Another massive week here. So many great things in this week that I’ve opted to have 3 picks this week, which still isn’t enough. And if that isn’t enough, I’ve been buying some sweet blues and other records off a fellow as of late, so there’s some killer used gems hitting the bins as well, good news for those of you who aren’t lovin’ all the crazy jazz going out.
Also, next Wednesday is my monthly night ‘Cosmic Grooves‘ at the wonderful Daravara. I urge you to grab some drinking pals and come down and have some delicious food and drink while I spin records from around the cosmos.
…..picks of the week…..
Älgarnas Trädgård: Framtiden är ett Svävande Skepp, Förankrat i Forntiden (Subliminal Sounds) 2LP
Subliminal Sounds presents a vinyl reissue of Älgarnas Trädgård’s 1972 debut album Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntiden, a rare and totally flipped-out psychedelic underground space rock masterpiece from Sweden. The band name translates to “The Garden of the Elks” and the album title to “The Future Is a Hovering Ship, Anchored in the Past.” A long, long time ago, long before our time, there was high-standing civilization on earth. It was then that the elks lived. In their garden was a huge generator of pink glass that radiated the four elements. It was a sort of primal force for everything that one might call God. These elks eventually learned to master the matter and then went into the astral transcendental plane. Since then nobody has seen them… This reissue is a facsimile deluxe re-release from the master tapes. Includes additional LP with previously unreleased recordings from the same time period. Features never before seen photos and liner notes by the band.
File Under: Psych, Sweden, Raers, Space Rock
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
Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band: Juguya (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band are a contemporary group from Burkina Faso. Coming from Bobo-Dioulasso, the group is steeped in the Mandingue musical traditions of their ancestral legacy. The enigmatic lead singer Baba Commandant (Mamadou Sanou) is an original and eccentric character who is well respected in the Burkinabé musical community. A sort of punk Faso Dan Fani activist for traditional Mandingo music, Baba continues to redefine the boundaries between traditional and modern. In 1981, he joined the Koule Dafourou troupe as a dancer. Later, he embarked on his current musical direction as a singer, first in Dounia and then in the Afromandingo Band. His current band — when he’s not playing with the now-famous Burkinabé musician Victor Démé — is the Mandingo Band. At present, he is a practitioner of the Afrobeat style, drawing inspiration from the golden era of Nigerian music. Fela Kuti/Africa 70 and King Sunny Adé are big influences, as is the legendary Malian growler Moussa Doumbia. Baba Commandant plays the ngoni, the instrument of the Donso (the traditional hunters in this region of Burkina Faso and Mali). His audience comprises multiple generations and strata of Burkinabé society; he accordingly adapts his repertoire to his surroundings, which range from cabaret Sundays in Bobo-Dioulasso to the sound systems of Ouagadougou. Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band are a formidable force steeped in Ouagadougou’s DIY underground musical culture. Juguya is their sound.
File Under: Afro-Beat, Jazz-Funk, African, Fuzz
A Place To Bury Strangers: Transfixiation (Dead Oceans) LP
After two years of constant touring and recording, Brooklyn, NY’s A Place To Bury Strangers will release their new album Transfixiation in early-2015 via Dead Oceans. Transfixiation, the fourth full-length from the band, is a bold experimental step forward. Rather than fixating on precious recording techniques and minute details, the members of the group – guitarist/singer Olvier Ackermann, bassist Dion Lunadon, and hard-hitting drummer Robi Gonzalez – trusted their instincts and tried to keep things as pure as possible. Music is much more exhilarating when it’s unpredictable even on repeat plays, and this is very much an unpredictable record. Gonzalez makes his recording debut with the band here, and it’s obvious that he’s helped push the band’s sound closer to the level of their infamous live shows.
File Under: Indie Rock
Oren Ambarchi: Live Knots (Pan) LP
“Oren Ambarchi presents Live Knots, two live realizations of ‘Knots,’ the epic centerpiece of his 2012 album Audience of One. Built on the interplay between Ambarchi’s swirling guitar harmonics and the metronomic pulse and shifting accents of Joe Talia’s DeJohnette-esque drumming, the piece merges the organic push and pull of free improvisation with an overarching compositional framework. ‘Tokyo Knots’ is the complete recording of a duo performance of the piece by Ambarchi and Talia recorded at Tokyo’s legendary SuperDeluxe in March 2013. The performance builds gently on the foundation of Talia’s insistent ride cymbal and the shifting tonal bed of Ambarchi’s rich, overtone-drenched guitar, eventually going into a free rock free fall of buzz saw harmonics and crashing drums. From within the maelstrom, Talia picks up a pulsing motorik rhythm that leads the piece back to where it began, with the addition of the shuddering, elastic tones of a hand-played spring reverb unit. ‘Krakow Knots’ works with the same basic structure but stretches it out to nearly twice the length and adds strings played by the Sinfonietta Cracovia, led by Eyvind Kang on viola. The strings expand the piece’s textural range with lush chordal blocks, uneasy dissonances, and occasional Ligeti-esque swarms of micro-activity, the swelling string tones intensifying the ecstatic nature of the piece as it moves toward its mid-point crescendo in which Ambarchi unleashes a particularly malicious continuum of stuttering harmonic fuzz. The strings then enter with a series of swelling chords, announcing the piece’s final movement, and reaffirming the uniqueness of the tonal and compositional language that Ambarchi has patiently developed over the last two decades, in which the influence of post-minimal composers such as Alvin Curran, Gavin Bryars, and David Behrman can be felt alongside the inspiration of raw free jazz, harsh noise, and academic psychoacoustics. The final moments of the performance pit Talia and Crys Cole’s amplified objects and spring reverb textures against a field of gently gliding string glissandi before the audience erupts in much-deserved applause” –Francis Plagne.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Free Improv, Modern Classical
Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul (Lex) LP
IN TOMORROW! Sour Soul is the new collaborative album from Toronto jazz/hip-hop trio BADBADNOTGOOD and Staten Island rap champ Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan). Inspired by 1960s and ’70s music – taking inspiration from the recording techniques and production of that era, and eschewing sampling in favor of live instrumentation – BBNG with producer Frank Dukes have created a dramatic, cinematic musical staging for Ghostface’s vivid storytelling. Sour Soul also features guest spots from MF Doom, Elzhi (Slum Village), Danny Brown and prodigal new rapper Tree (Project Mayhem).
File Under: Hip Hop, Jazz, CanCon, Wu-Tang
Travis Bretzer: Waxing Romantic (Mexican Summer) LP
Waxing Romantic is the debut album from Canadian artist Travis Bretzer. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, 24-year-old Bretzer has an appropriately singular, off-beat take on guitar pop. An adroit songwriter and true troubadour, Travis sidesteps easy pigeonholing. On his debut EP Making Love (2013) he managed to touch on the new-pop of Orange Juice, the playful idiosyncrasies of Prefab Sprout, with a freewheeling sensibility present in much of the Stiff Records catalog. Above all, Making Love displayed some truly sophisticated songwriting that belied its occasionally haphazard bedroom production and casual delivery. On Waxing Romantic, Travis has stepped up the production in a big way, graduating from the bedroom to a full studio environment. Recorded at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn and produced by Jorge Elbrecht (of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Lansing-Dreiden fame) the new environment has allowed for Travis’ songs to be taken to new, fully-realized heights. The album also features a solid crew of players, including members of Haunted Graffiti, James Richardson of MGMT and Regal Degal’s Josh da Costa, who was key in shaping drum arrangements. The move to the studio also feels very in keeping with the sonic inspiration Travis had for the album, which came in part from memories of rifling through his parents’ soft-rock LPs: think Gerry Rafferty, Al Stewart, Christopher Cross, The Eagles. With their warm drums and smooth, clean studio sound informing Travis’ sonic palette, it makes sense that Gary’s Electric became the venue for the album recording. As the title indicates, Waxing Romantic is thematically concerned with love. For Travis, the album reads like a storybook of the first coupleof years of his current relationship, with each song acting like a totem for different events and moments. For this reason, the album is very personal – it navigates the giddy and elated feelings of falling in love, and the process of looking back and reflecting on it. In keeping with the album’s ’70s pop mode, the lyrics are kept simple and sweet, but never cloying. Lead single “Promises” is built around a breezy, cascading guitar riff and oozes a casual temperament. Warm slide guitars and fuzzy power-pop riffs color the lofty melodies of “Lonely Heart.” Elsewhere, “Idle By” recalls the glistening guitar lines of Felt, and “Lady Red” shows Travis doing his best scrubbed up, sophisticated pop song.
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, Edmontonians
Peter Brotzmann/Keiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke: Two City Blues 1 (Trost) LP
One of two different sets, along with Two City Blues 2, recorded on one intense night at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Pit Inn. A trio of three towering figures, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann, Japanese avant-garde wizard Keiji Haino, and wildly versatile American composer and musician Jim O’Rourke, recorded by Yasuo Fujimura on November 23, 2010. Brötzmann: alto and tenor saxophones, tarogato, and clarinet; Haino: guitar, voice, shamisen; O’Rourke: guitar.
File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
Peter Brotzmann/Keiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke: Two City Blues 2 (Trost) CD
One of two different sets, along with Two City Blues 1, recorded on one intense night at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Pit Inn. A trio of three towering figures, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann, Japanese avant-garde wizard Keiji Haino, and wildly versatile American composer and musician Jim O’Rourke, recorded by Yasuo Fujimura on November 23, 2010. Brötzmann: alto and tenor saxophones, tarogato, and clarinet; Haino: guitar, voice, shamisen; O’Rourke: guitar.
File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
Budos Band: Burnt Offering (Daptone) LP
FINALLY BACK IN STOCK TOMORROW!!! When it came time to title their new album, one decision was easy: “This isn’t The Budos Band IV,” proclaims drummer Brian Profilio. “This isn’t just more of the same.” The Budos Band embarked on an experimental journey since the release of The Budos Band III in 2010, seeking inspiration from sources far and wide. While wizards use books of spells and alchemy to mix their masterful potions, the Budos employ heavy doses of continent-spanning psychedelic rock to beckon the occult and conjure the supernatural. Hence the title of the band’s fourth album: Burnt Offering. “We made a conscious decision to embark on a new sound,” explains baritone saxophone player Jared Tankel. The heavy, trippy side the group unveiled on The Budos Band III reaches full flower on new tunes like “Aphasia,” “Trouble in the Sticks” and particularly the title track “Burnt Offering.” “We were messing around with an old Binson Echorec at practice one night and this loop emerged,” recalls bassist Dan Foder. The droning fuzz guitar is a call to the gods from below and encapsulates the band’s sonic progression perfectly. “This record is fuzzy, buzzy and raw, and more obviously psychedelic,” adds Profilio. Like a cratedigger’s classic from a parallel universe.
File Under: Funk, Psych, Groove
Michael Chapman: Window (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
Every artist has a piece of work that niggles them—something that they wish they could redo, given the chance. It’s why Paul McCartney once reproduced Let It Be and why Kate Bush re-recorded Wuthering Heights for her best-of album. For the prolific Michael Chapman, that album is Window, the missing link in the series of Chapman’s early albums being reissued by Light In The Attic Records. Window sits just after the previously released Fully Qualified Survivor and Rainmaker, right before Wrecked Again. In 1970, signed to the hip Harvest label (home to Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett, among others), Chapman was still an artist waiting for that first big success, perpetually skint and permanently touring to make ends meet. With that in mind, he aimed to make Window in as little time as possible because being in the studio meant not being on the road. Producer Gus Dudgeon–who’d been working with Elton John–had other ideas and booked Chapman and his band into one of the UK’s most expensive studios, Trident. The singer-songwriter and prodigious guitarist was in transition from his folkier origins to his heavier future and heading for a whole mess of trouble with the same year’s Wrecked Again. Given the touring bust-ups and tortured recording sessions to come, Michael’s wife Andru Chapman remembers the recording of Window was noted for a “lack of hiccups. No one threw their toys out of the pram, unlike Wrecked Again.” Recorded with U.S. guitar player Phil Greenberg, violin player Johnny Van Derek, and pianist Alex Atterson, the album has a blend of electric and acoustic instruments, both traditional and experimental at once, synthetic sounds melding with finger-picked guitars. The trouble came later. Immediately after recording finished, Michael took the band back out on the road with the understanding that as soon as he got back, he’d put the final acoustic guitar tracks down to replace what he’s always said were only guide tracks. Unfortunately, Harvest’s parent label decided the album was finished and pressed it up anyway. And Chapman, as a result, hates it. Indeed, 34 years later he even set out to right the wrong, re-recording parts of the LP and noting it was a strange experience listening to “dead people on the between-track studio chatter” (Dudgeon, engineer Robin Cable, and drummer Richie Dharma have all since passed). As part of Light In The Attic’s revival of Chapman’s early career, however, the album is presented as was originally released, with Michael’s blessing and albeit with two CD-only bonus tracks. Andru notes, “Warts and all, it is an important part of the Michael Chapman: The Early Years story.” Michael has been less diplomatic in talking about the album. “It is a piece of my history for those interested in that, even though I think it sounds like a piece of crap,” he says. We’re loathe to disagree with him, but, well, why don’t you take a listen and decide for yourselves?
File Under: Folk, Rock
Lyn Collins: Think (About It) (Get On Down) LP+7″
“James Brown had several incredibly talented ‘funky divas’ in his late ’60s and early ’70s stable, including Vicki Anderson and Marva Whitney. But as great as those two powerhouse singers were, Lyn Collins was the strongest hit maker of that funky JB era. Her strong voice and commanding stage presence — which earned her the nicknames ‘The Female Preacher’ and ‘Mama Feelgood’ — quickly proved to be a potent addition to the People Records universe. In the spring of 1972 her second single, the driving and ridiculously funky ‘Think (About It),’ hit the R&B music world like a ton of bricks. As fans young and old know, thanks to its timeless, relentless groove and powerful vocals, ‘Think’ gained a powerful second life in the 1980s thanks to the hip-hop generation, fueling the platinum smash ‘It Takes Two,’ by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock in 1988 and additionally sampled by dozens of hip-hop and dance music artists up to the present day. But Collins was far from a one hit wonder: she was as vocally adept on ballads as she was with full-blown funk. She proves this throughout her debut album, which was released in 1972 on James Brown’s new People Records label — the imprint’s second full-length release. To wit, aside from the title smash: a powerful and emotional cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ the socially progressive ‘Women’s Lib,’ the Gamble & Huff-penned ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ (originally done by Jerry Butler), and even a daring, muscular take on the song ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ made famous by, among others, Frank Sinatra. All throughout Think (About It), Collins shows that she was a vocal force to be reckoned with. Backed by a James Brown-assembled musical crew that included Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, and, of course, James Brown himself, the platter was bound to impress and succeed. And that it did. Included in this special Get On Down deluxe package is a 22″ x 22″ poster of the album cover and a bonus 7″ of Collins’ 1973 People single, ‘We Want to Parrty, Parrty, Parrty’ with the B-side ‘You Can’t Beat Two People in Love,’ which is unavailable on any Lyn Collins full-length.”
File Under: Funk, Soul, James Brown, Breakz
D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah (RCA) LP
FINALLY AVAILABLE ON VINYL 3/10! The wait is finally over! D’Angelo and The Vanguard’s highly anticipated and much buzzed about brand new album, Black Messiah, is upon us courtesy of RCA Records. Nearly 15 years in the making, Black Messiah contains 12 tracks of timeless music with poignant and provocative lyrics that requires repeat listening at maximum volume! On the album, D’Angelo is joined by his band, The Vanguard, alongside Pino Palladino, James Gadson and Questlove on various tracks. All lyrics were written by D’Angelo in addition to Q-Tip and Kendra Foster who also offered songwriting assistance on several songs. With the high quality of live musicianship featured on Black Messiah, it’s important to note that no digital ‘plug-ins’ of any kind were used in this recording. All of the recording, processing, effects and mixing was done in the analog domain using tape and mostly vintage equipment. “‘Black Messiah’ is a hell of a name for an album. It can be easily misunderstood. Many will think it’s about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I’m calling myself a Black Messiah. For me the title is about all of us. It’s about the world. It’s about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and everyplace where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. “It’s not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them. Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are) but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It’s a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader.” – D’Angelo, Black Messiah forward In 1995, Richmond, VA native D’Angelo made an undeniable impact with the release of his debut album Brown Sugar, ushering in a new and inescapable sound with classic hits such as the album title track, “Lady,” “Cruisin,” and more. D’Angelo returned in 2000 with his platinum-plus selling album Voodoo. The critically acclaimed album won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album and the hit single, “Untitled (How Does It Feel), won a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
File Under: Soul, R&B
Jean Pierre Decerf: Space Oddities 1975-1979 (Born Bad) LP
Jean-Pierre Decerf was born in the Paris suburb Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1948, lived in Paris until 2003, and now lives as a hermit in a remote village in the Touraine. From the early ’70s to the mid ’80s, this self-taught musician composed about 20 albums of production and library music with generic cover art and titles (Out of the Way, Keys of Future, Pulsations, etc.) that evoke interstellar travel. These experimental discs, made with love, humility, and rudimentary means, had no ambition other than to accompany other peoples’ images. By exhuming these obscurities from the dustbin of history, Born Bad Records have decided otherwise. Archaeologists with an agenda, they seek to give Decerf the renown he deserves: that of an innovator whose rhythmic, synthetic compositions inspired the harbingers of the French touch (Air comes to mind), and were sampled by many East Coast rappers, including the Wu-Tang Clan.
File Under: Electronic, Library, Psych
Aaron Dilloway/Jason Lescalleet: Popeth (Glistening Examples) LP
It is with great pride and pleasure that Glistening Examples announces the newest collaborative efforts of Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet. Recorded at Tarker Mills in February 2014 then mixed and mastered at Glistening Labs, this 38-minute LP was carved deeply into 150 grams of virgin vinyl via Direct Metal Mastering at GZ Media in the Czech Republic. These records are sheathed in deluxe poly-lined inner sleeves and presented in 300 gsm uncoated reverse board, beautifully adorned by Australian artist and novelist Matthew Revert. “Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet worked on through the night until the sun came up, and the results are presented on Popeth, their riveting second full-length LP. Few artists exhibit such routinely impressive understanding of loops not as mere repetitions, but as possibilities for tectonic movement. Their music evolves and devolves simultaneously within the use of these patterns. They also realize the possibilities inherent in a host of experimental techniques. Their methods are not simply demonstrative ends, but tools for the exploration of new vistas. The nest, a recurring theme in their collaborative work, is usually a protective place, a place of comfort. But in the Dilloway/Lescalleet milieu the nest is a place where protection and comfort fray and break open. You didn’t come here for protection or comfort, though. The first side, ‘Black Mountain,’ is a chain of glacial swirls. Icy wheels of sound are punctuated by warbling tape and a ghostly voice. Flip the record and you’ll find ‘Western Nest’ and ‘Ewch I Gysgu, Popeth,’ two tracks which push the idea of simplistic structure to the limits of its vitally complicated ends. This is the sound of looking at a spiral staircase, or a clothesline, or a power line, or the center line on the highway. It’s the result of deeply electric consciousness. There is a gap in the assembly, a terrible and magnificent peace, a true taste of the passage of time, a measure of the hours and their shifting conditions. It’s their most perfectly realized report yet. The album is a statement of confidence, an assertion of purpose with the assured possibility of purposelessness.” –Matt Krefting, Holyoke, MA 2014
File Under: Electronic, Musique Conrete
Eleh: Homage (Important) 3CD
Important Records is proud to present Eleh’s Homage series remastered and on CD for the first time. Certain frequency combinations that were impossible to cut on LP are effectively presented in this digital edition. Eleh, an artist who flourishes in restraint, uses a reduced sonic vocabulary to highlight delicate intricacies in a logical path toward harmonious satisfaction. The organization of hypnotic square waves, rippling sine waves and triangle/saw tooth waveforms is a discourse in the infinity, rather than the limits, of reduction. By employing a natural practice of balanced interpretation, Eleh enables an individual reaction free of the clutter of white noise.
File Under: Minimalism, Ambient, Drone
JD Emmanuel: Echoes from Ancient Caves (Black Sweat) LP
Probably one of the most underestimate artists of electronic music from the early ’80s, has been lately rediscovered. An expert modulator of electronic and natural sounds, with this work JD Emmanuel seems to recall and reflect extensively on the poetics of the cyclic and mantric sound investigated by other pioneers such as Terry Riley and La Monte Young. The microtonal patterns of the compositions are animated by dense and minimum pulses that amplify the hypnotic and meditative dimension and can be colored by Tibetan suggestions or guitar glissandi. Flows and reflections of sounds define abstract landscapes but remain always deeply reverent with nature and its micro-cosmic variations. In this way, Echoes from Ancient Caves is ideally connected to the previous experimentations of Rain Forest Music (1981) and Wizards (1982). 500 copies on black vinyl + a download link for the digital edition.
File Under: Electronic, New Age, Ambient
Peter Gordon: Symphony 5 (Foom) LP
Many of Peter Gordon’s old friends and collaborators, such as the late Arthur Russell, have been extensively documented through reissues, books, and films, but Gordon himself remains a bit of an enigma. In 2007, his music received a high-profile push from James Murphy, who prominently featured Gordon and Love of Life Orchestra in his FabricLive.36 mix. In 2010, Murphy’s label DFA released a revelatory collection of Gordon’s music from the ’70s and ’80s, which included two little-heard tracks recorded with Russell, and shed light on Gordon’s long career. Gordon performed his first symphony, Symphony in Four Movements, at The Kitchen in New York in 1976, with a band that included Russell, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Rhys Chatham, and formalized his Love of Life Orchestra in April 1977, initially a 12-musician group. Gordon’s exploration of disco, electronic, pop, and jazz elements blended with experimental music has since included collaborations with Factory Floor, Archangel, and Tim Burgess, as well as a role as music producer on Robert Ashley’s opera Vidas Perfectas. Gordon now presents Symphony 5, recorded in front of a live audience by Grammy-winning producer Jeff Jones “The Jedi Master” on June 5, 2013, in the acoustically marvelous Roulette concert hall in Brooklyn. The performance is tight but loose: there’s plenty of room for the unexpected as Gordon the composer allows Gordon the conductor to make decisions on the fly. Throughout the work’s five movements (one of which, “Juvenalia,” is an homage to “Project Chick” by Lil Wayne’s and Mannie Fresh’s hip-hop super group Cash Money Millionaires), Gordon’s instrumental writing keeps moving, leading the listener through careening textures of counterpoint and groove, to say nothing of pleasure and pain; beneath all its exuberance and dry humor flows a dark undercurrent. The performance includes long-time LoLO members Peter Zummo (trombone), Randy Gun (guitar), Ned Sublette (guitar), and Bill Ruyle (mallet percussion). Also featured in the ensemble are Cuban jazz luminaries Elio Villafranca (piano) and Yunior Terry (bass), renowned Latin jazz musician Robby Ameen (drums), New York veteran Paul Shapiro (saxophones), Katie Porter (clarinets), and second-generation LoLO member Max Gordon (trumpet). Peter Gordon conducted the performance while playing combo organ and synth. Symphony 5 is the first release in Foom’s extensive series devoted to Gordon. The series will concentrate on new recordings, unearthed material from his personal archive, as well as a few select reissues from his discography.
File Under: Jazz, Funk, Classical, Arthur Russell
Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Eroina (Holidays) LP
There are still so many treasures to be discovered out there, but when one finds a gem like this, one can put the research on hold for a little while and give it a deep listen. Recorded at Fono Roma in 1971, Eroina is a series of haunting improvisations — each one inspired by the effects of a different drug — made of whirling electronic glitches, skronky horns, pounded piano, funky drums, and weird tape experiments. The best drone/spaced-/drugged-out free music performed by the legendary ensemble of Ennio Morricone, Mario Bertoncini, Egisto Macchi, Bruno Battisti D’Amario, Franco Evangelisti, and Walter Bianchi. A timeless masterpiece available for the first time on vinyl. Limited to 400 copies.
File Under: Morricone, Italian, Library, Jazz, Funk, Psych, Drugs, Experimental
Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura (Dagored) LP
In 1971 for the great soundtrack of Enzo Castellari’s Gli Occhi Freddi della Paura, Morricone called on the services of Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, the legendary avant garde and improvisational combo of which he was a founding member. Not only a classy soundtrack but also a classic of the experimental and free jazz genres.
File Under: Morricone, Italian, OST, Library, Jazz, Psych, Experimental
Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is a Scar (Glitterbeat) LP
The first volume in Glitterbeat’s Hidden Musics, a series of unmediated field recordings of lesser-known global music traditions. War Is a Wound, Peace Is a Scar is a haunting audio document recorded in the summer of 2014 by Grammy-award winning producer Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Malawi Mouse Boys, The Good Ones). The sepia-tinged songs are sung and played live and direct by elderly Vietnamese musicians using half-forgotten traditional instruments. These musicians all have deep, personal connections to the upheavals of the Vietnam War; the recordings’ mesmerizing mood navigates the blurred line between raw beauty and sadness. An album of cautious healing and an unforgettable meditation on conflict, resistance, collective memory, and the longing for what has been lost. Brennan recalls the recording process for this remarkable document in the album’s liner notes, excerpted here: “We had gone to Hanoi to record veterans from their side. Some were music masters, one of whom had joined the army at age thirteen and whose job it was to sing to the troops to boost morale and provide solace. Another was a former AK-47 issued village leader who had not sung in over forty years, and proved to be the most dead-on vocally. She did not hide or adorn, but quietly revealed muted emotions that a microphone often can detect more easily than face-to-face interaction. Then, immediately afterwards, she withdrew back into a stoic shell… With a whammy-bar technology that dates back to the ninth century, it is fair to say that Vietnamese traditions had a bit of a head start over the headbangers of the 1980s. A startling revelation was a plucked instrument (the k’ni) that is clasped between the teeth as the local dialect… is spoken through the single string. What sounds like an extraterrestrial instrumental to the uninitiated actually contains coded, poetic lyrics… Let it suffice to say that these artists are a far cry from the lip-synching karaoke show that we saw on the local cable, with groups of teenagers cavorting on a soundstage and mouthing the words to K-pop songs — air-karaoke, if you will — that managed to render something pre-fab even less real. These elders carry a haunting, but muted sadness that seems only fully revealed through the music that they valiantly keep alive in the face of industrialization, waning regard and interest, and the rapid homogenization and ‘progress’ overtaking their homeland.”
File Under: Ethnic, Vietnamese, Traditional
Humans: Noontide (Hybridity) LP
Double LP version; includes bonus
track “And He Goes.” Vancouver’s indie-electronic duo Humans present their highly anticipated album Noontide, following up 2013’s acclaimed EP Traps (HYB 001EP). Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq’s sound has been called infectious, smartly crafted, and an absolute force in a live setting. Produced by Nik Kozub (Shout Out Out Out Out), Noontide is a showcase of Humans’ innovative mix of heavy electronics with modern pop sensibilities. The album is carefully constructed, building upon the band’s restless aesthetic experimentation.
File Under: Electronic, Indie, SO4
Kerridge: Always Offended Never Ashamed (Contort) LP
Always Offended Never Ashamed by Kerridge marks the beginning of Samuel and Hayley Kerridge’s record label Contort. Much like their renowned Berlin event series of the same name, the label will provide a platform for new and old talent, supporting artists’ autonomy and individuality. Samuel Kerridge has already established himself with critically acclaimed releases on Downwards, Blueprint, and Horizontal Ground. Always Offended Never Ashamed is his most personal recording to date, spanning seven tracks, with the spotlight on his own vocals. Thrashes of guitar sit alongside steely percussion, and show restraint and elegance in the process. Electric pulses wreak havoc on the senses, with earth-shuddering bass and kicks providing the raw physicality that has become synonymous with his work. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Artwork by John Osborn. Edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Techno, Dark Ambient, Drone
konstruKt: Live at Tarcento Jazz (Holidays) LP
konstruKt is the revelatory Turkish free jazz quartet of saxophonist Korhan Futacı, guitarist Umut Çağlar, drummer Korhan Argüden, and percussionist Özün Usta. They offer a real breath of fresh air, like the Art Ensemble of Chicago did in the ’70s. This live multi-channel recording by Giulio Moratti captures their whole performance at the Tarcento Jazz Festival in Udine, Italy, on July 18th, 2014, and gives a perfect taste of their cosmic Turkish free jazz, with an electronic touch provided by the use of a Farfisa organ and tape echoes. Lacquer cut by Alessandro di Guglielmo at Elettroformati, Milan. Cover artwork by Canedicoda. Limited to 200 copies. “These guys are the real deal” –Joe McPhee.
File Under: Free Jazz, Turkey
konstruKt/William Parker: Live at NHKM (Holidays) 2LP
konstruKt have shared stages with such legends as Evan Parker, Marshall Allen, Joe McPhee, and Peter Brötzmann, showing their great ability to adjust their instantly composed music to the presence of a guest. This latest collaboration with the legendary American double bassist William Parker is another testament to their prowess. This 75-minute set of outstanding music was performed at Nâzım Hikmet Kültür Merkezi, Kadıköy, Instanbul, on September 12th, 2014, with a real arsenal of instruments. Four sides of pure spiritual fullfillment! William Parker: double bass, gralla; Korhan Futacı: tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, flute; Umut Çağlar: electric guitar, moog, flute, zurna, percussion; Özün Usta: double bass, percussion; Korhan Argüden: drums. Lacquer cut by Alessandro di Guglielmo at Elettroformati, Milan. Cover artwork by Canedicoda. Limited to 200 copies.
File Under: Free Jazz, Turkey
Krokodil: First Recordings (Krokodil) LP+DVD
The year was 1968. We were playing, practising and experimenting every single day until late into the night in a basement in the heart of the city of Zürich. We were determined to follow our own musical path. Meanwhile, Serge Meier was setting up his recording studio on the outskirts of town. The generous financial offer from the cigarette company was too good to refuse. We bought ourselves the amplifiers we needed and recorded our first single, ‘Camel Is Top,’ with him. This also led—in the spring of 1969—to the recordings that we are now releasing to the public for the very first time. Teddy Meier, EMI Switzerland‘s A&R man, travelled to Munich with the tapes and handed them to the renowned producer Siegfried E. Loch. This paved the way for our band‘s first recording sessions in Germany for the American Liberty label. When the 1968 generation took to the streets, armed with Mao‘s Little Red Book, we were on a completely different trip. On the road with a sitar, violin, tambourine and harmonica, the beat, the bass, rhythm and blues, guitars and a keyboard, the congas and drums, we made our own music. Krokodil Music!” The bonus DVD contains his exciting account of the Krokodil story. For this definitive issue, Krokodil band leader Düde Dürst has assembled photos and film material painstakingly collected over many years.
File Under: Psych, Blues Rock, Switzerland
Ennio Morricone: The Big Gun Down (Dagored) LP
Ennio morricone’s legendary score for The Big Gundown (Italian La Resa Dei Conti) is so densely packed with pathos and drama that run so deep into the listener’s mind. Using almost the same great talents shown on Sergio Leone’s “The Dollar’s Trilogy” with the orchestra conducted by fellow Bruno Nicolai and the mighty twangin’ guitar of Alessandro Alessandroni, the Maestro Morricone deliver similarly outstanding results!
File Under: Maestro, Italian, OST, Westerns
Jonas Munk: Absorb/Fabric/Cascade (El Paradiso) LP
Second solo LP from Causa Sui guitar player and producer Jonas Munk. This is pattern music, characterized by slow builds and subtle, but refined transformations, where gradual tectonic shifts and tiny harmonic gestures generate vivid emotional responses. Instead of imposing any direct intention or meaning, it’s an album that can create a mental environment for the listener to expand and open up into. “Absorb,” taking up the entire A-side, is a piece of meticulous balance, structured from techniques recalling the classical minimalists: soft-glowing analog synthesizer patterns in perpetual motion, creating new harmonic content as each bar progresses. Gradually, randomized modular effects are introduced as well as layers of white noise and detuned, heavily tube-overdriven guitar drones, slowly bathing the piece in warmly filtered fuzz. The B-side opens with two identical organ lines played against each other. After a few minutes the organs lock into a an effortless flow, gently rolling toward a pastoral peak several minutes later, where piano and various layers of electronics enters the soundscape, recalling the blissed-out spiritualism of Alice Coltrane or Popol Vuh. The album’s last track, “Cascade,” opens peacefully but soon enough crosses into an oscillating flood of sound. Gradually the intertwined layers of sound rise to enormous billows of sonic saturation, where each drone harmonizes against layers of distorted pulses. LP pressed on colored vinyl; includes download card. Limited to 500 copies.
File Under: Ambient, Kosmiche, Psych
Nature: s/t (Subliminal Sounds) LP
First ever vinyl reissue of rare and sought-after Swedish underground hard rock psych treasure from 1972. The band’s serious heavyweight musicians managed to create the ultimate so-called “brass och öl” (pot and beer) album. Includes a booklet with previously unpublished photos and in-depth liner notes by Reine Fiske. Limited edition of 600 copies.
File Under: Psych, Hard Rock, Sweden
Joey Negro & Sean P: Supafunkanova Vol 1 (Z) LP
To tie in with second installment of Supafunkanova, Z Records presents a repackaged reissue of Vol. 1, originally released on double CD in 2007. Disco historians and top deckhands Joey Negro and Sean P cast the net yet wider with Supafunkanova, another retrospective of outstanding 12″ tracks from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Unearthing 24 gems from their respective colossal record collections, the groovesome twosome pull together some of the original backstreet 12″s that put funk into the disco decades. It’s a collection sure to please all. The hard-bitten funk fan is likely to find something previously unknown and the newly initiated disco boogie fan will find this a great place to start digging. There’s even an exclusive remix by Joey Negro of the old school classic “We Rap More Mellow” by The Younger Generation, thrown in as an added bonus. Reigning in sounds from New York, South Carolina, Washington, Boston, and Los Angeles, Supafunkanova Vol. 1 is an intoxicating blend of fiercely groovy arrangements, bouncy drumbeats, and funk-driven synths. A musical mix of tracks still as likely to get the booty shaking as they were decades ago! Also includes tracks by Backlash, Leprechaun, V.I.P. Connection, Silver Lining, The Power Band, Jackie Cole & Hot Platnium Fantasy, and Johnny Adams.
File Under: Funk, Disco, Boogie
Joey Negro & Sean P: Supafunkanova Vol 2 (Z) LP
Following the phenomenal success of Italo House and Remixed With Love, Z Records returns with another humdinger of a compilation to start off 2015. Supafunkanova Vol. 2 was compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P, who together have curated many previous albums including Disco (Not Disco), Destination: Boogie, and the ever popular Soul of Disco series. The dynamic duo continues to dig deep, compiling high quality albums filled with lesser known disco and boogie. As the title suggests, Supafunkanova focuses on the funkier end of the ’70s and ’80s, showcasing some of the bumpier grooves recorded in the disco era when even James Brown had to take notice of the Saturday Night Fever (1977)-inspired disco explosion. It will come as no surprise to hear some particularly hard to find gems have been unearthed here, and ones that aren’t just rare but genuinely merit being reissued. The first installment was released back in 2007, and the duo has been working Vol. 2 for some time. It takes a while to finish these albums — tracking down the owners of these musical gems, finding the right image for the sleeve — but it’s finally come together, and its release coincides with the repackaged reissue of Supafunkanova Vol. 1, available on double CD and double LP. Once again Z Records gives outstanding value with ten tracks on the double LP version. Highlights include Airplay’s boogie synth-infused “Drive Me Insane” and the “White Horse”-ish “Cool Out” by Magnum Force. Things get more DC go-go style on Stimulus’s “Super Stimulus,” ex Skull Snaps member Sam Culley delivers the up-tempo jazz funk track “Walk,” and the soulful, Teena Marie-ish “Sound Reason” by Splash gets an exclusive Joey Negro edit. Also includes tracks by The Blue Denim Band, The Sunburst Band, Star Quality & Class, Brenda Harris, and Nice and Tight Band.
File Under: Funk, Disco, Boogie
The Notwist: Shrink (Outer Battery) LP
“Back in print for the first time in many years, it’s The Notwist’s classic Shrink LP! Originally released in 1998, Shrink was The Notwist’s record that set the stage for their groundbreaking Neon Golden LP on Domino. Scanning 50,000+ copies in the U.S., Neon Golden was their first LP to receive wide exposure in America and was given a 9.2 by Pitchfork when it was released, but the true Notwist fans knew that Shrink was the record to own. To quote Pitchfork’s review of Neon Golden, ‘Shrink was a huge step into the world of electronic music and sounded almost completely unlike anything else made at the time. Mixing rock and pop with free jazz, old-timey folk, jagged minimalist beats and just about anything else you could toss in, I don’t have any problems saying now that the record was ahead of its time. To top it off, the shame in it all is that very few took notice; Zero Hour went belly up (rendering 12 and Shrink virtually impossible to find in record shops these days).’ With a new record on Sub Pop having scanned 6000+ copies to date, and original copies of Shrink now selling for $100+, we’re very excited to be reissuing this incredible release on vinyl. Housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, now is the time to grab this classic LP!”
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, German
OST: Batman Animated Series (Mondo) Die-Cut 12″
Batman: The Animated Series Die-Cut 12″ Single featuring Main Titles & End Credits from the television show, housed in an incredible gatefold jacket designed by Phantom City Creative, and pressed on Black Vinyl with Gray Splatter. Die-Cut into the shape of the Bat-symbol.
File Under: OST, Animation, Mondo
OST: Cannibal Holocaust (Mondo) LP
Considered one of the most notorious films ever released and banned in over 50 countries for many years, Ruggero Deodato’s most brutal film (and surely one of the first “found footage” films) still retains the power to shock to this day as it charts a team of documentary filmmakers as they go deep into the jungle to find and film the indigenous tribes of the area. “One thing that always stuck out like a sore thumb when viewing Cannibal Holocaust was Riz Ortolani’s score, which is beautifully composed, offering a mix of traditional orchestration and early synth work. As a stand alone piece of music it’s staggering, offering some respite from the violence onscreen and the juxtaposition between the sights onscreen and musical soundtrack have in my opinion never been bettered.” – Spencer Hickman, Mondo and Death Waltz Label Manager.
File Under: OST, Horror, Mondo
OST: Das Madchen von Hongkong (Black Pearl) LP
A German b-movie action & crime soundtrack “Das Mädchen von Hongkong” / “The Girl from Hongkong” from 1973, that was never released before and shot in HongKong with an international flair and with the very famous German actor and show-man Joachim “Blacky” Fuchsberger. The music of this soundtrack was written by Gerhard Narholz and recorded under different pseudonyms and with different groups. Gerhard Narholz is a very famous library composer, musician and owner of the music-archive Sonoton. The music is between typical library crime music & gangster action cinematic tunes, with very funky grooves, wah wah guitars, Hammond organ riffs, fat horn stabs and fuzzy guitars and all that elements & ingredients that a gangster movie needs! Mastered by Sonoton studio-engineer legend Gerhart Frei, this album was never supposed to be released back in the day and the Black Pearl crew is very proud to present this unknown soundtrack pearl for the first time to music-lovers & record collectors worldwide!!!
File Under: OST, Funk, Wah
OST: Django (AMS) LP
In 1966 the ‘spaghetti western’ genre was reworked once again by Sergio Corbucci’s “Django” – a director with the impressive average of 2-3 films per year. The settings change, with sand replaced by mud, and the protagonist, rather than moving on horseback, walks through wilderness dragging a coffin which hides a mysterious content. As Leone chose Eastwood, the hero is embodied by the unknown Franco Nero.These and other factors made “Django” an absolute cult, that gave way to a long series of sequels and that in recent times has been repeatedly honored at several levels (not only movies but also comics, music, cartoons…). Among the most recent contributions we have Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”: not only the original theme was used in its soundtrack, but the film has even an exceptional appearance of Franco Nero in the flesh! Perfect accompaniment to the muddy, cynical and gloomy scenarios, is Luis Bacalov’s music, an Argentine conductor well known to Italian progressive rock fans, since he worked with New Trolls, Osanna and Il Rovescio della Medaglia. The “Django” main theme gives chills even today, almost 50 years since its conception; it was recorded in two versions, one sung in Italian (by Roberto Fia) and the other in English (by Rocky Roberts), but only the first was released as a 45rpm at the time, while the second, along with several other tracks, was revived for the first time only in 1985.
File Under: OST, Westerns
OST: Perrak (ASM) LP
Clarinetist, saxophonist, composer and arranger Rolf Kühn won the 2011 ECHO Jazz Award for his life’s work (coincidentally Rolf’s brother, the pianist Joachim Kühn, also won). This great honor will likely provide Rolf with the stamp of “jazz artist” for the rest of his life. It is hard to imagine that Rolf Kühn did in fact find the time to create solid works in other musical genres, such as the so called “easy listening”, swing, groovy and related forms of library music, plus original film and television scores. Historically many renowned jazz artists flirted with the big screen and left essential jazz influenced soundtracks for posterity. The names Miles Davis (ASCENSEUR POUR L’ECHAFAUD), Duke Ellington (ANATOMY OF A MURDER), Herbie Hancock (BLOW UP), and well-known “Kühn fan” Don Ellis (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) immediately come to mind. Rolf Kühn’s first film score was for DAS GELBE HAUS AM PINNASBERG (THE YELLOW HOUSE IN PINNASBURG – 1970) directed by Alfred Vohrer – a fast-paced, witty caricature of the sexual liberation movement of that time, which opposed the seemingly endless series of German sexploitation farces of the 1970s (such as the popular Schulmädchen series). Inspired by the great success of DAS GELBE HAUS the same contributors produced another genre movie: the crime film PERRAK (aka HARD WOMEN 1970). This production was even more exquisitely produced than DAS GELBE HAUS which resulted in a highly effective, tense thriller. PERRAK provided audiences with excellent entertainment, and currently it is still held in a revered cult position amongst professional filmmakers, mainly due to the involved artist’s unwillingness to compromise on quality, and it’s impressively modern production values. For both films director Alfred Vohrer wisely trusted Kühn’s skills and gave him carte blanche for the musical aspect. He got a big band and 12-15 strings – in total 30 instrumentalists. Kühn personally composed, arranged, orchestrated and conducted both works. As each of these scores were very well received by both critics and audiences they were reused many times, and later applied to several other movies.
File Under: OST, Jazz
OST: Scanners/The Brood (Mondo) LP
For the first time ever on vinyl, the soundtrack to two of David Cronenberg’s most iconic films, and the start of his decades long collaboration with Howard Shore: Scanners / The Brood. Featuring two pieces of original artwork by Sam Wolfe Connelly (each representing one of the films) and containing liner notes by Shore expert Royal S. Brown.
File Under: OST, Horror, Mondo
OST: Tales From Beyond the Pale: Hole Digger/Trawler (Deep Focus) LP
Inspired by the vintage radio shows of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, Tales From Beyond The Pale was conceived and is curated by Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid. Deep Focus records brings you these two fantastic audio dramas with score and theme music on a deluxe double vinyl set. DISC 1: THE HOLE DIGGER: It was the summer that everything changed, that summer in Cape Cod when me and my brother first found the hole dug down in the dunes in front of our house. Whether it was for a grave or a treasure, that hole changed our lives for good. Larry Fessenden’s haunting tale stars James Le Gros (Drugstore Cowboy, Phantasm II) and Owen and Tobias Campbell (Bitter Feast, Conviction), and features Kevin Corrigan (The Departed, Pineapple Express), Heather Robb (House of the Devil, Stake Land) and Joel Garland (Orange is the New Black). DISC 2: TRAWLER: Glenn McQuaid’s bizarre tale of mayhem and menace on the high seas, Trawler takes us to the edge of sanity and beyond the pale. Featuring the voice talents of Christopher Denham (Shutter Island), AJ Bowen (House of the Devil, You’re Next) and Larry Fessenden (Habit, I Sell The Dead). “Tales from Beyond the Pale looks backward into nostalgia while offering glimpses of futuristic ambition… a handful of these episodes push the state of the art to the next level.” Slate “Fans of shows from ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ to ‘This American Life’ that take their stylistic cues from radio’s glory days — should enjoy these macabre R-rated tales.” The New York Times Two LP set in a gatefold sleeve. Limited to 500 numbered copies. 100 copies come on colored vinyl (red and black swirl for The Hole Digger / Clear with blue and black mix for Trawler) and will be randomly inserted. Theme music by Jeff Grace, original score by Dave Eggar.
File Under: Radio Plays, OST, Horror
Pelican: The Cliff (Southern Lord) LP
The Cliff is a new vocal driven 12″ vinyl EP release from Chicago’s esteemed instrumental quartet Pelican which offers fresh reimaginings of “The Cliff,” a highlight from their most recent album, 2013’s Forever Becoming, and one recently completed exclusive new song. The four track EP includes remixes from Justin Broadrick (of Godflesh, Jesu), Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer (of ISIS/Palms), and, for only the second time in their fourteen year career, vocals. Allen Epley (Shiner, The Life and Times) once again returns to the band’s fold to transform, in a complementary manner, the concept and overall outcome of what we have come to know as Pelican. No cheap juxtaposition, Epley’s seasoned voice is as broad and astonishingly capable on “The Cliff” as the members behind the music, a claim those who have listened to Epley’s contribution on “Final Breath” from 2009’s What We All Come To Need will attest to. Elsewhere on the record, Broadrick and AH/BCM turn in fresh takes of the source material, feeling less like remixes than new compositions reworked from the original source. Rounding out the set is the previously unreleased song “The Wait,” a contemplative semi-acoustic simmer that builds to an explosion of cathartic distortion and melody in true Pelican fashion.
File Under: Metal, Remixes
Post Industrial Noise: The Official Anthology (Medical) LP
Medical Records in collaboration with Crispy Nuggets (http://crispynuggets.blogspot.com) isproud to present a collection of tracks by Post Industrial Noise. PIN was an “audio artsemble” conceived in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio by the trio Robert Crise Jr, Gerald F. Nelson, and Dana Riashi Ritchey. They started on a drum machine, guitars, and vocals but quickly evolved to one member on synths and two guitarists on occasional synths. Robert Crise Jr maintained a studio titled “The Center For Contemporary Realism” where he conceived most of the lyrics for PIN. Gerald F. Nelson was a local performance artist, and Dana Riashi (OSU art student) claimed to be the “idea-mediator” between Robert and Gerald. Robert produced a flexidisc of PIN material through an Ohio Arts Council grant and distributed it through the OSU art tabloid “Dialogue”. The accompanying article from Cleveland’s Spaces Gallery noted PIN to have “redigested their input from influence bands such as Tangerine Dream, PIL, and Kraftwerk, to produce their own unique sound”. PIN performed mainly in galleries and occasionally clubs at the time. They produced a cassette release and were soon feeling the pressure to specialize towards more concrete art performance or club venues. It was this pressure that soon led all activity of PIN to a strangling halt unfortunately. Robert soon left Ohio for graduate studies in Detroit where he remains a “future archaeologist” today. Gerald and Dana then proceeded to form the outfit Near Paris (reissued on Medical Records in 2013). The output of PIN could be described a more experimental/minimalist offshoot of new wave with pleasant synth sequences blanketed in rich synth tones. Fans of Near Paris will obviously draw comparisons, but the overall feel of PIN is a bit darker and possibly more lo-fi in all aspects. The opening track “Sketch” has a definite cold wave vibe with slightly echoed vocals over a subtle drum machine beat and monotonous synth lines. “Prelude” is a deep instrumental cut with synth and sample interplay resulting in a hypnotic slab of brilliance.
File Under: Minimal Wave, LoFi
Purity Ring: Another Eternity (Last Gang) LP
Canadian duo Megan James and Corin Roddick – aka Purity Ring – return with their second full-length album entitled Another Eternity. 2012 breakthrough debut Shrines was in many ways a prescient suggestion of indie and popular music to come. The album earned the #1 spot on iTunes electronic chart, Pitchfork “Best New Music” laurels and praise from New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR and more. While Shrines was composed remotely between Halifax and Montreal, Another Eternity marks the first time Megan and Corin were able to create a record in the same room. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what was to become the album. Megan and Corin recorded and produced their follow-up themselves, as always. With Another Eternity, Purity Ring trade the claustrophobic atmospheres of Shrines for wide-open expanses of sound. Between the brooding anthem “Begin Again,” the infectious “Bodyache,” and the time suspending “Stillness in Woe,” the emotional geography of Another Eternity is wider than ever: gloomy valleys and gleaming peaks in equal measure. Megan’s vocals are in sharper focus as she details her lyrical universe of “sweat and dreams” populated by seacastles, rattling spines and weeping drawers. Corin’s gift for evocative melody remains intact but his percussive skills and sense of composition have been refined and honed.
File Under: Indie Pop, Hip Hop
Klaus Schulze: Official Bootleg Vol 1: Stars are Burning (Mirumir) LP
This double-LP set contains a recording of a performance by Klaus Schulze at Brussels University on April 16, 1977. The double-LP also includes a track exclusive to the vinyl edition of the release, “Invisible Musik,” recorded in Schulze’s studio in Hambühren in November 2007 and originally released on the 2008 compilation Muting the Noise 01. In this excerpt from his liner notes, Klaus Dieter Mueller recalls the process of releasing this singular artifact: “During his career Klaus has played 380 concerts, 119 as soloist and the others with guests or in a group such as Psy Free, Ash Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream, or Stomu Yamashta’s Go. Some of these concerts were recorded and some of it was already released. The very first was the double LP album …Live… in 1980, and KS promised then, as it was printed on the cover: ‘This is my first and last live album.’ Meanwhile… we have a few more concert recordings of Klaus Schulze released, for posterity… and for enjoyment of the present listeners. These historic concert recordings from the concert tour in 1977 were partly available before on an illegal bootleg. We had the obvious idea to make this album (and maybe others) finally ‘official.'” Housed in a gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
Ty Segall: Mr. Face (Famous Class) 2×7″
Famous Class is proud to announce the brand new TY SEGALL: Mr. Face EP!!! Not only is this gatefold double 7″ EP packed with 4 killer jams ‘Mr. Face’, ‘Circles’, ‘Drug Mugger’, ‘The Picture’ it doubles as a playable pair of 3D glasses! Pressed on translucent red + blue colored vinyl, you just look through the records to activate the supercharged 3D artwork. Get weird with us.
File Under: Garage, Punk, 3D
Shearing Pinx: People (Psychic Handshake) LP
On the cusp of the band’s 10th year in existence, Psychic Handshake Recordings is proud to present the latest slab of abstract shred from Canada’s preeminent noise rock outfit, Shearing Pinx. Blending shrapnel guitar work, free-jazz drum-pummel, and a new focus on head-banging bass lines, People is a hallmark release from a band that continues to innovate against the multiplying strictures of rock and roll in the age of the Internet.
File Under: Noise Rock, Post-Punk, CanCon
Mike Shiflet/High Aura’d: Awake (Type) LP
Awake is a collaboration between noise veteran Mike Shiflet and guitarist John Kolodij (aka High Aura’d), and was recorded over the course of three autumn days in Kolodij’s Rhode Island studio. This isn’t your expected by-email collaboration though; rather, the two sat together in the same room with amps humming and strings vibrating, letting the space and the physicality dictate the music. The sessions were improvisational in nature, and as the recordings were cleaned up and edited, only sparse field recordings were added to enhance the live takes. It’s a record that might sound electronic in parts — indeed, echoes of Tim Hecker or Yellow Swans are present throughout — but has the guitar at its core. Awake is a direct descendent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Glenn Branca, but has been smudged, distorted, and delayed beyond recognition. What’s left are traces — the ghosts and outlines of songs, trapped in a fog of white noise and overdrive — and the end result is disarmingly serene. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient
Skenet: Allting Rullar (Subliminal Sounds) LP
Limited edition of 500 copies. Stellar electric instrumental folk rock. Skenet are four young musicians who grew up in rural Sweden and started playing the fiddle when they were kids. They stand for the renewal of the genre and take it in new and truly exciting directions with electric guitars and Mellotrons, among other instrumentation. Members Lena and Staffan, who both are also legitimate riksspelmän (National Folk Musicians of Sweden), have previously worked with bands like Dungen. Now they present their own musical vision. If you dig progressive psych and folk this is definitely for you. Limited edition of 500 copies.
File Under: Folk, Psych, Prog, Sweden
The Thing: Garage (The Thing) LP
Garage is Scandinavian free jazz trio The Thing’s acclaimed third album, originally released in 2004 by the Norwegian label Smalltown Superjazzz. In the wake of this album’s original release, which was heralded by media outlets ranging from the BBC to Uncut to The Observer, the trio played a sold-out show in London with Four Tet and Prefuse 73 and embarked on European and American tours. Their performance at Oslo’s Øya Festival with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore as a guest guitarist was particularly mind-blowing, and the trio was soon invited by Basement Jaxx to play the Wireless Festival in London. Garage includes covers of songs by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Sonics, Peter Brötzmann, The White Stripes, and Norman Howard, along with two of the trio’s originals. It was recorded on January 3 and 4, 2004, by Kai Andersen at Athletic Sound. Played by Mats Gustafsson: tenor and baritone saxophones; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: double bass; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums, percussion, and megaphone-sampler.
File Under: Free Jazz
Torche: Restarter (Relapse) LP
Heavy rock titans Torche make their Relapse debut with the thunderous Restarter, a ten song triumph of an album. The group rose to popularity merging huge infectious melodies with downtuned, crushing sludgey rock and on Restarter they’ve perfected the marriage. This is a record that is simultaneously hum-able and heavy that will just as easily appeal to fans of Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth as it will Melvins and High On Fire. But what truly sets Torche apart from their peers is their ability to use top-notch songwriting and soaring, harmonic vocals to create records that are heavier, louder and hookier than anyone else out there. Bass player and producer Jonathan Nuñez said of the new album: “I feel it’s strong sonically and harder hitting than the previous record [Harmonicraft]. I’m happy with the last record, but I feel on this record, it’s just more solid song to song. You’ve got to move forward. You can’t release the same record over and over.”
File Under: Metal, Hard Rock
Nedelle Torrisi: Advice From Paradise (Ethereal Sequence) LP
“Nedelle Torrisi is a singer with a voice for the ages and a songwriter who would fit in at the Brill Building. Her most recent album Advice from Paradise is the brainchild of Torrisi and producer Kenny Gilmore, guitarist / keyboardist /drummer / secret-musical-mastermind with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Gilmore plays most of the instruments on Advice, a labor of love more than two years in the making, cut between tours and other engagements. Let us be clear: this all-heart, no-gimmick album is truly excellent. Nedelle’s songcraft harkens to a time when albums were albums, songs had structure, anyone could sing them. Rich in emotion, neither retro nor particularly modern, Advice from Paradise suggests a timeless midway point between Carole King and Sade. Best known as the lead singer of Cryptacize, Nedelle has also sung on albums by Ariel Pink, Dev Hynes, and Sufjan Stevens, and opened tours for Julia Holter, Deerhoof, of Montreal, Magnolia Electric Co., Destroyer, Xiu Xiu, Jens Lenkman, and Fiery Furnaces. In her spare time, Nedelle writes a romance advice column at advicefromparadise.com.”
File Under: Indie, Pop
Tse Tse: Land in Sicht (Medical) LP
Medical Records returns to Germany for another piece of the Neue Deutsche Welle story with the reissue of the one and only album by Tse-Tse. Long out of print from it’s original 1983 pressing on Neuland Tonträger, it is due to be heard again. Tse-Tse were Claas Melhop and Clement Hülse. The duo met in Hamburg at a disco. While Claas was a medical student and trained flutist, Clem was a school drop out playing in a German punk band (Hermann’s Ogrie) which he joined when he was only 16. They hit it off and spent a lot of time listening to early Human League, Virgin Prunes and other oddball stuff from the time. In between hanging out at trendy bars at some point, Clem took a tiny toy Casio keyboard over to Claas’s place. They began improvising and playing through the home stereo. The drum machine sounds were simply whatever was built into the cheap gear, and everything was recorded on a cassette tape player. The songs came together quite easily with key changes and rhythms evolving quite instinctively. A friend of the band ran an independent record label and insisted they go into the studio. They recreated their homemade tunes and added some vocals, sax, bass, and effects. They did use a Korg MS20 and Roland Drumatix which they now had access to. Following the recording, Clem moved to Berlin and later London. He played in multiple grunge bands, but none of them had any use for the novelty toy synthesizers (which at this point were deteriorating rapidly). Back in Hamburg, Claas finished the album but shortly thereafter he suffered a serious car accident. Sadly the entire project suffered a premature end, and none of the pieces were ever performed live. Clement is still playing in bands today and works as a web designer. Claas eventually finished his medical degree and moved to Berlin. He continued to play music with Temple Fortune who released several albums. He is now an established psychiatrist. The album is a very interesting hybrid of minimal instrumentals interspersed with unique more melodic tracks with vocals. There seems to be an almost prog element (in the most stripped down of fashions) and a clear knack for experimentation. After the brief intro, the first track “Land In Sicht” highlights the duo’s mastery of novelty keyboards highlighted by restrained use of synth and bass guitar with moody vocals. Whereas the first side tends to feature more traditional style synth oriented tracks with vocals (though still quirky and atypical), the second side evolves into long convoluted instrumental pieces with samples and an array of synths and drum machines in a more heady fashion. Highly recommended for fans of the Neue Deutsche Welle genre and especially those fans of Die Gesunden, instrumental tracks of Der Plan, and even the synth stylings of Soft Cell.
File Under: New Wave, Synth Pop
Velvet Illusions: s/t (Moi J’Connais) LP
Following the success of their Human Expression reissue, Moi J’Connais continues their search for forgotten Californian bands of the late 60s. Having unfortunately fallen into the pits of oblivion, The Velvet Illusions never released a full LP. Hailing from the Northwest, the young fellows (aged 14 and 17 at the time) moved to Hollywood in the hope of finding glory and success. Between 1967 and 1968, an EP and three singles were released, and now these ten rare gems are finally available as an LP! Organ and saxophone, unbridled fury, a trip through garage music from acid beats to anti-pot-smoking ballads (!!!), this record paints a bizarre picture of what American youth in the 60s was trying to do. The ten tracks are as intriguing as they are catchy, with inspiring sing-along melodies that break the aesthetic mould of most bands of the time.
File Under: Garage
Matthew E. White: Fresh Blood (Domino) LP
Richmond, Virginia-based singer, songwriter, bandleader, and musical polymath, Matthew E. White releases Fresh Blood, his first full-length album for Domino and the follow-up to the “magical” (Pitchfork) debut Big Inner. Produced by White and Spacebomb partner Trey Pollard, and mixed by Pat Dillett (David Byrne, Nile Rodgers), Fresh Blood marks the next chapter of White’s Richmond, VA-based Spacebomb — an analog studio, record label and production house with in-house strings, horns and a choir at his behest. Fresh Blood is a bracing, beguiling record and a bold advance for White – a record that feels like the brilliant bloom to Big Inner’s striking bud.
File Under: Indie, Pop
White Birch: Weight of Spring (Glitterhouse) LP+CD
In August 2006, Norwegian band The White Birch played what seemed at the time to be their final show, and broke up after ten years and four albums together. The band survived, though, in the heart and mind of Ola Fløttum, who refused to forsake the band. He began composing music for films, learning bit by bit how to accompany pictures with his music. He describes his time since the band’s break-up: “It has taken nine years, many songs have been thrown out the window before I eventually found my 12 chosen ones. During these years I’ve lost my mother, started a family, raised two kids, and bought a house in Oslo were I’ve recorded most of the album in the basement.” The resultant music takes the form of sometimes almost unnoticeable tones and soundscapes. The Weight of Spring. The world as we see it. A long road. In the end Darkness will prevail. “Once I was just a boy with the urge to destroy. I did not read these newborn sparks through the wilting trees, I could only see the dark as it came.” Earth, as it awakes. Warmth. “I was blind, now I can see… no more darkened doors.” And as it elapses. Pain. “As the morning dew fell as rain.” The White Birch became Ola Fløttum. “A lot of freedom, not always so easy to cope with, since you have to argue with yourself.” Fløttum recorded alongside the classically trained composer Ole Henrik Moe on violin, viola, and singing saw, with rhythm from Norwegian Academy of Music graduate Pål Hausken and Moren Barrikmo — both members of Susanna Wallumrød’s Magical Orchestra (Wallumrød herself contributes vocals on “The Hours”). The album also features Ingrid Olava, Ingar Hunskaar (Kings of Convenience, St. Thomas, Serena-Maneesh,Jaga Jazzist), and Fløttum’s wife, the actress Ellen Dorrit Petersen. Grammy-winning mastering engineer Bob Katz put the final touches on The Weight of Spring. Will we remember this album in the distant future? And if so how? Names? Instruments? Its origin? The places it took us to? The White Birch: The Weight of Spring: Love, as it awakes. “Love will never change the morning sun, love will never change the way the darkness runs.”
File Under: Indie, Norway
Various: Hypnotic Cajun & Obscure Zydeco Vol. 2 (Moi J’Connais) LP
Following the success of Volume 1 in 2009, Cajun / Zydeco Vol. 2 is finally here! The long wait was not due to a lack of inspiration but rather to the creator’s diligent research. MJC dig into some of the world’s most moving and lesser-known music, creating a rich compilation of rare gems. Some of these tracks had never been pressed onto vinyl since their original 12” version! It’s a trip into the South of Louisiana, where this music – a blend of worlds and traditions – took shape at the beginning of the 20th century.
File Under: Cajun, Zydeco, The South
A.C. Reed: I’m in the Wrong Business (Alligator) LP
A.C. Reed: Take These Blues And Shove ‘Em (Ice Cube) LP
The Band: Cahoots (Capitol) LP
The Band: Moondog Matinee (Capitol) LP
The Band: Northern Lights – Southern Cross (Capitol) LP
The Band: Stage Fright (Capitol) LP
The Band: s/t (Capitol) LP
The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capitol) LP
The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (Capitol) LP
The Beatles: White Album (Capitol) LP
Carey Bell: Blues Harp (Delmark) LP
Big Mama Thornton: In Europe (Arhoolie) LP
Eddie Clearwater: Flim Doozie (Rooster) LP
Eddie Clearwater: The Chief (Rooster) LP
Eddie Clearwater: Two Times Nine (Charly) LP
Ry Cooder: Chicken Skin Music (Reprise) LP
Ry Cooder: Paradise and Lunch (WEA) LP
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Deja Vu (Atlantic) LP
Curved Air: Midnight Wire (BTM) LP
Curved Air: Airborne (RCA) LP
Curved Air: Air Cut (Warner) LP
Rev. Gary Davis & Pink Anderson: Gospel, Blues & Street Songs (Riverside) LP
Floyd Dixon: Houston Jump (Route 66) LP
Willie Dixon: Blues Roots Vol. 12 (Chess) LP
Willie Dixon: Live (Jackal) LP
Bo Diddley/Muddy Waters/Little Walter: Super Blues (Checker) LP
Donovan: 7-Tease (Epic) LP
Donovan: Fairytale (Marble Arch) LP
Donovan: Universal Soldier (Marble Arch) LP
Donovan: Ocean Road (Epic) LP
Donovan: Like It Is (Hickory) LP
Donovan: Barabajagal (Epic) LP
Bob Dylan: Desire (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding (Columbia) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: The Essential (Warner) LP
The Hollies: Words & Music by Bob Dylan (Epic) LP
Sam ‘Lightning’ Hopkins: the Blues (Joker) LP
Big Walter Horton: With Carey Bell (Alligator) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: Vol 1 (Chess) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: Vol 2 (Chess) LP
Howlin’ Wolf: s/t (Chess) LP
Etta James: Tell Mam (Chess) LP
Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick (Capitol) LP
Jethro Tull: Aqualung (Capitol) LP
Lonnie Johnson: Blues By (Bluesville) LP
Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues (Columbia) LP
B.B. King: Now Appearing at Ole Miss (MCA) LP
B.B. King: From The Beginning (Kent) LP
B.B. King: Live In Cook County Jail (Pickwick) LP
B.B. King & Bobby Bland: Together For the First Time… Live (ABC) LP
King Biscuit Boy: Mouth Of Steel (Stony Plain) LP
King Biscuit Boy: Richard Newell (Stony Plain) LP
King Curtis: Trouble In Mind (Tru-Sound) LP
Hip Lankchan: Original Westside Chicago Blues Guitar (JSP) LP
Leadbelly: Legend of (Joker) LP
Bob Marley: Legend (Island) LP
Brownie McGhee: Brownie Speaks (Paris Album) LP
Memphis Slim: Steady Rolling (Bluesville) LP
Memphis Slim: The Real Folk Blues (Chess) LP
Memphis Slim: Travelling With The Blues (Storyville) LP
Johnny Otis: Into The Eighties (Charly) LP
Wilson Picket: The Exciting (Atlantic) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (CBS) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks (London) LP
Rush: Moving Pictures (Mercury) LP
Sam & Dave: Soul Men (Atlantic) LP
Sly & The Family Stone: Greatest Hits (Epic) LP
Al Smith: Hear My Blues (Bluesville) LP
Super Super Blues Band: Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley (Checker) LP
Buddy Tate: A Basket of Blues (Spivey) LP
T. Rex: The Slider (Reprise) LP
Maurice John Vaughn: Generic Blues Album (Alligator) LP
Sonny Boy Williamson: Blues Classics (Blues Classics) LP
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down & Out Blues (Chess) LP
Sonny Boy Williamson & The Yardbirds: 1962 Live in London (L+R) LP
Jimmy Witherspoon: Evenin’ Blues (Prestige) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Various: Blues Roots (Poppy) LP
Various: Fillin’ in Blues (Herwin) LP
Various: Chicago/The Blues/Today! Vol 1 (Vanguard) LP
Various: Mississippi Delta Blues Vol 2 (Arhoolie) LP
Various: Soul Meeting Saturday Night Hootenanny Style (Vee Jay) LP
Various: Story of the Blues (Columbia) LP
Aleph-1: s/t (Raster Noton) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Les Baxter: Barbarians (So Far Out) LP
Sir Richard Bishop: Tangier Sessions (Drag City) LP/CD/CS
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Twoisms (Warp) LP
James Brown: Live at the Apollo (Mr Suit) LP
Captain Beefheart: Trout Mask Replica (Reprise) LP
Caribou: Our Love (Merge) LP
John Carpenter: Lost Themes (Sacred Bones) LP
Causa Sui: Euporie (El Paradiso) LP
Nick Cave: Let Love In (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Push The Sky Away (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Tender Prey (Mute) LP
Chrome: The Visitation (Cleopatra) LP
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Get On Down) LP
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Cream: Fresh Cream (Vinyl Lovers) LP
Death From Above 1979: Physical World (Last Gang) LP
Dirty Beaches: Drifters/Love is the Devil (Zoo) LP
Dr. Hoffman/Les Baxter: First Electronic Chill Out Record (Black Sweat) LP
Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Ella Fitzgerald: 3 Classic Albums (AOM) 3LP
Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Goin’ On (Tamala) LP
Myriam Gendron: Not So Deep As A Well (Feeding Tube) LP
Gnod/White Hills: Drop Out II (Rocket) LP
Harold Grosskopf: Oceanheart (Bureau B) LP
Harold Grosskopf: Synthesist (Bureau B) LP
Hawkwind: Space Ritual (Rock Classics) LP
JB’s: Food for Thought (Get on Down) LP
Seu Jorge & Almaz: s/t (Now Again) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Kinks: Kinks Are The Village Green (Sanctuary) LP
Erkin Koray: Arap Saci (Pharaway Sounds) LP
Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds (Prestige) LP
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (MMS) LP
MF Doom: Mmm. Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Harry Mwale Experience: s/t (Strawberry Rain) LP
National Wake: Walk In Africa (Light in the Attic) LP
Om: Live (Outer Battery) LP
Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo: Skeletal (Analog Africa) LP
OST: Jurassic Park (Mondo) LP
OST: The Raid (Mondo) LP
Salty Dog: s/t (Strawberry Rain) LP
Sonny Sharrock: Black Woman (4 Men With Beards) LP
Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers (Modern Love) LP
Survival: Simmer Down (Strawberry Rain) LP
Thin Lizzy: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Thin Lizzy: Shades of a Blue Orphanage (Future Days) LP
Thin Lizzy: Vagabonds of the Western World (Future Days) LP
This Heat: s/t (These) CD
Witch: Lazy Bones (Now Again) LP
Various: Bambara Mystic Soul (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Brazilian Disco Boogie (Favorite) LP
Various: Country Funk (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) LP