Wowzers! We are just over a week out from Record Store Day. Which does leave us with a bit of a light list this week. Things aren’t too crazy right now, but next week, things are probably going to get a bit hairy, since, nothing has shown up yet at all! Anyway, check back next week for the low down, or check out our Facebook event. We will be running things much the same this year as previous years, including giving away a Rega Turntable!
…..picks of the week…..
Suzanne Ciani: Buchla Concerts 1975 (Finders Keepers) LP
Finders Keepers invite you to witness the incredible first ever Buchla synthesiser concerts/demonstrations providing a distinctive feminine alternative to The Silver Apples Of The Moon if they had ever been presented in phonographic form. This is history in the remaking. This spring Finders Keepers Records are proud to release an archival project that not only redefines musical history but boasts genuine claim to the overused buzzwords such as pioneering, maverick, experimental, groundbreaking and esoteric, while questioning social politics and the evolution of music technology as we’ve come to understand it. To describe this records as a game-changer is an understatement. This record represents a musical revolution, a scientific benchmark and a trophy in the cabinet of counter culture creativity. This record is a triumphant yardstick in the synthesiser space race and the untold story of the first woman on the proverbial moon. While pondering the early accolades of this record it’s daunting to learn that this record was in fact not a record at all… It was a manifesto and a gateway to a new world, that somehow never quite opened. If the unfamiliar, modernistic, melodic, pulses, tones and harmonics found on this 1975 live presentation/grant application/educational demonstration had been placed in a phonographic context alongside the promoted work of Morton Subotnick, Walter Carlos or Tomita then the name Suzanne Ciani and her influence would have already radically changed the shape, sound and gender of our record collections. Hopefully there is still chance. In short, Suzanne was a self-imposed twenty-year-old employee of the Buchla modular synthesiser company, San Francisco’s neck and neck contender to New York’s Moog. Buchla was run by a community of festival freaks and academic acid eaters whose roots in new age lifestyles and the reinvention of art and music replaced the business acumen enjoyed by its likeminded East Coasters. In the eyes of the consumer the creative refusal to adopt rudimentary facets like a piano keyboard controller rendered the Buchla synthesiser the more obscure stubborn sister of the synth marathon, steering these incredible units away from the mainstream into the homes and studios of free music aficionados, art house composers and die-hard revolutionaries. Championed and semi-showcased by composer Morton Subotnick on his albums The Bull and Silver Apples Of The Moon, Buchla’s versatility began to open the minds of a new generation, but the high-end design features and no-compromise modus operandi was often confused with incompatibility and, in the pulsating shadow of Moog’s marketing, the revolution would not be televised nor patronised. Suzanne Ciani, as one of the very few female composers on the frontline (and also providing the back line) did not lose faith. These “concerts” are the epitome of rare music technology historic documents, performed by a real musician whose skills and academic education in classical composition already outweighed her male synthesiser contemporaries of twice her age. At the very start of her fragile career these recordings are nothing short of sacrificial ode to her mentor and machine, sonic pickets of the revolution and love letters to an absolutely genuine vision of and ‘alternative’ musical future. In denouncing her own precocious polymathmatic past in a bid to persuade the world to sing from a new hymn sheet, Suzanne Ciani created a bi-product of never before heard music that would render the pigeon holes “ambient” and “futuristic” utterly inadequate. Providing nothing short of an entirely different feminine take on the experimental “records” of Morton Subotnick and proving to a small, judgmental audience and jury the true versatility of one of the most radical and idiosyncratic musical instruments of the 20th century. These recordings have not been heard since then. The importance of these genuinely lost pieces of electronic musics puzzle almost eclipses the glaring detail of Suzanne’s gender as a distinct minority in an almost exclusively male dominated, faceless, coldly scientific landscape. Those familiar with Suzanne’s work, a vast vault of previously unpublished “non-records”, will already know how the creative politics in her art of “being” simultaneously reshaped the worlds of synth design, advertising and film composition before anyone had even dropped a stylus in her groove. Needless to say this record, finally commanding the archival format of choice, courtesy of the Ciani and Finders Keepers longstanding unison, was not the last “first” with which this hugely important composer would gift society, and the future of a wide range of exciting evolving creative disciplines. You have found a holy grail of electronic music and a female musical pioneer who was too proactive to take the trophies. With the light of Buchla and Ciani’s initial flame Finders Keepers continues to take a torch through the vaults of this lesser-celebrated music legacy shining a beam on these “non-records” that evaded the limelight for almost half a century. You can’t write history when you are too busy making it. With fresh ink in the bottomless well, let’s start at the beginning. Again. You, are invited!
File Under: Electronic, Synth, Buchla
Nurse With Wound: Soliloquy for Lilith (Dirter) 4LP
Originally recorded and released in 1988, Nurse With Wound’s ambient opus was years ahead of its time, a groundbreaking set of atmospheric sound patterns designed for ritual ceremonies. Hailed as a masterpiece on release, it soon became a firm favorite of NWW fans and topped the world ambient chart for over three months! This edition has been expanded to a four-LP set containing the original three LPs plus a 40-minute piece from the original sessions, previously unreleased on vinyl. The set arrives in a rigid, heavy, gloss-laminated box with red foil blocking. Each LP is housed in its own spined outer sleeve inside the box, along with a double-sided insert. Highly Recommended!
File Under: Dark Ambient, Industrial
Bixio, Frizzi, Tempera: Magnetic Systems (Finders Keepers) LP
From the same vibrant cinematic landscape of 70s studio supergroups as Goblin, The Pawnshop, The Group and The Braen’s Machine comes The Magnetic System – the Italian incognito dream team comprised of Milano prog keyboardist Vince Tempera and Cinevox sibling Franco Bixio and launched the career of Video Nasty maestro Fabio Frizzi. Bridging the void between Giallo jazz bass driven prog and the arrival of home studios and synthesisers, the omnipresent film music of The Magnetic System marked a sea change in Italian genre film music, promoting melodic electronics to the forefront of Italian pop culture and pre-empting the first murmurs of Italo disco and synth-pop. Sharing session musicians, studios and release schedules with many of the aforementioned luminaries, Bixio, Frizzi and Tempera’s magnetic powers continue to attract musicians and aficionados of discerning sight and sound.
File Under: Electronic, Soundtrack, Prog
John Carpenter: Lost Themes II (Sacred Bones) LP
On Halloween 2014, the director and composer John Carpenter introduced the world to the next phase of his career with “Vortex,” the first single from Lost Themes, his first-ever solo record. In the months that followed, Lost Themes rightfully returned Carpenter to the forefront of the discussion of music and film’s crucial intersection. Carpenter’s foundational primacy and lasting influence on genre score work was both rediscovered and reaffirmed. So widespread was the acclaim for Lost Themes, that the composer was moved to embark on something he had never before entertained – playing his music live in front of an audience. 2016 will host the first ever John Carpenter tour and in true Carpenter spirit, a sequel to Lost Themes with Lost Themes II. The follow-up brings quite a few noticeable changes to the process, which result in an even more cohesive record. Lost Themes’ cowriters Cody Carpenter (John’s son) and Daniel Davies (John’s godson) both returned. Cody was recently also heard as a composer for Showtime’s Masters of Horror series (Cigarette Burns and Pro-Life), and NBC’s Zoo. Davies was a composer for NBC’s Zoo, as well as the motion picture Condemned. All three brought in sketches and worked together in the same city, a luxury they weren’t afforded on the first Lost Themes. The result was a more focused effort, one that was completed on a compressed schedule – not unlike Carpenter’s classic, notoriously low-budget early films. The musical world of Lost Themes II is also a wider one than that of its predecessor. More electric and acoustic guitar help flesh out the songs, still driven by Carpenter’s trademark minimal synth.
File Under: Electronic, Pseudo-OST
Den Sorte Skole: Indians & Cowboys (Den Sorte Skole) LP
Having been introduced to us in 2014 by the Finders Keepers crew, Den Sorte Skole blew our minds with the triple album Lektion III and now without much in the way of announcement they present a new double LP of kaleidoscopic electronic beat-laden library sounds pressed over four sides of solid red vinyl. The formula is the same – Indians & Cowboys is entirely built from thousands of samples from every corner of the record shop and from glancing at the track list they have been digging deep. Samples are lifted from Yoko Ono, This Heat, Hawkwind, Conrad Schnitzler, Brigitte Fontaine, Popol Vuh, Jean-Claude Vannier, Faust, John Foxx, Cybotron, Seefeel, Delia Derbyshire, Kraftwerk, Unknown Artist and Various Artists. So basically it’s an absolute mish-mash of sounds and styles that’s like a thousand homemade TDK mix tapes spliced together to turn out something completely new and original. By taking sounds from all these sources and blending them together Den Sorte Skole have created a seamless LP of library rooted hiptronic floor-filling far flung found sound that truly has no limits for what it can encompass that’s sure to be looked back on as one of the first truly inventive ways of encapsulating the post-internet every genre and record imaginable a mouse click away – or like Lektion III, just a super slick album of psychedelic sampledelia and some bangers. As before, once it sells out it will have people weeping on Discogs so grab one while you can. A must check record for anyone into anything.
File Under: DJ Mix, World, Psych, Mashup
Frightened Rabbit: Painting of a Panic Attack (Atlantic) LP
Canvasback Music/Atlantic recording group Frightened Rabbit return with their eagerly awaited fifth studio album Painting Of A Panic Attack, produced by Aaron Dessner of The National. Dessner – a longtime fan of Frightened Rabbit – had this to say about the record and frontman Scott Hutchison: “Great songwriters touch a nerve, and I think Scott really touches a nerve with these songs. To me, lyrically, this album is a step above anything he’s written before.” Painting Of A Panic Attack was recorded at Dessner’s Brooklyn studio – where The National also recorded High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me – and at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock, NY in the summer of 2015. Much of the album is indebted lyrically to Los Angeles, where Hutchison moved to from Scotland in 2014 Tracks such as “Get Out,” the lead single which chronicles an addictive and obsessive love, and “Still Want To Be Here,” telling of his struggle with adjusting to life in LA, perfectly encapsulate the mindset of the Frightened Rabbit frontman since the band’s last release. And, of the album closer “Die Like A Rich Boy,” Dessner says, “[It] feels like a completely classic song, but it’s also a distillation of everything Scott has ever written about. It’s so gracefully constructed and realized, and it’s not trying to be anything other than what it is. I wish I could write a song like that.” Painting Of A Panic Attack follows 2013’s major label debut Pedestrian Verse which saw the band land their highest ever charting, hitting the Top 10 in the UK.
File Under: Indie Rock
Billy Green: Stone (Finders Keepers) LP
Meet Stone. The trailer says it all. A deep Australian drawl narrates the scene over a psychedelic swamp-funk rhythm section doused in electronic percussion and treated keyboards. “Stone Is A Trip… The grave diggers are on the move – a new breed of motorbike gang.” The screen fills with images of slo-mo bike accidents, hallucinogenic trips and a death defying cliff stunt which could easily mistaken for a doppelgänger scene in Psychomania. “Vietnam veterans with their own style of life, their own rules, their own religion.” The scene swathes to a satanic ritualistic burial at the hands of a denim-clad crew of outlaw bikers with strangely familiar faces. To many global record collectors, DJs, music producers and general retrophiles living outside of Australia “Stone” was primarily known for its electronic sound effects, psychedelic guitars, cosmic sound scapes and funky basslines… In the 80s and 90s, before the global DVD boom, Stone to many people was first and foremost a Soundtrack… The kind of soundtrack that makes you wish you could see the film but it’ll probably never happen. The LP artwork alone was beyond enigmatic with its contradicting embroider logo (designed by sandy) alongside its striking futuristic airbrushed chrome insignia (designed by comic artist Peter Ledger and realised by airbrush whizz Errol Black). The huge parade of brand new Kawasaki bikes inside the gatefold looked like something from the future compared to the classic full-dresser Harleys from the American Hells Angels movies. And when the needle drops into the groove and the freakish blend of didgeridoo and Moog (played by Johnny ‘Didge’ Matthews and synth expert Andy Cohan) blended with unidentified clicks belches and pops fly out the speakers it is literally impossible to put a date, never mind a story line, to this acid fuelled soundscape. The use of confusing and contradicting musical influences alongside bizarre noises is actually the secret sauce in this concoction and when the swampy psychedelic funk-rock rhythm section kicks-in you are left with a 45 minute programme of skewed. Forward-thinking avant-pop that would stylistically fill a very lonely section in the record shop racks. There are not many records quite like Stone.
File Under: OST, Psych, Bikers
OST: Batman V Superman (Music on Vinyl) 3LP
The soundtrack is a collaborative effort by film composers Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg). 1st pressing on 3LP RED VINYL Deluxe Edition – Numbered – Triple Gatefold Sleeve – Insert – Poster- Etched Disc Side F- Download card!! This 3-disc deluxe vinyl set features over 90 minutes of music, five bonus tracks, an exclusive fold-out poster and liner notes from the composers. Additionally, the vinyl set features etched vinyl art and an album download card! The story: fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on Superman, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero the world really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, Lex Luthor creates a new threat: Doomsday.
File Under: OST
Spider King: Shot to Pieces (Cache Cache) LP
“Leaving you spellbound in its androgynous vocal delivery, Spider King’s Animals is a haunting children’s march that paralyses me with each listen” Cedric Bixler Zavala (Mars Volta/Antemasque) An unknown pleasure torn out of Manchester’s lost DIY manual, this overqualified/underexposed post-punk pop pillar cast an almost invisible undetected web across the history of Manchester’s inner-city music scene which has trapped body parts of The Mothmen, Martin Hannett, Gerry And The Holograms, John Cooper Clarke, The Blue Orchids, Naffi Sandwich (The Naffis) and The Fates in its glue. As a central mast to 1970s/80s Manchester’s “deserted” DIY era, spanning angular jazz funk, punk and sarcastic synth pop, Spider King has also played huge parts in Manchester’s honorary adoption of The Velvet Underground’s Nico (as her lead guitarist), fronted Martin Hannett’s first ever band and inhabits a key roll in the careers of Sad Cafe, Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias, Paul Young and AC/DC’s Mancunian debut. With dozens of self-penned songs, unreleased demos and two of the best collectable Manc punk funk 45s to grace collectors want lists it’s almost unbelievable (almost tragic) that Mike King never released a full length album… until now. Shot To Pieces is one of the most elusive jagged pieces of the North West’s punk funk puzzle. Recorded sporadically between 1979 and 1983 with a cast of characters from the Rabid/Absurd label family, such as behind the scenes synth wielder John Scott from Gerry And The Holograms, and producers like Laurie Latham (The Blockheads) it’s plain to see why 2016′s current music climate is the perfect time for the Spider King’s lost music to resurface. Commonly recognised by stalwarts of the era’s mutating punk/alt/indie genre as “the one that got away”, Spider King is the archetypal artist’s artist as well as the outsider’s outsider and the hardest working man in no-business who is now attracting a whole new audience of champions from bloggers, vinyl nerds and well respected contemporary musicians with his appearances on mix-tapes and various artist compilations. On hearing this essential release you could argue that these lost “spider-grams” are more relevant now than they were when those arachnophobic A&R men shooed him away over 3 decades ago. For those who ain’t afraid to get bitten say hello to the Spider King.
File Under: Post-Punk, DIY
Stabat Stable: Ultraissima on the Junk’s Moon (Cache Cache) LP
Incredible, idiosyncratic and obscure early 80s French futurist DIY project led by Jean-Luc Aime (Univers Zero) this feature-length album of elusive recordings marks the bonafide axis point where Zeuhl School meets synth pop, dark ambient and early electro culled from rare vinyl and disparate cassette co-op releases for this first ever LP release. A lost art-efact from a micro genre where ZED, Eskaton and Heldon share outernational tape space with Vox Populi! The Normal, Colin Potter and Luc Marianni this record occupies a unique place on the shelves of fans of early DIY electro and post punk while ticking the boxes of 80s VHS OST enthusiasts and the growing interest in European cassette zine projects. These melodic macabre tape experiments fuse multi-track cassette experiments with home-made special effects at the hand of an accomplished multi-instrumentalist working on the outer reaches of disenfranchised progressive-pop and reluctant techno defining then deconstructing genres that have yet to exist. Fuelled by futurist gothic imagery and operating on a parallel plain to his European and American contemporaries there are few artists like Stabat Stable and virtually none more enigmatic. This benchmark record is the first signpost to a darker part of your musical want-list as the invisible glue for fans of the aforementioned anti-genres. File under “Not Yet”.
File Under: French, Electronic, Experimental
Ryan Adams: 1989 (Blue Note) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs (Merge) LP
The Band: Last Waltz (Rhino) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Bjork: Post (One Little Indian) LP
Black Flag: Who’s Got The 10 1/2? (SST) LP
Neko Case: Furnace Room Lullaby (Anti) LP
Explosions in the Sky: The Wilderness (Temporary Residence) LP
Nils Frahm: Felt (Erased Tapes) LP
Nils Frahm: Spaces (Erased Tapes) LP
Last Shadow Puppets: Everything You’ve Come… (Domino) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
OST: The Knick (Milan) LP
Nina Simone: Sings the Blues (4 Men With Beards) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 1 (Mercury) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 2 (Mercury) LP
Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Music on Vinyl) LP
Various: Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay (Numero) LP
Various: Pomegranates (Finders Keepers) LP