…..news letter #815 – bites…..

Lots of great new releases again and lots of delayed releases. I thought they had sorted that stuff out, but I guess I was wrong. Hopefully King Gizzard will be in next week. Either way, so many wonder things to come dig through. As always, lots of fresh used wax hitting the bins too.

…..picks of the week…..

fetusFranco Battiato: Fetus (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer / lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ‘70s with three classic LPs—Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries—that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. Originally released in 1971 on Bla Bla, Fetus predated the prodigious Cramps and Multhipla catalogues to become one of the first electronic records produced in Italy. With his trusted VCS3 synthesizer, Battiato created primordial soundscapes that shift between dreamy and delirious. His unsentimental, yet evocative voice—combined with a sublimely detached approach to lyrics—spawned a new breed of divergent songwriting. Fetus, a concept album exploring themes of genetic engineering, is enigmatically sub-titled “Ritorno al Mondo Nuovo” (Return to the New World) and dedicated to Aldous Huxley. While the sleeve design may have raised a few eyebrows upon its initial release, the back cover photograph of Battiato (standing defiant in dark glasses) makes the real iconoclastic statement. Battiato’s infectious melodies and innovative sound-collage techniques remain uniquely spry given that each track averages less than four minutes in length. Pink Floyd’s Meddle, Os Mutantes’ eponymous recordings and Jim O’Rourke’s experimental-pop idiosyncrasies all find parallels to the curious beauty of Fetus. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Fetus on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Prog, Psych
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frostBen Frost: The Centre Cannot Hold (Mute) LP
Composer Ben Frost’s fifth album, The Centre Cannot Hold, was recorded over 10 days by Steve Albini in Chicago. The music exists not in space, but in a space; it’s a document of an event, of a room, and of the composer within it. It’s music that is not fully controlled and appears to be anxiously, often violently competing against its creator. It’s an attempt to materialize a kind of liquid music. Frost – an artist whose command of sound design lies at the heart of his practice – chooses a new kind of raw immediacy and directness in his work. Focusing solely on the performance of his music he hands the reigns of the studio recording process to Albini in relentless pursuit of Theseus’ paradox; the question of whether a ship restored by replacing every single part remains the same ship. The Centre Cannot Hold is not a literal description of the current political climate. But the music has arisen out of a period of global upheaval which the title inevitably alludes to. Taken from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming, it reads: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blooddimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned…” The titles of many of the pieces on the album – “All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated,” “Trauma Theory,” and “Entropy in Blue” – could channel that feeling. “Ionia” wants to pull us directly into the seas of southern Europe and “Eurydice’s Heel” references a Greek myth in which a single event unleashes a sequence of unstoppable tragedies. The Centre Cannot Hold is a probing question as much as a statement of fact. An exercise in limitation and chromatic saturation, it’s an attempt at transcribing a spectrum of glowing ultramarines into sound. It forbids casual engagement, but rather seeks to engulf those who encounter it.

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

acephalix

Acephalix: Decreation (20 Buck Spin) LP
In tomorrow… The rotten corpse of Acephalix, the Bay Area’s beast of barbarism, has been re-animated. Abnormally deceased since the band’s Southern Lord debut Deathless Master, the crushing return of Decreation leaves no bone unbroken and no skull intact. Foul American death metal maggotry eating back to life coagulated remains of hardcore’s guts. Opener “Upon This Altar” rages with d-beat ferocity morphing into a slithering puzzle of pierced flesh. Primitive savagery pervades on “Suffer (Life In Fragments)” through to the cro-magnon battering of “Excremental Offerings.” All the while an obscure weirdness that characterizes the idiosyncratic deformities of certain Cannibal Corpse, Nocturnus and Death moments arises out of the Acephalix tomb. With each release the band’s horde grows more intense, vicious and bestial. This album is the culmination of five years of dormancy, letting loose upon the Earth the calamitous consequence of pent up wrath.

File Under: Metal
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amadou

Amadou & Mariam: La Confusion (Because) LP
La Confusion is the eighth full-length album from Malian musical duo and Grammy-award nominees Amadou & Mariam. The album includes the hit single “Bofou Safou”, which Stereogum calls “the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk.” The term “bofou safou” is a Bambara (Malian national language) nickname given to nonchalant young men who would rather dance than work. Over the span of three decades, Amadou (guitar and vocals) and Mariam (vocals) have developed an international following, recorded eight full-length albums, and toured around the world. Their album Welcome to Mali was nominated for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” at the 52nd Grammy Awards. On the ensuing tour they supported U2 on their U2 360 Tour, performed at the 2010 World Cup for FIFA’s Kick-Off Celebration, and performed alongside a host of major acts. Don’t expect a still frame of African music; Stillness has never been part of their repertoire. The road stretches far behind them as Amadou & Mariam march on, bound by an unbreakable chain in their tireless search for new horizons. Creativity and generosity have never ceased to shine through their eight full-length albums. At their core lies a skillful fusion of heritage and cutting-edge music.

File Under: World
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baird

Laura Baird: I Wish I Were A Sparrow (Ba Da Bing) LP
In tomorrow… “With a musical timeline dating back to her early childhood, Laura Baird is an exceptionally talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, best known for her projects with her sister, Meg, as The Baird Sisters, and guitarist Glenn Jones. Baird’s own sound stems from the Appalachian folk tradition, and she connects to it via family lineage — her great-great uncle I.G. Greer’s folk recordings for the Library of Congress are a large influence. Also woven in are classical composers like Bach and Satie, and modern day musicians such as Opal and Yo La Tengo. With this debut solo album, I Wish I Were A Sparrow, Baird plays odes to the traditions from which she learned, combining Appalachian balladry and the roughness of old field recordings, but there is also a dose of dreaminess and solitude that captures sleepy central New Jersey. This is where she departs from tradition, leaving the communal origins of folk music to capture the singular self. The lyrics also present an amalgam of old and new, with half of the songs, including ‘Dreadful Wind and Rain’ and ‘Pretty Polly,’ being passed down from the folk tradition, and the other half, including ‘Wind Wind’ and ‘Love Song From The Earth To The Moon,’ coming from Baird’s own hand. While the most salient part of her previous Baird Sisters project was the melding of familial voices and various instruments, Baird’s solo effort is centered around the combination of her virtuosic banjo playing and prominent but airy vocals.”

 File Under: Folk
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pollution

Franco Battiato: Pollution (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer / lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ‘70s with three classic LPs—Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries—that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. Pollution from 1972 is the captivating follow-up to Fetus. Like its predecessor, the album features Baroque textures, motorik rhythms, weird tape effects and Battiato’s perfectly oblique vocals. Upon hearing Pollution, Frank Zappa joyfully proclaimed it “genius.” While Battiato’s core group of collaborators remains largely the same as on his debut, this phenomenal band (joined by an eighteen-year-old Roberto Cacciapaglia on keys) appears even more in the foreground on Pollution. Out of the Ash Ra Tempel-like riffs and urgent guitar strumming emerge hypnotic grooves and cinematic flourishes, suggesting a futuristic meeting point between Stereolab and Ennio Morricone. Dedicated to the Centro Internazionale Studi Magnetici, Pollution touches on themes of environmental catastrophe. Futurist allusions seep in through eccentric lyrics (at times sung backwards) about hydraulics, magnetic fields, etc., yet listeners don’t need to speak the artist’s language to grasp his melancholy vision. With Pollution, Battiato solidifies not only his cult figure status, but also many of his forward-thinking ideas on rock ‘n’ roll. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Pollution on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.

File Under: Electronic, Prog, Psych
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battiato

Franco Battiato: Sulle Corde di Aries (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer / lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ‘70s with three classic LPs—Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries—that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. 1973’s Sulle Corde Di Aries is the third chapter in Battiato’s foray into esoteric pop. While the artist would venture further out into avant-garde terrain on subsequent releases, his early records enjoy a lyrical and playful spirit—eschewing traditional, song-based composition in favor of kosmische voyages. On Sulle Corde Di Aries, Battiato guides the labyrinthine structural changes and majestic tones to evolve gradually over four electroacoustic suites. “Sequenze e Frequenze,” the album’s side-long centerpiece, blooms in a polyphony of organic pulses reminiscent of the vibrant keyboard minimalism of Terry Riley’s A Rainbow In Curved Air and the rhythmic interconnectedness of Can’s Ege Bamyasi. While Fetus and Pollution are often considered his masterpieces, Sulle Corde Di Aries remains a hidden gem in Battiato’s catalogue. With more of a cohesive album-feel than the previous records, Sulle Corde Di Aries slows the pace to take in the sweeping scope of otherworldly sounds and soulful harmonies. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Sulle Corde Di Aries on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.

File Under: Electronic, Prog, Psych
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bully

Bully: Losing (Sub Pop) LP
While Bully’s 2013 debut Feels Like tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Alicia Bognanno’s young adult life, its follow-up Losing is their first for Sub Pop (Bully’s sound is an outgrowth of the bands the label championed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s). Losing is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to flee from your troubles but to face them down no matter how messy they may be. Written as the group slowed down from touring constantly and Bognanno attempted to adjust to how different a home schedule is from a road schedule, her songwriting has matured from the quick one-two punches of Feels Like to tracks that contemplate the necessity of space in both song structure and emotion. Bognanno’s gruff yet dynamic voice is allowed to bloom, and it has a tenderness and openness to it here that’s new.  The group returned to Electrical Audio in Chicago, another home for Bognanno, to record Losing. Their core – Bognanno, guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus – truly solidified during the process, a detail-oriented push for perfection in which each moving part was labored over and polished. Emily Lazar’s mastering adds the perfect cap to Bognanno’s engineering; this is a record that has both shimmer and heft. There’s power in the guitar attack, delicacy and toughness in the melodic hooks, precision in the drums, and backbone in the bass. While Bognanno wouldn’t call this a political record, she doesn’t deny that the current political atmosphere and its urgency and tension haven’t shaped some of her ideas on this record, too – though she does not want that to be its focus. Mostly, this is an internal record, a universalized diary and an exorcism – not of any one specific demon, but of the host of them that characterize contemporary anxieties. Bully are growing up, sure, but their fire is in no way diminishing.

File Under: Indie Rock, Garage
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carpenter

John Carpenter: Anthology (Sacred Bones) LP
John Carpenter is a legend. As the director and composer behind dozens of classic movies, Carpenter has established a reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of modern cinema, as well as one of its most influential musicians. The minimal, synthesizer-driven themes to films like Halloween, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13 are as indelible as their images, and their timelessness was evident as Carpenter performed them live in a string of internationally sold-out concert dates in 2016. Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 collects 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together on one volume for the first time. Each theme has been newly recorded with the same collaborators that Carpenter worked with on his hit Lost Themes studio albums: his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies. Anthology is a near-comprehensive survey of Carpenter’s greatest themes, from his very first movie, the no-budget sci-fi film Dark Star, to 1998’s supernatural Western, Vampires. Those sit alongside the driving, Led Zeppelin-influenced Assault on Precinct 13 theme, Halloween’s iconic 5/4 piano riff, and the eerie synth work of The Fog. Carpenter and his band also cover Ennio Morricone’s bleak, minimalist theme for The Thing. We also get vital new recordings of the themes to ’80s classics and fan favorites Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, Christine, and They Live, along with the romantic Starman, which earned Jeff Bridges his first Oscar nomination as a lead actor. The collection is rounded out by the menacing, heavy themes to Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness, the latter a Metallica-inspired riff originally played for the film by Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, and now played by his son Daniel.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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afternoonersPatrick Cowley: Afternooners (Dark Entries) LP
In tomorrow… Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records have teamed up once more to release the final volume of gay porn soundtracks by San Francisco-based musician and producer, Patrick Cowley. One of the most revolutionary and influential figures in the canon of disco, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, “The San Francisco Sound.” Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco in 1971 to study at the City College of San Francisco. He founded the Electronic Music Lab at the school, where he would make experimental soundtracks by blending various types of music and adapting them to the synthesizer. By the mid-70’s, Patrick’s synthesis techniques landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco superstar Sylvester, including hits like “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance Disco Heat” and “Stars.” This helped Patrick obtain more work as a remixer and producer. His 18-minute long remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and his production work with edgy New Wave band Indoor Life were both of particular note. By 1981, Patrick had released a string of dance 12″ singles, like “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”. He also had founded Megatone Records, the label upon which he released his debut album, “Menergy”. Around this time Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with an unknown illness: that which would later be called AIDS. Throughout 1982, he recorded two more Hi-NRG hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester, and “Right On Target” for Paul Parker, as well as a second solo album “Mind Warp”. On November 12, 1982, he passed away. In 1979 Patrick was contacted by John Coletti, owner of famed gay porn company Fox Studio in Los Angeles. Patrick jumped on this offer and sent reels of his college compositions from the 70s to John in LA. Coletti then used a variable speed oscillator to adjust the pitch and speed of Patrick’s songs in-sync with the film scenes. The result was the VHS collections “Muscle Up” and “School Daze” released in 1979 and 1980. “Afternooners” is the third collection of Cowley’s instrumental songs, recorded in May 1982. These recordings were culled from two 23-minute reels in the Fox Studio vaults. All songs were originally untitled, so we’ve used the titles from Fox Studio’s 8mm film loops. This compilation also includes three bonus tracks found in the archives of fellow Megatone Records recording artist Paul Parker and the attic of teenage friend Lily Bartels. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Giorgio Moroder, Patrick crafted a singular sound from his collection of synthesizers, percussion, modified guitars, and hand-built equipment. The listener enters a world of forbidden vices, evocative of Patrick’s time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. The songs on “Afternooners” reflect the advances of the equipment available at the onset of the 1980s. Cowley’s unadulterated electronic forms are stripped down and dubbed up. Lush electronic percussion, soaring synthesizer riffs and low slung funk grooves comingle on these magnificent soundscapes. Featuring 70 minutes of music never before released on vinyl. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl is housed in a gatefold jacket designed by Berlin-based artist Gwenael Rattke, featuring black and white photos of Patrick in his studio that opens to a full color array of x-rated scenes from the Fox Studio vaults. Included is a fold-out poster featuring a handmade collage using photography and xeroxed graphics of classic gay porn imagery and an essay from Drew Daniel of Matmos. For Patrick’s 67th birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records present a glimpse into the futuristic world of a young genius. These recordings shed a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon.

File Under: Electronic, Hi-NRG, OST
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dav

Death & Vanilla: Vampyr (Fire) LP
“Recalling the eerie, haunt-ed ambience of Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise’s Twin Peaks soundtrack, Stereolab/Broadcast’s experimental vision of ‘50s lounge muzak/exotica and French ‘60s pop, or the narcotic country-noir of Mazzy Star.” The Guardian. It’s 1932 and Danish film director Carl Theodor is making a movie of a grim tale for both French and German audiences. To get over the language barrier he decides to have the majority of dialogue on silent movie title cards. Imagine the scene, you’re sleepy, you’re in a strange house, you doze. Inevitably you’re lured to a castle, you open a package, it’s a book about horrific demons called vampyrs. The castle is manned by servants – there are also two sisters (one with bite wounds, the other in a trance-like stupor), a doctor and an old woman complete the cast.… Some 70 years later, what’s needed is a band to play live on Hallowe’en at the Fantastisk Filmfestival, Lunds Stadsteater. One year to the day later, they release the music in a now super rare limited edition of 150 blood red cassettes. Now re-issued as a double vinyl package.

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
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destroyer

Destroyer: Ken (Merge) LP+7″
(Special Indie-Store-Only edition LP album on yellow vinyl + black bonus 7” in matte jacket with spot gloss detail & die cut Euro jacket. 11 x 11 insert + full album download included) Of his 12th studio album and its enigmatic title, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar offers the following: Sometime last year, I discovered that the original name for “The Wild Ones” (one of the great English-language ballads of the last 100 years or so) was “Ken.” I had an epiphany, I was physically struck by this information. In an attempt to hold on to this feeling, I decided to lift the original title of that song and use it for my own purposes. It’s unclear to me what that purpose is, or what the connection is. I was not thinking about Suede when making this record. I was thinking about the last few years of the Thatcher era. Those were the years when music first really came at me like a sickness, I had it bad. Maybe “The Wild Ones” speaks to that feeling, probably why Suede made no sense in America. I think “ken” also means “to know.” ken was produced by Josh Wells of Black Mountain, who has been the drummer in Destroyer since 2012. The album was recorded in its entirety in the jam space/studio space that the group calls The Balloon Factory. However, unlike Poison Season, ken was not recorded as a “band” record, though everyone in the band does make an appearance.

File Under: Indie Rock
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frankd

Lt. Frank Dickens: Sour Bubblegum (Jaz) LP
Sour Bubblegum is the sophomore effort on JAZ Records from Vancouver underground balladeer LT. FRANK DICKENS, former singer and songwriter in Vancouver post-punk band PEACE (Suicide Squeeze). It is a concise collection of slanted rock heroics, poems, and yearning serenades bookended by two seasick waltzes and glued together by his signature grizzled croon. This time around, a sense of societal claustrophobia pervades. Ultimately though, optimism wins the day, and perseverance through life’s drearier moments is elevated as the noblest of pursuits, with it’s own inherent beauty. These songs display the wistful sweetness and rush of classic bubblegum pop craft, but replace the teenage frivolity endemic to the genre with a world weary depth that would find camaraderie with the likes of Nikki Sudden and Leonard Cohen. They are the soured disillusionment of adulthood that never gives way to bitterness or cynicism.They are “Sour Bubblegum”.

File Under: Indie Rock
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don cab

Don Caballero: Singles Breaking Up (Touch & Go) LP
By no means a release of new or current Don Cab material (originally issued in 1999), Singles Breaking Up (Vol. 1) offers quite a range of the band’s history to appreciate. The oldest recordings found here are programs 1-6 which became the first two singles and a b-side for the fourth. They were recorded in a 1/2 inch 8 track studio by Lee Hollihan of Valencia, PA for only $25 an hour. The next batch, 7-9, were recorded by Steve Albini in his once home studio and were a part of the For Respect sessions. Program 10 was also recorded in this same studio by colleague engineer Bob Weston. Program 11 was recorded in Detroit by engineer Al Sutton and was a part of the sessions for Don Caballero 2. Lastly, programs 12-13 were recorded again by Albini in the B room portion of this Chicago studio Electrical Audio. With the exception of programs 12-13, these songs were recorded in the early part of the 1990’s. The intention was not to release them in this form, if at all, but to give the record company a rough idea of the songs Don Cab had at the time. The “punky” songs were written with the sole intention of obtaining a record contract. It seemed at the time that contracts flowed like water for this kind of music. The band soon found out that it wasn’t quite that easy, but did, eventually, manage to sign a deal with Touch and Go. It is interesting to see how some of these songs, or parts of them, developed into others that have become well-known. The photographic art concept for the whole anthology is simply this: 7 inch phonograph singles breaking up, in the kind of setting of giving Abby Road back to the people.

File Under: Indie Rock. Math Rock
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emptyset

Emptyset: Skin (Thrill Jockey) LP
Emptyset stand at the vanguard of electronic music. With each release, they stretch boundaries and explore new methods of creating sounds with scientific precision. On their EP Skin, Emptyset (the duo of James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas) bring together techniques they developed through their 2017 LP Borders, exploring structural aspects of ritual music and non-Western composition and combine them with recent performance work examining microtonal vocalization and acoustic qualities of materials. This is the first time Emptyset has presented a body of work using entirely acoustic production methods. The compositions of Skin are all focused around structure, texture, and rhythm captured through recordings of a custom string instrument, drums, and physical granular materials modulated in real-time, alongside tonal vocal elements. Skin was mastered and cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering in Berlin.

File Under: Electronic
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esmerine

Esmerine: Mechanics of Dominion (Constellation) LP
Esmerine is the modern chamber ensemble co-founded by former Silver Mt. Zion member Rebecca Foon and Godspeed You! Black Emperor alumnus Bruce Cawdron in the early 2000s, composing two beloved albums of post-rock based around cello and mallet instruments on Madrona Records in 2003 and 2005. The group emerged from a semi-hiatus in 2010 and have made four acclaimed full-length records of uniquely emotive, lyrical, exploratory instrumental music since then (all released by Constellation) – each marked by a distinct collaborative and thematic agenda. Following the Turkish/near-Eastern exchange featured on Dalmak (2014 Juno winner for Instrumental Album Of The Year) and the intense, rock-inflected Lost Voices (2016 Juno winner for Album Package Of The Year and finalist for Instrumental Album), Esmerine embarked on a soundtrack commission for the National Film Board documentary “Freelancer on the Front Lines” (about independent journalism in the Middle East), which also led to a deep dive into archival and previously unreleased recordings from the band’s aforementioned early years. Sessions for the film soundtrack kept rolling organically throughout 2016-2017 (alongside Foon’s own work on her Saltland solo project, whose second album came out in March 2017), informed by anxiety over the reactionary, regressive, seemingly irresolvable disharmony of human oppression/domination, falsifying propaganda and ever-accelerating degradation and denial of nature and social justice. Mechanics Of Dominion is perhaps Esmerine’s most dynamic and narratively-informed work, tracing an arc through Neo-Classical, Minimalist, Modern Contemporary, Folk, Baroque, Jazz and Rock idioms to invoke lamentation, meditation, resolve, resistance and hope. It is a requiem for our intractably suffering planet and a paean to the inscrutable, essential dignity of indigenous ethics and the natural world, and to modern human frailty and ingenuity. Stylistically, Mechanics Of Dominion brings mallet instruments to the fore, with marimba, glockenspiel, piano and amplified music box providing a prominent foundation and through-line on the album’s diverse tracks. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson’s contributions are also an ever greater part of Esmerine’s songwriting – his stately melodic lines on horns and acoustic strings are formidable elements in the ceremonious lyricism and keening vitality of this song cycle. Mechanics Of Dominion is also another superlative iteration in Esmerine’s dedication to artwork and packaging, this time featuring the work of Montréal artist Jean-Sebastien Denis to beautifully echo the album’s compositional balance of abstraction, tension and emotional colourations.

File Under: Indie Rock
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frusciante

John Frusciante: Niandra LaDes And Usually Just a T-Shirt (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt is the first solo record by John Frusciante. Between 1990 and 1992 the guitarist made a series of 4-track recordings, which at the time were not intended for commercial release. After leaving the band Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992, Frusciante was encouraged by friends to release the material that he wrote in his spare time during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions. Originally released on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label in 1994, Niandra LaDes is a mystifying work of tortured beauty. Frusciante plays various acoustic and electric guitars, experimenting with layers of vocals, piano and reverse tape effects. Channeling the ghosts of Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, his lyrics are at once utterly personal and willfully opaque. Frusciante’s rapidfire, angular playing shows how key he was in the Chili Peppers’ evolution away from their funk-rock roots. His cover of “Big Takeover” perfectly deconstructs the Bad Brains original with laid-back tempo, twelve-string guitar and a fierce handle on melody. The album’s second part—thirteen untitled tracks that Frusciante defines as one complete piece, “Usually Just A T-Shirt”—contains several instrumentals featuring his signature guitar style. Sparse phrasing, delicate counterpoint and ethereal textures recall Neu/Harmonia’s Michael Rother or The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly. On the front cover, Frusciante appears in 1920s drag—a nod to Marcel Duchamp’s alter-ego Rrose Sélavy—which comes from Toni Oswald’s film Desert in the Shape. This first-time vinyl release has been carefully remastered and approved by the artist. The double LP set is packaged with old style tip-on gatefold jacket and printed inner sleeves.

File Under: Alt. Rock, Chili Peppers
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gamble

Lee Gamble: Mnestic Pressure (Hyperdub) LP
Mnestic Pressure is Lee Gamble’s first album since 2014 and his first with Hyperdub, a reset that sees a noticeable change in his sound and the concepts that feed into his music. Lee says, “From “Diversions 1994-1996” (2012) through to “Koch” (2014) – my music felt like I was dealing with signals from elsewhere – signals from the unconscious, sub-aqua, hallucinated, dreamt. “Mnestic Pressure” feels like their decoded offspring, a terra interpretation.” The title comes from Lee’s thinking about how our contemporary memory is pressured, individually, but also collectively, “We live in these strobing, visual times, like a constant subliminal advertisement but, also over the last few years the world seems to have become more and more dreamlike, alien, and parodic itself and there was this part of me that wanted to drag my music back from this Shangri-La, but fully drenched and infected by its ghosts.” Mnestic Pressure as a whole is a simulation of this experience; a flow of targeted information, through contrasting and quickly changing terrain, from one track to another you’re dragged into a new space. The pressure to move is intrinsic to the flow of the album, one thing morphologically transforms into another, zooming in and out from wide angle to detail, reshaping into new forms at a speed Lee’s music hasn’t before. The music on Mnestic Pressure has a hardness, with a structure and melody that was sublimated in Lee’s previous LPs. It builds on his more recent experiments with more functional dancefloor forms. Here his hypermodern production and crunchy, dissembled beats feel like they could be malfunctioning holograms projected onto the hallucinated memories of his early work.

File Under: Electronic
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halfjap

Half Japanese: Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts (Fire) LP
In 1974 Jad Fair, along with his brother David, co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half Japanese released fourteen albums and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band’s pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll. Half Japanese’s first album Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts is a collection of the Fair brothers earliest home recordings, originally released in 1980 as a homemade three LP box set, and now available for the very first time as a double LP. These songs stretch their DIY, lo-fi ethos to the limits featuring sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics and odd effects, whilst throwing in some barely recognizable covers (such as tracks by The Temptations, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan). Over the years Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts became something of a cult legend, partly helped by its scarcity and foreshadowed much of the lo-fi movement of early-90s indie rock. In 1995, Rolling Stone designated the album one of the top 100 most influential Alternative albums while Spin Magazine’s Alternative Record Guide states; “Half Japanese assumed it was the greatest Rock and Roll band on the planet. It was often right.”

File Under: Punk, Lo-Fi, DIY
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jewel

Johnny Jewel: Windswept (Italians Do It Better) LP
In tomorrow… Johnny Jewel’s Windswept featuring music from the new season of Twin Peaks. Housed in gatefold jackets and pressed on 180-GRAM BLOOD RED VINYL.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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nazoranai

Nazoranai: Beginning To Fall In Line Before Me…. (W.25th) LP
In tomorrow… Nazoranai is the supergroup of Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley. For close to four decades, Haino has been a legendary figure in Japan’s avant-garde community through his commanding presence in the band Fushitsusha and numerous solo ventures. Ambarchi, a prolific electro-acoustic composer of heavy ambience and hypno-rock, has long stood at the leading edge of Australia’s experimental music scene, while O’Malley remains a principle architect for the drone / doom metal project Sunn O))) in harnessing extreme sub-harmonic frequencies. Collectively, Nazoranai operates as a live recorded collaboration, although Haino is quick to point out the difference between the words “nazoranai” (which in Japanese calligraphy means “not repeating,” as in developing a distinct, individual style) and “sokkyō” (referring specifically to improvisation). In this parsing of terms, the group separates themselves from the free-music scene, which can be just as convention-bound as the established genres from which improvisers hope to escape. On the trio’s third album, Beginning To Fall In Line Before Me, So Decorously, The Nature Of All That Must Be Transformed, Nazoranai explore two side-long tracks of superb abstraction. Ambarchi and O’Malley provide the perfect brute-rock rhythm section to Haino’s wrecklessly pure expression through instrument and voice. Blurred noise, dark hurdy-gurdy and thunderous harmonics build an accretive mantra of jagged electricity. While Haino’s extensive discography resists easy interpretation, he constantly challenges himself to further his art by channeling the unknown. Shifting from his native Japanese to English, he asks: “Do you still have a mystery?” This existential plea could apply to the artist’s own deep inquisitions or stand to confront his audience about that which eludes their understanding. W.25TH / Superior Viaduct is proud to present Nazoranai’s latest work, recorded at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo, which marks the band’s first release on an American label.

File Under: Experimental, Drone, Rock
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nils

The Nils: s/t (Label Obscura) LP
The Nils’ story has been described as a “Greek rock ‘n’ roll tragedy.” Forging a following in the mid ’80s with their melancholy punk-driven power-pop sound, the Montreal group became casualties of a record label deal gone bad, before spiralling into black holes of drug addiction and death. Despite languishing in legal limbo and quickly going out of print, The Nils’ 1987 debut album has become a Canadian cult classic, influencing members of Green Day, Hüsker Dü, Sloan, and Superchunk. Now, to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary, Label Obscura is proud to reissue a deluxe remastered LP, available on 180 gram vinyl for the first time in decades. This edition of The Nils’ classic debut features new artwork from Yorodeo (the visual art collective of Dog Day’s Seth Smith), a gatefold jacket with archival photos, and liner notes by Jack Rabid, editor of New York’s influential music zine The Big Takeover. A series of live performances from the reformed Nils will follow throughout October.

File Under:
Punk, Power Pop
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orb

Orb: Naturality (Castle Face) LP
In tomorrow… An exciting development from under strange Australian lab-lights: ORB re-spawn from last year’s Birth with a further mutated slab of paranoid heavy shred, Naturality. They bring the dread with a kinetic muscularity and a pleasantly evolving synthetic strangeness, as if having eaten of the wrong part of the garden, causing familiar things start to seem less so. The effects of these spores on the modern brain, already clogged with a steady drip of zips and zooms, are fresh and confusing. ORB are young and fleet fingered, and certainly know their way around a riff, but bring everything into an almost alien clarity both blunted and futuristic. ORB, you see, have ripened quite radically, and one can only think at an accelerated pace upon their travels with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. This album finds them sprouting new appendages and clawing at their enclosures. This is potent stuff—be careful!

File Under: Psych, Garage, Stoner
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paterson

OST: Paterson (Third Man) LP
With their most recent project, the score for Paterson (2016), SQU¨RL (Carter Logan and Jim Jarmusch) took inspiration from their performances live-scoring Man Ray’s surrealist silent films and made a dive into the ocean of ambient electronic music. The poetry of Jarmusch’s latest fiction film offering requested a slightly different approach in texture, timbre and tone than the band’s usual sound, leading them to employ primarily analog synthesizers and leave drums and guitars behind. Feedback gives way to glass harmonica drones, kick drums to sub-bass punctuation marks. “It’s ambient, dreamy stuff,” Jarmusch told IndieWire while promoting the film’s release. While a brighter counterpoint to some of SQU¨RL’s previous work, including their Live at Third Man Records LP, using some new tools, the band’s purpose has remained to create their own variation on ecstatic music.

File Under: OST, Jim Jarmusch
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rra

Rural Alberta Advantage: The Wild (Paper Bag) LP
Late in 2016 the trio of Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt and Robin Hatch hit the road for a unique set of shows in some of their favorite venues across North America and Europe. They had been hard at work writing their next album and wanted to work out the new material the way they love best: by bringing it to their fans in person. As Nils put it, “I’ve never been good about focusing on a theme or having a specific plan at the outset of a new record. For me, writing music tends to be more of a constantly evolving process, like following one strange trail after another until a song has come to its general conclusion. This time around, we’re following that natural writing process more and inviting the fans to come along those trails with us.” Over the ensuing months they took the lessons of the road into the studio, laying ten new tracks to tape. Earlier in 2017, fans had their first chance to hear the results with the release of singles “White Lights” and “Beacon Hill.” Now, the full fruit of their labors can be found on The Wild.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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segall

Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) LP
In tomorrow… A reissue of the 2012 debut release by the Ty Segall Band on In The Red, featuring a bonus song not on the original release! The Ty Segall Band is Ty Segall (obviously), Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moonheart and Emily Rose Epstein. While Segall has released many incredible solo releases, Slaughterhouse marks the first time he recorded with his touring band. For this mini-album (originally released as a double 10-inch, but now expanded to a double 12-inch) the band recorded with Chris Woodhouse at the Hangar, turned their amps all the way up, set their fuzz pedals on “obliterate” and commenced to kick ass and take names. Seriously, this record will melt your face. All of Segall’s usual psych-pop sensibilities are present but Slaughterhouse adds the full-throttle, go-for-the-throat bombast that the band delivers in the live setting. The fuzz riffs, bratty howl and Cro-Magnon bashing culminate with a feedback freakout that’s clearly the only sensible way to end a workout of this magnitude in shit to announce the debut release by the Ty Segall Band.

File Under: Psych, Punk, Garage, Fuzz
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shane

Jackie Shane: Any Other Way (Numero) LP
Recognized by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Ms. Shane is a star without parallel – a pioneer of transgender rights born in a male body, living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Any Other Way marks Jackie Shane’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century. Rob Bowman’s extensive liner notes tell, for the first time ever, Ms. Shane’s story in her own words, copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and life unlike any other.

File Under: Soul
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spoon

Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Remastered by Howie Weinberg, the 10th anniversary 2-LP edition of Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga features the studio album on one LP and the 12-track Get Nice! EP – long out of print and previously only released on CD – on the other. Both are pressed on 180-gram vinyl packaged in a gatefold jacket with updated art. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was recorded throughout 2006 in Austin, TX, by the band and Mike McCarthy (except “The Underdog” which was recorded in Los Angeles with Jon Brion). With a history of stellar records, Spoon topped themselves with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. It kicks off with “Don’t Make Me a Target” a song that builds on Spoon’s familiar minimal rhythmic piano/guitar vamp popularized on earlier hits like “Small Stakes” or “The Way We Get By.” The album quickly moves into uncharted territory with the atmospheric “The Ghost of You Lingers” and moves through several different stylistic changes from the explosive “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” to the wall-of-sound horns of radio single “The Underdog.” Upon release, critics and listeners alike praised the record, which subsequently received Best New Music status from Pitchfork and cracked the top 10 of Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2007.

File Under: Indie Rock
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ufomammut

UFOmammut: 8 (Neurot) LP
In tomorrow… 8 is UFOmammut’s eighth album, comprised of eight tracks that flow into each other without interruption. This flow can also be seen when you tip 8 horizontally, thus it morphs into the lemniscate from algebraic geometry—∞—a plane curve that meets at central point, or more commonly known as the infinity symbol. A continuous stream of movement reflective of the uninterrupted nature of the album but also the continued togetherness of the essential elements of the band —Urlo, Poia and Vita— since the beginning of the band’s history in 1999. It must be stressed there is no singular pronunciation of the title, 8 is “eight” in English, “otto” in Italian, “acht” in German, “huit” in French, and so on. It is a continuous flux of music, a singular entity, which can be defined in micro-measurements by its eight satellite songs. Each song expands upon the one preceding it, unfolding into an exceedingly dense and malevolent journey, resulting in this being the band’s most extreme venture yet, with no permittance for breathing space in those forty-eight minutes.

File Under: Metal
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wand

Wand: Plum (Drag City) LP
In tomorrow… Plum is Wand’s fourth LP since the band formed in late 2013 but their first new album in two years. After a whirlwind initial phase of writing, recording, and touring at a frenetic clip, their newest document marks a period of relative patience; a refocusing and a push toward a new democratization of both process and musical surface. In late winter of 2016, the band expanded their core membership of Evan Burrows, Cory Hanson and Lee Landey to include two new members—Robbie Cody on guitar and Sofia Arreguin on keys and vocals. From the outset, the new ensemble moved naturally toward a changed working method, as they learned how to listen to each other and trust in this new format. The songwriting process was consciously relocated to the practice space, where for several months, the band spent hours a day freely improvising, while recording as much of the activity as they could manage. This new process demanded more honest communication, more vulnerability, better boundaries, more mercy and persistence during a year that meanwhile delivered a heaping serving of romantic, familial and political heartbreak for everyone involved. They learned more about their instruments and their perceived limitations.

 File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
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manna

White Manna: Bleeding Eyes (Cardinal Fuzz) LP
In tomorrow… Following an incredible one-two brace of releases on Holy Mountain, a release on Valley King, a limited live album (Live Frequencies) and then their last sonic attack (Pan) on Cardinal Fuzz in 2016, White Manna releases their new studio album as part of a joint venture between Cardinal Fuzz and Agitated Records. Unleashed at the end of September in Europe to tie in with a UK / EU tour that features another sure-to-be main-stage-storming appearance at Liverpool Psych Fest, Bleeding Eyes is the sound of the band soaring and searing with riffs and grooves that float their own take on sike rock to a higher plane! Eight tracks deliver serious motorik action along the way, with lo-fi pop glaze over the top of solid rhythmic pummel. Riffs, one asks? Oh yes—great rafts of guitar interplay blitzing the ears in a dronesome scree, ricocheting through space and time to transport all to sonic enlightenment.

File Under: Psych
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wolves

Wolves in the Throne Room: Thrice Woven (Artemisia) LP
In tomorrow… ON LIMITED CLEAR WITH GREY SWIRL VINYL WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!! Wolves In The Throne Room re-imagined black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies of the Pacific Northwest. Their first studio album, Diadem Of 12 Stars (2006), was a genre-dissolving classic that created a melancholy and psychedelic Cascadian atmosphere. Since that time they have become one of the most potent and highly regarded bands in extreme music. The listener encounters crystalline metal riffs that slowly collapse and shift into ritualistic laments, singing of endless rain falling upon ancient cedars. Their music is a doorway into a mythic ethereal heathen landscape entered through music, magic and dreams. Now, a portal into the dreamworld of the band opens again with Thrice Woven. It is a glorious return to the blazing and furious black metal that they alone can create!

 File Under: Black Metal
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supreme

Various: Studio One Supreme (Soul Jazz) LP
By the 1970s Studio One and Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd had already proved himself to be the defining force in Reggae for almost two decades. From running the Downbeat sound system on the lawns and yards of Kingston in the late 1950s to opening Studio One at 13 Brentford Road at the start of the 1960s, ushering in Ska and Rocksteady and establishing the careers of most of Jamaica’s artists – everyone from Bob Marley and The Wailers, Ken Boothe, Toots and The Maytals, The Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo and more – Clement Dodd had until this point dominated the Jamaican musical world. And yet, incredibly, Clement Dodd was barely half way through his musical path, maintaining Studio One’s number one position in the Jamaican music scene throughout the 1970s with a combination of musical and creative innovation and an endless capacity to adapt and create new musical fashions. By the end of the 1970s Dancehall had become the defining sound on the island. Dancehall was essentially a tribute by other Jamaican producers and artists to the classic music of Studio One created in the 1960s as young artists across the island created new songs, while musicians recreated these original classic foundation Studio One rhythms. As on other occasions, Clement Dodd rose to this new musical challenge by producing a whole new era of classics for Studio One. The roots of Dancehall begin with the DJs of the early 1970s, who were the first to sing new material over earlier classic rhythms. Early DJ pioneers such as Dillinger and Prince Jazzbo both feature here toasting over classic songs – The Mad Lad’s Ten to One and The Eternals’ Queen of the Minstrel. But it is the new wave of artists who arrived at Studio One at the onset of Dancehall which enabled Studio One to maintain its number one status as the whole of Kingston’s rival music producers – Channel One, Joe Gibbs and many others – attempted to challenge this position. Sugar Minott, Michigan and Smiley, Willie Williams, Lone Ranger had all grown up listening to the classic Studio One music of the 1960s and were able to pay the greatest compliment to the label by creating the defining new music of this new era with songs that combined all the musical and technological developments of the 1970s – dub, deejaying, discomixes, syndrums, synthesizers and more – into the sound of the future: Dancehall. Throughout this era Clement Dodd also continued to work with a number of original and returning artists – such as Alton Ellis, Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne – updating old rhythms and creating new ones while employing the in-house band variously known as The Brentford All-Stars/Rockers/Disco Set to update these sounds in order to maintain Studio One’s number one position as the defining force in Reggae.

File Under: Reggae, Dancehall

…..Restocks…..

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes (Interscope) LP
Beatles: Abbey Road (Apple) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) DLX LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Universal) LP
Blur: Parklife (Parlophone) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
R.L. Burnside: Worried Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey In Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Rev. Gary Davis: Worried Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Here Lies Man: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit In Progress (Swami) LP
Skip James: Worried Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Sirens Song (New West) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Damn (Aftermath) LP
Lee Morgan: Sidewinder (Blue Note) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (Universal) LP
Oliver Nelson: Blues and the Abstract Truth (Jazz Wax) LP
Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Castlemania (Castle Face) LP
OST: Solaris (Superior Viaduct) LP
Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
Replacements: Let It Be (Sire) LP
Replacements: Pleased to Meet Me (Sire) LP
Rostam: Half-Light (Nonesuch) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hallow (Rhino) LP
Dusty Springfield: OooooWeeee! (Premium Cool) LP
Dusty Springfield: Stay Awhile (Premium Cool) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
The Sword: Age of Winters (Kemado) LP
The Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemado) LP
The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) LP
Tragically Hip: Now for Plan A (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: World Container (Universal) LP

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…..new letters #814 – loadz…..

Lots of big new releases this week, and lots of em bumped until next week too. Nevertheless, loads of killer wax in right now, and I’m sitting here staring at a few hundred records waiting to get priced and off the counter, so… I’ll let you read on.

…..picks of the week…..

coil-trasparent-e1507854798712.jpg

Coil with Black Sun Productions: The Plastic Spider Thing (Rustblade) LP
“This album, featuring Coil’s music literally remixed and re-arranged in ritual form to serve as the soundtrack to the Black Sun Productions extreme performance art spectacle entitled Plastic Spider Things, following the performers’ (among who was counted John Balance himself) every move. Synths, drones, and psychedelic textures lead us on mystical tour of sex and magic, serving as a testament to the undeniable connection between Coil’s music, ritual magic, and performance art. A release that all hardcore Coil and Black Sun Productions fans have long been waiting for. Not to be missed!”
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Industrial
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miracleVarious: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP
I keep running out of this before I can rave about it, now restocked and AWESOME…. Miracle Steps (Music from the Fourth World 1983 – 2017) has been on Optimo Music’s to-do list for ages, but it was only when Twitch and Glasgow’s Fergus Clark started crossing swords over what actually constituted “Fourth World” music that the project really got going. Twitch decided that co-compiling the release with someone who had a slightly different take on things might make for a more interesting finished product, and so it came to pass that a cohesively thrilling compilation quickly materialized as each of them drew from a wealth of different artists and eras. For the uninitiated, here’s an extract from Fergus Clark’s sleeve notes honing in on how the term “Fourth World” (an idea conjured up by Jon Hassell in the early ’80s) might be defined: “What we have attempted to gather across this compilation is a body of work which we feel directly resonates with both the literal definition of ‘Fourth World’ music and indeed our own interpretation of this unique sonic vision; from the work of the late Jorge Reyes, a Mexican musician who combined pre-Hispanic instruments with synthesizers and digital sampling, through to the work of organic ambient ensemble O Yuki Conjugate. There are tracks which utilize custom, home-made instruments and there are tracks built from scratch using the latest in digital technology, but the undercurrent tying each piece together is this deeply personal feeling of intrigue and mysterious elation. Strange and unparalleled, this feeling manages to eschew geographic borders and rigid genre movements in favor of something which manages to evoke an inner sanctum, a musical private place for both reflection and assessment. This is music grounded in nor the past nor the present, music which manages to sound futuristic yet remarkably nostalgic.” JD Twitch is one half of Glasgow’s Optimo (Espacio) and runs the Optimo Music and Optimo Trax labels. Fergus Clark is a writer, occasional DJ, and avid music fan. He is a founding member of the music and art collective 12th Isle. Housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by the redoubtable Glasgow based visual artists Al White and Jamie Johnson. Also features: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma, Iona Fortune, X.Y.R., Jon Keliehor, David Cunningham, Larry Chernicoff, Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz, Jon Hassell, Vulgata, Afro-Disiak, Rapoon, and Javier Segura.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Fourth World
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…..new arrivals…..

childbirth

Amateur Childbirth: Your Afterlife is Cancelled (Blackest Ever Black) LP
This is Amateur Childbirth’s “Christian Rock” album. The previous LP from Ivan Matthew Hick’s solo project, 2013’s Pripyat, concerned itself with the blighted belief systems of UFO worshippers. Your Afterlife Is Cancelled expands this compelling solo project’s field of enquiry to look at a wider array of “religious anomalies”: cults, for want of a better word. Each song is about a different such anomaly. To call Hicks’s vision apocalyptic would be to underplay its cruelty. The Bible’s rampant sadism pales in comparison. This is a world where faith — in a god or gods, in astrology, morality, or any meaning whatsoever — is merely a prelude to punishment. His lyrics are vivid glossaries of pain, abjection and indignity; the songs’ protagonists swim in blood, piss, shit, and ejaculate. Eschatology and scatology are indivisible here. Drugs are rampantly abused, albeit to little benefit. There are scalpel-flashes of humor in David’s wordplay, rhyming and dour Brisbane diction — but this offers scant consolation for the songs’ embattled subjects, who wait, in vein, for salvation, while crows peck out their eyes, blood pours from their ears, and psoriasis ravages their skin. These words, for all their pessimism and body-horror, are cradled in minimalist, folk-rock arrangements that are quite dazzling in their beauty and grievously earned simplicity: Hicks’s monochord strum embellished with subtle violin, synthesizer, and percussion shading. Amateur Childbirth’s caustic end-times worldview inevitably prompts comparisons with Current 93, but also a wider (non-)tradition of caustic and disturbed loner psych that includes Simon Finn, Patrik Fitzgerald, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Jefferies, and Roy Harper. Your Afterlife Is Cancelled is a depressive tour de force from one of the most crushingly eloquent voices in the Australian underground.

File Under: Electronic, Neo-Folk, Psych
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sea lice

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) LP
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, two of the most acclaimed and gifted songwriters of our generation, have joined forces to release a collaboration as unique and unusual as their talents. Lotta Sea Lice is a conversation between friends, documented in raw, unvarnished song, brimming with personal history, crackling with energy and shot through with humor. There’s an unforced ease to the record, helped by the fact that the pair have been not just friends, but hardcore fans of each other’s work for years. They also roped in colleagues such as Mick Turner and Jim White of the Dirty Three, Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, and Aussie icon Mick Harvey. The shared chemistry is immediately apparent in the album opener and first single “Over Everything”, with dovetailing vocal lines and intricate, shimmering guitar. The lyrics play out as a rambling dialogue as they compare notes about songwriting and inspiration; it was the first song written for this project. While some of the songs on the record are originals, it features some covers. The pair also tackle each other’s tracks on the album, with Vile delivering a delicious, souped-up version of “Outta the Woodwork” backed by Barnett herself, and Barnett taking on Vile’s “Peepin’ Tomboy” completely solo, to spine-tingling result. The overall effect of Lotta Sea Lice is of Barnett and Vile throwing open the doors to their house to listeners – it’s their party, but everyone is invited.

File Under: Indie Rock
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beck

Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… The last time the mass public got a glimpse of Beck, it was at the end of the 2015 Grammy Awards, when Prince was handing him an Album of the Year award for his meditative, mostly acoustic album Morning Phase. Few people knew, but at that time the artist was already two years into work on the follow-up which has taken two more years to complete. Possibly the most aptly titled work in Beck’s storied discography, Colors unfolds in an intoxicating rainbow of auditory tricks and treats, making it a summery smash for the fall season. In addition to the captivating piano-driven “Dear Life,” Colors includes both Beck singles that preceded it: a new mix of the psych-dance summer jam “Dreams” that NPR hailed as “urgently contemporary and irresistibly vintage” and the retro-futuristic earworm “Wow” that had Stereogum praising its “big, sweet incandescent hook” and Esquire rejoicing, “All hail the return of Party Beck.” Dubbed as a “euphoric blast of experimental pop” by Rolling Stone, Colors was produced by the in demand Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Sia) and Beck, with the exception of “Wow” produced by Beck and Cole M.G.N. and “Fix Me” produced by Beck. The album was mixed by Serban Ghenea, except “Dreams” and “Up All Night,” which were mixed by Kurstin and Beck.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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caminiti

Evan Caminiti: Toxic City Music (Dust Editions) LP
Barn Owl’s Evan Caminiti leaves most any trace of Americana for dust in the rearview of Toxic City, where he fully pursues the distorted, emotive aches and atonal themes that cropped up in Meridian (2015) into more blown-out, sci-fi-tinted headspaces, with Jefre Canta Ledesma helping frame his vision on one of the album’s biggest highlights. That sense of wistful sehsucht is still in the air of Toxic City, but now polluted by a high ppm count of diffused noise and harmonic distortion that feels more angular, choked and firmly up-to-date than the sweeping high plains sound he used to drift around. “Toxic City Music was inspired by the psychic and physical toxicity of life in late capitalism. Conceived throughout 2015 and 2016, Caminiti captured the sounds of NYC’s machinery and voices before weaving them into his studio experiments. This collection of song mutations unravels in hazy plumes and serrated edges; concrète sounds mesh with disembodied strings and corrosive electronics on “Joaquin”, drones ripple under stuttering rhythms and crude synth detritus throughout “NYC Ego”. On “Toxic Tape (Love Canal)”, layers of digital degradation smear guitar clusters, dissolving into a dubby devotional-ambient space.”

File Under: Ambient
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coil1

Coil: Another Brown World/Baby Food (Sub Rosa) LP
Two rare tracks by Coil, never before released on vinyl and commissioned by Sub Rosa. These two pieces were commissioned by Sub Rosa for these two specific projects: Myths 4 – Sinople Twilight In Çatal Hüyük (1989) and Chaos In Expansion (1993). “Another Brown World” was written by John Balance and Peter Christopherson, produced and mixed by Coil, and recorded by Danny Hyde at Threshold House, London in the Summer of 1989. The vocals were recorded at the Animist Monastery situated at the Summit of Mount Popa in Pagan, Burma. “Baby Food” was written and performed by Coil: Danny Hyde (essentials) Peter Christopherson (fundamentals), and John Balance (vibrant rays of spiritual psychosis). This track is the first to utilize the recording process known as “Sidereal Sound”, a continuation and advancement of the deep listening theories as demonstrated on the album Love’s Secret Domain (1991). Recorded in a storm in London in the summer of 1993.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Experimental
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ambarchi

Chris Cole & Oren Ambarchi: Hotel Record (Black Truffle) LP
Hotel Record is the second release from the duo/couple of crys cole and Oren Ambarchi, following on from Sonja Henies vei 31. Where their debut recording presented a disquieting portrait of the erotic dimension of romantic intimacy, the follow-up continues to explore the pair’s simultaneously musical and romantic relationship in a more subtle fashion, presenting four long-form pieces that touch on the variety of forms the life of this couple takes: as a musical duo, as a pair of travelers to exotic locations, as opponents in a game of cards… Each of the double LP’s four sides presents a distinct sound-world, yet each manages to attain the same suspended, half-sleeping feeling, outlining a space where improbable combinations of the electronic and the acoustic, of extreme closeness and amorphous distance, occurring with the gentle insistence of a dream. The opening “Call Myself” calmly unfolds a fabric of long tones from electronic organ and guitar, combining the sliding, aleatoric effects of classic David Behrman with a more hands-on feel. Over the top of this slowly shifting tonal bed, cole’s voice mutters unintelligibly into a Buchla synth, teasing the listener by suggesting a meaning that remains always out of the ear’s reach. “Francis Debacle (Uno)” builds on the foundations of a heavily amplified session of the titular card game, overlaying vocal murmurs and exhalations and mysterious room-sounds to create an impossible aural environment. On “Burrata”, a palette of vintage 1980s digital synthesizer sounds combined with guitars create an irregular texture of lush chords and bubbling melodic details, into which cole’s voice processed by a vocoder, is interwoven, reading fragments of romantic correspondence. Finally, on “Pad Phet Gob”, field recordings made in Thailand become an ambiguously acoustic/electronic rainforest, eventually giving way to a mysterious, wavering electronic tone-field punctuated by sibilant, popping mouth-sounds. Carving out an intimate and human sonic space across a diverse array of compositional approaches, sound sources, fidelities, and textures, Hotel Record is the latest dispatch from the continuing explorations of a unique duo. Ambarchi and cole reimagine electro-acoustic music, not simply as “abstract” sound, but as a diary, a love poem, a dream. Comes in deluxe gatefold sleeve with photography by crys cole and LP design via Stephen O’Malley; Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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daedrider

Dead Rider: Crew Licks (Drag City) LP
Dead Rider are up and rolling again, and Crew Licks is the latest job. After the thousand days and nights since Chills on Glass, Dead Rider had to overcome the creeping suggestion that they multitask themselves to sleep — or to premature brain death — whichever came first. Now they’re ready to get into their Rolling Stones suit and thank you for letting them be themselves again; to extrude rude grooves, shattered r’n’b and/or hip hop and mother’s blues in a priapic triad, tripped-out and overlaid, shedding the old fresh in search of new flesh; a gateway they’ve been dreaming of building in their minds. If you’re lacking for rhythm and imagination in your everyday nine-to-five, Dead Rider got the time for you. The beat is lode-bearing, brick-house solid (courtesy of batterie-man Matt Espy), but flexible, breathing. In through the cracks come stuttered words and whispers, the pealing of a steel drum, a squalling sax or two, barks from the outside. Crew foreman Todd Rittmann twines them with a cabling of acid-base guitar licks, cutting down into the roots for fingerings to invert and extend. The basslines roll and crush, bounce and squish as required (thank you, White Christmas!), bringing synth and synthesis into and away from the framework. Wafting through the room is the float and gloss of eternal rhythm and blues, whether it’s the swelling of soulful choirs, organ chords or the deft tailing of guitar lines designed to relax us in the shades of a dusty, aphrodisiac evening. All done up with wack that Thundercat would get on the one, that would drive D’Angelo or Kendrick back to the notebooks for all the right words. Crew Licks is audio-verite pop music; not created but lived, with parts of life on the run reused to facilitate other parts. A chimera, reflecting man in pieces; not whole or fully animate. But beautiful…

File Under: Rock, Electronic, Experimental
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fingers

F Ingers: Awkwardly Blissing Out (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Recorded in Melbourne and Berlin between 2015-17 by Samuel Karmel, Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek, Awkwardly Blissing Out’s title is instructive… the spiky eldritch song-spells of F ingers’ previous album Hide Before Dinner have become more dubwise, immersive, and potently psychedelic; Euphoric even, but paranoid and laden with self-doubt. Projecting onto strangers, watching not participating, turning ever inwards. The cosmos explored from behind closed doors, under the bedclothes, alone. Whereas Hide Before Dinner evoked the thrill, and casual cruelty, of unsupervised childhood summers — a suburban gothic of grazed knees, hide-and-seek, nettle-stings — Awkwardly Blissing Out is an album of more adult anxieties and metamorphoses. The ghouls in your neighbor’s garden are still there, but have come to represent something else, something more mundane and empirically real, but no less terrifying. Struggles with time, distance, isolation, communication, and commitment; your memories have a heaviness now. You can hear aspects of ferric post-punk and hauntological/DIY electronics in Awkwardly Blissing Out’s musical make-up… Flying Lizards’ Secret Dub Life (1995) or Brigitte Fontaine’s Comme À La Radio (1969)… not to mention two generations of Oz/NZ underground experimentation, introspection, and dereliction. Now, more than ever, F ingers’ highly evolved, but naturalistic sound-world is difficult to precisely place or unpick: a mildew-y drug-dazed dub-scape, teeming but minimalism, framed by lonesome guitar strums, Manek’s supple percussive reverberating basslines, and Karmel’s painterly synth washes, over which dal Forno exploits her voice for its pure tonal character — whether diffracting light across the loping, uncanny techno rhythms of “All Rolled Up” and the waterlogged psych-folk of “Off Silently”, or sliced and looped into disorienting patterns of abstract glossolalia on “Time Passes” and the time-dilating nine-minute title track. Awkwardly Blissing Out is a landmark recording from one of the Southern hemisphere’s most extraordinary, visionary freak units; a deep and sensuous trip that nonetheless prompts some uncomfortable — or at any rate, bittersweet — reflection on what we are, what we were, and what we might have been.

File Under: Electronic, Dark Wave, Ambient
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function

Function: Recompiled I/II (A-Ton) LP
First part of a two-part Function retrospective from Ostgut Ton sublabel A-Ton. A mixture of released and previously unreleased tracks, including Function’s remix of “Falling The Same Way” by Sandwell District and “Golden Dawn (feat. Stefanie Parnow) (Version)” by Function. “Once a cathedral, now a mall, Limelight was last in the line of Manhattan clubs whose lineage could be traced back to New York’s fertile club era of the ’70s and ’80s, which included the East Village punk and no wave scenes, the Mudd Club, Danceteria and the Paradise Garage. It’s connected to a storied New York history — sometimes holy, sometimes notorious. . . . ‘A lot of things that were worlds apart met in that deconsecrated Episcopal church,’ recalls David Sumner. ‘I used to practically live in that club, going two or three nights a week for years. I knew this was what I was going to do with the rest of my life.’ In many ways Limelight was America’s rave incubator. On a New Music Seminar night in July of 1992, the revolution was about to take hold. ‘Walking in, I didn’t know what was going on. Then I started to see xeroxed Underground Resistance 8 1/2 x 11s all around the club, like the kind of inserts that came inside their EPs,’ Dave recalls. He would go on to see Mike Banks, Rob ‘Noise’ Hood, and Jeff Mills perform for an electrified crowd as UR. ‘That night straight up changed my life.’ . . . New York itself is a major influence for Dave, as is its history of clubs — from discos and house music, to techno and raves. Think of Todd Terry’s 1988 Black Riot record or Boyd Jarvis’ 1983 release ‘The Music Got Me’ as milestones on this journey. ‘It’s a DJ’s approach to music. I remember in the early ’90s when the music was changing so rapidly and it felt so revolutionary, separating my records into piles and thinking “I need more of this — there needs to be more of this kind of record.”‘ It’s passion that drives this story of a life in music, and it’s a desire to blow your mind the same way his inspirations blew his. Function is always innovating and finding new ways to connect the dots, to continually pursue the art of storytelling through giant slabs of sound.” –Brendan M. Gillen, Interdimensional Transmissions, Detroit, 2017

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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hiss

Hiss Golden Messenger: Hallelujah Anyhow (Merge) LP
Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger. Its 10 new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies. LP includes a digital download and is packaged in a gatefold jacket containing full lyrics and photos of the band in the studio. “I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.” – M.C. Taylor

File Under: Folk, Country
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jabu

Jabu: Sleep Heavy (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Blackest Ever Black presents Sleep Heavy, the debut album of broken-hearted, downtempo R&B/street-soul and supremely atmospheric, introspective electronics from Jabu: a trio comprised of vocalist/lyricists Alex Rendall and Jasmine Butt, and producer Amos Childs. The group was born out of Bristol’s Young Echo collective: an ecosystem unto itself which has birthed and nurtured a number of other notable soundsystem-rooted projects and artists to date, including Kahn & Neek, Sam Kidel, Ishan Sound, Ossia, Asda, Chester Giles, and Killing Sound (Childs with Kidel and Vessel). Jabu’s previous 7″ singles, though arresting, barely hinted at the level of accomplishment and emotional heft that Sleep Heavy delivers. It’s a future Bristol classic with a universal resonance, with songs that are highly personal but deeply relatable, and a tripped-out, time-dissolving sound design that both haunts and consoles. It is, first and foremost, a meditation on grief, loss, making sense of separation, and death; but it also looks forward to what might come after the aftermath: healing, acceptance, the chance to begin again. Childs is one of the most gifted producers of his generation and his work here, grounded in hip-hop but floating free, is a thing of sustained wonder: crepuscular, melancholic, subtly psychedelic, and heavily dubwise, but always concise and purposeful. Stitched together from deep-dug and beautifully repurposed samples, it draws on influences from US R&B to Japanese art-pop minimalism — Mariah to Mariah Carey, if you will — and a rich seam of underground UK soul, boogie, DIY/post-punk, library music, and lovers rock. There is also of course a distant connection to the Bristol blues of Smith & Mighty and the sultry urban gothic of Protection-era Massive Attack (1994), but Jabu’s orchestration of womb-like ambiences, cold synth tones, and brittle beats feel entirely sui generis. They provide the perfect setting for Rendall’s wounded, imploring and carefully weighted vocals, which are no less extraordinary: nodding to giants like Teddy Pendergrass and The Temptations in terms of phrasing and front-and-center vulnerability, with something of The Associates’ Billy MacKenzie in there too; defeated but defiant. Meanwhile, Jas’s heavenly interventions, sometimes leading but more often parsed and layered into tremulous, gossamer abstraction, draw a line between the Catholic choral harmonies of her childhood and the ethereal, oceanic sweep of Cocteau Twins. By its end, Sleep Heavy’s world-weariness is intact and scarcely diminished, but some light has been admitted, and is visible from the sea-floor.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Soul, R&B
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jtb

Jets to Brazil: Orange Rhyming Dictionary (Jade Tree) LP
Three classic LPS from Jets to Brazil – available on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition (indie-shop-only) clear vinyl. Jets To Brazil vinyl has been out of print since their original pressings and are in high demand. Consisting of ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, ex-Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly, and ex-Handsome vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, Jets to Brazil could be considered an amalgam of their forefathers with a slightly darker and more mature musical perspective. “With the 1998 release of their first LP, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil took the expectations of their peers and turned them on their heads, surprising most with their breed of music that is fresh and excitingly powerful. As the band members continue to move away from their namesakes and become more comfortable with their expanding sound, the world could see something quite intriguing evolve. Jets to Brazil followed up with Four Cornered Night in August 2000. Two years later, the band returned with their darkest, most inspirational material to date; Perfecting Loneliness was released in October 2002 and reflected mega-tight musicianship from the band.” – All Music Guide

File Under: Indie Rock, Emo, Punk
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jtb2

Jets to Brazil: Four Cornered Night (Jade Tree) LP
Three classic LPS from Jets to Brazil – available on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition (indie-shop-only) clear vinyl. Jets To Brazil vinyl has been out of print since their original pressings and are in high demand. Consisting of ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, ex-Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly, and ex-Handsome vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, Jets to Brazil could be considered an amalgam of their forefathers with a slightly darker and more mature musical perspective. “With the 1998 release of their first LP, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil took the expectations of their peers and turned them on their heads, surprising most with their breed of music that is fresh and excitingly powerful. As the band members continue to move away from their namesakes and become more comfortable with their expanding sound, the world could see something quite intriguing evolve. Jets to Brazil followed up with Four Cornered Night in August 2000. Two years later, the band returned with their darkest, most inspirational material to date; Perfecting Loneliness was released in October 2002 and reflected mega-tight musicianship from the band.” – All Music Guide

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk, Emo
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king khan

King Khan: Murderburgers (Ernest Jennings) LP
King Khan, master of psychedelic R&B, used all of his magic to reunite one of his all time favourite bands “The Gris Gris” from Oakland, California to back him up on this long player. Produced by Greg Ashley at his Creamery Studio which has since disappeared because of the unfortunate gentrification of Oakland. This album shows a more singer/songwriter side to King Khan, while mixing in his classic garage punk swagger and many more subtle influences here and there. You can taste alot of Stooges, screaming saxes in full Steve Mackay style, pounding pianos, some Bakersfield California Country swing, some haunting desert sunset vibes and most of all the classic rock n’ soul that has become King Khan’s genuine signature sound. The resulting gumbo is as tasty as ever and even has the Oakland Taco King, Oscar “El Tacoban” Michel on Bass and legendary Oakland drummer for hire Garrett “with an A in the O” Goddard bashing the skins. King Khan starts a world tour this month to support.

File Under: Garage Rock, Psych, R&B

king krule

King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther) LP
The Ooz is the second full-length album from London-born 22 year-old polymath King Krule aka Archy Marshall. The sprawling 19-song epic follows his 2013 debut 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. 6FBTM brought King Krule universal acclaim, hundreds of thousands of record sales, worldwide tour dates, and put him on track to becoming a household name. For the last two years, Archy has been holed up in his south-east London neighborhood, shutting out the world, and shuttling between his bedroom recording setup and a small studio walking distance from his home. He has refined his craft; taking dramatic steps as a songwriter, producer and lyricist. This album is seeped with the results of that time spent alone. He has grown into a complete and expressive artist in full mastery of his craft. According to Archy, The Ooz is, “a smear, a mark. The constant sludge pouring out of your crevices. You have ear wax, snot, phlegm, piss, gasses, tears. Look how much you create. You Ooz constantly without even knowing. The record is called that because it’s whatever comes out of you to exist.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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land

Harold Land: A New Shade of Blue (Wewantsounds) LP
Wewantsounds present a reissue of Harold Land’s A New Shade Of Blue, originally released in 1971. Following the highly-acclaimed release of Feeling Good and Inner Peace compilations, Wewantsounds present the reissue of two superb classic albums as the first releases in their Mainstream Records Original Classics series: A New Shade Of Blue, presented here, and Buddy Terry’s 1971 album Awareness. Wewantsounds has gone back to the original negative to reconstruct the original artworks and will add many jaw dropping never-seen photo sessions Recorded in 1971, this beautiful Harold Land record produced by Bob Shad, is nothing but a Harold Land-Bobby Hutcherson quintet album in disguise. The quintet recorded a handful of marvelous albums between 1967 and 1971, mainly under the Bobby Hutcherson name on Blue Note, but they recorded one album on Chess and two for Mainstream Records. A New Shade Of Blue, recorded in Los Angeles where the quintet was based, is one of their best albums and has never been reissued outside of Japan. Featuring a superb line up comprising Buster Williams on bass and Billy Hart on drums — the rhythm section of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi (1971) sextet — the session is augmented by Bill Henderson on piano and Fender Rhodes and Mtume on percussion. Together they create a superb soundscape featuring the quintet’s trademark sound, both spiritual and serene, with Land’s unmistakable sax playing and Bobby Hutcherson’s modal touch. The highlight of the album is the long hypnotic track “Mtume”, a deep, slow burner displaying the group’s fantastic interplay. Includes unissued session photos taken by LA photographer Dick Sanders and new liner notes by radio DJ and renowned record digger, Sam Barbatano (Sunday Jazz, KTRU Houston). CD version includes a bonus track, a beautiful eight-minute outtake “Dark Mood” briefly issued in 1974 on a Mainstream compilation.

File Under: Jazz
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lowe

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Kulthan (Latency) LP
Two swinging, hypnotic excursions by the Brooklynite (aka Lichens). Ethereal and melancholic, ‘Magnamite’ ponders ‘the relationship of machine and human’; whilst the wilder pulsations of ‘Heart Of Sogguth’ bear witness to a ‘unified human machine wherein the voice becomes the rhythm — all become one instrument’.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Techno
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major

Paul Major: Feel The Music (Anthology) Book
Paul Major has lived resolutely at the edge of outsider music culture for nearly a half-century. As an early private press and “real people” record collector turned eminent, underground rock ‘n’ roller, his influence is felt if not heard all around us—until now. Feel the Music traces Paul’s trajectory from his formative days in the Midwest, his years in the late ’70s New York punk scene, and into his curious career as a connoisseur and campaigner of the weirdest records of all time. Brought to life with unseen photographs, rare record covers, and cut n’ paste ephemera from Paul’s long running mail order catalog, while animated by Paul’s storytelling, Feel the Music is a fanatical mystery tour through the further, outer reaches of music history. Alongside Paul’s writing, Feel the Music features essays by Johan Kugelberg, Jack Streitman, Michael P. Daley, Rich Haupt, Stefan Kery, Patrick Lundborg, Geoffrey Weiss, Jesper Eklow, and Glenn Terry. Each book also comes with a special Sorcerers and Endless Boogie split 7? vinyl record.

File Under: Books, Psych

miyashita Fumio Miyashita: Live of the Boffomundo Show (Drag City) LP
“By October, 1979, my partner, Aaron Weiner and I had produced a handful of Boffomundo Shows at Los Angeles’ first public access television studio at Theta Cable in Santa Monica. It was our good fortune to meet and partner with Tony Harrington of All Ears Records and we joined forces as The All Ears Boffomundo Show. Up to that point we interviewed King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, PFM singer Bernardo Lanzetti, and Brand X & Phil Collins (before his solo fame). All Ears Records stable of artists concentrated heavily on Japanese bands and musicians. “He introduced us to the already legendary synthesizer master, Fumio Miyashita, founder of The Far East Family Band, who Tony boldly dubbed ‘Japan’s Answer to Pink Floyd.’ While certainly influenced by the Floyd, Fumio, along with fellow band member and award winning synthesist, Kitaro, were more accurately evolving the electronic techo-stylings of Germany’s Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple, Kraftwerk, and other Krautrock innovators from the early 1970s. One-time Dream and Temple member, and a seminal synth innovator in his own right, Klaus Schulze, both produced and mixed several Far East Family Band albums. As Aaron recalls, ‘Fumio was a gentle soul. Soft spoken, thoughtful and intelligent. And on the cutting edge of technology. It was in Fumio’s hands that I first viewed a Sony Walkman. It is mind boggling to think what has transpired technologically since then.’ “Fumio brought multiple keyboards, percussion and incidental sundries to a studio the size of a small garage. Somehow, the staff of Theta Cable Studios managed to capture all the sound pumped through a 12″ bookshelf speaker! A single microphone rested on a wooden stool in front of that speaker. In 1980, a second appearance from Fumio included Far East Family Band members, guitarist Lance Hooks and bass player George Babon. The same lone bookshelf speaker was employed once again! That proud little speaker is no doubt fully decomposed in a landfill somewhere but the music survives…” – Ron Curtiss

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
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monolord

Monolord: Rust (Riding Easy) LP
Monolord encompasses and transcends genre — a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band’s third full length, truly justifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom. The band’s enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs’ sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that’s more total environment than collection of songs. Guitarist / vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems, and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as a fourth member. Album opener “Where Death Meets the Sea” perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks: a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but they use to subtly spur the skull rattling core ever onward. This tight rhythmic unit sounds like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. “Dear Lucifer” squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover with chasm-like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album’s title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro followed by the band kicking in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives as the drums hammer down for the kill.

File Under: Metal
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ngozi

Ngozi Family: Heavy Connection (Shadoks) LP
The Ngozi Family formed in 1975 in Lusaka, Zambia, and shot to stardom. Bandleader Paul Dobson Nyirongo aka Paul Ngozi enlisted former members of his previous band, The Three Years, and gave a popular voice to what later was called “Zamrock,” a cool fusion of older African rhythms and ’70s rockish underground modes — never too polished, but with a tightness that would have made groups up in London take notice. Heavy Connection, recorded in 1978 with drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo, features razor-sharp guitars, hard rhythms, and a mix of English and Zambian lyrics. Original copies are impossible to find. RIYL: Witch and Amanaz. Fuzz guitars all over with African beats and political lyrics. 180-gram black vinyl. Heavy sleeve. Includes two-page insert. Numbered edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Zambia, Fuzz
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ninos

Ninos Du Brasil: Vida Eterna (Hospital) LP
Nico Vascellari and Nicolò Fortuni come out to play in the dark on their third and deadliest LP as Ninos Du Brasil, taking their fascinations with ritual musics — from Brazilian Afro-Latin tribal rhythms to library music and freezing Scandinavian BM — deep into the festering undergrowth of their shared, exotic aesthetic. Where the cover of their first album for Hospital Productions, Novos Mistérios, depicted a naked man covered by a leopard pelt, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s oil painting of a screeching Chiroptera in flight on the Vida Eterna jacket makes a strong visual allegory for NDB’s finer tuned spatial sensitivities inside, with their churning rhythms now embedded in fathoms of dread space and father shaded in layers of processed vocal chants, both punk, metal, and tribalistic. The big highlight is no doubt the closing cut, “Vagalumes Piralampos”, where Arto Lindsay, the legendary founder of DNA, chimes in on a stygian, moonlit jag between the eyes of bossa nova, batacuda, and the sort of esoteric electronics also charted by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement or Cienfuegos. But it only really makes sense after you’ve expended your energies along with the band thru monstrous techno shakedowns such as “O Veto Chama Seu Nome”, the soca-like rush of “Condenado Por Un Idioma Desconhecido”, or found yourself lost, without coordinates, in the pitch black breakdown of “No Meio Da Noite” and have been hypnotized by the stalking rhythms and atmospheres of “Em Que O Rio Do Mar Se Toma”. The creation of this album, inspired by vampirism, was born from a collaboration between Vascellari and Fortuni with producer Rocco Rampino, whose love of dense textures and low-end bombast masterfully and cleverly couples with the bands explosive percussive charge, resulting in eight tracks that mimic sharp blades scything through a nocturnal jungle. RIYL: Psychedelic Warriors Of Gaia, Female, Vatican Shadow. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Comes in a gatefold jacket.

File Under: Electronic, Batucada, Latin, Industrial
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odwyer

Aine O’Dwyer: Gallarais (Mie) LP
David Toop, on hearing Áine O’Dwyer’s Gallarais and the subsequent conversations between November 2016 and January 2017. “Sleep music, the underworld. Twenty-six letters were sent, not far to travel, from Proust, hypersensitive writer to his upstairs neighbour, Marie Williams — ‘I was rather troubled by noise . . . I was trying to sleep off an attack. But at 8am the tapping on the parquet was so distinct that the Veronal didn’t work and I woke with the attack still raging.’ Marie Williams played harp, though it was not the harp that dragged Proust from the fumes of a bedroom armed against asthma attacks, cork-lined to smother noise.. . . Proust spoke of an imperceptible breath, ‘like the wind breathing into the stem of a reed’, mingling with the subdued song of his dying grandmother’s breathing, ‘swift and light . . . gliding like a skater towards the delicious fluid’, the human sighs released at the approach of death . . . ‘Who’s there?’ cries out the old man, stark terror pulled awake at the faintest of noises from pitch black vicinity of an unseen doorway. . . . There is one voice or two, whispers of shaping breath thrown into far obscure and occult recesses of the space as if spirits on the wing whose feathers shriek and keen. They are swans with near-human heads, carrying the lightness of souls, moving between dry land of the living, subterranean rivers of the dead. Sleep music they make, its murmurs written by the method of ‘passive writing’, a transcribing of tongues unknown to all but the most open of listeners. . . . The space was a cave, a tunnel, a room without windows. A skull without eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, though as Beckett had noticed, the soul turns in this cage as in a lantern, silence ‘beating against the walls and being beaten back by them’; the space was a chapel, upturned boat, perhaps the curragh that carried Maildun and his crew to the Isle of Weeping, the Isle of Speaking Birds, the Palace of Solitude. . . . ‘Within a house described by Mary Butts, in Ashe of Rings (1998), the bronze note of a clock rings, ‘like a body falling bound into deep water’. . . . The body descended into the tunnel, never to return as itself.”

File Under: Electronic, Drone

rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Jungle Black Magic… (Hospital) LP
Released on vinyl for the time, Jungle Black Magic And Highlands Green Sorcery is the most substantial and disorientating release in the Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement vinyl series yet, clocking in at 40 minutes and deploying some of the most uncomfortably humid productions in Dominick Fernow’s arsenal. Jungle Black Magic marks the third in a series of first-time vinyl editions of early RSE material. It was originally released as a double cassette release in 2012 in an edition of 49. Stalking phantom apparitions and infrasonic illusions from the dankest sectors of his imagination, Fernow plays voodoo tricks on charred opener “The Case Of The Male Witch From Goroka” — a tropical downer underpinned by larger than life sub-bass rumblings and what sound like field recordings of YouTube rainforest nightscapes rendered in abstract, digital form. “The Verdict Handed Down By A Kangaroo Court” furthers trance induction with a more tribal alignment of drums, before “For The Next Three Days There Was An Eerie Silence In The Village” ends the set with a completely bewildering alignment of synthetic sounds designed to play tricks on your senses; somewhere between a dark meditation aid and a reworked soundtrack to Predator (1987) — the vibe exceptionally heatsick and paranoid. These pieces operate in paradoxical dimensions where the calls of exotic birds convey a denseness that’s at odds with acres of negative space. It feels like standing in a deforested land at the edge of thick jungle, the effect is uncannily transportive; your mind constantly grappling with contrasting sensory triggers. How can something this ice cold also convey such suffocating heat? It makes for an incredible, pretty much unique listening experience; like fourth world ambience but in some kind of Lynchian above-the-convenience store dimension. Remastered by Paul Corley; Cut at Dubplates & Mastering. RIYL: Coil, Demdike Stare, Prurient, Brian Eno & Jon Hassell’s 1980 album Fourth World. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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rock town

Rock Town Express: Funky Makossa (Comb & Razor) LP
“In 1973, EMI Records Nigeria released the 45 rpm disc ‘Fuel for Love’ b/w ‘Soundway,’ credited to a mysterious band called Wrinkar Experience. The record was a finely-crafted gem of pop-rock and funky soul as had never before been heard coming out of the country’s nascent rock scene, and it ended up being the biggest selling Nigerian single up until that point. The success of Wrinkar Experience effectively demonstrated that was a market for homegrown pop and rock, and sent record labels scrambling to sign similar bands, kicking off the Nigerian rock revolution that is still being celebrated and discovered by new generations today. But while Wrinkar Experience launched the movement, the group itself would be short-lived: after another hit single in 1973, the band’s frontman Danie Ian split for a solo career. The remaining principal players in the group — Cameroonian musicians Ginger Forcha and Edjo’o Jacques Racine — tried to keep the Wrinkar name going before giving it up and rebranding themselves as Rock Town Express. Rock Town Express’s debut LP Funky Makossa was recorded in 1974 for ARC Records, the cutting-edge studio and label established in Lagos by English drum legend Ginger Baker. The album showcased in long format the qualities that had only been hinted at on the Wrinkar Experience singles: bright, confident pop melodies, articulate lyrics, and darkly potent funk-rock. Comb & Razor Sound is proud to present a new, fully-authorized reissue of Funky Makossa, featuring the seven tracks from the original release, plus ‘I Am A Natural Man’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Know,’ from Wrinkar Experience’s seldom-heard third and final single.”

File Under: Afro Beat, Psych, Funk, Rock
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sanders

Pharoah Sanders: Quintet (ESP) LP
ESP-Disk present a reissue of Pharoah Sanders Quintet, originally released in 1965. Recorded on September 10, 1964, prior to his well-known association with John Coltrane, this eponymous album (later renamed Pharoah’s First) is the debut release of the iconic tenor saxophonist, Pharoah Sanders. (Yes, there are some spelling oddities here: the artist — birth name Ferrell — only later changed the spelling from the standard Pharaoh to the more personalized Pharoah). With one foot in mainstream jazz — pianist Jane Getz had played with Charles Mingus — and the other, tentatively at times, in the avant-garde, this is a fascinating glimpse of Sanders’s style before he wielded the unremitting fierceness of his playing with Coltrane and the modal mysticism of his later solo albums on Impulse. Interestingly, in recent years he has deployed a more polished version of this sort of avant-flavored bop, bringing his career full circle and strongly suggesting that the hybrid heard here was not due to any failure of nerve on his debut but rather was the cornerstone of his conception. ESP-Disk has issued this album under three different covers; for its 21st-century reissue on vinyl, they have chosen to use the second and most beautiful. It is augmented with liner notes by a current ESP-Disk artist, tenor saxophonist Ras Moshe Burnett of The Red Microphone, who can be heard accompanying Amina Baraka on their eponymous release (ESPDISK 5021CD, 2017). Personnel: Pharoah Sanders – tenor saxophone; Stan Foster – trumpet; Jane Getz – piano; William Bennett – bass; Marvin Pattillo – percussion.

File Under: Jazz
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shabason

Joseph Shabason: Aytche (Western Vinyl) LP
When John Coltrane died in 1967 the jazz idiom rapidly shed what purists had distilled it to be, falling from the treetop of the early 20th century and striking every cultural branch of the latter half on its way down. The genre morphed through erratic age-of-Aquarius spiritualism in the 60’s, rubbed commercial shoulders with rock, funk, and disco in the 70’s, took a backseat to pop artists’ studio-sessions in the 80’s, and finally found something of a dignified retirement as a sampling source for countless hip-hop producers in the 90’s. Amidst this apparent life-boating, the dust of the exploded genre settled in some intriguing rifts wherein jazz embraced experimentalism without trading it for integrity. Pat Metheny recorded Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint”, and John Hassell partnered with Terry Riley and Brian Eno to push the textural and compositional confines of the genre to an altogether different realm.  In 2017, with so-called Nu-Jazz in full view, saxophonist Joseph Shabason is solely pulling the thread left hanging by the marriage of minimalism and jazz in the previous century. His debut LP, Aytche, reveals this cross-pollination to be as fertile and captivating as ever, fitting as well– or better– into this decade as any other. Shabason builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting. Aytche, however, is not a stoic march toward technological frontiers, but a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, “So much sax music is about chops, and being able to solo really fast. I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it’s not usually known for.” Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones. Shabason’s compositions are steeped in a deteriorative quality that seems to melt and glide between peace and confusion, tragedy and resolve, like calm memories and end-of-life fears interrupting each other moment by moment. Opening track “Looking Forward to Something, Dude” introduces the recurrent motif of the album; a warm, downward shifting chorus of effected horns that is at once healing and heartrending, creating a unnameable mood all its own. Flits of dissonant woodwinds punctuate the stillness like the impulse of anxiety arising in deep thought, giving us a reason to catch our breath in a moment of complacency. The title track and its successor “Neil McCauley” urge the procession forward with understated relentlessness before the album’s opening horn motif re-emerges under a layer of serrated distortion on the aptly named “Smokestack.” Further into the experience is “Westmeath” a piece that approaches Aytche’s subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album’s only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father’s trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust themselves, this selection is anything but frivolous. Shabason intended for this album to be heard with Eno’s “as ignorable as it is interesting” philosophy, but the mood here is far too singular to exist as background. As with so much of the best contemplative music, there is therapy in Aytche, but the flies in the ointment make the moments of peace all the more descriptive and potent by contrast. RIYL: Colin Stetson, Jon Hassell, Arve Henriksen, etc. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Ambient
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siriusmo

Siriusmo: Comic (Monkeytown) LP
Pow, Boom, Splash! You will instantly recognize the rich brush strokes of this musical painter. Monkeytown linchpin Moritz Friedrich, aka Siriusmo, is back with a bang and a pencil. Following up 2013’s Enthusiast, his third full-length recording Comic sounds like its title suggests: colorful, rampant, funny, and hilariously foolish. Siriusmo maintains his very own sound and spot within electronic music, drawing from numerous styles and mashing it all through his personal beat-grinder, constantly understating and exaggerating. He’s the innovator that has no such intentions at all. Here’s what the master himself has to say about his new work: “Comic feels like dilettante kids drawings roughly sketched with a big marker, like abstract layouts as well as finely carved romantic paintings. 14 songs ripped from the pages of a coloring book to be vividly colored by you!” But don’t worry, those pages will fill themselves with life as soon as the mellow and trippy patterns of the opening track set in. There are big and broken beats in “Wrong Password”, extremely easygoing rave tunes like “Dagoberta”, lots of genuine oddities like “Wixn”, and the piano work on “Geilomant” even makes you think of some classic hip-hop track. Comparisons are futile, except for one: From the melodic vintage electro of “Dagoberta” to the sonic assault and whirlwind drum programming of “Bleat”, there’s a strong link to older Squarepusher records. Just replace the former’s jazz and jungle roots with Berlin’s musical history, and you get an idea of what Siriusmo is made of. Siriusmo may be the laziest genius around, though he’s been all but unproductive since Enthusiast: In 2015 he joined forces with Modeselektor and toured Europe under the banner of Siriusmodeselektor, playing festivals from Glastonbury to Sonar. The same year he produced the debut album of Romano, Köpenick’s one-of-a-kind rap phenomenon and close friend of Moritz. He remixed Moderat, collaborated with synth pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, and contributed to Mr. Oizo’s latest album, who’s also appearing on Comic. So does Romano on standout track “La Bouche”, delivering some tasty German phrases. Having been occupied recently with Roman’s second album, his fans are very lucky that Moritz found the time to pin down a new Siriusmo album as well. He may not be a man of many words, but possesses a bold and singular musical vision. Also features Dana And Romano and Jan Driver.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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puppy

Skinny Puppy: Bites (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy exploded onto the electronic industrial music scene with 1984’s Remission EP, fusing elements of new wave, techno dance, film noir, and innovative sampling. Lead by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the band quickly garnered an international fanbase and followed up their new success with 1985’s Bites, which produced their first underground hit, “Assimilate.” Restored to their original track listing and design, Remission and Bites are now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years.

File Under: Electronic, EBM
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skinny

Skinny Puppy: Remission (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy exploded onto the electronic industrial music scene with 1984’s Remission EP, fusing elements of new wave, techno dance, film noir, and innovative sampling. Lead by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the band quickly garnered an international fanbase and followed up their new success with 1985’s Bites, which produced their first underground hit, “Assimilate.” Restored to their original track listing and design, Remission and Bites are now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years.

File Under: Electronic, EBM
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vincent

St. Vincent: Masseducation (Loma Vista) LP
In Tomorrow… Themes of power and sex, imperiled relationships and death slice through St. Vincent aka Annie Clark’s highly anticipated new album Masseduction, the enigmatic artist’s first since her Grammy-nominated self-titled 2014 effort. The 13 tracks swirl with guitar and piano, synths and strings, and drum beats that punch with purpose. The album was co-produced by St. Vincent and Jack Antonoff at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan, with additional recording at Rough Consumer Studio in Brooklyn, and Compound Fracture in Los Angeles. “Every record I make has an archetype,” says Clark. “Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. Masseduction is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.” Masseducation is the culmination of years of writing, with songs crafted from voice memos, text messages, and snippets of melodies that came to Clark while traveling the globe. Special guests on the album include Thomas Bartlett on piano, Kamasi Washington on saxophone, Jenny Lewis on vocals, and beat production from Sounwave. Greg Leisz and Rich Hinman add pedal steel, and Tuck and Patti Andress contribute guitar and vocals respectively on select tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
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stalteri

Arturo Stalteri: …E Il Pavone Parlo alla Luna (Soave) LP
Recorded in 1980 but only issued privately in 1987, Arturo Stàlteri’s …e il pavone parlò alla Luna falls among the last artifacts of Italy’s great wave of musical minimalism. Like the movement to which it belongs, rigorously resistant to categorizations and definition, this overlooked marvel sculpts a startling singularity. A radical and democratic vision in sound, blending elements of new age, the avant-garde, and prog with Western and Indian classical musics. Highly talented pianist Arturo Stàlteri debuted in 1974 with Pierrot Lunaire, one of the most original and innovative groups of the Italian progressive scene. After the dissolution of the band he began an inspirational solo career with the prog opus Andrè Sulla Luna (1979); the following year a two-month trip to India left an important impression on him and inspired …e il pavone parlò alla Luna, which stands as Stàlteri’s true masterwork. A complex and ambitious hybrid, built around organ and piano, with each passage struggling for creative autonomy and dislodging themselves from the whole, yet remaining as accessible as they are challenging, to all those willing to heed the call. Despite its repetitive rhythms and cyclical tones, bound to American minimalism, …e il pavone parlò alla Luna’s complex relationships and breadth of territory locate it as a distinctly European work, a wondrous late breath, and a seminal entry in Italy’s remarkable canon of avant-garde and minimalist music. A rippling oddity, not quite like anything else, reissued here on vinyl for the first time.

File Under: Electronic, Art Rock, Avant Garde
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sunra1

Sun Ra & His Myth Science Solar Arkestra: Lost Arkestra Series Vol 1 & 2 (Art Yard) 2×10″
A double 10″ set featuring Sun Ra recordings. Initially released on two separate 10″s back in 2010/13. Volume 1 features “Along Came Ra”, a previously unissued live track recorded in Paris in 1983. The legendary Disco 3000 concert tapes are on the flip. Volume 2 lifts three fine selections from the Sub-Underground Saturn LPs. “Love Is For Always” and the driving, roots-y “The World Of Africa” come from 1974’s Temple U; while the myth-science poetics of “Space Is The Place/We Roam The Cosmos” comes from the 1975 What’s New set.

File Under: Jazz

space jazz

Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Space Jazz (Not Now) 3LP
3LP, pink vinyl in gatefold sleeve! A solar flare of cosmic sounds heralded the rising star Sun Ra when the pianist, composer and band leader first shone over the musical landscape in the 1950s and 1960s. He caused quite a stir with innovative albums that introduced electronics, special effects and unusual arrangements into a jazz world that sometimes slid into comfortable conservatism, despite its radical roots. This comprehensive collection of the best recordings from the formative stages of his career, enables the listener to hear with fresh ears the legendary Mr. Ra’s unique contribution.

File Under: Jazz

sunra

Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: Magic City  (Cosmic Myth) LP
“This landmark album, now being reissued in a definitive stereo edition, marks the debut of the new Cosmic Myth Records label. Cosmic Myth plans to reissue Sun Ra’s Saturn Records catalog titles under official license from Sun Ra LLC, comprised of the heirs of Sun Ra. Sun Ra albums like The Magic City prove the categorical futility of ‘File Under: Jazz.’ When assessing the post-Chicago (1960-on) work of Ra, ‘jazz’ turns out to be less a genre than a journalistic and marketing convenience. Jazz has a glorious tradition. Sun Ra was schooled in it, emerged from it, and grew to transcend it (though he never abandoned it). Even the cheeky term ‘Space Jazz’ cannot frame the extremes to which Ra pushed his art in the mid-1960s. In this regard, The Magic City was a pinnacle. 1965 was a turbulent year for the Arkestra and its leader, and many consider The Magic City a flashpoint for that upheaval. Arkestra drummer Tommy Hunter, quoted in John Szwed’s 1997 Ra bio Space is the Place, describes a typical performance of the period: ‘It was like a fire storm coming off the bandstand.’ On the original 1965 The Magic City LP, issued on Saturn, the monster 27-1/2 minute title track sprawled across side A. The ‘Magic City’ to which Ra refers was his birthplace — Birmingham, Alabama. The term was the town’s motto, emblazoned on a billboard by the train station near Sunny’s childhood home, intended to reflect the city’s explosive growth as a Southern industrial epicenter after the discovery of iron ore, coal, and limestone deposits. Birmingham was a place about which Sun Ra felt and expressed ambivalence: an outpost of racial segregation and grim smokestack-pocked landscapes, yet a city for which he felt twinges of nostalgia and affection. (His heirs still live in the area.) Ra customarily supervised the Arkestra’s improvisational process via keyboard cues or hand signals. He was always in charge — hence critic Simon Adams describing the title track as ’27 minutes of controlled freedom.’ ‘The Magic City’ was never performed in concert; saxophonist John Gilmore said it was ‘unreproducible, a tapestry of sound.’ Although shorter in scope than side A’s magnum opus, the four works on The Magic City’s flip side reflect the same improvisational approach, spatiality, and lack of structure. One session outtake, ‘Other Worlds,’ an alternate version of ‘Shadow World,’ is included as a bonus track on side B. For this definitive edition, historical and technical liner notes are provided by noted jazz historian Ben Young, who restored and remastered the album with his Triple Point Records partner Joe Lizzi. Both men have been recognized for their extensive work on the Grammy Nominated Albert Ayler boxset, released on John Fahey’s Revenant records in 2005.”

File Under: Jazz

hip

Tragically Hip: In Between Evolution (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… Another of the long over due Tragically Hip vinyl reissues!

File Under: Rock
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venosta

Giovanni Venosta: Olympic Signals (Soave) LP
Giovanni Venosta’s 1984 debut album, released when the artist was only 23, is a committed, subversive parody of minimalism, and a truly original work. This is its first reissue. Recorded in Venosta’s living room with a four-track Tascam, this album reveals the young pianist’s profound need for expression, born out of his relationship with the sound of Terry Riley, Michael Nyman, Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Penguin Café Orchestra, and Dollar Brand. The contribution of Roberto Musci results in more esoteric and mystical side of the record and marks the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration in which the arrangements of Venosta blend perfectly with the electronics and sound treatments by Musci. Forty-seven minutes of inspired Italian minimalism.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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winter

Teresa Winter: Untitled Death (Death of Rave) LP
Teresa Winter’s LP debut Untitled Death is a hallucinogenic wormhole of sensuously ambiguous pop and electronic experiments primed for the after-after party and altered states of reception. Realized through a mesh of strategies from live, lo-fi tape recordings of synths, samplers, and vocals to nascent experiments with algorithmic software, Untitled Death is both a divine revelation of new aspects to Teresa’s sound and an expansion of The Death of Rave’s as-yet-unidentified aesthetic. Teresa’s zoomed photos of magic mushrooms spattered in popping fluorescent oils which adorn the cover of Untitled Death hint at a more personalized insight and psycho-activity, a proper, lush trippiness. Just like the putative psilocybic experience, Untitled Death naturally comes on in waves of synaestically-heightened sensuality, from strangely libidinous stirrings to utter, eat-your-heart-out euphoria with a spectrum of hard-to-explain and unexpected sensations between. It’s hard to recall a more seductive album opener than “Oh”, which blossoms from plaintive drum machine and chiming pads to a half- or mis-heard beckon “I really like it/ when you let yourself go/ I really want you inside me/ I want to make you my own”, before curdling into bittersweet partials and deliquescent hooks as ear-worming as anything from AFX’s classic Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992). It’s devastating in its simplicity and almost blush-worthy in effect, and is soon enough lopped curtly into the soundtrack-like enchantment of “Untitled Death”, which could almost be a cue from some ’60 Polish or Czech art-house film, serving to neatly set up the prickling, windswept scene of romantic introspection and dereliction in “Pain Of Outside” — perhaps Teresa’s most accomplished and affective pop turn to date; think Grouper awkwardly blissing out at 9am in the corner of a successful sesh/campsite/free party. From that perfectly damaged side closer, the B side opens to a different sort of spine-freezing beauty and sense of abandonment with plangent, dissonant harmonics describing rugged Yorkshire wolds and coast as much as a radiant lightshow on the back of flickering eyelids. RIYL: Grouper, F Ingers, Leyland Kirby, early AFX, Delia Derbyshire. Master and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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gamelan

Various: Gamelan of the Walking Warriors (Akuphone) LP
Includes printed inner sleeve; Includes download card with complete ceremony, extra photographs, and liner note translations (French, Italian, Japanese). A fascinating immersion in the heart of a funeral ceremony live recorded in Bali, where gongs, cymbals, and drums give rhythm to the bewitching atmosphere of this mortuary procession. The international audience’s interest into Balinese music and its gamelan orchestras dates back to the edition of large ethnographic series in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s which largely encouraged the discovery of this music beyond Indonesia’s borders. Taking advantage of a more advanced technology, compared to the vinyl golden era, the present field recordings produced in 2011 render, at the closest, the power of gamelans. Gamelan is presented here in two forms. The first one (tracks 1 to 4) offers a display of Beleganjur music out of the ritual context, which can be differentiated by a more melodic form and a more dramatic and hypnotic aspect in the compositions. The second one (tracks 5 to 9) presents the Beleganjur style in the ceremonial context of the Ngaben funerary rite in the village of Peliatan. The utmost vitality of these orchestras springs out throughout the different stages of these funerals, and the sound environment surrounding the musicians immerse the listener in the very heart of the procession following the corpse. With The Gamelan Of The Walking Warriors, Akuphone carries on its exploration of ritual and ceremonial music with those materials of rare intensity. These recordings were collected by Vincenzo Della Ratta, PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sapienza University (Rome). As a specialist of the gongs music from the Austronesian cultures of Southeast Asia, Della Ratta is the author of numerous articles on the subject. His field researches have already been edited as a vinyl entitled Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo (SF 106LP, 2016). Tracks 1 to 4 were recorded in the village of Wanagiri, in the district (“kecamatan”) of Sukasada, of the regency of Buleleng. Tracks 5 to 9 were recorded in the village of Peliang, in the district of Ubud, of the regency of Gianyar.

File Under: Gamelan, World, Bali

lostlibrary-etched-render

Various: Lost Library (Fire) LP
Jane Weaver provides vocals for Virginias Wings take on Suzanne Menzel lost pop classic “It Starts Again”, Noveller tackle John Carpenters “The Thing” and Death and Vanilla re-imagine Bert Janschs “Moonshine” on this first edition of the new “Lost Li-brary” series from Fire Records, conceived by the labels James Nicholls and designer Luke Drozd. Featuring 3 new tracks from 4 of Fire Records acclaimed female fronted roster, Jane Weaver, Virginia Wing, Death and Vanilla and Noveller this limited edition one-sided 12”, on transparent vinyl, with symbolic etching, is expected to sell out fast. Artwork and vinyl etching provided by Luke Drozd.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop, Ambient

trax

Various: Trax Test (Ecstatic) LP
Trax Test is the first ever survey of Italy’s pioneering, visionary, and influential label and mail art collective Trax, which ran from 1981-1987 as a network for the creation of collaborative projects. The collective included a pre-NWW Colin Potter and some of the earliest work from Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, but also had deep connections with the art world; a few Trax members went on to become famous designers and artists — Ettore Sottsass of hugely influential Memphis Group even guests on vocals on the last track of the compilation. The whole selection here is rare as heck and sorely in-demand by collectors, much of it now making its vinyl premiere some 30-odd years after the fact. With credit due to compilers Vittore Baroni of Trax and Ecstatic’s avowed wave fiend, Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) — who was also behind the Mutazione (Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988) compilation (2013) — Trax Test is a portal to the international scene which laid the grassroots for a proliferation of electronic music over the proceeding decades — a pioneering part of the infrastructure for independent music distribution which could be said to pre-echo the myriad social networks and platforms today. As Frans De Waard astutely points out in the 16-page booklet, there were no “templates” for this thing back then, meaning artists did everything DIY: from cutting, pasting, and Xeroxing their artwork to experimenting with recording techniques and disseminating their work; all resulting in a wonderfully daring and freeform mosaic of ideas which valued the virtues of ostensibly “unfinished” or open-ended work. Traces of disco, cosmic krautrock, jazz, electro-pop, and industrial noise are all tessellated across the compilation’s 25 tracks, with a number of artists and the same equipment — cheap drum machines, synths, FX and tape — cropping up in various, mutant formations. This set is right up there with the best compilations from Vinyl On Demand, Light Sounds Dark, or Minimal Wave. Features: Cancer, M.A.Phillips, Nausea, Amok, Mecanique Vegetale, Daniele Ciullini, E-Coli, The Cop Killers, Peter Mayer, Rod Summers, Robin Crozier, Capitalist Pig, Biagio D’egidio, Piermario Ciani, Vittore Baroni, Nocturnal Emissions, De Rezke, Ado Scaini, Enrico Piva, Giancarlo Martina, B Sides, Colin Potter, Naif Orchestra, Merzbow (Vacation Of Merzbow Lowest Music & Arts), Monty Cantsin, Die Form, Utopia Production, Spirocheta Pergoli, Nostalgia, Ptose, Ddaa, Zone Verte, and I Nipoti Del Faraone. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Experimental
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…..Restocks…..

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes (Interscope) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Beyonce: Lemonade (Sony) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time for Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Brand New: Deja Entendu (Razor & Tie) LP
Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Legacy) LP
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: His the DJ (Sony) LP
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Lee Fields: Problems (Truth & Soul) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Richard Horowitz: Eros in Arabia (Freedom to Spend) LP
Zola Jesus: Okovl (Sacred Bones) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Laraaji: Ambient 3 (Glitterbeat) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (SST) LP
Thelonious Monk: Misterio (Columbia) LP
OST: Baby Driver (Lakeshore) LP
OST: Drive (Lakeshore) CS
Outkast: ATLiens (Arista) LP
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid (Western Vinyl) LP
Midori Takada/Satoh: Lunar Cruise (WRWTFWW) LP
A Tribe Called Red: We Are the Hallui Nation (Pirates Blend) LP
Weather Station: s/t (Outside) LP
Wu Tang: Iron Flag (Sony) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP/CD

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…..new letters #813 – landing…..

Not a lot in this week, but we will be getting a whole stack of Metz tomorrow. And there are some other sweet ones in this week too. Stands to be a lovely weekend to come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

horowtizRichard Horowitz: Eros in Arabia (Freedom To Spend) LP
This vibration is cast into new dimensions. Liberating Eros, it circles the globe, backwards and forwards, flowing to and through us. It is said the artist has a gift— suited for the erotic life of property. On Eros in Arabia, Richard Horowitz channels this vibration and bends bandit sounds by pairing the ancient ney cane flute with the Prophet-5 synthesizer. Interspersed with other instruments and ideas, like echo delayed Moroccan drumming and self-made magic, these elements deal in duality like the ever-shifting characteristics of the composer: the Hollywood Horowitz who scores films like The Sheltering Sky and Any Given Sunday, and the Morocco Horowitz who founded the Gnaoua Festival in Mogador, attended by 500,000 people every year. Working in natural succession from end to beginning, “Elephant Dance” demonstrates the central synth and ney node to explore energetic sound patterns Horowitz imagined to be played in the 16th century on the island of Java, around the time Sufi’s may have arrived in Indonesia. Delicately trampling the twenty minute mark, the piece offers an immersive climate of microtones that might, with the primordial matter of love, alter DNA. “Baby Elephant Magic” is “Elephant Dance” but sped up— producing digital baubles that sound less like an Indonesian forest, more like an urban hive of mechanical insect interaction. The piano on “23/8 for Conlon Nancarrow,” with John Cage technique at play, is played “as fast as possible by a human.” The sounds are driven to derail from the space time continuum. On “Never Tech No Foreign Answer,” a cheap cassette recorder microphone captures the Prophet-5 left to the devices of its master’s inner clock, taking on a frenzied sound form that vibrates in place before bouncing off the tape case walls. Chaos is concentric. “Queen of Saba” incorporates the vocals of long-time collaborator, Sussan Deyhim. Described as one of Iran’s most potent voices in exile, Deyhim’s work is in both the tradition of Sufis and the late feminist poet, Forough Farrokhzad. Recently Deyhim and Horowitz worked together on a multi-media performance based upon Forrokhzad’s Iranian New Wave film, The House Is Black. Here Deyhim performs a taḥrīr where vocals go low to high without any semantically meaningful words. Horowitz’s associations with great cultural icons of the Middle East, like these women, soften (in)appropriations. Less aggressive than its predecessors, “Eros Never Stops Dreaming” introduces the bendir frame drum, the feathery wind of the ney floating above its bowing rhythm with effortless mathematics. “Bandit Nrah Master of Rajasthan” begins where the album ends, an ode to Shakuhachi flute players known to indulge in both trance-inducing circular breathing and espionage. Horowitz is linked with the worldly sound seeking circles of minimalist and avant-garde New York City musicians, especially Lou Harrison and La Monte Young, with whom Horowitz shared Shandar as a record label momentarily. He recorded and toured with Jon Hassell and collaborated with David Byrne and Brian Eno, Jean-Philippe Rykie, and Bill Laswell. Along his travels he befriended Brion Gysin and Paul Bowles, the latter whom mentored Horowitz over decades of correspondence, some of which documents the making of Eros and comes quite literally with this edition. A record of physical and intellectual love for Arabia, FTS extends this flowing forward and backward – a shimmer that reverses the backward spelling of Ztiworoh. Eros is presented in the ever present. To borrow from a song title, Horowitz remains gainfully employed as an “inter-dimensional travel agent.”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Fourth World
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…..new arrivals…..

antibalas

Antibalas: Where The Gods Are In Peace (Daptone) LP
Antibalas’ new studio album, Where The Gods Are In Peace, is an epic Afro-Western Trilogy searching for solace from American political opportunism, greed and vengeance. Through its battle cry of resistance against exploitation and displacement, Antibalas’ long-form compositions investigate oppression in 1800s America that eerily mirror the current state of the country. Three explosive original arrangements cultivate an urgent call to heal a broken system. Ultimately, the sonic excursion lands on an island where love is our first instinct. A new ideology is born opening our hearts to the possibilities of living as one unified people, where all gods are equal and together we prevail. True to traditional form, Where The Gods Are In Peace pays respect to the forefathers of Afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to fifteen minutes in length. With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been revered for re-popularizing the classic Afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit to the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the Afrobeat genre and beyond. Vinyl comes complete with accompanying download code.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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moonlanding

k.burwash: Moonlanding (Pseudo Laboratories) CS
In tomorrow… “Moonlanding was realized on a Kilpatrick Audio Phenol synthesizer with outboard effects. Like the Buchla, it echews a keyboard in favor of patch cords and rotary controls. Like the Buchla, it is very difficult to create responsible music with. In its length, Moonlanding introduces six composed movements. From a simple melody with simple undertones, it winds through satisfying patterns into complex, moody situations with a bleak gauze, revealing dangerous loose ends. By the fifth movement, long sustained notes with a heavy shifting bottom end welcome well paced rhythmic passages with the odd bomb dropped, revealing an echoing chorus of softer tones. The final music is well introduced and proves a perfect denouement. An excellent and rewarding experience. For further information, watch Stalker.” – Owen Stutt

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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daf

DAF: Das Ist DAF (Gronland) BOX
Many things have been said about this band…they’ve been called the “godfathers of techno,” the pioneers of EBM and the forefathers of electropunk. Yet they only laugh coolly and remain tight-lipped in the face of any attempt to historicize them. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – better known as DAF – is a myth. This compilation will allow you to experience the music of DAF; the darkest and hardest driving musical imperative ever to come out of Germany. The Das ist DAF box set gathers their classic four records: Die Kleinen Und Die Bösen, Alles Ist Gut, Gold Und Liebe and Fuer Immer as well as a Reworks LP with remixes by Giorgio Moroder, Westbam and Boys Noize among others, plus a 7-inch containing two brand new, previously unreleased DAF tracks. Plus extras: a lush 36 page booklet including previously unreleased photography documenting the history of DAF, the original DAF autograph card, a slipmat with the DAF logo and a download code for all of the songs in the box set.

 File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial
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isotope

Isotope 217: The Unstable Molecule (Thrill Jockey) LP
Short lived Chicago-based eclectic avant funk ensemble Isotope 217 consisted of Dan Bitney (drums, percussion), John Herndon (drums, percussion), Jeff Parker (guitar), Rob Mazurek (cornet), Matt Lux (bass) and Sara P. Smith (trombone). Their music is as complex and varied as the influences and pedigrees of its members. In celebration of Thrill Jockey’s 25th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the band’s 1997 debut, The Unstable Molecule is being re-issued on vinyl for the first time since its original release. The LP comes pressed on virgin vinyl and is packaged with an accompanying download coupon. The Unstable Molecule is a best seller from Thrill Jockey’s early days and is finally back on vinyl for a whole new generation to experience.

File Under: Post Rock, Jazz, Funk
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METZ_StrangePeace_COVER

Metz: Strange Peace (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world. Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo. “The best punk isn’t an assault as much as it’s a challenge — to what’s normal, to what’s comfortable, or simply to what’s expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II. Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) in their hometown, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh. Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles. With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts- challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun. “Their whiplash of distortion is made with precision, a contained chaos. But you would never talk about them like that. Because METZ are not something you study or analyze,” wrote Liisa Ladouceur in Exclaim! “They are something you feel: a transfer of energy, pure and simple.” In other words: to feel something, fiercely and intensely, but together, not alone.

File Under: Punk
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protomartyr

Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
After a year of extensive touring in support of 2015’s The Agent Intellect, Protomartyr returned to their practice space in a former optician’s office in Southwest Detroit. Guitarist Greg Ahee – inspired by The Raincoats’ Odyshape, Mica Levi’s orchestral compositions, and Protomartyr’s recent collaboration with post-punk legends The Pop Group, for Rough Trade’s 40th anniversary – began writing new music that artfully expanded on everything they’d recorded up until that point. The result is Relatives in Descent, their fourth full-length and Domino debut. Though not a concept album, it presents twelve variations on a theme: the unknowable nature of truth, and the existential dread that often accompanies that unknowing. This, at a moment when disinformation and garbled newspeak have become a daily reality.

File Under: Post Punk
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seacake

Sea & Cake: s/t (Thrill Jockey) LP
The Sea and Cake was formed in the early-to-mid ’90s by Sam Prekop and Eric Claridge formerly of Shrimp Boat, Archer Prewitt of the Cocktails and John McEntire, ex-Bastro and current Tortoise. Their self-titled 1994 debut offers a mix of jazzy rhythms and laid-back grooves perfect for slow days. Recorded by Brad Wood and Casey Rice in September of 1993 at Idful Studios, this record is the band’s most immediate and straight forward…guaranteed to put you in a good spirits. Back in print on vinyl, The Sea And The Cake comes pressed on colored vinyl for the first time and is packaged with a free download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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nassau

Sea & Cake: Nassau (Thrill Jockey) LP
Recorded by John McEntire at Idful Studios in Chicago, 1995’s Nassau finds The Sea And Cake distancing themselves from the more immediate pop leanings of their self-titled debut and experimenting as a band in production and songwriting. Nassau was featured on many 1995 year end lists, moving the band into the spotlight and out of the shadows. The album not only lived up to the promise of their debut but raised the bar for things to come. Back in print on vinyl, Nassau comes pressed on colored double vinyl for the first time and is packaged with a double sided insert and free download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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biz

Sea & Cake: The Biz (Thrill Jockey) LP
Following the band’s self-titled debut and second effort Nassau, 1995’s The Biz served as The Sea and Cake’s third record in just over one calendar year. It was recorded at John McEntire’s own Soma Studios with the instruments mostly recorded live in only three days and the vocals recorded by Sam Prekop alone in five. On Nassau the band experimented heavily with signal processing and on The Biz they continued that experimentation using less common forms of processing, more sparingly. They used a Roland Space Echo, EML-101, and ARP 2600 as both instruments as well as manipulators. The Biz continued to showcase the band’s ability to mesh together their unusual blend of pop, soul and jazz into one seamless output. Back in print on vinyl, The Biz comes pressed on colored vinyl for the first time and is packaged with an artworked inner sleeve and free download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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shigeto

Shigeto: The New Monday (Ghostly) LP
It’s been four years since Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, returned home to Michigan from a stint in Brooklyn, NY, and since then, the multi-faceted musician has become a part of the fabric of Detroit’s music scene. While always having a personal approach to his projects, Saginaw’s influences for his third album, The New Monday are more about the community of Detroit than anything else. Named after a weekly DJ event called Monday is the New Monday that Saginaw does at the unassuming Motor City Wine with a group of friends, The New Monday is the result of Saginaw diving into the city’s deep record culture, where the legacy of artists of the past help Saginaw embrace his own contributions. “It’s focused on a couple things and they all kind of come together to represent different things,” explains Saginaw. “My time back in Detroit, back living in Michigan and spending time with a lot of kind of original people who have always been here, learning from them, hearing stories from them, being influenced by them, and inspired by them.” While, in the past, projects like Lineage or No Better Time Than Now were rooted in strong personal messages, family and relationships respectively, The New Monday represents a communal effort where solidarity is the key. Going for a simplified approach of just trying to make good tracks, The New Monday is diverse in its styles leaning more into a dance music direction – new ground for a Shigeto project. A new air of confidence in Saginaw has expanded his horizons since his return to Detroit, but traces of his past work will continue to be present. “I don’t want people to think I’m leaving anything,” says Saginaw. “I’m still me. It’s a result of me being immersed in the culture, and inevitably making music that is influenced by that culture whether it be house, techno, jazz, rap. It doesn’t matter. It’s all coming from what I love about Michigan.” While The New Monday still features the jazz textures long associated with Shigeto projects, the varied elements that make up the album cohesively come together to show the distinct inspiration that Saginaw has drew from since his return home to Detroit. Like on “Barry White”, which features Detroit hip-hop artist ZelooperZ (a member of Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade crew who Saginaw also has a side project with called ZGTO), Saginaw captures everything he’s been doing all on one track. As much as it’s hip-hop influenced, it’s a mutant that encompasses elements of dance music, jazz, and ambient sounds. Throughout The New Monday, Saginaw poignantly references the musical influences that have either always been with him or newly discovered. It is Saginaw’s interpretation of Detroit’s rich culture of innovative artistry, but done so with respect for the history and to contribute, not disrupt. “I think over the past four years, I can confidently say that I found my place here,” describes Saginaw. “I’m happy here and I feel that I have the respect from the people I need respect from, that I want respect from. It’s all of the result of embracing it and embracing, not Detroit, but embracing community, embracing family, being closer to my parents, being closer to my oldest friends.”

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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kid

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid (Western Vinyl) LP
In 2017, the musical term “electronic” is nearly obsolete given the ubiquity of computerized processes in producing music. Even so, the prevailing assumption is that musicians working under this broad umbrella must be inspired by concepts equally as electrified as their equipment. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has demonstrated in her still-blooming discography that this notion couldn’t be further from the truth, and that more often than not, rich worlds of synthesized sound are born from deep reverence of the natural world. Smith (who by no coincidence, cites naturalist David Attenborough as a contemporary muse) has embodied such an appreciation on The Kid in as direct and sincere a way as possible by sonically charting the phases of life itself. The album, which punctually follows up her 2016 breakthrough EARS, chronicles four defining cognitive and emotional stages of the human lifespan across four sides of a double LP. The first side takes us through the confused astonishment of a newborn, unaware of itself, existing in an unwitting nirvana. Smith’s music has always woven a youthful thread befitting of the aforementioned subject. Here she articulates it in signature fashion on the track “An Intention,” which serves not only as a soaring spire on The Kid, but on her entire output. There is playfulness here, but it’s elevated by an undertone of gravity into something compelling and majestic that is fast becoming Smith’s watermark. The emotional focus of side two is the vital but underreported moment in early youth when we cross the threshold into self awareness. The subject is profound enough to fill an entire album, but rarely makes its way into a single track, indicating Smith’s ambition to broach subtler and deeper subjects than the average composer. This side offers up another highlight in the form of “In The World But Not Of The World” which serves its subject well with epiphanic, climbing strings and decidedly noisy textures over a near-Bollywood low end pulse. Side three emphasizes a feeling of being confirmed enough in one’s own identity to begin giving back to the formative forces of one’s upbringing, which is arguably the duty that all great artists aim to fulfill. This side ends with the exploratory album cut “Who I Am & Why I Am Where I Am” recorded in a single take without overdubs on the rare EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer. This humble piece of sound design serves as a contrast to side four’s verdant orchestral moments, all written and arranged for the EU-based Stargaze quartet by Smith herself. This final side represents a return to pure being, the kind of wisdom and peace that eludes most of us until the autumn of life. On “To Feel Your Best” this concept is voiced in the bittersweet refrain “one day I’ll wake up and you won’t be there” which Smith intended to be a grateful acknowledgement of life rather than a melancholy resentment of loss. The song has both effects depending on the mood of the listener, and both interpretations are equally moving. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith belongs to an ilk of modern musicians who are defined by their commitment to creating experiential albums despite the singles-oriented habits of modern listeners, and here she represents her kind proudly. The subjects on The Kid are not simple to convey, and yet through both emotional tone and lyrical content, Smith does just that. There is a similar gravity to both birth and death, and rarely is that correlation as accurately and enthusiastically mapped as it is here. Alan Watts, another logical inspiration of Smith’s, once expounded that people record themselves to confirm their own existence, and as such, echoes and resonance are reminders that we are alive. “You’re not there unless you’re recorded,” Watts muses, “if you shout, and it doesn’t come back and echo, it didn’t happen.” The Kid speaks to this idea directly. As Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith explores her existence through music, she guides us in gleefully contemplating our own.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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unblonde

Un Blonde: Good Will Come To You (Flemish Eye) LP
Un Blonde is the solo project of Montreal-based musician, producer, and composer Jean-Sebastian Audet. Over the course of a steady stream of self-produced albums and EPs, Audet has laid down the framework for a constantly mutating series of musical environments, which forge highly unique connections between hints of contemporary r&b, cubist avant-funk, low-key soul, indie pop, and confessional songwriting. This heady mixture spilled over into Good Will Come To You, a brilliant, 21-song widescreen presentation of Audet’s concepts, which landed him a spot on the Long List for that year’s Polaris Music Prize and further cemented his growing reputation as one of the most compellingly original new artists to emerge in recent years. Flemish Eye could not be more thrilled to announce that we will be working with Montreal-based Un Blonde, beginning with the re-release of his brilliant latest album Good Will Come To You. Un Blonde’s acclaimed album was originally issued in a very limited cassette-only run (on Montreal’s Egg Paper Factory)  and sold out immediately. Now newly remixed and remastered, the album will get a full release worldwide digitally and be available everywhere for the first time on vinyl on September 22nd.Un Blonde is the solo project of Montreal-based musician, producer, and composer Jean-Sebastian Audet. Over the course of a steady stream of self-produced albums and EPs, he laid down the framework for a constantly mutating series of musical environments, which forge highly unique connections between hints of contemporary r&b, cubist avant-funk, low-key soul, indie pop, and confessional songwriting. This heady mixture spilled over into Good Will Come To You, a brilliant, 21-song widescreen presentation of Audet’s concepts, which landed him a spot on the Long List for that year’s Polaris Music Prize and further cemented his growing reputation as one of the most compellingly original new artists to emerge in recent years. Upon the album’s initial ultra-limited release, The Fader opined that “Jean-Sebastian Audet’s layered vocal harmonies are transcendent … they seem to guide him from an apartment and into the streets of Montreal, where he finds his own rhythm in the music, as he has always done.” The album artwork – an important facet of Audet’s overarching artistic vision – has been reworked for the LP / CD formats and looks better than ever. And, as a bonus for purchasers of the LP version, we are thrilled to include a bonus download-only album of extra material from the “Good Will Come To You” sessions, including B-sides and alternate versions of album tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
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weather

The Weather Station: s/t (Outside) LP
The Weather Station is the fourth—and most forthright—album by The Weather Station, the project of Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman. Her most fully realized statement to date, it is a work of profound urgency, artistic generosity, and joy. Self-titled and self-produced, the album unearths a vital new energy from Lindeman’s acclaimed songwriting practice, marrying it to a bold new sense of confidence. “I wanted to make a rock and roll record,” Lindeman explains, “but one that sounded how I wanted it to sound, which of course is nothing like rock and roll.” The result is a spirited, frequently topical tour de force that declares its understated feminist politics, and its ambitious new sonic directions, from its first moments. On past records, Lindeman has been a master of economy. Here her precisely detailed prose-poem narratives remain as exquisitely wrought as ever, but they inhabit an idiosyncratic, sometimes disorderly, and often daring album that feels, and reads, like a collection of obliquely gut-punching short stories. Her previous album Loyalty was recorded at La Frette Studios in France in the winter of 2014 with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist). Nominated for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, it earned praise from The Guardian, Pitchfork, NPR Music, Uncut, and MOJO, among many others, who celebrated its delicate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, complex metaphors, and rich details of the everyday. Lindeman and her band have toured extensively in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, both as a headliner and as support for artists such as The War on Drugs, The Mountain Goats, Damien Jurado, Bahamas, and Basia Bulat.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Baby Huey: The Living Legend (Curtom) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Booker T. & The MGs: Green Onions (Rhino) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed) LP
CCR: Chronicle Vol 1 (Fantasy) LP
Comus: First Utterance (Getback) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Astralwerks) LP
Equatics: Doin’ It (Now Again) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Warner) LP
Billie Holiday: 3 Classic Albums (Real Gone) 3LP
Jason Isbell: Nashville Sound (Thirty Tigers) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinitey (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Sony) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-all (Boner) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Lee Scratch Perry: Super Ape (Get on Down) LP
Slowdive: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Tragically Hip: Day for Night (UniversAl) LP
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Delta Momma Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Colter Wall: s/t (Sony) LP
White Zombie: It Came From NYC (Numero) 5LP Box
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP

 

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…..new letters #812 – pup…..

Some killer stuff this week! Just LOOK at the cover for that Acid Nightmares comp, just this book by its cover! Finally some Alvvays vinyl. And a fraction of what we ordered of the Metz. Go figure.

…..pick of the week…..

warfaring-strangers-acid-nightmares-1Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP/CD
As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their protometal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips. Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs. Compact disc is packaged in standard Numero slipcase, with digipak and 40-page book, limited to 2000 copies.

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

whigs3

Afghan Whigs: Congregation (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1988, The Afghan Whigs have long stood out from their peers, with a savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The band’s first three releases on Sub Pop Records – Up In It, Congregation and the Uptown Avondale EP will be reissued on 180g vinyl via the label in September 2017. Both Congregation and Up In It have been out of print on the format for several years and Uptown Avondale has never been available in the U.S. until now. 1992’s Congregation, The Afghan Whigs’ breakthrough third album, finds the band’s soul and psychedelic influences shining through like never before, elements which would help shape their sound for years to come. Congregation has been out of print on vinyl since its original pressing sold out many years ago.

File Under: Indie Rock
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whigs2

Afghan Whigs: Up In It (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1988, The Afghan Whigs have long stood out from their peers, with a savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The band’s first three releases on Sub Pop Records – Up In It, Congregation and the Uptown Avondale EP will be reissued on 180g vinyl via the label in September 2017. Both Congregation and Up In It have been out of print on the format for several years and Uptown Avondale has never been available in the U.S. until now. Up In It is The Afghan Whigs’ second full-length and their Sub Pop debut. Featuring the powerful and provoking “Retarded,” “White Trash Party,” and “I Know Your Little Secret,” the 1990 album – recorded by legendary producer Jack Endino – was critically acclaimed and garnered strong college-radio airplay. It’s been out of print on vinyl for over 25 years. Single-LP jacket and custom dust-sleeve.

File Under: Indie Rock
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whigs1

Afghan Whigs: Uptown Avondale (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1988, The Afghan Whigs have long stood out from their peers, with a savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The band’s first three releases on Sub Pop Records – Up In It, Congregation and the Uptown Avondale EP will be reissued on 180g vinyl via the label in September 2017. Both Congregation and Up In It have been out of print on the format for several years and Uptown Avondale has never been available in the U.S. until now. The 5-track Uptown Avondale EP, released shortly after Congregation, finds The Afghan Whigs paying tribute to their soul-music influences and performing covers of Stax and Motown classics. Its only previous vinyl pressing was a short European run in 1992.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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alvvays

Alvvays: Antisocialites (Royal Mountain) LP
FINALLY IN TOMORROW! Antisocialites is the much-anticipated follow-up to Alvvays’ 2014 self-titled debut. Across its 10 tracks and 33 minutes the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. Through thoughtful consideration in basement and abroad, Alvvays has renewed its Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage. The album opens with the excellent strum-‘n-thrummer “In Undertow,” a hi-amp breakup fantasy that is both crushing and charming for its level-headedness. Replete with more songs about drinking (“Forget About Life,” “Hey”), drugging (“Lollipop (Ode To Jim)”), and drowning (“Already Gone”), Antisocialites is a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss. Perversely enjoyable dark drama springs from Molly Rankin’s phonetic twists, quick-sung rhymes and irreverent syllable-play. “So morose for me, seeing ghosts of me, writing oaths to me,” the self-described introvert sings on the Cocteau-pop stunner “Dreams Tonite,” the song from which the album’s name is derived. Antisocialites details a world of ice cream truck jingles and radiophonic workshop noise, where Rankin’s shining wit is refracted through crystalline counterpoint. “Not My Baby” is a centerpiece, a meditation on the rapture of escape following the sadness of separation. Elsewhere, “Plimsoll Punks” is the band’s answer to Television Personalities’ “Part-Time Punks” and a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend. Molly wrote the rapid-fire sugar stream “Lollipop (Ode to Jim)” after singing “Just Like Honey” with Jesus and Mary Chain. “Your Type” is a beautiful primitive stomp about running around Paris with vomit on your feet post-Louvre ejection. The record concludes with a movement that is at once stark and celebratory. On “Forget About Life,” the apartment stands in disarray as undrinkable wine is inhaled: “When the failures of the past multiply and you trivialize the things that keep your hand from mine, did you want to forget about life with me tonite?” The resonant freaks in Rankin’s tales don’t find much resolve, but with equal doses of black humor and heartstring-tugging, Antisocialites rings a truer tone.

File Under: Indie Rock
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pink

Ariel Pink: Dedicated to Bobby James (Mexican Summer) LP
ARIEL PINK’s new album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is his first solo album since his highly acclaimed 2014 prog-pop opus pom pom, and first full-length release on Mexican Summer. The new release’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life Los Angeles musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story. Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink offers up his eleventh studio effort, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades. “His book and life resonated with me to such a degree,” Pink states, “that I felt a need to dedicate my latest record to him.” Dedicated to Bobby Jameson begins at the end and ends at the beginning. “We follow the protagonist through a battery of tests and milestones, the first of which sees him reborn into life out of death,” Pink explains, referencing the opening track “Time To Meet Your God.” “From there, he seesaws his way between the innocent love and the rock-solid edifice of childhood-worn trauma that together constitute his lifelong initiation into the realm of artifice and theatrical disposability.” Building upon his singular vision of pop songcraft, established by such seminal records as The Doldrums, Worn Copy, House Arrest, Loverboy, Before Today, Mature Themes, and Pom Pom, Pink revisits themes that have haunted his sonic cinemascapes since the late 1990s: mismanaged dreams, west coast mythologies, itinerant criminals, haunted boulevards, Hollywood legends, the impermanence of romance, bubblegum artifice, movie stardom, childhood terror, acceptance of self, and narcissism projected through a celluloid filter of controversion. Standout tracks here include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality. Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution.

File Under: Indie Rock
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cut copy

Cut Copy: Haiku From Zero (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow… first copies include bonus 7″! Cut Copy returns with Haiku From Zero, their first proper studio album in nearly four years and first with Astralwerks. The new record showcases a band in full command of their powers to move people both emotionally and physically. Written and recorded at studios around the world (Melbourne, Copenhagen, Washington, DC, New York, Atlanta), the 9-tracks present a united sonic front, due in no small part to the guiding ear of producer Ben Allen (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Neon Indian). Songs like “Counting Down” and “Living Upside Down” offer glimpses of beauty in a state of disco-fueled flux. And single “Standing in the Middle of the Field” announces a theme that percolates throughout Haiku From Zero – the need to cut through the noise, a desire to focus. Amid a backdrop of loping kalimbas, cowbells and bubbly synths, lead singer Dan Whitford’s plaintive voice offers some emotional advice in the lyrics, “You gotta give up the things you love to make it better.” “So much of this album is about this mosaic of information, images that we’re surrounded by on a day-to-day basis,” says Whitford. “Sometimes it feels like overload, but there’s a weird random beauty in it. The idea of squeezing poetry from chaos was where the title of the album came from – the idea of finding something poetic in the overload.”

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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light it up

Hot Water Music: Light It Up (Rise) LP
Gainesville, FL’s Hot Water Music return with Light It Up, their second for Rise Records following 2012’s Exister. Ushered in by the anthemic lead single “Never Going Back,” the 12-track album was self-produced and serves as a prime example of a band remaining vital and increasingly relevant throughout a 25-year career. “The most exciting part about this record for us was self-producing and being in control from start to finish,” the band notes. “We haven’t made a record this way since Fuel For The Hate Game. As frightening as it was to not have the safety net and sounding board of a producer, it was just as liberating to make a record that is 100% Hot Water Music, scars and all.”

File Under: Punk
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beyiIbeyi: Ash (XL) LP
Their first album, the eponymous Ibeyi, grappled with the past—the sister’s relationship, origins, loss, and roots. It earned them fans and collaborators in some of the most iconic and crucial artists of today, Beyoncé and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre included. By contrast, Ash is a more visceral and potent political statement, and while firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history, it finds itself entirely  concerned with Ibeyi’s present: Who Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi are, what’s important to them, and how they live today, especially given that the spheres, both personally and politically, are entirely different from when the first album was recorded. It’s also a testament to their cathartic live performances, where they’re able to transmute a vast array of emotions—sorrow, anger, sensuality, happiness—to and through their fans. Ash is also a study in deft electronic production. Ibeyi worked once again alongside XL head Richard Russell, a confidante and friend, to produce Ash at his studio. “We absolutely wanted, 100%, to work with him again: It was not even a question,” Lisa-Kaindé says. “Richard is an amazing producer…wherever you want to go, he will guide you there. But it feels like you’re playing with him. You’re sharing ideas together and he has an amazing ear. It’s like a flow, it’s really easy.” To that effect, Naomi adds: “It’s like we produced the album too, actually, and it’s a good feeling.” Along with Russell’s stylized production sensibilities, Ibeyi drew from a host of influences ranging from Kendrick Lamar, Jay Electronica, Meshell Ndegeocello, Erykah Badu and Nina Simone and beyond, to craft the wide-ranging musical landscape of Ash. In a recent cover story for The FADER titled “Ibeyi’s Home” the twins traveled to Cuba to retrace their Afro-Cuban roots. The cover story touched on Ibeyi’s sophomore album which includes appearances from Kamasi Washington, Chilly Gonzales, La Mala Rodriguez and Meshell Ndegeocello. Premiere single “Away Away” pushes forward the unique, cross-cultural sound that Ibeyi have become so widely recognized for. The duo, who split their time between Paris, Cuba and London, explain that the song is about “looking out onto the world’s craziness, which is symbolized by the sirens heard in the track, and wondering if the promises of a better world will be made true?”

File Under: Indie Rock
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kadavar

Kadavar: Rough Times (Nuclear Blast) LP
In the beginning of 2017 German trio Kadavar prepared to start a new album cycle by literally rolling up their sleeves and building a brand new recording studio from scratch. Over 100 square meters inside an industrial complex in the area of Neukölln in Berlin is now their creative haven and workplace alike, and this is where the follow-up to 2015’s Berlin took form. “We have been giving it quite a lot of thought, how we want to continue after the last album,” says drummer Tiger. “Maybe I try not to only be a musician, but to think, write and play like an artist. It sounds corny, but I mean it in the way a brick layer differs from an architecht. Not to only lay brick by brick, but create a nice vision of a house with different rooms.” Intentionally or not, the act of manual labor – like building a house in arrival of a new baby – gives a poetic layer to the album process for Rough Times. “It is a big challenge,” Simon ‘Dragon’ Bouteloup adds. “But also a positive period where we are able to question everything we’ve already established in order to move forward as a band. We would not respect ourselves and our followers by putting out just another Kadavar album. It needs to be different and hopefully better!” They might have eased up on the competitive attitude, but don’t believe for a second the hunger is gone. Take it from Lupus ‘Wolf’ Lindemann himself: “When you realize you have taken it to the next level, where you can live from music and see the world – you work your ass off to keep that. What else should we do? We are useless in the normal world. And maybe it looks harder than it is…” Their secret seems to be boiled down and brewed from three ingredients: an accessible yet personalized brand of classic rock; a no-frills approach to everything they do (“minimal arrangement, maximum effect”); and that undeniable German tenacity, yet again.

File Under: Metal
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leo

Ted Leo: The Hanged Man (Super Ego) LP
The Hanged Man is Ted Leo’s first solo album in nearly a decade, following his 2014 Aimee Mann collaboration The Both and 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks with The Pharmacists. The 14-track collection was recorded at a home studio in Wakefield, Rhode Island with the singer/songwriter manning almost all of the instruments. The streamlined LP features Leo’s familiar sharp bursts of skinny-tie pop-punk offset with an adventurousness in both tone and structure. The Hanged Man features contributions from Chris Wilson (The Pharmacists), Aimee Mann (The Both), Jean Grae and Jonathan Coulton and is ushered in by the urgent lead single “You’re Like Me.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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METZ_StrangePeace_COVER

Metz: Strange Peace (Royal Mountain) LP
Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world. Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo. “The best punk isn’t an assault as much as it’s a challenge — to what’s normal, to what’s comfortable, or simply to what’s expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II. Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) in their hometown, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh. Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles. With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts- challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun. “Their whiplash of distortion is made with precision, a contained chaos. But you would never talk about them like that. Because METZ are not something you study or analyze,” wrote Liisa Ladouceur in Exclaim! “They are something you feel: a transfer of energy, pure and simple.” In other words: to feel something, fiercely and intensely, but together, not alone.

File Under: Punk
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twinpeaks

OST: Twin Peaks 2017 Score (Rhino) LP
Now in stock! The score from the new Twin Peaks series, which includes a lot of highlights from the original series score as well.. coloured vinyl.

File Under: OST
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sakamotoRyuichi Sakamoto: Async (Milan) LP
As one-third of Yellow Magic Orchestra and an Academy Award-winning composer for his work on the soundtrack for The Last Emperor, synth pop innovator Ryuichi Sakamoto is among the most groundbreaking artists to have emerged since the late-70s. A musician’s musician, Sakamoto has created intriguing musical unions with artists such as David Sylvian, Iggy Pop, Tony Williams, Bootsy Collins, Jacques Morelenbaum and many others. Async is Sakamoto’s first studio album in eight years and his most personal release as it follows a long fight against cancer from which Sakamoto emerged with a renewed and passionate creative energy. “What kind of “sounds/music” do I want to listen to?” Async is the answer to this question Ryuichi has asked himself for the past several years. This is the album he is the most proud of which synthesizes all of his musical and sound interests. This is a journey through analog synth, the sounds of things and of places, an imaginary soundtrack to an Andrei Tarkovsky film and many others musical surprises.

File Under: Ambient, Modern Classical
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sannhet

Sannhet: So Numb (Profound Lore) LP
Brooklyn instrumental post-metal power trio Sannhet formed in late 2010 and since then have been recognized as one of the most promising and newer prominent bands within the genre. Their last, sophomore album Revisionist (Flenser Records), was praised across the board, one of the most celebrated albums in this specific genre of that year, and now with their new full-length So Numb they have delivered their most transcendent album to date. For this album the band enlisted respected producer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Japandroids, Kurt Vile) who was essential in helping the trio reach a new level with their sound, going beyond the typical trappings of post-metal and expanding it into the realms of electronic, experimental, and ambient, while still upholding their heavy and punishing sound. The trio created songs with a stronger focus on songwriting, with more memorable and evocative melodies permeating the entire album, making it a listening experience like no other.

File Under: Metal
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SHINDIG!-71

Shindig #71 Mag
In this issue: The Rolling Stones – 2,000 light years from home: The making of Their Satanic Majesties Request. Plus; Captain Beefheart – Safe As Milk re-opened. PP Arnord – Lost masterpiece. Also: The Lost / The Clientele / The Solarflares / Trevor Burton / Pentangle / Aussi Psych / Colorama / Coven /Mary Epworth.

File Under: Reading

slits

Slits: Return of the Giant Slits (Real Gone) LP
Labeling The Slits groundbreaking just doesn’t cut it. No other post-punk band was as confrontational – an all-female trio calling themselves The Slits and posing muddily topless on their debut album cover was about as in-your-face as a feminist statement gets – or as determinedly uncommercial. Indeed, after being dropped by their label, Island, despite having made Cut, of the signature albums of the era, Viv Albertine, Tessa Pollitt, and Ari Up treated Sony, their new label, to an even more radical record, 1981’s Return of the Giant Slits. Already far removed from the male-dominated, louder-faster ethos of punk rock, The Slits, with new drummer Bruce Smith of The Pop Group and multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford in tow, added world music and free jazz to Up’s Ono-esque ululations, Albertine’s skittering guitar, and Pollitt’s dubwise bass riddims. Predictably, Sony dropped the record like a hot potato, not even bothering to release it in the U.S., and it has only been intermittently available on CD in the 35-plus years since. But the reputation of Return of the Giant Slits has continued to grow, with Albertine herself recently commenting, “It’s more experimental than Cut and brings in even wider musical influences. In some ways, I think it’s a better record.” Real Gone Music offers up a colored vinyl pressing (including the original printed inner sleeve) of Return of the Giant Slits complete with a fresh remastering by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York. This record demands to be in your collection…you can trace the beginning of the whole “riot grrrl” movement to right here!

File Under: Punk
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torres

Torres:  Three Futures (4AD) LP
4AD will release Three Futures, the third full-length album from TORRES, the creative alter-ego of Brooklyn-based Mackenzie Scott. Three Futures follows 2015’s breakthrough Sprinter, which was lauded across the board – from The Observer who called it “astonishing”, to Pitchfork scoring it 8.0, and the New York Times who claimed “her music can smoulder while she considers exactly where she stands, and roar into feedback-edged howls when her rage or despair boil over.” In describing the album, Scott says it “is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy.” The 10 original tracks on Three Futures embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial, and exude this idea via immersive music. Mechanized grooves are placed at the forefront: perforated electro-pop static, gothic industrial’s harsh textures and insistent Kraut rock.

File Under: Indie Rock
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un

Unsane: Sterilize (Southern Lord) LP
Since 1988, legendary NYC-based noise rock outfit Unsane has pounded the planet with their caustic grooves and foundation-crumbling riffs, having released LPs through a wide range of labels including Matador/Atlantic, Amphetamine Reptile, Relapse, Ipecac, Alternative Tentacles, and others, not to mention a wide range of singles, splits, and live albums. The band’s gnarled blend of punk, metal, noise, and hardcore helping to define the “AmRep sound” alongside other forerunners of the style, Today Is The Day, The Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Tad, Cows, Halo Of Flies, Melvins, and others. Closing a five-year gap since the 2012 release of their Wreck LP through Alternative Tentacles, Unsane makes a vicious return on Southern Lord with the pummeling Sterilize, a record that recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound created by guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer, bassist/vocalist Dave Curran, and drummer Vinnie Signorelli. Sterilize was produced by Unsane, recorded by Dave Curran at Gatos Trail Studios in Yucca Valley, CA, mixed by Andrew Schneider at Acre in New York City, and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago. Sterilize showcases Unsane sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and sees them remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

File Under: Noise Rock, Metal
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washington

Kamasi Washington: Harmony of Difference (Young Turks) 12″
Avant-garde jazz titan Kamasi Washington premiered Harmony of Difference, an original six-movement suite, as part of 2017’s Whitney Biennial. The EP is the first new music from Washington since his universally acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic. Harmony of Difference explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.” Washington’s suite includes visual elements married to the musical works and draws voraciously on jazz for its foundation. Each of the first five movements is its own unique composition. “Truth,” the sixth movement, fuses all five compositions into one simultaneous performance. Beyond the artistic impulse to expand the possibilities within counterpoint, Washington wanted to create something that opened people’s minds to the gift of diversity. In his own words, “my hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.”

File Under: Jazz
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erased

Various: Collection VIII (Erased Tapes) LP+Tote Bag
On February 5th 2017 Erased Tapes opened the doors to their new East London home, marking the 10th anniversary by introducing their fans and the public to the new Erased Tapes Sound Gallery. Coinciding with the takeover of London’s Southbank Centre, September 8th sees the release of the latest annual compilation Erased Tapes Collection VIII as a highly limited transparent 2-LP set. Initially founded by German-born Robert Raths in 2007, the London-based label has grown and extended across the world with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Berlin. Spanning over ten years, Erased Tapes has nurtured avant-garde artists from all around the world whilst remaining genre-defying and truly independent. Commencing these celebrations with a new compilation entitled Erased Tapes Collection VIII, they also welcome the iconic Penguin Cafe to the roster amongst tracks from new signing Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) and Peter Broderick’s duo project Allred & Broderick. It also includes recent compositions by Rival Consoles, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ben Lukas Boysen, Douglas Dare and Immix Ensemble & Vessel, as well as a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Erased Tapes stalwarts Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm which was recently favoured by Aphex Twin and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Nils Frahm’s score for JR’s Ellis, with spoken words by Robert De Niro.

File Under: Ambient
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jesus

Various: Jesus Rocked the Jukebox (Craft) LP
In tomorrow… The triple vinyl Craft Recordings/Concord Music Group compilation Jesus Rocked the Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965) offers a spirited celebration of some of the most foundational songs in American musical history, tracing the evolution of the modern Soul, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll genres via the likes of The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Swan Silvertones, The Staple Singers, Sam Cooke, and The Chosen Gospel Singers featuring Lou Rawls among many others!

File Under: Gospel, R&B, Soul
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Baby Huey: The Living Legend (Curtom) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Booker T. & The MGs: Green Onions (Rhino) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed) LP
CCR: Chronicle Vol 1 (Fantasy) LP
Comus: First Utterance (Getback) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Astralwerks) LP
Equatics: Doin’ It (Now Again) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Warner) LP
Billie Holiday: 3 Classic Albums (Real Gone) 3LP
Jason Isbell: Nashville Sound (Thirty Tigers) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinitey (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Sony) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-all (Boner) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Lee Scratch Perry: Super Ape (Get on Down) LP
Slowdive: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Tragically Hip: Day for Night (UniversAl) LP
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Delta Momma Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Colter Wall: s/t (Sony) LP
White Zombie: It Came From NYC (Numero) 5LP Box
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..new letters #811 – sept showers…..

Yow! Video game soundtrack motherload coming in tomorrow. And the some soothing sounds from Godspeed for these dreary rainy days….

…..pick of the week…..

space1999

Ennio Morricone: Space 1999 (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow… Death Waltz Recording Company is ready to whisk you far into the future to the end of the 20th century with the truly out of this world Ennio Morricone score to SPAZIO: 1999, starring the late, great Martin Landau. Produced by the legendary Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the feature was constructed out of three episodes of the revered SPACE: 1999 television show to introduce Italian audiences to Commander Koenig and his crew, and thrilled audiences with nuclear explosions, parallel universes, and space opera thrills, all coming out of Moonbase Alpha. While the Italian show still featured the brassy sound of Barry Gray, legendary maestro Morricone was employed to bring a decidedly different feel to the theatrical film. From the opening the score launches into wild space jazz with piano and trumpet interspersed with all kinds of noise before it descends into a creepier vibe. Morricone uses unsettling violins and atonal music together with electronics to simulate the void of space and the danger faced by the intrepid heroes, and what emerges is a mix of sci-fi and horror that will not only thrill you, but also scare the living daylights out of you. Human decision required. – Charlie Brigden (Creator, The Sound Of Fear Podcast)

File Under: OST, SciFi, Jazz, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

acetone

Acetone: 1992 – 2001 (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… This fall, the independent literary press All Night Menu will publish Sam Sweet’s Hadley Lee Lightcap, a nonfiction novel that traces the backstories of the three members in Acetone, a band that played in Los Angeles for nine years. Though few heard them, their recordings are time capsules of who they were, how they lived, and where they came from. Light In the Attic has partnered with All Night Menu to present Acetone 1992-2001, the first anthology of the trio’s music. The book and the album will be released concurrently on September 22. Counting their early years in the scuzz-rock band Spinout, whose sole self-titled release came out in 1991 on Delicious Vinyl, guitarist Mark Lightcap, bassist Richie Lee, and drummer Steve Hadley played together for a total of 15 years. They disbanded in July 2001, when Lee committed suicide in the garage next to the house where the trio practiced. Afterwards, Rolling Stone ran a short obituary saying Acetone’s albums were “well received” but “failed to make any waves.” It was the first and only time they were featured in the national music press. Between 1993 and 2001 the trio released two LPs and an EP on Vernon Yard—a Virgin subsidiary—and two LPs on Vapor, the L.A.-based label founded by Neil Young and manager Elliott Roberts. In that span, they were selected to tour with Oasis, Mazzy Star, The Verve, and Spiritualized. Against a rising tide of post-Nirvana grunge and slipshod indie rock, Acetone tapped into a timeless Southern California groove by fusing elements of psychedelia, surf, and country. They rehearsed endlessly in an empty bedroom in northeast Los Angeles, recording hours of music onto cassettes that were subsequently stuffed into shoeboxes and left in a shed behind the drummer’s house. Those tapes are being released for the first time in this anthology, which also includes highlights from Acetone’s official releases. Taken together, the songs form a companion soundtrack to Sam Sweet’s book, which maps the character of Los Angeles as a place through the lens of these three unique characters bonded by music. “I think our music is all about moods and feeling but hopefully it will get as weird as it possibly can,” said Richie Lee in 1997. “We want things to get weird in the way that you could hear an Acetone song and know that no one else in the world could make that kind of music but us.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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behind

Behind The Shadow Drops: Harmonic (Temporary Residence) LP
Behind the Shadow Drops is the new solo endeavor from Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto, founding guitarist and composer of iconic Japanese experimental rock group, MONO. Established in 2016, Behind the Shadow Drops combines Goto’s disparate but commensurate interests in many different forms of music, most notably ambient, trip-hop, industrial minimalism, and modern classical. Recorded at Goto’s home studio and mixed with esteemed producer and percussionist, John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Yo La Tengo), H a r m o n i c merges Goto’s dynamic, moody compositions with McEntire’s renowned drum programming and percussive sensibilities. What begins as a passing resemblance to the more melancholy work of Goto’s ensemble, MONO, slowly mutates into something otherworldly, submerging in a symphony of synths, drum machines, noise loops, and mournful strings (courtesy of Los Angeles experimental cellist, Helen Money). Resembling something like waves rippling in the ocean under a cloudy moonlit sky, H a r m o n i c is as eerie as it is beautiful – a vast abyss punctuated by seemingly endless glimmers of light.

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Mono
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bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans) LP
Don’t let the somber tone of her music fool you: the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has a sunny disposition. Stranger in the Alps opens with the one-two punch of “Smoke Signals” and “Motion Sickness,” a pair of songs that highlight Bridgers’ abilities. The former, a gorgeous, ethereal tune guided by sparse electric guitar and sweeping strings, toes the line between weary and wistful, using specific anecdotes from its singer to tell its tale. The style highlights the strengths of Bridgers’ unique lyric writing perspective: there are overt references to lost idols, canonical pop songs and actual incidents, but her stories unfold through specific, evocative imagery sung in her subtle, confessional style. The latter is perhaps the most upbeat moment on the album and was written on her baritone guitar and discusses a problematic relationship from her past. “Scott Street” is a song inspired by East Los Angeles where Bridgers now lives. “Killer” is a song originally appearing on her Adams-produced single but is re-recorded here by the album’s producer, Tony Berg, with John Doe singing alongside Bridgers. That song in particular inspired her to be more honest in her approach. Elsewhere, Conor Oberst joins her for the duet “Would You Rather,” a singer chosen for his unmistakable voice. A Mark Kozelek cover, “You Missed My Heart,” ends the album. As with any singer’s debut, the songs here comprise a wide swath of Bridgers’ life, dating from the oldest, “Georgia,” which she calls the most different-sounding on the LP, to the opening pair, which were written after the recording process had already begun. Berg and co-producer Ethan Gruska worked with Bridgers to record in on-and-off stretches in between tours over 2016 at Berg’s studio in Brentwood. Phoebe went into the studio with the majority of the material written, however “Smoke Signals” and “Motion Sickness” were written in a cabin in Idaho, while Bridgers was waiting for a tour to begin. The pair were the last songs written for the LP.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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dsilva

Armancio D’Silva: Integration (Pheon) LP
In tomorrow… The third Pheon Records LP release is the 1969 debut by Indian jazz guitar legend Amancio D’Silva. A perfect storm of amazing, accessible British jazz and incredible scarcity, an original would cost you well in excess of £1000 today. This album represents a high point in 1960s British jazz, a time of experimentation, integration and joy. This is effortless, unique and very beautiful jazz, exotically tinged with elements from Indian musical tradition. Criminally overlooked when it first came out (hence its rarity today), hopefully this FIRST EVER repress will allow more collectors to appreciate just how harmonious and beautiful music made by supreme, international but impoverished jazz artists can be.

File Under: Jazz
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Layout 1

Rino De Filippi: Arte Marziale (Cometa) LP
In tomorrow… Unreleased amazing funk/beat library LP with tones of jazz-funk and psychedelic beats. Keeping the listener on their toes, the music oscillates between psych-funk, jazz and esoteric movie themes then back again.

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Psych
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fink

Fink: Resurgam (Rcoupd) LP
Resurgam  – meaning “I shall rise again” – is the hotly-anticipated sixth studio album from Fink: UK-born, Berlin-based founding singer-songwriter musician Fin Greenall, alongside long-time bandmates Tim Thornton (drums, guitar) and Guy Whittaker (bass). It continues an acclaimed and distinctly adventurous catalogue, from the sample-splicing debut Fresh Produce (2000), through to the beautifully heady expressions of their last album, Hard Believer (2014). Fink have never been afraid to experiment and on Resurgam, they arguably sound more fearless than ever. Resurgam derives its title from a Latin inscription in a 900-year-old church in Greenall’s native Cornwall. Its vital, insistent spirit pulses through the entire album, which was recorded with ground-breaking producer Flood (PJ Harvey, U2, Foals, Warpaint, The Killers) at his Assault & Battery studios in North London. Its ten new tracks were created over two months, a relatively luxurious stretch of time compared to previous Fink albums, resulting in a collection that is both assertive and richly immersive. “Flood, present and engaged from the first demo, guided me through the process of doing things differently, from writing, to singing, to even thinking about the music I make,” says Greenall. “His combination of ‘deadlines are a good thing’ versus ‘fuck the deadline’, and his mantra of ‘making records to be bought, not sold’ gave us all, in our own individual corner of the studio, the fire and the focus to pull together our firmest, strongest, and most coherent record to date.” On the opening title number, “Resurgam’s” lyrics are deliberately stripped-back, but they also pack a powerful punch, along with a deliciously persuasive deep funk flow. There is revelation and redemption; Fink’s positive conviction pervades even the darkest sentiments here. “Day 22” deals with sobriety and temptation, spiked with Greenall’s characteristic observant wit (“the blood, sweat, tears taste so good”). The lead single, “Cracks Appear” delivers a headrush of melody, with warmth and candor. On the exquisitely bittersweet “Word To The Wise,” Greenall lingers over the final notes of a love affair, tenderly accompanied on the piano by Douglas Dare. “Not Everything Was Better In The Past” feels like a personal awakening, merging sharp reflections and poignant moods. A heavy, resonant bass underpins the production throughout, and a range of new elements are also added to the Fink mix, from Flood’s own vintage analogue synths, to sax (played by guest musician Martin Slattery) layered into the vivid atmospheres and skittering beats of “This Isn’t A Mistake.” The rhythm guitar hook of “Godhead” brings out a West African influence, and lends a mesmerizing backdrop to Greenall’s rousing vocals.

File Under: Rock, Folk, Blues
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copeland

Beverly Glenn-Copeland: …keyboard fantasies… (Séance Center) LP
In tomorrow… Beverly Glenn-Copeland is already known amongst collectors and music heads for two sought-after albums of folky jazz in the key of Joni. But it was this album, originally self-released on cassette in 1986 that really caught our attention. The album, entirely recorded on DX-7 and TR-707, lies somewhere between digital new-age and (accidentally) early Detroit techno experiments. The inimitable style of BGC here is both peaceful and meditative while simultaneously rhythmic and bass heavy. The album was recorded in the northern Canadian town of Huntsville where BGC was living at the time and is a beautiful fusion of personal vision, technology and place.

File Under: New Age, Ambient
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godspeed

Godspeed You Black Emperor: Luciferian Towers (Constellation) LP
This long-playing record, a thing we made in the midst of communal mess, raising dogs and children. Eyes up and filled with dreadful joy – we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. We recorded it all in a burning motorboat. 1. UNDOING A LUCIFERIAN TOWERS – Look at that fucking skyline! Big lazy money writ in dull marble obelisks! Imagine all those buildings much later on, hollowed out and stripped bare of wires and glass, listen – the wind is whistling through all 3,000 of its burning window-holes! 2. BOSSES HANG – Labor, alienated from the wealth it creates, so that holy cow, most of us live precariously! Kicking at it, but barely hanging on! also – the proud illuminations of our shortened lives! Also – more of us than them! Also – what we need now is shovels, wells, and barricades! 3. FAM / FAMINE – How they kill us = absentee landlord, burning high-rise. The loud panics of child-policemen and their exploding trigger-hands. With the dull edge of an arbitrary meritocracy. Neglect, cancer maps, drone strike, famine. The forest is burning and soon they’ll hunt us like wolves. 4. ANTHEM FOR NO STATE – Canada, emptied of its minerals and dirty oil. Emptied of its trees and water. A crippled thing, drowning in a puddle, covered in ants. The ocean doesn’t give a shit because it knows it’s dying too. 180g vinyl in a gatefold jacket with printed inner plus 24″ x 24″ art print poster and download.

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Rock
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haines

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton: Choir of the Mind (Last Gang) LP
Choir of the Mind is the first release from Metric singer Emily Haines’ Soft Skeleton solo project in a decade. Haines’ vocals are definitely the focal point of Choir of the Mind. She used her voice to create spellbinding orchestrations for an effect that is subtle and ghostly on “Wounded,” lush on “Fatal Gift” and deeply powerful on “Legend of the Wild Horse,” which she calls her “soft anthem.” Haines’ voice is the only audible instrument on “Strangle All Romance,” and she creates mesmerizing layers that drift and swirl through the title track, which includes a spokenword part adapted from a poem by the Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo. Haines recorded Choir of the Mind over several weeks in September and October of 2016, more or less alone in Metric’s Toronto studio with a borrowed 18-foot grand piano built in 1850. Her longtime musical partner/Metric bandmate, James Shaw, helped flesh out the sonics with various instruments and rhythmic elements. Shaw also mixed the album. Sparklehorse drummer Scott Minor, a member of the Soft Skeleton’s first incarnation, returned to perform on “Legend of the Wild Horse.” Haines says, “The writing and recording process was heightened and intensive, the two became one thing.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Metric
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G.O.vol2-COVER FINAL

La Donna Invisibile: Giallo Oscuro 1 & 2 (Bongo Joe) LP
In tomorrow… When the stars begin to fall, darkness rises upon everything and absorbs these little golden teardrops, these mysterious gems shining bright in the obscurity. In dark ages like this one, we have to find out those rare jewels to fight against the mediocrity and mass-absorption generated by things such as the superficiality of the communication and the domination of the all-similar merchandise. One way to find out some enlightenment is to dig deep down and excavate those treasures with a gold shit-digging shovel. On the surface, Giallo Oscuro is a pop-oriented project about 60’s Italian love songs. Giallo Oscuro is the missing link between romance, lightness, recklessness and fear, terror, murder and psychosexual dementia. These strange connexions are created in a dream-like form able to reach out the darkness in a compendium of tension and grace. This is part of the “magic” modus operandi of this project. It’s an homage to the music of those “maestri” who have changed forever as much pop sound as the movie soundtracks genre at that time: Bruno Nicolai, Egisto Macchi, Alessandro Alessandroni, Gruppo di improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Ennio Morricone- just to name a few. The sounds that emerges from this golden-age are the combination between splendor, grace, lascivious, eroticism, joy, sadness and pre-psychedelia era. And even more than an homage or a rereading of this beautiful music, Giallo Oscuro is mostly about love, loss, distance, time, heartbreak, falling, “pop star’s” fall and decadence. This project is about death, about the dead: our creations, lives and art are ruled by the dead.

File Under: Library, OST, Giallo
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marc4

Marc 4: Debito Coniugale (Four Flies) LP
In tomorrow… Holy Grail Alert! This is absolutely the rarest, and probably the best MARC 4 album ever, pressed as a library on Ricordi label in 1970 with the title I MARC 4 PER VOI, but composed for the original soundtrack of DEBITO CONIUGALE; a brilliant comedy directed by Franco Prosperi, and starring Barbara Bouchet and Lando Buzzanca. A truly amazing album, ranging from jazz to bossa nova, from funk to rhythm ‘n’ blues and psychedelic – all touched with the unique and distinctive sound of I MARC 4, the premier backing band of soloists in the panorama of Italian soundtracks and library music, here accompanied by the vocal work of Edda Dell’Orso as well as the choir, I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni. An essential record that resonates with that distinctive Italian sound from beginning to end, and which pays tribute to the incredible work of our finest session musicians and creators, rather than of simple executors of a rustproof groove that is not affected by the passage of time. Go South Italy! Armando Trovajoli. An absolute must-have for any serious soundtrack collector, and reissued here on vinyl for the very first time!

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Bossa

monk

Thelonious Monk: Criss Cross (Pure Pleasure) LP
In tomorrow… Criss-Cross — Thelonious Monk’s second album for Columbia Records –features some of the finest work that Monk ever did in the studio with his ‘60s trio and quartet. Whether revisiting pop standards or reinventing Monk’s own classic compositions, Monk and Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums) exchange powerful musical ideas, as well as provide potent solos throughout the disc. Fittingly, “Hackensack” — a frenetic original composition — opens the disc by demonstrating the bandleader’s strength in a quartet environment. The solid rhythmic support of the trio unfetters Monk into unleashing endless cascades of percussive inflections and intoxicating chord progressions. The title cut also reflects the ability of the four musicians to maintain melodic intricacies that are at times so exigent it seems cruel that Monk would have expected a musician of any caliber to pull them off. “Tea for Two” showcases Monk’s appreciation for the great stride or “walking” piano style of James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith. The arrangement here is lighter, and features a trio (minus Rouse) to accent rather than banter with Monk’s splashes of magnificence throughout. Likewise, Monk’s solo on “Don’t Blame Me” is excellent. The extended runs up and down the keyboard can’t help but reiterate the tremendous debt of gratitude owed to the original stride pianists of the early 20th century. This is prime Monk for any degree of listener.

File Under: Jazz
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omni

Omni: Multitask (Trouble In Mind) LP
Atlanta, GA trio Omni charges out of the gate in 2016, stunning everyone within earshot with their debut longplayer, “Deluxe”; a dizzyingly refreshing amalgam of wiry post-punk jitters & a dash of zen cool. “Multi-task” is their latest offering & all signs point to the coveted goal of “next level” Guitarist Frankie Broyles (ex-Balkans/Deerhunter) & bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos (Carnivores) crafted “Deluxe”s eleven tracks in their practice space with friend & engineer Nathaniel Higgins “Nathaniel truly knows us, what we like and what we should sound like” says Frobos. They returned to Higgins for “Multi-task”, recording basic drum tracks at Higgins’ home studio & overdubbing bass, guitar, vocals & more during two separate trips to a remote cabin in the woods near Vienna, Georgia. “It gave a true peace/piece of mind away from the city” Frobos says, “We could work with no distractions or limitations at our own pace.” “Multi-task” is a more musically adventurous step forward for the band, keeping the frantic, fleet-fingered fingerpicking of Broyles’ guitar work & Frobos’ dead-cool delivery while expanding their musical palette & to include whispers of post-Roxy glam & Postcard Records pop. “Multi-task” balances the band’s trademark off-kilter & unconventional jams (Southbound Station”, “Supermoon”) with an elegance not found in many of their contemporaries, songs like “Tuxedo Blues” & “Type”, with their underlying seductive sophistication create an aura of romance that many post-punk bands dare not tread. Omni pulls it off with grace & style, still whirring on their minimalist funk-fused agit-pop while creating an album that is awash in the excitement of new love, or fleeting attraction – a journey from that dizzying buzz of first date pheromones found twirling on the dance floor to the cab ride cool-down to home (or wherever.)

File Under: Post Punk
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beast

OST: Altered Beast (Data Discs) LP
In tomorrow… Originally released in the arcades in 1988, but quickly ported over to SEGA’s new Mega Drive console, where it entered countless homes as a pack-in game, Altered Beast remains memorable for many things over its gameplay, not least its soundtrack. Composed by Tohru “Master” Nakabayashi, the music of Altered Beast moves between intense battle themes and cavernous dirges; the perfect backdrop to traversing the netherworld, punching pigs and powering up. Sourced from original hardware and carefully mastered for vinyl, Altered Beast is presented as a 45RPM cut LP in a 400g matte varnished sleeve and printed inner sleeve, both of which feature hand-painted artwork from the SEGA archives. Also included is a foldout poster of the original painting used for the game’s box art.

File Under: OST
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atomic

OST: Atomic Blonde (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… A cool film needs a cool soundtrack, right? And none come cooler than ATOMIC BLONDE. A double LP filled to the brim with needle drops of some of the ’80s best known cuts, as well as some under the radar gems, and a smattering of brand new tracks recorded especially for the movie. David Bowie, George Michael, The Clash, Nena, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and A Flock Of Seagulls of course need no introduction, and they all contribute absolutely killer songs here. Rubbing shoulders with these A-listers are lesser known acts such as Re-Flex, whose track ‘The Politics of Dancing’ was a minor hit in the UK and is a pure ’80s synth-pop banger from start to finish. After The Fire went from playing uninspired prog rock to recording the should-have-been classic ‘Der Kommissar,’ full of funky guitar licks and a chorus so hook-laden it should be illegal. ‘Voices Carry’ by American new wave band ’Til Tuesday features Aimee Mann on vocals and is an all-timer everyone needs on vinyl. The record is rounded out by a series of covers of classic ‘80s tracks. Industrial noise pop band HEALTH offering a fresh take on New Order’s ’Blue Monday’ which turns the cold original into a sublime slice of melodic mayhem that breaks down into into electro shoegaze before going full dance floor to finish. LEX recording artists Kaleida supply a moody ethereal version of Nena’s ‘99 Luftballons’. And finally composer Tyler Bates teams up with Marilyn Manson for a cover of Ministry’s ‘Stigmata,’ which sounds like Manson going back to his Spooky Kids roots, and is urgent as all hell. Four sides of killer music wrapped in a beautiful package for one of the best action films this year. It’s a no brainer, really. Buy this, or be prepared to meet Charlize in stairwell and explain why you aren’t adding it to you collection……

File Under: OST
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contrta

OST: Contra (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the run-and-gun franchise with the premiere Vinyl release of the classic shooter that started it all: Contra.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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hero

OST: Hero of Time (Music From Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (iam8bit) LP
In tomorrow… Just in time for The Legend of Zelda’s 30th Anniversary Celebration! iam8bit & Materia Collective are ecstatic to present Hero of Time, an officially licensed, one-hour arrangement album based on Koji Kondo’s dynamic, epic and absolutely gorgeous score to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Freshly – and exclusively – recorded by the 64-player Slovak National Symphony Orchestra for this very album, Hero of Time breaths new life into classic Ocarina of Time score, previously only available from its Nintendo 64 sound chip origins. The album is arranged & composed by Eric Buchholz, a maestro of video game concert tours across the globe, including The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony (plus the bonus CD that shipped with Skyward Sword!!), The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, and many more. The stunning album artwork was created by Ryan Brinkerhoff, full of subtle visual detail and interactive pieces, including a die-cut Ocarina window on the jacket’s front, a majestic gatefold featuring both Light or Dark sides, and, of course – the finishing crescendo of a shimmering, gold foil-stamped triforce on the back. This album will be recorded LIVE in January 2017 at Studio 1 in Bratislava by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, immediately thereafter mastered and prepared for vinyl.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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master

OST: Master of None (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow…
Mondo in partnership with Lakeshore Records, are proud to present the soundtrack to Aziz Ansari’s critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series: Master Of None – Season Two. Aziz Ansari’s Netflix Original Series Master Of None has been critically acclaimed for various reasons, including its incredible use of music. The music of season one (which Pitchfork called “prolific and distinctive”) set the tone of Aziz’s character Dev, and his initial misadventures in New York. But season two’s narrative launch in Italy takes the soundtrack into equally distinct, if not more diverse musical directions.

File Under: OST
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rewind

OST: Rewind This! (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow… REWIND THIS! is a must-see documentary about the home video boom of the 1980s and the tape collectors obsessing, preserving and cataloging the format today. Josh Freda’s incredible synth score perfectly captures all aspects of ‘80s videotape culture; an album full of music recalling cheesy action synth riffs, moody horror stings and neon drenched nighttime radios. This isn’t some hollow retro futuristic re-tread of the ’80s, though, as Freda manages to inject so much personality and playfulness into his music that even through the barrage of synths in play it sounds ultra contemporary and very human indeed. Includes the lo-fi punk gem ‘Head Cleaner’ by Joey Division as a bonus track, and the artwork is by the kickass Hollis Brown Thornton that we have been wanting to work with for an age.

File Under: OST
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streets

OST: Streets of Rage 2 (Data Discs) LP
In tomorrow… Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential game soundtracks of all time, STREETS OF RAGE 2 remains a towering achievement of the 16bit era. Data Discs is extremely proud to be releasing this masterpiece of FM synthesis, composed by Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima in 1992 and sounding more relevant today than ever. The audio has been carefully remastered using multiple sources, including the original NEC PC-88 files supplied by Koshiro himself, and packaged in original artwork sourced from the SEGA archives in Japan.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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castlevania4

OST: Super Castlevania IV (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… Mondo is proud to present the premiere vinyl soundtrack to Simon Belmont’s first 16-Bit adventure, the 1991 SNES classic Super Castlevania IV. Super Castlevania IV, technically a remake of the first Castlevania game, puts you back into boots of vampire hunter Simon Belmont. But if the first Castlevania soundtrack was like a band’s debut garage album, Super Castlevania IV is where they finally got into a major recording studio and fully fleshed out their sonic ambitions. The Super Nintendo’s sound chip brought the franchise into the world of synth for the first time. It allowed Konami’s composers to use audio samples to achieve an instrumentation previously unattainable on earlier systems. From the moment Super Castlevania IV begins you can hear the difference, with synthesized samples of organs and chiming bells, that set a more cinematic tone for Simon’s quest to fell the devil’s castle. But it’s not all graveyards and fog; by the time you arrive at the fourth track on the album, “Simon Belmont’s Theme,” you reach the new gold standard for the music of Castlevania. And when you get to Track 8, “Mechanical Trick Castle,” you are hearing Konami Kukeiha Club at its absolute finest, producing epic, bombastic score with prog rock elements that would remain the backbone of the franchise for years to come.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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peaks

OST: Twin Peaks 2017 (Rhino) LP
This is the music from the show, the score shipped today and will be in early next week… The eagerly awaited revival of Mark Frost and David Lynch’s revolutionary television series Twin Peaks is finally here. The music that appears in the new Showtime series will be part of two upcoming soundtracks to be released by Rhino in September 2017. Twin Peaks: Music From The Limited Event Series and Twin Peaks: Limited Event Series Original Soundtrack will be issued as 2LP-sets and full track listings will be revealed as the season progresses. Music has always played a central role in Lynch’s work and it helped establish the haunting, dreamlike nature of the original Twin Peaks. The same is true for the new series. Much like the plot of the show, the songs that appear on the new soundtracks will be revealed gradually over the course of the season’s 18 episodes. The first track as heard on the debut episode is “Twin Peaks Main Theme” by Grammy-winning composer Angelo Badalamenti, whose music is inextricably linked to the original series and film. The second track is “Shadow” by Chromatics, an electronic band based in Los Angeles, and will be on their new album Dear Tommy. Directed entirely by David Lynch, the new Showtime 18-part limited event series Twin Peaks picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town were stunned when their homecoming queen Laura Palmer was shockingly murdered. Golden Globe-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Kyle MacLachlan stars as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Twin Peaks is written and executive produced by series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, and is executive produced by Sabrina S. Sutherland.

File Under: OST
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vuh

Popol Vuh: For You And Me (One Way Static) LP
In tomorrow… Born as Florian Fricke’s brainchild, Popol Vuh needs little introduction, the band stayed active between the late 1960s & late 1990s (until Florian’s passing in 2001). Regarded as pioneers in avant-garde German electronic music, their early works practically laid down the foundations for ‘Kosmische Muzik’ (Space Music) with the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer joined with ethnic percussions. Later the group evolved to include all kinds of instruments (both electric and acoustic alike) shrouding their music in a spiritual & introspective mystical aura. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as “ethereal”, they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary ‘world music’, as well as of ‘new age’ and ‘ambient’. Popol Vuh regularly contributed soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog that include classics like ‘Aguirre’, ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Heart Of Glass’ & ‘Cobra Verde’. ‘For You And Me’ was their 17th album & now 28 years it holds up more than ever. While decidedly new age and world music in sound (with musical elements from the Himalayas, Ireland, Greece and Africa), this album has style and grace, and the updated sonic quality makes it a pleasure to listen to. The light pieces combined with their timeless dramatic signature sound, the majestic piano chords, the profound lyrics and the crescendos of emotions set this album apart from the banal new age mainstream. The authentic Popul Vuh spirituality permeates on every track here, prepare for goose bumps and a divine moment, in For You And Me, they created a more modern day classic, easily their best album of the 90’s. Out of print since 1991 and never released on vinyl outside of Europe, now back available as a gorgeously packaged deluxe vinyl edition. Strictly limited to 700 copies (black vinyl) with spot-varnished details on the jacket. Next to the black vinyl pressing, a color vinyl variant (#300 copies black & clear swirl vinyl) is also available exclusively from Light In The Attic & Mondo in North America and from Transmission Records in Europe.

File Under: Ambient, Krautrock
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red river

Red River Dave: Authentic Hillbilly Ballads & Topical Songs (Iron Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Notorious for his 1970 song ‘California Hippie Murders!’ – a ghoulish, harrowing, yodelling retelling of the infamous (Charles Manson masterminded) Tate-La-Bianca slayings – Red River Dave was a genuine cowboy singing star turned tabloid balladeer. While ‘California Hippie Murders!’ might seem chilling and bizarre, within the body of ‘Red River Dave’ McEnery epic saga songs (collected here for the very first time), it makes perfect sense. The Moon landings, the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, the Vietnam conflict, the assassination of JFK, the murder of young Emmett Till, Korean War ‘Manchurian Candidate’ brainwashing, patriotic tirades and Cold War dirges – all grist for the great Red River Dave Hillbilly song-mill. Often cut within hours or days of the event and pressed as minuscule edition private 45s: the tall, flamboyant, ’Buffalo Bill’ bearded McEnery cut a dashing figure in his gold-sprayed cowboy boots and cracking lariat – as he hawked these handcrafted cuts from the boot of his steer-horned Cadillac. Some sides presented here are so rare as to be near-mythical – you’ll hear Red River Dave wax about the death of Marilyn Monroe and the Bay of Pigs – in an eccentric and forgotten chronicle of the 20th century experience.

File Under: Country
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reich

Steve Reich: Drumming (Pure Pleasure) LP
In tomorrow… Simply put, Drumming is, along with some of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach, one of the most fascinating pieces of first-generation minimalism. The version recorded for Elektra/Nonesuch in 1987 ranks among Reich’s masterpieces. The 60-minute continuous work features one basic rhythm pattern. Throughout four segued movements it is multiplied, played in canon on various percussion instruments. “Part I” is for four pairs of tuned bongo drums; “Part II” for three marimbas (played by nine players) and two singers mimicking the sound of marimbas; “Part III” for three glockenspiels, piccolo, and whistling (played by Reich himself); “Part IV” for all previous instruments, including voices. Transitions between movements are gradual, the whole piece being built on accumulation and reduction. When it is time to go to the next movement, players are slowly removed, quarter-notes replaced by rests, in order to make room for the new instruments. The piece almost comes to a complete halt at the end of “Part III,” keeping only the most basic pulse before the whole process starts over, building up to the finale. There is a sense of happiness and lightness irradiating from Drumming. It is a perfect example of the paradox of the simple and the complex, the easy and the challenging underlying minimalist music. Both cerebral and vitally tribal or ritualistic, this album is a must-have.

File Under: Avant Garde, Minimalism
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sumney

Moses Sumney: Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar) LP
Since emerging onto the scene in 2014, Moses Sumney has ridden a wave of word-of-mouth praise, hushed recordings, and dynamic live performances. It’s an organic, patient ascent all too rare in today’s musical climate. In a voice both mellifluous and haunting, Sumney makes future music that transmogrifies classic tropes, like moon-colony choir reinterpretations of old jazz gems. His vocals narrate a personal journey through universal loneliness atop otherworldly compositional backdrops. Following the self-release of his debut cassette EP, Mid-City Island, and 2015’s 7″, Seeds/Pleas, Sumney has performed around the world alongside forebears like David Byrne, Karen O, Sufjan Stevens, Solange, James Blake and more. With his 2016 Lamentations EP, The California and Ghana-raised troubadour widened the spectrum of his heretofore “bedroom” music, incorporating songs that feature more elaborate production and evocative songwriting. Now his inspired ascent continues. His proper debut album, Aromanticism is a concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape. It seeks to interrogate the social constructions around romance. The debut will include the devastating, billowing synths of “Doomed,” which in a way serves as the album’s thesis statement, as well as new versions of standouts “Lonely World” and “Plastic.” It’s a deliberate, jaw-dropping statement that can leave you both enlightened and empty.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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souljazz

Souljazz Orchestra: Under Burning Skies (Strut) LP
Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date, a brand new journey into tropical, soul and jazz styles. Turbulent times call for strong voices and The Souljazz Orchestra’s new set packs a suitably heavy lyrical punch, with wry observations and an urge for progressive change. Musically, the band continue to push the limits, dusting off ‘80s vintage synthesizers and early drum machines for the first time, bringing lo fi disco, boogie and electro touches to their trademark horn arrangements and earthy analogue sound. The fruits are a-plenty and the group sound at their confident and versatile best from start to finish. Opener “Dog Eat Dog” powers in with Mabinuori Idowu and Philippe Lafrenière lambasting the powerful and the corrupt over an infectious Afro-disco groove; “Lufunki” takes the group right back to their B-Boy roots, bringing the Afro vibes to Beat Street and “Is Yeelyel” delivers a killer rework of an obscure original by Somalian super-group Dur-Dur Band. The band go on exploring their passion for French Caribbean styles on the beautiful, lilting “Oublier Pour Un Jour” and “Tambour À Deux Peaux” and they take time for reflection on the potent instrumental title track and poignant closer “Aduna Jarul Naawo,” featuring the vocals of Élage Mbaye.

File Under: Funk, Afrobeat
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suarez

Esther Suarez: La Bolognesina (Litle Axe) LP
In tomorrow… Esther Suarez, also known as La Ocrasina De Oro, is a popular Peruvian Huayno singer. La Bolognesina is one of her earlier albums, featuring reverbed vocals over Andean harps supplemented with light percussion and handclaps. The album was recorded in 1981, with the title referring to her roots near the snow-capped Andean mountains of the Bolognesi province in the Ancash region of Peru. Peru experienced waves of mass rural-to-urban migration in the latter half of the twentieth century due to poverty and political instability, but with it also came an explosion in the popularity of the folkloric Huayno tradition. An urban and modernized studio version of ancient indigenous Quechua folk traditions, Huayno became the soundtrack to the migrant’s experience of both hardship and homesickness. Esther Suarez’s clear and yearning vocals soar over galloping huayno rhythms, evoking the highlands of her youth with heartbreak, regret and melancholy, while simultaneously looking to a place where there is always a will to live and an invitation to dance. Truly some of the most beautiful music ever.

File Under: Folk, World, Peru
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vangaalen

Chad VanGaalen: Infiniheart (Flemish Eye) LP
Cultivating a singularly unique voice in the world of songwriting and composition is a difficult prospect for all but the most naturally gifted of artists, and Calgary-based songwriter Chad VanGaalen certainly belongs in that category. 2005’s Infiniheart, an epic tapestry of crunchy guitars, ethereal textures and expressive hooks, exists as a selection of the hundreds upon hundreds of intricate, visionary pop songs VanGaalen has crafted and self-recorded in his bedroom studio since 1994 with a Tascam 4-track, an Akai hard disc recorder and an assortment of analog gadgets. VanGaalen, a skilled animator and illustrator, began his journey busking Canadian streets and art events with a simple setup of drums and guitar before critical acclaim of his recorded material gave way to subsequent opening slots with Stars and the Pixies. As prolific as he is curious about the nature of sound and the mysteries of the heart, VanGaalen’s mystical, highly sympathetic characters thematically explore loss, passion and longing through sonic constructions rich in simplicity and peppered with glitchy beats, plaintive, vulnerable vocals and homemade saxophones and violins whittled by VanGaalen himself. Deeply moving and endlessly surprising, Infiniheart was VanGaalen’s first for Sub Pop.

File Under: Indie Rock
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wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe: Hiss Spun (Sargent House) LP
In tomorrow… While past albums operated on the intimacy of stripped-down folk music (The Grime and the Glow, Unknown Rooms), or the throbbing pulse of supplemental electronics (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), Chelsea Wolfe’s sixth official album Hiss Spun wrings its exquisiteness out of a palette of groaning bass, pounding drums, and crunching distortion. Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest. “I’m at odds with myself,” she explains. “I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.” Hiss Spun features contributions by Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) and Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure).

File Under: Indie Rock, Goth
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yoshimura

Hiroshi Yoshimura: Pier & Loft (17853) LP
In tomorrow… The late Hiroshi Yoshimura, a pioneer of Japanese ambient music. Yoshimura was involved in a wide range of fields, such as sound design for public installations, graphic design, visual poetry, free improvised performance (using his own body) and inventing his own instruments, right up until he passed away in 2003. The seven songs on this album were created for a fashion exhibition held at a warehouse in the Tokyo bay area. He released it on cassette tape on Japanese label ‘Fukusei Gijutsu Kohboh” ran by Yoshio Ojima who produced the album. Referring to the Loft: “As the time goes by, the Loft that was swept away ( forgotten) from the City but it somewhat has a look of a ” City of Ruins” that reminds you of something you have forgotten. Something nostalgic. Sounds from the City and the vast landscape gave me a great opportunity to take a fresh look at Tokyo.” says Yoshimura. Referring To the Pier: His look towards Tokyo bay takes on the shape of sonic particles….tickling down gently while tinged with change. A landscape of Seven Sounds. This is the first-ever vinyl release, 34 years after it’s recording. The sleeve image is the same as on the original cassette release.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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ztio

Luigi Zito & Vittorio Nadlin: Dinamica Ossessiva (Cometa) LP
In tomorrow… Unreleased amazing funk/beat library LP with tones of jazz-funk and psychedelic beats. Keeping the listener on their toes, the music oscillates between psych-funk, jazz and esoteric movie themes then back again. Songs like “Inseguimento Sul Bosforo”, “Piazza”, “Theme For Two” and “Aggressione”, are timeless and show why Cometa albums are so highly regarded within the library community. This gem has finally be released on HQ 180gr. vinyl, to the delight of audiophiles.

File Under: Library
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hillbillies

Various: Hillbillies In Hell Volume 4 (Iron Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Be tempted deeper into the depths…a reverberant brimstone labyrinth of tortured souls and redemptive pleas. More Country Gospel diatribes and Hellfired Hillbilly laments originally waxed on microscopic labels and distributed in minuscule amounts. These troubled but largely forgotten Hayseed troubadours sing of damnation and infernal choices, tormented sinners, Devil trains, Luciferian trysts, evil dope schemes and fallow final dreams. Years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ (Volume Four) presents a further 16 timeless testaments of sin, tribulation, cold graves and warm temptations. An unholy stash of subterranean 45s, some of these sides are impossibly rare and are reissued here for the very first time. All for your prurient listening pleasure.

File Under: Country

musica

Various: Musica Per L’Immagine (Fly By Night) LP
In tomorrow… With Fly By Night Music now celebrating their fifth year of operation, Lorenzo has marked the occasion by assembling his biggest project to date – an impeccably curated collection of obscure Italian production music circa 1974 – 1985. The project, has been very close to Lorenzo’s heart – beginning unexpectedly in the record fairs of Buenos Aires and leading him on several trips to Rome and Milan, tracking down the original musicians and licensors.

File Under: Library

outro

Various: Outro Tempo (Music From Memory) LP
In tomorrow… FINALLY GOT SOME OF THIS DAMNED RECORD! For their first multi-artist compilation, Music From Memory take us on a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992 is a double LP that explores the outer reaches of Brazilian music, where indigenous rhythms mix with synthesizers and where MPB mingles with drum computers. As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerising tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders. The product of extensive research, this compilation is a unique introduction to this visionary music and features many fresh discoveries in a country well trodden by record diggers. It gathers tracks from obscure albums that have for too long been neglected by even the most avid collectors of Brazilian music. It includes now highly sought after music by Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita, and Fernando Falcão, as well as unknown gems like those of Cinema, Carlinhos Santos, and Anno Luz. This is an essential release that reveals a broader spectrum of Brazilian music, striking a unique sonic signature that is full of innovation, experimentation, and beauty.

File Under: Electronic, Latin, Jazz, Ambient
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…..Restocks…..

Roky Erickson: The Evil One (Light in the Attic) LP
Gaussian Curve: Clouds (Music From Memory) LP
Francoise Hardy: L’Amite (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: La Premier Bonheur Du Jour (Future Days) LP
Shin Joong Hyun: Beautiful Rivers & Mountains (Light in the Attic) LP
Os Mutantes: Everything is Possible (LuakaBop) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Link Wray: Be What You Want To Be (Tidal Wave) LP
Link Wray: Mordicai Jones (Tidal Wave) LP
Link Wray: s/t (Future Days) LP

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…..news letter #810 – stocked…..

Finally, lots of stock of the War on Drugs this week. And a big restock on The National and Queens of the Stone Age in time for the weekend… Still no more LCD, but there’s a ton of great other new things to satisfy your thirsty ear buds. Lots of great used as always as well. Dig.

…..picks of the week…..

takada

Midori Takada & Masahiko Satoh: Lunar Cruise (WRWTFWW) LP+CD
Marks the title’s first ever vinyl release; Cut at Emil Berliner Studios; Housed in a 350 gsm sleeve; Includes CD with all ten tracks. We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of Midori Takada and Masahiko Satoh’s Lunar Cruise, originally released in 1990. Following the successful reissue of Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, WRWTFWW Records present another release from the legendary Japanese percussionist: 1990’s Lunar Cruise, her superb collaboration with jazz pianist, synth master, composer, and arranger Masahiko Satoh. Arguably the best kept secret in Midori Takada’s fascinating discography, Lunar Cruise is an under-the-radar masterpiece that captures Takada (on marimba and minimal percussion set-up) and Satoh (on Korg M1 and Yamaha DX7II synths, Ensoniq EPS sampler, and acoustic piano) vibrantly fusing traditional African and Asian percussion with jazz, ambient, and minimalism. The album also features the great Haruomi Hosono (Yellow Magic Orchestra, Happy End) and Kazutoki Umezu (saxophone, clarinet).

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Percussion
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kirchin

Basil Kirchin: Basil Kirchin is My Friend (Trunk) LP
An awe-inspiring sampler of the late, great musical polymath’s music. From pop punk pop to field recordings, jazz, horror film music, ambient sounds, experimental ideas and all points in between. Many tracks have not been released before. Basil Kirchin was a unique talent. A man brought up as a drummer in the post-war big band era, he soon shunned the sounds of London ballrooms for world travel, marijuana, and spiritual enlightenment. On his return to London in the mid-1960s, he started work on experimental “sound picture music”, a direction that led him into horror film music, library music, and eventually, to field recordings. He then developed the idea of slowing down the sounds of bird, insects, animals, autistic children — anything he recorded in fact — to reveal the hidden particles of sound that made them up. Mixing this with free jazz improvisation in 1969, he developed a new, peculiar sound that is now known as “ambient”. Here, in this unique Trunk Record’s sampler, the label offers a fascinating musical glimpse into his world, bringing together work from three decades, plus parts of a long conversation between Jonny Trunk and Basil Kirchin, recorded a few months before Kirchin died. There is unreleased film music, field recordings including autistic children from Schurmatt, music for advertising, the opening of Quantum (JBH 003CD), brilliant mixes of jazz and birds (“Charcoal Sketches”), the newly discovered digital post punk classic “Silicon Chip”, plus brilliant and moving homages to his life with Esther, his wife. Together it makes extraordinary listening. All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle.

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

ebll

Chris Bell: I am the Cosmos (Omnivore) LP
Chris Bell was an immensely gifted songwriter, performer and producer. As a founding member of Big Star and as a solo artist he struggled to have his songs heard. Sadly, the Memphis-born artist did not live long enough to see the enormous impact his music – both with Big Star and as a solo artist – would have on future generations. The beginnings of I Am The Cosmos can be traced back to 1972, when Bell left Big Star, the seminal power-pop outfit he helped found. After helping Big Star write and record a few songs for Radio City, the band’s follow-up, Bell left for France in 1974. While there, he recorded several demos at Hérouville Studios for a planned solo album. Following the sessions, Bell and his brother David took the tracks to a London studio owned by the Beatles’ producer George Martin, where they mixed the songs with Geoff Emerick, who engineered several of the Beatles’ albums. The songs were shelved and Bell returned home to Memphis, where he recorded more songs with a revolving cast of Memphis musicians. In 1978, Car Records released a single featuring Bell’s “I Am The Cosmos” b/w “You And Your Sister.” Encouraged by the positive reaction to the single, Bell was planning a return to music when he was killed in a car accident in 1978, two days after Christmas. His music remained unreleased until 1992, when several of his demos were released posthumously as I Am The Cosmos. The 12 tracks highlight Bell’s ethereal vocals, his uncanny sense of song structure and insightful, melancholy lyrics, all of which illuminate his often-overlooked contribution to Big Star. I Am The Cosmos is a haunting pop masterpiece ripe for discovery.

File Under: Rock, Power Pop, Big Star
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berrocal

Jac Berrocal: La Nuit Est Au Courant (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl edition of Jac Berrocal’s La Nuit Est Au Courant, originally released on In Situ in 1991. Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” on the radio, Renaissance motets, his grandfather in a Zouave military band, Syrian deserts… Columns of tanks in the streets, the soundtrack to Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (1956), Juan Manuel Fangio’s car, the fall of the Berlin wall: from the first and fantastic Musiq Musik (1973), this is where Jac Berrocal’s trumpet comes from — an indescribable cataclysm to which he constantly returns for inspiration. When he published, at the beginning of the 1990s, La Nuit Est Au Courant, Jac Berrocal had already recorded his famous “Rock’n’Roll Station” and collaborated three times with Nurse With Wound, he figures on their 1979 list as an important avant-garde influence. In Situ, the French label which published this album, produced several other historically important albums in the same year by people like Steve Lacy, François Tusques, Un Drame Musical Instantané, and Daunik Lazro in a duo with Joe McPhee: such were the times. Backed by two bassists (including the jazz critic Francis Marmande) and a drummer, Jacques Thollot (who recorded Jeter La Girafe À La Mer (1971), one of the highlights of the French underground), Jac Berrocal does here what he does best: defy labels and slalom between genres; constructing a strange kaleidoscope of enchanting mish-mash. “What is vulgar… “, he states, “… is to refuse what pleases you”. Jac Berrocal refuses nothing and tries everything he can imagine. With the trumpet multiplied here and there by reverb, the nocturnal perambulations for insomniacs of La Nuit Au Courant make it an ambient album with Prague, Sartrouville, Ivry-sur-Seine or East Berlin amongst the backdrops… An album of what Fernando Arrabal called “panic music”, an elegant term for “no wave”… Listening to it over and again, it sounds like Don Cherry jamming with David Bowie and Brian Eno in Berlin. There is one thing you should know: Jac Berrocal is an intrepid man. He stands exposed — and “sullies his soul”, on the edge of the precipice. The nights are all-knowing. Licensed from In Situ. Obi strip; Reverse printing; Includes four-page booklet; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improvisation
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beyonce

Beyonce: Lemonade (Columbia) LP
Beyonce’s powerful Grammy-winning 2016 album Lemonade served as her sixth studio effort overall, a bold conceptual project loaded with subtext and based on every woman’s journey of self knowledge and healing. This is the first pressing of the 180g, yellow colored, four-sided LP version of the album, allowing for a higher sound quality. Encompassing a variety of genres including R&B, rock, soul, gospel, hip-hop, pop, and blues plus equally as diverse guest artists like James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Jack White, Lemonade debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and was one of the biggest selling and acclaimed albums of the year. As artistically ambitious as is it is emotionally raw Lemonade simultaneously set a new standard for the Queen Bee and pop music in general. “Lemonade draws from the prolific literary, musical, cinematic, and aesthetic sensibilities of black cultural producers to create a rich tapestry of poetic innovation. The audacity of its reach and fierceness of its vision challenges our cultural imagination, while crafting a stunning and sublime masterpiece about the lives of women of color and the bonds of friendship seldom seen or heard in American popular culture.” – Peabody Award Winner

File Under: Pop, R&B, Hip Hop
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bley

Paul Bley: Improvisie (Bamboo) LP
Bamboo present the first ever reissue of Paul Bley’s Improvisie, originally released in 1971. Recorded Live March 26th, 1971 at Club B14 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Improvisie is a part of the 1971 trilogy of Paul Bley and Annette Peacock’s combined experimental recorded work. Together with recent reissues of 1971’s The Bley Synthesizer Show  and 1972’s Dual Unity, Improvisie is taken from a compelling period for two iconic figures of the free jazz movement, and their pioneering use of the first-ever Moog synthesizers. Includes expansive liners with interviews and rare archival photos; Professionally remastered original sound recoring.

File Under: Free Jazz
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foo fighter

Foo Fighters: Concrete & Gold (RCA) LP
“I wanted it to be the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever. To make a gigantic rock record but with Greg Kurstin’s sense of melody and arrangement.” So speaks Dave Grohl of the mission statement made manifest in Foo Fighters’ ninth epic, the aptly-titled Concrete and Gold. Just as Foo Fighters’ anthem of the summer “Run” “opens as a dreamy, slow burner then quickly turns heavy as thunder” (Billboard) with its “huge triumphant chorus” (Stereogum), Concrete and Gold marries some of the most insanely heavy Foo Fighters riffs ever with lush harmonic complexities courtesy of a first time team-up with producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Pink). “So I think maybe Greg is the guy that we ask to be our producer because he’s never made a heavy rock record before and we’ve never worked with a pop producer,” adds Grohl. Darrel Thorp (Beck, Radiohead) was soon enlisted to mix and engineer. This collective conceived a blueprint of the new record as, “Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper…or something like that,” secretly booking into Hollywood’s esteemed EastWest studios to consummate this marriage of extremes…or as Grohl puts it: “Our noise and Greg’s big brain and all of his sophisticated arrangements and composition.” Months, sounds, stories and so many guitars later, the 11-Grammy-winning, 25+ million-record-selling, last great American stadium rock band completed its most ambitious album to date.

File Under: Rock
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fortune

Iona Fortune: Tao of I (Optimo) LP
Optimo Music present Iona Fortune’s Tao Of I. Iona Fortune is a composer and producer from Glasgow and presents the Tao Of I album as her debut release. Inspired by Eastern Philosophy and slated to be the first in an eight album series exploring all the symbols of the I Ching, her music is influenced by oriental sounds and features a palette of instruments that includes the guzheng, gamelan, and Synthi AKS. The overall effect is a singular and beguiling sound that loosely fits in with the Fourth World concept imagined by Jon Hassell, and indeed Iona Fortune has also contributed a track to Optimo Music’s Fourth World compilation Miracle Steps.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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german

German Oak: Down in the Bunker (Now Again) LP
“The 6th entry in the Now-Again Reserve Edition series is the definitive reissue of a lauded and misunderstood Krautrock album as well as the first band-sanctioned reissue in the series. The most mysterious Krautrock album, German Oak’s Down In The Bunker has been fetishized and demonized, lauded and misunderstood for nearly four decades. In this definitive Reserve Edition of the album, the German Oak trio — together again after 30 years apart — have approved the remastering of their 70s music; finally tell the story behind the creation of their dark, brooding album — and the occult-obsessed record collector behind the original album’s release and its myth — and they share previously unreleased music and photos.”

File Under: Krautrock, Psych, Freakout
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jaeger

Kassel Jaeger: Aster  (Editions Mego) LP
The frontier for French electroacoustic mystical music has traversed much ground since Pierre Schaeffer shuffled on the past and laid out a map without borders or designated ground. Seventy years in this land of the fried, there are a plethora of Ideas and ongoing potential coming from all corners of the globe. Inheriting the wisdom of past masters whilst forging a signature style of his own, Kassel Jaeger sits as one of the premier explorers of these unknown worlds today. Comprised recently recorded tracks, Kassel Jaeger presents a work of revisits and re-workings, one which acts as a hinge in both closing this particular chapter, whilst opening up the windows to a new sound world. In Aster, rich deep music is replete with dark ambient sonorities swirling amongst intense buzzing tones. Often chilling and ominous, this is a fearless music with abstracted corners and dynamic leverage. Unafraid to embed itself in the ongoing whirlpool of sonic progress. Jaeger’s output remains a thrilling body of exploration and ongoing transformation. Photos by Ende Wieder; Design by Stephen O’Malley.

File Under: Electronic, Drone, Ambient
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lowe

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Levitation Praxis Pt 4 (Demdike Stare) LP
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s incredible experiments with Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures are here documented on this beautiful new edition for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, coinciding with his appearance on Semtember 2017’s issue of The Wire magazine. Lowe is something of a polymath; having started out as part of math rock outfit 90 Day Men and doom metal trio Om, he progressed to forge his own solo work (often under the Lichens moniker), as well as a whole slew of collaborations, including work with Johann Johannsson on scoring both Arrival (2016) and Sicario (2015), an acclaimed album with Ariel Kalma for RVNG Intl’s FRKWYS series, plus active involvement in site-specific video art and sound installations. His most recent work under his own name has seen him release diverse music for Type, Latency, More Than Human, and, of course, DDS who have, with this album, presented what might just be the most beautiful Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe artefact thus far. In 2016, Lowe was commissioned by New York’s museum of Arts and Design to contribute to a Harry Bertoia exhibition, which he undertook alongside video director Johann Rashid. He was asked to create sound recordings with Sonambient sculptures; metal rods and gongs that produce highly distinct, resonant sounds when struck, brushed, or touched. Beginning in 1968, Bertoia set up an eighteenth-century stone barn on his property in Barto, Pennsylvania, to house these sculptures and from which he would go on to record works for his highly collectable Sonambient label, as recently documented on Important Records’ breathtaking box set and reissue series. Lowe was given full access to the barn, beautifully filmed footage of which can be found on YouTube. Lowe’s work with these sculptures is quite unlike anything you might have heard from those original Bertoia recordings. Instead of serendipitous improvisation, Lowe weaves his way through the sculptures on a path that was mapped out in advance, imbuing them with a more “composed” and arranged feel. As well as that familiar and distinct sound palette, he subtly manipulates and feeds in vocal layers that take proceedings into ever more ethereal and haunting dimensions. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, Sound Sculptures
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manek

Tarquin Manek/Martina Quake: Locks on Our Doors Not Our Hearts (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Locks On Our Doors Not On Our Hearts utilizes EMS VCS3, Oberheim OB-Xa, and ARP 2600, in combination with cheap, contemporary consumer electronics. It is, in all intents and purposes, a short, cautionary story about love. It is also a folk-tale, a science fiction, a suicide note. Unusually for a long-form spoken word piece, it is immediate in its impact, and lasting in its effect. The narrator is damaged and unreliable: Martina Quake’s voice, digitally processed into a flat, AI affectless-ness, conveys this all too well. Is this the vernacular poetry of the Uncanny Valley, or is it just that loss makes robots — numb and listless not-quite-humans — of us all? Locks revels in the space between the spontaneous and the programmed (what is a poem if not a program?). It’s part Tales Of The Unexpected, part Susan Howe, part Ruth Rendell, part HAL (or Holly). Tarquin Manek’s music is widescreen but understated… A becalmed landscape populated by distant drones, just-out-of-focus field recordings, and phased, minimalistic, Rhodes-style keys — a sort of somber, lunar jazz. Just as Quake’s words are cumulative in their tragedy, the music grows more agitated and turbulent, at certain points harking back to the smoked-out psycho-acoustics of Manek’s 2015 Blackest Ever Black LP, Tarquin Magnet, and his work in F ingers, with Samuel Karmel and Carla dal Forno.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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mogwai

Mogwai: Every Country’s Sun (Temporary Residence) LP
Indie coloured vinyl in stock, DLX box coming soon. Every Country’s Sun takes two decades of Mogwai’s signature, contrasting sounds – towering intensity, pastoral introspection, synth-rock minimalism, DNA-detonating volume – and distills it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock, and transcendental euphoria. Produced by psych-rock luminary Dave Fridmann, it’s a structural soundscape built from stark foundations up; from a gentle, twinkling, synth-rock spectre to a solid, blown-out, skyward-thrusting obelisk. There’s percussive, dream-state electronics (“Coolverine”), church organs as chariots of existential fire (“Brain Sweeties”), tremulous, foreboding bleeping – possibly from a dying android (“aka 47”). Their most transportive album yet, it also hosts their most fully realized art-pop sing-along of their storied history, “Party In The Dark,” a head-spinning disco-dream double-helix echoing New Order and The Flaming Lips, featuring Stuart Braithwaite’s seldom-heard melodic vocals declaring he’s “directionless and innocent, searching for another piece of mind.” This is music as a keep-out chrysalis, protective audio armor through exalting organs and portentous, dissonant guitar fuzz warping at the edges, bending the world inside-out into a reality in which you’d much rather live. The last three songs ascend into explosive exorcism, closing with the colossal title cut “Every Country’s Sun,” its searching intensity whooshing towards infinity in a dazzling cosmic crescendo.

File Under: Post Rock
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mount kimbie

Mount Kimbie: Love What Survivies (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Love What Survives is the long awaited third studio album from Mount Kimbie. It’s the most confident statement of intent from the boundary-pushing duo yet, and an embodiment of their career-long musical progression. The album is the product of three years of intense creative development, continually honed by the duo writing and rewriting their ideas to form something wholly idiosyncratic and personal. It brings together the voices of their close friends and collaborators – who together represent a bright corner of young artistic talent – James Blake, Micachu and King Krule, within the immersive, unique atmosphere of a Mount Kimbie album.

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop, Left Field
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myrkur

Myrkur: Mareridt (Relapse) LP
Mareridt (translation: Nightmare) is the highly anticipated sophomore full-length from renowned Danish composer and multi-instrumentalist Myrkur. Recorded between Copenhagen and Seattle with producer Randall Dunn (Marissa Nadler, Earth, Sunn O))), Boris, Wolves In The Throne Room), Mareridt is a rich juxtaposition of the dark and the light; the moon and the mother earth; the witch and the saint. Myrkur explores deeper into the mysterious and the feminine with 11 tracks that further progress her visionary blend of metal with gorgeous, stirring melodies, dark folk passages, choral arrangements and superb, horrific beauty. Further taking Myrkur to new artistic heights are lyrics in multiple languages, an unforgettable collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe and an array of special instrumentation including violin, mandola, folk drums, nyckelharpa (an ancient Swedish key harp), and Kulning (an ancient Scandinavian herding call). Mareridt is a profound manifestation of nightmares that demonstrates Myrkur as one of the truly exceptional artists of our time.

File Under: Metal
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noyes

Rob Noyes/Alexander: Split (C/Site) 7″
Fresh off 2016’s The Feudal Spirit LP on Poon Village, Rob Noyes brings a breakneck-paced, attention-demanding number to his side. Noyes’s style and finger work fills space with a density and heaviness that may harken back to his hardcore/punk roots. Alexander has been quietly amassing a catalog of cassettes over the years, many of which are reminiscent of Alan Bishop (as Alvarius B) in their homespun, improvisational style. On this split, Alexander eases into a coy and sentimental tune that unwinds across five-and-a-half minutes, his keen grasp of intricacy and minimalism cementing him as a top player.

File Under: Guitar Soli

ohtrix

Oneohtrix Point Never: Good Time OST (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Oneohtrix Point Never took home the prestigious Soundtrack Award at 2017’s Cannes Film Festival for his visceral original score for Good Time. Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie and starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the hypnotic crime thriller follows Pattinson’s Connie in a twisted odyssey through the New York underworld in a desperate attempt to get his brother out of jail. Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Josh Safdie became close friends through a shared love of cult genre movies and music, and their level of collaboration here has a rare depth of symbiosis of picture and score. Mundane events become dramatic, montages become mini operas and Iggy Pop features on the poignant closer “The Pure And The Damned.” 2LP-set with poster insert.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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pauvros1

Jean-Francois Pauvros & Gaby Bizien: No Man’s Land (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present a reissue of Jean-Francois Pauvros and Gaby Bizien’s No Man’s Land, originally released on Un-Deux-Trois in 1976. Whether it is with the label Palm, or for Un-Deux-Trois, Jef Gilson has produced some of the best albums of French free jazz and improvisation. But that’s not all: he also offered perfect recording conditions enabling some of the fresh young talent to emerge, including Daunik Lazro, André Jaume, and Jean-François Pauvros, all three of whom released their first recordings on one of those labels. Recorded by Jean-François Pauvros (guitar, but not only…) alongside Gaby Bizien (drums, percussion, aquatic trombone, marimba, bird calls), and, of course, produced by the audacious Jef Gilson, the appropriately named No Man’s Land had virtually no equivalent in France (nor worldwide) when it came out in 1976. Radical, free, primitive, timeless: in the image of the musicians, it is not for nothing that it appears in the famous Nurse With Wound list of major influences concocted in 1979. No label can be placed on this vertiginous sensory adventure: an explosive flow of shrapnel and tearing intensity, full of mystery and life. To be clear, No Man’s Land is the key recording of French improvisation. So much so that it is difficult to imagine it coming out of nowhere, the two musicians must surely have been listening to the latest forays of the British Music Improvisation Company and decided to reply in their own way. But not at all! If you believe what the protagonists have to say, these experiments were carried out in secret isolation, and with a total lack of awareness of everything that was going on in the avant-garde of improvised music. Indeed, it was only after the album was published that Jean-François Pauvros and Gaby Bizien learned that there was a movement going on with similar ideas. That tells us something about the level of invention of this album, which comfortably bears comparison to other similar duos such as Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley, Fred Frith and Chris Cutler, John Russell and Roger Turner, or Gary Smith and John Stevens… The Frenchmen were well served by their unbridled variety and poly-instrumentalism. Licensed from Jean-François Pauvros. Obi strip; Reverse printing; Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Experimental
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pauvros2

Jean-Francois Pauvros & Gaby Bizien: Pays Noir (Souffle Continu) LP
Previously unreleased, the three tracks on Pays Noir come from recording sessions held at the same time as those for the cult album No Man’s Land (FFL 026LP), produced by Jef Gilson in 1976, and published on vinyl by Souffle Continu Records in 2017. Singled out at the time of its release by Actuel, Rock & Folk, and Melody Maker, the tabula rasa of No Man’s Land is the result of free-flowing experiments born of chance, if the two musicians are to be believed. Indeed, their approach to free improvisation was uninfluenced by those in the know of what was going on in such circles, which makes it even more incredible. To emphasize the point, the saxophonist Evan Parker (already a leader in the field) remarked on the album at the time, surprised by the innovation of the two Frenchmen. Brimming with the same fervor as No Man’s Land, mainly on guitar and drums (but once again, not only…), Jean-François Pauvros and Gaby Bizien invent an amazing unbridled chaos of instinctive combinations, which are the fruit of their immense complicity, born of days on end playing together, trying to transform the rebelliousness of rock into free-form sparks unlike anything heard before, and which are often poetic — ah, that final song! Carried along by the frenzied clatter of Gaby Bizien, Jean-François Pauvros emerges without doubt as one the great French improvising guitarists, alongside Gérard Marais (Dharma Quintet, Stu Martin Trio), Joseph Dejean (Cohelmec Ensemble, The Full Moon Ensemble), Raymond Boni (who, like Pauvros and Bizien, is present on the Nurse With Wound list), Dominique Répécaud, Noël Akchoté, and Jean-Marc Montera. Furthermore, the duo has a crazy intensity heard only on recordings by duos such as Bill Orcutt and Chris Corsano, Arto Lindsay and Paal Nilssen-Love, Thurston Moore and John Moloney, and Mesa Of The Lost Women. A kind of French no wave ahead of its time. Licensed from Jean-François Pauvros. Obi strip; Reverse printing; Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Experimental

rabelais

Akira Rabelais: Spellewauerynsherde (Boomkat) LP
Boomkat Editions offers the first-ever vinyl edition of Spellwauerynsherde, a masterpiece from LA-based artist Akira Rabelais, originally released on CD by David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label in 2004. It comprises a suite of seven medieval choral pieces which have been sublimated and recomposed via Rabelais’s self-built Argeïphontes Lyre software. The results arguably stand as one of the 21st century’s greatest musical enigmas and could be said to presage contemporary obsessions with processed vocals in a deeply uncanny manner, enduring to resonate with up-to-the-moment music as much as the record’s distant roots in the seminal works of 12th century German mystic and composer Hildegard von Bingen, and the writings of John Milton, among others. Spellwauerynsherde has always been crying out for a vinyl issue and Rabelais has done the piece proud with this sensitive new version, allowing its seven parts to gently flow in sequence over both sides, with the added shroud of vinyl infidelity lending a beautifully subtle patina of detachment which perhaps only serves to heighten the paradoxical — both temporal, spatial and timbral — nature of the record’s ethereal vestibules and elusive, illusory sonic specters. In remodeling these ancient works of art, Rabelais performs a sort of hypermodern animism on ostensibly dead musical material — dead as in hardly anyone knows or plays them in the modern age — imbuing them with a contemporary relevance through the process of his bespoke software (which is freely available to download) which serves to faithfully render, open-up new dimensions and plasmic aspects from work which is now nearly a millennia old — so old you can’t even call it classical music. Spellwauerynsherde has set a benchmark for experiments with ancient composition and computer music — each immersion in this vinyl is akin to floating through the mists of time and will sends shivers down your spine just even thinking or writing about it, never mind listening. Spellwauerynsherde is one of the most magickal, perplexing, and strangely life-giving records that you’ll ever hear. Photography by Jacqueline Roberts; Design by Michael Worthington. Lacquer cut at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical
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rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Green Amulet Crafts Supernatural Qualities (Hospital) LP
This is the second in a reissue series of Dominick Fernow’s early work as Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, casting spells from the Green Amulet Crafts Supernatural Qualities (2011) tape onto vinyl for the first time and steadily closing the gap in your Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement collection. Something like the soundtrack to one of Ballard’s prophetic visions of sunken cities, this second RSE incursion was initially released in an edition of 63 tapes in 2011 and found Fernow dwelling in a dread-fueled, paranoid headspace. Aesthetically, it forms an oblique inversion of Prurient’s saturated noise assaults or a sort of chopped-and-screwed adjunct to Vatican Shadow, perhaps best located closest to his Force Publique Congo output, but with fathoms more negative space and those full sunken sub bass charges. “A Slave Boy That Died An Awful Death For Not Keepng His Owner’s Horses. He Helps People Who Are Looking For Lost Things.” fills the A side, pinpointing a location that could easily be an overgrown traffic island as some Nigerian mangroves in oil country, overrun by local scallies or machete wielding pirates, both scared witless, who could well be the B side’s “An Old Hag That Wears Shoes And Stomps Over People’s Stomachs At Night Making Them Breathless.”, as is common to local legends of Manchester’s southern edgelands and the Niger Delta. Thanks to Paul Corley’s sensitive remaster and Dubplates & Mastering’s lacquer cut, the sub bass has been perfectly translated to the vinyl for total immersion, sounding stronger, wider than the tape or digital versions ever did, and in the process rendering RSE’s magick at its most tangible. Ask many Fernow/Prurient/Vatican Shadow fiends and they’ll likely cosign — this is some of the dankest, most precious work in Fernow’s sprawling catalog. RIYL: Coil, Demdike Stare, Prurient, Brian Eno / Jon Hassell’s Fourth World (1980). Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial

ranando

Lee Ranaldo: Electric Trim (Mute) LP
Electric Trim was recorded in New York City and Barcelona in collaboration with producer Raül “Refree” Fernandez and extends the work of Lee Ranaldo’s solo canon, the most recent being his 2013 album, Last Night On Earth. Through his collaboration with Fernandez, Ranaldo moves into some rich new sonic territories and production techniques, experimenting with electronic beats and samples alongside live players. In addition to Fernandez, he worked with several special guests on Electric Trim, including Sharon Van Etten who sings on six of the tracks and duets on “Last Looks” and Kid Millions (aka Man Forever) as well as longtime friend and collaborator Nels Cline (Wilco). In addition, the album features Ranaldo’s band The Dust (fellow Sonic Youth member Steve Shelley, guitarist Alann Licht, and bassist Tim Luntzel). Ranaldo collaborated with award-winning New York author Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude) for lyrics on six of the songs. The American artist Richard Prince, who previously painted the sleeve for Sonic Youth’s 2004 album Sonic Nurse, created the artwork. The nine-track album marks a return to the Mute family for Ranaldo, who says: “I’m so excited about this record, it represents new developments and directions for me and I can’t wait to hit the road and play this music live. I’m also so pleased to partner with Mute for this release – it’s like a homecoming of sorts as Sonic Youth’s early records were released on Blast First Mute. To me, Mute has always been a true artist’s label, concentrating first and foremost on the music.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Sonic Youth
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raskovich

Raskovich: Science & Technology (Dead Cert) LP
Impossible-to-find Italian library music oddity from semi-mythical producer and Fabio Frizzi collaborator Giuliano Sorgini, aka Raskovich. Best regarded for his groundbreaking electro-acoustic and concrète sound design input to The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue (1974) and Zoo Folle (1974), Raskovich is also linked to a wealth of impossible-to-find cult LPs with Alessandro Alessandroni’s Braen (SME 038LP), Giulia Alessandrini’s Kema, and their mysterious supergroup The Pawnshop, all amounting to a catalogue which assures his place in the pantheon of library music greats. Going deep into their under-the-counter channels, Dead-Cert have again outdone themselves with this outing, salvaging Science & Technology from total obscurity to reveal an innovator working at the full extent of his avant imagination in a sort of cybernetic symbiosis with his studio-as-instrument. Keening between sounds as much suited to a blood-lusting horror as a psychedelic, drug-fueled thriller or some esoteric sci-fi, he penetrates and opens up vividly magnetizing realms of abstraction that just beg to be explored by listeners who think they’ve heard it all before. Erring closer to the kind of minimalist negative space and fractured dynamic favored by Belgium’s IPEM, or even pre-echoing the atonality of Maurizio Bianchi, for example, as opposed the fluffier lounge tendencies found on many recent reissues from his field, Science & Technology lives up to its title with impressionistic depictions of industry and plugged-in life evocatively animated under titles such as “Fissione Nucleare” and “Biochemica”, or accurately modelling processes in the mutant, polymetric patterning of “Germinazione”. An album like this is a reminder of the prescient collective and individual genius of the Italian library music scene, especially at a time when the quality levels, in terms of musical intrigue and uniqueness, not just presentation, is being called into question by a swell of inferior, or just plain unnecessary library music relics. As Dead-Cert co-curator Andy Votel explains: “this release is quite unlike the many projects that have recently flooded the reissue market and stands up as one of the truly unobtainable and wholly original records to come from this important era of European studio music by a composer whose reputation is slowly approaching monarchical status.”

File Under: Library, Electronic
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rodinia

Rodinia: Ex Anima (Now Again) LP
“Electronic Krautrock in line with Cluster, Harmonia, Neu!, Popul Vuh from Jay Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm/Whitefield Brothers/Karl Hector & The Malcouns). Now-Again Records has enjoyed a long and creative partnership with Munich-based multi-instrumentalist JJ Whitefield, creative force behind the Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Brothers and Karl Hector & The Malcouns. Rodinia, his latest project, is quite different than anything that’s come from his oeuvre to date, but follows in the line of the Poets of Rhythm’s great Discern/Define, as it reaches back to Krautrock’s experimental heyday but pushes its boundaries with a post-hip-hop approach. Rodinia’s first album, Drumside/Dreamside, featured two, side-long suites, with synthesizers taking the fore on an overarching ambient approach (featuring over-dubbed reeds, drums and guitar, and self-made Moroccan field recordings introducing the project on its Drumside.) For Ex Anima, Rodinia has incorporated more of the mid-70s approach of Krautrock forebears Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia, with shorter, self-contained songs. The result is winsome and exploratory, respectfully distanced from the past’s trappings while celebrating a musical spirit still very much alive and influential. With original artwork by Jason Jagel (DOOM’s MM..Food, Operation: Doomsday).”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
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saiz

Suso Saiz: Rainworks (Music from Memory) LP
Following 2016’s compilation of archival recordings by Suso Saiz titled Odisea, Music From Memory mark their 20th release with an album of new works by the Spanish electronic music pioneer. Recorded in Madrid between January and February 2016, this is Suso Saiz’s first release of new music in nearly ten years. Titled Rainworks, this double LP release was originally part of a commission from a Canary Islands water company. The first ideas for the compositions developed from a documentary that Suso had seen suggesting the possibility of water molecules having their own memory. As Suso himself explains, he became fascinated with the possibility of an eternal being, changing its cyclical condition from solid to gaseous state, travelling through and between the Earth and the Sky, as a witness and keeper of the true history of Earth and Mankind. Suso, his son Emil Saiz, and pianist Raph Killhertz set out to explore this metaphysical process of cyclical movement through music in Rainworks. Developing from the original commissioned tracks into a much more elaborate project, the album’s process became something of a mystical journey, drawing on aspects of minimalism and modernism. The music is also embedded in textured natural soundscapes and spoken word passages which were recorded and processed by Suso himself. Despite having the immediacy of an improvised piece, Rainworks was in entirely composed by Suso. Whilst on one hand it appears very much as an electronic album there are in fact many acoustic elements to the recording. A resonant piano (a grand piano re-amplified using its resonant box and harp to generate effects) as well as guitars (with simple effects) are played in Suso’s inimitable hypnotic way, slowly drawing the listener into a transportive state or lucid dream.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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sky

Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal 1 (Rune Grammofon) LP
Guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal (1947) is probably as close as one gets to a living legend in Norwegian music. He has received a number of awards, including three Norwegian Grammies (Spellemannpris), the last being the honorary award in 2005. Sky Music is a heartfelt celebration of an inspirational artist and truly unique guitarist who hasn’t fully received the due credit and recognition he deserves for over 50 years of music making. Initiated by the experimental US guitarist and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser, Rune Grammofon put together an all-star band including keyboardist and long-time Rypdal side-kick Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing), drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge), guitarists Even H. Hermansen (Bushman´s Revenge) and Hedvig Mollestad, Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim (Scorch Trio), and Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske (Dungen). Kaiser also played and produced while Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho) added bits and pieces and Jim O’Rourke beamed in his exquisite contributions to “Sunrise” from Tokyo. Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, and David Torn delivered their solo interpretations, Cline with the aid of cellist Erik Friedlander.

File Under: Jazz, Rock
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sky2

Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal 2 (Rune Grammofon) LP
A vinyl-only release of two epic outtakes that didn’t make the main album, Sky Music: A Tribute To Terje Rypdal, due to lack of space. Guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal (1947) is probably as close as one gets to a living legend in Norwegian music. Sky Music is a heartfelt celebration of an inspirational artist and truly unique guitarist who hasn’t fully received the due credit and recognition he deserves for over 50 years of music making. Initiated by the experimental US guitarist and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser, Rune Grammofon put together an all-star band including keyboardist and long-time Rypdal side-kick Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing), drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge), guitarists Even H. Hermansen (Bushman´s Revenge) and Hedvig Mollestad, Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim (Scorch Trio), and Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske (Dungen). Kaiser also played and produced. The Sky Music project also includes additional contributions from Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho), Jim O’Rourke, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, David Torn, and Erik Friedlander. Includes CD.

File Under: Jazz, Rock

sapceface

Spaceface: Sun Kids (Friends) LP
Dreamrock outfit Spaceface is led by Jake Ingalls who also plays guitar and synthesizer in The Flaming Lips. Something to behold, Spaceface’s music offers a refreshing approach on psychedelic rock, with transparent ’70s references but also strikingly modern elements. Their new record, Sun Kids is hazy, psychedelic pop music, elegantly composed. They will also be touring nationally in support of the album, bringing their concert grade experience to the club level employing a DIY light rig and other theatrical elements along the way.

File Under: Psych Rock, Flaming Lips
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spoerri

Bruno Spoerri: Voice of Taurus (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of the highly sought-after electronic/ sci-fi disco/ proto- techno/ ambient masterpiece Voice Of Taurus by Swiss music pioneer and synth super wizard Bruno Spoerri, available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1978. Surrounded with a formidable family of legendary synthesizers, primitive modulators, and audio gear — transformed and customized à la Spoerri –, armed with an extraordinary talent for improvisation, and deeply inspired by the likes of Wendy Carlos, Pierre Schaeffer, and the then freshly released Close Encounter of the Third Kind (1977), Bruno Spoerri envisioned Voice Of Taurus as “electronic pop conceived using an experimental and jazz approach”. The result is an out-of-this-world sonic adventure where early techno sounds blend with synth-based sci-fi soundtrack vibes, krautrock explorations, and retro-futuristic disco madness. It’s unique, catchy, cosmic, and meditative — it’s a must have for all record collectors of the galaxy… welcome to Planet Spoerri. Still very active recording, touring, and collaborating (with Julian Sartorius, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Marco Repetto of Grauzone, Roger Girod, to name a few), Bruno Spoerri is a multiple award-winning Swiss music icon, whose career started in the 1950s. His works spans jazz, electronic music, film, and TV work, and everything in between. Improvisational maestro and synthesizer mega-connoisseur, Mr. Spoerri has influenced an entire generation of producers and musicians — even Jay-Z sampled him. Housed in a 350 gram jacket; Includes new liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Sci Fi, Disco, Techno
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spoerri ufo

Bruno Spoerri & Reto Weber: Sound of the UFOs (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of the extraterrestrial cult classic The Sound Of The UFOs, a collaborative effort between Swiss jazz and electronic music icon Bruno Spoerri and innovative drummer extraordinaire Reto Weber, available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1978. Recorded live in Zurich in March 1978, The Sound Of The UFOs finds Bruno and Reto improvising with a vast array of classic and customized synths and percussions from all corners of the globe (and the galaxy). It’s cosmic free jazz in audio gear heaven with a heavy dose of ambient, krautrock, primitive proto-techno vibes, and experimental space disco with a musique concrète mentality — anything’s possible when a jazzman and a percussionist obsessed with finding new sounds collide and explore uncharted sonic territories. This groundbreaking gem is the ideal companion piece to Bruno Spoerri’s highly coveted Voice Of Taurus LP. Still very active recording, touring, and collaborating (with Julian Sartorius, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Marco Repetto of Grauzone, Roger Girod, to name a few), Bruno Spoerri is a multiple award-winning Swiss music icon, whose career started in the 1950s. His works spans jazz, electronic music, film, and TV work, and everything in between. Improvisational maestro and synthesizer mega-connoisseur, Mr. Spoerri has influenced an entire generation of producers and musicians — even Jay-Z sampled him. Housed in a 350 gram jacket; Includes new liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Sci Fi, Techno
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ugly things

Ugly Things #45
“On the cover: Q65, The Outsiders and the Dutch Beat Revolution, the stories of two legendary, rebellious bands from the Netherlands in the 1960s. Part 2 of The Uniques — blue-eyed garage and soul from America’s South. Plus The Left Banke, Texas ’60s icons Neal Ford & The Fanatics, occult rocker Geof Crozier, German freakbeat from The Toxic, and demented San Fernando Valley punk rockers Puke, Spit & Guts. There are revealing interviews with Richard Strange of The Doctors Of Madness, and original Rolling Stones and Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky, and, in his own words, Victor ‘Moulty’ Moulton tells the poignant story of how he lost his hand yet fought on to become the drummer of successful Cape Cod band The Barbarians. We also take a peek at the personal acetate archive of John Entwistle and reveal the story of a New Jersey girl garage group that met and inspired The Stooges. Plus our acclaimed reissue and book review sections, fully-loaded and bursting with insights and information.”

File Under: Reading

valentino

Bro. Valentino: Stay Up Zimbabwe (Analog Africa) LP
Bro. Valentino, Anthony Emrold Phillip, began his illustrious career in 1961 at The Big Bamboo, a minor calypso tent in Port of Spain, Trinidad, before breaking into the professional scene in 1966 at the Lord Kitchener’s Caravan calypso tent. After the Black Power revolution of 1970, he transformed into a calypsonian with a conscience and a consciousness who sang on behalf of the poor and downtrodden and was dubbed “The People’s Calypsonian”. His commitment to lyrics of education, elevation, and African consciousness has been his identifying badge and signature. At the end of the heady decade of the tumultuous 1970s, with the echoes of the Black Power revolution of Trinidad still strongly reverberating, Valentino penned his two most commercially successful calypso songs, 1979’s “Stay Up Zimbabwe” and 1980’s “Ah Wo (Brand New Revolution)” both reflections of the revolutionary spirit which had engulfed the Caribbean in the 1970s. 1979 marked the historic date of the Maurice Bishop-led Grenadian Revolution and as if to herald this auspicious event Valentino would make it all the way to the coveted national calypso monarch finals with this anti-apartheid anthem. The infectious military style rhythm and the lyrical clarion call to arms invaded the carnival/calypso season of 1979 filling the lips and boots of everyone, singing and marching to his chorus. But there was another rhythmic element, the Shango/Orisha blend, which on many an occasion at Valentino’s pubic performances, would make audiences, as Trinidadians say locally, “catch the power”. One year later Valentino again stunned the world with a song which reveled in the new-found fame of the Caribbean, no doubt spurned on by the very Grenadian revolution of one year earlier. “Awo” championed the new mood of the Islands. He called on the people to rally around this cause and spread the fire to the next generation. Both songs, calypso-flavored with the newly introduced soca melody of the mid 1970s, are now given a new lease of life on this record. Voted among the top 50 calypsonians of the 20th century, four of his songs have also been selected in the Top 200 calypsos of that period — “Life Is A Stage” (1972), “Barking Dogs” (1974), “Dis Place Nice” (1975), and “Stay Up Zimbabwe” (1979) — while his 2004 history treatise “Where Calypso Went” was selected as Calypso of the Year. Silk-screen printed cover; 140 gram turquoise vinyl.

File Under: Reggae, Funk, Soul
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vatican

Vatican Shadow: Luxor Necropolitics (Hospital Productions) 2×10″
Dominick Fernow’s Vatican Shadow returns with a new double-pack for his own Hospital Productions imprint following on from the recent Rubbish Of The Floodwaters 12″ for Ostgut Ton. Luxor Necropolitics was once again produced by Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, and it includes a super rare remix from Female of Sandwell District fame. Clocking in at almost 40 minutes, this is the most substantial Vatican Shadow release since 2016’s Media In The Service Of Terror LP and further develops Fernow’s creative collaboration with Eustis, who provides a much more lean and dynamic sheen to those highly atmospheric foundations. The opening, title track provides evocative exposition; this is Vatican Shadow at its most cinematic and unreal; before “Intel War” jolts with increased propulsion and bass pressure and a killer soundsystem focus deployed with precision and depth. “Crown Prince Hamza” is much more squashed and feral, before a new “Red Headband” version of “More Of The Same” takes the original into even more anthemic terrain; this is surely the most memorable, enduring, and club-focused Vatican Shadow track of all. As if to further etch it on your mind, the vinyl edition offers a final exclusive track, a reworking of “More Of The Same” from Female, who takes the original and duffs it up, completely discarding that synth hook and instead intensifying the menace, heading down a Sandwell-shaped cave that will reminds you why you’ve loved pretty much every Female production. Cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Edition of 700.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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war on drugs

War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic) LP
Finally we’re well stocked on this one… for now. A Deeper Understanding is The War On Drugs’ highly anticipated follow-up to 2014’s universally acclaimed Lost In The Dream and Atlantic Records debut. For much of the three and a half year period since the release of Lost In The Dream, frontman Adam Granduciel led the charge for his Philadelphia-based sextet as he holed up in studios in New York and Los Angeles to write, record, edit, and tinker – but, above all, to busy himself in work. Teaming up with engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer), Granduciel challenged the notion of what it means to create a fully realized piece of music in today’s modern landscape. Calling on his bandmates – bassist Dave Hartley, keyboardist Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall and multi-instrumentalists Anthony LaMarca and Jon Natchez – continuously throughout the process, the result is a “band record” in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn. Through those years of relocation, the revisiting and reexamining of endless hours of recordings, unbridled exploration and exuberance, Granduciel’s gritty love of his craft succeeded in pushing the band to great heights. Pitchfork proclaimed that, “Granduciel’s influence has become omnipresent in the indie world” and NPR has hailed A Deeper Understanding’s crystalline lead singles “Thinking Of A Place” (“epic, mood-shifting guitar jam”) and “Holding On” (“a pulsing jam that sounds deeply inspired by ’80s-era Bruce Springsteen”).

File Under: Indie Rock
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jes

Zwartjes: Tapes 1 (Trunk) LP
Tapes 1 represents the first ever sound recordings to be released from the archive of cult Dutch film director Frans Zwartjes. The sound is unlike anything you may have heard — dream-like, disjointed, disturbing, peculiar, sexy, unexpected, and totally unique. Frans Zwartjes is famous for his art-house films. A Dutch underground auteur, his prolific output dates from 1968. A unique talent, Zwartjes produced, directed, and edited his own films (his last work was in 1991), but more importantly he created and improvised the soundtracks too. Zwartjes is still alive today and his large body of work is only now being recognized by a wider, more international crowd, with screenings at the NFT and other important art-house cinemas across the world. The recordings on Tapes 1 were mixed directly from the Zwartjes soundtrack tape archive. They were assembled directly and in real time by Zwartjes archivist Stanley Schtinter and were originally issued in 2014 on cassette, in an edition of 50. Don’t bother trying to find one of them. The music, sound, and speech have been put together as two long, seamless sequences; they are dreamlike, unsettling, peculiar, plugged-in, prescient, and unlike any other soundtrack. All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle. Includes download; Edition of 500.

File Under: OST, Jazz, Sound Collage, Experimental
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sicksville

Various: Sicksville Volume 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
First of two 10″s called Sicksville. Watch out for two volumes of its sister compilation Coolsville. Compiled by Stay Sick, a gruesome twosome of deejays from the nightclubs of Brighton, UK. Established in 2008, they continue to spin the best dancing music from surf to soul, oddball R&B to filthy rock n’ roll, garage to punk, 7″s at a time. Their vinyl addiction has meant they have amassed a large collection of sleazy and greasy rock n’ roll from the fifties and sixties, including Tarantino surf, proto-soul stompers, swingin’ rhythm and blues, and twistin’ tittyshakers. Get ready for the DJ to drop some slop. Greasy battered platters of wax, with honkin’ saxes and Hammond organs blasting outta the speakers like there’s no tomorrow. Hit the go-go cage for some tittyshakers to whip, whop, wobble, and grind to. If you like Sicksville, then come and visit its twin town, Coolsville. This sister series is a bit more laid back and strictly for bongo beating beatniks. So cool it’s frozen. It’s solid gone. Sleazy finger-clickers, smoldering sax-laden instrumentals and oddball rock n’ roll play out of every groove. Dig the crazy vibrations, the swingin’ beat. So flip ya wig, snap the whip and make the trip… to Coolsville Features: Phil Campos, Sandy Nelson, The Nite Hawks, The Sentinals, The Idols, The Nightmare, Jimmy Shaw, Robert Parker, Douglas “Jocko” Henderson, Bill Smith Combo, Jessie Hill, and The Metropolitans.

File Under: Exotica, R&B, RnR

satans

Various: Songs from Satan’s Jukebox Volume 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Who the hell is the devil? As we all know, God (that old slowcoach) is commonly known and allowed to have but one name (or none). As his everlasting archenemy, however, of my names there are plenty: Allow me to introduce myself: Satan from Arabia! Devil, El Diablo, fiend, deuce, Old Nick, the one that bedevils everything — these are only a few of my names in Western cultures! Lucifer — the one who brings the light — or, as seen through the eyes of my grumbling competition, the one who was exiled from the light! Beelzebub, Azrael… Satan on the release: “I am the outlaw, the one nobody likes to talk about but the one that everybody likes to hail, the one that is always to the fore when you need me: You can find me wherever guilty pleasure celebrates its goatish feasts. You can find me at the tables of a gambling den, at the counters of hellish bars, promoting artistic careers at crossroads when the clock strikes midnight. I’m riding the highway to hell in a chromium-black limousine and steam along diabolic train tracks in black locos. I travel as the eerie wanderer or the eldritch hitchhiker. You can meet me in many shapes on the world’s and life’s big stages as the salient seducer in classy, noble twine and pointed leather shoes. I am especially dangerous in shape of a bombshell woman! Thus, it’s no wonder that artists have been erecting memorials in my honor since the beginning of time. I have been idolized in arts, literature, and especially in music. I hereby present you a small selection of satanic songs and maleficent melodies from my infernal jukebox. Let me seduce you!” Features: The Louvin’ Brothers, Sonny Burns, Joe Carson, Gene ‘Bo’ Davis, Jessie Floyd, Anita Carter, Johnny & Dorsey Burnette with The Rock`n´Roll Trio, Marty Robbins, Billy Barton, Johnny Horton, and Harry Choates.

File Under: Country, Rockabilly, Gospel

…..Restocks…..

Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Warner) LP
Maki Asakawa: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Bjork: Homogenic (One Little Indian) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed) LP
Circle: Terminal (Southern Lord) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Dinosaur L: 24 > 24 Music (Traffic) LP
Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Columbia) LP
Brian Eno: Another Green World (Astralwerks) LP
Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (Astralwerks) LP
Harold Grosskopf: Synthesist (Bureau B) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunter (Music on Vinyl) LP
Heath Brothers: Marchin’ On (Everland) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Sirens Song (New West) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Love Theme: s/t (Alter) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Death Magnetic (Blackened) LP
The National: Sleep Well Beats (4AD) LP
Oiseaux-Tempete: Al-‘An! (Sub Rosa) LP
OST: Baby Driver (Lakeshore) LP
Pink Floyd: Division Bell (Pink Floyd) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador) LP
Otis Redding: Otis Blue (Rhino) LP
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Sonic Youth: Sonic Nurse (Geffen) LP
Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Reprise) LP

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…..news letter #809 – student lones…..

Another week of big releases and botched shipping schedules… A bunch of things below are still en route and supposed to show up tomorrow, but we’ll see how that works out. Other things are here and ready for your weekend listening pleasure. Fortunately, it’s back to school and those student loans cheques are clearing and now you’ve got loads of money to spend on important learning tools, like records.

…..pick of the week…..

vangaalen

Chad VanGaalen: Light Information (Flemish Eye) LP
In tomorrow? For an album that’s about “not feeling comfortable with really anything,” as Chad VanGaalen says, Light Information (his sixth for Sup Pop) is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery could only come from the mind of a creative polymath – an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer, VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks, METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others. While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom – and anxiety – gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that’s happening through the internet,” he says. “I didn’t have that growing up, and I’m maybe trying to preserve a little bit of that selfishly for my kids.” As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on “Mystery Elementals” and vocals on “Static Shape” from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art. The product of six years’ work, going back even before 2014’s Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. Among them is a beloved Korg 770 monosynth, which VanGaalen coveted for years before fixing one up and devoting a lot of recent energy to recording “duets” with it. One of these, “Prep Piano and 770,” is the lone instrumental on Light Information, more atmosphere and chord bursts than the rest of the album’s hooky rock narrative. Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation – but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy here too.

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

alex cameron

Alex Cameron: Forced Witness (Secretly Canadian) LP
In tomorrow… “Up until 2014 I was an investigator’s assistant in a public law office. I can’t tell you exactly what my job was on account of I signed a shut your mouth agreement around the time I quit for stress related reasons. But what I can say is that I dealt with corruption and badness perpetrated at the highest levels of authority, daily. I clocked all these leads and I made a file. Because these aren’t things you keep in the dark. You shine a light on the badness and you strive to understand it. From a dossier on all things delicate and beautiful and sadly human. crimes of passion and victims of love. All contained in 10 hot songs. Who’s the culprit? I’ve got my inklings and you can get your own. But first you need to listen to the thing, take it all in, stick photos to your walls and connect them with string, measure footprints in the yard, wear a suit made of reeds, track the migration patterns of birds, intercept whispered transmissions, learn to eat spiders with a hunting knife, sleep in air ducts, make the case. Here it is, my album: Forced Witness.” – Alex Cameron

File Under: Indie Rock
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connors

Loren Connors: Angels That Fall (Family Vineyard) LP
In tomorrow… A haunting and volcanic suite of electric guitar and piano from the modern master of the avant blues and the abstract — Loren Connors. Angels That Fall slips deeper into Loren’s headspace where vocalists in glissando and the swelling romanticism of chamber strings echo from beyond this mortal plane. Transcribed through Connors effect-laden six strings, he carries the listener from bluesy violence to sadness, hope and a piano coda.  Angels That Fall was recorded May 2016 at First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, NY. This 500 edition 1-sided LP features cover art by Connors and a full-color inner sleeve with portraits of Connors by photographer Peter Gannushkin. Includes download coupon.

 File Under: Guitar, Experimental
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eath

Death From Above: Outrage! Is Now (Last Gang) LP
The merry merchants of muscular death dance discord – Sebastien Grainger (vocals, drums) and Jesse F. Keeler (bass, keys, synths) – made a collective decision to embrace their own penchant for perpetual motion while gleefully maintaining the car-wreck intensity of their punkified disco rock on their third album and first since 2014. Ultimately, Outrage! Is Now confidently kicks off a new chapter for Death From Above. “We are committed to evolution. This record is the sound of the two us pushing at the walls. We want there to be space, surprises and action!,” says Sebastien. “We both wanted to see how far we could take our sound as Death From Above. In a way, that has always been our objective,” adds Jesse. As they retreated to Jesse’s farm two hours east of Toronto to write in 2016, the musicians re-examined the way they’ve written in the past. They found new ways to start ideas, and tried to exorcise their old demons. With a host of demos, Death From Above headed back to Los Angeles to work with producer and engineer Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age). Making for what Jesse describes as the “fastest recording process,” the vision quickly took shape. “The myth of what we should be didn’t exist anymore,” Sebastien agrees. “There was never a moment where we took a conventional path-either writing or recording. Eric has been making records for decades and we managed to make him say: ‘Well, that’s a first’ during every song! There was always some strange element thrown in. In a way it’s a very serious record, but dressed in a really fun outfit.” “The title is an observation of this hyper-sensitivity, which we’re all a part of,” Jesse leaves off. “This record is very much the result of the environment and experiences of the last five years…” “Outrage! Is Now is meant to be felt on both a visceral and emotional level,” concludes Sebastien. “We tried to make something that excites and surprises. Our journey is that of enlightenment and seeking truth. There’s enough fiction and meaningless distractions in the world to make you totally shut off. We hope this record turns you on.” Spin called lead single, “Freeze Me,” “…a typical, serrated piece of Death From Above-branded dance-rock, with a fierce noise breakdown toward the end” while Noisey adds that, “It’s a mixture of DFA’s familiar clatter – Sebastien Grainger’s battering ram drums, Jesse F Keeler’s frantic, distorted bass guitar – mixed in with some 1990s house pianos.”

 File Under: Indie Rock
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deerhoof

Deerhoof: Mountain Moves (Joyful Noise) LP
Deerhoof recognizes that we are simultaneously living in two worlds, one a maniacal, mainstream monoculture hell-bent on driving humankind into extinction, the other a churning underground teeming with ideas and dogged optimism and the will to thrive and survive. Mountain Moves refutes the former by ecstatically celebrating the latter. Though Deerhoof have often made albums from start to finish with virtually no input from the outside world, now is not the time for artists to operate in isolation. Mountain Moves throws the doors wide open. Working quickly, the band invited myriad guests to participate, some of them dear friends, others practically strangers. They are of different ages, different nationalities, different disciplines. The only common thread was that each and every artist on Mountain Moves doesn’t fit into a single, neatly-defined category – and doesn’t wish to. The results, as expected, were unexpected. Guide vocals and simple melodies were dispatched via email, only to be answered with an outpouring of alternate harmonies, suggestions for arrangements, additional instrumentation. Every file received triggered a new rush of jumbled emotions. Some guests crafted their contributions in the small hours of the dawn, toiling in hotel rooms before driving eight hours to the next tour date; others hopped on the subway and recorded with the band in-person. Collisions and collusions abound on Mountain Moves. In addition to its bounty of originals, the program includes three covers that epitomize the album’s assemblage of disparate ideas and personalities. Reducing Bob Marley’s “Small Axe” to a beat-less fragment of hymn-like simplicity magnifies the song’s rebellious spirit and undercurrent of violence. Vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, a Japanese immigrant, lifts the Staple Singers’ “Freedom Highway” out of its original place and time, imbuing it with a new sense of alienation from one’s own country. Snippets of the bass recitative “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth” from Handel’s Messiah provide the foundation for a fresh take on Chilean folk hero Violeta Parra’s bittersweet masterpiece “Gracias a la Vida.” If Mountain Moves were a movie, it would be a double feature, Journey to the Center of the Deerhoof and Escape from Planet Deerhoof, shown side-by-side simultaneously. The record epitomizes the band at its very best, exploring new realms between the poles of independence and invention. It also serves as a welcoming point of entry for new listeners outside Deerhoof’s traditional orbit, an opportunity to bring even more voices into the communal conversation.

File Under: Indie Rock
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faith healer

Faith Healer: Try 😉 (Mint) LP
In tomorrow… When Edmonton’s Jessica Jalbert first began performing solo under the name Faith Healer, the alias was her way of avoiding being pigeonholed as a singer-songwriter. Now, however, times have changed: Faith Healer has blossomed into a band, with singer-guitarist Jalbert joined by drummer / multi-instrumentalist Renny Wilson and their first album as a duo is Try. The follow-up to 2015’s Cosmic Troubles was largely recorded during an intensive month-long session in September 2016 at Wilson’s personal studio in Montreal. During the process, Jalbert rented a room in Wilson’s house and the pair spent hours jamming and listening to bargain bin rock records in the basement. The resultant pop-rock arrangements are overflowing with beautiful sonic details – from the Twin Peaks synths that enshroud “Sterling Silver” to the funky clavinet nestled within the paisley-patterned pop of “& Waiting.” Jalbert and Wilson were also inspired by the garage-punk snarl of Wipers, the deadpan drama of Leonard Cohen’s Death Of A Ladies’ Man, and the classic songwriting chops of Scott Walker and Elvis Costello. The intensive creative process of making this album inspired the title and serves as a reminder that sometimes you need to grab life by the horns rather than waiting for inspiration to strike. Balancing melancholy lyrics with playful moods, lush melodies with straightforward arrangements, this album is the sound of an introspective loner leaving her bedroom to make a rock record with her best bud.

File Under: Indie Rock
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jr gone

Jr. Gone Wild: Brave New Wave Sessons (Artoffact) LP
In tomorrow… Jr. Gone Wild is an Edmonton, Alberta-based country and rock band formed in the early 80s by Mike McDonald, who over the years has been the band’s only constant member. Notable for their high-energy live performances, and a genre style that would end up getting dubbed ‘cow-punk,’ JGW recorded their debut album for cult punk label BYO Records in 1986, and since then have released five studio albums. The band recorded their Brave New Waves sessions during a tour in 1988, and at the time, many of the songs were brand new (1989’s Folk You was not released yet). When McDonald heard the session 25 years later he exclaimed, “Some of those songs are so different now! … We were also playing too fast, and my flat vocals is evidence we had a lot of beer there.” But the session is excellent, particularly “Sight For Sore Eyes,” “I Don’t Know About All That,” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” The Jr. Gone Wild Brave New Waves session was recorded on May 10th, 1988. The session was produced by Kevin Komoda and engineered by Denis LeClerc. The recording is taken from the original CBC Archives tape and remastered at Grey Market Mastering in Montreal, by Harris Newman.

File Under: Indie Rock
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national

The National: Sleep Well Beast (4AD) LP
The National’s elegant seventh full-length album Sleep Well Beast follows-up 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me and their 2015 Ragnar Kjartansson collaboration A Lot Of Sorrow. Produced by band member Aaron Dessner with co-production by Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger, the 12-track collection was mixed by Peter Katis and recorded at Aaron’s Hudson Valley, New York studio, Long Pond, with additional sessions having taken place in Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles. The album comes preceded by the urgent lead single “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” complete with a freewheeling Aaron Dessner guitar solo which sounds heavily influenced by his recent Grateful Dead tribute project Day of the Dead. Pressed on 2 x 12″ standard weight colored vinyl LPs with accompanying folded poster and 2 inner sleeves. Available in your choice of blue or white vinyl!

File Under: Indie Rock
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nosaj

Nosaj Thing: Parallels (Innovative Leisure) LP
Parallels is the fourth full-length released under Jason Chung’s distinctive moniker, Nosaj Thing. Masterfully dimensional, Parallels represents the acclaimed Los Angeles-based electronic producer/ composer/ performer’s most diverse, vital work yet. As such, Chung sees Parallels as representing a kind of redemptive rebirth. The album’s compellingly elusive, uncategorizable sonics developed out of what he terms a personal and musical “identity crisis.” According to Chung, working with a group of collaborators on Parallels that combined both longtime friends and new creative partners added “new energy which pushed me not to limit myself. Everything felt fresh and alive.” The title Parallels in fact evokes the intense, intimate duality Nosaj Thing and his collaborators share.

File Under: Electronic
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sisters

Sisters of Mercy: Some Girls Wander By Mistake (Elektra) 4LP
The Sisters of Mercy continue to spotlight different eras of its acclaimed discography with the new 180g 4LP vinyl boxed set Some Girls Wander By Mistake which focuses on the band’s early years. Originally released in 1992, Some Girls Wander By Mistake retraces the Sisters of Mercy’s formative years and its rise to cult acclaim. It includes three songs the group originally issued in 1980: “The Damage Done,” “Watch” and “Home Of The Hit-Men.” Also included in this set is the band’s 1982 follow-up single: “Body Electric” and “Adrenochrome.” Arranged in non-chronological order, Some Girls Wander By Mistake begins with all four songs from The Sisters of Mercy’s first EP Alice, which was originally released in 1983. The music – produced by Psychedelic Furs’ guitarist John Ashton – includes the EP’s title track, a cover of the Stooges “1969” and more. The first LP’s flipside collects music that originally appeared on the Sisters of Mercy’s second EP, The Reptile House (1983). Among the EP’s six tracks are “Kiss The Carpet,” “Burn,” and the haunting “Lights.” Later that year the band released the single “Temple of Love” backed with “Heartland” and a cover the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” all of which are included here. Some Girls Wander By Mistake also includes music from two 12″ singles. The first is a re-recorded version of “Temple of Love” from 1992 that features Israeli vocalist Ofra Haza, and remains the Sisters’ biggest international hit, peaking at #3 on the UK charts. The second is “Under The Gun,” which includes an updated version of “Alice.” This collection’s title comes from a lyric in the Leonard Cohen song “Teachers,” a track the Sisters cover frequently in concert. In fact, “Teachers” appears on the same album as the song “Sisters of Mercy,” which inspired the band’s name.

File Under: Goth Rock
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washedout

Washed Out: Mister Mellow (Stones Throw) LP
In tomorrow… Boredom. Laziness. Complete apathy. Is it a quarter-life crisis or just an excuse to never grow up? This is the world of Washed Out’s (Ernest Greene) new album Mister Mellow. A fully immersive multimedia experience, the album guides the listener through the highs and lows of this often ridiculous struggle. In classic Millennial fashion, most young adults’ perception of their own lives are overblown and over-dramatized to the point of absurdity – as are the many ways they distract themselves from the insecurities faced on a daily basis (see social media, fantasy, drugs, music). Mister Mellow shines a light on the humor found in this paradox – how we can be so bored and unhappy in what is often a very privileged, contented life? Further moving away from the synthesizer-driven sounds of his early work and the more band-driven sound of his work on iconic indie label Sub Pop, it’s fitting that Greene has partnered with the rebellious beat-driven label Stones Throw as he continues to carve out a unique sonic identity that stands in direct opposition to most current trends. Instead, Mister Mellow was influenced by classic plunderphonics records of the past as well as the experimental collage techniques of musique concrete. Styles as diverse as free jazz, house, hip-hop and psych are combined together with interludial voiceover samples (often pulled from anonymous Youtube vlogs) to create a busy, chaotic, and caricaturish mix; one that quickly starts to feel like a mirror of the claustrophobic, hyper-stimulated psyche of most young adults. The rich, detailed patchwork that makes up Mister Mellow is unique in this day of quick-fix, throwaway music-culture. Conceived over the course of two years, it’s intensely personal (Greene’s only collaborator was mix engineer Cole MGN) – but the ideas and observations found within the album speak to a much larger shared experience that is affecting an entire generation of young adults. An experience that we come to see as both funny and sad.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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hype

Hype Williams: Rainbow Edition (Big Dada) LP
The last Hype Williams recordings were for One Nation (Hippos in Tanks, 2011). After this, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland carried on recording through 2012 under their own names (while continuing to use the Hype Williams name to fulfill existing live commitments). They are both no longer involved, and any Hype Williams releases you’ve since heard are fake. Rainbow Edition’s 20 new joints serve as a suitably smoked out final missive from the duo behind some of the most beguiling records, downloads and mixtapes of the last decade. Heavyweight 180g black vinyl LP in a matt UV single sleeve.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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young

Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Reprise) LP
Neil Young opens up his unrivaled archives to issue Hitchhiker, an unreleased new studio album. The 10-track acoustic solo collection was recorded in Malibu, CA at Indigo Studio in 1976 and produced by Young’s long-time studio collaborator David Briggs. Recorded between Zuma and American Stars ‘n Bars in a single session, the resultant performances are truly breathtaking and passionate. The simplicity of a single voice and guitar captured here is as pure and powerful as it gets, with only Young, Briggs and actor Dean Stockwell in the room at the time of recording. A few of the songs would not appear on vinyl until years later. Some have never been heard, included in the original sessions for Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Dume, another unreleased record of original sessions that yielded the classic album, Zuma. When Hitchhiker was recorded, none of the songs had ever been released and many of the performances were the first ever. This is truly an album of original performances!

File Under: Rock, Folk Rock
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zola

Zola Jesus: Okovi (Sacred Bones) LP
For over a decade, Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus. She’s been on Sacred Bones Records for most of that time, and Okovi marks her reunion with the label. Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavy, dark, and exploratory. In addition to the contributions of Danilova’s longtime live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician WIFE, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy from Pedestrian Deposit, and percussionist Ted Byrnes all helped build Okovi’s textural universe. With Okovi, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the major works of its genre. The album speaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.

File Under: Experimental, Pop
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…..Restocks…..

Amps: Pacer (Plain) LP
Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (My Animal House) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Breeders: Last Splash (Plain) LP
CCR: Green River (Fantasy) LP
CCR: Willy & The Poor Boys (Fantasy) LP
Daphni: Jiaolong (Merge) LP
El Michels Affair: Enter the 37th Chamber (Fat Beats) LP
Fever Ray: s/t (Mute) LP
Lee Fields: Problems (Truth & Soul) LP
Lee Fields: Let’s Talk It Over (Truth & Soul) LP
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Sirens Song (New West) LP
La’s: s/t (Universal) LP
Lee Morgan: Search for the New Land (Blue Note) LP
Mos Def/Talib Kweli: Black Star (Universal) LP
New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions (Dine Alone) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Ween: 12 Golden Country Greats (Plain) LP
Various: Minimal Wave Tapes 1 (Stones Throw) LP
Various: Panama! Vol 3 (Soundways) LP

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…..news letter #808 – drum machine edition?…..

Well, after the gong show (on going) of some of last week’s new arrivals. This week has gone off without a hitch. Probably cuz there’s next to nothing in this week. However, there is the long awaited new LCD Soundsystem, which ironically is in #808. Coincidence? Probably.

…..pick of week…..

galactic

Cosmic Jokers: Galactic Supermarket (Victory) LP
Victory present a reissue of The Cosmic Jokers’ Galactic Supermarket, originally released on Komische Musik in 1974. Julian Cope’s review of the album on Head Heritage: “Starting with a heavy piano-drums groove like John Cale and Terry Riley’s ‘The Protégé’ from their classic LP Church Of Anthrax, The Cosmic Jokers return to their trip with an un-cosmic dub beginning, melodicas and guitars spinning off all over the place. Gille Letmann says a couple of words before the breakdown into Clangerland, a place where goofy synthesizers call to each other over exquisite mellotrons and tinkling spacey grand piano. Again, it’s just two huge tracks — this time the ever shifting ‘Kinder Des Als’ and the title track ‘Galactic Supermarket’. The female voices take a while to assimilate after the austerity of the first Cosmic Jokers LP, and the opening track wanders around for a while before ascending to its righteous groove. The women scream ‘Schnell Schnell!’ and the helicopter drums of Harald Grosskopf propel us once more into a hectic frantic major-chord trance out. It’s the sheer unbalance that makes this record such a delight. At times, Klaus Schulze’s synthesizer is so loud that it swamps everything in its path. The title track ‘Galactic Supermarket’ begins like one of Van Der Graaf Generator’s greatest and most drawn out riffs. A slow 6/4 bass licks over ominous Pawn Hearts style shifting chords. Again, the piece is slow to begin, as though they are searching for harmony but each musician is confused and solitary. Manuel Göttsching freaks out in a fury of wah-guitar madness, forcing the others awake, but this really is a down-in-the-mouth scene and the whole Trip descends further and further until… an inevitable slow burning groove gets itself together and the scene whips itself up into a Shake Appeal Flip Out. The LP takes a little longer to get into than The Cosmic Jokers, but give it time and it’s in your head forever. Those piercingly loud Klaus Schulze synthesizers which sound so bizarre the first time… You’ll be waking up with them in your head, whistling them in the street, people will think you’ve lost your fucking mind. Right On.”

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmiche, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..

arnalds

Olafur Arnalds: Eulogy for Evolution 2017 (Erased Tapes) LP
Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds reissues and revives his debut album in the form of a special remastered 10th Anniversary edition titled Eulogy For Evolution 2017. Following its initial release in 2007 and coinciding with Ólafur’s 30th birthday, label founder Robert Raths gifted the chance for this record to shine a second time. Eulogy For Evolution is a journey from birth to death, transporting the listener through life itself. Originally written as a teenager, the record has now been restored with the help of his friends, remixed by Ólafur himself and remastered by Nils Frahm. The cover art was redesigned and enhanced by Torsten Posselt at FELD using the original photographs taken by Stuart Bailes during a trip to Ólafur’s home in Iceland in 2007. To experience the record in the present day is not only to experience the past, but also the sheer timelessness and relevance of these compositions, and the ambition Ólafur has had from the very beginning. “Fast forward 10 years, our relationships and knowledge in sound have matured, but you can still hear this urgency in Óli’s songs that caught my ears to begin with,” states Raths. “This work by a highly emotional teenager has been revived, matured and, I hope you’ll agree, improved by some of my favourite people in this world,” adds Arnalds. “I’m grateful to see it get another chance to shine and I hope you will enjoy this journey to the past.”

File Under: Post Rock, Neo-Classical
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downtown

Downtown Boys: Cost Of Living (Sub Pop) LP
Downtown Boys began by combining revolutionary ideals with boundless energy and contagious, inclusive fun, and their resolve has only strengthened as their sound and audience have grown. Cost of Living is their third full-length, following a self-released 2012 debut and 2015’s Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records. They recorded it with Guy Picciotto (Fugazi; producer of Blonde Redhead, The Gossip), one of indie-rock’s most mythological figures, in the producer’s chair. Picciotto fostered the band’s improvisational urges while pulling the root of their music to the forefront: unflinching choruses, fearlessly confrontational vocals, and the sense that each song will incite the room into action, sending bodies into motion that were previously thought to have atrophied. Downtown Boys are keenly aware of the increased visibility and credibility that comes with signing to a corporate-media conglomerate such as Sub Pop. They’re using this platform as a megaphone for their protest music, amplifying and centering Chicana, queer, and Latino voices in the far-too-whitewashed world of rock. In just one example, album-opener “A Wall” rides the feel-good power that drove so many tunes by The Clash and Wire as it calls out the idea that a wall could ever succeed in snuffing the humanity and spirit of those it’s designed to crush. Compared to previous efforts, Downtown Boys have shifted from a once-meaty brass section to the subtler melodic accompaniment of keyboards and a saxophone, coloring their anthems with warm, bright tones while singer/lyricist Victoria Ruiz spits out her frustrations and passions. Some might say it shows a sense of maturity, as Downtown Boys have undoubtedly smoothed down some of their earlier edges, but there is no compromise to their righteous assault and captivating presence. Like socially conscious groups of years past, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, Downtown Boys harness powerful sloganeering, repetitive grooves, and earworm hooks to create one of the most necessary musical statements of the day. We should all do well to take notice!

 File Under: Punk
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lcd

LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Columbia) LP
New York dance-punk icons LCD Soundsystem return with their long awaited fourth studio effort American Dream and first since 2010’s This Is Happening. The James Murphy-fronted collective reunited for a string of live dates in 2016 after over a half a decade disbandment following their farewell show, The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden. “Call the Police” and “American Dream,” were released as a single in May 2017 with Pitchfork raving that the songs “couldn’t sound timelier” and that “Murphy and company have never sounded so invigorated.” The New York Times hailed “Call the Police” as “a quietly ambitious protest song..except that instead of searing, it motors,” and Noiseyembraced “American Dream” like “a warm blanket.”

File Under: Electronic, Rock
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medusa

Medusa 1975: Rising from the Ashes (Svart) LP
Medusa 1975 has been around for a long time, although they’ve undergone several member changes as is indicative of many bands from that era. Gary and Donna Brown, the two original guitarists from the earliest creation of the early 70’s band then known as Medusa, are still rocking harder and heavier than ever before. Joined by Randy Bobzien on vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, Phoenix Johnson on bass and Dean McCall on drums, they have transformed into a one of rock’s heaviest and hard-hitting, yet least known, legendary-melt-your-face-off-forces to be reckoned with. Rising From The Ashes is their latest creation, a combination of the original proto-metal style that defines their sound and a more modernistic mix of straight ahead rock and prog. Peter Basaraba, Medusa’s original singer-songwriter, even wrote some lyrics for the album including “Nine Circles of Hell,” based on Dante’s Inferno and added a few lines to, “Into The Night,” recounting their meteoric musical journey from the ashes of virtual obscurity into the world’s spotlight, reclaiming notoriety they were denied in their inception. If you dug their monumental debut album, First Step Beyond released in 2013, then you won’t want to miss this mighty follow-up!

File Under: Metal
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monster

Monster Magnet: Tab (Napalm) LP
In the psychedelic rock scene 1991’s Tab is easily the hardest to find out of print EP by Monster Magnet. Over the course of their career, the band has never again explored their experimental boundaries as much as on these four mammoth songs. With the mighty title track opener “Tab,” the journey begins for an epic 56 minute-long space rock thrill ride, which even Lemmy Kilmister during his Hawkwind days would have been proud of. Tab serves as the epic starting point of one of the greatest pioneers in modern psychedelic rock and is finally back on vinyl after over 25 years!

File Under: Stoner, Space Rock
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magnet

Monster Magnet: Spine of God (Napalm) LP
Long awaited vinyl reissue of modern psychedelic rock pioneers Monster Magnet’s first studio effort, Spine Of God, a milestone album in the stoner rock genre. Originally released in 1991, the monumental 10-track slab was completely written and produced by singer/band mastermind Dave Wyndorf, and proves to be the perfect reincarnation of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Hawkwind. An absolute must-have for any stoner/psychedelic rock fan!

File Under: Stoner, Psych, Space Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Father John Misty: Pure Comedy (Sub Pop) LP
Nils Frahm: Solo (Erased Tapes) LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: Fading Trails (Secretly Canadian) LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: What Comes After the Blues (Secretly Canadian) LP
Mike & Rich: Expert Knob Twiddlers (Planet Mu) 3LP
Jason Molina: Pyramid Electric Co (Secretly Canadian) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador) LP
Daniel Romano: Sleeps Beneath the Willow (You’ve Changed) LP
Songs: Ohia: Ghost Tropic (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: s/t (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP

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…..news letter #807 – overstocked…..

Looks like the fall new release schedule starts now! And it seems that even with the whole summer to get their ducks in a row, the two biggest releases this week, and two of the biggest of the year, are a bit of a mess… maybe, hopefully not. Anyway, there’s a whack of major new releases out in the next few weeks. Hope you’ve been saving your pennies. Lord knows, I haven’t. To make room for all these new releases we’ve got some nicely discounted stuff from our overstock out on the floor. Great titles at a great price including things that just came out in the last few months. So be sure to have a dig through the sale stuff when you come grab the new biggies.

…..pick of the week…..ohsees

Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) LP
In tomorrow… The newly shorn Oh Sees waste no time in racing headlong into nightmarish battle with the mighty Orc, and wouldn’t you know it, they’ve clawed even farther up the ghastly peak 2016’s A Weird Exits stormed so satisfyingly. The band is in tour-greased, anvil on a balance beam, gut-pleasingly heavy form, nimbly braining with equal dashes of abandon and menace on this fresh batch of bruisers and brooders, hypnotically stirred into to the cauldron of chaos you’ve come to expect from the Oh Sees. Fresh blood Paul Quattrone joins Dan Rincon to form a phalanx of interlocking double drums, alternately propelling and fleet footing shifting ground to pinion John Dwyer’s cliff-face guitars to the boogie. Tim Hellman keeps it swinging like a battle-axe to the eyebrows. The tunes veer towards the violence of their live shows, with a few tasty swerves into other lanes…heavy to lush, groovy to stately… throughout it remains sinister in its swaggering skulk, manic in its fuzz-fried fugues…they hit all the sweet spots the heads foggily remember, and there’s plenty to sweat over if you just hopped into the sauna. More evil…more complex… more narcotic…more screech…more blare…more whisper…there’s even more Brigid. Less “Thee,” but more of everything else. Vinyl includes digital download.

File Under: Rock, Garage, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..

chilton

Alex Chilton: A Man Called Destruction (Omnivore) LP
As lead singer of The Box Tops and co-founder of Big Star, Alex Chilton already had a place in rock history. But he was never one to rest on his laurels. An enormous music fan himself, he consistently reinvented his own sound throughout his career, until his death in 2010. Chilton returned to Memphis’ legendary Ardent Studios and a reconstituted Ardent label to record A Man Called Destruction, a classic mix of originals and covers, this time with a full-horn section. Featuring an eclectic mixture of garage rock, jazz and R&B, the 1995 release was well received by fans and critics alike. The Orlando Sentinel observed: “Plenty of bands attempt, however feebly, to reproduce Big Star’s melancholic power-pop. But nobody else would dare try to approximate the brilliant, offhand weirdness and subtle irony of Chilton’s later solo work. Teenage Fan Club might be able to imitate Big Star’s guitar sound on ‘September Gurls,’ but they couldn’t transmogrify ‘Volare’ the way Chilton did on 1987’s High Priest. Destruction is very much in the tradition of High Priest – a peculiar mélange of deliriously cheesy pop.” Destruction is being reissued via Omnivore Recordings complete with seven previously unissued tracks from the original sessions and new liner notes from journalist and author Bob Mehr (Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements). To make this reintroduction even more special, the title is making its vinyl debut. The first pressing will be on colored double album, which includes all of the bonus tracks, a download card, and Mehr’s essay in the gatefold sleeve. With the renewed interest and appreciation for his work in Big Star, it is the perfect time for Chilton’s solo work to get the same due. It is time for a reintroduction of A Man Called Destruction.

File Under: Rock, Big Star
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foster

Foster The People: Sacred Heart Club (Columbia) LP
Los Angeles, CA dance-pop outfit Foster The People incorporate ’60s-inspired sounds and a psychedelic influence on their third studio effort Sacred Hearts Club which is issued on Columbia Records. “One of my favorite things about music is that it’s unifying,” says frontman Mark Foster. “We wrote these songs to reflect joy in a time where people have needed it more than ever and we thought it was a good time to share them with you.” The follow-up to 2014’s vibrant Supermodel comes preceded by the trio of upbeat singles “Doing it For the Money,” “Pay the Man” and “SHC.”

File Under: Rock, Pop
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gravetemple

Gravetemple: Impassable Fears (Svart) LP
Imploding, abstracting and distorting the concepts of ceremony, volume and density since 2006, surrealist, esoteric and experimental rock band Gravetemple (Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O’Malley and Attila Csihar) return with the new Svart Records album, Impassable Fears. Recorded at Orgone with Jamie Gomez, the spiritual, existential and metaphysical are key concerns for Gravetemple to explore sonically and Impassable Fears is a recording of such manifestations. “In essence, Impassable Fears encompasses the cataclysmic qualities of free form music, by adding the heavy drone and doom characteristics, resulting in an ultimate dystopian setting. Harsh and relentless, not for the faint of heart, Ambarchi and O’Malley present their sonic dialogs in awe-inspiring fashion, organically moving through a space of endless possibilities. In the center of it all is Csihar’s vocals, which add to the otherworldly scenery.” – CVLT Nation

File Under: Metal, Drone, Doom
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grizzly

Grizzly Bear: Painted Ruin (RCA) LP
Grizzly Bear release Painted Ruins, their highly anticipated fifth full-length album and first for RCA Records. The band – Chris Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor – spent the better part of two years writing and recording the 11 new compositions on Painted Ruins. Taylor produced the album and it was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War on Drugs, Weezer). Sessions took place at Allaire Studios in upstate New York and various locations around Los Angeles, including Taylor’s own Terrible Studios. Rolling Stone called the record’s lead single “Three Rings” “spellbinding” while Spin exclaimed that the band “strike gold” with straightforward second single “Mourning Sound.” Painted Ruins follows the group’s critical and commercial 2012 breakthrough Shields, which debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200. 180g 2LP-set with download insert.

File Under: Indie Rock
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haim

Haim: Something to Tell You (Columbia) LP
When the time came to record the eleven tracks that make up Haim’s highly anticipated sophomore album Something To Tell You the surging sibling trio decided to “go in and record as a band, keeping it a little more organic. That was kind of a mission statement for the album” offers Danielle. Haim reunited with Grammy-winning Ariel Rechtshaid to produce Something To Tell You which is ushered in by the anthemic lead single “Right Now” and an accompanying Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video. Haim initially built their reputation upon a hard-edged, guitar-driven live sound, yet their 2014 debut, Days Are Gone, was a more measured, melodic affair, with the songs’ already beguiling hooks given a modern, R&B-flavored pop sheen by co-producers Ariel Rechtshaid (Madonna, No Doubt) and former Arctic Monkeys’ deskman James Ford. The critically acclaimed release went straight to No. 1 and was listed as album of the year by several publications including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Time Out and Complex.

File Under: Rock, Pop
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immortal2

Immortal: Blizzard Beasts (Osmose) LP
Immortal, from the Norwegian town Bergen, have established themselves as one of the most important black metal bands in the world. Formed by Demonaz (guitars) and Abbath (bass & vocals) in 1990 the group has gone on to issue eight trailblazing full-length slabs in their 25 plus year career. Immortal’s fourth album, 1997’s Blizzard Beasts, is receiving its first-ever domestic vinyl release courtesy of Osmose Productions. Produced and mixed by Henrikke Helland, the Morbid Angel-influenced affair was the band’s last to feature Demonaz on guitar and first with Horgh on drums. Crushing, impious, and battering, it’s a must have for brutal Norwegian black metal fans.

File Under: Black Metal
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immortal

Immortal: Damned in Black (Osmose) LP
Immortal, from the Norwegian town Bergen, have established themselves as one of the most important black metal bands in the world. Formed by Demonaz (guitars) and Abbath (bass & vocals) in 1990 the group has gone on to issue eight trailblazing full-length slabs in their 25 plus year career. Immortal’s fiery sixth album, 2000’s Damned In Black, is receiving its first-ever domestic vinyl release courtesy of Osmose Productions. Released in between the two Immortal masterpieces At the Heart of Winter and Sons of Northern Darkness, the Peter Tägtgren-produced affair is equally as powerful and is often referred to as the band’s thrash album. You can’t go wrong with standouts like “Triumph,” “My Dimension,” and “In Our Mystic Visions Blest.”

File Under: Black Metal
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iron

Iron & Wine: Beast Epic (Sub Pop) LP/DLX LP
Beast Epic, Iron & Wine’s fourth album of new material for Sub Pop and sixth overall, recasts soft power as a series of vignettes, observations and regular old songs that redeem through joy and a certain expectation of grace. Even the instant classic, “Bitter Truth,” with a lyric as pained and direct as any you’ve heard from Iron & Wine, is leavened with background vocals recalling The Jordanaires. Sam Beam goes so far as to call Beast Epic his “most personal” album to date. It’s the first Iron & Wine album that he’s produced since 2002’s The Creek Drank The Cradle, though the results are vastly different. This album brims with surprise flourishes, classic touches and an appealing confidence that is evident on songs like “Call It Dreaming.” After a decade and a half of prodigious expression and exploration, recording as both Iron & Wine and eponymously, Sam Beam confessed that he has finally figured out how to make records. “The sound of Beast Epic harks back to previous work, in a way…” Beam notes. “By employing the old discipline of recording everything live and doing minimal overdubbing, I feel like it wears both its achievements and its imperfections on its sleeve. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different genres, sonics and songwriting styles and all that traveled distance is evident in the feel and the arrangements here, but the muscles seemed to have relaxed and been allowed to effortlessly do what they do best.” Beast Epic was written and produced by Sam Beam, and recorded and engineered by Tom Schick at the Loft in Chicago in July 2016 and January 2017. The musicians who played on Beast Epic include longtime Iron & Wine collaborators Robert Burger (keys), Joe Adamik (percussion), and Jim Becker (guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin), along with bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing and Fiona Apple), and Chicagoan Teddy Rankin Parker (cello). Beast Epic was mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville, TN. Available as a deluxe coloured vinyl 2LP edition with alternate artwork and bonus tracks, or a standard black vinyl version.

File Under: Folk, Indie Rock
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kacy

Kacy & Clayton: Siren’s Song (New West) LP
In tomorrow… On their third album, Saskatchewan band Kacy & Clayton are more confident than ever. The Siren’s Song developed out of Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum’s touring as a four-piece band alongside a drummer and a bassist, which alleviated some of the restrictions that come with being a quiet duo. Linthicum turned up his electric guitar while Anderson, not as concerned with venue set-up or a noisy crowd, felt more liberated. The pair started to have more fun, and it shows. With Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) as producer, the playfulness of Kacy & Clayton’s revamped live show is reflected in The Siren’s Song. On tracks like “A Certain Kind of Memory” and “This World Has Seven Wonders,” the band capture the impulse many of us have to pack our bags, move to the country and become a recluse, while Linthicum leads full band arrangements with his electric guitar. “White Butte Country,” which features Linthicum on lead vocals, is the most lighthearted of the bunch, as a rolling melody helps to spin a story of a man looking for love. Anderson’s voice, though, is the hypnotizing core of The Siren’s Song. Her voice is light as air on “Just Like A Summer Cloud,” but can also convey ominousness, depending on the song. On standout track “A Lifeboat,” she acts like a lighthouse’s guiding beam that will bring her absent lover home; when it turns out he’s a low-life cheater, she’s livid, and she reveals she’s been guiding him towards jagged rocks ashore all along. The Siren’s Song is another compelling chapter in what looks increasingly likely to be the long story of Kacy & Clayton’s career.

File Under: Folk
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liars

Liars: TFCF (Mute) LP
Liars have, as a matter of course, sounded radically different with each album, pursuing new concepts and occupying diverse mindsets. On this, Liars’ eighth studio album, the bustling backdrops of Los Angeles, Berlin and New York have been replaced with a presence far more intimate and autobiographical as Liars once again boldly step out of their comfort zone into vastly new musical territory. Following an amicable parting of ways with Aaron Hemphill, Liars is now Angus Andrew, who decamped to his native Australia, specifically to a remote part of the Australian bush, to create an album unlike any Liars had attempted before. But there’s no defining style to TFCF, no overriding concept, as it shifts between sampled elements, brash processed sounds and “real” instrumentation, passages of pointed abstraction and passages of willful songcraft, avant gestures and genuine pop moments. There’s no mask being hid behind, and the album is their most honest and autobiographical yet – possibly because Liars is no longer a “they,” but a “he” presently. Angus describes TFCF as “a super-sad record,” but this mood is offset by the restless creativity on display throughout the album. In tandem with his embrace of the sampler, Angus also incorporated “authentic” sounds previously considered verboten within Liars; in particular, acoustic guitar. “That’s always been a frightening prospect to me,” he notes. “‘Real music’, in the worst sense of that term.” But there is acoustic guitar all over the new album, albeit often sampled and repurposed. “It gave me an opportunity to create a sound that was warmer and more sensitive. Which was important, considering the subject matter of the lyrics.” The album’s reinvention of the Liars paradigm – blurring the lines between electronic and acoustic, between the experimental impulse and the addictive pop sensibility – is evidence that Angus’ creative energies remain as healthy as ever, even given the upheaval within the group. TFCF was written and recorded by Liars. Butchy Fuego, who performed live with Liars following Julian Gross’ departure in 2014, plays drums on three tracks. TFCF was mixed by Gareth Jones and mastered by Christian Wright.

File Under: Indie Rock
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marklanegan-fieldsongs-1500

Mark Lanegan: Field Songs (Sub Pop) LP
On Lanegan’s fifth and final solo album for Sub Pop, Field Songs, he seems to have taken the best elements from his previous work to create one of the most fulfilled, and fulfilling, albums of his career; Field Songs also includes “Kimiko’s Dream House,” which Mark co-wrote with Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun Club. This LP version is the first standalone vinyl edition of Field Songs (it was previously only available in the 2015 box set entitled One Way Street). LP comes in a gatefold jacket and is 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock
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marklanegan-illtakecareofyou

Mark Lanegan: I’ll Take Care of You (Sub Pop) LP
I’ll Take Care of You, Lanegan’s fourth solo effort, consists entirely of cover songs with interpretation of songs from a wide variety of songwriters, including Tim Rose, Tim Hardin, Booker T. Jones, and Buck Owens. Prior to this LP version, I’ll Take Care of You was only available on vinyl via a long-out-of-print European run, and in the One Way Street box set. LP comes in a gatefold jacket and is 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock
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scraps

Mark Lanegan: Scraps at Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
Scraps at Midnight is the third solo album by Lanegan, which he co-produced with longtime collaborator Johnson. Scraps at Midnight could arguably be considered the final installment of a trilogy of albums (preceded by The Winding Sheet and Whiskey for the Holy Ghost) which feature the songwriter’s interpretation of American roots music set to troubling lyrics that explore themes of loss, sin and redemption. LP comes in a gatefold jacket and is 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock
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neurosis

Neurosis: Word as Law (Neurot) LP
In tomorrow… Neurosis offers up a remastered colored vinyl reissue of their second LP, The Word As Law, the album having remained out-of-print since its original release in 1990. While listening to band’s discography in chronological order, their sound gradually shifts in a very steady and somewhat seamless progression with each record, though their first few albums are undoubtedly cut from their ’80s punk influences and surroundings. The Word As Law was initially released on vinyl only in 1990 through Lookout! Records, alongside the likes of Operation Ivy, Green Day, Screeching Weasel, and other Bay Area punk acts of the time. Upbeat rhythms and enraged vocals fuel The Word As Law, the record picking up where their Pain Of Mind debut’s ripping punk sound left off, while the band simultaneously began experimenting with more dissonant, melancholic, and demoralizing tones that would carve the foundation for their next few albums and their signature sound. Neurosis had yet to infuse keyboards or synthesizers into the mix when The Word As Law was recorded by Mark Lemaire at Sound & Vision in San Francisco of December 1989. The blend of vocals delivered by guitarist Scott Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, and new inductee on this album, guitarist Steve Von Till, driven by the powerful rhythms of drummer Jason Roeder, coalesce to formulate an eerie and original sound on The Word As Law, which results in the album’s cult status as an incredibly groundbreaking album for countless crust punk, hardcore, and experimental metal artists worldwide. While prior reissues of the album featured several re-recorded bonus tracks from the band’s prior singles and releases, the 2017 Neurot reissue of The Word As Law will bear the album’s initial eight tracks, all completely remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering. Additionally, the album’s cover artwork has been reworked and modernized by Neurosis’ former live visual architect Josh Graham to match the label’s previously-reissued Souls At Zero, Enemy Of The Sun, and other titles.

File Under: Metal
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queens

Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador) LP/DLX LP
In tomorrow??? Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains, out on Matador Records. “The title Villains isn’t a political statement,” explains frontman Joshua Homme. “It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened…Everyone needs someone or something to rail against – their villain – same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go.” Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder,Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s …Like Clockwork gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took …Like Clockwork’ around the world and back – founder/guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, keys), Michael Shuman (bass), Dean Fertita (keys, guitar), Jon Theodore (drums) – are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question ‘what do we sound like now?’ If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop – but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.” Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, “Queens are and have always been my favorite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought ‘Rated R’ in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan – or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. I also knew that my super fandom alone would not keep me in the jacuzzi. There were moments during the making of the album in which I was aware I was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my favorite moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream – a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.” Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, “After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear…What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.”

File Under: Rock
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stoltz

Kelley Stoltz: Que Aura (Castle Face) LP
In tomorrow… Extra fine songwriter and longtime bedroom-pop auteur Kelley Stoltz delivers on the promise so many of his records slyly hint at. Que Aura is the platonic ideal of a Kelley Stoltz record, which is a very exciting thing indeed. Stoltz embraces his best synth-pop tendencies, with this incredibly self-assured set of tender tunes, combining in his own hangdog fashion both a disco-lit abandon and the attendant post-party sighs of dread and remorse. Great songs come out of Stoltz at an alarming rate on any given day but this particular collection is some of his most effortlessly catchy stuff yet. Ennui under the disco lights suits him very well – there’s a hearty sip of Pulp-ian white Brit shimmy with a wink, a dash of Fleetwood Mac’s cynically professional late ’70s sheen, and even a spritz or two of Echo and The Bunnymen, which should surprise no one who’s noticed Stoltz has been playing guitar with McCulloch and Company for the past year or so. This record cements Stoltz’s place in the power-pop pantheon where he belongs, right between Dwight Twilley and Martin Newell!

File Under: Indie Rock
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war on drugs

War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic) LP
In tomorrow? What a debacle! The black vinyl is apparently defective, and the Indie Shop Only vinyl may or may not be late, but it was short shipped, so… WHO KNOWS! A Deeper Understanding is The War On Drugs’ highly anticipated follow-up to 2014’s universally acclaimed Lost In The Dream and Atlantic Records debut. For much of the three and a half year period since the release of Lost In The Dream, frontman Adam Granduciel led the charge for his Philadelphia-based sextet as he holed up in studios in New York and Los Angeles to write, record, edit, and tinker – but, above all, to busy himself in work. Teaming up with engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer), Granduciel challenged the notion of what it means to create a fully realized piece of music in today’s modern landscape. Calling on his bandmates – bassist Dave Hartley, keyboardist Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall and multi-instrumentalists Anthony LaMarca and Jon Natchez – continuously throughout the process, the result is a “band record” in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn. Through those years of relocation, the revisiting and reexamining of endless hours of recordings, unbridled exploration and exuberance, Granduciel’s gritty love of his craft succeeded in pushing the band to great heights. Pitchfork proclaimed that, “Granduciel’s influence has become omnipresent in the indie world” and NPR has hailed A Deeper Understanding’s crystalline lead singles “Thinking Of A Place” (“epic, mood-shifting guitar jam”) and “Holding On” (“a pulsing jam that sounds deeply inspired by ’80s-era Bruce Springsteen”).

File Under: Indie Rock
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soul

Various: Soul of a Nation (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Record’s compilation Soul of a Nation is released to coincide with the new exhibition of the same name now on at Tate Modern, London. The album shows how the ideals of the civil rights movement, black power and black nationalism influenced the evolvement of radical African-American music in the United States of America in the intensely political and revolutionary period at the end of the 1960s following the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the rise of the Black Panther party. Featuring groundbreaking artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Roy Ayers, Don Cherry, Oneness of Juju, Sarah Webster Fabio, Horace Tapscott, Phil Ranelin and many others, Soul of A Nation shows how political themes led to the rise of ‘conscious’ black music as new afro-centric styles combined the musical radicalism and spirituality of John Coltrane and radical avant-garde jazz music alongside the intense funk and soul of James Brown and Aretha Franklin and the urban poetry and proto-rap of the streets. The double gatefold vinyl album edition comes with full color inners, full sleeve-notes/photography and bonus download code.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop
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TROJAN

Various: Soul of a Nation (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Record’s compilation Soul of a Nation is released to coincide with the new exhibition of the same name now on at Tate Modern, London. The album shows how the ideals of the civil rights movement, black power and black nationalism influenced the evolvement of radical African-American music in the United States of America in the intensely political and revolutionary period at the end of the 1960s following the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the rise of the Black Panther party. Featuring groundbreaking artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Roy Ayers, Don Cherry, Oneness of Juju, Sarah Webster Fabio, Horace Tapscott, Phil Ranelin and many others, Soul of A Nation shows how political themes led to the rise of ‘conscious’ black music as new afro-centric styles combined the musical radicalism and spirituality of John Coltrane and radical avant-garde jazz music alongside the intense funk and soul of James Brown and Aretha Franklin and the urban poetry and proto-rap of the streets. The double gatefold vinyl album edition comes with full color inners, full sleeve-notes/photography and bonus download code.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop
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…..Restocks…..

Alexisonfire: Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Dine Alone) LP
Gary Bartz Ntu Troop: Harlem Bbush Music (Milestone) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism (Barsuk) LPT
Eyehategod: In The Name of Suffering (Emetic) LP
Eyehategod: Take as Needed for Pain (Emetic) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Reprise) LP
Goat: Requiem (Sub Pop) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Hole: Live Through This (Universal) LP
Michael Jackson: Bad (Sony) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Strange Country (Big White Cloud) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (Castle Face) LP
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate (Universal) LP
Lumineers: s/t (Dual Tone) LP
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Modest Mouse: This is a Long Drive… (Glacial Pace) LP
Van Morrison: Astral Weeks (Rhino) LP
Neurosis: Eye of Every Storm (Neurot) LP
Oh Sees: A Weird Exits (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Carrion Crawler (In The Red) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Beyond the Black Rainbow (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Singles (Sony) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: s/t (Universal) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer OKNOTOK (XL) Blue LP
Run The Jewels: 1 (Mass Appeal) LP
Run The Jewels: 2 (Mass Appeal) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling out of Context (Audika) LP
Spiritualized: Lady’s And Gentlemen… (Plain) LP
Syrinx: Tumblers from the Vault (ReRVNG) LP
T. Rex: s/t (Rhino) LP
Television: Marquee Moon (Rhino) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
Link Wray: s/t (Future Days) LP
Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise) LP
Neil Young: Live Rust (Reprise) LP
Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (Rhino) LP
Various: Studio One Scorchers (Soul Jazz) LP

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…..news letter #806 – dog days…..

Ugh… so late with this today. Lots of sweet reissues this week. And loads of good used stuff hitting the bins and getting bought this week. Now that the summer festival season is dying down, maybe come down for a dig.

…..picks of the week…..

rocchi

Claudio Rocchi: Suoni di Frontiera (Die Schachtel) LP
Die Schachtel present the first vinyl reissue of Claudio Rocchi’s Suoni di Frontiera, originally released in 1976. A foundational album of electronic music, available again on vinyl for the first time since its original release. An unavoidable and formative element of Italy’s long history of avant-garde music is its resistance to category and definition. Even in the face of this, Claudio Rocchi’s stunning Suoni di Frontiera is an anomaly — a body of introspective synthesizer works, stretching out to the world beyond. Italian experimental and avant-garde music from this period is distinctly different from other contexts in Europe and America, in part because many artists would begin within the realms of popular music, and slowly pushed towards more ambitious creative territories as time wore on. Rocchi is no exception. He entered the public eye during the late 1960s and early ’70s, working within the idioms of psychedelic rock, folk, and prog. While some of Suoni di Frontiera’s elements are present in earlier and later works, nothing reaches the crystalline totality of its being. It is the lone, pure avant-garde gesture in Rocchi’s long and noted career. Infused with oscillating loops, astral synth excursions, and sharp collages of vocal snippets and electronics, the music of Suoni di Frontiera might remind some of early Cluster and Harmonia. But Suoni di Frontiera’s ambition and breadth is overwhelming. It achieves what few have: realizing the dream set forth by the pioneers of early electronic music and creating a new democratic architecture of sound, as creatively ambitious as it is accessible. It is a gesture of the avant-garde, which could have only emerged from the realms of pop — sixteen discrete works of acoustics instrumentation, electronics, processing, and synthesis, freestanding and intertwined as a towering whole. It’s a restless constellation, delving from one possibly to the next — pulsing, rhythmic tones, sheets of pure abstraction, fragments of voice and environmental sound, captured and spun wild by tape loops, beautiful ambiences, and space age sounds. Its reemergence holds the potential to reform many perceptions surrounding electronic music as a whole. Oren Ambarchi, from the liner notes: “Another crucial piece of the ’70s Italian puzzle has been unearthed for our pleasure. Dig in.” Newly remastered and pressed on heavyweight vinyl; Silver and gloss varnish print with printed inner sleeves housing a transparent anti-static record sleeve; Includes insert with notes in Italian and English; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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noyesRob Noyes: The Feudal Spirit (Poon Village) LP
2017 repress. “Rob Noyes has been on the Eastern Massachusetts scene for a while, but what we’ve heard him play is music from within the context of electric bands, most of whom are loud as hell and exist somewhere along the rim of the post-core continuum. More recently, Rob has taken to displaying his solo acoustic guitar chops and they are massive. The Feudal Spirit is the first vinyl evidence of their ‘shoulders.’ Like Western Mass’s Tony Pasquarosa, who mines the same widely-variant style-pits, Rob’s approach to acoustic playing resembles his electric work only through shared-belief-in-a-strong-downstroke. On the way to developing his own compositional/performance approach, Noyes sometimes seems to have absorbed an almost infinite reservoir of influences. Apart from some superb Basho-like 12-string tunneling, most momentary fragments tend to recall legendary Limeys like John Renbourn (and through him, Davey Graham), because Rob’s overt melodic structures tend towards the non-bluesoid. But then you’ll maybe hear a note-sequence spiced like something dropped from the hot strings of Michael Chapman or even a powerful throng that makes you think of Wizz Jones. When that happens, you realize there’s more of a blues base to some of the songs than you’d been able to untangle. Mr. Noyes hits a vast array of sub-genres on this album, and he hits them all pretty damn hard. Rob’s playing carries the weight of many possibly-imaginary forebears, but the way he smears them all together shows a holistic mastery of touch and imagination that defies a lot of today’s players, who tend to shine in short bursts, then allow their dreams to outrun their technique. Rob Noyes has no such apparent limitations. Like Raymond Pettibon, whose artwork graces The Feudal Spirit’s cover, Rob’s able to create a true form-gobble, making some real beautiful noise in the process. Around the world, licensed Hodologists whisper, ‘Make mine Noyes.’ Why don’t you join them?” –Byron Coley, October 23rd, 2016, South Deerfield, MA. Screenprinted jackets — new EZ-open jacket for the OCD/record collector set! Cover art by Raymond Pettibon. 180 gram vinyl pressed at RTI; Lacquers cut by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service.

File Under: Guitar Soli, Blues, Folk
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…..new arrivals…..

abate

Maurizio Abate: Live at Elastico (Holidays) LP
Another wonderful live session by the multi-instrumentalist Maurizio Abate, captured by Ulrich Rois (Bird People) in 2014 during his exhibition at the old location of the art association eLaSTiCo — in the center of Bologna — then mixed and edited by Maurizio himself. To be considered a twin release of the Live From The Border EP published in 2012, this single-sided release features a twenty-minute track that builds a ritual and meditative soundscape with the processed sound of a hurdy-gurdy and a harmonica. Edition of 150.

File Under: Psych, Electronic, Rock
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amos

Amos & Sara: Invite to Endless Latino (War Extension) LP
Alga Marghen present a reissue of Amos & Sara’s Amos & Sara… Invite To ‘Endless Latino’, originally released by It’s War Boys on cassette in 1983. From anonymous: “Overhead comes this thrum-thrum-thrum. They look up to see a plane circling just off the island. The door facing them opens and out pop two figures, tumbling down into the water. Lazily, without a care in the world, the plane turns north and flies away. Of course, the guys start up the boat and head off to investigate. What just happened? Who jumps out of an aircraft at that height? In the water, they find two women. Both dead. Here’s the strange thing. Both the bodies, they beat up pretty bad but not only that. They both badly burnt. . . . I really got started on this thanks to my cousins, Luis and Ramon. My cousins are collectively known as Los Rubios. It ain’t a family name. . . . You heard of Bahia Blanca? My cousins, they run a small boat out of the harbour there. Shark fishing. That’s their thing. Back then, we’re talking ’76, it was just starting to take off. . . . One day they’re out on the boat. That particular day, they didn’t have no takers so they figure they’ll take the boat out anyway. Hake, gatuzo, squid — fishing to fill their own bellies. That’s when they hear the plane. Luis and Ramon race back to port. Pretty soon, a big crowd gathers. The harbour master comes running. ‘Ai, ai, muchachas,’ he groans. ‘This is a bad business. Seguro, a very bad business. You boys poking about in the hornets’ nest. Why you not leave these women to the sharks?’ While the Rubios are protesting, the local inspector arrives. He is angry beyond belief. He dismisses the harbour master and the crowd of onlookers with violent curses. . . . Overhead, in the place inhabited by saints and angels, a gentle half-hearted bossa starts up and then grinds to a halt. The silence is broken only by the sound of a shaker — it could be a rain stick — being crushed underfoot. And you will find me there at length, all the life in me rising like a wraith into the noonday sky, a dragonish mist that forms a garment for each of us to wear as we dance to Endless Latino!”

File Under: Post Punk, Rock, Experimental
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belfi

Andrea Belfi: Ore (Float) LP
Andrea Belfi (born 1979) is an international respected electroacoustic musician and composer. He began playing drums at the age of 14. He studied art in Milan, before becoming involved in experimental music and since 2002 he’s been in collaboration with a wide range of artists, currently residing in Berlin, Germany. His new album Ore is released on the new UK record label Float which was founded by Sofia Ilyas, who was previously the label manager at Erased Tapes Records. The new label exists parallel to Float PR, the London based agency dedicated to the promotion of unique artists and projects, and Andrea Belfi is the first signing. Titled Ore, the album places the drums as its centerpiece, while textures are embellished and mutated through electronic manipulations and dark, eerie sonic details. Over the years, Belfi has built a sound-world that artfully combines a modest drum set-up with an equally concise electronics component. He has searched long to produce and refine the acoustic timbres of his music, but has now reached a certain point of fulfilment, courtesy of his Saari drum-kit from Finland. Melded seamlessly with the acoustic elements are a Nord modular and sampler. On Ore, Belfi attains a masterful synthesis of these two sonic realms. Belfi has gained a reputation for his energetic and charismatic performances, both as a solo musician and within numerous collaborations. 2016 saw him tour with Nonkeen, the German three-piece band headed by Nils Frahm. Belfi became an instant highlight following a sold-out gig at London’s Barbican Centre, lighting the stage with an impressive and explosive drum solo that became one of the most memorable moments from the evening. “When I started the record I really wanted to find something very direct. I was looking for something very raw, something sonically and acoustically complex. The title Ore actually was suggested by my wife. I had to look up the meaning and loved the concept — something raw that you can extract, and the refinement into a precious material. It’s a very simple metaphor but there’s a lot there, you can just put that word out and you don’t have to explain too much. You give an input to the listener, and just leave it to the imagination.” Mixed by Francesco Donadello; Mastered by Nils Frahm.

 File Under: Electronic, Minimal
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bucknor

King Bucknor Jr. & Afrodisk: African Woman (Hot Casa) LP
Hot Casa present a reissue of King Bucknor Jr. & Afrodisk Beat 79’s African Woman, originally released in 1979. African Woman is a fantastic Afro-beat album from the Fela Anikulapo Kuti disciple and Kalakuta Republic member. A sublime spiritual and political session recorded in 1979 at the EMI studio in Lagos, Nigeria. Arranged and self-produced, Kingsley Bucknor’s second album, hopelessly obscure and impossible to find, ranks alongside the best Afro-beat albums in history. At the age of 19, King Bucknor Jr., also known as the Black Isaiah of Africa, released his second album backed by a 16-piece band called The Afrodisk, and ten background singers. Two long and hypnotic grooves with all the Afro-beat ingredients: fluid and complex drums patterns, strong horns, female voices on chorus, strong lyrics, beautiful keys, and horns solos. Essential for all Afro collectors and music lovers. Vinyl replica; Remastered by Carvery (UK); Includes inner sleeve with an interview.

File Under: Afro Beat
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costa

Gal Costa: India (Mr. Bongo) LP
A post-Tropicalia masterpiece from one of the movements key figures and true legends of Brazilian music, Gal Costa. Features a stellar line up of musicians including Gilberto Gil, Arthur Verocai, Dominguinhos, Rogério Duprat and Tenorio Jr. amongst others. Replica original gatefold including the cover that was banned by the Brazilian military government in 1973 during the brutal dictatorship. ‘India’ includes the incredible ’Pontos De Luz’ as sampled by Kaytranada on ’Lite Spots’ – one of our favourite Brazilian songs of all time. A wonderful album from start to finish, touching on MPB, folk, jazz, funk and rock with strong Tropicalia and Nordestino influences throughout. A record that we have long been wanting to reissue! Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Group Limited.

File Under: Brazilian, Tropicalia
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daphni

Daphni: FabricLive 93 (Fabric) CD
Daphni (aka Caribou, aka Dan Snaith) presents the 93rd installment of FabricLive. FabricLive 93 marks Daphni’s first mix CD and his first full body of work under the moniker since 2012’s critically acclaimed Jiaolong album, and most recently Caribou’s seminal standout 2014 album Our Love. This special FabricLive mix is composed of 23 original, unreleased Daphni tracks and four new Daphni edits, featuring tracks from Jamire Williams, Luther Davis Group, Pheeroan Ak Laff, and Container. “A lot of these tracks were recorded in situ in the mix itself,” Snaith says. “I’d put one track in place and instead of searching through existing music to find the track to follow it, I’d just make an entirely new one. The tracks on here pull from very diverse ends of the spectrum of music that I like and make.” Packaged in bespoke slipcase containing die-embossed tin.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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earthling

Earthling Society: Ascent to Godhead (Riot Season) LP
UK space/psych rock favorites Earthling Society return with their new album Ascent To Godhead, their second album of 2017. Ascent To Godhead is the fleetwood psychonauts’ second release on Riot Season, the first being their 2014 album England Have My Bones which got great reviews across the board. Whereas Zen Bastard was a re-imagining of ancient songs from the back catalog, Ascent To Godhead consists of brand new compositions improvised in the studio. No Hawkwind-esque generators are to be found, which is often found to be synonymous with the space rock genre. Instead, there is a calamitous howl more reminiscent of Birthday Party than Gong. Earthling Society’s unique song writing abilities remain however; where no song starts and ends the same, constantly morphing into something new. Jazz and Eastern rhythms are at the forefront of Ascent To Godhead, taking inspiration from Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Far East Family Band, Midori Takada, amongst others. This is no hippy claptrap from the sunshine playroom, it’s an album that ties your brain in knots, and oozes spiritual meaning. Also included is the long lost garage rocker “Can You Levitate?”. Recorded in 2009 and only unearthed earlier in 2017, Ascent To Godhead proves that Earthling Society were belting this stuff out long before the current psych scene. Alice Coltrane inspired, hand-painted artwork; Blue vinyl; Edition of 400.

File Under: Psych, Space Rock
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garrett

Garrett: Private Life (Music from Memory) LP
Garrett came from the inside of his own mind, from within a home recording studio somewhere on planet Earth. The Private Life of creative awareness and the music captured here is the visceral offering to all outside. Every one of us has a Private Life. This is Garrett’s.

File Under: Electronic, Funk, Soul
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greenspan

Greenspan & Taraval: s/t (Geej) LP
A strange confluence of sound that sounds part krautrock synth label Brain records, part Hyperdub techno haze and synth wormholes, with spectacular sound design that has banged at Berghain and sound-tracked winter night drives. Jeremy Greenspan is known mainly for his work with Junior Boys and Jessy Lanza. Taraval is a longtime touring member of Caribou, but both have released several 12″ and EPs of electronic exploration over the past few years. Inspired by synthesizer minimalists like JD Emmanuel, Cluster, and John Carpenter, the two attempted to create a type of dance music with hardware that was indebted to their influences, but did not feel intrinsically retrogressive. The idea was to make a type of raw synthesizer and drum machine music that could be listened to beside the hypermodern techno of Pearson Sound or Actress. The cover art is a tribute to a mysterious mural that looms over the Hamilton, Ontario area where the album was recorded. Each of the five tracks were edited down from much longer recording jams which were done with hardware sequencers in real time. The recording was done completely off-the-floor with no overdubs or added material after the fact. As this release might appeal to synthesizer hobbyists and enthusiasts, it seemed appropriate to compile a list of the instruments used in the original recordings: ARP Odyssey, Pioneer Toraiz SP-16, Eurorack Modular System, Roland JX8P, DSI Tempest, Simmons SDS-8, Roland SH101, Roland Jupiter 6 Yamaha CS50, Oberheim OB-XA.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmiche
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gruppo

Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Azioni/Reazioni (Die Schachtel) 5LP Box
Includes five LPs, DVD, and book; Edition of 500. The year 2007 saw one of the most remarkable findings in the long treasure-hunting history of Die Schachtel: the complete set of recordings of the early manifestation (1967-1969) of one of the most legendary improv group of all time, the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Rescued by the private archives of Walter Branchi, one of the original founding members — alongside Franco Evangelisti, Ennio Morricone, Ivan Vandor, Roland Kayn, Egisto Macchi, Mario Bertoncini, and John Heineman — the tapes were then restored in their entirety. Only a part of them were published in a CD-only boxset in an edition of 500, titled Azioni 1967-1969, which also featured a DVD with the original film Nuova Consonanza shot by Theo Gallher during the rehearsal and concert that the group held on March 19th and 20th, 1967, at the Galleria d’arte Moderna in Rome. Spanning from free-jazz to total abstract noise to wild electronic sounds, their music was — and remains — one of the most dynamic, original, and uncompromising expression of a period defined by intense experimentation and musical bravery, anticipating experiments to come in years following. Or, to put it simple, “They were utterly unique,” as per the words that John Zorn, who expressively wrote for this edition. To mark the ten-year anniversary of its original release, Die Schachtel present Azioni/Reazioni 1967-1969, the complete cycle of improvisations — which includes thirteen additional, never before published pieces — taken from the original tapes. Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.

File Under: Experimental, Improv, Italian, Morricone
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island people

Island People: s/t (Raster) LP
Gatefold double LP version. Island People is a new band project consisting of mastering engineer Conor Dalton, Grammy award winning producer David Donaldson, musician and DJ Graeme Reedie, and guitarist Ian “Chippy” Maciennan. On their first self-titled record, they present their collaborative work that evolved over the past three years. Being based in different cities, namely Berlin and Glasgow, files had to be exchanged back and forth between the band members in order to create tracks. Their delicate sound structures, field recordings, and other sound sources were heavily processed and rendered unrecognizable. Layer after layer, the tracks came into being quite naturally, not only reflecting their continuous way of working, but also incorporating their different and individual backgrounds: “During the whole creation of the album, we never realized our actions were quickly leading us into forming Island People, we were too busy having fun, making music and sharing ideas.” The result of their collaboration is a timeless music that is as open as a natural phenomenon, developing a certain feeling of euphoria over time. All in all, Island People is a pure listening record in the best tradition of ambient.

File Under: Electronic, New Age
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karkhana

Karkhana: For Seun Matta (Holidays) LP
Featuring some of the most innovative players from Beirut, Cairo, and Istanbul, Karkhana met for the first time in Beirut in 2014, bringing together influences from the three major experimental music scenes of the region and beyond. Through their live shows, the band’s seven multi-instrumentalists build a transcendental atmosphere developing what could possibly be called free Middle Eastern music. Shades and traces of shaabi, tarab, sufi, and much more are heard in the distinct blend of free jazz and psychedelic krautrock they’ve created. Recorded and mixed by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studio — in only two days — and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering Studio in Chicago, For Seun Matta is the first studio album by the band following the 7″ Nafas released on Omlott (2016) and Live At Metro Al-Madina released on Sagittarius A-Star (2015). Featuring Sharif Sehnaoui on electric guitar, Sam Shalabi (The Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on oud and electric guitar, Maurice Louca (The Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on organ and synth, Umut Çağlar (Konstrukt) on zurna, gralla, bamboo flutes, and percussion, Mazen Kerbaj on trumpet, Tony Elieh on electric bass, and with the recent addition of Michael Zerang on drums. “I wish I could track down more of this tantalising outfit’s music to share. . . . This Middle Eastern super group first got together to celebrate the music of Egyptian surf guitarist Omar Khorshid — who was also a key figure in Oum Kalthoum’s orchestra — but their remit has expanded somewhat and now they’re fully committed to outer-perimeter explorations in krautrock-leaning, cosmic free jazz” –John Doran, The Guardian. Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Psych, Kraut Rock, Middle Eastern
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kink gong

Kink Gong: Tibetan Buddhism Trip (Akuphone) LP
Psalmody, small bells, big cymbals, gongs and drums — this puzzling collage of Tibetan Buddhist rites recordings is hypnotizing. It opens the way to the state of trance. The slight electronic arrangement reminds the listener that reality is not so far. The two twenty-minute tracks instantly convey an unknown and fascinating universe. Mantra chanting accelerates, horns become more insistent and a mystical atmosphere arises. With Tibetan Buddhism Trip, Akuphone starts to explore ritual and ceremonial music, here with a subtle mix of field recordings and electronic handlings. Over the years King Gong, aka Laurent Jeanneau, has specialized in the recording of ethnic minorities, particularly from South East Asia. He has recorded over 160 albums and his work is now largely well-known around the globe. An impressive collection allows him to manipulate, assemble, and reconstruct his field recordings in order to create new sound landscapes. Recorded in Tibet and Yunnan (China) between 2006 and 2013. Recomposed in Berlin in 2016. Includes insert with unseen pictures and download card including a live performance in Bristol.

File Under: Field Recording
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lean

Lean Left: I Forgot to Breathe (Trost) LP
LP version with screenprinted cover. Lean Left, the quartet of jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and saxophonist Ken Vandermark with The Ex members Terrie Hessels and Andy Moor, present I Forgot To Breathe. Personnel: Paal Nilssen-Love – drums; Terrie Hessels – guitar; Andy Moor – guitar; Ken Vandermark – reeds.

File Under: Free Jazz
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jata

Marijata: This is Marijata (Mr. Bongo) LP
Marijata was a group made up of three members – Kofi ‘Electric’ Addison on drums, Bob Fischlan on organ and Nat Osmanu on guitar, hailing from Ghana. ‘This Is Marijata’ is the groups’ first LP; released originally on the Gapophone label – it is pure, rootsy, raw, driving African funk music of the highest order, now highly sought-after in both its original and previously reissued forms. Addison, Osmanu and Fischlan formed a band called the Sweet Beans with a young singer and guitarist, namely the legendary Pat Thomas. They released ‘False Lover’ in 1974 on Gapophone Records before recording ‘This Is Marijata’ and then ‘Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata’ shortly afterwards. ‘This Is Marijata’ is summed up perfectly by the text on the back cover: “Three young musicians of the Sweet Beans believe that in music and entertainment business, there is no room for mediocrity if one’s music is to win over a bigger audience and fame. How could they give the public a taste of the talent they had so meticulously nurtured since they began their musical careers without upsetting the current musical inclination in the country? Simple, Gapahone Records, quick to spot talent listened to the music of Kofi “Electric” Addison (Drummer) Bob Fischlan (Organist) and Nat Osmanu (Guitarist), liked it and the result, after month of hard work is what you have on this album – THIS IS MARIJATA. Backed by a group of hand-picked musicians, the whole album is exclusively the work of three young men who are trying to bring back some freshness and raw funk into the current flash-in-the-pan songs being recorded in this country. “I Walk Alone” a cool, scintillatingly slow number, displays some interesting instrumental works. “No Condition Is Permanent” and “Break Through” exhibit originality using the funk medium. Even though the vocal rendition sounds somewhat on the hoarse and gritty side, a strong impression is left on the mind of the listener that the boys have something going for them right in there. With the emergence of this album, I believe subsequent albums will breathe more freshness into the whole entertainment scene. Right on, brothers Marijata.”

File Under: Afro Beat, Soul/Funk, Highlife
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nww

Nurse With Wound: Dark Fat (Dirter) 3LP Box
Triple LP box set of Nurse With Wound’s 2016 release Dark Fat. Dark Fat is a celebration and documentation of ten years of NWW shows, but to call Dark Fat a live album is far too simplistic. It is an entirely new recording constructed by combining the most interesting moments of the past decade into unique tracks. M.S. Waldron is to thank as he is archival commandant of the NWW oeuvre, and since 2006 he has recorded every single thing. He has recorded all the live shows, sound-checks, rehearsals, off-stage events, and even covertly recorded the private conversations of the band. These recordings have been studiously and lovingly crafted into a unique sonic tapestry by Waldron and Steven Stapleton with delicate embroidery and filigree added by Andrew Liles and Colin Potter. This is now spread over six sides of luxurious vinyl and encased in a box with a gatefold insert, all featuring the art of Steven Stapleton aka Babs Santini. Listen in the Dark and soak up the Fat.

File Under: Experimental, Industrial

oliveira

Jocy De Oliveira: Estorias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acusticos e Eletronicos (Blume) LP
Blume present the first vinyl reissue of Jocy De Oliveira’s legendary debut Estorias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acusticos e Eletronicos, reissued for the first times since its original release in 1981. Defined by a body of singular music spanning seven decades, within the histories and continuing legacies of avant-garde practice, she is without equivalent. Her debut album Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos resonates through a shimmering body of organized sound, unveiling truths lingering in the shadows, the sins suffered by the Latin American avant-garde, with the actualities of its astounding heights. Oliveira began her career as a concert pianist. She left Brazil at young age to study in America and Europe, before being recruited by major orchestras across both continents, working under Stravinsky, and having pieces written for her and premiering of works by Berio, Xenakis, Santoro, Cage, and Manuel Enriquez. During the early 1960s, Oliveira shifted her efforts toward composition. She embarked on a process of folding organized sounds across nearly every context it could inhabit, blurring the lines between performance and composition, and incorporating diverse media well beyond the world of sound. In 1961, within a collaborative theater work written with Luciano Berio, Berio Apague Meu Spot Light, she instigated the first performance of electronic music staged in Brazil. Released in 1981, during the last years of her country’s military dictatorship, Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos was met by controversy before quickly sinking from view, heard by almost no one beyond Brazil’s borders. Among the most astounding realizations of electroacoustic process ever recorded, it is a series of sonic stories for voice, and acoustic and electronic instruments: prepared piano, violin, percussion, synthesizers, electric celesta, etc. The album’s singularity, culture, humanity, and introspection cannot be displaced; like its composer, Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos is Brazilian. Its draws on a diverse range of the country’s music and percussion traditions, as well as Indian raga structures, and Japanese Shōmyō singing, inspired in part by the sounds of immigrant communities within São Paulo, the city where Oliveira grew up. A landmark classic from the ’70s Brazilian electronic music scene. To quote Keith Fullerton Whitman, this is the “lost Tropicalia/psych/free-vocal/ring-modulator freakout/jam hybrid that you’ve only dreamt about!” Comes in a full-color cover with a printed inner sleeve housing a Nagaoka anti-static record sleeve; Includes original insert that functions as Obi; Red-colored vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Classical, Brazil
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ghost

OST: Ghost in the Shell (WRWTFWW) LP
Standard Edition now available… We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present the first ever official vinyl pressing of the soundtrack for Mamoru Oshii’s critically acclaimed and all around legendary science fiction anime film Ghost In The Shell (1995), adapted from Masamune Shirow’s groundbreaking manga series of the same name. The haunting score is composed by Kenji Kawai, one of Japan’s most celebrated soundtrack composers alongside Joe Hisaishi and Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose work includes Hideo Nakata’s Ring (1998) and Ring 2 (1999), Death Note (2006), Hong Kong films Seven Swords by Tsui Hark (2005) and Ip Man by Wilson Yip (2008), and countless others. Kawai’s compositions see ancient harmonies and percussions uncannily mesh with synthesized sounds of the modern world to convey a sumptuous balance between folklore tradition and futuristic outlook. For its iconic main theme “Making Of Cyborg”, Kawai had a choir chant a wedding song in ancient Japanese following Bulgarian folk harmonies, setting the standard for a timeless and unparalleled soundtrack that admirably echoes the film’s musings on the nature of humanity in a technologically advanced world. Ghost In The Shell is widely considered one of the best anime films of all time and its influence has been felt in the work of numerous movie directors, including James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), the Wachowskis’s The Matrix (1999), and Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001). For fans of anime, manga, movie soundtracks, science fiction, ambient, folklore, Japan, Akira (1988), artificial intelligence, Midori Takada. Cut from the original master reels at Emil Berliner Studios (formerly the in-house recording department of renowned classical record label Deutsche Grammophon).

File Under: OST, Electronic, Classical, Japan
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palestine

Charlemagne Palestine: Arpeggiated Bosenforfer + Falsetto Voice (Alga Marghen) LP
In 1974, Ileana Sonnabend commissioned Charlemagne Palestine to create a limited edition, double LP in conjunction with a performance to celebrate the opening of her new Soho gallery at 420 West Broadway. Charlemagne made several recording attempts, first at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania where they had a Bösendorfer Imperial Piano in their theater. He recorded “Bösendorfer + Voice”, “Voice Piece” as well as some Bösendorfer tests, with Mayo Thompson as producer and Kurt Munkacsi as sound engineer. These ecstatic Swarthmore recordings, recorded late at night in the big empty theater space, represented the original elements on which Charlemagne Palestine later created the piano pieces for Four Manifestations on Six Elements. For more than 40 years since these recordings were made, Palestine never went back to listen to them, but recently on re-listening to these Swarthmore recordings with Alga Marghen, he found several blissful, arpeggiated piano and falsetto voice studies which he feels now deserve to be heard. Included in the Alga Marghen VocSon series, this LP of two previously unreleased 1974 recordings finally see the light of day. Edition of 405.

File Under: Avant Garde, Drone, Minimalism

porter

Porter Ricks: Anguilla Electrica (Tresor) LP
First full-length in seventeen years from the Chain Reaction/Force Inc. legends. Ever since their initial singles were released in the mid-1990s and became international calling cards for the Chain Reaction label, the Porter Ricks duo of Thomas Köner and Andy Mellwig have represented that crucible point in which techno music leaked into new social environments and became the background music for cutting-edge cultural critique. Their submerged “scuba” sound, presented in dark tone colors and reverberating to infinity, is now instantly identifiable as one of the “soundmarks” of Berlin club culture. Just as importantly, it is still a palpable aftershock of a pre-millenial genre explosion that saw deep dub, shimmering post-rock, abstract hip-hop, and art-damaged noise all drinking from the same well of inspiration. For proof of Porter Ricks’s enduring legacy, look no further than the fact that “dub techno” is now a stylistic movement that has expanded far beyond the confines of Berlin and the Basic Channel/Chain Reaction label alliance (where Mellwig’s mastering skills also played a starring role). Lurid traces of Porter Ricks’s aesthetic can now be found in the work of producers like Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker, showing the potential for the duo’s unique “aquatic” techniques to be applied to a variety of different musical contexts. Their new LP on Tresor, Anguilla Electrica, may be their first full-length release in seventeen full years, but it radiates with confidence and with a clarity and intensity rarely seen in a world so over-saturated with communications noise. It’s made clear at once that it’s a continuation of a sonic ideal rather than a tribute to what has already been achieved: the duo is not idly sitting back while their newer acolytes do their talking for them. This new LP is well worth the wait and is a life-affirming one in an uncertain and perilous time, drowning out daily anxieties like a rush of incoming surf — yet it is far more invigorating than relaxing. True to the Porter Ricks’s tradition, it will be just as exciting hearing this music as it will be to experience what new cultural mutations it leaves in its wake.

File Under: Electronic, Dub Techno
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rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Fallen Leaves Camouflaged Behind Tropical Flowers (Hospital) LP
Marking six years of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement’s cultish, elemental output, Dominick Fernow (Prurient) gives the project’s first ever release a vinyl pressing for the first time, coiling up two extended tracts of impure, unnatural gloom ranking amongst his most cherished works. Fallen Leaves Camouflaged Behind Tropical Flowers was originally released on tape in 2011 in an edition of 59. When RSE was first conceived with Fallen Leaves Camouflaged Behind Tropical Flowers in 2011, the project was shrouded in a veil of mystery which left many fiends guessing to its provenance — it seemed too far reduced to be identified as Fernow’s work, but also didn’t easily resonate with anyone of Hospital Productions’ usual suspects, instead holding a unique line of stygian slow techno that sounded like some our bleakest, febrile fantasies come to life. Soon enough RSE’s creator and navigator was indeed revealed to be Fernow, and the project became regarded among his most prized golems by those in the know, not least because it was starkly defined in contrast to his myriad other pseudonyms — Vatican Shadow, Prurient, Christian Cosmos, Force Publique Congo, and so on — by dint of its perceived restraint and glowering minimalism. Perhaps because of that stringent, meditative asceticism, the hypnotic grip of RSE has remained undiminished and perhaps as strong as ever on this new vinyl edition, where the predator heartbeat and keening tonal groans of “Life Would Transform” sound more pensive and narcotically effective than ever, and the borderland industrial chug and clag of “Skull Covered In Moss” seems to be seated deeper into its dank gloom, emulating a location recording of a burial-by-mud in some godforsaken no-man’s-land, with lurking parakeets and mechanical birds awaiting their turn on your soon-to-be carrion. RIYL: Coil, Demdike Stare, Prurient, Brian Eno / Jon Hassell’s Fourth World (1980). Remastered by Paul Corley; Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial
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regis

Regis: Gymnastics (Downwards) LP
For the 21st anniversary of Regis’s pivotal debut album, the Brum techno overlord has remade the scene of the crime from original stems and salvaged 8-track tapes. The unyielding results effectively present a doctored version of his seminal — some may say game-changing — record, featuring new studio versions and unreleased sequences. It’s basically a stronger, fitter version of his most prized LP, loaded with sounds as brutally functional as the city which birthed them. Originally recorded in September 1996 in Room 406, Digbeth, Birmingham aka Scorn’s studio — sandwiched between Tony De Vit and Broadcast’s recording spaces — Regis used one drum machine, one synth, and one FX unit to nail home a back-to-basics approach to techno; one inspired as much by the direct immediacy of Chicago house as the febrile DJ sets of Jeff Mills, but also drawing a crucial “X factor” from his background as a bit of a hooligan, with form in a number of post-industrial, EBM, and punk units. When Gymnastics first hit the ‘floor, it was considered shocking anathema to the swell of manicured, proggy arrangements which were by then dominating the spotlight of British dance in clubs and the media. It was loopy, stripped-to-the-bone, and shark-eyed, always moving forward and without the faintest recourse to melody or harmony — simply reveling in the gnashing tension and swerve of raw, clattering drum machines, and monophonic synth jabs. Big Beat or trance it fucking well wasn’t. 21 years later its lip-biting force is now felt stronger than ever. From the grumbling refusal of “We Said No” and the austere wall-banger “Allies” that boot off the album, through the 16th note nag of “Translation” to the rictus jag of “Sand” and the metallic bite of “The Black Freighter”, this is timeless, primal dance music that still causes friction wherever it’s deployed. James Brown is dead. Long live Regis. New reworked artwork (original featured the Twin Towers photographed in 1996). Remastered and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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reich

Steve Reich & Ensemble Modern & Synergy Vocals: Music For 18 Musicians (Victory) LP
A stunning version of Steve Reich’s masterpiece of musical minimalism Music For 18 Musicians (1974-1976), performed live at Tokyo Opera House in 2008 by Ensemble Modern and Synergy Vocals, featuring the composer as guest performer. LP housed in a deluxe die cut jacket with printed insert. In the 1960s, with Terry Riley and Philip Glass, Reich gave pulse back to experimental music. He discovered the tape-based techniques of looping and phasing, using recordings of fragments of speech, and then molecules of musical material. ” (…) When Steve Reich released Music For 18 Musicians (ECM, 1978), it was a consolidation and major leap forward in the pulse-based music that the minimalist progenitor had been exploring on earlier compositions including ‘Four Organs’ (1969), a piece that relied on nothing more than a six-note chord, yet was a near flat-out sonic assault. 18 Musicians was an altogether more complex and sophisticated work, with a broader textural palette based largely on tuned percussion — piano, vibraphone, marimba and xylophone — but also working with maracas, voice, strings, and clarinets to create a sweeping, hour-plus long suite that was hypnotic, melodic, and eminently accessible. With the mathematical precision by which its eleven sections and wrapping ‘Pulses’ develop, it’s a demanding suite to play (…)” –John Kelman, All About Jazz, 2008

File Under: Avant Garde, Minimalism

sakata

Akira Sakata/Manuel Mota/Giovanni Di Domenico/Mathieu Calleja: Jomon (Holidays) LP
Japanese saxophone transgressor Akira Sakata meets with his long-time collaborator and Fender Rhodes virtuoso Giovanni Di Domenico, Portuguese guitarist Manuel Mota, and drummer Mathieu Calleja for a session recorded at Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels. Named after the Jomon period of the Japanese prehistory — when Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture rich in tools, clay pottery, and jewelry made from bone and stone — the record features three tracks: “Jomon” (縄文), “Kaen” (火焔), and “Dogu” (土偶). The Dogu (literally: “clay figures”) were small humanoid and animal figurines made during the Jomon period for religious purpose: it may have been believed that illnesses could be transferred into the Dogu, which was then destroyed, clearing the illness, or any other misfortune. The record itself is a musical healing ritual invoking a powerful demon with Sakata’s throat singing, unleashing then slowly hypnotizing it in the second half of the album, putting it back into its vault before it’s too late. Beautiful artwork made with Sakata’s hand-painted Kanji characters. Edition of 250.

File Under: Free Jazz

sanders

Pharoah Sanders: Izippho Zam (My Gifts) (Everland) LP
Everland Jazz present a reissue of Pharoah Sanders’s Izipho Zam (My Gifts), originally released in 1973. “Popular and increasingly in demand, Izipho Zam (My Gifts) falls into the ‘rare’ category among record collectors and is a gift to fans of master Pharoah Sanders. This demand is partially galvanized by the fact that ‘Prince Of Peace’ has become an inspirational mine to hip hop artists and is much loved by samplers. Izipho Zam is Pharoah Sander’s third album, initially recorded in January 1969, it was originally released on the Strata-East label in 1973. On Izipho Zam, Sanders and his band take you on a journey into another world providing an amazing experience! Passionate, intense and free, Sanders saxophone especially, is exquisite, pouring out its soul telling a story of its own. Hailed by peers as the best tenor saxophonist in the world, Pharoah Sanders is a legend in jazz music. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of free jazz and is the mentor of jazz giant, saxophonist Robert Stewart. Born in 1940 into a musical family as Farell Sanders in Arkansas, he first played the clarinet before switching to tenor saxophone in high school. After high school, he moved to California to study music and art. In 1961, Sanders moved to New York where he often played gigs with a number of free jazz dignitaries including Billy Higgins, Sun Ra and Don Cherry. His name ‘Pharoah’ was given to him by Sun Ra, who was his bandleader then. It was during one of these gigs that he met John Coltrane who became his mentor. While playing with Coltrane, Sanders inevitably rose to prominence due to his very distinctive tenor saxophone sound.” –Rachel Kinoti Licensed by Strata-East Recordings.

File Under: Spiritual Jazz
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omega

Squadra Omega: Nervoso (Holidays) LP
Squadra Omega teams up again revealing itself in the shape of a trio composed of — exactly as for the session which gave birth to Il Serpente Nel Cielo (2015) — OmegaFrank (drums), OmegaG8 (bass, electronics), and OmegaMatt (guitar, organ, sax, electronics). An improvised session recorded live by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studio, where the Squadra goes nervously free — constantly suspended and harmonically non resolved — following a trail of skilled atonal jazz rock guitar tunes leading to moments of dazed electronics. Definitely not an easy-listening album, wonderfully rendered. For fans of early ECM records. Masterful cut made by Daniel Krieger at SST in Frankfurt. Edition of 250.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Psych

tical

H.Tical: Impact: Synthesized Sound & Music (Intervallo) LP
Intervallo present a reissue of H. Tical’s, aka Armando Sciascia, Impact: Synthesized Sound And Music, originally released in 1971. From the very first second, Impact: Synthesized Sound And Music is a difficult, icy release, embracing many cornerstones of what would become known as industrial music. These 16 sonic experiments are totally devoted to VCS3 synthesizers, which are the main architects of whirling escapes, white noise, and sonic landscapes in the mood of early Warp releases. Impact: Synthesized Sound And Music was originally released via Armando Sciascia’s Vedette label in 1971, under the alias H. Tical. It’s a really peculiar library music album, filled with incredibly contemporary sounds and atmospheres. Unlike Distortions by Blue Phantom (1971), whose super groovy and almost hard-prog tracks are all credited to H. Tical, this is a totally different sonic planet – and it’s difficult to figure out what kind of images could be paired with such an extreme experiment, which is a one-of-a-kind effort in Sciascia’s more traditional career as a composer. Moreover, the musical delirium is enhanced by the usual beauty of the titles, such as “Colluvium”, “Metastasis”, “Trigonos”, “Intercosmic”, “Rubidio”, or “Laser”, mixing Latin and English. This is a wonderful, alienating album made of “static” music, totally estranged from the idea of movement. A true desert island album, or better said, an abandoned planet album. Edition of 400.

File Under: Library, Italian
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trad

Trad, Gras Och Stenar: Tack For Kaffet (So Long) (Subliminal Sounds) LP
Limited clear vinyl edition. Gatefold double LP version. The long-awaited new album from the legendary pioneers of transcendental psychedelic rock music and DIY culture in general. Tack För Kaffet (So Long) is a tribute to the deceased band members and dearest friends Torbjörn Abelli and Thomas Mera Gartz. It becomes something of a farewell show for the old Träd, Gräs Och Stenar because all the old and new members, including founder Bo Anders, Torbjörn and Mera, and Reine Fiske (Dungen, The Amazing), are all contributing to this album. The sounds were captured on tape in their music workshop in the countryside and consists mainly of improvised moments where the sounds travels beyond time and space, something that has been TGS hallmark over the years. Perhaps there’s a form of melancholy over some of the album, much depending on how cruelly and suddenly Mera and Torbjörn passed away, but also on a little lighter and crazier whim. Everything is recorded live so there are no euphemistic circumstances, rather everything is pared down, bared bone drones, sounds traveling in the magical improvised unknown with no makeup, just as life can be when the feeling has control. A manifestation of improvised timelessly organic music and free creation. Real life!

File Under: Psych
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univers zero

Univers Zero: Heresie (Sub Rosa) LP
Sub Rosa present a reissue of Univers Zero’s second album Heresie, originally released in 1979. 2010 remixed version (Cuneiform Records). A classic of chamber rock music, featuring heavy use of dissonance and dark, brooding, and extremely complex melodies. Comes on limited edition orange and gold vinyl; Includes insert; 380 gram sleeve. “This music on this LP might have little to do with rock, and might also be a massive downer, but the quality of the writing and playing is extremely high. Michel Berckmans’ solo work on oboe and bassoon work is magnificent, and Patrick Hanappier’s string playing (violin and viola) also demonstrates the precision of a trained classical musician, along with demonic avant-garde scraping and howling on ‘Jack The Ripper.’ Best of all, Univers Zero never cheapens the effect of the music with any of the stock cartoon licks which are associated with the gothic genre today. Group members sound deadly serious about what they’re doing, which might call their sanity into question, but which makes for an incredibly powerful listening experience. In fact, Heresie is a stunning one-of-a-kind item that has never been duplicated by anyone — including Univers Zero.” –William Tilland, AllMusic

File Under: Experimental, Prog
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vaccina

Lino Capra Vaccina: Echi Armonici da Antico Adagio (Die Schachtel) LP
Die Schachtel present unreleased material from Lino Capra Vaccina on Echi Armonici da Antico Adagio. For fans of the Italian avant-garde, few names inspire the loyalty and devotion offered to the percussionist and composer Lino Capra Vaccina, a perfect emblem of the country’s extraordinary movement of musical minimalism. He first gained note as a member of Aktuala, creating a hybrid of rock, avant-garde, and ancient musics while incorporating a diverse number of sonic traditions from across the globe: African, Middle Eastern, Indian, etc. Vaccina’s career as a composer has been marked by two distinct features: an incredibly high bar of quality and ambition, and a tragically slim recorded output. Following his departure from Aktuala, he worked extensively with others — Juri Camisasca, Franco Battiato, etc. — and within the short-lived super group Telaio Magnetico, but his astounding solo efforts have been slow to emerge. In 1978, he released the legendary LP Antico Adagio (DS 027CD/027-1LP), and wouldn’t be heard from again until 1992’s equally extraordinary L’Attesa. Fortunately, the Milan based imprint Die Schachtel has embarked on a multifaceted project of reissuing Vaccina’s hard-to-find LPs for a new generation, as well as offering a range of stunning, unreleased archival recording. Echi Armonici da Antico Adagio falls into the latter category, but it is nothing short of a momentous event. Echi Armonici da Antico Adagio draws on the same body of recordings from which Vaccina’s masterpiece Antico Adagio also grew, entering an already shimmering stage. The album is a revelation, a lost, towering artifact of the Italian avant-garde. It features two sidelong works of pulsing, hypnotic, ritualistic drone with Vaccina’s percussion — gongs, bells, and cymbals — threaded by sustained tones, generated by the voices of Juri Camisasca and Dana Matus. Flirting with the outer-reaches charted by Buddhist and African music, it is a trance-inducing, meditative, cosmic world of sonic interplay. Sheets of resonance, stunning harmonic interplay, and intricate rhythms rise as one. Both performances — immersive, beautiful, deeply moving, rewarding, and intellectually rigorous — reveal themselves slowly at every return. Nearly forty years after its rhythms, tones, and ambiences imprinted themselves onto tape, Echi Armonici da Antico Adagio is unquestionably one of the most important albums to appear in 2017. Silver and gloss varnish print with printed inner sleeves housing a transparent anti-static record sleeve; Edition of 300.

File Under: Experimental, Avant Garde, Electronic
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girls

Various: Girls in the Garage 1 (Past & Present) LP
Prior to Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Courtney Love, and other era-defining women in rock, there were the girls in the garage. Like their male counterparts discovered, being in a band was not only cool and alluring, it was sexual and ultimately political, without making a “political” statement. The garage band was a medium that enabled a voice to be heard, an adolescent fury of angst and frustration or plain old hormones. Girls In the Garage captures the raw essence of those juvenile dreams played out through guitars, drums, mics and amplifiers. Prevailing gender roles would be tested, as rock ‘n’ roll became someone else’s domain. The arrival of rock ‘n’ roll and the teenager not only belonged to the boy next door, it aroused the aspirations and emotions of girls. Although it’s been said that it was rare for a girl group to play on their own records in the mid-1960s, they were not alone. On both sides of the Atlantic, cynical and shrewd producers largely employed session musicians, afraid of any conceivable faults at the hands of such young and innocent hands, male and female. The ones who didn’t were bold visionaries that believed not only in a new generation’s ambitions, but capabilities too. As the rise of a female presence in rock ‘n’ roll rose through the appearance of figures such as The Vejtables’ Jan Errico, the Honeycombs’ Honey Lantree, and the fabulous Maureen Tucker (whose deliberately primal technique is such an undervalued part of the Velvet Underground’s sound), so too did the rise of all-female bands. Liverpool’s Liverbirds and Hull’s Mandy And The Girlfriends gave weight to the idea that it was “normal” and paved the way for likeminded girls to drop the dream boy and pick up the guitar. Although, the prevailing attitude amongst both major and independent record labels was never going to be inspiring or welcoming, like the wailing blues mamas such as Memphis Minnie or Jessie Mae Hemphill, times were-a-changin’ and girls didn’t just want to have “fun”. Emerging groups such as the Pleasure Seekers, White Boots, Ace Of Cups, The Bittersweets, and The Luv’d Ones were playing rock ‘n’ roll on their own terms whilst breaking new ground — whether they were trying to or not. Features: Denise & Co., The Puppets, The Models, The Chymes , The Bittersweets, The Interpreters, The ID, The Glass Opening, The Belles, The Luv’d Ones, Kim And Grim, Lydia Marcelle, The Continental Co-Ets, The Beatle-Ettes, Cathy Rich, and Althea And The Memories. Comes on 180 gram yellow colored vinyl; Includes full-color four-page booklet.

File Under: Garage

natura

Various: La Natura e L’Uomo (Intervallo) LP
Intervallo present a reissue of La Natura E L’Uomo, originally released in 1973. Intervallo’s third reissue in the incredible series of nature-themed libraries originally released in the first half of the ’70s by Cardium, Chic, Nereide, Musical, Rhombus, Spring, and Weekend labels. Real hardcore collector items which gave birth to a small cult during the last four decades. La Natura E L’Uomo, (Italian for “nature and mankind”), first came out in 1973; despite being part of the same series as Biologia Marina (1973) and Ittiologia (1973) (part of Intervallo’s reissue series), it is actually a different affair, in which the avant-garde urge partly leaves room for sweeter, acoustic atmospheres. But there are also amazing examples of ambient experimentations such as “Protozoi” or “Venus”, both featured in two versions. The main characters of this release are pretty much the same ones we met in the other volumes: Alessandro Alessandroni, Franco Tamponi, and Amedeo Tommasi. La Natura E L’Uomo also introduces two new names: Marco Di Marco, author of the tracks with a more definite easy listening mood, is a pianist and a jazz composer from Bologna, while the alias Kema hides Alessandroni’s wife, the amazingly talented Giulia De Muittis, who was an equally formidable force. She and her husband are responsible for the most enticing tracks of the album: “Bassa Marea”, “Pescatori”, and “Venus”. Edition of 400.

File Under: Italian, Library

…..Restocks…..

Tim Buckley: Goodbye And Hello (Rhino) LP
Coil: New Backwards (Important) LP
Judy Collins: WIldflower (Rhino) LP
Darkthrone: A Blaze in the Northern Sky (Peaceville) LP
Aretha Franklin: Aretha Arrives (Rhino) LP
Golem: Orion Awakes (Mental Groove) LP
Grateful Dead: Smiling on a Cloudy Day (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
La’s: s/t (Rhino) LP
Metallica: … And Justice for All (Elektra) LP
Metallica: Kill ‘Em All (Elektra) LP
Roberto Musci: Tower of Silence (Music From Memory) LP
Outkast: Atliens (Legacy) LP
Psychic TV: Force The Hand of Chance (Angry Love) LP
Tragically Hip: Trouble at the Henhouse (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Up to Here (Universal) LP
Whitehorse: Panther In The Dollhouse (Six Shooter) LP
Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal) LP
Amy Winehouse: Frank (Universal) LP
Amy Winehouse: Lioness (Universal) LP
X-TG: Desert Shore/Final Report (Industrial) LP
Yamasuki: Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki (The Great Thunder) LP

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