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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Electric 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
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
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
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
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
Futuro 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
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
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
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
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
Jesus & The Mary Chain:
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
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
Fela 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
Fela 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
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
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
Kyuss: 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
Kyuss: 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
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
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
Naam/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
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
The 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
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
Protomartyr: 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
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
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
Sun 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
Velvet 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
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
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
Various: 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