I’m not sure why I expect that at some point there won’t be a ton of new things in, but it just seems like something that would stop at some point. But then I wouldn’t have anything to put in these weekly updates. Which means, I’d practically be out of a job. I guess thankfully there’s a whole whack of new stuff in this week. And even more killer used stuff going out too… for some reason, someone sold all their Sabbath/Ozzy records.. who does that?
…..picks of the week…..
The Necks: Unfold (Ideologic Organ) LP
Ideologic Organ present Unfold, brand-new recordings from The Necks, the legendary Australian trio who excel in bypassing musical cliche whilst exploring and extending the practices embedded within improvisation, jazz, post rock, ambient, minimal, and textural, “sound based” music. The latest document from this long-running ensemble presents itself as a double LP, with four side-length tracks. A deliberate absence of numbered sides hands a substantial swatch of participation over to the listener, allowing her to navigate his own path through the soundscape at hand. The shorter length of the vinyl format, far from being a constraint upon the members of the ensemble, instead offers them a more compact horizon to contemplate, wherein the distance travelled is recalibrated to more immediate and dynamic textural concerns. The immediacy of “Rise” confirms this new path, as the mournful tones of Lloyd Swanton’s bass swirl around Chris Abrahams’s crystalline piano motif, with Tony Buck’s percussion steering proceedings into enlightening free-jazz territories. “Blue Mountain” cuts a swathe through the sonic undergrowth, with soul organ, rattling percussion, whistles, and loping sound-waves all vying for the foreground. “Overhear” retains a sublime melancholic aura as the percussion and keyboards simultaneously embrace and fall apart, whilst “Timepiece” skips along as a gentle gesture of further possibilities. Exactly how The Necks conjure their particular magic – as deceptively simple as it seems – whilst always moving forward, is anyone’s guess, but Unfold proves yet again that rules and schools are to be broken and re-formed into patterns and frameworks unlike those already known. Mastered & cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
File Under: Jazz, Ambient, Improv
Wells Fargo: Watch Out! (Now Again) LP
“Rock music and revolution in ’70s Zimbabwe. Just as the hippie era came to an end in America, a second ’60s was beginning. In what is now Zimbabwe, young people created a rock and roll counterculture that drew inspiration from hippie ideals and the sounds of Hendrix and Deep Purple. The kids in the scene called their music ‘heavy,’ because they could feel its impact, and it resonated from Zambia to Nigeria. At its peak in the mid-70s, the heavy rock scene united tens of thousands of young progressives of all racial and social backgrounds. The country was called Rhodesia then, one of the last bastions of white rule in Africa, and heavy rockers defied segregation laws and secret police to make a stand for democratic change. Wells Fargo was at the forefront of the scene, and the title track of this album, ‘Watch Out,’ was the anthem of the counterculture. This is the first time their music has been issued outside of Zimbabwe. Matthew Shechmeister tells the story of Wells Fargo drawing on interviews with the band’s remaining members and numerous trips to Zimbabwe to investigate the genesis of the heavy rock scene under Ian Smith’s oppressive government, and its dissipation after Zimbabwe’s liberation.”
File Under: African, Rock
Avalanches: Since I Left You (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow! Finally a domestic reissue of this much sought after album… 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, Samples
Bats: The Deep Set (Flying Nun) LP
Five years after the release of their last critically acclaimed album, The Bats return with album number nine, The Deep Set. With the title conveying the long established and firmly embedded, it’s notable that it’s thirty years since The Bats began recording their debut album, Daddy’s Highway, in the living room studio of a friend of a friend in Glasgow. This time around they recorded in The Sitting Room, the studio-sleep out-garage next to Ben Edward’s house in Lyttelton, following in the footsteps of Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid and many others. With Edwards help The Deep Set continues The Bats’ 21st century resurgence. Yes, this is The Bats so the chords still chug, the guitars chime, ring, and jangle, the melodies are clear and memorable, the rhythm section is unstoppable. But the band mines the darker, deeper sound that 2011’s Free All the Monsters revealed. The songs remain reflective but that oft-expected sweet folksiness pops up less frequently. As the title suggests the music is richer, expansive, deeper. In their fourth decade as a band familiarity has come to mean a more careful treatment of each song. Is it maturity? It definitely translates into more depth and complexity but hey the songs are still as catchy as all hell. And as a lyricist, Robert Scott continues his mastery of the personal and pastoral, the landscape and longing. As always the key to The Bats is the emotion that their (seemingly) simple songs carry. They continue to mine that Mainland melancholy; the kind that somehow never risks being depressing. But of course that means there is lament and nostalgia, even if it’s only for last night. Taking us from the sun of Otago’s Taieri River to darkest Durkestan and apparently ending in the midst of contemporary New Zealand politics, The Deep Set continues the composed confidence of their recent albums with one of The Bats’ strongest sets of songs, fueled by ever-more powerful guitars. If you grew up with The Bats their early recordings will always pull at your emotions but while less vulnerable and immediate than on their classic debut album, The Bats of the 21st century somehow manage to be more intimate and urgent.
File Under: Indie Rock
Biosphere: Cirque (Biophon) 3LP
Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen – a Norwegian musician who has released a notable catalog of ambient electronic music. He is well known for his works on ambient techno and arctic-themed pieces, his use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His 1997 album Substrata was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all-time classic ambient album. Cirque – originally released in 2000 – was Biosphere’s first album for the UK label Touch. This reissue comes with six bonus tracks and new artwork. “Fourth full album from ambient pioneer. Coming to prominence with 1992’s Microgravity – which along with the first couple of Aphex/Polygon Window CDs, defined the genre ambient – Geir Jenssen as Biosphere has made three of the ’90s best albums, culminating with last year’s near beat-less Substrata. The idea – as it always was thanks to Eno’s On Land (1982) – is music as environment (reflecting, creating): working from his base in Tromso, Arctic Norway, Jenssen offers a polar, Apollonian exploration of the human psyche. Cirque is a perfectly constructed 47-minute sequence: cold clarity up against real depth of field, synth cycles dissolving into sudden moments of sonic revelation that sound like a waking dream – try the first 20 seconds of ‘Black Lamb & Grey Falcon’. (And if you think that’s pretentious – your loss). Inspired by the story of a young American, Chris McCandless, who walked alone into the Alaskan wilderness and perished, Cirque balances the tightrope between warmth and unease, resolving into a moon melody that leaves you a peace. What a good record!.”
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Geisterfaust (Pias) LP
Pias present a reissue of the 2005 album from Germany’s doom jazz cult band Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Geisterfaust. Geisterfaust, featuring the slowest band on earth in an even more reduced and slow motion style, is back in full glory, with 58 minutes of playtime over five astonishing tracks. “Geisterfaust” might be translated as “the fist of a ghost” and the individual tracks are “trigger finger”, “ring finger”, “middle finger”, “thumb” and “little finger”. The group, who are much loved by musicians like Mike Patton (of Faith No More and who releases their albums on the Ipecac label) or Stephen O’Malley (SunnO), deliver outstanding music. For fans of Sunn o))), OM, Max Richter, Fennesz and David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti. This is instrumental music of the highest caliber.
File Under: Dark Jazz, Ambient
Cloud Nothings: Life Without Sound (Carpark) LP
Dylan Baldi maintains simple, admirable standards in quality. “A thing I like to do with all of my records is drive around with them,” the 25-year-old Cloud Nothings frontman says. “In high school, I would listen to music for hours like that: just driving through the suburbs of Cleveland. And if it sounds good to me in that context and I can think of high school me listening to it and saying, ‘That’s okay,’ I feel good about the record. This is the one that’s felt best.” “This” is Life Without Sound, the radiant, far-far-better-than-okay fourth full-length his rock outfit has recorded since he began writing and releasing songs on his own under the Cloud Nothings alias in 2008. While its highly acclaimed predecessor – 2014’s Here and Nowhere Else – came together spontaneously, in the little time that touring allowed, Life Without Sound took shape under far less frenetic circumstances. For more than a year, Baldi was able to write these songs and flesh out them out with his bandmates – drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke – before they finally joined producer John Goodmanson (Sleater Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie) at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas, for three weeks in March of 2016. The result is Baldi’s most polished and considered work to date, an album that speaks to his evolving gift with melody while also betraying the sort of perspective that time provides. You can hear it in the aerodynamic guitar pop of “Modern Act,” and feel it in the devastating wisdom of “Internal World,” a lullaby-like howler that dwells on “the fact that being yourself can be uncomfortable and even potentially dangerous at times.” “Generally, it seems like my work has been about finding my place in the world,” Baldi says. “But there was a point in which I realized that you can be missing something important in your life, a part you didn’t realize you were missing until it’s there – hence the title. This record is like my version of new age music,” he adds. “It’s supposed to be inspiring.” It is.
File Under: Indie Rock
Lol Coxhill: Ear of the Beholder (Radiation) LP
Radiation Deluxe Series present a reissue of Lol Coxhill’s Ear Of Beholder, originally released in 1971. Ear Of Beholder is one of the most beguiling and adventurous records of the 1970s, which is saying a lot as that is a musical decade marked by groundbreaking creativity. Originally released on John Peel’s Dandelion label, Lol Coxhill’s sprawling double album debut is an avant-garde jazz masterstroke that features Robert Wyatt and much of the Whole World group, Kevin Ayers’s backing band at the time (of which Lol was a member). Ranging from straight-up feedback to re-workings of standards, outdoor recordings to spoken word, improvisation to vaudeville, Ear Of Beholder covers more ground in two LPs than most artists do in a lifetime. Difficult, adventurous listening from one of British jazz’s most brilliant innovators. 180 gram vinyl; Comes in a gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Free Jazz
Cromwell: At The Gallop (Got Kinda Lost) LP
Got Kinda Lost Records present an expanded, first-time reissue of Cromwell’s At The Gallop, originally released in 1975. Self-released in 1975 by the Drumcondra, Dublin-based Cromwell, At The Gallop is a blistering, heavy, loud n’ lascivious ten-track offering (thirteen in this expanded edition) of proto-metal infused street rock n’ roll from a time when Ireland was still under the sway of conservative showbands, quasi-religious, sentimental pop pap and traditional Irish music. Despite their cultural struggles, Cromwell crafted a creative and compact catalog – five fuzzed n’ ferocious 45s and this foot-long – led by co-vocalist/bassist Michael Kiely’s come-hither coo and fey Jagger pose n’ preen, the in-the-pocket drumming of Derek Dawson and minor-guitar hero moves of Patrick Brady, exercising taste, talent and towering mountains of fuzz n’ fury as comfortably as greasy ’70s raunch and rural modes. At The Gallop is a rare, little-heard classic in the pub/fried rock n’ roll/proto-punk terrain. RIYL: Teenage Head, Flamingo-era Flamin’ Groovies, Mott The Hoople, ’70s Rolling Stones, pre-punk American street rock, and the Bonehead Crunchers series. Includes three bonus tracks from the group’s rare singles; Includes an insert featuring rare photos and in-depth liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Got Kinda Lost Records, Ugly Things Magazine).
File Under: Rock, Proto-Metal
Tom Dissevelt/Kid Baltan: Song of the Second Moon (Fifth Dimension) LP
Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Tom Dissevelt and Kid Baltan’s Song Of The Second Moon: The Sonic Vibrations Of Tom Dissevelt/Kid Baltan, originally released in 1968. Song Of The Second Moon is a compilation, of sorts, with the best tracks by two electronic music prophets, Tom Dissevelt (1921-1989) and Kid Baltan (aka Dick Raaijmakers, 1930-2013), created in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Before the release of Song Of The Second Moon, the same album was released in 1962 as Electronic Music under the moniker of The Electrosonics. While kneeling to the gods of kraut and their epic cosmic journeys, we should always keep in mind that courageous music aficionados from a classic or jazz background have been as far out before, and may have been even further out. There are shreds of melody and passages reminiscent of primitive rituals, but most of the time this is a gathering of electronic sound eruptions, strange rhythmical patterns, and swirling noises. It is definitely a mind expanding experience that has enough melody to conjure an enchanting atmosphere considering its radical approach to popular and progressive music. Nice Egyptian and quite mythical harmonies created by an early synthesizer on a pulsating rhythm-bed build the song “Sonik Re-Entry”, one of the more accessible tracks. Orchestral music and jazz are melted somewhere on this record with elements of exotica, bits and pieces of gentle Latin sounds, and whatever was popular back then being swallowed by thinking machines. And suddenly a dark swing played by an orchestra hits your ears with quite mysterious harmony patterns interwoven with the occasional freak-out, either in an electronic manner or with a free jazz expression. It demonstrates how well modern, yet handmade, popular music and electronics could work together. All this happened years before there were bands like The Silver Apples or even Hawkwind. Recommend for fans of Pierre Henry, musique concrète in general, and Stockhausen.
File Under: Early Electronic
Mark Eitzel: Hey Mr. Ferryman (Merge) LP
Hey Mr Ferryman is Mark Eitzel’s first full studio album recorded entirely in London. It was made at 355 Studios with Mercury Prize winner Bernard Butler (ex-Suede, McAlmont & Butler), who has produced and/or recorded albums with Tricky, Ben Watt, Bert Jansch, Edwyn Collins, and more. Butler produced Hey Mr Ferryman and played all of the electric guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on the album. Hey Mr Ferryman features the vivid melodies long associated with Eitzel’s former band American Music Club – which remains a cult favorite to this day – as well as Butler’s distinctive guitar that serves to complement Eitzel’s expressive vocals. Of that voice, Pitchfork once wrote: “If Leonard Cohen’s voice is a story about the passage of time and Levon Helm’s is a story about losing what is most precious to you, Eitzel’s is about the circuitous roads we take in search of ourselves.” “The songs on this record are about celebrating musicians and music, about misogyny, the long shadow of history, getting one’s head out of one’s ass,” explains Eitzel on the themes of Ferryman. “Also oceans, blood, skies, hearts, gay pioneers, carpenters, weeping women, and how death waits for you even in the happiest place on earth: Las Vegas.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Marcello Giombini: Computer Disco (Mondo Groove) LP
Mondo Groove present a reissue of Marcello Giombini’s Computer Disco, originally released in 1982. Computer Disco is the greatest Euro-synth, disco album of early ’80s and now it’s finally being reissued by Mondo Groove. Computer Disco is the most Kraftwerk-ian Italian production. Marcello Giombini was a pioneer of early sequencers and on this cult LP, he produced cheesy, cosmic synth pop, with a little bit of Italo disco mixed in. Every fan of ’70s/’80s synthesizer music and electronic DJs should put this in their collection. Original artwork restored.
File Under: Electronic, Disco
Marcello Giombini: Astromusic Synthesizer (Fifth Dimension) LP
Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Marcello Giombini’s Astromusic Synthesizer, originally released in 1981. Another great synthesizer artist and pioneer, this time from Italy, Giombini’s work date back to the early ’60s and maybe even beyond considering he was born in 1928. In the mid-to-late ’60s, he became quite active in the field of western movie soundtracks. Astromusic Synthesizer is a concept album on the zodiac signs and the music it contains could not be more diverse. The elements that unite all the tunes are the entirely synthetic, yet warm analog sound and the surreal, spaced-out atmosphere. Several different basic genres deliver the inspiration from which Marcello Giombini forms his melodies, harmony patterns, and rhythm structures. There are tunes you will easily recognize as pop songs with a typical ’60s approach, concerning the melody writing, there are baroque elements, and even pure soundscapes that make you feel like being trapped in the interior of a thinking machine. The synthetic sound adds a futuristic shine to each composition. The mood changes are dramatic: You will float down a peaceful river of dreams at one point and then become swallowed by a vortex of musical fury that projects a galactic battle before your third eye. Indeed, the whole album could work as a soundtrack for an epic science fiction movie whose story drags you far out into space. If you love movies such as The Black Hole (1979) and enjoy the compositions of other synthesizer heroes such as Mort Garson, you will treat Astromusic Synthesizer as a precious musical treasure. Fans of ’70s synthesizer music should give this a listen.
File Under: Electronic
Keiji Haino/Jozef Dumoulin/ Teun Verbruggen: The Miracles of Only One Thing (Sub Rosa) LP
Japanese legend, Keiji Haino, meets two of Belgium’s most active and valued musicians, keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin (Lilly Joel) and drummer Teun Verbruggen (Othin Spake). The Miracles Of Only One Thing is a deep and intense testimony of this meeting. Keiji Haino, without any doubt one of the most important musicians from the Japanese underground scene, is at his best, Teun Verbruggen and Jozef Dumoulin did a three-week tour in Japan in September of 2015, playing concerts as a duet, but also solo and with local musicians. One of those musicians was hero Keiji Haino, whose work has spanned rock, free improvisation, noise, percussion, psychedelic music, minimalism and drones. Besides his legendary bands Fushitsusha and Lost Aaraaff, he has worked with artists and bands like Boris, The Melvins, Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi, Peter Brötzmann and Steve Noble. As for Dumoulin and Verbruggen, they are both known for their always refreshing and groundbreaking work that breaks the barriers between free improvisation, electro, jazz and more. Jozef Dumoulin is part of the duo Lilly Joel appearing recently on Sub Rosa with What Lies in the Sea. The three teamed up for a studio recording and a recorded live-show. Out of all the material, they distilled an album that reflects both the excitement of the new bond as well as the deep and vast sonic landscapes that their joined forces laid bare. Personnel: Keiji Haino – guitar, vocals, flute, gongs; Jozef Dumoulin – Fender Rhodes; Teun Verbruggen – drums, electronics.
File Under: Electronic, Free Rock
It’s Psychedelic Baby #2 Mag
The new It’s Psychedelic Baby!, dedicated to British psychedelic folk. New issue of printed version projected from the well-known, leading psych on-line site It’s Psychedelic Baby! After the previous issue covering exclusively the US psychedelic folk scene (IPB 002, 2016), this new issue covers the ’60s and ’70s British folk scene, with exclusive interviews of members from acts such as Fresh Maggots, Comus, Mellow Candle, Dr Strangely Strange, Spirogyra, C.O.B., Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Pererin, Courtyard Music Group, Magic Carpet, Sunforest, Oberon, etc. Also includes a few pages of record reviews. Cover by Justin Jackley. 44 pages.
File Under: Psych, Magazines
Jantar: Panisperna (Mie) LP
MIE unveils, after long gestation, Panisperna, the first long player by Jantar, an outer-borough ensemble historically known for their creeping strain of easy-listening, most often heard in empty lots and abandoned diners. Chad Laird and Tianna Kennedy have grown an experimental cover crop since 2009, gently cultivating a soil rich in ambient leaf rot and organic art-world chemical compounds. With the addition of Kirsten Nordine, Jantar began to run it through with speculative roots and melodic worms, digesting the tails of lost Euro soundtracks, and ultimately finding in drummer Kelly Rudman the crystalline lattice necessary for vertical growth… And yes, now this broad field is very much in rotation. Panisperna shoots riffs, stalks and flowers right up out of the ground. From the waves still reverberating from Canterbury’s Gong and Soft Machine, Jantar propels green, driving rock forms, and leafs out into repeating rows of complex time and growth patterns. For this first foray into rock music, Jantar has enlisted the assistance of Pigeons Clark Griffin and Wednesday Knudsen, who contribute synth and sax, respectively. Long-time ally and champion Jason Meagher (No-Neck Blues Band, Steve Gunn) recorded this music at the venerable Black Dirt Studios.
File Under: Rock
Eyvind Kang/Tashi Dorji: Mother of All Saints (Unrock) LP
The second twin in Unrock’s sub-series of actively anti-western music is an ultra-heavyweight. In the worlds of contemporary global avant-art, composition and improvisation, it reaches new heights. Eyvind Kang (from “Ghost Ghat Tresspass/Sussmeier” Sun City Girls 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda among many other collaborations) employs a rarely-heard viola technique. Some may call it plucking art. The viola is played not with a bow, but plucked with the fingers of the right hand, resulting in a completely distinct sound. Eyvind Kang is a master and has reinvented this special technique. Two solo viola tracks (one a cover of an Albert Ayler piece) with melodies of outstanding beauty and fragility develop into perfection. Two additional tracks also feature Indonesian cello player Krusnedi Sukarwanto from Surakarta, and Ghanaian percussionist Yah Amponsah, performing koncrong style. Tashi Dorji, an exceptional guitar playing soul from Bhutan, came through the lower Rhine area and stopped for a recording at Ivory Tower. A soulful afternoon and evening resulted in a relaxed, playful recording showing the skills and talents of Tashi in full. Like its sister release, Sam Shalabi/Alan Bishop & Sam Shalabi’s Mother Of All Sinners, Mother Of All Saints will be released as a one-time limited run pressing on 140 gram vinyl. Comes in an extra heavy deluxe cover with a solid printed inlay.
File Under: Experimental, Jazz, World
Basil Kirchin: Silicon Chip (Trunk) 7″
An unreleased 1979 post-punk-post-disco banger from British musical maverick, Basil Kirchin. Back in the late 1970s, Kirchin was in Hull, working on numerous projects, documentary scores, and strange musical concepts. “Silicon Chip” is a rare surviving and most unusual work from the period, until now an unreleased slice of jumping, plugged-in perfection presciently celebrating the dawn of the computer-based industrial revolution. “Silicon Chips” is a set of quick electro blasts and logos, possibly conceived and written for library usage. Personnel: Gary Burroughs – vocals, guitar, keyboards; Danny Wood – drums; Dane Morrell – drums; Bernie Dolman – bass.
File Under: Electro, Punk, Disco
Bappi Lahiri & Salma Agha: Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki (Far Eastern Sunshine) LP
Far Eastern Sunshine present a reissue of Bappi Lahiri and Salma Agha’s soundtrack for Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki, originally released in 1984. Oh, groove it, baby! Bappi Lahiri is a very busy composer, conductor, and music director for the so called “Bollywood” scene, the Indian factory of dreams. Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki is a 1984 movie with a soundtrack that comes as colorful and interesting as Indian ’80s pop-disco-funk can be. Even Bappi Lahiri finally surrendered to electronic music but he still puts it into a rather traditional ’70s soul and funk context with some Indian flavors added. A melody here, native tongue lyrics sung in a way that mixes pop and Indian folk music, a sound effect like typical Indian string sections there. The result is a beautiful ethno pop album with an utterly haunting groove which originates from the funk, soul, and disco elements a dancefloor queen like Donna Summer would kill for. There are always enough regular instruments – such as guitars, sitars, trumpets, and bass guitar – to keep a fan of handmade music interested. The vocal melodies have a lascivious expression at times, just as it was typical for the late ’70s black disco music, which gets fused with classical Indian harmonies to create a captivating atmosphere. This record is certainly all about dancing – it will turn even the most lame living room sit into a steaming, hot sexadelic dance party. The music is vivid and emanates an enormous vitality that will drag you from your chair and make you float across the floor like a dervish. Lush arrangements of strings, brass, guitar, synthesizers, and vocals capture your soul and enwrap your spirit. Imagine an Indian Patrick Hernandez (“Born To Be Alive”). The catchy melodies and song structures, and the furious, but still professional, execution throughout make it an utterly enjoyable listen. Wild and wonderful.
File Under: Bollywood, OST
Louis’ Band: Taste Me (Mondo Groove) LP
Mondo Groove present a reissue of Louis’ Band’s Taste Me, originally released in 1981. Taste Me is an obscure, instrumental library music album and a weird example of Italo funk disco, played by professional musicians (most of them under pseudonym) involved in many different musical projects (ranging in genre from jazz, progressive rock and disco music). The album includes the killer disco funk song “Don’t Stop It”. Music by Piergiovanni; Arranged by Louis Vanni. Pressed in a limited edition, with original artwork for the first time since 1981.
File Under: Library, Funk, Disco
Magical Ring: Light Flight/More & More (Fifth Dimension) LP
Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Magical Ring’s Light Flight / More And More, originally released in 1977. Components of rock and pop unite here in this lone effort from Magical Ring. Elements of dark slow funk and soul take the listener to the early seventies, a couple of years before the album’s release, and a garment of swirling synthesizers keep it all together. The atmosphere can be soft and gentle, like the touch of a lover’s hand, but it can also become more and more mysterious and gloomy, generating a feeling of paranoia as if you’re on the run and have no idea what you are running from. Some passages have these big and catchy melodies, and despite the lightweight groove in some compositions, there is always a thought-provoking melancholy present. It’s catchy but still rather wicked. It takes a turn from the pop and rock elements in the beginning and chooses a more epic direction with each song. The great late Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream) or Klaus Schulze would certainly raise their hats to this project in deep respect. A beautiful little obscurity from an utterly strange and magical scene.
File Under: Electronic, Space Rock
Moon Duo: Occult Architecture Vol 1 (Sacred Bones) LP
Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in early-2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light. Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. In Chinese, Yin means “the shady side of the hill” and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo’s darker qualities – released appropriately in February, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. According to guitarist Ripley Johnson, “the concept of the dark/light, two-part album came as we were recording and mixing the songs, beginning in the dead of winter and continuing into the rebirth and blossoming of the spring. There’s something really powerful about the changing of the seasons in the Northwest, the physical and psychic impact it has on you, especially after we spent so many years in the seasonal void of California. I became interested in gnostic and hermetic literature around that time, especially the relationship between music and occult qualities and that fed into the whole vibe.” Adds keyboardist Sanae Yamada, “the two parts are also intended to represent inverted components of a singular entity, like two faces on the same head which stare always in opposite directions but are inextricably driven by the same brain.”
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Not Waving: Populist (Ecstatic) 12″
Not Waving consolidates the myriad stripes of his acclaimed Animals album in four extended peak-time hammers on Populist. “Too Many Freaks” is an anthem in waiting, harnessing a barely-hinged sense of chaos between its careening synth lead, acid squabble and velvet-clad kicks, before the dry-rutting jag and plaintive vox of “Vibe Killer” takes a dog-grip. “Control Myself” holds its fizzy line into a fetid crevice of what sounds Russell Haswell ramping with Powell, whereas the crooked clamp-jaw groove of “Ur Lucky Ur Still Alive” pivots around a sample a lone raver at Atonal, Berlin.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Nazgul: De Expugnatione Elfmuth (Zolfo) LP
Purple vinyl version. Comes in a gatefold jacket. Zolfo present a reissue of Nazgûl’s De Expugnatione Elfmuth, originally released in 2002. Nazgûl was a mysterious two-piece band formed in 1996 in Monreale, a small village right outside of Palermo, Sicily. Their peculiar history and the consequent “cult” status, built within the extreme metal scene, makes them a story all their own. Inspired by Tolkien’s literature (Nazgûl is a word from the “Black Speech” used to indicate the nine men corrupted by Sauron, and transformed into his dark and deathless servants) and the first wave of European black metal, Zakrathor (vocals, keyboard, drums) and Thornset (guitar, bass) released their Omne Est Paratum demos (consisting of two 15-minutes songs) in 1998. These demos were recognized by the Sicilian cult label Elegy, who released their astonishing first full length in 2002, De Expugnatione Elfmuth. The sound of total mayhem and pure black metal craziness, mixed with medieval melodies sung completely in Latin make De Expugnatione Elfmuth impossible to imitate. Probably the most wonderful example of folk-black metal that ever existed, De Expugnatione Elfmuth is released on vinyl for the first time here. Comes in a deluxe, gatefold jacket on 180 gram vinyl. A true authentic underground legend.
File Under: Metal, LotR
OST: Amer (WRWTFWW) 10″
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records presents the first ever vinyl release of the soundtrack for Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s critically-acclaimed Belgian-French giallo Amer (2009). Filled with superb compositions by Italian movie score legends Ennio Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani, and Bruno Nicolai, all remastered for hardcore audiophile appreciation. Described by The New York Times as “a surreal cinematic tone poem that pays slavering homage to Italian giallo horror films of the 1970s”, Amer finds its influences in the films of Dario Argento, Luis Buñuel, or Mario Bava and makes for a truly visceral cinematic experience, thanks notably to a perfectly curated soundtrack compiling some of the best songs from cult Italian movies of the past. Amer includes three songs by the great Stelvio Cipriani, well known for the marvelous soundtrack of poliziottesco movie La Polizia Sta A Guardare (1973) whose main theme was reborn in 2007 on Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007), as well as music for countless cult spaghetti western and giallo movies. He received a Nastro d’Argento award for best score for The Anonymous Venetian (1970). The legend himself, Ennio Morricone also shows up on the soundtrack with a sexy and melancholic jazz number, while his longtime collaborator Bruno Nicolai delivers the hypnotic strings that carry the eerie and erotic mood of the film. Last but not least, the beautiful voice of beloved singer Adriano Celentano cements what is a must-have album for ’60s and ’70s Italian soundtrack fanatics. Limited edition of 500 comes on an arousing pitch black 10″ vinyl, housed in heavy cardboard Old-style Stoughton tip-on jacket.
File Under: OST
OST: Psychomania (Trunk) LP
A timely repress of John Cameron’s 1973 score to the British cult biker classic Psychomania, aka The Death Wheelers. Originally first issued in 2003 by Trunk, this jazz-rock soundtrack masterpiece has become a valuable LP, people paying up to $100 on the second-hand market. Here it rides again, with music direct from John Cameron’s master tapes, with new reversed black, red, and white artwork to differentiate it from the first press in 2003. Psychomania is a true cult classic with zombie bikers, George Sanders (his last film before he killed himself out of boredom), Beryl Reid, Joe Columbo furniture, a frog, brutalist architecture, stone circles, Triumph motorbikes, Nicky Henson, teen gangs, The Living Dead, The M3 motorway, all with music by a British jazz outfit headed up by one of the great progressive jazz/library composers of them all, John Cameron.
File Under: OST
Oto Hiax: s/t (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego present the first full length release from Oto Hiax. Comprised of Mark Clifford (Seefeel) and Scott Gordon (Loops Haunt), Oto Hiax follows 2015’s acclaimed EP, One. Embracing a series of sonic opposites, Oto Hiax employs electronic and concrete sound to construct a labyrinth of moods, sliding from basic repetition to complex audio suites. The mood is such that the listener is advised to embrace the unexpected as unusual elements gently drift across the audio plane. Exquisitely executed, this is no foray into generic sound design but a rich and complex ruse whereby seemingly jarring sonic elements play out a subtle and harmonious bridge between a variety of musical styles and genres. “Insh” carries the kind of hallowed kraut comfort that only seasoned professionals can harness, whereas “Eses Mitre” disorientates in the most enticing fashion. Oto Hiax have produced an album of exquisite detail and beauty. Now is their time. Cut and mastered at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin by Rashad Becker. Artwork by Joseph Haesche.
File Under: Electronic
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs: Feed the Rats (Rocket) LP
Comes in a die cut sleeve. Playing their first gig supporting Goat at what was only the latter’s second ever show, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have gigged relentlessly with kindred spirits including The Cosmic Dead and Luminous Bodies, not to mention gracing festivals like Supernormal and Portugal’s Reverence with their feral attack. Yet the time has come for this band to transcend the realm of word-of-mouth phenomenon and be judged on their feverish and demented collision of psych-drone dementia and riff-driven salvation alone. The inarguable proof is Feed The Rats, the overwhelming first album the band have created – equal parts righteous repetition, bludgeoning brute force and Sabbathian squalor, its alchemical charge has the power to transform bleary-eyed abandon into small-hours revelation. This three-track, forty-minute monument of chaotic catharsis captures the everything-on-eleven spirit of the band’s live manifestation whilst adding a level of finesse and texture often less easily accessible in a dangerous haze of flying hair, discarded clothes and spilt premium lager. Channeling the grimy trip hazards of Monster Magnet’s Spine Of God (1991) through a prism of kraut-derived repetition and Part Chimp style bloody-mindedness, the resulting hallucinatory vortex appears constantly on the realm of breaking point. Yet for Matthew Baty, the porcine realm is less about a nihilistic quest for fiery oblivion than one might imagine: “You know, I think we’ve experienced it, many times. It’s those gigs where we can almost sense that everyone in the room is engaged. The energy created is so thick you can almost bite down on it and it feels like there’s no longer any barrier between band and audience. Those are the special shows, where there’s a solidarity and a very visceral bond. That, and being able to smell our amps melting.” Amps and brains alike, as these psychic omnivores bring seven times the joy, seven times the pain, seven times the dementia and deliverance.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Richard Pinhas: Reverse (Bureau B) LP
Richard Pinhas, leader of French space-rock pioneers Heldon in the ’70s, has been prolific since returning to the form in the ’90s. He has collaborate with Merzbow, Yoshida Tatsuya, Oren Ambarchi, Barry Cleveland, and Wolf Eyes. “Changes in my life really influenced this record,” Richard Pinhas tells of his new album Reverse. “The wife of a friend of mine offered to read my Tarot cards… I don’t believe in it – I am very materialist, not financially but in my philosophy – so it was very strange that in the year that followed I lost my two parents, broke up with my girlfriend, lost my flat, and moved to Nantes. So the album was done in this confusion, in this chaotic state of having lost all these things.” Reverse’s dark experimental noise and long repetitive tracks have an intimidating first impression. But listening to the whole 50 minutes leaves one feeling purified. Pinhas even says this album “fixed” and “resurrected” him: “It was a healing process for me to make this album. To get rid of all the negativity that occupied my brain.” The main process of the album production was one of construction, with Pinhas and Oren Ambarchi (guitars, “dronz”) forming the skeleton. After the initial sessions in Paris, they threw out everything except their own parts and then started searching for “the right parts. Not a drummer, but the drummer, not a bass guitarist, but the bass guitarist.” He enlisted the talents of Arthur Narcy (drums), Florian Tatar (bass) along with Masami Akita (analog synths), his son Duncan Nilson-Pinhas (digital synths), and William Winant (percussion). Reverse reflects Pinhas’s keen interest in Kabbalah. “Ketter” is an unknowable realm and the music reflects this. We catch traces of elements traversing the spectrum while the whole retains its own mystery. Pinhas’s immediately recognizable tone is tempered by Narcy’s unique drumming style. “End” reflects the “reverse” of the album title, as sounds double back in on themselves whilst Narcy, frantic on the cymbals, pounds the drums themselves with military precision. “Nefesh” is the first level of the soul, the track’s percolating sounds depicting such a pneumatic birth. “V2” brings to mind both Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) and David Bowie. It sounds like the aftermath of an enormous futuristic electrical malfunction still lingering over a vast cityscape. Cover art by Yann LeGendre.
File Under: Electronic, Drone, Space Rock, Heldon
Run D.M.C.: s/t (Get on Down) LP
“Future archaeologists will discuss two periods in 1980s: before Run-D.M.C. and after Run-D.M.C. It’s no exaggeration to say that the group changed the course of music in the ’80s, bringing the old-school of rap into the new with one simple piece of flat, black plastic. Coming up in the rap world of the early 1980s under the wing of Kurtis Blow (group manager Russell Simmons managed Blow, and Run was, at one time, a DJ known as ‘Son of Kurtis Blow’) and Blow’s bassist and burgeoning super-producer Larry Smith, the trio — Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels and Jason ‘Jam Master Jay’ Mizell — learned from the best, but created their own path. 1983 was the year that they first broke out. With only an Oberheim DMX drum program and some cuts by Jay, ‘Sucker M.C.s (Krush-Groove 1)’ was a shot across the bow to the slick, post-disco pocket rap had settled into. It was raw, pure swagger and it took both New Yorkers and music aficionados around the world by storm. The song’s lyrics are a mandatory memorization assignment to this day by MCs learning their craft. ‘Two years ago, a friend of mine…’ The group’s sound, which was laid out muscularly on Run-D.M.C. (1984), had a harder approach than their peers, thanks to producer Larry Smith’s use of live musicians who laid down grooves but didn’t soften the edges. Lyrically the group wasn’t just about brags either, with songs like ‘Hard Times,’ ‘It’s Like That’ and ‘Wake Up’ (the first two were singles). Run’s and DMC’s overlapping tag-team approach to lyricism was powerful and immensely influential. ‘Rock Box,’ another single and arguably the centerpiece of the album, was a nod to their hard edge, and a foreshadowing of their first worldwide smash, 1985’s ‘King Of Rock.’ Jam Master Jay’s DJ work was stellar, knowing exactly when to jump in and put listeners’ ears in a headlock. The album was the first rap full-length to achieve Gold status, and as fans know, the group was just getting started — their next two LPs would take them to even higher status in the music world, critically and sales-wise. But this is where it all started, and it’s a classic that still sounds fresh today as it did more than 30 years ago.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Satan: s/t (Monster Melodies) LP
Monster Melodies present the legendary album Satan, an absolute must-have in terms of French progressive music, recorded in 1973 and never before released. In 1968, in Le Mans (a town in the west of France in Les pays de la Loire), some young students, planning to become teachers, started a band under the name The New Rainbow. Like many young musicians at the time, they enjoyed English blues and were fans of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and Led Zeppelin. Quickly, they changed their name to Heaven Road and started to become famous west of France, playing live frequently. After playing covers, they wrote their own compositions and delivered a very good show at the same level of any professional band. In Paris, they won three contests in Le Golf Drouot (the mecca of the French rock at the time) and were declared the best non-professional French band of 1972. Playing at the festival, the band started to hang out with big names from the French rock scene, like Variations, Magma, Il Etait Une Fois, Catharsis, Ange and Dynastie Crisis. In 1973, they decided to be a professional band and change their name to Satan. They produced a unique music between hard rock and progressive and delivered intense shows, inspired by the world of sci-fi and literature, with musicians wearing make-up and strange costumes. But despite the fact that they played before the English band Caravan in 1974 and had an appearance in local TV show, the band always suffered from financial difficulties. For this reason, they created the more commercial band Ciel D’été with the intention of playing exclusively in the ballroom circuit. With the financial proceeds from Ciel D’été performances, they went to a studio in Angers twice – the first time to record two commercial tracks for Ciel D’été, and the second time to record tracks for the future album by Satan which had been performing for more than three years at that point. But at the time, they couldn’t find a record company to publish their record. Satan collapsed in the middle of 1976, joining the cohort of musical project killed by the French musical industry – an industry which was preoccupied with making easy money by already successful English and American music and producing very dispensable French music, marketed commercially. Comes as colored vinyl; Includes a poster and inserts; Edition of 1000 (numbered).
File Under: Psych, Prog
Ty Segall: s/t (Drag City) LP
The new self-titled record – the next record after Emotional Mugger, Manipulator, Sleeper, Twins, Goodbye Bread, Melted, Lemons, and the first self-titled album that started it up in the now distant year of 2008 – is a clean flow, a wash of transparency falling into a world that needs to see a few things through clearly, to their logical end. It’s got some of the most lobe-blasting neckwork since the Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse (2012), but it also features a steep flight of fluent acoustic settings, as Ty Segall’s new songs range around in their search for freedom without exorcism, flying the dark colors high up the pole in an act of simple self-reclamation. The construction and destruction of his chosen realities has, until now, been a luxury Ty has rightfully reserved for himself, striping overdubs together to form the sound – but for this new album, he entered a studio backed by a full band – Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin, Charles Moonhart and Ben Boye – to get a read on this so-called clarity. This leads to a new departure in group sound, as well as some of the most visceral and penetrating vocal passages yet heard from Segall. “Freedom/Warm Hands” puts the “sweet” back into suite; “Orange Color Queen” is a supreme moment of tenderness; “Talkin’,” a roots-infused truth-attack. “Papers,” looks behind the doors of Ty’s process; “Break A Guitar” is a brutal fun-fest pitched to the back of the house. Ty keeps you guessing, bracing your skin with a welcome astringency, seeking to stem the bleeding with chunks and splashes of guitar, tight beats, audio-verité toilet smashes, a Wurlitzer electric piano in a jam, blazing harmonies, and lots of songs to sing. There’s no concept beyond that; finding the right places to be is a momentary thing. Ty Segall is the sum of his songs – and about getting the free. The free to be!
File Under: Psych, Garage
Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold: Sferic Ghost Transmits (Honest Jon’s) LP
No-one else makes music like this: devilishly complex but warm and intuitive, stirring together a dizzying assembly of outernational and outerspace influences while retaining the subby funk-and-hot-breath pressure of Shackleton’s soundboy, club roots. The result is an evolutionary, truly alchemical music — great shifting tides of dub, minimalist composition, and choral song (“Five Demiurgic Options”); ritual spells to ward off the darkness (“Before the Dam Broke,” “The Prophet Sequence”); radiophonia and zoned-out guitar improv (“Seven Virgins”); even the febrile, freeform psychedelia of ’80s noise rock (“Sferic Ghost Transmits / Fear the Crown”). In the time since he collaborated with Shackleton on 2012’s Music For The Quiet Hour, Vengeance’s vocal and lyrical range has rolled out across this new terrain. Throughout these transmissions he’s hoarse preacher, sage scholar, and ravaged bluesman; blind man marching off to war; and exhausted time-traveler warning of impending socio-ecological catastrophe. Dialogic accounts of our conflicted times, then, expanding beyond the treacly unease of the duo’s early collaborative work into something subtler and more emotionally shattering — its shades of brightness more dazzling, and its darkness even murkier. “We almost didn’t hear it when the foundations went.”
File Under: Electronic, Techno, Tribal
Shadow: Sweet Sweet Dreams (Analog Africa) LP
Analog Africa present a reissue of Shadow’s (aka Winston Bailey) Sweet Sweet Dreams, originally released in 1984. The far-out album by Trinidad and Tobago’s Shadow was panned by critics and unable to reach markets, disappearing into the dusty record collections of a few music aficionados. A truly enigmatic artist, Shadow first emerged in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s and became a part of the tapestry of Caribbean music, reinvigorating calypso. Calypso, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, led to several other music genres, including soca, which has up-tempo beats and is played in a festival context. Shadow effortlessly moves between both calypso and soca. Coming from a humble but musical family, Shadow started writing songs at a young age while tending cattle in the fields. To his family’s initial chagrin, he eventually chose calypso over church music. In the early days of his career, Shadow’s style was cramped due to conservative music arrangers who felt that calypso and soca should fit into a mold. But after a while, Shadow teamed up with more innovative arrangers, including Arthur DeCoteau. Shadow’s inert creativeness culminated in Sweet Sweet Dreams, which deals with burning and ever-relevant themes like love and the ups-and-downs of relationships – a surprising fact for someone mainly known for his satirical and political lyrics. It prompted his manager to wonder if Shadow had written the lyrics while in a state of “tabanca” (a word used in Trinidad and Tobago to describe lovesickness). Sweet Sweet Dreams was recorded at the legendary SHARC studios, located on a hill in Chaguaramas (near Port of Spain). Sweet Sweet Dreams delivers a fantastic sound with monster soca-boogie tunes, fusing a range of rhythms and new sounds, primarily heavy synth riffs. What Shadow didn’t realize was that the proto-electronic cocktail he mixed in 1984 would find the recognition it deserved three decades later. Sweet Sweet Dreams has come true and been elevated to holy-grail status, becoming one of the most sought-after Caribbean disco records in existence. For this reissue, Analog Africa carried out extensive interviews with Shadow and the musicians. It includes liner notes featuring exclusive photos from Shadow’s personal collection and the dancefloor filler tune “D’Hardest” as a bonus track. Remastered and cut by Frank Meritt at The Carvery. LP version comes as 180 gram vinyl; comes in a gatefold sleeve with a four-page big size inlay; Includes a double page poster.
Surfer Blood: Snowdonia (Joyful Noise) LP
Surfer Blood is one of the best young indie-rock bands around, and their fourth album, Snowdonia, is their most ambitious effort yet. Overcoming adversity, the band has artistically grown and thrived. Following the departure of bassist Kevin Williams and guitarist Thomas Fekete (tragically lost to cancer in May), singer/guitarist John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz have rebuilt a talented lineup with guitarist Michael McCleary and bassist Lindsey Mills, all four alumni of the same high school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Pitts wrote specifically with the new band’s talents in mind: “When I was writing I was thinking more about background vocals and harmonies. Lindsey and Michael are great singers, and I really wanted that to show in the songs. There are layers of vocals on almost every track, and the call-and-response parts between Lindsey and I are something totally new.” Along with plenty of Surfer Blood’s signature hooks, the band concocted some epic and more complex songs with enormous attention to sonic detail. Pitts wrote and mixed the album alone, for the first time since their debut Astro Coast. The immediacy is intoxicating and the musical and lyrical results are fantastic. Surfer Blood get better and better with each album, and we’re sure they’ll be making great records for years to come.
File Under: Indie Rock
Simon Fisher Turner: Giraffe (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego present the latest opus from legendary British composer, actor, sound designer and all-round fine human, Simon Fisher Turner. Giraffe is a new major work which blurs the lines between sound design and song, machine severity and narrative sentimentality. Subtitled “Living In Sounds And Music”, Giraffe takes the listener through a vast journey where an abstract clacking of unknown origin rubs up against a melancholic electronic sequence. “Life sounds” were captured with a portable hard disc recorder and iPhone and appear alongside contemporary sound design. Emma Smith provides the narrative on “Slight Smile” whilst electronic machines grind amongst background industrial clang in “Mud Larks”. “Save As” revolves around a beautiful simple piano motif which soon folds into an unnerving field recording and drone combination. Giraffe is a document of interior and exterior duality, a living space where machines and the surrounding world collide, a sonic landscape where musical and nonmusical elements are placed on an level hierarchy. The alchemy of these constituent parts results in the magic of Giraffe, one where the symbiotic sequence of events highlights a unique approach to sound as rapturous matter in whatever form it takes. “Colour Fullness” features Elysian Quartet and Sawada. Elysian Quartet are Emma Smith, Vince Sipprell, Jenny Logan and Laura Moody. Vocals by Misako Yabuuchi and Emma Smith. Recordings made from 2008 to 2016. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering; Engineered by Rashad Becker.
File Under: Electronic
Ugly Things #43
“Cover stories this time include southern California garage psych cult heroes Things To Come, Canadian heavy psych monsters Bent Wind, and San Francisco’s seminal punk rock’n’roll villains Crime, who are the subject of a sensational new feature story loaded with scandalous revelations from the heyday of the ’70s punk scene. Other stories include: New England ’60s garage rocker Travis Pike, Boston punks Unnatural Axe, Texas punks The Skunks, The Box Tops, San Diego’s Inmates, an archeological expedition into the Music Machine’s garage, and interviews with The Turtles, Christine Ohlman (the Wrongh Black Bag), and Keith Richards’ guitar-maker, Ted Newman Jones. Plus the latest installment in Cyril Jordan’s ongoing Flamin’ Groovies saga, and our extensive review sections, the ultimate consumers’ guide to all the latest vinyl and CD reissues and rock’n’roll-related books.”
File Under: Mag
Unwound: Fake Train (Numero) LP
After the Pacific Northwest grunge raids of the early ’90s that saw Nirvana, Mudhoney, and even the Melvins hoisted up the major label flagpole, Unwound’s 1993 debut, Fake Train, came as a welcomed reprieve for underground noiseniks everywhere. A pulsing cluster of wiry feedback, lurching bass, and single stroke rolls, Fake Train entangles the energies of frustrated backpack emo, faded Riot Grrrl back issues, and their own dash of teen spirit and unleashes it all in an earsplitting 10-song assault. “Comes on like an homage to Wire’s “1 2 X U” as filtered through Minor Threat and a broken bottle of Robitussin.” – Pitchfork “It’s no contest: Unwound is the best band of the ’90s.” – A.V. Club
File Under: Punk
You Speak What I Feel: My Good Friends Tell Me That (Boomkat Editions) LP
The third release in the 12 x 12 series is this total fucking peach of a collaboration made in 2002 by three peers with a mutual passion for the deepest, original NYC garage and house grooves: Terre Thaemlitz (DJ Sprinkles) and Mat Steel and Mark Fell (SND). This is the first appearance of their collective handle You Speak What I Feel since their contribution to Comatonse’s 2003 tenth-anniversary compilation, and it finds the trio at their deadliest, producing a deep-as-anything, peak-time killer riding a strolling bassline, pointillist claps, and effervescent chords for 12 minutes of swingers’ bliss. Mastered by Terre Thaemlitz and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
File Under: Electronic
Various: Buzzsaw Joint: Diddy Wah 1 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! The first cut from the Buzzsaw Joint compilation series comes courtesy of London based music fanatic, DJ and dedicated 45rpm record hound, Diddy Wah. Whether slinging vinyl at his Heavy Sugar club nights or through the NTS Radio airwaves, the man’s got good taste – impeccable, even. His open-eared, between-the-cracks approach to music selection suits Buzzsaw down to a tee. Enjoy a glimpse into DJ Diddy Wah’s record collection with these sixteen handpicked bliss bombs, all recorded between 1959-1962. Features: Sonny And Premiers, Billy Garner, Bobby December And The Famous Renegades, The Canjoes, Joe Louis Johnson, Dennis And The Menances, The Rumblers, Eugene Blacknell And His Savonics, Sammy Fitzhugh, Gabriel And The Angels, Jimmy Beck And His Orchestra, Johnny Acey, The Egyptians, Rex Garvin And The Mighty Cravers, Bunker Hill, and Ray Vernon & The Raymen.
File Under: Rock n Roll
Various: Ishq Ke Maare: Sufi Songs From Sindh & Punjab, Pakistan (Sublime Frequencies) LP
A searing assemblage of Islamic Sufi spiritual music from the hinterlands of Sindh and Punjab, this compilation marks Sublime Frequencies’ debut release of field recordings from Pakistan. Recorded and compiled by Arshia Fatima Haq, founder of Discostan – a collective of artists from an imagined federation of states from Beirut to Bangkok via Bombay – this is a rare, unfiltered collection of devotional music ranging from hypnotic solo instrumentals and vocal lamentations to euphoric ensemble qawwalis. Presenting voices that are imperiled in the country’s contemporary political landscape – where renowned singers are assassinated in broad daylight and performance spaces are regularly bombed – this record continues Haq’s ongoing project of engaging complex and controversial Islamic practices and rituals that operate in resistance to religious orthodoxy. “During my travels, I recorded both well-known musicians who made regular appearances on Pakistani televisions, and unknown, untrained singers who traveled from shrine to shrine with no possessions, intoxicated in the pursuit of the divine. I recorded in intimate living rooms, in crumbling concert halls, and in remote interior areas where I had to travel with a police escort. From the vertiginous falsetto harmonies of men singing in the female gender to give voice to those who carry the wounds of society, to the sparse and piercing a capella deliverances of itinerants, singing in the spaces of shrines where the doves coo in liturgies to the saints buried therein, this is music of ‘unbridled bridledness’, collapsing the divide between the divine and the profane. In masterful, often improvised performances on the harmonium, alghoza, been, and bulbul tarang, these songs unfold into an organic recursion of longing and despair, redeemed by an almost erotic promise of reunion with the divine entity. The singers themselves are ‘ishq ke maare’ – in the throes of love. Their visionary, intuitive form of devotion is in sharp contrast to the rising tide of mathematical and legalistic approach to faith called Wahhabism seen across the Islamic landscape today. These songs are iconoclastic and anarchic, transcending systems of law and social order, to approach what is truly divine in the rawest possible form.”–Arshia Fatima Haq. Features performances by Ustad Aacher and Company, Kalyam Sharif Qawwali Troupe, Meeh Wasaiyo, Fatah Daudpoto, Latif Sarkar, Basheer Haidari and Nazira Bano, Shazia Tarannum, Babu, Sain Juman Shah and Fakirs, Ghulam Arshad, and an unknown singer.
File Under: Field Recordings, World
Various: Sound of Durban Vol 1 (GQOM Oh!) LP
The Sound of Durban Vol. 1 represents the first full-length compilation collecting the sound of the suburbs and townships of Durban, South Africa known as “gqom”. The album unites many of the local young producers of this fresh genre over 15 tracks on a double LP. Rome-based DJ and musician Nan Kolè and South Africa-based Lerato Phiri set up the Gqom Oh! label to highlight the music and artists of Durban, the often-overlooked cradle of the new South African sound. Taking its name from an onomatopoeic Zulu word signifying a drum, this extraordinary, apocalyptic bass music encompasses many influences. Each polyrhythmic track draws on the darker side of electronic music, hip hop, sound system culture, kwaito, UK funk, and deep African vibrations. With its mix of ethnic tradition and urban tension, South Africa has been a cradle of cultural phenomena. In its own way it is a country of great wealth, particularly rich in contradictions, yet decades after the end of the country’s apartheid, little appears to have changed for the millions of black people who live in its notorious townships. It is from this background that innovation is continually being injected into the living body of the local music culture. The heartbeat of Durban is gqom. Features tracks by: Dominowe, Forgotten Souls, Formation Boyz, DJ Mabheko, Emo Kid & DJ Bradolz, Citizen Boy, Cruel Boyz, TLC Fam, Julz Da DeeJay, and Emo Kid. Limited repress with a new pantone cover; Two additional tracks on the download card.
File Under: Electronic, House, World
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies from the Canyon (Numero) LP
By 1970, the folk revival had all but ended. Gone were the heady days of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “If I Had A Hammer.” Hootenanny had been cancelled. Broadside was out, Rolling Stone in. Richard Fariña was dead; Bob Dylan had plugged in. Paths paved by Joan Baez and Judy Collins had led a younger, more introspective generation of songwriters into the woods, while the ethos forged in weather-beaten hills and tempered on the lower east side of Manhattan was being reborn in the canyons of California, as songs for seagulls crafted in Joni Mitchell’s visage. Culled from beyond the crop of crit-revisionist darlings Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, or Vashti Bunyan, Ladies From The Canyon examines the world of private folk via the works of 13 unlikely heroines who sang beneath the infrastructure of the music business, playing to coffeehouse chatter and church picnic silence. Each of these Wayfaring Strangers walk in the handmade aesthetic of lyrics scribbled into faded denim, of delicate movements captured and released.
File Under: Folk
75 Dollar Bill: Wood/Metal/Plastic (Thin Wrist) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Beatles: Revolver (Apple) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Black Earth (PIAS) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Sunset Mission (PIAS) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Johnny Cash: At San Quentin (Columbia) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & The Harm (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Little Hell (Dine Alone) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: Ascension (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: Bahia (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Coltrane (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Dakar (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Lush Life (Jazz Wax) LP
John Coltrane: Soultrane (OJC) LP
John Coltrane: Sun Ship (Impulse) LP
DAF: Produkt (Bureau B) LP
Miles Davis: Agharta (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music On Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Live Evil (Music On Vinyl) LP
Delfonics: s/t (Linear Labs) LP
Demon Fuzz: Afreaka (Granadilla) LP
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Island) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
Eluvium: Copia (Temporary Residence) LP
Eluvium: Talk Amongst The Trees (Temporary Residence) LP
Grimes: Visions (Arbutus) LP
Herbie Hancock: Sextant (Music on Vinyl) LP
Judas Priest: Turbo (Sony) LP
Alicia Keys: Here (Sony) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
Egisto Macchi: Il Deserto (Cindelic) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
Metallica: Hardwired… To Self-destruct (Blackened) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (SST) LP
OST: The Lost Highway (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mike Patton: Mondo Cane (Ipecac) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Epic) LP
Rolling Stones: Blue & Lonesome (Universal) LP
Run The Jewels: 3 (Run The Jewels) LP/CS
Slowdive: Pygmalion (Music on Vinyl) LP
Slowdive: Souvlaki (Music on Vinyl) LP
Soul Explosion: Soul Fire (Granadilla) LP
The Sound: Jeopardy (1972) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: We Got it From Here… (Sony) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Live (Fat Possum) LP
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: s/t (Kranky) LP
Adrian Younge: Something About April 2 (Linear Labs) LP
Peter Zummo: Zummo with an X (Optimo) LP
Various: Cornflake Zoo 1 (Particles) LP
Various: Cornflake Zoo 2 (Particles) LP
Various: Forge Your Own Chains (Now Again) LP
Various: Portobello Explosion (Particles) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (WPFC) LP