Uh, we’re swamped. Loads in this week, so, dive in….
Oh ya, our hours over the holidays will be….
Thusday Dec 24 11 – 4
Friday Dec 25 closed
Saturday Dec 26 11 – 5
Thursday Dec 31 11 – 4
Friday Jan 1 closed
….picks of the week…..
Les Rallizes Denudes: Live 77 (Victory) LP
Les Rallizes Dénudés are one of the earliest and most revolutionary Japanese psychedelic rock bands, and existed off and on through four decades. The band formed in November of 1967 at Kyoto University, inspired by Exploding Plastic Inevitable-era Velvet Underground as well as the over-amplified rock of Blue Cheer and Mario Schifano’s avant-garde ensemble Le Stelle. By 1968 they were gigging live and even began a regular collaboration with an avant-garde theater troupe, which ended the next year because of Les Rallizes’ penchant for extreme volume. Not only did they use massive amounts of feedback at loud volumes, their stage shows used strobe lights, mirror balls, and other effects for a live experience that was a total sensory assault. This historic performance recorded in Tachikawa in 1977 is perhaps the most beloved document of the band’s sound: extreme feedback and distressed guitar with detached vocals laid over languid rhythms — unbelievable in intensity.
File Under: Japanese Psych
Alessandro Cortini: Forse 2 (Important) LP
Super limited 2015 repress. “Alessandro Cortini’s second release in his Forse trilogy is full of thick analog brightness and deep analog warmpth. Despite also being fully composed on a Buchla Music Easel, the feeling of Forse 2 is quite different from Forse 1 and this deluxe double vinyl release is the ultimate way to experience this engaging work. Pressed in an edition of 500. ‘All pieces were written and performed live on a Buchla Music Easel, in the span of one month. I found that the limited array of modules that the instrument offers sparked my creativity. Most pieces consist of a repeating chord progression, where the real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion, filtering, wave shaping, etc) are just as expressive as a chord change or chord type, and often reinforce said chord progressions. Of all the years with Nine Inch Nails the period spent writing and recording the instrumental record Ghosts I-IV is probably the one which changed my approach to music making the most. After that record I started getting more into instrumental composition, although I tried to approach it in a different way. While we had a vast array of tools and instruments at our disposal then, I decided to approach my pieces limiting myself to one instrument only, as I found myself being more decisive when faced with a limited creative environment.'”
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Buchla
Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns) LP
“We’ve been down in a basement for the past two years, shivering and/or sweating out a new record. It’s an understatement to say that we are proud of the result, and we cannot wait for its release, so that we can finally begin to play these songs on tour for our audience. It has taken three years to rebuild, restrengthen and reforge Baroness into a new form; and while the wait was grueling at times, it’s already been worthwhile. “We needed to write an album that would push us forward, reinvigorate our creativity, and offer a further challenge for ourselves and our fans alike. We needed to write something exciting. We really set ourselves to task to trim fat, write better songs, and speak with a more direct and unique voice through our music. We have never been nor will we ever be interested in following trends, adhering to stylistic rules or fitting securely in any format. “Our goal is to write, record, and perform music that excites us. If we can get amped up and feel these songs in earnest, then we believe that you can too. Purple is the recorded experience of Baroness piecing ourselves back together in order to become something more than we had ever imagined we could be. In short, we are thrilled. We have never been as uniformly psyched-up by a record of ours…You will be hearing much more from us soon. ‘Til the wheels fall off…” – Baroness
File Under: Metal
Beat of the Earth: This Record is an Artistic Statement (Radich) LP
From 1967, Phil Pearlman (The Electronic Hole and the majestic Relatively Clean Rivers) leads a free assemblage of local Southern California acid-heads through loping Velvetica tribal incantations. The Beat of the Earth earns its name in two side-length jams brimming with eastern-tinged luminosity. It is the sun-dappled mirror of The Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray.” Instead of the urban decay and black and white pop art of the Warhol scene, The Beat of the Earth represents the same idea, looking west across the Pacific. This comes from the same yet intrinsically polar opposite frame of mind from the VU noise marathons of their epic live shows. Mind-expanding psychedelia done by sun-gobbed hippies that were totally out of step with everything else happening in Southern California of the pop-psych ’60s. This record stands as much an outsider statement as ESP-Disk’s Cromagnon record, or any of the Swedish bands of the Silence stable. It is a truly zonked masterpiece of tribal hippy culture dosed to the gills! Limited edition of 300. -Radich
File Under: Psych, Raerz
Peter Brotzmann Group: Alarm (Cien Fuegos) LP
First vinyl reissue of Alarm by the Peter Brötzmann Group, originally released on FMP in 1983. Harry Miller: bass; Louis Moholo: drums; Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano; Peter Brötzmann: saxophone; Frank Wright: saxophone; Willem Breuker: saxophone; Toshinori Kondo: trumpet; Alan Tomlinson: trombone; Hannes Bauer: trombone. Recorded during the 164th NDR Jazzworkshop, November 12, 1981, at the Funkhaus Hamburg. Produced by Peter Brötzmann and Jost Gebers. Cover design by Peter Brötzmann.
File Under: Free Jazz
Goncalo F. Cardoso & Ruben Pater: A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics (Discrepant) LP
Much of the discussion around unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) is directed toward its capabilities of surveillance and attack. However for those living in areas of conflict, it is the engine sound of the drones that has devastating psychological effects. Military drones fly at high altitudes and are more easily heard than seen. Even the origin of the word “drone” is rooted in sound, and comes from the sound of the male honeybee. The sound of drones in areas of conflict creates soundscapes of terror that can go on for many hours. The buzzing of the engines has generated nicknames like “zanana” in Palestine and “bangana” in Pakistan. A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics is an auditive investigation by composer Gonçalo F. Cardoso (Discrepant) and designer Ruben Pater (Drone Survival Guide). What kind engines are drones equipped with? What do they sound like? What are the psychological effects of the sounds in areas of conflict? Side A features field recordings of 17 drone types, ranging from small consumer drones to large military drones. The B-side presents a soundscape by Cardoso, inspired by the abusive and destructive power or drone technology. The composition focuses on the conceptual (sound) life and death of an aerial drone machine in the 21st century. The project is intended for use in installation in various museums and festivals. The sounds are available for free at droneacoustics.org. Concept by Gonçalo F. Cardoso and Ruben Pater. B-side composition written and composed by Gonçalo F. Cardoso. Voice by Emmet O’Donnell. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin. Metallic finish sleeve by Ruben Pater. Includes 12-page booklet.
File Under: Field Recordings, Drone
The Electronic Hole: s/t (Radich) LP
The Electronic Hole (1970) is a raw, noisy, droning, and completely mesmerizing album recorded by Phil Pearlman between the first Beat of the Earth album and Relatively Clean Rivers. Pearlman assembled The Electronic Hole in 1969. Recorded in local studios during off-hours, the album is entirely different from Beat of the Earth, as it abandons a free-form improvisational approach in favor of “compositions,” including a wild cover of Frank Zappa’s “Trouble Every Day.” Pearlman plays sitar to great effect on the album, and another track has the thickest wall of fuzz guitars imaginable. It stands as the closest approximation of the West Coast version of what The Velvet Underground were doing with their first two albums. This is deep, brain-frying psychedelia in its purest definition. Limited edition of 300 copies. -Radich
File Under: Psych
Eleh/Tara Jane O’Neil: split (Important) LP
Sound sculptures and gongs by Harry Bertoia unite the sides of this split LP from Tara Jane O’Neil and Eleh. O’Neil’s composition was commissioned by Venessa Renwick for her Medusa Smack video installation (originally screened in 2012 at the Oregon Biennial). The piece is partially created from sounds recorded by Bertoia on his own Sonambient sound sculptures, as well as O’Neil’s recording of Athanasius Kircher’s Bell Wheel at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Eleh’s side consists of 100 gongs synthesized on a Serge modular system to honor the 2015 centennial of Bertoia’s birth. Vanessa Renwick recalls the conception of Medusa Smack: “In the ’70s I was a bike messenger in Chicago and whenever I had downtime, I would hang out in front of the huge Bertoia sound sculpture outside of the Standard Oil Building. The winds off Lake Michigan whipped his masterpiece about, clanging and banging. Years later, in Oregon, I came across a small Bertoia sound sculpture, I clasped its rods together within my hands and released them. The exquisite noise they made immediately whispered Tara Jane O’Neil to me. I knew that someday I would make a film and Tara would incorporate this very noise into the score. Along came my idea to create a giant mother-jellyfish-shaped screen, the Medusa Smack, for people to lay beneath, with moon jellies and pacific sea nettles projected upon it. I asked Tara to create the score, and incorporate Bertoia’s own sound recordings into it. Harry Bertoia’s son, Val, granted his permission. This beauty to lull you away to the deep is the result.” Packaged in deluxe letterpress-printed jackets. Edition of 700.
File Under: Ambient, Drone, Gongs
Scott Fagan: South Atlantic Blues (Saint Cecilia Knows) LP
Scott Fagan’s debut album, ‘South Atlantic Blues,’ is a genuine lost classic — a mystical, mythical and deeply soulful masterpiece. Recorded when Scott was just 21, virtually homeless and with pennies to his name, it was released in 1968 on Atco Records but remained obscure, confounded by a series of frustrating near-misses. From being mentored by Doc Pomus to being discovered by Jasper Johns, Scott’s incredible story and music unfolds on ‘South Atlantic Blues,’ remastered and reissued for the first time ever on CD and vinyl on Saint Cecilia Knows in association with Scott Fagan’s own lil’fish records. Steeped in delicate psych, soul and resonant acoustic guitars “that stroke and stone you to the core” (Shindig). It’s an epic song cycle about Fagan’s hard-scrabble life in the Virgin Islands, where he was raised and lived until 19 before returning to his birthplace of New York City. A teenage prodigy, mentored and managed by songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Scott recorded early material for Columbia and Bert Berns’ BANG label before signing with Atco. In 1969, artist Jasper Johns discovered ‘South Atlantic Blues’ in a cut-out bin, fell in love with the record, and used it as the inspiration for three artworks, known as ‘Scott Fagan Record.’ The pieces are now housed in the permanent collections of MOMA, the Met and the Walker Art Center. Born on 52nd Street, Scott was the son of a sax player and singer who fraternized with jazz greats. That familial connection with music would come full circle when Fagan discovered he was the biological father of songwriter Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. They did not meet until the premiere of a documentary about Doc Pomus in 2013. Saint Cecilia Knows also released the acclaimed Mickey Newbury box set, ‘An American Trilogy.’ The initial pressing of the vinyl comes as a limited edition, hand-numbered, 180gram vinyl with a reproduction of Jasper Johns’ 1970 lithograph, ‘Scott Fagan Record’, as cover art, and includes a digital download.
File Under: Pop
Hartmut Geerken & Chris Trent: Omniverse Sun Ra (Art Yard) Book
Revised and expanded second edition of Hartmut Geerken and Chris Trent’s comprehensive reference Omniverse Sun Ra, originally published in 1994. Full-color 304-page hardcover book. French fold cover with metallic silver foil blocking on cyan faimei cloth. 290mm x 245mm portrait. Omniverse Sun Ra features many previously unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and His Arkestra in New York in 1966 and Germany in 1979 by Val Wilmer, and Hartmut Geerken’s previously unpublished photographs from Heliopolis in Cairo, Egypt, in 1971, in addition to an updated comprehensive pictorial and annotated discography by Chris Trent, including chronological discography and alphabetical record title, composition, personnel, and record label indexes, as well as indexes of shellac 78RPM records, 45 RPM singles, jackets, and labels. Also includes essays and photo documents by Hartmut Geerken, Chris Trent, Amiri Baraka, Robert L. Campbell, Chris Cutler, Gabi Geist, Sigrid Hauff, Karl Heinz Kessler, Robert Lax, and Salah Ragab.
File Under: Jazz, Book
Les Rallizes Denudes: Blind Baby Has It’s Mother’s Eyes (Phoenix) LP
Legendary Japanese rock outfit Les Rallizes Dénudés were formed in 1967 and incredibly, for a group that had only one official release (Oz Days Live, a double vinyl compilation release in 1973), played their last gig almost 30 years later in October 1996. The band’s name apparently means “fucked up and naked,” which more than adequately describes their music. Formed by band leader Mizutani Takashi, the music remained remarkably familiar over the years, and is best described as high volume, raw, lo-fi, repetitive, feedback-drenched guitar-noise fests with nods in the direction of The Velvet Underground and Blues Creation, but without the electronics. Radical left-wing politics were never far from the band’s agenda, with one original band member (Wakabayashi) being involved in the Japanese Red Army’s hijacking of a flight to North Korea. Consequently, the group’s live appearances became less frequent and increasingly clandestine. All the band’s albums were released in very small quantities, and because of the group’s reputation for secrecy and violence, as well as the difficulty in tracking down their recordings, Les Rallizes Dénudés has assumed almost mythical status. Blind Baby Has Its Mother’s Eyes sits at #11 on Julian Cope’s list of top Japanese albums.
File Under: Japanese Psych, Essential Grooves
Les Rallizes Denudes: Heavier Than a Death in the Family (Phoenix) 2LP
Phoenix Records releases the oft-bootlegged Heavier Than A Death In The Family by legendary Japanese rock/psychedelic noise band Les Rallizes Dénudés. This “album” is in fact, a blistering assemblage of live performances (all recorded in 1977, except for “People Can Choose,” which was recorded in 1973) which sits at an esteemed #3 position on Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler top 50 list. Reverb so heavy, it will split your frontal lobe in two.
File Under: Japanese Psych, Essential Grooves
Egisto Macchi: Citte Notte (Roma) LP
Citta Notte’s heady melange of cosmopolitan folk tropes, abstract sonic gestures, distressed and scattering percussion, beatific melodies and ominous VCS3 drones exists in a sublime universe all of its own. Atmospheric, smokey, urbane and sophisticated “Citta Notte” is a seamless and stunningly timeless jewel in the expanding cosmology of rediscovering Library/Production music. Haunting, profound and hypnotic, one of the rarest Library LPs is no doubt also one of the most beautiful and rewarding.
File Under: Italian, Library
Lubomyr Melnyk: Rivers & Streams (Erased Tapes) LP
Lubomyr Melnyk returns with his new album Rivers and Streams, the embodiment of his signature style. The Ukrainian pianist has often felt that his unique Continuous Music playing is akin to water – flowing and ever connected. As he further developed his technique, and the more the notes flowed, the closer to water he felt, “I found my hands and arms and everything inside them changing from normal muscle and flesh to well… water.” With his latest album, Rivers and Streams, Lubomyr focuses deeply on this connection to water, to the point where the music itself begins to embody its liquid form. Produced by Robert Raths and Jamie Perera, the album flows seamlessly from the live recordings of “The Pool of Memories,” captured in a church, to pieces entirely born in the studio, such as “Sunshimmers” and “Ripples in a Water Scene,” which feature Perera on acoustic and electric guitar. Amorphous, ever-changing, Lubomyr as performer becomes subsumed into the natural ebb and flow of the keys as the album drifts between nascent upstream trickles and deeply reflective passages through winding river valleys. The album reaches its climax in “The Amazon,” a 20-minute piece dedicated to the world’s largest river. Raths invited Korean flautist Hyelim Kim to guest on the first part, before Lubomyr closes the album with cascades of arpeggio figures, stretching across the breadth of the keyboard with rapid virtuosity. Following on from 2013’s Corollaries album and last year’s Evertina EP, Lubomyr Melnyk’s latest offering compounds upon his existing fluid signature style, and breathes an organic vitality, both nuanced and thoughtful.
File Under: Classical, Piano
Robert Millis: Indian Talking Machine (Sublime Frequencies) 2CD+Book
Robert Millis’s Indian Talking Machine is a 244-page full-color hardcover book with two CDs containing 46 tracks from shellac discs spanning 1903 to 1949, which Millis collected in India and compiled for their first-ever CD release; the book contains over 300 photographs of 78rpm record collections, collectors, and ephemera, as well as detailed track notes and an essay. Limited-edition one-time pressing of 1000 copies. These photos are true “record porn” (that is, shellac 78rpm record porn) — photographs of shelves groaning under the weight of unimaginable titles, beautiful label- and sleeve-designs from long-gone eras, wind-up talking machines, crammed antique shops, forgotten artists, and more, all of which somehow survived (often barely) India’s archival obstacles — dust, heat, floods, rebellion, partition, and war. Indian Talking Machine is the result of nearly a year in India photographing record collections, interviewing collectors, and visiting archives and record markets; a personal take on the vast worlds of Indian music and the intricacies of collecting sound. One of the earliest non-Western outposts of the “recording industry,” India’s first recordings were made in 1902. The country’s music is as beautiful as it is complex, as subtle as it is profound, and as divine as it is simple; these recordings offer virtuoso instrumental performances, jaw-dropping vocal renditions, folk music, comedy recordings, and even animal impressions. The 78rpm records were transferred by Jonathan Ward (Excavated Shellac) and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Michael Graves (Analog Africa, Dust-to-Digital, Hank Williams: The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 (2014), and more). Robert Millis is a founding member of Climax Golden Twins and AFCGT, a Fulbright Scholar, a solo artist, and a frequent contributor to the Sublime Frequencies label. He compiled and co-produced Victrola Favorites in 2007 (DTD 011CD), and created both the Burmese Crying Princess (2013) and Korean Scattered Melodies (2013) LPs for Sublime Frequencies, as well as the films This World Is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope and Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan (2006). In short, he knows what he is doing. You will not be disappointed. Includes performances by Professor Abdul Aziz Khan, Gauhar Jan, Mysore Chaudiah, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Bangalore Nagaratnam, the Vyas Brothers, Talim Hossein, Babu Aughor Nath Chuckerbutty, L.C. Bural, Veena Shanmuga Vadivoo, Professor Barkatullah Khan, and many more.
File Under: Books, Victrola
Tatsuya Nakatani: Confirmation (Taiga) LP
200-gram opaque red virgin-compound LP housed in a custom heavyweight yellow paper jacket with silver and metallic black foil stamping made at Studio on Fire in Minneapolis. Edition of 430. Nomadic percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani travels worldwide, his performances blooming with ceaseless expanse. Although Nakatani is a valiant collaborator, joining with other musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and beyond, solo percussion is the root of it all. Simply stated in Nakatani’s own words, this album is “Confirmation of all of my acoustic solo percussion performance since 1998. Recorded live at Nakatani-kobo in Easton Pennsylvania USA during snow season of beginning of 2015. No overdubbing and used the fewest effects possible on this LP.” Confirmation is Nakatani’s third release on Taiga. The label initially saw the vibrant color of his collaboration with Mary Halvorson and Reuben Radding as MAP on Fever Dream (TAIGA 009LP, 2010). This was followed by Nakatani Gong Orchestra (2012), a woven blend of heavy vibrations from Nakatani’s one-off group experiments on the road. Now there’s number three, solo percussion, the foundation of his practice, charged with thunders, screams, sparks, and countless other ineffable sonic textures. Mastered by James Plotkin and cut direct to copper, Confirmation is Nakatani’s first solo percussion album to be released on LP.
File Under: Percussion, Experimental
Revolutionaries: Sounds Volume 2 (Deeper Knowledge) LP
“First ever reissue of this classic Channel 1 material. Housed in a two color silk screened jacket with an 18″ x 24″ poster of the iconic cover art. Revolutionaries Sounds Vol. 2 is the stellar 1979 follow up to the groundbreaking 1976 self-titled first volume. The Revolutionaries were the house band of Channel 1 studios, and their style defined the sound of reggae in the second half of the 1970’s. The band was a who’s who of the top players of the decade, featuring the core unit of Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Ranchie McLean and Rad Bryan. Augmented by a revolving cast of the top hornsmen, keyboard/organ players and percussionists, The Revolutionaries not only backed the in-house production output of their ‘home base’ studio of Channel 1, but countless other productions done by producers renting the studio. The 1976 first volume released in Jamaica was an instrumental affair, with the iconic Che Guevara image by Ras Daniel Heartman on the cover complimenting the militant sounds contained on the album. For this 1979 follow-up originally released in the UK, Che again adorns the album, with the tracks being a mixture of classic instrumentals recorded at various points in the few preceding years, and then previously unreleased dubs to some of the studio’s hardest original rhythms, such as Alton Ellis’ ‘Tell Me’ and the Enforcer’s ‘Ride on Marcus.’ Previous to this album, some of these tracks had been coveted dubplates on the sound system scene of the day. Reissued for the first time ever, this is a fantastic touchstone for fans of ’70s roots reggae, and with a terrific selection of tunes that should satisfy the hardcore roots fans, serious dub heads and across-the-board reggae fans just the same.”
File Under: Reggae
Run The Jewels: Meow The Jewels (Mass Appeal) LP
Very few things can infuriate you quite like cats. So, when Run The Jewels jokingly offered a cat-inspired remix version of Run The Jewels 2 as a limited edition pre-order package, Mass Appeal laughed and secretly prayed it’d never come to fruition. However, once an official Kickstarter campaign surfaced to fund the project and El-P announced they’d donate the proceeds from the project to the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the label realized a catnip-laced record from hip hop’s best tag team would actually be ridiculously amazing. Now, just over a year later, Mass Appeal is ecstatic to announce that Meow The Jewels is finally here! Is it everything you’ve dreamt of? Probably not – unless you have some weird fucking dreams. It’s more like everything you never dreamed of and worse, a nightmarish goulash of meows, hisses, and purrs. Take your allergy meds and put a few litter boxes near your speakers before you give this one a spin.
File Under: Hip Hop, Cats, Silly
Armando Sciascia: Violin Reactions (Roma) LP
Armando Sciascia – by day, notable composer for Italian erotic and exotic cinema – by night, experimentalist and nocturnal avant-gardener. Lovingly crafted in his hand-built Vedette studio, Sciascia’s “lust for experimental research” has never been mre evident than on these precious, never before commercially released 1974 Library recordings. “Violin Reactions” is a violently unique work, studiously constructed out of multi-tracked strings, ominous VCS3 drones and the drum breaks of Tullio De Piscopo. Part futurist broadcast, part Middle-Eastern short-wave trasmission, anchored by De Piscopo’s breakbeats and calisthenic percussion – strangely melodic and at times hauntingly otherworldly.
File Under: Italian, Library
Shapednoise: Different Selves (Type) LP
Shapednoise is Italian producer Nino Pedone, and since emerging in the early 2010s he’s built a name for himself issuing music that bridges the gap between the basement and the club. Noise and techno are proven bedfellows at this point (for better or for worse), but Pedone pushes harder and further, and Different Selves, as the title suggests, is his most diverse and challenging work to date. Fusing the industrial grind of early Godflesh (Justin K. Broadrick even makes an appearance on opening track “Enlightenment”) with the raw power of mid-’90s D&B, the visceral pleasure of early grime, and the ominous scrape of dark ambient, Shapednoise expertly navigates unfamiliar territory. Whether traversing beatless outworld landscapes with “Travels in the Universe of the Soul” or assaulting the senses with the acidic, rhythmic blast of “Heart Energy Shape,” there’s a sense that Shapednoise is exploring his own boundaries. Different Selves is a challenging, unruly selection of tracks; not a deconstruction of club music, but an amplification, blowing every sound out to near cacophony. The result is truly explosive. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Edition of 500.
File Under: Industrial, Electronic, Techno
Spoon: Gimme Fiction (Merge) LP
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Spoon classic, Merge will release a deluxe limited-edition version of Gimme Fiction on double 180g vinyl. The reissue contains the album remastered by Howie Weinberg from the original tapes, a second LP with 12 previously unreleased demos from the era, 9 additional bonus tracks via digital download, and a 24-page full color book containing photos and an extensive oral history of the making of the album. The deluxe LP package will also include a 24″ x 36″ poster. Gimme Fiction dragged the sonic pointillism of Kill the Moonlight further into dub-influenced weirdness as the increasingly confident Spoon went crazy in the studio, experimenting with everything from warped hip-hop samples to horse whinnies. How all this directionless Dylan worship and psychedelic goofing resulted in an album as sharply realized as Gimme Fiction is a testament solely to Spoon’s self-assurance and tastefulness (and some hard work, and a bit of luck). Whatever digging or strange alchemy had to go into it, they only produced more gold. Gimme Fiction deserves special recognition because it’s the album where Spoon – backed into a corner – took some crazy leaps, all of them forward. It’s a “departure point” for a band that, lucky for us, has never made a real departure. And when it came time for a reissue, Merge knew it deserved a lasting place on vinyl, right alongside every other indispensable record in Spoon’s discography.
File Under: Indie Rock
Super Mama Djombo: s/t (New Dawn) LP
The Super Mama Djombo orchestra, from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, recorded these songs in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1980. These six archival recordings have been remastered from the original reels and are now available on vinyl for the first time. Super Mama Djombo is one of West Africa’s greatest roots orchestras, especially for the people of Guinea-Bissau. The band marked a new national identity and reinvented Portuguese Creole as a language of national unity. Before a nation can become real, it must first be imagined. It is fitting that Super Mama Djombo, the orchestra that has been the cultural stamp of Guinea-Bissau’s national identity since independence, was born in the fertile imagination of children. Hailing from a boy scout camp deep in the jungle of late-1960s Guinea-Bissau, Super Mama Djombo’s founding musicians have come a long way to display their wonderful music to the world. Drummer Zé, singer Herculano, and original guitar players Gonçalo and Taborda picked the name “Mama Djombo” as an homage to a local goddess revered by independence fighters. The tiny country of Guinea-Bissau is located between Senegal, on its northern border, and Guinea, on its eastern and southern borders. Formerly a part of the mighty Mali Empire, it was then one of the last African countries not to have gained its freedom from Portugal, its colonial power. Hence a fierce war for independence struck the country, until independence was eventually won in 1974, after many years of suffering. In the early 1970s, the Mama Djombo underground orchestra played mostly for secret political rallies supporting the PAIGC, the major independence movement for Guinea and Cape Verde. Adriano Atchutchi became the bandleader after independence, bringing a book full of his songs. Atchutchi recruited singer Dulce Neves, adding creole sweetness to the group’s already heady mix of juvenile enthusiasm, candid melodies, and touches of luso-tropicalism.
File Under: Africa
Earl Sweatshirt: I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside (Tan Cressida) LP
I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album By Earl Sweatshirt is the confessional second solo studio effort from Los Angeles, CA rapper and former Odd Future member Thebe Neruda Kgositsile and follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 debut Doris. Self-produced under the alias Randomblackdude, the heavy and hopeless 10-track release debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and is home to the single “Grief” along with features from Dash, Wiki, Na’kel and Vince Staples.
File Under: Hip Hop
Third Man Records Kid’s Turntable
We are pleased to announce that Light In The Attic & Third Man Records are joining forces to show impressionable, young minds the virtues of good music and vinyl records with our exclusive children’s compilation, This Record Belongs To______ available November 6th on LP, CD & digitally accompanied by Third Man Record’s new portable light-weight children’s turntable with built in speakers and a USB port for converting vinyl records to digital. Parents everywhere rejoice! How can you fully introduce your children to the magic of vinyl records without letting them interact with the record player a bit themselves? Third Man Records realizes your high end turntable might not be kid-friendly, so they are co-releasing a portable, suitcase record player just for the kids. The new Third Man Records children’s turntable made by Jensen is compact and portable, featuring images of Manny, the Third Man mascot. The three-speed turntable with built-in speakers has a USB port for converting vinyl records to digital, an automatic return tone arm, and is as lightweight as a portable turntable can be.
File Under: Gear
Alan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn: Cubist Blues (Light in the Attic) LP
The unlikely union of Suicide’s Alan Vega, Big Star’s Alex Chilton, and singer-songwriter Ben Vaughn happened in December 1994 in a fog of cigarette smoke at two barely-lit, all-night improv sessions at Dessau Studios in New York. What transpired was the group’s only release, a brilliant album called Cubist Blues. Some kind of alchemy happened. The elements are disparate–Vega, known for Suicide’s grinding, pre-industrial drone, Chilton for his ultra-melodic FM rock, and Vaughn for his outsider art. Put together, what came out was something totally unexpected, a long, mesmeric incantation built on Elvis-meets-Ian Curtis vocals, rockabilly guitar, growling synths, and metronomic drums. A jam session at heart–albeit a very productive one–the songs took shape as they were recorded. “I showed up with lyrics for one song and figured we would see what happened,” says Vega, recalling the first night in the brand new liner notes. “Little did I know, we would record for hours and hours. By the last song, my brain was burning up. I literally felt myself on fire. I was depleted. Yet, we could have gone on and on.” So-called supergroups get a bad rap for not equalling the sum of their parts. Vega, Chilton, and Vaughn add up to something from a place beyond any of them. Originally released by Henry Rollins on his 2.13.61 label via Thirsty Ear, the album failed to find any sort of audience–remarkable, considering its players, but reflective of the lull following Kurt Cobain’s death and the collapse of the all-conquering grunge sound. The group played two live shows and then promptly went their separate ways. “At the time, I didn’t fully realize how unique the Cubist Blues experience was,” says Ben Vaughn now. “Looking back, it was magic to work with those guys.” Timeless, groundbreaking in sound even now, this is a chance to hear a woefully overlooked album that–had it not been so–might have re-shaped the next decade of music.
File Under: Rock, Legends
Alan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn: Live at Trans Musicales (Light in the Attic) LP
If a music critic could design their own super group, it might look something like the one that released the experimental, unique, and pulse-quickening 1996 album, Cubist Blues. The trio–Suicide’s Alan Vega, Big Star’s Alex Chilton, and singer-songwriter Ben Vaughn–are outsiders each and cult heroes in their own right. Their unlikely union happened in December 1994 in a fog of cigarette smoke at two barely-lit, all-night improv sessions at Dessau Studios in New York. After that fateful session, the three reunited to play one NYC show and promptly flew to Rennes, France to play Trans Musicales 1996. Vaughn recalls, “the place went wild. It was a great reaction. Alan is truly famous in France, so they were going nuts. For the encore, Alex called out ‘I Remember,’ an old Suicide song. It immediately fell into place, and the vocal Alan delivered was astounding. The memory of listening to his voice through the monitors during that song still kills me. What a gift he has.” The next day, as the musicians we were being dropped off in Paris for their flight home, the driver handed them a DAT tape of their set from the festival. Vaughn states, “I put it in my guitar case where it stayed for over ten years.” “Looking back, it was magic to work with those guys,” continues Vaughn. “Two nights in the studio, two live shows, and then it was over. That material was never performed again.”
File Under: Rock, Super Group
White Birch: Star is Just a Sun (Glitterhouse) LP
Rodge played keyboards and bass in The White Birch. Together with Hans Christian Almendingen and Ola Fløttum he released four albums and one EP between 1996 and 2005. After that the band disappeared, until Fløttum returned with the album The Weight of Spring in 2015. Thirteen years before, The White Birch released its masterpiece, Star Is Just a Sun, on Glitterhouse Records. Keyboard spaces, piano melodies, soundscapes, a slow pulsating bass, and quiet drums, with Fløttum’s warm, high voice adding even more gentle textures. The White Birch are from Oslo, Norway, and were musical comrades to Savoy Grand. It was the second wave of slowcore. Unlike their British label-mates from Nottingham, The White Birch spread out a warm carpet, on one side depressingly heavy and on the other gentle. Their sound was painted in a dark, blurry yellow, like falling leaves in autumn. Maybe Star Is Just a Sun could only have emerged in that period. A monument to silence. At that time print media was the gatekeeper to most music aficionados. It was word of mouth — and occasionally blogs — that spread the news of the existence of this new band. They brought pop into slowness. Like Mark Hollis’s masterpiece The Colour of Spring (1986), Slint’s Spiderland (1991), Codeine’s Frigid Stars LP (1990), or even Savoy Grand’s Burn the Furniture (2002), Star Is Just a Sun stands the test of time. A painting without darkness can’t be warm and beautiful. Remastered from the original tapes by Helge Sten (Supersilent, Motorpsycho, Nils Petter Molvær). CD in digipak; includes booklet.
File Under: Indie Rock
Various: Caribbean Disco Boogie Sounds 1977-1982 (Favorite) LP
“It’s now pretty obvious that disco’s powerful influence extended beyond western clubs to musicians all around the world, from France to Brazil, as Favorite Recordings proved with the previous volumes of the Disco Boogie Sounds compilations. The islands of the West Indies are no exception. Indeed, in the late ’70s and early ’80s in the Caribbean territories, local musicians and producers seized on the sound of their US counterparts and made it their own, melding disco, funk, and boogie (even early rap) elements with some more traditional local styles. The significant size of the Caribbean diaspora in the US, Canada, and UK has also played a huge role in making those two musical worlds meet. The musicians of the Caribbean not only tried to reproduce US dance hits locally, but also bred their own version of disco. Apart from some obvious titles that made it to the charts (‘Trinidad’ by John Gibbs (1977), to name one), very few of these productions are widely known, played only by a handful of record collectors and DJs. Having grown up for most of my childhood and teenager years in a small island from the Indian Ocean, I was immersed in the ‘sun & sand’ vibes at an early age, which helped molding my musical tastes. If the sound of the Caribbean Islands is very different from the Indian Ocean’s one, it’s anyway no surprise that I have been attracted quickly by the West-Indies’ 70s music productions, as a DJ and record collector. From an initial pre-selection of 40 tracks, Favorite Recordings and I teamed up to narrow down the actual tracklist. With no pretention to be exhaustive, this selection represents a tiny sample of a broader ocean of quality Caribbean Disco/Boogie tunes. It will take you to various places like Virgin Islands, Jamaica, or Trinidad, as well as a couple of Western major cities, where West-Indies diaspora is strong (New York, London). The soundtrack of this journey goes from Disco/Rap sounds, with the obscure ‘Macho Man’ by Eddie and the Movements, to weird Afro-Disco/Funk influenced songs, such as ‘My African Religion’ by Jamaican singer Paul Hurlock. Also featured here are a couple of personal secret weapons such as instrumental ‘Bermuda Triangle’ by Musicism, or ‘Going to the Party’ by Barry Bryson” –Waxist. Also includes tracks by Beres Hammond, Ray Williams, Oluko Imo, and Teddy Davis.
File Under: Disco, Boogie
Various: Christians Catch Hell: Gospel Roots 1976-79 (Honest Jon’s) LP
In 1977 Henry Stone invited Thomas Spann down to Florida. Spann was founder and leader of The Brooklyn All Stars, one of the most celebrated gospel quartets in the US; Stone headed T.K. Records, the biggest independent record company in the world. The All Stars’ contract with Jewel Records just happened to be ending. “He called me and asked me would I meet him in Miami,” recalls Spann. “And I flew down to Miami, and I met him and we went to this place that sold all these motor homes. He said, ‘Pick out one, pick you out one that you want.’ And I did so. I drove it off the lot that same day. I didn’t take a plane back. I drove that motor home back to North Carolina.” Christians Catch Hell is a scorching, sublimely soulful survey of the Gospel Roots label, subsidiary of the mighty T.K. Records, at the height of the Miami Sound — 1976-’79. Includes tracks by The Brooklyn All Stars, Pastor T. L. Barrett, Camille Doughty, The Howard Lemon Singers, The Fantastic Family Aires, Jean Austin & Company, The Jordan Singers, The Phillipians, The Fabulous Luckett Brothers, Bright Clouds, The O’Neal Twins, The Original Sunset Travelers, Reverend Edna Isaac and the Greene Sisters, and The Fountain of Life Joy Choir. Includes a glorious 40-page booklet containing thorough artist-interviews and rare photographs. Mastered at Abbey Road.
File Under: Gospel, Soul, RnB
Various: Groovy Sounds of 1970s Lebanon (Cedarphon) LP
Beirut, Lebanon’s beautiful capital city on the Eastern Mediterranean waterfront, was once hailed as “the Paris of the Middle East,” until a brutal civil war began in 1975; the country was all but destroyed by the time the violence ended many years later. During the early 1970s, the center of the Middle East’s music industry was located in Beirut. Many great artists flourished in its nightclubs and recording studios as the city became the entertainment playground for the entire Arab world. Some of the greatest Arabic musicians and performers of the 20th century were either living there or frequently passing through — legends like Fairuz, Sabah, Farid El Atrache, Omar Khorshid, Taroub, the Rahbani Brothers, and many others. This album, which features some of these legends along with others who are less well known, showcases the breadth of musical styles flourishing in Beirut. Arabic pop yeh yeh, Latin jazz, orchestral groove, folk rock melancholia, surf guitar, and a host of beguiling approximations on every genre of the time, yet all singular in their Arabic, cosmopolitan flair. These tracks represent a magnificent period when, for a brief number of years, Beirut was the place to be. Performers include the Bandali Family, Filmon Wehbi, Elias Rahbani, Ziad Rahbani, Taroub, Nabil Abdel Ali, Sabah, Mike Hegazi, and Georgette Sayegh.
File Under: Middle Eastern, Jazz, Yeh Yeh
Various: Rare Psych Moogs & Brass
(Buried Treasure) LP
“Germany’s Sonoton library remains one of the largest independent production music companies in the world. This compilation focuses on psychedelic grooves, synthesized funk and big band belters produced for Sonoton between 1969 and 1981. Founded in 1965 by Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz, Germany’s SONOTON library remains one of the largest independent production music companies in the world. This compilation focuses on psychedelic grooves, synthesized funk and big band belters produced for Sonoton between 1969 and 1981. Many of the featured composers also worked for other libraries – John Fiddy for KPM & Bruton, Walt Rockman for Studio One, Sammy Burdson for Conroy & Colorsound and Claude Larson for MFP. Compiled by audio archivist & electro producer Alan Gubby (Revbjelde / Jung Collective) who also produced the BBC Radiophonic Workshop compilation The John Baker Tapes on Trunk. Rare Psych, Moogs & Brass is the first album release on Buried Treasure & a must for collectors of dusty grooves, moog-tastic funk and psychedelic jazz.”
File Under: Library, Jazz, Moog
Various: Senegal 70 (Analog Africa) CD
Analog Africa, in partnership with Teranga Beat (the current leading label for Senegalese music), proudly offers an insight into the musical adventures that were taking place in the major Senegalese cities during the ’60s and ’70s. This compilation reflects the unique fusions of funk, mbalax, son cubano, and Mandingue guitar sounds that transformed Dakar into West Africa’s most vibrant city. The creation of Senegal 70 began in 2009 when Teranga Beat founder Adamantios Kafetzis travelled from Greece to Senegal to digitize the musical treasures he had discovered in the Senegalese city of Thiès — reel tapes recorded by sound engineerMoussa Diallo, who had spent the previous four decades immortalizing bands that performed in his legendary Sangomar club. Three-hundred Senegalese songs that nobody had ever heard before were discovered; five of them were selected for this compilation, and appear alongside seven other tracks from the era, all compiled by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb in cooperation with Kafetzis. Thanks to its history of outside influences, Senegal — the westernmost country in Africa — became a musical melting pot. Urban dance bands swiftly embraced son montuno from Cuba, jazz from New Orleans, and American soul tunes, intuitively merging them with local styles. The seminal Afro-Cuban group Star Band de Dakar formed in 1960, and the 1970s brought a new generation of stellar bands, including Le Sahel, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Number One de Dakar, Orchestra Baobab, Dieuf-Dieul de Thiès, and Xalam 1, who fused traditional Senegalese percussion instruments with organs and keyboards. Dakar soon began attracting international stars. The Jackson 5, James Brown, Tabou Combo (Haiti), Celia Cruz (Cuba), and an array of African stars like Tabu Ley Rochereau (Congo), Manu Dibango(Cameroon), and Bembeya Jazz (Guinea) joined in with the local scene, improvising jam sessions and bringing new flavors to the vibrant community. Senegal 70 includes a comprehensive 44-page booklet attesting to the decades of transformation that led to modern Senegalese music. Featuring biographies of music producers and a legendary record cover designer, as well as the life stories of all the groups represented here, the booklet also includes a fantastic selection of never-before-seen photos. Includes tracks by Fangool, Orchestre G.M.I – Groupement Mobil D’Intervention, Orchestre Bawobab, Le Sourouba de Louga, King N’gom et Les Perles Noires, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Amara Touré et le Star Band de Dakar, Le Tropical Jazz, and Gestü de Dakar.
File Under: Africa, Afro Beat, Funk
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP
Albarn/Bocoum: Mali Music (Honest Jon’s) LP
Black Mountain: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule (Anti) 9LP
Cluster: II (Lilith) LP
Miles Davis: A Tribute to Jack Johnson (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Miles in the Sky (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Filles de Kilimanjaro (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Nefertiti (Mofi) LP
Miles Davis: Sorcerer (Mofi) LP
Death: For The Whole World to See (Drag City) LP
J Dilla: Dillatronic 2 (Vintage Vibes) LP
J Dilla: Dillatronic 3 (Vintage Vibes) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Faust: s/t (Lilith) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Goat: Live Ballroom (Rocket) LP
Mark Lanegan: One-Way Street (Sub Pop) 6LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: Trials & Errors (Secretly Canadian) LP
Joanna Newsom: Ys (Drag City) LP
Steven O’Malley: Gruides (Demdike Stare) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Bad Timing (Drag City) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
Harry Partch: World of Harry Partch (Columbia) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Searching for Sugarman (Light in the Attic) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Sleep: Volume One (Tupelo) LP
Smog: Dongs of Sevotion (Drag City) LP
Songs: Ohia: Axxess & Ace (Secretly Canadian) LP
Kurt Stenzel: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Stone Roses: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
The Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemado) LP
The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial) LP
Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable… (Merge) LP
Willie Trasher: Spirit Child (Future Days) LP
White Fang: Chunks (Burger) LP
Various: Africa Boogaloo (Honest Jon’s) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP