Another hefty week in the new arrival department here again this week. Although considering half the city’s music buying crowd is down in Calgary this weekend for Sled Island, so those of you stuck up here in E-town will have first crack at all the fine slabs hitting the shelf this week. Loads of awesome reissues and new stuff. You’d almost thing it wasn’t just about summer. Enjoy…
…..pick of the week…..
Tod Dockstader: Luna Park/ Traveling Music/Apocalypse
Tod Dockstader: Drone/Two Fragments From Apocalypse/Water Music
Tod Dockstader was born in 1932 in St.Paul, Minnesota. In 1955 moved to Hollywood to work as an apprentice film editor, cutting picture and sound for animated cartoons including ‘Mr.Magoo’. Dockstader became a self-taught sound engineer and sound effects specialist and apprenticed as a recording engineer in 1958. In 1960 his first composition Eight Pieces later to be used in the soundtrack of Fellini’s Satyricon. Dockstader was part of the first wave of electronic musicians, who, before the advent of synthesizers in the early 1960s, worked with whatever hardware they could find: reel-to-reel tape machines, sine wave generators and a wild array of homemade circuits and military surplus gear. In the process, they created a universe of electronic music that still sounds unique and prescient today. Dockstader used to create electronic music was a piece of used military equipment. “A lot of this [electronic music] happened because, after the war, a lot of the stuff was available,” he said. “Normally a person, a civilian – wouldn’t be able to get that tube, this device or that device. That fascinated me.” In the late 1950s, Dockstader worked as a sound engineer at Gotham Recording Studios in New York. At night, he worked on his own music, which eventually led to a series of impressive albums of electronic music, including THE ORGANIZED SOUND here reissued on DOZ. Limited edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Early Electronic, Avant Garde, Experimental, Classics
Oren Ambarchi/Jim O’Rourke/Keiji Haino: Only Wanting to Melt… (Black Truffle) CD
“Begun as a one-off collaboration in 2009, the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi has now become a solid working group, refining its craft through a series of annual concerts at Tokyo’s legendary SuperDeluxe. Much of their recorded work has focused on their intense, ritualistic take on the rock power trio of electric guitar, bass and drums. Presenting the entire first set of the trio’s March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the second set will follow on Black Truffle later this year), Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen is their fifth release and blows the instrumental palette wide open for a single continuous piece focused on acoustic strings, synth, flute and percussion. Featuring one of Haino’s most delicate and moving recorded vocal performances, the opening section of the record takes the form of a spare duet between O’Rourke’s 12-string acoustic guitar and Haino’s kantele (a Finnish variant of the dulcimer), behind which Ambarchi provides a hovering backdrop of wine glass tones. While on previous releases the listener has often sensed that Haino was firmly in the driver’s seat, here O’Rourke takes center stage with an acoustic guitar performance that takes the lyricism of John Abercrombie or Ralph Towner and refracts it through the free improvisation tradition of his mentors Derek Bailey and Henry Kaiser. The atmosphere of meditative, abstracted song is reminiscent of some of Haino’s greatest recordings, such as the legendary Live in the First Year of the Heisei volumes recorded with Kan Mikami. After this stunningly beautiful opening sequence, the performance moves organically through a number of episodes, including a dramatic central passage in which Haino moves to synth and drum machine, crafting a current of raw electricity that unfurls slowly over the gently pulsing foundations of Ambarchi’s cymbals and builds to heights of manic intensity. When Haino later turns to wooden flute, Ambarchi answers him with nimble hand-drummed percussion in a passage that calls to mind Don Cherry’s liberated combination of free-jazz improvisation and non-Western musics. The trio’s move away from the power trio dynamic bespeaks a risk-taking and questing spirit that refuses to be satisfied with repeating past glories, and yet the organic, immersive flow of this single improvisation attests to the intuitive bond that has formed between them over the last five years. Exuding the signature mystery and emotion of Haino’s greatest works, this release is perhaps the strongest statement yet from this acclaimed trio, and holds out a tantalizing promise for everyone hooked on their continuing exploration of ‘those things said to be as of yet unseen.’ –Francis Plagne; Design by Stephen O’Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug.
File Under: Psych, Japanese Psych, Improv, Rock
Antlers: Familiars (Anti) LP+CD
In seven years together, Brooklyn’s The Antlers have created a quiet revolution in thought and sound with their harrowing and often haunted tales of love unmoored, human frailty and emotional evisceration. On Familiars, their fifth album, and first for new home ANTI-, The Antlers – vocalist / guitarist Peter Silberman, multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, and drummer Michael Lerner – have resumed the journey they began with 2009’s Hospice and continued over the next two albums Burst Apart and Undersea, which found the trio picking their way through a labyrinth of fear, doubt, love and loss against a backdrop of layered textural songs that were as deeply atmospheric as they were anthemic. More hopeful in mood than its predecessors, the new album emanates a palpable release of despair and an almost operatic verve on nine songs that took shape over the past year and a half. “We became really obsessed with Alice Coltrane’s Journey in Satchidananda, Charles Mingus’ The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, and Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew,” says Cicci. “We wanted to connect to the humanity of music from the past,” adds Silberman. “To capture grace and the heart within those performances.” So this time around The Antlers made a soul record in the truest sense of the word. Sure, they inundated themselves with Al Green, Nina Simone, and The Memphis Boys, but really they were making music about that mysterious and ineffable part of yourself. The metaphysics behind the physics: they found that they had made a record that was able to express the unseen. For fans of Bon Iver, Rhye, The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Beach House.
Joan Bibiloni: El Sur (Music from Memory) LP
Staying on the Mediterranean coast for their third release, Music From Memory this time shift their attention to the work of Mallorcan musician Joan Bibiloni. Primarily a guitarist, Bibiloni was creating music at an early age, releasing his first single at the tender age of 15. In his ’20s he formed Spanish prog-rock outfits Zebra and Euterpe, where he would meet Pepe Milan, the two of them becoming the bluesy folk duo Milan & Bibiloni. Bibiloni himself would later go on to play with a number of luminary musicians such as Larry Coryell, Daevid Allen and John Cage, to name but a few. In 1982, Bibiloni set up his own label Blau in order to highlight the much-overlooked work of musicians not only on his home island of Mallorca but across the Balearic Islands. In doing so he created a platform not only for local talent but also for his own music to breathe a new life, much influenced by the landscape and life that surrounds the islands. While Bibiloni’s first solo releases on his Blau imprint have stronger echoes of the contemporary jazz fusion of the time, it is on the album known as Una Vida Llarga I Tranquila where Bibiloni really began to experiment with new sounds and technologies; fusing tape loops, drum computers and synthesizers. Taking these more electronic-infused works as a departure point for the compilation and drawing on material from across his following five albums, El Sur sets out to highlight Joan Bibiloni’s unique ambient fusion and sun-drenched Adriatic beach-boogie.
File Under: Ambient, Mediterranean, Electronic
Bremen: Second Launch (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Mind-shattering double LP of dysphoric space-rock minimalism from two luminaries of the Swedish punk underground. Second Launch follows Bremen’s self-titled debut of 2013 and comprises 11 controlled improvisations, reinforced with overdubs, that take clear inspiration from the dark side of Kraut and progressive rock, early electronic and drone music, while also owing something to the fathomlessly bleak interior landscapes conjured by Nico/Cale on The Marble Index and Desertshore. The complex dialogue between Lanchy Orre’s guitar and Jonas Tiljander’s organ, by turns pensive and combative, bound up with their mastery of reverb and feedback, is the focal point of the record; supplemented with drums and sparingly-deployed analog synthesizer tones to evoke nothing less than the vast emptiness of outer space and the obliteration of all meaning and identity in the face of it. From the full-throttle motorik and bonehead repetitions of “Sweepers” and “Entering Phase Two” (echoes of Tiljander and Orre’s alma mater, Brainbombs) to the deep astral psychedelia of “Static Interferences,” via the mournful Northern European ambience of “Walking the Skies,” the rolling thunder of “They Were Drifting,” and the poignant, star-gazing blues of “Hollow Wave,” Second Launch charts impossible gradients in its search for answers to the oldest questions of all. Gatefold sleeve.
Apollo Brown: Thirty Eight (Mellow Music) LP
Apollo Brown’s “Thirty Eight” is a contemporary throwback, inhabiting the realm of reverent reinvention and innovation. It deftly bridges the gap between ‘70s Blaxploitation soundtracks (e.g. Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” or Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man”) and the hip-hop records that sampled from them. The tracks on “Thirty Eight” are presented in gritty, heavily saturated Technicolor, the scratches and cigarette burns as purposeful as they are happily accidental. These are suites sounding from long barrels held by lone men lurking in grimy project hallways. Tinged with revenge and regret, shrouded in thick tendrils of hollow-point smoke, the songs have all the makings of an epic gangster tragedy. They’re also great when paired with anything Raymond Chandler. Crackle and sample hiss run like electric current throughout, charging the record with a retro feel and resonant warmth. Yet these qualities are only secondary to Brown’s impeccable ear for instrumentation. “Thirty Eight” is full of funk, soul, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and everything in between. The bluesy guitar twang of slow-burner “Black Suits” and the lush, orchestral strings of “The Warning” are just two examples of the depth and diversity Brown brings to the table. All singing on the album comes in the form of brief samples, some high-pitched and sped up, others left untouched. Taken together, they amount to glimpses of an emotionally affecting narrative, enabling the listener to fill in the plot and words between the booms and baps. Brown enlists New York mercenary Roc Marciano for the soundtrack’s two features. With the sharpest of eyes and the frostbitten wit of a Polo clad hustler slanging in the dead of winter, Marciano delivers his best verses in recent memory, his vivid narratives perfectly suited for Brown’s soulful production. Deluxe 180 Gram vinyl with bonus 45 including two bonus instrumentals.
File Under: Hip Hop
Danny Brown: Old (Fools Gold) 4LP
Limited 180 gram 4xLP box set with instrumentals, full lyric booklet, and poster. Danny jumps from “artist to watch” to undeniable icon with his magnum opus, Old. This emotionally-charged concept album is an intoxicating mix of Danny at his most experimental AND most accessible, balancing hip-hop grit with electronic club sonics and much, much more. Featuring guest appearances from A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, and more overproduction from the likes of A-Trak and Rustie, Old is a psychedelic portrait of rap’s most vital and exciting new star.
Sandro Brugnolini: Underground (Sonor Music) LP
Recorded in 1970 during the same period as Overground, Sandro Brugnolini’s Underground was recorded in two volumes (RT 104 and RT 16), both released in the same year in May and June at Dirmaphon Studios, Roma. Together with Overground, these records are really fascinating instrumental free jazz/psych/library records, featuring the auxiliary of historical Rai session-musicians, guitarist Silvano Chimenti and organist Giorgio Carnini. This record collects all Underground tracks on one LP. Established jazz composer Sandro Brugnolini composed among the greatest Italian soundtracks and library music, ever. Limited edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Psych, Library, Jazz
Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf: Circa 1990-1993 (Stones Throw) 4LP
Curated by Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw is releasing a 4LP boxset to commemorate the late MC, Charizma and the collection of works he and Peanut Butter Wolf created between 1990-1993. The anthology includes rare, classic and unreleased tracks that makes up eight sides of vinyl, along with never before seen photos and ephemera. A lifetime has passed since the murder of Bay Area emcee Charles “Charizma” Hicks who, in December of 1993 at the age of 20, was shot and killed at random while sitting in his car. Despite his short life, Charizma made an impression on everyone he encountered. Charizma’s death deeply impacted his close friend and hip hop production partner Chris “Peanut Butter Wolf” Manak, who at the time stopped making music (and everything else) for several months after receiving the news. Ultimately, however, it was Charizma’s murder that gave PB Wolf the impetus to carry on and get their music heard by the world – setting up his own record label to do so. In 1996, Wolf founded Stones Throw Records and put out the first release, a Charizma/PB Wolf 12″ single called “My World Premiere.” Fast forward to 2014 and over 400 releases later, including the 2003 Charizma album Big Shots, Peanut Butter Wolf now presents a comprehensive tribute to his friend and musical partner, properly showcasing the full body of work left behind by Charizma over 20 years ago. With this posthumous release of an artist who was only 20-years-old when his life was cut short, hip hop fans can only speculate as to what heights might have been reached if Charizma was still here today.
File Under: Hip Hop
Cleaners from Venus: Extra Wages (Captured Tracks) LP
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Captured Tracks has been so honored to release the wildly expansive catalogue of Martin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus that they couldn’t say goodbye without just one more! This bonus LP contains the remaining outtakes from Newell’s 1992 recordings that resulted in My Back Wages, along with a few other rarities. It would be nice and tidy to be able to say that the Cleaners from Venus story ended right here with this rather more than definitive collection of broken or misshapen tracks. The truth of the matter, however is that the story may not quite be over yet…
File Under: Rock, Lo-Fi, Psych
Clone: Son of Octabred (Dead-Cert) LP
We’ve seen a lot of oddities reissued over the last few years, but few come close to capturing the bewildering brilliance of this bizarre instructional Birthing album recorded somewhere in Alaska in 1982 and resurfacing now on a first-ever vinyl pressing, thanks to the supreme Ethno-musicological skills of Andy Votel and his Dead-Cert imprint. Utilizing the ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey, Polymoog, harmonica/synthesizer interface, Eventide Omnipressor, Roland vocoder and genuinely bizarre narration imploring the listener to “push…” over a background of retro-futuristic space-age progressions, these recordings edge the concept of extreme American outsider music to its furthest reaches. Originally broadcast as a one-off transmission for electronic harmonicist Gary Sloan’s Import Hour show on Anchorage radio station KGOT FM, it’s one of the rarest recordings in the very limited line of Clone breadcrumbs released to date — the audio discovered by Sloan in his own time capsule of C60 compact cassettes used to document the unlikely synthesized wing of an untraveled North American micro industry. Son of Octabred is unlike any other Kosmische or early synth record you’re likely to have heard, arcing from the surreal instructional opening segment to pop-wise synth hooks before eventually building into a monumental layer of synthesized drone you’ll have trouble comprehending after the umpteenth listen. As a label set up to give life to recordings that were never really intended for wider public consumption, Dead-Cert has done a commendable job shining a light on lost DIY aesthetics — this album perhaps making for its most compulsive, odd outing yet.
Early Electronic, Kosmiche, DIY
Rev. Gary Davis: Pure Religion And Bad Company (Mr. Suit) LP
Recorded in 1957, Pure Religion And Bad Company is a stunning mixture of gospel and blues from the guitar playing evangelist. Featuring his earliest performances of the classics, ‘Cocaine Blues’ and ‘Hesitation Blues’, the recordings featured here rival the greatest titles in Davis’ storied and historic career; acoustic blues of the highest order. Limited edition of 300 copies.
Donoto Dozzy: K (Futher) CD
Few artists have crafted a catalog as rich and deep as Donato Dozzy has done in minimal techno’s more atmospheric realm. The Italian producer — who also performs in the excellent Voices From The Lake duo with Neel — has become revered for his unerring ability to create tracks that are at once ethereal and oceanic, inducing both a sense of tranquility and urgency. His debut album, K, which Further Records originally issued in 2010, stands as a towering example of Dozzy’s skill for electronic music that triggers profound feelings with only a few scrupulously-selected elements. K’s seven tracks offer a masterly seminar in subtly altering the grid-like beat programming that dominates techno. Dozzy puts odd emphases on certain beats and adds percussive eccentricities and effects to others. Which means that this isn’t a collection of bangers geared for hands-in-the-air, goofball moves. Instead, Dozzy’s working on a much more refined level, one where tricky, intricate drum patterns trump simple booming kicks — although “K3″‘s staunch, methodically funky kick and hi-hat pattern and “K5″‘s swift and elegantly propulsive beats could heat up a club. The greatest pleasures of K occur in the way Dozzy’s eerie, aquatic drones swirl around his well-wrought rhythms, submerging everything in a restorative, algae-tinged film. At their best, these pieces convey a Chain Reaction-like rigor and a cinematic quality (of the Jacques Cousteau variety) utterly devoid of cliché. This reissue of K reminds us that it remains a crucial component of Donato Dozzy’s catalog, the first major statement in a career that’s becoming a manifesto of understated, underground-techno brilliance.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Jad Fair & Danielson: Solid Gold Heart (Sounds Familyre) LP
Jad Fair is a legendary artist of all stripes. Founder of the ground-breaking punk band Half Japanese, Fair has also recorded albums with Daniel Johnston, Yo La Tengo and Teenage Fanclub. Throughout 2014 he is the official “Artist In Residence” at Joyful Noise. As part of his residency he is creating no less than four full-length albums throughout the year, each a unique collaboration with artists including Danielson, R. Stevie Moore, Strobe Talbot and Norman Blake. Solid Gold Heart is Jad Fair’s collaborative work with pop-rock eccentric Danielson (aka Daniel Smith). Smith wrote instrumental compositions around Fair’s vocals and lyrics and recorded the results with an assortment of collaborators at his studio in Clarksboro, NJ. He explained that, “The goal was to make three-minute pop songs, as accessible and fun and immediate as possible.” The 11 song set sounds like what you might expect, given the respective artists: gleaming tunes of sincere sing-speak, resplendent with sparkling back-up vocals and warmly melodic, inventive instrumentation; a sunshine-bright outlook of positive encouragement to keep rocking on the side of good.
File Under: Indie Rock, Half Japanese
Fresh & Onlys: House of Spirits (Mexican Summer) LP
With surreal nightmares, glistening pop tempered by sinister undertones and even unsettling experimentalism, The Fresh & Onlys’ fifth album, House of Spirits is the San Francisco quartet’s most focused and most experimental yet. The material gestated during vocalist Tim Cohen’s isolated stay on an Arizonan horse ranch where he documented dreams in a bedside notebook. The resultant songs are by turns pristine, feverish, and bizarre, as The Fresh & Onlys returned to Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco with Phil Manley (Trans Am) to recast the textures, leaps of logic and evocative character of Cohen’s dreams into songs. Deluxe first vinyl pressing is limited to 2,000 copies, Digital download code includes 2013 Soothsayer EP as a bonus. “Warm organ tones shine through the fuzz, showing The Fresh & Onlys at their most earnest and heartfelt.” – Consequence of Sound
File Under: Indie Rock
Greg Gives Peter Space: s/t (Erased Tapes) LP
“Greg and I became good friends while both living in Berlin, around 2009 to 2013. We spent countless late nights playing records for each other, dreaming the dream of good music. We talked a lot about collaborating and even put in quite a few hours at each other’s studios … but for some strange reason we never seemed to finish anything. Maybe we were just busy enough with our other projects and didn’t feel in any rush. But we certainly had it in mind that we’d like to finish something one day. And we are very proud to say that day is finally here! Primarily inspired by mine and Greg’s recent obsession with dub music, Greg Gives Peter Space is a mini-album comprised of six tracks filled with — you guessed it — spacey sounds, created with the help of Greg’s ever-growing collection of synthesizers, tape delays and reel-to-reel machines. In the true spirit of dub music, many of the mixes were made live, both of us hovering over the mixing board, dancing around and following our intuitions, processing the sounds with live effects while the music bounced down to tape. We are extremely excited to release this record in the summer time and to celebrate with a few select shows around Europe. We’ve enlisted our dear friend Martyn Heyne to help us perform the music live, and we plan on bringing as much of the original gear from the recordings as possible. After years of playing fairly quiet music for an often seated audience, we can’t wait to get on stage and bounce around to some groovy rhythms, heavy bass and spacey synthesizers. Prepare for take off!” –Peter Broderick, April 2014
File Under: Dub, Folk
GusGus: Mexico (Kompakt) LP/CD
SALE PRICED IN OUR LISTENING POST! An obvious fan favorite, GusGus’ last full-length offering Arabian Horse exceeded all expectations and ranks among Kompakt’s biggest bestsellers in recent years. Now, the core crew of Birgir Thorarinsson, Daníel Ágúst, Högni Egilsson, and Stephan Stephensen returns with new masterpiece Mexico: a hugely satisfying follow-up to past exploits and another step into the future of anthemic pop music. GusGus are dead set on maintaining the towering might of their songwriting, infusing the new album with the same luster as their earlier work, but presenting the deed with the snappiness and intricate production values needed for contemporary debauchery. From opening anthem “Obnoxiously Sexual,” to the Existentialist shuffle of closing ballad “This Is What You Get When You Mess With Love,” this album leaves no stone unturned on its journey to sonic bliss, delving ever deeper into its timeless melodies with every subsequent track. It’s hard to pinpoint highlights from an album like Mexico, as each of those cuts stands well on its own without sacrificing its role in the ensemble. In a way, that’s a good metaphor for GusGus itself, as this project again and again manages to successfully pool the forces from a group of exceptionally gifted individuals. Take “Sustain,” “Airwaves” or “God-Application”: drawing from influences as diverse as ’80s synth pop, UK garage or ’90s trance, each of these tracks showcases a unique identity but still interlocks with the overarching aesthetics of the album and its omnipresent penchant for brilliant pop hooks. Frequency-shifting house-stomper “Another Life” and deep string groover “This Is Not the First Time” might come closest to the predecessor’s voluptuous textures, engaging in the same kind of floor-friendly agility against the backdrop of monumental synth washes. Interestingly enough, title-track “Mexico” is the only instrumental on the new full-length, fittingly bringing a more linear flair to the proceedings. Sporting the nuanced narration of a coherent artist album as well as the eager excitement of a great track selection, GusGus’ latest holds the potential to become a source for many a personal best-of mixtape. All killer, no filler!
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Kompakt
S.J. Hoffman/ H. Ravel/ Les Baxter: First Electronic Chillout Music (Black Sweat) LP
This LP contains Music Out of the Moon and Perfume Set to Music, containing some of the first electronic chillout music ever composed, originally released in 1947 and 1948 on 10″ 78 RPM. An unusual mix of different styles and music represented by the three men who contributed to the album: Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman played Theremin for several sci-fi and horror movies during the ’40s and the ’50s — masterpieces such as Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Les Baxter “The Father of Exotica” and his dreams of Pacific and Oriental islands can also be found here — musical impressions of tropical fantasies. Harry Ravel is also featured, a talented English composer of musical theater and soundtracks for Hollywood movies. These two records were unique collaborations between three disparate talents, who envisioned a world of sound inspired by science fiction, perfumes, and meditative moments. Without them, the Theremin could perhaps never have been considered in a pop context, and projects as disparate as “Good Vibrations” and Silver Apples might never have happened. The influence of this music is clear in the multiform artist Sun Ra, who covered the song “Possession” on his second LP Jazz by Sun Ra. Digitally remastered and limited to 300 copies.
Early Electronic, Chillout, Exotica
Peter Howell & The Radiophonic Workshop: Through a Glass, Darkly (Music on Vinyl) LP
Through A Glass Darkly was the 1978 album by Peter Howell and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It featured six original instrumental compositions including “Through A Glass Darkly – A Lyrical Adventure”, a 19 minute track which took up the whole of the first side of the record. Much of the music on the album leaned far more towards the prog rock of the 1970s than the previous output by the Radiophonic Workshop. The track “The Astronauts” later featured as the B-side to the 1980 single release of Howell’s arrangement of the Doctor Who theme.
Leyland Kirby: Death of Rave (History Always Favors the Winner) LP/CD
Leyland Kirby: “The idea for The Death of Rave was conceived in early 2006 after a visit to the Berghain Club in Berlin. At the time, Berghain was about to explode on the international club scene as a temple. The feeling was in the air that something special was happening. I went and saw a pale shadow of the past. Grim and boring beats, endlessly pounding to an audience who felt they were part of an experience but who lacked cohesion and energy. For me personally, something had died. Be it a spirit, be it an ideal, be it an adventure in sound. Rave and techno felt dead to me. The original The Death of Rave project was vast, over two-hundred flashbacks, using all of the dancefloor hits from the time and stripping them of energy and spirit, turning them into shadows and ghosts. The material pre-dates the recent obsession younger musicians have for re-creating remembered rave textures and memories. This was not nostalgia, It was an inverted paean to a time when the music was about bringing people together for a shared experience. A time when only the music and advancement of sound and getting on one mattered. Of course The Death of Rave was vast, too vast to digest. It was available for free download for a number of years via the V/Vm Test label. In the end the The Death Of Rave died itself when the V/Vm Test web site was deleted in full in 2008. In the intervening years I have at various times re-visited the work. And so eight tracks were lifted from the project and have now been remastered by Matt Colton as a ‘document from a dead past.’ A monument to a lost work, an idea finally set in stone via a physical format. Proof of its existence. Ivan Seal, himself a veteran of the original ‘rave times,’ provides the glorious cover artwork in keeping with all ‘History Favours The Winners’ releases. The tracklisting is in reference to the strongest rave-memories I have from those nights. The people, the DJs, the cars, the violence and the long-lost clubs. Flashbacks only, now consigned to my own dusty experiences. ‘They danced like they never had before. They danced in the darkest hour before daybreak.’ It’s dead now, over. Long may it live…”
File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient
Angkanang Kunchai with Ubon-Pattana Band: Isan Lam Plearn (EM) LP
The relaunch of EM Records’ Thai music series. Paradise Bangkok, Soi 48 and EM Records have teamed up to deliver a new series showcasing the extraordinary performances of some of Thailand’s greatest musical legends. The first release is the seminal album Isan Lam Plearn, released in 1975 by Angkanang Kunchai. This album represents a crucial moment in Thai musical history when the performance styles of Molam and Luk Thung were fused together for the very first time. Born in the province of Ubon Ratchathani in Isan (the northeastern region of Thailand), Angkanang Kunchai was a young female prodigy who emerged on the Molam scene, and became one of the first generations of Molam performers who were able to “sing” popular music. From an early age she was mentored by renowned national Molam artist Chaweewan Dumnern, and in her mid-teens joined the legendary musical troupe the Ubon-Pattana Band as the lead vocalist. In 1972 at the age of 16, she released her debut single “Isan Lam Plearn,” which went on to become an enduring classic, covered most recently by major contemporary pop star Tai Orathai. The song was also a defining moment in the career of Ubon’s legendary producer Surin Paksiri, as it was the first recording in which Isan music — in particular Molam — was fused with Luk Thung from Bangkok to form the new musical genre of Luk Thung Isan. This music invented by record industry genius Paksiri, transformed Molam groups into rock bands and saw them starting to perform with the same kind of intensity as Luk Thung artists. The mix of contemporary singing styles with traditional Molam broke a major taboo and resulted in some truly outlandish music. “Isan Lam Plearn” became a major hit as the theme tune to the film Bua Lam Pu, and before long this new forbidden cool began to infect everyone, with performers turning in their droves to the Luk Thung Isan style. This turned out to be a precursor to the spread of Isan music across the country and the Molam boom that engulfed Thailand in the ’90s — an unprecedented period in Thailand’s musical history in which Luk Thung singers were simply not able to make it in the record business unless they could perform Molam. While typically albums produced in Thailand tended to be collections of singles, this work produced by Paksiri has an unusual degree of conceptual unity, and this is a very significant aspect of the album. It is an undeniable masterpiece that sees the Ubon-Pattana Band, led by Paksiri, delivering a performance that dramatically traverses genre boundaries, in an eerie soundscape populated by the cute and rarefied tones of the young singer. It stands above and apart from the many Luk Thung Isan works that followed. As a bonus track is Kongpetch Kaennakorn’s version of the much-covered “Isan Lam Plearn.” Includes commentary in English and Japanese and an explanation of the lyrics. Newly-remastered.
Piotr Kurek: Edena (Black Sweat) LP
Released on tape by the Polish label Sangoplasmo, Edena is the amazing record by Poland’s Piotr Kurek. As a composer and multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for vintage sound equipment, as well as the practical sense to know where their limitations are, his musical compositions — part melodic narrative, part sound collage — distill a sense of nostalgia into a romance for the present. Using a Moebius comic he had never seen (Le Monde d’Edena) and an instrument he would never have (a Mellotron) as a conceptual starting point, the Warsaw-based, Polish artist presents Edena. A hypnotic, circular motion pervades all of Edena; a cyclic life-force that gives the impression of forward motion, while really folding back on itself, reflected by the infinity symbol of the cassette cover. The record is full of warm analog synth sounds and strange voices, like Roberto Cacciapaglia’s “6 Note in Logica,” and shares connections with the minimalistic music and ’60s experimentalism of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and the hyper-energetic electronic nirvana of Terry Riley’s 1967 masterpiece A Rainbow in Curved Air.
Angus Maclise: New York Electric, 1965 (Sub Rosa) LP
Sub Rosa presents another release as a part of their early electronic series. Drone-based experiments from Angus MacLise (notably with Tony Conrad extremely present on the album, and John Cale), and purely electronic compositions — a path (almost) nobody knew MacLise had explored. Miraculously salvaged by Gerard Malanga, these archives provided a new perspective on the artist’s whole body of work and considerably expanded his artistic palette. And so Sub Rosa is able to present a whole record’s worth of MacLise’s early electronic music. Angus MacLise, born March 4, 1938 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was a percussionist, composer, poet, and calligrapher. He was a member of La Monte Young’s Theater Of Eternal Music with John Cale, Tony Conrad, Marian Zazeela and sometimes Terry Riley. He contributed to the early Fluxus newspaper V Tre, edited by George Brecht and George Maciunas, and was also an early member of The Velvet Underground, having been brought into the group by flatmate John Cale when they were living at 56 Ludlow Street in Manhattan. MacLise played bongos and hand-drums during 1965 with the first incarnation of The Velvet Underground. Although the band regularly extemporized soundtracks to underground films during this era (The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda by Ira Cohen, Chumlum by Ron Rice), MacLise never officially recorded with them. Later in the 1960s, Angus and his wife Hetty traveled around between Vancouver, Paris, Greece and India, finally settling in Nepal. They also had a son, Ossian Kennard MacLise, who was recognized by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, as a reincarnation of a Tibetan saint, or tulku, and at age four became a Buddhist monk. MacLise died of hypoglycemia and pulmonary tuberculosis in Kathmandu in 1979, aged 41. He recorded a vast amount of music that went largely unreleased until 1999. These recordings, produced between the mid-’60s and the late-’70s, consist of tribal trance workouts, spoken-word, poetry, drones and electronics, as well as many collaborations with his wife Hetty. In 2008, Hetty MacLise bequeathed a collection of her husband’s tapes to the Yale Collection of American Literature.
Drone, Electronic, Experimental
Malayeen: s/t (Discrepant) LP
Discrepant proudly presents the vinyl edition of the debut album by Lebanese trio Malayeen. Malayeen is the project of Lebanese musicians Raed Yassin (keyboards, turntables & electronics), Charbel Haber (electric guitar & electronics) and Khaled Yassine (darbouka, percussion). Born from Yassin and Haber’s love for the music of quintessential Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid, Malayeen disassembles and re-configures the work and style of the iconic guitarist’s innovative take on Arabic music. The final result makes for an original and unique update of Khorshid & belly dancing-inspired songs from the past. Over the course of seven compositions, appropriately named after Khorshid and famous belly dancers from the Arabic diaspora, the three musicians’ varied backgrounds and techniques collide and coalesce in an experimental yet magical fashion, not actually playing Khorshid’s music, but inspiring themselves from the cult guitarist’s genius to create something completely new, modern and unexpected. A unique LP featuring the combined talents of key players of the Lebanese avant-garde. Special vinyl one-time pressing of 500 copies.
Franco Micalizzi: Lo Chiamavano Trinita… (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions are proud to announce the reissue of one of the Italian Western soundtrack-milestones, Lo Chiamavano Trinità (trans. “They Call Me Trinity”) — now available again in the marketplace on this deluxe vinyl edition. Totally improved sound from the 1970 stereo tapes and featuring five tracks not included on the original Ariete/Carosello LP. Lo Chiamavano Trinità was a great success on the screen and featured the famous duo of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer with a cool orchestral/pop score by Franco Micalizzi, directed by E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni), with acting performances by Farley Granger, Steffen Zacharias, Ezio Marano, and Michele Cimarosa. Bonus tracks are previously unreleased on vinyl. Limited edition of 500 copies. Includes a 30 x 38 cm poster.
Mungo’s Hi-Fi: Serious Time (Scotch Bonnet) LP
It’s time to test your bass-bins with the biggest and bestest new smashers from soundsystem champions Mungo’s Hi-Fi. Their third double LP arrives hot on the heels of their massive collaborations with Major Lazer and Prince Fatty and showcases all aspects of soundsystem bizness, from Studio One-style live brass to digital bass-bangers all beautifully threaded together. As well as the fat, clean productions you would expect, the album hosts vocal talent by the ton. With reggae heavyweights Cornel Campbell and Peter Metro rubbing shoulders with Mungo’s regulars Mr. Williamz, Soom T, Charlie P, YT, Marina P, Solo Banton and Parly B. As if that was not enough, there are spectacular guest appearances from Blackout JA, Speng Bond, Pupajim and Warrior Queen. Elen G’s cover artwork shows the soundsystem ship tossed on heavy seas with tentacles threatening to take it under — serious times indeed. Open it to catch a glimpse of the session inside the ship, riding out the storm.
File Under: Reggae
Joey Negro: Italo House Part 1 & 2 (Z) LP
2 seperate gatefold double LPs. Z Records continues to release high quality compilations filled with lesser-known disco, funk and boogie. Now it’s the turn of Italo House to get the Joey Negro selection treatment with over 20 tracks hand-picked from the late ’80s and early ’90s, covering a lot of the deeper classics and some lesser known releases from a golden era of Italian dance music. Artists on Part One: Don Carlos, Paradise Orchestra, Double Dealers (feat. Opi Williams), Korda, Latin Blood, Jestofunk, Omniverse, D-Rail, Montego Bay and Steve Banzara. Part Two Artists: Soft House Company, M.C.J. (feat. Sima), Aural, Carol Bailey, Arkanoid, Shafty, Key Tronics Ensemble, DJ Le Roy (feat. Bocachica), Love Quartet andNexy Lanton.
Not Waving: Human Capabilities (Emotional Response) LP
Walls’ Alessio Natalizia presents the best instalment of woozy post-industrial music yet under his Not Waving moniker. Proceeding a handful of excellent and low-key cassette releases, he channels a wealth of analogue machine sounds into a dusty, swirling space shimmering with cosmic pads and urged on by throbbing arpeggios and classic drum machine patter. Most importantly, there’s a real soulful, emotive essence to his arrangements, scanning out from the misty-eyed stargazer ‘Power Source Above Beam Line’ and the luscious vision of ‘Mathematical Mind’ to Goblin-esque synth runs in ‘Future Rain’, and bittersweet AFXian chords on ‘mental Means Alone’, whilst exposing his darker side with the tormented atmospheres of ‘Defensive Function’ and a yearning dancefloor spirit in the EBM/Industrial rocket ‘Double Blind’.
File Under: Electronic, Synth, Dark Ambient, Industrial
Officer!: Dead Unique (Blackest Ever Black) LP/CD
Blackest Ever Black presents to you Dead Unique, an album by Officer! recorded in 1995 but — outrageously, inexplicably — never before released into the public domain. This then is not a reissue or a revival; it’s a new record that just happens to have been maturing in the cask for, oh, a little shy of 20 years. It also happens to be a lost classic of English art-rock, and the crowning achievement in the career of its mercurial creator, Mick Hobbs. Londoner Hobbs’ roots are in the fecund RIO scene of the late ’70s and early 1980s, initially as guitarist in The Work (alongside Bill Gilonis, Rick Wilson and Henry Cow’s Tim Hodgkinson), and subsequent related groupings The Lowest Note, The Lo Yo Yo, and The Momes. Over the course of the decade he became closely associated with This Heat and their Cold Storage studio in Brixton. Officer! — the project that this incorrigible collaborator and connector calls his own — surfaced in 1982 with a cassette tape entitled Eight New Songs By Mick Hobbs. It marked the blossoming of a singular writer and improviser, with a gift for plangent melody, ingenious arrangement and lyrics at once caustic and courtly, playful and profound (two songs from this tape, “Life at the Water’s Edge” and “Dogface,” have been remastered for a forthcoming limited edition 7″ release on Blackest Ever Black). The Cold Storage-recorded Ossification LP arrived a year later, followed by Cough (1985) and Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes (1988). Megaphone Records, responsible for Ossification’s recent 30th anniversary reissue, rightly describe it as “one of the most unusual, pleasurable and character-filled ‘pop’ records anyone has heard — a timeless anomaly in the history of recorded music.” By the start of the 1990s Hobbs had joined Jad Fair’s Half Japanese. In the early months of ’95, Half Japanese were in Baltimore to record their Hot LP; Hobbs stayed on to cut the bulk of the songs that comprise Officer!’s Dead Unique — songs drawn from a rich store of material written and refined in the seven years since the band’s last outing — with a talented assemblage of local and visiting musicians. Returning to the UK, Hobbs brought the tracks to producer Julia Brightly to mix at her 16-track home studio in Bethnal Green; by the end of the summer, Dead Unique had taken shape. And then? Nothing. For reasons that no one, least of all Hobbs, can remember, Dead Unique was shelved, all but forgotten about until 2012, when Blackest Ever Black chanced upon it while trawling the Officer! archive maintained for Hobbs by Andrew Jacques. Finally, rightfully, this album is available to all for the very first time. A complex but thrillingly immediate avant-pop song cycle that charms and confounds at every turn, Dead Unique will give immense pleasure not only to Officer!’s existing cult following, but to anyone with an appreciation of piquant, idiosyncratic songcraft — fans of Kevin Ayers, Flaming Tunes, Art Bears, Woo, Dislocation Dance, R. Stevie Moore, Robert Wyatt, Cleaners From Venus, Lol Coxhill or The Monochrome Set should especially pay attention. It touches upon ragged-raw rock ‘n roll, sumptuous chamber music, pastoral folk, blowsy prog-jazz and paranoid dub-space, effortlessly shifting from skronking abstraction to rousing harmonic refrain and back again. The tension between composition and improvisation is key to the LP’s power, with Hobbs abetted by an extraordinary supporting cast that includes Tim Hodgkinson (bass clarinet), Pleasant Livers’ Fred Collins (vocals), Legendary Pink Dots’ Patrick Q (violin), filmmaker/animator Martha Colburn (vocal), Gilles Rieder (drums), Jad Fair (vocals) and Jason Willett (bass, keyboards, trumpet). Special mention must go to John Dierker, whose superbly expressive clarinet and saxophone parts are a fixture throughout, and to Joey Stack, who takes lead vocals on “Good” and the show-stopping “Elephant Flowers.” Nonetheless, it is the voice of Hobbs — as principal writer, performer and protagonist of these songs — that resonates most powerfully. Blurring the roles of storyteller, poet and prankster, he turns memorable line after memorable line, booby-trapping them with mischievous puns, fleet-footed literary allusions, sudden digressions and shifts of register, nonsense rhymes and other wordplay. But his acute wit and flair for the absurd is moored by a deep romantic sensibility, and though it delights in the minutiae of the human comedy, Dead Unique ultimately addresses its biggest themes: love, loss, commitment, independence, the mutability and inconstancy of all things.
File Under: Rock in Opposition, Art Rock
O Level: Pseudo Punk (Munster) LP
Repressed, originally released for Record Store Day 2014. Munster Records presents, in a co-release with Discos Alehop!, the first vinyl reissue of the two official singles of British band ‘O’ Level: “East Sheen” (recorded in November 1977 and released on Psycho) and The Malcolm EP (recorded in December 1978 and released by the Kings Road label). This compilation also includes three tracks from February 1979 never released on vinyl before, plus a rawer alternative version of “East Sheen” dating from March 1978. ‘O’ Level was created in 1976 by London guitarist Ed Ball along with two friends from school, the Bennett brothers (John on drums and Gerard on bass), who would leave the band in March 1978. That same line-up plus Dan Treacy (another school friend of Ball’s) recorded the first Television Personalities single in 1977, titled 14th Floor. ‘O’ Level self-released that same year a first single which included three tracks strongly influenced by punk’s energy (Buzzcocks and Undertones guitars and melody on “East Sheen”) and attitude (with ironic comments about fake punks on “Pseudo Punk”), but all of it as if seen from a distance, outside a decadent scene which had already been absorbed by the establishment. The single also features a sort of homonymous anthem called ”O’ Levels.” As a record collector anecdote, there are two versions of the single with different covers, which go for very high prices. Ed Ball, DIY superhero, returned in late 1978 with four more hits, displaying a sound more oriented towards ’60s pop but with the new wave spirit of the time. On this occasion, he was accompanied on bass, drums, and backing vocals by… himself, Ball played everything! The single, titled The Malcolm EP, contains a new hit in “homage” to Malcolm McLaren, “We Love Malcolm”; a portrait of the scene, “Everybody’s on Revolver Tonight” (where the pseudo punks and part-time punks make another appearance); and two tracks with ’60s melodies: “Leave Me Alone” (with a very Love-esque chorus) and “Stairway to Boredom” (pure new wave sound). But Ed Ball’s music career didn’t end with this second single. After recording three more tracks in February 1979, which have never been released on vinyl until now, he continued developing the same strand of wonderful pop through the ’80s and ’90s with bands such as Teenage Filmstars, Television Personalities, The Times, and many more, ending with four records as a solo artist. ‘O’ Level was Ed Ball, a passionate pop artisan who deserves to be rediscovered.
Noura Mint Seymali: Tzenni (Glitterbeat) CD
SALE PRICED IN OUR LISTENING POST! “‘Tzenni’ in Hassaniya means to circulate, to spin, to turn. It’s the name for a whirling dance performed to the music of Moorish griots, often under khaima tents thrown up for street gatherings in the sandy quarters of Nouakchott and out across the wide deserts of Mauritania. Tzenni is an orbit, the movement of the earth around the sun, the daily progression of light and dark, lunar cycles, tides and winds. Tzenni, the dance, comes forth as the cyclical trajectory of a Moorish musical gathering builds to a feverish pitch. Produced and recorded across an appropriately dizzying array of locations and social contexts (New York City, Dakar, Nouakchott), the album Tzenni is a contemporary articulation of Moorish griot music from Mauritania — an artform that has been evolving and gaining momentum for centuries — as voiced by Noura Mint Seymali, an artist profoundly steeped in its history and rigorously devoted to its global resonance. Noura Mint Seymali comes from a long line of visionary musicians. Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall, her father, was a scholar-artist instrumental in opening Mauritanian music to the world; devising the first system for Moorish melodic notation, adapting music for the national anthem, and composing works popularized by his wife (Noura’s step-mother), the great Dimi Mint Abba. From her precocious beginnings as a teenaged backing vocalist with Dimi Mint Abba, Noura Mint Seymali now drives the legacy forward, re-calibrating Moorish music for our contemporary moment. Her band’s arrangements, rigor, and experimental spirit may be understood as a continuation of the tradition of Seymali, Dimi, her grandmother Mounina, and countless others. Together with her husband, heroic guitarist Jeiche Ould Chighaly, who brings the force of yet another powerful branch of Moorish musical lineage, the band on this recording was conceived as a distillation of essential elements, the ‘azawan’ and the backbeat. The ardine & tidinit (or guitar) together are the ‘azawan,’ the leading ensemble of Moorish traditional music, while bass & drums, played here by Ousmane Touré and Matthew Tinari, fortify it with genre-transcendent funk and a basic pop urgency. Tzenni re-visits several classics of the Moorish repertoire, but does so within a novel formation, conversant in the pop idiom, and with Noura Mint’s practice of aligning music to a given socio-historical and personal moment, it is an essential charge of the iggawen, or griot, and, we believe, of artists everywhere. As we seek to convey another turn in the Mauritanian musical dialectic, Tzenni is ultimately an album about shapeshifting, faith, and stability found through instability.” –Matthew Tinari, producer/drummer for Noura Mint Seymali
Desert Blues, Moorish, Hassaniya
Sleaford Mods: Divide & Exit (Harbinger Sound) LP
Divide and Exit sees Sleaford Mods once again released on the elusive Nottingham-based low-profile Harbinger Sound label. Once dismissed around their native Nottingham as “two skip rats with a laptop,” the last 12 months has seen the Sleaford Mods simply knock all their distractors clear out of the way. The mounting hysteria surrounding their 2013 album Austerity Dogs (HARB 106CD/LP) has spread like chlamydia at a teenage house party and saw them topping many “End of Year” lists worldwide. Along with a handful of limited 7″ releases on labels as diverse as Matador and X-Mist, plus an extensive European touring program have all helped to solidify their growing reputation as “ones to watch .” The Sleaford Mods duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn have also been busy throughout the year working on this follow-up album. Divide and Exit contains 14 new tracks all written over the last 12 months and the result is as immediately in your face as its vicious predecessor. While Fearn’s beats and loops will pull you up into the urgency of Sleaford Mods, they also allow you to run the gauntlet from deliberate, clumsy dancefloor swaggers to full-on punk throwabouts with them. Williamson is let free to spit out his litany of bile and anger towards the bloated and tedious. His verbal salvos and side-swipes are often savage and brutal, yet at turns, hilarious, but always spot-on as Sleaford Mods rage and despair as the country sinks deeper into a cesspool of its own idiocy. It’s an album that doesn’t have the privilege of luxury, indulgence or extravaganza and it will strike a resonant chord with many because it simply refuses to compromise. Many critics have attempted to tag and align the Sleaford Mods with other artists and have done little other than to advertise their own shortcomings and lack of knowledge. If you need a pointer, try and imagine an East Midlands take on Suicide that survived rave culture and looked to the Wu-Tang Clan for the escape hatch. The down-to-earth observations and story-telling of Ian Dury or Patrik Fitzgerald are maybe closer than any other names flung about in desperation. If you wish to tag and place Sleaford Mods, you’re only limiting yourself.
Teenage Filmstars: Cloud Over Liverpool (Munster) LP
Repressed, originally released for Record Store Day 2014. Munster Records presents, in a co-release with Discos Alehop!, the three official singles of the British band Teenage Film Stars reissued on vinyl for the first time: “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool” (Clockwork Records), “The Odd Man Out” (Wessex Records/Blueprint Records) and “I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape” (Fab Listening Records). After self-releasing two records with his band ‘O’ Level, in 1979 Ed Ball continued the path of ’60s-influenced new wave pop already present in that band’s The Malcolm EP (1978), now under the name Teenage Filmstars. In this new adventure he was accompanied by his school friends Dan Treacy and Joe Foster (both members of Television Personalities). With their help, Ball released a first single in September 1979 featuring two songs: the A-side was taken by “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool” (a tremendous chorus-song) and the B-side contained “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Follow Trends” (a comment on youth culture). The song “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool” received support by John Peel and reached certain fame in the UK and the United States, where it was interpreted as an homage to John Lennon. June 1980 saw the release of their second single, titled “The Odd Man Out,” where Teenage Filmstars offered as the lead track a catchy ska-pop number in the vein of Madness. The other side featured “I Apologise,” a beautiful pop melody punctuated by the kind of guitars characteristic of the revival mod bands of the time. Their last single, from November 1980, included the track from their repertoire with the biggest potential, “I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape” (re-recorded in 1982 for Ball’s next project, The Times, again along with Dan Treacy), an homage to the actor Patrick Joseph McGoohan, who worked on the late 1960s cult TV series “The Prisoner.” The single’s other side featured “We’re Not Sorry,” a power pop nugget which links them with bands such as The Jam and Merton Parkas (who were mocked on one of the two sleeves of “(There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool”). This compilation also includes two tracks never released on vinyl until now which were recorded in April 1979, in the style of ‘O’ Level: “He’s a Professional” (anti-military punk-pop) and the folk-punk anthem “The John Peel March,” dedicated to the legendary BBC radio host and great supporter of new bands. This retrospective is completed with a recording session dated to November 1980 which produced three tracks (“Storybook Beginnings,” “Dressing Up for the Cameras” and “The Sun Never Sets”) which further explore the power pop-mod sound that Ed Ball would develop in his next band The Times. Ed Ball’s music career would continue into the 1980s and 1990s in bands such as Television Personalities (until 1985), The Times (until 1999) and many more projects, including four albums as a solo artist.
White Lung: Deep Fantasy (Domino) LP
Resilient and hard hitting rock n’ roll outfit, White Lung are set to release their third album Deep Fantasy via Domino Recording Co. The band is every bit as confrontational as before, but they’ve managed to open their sound up just enough to draw listeners in before kicking them in the face. In a good way of course. After a year plus of near constant touring behind acclaimed release Sorry, White Lung slimmed to a trio in the studio; vocalist Mish Way, drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou and guitarist Kenneth William. Deep Fantasy was made primarily in Vancouver with producer Jesse Gander (who also did both Sorry and their 2010 debut It’s The Evil) in just two, ten day-long sessions at the end of last year and the start of this one. William handled bass duties on Deep Fantasy while Wax Idols’ Hether Fortune will take up bass and backing vocal duties on tour for the foreseeable future. Way is more provocative and melodic than ever on Deep Fantasy, lyrically surveying addiction (“Drown With The Monster”), body dysmorphia (“Snake Jaw”) and sexual dynamics (“Down It Goes,”) amongst other dinner table topics. William, a devotee of Johnny Marr “plays with the speed of an 80s hardcore dude” whirled in Vassiliou’s relentless and seemingly effortless approach to drumming.
Young Jessie: Don’t Happen No More (Jazz Man) LP
Housed in an old-style, heavyweight paste-on sleeve with notes written by Liam Large based on new interviews with Obie Jessie. Strictly limited to 999 numbered copies. Young Jessie is one of the unheralded greats of the R&B, rock & roll and soul eras. Beginning his career as a young teenager in L.A. vocal group the Flairs (with schoolmate Richard Berry, later of “Louie Louie” infamy), he then signed on with Modern Records and cut several high-quality R&B sides through the mid-1950s. Never quite achieving the level of fame and fortune of some of his immediate peers, the closest Young Jessie got to a hit was 1956’s “Mary Lou,” which sold well regionally and was later on covered by the likes of Bob Seger and the Steve Miller Band. Meanwhile, Young Jessie busied himself recording demos with Leiber & Stoller for one of their regular artists, Elvis Presley. Flitting between labels at the end of the ’50s and into the ’60s, his own output remained consistently of a very high quality, and always in step with the changing times — from doo-wop in his beginnings through blues, R&B, rock & roll and into soul. Throughout all of that, Young Jessie always considered himself a jazz singer first and foremost, and this influence underpins all of his vocal performances. This is a special retrospective LP of some of the finest moments of Young Jessie’s career, between 1953 and 1963.
Various: 1970s Algerian Folk & Pop (Sublime Frequencies) CD
Now available on CD! Sublime Frequencies is thrilled to present a second volume of classic tracks from Algeria’s popular music history. Where volume 1 focused on the early to mid-1970s Rai scene in western Algeria, this album features a variety of pop and folk styles from that same period. From the heavier rock and psychedelic sounds of Rachid & Fethi, Les Djinns and Les Abranis, to the haunting folk music of Kri Kri and Djamel Allem and the film soundtrack moods of Ahmed Malek, 1970s Algerian Folk & Pop documents a key period in the modern musical renaissance of a nation in transition. Most of these tracks are from 45 rpm singles, the key format during the early 1970s before the cassette took over as the medium of choice. Western musical influences can be heard throughout this extremely diverse record, yet there is an undeniable Algerian sense of sadness contained here within a more tolerant space in time between two of the country’s most significant historical periods; National Independence from France and the darker times of a brutal civil war yet to come. Compiled by Hicham Chadly, this CD comes in a digipak with a booklet featuring lovely images from the period and extensive liner-notes by Omar Zelig, Algeria’s most legendary radio DJ.
Various: Funny Old Shit Volume 1 (Trunk) LP/CD
Jonny Trunk presents Funny Old Shit, an 18-track compilation of funny old shit from the Trunk archive. “From calypsos sung by Bernard Cribbins and Robert Mitchum to avant-garde French concrète, with stops at post-punk, killer vocal jazz, Radiophonics, early African fusion, Argentinean film music and even some twitchy classical from Glenn Gould, this groundbreaking compilation flies in the face of the current trend for issuing records that, to be honest, are actually quite average and really very expensive indeed for what they are. This is a total bargain, an education and a right laugh. Although some people will actually think it’s shit. Bernard Cribbins is a British actor and a god, so Bernard was a great place to start, and can you name any other song apart from ‘Gossip Calypso,’ featured here, that manages to squeeze in the words ‘Oxy Acetylene welder?’ No, I can’t either. This is followed by modern classical music played on strange sculptures by the prolific team of Jacques Lasry and Bernard Baschet. Their sound is reminiscent of film music by Cliff Martinez, and that’s maybe because Cliff has a Cristal Baschet sculptural instrument, too. Next we travel to Argentina for some lovely film music (featuring a very young Gato Barbieri) and then to an early fusion of Africa and America with Guy Warren and Red Garland getting all hip and proto-rap. This is followed by a classic chunk of minimal modern music from 1981 by The Jellies. Next up is the B-side from the first-ever BBC Radiophonic Workshop record, which, incidentally, was produced by George Martin. After this we can absorb some high culture with Noel Coward reciting Ogden Nash’s words written in 1949 to accompany the romantic classic masterpiece “The Carnival of the Animals,” composed way back in 1886. We then move to a high-point in low culture, and to the world’s best worst singer, Leoni Anderson. She starred with Laurel And Hardy in one of their many films, and her one and only album is a terrifying delight. As a lover of very fine vocal jazz, too, I had to throw in ‘Naima,’ a staggering version of Coltrane’s classic. A small piece of educational electronics by Terry Dwyer makes quite a good little plugged-in interlude, which leads us nicely to the main theme for the Jacques Tati classic, ‘Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday.’ Eccentric pianist Glenn Gould then appears with the beginning of his legendary ‘Goldberg Variations’ recording, and then I realized I seem to be nudging towards interesting classical recordings a bit, which I think is no bad thing. And before you know it, we’re back enjoying some proper experimental concrète tape larks. Never one to resist a film star singing, I found it almost impossible to not stick in Robert Mitchum singing, and then I realized when I was writing these notes that that this was the second calypso-based record on this very small sampler, and then I thought that very fact might enhance the idea of the whole thing really being a bit ‘shit.’ After Bob, we can all enjoy a super-rare recording issued to accompany the 1962 kitchen sink drama A Taste Of Honey. We finish with Yusef Lateef’s version of Alex North’s sublime ‘Love Theme’ from the film Spartacus. It’s a perfect musical spot where an incredible film melody has met one of the great experimental jazzmen of all time. The results are quite exceptional. So chums, that’s Funny Old Shit. The idea is to put together more of these samplers with friends, guests and other groovy collectors, and to draw you in further to the funny old shit musical world that is Trunk Records.” –Jonny Trunk
Calypso, Avant Garde, Punk, Weirdness
Various: Choubi Choubi: Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Originally released in 2005, while the U.S.-led war against Iraq was tearing the country to pieces, Choubi Choubi Vol. 1 brought a collection of incredible Iraqi music and styles that had rarely showcased abroad. This 2014 deluxe-edition vinyl reissue is a must-have. It features re-mastered, and in some cases, completely restored audio, revised and updated liner-notes with new artist and track information, plus four additional tracks not featured in the first CD issue. Meticulously compiled by Mark Gergis from his archives of Iraqi cassettes and LPs found in Syria, Europe and the Iraqi neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan and elsewhere within the diaspora, this unique collection of folk and pop styles displays a wealth of outstanding music that is exclusive to Iraq. Choubi is Iraq’s version of Middle Eastern dabke music, and can be found throughout the country. It’s performed at weddings and parties nationally by its melting pot of Arabs, Kurds, Christians, and Rom gypsies — known as Kawlia. The Kawlia have been some of the most active recorded choubi artists in Iraq since the 1980s, and many tracks featured in this volume feature their outstanding performances. There are many reasons why Iraqi music stands alone in the dynamic world of Arabic music: one example is the unbelievable rapid-fire machine-gun rhythms fluttering atop the main tempo. This is the work of a unique nomadic hand drum called the Khishba — also known as the Zanbour (Arabic for wasp). A style prominently featured here is the infamous Iraqi Choubi — a driving, rhythmic style that can include fiddles, double reeded instruments, percussion, bass, keyboards and oud over its signature beat. Other styles featured are the Basta (an urban Baghdadi sound), 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. Most of the music in this collection was produced during the Saddam period — between the 1980s and 2002. Since the 2003 invasion and the wholesale disassembly of the country, classic tracks like these have already become part of a disappeared past. This limited edition 2LP vinyl release features 70 minutes of classic original recordings compiled by Mark Gergis, housed in a beautiful full-color gatefold jacket with extensive liner-notes and a bonus 7″ with a picture sleeve.
Various: True Soul (Now Again) 4LP
Deluxe 4LP boxset combining True Soul volumes 1 and 2. “The complete anthology including all 32 rare and unreleased 60s and 70s soul, funk, disco and party-rap cuts from the True Soul vaults. Twenty page full-color booklet contains never before seen photos, ephemera, extensive liner notes and a candid interview between producer Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt and Lee Anthony himself. All tracks remastered from the original master tapes. 4xLP box with detailed sleeves and original logos.”
File Under: Soul, Funk
Jorge Ben: Samba Esquema Novo (Doxy) LP
Circle: Triumph (Fourth Dimension) 2CD
Circle: Tulikoira (Headspin) LP+7″
Cluster: II (Lilith) LP
Constantines: Shine A Light (You’ve Changed) LP+7″
Dead Ghosts: Can’t Get No (Burger) LP
Dead Rider: Chills on Glass (Drag City) LP
Deltron 3030: s/t (Deltron) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
The Drones: Miller’s Daughter (Bang) LP
Dust & Grooves BK
Brian Eno: Another Green World (Polydor) LP
Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (Polydor) LP
Faust: So Far (4 Men With Beards) LP
The Field: From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt) LP
Florence & The Machine: Lungs (Island) LP
Florence & The Machine: Ceremonials (Island) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: The Argument (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: Instrument (Dischord) LP
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get on Down) LP
Jay Z: At Studio One (Fanclub) LP
Joy Division: Substance (Fanclub) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Section 80 (Fanclub) LP
Millie & Andrea: Drop the Vowels (Modern Love) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (Fanclub) LP
New Order: 1981-1982 (Factory) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never: Returnal (Editions Mego) LP
Outkast: Aquemini (LAFace) LP
Scientist: At Channel One (Jamaican) LP
Sigur Ros: Petta Er Island (Fanclub) 3LP
Sunn o))): Black One (Southern Lord) LP
Sword: Warp Riders (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemedo) LP
Teeth of the Sea: A Field In England Reimagined (Rocket) LP
Tinariwen: Emmaar (Anti) LP
Tool: Salival (Fanclub) 2LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrinkdust (Flemish Eye) LP
Ween: Live at Stubbs Vol 2 (Fanclub) LP
Various: African Scream Contest (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Box of Trash (Music Media) Box
Various: Legends of Benin (Analog Africa) CD
Various: Longing for the Past (Dust To Digital) Box
Various: Opika Pende (Dust to Digital) Box
Various: Turkish Freakout Vol 2 (Bazooka Joe) LP
Various: Victorola Favorites (Dust to Digital) 2CD+Book
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles (Numero) LP