Easter is upon us! Which means a few things…
1. Our Hours this weekend will be…
– Friday 12 – 5
– Saturday 11 – 6
– Sunday Closed
– Monday 11 – 6
Also, Record Store Day is quickly approaching. Orders are in, stock has even started shipping and hopefully will start arriving next week. We have all sorts of goodies arranged. And since it was such a huge hit last year, we’ve decided to do it again this year… we’ll be giving one lucky customer a FREE REGA RP1 turntable! So stay tuned and we’ll see you on RSD.
…..pick of the week…..
Various: Disco Dildar (Finders Keepers) LP/CD
Never one to merely scrape the surface of a niche genre the Finders Keepers bloodhound digs deeper still into the core of the Indian subcontinent exhuming a concise party pack of opulent, off-centre Pakistani party targets driven by the pounding drum box rhythms of some of Lollywood pops most notorious studio scientists. Disco Dildar features rare plugged-in proxy pop from some of the country’s lesser-known teen flicks spanning the late 1970s and 80s featuring drum heavy disco guesstimates built around multilingual lyrics celebrating Saturday nights, Disco Dildars and Hindustani Hogmanays. These original synth-dripped 45 EPs are not from the front of the pile, nor the quirky result of some token musical tourism. The music found here once soundtracked rebellious all-nighters and hotel bar rendezvous from films of which your parents might have not approved hence their scarce obtainability. Again the Sounds Of Wonder team who bought you Thai Dai, Life Is Dance, Ilectro, Bollywood Bloodbath and others share equal doses of the excitement, wonderment and bewilderment that comes when first needle-dropping these elusive gems. Featuring the cut and paste, electronics and fuzz tones of flightless super heroes such as Tafo, Ashraf, Rana and Ahmed, whilst voiced by Mehnaz, Runa Laila and Queen Noor Jehan, it is plain to hear why the work of these DIY cosmic composers have eclipsed the collectable desirability of filmic fruits igniting dance floors and providing sample fodder of the wider continent for Wu-Tangular producers in their stride. This workshop funk redefines both DIY and disco revealing a whole new side to world music and marks Pakistani pop cultures transformation from disposable and indefinable to indispensable. Form a circle Disco Dildar is now in rotation.
File Under: Electronic, Disco, Lollywood, Pakistan
Chavez: Gone Glimmering (Matador) LP
No stranger to the brain-cracking power chord, Chavez differs from bands both from the mid-’90s and now in the application of extraordinary minor-key harmonies and mindblown, fiercely joyous lyrical subjects. These sit easily atop the silver-electric guitarage of Matt Sweeney and Clay Tarver. Scott Marshall’s huge bass moves give space and counterpoint to the shattering anti-rock drumming of James Lo. Indeed, the band claimed Carl Maria von Weber as a major influence, and it is not hard to think of the lower-Manhattan-based quartet as the reincarnation of 19th-century romanticism via incredible chops and a musical upbringing soaked in the Kinks, AC/DC and Pretty Things. Ferociously rocking with a high-wire fragility, Chavez’s music stuns and satisfies like nothing else. Gone Glimmering was recorded over weekends in December ’94 and January ’95 at various locations with various producers/engineers (Bob Weston, Bryce Goggin and John Agnello). Their efforts have been described by know-it-alls in terms like “an odd hybrid of ringing, shifting guitar riffs; ample doses of catchy, subtle melodies and harmonies that weave their way above, below and through the music.” Someone else was caught claiming that Chavez were “the future of hard rock as filtered through nearly two decades of New York neo-noise.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Chavez: Ride the Fader (Matador) LP
Blessing the house with some of that old time religion, NYC’s Chavez were proselytizing and profilin’ in ’96 with Ride The Fader. Most first-time listeners are engaged by the upwardly mobile arrangements and whirly dissonance, then hooked by their wholesome candy-ass pop bonhomie. This was a style that could really rally the kids together. Indeed, both affected highbrow nerds and unibrow uncivilized rocker bonded over Chavez’s debut, Gone Glimmering, and while that effort met with responses ranging from intrigued fence-sitting to spastic huzzahs, Ride The Fader confidently blows it to bits in every category. Any occasionally awkward baby steps on the debut have been mercilessly slapped and bashed into submission. Everything’s harder, more boombastic, cocksure etc. while simultaneously managing to be more kissable and cuddlier (i.e. the power ballad action of “Unreal Is Here”). The songs are trim motherfuckers too with all the extraneous fat burned off for easier digestion.
File Under: Indie Rock
Emerald Web: Whispered Visions (Finders Keepers) LP
Sharing social circles and spiritual ideologies with artists such as Iasos, Connie Demby and Deuter, whilst splitting label release schedules with Laraaji, Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos, the unique Florida raised soul mate duo known as Emerald Web released their privately pressed debut LP at an axis where post-prog rock met proto-new age and ambient electronic music. Sharing social circles and spiritual ideologies with artists such as Iasos, Connie Demby and Deuter, whilst splitting label release schedules with Laraaji, Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos, the unique Florida raised soul mate duo known as Emerald Web released their privately pressed debut LP at an axis where post-prog rock met proto-new age and ambient electronic music. Notes by Kat Epple When originally released, one music reviewer described Whispered Visions as: “A cosmic tapestry of sound, woven with threads of shimmering synthesizer timbres and luminous flute melodies” This album was made using early synthesizers, sequencers, Lyricon and flutes. When it was recorded in 1980 our synths were regarded as “state of the art” technology. Originally released exclusively on compact cassette it was our second of a total of fourteen independent releases. The band Emerald Web consisted of Bob Stohl and myself and our goal was to create innovative synthesizer orchestration and blend electronic music and acoustic instruments. From 1978 to 1990 we recorded, toured and performed in planetariums whilst composing soundtracks for Carl Sagan, amongst others. Bob and I were consultants for (and were lucky enough to be sponsored by) companies and individuals that were creating the latest music technology. At the time Emerald Web was one of the few “Space Music” bands which performed live in concert using synthesizers and sequencers, most of which had volatile memory and no pre-set sound banks. Unfortunately, Bob passed away in 1990. Since then I have continued to compose music for film and perform in concert as a solo artist, as Emerald Web and with various other ensembles.
File Under: New Age, Ambient
Faith No More: Superhero (Reclamation) 7”
Faith No More, who reunited in 2009 for a series of sold out performances and international festivals, will issue Sol Invictus, their highly anticipated first full-length album since 1997’s Album of the Year on Reclamation Recordings/Ipecac Recordings in May 2015. Sol Invictus was produced by Billy Gould and recorded in the band’s Oakland, CA studio. “What I can say is that I think through our experience as musicians over the years, I think what we’re doing reflects where we’ve gone since we made our last record as Faith No More. I think this kicks things up a notch,” explained Bill Gould in a recent Rolling Stone interview. “And I think there’s parts that are very powerful and there’s parts that have a lot of space. Everything we do, with our chemistry, the way we play; it’s always going to sound like us. It’s just what we do, that makes us feel good.“ Limited edition 7-inch release “Superhero” b/w “Superhero Battaglia” (Remixed by Alexander Hacke) is the second single to be issued from the forthcoming album following sold out first single “Motherfucker.”
File Under: Rock, Mike Patton
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress (Constellation) LP/CD
Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE) returns with its first single LP-length release since the group’s earliest days in 1997-99. Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress clocks in at a succinct 40:23 and is arguably the most focused and best-sounding recording of the band’s career. Working with sound engineer Greg Norman (Electrical Audio) at studios in North Carolina and Montreal, GYBE slowly and steadily put the new album together through late 2013 and 2014, emerging with a mighty slab of superlative sonics, shot through with all the band’s inimitable signposts and touchstones: huge unison riffage, savage noise/drone, oscillating overtones, guitar vs. string counterpoint, inexorable crescendos and scorched-earth transitions. Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress finds Godspeed in top form; a sterling celebration of the band’s awesome dialectic, where composition, emotion and ‘note-choice’ is inextricable from an exacting focus on tone, timbre, resonance and the sheer materiality of sound. LP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a heavyweight gatefold jacket with full-color printed dust sleeve, pull-out art poster and download code for 320 kbps MP3 copy of the album.
File Under: Rock, Post Rock, Drone
Chilly Gonzales: Chambers (Gentle Threat) LP
Canadian pianist and entertainer Chilly Gonzales returns with Chambers, his much anticipated follow-up to Solo Piano II. Since the release of Solo Piano II, Gonzales composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re-Introduction Etudes, produced and released Octave Minds, the piano-meets-electronica album with Boys Noize and, most importantly devoted himself to finding a modern take on chamber music. The result is Chambers, an album for piano and string quartet (and a few surprises along the way). Inspired by the deepending relationship with Hamburg’s Kaiser Quartett, the album re-imagines Romantic-era chamber music as today’s addictive pop. Gestures from rap, ambient, easy listening and the avant-garde co-exist as always in Chilly Gonzales’ musical universe – this time with strings attached. Know equally for his intimate piano touch as for his showmanship, ‘Gonzo’ aims to be a man of his time, approaching the piano with classical and jazz training but with the attitude of a rapper. Chilly holds the Guiness world record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours and performs and writes songs with such diverse artists as Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake. In 2014 he won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk’s Best Album of the Year.
File Under: Modern Classical, Piano Music, CanCon
Inventions: Maze of Woods (Temporary Residence) LP
Inventions are the collaborative sum of longtime friends Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. Their 2014 eponymous debut album introduced an ambition to create music that was both challenging and comforting. Their new album, Maze of Woods, opens with a vocal sample declaring, “I wanted to do something that I don’t know how to do.” Using this as a mission statement, Inventions have crafted a complex and exuberant album from an array of instruments, samples, found sounds, beats, chants, and raw bursts of noise, with a much greater emphasis on strong vocal accompaniment in every song. Two albums released in the span of 11 months speaks to the drive that these two have felt since they started playing together. Much like on the first record, they again mixed the album in a house on the Oregon coastline, with final mixing and production all done by Smith and Cooper. Inventions have stated that much of the inspiration for Maze of Woods comes from the closing paragraph of Denis Johnson’s novella Train Dreams. In that paragraph, Johnson describes the nonverbal howl of a feral wolf boy, a pre-language that is yearning and instinctual; a statement of wordless distress and love. Maze of Woods is the product of two masters of their craft getting lost in the wilderness, “doing something that they don’t know how to do,” and emerging with something wholly unexpected and beguilingly beautiful.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Post Rock
Tobias Jesso Jr: Goon (Arts & Crafts) LP
Goon is the debut LP from True Panther Sounds recording artist Tobias Jesso Jr. Goon was recorded over the last two years and features production from Chet “JR” White (formerly of Girls), Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, and Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend, Haim, Sky Ferreira). Pitchfork hailed the album as “Wonderfully plainspoken songs, which bring to mind a less snarky Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson, or a more hopeful Nick Drake.” “In 2008 I moved to LA to play backup bass for a Pop singer. That job didn’t work out, but I ended staying in LA for four years. I returned to North Vancouver because my mother had been diagnosed with cancer (she’s better now). I wrote most of the songs on my album Goon about my time spent in LA. It was a reflection that included, like the most popular of love clichés, a tough break up. “In my haste returning to Vancouver, I had left all my instruments in a storage locker in LA. My sister had moved out and left her piano at my parent’s house, an instrument I had yet to explore. The first song I wrote on that piano was ‘Just A Dream.’ It was also one of my first attempts at singing. I have yet come to terms with my singing voice, but at the time I was left with no other option. “I recorded the demo, and then did a few more. Afterwards I sent the demos to JR White [Girls], someone who had produced one of my favorite records of the past few years (and was also signed to True Panther, the label I’m currently on). Soon after, he asked me to come down to San Francisco to record an album. After a series of visa issues and border complications, I finally met him and spent the next few months jumping from San Francisco to Los Angeles, recording in studios and bedrooms with friends. “After all that was said and done, I got offered to have a few more of my songs produced by Patrick Carney [The Black Keys] in Nashville, and Ariel Rechstaid in Los Angeles. I owe the sound of the record to the great effort of everyone involved, the producers and musicians doing and playing things I couldn’t and treating the production with the same reverence I treat my songwriting. The writing will always be the most important to me; the production, playing and singing I am still figuring out. I still play a bit of guitar, but I’m mostly sticking to the piano these days.” – Tobias Jesso Jr.
File Under: Indie Rock
Mark Lanegan: A Thousand Miles of Midnight (Heavenly) 2LP
Following career-best reviews and a Top 20 chart entry for Phantom Radio, Mark Lanegan Band return with A Thousand Miles Of Midnight, an album of remixes of tracks from both ‘Phantom Radio’ and ‘No Bells On Sunday’, the EP that accompanied it. The album is made up of a brilliant array of remixes by artists as diverse as UNKLE, Moby, Greg Dulli and soulsavers. Mark Lanegan says of the album: “I thought these tunes would lend themselves to remixing and that it would be interesting to hear what other artists might make of them. All the people who did remixes are musicians whose work I greatly admire.”
File Under: Rock, Remixes
Liturgy: The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey) LP
Liturgy is a Brooklyn-based, self-styled “Transcendental Black Metal” band whose yearning, energetic music exists in an uncanny space between avant rock, black metal, fine art and shamanic ritual. Led by songwriter and conceptual architect Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who is joined by guitarist Bernard Gann, bassist Tyler Dusenbury and drummer Greg Fox, the band exists as a 21st century total work of art (gesamtkunstwerk): activating divine potencies by means of music and culture even as it underscores the contradictions inherent in such a project during the internet era. Their third full length, The Ark Work, is a quantum leap forward, a radical change in sound that paradoxically sounds more like Liturgy than ever. The album hums and churns with Hunt-Hendrix’s inventive arrangements – drenched with glockenspiels, bagpipes, strings, ritual chanting, and MIDI horns. It supplements its metal energy with motifs from unlikely, disparate genres; cross-fertilizing hardstyle beats, occult-oriented rap, and the glitched re-sampling of IDM and with structures from Medieval sacred music, Romantic classical music, and minimalism. The result is a rich, seething cyber-fantasia that is improbably listenable, conveying the disarming, authentic emotion that is Liturgy’s hallmark – a blend of startling invention, high caliber musicianship, raw energy, and profound, cosmic sadness. Liturgy began as the solo project of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who remains their sole songwriter. After a few self-released cassettes, the project began in earnest with the release of the Immortal Life EP (2008) and the crystallization of the aims to adapt black metal’s typical genre markers – including blast beat drumming and rapid tremolo picking – along new, life affirming lines of artistic development, and to treat a rock band as a real-time visionary performance/art/life project. The band expanded to its current quartet for the recording of Renihilation (2009). Their fervid and cohesive live presence, in particular Fox’s unorthodox and dynamic drumming, quickly earned them a following both in the global metal underground and the Brooklyn art punk scene. Controversy erupted, along with interest from the wider world, around the companion piece to Renihilation: the text Transcendental Black Metal: A Vision of Apocalyptic Humanism, which Hunt-Hendrix delivered at the now-legendary Hideous Gnosis Black Metal Theory symposium that year. With the release of 2011’s Aesthethica, the friction between Liturgy’s multiple worlds sparked and caught fire. Liturgy crossed over to perform to huge crowds at major festivals and at art institutions, including MoMA, where Hunt-Hendrix delivered his manifesto next to a Joseph Beuys sculpture. Aesthethica was listed as Spin’s top metal album of the year and featured on two different New York Times lists for top 10 albums of 2011 while the band graced the cover of Metal Hammer’s Subterranea magazine. For the next two years the live band functioned as a duo while Hunt-Hendrix began the long process of composing what would become The Ark Work. In 2014, Fox and Dusenbury returned to record the album along with Hunt-Hendrix and Gann, adding their dynamic energy to the mix. The result is the first true sonic realization of Transcendental Black Metal: a musically cohesive alchemical fusion, an artistically reflexive work of theandery, and a mind-bending album that is as original as it is beautiful.
File Under: Black Metal, Rock, Ritual
Lonelady: Hinterland (Warp) LP
‘Hinterland’ (literally “the country behind” in German) conjures impressions of decayed Manchester outskirts and reclusive inner landscapes obsessively throughout the record, as Lonelady’s Julie Campbell continues her fascination with the post-industrial ruinscape. As with her 2010 debut ‘Nerve Up’, on ‘Hinterland’ Campbell continues to pay homage to the post-punk era. I can hear many influences in her punk-funk style – A Certain Ratio in occasional basslines, Viv Albertine (the Slits) and Andy Gill’s (Gang Of Four) guitar sound (skeletal, harsh, chiming) , dark and brooding drones, cello and synths (Joy Division, Nico etc), but Lonelady transcends all these reference points to come up with her own sounds. Crucial to her elevation above mere pastiche is Campbell’s agile, urgant vocals and her ability to come up with pop hooks that weave their way through the tracks, from the edgy, fidgeting ‘Bunkerpop’, via breakout disco-not-disco single ‘Groove It Out’ to the low-slung sleaze-funk of title track ‘Hinterland’. In Campbell’s words: “It’s channelling Parliament / Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, Rufus, Prince, Arthur Russell… among others. A strange – but nonetheless real – meeting of funk and… me from Audenshaw, Manchester.”
File Under: Post Punk, Factory
OST: Gone Girl (Columbia) LP
While perhaps best known as the founder and sole member of the groundbreaking industrial music project Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor is also a multi-talented creative force whose drive and passion has extended to film, video games, and digital music services. Producer/programmer Atticus Ross began writing incidental music in 2004, when he scored the television series Touching Evil. He has since composed scores for other acclaimed television series and films, including as New York I Love You, The Book of Eli, Days of Grace and Broken City, among other projects. Gone Girl marks the third time the NIN frontman has collaborated with director David Fincher. Along with Ross, Reznor composed the scores to The Social Network (2010) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), which won the duo an Oscar and a Grammy, respectively. Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck as a man who becomes a suspect in his wife’s disappearance.
File Under: OST, NIN
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Freedom Tower (Mom & Pop) LP
It’s all here: The Hustler and The Trust Fund Baby, the Mosh Pit Casualty, the Celebrity Chef, the Crooked Cop, the Struggling Artist, the Sucker MC, the forgotten Sex Workers and Last-Chance Cinderellas. Within these grooves are cold-water tenements, blue-chip galleries, dingy Avenue B studios, and the last real warrior poet whose dark magick brings garage rock ghosts back from the grave!
File Under: Blues Explosion!
Scientist: The Dub Album They Didn’t Want You to Hear (Jah Life) LP
Totally killer previously unreleased dub companion LP to Flick Wilson’s “School Days” LP. Jah Life was no slacker when it came to mixing dubs, and sat in with Scientist at King Tubby’s for the mixing of many of the classic Junjo/Radics/Scientist albums. But more importantly, they also mixed a ton load of dubs for Jah Life himself, many of which, like this album, remain unreleased…until now! Nine out of ten tracks from the Flick Wilson album are dubbed here, and one track from the Wayne Jarrett “What’s Wrong…” album. Classic Scientist 1980 style mixing, nothing else like it, hard stuff. Cover features a fantastic previously unseen photo from Beth Lesser.
File Under: Dub
Scientist: Meets The Space Invaders (Dub Mir) LP
The cosmic theme is well served on ten effects-riddled tracks, with the rockers style material being littered by all manner of stratosphere-breaking sounds from the mixing board, strategically adorned with snatches of ghostly echo and pneumatic percussion. It’s certainly an appropriate mood for a post-apocalyptic battle involving cartoon machines! Another DUB ESSENTIAL ALBUM from the legendary SCIENTIST!
File Under: Dub
Scientist: Big Showdown (Dub Mir) LP
Hopeton “Scientist” Brown and Lloyd “Prince Jammy” James both learned their dubcraft at the feet of the universally-acknowledged master of the art form, King Tubby. The 10 tracks from this classic LP from 1980 sound pretty strong in terms of style and approach, all of them are quietly brilliant, reflecting a complete mastery of the form. Rhythms are supplied by the unstoppable Roots Radics band!
File Under: Dub
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dub Mir) LP
Rids the World of the Curse of the Vampires (1981) not only ably displays the mix masters varied approach of, but clocks in as one of his best outings! Scientist keeps things lively with plenty of reverb and echo-treated percussion, ghostly piano parts, video game sound effects, and other various wobbly interjections from the mixing board. And adding to the record’s expert evocation of the Halloween spirit are some fiendishly voiced intros, the cover art’s cartoon potpourri of horror film characters, and the dubious claim made in the liner notes that Scientist mixed it all at midnight on Friday the 13th (reach for the flashlights kids). Along with Keith Hundson’s Pick a Dub and Lee Perry’s Blackboard Jungle Dub, this excellent Scientist release is one of the essential dub albums available.
File Under: Dub
Scientist: Encounters Pac-Man at Channel One (Dub Mir) LP
In this great LP Scientist delivers one of his most progressive mixes, deconstructing the originals down to their skeletal base and adding just the right amount of mixing board-generated Echoplex and reverb with his patented minimal sound, a landscape resplendent with steely piano, depth-charge drums, and futuristic dub effects. A mind-warping yet eminently enjoyable way to check into dub central!
File Under: Dub
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP/CD
Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) is the newest offering from pop-art singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. These are aggressive times. Each morning we awaken to a psychic blitz of breaking news, social outrage, and millions of images and voices shrieking look at me and this onslaught does not cease until late at night when the last glowing screen fades to black. This world demands our attention with one hand and destroys it with the other. That such a noisy age can deliver an album as graceful and honest as Carrie & Lowell should reassure anyone losing faith these days. Let no one say philosophy is dead, for here is a 44-minute meditation on mortality, memory, and faith. Carrie & Lowell sounds like memory: it spans decades yet does not trade on pastiche or nostalgia. Stevens’ gauzy double-tracked vocals wash across the dashboard of long-finned, drop-top Americana, yet as we race towards the coast we are reminded that sunshine leads to shadow, for this is a landscape of terminal roads, unsteady bridges, traumatic video stores, and unhappy beds that provide the scenery for tales of jackknifed cars, funerals, and forgiveness for the dead. Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without either myth or miracle – and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. If youth knew, if age could.
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Francois Tusques w/ Barney Wilen: Le Nouveau Jazz (Cacophonic) LP
With track titles translating to Song For The Devil and The Witches, Francois Tusques’ rarest commercially released LP casts an early stylistic premonition of the vampire themed improvised soundtracks recorded for director Jean Rollin merely months after its release. Assembling the very same group of musical sorcerers this albums personnel (featuring, amongst others, soprano saxophonist Barney Wilen) reads like a who’s who of France’s early improvised music/free jazz scene resulting in a wholly unique European flavour while preserving the essence of other global inter communal travellers such as Don Cherry and Krzysztof Komeda. Originally extracted from three separate recording sessions in early 1967, Le Nouveau Jazz opens with themes conjured up for the short film Coda by French jazz documentarist Marc Pauly highlighting the composers adept ability in his multi-disciplined art further aligning him with the aforementioned pioneers. The rest of the album combines frenzied macabre picture music (akin to Detroit’s Wendell Harrison) and emotive piano improvisations (Mal Waldron anyone?) with the sui generis inclusion of a double double bass formation courtesy of Bernard “Beb” Guerin (Sonny Sharrock/Kühn Brothers) and Jean-Francois Jenny Clarke (Enrico Rava/Giorgio Gaslini). As Tusques’ second official album (after the seldom sighted Free Jazz from 1965) this LP expands on this important French musicians vision and follows up Cacophonic’s repress of his mega rare Don Cherry art installation collaboration from 1964 this time introducing extra rhythmic arrangements courtesy of Italian drummer Aldo Romano (Robin Kenyatta). Housed in the elegant original Witches artwork sleeve by comic illustrator Jean Vern with French liner notes by French psychiatry/beat poet/crime fiction writer Yves Buin this worthy reissue hopes to find a unique uninhabited part of your collection from an era that changed the Parisian underground prior to the important developments of labels like BYG Actuel and Futura Records in the early 1970s.
File Under: Jazz, Improv
Jane Weaver: The Silver Globe (Bird) LP
When a handful of broadsheet music columns and reputable blog pages began to mention the vaguely familiar name Jane Weaver in the “Here’s One We Missed” themed features during 2014s end of year round-ups it became quickly apparent that the singer’s concept album The Silver Globe had already independently garnered a “must have” status amongst virtually any self-respecting music buyers. But unlike so many other big label “campaigns” that vied for PR attention via ego-fuelled video promos and down your throat advertising, this unassuming, dedicated, focused piece of experimental female vocal pop was in no way spoon fed to editors nor playlisters. Nor did it fall within the lines of what might have been considered fashionable or culturally relevant. The Silver Globe defied species, and for once, was judged on its own merit as a brilliant uncompromising pop record. The sixth album by a long-standing pillar of the North West music scene (loosely based on a lost Polish dystopian feature film and a French novella featuring a personnel of vintage Atari music composers next to Australian synth pioneers) was a simply typical product of the way Jane Weaver has always operated – as an independent and resilient female experimental songwriter, on her own label, on the outskirts of anything that resembles a music industry. Throughout her twenty-year “career” she has stayed focused, avoided whimsical fads and distractions and used her experience to work as hard as she can when she can. By Christmas The Silver Globe had been announced as Piccadilly Records’ best album of the year, earned a “worldwide” top ten track of the year accolade by Gilles Peterson, gleaned across the board full-stars and thumbs up from the music press, benefitted unanimous repeat plays from virtually every specialist DJ on BBC6 Music (amongst many more global radio stations), found DJ mix support from Andrew Weatherall, and filled most of the pages in a twelve month diary with gig and festival requests. Meanwhile, Jane’s own Bird Imprint (via Finders Keepers) has to worked around the clock to keep up with stock demands of her new (and old) music. Album collaborators such as David Holmes, Andy Votel and BC Camplight share gushing pride in the project and with this unanimous critical support (and long earned respect) Jane has reacted in the only way she knows best – to keep creating. In March, barely six months since its initial release, following tours with friend and sonic sister figure Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) and one time backing band Black Rivers (two thirds of Doves), Jane will release an expanded edition of The Silver Globe – including a second full-length disc called The Amber Light which follows the original LP with the same dedication and adventurous zeal as its much loved synth driven sister record. With a title that alludes to the toils of trepidation and a running theme of industrial procreativity and DIY handy craft, The Amber Light carves a niche between new age motivational music, radiophonic folk and snarling krautrock echoing the kosmische stylings of The Silver Globe with the punk urgency of 80s domestic-synth pop. Featuring four brand new songs, three exclusive instrumental themes (including a commissioned theme from an American vampire film) and three new collaborative re-workings/duets based on tracks from The Silver Globe, this extensive package harbours work from Tom Furse (The Horrors), Andy Votel, Suzanne Ciani, members of Demdike Stare and original Silver Globe inhabitant Pete J. Phillipson. Substantiated by other extra format editions, including a silver vinyl version of The Silver Globe, a series of compact cassettes and a single release of standout robotic roller rink track Don’t Take My Soul (presented digitally as well as a split single with Bird Records label mate Tender Prey) Jane’s expanded Silver Globe/Amber Light project reciprocates the positive energy shared by her loyal readership and a wide host of new converts who have allowed Jane’s self-sufficient songs and synthetic soundscapes to flourish on he cusp of 2014/2015. Showing little signs of slowing down, Jane Weaver alongside her Bird Records family looks set for an airborne year. The Silver Globe is still turning and catching many a siege in its electric rays.
File Under: Electronic, Pop, Indie
Various: Science Fiction Park Bundesrepublik (Cache Cache) LP/CD
In the summer of 1982, in a cottage in the Bavarian forest a thirteen-year-old boy sits with his brother on the sofa and stares at the television. What he sees will transform his life. In rapid, revue-like sequences, young costumed people jump around in front of a painted background. They serenade tulips that are sparingly lit, twist and stretch under rubber sheets and with eyes taped over, iron on empty boards. Sometimes they just stand there, staring brazenly or absently into the camera, cryptic texts intoning through stiff mouths. The entire spectacle might be a direct transmission from Mars. The music accompanying all this is so radically new that the terminology to describe it doesn’t exist yet. Most of all, it is unexpectedly bizarre, minimalistic and electronic. The astonishing performance is garnished by four amateurish dancers obviously assigned to the musicians by a decree of the TV broadcaster. Nothing fits together, yet the combination is pure genius. The demeanor of the group is so shockingly modern and uncompromising that the boy in front of the television has to repeatedly pinch himself to prove he isn’t dreaming. This is the music he has waited years for. This is his music, and it sets off a catalytic spark in him. His little brother is drafted to write down the names of the bands Palais Schaumburg, Der Plan, Deutsch- Amerikanische Freundschaft, Lorenz Lorenz, Der Körper und die Seele (The Body And The Soul)… One can imagine the creative spelling that made it on to the list. Back home in Hamburg, as if possessed, the boy begins to experiment with a synthesiser, home organ, and voice and tape recorder. He is not the only one to begin explorations in this direction. The entire Federal Republic of Germany is just at the boiling point. A new form of home music is coming into existence. It has nothing to do with violin playing children, scratchy sweaters and well- combed relatives listening on the sofa, but rather combines the fears and dark abyss of industrial society. Remarkably it is the same industry that made the tools available to the raging youths: cheap Casio keyboards, synthesisers, drum computers and four track tape recorders. Suddenly anyone can acquire his own means of production to use in protest against the industrial forces. In Germany especially, that neurotic country whose dark Nazi past and subsequent East/West division filled its closet with skeletons, the electro-industry’s advance falls on fertile ground. The four-track tape studio becomes the medium of the collective unconscious; becomes the embrasure, the lighting rod and the magnetic witness to the fears of an imminent nuclear war. On top of that most of the recordings are born without strategy or intention of commercial exploitation. They are eruptions out of the crater of a society that had reached a deadlock during the so-called German Autumn with its failed RAF movement. Everyone was waiting… But for what? For the end of the world, approaching via an insane arms race? A new youth movement? A new kind of ice cream? In their freshly established home studios the protagonists practice the new underground music, the “undirected aggression of liberated sounds,” as Frank Apunkt Schneider expressed in his book Als die Welt noch unterging (As The World Was Still Ending). Everything that isn’t nailed or riveted down is used as an instrument: baking trays, cartons, room lamps, toys, wooden flutes, whistles, cans, trays, record players, televisions, a doorbell, a telephone. Out of the living rooms of the nation drones an obsession with noise, sparing not even the children. And what became of that thirteen-year-old boy who sat in front of the television back then? He hasn’t had a television for the last twenty-five years and is just now writing these lines. His enthusiasm for the cassette scene has remained to this day. And while collecting the pieces for this compilation he had to keep pinching himself in the arm. Compiled by German sound futurist Felix Kubin this eccentric compilation features 25 rare and mostly unheard tracks by bands like Plastiktanz, Neros Tanzende Elektropäpste, chbb, Holger Hiller and Pyrolator, as well as several one hit wonders by the rural tape label Pissing Cow Tapes.
File Under: German, Tape Music, Experimental, Home Recording
AKA KAK: Obaa Sima (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
William Basinski: Melancholia (Temporary Residence) LP
Belle & Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister (Matador) LP
Belle & Sebastian: Girls In Peacetime… (Matador) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Black Mountain: Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar) LP
The Bug: Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) LP
Chrome: Chrome Box (Cleopatra) Box
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Dead Kennedys: Gimme Convenience… (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: In God We Trust Inc (Manifesto) LP
Death Grips: Money Store (Epic) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Eternal Tapestry: Wild Strawberries (Thrill Jockey) LP
Ex-Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
Faith No More: The Real Thing (Music on Vinyl) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
FKA Twigs: LP 1 (Young Turks) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Harmonia & Eno: Tracks & Traces (Gron) LP
Daniel Johnston: 1990/Artistic Vice (Eternal Yip) LP
Moon Duo: Shadow of the Sun (Sacred Bones) LP
The National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is.. (Luaka Bop) LP
Pissed Jeans: Shallow (Sub Pop) LP
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyum Vio Spilum… (XL) LP
Sleater Kinney: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: Call the Doctor (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: The Hot Rock (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: One Beat (Sub Pop) LP
Sleater Kinney: Start Together (Sub Pop) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemedo) LP
Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Caterpillar) LP
Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrink Dust (Flemish Eye) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) LP
Scott Walker/Sunn o))): Soused (4AD) LP
Yo La Tengo: Extra Painful (Matador) LP