So the music industry has been around for a while right? What I can’t figure out is why the distribution of stuff is still so messed up! Now not everyone is making a mess of things. Some stuff is here nice and early on a regular basis, and if it won’t be, then you know in advance. But some of these companies….. man, how did they last so long! I guess the vinyl craze could have a bit to do with it, but seriously. Anyway, lots in this week for your listening pleasure!
…..picks of the week…..
*Ignatz: Can I Go Home Now? (Fonal) LP
In tomorrow… In 1910, the illustrator George Herriman created the Krazy Kat comic strip. Ignatz, a vicious mouse, was Krazy Kat’s arch enemy, and his favorite pastime was to throw bricks at Krazy Kat’s head (who misinterpreted the mouse’s actions as declarations of love). Brussels-based artist Bram Devens uses Ignatz as his alter-ego, and comes armed with his own pile of bricks; sparse, emotive songs born of the human condition, wrapped in effects, corroded by tape, driven forth by improvisation and spontaneity. Can I Go Home Now? is Ignatz’s first Fonal release, but it is his fifth full-length album — his seventh if you count the Kraak 2011 cassette compilation and 2010’s Mort aux Vacheslive LP on Staalplaat. Recorded in Schaarbeek, Brussels, Belgium between 2011 and 2012 on four-track and computer, the album sees Devens shift his focus toward more exclusively song-based compositions, cut largely from unabridged electric and acoustic guitar. Ignatz’s songs stem from a familiar stripped folk framework, with Devens’ delivery recalling the louche primitivism of V.U. or Henry Flynt– but these songs sound inverted, cast adrift, their cool touch belying a stymied heat beneath the surface. Where Devens’ fretwork is adorned, it is executed with a refined coarseness. Autonomous loops entwine each other. Songs brush past percussion, bass notes, or a scant keyboard motif. A voice recedes from the heart of the song into a dislocated, cracked drawl. And yet if Ignatz does occasionally recall the ghost of Jandek, there are moments of warmth and beauty, as sunlight glistens on the ice. Devens’ personal experiences echo throughout the album’s artwork and the title itself, as well as the music. “The artwork is a drawing of a dog, a boxer called Gibbe. It is a drawing by myself from 1994 made in Budapest, Hungary, just after Gibbe died at the age of 13 from meningitis. A family holiday went bad. Because we did not want to leave him in Hungary we decided to wrap him in plastic and tie him on the roof of the car and drive back to Belgium (which took us 2 days and the body started to smell). This was the last holiday I spent with my parents, and this moment defined the end of my childhood, more than any other.” Ignatz has toured Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan, playing with, amongst others US Girls, Ducktails, Six Organs Of Admittance, Heatsick, Sir Richard Bishop, Chris Forsyth, Es, LSD March, Greg Malcolm, and Bridget Hayden. Sample it here! And here!
Acid Mothers Temple: In Search of the Lost Divine Arc (Important) LP
In tomorrow… “Acid Mothers Temple’s In Search of the Lost Divine Arc heads in a completely different direction from 2012’s Son of a Bitches Brew. Harder, faster, and more riff-rock oriented, this record is here to slay. AMT skews their vibe between Zeppelin and Beefheart, coming out with another classic Acid Mothers ripper in the process.” Sample it here!
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP/CD
“The idolized and enigmatic duo is back. A series of cryptic clues dropped in various formats, from a one-off 12″ on Record Store Day, to hidden messages on YouTube, NPR Music’s All Songs Considered, fan forums, and even a video premiered on Adult Swim, all led their fans on a wild chase to reveal the album details. Now that the world knows – the anticipation is at a fever pitch for one of the world’s most revered and mysterious electronic acts. Musically, the album is somehow dark yet positive, with atmospheric dissonance and mind bending melodic creations.” Sample it here!
*Coil: Scatology (Force & Form) LP
Grey area repros of these two KILLER experimental/industrial albums from 1984/1986. Coil’s first official full-length album, Scatology, is one of the essential landmarks in the group’s discography and, moreover, one of the ’80s industrial scene’s more vital and influential recordings. This is the first part of the essential Coil trilogy that also includes Horse Rotorvator and Love’s Secret Domain. The 1984 album exhibits the group at its early industrial stage, in transition to the undefined genre of astral noise psychedelia that Coil would inhabit for the following decades without peer or precedent. The core duo of Peter Christopherson and John Balance are joined by Clint Ruin (aka Jim Thirlwell), whose role in the production cannot be underestimated, as well as Stephen E. Thrower, Throbbing Gristle’s Alex Ferguson, vocalist Gavin Friday of the Wolfgang Press, and one Raoul Revere (who is in fact British camp pop legend and Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond). “Restless Day” is a haunting rumination that defies description, other than being an utterly essential self-defining moment in the Coil paradigm, with an atmosphere hanging in the tense space between harsh noise and harmony that apparently causes time to cease. “The Tenderness of Wolves” features the vocals of Friday in one of the more poetic moments of the ’80s post-industrial sound. At the album’s somber end, this outstanding work finishes with a rendition of “Tainted Love” featuring Almond, who had made the track a new wave hit with Soft Cell. Here, however, the tune is given a bleak slow-motion version that could be read as a tragically suggestive commentary on the AIDS epidemic of the era. The album was originally released on Force & Form/Some Bizzare, and was the subject of numerous bootlegs and illegitimate versions. For the record, the 2001 version on Threshold House/ World Serpent is the only version authorized by the group. Maybe the numerous LP and CD versions that have appeared since its original release are suggestive of just how vital the album is, not only in the Coil discography but to the industrial electronica scene as a whole. Scatology is nothing short of essential. Sample it here!
*Coil: Horse Rotorvator (Recordvox) LP
Coil’s second full-length continues in the industrial vein as evidenced by the opener “The Anal Staircase,” which was originally released as a 12″ in a different mix. The album is full of the excesses of Roman times, full of sex, horns, drugs and death. Aside from the military motif, the album also brings to the forefront the music’s homoeroticism, with tracks like “The Anal Staircase” “Slur” and “Penetralia” all stressing the point. “Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini)” is the album’s centerpiece, with soothing insect-like percussion and strings over a plaintive vocal by Balance. Like Scatology, the album features a cover (this time it’s a totally sick, drastically reworked version of Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire”) as well as problems with Stevo over the money from the reissue(s) of it. Sample it here!
Donovan: Wear Your Love Like Heaven (Sundazed) LP
In the revolutionary musical atmosphere of the second half of the 1960s, no artist embodied the era’s spirit of creative freedom and freewheeling self-invention more strongly than Donovan. Born Donovan Philips Leitch, the multi-talented Scottish troubadour rose from the U.K. folk scene and was initially hailed as Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan. But he quickly transcended his original folkie image to adopt a more distinctive and expansive vision that put him in the vanguard of the psychedelic/flower-power explosion, while also exploring his interest in blues, jazz and Eastern music. Donovan’s 1967 release Wear Your Love Like Heaven is one of his brightest and most upbeat albums. In addition to the dreamy title hit, the enchanting set features such beloved Donovan standards as “Mad John’s Escape,” “Oh Gosh,” “Skip-A-Long Sam” and the Shakespeare-inspired “Under the Greenwood Tree.” In addition to its pristine original mono mix, this definitive LP edition boasts one of Donovan’s most memorable cover designs, featuring a haunting infrared photograph of the artist by noted photographer Karl Ferris. Sample it here!
Donovan: Mellow Yellow (Sundazed) LP
Embracing an optimistic sensibility that exemplified the era’s most idealistic hopes and dreams, Donovan was one of the few ’60s artists who managed to make consistently inventive and popular albums while also scoring regularly on the singles charts, and his unique body of work remains as compelling today as when it was first created. Now, Sundazed presents three ofDonovan’s classic ’60s albums in their original LP configurations, featuring high-quality vinyl, definitive mono mixes and complete original cover art. Donovan’s fourth album, 1967’s Mellow Yellow, is a dynamic transitional effort that finds the singer-songwriter-guitarist expanding his artistry into rewarding new areas. In addition to the sing-along title hit, which famously inspired a persistent urban legend regarding the recreational consumption of banana peels, Mellow Yellow encompasses acoustic introspection (“Writer in the Sun”), crafty art-pop (“Museum”), bittersweet insight (“Young Girl Blues”), beat poetry (“The Observation”) and a fond nod to British folk icon Bert Jansch (“House of Jansch”). In addition to the production of British Invasion legend Mickie Most, Mellow Yellow features ear-catching arrangements by future Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones and sitar by cult singer-songwriter Shawn Phillips. With its original mono mix capturing the vibrant vibes of Donovan during this incredibly creative and productive period, this vintage gem has never sounded better! Sample it here!
Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (Sundazed) LP
With 1968’s The Hurdy Gurdy Man, Donovan delivered one of his most fully-realized works, with a psychedelic/progressive edge as well as an exotic Eastern flavor that reflects the influence of his then-recent trip with the Beatles to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogian experience that helped to inspire Donovan to renounce drug use and encourage his fans to try meditation instead of chemical consumption. While the title track introduced a heavier-sounding Donovan to AM radio listeners and became one of his biggest hit singles, the smash “Jennifer Juniper” maintains his gentle, romantic side. The album’s playful experimental spirit is reflected in the innovative use of drones on such tracks as “Peregrine” and “Tangier,” and in the music-hall diversion of “As I Recall It,” while “A Sunny Day,” “The River Song” and “The Entertaining of a Shy Girl” showcase Donovan’s knack for idyllic, pastoral songcraft. Sundazed’s vinyl edition of The Hurdy Gurdy Man features the album’s rare, much sought-after original mono mix, doing justice to the sonic presence and creative imagination of this vintage gem. Sample it here!
Dream 2 Science: s/t (Rush Hour) LP
In tomorrow… 2013 repress. Official re-release of this “lost” 6-track mini album by New Yorker Ben Cenac (of Newcleus fame). Recorded and released in 1990, this is an absolute gem of a record — very much in the vein ofLarry Heard’s best recordings. Electronic soul classic! Now available again for the first time in 22 years, remastered plus full artwork. A truly dreamy, beautiful classic deep-house mini-album from the golden post-Larry Heard era. New Yorker Ben Cenac, who was also member of electro pioneers Newcleus (and part of Sha-lor, who had a cool, jazzy garage-house hit in the late ’80s), shows a great sensibility and delicacy here in following Mr. Heard’s path. His approach is perhaps slightly more sci-fi in the synths and pad sounds, and perhaps a tad less crafted and mercurial in production than the master (i.e. less timeless), but this adds in realness and charm. So, past the classic deep-garage dream “My Love Turns To Liquid” (in the vein of these sultry garage productions from Peter and Vanessa Daou), the rest of the record shows constant quality, with song titles that could have been (or actually have been) used by Mr. Heard himself. There is a content oscillating between warming deep house, sweet acid, lush garage and relaxed space-jazz piano parts, the whole thing also evoking the Beloved’s better “rave” moments (“The Sun Rising” etc). Sample it here!
Future Bible Heroes: Memories of Love, Eternal Youth & Partygoing (Merge) 3LP
Future Bible Heroes are comprised of celebrated songwriter Stephin Merritt, longtime friend and collaborator Christopher Ewen and Magnetic Fields pianist-singer-manager Claudia Gonson. Memories of Love, Eternal Youth and Partygoing. marks the first time the entire original Future Bible Heroes remastered catalog has been available in one place. In addition to the three full-length albums, the CD collection includes a fourth disc that compiles the band’s three Eps – The Lonely Robot, I’m Lonely (And I Love It), and Lonely Days – plus several tracks from outside compilations, including a song from the soundtrack to the film Welcome to the Dollhouse and the band’s hilarious gender-bending rendition of ‘Don’t You Want Me?’ from a tribute album to the Human League. The LP collection includes each of the three albums (Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing) on vinyl plus a download card containing all of the EP and compilation tracks as well as digital versions of the full-lengths. 4CD is a 10 panel softpak + 12 pg booklet // 3LP is a triple gatefold + full download. Sample it here!
Fumio Hayasaka: The Seven Samurai OST (Doxy) LP+CD
“Fumio Hayasaka’s original soundtrack to Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai (1954). The friendship that emerged between Hayasaka and the legendary Japanese director marks one of the great artistic partnerships of the last century, with Kurosawa often commenting how Hayasaka transformed his vision of how music could be used for cinema. Here, the well-known tale of a group of farmers who hire seven samurai to protect their village from raiders is masterfully told through Hayasaka’s musical tour de force. 39-track CD included, featuring nine bonus tracks.” Comes on 180 gram vinyl. Sample it here!
*Iasos: Celestial Soul Portrait (Numero) LP/CD
In tomorrow… “Inspired by the infinitely numbered harmonies transmitted by Vista, a benevolent being from a distant dimension, Iasos broke ground for a new age of electronic sound manipulation. His was pioneering work — done from a bohemian boat-slip home office — on some of the first commercially available synthesizers and, on stage, into the kaliedoscopic heart of psychedelic-era concert visuals. As life-affirming and attuned to spirit as Iasos’ soul portraits were, prestigious psychology departments heard in them the tones humans hear at the precipice between life and death. Before ambient and new age were so named and codified, the ‘Paradise Music’ of Iasos — represented here by 13 selections transmitted between 1975 and 1985 — brought Earth-transcriptions of a vast and galactic sound healing to a planet much in need.” Sample it here!
King Tuff: Was Dead (Burger) LP
2013 Vinyl Reissue from Burger Records! “It’s always seemed as though Was Dead kinda came outta nowhere. Even for me, I don’t remember writing the songs and I barely remember recording them. I do know that they came from the purest part of my heart and they were made with a mischievous little smile on my face. I think it was 2006. I recorded mostly late at night, in a giant dirty ballroom called Vegetable Street, in my hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont. My days were filled with endless cups of Mocha Joe’s coffee, black, sitting on the stoop with my friends, and spazzing out on my guitar. I wanted Was Dead to be a pure Vermont Rock and Roll record, fueled by extra sharp Cabot cheddar cheese and hot, grade-A fancy maple syrup poured over crisp white snow and served with a pickle and a cider donut. You sit down on the shitty concrete in the parking lot and you slurp it all up. I had already made a few King Tuff albums in the early 2000’s and had laid the project to rest around 2003. But something told me to resurrect King Tuff, hence the title Was Dead.” – King Tuff. Sample it here!
Kool G Rap/DJ Polo: Street Stories (Traffic) LP
In tomorrow… “Kool G Rap is simply one of the most masterful rappers ever. His body of work has served as a major influence on everyone from Nas to Eminem to Action Bronson. Kool Moe Dee once stated that G Rap is ‘the progenitor and prototype for Biggie, Jay-Z, Treach, Nore, Fat Joe, Big Pun, and about twenty-five more hard-core emcees.’ And that influence is in both his flow and his subject material. Though they would later have a major beef, it was Eric B that introduced Kool G Rap to DJ Polo. Marley Marl knew Polo and allowed the pair to use his studio one night in ’86. Marley Marl was so impressed with the resulting cut, ‘It’s a Demo,’ that he immediately bestowed Juice Crew membership on the pair. This of course led to appearances on Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack program and the release of ‘It’s a Demo’ as a Cold Chillin’ 12″ with ‘I’m Fly’ on the B Side. Soon after G Rap turned the world on its ear with his appearance on the ultimate posse cut, ‘The Symphony’ from Marley Marl’s epic release In Control Volume 1. The world was now ready for Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s full-length debut, 1989’s Road to the Riches. This overview pulled from Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s prime Cold Chillin’ material covers all their best: from ‘It’s a Demo’ through ‘Erase Racism’ with Big Daddy Kane and Biz, ‘Rikers Island’ (the original 12″ mix is found here) through to ‘Streets Of New York’ these street stories are the template that changed the game.” Sample it here!
*Lussuria: American Babylon (Hospital) 2LP
In tomorrow… Hospital Productions present a very necessary vinyl edition for one of the most effective industrial/ambient collections in their catalog, and one of the label’s most sought-after. Over the course of three cassettes (limited to just 99 copies) issued in 2012, Lussuria (“Lust” in Italian) drip-fed these eight tracks of opiated, phantasmic SM atmospheres into the musical bloodstream, duly hailed by many as one of the most crucial set of tracks released in 2012. Reflecting the ritualistic appeal of late ’70s and early ’80s Italian industrial à laCicciolina Holocaust, Sermonizer, or MB, crossed with the epic claustrophobia of early material from The Cure and the decadent, voyeuristic compulsion of Pasolini flicks so enamoured by Coil, the enigmatic Lussuria has conceived nothing short of a dark ambient masterpiece for our times. It’s a De Quincey or De Sade-like meditation on a perceived American condition that percolates far beyond its borders, matching the militant oppression of Vatican Shadow with martial pomp of opener “Keys to Unlock Paradise (Roman Showers)” and the cold-sweating tension of “Queen of Swords Reversed,” while ambient interzones such as “Viper Room Vigil” and “Mondo Narcotico” relieve the suppression effectively as a loosened tourniquet. In his role as the dark interpreter, Lussuria acts as informant from the netherworld, relaying the eschatological drone vision of “Under” and the backmasked bacchanalia of “Coiled Serpent Shedding” to fanged ears on the other side, culminating with two furtive dispatches in the coruscating half-light of “Nicotine Incense Trepan Redux,” and the uncannily poignant video-diary entry set to numbed pads and raging black metal noise inferno that closesAmerican Babylon. So many attempt this sound, yet its putative pleasures remain just out of grasp to most. Not so with Lussuria. Sample it here!
Mad Season: Above (Legacy) LP
1995’s Above is the lone album from the Seattle supergroup Mad Season featuring vocalist Layne Staley (Alice In Chains), guitarist Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), bassist John Baker Saunders, and drummer Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees). Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan and saxophonist Nalgas Sin Carne also make appearances here as well. Staley’s haunting sincerity is supported masterfully by the group’s beautiful melodies and inviting hooks throughout the 10-song set which offers fans just enough of what they have come to love about the members’ respective groups to go along with something altogether different. Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, WA with producer Brett Eliason, Above was certified gold on the strength of the popular singles “River of Deceit,” “I Don’t Know Anything” and “Long Gone Day.” This expanded double 12″ vinyl edition from Sony/Legacy includes the original album in its entirety as well as three songs from the band’s unfinished second album with newly recorded vocals by Mark Lanegan, a previously unreleased instrumental, “Interlude,” and a remixed version of Mad Season’s cover of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier.” Sample it here!
Paul McCartney: Wings Over America (Hear) 3LP
Following the successful recent reissues of McCartney, McCartney II, Band on the Run and RAM, Wings Over America is the latest addition to the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. This gatefold 180g 3LP-set with accompanying poster and download card features all the classic Wings hits plus some of Paul’s solo and Beatles classics. Selected from ninety hours of recordings, Wings Over America is a faithful account of the Paul McCartney & Wings 1975-76 world tour, taped at several of the US shows. Originally released in 1976, Wings Over America remains one of very few live albums to reach #1 in America (incidentally, the band’s fifth #1 album in a row). In addition to Wings’ classics like “Live and Let Die,” “My Love,” and “Let Em In,” the collection includes McCartney solo material like “Maybe I’m Amazed” and for the first time since the Beatles broke up six years prior, songs such as “Lady Madonna,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “Blackbird,” and “Yesterday.” Sample it here!
*Metasplice: Infratracts (Morphine) LP
In tomorrow… Infratracts revealed. Eight outstanding tracks from the twisted minds of Philadelphia’s finest. After theTopographic Interference four-tracker and the abstract head-banger Decant/Churn releases, the duo formed by Kenneth_Lay and V.Hold has established the fundamentals of a real new generation of psychedelia and wild technological freedom. This is the clear and definitive Metasplicemanifesto: fist-rising — scream if you can read it. Sample it here!
In tomorrow… One of the greatest heavy psych albums ever made, this mindblower has it all — trippy songs, spacey production, ace musicianship and jaw-dropping guitar. It’s presented here in its fullest-ever version, with the full involvement of the band’s enigmatic leader, Steve Morgen. Featuring eight rare bonus tracks (including home recordings made by Morgen and guitarist Murray Shiffrin shortly after the album’s December 1969 release), a packed booklet and rare photos, it’s truly essential for fans of psychedelia. Comes on 180 gram vinyl, includes a CD copy of the album with eight bonus tracks. Sample it here!
Mother Love Bone: s/t (Music On Vinyl) LP
Founded by future Pearl Jam and former Green River members Stone Gossard (guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass) and flamboyant singer Andrew Wood, the Seattle-based punk/glam band Mother Love Bone was only active for a few promising years before the premature death of Wood following their debut 1989 EP Shine and just before the release of the group’s debut full-lengthApple. Mother Love Bone was then released in 1992 as a compilation of the Shine EP and Apple and is augmented here with the two bonus tracks “Capricorn Sister” and “Lady Godiva Blues.” This first ever vinyl issue of the album comes on a 180g 2LP-set with poster and lyric sheet courtesy of Music On Vinyl. Sample it here!
Mount Kimbie: Cold Spring Fault Less Youth (Warp) CD
Since 2009, Dominic Maker and his partner in Mount Kimbie, Kai Campos, have played a central role in forging a new form for electronic music. Their influence stretches far beyond the corner of the dance music underground that birthed them. They have repeatedly confounded expectations, transforming themselves from bedroom-studio producers to creators of one of the most fully realized electronic album-length statements of recent years and refining their live show to incorporate live drums, bass, guitar and vocals. With their second album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, the perception of Mount Kimbie looks set to expand again. Recorded in their South London studio, the 11-song set builds on the electronic sensibilities of Crooks and Lovers (2010) making full use of the possibilities afforded by a professional studio. After two years, the music has matured though still retains their distinct sound. Maker explains the development, “tastes change, what you want out of life changes…Naturally, how we want to sound has changed too.” Sample it here!
Nkengas: Destruction (Secret Stash) LP
“Destruction by the Nkengas originally hit streets in 1973, overflowing with heavy Afro-beat, Afro-rock, and gritty highlife. Few copies were pressed, and today it can take months of searching to find a copy of this coveted gem. It came about during Osita Osadebe and His Nigeria Sound Makers’s UK tour. Financial hardship led members of the Nigeria Sound Makers to break off and form another group while in London, the Nkengas. Next, the Nkengas were introduced to Jamaican born Sonny Roberts, well known in London for his Orbitone record store and label. After the recording sessions, the band returned to Nigeria and became known as the Ikenga Super Stars of Africa, finding much success in West Africa. Despite their later popularity, the heights of funky rawness in this early effort were seldom duplicated. Working in coordination with Orbitone Records and the leader of the Nkengas, Chief Vincent Okoroego, we are proud to present the first ever reissue of this funky rarity. Contains detailed liner note inserts with never before seen photos. The CD version comes in a premium digipack.” Sample it here!
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou: Volume 3 – The Skeletal Essences of Afro-Funk 1969-1980 (Analog Africa) LP/CD
Sale priced in our listening post! Analog Africa presents a new compilation of 14 funky tracks by the legendary Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou from Benin. Starting in 2005, Samy Ben Redjeb, Analog Africa’s founder and compiler, made several trips to Benin, where he dug up most of the orchestra’s output recorded between 1969 and 1983: hundreds of vinyl records and a few master tapes, in a total of 500 songs. With all that material in hands and the astonishing richness of the group’s material, choosing the songs proved to be a tough task. The 14 tracks presented here have never been issued outside of Africa and most of them follow the spirit and sound of the first volume, The Vodoun Effect, which was a selection of songs released by small and obscure labels from this tiny country which was once known as Dahomey. One thing that immediately catches the attention listening to this compilation is the band’s steamroller-like grooves employed by Gustave Bentho, the mythical bass master, and Leopold Yehouessi, the fantastic drummer — for many, Africa’s funkiest rhythm sections. The soul of the music he created has permanently engraved itself in the soil of Benin. Sample it here!
People of the North: Sub Contra (Thrill Jockey) LP
In tomorrow… “People of the North is Kid Millions (drums) and Bobby Matador (keyboard, synth, vocals) of Oneida, and Sub Contra is their Thrill Jockey debut. While their sound, like Oneida’s, is constantly shifting and absorbing new concepts and ideas, Sub Contra is a work that fully embraces tumult and darkness in startling and dramatic ways. People of the North have been an active entity since 2003, but it wasn’t until 2010 with the release of Deep Tissue on their own Brah imprint and Steep Formations, which followed in 2012, that recordings became an important part of the duo’s identity. Sub Contra also features contributions from Shahin Motia and Barry London of Oneida.” Sample it here!
Roedelius Schneider: Tiden (Bureau B) LP+CD
In tomorrow… “Not long after Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster, Harmonia) and Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot, Kreidler, Mapstation) had released their first album Stunden, accompanied by a few live shows in 2011, Eric Satie and Brian Eno were quoted as the great inspiration for their musical collaboration. Fine references no doubt, one having invented musique d’ameublement, and the other having refined it into ambient music 80 years later. Yet Tiden does not sit easily in either camp. This is neither tasteful decor (à la Satie), nor is it electronic-auditory space-filler (à la Eno), gazing towards infinity. The short duration of the 13 pieces is enough to discount either genre. Better to consider these as concentrated, inspired études, carefully thought through and in no way random or sketchy. With cheerful gravitas, the two artists create absolute music — music which desires only to be itself, without ulterior effects and with the declared intent of involving the listener in his emotional, inventive game. Perhaps Franz Schubert’s moments musicaux would be a more suitable citation. The lightness and atmospheric intimacy of this music reveal Roedelius (grand piano, synthesizer) and the decades younger Schneider (Elektronik) as musicians who understand how to listen to one another and improvise on each other’s ideas immediately. The result is a lively, relentless interplay of great composure, more surprising than any tide could be, as precise calendars exist for tidal flows. Roedelius can already look back on an adventuresome career in music. Schneider has also prospered through exciting decades in contemporary pop. This is the second time their paths have crossed. Tiden keeps the promise which their first album made — genial contemporary music from two artists who are as one in heart and soul. And when Roedelius steps on the pedal of his grand piano, well, it squeaks a little.” –Asmus Tietchens Sample it here!
Conrad Schnitzler: Conrad & Sohn (Bureau B) LP
In tomorrow… “Conrad Schnitzler is undoubtedly one of the founding fathers of German electronica. And his son, Gregor Schnitzler, matched the father’s extraordinary level of creative output. They appear to have settled any musical differences amicably. After all, how else could they have ‘shared’ an LP released by Conrad Schnitzler himself? One half ofConrad & Sohn features music by Conrad Schnitzler, the other, his son Gregor. Two mini-albums on one disc, so to speak. An ideal opportunity to compare them. Judging by the similarities in sound, Gregor clearly had access to his father’s music equipment, but the way he uses electronics and his voice could not be more different. Industrial (e.g.Cabaret Voltaire) influences are apparent. The dry minimalism of German new wave (NDW) also left its mark on him. A sense of the end of days in some places gives way to highly-charged hysteria in others. For young, modern musicians in the frontline city of West Berlin, a mix of depression and anger was the natural prerequisite for their uncomplicated, unsentimental and yet emotional music. And the “No Future” claim had not yet lost its validity. Gregor unequivocally took sides; he was with the young. Conrad’s music on this album also shows some signs of contemporary influence. As a veteran of the avant-garde and an experienced performance artist, he adopted a different aesthetic stance to that of his son, Gregor. Leaving the bleak, cryptic text of the first track aside, Conrad speaks to the knowledgeable listener in a familiar musical language: sequencer shapes with no end and no beginning, then an uncommonly humorous miniature with a Donald Duck voice, followed by electronic particles travelling from anywhere to who-knows-where. Total abstraction. Father and son certainly offer up drastically opposing musical concepts to our ears.” –Asmus Tietchens Sample it here!
Conrad Schnitzler: Contempora (Bureau B) LP
In tomorrow… “Contempora (1981) is a sort of collection of sketches, reflectingConrad Schnitzler’s inexhaustible creative powers in condensed form. Like light refracting through a multiple prism, shapes and colors constantly change, backgrounds shift through brightness and darkness. Each track on the album could easily double or triple in length without relinquishing any of its magic or indeed becoming boring. Schnitzler grants us the merest glimpses into his diverse soundscapes and sonic armories. He opens one door ever so slightly, only to close it again and open another for just a few minutes. Improvised sonic comets shimmer over Schnitzler’s inimitable sequencer patterns, fleeting melodies fade away. Everything happens at breathtaking speed, miniatures without frames or tangible borders. In the early ’80s Schnitzler worked primarily with the EMS Synthi A and Korg MS 10 synthesizers, an analog sequencer and analog rhythm machine. All in all, this was neither a particularly complex nor exotic array of equipment for the period. Many electronic artists used these inexpensive instruments, or something similar. Nevertheless, Schnitzler succeeded in setting himself apart from others in the fraternity, in both sonic and compositional terms. Not so much gripped by the need to occupy a unique position, he was simply unable and unwilling to divert from his creative path. Contempora again underlines Schnitzler’s noble ethos.” –Asmus Tietchens Sample it here!
Shindig! #33 Magazine
In tomorrow… “Features include The Seeds, Children of the Future: It’s a Psych-Out with the LA flower-punks – Sandie Shaw, Queen of the Brit girls – Marsupilami, Underground West Country rock – The Third Power, Heavy psych from Detroit – You Am I, Australia’s best kept secret – plus Kim Fowley, Francoise Hardy, Matt Berry, Pied Piper Records, Michael Chapman, Led Zeppelin.”
Shindig! Witches Hats & Painted Chariots Book
In tomorrow… “The Incredible String Band and the 5,000 Layers of Psychedelic Folk Music. Witches Hats & Painted Chariots covers a broad spectrum of British underground folk-rock from a lengthy selection of articles on acid-folk pioneers The Incredible String Band to the acts that followed in their footsteps. Folk and psychedelia held hands around the maypole while drug-inspired lyricism collided with traditional music, pagan mythology and spiritualism to create a sound and lifestyle that still resonate today. This delightfully-designed book overflows with sumptuous visuals and exclusive features — no one has presented the work and influence of the String Band with such vivid colour and insight.” Paperback, full color with illustrations, 112 pages.
Aoki Takamasa: RV8 (Raster Noton) LP
In tomorrow… With RV8, the Osaka-based producer and musician Aoki Takamasacontinues his long-term project that focuses on the modulation of rhythms and grooves. It began with his first EP Rhythm Variations in 2009, released as part three of the Unun-series. Besides his collaboration with Raster-Noton, he released records on several labels like Commmons, Progressive Form and Op.Disc, produced remixes for well-known musicians like Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yoshihiro Hanno and played performances at Elektra/Montreal and Club Transmediale/Berlin, all in all making him a renowned producer in Japan and beyond. Starting with a firework of bleeps and bops, already the very first minutes of this record reveal Aoki’s preference for vibrating beats and likewise his playful approach to music, generating a sound that aims for the dancefloor. Like the first ones, almost all tracks of the record are characterized by a constant modulation of chords and lines that sometimes appears somehow hyperactive, but nevertheless results in a natural flow that perfectly reflects Aoki’s laid-back attitude combined with his will to produce danceable and funky music. The fluent arrangement is only interrupted by the third track, which forms a caesura by being more reduced and slower. In contrast to this, the following tracks present a faster tempo and an increased intensity; and whereas the first tracks reflect downbeat and R’n’B influences due to their broken beats and chunky sound, the later songs are characterized by a more sleek and technoid style, incorporating dribbling basses, clappy-sounding snares and modulated voice snippets. Although all of the musical components are constantly broken down, modulated, and rearranged, the overall sound of the record is dense and compact, featuring a groove made up of numerous elements that are complexly intertwined. The eight tracks of the record fit seamlessly together and create a composition that nearly functions like a DJ set. Sample it here!
Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Rhino) LP
Formed in the mid 70s by art school chums David Byrne, Chris Franz, and Tina Weymouth and ex-Modern Lover Jerry Harrison, Talking Heads rose out of the CBGB punk crucible and proved themselves one of the most artistically adventurous and influential bands of all time. Their visionary, polyrhythmic sound fused elements including rock, funk, and punk with diverse world beats, avant-garde minimalism, and pure pop genius. From their 1977 debut to their Brian Eno and self-produced classics and on through to their swan song (1988’s Steve Lillywhite-produced Naked), the Talking Heads consistently broke creative boundaries while also producing a series of timeless hits such as “Burning Down The House,” “Wild Wild Life,” and “Once In A Lifetime.” “Burning Down The House,” was the Talking Head’s first and only Top 10 hit in the U.S. featured on their 1983 Sire releaseSpeaking In Tongues, the band’s fifth studio effort and commercial breakthrough. Speaking In Tongues also includes the track “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody),” regarded as the Talking Heads’ first love song and the tour for the album yielded the famous Jonathan Demme film Stop Making Sense. Sample it here!
John Vanderslice: Dagger Beach (Dead Oceans) LP
“While it’s true I did endure a terrible break-up at the beginning of writing this record, this is not a break up record. Dagger Beach is a put-me-the-fuck-back-together record. The break up came in late 2011, after endless months of White Wilderness touring. I returned home to an empty house, and, as that’s pretty unbearable when you’re not quite right in the head, I decided to set out walking. I hiked the Lost Coast (36 miles of off-the-grid splendor in Southern Humboldt County), I hiked the entire 150-mile trail system of Pt. Reyes, I hiked for days, deep, deep in the woods, usually alone. Sample it here!
Victoria: Kings, Queens & Jokers (Shadoks) LP
In tomorrow… 400 numbered copies on 180 gram vinyl. Comes in a heavy red-velvet sleeve with engraved artwork and insert. “Local New Jersey demo release (200 made), beyond rare fantastic concept psych beauty, maybe five or six known copies; three girls, one guy. They tried to get attention from big labels but this never happened. They wanted him to sound like Blood Sweat & Tears. But this was not Greg’s idea of music. The music has everything you need, like a wild version of early Moby Grape combined with New Dawn and C.A. Quintet, sometimes dreamy sometimes totally wild underground-psych, with female vocals and splattering leads, Titanic horns and distorted guitars. Sweet tunes turn into dark psych power. Totally stoned. A previous Little Indian release, but this time with insert, three bonus tracks, and many pictures.” Sample it here!
Wire #353 Magazine
In tomorrow… “On the cover: The Dead C: The New Zealand underground rock trio have been making music at the outer limits for 25 years. On the road in Europe, they tell David Keenan why Bruce Russell’s amp sound is better than sex. Inside the issue: Rashad Becker (Best known for his Dubplates & Mastering credits, the Berlin based engineer is now creating intricate sonic fictions of his own); The Primer: Don Cherry (A user’s guide to navigating the borderless territory marked out by the free-ranging trumpeter); Invisible Jukebox: Pangaea (The Hessle Audio producer feels the tectonic force of The Wire’s mystery record selection); Cross Platform: Ryoko Akama (Inspired by Alvin Lucier, the Japanese artist zeroes in on sonic detail with her DIY instruments); Global Ear: Kowloon (Hong Kong’s fragment noise underground finds a home with the CIA).”
*Various: Ecstacy of Gold Volume 1: 23 Killer Bullets from the Spaghetti West (Semi-Automatic) 2LP
In tomorrow… Selected from one of the most complete Spaghetti Western audio archives, this 5-volume series showcases the most inspired tracks in this legendary genre. Digging deep to excavate a treasure trove of obscure and rarely-heard tracks by some of the genre’s greatest composers and vocalists, Ecstasy of Gold is the definitive series for aficionados of Euro-Western films and the music that they created. Loud gunshots with reverb and echo appear with the first image of a lawless killer riding a horse… a punchy & trebly bass guitar seeps into your brain as he draws his pistol… a hair-raising scream half-melodic, half-banshee spews forth from the speakers as blood splatters yet again onto the desert floor. The audio soundtrack to the Italian version of the American West is flamboyant, brutal, intense, and unforgiving. Songs composed for the Italian Westerns of the 1960s and 1970s have become a genre all unto themselves. There were hundreds of European Westerns during this period and the majority of them were made by Italian directors and scored by Italian composers. Crying trumpets, exploding surf guitars, thundering drums, droning organs, dramatic vocal performances, and innovative special effects were woven into a wild and violent desert backdrop creating that undeniable Spaghetti Western sound heard on this record. The most famous of all the Italian soundtrack composers is Ennio Morricone and his music for the Italian Western is guaranteed to inspire and amaze until the end of time itself. But there were many other great and legendary maestros who scored their share of Westerns and this compilation presents transcendent, brilliant and challenging tracks from the likes of: Bruno Nicolai, Gianni Ferrio, Francesco De Masi,Marcello Giombini, Luis Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Alessandro Alessandroni, Nora Orlandi, Nico Fidenco, Piero Umiliani, and many others. 2LP gatefold in a limited edition pressing of 750 copies. Sample it here!
*Various: Ecstacy of Gold Volume 2: 22 Killer Bullets from the Spaghetti West (Semi-Automatic) 2LP
In tomorrow… Semi-Automatic Records presents volume two in their five-volumeEcstasy of Gold series, selected from one of the most complete Spaghetti Western audio archives. Digging deep to excavate a treasure trove of obscure and rarely-heard tracks by some of the genre’s greatest composers and vocalists, The Ecstacy of Gold is the definitive series for aficionados of the Euro-Western films and the music that they created. The most famous of all the Italian soundtrack composers is Ennio Morricone and his music for the Italian Western is guaranteed to inspire and amaze until the end of time itself. But there were many other great and legendary maestros who scored their share of Westerns and this second volume presents transcendent, brilliant and challenging tracks from the 1960s and 1970s from the likes of: Bruno Nicolai, Gianni Ferrio, Francesco De Masi, Marcello Giombini, Luis Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Alessandro Alessandroni,Nora Orlandi, Riz Ortolani, Piero Umiliani, and many others. 2LP gatefold in a limited edition pressing of 750 copies. Sample it here!
Various: Greek Rhapsody – Instrumental Music From Greece 1905-1956 (Dust-to-Digital) 2CD
In tomorrow… Greek Rhapsody — Instrumental Music from Greece 1905-1956 is a 2CD collection featuring 42 tracks meticulously remastered from 78rpm recordings of Greek instrumentals (1905 to 1956). Many tracks are rare and never previously reissued on CD or vinyl; some are taken from the only known copies, while previously reissued tracks are here offered in far superior sound quality. This compilation offers, for the first time, a unique panorama of the instruments and styles of the Greek music of the period. A 152-page hardcover book with two CDs elegantly housed inside front and back covers. Tony Klein is a British musician, researcher, and writer based in Uppsala, Sweden. He has played and researched Greek music for 40 years, and studied with, among others, the veteran Stelios Keromitis. In 2005, in collaboration with collector Charles Howard, he produced and annotated the CD Mortika – Rare Vintage Recordings from a Greek Underworld, which contains 21 rare rebetiko recordings. Sample it here!
Various: The Sun Record Story (Charly) 6LP Box
The ultimate compilation of the most important tracks as rescued from the Sun Records archives! This is where everyone from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash made their first musical steps – impressively shown on 94 songs across 6 LPs. Everyone who’s ever meant anything in the grand Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame – from Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison to Carl Perkins and Charlie Feathers – is on board for this ride. Deluxe cardboard box with three double albums entitled Roots, Good Rockin’ Daddies and Hits & Then Some pressed on 180g vinyl with gatefold covers and extensive liner notes. Analogue remastered tracks guarantee an authentic sound and the best possible quality!
alabama shakes: boys & girls (ato) LP
alt j – an awesome wave (atlantic) LP
amon guru: space explosion (lilith) LP
arcade fire: the suburbs (merge) LP
a$ap rocky: long. live. a$ap. (columbia) LP
baroness: yellow & green (relapse) LP
beatles: sgt. pepper’s lonely heart club band (apple) LP
beck: sea change (mofi) LP
black keys: el camino (nonesuch) LP
*black mountain: in the future (jagjaguwar) LP
*charles bradley: victim of love (daptone) LP
*charles bradley: no time for dreaming (daptone) LP
james brown: atlanta symphony presents (lilith) LP
don cherry: relativity suite (klimt) LP
co la: moody coup (software) LP
ornette coleman: the shape of jazz to come (so far out) LP
converge: you fail me (deathwish) LP
*dead kennedys: fresh fruit for… (manifesto) LP
diiv: oshin (captured tracks) LP
dj shadow: endtroducing (mo wax) LP
*nick drake: pink moon (island) LP
frightened rabbit: sing the greys (fat cat) LP
marvin gaye: let’s get it on (vinyl lovers) 2LP
*jon hassell: last night the moon… (ecm) LP
*haxan cloak: excavation (tri angle) LP
billie holiday: music for torching (doxy) LP
joy division: closer (rhino) LP
joy division: unknown pleasure (rhino) LP
laura marling: i once was an eagle (ribbon) LP
modest mouse: good news for people who love bad news (epic) LP
modest mouse: the moon & antarctical (epic) LP
modest mouse: we were dead before the ship even sank (epic) LP
thelonious monk: monk’s dream (wax time) LP
the national: alligator (beggars) LP
the national: boxer (beggars) LP
the national: trouble will find me (4ad) LP
nomeansno: the worldhood of the world (wrong) LP
nomeansno: old (wrong) LP
pink floyd: dark side of the moon (emi) LP
*pissed jeans: honeys (sub pop) LP
otis redding: otis blue (sundazed) LP
otis redding: dictionary of soul (sundazed) LP
otis redding: soul album (sundazed) LP
otis redding: whisky a go go (sundazed) LP
saltland: i thought it was us… (constellation) LP
*the stooges: fun house (rhino) LP
*talking heads: remain in light (rhino) LP
tame impala: lonerism (modular) LP
tool: opiate (zoo) LP
*ween: chocolate & cheese (plain) LP
weezer: s/t (mofi) LP
white stripes: icky thump (xl) LP
white zombie: la sexorcisto (music on vinyl) LP
white zombie: astro creep 2000 (music on vinyl) LP
neil young: mirror ball (reprise) 2LP
the beatles: abbey road (capitol) LP
the beatles: love songs (capitol) LP yellow vinyl
david bowie: ziggy stardust (rca) LP
the clash: london calling (epic) 2LP
the doors: morrison hotel (elektra) LP
led zeppelin: 2 (atlantic) LP
pink floyd: the wall (columbia) 2LP
prince: purple rain (warner) 2LP
marlena shaw: spice of life (cadet) LP
talking heads: remain in light (sire) LP
!!!: thiiiler (warp) LP/CD
austra: olympia (paper bag) LP/CD
beacon: the ways we separate (ghostly) LP
call back the giants: marianne (kye) LP
camera obscura: desire lines (4ad) LP/CD
city & colour: the hurry & the harm (dine alone) LP
dark: dark round the edges (machu picchu) LP/CD
dead ghosts: can’t get no (burger) LP
dead meadow: s/t (xemu) LP
de la soul: three feet high & rising (rhino) 3LP
*derdiyoklar ikilisi: coban mamos (pharaway sounds) LP/CD
nick drake: bryter layter (island) LP
gold panda: half of where you live (ghostly) LP
kelompok kampungan: mencari tuhan (strawberry rain) LP/CD
king geedorah: take me to your leader (big dada) LP
r. stevie moore: delicate tension (personal injury) LP
r. stevie moore: glad music (personal injury) LP
*public image ltd: first edition (light in the attic) LP/CD
walter rizatti: the house by the cemetery (death waltz) LP
harry robinson: twins of evil (death waltz) LP
sigur ros: kveikur (xl) LP/DLX LP/CD
*irma thomas: in between tears (alive) LP
frank zappa: freak out (emi) LP
v/a: arts & crafts x (arts & crafts) LP
*v/a: molam: thai country groove from isan vol. 2 (sublime frequencies) LP