magazines Future Music and CU Amiga. Via Jefferson’s advertisement, one could buy a 90-minute chrome cassette of the album, complete with poster and storyfile for £7.99 plus £1 postage. Very few people bought it, but one of the writers for Future Music, Dave Robinson, liked the preview copy that he received. He started playing it for a few people. One of those was a guy called Dave Green, who eventually played it for Stewart Lee in the 1990s. All of them found Galactic Nightmare an addictive, unforgettable musical experience. In 2014, Stewart Lee sent a small snippet of Galactic Nightmare to Jonny Trunk, who, a few months later, wrote to the address in the 1986 advertisement. Two days later Alan Jefferson got in touch, and this double LP reissue of Galactic Nightmare is the result. Jefferson wrote the story, narrated the story, wrote and played the music, sang the songs, and made the artwork, poster, storyfile, et cetera, sometimes fighting against faulty instruments and a dodgy tape machine. Galactic Nightmare is a totally unique recording, joyous in its attempt to create something absolutely epic with very few resources and charming in its attention to detail and almost folk-like naiveté. A great example of an amateur being inspired to make something, getting on with it, sticking with it, and ultimately creating an album that few people will forget once they have heard it. Presented in gatefold matte varnished sleeve bearing the original Galactic Nightmare poster; includes original Galactic Nightmare graphics, plans, musical notation, early sketches, advertisements, et cetera inside the gatefold; notes by Alan Jefferson, Jonny Trunk, Stewart Lee, and Dave Green; and complete storyfile with original illustrations across all four sides of the printed inner sleeves.

File Under: Electronic, Space Rock, Synth Pop, Weird Shit

la luz

La Luz: Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art) LP
For most, a brush with death would be cause for retreat, reflection, and reluctance, but Seattle band La Luz found something different in it: resilience. Having survived a high-speed highway collision shortly after releasing their 2013 debut LP It’s Alive, La Luz, despite lasting trauma, returned to touring with a frequency and tirelessness that put their peers to shame. Over the past year-and-a-half of performing, the band arrived at a greater awareness of their music’s ability to whip eager crowds into a frenzy. In response, frontwoman Shana Cleveland’s guitar solos took on a more unhinged quality. The basslines (from newly-installed member Lena Simon) became more lithe and elastic. Stage-dives and crowd-surfing grew to be as indelible a part of the La Luz live experience as their onstage doo-wop-indebted dance moves. When it came time to record Weirdo Shrine, their second album, the goal was to capture the band’s restless  live energy and commit it to tape. In early 2015, Cleveland and Co. adjourned to a surf shop in San Dimas, California where, with the help of producer/engineer Ty Segall, they realized this vision. Tracking most of the album live in shared quarters, La Luz chose to leave in any happy accidents and spur-of-the-moment flourishes that occurred while recording. Cleveland’s newly fuzzed-up guitar solos – which now incorporated the influence of Japanese Eleki players in addition to the twang of American surf and country – were juxtaposed against the group’s most angelic four-part harmonies to date. The organs of Alice Sandahl and the drumming of Marian Li Pino were granted extra heft and dimension. Thematically, Cleveland channeled Washingtonian poet Richard Brautigan on “You Disappear” and “Oranges,” and sought inspiration from Charles Burns’ Seattle-set graphic novel Black Hole. The resulting album is a natural evolution of the band’s self-styled “surf noir” sound – a rawer, turbo-charged sequel that charts themes of loneliness, infatuation, obsession and death across eleven tracks, from the opening credits siren song of “Sleep Till They Die” to the widescreen, receding-skyline send-off of “Oranges” and its bittersweet epilogue, “True Love Knows.” In describing Weirdo Shrine, Segall remarked that it gave him a vision of a “world…burning with colors [he’d] never seen, like mauve that is living.” In “Oranges,” the Brautigan poem which inspired the aforementioned track of the same name, the poet writes of a surreal “orange wind / that glows from your footsteps.” These hue-based allusions are apt: the sound of La Luz is (appropriately) vibrant, and alive with a kaleidoscopic passion. Weirdo Shrine finds them at their most saturated and cinematic.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ty Segall
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mahdy

El Mahdy Jr.: Ghost Tapes (Discrepant) LP
With the haunting collages of Ghost Tapes, El Mahdy Jr goes deeper into his own personal sonic space. “Ghost Tapes is a composition of everyday fragments based on found tapes, field recordings, beats, and radio frequencies. A ruff attempt of interpreting the cultural ghost that surrounds the field and makes the difference between place and space” –El Mahdy Jr, 2015. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Pressed at Optimal.

File Under: Experimental, Field Recordings
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mesh

M.e.s.h.: Piteous Gate (Pan) LP
Following his acclaimed 2014 Scythians EP, M.E.S.H. returns to PAN with his debut album, the opulent and dystopian Piteous Gate. Alongside fellow members of Berlin’s Janus collective, behind nights at Berghain and Corsica Studios, M.E.S.H. is known for his futurist approach to club dynamics and production. On Piteous Gate, tightly gridded and sculpted sound juts up against loose-wristed improvisation, automated processes, and collage. Standard club syncopation is twisted by sliding tempos, cut-and-paste time signatures, and indeterminate pacing. Its sound design and compositions are ornate, even courtly, with neo-feudal moods offset by the recurrence of hydraulic hiss and flanger. A synthetic fuel injector revs opener “Piteous Gate” to life. Drawing from action-scifi film trailers and the sound design of festival trance, its hardcore synthlines shatter into “Optimate” — stately, spatial, and whiplash-luxurious, with meandering cybernetic drumming. “Thorium” sends a slow-motion camera through a melting test reactor; all burnt VSTs and synthetic theorbo and loose drums. “The Black Pill” smears high-end renaissance sample libraries through arcs of static. In “Epithet,” temple sewer atmospheres are ruptured by “Scythians”-style cut-up drums. “Jester’s Visage” indulges a minute-long baroque guitar improv, and territorial youths air their beef in “Kritikal & X.” Closing out the album, “Methy Imbiß” is a machinic rhythm track, and “Azov Seepage” mingles birdlike granular noises with rusted steel clanging. Recorded in Berlin in winter 2015. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
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metabolismus

Metabolismus Und Fifty-Fifty: A Square Inside a Circle Inside… (Black Sweat) LP
This LP is a documentation of the very first meeting of Stuttgart-based minimalist jazz duo Fifty-Fifty and Swabian sound exploration society Metabolismus. All players draw from decades of experience with different forms of improvisation, using instrumental and electronic sounds known and unknown to spontaneously create an aural environment of complex simplicity. A wide spectrum of group mind expressions can be heard, from the purely abstract to moments of calm reflection. The title is a meditation on the idea of the impossible, beautifully represented by these words from Alexander Pope: “Mad Mathesis alone was unconfined, Too mad for mere material chains to bind, Now to pure space lifts her ecstatic stare, Now, running round the circle, finds it square.” The session was recorded during one afternoon in the summer of 2012 at Sumsilobatem Sound Studio on magnetic tape; any technical imperfections due to the spontaneous nature of the situation were kept in as part of the document. No digital technology was used in the making of this album. Cover art is hand-silkscreened; originally designed by Estuardo Maldonando. “Metabolic music saves you from a life of grey.” –KF

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Ambient

mvee

MV & EE: Alpine Frequency (Feeding Tube) 2LP
“Matt Valentine and Erika Elder have been cutting new synaptic pathways through brainic underbrush since before most people became capable of breathing air. That said, their albums (many of which are CDR-only issues on their own Child of Microtones imprint) often have a specific delirious blueprint, designed to shift only a certain batch of molecules and/or air into forms that translate into music. Such is not the case with Alpine Frequency. This lazily explorative 2LP set was sewn into a whole from various tattered swathes of sound, pieced together like the jeans Neil Young wore on the cover of After the Gold Rush (1970). A Spectrasound production, AF includes appearances by a vast array of MVEE enablers of all known periods — PG Six, Mick Flower, Rafi Bookstaber, Jeremy Earl, Doc Dunn, Spanish Wolfman, and many others emerge from time to time, making sure the water is just right. And it is. Like a very good Dead set, the music here moves from overt abstraction to melodic focus and back like the tracking shots Monte Hellman used in the 1974 film version of Charles Willeford’s Cockfighter (1962). But unlike the Allman Bros. (who were extras in the crowd scenes at Hellman’s staged cock fights), MV&EE don’t do anything to placate the squares. Their trip is as deep, dark, and flowing as a bushel of burning VT weed. Their music sucks you into its vortex (if it allows you in, of course) and then just carries your ass right through to the finish line. All you have to do is get up now and then to change the records. This here outfit (in all its many guises) has put out a lot of great music, but Alpine Frequency feels like a real achievement — a shorthand essay about all that has gone before it. A beautiful capsulization, ready to float onto your ear’s tongue, to melt once and for all. Dig it” –Byron Coley, 2015. Edition of 500.

File Under: Blues, Folk, Cosmic

omallyStephen O’Malley: Gruides (Demdike Stare) LP
The dark interpreter Stephen O’Malley ov Sunn O))) presents his towering orchestral composition Gruidés, commissioned by French 35-piece improv orchestra ONCEIM — l’Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisation Musicales — and released thru Demdike Stare’s DDS label. In early 2014 O’Malley was approached by pianist and composer Frédéric Blondy to write a work for the orchestra, which is made up of exceptional musicians from the fields of contemporary, jazz, experimental, improvisation, and classical. Understandably intimidated by the prospect, but encouraged to “just be punk rock about it,” the preternaturally gifted composer has conceived a technically demanding — for the players, at least — and richly rewarding long-form drone piece intently focused on harmonic experimentation and overtone study. During its 35-minute lifespan, Gruidés requires the musicians to sustain pitches for several minutes (which is difficult enough for strings, and a real feat of endurance for woodwind), yielding spectra of eliding dissonance rent in sliding tone clusters and lucent geometries punctuated by a similar whipcrack percussion to that used in Sunn O)))’s 2014 collaboration with Scott Walker. It makes great use of the acoustic qualities of Saint Merry church in central Paris, as captured in the recording of IRCAM’s Augustin Muller and mastered by Matt Colton with a detached spaciousness evocatively distilled in Jean-Luc Verna’s cover art. It’s an incredibly immersive piece that comes highly recommended if you’re into the work of Phill Niblock, Alvin Lucier, Ellen Fullman, Harley Gaber, and, indeed, Sunn O))).

File Under: Classical, Drone

sleaford

Sleaford Mods: Key Markets (Harbinger) LP/CD
Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods present third “proper” album, Key Markets. “Key Markets was a large supermarket bang in the centre of Grantham from the early 1970’s up until around 1980,” explains Jason Williamson. “My mum would take me there and I’d always have a large Coke in a plastic orange cup surrounded by varnished wood trimmings and big lamp shades with flowers on them. Beige bricks with bright yellow points of sale and large black foam letters surrounded you and this is why we called the album Key Markets. It’s the continuation of the day to day and how we see it, the un-incredible landscape.” “The album was recorded in various periods between summer 2014 through to October of that year. We worked fast as we normally do, the method was the same as the other albums and like the other two, the sound has naturally moved itself along. Key Markets is in places quite abstract but it still deals heavily with the disorientation of modern existence. It still touches on character assassination, the delusion of grandeur and the pointlessness of government politics. It’s a classic. Fuck em.” Housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by Steve Lippert; mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Everything else was done by Sleaford Mods. Sleaford Mods are Jason Williamson: words; Andrew Fearn: music.

File Under: Hip Hop, Thug
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taz

Ghedalia Tazartes:  La bar Mitzvah du Chien (Bisou) LP
Another shamanic journey in Tazartès’s universe. He sings and plays all the instruments and samples, recorded in the very same room as all his other solo records since 1974. Performed, produced, and recorded by Ghédalia Tazartès for Bisou in 2012. Tazartès’s son, Lalo, can be heard on “Don’t Cry for Me, Mamma.” The front cover is a picture of Quentin Rollet, shot by Yannick Ressigeac. The back features a drawing by Lalo Tazartès. Mastered by F/Lor.

File Under: Experimental

vallera

Michael Vallera: Distance (Opal Tapes) LP
An Opal Tapes debut from Michael Vallera of the group Cleared, Distance makes a clear case for just how easily industrial and dark ambience swing between beauty and fear, with more than a wink of the gothic that brings to mind a host of classic cvlt missives by Lycia, Vidna Obmana, or Maeror Tri. As with the best of those, these works mark the transition between dream and nightmare. Something chilling, perhaps borne of the subconscious’s twisted ability to fuck you up, but remaining just out of reach. Subtle perfumes linger in the air and a kind of romantic melancholy spreads, but the overwhelming sensation is of a patient and growing dread.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial
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my heart

Various: My Heart’s In My Hand…. (Shady Lane) 2LP
This double LP, released by NERO magazine and Shady Lane Productions, gathers selected materials, both texts and audio recordings, from Phil Collins’s project of the same name, for which Collins collaborated with guests of Gulliver, a self-described “survival station for the homeless” in Cologne, Germany. There, Collins installed a phone booth for free and unlimited local and international calls, on the condition that the conversations would be recorded and anonymized. Collins sent selected material to an international group of musicians, to serve as the starting point for original songs that he then presented as 7″s in specially-designed listening booths overlooking Cologne’s central train station. Collins produced the work for his 2013 solo exhibition In every dream home a heartache (curated by Anna Brohm), at Museum Ludwig in Cologne, where he first presented it. The work is a headfirst dive into a city, tuning in to its many unheard stories. Having worked for a homeless magazine in the 1990s, Collins has a long-standing interest in issues relating to these communities. Bringing to the fore the lyrical and narrative potential of the human voice when it stands in for those subjects of city life who are purposefully ignored and routinely overlooked, he dramatizes the moment of communication as an emotional and ambivalent exchange. On January 5, 2001, Gulliver opened in a railway arch under the Hohenzollern Bridge, in the immediate vicinity of Cologne’s main train station, the banks of the Rhine, and the old town. Gulliver is the first institution of its kind in Germany, offering a wide range of services with unusually long hours of operation. Collins’s project includes contributions by legendary figures Scritti Politti, David Sylvian, Lætitia Sadier, and Damon & Naomi; trailblazing experimental and indie acts Demdike Stare, Planningtorock, Maria Minerva, Heroin in Tahiti, Pye Corner Audio, and Peaking Lights; and local heroes Elektronische Musk aus: Köln, Pluramon, and Cologne Tape; as well as a special guest turn from the original German superstar, Julia Hummer. The double LP is pressed on 140-gram colored vinyl and includes all of the original tracks and music by those who partook in the project. It’s presented with a 29 x 29 cm, 24-page, 400-gram booklet containing critical texts by Mark Fisher and Florian Schneider, an extract from the original telephone conversations, images of the 7″s, and photographs of the Gulliver center. The LPs and booklet are housed in a glossy four-color gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Comps

primitiveVarious: Primitive Paradise: Early Exotica (University of Vice) LP
The genre known as “exotica” reached worldwide success during the 1950s thanks to artists such as Yma Sumac, Martin Denny, and Arthur Lyman, but its origin can be found almost 50 years earlier. The seed was planted by Hawaiian musicians who performed, representing their country, at the first Universal Exhibitions that took place in the United States in 1901. Their paradisiacal melodies, percussion, and tribal rhythms; the strange timbre of instruments such as the ukulele and the steel guitar; and the scantily clad female dancers sparked the interest of American society. The eccentric vaudeville shows, especially their risqué numbers, incorporated sounds from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to create the right atmosphere for an exotic stage on which sensual dancers tried to satisfy the audience’s escapist needs. It was then that the traditional folklore of the islands began to merge with Western rhythms such as foxtrot and swing. The first recordings by Hawaiian artists were marketed widely in the 1910s on the 78 rpm format, and as a result the steel guitar, the genre’s characteristic instrument, became so popular that it was integrated into other genres such as country, country blues, Western swing, and novelty music. At the same time, Cuban and Puerto Rican music arrived in the United States thanks to pioneers such as Trío Matamoros, Don Azpiazú, and Los Jardineros, who paved the way for such enormously popular stars as Desi Arnaz and Xavier Cugat. On the other side of the pond, in the early ’30s, rumba, conga, and beguine were creating a frenzy in Europe thanks to orchestras from Cuba, Guadeloupe, and Martinique performing at Parisian clubs. Later on, after World War II, more commercial rhythms such as cha-cha-cha and mambo would be easily assimilated by an audience already used to Latin sounds that would eventually conquer all of Europe and the rest of the world. The music featured on this compilation is a sample of that musical expansion, exemplified by 14 tracks of early exotica originally released on 78 rpm records between 1920 and 1947 in countries such as France, Spain, England, Holland, Japan, and the USA. Most have never been reissued on any format until now. Includes tracks by Orquesta Serramont, Lecuona Cuban Boys, Mercedes Mariño, Pedro Berrios, All Star Trio, The Honolulu Queens, South Sea Islanders, Anglo-Persians, Jay Whidden, Elsie Bayron, The Kidoodlers, Wailana Grass Shack Boys, The Tune Wranglers, and Gino Bordin.

File Under: Exotica, World

…..restocks…..

Belle & Sebastian: Boy With The Arab Strap (Matador) LP
Philip Cohran: On The Beach (Kelan Zulu) LP
Helm: Olympic Mess (Pan) LP
Jamie XX: In Colour (Young Turk) LP
Blind Willie McTell: 1927-1935 (Yazoo) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 Chambers (Get On Down) LP
Pavement: Slanted & Enchanted (Matador) LP
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (4AD) LP
Pixies: Come On Pilgrim (4AD) LP
Sigur Ros: Valtari (XL) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyrum Vio Spilum En (XL) LP
Sun Ra: Lanquidity (Philly Jazz) LP
Sun Ra: Monorails & Satellites (Saturn) LP
Big Mama Thornton: In Europe (Arhoolie) LP
Big Mama Thornton: Queen at Monterey (Arhoolie) LP
Tycho: Dive (Ghostly) LP
Vampire Weekend: s/t (XL) LP

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…..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

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