Author Archives: listenrecords

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

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

…..picks of the week…..

wolfcop

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

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

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

altj

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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FINAL MASTER SYRO DIGIPAK.indd

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

File Under: Electronic, IDM, APHEX!
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666

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

File Under: Electronic, Drone
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athanor

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

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

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

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

File Under: Folk, Indie
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can

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

File Under: Krautrock, Essential Grooves
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tron

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

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

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

File Under: Hard Rock, Stoner
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fdup

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

File Under: Punk, CanCon, Rock
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karaca

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

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Anatolian Invasion
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lewis

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

File Under: Private Press, Weirdos, CanCon
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mato

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

File Under: Reggae, Daft Punk
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mudhoney

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

File Under: Punk, Grunge
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mutual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: OST, Surfer, Psych
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ouba

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

File Under: CanCon, Underground, Psych, Freakout
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mmm

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

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

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

File Under: Indie, CanCon
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sadier

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

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Stereolab
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senni

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

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

File Under: CanCon, Ladyhawk, Twin Fangs
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subotnik

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

File Under: Velvet Underground
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500px-Tangerine_Dream-Phaedra

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

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

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

File Under: Desert Blues, Tuareg, Psych
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tweedy

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

File Under: Rock, Pop, Folk
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umiliani

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

File Under: OST, Italian Thrillers
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med1

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

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Kosmische
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med2

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

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

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

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…..news letter #656 – minipops…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

goat

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

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

allahlas

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

File Under: Garage, Surf, Psych
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bird

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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bland

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

File Under: Rock, Psych, Black Angels
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can

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

File Under: Krautrock, Classics
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can1

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

 File Under: Krautrock, Classics
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diop

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

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

File Under: Ambient, Eno, King Crimson
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khun

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

File Under: Psych, Thai
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king tuff

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Garage, Power Pop
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nachtmystium

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

File Under: Metal
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t2

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

File Under: OST, Skynet
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vessel

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

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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wire

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

File Under: Punk
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…..restocks…..

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

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

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

…..pick of the week…..shellac

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

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

…..new arrivals…..

beatles

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

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

brh

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, Electronic
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dfa

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

File Under: Rock, CanCon
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earth

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

File Under: Metal, Doom, Southern Lord
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electric wurms

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

File Under: Flaming Lips, Krautrock
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interpol

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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softawalls

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

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

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

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…..news letter #654 – skool’d…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

madrigal

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

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

ambass

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

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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apostles

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

File Under: Punk, Anarco-punk
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bajas

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

File Under: Electronic, Drone
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charlatan

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

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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ct

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

File Under: Ethereal, Downtempo
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dawson

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

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

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

File Under: Metal, Doom, Southern Lord
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eno

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

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

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

File Under: Jazz, Trumpet, Supersilent
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hiss

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

File Under: Folk, Rock, Psych
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hoff

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

File Under: Electronic, 808
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james

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

 File Under: Soul, RnB, Blues
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lambchop

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

File Under: Folk, Country, Indie
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lsd

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

File Under: Psychedelic, LSD, Avant Garde
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merch

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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new porn

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

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

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

File Under: Fuzz, Psych, ZamRock
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godzilla

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

File Under: OST, Death Waltz
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phantom1

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

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

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

File Under: OST
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street trash

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

File Under: OST, Lofi Synth
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pigz

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

File Under: Punk, Belguim
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commando

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

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

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

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

File Under: Velvet Underground
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revelateur

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

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

File Under: Punk, Experimental, Pre-Punk

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

File Under: Electro, No Wave
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shovels

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

File Under: Country, Folk
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snd3

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

File Under: Electronic, Mille Plateaux
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spacemen3

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

File Under: Psych, Rock
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sugar

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

File Under: Garage
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surgeon

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

File Under: Techno, Electronic
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young

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

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

File Under: Techno

under

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

File Under: Soul, Disco

…..restocks…..


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

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…..news letter #653 – ost heaven…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: UK Indie Rock

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

File Under: Punk, Lo-Fi

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

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

File Under: OST, Anime, Japanese

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

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

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

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

Tagged , , , ,

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

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

…..pick of the week…..
heldon

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

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

bahamas

Bahamas: Is Alfie
(Brushfire) LP

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

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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coffey

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

File Under: Punk, Power Pop, CanCon
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balls

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

File Under: Aussie Punk, Hard Rock
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com truise

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

File Under: Electronic, Down Tempo
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crime

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

File Under: Punk
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dead c

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

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

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

File Under: Experimental, Legends, Live

demdike6

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

File Under: Electronic, Industrial

wildstyle

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

File Under: Hip Hop, Breaks
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dorji

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

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

File Under: French, Art Pop
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grateful

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

File Under: Psych, Grateful Dead, Jam
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grosskopf1

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

File Under: Kosmische, Krautrock, Electronic
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grosskopf

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

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
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gruppo

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

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

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

File Under: Country, Pop
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lovecrimes

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

File Under: Country, Pop
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nsvip

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

File Under: Country, Pop
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holter

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

File Under: Indie, Ethereal, Pop
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inryo

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

File Under: Japanese, Post Punk, Experimental
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jefferies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: Reggae
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liturgy

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

File Under: Metal
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lunch

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

File Under: Alt. Rock
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lussuria

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

File Under: Ambient, Industrial, Electronic
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mascis

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Dinosaur Jr.
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melchior

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

File Under: Garage Rock
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mvee

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

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

File Under: Grunge

oliveros

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

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

File Under: Metal
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frank

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

File Under: Avant Blues
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ramone

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

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

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

File Under: Psych, Garage, Glam
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snd

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

File Under: Electronic
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spider bags

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

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

File Under: Psych, Spacemen 3
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suzuki

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

File Under: Psych, Kraut, Can
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smog

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

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

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

File Under: Psych, Rock, Stoner
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williams

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

 File Under: Country, Folk
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wire

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

african gems

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

File Under: African, Ethnic, World
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congo

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

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

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

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…..news letter #651 – shower…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

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

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

49th

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

File Under: Psych, Garage, CanCon
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cocteau

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Ethereal, Dream Pop
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fka

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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jerusalem

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

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
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chopping mall

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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city of

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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surfnazis

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

File Under: OST, Troma
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severed1

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

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

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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spoon

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..restocks…..

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

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #650 – back…..

Well, I hope you survived our little break. I know I sure enjoyed it. Although I’m suffering for it this week now. Piles of new stuff in to make up for lost time…. imagine if I took more than 5 days off! Egads!

…..pick of the week…..
soundcarriers

The Soundcarriers: Entropicalia (Ghost Box) LP/CD
Entropicalia is the third full album from The Soundcarriers. New to the world of Ghost Box, their switched on sounds are filmic, fantastic and authentically psychedelic. The rock solid rhythm and bass of songwriters, Adam Cann and Paul Isherwood provide a jazz inflected, motorik groove for Dorian Conway’s guitar and the whirling keys and sunshine voice of Leonore Wheatley. Jesse Chandler of Midlake guests on Hammond and flute on two tracks, and film actor Elijah Wood talks the listener through a mathematically guided trip on the extended wig-out This is Normal. Sumptuous packaging for both CD and Vinyl is designed by Julian House with liner notes by Ben Graves (of the Toys and Techniques blog).

File Under: Psych, Pop, Library, Ghost Box
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…..new arrivals…..

alvvays

Alvvays: s/t (Royal Mountain) LP
Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes and a love of jingle-jangle. Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton, lifting fiddles and folksongs. Heartbreaks of different shades soon entered their lives, as did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac. Convening in Toronto, the group have been making music since since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed and twilit — nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass. With needlepoint melody and verse, Rankin and O’Hanley’s songs were recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Yoko Eno studio and mixed by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile). The resultant album is loud and clear and sure. Flood your ears.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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austerity

Austerity Program: Beyond Calculation (Controlled Burn) LP
Vinyl limited to 500 copies, with free CD copy of the album. Formerly a Hydra Head band, Austerity Program return with their new album released on artist-run label Controlled Burn. Past tour-mates have included Isis, Russian Circles, Young Widows, Coliseum, Pelican, Daughters and more. For fans of Big Black, Godflesh, Jesus Lizard, and Hammerhead.

File Under: Punk, Metal, Hydra Head
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batsumi

Batsumi: Moving Along (Matsuli) LP
“Precious SA freedom sounds — intensely spiritual and engaged — crossed by bebop, rooted in Malombo Jazz, animated by Biko. From 1976, on the cusp of intensifying apartheid repression, and radio silence.”

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual, African
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cir

Circulatory System: Mosaics Within Mosaics (Cloud) LP
Circulatory System are back with a new double album called Mosaics Within Mosaics. They are led by Will Cullen Hart, visual artist and one of the main songwriters of the psychedelic pop band The Olivia Tremor Control. The album was culled together in the style in which Will has always worked, using recordings from his copious back catalog of home recordings spanning from twelve years ago to now. It was masterfully assembled by Derek Almstead (Faster Circuits) with overdubs by John Fernandes (The Olivia Tremor Control, Dream Boat, Jacob Morris, The New Sound of Numbers, Old Smokey), Heather McIntosh (The Instruments), AJ Griffin (Laminated Cat), Peter Erchick (The Olivia Tremor Control, Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t), and Jeff Mangum & Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel). They lyrics feature Will’s unique observations and impressions of life – poetic and meaningful. The music is entrancing, sometimes flowing into long instrumental passages that set a very pleasant atmosphere. Since the mixes originated in Will’s bedroom, they all have his signature deep-focus production style. He is very enamored with using the mixes of songs from the day they were recorded instead of trying to capture the same magic when re-recording them. It makes sense because the sound of the recordings have as much impact as the songs themselves in creating an enveloping world of words, melody, and texture.

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych, Olivia Tremor Control
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cortini

Alessandro Cortini: Sonno (Hospital) LP
Alessandro Cortini is best known as the lead electronics performer in Nine Inch Nails’ live unit. His recordings under his own name have gained prominence in recent years and he has become known as one of the pre-eminent Buchla masters in North America. Cortini makes a surprising departure into the 202 on his debut album for Hospital Productions — Sonno. Sonno was recorded in hotel rooms, using a Roland MC 202 through a delay pedal, recorded direct, sometimes into a small portable speaker system. “I liked to walk around the room with a handheld recorder to hear where the sequence would sound better, turn on faucets, open doors or windows to see how the ambient sounds would interact with the MC 202/delay/speaker sound. It was very relaxing and liberating to make music this way.” The result is a beautifully restrained yet oddly emotive album that’s quite distinct from the overly academic approach so often undertaken by hardware-driven devotees. Mastered by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, NIN
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cyclobe1

Cyclobe: The Visitors (Phantom Code) LP
The Visitors, Cyclobe’s second album, was originally released in 2001. Its complex alien sound-world established them as purveyors of an immersive and phantasmagoric music like no other. Now, on the album’s 13th anniversary, The Visitors sees its first-ever release on vinyl, along with a 2CD re-issue. To celebrate this release, the album’s front cover features spectral artwork by the Irish artist Alex Rose, while the deluxe color inner sleeves present stunning vibratory paintings by renowned American artist Fred Tomaselli. This highly-anticipated edition also includes a specially-recorded new piece by Cyclobe, the illusory and chimeric “Son of Sons of Light,” for which Brown and Thrower are joined by current Cyclobe member Michael J. York. Formed in 1999 by Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower, Cyclobe have released five albums to date: Luminous Darkness, The Visitors, Paraparaparalellogrammatica, Wounded Galaxies Tap at The Window and Sulphur-Tarot-Garden. Brown and Thrower were previously members of the sidereal musick group, Coil. Brightness falls from the air.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial, Coil
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cyclobe2

Cyclobe: Sulphur-Tarot-Garden (Phantom Code) LP
Sulphur-Tarot-Garden is a new soundtrack album by Cyclobe, recorded to accompany three alchemical dream pieces by the filmmaker Derek Jarman. Originally shot between 1972 and 1978 on silent Super-8, the films were recently premiered with their new soundtracks at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. For this triptych of recordings, Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower are joined on Sulphur-Tarot-Garden by Michael J. York, Cliff Stapleton and John Contreras. This is Cyclobe’s fifth album to date, following Luminous Darkness, The Visitors, Paraparaparalellogrammatica and Wounded Galaxies Tap at The Window (NAOS 001CD/LP). Brown and Thrower were previously members of the sidereal musick group, Coil.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Coil
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demdike

Demdike Stare: Test Pressing 005 (Modern Love) 12”
Demdike Stare return with the fifth installment in their ongoing research and development series — a double-headed monster split between gnarly reductions on the A-side, and industrial-strength edits on the flip. “Procrastination” edges through grimey detritus and gunshot snares within a vast open space perfectly primed for that Demdike slow-build. “Past Majesty” offers up a feral take on some kind of cyber-industrial insanity, somewhere between Ministry and Powell — with a denouement which should probably come with a public health warning attached to it. All we’re saying is — watch yr eardrums.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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ectricElectric Citizen: Sateen (Riding Easy) LP
Formed just over a year ago by guitarist Ross Dolan, vocalist Laura Dolan, Nick Vogelpohl (bass) and Nate Wagner (drums) Electric Citizen have had a busy year turning heads and ears onto their dark and esoteric style of haunting and unhallowed ’60s West Coast rock, and decidedly British-influenced heavy psychedelia. Like records by similarly late 60s/early ’70s-possessed anti-modernists Blood Ceremony, Wolf People and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, over nine tracks Sateen provides a blueprint for long term appreciation. Recorded and produced by fellow Ohioan and local stalwart Brian Olive (The Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers) the album draws on sounds synonymous with the roots of early ’70s proto-metal from groups such as Sir Lord Baltimore, Pentagram, Cream and the daemonic spirit of Amon Düül. Not to mention the comparisons it draws with the rock ‘n’ roll ceremony of forgotten acts like Frumpy and Shocking Blue when held up against the spellbinding light of high priestess Laura Dolan’s enigmatic voice and live presence.

File Under: Metal, Rock n Roll
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english

Lawrence English: Wilderness of Mirrors (Room 40) LP
Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. This album has been two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A. Baker’s novel, The Peregrine. It is English’s most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation. The phrase, “wilderness of mirrors,” draws its root from T.S. Eliot’s elegant poem “Gerontion.” During the Cold War, the phrase became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Within the context of the record, the phrase acted as a metaphor for a process of iteration that sat at the compositional core of the LP. Buried in each final piece, like an unheard whisper, is a singularity that was slowly reflected back upon itself in a flood of compositional feedback. Erasure through auditory burial. Wilderness of Mirrors also reflects English’s interests in extreme dynamics and densities, something evidenced in his live performances of the past half decade. The album’s overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion reveals his ongoing explorations into the potentials of dense sonics. The album is moreover a reflection on the current exploitation of the ideals of the wilderness of mirrors, retuned and refocused from the politics of the state, to the politics of the modern multiplex. The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom. Wilderness of Mirrors is a stab at those living spectres (human and otherwise) that haunt our seemingly frail commitments to being humane. “We face constant, unsettled change,” English notes, “It’s not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bear witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us. We are seeing this ideal of betterment eroded here in Australia and abroad, too. This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss. I wonder if my voice will reflect off something?” Wilderness of Mirrors is reflection upon reflection, a pure white-out of absolute aurality. Some lesser-known facts about Lawrence English: he is a lightning strike survivor, he has swum in Antarctic waters (rescuing field recording equipment), he has photographed every bed he has slept in on tour since the early 2000s, he has stood at the site of an atomic blast (obviously not during the explosion), he maintains the Room40 label family, he was once described in concert as “Moses, parting waves,” he is a strong advocate for the profundity of listening, and he lives with three humans, a dog and two fine black Australorps.

File Under: Drone, Ambient, Electronic
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etron

Etron Fou Leloublan: Batelages (Replica) LP
The debut album by this French jazz-avantgarde band was released in 1976. Weird free jazz/rock lunacy, with Captain Beefheart being a good reference point if you need it. Eccentric to the max, this is definitely not something for everybody, but if you’re into that RIO think you’ll most likely love it. 500 copies, 180-gram vinyl.

File Under: Rock in Opposition, Avant Rock, Jazz/Rock, French
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fhloston

Fhloston Paradigm: The Phoenix (Hyperdub) LP
One of the first fruits of Fhloston Paradigm rose out of the very popular ‘King Britt presents Fhloston Paradigm’ Hyperdub 12″ in 2011, the name itself a fitting misspelling of the destination from the film Fifth Element, called ‘Fhloston Paradise.’ This initial EP won over many new fans with its inspired vision of how music with its DNA in a vintage future – formed by a childhood growing up with the peak of Science Fiction, from Close Encounters, to Blade Runner and Doctor Who – can sound. It hit upon a creative and adventurous way to fly above the needless analog and digital binary and represent both sides. ‘The Phoenix’, King Britt’s debut album as Fhloston Paradigm is unlike anything he’s done before, extending out of the principals laid down by the early EPs and excelling in turning beautiful production and a mind brimming with rich mental imagery into an album that reflects and ties together sci-fi’s musical history and concepts without being weighed down by them, and has a strong running through it without the pressure of overbearing concept. The album rides up and down in mood, opening with the claustrophobic paranoia of ‘Portal 1’s slicing roto-blades and solemn chords, next to the desolate, slow-building ultra-rhythmic techno of ‘Race to the Moon’. Then there are pockets on the album, especially with the introduction of Pia Ercole’s aquatic-operatic vocals, that sound as if optimistic space age exotica is being tested against the more amorphous sonics of modern electronica. There are also moments of bleakness, with ‘Chasing Rainbows’ a metallic drum machine work out pitted against rubbery synth chords that remind of broken techno, contrasted with moments of head spinning beatlessness, like the crackling glitches and subliminal messages of ‘Perception’, or the undulating sun-baked ambience of ‘More’. This is emotive and imaginative music, for deep voyaging.

File Under: Electronic, Hyperdub
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flashback5

Flashback #5
Issue #5 of Flashback, Summer 2014. 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. A4 size (with a gloss cover), 212 pages long, and full-color throughout, it’s packed with new research, exclusive interviews and rare photos. BLOSSOM TOES – This late ’60s London quartet made two classic albums, gigged prolifically (including several fabled festivals), and even ventured behind the Iron Curtain. Richard Morton Jack gets their story straight, with the help of many rare and previously-unseen images. JUKEBOX – Luke Haines on twelve tracks that have inspired him. ALBUM BY ALBUM – Pioneering UK independent producer Vic Keary talks us through many of his productions, from pop and jazz to folk and prog. WORLD COUNTDOWN – At long last, the story behind America’s great lost underground paper and its enigmatic English proprietor, Charles Royal. ARCADIUM – An exclusive on the mysterious British prog/psych rockers, by Austin Matthews. OLAV WYPER – A rare audience with the man behind the Vertigo label — and much more besides. FIRST PERSON – Fairport Convention’s close friend Kingsley Abbott describes their early days. WALLY RICHARDSON – The fullest ever interview with the renowned session guitarist, by Scott D. Wilkinson. ROOM – The cautionary tale of the quintet behind the British prog classic Pre-Flight. CULPEPER’S ORCHARD – The celebrated Anglo-Danish folk-rockers, by Claus Rasmussen. INTRODUCING ESOTERICA – Patrick Lundborg explains the concept of “esoteric appreciation.” EUROPEAN ROCK – Fifty classic albums no collection should be without. ROBERT PLANT – A rare and revealing 1970 interview with the Led Zeppelin frontman. CRYING TO BE HEARD – The great lost Honeybus album, Recital. REVIEWS – Thorough coverage of recent CDs, LPs and books, taking in household names (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin), cult heroes (Badfinger, Davy Graham, The Zombies) and ultra-obscurities (Mormos, Staff Carpenborg and Thor’s Hammer), with exclusive Q&As about certain items under review.

File Under: Magazines

freeman

Freeman: s/t (Partisan) LP
In the opening minutes of Freeman, the self-titled debut from his new band, Freeman addresses addiction and its aftermath with the combination of merciless self-inventory and artful songcraft that earned Ween one of the most devoted fan bases in contemporary pop. Freeman represents a new beginning – Aaron Freeman’sfirst album of original material since disbanding Ween and getting sober – but it isn’t a record mired in its maker’s private struggles. It’s simply a collection of gorgeous, subtly offbeat songs – in other words, a continuation of the thread that runs through the entire Ween catalog. Freeman stresses that Freeman is more about renewal than turning his back on the past. “I want this record to pay homage to Ween,” he says. “These are the same songs I would’ve written in Ween – except without [ex-bandmate] Mickey.”

File Under: Rock, Ween
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futuro2Futuro Antico: s/t (Black Sweat) LP
For the first time on vinyl, Black Sweat Records presents this obscure gem from the Italian project Futuro Antico, released only on tape in 1980. This record contains a hypnotic session from members Walter Maioli (Aktuala) and Riccardo Sinigaglia. Warm analog sounds, and a perfect mix of drone synth and ancient flutes make you feel like you’re flying on a spaceship towards exotic locales. If this record reminds you of the incredibly astonishing live Köln jam between Terry Riley and Don Cherry, the comparison fits. In a limited edition of 300 copies, this reissue features the original tape artwork with info and photos inside.

File Under: Drone, New Age, World
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futuro1

Futuro Antico: Dal Primotovo All’ Elettronica (Black Sweat) LP
An outstanding raga-like drone LP with a distinctive cosmic vibe, Futuro Antico was a short-lived collaboration between the two Italians Walter Maioli (Aktuala), Riccardo Sinigaglia and Gabin Dabiré (from Burkina Faso). The synthesis between ancient, ethnic and analog electronic music is just perfect, the minimalist repetition with slight changes lends associations to slow growth; cyclic repetition gives the listener an opportunity to discover the sounds, to meditate, to go into the music, join the same journey through ancient, primitive cultures and modern electronic soundscapes. Originally released in 1980, the sound is completely analog and warm. This limited to 300 copies reissue maintains the original tape artwork, with info and photos.

File Under: Drone, New Age, World
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mgg

M Geddes Gendras: Ishi (Leaving) LP
M Geddes Gengras is one half of Duppy Gun Productions, and a prolific music producer on his own. Ishi will be released June 24 on Leaving Records. Download card with vinyl includes all 4 tracks. XLR8R: “The ‘signature sound’ of Matthewdavid’s Leaving Records imprint has been joyously hard to pin down since its inception, with the label anchoring itself in the world of abstract beats as much as it is unafraid to venture into lopsided noise, refracted house, musique concrete, and, in the case of a forthcoming record from M. Geddes Gengras, sprawling ambient expeditions. The artist’s Ishi LP offers a series of elongated synth expeditions. M. Geddes Gengras’ work is described as being ‘based in modular synthesis, comfortably straddling a variety of forms and remaining rooted in a deep affinity for the limitations of analog electronics and a keen ear for timbral manipulation.’ Named after Ishi, ‘the last wild Indian’ who appeared at the age of 49 in 1911 North America as a complete outsider to the modern world, the effort’s three tracks (with a bonus cut in the CD/digital packages) are said to be inspired by what the artist describes as, ‘the schism that exists between the world we live in and those stuck on the margins of it—perpetual outsiders and their quest to understand the torrent of information they are constantly subjected to.’

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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hayvan

Hayvaniar Alemi: Twisted Souvenirs (Unrock) LP
Hayvanlar Alemi, led by Ozum Itez (guitar) and Isik Sarihan (percussion), are a group of contemporary musicians from the underground scene of the Turkish capital, Ankara. Their genres are extraordinary psychedelic, surf, and instrumental rock, flavored with an exotic twist. They released some domestic CDs in Turkey before their international debut came out on Alan Bishop’s and Hisham Mayet’s Sublime Frequencies label in 2009. Guarana Superpower (SF 062CD/LP) sold out in only a few weeks. Twisted Souvenirs documents their fast-paced development into an elegant, highly complex, genuinely performed mélange of the most exotic possible influences. They position themselves close to their roots but open up at the same time to influences from the East and West and beyond. Reminiscent of Sun City Girls’ Torch of the Mystics phase, influences from Cambodian retro-rock and electrified Thai Mor-Lam are as deeply anchored in their sound-carpet as the glittering guitars from the Sahara. Hybrid music galore. “Karecikler Dolmadan,” once the intro to their recent live sets, becomes the centerpiece to this album. “Yekermo Sew,” a careful new interpretation of the Mulatu Astakte classic, and “Geneva Incident” are highlights amongst an album where each and every song is unique and recognizable. With a steady hand, Hayvanlar Alemi put pieces together from global sounds to make this album a perfect entity. Limited edition pressing of 750 copies.

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Instrumental, SCGs
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hotknives

Hot Knives: s/t (Got Kinda Lost) LP
Got Kinda Lost Records — named after the song by ex-Big Star founding member Chris Bell — is the newest reissue imprint by the Guerssen Label Group. Curated by Jeremy Cargill (Assistant Editor for Ugly Things Magazine), the label’s focus is archival and reissue work specializing in the realms of proto-punk, ’70s pop/power pop, glam, psych, privately-pressed hard rock, and “out of time” treasures. Hot Knives were a late period folk-rock/power pop combo from latter ’70s San Francisco — and held two ex-Flamin’ Groovies members in their ranks (guitarist Tim Lynch, and drummer Danny Mihm). Led by the hair-rising boy-girl sound from the Houpt siblings (Michael and Debra), and bolstered by the ringing, jangly guitars of Lynch/Houpt, and driving rhythm section of Mihm and bassist Ed Wilson, sparks flew when they united as a whole. This set collects the tracks from their late ’70s singles, and a further batch of dynamite tracks pressed into wax (seeing vinyl release for the first time). As music journalist Jud Cost says in the extensive liner notes, “Hot Knives were a little too late for the ’60s hippie trip and a little too hippie for the crash’n’burn punk rock brushfire of the mid-’70s,” but their consistent songwriting and way with a hook should appeal to all with a “pop heart” beating in their chest, fans of ’60s SF sounds, and folk-rock.

File Under: 60s San Fran, Power Pop, Folk Rock
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Jesus & The Mary Chain:jamc
Automatic (Demon) LP
Darklands (Demon) LP
Honey’s Dead (Demon) LP
Munki (Demon) LP
Stoned & Dethroned (Demon) LP
Following on from the sold out 30th Anniversary Vinyl Collection in 2013, Demon Records is proud to present The Jesus & Mary Chain catalogue reissued as 180-gram heavyweight LP audiophile editions. Including all 6 of the seminal Scottish band’s studio albums including Psychocandy, Darklands, Automatic, Honey’s Dead, Stoned & Dethroned and Munkithe reissues are released ahead of a National UK tour and recent signing to a re-launched Creation Management (heralded by Alan McGee) The LP reissues are cut from a brand new 2014 master – taken from original archive tapes and mastered at half-speed, a first for the catalogue, preserving and enhancing the intense frequencies and volume of the original recordings. All 6 LP packages are replication of the original releases with full colour inner bags, labels and original finishes.

File Under: Rock, Indie Rock
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fela2

Fela Kuti: Live with Ginger Baker (Knitting Factory) LP
It’s hard to go wrong with Fela Kuti’s work from the 1970s, and “LIVE!”, which features the Afro-beat innovator backed by his powerhouse band Africa ’70 and ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker, is no exception. Like all of Fela’s recordings from the era, “LIVE!” consists of just a few tracks, each of which approximates or exceeds the ten minute mark. Yet the arrangements are so dynamic on these tracks, the criss-crossing polyrhythms so absorbing, and Fela’s incantatory vocals so entrancing that the long running times never seem a factor. Every cut crackles from beginning to end with its mixture of funk, jazz, and traditional Nigerian music, underscoring once again Fela’s revolutionary, indelible contribution to world music. Fans of Ginger Baker will want to take note that the drummer is not showcased except on a bonus track, which pairs the drummer with Fela percussionist Tony Allen for a smokin’ sixteen-plus minute drum solo.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Classics
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fela1Fela Kuti: Expensive Shit (Knitting Factory) LP
“Expensive Shit” is arguably one of Fela Kuti’s best releases. In addition to its burbling percussive groove, infectious horn melodies, and Fela’s inspired vocal performance, the anecdote behind the title cut is an amusing tale involving the Nigerian authorities’ raid of Fela’s home compound, during which he was framed for the possession of marijuana. On the flipside we get the equally classic keyboard-and horn-dominated instrumental “Water No Get Enemy”. ‘Expensive Sh*t’ Nigerian police, seeking to frame Fela Kuti, tried to plant a joint of marijuana on him during a gathering at his home. Wise to their plan, he quickly swallowed the joint. However, the police threw him in jail to wait for the evidence to make its way through his system. With some wily plotting Fela escaped charges and subsequently produced this opus mocking the police for wasting resources on hassling him instead of furthering justice in Nigeria. Opening brass sounds give way to interplay between Fela’s narration about the episode and responses from his group of female singers.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Classics
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1333029299_he-miss-roadFela Kuti: He Miss Road (Knitting Factory) LP
‘He Miss Road’ combines the sound of James Brown-style 70s funk with a stripped down Afro-beat performance. Ginger Baker produced this ethereal, nearly psychedelic album with Tony Allen on drums, backed by Fela’s Africa 70 band. The title track refers to the ways in which people have lost their way – and the ensuing chaos it causes. Through call-and-response lyrics, Fela illustrates a few ways in which someone has “missed the road”, including a gorilla who runs out of the jungles and into Lagos, and a musician who sings only for the deaf. This last example is a caustic personal attack on a fellow Lagosian musician who had stolen one of Fela’s girlfriends – the attack extends even onto the original album cover, where this point is literally illustrated.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Classics
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kyuss4

Kyuss: And The Circus Leaves Town (Elektra) LP
1995’s …And The Circus Leaves Town is the fourth and final album from short lived Palm Desert, CA stoner/desert rock trailblazers Kyuss, recorded when the band was down to only two founding members (John Garcia and Josh Homme). The group’s third in a row with producer and Godfather of desert rock Chris Goss following unrivaled releases Blues for the Red Sun (1992) and Welcome to Sky Valley (1994), the 11-track swan song replaces the loaded extended jams of its predecessors with more traditional song structures, hinting at some of the sounds Homme would go on to explore with Queens of the Stone Age. The members of Kyuss officially went their separate ways for good in 1995 after only four genre defining albums with Homme and Nick Oliveri forming QOTSA, Garcia founding groups Unida, Slo Burn, and Hermana and Brant Bjork joining Fu Manchu.

File Under: Stoner Rock, Metal, QotSA
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kyuss2

Kyuss: Blues For The Red Sun (Elektra) LP
1992’s Blues For The Red Sun is the influential second album from short lived Palm Desert, CA stoner/desert rock trailblazers Kyuss and final release recorded by the band’s classic line-up of vocalist John Garcia, guitarist Josh Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri and drummer Brant Bjork. The explosive 14-song masterwork marks Kyuss’ first with producer and Godfather of desert rock Chris Goss and therefore the true emergence of the band’s powerful wall of sound with guitars tuned way down and amps turned way up. Goss remembers, “It was the loudest thing I’d ever heard in my life. And that’s what I wanted to get on the record – all the frequencies clashing in the middle of the room. It was like sitting in the middle of a bowling alley when the balls are rolling down the wood. Kyuss had a rumble. I think that’s one of the reasons people love them so much, because there’s frequencies there that embrace you – you feel like you’re there with them.” The members of Kyuss officially went their separate ways for good in 1995 after only four genre defining albums with Homme and Oliveri forming Queens of the Stone Age, Garcia founding groups Unida, Slo Burn, and Hermana and Bjork joining Fu Manchu.

File Under: Stoner Rock, Metal, QotSA
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kyuss1Kyuss: Welcome To Sky Valley (Elektra) LP
1994’s Welcome To Sky Valley is the third full-length recording from short lived Palm Desert, CA stoner/desert rock trailblazers Kyuss and first with bassist Scott Reeder in place of Nick Oliveri. Once again produced by Godfather of desert rock Chris Goss who brought the band’s mammoth sound to full fruition on 1992 masterwork Blues For The Red Sun, the conceptual release continued the group’s upward trajectory with three hard charging movements designed as one mesmerizing organic jam. The members of Kyuss officially went their separate ways for good in 1995 after only four genre defining albums with Homme and Oliveri forming Queens of the Stone Age, Garcia founding groups Unida, Slo Burn, and Hermana and Brant Bjork joining Fu Manchu.

File Under: Stoner Rock, Metal, QotSA
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kyuss3Kyuss: Wretch (Elektra) LP
Wretch is the auspicious debut album from short lived Palm Desert, CA stoner/desert rock trailblazers Kyuss recorded by the band’s classic line-up of vocalist John Garcia, guitarist Josh Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri and drummer Brant Bjork, and originally issued as a single LP in 1991 on Dali Records. Down tuned and raw as ever, Wretch features several re-recordings of tracks that appeared on the band’s Sons of Kyuss EP (1990), and is the revered group’s only album without production assistance from Godfather of desert rock Chris Goss. The members of Kyuss went their separate ways in 1995 after only four genre defining albums with Homme and Oliveri forming Queens of the Stone Age, Garcia founding groups Unida, Slo Burn, and Hermana and Bjork joining Fu Manchu.

File Under: Stoner Rock, Metal, QotSA
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mayhem

Mayhem: Esoteric Warfare (Season of Mist) LP
The brand rippin’ new fifth album form the Norwegian Black Metal band. Esoteric Warfare, the long-awaited follow-up to their 2007 album Ordo Ad Chao, is the first album to feature Teloch on guitar since Blasphemer’s departure from the band in 2008. Esoteric Warfare demonstrates how perfectly Teloch has captured the essence and spirit of the Norwegian legend by linking the band back to its roots, while at the same time taking a step forward into the spearhead position of the genre instead of dwelling in nostalgia.

File Under: Metal, Black Metal
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morrissey

Morrissey: World Peace Is None of Your Business (Harvest) LP
Morrissey is an iconic figure from the cultural nexus where music meets art and literature and beyond. World Peace Is None of Your Business, Morrissey’s first release since 2009’s Years of Refusal, was recorded in France with legendary producer Joe Chiccarelli (Elton John, U2, The Strokes). The sessions also featured his longtime recording and touring band consisting of Boz Boorer (guitar), Jesse Tobias (guitar), Solomon Walker (bass), Matthew Walker (drums) and Gustavo Manzur (keyboards). The album combines Morrissey’s pained baritone, ratty electric guitars and forceful hooks to form one of the most powerful solo efforts of his career, surely poised to be one of the biggest of 2014.Morrissey’s solo career began in 1988, after the dissolution of The Smiths, with the release of Viva Hate. His influence on music and culture has continued to grow over the past 25 years through the release of nine globally acclaimed studio albums and an array of singles, rarities collections and live recordings. He is renowned as one of the world’s most beloved and iconic performing artists, recently exemplified in last year’s concert film, Morrissey 25: Live, recorded in March 2013 at a rare intimate show at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles. “World Peace is sweepingly powerful and effortlessly transgressive. Morrissey is in fine mature voice, belting with gusto and going gentle without strain. His touring band provides wide-ranging support in arrangements that incorporate everything from Portuguese fado to lounge-music cool to rock grandiosity. Longtime guitarist Boz Boorer is the anchor; Gustavo Manzur, on keyboards and percussion, is the utility player pushing the sound. Producer Joe Chiccarelli makes it all cohere, giving Morrissey room to emote within the wash of musical elements.” – Ann Powers, NPR

File Under: Rock, Smiths
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naamNaam/White Hills/Black Rainbow/Flying Eyes: Split (Heavy Psych Sounds) LP
“This first volume in the ‘4 Bands Split’ series presents four bands that need no future introduction, NAAM, WHITE HILLS, BLACK RAINBOWS and The FLYING EYES, all contributing exclusive tracks to this release. The record is presented as a double-LP in a gatefold sleeve with artwork by Solomacello.”

File Under: Metal, Psych
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congress

OST: The Congress (Max Richter) (Milan) LP
Limited edition 180 gram pressed on white vinyl with digital download. The Congress is the sophomore feature film by acclaimed director Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir). Mixing live action with gorgeous and psychedelic animation, The Congress is a sci-fi tale about an aging, out of-work actress (Robin Wright playing an alternate reality version of herself) who accepts her final job: preserving her digital image for a future Hollywood. For this new film Ari Folman reunites with composer Max Richter (Waltz With Bashir, Disconnect, Sarah’s Keys..). Highly musical, the film features a beautiful and harmonious score ranging from epic, sweeping tracks to electronica renditions of classical partitions by Frederic Chopin and Franz Schubert. The album also includes new versions of the famous Forever Young and If It Be Your Will produced by Max Richter and performed by Robin Wright. US Distributor Drafthouse films is releasing the film on VOD on July 24 and in theaters on August.

File Under: OST, Classical
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outsidersThe Outsiders: Calling On Youth (Beat Generation) LP
The Outsiders were formed in Wimblendon, UK in 1976. Their Calling on Youth album was the first DIY LP released worldwide after the explosion of The Buzzcocks first 7″, but The Outsiders’ LP is the first DIY punk full-length. Adrian Borland, together with Bob Lawrence and Adrian James formed the band and recorded and released this first LP on the Raw Edge label in May of 1977. A brilliant combination of punk’s first steps mixed with some rock and also some hard-rock moments in the vein of The Stooges, Modern Lovers and Peter Perrett’s Only Ones. The final result was a seminal punk album played with the energy of young kids who tried to scream and shout all their frustration and anger. Also, some of the riffs were not so well-played, something that increased the appeal of this release. Once again, Beat Generation helps new generations understand where punk began, releasing this fantastic record in a limited run of 500 copies on glorious 180 gram black vinyl.

File Under: Punk, DIY
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phish

Phish: Fuego (ATO) LP
Fuego, Phish’s twelfth studio album (and first in five years) is available for pre-order on CD and as a limited pressing 2-LP set on 180g Orange vinyl. Fuego was recorded in late 2013 in Nashville, TN after a series of writing sessions at The Barn in VT and was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel). While Fuego’s ten new tracks include songs that individual members brought to the table in usual Phish fashion, the bulk of the material was written by all four, working together at The Barn.

File Under: Jam Bands, Phish
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protomartyrProtomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) LP
Protomartyr’s taut, austere rock was incubated in a freezing Detroit warehouse littered with beer cans and cigarette butts and warmed, feebly, by space heaters. Despite the cold, Protomartyr emerged with a sound that is idiosyncratic but relatable, hooky but off-kilter, and economical in a way that elicits comparisons to possible antecedents like Pere Ubu or The Fall as well as local contemporaries like Frustrations or Tyvek — all of which have combined here to make one stunner of a sophomore album, and the band’s first for Hardly Art.

File Under: Punk
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spiritualized

Spiritualized: Let It Come Down (Plain) LP
‘Let It Come Down’ is the fourth album by Spiritualized, originally released in 2001. Jason Pierce spent four years writing, performing, recording and finally releasing the follow up to his 1997 breakthrough album ‘Ladies And Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space’. ‘Let It Come Down’ features a full orchestra, gospel choir, and many back up musicians to fulfill Pierce’s ambitions. This record is a step forward from Spiritualized’s denser space rock of the first three records to a sweeping orchestral sound with large swaths of strings, brass and choir helping to fulfill the widescreen splendor of Pierce’s vision. First domestic record release in a Limited edition of 3,000 On 180 gram vinyl from Plain Recordings.

File Under: Space Rock, Spacemen3
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spoon

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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skmSun Kil Moon: Benji (Caldo Verde) LP
2-LP gatefold with lyric insert – black vinyl limited to 900 copies. Benji is the sixth studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released on 11 February 2014 on Caldo Verde Records. Self-produced by primary recording artist Mark Kozelek, the album was recorded between March and August 2013 at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco.The album features contributions from Owen Ashworth, Jen Wood, Will Oldham, and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley.

File Under: Folk, Red House Painters
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vuVelvet Underground: Lost Guitar Amp Tapes Vol 1 (Tummy Tapes) LP
“Recorded through a microphone jammed in the back of Lou Reed’s amp right around the release of their third album, The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury and a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing which in this set is a monolithic roar, a pulverizing electronic kaiju (strange beast) grinding the whole universe into pebble and sand. Paste-on covers.”

File Under: Psych, Bootlegs, VU
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congo guitars

Various: Congo Guitars (SWP) LP
This is the famous Katanga guitar sound, as recorded by Hugh Tracey, based on the traditional likembe lamellaphone music of the various Luba peoples and their neighbors, who went to work in the mines and, as a result of this urbanization, embraced “modernism” by buying guitars. Plus three rumba tracks from Stanleyville (Kisangani), where there was a laid-back atmosphere with white and black people dancing together in a flourishing nightlife, exceptional for the Belgian Congo. A compilation of tracks from the CDs SWP 015: Origins of Guitar Music, SWP 011: Kanyok and Luba, SWP 034: The Very Best of Hugh Tracey, except two tracks not previously released by SWP. This LP is a 140 gram pressing by Pallas.

File Under: World, Ethnic Guitar
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ivs1

Various: International Vicious Society Vol. 1 (University of Vice) LP
Reissue of the first difficult-to-find volume of this crazy series, out of print for the last ten years. 500 copies limited edition. “The craziest compilation of music from all over the world. This compilation collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the ’50s and ’60s.” “A brilliant & bonkers concoction of exotica, teenbeat, and international nonsense novelties.” “If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out yer Las Vegas Grind and Jungle Exotica records, then this is for YOU! This platter will liven up any ole party!” “Lurch-eriffic teen crazes and totally daffy mix-n-match foreign language tracks that’ll make your eyes & ears alike pop just like corn. Long live the University of Vice.” Tracks from England, Germany, USA, Mexico, Iran, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia, and Tahiti.

File Under: Exotica, World Pop/Dance, 50s/60s

ivs2Various: International Vicious Society Vol. 2 (University of Vice) LP
Reissue of the difficult-to-find volume 2 in this crazy series, out of print for the last ten years. 500 copies limited edition. “The craziest compilation of music from all over the world. This compilation collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the ’50s and ’60s.” “A brilliant & bonkers concoction of exotica, teenbeat, and international nonsense novelties.” “If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out yer Las Vegas Grind and Jungle Exotica records, then this is for YOU! This platter will liven up any ole party!” “Lurch-eriffic teen crazes and totally daffy mix-n-match foreign language tracks that’ll make your eyes & ears alike pop just like corn. Long live the University of Vice.” Tracks from the USA, Germany, England, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Belgium, France, Greece, Tahiti, and Denmark.

File Under: Exotica, Dance/Pop, 50s/60s

ivs7

Various: International Vicious Society Vol. 7 (University of Vice) LP
The University Of Vice label presents the seventh volume of their International Vicious Society collection of releases — the craziest compilation of music from all over the world. This comp collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the ’50s and ’60s. A brilliant and bonkers concoction of exotica, teenbeat, and international nonsense novelties. If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out your Las Vegas grind and jungle exotica records, then this is for YOU. This platter will liven up any ole party with lurch-eriffic teen crazes and totally daffy mix-n-match foreign language tracks that’ll make your eyes and ears alike pop just like corn. Tracks from Thailand, Italy, Panama, USA, Mexico, France, Morocco, and Puerto Rico. Limited to 500 copies only.

File Under: Exotica, 50s/60s, Teenbeat

savage

Various: Savage Rhythm (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Double LP version. 180 gram vinyl, housed in a gatefold sleeve. New musical styles don’t appear overnight. Rock and roll didn’t explode out of a vacuum and Elvis wasn’t the Big Bang (more like the start of rapid inflationary expansion). Before Elvis, there was a massively diverse R&B scene in the States, which today’s record buyer is currently enjoying the discovery of through a wealth of compilations and reissue 7″s. In turn, this music was a development of the sound that came before it, with many of the key players having been instrumental in the swing bands of the ’30s and early ’40s. Savage Rhythm is a compilation of this fantastic music, documenting the direct lineage from the jazz and swing of the ’30s through to a more R&B-ready sound of the early ’40s, signposting the way ahead for what was to become jump blues and eventually rock and roll. Compiled by Brighton (UK) DJ, music-lover and vinyl junkie Shamblin Sexton, Savage Rhythm is put together to make the party swing hard. As much a ticket to the good times as a history lesson, Savage Rhythm delivers both with urbane style and swagger. With original artwork by graphic designer Chris Sick, this compilation will be a must-have for the vintage kids & R&B heads, as well as the electro-swing DJs and club-goers. Savage Rhythm swings a hefty punch of serious, quality music that is as vibrant and essentially vital today as it was 75 years ago.

File Under: R&B, Rock N Roll, Swing, Dance

slowgrind2

Various: Slow Grind Fever Vol 2 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee presents the second volume in their series collecting slow-grind, swing, and sleaze tracks. Volume 2 was compiled by Richie1250, founder of the Slow Grind Fever club night, Melbourne’s only slow dance party. Features tracks from: Bobby Beck, Barbara McNair, Helen Grayco, Sylvie Mora, Nina Simone, Big Maybelle, Scatman Crothers, Lorrie Collins, Bobby Rebel, Johnny Carroll, Dick Penner, Santo & Johnny, Lee Hazlewood With Duane Eddy And His Orchestra, and Eddie Miller And His Band.

File Under: Sleaze, Slow Grind, Swing

…..restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Beyonce: I Don’t Just Hear Music, I See It (Sony) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Captain Beefheart: Trout Mask Replica (Reprise) LP
Neko Case: The Worse Things Get… (Anti) LP
The Clean: Anthology (Merge) 4LP
Descendants: Somery (SST) LP
Bob Dylan: Free Wheelin’ (Sundazed) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (4 Men With Beards) LP
Francois Hardy: s/t (Doxy) LP
Francois Hardy: Canta In Italiano (Doxy) LP
Isaac Hayes: Shaft OST (Fantasy) LP
Mark Hollis: s/t (Ba Da Bing) LP
Husker Du: New Day Rising (SST) LP
La Luz: It’s Alive (Hardly Art) LP
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (Madlib) LP
Nirvana: Live At Reading (Geffen) LP
OM: Pilgrimage (Southern Lord) LP
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animals (What’s Your Rupture) CD
Refused: Shape of Punk To Come (Epitaph) LP
Subrosa: More Constant Than The Gods (Profound Lore) LP
Sun Ra: My Way Is The Space Ways (Norton) LP
Swans: To Be Kind (Young God) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Unwound: Rat Conspiracy (Numero) 3LP
US Maple: Acre Thrills (Drag City) LP
Sylvie Vartan: Twiste Et Chante (Doxy) LP
Viet Cong: Cassette (Mexican Summer) 12″
War On Drugs: Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian) LP
White Fence: For the Recently Found Innocent (Drag City) LP/CS
Wipers: Over The Edge (Jackpot) LP
Various: Ecstasy of Gold Volume 5 (Semi Automatic) LP

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…..news letter #649 – break…..

Finally, the week we’ve all been waiting for. That week in summer where virtually nothing comes out! Here it is, enjoy. It’s also the last couple of days before we close for a few days for a summer break….

We will be closed July 28th – Aug 1st, just Monday – Friday. 

Oh ya, due to some anti-spam laws I should tell you, if you want to keep receiving this email, don’t do anything. If you don’t want to keep getting it, unsubscribe at the bottom.

…..pick of the week…..

sale

OVERSTOCK SALE!!!!
Since y’all are going to have to go a week without being able to come in and dig through our stacks, we figured why not motivate you to pick up some stuff you’ve been putting off and that we seem to have just too many copies of. We are having a different kind of sale than we’ve ever had before…..

3 days only… Friday, Saturday, Sunday (July 25-July 27)
30% off all tagged overstock

That’s it. You aren’t gonna get the new Mastodon for cheap, but you might get some Miles Davis, or Sonic Youth, or Horror OSTs. So get in here this weekend and help us clear out the back room!

…..new arrivals…..

madcap

Syd Barrett:
The Madcap Laughs (Harvest) LP
Barrett (Harvest) LP
One of the most influential musicians in British pop history, Syd Barrett was as appreciated as much for his iconoclastic approach to the electric guitar as for his adventurous and imaginative songwriting. A co-founder of Pink Floyd, he was also quintessentially English, penning idiosyncratic and unique songs, and, along with Ray Davies, was directly responsible for a whole generation of musicians feeling that it was acceptable to develop their own indigenous brand of rock music. Pink Floyd signed to EMI Records in 1967, releasing the singles “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play,” both written by Syd, and the album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, again mostly composed by Syd and considered to be one of the greatest British psychedelic albums. However, as the band began to attract a large fanbase, it became clear that Syd’s fluid approach to writing, performing and recording – spontaneous, one take only, nothing repeated – was increasingly at odds with the expectations of a musical scene that was still very conservative, especially outside London. Possibly exacerbated by Syd’s frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs, his behavior became more erratic, to the point that the band decided to add a second guitarist for live performances. They hoped to call on Syd’s compositional abilities for studio work, similar to Brian Wilson’s role in the Beach Boys, while David Gilmour would bolster the band in live shows. The experiment didn’t really work and, in January 1968, after a handful of shows as a 5-piece, the band elected not to pick Syd up on the way to a Southampton University show. Syd and Floyd officially parted company in March 1968, with the band’s management Blackhill Enterprises deciding to stick with Syd as a solo artist. EMI’s new Harvest label committed to a Barrett solo project, and over the course of a year Syd recorded his debut The Madcap Laughs. The album was well received and sold reasonably, so EMI elected to record a follow-up straight away. The sessions for sophomore album Barrett started on February 26, 1970, with David Gilmour as producer, Richard Wright on keyboards and Humble Pie’s Jerry Shirley on drums. Sessions in April and July followed, and the album was released in November 1970, the last official Syd Barrett album, bar compilations.

File Under: Psych, LoFi, Classics, Pink Floyd
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leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser: Black Hours (Ribbon) LP
Hamilton Leithauser presents his debut solo album Black Hours via Ribbon Music – inaugurating a new chapter in an already remarkable career from The Walkmen front man. The album brings Leithauser full circle and then some, from lonely midwinter piano-and-vocals sessions, to a loud, live rock & roll group and back again. Featuring Leithauser with a slew of talented collaborators including Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Paul Maroon (The Walkmen), Morgan Henderson (Fleet Foxes) and Richard Swift (The Shins/solo), the album showcases Leithauser at his most passionate, personal and free. In its orchestrated rhythms, dynamic vocals, and generous production, Black Hours speaks from one booming voice. The instrumentation provides muscle and texture: Maroon covering a wide range of acoustic and electric guitars as well as grand piano; Batmanglij switching between guitar, harpsichord, piano, bass and harmonica; Henderson takes the marimba and upright bass, and Swift lays down impressive drums on seven tracks. Amber Coffman from the Dirty Projectors provides backing vocals on several numbers and even Hugh McIntosh of Leithauser’s first band, the Recoys, returns to the drum stool for a pair of songs. Principal recording for Black Hours was done in August 2013 at Vox Studios in Los Angeles, “the oldest private studio in the world,” where Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer, and countless others cut demos before appearing on air at NBC studios, just across Melrose Ave. This Deluxe Edition LP of Black Hours is a limited edition pressing that includes a bonus 4 track EP available exclusively on a second vinyl disc; includes a printed 7”x7” accordion fold out, two inner printed card stock sleeves housed in a wide spine jacket, and the album on a single 180 gram heavyweight vinyl with MP3 download card.

File Under: Indie Rock, Walkmen
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mastodon

Mastodon: Once More ‘Round The Sun (Reprise) LP
Art is a cyclical beast. The same can easily be said of Grammy Award nominated hard rock juggernaut Mastodon. The group’s four members recognize the importance of life’s omnipresent cycles on their sixth full-length album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. The band orbits around themes of loss and rebirth, twirling a sonic spiral of its signature robust riffing, hypnotically haunting soundscapes, triage of dynamic voices, and thundering seismic grooves. At the same time, this particular collection proves personal for Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Bill Kelliher, and Troy Sanders. Mastodon’s own collective cycle encompasses a staggering string of accolades. As far as rock ‘n’ roll goes, their legacy irrefutably stands alone. However, that legacy expands yet again with Once More ‘Round the Sun. In order to uphold a modus operandi of experimentation and evolution, the boys enlisted the talents of super producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush, Alice In Chains, Deftones) for the very first time. They holed up in his Falcon Rock studio in Nashville throughout the fall of 2013, cutting what would become Once More ‘Round the Sun. Given his passion for the band, Raskulinecz immediately clicked with the musicians.

File Under: Metal, Hard Rock
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reigning sound

Reigning Sound: Shattered (Merge) LP
Shattered is Reigning Sound’s first album for Merge and the first full LP by the group since 2009’s Love and Curses. The band’s principal songwriter/member is Greg Cartwright, who’s been leading the shifting cast of characters since 2001. You may be familiar with some of the band’s work, as this album is preceded by five studio efforts as well as numerous EPs and live records. Or perhaps some of Greg’s other projects have been on your musical radar: The Oblivians, Parting Gifts, Compulsive Gamblers, 68 Comeback, Deadly Snakes, Detroit Cobras. Regardless, as far as Reigning Sound is concerned, this is as good a place to start as any because through many line-up changes and mood swings, the central, constant feature is the way Greg writes songs. This particular embodiment of the band includes longtime keyboardist Dave Amels, who joined the band seven years ago when Reigning Sound recorded an album, consisting mostly of Cartwright’s songs, with former Shangri-Las lead singer Mary Weiss. The album was recorded at Daptone’s Brooklyn studio (where drummer Mikey works in the office) and masterfully engineered by Wayne Douglas. The recordings are warm and punchy, a mixed bag of rockers, ballads, and something in between. There are only 11 songs on the album, but the band reckons it’s just right. LP version includes download coupon.

File Under: Punk, Garage, Rock
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shabazzShabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty (Sub Pop) LP
Herein bumps and soars Lese Majesty, the new sonic action of Shabazz Palaces. Honed and primal, chromed and primo. A unique and glorified offering into our ever-uniforming musical soundscape. Lese Majesty is a beatific war cry, born of a spell, acknowledging that sophistication and the instinctual are not at odds; Indeed an undoing of the lie of their disparate natures. Lese Majesty is not a launching pad for the group’s fan base increasing propaganda. It is a series of astral suites, recorded happenings, shared. A dare to dive deep into Shabazz Palaces sounds, vibrations unfettered. A dope-hex thrown from the compartments that have artificially contained us all and hindered our sublime collusion. These reveries were sent to Palaceer Lazaro and Fly Guy ‘Dai in the year of gun beat battles in excess; In a succession of days, whilst walking in dreams and in varied transcendental states…(every minute of every day is filled with observation and composition. In action). Songs are committed and gathered by robots at Protect and Exalt Labs, a Black Space in Seattle, Washington.

File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic, Digable Planets
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white fence

White Fence: For The Recently Found Innocent (Drag City) LP/CD
White Fence emerge from their high aerie to display a shining array of royal jewels each time they unveil a new pop album to the world. The gliss and glitter that sounds forth from For the Recently Found Innocent has a shine all its own, and for Reasons too. For the Recently Found Innocent is many things – the fifth White Fence album, the first White Fence album to be recorded outside the bedroom fence (with live drumming!), the first White Fence record to be produced for Drag City. Plus also, a sophomore pump: the second time that Tim Presley and Ty Segall have met to record music (does anyone remember Hair?), this time pure and simply committed in the name of White Fence. Inevitably, the collision at the intersection of all these winding roads is a beautiful pileup of deep impacts, graceful lines and open space embodied in sound, White on White, compacted for your eyes and ears to believe. For the Recently Found Innocent surges forth with fresh set of elaborately crafted songs, harmony vocalizations and trippin’ guitar tones that strike the face and viscera with an equal (easy) blow. White Fence conjure a fantasy about reality, of the world as it is and should always be; their songs are alterna-hits played out in green sun, in blue air, on repeat, relentless, RIGHTEOUS in the privacy of front-parlor and yes, bedroom – White Fence, full-circle, from the cradle to the grave!

File Under: Psych, Garage, Pop, Ty Segall etc.
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wooden wand

Wooden Wand: Farmer’s Corner (Fire) LP
Following the critically acclaimed Blood Oaths of the New Blues, James Jackson Toth a.k.a Wooden Wand decided to try something different: instead of spending a week in a studio with the same people, the same engineer, the same equipment and the same state of mind, he would record in fits and starts, whenever – and wherever – he felt like it. Over six sessions in four studios spanning three states, he began amassing tracks. Toth then chose his favourites for Farmer’s Corner, which is, remarkably, the very first self-produced Wooden Wand album. Aided on the majority of the tracks by bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Jim O’Rourke, Grand Ulena ), and guitarists William Tyler (Lambchop, Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo) and Doc Feldman. The result reflects Toth’s omnivorous musical and narrative obsessions. The arrangements – think Little Feat covering Harvest Moon – only serve to highlight his capabilities as both a songwriter and storyteller. The collected songs form an easy entry into the ever-growing Toth output, where outlaws on the run, epic landscapes, endless travels, agitated insomniacs and ditch-digging memory-evaders lurk behind every turn. “this is the sound of one musician’s prolific and mercurial path, reaching delightful new highs.” Pitchfork 7.9

File Under: Folk
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youngMatthew Young: Recurring Dreams Drag City/Yoga) LP
Matthew Young’s genre-bending, acclaimed 1986 release Traveler’s Advisory reappeared as a reissue on Drag City/Yoga in 2010 and quickly sold out. We now return to Young’s first effort, Recurring Dreams, dating back to 1981 and the apex of the Eno/Berlin schools’ influence over a myriad of American followers. Young created eight EMS/Rhodes pieces solo, subtly weaving in variable-speed Revox manipulation of traditional rock instrumentation with the lightest of touches. As anyone who has heard Traveler’s Advisory already knows, Matthew Young could never be a mere imitator. What all too often amounted to predictable schtick in the field of early 80s home electronica, Young made personal, delicate, discreet, and discrete. Wordlessly illustrating its titles – ‘Version, Inversion’, ‘The Forest Of Lilacs’, and ‘Mistral’ (a strong, cold, northwesterly wind), Young conjures vivid, progressive tones of the unknown. Recurring Dreams requires repeat listenings to fully reveal its Bonsai-like qualities. Fans of Erik Satie, JD Emmanuel, private-issue new age or the more placid side of minimal synth should take note of this one. Drag City and Yoga Records are proud to reintroduce Matthew Young’s Recurring Dreams.

File Under: Electronic, Early Electronic
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tropicaliaVarious: Tropicalia Ou Panis Et Circencis (Soul Jazz) LP
This is the compilation that helped to define the sound of Tropicalia, whose artists made huge and influential strides in creating exotic pop that was as influenced by psychedelia as it was by samba, bossa nova, and more traditional South American genres. Tropicalia not only includes tracks from the label’s most important acts (Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso Gal Costa), but presents a large number of collaborations between these artists, many of which are simply amazing. Given the fact that many of the original Tropicalia releases have not been reissued or are not widely available, the compilation stands as a near-definitive package for the sound, and a great opportunity for anyone unfamiliar with the artists to experience an amazing and hugely important genre.

File Under: Brazil, Psych, Bossa Nova, Classics
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…..restocks…..

Afghan Whigs: 1965 (Music on Vinyl) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Columbia) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born To Die (Island) LP
Mac Demarco: 2 (Captured Tracks) LP
Earth: Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method (Southern Lord) LP
Earth: The Bees Made Honey… (Southern Lord) LP
Flesh Eaters: A Minute to Pray A Second to Die (Superior Viaduct) LP
Robert Fripp & Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (Pangyeric) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise) LP
Husker Du: Zen Arcade (SST) LP
Husker Du: Flip Your Wig (SST) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Led Zeppelin: I Deluxe (Warner) 3LP
Led Zeppelin: II Deluxe (Warner) 2LP
Led Zeppelin: III Deluxe (Warner) 2LP
Mars Volta: De-Loused in the Comatorium (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mars Volta: Amputechture (Music on Vinyl) LP
Medeski, Martin & Wood: s/t (Blue Note) LP
Morrissey: Your Arsenal (Sire) LP
Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely (Thirdman) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (EMI) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sons Of Huns: Banishment Rituals (Easy Rider) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrink Dust (Flemish Eye) LP
War on Drugs: Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
Various: Don’t Stop: Recording Tap (Numero) LP

 

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…..news letter #648 – big smoke…..

It’s that time of year alright, forest fire time. And you know what that means… time for me to close up for a few days and take a holiday…. So mark it on your calendar…

We will be closed July 28th – Aug 1st, just Monday – Friday. 

…..pick of the week…..

ecstacy

Various: Ecstacy of Gold Volume 5 (Semi-Automatic) LP
The killer conclusion to this essential and peerless series! Selected from one of the most complete Spaghetti Western audio archives, this series showcases the most inspired tracks in this legendary genre. Digging deep to excavate a treasure trove of obscure and rarely-heard tracks by some of the genre’s greatest composers and vocalists, Ecstasy of Gold is the definitive series for aficionados of Euro-Western films and the music that they created. Loud gunshots with reverb and echo appear with the first image of a lawless killer riding a horse… a punchy & trebly bass guitar seeps into your brain as he draws his pistol… a hair-raising scream, half-melodic, half-banshee, spews forth from the speakers as blood splatters yet again onto the desert floor. The audio soundtrack to the Italian version of the American West is flamboyant, brutal, intense, and unforgiving. Songs composed for the Italian Westerns of the 1960s and 1970s have become a genre all unto themselves. There were hundreds of European Westerns during this period and the majority of them were made by Italian directors and scored by Italian composers. Crying trumpets, exploding surf guitars, thundering drums, droning organs, dramatic vocal performances, and innovative special effects were woven into a wild and violent desert backdrop creating that undeniable Spaghetti Western sound heard on this record. The most famous of all the Italian soundtrack composers is Ennio Morricone and his music for the Italian Western is guaranteed to inspire and amaze until the end of time itself. But there were many other great and legendary maestros who scored their share of Westerns, and this compilation presents transcendent, brilliant, and challenging tracks from the likes of: Bruno Nicolai, Gianni Ferrio, Francesco De Masi, Marcello Giombini, Luis Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Alessandro Alessandroni, Nora Orlandi, Nico Fidenco, Piero Umiliani, and many others. 2LP gatefold in a limited edition pressing of 750 copies.

File Under: OST, Westerns, Psych, Italian
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…..new arrivals…..

azumah

Christie Azumah: Din Ya Sugri (Superfly) LP
High-quality reissue of holy grail 70s Ghana Funk LP available for the first time in 30 years. Totally unique sound, a rare Funk attempt by an African female singer backed by the legendary Uppers International. 3 massive Afro Funk tunes plus some deep Highlife of the highest caliber. One of the nicest and rarest African records ever made in our opinion. Includes a nice insert with some amazing vintage photos. Strictly limited to 1000 copies. Don’t sleep!

File Under: Afro-Beat, Afro-Funk, Highlife
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blackshaw

James Blackshaw: Fantomas: Le Faux Magistrat (Tompkins Square) LP
“In celebration of the centenary of Louis Feuillade’s Fantomas silent film series, James Blackshaw was invited by Yann Tiersen to perform a live score to the fifth and final film, Le Faux Magistrat, at the beautiful and prestigious surroundings of the Theatre de Chatelet, Paris on October 31, 2013. Fantomas — a master of disguise and symbol of terror — is one of the most popular characters in French crime fiction, as well as a favorite with the avant-garde, particularly the surrealists. Tim Hecker, Amiina, Yann Tiersen and Loney Dear also performed during the event (which was broadcast live on the European ARTE channel) each bringing their own unique sonic perspective to the other installments. Written during the course of a few months, Blackshaw drew influences from French impressionist composers, Brazilian guitar music, musique concrete and the works of other film composers such as David Shire and Pino Donaggio, to create a noir-ish score that is in turns sinister, quietly profound and thrilling. Personally invited by James Blackshaw, experimental musician Duane Pitre and Simon Scott (also of Slowdive) contributed drums, electronics, synth, bowed guitar, bass and more to Blackshaw’s nylon string guitar and grand piano, with multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Glasson adding violin, vibraphone and several wind instruments to the 75-minute long work.”

File Under: Modern Classical, OST
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bombay

Bombay Royale: The Island of Dr. Electrico (Hope Street) LP
The Island of Dr Electrico” is the second soundtrack album from The Bombay Royale, originators of vintage Bollywood inspired surf, spy, disco and funk. Building on the worldwide success of their debut album ‘’You Me Bullets Love”, the band has unleashed its trademark sound and set off on an extraordinary musical safari that leaves the listener with booty thoroughly shaken. “The Island of Dr Electrico” is a varied musical landscape, at times lush and tropical, at other times an impenetrable swamp teeming with all manner of surprises. Migrating seabirds have long flown thousands of extra miles avoid Dr Electrico’s blighted isle, leaving him alone to experiment with dark beats, primitive synthesizers and the raw emotion of kidnapped souls. The result is a rich pallet of original sounds, from lonesome spaghetti to surf rock to spine-bending space disco, all overlaid with the voices of protagonists The Tiger and The Mysterious Lady. From their unlikely beginnings in the suburban wilds of Melbourne, Australia, The Bombay Royale have taken their unique sound to audiences in Europe, UK and the USA where their performances have been met with astonishment and critical acclaim.

File Under: Surf, Bollywood, Pseudo-OST, Funk, Psych
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bonarHaley Bonar: Last War (Graveface) LP
Haley Bonar had already recorded an album as a teenager before leaving Rapid City, SD for Duluth, MN – where she immediately recorded again. Alan Sparhawk heard her at a local Iron Range club one night and a week later, she was transformed from a college student to an ambitious dropout with her guitar and a drummer crammed into a Honda Civic opening for Low. She was nineteen years old. That’s a story already. But – there is more to this story. In the last decade, Haley has released eight more recordings to critical acclaim and mounting success: lots of touring, playing festivals, capturing awards and artist grants, inventive video productions, placing song tracks on prime TV shows and popular film, appearing on myriad Best-Of lists while continuing to write and perform locally. It’s no accident that her creative prowess drew the attention and respect of fellow collaborators like Dave King, Andrew Bird and Justin Vernon, not to mention the company she keeps in a rotating cast of premium band members including Jake Hanson (Halloween Alaska, Mason Jennings), Jeremy Hanson (Tapes ‘n Tapes), Luke Anderson (Rogue Valley), Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird, Alpha Consumer) and Mike Lewis (Bon Iver, Alpha Consumer). Haley’s musical adventure took on a passenger in the wack theatrics of her no/new-wave punkish side project Gramma’s Boyfriend with an attention-getting album already behind them and an audience building in front of them. She is always throwing a curve ball or adding another dimension, akin to her heroes: Joni Mitchell, Mark Mothersbaugh, Laurie Anderson, Amy Sedaris, Maria Bamford, Louis C.K., Margaret Atwood and Cookie Mueller. Like them, she remains true to her artistry regardless of trend, politic or scripted gender barriers. Haley Bonar is more than a hard working musician. She is an innovator, creative ass-kicker and visionary dug into the trenches of living. She writes genuine, epochal and poetic tales that feel like our heartbreak, failure, frustration and joy. In a clear, insistent and often haunting voice, she tells real stories back to us, as if they were our own. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

File Under: Indie Rock
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clean

The Clean: Anthology (Merge) 4LP Box
Anthology serves as a celebration of The Clean, a band whose influence extends so far beyond their New Zealand home that even if you have never heard of The Clean before, you have surely heard of some of the bands (Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Superchunk, to name a few) who have been influenced by their unique blend of homemade garage rock, hook-filled melodies, and psychedelic experimentalism. The album is a compilation from across The Clean’s legendary career, which began in 1981 and continues today. Merge originally released the 2-CD Anthology in 2003, but in celebration of our 25th anniversary, we felt the time was right to release this essential collection on quadruple LP. Anthology kicks off with The Clean’s call-to-arms debut ‘Tally Ho!'; the story of the infectious track’s $60 recording bill is now legendary. It continues with the early Eps Boodle Boodle Boodle and Great Sounds Great in their entirety. The hits – ‘Billy Two’, ‘Anything Could Happen’, ‘Beatnik’, and ‘Getting Older’ – and live favorites like ‘Point That Thing Somewhere Else’ and instrumentals ‘Fish’ and ‘At the Bottom’ all serve up memories of the joyous noise that characterized The Clean of that time. These recordings, mostly made by the band with Chris Knox and Doug Hood at the helm of the 4-track, capture the bright, raw sound of a classic garage band. After a brief breakup, the band recorded Vehicle in 1989. Vehicle was made in three days and engineered by Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, My Bloody Valentine). The sounds of Vehicle and the two albums that followed it, Modern Rock (1994) and Unknown Country (1996), make up the bulk of discs 3 and 4 of the vinyl Anthology. In addition to selections from these full-length recordings, Anthology includes two songs released only on an American 7-inch and two that appeared on a bonus flexi-disc with the Modern Rock LP.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Indie Rock, New Zealand, Classics
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cupijo

Mestre Cupijo e Seu Ritmo: Siria (Analog Africa) LP/CD
Cametá, a historical little Amazonian town on the shores of the river Tocantins, is the birthplace of the scorching music known as “Siriá”; a cross-pollination between the music of the inhabitants of the quilombos, a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by escaped slaves of African origins, and the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest. It is a breathing, pulsing, emphatic beat, and the modernized version of this local music, created by Mestre Cupijó, has been igniting street parties and traditional festivals across the state of Pará in Northern Brazil for decades. And at last in 2014, the combustible sound of Siriá will be celebrated internationally as the feverish, tropical sound of the summer. Foretelling his talent to flow between cultures, Cupijó was named after a local river when he was born in 1936, into a family of musicians. His father, Mestre Vicente Castro, was also known as Mestre Sicudera, the musical director of Centennial Euterpe, one of Brazil’s oldest bands, founded in 1874. At 12, Cupijó started to play the clarinet. He also became proficient at the piano, mandolin and guitar, although the instrument that came to personify his sound was the alto saxophone. Waltz, bolero, cha cha cha and an assortment of dance hall music became part of Cupijó’s repertoire, but it was Carimbó and Siriá, the music played by the black communities of Pará, that had the strongest impact on the young musician. To grasp the soul of this music, Cupijó went to its source and lived with the quilombolas (maroon) community of the Amazon. Upon his return, enriched by this life-changing experience, he founded the band Jazz Orquestra os Azes do Ritmo with the goal of reinventing Siriá and modernizing Samba de Cacete, Banguê and other folkloric music of the state of Pará. Airwaves from the Caribbean and Latin America had also brought the cumbia sound of the mighty Colombian orchestras, merengue from the Dominican Republic and Cuban music to the Amazon, all of which had an impact on the music of Northern Brazil, mambo especially! Mestre Cupijó took these influences and mixed them in with the ingredients he had studied in the Quilombos. That fusion — as we are witnessing on this record — had explosive effects. After the initial wave of enthusiasm, the first two LPs were recorded with rudimentary equipment in a dance club in Cametá. However, it was the third attempt, recorded in a studio in Belém, which would trigger a phenomenal success. “Caboclinha Do Igapo” and “Mambo do Martela,” included on this record, became instant hits. A year later, “Mingau de Açai,” one of Cupijo’s most popular tunes, took the region by storm. In total six LPs were recorded by Mestre Cupijó. Analog Africa is ferociously proud and honored to have the chance to present these carefully-selected tracks from Mestre Cupijó’s six studio albums, and hope that his music captivates you with the magic and bewilderment that it has them. Let go of your inhibitions and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Mestre Cupijó… Segura!

File Under: Brazil, Mambo
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dalhous

Dalhous: Will To Be Well (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Will to Be Well is the new studio album by Dalhous, their second for Blackest Ever Black. This double LP reflects writer-producer Marc Dall’s continued interest in the life and arcana of R.D. Laing, but also alludes to more universal and enduring mysteries: the relationships between body and mind, illness and wellness, the physical and the metaphysical. The 15 tracks assembled here also showcase the maturation of a uniquely gifted and expressive composer: Dall’s stirring, efflorescent melodies and stately harmonic architectures, with their grievously honed simplicity, are a delight: lucid, lyrical, immediate. For all the modernity of Dalhous’ approach, the album recalls a bygone era in synthesized and sample-based music, a time when its practitioners were not just set-designers but storytellers, too. Will to Be Well arrives just one year on from the Edinburgh-based project’s tenebrous debut, An Ambassador for Laing (BLACKEST 003CD/LP), which was released to widespread acclaim in Spring 2013: The Wire praised “a frequently beautiful music, whose often calm surface belies the powerful currents moving beneath it,” while FACT called the LP a “wonderfully compelling head-scratcher… opaque, elusive … and fascinating.” Nonetheless, a notable shift in tone has occurred in the 14 months that have elapsed. If Ambassador was a tussle between darkness and light that ended in stalemate, with Will to Be Well it seems the light might just be winning. Pieces like “Transference” and “Her Mind Was a Blank” project a rapturous psychedelic intensity; “To Be Universal You Must Be Specific” and “Entertain the Idea” adopt the serene ambient register of recent Dalhous EP Visibility Is a Trap; while “Sensitised to This Area” goes about its business with an almost Balearic swagger. But light, too, can be oppressive: the sun that gives life can also burn, and bleach, and blind. And even amid the endorphin rush of the album’s most ebullient passages, there is the sense of a greater melancholy, an intractable doubt, lurking beneath the surface. Dalhous’ music is suitably paradoxical, managing to sound at once futuristic and folkloric, both technologically advanced and avowedly pastoral. The elegiac repetitions of “A Communion With These People” and the pagan drones of “Lovers of the Highlands” speak of Dall and his studio partner Alex Ander’s deep connection to the rugged contours of their native Scottish landscape, while on “Four Daughters by Four Women” and “Thoughts Out of Season” convulsive post-rave rhythms are employed to evoke ancient natural cycles. Though Will to Be Well is a less obviously eerie album than its predecessor, Dalhous’ nose for the uncanny remains. A defining album from a major young artist.

File Under: Electronic, Psych
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demdike

Demdike Stare: Forest of Evil LP/Liberation Through Hearing LP/Voices of Dust LP (Modern Love)
Available again, although already sold out at the source, don’t miss out again! Demdike Stare is a project made up of two insatiable vinyl collectors based in the north of England: Sean Canty (who works for the esteemed Finders Keepers label) and Miles Whittaker (a long-time producer and DJ who has released music under the MLZ moniker and as part of Pendle Coven). The music Demdike Stare make is hard to pin down, based largely around archival musical sources ranging from obscure library records to long-forgotten jazz, early electronic, and industrial recordings, alongside an array of Iranian, Pakistani, Turkish and Eastern European material largely unknown in the Western world. Demdike Stare absorb and re-align these found sounds via their ever-expanding array of analog machines, ending with something that is in part plunderphonic, but ultimately completely new. Their music has sometimes been lumped in with the hypnagogic, hauntological and “witch house” movements, but ultimately, Demdike Stare should appeal to anyone with an interest in everything from classic KPM Library records through to the music of Basic Channel and all the way to the smudged, altered-realities of James Ferraro and The Caretaker. That is, at least until the next record, when the frames of reference might just change up and take them somewhere completely different. Mastered at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering. Artwork by Andy Votel.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial, Library, Dub
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ddozzyDonato Dozzy: K (Further) LP
Few artists have crafted a catalog as rich and deep as Donato Dozzy has done in minimal techno’s more atmospheric realm. The Italian producer — who also performs in the excellent Voices From The Lake duo with Neel — has become revered for his unerring ability to create tracks that are at once ethereal and oceanic, inducing both a sense of tranquility and urgency. His debut album, K, which Further Records originally issued in 2010, stands as a towering example of Dozzy’s skill for electronic music that triggers profound feelings with only a few scrupulously-selected elements. K’s seven tracks offer a masterly seminar in subtly altering the grid-like beat programming that dominates techno. Dozzy puts odd emphases on certain beats and adds percussive eccentricities and effects to others. Which means that this isn’t a collection of bangers geared for hands-in-the-air, goofball moves. Instead, Dozzy’s working on a much more refined level, one where tricky, intricate drum patterns trump simple booming kicks — although “K3″‘s staunch, methodically funky kick and hi-hat pattern and “K5″‘s swift and elegantly propulsive beats could heat up a club. The greatest pleasures of K occur in the way Dozzy’s eerie, aquatic drones swirl around his well-wrought rhythms, submerging everything in a restorative, algae-tinged film. At their best, these pieces convey a Chain Reaction-like rigor and a cinematic quality (of the Jacques Cousteau variety) utterly devoid of cliché. This reissue of K reminds us that it remains a crucial component of Donato Dozzy’s catalog, the first major statement in a career that’s becoming a manifesto of understated, underground-techno brilliance.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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lee fields

Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Finally in on vinyl! Soul legend Lee Fields has re-teamed with The Expressions for new album Emma Jean. Coming at a time when many new artists are trying to emulate the soul and swagger of the 1960s, Mr. Fields showers us with authenticity on the 11-track set, highlighted by first single “Magnolia,” a refreshed cover of the J.J. Cale track that embodies the late, great American singer-songwriter and the Tulsa Sound he helped create. Since releasing his first album in 1969, Fields has continued to make music for the last 45 years. And having been on the road, touring non-stop for the better part of the last decade, it’s evident that Fields has hit an elevated stride both as a recording artist and live performer. Emma Jean is the follow up to Fields’ widely praised first two Truth & Soul albums – 2009’s My World and 2012’s Faithful Man. Lee Fields & The Expressions have forged a distinct soulful sound and a grown style with this album. They’ve pushed their sound in new directions, moving from being content as contemporary soul music royalty and instead delving into and exploring its next steps. There’s a sharper wisdom in the songwriting – from the having loved, lost, and learned vibe of “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” backed by crooning guitar and wailing horns, to the sophisticated arrangements and studio acumen that’s pared with Lee’s straightforward sincerity in “Just Can’t Win.” Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys wrote “Paralyzed,” and having Emma Jean mixed and partially recorded at his Nashville studio, country soul and bluesy rock are immediately noticeable. It brings a different kind of strut to the album, but Fields – born and raised in North Carolina – is right at home with the Southern soul sound. In fact, it feels like a natural progression: an organic, refreshingly pure next step. Like past releases from this matchless pairing of Fields’ warm-and-raw growl and The Expressions’ switched-on and sharp musicianship, Emma Jean takes soul music in a familiar but updated direction. “He’s 63 years old,” notes the album’s producer and co-owner of Truth & Soul Leon Michels, “he’s so focused, and has been working non-stop – he’s singing the best he ever has.”

File Under: Soul, Funk
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fire

Fire! Orchestra: Enter (Rune Grammofon) LP
It can’t be easy gathering 28 of Northern Europe’s finest jazz and improvising musicians in one place at the same time, which is why Sweden’s Fire! Orchestra has been one of the continent’s best-kept secrets so far. After playing rare shows a handful of times a year, this incredible mass ensemble is getting ready to unleash its full power with Enter, its first studio recording. This isn’t jazz: this is Nordic dynamite. Fire! originated as the trio of Swedish improv masters Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums). None of them are what you could call jazz purists; they all play in many different groups and contexts, including The Thing (Gustafsson), experimental folk-electronica outfit Tape (Berthling), and skewed pop unit Wildbirds And Peacedrums (Werliin). Around 2011, the idea sprang up to expand a massive orchestra around the core trio, featuring the cream of Scandinavian jazz, improvisation and avant-rock players and vocalists. Key contributions come from keyboardists Sten Sandell, trumpeter Goran Kajfes (Oddjob, Subtropic Arkestra, Nordic Music Prize winner 2012), drummers Raymond Strid (GUSH, Barry Guy, Martin Küchen Ensemble) and Johan Holmegard (Dungen, The Amazing), guitarist David Stackenäs, electronicist Joachim Nordwall (Skull Defekts, iDEAL Records) and Fender Rhodes player Martin Hederos (Soundtrack Of Our Lives), to name just a few. Adding a crucial, soulful presence are the three vocalists Mariam Wallentin (Wildbirds And Peacedrums), Ethiopian singer Sofie Jernberg and Simon Ohlsson (Silverbullit). But Fire! Orchestra is a collective effort, with Gustafsson directing a tight, disciplined ensemble that enjoys its moments let off the leash. Following 2013’s live debut Exit!, Enter is Fire! Orchestra’s first time in the studio, and might surprise you with its slow, treacle-y funk dynamics, running through a kaleidoscope of moods, rhythms, and textures. Muscular rock rhythms flesh out texts written by singer Mariam Wallentin, inspired by the legendary free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee, and sung in soured blues moans by the Orchestra’s three-headed vocal team. Recalling the righteous big-band jazz of the late ’60s by figures such as Charlie Haden, Sun Ra, Mike Westbrook and Chris McGregor, there are also echoes of Matana Roberts’ recent jazz tapestries and the steamy psych-funk of Brightblack Morning Light. “Part Two” opens on a groove ripped from The Beatles’ psychedelic classic “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Using collective riffing at its finest, this is an epic suite that undergoes constant scene-shifts between relentlessly building rhythms, rising in emotional intensity as the furnace is stoked. Enter is about following your instincts, having the courage to step forwards into the unknown when the door is open. Death might be an exit, but it’s also an entrance — to a new, unimaginable state of being. The music acts out this cyclical pattern of living and dying, entering and exiting, and the finale winds down to the same reflective, introspective keyboard motif as it started with.

File Under: Jazz
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henriguedon_cosmozouk

Henri Guedon: Cosmozouk Percussion (Superfly) LP
Limited high-quality reissue of cult West Indian Latin Fusion LP by master Martinique percussionist. Great all the way through, check the descarga “Vulcano” or the Jazzy Guaguanco “Negro Lucumi”. Wicked sound!

File Under: Funk, Soul, Latin Fusion, Jazz
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geissel

Gerhard Heinz: Geissel des Fleisches (Torment of Flesh) (Digatone) LP
Following the prog rock Holy Grail of Klockwerk Orange’s Abrakadabra and the buried treasure of Austrian early rock & roll with Schnitzelbeat Vol. 1: I Love You Baby!, Digatone has unearthed a cinematic pearl with the previously-unreleased soundtrack to a 1965 sexploitation crime movie. When you think of Austrian films the only ones that come to mind are The Sound of Music or The Third Man with Anton Karas’ zither score as the only Austrian theme that received worldwide recognition. An almost completely unknown composer and producer is the Viennese Gerhard Heinz, even though his compositions can be found across a broad spectrum of productions from film, radio shows, commercials to theatrical productions. Heinz wrote the scores for 136 movies in his long career and while most were for softcore Bavarian porn, he also wrote for a number of crime and exploitation films including for Jess Franco. For The Fruit Is Ripe, he even received platinum status in Hong Kong. Gerhard Heinz was a stylistic chameleon writing songs from “easy cheesy sleazy” to beat, space-disco, African voodoo drums and oompa-oompa, or whatever was required to suit a particular film. The soundtrack to Geissel des Fleisches, filmed in 1965 under the direction of the Austrian cinema visionary Eddy Saller, was the first score that Gerhard Heinz recorded in his own studio in Vienna. Inspired by a real murder of a ballerina in the Vienna State Opera, Saller produced a sex and crime drama that was both radical and unique for the time. Recently, the court case from the actual crime that Saller used for the basis of his story had its 50th anniversary. The main actor Herbert Fux, that later made a career in exploitation movies, played a credible role as a crazy psychopath misogynist murderer that lurks around the dark underground bars of Vienna until he is trapped by a policewoman. The overall message the movie portrays is that the lowering standards and morality of society had driven such characters to commit these crimes. Until recently this film score has been widely ignored, but now it is acknowledged by critics to be a historic and valuable piece of work, although it is still widely unknown by a wider audience. The soundtrack to Geissel des Fleisches is previously-unreleased and is the first episode in a collaboration with the still healthy and active 87 year-old Gerhard Heinz. Digatone is a reissue label which specializes in discovering and putting out interesting and rare Austrian music. Access to the multitude of Heinz’s treasures will bring about a series of exciting releases.

File Under: Soul Jazz, OST, Crime Jazz
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sirio

Il Balletto Di Bronzo: Sirio 222 (Lion) LP
Raw-edged heavy rock fronted by Lino Ajello’s powerful electric guitars, channeling the dark, jagged energy of Jimmy Page, Adrian Gurvitz, and Jeff Beck. Il Balletto di Bronzo absorbed their influences (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds), but moved from there into an inspired, hard-edged musical space; the band’s overwhelming power and great melodies make them irresistible. “Un posto” and “Neve Calda” are centered around simple but effective guitar riffs. “Eh eh ah ah” starts like a nice mellow ballad, but gets into a hard blues rock groove. On side two, there’s the 7-minute mammoth heavy grind of “Incantesimo” and the colossal “Missione Sirio 2222,” almost 10 minutes of droning acid rock with whirling guitars and heavy pounding drums, sandwiched between an acoustic intro and outro. No wonder Nurse With Wound cited Il Balletto di Bronzo as an influence.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Fuzz, Italian
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lau

Leong Lau: That Rongeng Sound (Left Ear) LP
Until recently Leong Lau’s records of the 1970s were well kept secrets of only the most avid Australian record collectors. Left Ear Records, along with the help of Leong, are proud to give collectors a chance to add That Rongeng Sound to their collection. Leong’s unique Malay-jazz-meets-Aus-funk identity, takes listeners on a journey through funky beats and flowing melodies and is the reason the album is arguably one of the most innovative and exciting Australian funk/jazz albums. This reissue of the original 1977 LP is limited to 500 copies and comes in a high quality tip on gatefold featuring original artwork and a brief biography on the enigma himself – Leong Lau.

File Under: Funk, Jazz
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lewis

Lewis: L’amour (Light in the Attic) LP
“In 1983, a man named Lewis recorded an album named L’Amour, which was released on the unknown label R.A.W. And that’s about all we know. The record itself is a delicate, whispered album, reflecting the way the artist himself — spectral, movie star-like — almost disappears into the grey of the cover. It should come as no surprise that it failed to shout loudly enough to be noticed, another private press album that sank without trace. The ingredients are simple: smooth synthesizers, feather-light piano, ethereal, occasionally inaudible vocals and the gentle plucking of acoustic guitars. But the effects are arresting: a spine-tingling, sombre album that echoes Springsteen’s Nebraska or Angelo Badalamenti’s atmospheric soundtracks. Later, Arthur Russell would grasp for something similar on the epochal World of Echo LP. L’Amour is a true discovery of the blog age, uncovered in an Edmonton flea-market by collector Jon Murphy, passed on to private press fanatic Aaron Levin, shared on the internet and speculated over by lovers of curious LPs. There’s almost no information about Lewis or the album on the internet. There’s precious little on the sleeve: a dedication to Sports Illustrated supermodel Christie Brinkley, a photo credit for Ed Colver, the noted L.A. punk rock photographer, and credits for engineer Bob Kinsey and synth player Philip Lees. All that was known of Lewis is conjecture: a rumor that he was a con artist who fled after not paying for L’Amour’s photo-shoot and a dubious theory that he was not actually of this earth.”

File Under: Private Press, Softest Rock
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lone

Lone: Reality Testing (R&S) LP
The hyper-chromatic music of Matt Cutler marks him out as a true impressionist; as Lone, he drizzles brightly coloured melody through his tracks with all the reflexive skill of a master painter daubing inks and pigment across paper. On Cutler’s fifth Lone album, Reality Testing, released on R&S, he sends notes and chords rippling delicately into space before allowing them to disperse, each oozing beautifully away into the background fabric of the music. Combined with rhythms that ebb and flow, shifting from propulsive club constructions to beatific coastal hip-hop, it’s a sensuous, immersive, heady experience, and easily his most accomplished and self-contained work to date. Reality Testing is unique among Lone’s work to date in its feeling of complete unification. Throughout, he draws upon the many loves and inspirations he’s previously explored in his own music – house, techno and instrumental hip hop – but weaves them together into an inseparable whole.

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop, Dubstep
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mogorosi

Tumi Mogorosi: Tumi (Jazzman) LP
Breathtaking contemporary spiritual jazz from South Africa. When Tumi Mogorosi composed this suite for jazz musicians and opera vocalists, he had never heard the previous successful attempts by Donald Byrd, Max Roach or Mary Lou Williams to combine these seemingly “unfriendly” aesthetics. Tumi, born in 1987 and already an accomplished drummer on the Jo’Burg scene, was at the time studying music at the Tshwane University of Pretoria where he became close friends with opera singers working on the same campus. So unlike some of his U.S. peers, Tumi’s beliefs are not “religious.” Surprisingly, Tumi’s suite wasn’t influenced by these great elders’ masterpieces, but anyone who listens to this album will agree that the suite captures the soaring spirituality that made these experiments of the ’60s the beloved classics that they are today. Tumi does not belong to any religious group. This album is neither a jazz mass like Mary Lou Williams’ Black Christ of the Andes, nor a compilation of devotional pieces like Donald Byrd’s Christo Redentor. Project ELO stands for Project Elohim, the angelic entities of the spiritual scriptures which are, in the drummer’s philosophy, a symbol for accomplished human beings. The spirituality the album conveys is attuned to a 21st century syncretic, non-dogmatic vision infused with esotericism. Recorded live with no overdubs in two days by a group of friends, this album captures a moment of Eternity and will defy any idea you may have of what South African jazz is. Tumi’s music transcends labels and styles. When composing or playing he is only concerned with being true to the primordial source of life, which cannot be confined to any genre.

File Under: Spiritual Jazz
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bambooMinoru Muraoka: Bamboo (Superfly) LP
Fantastic high quality Superfly reissue of Japanese Jazz holy grail. Check the Rare Groove classic “The Positive and the Negative,” a unique mixture of Japanese Folk and Hip Hoppy Jazz as played by DJ Shadow and Egon but the whole LP is amazing. Highly-recommended new release, gatefold cover with insert and OBI. Strictly limited to 1000 copies!

File Under: Jazz, Japanese
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nord

Nord: NG Tapes (PCP) LP
“Hiroshi Oikawa’s two mid-’80s solo LPs under the Nord moniker are among the rarest and most sought-after Japanese experimental releases of the era. Issued with minimal information (the latter title in a plain black jacket with simply a strip of sandpaper affixed to the front), the albums are dense, otherworldly explorations of the outermost edges — or innermost core — of reality. As Mutant Sounds put it, ‘If this is cosmic, than it’s the cosmos as viewed from the vantage point of a burned out cinder drifting into entropy.’ Equally mysterious is Oikawa’s disappearance at the end of the decade. Completely untraceable even to his peers in Japan, he has by all accounts vanished from society, perhaps holed up in some pastoral cottage whiling away the days painting and tending a small garden, or orbiting a distant nebula on an alternate plane of existence. In recent years, PCP Records issued limited-edition re-presses of the two albums, duplicating the original artwork and layout as closely as possible. Now, the label has turned its attention to an even more obscure item in the Nord discography. NG Tapes was released on cassette in a micro edition and available only to purchasers of the 1984 LSD LP (itself limited to 200 copies). With a runtime of over 50 minutes, it delivers a powerful dose of extended synthesizer works — ominous, pulsing electronics of the highest order — offset with shorter, more compact post-industrial noise pieces reminiscent of Oikawa’s 1981 LP with Satoshi Katayama. This one-time, numbered vinyl edition has been carefully remastered from the original cassette and sounds amazing. Every effort was made to adapt the artwork to the 12″ format, down to the obi strip that accompanied the package.”

File Under: Japanese Electronic, Industrial, Noise

batmanOST: Batman Begins (Silvascreen) LP
A limited edition of just 500 copies WORLDWIDE, in stunning Gatefold sleeve double album pressed on Orange Vinyl! A super limited coloured vinyl reissue of Batman Begins, the first film soundtrack in the batman trilogy. A first time ever coloured vinyl release for this much admired and innovative Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard score.

File Under: OST
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sage

Sage Francis: Copper Gone (Strange Famous) LP
Sage Francis…relocked and reloaded. After a 4-year hiatus, the indie rap icon is taking his signature style of hip-hop and performance art back on the road to support the June 2014 release of Copper Gone on Strange Famous Records. It features beat production from long-time music affiliates Buck 65, Alias, Cecil Otter, Reanimator, and more.

File Under: Hip Hop
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sandell

Sten Sandell & Paal Nilssen-Love: Jacana (Rune Grammofon) LP
The best improvisers are the ones that seem to invent and uninvent their instruments right in front of your eyes and ears. Swedish pianist Sten Sandell and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love are two musical champions with a long experience of doing exactly that. Jacana, the latest in Rune Grammofon’s occasional series of unusual duo combinations, features the pair’s sparkly improvised set captured at the 2013 Kongsberg Jazz Festival in southern Norway. Sten and Paal have been working together since forming a trio with Swedish bassist Johan Berthling (Fire!, Tape, etc.) in 1999, but this duet marks the start of a new chapter in their relationship. Jacana’s three tracks find the players flying close to the limits of their comfort zones, sometimes resembling the strange formality of Asian court music. It’s savage and ritualistic, spiky yet flowing, arrhythmic but surging with understated pulses. Sandell breaks into vocal overtones on “Kauri” like some tranced-out Mongolian shaman. He pokes around in the guts of Nilssen-Love’s rough surgical cuts and, at the start of the track “Jacana” itself, pulls out some ear-bogglingly rubbery notes from his piano’s deep innards. At the end of “Curvature” they break off from their instruments and simply clap for a while. Two men getting down to the essentials of what humans can do with wood, strings and skin. Sten Sandell is one of Swedish jazz’s most distinguished elder statesmen, having worked unrelentingly since the mid-’80s. As well as his own trio and numerous international collaborations, his keyboard skills have been heard in groups such as GUSH, Guschwachs, Sven-Åke Johanssen Quintet, Townhouse Orchestra, and most recently, Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra. He has also composed music and sound art for installations, intermedia works, radio plays, theater and film. Paal Nilssen-Love is one of the most intense drummers working on the planet right now. In theory, he’s based in Oslo, but there’s a huge global demand for his percussive threshing machine. He’s often travelling on a relentless round of musical projects and festival appearances — notably with Mats Gustafsson in The Thing, his Chicago trio with Ken Vandermark and Ab Baars, the Hairy Bones group with Peter Brötzmann and Toshinori Kondo, a trio with Massimo Pupillo and noise-artist Lasse Marhaug, plus duos with Peter Brötzmann, Terrie Ex, John Butcher, and others. This duo is planned as an ongoing project, and offers some of the most refreshingly challenging music coming out of Scandinavia today. Jacana is another fine mess they’ve gotten themselves into. Sten Sandell (piano, voice); Paal Nilssen-Love (drums, percussion).

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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snd

SND: Tplay (SND) LP
Mark Fell and Mat Steel formed SND in Sheffield in 1998. Tplay was their first self-released EP, produced in a limited run and housed in a sleeve adorned with nothing but a stamped phone number on the back. SND’s palette and minimalist aesthetic more or less fell in line with the emergent school of producers that would eventually find themselves as labelmates on the Mille Plateaux label and the monolithic Raster Noton (Ikeda, Pan Sonic, Alva Noto, Bretschneider) — but as opposed to the intricacies and overly-academic strictures that would occupy so many of their contemporaries over the following decade, in hindsight it’s easy to identify how SND uniquely managed to re-code the swing and shuffle of UK garage and two-step within a new minimalist paradigm. Although producers such as G-Man, Sterac, Jeff Mills and Robert Hood had been stripping bare techno templates since the early ’90s, it wasn’t until later in the decade that the dots were joined between movements in techno and experimental electronic music. This was mostly a serious and contemplative movement, typified by the fetishisation of abstract forms on the one hand, and rigid, teutonic movement on the other. But with the release of Tplay SND had created a sound that was unlike anything else made at the time. Although they were guided by minimalist principles, their productions were also driven by the momentum of a much more colorful type of urban music. Simply put — there was no one else bridging gaps between the austere functions of European electronic music and London’s emergent two-step sound. Truth is — if you bought Ryoji Ikeda albums you were unlikely to have thought much of Artful Dodger — and yet SND made music that drew influence and parallels from both. Listening over 15 years later, it’s startling just how fresh and forward these productions sound, now bolstered by over 30 minutes of previously unheard recordings taken from the same sessions. At a time when some corners of club music are arguably more accepting of strange and challenging production styles than ever before, it’s incredible just how unique and inimitable SND’s sound still is, taking us full circle to current producers like Visionist, Mumdance and Rabit, who look to challenge dancefloor conventions by using the same principle of reduction and innovation without neglecting the dance. Fully remastered from DAT tapes by Rashad Becker at D&M.

File Under: Electronic
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swell maps

Swell Maps: Archive Volume 1
(Munster) LP

The early, wild and experimental home recordings of Swell Maps, released on vinyl for the first time. “In the context of our hum-drum hometown, I think that it’s safe to say that we were all oddballs, and we gravitated to each other because we got our kicks by making sounds. It was the only thing that seemed to help us to make sense of the world around us, and it was also bloody good fun! Nikki and Phones started to play together in 1972, and Epic soon joined in on percussion. I was a schoolmate with Nikki, and I was inspired by them to start making music as well. I managed to buy a second-hand guitar from a rich kid at school in 1973, and we would all play together in various combinations of two or three, according to who was around. Nikki was the only one of us into singing at this time, but he was encouraging me and the others to vocalize as well. John started to play with us in 1975, I think. He would invent some tunes with unusual riffs and time signatures. Richard joined our little scene later in 1976. It was unusual for any four of us to play together at the same time, but when we went to our first recording session in 1977, there were six of us in the studio, but only four playing instruments. Richard was driving us in his mother’s car and he ended up singing on one of the songs, ‘Ripped and Torn.’ Phones did not want to play live on stage, so with Richard we made up the four-piece version of the band which became our regular line-up for gigs. In the studios, it was more flexible — we were more of a co-operative, with all six members coming along with tunes and ideas, and even confidently improvising tracks on the spur-of-the-moment. Because we had no money for ‘professional’ equipment, we would play various guitars though small amplifiers and old radio sets, plus an old army surplus speaker cabinet that I had picked up. Epic saved up for a snare drum, then a hi-hat and later a bass drum to gradually add to the options we had for making sounds. I got hold of a ratty old bass guitar which I hacked up a bit in my dad’s garage. I found a balalaika which made a dreadful din, and bought a brand-new zither from Woolworths, of all places! We also had some primitive electronic effects made by a friend, including a ring modulator, a tremolo and a terrific fuzz box. We made good use of found objects, household objects such as cushions, trays, kitchen utensils and a fire bellow. For one session we used some items I found in a toy shop which were made for the strange noises used in teddy bears. We also used radio sets to make random noise, and manipulated old records on turntables. Epic devised a way of manipulating an air lock in the household plumbing to make a bizarre, alarming random rhythm! Nikki set up our solitary microphone on a camera tripod. Phones devised a guitar which could fold in half; I still cannot work that out! He also discovered that headphones could be adapted to use as a microphone. We would often record on a variety of portable cassette machines in mono, but John had a fancy reel-to-reel machine that he’d bring along for special occasions. Most of our music was made in secret, like a fiendish experiment, and we never had a notion at the time of a career in music until we made the quantum leap of making a record, but that is another story.”

File Under: DIY, Punk
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ziguri

Ziguri: s/t
(Bureau B) LP+CD

“Ziguri [tsiguri]“: In the Mexican Tarahumara language the word for Peyote cactus, containing the hallucinogenic alkaloid mescaline. Günter Schickert has built a reputation and following amongst friends of psychedelic music. He and Manuel Göttsching pioneered the use of the echo guitar. The solo albums Samtvogel (1974) and Überfällig (1979) have attained cult status. In 1987 Schickert founded Ziguri Ego Zoo with Udo Erdenreich and Dieter Kölsch — friends from the Berlin theater 100 Fleck, a musical theater project which soon evolved into the band with the name Ziguri. Ziguri initially rehearsed in SO36, the legendary punk club in Berlin-Kreuzberg (subsequently finding themselves entangled in the street riots on Oranien Strasse which were a regular occurrence at the time). Their first gigs took place in squats, at street parties or underground clubs, before graduating to venues like Tacheles, Der Eimer and Schokoladen. Ziguri continued playing in this format until 1997, after which only the theater project remained, lasting until 2002. The three band members went their separate ways in the years that followed, signing up to new bands. Kölsch played with Schickert in Ponyhof and with Erdenreich in the punk combo Hagel. Both used the same rehearsal space, so the trio often found themselves gathering around in the original line-up. One evening, the famous words were spoken: “Let’s put the band together again.” That was in 2011. And from the first moment on, it was like they have never been apart. Picking up exactly where they have left off, Kölsch and Erdenreich hammered out a driving rhythm and Schickert layered his unique echo patterns over the top. They road-tested their live set at two concerts with Damo Suzuki (Can). As Ziguri played further shows, it dawned on them that younger listeners had bolstered up their audience, strengthening the band’s decision to revive the act. Ziguri enlisted Dirk Dresselhaus as producer, better known as artist Schneider TM. The album was recorded in Schneider TM’s Zone studio in just three days.

File Under: Trance Rock, Motorik, Psych
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country funk 2

Various: Country Funk II (Light in the Attic) LP
“In 2012, Country Funk 1969-1975 Volume I gathered together songs from a genre with no name. It’s a genre created not from geography or shared ideology but a term applied retrospectively based solely on the feel of the songs: hip-swinging rhythms with bourbon on the breath. These were songs to make your cowboy boots itchy, written and performed by the likes of Bobbie Gentry, Johnny Jenkins and Link Wray. Songs that encompass the elation of gospel with the sexual thrust of the blues; country hoedown harmonies cut with inner city grit. Compiled from tracks dating from the late ’60s to the mid ’70s, Country Funk is the sound of country music blending with sounds and scenes from coast to coast, white America’s heartland music blending with the melting pot as the nation assessed its identity in advance of its bicentennial year. The good news for the people who fell in love with the first volume of Country Funk is this: there’s plenty more where that came from. Light in the Attic has followed up that first 16-track disc with a second volume, Country Funk Volume II 1967-1974, and a new set of loose-talking, lap steel-twanging tracks. In this volume you’ll find household names like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Kenny Rogers, Jackie DeShannon, JJ Cale, Bobby Darin, and Dolly Parton. You’ll also find obscure artists like Bill Wilson, whose lost Ever Changing Minstrel album was produced by the feted Dylan producer Bob Johnston, and Thomas Jefferson Kaye, noted producer of Gene Clark’s opus No Other. Gene Clark’s here too, as half of Dillard & Clark, wringing raw emotion from The Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down.’ All of the individuals featured have a story to tell, whether it’s that of the sidelined session musician, the fading star or the country upstart. There’s Donnie Fritts (‘Sumpin’ Funky Goin’ On’), whose roots stretch back to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and who has played keyboard for Kris Kristofferson for decades. There’s Canadian group Great Speckled Bird, who joined Janis Joplin and more on 1970’s Festival Express tour. There’s Hoyt Axton, who along with singing the harmonica-sucking ode to ‘California Women,’ also took a role in Gremlins. There’s Jim Ford, who Sly Stone once described as ‘the baddest white man on the planet.’ And there’s Billy Swan, who kicks proceedings off with a soul-stirring organ, a lazy kickdrum and his rockabilly vocals echoing like a croon into the Grand Canyon.”

File Under: Country, Funk, Sexytimes

ghostwoman

Various: Ghost Woman Blues (Mississippi) LP
“Compilation of absolutely must have country blues. A mix of well-known artists playing their signature songs and more obscure musicians. Highlights include Bukka White’s elemental ‘Fixin’ to die’, Lottie Kimbroughs’ seldom heard ‘Don’t Speak To Me’, George Carters’ haunting ‘Ghost Woman Blues’, Willie Browns’ existential ‘Future Blues’, Monroe Moe Jackson’s wild ‘Go Away From My Door’ and many more hits. The real stuff and some of Mississippi Records all time favorite tunes.”

File Under: Blues

legends of benin

Various: Legends of Benin (Analog Africa) LP
Finally available again!!! Double vinyl version, in deluxe gatefold sleeve and printed inner sleeves which replicate all of the liner notes from the CD version booklet. 2014 repress. A collection of super-rare and highly danceable masterpieces recorded between 1969-1981 by four legendary composers from Benin: Gnonnas Pedro, Antoine Dougbé, El Rego et Ses Commandos and Honoré Avolonto, each with a sound all their own. What you are about to hear is distinctively Benin — a thick brew of agbadja, soul, cavacha, funk, Afrobeat, and Afro-Latin sounds all mixed in with heavy traditional rhythms.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Funk
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sevenskeletons

Various: Seven Skeletons Found in the Yard (Mississippi) LP
“A great compilation of calypso classics from Trinidad recorded between 1928 and 1947 by well-known masters of the form such as the Growler, The Lion, Lord Executor, and Lionel Belasco, as well as by some lesser known but great artists. Heavy topical songs, minor chord meditations on death, beautiful instrumentals and more. Songs include ‘When You Hear I Die,’ ‘In the Dew and the Rain,’ ‘Hojoe,’ ‘Jimby’s Ingratitude,’ ‘Ba Boo La La’ and much, much more. All true master pieces. Old school ‘tip on’ cover.”

File Under: Mississippi, Calypso


…..restocks…..

Amen Dunes: Love (Sacred Bones) LP
Bardo Pond: Refulgo (Three Lobed) LP
Black Hippies: s/t (Academy) LP
The Body: Shall Die Here (RVNG) LP
William Burroughs: Break Through in a Grey Room (Sub Rosa) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Digable Planets: Blowout Comb (Modern Classics) LP
Ersen: s/t (B-Music) CD
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Allelujah! (Constellation) LP
Gun Club: Las Vegas Story (Drastic Plastic) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: Album (Get On Down) LP
Jerusalem In My Heart: Mo7it Al-Mo7it (Constellation) LP
Kris Kristofferson: Please Don’t Tell Me (Light in the Attic) LP
Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble: Miles Ahead (Stones Throw) LP
Louvin Brothers: Satan is Real (Light in the Attic) LP
Jef Gilson: Et Malagasy (Jazzman) Box
Nirvana: Bleach (Sub Pop) LP
William Onyeabor: Who Is… (Luaka Bop) LP
Public Image LTD: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP
Todd Terje: It’s Album Time (Olsen) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) LP
Chelsea Wolfe: Pain Is Beauty (Sargent House) LP
Various: Country Funk (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (Mississippi) LP
Various: Last Kind Words (Mississippi) LP

 

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