Oh boy! This week’s pick of the week has been only available on CD, but now, 10 years later it’s available as a triple LP! PIGS CAN FLY! Anyway, lots of other great stuff in this week too, and always more on the way too. Come down for a dig!
…..pick of the week…..
Circle: Miljard (Hydrahead) 3LP
AT LAST! I’m been longing for this album to get pressed on vinyl for ages, and it’s finally here! First Ever Vinyl Pressing. Remastered Audio. Limited Edition of 1000. Like with any group of tireless, fearless, infinitely creative artists, to discuss one album by Circle is to discuss a snapshot. In the course of over 20 years, and over 30 albums, the Finnish band has explored more genres than most people can name. They have been savage metalheads, trippy prog disciples, deftly accurate Krautrockers and purveyors of otherworldy folk. In other words, to hear one record is to hear a moment static in time that may possibly never be revisited again. The moment here is Miljard, a 2006 instrumental album where the band chose to push themselves further than usual by assuming the form of ascetics working in the sparse realms of ambient music. There is no form here, at least none that can be picked up casually. The opening melancholy keyboard line of “Parmalee” illustrates the heart of the record: simple webs of melody used to stitch together brooding, fractured, disparate sounds that meander, skitter, rumble and squeal through all ten tracks. Each one has been recorded to impart a sense of mood and theme. The slow builds and recessions; the moments of mania that disappear like delusions; the depth of field between the instrumentation; they create a fully realized atmosphere whether a song is only few minutes or runs to over twenty. No single photo can define someone, and each Circle record only grazes their sweeping, stunning career. But as a standalone piece, Miljard fascinates, challenges and confounds every time you revisit it.
File Under: Ambient, Kosmische
Animal Collective: Painting With (Domino) LP
Painting With is the eleventh full length Animal Collective album. It was recorded in 2015 at EastWest Studios in Hollywood, California and mixed at Gang Recording Studio in Paris, France with Sonny DiPerri. For fifteen years Animal Collective has been rewriting the musical map, their line-up and aesthetic shifting with each astonishing release as they continue their pursuit of a new psychedelia. The result: Painting With. Warm and personal, dizzying and high definition, concerned with art and the human experience, and the meeting of both – creating something elemental, joyous, and unmistakably Animal Collective. There are three different album covers for Paining With, one for each member in the band – Avey Tare, Geologist, and Panda Bear.
File Under: Indie Rock
Besnard Lakes: A Coliseum Complex Museum (Jagjaguwar) LP
The story of The Besnard Lakes begins at Besnard Lake: a spectacular yet secluded water feature in rural Saskatchewan which the Montreal group’s husband and wife core, Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, visit each summer for inspiration and escape. This year the couple’s campsite was surrounded for a worrying few days by forest flames, a literal ring of fire which informed the devil-may-care spirit of their exuberant fifth album. “Besnard Lake is usually the place where we get the germination of ideas,” explains Jace. “We set up a small recording rig in the trailer we have up there. This time there were also helicopters with giant water tanks flying over us while we were fishing on the lake!” Armed with demos and memories from their trip, the pair returned to the city and entered Breakglass Studios. Co-founded by Lasek a decade ago, this popular recording facility has long been a hub for Montreal’s fertile, collaborative and proudly DIY music community. Having met and fallen in love in Vancouver, where Jace was a photography-trained art student and Olga a bass-slinging star on the underground rock circuit, the pair relocated at the turn of the millennium. Vancouver had gotten too expensive. By contrast, “Montreal was super cheap because there had been the Quebec referendum in ’95 and a lot of the Anglos had left. There was a political teeter-totter happening, so there were tons of empty places. We moved out here and were able to live, rehearse and record in a loft for next to nothing.” The predominantly French-speaking province’s economic depression birthed an ever-evolving scene that’s become internationally renowned for such disparate independent avatars as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Arcade Fire. Unique among their furrowed brow peers, The Besnard Lakes are unafraid to marry textured, questing headphone sonics to the honeyed pleasure of radio hits past: the rapture of My Bloody Valentine entwined with the romance of Fleetwood Mac. (Echoing prime FM they actually now have two girl/boy couplings in the line-up: keyboard player Sheenah Ko and guitarist Robbie MacArthur joining powerhouse drummer Kevin Laing and non-touring studio axe hero Richard White.) Imagine dreamy Beach House riding Led Zeppelin dynamics, with unabashedly androgynous vocal harmonies. This melodic yet mountainous soundworld was sculpted at Breakglass, their own modest Paisley Park. Channeling their obsessions with the paranormal – Jace was a teenage ghost hunter – as well as the dark arts, A Coliseum Complex Museum is populated by cryptozoological creatures (“The Bray Road Beast,” “Golden Lion”) while also luxuriating in natural phenomena and beauty (“The Plain Moon,” “Nightingale”). These themes are sincere yet good-humoured. The LP’s title jokily refers to a landmark-heavy road sign spotted on tour in Texas, the varied emotional impulses within reflected by its environmentally warped artwork.
File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
The Braen’s Machine: Temi Ritmici e Dinamici (Schema) LP
If you are among those who own the two previous Braen’s Machine LPs, Underground and Quarta pagina, you’re probably already well aware of one of Italian library music best kept secrets, that is the real identities of those hiding behind the pseudonyms Braen and Gisteri. These were the monikers of Alessandro Alessandroni and Oronzo De Filippi, directed by Piero Umiliani and his record label Liuto. With Temi ritmici e dinamici (Rhythmic and dynamic themes) the plot thickens and gives us two other aliases to unveil, with each of them signing one of the two sides of the album: G. Ugolini and Awake; we believe, though, that the already mentioned Alessandroni and De Filippi also hide behind these nicknames. In contrast with Underground and Quarta pagina, Temi ritmici e dinamici offers brighter, less psychedelic atmospheres, leaving room to beat sounds, to a swinging rhythm section, to the Hammond organ (Gara resembles the James Taylor Quartet, but a decade earlier), and even to moog and synthesizers (Dilettanti). Despite a lighter and an almost purely entertaining context, the album also allows for experimentation, as can be heard in the two songs that close both sides: Esercizi Ginnici and Aspetti Grotteschi. There’s no better soundtrack than Temi ritmici e dinamici for your ‘outdoor activities’ (Attività all’aperto), or if you’re always seeking for ‘competition’ (Competizione). An exercise that works perfectly, even while comfortably lying on the couch…
File Under: Library, Italian
Basia Bulat: Good Advice (Secret City) LP
Sometimes making a break-up album is driving 600 miles to Kentucky to record the free-est songs you can get to tape. Sometimes it’s standing in a studio with a new friend behind the boards, and you’re shouting the words, “Come back / Or don’t.” Sometimes it’s your fourth album, sometimes it’s your best, sometimes the answer to your aching heart is a song in a major key. Good Advice is the fizzing, phosphorescing new pop LP by songwriter Basia Bulat. Captured and produced by My Morning Jacket leader Jim James in Louisville, KY, it follows on 2013’s Polaris and Juno-nominated Tall Tall Shadow and two years of tour-dates alongside acts like Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Lanois and Destroyer. These are 10 songs of desire and redemption, lit up with a bottle-rocket of liberated, faintly psychedelic sound. “Basia has something truly unique,” James says, “and her music was a truly extraordinary thing to witness.” In July 2014, Bulat got into her mom’s car and drove the nine hours to Kentucky. Good Advice was created over the course of this and two subsequent visits, transforming slow acoustic demos into swift, bright pop-songs. “I knew immediately that it was the exact right place to be,” she recalls. With a fading relationship at her back, this was an opportunity to sing away the sorrow and regret. And for James it was a chance to “watch and hear [Basia’s] voice just exploding out of her soul, bringing us all to tears in the control room.” Despite a shared love for classic gospel, soul and country, Bulat and James resolved not to make a throwback record. Good Advice mixes classic, sterling songwriting with radiant, contemporary sounds – trembling organ, loose drums, lightning-rod electric guitar. Bulat was never able to shake her vision of the night sky on the 4th of July, pitch-black above a basketball court. All that “space and emptiness,” all that bleakness, split apart by the “beauty and lawlessness” of amateur fireworks. Good Advice takes that night and pours it across 41 minutes. Heartbreak calls for fireworks, and pop songs are the nearest thing. “Pop songs can take all those big statements and those big feelings that you have,” she says. “You don’t need to necessarily have everything so detailed because everybody understands. Everybody understands those feelings.” Basia Bulat’s Good Advice is honest and throwing sparks.
File Under: Folk, Indie Rock, CanCon
Dalek: Absence (Ici D’Ailleurs) LP
2011 expanded reissue; originally released in 2005. The release of Dälek’s third album, Absence, saw the New Jersey hip hop group sharing stages with such well-known artists as Kid606, Isis, Jesu, and many others, and winning over the public with their performances. Absence exposes the limits of all pre-established ideas about musical genre and removes all stylistic hostilities. Its dark, industrial world of metallic, distorted instrumentation reflects its committed, revelatory lyrics. Includes CD containing two previously unreleased bonus tracks.
File Under: Hip Hop
Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Mambo Nassau (Light in the Attic) LP
After 1979’s Press Color – reissued by Light In The Attic – Lizzy Mercier Descloux went tropical. Mambo Nassau, released in 1981 on ZE Records, saw the vagabond Parisian poet, artist and musician decamp from New York to the Bahamas with her manager Michel Esteban. The effect on her music was not as expected. Press Color had been an album of dissonant, distorted disco influenced by the New York no wave scene, but Chris Blackwell’s Compass Point Studios provided a hermetically sealed environment into which the island’s relaxed atmosphere did not seep. Instead, music from within those four walls – made by Tom Tom Club and Grace Jones – had the effect of a feedback loop. The album, meanwhile, reflected the growing confidence of Descloux as a musician, an increasing interest in African music and the input of two new collaborators: synthesizer innovator Wally Badarou and Jamaican engineer Steve Stanley, the album’s de facto producer. “Since 1975, we had spent seven years in New York and it felt like the end of a cycle,” says Esteban, who co-founded ZE Records, on which label Descloux’s first album was released. “We wanted to get out of Manhattan and move towards Africa. We needed new adventures and change. Mambo Nassau was our next stage.” Mambo Nassau’s skip through styles is like a tour of Lizzy’s musical DNA, embracing mutant funk, disco and punk. Mambo Nassau did speak to the mavericks enamored of Lizzy’s free spirit but it did not sell well. “We never were commercial,” notes Esteban. The album is presented now with bonus tracks including “Mister Soweto”, “Corpo Molli Pau Duro” and a cover of Bob Marley’s “Sun Is Shining”, all of which were intended to help score a record deal that would allow her to record in Soweto, South Africa. It worked. With the follow-up, Zulu Rock, on the horizon, Descloux’s African adventure was only just beginning…
File Under: Funk, No Wave
Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Zulu Rock (Light in the Attic) LP
In the course of three albums, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, the rogue poet, artist, and singer-songwriter, traveled on a musical voyage from Manhattan (1979 debut Press Color) to The Bahamas (1981 follow-up Mambo Nassau) and apartheid South Africa (1984’s Zulu Rock) – a controversial cultural boycott in protest of the nation’s racially divided society. One place Descloux had never visited was the pop charts, but that changed when “Mais Où Sont Passées Les Gazelles? (Where Have The Gazelles Gone?)” – a reworking of a South African Shangaan disco hit – went all the way to the top spot in her native France, giving her a platform and a profile in the land she’d fled many years before. Recorded at Satbel Studios in Johannesburg, the album followed what her mentor Michel Esteban describes as “an extraordinary adventure” through eastern Africa following the footsteps of 19th century poet Rimbaud through Sudan, Ethiopia, the East Coast. A socially conscious person, Descloux wanted to use her music to draw some attention to the situation in South Africa, even obliquely, but there were musical motivations too – she was tapping into a hot and little-heard dance music in the aforementioned Shangaan disco, Soweto jive and mbaqanga, the style Malcolm McLaren had mined for his mash-up hit “Duck Rock” a year before. The music of South Africa seduced, subsumed, and molded Lizzy, who sounds surer and more swinging than ever before throughout Zulu Rock, but credit must also go to British producer Adam Kidron, then best known for his work with Scritti Politti, who joined Esteban and Descloux for the entire African journey. Lizzy and Adam’s was a battle of wills from the start, but his insistence on getting Lizzy to sing in a more conventional, tuneful way resulted in an emotional, ambitious, creative power struggle that delivered arguably her best vocals yet. In Vivien Goldman’s new liner notes for this reissue, Kidron says: “My first impression of Lizzy was that she couldn’t sing but that she had that crazy Madonna, Neneh Cherry, Nina Hagen attitude thing going on and a magical way with words — a marketer’s gift for getting to the essence of a feeling or idea.” And for once, on this album, the marketing did itself.
File Under: Rock, Pop, World
Lizzy Mercier Descloux: One For The Soul (Light in the Attic) LP
By the time poet, singer-songwriter, and artist Lizzy Mercier Descloux recorded 1984’s Zulu Rock, she’d marked herself out as both a globe trotter with more passport stamps than Tintin and a musical innovator whose loose, arty spirit could be applied to styles as varied as no wave, Bavarian oompa and Soweto jive. She’d also established a tight-knit threesome with muse/former lover Michel Esteban and producer/on-off lover Adam Kidron, who all reunited to follow Zulu Rock – a surprise hit in her native France – with something that, once again, represented a complete about-turn. The location, this time, was Rio De Janeiro, a suitably exotic location to follow their sojourn in Soweto given that Brazil had recently emerged from twenty years of dictatorship. But unlike Zulu Rock‘s broad appropriation of the local sound, One For The Soul borrows very liberally from Brazilian culture. The aim, says Kidron, was to “reimagine the blues”, but Lizzy’s musical essence was in flux. “A Word Is A Wah” meshes reggae with her beloved accordion, “Women Don’t Like Me” is wild, new wave pop, and she even wanders into soul territory, with whispery lounge versions of Al Green’s “Simply Beautiful”. Most notable is the album’s foray into jazz, and the fact that Chet Baker, the master jazz trumpeter, blew his last on “Fog Horn Blues” and the sensuous “Off Off Pleasure”. Rio was to be the last great hurrah of Lizzy and Michel’s global recording adventures, and although work proceeded apace, the experience was often quite tense. “The sessions were tough work,” says Kidron, in the new liner notes by Vivien Goldman accompanying this deluxe reissue. “Lizzy never quite got singing, no matter how much she drank, and no matter how hard she tried. Chet was very much at the drug-ravaged end of his life and had very little stamina or dexterity left… but there is a deep, sad, lyrical tone to his performances on the album.” So fraught were the sessions, it’s a miracle that such a cohesive, sparky record emerged. The record-buying public did not agree, and as the album crashed and burned, so did the relationship between its three heroes. Lizzy was, for the first time, about to take on the world alone – and there was but one album left in her.
File Under: Funk, Soul, Samba
Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Suspense (Light in the Attic) LP
By the time bohemian singer/poet/artist Lizzy Mercier Descloux recorded her fifth album, 1988’s Suspense, she’d enjoyed a recording career that was as far from the clichés of music lore as is possible, flitting between genres, continents and collaborators, enjoying great success and equally great failure and even stealing the final breaths of master trumpeter Chet Baker for 1986’s One For The Soul. When she came to make Suspense – reissued here as the final album in our series – she was, for the first time, working without her longtime muse, partner and manager Michel Esteban, with whom she’d first moved from their native France to New York, where it all began. The pressure was on to repeat the success of “Mais Où Sont Passées Les Gazelles”, a smash hit in France, and Descloux’s label were keen to make a conventional artist of her, pairing her with John Brand, an in-vogue producer with a style geared to a big, shiny 1980s chart sound—an approach Lizzy had never experienced before, nor intended to. Recorded in Oxfordshire and Wales, it features songs recorded in both French and English, with lyrics by Mark Cunningham, the trumpet player of the avant-garde band MARS, and James Reyne, the Australian artist who co-wrote much of One For The Soul. In Vivien Goldman’s new liner notes, Esteban notes that Suspense sounds “less Lizzy than the other records, less open,” but in splitting herself into two – English and Francophone – the album has two personalities too; oddly, it shines a light on the real Descloux that her cultural experiments never did. Though the initial aim was to make a folky, acoustic album, the pop sound suited the singer, and “A Room In New York” is as fine and sparky as AOR gets. But when early single “Gueule D’Amour/Cry of Love” stiffed, EMI lost confidence and buried the LP. Bound by her contract to the label, Descloux moved away from music and focused on painting. She eventually settled in Corsica, the French island, where she died, aged 48, of cancer. Descloux’s musical career ended, therefore, with the aptly titled Suspense. It was only a matter of time before this furiously creative artist’s work was re-evaluated, and with these deluxe reissues, that time is now.
File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
J Dilla: Donuts 10th Anniversary Edition (Stones Throw) LP
10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION. Drawing cover, UV sleeve, 2XLP, first-ever gatefold jacket. When “Donuts” came out, on J Dilla’s birthday, February 7, 2006, it was with the “drawing” cover (scribbled up by Jeff Jank). As some years passed, the vinyl was eventually reissued with “the smile” photo cover, and the drawing cover eventually went out of print. Here’s the 10th anniversary edition of the album. Drawing cover; new drawing on the back; UV coated sleeve; gatefold with liner notes by Jordan Ferguson, containing an excerpt from his book Donuts 33 1/3 about the making of the album.
File Under: Hip Hop
Blaze Foley: The Dawg Years (Fat Possum) LP
“When Blaze Foley, who was still Depty Dawg to us, sang at our dining table back in ’76 and ’78, he would be of a temper that was still juicy and ripe from his time in Whitesburg, GA., when he fell in love with his muse Sybil Rosen, and they had lived in a tree in the woods. To me, these songs you have here are the summary of his time of rediscovering a happy innocence in Sybil’s arms. Our baby son is lovingly included at the table. Here, also, you find his innocent curiosity taking him to the threshold of the Dark World that he was beginning to discover and would soon get lost in. Our portable Uher tape recorder, an excellent machine for field work, was brought out by my wife for those occasions. I would never have thought of it, because I only wanted to be washed in the live moment. Oh, we all thank you Margery! In my life there’ve been many occasions when I experienced intense and wonderful live moments. Depty Dawg, at this time in his life, could create the best such moments, like a warming flame. With extreme and loving care, we are honored to bring him home to you.”—Billy, Margery, and Basil Bouris.
File Under: Country, Folk
Foo Fighters: Saint Cecilia (RCA) LP
Foo Fighters surprise Saint Cecilia EP features five new tracks recorded at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, Texas in October 2015 during the Austin City Limits Festival. Vinyl also includes a free digital download offered in high quality MP3 (320 kpbs), WAV (16bit 44.1khz), or FLAC. “The Saint Cecilia EP was put into motion back in October of this year as a celebration of life and music. The concept being that, as our world tour drew to a close this week, we wanted to share our love of both with you in return for everything you have given us. “Now, there is a new, hopeful intention that, even in the smallest way, perhaps these songs can bring a little light into this sometimes dark world. To remind us that music is life, and that hope and healing go hand in hand with song. That much can never be taken away.” – Dave Grohl
File Under: Rock
Kingsway Music Library: Colors (KML) LP
The Drum Broker and Kingsway Music have partnered up to deliver Kingsway Music Library’s first physical release entitled Colors. Frank Dukes, the mastermind behind this talented group of musicians, has been helping compose original songs for producers like Boi-1da, Jake One, Cardiak, Illmind, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Don Cannon, and many more.
File Under: Modern Library
Krokodil: Swamp (Lion) LP
First official reissue of the second Krokodil album, “Swamp”. The infectious album, originally issued by Liberty in 1970, shows a band in flux between the scorching boogie-blues workouts of their eponymous debut and the massive stoned psych action of their third album masterpiece (“An Invisible World Revealed,”). Many German and Swiss groups attempted to sing in English to broaden their audience and virtually all failed to do so. Yet “Swamp” reveals itself to be one of the best examples of this phenomena, venturing into Van Morrison, Fairport Convention, and even Wailers territory at times, even as the rest of the band experimented with sitars, flutes and avant percussion. A great artistic development for the band without ever drifting into pop clichés. Recorded at Bavaria-Tonstudios, München. Comes on 180-gram vinyl, presented in a gatefold sleeve with an embossed crocodile leather front cover. The printed inner sleeve offers many previously unpublished photographs.
File Under: Blues Rock, Krautrock
Lewis: L’amour (Light in the Attic) LP
In 1983, a man named Lewis recorded an album named L’Amour, which was released on the unknown label R.A.W. And that’s about all we know. The record itself is a delicate, whispered album, reflecting the way the artist himself – spectral, movie star-like – almost disappears into the grey of the cover. It should come as no surprise that it failed to shout loudly enough to be noticed, another private press album that sank without trace. The ingredients are simple: smooth synthesizers, feather-light piano, ethereal, occasionally inaudible vocals and the gentle plucking of acoustic guitars. But the effects are arresting: a spine-tingling, sombre album that echoes Springsteen’s Nebraska or Angelo Badalamenti’s atmospheric soundtracks. Later, Arthur Russell would grasp for something similar on the epochal World Of Echo LP. L’Amour is a true discovery of the blog age, uncovered in an Edmonton flea-market by collector Jon Murphy, passed on to private press fanatic Aaron Levin, shared on the internet and speculated over by lovers of curious LPs. There’s almost no information about Lewis or the album on the internet. There’s precious little on the sleeve: a dedication to Sports Illustrated supermodel Christie Brinkley, a photo credit for Ed Colver, the noted L.A. punk rock photographer, and credits for engineer Bob Kinsey and synth player Philip Lees. All that was known of Lewis is conjecture: a rumor that he was a con artist who fled after not paying for L’Amour’s photo-shoot and a dubious theory that he was not actually of this earth. When Light In The Attic looked to release the album, they set out to investigate the mystery. They found some answers, but more intrigue too. Colver was able to fill in some blanks. Firstly, Lewis is a pseudonym. The man the photographer met was named Randall Wulff. He stayed in the Beverley Hills Hotel, drove a white convertible Mercedes and dated a girl who looked like a model. He paid for his photo session with Colver with a $250 check, which bounced. Eventually, the trail led to Alberta, Canada, where that first LP had been found. Liner notes writer Jack Fleischer along with master detective Markus Armstrong found Randall’s nephew, who remembered Randall as a stockbroker. His vague recollections include a visit to Randall’s apartment, with all-white furniture and that beautiful girlfriend in situ. Crucially, he offered another name – another of Randall’s pseudonyms – which led to a Vancouver studio and the revelation that Lewis had recorded three or four albums of “soft religious music” there. Alas, even the new nom de plume led only to dead ends. Lewis remains a ghost, a total mystery, but the music will be heard. The album is being pressed for the first time in more than 30 years, and widely distributed for the first time ever. Lewis’s royalties will be placed in escrow until he makes himself known. Perhaps you know Lewis. Perhaps Lewis is you. The only certainty is this: Lewis is about to find a whole bunch of new fans.
File Under: Soft, Private Press, Weirdos
OST: The Connection (Mondo) LP
Known to some as La French, the epic crime drama The Connection is the critically acclaimed and stylish ‘70s-period crime thriller inspired by true events. We’re absolutely thrilled to be releasing this absolute beast of a soundtrack; the ultimate cool compilation spanning four decades and featuring classic songs by The Velvet Underground, Blondie, Townes Van Zandt… it’s hard to pick out highlights as there genuinely isn’t a bad track on here. The Max Richter / Dinah Washington track alone — an incredible mix of Washington’s vocals from ‘This Bitter Earth’ and Richter’s incredible composition ‘On The Nature of Daylight’ — is one of the best things you’ll hear this year. Lykke Li contributes ‘Jerome,’ a fantastic ’60s tinged pop song that sounds like a lost Phil Spector composition. On top of all that throw in a selection of incredible French pop and you have one of the best soundtracks/comps of 2016.
File Under: OST, Mondo
OST: Last House on Dead End Street (Vombis) LP
After decades of languishing in the cryptic haze of shabby bootlegs, the soundtrack to Roger Watkins’ sleazy horror magnum opus ‘Last House on Dead End Street’ (1977) is finally achieving the grand debut it deserves. Comprised entirely of tracks from the legendary KPM Music Library, the soundtrack is a unique blend of haunting experimental terror electronics – the pure atmospheric embodiment of the film’s oppressive ominous vibe. Since none of the music is credited in the film, it has taken years of independent fan research to compile the complete electronic soundtrack. Library music aficionados had to identify each music cue by ear based solely on encyclopedic knowledge of the vast KPM discography. The fact that this identification succeeded all the way down to the exact source of synth sound-effects from the infamous vivisection sequence is a testament to the maniacal obsession this film breeds in its fans. For this vinyl-only release all tracks have been sourced directly from KPM’s archival master tapes, exposing the full dynamics & penetrating intensity of this music. As an added bonus, some of KPM’s masters run longer than the versions that they originally issued on LP and are included here in their complete expanded form. All artwork was scanned from a rare surviving 35mm print to properly capture its grindhouse grime. Isolated from the film, the music is an astounding & impactfully curated collection of sinister hidden gems from the mythic underworld of British 1970s avant-garde electronic music including Delia Derbyshire, David Fanshawe, Ron Geesin, Alan Hawkshaw, Eric Peters, and Lewis Stern.
File Under: OST, Library
OST: Shinobi III (Data Discs) LP
Continuing their exclusive partnership with SEGA, Data Discs are delighted to announce their vinyl release of ‘Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master’ (or ‘The Super Shinobi II’, as it is known in Japan). With music composed by Hirofumi Murasaki, Morihiko Akiyama and Masayuki Nagao, ‘Shinobi III’ is a relentless bass-driven soundtrack which, upon its release in 1993, pushed the Mega Drive’s audio capabilities to its limit. Its strong percussive elements are something of a technical marvel and, like all of the greatest soundtracks of the 16bit era, showcases the ingenuity and resolve of game composers when faced with extremely limited hardware. With audio sourced directly from a Japanese Model 1 Mega Drive (AV Intelligent Terminal, VA5 with stereo output mod) and painstakingly remastered for vinyl, ‘Shinobi III’ should appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in video game culture, FM synthesis or electronic music in general. 180g oxblood coloured vinyl packaged in a 400gsm matt finish sleeve with traditional OBI strip. All copies also include a foldout poster featuring the original Japanese artwork, sourced from the SEGA archives.
File Under: OST, Video Games
Slasher Film Festival Strategy: Psychic Shield (Death Waltz Originals) LP
Death Waltz Originals are proud to unleash another slice of insanity with the score to the great unmade cannibalistic horror Psychic Shield, conceptualised and performed by Slasher Film Festival Strategy. Inspired by European horror films of the 70s & 80s, SFFS literally make music for films that do not exist. Psychic Shield tells the story of a religious cult of flesh-eating witches who use their religion to lure unsuspecting victims to their gruesome deaths. The survivors of the cult use the Psychic Shield to protect them, as they battle to the death to make sure the cult and its members burns to the ground – forever. The score has a certain European flavour, presenting some beautifully colourful music (such as that of Messrs Ortolani and Frizzi) and juxtaposing it alongside some utterly creepy synth riffs. It’s not afraid to be a slow burn, but when it goes off, you can feel the victims run like hell – or is it the witches, running from the Psychic Shield? The only way to find out is to listen to Psychic Shield.
File Under: Pseudo OST
Laurence Vanay: Les Soleile De La Vie (Lion) LP
“The tracks on the album reflect my feelings at the time, a great happiness to live an interesting life (although stressful!) with the key, a happy story of love.” —Jacqueline Thibault Following the international release of “Evening Colours” in 1976, Jacqueline Thibault (Laurence Vanay) continued to compose songs that she recorded on her multi-track Revox. But she had little time for her own music, working day and night at legendary international recording studio, the Château d’Hérouville. Still, Jacqueline managed to bring together the compositions for “Les Soleils de la Vie” (The Suns of Life), with the help of her perpetual musical accomplices—Serge Derrien (guitar, flute, wordless vocals) and John Chevalier, aka Popov (drums and percussion). There was also the timely intervention of other friends, Michel Santangelli (drums), Jean Claude Guzelli (bass) and Francis Moze. Decca Records was interested in producing the album back in 1977, but asked for a remix of the music. Only several years later was that finally possible—too late for Decca. The recordings therefore found themselves asleep on Parisian shelves, pending potential better days. Shimmering, mysterious, sometimes funky, deeply emotional examples of musical beguilement.
File Under: Prog, Magma
Wild Nothing: Life of Pause (Captured Tracks) LP
Jack Tatum, formerly of Jack and the Whale and Facepaint, began making his shimmery, synth-washed indie pop recordings under the name Wild Nothing in the summer of 2009. Emerging at a time when a handful of C-86-esque groups (e.g. Crystal Stilts, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart) were in vogue, Tatum’s project garnered a bit of buzz with a synthy, glimmering cover of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting.” Captured Tracks picked up Wild Nothing soon after the project’s first demos came out, and it wasn’t long before Tatum recruited bassist Jeff Haley, guitarist Nathan Goodman, and drummer Max Brooks to round out the group’s live sound. Wild Nothing’s first single, Summer Holiday, was released on Captured Tracks before 2009 came to a close. The band’s debut full-length, Gemini, was released in the spring of 2010 and garnered Wild Nothing all kinds of critical acclaim. After releasing a follow-up EP, Golden Haze, near the end of 2010, Captured Tracks reissued Gemini in February of 2011 with the addition of Tatum’s cover of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting.” For his next record, Tatum worked with producer Nicolas Vernhes at his Rare Book Room Studios. The result was 2012’s album Nocturne. Another stopgap EP arrived in 2013 in the form of the stylistically scattered Empty Estate EP. After a move to Los Angeles and some time spent rethinking his musical approach, Tatum and producer Thom Monahan began working on a new album. Recorded in Sweden (with contributions from Peter Bjorn and John drummer John Ericsson and marimba player TK of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra) and Los Angeles (with Medicine guitarist Brad Laner), Life of Pause’s intricate arrangements and slick production marked a step forward artistically for Wild Nothing. ~ Margaret Reges
File Under: Indie Rock
Woo: Awaawaa (Palto Flats) LP
Palto Flats and New General Catalogue are partnering to release Awaawaa, a record of unreleased material by Woo, the longstanding project of British brothers Mark and Clive Ives. Featuring never before heard recordings from Woo’s archives, Awaawaa sees the band at their most evocative and psychedelic – presenting a suite-like, atmospheric collection of stunning miniatures. Recorded in South London during 1975-82, Awaawaa lines up chronologically with other Woo releases, such as ‘Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong,’ and touches upon synth, ambient, electronics, dub, and even krautrock. Following releases on Drag City and Emotional Rescue, Awaawaa presents a new chapter in Woo’s celebrated discography, further distilling the brother’s unique and otherworldy vision. RIYL: Jon Hassell, Durutti Column, Popol Vuh, This Heat.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
Various: Haiti Direct (Strut) LP
Strut presents “Haiti Direct”, the first in-depth exploration of the vibrant and varied colours of Haiti’s music from the early ‘60s to the late ‘70s. “Haiti Direct” celebrates the overlooked musical legacy of Haiti, going beyond Ra-ra and voodoo stereotypes to trace the development of a unique sound that echoed across the Caribbean. At the dawn of the ’60s, as Jamaica twisted American R’n’B into ska and reggae and musicians from Cuba and Puerto Rico codified the sound of Salsa, Haiti gave birth to Compas Direct. an updating of the traditional Meringue rhythm, adapted with a new swing and complex arrangements. The driving sound and irresistible beat of Compas swiftly dominated the French-speaking Caribbean as well as taking root in the urban centres of New York, Paris, Montreal and Miami. As the decade waned, the big band orchestras of Compas-originator Nemours Jean-Baptiste and musical rival Webert Sicot gave way to new, smaller groups like Shleu Shleu and Les Frères Déjean. Raw electric guitars, wailing sax lines and driving percussion combined as the groups blended local rhythms with rock and jazz influences, producing a raucous, punchy and densely textured sound that paved the way for the next decade. Compiled by Hugo Mendez, co-founder of the excellent Sofrito label and sound system, “Haiti Direct” features classic material from the early days of groups such as Tabou Combo and Les Freres Déjean as well as rarities from lesser known groups – bringing together the sound of Compas with Latin workouts, psychedelic experiments and the Cuban influenced Twoubadou singers that continued to be a key part of the fabric of Haitian musical life. Featuring in-depth liner notes and interviews with some of the musicians and producers that shaped the sound, “Haiti Direct” is the first widely available compilation to celebrate the unique and innovative sounds of Haiti in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
File Under: Latin, Funk, Afro Cuban
Various: Why The Mountains Are Black (Thirdman) LP
This is a two disc collection of primal and unhinged Greek village music that at times sounds more like free jazz or doom folk, feral and trance-like as it is. After years of research, fieldwork and collecting, Christopher King – Grammy-winning producer, sound-engineer, curator and writer – has gathered together from his private 78 rpm archive the most mind expanding and libido inducing song and dance music from the rural hinterlands of mainland Greece and its islands. Recorded between 1907 and 1960, this collection contains the first and the last – the alpha and the omega – of Greek demotika – or folk music. And it is not what you would expect.
File Under: World, Greek
Amanaz: Africa (Now Again) LP
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (Apollo) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Sony) LP
Nick Cave: Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed) LP
Sam Cooke: Twistin’ The Night Away (Not Now) LP
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (Light in the Attic) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Legacy) LP
Death Cab For Cutie: Narrow Stairs (Music on Vinyl) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Dr. Dre: Compton (Aftermath) LP
Dr. Dre: Cronic 2001 (Interscope) LP
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Historie De Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Goblin: Suspiria (AMS) LP
Grimes: Geidi Primes (Arbutus) LP
Francoise Hardy: Mon Amie La Rose (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: Tous Les Garcons Et les Filles (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: La Premier Bonheur du Jour (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: L’Amite (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: La Maison Ou J’ai Grandi (Future Days) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Lee Hazlewoodism (Light in the Attic) LP
Karin Krog: Don’t Just Sing (Light in the Attic) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid… (Aftermath) LP
Mayhem: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Back on Black) LP
MC5: Kick Out The Jams (Rhino) LP
Ennio Morricone: Contrafase (Roma) LP
Ennio Morricone: Sorriso Del Grande Tentatore (Roma) LP
Fred Neil: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
Joanna Newsom: Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: YS (Drag City) LP
Night Beats: Who Sold My Generation (Heavenly) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden of Delete (Warp) LP
OST: Interstellar (Music on Vinyl) LP
OST: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
OST: Kid Turbo (Death Waltz) LP
OST: Sicario (Varese) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (Capitol) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Light in the Attic) LP
Nina Simone: At Town Hall (Dol) LP
Nina Simone: At The Village Gate (Dol) LP
Nina Simone: Forbidden Fruit (Dol) LP
Smiths: Queen Is Dead (Rhino) LP
Stark Reality: Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop (Now Again) LP
Stone Roses: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
This Heat: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Timber Timbre: Creep on Creepin’ On (Arts & Crafts) LP
Velvet Underground: And Nico (Verve) LP
Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat (Verve) LP
White Zombie: Astrocreep 2000 (Music on Vinyl) LP
Various: Hillbillies in Hell (Iron Mountain) LP