I think this might be the longest news letter I’ve ever put together… at least in this deluxe style. Anyway, I’m swamped, as you will see below. Loads of killer wax in for our listening pleasure.
…..picks of the week…..
Nazoranai: The Most Painful Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already…? (Idealogic Organ) LP/CD
Nazoranai comprises three gentleman, three friends and three fans of each other’s creative output. The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already..? is the second release from Nazoranai, a power proposition made up of three sound/song heavyweights: Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley (no introductions necessary, intimidation checked in at the door). Recorded by Chris Fullard at CCSO, Birmingham, July 9th 2013, The Most Painful Time… expands the trio’s devastating explorations of improvised rock-based shapes. The opening track “you should look closely those shattered spells never attaining embodiment as prayer they are born here again you should look closely those shattered spells never attaining embodiment as prayer they are born here again” hurtles the listener straight in the abyss with an epic 18 + minutes of apocalyptic free rock. This is music on the threshold, a searing landscape where soaring guitars circle amongst a pounding minimal tribal rhythm. “will not follow your hoax called history” lurches out at the listener, offering a hand as a guide for this invented netherworld. The multi-limbed “who is making the time rot” documents our hosts in absolute freeform mode, wildly rummaging the remains of exploded structure. Finally, the title-track swings the pendulum back to earth in the guise of structure, base, rhythm and song. Hovering between annihilation and brutality The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already..? is a sonic sinkhole where the unrestrained improvised peaks are indelibly stamped with the unique traits deployed by these three titans of rock and experimentation. Keiji Haino (guitar, vocals & synth), Stephen O’Malley (bass guitar) & Oren Ambarchi (battery).
File Under: Japanese Psych, Free Rock, Fushitsusha
Pye Corner Audio/Not Waving: Intercepts (Ecstatic) LP
Maybe 6 weeks ago, this record was going to be my pick of the week, but we sold out before I even made the news letter that week. Thankfully, it’s been repressed and here it is for all of you who didn’t get a copy from that first batch. It’s killer! Intercepts is a split album between Pye Corner Audio and Not Waving. Taking inspiration from the world of espionage, most specifically spy rings, both artists provide four tracks each, creating a thrilling musical call and response between these kindred producers. Some of the greatest world espionage stories involve spy rings — from the Rosenbergs, to the Cambridge Five and the Duquesne case, stories that have haunted the annals of the covert world and remain shrouded in mystery and fascination to this day. The clandestine spirits permeate these eight tracks of dream-like industrial techno, impressionist synth burbles, fragmented post-modern ambient and cosmic sci-fi adventure. White vinyl version.
2562: The New Today (When In Doubt) LP
Under the 2562 codename, Dutchman Dave Huismans aka A Made Up Sound has been integral to deviant dancefloors since 2007. The otherworldly yet lifelike The New Today is 2562’s fourth album and presents his first new material in this guise since 2012’s Air Jordan EP, which was also self-released on his When In Doubt imprint. As with that last EP, The New Today was sketched out during a trip abroad — a six week stay in New York in late summer 2013 — and later arranged at his home studio in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Composed as a narrative collage drawing upon and splicing from an eclectic library of early European synth experiments, new age tapes, musique concrète, Krautrock, post-punk, obscure electro-pop and other largely forgotten and out of print music, The New Today loosely references the novel of ideas tradition of writing as a restless, eight-track drift bolstered and propelled by his signature texturhythms. From the humid concrète drone sphere of “Arrival” through the hypnotizing gyrations of “Terraforming,” to the airborne rhythmelodies and mercurial syncopation of “Vibedoctor” and centerpiece “Utopia,” the tension and conflict of aural assault “Drumroll” and ultimately the celestial sweep of closing chapter, “New Life,” it’s equally the most diffuse, cohesive and involving LP in his celebrated cache.
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Dubstep
AKA: Do What You Like (Granadilla) LP
Reissued for the first time. AKA might have been one of the top acts of the Indonesian rock scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It does not necessarily mean that any international audience for heavy rock and psychedelic sounds would have noticed that back then, but we change that now. Do What You Like is a colorful album with a diversity of moods. Of course you find hard-driving, wild, grooving rock with simmering guitars and pumping rhythms. Go to the next song and some gentle, nearly ethereal dreamy psych-pop will alter your mind. Another step ahead on the tracklist and some easy and melodic ’60s beat makes you want to dance the night away. The special factor of this album is the musical flavor of Indonesian pop that all of the songs sung in their native tongue show, while the few English tracks can compete against all of the popular hits from those days from American or European acts. AKA know how to heat you up with their psychedelic sound explosions and eruptive beats. They also know how to calm you down again and lay your soul to rest in a flow of gentle harmonies. Fans of ’60s power pop with a regional feel presented by bands such as Omega from Hungary and of the ’60s U.S. West Coast psych and pop scene will go crazy about this record.
File Under: Indonesian, Psych, Hard Rock
Alberich: NATO-Uniformen (Hospital) LP
This gatefold double LP set is a redacted version of Alberich’s indomitable, spirit-crushing opus, NATO-Uniformen, cut from 30 tracks in the original eight-cassette box (limited to 50 copies) to 19 tracks on this version, edited in 2014 for the Trans Industrial Assembly in NYC. Originally deployed in 2010, its bombed-out luster has become a firm favorite of everyone from Blackest Ever Black’s Kiran Sande to Endangered Species’ Vereker. Between the bludgeoned doom techno of “Skysweeper,” the shell-strewn darkwave scenes of “Man Is Ready” and the Carpenter-esque adrenalizer, “Immortality Is No Consolation for Death,” Alberich finds a very specific line through heavy electronics, synth zones, and dread techno, and holds it to the last with a shell-shocked, eviscerated aesthetic most unlike any other. Fully remastered and cut at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Noise, Techno
Shinichi Atobe: Butterfly Effect (Demdike Stare) CD
Shinichi Atobe has managed to stay off the grid since he made an appearance on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction imprint back in 2001. He delivered the second-to-last 12″ on the label and then disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a solitary record that’s been selling for crazy money and a trail of speculation that has led some people to wonder whether the project was in fact the work of someone on the Basic Channel payroll. That killer Chain Reaction 12″ has also been a longtime favorite of Demdike Stare, who have been trying to follow the trail and make contact with Atobe for some time, whoever he turned out to be. A lead from the Basic Channel office turned up an address in Japan and — unbelievably — an album full of archival and new material. Demdike painstakingly assembled and compiled the material for this debut album. And what a weird and brilliant album it is — deploying a slow-churn opener that sounds like a syrupy Actress track, before working through a brilliantly sharp and tactile nine-minute piano house roller that sounds like DJ Sprinkles at his most bittersweet, then diving headlong into a heady, Vainqueur-inspired drone-world. It’s a confounding album, full of odd little signatures that give the whole thing a timeless feeling completely detached from the zeitgeist, like a sound bubble from another era. This is only the second album release on Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, following the release of Nate Young’s Regression Vol. 3 (Other Days) (DDS 007LP) in 2013. Who knows what they might turn up next? The CD is housed in a hand-stamped and numbered outer sleeve. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Basic Channel, Chain Reaction
Dao Bandon: Kon Kee Lang Kwai (EM) LP
This is the second release in the re-launch of EM Records’ Thai music series. Paradise Bangkok, Soi 48 and EM have teamed up to deliver a series showcasing the extraordinary performances of some of Thailand’s greatest musical legends. For reasons unknowable, certain places in certain eras become hotbeds of music, fertile in their growth and flowering of musical talent. Thailand in the 1970s was such a place, and Dao Bandon is one of the enduring greats of that era. Born in the farm country of the Isan region, Bandon came from a poor family and was a monk during his teens, two great influences which shaped him, with his farm roots grounding the earthy heart of his lyrics, and his years of monastic chanting lending a unique resonance to his singing. After an apprenticeship with some of the greats of Thai music, Dao Bandon began to enjoy success leading his own band. The songs here, released in the 1970s, showcase the infectiously joyful Bandon groove, his mellifluous voice, and his captivating melodic sense. His lyrics deal with sex, love, marijuana, and the struggles of the poor, but no matter what he sings about, a sense of good cheer is always evident. Featuring parallel translations of the lyrics, in-depth liner notes, rare photos, and of course, great music, Man on a Water Buffalo is yet another example of Thai excellence from EM Records. Housed in a standard jewel case. Includes a 24-page booklet with liner notes written by Soi 48 as well as rare photos. English & Japanese text with Thai, English, and Japanese lyrics.
File Under: Thai, Luk Thung
Bedhead: Transaction de Nova
The complete studio recordings of Dallas, Texas, slow-core pioneers. Every cymbal crash, guitar brush, and whisper, across four compact discs. Deluxe box includes WhatFunLifeWas, Beheaded, Transaction De Novo, and an additional disc overflowing with singles, EPs, and outtakes, alongside a perfect bound book dissecting the quintet’s nervous slouch through the ’90s. “I met them in full flower, in the depths of their mania, pursuing contemplative music with the kind of intensity normally found in psychopaths. No detail was too small to sweat, no crack in the veneer not worth gluing and clamping. We built a common language, equal parts philosophy, rock music, and disdain for the dullness around us.” – Steve Albini
File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
Andrea Belfi: Natura Morta (Miasma) LP
Natura Morta, “dead nature” or “still life.” This album can be understood as a powerful study of the minute details of the art of electro-acoustic composition, as much as the Renaissance “nature morte” were a masterful display of the artist’s skill in portraying the glow of a ripe fruit, or capturing the light beaming on a vacant chair. Six tracks, to be listened to as two long explorations in the art of variation and repetition. Layers of drums and percussions intertwine with synth waves, making the portrait come to life, detail after detail, until a complex figure emerges from the white canvas. The constant, unsteady sounds, wavering noise, swirling cymbals, and distant feedback gently pull the listener into the picture, letting them enjoy every detail of these beautifully-staged compositions. Recorded at EMS studio, Stockholm, ZKM in Karlsruhe and at the legendary Funkhaus in Berlin, this album mixes influences from both Italian minimalism and the electro-acoustic contemporary scene. Somewhere in between the electronics of Keith Fullerton Whitman, the percussive repetitions of Jon Mueller, and the atmospheric sensibility of Pan-American.
File Under: Experimental, Electro-Acoustic
Nathan Bowles: Nansemond (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Nansemond is the name of a fading dream as much as it is a place name; the word has largely disappeared from maps of Virginia. The eponymous American Indian tribe, once part of the Powhatan empire but now numbering only 200 members, lent its name first to the Nansemond River, and later to a now-extinct county incorporated in 1646 but renamed in 1974. This region of tidewater Virginia was once predominantly underwater, beneath the blackwater and cypress groves of the million-acre Great Dismal Swamp, since drained to a mere fraction of its former span. Escaped African American slaves, as well as subjugated Nansemond Indians, took to these vast swamplands as fugitive maroons, lying out in secret settlements amid the labyrinthine morass. Now Nansemond is a ghost-choked locale, the tendrils of its spectral swamps grasping for purchase among parking lots, subdivisions, and peanut farms. This is the wetlands landscape Nathan Bowles conjures with the cinematic suite of contemplative set pieces on his remarkable second solo album. Although he now resides in mountainous Southwestern Virginia, in a crucible of old-time music, he grew up on a body of water improbably called Sleepy Lake, on an estuarine peninsula surrounded by the Nansemond and James Rivers and Chuckatuck Creek. Nansemond aims at reconciling childhood memories, historical narrative, and recent life-changing events by revisiting the changing sites that connect and punctuate those hazy temporal nodes, both real and imaginary. It’s a record deeply engaged with how our memories colonize and transform a sense of place. Although his recent solo recordings prominently feature his virtuosic banjo, Bowles is also widely recognized as a drummer, and he considers himself first and foremost a percussionist, with banjo as a natural extension of his interest in percussive drone. The seven songs on Nansemond deploy banjo, percussion, piano (his childhood instrument), tapes, and—for the first time—his robust voice to explore the rugged country between the poles of Appalachian old-time traditions and ecstatic, minimalist drone, moving effortlessly between composed sections, improvised passages, and field recordings. This forking-path approach follows his wide-ranging work as an ensemble player with the Black Twig Pickers (banjo, percussion), Pelt (struck and bowed percussion), Steve Gunn (drums, piano, banjo), Hiss Golden Messenger (banjo), Jack Rose, and others.
File Under: Folk, Country, Bluegrass
John Cale: Academy In Peril (4 Men With Beards) LP
“The Academy in Peril by former Velvet Underground member John Cale was originally released in 1972. The album is an exploration of his influences and training in classical music and features mainly instrumental compositions including two tracks that feature the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Cale balances the rock-classical fusion on the record with touches of humor while the music is beautiful and subtle showing Cale’s skills at composing and arranging. Contributors include Ron Wood on guitar, Del Newman on drums and ‘Legs’ Larry Smith of The Bonzo Dog Band. Cover art and design by Andy Warhol. 180 gram vinyl reissue in a die-cut custom gatefold jacket.”
File Under: Rock, VU
Gene Clark: Two Sides to Every Story (High Moon) LP
Two Sides to Every Story, the criminally long out-of-print solo album from Gene Clark, a founding member of The Byrds, is available as a deluxe CD reissue packaged in a hardbound eco-book. Finally available on CD, this remastered version of the 1977 RSO album features absolutely stunning sound. Two Sides to Every Story was voted #3 in the 2010 Uncut feature “Readers 50 Greatest Lost Albums.” From the country-rocking “Kansas City Southern,” to the to the achingly, melancholy, strings-and-synthesizer-draped “Sister Moon,” Two Sides is a masterfully eclectic album that AllMusic proclaims “succeeds on many more levels than more heralded No Other. ” Produced by Thomas Jefferson Kaye (who also produced Clark’s masterpiece No Other), the album features an all-star cast of musical co-conspirators: Emmylou Harris on backing vocals, banjo virtuoso Douglas Dillard, country violin legend Byron Berline, pedal-steel ace Al Perkins, and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar. Gene Clark served as The Byrds’ chief songwriter in the mid-’60s, penning some of their most essential songs, including “Feel a Whole Lot Better,” “Eight Miles High” and “You Showed Me.” Clark is widely considered to be the pioneer of three musical genres: folk-rock, country-rock, and psychedelic-rock. Gene Clark’s inimitable songwriting and singing continue to inspire and influence countless artists, including: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (who recorded TWO of his compositions on their 2010 Grammy-winning Album of the Year, Raising Sand), Bob Dylan, Fairport Convention, R.E.M., Tom Petty, Yo La Tengo, the Flamin’ Groovies, Teenage Fanclub, and Wilco. Features bonus cuts on an exclusive download card with over 90 minutes of unheard Gene Clark in 24-bit WAV files.
File Under: Rock, Folk, The Byrds
Consumer Electronics: Estuary English (Dirter Promotions) LP
The unlikely trio of aging renegade Philip Best (Whitehouse, Ramleh, Skullflower, etc.), hip U.S. artist Sarah Froelich and producer/guru Russell Haswell are all set to unleash their first recordings, the state-of-the-nation Estuary English from Consumer Electronics. In possibly Dirter’s most ambitious presentation yet, this release consists of 2×12″ singles cut at Alchemy and a CD of the album that has different mastering by the legendary Denis Blackham. Denis is, of course, well-known for adding his touch of genius to the likes of NWW, Whitehouse, C93, etc., etc., not to mention his impressive CV that features Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Hendrix to name but a few. The CD will only be available with the first pressing and will not be issued on its own; both formats need to be heard to be believed. The package is housed in a beautiful gloss laminated gatefold sleeve and the vinyl is pressed on heavy 180 gram black virgin wax.
File Under: Electronic, Whitehouse
Cut Hands: Festival of the Dead (Blackest Ever Black) LP
It is said that the gods of the dead demand you ritualistically commit to each intensely hot beat of the ceremonial drum. Now, here, is the music for their celebration of death, music to dance together with, to oblivion, a music both spectacular and ecstatic where, like never before, the spirits of Santería and Voudou mix with raw electricity into burning diabolical polyrhythms. Festival of the Dead is without doubt the most potent distillation yet of Cut Hands’ malign percussive energy, with pieces like “The Claw” and “Vaudou Take Me High” leading the irresistible polyrhythmic assault in pursuit of one thing: a final rapturous celebration of oblivion. Written and produced by William Bennett.
File Under: Electronic, Whitehouse
Diamond & The Psychotic Neurotics: Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop (Get on Down) LP
“Long out of print, and even impossible to find on vinyl at the time of its release, Get on Down presents the classic Diamond D debut Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop. As the album title states, this album is one long party from beginning to end. Diamond shines both on the mic and behind the boards creating one of the greatest hip hop albums ever made. Coming in at over an hour long Stunts never has a dull moment, Diamond along with the Psychotic Neurotic’s and his D.I.T.C brethren are able to make each song or interlude stand out and play through without any skip worthy moments. Although Diamond D handles the majority of the album’s production, others such as Large Professor, Q-Tip, Jazzy Jay, Showbiz, and DJ Mark the 45 King co-produce on several tracks. The music he was making in 1992 cemented Diamond as one of the best producers in the game.”
File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
Flaming Lips: With A Little Help From My Fwends (Warner) LP
Brand New Flaming Lips album doing a Track for Track cover of Sgt.Pepper! Album includes contributions from Miley Cyrus, MGMT, Tame Impala and Moby, among others.
File Under: Rock, Beatles
Green: s/t (Lion) LP
Green arrived in the mid-1980s, amidst a Chicago scene that included bands like Naked Raygun, Big Black, and Ministry (and eventually, Material Issue and Smashing Pumpkins). Green bypassed the major label-express that many of those other bands rode to fame and fortune, and continued to make records their own DIY way, records which were lauded in the pages of Trouser Press, Spin, and The Village Voice, among others. And with each passing year there are an increasing number of folks who are convinced that their debut LP is worthy of those Mojo/VH1/Spin/ lists of the top 50 or 100 rock albums of all time. From the first pulsating, exuberant notes of the intro, the band knows what they want to say: kids get ready, gotta rock steady, because they ‘Gotta Getta Record Out,’ they are trying to ‘Curry Your Favor,’ they play the records, and maybe most of all, they want to be ‘Big in Japan’! One astute reviewer said: “The band darts through decades of pop history as impatiently as the ‘Spiral Scratch’-era Buzzcocks, with band leader Jeff Lescher’s voice ranging from Princely falsetto to gravel-tinged field holler, but most often sounding as though someone stepped on Paul McCartney’s toes in 1965.” And as another reviewer quite rightly said, “This is such a flawless pop masterpiece that I’m not even ashamed to trot out terms like ‘flawless pop masterpiece.’” Green may be the bee’s knees for anglophile power poppers, but they deserve more notice than that; they were the kind of all-embracing band, with a taste for punk, glam rock and soul—and with a twitchy sort of energy—of the sort that burbled around in the late-80s, pre-grunge underground (a little Feelies anyone?). It remains a mystery why other bands are fixed in the collective memory as the era’s best—at the very least, Green should make a list of top obscure pop groups of all time! Booklet has band history and lyrics, plus many a fine photo, all courtesy of Lescher. Seven bonus tracks, including the CD debut of the band’s 1984 EP “The Name of This Band is Green.” Printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper manufactured using biogas energy.
File Under: Garage Rock, Indie Rock
Gulaab: Ritt Durch den Hades (Merlins Nose) LP
Ultra-rare lost psychedelic Kraut-folk from 1979. First time on CD and LP. Taken from the original master tapes. “Gulaab” means “rose” in the Nepalese language. Gulaab is a German virtuoso on the acoustic guitar who served three years as an after-dinner musician in a luxury restaurant in Nepal, playing for an amazing number of well-known personalities of the 20th century during the early ’70s. This was a strongly-influential experience that shaped his musical expression big-time, but also let him become an open-minded spirit. Ritt durch den Hades is the result of his experimentation with sounds, atmospheres and a multitude of styles in traditional music from Latin to Eastern Asian elements. It was first released in 1979, vanishing into obscurity soon after, waiting to be rediscovered by a more open-minded generation of music lovers now. Traditionalists be forewarned: This mystic grail of ’70s “Kraut folk” stands far out from the average folk and singer/songwriter stuff, combining guitar harmonies of the highest order with a cosmic drone that backs up the hypnotizing picking and trippy swirls of sounds. This album is in fact more like a musical journey than just a piece of music, taking you from secret sacrificial altars in the Andes to the ceremonial places of the ancient Himalayan population with a short stopover for a little “joint venture” in the musical space-centers of highly flown-out German originators like Ash Ra Tempel/Manuel Göttsching, Popul Vuh/Florian Fricke, Witthusser & Westrupp, Bröselmaschine, Dom or Deuter. Now take a ride through Hades with Gulaab.
File Under: Kraut Rock, Psychedelic, Kosmische
Gun Club: Mother Juno (Bang!) LP
At last, a vinyl reissue of this 1987 classic album by The Gun Club, featuring Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Kid Congo Powers (The Cramps, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds). Mother Juno meant the evolution of sound at The Gun Club’s discography, entering into musical adventures where Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Kid Congo Powers mixed their guitars and melodies as per Television and Jimi Hendrix. This record has the addition of guitar cooperation from Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds) and was recorded in Berlin during the wild period before the fall of the Wall. Intense, obscure, rich in sound and writing, Mother Juno is a timeless classic for all fans of rock music. Proudly released by Bang! Records, courtesy of Creeping Ritual Productions, this record has been remastered and is presented in a deluxe gatefold edition, including two bonus tracks (“Crab Dance” and “Nobody’s City” which has been recently covered by Iggy Pop and Nick Cave, alongside Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Beasts Of Bourbon’s Brian Henry Hooper) previously unreleased on the original edition.
File Under: Rock
His Name is Alive: Tecuciztecatl (London London) LP/CD
HNIA’s stunning new offering is a rock opera depicting an epic struggle between identical twins, reflective in nature, and mirrored in twin science, secret language, and mythology. Described variously by the press as “absolutely beautiful” (CMJ), “a silver thread out of the labyrinth” (NME), and “haunted, wholly out of time or context” (Plan B), His Name Is Alive continues to mystify with Tecuciztecatl. Beginning in Livonia, MI as an experimental bedroom dream pop project, HNIA has released a steady stream of music since their first self-released cassettes in the late-’80’s. One of label founder Ivo-Watts Russell’s Top 5 groups of all-time, HNIA would go on to release 7 albums on the 4AD label over a period of 13 years. Out of step with the Alterna-Grunge zeitgeist of the ’90’s, with the current ascension of horror soundtracks and other non-“rock” forms into both pop and underground music, HNIA’s time may have finally come.
File Under: Rock, Ethereal, 4AD
Hookworms: The Hum (Weird World) LP
Hookworms return with their new album, The Hum, which follows the Leeds quintet’s debut album Pearl Mystic – a record that steadily went on to become one of 2013’s most impactful breakout statements in the UK! Even more ferocious and uncompromising than its predecessor and yet more melodic and focused, The Hum further cements the band’s status as a vital force in British independent music. The Hum takes the blueprint of Pearl Mystic – proto-punk, garage rock, Washington DC hardcore, 80’s British spacerock – and further stamps it with the band’s seal. Leaner, meaner and more propulsive thanks to the muscular playing of new drummer JN, the record boasts both the most straight-up punk song the band have written to date in eviscerating opener “The Impasse” (“we wanted it to sound like Suicide if they had a full band”, explains MJ) and moments of patient, widescreen beauty only hinted at previously. “We were writing Pearl Mystic to an audience in the same way your diary has an audience”, says guitarist SS. “It’s written to one but if no one ever reads it that’s not a big deal. This time round though we knew we had a really clear audience, so The Hum is really about different freedoms and constraints – with Pearl Mystic the possibilities were almost too vast, this time around we had a much clearer idea of what the record should be like and that became freeing because we didn’t need to worry about its direction so much.” That word “free” is a good way to approach The Hum, a record that could only be made by a band in total command of their personality.
File Under: Psych, Space Rock
Invisible Hands: Teslam (Abduction) CD
“The Invisible Hands is a transcontinental collaboration between Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls) and four stellar young musicians from Cairo, Egypt: Cherif El Masri, Aya Hemeda (both formerly of the popular Egyptian group Eskenderella), Adham Zidan and Magued Nagati. On Teslam, The Invisible Hands expand the already panoramic range of their eponymous debut LP with a haunting set of melodic, impeccably crafted songs whose vintage psych/hard-rock edge conjures up early Alice Cooper almost as often as it recalls Sun City Girls and 20th-century icons like Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg. The band’s exquisite sonic palette is deepened by Cairo-based guest musicians Mohamed Ibrahim, Mohamed ‘Moe’ Asem, and Sammy Sayed, as well as by longtime SCG compatriot Eyvind Kang. Recorded in Cairo between 2013 and 2014, Teslam represents a further evolution of Alvarius B.’s peerlessly idiosyncratic pop sensibility, which is just as volatile and unclassifiable as his more experimental work. His songwriting — both on his own, and in partnership with Cherif El Masri — is marked by a unity of purpose that has compressed countless musical and emotional incongruities into a handful of sharp-edged, pitch-black jewels. A brooding track composed by keyboardist Adham Zidan (‘The Great Implosion’) perfectly complements the record’s uneasy mood. As usual, Alvarius B.’s lyrics comprise an apocalyptic pile-up of cruel metaphors at the intersection of culture, politics and international crime. But they take on new power and new implications as sung by El Masri and Hemeda, whose seductive voices are as inviting as a welcome mat at the gates of hell. Each song stands on its own while also fitting into a planet-sized jigsaw puzzle detailing dark associations and secret narratives that stretch back as far as the foundation of the world. Arguably Alvarius B.’s most accessible work to date, Teslam is a generously baited steel-jaw trap for the unwary listener. Like The Invisible Hands’ 2013 debut, Teslam inevitably reflects the precarious political circumstances in which it was conceived and recorded. As such, it’s a vivid document not just of an unlikely musical collaboration, but also of a critical moment of hope, defiance, rage and sorrow in one of the world’s most venerable cities. [This limited-edition razor-edged stainless-steel CD comes in a beautiful die cut balsawood jacket that folds out to form a fully operational guillotine. Just kidding, but it does come as a digipak CD with lyrics booklet and lovely artwork].” –B. Kearney
File Under: Rock, Sun City Girls
It’s Psychedelic Baby #1 Mag
130 full-color pages, glossy sleeve, plus a bonus space rock/neo-psychedelia compilation CD! A must-have for fans of Shindig!, Flashback or Ugly Things Magazine! Read what Vernon Joynson has to say about it: The first Country Joe And The Fish album Electric Music for the Mind and Body is one of the very finest examples of psychedelia and when Klemen found it as a 12-year-old among a pile of his dad’s records and played it, his life changed forever. His curiosity led him to research deeper and deeper into the whole ’60s music scene. He started a blog where he discussed private pressings and over the next few years, with the help of a network of like-minded friends, the blog evolved into the fabulous online magazine that is now It’s Psychedelic Baby!. The name is perhaps a little misleading because the magazine’s scope is much wider than just psychedelia. Its scope encompasses prog-rock, jazz, blues, folk, punk, metal & avant-garde music. Indeed, Klemen is a huge folk and jazz fan. Above all, the web site has a special focus on obscure and rare music. At the last count this stunning site contained over 500 interviews with a very broad range of artists and people connected with the music business, as well as lots of reviews and articles. He has done so much original research, located so many forgotten artists and even helped some to find record labels. What you have in your hand is the first hard copy version of this magazine! This first edition is primarily dedicated to Texas psychedelia. The state has a very rich and diverse musical tradition, but in the ’60s it produced countless tough garage-punk bands and some of the most demented acid-punk records to come out of the U.S. in this era, as well as some seminal hippie-rock bands. Many of these were drawn to the attention of wider audiences in the subsequent years by the pioneering works of David Shutt, whose Journey to Tyme was a brilliant interpretative discographical guide to Texas 1960s punk and psychedelia and by Doug Hanners’ equally excellent magazine Not Fade Away, focusing on the Texas music scene in that era. It is largely due to them and other Texas collectors that many obscure Texas recordings of the mid to late ’60s found their way onto the many various artists’ compilations of ’60s punk and psychedelia that emerged in subsequent years. Now, in this new hard copy magazine, Klemen, assisted by other music historians like Kevin Rathert, has traced and interviewed many more artists and the magazine contains features about Powell St. John, Zakary Thaks, The Moving Sidewalks, Lemon Fog, Golden Dawn, Homer, Corpus, and many more. Be sure to read the interview with Michael Jensen (who was a member of the 13th Floor Elevators in the ’80s) and shares for the very first time many stories about Roky and different meanings of some of the band’s songs. In keeping with the sheer scope of Klemen’s antenna, this mag includes many other features, too. He has tracked down the Zambian band Witch and has a fascinating feature (probably the first in hard copy) about the whole ’70s Zambian music scene. He’s also found Vyto (from First Chips) and there are articles on the Mexican Kaleidoscope, Bodo Molitor, Anonymous, and reviews of new reissues and new psych releases. There is also a fascinating non-music-related feature about “music as medicine.” Read on… I promise you will not be disappointed. CD features tracks by: White Hills, Uncle Acid & The Dead Beats, White Hills, Les Indiens, The Oscillation, Get Your Gun, Farflung, Strangers Family Band, Jacco Gardner, Earth Mk.II, Amen Dunes, Aalto, David Greenald.
File Under: Psych, Magazines
Kiasmos: s/t (Erased Tapes) LP
Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen finally release their unique Nordic electronic sounds in album-size. After dropping several tracks and performing at select festivals throughout the years, Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen dedicated the year 2014 to explore the area in-between Ólafur’s more acoustic, piano-based solo work and Janus’ synth-heavy electro-pop, with their collaborative electronic project Kiasmos. By focusing solely on their self-titled debut album, Ólafur and Janus have been able to combine and further develop their unique sound aesthetics to complete an album driven by their mutual love for electronic music. Made in Ólafur’s newly-built studio in Reykjavik, Iceland, a majority of the album was recorded using acoustic instruments next to a variety of synthesizers, drum machines and tape delays. It features a live drummer, string quartet and Ólafur performing on the grand piano, producing an ambient, textured sound which makes it a perfect home listen and equally danceable record. If you listen closely, you can spot them recording the thumb piano, finger-snapping, and even the sound of the metal grinder of a lighter used to replace the usual electronic hi-hat sounds, giving the album a far more intimate and unique atmosphere. Long-time Erased Tapes graphics collaborator Torsten Posselt at Feld Studios in Berlin created the cover artwork. Feld Studios was a natural choice for Kiasmos, seeing how he also designed the cover for their Thrown EP. Kiasmos is made up of Icelandic BAFTA-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds, known for his unique blend of minimal piano and string compositions with electronic sounds, and Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Islands, known as the mastermind of the electro-pop outfit Bloodgroup. Based in Reykjavik, Arnalds used to work as a sound engineer, often for Rasmussen’s other projects, where the two musicians discovered their common love for minimal, experimental music. They eventually became best friends, often hanging out in their studio, exploring electronic sounds.
File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Modern Classical
Bruce Lacey: Spacey Vol 1 & 2 (Trunk) LP/CD
Bruce Lacey is the quintessential British eccentric. Bruce Lacey is an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, a shaman, a genius and visionary. Since the 1950s he’s made film, music, art and performances, and collaborated with everyone from The Beatles to Throbbing Gristle. He was part of the groundbreaking Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition in 1968. He even built a robot that won the Alternative Miss World. This is the first time his extraordinary music has been released. Made and recorded using household objects as well as a modified synthesizer (made by a schoolboy in the early 1970s), it ranges from abstract tribal concrète to droning electronic trance. The music will be released across two separate LPs and one CD. Included will be a fine essay about the history of this inspiring figure by BFI/Flipside archivist Will Fowler. Bruce Lacey has been a busy man. Since the 1950s he’s been making film, making music, making art, sculpture, rituals, performances, and more besides. Many of his films have explored the basics of life and sex all with a sprinkle of irony, realism and ritualism. Many of his films have required music, music which Lacey made himself, improvising with bottles, rattles, typewriters and a tape machine. By the early 1970s, Lacey was exploring stone circles and ancient rights; he’d also bought a home-made synthesizer from a schoolboy who’d advertised it in Exchange & Mart. He’d made it as a home project. A week later Lacey bought a keyboard from another schoolboy in Exchange & Mart. Lacey set about slowly modifying this synth and improvising music influenced by his stone circle visits over the next few years. This music is made only when “The Muse” descends. It is impossible for Bruce to perform this improvised music live. The music he made was occasionally available on cassette at his exhibitions in the 1970s. The late Poly Styrene (who had a copy) compared Lacey’s music to Tangerine Dream. Lacey had not heard of Tangerine Dream. This is the first time this raw and extraordinary music by one of the UK’s most extraordinary men has been made available. Full-color LP sleeve. Includes copious notes and an essay.
File Under: Library, OST, Electronic
Love: Black Beauty (High Moon) LP
Black Beauty, the never-before-released masterpiece by Arthur Lee’s legendary psychedelic rock band Love is available as a TrueSound Audiophile CD packaged in a hardbound eco-book. The deluxe CD comes with a 64-page photo-filled booklet. Both formats come with bonus tracks featuring explosive live performances, two unreleased Arthur Lee studio cuts and an unearthed Arthur Lee interview from 1974. Recorded in 1973 for the ambitious new label Buffalo Records, the album remained unreleased when the company folded. Finally, after 39 years High Moon Records is honored to fulfill Arthur Lee’s wish that Black Beauty be heard by music fans worldwide. Black Beauty is making its first-ever official release in any format, anywhere! With unparalleled sound and state-of-the-art packaging, critics are hailing Black Beauty as an instant classic. Black Beauty is that rarest of rock artifacts: an unreleased, full-length studio album, from an undisputed musical genius. Black Beauty is the missing link in a catalog that includes Forever Changes, the classic 1967 Love album The New York Times called “one of the most affecting and beguiling albums of all time.” With Black Beauty, Arthur Lee manages to combine searing ’70s rock with gorgeous melodies and stellar songwriting, topped off by his most distinctive, snarling, soulful vocals. ever. With its wonderfully eclectic collection of songs, the album offers Love fans a rare glimpse into a previously-undocumented phase of Arthur Lee’s fabled career, while shining a light for new fans to discover the unique genius that is the music of Arthur Lee and Love.
File Under: Rock, Psych, Soul
Barbara Lynn: Here is Barbara Lynn (Light in the Attic) LP
To be a woman singing your own blues and soul songs in 1960s Texas was a rare thing. To do so while brandishing a left-handed Stratocaster and bashing out hard-edged licks was even rarer. Yet that’s just what Barbara Lynn did, inspired by Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed, Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee. And it was a hit: her 1962 debut single, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing,” recorded with session musicians including Dr. John, gave her an R&B chart Number One and a Billboard chart Top 10 hit. It was a path that Lynn chose at elementary school in 1940s Beaumont, Texas, when she told her mother she wanted to play guitar. “I decided that playing piano was a little bit too common, you know what I mean?” says Lynn in the new liner notes. “You’d always see a lady or a little girl sitting at a piano. I decided I wanted to play something more unexpected, so that’s when I got interested in learning to play the guitar.” Self-taught, first on the ukulele and then on a guitar, Lynn formed her first group, Barbara Lynn and Her Idols, while still at school and soon took the local scene by storm. Hers was a powerful talent in a petite package, a performer who could stand up against the best–even as a teenager. Spotted while performing, underage, in Louisiana, she was offered the chance to record her own material, songs that filtered the experience of being a black Texan teen with power, feel, and guts. Ten of the twelve tracks on her debut album were her own compositions. “It took a lot of time,” Lynn remembers of the recording process, “but we got ‘Good Thing,’ we got our hit. I loved it. I loved meeting the new musicians; a lot of the guys who played on that record became friends. And seeing how the engineers worked and how they produced the sounds, all of that was really interesting to me.” The success of that single took Lynn out on the road with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, BB King, Supremes, Chuck Berry, Guitar Slim, and The Temptations. BB King even wrote a letter to Lynn’s mother to tell her what a talented daughter she’d raised. She appeared at the Apollo Theater, she was twice on American Bandstand, and one of her songs, “Oh Baby (We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin’)” was covered by The Rolling Stones. Though she was a precocious performer, hers is a talent that came to full bloom on Here Is Barbara Lynn, her 1968 album produced by Huey P. Meaux and originally released on Atlantic Records. The record was conceived as an introduction of Lynn’s prodigious talents, her deeply felt guitar playing, her gutsy soulful singing skills, and her songwriting prowess. It collected her early hit and a raft of new songs, each packed with Lynn’s passion and fire. Yet the introduction to her world–now reissued by Light In The Attic–largely proved to be her swansong. She married in 1970, aged 28, had three children, and largely retired from the music industry for most of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Now touring again, she’s amused to think of her 46 year-old album gaining new fans. “I hear this album, and it seems like… it seems like the old times to me,” she says. “I don’t know, it’s strange to know it’s coming out again. It is going to be a wild, first time thing for me, like going back in time. But I’m excited to see what happens.”
File Under: Funk, Soul
Mobb Deep: Hell On Earth (Get On Down) LP
“By the time Mobb Deep hit with their third album — Hell On Earth — they were solidified street legends. Coming off the critically acclaimed The Infamous, Havoc and Prodigy hit the lab and came back with a soundtrack that is fitting to its title. Havoc’s production is atmospheric; laced with his trademark drums loops and sharp pianos stabs. Add Prodigy’s trademark flow and it’s evident that the pairing is such an amazing match. While Hell On Earth is essentially a continuation of The Infamous you can still hear the growth in both performers and Hell On Earth stands as some of their best work. The album features guest appearances by Nas, Raekwon, Method Man, and frequent collaborator Big Noyd.”
File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
Monoton: Monotonprodukt 02 (Desire) LP
“Although Monoton dried up in 1992, its entire output consisting of a handful of mini-albums and limited-run EPs, its minimalist electronica appears increasingly ahead of its time. The sole work of Austria’s Konrad Becker, it was a key influence on the brand of Eurotronica found on labels from Kompakt to Mego. Becker began hooking up analog rhythm boxes and tone generators in late ’70s Vienna, churning out a terse music of bleeps, pings and subsonic pulses, all plunged in tape delay and reverb. Blau — originally titled Monotonprodukt 02 — was Monoton’s first release from 1980. The buzzing machines often sound strained to their limits, yet the overall mood is somber, a palette of grays and umbers punctuated by Becker’s incoherent murmurs. ‘Dubwise’ is a spooky premonition of Rhythm And Sound’s Germanic reggae. Muffled steel drums resound around ‘Wirklichkeit,’ while ‘Teil 2’ is seared with a violin drone. Even after 28 years, Monoton’s unearthly, steely beauty is preserved intact.” –Rob Young; This classic album is now reissued on vinyl for the first time ever and original copies exchange for $200 nowadays. 1,000 copies on clear blue vinyl. 350 gram sleeve with holes. Printed inner. Includes a download code.
File Under: Early Electronic, Ambient
Ennio Morricone: Lizard In A Woman’s Skin (Death Waltz) LP
It is a proud day for Death Waltz Recording Company as we prepare to release a score by one of the biggest composers in film music history. Ennio Morricone (Once Upon A Time In The West, Cinema Paradiso, Orca: Killer Whale) has produced masterpiece after masterpiece, but none so creatively unsettling as his score to the 1971 Lucio Fulci giallo A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin (aka Una Lucertola Con La Pelle Di Donna). Like many of Fulci’s movies, Lizard blurs the line between dreams and reality, with hedonistic nightmares featuring narcotic-fuelled orgies leading to real murder that may or may not have been committed during one of the dreams. Morricone’s music is as unhinged as the film itself, mixing post-sixties funk and jazz with increasingly uncomfortable effects to provide a haunting and biting backdrop for the turn of the century thriller. As always, elements of the maestro’s music are beautiful, with ethereal vocals by regular collaborator Edda dell’Orso, and this works even better in stark contrast with the harsher sections, with eerie woodwinds, the requisite whistling, wind instruments that sound like coyote howls, and low rhythmic bass that hits your head and your stomach at a point where you start to wonder if someone else is if the house with you. Still, if you’re going to be graphically murdered, A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin is the soundtrack to have it done to you by.
File Under: OST, Italian, Maestro
Mothers of Invention: Wollman Rink (Keyhole) LP
Double LP version, pressed on 180 gram vinyl. This superb set documents The Mothers Of Invention’s appearance at the 1968 Schaefer Music Festival, sponsored by the Schaefer Brewing Company and held at the Wollman Skating Rink in New York City’s Central Park. In exchange for $4,000 and what the contract described as “100% star billing,” Zappa and his cohorts played two exhilarating 40-minute sets (at 8:00pm and 10:30pm), taking in early material, pieces that had yet to be recorded, and some that never would be. Remastered sound. Background notes and photos included.
File Under: Zappa, Bootlegs
Harry Mwale Experience: s/t (Strawberry Rain) LP
Another rare Zamrock album comes to light with the Harry Mwale Experience. The sole and lone album from the legendary figure is fully licensed, and is a blend of psychedelic rock, ethnic psychedelic (with fuzz guitar) and even some soul. Overall a very robust and strong effort with above average fidelity as compared to most Zamrock releases, and one of the more obscure and harder to find records from Zambia, as well as one of the more unique. Limited to 500 copies on LP, one time limited edition pressing. For fans of Blo, Witch, Salty Dog, Amanaz, The Peace, Survival and other afro rock albums. Look out for our upcoming Zamrock selections as we have a lot to roll out, including some from the original master tapes!
File Under: Zamrock, Psych, Fuzz
Neel: Phobos (Spectrum Spools) LP
There’s a large empty space on your record shelf, in between Nurse With Wound’s Space Music and Pete Namlook & Tetsu Inoue’s Shades of Orion: a gap between the cold, lifeless experimentations of Steven Stapleton — space heard as a largely silent void punctuated by the sudden and infrequent arrival of massive objects — and the romantic imaginings of ’90s space ambient which filled space with idealistic longings of earth. There aren’t many records to put right between those two. But now Neel has given us one, Phobos, and it’s both a lustrous and shadowy beauty. After debuting stellar live performances at MUTEK in Montreal as well as Berlin Atonal, the time to release an album documenting the material has arrived. Phobos is the debut LP from Neel, well-known as the sonic mastermind behind the Voices From The Lake project, together with his fellow Italian DJ, friend, and cosmic joker Donato Dozzy. Neel is a young mastering engineer with golden ears, and through Voices From The Lake, he and Dozzy have brought a level of immaculate sound production to techno which, to be honest, simply hasn’t existed before. Alone, however, you might feel Neel sounds even better. Phobos is a carefully-cut gem, reflecting layers of patient detail and filling the full frequency range with a perfect balance. Voices From The Lake is an organic project, with a tight focus on water and life, but Phobos has leapt to the opposite end of the spectrum. You cannot take a sampler’s magnifying glass to a place that does not transmit sound — another kind of imagination and technique is required. The sonic results are a real treat. This album more than most, will benefit from whatever outrageous hi-fi you can swing at it. Don’t just play it loud — play it well. Legend has it Neel constructed Phobos out of an elaborate narrative concerning Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two moons, Fear and its brother Dread, the son of Aries and Aphrodite, the moon which sets twice across the Martian sky each day, and which each century draws closer to its red parent by one earthly meter, in a 50-million year gravitational tease that can only end in destruction. Further investigators will have to tease out the real details of that story from Neel, but for listeners the album slowly traverses through deep space over the course of a single hour-long track, patiently passing slow-turning objects and desolate plains, until the final minutes where it unpacks itself — presenting all the pent-up emotions from a long trip — in a blissful moment that marks the end and beginning of this voyage into space alone.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Drone
Neotantrik: Omnichrom (Pre-Cert) LP
Once again mining a rich source of archival material, tape works and improvised recordings, Andy Votel’s Neotantrik tap deep into the subconscious with a highly-visual trip into the furthest reaches of psychedelic ambience. Following on from Blue Amiga (VHSX 010LP) that came and went in a flash, Omnichrom is a more brooding, studied affair. Unfurling from a delicate modular opening sequence, the A-side flows into a hallucinogenic fever-dream fleshed out with barely-there analog malfunctions and strings that suddenly throw you into a cacophony of noise in a proper creeped-out, tense fashion. The flipside carries on from this point — pushing you deeper into a Badalamenti-esque soundworld replete with unnerving found sounds and mechanical percussion swung in and out of one of the trippiest Kosmische sessions we’ve heard in a while. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering in an edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Psych
Objekt: Flatland (Pan) LP
PAN is excited to announce the release of Objekt’s debut album, Flatland. Written between 2012 and 2014, Flatland follows up a succession of dynamic single releases from his base in Berlin, including the recent split 12″ with Dopplereffekt on Leisure System, Cactus/Porcupine on Hessle Audio and three 12″ singles on his eponymous white label series. His recorded work so far has toyed with techno and electro conventions and has turned dancefloor tropes on their head, tickling the boundaries of what can or can’t constitute an effective club record. Approaching the album format on its own terms, Objekt makes full use of the larger canvas to explore a framework of competing truths, multiple perspectives and conflicting accounts. Flatland imagines a world in which any scene can be seen from every angle at once. Semblances and cross-references entwine the 11 original tracks and Objekt’s existing recordings, shaping a powerful and absorbing album that weaves between the alien and the hauntingly familiar. This is an effervescent body of work, its sound design evoking vivid imagery and conveying the same unmistakable sense of detail and movement for which Objekt has become known. On his first attempt, Objekt has constructed a mature and multilayered album with its own story to tell, from whichever angle you choose to approach it. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy. by Joe Dilworth and artwork by Bill Kouligas & Kathryn Politis.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
William Onyeabor: Volume 1 (Luaka Bop) 5LP Box
The first of two William Onyeabor vinyl box sets from Luaka Bop features five of the albums the elusive Nigerian synth-funk pioneer self-released between 1977 and 1985 – remastered and officially available for the first time. His music represents the epitome of the golden era of Nigerian funk, before he gave up a life in music to become a devout Christian. Luaka Bop released the critically acclaimed compilation Who is William Onyeabor? in October of 2013, and has since seen the release of the documentary Fantastic Man, which was fabricated around the myth of the musician and attempts to unearth the man behind the music. It is also now a full blown live show touring the world, paying tribute to the music of Onyeabor featuring a supergroup of Damon Albarn, David Byrne, Kele Okereke from Bloc Party, Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, the Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark, Pat Mahoney and Sinkane. To this day, William Onyeabor has not spoken about his music in one single interview.
File Under: African, Electro, Synth, Funk
OST: Trick ‘r Treat (Waxwork) LP
Waxwork Records is thrilled to release, for the first time ever, Douglas Pipes’ score to the 2007 Halloween anthology film, Trick ‘r Treat. Directed by Michael Dougherty (X-Men 2, Superman Returns), Trick ‘r Treat has become a modern cult classic and traditional October viewing alongside classic horror films such as John Carpenter’s Halloween, and has earned a 24-hour rotational airing in 2013. Starring Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, and Dylan Baker, Trick ‘r Treat has won over fans and critics alike with it’s maliciously whimsical approach of breaking down Halloween traditions in one of the most impressive horror films to date. Waxwork Records has worked closely with both Michael Dougherty, Douglas Pipes, and Legendary Pictures to create the ultimate Trick ‘r Treat soundtrack experience. With their stamp of approval, this deluxe LP is as official a Trick ‘r Treat product as they come. This expanded double LP features over an hour of music that has been mastered for vinyl and supervised by the composer. For art duties, Waxwork brought on none other than the incredibly talented Francensco Francavilla (Afterlife With Archie, The Black Beetle). Francavilla has worked as an in-house artist for both Marvel and DC Comics, and has created the full LP packaging artwork with approval from director Michael Dougherty, himself. If that wasn’t enough, at the request of Michael Dougherty, Waxwork has acquired the full audio stems from the film to create a full bonus Spooky Sound FX album perfect for a haunted house, or to spook your neighbors this Halloween season. Like the classic Disney LPs such as “Chilling, Thrilling Sounds From The Haunted House”, the included Trick ‘r Treat spooky sound-fx album will take the listener through the streets of Warren Valley, Ohio on a cold Halloween night filled with vampires, werewolves, rock quarry zombies, and Sam himself. If that wasn’t enough, the entire spooky sound-fx album has been constructed, mixed, and edited by Evan Chen, the sound designer on Michael Dougherty’s 1996 animated short Season’s Greatings which features Sam’s first appearance, and inspired the film Trick ‘r Treat.
File Under: OST, Horror
Hayden Pedigo: Five Steps (Debacle) LP
The latest LP from Seattle’s killer Debacle Records comes courtesy of Amarillo, TX guitarist Hayden Pedigo. Five Steps veers between two sides of Pedigo’s musical spectrum: crisp, beautiful acoustic numbers that build upon his low-key debut album, and tripped out, blasted experimentation on the other (the side-long “Dream Theory Parts One-Four”). For his follow-up, Pedigo reached out to some of his heroes to collaborate on the album, and the response was overwhelming. Five Steps features contributions from This Heat’s Charles Hayward, Werner “Zappi” Diermaier of Faust, Fred Frith, and Acid Mothers Temple’s Kawabata Makoto, to name a few. A mesmerizing record from one of the most promising young talents we’ve heard in a hot minute.
File Under: Folk, Experimental
Picturebooks: Imaginary Horse (Riding Easy) LP
The Picturebooks, a blues-soaked duo featuring singer/guitar player Fynn Claus Grabke and drummer Philipp Mirtschink. The German band release their North American debut album, Imaginary Horse, on Oct. 7 via RidingEasy Records. Music, skateboarding and motorcycles, thats all we need,” says Grabke. The pair, who hail from Grsloh, Germany, are well known in motorcycle circles for their custom creations and the bands unique working environment thats part recording studio, skate park and chopper garage. From Dice Magazine to Kustom World, Custombike or Kustom, their bikes are featured in chopper magazines worldwide. Fynn, the son of famed 80’s era skateboarder Claus Grabke, and Philipp have trekked across the European continent for the past four years, combining their passion into a lifestyle thats reflected in their wall-shaking music. The Picturebooks retreated to their “garage” in order to record Imaginary Horse during early 2014. Mirroring their daredevil skateboarding ethos, they broke rules while recording. For starters, there was considerable physical space between the musicians and the microphones, and it wasn’t simply a sterile studio environment. The concrete floors and airy expanse contributed to the sound, and the overall atmosphere proved quite apropos. Ultimately, all of these pieces form a blues rock pastiche that’s as individualistic as it is infectious. The Picturebooks’ Imaginary Horse becomes a reality for rock ‘n’ roll now. “We never wanted to sound like anybody else,” concludes Fynn. “We’ve done everything possible to create something of our own. I hope people see that, hear it, and feel it.” For fans of Graveyard, Uncle Acid, Kadavar, Black Keys, White Stripes.
File Under: Blues Rock, Psych
Ariel Pink: Pom Pom (4AD) LP/CD
Across its 17 tracks and 69 minutes, Pom Pom is unfiltered Ariel Pink, featuring infectious tales of romance, murder, frog princes and Jell-O. The record sees the Los Angeles native strike it out alone, returning to the solo moniker he has adopted for well over a decade. From demented kiddie tune collaborations with the legendary Kim Fowley (songs such as “Jell-O” and “Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade” were written with Fowley in his hospital room during his recent battle with cancer), to beatific, windswept pop (“Put Your Number In My Phone,” “Dayzed Inn Daydreams”), scuzz-punk face-melters (“Goth Bomb,” “Negativ Ed”) and carnival dub psychedelia (“Dinosaur Carebears”), Pom Pom could very well be Ariel Pink’s magnum opus. Speaking about the record, Ariel Pink says that “although this is the first “solo” record credited to my name, it is by far the least “solo” record I have ever recorded.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Probe 10: There is a Universe (Lion) LP
“This masterpiece crawled up my spine like a kundalini snake and proceeded to take the top of my head off. Probe 10 are unquestionably linked to a very specifically American form of proto-prog-into-jazz-rock synthesis of the precise sort Elektra Records used to specialize in, from Tim Buckley’s Starsailor to David Stoughton’s Transformer. Toss in trumpet fanfare laden acid psych straight out of the C.A. Quintet songbook, the riotously melodic and dense brassy arrangements of McLuhan… and…well…hold on to your hookahs!” —Mutant Sounds “Unique jazz-rock album with major space-rock vibes. You have to love the way the bass counters the effects-laden guitar solos and heavy fuzz. Considering how many loner folk and hard rock private press albums came from the same time period, discovering something this ambitious and unusual is a real kick. Most of the time, it sounds like the world’s best exploito-jazz record, Herb Alpert filtered through Pink Floyd and Quiet Sun.” —Acid Archives
File Under: Prog, Jazz, Psych, Rock
J Rider: No Longer Anonymous (Machu Picchu) CD
Vinyl soon! Hot on the heels of our ecstatically received reissue of Anonymous’ classic album “Inside the Shadow”, Machu Picchu Ltd. is thrilled to announce the reissue of their elusive and legendary follow-up. After the 1976 release of “Inside the Shadow”, the group decided to change their name to J Rider (after the second cut on the Anonymous LP) and pursued a similar rich vein of impeccable songwriting, but this time adding more hard rock to the mix, resulting in a fantastic sounding album that sadly went unreleased at the time. The excellent reissue label OR Records first unearthed the tapes and put out a small edition of LPs in 1996, and we are now very happy to present you with a new and deluxe edition of this gem, complete with new sleeve art. “Kiss Of Your Soul” and “Pike River” get our vote for two of the greatest songs ever written, and “One Sided Lover”, “High Roller” and “Sunday‘s Hero” each offer a heavier spin on the group’s Television-like interplay and compositional prowess. This record is highly recommended for everyone who enjoyed “Inside the Shadow”, and it also happens to come with an entire unreleased album of songs recorded by the group’s visionary songwriter Ron Matelic! That’s right, ten bonus tracks of previously unheard songs recorded in the 1990s, featuring most of the members of Anonymous; a lost LP, if you like, and a fascinating complement to the Anonymous and J Rider albums.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Shindig #43 Mag
Overview: The Prisoners: England’s ’80s shining lights who bridged garage band snarl with mod cool. Dana Gillespie: ’60s folkie and one-time Bowie girlfriend turned blues belter returns with new album. Neighb’rhood Childr’n: Cult girl-led San Francisco act that should’ve followed Jefferson Airplane to success. Foxygen: And Star Power. Stark! Raving! Bonkers! 2014 style. The future? Plus Scott Fagan, Alan David Eastwood, Lola Colt and much more!
File Under: Magazines
Silver Birch: s/t (Granadilla) LP
Remastered! This cutie actually should be one of the crown jewels of British folk music from the early 1970s, but as things sometimes happen, the greatest art often gets its deserved praise not before the second spring. This is the case with Silver Birch, a group which is still active in a different incarnation up to today. Their only album from 1973 was a beautiful affair with clearly-structured folk tunes, mostly traditionals, based on haunting vocal arrangements and an all acoustic but very rich instrumentation with fiddle, acoustic guitars, harmonium, tambourine and bells for the rhythms, and mandolin, weaving a fine-meshed lattice of melodies on which the enchanting vocals can find a solid footing. Close your eyes while you take a listen and take a journey to the royal courts of King Arthur to the smoky pubs where the peasants celebrate their joy of life. Silver Birch prove their dedication to this music with their vivid, passionate, and often steaming performance, even in the most fragile moments. A grand piece of classic, song-driven folk music that is highly recommended to everybody who loves acts such as Mellow Candle, Dulcimer or the great late Gwydion Pendderwen.
File Under: Folk
Sylvie Simmons: Sylvie (Light in the Attic) CD
“Light In The Attic has an impeccable reputation for uncovering rare and precious albums from the past. Their latest release, Sylvie, is haunting and out-of-time–but it is also a brand-new, original debut album, by a singer-writer who has been making music since she was a little girl but just for herself. Like Devendra Banhart says, Sylvie is ‘a gem of an album, fragile and fearless, direct and poetic, timeless and absolutely beautiful. Like Rosalie Sorrels meets the Only Ones.’ Or Isobel Campbell on a lost desert night, maybe, with only the moon and a ukulele for company. The raw, delicate, and sensual songs about love and love gone wrong are performed on a ukulele, which here sounds like a broken harp or a heartbroken guitar. ‘I’d always thought of the uke as a toy, a little handful of happiness,’ says Sylvie, ‘but not any more. My first ukulele–in fact all my ukuleles–came to me by accident, under strange circumstances usually involving mysterious, vanishing men. From the moment I picked it up, I fell in love. A uke has a sad, fractured sweetness and a modesty. It doesn’t try to impress you, it almost apologizes for being there. The notes are like feathers; you play them and they’re blown away in a second. And yet these songs kept coming through this tiny instrument with all their heartbreak and truth intact.'”
File Under: Folk, SSW
Slovenska Gruda: Pesmi (Atlantide) LP
Originally released in 1983 in former Yugoslavia, this album is a truly undiscovered gem of ethereal folk music. Pesmi combines the old traditional melodies of Eastern Europe and the Balkan States area with the lush and enchanting instrumentation of late ’60s and early ’70s folk with elements of progressive folk and singer/songwriter music from England and the USA. This results in a highly-mystifying and still easily folksy piece of exclusively acoustically instrumented music with haunting female vocals that seduce you with lyrics in their native tongue. Pesmi reminds of well-known artists like Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Gryphon, Fairport Convention, and even Simon & Garfunkel, just with this very unique Eastern flavor and bigger emotional gestures in the melodies. An utterly picturesque musical experience.
File Under: Folk, Balkan
Sound Ceremony: Guitar Star (One Kind Favor) LP
“First time vinyl reissue of the Outsider, Real People, proto-punk fuzz of Ron Warren Ganderton’s debut under the Sound Ceremony name, Guitar Star, replete with more mellow modes than later offerings. During the late 1970s multi-instrumentalist Ganderton (guitar, harmonica, keyboards and piano) along with a rotating cast of accompanists (including future members of the Pretenders, late period progressive rockers Quasar, and Subway Sect) created a hard to narrowly define, small catalog of sounds praised by private-press hunters, esoteric appreciators and ‘out of time’ searchers. Ganderton’s output holds echoes of monotone mavens like proto-punks Jonathan Richman and Lou Reed, similarities to cult-raved acts such as Armand Schaubroeck and Kenneth Higney, and carries a loose influence of the ‘talking blues’ tradition while maintaining a uniqueness and singularity laced with ’60s fuzz, primitive and skittering rhythms, and alternately confrontational and heart-on-sleeve topicality — thusly eking out its own sonic territory with a population of one. To put it down succinctly, just like a period advertisement did, Ron Warren Ganderton is, ‘One of rock’s individuals.’ Insert with detailed liner notes from Jeremy Cargill (Ugly Things / Got Kinda Lost), plus rare photos.”
File Under: Proto Punk, Fuzz, Private Press
Springintgut/FS Blumm: The Bird & White Noise (Pingipung) LP
Originally, all they wanted was to record one mutual track for the Japan tour in spring 2014. On this tour, Springintgut and F.S. Blumm would present their recent solo records in nine cities in Japan, and one duo track couldn’t hurt for an encore. These duo compositions came off surprisingly easy, and in a breath, there were 17 tracks instead of one. Keeping in mind that both solo albums have been six years in the making, the recording of The Bird and White Noise within two months is extraordinary. It’s a proof of the compatibility of Springintgut’s cello and F.S. Blumm’s acoustic guitar, both played through their individual electronic systems. They create dense structures filled with their particular sounds of acoustic instrument processing. The melodic sessions are woven with numerous field recordings from the artists’ concert tours to India, Japan, and Italy. The record’s fundament are slow, powerful beats which hold everything together Springintgut was responsible for the studio production at most times while F.S. Blumm, experienced for years in making radio plays, handled the mixing and collaging of the parts. The Bird and White Noise invites you to join the travels, and in its long arches and bridges it can easily be listened to as a whole. While the opener or “Eskimono” feature the rather lyrical side of the duo, tracks like “Land Ab Neu” or “Chitin” set more punchy priorities to a heavy bass and 808 drums. “Chitin” is a late climax of the album, building up for minutes to a massive groove in an insect-like, abstract sound world, leaving just enough space for romantic cello lines to break through in the middle.
File Under: Electronic
Supersilent: 11 (Rune Grammofon) CD
CD version — previously only available on vinyl. In 2007 Supersilent celebrated 10 years as a groundbreaking quartet with their first studio album in almost 5 years. As with Supersilent 6, Supersilent 8 was recorded during a five-day studio session in Athletic Sound in Halden, Norway, the all-analog facility where other great-sounding Rune Grammofon albums like Supersilent 1-3, Scorch Trio, Luggumt and Raus Aus Stavanger were recorded. From the monumental hardcore blizzard storm of 1-3 to the elegant electro-jazz of 4 and from the quiet soundscapes of 5 to the epic 6, Supersilent yet again re-invented themselves with 8, an album that to a certain degree explored more abstract and mysterious pathways beyond categories and comparisons. In fact, these sessions turned out to be so fruitful that producer Deathprod finished five hours of music and at one point considered making it another triple CD. In the end, 68 minutes ended up on Supersilent 8, but it was always understood that more of the excellent music that didn’t make it to the final cut would appear in one way or another at a later time, and indeed, here it is as 11. This was also Jarle Vespestad’s final studio session. Since the very beginning, Supersilent have always moved forward with the greatest integrity. Supersilent music is collective work, total group improvising, and not a matter of individual grandstanding. They never rehearse as a group and don’t discuss the music with each other, meeting only to play concerts or to record. Every recording and every concert is a unique occasion, not to be repeated, and their music lives in a no-man’s-land between the genres, somewhere between rock, electronica, jazz and modern composition. It can sometimes appear to be written or at least arranged, again making it clear that these musicians communicate on a high, almost telepathic level. Supersilent was formed in Oslo in 1997 after producer, musician and sound artist Helge Sten approached improvising trio Veslefrekk with the idea of forming a new quartet. The first time they played together was a concert at Bergen Jazz Festival the same year. Their first album, the triple set 1-3 was released in late ’97, also being the first release on Rune Grammofon. Members include: Helge Sten (audio virus, electric guitar), Ståle Storløkken (synthesizers, keyboards), Arve Henriksen (trumpet, voice, electronics), and Jarle Vespestad (drums).
File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Experimental, Improv
Ryan Teague: Block Bound (Village Green) LP
Block Boundaries is the new album from minimalist composer Ryan Teague building on his previous releases for Type, Sonic Pieces and current label Village Green. Inspired by the theme of psychogeography, the record fuses acoustic instrumentation with electronic and processed material, taking the listener on a hallucinogenic Ballard-ian journey through from the thrumming urban activity of New York, Amsterdam and London. Brooding opener “Site & Situation” sets the tone with hypnotic guitar and mallet chimes, emotive cello swells and surging bass synth, “Last Known Position” comes on like a lost Tangerine Dream jam session, spiraling arpeggios and oscillating pulses, while “Liminal Space” introduces driving percussion around mesmeric synth pulses and a shimmering piano progression. Closer “End of the Line” brings the journey to an end in an introspective mood — a wavering synth figure cut against wistful drone washes that fade into the distance. Block Boundaries is a masterful achievement of melody, form and texture that rewards more with every captivated listen and will assuredly secure Ryan Teague’s place alongside his acclaimed contemporaries such as Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, Emeralds and Hauschka.
File Under: Electronic, Modern Classical
Truth & Janey: Erupts! (Lion) LP
“Raw crushing live recordings from 1976 by one of the Midwest’s heaviest power trios of all time!!! The live recordings featured on Erupts! were originally released posthumously in the early 90s on a long out of print double album. It was also previously released by Rockadrome on compact disc minus a few tracks, now it’s back, re-mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Saint Vitus, Stoneaxe) and in its entirety. Now you can once again drop the needle and hear Billylee Janey plug in his ’64 Gibson Firebird, power up his Marshall stacks, flip on his Echoplex and Univibe and take you on a journey back to 70s heavy rock nirvana. Steve Bock is there too, pumping out wicked Bruce/Bogert styled bass thump, along with Denis Bunce, holding it all together with his heavy handed skin work. It all adds up to one sweet trip back in time to a hazy nightclub in 1976 with Truth and Janey lighting the place on fire! Re-designed for the Vintage label with colorized artwork; including an 11×17 poster.”
File Under: Hard Rock
Velvet Underground: Boston Tea Party ’68 (Keyhole) LP
Double LP edition, pressed on 180 gram vinyl. 1968 was a tumultuous year for The Velvet Underground, with the departure of John Cale, the addition of Doug Yule, a grueling touring schedule and considerable musical transition. Supported by the MC5, the quartet played their final shows of the year at the Boston Tea Party, which Lou Reed once described as his favorite place to play. This legendary live recording finds them playing reworked versions of early classics as well as several songs that would appear on their forthcoming third album, and two tracks that went unreleased in their lifetime. It’s presented here together with background notes and photographs. Remastered sound.
Velvet Underground: Boston Tea Party ’69 (Keyhole) LP
Double LP version, pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Coinciding with the March 1969 release of their third album, The Velvet Underground played three nights at the Boston Tea Party, which Lou Reed once described as his favorite place to perform. By that timeDoug Yule was well-established as an important contributor to the band, and their set confidently reworks some confrontational early classics as well as incorporating some glorious ballads. Their March 13th set is presented here together with background notes and photographs. Remastered sound.
File Under: Live VU, Psych
Fred Wesley & The J.B.s: Damn Right, I Am Somebody (Get On Down) LP
“In 1974 one of James Brown’s most important band-leaders and sidemen — trombonist Fred Wesley would release not one but two albums as a leader including Damn Right, I Am Somebody. Starting with an evocative cover it was clear to fans that this album wasn’t all about a party. Deep messages abound in the songs here, such as the nearly 10-minute workout ‘I’m Paying Taxes, But What Am I Buying.’ Social messages aside, Fred and his assembled JBs were a party-moving funk machine at heart, as heard on ‘If You Don’t Get It The First Time, Back Up And Try It Again Paarty’ and the laid-back groove of ‘Same Beat’ (with prototypical sampling of Jesse Jackson exhorting an audience to chant ‘I am / Somebody’). Nestled among these raise-your-fist classics is one of the most experimental funk cut ever made: ‘Blow Your Head,’ known to relatively modern listeners as the backbone of Public Enemy’s ‘Public Enemy #1’ (from 1987). Get On Down pays reverent tribute to this classic by pressing it on 150-gram vinyl, housed in a 1970s style Stoughton jacket in an 8-gauge custom polybag emblazoned with an embossed People Records logo. In addition, the package comes with a 22″ x 22″ poster featuring the original cover art, as well as a 7-inch flexidisc of the rare ‘Unrubbed Version’ (without Moog) of Fred Wesley & The JBs’ 1973 single ‘Blow Your Head.’ This version was only available previously on 2000’s James Brown’s Funky People Part 3 compilation.”
File Under: Funk, James Brown
Bugge Wesseltoft, Henrik Schwarz & Dan Berglund: Trialoge (Sunday Music) LP
Limited version, features a frontside hand-printed with linoleum stamp, numbered. Sunday Music goes deeper and deeper with this fantastic album release. It reflects the love of label owner Henrik Schwarz for jazz, contemporary, and chamber music. When Norwegian electro-jazz pioneer Bugge Wesseltoft and German house producer Henrik Schwarz produced their collaboration Duo, it was clear that their synergy was both unique within, and revitalizing to, the whole genre of electro-acoustic beat-based improvisation. Now the duo becomes a trio, and the dialogue becomes a Trialogue. Indie/jazz bassist Dan Berglund brings additional dimensions and a whole new range of songwriter possibilities, a completely new layer of sound with tastefully-chosen electronic, rhythmic patterns and drums, virtuosic piano-playing, analog synthesizers, and thumping double bass lines. Subtle but high energy walks through your speakers. Moments of quasi-ambient atmosphere sit alongside driving, energetic swathes of blues-inflected jamming from the future, near-metallic semi-sinister meteor storms of sound rest easily beside moments of classic jazz noire, and there is a marked assimilation of classical chamber sensibilities. This is a thoroughly post-postmodernist soundworld. What the listener will recognize instantly is, simply put, great music. Line-up: Bugge Wesseltoft (grand piano), (synthesizers), (percussion); Henrik Schwarz (computer), (small percussion); Dan Berglund (double bass). Features musicians from the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
File Under: Jazz, Electro-Jazz
Different Everytime 1: Ex-Machina
Different Everytime 2: Benign Dictatorship
Domino Records is proud to release Different Every Time, a new compilation album of the works of Robert Wyatt. Curated by Robert together with Domino and biographer Marcus O’Dair, the double album features LP 1&2 – Ex Machina, the ideal introduction for the Wyatt novice, compiling tracks from Robert’s entire career to date and acting as a companion to O’Dair’s new biography, also titled Different Every Time. LP 3&4 bring together the best of Robert’s collaborations and guest appearances, or, as Robert has it, Benign Dictatorships, including some very special oddities and rarities available here for the very first time. Starting out as a drummer for Soft Machine, sharing bills with Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, Robert Wyatt blended Bohemian and jazz and brought it to the ’60s rock scene. Focusing on singing and songwriting, he embarked on a unique solo career which earned him a loyal European following. Admired by his peers and with a career spanning five decades, he has collaborated with Bjork, John Cage, Brian Eno, Scritti Politti, David Gilmour and Hot Chip to name but a few, many of which show up on Different Every Time. Both volumes are double LP sets on 180 gram vinyl in gatefold sleeves with MP3 download codes.
File Under: Psych, Prog, Soft Machine
Various: Lead Kindly Light: Pre-War Music & Photographs from the American South (Dust-to-Digital) 2CD+Book
What happens when a 78 collector marries a collector of antique photographs? Lead Kindly Light: recordings of rural Southern music: old time, string band music from Appalachia, extremely rare country blues and African American gospel singing from 1924-1939. A portrait of the rural American South between the dawn of the twentieth century and World War II, Lead Kindly Light brings together two CDs of traditional music from early phonograph records and a fine hardcover book of never-before-published vernacular photography. North Carolina collectors Peter Honig and Sarah Bryan have spent years combing backroads, from deep in the Appalachian mountains to the cotton and tobacco lowlands, in search of the evocative music and images of the pre-War South. The music of Lead Kindly Light presents outstanding lesser-known recordings by early stars of recorded country music, as well as rarely- and never-reissued treasures by obscure country, blues, and gospel artists. The photographs, mainly images of the rural and small-town South, are richly textured depictions of family life, work, and fun, and the often accidental beauty of the vernacular snapshot. 159 photographs from the collection of Sarah Bryan reproduced in full color. 46 audio recordings from the 78 RPM record collection of Peter Honig. 176-page hardcover book with 2 CDs. 8.5 inches x 6.5 inches. Debossed and tip-on cover.
File Under: Blues, Gospel
Various: Nippon Girls 2 (Kent) LP
Few guessed it would become one of our top sellers of recent years, but that’s exactly what happened to “Nippon Girls”. With that in mind, we’ve commissioned international girl-pop authority Sheila Burgel to compile a follow-up volume. Former Tokyo resident Sheila also provides the notes, which expertly guide us through our second journey into the wild world of female pop and beat, Japanese style. The collection is available in 24-track CD and 12-track 180g red vinyl LP formats. The CD’s 20-page booklet and the LP’s heavy-duty gatefold jacket are sumptuously illustrated with rare items from Sheila’s collection. Leaving no stone unturned on her quest for groovy sounds, the LP version alone includes compelling tracks by Kayoko Ishuu, Reiko Mari, Mari Henmi, Katsuko Kanai, Akiko Wada, Akiko Nakamura, Kemeko Matsudaira, the Peanuts, Kazumi Yasui and cover girl Chiyo Okumura, none of whom featured on the first volume.
File Under: Garage, Pop, Yeh Yeh
Various: Parchman Farm: Photographs & Field Recordings (Dust-to-Digital) Book+2CD
In 1947, ’48 and ’59, renowned folklorist Alan Lomax went behind the barbed wire into the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck — and, in 1959, a camera — Lomax documented as best an outsider could the stark and savage conditions of the prison farm, where the black inmates labored “from can’t to can’t,” chopping timber, clearing ground, and picking cotton for the state. They sang as they worked, keeping time with axes or hoes, adapting to their condition the slavery-time hollers that sustained their forbears and creating a new body of American song. Theirs was music, as Lomax wrote, that “testified to the love of truth and beauty which is a universal human trait.” “A few strands of wire were all that separated the prison from adjoining plantations. Only the sight of an occasional armed guard or a barred window in one of the frame dormitories made one realize that this was a prison. The land produced the same crop; there was the same work for blacks to do on both sides of the fence. And there was no Delta black who was not aware of how easy it was for him to find himself on the wrong side of those few strands of barbed wire … These songs are a vivid reminder of a system of social control and forced labor that has endured in the South for centuries, and I do not believe that the pattern of Southern life can be fundamentally reshaped until what lies behind these roaring, ironic choruses is understood.” –Alan Lomax, 1958 “Black prisoners in all the Southern agricultural prisons in the years of these recordings participated in two distinct musical traditions: free world (the blues, hollers, spirituals and other songs they sang outside and, when the situation permitted, sang inside as well) and the work-songs, which were specific to the prison situation, and the recordings in this album represent that complete range of material, which is one of the reasons this set is so important: it doesn’t just show this or that tradition within Parchman, but the range of musical traditions performed by black prisoners. I know of no other album that does that.” –Bruce Jackson, 2013 124-page hardcover book with 2 CDs. 6.25 inches x 9.5 inches (landscape). Includes slipcase and foil stamping. 44 audio recordings, 12 previously-unreleased, all newly remastered; 77 photographs, many published here for the first time; Essays by Alan Lomax, Anna Lomax Wood, and Bruce Jackson. Produced by Lance Ledbetter, founder of Dust-to-Digital, and Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive.
File Under: Blues, Field Recordings
Various: Poco Loco In The Coco Vol. 3 (University of Vice) LP
University Of Vice presents the third volume of the craziest compilation of music from all over the world. This comp collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the ’50s and ’60s. A brilliant and bonkers concoction of exotica and international nonsense novelties. If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out yer Las Vegas grind and jungle exotica records, then this is for you and will liven up any party. Lurch-eriffic tropical crazes and totally daffy mix-n-match foreign language tracks that’ll make your eyes and ears pop just like corn. Long live the University Of Vice. Artists include: David Melanio, Joe Quijano, Doc & Les 6 Jets, The Goyo’s Cats, Sonny Scott, Tito Benito, The Warriors, Carl Stevens, Caney Orchestra, Chino Herrera, Comparsa De La Laguna, Eddie Kochak, The Mogambo’s, and The Journeymen.
File Under: Exotica
Various: Sly’s Stone Flower (Light in the Attic) LP
Double LP version, housed in a gatefold “tip-on” jacket. “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. 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
A Winged Victory For The Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP
Belle & Sebastian: Boy With The Arab Strap (Matador) LP
Black Flag: Damage (SST) LP
Causa Sui: Pewt’r 1-2 (El Paradiso) LP
Causa Sui: Euporie (El Paradiso) LP
Causa Sui: Pewt’r 3 (El Paradiso) LP
Causa Sui: Live Freak Valley (El Paradiso) LP
Channel 1: Satta Dub (Deeper Knowledge) LP
Channel 1: Full Charge Dub (Deeper Knowledge) LP
Bobby Charles: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Karen Dalton: 1966 (Delmore) LP
Death Blues: Non-Fiction (Sige) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Drexciya: Neptune’s Lair (Tresor) LP
Aaron Dilloway/Jason Lescalleet: s/t (Pan) LP
Electric Wizard: Let Us Prey (Rise Above) LP
Ex Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Fennesz: Endless Summer (Editions Mego) LP
Lee Fields: Problems (Truth & Soul) LP
Function/Vatican Shadow: Games (Hospital) LP
George-Edwards Group: Chapter 3 (Drag City) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Lee Hazlewood: LHI Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Son House: Real Delta Blues (Blue Goose) LP
Son House/JD Short: Delta Blues (Folkways) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: Message (Get On Down) LP
Shin Joong Hyun: Beautiful Rivers & Mountains (Light in the Attic) LP
Skip James: Devil Got My Woman (Stardust) LP
Mark Lanegan: Has God Seen My Shadow (Light in the Attic) LP
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (Madlib) LP
Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before (Epic) LP
Morphine: Cure For Pain (Modern Classics) LP
Nico: The End (Music On Vinyl) LP
North of America: Elements of an Incomplete Map (NoYes) LP
OST: Halloween III (Death Waltz) LP
Plastic Cloud: s/t (Lion) LP
Psychic TV: Dreams Less Sweet (Angry Love) LP
Public Image LTD: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP
Ty Segall: Goodbye Bread (Drag City) LP
Shooting Guns: Brotherhood of the Ram (Riding Easy) LP
Temple of the Dog: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Unwound: Rat Conspiracy (Numero) LP
Unwound: No Energy (Numero) LP
White Stripes: De Stijl (Thirdman) LP
Young Holt Unlimited: Super Fly (Paula) LP
Various: Country Funk (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles (Numero) LP
Various: Heavenly Ethiopiques (Heavenly Sweetness) LP