…..news letter #715 – november rain…..

Well after the endless amount of boxes last week, this week has provided a bit of reprieve. However there are still some killer slabs in this week, and considering how much came in last week, most of you probably still have some catching up to do!

…..pick of the week…..


Shooting Guns/Zaum: Himalaya to Mesopotamia (Pre-Rock) LP
Another killer split from our pals Shooting Guns! “Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, JUNO and Polaris Prize award nominees Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum, haunting the foggy moor between Sabbath-styled doom riffery and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock. Shooting Guns recently created the score for the movie WolfCop and won the 2015 Western Canadian Music Award for Metal/Hard Music Recording of the Year with the WolfCop Soundtrack, which was released in 2014 through One Way Static Records, RidingEasy Records and Cinecoup. Their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram released in 2013 via Riding Easy Records, was nominated for the 2015 JUNO Metal/Hard Album of the Year as well as the Polaris Music Prize. Their debut LP, Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 was also nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012. ZAUM is a passage toward the dark realizations of the ancient middle east; in the form of a monolithic doomy mantra based meditative experience forged by bass and drums interwoven with sitar and synth textures. Based in New Brunswick – their live presence is very true to its recorded form both melodic and dark vocal styles met with elements of sectional Mongolian throat singing. Observers experience a calming process of reality whereby the astral and physical planes can co-exist and be understood from a natural perspective. Their debut album Oracles released in June 2014 was nominated for an ECMA Award for Best Loud Recording and reviewed nearly 100 times – subject to much critical acclaim primarily throughout Europe.

File Under: Metal, Stoner, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..


Built to Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (Up) LP
Up Records (via Sub Pop) will reissue Built To Spill’s much loved classic There’s Nothing Wrong with Love, the second full-length album released by the legendary indie rock band. It was originally issued in September 1994 on the Up Records label with the stellar line-up of Doug Martsch, bassist Brett Nelson, and drummer Andy Capps, with Phil Ek producing. The album features the enduring singles “In the Morning,” “Car,” and “Distopian Dream Girl.” There’s Nothing Wrong with Love was exceptionally well received by critics upon its release. It went on to earn “Best Albums of 90’s” notices from the likes of Pitchfork, Paste and SPIN. This new, vinyl edition is the first time the album has been available on vinyl since its original run. Let the rejoicing commence!

File Under: Indie Rock
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Floating Points: Elaenia (Luaka Bop) LP
It was the arrival of a Studer A80 master recorder at the front door of Sam Shepherd – otherwise known as Floating Points – that caused him to begin building the studio that led to the creation of his debut album, Elaenia. After a slight miscalculation meant that he could not physically get the thing inside his home, what happened next can only be described as a beautiful example of the butterfly effect. Breaking away from making electronic music on his laptop, the DJ, producer and composer spent the next five years engineering Elaenia, all the while deejaying in cities across the globe and working towards his PhD in neuroscience. An incredibly special album that draws inspiration from classical, jazz, electronic music, soul and even Brazilian popular music, Elaenia – named after the bird of the same name – is the epitome of the forward-thinking Floating Points vision in 2015. For the past ten years, all roads Shepherd has followed have slowly been leading to Elaenia – an album with roots deep in his formative years that draw upon everything Shepherd has done to date. His debut album proper, Elaenia is the culmination of all things Sam Shepherd: the Eglo label boss, the ensemblist, the producer, scientist and visual artist – and that’s only scraping the surface. The mesmerizing ebbs and flows of Elaenia span moments of light and dark; rigidity and freedom; elegance and chaos. There is the lush, euphoric enlightenment of “Silhouettes,” a three-part composition that acts as a testament to those early days Shepherd spent playing in various ensembles – complete with an immensely tight rhythm section that ends up providing a cathartic, blissful release. Elsewhere, Shepherd’s knack for masterful late night sets bare fruition to the hypnotic, electronic pulse of “Argenté,” a welcome change of pace. Elaenia draws upon the many parts of Sam’s life, from DJ to artist to inventor, and provides the clearest context of his musical skills to date – it’s the end result of the direction he has always been moving in. Elaenia is a series of suites designed to be devoured in one sitting that has its own unique voice, with only one track – the title track – speaking a direct and tangible story, relating to a dream Shepherd had about a migrating Elaenia’s life being absorbed by a forest. Ultimately, Elaenia packs performances that are at times delicate and intense – the first full-bodied, complete Floating Points work so far, and provides context to the music that Shepherd has been making to date. Every DJ set he’s performed, every talent he has produced, every composition he has written are thought of as precursors to Elaenia – a dazzling score which puts Shepherd in the spotlight as a composer who has produced an album that bridges the gap between his rapturous dance music and formative classical roots.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, House
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Sonny Knight & The Lakers: Do It Live (Secret Stash) LP
For Sonny Knight & the Lakers, 2014 was equal parts unexpected and deserved. The release of their debut album, I’m Still Here, nearly 50 years after a young Sonny recorded his first single, began a tidal wave of accomplishments that includes a successful international tour and attention from major media outlets. From the album release party in May, through the end of the year, Sonny Knight & The Lakers developed their live show into a full-blown soul music extravaganza. Clocking in at just under 90 minutes of seamless music, the show is reminiscent of the tightly orchestrated performances of James Brown and Sam & Dave. After returning from a European tour in October, they booked a two night stand in December at long standing Minneapolis club, The Dakota. They put on two shows per night for a hometown crowd. Secret Stash Records turned the venue’s green room into a make shift recording studio control room, bringing in their own console, outboard gear, tape machines, and microphones. All four shows were mixed live and cut directly to 2″ track tape, and the best performances were culled for Do It Live. From the call and response chaos of “Cave Man,” to the heart wrenching delivery of “When You’re Gone,” this double LP set proves why Sonny Knight & The Lakers are one of the best on the road today. If you listen to Otis Redding’s Live in Europe, you quickly realize that the MGs are in full-on rock and roll mode. When the Lakers are on, they do the same thing. Eric hits harder, Blair plays a little faster, and Sonny screams. The whole band turns into danceable, hot muscle.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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69Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge) 6×10″
Legend has it that Stephin Merritt came up with the idea for 69 Love Songs while sitting in an elegant midtown Manhattan piano bar. He originally planned for it to be a live musical revue, performed with a rotating cast of singers in the plush hotel bars and cabarets of New York City. Spanning indie pop, folk, cabaret, jazz, and chamber pop, 69 Love Songs was originally released in September of 1999 and immediately established Merritt as one of this generation’s most talented songwriters. It drew worldwide attention with comparisons to legends Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. SPIN graded it 10 out of 10, Rolling Stone described it as “gorgeous,” and the New York Times hailed the triple CD-set as a work of “genius.” It remains one of the most beloved albums in the Merge catalog. This remastered limited edition 6 x 10″ vinyl reissue is beautifully packaged in a slip case box with three double gatefold sleeves and the original booklet in 10” size!

File Under: Indie, Pop
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power glove

Power Glove: EP II (Invada) LP
Red Vinyl +DL. The mighty Power Glove make a speedy return to Invada after their EP I was released in April as part of Record Store Day. Much like 2014’s Far Cry 3 soundtrack, this sold out instantly and was one of RSD’s most sought after releases. Invada are proud to present Power Glove’s 7 track follow up – ‘EP II’ This new record features the incredible ‘Motorcycle Cop’ and PG’s remix of The Fauns’ ‘4AM’.

File Under: Electronic, Cyberpunk
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sigur ros

Sigur Ros: ( ) (Krunk) LP
( ) – Sigur Ros’ celebrated third album, and for many people – especially in the US where it remains their biggest selling work – the most quintessentially Sigur Ros record of their career to date. It’s the only album where Jonsi sings entirely in the wordless lyrics of Hopelandic. This desire to elide meaning and allow the listener to bring their own interpretation to the music extends to the eight songs, all of which are nameless. The music is broadly split into two halves, divided by a critical 36 seconds of silence. The first half of the album is lighter and more optimistic, the second bleaker and more melancholic, culminating in the thundering climax of “Untitled #8,” the closing song of every Sigur Ros show since the song was written in 2000. ( ) was recorded at the band’s studio Sundlaugin, icn Mosfellsbaer outside Reykjavik, in 2002, co-produced by the band with Ken Thomas, who also helmed their breakthrough second album, Agaetis Byrjun. For the first time since its initial pressing, the vinyl album now comes in its full Grammy-nominated artwork, including die-cut sleeve and spot UV varnish inner bags. The 72-minute double album is also once again pressed on limited edition (3,000 units) colored 180 gram double vinyl with CD.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ambient
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Timmy’s Organism: Heartless Heathen (Third Man) LP
Fronting some of the most original, compelling and unpredictable bands (not only in Detroit, but the world) for over two decades, Tim Lampinen’s work with the Epileptix, Clone Defects, and Human Eye has always held a rapturous cult following. Yet his work with his current trio, Timmy’s Organism, presents Lampinen (aka Timmy Vulgar) along with bassist Jeff Giant and drummer Blake Hill, ready for their close-up. With Heartless Heathen the group touches on their artistic and spiritual forbears of Captain Beefheart and Destroy All Monsters, while amply ramping up the slop culture rapture of classic punk ‘n’ roll like Chrome, Crime, and the Damned as well as contemporaries like Thee Oh Sees. There’s a reason why Lampinen won a $25,000 Kresge Grant for his work with his bands…he creates music that borders on art, live shows that border on theater. It’s high time the rest of the world takes notice. Are you ready?

File Under: Rock
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White Fang: Chunks (Burger) LP
Chunks is the newest endeavor from White Fang aka four freebird freaks getting high on life who’ve been shredding since circa 2007. Produced and recorded by mad genius Bobby Harlow (King Tuff, The Go, Magic Jake) at Studio B and issued on Burger Records, the sixteen track burner features such song titles as “Full Time Freaks,” “Bong Rip,” “Drugs I’ve Taken,” “Pissing In The Driveway” and “Shit On My Shoe,” and is primed to please fans of the band and the underground label. Deluxe tip-on jacket with accompanying download card.

File Under: Rock, Stoner
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Wolf Eyes: I Am A Problem: Mind in Pieces (Third Man) LP
Having eschewed the “noise” moniker to describe their sound in favor of the self-proclaimed “Trip Metal,” Wolf Eyes are at the forefront of a wide-ranging, experimental, impossible-to-categorize world. With over 500 releases since their inception in 1997, the group has been lauded by Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins and countless other stoned basement malcontents. With previous full-lengths on labels like Sub Pop and Troubleman, I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces is their debut release for Third Man Records and signals an ever-so-slight shift with the appearance of guitar and even drums. I Am a Problem is as much a classic Wolf Eyes record as no one would’ve ever predicted such a pulverizing left-turn at this juncture of their career. This is social audio dissent. 150-gram vinyl in direct-to-board jacket with download code.

File Under: Noise, Trip Metal
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Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) LP
Dead Ghosts: Love And Death And All The Rest (Burger) LP
Destroyer: Streethawk: A Seduction (Merge) LP
Julia Holter: Have You In My Wilderness (Domino) LP
Mission of Burma: VS (Fire) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Nightly Coercion… (Ba Da Bing) 4LP
Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Fire) LP
Django Reinhardt: First Recordings (BHM) LP


Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 27
Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled… next week
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now DEC!
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA

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