You know what snow means?! UPS whips out the “Adverse Weather” delays on shipments. Soooo loads of rad stuff that should be sitting here right now, is not. So, don’t come in too early if you are after some of these fine audio products, of which there are many to be after!
In other news, this Saturday, the 124 Street BRZ is hosting the first ever All Is Bright winter festival on our strip over here come on down to 124th and join the party. Free food, beer gardens, kids activities, sleigh rides, live music, and Shout Out Out Out Out will be closing out the party at 9pm! http://www.allisbright124.ca/
And lastly, if you haven’t already heard, next Friday is Black Friday Record Store Day! While we don’t actually have Black Friday up here in Canada, we do have record stores, and we do have Record Store Day. This is not nearly the even that proper RSD is in April, but there are still some killer exclusive releases being released that day. So watch for next week’s news letter with more details and be ready to spend some cash next Friday!
…..picks of the week…..
Luciano Cilio: Dell’Universo Assente (Die Schachtel) 2LP/CD
In tomorrow…. The critically-acclaimed Dell’universo Assente is finally made available in a stunning LP edition. The complete works composed by legendary Neapolitan composer and musician Luciano Cilio are now digitally restored and include a striking set of piano-based unedited pieces transcribed and played by the composer Girolamo De Simone, curator of the edition and acclaimed interpreter, who is also the man responsible for the rediscovery of the work of Luciano Cilio. Dell’ Universo Assente, originally released by Die Schachtel in 2007 and sold out in a few months, represents a truly unique approach to music-making where each instrument and each sound are given ample time and space to develop. For the recording sessions leading to this remarkable work, Cilio took up a role as multi-instrumentalist, performing on piano, guitar, flute, bass and mandola, also joined by musicians coming from different experiences and areas, who supply strings, extra woodwind and percussion. Almost impossible to define, the all-acoustic music of Cilio occupies a space between the devotional music of Popol Vuh’s Florian Fricke and the deep spiritual places of what would later be called holy minimalism (without any of the religious intents of the aforementioned references), with a surprising anticipation of the crystalline sparseness of pieces like “Fur Alina” byArvo Pärt, and a feeling of intense suspension of time that can be associated to some of the most intimate compositions of Ligeti orFeldman, yet maintaining a definite position outside the contemporary music of serial and academic inspiration. “These recordings sound as they feel — self-contained, introspective, and determined. You can feel in the music a sort of necessity that can be rarely found, as in Bill Fay’s Time of the Last Persecution, or in Nick Drake’s Pink Moon: this enormous weight that is bearing on its creators, the absolute need to exorcize it from their lives, a moment in time where you are invited to hear artists truly in contact with their existence. Luciano Cilio holds that moment in time, an authentic emotional testament, something to be cherished,” writes Jim O’Rourke in his inspiring liner-notes. Born in Naples in 1950, Luciano Cilio had joined his university studies in architecture and scenography to music, collaborating in the ’60s and ’70s with several non-conventional musicians (such as Alan Sorrentiand Shawn Phillips), developing surprising intuitions about the relationship between gesture, words and music. Sitar and guitar virtuoso, excellent pianist, Luciano Cilio was “essentially self-taught concerning music composition,” and focused his research on long, sustained sounds, on the sound in its primary and internal meaning, at the outset on the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic entities, to “re-enter the sound, hold it, hold it… and finally let it go.” His short yet intense career officially began in 1977 with the publication of a full-length album titled Dialoghi del presente (entirely included on this release along with extra tracks), composed between the end of the ’60s and early ’70s. The album, released in 1977, went almost unnoticed and was soon forgotten, and that influenced deeply the complex personality of the composer. Unexpectedly, in 1983, he committed suicide, leaving this unique gem as a testimony of a genius work. “Most records create an imagined world, a place between author and audience, a neutral ground where you are expected to meet; but on these special occasions, you can feel as if you are listening in on a private conversation, overheard discreetly, but clearly. This record is not just a collection of musical pictures, but a large canvas painted with the air it was made in, like a private room never to be visited again, but remembered vividly when something like the way light hits a room or the smell of damp cinders brings it all back with overwhelming vividness. Cilio holds that moment in time, an authentic emotional testament, something to be cherished.” –Jim O’Rourke
File Under: Italian, Acid Folk, Experimental, Ambient, Essential
Listen Here And Here
Various: The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records Vol 1 (Third Man) 6LP Wonder Cabinet
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1927) – [6LP Wonder Cabinet – LIMITED] Set Includes 6LP, 180 Gram ”Burled Chestnut” Colored Vinyl, 2 books, USB drive, image player app (see below for details) Packaged in Handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware. How did a Wisconsin chair company, producing records on the cheap and run by men with little knowledge of their audience or the music business, build one of the greatest musical rosters ever assembled under one roof? The answer lies in ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932,’ an epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder, to be jointly released by Jack White’s Third Man Records and John Fahey’s Revenant Records. By the time Paramount ceased operations in 1932, it had compiled a dizzying array of performers still unrivaled to this day, spanning early jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller), blues masters (Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Skip James), American divas (Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters), gospel (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette), vaudeville (Papa Charlie Jackson), and the indefinable ‘other’ (Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas). Paramount would also directly influence the style of Robert Crumb and countless other 20th century artists and illustrators, through a series of hand-drawn ads promoting its releases in the pages of the Chicago Defender. The ‘Rise and Fall’ wonder-cabinet gives equal status to page-turning narrative and new scholarship; original and newly created graphic art; industrial design; and compelling analog and digital music experiences. ‘Volume One’ contains the following: 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists. 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images. 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio. 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book. 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography. Handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware. First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive.
File Under: Blues, Boxsets, INSANE
Aanipaaa: Through Pre-Memory (Editions Mego) LP
In tomorrow…. “Mika Vainio and Stephen O’Malley are both seminal figures in the experimental underground having established themselves in the epoch-defining acts Pan Sonic and SunnO))). While they explored different worlds, one abstracted guitar drone metal, the other hard rhythms and analog atmospheres, there was always an underlying thread which bound both acts: massive blocks of sound, vast cavernous spaces, a sense of drama and the foreboding along with a deep exploration of the physical experience unlike any previously experienced. Pan Sonic and SunnO))) first collaborated together on a Suicide cover version for a Blast First Petite series in 2007/2008, and following this, Mika and Stephen decided to collaborate further with what eventually became the ÄÄNIPÄÄsessions. Recorded at Einstürzende Neubauten’s Andere Baustelle Tonstudio in Berlin and mixed at Avast! (Soundgarden, Earth) in Seattle over an extended period, the results see individual approaches coalesce into a monumental whole. The signature motifs of both players are to be found here: the sparse, crushing rhythms of Vainio’s minimalist techno alongside the black-hole drones of O’Malley’s guitar workouts. It is the alchemical combination of these elements that shifts this release into a new world of burning intensity. At once unholy and emotional, Through a Pre-Memory takes the listener on a vast journey. Through a Pre-Memory is a deep, immersive experience from two of the most extreme forward-thinking music/sound practitioners today.” –Press release by Mark Harwood, 9/13, London; Music by Mika Vainio & Stephen O’Malley with Alan Dubin (vocals), Eyvind Kang (viola), Moriah Neils (contrabass), Maria Scherer Wilson (cello). String arrangements by Eyvind Kang, tape manipulations by Randall Dunn.
File Under: Drone, Ambient, Sunn o))), Pan Sonic
Beatles: On Air: Live at the BBC Vol 2 (Apple) 3LP
Compiled by Producers Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley & Meticulously Mastered by Engineers Guy Massey and Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios. On Air’s 63 tracks, none of which overlap with The Beatles’ first BBC release, include 37 previously unreleased performances and 23 previously unreleased recordings of in-studio banter and conversation between the band’s members and their BBC radio hosts. In the studios of the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Beatles performed music for a variety of radio shows. On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 presents the sound of The Beatles seizing their moment to play for the nation. Thrilled to hear these exciting recordings again, Paul McCartney said, “There’s a lot of energy and spirit. We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performance of our lifetimes.” Ten of On Air’s songs were never recorded by the group for EMI in the 1960s, including two making their debuts with the new release: The Beatles’ direct-to-air performance of Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” and a rocking cover of the standard “Beautiful Dreamer.” On Air also includes different versions of six rarities heard on the 1994 BBC collection: Little Richard’s “Lucille,” Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee,” Chan Romero’s “The Hippy Hippy Shake,” Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman,” and two songs they learned from records by Carl Perkins, “Glad All Over” and “Sure To Fall.” The Beatles’ tribute to the BBC’s most important pop show of the early ’60s – “Happy Birthday, Dear Saturday Club” – is another surprise.
File Under: Beatles, BBC, Live
Boards of Canada: In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country (Warp) 12”
Finally available on vinyl again! Sandwiched between Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi, this four-track EP from Boards of Canada blended their fuzzy hardware with sinister cult imagery. “Zoetrope” took a bouncy melody and let it circle for six minutes, while “Amo Bishop Roden” paid tribute to the wife of a member of religious group Branch Davidian with icy pads, syncopated beats and warm wave-like bass. The title track was the climax: eerie swirling keyboards and a treated voice intoning “Come out and live with a religious community in a beautiful place out in the country.”
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Downtempo, Warp
Boards of Canada: Trans Canada Highway (Warp) 12”
Available again on vinyl! Following on from 2005’s The Campfire Headphase, Trans Canada Highway continued BoC’s road trip theme but with production scaled back to match their earlier records. “Left Side Drive” took the heatstroke and strings they’d unveiled on the LP and made them quieter, wrapping them around a crisp beat, while “Under the Coke Sign” did that thing with decayed drones in 90 perfect seconds that only Boards of Canada can. Perfect for late summer nights.
File Under: Ambient, Downtempo, Electronic, Warp
Boards of Canada: Twoism (Warp) 12”
First released on the Music70 in 1995, Boards of Canada’s first EP alerted the world strange goings on in rural Scotland. A near flawless mix of nostalgia-swathed electronics, tracks like “Sixtyniner” offered softly murmuring, crunchy rhythms, while title track “Twoism” swoons elegantly, a distant beat bathed in spidery lines of cooing synths. The gorgeous “Melissa Juice” teased a melody out of sonar synths, which is followed by “Smokes Quantity,” a track of lightly rumbling static to get lost in.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Downtempo, Warp
Cut Hands: Damballah 58 (Blackest Ever Black) 12”
In tomorrow…. Damballah 58 is the monstrous sequel to 2012’s deadly Black Mamba12″. The title-track’s diabolically addictive vaudou rhythms insinuate deeply before uncoiling convulsively into an irrevocable reclamation of the consciousness. The B-side features “Mamba Muntu” (sister track to the previous “River Mumma” and “Witness the Spread of the Dream”), the treacherously beautiful “Belladonna Theme,” and the marauding, burning rush of “Immersion.” Written and produced by William Bennett. Original vévé artwork by Mimsy DeBlois. Cut by Noel Summerville at 3345 Mastering, London. 12″ vinyl housed in reverse board picture sleeve.
File Under: Electronic, World, Experimental, Whitehouse
Destroyer: Five Spanish Songs (Merge) LP/CD
An EP of songs written by Spanish musician Antonio Luque of the band Sr. Chinarro. Produced by JC/DC and recorded at their studio in Vancouver earlier this summer, Five Spanish Songs features musical contributions from Nicolas Bragg, David Carswell, John Collins, Stephen Hamm, and Josh Wells. Dan Bejar writes: It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable. It felt over for English; good for business transactions, but that’s about it. The only other language I know is Spanish, and the only Spanish songs I really know are those of Sr. Chinarro, led by Antonio Luque. I’ve been a decades-long fan of how he conducted his affairs, his strange words, his melodies that have always felt so natural (this is important), his bitter songs about painting the light. Something about them, I knew I could do it”
File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
Bo Diddley / Muddy Waters / Little Walter: Super Blues (Get on Down) LP
In tomorrow…. “In 1968, Chess Records’ lesser known subsidiary Checker Records engaged in an interesting experiment. Perhaps inspired by similar blues super groups such as Cream and Steampacket, or 1964’s Two Great Guitars, which paired Bo Diddley recording alongside Chuck Berry, Checker brought together some of the best artists in their roster – Diddley, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter – to combine their talents into an album of hard-hitting, soulful Chicago blues. The three bluesmen were brought together by legendary R&B producer Ralph Bass to record Super Blues, an informal jam session which featured a backing band of blues greats such as Buddy Guy on guitar, and Otis Spann on piano. Critics remain divided over the merits of Super Bluesas an album, but most agree it occupies a remarkable place in history both as an experiment and as a shape of things to come. Recorded at a time when electric blues’ influence on the mainstream was at its height, shades of Waters & Bo’s future proto-funk experimentation can be heard throughout Super Blues’ rough-at-the-seams, yet still loose and relaxed tracks.”
File Under: Blues, Chess, Super Blues
Emptyset: Recur (Raster-Noton) LP/CD
In tomorrow…. After successful EP Collapsed (R-N 116EP), the Bristol-based project Emptyset strikes back with a full-length album on Raster-Noton. Once more James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas challenge the perceptual boundaries between noise and music and the potential for both technology and architecture to embed and codify themselves within sound. Recur is presented as Emptyset’s third studio album — continuing on from their work with Demiurge, the material examines the central themes of time, structure and recursion, through the analysis of scale and the interaction of both formal and fractured sonics. The album furthers the project’s exploration of rhythm, dislocation and feedback within the framework of full frequency sound, structural abstraction and analog processing. The work examines how notions of time interact with both experience and form, and the resulting modes through which this affects sound through compression and rarefaction and the forcing of signal thresholds to their critical point.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Glitch
Emptyset: Demiurge (Subtext) LP
In tomorrow…. Issued now for the first time on vinyl is the complete studio album Demiurge (2011) produced by Emptyset, the collaborative art/electronics project founded by James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas. The release demonstrates a moment in the development of the project’s production processes, examining non-grid based structures and the integration of sculptural feedback into the analog signal chain. The collective body of work exhibits the precursor to their current studio work with Raster-Noton and highlights the project’s emergence and transition into a distinct sonic grammar, reflecting upon the re-appropriation of analog media and the innate physical properties of sound.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Neoclassical
Entrance Band: Face The Sun (Beyond Beyond is Beyond) LP
Since 2006’s “Prayer of Death”, guitarist/vocalist Guy Blakeslee, bassist Paz Lenchantin & drummer Derek James have breathed continued life into the sound of The Entrance Band. That energy has translated into a catalog of recorded expression & an unassailable reputation for offering one of the most intuitively interconnected live performances on the planet. These memorable melodies and their near-telekinetic musical kinship are found in full flower on “Face the Sun” – certainly the band’s most compelling collection of songs to date. The first full-length in 4 years, it is an album built firmly upon notable personal struggles & transformations experienced by all 3 band members. VINYL VERSION comes in thick case-wrapped vinyl jacket with download code.
File Under: Psych, Rock
John Fahey: New Possibility: Guitar Soli Christmas (Takoma) LP/CD
“The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album is a 1968 album by American folk musician John Fahey. It is a collection of solo-guitar arrangements of familiar Christmas songs and has been Fahey’s best selling recording, remaining in print since it was first released. The album is especially noteworthy since holiday music had never before been played in Fahey’s acoustic-steel string blues guitar style.” – Wikipedia
File Under: Blues, Folk, Americana, Xmas Music
Grizzly Bear: Shields: B-Sides (Warp) LP
Shields: B-Sides is a collection of demos, remixes and b-sides from Grizzly Bear, one of the hottest bands in indie music. On the heels of their stunning 2012, release, this 5-song vinyl edition from Warp comes out alongside a 2CD set that contains the entire Shields album plus the additional tracks. This 12″ has new cover art hand-picked by the band from painter Richard Diebenkorn, and will be presented on 180g heavyweight vinyl. It will also contain a download card for the 5 demos and b-sides, as well as 3 remixes that do not appear on the vinyl – new tracks from Liars (“A Simple Answer”) and Lindstrom (“Gun-Shy”) as well as the gorgeous Nicolas Jaar take on “Sleeping Ute” that sold out in hours during Records Store day 2013.
File Under: Indie Rock, B-sides
Haxan Cloak: s/t (Aurora Borealis) LP
Grey vinyl version. Long awaited deluxe double vinyl edition of the debut album from The Haxan Cloak, housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed innersleeves; on 180 gram vinyl, with download card. Only 400 copies available. The Haxan Cloak’s debut album is barely believable. Exploring mystic and occult audio space with cello, field recordings, violins, hand-made percussion and the human voice, this is barely conceivable as an artist’s first album. The depth and quality is on a par with Ben Frost/Tim Hecker. Combining elements of modern classical, film score and electronica with modern free folk and even metal sensibilities, The Haxan Cloak is a truly diverse album. “Burning Torches of Desire” brings to mind a sedated Prurient trapped on a galleon, whereas “Fall” and “Parting Chant” have the pathos of incredibly powerful modern classical pieces, with stunning vocal performances from collaborator Mikhail Karikis. “The Growing” shows a more modern, more digital side with its nod to modern electronic and even dubstep in its processed percussion, though culminating in unexpected grindcore blast beats courtesy of noted tattoo artist and drum maestro Liam Sparkes (Trencher). Additional visceral power was gained thanks to the mastering of Kris Lapke, longtime cohort of NYC’s Hospital Productions, home of Prurient, amongst others
File Under: Dark Ambient, Electronic
Raul Lovisoni/Francesco Messina: Prati Bagnati del Monte Analogo (Die Schachtel) LP/CD
In tomorrow…. Originally published in 1979 by the legendary Gianni Sassi’s Cramps Records label as part of a series curated by Franco Battiato, the long-awaited Prati Bagnati del Monte Analogo is finally made available by Die Schachtel in a repackaged deluxe edition, fully remastered (by Giuseppe Ielasi) from the original Cramps tapes. Produced by Franco Battiato, the breathtaking oeuvre of Francesco Messina and Raul Lovisoni is openly inspired by the unfinished metaphysical novel Le Mont Analogue, by the French writer René Daumal, who had been for many years a student of the teachings of the enigmatic Armenian Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff. The reference to Gurdjieff is important in order to frame this work in its own context, because at that time the great Greek-Armenian mystic was beginning to exert a large influence into the diverse and stimulating artistic environment that for many years developed around Battiato, which included, among the others, Juri Camisasca, Francesco Messina and Giusto Pio. Battiato’s entourage was characterized by a deep desire of spirituality that would not adhere to a particular faith, but rather involved a full opening of the mind and body. This spiritual quest, that one can hear shining through the music, was something intimate and personal and it never became the expression of religious extremists looking forward to life in another world. Similarly, Prati Bagnati del Monte Analogo is a stage of that journey that the artists developed independently, yet with a constant tension of the spirit resulting from years of readings and reflections shared with others. The music on this album is an exact compendium of such an intimate journey: drones and overtones, repetitive patterns, a deep, meditative feel, and space atmospheres.
File Under: Italian, Electronic, Drone, Ambient, Minimalism, Battiato
Magic Markers: Surrender to the Fantasy (Drag City) LP
Stop right there, hands in the air! If you want to know what Magik Markers think is good for you, you’ll Surrender To The Fantasy. For this long-desired alpus, they’ve been working in threes and stuff. Triangles. The hermetic trifecta of knowledge, Christ and the two thieves, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and the original tagline of the Markers’ symbol: ‘3 down, no to go’. Meaning, these 3 get it and literally no one else needs to . . .’cept the record-buying public, tra la la, ha ha ha ha. Harlan Howard said country music was three chords and the truth, Colin Harper said Mahavishnu Orchestra was 403 chords and the truth. Here we say Magik Markers are no chords and the truth – but to tell the truth, there are some chords, because just as them Markers never change, they always change, because change is Magik! SURRENDER. STTF (never too soon for the acronym, kids) kicks off with that hoary old trope of punk records, the song about the Chesapeake Valley Runoff and the mating cycle of crabs. After that kind of in-your-face Attenborough-core, where could the record go? Nowhere but everywhere, all the creepy outposts of American detritus from other times, when hitchhiking and h-bombs were still hot, viable new ideas, and on beyond zed-bra. ‘Acts of Desperation’ is Shaggs-meets- Stones color commentary on driveway laying, your mom’s Merit Ultra-Light 100’s and the lengths we’ll go to filch a feel of some arcane notion of greatness. Here Pete ‘koan on loan’ Nolan has nixed his kit and Straps Field Handily into a galvanic psych lead. No lame attempt to smoke nutmeg for this jam; it scored real weed.
File Under: Noise Rock, Punk
Lubomyr Melnyk: Three Solo Pieces (Unseen Worlds) LP
In tomorrow…. “Comprised of three balanced examples of his ‘Continuous Music’ technique on solo piano, Three Solo Pieces serves as perhaps the best introduction the Ukrainian-Canadian composer Lubomyr Melnyk yet available. ‘Marginal Invitation’ is a subdued work with a deeply rooted melodic sensibility that is rich in overtones, while ‘Corrosions on the Surface of Life’ exhibits a dissonant fury of patterned note play. The final, side-length meditation ‘Cloud Passade No. 3’ is a chordal work in free-time which functions equally well as furniture music and a meditative exploration of pure light. Three Solo Pieces is the first set of new Lubomyr Melnyk recordings produced by Unseen Worlds and his first release for the label since the 2007 reissue of his debut album KMH: Piano Music in the Continuous Mode (1979). Following that reissue, efforts were shifted from record projects to bringing Melnyk’s still-thriving ‘Continuous Music’ alive for audiences with a set of memorable and well-received concerts in Seattle and New York in 2009. Since his popular rediscovery through a variety of releases on his own and other labels, as well as being hosted all over the world for concerts, Lubomyr Melnyk has successfully risen from obscurity and emerged as a welcome new entry in the history of contemporary classical music, as well as a vital performer for the 21st Century.”
File Under: Piano, Classical, CanCon
Ron Morelli: Spit (Hospital) LP
In tomorrow…. There’s so much that could be said about Ron Morelli, his L.I.E.S. label, or the fact that his debut album comes to you via Hospital Productions, but instead, here are some words from the man himself. “I’m a regular guy, enjoy a good steak, drinking beer, and occasionally a game of pro basketball, Republican talk radio… you know… all the good stuff. The music on this record is about immediacy, pressure, monotony, and stress. A great deal of the feelings conveyed within come from the fear and repulsion of basic human interaction, like if someone sitting behind you on the plane sneezes on you or being forced to shake the clammy hand of a stranger and the intimate paranoia of the mind and dealing with it or not. Not to make some deep intellectual fuck show of this, as it is not, it’s just stress music jammed out quick and recorded. Last year, I was staying in an area where all the hookers did their work. All they would do is smoke cigarettes, read the paper, talk on their cell phones, and spit. They would spit a lot. I would step in that hooker spit on the way home, often tracking it into the apartment building as I entered. This is where the title of the record comes from.” The album features eight electronic variants; from house and industrial tape experiments to saturated metallic beat tracks. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Acid, House, L.I.E.S.
.O.Rang: Herd of Instinct (Sleuth) LP
In tomorrow…. Reissue of this 1994 album from .O.rang, the project of Lee Harris and Paul Webb, formerly of Talk Talk. Featuring guest appearances by Beth Gibbons (Portishead), Matt Johnson (The The), Graham Sutton (Bark Psychosis, Boymerang), Mark Feltham (Talk Talk) and Anthony Thistlewaite (The Waterboys). An excellent, if overlooked leftfield/electronic/dub album in the style of later Talk Talk material.
File Under: Electronic, Dub, Talk Talk, Portishead
Jim O’Rourke: Old News #9 (Old News) LP
In tomorrow…. Jim O’Rourke’s Old News series continues with this, the ninth installment. This new release is unique in the series in that it is the first to feature an all-new composition. The work here showcases the kind of experimental concrete drift which O’Rourke has been exploring for a number of years, resulting in a magical blend of musical abstraction. Whistling drones morph into crystallized rain, shortwave chaos folds into haunting organ landscapes, and the intimacy of this particular journey is witnessed through the ebbing tides of sound that emanate throughout this monumental release. Available only in this format.
File Under: Electronic, Drone, Experimental
Evan Parker & Joe McPhee: What/If/They Both Could Fly (Rune Grammofon) LP/CD
In tomorrow…. On a sultry July evening on an intimate stage at Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Norway, two elder statesmen of improvised music — one wearing a grey shirt, the other sporting a Thunder Pussy T-shirt — stepped up to the platform. What followed resembled an in-depth conversation between two old friends and sparring partners — one that ranged from the amicable to the argumentative, from hush to harmony. Now, Norway’s adventurous Rune Grammofon label is releasing a 40-minute recording of that event. What/If/They Both Could Fly is only the second time this titanic pair has appeared as a duo on record. Their paths have crossed sporadically over the years: Evan Parker has guested in Joe McPhee’s Survival Unit III group, and they have frequently made up a trio with saxophonist Daunik Lazro. But their only release together was Chicago Tenor Duets, back in 2000, praised in Jazz Times for its mixture of lyricism and complexity. Evan Parker was 68 when this concert was recorded and by now, music just seems to beat within him, sure as his own heartbeat. McPhee, at 73, is the elder here, but his zaps of energy on the tiny pocket trumpet, and his thoughtful, exploratory lines and throbbing soprano sax overtones are played as vigorously as a man half his age. Listen to the amazing zigzags of interlocking sound about six minutes into opening track “What.” Hear the microtonal mayhem swarming at the start of “They Both Could Fly.” The duo never seeks to dazzle with virtuosity, but their total mastery of their instruments allows them to dance around each other and match each other’s moves point-for-point and blow-for-blow. Joe has played in groups with Peter Brötzmann, Kent Kessler, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love, Dominic Duval, and Joe Giardullo. He appeared with Evan Parker’s trio on the legendary Redwood Session (1995). Since the early 1960s, there are few jazz and improv musicians Evan hasn’t worked with; he has also cropped up unexpectedly on records by everyone from Scott Walker and Charlie Watts to Spring Heel Jack and British comedian Vic Reeves. A founder of independent free music label Incus, he now runs his own label Psi, releasing core recordings by himself and others. The duo improvises moment by moment, but there’s a tangible, overarching arc that these two veterans instinctively understand — a depth of vision that lifts them head and shoulders above their younger peers. Play this and you’ll believe two men can fly.
File Under: Improv, Jazz
James Plotkin & Paal Nilssen-Love: Death Rattle (Rune Grammofon) LP/CD
In tomorrow…. Death Rattle is the noise of two forces of nature in collision. Like a pair of clashing typhoons, Philadelphia-based avant guitarist James Plotkin and Norwegian free-jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love generate chaos, disturbance and a terrifying beauty in their first-ever collaborative recording. Free-jazz and metal-edged rock never chimed so exhilaratingly together before. James had previously mastered some of Paal’s CD releases and they finally met in April 2012 when the drummer was passing through Philly. In December, after Paal had just finished a 10-date U.S. tour with a Norwegian jazz trio, they got together for the four-hour session that resulted in Death Rattle. The pair improvise moment by moment, but there’s a tangible, overarching arc that these two veterans instinctively understand — a depth of vision that lifts them head and shoulders above their younger peers. James Plotkin’s distinctively extreme, aggressive guitar sound has been a constant presence in underground music since the late 1980s, when he founded the metal/industrial band, OLD. As a solo artist and as a member of outfits such as Scorn, Khanate, Phantomsmasher, Khlyst, and most recently, Jodis, he has plotted a nomadic trail through new metal, dark ambient, industrial, noise, grindcore and drone-rock. Sought out by Michael Gira, John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Franz Treichler, Francisco López, and many more, he has also remixed a wide range of artists from KK Null and Sunn O))) to Pelican, Earth, Nadja and Neu!. Paal Nilssen-Love is one of the most intense drummers working on the planet right now. He grew up in Stavanger, west Norway, where his parents ran the city’s thriving jazz club. In theory, he’s now based in Oslo, but there’s a huge global demand for his percussive threshing machine. He’s often travelling on a relentless round of musical projects and festival appearances — notably with Mats Gustafsson in The Thing, his Chicago trio with Ken Vandermark and Ab Baars, the Hairy Bones group with Peter Brötzmann and Toshinori Kondo, a trio with Massimo Pupillo and noise artist Lasse Marhaug, plus duos with Peter Brötzmann, Terrie Ex, John Butcher and others.
File Under: Experimental, Improv
Palmer Rockey: Rockey’s Style Movie Album (Trunk) LP
In tomorrow…. One of the rarest, weirdest and most brilliantly odd soundtracks of all time, written and performed by one of the most fascinating underground characters ever. Described by Jello Biafra as “a disco lounge lizard from hell,” Palmer Rockey and the Palmer Rockey story have to be read to be believed, and even then, you might not believe it. And this album has to be heard properly to understand the madness, weirdness and total passion brought to the studio sometime in Texas in the mid- to late 1970s. Palmer Rockey was a remarkable con-artist. He made this one record, the soundtrack to his one weird movie. It’s incredibly rare, only one copy surfacing in the last decade. Once heard, you may fall deeply for Palmer’s charms, it’s strangely moving and all wrong, like something straight out of the world of David Lynch. The edited Palmer Rockey story goes something like this: after a difficult childhood but an interesting education, Palmer Rockey became obsessed by the movies. So obsessed, that he travelled to the UK and tried to get a film script to Boris Karloff in Shepperton. Unsuccessful, he returned to Texas to make his own film. To do so (according to legend) he conned rich Texan housewives out of money. When he got money, he shot film, then fell out with the cast and crew. He then conned more money from different women, shot more film with different cast and crew, then fell out with them, too. This continued for years. The “finished” film, It Happened One Weekend was only shown once (ironically just once, one weekend), at the premier in Canyon Creek, Sunday October 11th, 1974. In fact, the photo on the front of the album was shot by his wife the night of the premier. The film was written, produced, edited, directed, and starred Palmer Rockey (as twin brothers of course), with all music by Palmer Rockey. The plot was apparently demonic and “beyond the room of terrifying evil.” Also included was a “Sunday Surprise Ending.” I believe the surprise that Sunday was that people laughed all the way through, and even walked out. It was a total disaster on every level, apparently nothing in the movie made any sense at all. But undeterred by such poor reaction, he continued to tinker with the film — sure that it would eventually bring him an Academy Award. He released it again and again in several different versions over the next few years, firstly with the title It Happened One Sunday, which played briefly in Denver, El Paso, and also at drive-in theaters. The film then disappeared, was recut with new scenes and appeared again in 1980, as Rockey’s Style,Scarlet Love, and also Scarlet Warning 666. All the while Palmer Rockey was battling debtors, having already been sued in the 1960s by his uncle for non-payment of loans. There’s not a great deal of information about his career and life in the 1980s, but we do know he passed away in 1996, leaving behind very little apart from debt and this unusual self-pressed album. There is no sign or trace of any version of the film anywhere. And boy, are people looking for it. Palmer wrote all the music for the film(s), and there are, as far as we know, two private issues of the soundtrack from the same period — 1980. There’s Scarlet Love, which was followed (or it’s possibly the other way around) days or weeks later as he’d decided to change the name of the film again, to Rockey’s Style. Both have the same original catalog number and subtitle of “Movie Album,” and both have track titles that do not match the albums. You will observe Trunk has kept the original and incorrect tracklisting on the album sleeve, but kept the correct ones on the album labels. Musically it’s beautifully played and oddly performed, with a bizarre sense of passion and surprising honesty. It’s an unusual album in that once heard, it sticks like glue to your brain. You may well find yourself getting slightly obsessed by it. We certainly have. Sleeve notes include an intro by Jon Brooks of Ghostbox, who not only remastered the album but also quickly became consumed by the music and the Palmer Rockey story. And now this incredible and unique outsider album is released, one has to wonder if anyone will ever find the missing Palmer Rockey movie.
File Under: OSTs, Weirdo
Gabriel Saloman: Soldier’s Requiem (Miasmah) LP
In tomorrow…. Gabriel Saloman furthers his dive into the dynamics of sound and delivers four pieces of intense yet restrained requiems set to piano, guitar, and drums with Soldier’s Requiem, his follow-up to last year’s highly-emotive record Adhere. Although touching on his past in Yellow Swans (with Pete Swanson), Saloman continues to explore the noises within rather than the purely physical component of his former collaborator. That’s not saying this is lighthearted material. Quite the contrary. This is an album that needs to be experienced on proper volume for potential heart-stopping effect. Sounding as if you may be the last person left on earth, Soldier’s Requiem guides you through rain-filled open spaces, epic showdowns and abandoned cities. The debris is floating and in the shadow lurks a guitar-picking Vincent Gallo. Meanwhile, there seems to be marching bands closing in on all fronts while a punk band playing Tim Hecker tracks can be heard from the horizon. Soldier’s Requiem confirms Saloman as a man able to further his own musicality while regaining the key elements to his recipe. This is music for modern decay and melancholy.
File Under: Ambient, Neoclassical
Gunter Schickert: Kinder In Der Wildnis (Bureau B) LP
In tomorrow…. The fact that this album appeared at all in 1983 owes less to Günter Schickert and more to Steven and Alan Freeman, who sought him out for their Krautrock encyclopedia The Crack in the Cosmic Egg. On learning that Schickert had heaps of recordings in his archive, the Freeman brothers proposed compiling an album. Schickert agreed and handed over material which the English YHR label had released in cassette form. Kinder in der Wildnis is a more heterogeneous album than either of its predecessors, understandably so, since the pieces it contains are not immediately related to one another. Occasionally, the influence of Neue Deutsche Welle (German new wave), virtually omnipresent in that era, may be detected. For the most part, however, Schickert stays true to form and creates layers of hypnotic, filigree echo patterns, frequently accompanied by a dragging beat. To add to the atmosphere, he mixed in dummy head recordings made in Kreuzberg on New Year’s Eve, 1980. In the following decade he augmented these with corresponding recordings from New Year’s Eve, 1990. A rare treat awaits on the title track — his four year-old daughter can clearly be heard singing the chorus at full pelt. Günter Schickert remains one of the greats of the Krautrock underground. Alongside his solo album work, he was a member of GAM, No Zen, and Ziguri Ego Zoo and composed a wealth of music for theater. He also painted (the drawings in the booklet, for example) and worked as a multimedia artist. His career in music began in the late 1960s, early 1970s in Berlin’s legendary Zodiak Free Arts Lab (founded by Konrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius). Among the similarly creative free spirits he met here was a certain Klaus Schulze, then drumming for Tangerine Dream. He would later join Schulze on tour as a roadie and musician and sometimes looked after Schulze’s house when he was on the road. They recorded an album together in 1975 and intended to release it under the title Ich bin zwei Öltanks (“I am two oil tanks”). Alas, it would be another 38 years until it saw the light of day (with the rather more sensible title of The Schulze-Schickert Session). Today, amongst other things, Günter Schickert is back touring with his old band, Ziguri.
File Under: Kraut Rock, Prog, Kosmische
Ty Segall: Gemini (Drag City) LP
Very limited! The track-list is familiar. The artwork’s a burnt-eyed reminder of shapes we know so well. But it’s not Twins. It’s a few minutes older, and it’s Gemini. Gemini begat Twins. Gemini + volumes = Twins. Gemini is the Twins demos, recorded between 2010 and 2012 by Ty Segall and Eric Bauer. Some were followed straight through, some were departed from to get the Twins effect. Now, in Sleeper’s dark, frothy wake, there’s room next to Twins in this world for its prenatal partner-in-womb, Gemini. Gemini is LP-only, no digital, and ultra-limited, reserved for those who most need to look inside. Don’t sleep as long as Gemini is in the world with you! It won’t be for long.
File Under: Garage, Psych
Shifted: Under A Single Banner (Bed of Nails) LP
In tomorrow…. It’s been a busy couple of years for the producer behind the Shifted project. On top of an extremely well-received album for the Mote Evolver label, the producer has edged further out into the fringes of electronic music under a number of aliases, taking in noise/ambient variants as Covered In Sand, as well as more distorted, technofied productions under the Alexander Lewis moniker, a sound described by the Blackest Ever Black label as “S-M techno.” His new album as Shifted, Under a Single Banner, finds the producer converging these strands into a lucid re-imagining of techno, starting off from the toughened, purist templates honed down by the likes of Sandwell District and Marcel Dettmann, and stretching out into more textured, sometimes noisy, often introverted and melancholy signatures. It’s a perfect fit for Bed Of Nails, a label that’s given a platform for the more direct dancefloor mutations of Dominick Fernow’s own productions as Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, and Christian Cosmos, as well as familiar Hospital Productions affiliates such as Kris Lapke under the Bronze Age guise. There’s a rich and earthy warmth to Under a Single Banner that’s perhaps at odds with the puerile fixation on all things noisy at the fringes of techno these days, but for the most part, the tension and momentum keeps the album definitively aimed at the floor without ever resting on its laurels. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Los Siquicos Litoralenos: Sonido Chipadelico (Sham Palace) LP
In tomorrow…. “Sham Palace (USA) and Annihaya (Lebanon) are pleased to present from the mystical locus of Curuzú Cuatiá, in Corrientes, rural northeastern Argentina, Los Siquicos Litoraleños, with their first international full-length release. The result: a unique triumph of homegrown rural psychedelia, standing alone on the edge of an unchartered vanguard. Los Siquicos have spent the past decade recording and performing mountains of material and distilling it into a rare form of ultra-cerebral roots music from the countryside; rich with strange passion, beauty, experimentation, horror and humor. Los Siquicos Litoraleños (The Psychics of el Litoral) aren’t running from their musical heritage, they are staring straight at it — spinning it around, refracting it, and transmuting it into something that is probably one of the most genuine things that has happened to folk, rock, experimental or psychedelic music in many years. Having met through various musical projects in the mid-2000s, Los Siquicos formed as a trio in 2004, determined to develop an unheard style of music. They created their own genre — Chipadelia, (a reference to the traditional chipá bread, typical of northeast Argentina and Paraguay). It involves equalizational demolition therapy — which they describe as ‘using sound to change people’s perceptions, and words to produce cognitive dissonance in order to free the masses from the prison of fixed ideas and prejudices.’ Being a peripheral band living in a semi-rural town, Los Siquicos remained outsiders to the Argentinian rock circuit for quite a while, though their unpredictable live performances in Buenos Aires caused a stir amongst the local scene. Their shows often feature extended line-ups, with members cloaked in surreal gaucho costumes, playing segments of free-music and altered versions of chamamé and cumbia tunes influenced by the myriad regional gaucho dance bands. All the while, projections of cows, fractals, UFOs and their beloved countryside play out in the background. At home, they’re affectionately referred to as ‘El Pink Floyd de los pobres’ — the poor man’s Pink Floyd. Over time, the group has gained underground acclaim both nationally and abroad after sending their signals out in the form of self-released CDs, internet presence, and a handful of European tours. This collection has been culled from multiple recordings made between 2005 and 2010. It showcases some of the finest compositional moments in the group’s dense and damaged repertoire — pitched-down cumbias soaked in dub brine, swirling solar instrumentals, and surrealist, shamanic lyrics laid across guitars, drums, tapes and electronics. Forty-four minutes of deep, multi-fidelity electric and acoustic psychic sound-forms for a better today. Los Siquicos Litoraleños are the contemporary group you keep hoping exist, but can never find. If you were to reach for spiritual comparisons, you wouldn’t be forgetting the most spirited moments from Sun City Girls, Butthole Surfers, Faust, Os Mutantes, Captain Beefheart or The Residents.” –Mark Gergis
File Under: Ethnic, Psych, South American, Weirdo
Sleep: Sleep’s Holy Mountain (Easy Rider) CS
The band’s second album, generally hailed as a stoner rock classic, recorded at Razor’s Edge in San Francisco. Originally released in 1992 on Earache Records, the album has become a favourite of the Metal press and the band was heralded, along with KYUSS, as leaders of the emerging stoner metal scene. Features Al Cisneros on Bass, Vocals (OM) Matt Pike on Guitar (HIGh ON FIRE) & Chris Hakius on drums (OM), with production by Billy Anderson (Melvins, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Orange Goblin, Lost Goat, Noxagt, Sourvein, Eyehategod, High On Fire). LIMITED TO 100 COPIES with outer cardboard sleeve.
File Under: Metal, Stoner, Doom
SNFU: Never Trouble Trouble Until Trouble Troubles You (Cruzar) LP
30 years, man. 30 years. Since their humble beginnings in early 1980’s Edmonton, SNFU have become a flagship for Canadian punk rock throughout the world. For the first time in a decade SNFU have taken their legendary powerhouse punk rock to the recording studio and produced their 10th full length album: Never Trouble Trouble Until Trouble Troubles You. This band has had an incredible track record for album sales since their debut, “And No One Else Wanted to Play” (which is still a constant seller for the BYO label) through the Epitaph Records years. This album will be no exception. The release will be supported with vigorous international touring, regional and national scale print and radio campaigns and plenty of Point of Purchase materials for retail outlets.
File Under: Punk, CanCon
Omar Souleyman: Dabke 2020: Folk & Pop Sounds of Syria (Sublime Frequencies) LP
In tomorrow…. Sublime Frequencies is pleased to present the second volume of Northeast Syrian dabke music from legendary vocalist Omar Souleyman and his group. This record was compiled by Mark Gergis to coincide with the Sublime Frequencies UK/European tour in May and June of 2009, featuring live performances by Omar Souleyman himself. Culled from dozens of cassettes recorded in Syria from 1999-2008, the music here is an extension of Omar’s Highway to Hassake: Folk & Pop Sounds of Syria release, touching on some previously-unheard angles. Their trademark serpentine synthesizers, electrified bouzok (traditional stringed instrument) and driving rhythms forge a severe form of “new wave dabke” with a live energy and integrity that captures the essence of the Syrian Northeast; one-of-a-kind Syrian dabke party tunes, regional atabat-styled crooners, and unbelievable Iraqi party jams. This is the limited edition LP version packaged in a heavy-duty tip-on jacket.
File Under: Dabke, Ethnic, Syria, Partytime, Yalla
The Thing: Boot! (Thing) LP
In tomorrow…. After more than 600 concerts around the globe, five studio albums, and a variety of live releases over the years, the Scandinavian garage, free-jazz trio, The Thing — Mats Gustafsson (saxophones), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass), and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) — are excited to present their sixth studio album, Boot!. As the first album on their new label, The Thing Records (in association with Austrian Trost Records), and first studio album following their collaborative release with Neneh Cherry, 2012’s The Cherry Thing, Boot! is The Thing’s most hard-hitting, open, and epic release to date. Recorded over three intense days,Boot! breathes life and energy, capturing the deep riffs and distorted activities of the electric bass, the attack of the snare drum, the depth of the bass sax and epic lines of the tenor sax. It marks an important development in the trio’s endless search of musical poetic meltdowns with its definite rock sound and open playing. Throughout, they transform their roots, combining their own free jazz and punk aesthetics with elements of Ethiopian music, soul, funk, and noise, and re-work album-oriented material by jazz icons, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. With dedicated fans in the rock, noise, and jazz communities, Boot! takes The Thing’s music to new, uncompromising levels and continues to solidify The Thing’s special and important position in the contemporary independent music world.
File Under: Free Jazz
Thundertree: s/t (Guerssen) LP
In tomorrow…. Coming from the same Minneapolis ’60s scene which spawned bands like The Litter, Thundertree evolved from garage band The Good Idea. In 1970 they released their sole album for the Roulette label: a perfect example of the transition from psychedelia to hard-rock and early progressive sounds. Killer fuzzed-out guitar, organ, and powerful vocals. Including hard-psych classics like “In the Morning” and “Room at the Top of the Stairs” along with the monstrous 17-minute long “2025” suite. For this, the first-ever legit vinyl reissue of Thundertree, Guerssen has included two previously-unreleased tracks: “Pepper Palace” (a great psychedelic number) plus a storming cover of “Sixteen Tons,” which was the signature song in Thundertree’s live shows. Both tracks were recorded at UA Studios, Minneapolis, in 1970. Includes an insert with lot of pictures and bio notes by Billy Hallquist (Thundertree, Persephone Billy). 24-bit remastered sound.
File Under: Garage, Psych
Mick Turner: Don’t Tell the Driver (Drag City) LP
Finally! After 15 years, Big Mick Turner has turned in the big rock record we always knew he had in him! Yeah, Don’t Tell the Driver is a different kind of record from all the Mick Turner records – not just his own, but the ones he’s done with Dirty Three, Bonny Billy, Cat Power, Fungus Brains and Venom P. Stinger put together. So, what’s so different about Don’t Tell the Driver anyway? Well, Mick grew a mustache for this one. That must mean it’s his Sgt. Pepper; a consolidation and development of everything he’s done up until now, streamlined and presented under the sophisticated umbrella known as the rock opera/concept album! Write it down so you won’t forget it – Don’t Tell the Driver is inarguably the first post-rock rock opera of our times – by an artist running out of time. Like all the best masterpieces, Don’t Tell the Driver came together slowly, spurred by life experiences and aided by the meditation that only time brings. Over the last four years, Mick put together the pieces at Big Moth Studios in Melbourne, working his magic with aquatic guitar-and-drums chemistry, augmenting the tracks with melodica, piano and Fender Rhodes, and then bringing in the vocalists and other additional players when the tracks were ready for them. Replete with classic epics and timely reprises, Don’t Tell the Driver is an inspired and focused collection of Mick Turner music that reaches for new borders without sacrificing the dizzy wandering and painterly stillness that has typified Mick’s best work of the past. With the help of his many friends, Mick Turner has turned over a powerful page of life and music on Don’t Tell the Driver.
File Under: Dirty Three, Guitar
Vangelis: Sex Power (Sleuth) LP
In tomorrow…. Extremely limited 180 gram vinyl reissue of the soundtrack for Henry Chapier’s film Sex Power, starring Jane Birkin. Originally released in 1970 by Philips, this electronic/prog classic is essentially Vangelis’ first full-length solo effort, as around this time his band Aphrodite’s Child released their last album, 666. The soundtrack consists of 11 tracks and all the future Vangelis trademarks are already there in rudimentary form.
File Under: OST, Electronic, Prog
Toni Vescoli: Information (Guerssen) LP
In tomorrow…. In 1970, when Swiss garage-beat band Les Sauterelles split, their leader, Toni Vescoli, decided to start a solo career. At first, inspired by Dylan, he thought of going strictly acoustic, but he soon changed his mind and started incorporating psychedelic and electric elements to his sound, such as feedback, primitive drum machines, guitars and vocals filtered through Leslie speakers etc., as he was also influenced by bands like Pink Floyd and King Crimson. He also incorporated into his repertoire some of the songs he had written for the never-recorded Sauterelles concept album, Seven Deadly Sins. In 1971, Toni released his debut solo album, Information, a folk-rock/psychedelic gem which reflected his influences at the time: folk, rock, psychedelia, and progressive-rock. From fragile acoustic numbers to dark, wigged-out psychedelic tracks, this is highly recommended to anyone into C.Q.-era Outsiders or Frank Nuyen’s Rainman album. Stunning mastertape sound, original gatefold sleeve, repro of the rare poster and insert with detailed liner-notes by Mike Stax.
File Under: Folk, Psych, Rock
Kurt Vile: It’s A Big World Out There (Matador) 12”/CD
Between genre/era/lifetime-defining full lengths, Kurt Vile has made a name for himself with limited vinyl edition EPs. The “it’s a big world out there (and i am scared)” 12″ continues this tradition with its inclusion of “Never Run Away” from 2013’s breakthrough LP, “Wakin On A Pretty Daze” – this time with the beef’d up “string synth” version. The remaining six tracks are all previously unreleased. The 12″ also includes brand new tracks: the finger picked earworm “Feel My Pain” and the bedroom psych moves of “the Ghost of Freddie Roach”. Wakin standouts “Snowflakes Are Falling” and “Air Bud” are also reprised here as “Snowflakes Extended” and “Wedding Budz”, respectively. Kurt recently shared a playlist at KurtVile.com of the mix CD he handed to the Violators and producer John Agnello before heading in to the studio for the recording of Wakin On A Pretty Daze, along with a message from Kurt on the process of compiling the mix and its influence on recording. The 12″ EP was recorded during the same sessions as the latest album and doubles as the bonus content for the newly announced 2xCD and digital album version of Wakin On A Pretty Daze: Deluxe Daze (Post Haze), also out November 19th.
File Under: Indie Rock, Haze
Weeknd: Kiss Land (Republic) LP
Kiss Land is the highly anticipated sophomore full-length from Canadian recording artist/producer Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd. Kiss Land follows up his unanimously celebrated platinum-selling 2012 debut, Trilogy. Tapping into that same signature mystique, this second effort is an elegant pastiche of love, longing, and lust set to a futuristic soundtrack of shimmering keys, disruptive synths, and airy atmospherics. It’s dark. It’s dangerous. It’s decidedly sexy. It’s The Weeknd. The Weeknd on the album to Complex: “Kiss Land symbolizes the tour life, but it’s a world that I created in my head. Just like House of Balloons symbolizes Toronto and my experiences there, but it’s a world that I created. When I think about Kiss Land, I think about a terrifying place. It’s a place I’ve never been to before that I’m very unfamiliar with. “A lot of it is inspired by filmmakers like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and Ridley Scott, because they know how to capture fear. That’s what Kiss Land is to me, an environment that’s just honest fear. I don’t know who I am right now and I’m doing all these outlandish things in these settings that I’m not familiar with. “To me, it’s the most terrifying thing ever. So when you hear the screams in the record and you hear all these horror references and you feel scared, listen to the music because I want you to feel what I’m feeling. Kiss Land is like a horror movie.”
File Under: RnB, NuSoul
Yamantaka/Sonic Titan: Uzu (Paper Bag) LP
It is safe to say there is no other band like Yamantaka // Sonic Titan on the planet. In a world that is increasingly homogenized, a record like Uzu is all the more important for demonstrating how disparate cultural perspectives can merge into something entirely new while retaining their individual sovereign character. This meeting of East and West is perhaps most visible in Uzu’s lead single “One.”
File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
Various: Choubi Choubi! Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq Volume 2 (Sublime Frequencies) 2LP
In tomorrow…. In 2005, Sublime Frequencies released Choubi Choubi: Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq, and in the ensuing years it has become one of the most beloved and venerable titles in their catalog. Now almost 10 years later, this highly-anticipated second volume is finally here. Compiler and producer Mark Gergis has once again put forth a revelatory and poignant collection of Iraq’s national folk music. What has happened to Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion and eventual occupation? Endless death, destruction and chaos, the complete take-down of a functional and sovereign secular government (regardless of your opinion on that government), puppet installations, contrived sectarian divisions, the wholesale looting of culture, rampant opportunism, and apparently no lessons learned — all at the Iraqi people’s expense. Naturally, music has continued to be produced in Iraq — however, since 2003, musicians and artists have been consistently targeted and attacked by extremists, who have also bombed music shops and forced the closing of venues and music halls. The musical style most prominently focused on in this volume is the infamous Iraqi choubi, (pronounced choe-bee), with its distinct driving rhythm that feature fiddles, double-reed instruments, bass, keyboards, and oud over its signature beat. Choubi is Iraq’s version of the regionally popular dabke, another celebratory Levantine folkloric style of rhythm and line dance. What really defines the Iraqi choubi sound are the crisp, rapid-fire machine-gun style percussive rhythms set atop the main beat. To the uninitiated, they sound almost electronic. Sometimes they are, but more often this is the work of the khishba — a unique hand-drum of nomadic origin (aka the zanbour — Arabic for wasp), which appears across the board in many styles of Iraqi music today, with extensions of it also heard in Syrian and Kuwaiti music. Among other styles featured in this volume are Iraq’s legendary brand of mawal — an ornamental vocal improvisation that sets the tone of a song, regardless of the style, and the outstanding Iraqi hecha, with its lumbering and determined rhythm pulsing beneath sad, antagonized vocals — as heard on tracks A4 and B2. The tracks on this collection were produced during the Saddam era — between the 1980s and early-2000s. An important goal within the Iraqi Baathist agenda was to promote its brand of secularism, which saw the establishment of cultural centers, and a fostering of the arts. Music was more encouraged, albeit more institutionalized than ever — particularly folkloric and heritage music such as choubi. In an Iraqi army comprised of seven divisions, Saddam referred to singers as the eighth. Still, unless a rare level of stardom has been achieved, being a singer or musician isn’t usually encouraged or viewed as a respectable lifestyle in much of the Arab world. It’s often those deemed social outsiders that tend to find their niche in music — particularly the “party music” heard on this collection. Among them are the Rom Gypsy Iraqis (known as Kawliya in Arabic). A number of female singers wear masks and adopt pseudonyms to protect their identities, as some are runaways or prostitutes making ends meet in the seedy nightclub scene. Occasionally, they end up with successful recording careers. Sajida Obeid, who has appeared on both volumes of Choubi Choubi! is an example of a talented Kawliya singer from the nightclub scene of the 1980s who rose to choubi infamy in Baghdad. Choubi inevitably invokes tawdry connotations within Iraqi society (cheap nightclubs for the lower classes, outcast gypsies and singing prostitutes), but in fact, many calibers of Iraqi singers and ensembles have recorded and performed the music. Unofficially, choubi can be called the national dance of Iraq. Though some may deny this claim (mostly due to its reputation and stigma), at most Iraqi weddings you’ll find people from all walks flaunting their best choubi moves. Iraqi music has always had a way of transcending religious groups and ethnicity, collectively shared between Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and myriad other Iraqi minorities. In 2013 sadly, this diversity and unity within Iraq is increasingly fragmented, but traditions continue throughout the internationally displaced diaspora. Limited edition 2LP set in a heavy gatefold jacket with beautiful artwork and liner notes by Mark Gergis.
File Under: Ethnic, Iraq
Various: Cosmic Machine (Because) LP/CD
Comes in a replica gatefold sleeve with a CD copy of the album. At the start of the ’70s, France had no petrol, but it had ideas and artists that managed to tip them into the 21st century a full 30 years in advance. Cosmic Machine compiles 20 rare tracks put together with passion and erudition by Uncle O (who previously did the Shaolin Soul compilations) and throws together a collection of stars, a few free-spirits, and also shooting stars. This group of people don’t form a scene per se, they’re more like a collection of individuals who, through sheer ingenuity and with all their singularity, managed to break down the barriers between pop and experimental to give birth to a mutant variety of electronic music that owes as much to mobile discos as sound illustration, to the GRM, to the Bogdanoff brothers, to Métal Hurlant, and the European Space Program. Cosmic Machine is a panoramic dive into this epic era when the synthesizer was man’s best friend and when the future had a future: our present time. Daft Punk, Air, Justice, Zombie Zombie, or Add N To (X), Stereolab, and Broadcast weren’t born in incubators. The electric fairy stood above their cradle and they’re all the children of these French pioneers who were among the first to celebrate the union of flesh and circuits. Androids, robots, humans and other celestial creatures, now board the Cosmic Machine. Artists include: Patrick Juvet, Didier Marouani, Droids, François De Roubaix, Space, Universal Energy, Pierre Bachelet, Space Art, The Atomic Crocus, Jean Michel Jarre, Bernard Fevre, Cerrone, Frederic Mercier, Quartz, Rene Roussel, Serge Gainsbourg, Dvwb, Alain Goraguer, Jean-Jacques Perrey, and Rockets.
File Under: French, Cosmic, Electronic, Avant Garde
Various: Ecstasy of Gold: 25 Killer Bullets from the Spaghetti West Vol. 3 (Semi-Automatic) 2LP
In tomorrow…. Volume three in this essential and peerless series. Selected from one of the most complete Spaghetti Western audio archives, this five volume series showcases the most inspired tracks in this legendary genre. Digging deep to excavate a treasure trove of obscure and rarely-heard tracks by some of the genre’s greatest composers and vocalists, Ecstasy of Gold is the definitive series for aficionados of Euro-Western films and the music that they created. Loud gunshots with reverb and echo appear with the first image of a lawless killer riding a horse… a punchy & trebly bass guitar seeps into your brain as he draws his pistol, a hair-raising scream half-melodic, half-banshee spews forth from the speakers as blood splatters yet again onto the desert floor. The audio soundtrack to the Italian version of the American West is flamboyant, brutal, intense, and unforgiving. Songs composed for the Italian Westerns of the 1960s and 1970s have become a genre all unto themselves. There were hundreds of European Westerns during this period and the majority of them were made by Italian directors and scored by Italian composers. Crying trumpets, exploding surf guitars, thundering drums, droning organs, dramatic vocal performances, and innovative special effects were woven into a wild and violent desert backdrop, creating that undeniable Spaghetti Western sound heard on this record. The most famous of all the Italian soundtrack composers is Ennio Morricone and his music for the Italian Western is guaranteed to inspire and amaze until the end of time itself. But there were many other great and legendary maestros who scored their share of Westerns and this compilation presents transcendent, brilliant and challenging tracks from the likes of: Bruno Nicolai, Gianni Ferrio, Francesco De Masi,Marcello Giombini, Luis Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Alessandro Alessandroni, Nora Orlandi, Nico Fidenco, Piero Umiliani, and many others. 2LP gatefold in a limited edition pressing of 750 copies.
File Under: OST, Italian, Westerns
Various: Jukebox Jam Volume 2 (Jazzman) 2LP
In tomorrow…. The original Jukebox Jam!: Blues & Rhythm Revue compilation album was released in 2011, a collection which brought together the dynamic and varied R&B sounds of Liam Large’s London-based club night and reissue label. With an action-packed, all-killer set, it quickly became an instant classic, a comp of vintage sounds which truly stood out in an ever-saturated market. Two years on, and we are proud to unleash the second volume of Jukebox Jam, another collection of 23 obscure masterpieces from mid-century America. Perhaps even more ambitious than the first volume, the follow-up broadens the scope of investigation by digging both deeper back into the 1940s, with a couple of jazzy blues numbers, and further into the 1960s, with gritty rock and roll and early Detroit soul both featuring prominently. In between these sounds, there’s of course a healthy fill of dirty ’50s blues, jumping R&B and swinging popcorn, but it’s safe to say that on this set, the surprises come a little more frequently. Jukebox Jam Volume 2 is another essential classic in waiting.
File Under: Blues, RnB
Various: Paradise Bangkok: The Album (Paradise Bangkok) LP
In tomorrow…. “Paradise Bangkok: The Album collects all the tracks from PB’s limited edition 45s on one volume, and includes an exclusive comic designed by Lewis Heriz of Soundway Records, plus a free download. Over eight killer tunes, from the heavy afro-Thai vibes of ‘Mor Khaen Ha Kho’ by Prasai Jaekankaeo, the nagging, sultry riff of Nung Lamyung Kularbseemuang’s ‘Kati Sorn Jai’ or the out-there psychedelia of Sroeng Santi’s ‘Pai Na Pai,’ it’s easy to see why these singles have been snapped up the world over. The free download code gives access to all these tracks digitally for the first time, as well as a chance to get a sneak preview of the next Paradise Bangkok 7″. As ever, it comes in a limited edition of 500 copies, with a numbered, hand stitched silk-screened sleeve, plus comic telling the strange myth about the origins of this mysterious Thai collective.”
File Under: Thai, Molam, Luk Thung, Ethnic
Various: Rebita 74 (Analog Africa) LP
In tomorrow…. It is with a great sense of privilege that Analog Africa presents this holy grail of Angolan popular urban music. Produced by Fadiang (Fabrica de Discos Angolana) this LP, known by music aficionados as Rebita 74, is the first LP to be recorded and pressed on Angolan soil. Released in 1973, this album is in fact a compilation of tracks by Urbano de Castro, Os Kiezos and Jovens do Prenda, the best-selling artists at that particular time, who were asked to compose four songs each, exclusively for this project. The result is a masterpiece — one of the best LPs recorded in Angola. On 180 gram vinyl, this is a strictly limited pressing of 1000 copies.
File Under: World, Ethnic, Angolan
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Mauraders (Jive) LP
Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
The Clash: s/t (Legacy) LP
Bong: Mana-yood-Sushai (Ritual) LP
Darkthrone: Hate Them (Peaceville) LP
Darkthrone: Soulside Journey (Peaceville) LP
Darkthrone: Under A Funeral Moon (Peaceville) LP
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien: Wish My Brother… (Traffic) LP
Dr. Dre: the Cronic (Death Row) LP
Flaming Lips: In a Priest Driven Ambulance (Plain) LP
Fluxion: Vibrant Forms (Type) LP/CD
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (4 Men With Beards) LP
J.T. iv: Cosmic Lightning (Drag City) LP
King Khan & The Shrines: Idle No More (Merge) LP
Knife: s/t (Mute) LP
MF Doom: Special Herbs 1 & 2 (Nature Sounds) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven (Warp) LP
Red Fang: Whales & Leeches (Relapse) LP
Refused: Shape of Punk (Epitaph) LP
Saint Etienne: Foxbase Alpha (Plain) LP
Salem’s Pot: Sweeden (Easy Rider) LP
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet: Savvy Show Stoppers (Mammoth Cave) LP
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun (Fat Cat) LP
Stranger: Watching Dead Empires in Decay (Modern Love) LP
Talking Heads: 1977-1981: Name Of This Band is Talking Heads (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings & Food (Rhino) LP
Wicked Lady: Psychotic Overkill (Guerssen) LP
Various: African Scream Contest (Analog Africa) LP