It just doesn’t seem to be slowing down! Piles of killer stuff in again this week. We’ve been pricing some real nice used stuff lately too. All in all, it’s a pretty great time to come down and flip through the stacks.
So… if you haven’t heard already, I’ve been DJing up the road at Daravara (10713 124 Street) occasionally, and that occasion has arrived once again. I’ll be spinning records next Wednesday Oct 8 from 9pm until close. Come on down and have some beers and listen to some groovy tunes.
…..picks of the week…..
Braen Raskovich: Abnormal Sensations (Cacophonic) LP
Collectively known under their production pop group moniker The Pawnshop, Italian Giallo/Spaghetti legends Alessandro Alessandroni, Giuliano Sorgini and Giulia De Mutiis (using their Giallo-psych alter egos of Braen, Raskovich and Kema) would reconvene behind the curtain in 1973 to craft this lost full-length LP as a mythical addition to their tiny group discography. Pin-pointing a bona fide crossroads between the composers’ individual library grails The Underground and Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue, this previously commercially unreleased slice of abstract Giallo stoner funk combines Alessandroni’s inimitable twang-happy growling fuzz and desperately inquisitive guitar/harp/ dulcimer manipulations (akin to his work on All The Colours Of The Dark, Marquis De Sade and Danger Diabolik) with Sorgini’s eery industrial scrapes, moaning echoes and face-slapping percussion grooves (found on his rare TV soundtracks like Zoo Folle or the undercover work he did for library labels like Leo, Leonardi, National and Lupus). The inclusion of Alessandroni’s wife Giulia De Mutiis on groaning wordless vocal duties not only completes The Pawnshop trinity but adds the essential Giallo sheen popularised by Morricone regular Edda Dell’Orso (evoking clear comparisons to that of Lizard In A Woman’s skin and Veruschka). For fans of Giulia’s work on Bruno Nicolai’s The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave (dir. Jess Franco) and most notably Morricone’s Sospiri Da Una Radio Lontana (from Henri Verneuil’s The Night Caller) and Venus (on the Nereide label), the distinction glistens in the detail. These twelve tracks were circulated amongst TV and cinema production houses in the mid-70s for potential film synchronisation by library label Octopus under the title Judicial Inquiry (Inchiesta Giudiziaria) in what was perhaps an effort to capture the imagination of directors of the growing trend in Italian crime cinema. Track titles such as Abnormal Sensations and Psychic Getaway, however, indicate the trio’s natural penchant for the absurd and supernatural, rendering this particular beast quite specific and unique as its own dedicated non-release. For fans of extrovert Italian freak funk, avant garde pop and European horror sountracks this LP should sit comfortably in the company of your Bruno Nicolai and Gruppo Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza records and draw striking comparisons to international horror soundtracks by Don Gere, Pierre Raph and Andrzej Korzynski while exposing another secret hiding place for some of Italy’s finest A-List composers making rich experimental noise for B-Movie masterpieces.
File Under: Library, Italian, Avant Garde, Jazz, Psych
NeoTantrik: Blue Amiga (Pre-Cert Home) LP
Andy Votel and Demdike Stare’s Sean Canty’s concept group, NeoTantrik, return with the fruits of recent performances alongside Buchla maestro Suzanne Ciani, Swiss jazz legend Bruno Spoerri, and folk artist Jane Weaver. Recorded during sporadic visits to theaters and art spaces across the world, Blue Amiga follows one year on from their Intervisions (VHSX 009LP), further flinging the coordinates of their improvised alloys to encompass, extract and reduce a broad spectra of influences and disciplines taken from theatrical sound design, Italian library and computer music with general abstract and unrehearsed mechanical/human/electronic interfaces. Put simply; it’s a trip. Augmented by the presence of synth music and electro-jazz pioneers Ciani and Spoerri — both subjects of excellent reissues by Votel’s Finders Keepers label — plus the return of Jane Weaver and home-made music by the Sound Awareness blog’s Martin Young, the team sweep us through engrossing soundscapes fanning out from sub-aquatic drone to radiant electro-acoustica, gloomy cues and strung-out, opiated ambience of a deeply romantic, adult nature. Garbed in Asia Argento’s gorgeous cover design — featuring an image depicting the private family swimming pool photography of giallo actress Daria Nicolodi — Blue Amiga wears its cinematic influences quite literally on its sleeve, while musically rebuking the obvious stylistic blinkers of European film music in favor of genuine naked exploration and expansion.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Pseudo-Library
Maurizio Abate: A Way to Nowhere (Black Sweat) LP
Maurizio Abate is a self-taught guitarist, active since the 2000s, with a distinctive approach to experimentation. Since 2006 he has done several recording sessions, released on some LPs under his own name and other collective groups, and has collaborated with David Vanzan and Virginia Genta (Jooklo), Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Luca Massolin (Golden Cup), and many others. He is currently involved in the project Eternal Zio and plays live in the project BeMyDelay. This record aggregates many of his recent influences, from the meditative Krautism of Popol Vuh to an inalienable passion for blues guitar. Some of the tracks were sketches that he worked on, others were the result of long improvisations which were rearranged and mixed later. The record also features contributions from good friends such as Rella The Woodcutter, BeMyDelay and Alberto Boccardi, and features an excerpt from an interview with Aldous Huxley on “Towards the Outside.”
File Under: Psych, Electronic
File Under: Punk, City & Colour, CanCon
Basic Channel: Q-Loop (Basic Channel) 12″
Basic Channel have pressed a new 12″ vinyl with three tracks taken from the original Basic Channel BCD compact disc that so far hadn’t been available on vinyl.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Francis Bebey: Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984 (Born Bad) LP
Double LP version with printed inner sleeve. Born Bad Records presents the music of Cameroonian musician Francis Bebey, circa 1982-1984. “The first time I saw a sanza (a type of African ‘thumb piano’), it was just sitting there on a piece of furniture in my family’s living room/dining room — a space that our father also transformed into a recording studio every day. It seemed more like a box than a musical instrument: a mysterious instrument, which arrived at our house, like many things, in a somewhat miraculous way. The sounds it produced seemed particularly bizarre; to my young musician’s ears, trained in Western classical music, it sounded out of tune. That’s because, like my brothers and sisters, I had been trained on the piano. I had trouble understanding how anyone could endure these tones and, honestly, our father’s passion for ‘unusual sounds’ did not interest me. I was in secondary school at the time (the very late 1970s) and was not at all oriented toward musical projects. I planned to graduate, and then become a chef. In the early 1980s, my interest in music picked up. I was still undecided about my career. I was content to pursue my ‘serious’ English studies while hanging out at jazz clubs at les Halles in Paris, where I sometimes joined jam sessions. Next, I put together my first band with professional musicians; I had hidden my age and lack of experience from them. France was just beginning to accept ‘world music.’ Musicians of every nationality were performing in Paris. It was a wonderful period. My father asked my brother Toups and me to accompany him for a few concerts. In particular, we toured Tunisia together at the time of the 1983 Carthage International Festival. Back then, my father was renowned across the French-speaking world. Everyone looked forward to hearing his humorous songs, like ‘Agatha’ and ‘La condition masculine.’ But, behind the scenes, he continued his research concerning electronic music, the sansa, pygmy polyphony, etc. One day he put a sansa in my hands, without saying a word. He was sending me a message: ‘Let’s see what you can do with it!’ That’s when I really discovered something. Exploring the instrument and playing, I transcended the ‘imperfect’ aspect of its sound and began to discover its fascinating potential. Playing the sansa, you enter a world that enraptures you in a very serene and mesmerizing way. I think its sounds evoke a rainbow, with rain falling while the sun shines. A very peaceful feeling. It allows you to make music that truly sounds like life. The sansa is also the instrument that my father and I shared the most because I am a pianist and he was a guitarist. I also share this eminently African instrument with my musician brother, Toups. Our father loved to tell us one of the legends of the sansa: how it even managed to dispel the boredom felt by… the Creator himself! This instrument gives life to the world, to beings and things. I did not participate in the production of the various records that my father devoted to the sansa. He did it himself, you might say, in his ‘laboratory.’ Yet today, I cannot imagine playing a concert without using a sansa. The piano remains present so that listeners don’t become disoriented and wonder about the weird sounds invading their ears! However, I find the eccentric and disturbing side of sansa interesting. And the sansa always affects the audience: in reality, it excites them. The secrets of this instrument are surely its beneficial powers and… its magic!” –Patrick Bebey
File Under: Electronic, African
John Cameron & Alan Park: KPM 100: Afro Rock (Tummy Touch) LP
Probably the most well known and well loved KPM of all time, “Afro Rock” has at least a dozen tracks that qualify as being classics in the library music field. Any collaboration between John Cameron and Alan Parker is a match made in heaven and you can sense the chemistry these two have in the studio, this is exemplified by the creativity that courses throughout each track. Despite the title there is hardly anything “rock” about this collection ( aside from the opener “Heavy Water” ) and the only relation it has to afro is in some of the percussion. In reality the record is more jazz and funk inspired but tracks like “Heat Haze” and “Swamp Fever” defy such labels and this is one of the reasons why they are so intriguing. I can’t look past “Punch Bowl” in terms of funky brilliance, I must have played this song hundreds of times over the years and still love it just as much today. The version here is slightly longer than the one featured on “Sound Gallery Vol.1”. Simply put, you cannot have a collection of KPM’s or library music in general without “Afro Rock” being a part of it. It’s a truly magnificent album.
File Under: Library, Funk, KPM
Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP/CD
Our Love is formed around a mixture of digital pop production, hip hop-inspired beats, muted house basslines, and a love of shuffling garage that can be traced all the way back to the time of Start Breaking My Heart – all of which, of course, are filtered through Dan’s own unique perspective. The warm analog sounds of classic soul should not be overlooked either, for they weave themselves most intensely into the record’s DNA. In fact, Our Love is probably Caribou’s most soulful record to date, chock-full of heartfelt lyrics and organic nature that cut through bubbling synths and the blissful euphoria of their synthetic constructions. It’s not all downbeat of course; whilst some thoughts linger on mortality, loss, and letting go, there is always an element of celebration. Having followed up his Polaris Prize-winning 2007 record Andorra with the universally adored Swim in 2010 (selling nearly 175,000 copies worldwide and being named Album of the Year by Rough Trade, Mixmag, and Resident Advisor whilst also hitting The Guardian, Pitchfork, Spin and Mojo’s Top 20), Dan has spent the intervening four years touring the world, bringing not only the sounds of Caribou to the stage but proving his immeasurable worth as a DJ, with epic 7½-hour-long sets. In 2012, Caribou were personally invited to join Radiohead on the road whilst Dan released his first album under the guise of his dancefloor-loving pseudonym Daphni to widespread critical acclaim. Following the shape-shifting sounds of JIAOLONG and the brightly textured, fluid constructions of Swim – both inward looking records in their own way – Dan withdrew to the basement once more to work on Caribou’s next opus. Only he didn’t: Our Love isn’t the sound of isolated creation but the sound of Dan at his most connected – with love for his listeners, his collaborators, and those closest to him. Caribou will be On Tour in Canada this November.
File Under: Electronic, Pop, CanCon
Daniela Casa: Sovrapposizione Di Immagini (Finders Keepers) LP
In an alternate universe the Rome born female synthesist Daniela Casa would be a household name. A genuine pioneer of experimental pop music, abstract electronics, Giallo jazz and even heavy drone rock jams, her elusive and infectious music joins the dots and loops between other Italian female electronic composers such as Giulia De Mutiis (later Giulia Alessandroni), Doris Norton and Suzanne Ciani while retaining one of the most individualistic and diverse composing styles of an advanced mechanical musician regardless of their nationality or gender. This LP compiles, for the first time, a multifarious selection of previously commercially unavailable instrumental music composed at her home studio in the late 70s before her untimely death at the age of 42. Originally designed for use in radio, film, TV and other industry specific applications, these seldom heard selections combine ingenious homemade and hi-tech disciplines, providing scores for Italian thrillers, nature documentaries, educational projects and commercial sound installations. Mastered from the vaults of the sought-after Deneb/Flirt/Canopo library labels (home to some of the rarest records by Fabio Frizzi, Giuliano ‘Raskovich’ Sorgini, Gerardo Iacoucci, Alessandro ‘Braen’ Alessandroni amongst others) these rare tracks reveal Daniela Casa in her most fertile environment (composing as a young mother) in both a solo capacity and alongside incredible Italian session musicians, often sharing release schedules and track lists with her maverick maestro husband Remigio Ducross. These multi-layered musical images remain as vibrant and authentic today as they did thirty-five years ago. Close your eyes and unravel the Sovrapposizione Di Immagini…
File Under: Library, Early Electronic, Italian
Causa Sui: Pewt’r Sessions 1-2 (El Paraiso) LP
2014 repress of this release from 2012. Pewt’r Sessions 1-2 collects two limited vinyl-only Causa Sui albums, originally released in 2011. The two albums, released in April and August respectively, both feature American musician Ron Schneiderman and both sold out immediately after release. Schneiderman from American improv-rock collective Sunburned Hand of the Man first got together with Danish stoner/Kraut/jazz ensemble Causa Sui in December 2006 for a loose, improvised gig at the old cinema at Christiania — Copenhagen’s autonomous, and notorious, free commune. A live recording of this gig was released the following year, under the curious bandname Pewt’r jjjjj, and became widely admired among fans of free-form psychedelic rock for its updated version of late 1960s/early 1970s freak-out bands such as Blue Cheer, Guru Guru and Ash Ra Tempel. In the early summer of 2009 Schneiderman was back in Denmark, this time for a three-week stay as co-curator of the art-and-music event Festival of Endless Gratitude. During this period the group was united again for a few shows and a couple of recording sessions in Causa Sui’s studio in Odense, which resulted in the Pewt’r Sessions albums. These records consist of loosely structured sun and beer-fueled jams that were later edited and mixed by Causa Sui guitar player and producer Jonas Munk. While all the psychedelic fury from the Christiania live recording is still very prevalent on these studio sessions, they also see the group channeling into new territories, such as pieces heavy on analog electronics and motoric grooves. Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2 are albums that could only be recorded in an impulsive mode. Yet there is an alternative kind of structure taking place in almost every piece — some intuitive, almost psychic connection, which moves the sounds from one place to another.
File Under: Psych, Freakout, Krautrock
Causa Sui: Pewt’r Sessions 3 (El Paraiso) LP
Causa Sui returns with a third round of mind-bending jams featuring Ron Schneiderman! The savage, kaleidoscopic improvisations of the quintet’s previous two volumes instantly gained reverence among fans of free-flowing Krautrock and detuned stoner rock, and this brand new addition, recorded in the late summer of 2013, fulfills the group’s potential entirely. The Krautrock grooves, the low-end heaviness and the sprawling furor is still very much present — but this set is also permeated by a rare free jazz sensibility, at times recalling American masters of improvisation such as John Coltrane and Don Cherry in spirit. Ferociously experimental, yet absolutely welcoming and corporal. “Incipiency Suite,” which takes up the entire B-side of this record, stands as the high pinnacle of what this group is capable of with the inclusion of Ron Schneiderman: an afternoon of spontaneously-recorded parts, cut-and-pasted into an abundant whole by studio wiz Jonas Munk, creating a unique interplay between in-the-moment improvisation and creative studio editing. History: Ron Schneiderman (aka Pewt’r) from American impro-rock collective Sunburned Hand Of The Man first got together with Danish stoner/Kraut/jazz ensemble Causa Sui in December 2006 for a loose, improvised gig at the old cinema at Christiania — Copenhagen’s autonomous, and notorious, free commune. A live recording of this gig was released the following year, under the curious bandname Pewt’r jjjjj, and became widely-admired among fans of free-form psychedelic rock for its updated version of late 1960s/early 1970s freak-out bands such as Blue Cheer, Guru Guru and Ash Ra Tempel. In the early summer of 2009, Ron Schneiderman was back in Denmark, this time for a three-week stay as co-curator of the art-and-music event Festival of Endless Gratitude in Copenhagen. During this period the group was united again for a few shows and a couple of recording sessions in Causa Sui’s studio in Odense, which resulted in Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2. The group got together again for a performance at 2012’s Roskilde Festival and later again at Festival of Endless Gratitude in the summer of 2013. It was during the latter sojourn that Pewt’r Sessions 3 was recorded.
File Under: Psych, Freakout, Krautrock
Deaf Center: Recount (Sonic Pieces) LP
Deaf Center is seemingly never of the times. Whether it’s the nostalgic component often associated with Pale Ravine and Owl Splinters, or the time between releases, waiting and remembering are part of the experience. Recount is a bridge between full albums, where time and familiarity are mesmerizingly suspended. Recorded during rehearsal sessions in 2012 and 2008, “Follow Still” and “Oblivion” make full use of the Deaf Center spectrum. In the direction of a live performance, Recount plays off of experience and reaction; a balancing act of improvisation, sonic detail, and emotion. “Follow Still,” recorded in Berlin 2012, brings you to a recent past. The 13-minute track leads you down a melancholic pathway and into tunnels of memory. Minimal piano passages and warm repeating organ sounds are at the core, slowly blurring your sense of time while faint guitar amp noise and the sound of effect-pedals switching off and on makes you feel present at the recording. Engraved with intricate details and quiet moments, “Follow Still” pursues the night until dawn. “Oblivion,” recorded 2008 in Oslo, recalls the live sets that followed the release of Pale Ravine. With this era condensed into one long track, the piece is an overwhelming mass of orchestral haze, crying strings and droning bass. The dense fog doesn’t burden but calms, and as it starts to clear, reveals a true grandiosity. Recount is both a division and fusion of sound and time. Two tracks, two years, two people, two cities; ultimately, Deaf Center straddles worlds to lead to something unquantifiable and timeless.
File Under: Dark Ambient, Electronic
Al Doum & The Faryds: Cosmic Love (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records presents an album from Milan-based psychedelic band Al Doum & The Faryds. Good vibrations and resonances are distributed along nine tracks, which explores worlds of peace. Jungles, abysses, distant stars — every place can be the location for the expression of Cosmic Love, thanks to the usual blend of traditional and exotic instruments (sitar, balafon, rabab, djembe, conga, quena), including space effects and loving choirs. Recorded at El Guscio studio in Milan at the end of 2013. Limited edition of 400 vinyl copies.
File Under: Psych, Krautrock, World
The Fates: Furia (Bird) LP
Originally scheduled for release on Halloween 1985 this privately pressed all female post-punk/broken-folk collective concept LP was resurrected from the ashes of the original line-up of The Fall and Velvet Underground singer Nico’s Blue Orchids backing band at the command of pioneering Manchester female punk icon Una Baines before disappearing into the annals of UK punk purgatory. Comprising all the DIY traits and snarling attitudes of Manchester’s smartarsed punk retaliation, with haunting mechanical folk, pastoral drones and a back story that unites sleeve artist Linder Sterling (Ludus), Spider King, Martin Hannett, Tony Baines, Martin Bramah and John Cooper Clarke with the 16th Century Pendle Witches, this virtually unknown LP is a vital missing piece in Manchester’s self-help anti-pop industry. Lost in the ether, lauded by collectors and likened by Mark E. Smith to the Third Ear Band this unclassifiable arty-fact renders tags like Pagan punk utterly redundant. File-Under-Ground.
File Under: Post Punk, Folk, The Fall
Lee Gamble: Koch (Pan) LP/CD
Following up from the success of his emphatic PAN releases Dutch Tvashar Plumes and Diversions 1994-1996 in 2012, PAN is excited to announce Koch (pronounced “cotch”), the new album from London’s Lee Gamble. Sharing some stylistic affinity with his previous records, which excavated his deeply personal history with UK jungle and rave, and techno, this new work dives even deeper to reveal a singular and intimate musical vantage point, shifting to approaching music as projection, state, hallucination, another place. In Koch, we experience an artist constructing a future, after time spent deconstructing the past. In the music we witness such dimensional abstraction, zooming between epic macro-scenery and claustrophobically close detail, disorientation and absolute focus. Rhythms fuse together and phase apart, club tracks tunnel into an anxious wilderness, with themes and textures emerging as threads throughout the record, wormholing between each track. There is a sense of the seen and the unseen, an honest tension between music as function (for this world) and as artistic exploration (for another world) as cracks in the surface appear to reveal the odd and alien minutiae within. Koch represents an intimate and revelatory new phase in Lee Gamble’s practice. Producing tracks that can live and grow on their own in a club or personal listening environment, the artist’s exploratory framework creates threads of consistency and tension between disparate spaces, locations, and mental states.
File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Techno
Lucien Goethals: s/t (Cacophonic) LP
As the pearls of Finders Keepers exclusive adventures in the deep vaults of Belgium’s Alpha Records we are proud to present this collection of outstanding experimental magnetic music by Lucien Goethals. Simply one of the best examples of organic and electronic music interfacing taken from rescued mastertapes spanning 1964 and 1975, here we find Goethals recomposing transposing and reducing taped recordings of organic instruments such as Cello and Clarinet to make early magnetaphone compositions that defy convention from the heart of the revolutionary IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music). These melodic explorations into advanced mechanical music provide further likeminded context for the likes of Dariush Dolat Shahi, Delia Derbyshire and Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza and beg comparison to Zdenek Liska’s score for Ikarie Xb1. Lucien Goethals was born in 1931 in Ghent, Belgium. He completed his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in 1956 where he was awarded the highest accolades for advanced organ, history of music and theoretic notions, after which he eventually pursued his studies of seriated music technique and electronic composition with G.M. Koenig. He was awarded further awards for composition in both his own country as well as abroad, and was a member of the renowned Spectra work group. In 1963 he was appointed to the post of producer of the BRT (Flemish division of the Belgian Broadcasting and Television System) and later a key producer in the division known as IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music). From 1971 he taught musical analysis at the Music Academy of Ghent. Goethals was an exponent of the stricter direction in the aesthetics of contemporary music. His work is still recognised as a valuable contribution, on a global scale, to the fields of seriated and trans-aleatoric music of the past half century. His recorded achievements within experimental music include a dozen rare compositions for solo “magnetophonic” music and a set of works for combined orthodox instruments with magnétaphone. Outside of the electronic field Goethals was also recognised for his chamber music, symphonic orchestration, cantata and lied compositions. This compendium focuses on Lucien’s magnetophonic work recorded during, and prior.
File Under: Early Electronic, Avant Garde
Grateful Dead: Live at the Cow Palace (Friday Music) 5LP Box
Now for the first time ever as an exclusive 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl 5 LP Box Set, Friday Music is very honored to announce the limited edition Grateful Dead authorized release of Live At The Cow Palace-New Years Eve 1976. Mastered for vinyl by Joe Reagoso (Grateful Dead/Deep Purple/Yes) at Friday Music Studios and at Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, this wonderful album will truly be a welcomed addition to your Dead collection. The Grateful Dead’s Live At The Cow Palace album will be packaged in a stunning box set, with Timothy Truman’s artwork detailed beautifully, a rich looking black background inside the box set itself, with a poly lined LP sleeve to preserve the rich details of each of the five albums. Wonderful retro LP label artwork is also provided for each vinyl album. The legendary Bay Area rock superstars Grateful Dead scored with a plethora of wonderful recordings throughout their incredible career that encompassed four decades. Their concerts were of legendary proportions, and during the bicentennial year of 1976, a whole new audience was discovering their magic thanks to their From the Mars Hotel (Friday Music 102) and Blues for Allah albums. As a new year was approaching, the Dead celebrated it together with a very appreciative hometown San Francisco audience at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. This masterful performance went on to become one of the most revered ever in their long concert history. Always known for being on top of the audiophile medium, the Dead would record a lot of their shows over the years with state of the art equipment. This particular show was of no exception as long time associates Betty Cantor Jackson and Bob Matthews recorded a number of shows during this much touted tour era and together with the definitive Dead archivists David Lemieux and James Austin compiled the long awaited Live At The Cow Palace – New Year’s Eve 1976. Friday Music is very pleased to announce the exclusive first time 180 Gram Audiophile 5 LP Deluxe Box Set of the Grateful Dead’s Live At The Cow Palace – New Year’s Eve 1976. This amazing limited edition treasure trove features the historic concert in its entirety. Filled with 22 stellar first time audiophile vinyl performances, The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kruetzmann, Keith Godchaux and Donna Godchaux truly radiate with some of their finest playing and singing ever, making this a wonderful listen and highly collectible album for years to come. Many favorite Grateful Dead classics and superior rarities abound in this lengthy limited edition audiophile dream box including the long-awaited audiophile vinyl releases of Bertha, Wharf Rat, Eyes Of The World and Jerry Garcia solo favorite Deal. Known for their lengthy jams, four solid masterpieces get their due on this amazing set like the 23+ minute performance of Playing In The Band, Sugar Magnolia, Scarlet Begonias and Samson and Delilah. The band went back real deep into their arsenal of classic tunes and picked even more of their most loved repertoire including a fine reading of Tim Rose’s Morning Dew and of course Dead masterpieces Uncle John’s Band, Slipknot! and Looks Like Rain.
File Under: Psych, Dead, Audiophile
Have A Nice Life: Deathconsciousness (Flenser) LP
In 2008, Have A Nice Life released their now cult classic Deathconsciousness LP to a whimper and critical non-interest. Six years after its release the band followed up with 2014’s stunner The Unnatural World, Deathconsciousness has become a force of influence and fanatic obsession. Seamlessly blending, with unparalleled depth and weight, shoegaze, post punk, new wave, industrial and noise. The album was originally released by Enemies List Home Recordings founded by HANL members Dan and Tim. The album has since floated in and out of production, with the last instantly out of print vinyl pressing occurring in 2009. Now, longtime HANL collaborator The Flenser will re-issue Deathconsciousness with deluxe packaging, including a lengthy accompanying zine and colored vinyl. Have A Nice Life commented, “Working with Flenser lets us keep things comfortable on our end, while also pressing enough copies to actually meet the need and not creating an artificially-inflated collector’s market, as happened with some of our past releases.” The Flenser’s reissue of Deathconsciousness will be accompanied by a 75-page booklet detailing the dark and forgotten history of the Antiochean cult. Blurring the lines between novella, liner notes, and academic text, the zine itself presents an engrossing narrative. The album is rhythmic, primal and expansive and is a gloomy-post-punk masterpiece; a mediation on death, loss and unrequited love. Deathconsciousness feels more fresh and engaging with every listen and has held up as a remarkable piece of art. Fans of Have A Nice Life exhibit both cultic thought and action for good reason. It is perhaps a fanbase as dark and mysterious as the Antiochean’s, the album itself revolves around. Now The Flenser is honored to rerelease Deathconsciousness a gorgeous and disarming contribution to the modern lexicon for a larger audience.
File Under: Shoegaze, Gloom, Post Punk
Arve Henriksen: Nature of Connections (Rune Grammofon) LP
Arve Henriksen stumbled across the title of his latest album while reading a book about furniture-making. “The author mentioned the complexity of making a chair and all the people involved in the process,” the Norwegian trumpet player says. “The high quality of the different fields and the wide range of professions that, after a long process, turns into a product which can easily be compared to the process of making this album.” The Nature of Connections finds Arve working in harness with some of Norway’s most distinguished and dynamic musician-craftsmen, drawn from the fields of folk, improvisation and jazz. Each one brought specialist components and skills honed over many years to Arve’s workshop, where the results were assembled and polished to a high gleam. The Nature of Connections almost entirely features pieces composed by Arve’s collaborators. Recorded in the sparkling acoustics of Oslo’s legendary Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug, it’s an album with closer ties to Nordic folk and contemporary, minimalist chamber music than any of Arve’s previous releases. The trumpeter had planned to make an album with a string quartet for many years but never quite found the right formula. Finally, a specially commissioned tour brought him together with violinists Nils Økland and Gjermund Larsen, cellist Svante Henryson and double bassist Mats Eilertsen, all of whom now appear as the central planks in The Nature of Connections. Another welcome guest is drummer Audun Kleive, veteran of Norwegian jazz ensembles including Masqualero, JoKleBa!, Generator X, Terje Rypdal and Jon Balke. “The brilliant thing about collaboration with others is that your collaborators very often have better ideas than yourself,” says Arve, typically modest. “At the same time, some naive and simple ideas from my head are sometimes enough to illustrate that moment and that special feeling of a story. I have gradually started to trust that feeling.” His instincts are correct, leading to some of the warmest and most organic sounding music of his career. Highlights include the solemn chamber music of “Seclusive Song,” and the stately progress of “Hymn” — composed by Arve’s keyboardist partner in the long-running Norwegian improv ensemble Supersilent, Ståle Storløkken — which paces itself around Henryson’s repetitive, gently churning cello. Born in Norway and currently living in Sweden, Arve Henriksen is Scandinavia’s most distinctive trumpeter and improviser. He played in various jazz ensembles in his youth before co-forming Supersilent in 1997, a prolific free music group with Helge Sten (Deathprod) and Ståle Storløkken, which is still ongoing. His trumpet, augmented with effects and electronics, has appeared with David Sylvian, Terje Rypdal, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Balke, Terje Isungset and Iain Ballamy’s Food. With Supersilent he recently collaborated with former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. In September 2014 he’ll be participating in an architectural installation/performance as part of Oslo’s Ultima Festival of contemporary music. Since 2001 he has created a series of exquisite solo recordings (on Rune Grammofon and ECM), which combine electronic textures, horns, woodwinds, ethnic instruments, percussion, keyboards, and his mournful, yearning singing voice. Henriksen’s music reflects both the stunning beauty of virgin wilderness and the shifting, cosmopolitan environments experienced by the 21st century traveler. The Nature of Connections is the latest link forged in an ever-growing chain. Arve Henriksen (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, piano); Nils Økland (violin, Hardanger fiddle, viola d’amore); Svante Henryson (cello); Gjermund Larsen (violin, Hardanger fiddle); Mats Eilertsen (double bass); Audun Kleive (drums).
File Under: Ambient, Trumpet, Jazz, ECM, Electronic
Fela Kuti: Box 3 (Knitting Factory) 7LP
Knitting Factory Records is proud to release the third of the long-awaited vinyl reissues from the Fela Kuti catalog. These seven albums – London Scene (1971), Shakara (1972), Gentleman (1973), Afrodisiac (1973), Zombie (1976), Upside Down (1976) and I.T.T. (1980) – were chosen by long-time admirer, Brian Eno. In addition to the seven 180g LPs, the box set also includes a 12″ x 12″ 12-page book that includes a forward from Eno, album notes from Chris May, translated lyrics, photos from Bernard Matussiere and 16.5″ x 22.5″ poster. Fela’s discography stretches from the mid 1960s with Fela Ransome Kuti & His Highlife Rakers, to the early 1990s with Egypt 80, and there are masterpieces all along the way. But the 1970s, with Africa 70 and then Afrika 70, was the decade during which Fela’s Afrobeat went through its most dramatic changes – musically and politically. Says Box set curator, Brian Eno, “Before about mid-September 1973 I didn’t have much interest in polyrhythmic music. I didn’t really get it. That all changed one Autumn day when I walked into Stern’s Record Shop off Tottenham Court Road. For reasons I’ve long forgotten, I left the store with an album that was to change my life dramatically. It was Afrodisiac by Fela Ransome-Kuti (as he was then known) and his band The Africa 70.” He adds, “I remember the first time I listened and how dazzled I was by the groove and the rhythmic complexity, and by the raw, harsh sounds of the brass, like Mack trucks hurtling across highways with their horns blaring. Everything I thought I knew about music at that point was up in the air again. The sheer force and drive of this wild Nigerian stuff blew my mind. My friend Robert Wyatt called it ‘Jazz from another planet’ – and suddenly I thought I understood the point of jazz, until then an almost alien music to me.” Eno’s selection presents four from this period – Shakara, London Scene (1972), and Afrodisiac and Gentleman (both 1973). On these albums, Fela began to compile Afrobeat’s various signature characteristics – its rhythm patterns, interlocking twin guitars (rhythm and tenor), call and response vocals, use of Broken English rather than Yoruba, style of horn arrangements, and political message. Upside Down, one of Eno’s other selections, features Sandra Izadore on vocals. It was recorded in 1976 during one of several trips she made to Nigeria. The penultimate album in Eno’s selection is late 1976’s Zombie, a vicious skewering of the Nigerian military and Fela’s biggest hit record to date. No coincidence then, that on February 18, 1977 over a thousand soldiers attacked and destroyed his self-declared independent republic of Kalakuta – a live/work compound which included housing for the Afrika 70 family. 1980’s I.T.T. is among the first clutch of discs Fela recorded following the break-up of Afrika 70 in late 1978/early 1979 and the formation of his new band, Egypt 80. I.T.T. is one of several albums Fela recorded around this time which featured only one song – an extended instrumental on side one, and a long-form lyric on side two. The format is a little closer to the way Fela performed live than it is on an album made up of several shorter tracks. Incudes: London Scene (1971), Shakara (1972), Gentleman (1973), Afrodisiac (1973), Zombie (1976), Upside Down (1976) ad I.T.T. (1980)
File Under: Afro Beat, Essential
Hisham Mayet: Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast (Sublime Frequencies) DVD
Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast explores the ceremonial splendor of sacred dance and ritual in Benin, the birthplace and cradle of Vodoun. Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin was also called the Slave Coast due to its importance in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Today, the worship and supplication of Vodoun gods remains integral to everyday life in Benin. Shot in January 2011 during the country’s rich annual Vodoun celebrations, this film offers an impressionistic glimpse of the major ceremonies and delirious musical performances associated with this ancient religion. Guided by the otherworldly rhythms and colors of Vodoun pageantry, Hisham Mayet presents an intimate view of metaphysical dramas enacted in magisterial costumes: The cult of Sakpata, fearsome god of pestilence, disfigurement and healing. The Egoun-goun, ancestral visitors from the realm of the dead, who bring blessings and warnings for the living. And the Zangbeto nightwatchmen, ambulatory haystacks who serve as Vodoun’s secret police. Traveling in a malarial fever dream from the clutter and bustle of village markets to the palace of Ahosu Agoli-Agbo Dedjalagni, the King of Abomey, Mayet provides an unforgettable portrait of secular and sacred life in Benin. Digipack with 12-page booklet of photographs from various Vodoun ceremonies throughout Benin; 48 minutes/color; all-region DVD, NTSC format. Limited one-time edition of 1,000 copies.
File Under: DVD, Benin, Ceremonial
Montgomery Express: Montgomery Movement (Numero) LP
Funk’s answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Florida’s Montgomery Express stood at the crossroads of politically conscious soul and mystically awakened dance music. Comprised of two blind musicians in their 20s and a teenage rhythm section, their lone LP was cut in 1972 for Orlando’s Dove label, then reissued on Folkways two years later. Although the label usually steered clear of soul music and anything remotely commercial sounding, Montgomery Express tapped into Folkways’ Guthrie-cum-Chamber Bros. nerve with The Montgomery Movement. “My whole life, I heard music in the air, beautiful music. I’ve been involved in supernatural things, spoken with spirits. I have heard an orchestra up in the air. I know I’ve heard it.” – Paul Montgomery
File Under: Funk
Bruno Nicolai: All the Colours of the Dark (Finders Keepers) LP
As part of a devoted series of releases focusing on Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack music to the films of Edwige Fenech, Finders Keepers proudly unveil what is perhaps the crowning moment for both actress and composer with the film that inaugurated them (alongside director Sergio Martino) into the critical Giallo royal family in the early 1970s. Presented here with previously unpressed tracks as an alternative to the extremely rare 1973 Gemelli library edition, this Finders Keepers special release includes the recently uncovered 1972 hard-hitting left-field psychedelic pop themes that unified yet another unholy trinity comprising of sitar wielding Alessandro Alessandroni (in true Pawnshop Braens Machine mode) and Italian cinematic songbird Edda Dell’Orso to create (under Nicolai’s gaze) what is regarded by many unified euro horror video collectors and vinyl detectives as the cream of this well furrowed crop. Recorded in January 1972 at Morricone’s Ortophonic studio in Rome (home of Goblin’s Roller and Alessandroni’s Sangue di sbirro amongst many others) Bruno Nicolai balances psychotic free jazz, aggressive bass driven beats, schizoid Eastern motifs and childlike lullabies – the latter exacerbating director Martino’s proud Rosemary’s Baby influences in this Giallo tale of a rehabilitated relationship plagued by recurring nightmares and vague memories of a religious cult that teeter on the edge of Fenech’s consciousness. To claim this score as Nicolais’ all time best is perhaps a little ambitious for a versatile composer of such acclaim and widespread appeal, but for fans of that unique window of unhinged musical opportunity which came with the Giallo boom of the early 1970’s you’ll be hard pushed to find a record that covers all bases from an alternative universe where Fabio Frizzi, Goblin and Walter Rizzati were (haunted) household names.
File Under: Library, OST, Italian
OST: Guardians of the Galaxy (Hollywood) 2LP
In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan. In order to evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a group of misfits including Gamora, Rocket, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Staring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, John C. Reilly as well as the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. This deluxe double vinyl edition of the soundtrack to the James Gunn-directed 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy includes classic 1970’s songs from the movie like Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream,” 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love,” the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” and The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” plus the film’s original score composed by Tyler Bates. Music plays a major role in Guardians of the Galaxy as the 1970’s songs featured in the film are part of the storyline in a unique way. Explaining how the songs come to play in the story, director James Gunn says, “One of the main story points in the movie is that Quill has this compilation tape [Awesome Mix #1] that he got from his mother before she died that she made for him. It was of songs that she loved, all songs from the 1970s, and that’s the only thing he has left of his mother and that’s the only thing he has left of his home on Earth. He uses that as a connection to his past and to the sadness that he feels of having left all that and lost all that.”
File Under: OST, Awesome Mix 1
Peaking Lights: Cosmic Logic (Weird World) LP
Los Angeles duo Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, aka Peaking Lights will release their new album Cosmic Logic through Weird World. Vivid, nocturnal and sensual, the eleven lean and lithe pop songs of Cosmic Logic follow 2012’s much-lauded Lucifer and are another progression in the band’s ever-evolving sound; their free-wheeling, far-reaching production and mesmeric, mantra-like songwriting pushing into brighter, bolder spaces than ever before. Coyes engineered and produced Cosmic Logic in the band’s newly built Los Angeles studio, designing many of the luminous sounds used himself over the eighteen months of its making. The record was mixed by Matt Thornley (DFA, LCD Soundsystem) at C’mpny Studios in LA in the spring of 2014. Even in an era where omnivorous consumption and assimilation of different cultures has become almost common place in pop, there remains something special about the depth and passion of Coyes and Dunis’s musical knowledge as evident on Cosmic Logic. It’s a record where a loving homage to “Der Song von Mandelay” – the first song on The Flying Lizards’ debut album (opening track “Infinite Trips”), The Carpenters re-interpretation of 70’s prog rockers Klaatu (the interplanetary groove of “Telephone Call”) and the deliriously catchy digi-dub of lead single “Breakdown” all coalesce with elements of Jamaican digital dancehall, Cosmic Italo, Chicago house and acid house, Afrobeat and Zamrock, early West coast hip-hop and disco boogie crossover into something both instantly recognizable and delightfully alien. Looking both to other cultures and the cosmos for inspiration, Cosmic Logic is a record that searches – a beacon in dark times. Or, as Coyes puts it — “Peaking Lights’ whole thing has always been based on an idea of ‘Fucked Modern Pop but exactly what that is, we don’t know…we’re still trying to figure that out.”
File Under: Indie, Dance, Pop
Pissed Jeans: Shallow (Sub Pop) LP
Pissed Jeans and Sub Pop have teamed up to reissue Shallow, the Allentown, PA band’s long out-of-print debut album. The 8-song album features Pissed Jeans classics “Boring Girls” and ”Closet Marine,” and this reissue includes the bonus tracks “Throbbing Organ” and “Night Minutes” from the band’s first single (bonus tracks are included as a 7” in the LP version). All songs have been remastered for this release. Pissed Jeans were noisy as a motherfucker and proud of it on Shallow. The album sounds like a big pile of mud and broken glass ripping through your stereo speakers in the most killer way imaginable. Shallow was originally released by Pissed Jeans in June of 2005, not long after their 2004 single, “Throbbing Organ” b/w “Night Moves.” All tracks were originally recorded by Dan McKinney at Dan’s House in Center Valley, PA, and Shallow was first released via New Jersey hardcore label Parts Unknown. The recordings feature longtime members Matt Korvette and Bradley Fry, along with then drummer Dave Rosenstraus and bassist Tim Wynarczuk.
File Under: Punk, Reissue
Sensational Saints: You Won’t Believe It (Numero) LP
Formed in the early ’50s under the watchful eye of Tuskegee, Alabama, transplant Charles Chambliss, the Sensational Saints were handpicked from a Cleveland clothing store, a pool room, and from a group of friends singing from a third story window. After years spent rotating members and issuing stray singles for assorted non-denominational imprints, the group connected with the vocally inclined Reverend Melvin Kenniebrew at the close of the ’60s, making good on their “Sensational” boast. “With God in their hearts and singing on their minds,” the Sensational Saints mounted their crown jewel in 1973 with You Won’t Believe It. Pressed in conservative quantities by local gospel magnate James Bullard on his King James label, the group’s lone long-player perfectly encapsulates the intersection of funk and gospel as only the religious conversion of a Bill Wither’s tune can do.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Sleaford Mods: Austerity Dogs (Harbinger) LP
Sleaford Mods started out sometime during 2006 while Jason Williamson was living in Nottingham. Born out of part frustration and part accident, it quickly found its feet as an aggressive verbal onslaught on all that is contrived and connected to the day-to-day hammer of low paid employment and domestic situations arising from that trap. After a year of working ideas out in both the studio and in live performance around Nottingham, Williamson moved south and took the cause to London for a couple of years, before returning to Nottingham in 2009. Soon after that he met Andrew Fearn and the Sleaford Mods became a duo. Fearn’s first work was on the production of Wank — the Mods’ fifth CD-R album. Soon after, he started stalking the studio and stage with Williamson. Just after the release of Wank, the duo were invited to play a three-day festival curated by Nottingham’s Rammel Club. During that weekend they were introduced to the Harbinger Sound label. A meeting which — a year later — resulted in the release of Austerity Dogs. Numerous shows around the UK and Europe followed, including further festival appearances. Rave reviews of the album have appeared in magazines as diverse as The Wire and Uncut, along with interviews being published both on paper and on the internet, both here and abroad. With more international dates on the horizon including excursions to Poland and Sweden, the interest in the Mods continues to spread.
File Under: Punk, Hip Hop
The Smoke Clears: Listen (Further) LP
Those who know the respected Irish producer John Daly for his bubbly, melodically-nuanced house and techno tracks may get thrown off balance by his latest work under the Smoke Clears handle. While his 2011 release for Further, Sea Level, hinted at his fondness for Manuel Göttsching/Klaus Schulze-like kosmische ambience, on Listen Daly veers off into more introverted and arcane abstraction terrain. The title-track kicks off the album on a decidedly downtempo, contemplative note while maintaining Daly’s knack for understatedly beautiful melodies. It sounds like the best song Morr Music never released. “Plumb” exudes a paradoxically chilled and urgent aura, with woodblocks seemingly made out of ice and heavily reverbed claps providing the hypnotic rhythm. The glistening IDM of “Star Shine” could be an outtake from Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 1985-1992 (it’s that gorgeous). The beautifully hoarfrost-y “Trace” evokes Seefeel’s forays into fusing shoegaze atmospheres with abstract electronic beat matrices. With Listen, The Smoke Clears decisively steps off the dancefloor and enters one of the chilliest chill-out rooms a ’90s clubber ever chilled in — but the music’s still a-bristle with all sorts of fascinating movement and textures. Despite Listen’s banquet of ultra-cool tones, your neurons will work up a nice sweat.
File Under: Kosmische, Ambient, Electronic
Tape: Casino (Hapna) LP
The new album from alternative music veterans Tape marks their 14th year of activity. It’s called Casino and was recorded in the legendary Atlantis studio in Stockholm by engineer Janne Hansson in December 2013. The music of Tape still continues its growth, in its own way, separated from the rest of the world in many ways. This time the emotional depth and interest in details are even stronger and clearer. The album has been mixed by Andreas Werliin and mastered by Mell Dettmer. Swedish trio Tape was set up in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling with Tomas Hallonsten. Taking cues both from pop, experimentalism, and minimalism, their sound, with a mixture of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, has become recognized internationally and is clearly something of its own. Their first album Opera (HAPNA 040CD) was released on the Häpna imprint (which Johan is a co-owner of) in 2002. Working intuitively, all by themselves, they created mini symphonies out of electronic sounds paired with a stunning melodic lyricism. 2003 saw the release of Milieu. These recordings had a more arranged feeling and a clear pop sensibility in some parts. In 2005 they went to Cologne to have Marcus Schmickler produce and record their third album Rideau. This was done in his Piethopraxis studio in Cologne and his involvement left traces; an almost architectonical approach was taken and some of the intimacy that characterized the first two albums was replaced by a somewhat harder edge. In 2006 they collaborated with Japanese duo Tenniscoats on their album Tan-Tan Therapy. That same year they recorded in Tokyo with Japanese quartet Minamo, which resulted in the record Birds of a Feather. Since Luminarium (2008) they have been working out of their own Summa studio in Stockholm and there they also recorded what became Revelationes (HAPNA 044CD), their fifth album. After a hiatus for two years the group did a tour of Europe in November 2013. They tried out new material, which later was recorded in Stockholm at the Atlantis studio and is now released as the album Casino. It’s their sixth full-length album if you omit all the different collaborations and other stuff they’ve done throughout the years (all released on Häpna). Johan Berthling plays guitar and more in Tape but is also the bass player for the trio Fire! with Mats Gustafsson & Andreas Werliin and is involved with many other projects ranging from free-jazz to rock. His collaborators include Oren Ambarchi, Akira Sakata and Paal Nilssen-Love. Tomas Hallonsten is a keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist running the trio Time Is A Mountain, including Berthling on bass and drummer Andreas Werliin. He is a much-in-demand musician and works in many different contexts. Andreas Berthling is a musician using modular synthesis and laptop as his instruments. He has released a string of recordings under his own name.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Tops: Picture You Staring (Arbutus) LP
TOPS are a four-piece band from Montreal, equal parts girls and guys, delivering a raw punk take on AM studio pop. Their new record, Picture You Staring, is a lush array of timelessly crafted songs. Singer Jane Penny gives a new voice to the silent girl at the edge of the circle, disillusioned but honest and unpretentious, a tone complemented by David Carriere’s seamless guitar playing and the measured drumming of Riley Fleck. TOPS’ subtle arrangements are delivered with a cool restraint that blend with the individuality and self-assured desire of their female lead. Picture You Staring gathers strength through intimacy. Self-written, recorded and produced at Arbutus Records’ studio in Montreal over the course of a year, this album contains 12 impeccable examples of pop craftsmanship that will reward repeat listeners.
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, CanCon
Emma Tricca: Relic (Bird) LP
Raised into a unique pop-cultural landscape surrounded by Giallo Comic books, whistling Morricone film scores, vibrant religious imagery and expensive furniture design, Italian born Emma Tricca’s childhood playground formed a very different backdrop to that of the many whispery femme-folk revivalists that have popped up and pooped-out over the last hum-strummed decade. Emma Tricca didn’t fall into a comfy kaftan via her parents bottle fed record collection during her pre-paid college off-years nor was she torn out of a style mag via a few guitar lessons to decorate the post-club chill-out festivals. Emma Tricca is the real deal, unaffected by whimsical press-penchants and influenced by long European road-trips, heavy guitar cases and tough love relationships. In danger of spitting paganistic fluff, Emma is simply an ergonomic reaction to her environments and their stories – folk music personified. While splitting her time between Rome and London she awkwardly melts a stiff upper-lip into the hot-blooded passion which has fuelled her finger-picked momentum through all of her adult life. As folk slips from the newspaper colour supplements and becomes a four letter word once again, Emma Tricca basques in its exorcism and stands hand in hand with her peers, counting the likes of John Renbourne, Bonnie Dobson and Judy Collins as friends and stage mates, while eerily drawing comparisons with the lost music of English-Italian 70s acidic folk mystery Mark Fry. Tricca was first recognised by her long black hair, battered guitar case and sturdy Italian heeled boots by Jane Weaver and Andy Votel on stage in 2006. It was ultimately her unique and infectious vocals talents that inspired the Northern non-label bosses to release her unanimously five-star rated debut LP Minor White via the Bird Records imprint, a family of which Emma has been a faithful friend and ambassador ever since. Taking trips across central Europe to the West coast of America and stopping off at too many English, Irish and Welsh Festivals to count in between (Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown, Festival Number 6, Green Man) the emergence of Emma’s new set of songs-of-experience come from a creative soul that has travelled far, practiced long and shared a heart, through intimate songwriting, with unfaltering abundance. Previously honing her craft with minimum means fuelled by maximum motivation her ability to spontaneously exude yearning melodic handcrafted folk songs to dewy-eyed audiences still renders todays hi-tech back-lines and expensive studios surplus to requirement. 2014 will see Emma undertake more live commitments, as well as her first musical appearance in a film starring Sir Patrick Stuart as she winks back to Cinecittà. On her new LP, Emma, for the first time, embraces the minimal use of mechanical percussion and home-made orchestrations collaborating with Italian and English musicians such as members of Welsh proggists Colorama, Edwyn Collins producer Carwyn Ellis and Sam Mcloughlin (N.Racker) who brings some Northern rural radiophonics to this ROMANtic relic. To subtitle a John Fahey song… behold the Giallo princess.
File Under: Folk
Vaselines: V is for Vaselines (Rosary) LP
In 2010, Scottish indie-pop outfit The Vaselines ended a 20-year hiatus with the release of their third studio album, Sex With An X. Since then, they’ve made a rather fluid transition back to the promotional cycle, touring the world and playing a bevy of festival gigs. The reunion train rolls on with the announcement of their latest album, V for Vaselines, due out September 29th via Rosary Music. The band self-produced the 10-track effort at Mogwai’s studio, the awesomely-named Castle of Doom, in Glasgow. According to a press release, The Vaselines recruited a number of their other fellow countrymen to make various cameos, including Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Frank Macdonald (Teenage Fanclub), and members of Olympic Swimmers, 1990s, Mandrake Shepherd, and Sons & Daughters. The press release adds that V for Vaselines was inspired by both The Ramones and guitarist Eugene Kelly’s need to “write some really short punk rock songs, just get into people’s ear really straight away, and then get out of there really quickly.” As our first taste, the band’s unveiled “One Lost Year”. If nothing else, the track readily achieves Kelly’s punk-inspired goal: spanning three minutes, “One Lost Year” is a hyperactive cannon shot of fuzzy guitars, chunky percussion, and spirited, multi-person harmonies. Its infectious hooks and rousing energy will stick to you tighter than actual Vaseline.
File Under: Indie, Pop
Vaudou Game: Apiafo (Hot Casa) LP
Vaudou Game is a contemporary live band of six members playing an authentic Togolese funk based on voodoo chant scales, and led by Peter Solo, a singer and composer born in Aneho-Glidji (Togo), birthplace of the Guin tribe and place of the voodoo culture. He was raised with those traditional values of human and environmental respect. Apiafo is a 12-track album, entirely recorded, mixed and mastered with old analog tapes, and played with vintage instruments, recalling the sound of bands like Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou or El Rego. Peter Solo invited his uncle, Roger Damawuzan, famous pioneer of the ’70s soul scene in Togo, to sing on “Pas Contente” & “Wrong Road.” The result of their collaboration is without a doubt two amazing future dancefloor classics. The idea of integrating these haunting lines, sung in honor of the Divinities, into an energetic ’70s Afro-funk style, was, in Peter Solo’s mind, an obvious extension of the analogy he found between the voodoo tradition and trance-inducers such as soul, funk, as well as the rhythm ‘n blues of James Brown or Otis Redding. Vaudou Game will be touring all over the world to promote this new Afro-soul classic album.
File Under: Funk, World, Afro-Funk, Voodoo
Tashi Wada: Duets (Saltern) LP
Tashi Wada’s Duets LP is the first release from Saltern, his new imprint distributed through Important Records. Duets features a recording of Wada’s series of string duos brilliantly realized by cellists Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann. From Curtis’ liner notes: “How far can we enter into a single moment, such that for that brief speck of time, for an instant, unison is registered? This would suggest a different sense of unison, as a state of complete integration hidden behind the disparity and change caused by the passing of time.” Edition of 425. Recorded by Tom Erbe and cut at 45 RPM by Rashad Becker. Pressed at RTI and housed in jackets with design by Marco del Rio and printed at Stoughton. Cover image by Marcia Hafif.
File Under: Drone, Minimal, Avant Garde
Lucinda Williams: Down Where The Spirit Meets the Bone (Thirty Tigers) 3LP
The new album from Lucinda Williams, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. Produced by Tom Overby, Greg Leisz and Lucinda Williams, Recorded and Mixed by Dave Bianco, Mastered by Joe Gastwirt. The new album is her most ambitious release to date. Twenty + songs were recorded off and on between September of 2013 through March of 2014. Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone finds Lucinda tapping into her southern roots for this double album. The songs are amplified by a range of musical talents that include Greg Leisz, Tony Joe White, Pete Thomas, Gia Ciambotti, Bill Frisell and Jakob Dylan.
File Under: Folk
Wold: Postsocial (Death of Rave) LP
Postsocial is the breathtaking eighth album from Wold, an infamous black metal unit with strong binds to the landlocked plains of Regina, Saskatchewan in central Canada. Stephen O’Malley’s reissue of their Freermasonry (SOMA 014LP) LP first introduced us to their work — subsequently igniting the most gratifying discovery of an exceptional back catalog. Postsocial is a culmination of ideas core to Wold’s philosophy, heading deeper into a world of visceral howls and internalized harmonics. Due to the inherent limitations of vinyl, the album now unfolds in a different sequence to the CD, manifesting a crucially-altered beast. The two opening pieces, “Throwing Star” and “Inner Space Infirmary” remain in place, employing the eviscerated howl and cackle of clan leader Fortress Crookedjaw’s possessed vocals and electronics in roiling, chokingly affective storm systems that leave us flayed and gasping. At this point the vinyl version inverts the tracklist, placing the aching atmospheric sehnsucht of “Sapphire Sect of Tubal Cain” at the cyclone’s epicenter. On the B-side, the sustained intensity of “Five Points” and near 15 minutes of “Spiral Star Inversion” expand on the five-pointed star metaphor with labyrinthine results, culminating in “ritualistic conjuration and copulation of the hag,” detailed further in the lyric sheet. To be honest, we’ll probably never fully grasp this group: they remain a largely unquantifiable entity — an enigmatic band with a genuinely original, inimitable, often impenetrable sound — making them one of the most fascinating units operating in experimental music today, and marking Postsocial as an elementally rare, vital sensation which should resonate with myriad sub-cultures.
File Under: Metal, Black Metal, CanCon
Various: Arkansas at 78 RPM: Corn Dodgers & Hoss Hair Pullers (Dust-to-Digital) CD
For the traveling recording men of the late 1920s, Arkansas offered enticing pickings. The region was thronged with vigorous, idiosyncratic string bands. This album carries the listener from the hillbilly music craze of the ’20s to the song-based country music of the late ’30s. Scarcely more than a decade, but a period, in music as in all American life, of galvanic change. This CD serves as the soundtrack album to the newly-released photograph book, Making Pictures: Three for a Dime by Maxine Payne. All of the photos in this package are from the same cache of photographs taken by the Massengil family in their mobile photo-booth trailer throughout rural Arkansas in the 1930s-1940s. “It is indeed gratifying to know our program has made so many minds and hearts drift back to the earlier days when all was well, when the ‘hoss hair pullers’ of old were in due form and all parties concerned were in a receptive mood for tipping of the fantastic toe… My aggregation from this district claim that their music and songs are not suggestive of anything except good and wholesome exercise … So everybody come to the Arkansas Ozarks, where you can eat the best fruit in the world; where home-cured meat is found in the smokehouse and corn and hay in the barn; where you can juice your own cow, feed your own chickens, fish in the wonderful White River, meet these men of the Missouri Pacific and natives, and you will then say, ‘Yes, indeed, you have the most wonderful country in the world.'” –Henry Harlin Smith, March 1926 on Hot Springs radio station KTHS Includes a CD digipak with a 32-page booklet with liner notes by country music scholar Tony Russell. Newly remastered 24-bit audio transfers from the Music Memory archive. Features original 78 RPM recordings made between 1928-1937.
File Under: Blues
Various: Clocktower Records Collector Series Volume 1 (Clocktower) 7×7″
Tracklist: Cornell Campbell – “Gun Court/Gifted And Black”; Johnny Clarke – “Creation Rebel”/The Aggrovators – “Creation Dub”; Augustus Pablo – “Jah Light”/”Jah Light Drum And Bass”; Devon Irons – “When Jah Comes”/Lee Perry – “Jah Dub”; Burning Spear – “Travelling”/”Walking In Dub”; Johnny Clarke – “None Shall Escape The Judgment”/King Tubby – “Judgment Day”; Lee Perry And The Aggrovators – “Ski-Wa-Wa”/Junior Byles – “When Better Will Come” “The 7” box set first of the series featuring, rock classics reggae from the Clocktower catalogue. We know you will enjoy this 1st 7” collector box set with a magnetic lid. All of these are from the 70”s and are in mint condition and some are in color vinyl. To all our fans who continue to buy and support the Clocktower releases whether on 12”, 10” or 7”, we thank you! So please add this to your personal collection and listen and enjoy to the music of life.” — Alfred Newman
File Under: Reggae
Various: Higher Ground Vol 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Eight wild and gritty gospel tunes with an R&B edge from the late ’50s/early ’60s. Compiled by Duke Jens-O-Matic of Jim Jam Gems fame. Comes in a vintage-style brown 10″ cover (with hole) with a screenprint in gold on the front. Numbered and limited to 500 copies. First in a new series. Artists include: The Voices Of Jordon, Juanita Johnson & The Gospel Tones, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Sister Wynona Carr, The Happyland Singers, The Chosen Gospel Singers, The Gospelaires, and The Swan Silvertones.
File Under: Gospel, R&B
Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do (1972) LP
Aphex Twin: Richard D. James Album (1972) LP
The Band: Last Waltz (Rhino) 3LP
Beak: >> (Invada) LP
Glenn Branca: Lesson No. 1 (Superior Viaduct) LP
Buck 65: Talkin’ Honky Blues (Warner) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed) LP
Coil: Megalithomania (Threshold House) LP
Crime: Murder By Guitar (Superior Viaduct) LP
Earth: Bees Made Honey… (Southern Lord) LP
Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Emerald Web: The Stargate Tapes (Finders Keepers) LP
Ben Frost: By The Throat (Bedroom Community) LP
Ben Frost: Theory of… (Bedroom Community) LP
Ben Frost/Daniel Bjarnason: Solaris (Bedroom Community) LP
France Gall: Double Best of (Barclay) LP
Son House: Father of Folk Blues (Columbia) LP
Daniel Johnston: Story of a Artist (Munster) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Talib Kweli: Beautiful Struggle (Universal) LP
Talib Kweli: Quality (Universal) LP
Mastadon: Once More Round The Sun (Reprise) LP
Nirvana: Feels Like The First Time (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Old Crow Medicine Show: Remedy (Six Shooter) LP
Opeth: Pale Communion (Roadrunner) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Hometowns (Paper Bag) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Stereolab: Dots & Loops (1972) LP
Stereolab: Transient Random-Noise Bursts (1972) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: DOA (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 2nd Annual Report (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Heathen (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Greatest Hits (Industrial) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Ruth White: Flowers of Evil (Black Mass Rising) LP
Ruth White: 7 Trumps… (Black Mass Rising) LP
Various: Ecstasy of Gold Vol 5 (Semi Automatic) LP
Various: Man Chest Hair (Finders Keepers) LP
Various: Pomegranates (Finders Keepers) LP