I hope this week’s news letter finds you and yours safe and dry. Some crazy unimaginable rains last week after we sent out our weekly transmission. And since then, we’ve received a huge stack of totally rad records. So many things that choosing a ‘pick’ this week is proving difficult. Hell, deciding what to listen to next is getting hard! So before you hit the road to the campground this weekend, I suggest copping some fresh tunes for the drive. Play safe….
…..Picks of the Week…..
*Karel Goeyvaerts: s/t (Cacophonic) LP/CD
After having received a humanistic education in Antwerp, he took courses at the Lemmens Institute in Malines. From 1943 until 1947 he studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Antwerp. From 1947 until 1950 he studied composition with Darius Milhaud, music analysis with Olivier Messiaen and was in addition the pupil of Maurice Martenot at the “Conservatoire National” in Paris. In 1949 he was awarded the 2nd Prize for Composition and the Lili Boulanger Prize at the same Conservatoire. He obtained the Halphen Prize in 1950. During the winter of 1950-51, he wrote the “Sonata for two pianos”. Because of its decisive and total stylistic novelty he designated this work as “Composition No 1”, thus rejecting all his former work. With this sonata he created a structural synthesis of the dodecaphonic system of Anton Webern and the teachings of Olivier Messiaen and laid the foundations for generalized “punctual” serialism. He demonstrated the application of this technique on the electronic medium in his compositions Nrs. 4, 5 and 7. During the period 1951-1956, he influenced directly through personal contact and intensive correspondence the musical creativity of Karlheinz Stockhausen, whom he met during the summer-courses of 1951 in Darmstadt. In 1953, Goeyvaerts and Stockhausen produced the first electronic music in the studio of the NWDR in Cologne. In 1970 the BRT appointed him as producer at the “Institute of Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music” (IPEM) in Ghent. Since 1974 he is in charge of the New Music productions for BRT-3 in Brussels. Karel Goeyvaerts received several awards, such as the Koopal Prize in 1967 and the Visser-Neerlandia Prize in 1969. He also was given commissions by the BRT, the Festival of Flanders and the NOS (Neder- landse Omroepstichting). His works have been performed in several European countries, in Canada, the United States, Japan and at the festivals of the “International Society for Contemporary Music” (ISCM) Brussels 1950, Oslo 1953, Graz 1972 and Bonn 1977.
File Under: Modern Classical, Early Electronic
*Public Image Ltd: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
Marking their 100th release on Light In The Attic and following the Record Store Day reissue of PiL’s debut single ‘Public Image’, they reissue the pioneering group’s debut album First Issue, available for the first time ever in the US. In 1976 Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols set the agenda for punk’s year zero with ‘Anarchy In The UK’, a song that summed up the spirit, sound and attitude of the band in one shocking package. Two years later, the Sex Pistols were in tatters, but Rotten was as unsentimental as you’d hope. He reverted to his real name – John Lydon – and set about forming a band whose very identity kicked against press and media manipulation. Featuring bassist Jah Wobble, drummer Jim Walker and guitarist Keith Levene, his new group were Public Image Limited. The public image would be limited. PiL were a very distinct prospect from the Pistols, founded with a greater thought for rhythm, and with a sound that turned the page from snarling punk to a more experimental sound fusing rock, dance, folk, ballet, pop and dub. But that’s not to say Lydon’s new outfit lacked vitriol. ‘Public Image’ hits out against the notorious British tabloid press, who never gave Lydon an easy ride, and against his own Sex Pistols public image – “You only saw me for the clothes I wore”. The debut single (and the album that followed) operated as a theme song and a manifesto: “…my entrance/My own creation/My grand finale/My goodbye,” as the lyrics had it. It is, essentially, the sound of four people letting loose in a studio – and not caring what anyone else thought. The album was never officially released in the USA back in the day, its sound considered too un-commercial by major-labels for an American release. First Issue has been lovingly reproduced from the original UK 1978 release and this expanded reissue also comes with a clutch of post-punk era treasures. The CD edition is an expanded, two-disc set with an almost hour-long (unedited) October 1978 BBC audio interview with John Lydon, plus rare B-side “The Cowboy Song” from the period, and two stickers. The LP release includes an archive replica fold-out poster, archive replica tabloid adverts, a set of stickers, and Download Card for the album, the archival BBC interview, and “The Cowboy Song”. All of which were approved and coordinated with John Lydon and his personal management. We also have limited amounts of the deluxe version with buttons and patch available.
File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
*Dark: Dark Round The Edges (Machu Picchu) LP/CD
One of THEE greatest guitar-heavy psych records in the world, “Round the Edges”was originally issued in an edition of around 50 copies, mostly for friends, family, and the odd record company. Its reputation has since blossomed into something resembling a redwood, or perhaps an original Van Gogh. This album is the holy grail for lovers of fuzz-driven hard rock, and has been the most sought-after privately pressed LP on the planet. We’ve spared no expense to bring you the deluxe reissue of this classic, an album beloved by heads & cosmic couriers around the world for its great songwriting, terrific instrumental workouts, and mysterious vibe. ZERO TIME IS NOW.
File Under: Heavy Psych
Beings are Beings: Overcoming Your Fear Of Extra-Terrestrials Through Self-Hypnosis (Left World) CS
Extremely Limited PINK Tape Cassette!! Includes MP3 download. A recently unearthed Acid-Damaged-Outsider-New-Age-Hypnosis Tape from the 90’s??!? YES, PLEASE!! — Imagine a cross between Carl Sagan and Reveen – smoking DMT laced with helium, backed by deep hovering binaural tones and harmonics.. A truly Mind-Melting challenge! — “Was this a joke? An accident? The results of unhealthy paranoia? Further listening to this high-voiced, pacifistic creature, rambling on for almost an hour over strange sounds and tones, I was struck by an underlying air of honesty, well-being and good intentions. Discussing topics from the vastness of the universe to retaining calmness when dealing with the unknown… It might be the effects of strange backing tones talking, but on deeper listens, once I got over the strange sounding voice, I found the tape to speak many deep truths, relevant to far more in life than simple alien paranoia. ” – J. Shoy (liner notes)
File Under: Self Help, Hypnosis, Weird
*John Carpenter: The Fog (Death Waltz) 2LP
“We are thrilled to be releasing a double vinyl album of THE FOG which includes the original movie score as released in 1984 but also a bonus vinyl including all of the original movie cues which have never been made available on vinyl before. Did we mention that the cover art is by Dinos Chapman, yes the Dinos Chapman : as an internationally renowned solo artist, and together with his brother Jake, Dinos Chapman makes iconoclastic sculpture, prints and installations that examine, with searing wit and energy, contemporary politics, religion and morality. The Chapmans have exhibited extensively, including numerous shows at White Cube, Tate Britain, and Tate Liverpool.” Ridiculously limited, and probably sold out before you read this… sorry.
File Under: Horror Soundtracks, 80s Synth
*Derdiyoklar Ikilisi: Coban Mamos (Pharaway Sound) LP
Turkish Bar or Bengi folk dancing requires approximately 100 people to do properly, and it helps if a lot of them are eating wedding cake. You put your arms around the shoulders of the people on either side of you, and then stomp around in a circle, facing in and kicking the air, until everybody is exhausted and happy. Far away from any folklore festivals, Derdiyoklar hand-built the soundtrack to this dancing as it was drunkenly executed by luckless German-Turkish immigrants in the fashion-insensitive 80s. And though the band had only two members, they decided electric saz, synthesized drums, cimbalom, and sheep sound effects were all needed to get the job done. Who could argue? This tinkly and psychoactive album, full of uniquely odd overdubs and buzzy, flanged-out guitar solos, can now be yours. First time ever reissue. Sound taken from mastertapes, insert with liner notes,180gr vinyl.
File Under: Turkish Folk/Psych, Anatolian Invasion, Saz, Best Wedding Band Ever
*Fabiano Orchestra: Butterfly Island (Superfly) LP
Splendid Superfly reissue of one of the rarest and most amazing Jazz Fusion records to have been produced in the French West Indies, Includes the Spiritual/fusion masterpiece “Pointe des Chateaux”, the spacy classic “West Indian Meditation” and the hypnotic gwo ka tune “Creole”. A truly unique LP – one of those that you always pull out when you feel like listening to something different. Features world class musicians like Clifford Jordan, Hannibal Peterson and West Indian legend, Velo. Originals are nigh on impossible to find, and this releases will no doubt become a collector’s item in itself.
File Under: Jazz Fusion, Ethno Jazz
“He is one of the most spiritual cats I’ve ever met; an ace finger picker; a writer who never shirks the truth.” -Townes Van Zandt
As is often the case with artists whose legacies have been shaped by tragic circumstances, in some ways the music of Blaze Foley cannot be divorced from his personal story. Born Michael David Fuller in 1949, he spent his formative years traveling the South with his family as a group of itinerant Gospel singers. By 1974, he had begun to develop his persona as a songwriter, first as “Depty Dawg,” and finally as “Blaze Foley.” Blaze’s brief career was characterized by equal measures of prolificacy, poor luck, and personal misfortune. Despite his friendship with fellow Texas outlaw country stalwart, Townes Van Zandt, success eluded Foley at all turns. Albums were recorded, lost, found, and lost again. Troubled both by substance abuse and homelessness, Foley struggled to commit many of his songs to tape, and those that were recorded rarely received proper releases during his lifetime—save a lone 45rpm. An LP was pressed in 1984, but allegedly, the album was seized by the FBI when the owner of the record label was arrested for drug smuggling. Blaze finally received some of the LPs, which he traded for beer and cab rides. Blaze’s life ended tragically in 1989 when he was fatally gunned down while intervening in a family feud on the behalf of an elderly and defenseless friend. Despite the obscurity that plagued his career his talent was acknowledged and celebrated by his more successful peers both during his life and after his passing. Notables such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, John Prine, and Lyle Lovett have covered Foley’s songs. Additionally, Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams have immortalized Foley with tribute songs written in his honor. There is also a biography, Living In The Woods In A Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley, by Sybil Rosen that chronicles Blaze’s life and concentrates on his early songwriting days when he was living with Sybil in a treehouse in rural Georgia. There is also a documentary film, Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah. Yet
despite any accolade that could be used to measure Foley’s importance, nothing comes close to hearing him sing his own songs.
File Under: Outlaw Country, Unsung Heroes
Eleanor Friedberger: Personal Record (Merge) LP/CD
At a time when most female singer-songwriters perform as alter egos, Eleanor Friedberger is simply, refreshingly herself. And that’s just the way her fans like it. Having spent the last decade fronting the indie-rock institution The Fiery Furnaces (currently on hiatus) with her brother Matthew, in 2011 she emerged as a formidable solo artist with Last Summer, a thoughtfully crafted tale of memory and place couched in the organic pop of her ’70s idols. Instantly, Friedberger established herself as a modernday heir to the tradition of Donovan, Todd Rundgren, Ronnie Lane, and their ilk: warm, nuanced, timeless songs. No gimmicks necessary. The title of Friedberger’s sophomore album is Personal Record, and it is, in a sense. Personal, that is. But not personal in the way of, say, a coming-of-age record, or a diary about the past, which Last Summer was. Many of the songs seem to be about love, or love lost, but whether any of the experience is hers or someone else’s, she isn’t saying. “It’s not as specific a narrative this time,” she says. “There’s a universality to it.” So incisive are the lyrics, in fact, that Friedberger’s bassist incorrectly assumed that two of the songs were about him. “I loved that,” she says. “I want him to feel like the songs are about him. I want you to feel like the songs are about you.” Vinyl comes with poster and download.
File Under: Fiery Furnaces, Indie Rock
*Full Moon Ensemble: Crowded With Loneliness (Superfly) LP
Splendid Superfly reissue of cult French Free Jazz LP from 1974 produced by Claude Delcloo, check the classic ‘Samba Miaou’, like a lost Pharoah Sanders tune mixed with politically-engaged French poetry but the whole LP is varied, avant-garde and spiritual – 180grs quality pressing with beautiful hard cardboard gatefold cover, set to become collectible as the original is impossible to find, strictly limited to 1000 copies.
File Under: Free Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
Steve Gunn: Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Steve Gunn’s new album imagines the fugitive moments afforded us during time off, out, and away as occasions for dilatory investigations into our immediate environments and interiors. Time Off showcases the virtuosic guitarist and songwriter’s oblique character sketches and story-songs, some of which, like “Lurker” and “Street Keeper,” portray specific denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood. “Old Strange” celebrates Jack Rose, a dear and departed friend and muse. Those contemplative studies frame Gunn’s most affecting, accessible and articulate work of pure songcraft to date. His definitive statement as a songwriter, Time Off represents the culmination of nearly fifteen years of stylistic experimentation as a solo artist, a member of GHQ and the Gunn-Truscinski Duo, and more recently, as a guitarist in fellow Philadelphia-bred troubadour Kurt Vile’s touring band the Violators. Here, Gunn the guitarist masterfully deploys the discursive, deconstructed blues style, at once transcendent and methodical, that has become his signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions. The fresh emphasis on narrative, characters in counterpoint, and those heavy-duty vocals likewise recall the finest work of Steve’s friend and sometime touring partner, Michael Chapman. This is Gunn at the top of his game, utterly unique but steeped in traditions both vernacular and avant-garde. Jump in.
File Under: Blooze, Guitar, Kurt Vile
*Ilaiyaraaja: Ilectro! (Finders Keepers) CD
“Mindblowing themes from South India’s Kollywood film industry. Crafted from almost entirely synthetic, electronic means, Ilaiyaraaja twisted the same machines which were being used elsewhere in the world to his own agenda, hatching a vividly colourful, eccentrically captivating adjunct to well known electro-funk and synth-pop imagined with bewildering attention to detail and lushly ornate arrangements.”
File Under: Kollywood Electro, Finders Keepers
*Kryzsztof Komeda Trio: Knife In The Water (Cacophonic) 7”
A record of contended mythical existence amongst fans of Euro cinema and rare jazz for decades this Polish only EP contains all four themes to Polanski’s first-ever feature film Knife In The Water composed by unanimously beloved Polish pianist Krzysztof Komeda. Featuring Roman Dylag (Bruno Spoerri’s Teddy Bär) and a radical inclusion of a Swedish trumpeter, the sought after Bernt Rosengren, this picture sleeve EP (complete with artwork from Polish poster legend Roslav Szaybo) is the only true existing companion piece to the other Komeda/Polanki soundtracks Cul De Sac and Rosemary’s Baby released before his accidental death in April 1969. Having worked alongside Don Cherry, Michel Urbaniak and Gato Barbieri while unwaned by the clutches of communism this important artist deserves due focus.
File Under: OST, Polanski, Jazz
*Michel Magne: Musique Taschiste (Cacophonic) LP/CD
As the debut release on Finders Keepers’ new experimental/jazz/avant-garde imprint, Cacophonic release the first in a series of rare records by French experimentalist Michel Magne. One of the very earliest full-length French concept albums – part radical manifesto, part pantomime. This anti-intellectual “physical” reaction to the bourgeoning musique concrete movement combines found sounds and industrial noise with piano jazz alongside imposing avant-garde orchestral elements alongside Magne’s own hammered cimbalom flourishes. This unique debut LP also provides an early insight into a fruitful soundtrack/conceptual jazz career collaborating with Jean-Claude Vannier, Martal Solal and Artie Kaplan as well as founding the French Strawberry Studio at Château d’ Hérouville where French groups like Magma, Catherine Ribeiro, Brigitte Fontaine and Ange shared a diary with Terry Riley and Pink Floyd. As a dedicated producer of thematic composition, anti-intellectual experimental performance and modern jazz, Magne was also a wellrespected pioneer of France’s signature film score sound of the late 60s. Part radical manifesto, part pantomime, his self initiated debut Musique Tashiste was conceived, in part, as a physical humorous reaction to the bourgeoning musique concrète movement by combining found sounds and industrial elements with piano jazz alongside imposing avant-garde orchestral elements. Marking a stylistic cross roads where the likes of Egisto Macchi, Harry Partch, Rolf Liebermann, Igor Wakhevitch, overlap work of future collaborators and understudies like Jean-Claude Vannier and Martial Solal this LP is an essential forefather of European conceptual pop made at the start of a career that later furnished France with one of its most important residential studios (Chateau d’Herouville) and a discography of challenging LPs before his untimely suicide in the early 1980s. Presented here for the first time since its initial humble pressing in its unabridged entirety complete with its collectable illustrated sleeve art this LP stands as the perfect debut release and musical modus operandi for this new archival imprint.
File Under: Jazz Piano, Found Sound, Avant-Garde
Man Or Astroman: Defcon 5..4..3..2..1 (Chunklet) LP
Man or Astro-Man? have returned to earth for the human masses & after years of hibernation they are now unveiling their finest recorded work to date. it has been nearly 12 years since the band last released their intergalactic sonic wave forms, & the new album, “Defcon 5…4…3…2…1” is here now with a striking validity that the band is unquestionably as both tuneful & energetic as they ever have been. The record combines ever-familiar Astro audio tones & the well-established playing ferocity that MoAM? are known for, but yet now, there is an un- deniably evolution to the band that is both intuitive, logical & well crafted. defcon is here and is here with imminent purpose. Recorded by Steve Albini and Daniel Farris. Now put your space helmet on & strap in.
File Under: Space Surf, UFO Rock
Reinhold Molitor: Reinhold (Vam/Lion) LP
“Official reissue of this ultra-rare album (Discos Zave LPL 163, 1969). Globe-trotting artist Bodo Molitor may have been born in Germany, but he’ll forever be associated with the psychedelic scene in Mexico and South America. In addition to creating the zoomorphic art for his own bizarre album, Hits Internacionales, he also created the psychedelic art for the Kaleidoscope album, for La Libre Expresion, and for his brother Reinhold’s solo album. He had this to say about the Reinhold record: ‘My Brother Reinhold came for a visit from Germany where he was playing with several bands. He was only 19. I knew Edghar Zamudio (from Peru) and one day he asked us to record that LP. Just acoustic guitars and a banjo played brilliantly by my brother. I think we recorded the whole album in three or four days. I played some guitars and did some vocals as well. It’s folky and bluesy with originals, some covers, and traditional. My brother sings and plays guitar and banjo, on some of the songs he wrote.’ The Reinhold album is so rare, even with the connection to his more famous artist brother, no one seems to have discovered it, until now. Despite being from the end of the 1960s, Reinhold has more of an early-’60s NYC Greenwich Village cafe wha?-ish folk underpinning. The best tracks have gravel-pated vocals in a vaguely Tom Waits/Joseph Spence sort of vein — really syrupy and quite excellent. Overall, a dark and morose vibe dominates; and we can all use some minor key laments, now and then, right? Limited editions (both formats) of only 500 copies.”
File Under: South American Psych-Folk
R. Stevie Moore: Glad Music (Personal Injury) LP
Personal Injury is pleased to present R. Stevie Moore’s legendary album Glad Music, originally released on the French label New Rose in 1986. Glad Music is regarded as one of the highlights of RSM’s 400+ album discography and was featured as one of his six most “essential” albums in The WIRE’s recent cover article. “After nearly two decades of compiling lo-fi four-track bedroom recordings for his self-released cassettes, Glad Music is the first album Moore has recorded in a proper studio. The difference is startling. Glad Music is R. Stevie Moore at his most accessible.” – Stewart Mason, All Music Guide “Despite plaudits from the likes of Trouser Press and increasingly favourable treatment in the UK inkies, Moore was unable to convert his critical reputation into sales. Laid down in a professional recording studio, Glad Music feels like a last failed stab at connecting with an audience. It’s as though Moore suspects that, all along, that was the problem. Consequently, although it’s almost conventional, it is, thanks to glistening steel-string acoustic guitar, often beautiful.” – Matthew Ingram, The WIRE (2012)
File Under: Lo-Fi Bedroom Pop
R. Stevie Moore: Delicate Tension (Personal Injury) LP
Personal Injury is pleased to present R. Stevie Moore’s classic 2nd album Delicate Tension, originally released by Stevie’s uncle on HP Music in 1978. Delicate Tension is regarded as an absolute highlight of RSM’s massive discography and was featured as one of his six most essential albums in The WIRE’s recent cover article. Reissued for the first time on vinyl in an exact-repro sleeve and mastered from a digital transfer off the original analog reels. For the unitiated, “R. Stevie was making home recorded experimental pop records before “lo-fi” was even a word, and he produces songs the way Steve Keene produces paintings: constantly, in great numbers, with something interesting about each one – fans of ELO, XTC, and LSD should check.” (Robert Schneider – The Apples In Stereo)
File Under: Lo-fi Bedroom Pop
R. Stevie Moore: Clack! (The Prince’s Stable) LP
In Fall 1979, R. Stevie Moore squeezed into a midtown Manhattan building at 56 West 45th Street, entered a tiny 8th floor jingle studio run by Englishman Tom Clack, and proceeded to bond big time with ambitious engineer Jon Child (who Uncle Harry Palmer had earlier sought out to assist in assembling the original PHONOGRAPHY album) to create one of his greatest collections of music. Still awestruck by his recent move north, R. Stevie first met Jon & Tom when the studio was utilized for compiling the DELICATE TENSION LP. With a cache of great new songs & experiments, he now was set, aimed to break down all barriers and collect audio styles galore in a “professional” 8 track environment, a major jump from mere tape deck home demos. The project extended well into the next year (decade). Those many sessions are gathered on this 60 minute masterpiece, simply titled “CLACK!” from which many of Moore’s greatest all-time hits emerged.
File Under: Lo-fi Bedroom Pop
Mr. Ondiolone: s/t (Cacophonic) 7”
Since the true identity of this sinister masked electronic keyboard villain was revealed in Jean-Jacques Perrey’s recent autobiography the Mr. Ondioline EP has become one of the most wanted records amongst collectors of early electronics. As a controversial figure amongst the early musique concrete pioneers due to his painstaking ambition to put popular melody into edited tape music this debut release from 1960 hears Mr. Ondioline showcasing Perrey’s Ondioline electronic keyboard (and synth precursor) while proudly celebrating the dawn of multitrack recording and tape editing. Pioneering, eerily nostalgic and creatively fearless this record brings electric melodies to your shining barstools and haunted ballrooms..
File Under: Early Electronic, Masked Keyboard Villain
*Harry Partch: The Bewitched (Cacophonic) LP
Continuing our dedicated archival series of lost and hard to find experimental/jazz/avant-garde music the Cacophonic series presents our maiden voyage into a short run of radical theatrical performance music comprising electronic ballet scores, vanguard mimes and art installation soundtracks. This remastered reissue of The Bewitched is an important collec- tor’s edition of a pioneering work of conceptual composition for mime and dance from self-taught and multi-disciplined American luminary Harry Partch. Based around the central character of a witch (vocalist Freda Schell-Pierce) this LP presents an early example of the unique aesthetic and social commentaries of Partch whose homebuilt and designed instruments would redefine scales as well as song structures and would progressively provide modern Western composition with some of the most idiosyncratic, beguiling and challenging music and sound poetry ever com- mitted to vinyl. Originally pressed on his own Gate 5 imprint, this remastered vinyl issue is an exact facsimile of the rarest abridged edition of the original 1957 performance capturing Partch’s own ‘Chorus Of Lost Musicians’ – combining tradition- al kotos and marimbas alongside unique instruments such as the Chromelodeon and the Harmonic Canon. Subtitled as ‘A Dance Satire’ The Bewitched is housed in stunning seldom seen artwork including rare documents and photographs.
File Under: Avant-garde, Homemade Instruments
*Max Richter: Recomposed By Max Richter (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Germany-based neoclassical composer Max Richter has built a career out of his composition work for film and television sound-tracks, as well as his beloved albums for the Fat Cat imprint, the most recent of which was 2010’s Infra. Now, however, he’s taken Vivaldi’s iconic piece The Four Seasons and reworked it.
File Under: Modern Classical, DG, Vivaldi
*Walter Rizzati: House By The Cemetery (Death Waltz) LP
The score uses a basic ensemble of piano, drums, synthesiser, electric bass and guitar, a line-up similar to the one established by Fabio Frizzi in his scores for Fulci. The signature sound of The House by the Cemetery is a heavily flanged electric guitar, which seems to twist and curdle in the air like decaying filaments of some malevolent odour seeping from the cellar of “that Freudstein house… that Freudstein house”. “Quella Villa”, which underscores the film’s opening scenes, is a Morricone-influenced piece for jagged rhythms, hammered into our nerves with syncopated drum and piano. It’s not the most subtle approach but this is a Lucio Fulci film after all, and besides, Rizzati also delivers some breathtakingly beautiful passages, reflecting the sadness that permeates so much of Fulci’s work, in particular the various incarnations of “Tema bambino” which underscore the parallel universe of pretty little dead girl Mae (Silvia Collatina). “Chi Sta Arrivando” glooms across the soundstage like a spectre snooping around a favourite hunting ground, while “Incontro” melds curdling guitar with a piano motif that sounds like something played by ghosts in the back room of a dusty antique shop. Of course the title music “I Remember” is the centrepiece, resonating with all that is marvellous in Fulci’s Gothic horror cinema. Like J.S. Bach scoring “The Hammer House of Horror”, it’s a gleefully macabre organ recital with phantasmal singers wordlessly flitting around the melody, the whole thing delivered with a slow pomp that suggests the funeral cortège of a deceased prog-rocker.
File Under: Italian Horror, Soundtracks, Prog
*Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
FINALLY BACK IN STOCK! It’s one of the lost classics of the ‘60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion. The album is Cold Fact, and what’s more intriguing is that its maker – a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez – was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working as a day laborer in Detroit, Michigan. He was unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution. Rodriguez recorded Cold Fact – his debut album – in 1969, and released it in March 1970. It’s crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late ’60s inner-city America. “Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer,” says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues. But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez’s more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. When the follow-up, 1972’s Coming From Reality, also sold poorly, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. He’d never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, gaining a degree in philosophy, factory work and eventually, hard labour. As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez’s legend was growing – on the other side of the world. In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma – not even the label knew where to find him – and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture. Some rumours said he’d died of a drug overdose or burned to death on stage. Others said he was in a mental institution, or in prison for murdering his girlfriend. Barring a couple of sold out Australian tours in 1979 and 1981, nothing had been heard of him for almost 30 years. But the tide began to turn in 1996, when journalist Craig Bartholemew set out to get to the bottom of the mystery. After many dead ends, he found Rodriguez alive, well, free and perfectly sane in Detroit, ending years of speculation. Rodriguez himself had no idea about his fame in South Africa (the album had gone multi-platinum, Rodriguez has received not so much as a Rand in royalties), and embarked on a triumphant South African tour followed, filling 5,000 capacity venues across the country. Now, Light In The Attic is set to commit Cold Fact and Coming From Reality to CD for an entire new audience, who can finally find out why – halfway across the world – Rodriguez is spoken of in the same reverent tones as The Doors, Love and Jimi Hendrix.
File Under: You Need This, Dylan-esque, Sugar Man
*Shahram: s/t (Pharaway Sounds) LP
You know how record nerds are. They’ll gladly tell you that a dawdling Moldovian choir of 70 year old grandmothers is the next brick in your psychfunksplosion journey. But Shahram Shabpareh is the real thing. Colorful arrangements of blurting horns, evil bass grooves, cheesy organs & thick strata of overlapping percussion instruments going off like microwave popcorn. As the leader of an Iranian 60s garage band, the Rebels, and later a 70s solo singer, Shabpareh was never happy just tossing a few moves from Abba in front of whatever was on the local charts already. He wrote & recorded hard rock & funky piano riffs that were built bulldozer tough & would’ve stuck out in an American trailer park or a London pub just as easily as they did in Tehran. Not that he wasn’t afraid to put someone else’s idea to good use, as he certainly makes superb use of the Kinks’ chords from ‘You Really Got Me’. It’s more that Shahram’s rock cojones have caused him to make blistering music again & again over the years, with little regard for where it comes from. Here’s a well-deserved compilation of his best tracks, with insert/booklet with liner notes, and 180gr vinyl.
File Under: Iranian Psych-Funk
*Spectrum: Geracao Bendita (Groovie) LP
An extremely rare Brazilian psych album, this reissue is a welcome one for those who don’t want to spend collector prices. In 1971 a group of musicians and moviemakers in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, decided to make the country’s first “hippie movie”. The soundtrack was credited to Spectrum, featuring ex-members of 2000 Volts, together with other people appearing in the movie, whose title Geracao Bendita translates to “Blessed Generation”. As an amalgam of “peace & love” harmonies, fuzz guitar, and period psych recording techniques, this album is undeniably great. “Quiabos” and “Trilha Antiga” sport some killer fuzz guitar leads reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane’s best, all intensity and spring reverb cutting through the air. – Mason Jones, Dusted
File Under: Brazilian Psych, Fuzz Guitar
Mavis Staples: One True Vine (Anti) LP
Coming off the huge success of her first collaboration with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy – the Grammy winning You Are Not Alone – Mavis Staples wanted to make their second album together both a continuation of the joyous spirit of the first, and an evolution. With new song offerings from Alan Sparhawk of Low, Nick Lowe, and three new Tweedy originals, One True Vine is at once a darker and more uplifting album, anchored by reinventions of two 70s classics – Funkadelic’s ‘Can You Get to That?’ and the Staples Singer’s ‘I Like the Things About Me.’ Tweedy and Staples have constructed a dense narrative arc, that starts with the literal soul-searching of Sparhawk’s ‘One Holy Ghost’ and Tweedy’s ‘Jesus Wept’, and then breaks wide open with Nick Lowe’s soaring ‘Far Celestial Shores’, a song he wrote for Mavis after touring together with Wilco. After that, the album builds to full tent revival mode, as the dark night of the soul passes and joy arrives in the form of Mavis’ glorious voice. Closing out with Tweedy’s rapturous title track, One True Vine truly builds on the promise of You Are Not Alone, and will delight the myriad fans discovering Mavis for the first time though her Grammy wins and performances, her White House performance in the tribute to Memphis Soul, and the glorious second act of this American icon.
File Under: Jeff Tweedy, Modern Soul
*Suns of Arqa: Muslimgauze Remixes (Emotional Rescue) LP
The meeting of Suns of Arqa’s dub rhythms and ethnic harmonies with Muslimgauze’s Industrial cut-up atmospherics, noise drones and colliding rhythms creates the perfect result, that could easily have been crafted this year rather than 20 years ago. Released on CD in 1996, the story of how the minds and music of Wadada and Muslimgauze met is as much the result of geography than the mutual musical desire to work together. Based in Manchester throughout their career, the meeting was upon Jones seeking to work with Wadada. After a visit to the latter’s home, a full set of the band’s recently recorded master tapes were handed over, and some months later the tracks on this album were mailed back in return as you hear them now. There was never a meeting again between the two, but the material produced was such that it appeared in two different versions for release on their own respective label outlets. This first time vinyl addition takes the recordings as they were originally released from the Sun’s own Arka Sound album and picks 13 tracks that show the marriage of World music with these inspired remixes. Bryn’s untimely death at just 38 created a cult following that left a huge canon of work that is still being discovered, and hopefully, this album will add to that legacy.
File Under: Dub, Muslimgauze, Ethnotronic
*Bobby Whitlock: Where There’s a Will… CD
*Bobby Whitlock: s/t LP
*Bobby Whitlock: Raw Velvet LP
Continuing the never-ending quest to remaster and repackage the greatest music you’ve never heard (but definitely should), Light In The Attic’s imprint Future Days release The Bobby Whitlock Story: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way collecting the first two early 1970’s solo albums by Memphis singer/songwriter/keyboardist/guitarist Bobby Whitlock. Presented here together on CD, Bobby Whitlock (1972) and Raw Velvet (also 1972) are star-studded (George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie), soulful albums from one of rock music’s key unsung figures. Whitlock’s story is a remarkable one. Born to a hardscrabble existence, raised in abject poverty, abused by his preacher father and was sent out to pick cotton in the fields. Moving from one railroad town to another, Whitlock was quite literally from the wrong side of the tracks.Yet thanks to his singing and piano playing, music was Whitlock’s escape. Winding up in Memphis, Whitlock hooked up with Stax Records, who signed him as the first white artist to their new pop label HIP. But it was soul music, not pop, that was in Whitlock’s heart – and his break came when Delaney & Bonnie asked him to join their band, The Friends. Following Delaney & Bonnie from Stax to Elektra Records, Whitlock found his life starting to intertwine with ‘60s rock royalty. Delaney & Bonnie took him on tour with Blind Faith, where Eric Clapton was impressed with Whitlock’s playing and the camaraderie he saw in The Friends. Soon, Whitlock joined Clapton, Jim Gordon and Carl Radle in Derek & The Dominos, the crack unit that backed George Harrison on much of the seminal All Things Must Pass and recorded the classic rock album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. During the recording of those albums, Whitlock tentatively made his first steps as a solo artist. Though drugs were already beginning to tear Derek & The Dominoes apart, Whitlock was able to call on some high profile friends (and “Friends”) to play on his album, including Clapton, Harrison, session bassist Klaus Voorman (John Lennon, Carly Simon, et al), drummer Jim Gordon, Chris Wood (of Traffic) and others. “I really loved my first record and everything that was behind it,” says Whitlock now. “And for the love that was brought to the room by everyone each time we recorded. I know that you can hear it in Eric’s solo on “The Scenery Has Slowly Changed.” When Bobby presented his album to Atlantic Records they rejected it, citing a different vision for his debut record. So Bobby bought himself out of his contract. Soon after, The Dominos split up following troubled second album sessions. Bobby just kept moving: first back to his rural home in England, then to France, where the Rolling Stones were recording Exile On Main Street. He found a deal for his debut album (via producer Jimmy Miller) and a follow-up too. That second album, Raw Velvet, featured the Edwin Hawkins Singers, the L.A. Symphony, Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon and Bobby’s new band members: Rick Vito on guitar, Keith Ellis on bass and Don Poncher on drums. Andy Johns co-produced the self-titled debut (with Whitlock) and Jimmy Miller produced the Raw Velvet LP. Andy was the recording engineer of Exile on Main Street and later produced Television’s Marquee Moon. Miller, of course, produced Exile On Main Street! Pat Thomas, the reissue producer of this CD, told Bobby Whitlock during their first conversation about reissuing these recordings: “Your first two solo albums are the missing link for all this seminal music that has been on CD for years; Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, All Things Must Pass, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Dave Mason’s Alone Together, and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends ’On Tour’ with Eric Clapton.” Bobby paused for a moment, and said, “I never thought about it like that, but you’re absolutely right.”
File Under: Unsung Heroes, Missing Link, Eric Clapton, George Harrison
Jaki Whitren & John Cartwright: International Times (Emotional Rescue) LP
An album recorded full of hope following Jaki and John’s relocation from the hippy-haven of Glastonbury to a rural commune in France, their dreams are expressed over these soul-jazz wrapped songs. After finding limited success as artists in the major-label dominated world of the corporate 1970s – Jaki, via a solo LP for Epic and as backing singer for Alan Parson and John, as a respected session musician – decided to literally break free, physically and mentally, from their past and start a new life with their young family and friends in tow. The timeless lyrics and heartfelt optimism within are manifest to their dreams and beliefs and offer a beautiful encapsulation of the choices deep down we all share. Moving out of their folk background they, accompanied on drums and keys by their young sons, matched their newfound (and at times pop) lyrics within a soul-jazz melting pot. This privately pressed album may have become a lost classic amongst the post-punk sounds of the early 80s, but 30 years later it’s dreams and uplifting hopes within are as profound today as their intention all those years ago.
File Under: Soul-Jazz Folk, 80s Disco
X Ray Pop: Pirate! (Cache) LP
As one of the most prolific and viciously self-sufficient exponents of the early 80s French DIY/domestic synth pop scene X Ray Pop are a group who are easy to scratch the surface but almost impossible to get the bottom of. Peeping out of a warren of unexplored passages their seminal self-distributed debut singles and appearances on the genre defining alternative funk Alternative Funk Folie Distinguée compilation in 1984 made them an omnipresent fixture for the French tape wave scene that shaped a generation and influenced many more to follow. But beneath the trademark fluorescent sleeves stands the highly stacked foundations of endless cassette only releases that give this pocket punk husband and wife duo one of the most impressive and elusive back catalogues of all their cut ‘n’ paste French funk contemporaries. Plundering the depths of a self-estimated 400 recorded songs, X Ray Pop founder Didier Pilot has joined up with Finders Keepers sister label Cache Cache to reassess, rescue and reissue some of the bands most underexposed sonic snapshots, many of which were distributed in issues of less than 50 up to 500 for exclusive global releases in France, Spain, Portugal, Japan and America (where bands like Brian Ladd and Julie Frith’s Psyclones and The Beastie Boys championed the band as a likeminded inspiration.) From the earliest, lower levels of the X vault Cache Cache and Pilot resurrect one of the bands finest untravelled moments in the form of the rare tape only one-sider Pirate! – a spontaneous long player comprised of raw, rhythm heavy electronic versions of exclusive tracks alongside heavier and darker industrial versions of tracks that would later creep into the bands unhinged official pop discography. Wearing their unabashed and generally incompatible influences of Can/Devo/Brigitte Bardot/Cramps/The Residents/Kraftwerk/Captain Beefheart/PIL/Brian Eno/Robert Wyattt/Gainsbourg/MAGMA proudly on their sleeves, this long lost tape captures a one day recording session which was originally released as 100 cassettes in 1985 at a time where various outside influences and competing labels were trying to snare the band into a slower more manageable pop entity. This is the sound of France’s two most highly charged battery operated cabaret cosmonauts at there hardest, loosest and uninhibited celebrating the dual-unison that can also be identified in similar two-headed freak funk outfits such as Moderne Mathermatiques, Stereolab, Ellie and Jacno and most notably (and perhaps unconsciously) Silver Apples to whom this release bears a welcome and femininised close comparison. Catch this limited vinyl for an early glimpse of an outer-national punk funk Neo-dadaist phenomenon that may well have eluded you until now and witness X Ray Pop at their most powerful. Pirate! labeled by Didier himself as The Dark Side OF The X provides a pre-curser to a forthcoming wider anthology of the groups work alternating erratic pulsating cosmic rock with dreamy metronomic private pop via their über legendary Casio-to-cassette production line. Otherwise, good luck finding an original copy, you deserve it!
File Under: 80s French DIY, Synth Pop
B52’s: s/t (Warner) LP
Beach Boys: High Water (Pickwick) 2LP
Johnny Cash: Ring of Fire (Columbia) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen (Columbia) LP
Cream: Disraeli Gears (Polydor) LP
Cream: Wheels of Fire (Polydor) LP
Crosby, Stills, & Nash: s/t (Atlantic) LP
Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? (Warner) LP
Bob Dylan: At Budokan (Columbia) 2LP
Burton Greene: Presenting Burton Greene (Columbia) LP
Led Zeppelin: IV (Atlantic) LP
Led Zeppelin:The Song Remains the Same (Atlantic) 2LP
Rolling Stones: Some Girls (WEA) LP
Bruce Springsteen: The River (CBS) 2LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Sire) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (Sire) LP
Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life (Tamla) 2LP
Neil Young: Comes A Time (Reprise) LP
Big Boys: Where’s My Towel/Industry Standard (Modern Classics) LP
Burial: Untrue (Hyperdub) LP
*Nick Cave: Push The Sky Away (Bad Seeds) LP
*Suzanne Ciani: Seven Waves (Bird) CD
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
*Eccentronic Research Council: 1612 Underture (Bird) LP
*Lee Fields: Let’s Talk It Over (Truth & Soul) LP
*Lee Fields: Faithful Man (Truth & Soul) LP
Future Bible Heroes: Memories of Love… (Merge) 3LP
*Don Gere: Werewolves on Wheels OST (Finders Keepers) LP
Grouper: Draggin A Dead Deer… (Kranky) LP
*Tim Hecker: Ravedeath 1972 (Kranky) LP
*Arve Henriksen: Cartography (ECM) LP
The Knife: Shaking The Habitual (Mute) 3LP
*Andrzej Korzynski: Possession OST (Finders Keepers) LP
Leadbelly: Black Betty (Not Now) 2LP
*Portishead: 3 (Island) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze (Music on Vinyl) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Wendy Rene: After Laughter Comes Tears (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Light in the Attic) LP
She & Him: 3 (Merge) LP
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun (Fat Cat) LP
Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie.. (Emi) 5LP
*Jim Sullivan: UFO (Light in the Attic) LP
Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti) LP
Wipers: Boxset (Xeno) 3CD
*Various: Man Chest Hair (Finders Keepers) 2LP