…..news letter #606 – a few new things…..

You’d think after 12 odd years, a guy could stagger shipments better, but when it’s time to ship, it’s time to ship, and this week it was time to ship. So, there’s a TON of new stuff in this week. Hopefully you’ve been saving your pennies. Loads of great stuff en route for next week too!

…..pick of the week…..

mainliner mellow

Mainliner: Mellow Out (Riot Season) LP
Mellow Out is, perhaps, THE classic Japanese underground album. Since it was first released in 1996 on the now-defunct Charnel Music label, its legend has grown and grown, and is still talked about by lovers of all things loud, noisy, and Japanese as the definitive Japanese noise-rock statement. Upon release it was instantly dubbed “the pinnacle of achievement for guitar-driven, brain-crushing madness,” and with good reason. Rarely has an album contained such fierce/brutal battering, and speaker-shredding, in-the-red levels. Mainliner were a Japanese trio consisting of Asahito Nanjo (High Rise), Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), and Hajime Koizumi. Originally released on CD back in ’96 on Charnel, the pressing quickly disappeared and had been unavailable until Riot Season re-released it in 2003 in a limited CD and vinyl run, both of which sold out quickly. With the 2013 rebirth of Mainliner, now dubbed Kawabata Makoto’s Mainliner, the time felt right for a re-release of the much sought-after vinyl. So here it is, on the back of excellent press on their Revelation Space comeback album. This vinyl pressing is limited to 500 copies for the world and comes in two (250 of each) translucent colored vinyl editions. The music has been remastered and the sleeve artwork has been tweaked from the original vinyl pressing, too — now with 350gsm card sleeve with metallic silver ink print.

File Under:  Psych, JapRock, Acid Mothers Temple

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…..new arrivals…..


Alpay: Yekte (Pharaway Sounds) LP/CD
In Turkey, psychedelia wasn’t just some fleeting fad. Fuzzed-out guitar shredding genuinely intersected with some of the goals of traditional folk & classical music. As a result, even former twist singers & folk balladeers explored some fascinating & wild territory. Meet Alpay, the soccer player turned lawyer turned singer who started matching local lyrics to Western arrangements even before the mid-60s countrywide battle of the bands concerts. These early 70s singles lay down doleful Anatolian melodies, and they’re simply soaking in heavy & wah-ed out guitar solos. If you’re ready to go beyond Baris & Erkin, this is the perfect spot.

File Under: Turkish Psych, Fuzz, Anatolian Invasion

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amen dunes

Amen Dunes: Spoiler (Perfect Lives) LP
In tomorrow! Recorded over the course of 2009-2011, Spoiler is careful dismembering. Two years of songwriting non-music songs, instrumentals, winter afternoon TV hymns, homemade industrial recordings, ballads, man music, involuntary speech, late summer slugs, and the like. Comes out from under the palms of Robert Ashley, NWW, Bob Dylan, etc. Private press vinyl-only release of 300 copies with insert on Amen Dunes’ Perfect Lives imprint (contains songs from the tape release Rat On A Grecian Urn).

File Under: Collage, Psych, Experimental

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Arawak: Accadde A… (Golden Pavilion) LP
“Long revered in connoisseur circles, but always elusive almost to the status of a myth, Arawak’s Accadde a… takes us on a journey across the planet, depicting faraway places with an uncanny sense of style, using a tapestry of sounds and instruments, sometimes mellow and dreamy, sometimes engulfing the listener in a funky wicked drum break groove. We are offered the chance of a unique journey that takes us from Harlem to Boston, passing through Cuzco, Bali, Bahia, Belfast, Lima and more. Arawak is one of a multitude of pseudonyms that Luciano Simoncini used in his career as a composer for film scores and background music for radio and television in Italy. Luciano Simoncini was an Italian pianist, arranger and conductor (born in Piedimonte Matese, province of Caserta, September 25th , 1939, died in Rome November 8th , 2011). Originally released in 1970 on Simoncini’s own Squirrel records this album managed to stay under the radar until Hip Hop performer Quasimoto (alter ego of producer Madlib) sampled ‘Accadde a Harlem’ for the Suono liberoseries on ’70s jazz funk from Italian library music. Since then the album has gathered considerable interest, hence calling for a proper reissue. The laid-back grooves and enticing dreamy atmospheres alternate with more funky sounds to make a truly unique music experience that will appeal to fans of Janko Nilovic, Stefano Torossi, Remigio Ducros, Pino Canizzo. Strictly limited to 1000 copies in high quality cover and vinyl plus insert and obi.”

File Under: Italian Library, Jazz, Funk, Supa Cool, Madlib

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Francois Bayle: L’Experience Acoustique (Recollection GRM) 3LP
“In addition to being a masterpiece of the acousmatic repertoire, L’Expérience Acoustique is also a fine example of the ‘musical research’ spirit. This work, a systematic exploration, investigates the true nature of the listening process itself. The composition of this piece, spread over several years, managed to tap into the potential of the analogue technologies of its time, producing a complex blend of unprecedented sonic occurrences. What emerges from this extensive work is a reflection on sound, in all its forms and through all its textures. François Bayle therefore invites us to a genuine listening experience and for the first time on vinyl, in its full version lasting more than two hours.” –Christian Zanési and François Bonnet

File Under: Early Electronic, Avant Garde, GRM

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Daniel Bjarnason: Over Light Earth (Bedroom Community) LP/CD
This is the award-winning Icelandic composer’s second solo album and third release on Bedroom Community — hot on the heels of his Sólaris collaboration with label-mate Ben Frost. Daníel Bjarnason’s critically-acclaimed debut album Processions was hailed by Time Out New York as “coming eerily close to defining classical music’s undefinable brave new world.” On “Over Light Earth,” the intensity of Bjarnason’s orchestral voice is captured through meticulous close-micing and multi-tracking, a recording process that sets this recording radically apart from that of conventional orchestral recordings. This album is very much the fruit of Bjarnason’s ongoing and intimate symbiosis with Bedroom Community’s Valgeir Sigurðsson. Here, with engineer Paul Evans and the newly-formed Reykjavík Sinfonia, they have produced a suitably unconventional symphonic recording. As much at home in the recording studio as he is on the conductor’s podium, it’s no wonder Bjarnason is equally effective in collaboration with other sonic architects, whether it’s the band Sigur Rós or his Bedroom Community label-mates. Over Light Earth comprises three major works. The title-piece was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and is Bjarnason’s sonic nod towards the work of painters Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock. The second — the aptly-titled “Emergence” — suggests a vast, pre-existing form just coming into view with steady harmonies manifesting in a range of unstable attacks, hesitations and anticipations. The final piece — “Solitudes” — is an early work that is in fact Bjarnason’s first piano concerto, here reworked with electronics by Sigurðsson and Frost, demonstrating Bjarnason’s mastery of more complex harmonies and melodies. It’s between the simple elements and more abstract materials — between harmonic motion and pure gesture — that we can hear Daníel Bjarnason’s compositional voice itself beginning to emerge.

File Under: NeoClassical, Icelandic, Ambient, Strings

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Nathan Bowles & Scott Verrastro: Polar Satellites (Mie Music) LP
In tomorrow! This mesmerizing collection of percussion improvisations by Nathan Bowles (Pelt, Black Twig Pickers, Spiral Joy Band) and Scott Verrastro (Kohoutek) was recorded in winter of 2009 and 2010 with absolutely no overdubs. Building on the starkness of Pelt’s Effigy LP, (MIE 2012), the duo’s follow-up is an even bleaker, more minimal and hermetically vibed record. Unnerving and hypnotic, awash with uncategorisable percussive instruments, kalimbas and banjo. Edition of 300.

File Under: Minimal Percussion, Avant Garde, Drone, Pelt

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carlton melton

Carlton Melton: Always Even (Agitated) LP
In tomorrow! The travelers have returned with Always Even, their fourth album, recorded once again in a geodesic dome in the winter of 2012-13. Strap in, fly on—but do not be fooled by the gentle ease of opening track “Slow Wake.” It’s the calm before the psych-storm, a balm for one’s ears to prepare body and mind for the synth-riff-laden, psych-guitar-knockout blastings to come. Much like “Space Treader” on last year’s Photos of Photos, “Keeping On” launches into a unmapped zones, only to return to earth with the eased-back dome-drone of “Spider Web.” The trip continues with the furious, kraut-influenced “Sarsen,” a track that could soundtrack an entire flight to the Moon and back—not to mention fuel the rocket ship with its ampheto-cranked psych chug. Make sure all seat belts are fastened for final descent, as “The Splurge” envelopes all with its molasses-like fog / fug.

File Under: Psych, Space Rock

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Coachwhips: Hands On The Controls (Castle Face) LP
In tomorrow… Castle Face Records is proud to announce the re-release of Hands on the Controls by the late, great sweat-’n’-fun factory Coachwhips. For those unfamiliar, pull up a chair—helmed by John Dwyer (currently of Thee Oh Sees) from 2001-2005, they were fast, nasty, unintelligible, brutally and primally basic. A telephone through a guitar amp, half a drum kit, a shitty Casio organ, and primal speed-trash riffs never sounded so good.  Hands on the Controls was their first studio album and criminally never came out on vinyl—until now. Dwyer has kindly opened the crypt and added six never-before-released tracks to sweeten the deal, and the label remastered the tracks for maximum bludgeon, cleaned up the artwork and even added some period photos from his own personal collection. Early ditties like “That Bitch Is Gonna End Up Dead,” “N.Y.C. L.O.V.E.,” and my girlfriend’s personal favorite, “Look Into My Eyes When I Come,” will leap off of your turntable, do all of your drugs, and almost certainly get you in trouble.

File Under: Garage, Psych, Punk, Thee Oh Sees

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cosmic psychos

Cosmic Psychos: Down on the Farm
Cosmic Psychos: Go The Hack 
Cosmic Psychos: s/t
(Goner) LPs
In tomorrow… Sometime in the winter of 1989-90, I wandered into New York City’s Midnight Records, a store famous for its deep catalog of ’60s garage and psychedelic music, as well as a strong selection of classic punk rock and a cantankerous French owner with ridiculous hair. On this visit, instead of hearing a puny French bootleg of The Standells or the Seeds, as I opened the door I was enveloped in the massive opening chords to the first song on the Cosmic Psychos’ then-new album Go the Hack. “She’s a lost cause / She’s a lost, lost cause!” blasted into the air at maximum volume. In a perfect cinematic moment, the drums announced my entry, the bass dictated my walk, the air became thick with guitar fuzz and wah-wah, and snarled vocals described perfectly a girl’s descent into a cause which was lost. Instead of record shopping, I felt like I’d stepped into a biker movie and was motoring down a long, straight Outback road on a Harley. This was my introduction to the Cosmic Psychos, and I was hooked. I loved that a band could be so powerful, sound so big and unapologetically simple, and incorporate so much of what I loved about music—well, basically the attitudes and sounds of The Stooges and Ramones: setting up songs with a good title or idea, matching it with a massive riff, then running it out with squeals of wah-wah and manly disregard for cleverness or adornment. And they called themselves the Cosmic Psychos! They obviously had no regard for “makin’ it” in those days, when an alternative rock band at least had a chance to sell some records. I was an instant fan. Earlier records proved to be the same formula with even less refinement, and that was definitely a good thing. These were lovably manly Aussies singing about what they knew best: farm equipment, lusting after Elle Macpherson, wishing they were in Van Halen (for the ladies), drinking at the pub, and even more drinking at the pub. They were the real deal before the deal was dealt. And they couldn’t care less. The Psychos enjoyed a long run through the ’80s and ’90s on such Australian labels as What Goes On, Mr Spaceman, Survival and Rattlesnake, as well as American stalwarts Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile. Many bands from that era no longer seem vital today, lost in a murk of crisp drums, loud guitars, flannel shirts and shallow aspirations. These first Cosmic Psychos releases are as timeless and necessary as ever—still a bullshit bulldozer, a blurry loud night at the bar, a rollicking time hanging with the guys. The time has come for a new generation to be uplifted by these initial blasts from the Cosmic Psychos. Goner is proud to partner with Melbourne’s esteemed Aarght! Records to bring these platters of primal perfection back into a world that definitely needs them.

File Under: Aussie, Goner, Punk

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dead c

Dead C: Armed Courage (Ba Da Bing) LP
In tomorrow… With nary a praising documentary, coffee table photo book or tribute band to their name, The Dead C are nonetheless one of the most respected, longest surviving groups in the history of rock. Still sporting the original band members (Michael Morley on guitar/vocals, Bruce Russell on guitar, Robbie Yeats on drums) from their first assemblage in 1987, The Dead C’s renown has a lot to do with their stubborn unwillingness to compromise in any form. With a varied and challenging discography, the band has never released an album requiring later apology. No The Elder. No Diabolus In Musica. No Trans. Each release demands appraisal on its own merits and exists separate from any temporal trends in underground music, save for whatever influence they’ve had on others.

File Under: Experimental, Noise, New Zealand

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Marcel Dettmann: Dettmann II (Ostgut Ton) LP
One of the most reliable names in techno and arguably Berghain’s most prominent face, Marcel Dettmann has already once accomplished the difficult task of translating his pared-back techno sound to the album format. His debut self-titled album, released back in 2010, comprised 12 sculptures of obdurate stone and steel aimed at a pair of good headphones as much as they were a dancefloor. They showed a producer as adept at intricate sound design as he was rocking the world’s best club. Since then, Dettmann has released another acclaimed mix CD and a string of singles which had him move away from that LP’s tough textures and into everything from liquid ambient to the catchiest music of his career. But then there’s Dettmann II. A sequel in a true sense, the album marks a return to the spirit of the first album, but things feel less tense this time around. Dettmann brings his recent experimental outlook and applies it to the album template, creating a record that lives and breathes with a naturalism rare for a techno album. Expertly paced, Dettmann II impresses especially with its carefully rising narrative. On first glance, as the album barrels into action with the particulate grit of “Throb” and “Ductil,” Dettmann is in fine style. But to the careful listener, these tracks feel lightweight, like they’re built from aluminum instead of steel. Each tune’s central theme is a bit more out-there than usual, from the sheet-metal racket of “Lightworks” to the house-hinting chorus of “Soar,” which is every bit as majestic as its title implies. He offers up some top-notch ambient material as well, like the trippy “Shiver,” or the ominous “Outback,” which features contributions from Levon Vincent. Dettmann also reaches for a rare collaboration on his second album. Kindred spirit Emika lends her spectral gasps to “Seduction,” which stays stunningly antiseptic even as it weaves her voice into its wire framework. With Dettmann II’s stretch of tracks “Radar” and “Corridor,” the album finally takes flight into full-on club mania, fist-pumping, career-high material with all the subtlety of his old work molded up into a spiky banger. “Aim,” which ends the record in lofty fashion, hints at a new direction for Dettmann, uncharacteristically melodic and even uplifting. Co-produced by René Pawlowitz, it bears the Shed touch but keeps it firmly in Dettmann’s finely-honed world.

File Under: Electronic, Techno

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Iancu Dumitrescu: Pierres Sacrees/Hazard & Tectonics (Ideologic Organ) LP
Born in Romania in 1944, Iancu Dumitrescu is one of the leading personalities in contemporary music, whose significance embraces composition, interpretation and philosophy of music. His music and ideas are increasingly influential, centered on the idea of acousmatics and on the phenomenological approach he learned from Sergiu Celibidache, which Dumitrescu applies to the composition itself. Acousmatics represents for Dumitrescu not only “the art of disguising a sonic source” in a concrete approach, but the very metaphor of the sound — infinite, cryptic alchemy applied to the sound material. Dumitrescu’s activity as a musicologist, composer and performer (conductor) intersected from the very beginning. In 1978, he received a scholarship from Sergiu Celibidache in Germany, thereafter embarking on systematic studies of general and musical phenomenology, while also conducting at the University of Trier and Munich. He adopted the Husserlian phenomenological perspective which led to important theoretical crystallization and to fertile creative conclusions, placing in question the principles of academic composition. According to Dumitrescu, this was the first time phenomenology was utilized as a true method of composition, which throws into query essential concepts, nevertheless hidden at that time: inspiration, vision, creativity, and imagination. Dumitrescu is considered one of the leaders of the spectral music trend worldwide. In 1976 he founded the Hyperion Ensemble, proposing a new aesthetic in today’s music, hyper-spectral, based on the radiant power of sound within its microcosmic complexity, which is questioned, analyzed, and recomposed from a spectral perspective. Dumitrescu is also founder and artistic director of the International Music Festivals of Computer Assisted Music, Acousmania, Musica Nova, Musica Viva and the International Spectral Music Festival, Spectrum XXI — held annually in three European capitals. His music is performed all over the world, with different ensembles, soloists and orchestras. As a Blodget artist-in-residence at Harvard University, he shared his methods and techniques of composition to the student graduates in composition. His output includes more than 300 works of chamber music, electroacoustic, orchestral music, computer music, etc. His work has been edited by Salabert (Paris), Editura Musicala (Bucharest) Gerig Musikverlage-Schott-Schone (Koln). His previous LPs and CDs have been published by Edition RZ (Berlin), Generation Unlimited (United States), Escargot-Harmonia Mundi (France), Electrecord (Bucharest), Artgallery (Paris), ReR Megacorp (London), Bananafish (Los Angeles), and Edition Modern (London-Bucharest). Vinyl cut at 45 rpm by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, July 2013. Front cover photo courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

File Under: Experimental, Avant Garde, Piano, 

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roky don't

Roky Erickson: Don’t Slander Me (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
Celebrating a creative purple patch by a singular performer, Light In The Attic is to reissue the three Roky Erickson albums orchestrated by Orb Productions, Craig Luckin’s San Francisco-based music company. In revisiting The Evil One, Don’t Slander Me and Gremlins Have Pictures, we hold a lens to a unique artist beloved of Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3, ZZ Top, Jesus And Mary Chain, The Black Angels, Jack White and many more. If The Evil One was the album that broke Erickson out of the indie ghetto and brought him to a worldwide audience, the follow-up, 1986’s Don’t Slander Me was the one that showcased his rock and roll sensibilities like no recording before. Losing the more out-there and exotic elements of earlier and future albums, it presents us with Erickson the rocker, playing punk, rockabilly, blues and – in ‘Burn The Flames’, later found on the Return Of The Living Dead soundtrack –even power ballads. Erickson was just 15 when he wrote ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’, the song that epitomized the garage rock movement and inspired punks, rockers and noisemakers ever since. In another life, Erickson and Austin-based band could have been as big as any of the ‘60s legends still making music today. But fate took Erickson down a meandering path via the Houston psychiatric hospital where he was institutionalized for almost a decade following a diagnosis with paranoid schizophrenia in 1968. Erickson’s experiences in the hospital proved to be fertile inspiration for his music – on leaving, he formed the group Roky Erickson And The Aliens and began penning songs about zombies, demons, vampires, and – to counter the B-movie monsters, the real-life monsters of social injustice. Yet with Don’t Slander Me, Roky almost stuck his spike in the turf of the rock establishment. Recorded with a rolling cast of musicians following the dissolution of The Aliens, the birth of The Explosives and a recording band featuring members of both, the album was recorded against a backdrop of the emerging punk scene, which arrived late to Erickson’s native Texas. Following the well-received The Evil One, fan interest was at an all-time high, but progress was slow. Roky Erickson was in demand. Everyone wanted a piece of him. But the man himself was prone to drug-induced emotional tailspins, and this mainstream land grab would not last long. Life would rarely, in the future, be easy for Roky – he has at various points found himself destitute, not in control of his own affairs, celebrated, supported and reinvigorated. But the three-album arc of which Don’t Slander Me represents the apex remains among his best, most cherished work. Never again would Roky Erickson’s music be so tight, so together, and so blazingly rocking.

File Under: Elevators, Psych, Rock, LITA

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roky gremlins

Roky Erickson: Gremlins Have Pictures (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
By 1986, Roky Erickson’s career had endured twists, turns and a late-period purple patch marked by incredible music and self-destructive behavior. The Evil One broke him out of the indie underground and Don’t Slander Me showed off his rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities. But Erickson was difficult to manage – and patience was running out. “I‘d given up after the second album,” Erickson’s then-manager, Craig Luckin, has said. “I had enough.” Yet a third album – arguably his best – was to be found, if not created. Gremlins Have Pictures is an anthology of Erickson’s solo work following his extended incarceration at the Rusk State Hospital for the criminally insane, beginning with his first live performance (opening for a screening of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Austin) all the way to Don’t Slander Me. The core member of 13th Floor Elevators, and an undisputed pioneer of psychedelic rock, Erickson struck big with the howling single ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’. “Any kid that played music in the Houston area would tell you the Elevators ruled,” says Erickson’s future drummer Freddie Krc in the liner notes. “Unlike the West Coast groups, they were our band.” But Erickson’s ‘60s dream came to an abrupt end when he was caught with a single marijuana joint on his person. Pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to avoid prison, he was sent to the Rusk State Hospital, where he was ‘treated’ with electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatment. Released from the institution in 1974, Roky found his legend had grown while he’d been away – not least because ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ was included on 1972’s Nuggets compilation. He formed a band, the Aliens, and set about honing a hard rock sound that placed the psychedelic garage blues of the Elevators firmly in the last decade. It wasn’t just the sound that had changed: Roky’s lyrics spoke of vampires, demons, beasts and even presidents – his ‘Song To Abe Lincoln’. Collected here, the odds and ends of Erickson’s post-incarceration work tell a story of a man finding his musical feet, ranging from Dylan-like folk strumming to the big, Neil Young-like rock of the unparalleled ‘Anthem (I Promise)’. The span of time is great – from The Ritz Theatre tracks, recorded in Austin in 1975, at the debut performance by The Aliens, to those troubled Don’t Slander Me off-cuts. Other tracks were cut with the Explosives, the band Roky started working with at Raul’s punk club in Austin after he’d returned to Austin in 1979, following the departure of the Aliens. Together the various tracks deftly summarize Roky Erickson’s recording career. Following reissues of The Evil One and Don’t Slander Me, Gremlins is now brought back to life by Light In The Attic Records. This is a chance to pick up a missing jigsaw piece in the history of American rock ‘n’ roll in deluxe packages. Don’t let it pass you by.

File Under: Elevators, Psych, Rock, LITA

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factory floor

Factory Floor: s/t (DFA) LP
In tomorrow… At long last, Factory Floor presents their highly anticipated self-titled debut album. A vivid snapshot of a progressive band smashing through yet another ceiling, it’s the first full-length statement from the group that earned a powerful reputation on the strength of the “Fall Back” and “Two Different Ways” singles for DFA—not to mention early releases for Optimo Music and Blast First Petite. Produced and recorded by the group in their North London warehouse space on a vintage mixing desk originally used by Dave Stewart three decades ago to record all the Eurythmics’ early hits, Factory Floor is a visceral trip through the band’s repertoire. Perhaps the most unlikely aspect of Factory Floor’s rise to notoriety is their versatility. Even their most ardent of fans describe their sound as punishing, yet they are equally at home playing raves, alternative festivals, art galleries, cinemas, nightclubs and rock shows; on top of that they’re as likely to collaborate with members of Throbbing Gristle and New Order (not to mention Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire, Simon Fisher Turner and Peter Gordon) as they are with contemporary artists such as Haroon Mirza and Hannah Sawtell.

File Under: DFA, Dance

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The Field: Cupid’s Head (Kompakt) LP/CD
Hailed as his “most diverse and satisfying statement to date” (Resident Advisor) and a “victory lap for the power of the loop” (XLR8R), The Field’s Looping State of Mind — Axel Willner’s third full-length under his most prevalent moniker — ranked high in those 2011 charts, being featured on virtually every “best albums” list known to man and reaching well into 2012 with sold-out concerts and its universally-acclaimed remixes. Now, the Berlin-based Swede presents Cupid’s Head, the first album recorded solo since his debut From Here We Go Sublime and a powerful touch-up of his landmark hypnotism, but also a departure for new shores both personal and musical. A first glance at the black cover already signals the profound changes entering the well-defined artistic framework of The Field, where the tools may remain the same, but the outcome significantly differs from what has gone before. The Field’s multi-layered approach to sound now transcends its technicalities and reaches far beyond mere production values, entering a phase where its original message has become the medium for wildly differing emotions that also draw from Axel’s many side-projects: ubiquitous traces of his alter egos — like Loops Of Your Heart’s ambient bliss or Black Fog’s dark disco inspired by classic horror movie soundtracks — can be found all over Cupid’s Head. From opening epic “They Won’t See Me” to the more upbeat (and very “Field-ish”) title-track, the gauzy softcore of “A Guided Tour” or the intriguing ambient ornamentation of “20 Seconds of Affection,” Cupid’s Head invites the listener to a highly immersive experience that feels as comfortable on the dancefloor as it does in private. Continuously wandering off into the woods of its very unique sound world, the album finds not one, but many rabbit holes to bravely explore, basically rewriting the love letter to the loop that lies at the center of The Field’s quasi techno to include more than that one recipient. More open than hermetic, Cupid’s Head presents itself as tremendously accessible work, whose focus lies well beyond the tunnel vision of studio-bound antics or sophisticated navel-gazing.

File Under: Electronic, Kompakt, Dance

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Fire!: Without Noticing (Rune Grammofon) LP/CD
Rune Grammofon presents (without noticing), the fifth album from Swedish trio Fire!, comprised of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing), Johan Berthling (Tape) and drummer Andreas Werliin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums). This album follows collaborations with Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi and the gargantuan 30 piece Fire! Orchestra band. Fire!’s latest burnt offering features the trio alone with themselves, lighting up a sonic blaze which smolders, then catches alight under their careful attention. Recorded in Stockholm over the long, harsh winter of 2012-13, and as far from noodling instrumentals as it’s possible to get, the tracks are spontaneously combusting rituals with a clear sense of purpose. Each of the three members is gifted with a formidable technique and arsenal of tricks and effects on their respective instruments, but they use these to feed the flames of rock based riffs and rhythms. The album also sees acclaimed saxophonist Mats Gustafsson boosting his already versatile skills, by swapping to keyboards and electronics on selected tracks. Note, for instance, the heavily distorted organ on “Tonight. More. Much more. (without noticing),” and the guttural grunts of a Fender Rhodes electric piano on “Molting Slowly (without noticing)” and “I Mostly Stare (without noticing).” The oddly cut-up titles on (without noticing) are lifted and inspired by Smog founder Bill Callahan’s letters to Emma Bowlcut, published in a volume by Chicago label Drag City. The strategy gives an insight into the broadminded frame of reference of this eclectic trio. With all three members pulling in elements from free jazz, ambient improvisation and electronic pop/rock, their music has reached a new confidence and intensity on (without noticing).

File Under: Free Jazz, Improvisation

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Jackson C. Frank: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
“Jackson C. Frank is the highly regarded debut and the only official album he ever released, produced by friend and fellow musician Paul Simon in England and released on Columbia Records in 1965. Jackson has been called the most famous folk singer of 1960s that no one has ever heard of and his influence was felt more in England, where his album was a hit, rather than in the U.S., where his record was a commercial failure at the time of its release. His most famous song ‘Blues Run The Game’ has been covered by scores of musicians including Simon and Garfunkel, Counting Crows, Colin Meloy, Bert Jansch, Laura Marling, and Robin Pecknold, while Nick Drake also recorded it privately.” On 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Folk, Lost Legends

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Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP/CD
In tomorrow… Fuzz is Ty Segall (drums / vocals), Charlie Moothart (guitar / vocals) and Roland Cosio (bass). They’re heavy rock lifers—three California-bred dudes who have been refining their riffs and getting weird together since high school (which wasn’t that long ago, actually). If you are not already aware of Segall, well, what’s up? He’s one of garage rock’s most prolific sons. He said he was going to take it easy this year, but by the time you finish reading this, the onesheet for his next record will have already arrived in your inbox. Moothart plays guitar in The Ty Segall Band and was also a member of The Moonhearts, which included Cosio on guitar. Way back in the early ’00s, all three played in the Epsilons. Fuzz was formed a couple years ago as a collaboration between Segall and Moothart, but only recently did the pair have sufficient time to guide the band out of side-project limbo and into a recording studio. The band’s self-titled debut LP, which was recorded by Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, The Intelligence), dives deep, drawing inspiration from the more esoteric reaches of heavy metal pre-history. There are Sabbath and Hendrix nods, obviously, but on “Sleigh Bells” you might also catch a whiff of UK progressive blues business like The Groundhogs, particularly when the song quits its 10/4-time intro and reboots into full-bore choogle. Maybe you’ll even glimpse the ghost of Australian guitar legend / sharpie guru Lobby Lloyde sniffing around “Raise.” The mood is not light. The songs project a state of perpetual paranoia and eroding mental health. And as it should be, you know? It’s a record for the burners.

File Under: Ty Segall, Garage, Punk, Psych

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gengras 1

M. Geddes Gengras: Test Leads (Holy Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Known for his recent collaborative record with Sun Araw and The Congos, not to mention as a member of Robedoor, Pocahaunted and a host of other bands, M. Geddes Gengras steps out on his own for a proper full-length, operating under his god-given name. Here Gengras lets loose with two LP sides of sprawling synthscapes. Test Leads calls to mind Klaus Schulze’s Dune album or perhaps the Dune soundtrack scored by Toto and Brian Eno, but will also appeal to fans of Conrad Schnitzler and Manuel Gottsching, as well as Robert Hampson (Loop, Main), Bill Laswell, Roger Eno and Nurse With Wound. Thrown into the mix is some Sky Records / Wolfgang Riechmann-style (cold) poppiness. In a contemporary setting, Gengras could share a bill with anyone from the modern indie / pop / weirdo / drone scenes and fit right in. His suites range from odd pinball-esque plinking to cold, dystopian soundscapes, touching on all points between; Test Leads would sound good alongside releases on Mordant Music, Touch Music or Innovative Communication. These tracks could easily score the original Tron, The Black Hole or just about any episode of Nova.

File Under: Synth, Ambient, Sci-Fi, Sun Araw

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guitar wolf

Guitar Wolf: Beast Vibrator (Guitar Wolf) LP
In tomorrow… Japanese garage greats Guitar Wolf howl back into action with their eleventh full-blown, full-length LP of guitar and vocal madness. Now the band is getting ready to bring those tracks and more to stages across North America this fall for their “Tour Magma”. Catch them live if you can and you will transcend.

File Under: Japrock, Garage

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Arve Henriksen: Places of Worship (Rune Grammofon) CD
Worship can come in many forms, and can happen in many different kinds of place. Music can make its church anywhere. With Places Of Worship, Arve Henriksen moves into the front rank of world class musicians. The Norwegian trumpet player has made his mark over many years, not only as the horn player with the consistently challenging and long lived group Supersilent, but also as the purveyor of exquisite and distinctive solo work that stretches to four solo albums since 2001, which Rune Grammofon repackaged as a career-spanning box set, Solidification. Deeply rooted in the sublime geology of his Norwegian homeland, Henriksen’s music has developed into something beautifully at one with natural habitats and reflecting the hybrid, cosmopolitan environments of the twenty-first century. On Places Of Worship, he inhabits the space between these two worlds, in a series of tone poems and mood pieces located around religious buildings and ruins. These still, silent quarters and abandoned houses of the holy can be where we experience our deepest moments of reflection, silence and occasionally fear. Making the aura of these places audible, Henriksen’s haunted horn and idiosyncratic treble vocals carry an air of treading on forbidden territory, stirring up the dust of forgotten spirits. As well as suggesting the creaking timbers and salty tang of North African ports (“Alhambra”) and the whiff of Gallic scirocco (“Le Cimitière Marin”), it stirs fond memories of fellow musical souls, both alive and dead: the Miles Davis of Sketches Of Spain and Aura; the Fourth World exotica of Jon Hassell. Henriksen’s music has reached a new intensity on Places Of Worship. It will leave you becalmed, bewildered, bewitched…And full of praise.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Trumpet, ECM, Rune Grammofon, Supersilent

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holy ghost

Holy Ghost!: Dynamics (DFA) LP
In tomorrow… Holy Ghost! are excited to unveil Dynamics, the follow-up to the group’s critically acclaimed 2011 debut album. Recorded and mixed at DFA Studios with the help of Chris Zane (Passion Pit, The Walkmen, Friendly Fires), it is front-to-back one of the finest dance pop records of 2013. The duo’s last full-length was hailed as a “classic pop album” by The Los Angeles Times and garnered three Best New Music awards on Pitchfork—who premiered the debut Dynamics single and video, “Dumb Disco Ideas,” in May. Holy Ghost! have been mainstays at the spring and summer festival circuit throughout 2013, and the band are preparing to hit the road soon for a run of dates with the legendary New Order.

File Under: Dance Pop, DFA

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Hookworms: Pearl Mystic (Weird World) LP
Hookworms has been terrorizing headlining bands across northern England (as support with Wooden Shjips, Sun Araw and Peaking Lights) and beyond through sheer sonic velocity and emotive intent. The songs feel cathartic, each fresh revolution of the loop a confrontation between the band and themes of depression, loss and anger – subjects close to the heart of the group’s vocalist MJ. Pearl Mystic is an absolutely thunderous statement of intent for Hookworms (MJ – vocals/keys/analogues; JW – guitarist, SS – guitarist; MB – bass; JN – drums). After a portentous couple of years of live shows and limited releases: a debut self-titled cassette EP on Sun Araw’s Sun Ark label, then soon after there was a vinyl release on Gringo Records. Both sold out. During this time their live shows continued to increase in intensity, cementing their reputation treading the boards. Live and on record they pointedly subvert the tripped out sound environments of psychedelia with a darkly malevolent punk menace; unlike J.Spaceman et al, there’s no chemical assistance, these concepts and feelings come with clarity. The record was recorded and produced in MJ’s own Suburban Studios – where he’s worked on records for Mazes, Eagulls and Spectrals and more. Indeed, the most impressive thing about Hookworms is that, through this torrent of emotion, there’s always the sense that they’re in control of it all, so committed are they to this catharsis that they refuse to throw any of it to chance. Heavyweight vinyl includes MP3 download code.

File Under: Psych

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Islands: Ski Mask (Manque) LP
Produced by principle songwriter Nick Thorburn and bandmate Evan Gordon, Ski Mask is arguably the most sonically diverse album Islands has ever made.  From the opener, “Wave Forms,” Ski Mask percolates with hooky, left-of-center rock songs that have forever been the band’s trade, aside songs that also voice Thorborn’s personal frustrations. Songs like “Death Drive” “Nil” and “Of Corpse” balance beautiful melodies against of the darkest lyrical missives that Thorborn has ever written. Comes with bonus 7″.

File Under: Indie, CanCon, Unicorns

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mammaneMammane Sani Et Son Orgue: La Musique Electronique (Sahel) LP
In tomorrow… Mammane Sani Abdullaye is a legendary name in Niger’s avant garde. A pioneer of early West African electronic music, for over 30 years his instrumentals have filled the airwaves. The instrumental background drones of radio broadcasts and instrumental segueways of TV intermissions borrow heavily from his repertoire. The dreamy organ instrumentals drifts by sans comment, yet are known to all. New pressing with printed covers of 1,000, reissue of his 1978 cassette. Co-release with Mississippi Records.

File Under: Nigerian Electro, Mississippi

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marginalMarginal Consort: INSTAL. Glasgow 2008 (Pan) 4LP
PAN is honored to present one of its boldest releases yet; a 4LP edition of a 3-hour set from the legendary Japanese group, Marginal Consort, recorded live at Arika’s INSTAL 08 festival at The Arches, Glasgow. Marginal Consort is a Japanese avant-garde improvisational collective made of sound and visual artists, who were all students ofTakehisa Kosugi at the radical Bigaku School of aesthetics in Tokyo in the ’70s. The group is a reformation of the East Bionic Symphonia, who released an incredible long-form drone record in the early ’80s, a large improvisation ensemble in the spirit of Kosugi’s Group Ongakuand Taj Mahal Travellers projects. Marginal Consort is formed around musicians Kazuo Imai (a student of Japanese free jazz linchpinMasayuki Takayanagi and also member of both Taj Mahal Travellers and Takayanagi’s New Direction Unit), Tomonao Koshikawa, Kei Shii, and sound-artist Masami Tada (also in GAP). This extended set explores forms of sound and ways of playing that never coalesce into music, but create a group dynamic of ebb and flow, of exploration and fluidity. Marginal Consort also featured previously artists Yasushi Ozawa, bassist in Keiji Haino’s Fushitsusha, and Chie Mukai, from dreamy psychedelic group Che-Shizu. With this cast on board, they took their free improvisation to the streets to create drones and percussive interplay in urban communal harmony. “A form of sound that does not turn into music and a group that does not produce harmony; individual concepts and group fluidity; individuals who are at once independent entities and components of the whole; coexisting time frames and intersecting rhythms — these are among the images of group improvisation that have occupied my mind since the ’70s. These images neither presuppose specific elements nor regulate the entire process. There always remain, however, the fundamental premises that sounds are separately produced phenomena and that their accumulation forms the whole.” –Kazuo Imai; 4LP mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering and pressed on 4x 140 gram vinyls which themselves are housed in a silk screened PVC sleeve. – Features liner notes by Barry Esson, extended photo documentation by Bryony McIntyre and artwork by Bill Kouligas.

File Under: Japanese Improv, Supergroup, PAN

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national wakeNational Wake: Walk In Africa 1979-1981 (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
The South Africa of the late 1970s was neither the right place nor time to launch a mixed-race punk band. Yet, following the student-inspired Soweto Uprising of 1976, it was also exactly the right conditions to foster a band like National Wake, one formed in an underground commune, and one whose very name exists in protest at the divisive, racist apartheid regime. Never before collected together, Light In The Attic is set to release National Wake’s full body of work as Walk In Africa 1979-81. Featured heavily in the recent documentary Punk In Africa , National Wake played punk, reggae and tropical funk, equally at home in the city’s rock underground and the township nightclub circuit. Ivan Kadey started the band with two brothers, Gary and Punka Khoza. The three were from different worlds – while Ivan was an outsider, a Jewish orphan born in the traditional Johannesburg immigrant neighborhood, Gary, Punka and their family were forcibly moved to the troubled township of Soweto under the apartheid regime. Later joined by guitarist Steve Moni, the whole band grew up against a backdrop of township unrest, social upheaval and suburban tedium that characterized apartheid-era South Africa. National Wake released just one album, in 1981. It sold approximately 700 copies before being withdrawn under government pressure. The band subsequently disintegrated, but their influence could be traced in the racially mixed post-punk underground centered around Rockey Street in Johannesburg throughout the 1980s, their legacy transmitted through fanzines and underground cassette trading. Sadly, Gary and Punka Khoza both passed away in their 40s. Kadey now works as an architect in Los Angeles, but his attention eventually turned back to the band as their legacy grew in the digital era, with the emergence of specialized music websites and Punk In Africa leading to their rediscovery. Czech State Radio memorably described the band as “perhaps the most dissident music scene of the 20th century: a multi-racial punk band in a fascist police state.” In 2011, Kadey re-released the band’s self-titled album on CD in South Africa, but spoke about having more than 20 tracks that had never seen the light of day – until now. “All of these recordings put together they speak of the whole evolution of the band,” he has said. “From a sort of naive, almost belief that we could miraculously change everything to realizing what a struggle it was, and what the country was going through and what it would go through.”

File Under: Punk, Reggae, Tropical Funk, LITA

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novaksNovaks Kapelle: Naked (Cien Fuegos) LP
One of the wildest Austrian bands in the late ’60s and ’70s, with their own mix of prog rock, hard rock, art, porno and extreme live shows. The original of this record is nearly impossible to find, and goes for a couple 100 euros. Now, after more than 30 years, a one-time repress of 750 copies is finally available. Members include: Erwin Novak (drums), Walla Mauritz (vocals), Peter Travnicek (bass), and Paul Braunsteiner (guitar). Recorded in 1977 at Musicland Studios, Munich, remastered in 2013 by Martin Siewert.

File Under: Prog, Art Rock, Austrian

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pinkcourtPinkcourtesyphone: Foley Folly Folio (Boomkat Editions) LP
Boomkat Editions is very pleased to present a vinyl version of Pinkcourtesyphone’s seductive ambient pop project, Foley Folly Folio on (neon pink) vinyl as the eighth Boomkat Edition. A sublime, dream-like drift evoking “the sonic essence of some nicely dressed 1960s housewife wistfully peering out her window.” It narcotically impresses a deep Lynchian vibe shot through with a dark, ominous feel and mysterious sensuality that’s had Boomkat returning to its charms like some modern Betty Draper character with a well-thumbed50 Shades of Grey. Line boss and revered minimalist Richard Chartier aka Pinkcourtesyphone slimmed down the original five extended tracks to four, opening with the spine-chilling effect of “Wistful Wishful Wanton” — a five minute dose of swirling voices and amorphous electronics as sensual as they are haunting/haunted — before succumbing to a deep melancholy with the semi-conscious unease and spectral presence of “A Dark Room Full of Plastic Plants,” and segueing the gauzy bliss of “Germs Through Wires (Version)” with crepuscular chorale, “Evening Theme,” and the glassy, hollowed beauty, “All Made Up.” Newly mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Individually numbered run of 300 copies on glow-pink vinyl.

File Under: Ambient Pop, Richard Chartier, Boomkat

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Henry Plotnik: Fields (Holy Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Initial contact with Fields may lead one to believe it’s the work of an A+ grad student at one of America’s finest music colleges. On discovering the album’s creator won’t be able to legally drink for another decade, one might wince at the thought of one’s own paltry 11-year-old feats—even if those armpit farts were pretty inspired. Meanwhile, Henry Plotnick sounds like he’s ready for the concert hall. The structural and dynamic sophistication at play in Fields—the way melodic beauty gyres within rigorous academic / minimalist strictures, the manner in which perilous, mordant atmospheres are conjured—are astounding for any musician, age be damned. Seemingly under the spell of Terry Riley’s mesmerizing classic In C, Plotnick engineers ingenious strategies for mental liftoff. It’s as if he’s absorbed the principles and techniques of the 20th-century American minimalist-composer pantheon and injected them with a zeal for greater instrumental complexity and melodic flamboyancy. The two longest tracks on Fields take the listener highest, suggesting that Plotnick is more of a marathon-runner than a sprinter. Just as those who observed LeBron James on the court as a high-school sophomore could predict his NBA superstardom, anyone who hears Fields will be stirred to imagine future concert-goers rendered agog by Plotnick’s phenomenal prowess. Get in on the ground floor of what promises to be a skyscraper of rarefied sonic inventiveness.

File Under: Minimalsim, Neoclassical, 11 year olds

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ratkjeMaja Ratkje: Voice (Rune Grammofon) LP+CD
LP version. Comes with a CD copy of the album. The debut solo album from founding Spunk member and composer Maja Ratkje has secured her a place among the finest experimental singers. From the weird and furious to the enchanting and beautiful, this is an album rich in atmosphere, color and creative madness. First released on CD in 2002 and now available on vinyl for the first time, this is a central release in Rune Grammofon’s catalogue and is an essential item in any record collection of experimental music. Composer, singer, electronic manipulator — and sometimes, violinist and theremin player — Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (born 1973) has exceptionally impressive credentials. Her compositions have been performed in more than 30 countries including Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, Japan, USA and the Sc2andinavian countries. Performers include distinguished ensembles such as Oslo Sinfonietta and Cikadaand Vertavo string quartets. Her teachers have included great contemporary composers like Sofia Gubaidulina, Louis Andriessen, Klaus Huber and Kaija Saariaho, and her own works have won international and Norwegian prizes. She has recorded and performed with a myriad of musicians, among them Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Sylvie Courvoisier, Lasse Marhaug, Paal Nilssen-Love, Poing, members of Enslaved and of course Spunk, the all-female improv quartet she co-founded in 1999 and who have released six albums on Rune Grammofon.

File Under: Experimental, Female Vocal, Rune Grammofon

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Raven: Who Do You See… (Golden Pavilion) LP
“Originally from Terre Haute Indiana, members of Raven played and toured with bands such as Reo Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Dan Fogelberg etc.. George Phelps who had joined The Carnations met up with Goliath members in a studio and through a myriad of circumstances, teaming up with drummer Robert Wolff (ex Micah) these musicians merged into Raven in Louisville KY in late 1972. From this moment on, the band toured extensively through 24 states non-stop for the next four years before recording this material in 1976, unreleased until today. The material was recorded in Atlanta Georgia at a studio called The Sound Pit. Soon after the recording was completed, Raven got a record deal with Capricorn records. Two weeks later, they went bankrupt. The tapes were subsequently destroyed in a fire. With Disco sound moving in in the mid seventies and with the bankruptcy of Capricorn records, Raven was literally like fish out of water, and slowly but steadily what had felt like the beginning of something unique, was lost. Musically the album relies on a hard driving Progressive sound with a very rhythmic approach filled with virtuoso guitar and keyboard solos as well as pulsating bass lines in a hard-rock backing. Think Primus meets Emerson, Lake & Palmer with a touch of Yes, Deep Purple, Rush, and Dream Theater. Features Robert Wolff previously with Micah and currently with Corvus Stone. Finally Who Do You See sees the light of day 37 years after being recorded. Strictly limited to 500 copies in high quality old-style tip-on jacket plus obi.”

File Under: Progressive, Hard Rock, Unreleased Gems

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frankie rose

Frankie Rose: Herein Wild (Fat Possum) LP
In tomorrow… Frankie Rose’s second album of slick new wave pop, Herein Wild, is an improvement on 2012’s Interstellar, her debut solo outing. The album includes thick string accompaniment and firing bass that is reminiscent of The Cure’s late ‘80s output. It is a dark album with an upbeat overtone—perfect for the beginning of Autumn. There’s nothing hidden on the album. The production is top notch and the songs are excellently arranged. It also includes an interesting take on the lesser known Damned song, “Street Of Dreams.” Rose will headline Bowery Ballroom the night before release date and will tour throughout the Fall and early 2014.

File Under: New Wave, Pop, Vivian Girls

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Sensations’ Fix: Fragments of Light (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Sensations’ Fix guitarist, keyboardist and occasional vocalist Franco Falsini cut his teeth with Italian groups in the ’60s before assimilating the heady guitar virtuosity of English rock. In 1969, he moved to Virginia and built a recording studio in his girlfriend’s basement, employing little more than his guitar, the newly available Minimoog synthesizer and a 4-track machine. These raw tracks, intended to be simple demos, formed the base of Fragments of Light, the debut album by Sensations’ Fix. Originally released on Polydor in 1974, Fragments of Light does not bend to mid-’70s genre-classism. Fluid, meditative guitar leads and innovative use of synthesizers, combined with a noted lack of percussion (and vocals) on all but a few songs, have drawn comparisons to Kosmische legends Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh. “Space Closure,” the only track with live drums, resembles the kinetic progressive rock of fellow Italian Franco Battiato, while the shimmering bliss of “Do You Love Me?” rivals the American power pop that Falsini surely absorbed during his time in the States. A certain airy, homespun feel lends Fragments of Light its unique character. While other Sensations’ Fix records may sound more cohesive and polished, Fragments of Light remains the most personal. The album is sadly not well known outside of Italy, but Superior Viaduct hopes to rectify that situation with this first-time vinyl reissue.

File Under: Italian, Prog, Kosmische, Franco Falsini

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silent servant

Silent Servant: Negative Fascination (Hospital Productions) LP
Limited clear vinyl repress. Negative Fascination is the first official full-length album from Silent Servant. Juan Mendez has achieved international acclaim as a DJ and is one of the founding producers of the infamous and highly-influential Sandwell District label. Long-time followers will feel the effects of a die cast over a decade of precision and dedication to underground minimalist electronic music. Mendez blends his previously-stated interpretations of early post-punk, filtered through the monolithic works of Basic Channel with his own progressively nihilistic vision of industrial music. He utilizes a relentless and uncompromising mastery of hard-as-nails sequencer techno combined with dystopian atmospherics filling the void. Negative Fascination bridges disparate factions on ideological grounds, regardless of sound in the age of mutation. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Air Studios, London.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial, Nihilism

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Teenanger: Singles Don’t Sell (Southpaw) LP
In tomorrow… These days, singles don’t sell. This apparent insider knowledge is coming from revved-up sonic shit disturbers Teenanger, who have named their new album Singles Don’t $ell. This record follows a year and a half after 2012’s Frights, and a press release notes that the Toronto band have spent the time since then “in the hidden recesses of their studios and jam spaces, tinkering with all types of weirdo gear and slowly going insane.” These 11 rowdy tracks contain more of the band’s signature smashing drums, raw vocals and chaotic six-string aggression. In that sense, it’s not too much of a departure from Frights, although the band reportedly found inspiration in “every dusty corner of their cumulative record collection.” You’ll hear them venture into more textured territory by using a drum machine on “Zons,” beginning “Power Trip” with a trippy drone and lacing “Times Up” with keyboard atmosphere.

File Under: CanCon, Punk

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tropic of cancer

Tropic of Cancer: Restless Idylls (Blackest Ever Black) 2LP
Restless Idylls is the first full-length album from Tropic Of Cancer, the solo project of Los Angeles-based Camella Lobo. Lobo debuted in 2009 with The Dull Age/Victims, a 10″ single on Downwards and the first of three collaborations with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant). Two years later came a second Downwards release (“Be Brave,” remixed by Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk), followed soon after by The Sorrow of Two Blooms on Blackest Ever Black — the label’s third release and one if its most cherished. Restless Idylls marks TOC’s return to BEB and consists of eight new recordings written in Los Angeles, with additional production from Karl O’Connor (Regis) in New York and London. Its themes? The usual: romance, devotion, pain and helplessness. Mixed up mortals struggling against the brute mechanics of fate, and proving unequal to the task. A forced retreat into private, precious idylls of longing, faith, mystery, even misery. The urgent motorik of lead single “More Alone” is perhaps a misleading foretaste of the full-length, which is more lush, languid and extravagantly despondent than previous TOC material. Troubled hymns from an empty room, in a drowned world. A sensual and sepulchral psychedelia. Cover art by Silent Editions.

File Under: Electronic, New Wave, BEB

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mikaMika Vainio: Kilo (Blast First Petite) LP
Mika Vainio’s first solo album for Blast First sees him return to his classic power electronics/heavy beats approach that made Pan Sonic garner a worldwide reputation. The album developed from Vainio’s recent live sets to make 10 tersely-titled tracks inspired by the shipping container industry.

File Under: Electronic, Pan Sonic

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Vox Populi!: Half Dead Ganja Music (Pacific City Sound Visions) LP
In tomorrow… This Half Dead cassette turned LP from 1987 sounds like a band improvising an exotic musique concrete Voodoo Ritual in the Catacombs below, and above, Earth. Vox Populi!, a super unique French band with ties to HNAS, Pacific 231(who plays on the record), DDAA, etc, have been one of the most undiscovered visionaries of the Euro experimental-industrial wave of the Mid to Late ‘80s. Remastered from the original tapes, this long sought after and rare tape is now turned up for vinyl release. Half Dead Ganja Music exists as a rare artifact of a timeless endeavor to create a feeling, through self-less creativity, of a limbo realm between physical earth realities and the mystical realm that is paralleled in our emerging beings. This is Occult music without pretension, but with effortless release to the juxtaposition of human and non-human senses. Pacific City Sound VIsions is stoked beyond belief to expose this unbelievably unique vision back into the world.

File Under: French Experimental, Esoteric Exotica

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goush bedey

Various: Goush Bedey (Pharaway Sounds) LP/CD
Groovy Tehran 70s pop singles swirl like the skirt of a dancing dervish!! With 5 volumes, this series is now the most complete investigation into Iranian singles ever issued. By now, you’ve probably developed an ear for the way that 70s Tehran pop stitches phrases together. And you know generations raised during the Pahlavi dynasty’s warmth for the West were excited to apply arranging tricks they gleefully swiped from disco & funk hits. Hear the microtonal grace notes as powerhouse singers like Soli & Sattar hit devotional ecstasy. Or just groove to the glamorous party when magazine stars like Neli & Nooshafarin knock-off bass lines they heard in English language movies.

File Under: 
Iranian Pop, Psych

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kassidat1Various: Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco (Dust-to-Digital) CD
Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco is a full-length album that features six extended tracks from the golden age of the Moroccan record industry. After Morocco gained its independence in 1956, Moroccan-owned record labels sprouted and flourished in Casablanca. The inexpensive 45 rpm format allowed the record companies to release thousands of songs during the 1960s, creating a snapshot of the raw and hypnotic Berber music that thrived throughout Morocco. Powerful traditional styles were still alive and well at this time and untouched by international pop influences. Kassidat looks back at this era and presents it anew for audiences hungry for intense and authentic folk music. David Murray is the curator of Haji Maji (www.HajiMaji.com) a blog dedicated to the exploration of 78 rpm Asian music, as well as http://www.shellachead.com, a blog featuring 78s from around the world. He previously produced Dust-to-Digital’s Luk Thung: Classic & Obscure 78s from the Thai Countryside, as well as the forthcoming Longing for the Past, a 4CD set of Southeast Asian 78s. Also in stock on vinyl.

File Under: Ethnic, Folk, Morocco

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Various: Longing for the Past: The 78 RPM Era in Southeast Asia (Dust-to-Digital) 4CD Box+Book
Longing for the Past: The 78 RPM Era in Southeast Asia is the first survey of the 78 RPM record era in Southeast Asia. It is a kaleidoscopic collection featuring four CDs with 90 tracks of music spanning six decades (1905-1966), accompanied by a 272-page book with essays and annotations by leading ethnomusicologists that is richly illustrated with more than 250 vintage photographs, record labels, and sleeves. David Murray is the curator of Haji Maji (www.HajiMaji.com), a blog dedicated to the exploration of 78 RPM Asian music. He previously produced two LPs for Dust-to-Digital: Luk Thung: Classic & Obscure 78s from the Thai Countryside (DTD 029CD) and Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco (DTD 032CD/PT 2004LP). Longing for the Past: The 78 RPM Era in Southeast Asia continues the mission of Dust-to-Digital to explore the early days of recorded sound from around the world. Much like Opika Pende: Africa at 78 RPM (DTD 022CD) broke new ground in research while reissuing dozens of tracks for the very first time, Longing for the Past examines an era of music from a geographical region that has remained hidden until now.

File Under: Ethnic, Folk, SE Asia, 78s

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luk thung

Various: Luk Thung: Classic & Obscure 78s from the Thai Countryside (Dust-to-Digital) CD
Fourteen outstanding funky performances of Thai country groove music from the 1950s and early 1960s. All previously un-reissued, carefully transferred and mastered from the original 78rpm records and presented with detailed full-color liner notes. Luk Thung is the down home, funky “country music” of Thailand that blossomed as rural Thais migrated to Bangkok for work in the 1950s and 1960s. Luk Thung evolved out of a complex stew of traditional folk styles and international influences. Wild accordions and Latin horn sections mingle with Thai hand drums and finger cymbals, while exquisite vocalists swagger and sing stories about life’s struggles. Compiled by David Murray, with notes by Peter Doolan.

File Under: Ethnic, Thai, Luk Thung

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qatVarious: Qat, Coffee & Qambus: Raw 45s from Yemen (Dust-to-Digital) CD
Qat, Coffee & Qambus: Raw 45s from Yemen is a compilation of rare, Yemeni vinyl singles, showcasing the little-documented, evolving local music styles in the 1960s and 1970s. Vintage oud and vocal music inspired by the qat-chewing, coffee-sipping, qambus-playing culture of Yemen. Although part of the classical Arabic musical tradition, the music of Yemen takes its rhythmic lead as much from the East African coast (a mere 20 miles across the Red Sea) as the surrounding Arab Peninsula. Little has been written about the music and culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, and each 45rpm disc gives a small glimpse of the poetic tradition, the unique local oud styles as well as an insight into people’s day to day lives, or the highs and lows of human relationships. Overall, the compilation gives a flavor of the sights and sounds of Yemen, with detailed notes that tell the story of the hunt for music that has mostly lain forgotten in the antique markets of the capital, until now. Also in stock on vinyl.

File Under: Ethnic, Folk, Dust-to-Digital

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Various: Sorrow Come Pass Me Around: A Survey of Rural Black Religious Music (Dust-to-Digital) CD
A collection of spiritual and gospel songs performed in informal non-church settings between 1965 and 1973. Most are guitar-accompanied and performed by active or former blues artists. “Most records of black religious music contain some form of gospel singing or congregational singing recorded at a church service. This album, though, tries to present a broader range of performance styles and contexts with the hope of showing the important role that religious music plays in the Southern black communities and in the daily lives of individuals.” –David Evans, from the liner notes. David Evans is an ethnomusicologist and director of the Ethnomusicology/Regional Studies program at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music in the University of Memphis, where he’s worked since 1978. Also in stock on vinyl.

File Under: Gospel, Blues

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