…..news letter #680 – yack…..

…..pick of the week…..chrome

Chrome: Box (Cleopatra) 7LP Box
The monumental 1982 vinyl box set from San Francisco art rock legends Chrome gets revisited with this super deluxe collector’s version! This limited edition piece contains the original 6 LPs of the band’s most well known works including 1977’s Alien Soundtracks, 1979’s Half Machine Lip Moves, and 1981’s Blood On The Moon PLUS a special bonus LP of the 1984 album that has not been available on vinyl for almost 30 years! All albums are pressed on 180 gram vinyl and packaged in a silk screened box with a gorgeous 40 page, full color book by Neil Martinson, containing extensive Chrome history, rare photos and illustrations!

File Under: Punk, Psych, Art Rock, Box Sets
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…..new arrivals…..

ata kak

Ata Kak: Obaa Sima (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Ata Kak’s 1994 cassette Obaa Sima fell on deaf ears when it was self-released in Ghana and Canada. The music on the recording – an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, funk, hip-hop and electronica – is presented with the passion of a Prince record and the DIY-bedroom-recording lo-fi charm of early Chicago house music. The astute self-taught songcraft and visionary blend of sounds and rhythms has made the album a left-field cult favorite among adventurous listeners worldwide. Awesome Tapes From Africa founder Brian Shimkovitz found the tape in 2002 in Cape Coast, Ghana – one of only a few pressed – and later made it the inaugural post on the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog. Thousands of downloads, hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, music videos, remixes and years of mystery as to Ata Kak’s whereabouts, culminate in this remastered release featuring rare photos and the full back story of one of the internet age’s most enigmatic artists.

File Under: African, Highlife, Rap, Electronic
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blackmoth

Black Moth Super Rainbow: House of Apples & Eyeballs (Graveface) LP
The House of Apples & Eyeballs is not a split, but a year-long, full-length collaboration by both bands. While a couple tracks did make it to the record in their original, one-band form, most were passed back and forth for several rounds of dismemberment, rearrangement, and augmentation. The result overflows with sonic treats: cut-up beats and vocoder melodies collide with huge, distorted riffs.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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body

The Body & Thou: You, Whom I Have Always Hated (Thrill Jockey) LP
The Body and Thou are bands with Southern roots that have been pushing the boundaries of heavy metal for over a decade. Both have maintained relentless touring schedules, a dedication to DIY ethics and aesthetics, and a commitment to push their respective brands of extreme music into previously unexplored territories. You, Whom I Have Always Hated is a new collaborative release from Thrill Jockey that showcases both bands’ unique abilities to create music that is emotionally effecting and unrelenting. On You, Whom I Have Always Hated, each band’s distinctive elements shine through and combine to create something more visceral than the sum of their parts. While the groups have different approaches to live performance and stylistic nuances, they share general creative ideas and have a history subsumed in themes of alienation, melancholy, and despair. They describe the new collaboration as “a twilight dungeon crawl exploring the winding, ruined halls of Mad King Duro’s Castle, best friends at your side, enemies crushed beneath your heels, mysteries solved, and treasures found.”

File Under: Metal, Doom
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tender

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Tender Prey (Mute) LP
2015 Heavy-Weight 180 Gram vinyl reissue with download. Fourteen classic Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds albums have been made available for the first time on heavyweight 180g vinyl. Each album has been re-mastered (overseen by Mick Harvey, former Bad Seed and founder member), and all album artwork reflects the original release from the cover to the printed inner sleeves. Originally released on the 19th September 1988, recorded in Berlin, London and Melbourne and produced by the band. Tender Prey kicks off with ‘The Mercy Seat’ — a song whose critical stature as a masterpiece was all the more heightened when Johnny Cash covered it on his American Songs III album in 2000. Tender Prey also features a song that has become a live staple, ‘Deanna’.

File Under: Rock, NICK CAVE
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dengue

Dengue Fever: Deepest Lake (Tuk Tuk) LP
The Deepest Lake finds Dengue Fever expanding their trademark psych/surf/Cambodian pop sound with African percussion, vocals that would make Exene and John Doe proud, sweeping melodies and extended psychedelic jams of songs that often time out after five or six minutes. The band made a conscious decision to head into the studio looking to expand their sound while also following their instincts to explore jams that came out of demos recorded in their home studio where the album was produced entirely by the band themselves. The result is sound that showcases their musically adventurous side while still remaining faithful to the bands otherworldly sound.

File Under: Psych, Surf, Cambodian Pop
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seasonalSteve Gunn & Black Twig Pickers: Seasonal Hire (Thrill Jockey) LP
Steve Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers are key figures in the current resurgence of American traditional and folk music. Gunn’s songwriting and inventive guitar playing are driven by his restless mind, having released 9 solo and collaborative albums and appeared as a guest on nearly as many since his debut in 2007. The Black Twig Pickers play a fervent form of traditional music from their Appalachian homeland. The group performs often forgotten traditional songs, especially from their Virginia stomping-ground, creating a living history of old time music. They also have an ongoing residency at the legendary Floyd Country Store. Their individual works have received extensive praise from Rolling Stone, NPR, the BBC, Mojo, Uncut, Maverick, Elmore, and Pitchfork. Seasonal Hire, their first full-length collaborative release, combines Gunn’s circular, meditative guitar playing with the Twigs’ energetic mastery of old time instrumentation in a purely acoustic environment resulting in  a warm,  energetic, and exceptional album. Seasonal Hire collects four original tunes and one traditional piece, with Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers’ Mike Gangloff and Sally Anne Morgan all taking turns with lead vocal and songwriting. Like all of the Twigs’ albums, it was recorded live, without overdubs or amplification. Gunn fell right in with this aesthetic and threw down guitar parts like he’d been sparring with banjos and fiddles for years. The majority of the album was recorded at Joseph Dejarnette’s Studio 808a in rural Topeco, Virgina, where Gunn and Gangloff recorded Melodies for a Savage Fix, an improvisational masterpiece of pan-cultural meditations. Echoes of Melodies can be heard on Seasonal Hire’s titular b-side, an extended, beautiful ramble equally indebted to old time music and Indian ragas. Additional recording was done closer to Gunn’s New York home at the famed Black Dirt Studios. Black Dirt has been the home for many groundbreaking records by artists such as Charlie Parr, Jack Rose, Bill Orcutt,  Expo 70, and Tom Carter. The album was mastered by Patrick Klem. Seasonal Hire shows the impressive range of some of the most talented and imaginative musicians that have made a name for themselves experimenting in folk forms today.

File Under: Blue Grass, Folk, Roots, Banjo
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hopkins

Jon Hopkins: Late Night Tales (Night Time Stories) LP
After releasing his debut album ‘Opalescent’ at the rookie age of 21 in 1999, he’s gone on to work with Brian Eno and David Holmes, produced King Creosote and via Eno, worked on three Coldplay albums. He released the breakthrough album ‘Immunity’ in 2013, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The story arc with which Hopkins succeeded on ‘Immunity’ makes its appearance on Late Night Tales too with a perfectly sculpted excursion on this widescreen mix. Opening with the unreleased ‘Sleepers Beat Theme’ by composer Ben Lukas Boysen, ghostly pianos skip elegantly hither and thither, among rising strings, as on Darkstar’s ‘Hold Me Down’. Nils Frahm is here, his sonic palette perfect for the job, while labelmate A Winged Victory For The Sullen contribute ‘Requiem For The Static King Part I’. Sigur Ros offshoot Jónsi & Alex’s heroic ‘Daniell In The Sea’ sends us forth towards the Baltic with tears streaming. Beats occasionally appear, as on the Grace Jones-sampling ‘Yr Love’ by Holy Other or the pair of Black Country acts Bibio and Letherette, whose ‘After Dawn’ is almost spry in comparison to the minor key symphonies on display here. The perfect contrast to this comes from Alela Diane’s wistful ‘Lady Divine’ or even Four Tet’s mesmerising ‘Gillie Amma I Love You’, with its enchanting kids’ choir. Exclusive to this release, Jon Hopkins provides a startlingly vulnerable new piano version of Yeasayer’s ‘I Remember’. Poet and fellow Brian Eno collaborator (their joint album ‘Drums Between The Bells’ was released by Warp in 2011) Rick Holland narrates the exclusive spoken word closer ‘I Remember’, underpinned with additional sound design by Hopkins.

 File Under: Electronic, Slow Techno, Ambient
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zep

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Warner) 2LP/3LP
Painstakingly remastered from the original master tapes by guitarist Jimmy Page, and pressed at Pallas (Europe’s best plant), this Deluxe Edition 180g 3LP of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti sounds and looks utterly amazing. Page spent years on this project with one goal in mind: Making these reissues the end-all-be-all definitive editions of his iconic band’s records. He has succeeded, and then some. In addition to the reference-caliber audio, each LP features packaging that fully replicates the look of the first pressing of the original album. You won’t believe how these records sound, look, and feel. In addition, this special Deluxe Edition features previously unreleased companion audio that will satisfy every fan. The companion audio for Physical Graffiti: Deluxe Edition features seven bonus tracks that offer illuminating insight, including rough mixes of “In My Time Of Dying” and “Houses Of The Holy,” as well as an early mix of “Trampled Under Foot” called “Brandy & Coke.” All the unreleased companion tracks offer fans a chance to hear well-known songs from a different perspective, including the Sunset Sound mix of “Boogie With Stu” and “Driving Through Kashmir,” a rough orchestra mix of the band’s eight minute opus “Kashmir.” Also featured is “Everybody Makes It Through,” a strikingly different early version of “In The Light” with alternate lyrics. Certified 16x platinum in the U.S., the commercial success of Physical Graffiti was equaled by its critical reception. Generally regarded as one of the greatest double albums of all time, the original 15 tracks represent a creative tour de force that explores the band’s dynamic musical range, from the driving rock of “Custard Pie” and acoustic arrangement of “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” to the Eastern raga of “Kashmir” and funky groove of “Trampled Under Foot.”

File Under: Classic Rock
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magma5

Magma: Felicite Thosz (Jazz Village) LP
“Magma first released Félicité Thösz in 2012. Dominated by the celestial voice of Stella Vander, it was the band’s first studio album since they re-formed in the early part of the century. With lyrics in French (which is not common in the band’s discography) as well as Kobaïan, the language invented by Christian Vander, Félicité Thösz is a trip which will lead you from Japan to the Urals via Central Asia, with a detour to pay homage to Tamla Motown. Powerful, hypnotic, and unclassifiable, there has been absolutely nothing like Magma in the last fifty years.” 180-gram vinyl. Includes download code.

File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock, Zeuhl
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magma6Magma: Slag Tanz (Jazz Village) LP
“Jazz Village’s Magma series primarily focuses on classic recordings, reissued in celebration of the band’s 45th anniversary. However, Slag Tanz — a masterpiece of symphonic metal — has previously only been heard in live performance.” 180-gram vinyl. Includes download code.

File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock, Metal, Zeuhl
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meter

Meters: Fire on the Bayou (Rhino) LP
By the time they released Fire On the Bayou in 1975, The Meters (now a quintet, with the addition of Cyril Neville to the lineup) had graduated from regional cult heroes to an internationally renowned recording act. In addition to playing on records by the likes of Paul McCartney, Dr. John, LaBelle and Robert Palmer, they were personally invited by the Rolling Stones to open their 1975 U.S. tour. The momentum helped Fire On the Bayou become one of the Meters’ most acclaimed and commercially successful albums and it remains a fan favorite, thanks to such gritty classic jams as “Talkin’ ‘Bout New Orleans” and “They All Ask’d for You,” which brilliantly demonstrate the band’s effortless instrumental expertise and organic rhythmic rapport.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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freecovers.net

Metric: Grow Up and Blow Away (Last Gang) LP
Grow Up and Blow Away was the first recorded album by indie rock band Metric. The album was recorded in 2001, but delayed for years by their record label. As the years passed, the band’s sound changed to the point where they no longer felt the album would be what the fans expected to hear, so Metric recorded a completely new album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, and released that instead. Last Gang Records later purchased the rights to the album and released it on June 26, 2007. Compared with the 2001 version, there were added the songs “London Halflife” and “Soft Rock Star” (Jimmy vs. Joe mix) from the 2001 EP Static Anonymity and removed the songs “Torture Me”, “Fanfare” and “Parkdale”. Also the order of some songs was changed and some songs (like the title track and “Rock Me Now”) were slightly re-worked.

File Under: Rock, Indie
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moon duo

Moon Duo: Shadow of the Sun (Sacred Bones) LP+7″
The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time that they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases. Working in a rare and uneasy rest period for the band, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless moving landscapes, offered Moon Duo a new space to reflect on all of these previous experiences and cradle them while cultivating the new album in the unfamiliar environment of a new dwelling; a dark Portland basement. The effect was akin to the act of descending from a train after a long and arduous trip, only to see it (and all your subsequent realities) speed off into the horizon without you. It was from this stir-crazy fire that Shadow of the Sun was forged. Evolving the sound of their critically acclaimed first two full length records, Mazes (2011) and Circles (2012), Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada have developed their ideas with the help of their newly acquired steam engine, Canadian drummer John Jeffrey (present on the band‘s last release, Live in Ravenna. Moon Duo used the creative process as a flickering beacon of sanity in an ocean of uncertainty while in these land bound months. The unchartered rhythms and tones of this album reflect their strive for equilibrium in this new environment, and you can hear that Shadow of the Sun is the result of months of wrangling with this profound, unsettling way of being. Exploring the record, a listener will perceive the song “Night Beat,” with its off-kilter dance rhythm, as an attempt by the band to find meaning and acceptance in this new, shifting ground, while “Wilding” delivers a familiar Moon Duo sound, taking refuge in a repetitive, grinding riff-scape. Elsewhere on the record, the band recognizes that no journey is possible without being on the road, paying tribute to the cosmic trucker boogie saint in “Slow Down Low” and “Free the Skull.” From the narcoleptic dancefloor killer “Zero,” the record spirals perfectly into a resplendent daydream, the ecstatically pretty “In a Cloud,” which is a spectacular moment to witness. In a nod to a great pop tradition, the lead single, “Animal,” will appear as the A-side of a 7-inch, packaged with each copy of the vinyl edition. The song has an early West Coast punk viciousness to it that is entirely unique to the Moon Duo catalog. To further coat the album with an air of uncertainty and tension, the duo decamped to Berlin to mix with Finnish beat-meister Jonas Verwijnen of Kaiku Studios. There in a counter-intuitive act of creative catharsis, they managed to dissolve the album’s formal technique into a cool and paradoxically sane sound of confusion. The result, at the end of the trip, is the album Shadow of the Sun.

File Under: Psych, Rock, Wooden Shjips
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no age

No Age: Weirdo Rippers (Fat Cat) LP
By now the two young heavyweights from the LA skate/art/punk underworld, No Age, are a well-known and established part of the indie pantheon. But back in 2007 Dean Spunt and Randy Randall were just building quite a bit of noise in the wake of the demise of their previous band Wives.  After working out their sound in the LA scene revolving around the now fabled venue The Smell (pictured on the cover of Weirdo Rippers) they decided to release five limited vinyl only releases on a variety of DIY indie labels across the globe on the same day (namely UTR, Deleted Art, Teardrops, Youth Attack, and Dean’s own PPM label). Designed by Brian Roettinger, Randall and Spunt, the back of each record’s sleeve was a different color, and had one of the letters that, when you collected all of them, would join to spell No Age. Their debut LP release for FatCat, Weirdo Rippers, was a collection of recorded highlights taken from the aforementioned releases. At the time it was readily available on CD and has since found a home digitally but it’s not found its way back to the vinyl format that first gave many of these tracks life. Now they’re presenting the first domestically available version of Weirdo Rippers pressed to vinyl; an utterly essential piece of No Age’s past!

File Under: Indie Rock
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prekop

Sam Prekop: The Republic (Thrill Jockey) LP
Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea and Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his instrument meticulously to find the perfect combination of oscillators, sequencers, limiters and filters to create a system that allows him to create sounds that are surprising and inviting. His new album The Republic is his latest synthesizer work, following 2010’s Old Punch Card, and showcases Prekop’s talent for creating expressive music through mechanical patterns, repetitions, and chance. Prekop’s innate gifts of melodic turns of phrase that have made him a revered songwriter are transferred into new forms in his synthesizer work, aided by the unpredict  able mel  odic capabilities of analog sequencers, and The Republic is an exciting new chapter in his development as an accomplished synthesist. The first half of The Republic consists of songs that were originally created as a score for a video installation of the same name by David Hartt, which was shown at the David Nolan Gallery in New York. These pieces strike an impressive balance between control and spontaneity, seamlessly transitioning from abstraction and discord into passages of blissful harmonic consonance. The second half of the record consists of some of Prekop’s most warm and inviting synth work yet, built using ideas that worked better on their own as opposed to accompanying the installation. These songs have a sense of forward motion that is often missing in many recordings by modern modular synthesists, which Prekop attributes to his incorporation of the instrument into his writing process for The Sea and Cake’s acclaimed 2012 album Runner. The Republic is an entrancing album that moves Prekop’s synthesizer compositions further into the realm of the accessible without abandoning the experimental legacy of the instrument. The Republic was recorded in Prekop’s home studio in Chicago during the early months of 2014. Although he has primarily only performed synthesizer sets in Chicago, in part due to the extensive process of setting up and dismantling the instrument, he plans to perform works incorporating elements of The Republic throughout the US in 2015.

File Under: Electronic, Sea & Cake
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ronson

Mark Ronson: Uptown Special (RCA) LP
Uptown Special, the fourth album by producer-songwriter-musician Mark Ronson, is a tale of several cities, a wide range of collaborators, and a road trip deep into the American South. However the story of Ronson’s latest project really starts back when he was New York’s hottest DJ. In the late 1990s into the early 2000s the New York club scene was percolating with booming hip-hop and glitzy R&B. In those days before he emerged as a multi-talented musical force Ronson manned the turntables of many great parties. Uptown Special has all of the flavor of a night with Mark rocking the ones and twos with funk, soul, and psychedelic pop in a style that echoes classic productions by Quincy Jones and Steely Dan, and funneled through its creators sophisticated understanding of arrangement and melody. Of his three previous albums Mark feels like Uptown Special is closest in spirit to his 2003 debut, Here Comes the Fuzz, which came directly out of his DJ experience. “The difference,” Mark says “is I was reaching for things musically I wasn’t quite ready to execute. With all the experience I’ve gained over the years I had the maturity and knowledge to really pull this together.” Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special is a unique blend. It’s an album with a serious literary pedigree matched to down home greasy funk. It features a progressive pop vocalist from Australia and one reared in Mississippi, the spiritual root of American music. Hot young contemporary players dominate while some tracks are spiced with legendary musicians. It’s a mix that reflects the musical taste and life experience of its creator.

File Under: Pop, Funk, Soul
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segall

Ty Segall: Live in San Francisco (Castle Face) LP
By now you should know what you’re in for here: an eardrum-toasting take to tape of the mighty Ty Segall Band, captured during two nights in San Francisco at the barely-pushing-medium-sized venue The Rickshaw Stop. Rowdy crowd, meet stacks of amplifiers – Ty, Charlie, Mikal and Emily came to singe your ears off. There have been live recordings of Ty before, of course, but never so crisply and fully realized as this scorching platter of fuzz. As always, the cover artwork showcases beautiful black and white photos shot to film at the venue by Castle Face’s favorite lensman Brian Pritchard. As always, the tape takes are tweaked and saturated to perfection by their incredible crack team of engineers and knobgoblins. Live in San Francisco features jams from throughout Mr. Segall’s torrential output of the past few years, including a take of the first single ‘Feel’ off his great new record Manipulator. It’s the next best thing to getting in to the show, which is getting harder and harder with Ty these days.

File Under: Punk, Garage
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von

Sigur Ros: Von (XL) LP
Originally issued in 1997, Von (hope) is the debut full-length album from widely acclaimed Icelandic post-rock outfit Sigur Ros. The sound across these 12 tracks is reassuringly primitive, though often daring, drifting from 4AD-inspired quasi-shoegazing atmospherics at one moment to John-Cage inspired silence the next. The band was quite obviously at this stage not only looking at the reverberating echoes of the British indie scene of the late 80’s, but also in its more ambitious forefather, prog rock. Frequently unrecognizable from the bulk of their subsequent work, Von is an experimental and ambient work.

File Under: Ambient, Pop, Iceland
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…..restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (EMI) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time For Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim Of Love (Daptone) LP
Budos Band: III (Daptone) LP
Clash: Give Em Enough Rope (Epic) LP
Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
DJ Shadow: Endtroducing (Mo Wax) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Allelujah! (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: F#A# (Constellation) LP
Ariel Kalma: An Evolutionary Music (ReRVNG) LP
Modest Mouse: Good News… (Epic) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Swami John Reis & The Blind Shake: Modern Surf Classics (Swami) LP
Sleater Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop) LP
Viet Cong: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
War On Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Thirdman) LP
Whitehorse: Leave No Bridge Unburned (Six Shooter) LP/CD

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