Oh man! Another bonkers week for crazy reissues! Three more absolutely essential reissues from the 70’s underground. Insane!!!!!
Also, Nora asked me to pass this little note along, “A big warm thanks for spending time with me at Listen. From the new customers to the regulars, you have made my 3 years at Listen very special. I will miss all of you.”
We are sad to see her leave not just the shop, but Edmonton. We wish her all the best back home…
…..picks of the week…..
La Monte Young & Mariah Zazeela: Dream House 78’17” (Les Series Shandar) LP
Originally released by the French label Shandar and never re-released on LP, Dream House 78′ 17″ is one of the very few recordings ever made by minimalist composer La Monte Young, in this case together with his long-time companion Marian Zazeela and his group the Theatre of Eternal Music c.1974. Now available for the first time proper on vinyl, this is a right-on opportunity to get down into this incredible work of drifting sublime minimalism, transcendent drones and narcotic, sine-wave ambient energy. This is the art of ‘continuous’ music as explored by Young and his collective of Dream House musicians including a young Jon Hassell on Voice, and Garrett List on Trombone. You certainly get your money’s worth here; clocking in at an epically, beautiful 78’ minutes and 71 seconds… as the title suggests. This is worth every minute/penny. Highest Recommendation!
File Under: Drone, Avant-Garde, Minimalism, Essential Grooves
Tony Conrad with Faust: Outside the Dream Syndicate (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Violinist, composer and filmmaker Tony Conrad started his career in New York in the early 1960s. As a member of the Theater of Eternal Music (a.k.a. the Dream Syndicate) alongside John Cale, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Angus MacLise, he participated in now-legendary and often legendarily loud drone performances with many pieces having no beginning and no end. During a fateful trip to Germany in 1972, Conrad met with avant-rock visionaries Faust and made the very first record to bear his name. Outside The Dream Syndicate, originally released in Europe only in 1973, is a stunning debut. Two side-long tracks—“The Side Of Man And Womankind” and “The Side Of The Machine”—show just how far Conrad had moved beyond his minimalist peers. Werner Diermaier’s repetitive drum beat and Jean-Hervé Peron’s stripped-down bassline conjure a tense, ascetic groove, while Conrad’s seamless violin, initially so controlled, reveals a surprising adaptability. The music shifts almost on a subliminal level, pushing and pulling to the drone’s internal pulse. It is hard to imagine Conrad’s trajectory from downtown Manhattan to a farmhouse in the German countryside that ultimately resulted in Outside The Dream Syndicate, yet no other record captures—so completely and instantly—the intersection of avant-garde and rock forms. Outside The Dream Syndicate remains ahead of and bracingly outside of its time. This first-time vinyl reissue and long out-of-print CD release have been carefully been carefully mastered from the original master tapes and include liner notes by musician Jim O’Rourke and author Branden W. Joseph. Highest Recommendation!
File Under: Minimalism, Drone, Avant-Garde, Essential Grooves
Träd, Gräs och Stenar: s/t (Anthology Recordings) 6LP
In tomorrow… The essential live recordings of Träd, Gräs och Stenar, Sweden’s greatest underground music export, are collected across 6 LPs. Includes Djungelns Lag and Mors Mors, plus Kom Tillsammans, an exclusive 2xLP with entirely unreleased live material from 1972. All albums are in deluxe gatefold jackets with printed inner sleeves containing liner notes by the band, and scores of images published here for the first time. Includes risograph reproductions of two rare original TGS flyers, and download code with extra unreleased material. Limited to 1,000 numbered deluxe silkscreened box sets. Kom Tillsammans features completely unheard recordings culled from original member archives, while unseen photos and extensive liner notes by the band complete this definitive Träd, Gräs och Stenar experience. Essential, unheralded psychedelic rock in the raw. And… all this material has been remastered from the original master tapes.
File Under: Psych, Sweden
Edip Akbayram & Dostlar: Nice Yillara Gulum (Pharaway) LP
The third album by Turkish psychedelic singer Edip Akbayram, originally released in 1982, really ramps up the silly synthesizers. Hear whooshy ’80s Rolands, vocals run through a harmonizer, and tons of totally tubular bass popping — it’s easy to hear the boundaries of the western intros and breaks. Ever wish Knight Rider’s KITT could drive to İstanbul? Take a ride on cheesy synthesizers with Edip at the wheel! Remastered sound. Includes insert.
File Under: Turkey, Psych
Masami Akita & Eiko Ishibashi: Kouen Kyoudai (Editions Mego) LP
Prolific Japanese artist Masami Akita aka Merzbow teams up with session musician, producer, and singer-songwriter Eiko Ishibashi for a work that showcases yet another side to Akita’s monumental catalog. Kouen Kyoudai consists of two side-long tracks that could be read as a contemporary take on the traditional avant-garde. With its skittering electronics, percussion, piano, doom, and noise, Kouen Kyoudai seamlessly incorporates many strands of experimental thought and practice. The tension that arises from the human use of the tool is made explicit as these works unfold in a storm of ecstatic human/instrument/machine interaction. Drums hammer alongside an ecstatic drone. Notes on a piano jostle with a storm of splintered electronics. Kouen Kyoudai highlights the pull between beauty and chaos; structure and the abyss — leaving behind a thrilling display of the interplay between the human and the technological while opening up new paths for both musicians involved. Masami Akita: noise electronics, computer, drums. Eiko Ishibashi: piano, drums, synth. Recorded at Gok Sound and SuperDeluxe, Tokyo. Recorded and mixed by Jim O’Rourke. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin 2015. Photography by Shunichiro Okada. Design by Jacob Cates.
File Under: Japan, Avant-Garde, Merzbow
Paul Bowles: Music of Morocco (Dust-to-Digital) 4CD
Silkscreened cigar box with foil stamping details throughout, 120-page leatherette book, and four CDs containing 4 hours and 30 minutes of audio. Includes introduction by Lee Ranaldo, field notes by Paul Bowles, and annotations by Philip Schuyler. From July to December 1959, Paul Bowles crisscrossed Morocco making recordings of traditional music under the auspices of the Library of Congress. Although the trip occupied less than six months in a long and busy career, it was the culmination of Bowles’s longstanding interest in North African music. The resulting collection remained a musical touchstone for the rest of his life and an important part of his mythology. Paul Bowles (1910-1999) was an American expatriate composer and author. He became associated with Tangier, Morocco, where he settled in 1947 and lived for 52 years to the end of his life. While living in Morocco, Bowles became a magnet for those envisioning the artist’s life away from the mainstream. He was idolized by writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom (William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac) visited Bowles and his wife Jane in Tangier — a city Burroughs would later reimagine as the “Interzone” in his 1959 novel Naked Lunch. Over four months in 1959, Bowles traveled an estimated 25,000 miles around Morocco, capturing vocal and instrumental (including dance) music of various tribes and other indigenous populations at 23 locations throughout the country. In 1972, the Library of Congress issued a double LP titled Music of Morocco, containing selections from the collection. This four-CD set contains the recordings included on that double LP in addition to a wealth of never-before-heard music from this rich collection. Includes performances by Maallem Ahmed, Rais Ahmed ben Bakrim, Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem, Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou, Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed, Chikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal, Maallem Ahmed Gacha, Chikha Fatoma bent Kaddour, Cheikha Haddouj bent Fatma Rohou, Mohammed bel Hassan El Ferqa dial Guedra (Bechara), Maalem Abdeslam Sarsi el Mahet, Sadiq ben Mohammed Laghzaoui Morsan Embarek ben Mohammed, Maalem Mohammed Rhiata, Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani, Maallem Taieb ben Mbarek, Hazan Isaac Ouanounou, members of the Hevrat Gezekel, Hazan Semtob Knafo, Amram Castiel, Hevrat David Hamelekh, Maalem el Hocein, Abdelkrim Rais, and members of the Family of the Chorfa of Ouezzane, as well as recordings of unknown performers.
File Under: Morocco, Field Recordings, Archival
Charles Bradley: Changes (Daptone) LP/2LP
We are now an AUTHORIZED DAPTONE, so in addition to the regular version of the new Charles Bradley we have the limited exclusive 2LP version which includes the instrumental versions of the album. Soul singer Charles Bradley’s star has been on the rise since the release of his widely praised 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming, and his ascent has continued long after the release of his triumphant second album, 2013’s Victim of Love. Dubbed “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” the singer is proud to present his highly anticipated third album Changes, on Daptone imprint Dunham Records. The album is named for his popular, “smoldering” (SPIN) cover of the Black Sabbath track. “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing ‘Changes’ and get emotional,” notes Bradley. “It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.” By now, Bradley’s remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well documented: how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs before finally being discovered by Daptone’s Gabriel Roth. The documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America, directed by Poull Brien, follows Bradley’s extraordinary journey during the electrifying and transformative months leading up to the release of debut album No Time for Dreaming. The year following the release of No Time For Dreaming was one triumph after another and Victim of Love saw Bradley emerging from his past heartaches stronger and more confident, overflowing with love to share. Victim of Love went on to receive overwhelming praise and was included on numerous “Best of 2013” lists while the album’s title track was also named one of Rolling Stone’s “Best Songs of 2013.” Produced by Thomas Brenneck and backed by Menahan Street Band, with Changes, the powerhouse performer brings music fans of all ages another unforgettable set of songs and will continue to bring his live shows to stages around the world.
File Under: Soul
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Smoking Acid (A) LP
180-gram single LP version, on green vinyl, of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Smoking Acid EP, originally released as a double 12″ in 2009. Following the band’s extensive tour of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and a few select dates in New York (including at ATP supporting My Bloody Valentine et al.) in 2008, Anton Newcombe went to Berlin to focus on his next album. Four weeks before hitting the US tour in April 2009, Newcombe was bursting with ideas and went to Iceland where this five-track EP was recorded. Originally, Newcombe was heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones’ psychedelic phase, but his work in the 2000s has expanded into aesthetic dimensions approximating the UK shoegaze genre of the 1990s and incorporating influences from world music, especially Middle Eastern and Brazilian music. This work mixes the traditional Brian Jonestown Massacre sound with Eastern influences and brings it up to date with the benefit of all the additional weirdness that’s been discovered in the past 40 years.
File Under: Space Rock, Psych
CFM: Still Life of Citrus And Slime (In The Red) LP
In tomorrow…. CFM is Charles Francis Moothart. He has been making records for the past decade, playing various instruments in various bands—bass in The Epsilons, drums in The Moonhearts, and guitar in The Ty Segall Band and, most recently, Fuzz. Still Life of Citrus and Slime is Moothart’s first solo effort and it’s a great one. Moothart says, “Still Life of Citrus and Slime—the idea of creating something outside of the comfort zone. Blending basic elements of necessity, release and escape. An attempt to fuse reality with the elusions of the possible. The music represents an elevation beyond the barriers of linear motion and self-doubt. It is similar to looking in a mirror and realizing that time trails itself constantly by just a millisecond. You cannot kill time, and you cannot exist on both sides of the reflex. Yet, to bridge the gap is to eliminate instinct and output in their purest forms. “This record is a portrait of a person navigating the mechanics of two distinct machines. The first—the brain. The second—the Tascam 388. Eight tracks and a quarter-inch path to maneuver to the summation. The songs simmer from rare to well done. No matter the cut, the meat is fresh and still vibrating with life. “Fast, slow, wonky and straight. There are moments of everything in these grooves. At times it feels like it could come apart at the seams, but it doesn’t. It grabs the thread, bites the end, pulls it tight and continues the experiment. It’s rock ’n’ roll, and that’s all. The greener grass is browning on the other side. The drought is here to stay. The only way out of this mess is to put your head down and do the right thing. Keep moving, keep trying, keep creating, and project any positivity possible. Of course it is much easier to succumb to the wolf. Just forget about it, and pretend it is out of your control. Thankfully the wolf let down his guard. Having found refuge in a blanket of heartache and a bottle of wine, he took a cat nap in a manger of confusion.”
File Under: Garage, Psych
Circles: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
In the late 1970s and ’80s there was a lot happening in the German post-krautrock underground that few people knew about — lots of independent artists doing their own thing, either via small labels or no labels at all. Circles was one of these bands. Based in the suburbs of Frankfurt, they consisted of Dierk Leitert (synthesizer, sequencer, drums, bass, guitar, voice, saxophone, flute) and Mike Bohrmann (guitars, bass, synthesizer), plus a few collaborators. Carrying the torch of ’70s bands like Cluster, Harmonia, or Liliental into the ’80s, Circles were also contemporaries of groups like Throbbing Gristle, Ilitch, and Nurse with Wound, so one can also expect some similarities to those artists. Circles is their first album, originally privately released in 1983 on the duo’s tiny Einhorn label and housed in a mysterious cover. This little-known but excellent kraut/psych/experimental album is highly recommended for anyone into Harmonia, Cluster, Fripp & Eno, Heldon, Conrad Schnitzler, NEU!, Throbbing Gristle, Ilitch, Irmin Schmidt, Amon Düül II. . . . First-ever reissue, including detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman (The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Ultima Thule) telling the band’s story for the first time.
File Under: Krautrock, Experimental
Circles: More Circles (Mental Experience) LP
In the late 1970s and ’80s there was a lot happening in the German post-krautrock underground that few people knew about — lots of independent artists doing their own thing, either via small labels or no labels at all. Circles was one of these bands. Based in the suburbs of Frankfurt, they consisted of Dierk Leitert (synthesizer, sequencer, drums, bass, guitar, voice, saxophone, flute) and Mike Bohrmann (guitars, bass, synthesizer), plus a few collaborators. Carrying the torch of ’70s bands like Cluster, Harmonia, or Liliental into the ’80s, Circles were also contemporaries of groups like Throbbing Gristle, Ilitch, and Nurse with Wound, so one can also expect some similarities to those artists. More Circles is their second album, originally privately released in 1984 on the duo’s tiny Einhorn label. It’s a work of experimental krautrock with lots of psychedelic guitar, keyboards, motorik drums, drones, proto-ambient sounds, and avant-garde/Dadaist touches. RIYL: Harmonia, Cluster, Fripp & Eno, Nurse with Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Chrome, Heldon, Conrad Schnitzler, NEU!, Eroc. . . . First-ever reissue, including detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman (The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Ultima Thule) telling the band’s story for the first time.
File Under: Krautrock, Experimental
Diminished Men: Vision in Crime (Abduction) LP
Distorted through a shattered lens, Diminished Men refocus hard-boiled cinema and classic instrumental music into something entirely unique. Vision in Crime, their third LP on Sun City Girls’ Abduction label, unfolds like a paranormal detective story full of delinquent exotica, deranged noir, hyperventilating surf, and shortwave radio nightmares. Opening number “Chamber,” an apparition of a forensics crime scene investigation, sets the tone but quickly spirals into the cobra-twilight guitar work of Steve Schmitt on the Aegean Sea-inspired espionage-surf track “Oistros Dolorous.” From here the band’s mutant lounge carnage weaves through sinister cityscapes and plazas, kudzu-infested forests on the avant-spy jazz of “Kudzu Mine,” lost island noir, hallucinatory gamelan rock, and phantom radio dispatches. By the time that mickey sets in, the title-track, a hauntingly gorgeous ballad, closes out the album. Diminished Men possess dangerous musical minds pulsing with nervous electricity, shattering Fender reverb, explodo-free jazz, and gorgeous, sometimes romantic melancholy. Featuring Steve Schmitt on guitars, drummer Dave Abramson (Master Musicians of Bukkake), and Simon Henneman on Bass VI. Vision in Crime includes special guest recording appearances by saxophonists Skerik (Critters Buggin, Garage a Trois, Wayne Horvitz) and Neil Welch (Bad Luck, King Tears Bat Trip). Limited edition of 500.
File Under: Rock, Surf, Sun City Girls
Explosions in the Sky: The Wilderness (Temporary Residence) LP
Explosions In The Sky return with their sixth album and first non-soundtrack release since 2011’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. True to its title, The Wilderness explores the infinite unknown, utilizing several of the band’s own definitions of “space” (outer space, mental space, physical geography of space) as compositional tools. It is an album where shoegaze, electronic experimentation, punk damaged dub, noise, and ambient folk somehow coexist without a hint of contrivance – and cohere into some of the most memorable and listenable moments of the band’s expansive body of work – ‘proper’ studio albums and major motion picture soundtracks alike. If The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place was the defining album of Explosions In The Sky’s career, The Wilderness is the band’s (re)defining album.
File Under: Post Rock
The Field: The Follower (Kompakt) LP
Celebrated Kompakt staple The Field returns to the spotlight with The Follower, his fifth full-length offering following From Here We Go Sublime, Yesterday and Today, Looping State of Mind, and Cupid’s Head. Swedish soundsmith Axel Willner is well known for his mastery when it comes to the allusive layering of loops, but it was with his 2013 album Cupid’s Head that a newly found, somewhat pressing snappishness started to replace the soft-hued sonics of his ambient-infused techno, imbued with a darker mood and stronger footing than before. A carefully gauged balance of stoic motorik and gloomy drones was key here — just as it is for The Follower, which goes even further in blurring the lines between concrete experimentation, body music, and precisely laid-out arrangement, leading to one of the most rhythmically and texturally engaging listening experiences in Willner’s catalog. Title-track “The Follower” opening on a surprisingly muscular groove and setting the tone for what could be considered The Field’s most floor-attuned work yet; a raw bounce dripping with foggy acid and marching percussion catches long-time fans off-guard while providing a perfect entry point for curious newcomers. Follow-up cut “Pink Sun” quickly finds its pace with one of these perpetually rotating hooks for which Willner is known, while “Monte Verità” specializes in tunefully glitched vocal samples with accompanying bass workout. This powerful, propelling album build-up finds its first moment of introspection with the mountainous “Soft Streams,” an exciting synth journey that emits both ethereal and kinetic propensities. “Raise the Dead” presents The Field’s focused sonic storytelling at its minimalist best, gyrating around a basic motive for a while before joining an earthy beat and opening up the sunshine roof. It’s a winding, hypnotic track that also works particularly well as transition to the album’s remarkable closing chapter; the slow-paced “Reflecting Lights” shows Willner at his most refined, evoking his often-quoted appreciation of Wolfgang Voigt’s ambient project Gas as well as an obvious fondness for kraut synthesists and their trance-inducing exploits. The Follower shows a consistent evolution in The Field’s trademark style of creation, but may very well be considered one of his most vibrant and visceral outings yet.
File Under: Techno, Electronic
Fluxion: Bipolar Defect (Subwax BCN) LP
Widely considered one of the landmark releases of dub-infused electronic music, as well as an endless resource of inspiration and awe for generations of electronic music artists and enthusiasts, Bipolar Defect by Fluxion was originally released on Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald’s revered Chain Reaction label in 2000; this cavernous masterpiece now receives its long-awaited first-ever reissue from Barcelona imprint Subwax Bcn. Bipolar Defect successfully managed to broaden the space and the environment of Fluxion’s compositions, and developed further his technique of textural sonic blend. “Fluxion’s fourth and most otherworldly Chain Reaction EP, Bipolar Effect. . . . remains his most stunning listen, as the producer continually crafts hallucinogenic aural experiences with an unbelievably minimal palette.” –AllMusic
File Under: Electronic, Dub
Gnod: Mirror (Rocket) LP
Just as dramatically as their restless disposition morphed their sound to a binary-driven direction for their last work, now Gnod strip their electronic setup to a vicious, viscous attack, as redolent of the primal punishment of early Swans as the angularity of prime Public Image Ltd, yet shot through with a mercurial power and fiery intensity that could come from no-one else. Reflecting and refracting the uncertainty of a darkening era, ‘Mirror’ is a work of bold reinvention and raw renewal, sculpting chaos and discord into a formidable statement of intent. Only one thing is certain – wherever Gnod choose to go next, their ire and inspiration blaze as brightly as ever.
File Under: Rock, Experimental
Hayden: Everything I Long For (Hardwood) LP
In tomorrow… hopefully! Twenty years on from the release of Hayden’s gruff-voiced full-length debut, Everything I Long For, the album remains an iconic time capsule for mid-’90s Canadian indie rock. To celebrate, the beloved singer-songwriter is giving the record a brand new vinyl pressing and taking the songs on tour. A press release explains that Hayden Desser’s own Hardwood Recordings will issue the repress on April 1. The double-LP set presents the U.S. running order of the LP, which arrived in 1996 and was two songs shorter than the original 1995 Canadian edition. That said, the D side to the new vinyl release includes the Canuck edition’s “I Almost Cried,” as well as demos and outtakes and Hayden’s recipe for Kraft Dinner. Sadly, if you’re a completist, the repress still omits “Bunkbed.” The sessions were remastered by Joao Carvalho, with the vinyl arriving in a hand-numbered run of 1,000 copies on white vinyl. The limited release also comes with a download card, a handwritten lyric sheet and a collage of era-appropriate memorabilia. Pre-orders are up for grabs over here. Everything I Long For kickstarted Hayden’s career, with opening single “Bad As They Seem” introducing listeners to a much growlier Hayden than we’d hear in the years to come. The single was a MuchMusic staple in the mid-’90s. “I’ve always had a bit of a complex relationship with this record,” Desser said in a statement, “but with all of the personal baggage it comes with, I can’t deny the impact it has had on my life and the meaning it had to a certain group of people in the mid 1990s. For that, I’ve made the decision to briefly go back in time and celebrate the first songs I ever wrote.”
File Under: Folk, CanCon
Impact All-Stars: Java Java Java Java (Get On Down) LP
“‘Dub as we know it begins here. Prior to 1973, there existed in Jamaica instrumental takes of songs — B-sides that were labeled ‘versions’ — and vocal-less acetates produced as one-offs for sound systems to give their mic men something to toast over. But there was nothing that fit the radical mixing board athleticism and psychedelic soundscapes that are the trademarks of dub music. By the end of that year, however, the story had radically changed. Lee Perry’s Rhythm Shower and Upsetters 14 Dub, aka Blackboard Jungle, Herman Chin-Loy’s Aquarius Dub and Prince Buster’s The Message Dubwise had all appeared on the scene, each to varying degrees exemplifying dub’s radical take-off on the instrumental concept. However, it may have been Java Java Java Java, that broke the first ground. ‘To my knowledge,’ producer Clive Chin confirms, ‘and I’m telling this from a true fact, at the time it came out there was no other album like it.’ Although the debate will probably continue for as long as scholars of Jamaican music exist, there is no doubt that Java Java Java Java is one of the foundations of dub music.’ –Andrew Mason from the extensive liner notes. Java Java Java Java features key members of the Randy’s house band aka The Impact All-Stars. Featured here are Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith, Fully Fullwood, Augustus Pablo, Winston Wright, Tommy McCook, and more with the production helmed by Clive Chin with Errol Thompson behind the board.”
File Under: Reggae
Low Jack: Lighthouse Stories (Modern Love) LP
Modern Love very rarely reaches out to artists outside of its immediate surroundings; it’s happened just a couple of times since the label’s inception in 2002. But there’s something about Philippe Hallais that compelled the label to ask him if he wanted to do something together. Hallais has released music on a bunch of cool labels (L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Delsin, In Paradisum), but upon hearing the first tracks recorded for Lighthouse Stories, it was obvious that he was hitting on something new — a kinda weird slow/fast dance music that sounded like a footwork variant sewn up with an exotic production style impossible to pin down. These tracks eventually splintered off into different directions, held together by a strong sense of narrative and motion harking back to a teenage obsession with turntablism, Detroit electro, and ghetto house, and eventually juke and grime. Although Hallais had previously been focusing on more industrial dancefloor variants, for Lighthouse Stories he turned to these foundational influences, as well as his love of mixtapes and sound collages full of unfinished ideas, skits, and experiments — all things that inform the flow of this album. Lighthouse Stories captures a sense of nostalgia well, but is also a futuristic vision full of that exploratory, vibrant spirit that’s so hard to find in electronic music these days. Frames of reference are hard, but in places it reminds one of the dusted swagger of Anthony Shake Shakir, the aquatic Drexciyan movements of Ultradyne, a loose-limbed take on shangaan, and Actress at his most submerged. But ultimately, it’s an album made by a producer looking to his personal history while breaking new ground, pushing ahead with little regard to convention and ultimately ending up with something completely unique: a kind of intimate journal rendered in bright colors and odd shapes. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Pressed at Pallas. Cover artwork and insert designed by Will Bankhead.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Baris Manco & Kurtalan Ekspres: Sozum Meclisten Disari (Pharaway) LP
Originally released in 1981, this is another killer album by the Turkish legend, recorded with the same line-up as 1979’s Yeni Bir Gün album. Psych/funk/progressive sounds full of heavy drums and basslines, Moog/analog keyboards, and psychedelic guitar. Featuring the killer duet with Deniz Tüney (“Alla Beni Pulla Beni”), the superb boogie-funk-styled “Adem Oğlu Kızgın Fırın Havva Kızı Mercimek,” the cosmic prog sounds of “2025 (Üçüncü Ve Son Yolculuk),” and more. Remastered sound. Original artwork.
File Under: Turkey, Psych
Muslimgauze: Buddhist on Fire (Vinyl on Demand) LP
Standalone edition of Vinyl-on-Demand’s expanded reissue of Buddhist on Fire by Muslimgauze, included in its 2014 Chasing the Shadow of Bryn Jones 1983-1988 box set and originally released on Recloose Organisation in 1984. The set focuses on the early output of the Manchester, England-based Bryn Jones, who produced nearly 200 albums between 1982 and 1998, before he passed away in 1999 at age 37. An anti-colonialist at heart, Jones dedicated most of his music to Muslim-world struggles during his lifetime, such as Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, the Iran/Iraq war, and the Lebanon civil war, to name a few, with an emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jones was pro-Palestine, often evidenced on album and track titles as well as dedications. Muslimgauze music can be considered a sonic treatise on Muslim-world conflicts in the form of exotic soundscape narratives, driving musical protest and rhythmic assertion. As a side-effect of being prolific, Jones worked in a variety of styles and successfully melded traditional ethnic music of places he championed with Western urban stylings such as techno, breakbeat, and dub. Some credit him as being the “Godfather of Dubstep.” Perhaps Jones’s musical brilliance shone brightest as an audio editor who deftly juxtaposed unlikely sounds in ways that now cannot be envisioned otherwise. In 1992 Jones wrote a manifesto about his music and influence; decades later, his vision is more relevant than ever. “The Principle Influence behind Muslimgauze is the political facts of the middle-east, though support of the PLO is the main Backbone. There are no musical influences, only political facts and figureheads e.g. Arafat, Gaddafi, Bhutto, Khaled etc. Such things are the starting point from which Muslimgauze music is taken. We have just (Gulf War) had a small skirmish in the middle-east, this area of the world is the most important quiet soon. Every countries going to have to choose which side it is on, to help free the people of Palestine. . . . There is a lot more to Muslimgauze than just a few pieces of music on a record or CD. There are no Bands around who I go out of my way to hear/see, the main-music I listen to is authentic and unable to be pigeonholed, people seem to buy what there told to, also they hear what other people have decided is good. Go Out and Discover.” –Bryn Jones, February 29, 1992, Manchester
File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Tribal
Muslimgauze: Opaques (Vinyl on Demand) LP
Standalone edition of Vinyl-on-Demand’s expanded reissue of Opaques by Muslimgauze, included in its 2014 Chasing the Shadow of Bryn Jones 1983-1988 box set and originally released as a cassette on Product Kinematograph in 1983. The set focuses on the early output of the Manchester, England-based Bryn Jones, who produced nearly 200 albums between 1982 and 1998, before he passed away in 1999 at age 37. An anti-colonialist at heart, Jones dedicated most of his music to Muslim-world struggles during his lifetime, such as Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, the Iran/Iraq war, and the Lebanon civil war, to name a few, with an emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jones was pro-Palestine, often evidenced on album and track titles as well as dedications. Muslimgauze music can be considered a sonic treatise on Muslim-world conflicts in the form of exotic soundscape narratives, driving musical protest and rhythmic assertion. As a side-effect of being prolific, Jones worked in a variety of styles and successfully melded traditional ethnic music of places he championed with Western urban stylings such as techno, breakbeat, and dub. Some credit him as being the “Godfather of Dubstep.” Perhaps Jones’s musical brilliance shone brightest as an audio editor who deftly juxtaposed unlikely sounds in ways that now cannot be envisioned otherwise. In 1992 Jones wrote a manifesto about his music and influence; decades later, his vision is more relevant than ever. “The Principle Influence behind Muslimgauze is the political facts of the middle-east, though support of the PLO is the main Backbone. There are no musical influences, only political facts and figureheads e.g. Arafat, Gaddafi, Bhutto, Khaled etc. Such things are the starting point from which Muslimgauze music is taken. We have just (Gulf War) had a small skirmish in the middle-east, this area of the world is the most important quiet soon. Every countries going to have to choose which side it is on, to help free the people of Palestine. . . . There is a lot more to Muslimgauze than just a few pieces of music on a record or CD. There are no Bands around who I go out of my way to hear/see, the main-music I listen to is authentic and unable to be pigeonholed, people seem to buy what there told to, also they hear what other people have decided is good. Go Out and Discover.” –Bryn Jones, February 29, 1992, Manchester
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Tribal
Neutral Milk Hotel: s/t (Neutral Milk Hotel) 2LP+2×10″+2×7″+7″Picture Disk
In tomorrow…. A self-released vinyl only box set including fifteen previously unreleased tracks. Includes two gatefold 12” records (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and On Avery Island), two 10” records (Everything Is EP with bonus tracks and Ferris Wheel on Fire EP featuring eight previously unreleased acoustic recordings), two 7” records (Little Birds and You’ve Passed/Where You’ll Find Me Now), one 7” picture disc with fold-out poster (Holland 1945/Engine), and two 24“x24” posters.
File Under: Indie Rock
Augustus Pablo: This is Augustus Pablo (Get On Down) LP
“Augustus Pablo (given name Horace Swaby) was born just outside of Kingston. ‘I am a Kingstonian,’ he told the NME in 1986, ‘but my heart is for the hills.’ This mystical connection to ‘the hills’ is at the heart of Pablo’s unique and immediately identifiable sound. By the late ’60s, Swaby and his brother Dougie had founded a small sound system they called Rockers. The brothers spent a lot of time in record shops, including Aquarius, where owner Herman Chin-Loy heard Swaby experimenting on his melodica and was struck by the inspiration to record. The resulting tune was credited to Augustus Pablo, a name that Chin-Loy invented, as the story goes, to give an air of mystery to the release. Pablo recorded two more singles soon after with ‘Java’ becoming a major hit and being voted Instrumental Song Of The Year by Jamaica’s Swing Magazine. This success led to the Randy’s label moving to create a full-length album from Pablo. Recording in the Randy’s studio upstairs from the record shop ‘we weren’t watching the clock…we had the studio,’ Clive Chin recalled. The band included a cast of the greatest reggae musicians of all time: future Wailer Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, ‘Fully’ Fullwood and Lloyd Parks on the bass, Carlton Barrett, ‘Santa’ Davis and Lloyd ‘Tin Leg’ Adams were on drums and Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith played guitar. In addition to these future Hall of Famers, the mixing board was helmed by Errol Thompson. Thompson and Chin would together pioneer a tough, new reggae sound that, Chin referred to as ‘Rockers’ after the Swaby brothers’ Rockers Hi-Fi sound system. For this issue three songs contemporary to the first release of This Is… have been added: the original single version of Pablo’s hit, ‘Java,’ and two cuts issued as B-sides to successful Clive Chin-produced records. ‘Guiding Red’ and ‘Marabi.’ Augustus Pablo sadly passed away in 1999. ‘He was 46,’ his obituary stated, ‘and lived in the hills outside Kingston,’ where his heart belonged. His music has endured and continues to inspire. This Is Augustus Pablo is considered among the greatest collections of Jamaican instrumental music and is an essential part of reggae history.”
File Under: Reggae
Simulakrum Lab: s/t (Rustblade) LP
“Simulakrum Lab is an electronic music project created by Paolo Prevosto, composer and sound designer, in collaboration with Eugene, voice and sound engineering. The concept deals with advanced research technology matters, by means of 70s sound paradigms, inspired by electronic music pioneers such as Kraftwerk, Goblin, Moroder and Roroyksopp. What makes this project outstanding is the realization of tracks based almost exclusively on original analog synthesizers from the 70s, Moog, Korg and Doepfer, avoiding as much as possible the use of emulated computer synthesizers. The core of Simulakrum Lab is the balance between old school electronic music and groundbreaking future sound engineering. Here some renowned guests who collaborated to the project: Claudio Simonetti (famous author, together with Goblin, of many of Dario Argento’s movies soundtracks) keyboard player in track ‘Aggregat 4.’ Fabio Pignatelli (legendary bass player, former Goblin member, renown for Profondo Rosso and Suspiria soundtracks) bass guitar player in track ‘Backlit.’ Kenneth Johnson (maker, producer and director of many famous tv series, among which Visitors, Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk and Alien Nation) voice in track ‘The Day The Vocoder Stood Still’ Liz Enthusiam (singer for the U.S.A. synth-pop band Freezepop) vocals in ‘Quiet Girl’ and ‘Far Worlds’.”
File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
Omar Souleyman: Heli Yuweli (Trilogy Tapes) 12″
“Souleyman’s vocals are strong and assured on the title track, supported by traditional dabke instruments like the mijwiz, oud and tablas. As with most of Souleyman’s music, the song is celebratory and undeniably danceable. Anonymous duo Rezzett, a Trilogy Tapes staple, lure ‘Heli Yuweli’ into their hazy techno lair. Their remix filters and distorts the original vocals, adding a blown-out bassline, a bouncing synth melody and flanging claps. And all the while Rezzett retain dabke’s core elements. The aptly named ‘Rerezz’ version of ‘Heli Yuweli’ is a standout — more suited to a spliff session than a wedding reception. The original is made to sound as if it’s playing in a nearby room, reduced to near-static noise, with a gauzy melody disrupted by rhythmic cymbals. Considering the dark, melancholic Legowelt remix on his last LP, Souleyman could do with more bizarre remixes of his original songs. Rezzett is known for their own thumping, distorted techno productions, but their work on this B-side makes it seem like the pair could remix just about anything.” –Resident Advisor
File Under: Syrian, Dabke, Electronic
Sufjan Stevens: Illinoise (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens Illinoise (Special 10th Anniversary Blue Marvel Edition) on Limited Edition Colored 2LP! In 2005 Sufjan Stevens released Illinoise, his fourth album and the second in his 50-state project. Sufjan fans with long memories might recall a minor hiccup in Asthmatic Kitty’s release of Illinoise as it related to the inclusion of a certain Metropolis-born man of steel. While the label does love balloons, they’ve always missed the imminent presence Big Blue brought to the album’s cover art, short-lived though it was. But things are very different in 2016 than they were in 2005, and different times call for different heroes. So exactly ten years after Asthmatic released the double LP of Illinoise, they’re proud to announce a special 10th anniversary edition of the LP that includes Chicago-born Blue Marvel on the cover. The double LP will include an “Antimatter Blue” and “Cape White” vinyl colors. The audio for the special edition comes from a 2014 remastered version of Illinoise. The label has also commissioned children’s book artist and the original Illinoise cover artist Divya Srinivasan to portray Blue Marvel in the style of the original art. Pressing is limited to 10,000 worldwide.
File Under: Indie Rock
Stoned Jesus: Stormy Monday (Heavy Psych Sounds) LP
Reissue of Ukrainian band Stoned Jesus’s classic Stormy Monday EP, first released on CD in 2011. Stoner rock and traditional doom metal in the vein of early Black Sabbath, later Electric Wizard, and classic Sleep. Fuzzy, Sabbathian epics filled with catchy riffs, Hendrix-like guitar solos, and masterful vocals. For fans of: Black Sabbath, Colour Haze, Sleep, Electric Wizard.
File Under: Stoner, Psych, Metal
Traditional Fools: Fools Gold (In the Red) LP
In tomorrow… The Traditional Fools were David Fox, Andrew Luttrell and Ty Segall. They splashed onto the underground music scene around 2006 with a no-frills, lo-fi, fun, sloppy brand of budget garage-surf-punk sadly absent from music at the time. The trio released one cassette, one full-length album, a single and then knocked it on the head. They occasionally still get together for the odd “reunion” show (they never technically broke up) but will only play suitable venues like Permanent Records in Eagle Rock or Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach.Fools Gold collects the tracks from their 7-inch single along with thirteen previously unreleased recordings that have been languishing in their garage for years. Taken together, this is a barn-burner for those who can appreciate trash rock at its finest—soaked in reverb, feedback and cheap beer. Cover versions of The Damned, Love, Redd Kross, The Mummies and Gary Glitter stand shoulder to shoulder with the band’s original jams.The Traditional Fools were a party band and this album is a rock ’n’ roll party! “With speed, volume, great riffs, and a sloppy delivery, they breathe punk rock life into surf.” —Pitchfork “Like Link Wray and Dick Dale on steroids, effortlessly marrying sun-soaked surf rock with the dirtier sounds of bands like the Dead Boys.” —Consequence of Sound
File Under: Garage, Punk
Woods: City Sun Eater in the River (Woodsist) LP
In tomorrow… “Woods have always been experts at distilling life epiphanies into compact chunks of psychedelic folk that exists just outside of any sort of tangible time or place. Maybe those epiphanies were buried under cassette manipulation or drum-and-drone freakouts, or maybe they were cloaked in Jeremy Earl’s lilting falsetto, but over the course of an impressive eight albums, Woods refined and drilled down their sound into City Sun Eater in the River of Light, their ninth LP and second recorded in a proper studio. It’s a dense record of rippling guitar, lush horns, and seductive, bustling anxiety about the state of the world. It’s still the Woods you recognize, only now they’re dabbling in zonked out Ethiopian jazz, pulling influence from the low key simmer of Brown Rice, and tapping into the weird dichotomy of making a home in a claustrophobic city that feels full of possibility even as it closes in on you. City Sun Eater in the River of Light is concise, powerful, anxious—barreling headlong into an uncertain, constantly shifting new world.” -Sam Hockley-Smith
File Under: Indie Rock
Zeitkratzer + Keiji Haino: Stockhausen Aus Den Sieben Tagen (Karlrecords) LP
The third collaboration between Keiji Haino, one of the most prolific artists of the Japanese experimental/noise scene, and the critically acclaimed zeitkratzer ensemble, comprising stunning interpretations of Stockhausen compositions. When Keiji Haino heard zeitkratzer rehearsing for their Stockhausen performance at the Ruhrtriennale festival, he spontaneously decided to join the group for that part of the program, in addition to the collaborative performance that was released in 2014 as zeitkratzer + Keiji Haino and Live at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. In the Stockhausen performance, Haino focuses on his voice while zeitkratzer creates the instrumental environment, applying their amplified extended techniques and unique skills as musicians. The ensemble proves its outstanding quality once again, having already earned its reputation with recordings of works by Throbbing Gristle, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, and Lou Reed (Metal Machine Music) and collaborations with Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto, Terre Thaemlitz, and others. Aus den sieben Tagen features five pieces from Stockhausen’s collection of 15 text compositions, composed in May 1968 in reaction to a personal crisis. Stockhausen characterized the pieces as “intuitive music” — music primarily played by intuition rather than by the intellect of the performer(s), without a single defined note. zeitkratzer and Keiji Haino demonstrate beyond any doubt that they know how to use this free interpretive space. zeitkratzer, directed by Reinhold Friedl: Frank Gratkowski, clarinet; Hild Sofie Tafjord, French horn; Hilary Jeffery, trombone; Reinhold Friedl, piano; Maurice de Martin, drums and percussion; Marc Weiser, acoustic noise; Burkhard Schlothauer, violin; Anton Lukoszevieze, violoncello; Ulrich Phillipp, double bass. Keiji Haino, voice.
File Under: Experimental, Avant-Garde
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Mauraders (Jive) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns) LP
Boards of Canada: Music has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (RCA) LP
David Bowie: Aladdin Sane (RCA) LP
Glenn Branca: The Ascension (Superior Viaduct) LP
Broadcast: Tender Buttons (Warp) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Legacy) LP
Dreamtime: s/t (Catchpa) LP
Dreamtime: Sun (Catchpa) LP
John Fahey: Great San Bernardino (4 Men With Beards) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (Parlophone) LP
Grouper: Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill (Kranky) LP
Haunted: s/t (Hungry For Vinyl) LP
Kerridge: Fatal Light (DNSKER) LP
Last Exit: Iron Path (ESP) LP
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) LP
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Eureka (Drag City) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Insignificance (Drag City) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
Om: Advaitic Songs (Drag City) LP
Primal Sceam: Screamadelia (Plain) LP
Rolling Stones: Their Satanic Majesties Request (Abkco) LP
Ty Segall: Ty Rex (Goner) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Dark Noontide (Holy Mountain) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Dust & Chimes (Holy Mountain) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Sister (Goofin) LP
Spacin’: Total Freedom (Richie) LP
Stereolab: Cobra & Phases Group (1972) LP
Stereolab: Dots & Loops (1972) LP
Stereolab: Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1972) LP
Stereolab: Mars Audiac Quintet (1972) LP
Stereolab: Sound-dust (1972) LP
Tapes: Selected Works (Ecstatic) LP
Weakerthans: Reconstruction Site (Anti) LP
Weakerthans: Reunion Tour (Anti) LP