…..news letter #785 – solder…..

Not the heaviest week in the last couple of months, but hot damn there’s some killer sides in this week. If you haven’t heard it, listen to the Midora Takada record. Incredible! As you may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….

…..Pick of the Week…..

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Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW/Palto Flats) LP
Highly recommended! Comes in a Stoughton “Tip-On” jacket; Includes printed inner sleeves. Palto Flats and We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present the highly-anticipated reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s sought after and timeless ambient/minimal album Through The Looking Glass, originally released in 1983 by RCA Japan. Considered a holy grail of Japanese music by many, Through The Looking Glass is Midori Takada’s first solo endeavor, a captivating four-song suite capturing her deep quests into traditional African and Asian percussive language and exploring contemplative ambient sounds with an admirably precise use of marimba. The result is alternatively ethereal and vibrant, always precise and mesmerizing, and makes for an atmospheric masterpiece and an unparalleled sonic and spiritual experience. Midori Takada is a composer, multi-percussionist, and theater artist renowned in Japanese vanguard circles. Midori has released two solo albums: Through The Looking Glass and Tree Of Life (1999) and wrote music for Tadashi Suzuki’s theater plays. Her hypnotic, minimalist music is based in the concept of coherence between sound and the human body. She performs solo on marimba and other percussion instruments. She debuted on the scene of Berlin Philharmonic, performing with the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin just after graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1974. She continued her career with solo concerts in Japan and abroad. In the 1980s, Midori began to explore the traditional music of Asia and Africa. Her fascination resulted in joint projects with Kakraba Lobi from Ghana, Lamine Konte from Senegal, Farafina Band from Burkina Faso, and Korean musicians: zither player Chi Seong-Ja, flute player Won-Il, and saxophone player Kang Tae-Hwan. She also led Mkwaju Ensemble’s innovative percussion project and still performs with free-jazz band Ton-Klami with Kang Tae-Hwan and jazz pianist Masahiko Satoh. Takada’s compositions have a remarkable way of affecting the imagination. Her minimalist, contemplative music is filled with the concept of infinity and reminds us of a moon voyage, falling stars, a journey into the ocean, or a walk in the garden. The trans melodies, initially simple, begin to loop and splinter, their rhythm breaking and thickening, slowly drawing the listener into another reality. This fully licensed reissue comes with extensive liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical, Minimal, Japan
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…..new arrivals…..

6lack

6Lack: Free 6Lack (LVRN) LP
In tomorrow… Free 6LACK is the dark and moody debut studio album from rising Atlanta, GA R&B/hip-hop recording artist Ricardo Valentine aka 6LACK. Largely produced by go-to-guy Singawd and Nova, his candid lyrics and hypnotizing melodies are undeniably present in the emotional singles “Ex Calling” and “PRBLMS.” Peaking at No. 5 on the US Billboard Rap Albums Chart and No. 8 on the US Billboard R&B Albums Chart, Free 6LACK is a testament to 6LACK’s uncanny ability to inspire a new generation of R&B. “I wanted [the album] to serve as kind of a statement for everything, summarize the last five to six years of my life,” he tells Billboard. “I wanted to make a statement that I’m free from my older relationships and I’m free from all ways of thinking and my old feelings.”

File Under: R&B, Hip Hop
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children

Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. Children of Alice have been quietly producing amorphous and intoxicating soundscapes as part of the Folklore Tapes collective for a number of years now, beginning in 2013 with “Harbinger of Spring” on the shared Ornithology release. This poetic conjuration of rebirth and new growth was the first unfurling of post-Broadcast creation from James Cargill, one half of the personal and artistic relationship at the heart of that epochal and increasingly feted band. The name Children of Alice was chosen as an act of tribute to the late Trish Keenan, for whom Alice in Wonderland and in particular Jonathan Miller’s summerhazy 60s idyll of an adaptation, was a presiding inspiration. The name invokes her abiding spirit and also creates a sense of continuity with the evolving Broadcast soundworld, which became more concentrated and individual as it refined itself and adapted to new configurations.  The group (or perhaps we should call them a collaborative triad, since they occupy island territory far removed from the familiar shores of rock, though still keeping it in vision on the far horizon) consists of Cargill along with his former bandmate Roj Stevens (who played keyboards in Broadcast) and Julian House, co-founder of Ghost Box records, whose distinctive graphic design work also gives the label its signature look, and hidden prestidigitator behind The Focus Group. This self-titled LP brings together their entire output to date, on their first widely available release.

File Under: Abstract, Ambient, Electronic, Broadcast
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Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Danza Del Molinero, originally released in 1972. This is the first album by these Catalan psych-progsters. Traditional Spanish songs receive a psychedelic/progressive/jazz-rock treatment with a tremendous rhythm section (drum breaks galore), fuzz-tone guitar, Hammond and analog keyboards, piano, and occasional string arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, Goblin, Arzachel, Le Orme, Collegium Musicum. Master tape sound. Original artwork in gatefold sleeve; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.

 File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock
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Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen Vivir (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Farsa Del Buen Vivir, originally released in 1974. This second album by Fusioon is one of the masterpieces from the ’70s Catalan/Spanish psychedelic and progressive scene. Produced by the great Josep Llobell, you’ll find here plenty of Hammond, Moog, effects, a solid rhythm section, distorted lead guitar, and highly inventive arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, The Nice, Focus, Goblin. Master tape sound. Original artwork; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.

File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock, Psych
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growing

Growing: Disorder (Important) LP
Disorder marks a few milestones for the band Growing; it is their ninth full-length release, in the fifteenth year of their band, as well as their first record in almost six years. Though this is their first record in quite some time, this by no means a reunion record. When asked, Joe DeNardo stated “We never ‘stopped’ doing Growing, it’s just that it was tough living on two different coasts. We work kinda slow so I think it just took us a while to adjust to how to make it work with the distances. As Kevin kind of built up his home studio in Olympia over the years, it got to a place where we couldn’t not use it for Growing – it’s such a great isolated spot to hunker down and chisel out some tunes.” With an entire country between the them, Kevin Doria has been focusing his energy on his Total Life project, releasing a handful of releases and touring with Fuck Buttons, GodSpeed You Black Emperor and a host of others. DeNardo has spent the last few years making various music-themed films and performing under the Ornament moniker. At first listen, one may be tempted to refer to this as “return to form” for the band: sonically heavy side-long pastoral excursions being a hallmark of their earlier recordings. But Disorder stands more as a refinement of Growing’s evolving sonic palette, employing dissonance as liberally as harmony, delivering the listener’s ear to a rather unsettling “comfort zone”. The effect could be stated as one of submersion. “Kevin’s Total Life records and live set really inspired me to take a look at a much simpler setup.” DeNardo went on to suggest, “I don’t think I succeeded necessarily, but the way he maximizes his sound sources really blew me away. And I think it affected what I was recording for Ornament, and so when we got to jamming for the record, it sort of evolved from that. We recorded to four-track reel-to-reel, it was a pretty minimal setup. It seems like a heavy record to me, these slow, subtle shifts that feel like a bad trip sometimes.” Disorder is neither revival nor bookend for Growing. Disorder is another mile marker on the long open road, both figuratively and literally. Double-sided, screen printed jacket by Neil Burke @ Monoroid; Heavy duty virgin vinyl; Edition of 250 copies.

File Under: Drone, Ambient
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mogard

Abul Mogard/Maurizio Bianchi: Nervous Hydra/All This Has Passed Forever (Ecstatic) LP
Ecstatic’s stunning split release between Maurizio Bianchi, godfather of the Italian industrial noise scene, and Abul Mogard, the much loved and hyperstitious synthesist, conjures a spellbinding testament to the transcendent and transportive energies of electronic music. Although appearing to starkly contrast on the surface, both artists’ work patently shares a lust for the suggestive abstraction of raw current and its pareidolia-like capacity to generate rich and uncanny emotional responses from the end user. On the A-side, Maurizio Bianchi serves the obfuscated, coruscating atmosphere of “Nervous Hydra”; a 17-minute piece of sunken, desiccated harmonic structures and warped greyscale tones rinsed with ET radio signals and distant percussion that recall the sound of embers landing on tinfoil or snow. It evokes the experience of being caught in a quietly raging whiteout with only a dying fire for company, or equally a sense of subaquatic, amniotic serenity prior to being evacuated into a much colder world. Listeners can trust that the Italian artist’s first new work in several years is faithful to his ever-uncompromising oeuvre, but there’s also a tantalizingly elusive sense of redemption buried deep in there which marks it out from the rest of his canon and close to the work of his antecedents such as Kevin Drumm and Jim Haynes. In that piece’s tempestuous wake, Abul Mogard brings a sense of soothing, glacial calm with “All This Has Passed Forever” on the B-side. For 16 blissed minutes, Mogard spells out a nostalgic fantasy in creamy strokes of Farfisa organ and Serge modular synthesizer recorded at EMS studios, Stockholm, and later combined with field recordings to elicit a wistfully widescreen paean to his days on the workshop floor accompanied by the harmonious drones and cacophony of heavy machinery. No matter the piece’s provenance, though; it’s simply a sublime example of Abul Mogard’s gift for illusive, suspenseful ambient music which has seen his previous releases sky-rocket in second hand value since their earliest, sold-out editions. Over 30 minutes of ostensibly contrasting yet subtly, similarly spirited pieces that speak to the mystery and enigma of electronic music’s tortured, searching and romantic soul in equal measure. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering; Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient

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Max Richter: Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Following the success of Sleep, Max Richter reveals his latest recording project – a new album entitled Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works. It’s drawn from his music to Wayne McGregor’s award-winning Royal Ballet production Woolf Works – inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – and will be released on Deutsche Grammophon.  Just like the ballet, Richter’s new album has a three-part structure, built around themes from three of Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Fragments from her letters, diaries and other writings are woven into the work, with spoken words from Gillian Anderson, Sarah Sutcliffe and even Woolf’s own voice, reading the essay Craftsmanship from a 1937 BBC recording. Max Richter explains: “When we began to discuss making the ballet, I hunted around for material of all kinds, photographs, memoirs, biographies. I never expected to find a recording of Virginia Woolf – this is the only one to survive. It’s like a tremendous time machine which allows you to hear her voice and wonderful use of language. I’ve used spoken-word elements quite often in my work, so to come across Virginia Woolf reading her own words was like a Christmas present. That lit the fuse for the musical language of the ballet’s first act, based on Mrs Dalloway, and the piece grew from there.” Richter’s new album, which stems from his longer score for Woolf Works, features a vast palette of sounds – from solo instrumental and orchestral episodes, to electronic textures and music for wordless soprano. It opens with the chime of Big Ben, whose unmistakeable sound can still be heard above the noise of London traffic from the distance of Gordon Square in Bloomsbury, where Virginia Woolf lived before her marriage to Leonard Woolf. Woolf’s suicide note, her heart-rending farewell letter to her husband, read by Anderson, sets the contemplative atmosphere for Tuesday, the album’s final and longest track. The piece develops from the sound of breaking waves into a plaintive solo melody, constantly repeated yet ever-changing, and grows to become a dream-like meditation on life and death. “My approach goes back to the aesthetic pleasure of simple, well-made things,” Richter observes. “I believe ‘Tuesday’ connects to minimalism in painting and architecture; within the realm of what people call spirituality, it connects to Zen Buddhism. All those things flow together in the striving for the maximum from the minimum.”

File Under: Modern Classical, Electronic
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sjob

SJOB Movement: Friendship Train (Cultures of Soul) LP
“SJOB Movement’s Friendship Train was the second LP by the group and one which saw the group rise to new heights. It’s a masterpiece of African music with its fluid Afro beat grooves and spaced out Moog synthesizer sounds. Here is an excerpt from the liner notes written and researched by Uchenna Ikonne: ‘Prince Bola Agbana might hardly be the most immediately recognizable name in the constellation of Nigerian music stars, but for a significant portion of the last half-century he labored in the shadows, dutifully serving as one of the key movers in its development: An in-demand session musician. An early and respected exponent of funk. A catalyst in the retrofit of juju into a modern pop genre. Most of all, though, he is recognized as the founder, leader, drummer and principal vocalist of the SJOB Movement. SJOB: Sam, Johnnie, Ottah, Bola. For a moment in the mid-1970s, they were le dernier cri in modern Nigerian music, representing the next step in the evolution of Afro rhythms, and a new paradigm for the band economy. Their first album, 1976’s A Move in the Right Direction, was a minor sensation and was swiftly followed by Friendship Train in 1977. Then it appeared that the movement stopped moving, and SJOB disappeared from the scene.”

File Under: Funk, Soul, Afrobeat
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tomlinson

Rick Tomlinson: Phases of Daylight (Voix) LP
Rick Tomlinson of prog-folk luminaries Voice Of The Seven Woods unveils his latest album in the form of the brilliant ‘Phases Of Daylight’. Starting with the minimal horns and electro-acoustic chattering of ‘Final Sunrise Morning’, setting a languid but perceptible arc of crescentic bliss with GYBE-esque melodic counterpoints and stark icy minimalism. We see some more of the spacious and fulfilling ambient echoes skittering around in follower ‘Cloud Hum’ but rather than the steady swelling drone of horns, we get tuned percussives rattling around the stereo image, forming the titular hum around organic sweeps and reverberating dusted echoes. The solar interlude is a beautiful and hauntingly brittle acoustic piece, centred around a reticent plucked string riff, which sets the scene perfectly for the spacious rainforest chimes and sparse percussive elements in ‘Daylight Phase’. More often than not, true musical beauty can be distilled down to one or two elements, surprise artifacts in an otherwise expected outcome, and Tomlinson manages to make the most of this fact by keeping everything he does within the realms of improbability. ‘Visual Spirit’ is a prime example of this, with its soaring drone motif being punctuated with tickles of metallic percussion before segueing into a primal and glimmering eastern-influenced swell of sound, bringing together all of the previusly assembled instruments into a perfectly arced cacophony of percussion, drone and melody. Following on from the cosmic binary space-station radio interference of ‘Nail House’, rife with frequencies felt if not necessarily heard individually, the mesmerising alt-folk majesty of ‘Living Stream’ brings us to a crepuscular and fitting end with its driving acoustic motif and stabbing percussion. A mesmerising and beguiling collection of patiently forged sounds, beautifully collated instruments and curated with a defness and restraint rarely heard in experimental music today. Haunting, visceral and beautiful.

 File Under: Folk, Ambient, Experimental
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zeitkratzer

Zeitkratzer: Performs Songs From Kraftwerk 1 & 2 (Karlrecords) LP
Karlrecords celebrates its tenth birthday, and Zeitkratzer celebrate their 20th with necessary re-interpretations of early compositions by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. Founded in 1997 by Reinhold Friedl, Zeitkratzer have since been creating an impressive catalog of recordings that embraces 20th century avant-garde composers (Cage, Stockhausen, Lucier) as well as electronic artists (Carsten Nicolai, Terre Thaemlitz) or underground experimentalists like Throbbing Gristle or Column One. In their 20th anniversary year, the critically acclaimed ensemble will release a series of diverse albums that will explore new grounds in the typical, adventurous Zeitkratzer way – the first of these albums is dedicated to Kraftwerk and their early, kraut-esque albums Kraftwerk (1970) and Kraftwerk 2 (1972). As Kraftwerk never re-released these albums, Zeitkratzer gave its best to cover the first tranche of the songs. Recorded in Marseille/France in May 2016, the six tracks reveal a bucolic and even psychedelic aspect of the ensemble that’s mostly known (or feared) for its interpretative and aesthetic acerbity. And yet there’s no doubt that Songs From The Albums “Kraftwerk” And “Kraftwerk 2” is a true Zeitkratzer recording in the best and fullest meaning. Zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl are: Frank Gratkowski – flute, clarinets; Elena Kakaliagou – french horn; Hilary Jeffery – trombone; Reinhold Friedl – harmonium, piano; Didier Ascour – guitar; Maurice de Martin – drums; Lisa Marie Landgraf – violin; Burkhard Schlothauer – violin; Elisabeth Coudoux – violoncello; Ulrich Phillipp – double bass. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl; Includes insert and download code; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Classical
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Various: Buzzsaw Joint Cut 2 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee present Cut 2 of the Buzzsaw Joint series, compiled by Astro138 and DJ Zorch. Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! This second deep cut, coming from two city of angels record demons, unearths more strange sounds from times past. Astro138 and DJ Zorch created The Vinyl Record Association, an online haven where a global network of rare record fanatics and friends regularly share favorite spins. They can also be heard on Radiocore.org. Sixteen blistering buzzsaw selections from Astro138 and DJ Zorch, all recorded between 1956-1962. Features: Cy Wagner Orchestra, Shades Of Rhythm, Dave Osborn, Whispering Pigg, The Bikinis, The Gimicks, J.J. Jones, The Pharaohs, Los Twisters, Doug Powell, Duke & The Ambers, Charlie Daniels, The Altecs, Billy Preston, The Merrylanders, and The Dream Girls.

File Under: Rock n Roll, Rhythm & Blues

…..Restocks…..

Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (Ardent) LP
Big Star: Radio City (Ardent) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Sire) LP
Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sound) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Music on Vinyl) LP
Duke Ellington: At Newport (MoFi) LP
Flaming Lips: Clouds Taste Metallic (Warner) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead (Warp) LP
Marvin Gaye: How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Motown) LP
Grateful Dead: s/t (Rhino) LP
Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Isaac Hayes: Black Moses (Enterprise) LP
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
The Knife: Deep Cuts (Mute) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Alison Krauss: Windy City (Universal) LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Legend (Universal) LP
Meters: Fire on the Bayou (Reprise) LP
Nails: Abandon All Life (Southern Lord) LP
Nails: You Will Never Be One of Us (Southern Lord) LP
Necks: Unfold (Idealogic Organ) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 Chambers (Get on Down) LP
Richard Pinhas: Reverse (Bureau B) LP
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
The Shins: Heartworms (Sony) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sublime: s/t (Universal) LP
Sublime: 40oz to Freedom (Universal) LP
Gabor Szabo: Sorcerer (Impulse) LP
Tanya Tagaq: Retribution (Sixshooter) LP
Teenage Bandwagon: Bandwagonesque (Music on Vinyl) LP
Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones (Island) LP

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…..news letter #784 – case…..

Well, just when we thing it’s spring, it starts to snow again! As long as it gets this out of it’s system before April 22nd cuz you know what that is right? Everyone’s favorite day to line up outside to buy all the records! If you haven’t seen, the rumored RSD list is starting to float around, but next week the official list drops. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. Enjoy….

…..pick of the week…..

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Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier
The new Brio is here! The Brio has a completely new case to house its improved circuits and parts. It now sits in a fully aluminium two-part case which boosts the Brio’s heat sinking capabilities and improves on Rega’s already solid build quality and reliability. The new Brio has a cleverly integrated headphone socket specially designed to avoid interference with the audio circuit when not in use and as you would expect, a very high specification moving magnet phono stage is built in as standard. Throughout the design process the Brio has been meticulously improved in every aspect, from the quality of materials to the manufacturing process, to make this new Brio a step ahead in Rega’s engineering and design for amplifiers.

File Under: Gear, Rega, Amps

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…..new arrivals…..

anohni

Anohni: Paradise (Secretly Canadian) 10″
The revelry of 2016’s Hopelessness helped reinvent Anohni (fka Antony and The Johnsons) in the mold of staunch political agitator. Self-aware and self-flagellating, Anohni speaks of deep concern for our very livelihood, as a species and as a civil society. Critically acclaimed, Hopelessness came to represent a new and necessary musical language. Anohni’s Paradise EP is the extension, into 2017, of a language of protest and distress. The songs – already featured in her arresting live performances – were made during the same sessions as Hopelessness, but rather than trimmings or bonus material, they are, instead, unique touch points for old problems and newly minted geo-political crises writ macabre. Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never co-produced the EP. Available on 10″ vinyl with art featuring portraits of the performers at Anohni’s worldwide shows.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
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Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Elements (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0030). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “What reveals itself in the über energetics on display here is the ability of one quartet to take so much for granted and yet express so much in the process. Van Hove, for instance, shuns all conventions in his approach to the piano: he quotes Liszt and Schubert as well as Ellington and Peterson then wipes all of them out with his elbows as if erasing a chalkboard. His ‘Florence Nightingale’ is a perfect example. Texturally, he creates diversions from the fury while never disengaging from it. Brötzmann and Mangelsdorff are out and out challenging each other to see who can destroy their instruments first, and Han Bennick is the most proactive percussionist in jazz history. His use of anything and everything while simultaneously playing a trap kit that creates time is astonishing. Elsewhere, on Brötzmann’s ‘Elements,’ African percussion and slow, long opened tonal drones by Mangelsdorff create a backdrop for the other two to explore without rushing in. Brötzmann enters almost tenderly, looking for a room to exit out of, but engaging himself in the microtonalities created by the rhythm section. Van Hove’s long augmented chords create a mode for not opening but splintering that exit and Brötzmann ushers the band through in a hurry heading for the outer reaches of the possible. . . . one of the best documents of the period on any continent.” –Thom Jurek, AllMusic, 1991

File Under: Free Jazz

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Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Couscouss de la Mauresque (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “Brötzmann’s regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he’s updated his playing all the way. On ‘Couscouss De La Mauresque’, for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann’s wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff’s technique doesn’t hinder his fire, either, and he’s well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you’ll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist’s solo on ‘Couscouss’. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout.” –Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972

 File Under: Free Jazz

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Brotzmann/Van Hove/ Bennink + Mangelsdorff: The End (Cien Feugos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0050). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “The great thing about this trilogy/set is how naturally everything flows. . . . each subdividing of the group, each solo excursion, feels smooth and logical, as though the player(s) in question had nodded to the others as if to say ‘Gimme a minute here, I’ve got an idea,’ and received assent in response. There’s all the ferocity any free jazz diehard could ask for, but it never goes on so long that it becomes schtick, and it’s always countered by passages that are genuinely beautiful in the most conventional, you-could-play-this-for-your-mom sense. Even without Mangelsdorff, Brötzmann, Van Hove and Bennink were a remarkably empathetic and attuned team, and when he joined them (and these records document their second and third times playing together, ever), everyone’s game was raised.” –Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance, 2013

File Under: Free Jazz

cannibale

Cannibale: No Mercy For Love (Born Bad) LP
In tomorrow… Still unknown in rock territory, French band Cannibale gets its name from its “kind of exotic garage” music whose humid tropical groove is slowly eating up all the stereotypes about Born Bad Records releases. If there’s cannibalism to be found in No Mercy For Love, it’s in reference to the Caribbean rhythms here-and-there, and to the psychedelic sound from the backwoods that make this first album a peculiar occurrence in the land of strikes and wine drinkers. There’s never any silence with Cannibale and, as for the lambs, stick to the village in the middle of nowhere where the band members reside – a hamlet in Normandy with a total population of 300, including the cows. Rather than human flesh, these guys have been feeding on their own impatience. Lead guitarist Manuel and singer Nicolas met in junior high (which is the case for 99% of rock bands so far), but the members of Cannibale have a Frustration type profile – almost all of them are over forty. During the last twenty years, with unbending faith, these guys played in loads of bands that never made it to the top (Amib, De Rien, 7Questions, Kouyaté Neerman, Renza Bo, Blast) and even ended up playing as session musicians alongside Camile Bazbaz or Johnny Halliday. After winning the Inrocks Labs contest with Bow Low, their penultimate band, and releasing two albums with Because, the Norman guys finally decided to create Cannibale in 2016. In theory, considering the beginning of their career, or lack thereof, you couldn’t imagine you’d end up hearing the sounds from No Mercy For Love: a surprising mixture of cumbia, African rhythms and garage music. Or, if you will, a kind of missing link between Fela Kuti, The Doors, and The Seeds. A bunch of forty year-olds whose origins are as white as their soul is black. “Releasing the album in our forties, we think it’s a laugh. Of course we keep on believing, it’s all we do, it’s what’s keeping us alive.”

File Under: French, Garage, Psych
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ciulliniDaniele Ciullini: Domestic Exile Collected Works 82-86 (Ecstatic) LP
In tomorrow… Ecstatic resuscitate Daniele Ciullini’s “sonic polaroids” of odder ’80s pop, drone, and drum machine workouts in the detached dimensions of Domestic Exile: Collected Works 82-86. Compiling the Florentine artist’s standout ’83 cassette plus a whole other side of compilation obscurities on vinyl for the first time, it presents a series of brilliant, isolated self-portraits by a mail art and tape scene insider (also photographer, zine publisher) who operated on the periphery of electro-industrial and ambient zones. His music is little known outside of Italy, so all credit is due to Alessio Natalizia for bringing his wide-ranging and prescient work to a broader audience here. As Ciullini’s pal and bandmate in The Cop Killers (along with Masami Akita, no less), Vittore Baroni states on the liner notes that Domestic Exile was produced when Ciullini was in his late 20s and therefore possesses a more measured, mature approach than many of his contemporaries who were also scrabbling around similar sounds. Using the instantly identifiable Boss DR-55 and Roland TR 606 drum machines, plus a 303, Fender Stratocaster Electric, and Yamaha CD-5 fed direct to TEAC tape deck, these are beautifully concise, dynamic glimpses of a sharpened mind at work, proving equally adept at nipping shifty industrial drum patterns as well as brooding proto-shoegaze with “Soft Marble”, or European synth expressions like “Flowers in the Water”. A massive recommendation for fans of Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between (1980), early The Human League or John Bender. Compiled by Not Waving. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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cohn

Al Cohn: Cohn on the Saxophone (Modern Harmonic) LP
Al Cohn first sprung on the national scene as one of the saxophonists on the Woody Herman hit “Four Brothers,” a crazy arrangement of “Jeepers Creepers” featuring each “brother” on a wild-and-crazy swingin’ saxophone solo. Along with fellow “brother” Zoot Sims, Cohn became one of New York’s leading sax men, forming with Sims in a quintet that played in the hot beatnik jazz scene of the day, even backing up Jack Kerouac on a few poetry recordings. Cohn on the Saxophone finds our man Cohn taking the lead on a series of great jazz standards. Al’s sax voice on this session is smooth, lyrical; almost like he’s talking to you or telling a story. Dig his smooth, supple playing on “We Three,” or the gorgeously blue-toned notes he hits on “Singing The Blues” — Cohn is very much a man at home with his instrument, and the band lays back and lets him spin his tales. When Cohn on the Saxophone was originally issued in 1956, Downbeat magazine gave it the prestigious and rare five-star rating — and over 60 years down the pike it still sounds as vital and delicious as it did when it was released. This lost jazz classic is finally yours to enjoy again, pressed onto colored vinyl, and neatly slid into a beautifully restored package. Only on Modern Harmonic!

File Under: Jazz
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constant

Constantine: Hades (Bedouin) LP
In tomorrow… “The expression of two years’ field recording on the Greek islands of Kalymnos and Lesbos — deep inside a network of caves, and in the teeth of torrential winter storms — with added strings, grand piano, live drumming and orchestral percussion, in its confluence of ‘modern classical, metallic drone, dark ambient, and fuzz’. Guided by Steve Reich, Mika Vainio and Henri Bergson; haunted and spurred by the refugee crisis.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Classical
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dixon

Reverend Sam Dixon: My Soul Says Yes (Asherah) LP
In tomorrow… “DIY gospel, privately emitted from Ozone Park, Brooklyn sometime in the late 1970’s! Luckily for us, Rev. Samuel Dixon’s Samdy label stayed in business long enough to get a few copies of this deep soul children’s choir treasure into the atmosphere. Buried for 40 years, finally aloft for a new generation of homemade music fans” –Rob Sevier, Numero Group

 File Under: Gospel, Blues
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dodec

Dodecahedron: Kwintessens (Season of Mist) LP
Dodecahedron returns after four years to take black metal by the horns and launch the genre to new heights with their sophomore album Kwintessens. The band conjures a unique sound that is as alien as it is terrifying; dragging the listener through a horrific journey of atonal and dissonant moments, jarring tempo changes, and dramatic shifts in composition. Kwintessens sees Dodecahedron embrace the shifting from the light to the dark as they masterfully guide their signature style of bizarre, uneasy aggression into passages of cold, threatening calm. Kwintessens marks a new evolution for a band far ahead of their peers, and spares no one in its path of sonic demolition.

File Under: Black Metal
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jacaszek

Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly) LP
Michal Jacaszek is an absolute master of melancholy: the Polish composer who’s spun dramatic shades of darkness and light into gold for more than a decade now, from the trickle-down electronics of Treny and artful gloom of Glimmer to the vapor-trailed verses of their looming spiritual cousin Kwiaty. The album – which was inspired by An English anthology of metaphysical poetry from the 17th century – is the most vocal-driven material Jacaszek’s ever written, melding his stormy melodies with a breakout performance by Hania Malarowska (of the Warsaw-based rock band Hanimal) and the robust supporting roles of Joasia Sobowiec-Jamioł and Natalia Grzebała, with lyrics adapted from poems from Virgil and Robert Herrick.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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nouvelle1

Nouvelle Vague: s/t (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Nouvelle Vague is the revered French group’s 2004 self-titled debut. The album consists entirely of easy listening and bossa nova versions of songs that were written and recorded during the post-punk/new wave era by the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Clash, Public Image Ltd, XTC and The Cure among others. And in an interesting twist the songs were recorded with female vocalists who were unfamiliar with the tunes they would be covering. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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nouvelle2

Nouvelle Vague: Bande a Part (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Bande à Part is the revered French group’s second album, originally released in 2006. Like their eponymous debut, it’s a compelling collection of bossa nova cover versions of ’80s new wave tracks from artists like Echo & the Bunnymen, Buzzcocks, Blondie, New Order, The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees and U2 among others. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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nouvelle3

Nouvelle Vague: 3 (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. 3 is the revered French group’s third album, initially released in 2009. As with their previous releases, it consists entirely of cover versions, mostly of post-punk and new wave songs from the ’70s and ’80s. Four of the tracks are performed as duets, featuring the song’s original vocalist performing alongside one of Nouvelle Vague’s female singers. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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omari

Abdou El Omari: Nuits D’Ete Avec Naima Samin (Radio Martiko) LP
In tomorrow… First issue of this previously unreleased oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds. Nuits D’ete Avec Naima Samin is the second part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. This album contains heavenly compositions for the Moroccon diva Naima Samih and some moody instrumentals in a similar vein to the previous album, Nuits D’ete. Includes download code.

File Under: Psych, Electronic, Morocco
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pinback

Pinback: Some Offcell Voices (Temporary Residence) LP
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn’t quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn’t yet become their day job; it hadn’t yet become a well-oiled 5-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century.  Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback’s live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it’s only fitting that Temporary Residence revisit these poignant recordings – and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.

File Under: Indie Rock
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raney

Jimmy Raney: Visits Paris (Modern Harmonic) LP
By the time Jimmy Raney recorded the ultra-cool Visits Paris, he was already at the peak of his career. Having started in 1944 with the Jerry Wald band, he’d pass through a passel of great jazz combos before ending up with Stan Getz in his classic quintet. There, the guitarist became world-renowned, and just weeks before cutting this album, in 1954, he was voted the number one guitarist in the world by French magazine Le Hot Jazz. The album finds Raney on a (very) brief break from touring France, taking the opportunity to cut an album with some local musicians and putting himself very much in the foreground after having been a sideman on previous projects. He spins through a variety of songs, from his solo composition “Tres Chouette” (translation: “very cute”) to standards such as “Night and Day” and “Love For Sale” with his trademark smooth guitar style. The French band is very much up to the challenge, and the album’s bubbling energy on songs like “Too Marvelous For Words” is positively infectious. Long a sought-after jazz classic, Visits Paris is finally available again and pressed onto colored vinyl with lovingly-restored artwork. Only on Modern Harmonic!

File Under: Jazz
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realestateReal Estate: In Mind (Domino) LP
In Mind, the fourth full-length record from Real Estate, is a portrait of a mature band at the height of its power. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the band’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries Real Estate even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. On the new record, the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums – 2009’s Real Estate, 2011’s Days, and 2014’s Atlas – so beloved, and pushes their songs in a variety of compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist and vocalist Martin Courtney at his home in Beacon – a quiet town in upstate New York – In Mind offers a shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record casts the band in a new light – one that replaces the wistful ennui of teenage suburbia with an equally complicated adult version. The record not only showcases some of the band’s most sublime arrangements to date, it also presents a leap forward in terms of production, with the band utilizing the studio as a tool to broaden the sonic landscape of their music to stunning effect. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Cole M.G.N. (known for his work with the likes of Beck, Snoop Dogg, Dam-Funk, Nx Worries, and Julia Holter), the eleven tracks on In Mind deliver the same kind of warmth and soft-focus narratives that one has come to expect from the band – pastoral guitars, elegantly deployed arrangements, a sort of mindful melancholy – but there is also a newly adventurous sonic edge to the proceedings. Album opener – the ebullient pop number “Darling” – announces itself with a wash of synth tones rather than guitars. Elsewhere, on tracks like “Serve the Song” and “Two Arrows,” guitarist Julian Lynch employs a variety of distorted guitar sounds that might have felt out of place on previous Real Estate records, with the latter track stretching out beyond the six-minute mark – the closest thing to a jam the band has ever recorded. The band’s predilection for crafting airtight pop songs remains in full-effect here, with songs like “Stained Glass” and “Same Sun” occupying the same kind of rarefied universe as fan favorites like “Talking Backwards” or “It’s Real.” Glittering pop moments aside, the record’s most stunning moments are arguably it’s most restrained – “After the Moon” unspools in waltz-like fashion, while album closer “Saturday” offers In Mind’s most pointed take on moving beyond the fascinations of youth.

File Under: Indie Rock
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russell

Arthur Russell: Instrumentals (Audika) LP
In tomorrow… “Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, ‘I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.’ Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur’s ‘greatest achievements’. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur’s most elusive compositions, ‘Reach One’, and ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, ‘Reach One’ is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’ was inspired by Arthur’s work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur’s musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur’s coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time.”

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Experimental
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spectres

Spectres: Condition (Sonic Cathedral) LP
In tomorrow… The follow-up to Spectres’ acclaimed 2015 debut Dying, Condition was recorded by Dominic Mitchison and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road in London. It’s louder and more abrasive than their debut, but also a real progression. It sounds huge and adds a genuinely innovative and confrontational edge. “There were discussions about experimenting with electronics, but the idea soon petered out when we realized we still wanted to experiment with guitars,” reveals singer and guitarist Joe Hatt. As a result tracks such as “End Waltz” have a relentlessly pounding, almost techno structure, in contrast to the kinetosis-inducing dirge of “Dissolve”. Elsewhere, the almost restrained (by Spectres’ standards) white noise and wordplay of “A Fish Called Wanda” and the sprawling “Colour Me Out” are counterbalanced by brutal assaults such as “Neck” and “Welcoming The Flowers”. “On this album we became even less interested in actually playing guitar,” explains Hatt, “which meant that we got more into experimenting with the sounds we could get out of them when brutalizing them and letting the feedback do the talking.”

File Under: Noise Rock
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spoon

Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Hot Thoughts is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of Spoon’s trend setting career. With all due respect to earlier efforts which have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it is crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated. Produced by Dave Friedmann and back with Matador (third time’s the charm) helps position Spoon to mount the highest highs of their already spectacular career. Matador is overjoyed to be back in the Spoon business and in time for Britt Daniel’s spot in the pantheon of rock’s genius songwriters was well established way back – with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on Hot Thoughts, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.

File Under: Indie Rock
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drunk

Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) 4×10″
Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015’s The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The latest album titled Drunk is released via Brainfeeder and features production from Flying Lotus. Following his Grammy award winning contributions on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, Bruner delivers arguably his most ambitious work to date. Vocal features include Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell. In addition to Lamar, Thundercat has worked with a wide range of artists including Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Bilal, Suicidal Tendencies, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and more making him one of the most in demand musicians of our time.

File Under: Hip Hop, Fun, Soul, RNB, Disco, Electronic
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turinn

Turinn: 18 1/2 Minute Gaps (Modern Love) LP
In tomorrow… Outta the shadows and into the strobe-light, Alex Lewis, aka Turinn, debuts on Modern Love with a debut double-pack of sawn-off bruk-beats and anxious, nerve-riding grooves brewed in the ravines of North Manchester. Turinn emerges from a new generation of producers in the city that include longtime spar Willow, and upcoming producer Croww. Crooked and rugged, but tempered by an acute emotive sensitivity, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps renders a bleedin’ cross-section of mongrel, hybrid style ‘n pattern in a breathless, deceptively freehand fashion that comes riddled with an electric blue energy all of its own. Committing ten tracks of fractious, mutant funk and sore feels, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps serves to cap Turinn’s formative phase of production like a lead lid on a nuclear rave implosion; trapping original ‘ardcore ‘nuum, Detroit booty and dank post-punk elements in a perpetual flux of in-the-pocket grooves which ravenously attempt to split at the seams, alternately pushing into Muslimgauze-like buffer zones of distortion or resoundingly wide ambient dimensions, and often both at once. This ambiguous dichotomy is epitomized between the rare surge of quick/slow torque in “Ovum”, which almost sounds like Chris Carter sparring with Burial Hex, and then in his nod to the Italian new wave with “Elba”, which seems to find the square root between Lorenzo Senni and some skudgy as heck Kassem Mosse grind, whereas the bittersweet soul of “1625” finds compatible links with his close peer, Workshop’s Willow as well as Japan’s Shinichi Atobe and scene enabler Move D, while “Parratactico” swaggers into quantum dancehall meters. The album title track runs at a next level Detroit momentum like DJ Stingray flipping Derrick May and Carl Craig’s “Kao-tic Harmonies”, before “ESO” cuts in like a super cranky El-B wearing itchy Primark underwear, and the bone-rattling hardcore jungle of “Spawn” soon enough gives way to the sweet lad couplet of “Petrichor” and “Ondine”, where his elusive, distressed melodic touch really shines thru. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Pressed at Pallas.

File Under: Electronic, Dub, Techno
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typhonian

Typhonian Highlife: The World of Shells (Kraak) LP
In tomorrow… Typhonian Highlife is the new moniker of Spencer Clark. Clark is the ultimate shape-shifter, a trickster continuously mutating from a sci-fi hero, into a mystic guru or into a speculative visionary. As Typhonian Highlife, he assimilates juxtapositions of the natural world and fantastic technology to reanimate the manneristic tradition. His compositions envision possible futures and speculative pasts. They imagine a new vision upon mankind, as a mythical underwater creature who creates meaning through a prosaic mysticism. The World Of Shells works as an dream expedition that has overflowed itself into real time. Through continual material-world visualization, a technologically natured music unfolds as a series of movements outlining the existence of a mythological African creature. Travelling through Hollywood, Hanging Rock, Australia, and The Ear of Dionysus in Sicily, the creature was placed, and has enacted a music and art form that explores a sci-fi aquatic and wind-blown desert fusion to uncover the life and wanderings of this non-material being. Mastered by Christophe Albertijn. Artwork by Spencer Clark.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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vu3

Velvet Underground: Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes 3 (Tummy Tapes) LP
In tomorrow… The third and final installment of the massive trilogy of The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes. Recorded through a microphone jammed in the back of Lou Reed’s amp right around the release of The Velvet Underground’s third album (1969), The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury and a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing which in this set is a monolithic roar, a pulverizing electronic kaiju (strange beast) grinding the whole universe into pebble and sand. Recorded at the Boston Tea Party on March 15, 1969. Paste-on covers. Edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Rock

wilen

Barney Wilen: Moshi (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Deluxe remastered reissue of Barney Wilen’s 1972 album Moshi, featuring additional artwork and a 20-page booklet of rare pictures, sheet music, and the original liner notes. Includes a bonus DVD (packaged with exclusive artwork) of Caroline de Bendern’s 1971 film à l’intention de Mlle Issoufou à Bilma, documenting this amazing African journey. Limited edition of 1000. “In 1970 Barney Wilen assembled a team of filmmakers, technicians, and musicians to travel to Africa for the purpose of recording the music of the native pygmy tribes. Upon returning to Paris two years later, he created Moshi, a dark, eccentric effort fusing avant jazz sensibilities with African rhythms, ambient sound effects, and melodies rooted in American blues traditions. Cut with French and African players including guitarist Pierre Chaze, pianist Michel Graillier, and percussionist Didier Leon, this is music with few precedents or followers, spanning from extraterrestrial dissonance to earthbound, street-legal funk. Wilen pays little heed to conventional structure, assembling tracks like ‘Afrika Freak Out’ and ‘Zombizar’ from spare parts of indeterminate origins.” –Jason Ankeny, AllMusic

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Field Recordings
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black cat trail

Various: Black Cat Trail (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “Long before the era of digital reissues, the Mamlish blues compilation LPs served a critical role in in keeping the musical tradition alive. More than a genre primer, this meticulously curated and annotated set, featuring such key forces as Snooky Pryor, Elmore James and Robert Nighthawk, doesn’t just showcase long unavailable classics, it provides an emotionally charged, deeply satisfying listening experience.”

File Under: Blues

chicago

Various: Chicago Slickers 1948-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This issue of Nighthawk Records presents twenty-four classic recordings from Chicago’s heyday as a blues center. The rapid local proliferation of small independent labels during the postwar years and the shoestring economics practiced by their owners, fostered a fierce competitiveness more than matched in the musical community. Unfortunately, the failure of such small labels as Parkway, Tempotone and Random often obscured in extreme rarity even the most inspired performances by such regional heavyweights as Little Walter, Floyd Jones, John Brim and Johnny Shines. The resurrection of these important recordings will be cause for celebration in blues circles. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”

File Under: Blues

chicago 2

Various: Chicago Slickers 2 1948-1955 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “Chicago Slickers Vol. 2 presents another selection of the best and rarest Chicago blues recordings of the early postwar era. All of the selections included here were previously available on a limited edition double album on the Boogie Disease label, but in the many years since that important anthology was issued, several titles have been duplicated elsewhere, and thus the two discs have been re-edited down to one album of the most important and obscure sides.”

File Under: Blues

home again

Various: Home Again Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “The post-war era’s feverish outbreak of independent blues recording captured some of the mightiest practitioners in the genre’s history, and this trove of long unavailable rarities is every fan’s dream come true. With prime cuts from such masters as Sunnyland Slim, Frankie Lee Sims and the soul stirring Brother Willie Eason, this classic Mamlish retrospective is a painstakingly compiled trove of electrifying mid-century blues.”

File Under: Blues

fluxus

Various: Fluxus Anthology (Song Cycle) LP
In tomorrow… Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Fluxus Anthology: A Collection Of Music And Sound Events, originally released in 1989. Fluxus was a collaborative movement of artists that worked across the diverse artistic mediums of performance, music, dance, poetry, photography, architecture, painting, sculpture, and film during the 1960s. Emerging in New York City, and spreading to Europe and Japan, Fluxus was led by recognized artists such as George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, La Monte Young, and John Cage. Fluxus Anthology is a collection of works created by these visionary artists, featuring works by: Walter Marchetti, Juan Hidalgo, La Monte Young, Ben Vautier, Wolf Vostell, Milan Knizák, Robert Filliou, Alison Knowles, Emmett Williams, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Philip Corner, Eric Andersen, Robert Watts, and Ken Friedman. Released in collaboration with Maurizio Nannucci. Presented here on clear, 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Fluxus, Experimental

hustle

Various: Hustle: Reggae Disco (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ reissue their long-out-of-print album Hustle! Reggae Disco in a new expanded 2017 edition which now features five bonus tracks. This ground-breaking album features non-stop killer reggae versions of original funk and soul classics in a disco style. Reggae disco updates of seminal classics by Anita Ward (“Ring My Bell”), Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman”), Michael Jackson (“Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,”) Sugarhill Gang (“Rappers Delight”) here performed by Derrick Laro and Trinity for producer Joe Gibbs and more, all showing the hidden but inseparable link between the dance floors of New York, Kingston and London. New bonus tracks to this collection include Derrick Harriott’s funky take on Eddie Drennon’s “Do It Nice & Easy,” the classic disco reggae of Risco Connection’s take on McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” and the London rare groove lovers rock take on Barbara Acklin’s soul classic “Am I The Same Girl.” Hustle! Reggae Disco has been one of Soul Jazz Records’ best-selling releases since its first issue 15 years ago (and subsequently featured heavily in the early Grand Theft Auto games). This new 3LP edition comes fully re-mastered and with all original titles plus the new tracks.

File Under: Reggae, Disco

lord

Various: Lord Have Mercy (Playback) LP
In tomorrow…  “A hard-hitting collection of 27 funky, fantastic Gospel gems from the Checker catalog! Includes Gospel legends The Soul Stirrers, Salem Travelers, The Violinaires and many more, featuring beats, grooves and vocal performances that rival any of R&B recordings of the era — the best of the label’s rich heritage of music the church!” Also features: The William Singers, The Gospel Classics, Charlie Brown, Stevie Hawkins, The Meditation Singers, The Masonic Wonders, The East St. Louis Gospelettes, Meditations, The Jordan Singers, Gospel Six, The Gospel Hi-Lites, Martha Bass, and The Harmonizing Four.

File Under: Gospel, Funk, Soul

new deal

Various: New Deal Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “When Mamlish first issued this superb collection of Depression-era blues in 1970’s, it was a bellwether in the reintroduction of a critically important form of traditional American music. Featuring such striking classics as Kansas Joe McCoy’s ‘Meat Cutter Blues,’ Memphis Minnie’s ‘Keep it to Yourself’ and Peanut the Kidnapper’s ‘Suicide Blues’ this lovingly assembled and annotated set is a compelling musical tour de force.”

File Under: Blues

spiritual7

Various: Spiritual Jazz 7: Islam (Jazzman) LP
In tomorrow… Esoteric, modal, and progressive jazz, inspired by Islam and recorded between 1957-1988. Songs ancient and divine – the seventh volume of Jazzman Records’ acclaimed Spiritual Jazz series examines the influence and impact of Islam on four decades of jazz innovation. Through Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the civil rights era in America saw African American liberation politics famously associated with Islamic belief. This was not the first time that radical developments in African American cultural life had been widely and famously associated with Islam – that distinction belongs not to political or sporting giants, but to the progressive jazz musicians of the bebop generation. Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Sahib Shihab, Gigi Gryce, Idrees Sulieman, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef; all these legendary jazz pioneers – and countless more – were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam. Their faith profoundly influenced the music that they made, and the presence of prominent and innovative Muslim musicians at the heart of jazz culture in America has been recognized ever since. The tracks on this collection follow the story of Islam and jazz from the 1950s to the 1980s. Recorded by Muslim jazz musicians, they often draw specifically on Middle Eastern or Islamic music, dream of an esoteric or spiritual Afro-East, or invoke the landscape and sound worlds of Islamic Africa. Spiritual Jazz 7 presents a selection of visionary music – inspired by faith, powered by jazz. Many tracks never before reissued. Features: Maurice McIntyre, Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio with Malachi Favors & Ari Brown, Pharoah Sanders, Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Creative Arts Ensemble, East New York Ensemble De Music, Idrees Sulieman, Jamila Sulieman, Yusef Lateef, Sabu Martinez & Sahib Shihab, Abdelrahman ‘Abdo’ Elkhatib, Solar Plexus, The Lightmen Plus One, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Dawan Muhammad. Double LP version comes in gatefold a sleeve with extensive liner notes and pictures.

File Under: Jazz

windy city

Various: Windy City Blues 1935-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This first issue of Nighthawk Records documents primarily the transitional work of Southern born bluesmen who immigrated to Chicago before the Second World War, but whose careers endured into the postwar era. The lure of the major studios and the easy availability of club work on the growing South side made the Windy City the natural destination of talented blues musicians and the local blues scene was firmly established by the late 20s when the vanguard included Tampa Red, Big Bill, and Georgia Tom. The 30s brought Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Washboard Sam and Memphis Minnie while the 40s produced Robert Lockwood, Johnny Shines and Muddy Waters. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”

File Under: Blues

…..Restocks…..

Adele: 25 (XL) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (WCV) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Grails: Black Tar Prophecy 1, 2, & 3 (Temporary Residence) LP
Grails: Take Refuge in Clean Living (Temporary Residence) LP
Jonsi: Rice Boy Sleeps (XL) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Brazil (Born Bad) LP
Les Rallizes Denudes: Live 7 (Mono-Tone) LP
Stephen Malkmus: Mirror Traffic (Matador) LP
Moondog: Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jons) LP
Orb: COW/Chill Out, World (Kompakt) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Run D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Music on Vinyl) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dubmir) LP
Sleep: The Clarity (Southern Lord) LP
Colin Stetson: Sorrow (52Hz) LP
Various: Antologia de Musica Atipica Portuguesa (Discrepant) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 1 (Transworld) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 2 (Transworld) LP

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…..news letter #783 – reconciling…..

Not a HUGE list this week, but after the last few, I think we could all use some time to catch up. Lots of big releases coming up too, like Spoon, Depeche Mode, etc. Thundercat MIGHT be late. It’s not here yet but could show up tomorrow, but it didn’t sound promising…. anyway, back to my paperwork.

…..pick of the week…..

king-gizz
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
You may have missed this rockin’ slab a couple of weeks ago, and there was too much great stuff that week, so we’re bringing it to your attention again cuz it’s awesome! Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explains drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.” The Melbourne-based band plan to release five studio albums in 2017, an ambitious feat as each record will be its own unique sonic adventure.

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

ie

Budgie: Bandolier (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation. Issued in 1975, Bandolier is the band’s classic fifth full-length and last album for MCA Records. It showcases Budgie at the height of their recording and songwriting acumen pursuing a much more accessible straight ahead rock sound. It was also notable for being their first of many releases with third drummer Steve Williams whose work Bourge said “complimented the type of stuff that Budgie did. It did make the band sound a bit more tasteful.”

File Under: Hard Rock
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budgie

Budgie: In For The Kill (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation.  1974’s In For The Kill is the fourth Budgie full-length and first sans the original power trio with Ray Phillips’ drum duties being taken over by Pete Boot (his only studio release with the group). As heavy as any of the band’s early offerings, Bourge’s guitar heroics dominate the proceedings with the title track featuring a contagious boogie in the vein of ZZ Top while the 9-minute plus fan favorite “Zoom Club” finds the group truly dropping the heavy metal hammer.

File Under: Hard Rock
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budgie1

Budgie: Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation. Never Turn Your Back On A Friend was the last release from the orinal trio as drummer Ray Phillips would depart the group in 1974 and it’s home to Budgie’s best-known song, the speed metal-esque “Breadfan” which was later covered famously by noted fans Metallica for their 1998 album Garage Inc.

 File Under: Hard Rock
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buzz

Buzzcocks: Time’s Up (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to be reissuing Buzzcocks’ Time’s Up, the 1976 album of demos recorded with founder and singer Howard Devoto and originally released as a bootleg. “It’s the buzz, cock.” Devoto read this headline from a February 1976 Time Out review of Rock Follies – the 1970’s TV musical drama following the ups and downs of the fictional female rock group Little Ladies. Adapting and appropriating it for the new band that he and Pete Shelley had just formed (having just realized what a Sex Pistol was before anyone else), the Buzzcocks were officially born. Howard and Pete went about organizing the now infamous 1976 Lesser Free Trade Hall gigs that brought punk to the provinces and galvanized the Manchester music revolution. The plan was to simply play support to the Pistols and see what happened next. The rest, as they say, is history! Featuring the original line-up of Howard Devoto (vocals & songwriter), Pete Shelley (guitar & songwriter), Steve Diggle (bass guitar) and John Maher (drums), Time’s Up was recorded at Revolution Studios, Bramhall Lane Stockport on the 18th of October 1976. The session, recording Buzzcocks’ live set at the time, cost around $55 and was engineered by Andy MacPherson.

File Under: Punk
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creation

The Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
The Creation were a dynamic band with an equally engaging image, they would burn brightly for less than two years, yet would leave an indelible mark upon music history. With producer du jour Shel Talmy at the helm (The Who, Kinks, Easybeats, Cat Stevens) The Creation went on an incredible two year tear of singles, including “Making Time,” “How Does It Feel To Feel,” “Tom Tom,” and “If I Stay Too Long.” By 1968 it was over. Eddie Phillips’ trademark guitar bowing would be nicked by Jimmy Page and Boney M would cheese-up “Painter Man.” Over the nearly five decades since, The Creation has seen a tremendous resurgence in interest. First it was the Jam flossing “Making Time” on the inner sleeve of All Mod Cons. A few years later Alan McGee formed the band Biff Bang Pow and his Creation record label. By the turn of the century a new generation had discovered the band via a strategic placement in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Presented here for the first time are twenty Creation studio recordings, remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band’s story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying booklet. Numero has rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.

File Under: Garage, Psych
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dude sincerely

Dude York: Sincerely (Hardly Art) LP
The Seattle-based trio Dude York – Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums – is announcing itself with an album that couches its themes of anxiety and eroding mental health in rock tracks that amp up the sweetly melodic crunch of power pop with massive distortion and bashed-to-heck drums. Sincerely is a loud, sweaty rebuke to those moments in life when it seems like nothing is working, a testament to the power of friendship, staring problems directly in the face, and finding solace in art. Longtime Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill producer John Goodmanson and The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato helped Dude York craft a more straightforward draft of Sincerely, one based on the energy of their live show but without any superfluous flourishes. The band’s thoughtful approach to putting together Sincerely’s songs echoes the album’s overarching themes of almost-punishing inward focus. Bringing England’s straightforward drawl into the mix underscores that idea, and its contrast to Richards’ excited yelp heightens the tension on Sincerely, a chaotic, yet ultimately triumphant album that’s a vital tonic for these increasingly confused times.

File Under: Indie Rock
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gnaw

Gnaw Their Tongues: Hymns for the Broken (Consouling Sounds) LP
The Dutch master of all things nightmare Gnaw Their Tongues returns with the release of his brand new offering Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent. The new album shows Gnaw Their Tongues at the top of its game. The band started out as a studio project, but has recently started performing live, and it feels like this carefully found its way into the music. Don’t get us wrong: oppressive, bleak and claustrophobic remain the key words when describing the unique output of this drone/noise/black metal infused miscreant of Mories. The music grabs you by the throat and sucks all the air out of the room. Although it leaves little more than an anaerobe environment, the music itself feels likes it has been breathing and organically growing into this true beast of an album.

File Under: Drone, Noise, Black Metal
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addy

Granddaddy: Last Place (30th Century) LP
In March 2017, Modesto, CA’s Grandaddy will release Last Place (on Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton’s 30th Century Records), the group’s long awaited first studio album since 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat. Produced by the band’s Jason Lytle, Last Place is wry, humane, poignant, fantastical, and very beautiful; a panoramic representation of everything that has always made Grandaddy so well-loved. After Grandaddy broke up in 2006, Lytle relocated to Montana, where he happily made two solo albums, and reconnected with the natural world around him. Eventually, though, life uprooted him again, taking him to Portland, OR until he eventually returned to his former home of Modesto. The return to California was practical (he needed to be near his bandmates) but also appropriate: he had started writing songs that he felt would be fitting for another Grandaddy album. He needed to let the ideas flow until he found the perfect chemistry for what is now Last Place, which he describes as: “just enough personal stuff and just enough escapism, just enough electronics and just enough acoustic elements. The full spectrum.” The result is a perfect addition to the band’s celebrated, critically-acclaimed catalogue, that includes their breakthrough sophomore album, Sophtware Slump, and their debut, Under the Western Freeway. It’s a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones. Lytle‘s voice sounds as warm and intimate as ever, giving graceful levity to the doomsday narratives that have dominated the Grandaddy output. When it came time to release the record, Grandaddy found an ally in artist, producer, and label owned Danger Mouse who notes, “Grandaddy’s music has had a big influence on me and the new album almost sounds like it could fit between Sophtware Slump and Sumday.”

File Under: Rock
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ibibio

Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai (Merge) LP
Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro. Since their self-titled debut in 2014, the band has forged a reputation as a high-energy live act. New album Uyai (pronounced ‘you eye’) means “beauty” in Ibibio language and refers to the strength and free spirit of women in general and in particular, the courage of the women in lead singer Eno Williams’ family, to whom she often refers in her writing…”The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.” The album opens with “Give Me a Reason,” a song about the 276 Chibok girls who were abducted in northern Nigeria in 2014 and remain missing to this day. Eno challenges, “Why should girls be denied the right to education, and why should people in general not be free to be who they want to be in their life?” “The Pot Is On Fire” is a food dance celebrating the “happy place” when the food will be ready soon. “It’s also metaphorical,” Eno writes. “Something is brewing which will soon bear fruit.” Folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Electronic, Funk
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lambchop

Lambchop: Is A Woman (Merge) LP
Lambchop’s 2002 album Is a Woman is a very quiet album best heard loud. On a musical landscape of sophisticated, uncluttered melancholy, Kurt Wagner’s lyrics are given unprecedented space, allowing every guttural detail of every single word to be heard, revealing densely poetic texts as intimate as they were incisive, as comic as they were confessional. To discover the true spirit of Is a Woman, however, one need only listen to the remarkable “My Blue Wave,” one of the band’s finest recordings to date. Here, Wagner depicts a world of helpless tragedy in which comfort can nonetheless be found in the smallest of gestures, as he journeys from the contented sight of his pets – “You lay around the house…Just bones and squirrels inside your head” – to recollections of a devastating phone call from friend and bandmate William Tyler: “And William called and tried to tell me / That his sister’s boyfriend has just died / He’s not sure what to do / And I’m not sure what to tell him he should do / Sometimes William, we’re just screwed / In my blue wave.” 15 years later, Lambchop continue to confound and astound in equal measures, but this startlingly private song captures the magic of Is a Woman at its most distilled. With their sound consistently shifting and surprising, the band’s line-up has morphed and adapted repeatedly since then, but the lingering mood of lachrymose but compassionate elegance of “My Blue Wave” helps explain why this extraordinary, idiosyncratic record is now considered to be one of the band’s finest. As Wagner himself asks on “Bugs”: “Think of things and how they got this way / Way above the rest / Isn’t this the fucking best?”

File Under: Folk, Country, Rock
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fiasco

Lupe Fiasco: Drogas Light (1st & 15th) LP
A decade after Lupe Fiasco exploded onto the hip-hop scene with his seminal 2006 debut Food & Liquor, the Chicago native is closing the chapter on his career with his most visualized projects yet. The independent rapper, who parted ways with his former label Atlantic Records following the release of 2015’s Tetsuo & Youth, hits his creative peak with a trilogy of albums – Drogas Light, Drogas and Skulls – the final curtain call on one of the most gifted lyricists and visionaries to grace the mic. If anything, Drogas Light, the first delivery to fans arriving in early 2017, is a testament to Fiasco’s artistic growth throughout the years. The 14-track LP is free of restraint, and daring by his standards: the sonic and storytelling palettes are vast and diverse, more so than ever before, traipsing genre and style with ease and touting songs to soundtrack everything from a night at the club to a quiet listen on headphones. Where Tetsuo & Youth leaned into more experimental pastures, Drogas Light is the embodiment of a musician whose foray beyond the boundaries of hip-hop feels increasingly natural, a glimpse into the genius that will be Fiasco’s legacy as he inevitably walks away from the spotlight. From the start of Drogas Light, Fiasco lays his rhyming skills bare, attacking a haunted beat accented by a screwed vocal sample on opener “Dopamine” that self-reflectively emphasizes the magnetism of the album (“Over-d off of this, but don’t fall asleep ‘til the dopamine hit!” he chants). The set is dotted with several trap-inflected songs – “NGL” featuring Ty Dolla $ign is a turn-up anthem that entertains the reasons why success comes slow to many, while the Streetrunner-produced lead single “Made in the USA” catalogues the various home-grown, illicit products manufactured in the country. Fiasco has often been pegged as a socially conscious emcee, likened to peers including Common and Nas, and he lives up to the reputation on “City of the Year,” where he explores the economic disparity of Chi-town. He flexes his storytelling muscle on the hypnotic, spinning “Jump,” on which he unfolds the tale of going from a “trapper to a rapper” by supplying a female adversary with a career boost. But it’s when the album hits the relax button that Drogas Light coasts on cushy grooves: “Kill,” also featuring Ty Dolla $ign, is an after-hours ode to women who work at gentleman’s clubs, and the vamping closer “More Than My Heart” is an emotionally charged hat-tip to all the mothers who would sacrifice anything for their children. While Drogas Light is just a taste of what he has to offer in the new year, it’s yet another earmark on a track record of an artist who continually comes into new bloom.

File Under: Hip Hop
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malek

Ahmed Malak & Flako: The Electronic Tapes (Habibi Funk) LP
In the early 1980s, Ahmed Malek was already in his 50s , when he discovered synthesizers and electronic music for himself and started to experiment with sounds. The result was a mixture of ambient synth music, field recordings he made in Cuba and a wide variation of different sound experiments that he also presented as different avantgarde music festivals in Cuba and the US.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Algerian
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marling

Laura Marling: Semper Femina (More Alarming) LP
Semper Femina is Laura Marling’s sixth studio album. It was largely written on the road, following the release of Laura’s acclaimed album, Short Movie, in the spring of 2015. Its loose lyrical thread strings together her keen, freshly observed take on womanhood, and what Laura describes as a particularly ‘masculine time in her life’. It’s a record that similarly addresses questions of how society views sexuality and gender but without seeking to provide definitive answers. It retains an openness to express and portray her own ‘voyage’ of self-discovery, but also to develop and learn as artist, performer, and as an individual over the course of her career. A rich and enriching listen, Semper Femina is a typically mature and raw record by one of our most talented and prolific young musicians of a generation. The deluxe vinyl LP edition includes an exclusive live bonus disc, recorded at Martyrs’ in Chicago. This deluxe product features two 140g vinyl discs, printed inner sleeves on reverse board with embossed sigil design, and wide spined sleeve. Also comes with digital download cards for both discs.

File Under: Folk
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mono

Mono: Under The Pipal Tree (Temporary Residence) LP
Under The Pipal Tree is the debut album by now-legendary Japanese experimental rock band MONO. Released in 2001 on avant-garde icon John Zorn’s Tzadik label, Under The Pipal Tree showcased a young Japanese quartet whose wide range of influences – most notably Sonic Youth, Mogwai, The Velvet Underground, and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse – were on ferocious and ambitious display. Though MONO would eventually become known for their expert marriage of metal and classical genres, Under The Pipal Tree highlights the band’s psychedelic roots. Long stretches of hypnotic, melodic washes give way to scorching guitar freakouts that evaporate into haunting silence. It’s remarkable not just for its earnest exploration, but for its startling execution. 15 years and 8 albums later, Under The Pipal Tree stands as one of the great debut albums by a seminal underground band. Finally released on vinyl for the first time ever, Under The Pipal Tree has been remastered for the format by longtime friend and tour mate, Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The double album is packaged in all new artwork, and is pressed onto audiophile-quality 100% virgin vinyl. This stunning album has never looked, sounded, or felt better.

File Under: Post-Rock
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shins

The Shins: Heartworms (Columbia) LP
The Shins present their fifth studio effort, Heartworms. In contrast to 2012’s Port of Morrow, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and was nominated for a Best Alternative Album Grammy, Heartworms ushers in a return to the handmade. The 11-track collecion was, as always, entirely written by James Mercer, with exception of “So Now What” (produced by band member Richard Swift). Heartworms is the first Shins album to be largely self-produced by Mercer since Oh, Inverted World in 2001. Heartworms also boasts Mercer’s most diverse lyrical ptalette to date, a cohesive, yet genre defying album marked by the frontman’s distinct voice and melodic composition. Unified by his singular vision, Mercer creates a sound that is both a nostalgic nod to the album’s predecessors and distinctly new. The album’s first single, “Name For You,” is a resounding call for female empowerment inspired by his three daughters.

File Under: Indie Rock
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smith

Elliott Smith: Either/Or: Expanded Edition (Kill Rock Stars) LP
1997’s Either/Or is widely regarded as Elliott Smith’s best album, and remains his best-selling. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this masterpiece, Kill Rock Stars proudly presents Either/Or: Expanded Edition which features the original tracks carefully remastered from original tapes under the supervision of Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Studios and archivist of the Estate of Elliott Smith plus a generous helping of bonus material. The additional content features five live multi-track recordings from the Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia, WA in 1997, as well as three previously unreleased studio recordings and one b-side gem. The double LP is packaged in a gatefold jacket with an insert of the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes, and several never-before seen photos. This gorgeous collection is an essential listen for longtime fans and newcomers alike!

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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soundgarden

Soundgarden: Ultramega OK (Sub Pop) LP
This remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s Ultramega OK is a long-planned “correction” of the legendary band’s Grammy-nominated debut full-length. The album was originally recorded and released in 1988 on SST Records. While the band enjoyed working with the original producer, Drew Canulette, they soon realized they weren’t quite happy with the final mix. Thus, shortly after the album’s release, the band decided to remix the album for subsequent pressings. However, success intervened: the band rapidly scored a deal with A&M and began work on their major-label debut, Louder Than Love, and the Ultramega OK remix project fell by the wayside as Soundgarden climbed their way to (ultra)mega-stardom. In 2016, after worldwide success, a breakup, a reunion, and many albums and tours, the band finally acquired the original multi-track tapes to Ultramega OK and carved out time to dig into the remix. They handed the tapes over to longtime friend and engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard), who worked with the band to create a fresh mix of the album that, for the band, ties up this persistent loose end and remedies the sound of their debut album. While they were at it, the band dug out six early versions of tracks that wound up on Ultramega OK. The songs were recorded in 1987 on 8-track tape by Endino and Chris Hanzsek at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, and mixed by Endino in 2016. These versions feature the band in raw, powerful form – sonically closer to the band’s Endino-recorded debut EP Screaming Life – and provide a fascinating window into the development of songs that eventually became staples of the band’s set. The six songs comprise what the band refers to as Ultramega EP, and they are included in this reissue. Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the ‘80s, the band – singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, and drummer Matt Cameron – combined a punk ethos, brutal metal soundscapes, and Cornell’s ravenous roar to capture the attention of the masses. Jagged and ferocious, their music was deeply at odds with the synth-pop and hair metal which dominated the 80’s airwaves. Early indie releases, including seminal Screaming Life and Ultramega OK, quickly led to a dedicated indie following as the band toured on both sides of the Atlantic. Subsequent albums, including Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down on the Upside, achieved multi-platinum sales and launched the band to international fame.

File Under: Grunge
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temples

Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
English four-piece Temples issue their sophomore set, Volcano, on Fat Possum Records. All the elements people loved about Temples’ debut, Sun Structures, remain intact, but this time, there is a noticeable evolution presented from the outset. It’s clear Volcano is the sound of Temples squaring up to their potential, immediately evident with lead single “Certainty.” Its beefed-up beats reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. Entirely self-produced and written by all four members of the band, Temples’ melodies seem to come effortlessly. There are sun-dazed numbers and lysergic dream-pop songs and those where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. One thing is certain; it’s harder to spot the influences this time around. Mystical language has been supplanted by something more direct. They’ve been broken down and blended together – fossilized into a single source of creative fuel, resulting in a sound that is undoubtedly Temples. As described by co-founding member Tom Warmsley, “we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates outwards.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
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tennis

Tennis: Yours Conditionally (Mutually Detrimental) LP
Critically acclaimed group Tennis returns with their highly anticipated fourth full length album, Yours Conditionally. The record was composed both on land and at sea during a five-month sailing trip through the Sea of Cortez. Upon returning, Tennis’ husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore self-produced the record in a small cabin in Fraser, CO. It was mixed by Spoon’s Jim Eno at Public HiFi. Lead track, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar,” has been hailed as “a smolderingly sardonic feminist anthem perfectly suited for social climate of today” by Consequence of Sound while The Verge added that the song is “a great introduction to their sound if you’re unfamiliar: a wistful piano line, a biting, sarcastic vocal from Alaina Moore, and a little fuzz to keep things grounded.” Their newest record comes on the heels of the group’s most recent release, 2014’s Ritual in Repeat, which received rave reviews across the board.

File Under: Indie Pop
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Universal) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
John Carpenter: Lost Themes II (Sacred Bone) LP
Michael Chapman: 50 (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Shirley Collins: Lodestar (Domino) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Legacy) LP
Miles Davis: In A Silent Way (Legacy) LP
Depeche Mode: Music for the Masses (Rhino) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Rhino) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Farm (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Bug (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: I Bet On Sky (Jagjaguwar) LP
Grails: Chalice Hymnal (Temporary Residence) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (Legacy) LP
Daniel Johnston: Yip Music (EYE) LP
King Woman: Created in the Image (Relapse) LP
Lady Gaga: Joanne (Universal) LP
Led Zeppelin: I (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: IV (Warner) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Melvins: Houdini (Thirdman) LP
Menahan Street Band: Make The Road By Walking (Daptone) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Daptone) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Workout (Blue Note) LP
Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Mogwai: Rock Action (PIAS) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Arrival (DG) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Polydor) LP
Portishead: s/t (London) LP
Andy Shauf: The Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Solange: A Seat At The Table (Columbia) LP
Songs: Ohia: Axxess & Ace (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: s/t (Secretly Canadian) LP
Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Caterpillar) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #782 – full up…..

Oi! Big week, some great soundtracks and some super great reissues. As well as some sweet new releases too. Another busy evening for me here so I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy….

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…..pick of the week…..

un uomo.jpgEnnio Morricone: Un Uomo Da Rispettare (Superior Viaduct) LP
In Tomorrow… Un Uomo Da Rispettare translates to “A Man to Respect,” which can easily be said of Ennio Morricone himself—the unparalleled maestro of the soundtrack. This 1972 crime film stars Kirk Douglas as a master safecracker at a crossroads in his life, emerging from prison yet tempted by one last big job. Morricone builds the main theme around Cicci Santucci’s flugelhorn as riveting leitmotifs reprise amidst variations of noir-jazz abstraction to frame the composer’s grand vision. A strident, two-note piano phrase sets the mood of heightened tension, while muted timpani and trance-like descending bass patterns sweep dramatically across the cinematic stereo field. On “18 Pari,” slinky rhythms and softened wah-wah guitars offer a distinctly Italian library music, adding elements of lightness to the overall avant-garde score. Un Uomo Da Rispettare’s dissonant chords and angular arrangements recall Morricone’s free improvisation work with Gruppo D’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. This first-time vinyl reissue is recommended for fans of Krzysztof Penderecki, Harry Partch and Sun City Girls. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

File Under: OST, Maestro
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…..new arrivals…..

barreca

Marc Barreca: Music Works for Industry (Freedom to Spend) LP
Music Works for Industry is a layered assertion, a phrase to turn over in the mind like so many loops on these recordings. Made with performance artists, musicians, and an instrument maker, Marc Barreca has spliced multiple labors into a collective whole. Barreca’s album offers succinct electronic compositions with social subtexts. Friend and fellow musician K. Leimer names Cluster, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis as Barreca’s contemporaries. Using synthesizers and altered, modified, and looped instruments and voices, Barreca manipulates sound into minimal arrangements. Ranging from under two minutes to just over four, each song is a fragment of modern life. On the second track, “Shopping”, ominous, whooshing, mechanical sounds are layered over with light, playful tones, perhaps representative of the clash of  production versus exchange values. On “Hotcake” we hear men’s voices, chains and hissing steam in a methodical but urgent progression that could be a soundtrack to the silent film, Metropolis. “Georgetown” assembles a dark, warm, video game ambiance slowed down to a walking pace. A woman’s voice coos seductively “Nerve Roots are Uncontrollable,” on the track of the same name. And on “Organized Labor” the music wobbles along quite appropriately as a voice speaks the acronym I.W.W. and you realize he is speaking of the International Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies. On the cover is a black and white photo of a figure in silhouette, backlit at a window, softened with curtains and plants. Maybe this is the room where the music was made: a private space, a refuge from industrial work. In a way, listening to the music is entering a space without work. One can imagine photographer Chauncey Hare listening to Music Works for Industry while documenting American office interiors. Soon after, Hare was driven to leave photography and become a therapist, publishing the self-help book, Work Abuse, in 1997. Perhaps peering into industry led to Barreca’s own career move. While exploring the original cassette, we found a business card was found tucked inside: Marc Barreca—bankruptcy judge in Seattle. Material traces of the cassette are evident in the record’s packaging. The album is a new form for the reissue. But even in post-industrial times, Barreca’s music offers listeners easily consumable musings on current work conditions.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Industrial
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besnard

Besnard Lakes: Are the Divine Wind (Jagjaguwar) LP
Early in 2016, The Besnard Lakes released their finest album to date, the magisterial A Coliseum Complex Museum and toured worldwide throughout the following months. Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the couple at the heart of the band, had spent the previous summer on their annual retreat to their namesake Besnard Lake. In a place with so much personal significance, they spent time writing the music that was to form the album. Culling the tracks down to an album proved a difficult task and inevitably there were tracks they loved that just didn’t quite fit with the overall album. So it is with delight that almost exactly a year on, the band are able to release this 12″ of two brand new, exclusive tracks written and recorded at the same time as the album. “Laura Lee” is a sibling track to the album’s illustrious first single, “The Golden Lion” – spacious reverb-y drums echo around an almost sci-fi vocal line sung by Goreas. Meanwhile, the title track “The Divine Wind” is the Besnard Lakes at their expansive, psychedelic best: a sustained keyboard building through to a bombastic coda, complete with Lasek’s unmistakable falsetto. If you ever needed a reminder of just how unique, beautiful and far-reaching this band is, then The Besnard Lakes Are the Divine Wind delivers.

File Under: Indie Rock
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bevis

Bevis Frond: It Just Is (Fire) LP
Released in 1993 ‘It Just Is’ was dedicated to one of Nick Saloman’s favourite guitarists Ollie Halsall, this beautifully poignant album is stripped back similarly to the earlier Bevis Frond releases with Nick going solo. Playing everything on the record, the hard hitting ‘Desperate’, ‘What’s It All About’ and ‘Can’t Stop Lying’ are notably more downbeat whilst the psych pop of ‘Dreamboat Sinking’ and ‘Day One’s lyrics make “this album for the dedicated Frond obsessive more than anyone else” (Allmusic).

 File Under: Psych, Power Pop
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beyene

Girma Beyene & Akale Wube: Ethiopiques 30 (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Girma Bèyènè is a true legend when it comes to Ethiopian music. After an exile to the United States and a radio silence that lasted 25 years, he jubilantly accepted the invitation from the French group Akalé Wubé to return to the spotlight and perform once more. The comeback took place last September during a memorable concert alongside Akalé Wubé at the Studio de l’Ermitage (Paris 20). Tracks (Arte), Le Monde, Libération relayed this major event, which aroused many strong emotions amongst fans of Ethiopian Music. The adventure could not stop just yet… Under the direction of Francis Falceto (director of the famous Ethiopiques series) Girma and Akalé Wubé came together and recorded this album in order to immortalize this renaissance.

File Under: World, Ethiopian
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blanck-mass

Blanck Mass: World Eater (Sacred Bones) LP
As humans, we are aware of our inner beast and should therefore be able to control it. We understand our hard-wired primal urges and why they exist in an evolutional sense. We understand the relationship between mind and body. Highly evolved and intelligent, we should be able to recognize these genetic hangovers and control them as a means to act positively and move forward as a compassionate species. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Recent global events have proven this. The human race is consuming itself. World Eater, the new album by Benjamin John Power’s Blanck Mass project, is a reaction to this. There is an underlying violence and anger throughout the record, even though some of these tracks are the closest Power has ever come to writing, in his words, “actual love songs.” “Maybe subconsciously this was some kind of countermeasure to restore some personal balance,” Power explains. On World Eater, Power further perfects the propulsive, engrossing electronic music he has created throughout his impressive decade-plus career, both under the Blanck Mass moniker and as one-half of Fuck Buttons, as he elaborates upon the sound of 2015’s brilliant double album Dumb Flesh. As massive as the sonic world of the new record often feels, its greatest achievement is in its maximization of a limited set of tools, a restriction intentionally set by Power himself.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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brokeback

Brokeback: Illinois River Valley Blues (Thrill Jockey) LP
A sense of place has been essential to the music of Brokeback since guitarist/bassist Douglas McCombs first launched the project in 1995. Initially conceived as a solo outlet, the Chicago group has taken on new dimensions over the past two decades, morphing from the lean, pastoral ambience of the first album, Field Recordings from the Cook County Water Table, to the more muscular, taut arrangements and dynamic swells of the last release, Brokeback and the Black Rock, for which McCombs assembled a new quartet lineup. Each album develops with exacting detail, revealing McCombs’s gift for dialing in the essence of a mood, feeling, or distant locale with a handful of reverb-laden guitar tones, elegant and sustained, strategically placed and sparingly deployed. The instrumental landscapes he creates on Illinois River Valley Blues are utterly transportive, evoking familiar open-frontier soundtracks and charting out new sonic territory. Thematically this is McCombs’s most personal offering yet, reflecting on his early years growing up along the Illinois River corridor between Peoria and Chicago. The sepia-toned opener “Ride Ahead and Light the Way for Me” is drawn from memories of evening rides on the river with his father, while the noir album bookend “Night Falls on Chillicothe” is named for a river town north of Peoria near where McCombs’s grandparents lived. Though the inspiration is McCombs’s, the execution is wholly a group effort. With the same instrumentation and mostly the same lineup as the previous album, the band stretches its leader’s eternal fascination with the roots of American guitar music in bold new directions. A serpentine mystique runs through “Rise, Fernanda, Rise!,” and “Cairo Levee” conjures a desert atmosphere closer to the Sahara than the American southwest. Side one of the album closes with a moody, meditative take on “Spanish Venus,” a ballad written by cornetist and sometime Brokeback collaborator Rob Mazurek. Several songs feature lush, multi-layered vocals by Amalea Tshilds (the Paulina Hollers), who made a deep impression on McCombs with a spellbinding a cappella performance a couple years ago. McCombs’s singular approach to guitar and bass, characteristic of his work with Tortoise, is expertly enhanced here by James Elkington (Tweedy, Steve Gunn) on second guitar (moving over from drums on the last record). The two salute one of McCombs’s favorite bands, Television, with latticed dual leads on the stately yet aggressive “On the Move and Vanishing,” while Elkington’s subtle layers of pedal steel and organ burnish more ruminative forays like “Andalusia, IL” and “Ursula.” Their intertwining flights are anchored by the sturdy yet versatile rhythm team of bassist Pete Croke (Exit Verse, Tight Phantomz) and drummer Areif Sless-Kitain (the Eternals), the newest member of Brokeback. Illinois River Valley Blues is a winding, wistful travelogue that not only captures darker textures but mines their depths. That’s been part of McCombs’s vision for Brokeback from the start: “To me a song is not worth writing if it doesn’t have a strong sense of melancholy,” he says.

File Under: Post Rock
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astral

Coil: Astral Disaster (Prescription) LP
In 1998, Coil were invited to record at Sun Dial’s studios beneath the London Bridge Hop Exchange—a studio originally know as Samurai Studios, originally built and owned by Iron Maiden. The premises in Victorian times was an old debtors prison which had three underground levels, and still had the original chains, manacles and wrought iron doors from the old prison. This caught the attention of John Balance, who was very keen to record there. Coil spent a number of days recording at the studio during Halloween 1998. With Gary Ramon’s help, they developed a number of tracks, some of which resulted in this LP. Ramon produced and mixed the Astral Disaster recordings, as well as playing guitar and sitar on these sessions. A version of the album was later remixed by the band and released on their own label—but the Prescription mixes as released in 1999 are unique. This rare album was part of the legendary subscription-only Prescription label album series in the late 1990’s, issued in an edition of 99 signed and numbered copies, long since sold out. (If you are wondering, originals fetch £700+). This is the first time the album is being released officially since 1999. Taken from the original masters, this reissue comes with original sleeve artwork, insert, and the facsimile signatures of John Balance and Peter Christopherson that came with the first issue.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Industrial
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b85Coscia – Formini B85 (Schema) LP
Fonit’s “B 85”, part of the legendary Serie Usignolo, which bears the signatures of the mysterious Coscia (perhaps a moniker of accordionist Gianni?) and Formini, is another cult library music release: an orchestral pop record whose tracks are curiously recommended to accompany ‘viewings of vast parks, footage of agriculture, ads, moving crowds and congested traffic jams, American working-class districts’ with hilarious titles such as “Dayda”, “Schizzo”, “Palmas”, “Murlak” (which casts an incredible fuzz guitar), “Bronx” and “Ciresa Facaud”. In two words: a must! Although library music has always had the purpose of accompanying TV and radio shows, documentaries and TV news, it is difficult to track down most of these masterpieces composed by some of the greatest composers of those years. Anonymity is one of the distinctive traits of this music genre, being in most cases difficult, if not impossible, to find out where these tracks had been used. The liner notes of these works often spark the reader’s curiosity: the notes are in fact detailed descriptions of the instruments used and the atmospheres the music aimed to reproduce. Fonit’s “B 85”, part of the legendary Serie Usignolo, which bears the signatures of the mysterious Coscia (perhaps a moniker of accordionist Gianni?) and Formini, makes no difference in that sense. It is absolutely brilliant to read how these tracks are highly recommended to accompany ‘viewings of vast parks, footage of agriculture, ads, moving crowds and congested traffic jams, American working-class districts’ with hilarious titles such as “Dayda”, “Schizzo”, “Palmas”, “Murlak” (which casts an incredible fuzz guitar), “Bronx” and “Ciresa Facaud” (the latter a probable homage to Piedmont’s dialect that potentially translates in “Cherry, it’s hot!”). The music can be labelled as ‘orchestral pop’, to use terms that made Italian Library music worldwide famous. No hints of ‘country’ as the title seemed to suggest…

File Under: Italian, Library

davachi

Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
All My Circles Run is the third full-length release by Montreal-based electro-acoustic composer Sarah Davachi and her second outing for Students of Decay. In a move which may surprise followers of her previous output, the five compositions on this record eschew synthesizer entirely, each focusing on a different instrument, including strings, voice, organ and piano. What remains consistent, however, is her striking attention to detail and a commitment to tonal possibilities that characterize all of her work. The sinewy “For Strings” opens the album, with keening overtones stretching out in all directions to form a massive, slow-moving, radiant sound. “For Voice” charts an even more celestial course, as wordless vocals ebb and flow to awe-inspiring effect. The stunning, melancholic “For Piano” closes the record and is a high watermark in Davachi’s oeuvre, with plaintive piano figures nestled atop a shimmering string drone to create a rich, reverent atmosphere. All My Circles Run is a step forward from an exciting artist whose compositional and aesthetic tendencies steer her steadfastly toward both the subjunctive and the sublime.

 File Under: Ambient, Drone, Classical
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deep

The Deep: Psychedelic Moods of The Deep (Lion) LP
Expanded deluxe edition of The Deep’s one and only album, originally released in 1966 and now well-established as a psychedelic classic. One night in a darkened Philadelphia studio, the Deep (Rusty Evans, songwriting partner and producer Mark Barkan, the legendary David Bromberg, whose credits include playing with Bob Dylan and many others, plus a bevy of talented musicians) laid down tempestuous garage punkers, sweetly-twisted ballads and ambiguous weirdness, all rife with hyper-psychedelic lyrical flashes of a rolling midnight expressway through the subconscious mind. A perfect representation of the psychedelic sound: free-form poetry, infectious drum beats, fuzzed out guitar, and playfully plucked bass (and vibes and tympani and so on), swirl together, coalescing into some of the most impressive psychedelic rock you’ll hear. Cuts like ‘Your Choice To Choose,’ sound very Seeds-like or proto-Velvet Underground, Lou Reed snarl and all; others like ‘Shadows On The Wall’ and ‘Wake Up and Find Me’ are haunting acid ballads: the whole point of the album was to thoroughly explore the hallucinatory agony and ecstasy of a 12-hour Technicolor dream… although the end result is more amphetamine edgy than acid-soaked trippy. The Deep “Psychedelic Moods” pre-dates its closest kindred sprit in sound and energy (albeit not subject matter): “The Velvet Underground and Nico” came along five months later, and the world of music shifted on its axis—but too late for the Deep. This 3xLP release of “Psychedelic Moods” is taken from the original four-track master tapes. In addition to the superlative master takes, there are three sides of out-takes and alternates from the Deep original four-track session tapes. This set also marks the vinyl debut of all known recordings by Inner Sanctum (aka Hydro Pyro), another LSD trip project produced by Mark Barkan in 1966. Tip-on gatefold art has liner notes detailing the mysterious rise and fall of this New York City band. Made with full co-operation of original Deep producers, Mark Barkan and Rusty Evans. A definitive example of the psychedelic sound.

File Under: Psych, Garage
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b82

Fabio Fabor: B81/B82 – Ballabili Anni 70 (Schema) LP
Fabio Fabor is a mysterious composer and musician who wrote mostly operas, symphonies and chamber music,but also experimental and electronic library music, the latter being the case of this release: short tracks aiming to accompany radio and TV shows, orchestral Pop à la Bacharach, space age pop, hints of bossa and beat from the previous decade. Originally published by the legendary Seri e Usignolo, a sub-label of Fonit, this hard-to-find title is finally available again thanks to Schema Records. Due to an overwhelming number of reissues and to the steady and meticulous work of collectors and passionate music lovers who have been spreading the word about it, the realm of Italian library music has moved from being some kind of hidden cult to becoming a well defined niche. Authors such as Alessandroni, Umiliani, Sciascia, Tommasi and Sorgini have become more accessible to the uninitiated, while prices of the original presses of their records keep surging. Among the multitude of composers that wrote library music in their careers, Fabio Fabor is still surrounded by an aura of mystery. Born in Milan in 1920, Fabio Borgazzi (this was his real name) was a composer and musician who wrote mostly operas, symphonies and chamber music. Lingering between his love for the classic canon and pop and electronic experimentalisms, Fabor developed a parallel career as author of Italian pop music (his songs had been interpreted by popular singers as Fred Buscaglione, Nilla Pizzi e Nicola Arigliano at the renowned Festival di Sanremo) and – more interestingly for us – as a composer of experimental and electronic library music. Among the numerous releases he left, “B 81” and “B 82”, Ballabili “Anni 70” (Underground) are worth remembering: both published by the legendary Serie Usignolo, a sub-label of Fonit, these titles are available again now thanks to Schema Records. “B 81” and “B 82”, both released in 1970, are library music in its most traditional meaning: short tracks aiming to accompany radio and TV shows, orchestral Pop à la Bacharach, space age pop, hints of bossa and beat from the previous decade. If we take for good the description of “Paradiso Hippy”, one of the tracks on the record, the release is a ‘moderato pop, melodic, effectively nostalgic but vibrant’. Enjoy!

File Under: Italian, Library
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Precision 12" Elongated Spine

Funkadelic: Live – Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12th September 1971 (Tidal Waves) LP
Contained here is a unique snapshot of Funkadelic’s live performance at the height of their powers. Recorded live at Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan on the 12th of September 1971, this is the only official in-concert recording from their early career. The crystal clear recordings here (taken from the soundboard master tapes) provide you with an overdose of free-floating psychedelic black rock and spaced-out jams that can only be described as ‘Jimi Hendrix, James Brown & Sun Ra making a love-child live on stage’. This release also includes extensive & exhaustive liner notes from the Grammy-award winning professor of ethnomusicology ‘Rob Bowman’ who goes over each track in detail and also wrote down quotes from Bernie Worrell & Billy Bass. Featuring an all-star line up that includes George Clinton, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas, Ray Davis, Tyrone Lampkin, Eddie Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson, Bernie Worrell & former Isaac Hayes sideman Harold Beane.

File Under: Funk, Psych
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Precision 12" Elongated Spine

Funkadelic: Finest (Tidal Waves) LP
Compilations are tricky and hard to get right … Finest is that rare one that knocks it out of the park. This release focuses on George Clinton and crew at the height of their career & on their most renowned work. Comprised out of sixteen carefully selected tracks and covering a six-year period (1970-1976)Finest may be the best-assembled Funkadelic collection from this period yet, as both renowned band standards share space with several oft-overlooked tracks. The early tracks “I Got a Thing” and “I Wanna Know if It’s Good to You” show the band members still honing their rich ‘n’ funky sound, before they hit their stride with selections from the classic ‘Maggot Brain’ album. As a result, you get a healthy sampling of some of the best funk the ’70s had to offer, including “Hit It and Quit It,” “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks,” “Loose Booty,” “Cosmic Slop,” “Red Hot Mama,” and “Get Off Your Ass and Jam.” Finest is an exceptional sampler for those discovering the wild and wacky universe of Funkadelic. Out of print since 1997 and transferred from the original analogue master tapes, now finally back available as a deluxe Double-LP set with some of the craziest psychedelic crumb-style artwork you’ll ever see.

File Under: Funk, Psych
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copeland

Beverly Glenn-Copeland: Keyboard Fantasies (Invisible City) LP
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: Psych, New Age, Electronic
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harrison

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (Apple) 3LP
While it’s generally accepted that George Harrison bloomed late as a Beatles songwriter, there’s no denying it was worth the wait. The release of yearning masterpiece All Things Must Pass, in 1970, was like unstopping a bottle. An ambitious triple-album, it includes such unimpeachable classics as “My Sweet Lord,” “Wah-Wah,” and its contemplative title track. It also set the template for the nine studio albums that would follow. Co-produced with Phil Spector, the landmark All Things Must Pass topped the charts around the world and George became the first Beatle to have a solo No. 1 single in both the UK and America with “My Sweet Lord,” which also introduced his signature slide guitar playing. Harrison co-wrote the album’s opening track, “I’d Have You Anytime” with his friend Bob Dylan, who also penned “If Not For You.” The album also boasts a broad spectrum of all-star guests including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Pete Drake, Gary Wright, Klaus Voormann, John Barham and members of Badfinger and the Delaney and Bonnie band. “It is both an intensely personal statement and a grandiose gesture, a triumph over artistic modesty, even frustration. In this extravaganza of piety and sacrifice and joy the music itself is no longer the only message.” – Ben Gerson, Rolling Stone

File Under: Pop, Beatles
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hayward-masin

Charles Hayward/Gigi Masin: Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Volume 2 (Modern Classics) LP
Following the reissue of the entire recorded output of South London-based experimental act This Heat and its successor, Camberwell Now, Modern Classics Recordings holds the lens up to a special split album created by one of the driving forces behind those groups – drummer Charles Hayward – in collaboration with Italian musician Gigi Masin, whose looping, rhythmic, electronic compositions have seen his cult following grow in his four decades as a recording artist. Originally released on Belgium’s Sub Rosa label in 1989, Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Volume 2 is a split LP on which Masin’s eight tracks occupy side A and Charles Hayward’s long-form piece (at 21 minutes long), “Thames Water Authority”, occupies side B. Geography may have separated the two artists, who each recorded their pieces in isolation from the other, but there’s a commonality to their approach. Previously, Masin had released the inspired 1986 album Wind, while Hayward’s music had long been influenced by the landscape and society of London and the UK. For this album, the label challenged the two musicians to write about the waterways of their respective cities, Venice and London. For Masin, that meant describing the human interactions related to the Italian city’s famous landmarks. “Places, faces, memories… that’s what most of the people love to find when they travel to Venice – some kind of magic that’s deep in the city,” he writes in the new liner notes accompanying this new re-release. For Hayward, it meant describing the physicality of water, the “densities and energies” as he puts it, and the politics of it too. Writes Hayward: “Water was being privatized at the time, the profit margin had been factored in, cost-cutting was implicit, people were being poisoned. Water was a political thing; it still is.” Dive in.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Experimental, This Heat
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high-plains

High Plains: Cinderland (Kranky) LP
High Plains is the duo of Scott Morgan and Mark Bridges. Morgan, based in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, is predominantly known for his drifting, textured soundscapes released under the pseudonym Loscil. Bridges is an accomplished, classically-trained cellist residing in Madison, Wisconsin. The two met in Banff, Alberta, while they were there on residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2014. In early 2016, the duo embarked on a collaborative set of compositions in the oxygen thin air of Wyoming, spending two weeks holed up in a refurbished school house in the town of Saratoga, where this album was recorded. Inspired by Schubert’s Die Winterreise and the rolling landscapes of their surroundings, the recordings evoke a shadowy, introspective and dizzying winter journey. Cinderland takes cues from classical, electronic and cinematic musical traditions but is mostly a product of the rugged, mythic landscape: vast and sprawling with a wild, uncertain edge. The recording was made with a portable studio and all sounds were sourced on site, most notably from Bridges’ cello, the resident Steinway D piano, and field recordings collected from the local soundscape. The results are a site-specific, wide-scope view of the high valley terrain — a mix of analog and digital, neoclassical and modern electronic sounds, a complementary series of tracks to become absorbed in, a truly deep listening experience.

File Under: Electronic, Classical, Ambient, Loscil
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first-narrows

Loscil: First Narrow (Kranky) LP
This is the first vinyl issue of the classic Loscil album originally released in May of 2004. First Narrows is the third Loscil album and the first where Scott Morgan uses real instruments and input from other musicians. Sound sources ranged from sampled instruments to miscellaneous lo-fi mini-cassette recordings with Morgan generating music on computer by custom programming sequencing and processing designed so that no two performances of the patches would be exactly the same. In turn, Jason Zumpano on fender rhodes piano, Tim Loewen on guitar and Nyla Rany on cello improvise over the electronic sequences. Morgan then edited and mixed the live and premixed sections together. Contains a bonus track not on original CD.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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lusine

Lusine: Sensorimotor (Ghostly) LP
From his early releases as Lusine onward, Jeff McIlwain’s electronic explorations make up one of the more diverse discographies of the past decade and a half. Effortlessly blurring the lines between techno, electro-pop and experimental composition, the Texas-raised/Seattle-based producer’s arrangements are meticulously constructed, but also filled with emotion and soul. With an introspective turn that’s hinted at in the record title, Lusine’s fourth album for Ghostly sees McIlwain diffusing the pop-leanings of 2013’s The Waiting Room with opaque, brush-stroked melodies washing over these new buoyant productions. Sensorimotor is a visceral album, with gorgeous opener “Canop”” slowly building into an empyrean cloud of music box chimes and an amorphous thrum. The following “Ticking Hands” is just as beguiling yet also more formed, with the processed melancholy vocals of McIlwain and his wife Sarah filtered into a chilling lament that unfolds over the song’s light skitters and Kraftwerkian pulse. Sensorimotor finds other past Lusine collaborators returning as well: Benoit Pioulard’s narcotic croon loops into a swirling arpeggio during “Witness,” and Vilja Larjosto’s sun-kissed vocal melodies are spliced and splayed across the steady pulsing bass and fluorescent synth pads of “Just a Cloud,” and later on “Won’t Forget.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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canterel

Martial Canterel: Navigations Volume I-III (Medical) 3LP
Medical Records proudly presents a special limited edition of all 3 “Forgotten Tracks, Sketches and Unfinished Work 2002-2004” by Martial Canterel as a triple gatefold set. Volume I was released previously in 2013, and Volume II and III are simultaneously being released by Medical Records as standalones. Sean McBride has been producing work under the Martial Canterel moniker dating back to 2002 as well as working as half of Xeno And Oaklander. These tracks capture the allure and depth of Sean’s early work exploring rhythms and perfectly crafted pop songs using a very early incarnation of limited instrumentation. Fans of Martial Canterel’s early work (think “Austerton” and “Sister Age”) will be instantly elated. This is the first time these tracks have been released on vinyl and have been remastered for this release by Martin Bowes at the Cage, UK.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Synthwave
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hayes

Hayes McMullan: Everyday Seems Like Murder Here (Light in the Attic) LP
Bluesman. Sharecropper. Church deacon. Civil Rights activist. Hayes McMullan should be a name on every Blues aficionados’ short-list and thanks to the preservation fieldwork carried out by one of the genre’s greatest researchers some 50 years ago – it might soon be. Born in 1902, Hayes McMullan was discovered by the renowned American roots scholar, collector and documentarian Gayle Dean Wardlow. Wardlow, author of the seminal blues anthology Chasin’ That Devil Music – Searching for the Blues, may be most famous for uncovering Robert Johnson’s death certificate in 1968, finally revealing clues to the bluesman’s mysterious and much disputed demise. Moreover, in his tireless and committed mission to preserve the Blues for future generations, he captured McMullan’s raw talent on tape and on paper. Wardlow recorded these sessions, transcribed the songs and now, writes the sleeve-notes for this landmark release. Wardlow and McMullan met by chance on one of the former’s record-hunting trips, in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, in 1967. Having introduced himself to McMullan on a hunch, it turned out this unassuming elderly man had not only heard of Wardlow’s idol, Charley Patton, but had played alongside him in the 1920s, as part of a brief musical journey that took him from the plantation to the open roads and juke joints of the Depression-era South. Striking up a friendship that was deemed unorthodox in 1960’s Mississippi, Wardlow traveled to McMullan’s sharecropper’s shack and convinced him to play guitar for the first time since he quit the Blues for the Church in the 30’s. “Hayes was playing like no one I had ever heard,” Wardlow writes with amazement. Wardlow visited McMullan on a handful of occasions, always taking his recorder, a guitar and some whiskey with him. It was during these visits that Wardlow captured – with surprising clarity – the songs that make up Everyday Seem Like Murder Here. Hayes McMullan passed away at the age of 84 in 1986, his talent and legacy largely unknown. “Reflecting now on our brief time together, I marvel at the small glimpse of something much larger I was lucky to have captured,” writes Wardlow. “The few old snapshots I took, the handful of tunes we recorded, and his brilliant performance of “Hurry Sundown” captured on film are all that’s left of the musical legacy of Hayes McMullan, sharecropper, deacon, and—unbeknownst to so many for so long—reluctant bluesman.”

File Under: Blues
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meat

Meatbodies: Alice (In The Red) LP
With Alice, MEATBODIES return ascending toward ground level. A “heavy-pop” concept, metal on molly. Chad Ubovich, Patrick Nolan, and Kevin Boog step out in new form, soaring through diverse stories, tones, and characters. Dancing between quiet and loud, funk and doom, pop and noise. Their message preached is celestial and deafening, a sacred scripture for today’s world: a warbling rhodes piano, a liquifying electric guitar, a ghostly synthesizer skating across the sands of a twelve-stringed acoustic. The band digs deep into the rich soils of Earth to reveal the chaotic sensual vibrations underneath the fields we walk upon. Connecting our limbs, our mouths, our consciousness to the microcosms of the grime, all while being lit by black light. Captured wriggling and alive in San Francisco by Ubovich and Eric Bauer at The Bauer Mansion, this album is a step in the right direction, a new direction, a new way of thinking. Watching the futures, watching the world burn. Vinyl includes digital download.

File Under: Garage, Psych, Hard Rock
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melvins

Melvins: King Buzzo (Boner) LP
Melvins: Dale Crover (Boner) LP
Melvins: Joe Preston (Boner) LP
In 1992 the Melvins’ fascination / adoration / denigration of the mighty Kiss rock and roll universe compelled them to excrete out three solo masterworks inspired by the Kiss solo LPs. The first in the series is King Buzzo, from the Melvins’ giggling guitar grumpus. Four songs of atmospheric clanging and rockin’ banging. Also features the many talents, drumming and otherwise, of a famous Grunge superstar, whose name sort of rhymes with New Wave Asshole. The second in the series is Dale Crover, from the Melvins’ sleepy drum caveman. Four songs of gloomy heaviness, with Dale doin’ the drummin’, singin’, guitarin’, and dancin’. The third in the series is Joe Preston, from the Melvins’ electronic beard warlord. Three songs of fuzz bass computer drone temper tantrum. All three 12-inches reissued on vinyl after 100,000 years out of print. Each with a magical digital download included.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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minusbear

Minus the Bear: Voids (Suicide Squeeze) LP
On their sixth album Voids, Minus the Bear started with a blank slate, and inadvertently found themselves applying the same starting-from-scratch strategies that fueled their initial creative process. Album opener “Last Kiss” immediately establishes the band’s renewed fervor. An appropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before the chorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus. From there the album flows into “Give & Take,” a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratory pulse of early Bear classics like “Fine + 2 Pts” while exploring new textures and timbres. “Invisible” is arguably the catchiest song of the band’s career, with Jake Snider’s vocal melodies and Dave Knudson’s imaginative guitar work battling for the strongest hooks. “What About the Boat?” reminds us of the “math-rock” tag that followed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguising an odd-time beat. “Erase,” recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronica that the band dabbled with on their early EPs, but demonstrates the Bear’s ongoing melodic sophistication and tonal exploration. By the time the band reaches album closer “Lighthouse,” they’ve traversed so much sonic territory that the only appropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy’s thunderous bass. Not since Planet of Ice’s “Lotus” has the Bear achieved such an epic finale. All in all, it’s an album that reminds us of everything that made us fall in love with Minus the Bear in the first place, and a big part of that appeal is the sense that the band is heading into uncharted territories. First pressing on 180g vinyl with die-cut jacket. Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

File Under: Indie Rock
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monopol

Monopol: Weltweit (Medical) LP
Medical Records collaborates with their good friends Anna Logue across the pond in Germany to present the long out of print Neu Deutsche Welle cult classic album Weltweit by Monopol. Released in 1982, Weltweit was the sole output of the band. It has appropriately become quite rare and difficult to find with the resulting high prices to obtain an original copy. Inspired by the greats such as Kraftwerk, YMO and Klaus Schulze, the three members crafted an exquisite collection of pop songs played on a very impressive collection of analog synthesizers, self-builds and drum machines that were considered cutting edge at the time. The band would have recorded a second album but split up before that was possible. Members of the band continued to be involved in the music industry at least peripherally but didn’t participate in further collaborations or bands. Also interestingly, Monopol was basically a studio-only project and actually never played live (despite some TV appearances). The album has been remastered by Martin Bowes at the Cage, UK.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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firewalk

OST: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Death Waltz) LP
Fire Walk With Me is an altogether more brooding affair than the Twin Peaks series soundtrack. Badalamenti won a grammy for the title track of this LP and it’s not hard to see why- it’s dangerous, and bursting with smokey jazz thanks to Jimmy Scott. We went back to the master tapes in the Warner Archives and had this recut to fit across two LPs as the score clocks in at 51 minutes. It sounds incredible and punchy, but super nuanced too.

File Under: OST, Jazz
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peltier

Tommy Peltier feat. Judee Sill: Chariot of Astral Light (Mapache) LP
Tommy Peltier was born in New Orleans and came out to Los Angeles with his mom on his 13th birthday. A decade later he was a regular playing cornet with his group the Jazz Corps at the famous jazz club, The Lighthouse. In 1966 the Jazz Corps cut an album for Pacific Jazz and featured the fantastic Roland Kirk. In 1970, due to an injury, Peltier could no longer play the horn and looked for other means for expression. Not one to be undone, he took a few chords that he had learned from friends like Jude Sill – who became occasional collaborator, sometime lover, and lifelong friend – and set out as a singer-songwriter. None of that music saw the light until It was collected together as Chariot of Astral Light. They worked together on a lot of Peltier’s material, and Judee pops up on half of the disc handling backing vocals, guitar and organ lines. He had a house in Echo Park where he held weekly Saturday recording sessions in his front room that a number of peripheral scenesters would attend (Lynn Blessing, Wolfgang Melz, Dave Parlato, and Barry McManus – all of whom appear here). Aside from the few takes done at actual studios, the bulk of the stuff was recorded in that tiny room.

File Under: Folk
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pow

Pow!: Crack an Egg (Castleface) LP
POW! continue their danse macabre in the laser glow of hi-beam synthesizers, with a new batch of synth-punk candy that will rot your teeth: Crack An Egg. Vacuum-sealed, chrome gleaming, propulsion pounding, eyebrows arched and slightly pixelated, this album is like the cupie-doll face beckoning from a digital billboard outside your hovercraft window. From a none-too-distant dystopia and on to your turntable — VCFs slowly open across a smogged-out horizon as they urge you to take that “Necessary Call,” warn moodily against a “Cyberattack,” and inexplicably “Crack An Egg” in honor of the human race. Synthetic earworms squirm into and out of view like twinkling city lights through evening’s opaque air, feasting on terse punk skeletons. The neon is buffed to an aerosol sheen by Chris Woodhouse behind the blinking motherboards, with a streetlight or two of Gary Numan’s slanting through the door. The automatons know where the party’s at — follow them.

File Under: Synth Punk
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power-glove

Power Glove: Trials of the Blood Dragon (Invada) LP
Power Glove’s crushing, synth-heavy soundtrack to the retro-futurist adventure game Trials Of The Blood Dragon, released through Invada in collaboration with Ubisoft. The follow up to their 2013 soundtrack to Farcry 3: Blood Dragon is delivered in true Power Glove fashion, with 31 tracks of ’80s-inspired nostalgia, rippled with vast arpeggios, power synths and the odd patch of proto-house. This soundtrack will appeal to fans of John Carpenter, Lazerhawk, Carpenter Brut and Miami Nights 1984.

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Drone, Noise
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ricci

Vito Ricci: A Symphony for Amiga (Intellegent Instruments) LP
“Last year’s stunning Music From Memory retrospective introduced a fresh generation of listeners to Vito Ricci’s obscure downtown magic, leaving young and old anaesthetized and invigorated in equal measure. But with no new material hitting the shelves since 1985, further digging proved a fruitless and disappointing endeavor. Good news then that Vito’s been back in the studio to put together another total masterpiece then! Working exclusively on the Commodore Amiga (with its infamous sound chip), Vito composed all the pieces found on this LP in ‘Music Mouse’, Laurie Spiegel’s pioneering software from the mid-80s. Traversing warbling ambient, warming drone, hypnotic minimalism and elements of aleatoric music, ‘Symphony’ sounds a million miles away from the Team17, Bullfrog and Gremlin games of my youth. Adding his own delicate guitar parts and Laurie Anderson styled vocals from Lise Vachon, Ricci successfully fuses the digital and the organic to create and intricate and expansive listening experience completely in tune with his earlier works. It’s time to drift into Vito’s unique sonic world once again.” (Piccadilly Records).

File Under: Ambient, Drone, New Age
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skyway-man

Skyway Man: Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye (Yewknee) LP
Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye is the follow-up to singer-songwriter-producer James Wallace’s More Strange News From Another Star. It’s a stew of B-movie sci-fi, cosmic boogie and psychedelic American music: an immersive, fully realized song cycle with a cinematic flair. Wallace has travelled a few skyways in his day. He brings this new batch of songs, intertwined by a fascination with UFO religion along for his debut outing as Skyway Man, a name he kept running across again and again. Was it the trickster of mythology, the soul of some long missing astronaut, or an old storyteller from another planet trying to get through? The answer is unclear, but the result is a nice slice of musical imagination. Recorded between Nashville and his hometown of Richmond, VA, the album features the Spacebomb house rhythm section of Pinson Chanselle & Cameron Ralston, who also provided horn arrangements, and Matthew E. White in a slide guitar cameo appearance. Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye offers the kind of sounds you would want on the radio for a first or last kiss, the songs playing in the bar scene from some forgotten Spielberg adventure, a soundtrack for the later (not quite latter) days of earth. Music for driving along the skyway, thank god the skyway is made of music anyway.

File Under: Folk Rock
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sleaford-english

Sleaford Mods: English Tapas (Rough Trade) LP
Call them minimalist agit-rock, beat-based political punk, or…don’t, but what you can’t call Sleaford Mods is half-assed. They’re aggressive, abrasive, and unabashed in their lyrical support for England’s working class and in railing against the oligarchs who deny people their basic human and civil rights. Vocalist Jason Wiliamson shouts against austerity-era Britain’s malaise and stagnation with plenty of profanity, but even more cleverness and wit; and while his lyrics specify conditions in his home country, his anger and call-to-arms can unite all of us who witness and work under a system that privileges the wealth of the few over the bare comfort, and even the survival, of the just-as-worthy many. With Andrew Fearn’s deceptively simple beats and melodies underpinning Williamson’s virtuosic vocal performances, this would be a fascinating record, message or no; but the drive, meaning, and compassion behind these catchy, and even dancefloor-ready tunes make this album as vital politically as it is artistically. Sleaford Mods are at their sneering, yowling best with English Tapas. “Undoubtedly, absolutely, definitely the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.” – Iggy Pop

File Under: Punk, Raps
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t2

T2: T2 (Lion) LP
Featuring the original line-up of Dunton/Cross and Jinks; with blistering lead guitar, mellotrons, flutes, and lengthy heavy/melodic tracks. For fans of classic well crafted UK hard rock and progressive music we think this must rank as one of the most important archival releases in this genre. Even though fame and fortune never came to pass for T2, their Decca album “It’ll All Work out in Boomland” has become an all-time classic amongst collectors of progressive and psychedelic music—and even in the techno and dj scenes. Apart from a BBC radio session, fans long assumed that “Boomland” was both the beginning and the end of the group’s recorded legacy. But some time back, Acme Records unearthed an eponymous second album of material, recorded in 1970 with the original line-up as demo tracks for a planned second album. This second T2 album, had it been released in 1970, could have put the band on the same level of fame with the likes of Deep Purple, Free, and King Crimson (bands with whom T2 shared a stage). It’s hard-driving opener ‘Highway,’ ablaze with wailing guitars, gives way to moody introspection, culminating with the LSD induced finale ‘T2.’ Those of you who were lucky enough to snap up a copy of the earlier limited edition of the Acme Deluxe pressings of this album can testify to the importance of these recordings. For those of you who missed out the first time around—or who have only recently discovered the greatness of the mighty T2—all we can say is, enjoy the power and glory of the second T2 album! “The original line-up of T2 only lasted for one year, and the music we recorded reflected a specific time and place. We are very grateful that so many people all over the world have continued to enjoy the music, and that our albums are still being released 40 years later. Thank you for your support” — Peter Dunton

File Under: Hard Rock, Psych
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thought-forms

Thought Forms: Songs About Drowning (Invada) LP
With their third full length release ‘Songs About Drowning’, Thought Forms kick it up yet another notch, pushing the boat out even further to create a strange, intoxicating album, their most accomplished to date and certainly their most fascinating. A contributing factor of this sea-change was the addition of bassist Jim Barr (Portishead, Get The Blessing), who also produced and recorded the album. Blending refined and colossal noise-scapes with a beautifully hypnotic and seductive style delivered with confidence, ‘Songs About Drowning’ is a richly deserving album which could see the band carrying the proud lineage of off-kilter noise-pop. This release will appeal to fans of My Bloody Valentine, Portishead, Thurston Moore, Beak> and White Hills.

File Under: Noise Pop, Shoegaze
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industria

Piero Umiliani: Gli Italiani e L’Industria (Four Flies) LP
From the legendary Omicron label secret archives, one of the rarest and nearly impossible to find album signed by Piero Umiliani. Gli italiani e l’industria is the soundtrack of a mysterious TV documentary by Romolo Marcellini broadcasted in 1967, and never appeared again from then, which was focused on virtue and vice of Italian post-economic boom industrialization. The music perfectly reflects the contrasts of the Italian society of that period, equally divided by consumerism and alienation, with a number of tracks deliberately easy-jazz and pop-beat on the one hand (with gorgeous ballads for vibraphone, like Natascia or Negozi alla moda, and killer organ tracks, like Music Box, later reused in some movies of the 70s, as Aragosta a colazione), and on the other with a bounce of compositions ultra-jazz, close to free jazz, with electronics and avant-garde solutions that Umiliani will explore completely in the further years (it is not by chance that 3 of those tracks are also included nine years after in a new library Umiliani’s LP named Atmospheres). An essential album of easy-listening and experimental sound, necessary to comprehend the richness of a genius of Italian soundtracks.

File Under: Italian, Library, OST
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wcpa

West Coast Pop Art Experiment Band: Part One (Jackpot) LP
Formed in Los Angeles in 1965, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band were considered by many to be the West Coast’s answer to the Velvet Underground. The group created California psych/rock music that was both fragile and dreamy. Part One was originally released in 1967 on Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records. Though they didn’t achieve the fame or notoriety of other bands from the area, they have nonetheless achieved a cult status among collectors and people curious about a rich, albeit short-lived musical genre known as West- Coast Psychedelia. First time reissued in MONO, from the original master tapes.

File Under: Psych
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wcpa2

West Coast Pop Art Experiment Band: Vol 2 (Jackpot) LP
Released in 1967 on Reprise Records as a follow up to Part One, Vol. 2 takes the band into more ambitious territory. Reaching out to more psychedelic territory than the debut LP, Vol. 2 maintains their unique pop sound mixed with ominous fuzz guitar, jumping from graceful folk-rock to wailing guitar freakouts, to multilayered avant-garde compositions at a moment’s notice. First time reissued in MONO, from the original master tapes.

File Under: Psych
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why

Why?: Moh Lhean (Joyful Noise) LP
The final words sung on the sixth album by Why? are an apt place to begin: “Hold on, what’s going on?” Because while there’s much familiar about the oddly named Moh Lhean – mastermind Yoni Wolf’s sour-sweet croon, his deadpan poet’s drawl and ear for stunningly fluid psych-pop-folk-whatever arrangement – a great deal has changed in the four years that have passed since 2012’s Mumps, Etc., an LP that honed the band’s orchestral precision and self-deprecating swagger to a fine point. It’s significant that this is the first fully home-recorded Why? album since the project’s 2003 debut. Made mostly in Wolf’s studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah, the result is obsessive, of course, but also intimate, and flush with warmth and looseness. While Moh Lhean never stoops to outright optimism, it chronicles our hero finding peace in the unknowing, trading the wry smirk for a holy shrug, and looking past corporeal pain for something more cosmic and, rest assured, equally weird. A low tone opens the album on “This Ole King” as acoustic pluck and upright bass form a Western bedrock beneath Wolf’s fragile voice. But as the song pushes on, the playing gets brighter and the vocal becomes a mantra-like hum inspired by Ali Farka Touré’s blues, before rolling into a second part rich with chiming keys and twisting harmony – Brian Wilson’s kaleidoscopic vision of pop. “The Water” handily morphs a moody folk tune into some strange new form of full-band dub while “One Mississippi” bounces along happily over a flurry of bizarre percussion, whistled melodies, and trippy synthesizer blips. Perhaps most impressive is “Consequence of Nonaction,” which vacillates between a quiet meditation for guitar/voice/clarinet, and wild, sax-strewn astral art-funk. Movement is a key theme of Moh Lhean. It’s a breakup album without a romantic interest – coded within the lyrics is a tale about fleeing the seductions of a wintry figure for something synonymous with spring. “Easy” plays like a ward against the old ghost who haunts “January February March,” while “George Washington” places our host in a tiny watercraft, “paddling for land/hand on heart and heart in hand” as that faceless malevolent force stays ashore. Moh Lhean’s gorgeously psychedelic closer, “The Barely Blur” with Son Lux, puzzles over the nature of existence. But rather than leave us with the macabre chill of death, as many a Why? LP has, the song dissolves into the infinite – the sound of the Big Bang.

File Under: Hip Hop
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cold4

Various: Cold Wave of Color Vol 4 (Lion) LP
Fourth volume of the completely sold out electronic compilation series from the 1980’s color tapes label. As with the other volumes you can find great examples of cold wave, minimal wave and synth electronics made by obscure British bands such as Disintegrators, Mystery Plane, Berserk In A Hayfield and Lives of Angels—all recorded between 1980-1985, vestiges of the 1980’s UK cassette underground scene. Comes with poster insert and reproduction of issue 3 of Color Tapes’ own in house “Purple Twilight” fanzine from 1985 that features articles on Insane Music, Space Brothers and Lives Of Angels. “Great stuff. A worthy companion of the “Cold Waves : Minimal Electronics” and “Mutazione” CDs. Anyone who is a fan of Cabaret Voltaire/Human League/Throbbing Gristle/Robert Rental/Chris & Cosey/Coil era electronics will find something they love on this.” ★★★★★ Amazon review “This retrospective is well overdue. As you might expect, much of the material sounds like a cross between early Depeche Mode, curious Italian coldwave and proto-EBM. Pleasingly all the material has been remastered by legendary engineer Denis Blackham, giving the original analogue sounds a whole new lease of life. Essential stuff” -Juno review “A must have collection of English post-punk rarities sourced from the legendary Color Tapes label” – Boomkat Review

File Under: Electronic, Coldwave

ghana

Various: Ghana Soundz (Soundway) LP
Ghana Soundz was the first ever Soundway compilation and became recognised worldwide due to the licensing of the Oscar Sulley track, ‘Bukom Mashie’ to the soundtrack of Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Last King of Scotland’. Pounding rhythms, blaring horns and pumping vocals – the music is a document of a time forgotten when flares and Cuban heels strutted the streets and night-spots of Accra, the sizzlingly hot and humid capital of Ghana.  Influenced as much by traditional rhythms and local highlife as by the music of Fela Kuti, James Brown and Santana, these tunes had almost become extinct – until now! Ghana Soundz was the first of three collections of rare afro-beat, afro-funk and afro-fusion that Miles Cleret painstakingly travelled the length and breadth of Ghana to assemble, the third compilation to be released late 2009.

File Under: World, Afrobeat, Funk

hell3

Various: Hillbillies in Hell Vol. 3 (Iron Mountain) LP
Down, down…deeper into the infernal depths. More unknown and unheralded Hillbillies and Delinquent Hayseed Balladeers. They croon. They yodel. And the flames leap ever higher. Cut on microscopic or private-press labels and distributed in minuscule amounts, these Tormented Troubadours sing of Satan, His diabolical offspring, the Grim Reaper, sinful trysts, suicide, murder, Devil trains, inebriates, cuckolds and lustful cadavers – all in one handy LP package. Years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ (Volume Three) presents a further 16 timeless testaments of sin, tribulation, cold graves and warm temptations. Originally issued on forgotten 45s, some of these sides are indescribably rare and are reissued here for the very first time. All for your licentious listening pleasure.

File Under: Country

…..Restocks…..

Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: Bumbug (Domino) LP
Baird Sisters: Until you Find Your Green (Ba Da Bing) LP
Bing & Ruth: City Lake (RVNG) LP
Blonde Redhead: Misery is a Butterfly (4AD) LP
Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) LP
Dan Brown: Atrocity Exhibition (Warp) LP
Butthole Surfers: Brown Reason to Live (Alt. Tentacles) LP
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician (Latino Bugger Ville) LP
Julie Byrne: No Even Happiness (Ba Da Bing) LP
Camberwell Now: The Ghost Trade (Modern Classics) LP
John Carpenter: Lost Themes (Sacred Bones) LP
Cat Power: Covers Record (Matador) LP
Cat Power: The Greatest (Matador) LP
Cat Power: You Are Free (Matador) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Daft Punk: 2007: Alive (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Tron: Legacy (EMI) LP
Emperor: Anthems to the Welki (Spinefarm) LP
Emperor: In the Nightside… (Spinefarm) LP
Flesh Eaters: Forever Came Today (Superior Viaduct) LP
Gonjasufi: A Sufi & A Killer (Warp) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man In Paris (Blue Note) LP
Grimes: Geidi Primes (Arbutus) LP
Grimes: Visions (Arbutus) LP
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note) LP
Isis: Wavering Radiant (Robotic Empire) LP
Bert Jansch: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
David Kauffman & Eric Caboor: Songs From Suicide Bridge (Modern Classics) LP
Kaytranada: 99.9% (XL) LP
Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone? (Thompkins Square) LP
Bob Marley: Legend (Universal) LP
Metallica: And Justice For All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Hardwired to Self-Destruct (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Kill Em All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
Misfits: Walk Among Us (Rhino) LP
Mission of Burma: Calls, Signals & Marches (Matador) LP
Lee Morgan: Sidewinder (Blue Note) LP
Nirvana: Bleach (Sub Pop) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged (Geffen) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is…? (Luaka Bop) LP
Parliament: Mothership Connection (Universal) LP
Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Matador) LP
Pavement: Brighten The Corners (Matador) LP
Preoccupations: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Universal) LP
Ty Segall: s/t (Drag City) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning The Threshold (Drag City) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Suicide: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Suicide: Alan Vega Martin Rev (Superior Viaduct) LP
Survive: MF064 (Monofonus) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Matador) LP

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…..news letter #781 – hyperspace records…..

I’m back, and I’m swamped, cuz I was away, so… here’s your weekly update! Enjoy.

…..pick of the week…..
60aa
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
In preparing for the first album of non-Hexadic Six Organs of Admittance music since 2012’s Ascent, Ben Chasny had a think about what he’d be saying in his own tongue for the first time in a half-decade. As ever, a head-full of ideas were driving him to think and speak music as a spirituality superimposed onto a reality, with the ghosts of both whispering at each other. In the end, what sits in our listening ears is the sound of communion. Burning the Threshold brings a wealth of Six Organs-styled lightness into one of his sweetest musical meditations yet. With a spacious acoustic sound stage, Burning the Threshold may actually more resemble 2011’s Asleep on the Floodplain or 2005’s School Of The Flower. All of this is speculative, comparative, unverifiable – but our sense of what is true tells us that nobody plays acoustic music quite like Six Organs of Admittance, and that furthermore, nothing sounds so much like Burning the Threshold as Burning the Threshold. Ben is in a particularly expansive mood this time around, singing and playing with all the thoughts affixed to a quiver of potent melodies launching forth and arcing out through dimensions, seeking infinite space. This space radiates out from the album’s first single, “Taken By Ascent,” a seven minute plus burner that engulfs the surrounding realm with empathetic waves. Featuring the thrilling vocal accompaniment of Haley Fohr, the massive drumming of Chris Corsano, and flourishing keys of Cooper Crain, “Taken By Ascent” exemplifies Six Organs of Admittance’s furvid push into new and thrilling territory with Burning the Threshold. With this new music, Ben Chasny has created a potent tonic for our times. Looking at the world through clear eyes beneath a knitted brow, but with a laugh rising up from its heart, Burning the Threshold brings us a powerful draught of essence.

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

alvarb

Alvarius B: vs. Abdel Baqy Bryo in Cairo (Nashazphone) LP
“Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows he’s entertaining. It’s the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage – overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop. It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fan-club; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBC’s coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Service’s mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle. Bishop’s quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goat’s uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snotty’s Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and it’s an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks. All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan R’n’B crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically – the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient. Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe he’ll return after Ramadan, if only to crack open what’s left of their skulls like crème brulée, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not.” –Seymour Glass California, USA September 2016.

File Under: Experimental, Sun City Girls, Collage
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applehead

Applehead: Rache (Pre-Cert) LP
The return of Andy Votel’s most elusive alter-ego with a new album of delirious and darkened collage pieces brought to you by his own Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label, run alongside longtime spar, Sean Canty (Demdike Stare). Hiding behind “Cowardly Pseudonyms” inspired by the incognito exploits of Jean-Pierre Massiera and a long list of Italian library musicians, Applehead is the twice-removed alter-alter-alter ego project of Dead-Cert, Finders Keepers, Cacophonic, Pre-Cert label boss and designer Andy Votel, aka Anworth Kirk, aka Xian Orphic, aka Tandy Love, aka Tony Deval, aka Neotantrik, and the list goes on. This hang-dried and un-cured collection of low-brow electronics, oblique movie-tones, cold-funk, ready-made poetry and domestic plunderism spans five years since the debut Applehead LP on the Pre-Cert label (2011). Cut and pasted from a pool of overnight rare synth-lends, some obscure foreign-pop fix-ups and a stash of emotive tonal sketches and tape-edits (prepared when touring Milan and Rome with Suzanne Ciani and Northern Italy with the blink-missable Stanza Nera punk-funk project) these multifarious, Crepaxian comic-book compositions have clearly absorbed a strong Italian DIY muse. With respectful nods to Daniela Casa, Raskovich, Frizzi, and AR Luciani, Applehead also combines surrealist shlock with Letterist informed random Roman female spoken word and occasional back-handed salutes to Throbbing Gristle and NWW projects. This self-motivated, naturalistic response to the broad vista that has informed 20 years of Votel’s unwaning multi-dis adventures offers an infrequent opportunity to hear his personal problematic-pop and scalpel-happy art in the comfort of his own creative confides complete with square-pegs and sandpaper. Mastered by Matt Colton. Edition of 500.

File Under: Pseudo-Library, Electronic
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barker

Sue Barker: s/t (Hot Casa) LP
First reissue of Sue Barker’s sole album, a fantastic, rare soul-jazz LP recorded in Adelaide, Australia, in 1976, and originally released the same year by Crest International. 180-gram vinyl. Sue Barker is a jazz singer who was never afraid of throwing in a little soul — most of the album features covers of songs made famous by Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and James Brown. And Sue Barker is also more than just a vocal album — there’s a lot of space for instrumental solos from Barker’s team of top Adelaide musicians. Her hip seven-piece combo perfectly matches all of her vocal inflections — jazzy when needed, with more soul at other moments, and often with more of a ’60s acoustic mode than the more electric and groovy instrumentation used by other singers of the time. The arrangements are by Grahame Conlon, the guitarist in the group.

 File Under: Soul Jazz
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dolores

Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Dolores (PIAS) LP
Pias present a vinyl reissue of Dolores, the 2008 album by Germany’s doom jazz cult band, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, the slowest band on earth. The vinyl of Dolores was not available for a long-time and is now back in full glory as a double LP edition in a gatefold sleeve. Personnel: Robin Rodenberg – bass; Thorsten Benning – drums; Morten Gass – organ, vocoder, synthesizer, bass; Christoph Clöser – piano (Fender Rhodes), vibraphone, saxophone (tenor and baritone). Recorded and engineered by Christoph Clöser and Morton Gass; Mixed and mastered by Marcus Schmickler and Bohren & The Club Of Gore; Produced by Bohren & The Club Of Gore; Recorded and engineered at Dark Victory Studios Cologne and Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany. Artwork by Melanie Höner (drawing) and Jörg Follert (typography).

 File Under: Dark Jazz, Ambient
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dont

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Don’t Get Lost (A) LP
Don’t Get Lost was fully recorded and produced at Anton Newcombe’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin. It is the 16th full length release from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It was recorded from March 2016 to October 2016 with band members Ricky Maymi, Dan Allaire, Collin Hegna, and Ryan Van Kriedt. Saxophonist Emil Nikolaisen, from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh, joins the band, and there are vocal performances from Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Tess Parks, and Shaun Rivers. A new dynamic is heard on Don’t Get Lost, mixing a shoegaze and psychedelic sound with more experimental twists on some tracks you might hear from Public Image Limited’s Metalbox (1979), Primal Scream , or even Ornette Coleman. 14 tracks that will twist-and-turn through the known, and the unknown, Brian Jonestown Massacre. Anton Newcombe has been a very busy man these past two years, kicking off with the critically acclaimed Brian Jonestown Massacre album Revelation in May 2014. After a successful UK and European tour, the BJM followed this up with the + – EP in November of the same year. 2015 saw the release of Musique de film imaginé in April; an imaginary film soundtrack album featuring the track “Bonbon” which has, ironically, been used in Dheepan, the Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival of 2015. In June, Anton and Tess Parks embarked on a well-received tour of the UK and Europe to support the release of I Declare Nothing. Anton finished 2015 with a BJM mini-album release entitled Mini Album Thingy Wingy. In 2016, the band released two singles and the critically-acclaimed Third World Pyramid. The band have been touring the world since November 2015, playing Australia, New Zealand, and then, in 2016, USA, Canada, Europe, Chile, and Argentina.

File Under: Psych Rock
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cipriani

Stelvio Cipriani: UST 7013 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Stelvio Cipriani’s UST 7013, originally released as part of the Hi-Fi International series on Fonit Cetra in 1976. Probably written for some obscure movie, this infamous session from 1976, recently discovered, immediately became a grail for DJs and collectors alike. Outstanding score vibes, with several western and romantic movie themes in the vein of Ennio Morricone, mixed in with some insane beats and spacey avant-garde. Flipback sleeve replica of the original; Edition of 600.

File Under: Italian, Library
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blue-mike

Mike Cooper: Blue Guitar (Idea) LP
Mike Cooper’s Blue Guitar is a collection that first appeared on Cooper’s Hipshot CDr label in 2010 in a limited edition. It is presented here on Idea Records, for the first time on vinyl. Upon its initial release Cooper wrote: “For the past couple of years I have been collating a body of text culled (mostly) from Thomas Pynchon’s novels Gravity’s Rainbow and V and making cut-up collage pieces in the spirit of William Burroughs, Kurt Schwitters, Tom Phillips and others. Those two particular novels interest me because they are set in the period that I was born, however no reference to that period is intended in my pieces. Hopefully a more contemporary comment was found lurking within the words, lines, pages and paragraphs. Recently my interest in playing the guitar in a more or less ‘traditional’ manner, but still incorporating various ‘extended techniques’ (as opposed to using it purely as a sound source) has been re-kindled along with a renewed interest in blues, Greek rembetika, flamenco, Portuguese fado and other traditional and improvised music around the Mediterranean which in turn brought out the singer in me again… I have lived in the Mediterranean region for 30 years and listened to its music and I wanted to make something that would hopefully have some of its spirit without making reference to any of it musically.” “Things as they are / are changed upon the blue guitar” –Wallace Stevens, Man With The Blue Guitar (1937) “Sometimes when you cut into the present the future leaks out.” –William Burroughs. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Cover design by Tom Recchion. Comes on 180 gram vinyl; Includes a lyrics insert; Includes a postcard insert; Linen Wrapped/Foil Stamped; Comes in an Old Style Tip-On jacket.

File Under: Acoustic, Folk, Experimental

cooper

Mike Cooper: Reluctant Swimmer/Virtual Surfer (Discrepant) LP
The “icon of post-everything”, Mike Cooper, returns to Discrepant with a recording of a live set recorded at the Controindicazioni Festival of Improvised Music in Rome in 2003. Originally released as a CDr via his Hipshot label. The music moves very slowly through four movements: “Reluctant Swimmer”, “Movies Is Magic”, “Virtual Swimmer”, and “Dolphins”. Praise from an unknown source: “Floating in out of the exotic ether and disappearing like smoke, engulfed in the alien hugeness of nature… a very elegant set by a visionary artist.” Mike Cooper on the recording: “The first half is played on my old 1920s National tri-plate lap steel guitar and the second half on my Vietnamese electric lap steel. I also sing two songs along the way. ‘Movies Is Magic’ by Van Dyke Parks and ‘Dolphins’ by Fred Neil. It was the first time I had ever sung the last song.” RIYL: Exotica, Andrew Pekler, Dolphins Into The Future.

File Under: Exotica, Ambient
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cozmic

Cozmic Corridors: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Mental Experience present a reissue of Cozmic Corridors self-titled album. Cozmic Corridors is an underground kraut-kosmische monster, recorded and produced circa 1972-73 in Cologne by Toby “The Mad Twiddler” Robinson for his Pyramid label. The album was apparently released as an ultra-limited handmade edition back in the early ’70s, but no original copies have surfaced. Featuring Mythos drummer Hans-Jürgen Pütz on percussion and effects, alongside synth/keyboard freak Alex Meyer, poet/vocalist Pauline Fund, and the mysterious guitarist Peter Förster. Cozmic Corridors is an album if tripped-out electronic ambient soundscapes, dark atmospheres, drones, plenty of MiniMoog, gothic Hammond organ, Rhodes, electric and 12-string acoustic guitars, ritual chants, effects, and horror cinematic vibes. It is not advisable to listen to this alone in the dark. RIYL: Terry Riley, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Emtidi, Jacula, Franco Leprino, Dead Can Dance. Master tape sound; Insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman, head boss at Ultima Thule and author of The Crack In The Cosmic Egg (1996).

 File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
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darcy

Tim Darcy: Saturday Night (Jagjaguwar) LP
Saturday Night, the first proper solo album from Tim Darcy (Ought), comes from one of those crossroads-type moments in life where one has to walk to the edge before knowing which way to proceed. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. There are love/love lost songs like the standout, almost-New Wave “Still Waking Up” in which a Smiths-esque melody builds upon an underbrush that recalls 60s AM pop and country. Darcy’s unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, an instrument here: vital to the entire affair. There’s a line in “Tall Glass of Water,” the album’s Velvet Underground-nodding opening track, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: “if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” He barely pauses before the answer: “Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of Saturday Night. It’s about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It’s about how good it feels to make art, and how terrifying; how you don’t always get to choose whether you’re swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you’re going to keep diving in. That’s the impulse that links all the songs on Saturday Night, makes them glow.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ought
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dp

Dirty Projectors: s/t (Domino) LP
Dirty Projectors, the beloved, decade-plus-long recording pursuit of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist David Longstreth, presents the eighth full-length album in the band’s wildly varied and fascinating discography. As with previous Dirty Projectors albums, the release sees Longstreth lead a group of hugely talented contributors, including Solange Knowles, Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Dawn Richard (D∆WN and Danity Kane), in realizing his creative vision. Far from remaining idle, Longstreth has spent the intervening years steadily at work with a range of collaborators, contributing to releases by Joanna Newsom, Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney (writing on “FourFiveSeconds,” 2015); and Solange Knowles (writing and production on A Seat At The Table). Dirty Projectors exhibits Longstreth’s tremendous growth and strength as a producer. Classic Dirty Projectors trademarks remain – guitar, hocketing, powerful three-part vocal harmony, with the new addition of drum patterns. Fifteen years later after Longstreth’s first album Graceful Fallen Mango, the significance of the self titled album Dirty Projectors is clear; the album is both a homecoming and a rediscovery. Double LP heavyweight vinyl housed in a wide spine jacket containing a 16 page booklet, MP3 download card and an etched D side.

File Under: Indie Rock
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lo-sport

Remigio Ducros/Daniela Casa/Gian Piero Ricci: Lo Sport Vol 1 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Lo Sport Volume 1, with compositions by Remigio Ducros, Daniela Casa, and Gian Piero Ricci, originally released in 1971. Outstanding double LP production originally released on the very small Union label, founded by G.P. Ricci and Remigio Ducros. Lo Sport is one of the rarest library productions ever, and is considered a true holy grail for record collectors all over the world. This monster album features some of the hottest break-beats, funk, and psychedelic tunes from Italy, with mental grooves, samples, and themes. The absolute top-of-the-top in early ’70s Italian, classy sounds. Comes in a gatefold sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, Library, Funk, Psych
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fidenco

Nico Fidenco: Stati D’animo Vol 2 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Stati D’animo Vol.2, aka “Feeling”, originally released as part of the CmL series on CAM in 1973. The jam behind Stati D’animo Vol.2 featured Nico Fidenco (aka Donimak), Giacomo and Gianni Dell’Orso, and other musicians. Tracks appear signed by Donimak (Fidenco’s alias), Tamborelli (standing for Aldo Tamborrelli, aka Ghein), and the mysterious Nicoletta Bozzai behind the pseudonym, Morfina. A totally killer Italian library album, with the most outstanding funk and jazz-funk vibes and female vocals to die for, knitted drum patterns and top-notch, vintage dancefloor funk tunes. Moody and funky score music for action, movement, and romantic scenes. Renewed artwork; Includes original inner sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, Library
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doeuh

Group Doueh & Cheveu: Dakhla Sahara Session (Born Bad) LP
The random-access memory of an hourglass. On the one hand, there’s Cheveu, the French three-member band, whose soundtrack has never ceased to question music codes by exceeding various genres and pushing back their limits. On the other hand, you have Group Doueh, a Sahrawi band from the Sahara desert (Dakhla). Their music spans across many styles and hammers tradition with unprecedented finds. In between both their remote musical universes dwells a sound clash. It embodies the meeting between two arts of living music day by day, two ways of transmitting, of enchanting the world or refusing to do so, of exploring the repertoire as well as tradition and creation, two visions of the collective – the list of reasons why these guys should have probably never met or could have failed to get along is quite extensive. This piece was recorded in two weeks in Dakhla in January 2016. The mere project seemed like a surreal challenge, something that was almost impossible to achieve and for which time was going to hold major importance. It brought about a telluric big bang, an atomic creation, a story of primitive energies setting the record straight in the whole world. That is, two radically different understandings of time.

File Under: Psych, Post Punk, African, French
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guthrie

Will Guthrie: People Pleaser (Black Truffle) LP
Nantes, France-based drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie presents People Pleaser. Initially rising to prominence in Australia as a drummer in the fields of jazz and improvised music, Guthrie later turned increasingly toward electronics and amplified percussion, developing an idiosyncratic style of electroacoustic performance characterized by shimmering metallic textures, rapid-fire textural transformations, and aggressively high volume. Guthrie has since returned to the drum kit in both solo and collaborative work, pushing at the limits of his formidable technical abilities as a player in the free jazz tradition and working variations on short rhythmic units into an endless flow of non-metered pulse. Although drawing on many aspects of Guthrie’s past work, People Pleaser stands alone in his catalog. Working intuitively over a period of three weeks, Guthrie crafted a suite of song-length pieces that combine his drumming with electronics, field recordings, and sampled detritus. Inspired by the rough-and-ready sampling style of producers like the RZA, J Dilla, and Knxwledge, and by the endless possibilities of musique concrète, People Pleaser uses a highly divergent array of sound sources, building pieces from drum and percussion tracks left over from other projects, audio ripped from skate videos, noise electronics, fragments of a police interrogation, and anything else ready to hand. Guthrie’s unique rhythmic sensibility is the thread drawing all these elements together, his drum performances propulsively rhythmic yet insistently irregular in a way that sometimes brings to mind the uniquely open rhythmic space carved out by early Weather Report and other classic fusion. Drawing together manifold influences in an entirely sui generis way, People Pleaser is a raw, exciting, and surprisingly accessible peek into the laboratory of a unique sensibility. Designed by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, August 2016.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv, Percussion
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axis

Jon Irabagon/John Hegre/Nils Are Dronen: Axis (Rune Grammofon) LP
Filipino-American Jon Irabagon has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat’s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York’s 25 New York City Jazz Icons. A founding member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, he is also an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet, and Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor. John Hegre is a musician, songwriter, sound engineer, and a pioneer of the Norwegian noise music scene. He founded Jazzkammer with Lasse Marhaug in 1998, releasing their debut album Timex on Rune Grammofon the year after. He has been involved with close to 50 releases on various labels. Nils Are Drønen has been a player on the fertile music scene in Bergen since teaming up with Hegre 20 years ago. He is part of several constellations, including The Last Hurrah!!, playing on their The Beauty Of Fake album and The Great Gig In Disguise 10″. With Jazzkamer he has recorded six albums and toured Europe, Asia, and America.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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jaeger-orourke

Kassel Jaeger/Jim O’Rourke: Wakes on Cerulean (Editions Mego) LP
Timely outing from two grand masters of exploratory electronics. Kassel Jaeger is the moniker of French musician François Bonnet who works at the GRM and has released a number of books including the highly regarded The Order Of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago, published by Urbanomic in 2016. Jim O’Rourke is known to most through his explorations of the song and shapes, the high and low, the east and south. Wakes On Cerulean is a joint adventure where process folds upon process and the operation of procedure remains unknown. Amongst a mysterious cloud of excited high frequencies, tiny whistles howl. Frog leaps in technique lay out a thrilling and uplifting journey that runs from the soothing, to ecstatic, and back to the buoyant again. Wakes On Cerulean is a staggering feast of the joys found in electronic process. It is a malleable bubble of hovering excitement, melody and joyous refrain.

File Under: Electronic,  Experimental
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japandroids

Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life (Arts & Crafts) LP
FINALLY IN TOMORROW AFTER PRESSING ERRORS… Japandroids is a two-piece band from Vancouver, BC., which began in 2006 and consists of Brian King and David Prowse. Japandroids is one guitar, one set of drums, and two vocalizers. They are maximal in their delivery; a two- piece band sounding like a five-piece band. With the release of their second album, Celebration Rock in 2012 the band embarked on what seemed like an endless world tour, performing over 200 shows in over 40 countries, and played their final show in support of Celebration Rock in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2013. They would not perform live again for three years. Their third album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely throughout 2014 and 2015 in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (Fall of 2015), with one song, “True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will,” recorded at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC (February, 2015). The title, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, comes from a passage in the novel A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce: “He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.” Like their prior albums Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album. Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue. If Celebration Rock was the culmination of something, then Near To The Wild Heart Of Life can be considered the beginning of something else.

File Under: Indie Rock
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king-gizz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
IN TOMORROW… Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explains drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.” The Melbourne-based band plan to release five studio albums in 2017, an ambitious feat as each record will be its own unique sonic adventure.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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kink-gong

Kink Gong: Imer Zeillos (Discrepant) LP
Imer Zeillos is another unique document of Laurent Jeanneau’s collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time using two very different source recordings to create his own unique brand of alien music. Using contact mic recordings of various Turkish instruments – saz, cura, and tanbur (played by Remi Solliez) – Jeanneau alchemically collages them with his archival recordings of South East Asia to create a surreal space between the instrument’s tones and resonances with the other-worldly beauty of the field recordings.

File Under: Field Recordings, Collage, Asia

kubisch

Christina Kubisch & Fabrizio Plessi: Two and Two (Song Cycle ) LP
Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Two And Two, the outcome of the ambitious research developed by Christina Kubisch and Fabrizio Plessi, originally released in 1976. Two And Two was a collaborative effort towards the merging of visual and sound elements into a new form of intermedia. Influenced by the aesthetics of Fluxus, the duo produced a highly complex and articulated performance, involving two camera operators and several video screens, as well as a variety of objects and unconventional instruments – such as an electric vibrator, a Swanee whistle, a ventilator, an electronic metronome, and a water jet on a steel drum. The result is structured into four parts, inspired by the natural elements, in which single instruments lose their different sonic characteristics, becoming inseparable parts of a unique visual/acoustic process. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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lewin

Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone? (Tompkins Square) LP
American born Canada-based singer-songwriter Philip Lewin’s distinct 1975 loner folk debut album Am I Really Here All Alone? recorded between 1973 and 1975 and originally released in 1975 on his own label Gargoyle Records. Personal, primitive and honest folk music reissued on vinyl for the first time courtesy of the well-suited Tompkins Square.

File Under: Folk
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loscamp

Los Campesinos!: Sick Scenes (Wichita) LP
Sick Scenes is the sixth studio album by Los Campesinos! and follow-up to their highly acclaimed 2013 release, No Blues. The album was produced once again by long-time collaborator John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab For Cutie) and band member Tom Bromley and was recorded during Euro 2016 in Fridao, Portugal. The band have described the album as, “an expression of the pent-up aggression we felt due to being inactive for so long, but it’s also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends.” The themes of aggression and celebration that inspired the album have resulted in 11 tracks that find the band sounding as vital and life-affirming as ever.

File Under: Indie Rock
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massacre

Massacre: Killing Time (Spittle) LP
Spittle Records present an expanded reissue of Massacre’s Killing Time, originally released in 1981. Following the breakup of Cambridge’s avant-rock legends, Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith moved to NYC in 1979, and soon found himself deep in the heart of the city’s robust post-punk and free-jazz scenes. He performed with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher, from the group Material, as a power trio of sorts under the moniker of Massacre. The group quickly garnered a reputation around town, and around the world for that matter, as a heavy and heady band that experimented greatly with rhythm, time signatures, and tone. As Frith himself put it, “the group was a direct response to New York. It was a very aggressive group, kind of my reaction to the whole New York rock club scene.” Massacre released one album, Killing Time, before disbanding for nearly 20 years. Their first wave as a group crashed fast and furiously and this one album, recorded in part live in Paris, and in part at Brooklyn’s OAO Studio, is a perfect encapsulation of early ’80s NYC. In addition to the original album, first released on Celluloid in 1981, this deluxe three-sided double LP includes eight bonus tracks recorded live between ’80 and ’81 at The Stone in San Francisco, and Inroads and CBGB in NYC. Avant-jazz-post-punk-noise of the highest order from several legends and one of the most important projects Frith and Laswell were ever involved in.

File Under: Jazz, Punk, Noise
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milstein1

Phil X Milstein & Thurston Moore: Songs We Taught the Lord Voulme One (Feeding Tube) LP
“As I recall, the idea seemed pretty reasonable at the time. It was late 1996. I’d met Fahey a couple of years earlier, and partly as an outgrowth of that meeting he had decided he wanted to meet and play with ‘noise musicians.’ This resulted in a lot of music that made his olden fans weep, but who was I to argue with The Great Koonaklaster? Anyway, it was late ’96 and Fahey wanted to play some gigs on the east coast. He also wanted Thurston to be on the bill with him, and so Mr. Moore asked me for suggestions about who might be cool to duet with. We ruled out a lot of people for various reasons, then had a flash about asking the great Pep Lester (aka Phil Milstein). Although best known as a writer and designer, Phil had also done lots of music in various configurations, and I was hoping he’d deign to play the musical saw he had started practicing a few years earlier. Phil had other ideas, though, mostly revolving around the tape creations and loops he’d been doing with Thalia Zedek’s band, Uzi, in the mid ’80s. Thankfully, he also agreed to play some saw, and you will hear some of that instrument’s beautiful tones floating around the tape jabber and guitar circularity that makes up much of this record’s basis. This show was recorded on the first night of Fahey’s East coast jaunt, at the Iron Morse Music Hall in Northampton MA. The audience was primed for transcendental waterfalls, and didn’t seem too delighted by Phil and Thurston’s opening set, but fuck ’em. Fahey was enthralled. And when we pulled the tapes out to listen to for the first time in many a year, we were all pretty chuffed about how nuts and timeless the music sounded. Although the second night’s sound was previously issued by Chris Corsano’s Hot Cars Warp Records label, this is the first issue for this fantastic set. Roll yourself a fatty and swing!” –Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Jazz

milstein2

Phil X Milstein & Thurston Moore: Songs We Taught the Lord Volume Two (Feeding Tube) LP
“This album reissues the final recording (thus far) of the Milstein/Moore duo. It was originally released in 1997 by Chris Corsano’s Hot Cars Warp Records label. Chris had a choice of this tape — recorded December 4, 1996 at the Middle East in Cambridge MA — or the one from the previous night at the Iron Horse in Northampton (FTR 288LP). He chose this one, and the first volume was scheduled to appear on the Ecstatic Yod label. Why it never happened, who knows? Not me! The set was recorded opening for guitarist John Fahey, shortly after a horrible accident in Harvard Square, which involved Fahey’s belt breaking in the middle of Brattle St. and having his pants drop to his ankles as a result. Unable to bend enough to reach his feet, it fell upon one of the opening musicians to lend a hand. And I feel as though the incredible sense of horror involved in that process infuses this concert. Thurston’s guitar was quite unhinged that night, and Phil’s gabble of tape-voices had a relentless edge that seems designed to induce claustrophobic reactions. It is a bravura performance by any measure, and surely one of the wildest collaborations Thurston had been involved in up to that time. Listening now, I can only hope these two do more work together in the 21st century. We could all certainly use it. Remastered from original source tapes, this new edition of the album is best heard loud. Who cares what the neighbors think? They’re probably fascists anyway.” –Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Jazz

sme029lp_prod

Narassa/Zanagoria: Popfolkmusic (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Narassa and Zanagoria’s UST 7011 – Popfolkmusic, originally released as part of the Hi-Fi International series on Fonit Cetra in 1973. Narassa, aka Alessandro Brugnolini, and Zanagoria, aka Giogio Carnini, present a side each. This very rare, Italian library – still unknown in to some in the record collectors circle – features some of the most insane grooves made in Italy. Outstanding, spaced-out break-beats with the best up-tempo, hip hop beats and b-boy funk tunes that anyone could ever desire, all mixed in with easy listening scores and happy synthesizer themes. Flipback sleeve replica of the original; Edition of 600.

File Under: Italian, Library
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nascimento

Fabiano Do Nascimento: Tempo dos Mestres (Now Again) LP
“Tempo dos Mestres (Time of the Masters) is the second album from the tireless, young Brazilian guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento. It finds its roots in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, passed down through generations of Native Brazilians, and is imbibed by the Afro-Brazilian culture that arose after Portuguese colonization. This blend is not new in Brazil, and is represented musically by great Brazilian musicians both known and celebrated — the guitarist Baden Powell and catalyst Hermeto Pascoal, both direct influences on Do Nascimento — and less exposed, like the experimentalist Carioca, one of Do Nascimento’s mentors, and the Brazilian psychedelic pioneer Lula Cortes, whose album Paebiru rewrote Brazilian rock’s history in 1975. It is the third Brazilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz and Do Nascimento’s debut Dança dos Tempos. Do Nascimento’s is joined on Tempo dos Mestres by his long time percussionist, Ricardo ‘Tiki’ Pasillas on trap drums and percussion, and Sam Gendel on saxophone and flute. Vocals are performed by Thalma de Freitas and Carla Hasset. These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, straight to 2″ analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances. Do Nascimento’s fans include legendary percussionist Airto Moreira, who recorded Dança dos Tempos and can be found playing live with Do Nascimento. ‘He’s Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common.’ Moreira states. ‘Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy!’ Do Nascimento takes his music, and his place in Brazil’s lineage, seriously, and he often travels the vast country, spending time in the rainforest, living life as it was lived in the distant past, while studying with still living masters as he searches for new directions of the path trod by the geniuses whose influence abounds in contemporary music, but whose names are still unfamiliar. ‘Being a musician — feeling, studying, experiencing, living music — this comes first, right?’ Do Nascimento questions. ‘ Second, we hope that the depths of knowledge in the music from the masters before us can be shared more, each time, to the younger generations coming.’ In Tempo dos Mestres Do Nascimento answers himself with a beautiful entry into the evolving language of timeless Brazilian music.”

File Under: Brazil, Rock
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nww

Nurse With Wound: Spiral Insana (Rotorelief) LP
Deluxe metallic silver gatefold sleeve. Limited numbered edition of 1000. Rotorelief inaugurates its Silver Collection with this deluxe expanded reissue of Nurse With Wound’s 1986 masterpiece Spiral Insana. One of Nurse With Wound’s most deep and mysterious recordings, Spiral Insana is more ambient and user-friendly than many other NWW outings, without losing any of its surreal edge. Stapleton and guests Robert Haigh and David Jackman mix prepared piano, percussion, loops, and various bric-à-brac into an hour-long collage of mashed-up sound, jarring juxtapositions, buzz-saw distortion, and even a pipe organ. If that sounds disorienting, that’s because it is. This edition marks the definitive release of the complete Spiral Insana sessions, with the contents of the original 1986 LP augmented by three recordings from the same period: “Mourning Smile” (originally released on the 1987 LP Drunk With The Old Man Of The Mountains and later included on the 1997 United Dairies CD reissue of Spiral Insana), “Nihil” (first released on the 1997 Spiral Insana CD reissue), and “A Missing Sense,” a 25-minute tribute to Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing originally released as the NWW half of a 1986 LP split with Organum. Steven Stapleton: drums, cello, radio, guitar, bowed piano, percussion, loops, voice, tuba, organ, electronics; Robert Haigh: guitar; David Jackman: banjo, splutter, voice; Chris Wallis: acoustic guitar; David Tibet: trumpet; Diana Rogerson: voice; Andrew McKenzie: voice. Mastered by Denis Blackham. Cover art and pictures by Babs Santini. “Still stands as one of the clear highlights of Stephen Stapleton’s singularly daunting and mountainous discography. . . . Many of the varied interludes are noisy, fragmented, and somewhat abrasive, but there is always a playful sense of mischief lurking in the shadows, ready to blunder into the steadily darkening fever dream at any second. . . . a brilliantly skewed and excellent album that has not faded with age one bit.” –Anthony D’Amico, Brainwashed

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Drone, Noise
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odwyer

Aine O’Dwyer: Gegenschein (Penultimate Press) LP
Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer follows her highly acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II double LP (2015) with two LP releases, Gegenschein and Locusts. While continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, these two releases steer away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored. Gegenschein was recorded at the Franciscan Friary in Limerick, Ireland. O’Dwyer gained access to the Friary in 2012 and explored both the pipe organ and the space in its disused state. What becomes of a sacred space after the dispersion of the spirit, after the light has been switched off, after the deconsecration? Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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odwyer2

Aine O’Dwyer: Locusts (Penultimate Press) LP
Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer follows her highly acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II double LP (2015) with two LP releases, Locusts and Gegenschein. While continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, these two releases steer away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored. O’Dwyer recorded Locusts in 2015 at St. James’ Church in Barrow-in-Furness, England, and at the First Unitarian Congregational Society sanctuary in Brooklyn Heights, New York. The record presents itself as a celebration of the pipe organ’s acoustic capacity to tap into electronic pulses, and of O’Dwyer’s liturgical memories, which are, at times, pushed into horrorthon states. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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pissed

Pissed Jeans: Why Love Now (Sub Pop) LP
Pissed Jeans have been making gnarly noise for 13 years, and on their fifth album, Why Love Now, the male-fronted quartet is taking aim at the mundane discomforts of modern life – from fetish webcams to office-supply deliveries. Pissed Jeans’ gutter-scraped amalgamation of sludge, punk, noise, and bracing wit make the band – frontman Matt Korvette, Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums) – a release valve for a world where absurdity seems in a constant battle trying to outdo itself. Why Love Now picks at the bursting seams that are barely holding 21st-century life together. Take the grinding rave-up “The Bar Is Low,” which, according to Korvette, is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead.” The lyrics on Why Love Now are particularly pointed about gender relations and the minefield they present in 2016. “‘It’s Your Knees’ is about the endless, unrequested, commenting on if you’d fuck a girl,” Korvette explains. On “Love Without Emotion” Korvette channels Nick Cave’s guttural side while bemoaning his detachment over cavernous guitars. “Ignorecam” twists the idea of fetish cam shows into a showcase for Korvette’s rancid yelp and his bandmates’ pummeling rock. As they did on their last album, 2013’s Honeys, Pissed Jeans offer a couple of “fuck that shit type songs” about the working world. And the startling “I’m A Man,” which comes at the album’s midpoint, finds author Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls) taking center stage, delivering a self-penned monologue of W.B. Mason-inspired erotica. No Wave legend Lydia Lunch shacked up in Philadelphia to produce Why Love Now alongside local metal legend Arthur Rizk (Eternal Champion, Goat Semen). The combination of Lunch’s spiritual guidance and Rizk’s technical prowess supercharged Pissed Jeans, and the bracing Why Love Now documents them at their grimy, grinning best. While its references may be very early-21st-century, its willingness to state its case cement it as an album in line with punk’s tradition of turning norms on their heads and shaking them loose.

File Under: Punk
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riley-1

Terry Riley: Descending Moonshine Dervishes (Beacon Sound) LP
Beacon Sound present a reissue of Terry Riley’s Descending Moonshine Dervishes, originally released in 1982. Recorded live in Berlin in 1975, and largely improvised, Riley plays a modified Yamaha organ with variable resistors to facilitate tuning in just intonation. This is a 50+ minute recording divided into two halves for vinyl. Terry Riley turned the music world upside down with his 1964 work In C, a revolutionary concept based on 53 modules that can be improvised upon by any number of musicians for an indeterminate amount of time over a pulsing C note typically played on piano or mallet. Performed live for the first time by Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, and Jon Gibson, it has since been performed by everyone from the Shanghai Film Orchestra, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and the Malian musicians of Africa Express (featuring contributions by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn). Though referred to as the “father of minimalism”, the 81-year-old Riley has ranged widely in the intervening decades, deeply influenced by jazz, North Indian classical music, and a distinctly West Coast strain of radical spirituality – and in turn influencing practically everyone: The Who (“Baba O’Riley”), The Velvet Underground, collaborators The Kronos Quartet, as well as the legions of cutting-edge electronic musicians and contemporary composers making genre-defying music today. A resident of Grass Valley, CA, Riley is still touring the world. “Great for meditating to the cosmos” –Thurston Moore. Remastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri.

File Under: Drone, Experimental

riley2

Terry Riley: Songs for the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets (Beacon Sound) LP
Beacon Sound present a reissue of Terry Riley’s Songs For The Ten Voices Of The Two Prophets, originally released in 1983. Recorded live in Munich in 1982 using two Prophet synthesizers and voice, this album is a reflection of Riley’s ongoing interest in melding improvisation, electronic music, and the raga vocal stylings of his mentor, Pandit Pran Nath. Terry Riley turned the music world upside down with his 1964 work In C, a revolutionary concept based on 53 modules that can be improvised upon by any number of musicians for an indeterminate amount of time over a pulsing C note typically played on piano or mallet. Performed live for the first time by Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, and Jon Gibson, it has since been performed by everyone from the Shanghai Film Orchestra, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and the Malian musicians of Africa Express (featuring contributions by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn). Though referred to as the “father of minimalism”, the 81-year-old Riley has ranged widely in the intervening decades, deeply influenced by jazz, North Indian classical music, and a distinctly West Coast strain of radical spirituality – and in turn influencing practically everyone: The Who (“Baba O’Riley”), The Velvet Underground, collaborators The Kronos Quartet, as well as the legions of cutting-edge electronic musicians and contemporary composers making genre-defying music today. A resident of Grass Valley, CA, Riley is still touring the world. Remastered by Raphael Anton Irisarri. Includes original insert; Edition of 300. “His voice twists and curves in complicated arabesques, recalling Indian music, and especially the singing of Mr. Riley’s colleague and teacher, Pandit Pran Nath, who is also associated with Mr. Riley’s long-time friend LaMonte Young. The synthesizers create a hushed, meditative counterpoint of slowly unwinding melodies and cross-rhythms… the Prophet 5, a polyphonic synthesizer that is capable of rich viola-like sounds, is a winning instrument for Mr. Riley’s improvisations. After years of playing a Yamaha electric organ, he has turned to the synthesizer, which theoretically offers an infinite assortment of sounds. Rather than take advantage of the instrument’s ability to mimic vocal sounds and timbres, as composers like Jon Hassel and Brian Eno have done, Mr. Riley plays the synthesizer as a keyboard instrument, with a luminous sound and the ability to bend or inflect notes.” –New York Times, Feb 1984

File Under: Drone, Experimental
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sadies

The Sadies: Northern Passages (Dine Alone) LP
The essence of The Sadies’ story can be summed up with the powerful image of the aurora borealis adorning the cover of Northern Passages. Ever since the quartet, comprised of singer/guitarists Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky, first arrived on the North American scene 20 years ago, their music has never been less than awe-inspiring, with no embellishment necessary. Recorded in the basement of Dallas and Travis’ parents’ home north of Toronto over the winter of 2015, the familiar surroundings and lack of distractions resulted in a consistent feel, despite the eclecticism at the heart of The Sadies’ sound. The psych-folk flourishes on tracks such as “Riverview Fog” are no mere homage; this is the sound of our inscrutable world, and how we manage to survive in it. Adding to The Sadies’ running list of astounding collaborators–Neko Case, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gord Downie and Neil Young, to name a few–twang-folk troubadour Kurt Vile lends his signature vocals to album highlight “It’s Easy (Like Walking)”.

File Under: Folk Rock
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skullflower

Skullflower: The Black Iron That Fell From The Sky, to Dwell Within… (Nashazphone) LP
The inception of an audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus, and the Apep serpent. Volume one comprises of three received transmissions from the tunnels of Set via the physical envelopes of Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies operating as the occult cell known as Skullflower. The working, the concept, and guiding hand comes from Nashazphone, purveyors of artifacts, dreams and koans, who are currently re-creating and re-writing the myths and cycles of their native land.

File Under: Experimental, Drone, Noise
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thomas

Amedro Tommasi: Thomas (Sonar Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Amedeo Tommasi’s Thomas: Colonna Sonora Originale Del Film, originally released the on Gemelli label in 1970. The Infamous and legendary score for the film of the same name directed by cult Italian director Pupi Avati. An Italian soundtrack milestone and a pure masterpiece of Italian giallo, thriller, and exploitation. Scary, giallo vibes with stunning cinematic sinister beats. Features Edda Dell’Orso, who provides some astonishing frightful vocals. A mythical album for any Italian giallo/thriller enthusiast. Hard cover glossy sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, OST
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zos

Zos Kia/Coil: Transparent (Cold Spring) LP
Comes in a gatefold sleeve with a 12″ booklet of unseen images and includes a download card. The entire Transparent recordings released for the first time, completely remastered from the unedited tapes. Zos Kia was formed by John Gosling (Mekon), John Balance (Coil) and Min – with guest Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle). Their one and only album, Transparent, was released on August 23rd, 1983 in a cassette only edition on the now defunct Austria label Nekrophile. They were the first released recordings of both Coil and Zos Kia. It was reissued years later by Coil (Threshold House/Eskaton). Includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks by Ake (pre-Zos Kia). The music on Transparent is genuinely unsettling and disturbing, with a more primal Industrial feel than the Coil album which followed; Scatology (1984). An essential insight into the very early work of these extraordinary artists and an undeniable link between Coil and Throbbing Gristle.

File Under: Industrial, Coil
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oz-waves

Various: Oz Waves (Efficient Space) LP
Efficient Space continue to expose Australia’s esoteric musical history with Oz Waves – a collection of ’80s DIY recordings, compiled by odd wave anthropologist Steele Bonus. Definitive proof that inhabitants of the Down Underground were links in a global network of creative kooks, Oz Waves connects those who utilized mobile recording rigs and small press releases to create and disseminate misfit synth-punk, tape loop experiments, and inner city pop. Through overseas mail order exchanges, anonymous groups like Zerox Dreamflesh could find place on Belgian compilations, while Chris and Cosey lullabied their son to sleep with Irena Xero and her interdisciplinary art collective Zip. Bonus selects ten survivors from the fertile period (1982-1989), most of which were only issued on cassette in tiny editions of five to one-hundred copies. M Squared affiliates Prod join the extraterrestrial Software Seduction, He Dark Age’s minimal wave neglect and the irreverent cut ups of The Horse He’s Sick and MK Ultra & the Assassins of Light. The remaining tracks have been sourced from musicians’ private archives and are being officially released on Oz Waves for the first time – Andy Rantzen’s industrial dub Itch-E & Scratch-E precursor, the buoyant vocal-drone of Ironing Music, and Moral Fibro, Sydney’s short lived answer to Weekend and Marine Girls. With detailed track-by-track notes, lines are drawn to Severed Heads, Scattered Order, and other antipodean post-punk royalty. As a DJ, Steele Bonus has gained notoriety via the exquisite selections that form his ongoing mix series Odd Waves. Sydney-born, Amsterdam-based, his graphic design has not only been responsible for sleeves on Efficient Space, but also trusted Amsterdam connoisseurs Music From Memory and Young Marco’s Safe Trip. Includes a download card.

File Under: Synth Pop, Post Punk
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archipelago

Various: Sounds From the Archipelago: An Introduction to the Lush Indonesian Music Tradition Vol. 1 (Shiok) LP
The first volume of Sounds From The Archipelago: An Introduction To The Lush Indonesian Music Tradition gathers traditional music from different areas of the Indonesian archipelago, featuring music from Sulawesi, The Moluccas Islands (Spice Islands), and Central Java. In the first track from Sulawesi (“Gandrung Bulo”), the lead is taken by the percussion made of bamboo drums, later joined by two male voices in the second track. This is traditional entertainment music which is typically played at weddings, feasts, and others special occasions. The last track is an instrumental one featuring the story-telling of an epic ballad. The singer is playing a traditional Indonesian instrument called the sinrili. The track from the Moluccas (“Tjakalele”) is a typical warrior dance, and it was recorded in the main city of Maluku Islands. The music from Bali is performed by a chorus of seventy-eight men sitting in circle around the actors, during the representation of the so-called Ketchak (Monkey) Dance, which is still a big attraction for travelers coming to Bali. The selection from Central Java is a traditional piece called Perdjuritan dance (“Perdjuritan”), which is some sort of a soldiers’ dance. It is performed by a traditional Javanese orchestra (called Gamelan) which consists of drums, metal rattles and whistles. The last sample is recorded in the capital city of Jakarta and represents an example of the so called Sundanese music, typical of the western region of Java. Another example of traditional old entertainment music to be played during various festivities. Shiok! Records is a new record label dedicated to the discovery of the extensive and rich music tradition of the various South East Asian countries. Operating right from the heart of the region, in the strategic location of Singapore, Shiok! Records’ core mission is to provide a musical outlook on some “hidden gems” that are still mostly unknown to the vast majority of the western audiophile audience. By following a chronological and anthological approach, Shiok! Records will be publishing music deeply rooted in the history, folkways and traditions of the mighty and exotic territories of the East. With a specific focus on the lush production of Indonesia for its first issues, Shiok! Records will later venture into the various music genres of Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

File Under: World, Indonesian, Gamelan

arch2

Various: Sounds From the Archipelago: An Introduction to the Lush Indonesian Music Tradition Vol. 2 (Shiok) LP
The second volume of Sounds From The Archipelago: An Introduction To The Lush Indonesian Music Tradition covers music from the vast island of Sumatra (West Indonesia), The Moluccas Islands, and the island of Bali. In the first sample from Sumatra (“Gondang Mula Mula”), recorded near the awesome Lake Toba, is a ceremonial overture played during weddings and special occasions. The band is comprised of four instruments: two “Ketchapis” (sort of a two-string ukulele), one “Serenar” (a wind instrument), and one simple metal spoon tapped against a glass bottle. The second track (“Andung Andung”) is music conceived to put people in the right mood for working in the fields, or boating on Lake Toba. Some sort of predecessor, if you will, of the “Ayo kerja” slogan and movement. The third track (“Hasa Hatan”) is a coda to all ceremonies in the region, and carries a benediction. The track from Moluccas (“Menari Sawat”) is a Muslim traditional dance from the area (menari), while sawat is the name of this type of music. The recording is taken in a small fishing village. The album moves to Bali, where the first track (“Pubradaya”) is a sitting dance performed by a local Gamelan orchestra. The following four tracks (“Barong Dance: Preren, Omang, Castel, and Sadewa”) are all part of a suite of drums and gamelan music performed for the dance of a Barong, which is a mythical creature represented as half lion and half dog. The last two pieces are typical cremation music played on the tower at the cremation ceremonies in Bali, extremely interesting and unique. Shiok! Records is a new record label dedicated to the discovery of the extensive and rich music tradition of the various South East Asian countries. Operating right from the heart of the region, in the strategic location of Singapore, Shiok! Records’ core mission is to provide a musical outlook on some “hidden gems” that are still mostly unknown to the vast majority of the western audiophile audience. By following a chronological and anthological approach, Shiok! Records will be publishing music deeply rooted in the history, folkways and traditions of the mighty and exotic territories of the East. With a specific focus on the lush production of Indonesia for its first issues, Shiok! Records will later venture into the various music genres of Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

File Under: World, Indonesian, Gamelan

time-will

Various: This Time Will Be Different (Interstate) LP
This Time Will Be Different – The Sweet Soul Of Philadelphia: 1968-1982 is the first part in Interstate Records’ regional soul series. This Time Will Be Different documents the emerging Philly soul sound, as influenced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, but with a focus on more obscure artists and releases. Features writing, arrangement, and production by Jerry Ross, Norman Harris, Thom Bell and Linda Creed, and Bobby Martin, with appearances by Bunny Sigler, Billy Hill (The Essex), and more. Features: The Invitations, Lou Curtin, Festivals, Choice Of Colors, Broadway Express, The Futures, Phyllis Smith, The Courtships, Paradise, J. Kelly & The Premiers, The Geminiles, The Mello Moods, The Epsilons, The Blue Notes, and The Elegant’s.

File Under: Soul

this-love

Various: This Love is for Real (Interstate) LP
This Love Is For Real – The Sweet Soul Of Chicago: 1968-1981 is the second part in Interstate Records’ regional soul series. This Love Is For Real documents the Chicago sound, as popularized by Curtis Mayfield, The Chi-Lites or Impressions, but with a focus on more obscure artists and releases. Features writing, arrangement, and production by Leroy Hutson, Willie Henderson, Eugene Record, with appearances by Otil Leavill, Charles Jackson, and more. Features: Essence, Marzette Griffith, Harlem Meat Company, Magnum Force, Billy & The Bloodknots, The Lost Generation, The Stimulators, Hands Of Time, Chocolate Sunday, Bruce Thompson, The Vegas, The Ledgends, The Independents, The Cheers, Little Ben Norfleet, The Lovelites, and Windy City.

File Under: Soul

mountains

Various: Where the Mountains Meet the Sky (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Music from Ladakh recorded during the making of the film The Song Collector (2014) by director Erik Koto, with additional material recorded by Bill Kite in 1992. “Situated high in the Western Himalaya, Ladakh is one of the great cultural crossroads of Asia. For centuries, it sat at the hub of ancient trade routes that connected the Silk Road to India, Tibet, and Kashmir. Each year, once the winter snows had melted from the high passes surrounding Ladakh, its markets would buzz with merchants from throughout central Asia. They brought spices, wool, salt, and silk. They also brought their instruments and their folks songs. Over time, these diverse musical influences laid the foundation of Ladakh’s unique folk traditions. Folk music became central to the daily life of the Ladakhis with song serving as an essential form of communication, documentation, and entertainment. This collection of songs is intended to offer a sampling of the range of Ladakh’s folk music. These songs also celebrate one of the great folk artists of Ladakh, Morup Namgyal. Morup is an avid preservationist and during his 30-year career working at Ladakh’s only radio station (All India Radio, Leh) he recorded a vast archive of Ladakhi folk songs. This collection of over 1,000 recordings was unlike anything else in Ladakh and formed a crucial link to a dying folk tradition. Tragically, it burned to the ground in 2002 when a fire raged through the old wooden radio station building. The loss was devastating, but Morup immediately set about recreating the archive. Five of the songs on this album, recorded in 1992, are among the handful of tracks to have been spared by the fire. Today, Ladakh’s marketplaces bear little resemblance to the buzzing markets of old. Gone are the camel trains and merchants, replaced instead by Indian trucks belching smoke. Seemingly vanished too are the folk musicians, pushed aside by the synthetic beats of the latest Bollywood hit. But the folk artists have not vanished entirely, and if you wander beyond the blare of the latest pop song, you’ll discover a folk tradition that, thanks to the efforts of Morup Namgyal and others like him, is alive, evolving, and poised to endure the challenges of modernization.” –Erik Koto. LP comes with a full-size insert containing historic photos, song lyrics, and liner notes by Erik Koto.

File Under: World, India

…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Kevin Ayers: Joy of a Toy (Vinylisssimo) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (Reprise) LP
Cluster: Zuckerzeit (Lilith) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs from a Room (Legacy) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs of (Legacy) LP
Sarah Davachi: Vergers (Important) LP
Betty Davis: This Is It (Vampisoul) LP
Echo & The Bunnymen: Ocean Rain (1972) LP
Equiknoxx: Bird Sound (DDS) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Carla Del Forno: You Know What It’s Like (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Gun Club: Fire of Love (Munster) LP
GZA: Liquid Swords (Universal) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasure (Rhino) LP
Kaleo: A/B (Atlantic) LP
Eyvind Kang/Tashi Dorji: Mother of… (Unrock) LP
Kinks: Mono Collection (Sanctuary) Box
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France (EMI) LP
Klara Lewis: Ett (Editions Mego) LP
Egisto Macchi: Messico (Cinedelic) LP
Egisto Macchi: Viiolenza (Cinedelic) LP
Egisto Macchi: Biologia Animale e Vegetale (Cinedelic) 3LP
Tim Mala: s/t (Vinylisssimo) LP
Massive Attack: Protection (EMI) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Universal) LP
Scientist: Meets the Space Invaders (Dub Mir) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dub Mir) LP
Scientist: Wins the World Cup (Dub Mir) LP
The Sound: Jeopardy (1972) LP
The Sound: Lions Mouth (1972) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds (Thirty Tigers) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Sun Ra: Nubians of Plutonia (Cornbread) LP
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (EMI) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Mind Control (Rise Above) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP
Various: Go Devil Go! (Jerome) LP
Various: Poco Loco (University of Vice) LP
Various: Poco Loco 4 (University of Vice) LP
Various: Slow Grind Fever 5 (Stag-O-Lee) LP

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…..news letter #780 – lax…..

Howdy all! I just sent out News Letter #779 and here I am, putting together #780. That’s because when you read this, I’m not actually in Edmonton! Unless you are reading this on Friday, then I am actually in Edmonton. Anyway, this list is a little different, because I don’t actually know if these items showed up or not. They are supposed to, and hopefully they did. I could confirm that, but, I’m not going to. They’ll be in eventually, if they aren’t already.

…..picks of the week…..

bing.jpg

Bing & Ruth: No Home of the Mind (4AD) LP
Continuing with the deft minimalism that has marked them out in critical circles in recent years, New York ensemble Bing & Ruth return with their third record No Home of the Mind. Established in 2006, Bing & Ruth is an ever-evolving collective steered by composer David Moore. A pianist from Kansas and graduate of New York’s school of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School, Moore’s work follows in the great tradition of fellow alumni John Cage and Steve Reich, albeit looking past the more studied repetition of the style’s forerunners toward a meditative form built on feeling. With Moore at its nucleus, Bing & Ruth’s line-up has transmuted from the 11-strong line-up that created debut album City Lake (“A stunning, humble record built on traditions we all understand, yet, somehow feels dizzyingly new.” – The Quietus) to a cast of 7 for 2014’s Tomorrow Was The Golden Age (“One of the finest leftfield releases of the year.” – Pitchfork). With No Home of the Mind, the ensemble has been streamlined to a 5-person unit, exploring the piano’s percussive qualities alongside running woodwinds, warbling tape delays and splattered upright bass lines that stare out with a wide-eyed transcendence, taking so-called “classical” music to new limits.

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Minimalism
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cloaks.jpg

Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage (RVNG Intl) LP
Visible Cloaks’ Reassemblage is a collection of delicately rendered passages of silence and sound that invokes – and invites – consciousness. The foundation of the duo’s second album is gently poured upon the ground their musical predecessors explored, using the materials of chance operations, MIDI “translation,” and other generative principles that favor inclusive musical environments over the narrowly constrained. In 2010, Spencer Doran, one part of Visible Cloaks alongside Ryan Carlile, prepared the first volume of Fairlights, Mallets, and Bamboo, a mixtape indicated by Doran as “an investigation into fourth-world undercurrents in Japanese ambient and pop music, years 1980 – 1986.” These mixes contextualized the outré orbit of Yellow Magic Orchestra-related solo projects and their abstract, radiant forays as forever futuristic modes of music. Reassemblage evokes similar musical futures celebrated on the Fairlights mixes, but does so observantly rather than reverently. The title Reassemblage, for example, is taken from a film essay by Trinh T. Minh-ha, which explores the impossibility of ascribing meaning to ethnographic images. The author aims to “speak nearby” rather than “speak about.” In other words, to embrace lapses of understanding, and realize that the impulse to map direct meaning across a cultural gap often results in further disconnect. In an effort to “speak nearby” rather than “speak about,” Visible Cloaks filters and forms source material to become young again. Often the duo strip tonal elements of their specificity or randomize melodies so they become stirring and lucid. Essential patterns emerge, conscious experience heightens. In these moments, the musical language of Reassemblage finds unlimited resonance and presents a path to uninhabited realities. The origin of this language could be described as translingual or polyglottal, working within the eastern / western feedback loop of influence, Fourth World ambiguity, and the universality of human emotion. Incorporating an international array of virtual instruments to advance the idea of panglobalism through digital simulation, tones and colors cohere into a living, breathing pool of sensorial experience in Visible Cloaks’ environs. Beyond embracing the fluidity of worldly musical influences, Visible Cloaks works fluently between mediums. The contribution of stalwart digital and installation artist Brenna Murphy’s dream dimensions to Reassemblage’s cover artwork and surrounding videos extends the album’s exploration of global headspace into a visual, visceral reality.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Generative, East/West
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…..new arrivals…..

colorist

The Colorist & Emiliana Torrini: s/t (Rough Trade) LP
Rough Trade presents the collaborative album by Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra. This is a live album containing ten Torrini songs from her catalog along with two brand new songs. Seeing Emilíana and The Colorist Orchestra in concert is a truly special experience. They have a musical chemistry that is undeniable, and documenting the experience on an album was something that just had to be done. While Torrini needs no introduction, her musical collaborators on this self-titled release have an interesting and creative way of working that warrants further examination. The Colorist Orchestra is a Belgian ensemble founded by Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans in 2013. They re-envision the repertoires of established musicians from across genres using traditional classical instruments and arrangements, along with a variety of their own musical inventions to contribute innovative, never-before-heard sounds and grooves to their compositions and re-compositions. When Jespers and Proesmans, fans of Torrini’s rich catalog, invited her to collaborate on a series of live concerts, she was intrigued, and asked them to re-compose one of her songs to see what their concept was all about. The result, a wholly novel rendition of “Animal Games” from her most recent album Tookah convinced Torrini that working with the group was a creative opportunity that she shouldn’t dare miss. Although The Colorist Orchestra had initially planned to “re-color” only seven of Torrini’s songs, she was so enthralled by what she’d heard that she convinced them to work with her on fifteen of her previously-released tracks. Jespers and Proesmans pulled together a new eight-piece ensemble to create live re-envisionings of the works. The group created a new world out of the music, and while Torrini admitted that she could barely recognize many of her own songs in the rearrangements, the collaboration came together organically and beautifully, with Torrini’s talent elevating the Colorist ensemble’s creativity, and the group helping her rediscover the joy and the power within her own songs in this new light. Two brand-new Torrini songs debut on this album: “Nightfall,” written by Kid Koala and Torrini; and “When We Dance,” written by Jespers, Proesmans, and Torrini. The latter reflects the musical chemistry the three musicians developed during the process of rehearsal and performance for the Colorist concerts.
File Under: Indie Rock
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grailsGrails: Chalice Hymnal (Temporary Residence) LP

Rather than pick up where they left off, Grails take the sky-high riff-based heaviness of their earlier albums and distill it into a nuanced, widescreen opus. The perennial influences of mid-20th century Western film scores, obscure library music, and psychedelic krautrock are indelibly imprinted, but Chalice Hymnal exudes an eerie patience in unfurling the many layers of its subtle details. Produced by the band over the past five years, Chalice Hymnal bears some of the European psych and experimental hip-hop production techniques of founding members Alex Hall and Emil Amos’ other group, Lilacs & Champagne. Amos’ meditative metal band, Om, and longtime singer-songwriter project, Holy Sons, also naturally find their way into the Chalice cauldron. Rounding out their leaner line-up, co-founder Zak Riles (also of experimental kraut-psych trio, Watter) layers synths and programming into an electronic-prog hybrid that pushes Grails further into the deep end, displaying a profound resonance, both musically and emotionally. No one else sounds like Grails, and on Chalice Hymnal they sound more like themselves than ever before.
File Under: Psych Rock
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lekman

Jens Lekman: Life Will See You Now (Secretly Canadian) LP
Jens Lekman describes his new record, Life Will See You Now, playfully, but also honestly, as “a midlife-crisis disco album; it’s an existentialist record, about seeing the consequences of your choices.” It’s a typical Lekman album in several ways: sly humor is key to its heartfelt nature; it inverts pop’s writing norm by making songs with sad concerns sound happy and songs with a happy subject sound sad; and it plays with notions of identity and the self. But, as the title suggests, it also represents a significant move forward, as if across a threshold. It’s the more expansive, upbeat sound of a revitalized Lekman, who is just one of many characters in his new stories about the magic and messiness of different kinds of relationships.
File Under: Indie Rock
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arrivalOST: Arrival (Deutsche Grammophon) LP

Deutsche Grammophon presents the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the 2016 Paramount Pictures film Arrival, with music composed and produced by Johann Johannsson. Arrival marks the composers third cinematic collaboration with French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, following on from last years crime thriller Sicario, which garnered Johannsson an Oscar nomination for best original score. Arrival stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Adams playing the lead role of a linguist who attempts to communicate with the alien intelligence controlling a fleet of spacecraft that has suddenly and ominously appeared at sites all around the globe. As mankind teeters on the brink of global war, she and her team embark on a race against time to find out why these craft have come to earth. More than a conventional sci-fi thriller, this is a thoughtful, intellectual drama with a genre twist. “Arrival is a very unique science fiction film and I decided early on that the human voice would feature prominently in the score,” says Johannsson. “It seemed a natural choice, given that the story is very much about language and communication.” Johannsson worked with several singers and vocal ensembles and combined both classical and avant-garde elements in his compositions, augmenting his already unique approach of combining orchestral writing with digital sound processing. Among those appearing are the prestigious Theatre of Voices, conducted by Paul Hillier, and artists such as Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Hildur Guonadottir, known for their unique musicianship. Johannsson also integrated some found sounds from the legendary avant-garde vocalist Joan La Barbara into his score. The soundtrack was recorded in Prague, Copenhagen and his native Reykjavik.
File Under: OST
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jackie

OST: Jackie (Milan) LP
Directed by Pablo Larrain and written by Noah Oppenheim, Jackie is a one of a kind biopic. Starring Natalie Portman in the role of Jackie Kennedy, Peter Sarsgaard and Greta Gerwig, Jackie follows the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and finds the First Lady fighting through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy. The score to Jackie was composed by experimental British musician Mica Levi, best known for her ethereal score to 2013’s sleeper hit Under the Skin. Mournful and eerie with a touch of the surreal, Levi has delivered an unmistakable musical tapestry every bit as iconic as Jackie O herself. The mastered-for-vinyl score comes pressed on 180g LP and is housed in a heavy stock euro sleeve featuring black-and-white artwork of Jackie. A download card containing a digital version of the soundtrack is also included. “The movie’s gut punch owes part of its exceptional force to Mica Levi’s emotionally charged score,its requiem-style strings heavy with sorrow, sometimes distorted to express a surreal state of warped reality (reminiscent of her fabulous work on Under the Skin).” – The Hollywood Reporter
File Under: OST
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sampha

Sampha: Process (Young Turks) LP
Process is the debut full length LP from 27 year old vocalist, musician, songwriter and producer, Sampha Sisay, who’s notably worked with SBTRKT, Jessie Ware and FKA Twigs, whilst also lending his talents to hiphop megastars like Kanye West and Drake. The ten track album contains production credits from Sampha himself and XL Studios’ Rodaidh Mcdonald, and features the singles “Timmy’s Prayer” and “Blood On Me.” Morden born Sampha first turned heads back in 2011 with “Valentine,” a duet co-written with singer/songwriter Jessie Ware. With his recognizable vocals and unique, electronica-laced take on modern soul he’s proven himself to be one of Young Turks’ most versatile and talented artists.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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oaksStrand of Oaks: Hard Love (Dead Oceans) LP

Tim Showalter’s latest release as Strand of Oaks, Hard Love, emanates an unabashed, raw, and manic energy that embodies both the songs and the songwriter behind them. “For me, there are always two forces at work: the side that’s constantly on the hunt for the perfect song, and the side that’s naked in the desert screaming at the moon. It’s about finding a place where neither side is compromised, only elevated.” Drawing from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub compilations, and Jane’s Addiction, and informed  by a particularly wild time at Australia’s Boogie Festival, he sought to create a record that would merge all of these influences while evoking something new and visceral. These influences coupled with an uninhibited and collaborative studio experience moved an initial concept for a singularly feel-good record to something more complex and real. As much as Showalter wants this record to seem like a party, it’s more than that. It feels like living. “You went away…you went searching…came back tired of looking” is how Showalter begins the title track, a sentiment that epitomizes his own mentality in beginning Hard Love. As the record progresses, so do the themes of dissatisfaction and frustration with love, family, success, and aging, both in personal experience and songwriting.
File Under: Indie Rock
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tinarTinariwen: Elwan (Anti) LP

For the last five years, Tinariwen have been busy crisscrossing the globe bringing their triumpant tours to all five continents and expanding their audience. During this time their beloved homeland in the Adrar des Ifoghas, a Saharan mountain range that straddles the border between north-eastern Mali and southern Algeria has, in effect, been transformed into a conflict zone, a place where nobody can venture without putting themselves in danger. These conflicts have forced the band into exile to record their eighth album, Elwan. Elwan means ‘the elephants’ – an animal metaphor to describe those ‘beasts’, whether militias or multinational consortiums, who have trampled everything in their path: in the desert, where both the human and ecological equilibriums are extremely fragile. Tinariwen chose to record this album in several locations around the world, including for 4 days at the desert hideaway of Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree, CA, the studio known as a favored refuge for many an eclectic artist from Queens of the Stone Age to Daniel Lanios to Arctic Monkeys to Iggy Pop and more. For Tinariwen, the geographical location of the studio proved to be particularly propitious in terms of creativity. And the human climate was just as favorable. A few friends dropped in during the sessions to add some magic to a few tracks including, Kurt Vile (electric guitar), Mark Lanegan ( Vocals on “Nànnuflày”), Matt Sweeney (electric guitar) and producer/guitarist, Alain Johannes (Cigarbox guitar). Sessions were also recorded in Morocco, where the band were accompanied by local musicians, in a land where they are considered musical legends. Lovers of those sensual yet abrasive riffs that are Tinariwen’s signature won’t be disappointed. But neither will those who love their funky, danceable side, which comes through loud and clear. All that potential has been wonderfully honed by the album’s mixing engineer Andrew Schepps, known well for his work with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash, and Jay Z.
File Under: Africa, Tuareg, World, Blues
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zornJohn Zorn: Spy vs Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman (Music on Vinyl) LP

Spy vs Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman is the 1989 album by American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist John Zorn, featuring the compositions of Ornette Coleman performed in the brief intense style of Zorn’s hardcore miniatures. The liner notes thank Ornette and Denardo Coleman, Mick Harris of Napalm Death, Ted Epstein of Blind Idiot God, Pil of Lip Cream (a Japanese thrash core group), The Accused, Craig Flanagan, DRI, CBGB, and “the New York-London-Tokyo Hardcore Triangle”. The outstanding cover artwork was created by indie comic’s personality Mark Beyer (of Amy and Jordan fame). The album itself approaches free jazz from the perspective of hardcore punk, particularly taking note of the contemporary innovations of thrash core and grind core. Zorn would later pursue these preoccupations in the thrash jazz group Naked City. The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

File Under: Jazz
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…..news letter #779 – rip the axe…..

Another slim week, although I suppose a bunch of random, unexpected things could show up tomorrow. We’ve been getting lots of choice used LPs through lately, so I took advantage of the short list and gave some highlights of some recently priced used goodies to whet your appetite. Next week promises to have some wonderful new releases, although I can tell you already, the FIRE WALK WITH ME reissue is going to be late, but it’s coming.

…..pick of the week…..

sleep

…..new arrivals…..

diamond

David Bowie: Diamond Dogs (Parlophone) LP
Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabited a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliché Bowie continually evolved blurring genres and identities while remaining artistically radical and relevant throughout his trailblazing career. Bowie’s first album of original material since killing off Ziggy Stardust, 1974’s Diamond Dogs was conceptually built off of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, brimming with tension and angst which stood in stark contrast to the disco music that was beginning to crowd the airwaves. It also displayed hints of Bowie’s interest in the music he heard in America. However, authentic soul with a unique UK perspective meant this was far from being a homage. Propelled by the signature single “Rebel Rebel,” Diamond Dogs hit the No. 1 spot in the U.K. and served as Bowie’s big breakthrough in the U.S. where it climbed into the Top 5.

File Under: Rock
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nassauDavid Bowie: Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 (Parlophone) LP
Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabited a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliché Bowie continually evolved blurring genres and identities while remaining artistically radical and relevant throughout his trailblazing career. Recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY on March 23, 1976, this double album is the official document of the Isolar/Station To Station tour. Known to fans for many years as the Thin White Duke double album bootleg (among various other titles), the record didn’t get an official release for over thirty years, when it was finally issued as part of the Station To Station deluxe set in September 2010. The bridge between Bowie’s plastic soul days and the Brian Eno infused Berlin trilogy, Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 captures top flight performance of songs from such landmark albums as Hunky Dory (“Changes,” “Queen Bitch,” “Life On Mars?”), Ziggy Stardust (“Five Years,” “Suffragette City”), Aladdin Sane (“Panic in Detroit,” “The Jean Genie”), Diamond Dogs (“Rebel Rebel,” “Diamond Dogs”) and the most recently released Station To Station (“Station to Station,” “Word on a Wing,” “Stay,” “TVC15”).

File Under: Rock
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stationDavid Bowie: Station to Station (Parlophone) LP
“The return of The Thin White Duke…” So begins David Bowie’s tenth studio album, 1976’s Station To Station. In part influenced by his role in Nicolas Roeg’s film The Man Who Fell To Earth, ever the innovator, Bowie became the character The Thin White Duke; a composite, part his character from the film, alien Thomas Jerome Newton, part Buster Keaton and part European cabaret artist. After the release of 1975’s soul and funk-inspired Young Americans, Bowie and the album’s guitarist Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick (guitar), the E-Street Band’s Roy Bittan (piano), Dennis Davis (drums), George Murray (bass) and Warren Peace (backing vocals) entered Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles to record its follow up. Touching on his love of German electronic bands, American R&B and even film music plus the talents of his American band, Bowie crafted an album drawing on both European and American sensibilities; a transition between his recent Plastic Soul period and what would become his re-acquaintance with European culture when he moved to Berlin the following year. The opening 10-minute title track leaves the listener in no doubt that another ground-breaking Bowie transformation is taking place. From the sound of a moving train and two-note intro, through the introduction and intention of The Thin White Duke – taking in Crowley, Cocaine and Kabbalah and Romanticism – the song is a piece of paranoid and dislocated electronic-funk. This is followed by the distinctive UK and US Top 10 single “Golden Years,” which hints at the funk and soul of his previous album. “Word On A Wing” is the first of the album’s two ballads, with a decidedly Christian theme – a song which in later years Bowie said was something of a cry for help. The back-to-back “TVC15” and “Stay” provide the album with a funkier feel, the former having said to have been influenced by being sprawled in front of a dozen TV monitors and a dream about a girlfriend being eaten by a TV set. A great admirer of Nina Simone’s version of the song, the album’s second ballad and final track is a cover of Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington’s ballad “Wild Is The Wind,” generally considered an inspired and classic Bowie vocal performance. Station To Station was a top 5 success in the U.K. and U.S. It would, as many authorities said, divide the decade for Bowie. He thereafter left the US for Berlin with Iggy Pop and embarked on a journey which saw the creation of his seminal Berlin Trilogy, as well as playing a major role in Iggy’s acclaimed The Idiot and Lust For Life albums.

 File Under: Rock
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young

David Bowie: Young Americans (Parlophone) LP
1975’s Young Americans spent almost a year on the U.S. charts, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard’s Albums chart, while its single “Fame” hit No. 1 on the Pop Singles chart. Bowie’s Diamond Dogs had cracked the U.S. Top 5 the previous year, so while Young Americans was not the album that initially broke Bowie in America, it was certainly the one that aligned him with Rod Stewart and Elton John in the top ranks of the decade’s Stateside superstars. Young Americans, representing the zenith of Bowie’s influential soul period, contributed in no small measure to breaking white soul music into the mainstream. The album was, in theory, about “emotional drive,” but came to represent much more than that, both upon its release and over time. Young Americans is Bowie’s vision of and reply to a wide swath of above-board and underground musical and socio-political influences, including soul music, politics, sex, drugs, dancing, and the cultural scenes of downtown New York and uptown Philadelphia. A No. 2 U.K. chart peak made it Bowie’s first studio album in three years not to reach the top spot. Nonetheless, the album’s legacy would be profound, as a new movement of U.K. soul drew inspiration from Bowie’s cool version of Americana and revolutionized British pop in the process. Bowie’s soul boy look and haircut, later to be known as ‘the wedge,’ became the hallmarks of classic clubland cool, not just for the soul boys themselves but across the greater New Romantic era, as well. It is not often that an album makes such a sweeping musical, cultural and subcultural impact. David Bowie’s Young Americans is one of the rare, era-defining records that altered the course of both popular music and modern style.

 File Under: Rock
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homeshake

Homeshake: Fresh Air (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Born in the bleak isolation of the secluded prairie city of Edmonton, Canada, Homeshake’s Peter Sagar worked with friends in a number of local bands before picking up and moving to Montreal in 2011 to begin recording under the Homeshake moniker. Following two self-released cassettes (The Homeshake Tapes and Dynamic Meditation) and two acclaimed full lengths (In The Shower and Midnight Snack), Sagar cracks a window open with his third album for Sinderlyn – Fresh Air. Started immediately following the recording of Midnight Snack, Fresh Air continues Sagar’s exploration of dreamy, downtempo bedroom R&B and draws inspiration from such disparate artists like Sade, The Band, Broadcast, Prince, and Angelo Badalamenti. As the title Fresh Air suggests, Sagar’s songs were created to clear his listeners’ minds of negativity. Full of smokey, laid back love songs and airy productions, Sagar’s decidedly stoned sound is a breath of fresh air.

File Under: Indie Rock
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hoop

Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now Included (Sub Pop) LP
Jesca Hoop’s new album Memories Are Now,, wastes no time in making clear its confidence, confrontation, and craftsmanship. The stark and reverberant title track opens the album with “a fighting spirit,” says Hoop, serving as an anthem to push through any obstacle and put forth your very best work. And she has unequivocally done that here, with an album of stunningly original songs – minimalist yet brimming with energy, emerging from a wealth of life experience, great emotional depth, and years of honing the craft of singing. As riveting as it is reflective, the album, produced by Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Alabama Shakes), is a fresh debut of sorts for Hoop, as the first of her solo records made outside of Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist Studios where she and Mills were mentored. Says Hoop, “Blake is so utterly musical and emotionally intelligent in his expression. I wanted to see what we could do, just he and I out from under Tony’s wing.” Mills pushed her to strip away layers, keeping it as close to the live experience as possible, using whole live takes and working very quickly. “It’s still covered in embryonic fluid, for lack of a better way to put it,” says Hoop. However fast the work, Memories Are Now covers a great deal of ground, showcasing every edge and curve of Hoop’s captivating voice, with sounds and themes ranging from the mythic to the deeply intimate. She sings of the religion that weighs heavily on her past and the world, of the imagination of myth, of the cruel nature of life and love. The defiance that permeates Memories Are Now is both a product and necessity of a career that has been independently driven and self-funded from the beginning. “All of my successes have been won on the grassroots level, with handshakes and hugs from great people who believe in me,” says Hoop, more than a decade into her career and with new paths to forge. As she sings in the title track, “I’ve lived enough life, I’ve earned my stripes. That’s my knife in the ground, this is mine.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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oldcrow

Old Crow Medicine Show: Best of (Nettwerk) LP
Two-time Grammy Award winners and Grand Ole Opry members Old Crow Medicine Show release Best Of, which features 12 of the most memorable and beloved songs from O.C.M.S. (2004), Big Iron World (2006), Tennessee Pusher (2008) including Wagon Wheel” as well as two previously unreleased tracks: Black Haired Quebecoise and Heart Up In The Sky.

File Under: Folk
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oxbow

Oxbow: An Evil Heat (Concrete Lofi) LP
Oxbow is one of THE avant-garde rock bands of our generation. We are proud to present their groundbreaking 2002 album, An Evil Heat, on vinyl for the first time. Remastered double album for maximum effect with Oxbow’s preferred studio, Golden Mastering. The original artwork had been lost over time, so we carefully restored and crafted the artwork for the 12″ format. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Oxbow is a collective of radical musicians that are anti-formula rock machine murderers. They make chaos a publicly accepted art form, alongside fellow “in need of a mental hospital sojourn” musicians such as Mr. Bungle, Fantômas and the Melvins. At any time they may shift from music concrete to a stoner-type jam to pure insanity and madness. However, things sound incredibly calculated, making this bunch worthy of suspicion and wariness, which is the trait of any true artist.

File Under: Avant-Rock, Metal
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ultimate

Ultimate Spinach: Behold & See (Sundazed) LP
It was legendary record producer Alan Lorber that came up with the concept of “The Bosstown Sound” – “The Sound Heard ‘Round The World” to market and promote the best and brightest of the Bean Town sixties psychedelic scene. (Boston’s key groups at the time included Orpheus, Beacon Street Union, Ultimate Spinach, Chamaeleon Church and others). Ultimate Spinach, arguably the finest of them all, produced magnificent examples of surreal psychedelic record-making, now prized by crate-diggers and outsider music fans alike. The Spinach’s self-titled debut album is now considered a psychedelic classic, but it’s the group’s second record, Behold and See, that is perhaps their finest achievement. Ostensibly a concept album, it’s centered around lead singer/songwriter/keyboardist/guitarist Ian Bruce-Douglas’ cynical worldview. He skewers “normal” society with all the fervor of Zappa and all the surreality (and insanity) of Bob Markley on songs like “Visions of Your Reality” and the four-part “Suite: Genesis of Beauty.” Add in the lush, floating vocals of Barbara Jean Hudson, fuzz guitar and some great late-60s psych jangle and you’ve got the formula for an unhinged classic that stands up to the best of the non-coastal psych sounds of the late-60s. For decades, the only available version of Behold and See was a heavily-edited “director’s cut” which omitted an entire song and presented edited versions of others. On this edition, Sundazed proudly presents the album in its rare, original, superior dedicated mono mix, unexpurgated and unedited. This “ultimate edition” is presented on (of course! and at last!) custom spinach-colored vinyl and nestled into a jacket with beautifully restored artwork. Behold and See is the perfect place to dig into the “Bosstown Sound” – a tremendous and beautiful album now on Sundazed!

File Under: Psych
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weeknd

Weeknd: Starboy (Republic) LP
In tomorrow…. Academy Award-nominated, 2x Grammy Award-winning, and 9x JUNO Award-winning alternative R&B artist The Weeknd’s third studio album Starboy has finally arrived! The highly anticipated follow-up to his triple platinum 2015 release Beauty Behind the Madness captured the No. 1 spot in a staggering 90 countries and debuted atop the Billboard 200. The 18-track double album features four songs that have been soaring up the charts since their release – “Starboy,” “False Alarm,” “I Feel It Coming” and “Party Monster” plus incredible features from Daft Punk (album opener and lead single “Starboy and funky closer “I Feel It Coming”), Kendrick Lamar (“Sidewalks”), Lana Del Rey (“Stargirl Interlude”) and Future (“All I Know”).

File Under: R&B, Pop
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…..Restocks…..

David Axelrod: Auction (Decca) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom & Pop) LP
Courtney Barnett: The Double EP (Mom & Pop) LP
Bing & Ruth: Tomorrow Was the Golden Age (RVNG INTL) LP
Biosphere: Departed Glories (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (Sundazed) LP
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (Parlophone) LP
David Bowie: The Next Day (Columbia) LP
Broadcast & The Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults (Warp) LP
Budos Band: III (Daptone) LP
Vic Chesnut: Little (New West) LP
Constantines: Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts) LP
Death Grips: The Money Store (Sony) LP
Bob Dylan: The Real Royal Albert Hall (Sony) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Universal) LP
Billie Holiday: Lady in Satin (Legacy) LP
Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note) LP
Albert King: Born Under A Bad Sign (Sundazed) LP
Albert King: The Big Blues (Sundazed) LP
Fela Kuti: Live w/ Ginger Baker (Knitting Factory) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mitski: Puberty 2 (Dead Oceans) LP
Neurosis: Eye Of Every Storm (Relapse) LP
Night Beats: Who Sold My Generation (Heavenly) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
Pink Floyd: Obscured By Clouds (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: Third (Mercury) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Lou Reed: Transformer (Legacy) LP
Rolling Stones: Blue & Lonesome (Polydor) LP
Royal Headache: s/t (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Run The Jewels: s/t (Mass Appeal) LP
Sturgill Simpson: A Sailors Guide to the Earth (Atlantic) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds (Thirty Tigers) LP
Solange: A Seat At The Table (Columbia) LP
Taake: Noregs Vaapen (Dark Essence) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Tribes of Neurot: Grace (Relapse) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man) LP

…..Used Goodies…..

AFX: 2 Remixes by AFX (EFA) 12″
Badbadnotgood: II (Innovative Leisure) LP
Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul (Lex) Gold LP
Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul (Lex) Sealed Gold LP
Black Dice: Beaches & Canyons (DFA) LP
The Books: Lemon of Pink (Tomlab) LP
Camel: Mirage (Deram) UK LP
The Doors: Morrison Hotel (Warner) LP
Ella Fitzgerald: Sings the Gershwin Song Book 2 (Verve) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Tusk (Warner) LP
Ghost: Hypnotic Underworld (Drag City) LP
Hawkwind: Domi Fasol Latido (United Artists) LP
Hawkwind: Space Ritual (United Artists) LP
Hawkwind: Warrior on the Edge of Time (United Artists) LP
Bobby Hutcherson: Total Eclipse (Blue Note) LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire (Island) LP
Pablo Moses: A Song (Mongo) LP
Klaus Nom: Simple Man (Spindizzy) UK LP
Ozzy Osborne: Randy Rhoads Tribute (CBS) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Columbia) LP
Plasmatics: Beyond the Valley of 1984 (Stiff) LP
Rush: 2112 (Anthem) LP
Rush: Hemispheres (Anthem) LP
Rush: Moving Pictures (Anthem) LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of (Kranky) Sealed 1st press LP
Toots & The Maytals: Pass the Pipe (Mongo) LP
Bunny Wailer: Blackheart Man (Mongo) LP
Bunny Wailer: Rock n Groove (Solomonic) LP
Bunny Wailer: Tribute (Solomonic) Jamaican LP
Wolf Eyes: Burned Mind (Hanson) LP
Zoviet France: s/t (AKA Hessian) (Red Rhino) LP
Zoviet France: Norsch (Red Rhino) LP

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…..news letter #778 – more like botsch…..

I’m not sure why I expect that at some point there won’t be a ton of new things in, but it just seems like something that would stop at some point. But then I wouldn’t have anything to put in these weekly updates. Which means, I’d practically be out of a job. I guess thankfully there’s a whole whack of new stuff in this week. And even more killer used stuff going out too… for some reason, someone sold all their Sabbath/Ozzy records.. who does that?

…..picks of the week…..

necks

The Necks: Unfold (Ideologic Organ) LP
Ideologic Organ present Unfold, brand-new recordings from The Necks, the legendary Australian trio who excel in bypassing musical cliche whilst exploring and extending the practices embedded within improvisation, jazz, post rock, ambient, minimal, and textural, “sound based” music. The latest document from this long-running ensemble presents itself as a double LP, with four side-length tracks. A deliberate absence of numbered sides hands a substantial swatch of participation over to the listener, allowing her to navigate his own path through the soundscape at hand. The shorter length of the vinyl format, far from being a constraint upon the members of the ensemble, instead offers them a more compact horizon to contemplate, wherein the distance travelled is recalibrated to more immediate and dynamic textural concerns. The immediacy of “Rise” confirms this new path, as the mournful tones of Lloyd Swanton’s bass swirl around Chris Abrahams’s crystalline piano motif, with Tony Buck’s percussion steering proceedings into enlightening free-jazz territories. “Blue Mountain” cuts a swathe through the sonic undergrowth, with soul organ, rattling percussion, whistles, and loping sound-waves all vying for the foreground. “Overhear” retains a sublime melancholic aura as the percussion and keyboards simultaneously embrace and fall apart, whilst “Timepiece” skips along as a gentle gesture of further possibilities. Exactly how The Necks conjure their particular magic – as deceptively simple as it seems – whilst always moving forward, is anyone’s guess, but Unfold proves yet again that rules and schools are to be broken and re-formed into patterns and frameworks unlike those already known. Mastered & cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Jazz, Ambient, Improv
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wells-fargo

Wells Fargo: Watch Out! (Now Again) LP
“Rock music and revolution in ’70s Zimbabwe. Just as the hippie era came to an end in America, a second ’60s was beginning. In what is now Zimbabwe, young people created a rock and roll counterculture that drew inspiration from hippie ideals and the sounds of Hendrix and Deep Purple. The kids in the scene called their music ‘heavy,’ because they could feel its impact, and it resonated from Zambia to Nigeria. At its peak in the mid-70s, the heavy rock scene united tens of thousands of young progressives of all racial and social backgrounds. The country was called Rhodesia then, one of the last bastions of white rule in Africa, and heavy rockers defied segregation laws and secret police to make a stand for democratic change. Wells Fargo was at the forefront of the scene, and the title track of this album, ‘Watch Out,’ was the anthem of the counterculture. This is the first time their music has been issued outside of Zimbabwe. Matthew Shechmeister tells the story of Wells Fargo drawing on interviews with the band’s remaining members and numerous trips to Zimbabwe to investigate the genesis of the heavy rock scene under Ian Smith’s oppressive government, and its dissipation after Zimbabwe’s liberation.”

File Under: African, Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

avalanches

Avalanches: Since I Left You (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow! Finally a domestic reissue of this much sought after album… Australian electronic act The Avalanches’s genre-defying, critically acclaimed 2000 debut Since I Left You – originally released in Australia in 2000 and in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2001 – perfectly captured the hazy millennial zeitgeist. Band’s members, Darren Seltmann and Robbie Chater, spent hours sampling music from vinyl records to create the songs on the album. Chater estimates that there are over 3,500 samples. After sampling and arranging, the pair would swap their tapes, listen to each other’s ideas and expand on whatever they had heard. Pitchfork awarded it a 9.5/10 rating, noting, “Since I Left You sounds like nothing else…this is an album brimming with spontaneity, joy, sadness, humor, reflection, and general human-ness” while NME hailed the album as a “joyous, kaleidoscopic masterpiece of sun-kissed disco-pop.” Since I Left You was named one of 2001’s best albums by numerous critics – and its enduring influence was underscored when it placed in the top 10 of Pitchfork’s Top 200 Albums of the 2000s.

File Under: Electronic, Samples
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bats

Bats: The Deep Set (Flying Nun) LP
Five years after the release of their last critically acclaimed album, The Bats return with album number nine, The Deep Set. With the title conveying the long established and firmly embedded, it’s notable that it’s thirty years since The Bats began recording their debut album, Daddy’s Highway, in the living room studio of a friend of a friend in Glasgow. This time around they recorded in The Sitting Room, the studio-sleep out-garage next to Ben Edward’s house in Lyttelton, following in the footsteps of Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid and many others. With Edwards help The Deep Set continues The Bats’ 21st century resurgence. Yes, this is The Bats so the chords still chug, the guitars chime, ring, and jangle, the melodies are clear and memorable, the rhythm section is unstoppable. But the band mines the darker, deeper sound that 2011’s Free All the Monsters revealed. The songs remain reflective but that oft-expected sweet folksiness pops up less frequently. As the title suggests the music is richer, expansive, deeper. In their fourth decade as a band familiarity has come to mean a more careful treatment of each song. Is it maturity? It definitely translates into more depth and complexity but hey the songs are still as catchy as all hell. And as a lyricist, Robert Scott continues his mastery of the personal and pastoral, the landscape and longing. As always the key to The Bats is the emotion that their (seemingly) simple songs carry. They continue to mine that Mainland melancholy; the kind that somehow never risks being depressing. But of course that means there is lament and nostalgia, even if it’s only for last night. Taking us from the sun of Otago’s Taieri River to darkest Durkestan and apparently ending in the midst of contemporary New Zealand politics, The Deep Set continues the composed confidence of their recent albums with one of The Bats’ strongest sets of songs, fueled by ever-more powerful guitars. If you grew up with The Bats their early recordings will always pull at your emotions but while less vulnerable and immediate than on their classic debut album, The Bats of the 21st century somehow manage to be more intimate and urgent.

File Under: Indie Rock
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cirque

Biosphere: Cirque (Biophon) 3LP
Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen – a Norwegian musician who has released a notable catalog of ambient electronic music. He is well known for his works on ambient techno and arctic-themed pieces, his use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His 1997 album Substrata was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all-time classic ambient album. Cirque – originally released in 2000 – was Biosphere’s first album for the UK label Touch. This reissue comes with six bonus tracks and new artwork. “Fourth full album from ambient pioneer. Coming to prominence with 1992’s Microgravity – which along with the first couple of Aphex/Polygon Window CDs, defined the genre ambient – Geir Jenssen as Biosphere has made three of the ’90s best albums, culminating with last year’s near beat-less Substrata. The idea – as it always was thanks to Eno’s On Land (1982) – is music as environment (reflecting, creating): working from his base in Tromso, Arctic Norway, Jenssen offers a polar, Apollonian exploration of the human psyche. Cirque is a perfectly constructed 47-minute sequence: cold clarity up against real depth of field, synth cycles dissolving into sudden moments of sonic revelation that sound like a waking dream – try the first 20 seconds of ‘Black Lamb & Grey Falcon’. (And if you think that’s pretentious – your loss). Inspired by the story of a young American, Chris McCandless, who walked alone into the Alaskan wilderness and perished, Cirque balances the tightrope between warmth and unease, resolving into a moon melody that leaves you a peace. What a good record!.”

 File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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geisterfaust

Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Geisterfaust (Pias) LP
Pias present a reissue of the 2005 album from Germany’s doom jazz cult band Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Geisterfaust. Geisterfaust, featuring the slowest band on earth in an even more reduced and slow motion style, is back in full glory, with 58 minutes of playtime over five astonishing tracks. “Geisterfaust” might be translated as “the fist of a ghost” and the individual tracks are “trigger finger”, “ring finger”, “middle finger”, “thumb” and “little finger”. The group, who are much loved by musicians like Mike Patton (of Faith No More and who releases their albums on the Ipecac label) or Stephen O’Malley (SunnO), deliver outstanding music. For fans of Sunn o))), OM, Max Richter, Fennesz and David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti. This is instrumental music of the highest caliber.

 File Under: Dark Jazz, Ambient
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cloud

Cloud Nothings: Life Without Sound (Carpark) LP
Dylan Baldi maintains simple, admirable standards in quality. “A thing I like to do with all of my records is drive around with them,” the 25-year-old Cloud Nothings frontman says. “In high school, I would listen to music for hours like that: just driving through the suburbs of Cleveland. And if it sounds good to me in that context and I can think of high school me listening to it and saying, ‘That’s okay,’ I feel good about the record. This is the one that’s felt best.” “This” is Life Without Sound, the radiant, far-far-better-than-okay fourth full-length his rock outfit has recorded since he began writing and releasing songs on his own under the Cloud Nothings alias in 2008. While its highly acclaimed predecessor – 2014’s Here and Nowhere Else – came together spontaneously, in the little time that touring allowed, Life Without Sound took shape under far less frenetic circumstances. For more than a year, Baldi was able to write these songs and flesh out them out with his bandmates – drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke – before they finally joined producer John Goodmanson (Sleater Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie) at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas, for three weeks in March of 2016. The result is Baldi’s most polished and considered work to date, an album that speaks to his evolving gift with melody while also betraying the sort of perspective that time provides. You can hear it in the aerodynamic guitar pop of “Modern Act,” and feel it in the devastating wisdom of “Internal World,” a lullaby-like howler that dwells on “the fact that being yourself can be uncomfortable and even potentially dangerous at times.” “Generally, it seems like my work has been about finding my place in the world,” Baldi says. “But there was a point in which I realized that you can be missing something important in your life, a part you didn’t realize you were missing until it’s there – hence the title. This record is like my version of new age music,” he adds. “It’s supposed to be inspiring.” It is.

File Under: Indie Rock
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coxhill

Lol Coxhill: Ear of the Beholder (Radiation) LP
Radiation Deluxe Series present a reissue of Lol Coxhill’s Ear Of Beholder, originally released in 1971. Ear Of Beholder is one of the most beguiling and adventurous records of the 1970s, which is saying a lot as that is a musical decade marked by groundbreaking creativity. Originally released on John Peel’s Dandelion label, Lol Coxhill’s sprawling double album debut is an avant-garde jazz masterstroke that features Robert Wyatt and much of the Whole World group, Kevin Ayers’s backing band at the time (of which Lol was a member). Ranging from straight-up feedback to re-workings of standards, outdoor recordings to spoken word, improvisation to vaudeville, Ear Of Beholder covers more ground in two LPs than most artists do in a lifetime. Difficult, adventurous listening from one of British jazz’s most brilliant innovators. 180 gram vinyl; Comes in a gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Free Jazz
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cromwell

Cromwell: At The Gallop (Got Kinda Lost) LP
Got Kinda Lost Records present an expanded, first-time reissue of Cromwell’s At The Gallop, originally released in 1975. Self-released in 1975 by the Drumcondra, Dublin-based Cromwell, At The Gallop is a blistering, heavy, loud n’ lascivious ten-track offering (thirteen in this expanded edition) of proto-metal infused street rock n’ roll from a time when Ireland was still under the sway of conservative showbands, quasi-religious, sentimental pop pap and traditional Irish music. Despite their cultural struggles, Cromwell crafted a creative and compact catalog – five fuzzed n’ ferocious 45s and this foot-long – led by co-vocalist/bassist Michael Kiely’s come-hither coo and fey Jagger pose n’ preen, the in-the-pocket drumming of Derek Dawson and minor-guitar hero moves of Patrick Brady, exercising taste, talent and towering mountains of fuzz n’ fury as comfortably as greasy ’70s raunch and rural modes. At The Gallop is a rare, little-heard classic in the pub/fried rock n’ roll/proto-punk terrain. RIYL: Teenage Head, Flamingo-era Flamin’ Groovies, Mott The Hoople, ’70s Rolling Stones, pre-punk American street rock, and the Bonehead Crunchers series. Includes three bonus tracks from the group’s rare singles; Includes an insert featuring rare photos and in-depth liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Got Kinda Lost Records, Ugly Things Magazine).

File Under: Rock, Proto-Metal
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dissevelt

Tom Dissevelt/Kid Baltan: Song of the Second Moon (Fifth Dimension) LP
Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Tom Dissevelt and Kid Baltan’s Song Of The Second Moon: The Sonic Vibrations Of Tom Dissevelt/Kid Baltan, originally released in 1968. Song Of The Second Moon is a compilation, of sorts, with the best tracks by two electronic music prophets, Tom Dissevelt (1921-1989) and Kid Baltan (aka Dick Raaijmakers, 1930-2013), created in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Before the release of Song Of The Second Moon, the same album was released in 1962 as Electronic Music under the moniker of The Electrosonics. While kneeling to the gods of kraut and their epic cosmic journeys, we should always keep in mind that courageous music aficionados from a classic or jazz background have been as far out before, and may have been even further out. There are shreds of melody and passages reminiscent of primitive rituals, but most of the time this is a gathering of electronic sound eruptions, strange rhythmical patterns, and swirling noises. It is definitely a mind expanding experience that has enough melody to conjure an enchanting atmosphere considering its radical approach to popular and progressive music. Nice Egyptian and quite mythical harmonies created by an early synthesizer on a pulsating rhythm-bed build the song “Sonik Re-Entry”, one of the more accessible tracks. Orchestral music and jazz are melted somewhere on this record with elements of exotica, bits and pieces of gentle Latin sounds, and whatever was popular back then being swallowed by thinking machines. And suddenly a dark swing played by an orchestra hits your ears with quite mysterious harmony patterns interwoven with the occasional freak-out, either in an electronic manner or with a free jazz expression. It demonstrates how well modern, yet handmade, popular music and electronics could work together. All this happened years before there were bands like The Silver Apples or even Hawkwind. Recommend for fans of Pierre Henry, musique concrète in general, and Stockhausen.

 File Under: Early Electronic
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eitzel

Mark Eitzel: Hey Mr. Ferryman (Merge) LP
Hey Mr Ferryman is Mark Eitzel’s first full studio album recorded entirely in London. It was made at 355 Studios with Mercury Prize winner Bernard Butler (ex-Suede, McAlmont & Butler), who has produced and/or recorded albums with Tricky, Ben Watt, Bert Jansch, Edwyn Collins, and more. Butler produced Hey Mr Ferryman and played all of the electric guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on the album. Hey Mr Ferryman features the vivid melodies long associated with Eitzel’s former band American Music Club – which remains a cult favorite to this day – as well as Butler’s distinctive guitar that serves to complement Eitzel’s expressive vocals. Of that voice, Pitchfork once wrote: “If Leonard Cohen’s voice is a story about the passage of time and Levon Helm’s is a story about losing what is most precious to you, Eitzel’s is about the circuitous roads we take in search of ourselves.” “The songs on this record are about celebrating musicians and music, about misogyny, the long shadow of history, getting one’s head out of one’s ass,” explains Eitzel on the themes of Ferryman. “Also oceans, blood, skies, hearts, gay pioneers, carpenters, weeping women, and how death waits for you even in the happiest place on earth: Las Vegas.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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computer

Marcello Giombini: Computer Disco (Mondo Groove) LP
Mondo Groove present a reissue of Marcello Giombini’s Computer Disco, originally released in 1982. Computer Disco is the greatest Euro-synth, disco album of early ’80s and now it’s finally being reissued by Mondo Groove. Computer Disco is the most Kraftwerk-ian Italian production. Marcello Giombini was a pioneer of early sequencers and on this cult LP, he produced cheesy, cosmic synth pop, with a little bit of Italo disco mixed in. Every fan of ’70s/’80s synthesizer music and electronic DJs should put this in their collection. Original artwork restored.

File Under: Electronic, Disco
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astromusic

Marcello Giombini: Astromusic Synthesizer (Fifth Dimension) LP
Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Marcello Giombini’s Astromusic Synthesizer, originally released in 1981. Another great synthesizer artist and pioneer, this time from Italy, Giombini’s work date back to the early ’60s and maybe even beyond considering he was born in 1928. In the mid-to-late ’60s, he became quite active in the field of western movie soundtracks. Astromusic Synthesizer is a concept album on the zodiac signs and the music it contains could not be more diverse. The elements that unite all the tunes are the entirely synthetic, yet warm analog sound and the surreal, spaced-out atmosphere. Several different basic genres deliver the inspiration from which Marcello Giombini forms his melodies, harmony patterns, and rhythm structures. There are tunes you will easily recognize as pop songs with a typical ’60s approach, concerning the melody writing, there are baroque elements, and even pure soundscapes that make you feel like being trapped in the interior of a thinking machine. The synthetic sound adds a futuristic shine to each composition. The mood changes are dramatic: You will float down a peaceful river of dreams at one point and then become swallowed by a vortex of musical fury that projects a galactic battle before your third eye. Indeed, the whole album could work as a soundtrack for an epic science fiction movie whose story drags you far out into space. If you love movies such as The Black Hole (1979) and enjoy the compositions of other synthesizer heroes such as Mort Garson, you will treat Astromusic Synthesizer as a precious musical treasure. Fans of ’70s synthesizer music should give this a listen.

File Under: Electronic
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miracles

Keiji Haino/Jozef Dumoulin/ Teun Verbruggen: The Miracles of Only One Thing (Sub Rosa) LP
Japanese legend, Keiji Haino, meets two of Belgium’s most active and valued musicians, keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin (Lilly Joel) and drummer Teun Verbruggen (Othin Spake). The Miracles Of Only One Thing is a deep and intense testimony of this meeting. Keiji Haino, without any doubt one of the most important musicians from the Japanese underground scene, is at his best, Teun Verbruggen and Jozef Dumoulin did a three-week tour in Japan in September of 2015, playing concerts as a duet, but also solo and with local musicians. One of those musicians was hero Keiji Haino, whose work has spanned rock, free improvisation, noise, percussion, psychedelic music, minimalism and drones. Besides his legendary bands Fushitsusha and Lost Aaraaff, he has worked with artists and bands like Boris, The Melvins, Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi, Peter Brötzmann and Steve Noble. As for Dumoulin and Verbruggen, they are both known for their always refreshing and groundbreaking work that breaks the barriers between free improvisation, electro, jazz and more. Jozef Dumoulin is part of the duo Lilly Joel appearing recently on Sub Rosa with What Lies in the Sea. The three teamed up for a studio recording and a recorded live-show. Out of all the material, they distilled an album that reflects both the excitement of the new bond as well as the deep and vast sonic landscapes that their joined forces laid bare. Personnel: Keiji Haino – guitar, vocals, flute, gongs; Jozef Dumoulin – Fender Rhodes; Teun Verbruggen – drums, electronics.

File Under: Electronic, Free Rock
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psych

It’s Psychedelic Baby #2 Mag
The new It’s Psychedelic Baby!, dedicated to British psychedelic folk. New issue of printed version projected from the well-known, leading psych on-line site It’s Psychedelic Baby! After the previous issue covering exclusively the US psychedelic folk scene (IPB 002, 2016), this new issue covers the ’60s and ’70s British folk scene, with exclusive interviews of members from acts such as Fresh Maggots, Comus, Mellow Candle, Dr Strangely Strange, Spirogyra, C.O.B., Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Pererin, Courtyard Music Group, Magic Carpet, Sunforest, Oberon, etc. Also includes a few pages of record reviews. Cover by Justin Jackley. 44 pages.

File Under: Psych, Magazines

jantar

Jantar: Panisperna (Mie) LP
MIE unveils, after long gestation, Panisperna, the first long player by Jantar, an outer-borough ensemble historically known for their creeping strain of easy-listening, most often heard in empty lots and abandoned diners. Chad Laird and Tianna Kennedy have grown an experimental cover crop since 2009, gently cultivating a soil rich in ambient leaf rot and organic art-world chemical compounds. With the addition of Kirsten Nordine, Jantar began to run it through with speculative roots and melodic worms, digesting the tails of lost Euro soundtracks, and ultimately finding in drummer Kelly Rudman the crystalline lattice necessary for vertical growth… And yes, now this broad field is very much in rotation. Panisperna shoots riffs, stalks and flowers right up out of the ground. From the waves still reverberating from Canterbury’s Gong and Soft Machine, Jantar propels green, driving rock forms, and leafs out into repeating rows of complex time and growth patterns. For this first foray into rock music, Jantar has enlisted the assistance of Pigeons Clark Griffin and Wednesday Knudsen, who contribute synth and sax, respectively. Long-time ally and champion Jason Meagher (No-Neck Blues Band, Steve Gunn) recorded this music at the venerable Black Dirt Studios.

File Under: Rock
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kang

Eyvind Kang/Tashi Dorji: Mother of All Saints (Unrock) LP
The second twin in Unrock’s sub-series of actively anti-western music is an ultra-heavyweight. In the worlds of contemporary global avant-art, composition and improvisation, it reaches new heights. Eyvind Kang (from “Ghost Ghat Tresspass/Sussmeier” Sun City Girls 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda among many other collaborations) employs a rarely-heard viola technique. Some may call it plucking art. The viola is played not with a bow, but plucked with the fingers of the right hand, resulting in a completely distinct sound. Eyvind Kang is a master and has reinvented this special technique. Two solo viola tracks (one a cover of an Albert Ayler piece) with melodies of outstanding beauty and fragility develop into perfection. Two additional tracks also feature Indonesian cello player Krusnedi Sukarwanto from Surakarta, and Ghanaian percussionist Yah Amponsah, performing koncrong style. Tashi Dorji, an exceptional guitar playing soul from Bhutan, came through the lower Rhine area and stopped for a recording at Ivory Tower. A soulful afternoon and evening resulted in a relaxed, playful recording showing the skills and talents of Tashi in full. Like its sister release, Sam Shalabi/Alan Bishop & Sam Shalabi’s Mother Of All Sinners, Mother Of All Saints will be released as a one-time limited run pressing on 140 gram vinyl. Comes in an extra heavy deluxe cover with a solid printed inlay.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, World

kirchin

Basil Kirchin: Silicon Chip (Trunk) 7″
An unreleased 1979 post-punk-post-disco banger from British musical maverick, Basil Kirchin. Back in the late 1970s, Kirchin was in Hull, working on numerous projects, documentary scores, and strange musical concepts. “Silicon Chip” is a rare surviving and most unusual work from the period, until now an unreleased slice of jumping, plugged-in perfection presciently celebrating the dawn of the computer-based industrial revolution. “Silicon Chips” is a set of quick electro blasts and logos, possibly conceived and written for library usage. Personnel: Gary Burroughs – vocals, guitar, keyboards; Danny Wood – drums; Dane Morrell – drums; Bernie Dolman – bass.

File Under: Electro, Punk, Disco

lahiri

Bappi Lahiri & Salma Agha: Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki (Far Eastern Sunshine) LP
Far Eastern Sunshine present a reissue of Bappi Lahiri and Salma Agha’s soundtrack for Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki, originally released in 1984. Oh, groove it, baby! Bappi Lahiri is a very busy composer, conductor, and music director for the so called “Bollywood” scene, the Indian factory of dreams. Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki is a 1984 movie with a soundtrack that comes as colorful and interesting as Indian ’80s pop-disco-funk can be. Even Bappi Lahiri finally surrendered to electronic music but he still puts it into a rather traditional ’70s soul and funk context with some Indian flavors added. A melody here, native tongue lyrics sung in a way that mixes pop and Indian folk music, a sound effect like typical Indian string sections there. The result is a beautiful ethno pop album with an utterly haunting groove which originates from the funk, soul, and disco elements a dancefloor queen like Donna Summer would kill for. There are always enough regular instruments – such as guitars, sitars, trumpets, and bass guitar – to keep a fan of handmade music interested. The vocal melodies have a lascivious expression at times, just as it was typical for the late ’70s black disco music, which gets fused with classical Indian harmonies to create a captivating atmosphere. This record is certainly all about dancing – it will turn even the most lame living room sit into a steaming, hot sexadelic dance party. The music is vivid and emanates an enormous vitality that will drag you from your chair and make you float across the floor like a dervish. Lush arrangements of strings, brass, guitar, synthesizers, and vocals capture your soul and enwrap your spirit. Imagine an Indian Patrick Hernandez (“Born To Be Alive”). The catchy melodies and song structures, and the furious, but still professional, execution throughout make it an utterly enjoyable listen. Wild and wonderful.

File Under: Bollywood, OST
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louis

Louis’ Band: Taste Me (Mondo Groove) LP
Mondo Groove present a reissue of Louis’ Band’s Taste Me, originally released in 1981. Taste Me is an obscure, instrumental library music album and a weird example of Italo funk disco, played by professional musicians (most of them under pseudonym) involved in many different musical projects (ranging in genre from jazz, progressive rock and disco music). The album includes the killer disco funk song “Don’t Stop It”. Music by Piergiovanni; Arranged by Louis Vanni. Pressed in a limited edition, with original artwork for the first time since 1981.

File Under: Library, Funk, Disco
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magical-ring

Magical Ring: Light Flight/More & More (Fifth Dimension) LP
Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Magical Ring’s Light Flight / More And More, originally released in 1977. Components of rock and pop unite here in this lone effort from Magical Ring. Elements of dark slow funk and soul take the listener to the early seventies, a couple of years before the album’s release, and a garment of swirling synthesizers keep it all together. The atmosphere can be soft and gentle, like the touch of a lover’s hand, but it can also become more and more mysterious and gloomy, generating a feeling of paranoia as if you’re on the run and have no idea what you are running from. Some passages have these big and catchy melodies, and despite the lightweight groove in some compositions, there is always a thought-provoking melancholy present. It’s catchy but still rather wicked. It takes a turn from the pop and rock elements in the beginning and chooses a more epic direction with each song. The great late Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream) or Klaus Schulze would certainly raise their hats to this project in deep respect. A beautiful little obscurity from an utterly strange and magical scene.

File Under: Electronic, Space Rock
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moonduo

Moon Duo: Occult Architecture Vol 1 (Sacred Bones) LP
Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in early-2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light. Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. In Chinese, Yin means “the shady side of the hill” and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo’s darker qualities – released appropriately in February, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. According to guitarist Ripley Johnson, “the concept of the dark/light, two-part album came as we were recording and mixing the songs, beginning in the dead of winter and continuing into the rebirth and blossoming of the spring. There’s something really powerful about the changing of the seasons in the Northwest, the physical and psychic impact it has on you, especially after we spent so many years in the seasonal void of California. I became interested in gnostic and hermetic literature around that time, especially the relationship between music and occult qualities and that fed into the whole vibe.” Adds keyboardist Sanae Yamada, “the two parts are also intended to represent inverted components of a singular entity, like two faces on the same head which stare always in opposite directions but are inextricably driven by the same brain.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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populist

Not Waving: Populist (Ecstatic) 12″
Not Waving consolidates the myriad stripes of his acclaimed Animals album in four extended peak-time hammers on Populist. “Too Many Freaks” is an anthem in waiting, harnessing a barely-hinged sense of chaos between its careening synth lead, acid squabble and velvet-clad kicks, before the dry-rutting jag and plaintive vox of “Vibe Killer” takes a dog-grip. “Control Myself” holds its fizzy line into a fetid crevice of what sounds Russell Haswell ramping with Powell, whereas the crooked clamp-jaw groove of “Ur Lucky Ur Still Alive” pivots around a sample a lone raver at Atonal, Berlin.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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nazgul

Nazgul: De Expugnatione Elfmuth (Zolfo) LP
Purple vinyl version. Comes in a gatefold jacket. Zolfo present a reissue of Nazgûl’s De Expugnatione Elfmuth, originally released in 2002. Nazgûl was a mysterious two-piece band formed in 1996 in Monreale, a small village right outside of Palermo, Sicily. Their peculiar history and the consequent “cult” status, built within the extreme metal scene, makes them a story all their own. Inspired by Tolkien’s literature (Nazgûl is a word from the “Black Speech” used to indicate the nine men corrupted by Sauron, and transformed into his dark and deathless servants) and the first wave of European black metal, Zakrathor (vocals, keyboard, drums) and Thornset (guitar, bass) released their Omne Est Paratum demos (consisting of two 15-minutes songs) in 1998. These demos were recognized by the Sicilian cult label Elegy, who released their astonishing first full length in 2002, De Expugnatione Elfmuth. The sound of total mayhem and pure black metal craziness, mixed with medieval melodies sung completely in Latin make De Expugnatione Elfmuth impossible to imitate. Probably the most wonderful example of folk-black metal that ever existed, De Expugnatione Elfmuth is released on vinyl for the first time here. Comes in a deluxe, gatefold jacket on 180 gram vinyl. A true authentic underground legend.

File Under: Metal, LotR
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amer

OST: Amer (WRWTFWW) 10″
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records presents the first ever vinyl release of the soundtrack for Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s critically-acclaimed Belgian-French giallo Amer (2009). Filled with superb compositions by Italian movie score legends Ennio Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani, and Bruno Nicolai, all remastered for hardcore audiophile appreciation. Described by The New York Times as “a surreal cinematic tone poem that pays slavering homage to Italian giallo horror films of the 1970s”, Amer finds its influences in the films of Dario Argento, Luis Buñuel, or Mario Bava and makes for a truly visceral cinematic experience, thanks notably to a perfectly curated soundtrack compiling some of the best songs from cult Italian movies of the past. Amer includes three songs by the great Stelvio Cipriani, well known for the marvelous soundtrack of poliziottesco movie La Polizia Sta A Guardare (1973) whose main theme was reborn in 2007 on Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007), as well as music for countless cult spaghetti western and giallo movies. He received a Nastro d’Argento award for best score for The Anonymous Venetian (1970). The legend himself, Ennio Morricone also shows up on the soundtrack with a sexy and melancholic jazz number, while his longtime collaborator Bruno Nicolai delivers the hypnotic strings that carry the eerie and erotic mood of the film. Last but not least, the beautiful voice of beloved singer Adriano Celentano cements what is a must-have album for ’60s and ’70s Italian soundtrack fanatics. Limited edition of 500 comes on an arousing pitch black 10″ vinyl, housed in heavy cardboard Old-style Stoughton tip-on jacket.

File Under: OST
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psychomania

OST: Psychomania (Trunk) LP
A timely repress of John Cameron’s 1973 score to the British cult biker classic Psychomania, aka The Death Wheelers. Originally first issued in 2003 by Trunk, this jazz-rock soundtrack masterpiece has become a valuable LP, people paying up to $100 on the second-hand market. Here it rides again, with music direct from John Cameron’s master tapes, with new reversed black, red, and white artwork to differentiate it from the first press in 2003. Psychomania is a true cult classic with zombie bikers, George Sanders (his last film before he killed himself out of boredom), Beryl Reid, Joe Columbo furniture, a frog, brutalist architecture, stone circles, Triumph motorbikes, Nicky Henson, teen gangs, The Living Dead, The M3 motorway, all with music by a British jazz outfit headed up by one of the great progressive jazz/library composers of them all, John Cameron.

File Under: OST
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otohiax

Oto Hiax: s/t (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego present the first full length release from Oto Hiax. Comprised of Mark Clifford (Seefeel) and Scott Gordon (Loops Haunt), Oto Hiax follows 2015’s acclaimed EP, One. Embracing a series of sonic opposites, Oto Hiax employs electronic and concrete sound to construct a labyrinth of moods, sliding from basic repetition to complex audio suites. The mood is such that the listener is advised to embrace the unexpected as unusual elements gently drift across the audio plane. Exquisitely executed, this is no foray into generic sound design but a rich and complex ruse whereby seemingly jarring sonic elements play out a subtle and harmonious bridge between a variety of musical styles and genres. “Insh” carries the kind of hallowed kraut comfort that only seasoned professionals can harness, whereas “Eses Mitre” disorientates in the most enticing fashion. Oto Hiax have produced an album of exquisite detail and beauty. Now is their time. Cut and mastered at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin by Rashad Becker. Artwork by Joseph Haesche.

File Under: Electronic
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pigs

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs: Feed the Rats (Rocket) LP
Comes in a die cut sleeve. Playing their first gig supporting Goat at what was only the latter’s second ever show, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have gigged relentlessly with kindred spirits including The Cosmic Dead and Luminous Bodies, not to mention gracing festivals like Supernormal and Portugal’s Reverence with their feral attack. Yet the time has come for this band to transcend the realm of word-of-mouth phenomenon and be judged on their feverish and demented collision of psych-drone dementia and riff-driven salvation alone. The inarguable proof is Feed The Rats, the overwhelming first album the band have created – equal parts righteous repetition, bludgeoning brute force and Sabbathian squalor, its alchemical charge has the power to transform bleary-eyed abandon into small-hours revelation. This three-track, forty-minute monument of chaotic catharsis captures the everything-on-eleven spirit of the band’s live manifestation whilst adding a level of finesse and texture often less easily accessible in a dangerous haze of flying hair, discarded clothes and spilt premium lager. Channeling the grimy trip hazards of Monster Magnet’s Spine Of God (1991) through a prism of kraut-derived repetition and Part Chimp style bloody-mindedness, the resulting hallucinatory vortex appears constantly on the realm of breaking point. Yet for Matthew Baty, the porcine realm is less about a nihilistic quest for fiery oblivion than one might imagine: “You know, I think we’ve experienced it, many times. It’s those gigs where we can almost sense that everyone in the room is engaged. The energy created is so thick you can almost bite down on it and it feels like there’s no longer any barrier between band and audience. Those are the special shows, where there’s a solidarity and a very visceral bond. That, and being able to smell our amps melting.” Amps and brains alike, as these psychic omnivores bring seven times the joy, seven times the pain, seven times the dementia and deliverance.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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pinhas

Richard Pinhas: Reverse (Bureau B) LP
Richard Pinhas, leader of French space-rock pioneers Heldon in the ’70s, has been prolific since returning to the form in the ’90s. He has collaborate with Merzbow, Yoshida Tatsuya, Oren Ambarchi, Barry Cleveland, and Wolf Eyes. “Changes in my life really influenced this record,” Richard Pinhas tells of his new album Reverse. “The wife of a friend of mine offered to read my Tarot cards… I don’t believe in it – I am very materialist, not financially but in my philosophy – so it was very strange that in the year that followed I lost my two parents, broke up with my girlfriend, lost my flat, and moved to Nantes. So the album was done in this confusion, in this chaotic state of having lost all these things.” Reverse’s dark experimental noise and long repetitive tracks have an intimidating first impression. But listening to the whole 50 minutes leaves one feeling purified. Pinhas even says this album “fixed” and “resurrected” him: “It was a healing process for me to make this album. To get rid of all the negativity that occupied my brain.” The main process of the album production was one of construction, with Pinhas and Oren Ambarchi (guitars, “dronz”) forming the skeleton. After the initial sessions in Paris, they threw out everything except their own parts and then started searching for “the right parts. Not a drummer, but the drummer, not a bass guitarist, but the bass guitarist.” He enlisted the talents of Arthur Narcy (drums), Florian Tatar (bass) along with Masami Akita (analog synths), his son Duncan Nilson-Pinhas (digital synths), and William Winant (percussion). Reverse reflects Pinhas’s keen interest in Kabbalah. “Ketter” is an unknowable realm and the music reflects this. We catch traces of elements traversing the spectrum while the whole retains its own mystery. Pinhas’s immediately recognizable tone is tempered by Narcy’s unique drumming style. “End” reflects the “reverse” of the album title, as sounds double back in on themselves whilst Narcy, frantic on the cymbals, pounds the drums themselves with military precision. “Nefesh” is the first level of the soul, the track’s percolating sounds depicting such a pneumatic birth. “V2” brings to mind both Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) and David Bowie. It sounds like the aftermath of an enormous futuristic electrical malfunction still lingering over a vast cityscape. Cover art by Yann LeGendre.

File Under: Electronic, Drone, Space Rock, Heldon
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rundmc

Run D.M.C.: s/t (Get on Down) LP
“Future archaeologists will discuss two periods in 1980s: before Run-D.M.C. and after Run-D.M.C. It’s no exaggeration to say that the group changed the course of music in the ’80s, bringing the old-school of rap into the new with one simple piece of flat, black plastic. Coming up in the rap world of the early 1980s under the wing of Kurtis Blow (group manager Russell Simmons managed Blow, and Run was, at one time, a DJ known as ‘Son of Kurtis Blow’) and Blow’s bassist and burgeoning super-producer Larry Smith, the trio — Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels and Jason ‘Jam Master Jay’ Mizell — learned from the best, but created their own path. 1983 was the year that they first broke out. With only an Oberheim DMX drum program and some cuts by Jay, ‘Sucker M.C.s (Krush-Groove 1)’ was a shot across the bow to the slick, post-disco pocket rap had settled into. It was raw, pure swagger and it took both New Yorkers and music aficionados around the world by storm. The song’s lyrics are a mandatory memorization assignment to this day by MCs learning their craft. ‘Two years ago, a friend of mine…’ The group’s sound, which was laid out muscularly on Run-D.M.C. (1984), had a harder approach than their peers, thanks to producer Larry Smith’s use of live musicians who laid down grooves but didn’t soften the edges. Lyrically the group wasn’t just about brags either, with songs like ‘Hard Times,’ ‘It’s Like That’ and ‘Wake Up’ (the first two were singles). Run’s and DMC’s overlapping tag-team approach to lyricism was powerful and immensely influential. ‘Rock Box,’ another single and arguably the centerpiece of the album, was a nod to their hard edge, and a foreshadowing of their first worldwide smash, 1985’s ‘King Of Rock.’ Jam Master Jay’s DJ work was stellar, knowing exactly when to jump in and put listeners’ ears in a headlock. The album was the first rap full-length to achieve Gold status, and as fans know, the group was just getting started — their next two LPs would take them to even higher status in the music world, critically and sales-wise. But this is where it all started, and it’s a classic that still sounds fresh today as it did more than 30 years ago.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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satan

Satan: s/t (Monster Melodies) LP
Monster Melodies present the legendary album Satan, an absolute must-have in terms of French progressive music, recorded in 1973 and never before released. In 1968, in Le Mans (a town in the west of France in Les pays de la Loire), some young students, planning to become teachers, started a band under the name The New Rainbow. Like many young musicians at the time, they enjoyed English blues and were fans of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and Led Zeppelin. Quickly, they changed their name to Heaven Road and started to become famous west of France, playing live frequently. After playing covers, they wrote their own compositions and delivered a very good show at the same level of any professional band. In Paris, they won three contests in Le Golf Drouot (the mecca of the French rock at the time) and were declared the best non-professional French band of 1972. Playing at the festival, the band started to hang out with big names from the French rock scene, like Variations, Magma, Il Etait Une Fois, Catharsis, Ange and Dynastie Crisis. In 1973, they decided to be a professional band and change their name to Satan. They produced a unique music between hard rock and progressive and delivered intense shows, inspired by the world of sci-fi and literature, with musicians wearing make-up and strange costumes. But despite the fact that they played before the English band Caravan in 1974 and had an appearance in local TV show, the band always suffered from financial difficulties. For this reason, they created the more commercial band Ciel D’été with the intention of playing exclusively in the ballroom circuit. With the financial proceeds from Ciel D’été performances, they went to a studio in Angers twice – the first time to record two commercial tracks for Ciel D’été, and the second time to record tracks for the future album by Satan which had been performing for more than three years at that point. But at the time, they couldn’t find a record company to publish their record. Satan collapsed in the middle of 1976, joining the cohort of musical project killed by the French musical industry – an industry which was preoccupied with making easy money by already successful English and American music and producing very dispensable French music, marketed commercially. Comes as colored vinyl; Includes a poster and inserts; Edition of 1000 (numbered).

File Under: Psych, Prog
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segall

Ty Segall: s/t (Drag City) LP
The new self-titled record – the next record after Emotional Mugger, Manipulator, Sleeper, Twins, Goodbye Bread, Melted, Lemons, and the first self-titled album that started it up in the now distant year of 2008 – is a clean flow, a wash of transparency falling into a world that needs to see a few things through clearly, to their logical end. It’s got some of the most lobe-blasting neckwork since the Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse (2012), but it also features a steep flight of fluent acoustic settings, as Ty Segall’s new songs range around in their search for freedom without exorcism, flying the dark colors high up the pole in an act of simple self-reclamation. The construction and destruction of his chosen realities has, until now, been a luxury Ty has rightfully reserved for himself, striping overdubs together to form the sound – but for this new album, he entered a studio backed by a full band – Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin, Charles Moonhart and Ben Boye – to get a read on this so-called clarity. This leads to a new departure in group sound, as well as some of the most visceral and penetrating vocal passages yet heard from Segall. “Freedom/Warm Hands” puts the “sweet” back into suite; “Orange Color Queen” is a supreme moment of tenderness; “Talkin’,” a roots-infused truth-attack. “Papers,” looks behind the doors of Ty’s process; “Break A Guitar” is a brutal fun-fest pitched to the back of the house. Ty keeps you guessing, bracing your skin with a welcome astringency, seeking to stem the bleeding with chunks and splashes of guitar, tight beats, audio-verité toilet smashes, a Wurlitzer electric piano in a jam, blazing harmonies, and lots of songs to sing. There’s no concept beyond that; finding the right places to be is a momentary thing. Ty Segall is the sum of his songs – and about getting the free. The free to be!

File Under: Psych, Garage
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shackleton

Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold: Sferic Ghost Transmits (Honest Jon’s) LP
No-one else makes music like this: devilishly complex but warm and intuitive, stirring together a dizzying assembly of outernational and outerspace influences while retaining the subby funk-and-hot-breath pressure of Shackleton’s soundboy, club roots. The result is an evolutionary, truly alchemical music — great shifting tides of dub, minimalist composition, and choral song (“Five Demiurgic Options”); ritual spells to ward off the darkness (“Before the Dam Broke,” “The Prophet Sequence”); radiophonia and zoned-out guitar improv (“Seven Virgins”); even the febrile, freeform psychedelia of ’80s noise rock (“Sferic Ghost Transmits / Fear the Crown”). In the time since he collaborated with Shackleton on 2012’s Music For The Quiet Hour, Vengeance’s vocal and lyrical range has rolled out across this new terrain. Throughout these transmissions he’s hoarse preacher, sage scholar, and ravaged bluesman; blind man marching off to war; and exhausted time-traveler warning of impending socio-ecological catastrophe. Dialogic accounts of our conflicted times, then, expanding beyond the treacly unease of the duo’s early collaborative work into something subtler and more emotionally shattering — its shades of brightness more dazzling, and its darkness even murkier. “We almost didn’t hear it when the foundations went.”

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Tribal

shadow

Shadow: Sweet Sweet Dreams (Analog Africa) LP
Analog Africa present a reissue of Shadow’s (aka Winston Bailey) Sweet Sweet Dreams, originally released in 1984. The far-out album by Trinidad and Tobago’s Shadow was panned by critics and unable to reach markets, disappearing into the dusty record collections of a few music aficionados. A truly enigmatic artist, Shadow first emerged in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s and became a part of the tapestry of Caribbean music, reinvigorating calypso. Calypso, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, led to several other music genres, including soca, which has up-tempo beats and is played in a festival context. Shadow effortlessly moves between both calypso and soca. Coming from a humble but musical family, Shadow started writing songs at a young age while tending cattle in the fields. To his family’s initial chagrin, he eventually chose calypso over church music. In the early days of his career, Shadow’s style was cramped due to conservative music arrangers who felt that calypso and soca should fit into a mold. But after a while, Shadow teamed up with more innovative arrangers, including Arthur DeCoteau. Shadow’s inert creativeness culminated in Sweet Sweet Dreams, which deals with burning and ever-relevant themes like love and the ups-and-downs of relationships – a surprising fact for someone mainly known for his satirical and political lyrics. It prompted his manager to wonder if Shadow had written the lyrics while in a state of “tabanca” (a word used in Trinidad and Tobago to describe lovesickness). Sweet Sweet Dreams was recorded at the legendary SHARC studios, located on a hill in Chaguaramas (near Port of Spain). Sweet Sweet Dreams delivers a fantastic sound with monster soca-boogie tunes, fusing a range of rhythms and new sounds, primarily heavy synth riffs. What Shadow didn’t realize was that the proto-electronic cocktail he mixed in 1984 would find the recognition it deserved three decades later. Sweet Sweet Dreams has come true and been elevated to holy-grail status, becoming one of the most sought-after Caribbean disco records in existence. For this reissue, Analog Africa carried out extensive interviews with Shadow and the musicians. It includes liner notes featuring exclusive photos from Shadow’s personal collection and the dancefloor filler tune “D’Hardest” as a bonus track. Remastered and cut by Frank Meritt at The Carvery. LP version comes as 180 gram vinyl; comes in a gatefold sleeve with a four-page big size inlay; Includes a double page poster.

File Under: Disco, Caribbean
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“Hear a song from this album featured daily at 11:05am on the Pick of the Week on NR92.com!”

surfer

Surfer Blood: Snowdonia (Joyful Noise) LP
Surfer Blood is one of the best young indie-rock bands around, and their fourth album, Snowdonia, is their most ambitious effort yet. Overcoming adversity, the band has artistically grown and thrived. Following the departure of bassist Kevin Williams and guitarist Thomas Fekete (tragically lost to cancer in May), singer/guitarist John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz have rebuilt a talented lineup with guitarist Michael McCleary and bassist Lindsey Mills, all four alumni of the same high school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Pitts wrote specifically with the new band’s talents in mind: “When I was writing I was thinking more about background vocals and harmonies. Lindsey and Michael are great singers, and I really wanted that to show in the songs. There are layers of vocals on almost every track, and the call-and-response parts between Lindsey and I are something totally new.” Along with plenty of Surfer Blood’s signature hooks, the band concocted some epic and more complex songs with enormous attention to sonic detail. Pitts wrote and mixed the album alone, for the first time since their debut Astro Coast. The immediacy is intoxicating and the musical and lyrical results are fantastic. Surfer Blood get better and better with each album, and we’re sure they’ll be making great records for years to come.

File Under: Indie Rock
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turner

Simon Fisher Turner: Giraffe (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego present the latest opus from legendary British composer, actor, sound designer and all-round fine human, Simon Fisher Turner. Giraffe is a new major work which blurs the lines between sound design and song, machine severity and narrative sentimentality. Subtitled “Living In Sounds And Music”, Giraffe takes the listener through a vast journey where an abstract clacking of unknown origin rubs up against a melancholic electronic sequence. “Life sounds” were captured with a portable hard disc recorder and iPhone and appear alongside contemporary sound design. Emma Smith provides the narrative on “Slight Smile” whilst electronic machines grind amongst background industrial clang in “Mud Larks”. “Save As” revolves around a beautiful simple piano motif which soon folds into an unnerving field recording and drone combination. Giraffe is a document of interior and exterior duality, a living space where machines and the surrounding world collide, a sonic landscape where musical and nonmusical elements are placed on an level hierarchy. The alchemy of these constituent parts results in the magic of Giraffe, one where the symbiotic sequence of events highlights a unique approach to sound as rapturous matter in whatever form it takes. “Colour Fullness” features Elysian Quartet and Sawada. Elysian Quartet are Emma Smith, Vince Sipprell, Jenny Logan and Laura Moody. Vocals by Misako Yabuuchi and Emma Smith. Recordings made from 2008 to 2016. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering; Engineered by Rashad Becker.

File Under: Electronic
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ugly-things

Ugly Things #43
“Cover stories this time include southern California garage psych cult heroes Things To Come, Canadian heavy psych monsters Bent Wind, and San Francisco’s seminal punk rock’n’roll villains Crime, who are the subject of a sensational new feature story loaded with scandalous revelations from the heyday of the ’70s punk scene. Other stories include: New England ’60s garage rocker Travis Pike, Boston punks Unnatural Axe, Texas punks The Skunks, The Box Tops, San Diego’s Inmates, an archeological expedition into the Music Machine’s garage, and interviews with The Turtles, Christine Ohlman (the Wrongh Black Bag), and Keith Richards’ guitar-maker, Ted Newman Jones. Plus the latest installment in Cyril Jordan’s ongoing Flamin’ Groovies saga, and our extensive review sections, the ultimate consumers’ guide to all the latest vinyl and CD reissues and rock’n’roll-related books.”

File Under: Mag

unwound

Unwound: Fake Train (Numero) LP
After the Pacific Northwest grunge raids of the early ’90s that saw Nirvana, Mudhoney, and even the Melvins hoisted up the major label flagpole, Unwound’s 1993 debut, Fake Train, came as a welcomed reprieve for underground noiseniks everywhere. A pulsing cluster of wiry feedback, lurching bass, and single stroke rolls, Fake Train entangles the energies of frustrated backpack emo, faded Riot Grrrl back issues, and their own dash of teen spirit and unleashes it all in an earsplitting 10-song assault. “Comes on like an homage to Wire’s “1 2 X U” as filtered through Minor Threat and a broken bottle of Robitussin.” – Pitchfork “It’s no contest: Unwound is the best band of the ’90s.” – A.V. Club

File Under: Punk
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you-speak

You Speak What I Feel: My Good Friends Tell Me That (Boomkat Editions) LP
The third release in the 12 x 12 series is this total fucking peach of a collaboration made in 2002 by three peers with a mutual passion for the deepest, original NYC garage and house grooves: Terre Thaemlitz (DJ Sprinkles) and Mat Steel and Mark Fell (SND). This is the first appearance of their collective handle You Speak What I Feel since their contribution to Comatonse’s 2003 tenth-anniversary compilation, and it finds the trio at their deadliest, producing a deep-as-anything, peak-time killer riding a strolling bassline, pointillist claps, and effervescent chords for 12 minutes of swingers’ bliss. Mastered by Terre Thaemlitz and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic
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buzzsaw

Various: Buzzsaw Joint: Diddy Wah 1 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! The first cut from the Buzzsaw Joint compilation series comes courtesy of London based music fanatic, DJ and dedicated 45rpm record hound, Diddy Wah. Whether slinging vinyl at his Heavy Sugar club nights or through the NTS Radio airwaves, the man’s got good taste – impeccable, even. His open-eared, between-the-cracks approach to music selection suits Buzzsaw down to a tee. Enjoy a glimpse into DJ Diddy Wah’s record collection with these sixteen handpicked bliss bombs, all recorded between 1959-1962. Features: Sonny And Premiers, Billy Garner, Bobby December And The Famous Renegades, The Canjoes, Joe Louis Johnson, Dennis And The Menances, The Rumblers, Eugene Blacknell And His Savonics, Sammy Fitzhugh, Gabriel And The Angels, Jimmy Beck And His Orchestra, Johnny Acey, The Egyptians, Rex Garvin And The Mighty Cravers, Bunker Hill, and Ray Vernon & The Raymen.

File Under: Rock n Roll

ishq

Various: Ishq Ke Maare: Sufi Songs From Sindh & Punjab, Pakistan (Sublime Frequencies) LP
A searing assemblage of Islamic Sufi spiritual music from the hinterlands of Sindh and Punjab, this compilation marks Sublime Frequencies’ debut release of field recordings from Pakistan. Recorded and compiled by Arshia Fatima Haq, founder of Discostan – a collective of artists from an imagined federation of states from Beirut to Bangkok via Bombay – this is a rare, unfiltered collection of devotional music ranging from hypnotic solo instrumentals and vocal lamentations to euphoric ensemble qawwalis. Presenting voices that are imperiled in the country’s contemporary political landscape – where renowned singers are assassinated in broad daylight and performance spaces are regularly bombed – this record continues Haq’s ongoing project of engaging complex and controversial Islamic practices and rituals that operate in resistance to religious orthodoxy. “During my travels, I recorded both well-known musicians who made regular appearances on Pakistani televisions, and unknown, untrained singers who traveled from shrine to shrine with no possessions, intoxicated in the pursuit of the divine. I recorded in intimate living rooms, in crumbling concert halls, and in remote interior areas where I had to travel with a police escort. From the vertiginous falsetto harmonies of men singing in the female gender to give voice to those who carry the wounds of society, to the sparse and piercing a capella deliverances of itinerants, singing in the spaces of shrines where the doves coo in liturgies to the saints buried therein, this is music of ‘unbridled bridledness’, collapsing the divide between the divine and the profane. In masterful, often improvised performances on the harmonium, alghoza, been, and bulbul tarang, these songs unfold into an organic recursion of longing and despair, redeemed by an almost erotic promise of reunion with the divine entity. The singers themselves are ‘ishq ke maare’ – in the throes of love. Their visionary, intuitive form of devotion is in sharp contrast to the rising tide of mathematical and legalistic approach to faith called Wahhabism seen across the Islamic landscape today. These songs are iconoclastic and anarchic, transcending systems of law and social order, to approach what is truly divine in the rawest possible form.”–Arshia Fatima Haq. Features performances by Ustad Aacher and Company, Kalyam Sharif Qawwali Troupe, Meeh Wasaiyo, Fatah Daudpoto, Latif Sarkar, Basheer Haidari and Nazira Bano, Shazia Tarannum, Babu, Sain Juman Shah and Fakirs, Ghulam Arshad, and an unknown singer.

File Under: Field Recordings, World

durban

Various: Sound of Durban Vol 1 (GQOM Oh!) LP
The Sound of Durban Vol. 1 represents the first full-length compilation collecting the sound of the suburbs and townships of Durban, South Africa known as “gqom”. The album unites many of the local young producers of this fresh genre over 15 tracks on a double LP. Rome-based DJ and musician Nan Kolè and South Africa-based Lerato Phiri set up the Gqom Oh! label to highlight the music and artists of Durban, the often-overlooked cradle of the new South African sound. Taking its name from an onomatopoeic Zulu word signifying a drum, this extraordinary, apocalyptic bass music encompasses many influences. Each polyrhythmic track draws on the darker side of electronic music, hip hop, sound system culture, kwaito, UK funk, and deep African vibrations. With its mix of ethnic tradition and urban tension, South Africa has been a cradle of cultural phenomena. In its own way it is a country of great wealth, particularly rich in contradictions, yet decades after the end of the country’s apartheid, little appears to have changed for the millions of black people who live in its notorious townships. It is from this background that innovation is continually being injected into the living body of the local music culture. The heartbeat of Durban is gqom. Features tracks by: Dominowe, Forgotten Souls, Formation Boyz, DJ Mabheko, Emo Kid & DJ Bradolz, Citizen Boy, Cruel Boyz, TLC Fam, Julz Da DeeJay, and Emo Kid. Limited repress with a new pantone cover; Two additional tracks on the download card.

File Under: Electronic, House, World

ladies

Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies from the Canyon (Numero) LP
By 1970, the folk revival had all but ended. Gone were the heady days of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “If I Had A Hammer.” Hootenanny had been cancelled. Broadside was out, Rolling Stone in. Richard Fariña was dead; Bob Dylan had plugged in. Paths paved by Joan Baez and Judy Collins had led a younger, more introspective generation of songwriters into the woods, while the ethos forged in weather-beaten hills and tempered on the lower east side of Manhattan was being reborn in the canyons of California, as songs for seagulls crafted in Joni Mitchell’s visage. Culled from beyond the crop of crit-revisionist darlings Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, or Vashti Bunyan, Ladies From The Canyon examines the world of private folk via the works of 13 unlikely heroines who sang beneath the infrastructure of the music business, playing to coffeehouse chatter and church picnic silence. Each of these Wayfaring Strangers walk in the handmade aesthetic of lyrics scribbled into faded denim, of delicate movements captured and released.

File Under: Folk

…..Restocks…..

75 Dollar Bill: Wood/Metal/Plastic (Thin Wrist) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Beatles: Revolver (Apple) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Black Earth (PIAS) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Sunset Mission (PIAS) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Johnny Cash: At San Quentin (Columbia) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & The Harm (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Little Hell (Dine Alone) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: Ascension (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: Bahia (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Coltrane (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Dakar (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Lush Life (Jazz Wax) LP
John Coltrane: Soultrane (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Sun Ship (Impulse) LP
DAF: Produkt (Bureau B) LP
Miles Davis: Agharta (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music On Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Live Evil (Music On Vinyl) LP
Delfonics: s/t (Linear Labs) LP
Demon Fuzz: Afreaka (Granadilla) LP
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Island) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
Eluvium: Copia (Temporary Residence) LP
Eluvium: Talk Amongst The Trees (Temporary Residence) LP
Grimes: Visions (Arbutus) LP
Herbie Hancock: Sextant (Music on Vinyl) LP
Judas Priest: Turbo (Sony) LP
Alicia Keys: Here (Sony) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
Egisto Macchi: Il Deserto (Cindelic) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
Metallica: Hardwired… To Self-destruct (Blackened) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (SST) LP
OST: The Lost Highway (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mike Patton: Mondo Cane (Ipecac) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Epic) LP
Rolling Stones: Blue & Lonesome (Universal) LP
Run The Jewels: 3 (Run The Jewels) LP/CS
Slowdive: Pygmalion (Music on Vinyl) LP
Slowdive: Souvlaki (Music on Vinyl) LP
Soul Explosion: Soul Fire (Granadilla) LP
The Sound: Jeopardy (1972) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: We Got it From Here… (Sony) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Live (Fat Possum) LP
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: s/t (Kranky) LP
Adrian Younge: Something About April 2 (Linear Labs) LP
Peter Zummo: Zummo with an X (Optimo) LP
Various: Cornflake Zoo 1 (Particles) LP
Various: Cornflake Zoo 2 (Particles) LP
Various: Forge Your Own Chains (Now Again) LP
Various: Portobello Explosion (Particles) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (WPFC) LP

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…..news letter #777 – sevens…..

After last week’s massive list, I think we all needed some time to catch up, and thankfully this week has provided some respite. Some nice stuff in this week, but hardly anything compared with last week. As usual, we keep pricing up lots of killer used stuff as well. So, come on down for a dig!

…..pick of the week…..

ONY_BOXITSELFSET1_FINAL.indd

William Onyeabor: Boxset 1 & 2 (Luaka Bop) LP
A final restock on these boxsets! If you haven’t picked them up yet, you better do it now! The first of set features five, while the second features four of the albums the elusive Nigerian synth-funk pioneer self-released between 1977 and 1985 – remastered and officially available for the first time. His music represents the epitome of the golden era of Nigerian funk, before he gave up a life in music to become a devout Christian. Luaka Bop released the critically acclaimed compilation Who is William Onyeabor? in October of 2013, and has since seen the release of the documentary Fantastic Man, which was fabricated around the myth of the musician and attempts to unearth the man behind the music. It is also now a full blown live show touring the world, paying tribute to the music of Onyeabor featuring a supergroup of Damon Albarn, David Byrne, Kele Okereke from Bloc Party, Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, the Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark, Pat Mahoney and Sinkane. To this day, William Onyeabor has not spoken about his music in one single interview. Onyeabor passed away on January 16th.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Electro, Goodtimes
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…..new arrivals…..

victory

A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Iris (Erased Tapes) LP
Finally in stock! A Winged Victory For The Sullen, the otherworldly collaboration between Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran, commence the New Year with their third full-length titled Iris. Adam and Dustin first met the director Jalil Lespert after he had discovered A Winged Victory For The Sullen on a music search online. After listening to their music, he immediately knew: “it was the sound of my new film.” With an excellent cast of France’s finest actors Romain Duris, Charlotte Le Bon, and the director himself, plus a script filled with tension, sexuality and darkness, they knew there was a lot of musical territory to mine. It was agreed that they wanted to explore more analogue electronique experiments as well as working with a large string ensemble, to create something that felt very modern and still cinematic. “Despite A Winged Victory For The Sullen being associated with film score type music, trying to survive the process of creating the modern film score is not for people with fragile egos. It requires those who are the most responsive to change. The director and the film presented a new set of challenges, so we decided to stop thinking about cinema as an object, and moved closer to using the film’s images as triggers for experiences. The more we were able to let go, and see the music as something that happens, like a process – not a quality, the more we were able to reach a place that sounded like us. It was as if we were making our first record all over again, except being filtered through another language littered with dead metaphors”, the duo elaborate. The recording sessions began with their long time sound collaborator Francesco Donadello in the form of some modular synth sessions in Berlin. Dustin and Adam began working from the script in their own studios, and after filming commenced they continued to create music that could be used for first edits of the film – each day getting new scenes that triggered ideas that would become the base of the film score. Over the course of the next few months the two slowly crafted the music with weekly discussion from their studio to the editing room. The final sessions to what is now the score of Iris was recorded with a 40-piece string orchestra at Magyar Radio in Budapest.

File Under: Ambient, OST, Stars of the Lid
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legacy

David Bowie: Legacy (Legacy) LP
David Bowie Legacy collects together some of the late great music legend’s finest singles from his first hit, 1969’s “Space Oddity” through to final single “Lazarus” plus a previously unreleased version of the classic 1971 single “Life On Mars?’ mixed by its original producer Ken Scott. In over 50 years from his very first recordings right through to his last album Blackstar, David Bowie was at the vanguard of contemporary culture as a musician, artist, icon and a constant influence on generations of writers, artists and designers. He was, and remains to be, a unique presence in contemporary culture. David Bowie left a legacy of inspiration in every discipline from art to fashion to acting and beyond but it is for the groundbreaking music that he will mostly be remembered. Legacy is an introduction to a whole world of music that is just waiting to be rediscovered by a whole new generation.

File Under: Pop, Rock
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dig-yer

Chemical Brothers: Dig Your Own Hole (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow… Undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronica, The Chemical Brothers (comprised of the duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons), have been producing some of the world’s greatest dance music for the better part of two decades. Their star hasn’t stopped rising since their groundbreaking debut Exit Planet Dust changed the game in 1995. Released in 1997, the Chemical Brothers’ second effort, Dig Your Own Hole, truly propelled them to superstardom. Singles “Block Rockin Beats,” and “Setting Sun” shot to the top of the British charts and forecasted the success of the album as a whole which became the group’s first U.K. No. 1. Dig Your Own Hole features guest vocals from Noel Gallagher and Beth Orton. Both Rolling Stone and Spin included it on their list of the 100 Best Albums of the Nineties. The Chemical Brothers’ first seven studio albums will again be available in the U.S. Each comes repackaged in the original sleeve artwork from the first pressings. Audio has been cut from the original lacquers directly from the studio of the original engineer, Mike Marsh, and is fully approved by The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands.

File Under: Electronic
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exit-planet

Chemical Brothers: Exit Planet Dust (Astralwerks) LP
Exit Planet Dust is the larger-than-life 1995 debut from the undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronica The Chemical Brothers comprised of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons. The album’s title is in reference to the duo’s former Dust Brothers moniker which they had to relinquish due to impending legalities with the U.S. production duo of the same name. The trailblazing release is regarded as one of the first of its kind to break into the mainstream and is credited with literally inventing the big-beat style that would go on to dominate the British dance scene in its wake. Equally ahead of its time and timeless, the eleven-song stunner runs the gamut of what has become modern dance music’s touchstones with hip-hop rhythms, distorted rock guitars, bombastic basslines, unrelenting sound samples, and throws in vocal contributions from the likes of Beth Orton and the Charlatans’ Tim Burgess for good measure. The Chemical Brothers’ first seven studio albums will again be available in the U.S. Each comes repackaged in the original sleeve artwork from the first pressings. Audio has been cut from the original lacquers directly from the studio of the original engineer, Mike Marsh, and is fully approved by The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands.

File Under: Electronic
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dylan

Bob Dylan: Bootleg Series 1-3 (Columbia) 5 LP Box
Bob Dylan’s The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 forever changed the face of archival reissues upon release in 1991. It also kickstarted Dylan’s re-entrance into the public conversation about music and triggered an artistic rebirth that continues to this day. In this cornucopia of previously unissued material comprised of rare and unreleased recordings covering the period from 1961 through to its release in 1991 are stashed home recordings, demo recordings, outtakes, alternative takes, coffeehouse recordings, concert recordings, and more. Much of it teaches us a good deal about the way in which Dylan developed as a songwriter and performer. These are performances of staggering power, subtlety, seemingly infinite variety. The main focus in this collection is on Dylan as the songwriter: 38 songs that had never been released on an official album, as well as demo and rehearsal versions of well-known songs. Untold delights make this volume consistently revelatory. And for exhaustive and insatiable collectors are bunches of previously unsuspected tracks that never made it to the underground trading circuit. Whatever reputation Dylan enjoyed as a writer and performer in his recording career began to be reviewed in the light of this historic collection. This legendary first installment in the now long running Bob Dylan Bootleg Series is now reissued on vinyl for the first time in 25 years. Hear it anew in warm, detailed analog.

File Under: Folk
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patton

Mike Patton: Mondo Cane (Ipecac) LP
Mike Patton is many things to many people, but regardless of whether he’s singing, scatting, acting, growling or swearing, he’s a Renaissance man in the truest sense of the word. From his teens spent with genre-defying alternatives acts like Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, his various collaborations with avant-garde musicians, the deconstructed-pop music he created with Peeping Tom and currently cultivating a career as a film composer as well as roles in popular video games, there seems to be no limit to what Patton can, will or might do. 2010 saw the release of his self titled Mondo Cane project. Mondo Cane is a collection of old Italian standards recorded with a full orchestra and sung in Italian. While Patton is known for a employing a wide variety of incarnations, Mondo Cane is unlike any of his previous projects. First, and most obviously, Mondo Cane is an Italian language release. Secondly it finds the singer paying homage to other songwriters, a first for the frontman. Discussing the 11-song album, Patton explained “My purpose in revisiting these pieces is not to relive the past, not for nostalgia, but more to illustrate through modern and adventurous interpretation exactly how vital and important this music still is.” The evocative collection includes works by The Blackmen (“Urlo Negro”), a late 60’s song about the Civil Rights struggle, Gino Paoli’s “Senza Fine,” made famous by Connie Francis, and Patton’s beloved Ennio Morricone who penned “Deep Down” for the film Danger: Diabolik in 1968.

File Under: Classical, Pop, Italian, Faith No More
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pca

Pye Corner Audio: Stasis (Ghost Box) LP
Available again! At least one leap year cycle since his last album with the GB’s, Sleep Games, right now this one feels like a stygian trudge into bleakest futures, operating at such a stoned pace that it moves slower than actual time, and by submitting to its temporal warp we’re allowed to regress back into a pre-digital epoch of paranoid cold, or even civil war atmospheres and paranoia. It could almost be the soundtrack to a Ben Wheatley flick (low budget, not the over-glossy high rise) about British time travellers, forgoing Dr. Who queso for a more hard-boiled, furtive vibe about anachronistic assassins sent back to kill Nigel Farage at birth, only to uncover that he’s part of an exceedingly dangerous non-human race with ties to Johnson, Cameron and all the other pebble-people, so they round them all up and lock them in a hostel in Middlesbrough with a broken kettle and packet of poisoned monster munch between the lot. Of course, that fantasy is all set to a soundtrack of wistful electronic mists and pulsating arpeggios that could be right out of some late ‘70s / early ‘80s synth library, and ultimately shows that whilst technology has advanced in the meantime, that ostensibly archaic music still reflects an underlying eldritch darkness contemporary and relevant to both eras, then and now.

File Under: Electronic, Nostalgia
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sleater

Sleater-Kinney: Live in Paris (Sub Pop) LP
Live in Paris is the first official record of Sleater-Kinney’s famously blistering stage performance. The thirteen track album, which features Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss, and touring member Katie Harkin, was captured on March 20th, 2015 at the Paris’s historic La Cigale venue, during the band’s sold-out, international tour in support of their acclaimed eighth album, 2015’s No Cities to Love. Live in Paris includes songs from nearly every Sleater-Kinney album, including No Cities to Love, The Woods, One Beat, The Hot Rock, Dig Me Out, and Call the Doctor. The recording was mixed by John Goodmanson at Avast and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

File Under: Indie Rock, Grunge
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taake

Taake: Noregs Vaapen (Karisma) LP
In recent years, Taake has been more active than ever with tours around the world and a steady live line-up. The fifth studio album, 2011’s Noregs Vaapen, sees the band refine their True Norwegian Black Metal sound, but also take a step further and include some new elements. The album is filled with Hoest’s trademark riffs, melodies and vocals, but also includes more unpredictable parts more black ‘n’ roll grooves, ice cold mellotrons, and white trash banjo. This time around, Hoest also invited his live line-up, consisting of Thurzur, V’gandr, Aindiachai and Gjermund to contribute on some songs, plus guest appearances from people like Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Demonaz (Immortal), Bjørnar Nilsen (Vulture Industries) and Skagg (Gaahlskagg, Deathcult). Hoest himself is behind all music, lyrics, instruments and vocals as usual. With its intense, unique, Norwegian and otherworldly sound, Taake delivered their most diverse and unique album to date!

File Under: Black Metal
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xx

XX: I See You (Young Turks) DLX Boxset
The xx’s I See You is marked by a tonal shift to something close to pure, crisp pop structure, adorned by unusual crescendos that echo a dextrous DJ inching their dancer toward climax without ever quite lifting the house lights. Its lyric sheet moves from the danger and hopelessness of love to its deliciousness and rapture; a move into a more outward looking proposition. I See You is recognizably still The xx but is now powered by the voluble ambition of its three perfect counterweights to one another starting to not just realize but harness their full potential. You might even want to think of the decisive move from Joy Division to New Order here, too. When they take their plum festival slots in 2017, armed with the ten most robust songs of their career, The xx should prick the skin and touch gently the shoulder of an audience reaching to the back of the field. Also available as a limited edition 180g 2LP + 2CD box set with bonus tracks, enhanced video content and three art prints.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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rocksteady

Various: Studio One Rocksteady 2 (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ new journey into the mighty vaults of Clement Dodd’s Studio One steps once more into the fertile musical environment of Jamaican music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, from the sweet harmony vocals of seminal 1960s Rocksteady right up to the nascent birth of Reggae and Roots music at the start of the 1970s. Sleevenotes to this album are by Steve Barrow, author of Rough Guide to Reggae as well as Soul Jazz Records’ own Reggae Soundsystem Cover Art books. While Ska at the start of the 1960s had taken American Rhythm and Blues as its main influence, Rocksteady focused on the emergence of American Soul music – with Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, John Holt & The Paragons, Carlton & The Shoes showing a particular fascination with the close harmonies of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions and other US Soul acts. Here The Heptones even feature with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’. The influence of Soul music on Jamaican Rocksteady and Reggae is almost palpable, so much so that one wonders how much more successful singers like Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, Slim Smith and John Holt would have been had they been born in Chicago, Detroit or Memphis. Artists such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson and Owen Gray defined the era – a slowed down beat as Jamaican political and social heat slowly increased when the 1960s progressed into the start of the 1970s – and the music evolved further from Rocksteady into Roots Reggae.

File Under: Reggae

…..Restocks…..

Adele: 25 (XL) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Olafur Arnalds: Island Songs (Mercury) LP
William Basinski: A Shadow in Time (Temporary Residence) LP
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (EMI) LP
Beatles: Abbey Road (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Beirut: No No No (4AD) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Art Blakey: Moanin’ (Blue Note) LP
Boards Of Canada: Music has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker (Columbia) LP
Constantines: Kensington Heights (Arts & Craft) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Tron: Legacy (EMI) LP
Darkthrone: Plaguewielder (Peaceville) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting it on (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Billie Holiday: Jazz at the Philharmonic (Waxtime) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Man-Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France Soundtracks (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP
Lumineers: Cleopatra (Dine Alone) LP
Mare: s/t (Hydra Head) LP
Hank Mobley: No Room For Squares (Blue Note) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Universal) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (Universal) LP
Anderson .Paak: Malibu (ERE) LP
Anderson .Paak: Venice (ERE) LP
Iggy Pop: Pop Post Depression (Loma Vista) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Radiohead: Amnesiac (XL) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (XL) LP
Royal Headache: High (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Run The Jewels: 1 (Mass Appeal) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Queen is Dead (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Strangeways Here We Come (Rhino) LP
Sonic Youth: Dirty (Geffen) LP
The Swans: The Seer (Young God) LP
White Stripes: Icky Thump (Third Man) LP

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…..news letter #776 – plaster…..

Another stacked week around here… assuming that Run The Jewels shows up tomorrow. Loads of other great new stuff in too. AND a ridiculous amount of new used stuff hitting the bins too. AND nice warm weather still. You owe it to yourself to come for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

bender

John Bender: Plaster Falling (Superior Viaduct) LP
Plaster Falling was recorded at the same time as John Bender’s first album, I Don’t Remember Now / I Don’t Want To Talk About It. Released in 1981 on the artist’s own Record Sluts label, copies of Plaster Falling’s initial pressing came hermetically sealed in plaster (and later latex). Thus, listeners had to literally break open the record to find what’s hidden inside. Produced in relative isolation, Plaster Falling is a beacon of brilliance in the nascent minimal-wave sphere. Veering towards skeletal urgency, these recordings set bright analogue melodies against half-whispered vocals and expand Bender’s electronic cryptography thru a series of lone signifiers: “Station,” “Plaster,” “Women,” etc. As Bender explains in the liner notes, “I began to distance myself from the present and describe scenes as if in a movie – seeking concrete, terse, juxtaposed imagery.” This first-time standalone reissue is recommended for fans of Gareth Williams & Mary Currie’s Flaming Tunes, Minimal Man and Grouper. Pressed on translucent blue vinyl in a limited / numbered edition of 1,000 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Cold Wave, Minimal Wave
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…..new arrivals…..

basinski

William Basinski: A Shadow in Time (Temporary Residence) LP
World-renowned as one of experimental music’s most vital and impressionistic composers of the past few decades, William Basinski’s tape loop works have been especially influential, particularly on the historic series, The Disintegration Loops, where distorted, orchestral tape samples burrow deep into the listener’s psyche through meditative repetition. On his new album, A Shadow In Time, Basinski plunges deeper than ever for the plaintive solitary eulogy to David Bowie, aptly titled “For David Robert Jones.” Conversely, the title track, “A Shadow In Time,” is a subtle, celestial escalation of melody and drone. The result is one of the most truly transcendent pieces of music he has ever committed to – or wrung from – tape.

File Under: Ambient
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bbq

BBQ (Mark Sultan): s/t (In The Red) LP
This is the first album by BBQ since 2005’s Tie Your Noose on the historic Bomp! label. BBQ is Mark Sultan, who also has recorded many other albums and 45s, as well as playing in bands like The King Khan & BBQ Show, Almighty Defenders, Ding-Dongs and Les Sexareenos etc., etc. BBQ is his preferred monicker for playing as a very strict live-recorded one-man band. This album serves as a little wink goodbye to any complexities past and a strong “welcome back” to the primitive, brusque and airy rock’n’roll which has made Sultan beloved since 2003. Forgoing lo-fi, BBQ is reinventing the one-man band, taking it back, for a loud, clear and raw sound; helmed by great songs, sung truly and passionately. Recorded by himself in his basement, live in one to two takes — twelve brand new killers.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Punk, Rock

carlos

Erasmo Carlos: Carlos, Erasmo… (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… Erasmo Carlos has no counterpart in the universe of Anglophone pop music that could begin to hint at his relevance, popularity and his complex relationship with the only Brazilian pop star more universally recognized than himself, Roberto Carlos. He may be a beloved pop star and household name in Brazil, but hardly because of the music found on the three albums reissued by Light In The Attic. While in retrospect they can be appreciated as some of his most creative, consistent and personal albums, they were also some of the least commercially successful and underappreciated of his long career, at least until recently. Embracing the artistic freedom of the global counterculture of the late sixties and early seventies, over the course of these three albums, Erasmo evolved from his bubblegum beginnings into a sophisticated seventies singer-songwriter. Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões (1970), Carlos, ERASMO . . . (1971) and Sonhos E Memórias 1941-1972 (1972) collectively find this maturing teeny-bopper delivering a mix of world class psychedelic Rock, traditional Rock ‘N’ Roll, Soul, Funk, Folk, Bossa Nova, and Samba-Rock to an unsuspecting Brazilian audience. As a student and fan of Elvis, Little Richard, Bill Haley, and Chuck Berry, Erasmo indulged his primal rock urges on these albums, notably getting sufficiently psychedelic and fuzzy on Carlos, ERASMO . . . Arriving in 1971 while Caetano and Gil were still in exile, Rita Lee had recently quit Os Mutantes and Gal Costa was onto a new sound, Erasmo’s 1971 album was the closest thing to Tropicália around. Carlos, ERASMO . . . was co-produced by the Tropicália producer, Manoel Barenbein, including a new composition from Caetano, a few arrangements courtesy of Rogério Duprat and the musical talents of no fewer than three Mutants: lead guitarist Sergio Dias, drummer Dinho Leme and bassist Liminha, not to mention Brazil’s undisputed psychedelic axe-master, Alexander Gordin, aka “Lanny”, Carlos, ERASMO. . . is a virtual all-star team of Tropícalistas (not in exile). This album is considered a bedrock album within the Brazilian rock scene and a notable late entry in the Tropicália tradition, rocking harder than any album in his catalog, but also including wispy love songs, soul and funk moves, brassy pop tunes and a marimba-driven ode to marijuana.

 File Under: Samba, Latin, Funk, Soul, Brazilian, Pop
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carlos1

Erasmo Carlos: Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendoes (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… Erasmo Carlos has no counterpart in the universe of Anglophone pop music that could begin to hint at his relevance, popularity and his complex relationship with the only Brazilian pop star more universally recognized than himself, Roberto Carlos. He may be a beloved pop star and household name in Brazil, but hardly because of the music found on the three albums reissued by Light In The Attic. While in retrospect they can be appreciated as some of his most creative, consistent and personal albums, they were also some of the least commercially successful and underappreciated of his long career, at least until recently. Embracing the artistic freedom of the global counterculture of the late sixties and early seventies, over the course of these three albums, Erasmo evolved from his bubblegum beginnings into a sophisticated seventies singer-songwriter. Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões (1970), Carlos, ERASMO . . . (1971) and Sonhos E Memórias 1941-1972 (1972) collectively find this maturing teeny-bopper delivering a mix of world class psychedelic Rock, traditional Rock ‘N’ Roll, Soul, Funk, Folk, Bossa Nova, and Samba-Rock to an unsuspecting Brazilian audience. Collectively, the songs on Erasmo Carlos E Tremendões sound like an attempt to appeal to nearly every relevant genre of Brazilian popular music at the turn of the decade. From the cover tunes alone there’s a Caetano song “Saudosismo” (Tropicália), an Antônio Adolfo song “Teletema” (Pilantragem/art-pop), and not just any Ary Barroso song, but the unofficial Brazilian national anthem “Aquarela Do Brasil”. Of the new songs, “Menina” is a Soul ballad and “Jeep” brings the Funk. Maybe it was exactly that, a chance for Erasmo to stretch his creative muscles in a lot of different directions as it became clear his Jovem Guarda character and sound had run its course, along with the TV show of the same name. Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões is greater than the sum of its pop-rock spitballs. It’s a creative, and at times experimental and groundbreaking album that remains a thrilling listen.

 File Under: Brazilian, Samba, Latin, Funk, Soul, Pop
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carlos2

Erasmo Carlos: Sonhos E Memorias 1941-1972 (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… Erasmo Carlos has no counterpart in the universe of Anglophone pop music that could begin to hint at his relevance, popularity and his complex relationship with the only Brazilian pop star more universally recognized than himself, Roberto Carlos. He may be a beloved pop star and household name in Brazil, but hardly because of the music found on the three albums reissued by Light In The Attic. While in retrospect they can be appreciated as some of his most creative, consistent and personal albums, they were also some of the least commercially successful and underappreciated of his long career, at least until recently. Embracing the artistic freedom of the global counterculture of the late sixties and early seventies, over the course of these three albums, Erasmo evolved from his bubblegum beginnings into a sophisticated seventies singer-songwriter. Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões (1970), Carlos, ERASMO . . . (1971) and Sonhos E Memórias 1941-1972 (1972) collectively find this maturing teeny-bopper delivering a mix of world class psychedelic Rock, traditional Rock ‘N’ Roll, Soul, Funk, Folk, Bossa Nova, and Samba-Rock to an unsuspecting Brazilian audience. Sonhos E Memórias (1941-1972) is truly singular within Brazilian pop fusing rock, soul, jazz and singer-songwriter styles. It’s simultaneously rootsy, funky, modern and nostalgic. The lyrics are highly personal, searching for deeper meaning with lots of flower power imagery and language, while the music is tight, highly rhythmic, melodic and restrained in its delivery and effortless groove. Built around the future fusion trio Azymuth with keyboardist José Roberto Bertrami, drummer Ivan Conti aka “Mamão” and bassist Alex Malheiros, a majority of the album’s tunes make excellent use of this trio’s telepathic tightness, subtle funkiness, and melodic mastery. The album dabbles with a few different styles and rhythms, all telling Erasmo’s musical story be it Bossa Nova, Roots Rock, Hard Rock, ballads, and soulful grooves, but a certain sonic frequency or tempo alongside the autobiographical elements unite this masterwork.

File Under: Brazilian, Samba, Latin, Pop, Funk, Soul
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come

Chemical Brothers: Come With Us (Astralwerks) LP
In Tomorrow… Undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronica, The Chemical Brothers (comprised of the duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons), have been producing some of the world’s greatest dance music for the better part of two decades. Their star hasn’t stopped rising since their groundbreaking early albums changed the game altogether. On their tight fourth full-length outing, 2002’s Come With Us, The Chemical Brothers got back to their roots and the kinetic energy they made their name on. Simons noted, “The first three or four numbers do remind me of those days when we were so excited about putting together little grooves and beats – that whole cut-up era of hip-hop.” Home to the trio of high octane singles “It Began in Afrika,” “Star Guitar” and “Come with Us”/”The Test,” and featuring Richard Ashcroft and Beth Orton as guest vocalists, the album debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. Albums Chart and immediately became one of the biggest releases of 2001. The Chemical Brothers’ first seven studio albums will again be available in the U.S. Each comes repackaged in the original sleeve artwork from the first pressings. Audio has been cut from the original lacquers directly from the studio of the original engineer, Mike Marsh, and is fully approved by The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands.

File Under: Electronic, House, Downtempo
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further

Chemical Brothers: Further (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow… Undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronica, The Chemical Brothers (comprised of the duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons), have been producing some of the world’s greatest dance music for the better part of two decades. Their star hasn’t stopped rising since their groundbreaking early albums changed the game altogether. 2010’s Grammy-nominated Further is an 8-track masterpiece of modern psychedelia effortlessly fusing freeform analogue wig-outs with juggernaut dancefloor dynamics. Further is the culmination of years of psychedelic exploration, an immersive collection that finds The Chemical Brothers at their least-restrained and most-melodic best. The Chemical Brothers’ first seven studio albums will again be available in the U.S. Each comes repackaged in the original sleeve artwork from the first pressings. Audio has been cut from the original lacquers directly from the studio of the original engineer, Mike Marsh, and is fully approved by The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands.

 File Under: Electronic, House
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push

Chemical Brothers: Push the Button (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow… Undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronica, The Chemical Brothers (comprised of the duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons), have been producing some of the world’s greatest dance music for the better part of two decades. Their star hasn’t stopped rising since their groundbreaking early albums changed the game altogether. Innovative and inspired fifth studio effort, 2005’s Push the Button, contains the explosive Middle Easton-flavored single “Galvanize,” which immediately shot to the Top 5 on the British charts. A year later, both earned The Chemical Brothers Grammys for Best Album and Best Single. Featuring guest appearances by Q-Tip, Tim Burgess, Kele Okereke, Anna-Lynne Williams, Anwar Superstar and The Magic Numbers. The Chemical Brothers’ first seven studio albums will again be available in the U.S. Each comes repackaged in the original sleeve artwork from the first pressings. Audio has been cut from the original lacquers directly from the studio of the original engineer, Mike Marsh, and is fully approved by The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands.

File Under: Electronic, House
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cherry

Cherry Glazerr: Apocalipstick (Secretly Canadian) LP
Society would deem a prodigious girl can’t be in a progressive rock band while also being in complete control of its creative vision, business plan and social messaging. Society is wrong. Clem, a 19 year old teen Queen dreamed up Cherry Glazerr in her LA bedroom alone and is perhaps more capable of figuring a music career out than anyone who attempts this treacherous life path. Back in 2014, much-loved Cali imprint Burger Records released their intoxicating debut Haxel Princess and Suicide Squeeze released the Had Ten Dollaz 7-inch. On Apocalipstick the band worked with “rock ‘n’ roll wizard” Joe Chicarelli (White Stripes, The Shins, The Strokes) and Carlos de la Garza (Bleached, M83, Tegan and Sara). With their help and the band’s newfound self-discipline and motivation, Cherry Glazerr has evolved into a wildly complex, hugely guitar heavy, and unapologetically loud machine.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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dixon

Bill Dixon Orchestra: Intents & Purposes (Superior Viaduct) LP
After spending the early ‘60s playing in groups with Cecil Taylor and Archie Shepp, trumpeter Bill Dixon recorded his singular and visionary masterpiece in 1967. Intents And Purposes remains not only Dixon’s defining statement as a composer, but also one of the most luminous moments in the history of avant-garde jazz. Combining orchestral timbres with free jazz intensity, Dixon leads a ten-piece ensemble including such heavyweights as Byard Lancaster, Robin Kenyatta, Jimmy Garrison and Reggie Workman. Closing each side of the album, “Nightfall Pieces I” and “Nightfall Pieces II” are evocative duets featuring Dixon’s flugelhorn accompanied by flautist George Marge. With Intents And Purposes, Dixon creates a work focused as much on sculpting and defining space—emphasizing moments of resonant stillness around which the compositions thrum and swell—as on purity of expression. This first-time vinyl reissue is recommended for fans of Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton and Henry Cow. “One of the richest and most compelling LPs to taunt and tempt listeners into a life of freakdom.” —John Corbett

File Under: Jazz
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grotesque

The Fall: Grotesque (After the Gramme) (Superior Viaduct) LP
Bursting into the 1980s on a new label (the then-upstart, now-legendary Rough Trade) and with an augmented, audibly panicked lineup, The Fall’s Grotesque is the true pure-bred Fall release from the Marc Riley era. Released in the immediate wake of The Fall’s most beloved single (Totally Wired), the album carries over that righteously famed teeth-chattering, bolstered in no small part by the drumming of new addition Paul Hanley, brother of bassist Steve Hanley and aged only 15 at the time of recording. “Pay Your Rates” negates the notion of easing into things, opening the album with pure jitter, guided by hornet-buzz guitars and Mark E. Smith’s commanding shout, allowing for breath only during the brief, lumbering waltzes that appear at unexpected intervals. “New Face In Hell” is an entirely alien take on dancehall post-punk – a kazoo-driven rave-up that holds an unshakable position in the band’s canon. Many significant firsts surround Grotesque, including The Fall’s inaugural production partnership with Mayo Thompson and the debut of Suzanne Smith’s wonderful artwork, both of which would play key roles in the band’s following phase. Superior Viaduct’s edition is the first time that Grotesque has been available on vinyl domestically since its initial release in 1980. Liner notes by Brian Turner.

File Under: Punk
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hex

The Fall: Hex Enduction Hour (Superior Viaduct) LP
Hex Enduction Hour was originally conceptualized as the death knell for The Fall. Beleaguered by career uncertainty and guided by vague premonitions of collapse, Mark E. Smith declared that one full hour was needed to thoroughly and perhaps finally state his case with The Fall. This framework resulted in a true classic of the post-punk era and an album that gave The Fall their first taste of album chart success, thankfully removing surrender from the equation. Recorded in haste in both Iceland and England in late 1981, the performances on Hex Enduction Hour are among the band’s most urgent and distinctive. The album begins with the severe provocation of “The Classical” and the terse punk of “Jawbone And The Air-Rifle,” but it’s “Hip Priest” that stands out as Smith’s calling-card theme, a song that would become inextricable from his character (or perception thereof) in the years that followed. The elongated “And This Day” fittingly positions the band as spell-casters, closing the hour by filling every conceivable bit of space with wild, primitive percussion and whimsical electric piano. Superior Viaduct’s edition is the first time that Hex Enduction Hour has been available on vinyl domestically since its initial release in 1982. Liner notes by Brian Turner.

File Under: Punk
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room

The Fall: Room to Live (Superior Viaduct) LP
On Room To Live, The Fall take the hurried, all-or-nothing approach of their preceding Kamera Records releases to extreme ends. Forged via Mark E. Smith’s continual disassembling of players and focus on previously unrehearsed material, the album collects The Fall’s most experimental and improvisational recordings. As proclaimed on the album cover, “Undilutable Slang Truth!” would be revealed throughout Room To Live. With the album’s comparatively lo-fi production and always- teetering performances, the title track comes closest to a stab at pop (by The Fall’s standards), built on fantastically bent saloon swaying under one of Smith’s by-now characteristic dressing-downs of square life. “Detective Instinct” is an unshakeable creeper, as languid and ominous as the band would get during the Marc Riley years. “Marquis Cha Cha” is a post-punk rhumba, beginning with fury and then easing into something only The Fall could conjure. Superior Viaduct’s edition is the first time that Room To Live has been available on vinyl domestically since its initial release in 1982. Liner notes by Brian Turner.

File Under: Punk
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lips

Flaming Lips: Oczy Mlody (Warner) LP
The Flaming Lips present their long-awaited new studio album, Oczy Mlody. Produced by the band and long-time producer Dave Fridmann, the highly-anticipated LP is the follow-up to their globally acclaimed 2013 album, The Terror. On Oczy Mlody, The Lips return to form with an album no less experimental in nature, but perhaps more melodically song-oriented, recalling the best parts of their most critically applauded albums The Soft Bulletin and the gold-certified Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. Oczy Mlody will be released in several configurations including a 12-song double-LP edition – pressed on colored vinyl and an 11-song single-LP edition (both of which include a digital download card of all 12 songs). Frontman Wayne Coyne explains: “When asked (about our newest album Oczy Mlody) what does your new stuff sound like? My current response has been that it sounds like Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky and they get trapped in a fairy tale from the future. Knowing full well that if you know who Syd Barrett is (original founder of classic rock/space opera group Pink Floyd) you probably don’t know who A$AP Rocky is (current badass psychedelic rapper) and if you know and like A$AP Rocky you probably don’t care or wouldn’t like Syd Barrett…perhaps, it is only within The Flaming Lips world that these 2 (Syd and A$AP) could accidentally find themselves. “But somehow they have gone through a hole in the night sky and arrived in a fucked up, day glow, fairy tale world in the future. A future where Oczy Mlody is the current cool powerful party drug of choice and sleeping is the ultimate cure for everything… sleeping for, like, 3 months. So if you want to lose weight. Ping!! You are put to sleep for 3 months and you wake up thin. If you are addicted to drugs. Ping!! You sleep yourself out of withdrawals and cravings and wake up sober. “And it all takes place inside a gated community that has been made into a replicant fantasy fairy tale city where the mega-mega rich folks live and have self indulgent psycho parties (maybe I’ve been spending too much time around Miley Cyrus) where everyone takes Oczy Mlody (the drug uses your own sub conscious memories and transports you to your perfect childhood happy mind) and everyone has sex while riding unicorns. There are frogs and wizards and spiders and painful emotional therapy sessions where every primal desire is allowed and encouraged.”

File Under: Rock, Psych
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foxygen

Foxygen: Hang (Jagjaguwar) LP
Hang is Foxygen’s third album for Jagjaguwar, and their first proper studio record, recorded in Los Angeles, CA at Electro Vox Studios. Hang features Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, as well as Brian and Michael D’Addario of the Lemon Twigs as players on the album. Hang also features a 40+ piece symphony orchestra on every track. Trey Pollard from Spacebomb arranged and conducted the orchestral parts, with additional arranging from Matthew E. White. Foxygen is the Big Bang of two combusting minds. It’s the splayed Galaxy of polar geniuses Sam France and Jonathan Rado. It’s a handshake with a knife behind your back. A sleepless night in a five star hotel. You listen to Hang properly. You take in each moment. Each new melody that threads forward from the fingertips of one of this generation’s finest piano men in Rado. And you fall in line behind France’s sprawling and reckless lyric. Witness his mastery. Feel them struggle against the walls of their own creations. Follow them there. To the perimeter. To the exit sign. Notice that the two young guys aren’t there anymore. They’re outside looking for another joint to haunt. They’re already out of sight.

File Under: Indie Rock
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georgia

Georgia: All Kind Music (Palto Flats) LP
In tomorrow… On All Kind Music, NYC production duo Georgia (Brian Close and Justin Tripp) return for their third full length: ECM-era Don Cherry global jazz meets contemporary electronic avant-garde, true world dance music for the next millennium. With guest turns on every track, Georgia explore a new approach to studio production, incorporating the sounds of world and jazz music into their digital funk and combining and processing improvisation and composed elements to create a unified, distinct voice. This approach can be heard on “Ama Yes Uzume,” as a primally incandescent vocal from Caroline Polachek (Chairlift) blends with glistening waves of piano and synth to form a euphoric rhythm that materializes out of curved air. Blending live performance with sampling and editing, Georgia constantly revise and revisit their work, breaking down, collaging, and refracting sounds. On lead track “Slow Dance,” vocals by performance artist India Menuez waft over a loping bass line (sampled from a performance by Matt Werth of RVNG) while digital flutes cluster in the background. The outcome is a kind of new age mutant funk, not unlike the sound of Annette Peacock or 23 Skidoo jamming in the studio with Jon Hassell. Additional collaborators include avant-garde harpist Mary Lattimore, saxophonist Wednesday Knudsen, and Gabonese vocalist Abang Essone Sarah Maya. As the title suggests, this is music of many multitudes. RECOMMENDED!

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Jazz, World
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13

Lee Hazlewood: 13 (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… 13 was never supposed to be a Lee Hazlewood album. It is perhaps the strangest record in one of the most varied discographies in music. The bombastic brass-heavy funk, deep blues and soul paired with Hazlewood’s subterranean baritone would be best enjoyed with a tall Chivas in an off-strip seedy Vegas lounge. It also features one of Hazlewood’s greatest lines ever “One week in San Francisco, existing on Nabisco, cookies and bad dreams, sad scenes and dodging paranoia.” By 1972 Lee Hazlewood had settled in his new homeland of Sweden. His days were spent carousing, making movies with Torbjörn Axelman and releasing albums. To keep up his prolific recorded output, Lee began to mine the recently defunct LHI Records archives for material. One such gem, was an unreleased album by Larry Marks. In what became the final days of LHI, staff producer Larry Marks’ sonic fingerprints were on nearly everything; songwriting, producing, arranging, and singing. His most profound contribution was steering the creative direction of the label towards soul and R&B, arranging the downright funky LHI singles by Barbara Randolph and Jon Christian. Larry’s concept was to take Hazlewood’s strongest compositions and arrange them in a soul vibe. An album was completed, but with no distribution in America and no funding, Lee had no vehicle to release Larry’s record. The tapes were taken to Sweden, Larry’s voice was wiped and Hazlewood’s was dubbed….13 was born.

File Under: Folk, Pop, Country
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jack-orion

Bert Jansch: Jack Orion (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Jack Orion, Bert Jansch’s third album, may have surprised some fans upon its 1966 release, as it features no original compositions by Jansch. While nearly all of the eight tracks (four of which include guitarist John Renbourn) are interpretations of traditional folk songs, Jansch’s experimental approach breathes new life into this repertoire through his exploratory use of open tunings and passionate, gritty vocals. According to Melody Maker, “his interpretations illuminate the songs from a completely new angle. As sung by him, with brilliant accompaniments, the brutal world that created the old ballads doesn’t seem so very far off.” The ten-minute title song foreshadows the future through the past: with his sublime retelling of this dark tale of desire and revenge, Jansch embarks on a musical trajectory he would further develop with his group Pentangle. In “Black Water Slide,” a haunting ballad he first heard from Anne Briggs, Jansch plants the seeds for future versions by Led Zeppelin and Sandy Denny. Jack Orion’s unique combination of medieval themes and progressive arrangements would pave the way for the next wave of the British folk revival and beyond. This vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger. RECOMMENDED!

File Under: Folk
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joan

Joan of Arc: He’s Got The Whole… (Joyful Noise) LP
“Twenty years now there’s been this thing, our band, Joan of Arc. Sometimes we forget about it and let it fizzle out for a year while we tend to our lives. Sometimes we cling to it for a year and wake up surprised and exhausted every day for months on end, given walking tours of old Italian towns, browsing dreary British pedestrian malls or barefooted organic grocers on the Pacific coast. We know how lucky we are. “The less we feel like a band – the more we can continue to be a band, but escape that feeling of doing all those shitty, corny things expected of bands – the truer to ourselves we feel. And you all know it, everyone knows it even if everyone has to bury it to get on with their day-to-day: the truer to ourselves we feel, the better everything gets. We have shifted shapes and modified our approaches quite a number of times in the course of twenty years. And we’ve done so always aiming to stay true to ourselves at that moment, by instinct and with conscious intent. This time, it took us a long time to figure out how to start back up. We threw away a lot of songs and started over, over and over. “But here’s the thing: We are getting better at being ourselves. So many of the postures of youth just fall away with time. Most bands break up by that point, or become caricatures of their younger selves. Because money is tricky, or I should say, it comes to be that energy is tricky to muster after all of it goes into the basics of sustaining yourself. Every day, at some point, it occurs to me that Richard Brautigan killed himself at the age that I am now. But I got this community of weirdo collaborators to lean on that he never had. We’ve never had an audience that gets any validation of its coolness through liking us. We’ve mangled, juxtaposed, and collaged too many elements for that social contract. But we trust each other. “This time, finally, we trusted each other enough to throw all the songs away, to even throw away every preconceived idea about which one of us should take position at which instrument. We hit Record and played, and our collective tastes emerged. And they, our tastes in the moment, were the only standards in all the expanse of the stupefying and beautiful unknown universe, that we regarded as relevant in the least.” – Tim Kinsella

File Under: Indie Rock
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leimerLeimer: Land of Look Behind (Palace of Lights) LP
The Land of Look Behind soundtrack returns to vinyl in a remastered and expanded edition that includes a download of three previously unheard and unreleased tracks from the original sessions. Alan Greenberg, who wrote and directed this film documenting the funeral of Bob Marley, provided K. Leimer with location tapes which were used to originate many of the rhythmic patterns for Land of Look Behind. Loops of the monologues and phrases that exhibited more distinctive cadences and pacing, the words, glottal stops, clicks and coughs of witnesses were used as cues for the percussion instruments. In effect, speech became the organizing principle of the musical score. By eliminating the accuracy of click tracks, musicians were prompted to rove through the inconsistent intervals of the voice-derived patterns. Also included is a four-page insert featuring an essay by Paul Dickow. K. Leimer founded Palace of Lights in 1979. Leimer’s early work has recently been reissued by Autumn and RVNG, and his early cassette work is in the critically acclaimed VOD box set American Cassette Culture. Leimer has been actively producing music since the mid 1970s — his current catalog includes seventeen albums plus two collaborative albums with Marc Barreca. Leimer’s work is included in the collection of The British Library.

File Under: Ambient, New Age
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loscil

Loscil: Monument Builders (Kranky) LP
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Monument Builders is the new album from loscil, the ambient/electronic project of prolific composer Scott Morgan. It was primarily created on sample-based instruments in Morgan’s century old Vancouver home. Like that aged space, this music is also rough-hewn, with rickety samples of boiling kettles and resonant moving air. Recordings from a vintage micro-cassette recorder contribute distortion, rattles and textures that serve as both percussion and abstract aural color. According to Morgan, the genesis for the album may have begun as he viewed an old VHS copy of the American experimental film Koyaanisqatsi. “Something about the time-tarnished visuals and the pitch warble on Philip Glass’s epic score added a new layer of intrigue for me,” says Morgan. “Glass has always been an influence but lo-fi Glass felt like a minor revelation, as if the decay was actually enhancing the impact of the film’s message.” The investigations on Monument Builders also took inspiration from the anti-humanist writings of influential philosopher John Gray, as well as photographer Edward Burtynsky’s iconic aerial photographs of pollution and environmental destruction. “Gray’s writing, particularly his book Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, reinforced a bleak notion I had that we humans don’t have much say in how it all turns out,” says Morgan. “With Burtynsky, I was struck by the fact that something so strikingly beautiful could be the result of large-scale waste and exploitation.” Monument Builders was composed during a period in which the life-and-death battles of close friends and family forced Morgan to examine his own feelings on mortality. In the course of that introspection, Morgan found himself buoyed by a feeling of celebration and a stubborn sense of survival—an acknowledgement of what it means to be able to breathe and create amidst the clash of love and chaos. Ultimately, Morgan hopes the music here can offer listeners solace while leaving room for exploration and surprise.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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esp

Egisto Macchi: E.S.P. (Cometa) LP
In tomorrow… In the 70′s, the Italian public television RAI used to broadcast disturbing paranoiac dramas, weird documentaries on the bottom of the sea and indigestible so-called “educational” movies. Obviously, all that stuff needed some music. Or “sonorizzazioni” (soundtracks), as they were called. These soundtracks were handled by shady characters, on the border between avant-garde classical, electronic space age and a healthy Italian pop touch. Some names are familiar: Ennio Morricone, for example. Or the mythological Piero Umiliani, too.But the biggest of all was Egisto Macchi. His Voix, a ghostly fresco of lunar vocals and abstract phonemes, is one of the masterpieces of the Italian “library music”.ESP is a four-part television series produced by Rai in 1973, directed by Daniele D’Anza, and aired from Sunday, May 27 1973 to Sunday, June 17, 1973 on the National Program.

File Under: Library, Italian
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11183_JKT

Lee Morse: Sweeping The Cobwebs (Asherah) LP
In tomorrow… Lee Morse (born Lena Corinne Taylor on Nov. 30., 1897 in Cove, Oregon) is perhaps best remembered as a torch singer and performer on the jazz and bluegrass circuits of the Pre-War era. However, what is not yet reckoned with is that she was one of the earliest female singer/ songwriters to ever be recorded in the United States. Morse learned to sing and play guitar from her older brothers, both of whom played in the bluegrass style, at a very young age touring in the Portland-Seattle area with their preacher father. This is how she developed her distinctive low-register voice as she tried to impersonate them, something that when coupled with her very small frame made her a successful performing musician on the vaudeville circuit and in silent film. This also lead to a rather large recording catalog, both credited as a solo artist and with band “Her Bluegrass Boys.” Despite this success, early critics dismissed her “coos” and “yelps” in her singing style as being gimmicky even though they’d become standard uses of expression in jazz vocalizing throughout the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s — a style she helped invent and develop. In an era that did not see anything particularly special about a singer who also wrote music outside of the burgeoning folk/ blues movement, Morse’s substantial portfolio of well-written and thoughtful songs from this period (mostly with no co-writer) have often been neglected. Lee’s performing career waned in the years before WWII, and she died without much fanfare in 1954 at the age of 57. While not focused on her most popular recordings, the purpose of this collection is to instead position Lee Morse in her rightful place as a musical pioneer for both American music and gender equality in the music community.

File Under: Jazz, Blues
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greasy

OST: The Greasy Strangler (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow… Death Waltz Recording Company are proud to present The Greasy Strangler. The film was featured on Sundance’s Midnight section and drew immediate hype for its singular vision. The Fright File wrote “Complementing every scene in an incalculable way is one of the most pronounced and inspired music scores and soundtracks in recent memory, an instantly catchy, appropriately playful lo-fi orgy of electronic synth compositions from Fuck Buttons band member Andrew Hung”. Hung’s score reflects the onscreen insanity perfectly offering an extremely twisted musical electronic soundtrack reminiscent of 80s video games complete with chiptune vocals, children’s keyboards and playful bouncy beats, it’s the kind of off kilter musical styling’s you might find from the residents in some of their more delirious pop moments.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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OST: The Howling (Waxwork) LP
In tomorrow… Waxwork Records is proud to present the Original Motion Picture Score to THE HOWLING. Composed by Pino Donaggio (Carrie, Don’t Look Now, Tourist Trap), Waxwork’s new, deluxe vinyl release of THE HOWLING has been expanded, re-mastered for vinyl, pressed to 180 gram colored vinyl, and features full package artwork by Francesco Francavilla. Directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Burbs), THE HOWLING follows a newswoman sent to a remote mountain resort after a string of fatal incidents with a serial killer, unaware that the resort inhabitants are werewolves. THE HOWLING is regarded as one of the greatest werewolf films of all time, and since it’s 1981 release, has accumulated a cult following. The success of THE HOWLING aided in propelling director Joe Dante’s career, and prompted Warner Bros. to hire him to direct GREMLINS. The score by Pino Donaggio blends classic-horror orchestral cues as well as minimal synth and sound effects. The new Waxwork Records release of THE HOWLING is expanded with 12 bonus tracks previously unavailable of the original 1981 soundtrack LP.

File Under: OST
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perfect-blue

OST: Perfect Blue (Tiger Lab) LP
In tomorrow… Well over a year in the making, Tiger Lab Vinyl and Madhouse Production Studios teamed up to present Masahiro Ikumi’s original score to to the classic 1997 psychological thriller on vinyl for the first time ever. Once again, Tiger Lab enlisted the impeccable work of Heba Kadry of Timeless Mastering NYC to remaster Ikumi’s mesmerizing compositions. Not so different from the sounds of Brooklyn’s own Sacred Bones or the Tri Angle Records catalog, Ikumi’s score is an electronic tour de force filled with ambient layers, eerie vocal choirs, infectious rhythms, and ghostly melodies. A short but powerful listen (six tracks clocking in at 31 minutes), PERFECT BLUE will haunt your speakers for days.

File Under: OST
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confessione

OST: Confessione di un Commissario di Polizia al Procuratore Della Repubblica (Four Flies) LP
In tomorrow… One of the rarest and most beautiful library soundtracks composed by Riz Ortolani for the crime noir film, Confessione Di Un Commissario Di Polizia Al Procuratore Della Repubblica, directed in 1971 by Damiano Damiani, with Franco Nero, Martin Balsam and Marilù Tolo. A tense and dramatic that’s interspersed with explosive jazz-funk and beat grooves. A must-have for any serious Italian sound digger!

File Under: OST, Library
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OST: Inside Out (Mondo) 7″s
In tomorrow… Mondo in collaboration with Walt Disney Records is proud to present the Inside Out 7-Inch Single series. Each featuring Michael Giacchino’s theme from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out “Bundle Of Joy” and a exclusive B-Side. Featuring artwork by Phantom City Creative, inspired by classic album covers. Composed by Michael Giacchino, the theme from Inside Out is an absolute earworm. Capturing the whimsy of childhood is no small task, but Giacchino is able to craft a score that is emotionally resonant (no pun intended).

File Under: OST, Disney

evelyn

OST: The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow… Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to exhume another classic soundtrack from the world of horror cinema with Bruno Nicolai’s incredible score to the 1981 Emilio Miraglia giallo The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave (aka La Notte Che Evelyn Usci Dalla Tomba). The film is as mad as its title; Evelyn is dead before it starts and her previously institutionalized husband Alan, who has begun to murder strippers as a form of therapy, is duped by his cousin who wants to rid of his heir. Oh, and there’s the matter of Evelyn’s resurrection and a whole dose of other murders – it’s unreal.Adding to the surrealism of the situation is Nicolai’s deranged score that mixes super effective jarring orchestral with electronic effects and speed jazz that has truly disconcerting time signatures. It’s absolutely creepy and utterly terrifying with queasy quivering synthesizers that sound like an entire waves of insects and the juxtaposition of a fantastic bass line with a sawing string effect that is just sickening. And then there’s the beautiful typical romantic giallo melody that really stands out, with vocals courtesy of the iconic Edda Dell’Orso. (Charlie Bridgen – Editor: Films On Wax)

File Under: OST
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OST: Star Trek II – Wrath of Khan (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s inimitable Star Trek franchise and Mondo is honored to kick the year off with an expanded soundtrack release of arguably one of the greatest chapters in Trek history: The Wrath Of Khan. This expanded edition soundtrack features audio never before released on vinyl. This deluxe 2XLP vinyl release features original artwork by Matt Taylor, and has been remastered for vinyl by James Plotkin.

File Under: OST
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malibu

Anderson .Paak: Malibu (Steel Wool) LP
Finally available again! Welcome to Malibu by Anderson .Paak, the second installment and full sound recording album from OBE partnered with Steel Wool Entertainment and ArtClub International. This new album by the hip-hop/Nu R&B wunderkind features production from 9th Wonder, DJ Khalil, Madlib, Kaytranada, Pomo, Dem Jointz, Callum Conner, Hi-Tek and The FreeNationals while featured vocalists include ScHoolboy Q, Talib Kweli, BJ The Chicago Kid, Rhapsody and The Game. Malibu is the maturation of .Paak’s journey from soul and R&B over into hip-hop and even modern dance, all the while giving listeners a deep look into his personal experience. Dive into the deepness that makes Malibu a special time and place, and enjoy!

File Under: Hip Hop, R&B
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venice

Anderson .Paak: Venice (Obe) LP
Venice is the breakout 2014 debut album from Los Angeles, CA Afro-Korean hip-hop/Nu R&B wunderkind Anderson Paak whose production and vocals were famously featured all over Dr. Dre’s long awaited Compton. His eclectic style, songwriting and production abilities, and musical chops allow him to effortlessly blend genres borrowing from hip hop, alt-rock, R&B, jazz and electronica. Supported by the seductive singles “Drugs” and “Miss Right.” For fans of The Weeknd, Miguel and Frank Ocean.

File Under: Hip Hop, R&B
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awa

Awa Poulo: Poulo Warali (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Awa Poulo is a singer of Peulh origin from Dilly commune, Mali, near the border with Mauritania. Largely pastoral and often nomadic, Peulh (or Fula) speaking peoples are found from Senegal to Ethiopia but predominate in the Sahel region of West Africa. Awesome Tapes From Africa is proud to release Poulo’s newest recording of highly virtuosic folk-pop, fresh from the studio, broadcasting her vision of Peulh music beyond the grazing grounds and central markets of her remote home region in southwestern Mali. It’s not very common to find a female singer performing publicly among the Peulh. But Poulo’s mother’s co-wife is Inna Baba Coulibaly, who is a celebrated singer most Malian music fans know. Coulibaly herself was brought into music by forces outside her control when a regional music contest required an entry from her village and she was chosen to be a singer. So, set in motion by a surprising series of events, young Poulo’s entree into the music world was auspicious as she gained popularity across the region. After several locally released tapes and CDs, this record is Poulo’s first internationally-distributed record. On Poulo Warali, she and her band combine the hallmarks of Peulh music – warm flute floating over cross-rhythmic n’goni (lute) riffs and resonant calabash gourd hand percussion – with broader Malian sounds like lightly-distorted guitar and a heavier, rollicking inertia. Shape-shifting layers of rhythm and woody overtones match Poulo’s commanding voice in a jocular yet deliberate dance. This is a relatively rare example of Mailian Peulh music played in a modern, cosmopolitan context, reflecting the mixed society of Dilly, where Bambara, Soninke and Peulh-speaking people live among each other. Poulo’s conscious lyrics about community concerns speak to the distinctive identity of her broadly-flung people. While Peulh represents less than 10% of Maili’s melting pot of languages, the dynamic music here powerfully resonates well beyond the linguistic borders.

File Under: Africa, Afrobeat
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rhead

Rhead Brothers: Black Shaheen (Preservation) LP
In tomorrow… Preservation Records are so proud to offer, for the first time, the official release of the Black Shaheen album. It was recorded shortly after the Dedicate album, but unfortunately it was shelved by EMI. Only a handful releases was uncovered. Recorded in the late 70’s in the legendary Muscle Shoals studio, this album represents some of the finest smoothest, funkiest blue eyed soul’n AOR ever committed to wax.

File Under: Soul, R&B
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lion

Roaring Lion: Cairi Calypso (Asherah) LP
In tomorrow… Roaring Lion was born Rafael Arius Cairi Llama Deleon on February 22, 1908 in Aroquita, Trinidad, an area in the northern hills of the island country. “Cairi,” where this compilation gets its title, was another name for Trinidad in the indigenous tongue of the island. Lion, a Caribbean Creole, spent much of his early life in orphanages before being adopted by Muslim Indian parents from the migrant working class in San Fernando. This unusual upbringing and displacement greatly influenced his compositions and performances, which subsequently influenced Calypso music as a whole since Lion became such a looming figure in its popular development. Inspired by early, mostly unrecorded practitioners like King Fando and Lionel Belasco, Lion started writing and performing his own music and adaptations in the 1920’s. As a composer, Lion stood out ahead of the pack with his lyrical wit and a rare ability to sight-read and draft music to paper. By helping to create the “War”-style of Calypso in which two performers would “battle” each other lyrically between 78rpm releases, his influence persevered into similar battles in Reggae and Hip Hop cultures decades later. By the 1930’s, the period from which this music is culled, Lion became one of the first Calypso musicians to record and perform in the United States. Despite his humble beginnings, Roaring Lion’s fame grew with each passing year, and he became a figurehead of Calypso as its popularity grew in the U.S. and Europe. These early recordings are a glimpse of the Lion coming into his own, showing all the swagger and bravado of a young man ready to become an international star, while also expressing the realities of working class life from the Trinidad of his youth.

File Under: Calypso
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run-the-jewels

Run The Jewels: 3 (Run The Jewels) LP
In tomorrow??? After two years off, Killer Mike and El-P – known collectively as Run The Jewels – return with their highly anticipated third studio album, Run The Jewels 3, which comes preceded by the Boots-featured “2100,” “Talk To Me” and “Legend Has It.” Additional guests on the record include Joi Gilliam, Danny Brown, Tunde Adebimpe, Trina and Kamasi Washington. Previously, the duo have released Run The Jewels and Run The Jewels 2, two of the most critically-acclaimed albums of their respective years (2013 and 2014), while each artist has continued to expand their place in the sphere of social commentary. Killer Mike spent a significant portion of the last year, in which RTJ didn’t release an album, urgently supporting one-time Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Concurrently, El-P has expressed his own stout views on the nation’s glaringly changing political landscape. That said, their return to the scene is now imminent.

File Under: Hip Hop
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spectrum

Spectrum: Forever Alien (1972) LP
When Spacemen 3—the seminal, drone-indulgent English psych duo comprised of Peter Kember and Jason Pierce — split in 1991, Pierce shuffled off to acclaim in Spiritualized. Meanwhile, Kember charted a less predictable course. As Sonic Boom, he released Spectrum in 1990, then, after taking a liking to that handle, released Soul Kill (Glide Divide) as Spectrum in 1992. Kemper alternated between those monikers and Experimental Audio Research (E.A.R.) throughout the 1990s, building a rich, probing catalog of synth and electronic explorations of which 1997’s Forever Alien is an undeniable highpoint. With theremin, vocoder, and an array of modular analog synthesizers (depicted lovingly in the cover art) Kemper, along with Alf Hardy and Pete Bassman, fused kosmische abstraction and the pulsation of minimalist composition to more traditional psych elements epitomized by early Pink Floyd. Landing between the unfettered experiments of E.A.R. and Spacemen 3’s songcraft (“How Does it Feel?” is scarily reimagined), Kemper crafts unnerving atmosphere on the title track and an enduring catalog high point on the consummate opener, “Feels Like I’m Slipping Away.” Forever Alien leaves no doubts about the reasons for Kemper’s sought-after production today (he played a vital role for Animal Collective and sculpted Panda Bear’s most recent album)—nor the essential status of his post- Spacemen 3 output.

File Under: Electronic, Spacemen 3
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NEW 12"TEMP_4-21-2016

Stone Alliance: s/t (Tidal Wave) LP
In tomorrow… Tidal Waves Music proudly presents the reissue of this long out of print Jazz/Funk classic originally released on PM Records in 1976. Featuring an all-star line up comprised out of Steve Grossman (best known for his saxophone performances & recordings with Miles Davis), Gene Perla (Nina Simone) & percussionist Don Alias (Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Blue Note). Included is a hip rendering of Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin’” & the album’s best-known song “Sweetie Pie” (mentioned in the track ‘Root Down’ by the Beastie Boys & sampled by rap-outfits like Original Flavor, Leaders of the New School amongst others). Stone Alliance’s eponymous debut album hits hard like a sonic hurricane, this landmark album is a rebellious effort and a must hear for ’70s jazz fans. Officially licensed from PM Records and featuring the original artwork created by Anne Maria Schnider. Now back available as a deluxe limited vinyl edition (1000 copies) for the first time since 1976.

File Under: Jazz, Funk
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carnet-turistico

Amedeo Tommasi/Gerardo Iacoucci: Carnet Turistico (Four Flies) LP
In tomorrow… From the legendary DENEB series, comes some of the grooviest Italian library ever. Amedeo Tommasi and Gerardo Iacoucci (alias H. Caiage) at their best. An explosion of heavy organ sounds, jazz & psych-beat, with killer drumming breaks and mellow tunes. Highly recommended for dj’s! From the legendary DENEB series, comes some of the grooviest Italian library ever. Amedeo Tommasi and Gerardo Iacoucci (alias H. Caiage) at their best. An explosion of heavy organ sounds, jazz & psych-beat, with killer drumming breaks and mellow tunes. Highly recommended for dj’s!

File Under: Library
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tycho

Tycho: Epoch (Ghostly) LP
Epoch is the final album in the trilogy beginning with 2011’s Dive, then 2014’s Awake. This period between Dive and Epoch marks a significant maturation for Scott Hansen’s continually expanding project, one that has taken him from a solo performer and bedroom artist to fronting a live 4-piece band on large stages across the world. Epoch hones the sonic aesthetic of Dive while drawing on the kinetic energy of Awake, it explores darker themes and new musical territory. The album was produced and recorded by Hansen predominantly in his home studio in Berkeley, CA. The album was arranged alongside long time collaborator and partner in the project, Zac Brown. Brown contributed bass and guitar parts to the songwriting process. Rory O’Connor performed drums on the album. Hansen sees Epoch as a multi-dimensional artistic vision at the confluence of his graphic design work via ISO50 and music with Tycho. The graphic presentation of album artwork is as important as the music itself. The keystone is the central image of Epoch and the colors scheme red and black. This is a stark contrast to the almost rainbow palette of Awake.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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u3erk5

UJ3RK5: Live From the Commodore (Primary Information) LP
A legendary 1980 performance (opening for Gang Of Four) by this strongly visual Canadian post-punk / art-rock group with an affinity for Devo, Talking Heads, and the Vancouver School of photo conceptualism. KITTY BYRNE (drums), RODNEY GRAHAM (guitar), FRANK CRASS (guitar), DANICE MACLEOD (violin), FRANK RAMIREZ (vocals), JEFF WALL (vocals, keyboards), IAN WALLACE (bass), and DAVID WISDOM (vocals, keyboards). Pronounced “you jerk” (the five is silent), UJ3RK5 formed in Vancouver in 1978, originating from Ramirez and Graham’s guitar-and-bongo duo, THE GENTLEMEN TWO, with occasional participation by friends such as MEFV HUTCHINSON and author WILLIAM GIBSON. In addition to appearing on Canadian compilations, in 1980 the band released a self-titled, four-song EP on Quintessence Records, reissued that same year by PolyGram. This sound board recording includes “Naum Gabo,” “The Anglican,” “Booty Dread,” the Dan Graham-inspired “Eisenhower and the Hippies,” and eight previously unreleased tracks. Edition of 600.

File Under: Post Punk, No Wave

cometa

Various: Rare Music from the Cometa’s Archives (Cometa) LP
In tomorrow… The world of Italian library music is a confusing, mysterious and expensive one. It’s confusing as some tracks appear across different libraries, some appear in the UK or in France, It’s mysterious because there is little documentation about anything, old labels still emerge out of nowhere, and often in Italy no one knows who owns what or why or how. And it’s expensive to buy original Italian library records, even more expensive if they are good. One of the most collectible and consistently entertaining Italian labels was SR, set up as part of the Sermi Cable Company in the late 1960s. This is the compilation of music from that very company. Many of the music from that original catalogue is now owned by Cometa. But not all of it. Bearing that in mind we believe this is the best compilation we could put together using the resources available. The music is incredible. And beautiful. And not expensive now. And that’s why we did it. Killer percussion, superb jazz, odd global sound, beautiful library music.

File Under: Italian, Library

…..Restocks…..

Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works II (1972) LP
Olafur Arnalds: Island Songs (Mercury) LP
Autechre: Amber (Warp) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Battles: Mirrored (Warp) LP
Beirut: Gulag Orchestra (Ba Da Bing) LP
Beirut: Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing) LP
Bing & Ruth: City Lake (RVNG Intl) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Keys: Attack & Release (Nonesuch) LP
Bon Iver: 22/Million (Jagjaguwar) LP
Johnny Cash: Man Comes Around (American) LP
Johnny Cash: A Hundred Highways (American) LP
Johnny Cash: At San Quentin (Columbia) LP
Johnny Cash: Now Here’s Johnny Cash (Dol) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs of Love & Hate (Columbia) LP
Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker (Columbia) LP
Constantines: Kensington Heights (Art & Crafts) LP
D’Angelo: Voodoo (Modern Classics) LP
Betty Davis: The Columbia Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Betty Davis: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Face to Face: Big Choice (Fat Wreck)LP
Face to Face: Don’t Turn Away (Fat Wreck) LP
Face to Face: s/t (Fat Wreck) LP
Faust: s/t (Lilith) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In the Red) LP
Fuzz: II (In the Red) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Historie de Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Galaxie 500: On Fire (20/20/20) LP
Galaxie 500: This is Our Music (20/20/20) LP
Galaxie 500: Today (20/20/20) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Cowboy in Sweden (Light in the Attic) LP
Bert Jansch: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Jim James: Eternally Even (Universal) LP
Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note) LP
Kaleo: A/B (Atlantic) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
The Louvin Brothers: Satan is Real (Light in the Attic) LP
Barbara Lynn: Here is Barbara Lynn (Light in the Attic) LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: What Comes After The Blues (Secretly Canadian) LP
Angel Olsen: Halfway Home (Bathetic) LP
Angel Olsen: Strange Cacti (Bathetic) LP
Oranssi Pazuzu: Varahtelija (20 Buck Spin) LP
Tom Perry & The Heart Breakers: Volume 1 (Universal) Boxset
Public Image Ltd: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magic (Universal) LP
Replacements: Twin/Tone Years (Rhino) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling Out of Context (Audika) LP
Arthur Russell: World of Echo (Audika) LP
Scientist: Introducing Scientist (Superior Viaduct) LP
Sturgill Simpson: A Sailors Guide… (Atlantic) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds (Thirty Tigers) LP
The Smiths: Queen is Dead (Rhino) LP
The Smiths: Strangeways Here We Come (Rhino) LP
Songs: Ohia: Ghost Tropic (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: s/t (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Hecia & Griper (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) LP
Jim Sullivan: UFO (Light in the Attic) LP
Talking Heads: Remain In Light (Rhino) LP
This Heat: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Tinariwen: Radio Tisdas Sessions (Modern Classics) LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) 3LP Box
Various: (The Microcosm) (Light in the Attic) 3LP Box

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