…..news letter #720 – 15…..

Oddly, even though there hasn’t been much in this week it seems like we’ve been putting out records non-stop. Anyway, with just 15 days until Christmas it’s time to start buckling down and finishing up your shopping. We’ve put a little list of great gift ideas for the vinyl fanatic on your list, or if that’s you… then for you. Also, Rega has extended their Black Friday pricing on the RP1 Turntables! So those will be available for $399 for the entire month of December, or until they are gone, which ever comes first!

…..pick of the week…..


Wood Record Crates
Finally and just in time for Christmas! After much plotting and planning we finally have our very own custom made record crates available for sale! These aren’t just crates though! They are designed to work both as crates, but also as a modular shelving system that allows you to grow your storage as your collection grows. And you are are able to do whatever you want with them… stagger them, off set them, place a shelf across a couple of stacks. Build a pyramid. Build a coffee table. They are handmade here in Edmonton out of Baltic Birch which is known for it’s strength and stability, which means they will last a lifetime.

File Under: Crates, Storage

…..Great Gifts…..


Rega RP 1 Turntable
Our best selling turntable, the RP1 comes ready to go out of the box, complete with a Rega Carbon cartridge mounted on the tone arm. This is a great sounding turntable for both someone just getting into the hobby, or for someone looking to replace their turntable. Available in Cool Grey, Titanium, and White.
On sale for $399 all December!

File Under: Gear, Sale

spin-clean-record-washer-mkii-completeSpin Clean Record Washer
The spin clean record washers is a great and affordable option for cleaning both your used and new records. We highly recommend it if you buy a lot of used vinyl. Easy to use and cheap to run, keeping your vinyl clean not only improves the sound, but helps maintain your entire collection as dirt can build up on your needle and damage all your other records. Basically, unless you can grow money on trees, this is bar none your best and most effective cleaning option. $100

File Under: Accessories, Cleaning

dustawayTonar Dustaway
Ok, so you’ve bought a record-cleaning machine. How do you keep those records clean during plays? Get yourself a Dustaway Carbon Fiber Brush. It’s actually two brushes and a cleaning pad all in one small hand-held unit. Great for removing dust, dog and cat hair, and miscellaneous fuzz that seems to always ends up on your LP’s. Comes with a nice metal stand for holding the brush during storage. A must have for vinyl spinners. The Dustaway Brush features two rows of carbon fiber bristles with a wide felt pad in between. Unlike other felt brushes, it actually picks up dirt instead of moving it around the record. A very effective dry brush! $30

File Under: Accessories, Cleaning


Discwasher Record Cleaning Kit
Our best selling brush… A favorite among collectors for many years. Use the brush dry or wet with the included 1.25 oz. fluid. The D4+ Record Care System is the result of intensive scientific research on safe record cleaning. The D4+ System is a cleaning system unlike other products, which reduce record dynamics and fidelity. The more active, yet safe, D4+ fluid is actually able to lift and suspend contaminants in solution on the record surface so the D4 pad can easily and efficiently remove debris. Containing less residue than tap water, D4+ fluid will clean without depositing new residues on the record surface; it will not encourage any biological growth. For longer life, Discwasher recommends that records be lightly cleaned each time before playing. New records should also be cleaned before their first play. Although presumed clean, many new recordings still have mold release compounds in their grooves, thus requiring cleaning. $25

File Under: Accessories, Cleaning

…..New Arrivals…..


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Nocturama (Mute) LP
The dramatic procession of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds entered a new phase in 2003. The supremely crafted albums which came out towards the close of the century, Murder Ballads and The Boatman’s Call, affirmed what many have known since the band formed out of the ashes of Australian legends The Birthday Party in 1983: as an expressive force The Bad Seeds are entirely in a class of their own, and Cave is one of the few truly great, genuinely maverick songwriters and performers of the present day. The twelfth Bad Seeds album Nocturama displays a renewed strength of purpose within the band, and is marked by an immediacy of recording technique and thematic diversity. The sessions took place in early 2002 when the band decided to use free time on an Australian tour to try out new compositions. They ended up learning and recording the album in a week. “The idea was to take some of the preciousness about the making of the record away, and possibly create records more like they did in the old days which was a faster turn around,” says Cave. “The way I wrote this record was to get the musical idea down, and a set of lyrics, and then put it to one side and start a new one. I didn’t reflect on the songs again, or play them again. Once they were written, that was it. Whereas with the record before – No More Shall We Part – I’d arranged the whole thing before I went in, which perhaps inhibits the band a little. If something’s already complete and all they have to do is play the parts, it doesn’t give them much breathing space, and with this record they had a lot more room to play.” An objective point of view was brought to bear on proceedings in the form of Nick Launay. The LA-based British producer had worked with Cave many years before when he produced The Birthday Party’s 1981 single “Release The Bats,” and at the behest of Mick Harvey Launay agreed to record the sessions. The band’s sheer pleasure in playing together built on the intention to loosen up the process saw Nocturama emerge with a rawness in both the driven and the gentle songs. While admitting to the influence of a handful of poets – Auden, Thomas Hardy amongst them – and song writers – Dylan and Van Morrison – Cave is still clearly inventing his own traditions on Nocturama. The mood swings are impressive, spanning emotional surrender to venomous black humour. He engages with a wide range of themes. There is a tender sunset song of hope; an elegant piano song of longing; a yawing, dark violin waltz; a swaggering pledge of love; a raucous abominable tale; a sorrowful evocation of loss; a nostalgic meditation; a fragrant love epiphany; and one final, lustful demonic epic. Nocturama might just well be the complete Cave and The Bad Seeds panorama. Some of the loveliest, most compelling songs are the gentle ones like the opening “Wonderful Life” or the simple rendering of nostalgia with “There Is A Town.” “Bring it On” sees the band hitting a bold, superfly noir groove. The song benefits from an outstanding duetted vocal from Chris Bailey, formerly the singer with Brisbane’s glorious pre-punk nihilists The Saints. “Dead Man in My Bed” follows immediately from “Bring it On” and further raises noise levels as Cave takes the perspective of a woman afflicted with a useless partner. The album’s most spectacular song is saved until the end when the Bad Seeds unleash the flaming jam “Babe, I’m On Fire” demonstrating their mastery of demonic relentlessness. At fifteen minutes it’s an epic with 43 verses (or more, as many didn’t make the recorded version) in which a bizarre cast of high and low characters testify to the burning lust of the singer. The song was played just once prior to recording. “It was just an idea that steamrolled,” says Cave. “It’s the kind of song you write when you’re not writing a song.”

File Under: Rock
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Johan Johansson: Sicario (Varese) LP
In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past (Benicio Del Toro), the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing the FBI agent to question everything that she believes in order to survive. The 2016 Oscar contender’s original motion picture soundtrack features music by Icelandic composer Jóhann Johannsson and marks his second collaboration with director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners). The reigning Oscar winner of the Academy Award for Best Score for his work on Theory of Everything, Johannsson is also a solo artist formally signed to 4AD Records.

 File Under: OST
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Shye Ben Tzur & Jonny Greenwood: Junun (Nonesuch) LP
In tomorrow…. Nonesuch Records releases Junun – an album from composer/musician Shye Ben Tzur, guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and the Rajasthan Express, a group of Indian musicians – in November 2015. Recorded earlier this year in a makeshift studio inside the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India, the album was made with Radiohead’s producer Nigel Godrich, who worked with the ensemble to create this two LP collection. The album comprises Ben Tzur’s compositions, which feature devotional Sufi qawwal musicians who sing in Urdu as well as in his native Hebrew. The filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, a friend and frequent collaborator of Greenwood, came along to document the recording sessions as well as daily life and the close camaraderie of artistic collaboration. Anderson’s resulting impressionistic film, also entitled Junun, debuted at the New York Film Festival on October 8 and begins streaming exclusively on MUBI. Greenwood made a guest appearance last year during Ben Tzur’s London concert, where they previewed some of the music of Junun, and this summer, the two were joined by the qawwali party for two performances at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival. Further concerts are being planned for the future, as are additional screenings of Anderson’s film. Shye Ben Tzur is an Israeli composer/producer/poet and performer who lives in India and Israel. He composes qawwalis – instrumental and devotional music – in Hebrew, Urdu, and Hindi. A concert by Zakir Hussain and Hariprasad Chaurasia that Ben Tzur attended as a young man was life-changing. “It touched my heart so deeply,” he says. “It was at the time the deepest musical experience I had gone through. It moved me so that I could do nothing but go find out what it is. I feel I’m still in that spot. I don’t think I have achieved it. Indian music is so vast and so deep and the more I learn different things about it, I realize how ignorant I was. It just doesn’t stop.” “When I was in the Negev desert in southern Israel a couple of years ago, I heard a band playing a song using an Arabic violin called a rehab,” Greenwood told London’s Evening Standard. “It was a strange mix of Arabic and traditional Indian music, one that I’d never come across before. The best song, I found out, was written by Shye Ben Tzur, an Israeli musician who had been living in India until this year. I set out to discover more about him…I’m always a little wary of rock bands half-heartedly dabbling in world music – itself a slightly greasy term – but there are exceptions. Damon Albarn is one: his work with musicians in Mali is something he’s clearly fully committed to. And I think Shye Ben Tzur is another.” Widely known as the guitarist for Radiohead, Jonny Greenwood is also a highly respected composer. In addition to his soundtracks to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, There Will Be Blood, and The Master, Nonesuch also released his score for Norwegian Wood and his collaboration with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

File Under:
World, Electronic, India, Radiohead
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washingtonKamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
The Epic is a brazen new release from young Los Angeles jazz giant, composer, and bandleader Kamasi Washington. It’s unlike anything jazz has seen, and not just because it emanates from the boundary-defying Brainfeeder, which isn’t so much a label in the traditional sense as it is an unfurling experiment conducted by the underground producer Flying Lotus who has featured Washington on his albums Cosmogramma and You’re Dead! The Epic is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington. Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly ten-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet – including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Cameron Graves, and trombonist Ryan Porter. Patrice Quinn’s ethereal vocals round out the ensemble. The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and its members – who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West Coast Get Down” – have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two. The rest met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively in the tens of thousands. “Nothing compares to these guys,” says Barbara Sealy, the former West Coast director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, who has championed Kamasi and his compatriots from the beginning. “I challenge any group to go out on stage with them and see if they can keep up with it…Kamasi is at the top of his game, and only getting better.” “These young guys,” the rapper Common says, “remind me of why I love music.” And the story The Epic tells, without words but rather through some combination of magic, mastery, and sheer force of imagination, is the story of Kamasi Washington and the Next Step and their collective mission: to remove jazz from the shelf of relics and make it new, unexpected, and dangerous again. They seek to both honor and alter tradition: as The Epic’s opening track announces, they are the “Changing of the Guard.” The sound can be felt like flames, sometimes waving in the coziness of a fireplace, in other moments sweeping everything around like a backdraft. But Kamasi is always in control of the burning. “He just plays the craziest shit, man. I mean, everything – the past, present, the future,” Flying Lotus says, whose family lineage includes one of Washington’s direct musical forebears, John Coltrane. “It’s hard to find unique voices in this music. Especially in jazz, more so lately, everybody is trying to do the same shit. I don’t want to hear ‘My Favorite Things’ anymore… What I am hearing is a leader among artists.” 3 x black 180g 12″ vinyls in artworked 3mm spined sleeves all housed in a rigid board outer slipcase. Half speed cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering. Includes 2 x 12″ poster inserts featuring exclusive artwork by KC Woolf Haxton and story adaptation and calligraphy by Kenturah Davis. MP3 download code also enclosed.

File Under: Jazz, Fusion, Funk/Soul
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Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (Cleopatra) LP
Bibio: Fi (Warp) LP
Bibio: Ambivalence Avenue (Warp) LP
Black Mountain: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Built To Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (Up) LP
Kenny Burrell: Midnight Blue (Blue Note) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Circles Around The Sun: Interludes for the Dead (Warner) LP
Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Daft Punk: Homework (Parlophone) LP
Mac Demarco: Another One (Captured Tracks) LP
Mac Demarco: Rock n Roll Nightclub (Captured Tracks) LP
Destruction Unit: Negative Feedback Resistor (Sacred Bones) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic 2001 (Death Row) LP
Electric Wizard: Time to Die (Spinefarm) LP
Electric Wizard: We Live (Rise Above) LP
Fist City: Everything is a Mess (Transgressive) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man in Paris (Blue Note) LP
PJ Harvey: Let England Shake (Island) LP
Andrew Hill: Point of Departure (Blue Note) LP
Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl (Sacred Bones) LP
King Tuff: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
King Tuff: Black Moon Spell (Sub Pop) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-all (Boner) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (Big Brother) LP
William Onyeabor: Box 1 (Luakabop) 5LP
William Onyeabor: Box 2 (Luakabop) 4LP
Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain (Red Ink) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Dust & Chimes (Holy Mountain) LP
Sleater Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop) LP
Songs: Ohia: Hecla & Griper (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t it Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Stark Reality: Discovers Hoagy Carmichael… (Now Again) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Jagjaguwar) LP
War on Drugs: Slave Ambient (Jagjaguwar) LP
Various: Ork Records (Numero) 5LP Box

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