Yikes! I think this might be one of the biggest news letters yet, but you know what that means? TONS of killer new wax! Gotta say, this week’s pick is epic! Our pals at Light in the Attic have been working on this one for years and it shows. Anyway, dig in, stop by, grab some wax from Matt, I’m going trick or treating.
…..pick of the week…..
Various: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1980 (Light in the Attic) 3LP/2CD
“Forget everything you know, or think you know, about new age, a genre that has become one of the defining musical-archaeological explorations of the past decade. I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990 is the first major anthology to survey the golden age of new age and reveal the unbelievable truth about the genre. For new age, at its best, is a reverberation of psychedelic music, and great by any standard. This is analog, handmade music communicating soul and spirit, often done on limited means and without commercial potential, self-published and self-distributed. Before it became big business and devolved into the spaced out elevator music we know and loathe today, this was the real thing. From mathematical musical algorithms to airport murder mysteries to Henry Mancini and Bugs Bunny, the connections to mainstream culture run in curious directions. (Did you know, for instance, that a track from the first modern private press new age album is featured on the Blade Runner soundtrack? It’s called ‘Pompeii, 76 A.D.’ and we’ve got it here.) I Am the Center is a knowing, but never cynical overview that invites listeners at last to the mainspring of a misunderstood genre’s greatest lights. Many of the biggest names are present — Iasos, inter-dimentional channeler of ‘paradise music’; Laraaji, discovered by Brian Eno playing for spare change in Washington Square Park; and the recently famous JD Emmanuel, icon to a new generation of drone, ambient, noise musicians. Call it what you will — before it was anything else, it was new age. Lovingly conceived and lavishly presented, I Am the Center features stunning paintings by the legendary visual artist Gilbert Williams, and liner notes by producer Douglas Mcgowan, who weaves the words and images of the wizards and sorceresses of new age into a prismatic portrait of music that can finally be recognized for what it is: great American folk art. Double CD housed in deluxe tip-on gatefold jacket with 44-page book. Notes by Douglas McGowan featuring interviews with artists. Includes rare archive photos. Remastered from original sources at 24 bit/96 kHz.” All our copies are on the limited clear vinyl. Grab it now!
File Under: Ambient, New Age, PINA, Chill, Boxsets
39 Clocks: Pain it Dark (Luxury Products) LP
Germany’s self-crowned “Psycho Beat” combo, 39 Clocks were a low-lit shadow unit operating in a sparsely inhabited contrarian counter-culture all their own. Evolving from a confrontational art-punk experiment, known for playing vacuum cleaners and saws and terrifying audiences with brute volume, Christian Henjes (C.H. 39) and Jurgen Gleue (J.G. 39) put 11 tracks to tape in 1981 for what would become their debut album. Oozing out shock waves of bad acid trips, decayed guitar, and the dull stomp of a tiny beatbox, Pain It Dark is American garage and proto-punk filtered through some shadow-filled masterpiece of German expressionism. The pair’s most obvious touchstones are Suicide’s crusted synths and the ragged stumble of Loaded-era Velvets – if fed through a particularly British lens of Swell Maps/basement-DIY whack-job-ism. Amongst the outsourcing, one can nevertheless detect a native Kraut heritage peeking through in the robotic beats and icy demeanor of “Twisted & Shouts” – as Dada and nihilistic an oldies cover as can be imagined. Following De Stijl’s Zoned retrospective and a Bureau B issue of Pain It Dark on CD, this reissue marks the first availability of 39 Clocks’ music on vinyl in over 25 years!
File Under: Psycho Beat, Kraut Punk, New Wave
A Storm of Light: Nations to Flames (Southern Lord) LP
STORM unleash their long-anticipated new studio offering: Nations to Flames. Centered around the apex of human failure, nations to flames bears witness to the fall of all governments, all nations, and all religions. The record is both musically and thematically captivating and marks the storm collective’s darkest, most immediately punishing creation to date. Featuring Soundgarden’s guitar guru Kim Thayil and Indian/ Nachtmystium’s Will Lindsay on select tracks. Comments STORM founding guitarist/vocalist Josh Graham “These songs are much more focused. Even the more ‘epic’ songs are shorter but still accomplish the same journey as the longer songs used to. We’ve ditched the rock elements of the last record and let our early influences of Killing Joke, Bad Brains, Metallica and Crash Worship seep in. We are bringing back the intensity of Black Ocean but with the speed and precision ore akin to our metal influences. While there are still some slower/sludgy tunes, some songs are twice as fast as the older material.”
File Under: Metal, Southern Lord
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
With a penchant for majestic, theatrical, bombastic anthems, Montreal’s Arcade Fire has amassed a broad loyal following without compromising their singular artistic vision. Reflektor is the band’s highly anticipated fourth full-length record and follow-up to the 2011 Grammy winning Album of the Year, The Suburbs. Influenced by trips to Haiti and Jamaica, and lyrically inspired by the 1959 film Black Orpheus and Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s essay, The Present Age, the epic 15-track double album was produced by the band, LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy and longtime collaborator Markus Dravs and features guest vocals by David Bowie on the title track.
File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon, Chrome Covers
Avett Brothers: Magpie & the Dandelion (American) LP
North Carolina folk-pop-rock outfit The Avett Brothers follow-up the critical acclaim of their 2012 album The Carpenter with Magpie And The Dandelion which was recorded at the same sessions as its predecessor and is the group’s third consecutive release with producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin at the helm. Issued on American Recordings/Republic Records, the 13-song set is preceded by the lead single “Another Is Waiting.” “We wanted to let you know what we’ve been up to this year. It’s been one of the most amazing years in our lives up to this point. Not only did we get our first Grammy Award nomination, but we played some of the most incredible shows we’ve ever done. That’s what we really remember. Every night, there was this energy in the air. You could feel it in the gusts of wind or as the stars blanketed the sky. Everybody felt it, and it made each gig simply electric. We’ve got to let you in on a little secret because you’ve been so good to us. While we were working on The Carpenter, we were so inspired that we wrote another record as well. During those sessions, we just felt it. Working with Rick Rubin again, we tapped into something very special. It’s like everybody was in the same zone. Now, we’re ready for you to hear the record. It’s called Magpie and the Dandelion, and it’s out October 15. It’s new and being heard for the first time. If you think about a Magpie, it’s a bird from the crow family. You can see them everywhere, and they’ve got this strange grace. And, we all know what a dandelion is. It reminds you of being a kid and watching a flower come apart on a summer day. There’s a youthful wonder in that. Those kinds of feelings live and breathe inside this album.” – The Avett Brothers
File Under: Folk Rock, Indie
Basic House: Oats (Alter) LP
*In tomorrow* Basic House is the solo electronics project of Stephen Bishop, a mainstay of the DIY scene in the UK’s North East and the brain behind the label Opal Tapes. Bishop works with equipment both rudimentary and highly technical which become aligned together without bias to create a singular sound that focuses on decay, stagnation and apathy towards clichés within the current climate of electronic music. Oats is his new full-length record with six deep compositions woven together to create seamless transitions between them. “AR II” opens the record with fragile and haunted electronics before developing into something almost melodic with an imposing 4/4 kick. “Child Confession” follows with dead electronic hums, whispered samples and a sluggish half-speed techno thud which gives way to a collage of cruddy noise and scalpel-sharp bursts of clatter and a crude non-rhythmic bass pulse before ending in the buzzing maelstrom of “Interiors,” which is equal parts Florian Hecker and Andy Stott at his most visceral. “Est Oan” begins the second half of the record ominously with slightly absurd farmyard groans that eventually melt into hypnotic machine music. The industrial lurch of “B.G. Feathers” is the closest Bishop comes on this side to hitting anything resembling a groove and instead evokes the grinding power of Maurizio Bianchi’s best ’80s material. Mastered by Stephen Bishop with vinyl cut by Grammy Greg at Masterpiece. Photography by Traianos Pakioufakis.
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Ambient, Opal Tapes
Francois Bayle: Les Couleurs De La Nuit (Sub Rosa) LP
*In tomorrow* Pressed on limited edition silver clear vinyl. Sub Rosa presents the complete version of Les Couleurs de la Nuit, as premiered in 1982, and one of François Bayle’s masterpieces. François Bayle studied with Stockhausen and Messiaen. He joined the ORTF Groupe de Musique Concrète in 1960. He later led the group when it became the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in 1966. Most of his compositions are electronic, and his first important work, “Espaces inhabitables” (1967) is suggestive of an imaginary world in which nature is distorted in a dream-like fashion. He later utilized natural and synthetic sounds in his compositions, such as the recorded sounds made in a Lebanese cave. He has stated that his purpose as a composer is to enable the listener to feel the motion and vibration of energy in the universe. François Bayle characterizes his art like this: “…my purpose was always the same: to compose with only ‘images-de-sons’ (sound images); to show how, through pure listening in an acousmatic situation, these sound images move like butterflies through audible space and project a colored twinkling on the listener. Out of frame, this is a world proved by itself…” Les Couleurs de la Nuit was created for “tapes and computer.”
File Under: Electronic, Dance
Welcome to Monster Planet, Steve Maxwell Von Braund’s 1975 classic of Australian proto-electronica, a big blast of Kosmische dust, Korgs working overtime…Arguably, the first fully electronic Australian album, Monster Planet is a solo recording from one half of the infamous Australian electronic duo, Cybotron. Von Braund recorded this pre Cybotron album upon his 1973 return to Australia after soaking up the sounds of psychedelic 60s London where he mingled with Hawkwind, The Soft Machine and Graham Bond. Circling between that classic Krautrock motorik beat, and a different, almost jazz-y kind of fluidity, Von Braund combined his London experience with his love of German Head music such as Amon Duul, Popol Vuh and Ash Ra Temple, to create a mutant electronic masterpiece. Praised by Tangerine Dream, and lauded by legions of Krautrock collectors, Monster Planet is an early example of visionary Australian experimentation. Presented as an exact replica of the rare 1975 Clear Light Of Jupiter LP, remastered from the original master tapes and complete with liner notes and rare photos. Monster Planet is taste of what was to come and flourish with further cosmic experiments under the Cyboton name.
File Under: Electronic, Kosmische, Austrailian, Prog
*In tomorrow* Erased Tapes presents the reissue of 26-year old American composer Peter Broderick’s 2008 debut album Float. Returning to his home in Oregon, where his musical journey began, Peter completes the circle with the release of Float 2013. Remastered by the gifted hands of Nils Frahm, Float 2013 also includes two additional bonus tracks with each album download and is reissued on CD and vinyl. Brought up in a musical household in Oregon, Peter quickly became a popular session musician for the likes of M. Ward in the Portland area. Later discovered by the Danish band Efterklang, he joined their live band and spent the next six years based in Europe where he collaborated with many like-minded contemporaries. Through relentless touring, multiple album recordings and film scores, Peter has established himself as a solo artist, known for his innate gift as a musical medium to picking up any instrument, turning his musings into poignant songs. “A dialogue was started with Robert, about the idea of one day giving Float a second chance. And a bit later I found myself in the studio of my dear friend Nils, remastering these songs which on one hand felt so far away, but on the other felt right at the core of my musical heart, the foundation of my aspirations as a musician. And what Nils did to the sound, how he worked his magic as he always does, filled me with the conviction that this project had not previously reached its potential. In so many ways I’ve found myself coming around the circle, back to the place I started, only perhaps the circle itself has moved. But the dream is the same. And my little baby has a new pair of shoes: Float 2013.” –Peter Broderick
File Under: Ambient, Erased Tapes
*In tomorrow* “Tracks recorded by Helios Creed and Damon Edge in ’79 and ’80, during the Half Machine Lip Moves and Third from the Sun period, but never released. About this era Helios recently wrote: ‘We were into Iggy and the Stooges, and punk shows started happening at the Mabuhay Gardens in 1976 which was right there in North Beach too, at the end of the Broadway strip. It was the most fun era of my life. The punk scene had an incredible energy and fire. Then the Sex Pistols came out with Never Mind the Bullocks in 1977 and we released Chrome’s second album Alien Soundtracks the same year and the whole punk thing exploded. Next we released Half Machine Lip Moves in 1979 and it and Alien Soundtracks took over in the punk world. Our record covers filled the windows of record stores and I was in awe. We weren’t really a traditional punk band. Nobody else sounded like us. We were more of a psychedelic band, but a punk version of psychedelia, acid-punk. But I was influenced by the punk scene, because the music was experimental and free, but still hard and solid. punk’s guitar was fucked up and without rules. So it was a great scene to keep developing my sound and my approach to guitar. Damon and I were both into expanding the possibilities. We fed off of each other in our experimentation and as we created we’d both like the same things. There was this thing that Damon and I called ‘the Chill Factor’ where if its really good you get goose bumps, and we used to get the ‘Chill Factor’ at the same time. We shared concepts about how to approach music and we pushed the limits and that is how I guess we became known as proto-industrial, because we expanded the possibilities of what music at the time could sound like and people were influenced from there. Damon’s and my meeting had become a catalyst for the birth of a whole new sound.'”
File Under: Post-Punk, Experimental, Space Rock, Psychedelic
Released alongside the reissue of Steve Maxwell Von Braund’s milestone Australian kosmische classic, Monster Planet, the Dual Planet label offers you another taste of the antipodean cosmic trip. This time Von Braund had re-grouped as the electronic duo, Cybotron. Most collectors are familiar that the legendary Cybrotron released three cosmic classics at the tail end of the 70s and early 80s. Cybotron (1976), Colossus (1978) and Implosion (1980), but most are unaware of an unreleased live recording that was also issued on vinyl in 1976. The staggeringly rich and hypnotic Saturday Night Live At The Total Theatre. A live set of ecstatic moog ragas reminiscent of both the heavyweight glory of Popol Vuh (imagine a live Aguirre teased out unto eternity) and the blissful endless-nameless sunblindness of Ash Ra Tempel. Presented as a replica of the rare private press with DIY artwork, Saturday Night Live At The Total Theatre is a rare insight of what was lurking undocumented in the Australian electronic otherworld. (Also see Steve Maxwell Von Braund – Monster Planet.
File Under: Australian Electronic, Prog, Kosmische
“Grand Blood” from Doomriders is the follow up to their highly regarded 2010 album “Darkness Comes Alive”. “Grand Blood” was engineered by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios, and features artwork from Thomas Hooper as well as packaging from Ryan Patterson (Coliseum) and J. Bannon. Where “Darkness Comes Alive” was smooth and heavy in tone “Grand Blood” is jagged and hard in its heart. “Grand Blood” is Doomriders pushing themselves into wilder sonic territory previously unexplored by the band. In songs like “Back Taxes” and “Bad Vibes”, an angular noise rock influence takes the lead, creating a harsh and charged environment. Not to fret, the hooks Doomriders are known for are as sharp as ever though, sinking into songs like the personal “Dead Friends” and melodious and emotional “Gone to Hell”. Two songs that impressively showcase Nate Newton’s evolving vocal ability. While monsters “Father Midnight”, “New Pyramids”, and “Death In Heat” are Doomriders at their heaviest and discordant to date. All complimented by new drummer Q (Magic Circle, Clouds, etc), whose frantic style powers this genre crossing masterpiece.
File Under: Stoner, Metal
Squirrel Thing Recordings, the label behind the mysterious lost recordings of Connie Converse, is proud to announce the proper release of this self-titled collection of never-before-heard songs recorded by Molly Drake in the 1950s at the Drake family home, lovingly restored by Nick Drake’s engineer John Wood. According to Joe Boyd, legendary producer of Five Leaves Left and Bryter Later, “this is the missing link in the Nick Drake story.” For fans of Nick Drake, Molly Drake reveals an undeniable influence on her son’s celebrated canon. Moreover, these songs present a comprehensive first look at a singular and sophisticated artist in her own right. Molly Drake’s music is at once beautiful, charming, dark and pensive. The easy elegance of her lyrics belies their deeper themes of regret, memory, dread and the sublime, crystallized as only a poet can. Her performances are intimately staged in the family sitting room, and perfectly complemented by her own piano accompaniment. With an initial CD pressing that quickly sold out earlier this year, Molly Drake is now receiving a grander release, and appearing on vinyl for the first time. The album features family photos and a biography by her daughter, Gabrielle Drake.
File Under: Folk, Nick Drake
The second album of Faith No More was released in 1987, featuring vocalist Chuck Mosley for the last time. Introduce Yourself contains 10 highly addictive songs, with the signature slightly out-of-tune singing of Mosley to boot. This consistent and interesting album is a must have for every Faith No More fan. To celebrate its reissue, the first pressing will be available as an exclusive run of hand numbered copies on yellow vinyl!
File Under: Rock, Mike Patton
*In tomorrow* Kostas Soublis’ productions under the Fluxion moniker helped define legendary Berlin imprint Chain Reaction, and with 1999’s Vibrant Forms, the Greek producer released a milestone in the dub techno genre. Hazy and distant, there was still more than enough dancefloor push to propel Soublis into the (very short) list of genre legends, and make Vibrant Forms one of the very rare techno albums that works from beginning to end. Out of press for far too long, this new edition of Vibrant Forms has been remastered and will finally see the entire album released on vinyl for the first time. The most shocking thing hearing it almost 15 years after its original release, however, is how little it has dated. Soublis wisely avoided any cultural tropes, and the productions still sound fresh and deceptively alien. Through washes and waves of reverb and the faint thud of a kick drum, the all-analog productions contain a raw quality that is all too rare these days. Just head to the album’s elegiac closing number “Opaque.” Upbeat and propulsive, the track still maintains a deceptive calm, buoyed by swirling synthesizer washes and sizzling, tape-saturated percussion. This is the way dub techno should sound — don’t accept any imitations, Vibrant Forms is the real thing. Completely remastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Dub, Chain Reaction
*In tomorrow* In 1982, the mysterious Steve Hall, a self-proclaimed “hippie-punk” who had previously released a couple of D.I.Y. basement-punk albums with his band Afflicted Man, recorded one of the most obscure, underrated and killer heavy-psych albums of all time. Credited to High Speed & The Afflicted Man, Get Stoned Ezy consists of three long tracks of late ’60s/early ’70s-influenced psychedelic hard-rock. A fuzz-wah assault of epic proportions in the style of other guitar-damage gods like Human Instinct, Wicked Lady, Hendrix, High Rise, Sabbath, Stooges, etc., all played with a real acid-punk attitude. Guerssen Records present the first-ever legit reissue of this lost masterpiece, licensed by Steve Hall. Remastered sound, insert with detailed liner notes by Chris Stigliano (Black To Comm), and rare pictures.
File Under: Heavy Psych, Fuzz, Guitar Rock
*In tomorrow* Blackest Ever Black presents the first vinyl edition of Dickon Hinchliffe’s original score for 1980 — the second part of Channel 4 and Revolution Films’ Red Riding trilogy, adapted by Tony Grisoni from David Peace’s quartet of novels and first screened in 2009. Each film in the Red Riding trilogy, a landmark achievement in British television history, was helmed by a different director and had its own distinctive look, sound and feel. While Julian Jarrold’s 1974 and Anand Tucker’s1983 were both marvelous, well-rounded pictures, James Marsh’s1980 — photographed by Igor Martinovic on 35mm — somehow seemed to penetrate deeper, hit harder, and linger longer and more vividly in the memory. Described by Tony Grisoni as “an elegant steely trap,” 1980’s tragic arc is all the more devastating for the glimpses of lightness and redemption with which it taunts its hero — policeman Peter Hunter, played with astonishing grace and nuance by Paddy Considine. Warren Clarke, Maxine Peake, Peter Mullan, Tony Pitts, Jim Carter, David Morrissey, Sean Harris, Shaun Dooley and Lesley Sharp also figure in what surely ranks as one of the finest British ensemble casts ever assembled. So yes, the acting, writing and direction are all first-rate, but crucial to the mesmeric, elegiac and ultimately pincering, punishing effect of 1980 is its music, composed by Dickon Hinchliffe and performed by a small string ensemble augmented with bass, piano, guitar and percussion. A founding member of Tindersticks, Hinchliffe has played a major role in the band’s scores for the films of Claire Denis (including Vendredi Soir, Trouble Every Day and Nénette et Boni), and since flying the roost has established himself as an art house and Hollywood composer of considerable renown, with credits including Forty Shades of Blue, Project Nim, Winter’s Bone and Rampart. Even more eloquently than Paddy Considine’s note-perfect performance, Hinchliffe’s music for 1980 articulates Hunter’s journey from righteousness to ruin, his optimism gradually consumed by dread and paranoia. Even at its most tender, its most hopeful, its most soaringly romantic, the stench of death is all over it.
File Under: Soundtracks, British TV
*In tomorrow* Just Before Music is the debut album by Lonnie Holley. Available on vinyl for the first time, the double LP includes four songs Holley recorded live at WFMU on March 21, 2013. “Last year, at 62, after decades of singing while he worked, Holley released his jarring debut album, Just Before Music, a marriage of improvised keys and the rambling, hollow bellow of his voice, as well as the first original recording put out by the archival label Dust-to-Digital. This year, he’ll tour, and he recently performed in a Whitney Museum group show, ‘Blues for Smoke.'” –The Fader. Comes in a gatefold jacket with insert.
File Under: Soul, Folk, Experimental
*In tomorrow* Keeping a Record of It is the follow-up to Lonnie Holley’s debut album Just Before Music (DTD 026CD). Guest performers include Cole Alexander from the Black Lips, Bradford Cox from Deerhunter, and visual artist Lillian Blades. Gatefold sleeve. “Lonnie Holley sings with an intense, emotional voice and unleashes lyrics without consistent meter or rhyme over gossamer keyboard lines that hang in the ether. His music is a blues nebula, splotched with riffy word jazz that shares in some rappers’ collagist aesthetics as well as the runaway passion of a gospel preacher enlivened by the Spirit.” –Aquarium Drunkard
File Under: Soul, Folk, Experimental
Aheym is an astonishing collaboration between National guitarist Bryce Dessner and journeyman new music string quartet the Kronos Quartet. Performing four compositions by Dessner, the Kronos Quartet champion an exciting young composer, continuing a history of presenting new and important works and composers that stretches back to their founding in 1973. Dessner has a history of composition that predates his membership in the National, and represents a new generation who are blurring the lines between rock and contemporary classical music. From the raw emotional overtones of Aheym to the soaring choral crescendo – courtesy of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus – of Tour Eiffel, Bryce Dessner’s music for the Kronos Quartet will delight longtime followers of Kronos’ work with Steve Reich, Philip Glass and others, and will challenge and surprise the National’s many fans. At the close of day, Aheym addresses many of the same aches and dreams as the music of the National, and it is the breaking down of these artificial barriers of genre and performance that Bryce Dessner has made a life’s work. 2LP set is pressed at 45 RPM, gatefold, includes CD copy.
File Under: Classical
David Hess was the textbook musical “all-arounder.” On top of his early success penning top hits for Elvis and Conway Twitty, Hess was a record label executive, actor, and composer. With Wes Craven’s Last House On The Left, Hess took on the dual roles of actor and soundtrack composer, playing the monstrous serial killer Krug Stilo and writing the deceptively beautiful soundtrack music that serves as stark counterpoint to the harrowing subject matter. Hess would go on to appear in more mainstream roles in The A-Team, Knight Rider, and Craven’s Swamp Thing, but to many he will be remembered for his challenging work here.
File Under: Horror OST, Soundtracks
Regarded as the link between Italian acid folk, Library music and Krautrock, Living Music was a collective of Italian Musicians, artists and poets active in the counterculture and student movement of Rome in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Taking their name and concept from the New York experimental theatre group ‘Living Theatre’ husband and wife duo Umberto Santucci (jazz critic, graphic designer (Brainticket) and photographer, library composer) and Gianfranca Montedoro (Jazz and rock singer, member of Alessandroni Vocal group, Brainticket) hosted improvisational sessions at their home where they explored the concepts of communal expression through music and poetry. These experiments would lead to a recording session in which they set their psychedelic compostions to the poetry of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Their sole 1971 album for RCA’s Italy’s experimental imprint ‘Free Dimension’ is a phenomenal psychedelic excursion into acid folk, Tibetan chants, Indian drones, and avant-jazz (Featuring Umberto’s brother and Italian jazz legend Cicci Santucci) all centered around the powerful voice of Gianfranca Montedoro. It has since become a highly sort after recording for folk and progressive collectors.
File Under: Italian, Acid Folk, Library, Krautrock
“Originally self-released in 1977, synthesizer pioneer Don Muro’s It’s Time is the singular work of one man combining his skills as a trained musician with a truly creative spirit and the somewhat unmarketable insistence that all of these different styles of music would make up his debut album. While this kind of genre hopping can often take away from an album’s coherence, It’s Time works as a whole because these are such well-crafted and interesting songs. At times playfully fun, at times beautifully earnest, It’s Time is consistently engaging for its entire 42 minutes. Muro’s sincere love of what he is creating shines through whether it’s a catchy, triumphant rock anthem, a subtly emotive instrumental synthesizer piece or an intense fusion dance jam. ‘This album was released 36 years ago. Listening to it now brings fond memories of an intensely creative period in my life. There was time to explore many styles of music, and there was time to experiment with new instruments and equipment. No computers, no MIDI – only a room crammed with guitars, drums, keyboards, and an 8-track tape recorder. I didn’t have a specific audience for the album, hence the variety of styles. Back then people would actually sit and listen to albums as a total experience. I started and ended the album with aggressive synthesizer music, but in between those songs I was inviting listeners to go for a ride. Looking back, I would say that the variety of styles is both the strongest and weakest aspect of the album. But that’s who I was and, to a degree, who I still am.’ – Don Muro, 2013”
File Under: Electronic, Pop, Left Field
“At last! A comprehensive double LP featuring one of the most important bands of the Northwest punk scene – The Neo Boys. Active for five years (1978 – ’83) teenage sisters KT (bass) and Kim Kincaid (vocals), Pat Baum (drums), and guitarists Jennifer Labianco and Meg Hengtes created some of the most melodic, creative, and daring punk music of the period and helped forge a place for women in the growing pink music scene. Calvin Johnson has been working with band members to track down the missing tapes of their recordings through the rabbit hole of Northwest basements and closets, and after 20 years of effort, the results are this LP. These recordings span from 1977 – 1982, including the long out of print 1980 7″ EP (released on Trap Records) and 1982 self released EP Crumbling Myths. Sooner or Later also contains many early demos and live sessions that have never been released until now. Includes liner notes. A must for fans of the Wipers, Slits, Raincoats, and Dead Moon. Co-release with K Records.”
File Under: Punk, Post-Punk, Riot Grrrl
*In tomorrow* Painted Caves is Evan Caminiti. Surveillance is his debut LP under this alias. Primarily sourced from modular synthesizer, Surveillance compiles seven tracks recorded over the last year, warped with cassette tapes and other digital tools. Beamed in like a scene from Videodrome, this sensual brand of dystopian psychedelia creates a grainy and tension-filled narrative to get lost in. Much of Caminiti’s past work has inhabited a world of its own, but Surveillance is a direct response to life in an American city today. Inspired by the darker aspects of the constantly plugged-in digital age, this album seems to turn feelings of alienation and paranoia into something cathartic. Lying somewhere between no wave dystopia and Basic Channel minimalism, heavy grooves and polyrhythmic percussion lay a foundation for bell-like drones and decaying saw-wave mantras which fade into rhythmic abstraction as distant choirs and flickering static interference hovers around the edges.
File Under: Electronic, Barn Owl, Minimalism, Basic Channel
Limited vinyl edition of the new Pelican album. Thick, Stoughton gatefold jacket. After four years of silence, instrumental metal standard bearers Pelican have come thundering back, with Forever Becoming, an eight-song album destined to be considered one of the most punishingly rewarding albums of the year. Before their hiatus, the group had laid a sizable chunk of the groundwork for the instrumental metal scene that’s come into its own in the 13 years since they started playing together. After 2009 the band found itself slightly adrift, and found the day to day struggle of being full-time underground musicians colliding with new families and non-musical careers. Wisely, they didn’t make any rash decisions, and as suits a band known for making dense, meditative sounds they simply patiently figured out how to move past their obstacles. This reborn Pelican is purer, more focused, and far more assured. Recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Chris Common, and featuring The Swan King guitarist Dallas Thomas (replacing the amicably departed Laurent Schroeder-Lebec) Forever Becoming is an immense, speaker-rattling meditation on the infinite cycle of death and life. It takes a lot of experience and a lot of confidence to attempt a head-on ascent of the biggest, most monolithic theme in art, but Forever Becoming is proof that Pelican has plenty of both, and knows how to wield them.
File Under: Metal, Post Rock
*In tomorrow* Two years after his landmark debut Aftertime, former Vex’d member Roly Porter presents his second full-length LP, Life Cycle of a Massive Star. The piece explores expansive scale and macroscopic processes through the thematic framework of the birth and death of a cosmic star system. The album is underpinned by a parallel investigation into the human response to this vast celestial order and its overarching dialogue with the infinitesimal lives we lead. The material considers the crucible of space as a poignant symbol of the brevity of existence and highlights humanity’s part as both observers and participants in an endless cosmic cycle of creation and destruction. While the album continues on from Porter’s previous work, through fractured eruptions and volcanic textures, it equally invokes a more historical mode of reflection, enacting a distant remembrance of the history of electronic music and a dream-like recollection of a Wagnerian landscape.
File Under: Electronic, Neoclassical, Ambient
*In tomorrow* Despite the rumors, pre-fusion acid jazz-rock is alive and well, living it up in Southern California. Psicomagia is the joint forces of leading members of noted prog and stoner-rock outfits Astra and Radio Moscow. The band serves up a mixture of the same essence that Soft Machine, Tony Williams Lifetime, and Magma pioneered during that magical period just seconds before progressive electric jazz was grabbed by the institutional jazz scene. A formula thought lost until this day, when seemingly out of the blue, the relentless force of Psicomagia appeared. Spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Brian Ellis’ roaring saxophone, constantly interplaying Tyler Daughn’s franticly screaming organs and synthesizers, the soul of Psicomagia is in the endlessly permutated bursts of energy of the two. The relentless heart, however, is kept going by drummer Paul Marrow(Radio Moscow), who carves out a constantly brooding and shifting rhythmic base along with the heavy, travelling bass of Trevor Mast. Together they balance a line between an insanely tight and rhythmic notion of progress, as well as transgressing each instrument’s carved path on this cataclysmic journey of musical events. Imagine, on top of that, two poets, repeating obscured mantras, rumbling bells and gongs, and you’re getting closer to playing your own Jodorowsky-does-jazz movie playing in your head via Psicomagia. If Psicomagia sounds like a thing of the past, it’s simply because they have inherited a unique quality lost in music today: grabbing onto a wide array of genres, and permuting them into their own distinct musical landscape. Roaring with the same neverending energy of SoCal brothers Earthless, Psicomagia opens up a dimension thought lost in music, reshaping a new possible outcome of progressive rock, building their own present time. It is beyond doubt that Psicomagia is not a pastiche retro band — they are the real deal. True to original formula, the album is produced with a grace and warmth, maintaining a full dynamic range. Mastered on analog tape by Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk.
File Under: Prog, Astra, Stoner Rock
*In tomorrow* Former Beat Of The Earth leader Phil Pearlman assembled Relatively Clean Rivers in the early ’70s and eventually released this excellent rural rock album in 1975. Although Pearlman’s first recorded effort was a surf/hot rod 45 entitled Chrome Reversed Rails which appeared on the Fink label in the mid-’60s, it was with Beat Of The Earth that he began to forge a distinctive musical voice. The band was one of the earliest-known experimental bands with a sound reminiscent of their East Coast counterparts, The Velvet Underground, whose influence is often discernible on Relatively Clean Rivers. That said, RCR is recognized by those fortunate enough to have heard it as one of the very finest albums of the era, with a clearly-defined American sound akin to The Grateful Dead in all their American Beauty pomp or CSNY circa Déjà Vu. An album highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in ’70s West Coast music or simply great music in general. Finally available on 180 gram vinyl once again, and comprehensively remastered using the latest 48-bit technology.
File Under: Rural Rock, Psych
*In tomorrow* Jeff Witscher aka Rene Hell is a notoriously unique artist and nomadic SoCal everyman. An avid chess player, he occupies the role of both trickster and aesthete, an embodied example of a time where experimental ideas and attitudes switched fluidly between the club and gallery. Travel is a central theme of his work, with the digital and minimalist palette on Vanilla Call Option built while on the move between airports, performance spaces and public libraries. In his own words, Witscher attempted to construct “vertical narratives” that at times evoke the musique concrète of Bernard Parmegiani and probing electronic experiments of Charles Dodge. Rejecting melody to form a new language of timbre, timing and flight, these crisp compositions oscillate between flux and grandeur, piercing synthesis and meditative piano, strings, and voice.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Abstract, Computer Music
*In tomorrow* A collection from Conrad Schnitzler’s archive, recorded between 1974 and 1975, originally released on LP only in 2009. Contains the complete original material (three more tracks than the 2009 release) on CD for the first time (with original running order). Just when you think you have grasped Conrad Schnitzler’s master plan, every time you kid yourself into predicting what you are about to hear, the next record comes along to prove you wrong. Motorik is writ large throughout. Even the less rhythmic passages remain grounded, never drifting into absolute abstraction. A more or less distinct ostinato runs through each track, condensed into a complex tapestry of electronic surprises amidst Schnitzler’s typical cascades of sound and flashes of noise. And so the journey to the most distant corner of Schnitzler’s world begins. Majestic drones and tricky melodies fly past the listener. Is this still the music of Schnitzler, the conceptual artist? Yes, undoubtedly. His view or concept of art allowed him the freedom to experiment in all directions, a stroke of luck for the listener. The Silber (trans. Silver) album offers up a form of pop music preempting nothing, unrelated to anything else. Far more, it represents Schnitzler’s unique and inimitable blueprint for a music of the future, music which still astounds when we hear it today, almost 40 years later — and it poses the almost philosophical question, whether this future has already happened or is yet to happen? Schnitzler was not alone in daring to create future music in the 1970s; yet many visions of that era were short-lived and appear rather dusty today, even a little embarrassing. The “precious metal” albums, in contrast, escape the zeitgeist and are patently resistant to retromaniac constraints. Schnitzler’s artistic and — let us spell it out — aesthetic autonomy celebrates a veritable victory here. Liner notes by Asmus Tietchens.
File Under; Electronic, Kraut Rock, Kosmische
*In tomorrow* Bureau B presents a song collection from Conrad Schnitzler’s archive, recorded between 1976 and 1978, originally released by the small German label Marginal Talent in 2003. In the comprehensive canon of Schnitzler releases, the music on theGold album stands out a mile in every respect. Judged on the sound alone, there is little to suggest that the material was recorded as long ago as the 1976 to 1978 period. There is more at play here than two tape recorders, analog synthesizers and sequencers. Digital keyboards and computer-aided musical progressions are in evidence. With its multi-channel complexity, perfect equalizing, a translucent depth of focus and the brilliance of its signals, Gold could easily have been recorded today, some 35 years later. Alas, Schnitzler can no longer let us in on the secret of his recording process, nor which equipment he deployed in achieving this feat. It is fair to surmise that this sound owed much to the fact that Schnitzler was often in the company of his friends from Tangerine Dream. Their equipment was always state-of-the-art — and Schnitzler’s technical expertise allowed him to take full advantage thereof. As if the tonal quality is not astounding enough, the compositions are guaranteed to dumbfound even the most enlightened Schnitzler listeners. Stuctured like a symphony in various movements, utterly abstract atonal passages are followed by solid sequences of rhythm and harmony, as energetic as Cluster, yet equally evocative of 1980s electronic pop music. Once again, his execution bordering on perfection, Schnitzler has pulled off the ultimate balancing trick between pop and so-called serious music. Liner notes by Asmus Tietchens.
File Under: Electronic, Kraut Rock, Kosmische
*In tomorrow* Polymath James Leyland Kirby must surely have one of the most confounding CVs in the business: he spent years taking the piss out of the music industry with anthems rallying against the (VV)MCPS, he notoriously fell out with various well-known record labels for reasons you’ll just have to Google, goaded Aphex Twin with a series of “tributes” and channeled his love of everything from Falco (“Rock Me Amadeus”), Chris De Burgh, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and Stockport karaoke nights into a stream of increasingly bizarre 7″s back in the early noughties. But at the same time, he was responsible for releasing some of the very earliest material from Boards Of Canada(Hell Interface: 1997), made a ruck of frankly groundbreaking industrial electronic records, brought new beat to the world’s attention and, in 1999, made his first album as The Caretaker, a project that would go on to release some of the most loved ambient/Lynchian albums of recent times. Since then, he’s also produced an incredible suite of releases under his own name, scored various film projects and released three EPs under the Intrigue & Stuff banner which are so ahead of their time, they might just start sinking in properly by the end of the decade. All of which brings us to Watching Dead Empires in Decay, a new album recorded under another of Kirby’s pseudonyms, The Stranger, and released on Modern Love, a label that has been close to Kirby through these last eventful 15 years. It’s a dream album for the label: perhaps the most ambitious of Kirby’s career so far. It’s complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just can’t work out how it was constructed. Gone are the sampled 78s of The Caretaker, but it also doesn’t exactly sound electronic — you just can’t quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field recordings? Found sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? It’s stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling — but often just beautiful. It starts with the sharp clang of opener “We Are Enemies but Not Here” before the woozy percussive crawl “So Pale It Shone in the Night” sucks you into a bare landscape: somewhere between Eraserhead and Fumio Hayasaka’s music for Akira Kurosawa. And then there are moments that break through the tension with clarity and familiarity, nostalgia even: “Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?” could have been made by Boards Of Canada if they had taken a turn into more noxious terrain back in 1998, while “Spiral of Decline” offsets the drum programming you’d most likely associate with a Powell record with an oblique sense of timing and space. It all ends with “About to Enter a Strange New Period,” an unusual, vaporous coda that offers no resolution — it just shuts proceedings down with nothing settled. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton; artwork by Guy Denning.
File Under: Caretaker, Ambient, Electronic
Deluxe vinyl release of Sweet Madness, the Spokane, WA band that kicked off the mutant garage-punk-art-rock scene of the Eastern portion of the Pacific Northwest. Coming on the heels of last year’s Spokanarchy documentary and compilation, Made In Spokane features 16 amazing remastered songs from the first, and most important band from the scene.
File Under: Garage, Punk
“There’s a refreshingly assured and refined air about this split slab of wax for Montreal’s resident synth geometry majorHobo Cubes and outta nowhere Edmonton newcomers Taiwan. Given the endless flow of tapes, CD-Rs, splits, tours and press Hobo Cubes has gotten out there over the years it’s almost tough to swallow that this is only the project’s first full LP side. Nonetheless, main man Fracesco de Gallo (also a sometime member of Dirty Beaches and the dude behind the Hobo Cult cassette label) sounds as reserved as anyone could hope to be on his first commitment to the 12″, like he’s got all of the time in the world and nowhere in particular to be. A spacious, vacuous and explorational journey through keyboard concrete, Hobo Cubes’ brilliant side forsakes familiar trends in dreamy synth-scapes and robotic repetition in favour of stranger 20th century-inspired lands, benefitting all the more for its adventurous composition and stringent individuality. Taiwan have already become synonymous with Angelo Badalamenti around these parts, and David Lynch’s musical collaborator and soundtrack composer is without a doubt the creative launching pad for these fresh young cats. From the opening strains of their side you can imagine Laura Palmer searching for her diary in an eerie house. Yet what Taiwan add to the homage is their desire to build brief epics that haven’t been blasted this darkly and elegantly since the post-rock explosion heydays of the late ’90s. When you boil it down, Taiwan are lurking closer to a heaven where everything is fine than the otherworldly horrors of The Black Lodge, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many fine surprises to be found in the kaleidoscopic 20-minute song cycle they’ve recorded for us in crystalline quality.” – Weird Canada
*In tomorrow* Master, the long-awaited and devastating third album fromTeeth Of The Sea, is an unprecedented junket into mind-melting abstraction and neon-drenched revelation. Nearly three years have passed since the band released Your Mercury (LAUNCH 040CD/LP), their transcendent second album, and the four-piece have kept very busy during this period — they’ve gigged constantly, sharing stages with the likes of Goat, Circle, British Sea Power, Trans Am, and Parts And Labor, collaborating live with Wire and Esben & The Witch, and taking their incendiary barrage to festivals like Roadburn, Green Man, Supersonic, Supernormal, and Standon Calling. Yet the evolution of their third album was most dramatically affected by two specially-commissioned soundtrack projects they embarked on — at Branchage Film Festival in Jersey, the band performed “Reaper,” a new live score to a re-interpretation of Neil Marshall’s film Doomsday, and a year later, at Bestival on the Isle Of Wight, they unveiled Beyond the Transfinite, a tribute to Kubrick’s 2001. In this period, the band’s experimental instincts have continued to extend in a myriad directions, and while Master nods to the established Teeth of the Sea touchstones of Throbbing Gristle, Goblin, Heldon, Angelo Badalamenti, and Slayer, recent work by the likes of Byetone, Pete Swanson, Raime, Powell and Prurient, alongside a long-standing fixation on the disco stylings of Patrick Cowley and Giorgio Moroder, have helped to mark out a gritty, confrontational path whereby abrasive and sparkling electronic textures do battle with waves of incandescent noise and a merciless beat-driven imperative to form a powerful alchemical charge.
File Under: Psych, Prog, Electronic
Issued alongside the compilation Musiche de Teisco, the Dual Planet label offers another piece of the mysterious cosmic puzzle of electronic library maverick Teisco. Fast forward several years to D.O.C, a library recording released under his new tag Rimauri, Here, you can hear how Teisco / Rimauri has refined the synthetic vision he started to work on with his earlier recording Dossier Special. This set conjures up instant thoughts of vintage computer game soundtracks or even a parallel with that nearly-forgotten masterpiece of European electronica, Nuno Canavarro’s Plux Quba, could be drawn. While sitting closer to the conventions of ‘80s library music, there’s always something in there that doesn’t quite make sense, whether it’s the weirdness of the mix, the interjection of unexpected patterns or phrases or simply the abstract electronic moods and atmospheres unheard anywhere else in the library music realm. D.O.C. is a charming ride into the pop heart of Teisco’s skewed musical vision.
File Under: Electronic, Library, Italian
The last time we checked in with Italian musician Teisco aka Rimauri, aka Marco Melchiori, was quite possibly also the first time many of you checked in with this most singular of characters. For The Roundtable imprint’s reissue of his blasted ‘70s Italian library classic, Tuscan Castle & Country Seat, managed to be both a blast of fresh air for the library and soundtrack palate, and a defining moment in early 21st century reissue culture. But Tuscan Castle only tells part of the story. Enter Musiche De Teisco, a compilation of mind bending electronics drawing from three obscure library albums: firstly, the Cosmic classic, Fly In 5° Dimensione / Plane Beta Ø, the freakish malnutritioned Moog-scapes of Inchiesta Sul Mezzogiorno, and finally, the aerated synth drone of Dossier Special. Think the power and mystery of the most sainted of Krautrock and Cosmic sides – Popol Vuh, Sand, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler etc sitting alongside jerry-rigged basement Moog experiments. Experience further exploration into the strange and highly distinct world of this intriguing library music character.
File Under: Electronic, Library, Italian
Portishead’s Adrian Utley brings together an orchestra of electric guitar players to interpret Terry Riley’s ‘In C’. Written in 1964,‘In C’ is one of the most influential pieces of music from the 20th Century, it established minimalism as a music genre. In C’s simple musical rules – 53 musical phrases in C and no duration – allow for infinite variations. Utley’s impressive Guitar Orchestra is augmented by organs and a clarinet making for a mesmeric sound experience. The Guitar Orchestra consists of 24 musicians from Bristol: 19 guitarists including John Parish (PJ Harvey), Thought Forms, and Jim Barr (Portishead live band); 4 organs and a bass clarinet. The effect is an organic musical experience very much created in front of the audience both fragile and thunderingly uplifting. “I’ve been exploring the sonic possibilities of massed guitars for a while now in various contexts from pure noise to the sacred choral music of Arvo Part. So it was interesting to see what would happen if we had 20 electric guitars plus organs playing ‘In C’. It is an amazing piece of writing and original thought. A new free idea of organised group playing. The beginnings of what we know as minimalism.” Adrian Utley The album was recorded live at St Georges Hall, Bristol, one of Britain’s leading concert halls which is known for its astounding acoustic and unique atmosphere. The core members of the orchestra will tour later in the year augmented by musicians from the countries they visit including England, France and Poland. Limited edition double LP pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl housed in a gatefold foil embossed sleeve.
File Under: Portishead, Terry Riley, Minimalism
*In tomorrow* Mika Vainio was a member of the legendary minimal electronic duoPan Sonic. Emerging from the Finnish industrial and rave music scene in the early ’90s, they became one of the most important electronic music acts. Vainio’s solo work goes from abstract drone to minimal and experimental techno, under his own name or as Ø for labels like Touch, Raster Noton, Sähkö, and Editions Mego. He has worked with Alan Vega, Keiji Haino, and many others. His music is always extremely physical and present. Mika Vainio lives and works in Berlin. Joachim Nordwall has run the iDEAL Recordings label since 1998, releasing intense electronic music of various kinds and organizing club nights and festivals around the globe. He started making electronic music as a teenager in the late ’80s in the psychedelic drone duo Alvars Orkester (Ash International), drifted off to sweaty avant garde punk rock with Kid Commando in the late ’90s and formed the ritual rock and electronic drone group The Skull Defekts in 2005. He is also recording solo works under his own name and works with Mats Gustafsson, The Gagmen (with Aaron Dilloway and Nate Young), Mark Wastell, and The Sons Of God. Nordwall is based in Stockholm. Monstrance is their first album together and consists of drone works and pulsating electronic minimalism, but also guitar, acoustic elements, organs, and metal percussion. It was recorded in Einstürzende Neubauten’s Berlin studio during an intense session in early summer of 2010. Monstrance is a place where Vainio’s and Nordwall’s backgrounds as musicians and composers meet, and something new and extremely powerful is born. Something deep, raw, and direct. Mika Vainio (electric guitar, processing, metallic percussion) and Joachim Nordwall (electronics, electric bass guitar, metal objects, Hammond organ, vibraphone).
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Pan Sonic
*In tomorrow* Remember Your Black Day is the debut album proper from Vatican Shadow, the first material conceived and produced as a full-length by Dominick Fernow for the project following almost a dozen tapes (mostly released on Hospital Productions) and vinyl editions (released by the likes of Blackest Ever Black, Modern Love, and Type) over the last three years. None of the eight tracks included have been released before on any other format. At a time when the scene is saturated with “noise techno,” the album is almost celebratory by contrast, balancing caustic licks of distortion and oppressive bass with cleanly mixed synth tones and ricocheting claps in a shell-shocked, surreal soundsphere. With production assistance from Juan Mendez (Silent Servant), the album includes the most direct and propulsive Vatican Shadow material yet, continuing an evolutionary shift away from the complex, collage-based narrative of those cassette releases into more visibly direct contact with the listener. There is a functional connection to dance music here, honing in on the human element embedded within a subject matter so fraught with inhumanity.
File Under: Prurient, Electronic, Techno
*In tomorrow* The percussionist William Winant’s first-ever artist release, this is the first of a vinyl-only two volume series of contemporary classical solo percussion music. Features works by all American composers: Lou Harrison, Michael Byron, Alvin Curran, and James Tenney. Recorded from 1976 through 2013. Limited edition — 350 copies available for sale for the whole world. Pressed on 200 gram vinyl. Gallery edition-style packaging, in hand-crafted 10 plate screen printed jackets with mitred-corner wood spines. “When Mr. William Winant first came over to visit Kim Gordon and myself at her parents’ house in West Los Angeles sometime in the mid-1980s, I half expected another droll, affected muso from the Oingo Boingo camp that Kim had associated with in the mid-1970s before she hightailed it to NYC with the artist Mike Kelley to not only dive into the mysterious world of post-conceptual minimalism, but to ride reckless amongst the no wave music scene of downtown Manhattan — which is pretty much where we two met and began dating. Willie came as a surprise. He basically talked a mile a minute about anything/anyone but continually drummed his fingers on the table top, creating and exercising rhythm patterns which, to some, may have been hyper-annoying, but to me were seriously obsessed brain-to-hand compositions. I knew right away this guy was no pretendo Hollywood ring-grabber but a completely engaged lover of experimental structure and aesthetic magiks inherent in the history of percussion discussion. His history was weird, coming out of an L.A. family of television production where commercial success was how many $$ were made by dog food ads and gravitating towards the margins of creativity informed by the philosophical enlightenments of John Cage, Lou Harrison and Iannis Xenakis, all composers he had worked with. When I visited him shortly thereafter at his pad in Oakland CA, near where he taught at Mills College, he showed me scores written and inscribed to him by Xenakis! This was his world, an academic outrider zone I had mythologized as a street rat musicologist and record collector. He was very curious about who was doing what in the experimental rock ‘n’ roll world and I introduced him to Tom Surgal, a drummer from the Elvin Jones meets Milford Graves school of NYC free-thought drumming. We established a trio and played some amazing gigs in the early 1990s, releasing our first live document on the Victo label from Victoriaville, Canada (Piece for Jetsun Dolma, 1996). Winant’s wild nature and finely-honed sense of percussive dynamism landed him neat work with John Zorn, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and the Faith No More outlier band Mr. Bungle. When we went to hear WW play with John Cage in Central Park, Willie had shaved his head into a Mohawk and wore some sick death core t-shirt. Cage must’ve known Willie was a man of humor, honesty and integrity — as well as understanding the intention of the composer and delivering the goods. I always wanted him to record solo music through these years but he always would claim he wasn’t ready. Is he ready now? He is seriously beyond ready and thankfully Poon Village, the only label with enough poon-power to engage this master sticksman, has come through. Big time.”
File Under: Percussion, Avant-Garde
*In tomorrow* “Delicious Vinyl proudly releases Sunset Blvd., the new album from Yancey Boys, the group piloted by John ‘Illa J’ Yancey and Frank Nitt. The dynamic new collection is built around previously unheard tracks created by Illa J’s brother: the late, great J Dilla (James Yancey). With Frank Nitt’s standing as J Dilla music catalog curator and the official approval of Yancey Media Group, all productions on Sunset Blvd. originate from The Lost Scrolls — the stunning cache of beats Dilla left behind. With its rapturous single ‘Quicksand’ featuring Common, Sunset Blvd. also teams Yancey Boys with De La Soul’s Posdnuos (‘Beautiful’), The Pharcyde’s SlimKid3 (‘Rock My World’), and T3 of Slum Village (‘Jeep Volume’), making it clear that the Dilla legacy is being represented by those who knew and collaborated with Dilla in his lifetime. Additional guests include DJs Rhettmatic, C-Minus, and J Rocc (Beat Junkies) as well as rap roughneck Guilty Simpson and R&B strongman Eric Roberson.”
File Under: Hip Hop, Rap, JDilla
*In tomorrow* In 2006, Hisham Mayet returned to West Africa to continue his search for an unknown musician he had heard six months earlier on the radio in a Morocco hotel room. Knowing only that it was Sahrawi music — music of the south — he headed down through the vast and remote desert landscape of the Western Sahara and Mauritania in hopes of finding someone who could identify these revelatory recordings. The story of how he finally found this elusive artist is the stuff of ethnomusicological legend. But he also found much, much more as he wandered from Laâyoune, Western Sahara, to Mauritania’s capital city of Nouakchott. From intimate, sinuous home recordings by Group Marwani, to a sublimely devastating track by the enigmatic Abdul Rahman Al-Gheid, to the inimitable tidinit artistry of Sadoum Ouled Aida, the performers on this album exemplify the haunting and intoxicating qualities of Sahrawi music. Featuring Mayet’s first recordings of the electrifying Group Doueh, as well as dizzying field recordings from Nouakchott’s Marché Capitale — where relentless traffic noise swirls together with fragments of melody from countless cassette vendors’ PA speakers — Hassānīya Music from the Western Sahara and Mauritania is the evocative soundtrack to a chimerical journey that is also documented visually in Sublime Frequencies’ breathtaking film Palace of the Winds (SF 047DVD). It not only traces Mayet’s own passage through these barren and beautiful lands, but also charts the evolution of Sahrawi music from sung poetry accompanied by traditional acoustic instruments to electrifying modern grooves drenched in reverb and phase effects. Limited edition pressing with Stoughton tip-on full-color gatefold jacket.
File Under: West African, Desert Blues, Group Doueh
A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP
Alice in Chains: Jar of Flies (Music on Vinyl) LP
Alice in Chains: MTV Unplugged (Music on Vinyl) LP
Alessandro Alessandroni: Prisma Sonoro (Omni) LP
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Atlantic) LP
Amon Duul II: Meetings with Menmachines.. (Klimt) LP
Kevin Ayers: Joy of a Toy (Vinylisssimo) LP
Kevin Ayers: Whatevershebrings… (Vinylisssimo) LP
Best Coast: Fade Away (Jewel City) LP
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP
Brast Burn: Debon (Phoenix) LP
Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City) LP/CD
Bill Callahan: Apocalypse (Drag City) LP
Clash: s/t (Legacy) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (Virgin) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Dark: Round The Edges (Machu Picchu) LP/CD
Deafheaven: Sunbather (Deathwish) LP
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien: I Wish My Brother (Traffic) LP
Deltron 3030: Event II (Bulk) LP
Deltron 3030: Event II Instrumentals (Bulk) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Damon Eih: Nevermind (Nero’s Neptune) LP
Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (EMI) CD
Flower Travellin’ Band: Satori (Phoenix) LP
Genius/GZA: Liquid Swords (Get on Down) LP
Lee Hazlewood: LHI Years (Light In The Attic) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Litter: Distortions (Get Hip) LP
Monoton: Monotonproduct 07 (Desire) LP
Moolah: Woe Ye Demons (Moolah) LP
National Wake: Walking In Africa (Light In The Attic) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks (Polydor) LP
Okkervil River: Silver Gymnasium (ATO) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven (Warp) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (EMI) LP
Arthur Russell: Another Thought (Arc) LP
Them Crooked Vultures: s/t (Interscope) LP
Virgo: s/t (Rush Hour) LP
Various: Kassidat (Dust-to-Digital) LP