It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a shipment late, I almost forgot how annoying it is! Who am I kidding, it’s like riding a bike. Anyway, TOMORROW there’s gonna be heaps of great stuff in stock. Today, there is still some great stuff in, but tomorrow… oh baby!
…..pick of the week…..
Not Waving: Animals (Diagonal) LP
In tomorrow…. London-based Italian artist Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving presents Animals, the project’s most versatile album to date. It’s an unruly yet emotive bender taking in dancefloor-mauling new beta and endearingly beery post-industrial synth music. Animals harnesses the wanderlust of Natalizia’s spate of self-released albums and records for Ecstatic and Emotional Response but dials up the wildness, spitting out a careering sequence of tracks that feel as warped, deep-raved, and giddy as a night out in the city where they were forged. And make no mistake, although Animals occasionally bites hard at the business end of the dancefloor, this is Diagonal’s most pop album yet, with Natalizia’s songwriting sensibility conjuring moments of tenderness and beauty to offset the manic strobe lighting and dropping sweat. Opener “Believe” is one such moment, a twisting synth workout that bounces along over rock-ist live toms. The tie is loosened on “Head Body,” as Not Waving unleashes a raging kosmic EBM showpiece that morphs across six sprawling minutes. Next up is “24,” the album “hit” that delighted and destroyed dancefloors throughout 2015, with clear influences from Front 242 and Ancient Methods. The shunting “Gutsy” and whopping industrial stress-test “Work Talk” buckle down like mutant Powell cuts, whereas “I Know I Know I Know” and the thrashing EBM-pop of “Face Attack” run The Sound of Belgium through a distinctly Diagonal filter, all smart edits and unruly arrangements. The great strength of Animals, though, lies in how Natalizia marries the clammy peaks of contemporary club music with oddly emotive runs into acidic Canterbury pop (as on “Tomorrow We Will Kill You”) and cyborg despair (see “Punch”) before the bittersweet “They Cannot Be Replaced.” In short, this is Not Waving laying down some of his most sophisticated songwriting and finding an entirely appropriate home for his own distinctive sound. Animals is Diagonal’s sixth artist album, following releases by Russell Haswell, The Skull Defekts, Shit & Shine), and Death Comet Cre. Art by Diagonal whiz Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, EBM
AMM: AMMMusic (Black Truffle) LP
In tomorrow…. First vinyl reissue of the landmark 1967 debut album by AMM, AMMMusic. Remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Exact replica sleeve by Stephen O’Malley. “Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of its recording in 1966, this reissue makes one of the cornerstones of the experimental music tradition available again in its original form, replete with Keith Rowe’s beautiful pop art cover and the terse aphorisms by the group that served as its original liner notes. A testament to the interaction between the experimental avant-garde and the countercultural underground, the album was originally released on Elektra, recorded by Jac Holzman (the label’s founder, responsible for signing The Doors, Love, and The Stooges) and produced by DNA, a group that included Pink Floyd’s first manager, Peter Jenner (the title of Pink Floyd’s ‘Flaming’ is a tribute to AMM’s ‘Later During a Flaming Riviera Sunset’). Formed in 1965 by three players from the emerging British jazz avant-garde — Keith Rowe and Lou Gare had played with the great progressive big band leader Mike Westbrook and Eddie Prévost played in a post-bop group with Gare — AMM quickly evolved from a free jazz group into something decidedly more difficult to categorise. By the time these recordings were made, two more members had joined the group: another Westbrook associate, Lawrence Sheaff, and the radical composer Cornelius Cardew. Then at work on his masterpiece of graphic notation Treatise, Cardew brought with him extensive experience of the post-serialist and Cageian currents in contemporary composition. Using a combination of conventional instruments and unconventional methods of sound production (most famously Keith Rowe’s prepared tabletop guitar, but also prepared piano and transistor radio), the group performed improvised pieces often running for over two hours and ranging from extended periods of silence to terrifying cacophonies. On AMMMusic, long tones sit next to abrasive thuds, the howl of uncontrolled feedback accompanies Cardew’s purposeful piano chords, radios beam in snatches of orchestral music. AMM’s clearest break with jazz-based improvisation concerned the idea of individuality. Initially through an engagement with eastern philosophy and mysticism and later though a politicized communitarianism, AMM sought to develop a collective sonic identity in which individual contributions could barely be discerned. In the performances captured on AMMMusic the use of numerous auxiliary instruments and devices, including radios played by three members of the group, contribute to the sensation that the music is composed as a single monolithic object with multiple facets, rather than as an interaction between five distinct voices.” –Francis Plagne
File Under: Experimental, Classical, Avant Garde
Sir Richard Bishop/Ava Mendoza: Ivory Tower (Unrock) LP
In tomorrow…. The third installment in Unrock’s string-related Saraswati Series features Grandseigneur Richard Bishop performing with his rough charm and maximum elegance, along with one of the hottest kick-ass avant-guitar players around, the now-Brooklyn-based Ava Mendoza. Besides her work in Unnatural Ways, she improvises constantly on NY’s avant-stages along with Elliott Sharp, Jim Black, William Winant, Paul Flaherty, Tim Dahl, and others. Rumor has it that she was even in Caroliner. Recorded in full at Ivory Tower (Unrock Headquarters), the Sir opens up stepping deep into music history (as we know it), messing carefully around with the mysterious track that the New York Times focused on in their 2014 review of one of his live performances. An electric version of “Safe House,” a bone-dry 2015 update on “Abyss,” an eruptive outbreak from “Multiple Hallucination” into “Black Eyed Blue,” and a mild and mellow reflection (“Ivory Tower”). Miss Mendoza is wild at heart and gives you the boot with what she’s best at: thunderous, eruptive, twisted improvisations and perfect songs. Shadowtrapping.
File Under: Folk, Guitar, Sun City Girls
Peter Brotzmann Sextet/Quartet: Nipples (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow…. The legendary, rare Brötzmann album finally reissued on vinyl for the first time, with the special fold-out leporello on the front. One-time pressing of 1000. Originally released on Calig in 1969. Side A: The Peter Brötzmann Sextet: Peter Brötzmann: tenor sax; Evan Parker: tenor sax; Derek Bailey: guitar; Fred van Hove: piano; Buschi Niebergall: bass; Han Bennink: drums. Recorded at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg, Germany, on April 18, 1969; recording engineer: Kurt Rapp. Side B: The Peter Brötzmann Quartet: Peter Brötzmann: tenor sax; Fred van Hove: piano; Buschi Niebergall: bass; Han Bennik: drums. Recorded at Rhenus Studio, Godorf, Germany, on April 24, 1969; recording engineer: Conny Plank. Cover design: P. Brötzmann.
File Under: Free Jazz
Neko Case: Blacklisted (Anti) LP
Available now. First very limited run on color violet vinyl ! (Sold-out in the US) This will revert to the standard black vinyl version near April. This limited edition, vinyl re-issue marks the return of Neko Case’s album which has been long out of print. The title has been remastered from their original analog tapes and come complete with full album download cards. Blacklisted is a sought after fan favorite that has been missing on wax for over 6 years. The enigmatic Neko Case returns with Blacklisted, the follow-up to 2000’s critically acclaimed Furnace Room Lullaby. On this, her third album, Case gracefully adds to her repertoire, taking on the roles of songwriter and musician, in addition to vocalist, with an intuitive ease. The haunting, lush layers of Blacklisted serve as a showcase for Neko’s formidable vocal strengths and her talent for creating this intensely intimate work. Unlike her previous releases, Case wrote most of the songs and played a wide variety of the instruments on Blacklisted including regular guitars and tenor guitars, piano, saw and even drums. The album reflects this lost, almost homesick, feeling – each song aches with vivid images to stunning results.
File Under: Country, Folk
Chaino & His African Percussion Safari: Jungle Echoes (Black Sweat) LP
In tomorrow…. “A young boy found and raised by American missionaries, the only survivor of a nonviolent African tribe whose members, entranced by ancient rhythms, had the ability to communicate with animals and run like cheetahs… Pulled away from this original enchanted world, he grew up among Westerners. He tried to adapt as much as he could but remained very much rooted in the land of his ancestors. Still haunted and nourished by his origins, he engraved the rhythms of his land into the grooves of an Omega Disk…” The year is 1959 and exotica music is in full swing. Beautiful women with banana belts and flower necklaces are gathering serious attention by seducing each and every average Joe dreaming of sunny holidays on exotic islands populated by colorful birds. Low-cost travel and mass tourism were on their way. Chaino and His African Percussion Safari were capable of playing for 17 hours straight — seven percussion instruments at the same time. They recorded Jungle Echoes in a sublime delirium; it’s an absurd myth and an imaginary product of the past. A unbelievable record made of rhythms and shouts; a jungle, a furnace, a disturbing trip into the imaginary world of this unrivaled percussionist, this son of Africa — regardless of the myth surrounding his real origin. A dangerously addictive and syncopated atomic bomb of a record. Reissued by Black Sweat Records with Moi J’Connais.
File Under: Jazz, Afrobeat
Coil: Queens of the Circulating Library (Eskaton) LP
Queens of the Circulating Library is a 2000 album by the experimental British group Coil. It is unusual in the sense that it is perhaps the only release without participation from Peter Christopherson. On this album, Coil were: “Thighpaulsandra & John Balance with Dorothy Lewis as the queen of the circulating library. Thanks to Simon Norris.” The lyrics were written by John Balance and spoken by Dorothy Lewis, Thighpaulsandra’s mother. The line “It’s in the trees, it’s coming” that appears in the lyrics is from the 1957 British horror film Night of the Demon, and had previously appeared in sampled form in the song “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush. The album was initially released on the date of the Coil Presents Time Machines concert.
File Under: Ambient, Drone
Mike Cooper: New Kiribati (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow…. First vinyl release of Kiribati, the first installment in the acclaimed Ambient Exotica Soundscapes series by veteran English experimentalist Mike Cooper. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500. “This was the first release on my Hipshot c.d.r label in 1999. I wanted to create an album of imaginary soundscapes from imagined exotic places based on my travels in the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. Kiribati was the first in a series of three CDs of Ambient Exotica Soundscapes — played on lap steel, electronics, prepared guitar, sampler, live environmental recordings (from Bali, Malaysia, Australia and Italy) and acoustic and electronic percussion. (The other two are Globe Notes and my award winning Rayon Hula.) Kiribati was (and is) dedicated to the people and islands of Kiribati because they were slowly sinking into the Pacific Ocean. Although the palm trees are often 25 metres high, the islands themselves, made from gravel and sand, are only 4 or 5 metres above sea level and a rise in sea levels of just 15 centimetres, as has happened over the past 100 years due to global warming, is a disaster. Kiribati was recorded in my studio on a four track cassette, using a Casio SK1 sampling keyboard. A tool I used for many years both for recording and live sampling.” –Mike Cooper
File Under: Ambient, Exotica, Lap Steel, Electronic
Philip Corner: OM Entering. And Once Enterd (Kye) LP
In tomorrow…. “The latest LP from veteran fluxus composer Philip Corner. OM Entering. and Once Enterd comprises four previously unreleased recordings with the Barton Workshop, taken from performances in the Netherlands, and South Korea, between 2000-2007. ‘OM ENTRANCE. OM ENTERTRANCE. which one does….because the performance is a real “passage from the material to the spiritual” unless the “real” world is just as spiritual already which i like to think it is. As perhaps an everyday awareness is already to be entranced which i have been told it is, really. To the facts: musicians’ coming-in already the performance of everything has to be done to get ready from unpacking to tuning and all that is done in the concentrated and exalted spirit of real music. Multiplicity moves noise to instrument possibilities with virtuosity show-offs slowing down to a perfect tuning in a quiet circle from where there is nowhere else to go but the sustaining of a quiet long tone. My old friend and colleague also great composer Jim Fulkerson is there as he has be, as he was even at the first performance way back must be almost 50 years by now joining the Creative Associates at the University of Buffalo on his initiative as likewise these performances in Holland with his group he calls The Barton Workshop and for sure he is there playing trombone too. The movement from SANG/TEH (SITUATIONS). Guard duty in a cold Korean winter. This piece was a major turning-point in my work. My life too you-could-say. “Of Ancient Times and Modern Sounds” i wrote then: a better world—much much better—than being in the American Army. The heterophonic melody-only texture learned from their “Ah Ahk” court music (“Soo Je Chun” the most beautiful music in the history of the world!) imposed on a thoroughly modern chromatic note structure. Occidental instruments absorbing the traditions of subtle sound colours so-long absent from the West. Public performance in Seoul. That must have been the Spring of 1961 just before they “shipped me out”, to bring all that back home. Before that the wonderful and exceptional opportunity to “run through” some of it with the indigenous instruments of the Koog Ahk Wun (National Music Institute) thanks to the cultural open-mindedness of the classical kayageum master Byungki Hwang. And Jim has not only played the 3rd movement often, but brought if back to Korea once at the Pan Music Festival. But my long-waiting-for performance in Korea on native instruments has yet to take place. The CHOPIN PRELUDE piece is one of two, reworking passages from his D Major Prelude for piano, and a part of the “as a revelation” series which “looks into” moments from the classics which usually go by too fast. Begun with Mozart, the series has “got a lot of mileage” out of Satie, as well as including Buxtehude, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Verdi, Ives, Berlioz,, and others.’ (Philip Corner, 2015)”
File Under: Classical, Post Modern
Dadawah: Peace & Love (Dug Out) LP
In tomorrow…. Available again! Dark, hypnotic, tripping nyabinghi from 1974. Led by Jamaican Rastafarian singing hand-drummer Ras Michael over four extended excursions, the music is organic, sublime and expansive, grounation drums and bass-heavy (with no rhythm guitar; rather, Willie Lindo brilliantly improvising a kind of dazed blues). Lloyd Charmers and Federal Studios engineer George Raymond stayed up all night after the session to mix the recording, opening out the enraptured mood into echoing space, adding sparse, startling effects to the keyboards. At no cost to its deep spirituality, this is the closest reggae comes to psychedelia. Previously squandered in an incongruous 2-for-1 reissue, now lovingly returned to its original, singular glory at Abbey Road. Pressed on super-fly vinyl and housed in new standard-printed sleeves.
File Under: Reggae, Roots Reggae
Fennesz: Mahler Remix (Touch) LP
In tomorrow…. Mahler Remix was recorded live at Radio Kulturhaus, Vienna, in May 2011. This recording is mostly based on samples taken from Gustav Mahler’s symphonies. The performance also includes an early version of “Liminality’ from the bécs album, released in 2014 on Editions Mego. Mahler Remixed was a commissioned work performed together with the visual artist Lillevan. The piece was only performed live three times, at Radio Kulturhaus in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Borusan Music House in Istanbul.
File Under: Electronic
Horde Catalytique Pour La Fin: Gestation Sonore (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow…. Souffle Continu presents the eighth release in its series of reissues from the catalog of the cult French underground Futura label. “We just wanted the sound, the raw sound-texture, before being treated and shaped by any cultural code,” recalls Georges Alloro, member of Horde Catalytique pour la Fin. Formed in 1967, the French avant-garde quartet played instruments from Western, African, Middle-Eastern, and Far-Eastern cultures. Their sole album, the unique Gestation Sonore (1971), is the intriguing result of an improvisational session that unsurprisingly later found its way onto Nurse With Wound’s famous list. This is its first-ever vinyl reissue, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram reverse-printed sleeve with obi strip. Limited edition of 500.
File Under: Jazz, Free Improv, Futura
It’s Psychedelic Baby #2 Mag
In tomorrow…. The second issue of the printed version projected from well-known leading psych website It’s Psychedelic Baby! This issue is focused on US psychedelic folk, with articles and interviews with artists such as Michael Yonkers, Dave Bixby, Dana Westover, Linda Perhacs, The Tree People, Gary Higgins, and others, as well as ten pages of new release reviews. 48 pages (40 black and white; eight in color).
File Under: Psych
Johan Johannsson: Free The Mind OST (NTOV) LP
In tomorrow…. “From Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer of the scores to the hit movies Prisoners (2013) and The Theory of Everything (2014): the score to this meditation documentary is now available on vinyl for the very first time! Gatefold sleeve, with MP3 download coupon.”
File Under: OST, Classical
Khola Cosmica: s/t (New Records) LP
In tomorrow…. After many years of putting out strictly vintage ’60s/’70s/’80s reissues, Guerssen inaugurates its New Records imprint and (again) begins releasing albums from current bands that the label truly loves. New Records focuses on ’90s-and-beyond psychedelia, hard rock, folk, progressive, etc. Listeners can expect Guerssen’s usual attention to detail and nice artwork designs. The first release on New Records is the first vinyl edition, with new artwork, of Japanese band Khola Cosmica’s overlooked 2011 self-titled CD. Hailing from Tokyo, Khola Cosmica are not your average “stoner rock” band. This brutal power trio plays some of the most extreme, psychedelic doom metal you can find. Long tracks featuring devastating, loud, in-your-face fuzz riffing, hypnotic drones, and dark atmospheres destined to destroy your mind. Remastered sound. Includes insert.
File Under: Japanese, Psych, Stoner
Konstrukt & Peter Brotzmann: The Message (Holidays) LP
In tomorrow…. Limited edition of 200. A meeting with the giant. In this live session recorded in 2014, the konstruKt quartet’s basic lineup reunites again with Peter Brötzmann, with whom they recorded the amazing studio album Dolunay (rec. 2008, rel. 2011) and Eklisia Sunday (rec. 2011, rel. 2013; also with Hüseyin Ertunç and Doğan Doğusel). As the title says, all are invited to listen to the message hidden in these rhapsodic vibes, where the energy of an elephant stampede is channeled into a coherent structure of percussion (and the drumming here is absolutely mind-blowing), electric guitar, double bass, and two whirling — but still clearly discernable — saxophones.
File Under: Free Jazz, Turkey
Takehisa Kosugi & Takashi Kazamaki: Enban Live @ Strange Fruit (Fool) LP
In tomorrow…. “Avant-primitive improv from the duo of Takehisa Kosugi (Violin, Recorder, Voice) and Takashi Kazamaki (Percussion, Harmonica). Recorded in 1983, Kosugi shows yet another side of himself, trading his drone for a more free-hillbilly style, which meshes perfectly with Kazamaki’s masterful tumbling and clattering. Euro Import with paste-on covers. Limited edition of 250.”
File Under: Free Improv, Taj Mahal Travellers
Lightdreams: Islands in Space (Got Kinda Lost) LP
In tomorrow…. First reissue; remastered sound. Includes full-color booklet containing informative liner notes by collector Jack D. Fleischer prepared from artist interviews, as well as full lyrics and rare photos. Mirroring the sentiment of the prescient UK radio legend in his Vibrations column for the International Times in the ’70s, LightDreams leader Paul Marcano took one step beyond his intimate colleagues and chose to spread his ideals concerning peaceful outer-space colonization to all with open ears. Islands in Space, dotted with acoustic jams, backward guitars, lyrics alluding to the British progressive era, smoking-hot electric leads, synths galore, and the dreamiest of melodies, is both Marcano’s love letter to the work of science-fiction author Gerard K. O’Neill and the psych-tinged folk explorers who came before him such as McDonald and Giles. Originally privately issued in 1981 in an edition of 1,000 copies, Islands in Space explores space travel and cosmic ideology in a sci-fi psych odyssey and is filled with atmospheric, lysergic creations atop a hybrid of sounds from the cosmic psych/progressive folk/new age spectrum. Home-recorded (yet hi-fi), Islands in Space carries a singular quality, defies easy categorization, and has long been savored by collectors of otherworldly joys. This singular, beatific work now has another chance to shine from Earth’s surface to the outer reaches of the galaxy. RIYL: Dreamies; Donovan; Pete Fine; Robert Lester Folsom’s hazy, synth-led moments; McDonald and Giles; Ramases; Simones; the out-of-time bliss of Bobb Trimble; et al.
File Under: Psych, Sci-Fi, New Age
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Cognition/Observation (Demdike Stare) LP
In tomorrow…. Cognition/Observation is the very necessary follow-up to Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s physically modelled modular trance impulses heard on Timon Irnok Manta, which was issued to critical acclaim by Type in 2012. Bypassing academic practice in pursuit of fluid, instinctive progression, “Cognition (Forbes)” and “Observation (Sophrons)” unfurl two long, knotted sequences entangling intricate West African drum patterns and visual motifs in a buoyant, propulsive abstraction of techno and earthed-yet-cosmic electronics. Bass is thick as treacle and buffered by a scratchy, semi-organic flux of dancing sparks and mbira-like metallic twang in “Cognition (Forbes),” before the same elements refract and tessellate in a more nuanced echo chamber sound, distinctly recalling the shape of Dynamo’s 2002 classic Außen Vor as much as Hieroglyphic Being’s hypnotic improvisations. Rarified, transcendent music of the strongest order. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Joe McPhee/Survival Unit III: Barrow Street Blues (Holidays) LP
In tomorrow…. “This is the third and final iteration of a musical survival concept, which began in as solo project in 1969. Survival Unit III was formed in 2004 at the invitation for a recording date. Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang and I were members of the Peter Brotzmann Chicago 10tet and by that time, we had been working together for five years. So in preparation for the recording, a tour was organized but the recording was cancelled at the last moment. Left to our own devices and thanks to the tireless efforts of Fred and Michael, we play.”
File Under: Free Jazz
Nuel: Hyperhoreal (Further) LP
In tomorrow…. Italian DJ and producer Manuel Fogliata hasn’t released a lot of records since emerging in 2006, but the few he has put out have all been worth tracking down. Perhaps best known for his work alongside Donato Dozzy in creating the much sought-after Aquaplano records at the tail-end of the 2000s, Nuel has been just as consistent and impressive on his solo outings. Whether taking on metallic electro or syrupy, bass-heavy ambience, Nuel’s attention to detail and his keen ear for a groove have made each release something to treasure. Nuel’s only previous full-length, Trance Mutation (Further Records, 2011), is a masterpiece of minimal repetition. While initial impressions might suggest little in the way of continuity between Trance Mutation and the colder, more mechanical sounds of Hyperboreal, Nuel’s ability to go deep into a particular mood — a particular sound — links the two. Recorded using just one semi-modular synth — the boutique and sadly discontinued Ekdahl Polygamist — and a handful of pedals, Hyperboreal came together in just a few days while Fogliata was staying with Giuseppe Tillieci (aka Neel, famed mastering engineer and one-half of Voices from the Lake) at Tillieci’s apartment in Rome. Hyperboreal begins ambiguously, with the fluttering dissonance and shadowy aggression of “Steppin’ Stone” immediately setting the mood. The opener’s flutters become a swirling mass on “Polaris” and a venomous rattle on the title-track, before “-Om” evens out the maddening, almost frantic pulsations into a bed of twitching feedback and resonant echoes. There’s even a hint of a regular beat, barely audible beneath the buzzing tones of synthesized electricity. “Intensity plays a fundamental role in what I do,” says Fogliata, and listening to the opening half of Hyperboreal, one would have to agree. These are not casual sonics. Penultimate track “Be Well” lifts the shadows somewhat, and though closer “The Rest Is Noise” seems to return to a darker place, it does so with the memory of sunlight, warmth, and life. As its title suggests, this is an album for colder climates; for stark, inhospitable landscapes. At first, it seems a truly unsettling void of vaporous tones; a blizzard of sound refusing to coalesce and refusing to make sense. Slowly, though, Hyperboreal opens itself up, emerging patiently from an abyssal darkness into a beauty as still, as sharp, and as breathtaking as an Arctic dawn. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
File Under: Electronic, Abstract
Slug Christ: The Crucifixion of (Biophon) LP
In tomorrow…. Slug Christ is a rapper-producer based in Atlanta, Georgia. “My style is very 808 heavy. I’m very trap influenced, I’d like to consider myself doing the next version of trap music, more abstract.” Trap music boasts itself as some of today’s most tightly sequenced hip-hop music, but Slug Christ’s loose, drug-induced delivery has helped him establish his own style within the genre. If you miss the rawness that rap feels like it’s missing these days, then look no further than Slug Christ. Features appearances from Father, RichPoSlim, Lord Narf, Pyramid Quince, Stalin Majesty, and GAHM and production by Slug Christ, Ethereal, KCSB, Dexter Dukarus, Jesus, Lucifer, and GAHM. Originally released digitally in 2015. Undergrind: “Weird has become a cliche in hip-hop as of late, with spacey oddballs popping up all over the place. However, with Slug Christ, weird is truly an artform. As a member of Atlanta’s Awful rap collective, Slugger has become one of the hottest young hip-hop artists by opening his consciousness and releasing it onto the track for thousands to hear.” Redbull.com: “As twisted as most of the members are from the diverse Atlanta crew that is Awful, Slug Christ is easily among its weirdest. And perhaps its most polarizing, too (alongside producer GAHM). His lackadaisical delivery registers close to the woozy rhyme schemes of fellow Awful member Ethereal (who produces Track 3), but Slug’s more about impressionistic channelings of his ‘fourth-dimensional’ self, wrapped here in his own mythological crucifixion. In fact, his crucifixion (‘Crucifixion Day’) is produced by Lucifer himself (Jesus produces its previous track, ‘Wanderer’), who together turn in one of the most epic, experimental rap tracks in recent memory. And it just gets more bizarre from there. Cameos by fellow Awful members Father, Lord Nard and Pyramid Quince top this fantastic release.” The Spectrum: “In fact, it wouldn’t far-fetched to state that Slug Christ is a pop artist who takes the sounds of mainstream hip-hop and reinvents them in his own unsettling, but enlightening way.” Classic Entourage Magazine: “Music Heads: Slug Christ is SWAG’s savior. Slug Christ is an artist booming onto the underground trap music scene. He is signed to Awful Records and performed at SXSW where he produced a killer set.”
File Under: Hip Hop, Trap
Nicklas Sorensen: Solo (El Paraiso) LP
In tomorrow…. Solo is the first solo album from Papir guitarist Nicklas Sørensen. While there are certain similarities with the oeuvre Sørensen has created with Papir, it quickly becomes apparent that this is something quite different. Throughout Solo, the Copenhagen native explores his primary instrument, the guitar, as a generator of otherworldly sounds, as a compositional tool, and — perhaps most importantly — as a transmitter of pristine, cascading melodies. There’s a peaceful, savory quality to the album that indicates a musical maturity. With help from Papir’s rhythm section as well as Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk (who also recorded the album in El Paraiso’s studio), Sørensen has created a wide, shimmering sound that seems to allude to a multitude of different styles and traditions. Considering that Sørensen is best known as a hard-rocking guitar player with a knack for improvisation, it’s perhaps surprising that his inclination for pattern-based minimalism and blissed-out ambience dominates throughout this set. This is the kind of album that rewards repeated listens, constantly revealing new layers in the architecture of the sound. Solo is an affable, slow-burning album in which each component is given its own space and place to gently unfold and work its magic in the mind of the listener.
File Under: Psych, Krautrock
Tiago Sousa: Um Piano nas Barricadas (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow…. Since his first release (2006’s Crepúsculo), pianist and composer Tiago Sousa has been consistently developing his very own aesthetic; through his relatively large body of work, one can identify an artist on the search for his own expression and identity. Um Piano nas Barricadas (“A Piano in the Barricades”) follows three largely successful endeavors, all centered on the piano: Insónia (2009), Walden Pond’s Monk (2011), and Samsara (2013). In the time between those works and Um Piano nas Barricadas, Sousa composed the score for the 2013 Portuguese film Bibliografia (included here) and the large-scale theater piece O Coro das Vontades, which premiered in 2012. Um Piano nas Barricadas is another development in this unique body of work by one of the most interesting and intriguing musicians to come out of the burgeoning Portuguese music scene, cementing his place as one of the most distinct voices in piano-driven minimalism. Includes collaborations with Tó Trips, Ricardo Ribeiro, Balthazar Molina, and Rebecca Roth. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Modern Classical
Surgeon: From Farthest Known Objects (Dynamic Tension) LP
In tomorrow…. This is the seventh Surgeon album. “While exploring new production techniques using old and unlikely hardware, the results were so unusual that I really had the sense that these pieces of equipment didn’t actually create these sounds, rather they were in fact some kind of elaborate reception device that allowed me to tune into transmissions from Distant Galaxies. The music I could hear was actually the received transmissions of Pop Hits from those Distant Galaxies that were being played on their radio stations. I quickly recorded all that I could before losing the transmission. I consulted with Dr Andrew Read, the astrophysicist with whom I recorded Guitar Treatments in 1999. He has worked on the discovery of the most distant galaxies and astronomical objects in the Universe. Together we came up with a possible list of where these musical transmissions may have come from.”
File Under: Electronic, Techno
The Thing: Shake (The Thing) LP
In tomorrow…. In 2013, Swedish-Norwegian free jazz trio The Thing launched their The Thing Records label with their acclaimed Boot! album; in 2015, they return with another heavy, wonderful monster of a studio album, Shake. Intense, passionate, and precise, they continue to define their own genre within a genre. Mats Gustafsson: tenor and baritone saxophones; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: electric and double bass; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums and percussion. Additional guests on “Aim”: Anna Högberg (alto saxophone) and Goran Kajfes (cornet). Recorded June 1st and 2nd, 2015, by Jørgen Træen at Duper Studio, Bergen, Norway. Mixed June-July 2015 by Johan Berthling and Andreas Werlin, Stockholm, Sweden. Mastered by Lupo at Calyx Mastering. Cover by Lasse Marhaug.
File Under: Free Jazz
Travelling: Voici la Nuit Tombee (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow…. Souffle Continu presents the seventh release in its series of reissues from the catalog of the cult French underground Futura label. Travelling was a keyboard-based trio that probably represents best what the Futura’s RED series was about — jazz, rock, and experimental inquisitiveness. Often described as the French answer to the Canterbury scene, Voici la Nuit Tombée contains echoes of Soft Machine, Caravan, and Supersister, especially on the sidelong opening track, “Voici la Nuit Tombée.” It’s the album’s tour de force, with its fuzz bass, distorted organs, piano jazz, and complex meter. This is the first-ever vinyl reissue of this pioneering 1973 prog jewel, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram reverse-printed sleeve with obi strip. Limited edition of 500.
File Under: Prog, Psych, Futura
Triode: On N’a Pas Fini D’avoir Tour Vu (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow…. Souffle Continu presents the sixth release in its series of reissues from the catalog of the cult French underground Futura label. Triode was a French psych prog band from the early ’70s. Their sole album, 1971’s On n’a pas fini d’avoir tout vu, combines the fascinating flute playing of Michel Edelin, the psychedelic guitar sound of Pierre Chérèze (also of YS and a collaborator of Bernard Szajner), and the groovy rhythm section of Didier Hauck and Pierre-Yves Sorin. Obscure even in prog circles, this instrumental jazzy prog monster is finally available again in its original form. This is the album’s first official vinyl reissue, fully licensed by Futura founder Gérard Terronès. Presented in a 350-gram matte sleeve with obi strip. Limited edition of 500.
File Under: Prog, Psych, Futura
Univers Zero: s/t (Sub Rosa) LP
In tomorrow…. Univers Zero’s 1977 debut album, reissued as a double LP with a bonus track “La Faulx” spread over sides C and D. Long-running Belgian chamber rockers and avant-garde pioneers led by drummer and composer Daniel Denis, Univers Zero formed in 1974 with co-composer and guitarist Roger Trigaux (who left the band in 1980). This is their first album, recorded between August 2 and 5, 1977. “The rhythmic energy and dissonant riffs, the distinctive sound of the bassoon and strings, and the tricky, fragmented time signatures make for a challenging and highly distinctive listening experience.” –AllMusic
File Under: Avant Garde, Prog, Jazz
Uther Pendragon: San Francisco Earthquake (Guerssen) 3LP
In tomorrow…. Three-LP box version in purple-and-gold hot-foil-stamped box with eight-page insert and poster. A treasure trove of previously unreleased West Coast guitar psychedelia, 1966-1975. “Uther Pendragon was more than just a band, it was a family. Closer than brothers, they lived together, made music together, worked, played, laughed, cried and dreamed together.” –Mike Stax (Ugly Things) This is the incredible story of Uther Pendragon, a lost psychedelic band from San Francisco whose music has remained buried until now. Formed in the Bay Area in 1966 as a teen garage group called Blue Fever, Uther Pendragon lasted from 1966 until 1978. During that time, the band went through different names and phases, as their music evolved from garage to psychedelia to hard rock, but the core of the band always remained the same: Mark Lightcap (rhythm guitar, vocals), Bruce Marelich (lead guitar, vocals), and Martin Espinosa (bass, vocals). After finding their ultimate drummer in Mike Beers, the group finally settled on the Uther Pendragon name in the early ’70s. But despite being active for all that time and recording at numerous studios (including their own in Palo Alto), Uther Pendragon never released any recordings. Their complex and fascinating story, which involves winning a Bay Area Battle of the Bands and playing with Country Joe & The Fish, recording a killer garage-psych 7″ acetate in 1967, going to the legendary Pacific Recording Studios in 1969 to record a demo, living as a family in the same house for many years and rehearsing seven days a week, building their own recording studio and music corporation, being managed by Craig Pedersen (Something Wild, Tripsichord Music Box), being involved in an occult-themed rock opera called Sabbat, and much more, is told with all the details by Mike Stax from Ugly Things in this set’s extensive liner notes, with rare photos. Produced from the band’s vast archive of original master tapes, San Francisco Earthquake includes their unknown-until-now 7″ acetate from 1967 (fab garage-psych in the vein of The Human Expression or The Music Machine); tracks from 1966-’69 including a groundbreaking, moody psycher from 1966; a demo tape from 1969 recorded at Pacific Recording — an incredible document for any lover of early SF garage-psych (think Oxford Circle, The Savage Resurrection, Moby Grape . . .) — and many tracks recorded at their home studio in Palo Alto. 100% unadulterated West Coast guitar psych and hard rock that recalls QMS and even Kurihara-era White Heaven.
File Under: Psych
Various: Boston Creative Jazz Scene (Cultures of Soul) 2LP Box
In tomorrow…. “This deluxe overview of Boston’s creative jazz scene is presented as a double LP set, packaged in deluxe box with each piece of vinyl housed in its own euro-style glossy jacket. Also included is an 8 ½ x 5 ½, 80 page book documenting the rich history of the music with in-depth analyses and photos.” Artists: The Mark Harvey Group, Thing, The Phill Musra Group, Worlds’, Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism, and Baird Hersey with Dave Leibman.
File Under: Jazz
Various: Chang Fo Ji: Buddha Loops From China (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow…. Chang Fo Ji are small, plastic, battery-powered soundboxes, available throughout China and Tibet, that play a variety of Buddhist loops, from poppy modern Chinese Buddhist prayers to ancient recordings of famous Tibetan Buddhist masters. They can be taken everywhere, offering the listener portable immersion into the hypnotizing, minimalist world of Buddhist prayers. Both sides of this record contain various loops from various Chang Fo Ji gathered in China by Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong) between 2006 and 2011, with some pressed as locked grooves. Chang (唱): to sing. Fo (佛): Buddhism. Ji (机): machine. Art by Ruben Pater. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.
File Under: China, Buddha Machines, Ambient
Various: Music of Xinjiang (Sublime Frequencies) LP
In tomorrow…. Limited-edition LP with full-size insert of text and photographs by compiler Laurent Jeanneau. Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan) is China’s biggest province. The musical landscape here is one of the world’s richest. The Uyghur and the Kazakh are the two main ethnicities represented on these recordings made by Laurent Jeanneau and Shi Tanding in June of 2009. The Kazakh (nomadic) and Uyghur (agricultural) have multiple linguistic ties. Much of this music shares many influences from the Arab world, Turkey, and Persia. The sound is that of the Islamic tradition stretching from Turkey to the most eastern frontier of the Chinese empire. These recordings and performances feature some of the area’s greatest musicians playing instruments like the satar, tanbur, dotar, rawab, rushtar, and dongbra, among many others. These tracks represent ecstatic examples of the region’s rich musical voice. Buzzing plucked strings and epic tales of the life and legacy of one of the oldest (2500 years) and richest cultural areas of central Asia. Performers include Kurban, Pa Hat, Adengr, Kali, Jaymanur Ajabek, Kurmanjiang Zaccharia, and Jaymanur Ajabek.
File Under: World, China, Field Recordings
Various: Outlier: Recordings from Madagascar (Sublime Frequencies) LP
In tomorrow…. Limited-edition LP with full-size insert of text and photographs by compiler Charles Brooks. This collection is an impeccable and crystalline assortment of beautiful music from the deep southwestern provinces of Menabe and Tulear in Madagascar, recorded and assembled by Charles Brooks. Brooks has made many friends in these lesser-travelled regions since the 1990s. Outlier: Recordings from Madagascar represents a compilation of his encounters from 2011-2012. “Madagascar is an island that would bleed into obscurity if not for the rhythm of its name and the mysterious tailwind that follows it. Filled with natural wonder, it’s a land where places, conversations, and names are spoken with a liquid tongue, where people and setting come together to create a unique array of music and culture. Sites can become extraordinarily charged with an unseen presence where heavy air, summoned spirits, and a transformative energy collapse natural constraints of place. The Malagasy call this mingling of forces ‘maresaka’ — a permeating vibrational aura. Maresaka pulls you in and places you in the moment, to participate through a saturation of sounds, smells, and colors. When caught inside this kind of atmosphere, levity comes; you release your anchors of self-control. Beautiful unfettered music surfaces. Here, that is to say where I’ve been brought to listen, music lives and moves. The artists represented in this compilation play, and their music has many different roles — both natural and supernatural. Music can be performed as much as it can be recorded, but here it’s mostly played. These exceptional artists share within such practice” –Charles Brooks, 2015. Performers include Manatsoa, Tanka, Angeline, Tafara Justin, Justin Velonjoha, Masy Germaine, Mony, Mahavita, Leonel, Lisa, Jean-Francois, Marinette, Vincent, Alvine, Tsingezo, and Taomanana.
File Under: World, Africa, Field Recordings
African Head Charge: Environmental Studies (On-U Sound) LP
African Head Charge: Drastic Season (On-U Sound) LP
African Head Charge: Off the Beaten Track (On-U Sound) LP
Beat of the Earth: This Record is an Artistic Statement (Radich) LP
Built To Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (Up) LP
Don Cherry: Eternal Rhythm (MPS) LP
Anthony Child: Electronic Recordings From The Maui Jungle Vol 1 (Editions Mego) LP
Decemberists: Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Mac Demarco: Rock n Roll Nightclub (Captured Tracks) LP
Diiv: Is the Is Are (Captured Tracks) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Dinosaur (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr.: You’re Living All Over Me (Jagjaguwar) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (TeePee) LP
Electronic Hole: s/t (Radich) LP
Explosions in the Sky: The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (Temporary Residence) LP
Floating Points: Elaenia (Luaka Bop) LP
Greg Foat Group: Dark is Sun (Jazzman) LP
Nils Frahm: Screws Reworked (Erased Tapes) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Du Chant A La Une! (Dol) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Trois Et Quatre (Dol) LP
Keith Hudson: Flesh of my Skin… (Basic Replay) LP
Massive Attack: Mezzanine (Virgin) LP
Meters: s/t (Josie) LP
Ennio Morricone: Spazmo (Dagored) LP
Ennio Morricone: Hateful Eight (Third Man) LP
Necks: Vertigo (Northern Spy) LP
Os Mutantes: Everything is Possible (Luaka Bop) LP
Parquet Courts: American Specialties (Play Pinball) LP
Iggy Pop: Lust for Life (4 Men With Beards) LP
Roly Porter: Third Law (Tri Angle) LP
Roly Porter: Aftertime (Subtext) LP
Rammellzee: Crayzay (Gamma Proforma) 12″
Rammellzee: Fight My Fire (Gamma Proforma) 12″
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Nina Simone: At Town Hall (4 Men With Beards) LP
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (Bethlehem) LP
Nina Simone: Live at Carnegie Hall (Dol) LP
Souls of Mischief: 93 til Infinitey (Traffic) LP
Tortoise: Millions Now Living… (Thrill Jockey) LP
Ugly Casanova: Sharpen Your Teeth (Sub Pop) LP
Unwound: Rat Conspiracy (Numero) LP
White Stripes: Icky Thump (Warner) LP
Stevie Wonder: Inner Visions (Tamla) LP
Stevie Wonder: Music of My Mind (Tamla) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Various: Son Cubano: NYC (Honest Jon’s) LP