…..news letter #739 – heaps…..

Woah, massive week here! Loads of big releases in this week. So get in here this weekend for a dig!

…..pick of the week…..


Księżyc: Rabbit Eclipse (Penultimate Press) LP
180-gram LP in reverse-board card sleeve with printed inner sleeve. Rabbit Eclipse is the second full-length recording from the legendary Księżyc, following their self-titled debut from 1996. The Moon never went away. The 2013 Penultimate Press reissue of Księżyc’s timeless debut exposed the band to a large new audience, resulting in a return to live performance and the subsequent development of new material. Rabbit Eclipse was recorded in Warsaw from May through September 2015 within the idyllic Palladian palace Królikarnia (“The Rabbit House”). All original members gathered to conjure the peculiar hybrid of the ancient and the contemporary unique to the band. Rabbit Eclipse presents a rich and subtle environment of beguiling narratives hanging in suspended tension. This opens up an entirely new phase in the cycle of the band where an enchanting discrete musical continuum of rich and subtle sound excursions is enveloped in a mysterious melancholia. Another exemplary presentation from one of Poland’s most idiosyncratic and respected outfits.

File Under: Neo-Classical, Medieval, Baroque, Avant-Garde
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…..new arrivals…..


Susan Alcorn: Evening Tales (Mystra) LP
“Mystra is beyond excited to be putting out the Susan Alcorn Evening Tales lp(!) We strongly doubt there ever will be a record in history that is anything like it…how could there!) A friend of ours was telling us a story recently about the first moon orbit…his eyes were wide…and he talked slowly…’did you know… that when the first astronauts circled behind the moon…. they started hearing super crazy noises?? piercing sounds and strange reverb style effects and stuff… all coming from the planet Saturn(!) So cool…most have scared those astronauts(!)’ It’s interesting…how no one seems to talk about this phenomenon…sounds emitted from a not too distant planet…there are so many mysteries still…(!)The beautiful music made by Susan Alcorn is one of them. ‘Unique, amazing, and mysterious’ are just a few of the terms associated with her recordings…Why she is not better known/talked about is just part of the big mystery. Some ‘in the know’ folks love her for sure…like us…but still(!) Maybe she REALLY IS too good for this world…Maybe she should play for the folks on Saturn instead…(?) And YES.. maybe there IS a similar quality to her sound…something a bit Saturn-like..with a ‘outer space’ quality (A different Saturn than Sun-Ra? or maybe not…?)”

File Under: Pedal Steel, Experimental
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Arbeit Schickert Schneider: ASS (Bureau B) LP
Three guitarists, three generations, one album. Günter Schickert, Jochen Arbeit, and Dirk Dresselhaus are all renowned Berlin guitarists. They epitomize three generations of experimental musicians; Schickert personifies the krautrock of the 1970s, Arbeit 1980s post-punk, and Dresselhaus the neo-electronica of the late 1990s and 2000s. Their artistic approaches may differ according to their diverse musical backgrounds, yet what they have in common is a fundamental interest in developing the guitar as a sound object and seeking out unusual structures and harmonies. They now present the results of their explorations and ideas with a joint album. The final product is very much more than the sum of its parts, due not only to the participants’ different musical philosophies, but also to the use of instruments not usually associated with this type of music (e.g. balafon, conch, mbira, electronic drums, modular synthesizer). Their joint album concocts a kind of musical magic from a myriad of influences (krautrock, psychedelia, free jazz, punk, industrial, techno, minimal electronic . . .) yet simultaneously transcends them to create a new form of music. Günter Schickert (born 1949) has been an active member of the Berlin music scene since 1964. He released two albums in 1974 and 1979 on two legendary krautrock labels, Brain and Sky Records (Überfällig, BB 096CD/LP). Since then he has played in various projects, including the band Ziguri, and pursued a solo career. Jochen Arbeit (born 1961) moved to Berlin in 1980 and joined the Geniale Dilletanten art group, who mixed punk rock and Dada. In 1983 he began touring the world with his instrumental rock band Die Haut. He has been a member of Einstürzende Neubauten since 1997 and Automat since 2012. Dirk Dresselhaus (born 1970) has been involved in various musical fields since the late 1980s. Between 1989 and 1997 he played and sang in noise rock and pop bands like Locust Fudge and Hip Young Things, before focusing more on electronic music from 1997 onward, starting up his Schneider TM project. In 1999 Dresselhaus formed the Angel duo with Ilpo Väisänen.

File Under: Experimental, Guitar
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Bibio: A Mineral Love (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. “This album celebrates the sacred and precious struggles of human insecurities through many windows of familiar musical forms. It’s also a celebration of my love of the craft of record making, drawing influences from many sources across all decades from the late sixties to the present. All these referential forms have a twist, some are more full on cocktails. “The album as a whole is an unashamed expression of my fondness of, and need for, variety. The juxtapositions between tracks are well considered and I’m comfortable with them – this is how I enjoy music. This is not a purist record, it is not trying to authentically recreate a specific time or genre but rather use familiar forms as a common language to communicate new ideas and new messages. I want to sing about struggle and tragedy with warmth, sympathy and respect. I want sadness to have bittersweet hope. “The whole album was made from scratch with no samples from other records. I partly want it to sound like sampled records but by crafting every single detail myself and colouring it to have familiar textures that resonates people’s forgotten memories. I enjoy the challenge of writing songs that reference the unique qualities and colours of music from different eras. It’s all guesswork though, I have no real reliable knowledge of why certain records sound the way they do, I taught myself how to play instruments, write music and produce. “This album is my personal, filtered take on those forms and qualities. Some tracks are influenced by records I listen to often and some from ghosts of memories of things I heard while growing up, like 70s/80s American TV themes or 90s dance. Sometimes a filtered and tinted memory of a period is a more exciting source of inspiration than close study and mimicry. “I feel this album is built more from those memories and an exposure to music of many styles rather than close analytical study of any particular one. I think that’s why it all sounds like me, regardless of the deliberate references and nods to artists and records of the past. It is after all just a view through my stained-glass telescope.” – Stephen Wilkinson (Bibio)

File Under: Electronic, Folk, Ambient
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Peter Brotzmann/ Fred Hopkins/ Rashied Ali: Songlines (Trost) LP
Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, tárogató; Fred Hopkins: double bass; Rashied Ali: drums. Recorded by Holger Scheuermann and Jost Gebers, October 30 and 31, 1991, in Berlin. First released on FMP as FMP CD 53 in 1994. “In perhaps the most understated performance of his entire career, German saxophone giant Peter Brötzmann played in a trio with American free jazz legends Fred Hopkins and Rashied Ali back in 1991 at the now mythical Total Music Meeting. . . . Brötzmann appears to have been in awe on this date so great is his restraint. There are literally no passages in the entire concert where he attempts to push his way through the rhythm section to get to the other side. No mean feat when you consider the man’s powerful personality both on and off the stage. But Hopkins was a founding member of Air with Henry Threadgill, and Ali, of course, played with John Coltrane. Given these proceedings with their haunted, hunted, beauty, it would be fair to say that — even on his own compositions — the mighty Brötzmann was humbled in the presence of these great musicians. Does that mean he was humbled by them? Hardly. Brötzmann’s playing here is so fiery and lyrical, so completely focused on his rhythm section that he turns harmonies on their heads and finds intervals in places where the only thing that should be happening is free blowing. He is the band’s leader by the force of that lyricism and restraint. He makes room for the other players to move through and around him rather than behind him. His sheer ‘musicality’ is wondrous. Hopkins and Ali are no strangers to each other — there is telepathic communication; the shift from one modality to the next is seamless and grounded, each player by the other. There are six compositions on this record; it comes off as a very intense, extremely quiet kind of blowing gig, where this trio were looking to discover things about each other and the music they were making. As a result, it is one of the finest performances issued from that festival, and a landmark in Brötzmann’s career in particular.” –Thom Jurek, AllMusic

File Under: Free Jazz
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James Brown: Live at the Apollo Volume 4, 1972 (Get on Down) LP
“For the ten years leading up to 1972, the James Brown Revue was an outright superfunk freight train, speeding around the world and crushing all competition. This dominance stretched beyond the charts, too — the group was even more dynamic and exciting on stage, a fact that kept them sleepless and on the move, as audiences demanded more. From 1963 to 1971, James Brown had released not one but three albums recorded live at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. The first volume of the series is still rightfully revered today as one of the greatest live albums of all time. But Volumes II (1968) and III (1971 — aka Revolution Of The Mind) were no slackers either, showing James and his incredible band (with talent including ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis, Fred Wesley, John ‘Jabo’ Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, Maceo Parker, Lyn Collins, Bobby Byrd and many more) at the peak of their respective powers each time, playing a litany of JB hits. Because of this, it will always be a mystery as to why Volume IV, which was recorded at the Apollo on September 14, 1972, was shelved. This is in no small part because the performers and songs heard here are some of the Godfather of Soul’s (and the JBs’) strongest. But shelved it was, full of fire but languishing for decades in the Polydor vaults. Thankfully we can now put that all behind us, with the first-time-ever-on-vinyl release of this incredible concert, from more than four decades ago. One look at the tracklist will make you salivate: from instrumental JBs classics like ‘Pass the Peas,’ ‘Gimme Some More’ and ‘Hot Pants Road’ to James’ own 1972 smash vocal ‘There It Is,’ the assembled group of musical geniuses — including trombonist and bandleader Fred Wesley; saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney; guitarists Hearlon ‘Cheese’ Martin and Jimmy ‘Chank’ Nolan; bassist Fred Thomas; and Brown himself on organ — smash through James’ New New Super Heavy Funk with ridiculous power, control and panache. Included here, beyond the music, are in-between song introductions and banter, which bring you right into the front row. This live album stands apart because it was conceptualized to showcase James Brown’s favorite players — The JBs — and vocalists, Bobby Byrd and Lyn Collins, who had their own R & B smashes on the People label. And these supreme talents get plenty of space to shine here: Collins’ ‘Do Your Thing’ and ‘Think (About It)’ and Byrd’s ‘Keep On Doin’ (What You’re Doin’),’ alongside ‘I Know You Got Soul’ simply levitate the bandstand. This future classic is a clear reminder that James Brown was as much of a talent scout as he was a more-than-legendary performer. And while other Live At The Apollo releases focused on his own incredible music, here he gives the stage to the musicians that brought his work to life and kept his legend going for decades. Future generations won’t have to wonder why this music was held back for so long, because they will always have this album — and once you hear the first notes, you won’t worry any more either. You will sit back, let some of the greatest musicians of all time blow your mind, and smile for several days straight. So put the needle on the record and let it begin.”

File Under: Funk, Soul, Goodtimes
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John Carpenter: Dark Star OST (WRWTFWW) LP+7″
An underground classic! Limited edition of 500. The original motion picture soundtrack for John Carpenter’s Dark Star (1974), with added bonuses that are sure to satisfy all cult sci-fi soundtrack completists of the galaxy (and beyond). This limited-edition release includes an LP and a 7″. The former is a remastered version of the original motion picture soundtrack consisting of incidental music, sound effects, John Carpenter’s synth experimentations, dialogue excerpts, and vintage interferences extracted directly from the film roll. The 7″ is red with a yellow label circled in black (in pure beach ball alien fashion) and contains “Ode to a Bell Jar” remade by loyal Carpenter collaborator Alan Howarth (Escape from New York (1981), Christine (1983), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), They Live (1988)…), the fan favorite “Benson Arizona” remade by Dominik Hauser, the very sought-after “When Twilight Falls on NGC 891” by Martin Segundo and the Scintilla Strings (in the real world, James Clarke’s “Spring Bossa” (1968)), as well as endless loops of sound effects from the movie to turn your house into your very own scout ship. Plus a very secret hidden bonus track! It all comes in slick Thermostellar Triggering packaging with brand-new artwork and invisible hyperdrive electronics — the best way to relive the Dark Star adventure and celebrate John Carpenter’s first directorial feature film, co-written by (and starring!) all-around legend Dan O’Bannon (Alien (1979), Lifeforce (1985), The Return of the Living Dead (1985)). Let there be light!

 File Under: OST
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Henning Christiansen: Requiem of Art Fluxorum Organum II Opus 50 (Penultimate Press) LP
Requiem of Art Fluxorum organum II Opus 50 was first issued in 1973 by Edition Schellmann alongside Schottische Symphonie with Joseph Beuys. This is the authoritative version of one of the greatest works by the late Henning Christiansen (1932-2008), Danish composer and Fluxus artist, presented with the full cooperation with the Henning Christiansen estate. 180-gram LP in spot-varnished sleeve with a four-page high-gloss booklet containing the complete score. Edition of 700. “In the summer of 1969 we made a collective film The Search on the heath in Jutland, Denmark. Henning Christiansen made on site field recordings for the individual scenes with Peter Sakse as sound master. The music was first time used during the performance at the festival Strategy: Gets Art exhibition organised by Richard Demarco at Edinburgh College of Art, on August 21, 1970 with Joseph Beuys and Henning Christiansen. Henning Christiansen sampled the field recording into the organ music from Eurasienstab. He gave this composition subsequently the title Requiem of Art fluxorum organum II Opus 50. That means a requiem over the role of art in the 1960s.” –Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Møn, Denmark, October 20, 2015

File Under:
Experimental, Fluxus
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Comets on Fire: Avatar (Sub Pop) LP
After 2004’s critically acclaimed Blue Cathedral, one might have expected Comets on Fire to blast off into the cosmos in an infinite flurry of lysergic spasmodicism. Surprising, then, that they should turn in an earthy, more accessible and downright beautiful album as their follow-up. Then again, it is a completely logical progression, but in reverse, sort of. On 2006’s Avatar their astonishing fourth album, the group display development in every direction: as musicians, as songwriters, as arrangers and as singers, without sacrificing one ounce of the intensity that is expected from our heroes. As on Blue Cathedral, the diversity of the material is staggering. Avatar veers from swinging, bluesy explorations to piano-laced, progressive power balladry, to pure tribalism, evoking everyone from the Allmans, to Quicksilver, to Procol Harum, to some insane Fela/Sun Ra/Crazy Horse hybrid, yet remains wholly Comets on Fire. Though they play cleaner and clearer, their firepower is evident and abundant. They shifted gears and opened themselves up completely here.

File Under: Psych, Freakout
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Comets on Fire: Blue Cathedral (Sub Pop) LP
Blue Cathedral (2004) is the third album from Comets on Fire and their first for Sub Pop. It’s also the Bay area band’s most varied and richly textured. With their first two albums, (2001’s eponymous debut and 2002’s Field Recordings from the Sun) they established themselves as flag-bearers of modern psychedelia. Their trademark sound here is enriched by more structured, keyboard-driven jams, churning Blue Oyster Cult-ish chooglers and slow burners reminiscent of Harvest-era Pink Floyd. Comets’ core of Ethan Miller (guitar, vocals), Noel Harmonson (savage analog electronicist, vocal echoplex player), Ben Flashman (bass) and Utrillo Belcher (drums) was also augmented in an official capacity by Ben Chasny (otherwise known as Six Organs of Admittance) on second guitar. Chasny collaborated on Field Recordings, but this time out they make it official.

File Under: Psych, Freakout
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Kevin Drumm: The Back Room (Monotype) LP
Kevin Drumm is a Chicago-based experimental artist and one of the most important musicians in the electroacoustic noise scene. During his career he has worked with great improvisers such as Mats Gustafsson, producer Jim O’Rourke and saxophonist Ken Vandermark. Kevin Drumm’s Imperial Distortion and Sheer Hellish Miasmah are must-hear albums of contemporary avant-garde. The Back Room is a vinyl reissue of a previously self-released album. Two years ago, Drumm prepared by himself 100 copies of a CD-R full of intensive noise. The whole conception from the beginning sounded like something recorded not for a CD but for an LP. There are two parts: one consists of three very short, high-pitched pieces. Another part is built with two long compositions where you can hear and even feel many shades of analog electronic noise, with all of its brutal beauty.

File Under: Experimental, Noise
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ellisonEllison: s/t(Guerssen) LP
Blastin’ underground hard rock from Canada, 1971. Ultra-raw guitars and lots of attitude. Think Black Sabbath and Elias Hulk. Ellison were formed in Montréal in late 1967 by Vincent Marandola, Richard Arcand, Robert Cager, and Christian Tremblay. The band started playing quite frequently in and around Montréal, and actually played a few other gigs in Québec. They recorded their one and only LP in 1971, and it was originally released on Trans-World Records. This welcome reissue of the rare and sought-after album features newly remastered sound. Tip-on sleeve; includes insert with liner notes and photos.

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
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J.D. Emmanuel: Electronic Minimal Music 1979-83 (Black Sweat) LP
The rediscovery of J D Emmanuel by critics and audience in the early 2010s and Emmanuel’s comeback to underground scene were crucial in reweaving the development of electronic music in the early ’80s. This deluxe three-LP set casts new light on Emmanuel’s first activity of composing and performing electronic music in 1979-’83, collecting experiments never before released on vinyl, some of which are previously unreleased in any form. Certainly seminal minimal works such as Four Organs (1970) and Violin Phase (1967) by Steve Reich and A Rainbow in Curved Air by Terry Riley (1969) — as well as Cluster, Harmonia, and Peter Michael Hamel’s early-’70s work — had a decisive impact on Emmanuel’s debut. However, since his beginnings he has reshaped and reformulated his sources of inspiration with unparalleled maturity and accuracy of vision. His poetry is closely tied to the will to expand consciousness and explore altered states, but more than a cosmic traveler, he appears as a courier of soul and heart — a self-described “student of the metaphysical nature of the Universe.” Magician of an incredible variety of analog keyboards, Emmanuel conceives sound as dynamic translation of forces and organic, expanding flows of energy. The cyclicity of patterns and phrases refers to minimalist traditions, but his music has little in common with something purely mathematical; using an approach to improvisation colored by his interests in jazz and the temporal expansion of rock jams, he charges harmonic sections with an intimate spontaneity and freedom without boundaries. These 14 “vaporous drawings,” presented with photos and writings, evoke a primordial state of grace in the listener, in parallel to Emmanuel’s contemporary ancestral work Wizards from 1982. (This set contains two tracks that were initially included on the original Wizards release, but replaced by other tracks just before the final master.)

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, New Age
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Guru Guru: Hinten (Play Loud) LP
Transparent red LP version. Limited edition of 500. 2016 repress of this 2014 reissue, the first authorized release of Hinten since its original 1971 release. German krautrock band Guru Guru was formed in 1968 as The Guru Guru Groove by Mani Neumeier (drums), Uli Trepte (bass), and Eddy Naegeli (guitar) (later replaced by American Jim Kennedy (guitar)). By the time of Guru Guru’s debut in 1970, Ax Genrich had replaced Kennedy to solidify the classic Guru Guru line up. Guru Guru were related to the free jazz scene both through their work with Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer and through Neumeier, who had already won several jazz prizes before forming the band. They were also influenced by psychedelic rock artists including Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Rolling Stones, and early Pink Floyd. Among the band’s friends were Amon Düül, Can, and Xhol Caravan, with whom Guru Guru often jammed. This reissue of their second album, Hinten, originally released in 1971, is presented in a gatefold sleeve bearing the original artwork and the original Ohr catalog number, along with an insert with photographs.

File Under: Krautrock, Psych
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Dave Harrington Group: Become Alive (Other People) LP
Dave Harrington (of Darkside with Nicolas Jaar) debuts his first solo endeavor, the Dave Harrington Group, with Become Alive. Inspired by the classic jazz albums of the late ’60s and early ’70s, which experimented with contemporary studio recording techniques and effects, Harrington assembled about a dozen players and recorded days of improvised material, later manipulating it into something that, while fundamentally live, takes full advantage of Harrington’s penchant for electronic manipulations of organic sound, applying the same conceptual approach he takes with his heavily effected live-sampling guitar work. Each track is the unique product of Harrington’s unorthodox musical make-up — jazz training and ability; a collaborative, free-minded spirit; and a personal vision of mixing and post-production techniques to tie it together. “Each track is always me interacting with other people, sometimes just one or two . . . sometimes ten. There was flute, vibes, organ, fender Rhodes, guitar, bass, two drummers, percussion, sax . . . just full-on, over-blown energy. I took all that and treated it as raw material in the mixing stage . . . But when you have ten people in a room, you can only edit so much. Everything is in every microphone anyway — it’s all connected, so it’s about turning it into whatever it wants to be.” “It’s all just about making improvisational music in a way that is personal and true,” offers Harrington when asked about his specific influences. “Derek Bailey is one name I will mention, though, because he has very little to do with what I do stylistically. He really wrote the book on free improvisation guitar playing — it was not jazz, not swing and not rock, it was just pure personality. Nobody else could do it. That’s something I hear in the records that most inspire me — when you don’t hear something and think, oh, well that’s this thing, when you just hear the ideas coming straight at you.” Much of the initial mixing and editing of the album was done during the height of Darkside touring, as Harrington recalls: “Nico and I were improvising together on stage basically every night. It was a very focused period of time. Ultimately, this album is very personal. This is my first LP with my name on it. It’s me and a dozen of my favorite musicians and closest friends. That was the spirit of making this record . . . Bringing people together and playing, improvising, being present.”

File Under: Jazz, Darkside
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P.J. Harvey: Hope Six Demolition Project (Vagrant) LP
PJ Harvey’s ninth studio album, The Hope Six Demolition Project (Vagrant Records) draws from several journeys undertaken by the enigmatic artist, who spent time in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C. over a four-year period. The highly anticipated eleven-track endeavor follows Harvey’s 2011 Mercury Prize winning album Let England Shake. “When I’m writing a song I visualize the entire scene. I can see the colors, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture,” says Harvey. “Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with.” The album was recorded last year in residency at London’s Somerset House. The exhibition, entitled Recording in Progress saw Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, and engineers working within a purpose-built recording studio behind one-way glass, observed throughout by public audiences.

File Under: Pop
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Ariel Kalma: Musique Pour le Reve et l’Amour (Black Sweat) LP
Before appearing in his works as a musician, Ariel Kalma seems to reveal himself as a philosopher; a solitary explorer of higher and deeper consciousness. Influenced by his relationship with Indian classical music, he transfigures the acoustic-ecstatic dimension typical of the tanpura raga by modulating synths and horns. The work reissued here originally appeared on two different cassettes in 1981 and 1982, but is ideally one unique project. With Musique Pour le Rêve et l’Amour, Kalma infinitely expands the reverberations of the flute, multiplying the nuances with phasing organ loops that recall the beginnings of Terry Riley. The second part, Music for Dream and Love, is structured like a oceanic carpet of aquatic, airy, reflective sounds; an unlimited shore from which there seem to emerge voices of celestial entities.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, New Age
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king giz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard is a completely fried Australian 7-piece garage punk band of theremin-wielding psychopaths half originating from the flat salt bush plains of Deniliquin and the other from the sea-stained Anglesea coastline, brought together through a share house in Melbourne and a mutual love of Pavement, Thee Oh Sees and Nuggets. The hardest working band in rock ‘n’ roll returns in April 2016 with Nonagon Infinity, their fourth long-player for Heavenly Recordings in a little under a year and a half. Recorded by Wayne Gordon, Paul Maybury, Michael Badger and Stu Mackenzie, in keeping with the band’s indefatigable spirit the album is intended to be played on an infinite loop. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are: Stu Mackenzie (vocals / guitar/ flute), Ambrose Kenny Smith (harmonica / vocals), Craig Cook (guitar / vocals), Eric Moore (drums), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass) and Michael Cavanagh (drums).

File Under: Psych, Garage, Punk
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Lok 03+1: Signals (Trost) LP
Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano; Aki Takase: piano; DJ Illvibe: turntables; Paul Lovens: drums. Recorded by Rainer Robben at AudioCue, Berlin. Lovens joins the Lok 03 trio of Schlippenbach, Takase, and DJ Illvibe for the follow-up to their 2005 debut. Mastered by Beat Halberschmidt. Artwork by Philip Hillers. Liner notes by Yoko Tawada.

File Under: Free Jazz


Lumineers: Cleopatra (Dine Alone) LP
In tomorrow… It took four years for The Lumineers to follow up their platinum-plus, multi-Grammy-nominated, self-titled debut – which spent 46 weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaked at No. 2 – but Cleopatra is well worth the wait. Cleopatra proves that Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites – along with cellist/vocalist Neyla Pekarek – are neither taking their good fortune for granted, nor sitting back on their laurels. With the help of producer Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Avett Brothers), the man Wesley calls “our shaman,” the band ensconced themselves in Clubhouse, a recording studio high atop a hill in rural Rhinebeck, N.Y., not far from Woodstock. The Lumineers then set about trying to make musical sense of their three-year-plus roller coaster ride. Their skill at setting a visual story to music comes through amidst the delicate, deceptively simple acoustic soundscapes. This time, though, bassist Byron Isaac provides a firm, low-end on the apocalyptic opener “Sleep on the Floor,” a ghostly tune about getting out of town before the “subways flood [and] the bridges break.” It’s a densely packed, cinematic song that echoes Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” and John Steinbeck’s East of Eden – which were models for the record alongside Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Cleopatra is named after the title track, inspired by a woman from the Republic of Georgia, an acquaintance of Wesley’s wife’s best friend whom he met while visiting there. The hard-bitten woman drove a taxi with a can of beer between her legs and a cigarette dangling from her mouth, having survived a hard-scrabble life, pining for the man who got away after her father died. Cleopatra also deals with what Wesley terms “the elephant in the room,” the band’s success and the way it can sometimes put a target on your back. The syncopated piano rolls in “Ophelia,” the organic sound of fingers squeaking on guitar strings in “Angela” and the Faustian bargain described in “My Eyes” consider the perils of getting what you wish for, with everyone knowing your name, and your songs. Schultz demonstrates his keen literary eye and ear for narrative description in “The Gun Song.” “Long Way from Home,” its 5/4 signature reminiscent of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” or “Shelter from the Storm,” tells of hope and desperation, a double-edged sword which can both sustain or ultimately, “fuck you up,” Wesley noted ruefully. The characters in Cleopatra are hanging on for dear life, trying to find reasons to believe, or creating some on their own just to survive with some sort of grace. The band had total artistic freedom in writing and recording the album, so Wesley and Jer pushed the envelope on experimental tracks like the stream-of-consciousness, purposely lo-fi “Sick in the Head,” the yearning, piano chord build-up of “In the Light,” or the closing orchestral instrumental, the aptly titled coda, “Patience.” There is something timeless about The Lumineers that links their songs to 18th century pastorals, 19th century work songs, 20th century folk narratives and 21st century post-modern cinematic soundscapes. It sounds familiar, but take the time to dig below the surface. Success hasn’t spoiled The Lumineers; rather, it’s inspired them to follow their muses even further.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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Lush: Ciao (4AD) LP
In a sense, the beginning of Lush was as inevitable as its ending was not. Formed from a friendship started at age 14 by Londoners Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, the pair ran a fanzine, and attended a catholic variety of gigs nightly at the likes of Fulham Greyhound and Hammersmith Clarendon. And they were learning the ropes in other people’s bands – Berenyi in The Bugs, Anderson in The Rover Girls – working to make their own band a reality. Eventually, along with the absurdly good-humored Lancastrian punk drummer Chris Acland, and bassist Steve Rippon, they went out on their own. For music, the late-80s were a vibrant and volatile time. There was acid house, US art-core, death metal, fledgling industrial and European sampledelia, a rising Madchester and the shimmering punk pop of The Primitives, plus the delicate oceanics of The Sundays. Having much in common with these last two and, attitude-wise, at least three of the others, Lush were quickly hot property. One review in Melody Maker brought 12 major labels to see them play at London’s ULU. None called again, but 4AD’s Ivo Watts-Russell was interested, soon putting the band in Blackwing Studios with John Fryer. By the time debut LP Spooky was released in 1992, Rippon had amicably departed, to be replaced by Phil King (ex of Felt and Biff Bang Pow!). The LP went Top 10 in the UK and was an indie chart-topper. The recording of Split, their second LP proper (a collection of their early EPs, entitled Gala, had been released in the US only) was exceptionally testing. Expectations of an American breakthrough were high and the pressure was on. However, despite being the band’s best work to date, the album wasn’t the commercial success it promised and, as is often the case, failure proved liberating. While the pressure came off, new enthusiasm was injected by the arrival of new manager Peter Felstead. The band threw themselves into recording what would be their final LP, Lovelife. The combination of personal freedom with a growing experience and expertise took Lush onto a new creative plane. As such, the pressure was immediately back on to break America. Now the touring became back-breaking and repetitive. Frustration and bad feeling within the band grew inexorably. Acland, ordered to rest by his doctor, returned to his parents’ home in the Lake District. Anderson, dissatisfied with her current position, called a meeting and announced her departure. Then worse news was to follow. Up in the Lakes – horribly, terribly – Acland had hanged himself. Acland’s death finished Lush. Privately and professionally, in their joyful celebrations and their painful (and far more frequent) self-examinations, they were in the business of living life, really living it. Their talent and their exuberance though had already made a difference. Particularly in the States, where their music was deeply respected and their lyrics – often moving, rigorous and earthy appraisals of themselves and their relationships, their nature and nurturing – were a motivating force for female songwriters. As well as being accidental icons (the best kind), Lush also made exceptional music: classic pop, fiery punk, soaring ambient and a modern, lilting folk. Unusually for a greatest hits compilation, Ciao! Best of Lush runs in reverse order – starting with four tracks that appeared on their third album, Lovelife (1996), in to five (six if you include a B-side) from their second Split (1994), then four from their debut Spooky (1992) before finishing with four early works which includes two from their first-ever release, 1989’s mini-album Scar.

File Under: Indie Rock, Shoegaze
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Munhiro Narita: Psyche De Loid (New Records) LP
Munehiro Narita, the original “psychedelic speed freak,” is for many people the undisputed king of acid-fuzz guitar. Active since the late ’70s, Narita is a Japanese psychedelic underground legend. After playing in cult bands like Kyoaku no Intention, he founded the brutal heavy-psych power trio High Rise in the ’80s. His furious guitar playing, which involves lethal doses of fuzz-wah at earsplitting volume, can also be heard on his current band Green Flames (featuring Mitsuru Tabata from Acid Mothers Temple). In 2014 Narita released a Japanese-only CD titled Psyche De Loid, doing heavy guitar fuzzed-out covers of classic psych songs from the ’60s/’70s. But Psyche De Loid was also the first-ever psychedelic album recorded using Vocaloid technology. Very popular in Japan, Vocaloid is a software/singing synthesizer — one enters the lyrics of a song into the program and adds music to generate a Vocaloid — or “Vocal Android” — which sing in bizarre, mostly female, android-type vocals. Vocaloid is often associated with J-pop but on Psyche De Loid Narita smashes this genre into a wall with the contrast of killer, Ron Asheton-like piercing fuzz-wah guitar and child-like android vocals, featuring surreal covers of tracks by The Stooges, Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Shocking Blue, Pink Floyd, MC5, Jefferson Airplane. . . . Previously available as a Japanese-only CD, this is the first-ever vinyl edition with new artwork.

File Under: Psych, Japanese, Freakout
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Anderson .Paak: Malibu (Empire) LP
Anderson.Paak is the next superstar! After dropping his debut album Venice in 2014 and then being featured on six tracks on Dr. Dre’s Compton album in 2015, his star and profile rose. He has toured with Jhene Aiko, Tokimonsta, and others. Malibu is the follow-up to Venice and features Schoolboy Q, The Game, BJ The Chicago Kid, and more.

File Under: Hip Hop
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rhpRed House Painters: Old Ramon (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow? Old Ramon, the sixth Red House Painters album, recorded in the fall of 1997 through the spring of 1998, was intended for release that summer. But the mega-major label merger catastrophe that left hundreds of bands homeless spared few. Red House Painters looked for a brief moment like survivors, but subsequent delays eventually turned into permanent layoff. Old Ramon sat in limbo and grew into legend as another great, lost album only the privileged few would ever properly hear. They’ve unintentionally put the wait back into the term “long-awaited.” Singer Mark Kozelek kept busy with a series of other projects. He served as producer for Take Me Home: A Tribute to John Denver. As archivist for the 4AD Red House Painters Retrospective album, assembling rarities and live tracks. As solo artist with several tracks on the Shanti Project album, and two albums Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer and What’s Next to the Moon, a collection of AC/DC songs reinterpreted. As live performer, touring the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden and his first ever shows in South Korea. As film scorer for the independent film Last Ball. And, finally, as actor in Cameron Crowe’s critically acclaimed Almost Famous. With Old Ramon sitting on the shelf, it was like reading a book with a chapter missing. Kozelek had written most of the album throughout 1996 and 1997. There were “Between Days” and “Wop-a-din-din,” written during the months he stayed in Oaxaca, Mexico about his time there and his cat waiting at home in San Francisco; “Cruiser” written on an airplane ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco about a friend he’d met during the John Cale tour; and “Golden,” a song in tribute to John Denver, written and recorded in a single day during December of 1997, just a few months after Denver’s tragic death. “Michigan” and “River” had been road-tested on the band’s previous tour. The album, in fact, had come together with a good feeling, reuniting the band with their old friend and engineer Billy Anderson, who’d worked on their earlier records Down Colorful Hill and the two self-titled releases (Rollercoaster and Bridge by their covers). Sessions in San Francisco, Mendocino, California and Austin, Texas resulted in several hours’ worth of music being recorded. The band had spread out and worked up various arrangements for a majority of the tunes. Sadly, a twenty-minute version of “Michigan” fell to the cutting room floor. But the ten songs packed onto Old Ramon (the title comes from a Spanish children’s book that caught Kozelek’s fancy) well represent the band that will take to the road for the first time in several years with extensive touring throughout the United States and Europe. Once freed from their major label commitments, reputable independent labels bid for the band’s services. This, however, is the album exactly as it was intended – untouched – three years to the month of its completion. Good news: The wait is officially over.

File Under: Indie Rock
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schwarzJean Schwarz: Erda/Suite N (Recollection GRM) LP
Erda (1972): “This piece illustrates my early research carried out in a professional composition studio. After studying every available tools and creating variably hybrid connections between them, I chose to compose several short sequences, each being the expression of a research based on a sonic manipulation and exploring a well defined sound hue. Besides, my background as a percussionist and a jazzman encouraged me to conduct a rhythmical study in each of these sequences. . . . The slightly raucous and acid texture of the ‘square’ sounds, that can be heard in several movements, is a reminder of saxophone and muted brass sonorities, as used in contemporary jazz.” The seven movements include “an evocation of the realm of insects,” “stereotypical bird songs produced by the generators of the studio 54,” “a tribute to the Goddess of Wisdom and the Earth in Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Siegfried,” “rhythmical drumming figures such as those Kenny Clarke (aka Klook) used to teach me,” and “a tribute to John Coltrane,” among others. Suite N (1982): “Commissioned by the Direction de la Musique and the Ina GRM. Composed in the Ina GRM’s numerical composition studio with the assistance of Benedict Maillard and Yann Geslin. In a composition studio, musical research is never very far removed from madness. The first step is the initial work on the sound picked up by the microphone and the varieties of delirium that result from it: exaggerated amplification, inversion, transformation. Synthesizers and their crazy possibilities com next. The third step is the computer, one of the purest products of logic. . . . My intention in ‘Suite N’ was, on the one hand, to use solely sounds produced by the computer either by direct synthesis (MUSIC V) or by sound treatment, and, on the other hand, to work with a definite form.” “Jean Schwarz is an idiosyncratic figure in the world of electroacoustic music. With a dual background in jazz and ethnomusicology, he has crossed times and genres with an unwavering singularity, infusing improvisation, ballets or cinema with the art of acousmatics. ‘Erda’ or ‘Suite N’, each in their own way, demonstrate Schwarz’s unique propensity for exploring sound, its cross-fertilisations and its evocative power.” –François Bonnet, Paris, 2015 Digital transfer by Jonathan Fitoussi. Cut by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, August 2015. Translations by Valérie Vivancos. Layout by Stephen O’Malley. Coordination GRM: Daniel Teruggi and François Bonnet. Executive production: Peter Rehberg.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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sharrockLinda Sharrock: Gods (Golden Lab) 3LP
Three 180-gram LPs in triple-gatefold sleeve. Limited edition of 300. Gods is the first major release of new material since, arguably, her 1989 LP with Wolfgang Puschnig on ECM, by one of free jazz’s most important icons, whose transition via a debilitating stroke into deep, guttural wordlessness has seen her enter a new realm of primal vocal raging. This is Linda Sharrock, best known for her show-stealin’ voice work on ex-husband Sonny’s two albums Black Woman (1969) and Monkey-Pockie-Boo (1970), recorded in 2014 for over two hours at her wailing, heart-stopping best, flanked by the stellar (In) the Abyssity of the Grounds (Theresa Eipeldauer (voice), Mario Rechtern (soprano, alto, baritone, saxoline, voice), Max Bogner (guitar, electronics, voice), and Didi Kern (drums)). A truly stunning, demented, and absolutely essential bombardment of relentless energy by one of the giants of avant-garde music, with amazing whacked liner notes by saxophonist Mario Rechtern.

File Under: Avant-Garde, Free Jazz
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Andy Stott: Too Many Voices (Modern Love) LP/CD
In tomorrow… Andy Stott, a follow-up to 2014’s Faith in Strangers. It was recorded from 2014-2016 and sees a diverse spectrum of influences bleed into nine tracks that are as searching as they are memorable. The album draws inspiration from the fourth-world pop of Japan’s Yellow Magic Orchestra as much as it does Triton-fueled grime made 25 years later. Somewhere between these two points there’s an oddly aligned vision of the future that seeps through the pores of each of the tracks. It’s a vision of the future as it was once imagined; artificial, strange, and immaculate. Full of possibilities. The album opens with the harmonized, deteriorating pads of “Waiting For You” and arcs through to the synthetic chamber pop of the closing title-track, referencing Sylvian and Sakamoto’s “Bamboo Houses” (1982) as much as it does the ethereal landscapes of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance. In between, the climate and palette constantly shift, taking in the midnight pop of “Butterflies”; the humid, breathless house of “First Night”; and the endlessly cascading “Forgotten.” Longtime vocal contributor Alison Skidmore features on half the tracks, sometimes augmented by the same simulated materials as on the dystopian breakdown of “Selfish,” and at others surrounded by beautiful synth washes, such as on the mercurial “Over” or the dreamy, neon-lit “New Romantic.” It’s all far removed from the digital synthesis and the abstracted intricacies that define much of the current electronic landscape. The same cybernetic palette is here implanted into more human form; sometimes cold, but more often thrumming with life. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Ambient
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mvMatt ‘MV’ Valentine: Blazing Grace (Time Lag) LP
“It can take a lot for a single album to stand out from a discography as epic as MV’s, but by the time you’re given this one a single spin it becomes very clear that a new apex has been reached. This long in the works solo outing somehow merges nearly every one of the finest elements of past releases into a perfectly executed singular vision. There’s an intensely personal, exposed element to the song writing here, increasingly hinted at in the recent past but never so purely focused. Likewise the music itself has a honed edge thats both unharnessed yet precise, drifting just enough, but never too far. A newborn musical trajectory wrapped in MV’s most loving & elaborate ‘spectrasound’ production to date, creating a sonic pallet that simply ripples with nuance, tone, and a seemingly bottomless depth of detail. All together, a start-to-finish trip that’s instantly memorable & hummable, subtly intimate yet cosmically blasted. Restrained yet fully rocking, with that unmistakable burnt, ragged edge. Blazing grace indeed– distinctly a solo vibe, but without any shortage of help on board. Guests include : Erika Elder, P.G. Six, MICK Flower, Spanish Wolfman, Jeremy Earl, J. Mascis, Meg Baird, Pete Nolan, Muskox, Carson Arnold, and Rongoose, all adding to the decidedly rich, earthy, and futuristic sound. Endless guitars of every texture, lush mellotron, vibrating harmonies, star-dust synth, hazed rhythms, eastern drones, and far more, all fluidly entwined — packaged in a beautiful full color laminated 60s style heavy tip-on cover, with large insert. Edition of 500 copies.”

File Under: Cosmic Blues, Psych

thoseKevin Vermijmeren: Those Glorious Heights (Vynilla) LP
At the time of this release, Kevin Verwijmeren is a 23-year old science student, living in Delft, Holland. Since 2013, he has used musical patterns and melodies to create contemplative landscapes of sound. Inspired by the sound and emotion of Loscil, Tim Hecker, and Pan American, Verwijmeren constructs a musical cocoon in which to imagine a vision of a different world. Through his dark but beautiful soundscapes, he tries to break daily routine and accept the dark side of life. Those Glorious Heights was mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung Mastering and features artwork by Jan van der Kleijn.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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wickedWicked Lady: Complete Recordings 1969-1972 (Guerssen) 4LP Box
Deluxe box limited to 500 numbered copies. Not to be repressed. The stuff of legend, Wicked Lady were the legendary UK power trio led by Martin Weaver. They played raw, unadulterated, psychedelic hard rock; their sound is a real fest of fuzz and wah-wah, exemplified by such proto-doom classics as “Run the Night” and “I’m a Freak.” Guerssen presents their complete recordings, from 1969-1972, in a deluxe leatherette box. Includes all four vinyl discs (The Axeman Cometh double LP and Psychotic Overkill double LP, originally reissued by Guerssen in 2012 and long out of print) in two gatefold covers with printed lyrics and special designs for this release, plus an eight-page LP-sized booklet with liner notes by Martin Weaver and photos, a Wicked Lady tote bag, a Wicked Lady badge, a Wicked Lady patch, and a Martin Weaver postcard. Please note: this is just a collectors’ box set, and is not intended to be the only way to get Wicked Lady vinyl, as it is limited and expensive. Soon after the box is sold out, Guerssen will repress the regular vinyl with their pal Martin Weaver, everyone’s guitar hero.

File Under: Psych, Blues Rock
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zoomZoom: Sweet Desperation (Ugly Pop) LP
Bored of cover bands and Toronto’s stagnant bar scene, Chris Haight and John Hamilton formed ZOOM in 1976, inspired by such pre-punk touchstones as the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, Bowie and Sparks. The band quickly set to gigging locally, but were soon caught up in the punk scene that exploded to life around them. An obscure but seminal 1976 45 — arguably Toronto’s first punk record– was their sole release before the band dissolved as Haight joined the Viletones and Hamilton began drumming for the Diodes. Despite their duties in two of Canada’s leading punk bands, however, the pair didn’t want great songs like “Schoolgirl Hitch Hiker”, “My Baby’s Got No Brains” and “They Only Come Out At Night” to go undocumented, so they entered the studio to get this stuff on tape. Produced by Bob Segarini and BB Gabor, and with musical contributions from members of The Ugly, The B-Girls and The Curse, the session captured a pretty special time in Toronto music history. It seems especially poignant that it would then remain unheard for decades. In 2014, Hamilton, who had gone on to an illustrious career of his own but had never entirely forgotten Zoom, located the tapes and had them professionally baked and restored. A trove of photographs, flyers and graphics was similarly uncovered, and now Ugly Pop is very pleased to announce a 13-track LP due for release in early 2016. Superb pressing with full insert featuring new liner notes and unseen pictures, and this one won’t be staying in print.

File Under: Proto-Punk
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cosmic machine

Various: Cosmic Machine 2 (Because) 12″
New teaser EP of Cosmic Machine The Sequel: A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (70s-80s). Francais Lai’s “Young Freedom” and Arpadys’ “Monkey Star” with exclusive remixes by Golden Rules and Psychemagik.

File Under: Electronic

biologia marinaVarious: Biologia Marina (Intervallo) LP
Marine[mə·rēn] adjective Relating to or living in the sea. First reissue of Biologia Marina, the first of Intervallo’s seven reissues of the amazing nature-themed series of library LPs released in the first half of the ’70s by Cardium, Chic, Nereide, Musical, Rhombus, Spring, and Weekend labels. These are seven albums that have never been reissued until now — real collectors’ items that have acquired a minor cult status in the decades since they first appeared. Biologia Marina (originally released in 1973 on Rhombus) features 12 tracks inspired by marine life, with a sound suspended between electronic music, avant-garde touches, and underwater melodies. Tracks such as “Correnti Sottomarine,” “Acque Tranquille,” “Subsuspense,” “Acquario,” or “Bollicine,” recorded well before certain ambient music experimentations, are among the most fascinating one can find in this library — one of the best Italian ones of its era. The album features renowned composer Alessandro Alessandroni (also credited under his Braen alias), as well as the outstanding contributions of two others — Rome-born Amedeo Tommasi (also under his Atmo alias), highly regarded author of some excellent libraries; and Franco Tamponi, violinist, composer, and conductor always crossing the line between classical music and marvelous soundtracks (such as the one for Mondo sexy di notte (1962)).This is science — auditory science — at its best. . . .

File Under: Library, Library
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can't youVarious: Can’t You Hear Me?: African Nuggets (Now Again) LP
“Globetrotter of parallel subcontinents and digger of rare, forgotten records, Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt tracks sounds from the dawn of time to the four corners of the world. On the other side of the globe, French designer Christophe Lemaire stays forward thinking and audacious in his choices: far from our deified present, he cultivates a love of timeless designs and mixed influences; a passion for iconoclastic music hidden in the dark corners of a global cultural industry. This extraordinary openness has been at the heart of their friendship since 2007. Their exceedingly eclectic, fierce rock discoveries gave birth to a first anthology, Where Are You From? (Now-Again, 2010), the fruit of Lemaire’s excavating Alapatt’s archives. That was a postgeographic exploration in psych, rock and funk territories from 1968 to now; this second anthology celebrates their impressionist vision and explores garage rock from the 1970s, voicing the struggles of independence in Zambia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Can’t You Hear Me comes from a track by charismatic Zamrock icon Paul Ngozi, a Lemaire favorite. Ngozi’s title track sets the tone for a drastic selection of seventeen songs with rebellious undertones, riddled by an infectious groove, the forsaken writing about a forgotten chapter in the history of music. Ngozi, WITCH, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Amanaz, Wells Fargo, Eye Q and the Funkees represent a generation fighting for their freedom, armed with fuzz guitars, symbolic objects of a new movement. They played in Fela’s kingly shadow, were influenced by Hendrix’s psychedelic solos, Jefferson Airplane’s penetrating chords and Cream’s repetitive melodies. The music of their colonial oppressors they reassembled and reinterpreted with pure energy, without nod to hymn or flag. A halo of cosmic design and pure lines, the cover for the anthology by Sanghon Kim transports us in this whirling odyssey in space and time while composer/producer Pilooski concludes the album with an edit of Witch’s ‘No Time,’ an expression of the critical need to open up to new perspectives, new imaginations and to keep unearthing riches of our universal heritage. ‘Through these tracks we can feel the communicative energy, this pure vitality, not only of Africa , but of youth and hope,’ Lemaire states. ‘And I find it quite universal and timeless. It is not about music as an industry, or as product, but music as a craft. And one can immediately recognized when music is created with heart and soul.'”

File Under: Psych, Fuzz, Nigeria, Zambia
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ittologiaVarious: Ittiologia (Intervallo) LP
Ichthyology [ich·thy·ol·o·gy] noun The branch of zoology that studies fishes: their physiology, history, economic importance, etc. First reissue of Ittiologia, the second of Intervallo’s seven reissues of the amazing nature-themed series of library LPs released in the first half of the ’70s by Cardium, Chic, Nereide, Musical, Rhombus, Spring, and Weekend labels. These are seven albums that have never been reissued until now — real collectors’ items that have acquired a minor cult status in the decades since they first appeared. Ittiologia, released in 1973 on Cardium, features music by composers Alessandro Alessandroni, Amedeo Tommasi (both under his given name and his Atmo alias), and Franco Tamponi, and is a rare and delicate experiment in the art of balancing experimental music and classic Italian library music of the ’70s. The underwater and liquid atmosphere of each track was conceived to bring to call to mind “romantic algae,” “threats on the sea bottom,” “deep water,” and “abyssal mountains” (to paraphrase translations of some of the track titles on this small masterpiece — “Alghe Romantiche,” “Minaccia sul Fondo,” “Acque Profonde,” and “Fascia Abissale”). Some compositions appear in two alternate versions (with small variations, different orchestrations, and additions), showing that the three musicians were always looking for new ways to express themselves; each track was a work in progress, part of never-ending research. With its perfect equilibrium between experimental and classical atmospheres, Ittilogia is a complex portrait of a fragile and always changing ecosystem.

File Under: Library, Italian
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senegal70Various: Senegal 70 (Analog Africa) LP 
Includes 12-page LP-sized booklet. Analog Africa, in partnership with Teranga Beat (the current leading label for Senegalese music), proudly offers an insight into the musical adventures that were taking place in the major Senegalese cities during the ’60s and ’70s. This compilation reflects the unique fusions of funk, mbalax, son cubano, and Mandingue guitar sounds that transformed Dakar into West Africa’s most vibrant city. The creation of Senegal 70 began in 2009 when Teranga Beat founder Adamantios Kafetzis travelled from Greece to Senegal to digitize the musical treasures he had discovered in the Senegalese city of Thiès — reel tapes recorded by sound engineer Moussa Diallo, who had spent the previous four decades immortalizing bands that performed in his legendary Sangomar club. Three-hundred Senegalese songs that nobody had ever heard before were discovered; five of them were selected for this compilation, and appear alongside seven other tracks from the era, all compiled by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb in cooperation with Kafetzis. Thanks to its history of outside influences, Senegal — the westernmost country in Africa — became a musical melting pot. Urban dance bands swiftly embraced son montuno from Cuba, jazz from New Orleans, and American soul tunes, intuitively merging them with local styles. The seminal Afro-Cuban group Star Band de Dakar formed in 1960, and the 1970s brought a new generation of stellar bands, including Le Sahel, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Number One de Dakar, Orchestra Baobab, Dieuf-Dieul de Thiès, and Xalam 1, who fused traditional Senegalese percussion instruments with organs and keyboards. Dakar soon began attracting international stars. The Jackson 5, James Brown, Tabou Combo (Haiti), Celia Cruz (Cuba), and an array of African stars like Tabu Ley Rochereau (Congo), Manu Dibango (Cameroon), and Bembeya Jazz (Guinea) joined in with the local scene, improvising jam sessions and bringing new flavors to the vibrant community. Featuring biographies of music producers and a legendary record cover designer, as well as the life stories of all the groups represented here, the booklet also includes a fantastic selection of never-before-seen photos. Includes tracks by Fangool, Orchestre G.M.I – Groupement Mobil D’Intervention, Orchestre Bawobab, Le Sourouba de Louga, King N’gom et Les Perles Noires, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Amara Touré et le Star Band de Dakar, Le Tropical Jazz, and Gestü de Dakar.

File Under: Africa, Highlife, Afro-Cuban
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bonzoVarious: Songs the Bonzo Dog Band Taught Us (Flashback) LP
RSD 2016 release. 180-gram vinyl. Irreverent and anarchic, the Bonzo Dog Band were one of Britain’s best-loved 1960s groups. But their eccentric brand of musical humor was not without precedent; they drew much inspiration from so-called “novelty foxtrot” records of the 1930s, which they lovingly learned from 78rpm discs. This compilation presents the original recordings of all such songs that they recorded and performed live. Painstakingly remastered, it comes with detailed notes, rare images, and an introduction from the great “Legs” Larry Smith, core Bonzo Dog Band member. Includes tracks by Leslie Sarony, The BBC Dance Orchestra, The Savoy Havana Band, Jack Hylton & His Orchestra, Percival Mackey & His Band, The Rhythmic Troubadours, Hal Swain & His Band, Albert Whelan, Jack Hylton’s Jazz Band, Whispering Jack Smith, Noël Coward, Bebe Daniels & Ben Lyon, Jack Payne & His Dance Orchestra, Jay Wilbur & His Band, Billy Cotton & His Band, The Continental Five, Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, Ray Starita & His Ambassadors, Jay Whidden & His Band, Roy Leslie, Jack Hodges the Raspberry King, and Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians.

File Under: Pop, Parody

turkVarious: An Anthology of Turkish Experimental Music 1961-2014 (Sub Rosa) LP
This anthology features works by Turkish artists ranging from the electronic music of the 1960s to all forms of experimental music of the 2010s. This is Sub Rosa’s second release exploring experimental music by zone or sphere of influence. The constellation built between 2000 and 2012 with Sub Rosa’s seven-part Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music continues to expand through the Early Electronic collection (consisting mostly of tracks composed between the ’50s and the ’80s) and these “area anthologies,” this one released following An Anthology of Chinese Experimental Music 1992-2008 (SR 265CD). This collection covers a much wider time-frame than its predecessor; this is because, in Turkey, two exceptional composers emerged very early on to show the way to future generations that then followed in a piecemeal fashion. Indeed, Bülent Arel and İlhan Mimaroğlu did not have immediate followers. The explosion happened later, through the “serious music” of conservatories and universities (Cenk Ergün, Koray Tahiroğlu, Mehmet Can Özer) and the electronic/noise music avant-garde (Nilüfer Ormanlı, Utku Tavil) — the great wave of the 2000s and 2010s. The beauty of this collection lies in its multifaceted nature; it features purely formal music, hijacked electronica, remnants of Turkish harmonies, and pieces that are more conceptual or even political (vaguely or strongly) in design. Batur Sönmez and Erdem Helvacıoğlu have managed to capture this diversity and energy. And it so happens that this profusion of music, related to an urgency to live and think freely, is blooming within an increasingly stifling space. Call it the spectacular beauty of an explosion. Most of the material included here has not been released before. Includes works by Bülent Arel, İlhan Mimaroğlu, Erdem Helvacıoğlu, Batuhan Bozkurt, Alper Maral, Batur Sönmez, Cenk Ergün, Korhan Erel, Sair Sinan Kestelli, Koray Tahiroğlu, Mehmet Can Özer, Nilüfer Ormanlı, Utku Tavil, Asaf Zeki Yüksel, SIFIR (Zafer Aracagök), Cem Güney, Tuna Pase, 2/5BZ, Cevdet Erek, Reverie Falls On All, and Burçin Elmas.

File Under: Experimental, Avant-Garde


Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs (Merge) LP
Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns) LP
Battles: Gloss Drop (Warp) LP
Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (EMI) LP
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Touch & Go) LP
David Bowie: Low (Fan Club) LP
Burial: Untrue (Hyperdub) LP
Burial: s/t (Hyperdub) LP
Butthole Surfers: Electric Larryland (Plain) LP
Neko Case: Furnace Room Lullaby (Anti) LP
Causa Sui: Return to Sky (El Paraiso) LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues (Mute) LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Let Love In (Mute) LP
City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Coil: Astral Disasters (Fan Club) LP
Coil: Presents: Black Light District (Fan Club) LP
Cromagnon: Orgasm (Rotorelief) LP
Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Fan Club) LP
Dadawah: Peace & Love (Dug Out) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Desmond Dekker: Rude Boy Skank (Secret) LP
Donato Dozzy: K (Further) LP
Jacques Dutronc: Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi (Sony) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (Tee Pee) LP
Explosions in the Sky: The Wilderness (Temporary Residence) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Funkadelic: America Eats it’s Young (4 Men With Beards) LP
Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting it On (4 Men With Beards) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Herbie Hancock: Empyrean Isles (Blue Note) LP
Hole: Live Through This (Fan Club) LP
Ilitch: Life Out of Time (Rotorelief) LP
Iron Maiden: s/t (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Power Slave (Parlophone) LP
Jesus & Mary Chain: Automatic (Demon) LP
Johann Johannsson: End of Summer (Sonic Pieces) LP
King Crimson: In The Wake of Poseidon (Pangyric) LP
King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black (Pangyric) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid… (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Last Shadow Puppets: Everything You’ve Come… (Domino) LP
Mars Volta: Francis the Mute (Fan Club) LP
Massive Attack: Live @ the Royal Albert Hall (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Daptone) LP
Tim Maia: Nobody Can Live Forever (Luaka Bop) LP
Metallica: Kill Em All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Ride The Lightening (Blackened) LP
Mission of Burma: VS (Fire) LP
Modern Lovers: s/t (BMG) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Fan Club) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: YS Street Band (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: YS (Drag City) LP
Not Waving: Animals (Diagonal) LP
Nurse With Wound: Chromanatron (Rotorelief) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
William Onyeabor: Boxset 1 (Luaka Bop) BOX
William Onyeabor: Boxset 2 (Luaka Bop) BOX
William Onyeabor: Who is William Onyeabor (Luaka Bop) 3LP
Pearl Jam: Avacado (Fan Club) LP
Pearl Jam: MTV Unplugged (Fan Club) LP
Lee Perry: Holiness (Secret) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Fan Club) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Fan Club) LP
Pink Floyd: Atom Heart Mother (Fan Club) LP
Pink Floyd: Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Fan Club) LP
Pink Floyd: Fresh Mown Grass (Fan Club) LP
Prince: 1999 (Warner) LP
Prince: Art Official Age (Warner) LP
Prince: Controversy (Warner) LP
Prince: Dirty Mind (Warner) LP
Prince: For You (Warner) LP
Prince: Purple Rain (Warner) LP
Pulp: Different Class (Plain) LP
Purity Ring: Another Eternity (Last Gang) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabys for the Deaf (Fan Club) LP
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Replacements: Twin/Tone Years (Rhino) LP
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Universal) LP
Royal Headache: High (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go) LP
Sigur Ros: Sunflower (Fan Club) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sun Ra: Spaceways (ORG) LP
U2: Achtung Baby (Fan Club) LP
U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Fan Club) LP
U2: Zooropa (Fan Club) LP
Eddie Vedder: Ukulele Songs (Fan Club) LP
Tom Waits: Rain Dogs (Fan Club) LP
Tom Waits: Bone Machine (Fan Club) LP
War On Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
Wilco: Star Wars (Anti) LP
Various: Boston Creative Jazz Scene (Cultures of Soul) LP Box
Various: Los Alamos Grind (Numero) LP

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