As of this week, I’ve decided to start a new section in this news letter, “Delays/Late”. You will find it at the bottom of the news letter. It would seem that pretty much every record will spend some time on this list now. At least now when you don’t see something on the new arrivals check there, cuz it’s probably delayed! Anyway, this list may be short, but next week is gonna be a doozy! Sun City Girls, Fuzz, Newsom, and more!
…..pick of the week…..
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
In tomorrow… The 1983 cult-classic ‘Mariah – Utakata No Hibi’ sees its re-release for the first time. The long sought after final record on the legendary Better Days label, Utakata No Hibi is the culmination of composer and bandleader Yasuaki Shimizu’s early-80s work, often compared to his contemporaries Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono, as well as experimental new wavers Flying Lizards/David Cunningham, all of whom Shimizu has worked with. Recognized in Japan for the hit, ‘Shinzo No Tobira,’ the entire record is a masterful studio production of Japanese folk and pop idioms filtered through a chamber disco, new wave, synth production, sounding more relevant today than upon its release over 30 years ago. Issued by Palto Flats Records, Utakata No Hibi is fully licensed by Columbia Japan and the Artist, and remastered by Dubplates in Berlin. The packaging features additional artwork from Ira Okudaira, who created the original stunning jacket drawings. It retains the original double 12” 45 rpm play format, and includes a full English translation of the Japanese and Armenian lyrics on the printed inner sleeves. RIYL: Blood Orange, YMO, Arthur Russell, Julee Cruise
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Japanese
Deerhunter: Fading Frontier (4AD) LP
In tomorrow???? “Fading Frontier” is the new studio album from Deerhunter. The record was made by founding members Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Moses Archuleta, and bassist Josh McKay. Written in their hometown of Atlanta, GA, production duties were shared by the band and Ben H. Allen III, continuing a collaboration that began with 2010’s “Halcyon Digest”. Following the death-rattle garage catharsis of “Monomania”, the group have shifted towards something strikingly balanced, focused on melody and texture. The songs are brighter; if not in content, then in the album’s production. Starkness plays against clutter in what is the band’s most complex yet accessible work to date. Cox and Pundt share lead vocal duties (a first for the band) on the enthralling ‘Breaker’, while the darker ‘Take Care’ (featuring Broadcast’s James Cargill on synthesizers and tape manipulation) and ‘Leather and Wood’ – a strange hybrid of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian grey-skied science fiction, and the most spartan Motown downer imaginable – paint a varied spectral landscape. Elsewhere, the likes of ‘Snakeskin’ showcase a sinister flirtation with minimalist funk, whilst Pundt makes a typically masterful statement with the synth-diffused ‘Ad Astra’, which culminates in one of the album’s most transcendent moments. Fading Frontier shows that a decade in, Deerhunter has lost none of its intensity. As the group matures, so they have grown into the most consistent purveyors of art-rock of their generation.
File Under: Indie Rock
Mild High Club: Timeline (Circle Star) LP
Mild High Club is the home for the musical output of Alexander Brettin, a jazz-schooled musician transplanted from the Midwest to Los Angeles. Premiered originally via Stereogum, they write of the blissed out psych track, “it feels like a lost ‘60s tune, each note sustained with a twirl of vibrato creating an elongated nonchalant West Coast vibe…it’s sweet, in all senses of the word.” Recording with a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder, MacBook, 12-string electric guitar, PortaSound keyboard, bass, drum machine, software instruments “and whatever was lying around,” Brettin began recording Timeline in 2012. In addition to the pure pop of singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren, sixties psych wields an obvious influence over Mild High Club’s music. Brettin strips away the opulence and over-thetop arrangements and oddball tomfoolery commonly associated with it in favor of phased melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Mild High Club recently toured with post-punk pioneers Wire and has shared the stage with the likes of Mac DeMarco, Ariel Pink and Mikal Cronin. This summer, he’ll embark on a string of North American and European dates with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, so make sure you catch KCRW’s “local artist we love” with the “woozy dream pop” sound that has NME excited.
File Under: Rock, Psych
Parkland: Singularity (Offseason) LP
After almost a decade performing under the banner of devilsplender, Rob Malowany has reinvented himself on Singularity, the debut album from Parkland. While retaining a solid singer-songwriter foundation, his immersion in the Vancouver creative music scene inspired Malowany to mix improv and sonic exploration into his direct and honest songs. Along the way, he also collaborated with songwriter/poet Rodney DeCroo, providing music and sound design to DeCroo’s spoken word on the stunning Allegheny album, which Discorder Magazine called “a gorgeously lush and intensely captivating piece of work.” Recorded entirely in Malowany’s own studio, Singularity moves from reflective midnight piano improvisation and field recordings (“Wonderful Heartache”), Tenor-ion generated electronic pulses (“Compatriots”), skittering interpretation (Fond of Tigers leader Stephen Lyons’ drumming on the title track), and understated but lush orchestration (featuring fellow Fond of Tigers member Shanto Acharia on cello, and experimental trumpeter Kevin Elaschuck), to impassioned, heart-laid-bare songwriting. The result is a diverse and far-reaching sonic document that sets the tone for further and freer exploration from Parkland. Rob’s omnivorous musical taste and deep involvement in the music community also finds expression through his podcast, Satan’s Cabaret, which features long-form, conversational interviews and intimate live recordings with artists both known and not-so-known, local and from further afield. Past guests have included Stephen McBean (Black Mountain), Jose Contreras (By Divine Right), Jesse Zubot, Carole Pope (Rough Trade), Paul Pigat, Ryan Boldt, and scores of other musicians. Singularity is the first document of an artist that is at once in transition, and completely at home with his process.
File Under: Ambient, SSW
Matt ‘MV’ Valentine: Midden Mound (Golden Lab) LP
A massive, expansive work by Matt “MV” Valentine, featuring a host of guest performers, including Erika Elder, J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Jeremy Earl (Woods, Woodsist), P.G. Six, and Michael Flower. An 11-track combination of sprawling jams including the incredible Rudy Rucker-inspired “Freeware” and other beautiful songs across two slabs of wax. A truly wondrous, sun-blinded summer stoner record that throws its sandals in the duffel bag, lets the sand slip through its toes, and tramps off in the direction of a mirage of a gigantic effigy of Ganesh. Double LP pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a stunning, super-heavyweight, UV-coated gatefold jacket with enormous poster insert. Absolute must-have and Golden Lab’s personal record of the year. Do not miss!
File Under: Psych, Folk, Blues, Cosmic
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflector (Sonovox) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Neko Case: Middle Cyclone (Anti) LP
Neko Case: The Worse Things Get (Anti) LP
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Neurosis: Through Silver In Blood (Relapse) LP
Ty Segall: Twins (Drag City) LP
Beach House: Thank Your Lucky Stars LP… due next week
Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 6
Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled… next week???
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now Oct 30
Sigur Ros: ( )…. now Oct 30
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA
Wilco: Star Wars… expected next week