I’m back, and I’m swamped, cuz I was away, so… here’s your weekly update! Enjoy.
…..pick of the week…..
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
In preparing for the first album of non-Hexadic Six Organs of Admittance music since 2012’s Ascent, Ben Chasny had a think about what he’d be saying in his own tongue for the first time in a half-decade. As ever, a head-full of ideas were driving him to think and speak music as a spirituality superimposed onto a reality, with the ghosts of both whispering at each other. In the end, what sits in our listening ears is the sound of communion. Burning the Threshold brings a wealth of Six Organs-styled lightness into one of his sweetest musical meditations yet. With a spacious acoustic sound stage, Burning the Threshold may actually more resemble 2011’s Asleep on the Floodplain or 2005’s School Of The Flower. All of this is speculative, comparative, unverifiable – but our sense of what is true tells us that nobody plays acoustic music quite like Six Organs of Admittance, and that furthermore, nothing sounds so much like Burning the Threshold as Burning the Threshold. Ben is in a particularly expansive mood this time around, singing and playing with all the thoughts affixed to a quiver of potent melodies launching forth and arcing out through dimensions, seeking infinite space. This space radiates out from the album’s first single, “Taken By Ascent,” a seven minute plus burner that engulfs the surrounding realm with empathetic waves. Featuring the thrilling vocal accompaniment of Haley Fohr, the massive drumming of Chris Corsano, and flourishing keys of Cooper Crain, “Taken By Ascent” exemplifies Six Organs of Admittance’s furvid push into new and thrilling territory with Burning the Threshold. With this new music, Ben Chasny has created a potent tonic for our times. Looking at the world through clear eyes beneath a knitted brow, but with a laugh rising up from its heart, Burning the Threshold brings us a powerful draught of essence.
File Under: Psych, Folk
Alvarius B: vs. Abdel Baqy Bryo in Cairo (Nashazphone) LP
“Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows he’s entertaining. It’s the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage – overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop. It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fan-club; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBC’s coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Service’s mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle. Bishop’s quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goat’s uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snotty’s Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and it’s an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks. All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan R’n’B crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically – the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient. Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe he’ll return after Ramadan, if only to crack open what’s left of their skulls like crème brulée, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not.” –Seymour Glass California, USA September 2016.
File Under: Experimental, Sun City Girls, Collage
Applehead: Rache (Pre-Cert) LP
The return of Andy Votel’s most elusive alter-ego with a new album of delirious and darkened collage pieces brought to you by his own Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label, run alongside longtime spar, Sean Canty (Demdike Stare). Hiding behind “Cowardly Pseudonyms” inspired by the incognito exploits of Jean-Pierre Massiera and a long list of Italian library musicians, Applehead is the twice-removed alter-alter-alter ego project of Dead-Cert, Finders Keepers, Cacophonic, Pre-Cert label boss and designer Andy Votel, aka Anworth Kirk, aka Xian Orphic, aka Tandy Love, aka Tony Deval, aka Neotantrik, and the list goes on. This hang-dried and un-cured collection of low-brow electronics, oblique movie-tones, cold-funk, ready-made poetry and domestic plunderism spans five years since the debut Applehead LP on the Pre-Cert label (2011). Cut and pasted from a pool of overnight rare synth-lends, some obscure foreign-pop fix-ups and a stash of emotive tonal sketches and tape-edits (prepared when touring Milan and Rome with Suzanne Ciani and Northern Italy with the blink-missable Stanza Nera punk-funk project) these multifarious, Crepaxian comic-book compositions have clearly absorbed a strong Italian DIY muse. With respectful nods to Daniela Casa, Raskovich, Frizzi, and AR Luciani, Applehead also combines surrealist shlock with Letterist informed random Roman female spoken word and occasional back-handed salutes to Throbbing Gristle and NWW projects. This self-motivated, naturalistic response to the broad vista that has informed 20 years of Votel’s unwaning multi-dis adventures offers an infrequent opportunity to hear his personal problematic-pop and scalpel-happy art in the comfort of his own creative confides complete with square-pegs and sandpaper. Mastered by Matt Colton. Edition of 500.
File Under: Pseudo-Library, Electronic
Sue Barker: s/t (Hot Casa) LP
First reissue of Sue Barker’s sole album, a fantastic, rare soul-jazz LP recorded in Adelaide, Australia, in 1976, and originally released the same year by Crest International. 180-gram vinyl. Sue Barker is a jazz singer who was never afraid of throwing in a little soul — most of the album features covers of songs made famous by Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and James Brown. And Sue Barker is also more than just a vocal album — there’s a lot of space for instrumental solos from Barker’s team of top Adelaide musicians. Her hip seven-piece combo perfectly matches all of her vocal inflections — jazzy when needed, with more soul at other moments, and often with more of a ’60s acoustic mode than the more electric and groovy instrumentation used by other singers of the time. The arrangements are by Grahame Conlon, the guitarist in the group.
File Under: Soul Jazz
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Dolores (PIAS) LP
Pias present a vinyl reissue of Dolores, the 2008 album by Germany’s doom jazz cult band, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, the slowest band on earth. The vinyl of Dolores was not available for a long-time and is now back in full glory as a double LP edition in a gatefold sleeve. Personnel: Robin Rodenberg – bass; Thorsten Benning – drums; Morten Gass – organ, vocoder, synthesizer, bass; Christoph Clöser – piano (Fender Rhodes), vibraphone, saxophone (tenor and baritone). Recorded and engineered by Christoph Clöser and Morton Gass; Mixed and mastered by Marcus Schmickler and Bohren & The Club Of Gore; Produced by Bohren & The Club Of Gore; Recorded and engineered at Dark Victory Studios Cologne and Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany. Artwork by Melanie Höner (drawing) and Jörg Follert (typography).
File Under: Dark Jazz, Ambient
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Don’t Get Lost (A) LP
Don’t Get Lost was fully recorded and produced at Anton Newcombe’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin. It is the 16th full length release from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It was recorded from March 2016 to October 2016 with band members Ricky Maymi, Dan Allaire, Collin Hegna, and Ryan Van Kriedt. Saxophonist Emil Nikolaisen, from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh, joins the band, and there are vocal performances from Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Tess Parks, and Shaun Rivers. A new dynamic is heard on Don’t Get Lost, mixing a shoegaze and psychedelic sound with more experimental twists on some tracks you might hear from Public Image Limited’s Metalbox (1979), Primal Scream , or even Ornette Coleman. 14 tracks that will twist-and-turn through the known, and the unknown, Brian Jonestown Massacre. Anton Newcombe has been a very busy man these past two years, kicking off with the critically acclaimed Brian Jonestown Massacre album Revelation in May 2014. After a successful UK and European tour, the BJM followed this up with the + – EP in November of the same year. 2015 saw the release of Musique de film imaginé in April; an imaginary film soundtrack album featuring the track “Bonbon” which has, ironically, been used in Dheepan, the Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival of 2015. In June, Anton and Tess Parks embarked on a well-received tour of the UK and Europe to support the release of I Declare Nothing. Anton finished 2015 with a BJM mini-album release entitled Mini Album Thingy Wingy. In 2016, the band released two singles and the critically-acclaimed Third World Pyramid. The band have been touring the world since November 2015, playing Australia, New Zealand, and then, in 2016, USA, Canada, Europe, Chile, and Argentina.
File Under: Psych Rock
Stelvio Cipriani: UST 7013 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Stelvio Cipriani’s UST 7013, originally released as part of the Hi-Fi International series on Fonit Cetra in 1976. Probably written for some obscure movie, this infamous session from 1976, recently discovered, immediately became a grail for DJs and collectors alike. Outstanding score vibes, with several western and romantic movie themes in the vein of Ennio Morricone, mixed in with some insane beats and spacey avant-garde. Flipback sleeve replica of the original; Edition of 600.
File Under: Italian, Library
Mike Cooper: Blue Guitar (Idea) LP
Mike Cooper’s Blue Guitar is a collection that first appeared on Cooper’s Hipshot CDr label in 2010 in a limited edition. It is presented here on Idea Records, for the first time on vinyl. Upon its initial release Cooper wrote: “For the past couple of years I have been collating a body of text culled (mostly) from Thomas Pynchon’s novels Gravity’s Rainbow and V and making cut-up collage pieces in the spirit of William Burroughs, Kurt Schwitters, Tom Phillips and others. Those two particular novels interest me because they are set in the period that I was born, however no reference to that period is intended in my pieces. Hopefully a more contemporary comment was found lurking within the words, lines, pages and paragraphs. Recently my interest in playing the guitar in a more or less ‘traditional’ manner, but still incorporating various ‘extended techniques’ (as opposed to using it purely as a sound source) has been re-kindled along with a renewed interest in blues, Greek rembetika, flamenco, Portuguese fado and other traditional and improvised music around the Mediterranean which in turn brought out the singer in me again… I have lived in the Mediterranean region for 30 years and listened to its music and I wanted to make something that would hopefully have some of its spirit without making reference to any of it musically.” “Things as they are / are changed upon the blue guitar” –Wallace Stevens, Man With The Blue Guitar (1937) “Sometimes when you cut into the present the future leaks out.” –William Burroughs. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Cover design by Tom Recchion. Comes on 180 gram vinyl; Includes a lyrics insert; Includes a postcard insert; Linen Wrapped/Foil Stamped; Comes in an Old Style Tip-On jacket.
File Under: Acoustic, Folk, Experimental
Mike Cooper: Reluctant Swimmer/Virtual Surfer (Discrepant) LP
The “icon of post-everything”, Mike Cooper, returns to Discrepant with a recording of a live set recorded at the Controindicazioni Festival of Improvised Music in Rome in 2003. Originally released as a CDr via his Hipshot label. The music moves very slowly through four movements: “Reluctant Swimmer”, “Movies Is Magic”, “Virtual Swimmer”, and “Dolphins”. Praise from an unknown source: “Floating in out of the exotic ether and disappearing like smoke, engulfed in the alien hugeness of nature… a very elegant set by a visionary artist.” Mike Cooper on the recording: “The first half is played on my old 1920s National tri-plate lap steel guitar and the second half on my Vietnamese electric lap steel. I also sing two songs along the way. ‘Movies Is Magic’ by Van Dyke Parks and ‘Dolphins’ by Fred Neil. It was the first time I had ever sung the last song.” RIYL: Exotica, Andrew Pekler, Dolphins Into The Future.
File Under: Exotica, Ambient
Cozmic Corridors: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Mental Experience present a reissue of Cozmic Corridors self-titled album. Cozmic Corridors is an underground kraut-kosmische monster, recorded and produced circa 1972-73 in Cologne by Toby “The Mad Twiddler” Robinson for his Pyramid label. The album was apparently released as an ultra-limited handmade edition back in the early ’70s, but no original copies have surfaced. Featuring Mythos drummer Hans-Jürgen Pütz on percussion and effects, alongside synth/keyboard freak Alex Meyer, poet/vocalist Pauline Fund, and the mysterious guitarist Peter Förster. Cozmic Corridors is an album if tripped-out electronic ambient soundscapes, dark atmospheres, drones, plenty of MiniMoog, gothic Hammond organ, Rhodes, electric and 12-string acoustic guitars, ritual chants, effects, and horror cinematic vibes. It is not advisable to listen to this alone in the dark. RIYL: Terry Riley, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Emtidi, Jacula, Franco Leprino, Dead Can Dance. Master tape sound; Insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman, head boss at Ultima Thule and author of The Crack In The Cosmic Egg (1996).
File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
Tim Darcy: Saturday Night (Jagjaguwar) LP
Saturday Night, the first proper solo album from Tim Darcy (Ought), comes from one of those crossroads-type moments in life where one has to walk to the edge before knowing which way to proceed. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. There are love/love lost songs like the standout, almost-New Wave “Still Waking Up” in which a Smiths-esque melody builds upon an underbrush that recalls 60s AM pop and country. Darcy’s unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, an instrument here: vital to the entire affair. There’s a line in “Tall Glass of Water,” the album’s Velvet Underground-nodding opening track, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: “if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” He barely pauses before the answer: “Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of Saturday Night. It’s about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It’s about how good it feels to make art, and how terrifying; how you don’t always get to choose whether you’re swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you’re going to keep diving in. That’s the impulse that links all the songs on Saturday Night, makes them glow.
File Under: Indie Rock, Ought
Dirty Projectors: s/t (Domino) LP
Dirty Projectors, the beloved, decade-plus-long recording pursuit of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist David Longstreth, presents the eighth full-length album in the band’s wildly varied and fascinating discography. As with previous Dirty Projectors albums, the release sees Longstreth lead a group of hugely talented contributors, including Solange Knowles, Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Dawn Richard (D∆WN and Danity Kane), in realizing his creative vision. Far from remaining idle, Longstreth has spent the intervening years steadily at work with a range of collaborators, contributing to releases by Joanna Newsom, Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney (writing on “FourFiveSeconds,” 2015); and Solange Knowles (writing and production on A Seat At The Table). Dirty Projectors exhibits Longstreth’s tremendous growth and strength as a producer. Classic Dirty Projectors trademarks remain – guitar, hocketing, powerful three-part vocal harmony, with the new addition of drum patterns. Fifteen years later after Longstreth’s first album Graceful Fallen Mango, the significance of the self titled album Dirty Projectors is clear; the album is both a homecoming and a rediscovery. Double LP heavyweight vinyl housed in a wide spine jacket containing a 16 page booklet, MP3 download card and an etched D side.
File Under: Indie Rock
Remigio Ducros/Daniela Casa/Gian Piero Ricci: Lo Sport Vol 1 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Lo Sport Volume 1, with compositions by Remigio Ducros, Daniela Casa, and Gian Piero Ricci, originally released in 1971. Outstanding double LP production originally released on the very small Union label, founded by G.P. Ricci and Remigio Ducros. Lo Sport is one of the rarest library productions ever, and is considered a true holy grail for record collectors all over the world. This monster album features some of the hottest break-beats, funk, and psychedelic tunes from Italy, with mental grooves, samples, and themes. The absolute top-of-the-top in early ’70s Italian, classy sounds. Comes in a gatefold sleeve; Edition of 500.
File Under: Italian, Library, Funk, Psych
Nico Fidenco: Stati D’animo Vol 2 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Stati D’animo Vol.2, aka “Feeling”, originally released as part of the CmL series on CAM in 1973. The jam behind Stati D’animo Vol.2 featured Nico Fidenco (aka Donimak), Giacomo and Gianni Dell’Orso, and other musicians. Tracks appear signed by Donimak (Fidenco’s alias), Tamborelli (standing for Aldo Tamborrelli, aka Ghein), and the mysterious Nicoletta Bozzai behind the pseudonym, Morfina. A totally killer Italian library album, with the most outstanding funk and jazz-funk vibes and female vocals to die for, knitted drum patterns and top-notch, vintage dancefloor funk tunes. Moody and funky score music for action, movement, and romantic scenes. Renewed artwork; Includes original inner sleeve; Edition of 500.
File Under: Italian, Library
Group Doueh & Cheveu: Dakhla Sahara Session (Born Bad) LP
The random-access memory of an hourglass. On the one hand, there’s Cheveu, the French three-member band, whose soundtrack has never ceased to question music codes by exceeding various genres and pushing back their limits. On the other hand, you have Group Doueh, a Sahrawi band from the Sahara desert (Dakhla). Their music spans across many styles and hammers tradition with unprecedented finds. In between both their remote musical universes dwells a sound clash. It embodies the meeting between two arts of living music day by day, two ways of transmitting, of enchanting the world or refusing to do so, of exploring the repertoire as well as tradition and creation, two visions of the collective – the list of reasons why these guys should have probably never met or could have failed to get along is quite extensive. This piece was recorded in two weeks in Dakhla in January 2016. The mere project seemed like a surreal challenge, something that was almost impossible to achieve and for which time was going to hold major importance. It brought about a telluric big bang, an atomic creation, a story of primitive energies setting the record straight in the whole world. That is, two radically different understandings of time.
File Under: Psych, Post Punk, African, French
Will Guthrie: People Pleaser (Black Truffle) LP
Nantes, France-based drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie presents People Pleaser. Initially rising to prominence in Australia as a drummer in the fields of jazz and improvised music, Guthrie later turned increasingly toward electronics and amplified percussion, developing an idiosyncratic style of electroacoustic performance characterized by shimmering metallic textures, rapid-fire textural transformations, and aggressively high volume. Guthrie has since returned to the drum kit in both solo and collaborative work, pushing at the limits of his formidable technical abilities as a player in the free jazz tradition and working variations on short rhythmic units into an endless flow of non-metered pulse. Although drawing on many aspects of Guthrie’s past work, People Pleaser stands alone in his catalog. Working intuitively over a period of three weeks, Guthrie crafted a suite of song-length pieces that combine his drumming with electronics, field recordings, and sampled detritus. Inspired by the rough-and-ready sampling style of producers like the RZA, J Dilla, and Knxwledge, and by the endless possibilities of musique concrète, People Pleaser uses a highly divergent array of sound sources, building pieces from drum and percussion tracks left over from other projects, audio ripped from skate videos, noise electronics, fragments of a police interrogation, and anything else ready to hand. Guthrie’s unique rhythmic sensibility is the thread drawing all these elements together, his drum performances propulsively rhythmic yet insistently irregular in a way that sometimes brings to mind the uniquely open rhythmic space carved out by early Weather Report and other classic fusion. Drawing together manifold influences in an entirely sui generis way, People Pleaser is a raw, exciting, and surprisingly accessible peek into the laboratory of a unique sensibility. Designed by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, August 2016.
File Under: Free Jazz, Improv, Percussion
Jon Irabagon/John Hegre/Nils Are Dronen: Axis (Rune Grammofon) LP
Filipino-American Jon Irabagon has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat’s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York’s 25 New York City Jazz Icons. A founding member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, he is also an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet, and Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor. John Hegre is a musician, songwriter, sound engineer, and a pioneer of the Norwegian noise music scene. He founded Jazzkammer with Lasse Marhaug in 1998, releasing their debut album Timex on Rune Grammofon the year after. He has been involved with close to 50 releases on various labels. Nils Are Drønen has been a player on the fertile music scene in Bergen since teaming up with Hegre 20 years ago. He is part of several constellations, including The Last Hurrah!!, playing on their The Beauty Of Fake album and The Great Gig In Disguise 10″. With Jazzkamer he has recorded six albums and toured Europe, Asia, and America.
File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
Kassel Jaeger/Jim O’Rourke: Wakes on Cerulean (Editions Mego) LP
Timely outing from two grand masters of exploratory electronics. Kassel Jaeger is the moniker of French musician François Bonnet who works at the GRM and has released a number of books including the highly regarded The Order Of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago, published by Urbanomic in 2016. Jim O’Rourke is known to most through his explorations of the song and shapes, the high and low, the east and south. Wakes On Cerulean is a joint adventure where process folds upon process and the operation of procedure remains unknown. Amongst a mysterious cloud of excited high frequencies, tiny whistles howl. Frog leaps in technique lay out a thrilling and uplifting journey that runs from the soothing, to ecstatic, and back to the buoyant again. Wakes On Cerulean is a staggering feast of the joys found in electronic process. It is a malleable bubble of hovering excitement, melody and joyous refrain.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life (Arts & Crafts) LP
FINALLY IN TOMORROW AFTER PRESSING ERRORS… Japandroids is a two-piece band from Vancouver, BC., which began in 2006 and consists of Brian King and David Prowse. Japandroids is one guitar, one set of drums, and two vocalizers. They are maximal in their delivery; a two- piece band sounding like a five-piece band. With the release of their second album, Celebration Rock in 2012 the band embarked on what seemed like an endless world tour, performing over 200 shows in over 40 countries, and played their final show in support of Celebration Rock in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2013. They would not perform live again for three years. Their third album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely throughout 2014 and 2015 in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (Fall of 2015), with one song, “True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will,” recorded at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC (February, 2015). The title, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, comes from a passage in the novel A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce: “He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.” Like their prior albums Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album. Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue. If Celebration Rock was the culmination of something, then Near To The Wild Heart Of Life can be considered the beginning of something else.
File Under: Indie Rock
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
IN TOMORROW… Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explains drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.” The Melbourne-based band plan to release five studio albums in 2017, an ambitious feat as each record will be its own unique sonic adventure.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Kink Gong: Imer Zeillos (Discrepant) LP
Imer Zeillos is another unique document of Laurent Jeanneau’s collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time using two very different source recordings to create his own unique brand of alien music. Using contact mic recordings of various Turkish instruments – saz, cura, and tanbur (played by Remi Solliez) – Jeanneau alchemically collages them with his archival recordings of South East Asia to create a surreal space between the instrument’s tones and resonances with the other-worldly beauty of the field recordings.
File Under: Field Recordings, Collage, Asia
Christina Kubisch & Fabrizio Plessi: Two and Two (Song Cycle ) LP
Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Two And Two, the outcome of the ambitious research developed by Christina Kubisch and Fabrizio Plessi, originally released in 1976. Two And Two was a collaborative effort towards the merging of visual and sound elements into a new form of intermedia. Influenced by the aesthetics of Fluxus, the duo produced a highly complex and articulated performance, involving two camera operators and several video screens, as well as a variety of objects and unconventional instruments – such as an electric vibrator, a Swanee whistle, a ventilator, an electronic metronome, and a water jet on a steel drum. The result is structured into four parts, inspired by the natural elements, in which single instruments lose their different sonic characteristics, becoming inseparable parts of a unique visual/acoustic process. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone? (Tompkins Square) LP
American born Canada-based singer-songwriter Philip Lewin’s distinct 1975 loner folk debut album Am I Really Here All Alone? recorded between 1973 and 1975 and originally released in 1975 on his own label Gargoyle Records. Personal, primitive and honest folk music reissued on vinyl for the first time courtesy of the well-suited Tompkins Square.
File Under: Folk
Los Campesinos!: Sick Scenes (Wichita) LP
Sick Scenes is the sixth studio album by Los Campesinos! and follow-up to their highly acclaimed 2013 release, No Blues. The album was produced once again by long-time collaborator John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab For Cutie) and band member Tom Bromley and was recorded during Euro 2016 in Fridao, Portugal. The band have described the album as, “an expression of the pent-up aggression we felt due to being inactive for so long, but it’s also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends.” The themes of aggression and celebration that inspired the album have resulted in 11 tracks that find the band sounding as vital and life-affirming as ever.
File Under: Indie Rock
Massacre: Killing Time (Spittle) LP
Spittle Records present an expanded reissue of Massacre’s Killing Time, originally released in 1981. Following the breakup of Cambridge’s avant-rock legends, Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith moved to NYC in 1979, and soon found himself deep in the heart of the city’s robust post-punk and free-jazz scenes. He performed with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher, from the group Material, as a power trio of sorts under the moniker of Massacre. The group quickly garnered a reputation around town, and around the world for that matter, as a heavy and heady band that experimented greatly with rhythm, time signatures, and tone. As Frith himself put it, “the group was a direct response to New York. It was a very aggressive group, kind of my reaction to the whole New York rock club scene.” Massacre released one album, Killing Time, before disbanding for nearly 20 years. Their first wave as a group crashed fast and furiously and this one album, recorded in part live in Paris, and in part at Brooklyn’s OAO Studio, is a perfect encapsulation of early ’80s NYC. In addition to the original album, first released on Celluloid in 1981, this deluxe three-sided double LP includes eight bonus tracks recorded live between ’80 and ’81 at The Stone in San Francisco, and Inroads and CBGB in NYC. Avant-jazz-post-punk-noise of the highest order from several legends and one of the most important projects Frith and Laswell were ever involved in.
File Under: Jazz, Punk, Noise
Phil X Milstein & Thurston Moore: Songs We Taught the Lord Voulme One (Feeding Tube) LP
“As I recall, the idea seemed pretty reasonable at the time. It was late 1996. I’d met Fahey a couple of years earlier, and partly as an outgrowth of that meeting he had decided he wanted to meet and play with ‘noise musicians.’ This resulted in a lot of music that made his olden fans weep, but who was I to argue with The Great Koonaklaster? Anyway, it was late ’96 and Fahey wanted to play some gigs on the east coast. He also wanted Thurston to be on the bill with him, and so Mr. Moore asked me for suggestions about who might be cool to duet with. We ruled out a lot of people for various reasons, then had a flash about asking the great Pep Lester (aka Phil Milstein). Although best known as a writer and designer, Phil had also done lots of music in various configurations, and I was hoping he’d deign to play the musical saw he had started practicing a few years earlier. Phil had other ideas, though, mostly revolving around the tape creations and loops he’d been doing with Thalia Zedek’s band, Uzi, in the mid ’80s. Thankfully, he also agreed to play some saw, and you will hear some of that instrument’s beautiful tones floating around the tape jabber and guitar circularity that makes up much of this record’s basis. This show was recorded on the first night of Fahey’s East coast jaunt, at the Iron Morse Music Hall in Northampton MA. The audience was primed for transcendental waterfalls, and didn’t seem too delighted by Phil and Thurston’s opening set, but fuck ’em. Fahey was enthralled. And when we pulled the tapes out to listen to for the first time in many a year, we were all pretty chuffed about how nuts and timeless the music sounded. Although the second night’s sound was previously issued by Chris Corsano’s Hot Cars Warp Records label, this is the first issue for this fantastic set. Roll yourself a fatty and swing!” –Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 400.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Jazz
Phil X Milstein & Thurston Moore: Songs We Taught the Lord Volume Two (Feeding Tube) LP
“This album reissues the final recording (thus far) of the Milstein/Moore duo. It was originally released in 1997 by Chris Corsano’s Hot Cars Warp Records label. Chris had a choice of this tape — recorded December 4, 1996 at the Middle East in Cambridge MA — or the one from the previous night at the Iron Horse in Northampton (FTR 288LP). He chose this one, and the first volume was scheduled to appear on the Ecstatic Yod label. Why it never happened, who knows? Not me! The set was recorded opening for guitarist John Fahey, shortly after a horrible accident in Harvard Square, which involved Fahey’s belt breaking in the middle of Brattle St. and having his pants drop to his ankles as a result. Unable to bend enough to reach his feet, it fell upon one of the opening musicians to lend a hand. And I feel as though the incredible sense of horror involved in that process infuses this concert. Thurston’s guitar was quite unhinged that night, and Phil’s gabble of tape-voices had a relentless edge that seems designed to induce claustrophobic reactions. It is a bravura performance by any measure, and surely one of the wildest collaborations Thurston had been involved in up to that time. Listening now, I can only hope these two do more work together in the 21st century. We could all certainly use it. Remastered from original source tapes, this new edition of the album is best heard loud. Who cares what the neighbors think? They’re probably fascists anyway.” –Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 400.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Jazz
Narassa/Zanagoria: Popfolkmusic (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Narassa and Zanagoria’s UST 7011 – Popfolkmusic, originally released as part of the Hi-Fi International series on Fonit Cetra in 1973. Narassa, aka Alessandro Brugnolini, and Zanagoria, aka Giogio Carnini, present a side each. This very rare, Italian library – still unknown in to some in the record collectors circle – features some of the most insane grooves made in Italy. Outstanding, spaced-out break-beats with the best up-tempo, hip hop beats and b-boy funk tunes that anyone could ever desire, all mixed in with easy listening scores and happy synthesizer themes. Flipback sleeve replica of the original; Edition of 600.
File Under: Italian, Library
Fabiano Do Nascimento: Tempo dos Mestres (Now Again) LP
“Tempo dos Mestres (Time of the Masters) is the second album from the tireless, young Brazilian guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento. It finds its roots in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, passed down through generations of Native Brazilians, and is imbibed by the Afro-Brazilian culture that arose after Portuguese colonization. This blend is not new in Brazil, and is represented musically by great Brazilian musicians both known and celebrated — the guitarist Baden Powell and catalyst Hermeto Pascoal, both direct influences on Do Nascimento — and less exposed, like the experimentalist Carioca, one of Do Nascimento’s mentors, and the Brazilian psychedelic pioneer Lula Cortes, whose album Paebiru rewrote Brazilian rock’s history in 1975. It is the third Brazilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz and Do Nascimento’s debut Dança dos Tempos. Do Nascimento’s is joined on Tempo dos Mestres by his long time percussionist, Ricardo ‘Tiki’ Pasillas on trap drums and percussion, and Sam Gendel on saxophone and flute. Vocals are performed by Thalma de Freitas and Carla Hasset. These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, straight to 2″ analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances. Do Nascimento’s fans include legendary percussionist Airto Moreira, who recorded Dança dos Tempos and can be found playing live with Do Nascimento. ‘He’s Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common.’ Moreira states. ‘Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy!’ Do Nascimento takes his music, and his place in Brazil’s lineage, seriously, and he often travels the vast country, spending time in the rainforest, living life as it was lived in the distant past, while studying with still living masters as he searches for new directions of the path trod by the geniuses whose influence abounds in contemporary music, but whose names are still unfamiliar. ‘Being a musician — feeling, studying, experiencing, living music — this comes first, right?’ Do Nascimento questions. ‘ Second, we hope that the depths of knowledge in the music from the masters before us can be shared more, each time, to the younger generations coming.’ In Tempo dos Mestres Do Nascimento answers himself with a beautiful entry into the evolving language of timeless Brazilian music.”
File Under: Brazil, Rock
Nurse With Wound: Spiral Insana (Rotorelief) LP
Deluxe metallic silver gatefold sleeve. Limited numbered edition of 1000. Rotorelief inaugurates its Silver Collection with this deluxe expanded reissue of Nurse With Wound’s 1986 masterpiece Spiral Insana. One of Nurse With Wound’s most deep and mysterious recordings, Spiral Insana is more ambient and user-friendly than many other NWW outings, without losing any of its surreal edge. Stapleton and guests Robert Haigh and David Jackman mix prepared piano, percussion, loops, and various bric-à-brac into an hour-long collage of mashed-up sound, jarring juxtapositions, buzz-saw distortion, and even a pipe organ. If that sounds disorienting, that’s because it is. This edition marks the definitive release of the complete Spiral Insana sessions, with the contents of the original 1986 LP augmented by three recordings from the same period: “Mourning Smile” (originally released on the 1987 LP Drunk With The Old Man Of The Mountains and later included on the 1997 United Dairies CD reissue of Spiral Insana), “Nihil” (first released on the 1997 Spiral Insana CD reissue), and “A Missing Sense,” a 25-minute tribute to Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing originally released as the NWW half of a 1986 LP split with Organum. Steven Stapleton: drums, cello, radio, guitar, bowed piano, percussion, loops, voice, tuba, organ, electronics; Robert Haigh: guitar; David Jackman: banjo, splutter, voice; Chris Wallis: acoustic guitar; David Tibet: trumpet; Diana Rogerson: voice; Andrew McKenzie: voice. Mastered by Denis Blackham. Cover art and pictures by Babs Santini. “Still stands as one of the clear highlights of Stephen Stapleton’s singularly daunting and mountainous discography. . . . Many of the varied interludes are noisy, fragmented, and somewhat abrasive, but there is always a playful sense of mischief lurking in the shadows, ready to blunder into the steadily darkening fever dream at any second. . . . a brilliantly skewed and excellent album that has not faded with age one bit.” –Anthony D’Amico, Brainwashed
File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Drone, Noise
Aine O’Dwyer: Gegenschein (Penultimate Press) LP
Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer follows her highly acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II double LP (2015) with two LP releases, Gegenschein and Locusts. While continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, these two releases steer away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored. Gegenschein was recorded at the Franciscan Friary in Limerick, Ireland. O’Dwyer gained access to the Friary in 2012 and explored both the pipe organ and the space in its disused state. What becomes of a sacred space after the dispersion of the spirit, after the light has been switched off, after the deconsecration? Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, Drone
Aine O’Dwyer: Locusts (Penultimate Press) LP
Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer follows her highly acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II double LP (2015) with two LP releases, Locusts and Gegenschein. While continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, these two releases steer away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored. O’Dwyer recorded Locusts in 2015 at St. James’ Church in Barrow-in-Furness, England, and at the First Unitarian Congregational Society sanctuary in Brooklyn Heights, New York. The record presents itself as a celebration of the pipe organ’s acoustic capacity to tap into electronic pulses, and of O’Dwyer’s liturgical memories, which are, at times, pushed into horrorthon states. Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, Drone
Pissed Jeans: Why Love Now (Sub Pop) LP
Pissed Jeans have been making gnarly noise for 13 years, and on their fifth album, Why Love Now, the male-fronted quartet is taking aim at the mundane discomforts of modern life – from fetish webcams to office-supply deliveries. Pissed Jeans’ gutter-scraped amalgamation of sludge, punk, noise, and bracing wit make the band – frontman Matt Korvette, Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums) – a release valve for a world where absurdity seems in a constant battle trying to outdo itself. Why Love Now picks at the bursting seams that are barely holding 21st-century life together. Take the grinding rave-up “The Bar Is Low,” which, according to Korvette, is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead.” The lyrics on Why Love Now are particularly pointed about gender relations and the minefield they present in 2016. “‘It’s Your Knees’ is about the endless, unrequested, commenting on if you’d fuck a girl,” Korvette explains. On “Love Without Emotion” Korvette channels Nick Cave’s guttural side while bemoaning his detachment over cavernous guitars. “Ignorecam” twists the idea of fetish cam shows into a showcase for Korvette’s rancid yelp and his bandmates’ pummeling rock. As they did on their last album, 2013’s Honeys, Pissed Jeans offer a couple of “fuck that shit type songs” about the working world. And the startling “I’m A Man,” which comes at the album’s midpoint, finds author Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls) taking center stage, delivering a self-penned monologue of W.B. Mason-inspired erotica. No Wave legend Lydia Lunch shacked up in Philadelphia to produce Why Love Now alongside local metal legend Arthur Rizk (Eternal Champion, Goat Semen). The combination of Lunch’s spiritual guidance and Rizk’s technical prowess supercharged Pissed Jeans, and the bracing Why Love Now documents them at their grimy, grinning best. While its references may be very early-21st-century, its willingness to state its case cement it as an album in line with punk’s tradition of turning norms on their heads and shaking them loose.
File Under: Punk
Terry Riley: Descending Moonshine Dervishes (Beacon Sound) LP
Beacon Sound present a reissue of Terry Riley’s Descending Moonshine Dervishes, originally released in 1982. Recorded live in Berlin in 1975, and largely improvised, Riley plays a modified Yamaha organ with variable resistors to facilitate tuning in just intonation. This is a 50+ minute recording divided into two halves for vinyl. Terry Riley turned the music world upside down with his 1964 work In C, a revolutionary concept based on 53 modules that can be improvised upon by any number of musicians for an indeterminate amount of time over a pulsing C note typically played on piano or mallet. Performed live for the first time by Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, and Jon Gibson, it has since been performed by everyone from the Shanghai Film Orchestra, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and the Malian musicians of Africa Express (featuring contributions by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn). Though referred to as the “father of minimalism”, the 81-year-old Riley has ranged widely in the intervening decades, deeply influenced by jazz, North Indian classical music, and a distinctly West Coast strain of radical spirituality – and in turn influencing practically everyone: The Who (“Baba O’Riley”), The Velvet Underground, collaborators The Kronos Quartet, as well as the legions of cutting-edge electronic musicians and contemporary composers making genre-defying music today. A resident of Grass Valley, CA, Riley is still touring the world. “Great for meditating to the cosmos” –Thurston Moore. Remastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri.
File Under: Drone, Experimental
Terry Riley: Songs for the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets (Beacon Sound) LP
Beacon Sound present a reissue of Terry Riley’s Songs For The Ten Voices Of The Two Prophets, originally released in 1983. Recorded live in Munich in 1982 using two Prophet synthesizers and voice, this album is a reflection of Riley’s ongoing interest in melding improvisation, electronic music, and the raga vocal stylings of his mentor, Pandit Pran Nath. Terry Riley turned the music world upside down with his 1964 work In C, a revolutionary concept based on 53 modules that can be improvised upon by any number of musicians for an indeterminate amount of time over a pulsing C note typically played on piano or mallet. Performed live for the first time by Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, and Jon Gibson, it has since been performed by everyone from the Shanghai Film Orchestra, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and the Malian musicians of Africa Express (featuring contributions by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn). Though referred to as the “father of minimalism”, the 81-year-old Riley has ranged widely in the intervening decades, deeply influenced by jazz, North Indian classical music, and a distinctly West Coast strain of radical spirituality – and in turn influencing practically everyone: The Who (“Baba O’Riley”), The Velvet Underground, collaborators The Kronos Quartet, as well as the legions of cutting-edge electronic musicians and contemporary composers making genre-defying music today. A resident of Grass Valley, CA, Riley is still touring the world. Remastered by Raphael Anton Irisarri. Includes original insert; Edition of 300. “His voice twists and curves in complicated arabesques, recalling Indian music, and especially the singing of Mr. Riley’s colleague and teacher, Pandit Pran Nath, who is also associated with Mr. Riley’s long-time friend LaMonte Young. The synthesizers create a hushed, meditative counterpoint of slowly unwinding melodies and cross-rhythms… the Prophet 5, a polyphonic synthesizer that is capable of rich viola-like sounds, is a winning instrument for Mr. Riley’s improvisations. After years of playing a Yamaha electric organ, he has turned to the synthesizer, which theoretically offers an infinite assortment of sounds. Rather than take advantage of the instrument’s ability to mimic vocal sounds and timbres, as composers like Jon Hassel and Brian Eno have done, Mr. Riley plays the synthesizer as a keyboard instrument, with a luminous sound and the ability to bend or inflect notes.” –New York Times, Feb 1984
File Under: Drone, Experimental
The Sadies: Northern Passages (Dine Alone) LP
The essence of The Sadies’ story can be summed up with the powerful image of the aurora borealis adorning the cover of Northern Passages. Ever since the quartet, comprised of singer/guitarists Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky, first arrived on the North American scene 20 years ago, their music has never been less than awe-inspiring, with no embellishment necessary. Recorded in the basement of Dallas and Travis’ parents’ home north of Toronto over the winter of 2015, the familiar surroundings and lack of distractions resulted in a consistent feel, despite the eclecticism at the heart of The Sadies’ sound. The psych-folk flourishes on tracks such as “Riverview Fog” are no mere homage; this is the sound of our inscrutable world, and how we manage to survive in it. Adding to The Sadies’ running list of astounding collaborators–Neko Case, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gord Downie and Neil Young, to name a few–twang-folk troubadour Kurt Vile lends his signature vocals to album highlight “It’s Easy (Like Walking)”.
File Under: Folk Rock
Skullflower: The Black Iron That Fell From The Sky, to Dwell Within… (Nashazphone) LP
The inception of an audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus, and the Apep serpent. Volume one comprises of three received transmissions from the tunnels of Set via the physical envelopes of Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies operating as the occult cell known as Skullflower. The working, the concept, and guiding hand comes from Nashazphone, purveyors of artifacts, dreams and koans, who are currently re-creating and re-writing the myths and cycles of their native land.
File Under: Experimental, Drone, Noise
Amedro Tommasi: Thomas (Sonar Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Amedeo Tommasi’s Thomas: Colonna Sonora Originale Del Film, originally released the on Gemelli label in 1970. The Infamous and legendary score for the film of the same name directed by cult Italian director Pupi Avati. An Italian soundtrack milestone and a pure masterpiece of Italian giallo, thriller, and exploitation. Scary, giallo vibes with stunning cinematic sinister beats. Features Edda Dell’Orso, who provides some astonishing frightful vocals. A mythical album for any Italian giallo/thriller enthusiast. Hard cover glossy sleeve; Edition of 500.
File Under: Italian, OST
Zos Kia/Coil: Transparent (Cold Spring) LP
Comes in a gatefold sleeve with a 12″ booklet of unseen images and includes a download card. The entire Transparent recordings released for the first time, completely remastered from the unedited tapes. Zos Kia was formed by John Gosling (Mekon), John Balance (Coil) and Min – with guest Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle). Their one and only album, Transparent, was released on August 23rd, 1983 in a cassette only edition on the now defunct Austria label Nekrophile. They were the first released recordings of both Coil and Zos Kia. It was reissued years later by Coil (Threshold House/Eskaton). Includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks by Ake (pre-Zos Kia). The music on Transparent is genuinely unsettling and disturbing, with a more primal Industrial feel than the Coil album which followed; Scatology (1984). An essential insight into the very early work of these extraordinary artists and an undeniable link between Coil and Throbbing Gristle.
File Under: Industrial, Coil
Various: Oz Waves (Efficient Space) LP
Efficient Space continue to expose Australia’s esoteric musical history with Oz Waves – a collection of ’80s DIY recordings, compiled by odd wave anthropologist Steele Bonus. Definitive proof that inhabitants of the Down Underground were links in a global network of creative kooks, Oz Waves connects those who utilized mobile recording rigs and small press releases to create and disseminate misfit synth-punk, tape loop experiments, and inner city pop. Through overseas mail order exchanges, anonymous groups like Zerox Dreamflesh could find place on Belgian compilations, while Chris and Cosey lullabied their son to sleep with Irena Xero and her interdisciplinary art collective Zip. Bonus selects ten survivors from the fertile period (1982-1989), most of which were only issued on cassette in tiny editions of five to one-hundred copies. M Squared affiliates Prod join the extraterrestrial Software Seduction, He Dark Age’s minimal wave neglect and the irreverent cut ups of The Horse He’s Sick and MK Ultra & the Assassins of Light. The remaining tracks have been sourced from musicians’ private archives and are being officially released on Oz Waves for the first time – Andy Rantzen’s industrial dub Itch-E & Scratch-E precursor, the buoyant vocal-drone of Ironing Music, and Moral Fibro, Sydney’s short lived answer to Weekend and Marine Girls. With detailed track-by-track notes, lines are drawn to Severed Heads, Scattered Order, and other antipodean post-punk royalty. As a DJ, Steele Bonus has gained notoriety via the exquisite selections that form his ongoing mix series Odd Waves. Sydney-born, Amsterdam-based, his graphic design has not only been responsible for sleeves on Efficient Space, but also trusted Amsterdam connoisseurs Music From Memory and Young Marco’s Safe Trip. Includes a download card.
File Under: Synth Pop, Post Punk
Various: Sounds From the Archipelago: An Introduction to the Lush Indonesian Music Tradition Vol. 1 (Shiok) LP
The first volume of Sounds From The Archipelago: An Introduction To The Lush Indonesian Music Tradition gathers traditional music from different areas of the Indonesian archipelago, featuring music from Sulawesi, The Moluccas Islands (Spice Islands), and Central Java. In the first track from Sulawesi (“Gandrung Bulo”), the lead is taken by the percussion made of bamboo drums, later joined by two male voices in the second track. This is traditional entertainment music which is typically played at weddings, feasts, and others special occasions. The last track is an instrumental one featuring the story-telling of an epic ballad. The singer is playing a traditional Indonesian instrument called the sinrili. The track from the Moluccas (“Tjakalele”) is a typical warrior dance, and it was recorded in the main city of Maluku Islands. The music from Bali is performed by a chorus of seventy-eight men sitting in circle around the actors, during the representation of the so-called Ketchak (Monkey) Dance, which is still a big attraction for travelers coming to Bali. The selection from Central Java is a traditional piece called Perdjuritan dance (“Perdjuritan”), which is some sort of a soldiers’ dance. It is performed by a traditional Javanese orchestra (called Gamelan) which consists of drums, metal rattles and whistles. The last sample is recorded in the capital city of Jakarta and represents an example of the so called Sundanese music, typical of the western region of Java. Another example of traditional old entertainment music to be played during various festivities. Shiok! Records is a new record label dedicated to the discovery of the extensive and rich music tradition of the various South East Asian countries. Operating right from the heart of the region, in the strategic location of Singapore, Shiok! Records’ core mission is to provide a musical outlook on some “hidden gems” that are still mostly unknown to the vast majority of the western audiophile audience. By following a chronological and anthological approach, Shiok! Records will be publishing music deeply rooted in the history, folkways and traditions of the mighty and exotic territories of the East. With a specific focus on the lush production of Indonesia for its first issues, Shiok! Records will later venture into the various music genres of Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
File Under: World, Indonesian, Gamelan
Various: Sounds From the Archipelago: An Introduction to the Lush Indonesian Music Tradition Vol. 2 (Shiok) LP
The second volume of Sounds From The Archipelago: An Introduction To The Lush Indonesian Music Tradition covers music from the vast island of Sumatra (West Indonesia), The Moluccas Islands, and the island of Bali. In the first sample from Sumatra (“Gondang Mula Mula”), recorded near the awesome Lake Toba, is a ceremonial overture played during weddings and special occasions. The band is comprised of four instruments: two “Ketchapis” (sort of a two-string ukulele), one “Serenar” (a wind instrument), and one simple metal spoon tapped against a glass bottle. The second track (“Andung Andung”) is music conceived to put people in the right mood for working in the fields, or boating on Lake Toba. Some sort of predecessor, if you will, of the “Ayo kerja” slogan and movement. The third track (“Hasa Hatan”) is a coda to all ceremonies in the region, and carries a benediction. The track from Moluccas (“Menari Sawat”) is a Muslim traditional dance from the area (menari), while sawat is the name of this type of music. The recording is taken in a small fishing village. The album moves to Bali, where the first track (“Pubradaya”) is a sitting dance performed by a local Gamelan orchestra. The following four tracks (“Barong Dance: Preren, Omang, Castel, and Sadewa”) are all part of a suite of drums and gamelan music performed for the dance of a Barong, which is a mythical creature represented as half lion and half dog. The last two pieces are typical cremation music played on the tower at the cremation ceremonies in Bali, extremely interesting and unique. Shiok! Records is a new record label dedicated to the discovery of the extensive and rich music tradition of the various South East Asian countries. Operating right from the heart of the region, in the strategic location of Singapore, Shiok! Records’ core mission is to provide a musical outlook on some “hidden gems” that are still mostly unknown to the vast majority of the western audiophile audience. By following a chronological and anthological approach, Shiok! Records will be publishing music deeply rooted in the history, folkways and traditions of the mighty and exotic territories of the East. With a specific focus on the lush production of Indonesia for its first issues, Shiok! Records will later venture into the various music genres of Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
File Under: World, Indonesian, Gamelan
Various: This Time Will Be Different (Interstate) LP
This Time Will Be Different – The Sweet Soul Of Philadelphia: 1968-1982 is the first part in Interstate Records’ regional soul series. This Time Will Be Different documents the emerging Philly soul sound, as influenced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, but with a focus on more obscure artists and releases. Features writing, arrangement, and production by Jerry Ross, Norman Harris, Thom Bell and Linda Creed, and Bobby Martin, with appearances by Bunny Sigler, Billy Hill (The Essex), and more. Features: The Invitations, Lou Curtin, Festivals, Choice Of Colors, Broadway Express, The Futures, Phyllis Smith, The Courtships, Paradise, J. Kelly & The Premiers, The Geminiles, The Mello Moods, The Epsilons, The Blue Notes, and The Elegant’s.
File Under: Soul
Various: This Love is for Real (Interstate) LP
This Love Is For Real – The Sweet Soul Of Chicago: 1968-1981 is the second part in Interstate Records’ regional soul series. This Love Is For Real documents the Chicago sound, as popularized by Curtis Mayfield, The Chi-Lites or Impressions, but with a focus on more obscure artists and releases. Features writing, arrangement, and production by Leroy Hutson, Willie Henderson, Eugene Record, with appearances by Otil Leavill, Charles Jackson, and more. Features: Essence, Marzette Griffith, Harlem Meat Company, Magnum Force, Billy & The Bloodknots, The Lost Generation, The Stimulators, Hands Of Time, Chocolate Sunday, Bruce Thompson, The Vegas, The Ledgends, The Independents, The Cheers, Little Ben Norfleet, The Lovelites, and Windy City.
File Under: Soul
Various: Where the Mountains Meet the Sky (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Music from Ladakh recorded during the making of the film The Song Collector (2014) by director Erik Koto, with additional material recorded by Bill Kite in 1992. “Situated high in the Western Himalaya, Ladakh is one of the great cultural crossroads of Asia. For centuries, it sat at the hub of ancient trade routes that connected the Silk Road to India, Tibet, and Kashmir. Each year, once the winter snows had melted from the high passes surrounding Ladakh, its markets would buzz with merchants from throughout central Asia. They brought spices, wool, salt, and silk. They also brought their instruments and their folks songs. Over time, these diverse musical influences laid the foundation of Ladakh’s unique folk traditions. Folk music became central to the daily life of the Ladakhis with song serving as an essential form of communication, documentation, and entertainment. This collection of songs is intended to offer a sampling of the range of Ladakh’s folk music. These songs also celebrate one of the great folk artists of Ladakh, Morup Namgyal. Morup is an avid preservationist and during his 30-year career working at Ladakh’s only radio station (All India Radio, Leh) he recorded a vast archive of Ladakhi folk songs. This collection of over 1,000 recordings was unlike anything else in Ladakh and formed a crucial link to a dying folk tradition. Tragically, it burned to the ground in 2002 when a fire raged through the old wooden radio station building. The loss was devastating, but Morup immediately set about recreating the archive. Five of the songs on this album, recorded in 1992, are among the handful of tracks to have been spared by the fire. Today, Ladakh’s marketplaces bear little resemblance to the buzzing markets of old. Gone are the camel trains and merchants, replaced instead by Indian trucks belching smoke. Seemingly vanished too are the folk musicians, pushed aside by the synthetic beats of the latest Bollywood hit. But the folk artists have not vanished entirely, and if you wander beyond the blare of the latest pop song, you’ll discover a folk tradition that, thanks to the efforts of Morup Namgyal and others like him, is alive, evolving, and poised to endure the challenges of modernization.” –Erik Koto. LP comes with a full-size insert containing historic photos, song lyrics, and liner notes by Erik Koto.
File Under: World, India
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Kevin Ayers: Joy of a Toy (Vinylisssimo) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (Reprise) LP
Cluster: Zuckerzeit (Lilith) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs from a Room (Legacy) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs of (Legacy) LP
Sarah Davachi: Vergers (Important) LP
Betty Davis: This Is It (Vampisoul) LP
Echo & The Bunnymen: Ocean Rain (1972) LP
Equiknoxx: Bird Sound (DDS) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Carla Del Forno: You Know What It’s Like (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Gun Club: Fire of Love (Munster) LP
GZA: Liquid Swords (Universal) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasure (Rhino) LP
Kaleo: A/B (Atlantic) LP
Eyvind Kang/Tashi Dorji: Mother of… (Unrock) LP
Kinks: Mono Collection (Sanctuary) Box
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France (EMI) LP
Klara Lewis: Ett (Editions Mego) LP
Egisto Macchi: Messico (Cinedelic) LP
Egisto Macchi: Viiolenza (Cinedelic) LP
Egisto Macchi: Biologia Animale e Vegetale (Cinedelic) 3LP
Tim Mala: s/t (Vinylisssimo) LP
Massive Attack: Protection (EMI) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Universal) LP
Scientist: Meets the Space Invaders (Dub Mir) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dub Mir) LP
Scientist: Wins the World Cup (Dub Mir) LP
The Sound: Jeopardy (1972) LP
The Sound: Lions Mouth (1972) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds (Thirty Tigers) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Sun Ra: Nubians of Plutonia (Cornbread) LP
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (EMI) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Mind Control (Rise Above) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP
Various: Go Devil Go! (Jerome) LP
Various: Poco Loco (University of Vice) LP
Various: Poco Loco 4 (University of Vice) LP
Various: Slow Grind Fever 5 (Stag-O-Lee) LP