Author Archives: listenrecords

…..news letter #698 – counterwait…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

pole

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

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

erics trip

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

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

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

File Under: Punk, Garage, CanCon
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fogg

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

File Under: Stoner, Metal
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jaill

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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niko

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

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

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

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

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

…..pick of the week…..

berrocal

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

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

alvanoto

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

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Ambient
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zoyd

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

File Under: Prog, Classical, Avant Garde
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baird

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

File Under: Folk
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butthole

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

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

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

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial
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czarface

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

File Under: Hip Hop, Wu-Tang
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dreyblatt

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

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

File Under: New Wave, Electronic, Ambient
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gaza

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

File Under: Electronic, New Wave, Ambient
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faith

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Local, CanCon
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foat

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

File Under: Jazz
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frahm

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

File Under: OST, Electronic, Ambient, Classical
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alemi

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

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Surf, Dub
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helm

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

File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient, Techno
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orb

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Dub
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pigrider

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

File Under: Psych, Bedroom Lo-Fi
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racker

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

File Under: Electronic, Field Recordings, Concrete
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robertson

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

File Under: New Age, Ambient
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jesters

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

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

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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studio sardena

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

File Under: Electronic, Electro, Egypt
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toop

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

File Under: Ethnic, Field Recordings, Ritutals
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igly39

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

File Under: Psych, Garage, Magazines

usuah

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

File Under: Afrobeat, Highlife, Soul
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oswald

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

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

File Under: Italian Library, Electronic
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newlife

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

File Under: Jazz

thai beat

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

File Under: Garage, Beat, Thai
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tooslow2

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

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

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

Tagged , , , , ,

…..news letter #696 – cabinets…..

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

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

…..pick of the week…..

arthur russell

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

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

39 clocks

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

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

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

File Under: Live, Folk, SSW
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air2

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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air1

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Synthpop
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air3

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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air5

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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air4

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, OST
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angelo

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

File Under: Psych, Folk
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black mountain

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

File Under: Stoner Rock, Rock, CanCon
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crosss

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

File Under: Psych, Metal, Stoner
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ffs

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

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

Under: Electronic, Library
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suspense

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

File Under: Electronic, Library
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fuckedup

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

File Under: Punk, Hardcore, CanCon
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glass family

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

File Under: Psych
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hudson

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

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop, IDM
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in camera

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

File Under: Post Punk
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lorenz

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

File Under: Electronic, New Age
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'71

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

File Under: OST
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absurd

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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broadchurch

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

File Under: OST, TV
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deadgirl

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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far cry 4

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

File Under: OST, Videogames, Drive
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hannibal

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

File Under: OST, TV
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maniac cop

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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once

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

File Under: OST, Electronic
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starry eyes

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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sticky fingers

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

File Under: Rock
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run the jewels

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

File Under: Rap, Hip Hop
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daily dance

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

File Under: Free Improv, Drone, Psych
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law unit

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

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

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

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

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…..news letter #695 – wait…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

highlife

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

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

braxton

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

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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coliseum

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

File Under: Punk, Goth
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brown sugar

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

File Under: Soul, R & B
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racontwoer

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

File Under: Rock, White Stripes

ruscigan

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

File Under: Electronic, Library
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stark reality

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

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Psych
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yob

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

File Under: Metal
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…..Restocks…..

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

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…..news letter #694 – floor…..

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

…..picks of the week…..

tribo massahi

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

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

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

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

abrams

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

File Under: Jazz, Avant Garde, World
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amanaz

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

File Under: Psych, Zamrock, Africa
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ambarchi

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

File Under: Electronic, Modern Classical
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basho

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

File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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basho2

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

 File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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bazar

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

File Under: Psych, Prog
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bontempi

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

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

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Minimalism
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CF012LP_PROD

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

File Under: Free Jazz
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clark

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

File Under: Folk, Raga, Psych, Blues
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cohen

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

File Under: Electronic, Buchla, Ambient, IDM
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darkel

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

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Air
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dawn of midi

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

File Under: Jazz, Minimal, Experimental
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dettinger

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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eek

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

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

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

File Under: Noise Rock, Punk
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gripper

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

File Under: Guitar, Folk, Worlk, Kora
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laurel

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

File Under: Psych Folk, Guitar, Blues
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lopez

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

File Under: Ambient, Field Recording, Experimental

marks

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

File Under: Soul, Funk
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micachu

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

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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moore

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

File Under: OST, Electronic, Synth, Zombi
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oppen

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

File Under: Electronic, Minimal
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death line

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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hollywood

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

File Under: OST, Horror, Cult
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killer nun

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

File Under: OST, Exploitation, Alessandroni
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nightsatan

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

File Under: OST, Laser Metal
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pye corner

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

File Under: Electronic, Synth
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retrib

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

File Under: Drone, Ambient

ricci

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

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Techno
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stark

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

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

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

File Under: Brit Rock
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stoneroses2

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

File Under: Brit Rock
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sun ra1

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

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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sun ra2

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

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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vhshead

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

File Under: Electronic, IDM
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jeunes

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

File Under: Post Punk, Cold Wave

don't thing

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

File Under: Cambodia, Rock
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taboo

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

File Under: Surf, Exotica

tropica

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

File Under: Disco

wizzz

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

 File Under: Psych, French, Pop

…..Restocks…..

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

…..news letter #693 – mud…..

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

…..pick of the week….

sauvage

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

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

algiers

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

File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
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areski

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

File Under: French Pop, Avant Garde
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murderballads

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

File Under: Rock, Nick Cave!
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coachwhips

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

File Under: Punk, Garage, Oh Sees
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crocs

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

File Under: Rock, Pop, Psych
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deviants

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

File Under: Garage
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django

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

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

File Under: Punk
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hayden

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

File Under: Indie Rock, SSW, CanCon
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jamiexx

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

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

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

File Under: Folk

l7

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

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

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

File Under: Folk, SSW
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mastery

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

File Under: Metal, Black Metal
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oh sees

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

File Under: Punk, Garage
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it follows

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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redredmeat

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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soak

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

File Under: Indie, SSW, Pop
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surfer blood

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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hip

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

File Under: Rock, CanCon
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umo

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

File Under: Rock, Indie, Psych
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white eyes

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

File Under: Psych Pop
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wire

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

File Under: Punk
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znr

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

File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Abstract
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saved

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

File Under: Gospel
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…..Restocks…..

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

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…..news letter #692 – board…..

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

…..picks of the week…..

sleezy

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Coil
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DFTITENtest-1

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

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

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

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

bjork

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

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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moncur

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

File Under: Jazz, Blue Note
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mouse

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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monolord

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

File Under: Rock
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nirvana

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

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

File Under: Experimental, Minimalism
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hemisphers

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

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

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…..news letter #691 – gut…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

simple

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

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

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

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

File Under: Metal, Doom, Stoner
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bitchwax

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

File Under: Stoner, Psych, Hard Rock
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blanck

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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henry

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

File Under: Rock
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ceremony

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

File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
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circuit

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

File Under: Rock, Experimental
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dreyblatt

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

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

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

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

File Under: Fuzz, Pop, Psych, Shoegaze
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gibson

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

File Under: Ambient, Minimalism
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holy serpent

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

File Under: Metal, Doom, Stoner
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hotchip

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

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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nosaj thing

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Hip Hop
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palma

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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prefuse

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

File Under: Electronic, Hip hop
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richter

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

File Under: Classical
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shamir

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

File Under: Electronic, Soul, Pop
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tanlines

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

File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
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torres

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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vincent

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

File Under: Punk

weed

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

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Organs
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white hills

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

File Under: Psych, Fuzz, Kraut
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roots

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

File Under: Reggae, Dub

reggae

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

File Under: Reggae

rocksteady

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

File Under: Reggae, Rock Steady

roots

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

File Under: Reggae, Roots

ska

Various: Best of Trojan Ska 1 (Sanctuary) LP

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

File Under: Reggae, Ska

…..Restocks…..

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

…..news letter #690 – short summer…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

burchette

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

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

edne

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

File Under: Exotica, Psych
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best

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

File Under: Pop, Psych
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jonestown

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

File Under: Rock, Psych, OST
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chra

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Field Recordings
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connors

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

File Under: Guitar Soli, Blues
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cronin

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

File Under: Rock, Pop, Ty Segall
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courtis

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

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

File Under: Rock, Soul, Blues
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deathcab

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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engelberts

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

File Under: Afro-Funk, Afro-Beat
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garson

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

File Under: Early Electronic, Moog, Kosmische
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heard

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

File Under: House, Electronic
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i-lp-o

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

File Under: Electronic, Pan Sonic
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kouyate

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

File Under: African, Folk, Mali
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mac

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Superchunk
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menzies

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

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Electronic
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metz

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

File Under: Rock, Punk, CanCon
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mumford

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

File Under: Folk, Rock
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nochexxx

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

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Grime
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onda

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

File Under: Guitar, Field Recordings, Experimental
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palestine

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

File Under: Drone, Minimalism, Experimental
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robertson

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

File Under: Ambient, New Age, Organs
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rrose

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

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

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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schlip

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

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz, Brotzmann
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segall

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

File Under: Garage, Punk, Psych
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shampooboy

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

File Under: Ambient, Industrial, Dark
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shankar

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

File Under: Eastern Pop, Raga
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smith

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

File Under: Blues, Prison
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speedy

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

File Under: Indie Rock
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sprawl

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

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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stringtronics

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

File Under: Library, Space Age, Electronic
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tallest

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

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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walls

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Synths
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warner

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

File Under: Library, Electronic, Funk, Latin
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watson

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

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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woven

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

File Under: Folk, Blues
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yamasuki

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

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

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

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…..news letter #689 – mayward…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

gnod

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

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

akkor

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

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

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

File Under: Blues, Rock, Soul
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blind shake

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

File Under: Punk, Garage
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calexico

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

File Under: Indie, Roots, Tex-Mex
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craig

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

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

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

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

File Under: Pop Psych
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jarvis

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

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock, CanCon
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girl

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

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

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

File Under: OST, Animation
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phase4

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

File Under: OST, Sci-Fi, Synth
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palmeira

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

File Under: Brazilian, Bossa Nova, Latin Jazz
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angelo

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

File Under: Latin, Psych, Funk, Library
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sfa

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

File Under: Pop, Welsh
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useless

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

File Under: Punk, Garage
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nna

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

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

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

Incoming next week….

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

…..Restocks…..

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

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