…..news letter #719 – phenol…..

What a great weekend! Thanks to all of you who came out and made last weekend our most successful anniversary sale ever! Unfortunately there’s a ton of great new stuff in over the last week again so, you’ll just have to come back and buy more rad records. Or send in your loved ones to grab you some killer Christmas wax…

….picks of the week…..

tranceformer

Geoff Krozier & Generator: Tranceformer (Finders Keepers) LP
“Finders Keepers really hit the crackpot, erm I mean jackpot this time! This is most excellent and a must have gem — I promise you won’t regret owning this glimpse of Krozier’s weird and wonderful world… It took me two seconds to love this record” –Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre). Imagine a coven of Jodorowsky, Daevid Allen, Mr. Crowley, Rameses, and Arthur Brown, then combine them into a one-man mutant magician and add the finest Australian synth duo since Cybotron. Behold… Geoff Krozier and The Generator. This faithful reproduction of one of Australia’s rarest synth-post-prog vinyl artifacts bequeaths the only recorded fruits of their precious magick, recorded months before Geoff Krozier’s untimely death in 1981. Combining shamanic spoken-word with nodding kosmische instrumentation, this album is fueled by ARP, Roland, and Australian ETI synth technology and leaves fans of synthetic soundtracks, electronic experimentalism, and stubborn synthpop salivating for more (and more there is). Meet Geoff Krozier, collaborator with NY punk band Kongress, Sydney’s official 1980 Magician of the Year, and “the high priest of exorcism-rock,” and watch him and his trusty studio wizards provide fans of Bruce Haack and Doris White with one of the most absurd electronic private-press LPs to come from either end of the pointed planet, faithfully reproduced here. Welcome to the house of the sun.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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sunn

Sunn o))): Kannon (Southern Lord) LP
Composed in the aftershadow of Sunn O)))’s most recent successes in immersive collaboration – the group having worked with Scott Walker on Soused, and Ulver on Terrestrials in 2013 and 2014 – and also from the broad and influential wake of their epitomic Monoliths & Dimensions, Kannon emerged both independently as a conceptual entity and with roots in the legacies of those projects, yet was fully realized years later in 2015. The album consists of three pieces of a triadic whole: “Kannon 1, 2 and 3.” Kannon celebrates many Sunn O))) traditions; the album was recorded and mixed with Sunn O)))’s close colleague and co-producer Randall Dunn in Seattle, in Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast!, and the LP includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, and Steve Moore to name a few. At the core, the composition centers around the dynamic and intense guitar and bass interplay of Sunn O)))’s founders: Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson. It is possibly the most figurative album Sunn O))) has created, which is unusual as they usually dwell in layers of abstraction and subjectivity. On the other hand the album is the most outright “metal” in years, drawing personal associations and memories of cherished albums like Panzerfaust and Twilight Of The Gods again to the forefront of consciousness. Kannon is also very close to the cyclical character of mantra which the band has evolved into as a living creature, the enormity of intense sensate detail and manifestation of the live in concert element of Sunn O))), the organism that has flourished, metamorphosed and transcended tremendously over the past ten years. The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha: specifically “goddess of mercy” or “Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World.” She is also sometimes commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: 觀音菩薩) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many Asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea. Sunn O))) commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to write text and liner notes around these ideas and topics. She also explores the relations and perceptions to their approach to these ideas via the metonym of music and Sunn O)))’s place/approach within the framework of music and metal overall. The band also enlisted Swiss designer/artist Angela LaFont Bollinger to create the cover artwork, an abstracted sculpture of vision of Kannon. French photographer Estelle Hanania captures portraits of the core trio (Csihar, Anderson, O’Malley) in the impressive and obscurant Emanuel Vingeland mausoleum in Oslo.

File Under: Doom, Metal, Drone
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…..new arrivals…..

avengers

The Avengers: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
In the late ’70s, The Avengers established themselves as one of the US’s preeminent punk bands. Fusing incisive guitar hooks, explosive rhythms and adolescent venom, the group forged some of the most in-your-face songs of the era. Their live shows were legendary, playing up and down the West Coast and even blowing Sex Pistols off the stage at the latter’s final performance. As Byron Coley writes in the liner notes, “Of the best bands of San Francisco’s first wave in 1977, The Avengers were by far the coolest and youngest sounding. They roared without irony, as though this were indeed Year Zero (and, for a moment, it was), with history being overwritten by the new. The honesty of their belief was carried by their sound. And it was convincing!” Originally released in 1983, four years after the band’s dissolution, The Avengers’ self-titled LP is often referred to as “The Pink Album” for its magenta-hued cover design. Frontwoman Penelope Houston’s iconic voice and razor-sharp lyrics resonate on anthems “We Are The One” and “The American In Me,” while penetrating ballads like “Corpus Christi” reveal a truly out-of-body euphony. The Pink Album remains The Avengers’ definitive statement—collecting their classic Dangerhouse EP, sessions recorded with the Pistols’ Steve Jones and a half-dozen revelatory demos. While much has been written about The Avengers in the past three decades, rock critic Greil Marcus puts it succinctly, “The word I always come back to is mystical, and that remains almost theirs alone.”

File Under: Punk
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beathappening

Beat Happening: Look Around (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to announce Look Around a compiled retrospective from the legendary Beat Happening. Formed in the early ‘80s at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington by Calvin Johnson, Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford, Beat Happening combined a modern primitive pop sound with the D.I.Y. ethos of ‘anyone can do it’ and inspired countless bands and labels along the way. The music community that arose around the band and their label, K, was in many ways, the sonic antithesis of their Seattle neighbors (and friends) but was no less influential. Look Around is a remastered, career-spanning double album anthology, handpicked by the band and a great starting point for the uninitiated as well as a refreshing reminder to those who caught the wave the first time around. The legend of Beat Happening, and of K, is full of big names they worked with before they were stars (Beck, Modest Mouse, The Gossip), and big names they influenced (Kurt Cobain, Sleater-Kinney). Less acknowledged, however, is that the band created some of the most original and surprising music to come out of the often deliberately weird American punk rock tradition.

File Under: Pop, Indie Rock
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butthole larryland

Butthole Surfers: Electriclarryland (Plain) LP
Originally released in 1996, Electriclarryland features the Butthole Surfers’ only top 40 hit with the song “Pepper.” Although the sound on this album continues the more streamlined approach they started with Independent Worm Saloon, this record is by no means mainstream, even with the hit. With pile driving rockers, pop-punk raves, acid freakouts and their demented sense of humor and bizzare perspective intact—the Surfers take no prisoners! Three sides of music with the fourth side featuring etchings by Gibby Haynes.

File Under: Punk, Indie Rock
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case

Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule (Anti) 9 LP Box
Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule is the complete Neko Case discography on vinyl including The Virginian, Furnace Room Lullaby, Canadian Amp, Blacklisted, The Tigers Have Spoken, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, Middle Cyclone, and The Worse Things Get, The More I Fight, The More I Fight, The More I Love You. Remastered from the original analog tapes, many of these hard-to-find and out of print LPs are now available together for the first time. Includes an 80 page full-color photography book designed and curated by Neko (exclusive to this collection!) and a vinyl slipmat – all in a handy-dandy storage box. A letter from Neko Case: “Have you ever wanted to be in a band? It doesn’t end up looking like you think it will; it’s WAY more strange and interesting than you can imagine. If you are looking for glamour, however, you’ve come to the wrong job. Glamour is for dicks anyway. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. I thought I would end up a painter; I even went to art school. I never did a single, solitary painting. I did a lot of printmaking, photography and played in bands. I had played drums in bands since I was 17, and I toured with bands on the road from the time I was 23. Strangely enough I had no idea that this was a “job.” Music was, and is, my obsession, but I guess I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I also didn’t feel worthy of calling myself a “musician.” It was just too sacred. “Ten years later I had to quit both of my jobs in Chicago because I was always on the road. It finally dawned on me; maybe I WAS a musician? But where were the trappings of success? You know: money? Fringey scarves and car services? My own recording studio? Regular meals? Heat? The “rewards” were not to come in any length of time I could speculate, or at all in some cases, but it didn’t matter, because I had the people I loved. People of all stripes who have contributed in invaluable ways over the years, with skills too numerous to mention here, for I fear it would fall short of the tribute they deserve. Luckily, I still have these good people and I am so very grateful they can still stand me. But most of all, I am grateful that they were willing to be a part. “Being in a band isn’t a race to an awards platform; it is a life, a great and complicated, messy, anxious, hilarious and home-made life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, ever. I gave up a lot of what makes people “normal”, but it was always my choice. That is a victory in itself. This is a LONG story, which I will continue later, but for now, here are some images and music to take in and wonder about. I made all this for you and me. Without you, however, the circuit does not complete. Thank you for being here with me and making music.”

File Under: Alt Country
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chapman

Michael Chapman: Fish (Tompkins Square) LP
In recent years, the revered British guitarist and songwriter has seen his classic Harvest records from the 70’s reissued by Light In the Attic, and he’s toured with Bill Callahan, Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. On the eve of the Fully Qualified Survivor’s 75th birthday, ‘Fish’ finds Chapman vital as ever. Tompkins Square also released Chapman’s 2010 double CD ‘Trainsong : Guitar Compositions 1967-2010’ and a tribute album, ‘Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done : Friends Play Michael Chapman’ featuring Hiss Golden Messenger, William Tyler, Lucinda Williams and Thurston Moore among others.

File Under: Folk
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coldplay

Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams (Parlophone) LP
A Head Full Of Dreams is the seventh studio effort from global superstars Coldplay. The album, recorded in Malibu, LA and London, was produced by Norwegian duo Stargate together with the band’s long-time collaborator Rik Simpson. It features more guests than any previous Coldplay record, with Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Merry Clayton among those appearing across its 11 tracks (12 if you count the buried treasure of the hidden track “X Marks The Spot”). A Head Full Of Dreams is the widescreen follow-up to 2014’s fragile and lovelorn Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s sixth consecutive worldwide chart topper, award winner and multi-million seller. The band chose not to tour Ghost Stories and headed straight back into the studio to record A Head Full Of Dreams. Revitalized, they’ve made an album that’s bursting with energy, color and big, life-affirming moments such as the ebullient first single “Adventure Of A Lifetime” and the rocket-powered “Hymn For The Weekend.” Coldplay have never enjoyed making a record more than this one. Nor have they been happier with the results. And, this time, they plan to take it around the world.

File Under: Pop
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deafheaven

Deafheaven: New Bermuda (Anti) LP
San Francisco’s Deafheaven found massive critical success when their 2013 album Sunbather was an unexpected crossover hit, earning the band a 92/100 Metacritic score and ending the year as the best reviewed album of 2013. No one could have anticipated a band that drew from equal parts Weakling and My Bloody Valentine ascending to such heights, and that incomprehensibility added to the band’s singularity and allure. Two years later, founding members George Clarke and Kerry McCoy began working on their ANTI debut, New Bermuda, with a new perspective. Says Clarke: “Sunbather yearned for something better. New Bermuda focuses on the idea of false promise, achieving something and wondering if it’s what you really wanted in the first place.” McCoy shares that sentiment: “Sunbather sounds like people who have nothing but are satisfied with life. There’s an uplifting quality to it. But New Bermuda is a very tense record.” McCoy cites death metal demigods Dissection and Morbid Angel, the blackened death pioneers Behemoth, and Cliff Burton-era Metallica as influences on the new album. As New Bermuda progresses, Deafheaven travels further outside of their comfort zone, feasting on other niches of underground metal and offsetting the blunt force of their feral rage with more complex and nuanced beauty. A sophisticated and subdued pop element kicks off “Baby Blue,” before the band abruptly shifts into an amalgam of NWOBHM’s anthemic urgency and thrash metal’s racing chugs. There’s a brief comedown where the band veers into the musique concrete soundscapes and hushed melodrama of early Godspeed You! Black Emperor before “Come Back” resumes the band’s merciless assault of stampeding drums and vitriolic guitar harmonies, only to shift mid-song into the somber territories of 4AD’s early catalog. Which is not to say that Deafheaven have softened their approach; New Bermuda offers the most punishing music of the band’s career in the wake of their greatest success.

File Under: Metal, Shoegaze
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ditmasBruce Ditmas: Yellow Dust (Finders Keepers) LP
Bruce Ditmas is a unique, heavy musician from one of those special tightknit communities that tried (and almost succeeded) to change the face of progressive pop music and jazz via musical technology. Raised in Miami (an unknown incubator for future synthesists), Ditmas carved the image of a teen prodigy playing jazz drums at the most exclusive Miami Beach hotels. After being whisked off to New York by none other than July Garland he became immersed in free music, recording compositions by Annette Peacock and Carla Bley before setting up house with vocal artist Joan La Barbara (later Mrs. Morton Subotnick) in 1975, who, via her own label, encouraged Ditmas to pursue his very specific experiments in heavy electronic rhythms. Yellow Dust is compiled from the solo Moog drum compositions from his only two albums (Aeray Dust and Yellow, both released in 1977) created using a Mininoog (donated by Gil “Hendrix” Evans), an ARP 2600, and a wide range of treated percussive instruments that littered this enfant terrible’s bedroom floor throughout the 1970s. Meet your new favorite drummer, and the best Moog drum record in your whole collection.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Experimental
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four tet

Four Tet: Pink (Text) LP
Spanning studio albums, remixing, and outstanding live shows amongst many other things, British artist and Text Records boss Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet’s career remains rooted in all kinds of musical camps. His brilliant 2012 collection Pink is finally available on vinyl. The Boston Phoenix exclaimed that, “…this patchwork of 12-inch singles is Kieran Hebden’s most delectable album-as-album” while XLR8R hailed that, “Pink is a triumph and the new high-water mark for one of this generation’s finest producers.” Half-speed mastered for audiophile-quality reproduction. Double LP packaged in a stunning heavyweight spot-color jacket.

File Under: Electronic
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harry pussy

Harry Pussy: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Harry Pussy emerged out of the Florida swamps in 1993. Formed by Adris Hoyos and Bill Orcutt, the duo became legendary for their volatile live shows, which often devolved into violent clashes with audience members. Obliterating the lines between hardcore, noise and free jazz, the unclassifiable Harry Pussy were at once all of these things and none of them. Originally released on Siltbreeze, their self-titled debut album reveals an antagonistic and visceral approach to music: Hoyos’ self-taught, wild-style drums and shrouded screams tangling with Orcutt’s high-tension blues guitar. As David Keenan writes in the liner notes, “Harry Pussy played at such a heightened speed-of-thought climactic future-primitive peak that they outstripped technique so completely that people thought they couldn’t actually play at all.” From the opening blasts of “Youth Problem” to the spasmodic, electro-convulsive take on Kraftwerk’s “Showroom Dummies,” Harry Pussy is an absurd and devastating statement. Twenty-plus years later, rock ’n’ roll’s collective ears are still ringing. This long out-of-print vinyl release is recommended for fans of The Dead C, Royal Trux and Mars.

File Under: Punk, Noise Rock
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special world

Lee Hazlewood: The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood (Light in the Attic) LP
A reissue of the 1966 album The Very Special World Of Lee Hazlewood, the first of three Lee Hazlewood recorded for MGM. The LP found Hazlewood gunning–in as much as he ever did–for commercial success, blending country, pop, novelty, mariachi, and lounge music into something unusually of-the-moment. Lushly orchestrated and half-sung, half-spoken in a way that Hazlewood made all his own, the album collected solo versions of songs made famous by Sinatra and others (“Sand,” “Boots,” “So Long Babe,” “Summer —included as a bonus duet with Suzi Jane Hokom) alongside some of his career-best solo compositions, among them the Morricone-like opener, “For One Moment.” It’s a record of extremes: “When A Fool Loves A Fool” is as light and throwaway as anything he ever laid down, while the wistful “My Autumn’s Done Come” (sample lyric: “Let those I-don’t-care days come in, I’m tired of holding my stomach in”) is as raw and honest. LP housed in deluxe gatefold jackets.

File Under: Folk, Country
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hazlewoodism

Lee Hazlewood: Lee Hazlewoodism (Light in the Attic) LP
The mid-to-late ’60s were strange days for Lee Hazlewood. Having struck gold as songwriter and vocal foil for Nancy Sinatra, he signed up to MGM as an artist in his own right, and between 1966 and 1968, produced three ambitious solo albums that were eclectic, idiosyncratic, and most of all, unpredictable. It was a happy time for Lee; his music was hot on the charts, he was fully immersed in his collaboration with his muse, Suzi Jane Hokom. The second of his MGM trilogy—1967’s peculiarly named Lee Hazlewoodism: Its Cause And Cure—took on countrified French ye-ye (“The Girls In Paris”), a tale of a young bullfighter built on Spanish guitar and choral cowboys (“Jose”), a string-drenched song about the passing of time (“The Old Man And His Guitar”), and a western epic about a Native American tribe (“The Nights”). And that was just the first four tracks. Elsewhere, the honky tonk madness of “Suzi Jane Is Back In Town,” the Byrds-like jangle of “In Our Time” and–in the bonus tracks–an instrumental named “Batman” confirm this to be one of Hazlewood’s most far-ranging, far-out LPs ever. LP housed in deluxe gatefold jackets.

File Under: Folk, Country
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somethingspecial

Lee Hazlewood: Something Special (Light in the Attic) LP
Where 1966’s The Very Special World Of Lee Hazlewood and 1967’s Lee Hazlewoodism: Its Cause And Cure had employed an arranger, Billy Strange, and a full orchestra, Something Special stripped things back and brought in a flavor of jazz and blues, complete with gravelly-voiced scatting courtesy of collaborator DON RANDI. This sat alongside tracks like “Little War” and “Hands,” the kind of late night, acoustic balladeering Hazlewood would later seize for his career-highlight LP, Requiem For An Almost Lady. The sound was that of a stripped-down nightclub jazz/blues/folk combo, fully rejecting the psychedelic music going on all over the world. LP housed in deluxe gatefold jackets.

File Under: Folk, Country

heads

Heads: Time In Space (Rooster) LP
Originally pressed in a limited edition for sale at Liverpool Psych Fest, The Heads’ Time in Space compiles twenty-two tracks from their highly collectable tour CDR series. Cut by Shawn Joseph and showcasing Sam Giles artwork, this collection of studio outtakes, rehearsal sessions and live tracks is the ticket to some serious cosmic adventures. This one-time pressing of 600 copies comes on translucent vinyl with orange and blue splatters. Bristol’s The Heads got back on the live circuit this year after a half-decade hiatus, with extremely well received live sets at Roadburn and Liverpool Psych Fest. The group just announced an appearance at Stewart Lee’s ATP for 2016.

File Under: Space Rock, Psych
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ilitch

Ilitch: 10 Suicides (Superior Viaduct) LP
In 1980, Ilitch mastermind Thierry Müller released his second LP, 10 Suicides, on the French imprint S.C.O.P.A. Unlike his debut Periodikmindtrouble (also available from Superior Viaduct), which featured intricately layered instrumentals, 10 Suicides explores a more art-damaged pop sensibility. While distorted guitars and atmospheric synth workouts remain a part of Müller’s signature sound, several songs credit the mysterious Ruth Ellyeri, who was not an actual person, but rather Müller’s female alter-ego. Opening track “Elle Voulait Que Je Sois Drôle” shows Ilitch’s new direction with overloaded vocoders, driving Moog basslines and soft, Eno-like melodic flourishes. The androgynous vocals on “Waiting For Mabelle (Je Ne Viendrais Pas)” resemble an upbeat Gregorian chant bent through a 20th Century lens. 10 Suicides is a staggeringly personal album that still sounds years ahead of its time. This first-time vinyl reissue comes with 16-page booklet and is recommended for fans of Ghédalia Tazartès, Chris & Cosey and Monoton.

File Under: Industrial, Avant Garde, Electronic
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ilitch1

Ilitch: Periodikmindtrouble (Superior Viaduct) LP
In the mid-1970s, Parisian composer and multi-instrumentalist Thierry Müller began operating primarily under the Ilitch moniker. Juxtaposing dark, electronic soundscapes and solo guitar improvisations, Ilitch created some of the most enduring music of the era. It comes as no surprise that Nurse With Wound included Müller on their famed list of influential avant-garde artists. Originally released on Oxygene Records in 1978, Ilitch’s debut Periodikmindtrouble was a shot across the bow for the French underground scene. Comprised of instrumental four-track recordings made in Müller’s dorm room, the album features gritty tape loops, analog synth swells and angst-ridden guitars. “Sequence 4” fills the stereo field with eerie harmonium and kosmische textures, while the side-long title track is a bona fide organ soliloquy, exploring both abrasive and ambient sonorities. “Derriere La Fenetre (Behind the Window)” dives deeper into acoustic patterns to reveal the expressive quality of Müller’s singular style. Periodikmindtrouble lays the groundwork for an impressive body of work that has grown only more unsettling over the past three decades. This first-time vinyl reissue comes packaged in a gatefold jacket and is recommended for fans of Cluster, Fripp / Eno and Heldon.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Experimental
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king gizzardKing Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Like many of the world’s greatest artists, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is one of the most difficult bands to pin down. The Australian-based septet constantly zig when you think they’re about to zag. Starting out in 2010 as a solid garage rock group, they’ve followed their collective muse wherever it chose to lead them, whether that be the bluesy alien psychedelia of their 2014 album Oddments or the expansive, almost jazzy, Dead-like head trips of Quarters! For their latest opus, they initially thought it was going to be filled with the darker, heavier material that the band has been playing live of late. But Stu Mackenzie soon decided that it was time to put aside the longer, more conceptual pieces and go in a completely new direction. Hence, the band’s seventh album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon was recorded using nothing but acoustic instruments. The result is a lovely, lilting pop masterpiece that still evokes the same intoxicating exuberance as KGATLW’s most recent work, but with a more pastoral, communal feel to it. That spirit came alive in the writing and recording process. Unlike the last two albums, there is no overarching theme tying it all together. So, rather than cooking the whole thing up as a group in the studio or rehearsal space, the various members of KGATLW wrote separately, bringing their songs to the group as they finished them. “There was a lot of collaboration,” says Mackenzie, “but in smaller combinations.” That could have made for a schizophrenic batch of tunes, but the band are so deeply connected at this point that they each reached the same sonic conclusions, combining the rambling pulse of T. Rex (“The Bitter Boogie”), the free-spirited bliss of The Free Design (“Dirt”), and the countryside wanderings of late ‘60s Kinks (“Bone”, “Most of What I Like”). While embracing the limitations of their choice of only acoustic sounds, KGATLW were able to get a little experimental as well. To fill out the sound, they borrowed a batch of instruments that they had never played before – clarinet, double bass, and cello, among them – and eked sounds and melodies out of them. That only helps to add to joyous jumble that is Paper Mâché Dream Balloon. Too, the band eschewed traditional recording methods for most of this new LP. The bare bones of many of the songs were laid down by Mackenzie in a shipping container that sat on his parents’ farm on the Victorian coast of Australia. From there, the band stitched the rest of it together with overdubs and new recordings in their bedrooms and home studios, outside of the closing instrumental “Paper Mâché,” which was captured with the help of Unknown Mortal Orchestra bassist Jake Portrait while they were in New York.

File Under: Psych, Rock, Folk
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quarters

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
Count on this group of Australian weirdos to come up with an idea like this – a 12” of four songs, each 10 minutes and 10 seconds long, accompanied by an insane painting of four different worlds melding together. Who are we to refuse them? This not quite an EP not quite an LP take a sharp turn into the wispy and mellow – The River tumbles down a Brubeckian 5/4 meander right into a Leslie’d wicker counter-pattern, Infinite Rise rides a groovy yawning wake-up call through the commune, God Is In The Rhythm effervesces like a prom dance when the acid starts kicking in, and Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer circles ever upward like a friendly smoke signal from a beach fire – at 10 minutes apiece, the boys have plenty of room to stretch out around the songs, and they do so with loose limbs and stoned smiles. Altogether it feels like it flies in on dragonfly wings, lazily basks in the sun for a bit, and follows the sunset over the horizon…no doubt to write another record. Black vinyl pressing packaged in poster sleeves with polybag.

File Under: Psych
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lamartine

Lamartine: Reportage (Finders Keepers) LP
The name Lamartine was a true mystery of library history. In keeping with the habitual culture of library music, the mononymous Lamartine was thought to be one of many creative nom de plumes designed to disguise the true identities of the artists. Having faded from the memories of the ex-employees of the defunct production music departments at CAM and RCA, the truth behind this uncelebrated electronic pioneer had remained a mystery for decades. It wasn’t until the 2000s, when the Italian independent production music label Flipper — the parent company responsible for the imprints Union, Octopus, Flirt, and Deneb, among others — decided to digitize its catalog, that a gleam of hope appeared via a sealed, misfiled master tape. The archiving team at Flipper found the name “Lamartine” written on a single tape box with the name “Reportage” and corresponding legal papers pertaining to a little-known Italian conductor and composer for stage and popular song named Mr. Radicchi. Fabio di Bari at Flipper recounts that, throughout the extensive paperwork at Flipper, the music of Radicchi or Lamartine was never licensed out for synchronization and doesn’t appear on any of the associated labels’ discographies. “The music was never even pressed on to vinyl and the master tape remained in our store room for all these years,” he told Finders Keepers in 2013. After cross-referencing track-times and titles, di Bari could also reveal the full name of the artist to be Odoardo (aka Eduardo) Radicchi — a senior member of the Italian music scene from the same generation as Nino Rota, Giorgio Gaslini, and Gian Piero Reverberi. Rendered in the hinterland between Italian cinema’s penchant for psychedelic rock and the onset of the synthesizer music and Italo disco movements later in the 1970s, Lamartine’s Reportage, recorded in 1974, is part of a community of laboratory projects that researched the capacity of electronic music before it swept the nation’s media. Lamartine — once an anonymous, dubious genius in the library micro-genre — can now be named and recognized as a unique artist with a distinctive sound, adding new colors to the vibrant palette of Italian studio artists and painting a wider sonic picture of the evolution of Italian pop and film music. The Italian library liberation front keeps growing; it’s the genre that keeps on giving. It’s time for artists like Lamartine to name and claim their places in electronic music history.

File Under: Italian, Library
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lanegan

Mark Lanegan: One-Way Street (Sub Pop) 6LP Box
One Way Street set compiles the first five solo albums recorded by Mark Lanegan, the Pacific-Northwest icon also known for his work with Screaming Trees, Gutter Twins, Mad Season, Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell, and more. The Winding Sheet, Mark Lanegan’s first solo work, is notable in its departure from the characteristic sound of Screaming Trees, the band he fronted from 1985 until 2000. Its follow-up, Whiskey for The Holy Ghost, released during the grunge explosion of the early 1990s, showcases Lanegan’s growing maturity as a songwriter and vocalist. Scraps at Midnight could be considered the final installment of a trilogy of albums featuring Lanegan’s interpretation of American roots music accompanied by his troubling lyrics of loss, sin, and redemption. I’ll Take Care of You, Lanegan’s fourth solo effort, consists entirely of cover songs with interpretation of songs from a wide variety of songwriters, including Tim Rose, Tim Hardin, Booker T. Jones, and Buck Owens. On Lanegan’s fifth and final solo album for Sub Pop, Field Songs, Lanegan seems to have taken the best elements from his previous work to create one of the most fulfilled, and fulfilling, albums of his career. Field Songs also includes “Kimiko’s Dream House,” which Mark co-wrote with Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun Club. Three of these five albums have been out of print on vinyl for many years; I’ll Take Care of You was only released on vinyl in Europe, and Field Songs was only issued on CD. Each album in the One Way Street box set was pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and is housed in a sleeve reproducing the art for its original release.

File Under: Indie Rock
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mammatus

Mammatus: Sparkling Waters (Spiritual Pajamas) LP
Heavy space rock outsiders Mammatus return with their fourth album, and most ambitious to date. Sparkling Waters is a double LP featuring four multi-movement pieces, each designed to recalibrate the shanga array in your mind. In order to achieve the highest levels of sensory clarity, the group enlisted Phil Manley (Trans Am, Life Coach) as their guiding light throughout the studio production. As a result, these tracks shimmer with a far out, casual glow, like an aural reflection of a Risan steam pool. On Sparkling Waters, Mammatus expands upon the astral grooves and heady riffs of their previous compositions and set a course for the furthest horizon. Celestial arpeggiations of electric guitar ricochet infinitely across vast expanses of cosmic debris. Heavy riffs thunder with a rhythmic groove, like the exploding coast of Ornia spoken of in days past. Pastoral passages of mellow, slow-burning psychedelia give way to Native American flute melodies and the chanting of spiritual incantations filtered through canyons of delay. Heavenly dual guitar leads soar like a hawk gliding over a mountainside redwood canopy. Radiant synthesizers harmonize to create a shapeshifting formation of ambient space that envelops the rock and in some places completely takes over. Sparkling Waters is bound to appeal to a wide range of discerning listeners, as it incorporates elements of heavy riff rock, prog and breath metal while it also features the enhancing textures of kosmische sound coloration, soaring synth leads and astral voyages through deep space. This amalgamation of tones is presented in a way that is wholly original, casting Mammatus as the solitary practitioners of a unique sound that was invented with the express purpose of making you feel… shanga. So breathe deeply, strap on those headphones, drop the needle and get far out.

File Under: Space Rock, Metal, Stoner, Prog
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milk linesMilk Lines: Ceramic (In The Red) LP
The husband-and-wife songwriting talents of Jeffrey Clarke (Demon’s Claws, Hellshovel) and Emily Frances give one the feeling that Milk Lines have been commissioned by time itself to build a dream-like bridge, so that reality might have the chance at a glimpse… Their wide range of influences and unique brand of music are organic, primitive yet thoughtful. The lo-fi, trippy and sometimes country-laced tunes display a fresh and original sound. After having played a few select events in the Montreal-Toronto area, Milk Lines were noticed by Toronto’s Fucked Up and asked to record their first and only release to date, the Crystal Crown single. The band has since been tapped by The King Khan & BBQ Show to support them on two of their US tours. In The Red is now proud to announce the release of the band’s debut full-length, Ceramic.

File Under: Psych Rock
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mr lifMr. Lif: I Phantom (Mellow Music) LP
2LP on red, wite & blue splatter vinyl. The legendary debut album from Mr. Lif has returned. Originally released on Definitive Jux in 2002 this concept album that Rolling Stone called “graceful” is finally available again. This classic features Run The Jewels’ El-P, Aesop Rock, Jean Grae, Edan, Insight, Akrobatic and DJ Fakts One.

File Under: Hip Hop
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anythingWilliam Onyeabor:
Good Name
Crashes in Love
Crashes in Love (Second Version)
Tomorrow
Body & Soul
Great Lover
Hypertension
Anything You Sow
(Luaka Bop) LPs

William Onyeabor was born outside Enugu, a small, rural town in Eastern Nigeria, he created his own genre of African electronic funk in the late 70s and early 80s, making music completely unique for his time. Today, he is reaching cult status among a growing list of admirers, including everyone from Damon Albarn and Hot Chip to Carl Craig and Madlib, with some likening him to the Kraftwerk of West Africa, or a precursor to LCD Soundsystem. Among the crate-digging few that knew of him, he is considered a complete myth. While he has never performed live and almost never given interviews, his fantastical biography is scattered and has to this day not been verified. And, though he is still alive, he refuses to speak about anything regarding the past. According to various rumors, he left home following the Biafran War and went to study cinematography in the Soviet Union, returning in the mid-70s to start his own film company and record label, Wilfilms. He then self-released eight remarkable records from 1978-1985. He wrote and produced everything on his own, and possibly played every instrument himself. Then, at some point of his life, he became born again and denounced his earlier music, deciding it is something he would never speak about. Now for the first time, all of William Onyeabor’s original albums will be available as individual LPs courtesy of Luaka Bop including: Crashes in Love (Original & 2nd Version) (1977), Atomic Bomb (1978), Tomorrow (1979), Body & Soul (1980), Great Lover (1981), Hypertension (1982), Good Name (1983) and Anything You Sow (1985).

File Under: Africa, World, Afro Beat, Electro
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antwerpOST: Antwerp Killer (Finders Keepers) LP
One of the rarest vinyl horror soundtracks of all time, 1983’s The Antwerp Killer consists of remarkable homemade electronic experiments created by a wunderkind synth designer for a smart-talking teenage movie maverick. Combining self-propelled punk attitude and uninhibited confidence, the hyper-proactive work of these DIY prodigies pinpoints an important era when youthful ambition and creative technology met. By the age of 16 Eric Feremans had started building modulators and eventually his first proto synthesizer; he later played a concert with Belgian electronica pioneer Karel Goeyvaerts. Feremans founded a school for building and playing synthesizers, the EEF, where volunteers ended up producing about 20 or 30 build-your-own packages. After appearing as a guest on a national television show, the demand for his courses exploded, and Feremans began lecturing internationally, even attracting the king of the Amsterdam mafia, who was driven down from Amsterdam with two body guards in his Rolls-Royce every week. One day Feremans got a visit from a Luc Veldeman, a 16-year-old with a manner of speech way beyond his age and larger-than-life projects. Veldeman was making Antwerp’s first crime movie, The Antwerp Killer. He had seen Feremans play live and he wanted some of his music to be used as the score, and to press as an album to promote the film. Feremans gave him one of the rare recordings he had made with the synthesizer, a session he had just recorded upon installing his new studio; a session, according to Feremans, that was the result of the pure joy he experienced at having such a wonderful machine in his studio and the bottle of vodka he downed during the session. Veldeman cut up that session and it turned it into the soundtrack of The Antwerp Killer. The press and the audience shared a general reaction to the film: bad acting, bad editing, bad script — cool soundtrack, though. Veldeman, who had rented the film equipment under a false identity and dumped it in a canal after shooting, was nowhere to be found, and his investors lost their money. A magnum opus by a true criminal and the synthesizer teacher of the Amsterdam mafia king, The Antwerp Killer remains a prime document of the broody Belgian ’80s and a heck of a soundtrack. This first-ever reissue was beautifully remastered with the full cooperation of Eric Feremans himself. Includes liner notes by Belgian archivist Gerd de Wilde.

File Under: OST, Electronic, Ambient
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army of darknessOST: Army of Darkness (Mondo) LP
Just in time for the next chapter in the Evil Dead saga (TV series Ash Vs. The Evil Dead) Mondo is proud to release the soundtrack Sam Raimi’s Army Of Darkness. Returning along side star Bruce Campbell, is masterful composer Joe LoDuca who also crafted the terrifying scores to the first and second Evil Dead. Like the film, LoDuca’s score to Army Of Darkness is an ambitious blending of genre that was ahead of its time. Part swashbuckling adventure, part horror, part comedy, Army Of Darkness saw LoDuca reaching new heights with his composing which would later become his forte, as he bounced back and forth between composing Horror films and adventure televisions series such as Hercules and Spartacus. Performed by The Utah Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. “March Of The Dead Theme” by Danny Elfman.

File Under: OST, Horror
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holy mountainOST: The Holy Mountain (Finders Keepers) LP
Unanimously considered amongst fans of all strains of alternative pop culture the flamboyant cinematic masterpiece known as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain can proudly claim, amongst all its other accolades, one of fantastique cinema’s greatest red herrings of all time. In the interest of anti spoilerism we are not referring to the film’s reconstituted plot here (recycled from René Daumal’s 1952 fictitious mountaineering journal) but rather the film’s devious inverted end title sequence, a murky pond which harbours the true crimson fish that has quite frankly wasted record collectors time for over four bloody decades. The immortal, fatal, deviously distracting and plain EVIL strap line that reads “Forthcoming soundtrack available of Abkco Records and Tapes” has served a repeat menu of wild goose chase soup followed by red herring salad served in half a camouflaged curveball with a glass of muddied water in your own personal smoked screen booth for most of our adult lives. The gift that keeps on not giving.  For those of us addicted to black plastic circles, if there was ever to be a sequel to The Holy Mountain then a two hour title card reading “we decided not to release the soundtrack to the original film” would have saved a lot of time, fingertip skin and want list paper and ink…  In fact, in keeping with Jodorowsky’s grand vision for the film, this rug puller was (unbeknown to him) the final illusion. If it wasn’t for Jodorowsky and Allan Klein’s thirty-something-year “temporary stand-off” (leading to release schedule cancellation) we might have already got over how amazing this soundtrack is. In fact, with all its quite unrequired Beatle connection hyperbole it might be in your old dad’s all-time favourite lists as the only token alternative/soundtrack/jazz record he ever bought, and you might have learned to hate it. But that never happened, and as the forbidden fruit idiom commands THIS IS NOW YOUR FAVOURITE LP OF ALL TIME AND YOU CANT LIVE WITHOUT IT. So we need to write a press release. One which will sound like we are talking about seven different albums in one and for those that have seen the film, that will make perfect astrological sense. Where do we start? The unreleased soundtrack to the most fantastic transcendental spiritual cinematic explosion of our time? The lost Don Cherry album? The missing Jazz Composers Orchestra album featuring Charlie Haden, Carla Bley and Frank Lowe? The Elephant’s Memory soundtrack follow-up to Midnight Cowboy? The lost soundtrack album secretly funded and A&R’d by John Lennon and Yoko Ono? The music to the film that George Harrison was sacked from because he didn’t want us to see his butt hole? The orch rock LP made by the arranger of the collectable Mandrake Memorial prog pop LP? Walter Sears’ undiscovered studio experiments? The record that The Beatles’ managers didn’t want you to hear? The true axis between New York psych rock, free jazz and Swedish prog rock?  All are relevant, all are true and all clearly outlined in liner notes exclusive to Finders Keepers’ bespoke vinyl pressing of this grail-trail double-slab of psychedelic vinyl film history. Featuring the original cues, composed-to-scene, and mastered from the original studio master tapes via Record Plant, A&R, Sear Sound and Electric Ladyland and housed in exclusive packaging based on one of the rarest European posters for the film’s original release. This first edition also includes exclusive interviews and lost information from Neneh Cherry, Ronald Frangipane and the Swedish members of the original Don Cherry Holy Mountain line-up Bengt Berger and Christer Bothen alongside commendable quotes from Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). Alongside this release Finders Keepers, in collaboration with ABKCO will also present special vinyl editions of Jodorowsky’s other two Allen Klein produced films, El Topo and The Dance Of Reality, housed with the same unique design features and liner notes driven by the label’s long-term commitment to a project that has taken over a decade to release.  The wait has been too long.  Zoom back camera! Break the illusion and enjoy your salad.

File Under: OST, Psych
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dune

OST: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
This is the soundtrack to the story about the greatest film that never was. Jodorowsky’s Dune tells the tale of cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unsuccessful attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, Dune, to the big screen. Composer Kurt Stenzel gives life to a retro-futuristic universe as fantastic as Jodorowsky’s own vision for his Dune–a film whose A-list cast would have included Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, and Mick Jagger in starring roles and music by psychedelic prog-rockers Pink Floyd. Building upon director Frank Pavich’s idea for a score with a “Tangerine Dream-type feel,” Stenzel lays out a cosmic arsenal of analog synthesizers that would make any collector green at the gills: among other gems are a rare Moog Source, CZ-101s, and a Roland Juno 6, as well as unorthodox instruments like a toy Concertmate organ and a Nintendo DS. “I also played guitar and did vocals,” says Stenzel, “some chanting… and some screaming, which comes naturally to me.” The score also features narration by Jodorowsky himself. As Stenzel notes, “Jodo’s voice is actually the soundtrack’s main musical instrument–listening to him was almost like hypnosis, like going to the guru every night.” This highly-anticipated soundtrack LP was sequenced and mixed by Stenzel with the listener in mind and flows through a “four-sides” LP approach. “I wanted it to play like the records I grew up with, where every side was a journey.”

File Under: OST, Electronic
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beyondOST: The Beyond (Death Waltz) LP
We at Death Waltz Recording Company are nothing if not traditionalists, so in the great tradition of Zombie Flesh Eaters and The House By The Cemetary, we’re bringing you another killer score to a gorehound classic, in this case Fabio Frizzi’s musical masterpiece The Beyond. The second in director Lucio Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy after City Of the Living Dead, The Beyond is an exercise in bone-chilling terror, atmospheric horror, and eyes being driven through by eight-inch nails. Chuck in an evil book, murderous spiders, and the zombie equivalent of Pippi Longstocking and you have a film consistently referred to as a masterwork of the splatter genre. However, The Beyond goes a bit deeper than your average bloody feast in illustrating a ghostly mystery of blind girls, warlocks, and Joe the plumber. All of this is masterfully orchestrated by Frizzi’s music, with two standout pieces that every fan of this picture should recognise. The first is an eerie piano motif that echoes throughout the score, while the second is the opposite, a fierce and madcap vocal piece that acts as the main title. Couple these with some great funk beats and some classic N’awlins blues, and you have an album that’ll knock you on your ass so hard you’ll end up in that creepy painting for forever and Beyond.

File Under: OST, Horror
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tarantulaOST: Black Belly of the Tarantula (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to bring soundtrack fans a huge classic of Italian horror. With music by one of cinema’s greatest composers, Ennio Morricone, Paolo Cavara’s La Tarantola Dal Ventre Nero (Black Belly of the Tarantula) is considered one of the best gialli ever made. Starring celebrated genre actor Giancarlo Giannini, the terrifying film is about a homicide detective hunting down a psychotic killer who has been paralysing and slaughtering women just as the deadly Pepsis grossa – the Tarantula Hawk wasp – does to its own eight-legged prey. Ennio Morricone’s score is equally frightening, though you wouldn’t immediately believe it. The initial melodies of the score conjure up memories of the hits of Serge Gainsbourg, with an upbeat keyboard riff mixed with the breathy and seductive vocals of Edda Dell’Orso, and there’s some jazz fusion along the way. But from there it starts to spiral and spiral into the unknown, with disquieting atonal sounds, creepy insectoid strings, stabbing percussion. The mix of an unhinged piano and drums feels like the buzzing of the wasp, and the music gets so uncomfortable you feel paralysed – with fear – and that’s when it really starts to terrify you. Such is the power of maestro Morricone and Black Belly of the Tarantula.

File Under: OST, Italian, Horror
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jurassic worldOST: Jurassic World (Mondo) LP
Mondo is pleased to announce a first vinyl pressing of the soundtrack to this year’s biggest blockbuster: Jurassic World – composed by the incredibly talented and prolific Michael Giacchino. Deftly balancing the playful heart, warm nostalgia and action packed elements of this film, the soundtrack to Jurassic World crafts unique earworm melodies that stand triumphantly in the canon of this franchise’s massive musical legacy. Featuring original artwork by Stan & Vince.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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belladonna

Masahiko Sato: Belladonna (Finders Keepers) LP
“There was a time when the strength of a musician’s vision transcended all labels; here is a chance to dip into that pool again, and emerge not just refreshed, but alive again with the sense that we all can live in that world again, but most importantly raise the flag for excellence. Fantastic.” Jim O’Rourke An unholy grail of near mythical status finally joins the Finders Keepers Records discography in the form of this first-ever reissue of Masahiko Sato’s elusive sensual psychedelic free jazz score to the stunning Japanese witchcraft animation Belladonna Of Sadness (Kanashimi no Belladonna) directed by anime screenwriter Eiichi Yamamoto in 1973. An early feature-length example of a micro-genre in which Japanese anime producers collaborated with the “pink” film genre, Belladonna’s challenging occult, sexual and political subject matter was the cause of the film’s notoriety for many years, earning Yamamoto’s work a critical platform amongst some of the best counterculture animation films of the era such as La Planète Sauvage ( René Laloux/Roland T poor, France 1973), Marie Mathématique (Jean-Claude Forest, France 1967), Wizards (Ralph Bakshi, US 1977), Heavy Metal (Gerald Potterton, Canada 1980) and Time Masters (René Laloux/Moebius, France 1982). Drawing further stylistic similarities with Shuji Terayama/Tenjo Sajiki associated poster artist Aquirax Uno and the Hara-Kiri magazine cartoon strips Pravda/Jodelle by French artist Guy Peellaert, as well as the early flamboyant Klimtesque imagery of Jean Rollin collaborators Philippe Druillet and Nicolas Devil, Belladonna Of Sadness brought a strong European flavour to its sophisticated and stylish Japanese application which accentuated the French origins of the plot loosely based on accounts taken from the 1862 book La Sorcière (The Witch) by French historian Jules Michelet. Over the last decade Belladonna Of Sadness has risen from the ashes and now shines brighter than ever. Now on the eve of its third or fourth global DVD release, fans no longer have to wait four months for third generation VHS telecine rubs from “that guy” in the States, or stuff their ambitious wish lists into the hands of any lucky friends visiting Tokyo in the summer. Belladonna has been used as nightclub projections by clued-up VJs and been restored by discerning feminist folk singers and improv bands while influencing illustrators, fashion designers and other creative types along the way. Original copies of the soundtrack, however, are much less likely to rear their heads on a weekly basis, with prices literally doubling each time the original stock copies swap hands amongst the same Italian dealers at central European record fairs. Italian soundtracks are expensive anyway, but this one, as I’m sure you’ll agree, has got extra credentials. Finders Keepers Records, in direct collaboration with Sato himself, agree that this record should finally be liberated amongst those who know the magic words. With our decision to keep this album “strictly Sato” we removed a track – the main orchestral love theme by Asei Kobayashi and Mayumi Tachibana, which in all honesty is very much detached from Sato’s psychedelic soundtrack. Kept intact, however, are the songs sung and penned by Sato’s then wife Chinatsu Nakayama, including the track entitled TBFS (answers on a postcard?) that only appears on the master tapes and never actually made it to the theatrical cut of the film (although the theme is briefly alluded to, in different instrumentation, in a cut-scene available on the German DVD). This reissue project also marks the beginning of a longer intended relationship between Finders Keepers and Masahiko Sato, exploring his recorded work in both film music, jazz and avant garde composition.

File Under: OST, Psych, Jazz
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scientistScientist: Best Dub Album in the World (Superior Viaduct) LP
Hopeton Brown, better known as Scientist, has been a pioneering figure in the world of dub for nearly 40 years. His early love of electronics proved fruitful when (still a teenager) he was hired at King Tubby’s studio in Kingston. Brown quickly ascended the ranks and became heir to Tubby’s throne, producing imaginative and technically impressive mixes that solidified his forward-looking nickname. Introducing Scientist – The Best Dub Album in the World, his 1980 debut LP, lives up to its boastful title. Recorded with Sly & Robbie at Channel One Studio and mixed at King Tubby’s, the album features hypnotic basslines, reverb-drenched keyboards, and fluid, start-stop rhythms. Opening track “Steppers,” with its well-balanced phrasing and organic contours, shows Scientist’s mastery of the studio-as-instrument concept. On “Scientific,” the effects-laden guitars are stretched to their outer limit to create magnificent, spaced-out textures and muted tension. Introducing Scientist displays the talents of a man obsessed with every element of production, drawing out the very best of the dub form.

File Under: Reggae, Dub
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shavitAmi Shavit: In Alpha Mood (Finder Keepers) LP
“The music of this record was stimulated by the theory and practice of biofeedback. It is aimed to create a calm, relaxed, meditative mood associated with alpha brain wave” –original back cover. Part outsider electronic album, part physiological experiment, part work of art, this is not your average new age record. The brainchild of a reclusive Israeli multimedia artist fascinated with philosophy, technology, and sound by the name of Ami Shavit, In Alpha Mood is the result of a personal and artistic effort to both overcome a personal trauma and push the boundaries of a fledgling physiological understanding while utilizing the burgeoning domestic synthesizer technology of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Shavit sought to combine his love of electronic music acts like Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass, and synthesizer technology with his fascination with the relatively new technique of biofeedback, but his work was interrupted when, in 1973, he was conscripted into the army during the Yom Kippur War. As he struggled to come to terms with his wartime experiences, he began adding battlefield soundbites to his recordings, and found a sort of catharsis. He returned to his work, and soon a longtime friend and owner of the Mango record shop (a Tel Aviv institution at the time) suggested he press some of his recordings on vinyl. Rather than cull disparate excerpts from his expansive tape archive of home recordings, Shavit began what would become the culmination of his years of experimentation and the centerpiece of his work with the music-induced state of working relaxation he called Alpha Mood. Recorded in Shavit’s studio during a handful of sessions with no post-production, In Alpha Mood was mastered at Triton Studios (where Arik Einstein and Tamouz had also recorded), pressed by Hed Arzi Music (one of Israel’s oldest and largest labels and manufacturers), and released on Shavit’s Amis Records in 1977. Only 500 copies of a planned run of 5000 were pressed, and, with no publicity, it was sold to discerning record-buyers with little or no understanding of the record or its maker outside of his status as a prominent visual artist. Apart from a handful of Alpha Mood exhibitions in Israel, those 500 copies and six remaining master tapes (including that of In Alpha Mood) are the only remaining artifacts of Shavit’s Alpha Mood experiments. This first vinyl reissue of In Alpha Mood was remastered from the original master tapes sourced from Shavit’s private archive.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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sigur rosSigur Ros: Takk (Krunk) LP
2005’s Takk, Sigur Ros’ fourth album, has been out of print on vinyl for a while and has been going for big bucks online. When you get it, you’ll see why. The deluxe vinyl package (180g 2LP + 10″), thick card dual gatefold sleeve with embossed artwork on the front and rear, and a center insert with a single sided 10″ for “Mílanó” (other side contains an etching). Written, performed and produced by the band (along with co-producer Ken Thomas) at their studio in Alafoss, Iceland, Takk is the record to justify every amazing claim ever laid at this exceptional band’s door. Huge and intimate, orchestral and gossamer-light, rich, layered and essentially simple, Takk is the work of a band operating at the very top of their game.

File Under: Ambient, Indie Rock
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tall dwarfs

Tall Dwarfs: Weeville (Flying Nun/Captured Tracks) LP
The influence of lo-fi pioneers Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate and their legendary New Zealand band Tall Dwarfs’ brand of fractured pop has been felt far and wide in the American independent music community for many years. Their lengthy list of fans include Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Neutral Milk Hotel. As the opening liner notes of their 1990 masterpiece proclaim, Weeville is, “the first straightforward LP by Tall Dwarfs – uh…in terms of having the same number of tracks on each side – both of which play at the same speed and which ain’t a compilation.” Nonetheless, Weeville is filled with the Tall Dwarfs’ eclectic mix of homespun psychedelia, densely textured pop songs and a wallop of hard nosed punk. Now, re-issued again on LP, Weeville is wired with hypnotic tunes, weird and wonderful instruments and brilliant songwriting. Whether that be the raw spookiness and two guitar harmony of “Breath” and “Crawl” or the oddly compelling “Skin Of My Teeth” and “Bodies” all brushed with a scent of the macabre. Along with a 20 page booklet featuring the duo’s individual art and design, Weeville is a fantasy land built on tape loops, feedback and distortion. It’s pop music just how they like it. “We would listen to the Tall Dwarfs [legendary N.Z. Flying Nun band] and we’d think, ‘Gosh, these guys are recording stuff on four-track, it sounds totally hi-fi.’ We’d listen to The Beatles and The Beach Boys and think, ‘These guys recorded this on four-track, it sounds totally hi-fi.’ We said to ourselves, ‘We have a fourtrack, it doesn’t sound so hi-fi, but it’s something to shoot for.’ So we decided that these recordings that we were making weren’t just us fucking around, they were albums.” – from a 1998 interview with Robert Schneider of The Apples (in Stereo) / producer Neutral Milk Hotel & The Olivia Tremor Control

File Under: DIY, Indie Rock
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thraherWillie Thrasher: Spirit Child (Future Days) LP
Spirit Child is the debut LP from Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher. Thrasher was born in Aklavik, a hamlet located in the Inuvik region of the Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1948. At five years of age, Thrasher was taken from his family and sent to a residential school where he was forbidden to practice his Inuvialuit culture, a shameful initiative by the Canadian government to assimilate Indigenous people into mainstream society. Music was a way for Thrasher to escape the pain and longing. In the mid-1960s, Thrasher drummed for The Cordells, one of the first Inuit rock bands. One evening, a stranger recommended that the group tap into their Aboriginal roots instead of the charts for inspiration. This prompted Thrasher to take up the guitar and write songs about his life, people, and the environment. Despite losing a portion of his left middle finger in a work accident, Thrasher became a musical vagabond, travelling across Canada and the United States throughout the 1970s and well into the 1980s meeting many other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit musicians. Spirit Child was released by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1981 and provided a further opportunity for Thrasher to reconnect with his Native heritage and share this love and understanding with people from other cultures. “Silent Inuit” became a northern hit for Thrasher, but with limited commercial support and little promotion outside of northern communities, the album eventually fell to the wayside. Today, Thrasher lives in the town of Nanaimo, B.C., where he performs as a city sanctioned busker with his partner Linda Saddleback. The global attention garnered by Light In The Attic’s Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985 has led to recent performances at the Austin Psych Fest and Levitation Vancouver. Wherever he may be, Willie Thrasher is a trailblazing troubadour with an Indigenous heartbeat sound. Let Spirit Child open your ears, heart, and mind to a new folk-rock reality.

File Under: Folk, Native North America
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vanayLaurence Vanay: La Petite Fenetre (Lion) LP
“My ship of stone, tonight I came as a passer-by. Yet I gave you everything, my joy, my love, my freedom. I feel like singing, dancing, laughing like in the old times.” —Jacqueline Thibault (from ‘Mon vaisseau de Pierre,’ a tribute to the Hérouville castle) Jacqueline Thibault (Laurence Vanay) often worked for other artists at the legendary Château d’Hérouville studio as arranger, keyboardist, co-composer, and assistant sound engineer. Between sessions she sometimes managed to record her own music. Several years after her two acknowledged masterpieces, “Galaxies” and “Evening Colours,” she was able to bring together the tracks for “La Petite Fenêtre” (The Little Window). As the 1970’s ended, trouble with the Château finances meant that again it was impossible for her to present her work to interested record labels. Instead, “I worked in another recording studio in Paris for fashionable artists,” she said, “and I managed after a time to resume and complete my unfinished songs.” By that time, the French record companies were not interested in instrumental music anymore. The recordings therefore found themselves asleep on Parisian shelves, pending potential better days. Sublime compositions: unique, melancholic and very powerful.

File Under: Prog, Rock, Magma

vannier

Jean-Claude Vannier: L’enfant Assassin Des Mouches (Finders Keepers) LP
To mark the ten years of Finders Keepers we present a lovingly remastered and repackaged release of the album where it all began. Within the last ten years the resurgence of sixties Gallic pop, once known as Ye-Ye music, has escalated beyond an inter-stellar dizzy height. What might have been a waning, embarrassing genre destined for a shelf life/death gathering dust amongst the Eurovisions of yesteryear, the ‘jerk-beat’ psychsploitation records of the latter day French disco had soon found new floor space in some of the most credible nightspots in London and Japan. Without a shadow of doubt, the flagship LP with best odds on becoming a discerning household object was Histoire de Melody Nelson by one Serge Gainsbourg. An inimitable, 45-minute concept LP handcrafted by a bass-driven psychedelic rock group and a heaven sent, 1001 piece orchestral and choral symphony. The album left hip hop producers alongside progressive rock aficionados crying out for more and more for years to come. This LP was in a league of its very own… or was it? The seldom-sung musical arranger for Melody Nelson has become one of the most enigmatic names in French-funk; lorded by many as the “French David Axelrod” Jean-Claude Vannier’s name is the lesser-spotted, tell-tale seal of sample-friendly quality when it comes to crate-digging ‘en Francais’. Suitably, when rumours amongst French record dealers claiming “the band who played Melody Nelson recorded a follow-up lp” became a legend of psychedelic folklore. Another unconfirmed rumour about JCV taking the remaining out-takes of the beloved Melody Nelson to create a promo-only experimental rock LP left sample hungry producers and DJs in turmoil… For those in the know the answers to these mysteries lay flat between the anonymous gatefold sleeve of an undiscovered conceptual album bizarrely entitled “L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches” by a custom-built avant-rock entourage called Insolitudes. The rocking-horse manure treasure hunt began. So here we have it. The mythical teen-tonic for all those suffering from Melody Nelson withdrawal symptoms. For record collectors looking for that special something, this LP contains the extra special EVERYTHING. Peruse the following genres: psychedelic, classical, soundtracks, jazz, hip hop, samples, avant-garde, funk. Then place a copy of L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches in each section. History denotes that when ‘our man in Paris’ Msr. Gainsbourg first heard the initial bones of this LP he took his poetic pencil to paper providing bizarre liner notes, thus consummating the most extraordinary concept album of all time. The story “The Child Assassin Of The Flies” was to be included as the only information to grace the LPs highly collectible, concertina gatefold sleeve. The story in full is reproduced in its native-tongue on this very special re-release package. DJs and Producers such as Jim O’Rourke, Stereolab’s Tim Gane and David Holmes have spent sleepless nights in perusal of original copies of this perfect release and now regard it as ‘One Of The Best’. Recent copies on eBay have commanded ridiculous price tags, and is now one of the most sought-after articles amongst the vinyl hungry hip-hop community. Highest Recommendation!

File Under: Psych, Experimental, Essential Grooves
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plastic danceVarious: Plastic Dance (Cache) LP
Having spent exactly ten years living off the small change and 45 adapters of each others pockets, Finders Keepers/Cache Cache Records co-founders Andy Votel and Doug Shipton spread their wings and pool their DJ bags for a new series of sporadic various artists compilations focussing on the global punk and makeshift electro records that have kept their beer soaked dance floors and distorted sound systems moving in recent years.  Meet the younger sarcastic sisters of some of the classic Finders Keepers family and their spotty friends then watch what happens when jazz punk underdogs cock their legs to their overqualified elder brothers.Plastic Dance presents ten unacquainted and elusive slices of synthetic squat pop, angular funk, teapot kosmische and fraudulent disco from self-propelled imprints and global co-ops. Named after Günter Bernas obscure DIY anti-band this ongoing series combines rare, unknown and untravelled wax nuggets of night club punk, art school Zeuhl and quasi-political pop united by soldering irons, C-60s and sarcastic synth tones. Featuring a cross section of unobtainable unreleased unknown and unwanted reluctant punk and snide synth pop with sleeve-notes by respected DJ/Haç hack/Situationist addict John McCready and artwork by airbrush legend Terry Pastor (Ziggy Stardust/Soft Machine/Arthur C. Clarke) Plastic Dance becomes flexible under heat.

File Under: Electro Punk, Synth Pop
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…..restocks…..

Black Devil Disco: Disco Club (Anthology) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Volume 4 (Rhino) LP
Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven (Latino Buggerville) LP
Mac Demarco: 2 (Captured Tracks) LP
Dr. Dre: Compton (Interscope) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic (Death Row) LP
John Fahey: Days Have Gone By (4 Men With Beards) LP
John Fahey: New Possibility (Takoma) LP
Follakzoid: II (Sacred Bones) LP
Fucked Up: Hidden World (Deranged) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Historie de Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy) LP
Steve Hauschildt: Where All Is Fled (Kranky) LP
Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl (Sacred Bones) LP
Jackson 5: The Christmas Album (Universal) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Float Along (Flightless) LP
La Luz: Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art) LP
Low: Christmas (Kranky) LP
Low: Secret Name (Kranky) LP
Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge) 6×10″
Master Musicians of Bukkake: Totem One (Important) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Snowbringer Cult (Ba Da Bing) LP
Natural Snow Buildings: Terror’s Horn (Ba Da Bing) LP
Om: Conference of the Birds (Holy Mountain) LP
Om: God is Good (Drag City) LP
Armando Sciascia: Sea Fantasy (Phenom) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
She & Him: A Very She & Him Christmas (Merge) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hallow (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Smiths: s/t (Rhino) LP
Space Lady/Burnt Ones: split (Castle Face) LP
Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift For You (Legacy) LP
Talking Heads: Name of this Band is Talking Heads (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (Rhino) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain (4AD) LP
Useless Eaters: Live in San Francisco (Castle Face) LP
Tom Waits: Heart of Saturday Night (Rhino) LP
Tom Waits: Closing Time (Rhino) LP
Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Ocean) LP
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Frank Zappa: Freak Out! (Zappa) LP
Various: Christmas in Soulville (Stax) LP
Various: Soul Christmas (Warner) LP

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