Oh boy! As you will see below, we got a massive shipment of prog from Spain this week. Obviously, the Popol Vuh reissues are the highlight, but there’s some really killer other gems in there as well. As well as many other swell new releases as well, so dig in….
…..picks of the week…..
Popol Vuh: Aguirre (Wah Wah) LP
Werner Herzog’s 1972 film Aguirre, The Wrath Of God was the first collaboration between the famed director and Popol Vuh. Florian Fricke was approached by old friend Herzog to do the soundtrack for his third movie. Three years later, in 1975, after the international success of Herzog’s film, Popol Vuh issued the LP Aguirre. It featured material recorded for the movie plus some other songs. Some of them recorded prior to 1975 – the Aguirre soundtrack ones, of course, plus there is the presence of the big Moog from Popol Vuh’s early albums, and also contains Morgengruss II, an update of the Morgengruss song that had prevously appeared on Ensjäger Und Siebenjäger. “Popol Vuh’s “hypnotic music” for Aguirre met with considerable acclaim. Roger Ebert wrote, “The music sets the tone. It is haunting, ecclesiastical, human and yet something else… The music is crucial to Aguirre, the Wrath of God…” AllMusic noted, “The film’s central motif blends pulsing Moog and spectral voices conjured from Florian Fricke’s Mellotron-related “choir organ” to achieve something sublime, in the truest sense of the word: it’s hard not to find the music’s awe-inspiring, overwhelming beauty simultaneously unsettling. The power of the legendary opening sequence of Herzog’s film…owes as much to Popol Vuh’s music as it does to the director’s mise-en-scène.” Herzog explained how the choir-like sound was created, “We used a strange instrument, which we called a ‘choir-organ.’ It has inside it three dozen different tapes running parallel to each other in loops. … All these tapes are running at the same time, and there is a keyboard on which you can play them like an organ so that [it will] sound just like a human choir but yet, at the same time, very artificial and really quite eerie.” In 1975, Popol Vuh released an album entitled Aguirre. Although ostensibly a soundtrack album to Herzog’s film, the six-track LP included only two songs (“Aguirre I (L’Acrime Di Rei)” and “Aguirre II”) taken from Aguirre, the Wrath of God. The four remaining tracks were derived from various recordings done by the group c. 1972–1974. At the time of Aguirre, the band members were Fricke (piano, Mellotron), Fichelscher (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums), Djong Yun (vocals), and Robert Eliscu (oboe, pan pipe).” (Wikipedia) Werner Herzog: “The music in my films is also very much neglected, if I may interrupt you, in Germany as well. Since AGUIRRE, my friend Florian Fricke, has done the music for almost all my films – for STEINER, for LA SOUFRIERE, for STROSZEK, and for HEART OF GLASS – and I’ve tried to push very hard so that he would be given the National Film Award this year. They’ve never given it to him, and there has been complete neglect of his work. Not even a single mention! And this year they just by-passed him once again!” [From: Images at the Horizon, 1979] Popol Vuh has been nominated three times for an Oscar for best original score: 1972 (Aguirre), 1979 (Nosferatu) and 1987 (Cobra Verde). There have been several different editions of Aguirre and each has varied slightly or quite a lot from the original issue. Several reissues change the last track (the 17 minute long Vergegenwärtigung) to include material from other Popol Vuh albums, even in cases the song is listed on the sleeve the music is from completely different sources. Thanks to the accurate archive work of SPV on offer here is the original version of the album as it was first released in 1975. Limited edition featuring one bonus track, remastered sound and original artwork plus an insert with liner notes and photos. It has been master Cut by Lex Van Coeverden @ www.thevinylroom.nl for a high quality sound pressing that will satisfy the most exquisite audiophile. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
File Under: Ambient, OST, Krautrock
Popol Vuh: Nosferatu (Wah Wah) 2LP
The story of the Nosferatu soundtrack editions through the years appears a little caotic. Several editions, with several sleeves and completely different tracklists have appeared in different countries. What we tried to offer here is the definitive edition of Popol Vuh’s works for this fantastic Werner Herzog 1979 tribute to the old Murnau classic. When asked for a new soundtrack for Herzog’s project, Florian Fricke and Daniel Fichelscher came out with a magnificent album that once again, as it had happened with Hosianna Mantra, opened new paths to follow. The album, although having been recorded with the movie in mind, was not titled Nosferatu. Instead it was released as Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts, which can be translated as “Brother Of Darkness – Son Of Light”. It first came out in 1978 featuring amazing new age / ambient escapades based on repetitive passages and instrumentation of incredible beauty, recorded with the help of Al Gromer (Amon Düül) on sitar, Bob Eliscu (Between) on oboe, Ted de Jong on tamboura plus a complete church choir ensemble from Munich. Brüder des Schattens…, also issued in other editions as Nosferatu, makes disc one on this gorgeous double LP set. Disc two of the Wah Wah edition features the LP that was originally released as the Nosferatu Original Sound Track album, also known as On The Way To A Little Way. A 1978 release, although it contained material recorded prior to that date. Right in the middle of the film production, Herzog felt he needed more music and asked Fricke for obscure, scary material. He searched the Popol Vuh archives and compiled the great collection that Nosferatu / On The Way… is. It came out a varied selectionç where older Moog tracks mix with more reflexive material that already gives clues of what’s to come in Brüder des Schattens… Nevertheless, despite all the variety -or maybe thanks to it,- Nosferatu / On The Way To… turned out to be a fantastic, classic Popol Vuh album. We have added one bonus track previously unreleased in vinyl format. Werner Herzog: “The music in my films is also very much neglected, if I may interrupt you, in Germany as well. Since AGUIRRE, my friend Florian Fricke, has done the music for almost all my films – for STEINER, for LA SOUFRIERE, for STROSZEK, and for HEART OF GLASS – and I’ve tried to push very hard so that he would be given the National Film Award this year. They’ve never given it to him, and there has been complete neglect of his work. Not even a single mention! And this year they just by-passed him once again!” [From: Images at the Horizon, 1979] Popol Vuh has been nominated three times for an Oscar for best original score: 1972 (Aguirre), 1979 (Nosferatu) and 1987 (Cobra Verde). Collected in a gorgeous limited edition double LP set, first half of the edition issued in transparent red vinyl, are the two albums that relate to Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu. Housed in a fantastic silver sleeve with the Klaus Kinski / Isabelle Adjani artwork from the movie poster as used for the 1979 PDU Italian issue. The gatefold cover artwork is completed with graphic material from On The Way To A Little Way plus photos from the movie kindly provided by Werner Herzog himself. A killer 50 x 70 cm full colour reproduction of the movie poster is included, as is an insert with detailed liner notes and one bonus track not on the original albums. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
File Under: Ambient, OST, Krautrock
Popol Vuh: Letze Tage, Letze Nachte (Wah Wah) LP
Letzte Tage, Letzte Nächte is probably the most “rock” sounding work of Popol Vuh’s production. Recorded by the classic trio of Fricke, Fichelscher and Yun, plus Ted de Jong on tamboura and Amon Düül members Al Gromer on sitar and Renate Knaup on additional vocals, its sounds seem to be more based on power than on ambient. Strong guitar passages emphasize this, with Fischelscher’s playing being harder than the Conny Veit ethereal parts on earlier records. The title track is also the first time that Popol Vuh record English words on a song. “With his blistering and emotional guitar work Fichelscher made his mark on many of the Popol Vuh albums. An album like ‘Letzte Tage, letzte Nachte’(1976) would not be possible without him. But also this album would be impossible without multi-tracking, a technique that Popol Vuh was heavily dependent on throughout their existence. This album shows Popol Vuh from its most rocking and dynamic side. But even here it is evident that a remarkable spiritualism defines the music. In a down-to-earth way Fricke wanted his music to be a ‘healing force’, an ‘uplifting experience for the human soul’. This spiritual quality is inherent and constitutive for all the music he made during his career. This proves Fricke was successful in communicating these intentions to the musicians involved.” Dolf Mulder (www.popolvuh.nl) Limited edition, featuring one bonus track not on the original vinyl and remastered sound, issued in a reproduction of its original sleeve and with an insert featuring photos and liner notes.
File Under: Ambient, Krautrock
Battles: La Di Da Di (Warp) LP
In Tomorrow… As any consciously relevant social-interest story will inform you post-haste, we are living in an increasingly Networked Age. As a society we are connected in more ways than ever before, technologically linked with one another through an ever-growing web of invisible electronic pathways, which as they evolve begin to approach the kind of cognition we used to associate with the idea of ESP or ‘psychic’ behavior. We’re able to tell where each other went on vacation or what each other had for lunch without ever having to utter a word to one another, or even be in the same room, let alone time zone. While on the macro level humankind grapples with how best to utilize this newfound capacity for awareness, on the micro level small groups of individuals have spent years finding more functional applications for it. Battles are the Networked Band, or perhaps the-band-as-network. An island chain linked by a unique combination of artistry, experimentation, technology and singular focus. A three-headed cyborg that forces our aptitude for pure physical industry to flirt lasciviously with our encroaching digital reality. A band that holds computerized loops in their brains, leaves sweat on their machines and whose sonic heartbeat is almost brutally human. It only makes sense that such bastards of both the hi/low-tech worlds would look for an alternative means of communication. La Di Da Di is the prompt, the exclamation and the riddle to hang in the air while we try to make sense of just what Battles have done now. Dave Konopka, Ian Williams and John Stanier have turned the tables on themselves this time, confronted their own ideas of what Battles is – and here on their third album, have willed an answer to that question into existence. The tangled wires and entrails of Mirrored and Gloss Drop have been pulled out, flung against the wall and scraped into an unruly pile to be tread upon. As the name might imply, La Di Da Di is a mushrooming monolith of repetition. Here is an organic techno thrum of nearly infinite loops that refuse to remain consistent. The rhythmic genus of Battles is here as ever; full frontal, heightened and unforgiving – the gauntlet through which melody and harmony must pass, assailed at every turn. “The Yabba” squawks to life, tumbling down the stairs before it finds it’s own dislocated gait. The title of “Dot Net” hints at its propulsive bait-and-glitch, while “FF Bada” and “Summer Simmer” twitchily reach dizzy heights of forward-gazing no wave bluster. For a ‘breather’ “Cacio e Pepe” isn’t much of a breather, all unsettling harmonic shafts of light, like a short walk on an especially strange beach. The album’s middle section that it bookends with it’s spiritual cousin “Tyne Wear” are surely some of the more mutated deployments of conventional rock instrumentation you’ll have heard in some time. It’s about at this point that you begin to realize the truly bionic reimagining of what a band can sound like. That seems like hyperbole until you lurch into the eerie skank of “Megatouch”, and by the time you realize that genre’s been swept out the window you’re thrown unapologetically through the percussive “Flora>Fauna” and into the seeming zero-gravity of “Luu Le” which reveals itself to be a shapeshifting carnival ride, eventually depositing you gently at the exit gate – wondering how it is you’ll explain what La Di Da Di means.
File Under: Indie Rock, Prog, Math Rock
Century Expanded: Concerto for Wah Wah (Wah Wah) LP
Wow, what a discovery! A previously unknown gem from 1970. Originally released on the ultra-rare Perspection label, this generous 30-minute jam feast of mind blowing psychedelia features two long tracks. Wah-wah, fuzz and tremolo dueling guitars, searing organs, spacey vibes and trippy percussion set the atmosphere, in that out-there psychedelic sound reminiscent of San Francisco’s Summer Of Love and at the same time as hypnothic and adventurous as kraut rock innovators Neu! First ever vinyl reissue, presented on textured sleeve and remastered sound in a limited edition of only 500 copies worldwide.
File Under: Electronic, Psych, Krautrock
City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone) LP
In Tomorrow… “There’s a line that I’m trying to find, between the water and the open sky,” sings Dallas Green on “Friends,” the penultimate track off of his fifth release as City and Colour, If I Should Go Before You. For someone like Green, it’s hard to imagine that there’s much left to search for – he’s traversed the globe on tour, released numerous albums (one most recently as You+Me with Alecia Moore, aka P!nk) and collected scores of accolades. Though Green is a musician, he doesn’t make a show of things: that’s the songs’ job. Thus he’s done this all quietly, intentionally, still looking for the next answer or dog-eared chapter each record holds. And this time, on If I Should Go Before You, he once again uncovered something new: a certain kind of family in his bandmates. “It’s been a very special two years for me,” says Green, about the period since the release of 2013’s The Hurry and the Harm, which has seen him touring with the consistent ensemble of Dante Schwebel (guitar: Dan Auerbach, Rumba Shaker), Doug MacGregor (drums: Constantines), Jack Lawrence (bass: The Raconteurs, Dead Weather) and multi-instrumentalist Matt Kelly. “They inspired me to want to create new music, just to create it with them – I don’t think I wrote these songs for the band, per se, but I certainly wrote them because of the band.” Green had always been an introspective, solitary writer, demoing songs in his basement, working up every instrumental part by himself. But he considers If I Should Go Before You to be a band record, where the input of these trusted comrades was of the upmost importance. Even more pivotal was trying to capture the essence of their live show symbiosis in the studio; which comes through with an undeniable force. For a project that was very much about the inner world of Green, these relationships have morphed City and Colour into something with more emotive power than ever before: the layers go beyond just music and lyrics, into the people creating the songs themselves. But there was one thing that Green did want to do himself this time: produce the record. He returned to Blackbird Studios in Nashville, where The Hurry and the Harm was made, but decided to take the production reigns himself, with the help of friend Karl Bareham as his partner and engineer, along with the masterful mixing skills of Jaquire King (Dawes, Kings of Leon, Tom Waits). Everyone who had a hand in the making of the record was or became part of the City and Colour family. Green’s songs have always had a striking, visceral feel that pumps through the veins like oxygen, and, this time, it became a sort of translatable DNA. It’s a perfect time to think of everything he has done – and If I Should Go Before You is a celebration of that. With instrumentation recorded live off the floor, it comprises every part of the person Green has become over the years: chugging ballads that tug at the gut, aching confessionals set to slicing guitars, little licks of pedal steel for his new southern-swept soul, moody distortion from punk rock roots. Though he’s recorded in many incarnations, If I Should Go Before You acts like a roadmap through all of them, showing that none of these were simply “projects,” but they were part of the same whole. The album opens with the sweeping, “Woman,” a track that very well could be a surprise to those who might expect a simpler, acoustic-based entrance gate. At over nine minutes long, it’s a sultry and dynamic ode to everlasting love expressed through a powerful, layered build of sounds and emotions like a complex sweep of watercolors – a percussive heartbeat, echoing riffs, Green’s grounded yet ethereal falsetto. You can almost picture the stage lights spiral across a crowded auditorium; it moves with a life outside just the studio walls.
File Under: Indie Rock
Code III: Planet of Man (Wah Wah) LP
Brothers Manfred and Wolfgang Schunke were pioneers of the Kunstkopf Stereophonie (artificial head, dummy head) binaural recording system. This recording technique was created in the Technical University of Berlin in 1974 with the aim to reproduce real stereo sound as the human ears perceive it. Human ears listen to the sounds in a concrete way that is affected not only by the sound frequencies themselves but also by the position of the listener in respect to the different sound sources. The Schunke brothers wanted to experiment this recording technique, and as early as 1974 they set their own kunstkopf recording studio, Delta Acustic, with the help of Klaus Schulze. Code III was the vehicle for Manfred Schunke to explore the possibilities of kunstkopf recording. To do so, he joined forces with two Berlin-resident americans: Ed and Mary Key. Lyrically, Planet Of Man verses on the big theme of the creation of Earth, as The Crack In The Cosmic Egg book details it: “The music on PLANET OF MAN is a sonic depiction of the history of the Earth, from the void of empty space, via the formation of the planets, the evolution of life, through to man’s domination of the planet, and ultimately back to the void. The opening and closing excursions, involving atmospheric electronics, injections of a dreamy folk song, and disembodied resonant female voice, hint a little at Brainticket’s CELESTIAL OCEAN, although the mood is much spookier. Confusingly “Dawn Of An Era” (the lyrics are sung in the previous track) involves what sounds like demented Neanderthals involved in some weird drum ritual. “Countdown” adds up to a blend of atmospheric electronics with abstract use of voice collage and effects (and Indian music), onto a remarkably clever accelerating space-rock burn-out featuring Klaus Schulze at the drum stool! Returning to weird space music at the end, it all adds up to a remarkable and unique album.” Planet Of Man was one of the six releases on the Delta Acustic label, all recorded using the Kunstkopf Stereophonie techniques. After that, the Schunke brothers would quit the studio and move to new adventures. Manfred continued experimenting with dummy head recording, he would work, among others, on albums by Can and also use his binaural engineering experience on Lou Reed’s 1978 Lps Street Hassle and Take No Prisoners, among many others. There were originally two different versions of the album, the Wah Wah edition reproduces the longer, uncut one. First ever official vinyl reissue, with remastered sound and an insert with liner notes curated by Wolfgang Schunke for the occasion.
File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
Coeur De Pirate: Roses (Dare to Care) LP
In Tomorrow… Roses is award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Cœur de pirate’s highly anticipated third album. Roses, a collection of songs dating as far back as 2012, was written mostly in Montreal and recorded in studios in Stockholm, London, Bristol and Montreal. The album was recorded in Stockholm with producer Bjorn Yttling (Peter Bjorn and John, Robyn, Lykke Li), in Bristol, UK, with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Bat For Lashes, Cold Specks), and with Ash Workman (Metronomy, Christine and the Queens) at London’s Church Studio, where Adele’s Skyfall fame took its roots. Roses is the object of a very meticulous marketing plan. The advertising plan prepared by the label features both the album and the tour dates in all the different markets to maximise the visibility of the promotion initiatives. A national ad campaign will take place in advance of the release to promote the artist and draw attention towards her tour dates as well as her upcoming album. We plan to market the upcoming album through a combination of radio advertising, television spots, online and print ads. Our strategy includes live radio sessions, TV performances, combined with our strong radio promotion and aggressive postering campaign across Canada. Cœur de Pirate is the solo project of award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Béatrice Martin. She released her self-titled debut album in September 2008, to immediate national and international acclaim, before returning in November 2011 with her sophomore album, Blonde. In 2014, Martin provided the soundtrack to Radio-Canada’s hit TV series, Trauma, as well as the original score to Ubisoft’s video game, Child of Light. Cœur de Pirate has now sold more than one million albums worldwide and counting.
File Under: SSW, Indie Rock, CanCon
COS: Postaeolian Train Robbery (Wah Wah) LP
An obscure classic from the 1970’s Belgian jazzy prog scene that has become a much sought after piece in the collector’s market since it was originally released in 1974. Highly inspired by both the UK’s Canterbury scene and the zeuhl sound, the debut album by Cos has been compared to the likes of Soft Machine, Gong, Hatfield & The North, National Health, Gilgamesh, Egg, Placebo, Magma or Zao, with Pascale Son’s unique wordless vocals and nonsense syllables singing in a voice that some sources have compared to Flora Purim’s. The origins of Cos date back to the second half of the sixties when Daniel Schell joined forces with Jean-Paul Musette, Pascale Son and Robert Pernet to form Classroom. When Classroom split, Daniel Schell and Pascale Son moved ahead and formed Cos together with Charles Loos, Alain Goutier and Bob Dartsch. They produced an experimental jazz rock sound linked to the influences above mentioned, but without being mere copycats since they always managed to keep to their own personality. The album was released on the small obscure label Plus, and has arised interest not only among prog-rock psych-heads and jazz experimentalists, but also among those looking for breaks and bits to sample. The Wah Wah reissue comes housed in a beautiful reproduction of the original gatefold sleeve, featuring the original booklet and an insert with photos and liner notes. Mastered from the original tapes. First official LP reissue in a limited edition of 500 copies, licensed from and with the collaboration of Daniel Schell.
File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock
Gregor Curten/Anselm Rogmans: Planes (Wah Wah) LP
Wah Wah Records proudly presents a luxury vinyl reissue of this rare 1974 private pressing. Cool long electronic experiments splitted in two tracks, one on each side. Recorded in one take and offering an astounding combination of synth drones, wordless vocals, ambiental electric organ and ethereal guitar arpeggios. An outstanding work that moves away of the more classical kraut cosmische sounds to walk darker paths, yet retaining some early Kluster reminiscences. The Wah Wah reissue comes to life thanks to the cooperation of Gregor Cürten himself, this new LP and the 2012 CD release on Entr’acte are the only legit reissues of this great lost piece of kraut music history. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Limited to only 500 copies. Remastered sound and featuring an insert with liner notes.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Krautrock
Dungen: Allas Sak (Mexican Summer) LP
Dungen returns after a five year hiatus with Allas Sak, picking up where 2010‘s Skit I Allt left off, but sounding bolder and livelier, feistier yet more focused. One of the best and most consistently inventive psych rock bands in the world, the quartet jams with greater purpose and principle on songs like the otherworldly instrumental “Franks Kaktus” and the stately “En Gång Om Året,” while the prismatic “Flickor Och Pojkar” and closer “Sova” reveal subtle nuances in the band’s arrangements. “Åkt Dit” moves like a well-told story, with piano and bass setting the scene, the vocals tracing the rising action, and a saxophone solo providing the climax. Allas Sak is about everyday matters: family, friends, the fine texture of life. Common but never mundane, these subjects anchor the music in the here and now, while the music lends a certain grandeur to ordinary moments. “Lyrics are very important to me,” says primary songwriter Gustav Ejstes, who sings almost exclusively in Swedish. “These songs are my everyday experiences, my thoughts and stories from the life I live. I hope people can create their own stories around the music and maybe we can make music together, the listener and I.” “This is music made in blissful oblivion…and made to conjure it, too.” – The New York Times
File Under: Psych, Indie Rock
Eagles Of Death Metal: Zipper Down (T-Boy) LP
In Tomorrow… Jesse Hughes and Joshua Homme, co-founders of American rock band Eagles Of Death Metal, return with their fourth album, Zipper Down, the project’s first new studio release since 2008. For the Zipper Down sessions at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, CA, Hughes and Homme co-wrote all of the album’s songs (with the exception of their cover of Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer”), and performed all of the instruments and vocals themselves. The album was produced by Homme. “The new album, Zipper Down, really represents to me an attitude and philosophy of life,” says Hughes. “One should not zipper up, they should zipper down and let it all hang out.” Homme says, “In an independent study, four out of three doctors say Zipper Down is an eargasm trapped inside a crazerbeam. And I believe them.” About the album’s lead single, Homme explains, “‘Complexity’ is the musical equivalent of holding a lucky rabbit’s foot with the unlucky rabbit still attached.” “‘Complexity’ is sort of our way of saying, ‘Keep it simple, stupid,’” adds Hughes. EODM was formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, CA by best friends Jesse Hughes and Joshua Homme. Despite their band name, EODM is not a death metal band. The story goes that a friend was introducing Homme to the death metal genre, and he wondered what a cross between the Eagles and a death metal band would sound like. With that, EODM was born. The band released Peace Love Death Metal in 2004, followed by Death By Sexy in 2006, and Heart On in 2008.
File Under: Rock, Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss
Hans Edler: Elektron Kukeso (Wah Wah) LP
After having served in the rich Swedish beat 1960’s scene as a member of The Ghostriders and We 4, a.o., at the end of the decade Hans Edler became one of the pioneers of psychedelic electronic sounds experimentation in Europe. His “Elektron Kukéso” LP is a landmark in the genre. Released in 1971, it featured his explorations in electronic avant-garde music from the period 1969-1971. It was recorded at the Electronic Music Studio foundation, one of the world’s most advanced studios in the era, and one of the few prepared for the creation of electronic music. Influenced by the works of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and using techniques similar to those of Pierre Henry or Raymond Scott, Edler brought a psychedelic edge into electronic music just like Silver Apples had done in the USA. The album has also a strong rock attitude plus a certain pop sensitivity in some passages, not far from that of David Axelrod’s, which confers it a distance from what used to be the more serious appeal of what most electronic pioneers had been doing, giving the album an accessivity that is closer to the electronic hits of artists such as Gershon Kingsley, Jean-Jacques Perrey or Dick Hyman. However, be it because of the songs being sung in Swedish or the outsider reputation Edler seems to have in the Swedish musical scene, this great LP remained an obscurity – hardly spoken of outside a small circle of connoisseurs and collectors. “It really doesn’t get much better than this. In these days of harsh turmoil to uncover a rock & roll sweetheart like Hans Edler it really proves the gods to be smiling. Bonafide electronic experimentation with a heart full of pop is a love potion most desirable. Listen to the religious Brian Wilson-meets-Jandek orayer hymns of young Edler and travel to a time when long haired girls and dope-laced boys were truly getting it “on”. The hybrid fascination of electronic space composition and soul sweet pop-love in such a fresh state has me floating to my tombstone cloud.” Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth). “Hans Edler’s Elektron Kukéso reflects a man who, musically speaking, is in a world of his own. Edler’s music seem to be totally uninfluenced by the music of his day. On the contrary, Edler seemed to be making up his own musical rules, and if the rest of the world didn’t follow, that was probably fine with him. As for his tunes…(they)… resemble folk music, but in a strange, contorted way. I have never heard an album that is so devoid of musical influence of others, and to me, that’s what makes it remarkable.” Dana Countryman (Cool and Strange Music Magazine). Since the original LP was pretty short, seven bonus tracks not appeared on the original release have been added. These songs predate the LP tracks and are from 1969 / 1970. Remastered sound, an insert with photos and liner notes complete this great reissue of this legendary Swedish electronics LP.
File Under: Electronic, Psych
Mark Jenkins: Analog Archives (Wah Wah) LP
A leading figure in the UK’s electronic music scene, Mark Jenkins has played with White Noise, Arthur Brown and members of Can, Gong, Van Der Graaf Generator and Tangerine Dream. He is the author of the acclaimed books Analog Synthesizers and iPad Music (Jenkins became the first musician in the world to release a CD created entirely on the Apple iPad). Analog Archives is a collection of recordings from the early to mid eighties. Armed with his Moog Sonic Six, Sequential Prophet 600, EDP Wasp & Spider and other legendary electronic weapons Mark Jenkins delivers envolving electronic textures that could be filed along those of artists like Klaus Schulze or Ash Ra Tempel. These recordings are issued in vinyl format for the first time ever, in a limited edition of 500 copies only.
File Under: Early Electronic
Ariel Kalma: Le Temps Des Moissons (Wah Wah) LP
First solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. Kalma is also known for have played in albums by other French experimental artists like Delired Chameleon Family, Nyl, Heldon… Nowadays very rare and hard to find private pressing, some copies came with a hand drawn cover and some in printed form. The Wah Wah reissue reproduces the original printed sleeve, comes mastered sound from the original tapes, 2 bonus tracks and an insert featuring liner notes and photos, in a limited edition of only 500 copies.
File Under: New Age, Ambient, Experimental
Mark Kozelek: Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer (Badman) LP
Mark Kozelek has recorded six studio albums with Red House Painters, four solo albums, and two with Sun Kil Moon. Kozelek has toured the world extensively as a solo artist and with Red House Painters. His songs have appeared in numerous movie and television soundtracks. Kozelek acted in the Cameron Crowe film “Almost Famous.” He played the bass player for Stillwater. He also compiled, and contributed tracks for Take Me Home – A Tribute to John Denver. Mark Kozelek’s (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters) singer/songwriter’s debut solo album. 3 1/2 Stars – Rolling Stone. “Best of 2000” – Amazon.com
File Under: Indie Rock, Red House Painters
Hardy Kukuk: Atemnot (Wah Wah) LP
One of the biggest rarities from the cosmische kraut underground scene has to be Hardy Kukuk’s lost 1981 top Berlin School electronic masterpiece Atemnot. Kukuk’s synth explorations take the adventures of masters of the genre like Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze one step further into the early eighties. Kukuk is joined on these recordings by Andreas Schneider on guitar and congas and Klaus Bloch (of A La Ping Pong fame) on guitar and tape effects. After Atemnot Kukuk recorded a second LP, Timeless, before joining forces with Matthias Culmey in the early 2000’s to form the electronic duo Beatboys 2000. The Wah Wah reissue comes with remastered sound and housed in a faithful reproduction of original private pressing sleeve. It also includes an insert with cool photos and liner notes. First ever vinyl reissue limited to 500 copies only!
File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
Franco Leprino: Integrati… Disintegrati (Wah Wah) LP
It was 1977, the year when punk rock exploded in the face of disco-music, but some thinking heads in Italy managed to escape the set trends of the year and walk a totally different path. Pioneers like Franco Battiato had already been experimenting with a crash of rock and electroacoustic music since the beginning of the decade, and others like Roberto Cacciapaglia or Riccardo Zappa would explore farther in those lands, mixing acoustic instruments with the bourgeoning synth technology. Among all these artists, an obscure little gem missed the attention it deserved: Integrati… Disintegrati, by Francesco Leprino, is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the genre. More freely unchained from the prog rock links that albums like Battiato’s celebrated Fetus and Pollution LPs or Zappa’s Celestion still retain, Leprino merges a very pure classical instrumentation of Spanish guitar, piano and flute with more modern electric guitar sounds, 12 string guitar and -of course- a V.C.S. 3 and Moog synths background that creates highly avantgarde atmospheres. Binson tape echoes, Hammond and Thomas organs, oboes, vibraphone and other additional instruments add texture richness to the final mix. An outstanding opus split through both sides of an LP in two 20 minutes long pieces that has become a much sought after album among collectors. It will appeal those interested in the development of synth music, beautiful athmosferic landscapes and electronic-acoustic orchestrated sounds. Reissued under license from Francesco Leprino in a 500 copies limited edition that respects the original artwork, comes with remastered sound and includes an insert with liner notes and photos.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
The Love Machine: Electronic Music to Blow Your Mind By (Wah Wah) LP
Hey fans of Free Pop Electronic Concept, Jimmie Haskell, Astro Sounds for the Year 2000, Pierre Henry or Les Maledictus Sound, here’s one for you! KILLER exploito psych LP from 1968 by the Love Machine, “Electronic Music to Blow Your Mind By!!!” – and trust me, it CAN be done – on the Design label. One of the harder-to-find exploito-psych albums with an absolutely KILLER psychedelic cover. Like all these studio cash-in albums, you need to approach this one in the right state of mind, and by that I mean altered. But the great thing about these budget albums is that someone behind the controls seems to be trying out ALL the latest psychedelic effects – stereo panning, phasing and whatever electronic gadgetry they had left over from the last time Beaver and Krause blew through town. And so, if you can get past the fact that no REAL bands were involved here, this is still one heck of a BLAST to listen to! The Love Machine add in a steady stream of outer space synth and moog sounds, like some rejected soundtrack to an episode of “Star Trek” (the original one, kids, with William Shatner), all echoed and delayed in suitably “cosmic” fashion. Remastered sound, killer sleeve with backflaps and limited to 500 copies only!
File Under: Rock, Psych
Wolfgang Orschakowski: Zippo Zetterlink in the Poor Sun (Wah Wah) LP
Wolfgang Orschakowski is one of the most free spirits of the krautrock underground. Hailing from Hamburg, he has been producing music, paintings and all other kinds of artistic projects for the past four decades, always active with dozens of new projects boiling inside his head. Zippo Zetterlink In The Poor Sun, originally released in 1971 as a self produced private pressing that is nowadays impossible to find unless you are ready to pay some amounts of money in the collector’s market, was his first ever release. It is at last reissued in vinyl, a properly licensed edition done with the kind cooperation of Wolfgang himself and housed in an exact repro of its original sleeve. The music contained could be taken as the seed to Orschakowski’s music world : free-form underground sounds, a way-out trip through expansive guitar riffs and strumming, hypnotic bass lines, killer drum breakbeats and elusive percussion, plus the occasional vocal, some blues freak-out and psychedelic effects. It will appeal to fans of other kraut classics like Amon Düül’s Psychedelic Underground, early Guru Guru and the likes. The Wah Wah reissue comes with a fantastic bonus CD featuring another of Wolfgang’s projects: the acid psych music of WoOZ! performing their Катюша / Katyusha, カチューシャ, red point on g-spot 10-song album. Reissued under license from Wolfgang Orschakowski in a 500 copies limited edition that respects the original artwork, comes with remastered sound and includes a bonus CD by Orschakowski’s psychedelic project WoOZ! housed in a fold-out poster sleeve with liner notes and photos.
File Under: Krautrock, Blues Rock
Pack: s/t (Ugly Pop) LP
Nobody can tell us that this 1978 German monster isn’t one of the best footlongs of the era, a gnarly slab of pure ’70s punk rock recorded in an abandoned WW2 bunker with two mics in one session. Pack is just hit after hit, killer songs delivered with snarl, style and non-stop energy. Essential first generation punk, remastered with extensive liner notes and vintage photos!
File Under: Punk
Placebo: Without You I’m Nothing (Virgin) LP
In Tomorrow… This U.K. three-piece’s self-titled debut often got compared to Smashing Pumpkins and Rush–Smashing Pumpkins for its unashamed mid-’70s prog-rock allusions and Rush because of singer Brian Molko’s unusually high-pitched, almost androgynous voice. In reality, Placebo were far more salacious, downright dirty, and culturally confusing than either. (The band is a mix of American, Swedish, and English, with some Lebanese and Luxembourgian thrown in.) For their second album, Placebo have looked to the late ’70s for inspiration, to the sound of early New Order and the Banshees–with a dash of the ’90s thrown in: “Brick Shithouse,” for example, starts like the most balls-out Prodigy song. If their debut was the sound of a no-holds-barred sexual drug frenzy lasting way into the next day, then Without You I’m Nothing is the resultant rumpled, libidinous comedown. As such, it’s much classier, cerebral and great to listen to when hung-over. “I’m unclean / A libertine / And every time you vent your spleen / I seem to lose my power of speech,” Molko breathes on the awesomely overcharged title track. In a year when Marilyn Manson and Bauhaus continue to revitalize the goth movement across America, Placebo’s moment may well have arrived. –Everett True
File Under: Alternative Rock
Popol Vuh: Das Hohelied Salomos (Wah Wah) LP
We start our second series of Popol Vuh reissues with the fantastic Das Hohelied Salomos, which takes it over from where Einsjäger Und Siebenjäger left it. It features the classic trio of Florian Fricke, Daniel Fichelscher and Djong Yun, plus the help of Amon Düül’s Al Gromer. The theme of the album is taken from biblical passages, using verses from King Salomon’s tales on The Old Testament. The music is superb, great guitar soloing, amazing percussion work and the mesmerizing voice of Djong Yun on nine songs that echo previous works, mostly Einsjäger…, but also Hosianna Mantra comes to mind here and there. A perfectly balanced record that merges progrock sounds, eastern influences through the use of sitar and tabla and spiritual meditation. The Wah Wah limited edition will have three bonus tracks and come housed the beautiful original sleeve artwork printed on art type paper, as it was first released, and feature a triptic insert with liner notes. It has been master Cut by Lex Van Coeverden @ www.thevinylroom.nl for a high quality sound pressing that will satisfy the most exquisite audiophile.
File Under: Ambient, Krautrock
Popol Vuh: Herz Aus Glass
Popol Vuh: Coeur de Verre (Wah Wah) LP
Another classic soundtrack produced by Popol Vuh for a Werner Herzog film was Herz Aus Glass. Its music still retains the powerful emphasis given to the previous LP in certain passages, although it goes back to their more reflexive ambiental athmospheres yet presenting that concept one step further into more evolutive structures and even adding some touches of a certain folk music feel. Djong Yun is not present anymore, but Daniel Fichelscher and Florian Fricke can still count on the collaboration of Al Gromer on sitar, plus the addition of Mathias von Tippelskirch on flute. Werner Herzog: “The music in my films is also very much neglected, if I may interrupt you, in Germany as well. Since AGUIRRE, my friend Florian Fricke, has done the music for almost all my films – for STEINER, for LA SOUFRIERE, for STROSZEK, and for HEART OF GLASS – and I’ve tried to push very hard so that he would be given the National Film Award this year. They’ve never given it to him, and there has been complete neglect of his work. Not even a single mention! And this year they just by-passed him once again!” [From: Images at the Horizon, 1979] Popol Vuh has been nominated three times for an Oscar for best original score: 1972 (Aguirre), 1979 (Nosferatu) and 1987 (Cobra Verde). On offer here two different sleeves to chose from. Half of the copies will come in its original blue cover, as it was originally issued in Germany, the other half will be housed in the beautiful French sleeve, originally released as Coeur de Verre. Audiophile fidelity remastered sound plus an insert with photos and liner notes.
File Under: Ambient, Krautrock, OST
Protomartyr: The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art) LP
Consider the urgency with which Protomartyr has approached everything – three albums in three years, each more extraordinary and rewarding than the last. This music is inherently, unassumingly high stakes. October 2015 marks the release of The Agent Intellect, their third and finest work to date. Named after an ancient philosophical questioning of how the mind operates in relation to the self, it’s an elegant and often devastating display of all that makes Protomartyr so vital and singularly visceral an outfit. Over the course of several months, guitarist Greg Ahee waded through more than a hundred song fragments until he reached the bottomless melodies of “I Forgive You” and “Clandestine Time,” the inky depths of “Pontiac ’87” and titanic churn of “Why Does It Shake?” Lyrically, frontman Joe Casey is at his most confident and haunting. He humanizes evil on “The Devil in His Youth,” and, amid the charred pop of “Dope Cloud,” he reassures us that nothing – not God, not money – can or will prevent our minds from unraveling until we finally fade away. We are no one and nothing, he claims, without our thoughts. It’s a theme that echoes through the entirety of the record, but never as beautifully as it does on “Ellen.” Named after his mother and written from the perspective of his late father, it’s as romantic a song as you’re likely to hear this or any year, Casey promising to wait for her on the other side, with the memories she’s lost safely in hand. All LPs include a lyric zine, poster insert and download code.
File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
Shindig! #50 Mag
Shindig! 50th Birthday Issue! It’s a big one for anyone; us particularly, considering what 2015 threw up. And here we are, alive and kicking at 50. The issue hits the shops ( we will also unleash our Podcast with interviews and chat with TEMPLES, GHOSTBOX and WHITE FENCE recorded at Green Man). Shindig! Magazine is a publication put together with genuine understanding, sincerity and utter belief. We seek to end mediocrity in music magazines… to bring the scope and knowledge of old fanzines and specialist rock titles to a larger readership: quality journalism, columns, music and film history; exciting new bands and culture. From the most far-out ’60s sounds through country-rock and folk to soul and electronic experimentation. It’s all there. We have already inspired every major music mag… so let us inspire you too!
Suck Electronic Enciclopedic: Asfixia al Carrer Valendia (Wah Wah) LP
We are proud to present for the first time ever the lost 1976 / 1977 recordings by this legendary band from Barcelona. Suck Electrònic Enciclopèdic were born in 1975, in the last days of Franco’s dictature, when Spain was awaking again to democracy and everything was possible. Even with the menace of an army too friendly to the old regime a fresh new breeze was spreading the change, and S.E.E. were an important part of its musical underground movement and the ones who brought influences from their kraut cosmische heroes Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream to it. The constant line-up changes (over 30 musiccians have been members of S.E.E. at one time or another, with some of them moving to other important projects of the era – like Neuronium, for instance) made it difficult for them to produce a consistent recorded work. Actually they only released one LP and it was already in the 1980’s, but the recordings contained on Asfixia al carrer València where done in their early days, when they were at the peak of their creativity in 1976 / 1977. At that time they had a unique sound that no one else shared since they were building their own synthesizers and they were the only Spanish band to feature four keyboardists, and also one of the few to tour with bands such as Embryo, Etron Fou Leloublan, Potemkine or Henry Cow. They were part of the Rock In Opposition (RIO) collective along with Stormy Six, Univers Zero, Samla Mammas Manna, Art Zoyd, Art Bears, and other experimental progressive avant-garde outfits. The Wah Wah LP is a selection of tracks from more than three hours of material that was recorded but never released. Plans for LPs produced by Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt were made, as others to record in France – first in Avignon’s Free Son Studios under production from Daevid Allen and David Vorhaus with the collaboration of Shakti Yoni, and then in Tolouse’s Tangara Studio with Jean Pierre Grasset from Verto – but they never materialised. A phenomenal document of the electronic psychedelic sound that Suck Electronic Enciclopèdic were exploring in their early days, including plenty of photos and memorabilia to transport the listener to their world of science ficcion imagery, psychedelia and progressive experimentation that was to supply a lot of influences to many bands to come in the Barcelona scene. Previously unreleased, recorded between 1976 and 1977, the Wah Wah issue will come housed in a quality glossy laminated gatefold sleeve printed on silver cardboard, remastered sound by Bob Drake (of Henry Cow fame), and featuring a 20 page booklet with photos and liner notes and a comic strip. Limited edition of only 500 copies.
File Under: Electronic, Psych, Space Rock
Supergrass: I Should Coco (Parlophone) LP
In Tomorrow… To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Brit-pop forerunners Supergrass’ chart-topping platinum 1995 debut full-length, I Should Coco, Parlophone Records is reissuing the time honored classic on 180g vinyl with remastered audio complete with a colored copy of the 7” single “Stone Free” / “Odd?” which was originally released with the album. Supergrass burst onto the UK music scene in 1994 with the hit singles “Caught By The Fuzz” and “Mansize Rooster.” Their infectious blend of power-pop melodies, youthful punk attitude and wicked sense of humour set them apart from their Britpop contemporaries. Their sound was not tied to a particular artist or era, so has allowed their music to remain timeless. When I Should Coco hit the shelves in 1995, it was an immediate smash, reaching the #1 spot on the UK album chart making it the biggest selling debut album for Parlophone since The Beatles’ Please Please Me. The album featured two Top 10 hits: “Lenny” and “Alright,” the latter becoming one of the defining songs of their career. These young men devoured a lot of music in their youth; combining the melodicism of The Kinks and The Beatles, the ferocious rhythms of The Who, the Anglo-centric vocals of Madness with the punk/pop energy of The Buzzcocks into a musical stew that sounded like no one but Supergrass. They delivered a nearly perfect album to kick-start their career; a record that still resonates and charms two decades on. The LP includes a special bonus: The original 7” single of “Stone Free”/”Odd?” on red vinyl with a reworked red/yellow classic Parlophone 45 label but in its original retro ‘Parlophone’ housebag. “Stone Free” was originally recorded during a long night at Falconer Studios on April 12, 1995 just after the band returned home from their first American tour. “Odd?” was recorded at BBC Maida Vale on January 10, 1995, as part of their first John Peel session which was initially broadcast 4th Feb 1995. It was also Rob Coombes’ first appearance on keyboards with the band.
File Under: Rock, Brit Pop
Ticket: Awake (Wah Wah) LP
Here’s a hard dose of amazing guitar driven heavy psych from New Zealand’s pride Ticket! Having served in several NZ 1960s bands like The Challenge, The Blues Revival or The Jamestown Union, members Paul Woolright (bass guitar, vocals), Eddie Hansen (lead guitar, vocals), Trevor Tombleson (lead vocals, percussion) and Ricky Ball (drums and percussion) got together as Ticket to perform an explosive electric mixture of bluesy psychedelic sounds under the influence of Hendrix, Cream, Traffic or Sly & The Family Stone, plus adding their very own touch and some funky rhythms in the same vein Atomic Rooster did in the era. Awake was the first of their two LPs, and it collected several songs that had been released as 45s during 1971, plus some extra material recorded specifically for the LP in 1972. Eddie Hansen would relocate to Australia teaming up with another music legend, Harvey Mann. Ricky Ball became the back-beat of Hello Sailor. Paul Woolright would become part of the Pink Flamingo’s and Hello Sailor. Trevor Tombleson changed his name to Trevor Richards, went to England and played in the Keith Hartley Band. Originally released in Down Under in 1972, the Wah Wah reissue will come housed in a quality glossy laminated, three backflaps sleeve reproducing the original artwork, amazingly remastered sound and an insert with photos and liner notes. Limited edition of only 500 copies.
File Under: Psych, Blues Rock
Annexus Quam: Osmose (Wah Wah) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Capitol) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: 4 (Rhino) LP
Donald Byrd: A New Perspective (Blue Note) LP
City & Colour: Little Hell (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
Clear Light Symphony: s/t (Wah Wah) LP
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Get on Down) LP
John Coltrane: Giant Steps (Atlantic) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
Dead Weather: Dodge & Burn (Thirdman) LP
Destroyer: Poison Season (Merge) LP
Doors: LA Woman (Rhino) LP
Doors: Morrison Hotel (Rhino) LP
Doors: Soft Parade (Rhino) LP
Doors: s/t (Rhino) LP
Doors: Waiting For The Sun (Rhino) LP
Kenny Drew: Undercurrent (Blue Note) LP
Emtidi: s/t (Wah Wah) LP
Emtidi: Saat (Wah Wah) LP
Fairport Convention: Liege & Lief (Universal) LP
Bill Fay: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up (Blue Note) LP
Andrew Hill: Point of Departure (Blue Note) LP
Billy Holiday: Strange Fruit (DOL) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (Blue Note) LP
Inner Space (Can): Agilok & Blubbo (Wah Wah) LP
Fela Kuti: Box 3 (Knitting Factory) Boxset
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Jackie McLean: Capuchin Swing (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Turnaround (Blue Note) LP
Lee Morgan: Search For A New Land (Blue Note) LP
Neu!: s/t (Gronland) LP
Neurosis: Through Silver In Blood (Relapse) LP
Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Wayne Shorter: Juju (Blue Note) LP
Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil (Blue Note) LP
Spacecraft: Paradoxe (Wah Wah) LP
Swans: My Father Will Guide Me (Young God) LP
Sword: Age of Winters (Kemedo) LP
Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemedo) LP
Television: Marquee Moon (Rhino) LP
Unwound: Empire (Numero) 4LP
Bernd Witthuser: Lieder Von Vampiren… (Wah Wah) LP