…..news letter #732 – spring?…..

Well, this is a nice change, a huge stack of killer wax in this week. I’ve got lots to do, so read on…

And as I mentioned last week, WE ARE HIRING! This doesn’t happen very often so if you’v ever wanted to work here, this is your best chance! Please drop off a resume in person and include your top 10 albums of 2015 as well as of all time. Good luck!

…..picks of the week…..

materiaPrima Materia: s/t (Die Schachtel) LP
Special 10th anniversary edition & first time available on vinyl. A totally immersive listening experience and a true testament to the power and range of the human voice in all its harmonic splendor, as poignantly stated by Terry Riley in the liner notes: “As is the case with La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music, David Hyke’s Harmonic Choir and Pauline Oliveros’s Deep Listening Band, Roberto Laneri has had a lifelong penchant for the droning mysteriosa of the Sound Current and with the Prima Materia ensemble he has expressed it in a disciplined, expansive and singular way.” In 1977 an obscure Italian private label issued a record that sounded like it no other before. The musicians of the group Prima Materia – a project founded by Roberto Laneri in San Diego in 1973, including Claudio Ricciardi, Gianni Nebbiosi, Susanne Hendricks and Maria Monti – individually researched and developed unusual vocal techniques (originally used in Tantric rituals in North India, Mongolia and Tibet), based upon the use of overtones coupled with a special state of inner concentration, which was the essential condition for both the emission and control of long–sustained and complex vocal sounds. The name of the record was “The Tail of the Tiger”, and it was issued by the Rome-based Ananda label, ran by Roberto Laneri with Alvin Curran and Giacinto Scelsi. The record soon disappeared, acquiring an almost legendary status among collectors and experimental music lovers. Die Schachtel recovered the original tapes and in 2007 released a limited CD edition of “The Tail of the Tiger”, that again went OOP in a few months. Ten years after that memorable edition we have decided to remaster the tracks, and add a stunning take from the 1974 Köln live concert, a dimension that was ideal for the Group improvisational technique and conceptual approach to sound. The result is a stunning deluxe double-LP boxed edition, complete with a 4-page explanatory booklet, a 16-pages “Mandala” booklet designed by Dinamomilano and inspired by the group’s references and philosophy, custom inner sleeves with original photos printed in silver on deluxe coated paper, and of course two hi-quality vinyl records pressed in Germany.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Minimalism
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tapesThe Tapes: Selected Works 1982-1992 (Ecstatic) LP
A fascinating, often dizzying insight to the primitive industrial minimalism of Italian siblings Giancarlo and Roberto Drago aka The Tapes, sourced from original tapes and pressed to vinyl for the first time ever. This set surveys a blind spot in most people’s knowledge of early-’80s Italian underground music, framed against a backdrop of the Anni di piombo or Years of Lead — a period of domestic political turmoil between the late ’60s and early ’80s — and the mushroom shadow of nuclear war. Like their international tape-scene allies, The Tapes reacted to this world thru a matrix of mono-synths, drum machines, microphones, and four-track recorders, mostly recording ideas direct to tape in one take and making a virtue of their lo-fi set-up’s infidelities and imperfections — randomness and mistakes were embraced rather than discarded — while absorbing the counter-cultural influence of William Burroughs and Throbbing Gristle and the sci-fi dystopia of J. G. Ballard and John Foxx. These 21 tracks, drawn from ten different limited tape releases, perfectly distill a wandering, weirdo spirit, ranging from the funereal swagger of “Tanz Fabrik” and the darkwave hip-thrust of “The Day of Silence” to freeform, motorik trajectories such as “Time Out of Joint” and singular enigmas like the Actress-esque bobble of “The Wait” and the weightless, hyaline spindles of “Falso Movimento B2.” Collected and compiled by Alessio Natalizia (aka Not Waving) and remastered by Matt Colton, Selected Works 1982-1992 represents a decade of modest but searching and instinctively grooving experimentation of the most precious and compelling kind. As Giancarlo Drago explains, “The Tapes was an unplanned experience, an unplanned need to express myself Looking back on this music I wonder sometimes how I did it — the whole process from the concept to the completion. Everything I do now seems trivial and obvious and I just end up aborting the idea. And exactly for this reason I think that everything has its time, with a beginning and an end . . .”

File Under: Electronic, Italian, Experimental, Industrial
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….. new arrivals…..


Bad Religion: 30 Years (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Over the past three decades the band has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen. 30 Years Live is the second live album from Bad Religion, and was originally released in May 2010, therein documenting the band’s 30th anniversary House of Blues tour. This release was initially offered only as a free “thank you” to loyal fans for a limited time via digital download through the official Bad Religion mailing list. This classic live event will now be pressed for the first time on vinyl courtesy of Epitaph Records.

File Under: Punk
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Harry Bertoia: Sonambient (Important) 11CD
Harry Bertoia’s Complete Sonambient Collection features all 11 of Bertoia’s original records newly restored from their master tapes and housed in replica jackets. A heavy duty box, printed with metallic inks, holds the 11 discs as well as a 100-page book containing a lengthy historical essay, an interview with Harry Bertoia from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, exclusive Sonambient-era material from the Bertoia archive, modern and archival photos of the Bertoia barn, and reflections on Bertoia from David Sefton, Tom Welsh, David Harrington (Kronos Quartet), and all three of Bertoia’s children. The Complete Sonambient Collection celebrates 100 years of Harry Bertoia in 2015, the centennial of his birth. In the late 1950s, Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), already a renowned American sculptor, began creating long-form, improvised pieces of music utilizing pure acoustic tones evoked from his sound sculptures. Around this time Bertoia came up with the term “Sonambient” to describe the music and environment created by his tonal sculptures and their lush harmonic overtones. In a renovated barn on his property deep in the Pennsylvania woods, Bertoia curated a harmonious selection of his sculptures and gongs, often recording his frequent, intuitive sound experiments using four overhead microphones and a ¼” tape recorder. Bertoia dedicated the last 20 years of his life to his Sonambient work and in 1970 he released the first Sonambient LP. In 1978, in the final months of his life, he selected recordings from his archive and produced ten more Sonambient records. He would not live long enough to see or hear these records himself. Bertoia died in 1978, at age 63, and was buried beneath a giant gong behind his Sonambient barn. Bertoia’s recordings are as much a celebration of sustained tones, slow decay, healing vibrations, and shimmering harmonics as Indian classical music, singing bowls, La Monte Young, or Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica. Through these rich harmonics, pulsing tones, and pure gongs Bertoia was able to more clearly articulate his inner spirit than he could with sculpture alone — a point he made himself many times in interview. His single greatest piece of art is the totality of his life, which is nearly impossible to measure but easy to feel. Important Records hopes that somehow this box set evokes some of the same sacred, personal feeling that one has in Bertoia’s barn. “I don’t hold onto terms like music and sculpture anymore. Those old distinctions have lost all their meaning.” –Harry Bertoia, 1976

File Under: Classical, Experimental, Ambient, Drone
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black queen

Black Queen: Fever Daydream (Self Released) LP
The Black Queen, the LA-based experimental band featuring Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato, Telefon Tel Aviv/NIN’s Josh Eustis and programmer Steven Alexander, release their debut album, “Fever Daydream.” “Originally, we had envisioned this project being something much more gauzy and probably guitar-oriented,” said Eustis in an interview with Rolling stone. “At some point it just took a left turn and become very electronic.” In the same interview Puciato joked, “It was rare to find someone else who I could talk about Death, Leprosy, with as well as a New Edition song. “It was those seemingly disparate influences that brought the three musicians together, from Puciato’s teenage years of watching MTV’s 120 Minutes while simultaneously knowing all of Jodeci’s lyrics, Eustis’ affinity for Kraftwerk and New Edition, and Alexander’s childhood home, which championed as much metal as they did R&B.

File Under: Electronic
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Bremen: Eclipsed (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Bremen return with Eclipsed, a double LP of glacial electronics, strung-out drone-punk, and smoldering space-rock minimalism. Following the release of their self-titled debut on Skrammel in 2013, the Swedish duo of Jonas Tiljander (Brainbombs) and Lanchy Orre (Brainbombs, Totalitär) joined the Blackest Ever Black fold in 2014 with Second Launch. If the mood of that record was brooding and stygian, its monochord intensity unfaltering, then Eclipsed, this equally sprawling set, could be construed as a warmer, more dynamic, and variegated offering. Perhaps. There are still passages that are heavier than a death in the family. Still a staunch obsession with the consciousness-altering power of repetition. The band’s points of departure are specific: a particular organ sound from J. A. Seazer’s 1970s recordings, the squalid alien guitar tone of Chrome, the cranked psychic roar-out riffage of Hawkwind, the melancholic mode of Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson, minimalism from La Monte Young to Eleh, “cold ’80s electronic sound,” and sloppy, lo-fi psychedelic rock from the likes of Pärson Sound and Träd, Gräs och Stenar. Tiljander’s icily poised synth and organ drones and the grieving cosmic howl of Orre’s guitar dominate the landscape, but their instrumental palette has also expanded to include various percussion treatments, saxophone, strings, and dissolved vocal fragments. Their exploratory jamming, overdubbing, and dub-savvy mixing yields a music of unbelievable eloquence and physicality. Eclipsed is another masterpiece of black hole psychedelia from one of the greatest underground rock ‘n’ roll units on the planet. No serious void-worshipper’s collection is right without it. All songs by Orre/Tiljander. Mastered by Tomas Bodén. Cut by Noel Summerville. Pressed at Optimal. Housed in gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Drone, Space Rock
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buckleyJeff Buckley: You & I (Legacy) LP
These 10 tracks (most of them cut in Steve Addabbo’s Shelter Island Sound studio in February 1993) have gone virtually unheard for more than two decades. Recently discovered in the Sony Music archives during the research for the 20th anniversary edition of Buckley’s Grace album, the performances on You and I are a revelation, an intimate portrait of the artist performing a variety of cover songs and original music expressing a range of emotion channeled through his singular sensibility. The songs on You and I reveal, in part, the eclectic scope of Buckley’s extraordinary musical tastes and talent. The covers on the album include Jeff’s highly personal interpretations of songs written by Bob Dylan (“Just Like a Woman”); Sylvester Stewart (“Everyday People,” recorded by Sly & the Family Stone); Joe Green (“Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’,” recorded by Louis Jordan, Ray Charles and others); Bob Telson (“Calling You,” recorded by Jevetta Steele for the 1987 film Bagdad Cafe); Morrissey and Johnny Marr (“The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” and “I Know It’s Over,” recorded by the Smiths); Booker T. Washington “Bukka” White (“Poor Boy Long Way from Home,” from a 1939 “field” recording made by John Lomax) and John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant (“Night Flight,” recorded by Led Zeppelin). “Any time I take a cover and wear it on my sleeve, it’s because it had something to do with my life and still marks a time in my life when I needed that song more than anything ever,” Jeff Buckley explained to Plane Truth fanzine in a 1994 interview. Rounding out You and I are two pieces of original music: the first-ever studio recording of his signature song, “Grace” and “Dream of You and I,” a mysterious and haunting piece which informs the deeply intimate and profoundly personal mood of the album. Long rumored to exist, but previously unheard outside the studio, the performances on You and I have never been bootlegged or released to the public in any form. These seminal recordings are a fan’s Holy Grail, a rare opportunity to hear Jeff Buckley in peak form, developing his artistry through a series of spellbinding solo performances, each one captured in pristine sonic detail. “As we began to explore how we might celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s Grace, the vault -as it still occasionally and unexpectedly will – presented us with an unbelievable gift: this ‘lost’ cache of studio recordings from the period,” said Adam Block, President, Legacy Recordings. “We quickly realized how remarkable they were. They offer an incredible, rare glimpse of an artist, alone, in the sacred space that is the studio. There’s an intimacy and an honesty to the performances that’s literally breathtaking. You & I is an important addition to Jeff’s recorded legacy and will be a thrill for both his devoted longtime fans and newcomers alike.” You and I is simply that, just Jeff Buckley and the listener alone together in the studio while he plays and sings the music that means the most to him in that moment. The newly found solo tracks on You and I showcase Jeff Buckley’s otherworldly once-in-a-lifetime voice, transcending technique, making a direct connection between the earthly and the divine. Named one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Buckley was also an accomplished electric guitarist, the 6-string accompaniments on these recordings adding astounding depth and sublime emotional dimensions to these unforgettable performances.

File Under: Rock
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coypuCoypu: Floating (Mie) LP
“In most European cities you can find many canals that have been covered. Often though, underneath the cement and our frenetic lives, they still run. Constantly flowing water, unknown to us. Maybe we feel it. Maybe it influences us and we do not know it. It would be nice to lie down in between a 19th Century tram track among the windows of stores up for rent and wine bars offering refuge and put an ear to the cobblestones, like they used to do in the prairies to hear if a train was coming. I am sure that we would hear the sound of the Coypu. A constant and distinctive movement. Floating, their first album, is this: the electric landing on the muddy banks of that which has made Rock’n’Roll a gloriously celebrated thing. The Blues of a dried up Mississippi, the sonic violin of the Velvet Underground, Krautrock as an architecture of ‘endless’ sound. Vertical chords and botanic drones: something happening beneath us and which you hope never abandons us.” –Maurizio Blatto. Coypu is the musical project born from the European-American friendship between Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Badgerlore, 200 Years, Rangda), Paul Beauchamp (Blind Cave Salamander, Almagest!), Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo (Blind Cave Salamander, Almagest!, (r), Larsen), and Daniele “Lo Dev Alm” Pagliero. Subtle electronics and drones, psychedelic guitar lines, and the melancholic sounds of the Appalachian dulcimer and musical saw merge into desertic, watery, and evocative soundscapes. Floating, Coypu’s full-length debut, follows their 2015 debut EP, Of Tails and Whiskers. Gatefold sleeve. Edition of 500.

File Under: Folk, World, Psych
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crooked fingersCrooked Fingers: s/t (Merge) LP
Crooked Fingers is the solo project of singer/guitarist Eric Bachmann. In the wake of the 1998 dissolution of his much-beloved previous band Archers of Loaf, Bachmann founded Crooked Fingers in early 2000. Since then, Crooked Fingers has morphed and evolved to include many band members and tours extensively. Bachmann is also an in-demand record producer and guest player in other touring bands. In January 2016, Merge will reissue the self-titled debut album by Crooked Fingers. Originally released in 2000, Crooked Fingers aka “the one with the swan on it” – will be pressed on vinyl for the first time and includes a download of the entire record plus nine bonus tracks of demos and rarities. The label will also be reissuing Crooked Fingers’ 2001 sophomore album Bring On The Snakes. To mark the occasion of the reissue, Merge asked Josh Modell of The A.V. Club to write new liner notes for the album. Here is an excerpt: “Not long after he recorded this debut, Eric told me that he wanted Crooked Fingers to constantly evolve – that every record would sound different, and every tour would feature different players and new arrangements. He’s kept to that, releasing albums that constantly tug and question, restless but preternaturally consistent. What you’re holding represents the first step, a big, quiet leap into the unknown – which ended up being a beautiful place.”

File Under: Folk, Indie Rock, Archers of Loaf
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Remigio Ducros/Luciano Simoncini: America Amore Amaro (Sonor) LP
Limited edition of 500. First reissue. One of the most elusive Italian library records on the Edi-Pan label, America Amore Amaro is an inspired musical interpretation of mid-’70s young America with spacey funk breaks and strung-out Italian sounds of the period. A sure shot from Remigio Ducros and Luciano Simoncini (Arawak, Jason Black, etc.), originally released in 1977. A fantastic record for those who are into the classic Simoncini/Ducros sound, very reminiscent of Arawak’s Accadde A……… (1970) and Jason Black recordings. Tight drums, stoned flute sections, shouting horns, Fender Rhodes, heavy basslines, and that signature spacey wah-wah guitar that’s on all of the earlier Simoncini recordings, plus variations on Ducros’s 1970 “Sgambata” theme — not to mention that Daniela Casa is probably the person playing all the wah-wah and cosmic fuzz distortions. Great samples for producers and DJs. As with much of Ducros and Simoncini’s collaborative work, America Amore Amaro seems to be a geographical tour of America, and shows the duo’s take on American culture at the time.

File Under:
Library, Lounge, Italian
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Rino De Filippi: Reflessi (Sonor) LP
Limited edition of 500. First reissue. Riflessi is a slick stand-out Italian library LP for your delectation; this reissue replicates the Italian Edi-Pan label’s 1978 release, which changed the title, track list, and cover art from the original 1973 release on the Italian Smash label (the cover of the Edi-Pan release bears the butterfly so common in library sleeves of the era). Chock-full of keyboard-laden moods and grooves, the entire record features stunning, moody, down-tempo funk accompanied by groovy synthesizer electronics. Lounge breaks and themes tinged with prog — a total must-have.

File Under: Library, Italian, Funk
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Flashback #8
Issue #8 of Flashback, Spring 2016. Edited by Richard Morton Jack, Flashback covers overlooked ’60s and ’70s music in depth, with expert writing, original research, and many rare and previously unseen images. In this issue: The Koobas: This Liverpudlian quartet released numerous 45s; toured with The Beatles; gigged with Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Pink Floyd; made a fine album in 1968; and became stars in Switzerland — but success at home proved hard to find. Richard Morton Jack tells their story for the first time. Jukebox: Michael Tanner of The A. Lords and United Bible Studies on 12 tracks that have inspired him. Album by Album: David Hitchcock oversaw classic records for Caravan, Genesis, Camel, and many others. Here he talks Flashback through his productions one by one. Time Out: Starting in August 1968, Time Out quickly became the most important source of information about what London had to offer, musically and otherwise. First Person: Robert Calvert recalls the short and intense career of Catapilla, with contributions from his bandmates Hugh Eaglestone, Brian Hanson, and Ralph Rolinson. Paternoster: Swiftly recorded and only released in their native Austria, Paternoster’s sole album is one of the most despairing and enigmatic recordings of its time. Stephan Szillus tells its tale for the first time. The Human Beast: Though this Edinburgh trio disowned their weird, hard-rocking LP, it has gone on to become a firm favorite around the world. Richard Morton Jack speaks to them. George Martin: A long-lost and revealing 1968 interview with The Beatles’ producer, conducted by the late J. Marks and exhumed from the pages of Eye magazine. The Evolution of Rock Critics: Aaron Milenski explores the changing tastes of rock critics — and how they shaped his own tastes as a teenager. Mushroom: These Dublin teens had a big hit in 1973, toured Ireland relentlessly, and made one of the best “Celtic rock” albums of all time. Richard Morton Jack gets their story straight. Tamam Shud: Tamam Shud was one of the first Australian bands to embrace late ’60s acid culture. Ian McFarlane tells their story. The Parlour Band: This Jersey quintet made one of the most highly regarded progressive pop albums of the early ’70s. Austin Matthews gives their full history. British Private Pressings: Fifty of the best privately released albums from the heyday of British underground music. Reviews: Thorough coverage of recent CDs, LPs, and books, taking in household names (The Beatles, David Bowie, Van Morrison), cult heroes (Captain Beefheart, Procol Harum, Françoise Hardy), and ultra-obscurities (Robbie The Werewolf, Fuchsia, Lucifer). Crying to Be Heard: The enigmatic Day Breaks by John Wonderling, lost since 1973.

File Under: Magazines, Psych


Fraser & Debolt: This Song Was Born (Roaratorio) LP
“Allan Fraser & Daisy DeBolt met in the summer of 1969. They had both been working individually on the coffeehouse circuit in their native Canada; over the next five years, as the duo of Fraser & DeBolt, they created a sublime body of work that still sounds remarkably fresh decades later. They recorded two albums for Columbia which garnered rave reviews at the time, but saw little commercial success. Both have since become cult classics in psychedelic folk circles; the first, With Ian Guenther, being particularly beloved amongst a coterie of die-hard fans. Their combination of ragged-but-right / salt & pepper harmonies, evocative lyrics, beautiful songs shot through with occasional dissonant grace notes, and careful arrangements that still managed to sound off-the-cuff made for some of the most beguiling music of the day. Now, Roaratorio is proud to present This Song Was Borne, a double LP collection of previously unreleased demos, studio outtakes, radio sessions and live recordings from Fraser & DeBolt’s archives, spanning their entire career, in a deluxe tip-on gatefold jacket with detailed liner notes from Allan and Daisy. Download coupon included.”

File Under: Folk, Psych
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Fabio Fabor: Aquarium (Sonor) LP
Limited edition of 500. First reissue. Welcome to the peak of underwater Italian library music. This is Fabio “Fabor” Borgazzi’s Aquarium (1980), a totally amazing underwater modal jazz and lounge album with loads of vintage electronic keyboards, marine echoes, whirling organs, weird underwater synthesizers, jazzy drumming, and so on… This record is clearly a Holy Grail, with a bunch of lascivious tracks that simply let the listener’s enjoyment grow so smoothly — after many a delightful replay, one is moved to call it a perfect masterpiece.

File Under: Library, Italian, Lounge
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Fire!: She Sleeps, She Sleeps (Rune Grammofon) LP
Fire! is a Swedish trio comprising Mats Gustafsson (The Thing), Johan Berthling (Tape), and Andreas Werliin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums), which came together with the idea of a fresh approach to improvised music drawing upon a number of influences from free jazz, psychedelic rock, and noise. Fire! is also these musicians’ vehicle for rekindling their instrumental skills, playing outside their comfort zones, and collaborating with such prestigious guests such as Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi. A parallel but no less powerful project is their gargantuan Fire! Orchestra, previously a 30-piece behemoth (now scaled down to a mere 18 piece) of a band that convened for the first time in January 2012 for a memorable concert. She Sleeps, She Sleeps, the trio’s fifth album, is an intriguing cocktail of dark, brooding, hypnotic slowcore jazz. After providing live music for the long-running play Det flygande barnet at the Orionteatern in Stockholm in February and March 2015, Fire! were strongly inspired to return to the theater’s amazing large industrial hall and set up the necessary studio equipment. As Gustafsson explains, “After two years of extreme activities with the Fire! Orchestra we felt an urge to record in a studio setting and to strip everything down; fewer instruments, acoustic instruments, down to the roots of it all — raw, inyrface, beautiful. And with two amazing guests adding layers of poetic beauty: Oren Ambarchi on guitar and Leo Svensson on cello, She Sleeps, She Sleeps is where we are right now — no return!” Mats Gustafsson: tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones; Johan Berthling: double bass; Andreas Werliin: drums and lap steel guitar.

File Under: Jazz
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Gate: Saturday Night Fever (Mie) LP
“Saturday Night Fever takes the concept of the movie of the same name and stretches the night a bit later, the fever a bit higher to the point where the party ends up blending into something much more sinister and wild. What starts out as a disco drumbeat with funky guitar swagger and melodic horns may slowly deteriorate into some sort of corroded ambient loop that eventually morphs into melodic horn samples. Basically every track is subverting its own gestures, carving out a narrative of interruption and stretching the disco template in directions simultaneously embracing and mocking the form. In a way, this album is a sequel to A Republic of Sadness (2010), embracing the criticisms people had of that album and expanding on those flaws. The resulting album sounds like Morley’s pulling out some heaping doses of the hermit boogie and Otago funk and stretching it into some sort of Basinskian disintegration loop gone Bernard Bonnier zonked mutant scene. There are so many moves within each of the four extended tracks that it feels like that illuminated dance floor is always slipping beneath your feet. I promise it’ll be worth the effort, twinkletoes . . .” –Pete Swanson

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Disco, Dead C
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Haikai No Ku: Temporary Infinity (Box) LP
Temporary Infinity is the third full-length album from Newcastle, England-based noise-psych power trio Haikai No Ku. The record continues the nightmarish bad trips that previous albums Sick On My Journey (2013) and Ultra High Dimensionality conjured. The patented wall of gargantuan, mild-altering, damaged feedback from Mike Vest (Bong, 11Paranoias, Blown Out) is again present with the no-nonsense power of drummer Sam Booth (Foot Hair) and bassist Jerome Smith (Female Borstal, Charles Dexter Ward). Haikai No Ku take no prisoners and show no remorse with Temporary Infinity, delivering 40 minutes of warped and disturbed hallucinogenic punishment. Their sound is not for the faint-hearted, but has inspired a cult following among those who enjoy their music twisted. For fans of Bong, Les Rallizes Dénudés, Mainliner, etc. Artwork and design by Pete Burn.

File Under: Psych
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Hashish: A Product of Hashish (Woah Dad!) LP
The long-awaited debut album from Hashish. Limited edition of 499. Deluxe silver foil sleeve. Includes poster. Top-class psychedelia, taking the genre to a new level with a sophisticated approach to afro-funk grooves accompanied by dreamy, playful melodies that range through a spectrum of Scandinavian occult psychedelia, minimal synth, surreal electronic soul disco, and rare groove. Some have described Hashish as a project that picks up what Goat started. Welcome to tomorrow. The sounds transport the listener into a forgotten world where the future looks different from what it became. On his soft, subtle island capped with clouds of cool fire, Pan weaves his teachings with the wind and the sun, raining sacred melodies on the hearts and minds of humanity and bestowing desperate loves and yearnings with songs of sainthood and madness. Transient temples of the flesh, laughing at death, clothe our lives in fire. On rippling altars of skin we sensual magicians worship bright burning desire.

File Under: Rock, Psych, Funk
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Heliocentrics: From the Deep (Now-Again) LP
“Returning after their Last Transmission collaborative album with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs — Quatermass Studios — with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals Rolling Stone describes as ‘…sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.’

File Under: Funk, Jazz
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kangding ray

Kangding Ray: Cory Arcane (Raster-Noton) LP
Cory Arcane found her comfort zone in a constant state of crisis, and her liberation through love, sensuality, and high-speed internet access. As some might recall, she used to struggle with her own decay, navigating an intricate web of bureaucracy, endless social-media scrolling, 24-hour news channel feeds, and marketed strategies of seduction. Her intense and continuous obsession for surf, breakdancing, and cat videos might have saved her from a silent decline, but it would be her first attempts at integrating a professional ballet company that provided the initial spark. Her unorthodox dance movements were often considered shocking, transgressive, and barely legal; and even though some recognized her genuine talent, it was clear she would never make it into this structure. This is when she started her slow drift toward the outer limits of society, in search of the way to achieve the conditions for absolute freedom. Her emancipation was surely marked by different forms of excess: the inappropriate use of fireworks, the consumption of large quantities of alcohol and controlled substances, as well as the occasional blasts of kitchen appliances. She bypassed the gender war and became an expert in advertising sabotage. Soon Cory would give academic courses on the true liberation of the mind, or, in her own words, the apotheosis of senses. Lately, she could be seen squatting in the outskirts of different giant metropolises, embracing the mayhem, contemplating the crumbling of a system. The sound of the city, mixed with the music on her headphones, would weave complex rhythms and futuristic textures into a beautifully colored, pixelated surface. Looking out onto this fabulous chaos, she smiled. Cory Arcane is Kangding Ray’s fifth album, following four previous full-lengths on Raster-Noton.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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Kazanchis + 1: Dinkenesh (Mental Groove) LP
Trio Kazanchis got together by coincidence in 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s musical hotspot while playing jam sessions in Melaku Belay’s Club Fendika and Mulatu Astatke’s own African-Jazz Club before touring Europe in underground venues and related festivals. The original line-up is Jeroen Visser (NL, baritone sax & Farfisa organ), Mesele Asmamaw (ETH, krar & vox) and Fabien Duscombs (F, drums). Endris Hassen (ETH, masinqo) joined the group in 2013 (he’s the +1). Kazanchis +1 plays songs with an Ethiopian origin, either modern or traditional, and a European ’80s touch, combined with free energetic improvisation using highly-developed Ethiopian pentatonic scales, from slow and trance-like to up-tempo, energetic moods. The band’s choice of instruments presented itself on European stages as very elastic, nicely melting together, and also as a challenging combination — all-in-all successful. Mesele Asmamaw, described as the Jimi Hendrix of the electric krar (the 6-string Ethiopian lyre), has become known as an innovator & virtuoso of his instrument in Ethiopia. Fabien Duscombs, the quicksilver drummer from Toulouse lays down the perfect grid for Mesele to play his syncopating accents. Jeroen Visser glues the two tightly together, providing bass and chords with his Farfisa organ/synth, or challenges their sounds with his baritone sax. Since the summer of 2013, the amazing masinqo-player (a one-stringed violin) Endris Hassen has become a full member of the group, completing the sound and surprisingly even reinforcing the trio-feel.

File Under: World, African, Jazz
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Ray Lamontagne: Ouroboros (RCA) LP
Ray LaMontagne came off the yearlong tour behind 2013’s Supernova with around 18 songs he’d stockpiled prior to going on the road with the intension of developing the best of the new material for the follow-up LP. The Louisville sessions with co-producer My Morning Jacket auteur Jim James had already been booked, and LaMontagne had less than three months to get the new batch ready to cut. LaMontagne titled the album – his sixth – Ouroboros, after an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. The new LP is his second straight collaboration with a kindred spirit. Prior to teaming up with James, he’d joined forces with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys on Supernova. What the two albums have in common is a radical expansion of the standard singer/songwriter’s palate to encompass Floydian dreamscapes and supercharged bursts of electric guitar – but beyond these parallels, Ouroboros is a very different animal from its predecessor.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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last exit

Last Exit: Iron Path (ESP-Disk) LP
All-star quartet Last Exit garnered its reputation with a string of unrelentingly forceful concert recordings in which it pushed the energy style of free jazz to its limits. When the group went into the studio, though, a very different sort of album emerged — very different not only from all their other output, but even from anything else ever heard from anyone at that time. Because of that, when it was released in 1988, some fans and critics didn’t know what to make of it. This was, in a way, understandable, because Iron Path was so far ahead of its time that perhaps only a quarter of a century later, in 2015, is there an audience prepared for this album’s pioneering hybrid of abstract heavy metal, unsettling ambient music, and free improvisation. Back in 1988, “darkwave” hadn’t yet been conceived, much less named and niched. The brutal sonic assault of Last Exit’s live albums is not banished; it lurks below the surface on Iron Path, sometimes allowed to break through for a moment of stark contrast. But the unremitting density of texture heard in the quartet’s shows is stripped back in favor of more subtle and varied textures, sculpting an atmosphere of moody brooding and sinister suspense. And, of course, the studio also allowed for far greater sonic clarity, putting these virtuoso players in a setting that shows off their masterful command of myriad timbres. In a world that has since become accustomed to hearing Earth, Pelican, Blut Aus Nord, Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works sets, and Oöphoi, and artists such as Whote who explore the overlap between them, Iron Path can finally get its due, and an audience schooled to appreciate what it offers. Sonny Sharrock, guitar; Peter Brötzmann, saxophone; Bill Laswell, bass; Ronald Shannon Jackson, drums.

File Under: Jazz, Metal
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Lightstorm: Creation (Drag City) LP
Husband and wife team Johnima and Kalassu Wintergate are Lightstorm: globetrotting musical collaborators retransmitting messages of love from their teacher and Avatar Sathya Sai Baba. The ever-unpredictable Drag City / Yoga Records now present the first-ever Lightstorm collection. “Creation” fuses the best tracks from the spiritual concept double LP “Who Am I: One” (1977) and sensual glam rock killer “33 1/3” (1980, recently featured in the “Enjoy The Experience” private press book). Eleven pieces of riveting catchy, psych-glam-weirdness, “Creation” captures both sides of Lightstorm. Soar with “Let Your Astral Body Fly”, and rut with “Missionary Is Impossible.” To say that there’s nothing else like Lightstorm would be an understatement, but their natural clear underlying love energy is unmistakable.

File Under: Private Press, Psych, Glam
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Egisto Macchi: Pittura Contemporanea… (Cinedelic) 3LP
Remastered reissues of three rare ’70s gems by Italian composer Egisto Macchi, collected in a deluxe hardcover box with canvas cover. Remastered from the original master tapes. Includes download code. Limited edition of 600 numbered copies. Includes the Pittura Contemporanea LP (originally released in 1975) and Pittura Moderna No.1 and No.2 (originally released together as a double LP in 1975). Macchi was born in Grosseto, Italy, in 1928, and studied composition, piano, violin, and singing in Rome with, among others, Roman Vlad and Hermann Scherchen. He also studied literature and human physiology at Sapienza University of Rome. Beginning in the late ’50s, Macchi was active in organizing music, particularly in collaboration with a group of musicians and composers (Franco Evangelisti, Domenico Guaccero, Daniele Paris) to whom he was bound by strong friendship. Along with Guaccero, Paris, and Antonino Titone, Macchi was among the editors of Ordini magazine, which appeared in 1959. With Bertoncini, Bortolotti, Clementi, De Blasio, Evangelisti, Guaccero, Paris, Pennisi, and Franco Norris, he founded the Association of New Consonance in 1960, serving on the board and holding the position of President from 1980 to 1982 and in 1989. He later became involved with the activities of the Settimane Internazionali di Nuova Musica of Palermo. After his part, with Guaccero, in the founding of the Teatro Musicale di Roma, Macchi was one of the founders of Studio R7, an electronic laboratory for experimental music established in Rome in 1967. That same year, he became a member of the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, founded in 1964 by Evangelisti. Macchi’s work in the ’70s was mainly dedicated to experimentations in library music and film scores. Some of his most noteworthy soundtracks from this period, including those presented here, were released on the Ayna label, which gave him full artistic freedom.

File Under: Italian, Library, OST
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nu guineaNu Guinea: Tony Allen Experiments (Comet) LP
Nu Guinea present the third volume of the Afrobeat Makers series, reworking original magic drum patterns from Afrobeat master Tony Allen to create nine of electronic, psychedelic jazz-funk. The Nu Guinea duo, which formed in Naples and is based in Berlin at the time of this release, arose out of jam sessions melding synthesizers with instruments for a handmade sound that aims for a genuine quality over perfection. Their sound is constantly evolving, and they’re always open for collaborations with other musicians; they’ve previously collaborated with Berlin-based singer Wayne Snow on their 2015 World EP (Tartelet Records). The Tony Allen Experiments is co-released by Comet Records and Early Sounds Recordings.

File Under: Electronic, Psych, Jazz-Funk
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omalleyStephen O’Malley: Dread Live (Ideal) LP
Stephen O’Malley deploys the second in a trio of documents of his improvisational prowess following his crushing Fuck Fundamentalist Pigs, which was brought forward in tribute to the November 2015 Paris attacks and released in December 2015. The minimalist electric guitar mantra Dread Live was performed at Studio Helmbreker in Haarlem, Netherlands, on September 6, 2013, and recorded by Mathijs Ton, with technical support by the great Tos Nieuwenhuizen, using a hypercardioid ribbon mic with immaculate ’70s valve amp backline. The set was programmed as part of the opening of the Dread — Fear in the age of technological acceleration exhibition at De Hallen Haarlem, curated by Juha van’t Zelfde. It renders 40 minutes of Sunn O)))’s O’Malley at his most depressive and heavy and is something akin to a slow-motion baptism by waves of tarry, blackened harmonic distortion, holding the listener under its sinking pressure. How low can you go? O’Malley knows. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Edition of 700 hand-numbered copies.

File Under: Drone, Doom, Sunn o)))

othmanAdnan Othman: Bershukor (Sublime Frequencies) LP
The legendary Adnan Othman has long been a driving force in the Malaysian rock scene. As early as the 1960s his groundbreaking songs in the style known as “pop yeh yeh” (rock and roll sung in Malay) were attracting fans across Malaysia and Singapore. He has since gained many fans around the globe due to a renewed interest in rock music from Southeast Asia. Othman made his first recordings in Singapore in the early 1960s, when he was invited to record with highly popular backing band The Rhythm Boys. He produced innovative psychedelic rock well into the 1970s and continued to evolve as a musician and composer throughout his exciting career, but always stayed true to his rock and roll roots, even when many other artists were turning toward more predictable disco influences. Each track on this album, drawn from all eight of Othman’s solo EPs and ranging from 1968-1971, reveals a different side of his personality. His forceful, gritty, and emotional lyrics and vocals are backed by such memorable pop yeh yeh bands as The Rhythm Boys, The Wanderers, The Flamingoes, and The Falcons. This impressive collection includes rare photos from the artist’s own collection and a detailed biography co-written by Othman himself. This is a rare and personal insight into the life of one of Singapore and Malaysia’s most beloved pop yeh yeh legends, revealing the humble, generous, down-to-earth man behind the spotlight. It is clear that Adnan Othman cares deeply about preserving the legacy of his fellow pop yeh yeh musicians; he devoted considerable time and energy helping to develop the previous Malaysian rock-focused release on Sublime Frequencies, Pop Yeh Yeh – Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970: Vol. 1 (2013). Again, for this album, he patiently answered the label’s many questions about his life as a musician and artist, lending Bershukor his unique perspective; the label’s indebtedness to Othman is reflected in the album’s title, which translates to “gratitude.” The 26 unforgettable tracks on these two records are soulful, electrifying, and beautiful. To the many fans of ’60s Asian rock and roll around the world who have been waiting for an album dedicated solely to the music of Adnan Othman, here it is. Compiled by Carl Hamm (Pop Yeh Yeh – Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970). Presented in gorgeous gatefold sleeve with full-size eight-page color booklet of text and photographs.

File Under: Asia, Psych, Yeh Yeh
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godbearCharlemagne Palestine: Godbear (Black Truffle) LP
“The first vinyl release of Charlemagne Palestine’s Godbear, a 1987 solo piano recording originally scheduled to sit alongside Sonic Youth and Swans in the catalogue of Glenn Branca’s Neutral Records but eventually released on CD by the Dutch Barooni label in 1998. Although Palestine has worked in an enormous variety of media, his long form performances for solo piano are perhaps his most acclaimed works. Palestine immersed himself in the study of overtones throughout the 1960s, working first with carillons and then with electronic synthesis, searching for the ‘golden sound’. Beginning in the early 1970s he continued his exploration of the complexities hidden within seemingly simple tones and intervals on the Bösendorfer Imperial Grand Piano, the ‘Rolls Royce’ of pianos. With the piano’s sustain pedal constantly depressed, Palestine hammers out rapidly repeated notes, allowing a complex cloud of overtones to rise above the percussive texture of the struck keys. Initially working with simple intervals such as octaves and fifths, Palestine gradually expanded the harmonic range of his piano performances over the years, while still retaining their ecstatically single-minded nature. Revisiting his signature piano style in 1987 after several years focusing on visual art, Godbear presents three distinct variations that demonstrate the development of his piano music after the classic recordings of the early 1970s. Occupying the entire first side, ‘The Lower Depths’ stages a slow descent from the piano’s mid-range to the Bösendorfer’s cavernous additional low octave, building into a thundering swarm of booming overtones. Breaking entirely with the stereotype of clinical minimalism, Palestine’s journey to the depths embraces passages of darkly romantic melody before slowly ascending to its starting point. The version of ‘Strumming Music’ performed here condenses the developmental arc of the piece into eleven minutes, fanning out from a single octave to a complex harmonic wash that calls to mind Palestine’s enthusiasm for Debussy and Ravel. ‘Timbral Assault’ is like an evil twin of ‘Strumming Music,’ transforming its insistency and harmonic complexity into aggressive intensity and creeping dissonance, foreshadowing Palestine’s later collaborations with Christoph Heemann. A classic release, and one that, because of the variety of approaches surveyed within, serves as an ideal introduction to Palestine’s ecstatic and mysterious sound world” –Francis Plagne. Remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Presented in a deluxe gatefold sleeve designed by Stephen O’Malley.

File Under: Classical, Solo Piano
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partchHarry Partch: A Portrait (New World) LP
“Limited edition LP release (180g vinyl) + free download card. Selecting illustrative works from the lifetime of a creative person is a daunting task; doing so with a singularly individual artist like Harry Partch is all the more difficult. In the more than four decades since Partch’s death, interest in his both his life and his compositional output has continued to grow, and there remains a place for documents that can offer insights, suggest paths, and give new life to that creator’s endeavors. Even as duplicate instrumental ensembles are beginning to appear, and the original Partch instrumental resources have found a new home for performance and study, there is considerable value in returning to the many recordings he crafted over his lifetime of composition and performance. These are recordings that carry not only the stamp of the author, but his voice as well — Partch himself appears in every single track of this record, either as singer, instrumentalist, or both. This remastered version of The Dreamer That Remains has never been available before and is making its first appearance in any format. The 12-page booklet includes an essay by the Harry Partch Foundation’s Jon Szanto and numerous rare photographs provided by the foundation and other sources. An invaluable document for both Partch enthusiasts and neophytes! Limited to 700 copies.”

File Under: Avant Garde, Classical
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placeboPlacebo: Sleeping With Ghosts (Universal) LP
Placebo’s dark and melodic trademark sound featuring singer Brian Molko’s instantly recognizable vocals has become one of the strongest brands in rock over the past two decades. 2016 marks 20 years since the internationally acclaimed English alternative-rock act released their seminal first album. To mark the anniversary the band are embarking on a two year period of celebratory retrospective activity. Over the next 12 months Placebo will re-release their milestone albums remastered for the first time on high quality vinyl via Universal Music. The fourth album in the 20th anniversary reissue series is 2003’s Sleeping With Ghosts. Produced by Jim Abbiss, the album finds Placebo segueing into a harder sound and exorcising the ghosts and demons of past relationships. Billboard proclaimed that “Sleeping With Ghosts is glorious; an unrepentant emotional exorcism that cohesively hurdles between the bleak and wounded, the exuberant and defiant.” The album went Top Ten in the U.K. and yielded the handful of evocative singles “The Bitter End,” “This Picture,” “Special Needs” and “English Summer Rain.”

File Under: Rock
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Blind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary (Dust-to-Digital) CD+BOOK
Hardcover 84-page book with CD and streaming/download code. Born blind on June 15, 1880, in Floyd County, Virginia, Alfred Reed grew up on a West Virginia farm. In the 1920s, when radio became available in his area, Alfred listened to and enjoyed performances by several of the era’s popular singers. Alfred would purchase songbooks and hymnbooks, and his wife Nettie would read the lyrics to him. Because the songs he learned from others did not always express aspects of what he was thinking, feeling, and experiencing, Alfred felt compelled to compose his own songs, and he was exceptionally talented in this endeavor — a craftsman with many things to say. Relying upon his talent to generate money, he gave music lessons, performed at dances and various social and church gatherings, sold printed copies of his own lyrics, and, in 1927 and 1929, made the commercial recordings included on this set. Also includes performances by The West Virginia Night Owls, Orville Reed, and Alfred and Orville Reed. Compiled by Ted Olson, a scholar, poet, photographer, and musician based in east Tennessee. Olson has written or edited several books on Appalachian music, literature, and folklore, and he has curated book/album sets documenting such Appalachia-related music stories as the 1927-1928 Bristol Sessions, the 1928-1929 Johnson City Sessions, the 1929-1930 Knoxville Sessions, the Joseph Hall field recordings from the Great Smoky Mountains, and the early studio recordings of Tennessee Ernie Ford.

File Under: Folk, Blues, Book
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rocchiOscar Rocchi: Pop-Paraphrenia (Sonor) LP
Limited edition of 500. First reissue. Absolutely one of the best library LPs by Italian jazz pianist Oscar Rocchi, 1972’s Pop-Paraphrenia…., released on the Italian Fonovideo label, was also released on the Italian Music Scene label under the title Jungle Birds, with the same matrix number stamped on dead wax. Totally killer jazz-funk vibes with outstanding Tullio de Piscopo drumming to die for, and Oscar Rocchi on Fender Rhodes and organ accompanied by his colleague Giancarlo Barigozzi on flute and soprano sax. A fantastic album, featuring the best jazz-funk breaks for samples on side A and stellar experimental avant-garde jazz sounds on side B. Psychedelic and moody, and as beautiful as its original edition is rare. Some tracks were used in 1972 and 1973 as soundtracks for Italian TV shows.

File Under: Italian, Library, Jazz-Funk
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savinaCarlo Savina: Grand Tour (Sonor) LP
First reissue. Killer Italian library LP by Carlo Savina and his orchestra, originally released on Fabio Fabor’s Edizioni Musicali Minstrel sublabel Ring. Shocking and still underrated panoramic electronic lounge sounds spaced out by jazz-funk, dope funk breaks, and amazing electronic underwater effects. Music inspired by the sea and islands for a total aquatic lounge trip. A stunning bassline opens “Canaries,” the best shot from this album, with Fender piano over slow drums, infectious acoustic guitars, and insane breaks.

File Under: Italian, Library, Jazz Funk, Lounge
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secret boyfriendSecret Boyfriend: Memory Care Unit (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Memory Care Unit is a long-form offering of poignant, isolationist machine music from Secret Boyfriend. Eschewing the cryptic and compact song-sketches that characterized his 2013 LP This Is Always Where You’ve Lived, Ryan Martin instead guides listeners through vast interior topographies and nerve-damaged ambiences that comfort and deceive like memory itself. Beginning with “The Singing Bile” — minimal synth submerged and subjected to an almost oceanic pressure — the tracks are mostly crude, extended live improvisations, recorded straight to tape. Martin’s loose intention was to subtract himself from proceedings and “let the music play itself,” but the erasure is not quite complete; on the contrary, each piece feels distinctly authored, and charged with personal significance. The atrophying loops of “Memorize Them Well” broach the elegiac grandeur of Gas and William Basinski, while “Paean delle Palme” summons E.A.R., Af Ursin, and the clammy, opioid exoticism of :zoviet*france:*’s Just an Illusion. The album is largely instrumental, but there are two weighty exceptions: the sprawling, drumbox-driven space blues of “Little Jammy Centre” and the guileless yearning of “Stripping At The Nail.” This is electronic pop undressed, unraveled, and mapped onto the infinite wave. Expansive and enveloping, Memory Care Unit’s offering of comfort and refuge is difficult to resist. But this amniotic idyll is frayed and haunted at its edges, and ultimately treacherous. The return to innocence it promises may be possible, but the price is separation, alienation, and loss. Housed in full-color reverse-board sleeve with printed inner sleeve.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Drone
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shooting 2Shooting Guns: Born To Deal in Magic (Cardinal Fuzz) LP
Hailing from Saskatoon in the heart of the Canadian prairies, Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum. Haunting the foggy moor between Sabbath-styled doom riffage and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock these primal cuts go straight for the kill. These dudes have impressed critics with their unholy instrumental slaying. Their debut LP, Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012. Their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram, was nominated for the 2015 JUNO Metal/Hard Album of the Year as well as the Polaris Music Prize. They are also on the list of Top 100 Canadian Bands of All Time as polled by CBC Radio Canada. Their debut, Born to Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 (originally released in 2011) has been long out of print and near impossible to obtain outside of their native Canada. Now in 2016, Captcha Records and Cardinal Fuzz are stoked to have it back in print for the masses. Even the folks at Vice said something nice about the SG’s, “Their live shows are a swirling haze of dope smoke, unholy light, and punishingly high volume “Neanderthal Rock” that leaves ears ringing and minds melted. And their recorded output is perfect for taking a private trip to alien worlds, where savage beasts stalk the shadows of the full moon, and rivers of bubbling green ooze spill over their banks, rendering the flooded lands charred and wasted.” Regardless if your into uppers or downers, dope or speed these instrumental doom tracks will tickle your mind with a lead feather. Shooting Guns are bound to please fans of Mötorhead, SLEEP, Thou, Early Monster Magnet and Electric Wizard.  The heavyweight vinyl for BTDIM will be on occult oxblood with black swirl, housed in a gorgeous 350g sleeve. Born to die deaf, what kind of magic are you dealing in? Turn it up loud and wish for the best.

File Under: Metal, Stoner Rock
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shooting 1Shooting Guns: Spectral Laundromat (Cardinal Fuzz) LP
Spectral Laundromat collects 4 tracks of pilsner fuelled mystical jams pulled from a suitcase of recordings that bridge the gap between their debut, Born to Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 (originally released in 2011 and reissued by Captcha Records and Cardinal Fuzz in 2016) and their Brotherhood of the Ram LP in 2013. Here the cuts are raw AF and capture Shooting Guns dialled in, with you in their sights. In just a minute…….they are ready to pierce your brain and shred your skin. Even the folks at Vice said something nice about the SG’s, “Their live shows are a swirling haze of dope smoke, unholy light, and punishingly high volume “Neanderthal Rock” that leaves ears ringing and minds melted. And their recorded output is perfect for taking a private trip to alien worlds, where savage beasts stalk the shadows of the full moon, and rivers of bubbling green ooze spill over their banks, rendering the flooded lands charred and wasted.” Regardless if your into uppers or downers, dope or speed these instrumental doom tracks will tickle your mind with a lead feather. Shooting Guns are bound to please fans of Mötorhead, SLEEP, Thou, Early Monster Magnet and Electric Wizard. The heavyweight vinyl for Spectral Laundromat will be on Toxic Yellow vinyl and housed in a heavyweight 350g sleeve. Born to die deaf, what kind of magic are you dealing in? Turn it up loud and wish for the best.

File Under: Metal, Stoner Rock

wolvserpentWolvserpent: Aporia Kala Ananta (Relapse) LP
Three years after the release of the highly-acclaimed Perigaea Ankhatarhana, Idaho duo Wolvserpent returns with Aporia: Kāla: Ananta, an epic single-song composition that spans 40 minutes of boundary-pushing experimentation. Blending the poignancy and atmosphere of classical music, folk and drone with the drive and aggression of doom, black, and death metal, Wolvserpent achieves levels of dynamic contour, innovation, and progression over the course of this single continuous song that are rarely found in any genre. Minimal yet incomparably dense, Aporia: Kāla: Ananta is harrowing, spontaneous, and measured journey of diverse sonic textures, pummeling metallic heaviness, highly emotive violin, and intriguing field recordings.

File Under: Metal, Doom, Black Metal
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beatVarious: Beat From Badsville Vol 4 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Brought up on the radio shows of such legendary rock ‘n’ roll DJs as the moondogging Alan Freed, Mad Daddy, and, later, the ghostly Ghoulardi, it was hardly surprising that The Cramps’ Lux Interior and Poison Ivy began trawling thrift stores for juvenile delinquent tunes, lip-curling bad boy rock ‘n’ roll, strange exotica, bizarre novelty 45s, dysfunctional doo-wop, psychedelic weirdness, and instrumentals made by madmen. In America in the 1950s and 1960s there seemed to be small-town versions of such vinyl madness everywhere that, by 1970s, were remaindered and — to the majority of people — unwanted. To the fledgling Cramps this was nothing short of heaven. The duo filled their house with novelty memorabilia, schlock horror furniture, and a record collection to die for. Lux eventually gravitated to his own Purple Knif radio show and The Cramps delivered their versions of some of the stuff they’d found. The duo name-checked many a 45 along the way and seeking them out and sampling their eccentricities is nothing short of mind-blowing. This 24-track collection positively effervesces with eccentricity. As with every installment in the series, these tracks are divided into four themes: The Rock’n’Rollers, New Dance Trend, Instrumentals, and The Mad Daddies. Every track pirouettes dangerously and at times haphazardly around the expected. These are songs for strange times by artists who can definitely be considered strange people. Gems and nuggets that sparkle even more bright in the manufactured music maelstrom of the 21st century. The population of Badsville welcomes you aboard. Includes tracks by Gary Link & the Rock-a-Fellas, Buddy Starr & the Starliners, The Saints, Jamie Coe, Bo Toliver & His Timers, Dossie Thunderbird Terry, The Vocaleers, Celestine, Young Jessie, Creel Sisters, The Phaetons, Burt Keyes with Teddy McRae & His Orchestra, The Downbeats, The Stereos, The Ramblers, The Storms, The Renegades, Nightmares (Jimmie Maddin Orchestra), Don Johnston, Jivin’ Gene and the Jokers, Freddy Montell, Terry Corin and Her Boyfriends, and Mr. Undertaker.

File Under: Rock, Roll, RnB, Garage

czech upVarious: Czech Up! Vol 1 (Vampisoul) LP
Czech Up! Vol. 1: Chain of Fools is Vampisoul’s first collection of gems from the vaults of the Czech Supraphon label, which has been continuously active since the early 1950s. While it has always been highly esteemed by music connoisseurs for its excellent classical music releases, Supraphon’s pop, rock, and jazz music catalog is less known internationally, although it’s in fact even larger, comprising around 60,000 unique tracks. It also incorporates the complete back-catalog of Panton, another Czechoslovak label launched in 1967 that existed independently until the late 1990s. Czech Up! Vol. 1 highlights a collection of tracks that were originally released in Czechoslovakia between 1966 and 1978 on the Supraphon and Panton labels. Vampisoul’s Iñigo Munster chose several psychedelic freakbeat favorites, while Lukás Machata of the Funky Czech-In website, an expert on Czechoslovak music, selected a variety of grooving soul, jazz, and pop nuggets. Many of these tracks have never been reissued before. Machata, a longtime sound engineer and graphic designer, is also responsible for the carefully processed digital remasters, the retro-style cover artwork, and the liner notes. The compilation ranges from the fuzz-soul of Komety, the lush downtempo disco of Bezinky, the Afro-influenced pop of Eva Pilarová, and Jazz Cellula’s fierce funk through the Gondolán Brothers’ gypsy beat introducing Jitka Zelenková, the frantic garage rock of Blue Effect, Flamengo, and George & Beatovens, to schlager music star Karel Gott’s atypical R&B outing, Mahagon’s hypnotic fusion jazz-funk, and a rousing “Barbarella” interpretation by incomparable idol Waldemar Matuska. Czech Up! Vol. 1 also includes a well-known classic by the Golden Kids supergroup of Václav Neckář, Marta Kubisová, and Helena Vondráčková, as well as accomplished vocal acrobat Karel Cernoch’s rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” and Michal Prokop’s confidently soulful Framus Five combo. The collection digs out undeservedly neglected bijoux by the graceful Helena Blehárová with the Gustav Brom Orchestra, the almost avant-gardist Petr and Jan Spálený from Apollobeat, ex-Matadors shouter Viktor Sodoma, Pavel Novák and his Vox group, trumpet virtuoso Václav Týfa with Josef Vobruba’s all-star jazz-rock ensemble Konstelace, Discobolos, Josef Laufer & Their Majesties, The Bluesmen, jazzman Karel Růzička with the Ferdinand Havlík Orchestra, the funky Flamingo group featuring Petr Němec with Marie “Lady Soul” Rottrová, and psychedelic pop band Atlantis, fronted by siblings Hana and Petr Ulrych. Grooves you can dance to, songs you can chill to, breaks you can rap to… 25 tracks you simply must hear.

File Under: Funk, Rock, Jazz

vice 3Various: International Vicious Society Vol III (University of Vice) LP
Reissue of the third volume in the crazy International Vicious Society series, out of print since 2007 and now quite difficult to find. Collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the ’50s and ’60s for a brilliant and bonkers concoction of exotica, teenbeat, and international nonsense novelties. Lurch-eriffic teen crazes and totally daffy mix-‘n’-match foreign-language tracks that’ll make your eyes and ears alike pop just like corn. If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out yer Las Vegas Grind and Jungle Exotica records then this is for you! This platter will liven up any ole party. Long live the University of Vice. Includes tracks by Geval Trio, The Ruby’s, Los Beatniks, Marfil y Morales, Jimmie Haskell, Kemal Rachid, Dante and the Evergreens, Burt Blanca, Jimmy Walker, Isa Novo, Luis Enriquez, Nick Killer, The Black Shadows, The Weedons, Los Matemáticos, and The Spacemen.

File Under: Exotica, Teenbeat, Novelty

vice4Various: International Vicious Society Vol IV (University of Vice) LP
Reissue of the fourth volume in the crazy International Vicious Society series, out of print since 2007 and now quite difficult to find. Collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the ’50s and ’60s for a brilliant and bonkers concoction of exotica, teenbeat, and international nonsense novelties. Lurch-eriffic teen crazes and totally daffy mix-‘n’-match foreign-language tracks that’ll make your eyes and ears alike pop just like corn. If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out yer Las Vegas Grind and Jungle Exotica records then this is for you! This platter will liven up any ole party. Long live the University of Vice. Includes tracks by The Daniels, Les Diables Noirs, Spede Pasanen, Raoul Guillaume, Conjunto Misterio, Carlos Roman, King Kennytone, Les Fingers, The Crazy Birds, Sincron, Eduardo Araujo, Charlie, Yolanda Dey, and Sasha & Vilda.

File Under: Exotica, Teenbeat, Novelty

michigan nuggetsVarious: Michigan Nuggets (Belvedere) LP
For vinyl collectors of artifacts from 1960s Michigan, the holy grail is Michigan Nuggets, an impressive double LP set released on the Belvedere label. The 31 cuts include many of the biggest Detroit-area garage band local hits of the ’60s including those by the Woolies, the Rationals, the Unrelated Segments, the Shy Guys, the Human Beings, Tim Tam & the Turn-Ons, the Wanted, the Underdogs, and the Tidal Waves. It also has seven rare Bob Seger recordings from the Hideout label including “Persecution Smith,” “Chain Smokin,” and “East Side Story.” In addition to all these treasures, the double album features four early MC5 titles, and the hard-to-find Amboy Dukes single “You Talk Sunshine, I Breathe Fire.” For laughs, you even get an audio curio called “An Important Message” featuring Dr. Jack van Impe railing against the evils of rock and roll! This is one of the very best garage-oriented compilations of the era, and a pretty diverse one. The sound is excellent, as are the liner notes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve. Edition of 500. Also includes tracks by Terry Knight & The Pack, ? & The Mysterians, Southbound Freeway, and Ormandy.

File Under: Garage, Psych


Algarnas Tradgard: Fram…. (Subliminal) LP
Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (Cleopatra) LP
Albert Ayler: In Greenwich Village (Impulse) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit (Mom & Pop) LP
Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Sony) LP
David Bowie: Live at the Beeb (Parlaphone) LP
David Bowie: Pin Ups (Parlaphone) LP
Peter Brotzmann: Nipples (Cien Fugeo) LP
Chrome: Visitation (Cleopatra) LP
John Coltrane: Ascension (Impulse) LP
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Elliott Brood: Ambassador (Six Shooter) LP
Flower Travellin’ Band: Satori (Phoenix) LP
Grimes: Art Angel (Crystal Math) LP
Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin: Instrumental Tourist (Software) LP
Lemonheads: Hate Your Friends (Fire) LP
Pole: Wald (Pole) LP
Smiths: s/t (Rhino) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Night Creeper (Rise Above) LP
Uther Pendragon: San Francisco Earthquake (Guerssen) 3LP
Various: No New York (Lilith) LP

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