…..news letter #625 – olymp…..

I suppose it’s fitting that it be super cold during the Olympics, but seriously, I thought it was spring already. Anyway… a bit of a light week here, but some quality stuff nonetheless.

We are also pleased to be involved in the Wyrd Distro launch event, taking place on Feb 15th. Wyrd Distro is the mail order/distribution arm of Weird Canada. We will be hosting a launch party/Q&A/live show on the 15th. Things will start rolling around 2pm starting with local drone fav’s Pigeon Breeders followed by a Google hangout Q&A with Wyrd Distro exec’s. Then Zebra Pulse will play a quiet sort of set and Jim Cumin will close out the event. This is a free party so come down, hang out and maybe buy some wax.

…..pick of the week…..


Christopher Komeda: Rosemary’s Baby OST (Waxworks) LP
Waxwork Records presents Christopher Komeda’s score to the 1968 horror classic, Rosemary’s Baby. Remixed and mastered for vinyl from the original master tapes, this special release is the most comprehensive presentation of the film’s score to ever be pressed on vinyl. Rosemary’s Baby will be available on 180 gram clear vinyl. A limited variant of 500 randomly inserted units will be available on black and crystal clear haze vinyl. LP package details include audiophile-grade virgin vinyl housed in a heavyweight old-style tip-on gatefold jacket with satin finish and spot UV gloss. A 12” x 12” art print of the album cover including an essay by Jay Shaw will be inserted into each package. In depth liner notes and unreleased production stills will also be included.

File Under: OSTs, Horror
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…..new arrivals…..

broken bellsBroken Bells: After The Disco (Columbia) LP
Broken Bells, the musical partnership comprised of Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and James Mercer (Shins), release their sophomore album, After the Disco, on Columbia Records. This follows the release of the band’s prologue to their album-accompanying short film by the same name. The prologue, titled “Part One: Angel and The Fool,” can be viewed on YouTube. After the Disco follows up the 2010 self-titled debut which is on the brink of RIAA Gold certification after notching a release week Billboard Top 10 slot. It’s not The Shins. It’s not Danger Mouse. It’s Broken Bells. 180g vinyl with download card insert and 12 x 12 poster.

File Under: Indie, Rock
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cannibal ox

Cannibal Ox: The Cold Vein (I Hip Hop) 4LP
(White Vinyl, includes bonus instrumentals album). When Vast Aire, Vordul Mega, and producer El-P created Cannibal Ox’s seminal debut The Cold Vein, few could have foreseen the musical dexterity that would have been embodied on this now classic release. Upon it’s release, Pitchfork exclaimed, ”The Cold Vein is going to be on everybody’s year end list of the best underground hip-hop.” Not only was this prediction correct, but The Cold Vein would go on to be cemented as a classic album, earning spots on numerous top album lists of that year and even top album lists of the decade. With undeniable production and word play that Stylus Magazine declares shows ”the potential for hip-hop lyrics to work on many levels as the finest English poetry,” it’s no wonder that fans, new and old cannot get enough of The Cold Vein. After years of being out-of-print and pent-up demand, the group is giving the fans what they want by reissuing their magnum opus. For the first time ever, the album will be digitally remastered so listeners can experience the witty metaphors of Vast Aire and Vordul Mega over the instrumentation of El-P like never before.

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
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king crimsonKing Crimson: Larks’ Tongue In Aspic (Panegyric) LP
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic is the fifth in a series of King Crimson audiophile vinyl reissues. Newly cut from masters approved by Robert Fripp, this super-heavyweight 200g vinyl pressing is housed in a reprint of the original sleeve and contains bonus MP3 codes giving access to a download of a transfer of an original 1973 pressing. With its raw tone, inspired improvisations and hard hitting odd-metered rhythms, the album marked a radical departure for this most forward thinking of groups and was the first to include Bill Bruford and John Wetton as band members.

File Under: Prog, Rock
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mcguireMark McGuire: All Along the Way (Dead Oceans) LP
From the mid-western underground consciousness, guitarist/producer Mark McGuire emerges with his 2014 Dead Oceans debut Along the Way. The conceptual album details the inner journey of an individual seeking definition and enlightenment. For those following McGuire’s musical ascent thus far, the record is a culmination of a prodigious and prolific artist. Playing with a wide variety of instruments and styles on Along the Way, McGuire presents his unique vision of modern psychedelia. Using electric and acoustic guitars, a Talkbox, drum machines, a mandolin and lots in between, McGuire conducts a sonic exploration of the inner self. “This story is an odyssey through the vast, unknown regions of the mind,” he explains in the liner notes,” The endless unfolding of psychological landscapes, leading to perpetual discoveries and expansions, in a genuinely emergent and infinite world of worlds.”

File Under: Ambient, Psych, Emeralds
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nadlerMarissa Nadler: July (Sacred Bones) LP
*Swoon* Marissa Nadler wastes no time in cutting close to the bone on July, her latest album and first for her new label, Sacred Bones. It’s Nadler at her most elemental: warm but spectral, vulnerable but resilient. Nadler lays the listener – and herself – on the line with July, her sixth full-length album in nearly a decade. It floats freely in the pop cosmos somewhere between gauzy shoegaze, unvarnished folk, and even a hint of metal’s doom-and-gloom spirit. This is the world of Nadler’s July, where you’re likely to find the Boston-based singer and songwriter “holed up at the Holiday Inn” watching crime TV or leaving her instruments to freeze in the car. These settings, details, and themes are brand-new to Nadler’s canon, and they paint a far more realistic version of her life than her previous records. The results are astonishing and occasionally reminiscent of David Lynch (who is, appropriately enough, among her label mates on Sacred Bones). As Pitchfork once wrote, her songs are “as gorgeous as they are elliptical and intriguing.” Recorded at Seattle’s Avast Studio, the album pairs Nadler for the first time with producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room). Dunn matches Nadler’s darkness by creating a multi-colored sonic palette that infuses new dimensions into her songs. Eyvand Kang’s strings, Steve Moore’s synths,  and Phil Wandscher’s guitar lines escalate the whole affair to a panoramic level of beautiful, eerie wonder. Her voice, too, is something to behold here, at once clarion but heavy with the kind of tear-stained emotion you hear on scratchy old country records by Tammy Wynette and Sammi Smith. Long gone are the days when Nadler summoned images of 1960s folk singers who got lost in the woods. She is a cosmic force on July, shooting these songs to euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows. This is a singular achievement for the artist, a record she couldn’t have made earlier in her career because, as every songwriter knows, she didn’t just write these songs: she lived them.

File Under: Folk
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packThe Pack A.D.: Do Not Engage (Nettwerk) LP
“We never really consciously have a plan of action. If you call a plan of action ‘just get better,’ then that’s the plan we went with for this album.” So says The Pack A.D. drummer Maya Miller of the process that led the hard-slogging East Vancouver duo to its latest album and Nettwerk debut, Do Not Engage. And it’s hard to disagree. Long celebrated on the fringes of Canada’s endlessly fruitful indie-rock scene as a feral live act non pareil and a band destined to eventually make that one record that finally puts it over the top, The Pack A.D. has delivered the album that should finally, genuinely – yes – put it over the top.

File Under: Garage Rock, Psych, CanCon
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hills have eyes

Don Peake: The Hills Have Eyes OST (One Way Static) LP/CS
Prolific and multitalented composer, musician, and record producer Don Peake wrote the original music for Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes (1977), where his eerie soundtrack punched up some of the film’s most unnerving scenes. Don started his music career in 1961 as the lead guitarist for The Everly Brothers and played guitar in the Ray Charles Orchestra. Don played guitar on the Righteous Brothers hit “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and the Jackson Five’s “ABC” to name just a few, and was part of the legendary “Wrecking Crew,” an elite clique of notable musicians employed by some of the biggest acts on the planet. Phil Spector even used the crew to create his trademarked “Wall Of Sound.” One Way Static Records is proud to announce the release of this historical motion picture soundtrack. A truly eerie experimental score that uses natural devices and existing instruments. Fascinatingly, most of the percussion sounds heard are actually the sounds of the bone and teeth necklaces worn by the actors that are being played like instruments. Not for the faint of heart!

File Under: OST, Horror
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sunn ulver

Sunn o))) & Ulver: Terrestrials (Southern Lord) CD
Vinyl in soon… “The recent news that Sunn O))) and Ulver, the, respectively, US and Norwegian pioneers of experimental metal, had collaborated on a new album has augured extremely well for the beginning of 2014. Terrestrials is the result of a nocturnal recording session, following Sunn O)))’s set at the 2008 Øya festival, at Ulver’s Crystal Canyon studio. The bands recorded three “live in improvisation” pieces, which were then worked on by Ulver, with the occasional help of Sunn O))) man Stephen O’Malley, who says: “I remember the vibe in the room back then was more raga than it was rock. And despite the fact that the walls were literally shaking from volume, it was actually quite a blissed out, psychedelic session. I wanted to preserve that vibe in the final mix.” Daniel O’Sullivan, prolific collaborator, one half of Grumbling Fur and current Ulver member, adds: “You know that opening sequence of Koyaanisqatsi, where the desolate desert landscapes, waves and cloud formations roll over the screen accompanied by deep male chanting and organ ostinatos. That’s where we were.””

File Under: Doom, Metal, Drone
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Tinariwen: Emmaar (Anti) CD
Vinyl in next week… For Saharan blues band Tinariwen, the desert is home; their hypnotic and electrifying guitar rock reflects the melding of their Tuareg musical heritage with modern urban blues. Their 2011 album Tassili, recorded in the Algerian desert, won a Grammy Award for Best World Music album. Now their new record Emmaar returns to their roots, delivering stripped-down dirges and effervescent electric anthems. Due to political instability in their country, the band recorded away from their homeland for the first time, setting up shop in another desert: Joshua Tree, California. Recorded over three weeks in studio built in a house in the region known for spaced-out rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelic cowboy folk, Emmaar showcases an organic feel from the rolling hand drums and meandering guitars of album opener ‘Toumast Tincha’ to the galloping beats of the forward-marching ‘Chaghaybou’. Accompanied by Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Matt Sweeney from Chavez, Nashville fiddler Fats Kaplin, and poet Saul Williams, Emmaar is a richly layered listen solidified by atmospheric textures and gritty guitar-work. This band has received rapturous press with every release, and count high profile musicians like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, Brian Eno and Bono among their many fans.

File Under: Desert Blues, Tuareg, World, Psych
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Mike Westbrook: Celebration (Klimt) LP
“Originally released on Deram in 1967, Celebration is one of the most important albums of the 1960s British progressive and avant-garde jazz scene. The Mike Westbrook Concert Band included some of the UK’s most important jazz figures of the time, including John Surman, Mike Osborne, and Harry Miller. These recordings, culled from two days of studio work, are equal parts swinging and experimental, boundary pushing and accessible. Original copies on Deram now fetch a hefty sum, thankfully the folks at Klimt have made it available once again on LP for the first time in over 40 years.”

File Under: Jazz

wet secrets

The Wet Secrets: Free Candy (Rawlco Radio) LP/CD
Edmonton pop outfit the Wet Secrets have been relatively quiet over the last few years, as the band members have been focused on other projects (including co-founder Lyle Bell’s involvement in Shout Out Out Out Out). Now, they’re finally back with a new album, Free Candy. The release was recorded this past July with producer Nik Kozub (Cadence Weapon, Shout Out Out Out Out, Whitehorse). A press release promises that it includes more of the “frantic pop” that the band are known for, but with a darker undercurrent; Free Candy is apparently a “well-conceived quasi-concept album about sex, death and the human condition.” Along with Bell, Trevor Anderson and Kim Rackel, the Wet Secrets’ five-piece lineup now includes newcomers Paul Arnusch and Emma Frazier. Free Candy is their third full-length; it follows 2007’s Rock Fantasy and 2005’s A Whale of a Cow.

File Under: Local, Garage Pop, Marching Band
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Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
James Blake: s/t (Atlas) LP
Dean Blunt: Redeemer (Hippos In Tanks) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Twoism (Warp) LP
Chrome: The Visitation (Cleopatra) LP
Cosmic Eye: Dream Sequence (Sound Edition) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Miles Davis: Live at the Plugged Nickle (Klimt) Box
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Embryo: Opal (Mirumir) LP
Embryo: Embryo’s Rache (Mirumir) LP
Faith No More: Angel Dust (Music on Vinyl) LP
Fever Ray: s/t  (Mute) LP
Grateful Dead: One From the Vault (Future Days) LP
Grizzly Bear: Shields (Warp) LP
Sharon Jones: Give the People What They Want (Daptone) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Kronos Quartet & Bryce Dessner: Aheym (Nonesuch) LP
Mark Lanegan: Has God Seen My Shadow? (Light in the Attic) 3LP/CD red wax!
Leong Lau: Dragon Man (Strawberry Rain) LP
Little Ann: Deep Shadows (Timmion) LP
Mastodon: Leviathan (Relapse) LP
James Vincent McMorrow: Early in the Morning (Vagrant) LP
Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Dream (Waxtime) LP
Moonface: Julia With Blue Jeans On (Paperbag) LP
Mumford & Sons: Babel (Glassnote) LP
Nirvana: MTV Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Portishead: s/t (Polydor) LP
Portishead: PNYC (Polydor) LP
Django Reinhardt: Three Fingered Lightning (Doxy) LP
Django Reinhardt: The Legendary Django (Doxy) LP
Simply Saucer: Cyborgs Revisited (Get Back) LP
Spoon: Girls Can Tell (Merge) LP
Peter Walker: Has Anybody Seen Our Freedoms? (Delmore) LP
War On Drugs: Slave Ambient (Jagjaguwar) LP
Sonny Boy Williamson: The Trumpet Single (Doxy) LP
Robert Wyatt: End of an Ear (Cherry Red) LP

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