Oi! Hopefully that +35 weather is done for the year. I can’t take much of that, and records like it even less. I’ve been sitting here banging out this list today waiting for a ton of this stuff to arrive, only to track it and have UPS tell me that I’m closed and it will come tomorrow, so we’ll see if they make the driver bring it back today still, or if they will be refunding the hefty shipping fees. Secretly, I’m sort of hoping for the latter at this point.
…..picks of the week…..
*Kat Epple & Bob Stohl: Sanctus Spiritus (Pre-Cert) LP
Extant in Florida from 1978 until Bob’s untimely passing in 1989 at the age of 34, the husband/wife duo of Bob Stohl & Kat Epple were among the first to DIY blend synthesizers and acoustic instrumentation in a studio equipped with an Arp 2600, Mini Moog, EML Synkey, Roland RS202 String Ensemble, and Electro-Harmonix Vocoder (audio processor), plus a range of woodwinds — both Kat and Bob were trained flautists, making colorful use of Bill Bernardi’s innovative Lyricon I, a hybrid flute/synthesizer — with some guitar assists here and there by friend and co-composer, Barry Cleveland. As lovers and collaborators, the couple created a rich and vivid parallel dimension of new age music borne from the ’70s prog scene and probably best referred to as “space music.” Throughout their unfortunately curtailed career, the couple earned a noble crust creating music and mood-pieces for planetariums and nature programs, most notably for the legendary Carl Sagan, under the Emerald Web aegis (hear more of this on Finders Keepers) while continuing to issue numerous tapes to friends and fellow musicians. Following contact with Kat Epple — who still plays concerts at venues ranging from MoMA to Ground Zero — Dead-Cert were made privy to Kat and Bob’s private tapes circa 1980-1982, drawing for five pieces ranging from brooding deep space scapes to shimmering, gaseous sonics and impressionistic sound murals streaked with progressive traits and an alien, yet pastoral nature. Beautifully mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Limited edition pressing of 700 copies only.
File Under: Early Electronic, New Age, Emerald Web
*Carl Orff/Gunild Keetman: Music For Children (Trunk) 2LP/CD
This is quite simply some of the most beautiful children’s music ever made, with simple melodies and forgotten rhymes building gradually into more complex roundels and speech exercises. Performed by children in the late 1950s, this wonderful recording is educational, darkly nostalgic, and enchanting. History: This is the first time these important recordings have been in print since 1957. Their origins go back to the 1920s and the Günterschule in Munich, a progressive educational academy that specialized in music and exercise. Carl Orff was a teacher there, and worked on a new method of introducing children to music. Over the next few decades the “Orff Method” was developed and enhanced with the help of one of his former students Gunild Keetman. By the late 1950s the term “schulwerk” (literally “schooling” or “school work”) had been adopted and with the inclusion of nursery rhymes and street cries it had spread across Europe as a popular education technique. A two LP recording was issued in Germany in 1957 to demonstrate some of the musical results — this was followed by a pair of LPs issued in the UK, that were to include the music as well as early English nursery rhymes, songs and sayings. It is these recordings that are being issued here, along with the original and rare sleevenotes. The music is performed on what has since become known as “the Orff instruments”: glockenspiels, xylophones, metallophones, drinking glasses, violoncello, bells, cymbals, drums, and the triangle. Rhythmic exercises are executed by hand-clapping, knee-slapping, feet-stamping, as well as using drums, whips, sand-rattles, and other percussion instruments. The spoken word is used for its meaning, its tone-color and rhythmic significance. Nursery rhymes familiar to most of us form a strong base to the album, but there are some here that you may have never come across before. Many of these date back to the 18th century, and Trunk also includes here the oldest song of all — “Sumer Is Icumen In.” Not only is the music absolutely captivating for adults and children alike, the CD comes with extensive 16-page sleeve notes explaining the origins of the songs and sayings. These are magical, rarely heard (and occasionally scary) recordings from the 1950s that highlight just how beautiful the simplest of all music can be. But the release also shows how incredible children’s musical education once was. Performers: Chorus of the Children’s Opera Group, Speech Ensemble from the Italia Conti School, and The Instrumental Ensemble.
File Under: Trunk, Children’s Music, Orff Method, 1950s
Marisa Anderson: Mercury (Mississippi) LP
“Portland guitar virtuoso Marisa Anderson is back with a new set of home recorded instrumentals. This time around we find Marisa exploring structures more based on the Appalachian folk tradition. The bluesy cadences of Marisa’s other Mississippi release — Golden Hour — are still there but more in an emotional sense than a structural. It’s rare to find a record that has just one instrument with no vocals that can achieve real emotional communication — but here ’tis. Marisa thoughtfully composed and recorded this LP over the course of the last two years. It was worth the wait. A contemporary record that can hold its own against the various re-issued folk music on our label.”
File Under: Americana, Takoma, Mississippi
*Rabih Beaini: Albidaya (Annihaya) LP
Albidaya in Arabic means “the beginning,” which in the case of Rabih Beaini’s, might be the return to the beginnings, or the start of the path. The album is conceptually a revisiting of the traditional and early psychedelic Arabic music, all through distorted paths and instruments, remashed and deconstructed sounds, recreating patterns with diverse instruments to give a different perspective of the sound itself. Includes musicians from Upperground, Piero, Bittolo, Bon, and Tommaso Cappellato. Commissioned by Annihaya in Lebanon, by Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin, and Hatem Imam — includes artwork byMaria Kassab. “Dips into the ethnically charged concepts and neo-traditionalisms of Annihaya, traversing through a panorama of sounds and textures. Eastern twang, Middle Eastern thematics and jazz all play a role in Albidaya, as do tribal drums and marketplace noise with the introduction of live and off-the-cuff synth experiments, arpeggiated space transmissions and eerie Wu-Tang-like vocal samples entrapped in a gurgling soup of analog beef.” –Juno Plus Blog
File Under: Ethno/jazz/folk-tronic, Lebanon
Converge: Caring & Killing (Hydrahead) LP
Hydra Head Records releases “Caring and Killing” the first original recordings from Converge, on vinyl for the first time. This is not new music. This collection of early Converge material from 1991 to 1994 has been out of print for many years. However this new and improved version of this release features revamped packaging from Aaron Turner and J. Bannon. The release has also been remastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music and in sonically superior to any previous versions on the release.
File Under: Metal, Hardcore
De La Soul: 3 Feet High & Rising (Rhino) 2LP
“De La’s debut represented a new path for hip-hop, a reaction to conventions that had turned into clichés. It was friendly and playful enough to cross over to a pop audience (thanks to Prince Paul’s production, which found the funk hiding inside Steely Dan and “Schoolhouse Rock”), but complicated and tough enough to be hugely influential in the hip-hop world. Cryptic but ecstatic, and sometimes sexy (especially the ingenious double-entendre “Buddy”), Trugoy and Posdnuos’s lyrics invented a “new style of speak,” dense with self-invented slang and metaphors. The hits, including “Say No Go” and “Me Myself And I,” are delightful, but the little sketches and sound-experiments between them make the whole disc flow effortlessly.” -Douglas Wolk
File Under: Hip Hop, Rap, Old Skool
Deafheaven: Sunbather (Deathwish) LP
“Sunbather” is the highly anticipated new album from Deafheaven. Recorded and engineered by Jack Shirley (Funeral Diner, Comadre) and designed by Nick Steinhardt (Touche Amore) “Sunbather” deals with the profound sadness found in the quest for one’s personal perfection. Serving as an artistic lucid dream of warmth despite the stinging pain of life’s cruel idealism. With opener “Dream House” George Clarke’s tortured vocals familiarly intertwine with Kerry McCoy’s hypnotic guitar work before crashing into a wash of post-everything melody. This leads to the moving instrumental “Irresistible” a track that carries a twisted indie-like sensibility buried beneath glittery layers of guitar and piano. However it is in the title track and beyond where the maturation and growth of Deafheaven brightly shines. In “Sunbather” they explore sonic peaks and valleys created by superb percussionist Daniel Tracy (new to the band for this recording). His inclusion brings new dynamics to light as an urgent pulse to the swirling musical chaos. Pushing bleak epic “Vertigo” and the dark emotional closer “The Pecan Tree” to new, awe-inducing heights. Without question “Sunbather” is Deafheaven at the peak of their creative strength and vision of their young existence. A masterfully crafted work of art that will be renowned for years to come.
File Under: Metal, Deathwish
*Deep Magic: Reflections of Most Forgotten Love (Preservation) LP
Playing live at Queen Alex Hall July 5th with Sun Araw! The Preservation label presents Reflections of Most Forgotten Love, the third album from Los Angeles’ Deep Magic. The solo project for current Sun Araw live band member Alex Gray, Deep Magic’s work has tended towards a meditative ambient realm, crafting a cosmic sound described by Uncut as having “a sort of calm and organic grandeur that recalls Popol Vuh.” Indeed like Popol Vuh, pursuit of a kind of spiritual grace has proven to be the measure at the heart of Deep Magic. Reflections of Most Forgotten Love finds a new urgency, an ever-shifting puzzle of sound that breathes vital new life into Gray’s lyrical vision. Dynamic and unrelenting, yet somehow beautifully spacious and patient in its unfolding, this epic work thrives on equal parts pulse and poise, an essence held within a thrilling multiplicity of ideas. Skittish techno, rolling pianos, warm pedal steel, foggy dub drifts and microscopic sonics play out a hypnotic movement of moods with magnetic compulsion. Throughout its stirring, blissful way, intimacy is its keynote. As the title suggests, this is an album of emotively raw presence with a singular take on solitude as a many-splendored thing.
File Under: Ambient, Cosmic, Sun Araw
*Demdike Stare: Test Pressing 003 (Modern Love) LP
Demdike Stare adopt a typically schizoid stance at house and techno tempos on the third Testpressing. “Eulogy” is a square bass devotional to the soul of deep Chicago and Detroit house, most notably the magic of Mr. Fingers and Terrence Dixon. “Dyslogy” comes off like an early “Waveform Transmission” or H&M bomb spanked by Anthony Shakir; an evil, droning intro ratchets the tension for martial kicks and dark-core chords before a feral breakbeat romps loose like the spirit of ’93 unchained.
File Under: House, Techno, Electronic
*Jacqueline Humbert & David Rosenboom: Daytime Viewing (Unseen Worlds) LP/CD
“Daytime Viewing (1979-80) is an extended narrative song, based on a casual analysis of daytime television drama and the audience phenomena such programming addresses. The piece explores the use of fantasy as a survival mechanism against loneliness, illustrating the human compulsion to inflate the mundane to mythological proportions. A central female character weaves tales, using threads of personal experience and the idea of TV as friend, as mantra, and as transformational window between imagined spectacle and the pedestrian plane. Originally released as a private cassette edition documenting the collaborative performance piece of the same name by Jacqueline Humbert and David Rosenboom, this heady, thoroughly enjoyable work is available for the first time ever on CD and LP. Jacqueline Humbert (aka J. Jasmine) is a songwriter of brains and wit on par with Robert Ashley, with whom she’s worked extensively. David Rosenboom’s complex, harmonic electronic arrangements are accentuated brilliantly by percussion from William Winant. Daytime Viewing can happily be added to a small but significant group of work that, through lesser-known paths, engaged in an equally revelatory reexamination of the great American songbook as minimalism did with 20th century composition.”
File Under: Early Electronic, Minimalism
*Johann Johannsson: Fordlândia (NTOV) 2LP
Composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Johann Johannsson is one of Iceland’s most prolific creative musicians, both as a solo artist and composer, and as part of the Kitchen Motors collective and label, which includes members of Sigur Ros, Mum and Slowblow. Johannsson’s 2008 release Fordlândia (4AD) is the second installment in a proposed trilogy dealing with technology and industrial archeology. Whereas IBM 1401, A User’s Manual was a personal response to technology and its inevitable obsolescence (inspired by his father’s work with mainframe computers in 1960s Iceland), Fordlândia springs out of a far more diffuse set of influences. It brings together the soaring grandeur of its predecessor – some sections were recorded with the same orchestra in Prague – and the intimacy of Englabörn, moving between heady, melting cadences and crystalline motifs with gorgeous, dreamlike logic. In short, Fordlândia is Jóhann Jóhannsson’s most complete and beautiful piece of music to date; a fascinating, immersive and deeply rewarding web of ideas and melodies, which is sure to win him a legion of new listeners. Double vinyl, gatefold sleeve reissue manufactured and distributed by Cobraside.
File Under: Modern Classical, Ambient, Drone
Marsen Jules Trio: Presence Acousmatique (Oktaf) CD
German ambient connaisseur and sound poet Marsen Jules (aka Martin Juhls) is well-known for his releases on City Center Offices, Kompakt, and his own label, Oktaf Records. On stage he often combines his atmospheric soundscapes with live musicians. A steady formation is the Marsen Jules Trio, which features the twin brothers Anwar Alam and Jan-Philipp Alam on piano and violins accompanied by Jules’ restrained live-sampling, bowed percussion and singing wine glasses. With their debut album Présence Acousmatique on Oktaf Records, the musicians bring their “acoustic presence” to CD for the first time. It features six highly atmospheric sound sculptures between ambient, avant-garde, classic and modern jazz. Whereas the opening “OEillet Parfait/OEillet Sauvage” is still a variation of a track from Jules’Les Fleurs album, all other tracks are composed for the trio or developed out of the cooperation itself. Two tracks also feature saxophone player Roger Döring (Dictaphone) as a guest musician. The combination of dark soundscapes and saxophone on “Histoire de la nuit” and “Éclipse” makes one think of an ambient version of Bohren & der Club of Gore. The abstract “Excalibur” and “Maison en Vitre” are reminiscent of early avant-garde classic and twelve-tone music, and the closing “Les trains stortent de la gare” is a bittersweet composition for piano and violin held together by sparkling percussion.
File Under: Ambient, Avant-garde Classical
Lightning Dust: Fantasy (Jagjaguwar) LP
Lightning Dust’s third proper full length finds its inspiration in skeletal synth pop, modern R&B beats, the films of John Carpenter and – in accordance with Lightning Dust’s only long-standing rule – absolute minimalism. The core of Fantasy lies as much in the songwriting as in its sonics, and begins with tools familiar to Webber and Wells: her acoustic guitar and his Wurlitzer piano. They worked to distill the arrangements to just the few key elements that were necessary to make the feel right, and through countless hours of labor in The Balloon Factory – their Vancouver studio – the songs found their way to a sonic palette more squarely electronic than either expected. The first product of this experiment was “Never Again” which was previously featured on a 7″ in 2011 and now closes the new album. It is a menacing, almost gothic electro-pop churner, marching from an oscillating beat to an anthemic thunderstorm of synth textures. Fantasy is a hypnotic, exciting record, recklessly new without sacrificing the rich atmosphere that makes Lightning Dust who they are. “Loaded Gun” is a robotic riot grrrl anthem, while “Agatha” stands tall as an ominous lullaby. “Fire, Flesh and Bone” recalls the best cinematic new wave ballads, while acoustic heartbreaker “Moon” makes the rest of the world disappear. And so while Lightning Dust’s destination was never an exact place, Fantasy is as vivid a place as you’ve ever imagined. LP version also comes with a coupon to download the album.
File Under: Synth Pop, Minimalism, CanCon, Black Mountain
*Lustmord: The World As Power (Blackest Ever Black) LP
The alias Brian Williams, Lustmord first emerged as an associate of SPK in the early ‘80s, before embarking on a solo career that has yielded such classics as Heresy (1990), The Place Where The Black Stars Hang (1994) and (with Robert Rich) Stalker (1995). Lustmord has also contributed to numerous Hollywood films as music and sound designer, and collaborated with the likes of Clock DVA, Chris & Cosey, Geir Jenssen, The Melvins, Tool, Aaron Turner, Monte Cazazza and Coil’s Jhon Balance. Often seen to epitomize ‘dark ambient’, it would be more accurate to say that his work simply goes deeper, further, than conventional ambient dares to. Half a decade in the making, The Word As Power is his new studio album and an exploration of ritual music without dogma. For the first time in his 33-year career Lustmord places vocals at the centre of his abyssal ambient creations, coaxing incantatory performances out of Aina Skinnes Olsen, Jarboe (ex-Swans), Maynard James Keenan (Tool) and Soriah. Sonically, The Word As Power is even more detailed, expansive and consuming than Lustmord’s followers have come to expect, with voices, electronics, immense sub-bass, field recordings and other acoustic phenomena harnessed and arranged to stimulate feelings of dread and desolation, certainly, but also escape, renewal and rebirth.
File Under: Ambient, Industrial, SPK
Memphis Jug Band: s/t (Yazoo) 2LP
Gatefold double LP reissue of Yazoo’s 28 song collection of the Memphis Jug Band; on 180 gram vinyl. R. Crumb cover art. “The Memphis Jug Band is the most entertaining and historically important jug band of all time. Especially fascinating is the very wide range of American music that their repertoire covers: blues, rags, stomps, breakdowns, vaudeville, minstrel and more. They were the premier practitioner of the extremely popular Memphis style of the 1920’s.”
File Under: Jug Band, Blues, Americana
Morphosis: Dismantle (Honest Jon’s) 2×12”
Disconcerting, questing brilliance from Rabih Beaini: two sick, nervy techno killers (including an Ethio homage), stalking the corrosive perimeters of noise; and deep, long excerpts from his engrossing soundtrack to Dreyer’s Vampyr, with contributions from theUpperground crew, and Sun Ra in its marrow — alternately driving and motorik, off-the-wall, lost in space.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
The Raid: Redemption OST (Mondo) 2LP
“One of the higher-octane international films of the decade, The Raid: Redemption (2011) has been lauded by both audiences and critics alike for its relentless pulse-pounding visuals. Backed by an equally intense soundtrack penned by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and film composer Joseph Trapanese (for the US release only), the music has earned heaps of credit for helping make this Indonesian martial arts flick an instant classic. Released on vinyl for the first time, this soundtrack features more than an hour of music.” Comes in a gatefold sleeve.
File Under: OST, Mondo, Linkin Park
*Rob Jo Star Band: s/t (Born Bad) LP+7”
Official reissue of one of the weirdest records ever released in France in the early ’70s. Stoned psychedelia. Garage punk under the influence of acid. Fantastic sci-fi spaced-out psych with astonishing lysergic fuzz distortions, drenched with crazy electronic noise effects. Though French underground rock in the early 1970s French underground certainly things to offer (mostly headaches and yawns) it was quite unexpected to stumble across a truly good album coming out of that scene. As often with those discoveries, one must thank the bootlegCosa Nostra for this return from the grave. Beside a few collectors, Rob Jo Star Band managed to stay under the radar all these years. It all started in late 1972, in the Montpellier area in the south of France.Michel-Robert Sahuc aka Mick (bass) and Robert Castello aka Chris(guitar) had been friends since 1970, and after a couple of years in a non-formal band, they decided to move on one step further with new accomplices. In January 1973, they met Alain Poblador aka Penny. He was from Avignon, had been playing electric guitar for 12 years and had spent the ’60s in local bands. None ever made a record. With Roger Vidal aka Cedric from Perpignan on drums, the original line-up of the RJSB was soon in place. After doing covers to get their act together, Penny and Mick, with occasional help from Chris, started writing original material in May 1973. Glam rock was happening and Bowie, Lou Reed, and The Velvet Underground were RJSB’s muses. “Our musical philosophy was to go back to the roots of psychedelic rock, both soft and trash, simple yet with experimental leanings, finding inspiration in contemporary music, with intellectually-oriented lyrics.” They chose to sing in English, but “in a very French way, as we were not trying to hide our French identity.” In July 1973, they met Serge Soler aka Bryan, a sound and electronic engineer, who soon joined the quartet along with his “wave generators” (home-made prehistoric synths which were incorporated in a mix board). They now thought of themselves as something like The Velvets meets PierreHenri, “trying to create some kind of a ‘Messe pour un temps présent’ for outsiders and junkies.” The album came out in 1974 in a limited edition of 1,500 copies. The main influences included: Man Who Sold the World and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, The New York Dolls, MC5 and The Stooges, Damo Suzuki, Agitation Free, Amon Düll II, Neu!, Hawkwind, Van Der Graaf Generator, andKing Crimson. It wasn’t easy for bands back then in France, even more for outsiders like RJSB. So it all came to an end. At least, they had recorded a few more songs as demos, including two in French, “La Cigale” and “Le Démon du rythme,” that you’ll find here as very special bonus tracks.
File Under: Garage, Punk, Psych,
SE Rogie: Sounds of SE Rogie (Mississippi) LP
“At last, a reissue full LP of the legendary Palm wine guitarist SE Rogie’s early work. Truly beautiful songs from the 1960s ranging from sweet acoustic solo numbers to blazing full band electric music. SE Rogie had a very long and pioneering career in Sierra Leone. His songs are some of the most beautiful ever – gentle and lilting timeless melodies. One of the greats. A co-release with our friends at the Domino Sound label.”
File Under: World, Mississippi
Rupert’s People: Hold On (Guerssen) LP
Evolving from The Sweet Feeling, a band who rubbed shoulders with The Beatles and most of the stars of the nascent swingin’ London scene (due to band member Steve Brendell’s work for Brian Epstein’s Nems Enterprises), Rupert’s People were the quintessential UK ’60s mod-psych band. They had the look, they had many famous friends (Paul McCartney was one of their biggest fans) and a set of terrific tunes. But somehow, they never made it big-time. On this vinyl compilation (1966-1969), you’ll find most of their legendary 45 sides, from freakbeat/mod-psych anthems – “Hold On” and “Dream in My Mind” — to amazing psych-pop numbers: the phasing-fuelled “I Can Show You,” “Charles Brown,” and “All So Long Ago” (the later taken from their first 45 under the Sweet Feeling name). Plus delicious flower-power/baroque psychedelia: “Prologue to a Magic World” and “Reflections of Charles Brown.” Some rare recordings have also been included: “Flying High” is a previously-unreleased instrumental taken from a demo acetate that makes it here on vinyl for the first time. “Reflecting” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” are live tracks recorded in 1969 and show the most progressive sound of the band with long guitar/organ passages. The confusing Rupert’s People story (with links to bands like Les Fleur De Lys and The Iveys/Badfinger) is set straight on the extensive liner notes by band member Rod Lynton, included on a four-page insert along with many unseen pictures. Remastered sound, old-styled backflap sleeve. 180 gram vinyl.
File Under: Mod, Psych, Guerssen
Shannon & The Clams: Dreams In The Rat House (Hardly Art) LP
Calling all Hobos, Twisters, Freaks, and Geeks: pogo the crust out yr eyes, and marvel in this blindingly bright, full color 3-D world of ours. The sunsets are getting more beautiful ‘ery damn day thanks to pollution. You can order some psilocybin on the internet and watch nukes explode online all from the comfort of your own bed! Get outdoors cuz life is beautiful and everything is terrible. It’s so yo gabba great that God itself is here. Why not R-O-C-K in the USA? From yr Bedrock in Cali-forn-i-a! Do the Flintstone flop and go WAY OUT! Close yr eyes and pretend yr a cave person (like you really have to pretend) and yr riding Space Mountain at Disneyland for the 1st time. Yeah friend! 2001 is here again! Welcome back to the future! Shannon And The Clams are rumored to be from NOW in Oakland California and comprised of Shannon Shaw (vocals, bass), Cody Blanchard (vocals, guitar), and Ian Amberson (drums, vocals). What started as an open mic project for a shy, young Shannon to try out some tunes ended with the Clams meeting and forming a band. Many have said to have been possessed by thee (eerily similar at times) haunted howls and beautiful growls of their two lead vocalists, hypnotized by their heavy heartbeats, and mesmerized by their magical music. This is a ride that contains both thrills and chills so hold on tight. Your ears may become infested with a real Buddy Holly jolly kinda joy (oh boy) while you stutter along to a hiccupy song. Take a scratch and a sniff at these stickers and get bit by their bad-brained snarls. It’s always Christmas (if you want it). It’s your party time, and it’s excellent. Cry-yi-yi if you want to, but be sure to surf a splish-splash with a laugh later.
File Under: Rock, Garage Rock
*Source Family (Drag City) DVD
“Awareness of The Source Family, YaHoWa13 and Father Yod has been growing since their early 1970s heyday. A spiritual commune dedicated to a wide-ranging blend of eastern and western mysticism, The Source Family were very much a part of the infamous era of tuning in, turning on and dropping out in the late 1960s and ’70s. The Source Family’s celebrity-hang-out vegetarian restaurant, rock band, utopian commune, and beautiful women made them darlings of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip; but their outsider ideals and controversial spiritual leader Father Yod provoked local authorities, leading to their dramatic demise. Still, Yod’s spirit lives on — in the hearts and souls of Family members, and in the music that he and the family’s various bands made during his life, much of which remains in circulation. Additionally, new finds from the many hours of tapes they left behind are released every year. This incredible true story — told largely through home movies and photographs maintained by archivist Isis Aquarian, one of Father Yod’s fourteen wives, features a soundtrack comprised entirely of original Source Family music. The Source Family provides an unparalleled insider’s view into the cult/commune phenomenon and wild social experimentation of the ’70s; a penetrating and bittersweet examination of the joys of the free love generation and the contradictions that lay beneath the surface of their peaceful, easy feelings. In this, it is a uniquely Californian story as well.” NTSC format.\; 99 minutes; aspect ratio: 16:9.
File Under: Films, Psych, YaHoWa, Father Yod
Stellar Om Source: Joy One Mile (RVNG International) LP
Stellar OM Source’s new album, Joy One Mile, marks a certain and spirited departure into worlds unknown. A faithful leap into the infinite beat, Joy One Mile is the most forward-reaching effort by Stellar OM Source yet. Stellar OM Source originated from Christelle Gualdi’s desire to unhinge from her academic musical upbringing. A double bassist in the Konigin Katharina Stift Schulorchester and a student of music theory at Université Paris VIII, Gualdi completed her studies in electro-acoustic composition at the Conservatoire de Paris after earning an architecture degree. The process of Gualdi’s “unlearning” began in experimental ensemble settings, and it became more recognizable as she moved toward solo performance. Stellar OM Source’s name is fittingly inspired in part by the pathway to higher consciousness and cosmos via one’s own voice. Gualdi was also inspired by — and also an integral member of — the late aughts DIY synthesizer community. Alongside Oneohtrix Point Never, Emeralds and James Ferraro, Stellar OM Source’s stream of self-released CDRs defined a zeitgeist of artists trending away from their noisy roots via polyphonic escapism. Based many miles away from her US counterparts in The Hague, South Holland, Gualdi received a prophetic sign in 2010 when a regional eBay seller offered her a mint Roland TB-303 for a mere $33. The instantly identifiable sounds of the analog bass synthesizer began appearing in Gualdi’s studio and live practices. By virtue of her many aspirations and the array of hardware that Gualdi brought to the table, Joy One Mile took shape in chaos. Where this disorder might cripple others, Gualdi’s response was energetically and emotionally charged. The freedom from form that Gualdi sought with Joy One Mile was ultimately obtained, but the severe surge of the finished recordings left her over stimulated. Striking a dialogue with Gunnar Wendel (aka Kassem Mosse), Gualdi realized an objective opinion and arrangement know how would allow clarity and an even greater freedom – that from her own music. The singularity of Gualdi’s compositions, when pulled back and recalibrated even slightly, resemble early era Warp Records, and, by that admission, the wayward electro of early-90s Detroit. The abstractions in Gualdi’s programming and mutant melodies is what keeps Joy One Mile perfectly relegated to outsider status, akin to the primitive techno of Esplendor Geometrico and Chris & Cosey.
File Under: Electronic, Electro, Primitive Techno
Irma Thomas: In Between Tears (Alive) LP
Produced by legendary soul singer/ songwriter/ producer Jerry Williams Jr., aka Swamp Dogg, and featuring Duane Allman on two songs, In Between Tears is finally back on vinyl with its original cover for the first time since 1973. The CD digipack version also includes her single for Canyon Records, as well as newly penned liner notes. “A lost classic that captures deep soul at its most poignant and resonant, couching Thomas’ deeply affecting vocals in earthy arrangements that emphasize the singer’s gospel roots.” – All Music Guide.
File Under: Soul, Gospel
Boubacar Traore: Mariama (Mississippi) LP
“A reissue of Boubacar Traoré’s classic debut album, Mariama. Originally released on cassette in the late 1980s, after he had already been a star in Mali for over 25 years. Recorded in the wake of losing his wife, eight beautiful, haunting tracks by one of Mali’s most renowned singers and purveyor of Malian blues.”
File Under: Mississippi, World, Mali Blues
*Tuluum Shimmering: Ulau Tau – Spirit of the Sun (Aguirre) LP
One of the most magical recordings you’ll hear this year is the first LP by UK-based, one-man transcendental-drone band Tuluum Shimmering. The sound of Tuluum Shimmering is like a sort of loop-driven, timeless ethnic music without a region or a tradition. An array of instruments (sampling keyboard, flutes, violin, kalimba, percussion) are run, via a mixer, through a multi-FX pedal into a 30-second looper, and out to an amp. Everything is recorded live, with no overdubs or mixing. Get ready for the take-off.
File Under: Ambient, Cosmic, Psychedelic
*Wizard Prison: Next Cycle (Feeding Tube) LP
Wizard Prison is a Seattle-based trio comprised of Scott Colburn (producer/engineer/frequent collaborator of the Sun City Girls, decade-long member of Climax Golden Twins and audio genius for Sublime Frequencies), John Vallier (an early member of CGT) and Ben McAlister (of the Degenerate Art Ensemble). Wizard Prison’s music flirts with stoner metal riffery, kosmiche electronics and field recordings, usually at the same time. An intellectual might say their sound is in a state of constant “becoming.” Chiming, churning guitar/bass/drums give way to pulsating synths and pitch-shifted foreign voices chanting to open the door to an alternate dimension. Each side-long suite supposedly illustrates the details of the cracked narrative detailed on the insert, but it mostly sounds like a good excuse to get stoned. Next Cycle is vibrationally reminiscent of the Messenger Girls Trio, although Wizard Prison wear outfits that fit quite differently. To make a great record even better, we’ve added the exceptional talents of Baltimore comix hero Eamon Espey. His darkly humorous artwork, on the jacket and poster, provide faux conceptual holism galore. Which is really more than anyone deserves. Edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Stoner Metal, Kosmiche Electronic, Sun City Girls
Wolf Eyes: No Answer : Lower Floors (Destijl) LP
“No Answer : Lower Floors is the record of 2013 you need to be most worried about. No Answer : Lower Floors is further flesh to the shadowy silhouette cast by this Michigan art abstraction unit, perenially poised on the cusp of a precipice. Wolf Eyes will carry on forever but always remain mysteriously unfinished. The No Answer : Lower Floors material covers all bases: tough to toughest to tangled, all done in the Wolves’ least convoluted smooth style. The vocals, delays, primitive electronics, woodwinds and raw guitar of newest member Jamas Baljo create a new destroyed space to crawl through. No Answer : Lower Floors was recorded and mixed at the Michigan Underground Group’s gambling/clubhouse/art space, with the usually 2D-flat quality of the drums and electronics given creeping new brightness-life within the hollow echo acoustics of the sacred space’s cinder prisons. No Answer : Lower Floors shares a natural feel with previous Wolf Eyes efforts but goes much further in detailing their underworld of odd melodies and mangled harmonics. Within their system-based economic compositions, there remains zero room for wasted space. Wolf Eyes return to longtime friendbase and Interzone of outsider art De Stijl Records, with whom the band worked on No Face Lives, their collaboration with Smegma, and the loner blues cerebration unit Stare Case’s Lose Today. No Answer : Lower Floors features former members Aaron Dilloway and Mike Connelly, and thus is a family homecoming of sorts. More important, it’s the dawn of a new Wolf Eyes era.”
File Under: Noise, Experimental
David Yow: Tonight You Look Like A Spider (Joyful Noise) LP
“Sometime around the end of 1998, my dear and amazing buddy Alex was visiting my house. He knows everything. He showed me the most superﬁcial, broad stroke rudiments of ProTools and I started fucking around. A week or two went by and I was out dancing through the ﬁlthy streets of Chicago when I ran into a fella who goes by the name of Mike [Patton]. “Mike is an extremely industrious and good looking man. He grabbed me violently by my dry and ﬂakey shoulders and screamed at the top of his carbon ﬂavored lungs, “You’re making a solo record and I’m putting it out whether you like it or not!” He was right about the ﬁrst part. “I rented a saxophone for 2 months, I borrowed some guitars and some drums, I rummaged through the kitchen, I squeezed a fat cat, I poked and prodded and ended up with my very own music. It’s real good, if you like that kind of shit. I named it Tonight You Look Like A Spider after a spider I saw one night.” – David Yow
File Under: Jesus Lizard, Experimental
*Various: Molam Thai Country Groove From Isan Vol 2 (Sublime Frequencies) 2LP
Molam is a multi-faceted folk country music native to Laos and the collection of rural Northeastern Thai provinces called Isan. Molam is an umbrella term used for numerous Lam styles. It literally translates into “expert singer” or “expert song.” Featured here on volume two of this series are Lam Phun, Lam Thuy, Lam Plern, Lam Dern, and Lam Sing styles of Molam recordings from the 1970s and 1980s. All of these forms are built from a tradition that is centuries-old. A few examples of Molam/Luk Thung (Thailand’s national country music) hybrids are also featured here. In the late 1960s, at the onset of Molam’s modern genesis, electric guitars and organs were introduced alongside the extant folk sounds of the khaen (bamboo mouth-organ) and Phin (Thai lute). Hybrid styles were formed with an electrified sound that jived with tradition while creating something entirely new. Much of the music relies on stock formulas, designed primarily to showcase the stylings of various singers from the region. But, as this brilliant collection demonstrates, the rules tend to bend a bit as more adventurous groups experiment with the genre and the production. Sound effects, flamboyant vamping, odd vocal styles, and trick intros and finales based on popular rock themes show up now and then, among other playful and dynamic shifts, making for some exceptional listening. So join us now in our perpetual and confounding love affair with Thai Isan Molam. Enjoy this rarely-heard music, culled from vintage cassette and vinyl recordings, rescued from the silent places in which they’ve rested for the past decades. Compiled by Mark Gergis and Alan Bishop. Beautiful 2LP limited edition vinyl release in a full-color heavy-duty gatefold jacket of the long out-of-print CD from 2007.
File Under: World, Molam, Sublime Frequencies
Various: Mystic Soundz From Afrika: Lost Field Recordings 1960-1973 (Lost in Space) LP
“Hypnotic selection of rare field recordings from Ethiopia, Ghana, Zaïre, Togo, Dahomey and Ivory Coast. All of the tracks was recorded by various occidental ethnologists between 1960 and 1973. The music of this collection is really crazy and rarely heard: handmade instruments and surprising vocals sound resolutely modern, so that some songs may be confused with early industrial tones. The cover by Jean Attali, reflects perfectly the strange atmosphere that emerges from this unbelievable set.”
File Under: World, Field Recordings, Africa
*Various: Mystic Soundz From India: Lost Field Recordings 1968-1979 (Lost in Space) LP
“Another hypnotic selection of rare field recordings from Lost in Space records. A set of incredible and strange and mystic sounds recorded between 1968 and 1979 in various Indian locations: Rajasthan, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Praddesh, and Chhasttisgarh. This fascinating collection brings another way to discover the several faces of Indian music. Once again the cover art reflects perfectly this strange compilation. Limited edition of 1000.”
File Under: World, Field Recordings, India
Various: Nightingales & Canaries Volume 1 (Mississippi) LP
“Aching and radiant songs from 78 RPM discs dating from the ’30s and ’40s. Canaries and Nightingales Vol. 1 is our first collection of the voices of women from the Middle East during the first half of the 20th century. Side one of the album includes outrageously flirtatious and rocking performances by Christian and Jewish immigrants from Anatolia, Istanbul, and Roumelia. Side B includes more demure and artful performances by some of the greatest Turkish stars of the first generation of Muslim women to sing on records. Liner notes by Ian Nagoski with phtographs of the artists. A co-release with Canary records.”
File Under: Mississippi, World, 78s
*Various: Shik Shak Shok (Worldwide) LP
“Recorded in Lebanon, 1972-1985. Shik Shak Shok is a fantastic collection of weird psychedelic music for belly dancing mostly recorded in the 1970s in Lebanon and reissued for the very first time. A must-have for any exotic groove lovers: keyboards solos, darkouka madness, and crazy breaks for DJs and producers. This set includes Elias Rabhani, Hassan Abou Seoud, Ihsan Al-Munzer, Matar Mohamed, Omar Khorshid, Daniel Der Sahakian, Farid Elatrache, and Nicholas Dick . Limited edition of 1000.”
File Under: World, Psych, Belly Dance
Alambama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Brigitte Bardot: Show (Universal) LP
*Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP/CD
Bonobo: North Borders (Ninja Tune) LP
*Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Broken Social Scene: Feel Good Lost (Arts & Crafts) LP
*Gavin Bryars: After The Requiem (ECM) LP
Converge: Unloved & Weeded Out (Deathwish) LP
*Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Electric Wizard: Come My Fanatics (Rise Above) LP
*Brian Eno: Lux (Warp) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Feist: Let It Die (Arts & Crafts) LP
Feist: Open Season (Arts & Crafts) LP
*Lee Fields: My World (Truth & Soul) LP
Fire Orchestra: Exit! (Rune Grammofon) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Four Tet: Rounds (Domino) LP
*Nils Frahm: Felt (Erased Tapes) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Allelujah! (Constellation) LP
Grinderman: s/t (Anti) LP
Grinderman: II (Anti) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: Album (Get on Down) LP
*Iasos: Celestial Soul (Numero) LP
*Ignatz: Can I Go Home Now? (Fonal) LP
*The Knife: Shaking The Habitual (Mute) 3LP
M83: Hurry Up We’re Dreaming (Mute) LP
Major Lazer: Free The Universe (Secretly Canadian) LP
Megadeth: Rust in Peace (Capitol) LP
Los Saicos: Democlicion (Munster) LP
Lubor Melnyk: Corollaries (Erased Tapes) LP
Moss: Moss’ Horrible Night (Rise Above) LP
*Nazoranai: s/t (Idealogic Organ) LP
*Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
Nirvana: Bleach (Sub Pop) LP
Phosphorescent: Muchacho (Dead Oceans) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (EMI) LP
Portugal. The Man: Evil Friends (Atlantic) LP
*Pierre Schaeffer: Le Triedre (ReGRM) LP
*Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light (Constellation) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Mind Control (Rise Above) LP
*Volcano The Bear: Classic Erasmus Fusion (Beta Lactum Ring) 2CD
*Volcano The Bear: Golden Rhythm (Rune Grammofon) CD
*Witch: Lazy Bones (Now Again) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Young Disiples (Numero) LP
*Various: Ecstasy of Gold Vol 1 (Semi Automatic) LP
*Various: Ecstasy of Gold Vol 2 (Semi Automatic) LP