Another jam packed week of killer new releases and essential reissues! So many records, and it’s gonna be a crumby, rainy weekend, so come down for a dig and grab some fresh wax!
…..picks of the week…..
Coil: The Ape of Naples (Important) LP
In tomorrow… Gah! I can’t get over how many of my favorite records ever are available again! This record is a staggering masterpiece that you owe it to yourself to listen to. Pressed using the original Ape Of Naples plates approved by Peter Christopherson. The Ape Of Naples is Coil’s highly celebrated final album completed by Peter Christopherson following the tragic death of Jhonn Balance in 2004. Often noted for being a fan favorite, The Ape Of Naples uses Balance’s final recordings and material recorded at Trent Reznor’s studio in New Orleans to create a deep, heavy masterpiece.The Ape Of Naples uses Balance’s final recordings and material recorded at Trent Reznor’s studio in New Orleans to create a deep, heavy masterpiece. Packaged in a heavy tip-on gatefold sleeve with Ian Johnstone’s original artwork coated in a custom spot gloss. Each LP is house in a printed inner sleeve and side D is printed with all three original etchings. Lyrics are printed across the gatefold. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Essential Grooves
Manuel Gottsching: Inventions for Electric Guitar (MG.Art) LP
In tomorrow… Another essential slab from the genius mind behind Ash Ra Tempel, I mean, just look at that cover! Originally released in 1975. Remastered by Manuel Göttsching. Recorded July-August 1974, Inventions for Electric Guitar is Manuel Göttsching’s first solo album. Written and performed entirely by Göttsching on electric guitar, with a four-track TEAC A3340, Revox A77 for echoes, wah-wah pedal, volume pedal, Schaller Rotosound, and Hawaiian steel bar. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
Alessandro Alessandroni: Butterfly #3 (Cometa) LP
Wonderfully mad grooves from the great Alessandro Alessandroni – and a set that seems to draw on all of his mighty talents at once! Some numbers have a soul jazz groove, with great lead piano from the maestro – others have cool wordless vocals, or maybe even a bit of whistling – all those hip touches that Alessandroni brought not just to his own soundtrack work, but to the help he gave so many other composers on their best 60s recordings – yet served up here in a batch of ultra-rare tracks recorded by the man himself, and only issued on the small Cometa sound library label! Album features 15 titles in all – all nice and groovy – with titles that include “Girovago”, “Louisiana Gospel”, “Apice”, “Prismatico”, “Baia D’Argento”, “Meridione”, “Colori D’Oro”, “White Club”, and “Trotterellando”.
File Under: Italian, Library, Rare Groove
Avalanches: Since I Left You (XL) LP
Australian electronic act The Avalanches’s genre-defying, critically acclaimed 2000 debut Since I Left You – originally released in Australia in 2000 and in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2001 – perfectly captured the hazy millennial zeitgeist. Band’s members, Darren Seltmann and Robbie Chater, spent hours sampling music from vinyl records to create the songs on the album. Chater estimates that there are over 3,500 samples. After sampling and arranging, the pair would swap their tapes, listen to each other’s ideas and expand on whatever they had heard. Pitchfork awarded it a 9.5/10 rating, noting, “Since I Left You sounds like nothing else…this is an album brimming with spontaneity, joy, sadness, humor, reflection, and general human-ness” while NME hailed the album as a “joyous, kaleidoscopic masterpiece of sun-kissed disco-pop.” Since I Left You was named one of 2001’s best albums by numerous critics – and its enduring influence was underscored when it placed in the top 10 of Pitchfork’s Top 200 Albums of the 2000s.
File Under: Electronic
Blonde Redhead: Masculine Feminin (Numero) 4LP
Teeming with the energy and grit of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, Blonde Redhead’s long out-of-print early recordings have finally crawled their way out of the ‘90s basement. Weighing in at 37 tracks, Masculin Féminin compiles the band’s first two albums for Steve Shelley’s Smells Like Records, their period singles, extant demos, and radio performances onto four albums. Dozens of previously unpublished photographs illustrate two lengthy essays on this essential New York band’s formative years. This is the latest installment in Numero Group’s 200 Line series which has also included releases from Unwound, Bedhead, Codeine, White Zombie and The Scientists. “These songs combine a raw need, a ready access to neediness, with seemingly incongruous cinematic changes reminiscent of ’60s Italian pop music and movie scores. They switch between emotional grandeur and eye scratching immediacy.” – Arto Lindsay
File Under: Indie Rock
Bon Iver: 22, A Million (Jagjagwar) LP/LP+12″
Bon Iver, the musical project led by Justin Vernon, will release its third studio album entitled 22, A Million, in September 2016 on Jagjaguwar. 22 stands for Justin. The number’s recurrence in his life has become a meaningful pattern through encounter and recognition. A mile marker, a jersey number, a bill total. The reflection of ‘2′ is his identity bound up in duality: the relationship he has with himself and the relationship he has with the rest of the world. A Million is the rest of that world: the millions of people who we will never know, the infinite and endless, everything outside one’s self that makes you who you are. This other side of Justin’s duality is the thing that completes him and what he searches for. 22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. When Justin sings, “I’m still standing in the need of prayer” he begs the question of what’s worth worshipping, or rather, what is possible to worship. If music is a sacred form of discovering, knowing and being, then Bon Iver’s albums are totems to that faith. The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place. The bulk of the album was recorded and produced at April Base Studios in Fall Creek, WI with pieces recorded in London, England and just outside Lisbon, Portugal by Vernon and a pack of trusted friends and collaborators both new and old. The album’s symbol-rich artwork was created by NYC-based artist Eric Timothy Carlson.
File Under: Indie Rock
Camberwell Now: The Ghost Trade (Modern Classics) LP
Camberwell, in South London, pops up infrequently in pop culture. Perhaps you know it from the Camberwell Carrot, the heroically sized joint smoked in cult movie Withnail & I, or perhaps – if you’re attuned to experimental music – you know of Camberwell Now. The group formed from the ashes of This Heat, the art-noise group whose catalog was reissued on Modern Classics Recordings in early 2016. Not so much a supersession as a continuation of that group, Camberwell Now featured This Heat’s vocalist / drummer Charles Hayward, who assembled an unusual line-up comprising Stephen Rickard, a former BBC sound engineer, on field recordings and tape manipulation and Trefor Goronwy on bass, vocals and ukulele. “We had a very specific set of skills,” says Hayward, in new liner notes compiled for this long overdue reissue, “and it wasn’t immediately clear to us how best to bring them together so that we could play live.” Arriving in 1986, The Ghost Trade, the group’s sole full-length LP, was what existed at the confluence of live performance and studio experimentation. Similar to This Heat’s process, the group spent two years in Cold Storage experimenting with the studio and assembling finished songs from vast quantities of tapes. Their two EPs, re-issued as The EP Collection, were borne of a similar process but each with unique yields. The tracks that eventually formed The Ghost Trade were songs forged in the bleak beauty of Thatcher’s London. “To me, the sounds invoked humanity trapped behind and inside a world constructed of glass, steel, and concrete, frozen inside the textures like prisoners of the twilight zone, humanity haunting a landscape it had made for itself,” says Hayward.
File Under: Electronic, Art Rock, This Heat
Camberwell Now: Greenfingers/Meridian (Modern Classics) LP
Camberwell, in South London, pops up infrequently in pop culture. Perhaps you know it from the Camberwell Carrot, the heroically sized joint smoked in cult movie Withnail & I, or perhaps – if you’re attuned to experimental music – you know of Camberwell Now. The group formed from the ashes of This Heat, the art-noise group whose catalog was reissued on Modern Classics Recordings in early 2016. Not so much a supersession as a continuation of that group, Camberwell Now featured This Heat’s vocalist / drummer Charles Hayward, who assembled an unusual line-up comprising Stephen Rickard, a former BBC sound engineer, on field recordings and tape manipulation and Trefor Goronwy on bass, vocals and ukulele. “We had a very specific set of skills,” says Hayward, in new liner notes compiled for this long overdue reissue, “and it wasn’t immediately clear to us how best to bring them together so that we could play live.” Taking inspiration from seafaring and imperialism, and the fact that the music was created within close proximity to the meridian line in Greenwich, the Meridian EP was originally intended to be a project for This Heat. The group’s departing member Charles Bullen plays on the opening track, “Cutty Sark”, named for the famed British clipper ship. The second EP, 1987’s Greenfingers, was their final recorded work and, according to Hayward, “it’s possible to hear the group atomising and preparing to go its separate ways” within its grooves. The only This Heat or Camberwell Now recording not to have been produced at Brixton’s Cold Storage studios, it was recorded as a DIY exercise and – unusually for either of the groups – was not pored over laboriously for a great deal of time. The EP also saw the addition of a new member, Maria Lamburn, primarily on sax, whose “Element Unknown” was inspired by her experiences in the nuclear protest camp at Greenham Common. Comprising tracks that overlapped between This Heat and Camberwell Now, the EPs concerned themselves with information technology, surveillance, propaganda and what Hayward describes as “day-to-day, hand-to-mouth survival” – all pertinent concerns in a fractured Britain under the rule of right-wing ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher, and perhaps still as pertinent today in fractured, recession-hit, isolationist Britain. The group dispersed after a final European tour, amicably, quietly, and differently, the latter their MO throughout a unique career. Goronwy, Hayward and Rickard all share their experiences and thoughts on The Camberwell Now in liner notes accompanying this landmark release: young and old, birth and death captured on two sides of vinyl.
File Under: Electronic, Art Rock, This Heat
Coil: The New Backwards (Important) LP
In tomorrow… Pressed using the original New Backwards metal plates approved by Peter Christopherson. The New Backwards, created in 2007, was originally included in the Ape Of Naples box set released on Important in 2008 and was constructed by Peter Christopherson using material from the Backwards sessions, recorded in the early ’90s for a planned release on Trent Reznor’s Nothing Records label. The New Backwards, like The Ape Of Naples, is an intense fan favorite and an essential part of the Coil catalog.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial
Delia Derbyshire & Elsa Stansfield: Circle of Light (Trunk) LP
In tomorrow… A highly important previously unreleased soundtrack for Circle Of Life, created in 1972 by musician Delia Derbyshire and artist Elsa Stansfield. The soundtrack is a mix of concrete ideas, sound design, tape manipulation, natural environmental sounds and birdsong. The recording was originally commissioned by director, producer and art collector Anthony Roland for his 1972 film about the slides of radical stills photographer Pamela Bone. The film has been rarely seen and the soundtrack has never been released until now. This is the longest known work by Delia Derbyshire – either alone or in association with anyone else – and has been licensed by Trunk Records exclusively worldwide from the Anthony Roland archive/collection. Mastered by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle. Full color single LP sleeve. Single LP on standard black wax.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, OST
La Femme: Mystere (Born Bad) LP
In tomorrow… French pop connoisseurs La Femme present Mystère. La Femme have made a huge mark on modern Paris’s cultural landscape, with the two sides of the city – the glamour and the grit – ingrained in their music. Since the release of their debut album, Psycho Tropical Berlin, their rise has only gained momentum with fans including directors Jacques Audiard and Romain Gavras to legends Jean Michel Jarre and Hedi Slimane. Returning with a more psychedelic sound and guest vocalists that slice through the starkest of electro beats, Mystère sees La Femme celebrating their wonderful city. From the chattering tête-à-tête heard on “Conversations Nocturnes” to the throbbing disco beat of “SSD”, a direct reference to the pulsing nightlife hotspot and multi-cultural district Strasbourg Saint Denis where the band is based. Mystère’s true intrigue however, lies in La Femme’s enigmatic questioning of falling in and out of love. A compendium of short stories describing loves and losses, each song breaks down language barriers through an inventive and astute knack for melody. The elation of a passionate encounter is captured on the ricocheting electronics of “Tatiana”, the melancholic acoustic guitar echoes in “Le Vide Est Ton Nouveau Prenom” and the sorrow of a war-torn couple in “Psyzook”. Whether delicate or drenched in dirty disco, the impact of Clémence, Marlon and Sacha’s gothic mantras mixed with the guest vocal talent of Clara Luciani, Jane Peynot, Naomi Greene, Mathilde Marlière, Angela Hureau, Battista Acquaviva and Sarah Ben Abdallah is perhaps where La Femme’s true meaning can be found. Sacha on his band’s all-inclusive philosophy: “We don’t like the idea of having a leader or a chief: everyone brings to the band what they can and want.” Recorded between a castle in Brittany and a Paris basement before being finished up with Sonny Diperri (Animal Collective) in LA, Mystère once again sees backgrounds blurred and worlds collide. The band’s chic retro-futurist surf-pop sound possesses the same dose of glamorous punk stomp as before, but this time around it’s layered with an elegant fusion of influences from Ennio Morricone, Marie Et Les Garcons’s disco-rock touch and the lysergic romanticism of The Velvet Underground. Through increased use of strings and further exploration of sound, Mystère also incorporates the band’s new love of oriental sounds, Turkish disco, Tuareg blues, medieval psychedelia to mainstays Brian Eno and Pink Floyd.
File Under: French, Psych, Pop
G.H.: Housebound Demigod (Modern Love) LP
In tomorrow… From the disputed border somewhere between Lancashire and Yorkshire, G.H. (Gary Howell) claims a no man’s land where he is free to decimate distinctions between black metal and concrète techno by drawing upon an elusive, metaphysical force that’s exclusively common to music rooted in that region; from Muslimgauze and Autechre thru Shackleton and Demdike Stare. The inarguably mongrel Housebound Demigod is G.H.’s debut solo album, following the Ground EP (2011) and his involvement with the hexed Pendle Coven project and HATE, alongside Miles Whittaker and Andy Stott, respectively, between 2003-2009. It sounds like nothing out there; the result of countless hours at the grindstone, using sound as tonal therapy and a purely expressive sculptural material to best render the feel of his bleak but extraordinarily beautiful surroundings, with all the rugged texture and captivating aesthetic of some ancient cave graffiti. The album unfolds as a treacherous topography of boggy drones, entrenched sub-bass and deforested, windswept feedback, strewn with the charred remains of black metal in opener “Screaming Demon Pickups” and the hollow-eyed stare down of “Angels And Doormen”, or prone to bury the senses with unpredictable slow techno mudslides in “Mickey Cosmos” or the subsidence of “Packhorse”. He often underlines that physicality with a drily ambiguous wit; check the bitterly clipped narrative on “Yorkshire Fog”, or, equally, when he puts all his weight behind the stylus-troubling, bestial shudder of “Devils Bit Scabious”, and you can’t shake the feeling that he’s gurning like an evil loon behind the rotten torque of the album’s titular parting shot. While ostensibly monotone and overcast, the devil is found in the album’s subtleties of timing and mixing detail; riddled with phantasms that lurk and lash out from the crevices of its granite slabs and pitch black ravines, all placed at oblique angles in his surreally folded, labyrinthine and unheimlich sound-field. Recorded with a DR550, a battered Charvel guitar and assorted guitar pedals. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy, pressed at Pallas. RIYL: Nurse With Wound, Stephen O’Malley, Autechre, David Lynch, Shackleton.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial
Bruce Haack: Electric Lucifer (Telephone Explosion) LP
Available again! Bruce Haack’s The Electric Lucifer is rightly considered one of the masterworks of 20th century electronic music. Originally recorded in 1968-69 (released in 1970) it’s an eminently listenable work where pop-psychedelia and Moog/musique-concrete sounds coalesce around Haack’s central metaphysical concept of “Powerlove,” a force so powerful that it could end war and unify humankind. Acclaimed upon its original release (one of Rolling Stone’s favorite albums of 1970) yet unavailable on vinyl for over four decades. Remastered and restored from the “lost” original master tapes discovered in the Columbia vault.
File Under: Electronic, Psych
Hiss Golden Messenger: Heart Like a Levee (Merge) LP
The writing of the songs that became Heart Like a Levee started in a hotel room in Washington, DC, in January of 2015 during a powerful storm that darkened the East Coast. At that time I was feeling—more acutely than I had ever felt before—wrenched apart by my responsibilities to my family and to my music. Forgetting, momentarily, that for me, each exists only with the other. How could I forget? Though maybe my lapse was reasonable: I had just quit my job, the most recent and last, in a series of dead-end gigs stretching back 20 years, with the vow that my children would understand their father as a man in love with his world and the inventor of his own days. They would be rare in that regard. And then—driven by monthly bills and pure fear—I left for another tour, carrying a load of guilt that I could just barely lift. But in that snowy hotel room I found the refrain that became my compass: I was a dreamer, babe, when I set out on the road; but did I say I could find my way home? Deluxe LPs include a second album, Vestapol, with full art and a 12” x 24” poster. Limited to 2,000 copies worldwide. Composed during the same period of time as Heart Like a Levee, Vestapol is an intimate collection of eight previously unreleased songs—performed and recorded almost entirely by M.C. Taylor in various motels on the road and at his home in Durham, NC—dealing with exile, guilt, forgiveness, and trust.
File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
I Gres: I Gres Volume 2 (Cometa) LP
Never before commercially released library breaks monster recorded in 1975! Consisting of Romano Rizzati (Walter Rizzati), Silvano Chimenti, and a loose assemblage of primo Italian library session-players, I Gres recorded three blistering albums of funky library music. A sublime selection of work from this legendary sound library ensemble – an Italian group who were so cool, so groovy, they were virtually a genre unto themselves – able to step easily between funky numbers, jazzy groovers, and these odd, offbeat styles that are especially nice! These record wonderfully wraps together a legacy of Italian sounds from the whole late 60s/early 70s soundtrack era – served up here without any sense of ego or need for identity at all – just a commitment to cool, compelling music – filled with plenty of grooves in the process. Titles include “Restless”, “Jeanette”, “Les Abimes”, “Wild Saxon”, “Ronde Bosse”, “Plancton”, “Hot Dogs”, “Mirelle”, “Mini Bataille”, and “Les Abimes”.
File Under: Italian, Library, Funk
Johann Johannsson: Orphee (Deutsche Grammophone) LP
In tomorrow… Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-, BAFTA- and Grammy-nominated composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s first album for Deutsche Grammophon is a meditation on beauty and the process of creation. Orphée traces a path from darkness into light, inspired by the various re-tellings of the ancient tale of the poet Orpheus, from Ovid’s to Jean Cocteau’s. A many-layered story about death, rebirth, change and the ephemeral nature of memory, the myth can also be read as a metaphor for artistic creation, dealing with the elusive nature of beauty and its relationship to the artist, as well as the idea that art is created through transgression – by the poet defying the gods who have forbidden him to turn back towards his beloved as he leaves the Underworld. Orphée’s sonic palette is varied, combining acoustic instruments both solo and in ensemble with electronics and the mesmeric sounds of shortwave radio “numbers stations”. It draws on many facets of his previous albums, incorporating music for solo cello, organ, string quartet, string orchestra and unaccompanied voices. Orphée shows the full range of the Icelandic composer’s remarkable invention and uncanny feeling for atmosphere. The music of the entire album is tied together structurally by recurring harmonic and melodic elements, yet each track sounds fresh, evocative and unique. Orphée reconciles ambitious orchestral and vocal writing with influences ranging from the Baroque to minimalism and electronic music. Also influenced by film composers Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone and Michael Nyman (all prolific writers, like Jóhann himself, of concert music as well as film scores), Jóhannsson is a contemporary exponent of a tradition that was shaped by composers such as Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Walton or Korngold. “Orphée is for me about changes: about moving to a new city, leaving behind an old life in Copenhagen and building a new one in Berlin – about the death of old relationships and the birth of new ones,” explains Jóhann. “Perhaps this is one of the reasons I was drawn to the Orpheus myth, which is fundamentally about change, mutability, death, rebirth, the elusive nature of beauty and its sometimes thorny relation to the artist. This album, my first solo record for six years, is an oblique reflection on personal change.” Orphée is a haunting and atmospheric musical journey, crowned by the sublime Orphic Hymn – a setting of Ovid’s text performed by Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices. The album is a reflection on change, memory, beauty and art, and ultimately celebrates the latter’s power of renewal, while acknowledging the dark paths along which it can lead the artist. “Making Orphée has been a true labour of love, one that has been a part of my life for six years, and yet the music always remained fresh – it was constantly in a state of flux and renewal,” its composer concludes.
File Under: Electronic, Neo-Classical
Low: The Exit Papers (Temporary Residence) LP
At the turn of the 21st Century, sandwiched between two of their most iconic albums – Secret Name and Things We Lost In The Fire – Low released The Exit Papers as part of Temporary Residence Ltd.’s long-running CD subscription series, Travels In Constants. A sparse suite of six mostly instrumental pieces composed for a film that never existed, The Exit Papers still stands as Low’s most haunting and experimental work. Originally released exclusively on CD in a scarce edition of only 1,000 copies, Low helps celebrate the 20th anniversary of Temporary Residence by finally releasing The Exit Papers on vinyl for the first time ever. Limited edition of 2,000 copies worldwide.
File Under: Indie Rock, OSTish
Ennio Morricone & Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: ContemporaneaMente (Cometa) LP
Unreleased before experimental music composed by Ennio Morricone and mostly performed by the legendary Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, with some surprising use of percussions, vocals and electronics too! The maestro has used electric instrumentation on other scores, but this one has a pretty different feel – a handful of tracks that have more of a future-sounding quality, with a spacious mix of light strings and more sparely focused instrumentation. Other numbers get a bit more dark and jagged – slightly atonal, with shimmering, shifting styles that create a tremendous amount of tension. ‘’What they have in common the screams of an elephant, the cries of exotic birds in a forest, a chorus of voices without accompaniment, an experimental music, the themes of superimposed flutes and Straddle mounted on each other in a phantasmagoria of sound and a chorus of children ’’ContemporaneaMente’’? Only a name: Ennio Morricone. The great Maestro Ennio Morricone during his long professional career, he has created a wide range of musical genres earning the nickname largest versatile composer of all time. While listening to this LP, you will understand the infinite capacity and versatility to the invention of the great Morricone in compositional construction, always different, and the particular color that gives every note of his compositions. ContemporaneaMente is the Maestro Ennio Morricone.
File Under: Italian, Avant Garde, Library
OST: Leon (Waxwork) LP
Waxwork Records is thrilled to announce the vinyl soundtrack debut of Léon: The Professional. The 1994 action-crime- thriller film directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) stars Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and features the motion picture debut of Natalie Portman. In the film, Léon (Reno), a professional hitman, reluctantly takes in 12-year- old Mathilda (Portman), after her family is murdered by corrupt Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Norman Stansfield (Oldman). Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the hitman’s trade. Waxwork Records’ new double-LP release marks the very first time the film score by composer Éric Serra has been released on vinyl. Combining both electronic and orchestral cues, Serra creates a score that is tense, yet beautiful, which compliments the film’s action sequences and the childhood innocence of Mathilda. In keeping with Waxwork Records’ tireless efforts to create the highest quality soundtrack and film score releases on vinyl, the audio for Léon: The Professional was sourced from the original master tapes and then re-mastered for vinyl by producer and former White Zombie guitarist, J. Yuenger. The packaging includes 180 gram colored vinyl, heavyweight old-style tip on jackets with double pass soft-touch coating, and new artwork by Oliver Barrett.
File Under: OST
Planetary Assault Systems: Arc Angel (Ostgut Ton) LP
In tomorrow… Luke Slater returns to Ostgut Ton with a Planetary Assault Systems album titled Arc Angel. Staying true to the project’s initial mission statement, Slater comments on the new yet familiar musical direction: “For me, music has to go forward. I’d feel I was cheating by sticking to tried-and-tested formulas.” With Arc Angel, Planetary Assault Systems departs to new musical frontiers by focusing on melody, but staying rooted in the purist values of techno. While the album title may sound like a reference to spiritual matters, it hints to rather secular affairs. Arc Angel is a postmodernist, non-comfortist techno album first and foremost. In the tradition of Slater’s previous albums with Ostgut Ton – The Messenger and Temporary Suspension – its musical motifs radiate around polymorphic and extraterrestrial sounds, using contemporary instrumental language, but with an emphasis on compatible musical phrases. “With this album it was very much a case of limitation and focus around the idea of alternative melody,” Slater says, “I love music that takes you somewhere new. All music for this album had to pass that test. At the same time I wanted to re-root the foundations of what I see as techno into that and focus on melody, rather than a track just being a beat.” While there are nods to the past, Arc Angel aims for the future. There’s shimmering sounds reminiscent of light beams being fired (“Tri Fn Trp”), pulsing signals in deep space (“Angel Of The East”, “Sonar Falls”, “Groucho”) and rather harsh aesthetics (“The Last Scene”). Its melodic range includes hypnotic arrangements (“Merry Go Round”, “Blue Monk”), distorted bells (“Revolution One”), rainbow noise and spatial effects – for the most part meshing with heavy kick drums (“Message From The Drone Sector”, “The Rider”), sometimes using reduced beat patterns (“Max”), at times turning to repetitious loops, analog synth pads and alienated vocal bits (“Interlude 1 to 6”). Despite its musical richness, all gear had to fit onto a small table. “I love software, hardware, technology; but because we have almost endless choice of sound creating devices, it drove me to using very limited and focused equipment. Actually taking influences from the way an original blues guy… He has the guitar, the box and voice – I have the 909 and 808.” Includes digital download of the single tracks and the continuous album mix.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Steve Reich: Drumming (Deutsche Grammophone) 3LP
In tomorrow… Originally recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in 1974, Steve Reich is joined here by a host of stellar musicians for a distinguished symphonic-length percussion piece for drums, mallet instruments, organ and piano partly inspired by African rhythms and Indonesian gamelan. The Village Voice hailed Drumming as “the most important work of the whole minimalist music movement.”
File Under: Classical
Rizan Said: King of Keyboard (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow… LP edition of Rizan Said’s King of Keyboard, originally released as a CD by Beirut-based Annihaya Records in 2015. Reissued by Discrepant in collaboration with Annihaya. ”There is no other Syrian dabke musician that has enjoyed the local, regional, national, and international recognition that Rizan Said has, and for that, the world is lucky. Rizan is a musical ambassador from a disappeared Syria, and this is not to be taken lightly. Once upon a time, not too long ago, Syria was a culturally diverse country possessing a certain unity. A place not synonymous with barbarism and savagery. Far from the capital of Damascus, the northeast of the country, known as the Jazeera, was rich with history and culture. Rizan was a musical prodigy from a young age — a gifted player of percussion and reed instruments before a wealth of synthesizers began flooding Syria in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Steadfast on the Syrian cassette album circuit at the time, Rizan the boy wonder was already sending his signals out from the Jazeera frontier, thanks to a partnership with local producerZuhir Maksi. It can be said, that without Rizan Said, a good number of Syrian singers from the 1990s onward might never have been heard — most notably Omar Souleyman, a collaborator with Rizan for two decades. Where synthesizers can bring a certain artifice and death to the sound of music, Rizan’s torrential speed and flair on the keys bring new life to Syrian and Kurdish sounds — lightning fast as required — respectfully forcing the component sounds of folkloric dabke into the next level. This is the updated sound of the ages, where hand drums and reed flutes are now emulated and pounded out on Korg keyboards” –Mark Gergis, April, 2015. RIYL Omar Souleyman, EEK.
File Under: Dabke, Syrian
Velvet Underground: Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes 2 (Tummy Tapes) LP
In tomorrow… Tummy Tapes present the long-awaited second installment of The Velvet Underground’s The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes. Recorded through a microphone jammed in the back of Lou Reed’s amp right around the release of their third album, The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury. They are a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing which in this set is a monolithic roar, a pulverizing electronic “kaiju” (strange beast) grinding the whole universe into pebble and sand. Paste-on covers. All tracks recorded at The Boston Tea Party on March 15, 1969.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Zomby: Ultra (Hyperdub) LP
Zomby’s new album, Ultra, is his most focused to date. His ultra-modern music has a unique character, and Ultra really displays his ability to create varied and detailed mutations. He warps discordant Eski grime (“Burst,” “Freeze,” “Yeti”), creates dreamlike blooms on “Her” and “Thaw,” and builds crystalline music box takes on house and 2step on “Glass” and “I.” The artist also collaborates on the album with the likes of Darkstar, Rezzett, Banshee, Burial and HKE. These all throw up unpredictable fusions and immaculate fissions. Ultra is housed in a metallic red sleeve, designed by Ben Drury, wonderfully reflecting the glow of the music inside.
File Under: Electronic, Grime
Bahamas: Pink Strat (Interscope) LP
Beatles: Revolver (Apple) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Big Boys: Lullabies Help The Brain Grow (Modern Classics) LP
Broadcast: Future Crayon (Warp) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impusle) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
DAF: Produkt (Bureau B) LP
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (Light in the Attic) LP
Miles Davis: Cookin’ (Waxtime) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
J Dilla: Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds) LP
J Dilla: Ruff Draft (Stones Throw) LP
Faith No More: Album of the Year (Warner) LP
Faith No More: King for a Day (Warner) LP
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get it On (Universal) LP
Ghostface Killah: Fishscale (Def Jam) LP
Al Green: I’m Still in Love With You (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: Greatest Hits (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: Let’s Stay Together (Fat Possum) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Reprise) LP
Guru Guru: UFO (Play Loud) LP
Hawkwind: Warrior on the Edge of Time (Let Them Eat Vinyl) LP
Head & The Heart: Signs of Light (Warner) LP
Jesus Lizard: Goat (Touch & Go) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Ballon (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid… (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
Menahan Street Band: Make The Road By Walking (Daptone) LP
MF Doom: Mm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Universal) LP
New Order: Singles (Rhino) LP
Not Waving: Redacted (Ecstatic) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Eureka (Drag City) LP
Parliament: Mothership Connection (Universal) LP
Public Image LTD.: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Light in the Attic) LP
Silkworm: It’ll Be Cool (Touch & Go) LP
Slasher Film Festival Strategy: Psychic Shield (Death Waltz) LP
Sunn o))): Black One (Southern Lord) LP
Swans: The Seer (Young God) LP
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Rhino) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Timber Timbre: Creep On Creepin’ On (Arts & Crafts) LP
Timber Timbre: Hot Dreams (Arts & Crafts) LP
Touche Amore: Stage Four (Epitaph) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Man Machine Poem (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: We Are The Same (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Delta Momma Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Flying Shoes (Fat Possum) LP
Zomby: Where Were u In 92? (Cvlt) LP