Alrighty, finally a shipment has made here from the Boston area! So this week’s list is a monster. Unfortunately, it has kept me from the jazz records, but I’m still hoping to get some priced and put out late today or tomorrow.
…..picks of the week…..
Alessandro Alessandroni: Industrial (Dead-Cert) LP
Holy Grail territory here from Andy Votel and Demdike Stare’s mighty Dead-Cert imprint, who finally bring you this incredible album of previously unreleased industrial-themed recordings made in 1976 by experimental pioneer and Ennio Morricone cohort Alessandro Alessandroni. The concept itself is riveting enough — the guy who provided that infamous guitar riff for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) delivering utterly bent and synth-heavy recordings previously unheard by the wider world — but the material and execution is just nothing short of a revelation, unlocking an uncannily prescient suite of rhythmik pieces that sound completely dissimilar to much library music of the same era. Industrialperfectly encapsulates the heightened state of creativity in the mid ’70s surrounding Alessandroni and his close peers Giuliano Sorgini — together known as Braen Raskovich — and Morricone, for whom Alessandro also famously whistled the theme to A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Recorded at Piero Umiliani’s Sound Workshop in Rome, and made with an arsenal of EMS Synthi VCS3 modular systems, tape loops, and a treated Petrof grand piano, plus a bundle of string instruments, the industrial results (coincidentally issued the same year as Throbbing Gristle’s debut release) present a pulsating take on this kind of music, breaching tightly-coiled motorik systems and mood percolators with atonal strings and viral oscillations. Most importantly, the sense of minimalist efficiency and the clarity of the recordings are shocking, pushing the envelope of electro-acoustic music and pre-empting the early notions of an entire genre movement. Artwork by Anthony Shallcross. Liner notes by Shallcross, Jr., aka Andy Votel. Limited to 500 copies.
File Under: Library, Italian, OST
Sir Richard Bishop: Tangier Sessions (Drag City) LP
“The tone of the guitar and Sir Richard’s gentle, loving touch with it hold forth from the first moment ofTangier Sessions, sitting clear and true in the home-recorded night air above the city. The album sequence is the precise order of the songs as they were conceived and recorded. Rick’s all over the neck in the early going while sorting through the dynamics of the instrument — in fact, guitarophiles, the first couple of songs feature Sir Richard Bishop playing without a plectrum for the first time ever! Towards the end of the first side of Tangier Sessions, Sir Richard and guitar begin to chill out and cut loose in a different way — arriving in the moment that was imagined for them, they stretch out, finding themselves in open space with fewer changes. This is a place where a player like Sir Richard Bishop can relax while remaining totally focused and present, hearing what the guitar and he are capable of in real time. The discoveries of side one give way to the trilogy of songs that comprise the second side, and the issues presented by ‘Mirage’ are revisited from another angle, another spot on the map in ‘International Zone,’ leaving finally a sense of journey completed in the serene moments of ‘Let It Come Down.’ The narrative that builds as a function of this (noble)man-guitar dialogue gives Tangier Sessionsa visceral punch that makes for a singular listening experience, even in the crowded realm of solo acoustic guitar albums. Nobody plays the guitar like Sir Richard Bishop — and on Tangier Sessions, he’s found a guitar that nobody but him plays either.”
File Under: Guitar Soli, Sun City Girls
Affinity: s/t (Repertoire) LP
Gatefold, custom all round ‘vintage’ look, with matt laminated outer. Half speed mastering at the legendary Abbey Road studios from HD 24 bit audio. Our ’vintage‘ packages are bespoke and original, and perfectly replicate the LPs from the classic rock era, with exceptional scanning, detailed reproduction of artwork and printing to original specifications. This LP is faithfully replicated to look like it has survived the decades (only with a newly remastered crackle-free LP within!) Affinity was one of several brilliant British jazz rock groups that emerged in the early Seventies. It was formed by former students from the science department at Sussex University, including Grant Serpell (drums) and Lynton Naiff (piano). They recruited singer Linda Hoyle and were managed by jazz club proprietor Ronnie Scott, who was impressed by their refreshing approach. A later member of the band was renowned bass guitarist Mo Foster. ‘Affinity’ was their only album, first released by Vertigo in 1970. Comprising such numbers as ‘I Am And So Are You’, ‘Night Flight’ and ‘All Along The Watchtower’, the group’s blend of rock and fusion jazz retains its refreshing appeal and Linda Hoyle is a distinctive singer, whose work is now gaining greater recognition and respect.
File Under: Jazz Rock, Psych, Vertigo
Oren Ambarchi/Jim O’Rourke: Behold (Editions Mego) LP
Behold is the second collaborative release from Oren Ambarchi and Jim O’Rourke following the 2011 LP Indeed. Ambarchi and O’Rourke seamlessly blend field recordings, electronics, guitar, drums, and other acoustic instruments into a subtle combination of krautrock, minimalism, and classic free flowing electronics. Side A takes the listener into the Fourth World adventures pioneered by Jon Hassell on Fourth World Music Vol. I: Possible Musics, while the flip seems like an unlikely pairing of krautrock aesthetics and the slow, building, repetitive structures of The Necks. This is sharp, focused contemporary music, with minimalist motifs meeting maximalist tendencies. Behold is another landmark recording made by two of the most enthusiastic experimental explorers active today. Oren Ambarchi: guitar, drums, etc.; Jim O’Rourke: synth, piano, etc. Recorded and mixed at Steamroom, Tokyo in 2012 and ’13. Additional recording at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo on January 26, 2012, byMasahide Ando and at Chinatown, Melbourne by Joe Talia. Cut byChristoph Grote-Beverborg at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin in August 2013. Photography by Shunichiro Okada.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Oren Ambarchi: Quixotism (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego presents the vinyl edition of Oren Ambarchi’s Quixotism, a five-part piece recorded over two years with a multitude of collaborators in Europe, Japan, Australia, and the USA and released on CD in 2014. Furthuring Ambarchi’s interest in combining abstract sonic textures with rhythm and pulse (apparent in his drumming with Keiji Haino, the subtly driving ride cymbals of collaborator Joe Talia, and the motorik grooves of 2012’s Sagittarian Domain), Quixotism’s 47 minutes rest on Thomas Brinkmann’s foundation of pulsing electronic percussion. Beginning as almost subliminal propulsion behind cavernous orchestral textures and John Tilbury’s delicate piano interjections, the percussive elements (elaborated on by Ambarchi and Matt Chamberlain) slowly inch into the foreground of the piece before suddenly breaking out into a polyrhythmic shuffle around the halfway mark, joined by tabla master U-zhaan for the piece’s final, beautiful passages. The pulse acts as a thread leading the listener though a heterogeneous variety of acoustic spaces, from the concert hall in which the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra were recorded to the intimacy of Crys Cole’s contact mic textures. Ambarchi’s guitar itself ranges over this wide variety of acoustic spaces, from airless, clipped tones to swirling, reverberated fog. Within the complex web Ambarchi spins over the piece’s steadily pulsing foundation, elements approach and recede, appear and reappear in a non-linear fashion, even as the piece plots an overall course from the gray, almost Nono-esque reverberated space of its opening section to the crisp foreground presence of Jim O’Rourke’s synth andEvyind Kang’s strings in its final moments. Formally indebted to the side-long workouts of classic Cologne techno, the long-form works of composers such as Eliane Radigue, and the organic push and pull of improvised performance, Quixotism, in a kind of dream-logic, moves with nearly imperceptible transitions through its sonic diversity. Though it is shaped by its many contributors, the resulting sound world is unmistakably Ambarchi’s own, and the summation of his career thus far. Played by Oren Ambarchi (guitars and percussion), Thomas Brinkmann (computable drums with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem), Matt Chamberlain (drums and electronics, Parts 3 & 4), Crys Cole (contact mics and brushes, Part 4), Eyvind Kang (bowed gender, Part 1 and violas, Part 5), Jim O’Rourke (synths, Parts 4 and 5), John Tilbury (piano, Parts 1 & 2), U-zhaan (tabla, Part 5), and Ilan Volkov & the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra (Parts 1 & 3).
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Oren Ambarchi/Jim O’Rourke/Keiji Haino: Tea Time (Black Truffle) LP
“At this point, it can justifiably be said that Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi have become one of the leading groups in experimental music. This, their sixth release, presents the entire second set of the trio’s March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the first set is available on Black Truffle as Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen). While the first set of the evening saw the trio branching out into new instrumental configurations, here they return to their signature line-up of guitar, bass and drums. The LP begins abruptly, with one of the finest performances by the trio captured on record thus far already in full swing. Throughout the course of this 12-minute piece, O’Rourke and Ambarchi lay down a thudding, meterless pulse, the impossible midway point of Milford Graves and motorik Krautrock, over which Haino unfurls a number of distinct strategies developed in his work since the 1980s: formless blurs of reverb-drenched guitar noise, looped pointillist fragments and wandering, dissonant lines obscured in clouds of distortion. Continuing Haino’s habit of naming albums with phrases that seem to obliquely comment on the music they contain, it could definitely be said that this is music made by three people ‘determined to completely exhaust every bit of this body they’ve been given.’ Showing the trio at new heights, this track carries on in the spirit of some of Haino’s greatest work: music made with the ingredients of rock that somehow manages to sidestep all of its forms and traditions while retaining and amplifying its fundamental power. If this track alone lays to rest concerns about whether the trio has exhausted the guitar/bass/drums format, the remainder of the record serves as a demonstration of the multitude of possibilities still available for their continued exploration. The three are now so in-tune with one another that almost anything can be integrated into their improvisations: in the slow-burning second piece, O’Rourke’s heavily effected bass wanders from anti-music thuds to an almost funky passage with Ambarchi sounding not unlike Buddy Miles circa Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys — it bespeaks the hours of listening to fusion and classic rock that continue to form an important part of O’Rourke and Ambarchi’s musical personalities. The final piece is a continuous side-long performance that moves through a number of discrete episodes, from vocal and flute solos by Haino delicately accompanied by O’Rourke’s sparse bass and Ambarchi’s sizzling cymbals, to a final stumbling dirge over which Haino unleashes a stunning torrent of in-the-red guitar skree.” –Francis Plagne; Design by Stephen O’Malleywith high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug.
File Under: Fushitsusha, Japanese Psych, Drone
Shinichi Atobe: Butterfly Effect (Demdike Stare) LP
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, 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? Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Basic Channel
James Blackshaw: Apologia (Bladud Flies) LP
Apologia is the first solo guitar recording by James Blackshaw, which he self-released in 2003 on CD-R in an edition of 30. Bladud Flies! now presents a limited vinyl edition of 500 copies. “Apologia was written on a cheap Yamaha guitar with a ridiculously high action over the course a couple of months in 2002 and recorded in February 2003, a few months before I picked up a 12-string guitar for the first time and wrote and recorded my first release, Celeste. I’d just started fingerpicking and had gotten comfortable enough with some techniques to experiment with open tunings of my own devising and write my own compositions, which were at that time very inspired by the musicians I adored — John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and lots of old country blues players like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, and Reverend Gary Davis. I burned about 30 CD-Rs with homemade covers in jewel cases, gave most to friends and family and sold a few in the record shop I used to work in Soho. I felt for some time afterward like I was only just starting to find my own voice with Apologia — the songs are shorter and more straightforward and the cyclical structures and appreciation of drones and overtones really came to the fore later on, as did my appreciation of adding other instrumentation and experimenting with sounds generally. Plus, I wasn’t entirely happy with the sound of the recording (some small EQ changes and reverb was added for this edition) and let’s just say the situation in the studio was far from ideal, but that’s another story. For that reason, I never chose to reissue Apologia. Now, almost 12 years later, I’m hearing them in a different way, realizing the songs’ charms rather than simply concentrating on the flaws. It doesn’t sound quite like anything I’ve ever done since and there’s a simplicity and raw energy about them that I’ve grown to appreciate. It’s an interesting snapshot of where I was then and how things have changed. It is an absolute pleasure for me to work with Bladud Flies! to release Apologia as a limited edition LP now — something I would never have dreamed of back in 2003.” –James Blackshaw
File Under: Guitar Soli
David Borden: Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments (Spectrum Spools) LP
David Borden, born Christmas Day, 1938, in Boston, Massachusetts, is an American minimalist composer and electronic music pioneer. He was one of the first people to beta test Bob Moog’s modular synthesizer systems. His Earthquack Records imprint inspired Mimi Johnson to found the legendary Lovely Music, Ltd. with Robert Ashley. He formed the first all-synthesizer ensemble, Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Company, in 1969. If there were ever a missing link in American minimalism, Borden is it. Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments is his masterpiece, released in 1981 to little fanfare on the now-defunct Dutch label Red Records. As its reputation has grown, most listeners have had to settle for compressed YouTube clips and poor vinyl-to-digital transfers, with original copies increasingly rare and expensive. Now, 34 years after its original release, Spectrum Spools presents the first reissue of Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments, after recovering in Borden’s private archives the only known safety master. Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments contains four pieces, each utilizing three players and six keyboard instruments. “Etsy Point, Summer 1978” begins with a mournful, ominous mood and slowly blossoms into an immense, humid labyrinth of colorful, buzzing textures and howling melodies. “The Continuing Story of Counterpoint” is a 12-part cycle for synthesizers, acoustic instruments, and voice, upon which Borden labored for over 11 years. Parts nine and six, included here, are miraculous achievements in prodigious playing technique, remarkable mosaic-like structure, and aural magnitude, operating in the relative terrain of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Terry Riley’s Dervishes pieces. The “Counterpoint” pieces here are rigidly arranged with breakneck key changes and intricate time signature maneuvering. The resulting audio conjures kaleidoscopic patterns of beautiful melodies and compositional anatomy unparalleled in much of American minimalism. “Enfield in Winter” displays some of Borden’s more ambient leanings, with slow, morphing drones and gentle pad sounds that erupt into shimmering patterns backed by a grandiose chord progression. Music for Amplified Keyboards represents a veritable zenith in Borden’s corpus; a radiant achievement in sonic elegance, experimentation, and ambitious composition technique, and a work of the highest archival significance. Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments was remastered with love and transparency by Giuseppe Tillieci at Eniss Lab, Rome. These newly remastered works are superior to the original vinyl master, giving the world a chance to hear this remarkable work in the highest possible fidelity across multiple formats. Includes extensive liner notes and photos by Borden.
File Under: Early Electronic, Synths, Moog, Ambient
Carter Tutti: Play Chris & Cosey (CTI) LP
Double LP version, includes all five tracks from the limited CD Remix Chris & Cosey (CTI RSDUK01, 2014). Reinterpretations and re-workings of classic Chris & Cosey songs from the 1980s and 1990s. The idea for the album originated from the pair’s much-requested live performances of Carter Tutti Plays Chris & Cosey, taking place in an unprecedented series of shows in the U.K., Europe, Scandinavia, and North America from 2011 through 2014. These dates in turn instigated so many requests for recordings of the live set that they were inspired to re-record this collection of reworked classic versions in their own Norfolk studio. Housed in a gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Experimental, Synth Pop
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Let Love In (Mute) LP
“Let Love In, the eighth studio album by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, was originally released in 1994. Their first full-length studio album in over two years, Let Love In preserves the same line-up (Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld, Conway Savage, Martyn Casey and Thomas Wydler) as established on its two immediate predecessors: Henry’s Dream (1992), the band’s troubled collaboration with producer David Briggs, and Live Seeds (1993), an interim concert compilation. “The novelty of recording in America with a “name” producer now long behind them, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds returned to familiar turf, choosing to conduct both demo and album sessions in their accustomed habitats of the UK and Australia. In September 1993, recording proper for Let Love In commenced at London’s Townhouse III Studios (formerly The Who’s Ramport studio, purpose-built for Quadrophenia), and the album was completed and mixed at Metropolis in Melbourne by the end of that same year. “Producer/engineer and long-time confederate Tony Cohen was reinstated to preside over the sessions, and a veritable “Who’s Who” array of Australian guest musicians were called in to lend a hand with the overdubs. Artwork depicting the lyric sheet-festooned area around the piano gives some indication of the obsessive mood permeating the sessions, which Nick ascribes at least in part to the massive amounts of amphetamine being consumed during the sessions.
File Under: Rock, NICK CAVE
Clap! Clap!: Tayi Bebba (Black Acre) LP
After storming the gates with his warmly-received Tambacounda EP, Clap! Clap! returns to Black Acre to deliver his debut album. Tayi Bebba is a conceptual work that manages to balance a highly cerebral concept with making some good old-fashioned bangers. Tayi Bebba is an album tour of an imagined island; each song representing a location, event or ritual. Sonically, it’s a fast-moving charge across the soundscape, fusing field recordings and found sound with incredibly surgical drum programming. Flavors of house, footwork and hip-hop punctuate your migration with a very specific sound palate, giving this amazing work a cohesive feel. Clap! Clap! is long-time jazz player Cristiano Crisci, also known in electronic circles as Digi G’Alessio. With cross-genre accolades and support spanning the globe, he is already established as one of Italy’s brightest talents. A multi-instrumentalist with a long history of collaborations with Crookers/Khalab/Kae, and more.
File Under: Electronic, Tribal, Juke
Jeff Cowell: Lucky Strikes & Liquid Gold (Numero) LP
Ten road-weary tales from the wrong side of outlaw country. Jeff Cowell may have huffed the same narcotic air as Townes Van Zandt and David Allan Coe, but hunkered far from the Nashville city limits, nary a Cash or Paycheck would drunkenly slur through his tunes. Recorded in 1975, Lucky Strikes and Liquid Gold is an isolated, backwoods loner epic, top-loaded with odes to hitch-hiking and rambling the crumbling Michigan countryside of Cowell’s hard-drinking youth. Previously available only out of the backs of borrowed cars, truck stops, campgrounds, and country-western bars between Algonac, Detroit, East Lansing, Cadillac, and Manistee, this LP now finds new life in similarly detached environs: the last remaining record stores.
File Under: Folk, Country
Carl Craig: More Songs About Food & Revolutionary Art (Rush Hour) LP
“revolutionary art is not determined by its avantgarde content; nor its formal or technical trickery, its interpretation of reality or its verisimilitude, but, rather, by how much it revolutionizes our thinking and imagination; overturning our preconceptions, bias and prejudice and inspiring us to change ourselves and the world” –Jeff Sawell’s text on the cover of More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art. Carl Craig’s 1997 album features such timeless highlights as “Televised Green Smoke,” which, after a short introduction, floats in on a haze, working through the classic blueprint of dance music — the gradual addition of layered, complementary elements — until it reaches a soft peak. “Red Lights” works a slow-grind breakbeat, cycling through the Paperclip People oscillator with strings in the background and an atmosphere reminiscent of The Godfather. “Dreamland” and “Butterfly” are closer to traditional Detroit productions, sharp and focused but rather melancholy; the former is a reach-out to the Britain-Detroit axis (As One, The Black Dog, B12), while the latter evokes the classic late ’80s productions of Craig’s friend Derrick May (who co-produced a later track on the album, “Frustration”). The Maurizio dub “Dominas” is nocturnal and unhurried, even despite the insistent beat and a female vocal sample repeating the title one word after another — it’s included here, though it was left off the original vinyl release. Another classic, “At Les,” balances a few gently cascading chords with a rhythm program that keeps pushing the track forward and faster. Planet E and Rush Hour now present a remastered reissue of this techno classic.
File Under: Electronic, Dance
Jordan De La Sierra: Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose (Numero) LP
Before New Age hit terra firms at the dawn of the 1980s, the classically-trained Bay Area composer Jordan De La Sierra’s consciousness soared with cosmic concepts. With cues and lessons from the great minimalists La Monte Young,Terry Riley, Pandit Pran Nath, and help from the venerable public radio program Hearts of Space, De La Sierra embarked on a journey in alternate tunings and resounding reverberations, transporting entranced listeners from the Golden Gates to the intergalactic. Take an interstellar ride on the sensory engulfing space piano with this lovingly recreated double LP set, complete with De La Sierra’s India-inspired visual artwork and musings on the tableau of space.
File Under: New Age, Minimalism, Ambient, Drone
Detail: First Detail (Rune Grammofon) LP+CD
If anybody deserves to be called a living legend in Norwegian free jazz it must surely be saxophone, flute, and clarinet player Frode Gjerstad. Since the late ’70s, he has been central on more than fifty records and played with a number of prominent free jazz musicians including Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Louis Moholo, Han Bennink, and Paal Nilssen-Love. Foreningen norske jazzmusikere named Gjerstad Jazz Musician of the Year in 1996, and the Norwegian Jazz Forum awarded him with the Buddyprisen in 2008. He founded Detail in 1981 with close friend Eivin One Pedersen (1956-2012) and legendary free jazz drummer and Spontaneous Music Ensemble founder John Stevens (1940-1994). The group became a quartet with the addition of bassist Johnny Dyani, and toured of Norway in March of 1982. They performed at the Molde International Jazz Festival in the summer and toured again in the fall. Pedersen left the group after the tour, and the remaining trio of Gjerstad, Stevens, and Dyani went straight to Stavanger and recorded Detail’s first two albums, Backwards and Forwards/Forwards and Backwards (1983) and Okhela «To Make a Fire» (1984). So the intended quartet never got to make a record, but some live recordings do exist. This recording of the first performance from the fall 1982 tour, at the Henie-Onstad Art Centre outside Oslo, captures not the full quartet, but a variation on the trio: Gjerstad, Pedersen, and Stevens, without Dyani, who couldn’t make it to the gig. The main reason for the delay in releasing this historic recording, according to Gjerstad, is that he couldn’t listen to it because there were too many feelings involved. After the tour, his close friend Pedersen suddenly left the group, Dyani died in 1986, then Stevens in 1994 and Pedersen in 2012. There was also some doubt about his own playing, but after finally listening to the tapes, he realized how good everything was. It’s almost unbelievable that Pedersen had just turned 26 at the time of this recording. Stevens is also incredible, quite different from what one might be used to from the Spontaneous Music Ensemble — more open, possibly. Gjerstad is, as always, himself. At a time when most Norwegian sax players wanted to be Jan Garbarek, Gjerstad followed his own nose. Frode Gjerstad: tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, alto flute; Eivin One Pedersen: piano and keyboards; John Stevens: drums.
File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz, Norway
Dinosaur Jr: Bug Live (Outer Battery) LP
“Reissue of ultra-limited 2012 vinyl-only release featuring Dinosaur Jr performing their classic album Bug in its entirety at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, June 2011. This is a beautiful recording, mastered exclusively for vinyl and packaged in a beautiful silkscreened sleeve featuring a Marq Spusta (Farm, Several Shades of Why) rendition of the original Bugcover art. Limited to 1000 copies.”
File Under: Rock, Live
Michael Francis Duch: Tomba Emmanuelle (Sofa) LP
Tomba Emmanuelle is Michael F. Duch’s second solo album for the double bass. It was recorded in May 2013 at the Emmanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo. The piece was commissioned by Ny Musikk Bergen in 2012. Whereas Duch’s solo debut Edges (3DB 010CD) focuses on the music of Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff and others, Tomba Emmanuelle explores different registers, timbres and acoustic effects of the instrument in relation to the room it is being performed in. The Vigeland Mausoleum is probably one of Northern Europe’s most unique concert venues, and highlights the acoustic phenomena that the piece is based on. Michael Francis Duch (b. 1978) is one of the foremost double bass-players on the Norwegian contemporary music scene. Since 2012 he has been associate professor at the Institute of Music, NTNU, Trondheim. He has established himself as a solid interpreter of Cornelius Cardew’s music, documented through releases with the trio Tilbury/Davies/Duch. The album Cornelius Cardew: Works 1960-70 was included on The Wire’s list of best releases in 2010.
File Under: Minimalism, Experimental, Avant Garde
Flashback #6 Mag
Issue #6 of Flashback, Winter 2014. Edited by Richard Morton Jack (co-founder of Sunbeam Records and editor of the Galactic Ramble and Endless Trip books), it features writing from some of the world’s leading pop music authorities. In this issue:Sam Gopal: The full story of the British underground enigma. Despite recording frustratingly little, this groundbreaking Malaysian tabla virtuoso had a powerful impact on London’s late ’60s underground rock scene. Richard Morton Jack tells his remarkable tale in full for the first time. Jukebox: Cathedral’s Lee Dorrian on 12 tracks that have inspired him. Album By Album: The renowned producer and bassist Tony Reeves revisits several of his productions and performances. TeenSet: The story behind this pioneering 1960s American rock magazine. First Person: The reclusive singer-songwriter Bill Fay offers some rare insights into his unique music. Aardvark: At long last, the taxonomy of this elusive British progressive beast. The David: The remarkable tale of these precocious Californian teens. Margo Guryan: A detailed interview with the singer-songwriter behind 1968’s wondrous Take a Picture album. James Williamson: An in-depth audience with the legendaryStooges guitarist. Jimmy Page: His fullest ever interview about The Yardbirds, unseen since early 1969. International Albums: Forty intriguing LPs from the furthest reaches of the rock world. Spinal Tap: A rare reprint of Polymer Records’ 1984 Smell the Glovepress kit. Crying to Be Heard: Dick Hamilton’s sole album — the most enjoyable Dylan imitation of the 1960s. Reviews: Thorough coverage of recent CDs, LPs, and books, taking in household names (Bob Dylan,George Harrison, Small Faces), cult heroes (The Artwoods, Soft Machine, Marc Brierley), and ultra-obscurities (Min Bul, Tickawinda, Hot Knives), with exclusive Q&As about certain items under review.
File Under: Reading
Ghostface Killah: 36 Seasons (Salvation) LP
“On 36 Seasons Ghostface once again delivers exactly what the hardcore Wu-fans crave: desperate tales from the dark side over soulful boom-bap tracks. The soundscape is provided The Revelations [Brooklyn’s acclaimed soul band/production team]. Their hard-hitting tracks match the intensity of Ghost’s violent narrative. His co-stars on 36 Seasons are legendary lyricists and storytellers in their own right, 3 of the greatest of all-time: AZ, Kool G Rap and Pharoahe Monch. The album also features vocal contributions from Blue Note Records’ rising star Kandace Springs and gritty soul singers Rell and Tre Williams.”
File Under: Hip Hop, Rap, Wu-Tang
Gnod/White Hills: Drop Out II (Rocket) LP
Rocket Recordings are pleased to announce the reissue of the now highly sought-after 2010 double LP Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II. This reissue comes packaged in different artwork from the original release. Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II is the first official collaboration between two of the most colossal cosmic manglers on the planet, that of astral rejecters Gnod (Manchester, UK) and space-rock juggernauts White Hills (New York). Hot on the heels of their Not Not Fun sold out release, as well as countless self-unleashed CD-Rs and various indie label alliances, Gnod have been stirring their galactic soup of flashbacked rituals with unpredictable, incendiary results, both on record and as a live experience. Having them join forces with White Hills for this record is akin to having the aural equivalent of those 3D magic eye stereograms — looked at in one way, they just don’t make sense, but seen through the repetition of the music, the result is out of this world. Since White Hills’ last outing with Rocket Recordings on the Collisions split withThe Heads in 2009, the band have successfully released their debut album for Thrill Jockey and now have notched up an impressive back catalog of releases. Their fiery brand of heavy space-rock has seen them burning up live appearances over the years as they continue on the path towards uncharted territories. To celebrate this thundering union, Rocket Recordings have embarked upon the release of a double vinyl LP expanding into four phases of pulsating mantras, awash with all the hypno-propulsion both bands’ motor skills can pilot. It’s brimming with surrendered NEU!-like patterns, like both bands driving through Dingerland with “L.A. Woman” blasting from the rushing air. We have 16-minute elegant Bel Air suites, whose ebbing and flowing mesmerizing grooves burst with swooping grandiose synths, like gentle waves hanging in time. Interjections of oscillating guitars and keyboards, designed to propel the captured listener into a trance-inducing sun roof of kosmische blur, rupture out through the expansive blue. The 8 tracks are embedded with four long 10-minute+ pieces and these anchor the whole experience firmly into an exciting haze of echoing psychedelia, electronic and experimental Krautrock trippo-nova. After which, all four corners of your mind’s eye have been consecrated in a world of undulating symphonies.
File Under: Psych, Freakout, Jamz, Space Rock
Hey Colossus: In Black and Gold (Rocket) LP
Emerging in a haze of demented riff science and booze-addled abandon, London-based tinnitus machine Hey Colossus have carved out a notable niche for themselves in the British underground’s murkier quarters. They’ve dished out a formidable array of wax over the last decade, specializing in a primordial barrage of abject noise from overheated amp stacks. Yet for all the grit and gnarl of their output thus far, it’s seemingly only been a warm-up for their latest opus, which sees their monstrous assault finely honed into an album as beguiling as it is bulldozing. In Black and Gold, their eighth album proper and first for Rocket Recordings, ushers in a new incarnation of Hey Colossus. Marrying malevolent attack to expansive celestial splendor, In Black and Gold follows a sonic trajectory that expands on Hey Colossus’s trademark ornery overload. The songs herein may be leaner and more artful than the fearsome sound that made the band’s name on albums like 2008’s Project: Death and the monstrous 2013 opus Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo (MIE 018CD/LP), but Hey Colossus remains possessed of the Stoogian and Stygian wrath that fuels their noise rock transgression. With their maximalist tendencies augmented by a sharp focus on space and restraint, not to mention a refreshing stylistic diversity, the band delivers some strange aural alchemy. Here, they sound as comfortable tackling electronically-fried dub mantras like “Lagos Atom” as they do the Cluster-esque lullaby of opener “Hold On.” Yet there’s no shortage of primal rock action to be had on In Black and Gold; on “Sisters and Brothers” they summon up a swaggering, demented groove that sashays like a zombified Gun Club, while on the dramatic spaghetti-psych of the title-track a revelatory cinematic sprawl of sound recalls The Bad Seeds and The 13th Floor Elevators engaged in a psychic duel in the noonday sun. Hey Colossus have always made fine work on the vital and Spinal Tap-approved “fine line between clever and stupid.” Yet with In Black and Gold, in a laudable leap of faith, they’ve stepped beyond, and the result is both vicious and visionary. These unpretentious underworld overlords have emerged from the shadows to create an avant-garage pièce de résistance, finding that the sunlight suits them better than they ever realized.
File Under: Psych, Krautrock, Acid Rock
Insanlar/Ricardo Villalobos: Kime Ne (Honest Jon’s) 2×12”
Stunning new music from Istanbul! Wild baglama improvisation and mystical male-unison singing, atop the propulsive mass of a Berlin half-stepper, with turbulent detours into dub, radiophonics, and psychedelia. “Kime Ne” means “so what,” “what’s it got to do with you.” The song adapts verses from the seventeenth-century poet Kul Nesîmî, wistfully invoking the Melami strain of Sufism as a touchstone of humility and tolerance in dark times. “Insanlar” means “humankind”… “The Human Beings.” RV’s mixes are expert, taut and hard-grooving. “2” is the more agitated and dubwise. Side D is etched with Katharina Immekus’s lovely artwork.
File Under: Electronic
Iron & Wine: Archive Series Volume 1 (Black Cricket) LP
Very limited (indie only) white vinyl edition.16 Previously Unreleased Early Home Recordings! Iron And Wine’s ‘Archive Series Volume No. 1’ is the first in a series – Sam Beam will be gathering otherwise unreleased home recordings, covers, live sets, and curiosities from his entire career as Iron And Wine and releasing them on his own label – Black Cricket Recording Co. ! ! This first release taps into a set of songs created before Sam was Iron And Wine, when he was making music without the public in mind. The songs on ‘Volume No. 1’ came to life at the same time as those selected for Iron And Wine’s debut album,’ The Creek Drank The Cradle’ (Sub Pop, 2002, 197K Sales To-Date). Performed and recorded at home on a 4-track cassette – the songs on ‘Creek’ were only 11 of the many crafted by Sam prior to his debut. Some of this material has been widely bootlegged, but has never received a wide-spread or proper release.! ! ’Archive Series Volume No. 1’ collects 16 of these unreleased early home recordings for the first time.! ! This initial chapter in the ‘Archive Series’ has been digitally transferred from the original cassettes and packaged in gatefold artwork featuring the Bird of Paradise Quilt (licensed from the American Folk Art Museum).
File Under: Folk, Indie
Last Harbour: Caul (Gizeh) LP
Based in the northern English city of Manchester, Last Harbour play music with a dark, gothic heart, yet their songs are always beautiful and transcendent. After working with producer Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Spacemen 3, Ghostpoet) on two previous albums, the band took time out after touring to build their own studio in 2013. They recorded Caul in that self-created space over a year between 2013 and ’14 in a patient and detailed recording process that allowed time for experimentation and careful arrangement. Caul contains all of the band’s trademark bruised laments and doom-filled rock, but there is also an added layer of raw, bleak experimentation that marries ideally and simultaneously with brighter, almost joyous moments. Most noticeably, “Guitar Neck” moves from a metronomic, semi-spoken verse to a richly orchestrated chorus with the FX-heavy vocal of K. Craig soaring above the pulsing instrumentation. There’s another powerful moment in “Fracture/Fragment” when group vocals take center stage and the record immediately takes on a deeper and wider atmosphere, while elsewhere, “Before the Ritual” comes laced with vintage synths and organs. “The Deal” is a highlight, combining an insistent rhythm, menacing vocal, and obscured analog effects, and leading off a trilogy of tracks that form the album’s second half, the negative image to the first half’s positive; two sides of the same story. Closer “The Promise” is the band’s most ambitious statement of their career so far. The epic 13-minute track is cinematic in scale, beginning with droning soundscapes and minimal notes that open out into a beautiful, melodic section with rhythm-led breakdowns and doo-wop backing vocals, before descending into a haunting, sparse, reverb-drenched coda. That song, and the album as a whole, make clear the progression on Caul from its predecessor Your Heart, It Carries the Sound. There is a new focus, a need to explore, a quest to push further into the void.
File Under: Rock, Folk, Goth
Heather Leigh: Nightingale (Golden Lab) LP
After an intense one-on-one dialogue with Heather Leigh regarding Golden Lab Records’ mission to present beautiful records that showcase styles of guitar in all their extremities, Golden Lab is delighted to deliver what is, without question, an absolutely blinding example of just such a record. Leigh recorded Nightingale direct to cassette, delivering one of those performances in which the pedal steel rages so hard that the vocals never have the opportunity to even make an appearance. Recorded in glorious mono and mastered to really bring out the harshness of those insane tones, Nightingale captures an almost tape-like quality in the pedal steel itself, and its transfer to vinyl only warms it up further into a new zone of somehow cozy metallicism. This is an absolute joy — a real tear-yr-face-off record that sort of acts as a companion piece to Leigh’s 2014 performances with Stefan Jaworzyn as Annihilating Light. 140-gram vinyl presented in a black and silver matte sleeve and limited to 250 copies.
File Under: Experimental, Noise
Sean McCann: Ten Impressions for Piano & Strings (Root Strata) LP
Realized over a four-year period, Sean McCann’s Ten Impressions for Piano & Springs is a document of transition and maturation. Slow-moving cloud forms over corporeal landscapes, these impressions whisper of McCann’s decisive lean toward classical and avant-garde musics, culminating in 2013’s Music for Private Ensemble, released on his own imprint, Recital. Less a final statement on ambient music, more a meditation on change, discovery and process. LP includes download code.
File Under: Ambient, Classical, Avant-Garde
Microtub: Star System (Sofa) LP
Consisting of three fully microtonal tubas, Microtub explores group tuba music from the perspective of microtonality. Color-coded sculptural scores are used to define areas of harmonic space in just intonation, presenting geometric structures to be explored by the players over time. The 3-dimensional graphic scores used on the album Star System are subsets of the Hayward Tuning Vine, which arose out of a desire to visualize the harmonic space implicit within the microtonal tuba. Each of the balls represent pitches, and the struts between them musical intervals. In “Star System” (side A), the musicians orbit once around the star-like structure, revealing the harmonic space implicit within it. In “Square Dance” (side B), the various squares and rectangles within the score are gradually explored by the musicians, analogous to a slow dance through harmonic space. Star System was recorded at Sjobygda Art House in Selbu, Norway in April 2013. Mixed by Espen Reinertsen and mastered by Helge Sten. Microtub: Robin Hayward (microtonal F-tuba); Kristoffer Lo (microtonal C-tuba); Martin Taxt (microtonal C-tuba).
File Under: Experimental, Minimalism
Mount Eerie: Sauna (P.W. Elverum & Sun Ltd.) LP
The sauna that this album was inspired by is not a sauna that actually exists anywhere. It is about the idea of a small man-made wooden room crushed beneath a universe’s worth of bad weather; a concentration of extreme heat within a vast tough world. Inside this deliberate space a transformation occurs. The exaggerated atmosphere of flames, steam, smoke and dim light obliterate the usual sensations and new kinds of perception are exposed. Then the shocking plunge under cold water and the razor sword through sky. This is the same transformative potential of music, at least the kind of music that Mount Eerie has been attempting for the past few years. Carefully built worlds of sound and sensation, large weights and clear ideas, depth shown through simple moments. The singer is standing on the street in the rain, considering whether she hears a tractor idling or maybe an ancient memory of a mammoth tearing through brush. The view through the big windows at the airport in 2014. Sauna is described as an “ultimate” Mount Eerie album, and something about it does feel final, or perhaps the beginning of something new and big. The songs narrow these ideas to tight moments, a honed thesis. The compositions are complicated and grown-up, the instrumentation is gnarly and big, the pictures are painted bright. Recorded fully analog on 24 tracks at the Unknown (the reclaimed old wood church in Anacortes, Washington), this is certainly the most “hi-fi” Mount Eerie album ever made, while still sounding as raw as low tide in November. Phil Elverum is joined by singers Allyson Foster and Ashley Eriksson, cutting through the jet noise roar of the music with clear harmonic counterpoints. Gongs flange, distorted bass arches its back, organs blanket the room, the piano is half-swallowed. Are those drums or lumber? Flutes or laughter? Actual audible steam hangs in the branches. Twelve songs, 55 minutes total, inhabiting two high resolution 45rpm LPs, super-pretty heavy old-style gatefold jackets, jumbo poster, download card… the works.
File Under: Indie, Folk, Rock
Naka Naka: Mundo Harsh (Black Opal) LP
Black Opal presents the debut LP from Jerónimo Jiménez, released under his alias Ñaka Ñaka. Mundo Harsh features somber, minimalist synth-scapes coalescing with scattering techno patterns into a mature dancefloor workout. References to classic ’90s ambient techno can be heard throughout, though they take on a timelessness when refracted through Jiménez’s gaseous clockwork structures. Tracks like “dioges” and “def def” throw light and shade in equal measure, with the mood oscillating between hopeful and desolate. The B-side runs stranger, breaking at the seams with rusting drones of “jAaz” and finding a final forceful kick with the evil pump of “vibrocalyx,” a track made for the dankest floors. Harsh worlds for the individual to witness, a suitable soundtrack to the decay.
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Synth
Om: Live (Outer Battery) LP
“Inspired by those classic ’70s bootlegs, Al Cisneros, who besides his work with Om has been laying down the low end with Sleep since day one, wanted to capture the raw live feel of Om’s 2013 European tour on vinyl. Housed in a plain white sleeve with a paste-on wraparound cover, Live harkens back to the days when you rifled through the back bins of your local record store searching for the latest ‘import’ releases from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. We’ve kept that Trademark of Quality spirit with this release… limited to only 700 copies and pressed on Acapulco-gold-colored vinyl, this one is not to be missed!”
File Under: Metal, Drone, Doom
OST: Utopia 1 (Silva Screen) LP
Initial pressing of just 500 copies Yellow Vinyl. One of the most critically acclaimed scores of 2013, Utopia Series 1’s soundtrack was described by The Arts Desk as “Cristobal Tapia de Veer’s cunning, menacing music”. Coming out on DLP vinyl for the first time (and on limited yellow vinyl at that), the score features instruments ranging from a rare Chilean trutruka recorded in Borough tube station to the percussion sounds of a rhino turd from Zimbabwe! This one of the most eclectic and innovative TV scores in a long while and has been specially mastered for this vinyl release. Mojo Magazine’s – No.4 in Top Ten 2013 soundtracks!! “a twitching, engaging and unique score that sounds unlike anything we’ve heard in some while. We’ve been waiting for this release since the show appeared on telly so we’re well chuffed now it’s out.” – Record Collector – 5/5 stars
File Under: OST, TV
Jose Prates/Miecio Askanasy: Tam… Tam… Tam… (Trunk) LP
Trunk Records presents the first reissue of Tam… Tam… Tam…!, an incredibly rare Brazilian LP by José Prates and Miecio Askanasy. In August of 2014, London-based DJ and record collector Gilles Peterson, who had been offered an original copy for $4,700, sent out a request for someone to reissue this extraordinary album. Originally issued in a one-time 1958 pressing as part of Askanasy’s 1950s touring Braziliana show, Tam… Tam… Tam…! is a landmark in the development of the Brazilian sound that would explode around the world in the decade to follow. It’s stunning both as a historical touchstone and as a standalone musical triumph. The solid blueprint of 1960s Brazilian music runs through it; for example, “Nānā Imborô” clearly prefigures Sérgio Mendes’s 1966 hit “Mas Que Nada.” The infectious rhythms, melodies, and exotic sounds that fill this album are deep, raw, and totally engaging. And the more one listens to Tam… Tam… Tam…! the more one hears its importance and future influence. This reissue comes at a time when, in a world saturated with information, few important things have escaped attention and reappraisal. Finding anything new and genuinely incredible is a rare feat. This is a prime example of amazing, influential music that until now has remained hidden. In producing this reissue, spurred on by Peterson’s request, Trunk Records found that no master recordings could be located. The original 1950s label showed no interest in a reissue, but Ed Motta, the renowned artist, producer, and record collector, agreed to transcribe his original copy on his EMT deck and send the files from Brazil to the UK. The sound was not in the best condition, and the original 1950s vinyl pressing has several musical inconsistencies. Trunk Records painstakingly worked toward a suitable sonic balance, making sure to maintain the bright and driving original sound without cleaning it up so much that the life of the music was diminished. Accordingly, the vinyl edition of reissue was pressed with some very slight surface noise — any more cleaning would interfere with the true wax sound. The CD edition, however, was pressed with more digital enhancement. Vinyl edition includes original full color LP sleeve. CD edition includes four-page booklet.
File Under: Brazil, Tropicalia
Ramones: WBUF 1979 (Keyhole) LP
This outstanding performance by The Ramones was taped for radio broadcast in Buffalo, New York, on February 8, 1979, shortly after Marky Ramone joined the band. It captures New York’s punk pioneers at the peak of their powers, tearing through many of their most renowned songs in typically energetic style. It’s presented here in superb fidelity, with background notes and rare photos. Digitally remastered.
File Under: Punk
San Ul Lim: Psychedelic Years 1977-1979 (Dounia) LP
“Limited edition of 500 copies. At a time when punk is unfolding over England, when guitars are faster and more aggressive, all packed up in protesting slogans against Establishment, in South Korea appears Sanullim, a group formed by three brothers Kim Chang Wan, Kim Chang Hoon and Kim Nan Suk. Instead of wearing studded perfectos and multicolored ridges, the brothers prefer 3 part costumes and psychedelic melodies that were at top of charts around the world, 10 years ago. Sanullim is a well-typed retro 60’s band that has nothing to envy to their elders! One has only to listen to Are You Coming In Fall to be convinced! Languid, almost melancholy, with à lot of organ and distortion, this title is a good summary of the potential of Sanullim. Always oscillating between a heavy psychedelic rock like on the title Oh Already, and more pop tunes like It Was Probably Late Summer or Two Of Us, which the organ is not without reminding us of floydians vapors. Sanullim offers us through this compilation, his vision of rock, with a lot of shades. Without just copying, Sanullim have their own sound that will delight lovers of garage and exotic obscurities. The climax of this awesome compilation is the 18 minutes of You Are Already I, where the group leaves free speech to the instruments: guitars filled with a lot of fuzz, weird keyboards and dry bass echoes together to weave a dantesque fresco! A must have for fans of the genre!”
File Under: Psych, South Korea
Semool: Essais (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records presents the first official vinyl reissue of Essais, the sole album by Semool, originally released in 1971. This LP is the third in Souffle Continu’s series of ten reissues from the catalog of the cult French label Futura Records, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronè. Semool was a trio of Philippe Martineau, Olivier Cauquil, and Rémy Dédé Dréano. They recorded Essais between 1969 and 1971; under the underground, it’s a foggy lo-fi psychedelic alien with echoes of Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath drowned in oceans of heavy delay and acid guitars. Presented in a 350g sleeve with obi strip and matte finish. Limited to 1000 copies: 700 on black vinyl.
File Under: Psych, Prog
Sun Ra Arkestra: Live in Nickelsdorf 1984 (Trost) 4LP Box
The great Sun Ra Arkestra, live at Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf, Austria on March 11th, 1984. This is a recording of the entire — nearly three hour — performance. Personnel for this show was Sun Ra (piano, synth, vocals); John Gilmore (tenor saxophone, clarinet, evi, vocals); Marshall Allen (alto saxophone, flute, kora, percussion); Danny Ray Thompson (baritone saxophone, flute, percussion); Eloe Omoe(Leroy Taylor) (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, percussion); James Jackson (basoon, flute, drums, vocals); Ronnie Brown (trumpet); Rollo Radford (standup bass); Don Mumford (drums); Matthew Brown(congas, dance); Myriam Broche (dance); Greg Pratt (dance). Vinyl box limited to 1,000 copies.
File Under: Jazz
Damo Suzuki/Mugstar: Start From Zero (Important) LP
Limited edition of 500 copies packaged in a heavy duty gatefold sleeve. On a long hot summer night in 2012, a meeting of minds happened in Liverpool, England. Damo Suzuki visited the city to play a show with Mugstar. After a flurry of emails, Damo asked Mugstar not to practice or figure out any music prior to the performance, as he believed it should “start from zero,” leaving the whole performance to be entirely improvised on the spot. It proved to be quite a night: the shamanic presence of the legendary Damo Suzuki immersed in the full-on, intense sound of Mugstar — one of the leading bands currently exploring fresh and uncharted areas — as they forge forward through the deep space of Kraut/psych. The music that emerged that evening moved through driving, head-spinning double wah-wah attacks, eerie, ethereal passages and onto an extended motorik coda, all powered along by thunderous bass and drums. Damo settled in immediately, a master of his own unique art. Surging along with Mugstar as “sound carriers,” absorbed in the energy and atmosphere through to the show’s exhausting end, it’s a great pairing.
File Under: Psych, Krautrock, Improv, Can
Otto A. Totland: Pino (Sonic Pieces) LP
Otto A. Totland’s modern compositional elements are most widely-recognized as half of the Norwegian duo Deaf Center, where his melancholic, intricate piano work provides haunting relief to the beds of noise and deep strings from Erik K. Skodvin. Pinô is the first full-length release by Totland, though his solo work has been released once, as the five-minute A-side of Sonic Pieces’ 7″, Harmony from the Past. Otto’s previously brief vignettes are now expanded into a fully personal realization of his own style. Initial track “Open” fills itself with heavy, knowing pauses that quickly become overwhelmed with the desire to understand what’s to come. Each silence leads into quick flutters of keys, preparing the listener for a vast terrain of giddy beauty, bleak depths, and true contentedness. Pinô quickly recalls deep winter; in front of a fireplace for days on end, you lose how far along you’ve ventured into the 18 tracks without any idea how far is left to go. The experience feels inevitable, with no other option but to curl up somewhere cozy and appreciate the sense of timelessness that Totland has created. His album is a haunting modern compositional treasure, expressed through instrumentals completely unique to Totland and captured masterfully by Nils Frahm at Durton Studios. With Pinô, Otto A. Totland appears out of the Norwegian landscape, sharing an achievement that will provide relief during the brooding winter darkness. Though a highly personal endeavor, the recognizable continuation of Totland’s compositions will attract fans of Deaf Center, and the cinematic and classical components of his solo work will hold sway for those familiar with Harold Budd or Dustin O’Halloran.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Deaf Center
Trader Horne: Morning Way (Flashback) LP+7”
UK-based magazine Flashback presents the inaugural release on its vinyl-only label. “I would like to see Trader Horne getting more recognition. They have that feel, that warmth in their music that brings it to life” –Robert Plant, 1970. British folk duo Trader Horne released their only album, the timeless psychedelic folk classic Morning Way, in 1970. Produced with the full involvement of members Judy Dyble and Jackie McAuley, Flashback’s reissue comes in a strictly limited edition of 500 copies, each including a numbered certificate signed by Dyble. The album is pressed on 180-gram virgin vinyl and is housed in a lavish heavyweight embossed gatefold sleeve. Also included are Trader Horne’s 1970 non-album single Here Comes the Rain/Goodbye Mercy Kelly in a picture sleeve, a reproduction of the poster sent out to record shops to promote the album in March 1970, a facsimile of the large postcard that came with the earliest original copies, and a 16-page full-color booklet containing detailed notes and a treasure trove of rare memorabilia and contemporary press.
File Under: Psych, Folk
We The People/American Zoo: Visions of Time (Guerssen) LP
Guerssen presents Visions of Time, the amazing story of We the People, a ’60s teen band from LA (not to be confused with the Florida band of the same name) that created an amazing blend of garage, folk rock, and psychedelic sounds. Between 1967 and 1968, this group of four young kids recorded a few 45s for Reena Records, two of them released under the name American Zoo. Despite their young age, the band members were accomplished musicians and songwriters. They debuted in 1967 with Feelings of My Emptiness/For No One to See, two amazing pieces of moody garage with superb vocal harmonies and arrangements. Their second 45,Back Street Thoughts/Who Am I?, offered two pieces of introspective psychedelia with some over the top tape/echo effects courtesy of Dal Kacher, a session guitarist and sound engineer who had been part of early lineup of The Mothers of Invention. “Who Am I?” was included decades later in Diminishing Returns, a famous psych mix by DJ Shadow. In 1968, the group released their third 45, this time as American Zoo: Mr. Brotherhood/Magdalena featured two more examples of outstanding garage psychedelia. A second pressing of the 45 was released with a new mix of “Mr. Brotherhood,” losing one minute but incorporating some wild electronic effects. In the 1980s, the song was included on such legendary compilations as High All the Time and Psychedelic Unknowns. That same year, American Zoo released their last 45, Back Street Thoughts/What Am I?; the B-side is a reworking of “Who Am I?” with more psychedelic production by Kacher. Even more amazing than the story of these young musicians is the story of what happened to them later: guitar player Bill Bottrell has gone on to win Grammy Awards as a producer, working with Michael Jackson,Madonna, and George Harrison, among others. Drummer Jason “Jasun” Martz toured with Frank Zappa and recorded with Michael Jackson, and is now a well-known avant-garde artist and sculptor. Steve Zaillian, the first We the People drummer, won an Academy Award for his screenplay of Schindler’s List (1993). This collection includes all the We the People/American Zoo 45 sides plus two previously unreleased tracks from 1967, taken from the only surviving copy of the band’s 10″ demo acetate. Carefully remastered sound. CD booklet features rare photos and detailed liner notes by Gray Newell (Shindig!, Ugly Things).
File Under: Psych, Garage
Whitehorse: Leave No Bridge Unburned (Six Shooter) LP
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Whitehorse’s story has been told as two acclaimed musicians joining forces under one new name – no drummer, no keyboard player, violinist or even bass player on call, and no producer. Just Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland The first album and EP demonstrate the success of this simple equation, one plus one, with an abundance of guitar slinging, songwriting expertise and white-hot desire. Now, with the sophomore LP Leave No Bridge Unburned, Whitehorse messes with the math. The duo hired ex-pat producer Gus Van Go to make the record. The three met at the 2013 Polaris Music Prize Gala, where Whitehorse performed as a Short List nominee for The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss. With this move, Whitehorse’s studio team instantly doubled – Gus and his frequent collaborator Werner F transformed the duo’s song-making dynamic into a group conversation. Fans also know that the band’s family life has grown with the arrival of a baby. Leave No Bridge Unburned signals a new era for Whitehorse, a time of expanded musical influence, community, and kin. Leave No Bridge Unburned boasts more of everything that makes Whitehorse exciting and innovative – it’s Whitehorse amplified, increased, intensified. If The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss was Whitehorse’s urgent, romantic statement on uncertainty and impending disaster, Leave No Bridge Unburned is a reckoning, a confrontation. The smoulders on Fate have become a full-blown blaze, a wall of heat. Leave No Bridge Unburned is all about surging ahead; there’s nothing to lose and no way to return.
File Under: Indie, Folk, CanCon
Woorden: s/t (Omega) LP
“Massively unlikely out-of-nowhere exact repro reissue of this insane underground LP, still the most amazing slice of OTT freak to come out of the Netherlands in the late 1960s: a project masterminded by four far-out poets — Simon Vinkenoog, Bob Lens, Hans Wesseling and Nona — Woorden’s closest companion might be Walter Wegmuller and the Cosmic Courier’s majestic Tarot set, with diversions into concrete tape work, solo harmonica jams, heavy psych, freak jazz, acid folk and total musical non that touch on aspects of Patrick Conrad, Allan Kaprow, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Popol Vuh and an unholy Chie Mukai/Masayoshi Urabe junk/reeds/drone ritual. Long one of the rarest and whispered about underground Euro masterpieces, Woorden sees the poets chant, flip, sing in heavy F/X reverb heavens and work oracular magic ala Starmaiden herself while the music (courtesy of heads who also played on Group 1850’s legendary Agemo’s Trip To Mother Earth) moves from radical free jazz through laminal voice constructs that confuse automating surrealism and screwed tape/sound works based around ‘universal orgasms’ and the kind of percussion/vocal freak that is somewhere upwind of Junko and Yoko Ono. The harmonica and drums jams come over like a Cromagnon Kaoru Abe w/almost Sergius Golowin levels of eye-lolling universal worship. Hard to think of an album that is so completely Nurse With Wound list than this amazing long-lost classic and this handy, though ultra limited, reissue saves you selling your car to get a hold of a copy. Profoundly out, massively damaged, classic 60s-utopian art/theatre/noise/psych from a buncha heads with an umbilical to another galaxy altogether.” — David Keenan; on purple vinyl with insert.
File Under: Outsider, Experimental, Psych?, Bent
Thom Yorke: Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes (Landgrab) LP
“Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” is a new eight-track record from Thom Yorke. A record born of silver darkness, pressed onto heavyweight 180g white vinyl completed with undersize 75mm centre labels, housed within heavy white board inner and outer sleeves. These are printed with a metallic silver laminate then multi-tone black and a striking neon green; the whole is enclosed in a bespoke anti-static shield bag – a metallised laminated material usually used by the electronics industry for protecting components from electrostatic interference. The bag is printed with neon green on both sides, and has a resealable grip closure. Contains digital download card.
File Under: Indie, Electronic, Radiohead
Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart: Live (Keyhole) 3LP
Keyhole presents a triple LP edition of its double CD set Providence College, Rhode Island, April 26th 1975. Childhood friends and fellow rock visionaries Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart put aside their differences to tour the US together in the spring of 1975 — Beefheart’s only tour with The Mothers of Invention. The resulting shows found them both in superb form, as evidenced by this legendary 1975 set, preserved in superb fidelity. This edition is pressed on 180-gram vinyl, features remastered sound, and includes an insert with background notes and photos.
File Under: Rock, Blues, Legends, Live
Various: Best Arizona Garage (HDM) LP
‘The Arizona music scene during the sixties can easily be likened to its desert surroundings: The monotony of average and sometimes even good bands writing less than good and even average songs. Then one day you hear a band that knocks you out. Those are the kinds of bands that I had the opportunity to discover and produce that suddenly emerged out of garages and other little holes in walls ? wherever they could find a place to converge and create their music. I now have the honor and the privilege to present to you the bands that I think are Arizona’s best garage bands from 1967 to 1970.’ — Hadley Murrell. “At an age when most of us were just listening to music, Hadley Murrell got involved. At 14 he started playing drums with The Carnations, and went on to work in radio, as well promoting shows and other live events. Much of what he made went towards studio time to produce the music heard in this collection. Often garage rock is under produced to its detriment. That’s not the case here, Murrell recorded at Phoenix’s Audio Records, other clients included Dwayne Eddy, Dyke & The Blazers and Waylon Jennings (among many others). And unlike many garage rock sides ? Hadley took his performers into the studio prepared and ready to lay down tracks as hot as the Arizona desert. In addition to music that captures a moment in time, the release features a 20 page booklet filled with the story of each of the groups included here along with period photography, show flyers and more.”
File Under: Garage, Psych
Various: Brazilian Boogie Connection (Cultures of Soul) LP
“This album is another chapter in the ongoing ‘there’s-muchmore- to-Brazil-than-bossa-nova’ saga. It’s filled with disco-era tracks produced for the Brazilian domestic marketplace, some of which were hits, others which were quite obscure. What binds them all together – besides their common origins, time period and overall musical approach – is the fact that their reputation has been steadily transcending Brazil’s borders. This has allowed these tunes to find their place on set lists, want lists and in the crates of the world’s most discerning DJs and tastemakers. Artists like Jorge Ben and Marcos Valle have been legendary and influential for decades, and the duo Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti dominated the Rio studio scene in the ’80s before creating huge buzz overseas in recent years. Banda Black Rio and Cassiano are also both household names amongst crate diggers and fans of rare groove. While this album is sure to highlight the work of the artists featured on it, its main aim is to shine a spotlight on a sound and a style that continues to hypnotize scores of music lovers. Most importantly, its goal is to get dance floors moving across the world.”
File Under: Brazil, Boogie, Disco, Funk
Various: Ciao Bella (Ace) LP
The 1960s girl-pop compilations on our occasional Ace International and Big Beat International imprints rank among our most popular releases of recent years. Having hit upon a winning formula by hopping over the Channel to France for ‘C’est Chic!’ and ‘Tres Chic!’, and by venturing further afield to Japan for two volumes of ‘Nippon Girls’, we now turn the spotlight on Italy. The collection opens with Brunetta’s prized dancefloor-filler ‘Baluba Shake’ and closes with ‘Cuore’, a dramatic beat ballad by petite dynamo Rita Pavone. Star of the show is the prolific Mina – queen bee of Italy’s female singers – with three tracks: ‘No’ (a wailing folk rock nugget), ‘Più Di Te’ (a cover of the Tracy Dey/Bob Crewe classic ‘I Won’t Tell’) and ‘Se Telefonando’ (a sophisto-pop epic courtesy of maestro Ennio Morricone). Other highlights include the sitar-embellished ‘Il Mio Posto Qual’È’ by Ornella Vanoni, a convincing cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ by beat girl Caterina Caselli, Gigliola Cinquetti’s superbly orchestrated Eurovision-winner ‘Non Ho L’Età (Per Amarti)’ and breathy-voiced actress Catherine Spaak’s bossa-imbued ‘La Notte È Fatta Per Rubare’.
File Under: Italian, Girl Groups, Pop
Various: Fallin’ Off the Reel Vol. 3 & 4 (Truth & Soul) LP
“Truth & Soul is proud to present the second volume of our Fallin’ Off The Reel compilation on double long playing vinyl. In keeping with T&S tradition when we get enough singles out we get them together onto a comp for the people who collect CDs and digital files. Also in keeping with T&S tradition, when we get to two volumes we choose some of our favorite tunes from both and press them on a double vinyl release. This combo of Vol 3 and 4 contains 26 tracks on 4 sides with songs from Lee Fields & Expressions, Lady, Liam Bailey, El Michels A air, Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, The Olympians, and more. Vinyl comes with a free download card.”
File Under: Funk, Soul
Various: Music of Tanzania (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Music of Tanzania is a spectacular collection of field recordings gathered by Laurent Jeanneau between December 1999 and March 2000. This debut volume of Sublime Frequencies’ exploration of indigenous Tanzanian music compiles sacred and profane songs and dances of the Hadza, Datoga, and Makonde people. Highlights include stoned ecstatic dancing in a Hadza encampment; a drunken celebration of preteen sexual initiation from a Makonde fishing village; baboon imitations performed on the malimba; electrified Islamic trance percussion; and useful tips for amateur hyrax hunters. Many of these poignant, exhilarating performances come from dwindling minority groups whose way of life stretches back to the Stone Age, and who are capable of creating breathtaking music with anything from agricultural tools to tin cans and plastic tubes. Laurent Jeanneau is absolutely fearless in his pursuit of rare, exceptional and vibrant performances. He views his ongoing documentation of ethnic minority music as an act of resistance to globalization, state-sanctioned “peasant traditions,” and cultural homogeneity, and accordingly spends months living under harsh and dangerous conditions in order to capture impromptu performances in their everyday cultural context. Using this method, Jeanneau has self-produced almost 100 albums preserving threatened musical traditions from some of the most remote regions on earth, in addition to compiling multiple volumes for Sublime Frequencies. This limited edition double LP tip-on gatefold package includes striking photographs by James Stephenson and detailed liner notes by Jeanneau.
File Under: Audio Tourism, Ethnic, African
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Black Flag: TV Party (SST) LP
Black Flag: The First Four Years (SST) LP
Black Flag: My War (SST) LP
Black Flag: Family Man (SST) LP
Black Flag: Slip It In (SST) LP
David Bowie: Space Oddity (EMI) LP
Built To Spill: Ancient Melodies of the Future (Music On Vinyl) LP
Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP
Causa Sui: Euporie (El Paradiso) LP
Causa Sui: Live/Freak Valley (El Paradiso) LP
Nick Cave: From Her To Eternity (Mute) LP
Chrome: Visitation (Cleopatra) LP
Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards (Reprise) LP
Decemberists: What A Terrible World (Capitol) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night (Columbia) LP
Lee Fields: Faithful Man (Truth & Soul) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: Evening Star (Pangyric) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (Pangyric) LP
Gun Glub: Mother Juno (Bang) LP
I Marc 4: s/t (Sonor) LP
JB’s: These Are The JBs (Now Again) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Leyland Kirby: Death of Rave (History Always Favors The Winner) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP/2LP
Led Zeppelin: IV (Warner) LP
Dan Mangan: Club Meds (Arts & Crafts) LP
Magma: Emehntehtt (Jazz Village) LP
Magma: Riah Sahi (Jazz Village) LP
Magma: Kohntarkosz Ant… (Jazz Village) LP
Magma: Kohntarkosz (Jazz Village) LP
Modest Mouse: Good News… (Epic) Lp
Lee Perry: Super Ape (Get On Down) LP
Phoenix: Alphabetical (Parlophone) LP
Phoenix: It’s Never Been Like That (Parlophone) LP
Phoenix: United (Parlophone) LP
Sainte Anthony’s Fyre: s/t (Zonk) LP
Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks (Rhino) LP
Sleaford Mods: Austerity Dogs (Harbinger) LP
Sleaford Mods: Divide/Exit (Harbinger) LP
T. Rex: Electric Warrior (Rhino) LP
Thin Lizzy: Jail Break (Universal) LP
Thin Lizzy: Johnny The Fox (Universal) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
TV on the Radio: Seeds (Interscope) LP
Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti) LP
Washed Out: Life of Leisure (Mexican Summer) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
White Noise: An Electric Storm (Island) LP