Author Archives: listenrecords

… letter #651 – shower…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

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

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


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

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

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

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

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
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chopping mall

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

File Under: OST, Horror
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city of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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… letter #650 – back…..

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

…..pick of the week…..

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: Magazines


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: Space Rock, Spacemen3
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Spoon: They Want My Soul (Republic) LP/CD
Soooo…. we ordered a bunch of LPs of this, and only got a few and are sold out already, more soon, I promise. Artful Austin, TX rock ‘n’ rollers Spoon make their welcome return with They Want My Soul, the band’s long awaited eighth full-length offering and first since 2010’s Transference. The loose and upbeat 10-song set finds the band working with outside producers for the first time – Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, U2, Tori Amos) and Dave Fridman (MGMT, Weezer, OK Go) – as well as new member Alex Fischel from Britt Daniels’ side supergroup Divine Fits. Lauded by NPR Music as “unmistakably a Spoon record, with fantastically infectious grooves and melodies,” They Want My Soul is preceded by the punchy swagger of lead single “Rent I Pay” and also boasts a cover of Ann-Margret’s “I Just Don’t Understand.” “The album was recorded this past winter, mostly at Public HiFi in Austin and Tarbox in Cassadaga, NY. It was the first time we’ve had the chance to work with Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT, Creaming Jesus) and we’re pretty sure that the levels indicate this to be our loudest record — it’s also Deux Deux’s favorite…Side One begins with the gnarliest Jim Eno drum sound ever recorded and Side Two ends with Rob Pope’s bass amp completely breaking down to fuzz + hiss at the end of a take. The record’s got beats, whispers, chants, guitars, whistles, secret codes, and horror-movie strings. It’s got songs about holy rollers, back masking, real life properties of physics, love during the apocalypse and a brief reappearance of Jonathon Fisk.” – Britt Daniels

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

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

File Under: Psych, Bootlegs, VU
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congo guitars

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

File Under: Sleaze, Slow Grind, Swing


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

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… letter #649 – break…..

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

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

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

…..pick of the week…..


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

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

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

… arrivals…..


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

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

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

File Under: Metal, Hard Rock
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reigning sound

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tagged , , , , , , ,

… letter #648 – big smoke…..

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

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

…..pick of the week…..


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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lee fields

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File Under: Japanese Electronic, Industrial, Noise

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

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

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

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

File Under: Electronic
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swell maps

Swell Maps: Archive Volume 1
(Munster) LP

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

File Under: DIY, Punk
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Ziguri: s/t
(Bureau B) LP+CD

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

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

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

File Under: Country, Funk, Sexytimes


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

File Under: Blues

legends of benin

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

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

File Under: Mississippi, Calypso


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


Tagged , , , , , ,

… letter #647 – less?…..

I’m confused… At this point in the year, that being summer, usually the releases dwindle away into nothingness, yet this week, I could easily list 3 picks of the week! But I’m going to just try sticking to 2. So even though it’s not a pick of the week, I still highly recommend you check out/pick up the new Wolves In The Throne Room as well…. ya! Oh ya… I bought some awesome used stuff in the last week or so as well, by the by.

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

…..picks of the week…..


Les Rallizes Denudes: Electric Pure Land (No Label) 2LP
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! Staggering ultra-limited out-of-nowhere double LP set of primo acid-drenched psych from the most legendary Japanese underground group of all time, the late Les Rallizes Denudes: reputedly sourced from the collection of an ‘insider’ Japanese underground musician and coming from the same source as the all-time epic France Demo Tapes LP, Electric Pure Land represents the second phase in this Dick’s Picks style on-going vinyl presentation of the hands-down greatest live moments of Mizutani’s mystery-cloaked outfit. Housed in a beautiful heavy gatefold sleeve with nada in terms of information but two enigmatic graphics-only inserts and pictures of a total eclipse of the sun, Electric Pure Land is in fact drawn from live 1974 material and comes pressed across three sides of moodily transparent vinyl. The set begins with a blank A side (!) then into a wild sidelong flamethrower take on “The Last One” that marries the kind of 80s Minor scene thud of groups like Kousokuya to the sound of pure amplifier worship, with cro-magnon nod-out bass and endlessly flanged/phased/devolved lead guitar coming over like “I Heard Her Call My Name” broadcast from the other side of the mirror. When Rallizes generate this kind of insane, form-destroying/higher minded six string euphoria it feels like they are the only group on the planet, taking the sound of the guitar as a conduit for electricity to its ultimate post-psych/noise ends. And that’s not all, over on the second LP we get a slew of classic Rallizes ballads and freaks, with Mizutani so caught up in endless soloing that there are moments when everyone stops playing and he just takes off on his own, riffing endlessly w/low slung mirror shades stylings and beams of pure white light, bulldozing “Enter The Mirror”, “Flames Of Ice” and  “Angel Of Guidance”.  If you ever wondered what all the fuss was about with Rallizes then this is the monster to nail to your turntable, endless black blues played with an end of the world ferocity that is uniquely keyed. File next to France Demo Tapes, Sweet Sister Ray, Call In Question, Clear To Higher Time, Stained Angel Morning, Pathetique and Monkey Pockie Boo in the section of your collection given over to drooling six string excess. Simply cannot recommend this mind-blowing side enough, has to be heard to be believed and certainly one of the most beautifully packaged Rallizes LPs to date, with the gatefold opening backwards, ala a Japanese book and with the ‘back’ cover featuring phonetic Japanese interpretations of English translations of the songs. Can’t even begin to comb through my entire Rallizes archive to make spot comparisons, but don’t think this insane material has made it out in any other format before, so dig in. Another future monster, highest possible recommendation!

File Under: Japanese, Psych, Blown Amps, Essential
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The Group: The Feed-Back (Schema) LP+CD
In tomorrow… HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! Just as the first “krautrock” lp’s were coming out in Germany, in Italy we had a surprisingly similar counterpart: this album. It consists of three long instrumental tracks, somewhere in between psych-rock, avantgarde jazz and funky jams. The sound is definitely experimental and ostentatiously “underground”. None of the instruments involved tries to be reassuring: the guitar is scratchy, the trumpet sounds choked, piano and keyboards are always dissonant and a background of “proto-industrial” noises is present all along the record. The music, anyway, is thrilling. The drum patterns, in particular, are extraordinary: regular, tight, groovy, and incredibly close to the “motorik” beat of Can and Neu!. “The Group” was not a band of young beatniks. As a matter of fact, it’s just a pseudonym for Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, a project of renown soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone along with other important experimental musicians. The rock-focused attitude of the record is quite surprising for  such a team of classically-trained men already in their forties!

File Under: Free Jazz, Italian Library, Holy Grail, Improv, Funk, Psych, Morricone, Essential
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… arrivals…..


The Braen Machine: Underground (Schema) LP+CD
In tomorrow… “During the ’70s, work days at Umiliani’s Sound Workshop Studios were hectic; thousands of sessions were held in order to keep up with a very busy Italian movie industry: Hundreds of soundtracks alongside with music library were recorded and released on vinyl in very limited quantities for TV and film production use only. Those LPs are now proper collectors’ items, extremely hard to find. Filled with hypnotic bass lines, heavy drums and screaming fuzz guitars “Underground”, the first LP of the fictitious group known as Braen’s Machine, is one of the rarest and the most expensive of them all, always “reaching” sky high prices throughout the second hand vinyl market. A fast-beat jam with hammond scales and a twin lead guitar theme (“Flying”) opens the A Side soon followed by “Imphormal”, a classic funk-beat-meets fender- rhodes-and-psychedelic-guitar number. The music then switch to “thriller territories” with “Murder” which is based on prepared piano swells and a deeply hypnotic walking bass, reminiscent of the best Morricone’s soundtracks for Dario Argento’s movies. Two highly percussive songs complete the A Side: “Gap” is an improvised song with guitar and keyboards dwelling over an infectious drum rhythm while a marching snare and a vibraslap effect are the special features on “Militar Police”. The mood relaxes slightly on the opening of the B Side with a lazy jazz groove on “New Experience” but the rock influences are soon brought back on the following track “Fall Out”. “Obstinacy” is all about keyboards with syncopated rhodes themes and distorted hammond sustained notes whilst the fuzz guitar is back again screaming through the left channel on the last song of the album, “Description”. We could happily say that that was the golden age of the Italian music library. But who’s behind the name “Braen’s Machine”? On the original cover the songs are credited to the composers Braen and Gisteri. Braen was a pseudonym often used by Alessandro Alessandroni, an extremely skilled and versatile musician, and one of Umiliani’s closest collaborators. He could write, conduct and arrange, he could sing (ever heard “Mah Na Mah Na”?), he could whistle (ever heard Morricone’s “For a fistful of dollars”?) and he could play almost anything: guitar, bass tuba, accordion, sitar and the list grows….. His first album “Alessandro Alessandroni e il suo complesso” (Sermi, 1969), had transformed the Italian library music from orchestral sound beds into the psychedelia we all love; the extremely fuzzy guitars are very “present” on “Underground” too. For a long time Gisteri’s real identity was rather mysterious; often wrongly attributed to Umiliani. Gisteri was the pseudonym of Oronzo De Filippi, art name of Rino De Filippi, music supervisor to the Italian public broadcast company (RAI) between the ’60s and the ’70s. De Filippi composed other notable pieces such as “Riflessi” (Edipan, 1975) and “Nel mondo del lavoro” (Sermi, 1972).”

File Under: Italian Library, Funk, Jazz, OST, Raerz
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Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Mobile Fidelity) LP
Monumental 1970 Double Album is Signpost for Jazz Fusion: Psychedelic Record Still Sounds Ahead of Its Time More Than 40 Years Later. Otherworldly Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Delivers the Consummate Pressing of the Uncompromising Work Ranked by Rolling Stone as Among the Greatest 100 Albums of All Time. Grammy Award-Winning Set Ignores Convention, Pursues Funk and Rock Directions Via Innovative Rhythms and Groundbreaking Ensemble Configurations. “Listen to This.” As the original working title for Bitches Brew, the instruction and invitation resonates to this day as the best way to approach a record that shattered conventions, altered music history, and, more than 40 years later, still sounds far ahead of its time. The aural Mount Rushmore of jazz fusion, Bitches Brew is rightly ranked by virtually every significant press outlet among the 100 greatest albums ever made in any genre. Sewn together with vibrant colors, voodoo textures, and ethereal moods, the 1970 landmark emerges with supreme detail and nonpareil feeling on Mobile Fidelity’s definitive 180g 33RPM 2LP set. Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI, this collectable audiophile 33RPM version of Bitches Brew joins the ranks of eleven other essential Miles Davis sets given supreme sonic and packaging treatment by Mobile Fidelity. Having established new possibilities for studio-recording techniques, the record can now be experienced to maximum degree by way of this analog edition that widens and deepens the soundstage, opens up separation between instruments, and broadens the dynamic range. If ever a jazz album can be said to have gone to outer space and back, this is it. Davis conceived Bitches Brew by having the musicians stand in a semi-circle, where he pointed at them with vague directions for tempo, solos, and cues. The collective improvisation and interplay spawned a galaxy of melodies and grooves that were later spliced together by producer Ted Macero. Here, these distinct creations take shape with utmost realism. Mobile Fidelity’s version envelops you in expansive warm tonal blankets. Compositions stretch across jet-black backgrounds and paint abstract canvasses on par with those of Axis: Bold As Love and Abraxas. Juxtaposed percussion, loose jams, and melodic segues explode with impressionistic verve. Gathering a Hall of Fame-worthy lineup of musicians and tweaking it according to his desires, Davis follows through on his idea to “put together the greatest rock and roll band you ever heard” on Bitches Brew. Central to his proposition is the presence of two (and sometimes three) drummers and two bassists, a tactical move that thrusts rhythms into a central focus. Akin to the futuristic album cover art, the drum-driven suites head toward distant universes and uncharted territories—at once hypnotizing and grooving, charting maverick adventures with quixotic rock, funk, and R&B elements. Conceptually, Davis described Bitches Brew as “a novel without words” and “an incredible journey of pain, joy, sorrow, hate, passion, and love.” The vast psychedelic expanses of warped echoes, liquid reverb, and tape loops confirm such ambitious contrasts of light and dark, fear and hope. Yet the most absolute characteristic of this watershed effort lies in how it resists definitive interpretation and encourages free thought—the very principles with which Davis conceived the everlasting beauty and fascination that is Bitches Brew. All the composer would else likely want for open-minded listeners is for them to hear it at its full potential, a dream realized by Mobile Fidelity.

File Under: Jazz, Fusion, Classics, MOFI
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Earth: Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord) LP
Repress of the 2005 classic return album from Earth. Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method is the fourth full-length studio album by Earth. This album was the first new material released by Earth after a nine-year break. Earth visionary/founder Dylan Carlson said: “There’s an arc to each song and an arc to the album, rather than just a collection of songs. There’s silence and a sense of space to the music”. The subtitle is from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. This version of Hex comes packaged in a Stoughton gatefold jacket.

File Under: Metal, Drone, Doom
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earth1Earth: The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) LP
The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull is the fifth full-length studio album by the band Earth. Bill Frisell is a guest on the album, playing guitar on tracks one, four, and five. The title is a reference to Judges 14:8 in the Bible. It tells the story of Samson, who tore apart a lion and when he returned, noticed a swarm of bees and some honey on the lion’s carcass. The album continues the trend of Earth songs being named, at least in part, after phrases from the Cormac McCarthy book Blood Meridian (for example, ‘Hung from the Moon’ and ‘Engine of Ruin’). This version of The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull comes packaged in a faux leather cover that emulates a old bible. Inside this book is another Stoughton gatefold jacket.

File Under: Metal, Drone, Doom
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The Flesh Eaters: A Minute To Pray A Second To Die (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Flesh Eaters is the name behind one Chris Desjardins a.k.a. Chris D. Taking his stage name from a 1964 cult film, Chris D. wrote for legendary fanzine Slash in the late ’70s and assembled the first of many Flesh Eaters lineups from heavyweights in the burgeoning L.A. punk scene. After releasing a ravenous EP and heart-ripping debut album, The Flesh Eaters unleashed their era-defining statement, A Minute to Pray A Second to Die. Originally released in 1981, A Minute to Pray brings together the greatest band in American rock history: Dave Alvin (Blasters) on guitar, John Doe (X) on bass, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) on sax, along with Bill Batemen (Blasters) and DJ Bonebrake (X) providing the album’s trademark percussive backbone. Chris D. leads the group like a man possessed. Through a series of grotesque vignettes, his lyrical prowess and indelible growl stand toe-to-toe with the music’s powerful shifts. From opener ‘Digging My Grave’ (resembling a dieselcharged Magic Band) to the gothic groove of ‘Divine Horsemen’, each song is its own hairy beast. Inspired by African tribal music, ’60s garage-rock churn and Funhouseera Stooges swing, A Minute to Pray remains (according to author / archivist Byron Coley) “the best rock record ever recorded.” This first-time vinyl reissue and long out-of-print CD release has been carefully remastered and features liner notes by Coley. Without a doubt, The Flesh Eaters will hypnotize a new flock of listeners in this millennium.

File Under: Punk, Classics
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Fu Manchu: Gigantoid (At The Dojo) LP
Southern California hard rock mainstays Fu Manchu are releasing their new album, on the band’s own At The Dojo Records. After almost 25 years together, and following last year’s Scion A/V Club split 7″ with friends MOAB and 2009’s “Signs of Infinite Power,” Scott Hill and company return with their first full-length album in close to five years. Recorded with Andrew Giacumakis, singer / guitarist for he aforementioned MOAB at his studio in Simi Valley, CA, the album features a slightly more primitive, raw and ultra fuzzed-out sound than previous releases. “We wrote 17 new songs for this record and got our favorite 9 songs out of that together,” says Hill. “We were planning on releasing a ‘part 2′ record later this year but have plans for some of the other songs to appear in early 2015 to line up with our upcoming 25-year anniversary.”

File Under: Stoner Rock
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Dicky Oliver: s/t (Schema) LP
In tomorrow… An accurate reissue of this rare album originally released on RCA Italy in 1969. “Dicky Oliver” is a super funky 10 track LP with furious Hammond and great horn sections. Among the tracks, “The Chicken” is a floor-killer James Brown cover, fuelled by a powerful groove. Little is known about the artist. This album, recorded and produced in 1968 at RCA Studios in Rome, includes other two great James Brown covers: “Let Yourself Go” and “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”. Covers of Hugh Masekela (“Grazing In The Grass”), Jimmy McGriff (“South West”), Cannonball Adderley (“Cannon Ball’s Theme”) and two original tracks written by Richard “Dicky” Oliver complete the tracklist.

File Under: Funk
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pudduAlex Puddu: Registrazioni Al Buio (Schema) LP
In tomorrow… This album is an amazing journey into the world of soundtracks and library music of the 70s. In French they would call it “Music pour l’image” and this term gives you the exact idea of the deeply evocative potential of this sequence of notes does have. “Registrazioni al Buio” is indeed a fresh and charming recording by a talented musician and gifted producer who brings new life to old sounds by restyling, merging, and mixing old and new musical intuitions. The result is somehow familiar if you loved the works of Lesiman, Bacalov, Pisano or the infinite genius of the maestro Morricone and his old time friend Alessandroni, but at the same time it sounds new, with echoes of ‘No wave’ intuitions

File Under: Italian, Funk, Jazz, Library, OST
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danish1Alex Puddu: The Golden Age of Danish Pornography Vol. 1 (Schema) LP
In tomorrow… After a show at Copenhagen Jazzhouse with my band, Alex Puddu and The Butterfly Collectors, I came to meet an old face from the underground music business, Jan Schmidt, who I knew but not as much as I came to know in later years. He used to own a few brilliant indie labels such as Pingo, Cloudland and April Records, back when some of the coolest bands from the Danish indie scene were around. I recall that after that gig, Jan and I had a hell of a lot to share with each other: Food, music, Italian giallo and horror movies from the 60s and the 70s. In fact, just about everything! Later that year I was signed to do 2 albums with Alex Puddu and The Butterfly Collectors, ‘Chasing the Scorpion’s Tail’ followed by ‘The Silcence of the Sun and The Rhythm of the Rain’, by April Records, and even if the records did not sell so well we had a wonderful time recording them and we built up a great relationship between us. I must admit that my music tastes have always been affected by the visions and the movies that I saw back in the days when I was a teenager growing up in Italy to the Dario Argento score of “Profondo Rosso” or “The Warriors”. I probably got much more into it with time and at that point I just had to do something about it, and that is when I started to record my first solo albums after the break-up with Puddu Varano under the pseudonym of Alex Puddu and the Butterfly Collectors. This was very cinematically inspired and believe it or not I have always known from the start how to compose and produce a track from the very beginning to the very end with a perfect vision and artwork. Last year Jan told me that he was going to release some vintage collection Danish porn films on DVD and he needed to have some music done. I immediately thought of myself and believed that I was that right person for the job. I knew this was going to be something special for me. Creating a score for a vintage porn movie has been my dream for many years and the thought that I was going to write and perform something original for those pictures made me really happy and proud, especially after so many years of waiting. I remembered when I used to go out and rent old vintage porno movies at the local video store because I just appreciated the old soundtracks so much. Can you believe that now it was going to be my turn? Well, it took me a couple of months of writing and producing for the soundtracks and I wrote the whole score and most of the tracks while sitting on the couch in my living room with a glass of red wine and a funky bass line. And do you know what? I am a pretty cool bass player when it comes to porno music, do you know what I mean? Some of the songs like “Naughty Girls at the Wild Party” or “Black Triangle” are built up from cool and freaky fuzz guitar riffs and I also have to say that beats production is awesome. This was easy for me since I have been a drummer for many years and I just love this king of music so I did not have any trouble in the recording session and I got exactly what I wanted! But you cannot forget that this album would not have been possible without the help of some of my wonderful music ‘mates’…

File Under: Porno, OST, Danish, Fuzz, Funk, Ego
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danish 2Alex Puddu: The Golden Age of Danish Pornography Vol. 2 (Schema) LP
In tomorrow… In 2009 we started up Pink Flamingo Entertainment as a sub label of Another World Entertainment. It’s aim was to release vintage and quality porn on DVD and VOD, as a counterpart to the cold and mechanical commercial porn of the mainstream. The first release was Ole Ege’s ‘Pornografi’ (1971), which we put out in 2009. Ole Ege was one of the pioneers of Danish porn, working from the period leading up to the legalization of pornography in Denmark in 1969 and up until a few years after that. ‘Pornografi’ had previously been released on VHS and appears as a feature film, but it is in fact a collection of short films that Ole Ege had made for the blooming 8mm market at the time. The films are from the period 1964 to 1971, which means that some of the films are from before the legalization of pornography and hence were sold under the counter. Shortly after releasing ‘Pornografi’, I received a phone call from an elderly gentleman, who had been given my number by Ole Ege. He was a former business partner of the late Freddy Weiss, and held the copyright for and had a large collection of negatives for Freddy Weiss’s films, that had been released on super8 on the early ’70s. Freddy had been a photographer for Ole Edge in the early years but had later gone his own way. I told him that this all sounded very interesting and that I’d like to have a look at it. The next day a silver-grey Mercedes rolled into the courtyard of our office. The trunk was loaded with film spools. During the course of the following days I started gathering an overview of what the collection consisted of, which wasn’t easy, as it was all negatives. So I couldn’t just view them. Besides many of the spools were damaged by moisture and mold and the information on them was extremely sparse. Most of them were in a can or bag with a tiny note thrown in stating titles such as ‘Anal Sensation’, ‘Black Triangle’ etc. We selected some of them and sent them off for scanning so we could get a better idea of what we were dealing with. Most of what came back from the lab turned out to be a great quality and of high cultural value. But they had no sound and if we were to release them on DVD we had to find a soundtrack to make the viewing experience more  entertaining. I did not for a single moment doubt that my good friend Alex Puddu was the right man for the job. I have a former career in the music business, where I got to know Alex in the early ’90s, while distributing the music of his first band, Excess Bleeding Heart. In 2004 I put out Alex Puddu’s debut solo album ‘Chasing the Scorpion’s Tail’ and the year after that his second one, ‘The Silence of the Sun and the Rhythm of the Rain’. Both on my record label April Records. I then left the music business in 2006 to dedicate myself fully to the film industry. Working with Alex Puddu had led to a close friendship between the two of us. We shared a love for the era of the late ’60s to early ’70s and would often meet up for good food (Alex is an incredible cook!) and listen to soundtrack records and watch films. Especially Italian Giallo and poliziottesco films from the ’70s. We also live out our mutual interest of the old soundtracks and the funky music of the era through our DJ’ing activities, in a club concepts such as ‘Club Frenzy’ and ‘Orgasmo’, together with our dear friend Anders Arentoft (a.k.a. DJ Curious). So I knew that Alex would instantly understand which direction I wanted the soundtrack to go in for the first collection of Freddy Weiss’s short films, ‘The Golden Age Of Danish Pornography’. And the end results of his work was nothing less than mind-blowing. It simply suited the films perfectly. Alex self-released the soundtrack as an ultra limited vinyl pressing of only 250 copies and that record got him signed to the acclaimed Italian record label Schema Records. Both the DVD and the soundtrack were well received worldwide and on selected occasions Alex Puddu and his band have performed his groovy ’70s style porn soundtrack live to Freddy Weiss’s sleazy films in cinemas.  Now that I am standing here with ‘The Golden Age Of Danish Pornography Vol. 2′ I can’t help but smile. Another great collection of films has been put together and Alex… well, he’s done it again! That man is definitely the uncrowned king of groovy porn soundtracks… I love it! Thanks my friend! Jan Schmidt

File Under: Porno OST, OST, Funk, Fuzz
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revelationsThe Revelations: s/t (Schema) LP
In tomorrow… The story of “The Revelations” is part of a fruitful and unique period of Italian Discography. A moment of great creativity and innovation, when the boundaries between music, cinema and television were uncertain. A story of great orchestras, film directors and inspired composers which were endlessly producing in a country getting back on its feet after the Second World War. “The Revelations”, released in 1970, is a gem that emerged from this period. A record amongst many that although relatively unknown, remains highly sought after by record collectors world over. Adventurous is probably the most appropriate word to describe those fantastic years that we fondly remember for famous film scores and the birth of the Italian pop scene. Help!, the Rome based record label which released “The Revelations”, was the first music business run by the young producer Gianni dell’Orso. Hailing from an academic music background, Dell’Orso had the chance to collaborate with maestros such as Piero Piccioni, Luis Bacalov, Ennio Morricone and the recently deceased Armando Trovajoli. At the same time, he worked at RAI (Italian state television) as assistant to the famous maestro Bruno Canfora. Canfora himself was an icon of the period and known for composing Pop hits such as “Brava” for Mina, and “Fortissimo” for Rita Pavone, as well as his own virtuosity as a director and arranger of TV orchestras. Those were times in which a combination of talent, creativity and technical expertise resulted in incredibly prolific music production. Help! was focused on Progressive Rock, an admirable phenomenon but a novelty within the Italian music scene. The catalogue was also enriched by licensing records from German artists such as The Rattles or Soulful Dynamics with hits like “Mademoiselle Ninette”. RCA Italy, a true giant in the music industry at the time, believed in the commercial value of this musical genre and undertook distribution of Help!. RCA wasn’t only a pioneering label who discovered and launched Italian pop stars like Rita Pavone, Gianni Morandi, Gino Paoli, Lucio Dalla, but was also a great platform with studios at the cutting edge of recording technology where experienced session men worked on Pop hits and film scores. “The Revelations” LP was recorded at these studios. RCA Studios gave birth to the season of great Italian songwriters: Rino Gaetano, Francesco De Gregori and Antonello Venditti to name but a few. Conceived by Dell’Orso, appearing here under his alter ego Proluton, and his brother Giacomo, “The Revelations” LP was produced as Library Music for television and manufactured in a very limited number of copies. The LP blends diverse inspirations and heterogeneous moods, since its aim was to offer many options to television producers. Giacomo Dell’Orso, musician, composer and orchestra director, signed most of the tracks under the moniker Oscar Lindok. His music takes the listener into a journey through cinematic atmospheres and funk influences with a beat background – a world of moving melodies and strong grooves. Giacomo’s life is an example of dedicating one’s existence to music for we can’t avoid the underlying connection of his private life, music and cinema without also remembering his marriage to Edda Sabbatini – better known as Edda Dell’Orso, Ennio Morricone’s favourite singer. The musicians featured on this record are great session men with glorious careers: Silvano Chimenti, Giovanni Tommaso, Enzo Restuccia and Mario Scotti – all famous for their work on film scores and as featured musicians who enjoyed great Italian Pop success as well.

File Under: Italian Library, OST
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Spiritualized: Royal Albert Hall October 10, 1997 Live (Plain) LP
Recorded during a stop at the Royal Albert Hall on the 1997 UK tour in support of “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space” this double album features the band at their peak as a performing unit and the recording captures all the intense power and epic majesty of J. Spaceman and company live. The group is joined by a horn section, a string quartet and a gospel choir on the second half of the concert. Reissued on 180 gram vinyl with custom fluorescent Euro inner sleeves in a wide spine jacket with holographic rainbow foil. Limited edition of 3,000.

File Under: Rock, Live
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Viet Cong: Cassette EP (Mexican Summer) 12″
Viet Cong is a new project made up of four distinct voices. Matt Flegel and Scott Munro (respective former members of beloved Calgary band Women, and Chad VanGaalen’s band) spent much of 2013 in their basement studio with a mess of old and run-down equipment to build a set of fresh material. Joined by bandmates Daniel Christiansen and Michael Wallace, the band completed work on a debut cassette. What emerged from the studio was a mixture of sharply-angled rhythmic workouts and euphoric ‘60s garage pop melodies, balanced with a penchant for drone-y, VU-styled downer moments. Opening track “Throw It Away” is tightly wound guitar pop, recalling the nervous urgency of The Feelies with its wiry guitar lines and ever-changing drum patterns, both of which are played with a dexterous sense of glee. “Oxygen Feed” is another stand-out, a gloriously sloppy sing-a-long couched with warm harmonies, and a charmingly ramshackle rhythm section befitting of its basement origins. Elsewhere, the band edge into harmony-laden, sublime pop heights (“Static Wall”), and Gothy post-punk (“Dark Entries”, “Select Your Drone”). As noted by Pitchfork in a recent “Rising” feature: “Viet Cong do many things, and they do it all very well”. Simply titled ‘Cassette’, the former tour-only release retains its format-aware title for a vinyl and remastered digital release on Mexican Summer.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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Wolves in the Throne Room: Celestite (Artemisia) LP/CD
Since 2002, over the course of four studio albums and hundreds of live performances, Wolves in the Throne Room have refracted the transcendent and mythic aspects of black metal through their own idiosyncratic Cascadian prism, creating music intimately linked to the wild lands of the Pacific Northwest. Celestite embarks on a deeper excursion into the crystalline, synthesizerdriven domains that have long intrigued the band. With the aid of producer Randall Dunn (Earth, SUNNO))), Master Musicians of Bukkake), the band unearths a hidden soundscape only loosely tethered to their familiar sound, yet still unmistakably the work of Wolves in the Throne Room. As the album unfolds, an ocean-deep psychedelic soundscape coalesces, and a portal opens to the hidden world of magic only accessble through dreams, visions and music. Celestite came to fruition at Avast Studios in Seattle and the group’s own Olympia-based Owl Lodge, where they employed a mammoth arsenal of crumbling vintage synths and effects, a wind ensemble and the classic API and Neve mixing consoles. From the band themselves: “To make Celestite we delved into the subterranean sonics that are buried in the mix of Celestial Lineage. We isolated them, processed them and took this unearthed soundscape as our starting point. Upon this base we recorded an entirely new album. Some melodies from Celestial Lineage are recognizable, but these familiar sounds appear as ghosts, barely tethered to the original compositions. This new album is an unorthodox foray; a fully instrumental, experimental companion record to Celestial Lineage. We left some work undone with Celestial Lineage. The recording of that album in the Winter of 2011 was a monumental project for us personally, and the creative fire from those recording sessions was still burning. This recording process was an opportunity to journey into our own inner universe to complete that which needed to be completed.” Celestite is the inaugural release on Wolves in the Throne Room’s new label, Artemisia Records.

File Under: Metal, Synth, Ambient, Dark Ambient
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Various: Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label (Numero) 3LP/2CD
Available as both 2CD & 3LP. Fueled by the financial drippings of number runners and boosted by Hall-of-Fame running back Jim Brown, Cleveland, Ohio’s Way Out Records offered asylum for a rising crop of rogue soul men, rust-belt vocal ensembles, and trial-by-fire producers. Helmed by a friendly consortium of hustlers, police officers, and gridiron giants, pet project beget obsession as Motown arrangers, gospel choirs, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra were all beckoned to the wrong side of the tracks to mint masterpieces for the Sensations, Volcanic Eruption, the Exceptional Three, and Bobby Wade, all beneath the mindful gaze of a wall-mounted shotgun. Reaching their peak in the late ’60s, Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label gathers the brightest moments from the quirky operation’s eleven year bid. The 3LP configuration boasts a double gatefold with beautiful photos and ephemera from the label’s low-flying promotional department. The 2CD version boasts images unique to this format, plus the same great liner notes, clocking in at 7,000 words. For fans of group harmony, sweet soul, orchestral feats and lo-fi oddities, The Way Out Label is an excellent addition to our already popular and powerful Eccentric Soul series.

File Under: Soul
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A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP
A Winged Victory For The Sullen: Atomos (Krany) 12″
Bauhaus: Sky’s Gone Out (4 Men With Beards) LP
Black Flag: My War (SST) LP
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Methodrone (A Records) LP
Elvis Costello: This Year’s Model (MoFi) LP
Death From Above 1979: You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (Last Gang) LP
Descendents: Milo Goes To College (SST) LP
DJ Shadow: Endtroducing (Mo Wax) LP
Bob Dylan & The Band: Basement Tapes (MoFi) LP
Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket: In A Dutch Haze (Outer Battery) LP/CD
Duke Ellington: At Newport (MoFi) LP
John Fahey: The Transcendental Waterfall (4 Men With Beards) Box
Fraction: Moon Blood (Mexican Summer) LP+10″
Nils Frahm: Spaces (Erased Tapes) LP
Grateful Dead: Skull & Roses (MoFi) LP
Grinderman: s/t (Anti) LP
King Crimson: Red (Pangyric) LP
Modern Lovers: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before… (Epic) LP
The National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (Brassland) LP
The National: s/t (Brassland) LP
Nico: Marble Index (Music on Vinyl) LP
Nico: Chelsea Girl (4 Men With Beards) LP
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral (Nothing) LP
Purity Ring: Shrines (4AD) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (TBD) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (EMI) LP
Radiohead: King of Limbs (TBD) LP
Otis Redding: Soul Ballads (4 Men With Beards) LP
Otis Redding: Soul Album (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Sundazed) LP
Slint: Spiderland (Touch & Go) LP
Elliott Smith: s/t (KRS) LP
Soft Machine: Two (Sundazed) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Sony) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Diaper Island (Flemish Eye) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Weezer: s/t (MoFi) LP
Weezer: Pinkerton (MoFi) LP
Weezer: Green (MoFi) LP
Neil Young: Greatest Hits (Reprise) LP
Various: Sun Records Story (Charly) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles (Numero) LP

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… letter #646 – tuesday?…..

Guh! So, it’s Tuesday right? Apparently not. I’m doing Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday’s work all today. And about a million other things. Anyway, I’m swamped, but some super duper rad records rolled into the shop this week so I hope you didn’t spend all your beans on the long weekend….

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

…..picks of the week…..


Ben Frost: A U R O R A (Mute) LP/CD
Finally available! And as an added bonus to make up for the long wait, we’ve got the European limited coloured vinyl version! “A U R O R A is the highly anticipated fifth solo release from Ben Frost, his first since the widely acclaimed By The Throat in 2009. These lean, athletic visions seem to stand testament to a kind of survival – a proof of life. Muscular shapes maintained only to a level of functioning physical survival, of necessity, and no further; filthy, uncivilized, caked in sweat, and battery acid. Starved of all the adornments of its predecessor; wholly absent of guitar, of piano, of string instruments and natural wooden intimacy, A U R O R A offers a defiant new world of fiercely synthetic shapes and galactic interference, pummelling skins and pure metals. Performed by Frost with Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy), Shahzad Ismaily and Thor Harris (Swans) and largely written in Eastern DR Congo, A U R O R A aims directly, through its monolithic construction, at blinding luminescent alchemy; not with benign heavenly beauty but through decimating magnetic force. This is no pristine vision of digital music; but an offering of interrupted future time, where emergency flares illuminate ruined nightclubs and the faith of the dancefloor rests in a diesel-powered generator spewing forth its own extinction, eating rancid fuel so loudly it threatens to overrun the very music it is powering. And so, is the ongoing evolution of Frost’s music, conceived as equally the observer, as the catalyst in this music, and harbinger of the idea that so often we think of beauty when in fact we should be thinking of destruction. The result, mixed in Reykjavík with Bedroom Community head Valgeir Sigurðsson, is a machined musical surface, evolved and refined, yet irrevocably damaged. Curiously, darkness is expelled to the muddy sedge and a confusing irradiant glow permeates A U R O R A, where everything once wounded, remains fiercely animate and luminescent with charged destruction.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Metal, Iceland
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Drones: I See Seaweed (Bang) LP/CD 
Bang! Records presents the new album from Australian rock legends The Drones. I See Seaweed is their best record to date and gathers all the complexity and greatness of the different sounds and faces of the band, led by Gareth Liddiard. Amazing lyrics fit perfectly with measured melodies, and each and every one of the five band members melt, creating a perfect sound. Intensity and sound explosions meet anxious quietness and tension. This is one of those records which grows with every listen, that you’ll never get tired of playing, over and over again. The Drones are touring Europe in June-July 2014 and Bang! Records is proud to release this masterpiece on CD.

File Under: Rock, Blues, Australia
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… arrivals…..

blixi 70

Bixiga 70: Ocupai (Mais Um Discos) LP
Mais Um Discos are thrilled to provide the worldwide release of Bixiga 70’s Ocupai — a heart-stopping carnival of Afrobeat & Brazilian funk where Ethio-jazz, brass bands, polyrhythmic paeans, Bootsy Collins jams and Saharan grooves combine to produce a riotous joy of stomping rhythms and horns. Hailing from the Bixiga neighborhood in São Paulo, Ocupai sees the band build on the sound that saw their self-titled debut album top many Brazilian tastemakers’ best-of lists for 2011. They combine the obvious touch points of Fela Kuti (the band’s name tips a hat to the most famous incarnation of his band) and Tony Allen (with whom Mauricio Fleury from the band studied with) and bounce through boundaries to harvest textures of mandingo from Guinea and Mali, soukous from the Congo and Ethio-jazz — all the while pulling in threads from the pioneers who first caught their ear; Pedro Sorongo, Os Tincoãs, Gilberto Gil, João Donato, Baden Powell, Deodato, Orchestre Poly Rythmo, Miles Davis and Lee Perry. Having collaborated with Souljazz Orchestra, Criolo, Emicida and Banda Black Rio, the band have also shared the same stage as their heroes Antibalas, Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen, Gilberto Gil and Q-tip at the likes of Denmark’s Roskilde and Amsterdam’s Paradiso.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Brazilian, Ethio-Jazz, Funk
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Boris: Noise (Sargent House) LP
Oh ya, I goofed last week, we now have the vinyl of this in too! Boris has always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. In keeping with that tradition, they again flip the script for the band’s first official release in three years by serving up their most all-encompassing effort to date. Noise is an amplification of Boris’ endless pursuit of musical extremes while moving aggressive, intense rock into new territories. In writing Noise, Boris was intent upon condensing all that the band had explored over the years, in order to create something more bold, streamlined and powerful. And, upon completion, the band considers Noise its most defining effort, stating, “If we had to suggest just one album for those unfamiliar with Boris’ music, we will pick this for sure.” That’s a bold statement from a band having released over 20 albums covering a vast array of sounds. Yet somehow throughout the album’s 8 song, 58 minute duration, the band masterfully intermingles sludge-rock, blistering crust punk, shimmering shoegaze, epic thunderous doom, psychedelic melodies and just about everything else they’ve ever done. Over the course of Boris’ three previous Sargent House albums (Heavy Rocks, Attention Please and New Album) the band sought to expand its musical vision ever further. And, the results helped redefine the band’s already iconoclastic sound. However, in early 2013 they decided to return to their classic trio lineup moving forward: drummer/vocalist Atsuo, guitarist/vocalist Wata and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi. Having been able to explore many new ideas as a quartet in recent years, the band was concerned about logistics, until their very successful residency shows and tour in the U.S. convinced them that Boris could return to the simpler, solid trio without sacrificing artistic growth. Now, having rebuilt the classic trio’s ‘equilateral triangle’ they’re heavier, louder, more confident and incisive than ever before.

File Under: Metal, Japan
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Circle Jerks: Wild in the Streets (Drastic Plastic) LP
The litany of SoCal hardcore classics continues at Drastic Plastic Records with the reissue of 1982’s Wild In The Streets, the sophomore full-length from influential underground Los Angeles hardcore punk band Circle Jerks featuring original Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and former Red Kross and future Bad Religion guitarist Greg Hetson. Wild in the Streets is the Jerks in classic form: poignant, political, sarcastic and raunchy. To top it off the cover displays a gang of youths led by none other than Mike Ness of Social Distortion.

File Under: Punk, Hardcore
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jerksCircle Jerks: Golden Shower Of Hits (Drastic Plastic) LP 
The litany of SoCal hardcore classics continues at Drastic Plastic Records with the reissue of 1983’s Golden Shower Of Hits, the third full-length from influential underground Los Angeles hardcore punk band Circle Jerks featuring original Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and former Red Kross and future Bad Religion guitarist Greg Hetson. Golden Shower Of Hits is the last album to be recorded by the band’s original lineup and despite its title is neither a compilation nor home to any hits. Whereas its predecessor Wild in the Streets took a more sardonic and heavier tone, Golden Shower of Hits is unequivocal SoCal hardcore reveling in its most authentic, sincere, obnoxious, political, hilarious roots.

File Under: Punk, Hardcore
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Jon Hassell: City: Works of Fiction (All Saints) LP
Combining his trademark brand of Fourth World fusion with new influences from the emerging hip-hop scene, this 1990 album is a landmark release in Jon Hassell’s career to date. Futuristic sci-fi funk with a completely melted production aesthetic – instruments and samples blur into one another in the manner of the best dub records. Presented here in a deluxe triple disc edition alongside a 1989 concert performance of the City group, mixed live by Brian Eno, and a carefully edited sequence of alternate takes, demos and reinterpretations by current electronic producers that presents a parallel dimension version of the original release. Remix artists include new Warp artist patten as well as 808 State, No UFOs, Bass Clef and Some Truths .The vinyl edition features the original album re-cut as a double album for extra wide grooves and improved bass response (the original issue had an hour of music squeezed onto a single piece of vinyl) and a download card with access to the audio content of all 3 discs.

File Under: Ambient, Jazz, ECM, Eno
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Stephen David Heitkotter: Black Orchid (Now Again) LP/CD
Gatefold double LP version; includes a 16-page booklet and download code. “Deluxe reissue of the legendary ’70s California bedroom psychedelic album restored/remastered transfer and never-before-heard demos. ‘…banging garage downer LP from the twilight zone …raw & wasted.” – Paul Major. Psychedelic rock record collectors have been repeating the name Heitkotter as if it were a mantra ever since the first copy of a hand-made demo LP turned up in a Los Angeles music publisher’s reject bin, with nothing more than that word scrawled across a plain white jacket. Now-Again Records embarked some years ago on what seemed like a fruitless crusade — to find out more about this Heitkotter, his music, his story. In the process, we’ve visited the house where this confounding album was recorded, found Heitkotter’s musicians, rescued the demo-recordings that paved the way for this album, uncovered unpublished photos and paintings by the man behind the album, and are now ready to present the definitive look into a musical vision equal parts dangerous and peaceful, nihilistic and optimistic. It’s safe to say the world has never heard something like Heitkotter — it is a unique piece of art unlike anything that came before or has come after it. The bizarre LP known as Heitkotter — recorded in around 1971 and pressed in a run of less than twenty five copies – was the culmination of one Stephen David Heitkotter’s artistic career. Ross Dwelle, Stephen’s childhood friend and the drummer on the record, describes the bedroom sessions in a handsome Craftsman home in Old Fresno as this young trio ‘trying to play five songs written by a man losing his mind…probably stoned the whole time.’ Heitkotter, this time issued as Black Orckid, as we assume Stephen would have wanted it – is too complicated to be written off as a symptom of a greater ill, or lionized by a few (and dismissed by the majority) as ‘outsider’ art. It’s a rare and vital look at 60s and 70s American rock through the sad story — and incredible music — of an untethered soul. And as we hope to show in enlightening more of Stephen’s backstory, it can also be considered sweet, kind and optimistic. The Heitkotter tale is cautionary, but Stephen’s music is as close to the sublime as American rock has ever ventured.”

File Under: Psych, Blues, Fried
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jack ruby1

Jack Ruby: s/t (Feeding Tube) LP
“Back when Thurston and I were working on our book about the New York No Wave scene, a key mystery we hoped to unravel was the one surrounding the band Jack Ruby. I knew George Scott had been in the band, along with Chris Gray, but we were never able to nail down any hard info. Lydia Lunch and Rudolph Grey both had blazing memories of their weirdness, originality and power, but no one could turn up anything solid. Time passed, the book came out and — chuffed by the fact we’d name-checked the band in the book — some of the participants began to emerge. Weasel Walter got his hands on a great tape of material which he released on CD (most of which is reprised here), and bits and pieces of the band’s story continued to roll out. They’d actually formed in 1973 with Boris Policeband on electric viola and Randy Cohen on Serge synthesizer. The two pretty much constant members were guitarist Gray and singer Robin Hall. They’d done a demo for Epic. The original band never played live, etc., kind of crazy. Then a batch of old tapes was found in Pennsylvania. We sent them to Don Fleming who transferred and catalogued them for us, and we were totally blown away by what he was uncovering. ‘Hit and Run’ and ‘Mayonnaise’ are the original line-up recorded in a small Times Square Studio. Boris left after that and they recorded the Epic session as a trio. That’s ‘Bored Stiff,’ ‘Bad Teeth,’ and ‘Sleep Cure.’ The other songs were recorded by the later, performing version of the band with Chris and George and another (all but anonymous) person or two. They played five live shows, featuring crawling dolls, buzzing dildos and the cracked Rocket From The Tombs sort of sound they’d evolved. The last one was in November ’77 at Max’s with Vivienne Dick’s then-boyfriend, Stephen Barth on vocals. And the shit may be lo-fi at times, but it is genuinely fucked and a real pleasure to hear nonetheless.” –Byron Coley; Edition of 600. Includes download code with purchase. Volume Two coming soon.

File Under: Punk, No Wave
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RWINA005LP_CUKrampfhaft: Before We Leave (Rwina) LP
In the space of three years, Dutch producer Krampfhaft has established himself as one to watch with a small string of functional yet emotive dancefloor releases that have garnered support and acclaim from a broad range of contemporaries including The Gaslamp Killer, Om Unit, DJ Shadow and Kutmah. He returns to the Rwina label with Before We Leave, his debut album and most complete statement to date. Once more pulling from the twin roots of electronic/dance music and sound design that have defined his work to date, Krampfhaft sidesteps genre specific formulas on Before We Leave and instead rides a fine line between dancefloor and headspace. There are hard-hitting moments and ecstatic peaks, but these are carefully balanced with more introspective, melodic reflections designed to give the listener an experience that isn’t limited to the club. Before We Leave is just as driven by atmospheres and imagined sonic places as it is by the desire to make people dance. This juxtaposition of the dancefloor and headspace is reflected in the album’s tracklist and how the sixteen tracks flow across its length. “Superfluid” offers the first upbeat moment, solid drums against grinding synth melodies, but the accumulated energy of the track is instantly pulled back by “Frostbite,” as Krampfhaft plays with imperfections and bright, distant melodies to paint a sonic picture of slow deterioration across a sparse rhythm. The imperfections and noise found lodged throughout the album bring to mind a digital rot, as if the music was slowly unravelling in the hard drive of its maker. Tracks like “Dormant Code,” “Before We Leave,” “Mostly Empty Space,” “Unfold” and “Immensely Small” all sidestep any obvious genres, instead scraping away at imposed stylistic boundaries by subverting populist tropes and challenging the listener to embrace them for what they are. As a contrast to the album’s more reflective moments there are rays of hope, such as “Veluwe” and “Extrasolar,” with its low-slung drum pattern, uplifting melodies and manipulated sounds that evoke seagulls over washing waves. And there are also moments of darker contemplation, like “Clip Point,” where the all-encompassing weight of the bass drums is cut by a lead melody that buries itself in your subconscious. The energy of the dancefloor is celebrated on “Spinner” and “Toekan,” two tracks with clear intent that still manage to reference the album’s underlying idea of rot and distance from any established genre or scene. There’s a real magic to pulling off an album of dance/electronic music that isn’t obsessed with the dancefloor or instantly recognizable tropes, and this is precisely what Krampfhaft achieves with Before We Leave. Keen to not find himself trapped in the corner of a specific sound, he instead opts to paint a broad picture that treats the listener as more than just a body in the dance. At times hopeful and introspective and at other times dark and obsessive, Before We Leave is the sound of a producer in full control.

File Under: Electronic
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dance vampsOST: Dance of the Vampires (Harkit) LP
This is the first ever release of Polish Jazz legend Krzysztof Komeda’s score for Roman Polanski’s 1967 camp horror classic ‘Dance of the Vampires’. The music consists of terrifying choirs and rising and falling bass motif’s giving a generally chilling atmosphere. Yet it sometimes slides into really sweet spots, such as ‘Krolock on Sledge’ which is a pleasant oboe piece utilising the recurring melodic theme of the project.

File Under: OST, Horror OST, Classics
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ergoErgo Phizmiz: Two Quartets (Discrepant) LP
Discrepant presents an album from UK-based radio producer, collagist, writer, composer, and filmmaker, Ergo Phizmiz. White label, hand-stamped, limited. Vinyl only. ”Imagine a machine where any material can be placed before you, and infinitely bent, squashed, stretched, rotated, inverted, repeated, depleted, converted, bastardized, beautified, mortified, twisted, shifted, and at no cost to the original material at hand. This original material, be it a piece of wood, or a piggy-bank, or a toaster, or a dog, can, at the whim of the operator, either be integrated into the mishmash of metamorphoses, or can sit from a distance and look on at all of his transformed clones. The digital sound editing environment, of all the achievements of computing, is the place where dreams can be given free rein. Any sound can be metamorphosed into any other. Anything can dance with anything else, in layer upon infinite layer, and the nature of the object itself can whirl and shift and change and play and do anything it bloody well wants to do. This is something I whiled away ten years playing with, until sound feels like a gelatinous gloop that can be formed between the hands. But then my fingers became sticky. And the only solution to sticky fingers, of course, is to clean them. Consequently, the computer has become like a slightly removed acquaintance cum employee. And, for better or worse, every return I make to the digital music environment becomes overcome with theory, or at least, limitations. The collages included here as ‘Two Quartets’ are explorations of the pure interaction of four different pieces of music, without any interference as to the nature of the sounds — nothing has been digitally manipulated. The focus is purely on editing — both of a technical-musical nature, and games of chance, throwing different materials together in space-and-time and seeing how they party.” –Ergo Phizmiz

File Under: Experimental, Collage
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pink floyd

Pink Floyd: Division Bell (Parlophone) LP
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s 1994 release The Division Bell, the band is reissuing the album on double 180g vinyl (originally edited to fit on a single LP) remastered from the original analogue tapes by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab and with new gatefold artwork by Hipgnosis/StormStudios. The multi-million selling Division Bell includes the Grammy Award winning track “Marooned” and was Pink Floyd’s last studio album to be released by the band: David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright. The Division Bell debuted at No. 1 in the UK and in the US, staying at the top of the US charts for 4 weeks; it also went to No. 1 in eight other countries and, to date, has reached total album sales of over 12 million. The Division Bell was recorded by the band at Astoria and Britannia Row Studios with the majority of the lyrics being written by Polly Samson and David Gilmour. Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour produced the original album, with orchestral arrangements by the late Michael Kamen.

File Under: Classic Rock, Reissues
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Roots: And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam) LP
From Philly street corner buskers to hip-hop pioneers to perpetually touring live act to late-night television house band, legendary hip-hop group, The Roots, have never been one to rest on their laurels. After more than 15 years, the critically-acclaimed, award-winning band continues to reinvent themselves and remains one of music’s most enduring and forward-thinking groups. The Grammy award-winning band returns with their 11th album, …and then you shoot your cousin.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Thomas Edisun’s Electric Lightbulb Band: The Red Day Album (Guerssen) LP+7″
One of the most exciting finds in recent years is the previously-unreleased album from 1967 by this obscure U.S. psychedelic band, recorded around the same time of their ultra-rare Common Attitude 45, (famous for appearing on the Alien, Psychos & Wild Things comp). Led by the great Richard Orange, Thomas Edisun played Beatlesque, psychedelic pop/proto power-pop of the highest order with amazing songs and incredible harmony vocals. In 1967, just after Sgt. Pepper had come out, the band decided to register their own psychedelic masterpiece, so they entered a rudimentary studio and recorded a whole album during a weekend, under the influence of “smoking” and “mind-altering” substances . The album was never released, the tapes were stored in attics and basements, and the band broke up with some of their members forming cult power-pop band Zuider Zee. The Red Day Album ranges from pure Emitt Rhodes-Macca pop to Forever Amber/Lazy Smoke-styled lo-fi pop-sike and almost early Caravan keyboard freak-outs. Remastered sound from the original tapes. Includes an insert with photos and detailed liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Ugly Things/Got Kinda Lost). Includes a 7″ repro of their rare Common Attitude/No One’s Been Here for Weeks 45

File Under: Psych, Raers, Powerpop
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Various: Eccentric Soul: Capital City Soul (Numero) LP/CD
Fifty records later, The Numero Group returns to its eccentric roots, Ohio’s Capitol City and the sonorous Shangri-La carved out by the indefatigable Bill Moss. Filling in, around, and on top of our original The Capsoul Label collection, Capitol City Soul is a trove of completely unissued and underissued treasures from Moss and company. A decade in the making, this is the set of soul discoveries that no one but The Numero Group could achieve. Features otherwise unreleased songs from the Kool Blues, the Four Mints, Jupiter’s Release, and Love Maximum, alongside rare sides by Dean Francis & the Soul Rockers, the Chandlers, Associated Press, the Soul Partners, and the Vondors. From the vaults under the basements under the garages of one of the nation’s most unsung music scenes. This double LP set is ensconced in a thick tip-on gatefold jacket splashed with a colorful spread of vivid archival imagery accumulated over a decade of research into the Columbus, Ohio culture. The liner notes serve as an in-depth history of Columbus soul music, linking The Capsoul Label with The Prix Label and Norman Whiteside’s Wee project (recently sampled by Kanye West). A strong addition to the already epic Eccentric Soul series from The Numero Group.

File Under: Soul, Funk
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roleVarious: Role: New Sounds Of Brazil (Mais Um Discos) 2CD
SALE PRICED IN OUR LISTENING POST! Having established itself as the go-to label for discovering the real sounds of contemporary Brazil with the acclaimed compilations Oi! A Nova Musica Brasileira and Daora: Underground Sounds of Urban Brazil, Mais Um Discos returns with a new compilation of the freshest tunes from the bars, clubs, venues and streets of the nation the world’s eyes are all on. “Rolê” translates as “let’s roll” in Brazilian Portuguese and Mais Um Discos’ label-head Lewis Robinson (aka Mais Um Gringo — “one more gringo”) rolled around 10 Brazilian states including Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Amazonas, Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Brasília, Pernambuco, Pará and Santa Catarina to pull together these 43 tracks. CD1: Disc Um shows 22 very different artists defining their own styles and defying any stereotypes of Brazilian music — from the dub-tronics of the innovative Lucas Santtana to the angry indie-rock of Apanhador Só, Madame Rrose Selavy’s “bossa-punk,” Graveola’s “carnival-cannibalism” and the funky-frevo of Juliana Perdigão. CD2: Disc Dois heads into the club, showcasing the new wave of post Baile-funk Brazilian dance music — the cutting-edge axé bass beats of Som Peba, techno-lamabda of Strobo and electro-treme of Gang Do Eletro. A nod to the old school comes from Lia Sophia, who offers up a slinky slice of nova-brega, Zulumbi with their rousing hip-hop funk, Dona Onete, who introduces us to the sound of carimbo-chamegado, Meta Meta, joined by Tony Allen for some Afro-punk-beat, and Bixiga 70, who drop a heavyweight slice of guitarrada-Latin-funk. All the artists featured mix Brazilian and “international” styles to create progressive new Brazilian music that shatters stereotypes and shows that the Brazilian music scene is as diverse and exciting as that of the UK or U.S.

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

File Under: Jazz, R&B, Swing, Early Rock

traces 3

Various: Traces Three (Recollection GRM) LP
Recollection GRM, a label within the Editions Mego family of labels, offers a third selection from the vast archives of Groupe De Recherches Musicales (GRM). The main idea behind the Traces series is to excavate short, forgotten or ignored pieces of music from the GRM Archives. This third volume, gathering pieces from before 1980, features the works of four composers from very different geographical and musical backgrounds. In addition to echoing the extraordinary vitality of musical experiments from a bygone era, Traces aims to give some audibility to music pieces which, in some instances, are being released for the very first time.

File Under: Early Electronic, GRM, Avant Garde
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Various: Tropical Disco Hustle (Cultures of Soul) LP
“It seems like no part of the world has evaded disco’s ubiquitous in sequence, including the Caribbean. The Caribbean in the late ’70s and early ’80s was a hotbed of musical activity and this compilation focuses on the best disco-in uenced tracks from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. All of the tracks here were o cially licensed and reissued for the rst time ever. Highlights of the 13 tracks included on this compilation are: the under-the-radar cosmic disco tune ”Got To Have You’ by Joanne Wilson, a rare P&P Records-in uenced track ‘Dance With Me’ by Odessey One, the icy cool synth-trenched ‘Living On A String’ by Wild Fire, the incredible dance oor-friendly ‘Instant Funk’ by Merchant, and the disco reggae cover of ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by Prince Blackman. This compilation was compiled and researched by Deano Sounds and includes edits by Al Kent, the Whiskey Barons, and Waxist Selecta.”

File Under: Disco, Caribbean
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Antlers: Familiars (Anti) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Captain Beefheart: Safe As Milk (Sundazed) LP
Bremen: Second Launch (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Betty Davis: This is it?! (Vampisoul) LP
Mac Demarco: Rock N Roll Night Club (Captured Tracks) LP
Ned Doheny: Separate Oceans (Numero) CD
Drive Like Jehu: s/t (Hedhunter) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
Frank n Dank: 48 Hours (Delicious Vinyl) LP
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get On Down) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Dexter Gordon: Go (Blue Note) LP
GusGus: Mexico (Kompakt) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: Album (Get On Down) LP
Jawbox: For Your Own Special Sweetheart (Desoto) LP
Sharon Jones: 100 Days 100 Nights (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones: I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones: Naturally (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones: Soul Time (Daptone) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Atlantic) LP
Mars Volta: Deloused in the Comatorium (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mars Volta: Amputechture (Music on Vinyl) LP
Cliff Martinez: Solaris (Invada) LP
MF Doom: Special Herbs 1 & 2 (Nature Sounds) LP
Lee Morgan: Cornbread (Blue Note) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 (Get On Down) LP
Sunn o))) & Ulver: Terrestrials (Southern Lord) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Jack White: Blunderbus (Thirdman) LP
Witch: s/t (Teepee) LP
Various: 1970s Algerian Folk & Pop (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Various: African Scream Contest (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Forge Your Own Chains (Now Again) LP
Various: True Soul (Now Again) LP/CD

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… letter #645 – camp…..

Hot damn, I’m swimming in killer grooves over here this week. A huge batch of awesome soundtrack and library stuff from our pals at Light in the Attic, the long awaited Sven Libaek reissues of Nature Walkabout and The Set. Stop in, say hi, and grab some new wax!

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

…..picks of the week…..


Sven Libaek: Nature Walkabout (Votary) LP
Scored for Vince and Carol Serventy’s 1966 Australian Television series Nature Walkabout, Sven Libaek’s pioneering soundtrack has long been considered the landmark recording of the unique genre, eco-jazz (Impressionistic modern jazz composed for television documentaries, library music, educational and travelogue films). Creating a singular vision of his adopted homeland, Libaek composed conceptual themes and moods depicting the magnificence, the mystery, and sometimes brutality of the Australian rural environment. Similar to his legendary score for Ron and Valerie Taylor’s TV series Inner Space, Nature Walkabout also stands as an important recording of modern jazz used in film. Featuring many of the top Australian jazz musicians (Don Burrows, John Sangster, Errol Buddle, etc) his deeply evocative style of jazz waltz, hypnotic flute/vibraphone rhythms, and gorgeous Bossa Nova conceptually represent the grandiosity of the Australian landscape as well as the whimsical sound of animal behavior. Similar in approach to other notable nature scores, such as Edward William’s Life on Earth, and the specifically Australian strand of visionary “nature jazz”.

File Under: Jazz, Library, OST
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Sven Libaek: The Set (Votary) LP
The Set, now regarded as a lost piece of Australian genre cinema, is considered the precursor to the OZ Sex-Wave films of the following decade (Fantasm, Libido, Naked Bunyip, Felicity etc.) Scored by the highly respected and unique jazz original Sven Libaek, the music has also been unjustly overlooked from any recent focus on Australian cinema. After scoring several television scores and documentaries in the 1960s (Nature Walkabout, To Ride A White Horse, Man and A Mural) The Set was Libaek’s first commission to score a feature film soundtrack. Incorporating elements of baroque and sunshine pop as well as moody mod jazz, the film is an incredible time-piece of Swinging Sydney. Featuring Libaek regulars and top rank Australian jazz players, (Don Burrows, John Sangster, Errol Buddle, etc) the music to the The Set was once a long forgotten piece of Australian B-cinema which has now been fully restored and presented again in all its original glory. Including rare photos, original newspaper cuttings and extensive liner notes from Australian cult cinema expert and Mu Meson archive curator Jaimie Leonarder.

File Under: Jazz, OST, Library, Lounge
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… arrivals…..


Peter Matthew Bauer: Liberation! (Mexican Summer) LP
Liberation! is the title of Peter Matthew Bauer’s debut solo album, a poignant and anthemic blend of soulful balladry, folk-tinged meditations, and full-bore rock & roll, crafted with an oblique nod towards the explosion of art, rock, and attitude that emerged from NYC in the ‘70s. Formerly a member of beloved NYC group The Walkmen, Bauer uses Liberation! as an opportunity to welcome the rest of the world into his personal history of a childhood spent living in ashrams, and a life shaped by the constant presence of religion and mythology amidst uncertainty. It’s a bold, bracing collection of songs for the mind, body and spirit with the power to grab you and shake you out of your environment. Leveraging traces of Eastern arrangements in a solidly Western rock experience, Liberation! is the soundtrack of one man’s journey inside himself, in preparation for the rest of the world to follow. “A scruffy, reverb-spaced take on heartland American rock, it brings to mind fellow East Coast highway dreamers the War on Drugs.” – Spin // “A bold introduction to who Bauer is on his own! the brisk and straight-forward instrumentation immediately drops a sense of escape and newfound confidence over the song’s surface.” – XPN

File Under: Indie Rock, The Walkmen
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Boris: Noise (Sargent House) CD
Boris has always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. In keeping with that tradition, they again flip the script for the band’s first official release in three years by serving up their most all-encompassing effort to date. Noise is an amplification of Boris’ endless pursuit of musical extremes while moving aggressive, intense rock into new territories. In writing Noise, Boris was intent upon condensing all that the band had explored over the years, in order to create something more bold, streamlined and powerful. And, upon completion, the band considers Noise its most defining effort, stating, “If we had to suggest just one album for those unfamiliar with Boris’ music, we will pick this for sure.” That’s a bold statement from a band having released over 20 albums covering a vast array of sounds. Yet somehow throughout the album’s 8 song, 58 minute duration, the band masterfully intermingles sludge-rock, blistering crust punk, shimmering shoegaze, epic thunderous doom, psychedelic melodies and just about everything else they’ve ever done. Over the course of Boris’ three previous Sargent House albums (Heavy Rocks, Attention Please and New Album) the band sought to expand its musical vision ever further. And, the results helped redefine the band’s already iconoclastic sound. However, in early 2013 they decided to return to their classic trio lineup moving forward: drummer/vocalist Atsuo, guitarist/vocalist Wata and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi. Having been able to explore many new ideas as a quartet in recent years, the band was concerned about logistics, until their very successful residency shows and tour in the U.S. convinced them that Boris could return to the simpler, solid trio without sacrificing artistic growth. Now, having rebuilt the classic trio’s ‘equilateral triangle’ they’re heavier, louder, more confident and incisive than ever before.

File Under: Metal, Japan
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Cleaners From Venus: Volume 3 (Captured Tracks) 4LP Box
The legendary lo-fi band Cleaners from Venus were formed in the small town of Wivenhoe, southeast England at the turn of 1980’s by Martin Newell. The man, the myth, but to rock singer and part-time kitchen porter with a love of sunny 1960’s pop music, punk rock and musical comedy. He never cared much for any kind of musical rule book and broke new ground with music that garnered a cult following and a highly-influential sound that continues to inspire. These 4 albums are the final chapter in the unveiling of the entire discography from the band, spanning the end of Martin Newell’s long, storied run as the Cleaners from Venus (1985-1992). Included are Living with Victoria Grey, Number Thirteen and My Back Wages, which Newell considers a new release as it is finally being issued as he originally intended it. The fourth album is collection of rarities and unreleased material from the time that My Back Wages was recorded, called Extra Wages. This beautiful Cleaners From Venus Vol. 3 four LP box set also comes complete with a 16 page book of Newell’s poetry, liners written by Newell himself and unreleased photos.

File Under: Indie Rock
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earthlessEarthless Meets Heavy Blanket: In A Dutch Haze (Outer Battery) LP
A colossal collaborative concert, previously privy only to those who were fortunate enough to have helped fill a Netherlandic concert hall multiple moons ago, will be unleashed in awesome audio form as Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket In A Dutch Haze. The out-of-this-world recording will see a July 2014 release via Outer Battery Records / Roadburn Records. Back-story: an impromptu heavy psych jam between J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr, Sweet Apple, Witch and one of both Rolling Stone and SPIN‘s “Greatest Guitarists of All Time”) and California space rock masters Earthless at the 2009 SXSW Festival left an onlooking crowd stunned and breathless. When word of the performance spread, the world-renowned musicians were asked to play the main stage of Holland’s annual international rock festival, Roadburn, to attempt to recreate the magic that revved-up an Austin audience at what was thought to be a one-time event. Fast forward to the 2012 installment of the fantastic fest; when Earthless’ guitarist Isaiah Mitchell had to back out at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstance, six-string shredder Graham Clise from J Mascis’ loud, psychedelic project Heavy Blanket (and who also plays with Mascis in Witch and in the bitchin’ Bay Area band Lecherous Gaze) stepped in on second guitar. Backed by the best rhythm section in today’s adventurous rock world – Mario Rubalcaba and Mike Eginton from Earthless – the quartet stormed the stage for what would become an incredible one-time happening, leading to almost a full hour of some of the most mind-bending heavy psych imaginable. The epic jam session gave birth to shredding psychedelia and hard rock blues underpinned by the muscular rhythmic sensibilities of kraut-rock and the unbridled energy of 70′s guitar rock. The formidable foundation laid by drummer Rubalcaba became a jumping off point for Mascis, Clise and Eighton to explore their inner cosmoi for consciousness-expanding riffs and music-induced psychedelic experiences. Now, the rest of the planet can ready their receivers and hoist headphones on high as the full live set from that magical evening in Tilburg is set to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world! Far-out, gatefold-spanning artwork by San Francisco tattoo artist and designer Tim Lehi (High on Fire, Black Anvil, Xasthur) perfectly animates this incredible audio adventure, while matchless mastering by Carl Saff (Boris, Guided By Voices), pushes this priceless performance over-the-top. Flame retardant clothing is highly recommended!

File Under: Psych, Metal, Stoner, Guitar Freakout
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still dreamin'

Donnie & Joe Emerson: Still Dreamin’ On (Light in the Attic) LP
By now, most of you reading this will be familiar with Donnie & Joe Emerson, the rock ‘n roll farmers, story. But Dreamin’ Wild does not tell the full story. In a relatively short span of time – just two and half years – the boys put close to 70 songs down on tape, all recorded at that magical home studio on the farm. A dozen of them are included here on Still Dreamin’ Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81 and ready to be enjoyed for the first time ever. With a familiar blend of FM rock, power pop, and new wave, these 12 tracks cover the entirety of that fruitful period, stretching from the second song Donnie ever recorded to tracks documenting his temporary move to L.A. in 1981. Donnie’s life story is in these songs. Where Dreamin’ Wild captures the teenage experience, Still Dreamin’ Wild tells a broader story, one in which teenage dreams turn to painful yearning. So where the Beach Boys indebted “Ooh Baby Yeah” is inspired by a teenage girlfriend, “Big Money” shows the emergence of a naive political awareness. Later, 1981’s “One True Love” captures the sound of what Donnie described as “the city as imagined from the farm,” and the epic closing track, “Don’t Disguise The Way You Feel” found Donnie after high school, feeling stifled and frustrated in the isolation of the countryside and mourning the loss of his friend and occasional backing vocalist Dwayne. It is, quite simply, heartbreaking. Still Dreamin’ Wild proves that the Emersons’ inspiration wasn’t a fluke, and that Donnie’s songwriting is as consistent as it is rare. All this time later, we finally have the pleasure of hearing the brothers’ music. And the good news? They’ve still got the jumpsuits.

File Under: Soft Rock, Power Pop
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Fucked Up: Glass Boys Slow Version (Arts & Crafts) 2LP
Fucked Up Glass Boys (Slow Version) deluxe 2LP limited edition vinyl w/ alternate audio and artwork. Drummer Jonah Falco does something innovative on Glass Boys, adding two separate drum tracks, one of them in half-time, creating a psychedelic, disorienting feel. A limited vinyl edition of the album available through GalleryAC and indie retailers will include a bonus version that only features Falco’s half-time drums. Fucked Up’s Glass Boys is a blazing, titanic, triumphant punk rock album, the product of a band reckoning with the success of its last two sweeping, defining, monolithic records. On 2008’s The Chemistry Of Common Life, they tested hardcore’s capacity for stylistic innovation, winning the Polaris Music Prize in the process. With 2011’s David Comes To Life, Fucked Up offered up a full blown rock opera, coming with one larger-than-life hook after another. Glass Boys isn’t a back-to-basics move. For all its ambition and complexity, Glass Boys is a tight, concise, and direct album, of real sentiment rather than artifice. Fucked Up have made another mind-expanding, life-affirming piece of work, this time shooting straight from the heart.

File Under: Punk, CanCon
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don harper

Don Harper: Cold Worlds (Dual Planet) LP
A previously unreleased Doctor Who score mastered from the original tapes. Includes additional electronic tracks from Don Harper’s catalogue and music featured in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. A collection of Horror-Electronics, supernatural soundscapes and sinister library muzak from Australian composer Don Harper. Centering on a previously unreleased score for the 1968 Doctor Who series The Invasion (a dark otherworldly sci-fi jazz suite) Cold Worlds is also a focus on the electronic music of this largely unsung composer. Like many Australian film composers (Ron Grainer, Dudley Simpson, Don Banks) Don Harper based himself in the UK during the 1960s and subsequently found employment at the BBC and other British film and library companies. Probably best known for his BBC scores for World of Sport, Sexton Blake and The inside Man. Harper also immersed himself in the world of electronics. Acknowledged as a virtuoso jazz violinist, he notably produced a 1974 electronic/altered jazz session for Lansdowne Studios titled Homo Electronicus (featuring Norma Winstone and other progressive UK jazz musicians). In addition to cutting a number of library sessions for Joseph Weinburger’s Impress label, in which several tracks were later famously sampled by MF Doom, he also co-wrote the music (alongside Delia Derbyshire and David Vorhaus) for the essential Radiophonic KPM recording Electrosonic. Also featured on this compilation are his nightmarish cues used in George Romero’s cult zombie classic Dawn of the Dead.

File Under: OST, Library, BBC, Dr. Who, KPM
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kelompakKelompok Kampungan: s/t (Strawberry Rain) 10″
The remaining songs from the Mencari Tuhan album, previously unreleased on vinyl until today, and can be heard as the bonus songs on the CD release. The brainchild of Bram Makahekum (who had no musical experience or training at all), Kelompok Kumpangan had multiple members trying to recreate the sounds of nature, even using original handmade instruments invented by the band themselves. The end result was nothing short of brilliant, one of our personal favorites from the region and music that can’t really be compared to much else. Breathtaking!

File Under: Psych, Prog, Folk, Indonesia
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Konrad-600Konrad: Evil (Ethereal Sequence) LP+7″
“It is very hard to know where to begin trying to explain Konrad,” writes Jeff Hassett of the quietly influential online home for vinyl devotees Waxidermy. Picture a synchronicity-fixated young dreamer trying to talk his way into Studio 54 to speak with the DJ. The album under his arm is an odd-looking collection of bedroom electropop simply titled Evil. Every now and then the club lets him in, but the album goes unheard, and Konrad disappears into the night. A mystery for 25 years, Evil gradually garners cult status leading to Hassett’s review. And then Konrad unexpectedly reveals himself as Barry Konarik living in Idaho in the comment section. Here’s his number, give him a call. Konverts jam the line for the rest of the day, but questions remain. What’s with the cloak? How did such lofty ideas emerge from the crime-infested Queens of the early 80s? And why does Konarik, who was adopted, have two birth certificates? One thing is certain; there has never been and never will be another Evil. Outsider, visionary, lunatic; the standard tags are inadequate – and nothing could prepare you for how addictively fun this record is. Direct from the original master tapes, this long overdue new edition features high quality Stoughton tip-on covers and, for the first 1,000 copies only, a bonus 45 with three more killer tracks including “Ethereal Sequence,” a cosmic theme song for the recently-reactivated label of the same name. The return of Konrad is an event not to be missed.

File Under: Synth Pop, Weirdness, Pop
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laraajiLaraaji: Celestial Music 1978-2011 (All Saints) LP
Laraaji is a musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He began playing music on the streets in the 1970s, improvising trance-inducing jams on a modified autoharp processed through various electronic effects. Brian Eno saw him playing one night in Washington Square Park and invited him to record an album for his seminal Ambient series (Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance, released 1980). Laraaji went onto release a prolific series of albums for a wide variety of labels, many of which he recorded himself at home and sold as cassettes during his street performances. In recent years he has been collaborating with a new generation of underground musicians, such as the 2011 album he recorded for the acclaimed FRKWYS series with Blues Control (That Healing Feeling). As well as the reissues of his music on All Saints, in the past year he has been included on the Light In The Attic compilation I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950 – 1990, and been a live guest of Deerhunter and Jonathan Wilson. This legendary electronic mystic’s career-spanning collection of hypnotic ragas, cosmic synth bliss and far-out sonic explorations features rarities from private press cassette releases and collaborations with Brian Eno, Bill Laswell and Blues Control. Deluxe 3LP edition with fully illustrated liner notes, available on vinyl for the first time.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, New Age, Dub
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Mar-Vista: Visions of Sodal Ye (Strawberry Rain) LP
An album that has remained off the radar until now, Mar Vista’s lo-fi progressive home recording Visions was pressed in a quantity of 200 copies with blank sleeves and sold locally in France. Influenced by La Monte Young, Ashra Temple, Popul Vuh, Terry Riley, Tangerine Dream and others, the album plays as two side-long songs, with side 1 being a suite of 6 songs intertwined with the use of a four track. One hell of a trip, this stands as one of the more interesting private press albums we’ve heard from France, and another release originally pressed at the Le Kiosque D’Orphee pressing plant (look out for the upcoming Julien Grycan reissue also). CD comes with 2 long and killer bonus songs; “Crash ’73” which was influenced by early Soft Machine, and “Sykthetik Way,” a recording from ’78 influenced by artists like Klaus Schulze.

File Under: Electronic, Kosmiche, Ambient
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Ennio Morricone: L’uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo (AMS) LP
Dario Argento’s “opera prima” L’uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo premiered in 1970 and marked a historical and revolutionary debut, being a truly original and innovative thriller. The stylistic choices of Argento mark a clear step forward from the thrillers of that era and even the soundtrack was something utterly special. Argento assigned the score to Ennio Morricone. For this movie the maestro adopted a particular style that draws heavily on contemporary music and on the studies of his Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. With L’uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo Morricone develops this approach and defines a formula, alternating traditional songs, built around an easy and immediate melody used as a leitmotiv, with avant-garde and abstract tracks that amplify the state of uneasiness and fear of the viewers of tension and violence sequences. Cinevox released this soundtrack on LP with 10 tracks in the spring of 1971. The record was originally issued in mono, with different tracks from the Stereo US version. This is the first vinyl reissue featuring the original score in Stereo, featuring brand new artwork made by Adventprod studios! First 500 copies are in red vinyl with a special 30x30cm insert reproducing the best international flyers and lobby cards of the movie.

File Under: OST, Maestro
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Eric Siday: The Ultra Sonic Perception (Dual Planet) LP
Considered to be one of the pioneers of Psychoacoustics, Eric Siday is also acknowledged as a key name in the growth of 20th century electronic music. An important figure in the development of the Moog Synthesizer, Siday’s compositions were a testing ground for Bob Moog ideas, in turn shaping the technical advancement of the instrument. An early experimenter of Musique Concrete and extended technique, he inaugurated these concepts into the world of television scoring and advertising. Pulling together a clutch of eerie atomic-age miniatures drawn from a series of rare 78rpm library discs, this compilation explores Siday’s scientific study of sound, a concept he branded “The Ultra Sonic Perception”. Partially used as the soundtrack to the Doctor Who TV series, this document is an amazing insight into the early electronic music used in television as well as a showcase of the pioneering techniques used by this forward thinking composer.

File Under: Library, Electronic, Dr. Who
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Slint: Spiderland (Touch & Go) LP+DVD
Slint’s 1991 album, Spiderland, remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston and available as both “180 gram LP+DVD+bonus download+12 Page Photo Book+download” and ‘CD+DVD+bonus download+20 Page Photo Booklet’ set. Both CD and LP include a download coupon for 14 outtakes & demos personal selected by Slint, mastered by Bob Weston Includes Breadcrumb Trail, a brand new, neverbefore-seen, 90 minute DVD documentary about Slint and the making of Spiderland, directed by Lance Bang. Booklet includes foreword by Will Oldham. All packaging printed in the USA. I first heard Slint before they were called that, but the difference between them and their contemporaries was already in concrete. From the outset they made music to suit themselves, not an audience, and their dogged pursuit of the sound of their imagination is still utterly unique. Tendrils of continuity between the doom of heavy metal, the drama of modernist classical music, and the rude musk of punk may not be apparent at first glance, but they glow like a web when illuminated by the fire of Slint’s muse. Nobody thinks about their music, or music itself, like Slint. Love this fucking band. Steve Albini, 2014. This great album has made well-known best-of lists such as; “TOP 100 ALBUMS OF THE 1990s” – SPIN / “100 BEST ALBUMS – NME” / “100 GREATEST ALBUMS 1985-2005″ – PITCHFORK.COM

File Under: 
Indie Rock
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stevensSufjan Stevens: Enjoy Your Rabbit (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Originally released in 2001 before Michigan and Illinois, Sufjan Steven’s Enjoy Your Rabbit, is an album of programmatic songs for the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and foretells his 2010 electronic Age of Adz. Though overlooked by many, there are fans who regard Enjoy Your Rabbit as Sufjan’s greatest work. Departing from the singer-songwriter format of his debut Asthmatic Kitty Records album, A Sun Came, Enjoy Your Rabbit is a collection of fourteen colorful instrumental compositions combining Sufjan’s noted gift for melody with electronic sounds to create an unusually playful and human – not to mention humane – electronic experience. Great for dancing, driving, writing, cooking, painting, running, walking, and of course, eating Chinese food, Enjoy Your Rabbit features nearly eighty minutes of music that will truly soothe the savage breast, whatever that means.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Various: BBC Radiophonic Fourth Dimension (Music on Vinyl) LP
Music heard on radio and Television (including Test Card Transmissions). One aspect of the work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop is the composition and realisation of signature tunes and incidental music for BBC Radio and Television programmes. Programme producers come to the Workshop with varying requests – it must be ‘bright’, ‘catchy’, ‘sinister’, ‘modest’, ‘supernatural’, ‘funny’, and so on but, most important, it must be unique in terms of sound qualities. The composer then sets to work to create the tune using natural sounds, which have been manipulated in some way and cut together on tape, or electronic sources, such as the voltage controlled synthesiser. Several such signature tunes are included on this record, composed by Paddy Kingsland, who joined the creative staff of the Workshop in 1970. Before this, he worked as a tape editor, then studio manager, chiefly for Radio One. He is a firm believer that instrumental sound combined with electronic and treated sound is essential for this type of work. The tracks on this record include compositions for Radio 1, 3, 4, Local Radio and Television programmes. The synthesisers used on this disc are both British, and both made by E.M.S. of London. They are the VCS3, an amazingly versatile miniature synthesiser, and its big brother, the Synthi ‘100’, known within the Radiophonic Workshop as ‘The Delaware’, after the address of the Workshop. This machine incorporates a digital memory that can be programmed via a conventional keyboard, and can store 256 events on 3 layers in any one ‘run’. In combination with the multi-track tape recorder, it provides all the facilities of an electronic music studio, its range being limited only by the imagination of the person using it. The specially created stereo is not an attempt at realism, but is used as a sound object in its own right. – Discogs

File Under: Early Electronic, BBC
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tapesVarious: Light in the Attic Tapes (Light in the Attic) CS
Everyone knows Burger Records loves cassettes. Heck, they made their name in that game! Each tape is hand-numbered and housed in gorgeous old school hand-made tip-on boxes, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the ’70s. Extremely limited – GET YERS ASAP!!!

File Under: LITA, Tapes

siam 2

Various: Sound of Siam Vol. 2 (Soundways) LP/CD
Soundway’s second foray into South East Asia is focused on North-East Thailand, the epicentre of Molam and Luk Thung Isan music. Hypnotic phin & khaen riffs, pulsing, electrified country rhythms and heartfelt vocals punctuate another journey into the lesser known reaches of 1970s Thai music. The first volume of The Sound of Siam, released in 2011, was the first introduction for many to the artistry and innovations of modern Thai music. One of the most popular compilations on Soundway Records the music even made it onto the big screen with ‘Mae Jom Ka Lon’ by Dao Bandon featured on the soundtrack of ‘The Hangover Part II’.  In an interview with LA Times Mick Jagger spoke of discovering the collection that “some nutter put together” after hearing the riff from Jumpin’ Jack Flash on one of the tracks from the compilation. In this second volume of The Sound of Siam the focus is firmly on the music the sounds of north-east Thailand, or Isan and attempts to show how a genre evolved and developed from essentially an acoustic tradition with specific geographic roots, to one that started to incorporate other instruments and influences that reached out to the Isan diaspora around the country. The term molam is actually two separate words pushed together: Mo meaning ‘expert’ or ‘doctor’ and lam meaning ‘to sing’. Hence the literal translation means ‘singing expert’. Many molam records have extended intros that allow a vocalist to establish the theme of the song, as well as flex their improvisational muscles. Luk thung (literally ‘song of the countryside’) is a much broader, rural style that had a bigger impact nationally. Artists like Saksiam Petchompu began fusing this style with molam, a move which propelled him to national fame. You can hear the influence of western funk, as well as Thai arrangements, on the luk thung Isan (as the hybrid became known) smash Jeb Jin Jeb Jai included here.

The Sound of Siam 2 – Molam & Luk Thung Isan from North-East Thailand 1970 – 1982 features 19 tracks, many appearing outside of Thailand for the first time. Both CD and double LP & is accompanied with detailed liner notes written by compilers Chris Menist and Maft Sai.

File Under: Luk-Thung, Molam, Thai
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Various: Wheedle’s Groove Vol. 2 (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
In 2004, the first volume of Wheedle’s Groove shone a light on the formerly unheralded soul scene in 1960s and ’70s Seattle. The ongoing series continues to present a vast chapter of the city’s musical heritage that has little to do with long-haired rock dudes with guitars. To the contrary, platform shoes and pimp hats were the order of the day. But Seattle’s soul scene did not end in 1975. This new volume documents the period from 1972 to 1987, when funk was superseded by disco and modern soul. Heading into the ’80s, artists in the Emerald City caught wind of the hip-hop and electro scenes that were growing in bigger cities across America, and gave the music their own distinct spin. As the years unfurl in the tracks of Wheedle’s Groove Volume II, so does the recent history of American music, the songs tracing technological changes and social change, and music’s move from the club to disco as live bands moved aside for DJs. Witness Septimus, on the cusp of both, blending a live drummer with a Roland drum machine and cutting “Here I Go Again” on a disco-friendly 12″ single. Compiled and sequenced by Seattle’s DJ Supreme La Rock, this 18-track compilation will also introduce you to the long-forgotten blue-eyed soul boy Don Brown and frustrated talents Push, overlooked for record deals on account of singer “Big Joe” Erickson’s larger-than-life heft. There’s Frederick Robinson III and his gospel-funk protest tune “Love One Another”, Tony Benton of Teleclere being Seattle’s answer to Prince and Seattle Mariners baseball star Lenny Randle recording a tribute to their infamous stadium.

 File Under: Funk, Soul
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Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
At The Drive-In: Vaya (Fearless) 10″
The Band: Last Waltz (Rhino) LP
Franco Battiato: Foetus (Vinyl Magic) LP
Big Boys: Lullabies Help The Brain Grow (Modern Classics) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (Rhino) LP
Broken Bells: After the Disco (Columbia) LP
Brothers & Sisters: Dylan’s Gospel (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
Cinematic Orchestra: Motion (Ninja Tune) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
Comet Control: s/t (Teepee) LP
D’angelo: Voodoo (Modern Classics) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Music on Vinyl) LP
Earthless: Sonic Prayer (Gravity) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (Teepee) LP
Earthless: From The Ages (Teepee) LP
Donnie & Joe Emerson: Dreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic) LP
Future Islands: Singles (4AD) LP
Goblin: Susperia (AMS) LP
Grateful Dead: American Beauty (Rhino) LP
Grant Green: Idle Moments (Blue Note) LP
Lee Hazlewood: LHI Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Jessie Lanza: Pull My Hair Back (Hyperdub) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Daptone) LP
Charles Mingus: East Coasting (Waxtime) LP
Mr. Bungle: California (Plain) LP
Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Big Brother) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (EMI) LP
Poets of Rhythm: Anthology (Daptone) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Polydor) LP
Portishead: PNYC (Polydor) LP
Portishead: s/t (London) LP
Portishead: Third (Mercury) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Like Clockwork (Matador) LP
Ramones: s/t (Rhino) LP
Rodion GA: The Lost Tapes (Strut) LP
Rodion GA: Misuinea Spatiala (Strut) LP
Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) 2×10″
Dylan Shearer: Garagearray (Castleface) LP
St. Vincent: Marry Me (Beggars) LP
St. Vincent: Strange Mercy (Beggars) LP
Jim Sullivan: UFO (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
Swans: The Seer (Young God) LP
Timber Timbre: Creep on Creepin’ on (Arts & Craft) LP
Timber Timbre: s/t (Arts & Crafts) LP
Tune Yards: Nikki Nack (4AD) LP
Vampire Weekend: s/t (XL) LP
Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL) LP
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires in the City (XL) LP
White Stripes: Elephants (Thirdman) LP
Witch: Paralyzed (Teepee) LP
Various: Punk 45 Vol 1 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Punk 45 Vol 2 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Wheedle’s Groove (Light in the Attic) LP

… letter #644 – waving…..

Another hefty week in the new arrival department here again this week. Although considering half the city’s music buying crowd is down in Calgary this weekend for Sled Island, so those of you stuck up here in E-town will have first crack at all the fine slabs hitting the shelf this week. Loads of awesome reissues and new stuff. You’d almost thing it wasn’t just about summer. Enjoy…

…..pick of the week…..


Tod Dockstader: Luna Park/ Traveling Music/Apocalypse
Tod Dockstader: Drone/Two Fragments From Apocalypse/Water Music
(Doz) LP

Tod Dockstader was born in 1932 in St.Paul, Minnesota. In 1955 moved to Hollywood to work as an apprentice film editor, cutting picture and sound for animated cartoons including ‘Mr.Magoo’. Dockstader became a self-taught sound engineer and sound effects specialist and apprenticed as a recording engineer in 1958. In 1960 his first composition Eight Pieces later to be used in the soundtrack of Fellini’s Satyricon. Dockstader was part of the first wave of electronic musicians, who, before the advent of synthesizers in the early 1960s, worked with whatever hardware they could find: reel-to-reel tape machines, sine wave generators and a wild array of homemade circuits and military surplus gear. In the process, they created a universe of electronic music that still sounds unique and prescient today. Dockstader used to create electronic music was a piece of used military equipment. “A lot of this [electronic music] hap­pened because, after the war, a lot of the stuff was available,” he said. “Normally a person, a civilian – wouldn’t be able to get that tube, this device or that device. That fascinated me.” In the late 1950s, Dockstader worked as a sound engineer at Gotham Recording Studios in New York. At night, he worked on his own music, which eventually led to a series of impressive albums of electronic music, including THE ORGANIZED SOUND here reissued on DOZ. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Early Electronic, Avant Garde, Experimental, Classics
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… arrivals…..


Oren Ambarchi/Jim O’Rourke/Keiji Haino: Only Wanting to Melt… (Black Truffle) CD
“Begun as a one-off collaboration in 2009, the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi has now become a solid working group, refining its craft through a series of annual concerts at Tokyo’s legendary SuperDeluxe. Much of their recorded work has focused on their intense, ritualistic take on the rock power trio of electric guitar, bass and drums. Presenting the entire first set of the trio’s March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the second set will follow on Black Truffle later this year), Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen is their fifth release and blows the instrumental palette wide open for a single continuous piece focused on acoustic strings, synth, flute and percussion. Featuring one of Haino’s most delicate and moving recorded vocal performances, the opening section of the record takes the form of a spare duet between O’Rourke’s 12-string acoustic guitar and Haino’s kantele (a Finnish variant of the dulcimer), behind which Ambarchi provides a hovering backdrop of wine glass tones. While on previous releases the listener has often sensed that Haino was firmly in the driver’s seat, here O’Rourke takes center stage with an acoustic guitar performance that takes the lyricism of John Abercrombie or Ralph Towner and refracts it through the free improvisation tradition of his mentors Derek Bailey and Henry Kaiser. The atmosphere of meditative, abstracted song is reminiscent of some of Haino’s greatest recordings, such as the legendary Live in the First Year of the Heisei volumes recorded with Kan Mikami. After this stunningly beautiful opening sequence, the performance moves organically through a number of episodes, including a dramatic central passage in which Haino moves to synth and drum machine, crafting a current of raw electricity that unfurls slowly over the gently pulsing foundations of Ambarchi’s cymbals and builds to heights of manic intensity. When Haino later turns to wooden flute, Ambarchi answers him with nimble hand-drummed percussion in a passage that calls to mind Don Cherry’s liberated combination of free-jazz improvisation and non-Western musics. The trio’s move away from the power trio dynamic bespeaks a risk-taking and questing spirit that refuses to be satisfied with repeating past glories, and yet the organic, immersive flow of this single improvisation attests to the intuitive bond that has formed between them over the last five years. Exuding the signature mystery and emotion of Haino’s greatest works, this release is perhaps the strongest statement yet from this acclaimed trio, and holds out a tantalizing promise for everyone hooked on their continuing exploration of ‘those things said to be as of yet unseen.’ –Francis Plagne; Design by Stephen O’Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug.
File Under: Psych, Japanese Psych, Improv, Rock
antlersAntlers: Familiars (Anti) LP+CD
In seven years together, Brooklyn’s The Antlers have created a quiet revolution in thought and sound with their harrowing and often haunted tales of love unmoored, human frailty and emotional evisceration. On Familiars, their fifth album, and first for new home ANTI-, The Antlers – vocalist / guitarist Peter Silberman, multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, and drummer Michael Lerner – have resumed the journey they began with 2009’s Hospice and continued over the next two albums Burst Apart and Undersea, which found the trio picking their way through a labyrinth of fear, doubt, love and loss against a backdrop of layered textural songs that were as deeply atmospheric as they were anthemic. More hopeful in mood than its predecessors, the new album emanates a palpable release of despair and an almost operatic verve on nine songs that took shape over the past year and a half. “We became really obsessed with Alice Coltrane’s Journey in Satchidananda, Charles Mingus’ The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, and Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew,” says Cicci. “We wanted to connect to the humanity of music from the past,” adds Silberman. “To capture grace and the heart within those performances.” So this time around The Antlers made a soul record in the truest sense of the word. Sure, they inundated themselves with Al Green, Nina Simone, and The Memphis Boys, but really they were making music about that mysterious and ineffable part of yourself. The metaphysics behind the physics: they found that they had made a record that was able to express the unseen. For fans of Bon Iver, Rhye, The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Beach House.

File Under: Indie Rock
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bibiloniJoan Bibiloni: El Sur (Music from Memory) LP
Staying on the Mediterranean coast for their third release, Music From Memory this time shift their attention to the work of Mallorcan musician Joan Bibiloni. Primarily a guitarist, Bibiloni was creating music at an early age, releasing his first single at the tender age of 15. In his ’20s he formed Spanish prog-rock outfits Zebra and Euterpe, where he would meet Pepe Milan, the two of them becoming the bluesy folk duo Milan & Bibiloni. Bibiloni himself would later go on to play with a number of luminary musicians such as Larry Coryell, Daevid Allen and John Cage, to name but a few. In 1982, Bibiloni set up his own label Blau in order to highlight the much-overlooked work of musicians not only on his home island of Mallorca but across the Balearic Islands. In doing so he created a platform not only for local talent but also for his own music to breathe a new life, much influenced by the landscape and life that surrounds the islands. While Bibiloni’s first solo releases on his Blau imprint have stronger echoes of the contemporary jazz fusion of the time, it is on the album known as Una Vida Llarga I Tranquila where Bibiloni really began to experiment with new sounds and technologies; fusing tape loops, drum computers and synthesizers. Taking these more electronic-infused works as a departure point for the compilation and drawing on material from across his following five albums, El Sur sets out to highlight Joan Bibiloni’s unique ambient fusion and sun-drenched Adriatic beach-boogie.

File Under: Ambient, Mediterranean, Electronic
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Bremen: Second Launch (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Mind-shattering double LP of dysphoric space-rock minimalism from two luminaries of the Swedish punk underground. Second Launch follows Bremen’s self-titled debut of 2013 and comprises 11 controlled improvisations, reinforced with overdubs, that take clear inspiration from the dark side of Kraut and progressive rock, early electronic and drone music, while also owing something to the fathomlessly bleak interior landscapes conjured by Nico/Cale on The Marble Index and Desertshore. The complex dialogue between Lanchy Orre’s guitar and Jonas Tiljander’s organ, by turns pensive and combative, bound up with their mastery of reverb and feedback, is the focal point of the record; supplemented with drums and sparingly-deployed analog synthesizer tones to evoke nothing less than the vast emptiness of outer space and the obliteration of all meaning and identity in the face of it. From the full-throttle motorik and bonehead repetitions of “Sweepers” and “Entering Phase Two” (echoes of Tiljander and Orre’s alma mater, Brainbombs) to the deep astral psychedelia of “Static Interferences,” via the mournful Northern European ambience of “Walking the Skies,” the rolling thunder of “They Were Drifting,” and the poignant, star-gazing blues of “Hollow Wave,” Second Launch charts impossible gradients in its search for answers to the oldest questions of all. Gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Space Rock, Drone, Krautrock
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Apollo Brown: Thirty Eight (Mellow Music) LP
Apollo Brown’s “Thirty Eight” is a contemporary throwback, inhabiting the realm of reverent reinvention and innovation. It deftly bridges the gap between ‘70s Blaxploitation soundtracks (e.g. Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” or Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man”) and the hip-hop records that sampled from them. The tracks on “Thirty Eight” are presented in gritty, heavily saturated Technicolor, the scratches and cigarette burns as purposeful as they are happily accidental. These are suites sounding from long barrels held by lone men lurking in grimy project hallways. Tinged with revenge and regret, shrouded in thick tendrils of hollow-point smoke, the songs have all the makings of an epic gangster tragedy. They’re also great when paired with anything Raymond Chandler. Crackle and sample hiss run like electric current throughout, charging the record with a retro feel and resonant warmth. Yet these qualities are only secondary to Brown’s impeccable ear for instrumentation. “Thirty Eight” is full of funk, soul, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and everything in between. The bluesy guitar twang of slow-burner “Black Suits” and the lush, orchestral strings of “The Warning” are just two examples of the depth and diversity Brown brings to the table. All singing on the album comes in the form of brief samples, some high-pitched and sped up, others left untouched. Taken together, they amount to glimpses of an emotionally affecting narrative, enabling the listener to fill in the plot and words between the booms and baps. Brown enlists New York mercenary Roc Marciano for the soundtrack’s two features. With the sharpest of eyes and the frostbitten wit of a Polo clad hustler slanging in the dead of winter, Marciano delivers his best verses in recent memory, his vivid narratives perfectly suited for Brown’s soulful production. Deluxe 180 Gram vinyl with bonus 45 including two bonus instrumentals.

File Under: Hip Hop

danny brownDanny Brown: Old (Fools Gold) 4LP

Limited 180 gram 4xLP box set with instrumentals, full lyric booklet, and poster. Danny jumps from “artist to watch” to undeniable icon with his magnum opus, Old. This emotionally-charged concept album is an intoxicating mix of Danny at his most experimental AND most accessible, balancing hip-hop grit with electronic club sonics and much, much more. Featuring guest appearances from A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, and more overproduction from the likes of A-Trak and Rustie, Old is a psychedelic portrait of rap’s most vital and exciting new star.
File Under: Hip Hop
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brugnoliniSandro Brugnolini: Underground (Sonor Music) LP
Recorded in 1970 during the same period as Overground, Sandro Brugnolini’s Underground was recorded in two volumes (RT 104 and RT 16), both released in the same year in May and June at Dirmaphon Studios, Roma. Together with Overground, these records are really fascinating instrumental free jazz/psych/library records, featuring the auxiliary of historical Rai session-musicians, guitarist Silvano Chimenti and organist Giorgio Carnini. This record collects all Underground tracks on one LP. Established jazz composer Sandro Brugnolini composed among the greatest Italian soundtracks and library music, ever. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Psych, Library, Jazz
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charizmaCharizma & Peanut Butter Wolf: Circa 1990-1993 (Stones Throw) 4LP
Curated by Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw is releasing a 4LP boxset to commemorate the late MC, Charizma and the collection of works he and Peanut Butter Wolf created between 1990-1993. The anthology includes rare, classic and unreleased tracks that makes up eight sides of vinyl, along with never before seen photos and ephemera. A lifetime has passed since the murder of Bay Area emcee Charles “Charizma” Hicks who, in December of 1993 at the age of 20, was shot and killed at random while sitting in his car. Despite his short life, Charizma made an impression on everyone he encountered. Charizma’s death deeply impacted his close friend and hip hop production partner Chris “Peanut Butter Wolf” Manak, who at the time stopped making music (and everything else) for several months after receiving the news. Ultimately, however, it was Charizma’s murder that gave PB Wolf the impetus to carry on and get their music heard by the world – setting up his own record label to do so. In 1996, Wolf founded Stones Throw Records and put out the first release, a Charizma/PB Wolf 12″ single called “My World Premiere.” Fast forward to 2014 and over 400 releases later, including the 2003 Charizma album Big Shots, Peanut Butter Wolf now presents a comprehensive tribute to his friend and musical partner, properly showcasing the full body of work left behind by Charizma over 20 years ago. With this posthumous release of an artist who was only 20-years-old when his life was cut short, hip hop fans can only speculate as to what heights might have been reached if Charizma was still here today.

File Under: Hip Hop
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cfvCleaners from Venus: Extra Wages (Captured Tracks) LP
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Captured Tracks has been so honored to release the wildly expansive catalogue of Martin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus that they couldn’t say goodbye without just one more! This bonus LP contains the remaining outtakes from Newell’s 1992 recordings that resulted in My Back Wages, along with a few other rarities. It would be nice and tidy to be able to say that the Cleaners from Venus story ended right here with this rather more than definitive collection of broken or misshapen tracks. The truth of the matter, however is that the story may not quite be over yet…

File Under: Rock, Lo-Fi, Psych
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cloneClone: Son of Octabred (Dead-Cert) LP

We’ve seen a lot of oddities reissued over the last few years, but few come close to capturing the bewildering brilliance of this bizarre instructional Birthing album recorded somewhere in Alaska in 1982 and resurfacing now on a first-ever vinyl pressing, thanks to the supreme Ethno-musicological skills of Andy Votel and his Dead-Cert imprint. Utilizing the ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey, Polymoog, harmonica/synthesizer interface, Eventide Omnipressor, Roland vocoder and genuinely bizarre narration imploring the listener to “push…” over a background of retro-futuristic space-age progressions, these recordings edge the concept of extreme American outsider music to its furthest reaches. Originally broadcast as a one-off transmission for electronic harmonicist Gary Sloan’s Import Hour show on Anchorage radio station KGOT FM, it’s one of the rarest recordings in the very limited line of Clone breadcrumbs released to date — the audio discovered by Sloan in his own time capsule of C60 compact cassettes used to document the unlikely synthesized wing of an untraveled North American micro industry. Son of Octabred is unlike any other Kosmische or early synth record you’re likely to have heard, arcing from the surreal instructional opening segment to pop-wise synth hooks before eventually building into a monumental layer of synthesized drone you’ll have trouble comprehending after the umpteenth listen. As a label set up to give life to recordings that were never really intended for wider public consumption, Dead-Cert has done a commendable job shining a light on lost DIY aesthetics — this album perhaps making for its most compulsive, odd outing yet.
File Under: Early Electronic, Kosmiche, DIY
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rg daivsRev. Gary Davis: Pure Religion And Bad Company (Mr. Suit) LP

Recorded in 1957, Pure Religion And Bad Company is a stunning mixture of gospel and blues from the guitar playing evangelist. Featuring his earliest performances of the classics, ‘Cocaine Blues’ and ‘Hesitation Blues’, the recordings featured here rival the greatest titles in Davis’ storied and historic career; acoustic blues of the highest order. Limited edition of 300 copies.
File Under: Blues, Gospel
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Donoto Dozzy: K (Futher) CD
Few artists have crafted a catalog as rich and deep as Donato Dozzy has done in minimal techno’s more atmospheric realm. The Italian producer — who also performs in the excellent Voices From The Lake duo with Neel — has become revered for his unerring ability to create tracks that are at once ethereal and oceanic, inducing both a sense of tranquility and urgency. His debut album, K, which Further Records originally issued in 2010, stands as a towering example of Dozzy’s skill for electronic music that triggers profound feelings with only a few scrupulously-selected elements. K’s seven tracks offer a masterly seminar in subtly altering the grid-like beat programming that dominates techno. Dozzy puts odd emphases on certain beats and adds percussive eccentricities and effects to others. Which means that this isn’t a collection of bangers geared for hands-in-the-air, goofball moves. Instead, Dozzy’s working on a much more refined level, one where tricky, intricate drum patterns trump simple booming kicks — although “K3″‘s staunch, methodically funky kick and hi-hat pattern and “K5″‘s swift and elegantly propulsive beats could heat up a club. The greatest pleasures of K occur in the way Dozzy’s eerie, aquatic drones swirl around his well-wrought rhythms, submerging everything in a restorative, algae-tinged film. At their best, these pieces convey a Chain Reaction-like rigor and a cinematic quality (of the Jacques Cousteau variety) utterly devoid of cliché. This reissue of K reminds us that it remains a crucial component of Donato Dozzy’s catalog, the first major statement in a career that’s becoming a manifesto of understated, underground-techno brilliance.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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Jad Fair & Danielson: Solid Gold Heart (Sounds Familyre) LP

Jad Fair is a legendary artist of all stripes. Founder of the ground-breaking punk band Half Japanese, Fair has also recorded albums with Daniel Johnston, Yo La Tengo and Teenage Fanclub. Throughout 2014 he is the official “Artist In Residence” at Joyful Noise. As part of his residency he is creating no less than four full-length albums throughout the year, each a unique collaboration with artists including Danielson, R. Stevie Moore, Strobe Talbot and Norman Blake. Solid Gold Heart is Jad Fair’s collaborative work with pop-rock eccentric Danielson (aka Daniel Smith). Smith wrote instrumental compositions around Fair’s vocals and lyrics and recorded the results with an assortment of collaborators at his studio in Clarksboro, NJ. He explained that, “The goal was to make three-minute pop songs, as accessible and fun and immediate as possible.” The 11 song set sounds like what you might expect, given the respective artists: gleaming tunes of sincere sing-speak, resplendent with sparkling back-up vocals and warmly melodic, inventive instrumentation; a sunshine-bright outlook of positive encouragement to keep rocking on the side of good.
File Under: Indie Rock, Half Japanese
freshFresh & Onlys: House of Spirits (Mexican Summer) LP
With surreal nightmares, glistening pop tempered by sinister undertones and even unsettling experimentalism, The Fresh & Onlys’ fifth album, House of Spirits is the San Francisco quartet’s most focused and most experimental yet. The material gestated during vocalist Tim Cohen’s isolated stay on an Arizonan horse ranch where he documented dreams in a bedside notebook. The resultant songs are by turns pristine, feverish, and bizarre, as The Fresh & Onlys returned to Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco with Phil Manley (Trans Am) to recast the textures, leaps of logic and evocative character of Cohen’s dreams into songs. Deluxe first vinyl pressing is limited to 2,000 copies, Digital download code includes 2013 Soothsayer EP as a bonus. “Warm organ tones shine through the fuzz, showing The Fresh & Onlys at their most earnest and heartfelt.” – Consequence of Sound

File Under: Indie Rock
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greg gives

Greg Gives Peter Space: s/t (Erased Tapes) LP
“Greg and I became good friends while both living in Berlin, around 2009 to 2013. We spent countless late nights playing records for each other, dreaming the dream of good music. We talked a lot about collaborating and even put in quite a few hours at each other’s studios … but for some strange reason we never seemed to finish anything. Maybe we were just busy enough with our other projects and didn’t feel in any rush. But we certainly had it in mind that we’d like to finish something one day. And we are very proud to say that day is finally here! Primarily inspired by mine and Greg’s recent obsession with dub music, Greg Gives Peter Space is a mini-album comprised of six tracks filled with — you guessed it — spacey sounds, created with the help of Greg’s ever-growing collection of synthesizers, tape delays and reel-to-reel machines. In the true spirit of dub music, many of the mixes were made live, both of us hovering over the mixing board, dancing around and following our intuitions, processing the sounds with live effects while the music bounced down to tape. We are extremely excited to release this record in the summer time and to celebrate with a few select shows around Europe. We’ve enlisted our dear friend Martyn Heyne to help us perform the music live, and we plan on bringing as much of the original gear from the recordings as possible. After years of playing fairly quiet music for an often seated audience, we can’t wait to get on stage and bounce around to some groovy rhythms, heavy bass and spacey synthesizers. Prepare for take off!” –Peter Broderick, April 2014

File Under: Dub, Folk

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gusgusGusGus: Mexico (Kompakt) LP/CD

SALE PRICED IN OUR LISTENING POST! An obvious fan favorite, GusGus’ last full-length offering Arabian Horse exceeded all expectations and ranks among Kompakt’s biggest bestsellers in recent years. Now, the core crew of Birgir Thorarinsson, Daníel Ágúst, Högni Egilsson, and Stephan Stephensen returns with new masterpiece Mexico: a hugely satisfying follow-up to past exploits and another step into the future of anthemic pop music. GusGus are dead set on maintaining the towering might of their songwriting, infusing the new album with the same luster as their earlier work, but presenting the deed with the snappiness and intricate production values needed for contemporary debauchery. From opening anthem “Obnoxiously Sexual,” to the Existentialist shuffle of closing ballad “This Is What You Get When You Mess With Love,” this album leaves no stone unturned on its journey to sonic bliss, delving ever deeper into its timeless melodies with every subsequent track. It’s hard to pinpoint highlights from an album like Mexico, as each of those cuts stands well on its own without sacrificing its role in the ensemble. In a way, that’s a good metaphor for GusGus itself, as this project again and again manages to successfully pool the forces from a group of exceptionally gifted individuals. Take “Sustain,” “Airwaves” or “God-Application”: drawing from influences as diverse as ’80s synth pop, UK garage or ’90s trance, each of these tracks showcases a unique identity but still interlocks with the overarching aesthetics of the album and its omnipresent penchant for brilliant pop hooks. Frequency-shifting house-stomper “Another Life” and deep string groover “This Is Not the First Time” might come closest to the predecessor’s voluptuous textures, engaging in the same kind of floor-friendly agility against the backdrop of monumental synth washes. Interestingly enough, title-track “Mexico” is the only instrumental on the new full-length, fittingly bringing a more linear flair to the proceedings. Sporting the nuanced narration of a coherent artist album as well as the eager excitement of a great track selection, GusGus’ latest holds the potential to become a source for many a personal best-of mixtape. All killer, no filler!

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Kompakt
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hoffmanS.J. Hoffman/ H. Ravel/ Les Baxter: First Electronic Chillout Music (Black Sweat) LP

This LP contains Music Out of the Moon and Perfume Set to Music, containing some of the first electronic chillout music ever composed, originally released in 1947 and 1948 on 10″ 78 RPM. An unusual mix of different styles and music represented by the three men who contributed to the album: Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman played Theremin for several sci-fi and horror movies during the ’40s and the ’50s — masterpieces such as Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Les Baxter “The Father of Exotica” and his dreams of Pacific and Oriental islands can also be found here — musical impressions of tropical fantasies. Harry Ravel is also featured, a talented English composer of musical theater and soundtracks for Hollywood movies. These two records were unique collaborations between three disparate talents, who envisioned a world of sound inspired by science fiction, perfumes, and meditative moments. Without them, the Theremin could perhaps never have been considered in a pop context, and projects as disparate as “Good Vibrations” and Silver Apples might never have happened. The influence of this music is clear in the multiform artist Sun Ra, who covered the song “Possession” on his second LP Jazz by Sun Ra. Digitally remastered and limited to 300 copies.
File Under: Early Electronic, Chillout, Exotica
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Peter Howell & The Radiophonic Workshop: Through a Glass, Darkly (Music on Vinyl) LP

Through A Glass Darkly was the 1978 album by Peter Howell and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It featured six original instrumental compositions including “Through A Glass Darkly – A Lyrical Adventure”, a 19 minute track which took up the whole of the first side of the record. Much of the music on the album leaned far more towards the prog rock of the 1970s than the previous output by the Radiophonic Workshop. The track “The Astronauts” later featured as the B-side to the 1980 single release of Howell’s arrangement of the Doctor Who theme.
File Under: Early Electronic, BBC
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kirby1Leyland Kirby: Death of Rave (History Always Favors the Winner) LP/CD

Leyland Kirby: “The idea for The Death of Rave was conceived in early 2006 after a visit to the Berghain Club in Berlin. At the time, Berghain was about to explode on the international club scene as a temple. The feeling was in the air that something special was happening. I went and saw a pale shadow of the past. Grim and boring beats, endlessly pounding to an audience who felt they were part of an experience but who lacked cohesion and energy. For me personally, something had died. Be it a spirit, be it an ideal, be it an adventure in sound. Rave and techno felt dead to me. The original The Death of Rave project was vast, over two-hundred flashbacks, using all of the dancefloor hits from the time and stripping them of energy and spirit, turning them into shadows and ghosts. The material pre-dates the recent obsession younger musicians have for re-creating remembered rave textures and memories. This was not nostalgia, It was an inverted paean to a time when the music was about bringing people together for a shared experience. A time when only the music and advancement of sound and getting on one mattered. Of course The Death of Rave was vast, too vast to digest. It was available for free download for a number of years via the V/Vm Test label. In the end the The Death Of Rave died itself when the V/Vm Test web site was deleted in full in 2008. In the intervening years I have at various times re-visited the work. And so eight tracks were lifted from the project and have now been remastered by Matt Colton as a ‘document from a dead past.’ A monument to a lost work, an idea finally set in stone via a physical format. Proof of its existence. Ivan Seal, himself a veteran of the original ‘rave times,’ provides the glorious cover artwork in keeping with all ‘History Favours The Winners’ releases. The tracklisting is in reference to the strongest rave-memories I have from those nights. The people, the DJs, the cars, the violence and the long-lost clubs. Flashbacks only, now consigned to my own dusty experiences. ‘They danced like they never had before. They danced in the darkest hour before daybreak.’ It’s dead now, over. Long may it live…”

File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient
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EM1126LP_CUAngkanang Kunchai with Ubon-Pattana Band: Isan Lam Plearn (EM) LP

The relaunch of EM Records’ Thai music series. Paradise Bangkok, Soi 48 and EM Records have teamed up to deliver a new series showcasing the extraordinary performances of some of Thailand’s greatest musical legends. The first release is the seminal album Isan Lam Plearn, released in 1975 by Angkanang Kunchai. This album represents a crucial moment in Thai musical history when the performance styles of Molam and Luk Thung were fused together for the very first time. Born in the province of Ubon Ratchathani in Isan (the northeastern region of Thailand), Angkanang Kunchai was a young female prodigy who emerged on the Molam scene, and became one of the first generations of Molam performers who were able to “sing” popular music. From an early age she was mentored by renowned national Molam artist Chaweewan Dumnern, and in her mid-teens joined the legendary musical troupe the Ubon-Pattana Band as the lead vocalist. In 1972 at the age of 16, she released her debut single “Isan Lam Plearn,” which went on to become an enduring classic, covered most recently by major contemporary pop star Tai Orathai. The song was also a defining moment in the career of Ubon’s legendary producer Surin Paksiri, as it was the first recording in which Isan music — in particular Molam — was fused with Luk Thung from Bangkok to form the new musical genre of Luk Thung Isan. This music invented by record industry genius Paksiri, transformed Molam groups into rock bands and saw them starting to perform with the same kind of intensity as Luk Thung artists. The mix of contemporary singing styles with traditional Molam broke a major taboo and resulted in some truly outlandish music. “Isan Lam Plearn” became a major hit as the theme tune to the film Bua Lam Pu, and before long this new forbidden cool began to infect everyone, with performers turning in their droves to the Luk Thung Isan style. This turned out to be a precursor to the spread of Isan music across the country and the Molam boom that engulfed Thailand in the ’90s — an unprecedented period in Thailand’s musical history in which Luk Thung singers were simply not able to make it in the record business unless they could perform Molam. While typically albums produced in Thailand tended to be collections of singles, this work produced by Paksiri has an unusual degree of conceptual unity, and this is a very significant aspect of the album. It is an undeniable masterpiece that sees the Ubon-Pattana Band, led by Paksiri, delivering a performance that dramatically traverses genre boundaries, in an eerie soundscape populated by the cute and rarefied tones of the young singer. It stands above and apart from the many Luk Thung Isan works that followed. As a bonus track is Kongpetch Kaennakorn’s version of the much-covered “Isan Lam Plearn.” Includes commentary in English and Japanese and an explanation of the lyrics. Newly-remastered.
File Under: Thai, Molam, Luk-Thung
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kurekPiotr Kurek: Edena (Black Sweat) LP
Released on tape by the Polish label Sangoplasmo, Edena is the amazing record by Poland’s Piotr Kurek. As a composer and multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for vintage sound equipment, as well as the practical sense to know where their limitations are, his musical compositions — part melodic narrative, part sound collage — distill a sense of nostalgia into a romance for the present. Using a Moebius comic he had never seen (Le Monde d’Edena) and an instrument he would never have (a Mellotron) as a conceptual starting point, the Warsaw-based, Polish artist presents Edena. A hypnotic, circular motion pervades all of Edena; a cyclic life-force that gives the impression of forward motion, while really folding back on itself, reflected by the infinity symbol of the cassette cover. The record is full of warm analog synth sounds and strange voices, like Roberto Cacciapaglia’s “6 Note in Logica,” and shares connections with the minimalistic music and ’60s experimentalism of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and the hyper-energetic electronic nirvana of Terry Riley’s 1967 masterpiece A Rainbow in Curved Air.

File Under: Electronic, Minimalism
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macliseAngus Maclise: New York Electric, 1965 (Sub Rosa) LP

Sub Rosa presents another release as a part of their early electronic series. Drone-based experiments from Angus MacLise (notably with Tony Conrad extremely present on the album, and John Cale), and purely electronic compositions — a path (almost) nobody knew MacLise had explored. Miraculously salvaged by Gerard Malanga, these archives provided a new perspective on the artist’s whole body of work and considerably expanded his artistic palette. And so Sub Rosa is able to present a whole record’s worth of MacLise’s early electronic music. Angus MacLise, born March 4, 1938 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was a percussionist, composer, poet, and calligrapher. He was a member of La Monte Young’s Theater Of Eternal Music with John Cale, Tony Conrad, Marian Zazeela and sometimes Terry Riley. He contributed to the early Fluxus newspaper V Tre, edited by George Brecht and George Maciunas, and was also an early member of The Velvet Underground, having been brought into the group by flatmate John Cale when they were living at 56 Ludlow Street in Manhattan. MacLise played bongos and hand-drums during 1965 with the first incarnation of The Velvet Underground. Although the band regularly extemporized soundtracks to underground films during this era (The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda by Ira Cohen, Chumlum by Ron Rice), MacLise never officially recorded with them. Later in the 1960s, Angus and his wife Hetty traveled around between Vancouver, Paris, Greece and India, finally settling in Nepal. They also had a son, Ossian Kennard MacLise, who was recognized by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, as a reincarnation of a Tibetan saint, or tulku, and at age four became a Buddhist monk. MacLise died of hypoglycemia and pulmonary tuberculosis in Kathmandu in 1979, aged 41. He recorded a vast amount of music that went largely unreleased until 1999. These recordings, produced between the mid-’60s and the late-’70s, consist of tribal trance workouts, spoken-word, poetry, drones and electronics, as well as many collaborations with his wife Hetty. In 2008, Hetty MacLise bequeathed a collection of her husband’s tapes to the Yale Collection of American Literature.
File Under: Drone, Electronic, Experimental
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malayeenMalayeen: s/t (Discrepant) LP
Discrepant proudly presents the vinyl edition of the debut album by Lebanese trio Malayeen. Malayeen is the project of Lebanese musicians Raed Yassin (keyboards, turntables & electronics), Charbel Haber (electric guitar & electronics) and Khaled Yassine (darbouka, percussion). Born from Yassin and Haber’s love for the music of quintessential Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid, Malayeen disassembles and re-configures the work and style of the iconic guitarist’s innovative take on Arabic music. The final result makes for an original and unique update of Khorshid & belly dancing-inspired songs from the past. Over the course of seven compositions, appropriately named after Khorshid and famous belly dancers from the Arabic diaspora, the three musicians’ varied backgrounds and techniques collide and coalesce in an experimental yet magical fashion, not actually playing Khorshid’s music, but inspiring themselves from the cult guitarist’s genius to create something completely new, modern and unexpected. A unique LP featuring the combined talents of key players of the Lebanese avant-garde. Special vinyl one-time pressing of 500 copies.

File Under: Arabic, Psych, Guitar
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micalizziFranco Micalizzi: Lo Chiamavano Trinita… (Sonor Music) LP

Sonor Music Editions are proud to announce the reissue of one of the Italian Western soundtrack-milestones, Lo Chiamavano Trinità (trans. “They Call Me Trinity”) — now available again in the marketplace on this deluxe vinyl edition. Totally improved sound from the 1970 stereo tapes and featuring five tracks not included on the original Ariete/Carosello LP. Lo Chiamavano Trinità was a great success on the screen and featured the famous duo of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer with a cool orchestral/pop score by Franco Micalizzi, directed by E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni), with acting performances by Farley Granger, Steffen Zacharias, Ezio Marano, and Michele Cimarosa. Bonus tracks are previously unreleased on vinyl. Limited edition of 500 copies. Includes a 30 x 38 cm poster.
File Under: OST, Italian, Westerns
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mungoMungo’s Hi-Fi: Serious Time (Scotch Bonnet) LP

It’s time to test your bass-bins with the biggest and bestest new smashers from soundsystem champions Mungo’s Hi-Fi. Their third double LP arrives hot on the heels of their massive collaborations with Major Lazer and Prince Fatty and showcases all aspects of soundsystem bizness, from Studio One-style live brass to digital bass-bangers all beautifully threaded together. As well as the fat, clean productions you would expect, the album hosts vocal talent by the ton. With reggae heavyweights Cornel Campbell and Peter Metro rubbing shoulders with Mungo’s regulars Mr. Williamz, Soom T, Charlie P, YT, Marina P, Solo Banton and Parly B. As if that was not enough, there are spectacular guest appearances from Blackout JA, Speng Bond, Pupajim and Warrior Queen. Elen G’s cover artwork shows the soundsystem ship tossed on heavy seas with tentacles threatening to take it under — serious times indeed. Open it to catch a glimpse of the session inside the ship, riding out the storm.

File Under: Reggae
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italo1 italo2Joey Negro: Italo House Part 1 & 2 (Z) LP

2 seperate gatefold double LPs. Z Records continues to release high quality compilations filled with lesser-known disco, funk and boogie. Now it’s the turn of Italo House to get the Joey Negro selection treatment with over 20 tracks hand-picked from the late ’80s and early ’90s, covering a lot of the deeper classics and some lesser known releases from a golden era of Italian dance music. Artists on Part One: Don Carlos, Paradise Orchestra, Double Dealers (feat. Opi Williams), Korda, Latin Blood, Jestofunk, Omniverse, D-Rail, Montego Bay and Steve Banzara. Part Two Artists: Soft House Company, M.C.J. (feat. Sima), Aural, Carol Bailey, Arkanoid, Shafty, Key Tronics Ensemble, DJ Le Roy (feat. Bocachica), Love Quartet andNexy Lanton.
File Under: Disco, Funk, Boogie
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not wavingNot Waving: Human Capabilities (Emotional Response) LP

Walls’ Alessio Natalizia presents the best instalment of woozy post-industrial music yet under his Not Waving moniker. Proceeding a handful of excellent and low-key cassette releases, he channels a wealth of analogue machine sounds into a dusty, swirling space shimmering with cosmic pads and urged on by throbbing arpeggios and classic drum machine patter. Most importantly, there’s a real soulful, emotive essence to his arrangements, scanning out from the misty-eyed stargazer ‘Power Source Above Beam Line’ and the luscious vision of ‘Mathematical Mind’ to Goblin-esque synth runs in ‘Future Rain’, and bittersweet AFXian chords on ‘mental Means Alone’, whilst exposing his darker side with the tormented atmospheres of ‘Defensive Function’ and a yearning dancefloor spirit in the EBM/Industrial rocket ‘Double Blind’.

File Under: Electronic, Synth, Dark Ambient, Industrial
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officerOfficer!: Dead Unique (Blackest Ever Black) LP/CD

Blackest Ever Black presents to you Dead Unique, an album by Officer! recorded in 1995 but — outrageously, inexplicably — never before released into the public domain. This then is not a reissue or a revival; it’s a new record that just happens to have been maturing in the cask for, oh, a little shy of 20 years. It also happens to be a lost classic of English art-rock, and the crowning achievement in the career of its mercurial creator, Mick Hobbs. Londoner Hobbs’ roots are in the fecund RIO scene of the late ’70s and early 1980s, initially as guitarist in The Work (alongside Bill Gilonis, Rick Wilson and Henry Cow’s Tim Hodgkinson), and subsequent related groupings The Lowest Note, The Lo Yo Yo, and The Momes. Over the course of the decade he became closely associated with This Heat and their Cold Storage studio in Brixton. Officer! — the project that this incorrigible collaborator and connector calls his own — surfaced in 1982 with a cassette tape entitled Eight New Songs By Mick Hobbs. It marked the blossoming of a singular writer and improviser, with a gift for plangent melody, ingenious arrangement and lyrics at once caustic and courtly, playful and profound (two songs from this tape, “Life at the Water’s Edge” and “Dogface,” have been remastered for a forthcoming limited edition 7″ release on Blackest Ever Black). The Cold Storage-recorded Ossification LP arrived a year later, followed by Cough (1985) and Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes (1988). Megaphone Records, responsible for Ossification’s recent 30th anniversary reissue, rightly describe it as “one of the most unusual, pleasurable and character-filled ‘pop’ records anyone has heard — a timeless anomaly in the history of recorded music.” By the start of the 1990s Hobbs had joined Jad Fair’s Half Japanese. In the early months of ’95, Half Japanese were in Baltimore to record their Hot LP; Hobbs stayed on to cut the bulk of the songs that comprise Officer!’s Dead Unique — songs drawn from a rich store of material written and refined in the seven years since the band’s last outing — with a talented assemblage of local and visiting musicians. Returning to the UK, Hobbs brought the tracks to producer Julia Brightly to mix at her 16-track home studio in Bethnal Green; by the end of the summer, Dead Unique had taken shape. And then? Nothing. For reasons that no one, least of all Hobbs, can remember, Dead Unique was shelved, all but forgotten about until 2012, when Blackest Ever Black chanced upon it while trawling the Officer! archive maintained for Hobbs by Andrew Jacques. Finally, rightfully, this album is available to all for the very first time. A complex but thrillingly immediate avant-pop song cycle that charms and confounds at every turn, Dead Unique will give immense pleasure not only to Officer!’s existing cult following, but to anyone with an appreciation of piquant, idiosyncratic songcraft — fans of Kevin Ayers, Flaming Tunes, Art Bears, Woo, Dislocation Dance, R. Stevie Moore, Robert Wyatt, Cleaners From Venus, Lol Coxhill or The Monochrome Set should especially pay attention. It touches upon ragged-raw rock ‘n roll, sumptuous chamber music, pastoral folk, blowsy prog-jazz and paranoid dub-space, effortlessly shifting from skronking abstraction to rousing harmonic refrain and back again. The tension between composition and improvisation is key to the LP’s power, with Hobbs abetted by an extraordinary supporting cast that includes Tim Hodgkinson (bass clarinet), Pleasant Livers’ Fred Collins (vocals), Legendary Pink Dots’ Patrick Q (violin), filmmaker/animator Martha Colburn (vocal), Gilles Rieder (drums), Jad Fair (vocals) and Jason Willett (bass, keyboards, trumpet). Special mention must go to John Dierker, whose superbly expressive clarinet and saxophone parts are a fixture throughout, and to Joey Stack, who takes lead vocals on “Good” and the show-stopping “Elephant Flowers.” Nonetheless, it is the voice of Hobbs — as principal writer, performer and protagonist of these songs — that resonates most powerfully. Blurring the roles of storyteller, poet and prankster, he turns memorable line after memorable line, booby-trapping them with mischievous puns, fleet-footed literary allusions, sudden digressions and shifts of register, nonsense rhymes and other wordplay. But his acute wit and flair for the absurd is moored by a deep romantic sensibility, and though it delights in the minutiae of the human comedy, Dead Unique ultimately addresses its biggest themes: love, loss, commitment, independence, the mutability and inconstancy of all things.

File Under: Rock in Opposition, Art Rock
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o levelO Level: Pseudo Punk (Munster) LP

Repressed, originally released for Record Store Day 2014. Munster Records presents, in a co-release with Discos Alehop!, the first vinyl reissue of the two official singles of British band ‘O’ Level: “East Sheen” (recorded in November 1977 and released on Psycho) and The Malcolm EP (recorded in December 1978 and released by the Kings Road label). This compilation also includes three tracks from February 1979 never released on vinyl before, plus a rawer alternative version of “East Sheen” dating from March 1978. ‘O’ Level was created in 1976 by London guitarist Ed Ball along with two friends from school, the Bennett brothers (John on drums and Gerard on bass), who would leave the band in March 1978. That same line-up plus Dan Treacy (another school friend of Ball’s) recorded the first Television Personalities single in 1977, titled 14th Floor. ‘O’ Level self-released that same year a first single which included three tracks strongly influenced by punk’s energy (Buzzcocks and Undertones guitars and melody on “East Sheen”) and attitude (with ironic comments about fake punks on “Pseudo Punk”), but all of it as if seen from a distance, outside a decadent scene which had already been absorbed by the establishment. The single also features a sort of homonymous anthem called ”O’ Levels.” As a record collector anecdote, there are two versions of the single with different covers, which go for very high prices. Ed Ball, DIY superhero, returned in late 1978 with four more hits, displaying a sound more oriented towards ’60s pop but with the new wave spirit of the time. On this occasion, he was accompanied on bass, drums, and backing vocals by… himself, Ball played everything! The single, titled The Malcolm EP, contains a new hit in “homage” to Malcolm McLaren, “We Love Malcolm”; a portrait of the scene, “Everybody’s on Revolver Tonight” (where the pseudo punks and part-time punks make another appearance); and two tracks with ’60s melodies: “Leave Me Alone” (with a very Love-esque chorus) and “Stairway to Boredom” (pure new wave sound). But Ed Ball’s music career didn’t end with this second single. After recording three more tracks in February 1979, which have never been released on vinyl until now, he continued developing the same strand of wonderful pop through the ’80s and ’90s with bands such as Teenage Filmstars, Television Personalities, The Times, and many more, ending with four records as a solo artist. ‘O’ Level was Ed Ball, a passionate pop artisan who deserves to be rediscovered.
File Under: Punk
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seymaliNoura Mint Seymali: Tzenni (Glitterbeat) CD

SALE PRICED IN OUR LISTENING POST! “‘Tzenni’ in Hassaniya means to circulate, to spin, to turn. It’s the name for a whirling dance performed to the music of Moorish griots, often under khaima tents thrown up for street gatherings in the sandy quarters of Nouakchott and out across the wide deserts of Mauritania. Tzenni is an orbit, the movement of the earth around the sun, the daily progression of light and dark, lunar cycles, tides and winds. Tzenni, the dance, comes forth as the cyclical trajectory of a Moorish musical gathering builds to a feverish pitch. Produced and recorded across an appropriately dizzying array of locations and social contexts (New York City, Dakar, Nouakchott), the album Tzenni is a contemporary articulation of Moorish griot music from Mauritania — an artform that has been evolving and gaining momentum for centuries — as voiced by Noura Mint Seymali, an artist profoundly steeped in its history and rigorously devoted to its global resonance. Noura Mint Seymali comes from a long line of visionary musicians. Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall, her father, was a scholar-artist instrumental in opening Mauritanian music to the world; devising the first system for Moorish melodic notation, adapting music for the national anthem, and composing works popularized by his wife (Noura’s step-mother), the great Dimi Mint Abba. From her precocious beginnings as a teenaged backing vocalist with Dimi Mint Abba, Noura Mint Seymali now drives the legacy forward, re-calibrating Moorish music for our contemporary moment. Her band’s arrangements, rigor, and experimental spirit may be understood as a continuation of the tradition of Seymali, Dimi, her grandmother Mounina, and countless others. Together with her husband, heroic guitarist Jeiche Ould Chighaly, who brings the force of yet another powerful branch of Moorish musical lineage, the band on this recording was conceived as a distillation of essential elements, the ‘azawan’ and the backbeat. The ardine & tidinit (or guitar) together are the ‘azawan,’ the leading ensemble of Moorish traditional music, while bass & drums, played here by Ousmane Touré and Matthew Tinari, fortify it with genre-transcendent funk and a basic pop urgency. Tzenni re-visits several classics of the Moorish repertoire, but does so within a novel formation, conversant in the pop idiom, and with Noura Mint’s practice of aligning music to a given socio-historical and personal moment, it is an essential charge of the iggawen, or griot, and, we believe, of artists everywhere. As we seek to convey another turn in the Mauritanian musical dialectic, Tzenni is ultimately an album about shapeshifting, faith, and stability found through instability.” –Matthew Tinari, producer/drummer for Noura Mint Seymali
File Under: Desert Blues, Moorish, Hassaniya
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sleafordSleaford Mods: Divide & Exit (Harbinger Sound) LP

Divide and Exit sees Sleaford Mods once again released on the elusive Nottingham-based low-profile Harbinger Sound label. Once dismissed around their native Nottingham as “two skip rats with a laptop,” the last 12 months has seen the Sleaford Mods simply knock all their distractors clear out of the way. The mounting hysteria surrounding their 2013 album Austerity Dogs (HARB 106CD/LP) has spread like chlamydia at a teenage house party and saw them topping many “End of Year” lists worldwide. Along with a handful of limited 7″ releases on labels as diverse as Matador and X-Mist, plus an extensive European touring program have all helped to solidify their growing reputation as “ones to watch .” The Sleaford Mods duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn have also been busy throughout the year working on this follow-up album. Divide and Exit contains 14 new tracks all written over the last 12 months and the result is as immediately in your face as its vicious predecessor. While Fearn’s beats and loops will pull you up into the urgency of Sleaford Mods, they also allow you to run the gauntlet from deliberate, clumsy dancefloor swaggers to full-on punk throwabouts with them. Williamson is let free to spit out his litany of bile and anger towards the bloated and tedious. His verbal salvos and side-swipes are often savage and brutal, yet at turns, hilarious, but always spot-on as Sleaford Mods rage and despair as the country sinks deeper into a cesspool of its own idiocy. It’s an album that doesn’t have the privilege of luxury, indulgence or extravaganza and it will strike a resonant chord with many because it simply refuses to compromise. Many critics have attempted to tag and align the Sleaford Mods with other artists and have done little other than to advertise their own shortcomings and lack of knowledge. If you need a pointer, try and imagine an East Midlands take on Suicide that survived rave culture and looked to the Wu-Tang Clan for the escape hatch. The down-to-earth observations and story-telling of Ian Dury or Patrik Fitzgerald are maybe closer than any other names flung about in desperation. If you wish to tag and place Sleaford Mods, you’re only limiting yourself.
File Under: Punk, Rap, Electronic
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teenageTeenage Filmstars: Cloud Over Liverpool (Munster) LP

Repressed, originally released for Record Store Day 2014. Munster Records presents, in a co-release with Discos Alehop!, the three official singles of the British band Teenage Film Stars reissued on vinyl for the first time: “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool” (Clockwork Records), “The Odd Man Out” (Wessex Records/Blueprint Records) and “I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape” (Fab Listening Records). After self-releasing two records with his band ‘O’ Level, in 1979 Ed Ball continued the path of ’60s-influenced new wave pop already present in that band’s The Malcolm EP (1978), now under the name Teenage Filmstars. In this new adventure he was accompanied by his school friends Dan Treacy and Joe Foster (both members of Television Personalities). With their help, Ball released a first single in September 1979 featuring two songs: the A-side was taken by “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool” (a tremendous chorus-song) and the B-side contained “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Follow Trends” (a comment on youth culture). The song “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool” received support by John Peel and reached certain fame in the UK and the United States, where it was interpreted as an homage to John Lennon. June 1980 saw the release of their second single, titled “The Odd Man Out,” where Teenage Filmstars offered as the lead track a catchy ska-pop number in the vein of Madness. The other side featured “I Apologise,” a beautiful pop melody punctuated by the kind of guitars characteristic of the revival mod bands of the time. Their last single, from November 1980, included the track from their repertoire with the biggest potential, “I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape” (re-recorded in 1982 for Ball’s next project, The Times, again along with Dan Treacy), an homage to the actor Patrick Joseph McGoohan, who worked on the late 1960s cult TV series “The Prisoner.” The single’s other side featured “We’re Not Sorry,” a power pop nugget which links them with bands such as The Jam and Merton Parkas (who were mocked on one of the two sleeves of “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool”). This compilation also includes two tracks never released on vinyl until now which were recorded in April 1979, in the style of ‘O’ Level: “He’s a Professional” (anti-military punk-pop) and the folk-punk anthem “The John Peel March,” dedicated to the legendary BBC radio host and great supporter of new bands. This retrospective is completed with a recording session dated to November 1980 which produced three tracks (“Storybook Beginnings,” “Dressing Up for the Cameras” and “The Sun Never Sets”) which further explore the power pop-mod sound that Ed Ball would develop in his next band The Times. Ed Ball’s music career would continue into the 1980s and 1990s in bands such as Television Personalities (until 1985), The Times (until 1999) and many more projects, including four albums as a solo artist.
File Under: Punk, Lofi, Mod
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white lungWhite Lung: Deep Fantasy (Domino) LP

Resilient and hard hitting rock n’ roll outfit, White Lung are set to release their third album Deep Fantasy via Domino Recording Co. The band is every bit as confrontational as before, but they’ve managed to open their sound up just enough to draw listeners in before kicking them in the face. In a good way of course. After a year plus of near constant touring behind acclaimed release Sorry, White Lung slimmed to a trio in the studio; vocalist Mish Way, drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou and guitarist Kenneth William. Deep Fantasy was made primarily in Vancouver with producer Jesse Gander (who also did both Sorry and their 2010 debut It’s The Evil) in just two, ten day-long sessions at the end of last year and the start of this one. William handled bass duties on Deep Fantasy while Wax Idols’ Hether Fortune will take up bass and backing vocal duties on tour for the foreseeable future. Way is more provocative and melodic than ever on Deep Fantasy, lyrically surveying addiction (“Drown With The Monster”), body dysmorphia (“Snake Jaw”) and sexual dynamics (“Down It Goes,”) amongst other dinner table topics. William, a devotee of Johnny Marr “plays with the speed of an 80s hardcore dude” whirled in Vassiliou’s relentless and seemingly effortless approach to drumming.
File Under: Punk, CanCon
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young jessieYoung Jessie: Don’t Happen No More (Jazz Man) LP

Housed in an old-style, heavyweight paste-on sleeve with notes written by Liam Large based on new interviews with Obie Jessie. Strictly limited to 999 numbered copies. Young Jessie is one of the unheralded greats of the R&B, rock & roll and soul eras. Beginning his career as a young teenager in L.A. vocal group the Flairs (with schoolmate Richard Berry, later of “Louie Louie” infamy), he then signed on with Modern Records and cut several high-quality R&B sides through the mid-1950s. Never quite achieving the level of fame and fortune of some of his immediate peers, the closest Young Jessie got to a hit was 1956’s “Mary Lou,” which sold well regionally and was later on covered by the likes of Bob Seger and the Steve Miller Band. Meanwhile, Young Jessie busied himself recording demos with Leiber & Stoller for one of their regular artists, Elvis Presley. Flitting between labels at the end of the ’50s and into the ’60s, his own output remained consistently of a very high quality, and always in step with the changing times — from doo-wop in his beginnings through blues, R&B, rock & roll and into soul. Throughout all of that, Young Jessie always considered himself a jazz singer first and foremost, and this influence underpins all of his vocal performances. This is a special retrospective LP of some of the finest moments of Young Jessie’s career, between 1953 and 1963.
File Under: Soul, R&B
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algerian folkVarious: 1970s Algerian Folk & Pop (Sublime Frequencies) CD

Now available on CD! Sublime Frequencies is thrilled to present a second volume of classic tracks from Algeria’s popular music history. Where volume 1 focused on the early to mid-1970s Rai scene in western Algeria, this album features a variety of pop and folk styles from that same period. From the heavier rock and psychedelic sounds of Rachid & Fethi, Les Djinns and Les Abranis, to the haunting folk music of Kri Kri and Djamel Allem and the film soundtrack moods of Ahmed Malek, 1970s Algerian Folk & Pop documents a key period in the modern musical renaissance of a nation in transition. Most of these tracks are from 45 rpm singles, the key format during the early 1970s before the cassette took over as the medium of choice. Western musical influences can be heard throughout this extremely diverse record, yet there is an undeniable Algerian sense of sadness contained here within a more tolerant space in time between two of the country’s most significant historical periods; National Independence from France and the darker times of a brutal civil war yet to come. Compiled by Hicham Chadly, this CD comes in a digipak with a booklet featuring lovely images from the period and extensive liner-notes by Omar Zelig, Algeria’s most legendary radio DJ.
File Under: Algerian, Pop, Psych
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funny old shitVarious: Funny Old Shit Volume 1 (Trunk) LP/CD

Jonny Trunk presents Funny Old Shit, an 18-track compilation of funny old shit from the Trunk archive. “From calypsos sung by Bernard Cribbins and Robert Mitchum to avant-garde French concrète, with stops at post-punk, killer vocal jazz, Radiophonics, early African fusion, Argentinean film music and even some twitchy classical from Glenn Gould, this groundbreaking compilation flies in the face of the current trend for issuing records that, to be honest, are actually quite average and really very expensive indeed for what they are. This is a total bargain, an education and a right laugh. Although some people will actually think it’s shit. Bernard Cribbins is a British actor and a god, so Bernard was a great place to start, and can you name any other song apart from ‘Gossip Calypso,’ featured here, that manages to squeeze in the words ‘Oxy Acetylene welder?’ No, I can’t either. This is followed by modern classical music played on strange sculptures by the prolific team of Jacques Lasry and Bernard Baschet. Their sound is reminiscent of film music by Cliff Martinez, and that’s maybe because Cliff has a Cristal Baschet sculptural instrument, too. Next we travel to Argentina for some lovely film music (featuring a very young Gato Barbieri) and then to an early fusion of Africa and America with Guy Warren and Red Garland getting all hip and proto-rap. This is followed by a classic chunk of minimal modern music from 1981 by The Jellies. Next up is the B-side from the first-ever BBC Radiophonic Workshop record, which, incidentally, was produced by George Martin. After this we can absorb some high culture with Noel Coward reciting Ogden Nash’s words written in 1949 to accompany the romantic classic masterpiece “The Carnival of the Animals,” composed way back in 1886. We then move to a high-point in low culture, and to the world’s best worst singer, Leoni Anderson. She starred with Laurel And Hardy in one of their many films, and her one and only album is a terrifying delight. As a lover of very fine vocal jazz, too, I had to throw in ‘Naima,’ a staggering version of Coltrane’s classic. A small piece of educational electronics by Terry Dwyer makes quite a good little plugged-in interlude, which leads us nicely to the main theme for the Jacques Tati classic, ‘Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday.’ Eccentric pianist Glenn Gould then appears with the beginning of his legendary ‘Goldberg Variations’ recording, and then I realized I seem to be nudging towards interesting classical recordings a bit, which I think is no bad thing. And before you know it, we’re back enjoying some proper experimental concrète tape larks. Never one to resist a film star singing, I found it almost impossible to not stick in Robert Mitchum singing, and then I realized when I was writing these notes that that this was the second calypso-based record on this very small sampler, and then I thought that very fact might enhance the idea of the whole thing really being a bit ‘shit.’ After Bob, we can all enjoy a super-rare recording issued to accompany the 1962 kitchen sink drama A Taste Of Honey. We finish with Yusef Lateef’s version of Alex North’s sublime ‘Love Theme’ from the film Spartacus. It’s a perfect musical spot where an incredible film melody has met one of the great experimental jazzmen of all time. The results are quite exceptional. So chums, that’s Funny Old Shit. The idea is to put together more of these samplers with friends, guests and other groovy collectors, and to draw you in further to the funny old shit musical world that is Trunk Records.” –Jonny Trunk
File Under: Calypso, Avant Garde, Punk, Weirdness
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choubi choubiVarious: Choubi Choubi: Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq (Sublime Frequencies) LP

Originally released in 2005, while the U.S.-led war against Iraq was tearing the country to pieces, Choubi Choubi Vol. 1 brought a collection of incredible Iraqi music and styles that had rarely showcased abroad. This 2014 deluxe-edition vinyl reissue is a must-have. It features re-mastered, and in some cases, completely restored audio, revised and updated liner-notes with new artist and track information, plus four additional tracks not featured in the first CD issue. Meticulously compiled by Mark Gergis from his archives of Iraqi cassettes and LPs found in Syria, Europe and the Iraqi neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan and elsewhere within the diaspora, this unique collection of folk and pop styles displays a wealth of outstanding music that is exclusive to Iraq. Choubi is Iraq’s version of Middle Eastern dabke music, and can be found throughout the country. It’s performed at weddings and parties nationally by its melting pot of Arabs, Kurds, Christians, and Rom gypsies — known as Kawlia. The Kawlia have been some of the most active recorded choubi artists in Iraq since the 1980s, and many tracks featured in this volume feature their outstanding performances. There are many reasons why Iraqi music stands alone in the dynamic world of Arabic music: one example is the unbelievable rapid-fire machine-gun rhythms fluttering atop the main tempo. This is the work of a unique nomadic hand drum called the Khishba — also known as the Zanbour (Arabic for wasp). A style prominently featured here is the infamous Iraqi Choubi — a driving, rhythmic style that can include fiddles, double reeded instruments, percussion, bass, keyboards and oud over its signature beat. Other styles featured are the Basta (an urban Baghdadi sound), Iraq’s legendary brand of Mawal — an ornamental vocal improvisation that sets the tone of a song, regardless of the style, and the outstanding Iraqi Hecha — with its lumbering and determined rhythm pulsing beneath sad, antagonized vocals. Most of the music in this collection was produced during the Saddam period — between the 1980s and 2002. Since the 2003 invasion and the wholesale disassembly of the country, classic tracks like these have already become part of a disappeared past. This limited edition 2LP vinyl release features 70 minutes of classic original recordings compiled by Mark Gergis, housed in a beautiful full-color gatefold jacket with extensive liner-notes and a bonus 7″ with a picture sleeve.
File Under: Iraq, Psych, Pop, Dabke
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true soulVarious: True Soul (Now Again) 4LP 

Deluxe 4LP boxset combining True Soul volumes 1 and 2. “The complete anthology including all 32 rare and unreleased 60s and 70s soul, funk, disco and party-rap cuts from the True Soul vaults. Twenty page full-color booklet contains never before seen photos, ephemera, extensive liner notes and a candid interview between producer Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt and Lee Anthony himself. All tracks remastered from the original master tapes. 4xLP box with detailed sleeves and original logos.”

File Under: Soul, Funk
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Jorge Ben: Samba Esquema Novo (Doxy) LP
Circle: Triumph (Fourth Dimension) 2CD
Circle: Tulikoira (Headspin) LP+7″
Cluster: II (Lilith) LP
Constantines: Shine A Light (You’ve Changed) LP+7″
Dead Ghosts: Can’t Get No (Burger) LP
Dead Rider: Chills on Glass (Drag City) LP
Deltron 3030: s/t (Deltron) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
The Drones: Miller’s Daughter (Bang) LP
Dust & Grooves BK
Brian Eno: Another Green World (Polydor) LP
Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (Polydor) LP
Faust: So Far (4 Men With Beards) LP
The Field: From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt) LP
Florence & The Machine: Lungs (Island) LP
Florence & The Machine: Ceremonials (Island) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: The Argument (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: Instrument (Dischord) LP
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get on Down) LP
Jay Z: At Studio One (Fanclub) LP
Joy Division: Substance (Fanclub) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Section 80 (Fanclub) LP
Millie & Andrea: Drop the Vowels (Modern Love) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (Fanclub) LP
New Order: 1981-1982 (Factory) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never: Returnal (Editions Mego) LP
Outkast: Aquemini (LAFace) LP
Scientist: At Channel One (Jamaican) LP
Sigur Ros: Petta Er Island (Fanclub) 3LP
Sunn o))): Black One (Southern Lord) LP
Sword: Warp Riders (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemedo) LP
Teeth of the Sea: A Field In England Reimagined (Rocket) LP
Tinariwen: Emmaar (Anti) LP
Tool: Salival (Fanclub) 2LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrinkdust (Flemish Eye) LP
Ween: Live at Stubbs Vol 2 (Fanclub) LP
Various: African Scream Contest (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Box of Trash (Music Media) Box
Various: Legends of Benin (Analog Africa) CD
Various: Longing for the Past (Dust To Digital) Box
Various: Opika Pende (Dust to Digital) Box
Various: Turkish Freakout Vol 2 (Bazooka Joe) LP
Various: Victorola Favorites (Dust to Digital) 2CD+Book
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles (Numero) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

… letter #642 – runner…..

Yikes! Loads of killer wax in this week, and even some used stuff trickling in and out into the used bins. I’m swamped, so I won’t keep you long, but do stop in, there’s plenty to stuff in yer ear.

…..pick of the week…..


Ignatz & De Stervende Honden: Teenage Boys (Ultra Eczema) LP
Another killer slab from this Belgian psych/blues troubadour. “In the past 10 or so years Ignatz has explored all visible cracks and overlapping layers between (or underneath) folk music, blues, singer- songwriter and psychedelia. It is a pleasure to see him take this beauty to yet another level by unleashing 2 dying dogs to join him as a backing band, pushing his tunes into directions Les Rallizes Dénudés took a left and forgot their mountain of distortion, to end up in a dessert where Teenage Boys dance their first slow. De Stervende Honden know their place more then well, sending the anxious listener with endless muffled psych bass and primitive percussion into a kennel where after a few bites dream state replaces sense of direction, any moment on this record seems to be one you´ve experienced already. Comes in a pro mat duo color printed sleeve with artwork by DT, with an insert and a ue sticker, limited to 300 copies.”

File Under: Blues, Folk, Psych
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… arrivals…..


A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) 12″
In tomorrow… This new EP from A Winged Victory For The Sullen heralds the arrival of a new full-length album later this year, a score for choreographer Wayne McGregor’s long-form dance piece of the same name. McGregor, mastermind behind “Random Dance Company” and resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet since 2006, is known in popular culture circles for serving as movement director for the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. McGregor was influenced by the duo’s 2011 self-titled debut, playing it repeatedly during practices with his core group of dancers. After noticing the group’s reaction with the music, he contacted A Winged Victory to see if they would write the score for his new oeuvre and the collaboration was begun. As a final note of symbiosis, the EP also sees the involvement of Ben Frost, who composed McGregors previous work “Far.” The title track is taken from the upcoming full-length album Atomos, track two is an outtake from A Winged Victory’s debut album, and the final track is a remix of the title track by Ben Frost.
File Under: Ambient, Drone, Stars of the Lid, Ben Frost
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Gyedu-Blay AmbolleyGyedu-Blay Ambolley: Simigwa (Academy) LP

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley unleashed his unique brand of “Simigwa” music on an eager yet unsuspecting world in 1975 with the release of this, his debut album. Suffused with his larger-than-life personality, this LP is an absolutely irresistible manifesto of his heavy Afro-Funk Simigwa philosophy. This record spawned a genuine dance craze in Ghana and is even considered a foundation record of the Hip Life style of Hip Hop that is popular in Ghana today.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Highlife
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mirror stalkerEduard Artemiev: The Mirror/Stalker (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… It comes as no surprise that Andrei Tarkovsky, master of Soviet cinema, turned to composer Eduard Artemiev to score his two lyrical and haunting films, The Mirror (1975) and Stalker (1979), as he had done for Solaris (also available on Superior Viaduct). Artemiev’s magnificent soundtrack to The Mirror is the natural follow-up to Solaris. Dense, slow-moving, and often disorienting mood pieces with Baroque sensibilities resonate beyond the film’s dream-like images. For Stalker–Tarkovsky’s other science fiction masterpiece–Artemiev was inspired by Indian classical music and employed layers of synth tones, flute and tar (a traditional Iranian stringed instrument) to create a central theme as spellbinding as The Zone, a setting in the film where laws of physics no longer apply. Superior Viaduct presents the first-time official release of these two astonishingly unique soundtracks. Recommended for fans of Lech Jankowski’s music for Brothers Quay films, BC Gilbert & G Lewis and Oneohtrix Point Never.

File Under: Early Electronic, OST, Drone
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Big Boys: Lullabies Help The Brain Grow (Light in the Attic/Burger) CS
Everyone knows Burger Records loves cassettes. Heck, they made their name in that game! Starting May 13th, Burger Records / Light In the Attic will release one cassette a week. Each tape is hand-numbered and housed in gorgeous old school hand-made tip-on boxes, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the ’70s. Extremely limited – GET YERS TODAY!!!!
File Under: Punk
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black hippies

Black Hippies: s/t (Academy) LP
Pazy from the Black Hippies started playing music in the Fire Flies in the city of Warri in Nigeria in 1973. The area was in the midst of an oil boom, and like most bands on that scene, the Fire Flies played American and European pop hits mixed with Jazz and Highlife for the largely expat audiences in local clubs. Along with an influx of foreigners, the oil boom also gave rise to an emerging Nigerian youth market, and soon Pazy formed the Black Hippies, who found success playng the uniquely African style of hard rock that was favored by this new audience. By the time this album was released in 1977, though, Disco and Funk were starting to take over and the hard fuzzy rock of The Black Hippies first album was somewhat behind the times. As a result, the album was barely released and is now virtually nonexistent, unseen by all but a few of the most hardcore collectors. Featuring whiplash funk drumming, searing fuzz guitar, raw vocals and that uniquely West African organ sound, The Black Hippies first album is a definitive classic of the genre. Beautifully remastered with restored artwork, this release stands alongside Academy’s Ofege and Psychedelic Aliens releases as some of the finest restored gems from a largely unknown but incredibly vital Rock scene in 70’s West Africa.
File Under: Psych, Afro Funk, Fuzz
borisBoris: Noise (Sargent House) CD

Boris has always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. In keeping with that tradition, they again flip the script for the band’s first official release in three years by serving up their most all-encompassing effort to date. Noise is an amplification of Boris’ endless pursuit of musical extremes while moving aggressive, intense rock into new territories. In writing Noise, Boris was intent upon condensing all that the band had explored over the years, in order to create something more bold, streamlined and powerful. And, upon completion, the band considers Noise its most defining effort, stating, “If we had to suggest just one album for those unfamiliar with Boris’ music, we will pick this for sure.” That’s a bold statement from a band having released over 20 albums covering a vast array of sounds. Yet somehow throughout the album’s 8 song, 58 minute duration, the band masterfully intermingles sludge-rock, blistering crust punk, shimmering shoegaze, epic thunderous doom, psychedelic melodies and just about everything else they’ve ever done. Over the course of Boris’ three previous Sargent House albums (Heavy Rocks, Attention Please and New Album) the band sought to expand its musical vision ever further. And, the results helped redefine the band’s already iconoclastic sound. However, in early 2013 they decided to return to their classic trio lineup moving forward: drummer/vocalist Atsuo, guitarist/vocalist Wata and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi. Having been able to explore many new ideas as a quartet in recent years, the band was concerned about logistics, until their very successful residency shows and tour in the U.S. convinced them that Boris could return to the simpler, solid trio without sacrificing artistic growth. Now, having rebuilt the classic trio’s ‘equilateral triangle’ they’re heavier, louder, more confident and incisive than ever before.
File Under: Metal, Japan
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coltraneAlice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Born Alive McLeod into a musical Detroit family, Alice Coltrane began playing piano at age seven and later studied with Bud Powell in Paris. Upon returning to the States, she joined vibraphonist Terry Gibbs’s group and eventually shared a bill with the John Coltrane Quartet. In 1965, the two wed in Juarez, Mexico, and played alongside one another until her husband’s last performance in May, 1967. A Monastic Trio, created in the year following her husband’s passing, is Coltrane’s first recording as a band leader and features six original compositions. While John’s spirit can be felt throughout–from the song titles (“Ohnedaruth” was his adopted Hindu name) to the personnel (Jimmy Garrison, Rashied Ali, and Pharoah Sanders were frequent collaborators)–the album showcases Alice’s immense talent for fusing spiritual free jazz and new age with classical, Eastern, post-bop and gospel. As the late Amiri Baraka writes, “‘I Want to See You’ is a monastic piano concerto. With echoes of Europe…, it has a solemnity and majesty to it…. Yes, monastic is the word. The piano broods in its earth imagination.”

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
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conradSaul Conrad: A Tyrant & Lamb (Mountain of Leopards) LP
A Tyrant and Lamb, Saul Conrad’s third studio album, draws ten crystalline songs into a tight orbit around a haunted country sun. Gently interrogating the lifelong echoes of cruel words, unpredictable outbursts and deep-set affection – if you love someone, kill their family in their mind, and set them free. Conrad constructs, from the ligaments of childhood wonder and searing disappointment, a mature musculature into which each listener must step and learn anew how it feels to walk.Immune to classification, Conrad’s songwriting finds a new harmony and control in his third album, combining backcountry austerity with unbridled urban opulence into displaced, almost homeless, intensity. Called a “chamber-pop head trip, evoking everything from Brian Wilson’s druggy, Smile-era pop orchestrations to Joan of Arc’s disjointed, dissonant indie-rock,” Saul Conrad’s songwriting may not strive to erase discord or pain, but perhaps gives us a new means of interpreting the mechanism of our troubled minds.

File Under: Singer-Song Writer, Indie Folk
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cousinsCousins: The Halls of Wickwire (Ba Da Bing) LP
In tomorrow… We all have cousins, but Cousins are not actually cousins. Cousins are Leigh Dotey and Aaron Mangle and they are the hardest working band in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cousins are a guitar / drums duo that plays rock and roll music for today. Their Halls of Wickwire is generously filled with fuzz and reverb. There are ten thousand bands in Halifax, rising up, gasping for air, sinking, stuck in the mud, or flaring up like model rockets over the harbor’s shitty waters. The geographic, cultural and economic factors of the region take their toll on the lifespan of the average Atlantic Canadian rock unit. But these Cousins have persisted and carry on. This band is poised, clean and lean. Cousins break through fences and set off roman candles. Their rock and roll is devastating and joyful, full of love and punk romance. It will fix your bike and leave paint under your fingernails. It is music that will shake off all that faux, dead, cool. This record will change your life if you let it. A heartbreaker and a healer, it looks an awful world dead in the eye, fills the lungs up with all that pain and worry, and then comes back breathing a beautiful fire. This is the fine art of defense and hope. A ramshackle monument built over a steady spring of melancholy. Electricity and blood in the lines. Guitar and drums. A musical avalanche set apart from the macho and debaucherous posturing and fictions of rock culture. This is a sound set loose, rolling down hill in a shopping cart, at once full of confidence, excitement, dread and anticipation.

File Under: Rock, Fuzz, CanCon
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daemoniaDaemonia: Zombi/Dawn of the Dead (Black Widow) LP

For those who aren’t familiar with the Italian band Daemonia perhaps some historical facts are appropriate here. The band were formed by Claudio Simonetti, composer and keyboard player of the famous Italian band Goblin. After Goblin, Simonetti started the Daemonia project with the help of young musicians of the Roman metal scene. The music they perform is particularly inspired by themes of the many soundtracks of Dario Argento’s movies. The songs on this album originally appeared on a bonus disc for Daemonia’s DVD Dario Argento Tribute Live In Los Angeles (2006). People who know the albums recorded by Goblin will notice that many of these pieces taken from several Goblin albums remain in the spirit of the original versions.
File Under: Italian, Prog, Synth
dark matterDark Matter: s/t (Siltbreeze) LP

In tomorrow… Hold the tidings, reconnoiterers. This is a new set of songs from Stephen Cogle of Vacuum, The Victor Dimisich Band and The Terminals. Dark Matter stands with contemporaries The Renderers and The Puddle in exemplifying a “late” style of New Zealand post-punk—more concrete, more distilled. Cogle’s vocal flourish stills reminds one of Roxy Music—a band that, recall, is only ten years older than Cogle’s earliest projects. The continued relevance of an ensemble like Dark Matter over Roxy Music can only be attributed to the richness of the musical moment that birthed it. Trusted names like Cogle, John Christoffels, John Billows, Joanne Billesdon, Nicole Moffat and Michael Daly continue into the 21st century in new combinations with new aspects to notice. But more than just an update on the Christchurch Sound, Dark Matter plays with punk nostalgia to craft an overwhelmingly romantic (with a lowercase r) pop record. Too cat-like to be reflective, totally immersed in the garage rock impetus, their flat, gothic psychedelia is equal parts Chills, Television Personalities and Scientists, with the intimacy of Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos or Small World Experience. With a breadth of material fitting to the subject of “getting older,” Dark Matter is perhaps the most finessed document of Cogle’s vision yet.
File Under: Rock, Post-Punk, New Zealand
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Kyle Bobby Dunn: Kyle Bobby Dunn & The Infinite Sadness (Students of Decay) 3LP
In tomorrow… Based in Montreal, Kyle Bobby Dunn has been producing elegant and refined works of ambient minimalism for the better part of a decade. His two lengthy and critically lauded collections for the Low Point label, A Young Person’s Guide to Kyle Bobby Dunn and Bring Me the Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn, established him as a force to be reckoned with in the current epoch of drone / ambient music. Indeed, his compositions offer listeners wonder, sadness and pathos in equal measure, and are executed with a precision and effortlessness that eludes many musicians working in the genre. Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness is undoubtedly his most focused and emotionally charged work thus far, a rich, expansive collection of slowly unfurling beauty that stretches out over the course of more than two hours. Dunn’s trademark guitar swells and slow-moving loops feel clearer and have a renewed sense of purpose and poise. He recorded source material for the album in various Canadian towns, including Belleville and Dorset, and processed and arranged the recordings at L’auberge de Dunn Studios in Montreal while, in his own words, “reflecting heavily on the gorgeous feet of a certain French woman and binging on strong beer and cheese.” From the opening salvo, “Ouverture de Peter Hodge Transport,” Dunn establishes a haunting, lovelorn trajectory that is developed through the strikingly beautiful “Boring Foothills of Foot Fetishville” and the poignant closer “And the Day Is Dunn and I Can Only Think of You,” titles that exhibit well his trademark sense of (black) humor. Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness is a powerful statement, the artist’s most complex, complete and accessible album to date.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Modern Classical, CanCon
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eastEastlink: s/t (In The Red) LP

In tomorrow… “This self-titled debut album from rigid Melbourne, Australia, punks Eastlink is the best full-length to come from Down Under since… well, since the last really incredible release on Aarght!, RIP Society, Homeless or any of the other countless many fantastic new labels that have appeared from that country over the past few years. For those paying attention, it’s hard to not be blown away by the amount of amazing records coming out of Australia lately. This album is no exception and stands near the top of the heap. “Eastlink features members from a variety of bands you already love like Total Control, UV Race, Repairs, Lakes and Straightjacket Nation, just to name a few. With four guitars, one drum and two vocalists, they splinter and drench two-note monotonic riffs the rest of us never noticed were right under our noses the whole time. These nine tracks range from harsh, crude, fuzzed-out one-note pounders to droning soundscapes.
File Under: Punk, Australia, Fuzz
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still dreamin'Donnie & Joe Emerson: Still Dreamin’ (Light in the Attic) CD
By now, most of you reading this will be familiar with Donnie & Joe Emerson, the rock ‘n roll farmers, story. But Dreamin’ Wild does not tell the full story. In a relatively short span of time – just two and half years – the boys put close to 70 songs down on tape, all recorded at that magical home studio on the farm. A dozen of them are included here on Still Dreamin’ Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81 and ready to be enjoyed for the first time ever. With a familiar blend of FM rock, power pop, and new wave, these 12 tracks cover the entirety of that fruitful period, stretching from the second song Donnie ever recorded to tracks documenting his temporary move to L.A. in 1981. Donnie’s life story is in these songs. Where Dreamin’ Wild captures the teenage experience, Still Dreamin’ Wild tells a broader story, one in which teenage dreams turn to painful yearning. So where the Beach Boys indebted “Ooh Baby Yeah” is inspired by a teenage girlfriend, “Big Money” shows the emergence of a naive political awareness. Later, 1981’s “One True Love” captures the sound of what Donnie described as “the city as imagined from the farm,” and the epic closing track, “Don’t Disguise The Way You Feel” found Donnie after high school, feeling stifled and frustrated in the isolation of the countryside and mourning the loss of his friend and occasional backing vocalist Dwayne. It is, quite simply, heartbreaking. Still Dreamin’ Wild proves that the Emersons’ inspiration wasn’t a fluke, and that Donnie’s songwriting is as consistent as it is rare. All this time later, we finally have the pleasure of hearing the brothers’ music. And the good news? They’ve still got the jumpsuits.

File Under: Soft Rock, Power Pop
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Estranged: s/t (Dirtnap) LP
In tomorrow… The Estranged return with their third (fourth, if you count the Singles Comp LP) album for Dirtnap! The Estranged formed in Portland, OR back in the summer of ’06 by Mark Herman (vocals, guitar), Derek Willman (bass) and Keith Testerman (drums). All three were in legendary Portland band Remains of the Day, and various members are/were in notable Portland bands such as From Ashes Rise, Hellshock, Lebenden Toten and more.  Continuing in the band’s tradition of mutating and evolving with each subsequent release, the new album is an epic, sprawling masterpiece of tense, ominous angst-ridden postpunk. The influences on their newest album range from the Cure to Echo & the Bunnymen to The Troggs. Lyrically, they have more of an ambiguous angst ridden approach, musically showing the bands continued maturity in their song writing and recording process. The first pressing of 1,000 LPs are packaged in ultra-heavy “tip-on” style jacket and inner sleeves (subsequent pressings will come in regular jacket/sleeves). All copies come with download coupon.

File Under: Post-Punk, Punk

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freedomFreedom Family: Ayentsoo (Academy) LP

Academy LPs and Voodoo Funk continue their fruitful collaboration with the release of this incredible Afro Funk record that is rivaled only by the first Marijata record (also released on Academy) in it’s sheer power and heaviness. Indeed, this record takes it’s rightful place along any funk record from anywhere as a pinnacle of the genre. Absolutely consistent from beginning to end, there is not a dull second here. Recorded in 1974 with legendary producer Odion Iruoje (Ofege, SJOB Movement, Fela, and many others), this record features one of the fattest bass sounds ever committed to tape and captures the band at the absolute stunning peak of their powers. In fact, Odion would play this record for years to come as an example to other bands he was producing.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Afro Funk
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frogeyesFrog Eyes: Carey’s Cold Spring (Paper Bag) LP 

Just two days after Carey Mercer completed the final mixes for the he received a call from his doctor telling him that he had throat cancer. He had been working on the album since 2010 and chose to self-release the record through Bandcamp. News like this has a way of understandably overshadowing the music itself, and, thankfully, Mercer’s cancer seems to be departed, leaving us the opportunity to appreciate the record without such a dire context. The joy here is tripled: he’s not going to die, and, as a bonus, the record is awesome. And these victories are made even sweeter with the addition of tour dates. Mercer explains that Carey’s Cold Spring is not only built from personal experiences but also from what he saw over the last three years of recording: riots, storms, mass protests, the dissolution of any collective faith in our political and economic institutions. But it’s not all doom and gloom: He describes the record’s duality: “deeply fearful, almost paranoid, the sound of a person grinding his or her teeth in the night. But just a part of it. It’s also the sound of the birds in the morning, I hope”.
File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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haunted heartsHaunted Hearts: Initiation (Zoo Music) LP

In tomorrow… Many years dreamt, one cold winter realized, Haunted Hearts is Dee Dee Penny (Dum Dum Girls) and Brandon Welchez (Crocodiles). It is not the melding of two bands; it is a true collaboration. The duo’s first full-length album, entitled Initiation, was written in the winter of 2012, holed up in their apartment, surrounded by a lot of books, Motown and krautrock. It was recorded by Jon Greene at Electric Orange Studios in San Diego, mixed by Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink/Violens) at Static Recording in Brooklyn, and mastered by Joe La Porta at Sterling Sound in New York City. Vinyl includes digital download card.
File Under: Indie Rock, Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles
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zep2Led Zeppelin: II (Atlantic) LP

Hopefully we’ll see some of the other reissues tomorrow. The release of these reissues has been a gigantic clusterfuck, but they are finally starting to show up, one at a time… “Painstakingly Remastered from the Original Master Tapes by Jimmy Page and Pressed at Pallas: Expect These 180g LPs to Sound Better Than Any Prior Zeppelin Pressing. Packing Faithfully Replicates the Look of the Original LP’s First Pressing. You’ve Never Heard This Legendary Record Like This. John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant came together in 1968 as Led Zeppelin. Over the next decade, the band would become one of the most influential, innovative and successful groups in modern music, selling more than 300 million albums worldwide. Their songs are some of the most celebrated in rock ‘n’ roll history that, to this day, resonate with fans young and old around the globe. Still, no matter how many times you may have listened to their music, you’ve never heard Led Zeppelin like this before. Painstakingly remastered from the original master tapes by guitarist Jimmy Page, and pressed at Pallas (Europe’s best plant), this 180g LP of Led Zeppelin II sounds utterly amazing. Page spent years on this project with one goal in mind: Making these reissues the end-all-be-all definitive editions of his iconic band’s records. He has succeeded, and then some. In addition to the reference-caliber audio, each LP features packaging that fully replicates the look of the first pressing of the original album. You won’t believe how these records sound, look, and feel. The band wrote and recorded nearly all of Led Zeppelin II while touring relentlessly to support its debut album. Incredibly, the album was released just seven months after Led Zeppelin in October of 1969. Led Zeppelin II features some of the band’s most beloved tracks including “Ramble On” and “Heartbreaker” as well as “Whole Lotta Love,” considered by many to be one of the greatest rock n’ roll songs of all time. The album is certified diamond by the RIAA with sales of over 12 million copies.”

File Under: Classic Rock
Listen to Keith Fullerton Whitman’s Remix Here

lewisLewis: L’Amour (Light in the Attic) CD

L’Amour is a true discovery of the blog age, uncovered in an Edmonton flea market, passed on to private press fanatic Aaron Levin, then shared on the internet and speculated over by lovers of curious LPs. There’s almost no information about Lewis or the album on the internet, and precious little on the sleeve to help illuminate things: a dedication to Sports Illustrated supermodel Christie Brinkley, a photo credit for Ed Colver, the noted L.A. punk rock photographer, and credits for engineer Bob Kinsey and synth player Philip Lees. All that was known of Lewis is conjecture: a rumor that he was a con artist who fled after not paying for the album’s photo-shoot and a dubious theory that he was not actually of this earth. The record itself is a delicate, whispered album, reflecting the way the artist himself – spectral, movie star-like – almost disappearing into the grey of the cover. It should come as no surprise that it failed to be noticed, another private press album that sank without trace. The ingredients are simple: smooth synthesizers, feather-light piano, ethereal, occasionally inaudible vocals and the gentle plucking of acoustic guitars. But the effects are arresting: a spine-tingling, somber album that echoes Springsteen’s Nebraska or Angelo Badalamenti’s atmospheric soundtracks. Later, Arthur Russell would grasp for something similar on his epochal World Of Echo LP. One of the more enigmatic, and truly singular records we’ve had the pleasure to work on. A real stunner, through and through.
File Under: Soft ‘Rock’, Private Press
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martynMartyn: The Air Between Words (Ninja Tune) LP

Three years after his last album – Ghost People – Martyn joins the Ninja Tune family to present his third long player. Universally respected for his ever-evolving, but inimitable sound, the Dutch-born, Washington DC-based producer brings an entirely new sonic direction with The Air Between Words. This is an exploration of the essence of all of Martyn’s music: a rugged four-to-the-floor groove, intelligently sculpted and artfully composed. Where Great Lengths – his 2009 debut – was a body of work that explored Martyn’s uncategorizable versatility, and 2011’s Ghost People was a focused effort on writing an album with a specific sound, The Air Between Words came from a different realm altogether. Martyn had no parameters, and in fact no plan at all. He fell into a back-to-basics mentality where simple experimentation with purely analogue sounds and equipment inadvertently turned to melodic sketches, and without warning the album revealed itself. Martyn joins forces with Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet for “Glassbeadgames”, a powerhouse of a track that finds the perfect amalgamation of both producers’ fortés. Heavy kicks, UKG-esque percussion and swirling subs dictate the groove, whilst the melodic progressions are simultaneously melancholic and anthemic, and further enhanced by a Hebden trademark thumb piano motif. Another collaboration – “Love of Pleasure” – finds Martyn partnering with his good friend copeland (formerly known as Inga Copeland, or one half of art pop duo Hype Williams). His sound is heritage and future – and that character has elevated him alongside fellow electronic heavyweights such as Four Tet, Kode9, dBridge and Mark Pritchard.
File Under: Electronic, Dance
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merchandiseMerchandise/Milk Music/Destruction Unit: split (540) LP

The Milk Music / Merchandise / Destruction Unit split LP is a document of a 2013 US tour which drew worldwide attention from those interested in the modern US rock underground from a seemingly unlikely combination of bands. When we say “unlikely” it is because these bands are from the geographical fringes of the country: from the far corners we have the despondent and desperate Merchandise (Florida) and the freedom freak jams of Milk Music (Washington), and from the depths of the Sonoran desert the majestic psychedelic assault of Destruction Unit. When we say “unlikely” we don’t mean to suggest they are ill-fitted. While the songs occasionally scrape against one another in disparate tone and pace, the resulting sparks thrown off do little to affect the overall congruency of these bands, a communal trip and a beautiful come down: we move from the introverted warmth of Merchandise to the sensory overload of Destruction Unit into a blissful, careering drift in the capable arms of Milk Music. The booklet that accompanies the record, designed by Destruction Unit’s J.S. Aurelius, collates some of the fliers and photos from the road, and gives one pause to consider: this may well be a document of the best of the American psych underground in 2013/2014.
File Under: Punk, Psych
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night terrorsNight Terrors: Spiral Vortex (Homeless) LP

In tomorrow… Melbourne’s The Night Terrors offer a mind-melting mix of dark synth magic, thunderous dreamscapes and other-worldly electronica. An interstellar horror-synth fantasy featuring an orgy of vintage electronics, Spiral Vortex sees the band build upon their post-prog roots to explore a broader universe of warped psychedelia, thunderous dreamscapes and dark cosmic dance. Featuring the haunting theremin melodies of Miles Brown (student of Russian theremin queen Lydia Kavina), vintage horror synths, and the powerhouse drumming of Damian Coward (Heirs, High Tension), The Night Terrors have earned a reputation as one of Australia’s most unusual and original acts. Deluxe pressing of 300 copies pressed on 180-gram transparent red with Halloween orange splatter accents. Packaged in gatefold sleeves.

File Under: OST, Prog, Theremin
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nomeansnoNo Means No: Dance of the Headless (Wrong) LP

In tomorrow… Originally released in 1998 on Alternative Tentacles, Dance Of The Headless Bourgeoisie was reissued on CD on the band’s own Wrong Records in 2004. The 10th album from No Means No was, and still is, a groundbreaking exploration of social & political lyrical statements and post-punk musical workouts.
File Under: Punk, CanCon
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brown bunnyOST: Brown Bunny (Twelve Suns) LP

In tomorrow… Deluxe 180-gram vinyl with tip-on gatefold sleeve reissue of the soundtrack to the controversial film Brown Bunny by Vincent Gallo. You get ten tracks including five exclusive songs from John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (which he claims are among the best he’s ever written), along with music from Jeff Alexander, Ted Curson, Jackson C. Frank, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Matisse/Accardo Quartet. Edition of 1000.

File Under: OST

cannibal ferosOST: Cannibal Ferox (One Way Static) LP

Like many of the Italian cannibal films, this soundtrack is just as powerful and effective as the disturbing butchery. Cannibal Ferox features a soundtrack that is more 70s cop show than many of its counterparts. The use of funk guitar, bass, rock piano and synthesizer makes for a fun yet still powerful sound. It’s 70s recklessness with an 80s sensibility, perfect for a film that rides the line between two decades. The bulk of the soundtrack was done by Budy-Maglione, a partnership of Roberto Donati and Fiamma Maglione (who also appears in the film). This pair was responsible for collaborating on such films as Eaten Alive (1980) and Daughter of the Jungle (1982). Cunningly stimulating and ferociously absorbing, Donati’s soundtrack is an essential piece of the enigma that makes the film a pulse pounding inferno of death.
File Under: OST, Horror OSTs
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hardwareOST: Hardware (Flick) 2LP

Celebrated British composer Simon Boswell has amassed an array of impressive credits in cult films of every class. From splattery Italian shockers like Stage Fright to the hallucinatory excesses of Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre to the Hitchcockian Shallow Grave, Boswell has applied his innate ability to manipulate an emotional connection to image using sound with great success. Perhaps the man’s most celebrated achievement is his dynamic music for director Richard Stanley’s legendary 1990 sci-fi/horror chamber piece Hardware. Boswell’s eclectic musicianship, spiraling from his slide guitar theme to synthy soundscapes, more traditional orchestral arrangements and FX infused experiments, was an integral part to Stanley’s post-apocalyptic visions in Hardware. Now, that amazing sonic landscape is being issued for the first time in 23 years as a double LP: one disc being the “clean” music, and the other containing sound FX and voice samples of Iggy Pop, Lemmy and others weaving in and out of the score, plus additional unused cues and weird/cool stuff like Stanley reading the Bible! Heavy!

File Under: OST, Cult OSTs
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valhallaOST: Valhalla Rising (WEME) 2LP
We managed to procure a small batch of this excellent release on the Belgian Weme label. Quantities are limited since it’s almost sold out with the label. The Brussels-based Weme have previous form with regards to issuing soundtrack scores, releasing Francois de Roubaix’s compositions for the documentaries L’Antarctique and Autres Seances Electroniques Rue De Courcelles back in 2009. Released in 2009, the stark and violent Valhalla Rising stars Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) as a mute warrior called One Eye whose travels with a group of Christian crusaders ends in bloody fashion. Winding Refn allegedly wanted the highly lauded Scottish group Mogwai to compose the score, but instead turned to Peter (formerly the guitarist in legendary and incredible Danish rock act Sorte Sol) with whom the director had previously used on his Pusher trilogy. The resultant score in collaboration with his namesake Kyed iss filled with ambient electronic passages and very suited to a film that laid down an early marker for the heavily stylised approach Winding Refn would later gain Hollywood recognition for as director of Ryan Gosling vehicles Drive and Only God Forgives.

File Under: OST, Ambient
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residentsResidents: Residue of the Residents (Superior Viaduct) LP

In tomorrow… Residue of The Residents collects outtakes, rare tracks and other experiments from this legendary San Francisco collective. Originally released on Ralph Records in 1983 and spanning The Residents’ career up to that point, this first-time vinyl reissue has been expanded to a double LP and contains 26 songs from the late ’70s and early ’80s—the group’s most fertile period. Highlights from the first LP include the Morricone-inspired “The Sleeper,” the dreamlike “Whoopy Snort” (initially on the LAFMS compilation Blorp Esette), the intense collage piece “Kamikaze Lady” from the pre-Residents 1971 Baby Sex tapes, and the RAO Studio Orchestra version of “Ups & Downs” (which may be the group’s finest pop moment). The second LP features many insider favorites that have not been available on vinyl for decades: “Loser = Weed” (initially released as the B-side to the Satisfaction single), “Death in Barstow” and “Melon Collie Lassie” (from the Babyfingers EP), as well as The Residents’ contributions to the great Subterranean Modern compilation. Balancing the group’s conceptual impulses with a dark palette of electro-esotericism, Residue of The Residents is an intoxicating collection that serves as an ideal starting point for the uninitiated.
File Under: Experimental, Rock, Weirdos
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residents1Residents: Santa Dog (Superior Viaduct) 2×7″

In tomorrow… Welcome to the wild, bizarro world of the experimental artists The Residents. Little is known about the group’s origins or its members’ identities, although it is widely believed that they are based out of San Francisco, California. When their debut release, Santa Dog, first appeared in 1972 on the equally enigmatic Ralph Records / Cryptic Corporation, the few hundred copies quickly fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. Rumor has it that then-President Richard Nixon sent his record back. True to their “Theory of Obscurity” concept, The Residents cultivate mystery to ensure artistic integrity. With different musical personas for each of its four tracks, Santa Dog is a fully-formed avant-garde pastiche of musique concrète, Raymond Scott-esque exotica, television sound effects and the group’s own mutilated take on rock ’n’ roll that later became their trademark aesthetic. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time vinyl reissue of Santa Dog, complete with Christmas-themed fold-out sleeve. The package is an essential artifact for devout fans and beginners—a puzzle wrapped in a piece of commercial music. Or perhaps it is the other way around?
File Under: Experimental, Rock, Weirdos
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tapesRodriguez: Cold Fact
Rodriguez: Coming from Reality
(Light in the Attic/Burger) CS

Everyone knows Burger Records loves cassettes. Heck, they made their name in that game! Starting May 13th, Burger Records / Light In the Attic will release one cassette a week. Each tape is hand-numbered and housed in gorgeous old school hand-made tip-on boxes, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the ’70s. Extremely limited – GET YERS ASAP!!!

File Under: Rock, Psych, Tapes
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rud peniRudimentary Peni: Death Church (Outer Himilayan) LP

In tomorrow… Death Church was recorded in two days at Southern Studios in April, 1983. It was the band’s first long-player, following on the heels of their self-titled EP in 1981 and the “Farce” single on Crass Records in 1982. Arguably the most beloved album album of the band’s many fans, Death Church wore its contents on its sleeve, quite literally. The intricate line drawings of vocalist/ guitarist Nick Blinko are dark visions of madness, religion and death… all of which are to be found in the lyrics within. Musically, Death Church has been embraced and claimed by every fringe musical niche of its time. It’s the album that brought together the death rockers, anarcho-punks, peace punks, hardcore punks, proto-metallers and art rockers. LP pressed on 180-gram black vinyl with download and fold-out poster.
File Under: Punk
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shearerDylan Shearer: Garagearry (Castleface) LP

In tomorrow… Cut from the cloth of early Soft Machine and Kevin Ayers-isms, garagearray is a lofty, loopy flight in a candy-floss-clouded sky, with an ever-present darkness just below the surface. It’s wonderfully off the cuff, at times reminiscent of a Syd Barrett session where the band must’ve just closed their eyes and felt it out in the dark, coming together in all the right moments in the nick of time. For garagearray, Dylan Shearer is joined by Petey Dammit (Thee Oh Sees) on bass and Noel von Harmonson (Comets on Fire) on drums. Produced by Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, etc.), the recording maintains a lighter-than-life vibration, like a breeze weaving through a tree far overhead. The production smacks with that lost-in-time quality of a BBC session piloted by a natural-on-the-knobs genius. Shearer has a sort of shy quality that seems to fall away when he sings these songs live. It’s really quite lovely and full of sad and poetic moments. Castle Face is very proud to co-release garagearray with Empty Cellar Records, and to celebrate the occasion, the labels have come up with two special limited, hand-printed jacket / colored vinyl editions featuring artwork by Michael Sean Coleman.
File Under: Psych, Pop
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shivverShivvers: s/t (Sing Sing) LP

In tomorrow… In the spirit of Badfinger & Raspberries with a heavy dose of Girl Group soul, get ready for the 3-minute magic of The Shivvers! To those that know, saying Milwaukee’s punk and new wave scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s punched well above its weight than larger Midwestern cities is a gross understatement. Though only one half million strong, Milwaukee put together a flurry of such great bands and singles, yet even in this remarkable environment, no band burned brighter or more intensely with white-hot, pure-pop than the arc-light of The Shivvers. Classic pop in an age of plastic fops, it’s taken over thirty years, but ‘Now People’ around the world may finally be ready for the three-minute magic of The Shivvers.
File Under: Punk, Pop, New Wave
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skeppetSkeppet: Phase 3 (Not Not Fun) LP

In tomorrow… Though active for roughly half a decade, instrumental hypno-kosmische duo Skeppet (Swedish for “Vessel” or “Ship”) have only released two cassette EPs, one 7-inch and one split LP–each more spacious and weightless than the last–all on local labels in Sweden. Even so, their mantric ceremonial psychedelia hooked the minds behind Not Not Fun immediately, delivering on the title of a 2010 compilation curated by core members Andreas Malm and Henrik Wallin for their own Kosmisk Vaeg imprint: The New Wave of Swedish Cosmic Music.  For Phase 3, the group’s first full-length, they drafted Upper Layer Cruiser Martin Nilsson to play additional percussion, infusing a texture of mind-washed congas within their futurist Popul Vuh ascension voyages and gracefully opiated raga-rock. The album mimics the journey of a deep-orbiting craft, first spiraling deep into the ether, eclipsed and endless (the 20-minute wormhole “Den Nya Kusten,” or “The New Coast”), before arcing back toward the solar wind, increasingly sunbathed and radiant (fittingly kicking off the B-side is “Solskeppet,” or “Sun-Ship”). Block-stamped graphic artwork and layout by Henrik Wallin. Edition of 345 copies.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
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sonic chickenSonic Chicken 4: s/t (Dusty Medical) LP 

In tomorrow… After releasing a string of seven inches on Nasty Product, receiving glowing reviews in magazines, webzines and blogs across the globe, and playing dates in Europe and the USA, Sonic Chicken 4 inked a deal with one of the leading garage punk record labels, In The Red to release their first full-length back in 2007. The album got raving reviews so the band decided to tour the USA in 2009. They they did singles on Robs House and Trouble In Mind and recorded another full length that was supposed to come out in 2009 just in time for another US adventure, this one with appearances at Goner Fest 6 (Memphis) and Scion Fest (Portland). When this tour began, the album was postponed by the label. They went back to Europe to do another month of touring and the album was postponed again… and until now it never came out. In 2010 the band slowly stopped its activity… stopped playing live and stopped practicing. Years later, Dusty Medical Records (Milwaukee WI) and Bachelor Records (Austria) rediscovered this ‘lost’ 12 song masterpiece, a garage punk gem from a looong forgotten time. Yes it’s true, only about 5 years ago this thing we call Garage Punk sounded a lot different! That was before this genre was washed down by hipsters, before it was cool to shake bums to primitive beats. Before garage punk bands had booking agencies, five-page hospitality riders and tuners… This album is a document from a not so long-gone era. Recorded in only two days in a Spanish castle in Valencia, produced by King Khan with help from Isidro (Wau Y Los Arrghs) and mixed by the band in Perpignan, France, the 12 songs serve as a wayback machine. Try it take a sip and go T-R-I-P-P-I-N-G!
File Under: Garage, Punk, Rock
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SYDNSonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) 2LP

In tomorrow… Daydream Nation was Sonic Youth’s sixth full-length, their first double-LP, and their last for an indie label before signing with Geffen. Widely considered to be their watershed moment, the album catapulted them into the mainstream and proved that indie bands could enjoy wide commercial success without compromising their artistic vision. More recently, Daydream Nation has been recognized as a classic of its time: Pitchfork ranked it #1 on their “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s”; Spin listed it at #13 on their “125 Best Albums of 1985-2010″; Rolling Stone put it at #45 on their “100 Best Albums of the Eighties” list and #328 on their “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” It was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry in 2006. 2007 saw the release of an expanded four-disc vinyl box set, but now the album is back in its original form after years of being out of print and highly sought after. CD out of print for years, available via Goofin’ / Revolver for the first time. Vinyl includes a digital download card and Sonic Youth poster
File Under: Indie Rock, Classics
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stapleStaple Singers: Uncloudy Day
Staple Singers: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Staple Singers: Swing Low
(Mississippi) LP

In tomorrow… The first three Staples Singers LPs reproduced exactly as they were originally released in 1959, 1961, & 1962! Some of the deepest, most intense music ever recorded. Pops Staples’  tremolo guitar is maybe the purest sound ever to hit air.  Mavis Staples’ voice is maybe the most emotionally pure ever recorded.  Every song is arresting and marvelous. Spare arrangements with Pop Staples’  stunning guitar work at the front, sparse percussion and the angelic voices of the Staple Singers. Some of the great masterpieces of gospel music.  Old school “tip on” cover.  Inserts– small press photos and extensive liner notes by Opal Nations with archival photos. Co-release with Yeti Records.

File Under: Gospel, Blues
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uruaH. Usui: Sing The Blues (VHF) LP

In tomorrow… Solo darkness from remarkably pedigreed but rarely recorded Japanese legend Hiroyuki Usui (Ghost, Fushitsusha, L, Marble Sheep, A-Musik, August Born, etc.), Sings the Blues is raw and gripping, like a darker version of his all-time classic folk-psych work Holy Letters (VHF). Performed by Usui alone on voice, guitar, banjo, bass, steel guitar and cornet, the music is blunt and rough around the edges–a Tonight’s the Night-like offhandedness that increases the feeling of existential seriousness. Like Holy Letters, most of these tracks are undeniably “blues,” but there’s nary a familiar progression or guitar phrase. Vocals are a whisper, accompanied by simple guitar or banjo. Clever overdubs add to a few of the tracks–untutored (but just right) blats of cornet here, some electronic static there. Pressed in a limited edition, the vinyl includes a CD version of the album as well.

File Under: Japrock, Psych
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vermaVerma: Sunrunner (Trouble in Mind) LP

In tomorrow… Sunrunner finds the Chicago band veering back towards the cosmic/’kosmiche’, song-oriented compositions without sacrificing their sharply-honed talents for improvisation in the studio. The swirling, layered loops of Johnny Caluyas guitar mesh seamlessly w/the interstellar drones and throbs ebbing from Whitney Johnsons Acetone, but the real secret weapon of Sunrunner lies in the rhythm section of bassist Rob Goerke and drummer Zach Corns   locked-tight grooves that pulse steadily and subtly like all great rhythm sections are supposed to, providing a rubbery backbone that supports the albums’ 7 tunes. LP includes download.

File Under: Kosmiche, Krautrock, Psych
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watery loveWatery Love: Decorative Feeding (In The Red) LP

In tomorrow… “Take it from me, orbitin’ the Earth over ’n’ over ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. When I was asked to hop on board a Soyuz headed to the International Space Station (Assignment: Critical Observation), I reckoned this’d be the trip of a lifetime. Space, the final frontier. And how ’bout that view? But now I feel like I’ve been here that long—a lifetime, that is. You know, the food ain’t much to speak of, plus I gotta constantly make sure I don’t make no crumbs, else they might fuck up our air breathin’ filters. Crumbs! The things one learns. Drinkin’ ain’t no fun neither, ’less you get your jollies sippin’ daquiris from a straw out a plastic bag, like some swishy, doe-eyed Deadhead. And don’t even get me started on hygiene issues! I believe I could take a life for a proper bubble bath right about now (I miss my ducky, too). Which is all just a lumberin’ yet apropos segue to the matter at hand: this debut LP by Watery Love. “Now, any right-minded corncob south of the Van Allen Belt knows them three precedin’ 7-inches via Richie, Siltbreeze and Negative Guestlist smacked kernels hard, and that smolderin’ ferocity has naturally been carried over here. The glow ’n’ throb what’s got got is as much the byproduct of the eternal bioluminescence of Iron Cross or Third World War as an appreciation for the corroded, fractoluminescence exuded once upon a time by Chain Gang, Slow Death EP-era Leather Nun ’n’ The Gordons. Sure, their environment might seem cold and uncarin’—even downright sociopathic—but behind that facade of David Goodis-like grimness are four sodbusters chompin’ to have a good time. When singer Richie Charles hollers “I’m a skull!” who among the masses would not rush headlong to get a lick off that boney pate? It ain’t about Rofinol, people, it’s about the roof, and how far can Watery Love raise the fucker. Unlike you dickheads, I’m sittin’ pretty in the catbird seat (what part of me bein’ out to space did you miss?) so let me say, keep it comin’! Higher ’n’ higher, nose to the grindstone and all that. Don’t worry, I’ll stop ya when ya get here. And one more thing—don’t forget to bring a six pack. We’ll need it.” —Roland Seward Woodbe International Space Station, Outer Space Call Sign: Alphar

File Under: Punk
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winerLeslie Winer: Witch (Superior Viaduct) LP

In tomorrow… Produced in the twilight of the ’80s in London and originally released on white-label LP with a homemade rubber stamp impression, Witch is the mysterious and powerful debut from poet, artist and musician Leslie Winer. It’s an infectious patchwork of dub beats, tasteful samples and Winer’s sultry blend of spoken word with cool, folksy lullabies that later became popularized by acts such as Massive Attack and Tricky. Even though Witch predates those artists’ breakthroughs by a year or more, Winer quickly rejected NME’s christening her as the “grandmother of trip-hop.” No stranger to the concept of fame and its pitfalls, Winer moved to New York in the late ’70s to attend university and befriended William S. Burroughs and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among other street-level luminaries. Her striking, androgynous looks eventually led to a successful modeling career. As the ’80s closed, Winer chose to use (c) instead of her own name as a moniker; the front cover of Witch features an ouroboros around the letter C to form a copyright symbol. Winer’s spoken delivery evokes the frank realism of beat poetry; her lyrics grapple with socially constructed notions of beauty, womanhood and domestic roles. These stark challenges to power structures are articulate and staggeringly direct, pushing the boundaries of pop music’s form. This message, matched with Winer’s uncanny approach and melodic ear, fitted with an electro-acoustic palette built on tension and restraint, culminates in the extraordinary work that–as John Peel said–is “the very definition of a hidden gem.” Features Jah Wobble (Public Image Ltd.). Received a 7.6 rating from Pitchfork.

File Under: Electronic, Dub
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wreckWreck & Reference: Want (Flenser) LP

In tomorrow… Since their inception in 2011, California-based heavy experimental duo Wreck and Reference has (de)constructed a manifesto of post-genre misanthropy using only drums, vocals and electronics. A handful of unorthodox and captivating releases have turned heads of critics and fans alike, and live, the band is crushing. Now, Wreck and Reference returns with their best and most distinct work yet. Sophomore full-length Want explores more refined and melodic territory, yet the band keeps one foot in the experimental, electronic, and post-metal genres. Mixed and mastered by JACK SHIRLY (Deafheaven, Whirr, Loma Prieta), Want is Wreck and Reference fully realized: undeniably nihilistic and devastatingly addictive. For fans of Have a Nice Life, The Body, Haxan Cloak, Deafheaven, White Suns.

File Under: Post-Punk, Gloom, Metal
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zig zagsZig Zags: s/t (In The Red) LP

In tomorrow… In the year 2014, in the ruins of the city once known as Los Angeles, three underworld dwellers with one job, one hot tub and one unkillable riff between them knew they had to make a ripping record—or die trying. This is their story. Guitarist Jed, bassist Patrick and drummer Bobby started in a room lit by a single green light, which changed them from humans to Zig Zags in the summer of 2010. Within the next four years, they’d record a song with Iggy Pop and an album with Ty Segall and go from playing house parties for pizza to staring off the stage at the Fillmore West. Before them had come giants—bands like Kiss and Sabbath whose names were carved into desks in detention for decades. Before them had come mutants, heavy metal and punk bands like the Dictators and Pentagram that spun into the void of history after failed orbital rendezvous with the fame they’d deserved. And before them had come freaks, one-known-copy private-press insanities like J.T. IV, White Boy and the Average Rat Band—the bands that happened when someone with a guitar thought fuck it loud enough for the tape to pick up. Those were visionaries, each of them, even if most of them paid—or never got paid—for it. And Zig Zags had a vision, too. It was a dark and weird one, the kind of thing you see flickering on the monitor when your stolen spaceship wakes you up from cryo-sleep, or the kind of thing that flashes across the inside of your forehead when you wake up hungover from sleeping in your van. Theirs was the nightmare of the insane and the all-too-normal, the Bermuda Triangle between sci-fi and lo-fi and no-budget, the Twilight Zone twist ending where it turns out everyone else was an alien the whole time. When Cliff Burton wore that Misfits shirt—Zig Zags. When the Emergency Broadcast System interrupts that John Carpenter movie—Zig Zags. When a soggy pile of Thrasher mags and Jack Kirby comics spill out of a dumpster behind the Sunday School—Zig Zags. When the Ramones were scared of the basement and the Angry Samoans couldn’t find the right side of their mind—Zig Zags. When a kid breaks his elbow copying a WWF heel’s piledriver and starts laughing instead of crying—Zig Zags. And when the electricity goes off forever and torchlight reflects off chrome—Zig Zags. All of this and more becomes real on the Zig Zags’ self-titled debut LP, recorded and produced by Ty Segall for In The Red. In twelve songs, they chainsaw through weirdo film and caveman rock and space noise and make smart sound so dumb it turns inside-out and becomes brilliant. Their very first 7-inch had a song called “Scavenger” cuz that’s what Zig Zags do—dig through garbage to find genius. In 2014, it turns out they did make their ripping record. But it’s up to you to figure out the twist ending.

File Under: Punk
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433957_hyperdub10bVarious: Hyperdub 10.1 (Hyperdub) 2CD

In 2014 Hyperdub is 10 years old. Founded by DJ and producer Kode9, the label has grown from its humble origins as a left-field dubstep label, and spread out to function as a cross-genre hub, absorbing sounds and ideas, keeping listeners on their toes, and refreshing itself while still maintaining its core sensibilities. To celebrate, Hyperdub will release four compilations which cluster thematic highlights from the last five years, all augmented with new material, as well as staging a number of international showcase events across the year. First up comes ‘Hyperdub 10.1’, a double CD covering the label’s dance floor dimension. Disc 1 features almost all new material from Hyperdub regulars such as Kode9 & The Spaceape, Quarta 330 and DJ Rashad, along with old and new allies. The pace picks up on the second half of the CD with a volley of woozy and twisted footwork from most of the key members of Chicago’s Teklife crew. Disc 1 closes with ‘Chasing A Beast’, a new gnarly hip hop track from Kode9 & The Spaceape, and Tokyo-based veteran ally Quarta330, who crafts in ‘Hanabi’ an epic, uptempo synthesiser jam. Disc 2 spotlights 17 high points of Hyperdub’s last half-decade, proven dance floor material from the grittier end of UK funky, grime, dubstep, hip hop and footwork. Artists featured include Burial, Cooly G, Champion, DVA, Funkystepz, Ill Blu, Walton, Ikonika, Kode9 & The Spaceape, Morgan Zarate, Mark Pritchard & Om’mas Keith, Terror Danjah & Riko, DOK, LV ft. Okmalumkoolkat, and DJ Rashad. (Key tracks from this compilation are being released on a series of 12″EPs starting with ‘Decadubs 1 EP’ (HDB082))

File Under: Electronic

wheedleVarious: Wheedle’s Groove Vol. 2 (Light in the Attic) CD

In 2004, the first volume of Wheedle’s Groove shone a light on the formerly unheralded soul scene in 1960s and ’70s Seattle. The ongoing series continues to present a vast chapter of the city’s musical heritage that has little to do with long-haired rock dudes with guitars. To the contrary, platform shoes and pimp hats were the order of the day. But Seattle’s soul scene did not end in 1975. This new volume documents the period from 1972 to 1987, when funk was superseded by disco and modern soul. Heading into the ’80s, artists in the Emerald City caught wind of the hip-hop and electro scenes that were growing in bigger cities across America, and gave the music their own distinct spin. As the years unfurl in the tracks of Wheedle’s Groove Volume II, so does the recent history of American music, the songs tracing technological changes and social change, and music’s move from the club to disco as live bands moved aside for DJs. Witness Septimus, on the cusp of both, blending a live drummer with a Roland drum machine and cutting “Here I Go Again” on a disco-friendly 12″ single. Compiled and sequenced by Seattle’s DJ Supreme La Rock, this 18-track compilation will also introduce you to the long-forgotten blue-eyed soul boy Don Brown and frustrated talents Push, overlooked for record deals on account of singer “Big Joe” Erickson’s larger-than-life heft. There’s Frederick Robinson III and his gospel-funk protest tune “Love One Another”, Tony Benton of Teleclere being Seattle’s answer to Prince and Seattle Mariners baseball star Lenny Randle recording a tribute to their infamous stadium.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Franco Battiato: Fetus (AMS) LP
Beirut: Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing) LP
Beirut: March of the Zapotec (Pompeii) LP
Black Keys: Thickfreakness (Fat Possum) LP
Glenn Branca: Lesson One (Superior Viaduct) LP
Captain Beefheart: Doc at the Radar Station (4 Men With Beards) LP
Caribou: Up in Flames (Leaf) LP
Comet Control: s/t (Teepee) LP
Cramps: Flamejob (Drastic Plastic) LP
Digable Planets: Blowout Comb (Modern Classics) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Where You Been (Rhino) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP
Green Day: Warning (Adeline) LP
Have A Nice Life: The Unnatural World (Flenser) LP
Josefus: Dead Man (Numero) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
Nirvana: Live At Reading (Geffen) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Singles Collection (Castle Face) LP
OST: Maniac (Death Waltz) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (EMI) 2×10″
Radiohead: The Bends (EMI) LP
Wendy Rene: After Laughter Comes Tears (Light in the Attic) LP
Replacements: All Shook Down (ORG) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Sonic Youth: s/t (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Murray Street (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Sonic Nurse (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped (Goofin) LP
Space Lady: Greatest Hits (Night School) LP
Todd Terje: It’s Album Time (Olsen) LP
Kurt Vile: Constant Hitmaker (Woodsist) LP
Tom Waits: Heart of Saturday Night (Rhino) LP
Tom Waits: Blue Valentine (Asylum) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
Zoviet France: Tables Are Turning (Soleilmoon) LP
Various: I am the Center (Light in the Attic) 3LP
Various: Nuggets (Rhino) LP

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… letter #642 – nighttime anytime…..

As usual, following last weeks jam packed list, this week’s is a little on the light side, but also as usual, a few of the few things are killer. And with all that rain, it’s not like you can get out in the yard so you might as well get some new wax.

…..pick of the week…..

Constantines: Shine A Light (You’ve Changed) LP
If you don’t own this record, you should! “Originally released by Three Gut Records (Canada) and Sub Pop Records (the rest of the world) in 2003 and since named one of the top 200 records of the 2000s by Pitchfork and often cited as one of the best Canadian records ever, this legendary album has been out of print on LP since 2007. We’re proud to make this LP available again, featuring a newly cut vinyl master and packaged with a special bonus 7-inch containing 3 B-sides recorded at the same time as Shine a Light. The original gate-fold artwork has been re-photographed to show its age and the past 11 years of neglect in dank basements. The first pressing of the The Constantines’ self-titled (and Juno Award-nominated) debut (released on Three Gut Records in 2001 and re-released outside of Canada on Sub Pop in 2004) was fittingly packaged so that, upon opening the red cardstock booklet, you’d find a single strike-anywhere match. In an effort to not ruin the beauty and poignancy of a thing through over-explanation, suffice it to say that if your relationship with rock and roll is not fundamentally a quest for fire (elemental, transformative, consuming), you’ve missed the point. This from Magnet magazine: “They’re young offenders with sharpened teeth who make grinding, literate punk with the elasti-to-explosive guitars heard on Fugazi’s “Smallpox Champion,” the stark lyrical economy of a Vonnegut-penned newspaper obituary…” And: “The Constantines are old souls in young bodies–guys in their early 20s who sound like Joe Strummer backed by Fugazi–making music that wakes the sleeping and the dead.”

File Under: Rock, CanCon, Classics
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… arrivals…..

bohrenBohren & Der Club of Gore: Piano Nights (Pias) LP
There’s something terrifyingly beautiful about Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s music, most obviously the sheer unhurried lethargy of it. Each piece moves slower than hell, meditating at the sort of pace the 20th century’s communication explosion almost killed off. Each Bohren release evokes the sedate momentum of ancient sea travel, snailing forward through barren landscapes, perhaps unknowingly in circles, constantly tempting one to ask, “have we been here before?” The story of the band’s progress has been as persistently sedate as the music itself, with the now-signature sound of Christoph Clöser’s tenor sax not actually entering the group until some eight years after their formation and two monolithic albums of guitar-led imaginary midnight movie soundtracks in 1994 and 1995. The group’s loosely-definable second phase following the departure of Reiner Henseleit and his guitar and the introduction of Clöser and his sax seemingly came to something of a conclusion with the ‘Beileid’ mini-album in 2011, with Mike Patton even joining them to croon across an unrecognizable cover of ‘Catch My Heart’ by 80s German metallers Warlock. An approximation of light had begun to appear behind the curtains of the long-abandoned jazz club where Bohren & Der Club Of Gore have been living for two decades now, with semblances of major keys and the distant-memory of the bright outside world languidly returning since 2008’s Dolores. Their progress having slowed to a near-standstill, the group take a sideways step with Piano Nights and continue their slow march towards the eternal embrace of the grave, albeit with something of a resigned grin of acceptance across their faces.

File Under: Smooth Jazz, Dark Ambient, Downtempo
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milesdavisMiles Davis: Bootleg Series 3 At the Fillmore (Music on Vinyl) 6LP Box

180 Gram audiophile vinyl, box set, including 12″ page booklet, printed innersleeves, available on vinyl for the first time!! These are four historic performances from the Fillmore East and West in 1970, at a time when Miles Davis was single-handedly bringing Jazz into the commercial Rock era. In their unedited form, all selections are previously unissued. The searing white heat of these concerts, originally issued in severely edited form, are now made whole. This set includes several bonus tracks like Wayne Shorter’s ‘Paraphernalia’ and ‘Footprints’, an early version of ‘Miles Runs The Voodoo Down’ plus a rare encore performance of Bitches Brew’s ‘Spanish Key’.

File Under: Jazz

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

Fucked Up: Glass Boys (Arts & Crafts) LP/CD
Regular version in tomorrow, Slow Version, hopefully next week? Fucked Up is a punk band. They were a punk band when they started in Toronto more than a decade ago, and they’ve remained a punk band even as they’ve ascended to career heights that their younger selves never could’ve imagined. But how do you remain a punk band when you’re on magazine covers, or sharing stadium stages with the Foo Fighters? How do you stay true to your 15-year-old self when you’ve got a career to maintain, and families to support? Those are the questions that Fucked Up asks on Glass Boys. And they ask those questions in the form of a blazing, titanic, ultimately triumphant rock album. The last two Fucked Up albums were sweeping, defining, monolithic gestures. On 2008’s The Chemistry Of Common Life, they tested hardcore’s capacity for stylistic innovation, for 7-minute songs and unconventional arrangements, and they won Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize in the process. With 2011’s David Comes To Life, they offered up a full-blown rock opera, coming with one larger-than-life hook after another, and that made them even bigger, and further away from the Toronto hardcore scene that nurtured them. Glass Boys isn’t a retrenchment or a back-to-basics move; it’s too ambitious and complex for that. But after those last two albums, it’s tight and concise and direct, an album of real and direct sentiment rather than artifice. Musically, Glass Boys carries echoes of some of the more ragged and adventurous bands from America’s punk past (Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr.), but it also has some of the anthemic charge of the Who and the guttural intensity of Negative Approach. Singer Damian Abraham still growls like a demon, but he’s found more range and depth in his bark. Drummer Jonah Falco does something innovative on the LP, adding two separate drum tracks, one of them in half-time, adding a psychedelic, disorienting feel. The triple-guitar battalion of Mike Haliechuk, Ben Cook, and Josh Zucker still builds symphonies out of feedback and power-chords, but this time around, there’s less emphasis on world-crushing riffs and more on world-creating textures. Bassist Sandy Miranda is now even more a part of that storm, her instrument blurring in with that overwhelming guitar roar. And if the album’s lyrics concern the quest to stay true to your younger self, the music pulls off the trick beautifully. “Echo Boomer,” like “Son The Father” and “Let Her Rest” before it, makes for a powerful album opener, a surge of catharsis that gives a strong idea of what’s to come. “Sun Glass” builds from acoustic strumming to bleary pummel and stays pretty the whole time. “DET” has one of those world-annihilating choruses that demands a full-room singalong. And the album-closing title track is a blast of epic catharsis as grand and forceful as anything this band has ever done. After two monumental concept-driven concept albums, Fucked Up have made another heart-expanding, life-affirming piece of work, and this time, they’ve done it by shooting straight from the heart.
File Under: Punk, Hardcore, CanCon
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Philip Glass: Glassworks (Music on Vinyl) LP
Glassworks is the most pleasant craftwork ever from the great minimalist exploiter. Six warm pieces in a successful attempt to create a more pop-oriented work. The Philip Glass ensemble performs with an amiably soft-edged minimalist sound, in an almost new-agey vein. Glass anticipated resistance toward the funding of his more expensive projects, so he created a  more  accessible, and marketable recording. And with success. More then 200.000 albums were sold in five years. Glassworks is another Music On Vinyl Classical release by this fantastic composer.
File Under: Minimalism, Classical
mars voltaMars Volta: Deloused in the Comatorium (Music on Vinyl) LP

180 gram audiophile vinyl, Printed innersleeves, Includes : 60 x60 cm poster, First pressing of 3500 numbered copies on gold coloured vinyl. De-Loused in the Comatorium is the debut full-length studio album by American progressive rock band The Mars Volta and was originally released in 2003. Based on a short story written by lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala and sound manipulation artist Jeremy Michael Ward, the concept album is an hour-long tale of Cerpin Taxt, a man who enters a week-long coma after overdosing on a mixture of morphine and rat poison. The title of the album is taken from the lyrics of the song ‘Eunuch Provocateur’, which is included on the band’s debut EP, Tremulant. The cover artwork is by Storm Thorgerson, who also designed the artwork for the album Frances the Mute. The album is co-produced by Rick Rubin and The Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. As Eva Gardner, the original bassist, parted ways with the band, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea is featured at bass guitar player on the album. The vinyl edition of the album was only released in the US in limited quantities and is a much wanted vinyl piece. Music On Vinyl is proud to reissue the album and to celebrate its release the first 3.500 copies are individually numbered and pressed on gold vinyl.
File Under: Rock, Prog, Gold Wax
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Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Big Brother) LP 
Remastered in 2014 by Ian Cooper at Metropolis Mastering, London for the Album’s 20th Anniversary. Includes High Quality MP3 Download Code for ALL of the Bonus Content from the Special Edition CD (Volumes 1, 2 & 3). In their 14-year recording career Oasis sold over 70 million albums worldwide, had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 singles, 7 No. 1 studio albums, but, more than that, they helped define a generation. Now Big Brother Recordings is set to reissue the band’s classic albums in chronological order as part of the new Chasing The Sun series. Each album has been remastered and available with rare and exclusive bonus content. With 2014 marking the 20th anniversary of its original release, Definitely Maybe will be the first release in the series. (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory and Be Here Now will follow later this year. Definitely Maybe was originally released in August 1994 and was an immediate critical and commercial smash. The fastest selling debut album ever (at the time), it went seven-times platinum in the UK (over 2 million copies), and sold 5 million worldwide. Containing the classic debut single “Supersonic,” and subsequent singles “Shakermaker,” “Live Forever,” and “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” Definitely Maybe frequently appears on ‘best album of all time’ polls, including being listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time and a No. 1 placing in a 2008 Q Magazine/HMV poll of the ‘Greatest British Albums.’ Remastered in 2014 by Ian Cooper at Metropolis Mastering, London, the new 20th anniversary vinyl edition is manufactured on a heavyweight 2LP-set and contains a high quality MP3 download code including ALL the bonus content (B-sides, rare and unreleased Oasis tracks from the Definitely Maybe era, plus their huge Christmas single from 1994, “Whatever”) featured on the Special Edition CD (volumes 1, 2 and 3).File Under: Rock, Brit Rock
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CoralineOSTlp_mainOST: Coraline (Mondo) LP
Original music by Bruno Coulais. Illustration and design by Michael DePippo. 2XLP in deluxe gatefold jacket pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Limited edition pressed on black vinyl and randomly-inserted Black & White Swirl vinyl.File Under: OST, Mondo
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duneOST: Dune (Music on Vinyl) LP
This soundtrack contains probably the best track Brian Eno every released, just so you know. The American science fiction action film Dune is based on the 1965 Frank Herbert same titled novel. The instrumental soundtrack was recorded by popular rock band Toto (minus lead singer Bobby Kimball), accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Volksoper Choir. It marks Toto’s first and only film score. One track for the movie called ‘Prophecy Theme’ was composed by Brian Eno. Originally released in 1984, the soundtrack album contained select cues in their original film order, plus two pieces of dialogue from the movie that served as bookends for two tracks (‘Prologue’ and ‘The Floating Fat Man (The Baron)’). 30 years after its original release, Dune is released on 180 gram audiophile vinyl by Music On Vinyl.File Under: OST, Eno, Ambient
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paranorman-vinylOST: Paranorman (Mondo) LP
Original music by Jon Brion. Design & Layout by DKNG Studios. 2XLP in deluxe gatefold jacket pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Limited edition pressed on black vinyl and randomly-inserted Highlighter Yellow vinyl, with Bone Haze.

File Under: OST, Mondo
fatimaFatima Al Qadiri: Asiatisch (Hyperdub)  LP

Fatima Al Qadiri is a multidisciplinary artist and musician from Kuwait. In just a few years, she has quickly built a reputation as a conceptual artist, exploring themes informed both by her own background and global pop culture, through a number of highly acclaimed EPs, multimedia projects and writings. She is also a founding member of the production team Future Brown. Fatima’s debut album is called ‘Asiatisch’, and as the track titles suggest, the record provides a simulated road trip through an imagined China. Musically, the album is an homage to that quietly influential sub-strain of grime, often loosely termed ‘sinogrime’ due to its preoccupation with Asian motifs and melodies, pioneered by the likes of Wiley and Jammer at the beginning of the 2000s in East London. ‘Asiatisch’ is a provocation which asks more questions than it answers. The title is the German word for Asian. Unlike its title, however, the music on ‘Asiatisch’ revolves around the fantasies of East Asia as refracted through pulpy Western pop culture, in particular Hollywood, literary fiction, music, cartoons and advertising. Fatima asks what is meant by the term ‘Asian’ in a digital age of viral interchange and the hi-speed trading of cultural bytes; the concept of ‘shanzhai’ proves pivotal, a term whose meaning stems from a wild, out of control zone of banditry, but which has come to be used to refer to the Chinese counterfeiting of Western brands and goods. While a number of producers have made takes on ‘sinogrime’ over the last few years, ‘Asiatisch’ is really the first record that attempts to articulate this weird complex of sonic interchanges between the West and China. With the exception of the opening track, ‘Shanzhai’, a haunting cover of ‘Nothing Compares to You’ with nonsensical Mandarin lyrics, and the shimmering ‘Loading Beijing’, ‘Wudang’ and ‘Jade Stairs’ which sample and distort classical Chinese poetry staging an epic confrontation between China’s ancient soul and the onslaught of the industrial factory machine, most of the tracks blend mallets, bells, gongs, flutes, steel drums and choral atmospherics with the searing synth-brass and the skittering drums of grime, playing melodies that are inflected as much by classic R&B as to synthetic versions of traditional Chinese music.
File Under: Pop, Electronic, Sinogrime, Hyperdub
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swansSwans: To Be Kind (Young God) 3LP
Hardly in stock, no holds, first come first served on this batch… More in soon. A NOTE FROM MICHAEL GIRA: Hello There, We (Swans) have recently completed our new album. It is called To Be Kind. The release date is set for May 13, 2014. It will be available as a triple vinyl album, a double CD, and a 2XCD Deluxe Edition that will include a live DVD. It will also be available digitally. The album was produced by me, and it was recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, and further recordings and mixing were accomplished at John’s studio in Dallas, Texas. A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13. Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment. The Swans are: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica. Special Guests for this record include: Little Annie (Annie sang a duet with me on the song Some Things We Do, the strings for which were ecstatically arranged and played by Julia Kent); St. Vincent (Annie Clark sang numerous, multi-tracked vocals throughout the record); Cold Specks (Al contributed numerous multi-tracked vocals to the song ‘Bring the Sun’); Bill Rieflin (honorary Swan Bill played instruments ranging from additional drums, to synthesizers, to piano, to electric guitar and so on. He has been a frequent contributor to Swans and Angels of Light and is currently playing with King Crimson).. The Swans will be ON TOUR in Canada this summer!! Quotes about their previous album, ‘The Seer’ (2012); “…the sound of a celestial sledgehammer descending” – Time Magazine // “…Swans make their grandest statement yet” – Rolling StoneFile Under: Rock, No-Wave, Drone
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American Analog Set: Know By Heart (Barsuk) LP
American Football: s/t (Polyvinyl) LP
Geoff Barrow: Drokk (Invada) LP
James Blake: s/t (Atlas) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Visitors (Numero) 5×7″ Box
Elliott Brood: Tin Type (Paper Bag) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Harmonia: Music Von Harmonia (Lilith) LP
Hawkwind: Space Ritual (Rock Classics) LP
Sharon Jones: Naturally (Daptone) LP
Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista) LP
Rolling Stones: 12×5 (Abkco) LP
Sharon Van Etten: Are We There (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bry Webb: Free Will (Idee Fixe) LP
Various: Inner City Beat (Soul Jazz) LP

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