Well, I suppose there were AS many big new releases this week as the last few, but there’s still some pretty awesome stuff in. As you may also have noticed, the Black Friday Record Store Day list is now floating around. If there is something you would like to see us bring in that isn’t something we would already obviously be bringing in, be sure to let us know!
Plastic Cloud: s/t (Lion) LP
Another totally killer slab of Canadian psych that everyone needs! “Bay Ridge, Ontario’s contribution to the psychedelic pantheon, their self-titled LP (Allied/1968) is a swirl of gossamer vocals and Tolkien references, swathed in the some of the most relentless fuzz guitar you will ever hear. We feel it’s about time this fine record got the compact disc treatment it deserves, so we’ve gone all out for this reissue — newly remastered from the tapes and the accompanying twenty-page booklet has all the lyrics, thanks to Don Brewer, the man who wrote them, as well as rare photos and a replica of the original press release that must be seen to be believed. Essential psychedelia.”
File Under: Psych, Garage, CanCon, Raerz
A Winged Victory For The Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP/CD
IN TOMORROW! After releasing a first glimpse in the form of the Atomos VII EP earlier this year, A Winged Victory For The Sullen reveal their second full-length album entitled Atomos which sees the duo introduce flurries of electronics, harp and modular synthesizers to their sound in the follow-up to the 2011 self- titled album. In 2013 AWVFTS caught the ear of Wayne McGregor, founder of Random Dance Company and resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet, who is perhaps best known for his choreography work on the Radiohead video ‘Lotus Flower’ as well as ‘Ingenueʼ by Atoms For Peace. McGregor used the debut album as the warm-up music during practice sessions for Random, and after noticing the group’s reaction with the music, he contacted Adam and Dustin to see if they would write the score for his new work. Given complete artistic freedom, the duo treated the score with the same care and attention as their debut full-length by recording more than sixty minutes of music over a four-month period across studios in Brussels, Berlin and Reykjavik with the help of their long time collaborative sound engineer Francesco Donadello. During the process they came to the realization that this would become their official second studio album. McGregor provided them with the inspiration to expand their sound palette into more electronic territory, whilst keeping their signature chamber sound, resulting in a very unique release.
File Under: Ambient, Stars of the Lid
Abbhama: Alam Raya (Strawberry Rain) LP
Abbhama’s lone symphonic progressive effort has been highly regarded within South East Asia for years but is just starting to open ears elsewhere. Named one of the top 100 albums of all time by Rolling Stone Indonesia, Alam Raya was recorded in 1978 and has only been available on cassette until now. This fully licensed re-release will be one to hold on to. With the International Edition being limited to 250 copies (the Indonesian Edition of 250 copies has already sold out), this will surely move quickly. For fans of Genesis, Yes, Guruh Gypsy, ELP and Triumvirat. Sadly the leader of the band, Iwan Madjid passed away very recently and will be missed. May he rest in peace.
File Under: Prog, Indonesia
Aisler Set: Last Match (Slumberland) LP
Where The Aislers’ debut Terrible Things Happen’s synthesis of 60s mod-pop, 70s punk and 80s/90s indie flavors provided an end-of-the-century summation of where pop had been and where it was heading, 2000’s The Last Match upped the ante even farther. More ambitious in conception, it expanded the band’s sound into more orchestral areas. While the songs are still driving and catchy as a fish hook, the arrangements are far more sophisticated. It’s a must-listen album, one that fueled fond memories, sparked love affairs, set off spontaneous dance parties, and reminded us all of the power of song-craft and melodies and POP.
File Under: Indie, Pop
Big Boys: Wreck Collection (Gern Blandsten) LP
Comprehensive, remastered collection of 34 tracks including original demos, outtakes, and live tracks that span the band’s entire career (1979-1984). Big Boys were highly influential in their introduction of funk rhythms to hardcore punk and also featured Tim Kerr on guitar (Poison 13). During their now legendary shows, singer Randy “Biscuit” Turner, was often seen wearing a tutu or dress and made a point of inviting the audience to come up on stage to join in singing. The Big Boys were also one of the first bands involved in the skatepunk scene, including having their very own skateboard, appearing in Thrasher magazine and many Thrasher skate videos. Essential listening, highly influential.
File Under: Punk
Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap (Di Christine Stairs) LP
Nine years after ‘Lookaftering’, her last album of new material, legendary British singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan returns with a breathtaking new LP. Recorded largely in her home studio, ‘Heartleap’ is a unique and entrancing collection of ten songs forming what Vashti is adamant will be her final album. Vashti’s third album follows her rediscovery – after thirty years in the wilderness – with the 2000 re-release of ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ (a bona fide cult classic that made # 53 in the Observer Music monthly’s ‘top 100 British albums of all time’), and the critical success of 2005’s ‘Lookaftering’. With ‘Heartleap’ she has delivered an album with a classic sound, where – for the first time – she herself has been in control of the whole process, from writing and arranging to playing and recording. Working predominantly from a studio set up in her Edinburgh home, the record was slowly pieced together, and reveals an artist at her peak, capturing her songs within fluid settings that masterfully marry content and form. Both ‘JADD’ and ‘Lookaftering’ saw Vashti‘s songs arranged and framed by others. Joe Boyd’s production and Robert Kirby’s arranging of the former remain timelessly classy, whilst Max Richter’s elegantly beautiful production of Lookaftering was enhanced by contributions from a raft of supporting artists – all eagerly adding their colours. Vashti is justly proud of ‘Lookaftering’, but ‘Heartleap’ is a more personal record, standing solely on the merits and patient endeavour of its author rather than being buoyed by and filtered through the cachet and collaborative creativity of a powerful supporting cast. The vast majority of ‘Heartleap’ was recorded and edited by Vashti, who “wanted it to be more akin to my very first recordings, the ones even before ‘Diamond Day’. I wanted to try to emerge from the shelter of others and stand out in the open. It would have been much easier had I worked with a producer and an engineer – I would not have had to spend so much time on editing – but that’s been the interesting part. If I’d taken these songs and gone into a studio with them they might have turned out very differently, perhaps more ‘produced’ – but not as near to how I hear them for myself.” Recording her vocals when no one else was around to overhear – freed Vashti up to deliver more confident performances. Equally, working without the induced pressures of studio deadlines enabled her to craft it slowly and lovingly in her own time, weaving together tracks out of numerous takes. Predominantly guitar or piano led – with additional instrumentation building throughout – the songs have no underpinning bass-line or percussion, giving each instrument and voice the chance to pace itself. Like the deer on the cover painting, ‘Heartleap’ moves gracefully, enchantingly. Overcoming adversity through sheer willpower, its very existence is a dazzling triumph.
File Under: Folk, SSW
Destruction Unit: Eclipse (FDH) LP
IN TOMORROW! “In 2010 we released the Destruction Unit LP Eclipse. This album was quite a departure from the synthpunk background that the band was known for. This record was sort of the start of a new era of the band. Diving deeper into a epic Psych rock sound. Granted this record is less heavy then their most current works ‘Deep Trip’ & one of my personal favorites ‘Void’ however this record set the groundwork for these titles. You can check out the first track from the album “Time Traveler” over in our player on the right hand side of the page to get a taste of this albums vibe. We now have 100 copies back in stock on mixed color vinyl. Grab one today as they are sure to go quick.”—FDH.
File Under: Psych, Garage, Punk
Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP/CD
IN TOMORROW! “Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother’s house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village. The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.”—Liz Harris
File Under: Ambient, Ethereal, Drone
The Heads: Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (Rooster) 5LP
IN TOMORROW! Fourteen years after its original release (Sweet Nothing Records, 2000), the second album in The Heads’ impressive canon is repackaged with a full complement of bonus material from that period (B-sides and tracks from 7-inches, their Man’s Ruin 10-inches, Radio 1 session and compilations), all re-mastered by Simon Price and Shawn Joseph. Broken hands, lost Rickenbackers, and sliced tendons aside, Price (guitar, vocals), Hugo Morgan (bass), Wayne Maskell (drums) and Paul Allen (guitar) hit many highs during this time. It represents the full force of the Heads’ psychedelic pummel, their trippiest, most psych collection, brutal yet beautiful. Strap in. Let go. The hardcover, full-color box set, in a numbered edition of 1000, wrapped in a specially printed tote bag, includes a 70-plus-minute CD of previously unreleased material culled from dozens of rehearsal / demo in Price’s CDr archives.
File Under: Psych, Stoner, Space Rock
Iceage: Plowing into the Field of Love (Matador) LP
“Plowing Into the Field of Love” is the third album from Copenhagen’s Iceage. It is new, bold and forceful. Channeling the rage and emotion of their tempestuous early releases into finely honed musicianship, “Plowing Into The Field of Love” features piano, mandolin, viola and organ atop Johan Suurballe-Wieth’s razor-sharp guitars and the lolloping, synchronized rhythm section of Jacob Tvilling Pless and Dan Kjær Nielsen. The record has a clear, uncompressed sound, and Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s desperate vocals are out front, nakedly accountable for the words. At the other extreme, the album tends to a sort of euphoria, especially in the unexpectedly upbeat country number “The Lord’s Favorite”. Yet desperation and loss lurks behind. This is an album about seeing, learning, and rejecting things, in a cycle that repeats and builds. The reference points are wildly varied – on a recent German radio show, the band played records by Abner Jay, Rowland S. Howard, Brian Eno, and Coil – but the sound is uniquely and darkly Iceage. “Iceage has always been a stylish band, so the accompanying video takes every opportunity to drive their point home: while taking lurid pulls off cigarettes and martinis, Ronnenfelt’s searing stare betrays the fact he knows damn well how much he’s playing against type.” – Pitchfork on “The Lord’s Favorite” (BEST NEW TRACK).
File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
Il Balletto Di Bronzo: YS (Vinyl Magic) LP
“YS” was nothing less than a unique masterpiece of the golden age of Italian progressive rock. Coming from the town of Naples, Balletto di Bronzo had already published in 1970 their debut “Sirio 2222”, an ideal bridge among beat, prog and hard rock, when in ’71 they were joined by keyboardist Gianni Leone, who completely revolutionized the sound of the band. The following year “YS” fell like a bolt from the blue on the Italian music scene. The songwriting is always unsettling, extremely intricate and the sound is dark and dense at the same time. The tracks need several plays to be absorbed, but this effort reveals an extreme sense of gratification in the end. This milestone of Italian Prog is now reissued in the usual LP-replica edited by Vinyl Magic, including the lyric insert which was present in the original ’72. First pressing comes on a lavish white vinyl.
File Under: Prog, Italian
Isis: In The Absence of Truth (Robotic Empire) LP
IN TOMORROW! The logical expansion of ISIS’ multiple personalities yield “In The Absence Of Truth”, their latest monster full-length. It only makes sense that the ‘atmospheric’ parts are even more haunting (yet, uplifting) and the ‘heavy’ parts are even more brutal and crushing. However, it’s hardly an album of polar opposites, with the fluidity only achieved by a band who’s been consistently developing like this for nearly a decade now. The increased amount of actual singing really makes a difference on the more mellow moments, but widespread experimentation with new elements reaches far beyond the vocals here. Appropriate usage of unique tones, leads and overall surprising song-structures culminate with nine tracks of ISIS’ most impressive work to date. “In The Absence Of Truth” really is an astounding album, with a maturity displayed that leaps from their past into amazing uncharted waters of heaviness. Robotic Empire is honored to supply this gatefold, double-LP vinyl edition of ISIS’ latest masterpiece.
File Under: Metal, Post Rock
Philip Johnson: Youth In Mourning (Superior Viaduct) LP
IN TOMORROW! Philip Johnson, a lost figure in the dark waters of early industrial music, self-released over 25 tapes starting in the late ’70s. As a part of the “cassette culture” in the UK, he produced ethereal soundscapes, damaged electronics and undanceable drum patterns, along with homemade j-cards. For his first and only LP, 1982’s Youth in Mourning, Johnson further refined his approach with mesmerizing audio collages and Mark-E-Smith-ian vocals to make one of the most unique documents of the era. The song “C81,” commenting on NME’s compilation of the same name, expresses contempt with know-it-all indie culture that was similarly reflected 20 years later in LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge.” Fans of the degenerate tale in The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift” will appreciate Johnson’s “The Karate Kicking Girl of New Invention.” Youth in Mourning is a personal record, yet fearless. It pulls back the bedroom curtain, revealing (as Johnson writes in the liner notes) “the sound of a warm-air heater on a cold afternoon and a cassette being pushed into the deck and switched on.” This first-time reissue comes from the original master tapes. Recommended for fans of Cabaret Voltaire, John Bender and The Shadow Ring.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Industrial
Kim Ki O: Bir, Iki (S-S) LP
IN TOMORROW! Istanbul, Turkey; Year 2006: Ekin Sanaç and Berna Göl form Kim Ki O. Sanaç plays synth while Göl hits the bass. They both come up with beats and sing. Their music is lo-fi minimal synth with a post-punk / cold wave feel. The cool / warm dual female vocals are eerie and dreamy, referencing classic post-punk as well as traditional Turkish melodies but remaining understated. Over the next couple years, the pair releases two very limited CDRs and tours Scandinavia. In 2009 they appear on Radio Resistencia, released by the great Dutch synth label Enfant Terrible. One year later, Enfant Terrible releases their first album Dans. KFJC writes “The name of the band means ‘Who is that anyway’ in Turkish, and it reflects the ethereal nature of the sounds … a lovely early ’80s slow and somber electronic vibe (think Joy Division) combined with floaty, minimal lady vocals (sort of 4AD-ish like Cocteau Twins and Lush) … sweet, but not saccharine.” The vinyl issue of Dans quickly sells out. Over the next couple of years, Kim Ki O appears on various compilations and tours Turkey and Europe several times. They collaborate with Turkish filmmakers Merve Kayan and Zeynep Dadak on the short film Elope and write music for the Turkish performance group biriken for their play Re: Fwd: die in good company. In 2013, Lentonia Records out of France releases Grounds. It inspires a followup album of remixes called Grounds Album Remixes, also on Lentonia. In 2014, S-S Records dips into the Kim Ki O vaults and finds songs from their early CDRs. While the originals were muddy sounding, the tracks used for Bir, İki… (Turkish for “One, Two…”) are crystal clear. The vinyl—mastered by John Golden—gives Kim Ki O’s sound new warmth. These ten early tracks are a great addition to their catalog. Not content with music, film and drama, Sanaç and Göl are also involved in Turkey’s pro-democracy and women’s / gay rights movement. They strongly identify with other women in rock ’n’ roll and underground culture.
File Under: Post-Punk, Minimal
Andrew Liles: The Equestrian Vortex (Death Waltz Originals) 10″
Death Waltz Recording Company in association with director Peter Strickland and audio historian Andrew Liles are proud to present the world premiere release of a true classic of Italian cinema: the 1977 giallo The Equestrian Vortex. A tale of a coven of witches presiding under a riding academy, the film has been hailed by both critics and detractors as one of the most disturbing pictures ever made, with much of the credit going to the film’s soundtrack. Supervised by director Giancarlo Santini and created by sound engineer Gilderoy, the score is a journey into the unconscious, where ghosts swirl with ethereal drones as screams echo into the night. Adding to this is the conspiratorial dialogue from actresses Silvia, Claudia, and Elisa, reading bizarre incantations that unleash the full horror of what lies beneath.
File Under: OST, Electronic, Ambient, NWW
Meatbodies: s/t (In The Red) LP
IN TOMORROW! Loud, fast, wild—you’ve heard this all before but you haven’t because the Meatbodies are brand new and they’re going to dominate your eyes and ears and give you a bangover like you’ve never had before. Meatbodies initially came about as a solo project for Chad Ubovich after spending the last several years touring in other groups: In 2011, he was recruited by his friend Mikal Cronin to play bass, and eventually guitar, in Cronin’s band’s first ever tour. While Cronin strummed his twelve-string to his future classic pop songs, Ubovich howled alongside, adding his own brand of wolf-man style to Cronin’s live show. Heavy super-group Fuzz took notice of his on-stage prowess and recruited him to deliver Geezer Butler-style bass riffs that could propel Charles Moothart and Ty Segall’s songs through the stratosphere. While both of these bands have kept him busy over the past few years, his mind was always on his own songs. He would come home and secretly work on his own material—explosive, crunching, grinding songs with soaring melodies and gentle bridges cascading into torrents of riffs. Eventually he shared his work and allowed Segall to put out a tape of his bedroom recordings on his label God? Records. The tape was well received, so Ubovich recruited several friends with whom he could play around Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people began to see that he was more than just a sideman to his heavy-hitting comrades. Eventually, In the Red took notice and the Meatbodies were added to their roster. Sequestering himself in master studio magician Eric “King Riff” Bauer’s San Francisco studio / psychedelic sanctuary, Ubovich busted out an album’s worth of songs, barely leaving the small Technicolor underground quarters. Once the tracks were done, he sent them up to Chris Woodhouse to give them just the right final touches of perfectly controlled chaos. And perfectly controlled chaos is what this trifecta delivered. The self-titled record is a sonic experience truly evocative of its creator: Unabashed, unrestrained, beautiful and strange. Riffs for days. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from Chad Ubovich.
File Under: Garage, Indie
Thurston Moore: The Best Day (Matador) LP/CD
“The Best Day”, Thurston Moore’s first solo record since 2011’s “Demolished Thoughts”, radiates with both his signature dynamism of dense thrashing electric guitars as well as blissful 12-string acoustic ballads. Recorded with Thurston’s current band line-up of James Sedwards (guitars, UK), Deb Googe (of My Bloody Valentine, bass, UK) and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, drums, USA), there are also a some tracks that feature all instrumentation by Thurston. ‘The Best Day’ is a staggeringly confident, expansive work, one that not only rivals much of Moore’s past work, but also suggests his relocation to England has inspired a creative rebirth of sorts. This is a record defined by positivity and radical love. The songs range from opener “Speak to the Wild”, a Crazy Horse-like paean to anti-authority and activism, to “Vocabularies”, a paean to a new realization of language which includes ALL people. Thurston Moore has been at the forefront of the alternative rock scene since that particular obriquet was first used to signify any music that challenged and defied the mainstream standard. He is the founder and ringleader of Sonic Youth, the band that turned on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n’ roll – from its inspiration on a nascent Nirvana, to Sonic Youth’s own ‘Daydream Nation’ album being chosen by the US Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006.
File Under: Indie Rock, Sonic Youth
Modest Mouse: This Is A Long Drive… (Glacial Pace) LP/CD
IN TOMORROW! Modest Mouse’s 1996 debut album expands upon the themes of emotional and geographic isolation found in the band’s early recordings, and finds the band mixing slow, brooding numbers with thrashing guitar workouts. The general mood here is one of loneliness and desperation, eloquently expressed through both the lyrics and the rhythmic, sprawling instrumentation. Modest Mouse made their first significant mark with songs whose meanings are simultaneously universal and painfully personal.
File Under: Indie Rock
Ennio Morricone: Fistful of Dollars (BTF) 10″
The year is 1964. Almost out of nowhere, the little-known and regarded director Sergio Leone transposes into a western key a film by Akira Kurosawa, and by putting together all the right pieces, adding a bit of intuition, lays down new rules for the “spaghetti western” genre, giving way to an endless series of imitations. A Fistful of Dollars would not have the same impact without the inimitable music written by Ennio Morricone, who had been an old elementary school mate of Leone’s. The main soundtrack themes were chosen from two arrangements that Morricone had already drafted two years earlier; once he removed the lyrics and added the unmistakable whistle of Alessandro Alessandroni, the spaghetti-sound was finally complete! The film was an incredible success, and projected Leone, Morricone, and in particular the actor Clint Eastwood into the Olympus of the Great. The soundtrack was released for the first time the following year, along with Sergio Leone’s subsequent work For a Few Dollars More. This new edition sees the original seven tracks of the score in a completely new layout.
File Under: OST, Western
Ennio Morricone: Quando Le Donne Vano La Coda (Contempo) LP
Quando Le Donne Avevano La Coda (When Women Had Tails) is the soundtrack to a bad Italian ripoff of One Million Years BC (Raquel Welch invents stoneage bikini etc) recorded in the late 1960s when Morricone was at the height of his psychedelic period. The music is colorful, bouncy, gooey, and completely irresistible. To Morricone fans, this is worth whatever you’d have to pay to get ahold of it. More than this, Quando is one of the rarest Morricone scores. Originally released by CAM in 1970, it has never been reissued on vinyl since then. Orchestra directed by Bruno Nicolai, featuring Alessandroni’s Cantori Moderni.
File Under: OST, Italian
Ennio Morricone: Milano Odia (GDM) LP
Milano Odia: La Polizia Non Puo Sparare, a 1974 movie directed by Umberto Lenzi, is the quintessence of the Italian police films. It’s even more violent and extreme than usual, with one of the best interpretations ever by the Cuban actor Tomas Milian. The soundtrack for the film was commissioned to Ennio Morricone, who at the time was already a full-time score composer, and had already worked in the same field. The Maestro wrote the entire OST starting from a single, obsessive theme, arranged in many different ways for each different scene or atmosphere. The whole soundtrack had never been released until 2007, and this is the first complete edition on vinyl ever.
File Under: OST, Italian, Crime
Nihilist Spasm Band: No Record (Lion) LP
One of very few indie label releases on Spin Magazine’s list of 100 top counter-cultural music, ahead of legends like Mulatu Astatke, Brigitte Fontaine, Pärson Sound, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra and His Solar Arkestra, Harry Partch, and Os Mutantes. Zowie! “In 1965, eight guys from London, Ontario, decided to start a free-improv group — ‘free’ to the point of building their own instruments, which they decided couldn’t be set up to produce specific pitches… Their vocalist, schoolteacher Bill Exley, banged on a cooking pot and bellowed hilariously about stupidity and destruction and Canada. They didn’t treat what they were doing as an advanced, visionary form of experimental music, but as a big, stupid, fun, ecstatic noise. By the ’90s, noise artists finally recognized NSB as their ancestors — and, almost 50 years after they started, the surviving members of the Nihilist Spasm Band still play every Monday night while their children haunt loft spaces the world over.” —Spin “The record you’re holding is one of the masterworks of that big gray area of noise/weirdo/freak-out music. It’ still hard to believe that No Record was released in 1968. This was a time when popular music was still growing up, and these outsider guys from Canada came out of nowhere and made this mindfuck of record that was years ahead of itself. And as with albums like Trout Mask Replica, and The Faust Tapes, it still sounds fresh today. No Record is mandatory listening. —Lasse Marhaug
File Under: Experimental, Underground, CanCon
Orgasmo Sonore: Omaggio a Bruno Nicolia (Cineploit) LP
Canada´s one & only Orgasmo Sonore was digging deep inside the Italian Soundtrack Archives and is presenting his own versions of music Maestro Nicolai did for the Giallo Genre. You can feel the black gloves and cold steel listening to this wonderful music, and maybe even following the blood drops – pure Italian Soundtrack Magic executed in the fantastic way only Orgasmo Sonore does!
File Under: OST, Italian, Redux
OST: Friday the 13th (Wax Works) LP
Waxwork Records proudly presents the original motion picture score to the 1980 horror slasher film Friday The 13th starring Kevin Bacon and Betsey Palmer, and directed by Sean Cunningham. Working closely with the film’s composer, Harry Manfredini, Waxwork Records brings the remastered score to vinyl for the first time ever. The original master tapes were discovered in the Paramount Pictures vaults by Manfredini, and have been faithfully restored to create the ultimate LP release of one of the most iconic scores in the history of horror cinema.
File Under: OST, Horror, Kevin Bacon
OST: House of the Devil (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company are proud to present Jeff Grace’s score to The House of the Devil, Ti West’s acclaimed shocker that homages and celebrates films from one of the true golden ages of horror cinema. Coming from the same kind of place as The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby, the film has a certain period aesthetic that is reflected in its brooding and slow-burning score. Whilst it starts with an electric guitar and synth piece that immediately sets the mood and the time, Grace’s score doesn’t immediately hit you over the head, instead building itself up over time and increasing intensity while always being absolutely unsettling. The score begins in a minimalistic way, with delicate piano providing an eerie and foreboding presence. There are flashes of beauty amongst the sinister, with a solo violin providing a brief but exceptional moment of escape, but even that feels uncomfortable. Things start to heat up soon after, with the introduction of frantic strings to jolt you before Grace opens up with massive synths and insectoid violins in a glorious moment of musical confrontation, and from there on you’re in for a terrifying treat, with a final act that cements the score as a modern classic. This is a house you’ll want to return to again and again.
File Under: OST, Horror
Ought: Once More With Feeling (Constellation) 10″
Four-piece post-punk group Ought has been gathering momentum the old-fashioned way, with a humble and deceptively unassuming debut album that’s been worming its way into many many ears thanks to its combination of intelligence, authenticity, directness, simplicity and energy; and with live performances in which the band’s channeling of genuine passion, politics and charisma are consistently connecting with and exuberantly galvanizing audiences. Released in April 2014, More Than Any Other Day was showered with accolades. Since then the band has been mostly on the road, racking up tour dates and ramping up the attack on their existing songbook. Discussion of a tour-only release that would grab a couple of the band’s self-recorded early tunes and commit them to vinyl shifted by the end of spring towards a realization that Ought might update this material to reflect how the songs have evolved on stage and in concert. An intense weekend session at Montréal’s Hotel2Tango in June 2014 yielded new recordings of two early pieces, “Pill” and “New Calm Pt. 2” (the self-recorded 2012 versions of which remain available on Ought’s Bandcamp) along with the brand new, more experimental and largely instrumental “New Calm Pt. 3”. The fantastic non-album track “Waiting” from the More Than Any Other Day sessions (and the first tune to be given out via Constellation when we announced the Ought signing) rounds out this 4-song, 24-minute, 10″ vinyl-only offering, suitably titled Once More With Feeling… In light of this new/freshly recorded material, it seemed unfair to restrict the Once More With Feeling… EP to tour-only status; Constellation is also making it available to indie retail, with a proper release date and all. As with More Than Any Other Day, the 10″ was recorded by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh at H2T, mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market, and pressed at the inimitable Optimal record plant in Germany. We think it’s a very fine set of tunes that highlights and brings fans up to date with Ought’s first two years of songwriting, revealing additional facets of the band, including its ability to play with nostalgia and balladry (“Pill”), feverish revival-tent testifying (“New Calm Pt. 2”), and improv/abstraction (“New Calm Pt. 3”).
File Under: Post-Punk, CanCon
Parquet Courts: American Specialties (Play Pinball) LP
IN TOMORROW! American Specialties is a much stranger collection of recordings than their incredible (official) debut LP, Light Up Gold, but it’s equally as pleasing. That awesome (but a little messy) tape was sent to Play Pinball’s tried and true pal, David Willingham, at The Echo Lab in Denton to work his magic and boy howdy, this remaster sounds better than hoped.
File Under: Punk, Indie
Wilson Pickett: Hey Jude (4 Men With Beards) LP
IN TOMORROW! The classic 1969 release by Wilson Pickett cut with the Muscle Shoals session crew while Duane Allman added his intense, bluesy guitar to the mix. This album of hard Southern soul features Pickett in top form with his powerful vocals featured on soul tunes such as “A Man And A Half” and “Toe Hold,” alongside choice rock covers including the title track and “Born To Be Wild.” Reissued on 180 gram vinyl with tip on jacket.
File Under: Soul
Shooting Guns: Wolfcop (One Way Static) LP/CS
Back in stock in limited quantities, this pressing is now sold out at the source, so don’t wait!!! “Wolfcop is currently wrecking havoc at multiple festivals baffling audiences all over the world. Equally remarkable is the killer soundtrack provided by Shooting Guns. A unique blend of heavy carpenter electronics mixed with Black Sabbath-esque riffs and even a hint of country. Upon hearing it, we just knew we had to release this. Limited to #1000 copies worldwide on RED & BLUE MARBLED VINYL. Vinyl packaged in a deluxe gatefold old school tip-on jacket with original artworks by Randy Ortiz (Marvel Comics, Mondo,…). Also included is a free digital download. In addition to the vinyl release there is a cassette tape version housed in a VHS clamshell box.
File Under: OST, Stoner, Metal, Psych, CanCon
Chris Smith: Bad Orchestra (Hermit Hut) LP
IN TOMORROW! Like most key figures in the Antipodean noise scene, Chris Smith exists in the adventurous-musician nethersphere: hailed by followers, unknown to most. Though he has released a few solo albums, played in groups like The Golden Lifestyle Band and Library Punx, and co-released recordings with Peter Jefferies, his only release outside of his country was 2002’s Map Ends: 1995-2001 (Emperor Jones). Bad Orchestra is from 2007, and aside from a small CD run on Death Valley, didn’t get the opportunity to turn heads. Thankfully, Hermit Hut has taken on the mission of releasing vinyl of this impossible-to-find album. Bad Orchestra is Smith’s masterpiece, a maelstrom of expansive guitar abstractions, sound collage and full-out rocking. Recorded with a band, the album touches many tangents while converging as a glorious whole. Initially inspired, surprisingly enough, by The Germs, Smith creates music as a solution to his own inner turmoil. He captures an essential rawness on par with Jim Shepard. Bad Orchestra is an assault that is wrought with skill. Every listen unearths new treasures and dynamics.
File Under: Experimental, Guitar
Total Control: Typical System (Iron Lung) LP
IN TOMORROW! Total Control emerged from Australia’s dynamic punk scene in ’08, releasing a succession of 7”s that developed from an aggressive post-punk band sound to studio forays into electronic forms from minimal wave to house. Their debut LP, Henge Beat, was commended as one of the few records released in 2011 that evaded the ease of classification and competent tribute act status of most modern bands. Subsequently, they have released three very different records: a split 12” with Thee Oh Sees, a 7” single on Sub Pop and a house remix 12”. Typical System develops on the incongruent demands of their debut LP and ensuing releases, a further development on their continually evolving sound.
File Under: Punk, Minimal Wave, Australia
Twilight Sad: No One Wants To Be Here… (Fat Cat) LP
Following their stark nod to the heroes of an industrial past, No One Can Ever Know, The Twilight Sad has dug into their own past to form an album that’s bracing, biting and as widescreen as anything in their canon. The band, ever ambassadors of Scottish gloom, have harnessed their dark muse once again and drawn on their prowess in the live arena to track a record that proves they can translate the power of their stage show to tape. Where each album prior to No One Wants To Be Here and No One Wants to Leave saw the Twilight Sad tackling new sounds and ways of writing, their latest work draws from their entire career. MacFarlane says: “Over the 8 years we’ve been touring, our live sound has taken on different forms, from full on noise/feedback, to a sparse, synth led sound, to a stripped back set up with just keys, drum machine and guitar, to playing with an orchestra, and to just an acoustic with vocal. We wanted to try and capture all of those elements and develop them in some way to make the new record.” Opting to stay in Glasgow, the album was produced at Mogwai’s Castle Of Doom studio, engineered by the band’s live soundman Andrew Bush, mixed by Peter Katis (also responsible for Fourteen Autumns), with touring member Johnny Docherty playing bass. “We spent a lot of time at home when writing this new record, we got to hang out with old friends and get back to some sort of normality, which I think really helped me clear my mind and focus in on writing these new songs,” Graham says. “I had a lot I wanted to get off my chest and I’ve done that with this new record.” A first listen to the album confirms everything the band has said – noisy, densely layered, and deeply melodic, it wouldn’t be out of line to say this may be their best yet. One thing’s for sure – the Twilight Sad have still got a lot of life left in them.
File Under: Indie Rock
Ultimate Painting: Bleeding Moon (Trouble in Mind) LP
IN TOMORROW! Jack Cooper (Mazes) & James Hoare (Veronica Falls) are Ultimate Painting. Each member composed five songs each, creating a seamless journey that is both pastoral & cosmopolitan. Intertwining guitar lines that ride off into the sunset, shuffling head-boppers with hook after hook, mellow gothic romances and sunny melodies—they are all found herein.
File Under: Indie
Useless Eaters: Bleeding Moon (Castle Face) LP
IN TOMORROW! Seth Sutton has been ripping the shit out of terse Telecaster-sharp riffs and Devo-indebted angular rhythms with Useless Eaters since dude was 18 years old. A young protégé of Jay Reatard, Sutton’s home-fried concoctions are sharp, corrosive mini-masterpieces that drive you to flick cigarettes and push strangers. Psycho-sexual, serrated vocals; thin, acidic guitars; rubbery bass and hot-to-tape traps lather the whole disc. Sutton delivers a really ripping crew of tunes this time around, kicking off with the supremely heavy “American Cars” and not letting up ’til the side break—these are glass-crunching gems with just the right amount of crud to cut your lip a little. A great alienated vibe flows throughout, along with some really sticky melodies, too. Going out under the neon tonight? Take this with you.
File Under: Punk
Zola Jesus: Taiga (Mute) LP
Nika is the 25-year-old singer/songwriter behind Zola Jesus. Her new album Taiga is at once challenging and accessible, and is undeniably branded with what Nika terms a “piercing ambition.” Such encompassing purpose, she explains, would be impossible without a newfound sense of personal and artistic self. The album is a declaration of that purpose; one laced with jarring clarity in both its content and production. Taiga, the Russian name for a boreal forest pays homage to Nika’s Russian roots and her time spent growing up in rural Wisconsin on a 100-acre farm. For Nika, Taiga is a leap that reflects a fearlessness to be earnest and open, an approach that is immediately evidenced in the album’s first single, “Dangerous Days,” an undeniably hook ridden four-on-the-floor smash. Nika wrote the album on Vashon Island, a densely-wooded enclave in Puget Sound with no bridges connecting it to the mainland. Nika was influenced by her time in Iceland, Vermont and British Columbia and the album conjures these places while creating a unique sonic space of its own that each listener can travel to, explore, hide in, and celebrate. Liberated in the present and connected to the past, this album is a transition for Zola Jesus. Masterful layers of composition are bathed in familiar atmospheric vocals, but a new sensibility is deeply present. Nika summates, “For me, it feels like my true debut, because it is the first time I have felt so open and liberated.”
File Under: Electronic, Synth-Pop
Various: I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-1970 (Light in the Attic) CD
In 1970, The Family Stone were at the peak of their popularity, but the maestro Sly Stone had already moved his head to a completely different space. The first evidence of Sly’s musical about-turn was revealed by the small catalog of his new label, Stone Flower: a pioneering, peculiar, minimal electro-funk sound that unfolded over just four seven-inch singles. Stone Flower’s releases were credited to their individual artists, but each had Sly’s design and musicianship stamped into the grooves–and the words “Written by Sylvester Stewart/Produced and arranged by Sly Stone” on the sticker. Set up by Stone’s manager David Kapralik with distribution by Atlantic Records, Stone Flower was, predictably, a family affair: the first release was by Little Sister, fronted by Stone’s little sister Vaetta Stewart. It was short lived too–the imprint folded in 1971–but its influence was longer lasting. The sound Stone formulated while working on Stone Flower’s output would shape the next phase in his own career as a recording artist: it was here he began experimenting with the brand new Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. In conjunction with languid, effected organ and guitar sounds and a distinctly lo-fi soundscape, Sly’s productions for Stone Flower would inform the basis of his masterwork There’s A Riot Goin’ On. The first 45 came in February 1970: Little Sister’s dancefloor-ready “You’re The One” hit Number 22 in the charts–the label’s highest showing. The follow-up, “Stanga,” also by Little Sister, made the wah pedal the star. The third release came from 6IX, a six-piece multi-racial rock group whose sole release, a super-slow version of The Family Stone’s “Dynamite,” featured only the lead singer and harmonica player from the group. Joe Hicks was the final Stone Flower stablemate; his pulsing, electronic “Life And Death In G&A” is one of the bleakest moments Sly Stone ever created on disc (Hicks’ prior single for Scepter, “Home Sweet Home,” the first released Stone Flower production, is also included). This long overdue compilation of Sly’s Stone Flower era gathers each side of the five 45s plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives, all newly remastered from the original tapes. In these grooves you’ll find the missing link between the rocky, soulful Sly Stone of Stand! and the dark, drum machine-punctuated, overdubbed sound of There’s A Riot Going On. I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70 opens up the mysteries of an obscure but monumental phase in Stone’s career.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Various: Temporary: Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground (Ba Da Bing) LP
On the same day Ba Da Bing releases an album by Dunedin legend Hamish Kilgour, the label is honored to present the city’s current artists. The tiny city of Dunedin, located in the Otago Region of New Zealand, is synonymous with smart bands, incredible melodies and a wholly distinct and innovative music. Thanks to The Clean, The Chills, The Bats, The Verlaines, and The Dead C, Dunedin has amassed a worldwide reputation for innovative music. Local label Fishrider Records has taken on the mission of compiling and producing an album that casts a light toward the Dunedin of today. These bands have all created their own sound away from the shadow of their city’s past, yet like many of their predecessors they retain the air of slightly disturbed melancholia along with a sense of space and distance from the rest of the world. Whether it is dark synth-pop, teen angst noise pop, guitar-and-organ jangle, or all-out psychedelic weirdness, these songs all come from a place on the edge of the world where the young still read books in abundance and fend off boredom by creating music and art in cold houses. Yet again, an extraordinary number of incredible groups are populating the scene, and the songs on Temporary are the best of the best—a Dunedin Double Plus Good, if you will.
File Under: Indie, New Zealand
Beachcomber Trio: Live At Kahiki 1965 (Bacchus) LP
Beach House: Teen Dream (Sub Pop) LP
Beirut: Gulag Orchestra (Ba Da Bing) LP
Beirut: Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing) LP
Beirut: The Rip Tide (Pompeii) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (4 Men With Beards) LP
Big Star: Radio City (4 Men With Beards) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Black Keys: Chulahoma (Fat Possum) LP
Black Keys: Rubber Factory (Fat Possum) LP
Black Keys: Thickfreakness (Fat Possum) LP
Black Lips: Underneath The Rainbow (Vice) LP
The Body: All The Waters of… (At A Loss) LP
Captain Beefheart: Safe As Milk (Sundazed) LP
Chromatics: Nightdrive (Italians Do It Better) LP
Death From Above: You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (Last Gang) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Decemberists: Castaways & Cutouts (Jealous Butcher) LP
Desire: II (Italians Do It Better) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Nils Frahm: Spaces (Erased Tapes) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Hiss Golden Messenger: Lateness of Dance (Merge) LP
Billie Holiday: Commodore Days (Doxy) LP
Billie Holiday: Rare West Coast (Doxy) LP
John Lee Hooker: I’m Going Home (Devil) LP
Olivia Jean: Bathtub Love Killings (Thirdman) LP
Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band: s/t (Innovative Leisure) LP
King Khan & BBQ Show: s/t (In The Red) LP
King Tuff: Black Moon Spell (Sub Pop) LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: Trials & Errors (Secretly Canadian) LP
MF Doom: Mm.. Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Mudhoney: Piece of Cake (Music On Vinyl) LP
NoBunny: Love Visions (Almost Ready) LP
OST: Halloween II (Death Waltz) LP
Placebo: Ball of Eyes (Music on Vinyl) LP
Public Image LTD.: First Edition (Light in the Attic) LP
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (Doxy) LP
Songs:Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Stefano Torossi: Feelings (Golden Pavilion) LP
T-Rex: The Slider (Fat Possum) LP
T-Rex: Tanx (Fat Possum) LP
Viet Cong: Cassette (Flemish Eye) 12″
White Fence: Family Perfume (Woodsist) LP
Wipers: Is This Real? (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Over The Edge (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Youth of America (Jackpot) LP
Yob: Atma (20 Buck Spin) LP
Yob: Catharsis Reissue (Relapse) LP
Various: After Dark 2 (Italians Do It Better) LP
Various: New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz) LP