Well, just when we thing it’s spring, it starts to snow again! As long as it gets this out of it’s system before April 22nd cuz you know what that is right? Everyone’s favorite day to line up outside to buy all the records! If you haven’t seen, the rumored RSD list is starting to float around, but next week the official list drops. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. Enjoy….
…..pick of the week…..
Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier
The new Brio is here! The Brio has a completely new case to house its improved circuits and parts. It now sits in a fully aluminium two-part case which boosts the Brio’s heat sinking capabilities and improves on Rega’s already solid build quality and reliability. The new Brio has a cleverly integrated headphone socket specially designed to avoid interference with the audio circuit when not in use and as you would expect, a very high specification moving magnet phono stage is built in as standard. Throughout the design process the Brio has been meticulously improved in every aspect, from the quality of materials to the manufacturing process, to make this new Brio a step ahead in Rega’s engineering and design for amplifiers.
File Under: Gear, Rega, Amps
Anohni: Paradise (Secretly Canadian) 10″
The revelry of 2016’s Hopelessness helped reinvent Anohni (fka Antony and The Johnsons) in the mold of staunch political agitator. Self-aware and self-flagellating, Anohni speaks of deep concern for our very livelihood, as a species and as a civil society. Critically acclaimed, Hopelessness came to represent a new and necessary musical language. Anohni’s Paradise EP is the extension, into 2017, of a language of protest and distress. The songs – already featured in her arresting live performances – were made during the same sessions as Hopelessness, but rather than trimmings or bonus material, they are, instead, unique touch points for old problems and newly minted geo-political crises writ macabre. Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never co-produced the EP. Available on 10″ vinyl with art featuring portraits of the performers at Anohni’s worldwide shows.
File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Elements (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0030). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “What reveals itself in the über energetics on display here is the ability of one quartet to take so much for granted and yet express so much in the process. Van Hove, for instance, shuns all conventions in his approach to the piano: he quotes Liszt and Schubert as well as Ellington and Peterson then wipes all of them out with his elbows as if erasing a chalkboard. His ‘Florence Nightingale’ is a perfect example. Texturally, he creates diversions from the fury while never disengaging from it. Brötzmann and Mangelsdorff are out and out challenging each other to see who can destroy their instruments first, and Han Bennick is the most proactive percussionist in jazz history. His use of anything and everything while simultaneously playing a trap kit that creates time is astonishing. Elsewhere, on Brötzmann’s ‘Elements,’ African percussion and slow, long opened tonal drones by Mangelsdorff create a backdrop for the other two to explore without rushing in. Brötzmann enters almost tenderly, looking for a room to exit out of, but engaging himself in the microtonalities created by the rhythm section. Van Hove’s long augmented chords create a mode for not opening but splintering that exit and Brötzmann ushers the band through in a hurry heading for the outer reaches of the possible. . . . one of the best documents of the period on any continent.” –Thom Jurek, AllMusic, 1991
File Under: Free Jazz
Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Couscouss de la Mauresque (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “Brötzmann’s regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he’s updated his playing all the way. On ‘Couscouss De La Mauresque’, for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann’s wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff’s technique doesn’t hinder his fire, either, and he’s well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you’ll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist’s solo on ‘Couscouss’. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout.” –Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972
File Under: Free Jazz
Brotzmann/Van Hove/ Bennink + Mangelsdorff: The End (Cien Feugos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0050). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “The great thing about this trilogy/set is how naturally everything flows. . . . each subdividing of the group, each solo excursion, feels smooth and logical, as though the player(s) in question had nodded to the others as if to say ‘Gimme a minute here, I’ve got an idea,’ and received assent in response. There’s all the ferocity any free jazz diehard could ask for, but it never goes on so long that it becomes schtick, and it’s always countered by passages that are genuinely beautiful in the most conventional, you-could-play-this-for-your-mom sense. Even without Mangelsdorff, Brötzmann, Van Hove and Bennink were a remarkably empathetic and attuned team, and when he joined them (and these records document their second and third times playing together, ever), everyone’s game was raised.” –Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance, 2013
File Under: Free Jazz
Cannibale: No Mercy For Love (Born Bad) LP
In tomorrow… Still unknown in rock territory, French band Cannibale gets its name from its “kind of exotic garage” music whose humid tropical groove is slowly eating up all the stereotypes about Born Bad Records releases. If there’s cannibalism to be found in No Mercy For Love, it’s in reference to the Caribbean rhythms here-and-there, and to the psychedelic sound from the backwoods that make this first album a peculiar occurrence in the land of strikes and wine drinkers. There’s never any silence with Cannibale and, as for the lambs, stick to the village in the middle of nowhere where the band members reside – a hamlet in Normandy with a total population of 300, including the cows. Rather than human flesh, these guys have been feeding on their own impatience. Lead guitarist Manuel and singer Nicolas met in junior high (which is the case for 99% of rock bands so far), but the members of Cannibale have a Frustration type profile – almost all of them are over forty. During the last twenty years, with unbending faith, these guys played in loads of bands that never made it to the top (Amib, De Rien, 7Questions, Kouyaté Neerman, Renza Bo, Blast) and even ended up playing as session musicians alongside Camile Bazbaz or Johnny Halliday. After winning the Inrocks Labs contest with Bow Low, their penultimate band, and releasing two albums with Because, the Norman guys finally decided to create Cannibale in 2016. In theory, considering the beginning of their career, or lack thereof, you couldn’t imagine you’d end up hearing the sounds from No Mercy For Love: a surprising mixture of cumbia, African rhythms and garage music. Or, if you will, a kind of missing link between Fela Kuti, The Doors, and The Seeds. A bunch of forty year-olds whose origins are as white as their soul is black. “Releasing the album in our forties, we think it’s a laugh. Of course we keep on believing, it’s all we do, it’s what’s keeping us alive.”
File Under: French, Garage, Psych
Daniele Ciullini: Domestic Exile Collected Works 82-86 (Ecstatic) LP
In tomorrow… Ecstatic resuscitate Daniele Ciullini’s “sonic polaroids” of odder ’80s pop, drone, and drum machine workouts in the detached dimensions of Domestic Exile: Collected Works 82-86. Compiling the Florentine artist’s standout ’83 cassette plus a whole other side of compilation obscurities on vinyl for the first time, it presents a series of brilliant, isolated self-portraits by a mail art and tape scene insider (also photographer, zine publisher) who operated on the periphery of electro-industrial and ambient zones. His music is little known outside of Italy, so all credit is due to Alessio Natalizia for bringing his wide-ranging and prescient work to a broader audience here. As Ciullini’s pal and bandmate in The Cop Killers (along with Masami Akita, no less), Vittore Baroni states on the liner notes that Domestic Exile was produced when Ciullini was in his late 20s and therefore possesses a more measured, mature approach than many of his contemporaries who were also scrabbling around similar sounds. Using the instantly identifiable Boss DR-55 and Roland TR 606 drum machines, plus a 303, Fender Stratocaster Electric, and Yamaha CD-5 fed direct to TEAC tape deck, these are beautifully concise, dynamic glimpses of a sharpened mind at work, proving equally adept at nipping shifty industrial drum patterns as well as brooding proto-shoegaze with “Soft Marble”, or European synth expressions like “Flowers in the Water”. A massive recommendation for fans of Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between (1980), early The Human League or John Bender. Compiled by Not Waving. Edition of 500.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
Al Cohn: Cohn on the Saxophone (Modern Harmonic) LP
Al Cohn first sprung on the national scene as one of the saxophonists on the Woody Herman hit “Four Brothers,” a crazy arrangement of “Jeepers Creepers” featuring each “brother” on a wild-and-crazy swingin’ saxophone solo. Along with fellow “brother” Zoot Sims, Cohn became one of New York’s leading sax men, forming with Sims in a quintet that played in the hot beatnik jazz scene of the day, even backing up Jack Kerouac on a few poetry recordings. Cohn on the Saxophone finds our man Cohn taking the lead on a series of great jazz standards. Al’s sax voice on this session is smooth, lyrical; almost like he’s talking to you or telling a story. Dig his smooth, supple playing on “We Three,” or the gorgeously blue-toned notes he hits on “Singing The Blues” — Cohn is very much a man at home with his instrument, and the band lays back and lets him spin his tales. When Cohn on the Saxophone was originally issued in 1956, Downbeat magazine gave it the prestigious and rare five-star rating — and over 60 years down the pike it still sounds as vital and delicious as it did when it was released. This lost jazz classic is finally yours to enjoy again, pressed onto colored vinyl, and neatly slid into a beautifully restored package. Only on Modern Harmonic!
File Under: Jazz
Constantine: Hades (Bedouin) LP
In tomorrow… “The expression of two years’ field recording on the Greek islands of Kalymnos and Lesbos — deep inside a network of caves, and in the teeth of torrential winter storms — with added strings, grand piano, live drumming and orchestral percussion, in its confluence of ‘modern classical, metallic drone, dark ambient, and fuzz’. Guided by Steve Reich, Mika Vainio and Henri Bergson; haunted and spurred by the refugee crisis.”
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Classical
Reverend Sam Dixon: My Soul Says Yes (Asherah) LP
In tomorrow… “DIY gospel, privately emitted from Ozone Park, Brooklyn sometime in the late 1970’s! Luckily for us, Rev. Samuel Dixon’s Samdy label stayed in business long enough to get a few copies of this deep soul children’s choir treasure into the atmosphere. Buried for 40 years, finally aloft for a new generation of homemade music fans” –Rob Sevier, Numero Group
File Under: Gospel, Blues
Dodecahedron: Kwintessens (Season of Mist) LP
Dodecahedron returns after four years to take black metal by the horns and launch the genre to new heights with their sophomore album Kwintessens. The band conjures a unique sound that is as alien as it is terrifying; dragging the listener through a horrific journey of atonal and dissonant moments, jarring tempo changes, and dramatic shifts in composition. Kwintessens sees Dodecahedron embrace the shifting from the light to the dark as they masterfully guide their signature style of bizarre, uneasy aggression into passages of cold, threatening calm. Kwintessens marks a new evolution for a band far ahead of their peers, and spares no one in its path of sonic demolition.
File Under: Black Metal
Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly) LP
Michal Jacaszek is an absolute master of melancholy: the Polish composer who’s spun dramatic shades of darkness and light into gold for more than a decade now, from the trickle-down electronics of Treny and artful gloom of Glimmer to the vapor-trailed verses of their looming spiritual cousin Kwiaty. The album – which was inspired by An English anthology of metaphysical poetry from the 17th century – is the most vocal-driven material Jacaszek’s ever written, melding his stormy melodies with a breakout performance by Hania Malarowska (of the Warsaw-based rock band Hanimal) and the robust supporting roles of Joasia Sobowiec-Jamioł and Natalia Grzebała, with lyrics adapted from poems from Virgil and Robert Herrick.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Nouvelle Vague: s/t (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Nouvelle Vague is the revered French group’s 2004 self-titled debut. The album consists entirely of easy listening and bossa nova versions of songs that were written and recorded during the post-punk/new wave era by the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Clash, Public Image Ltd, XTC and The Cure among others. And in an interesting twist the songs were recorded with female vocalists who were unfamiliar with the tunes they would be covering. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.
File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
Nouvelle Vague: Bande a Part (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Bande à Part is the revered French group’s second album, originally released in 2006. Like their eponymous debut, it’s a compelling collection of bossa nova cover versions of ’80s new wave tracks from artists like Echo & the Bunnymen, Buzzcocks, Blondie, New Order, The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees and U2 among others. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.
File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
Nouvelle Vague: 3 (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. 3 is the revered French group’s third album, initially released in 2009. As with their previous releases, it consists entirely of cover versions, mostly of post-punk and new wave songs from the ’70s and ’80s. Four of the tracks are performed as duets, featuring the song’s original vocalist performing alongside one of Nouvelle Vague’s female singers. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.
File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
Abdou El Omari: Nuits D’Ete Avec Naima Samin (Radio Martiko) LP
In tomorrow… First issue of this previously unreleased oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds. Nuits D’ete Avec Naima Samin is the second part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. This album contains heavenly compositions for the Moroccon diva Naima Samih and some moody instrumentals in a similar vein to the previous album, Nuits D’ete. Includes download code.
File Under: Psych, Electronic, Morocco
Pinback: Some Offcell Voices (Temporary Residence) LP
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn’t quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn’t yet become their day job; it hadn’t yet become a well-oiled 5-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century. Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback’s live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it’s only fitting that Temporary Residence revisit these poignant recordings – and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.
File Under: Indie Rock
Jimmy Raney: Visits Paris (Modern Harmonic) LP
By the time Jimmy Raney recorded the ultra-cool Visits Paris, he was already at the peak of his career. Having started in 1944 with the Jerry Wald band, he’d pass through a passel of great jazz combos before ending up with Stan Getz in his classic quintet. There, the guitarist became world-renowned, and just weeks before cutting this album, in 1954, he was voted the number one guitarist in the world by French magazine Le Hot Jazz. The album finds Raney on a (very) brief break from touring France, taking the opportunity to cut an album with some local musicians and putting himself very much in the foreground after having been a sideman on previous projects. He spins through a variety of songs, from his solo composition “Tres Chouette” (translation: “very cute”) to standards such as “Night and Day” and “Love For Sale” with his trademark smooth guitar style. The French band is very much up to the challenge, and the album’s bubbling energy on songs like “Too Marvelous For Words” is positively infectious. Long a sought-after jazz classic, Visits Paris is finally available again and pressed onto colored vinyl with lovingly-restored artwork. Only on Modern Harmonic!
File Under: Jazz
Real Estate: In Mind (Domino) LP
In Mind, the fourth full-length record from Real Estate, is a portrait of a mature band at the height of its power. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the band’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries Real Estate even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. On the new record, the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums – 2009’s Real Estate, 2011’s Days, and 2014’s Atlas – so beloved, and pushes their songs in a variety of compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist and vocalist Martin Courtney at his home in Beacon – a quiet town in upstate New York – In Mind offers a shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record casts the band in a new light – one that replaces the wistful ennui of teenage suburbia with an equally complicated adult version. The record not only showcases some of the band’s most sublime arrangements to date, it also presents a leap forward in terms of production, with the band utilizing the studio as a tool to broaden the sonic landscape of their music to stunning effect. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Cole M.G.N. (known for his work with the likes of Beck, Snoop Dogg, Dam-Funk, Nx Worries, and Julia Holter), the eleven tracks on In Mind deliver the same kind of warmth and soft-focus narratives that one has come to expect from the band – pastoral guitars, elegantly deployed arrangements, a sort of mindful melancholy – but there is also a newly adventurous sonic edge to the proceedings. Album opener – the ebullient pop number “Darling” – announces itself with a wash of synth tones rather than guitars. Elsewhere, on tracks like “Serve the Song” and “Two Arrows,” guitarist Julian Lynch employs a variety of distorted guitar sounds that might have felt out of place on previous Real Estate records, with the latter track stretching out beyond the six-minute mark – the closest thing to a jam the band has ever recorded. The band’s predilection for crafting airtight pop songs remains in full-effect here, with songs like “Stained Glass” and “Same Sun” occupying the same kind of rarefied universe as fan favorites like “Talking Backwards” or “It’s Real.” Glittering pop moments aside, the record’s most stunning moments are arguably it’s most restrained – “After the Moon” unspools in waltz-like fashion, while album closer “Saturday” offers In Mind’s most pointed take on moving beyond the fascinations of youth.
File Under: Indie Rock
Arthur Russell: Instrumentals (Audika) LP
In tomorrow… “Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, ‘I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.’ Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur’s ‘greatest achievements’. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur’s most elusive compositions, ‘Reach One’, and ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, ‘Reach One’ is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’ was inspired by Arthur’s work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur’s musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur’s coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time.”
File Under: Ambient, Classical, Experimental
Spectres: Condition (Sonic Cathedral) LP
In tomorrow… The follow-up to Spectres’ acclaimed 2015 debut Dying, Condition was recorded by Dominic Mitchison and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road in London. It’s louder and more abrasive than their debut, but also a real progression. It sounds huge and adds a genuinely innovative and confrontational edge. “There were discussions about experimenting with electronics, but the idea soon petered out when we realized we still wanted to experiment with guitars,” reveals singer and guitarist Joe Hatt. As a result tracks such as “End Waltz” have a relentlessly pounding, almost techno structure, in contrast to the kinetosis-inducing dirge of “Dissolve”. Elsewhere, the almost restrained (by Spectres’ standards) white noise and wordplay of “A Fish Called Wanda” and the sprawling “Colour Me Out” are counterbalanced by brutal assaults such as “Neck” and “Welcoming The Flowers”. “On this album we became even less interested in actually playing guitar,” explains Hatt, “which meant that we got more into experimenting with the sounds we could get out of them when brutalizing them and letting the feedback do the talking.”
File Under: Noise Rock
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Hot Thoughts is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of Spoon’s trend setting career. With all due respect to earlier efforts which have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it is crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated. Produced by Dave Friedmann and back with Matador (third time’s the charm) helps position Spoon to mount the highest highs of their already spectacular career. Matador is overjoyed to be back in the Spoon business and in time for Britt Daniel’s spot in the pantheon of rock’s genius songwriters was well established way back – with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on Hot Thoughts, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.
File Under: Indie Rock
Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) 4×10″
Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015’s The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The latest album titled Drunk is released via Brainfeeder and features production from Flying Lotus. Following his Grammy award winning contributions on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, Bruner delivers arguably his most ambitious work to date. Vocal features include Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell. In addition to Lamar, Thundercat has worked with a wide range of artists including Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Bilal, Suicidal Tendencies, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and more making him one of the most in demand musicians of our time.
File Under: Hip Hop, Fun, Soul, RNB, Disco, Electronic
Turinn: 18 1/2 Minute Gaps (Modern Love) LP
In tomorrow… Outta the shadows and into the strobe-light, Alex Lewis, aka Turinn, debuts on Modern Love with a debut double-pack of sawn-off bruk-beats and anxious, nerve-riding grooves brewed in the ravines of North Manchester. Turinn emerges from a new generation of producers in the city that include longtime spar Willow, and upcoming producer Croww. Crooked and rugged, but tempered by an acute emotive sensitivity, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps renders a bleedin’ cross-section of mongrel, hybrid style ‘n pattern in a breathless, deceptively freehand fashion that comes riddled with an electric blue energy all of its own. Committing ten tracks of fractious, mutant funk and sore feels, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps serves to cap Turinn’s formative phase of production like a lead lid on a nuclear rave implosion; trapping original ‘ardcore ‘nuum, Detroit booty and dank post-punk elements in a perpetual flux of in-the-pocket grooves which ravenously attempt to split at the seams, alternately pushing into Muslimgauze-like buffer zones of distortion or resoundingly wide ambient dimensions, and often both at once. This ambiguous dichotomy is epitomized between the rare surge of quick/slow torque in “Ovum”, which almost sounds like Chris Carter sparring with Burial Hex, and then in his nod to the Italian new wave with “Elba”, which seems to find the square root between Lorenzo Senni and some skudgy as heck Kassem Mosse grind, whereas the bittersweet soul of “1625” finds compatible links with his close peer, Workshop’s Willow as well as Japan’s Shinichi Atobe and scene enabler Move D, while “Parratactico” swaggers into quantum dancehall meters. The album title track runs at a next level Detroit momentum like DJ Stingray flipping Derrick May and Carl Craig’s “Kao-tic Harmonies”, before “ESO” cuts in like a super cranky El-B wearing itchy Primark underwear, and the bone-rattling hardcore jungle of “Spawn” soon enough gives way to the sweet lad couplet of “Petrichor” and “Ondine”, where his elusive, distressed melodic touch really shines thru. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Pressed at Pallas.
File Under: Electronic, Dub, Techno
Typhonian Highlife: The World of Shells (Kraak) LP
In tomorrow… Typhonian Highlife is the new moniker of Spencer Clark. Clark is the ultimate shape-shifter, a trickster continuously mutating from a sci-fi hero, into a mystic guru or into a speculative visionary. As Typhonian Highlife, he assimilates juxtapositions of the natural world and fantastic technology to reanimate the manneristic tradition. His compositions envision possible futures and speculative pasts. They imagine a new vision upon mankind, as a mythical underwater creature who creates meaning through a prosaic mysticism. The World Of Shells works as an dream expedition that has overflowed itself into real time. Through continual material-world visualization, a technologically natured music unfolds as a series of movements outlining the existence of a mythological African creature. Travelling through Hollywood, Hanging Rock, Australia, and The Ear of Dionysus in Sicily, the creature was placed, and has enacted a music and art form that explores a sci-fi aquatic and wind-blown desert fusion to uncover the life and wanderings of this non-material being. Mastered by Christophe Albertijn. Artwork by Spencer Clark.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Velvet Underground: Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes 3 (Tummy Tapes) LP
In tomorrow… The third and final installment of the massive trilogy of The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes. Recorded through a microphone jammed in the back of Lou Reed’s amp right around the release of The Velvet Underground’s third album (1969), The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury and a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing which in this set is a monolithic roar, a pulverizing electronic kaiju (strange beast) grinding the whole universe into pebble and sand. Recorded at the Boston Tea Party on March 15, 1969. Paste-on covers. Edition of 500.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Barney Wilen: Moshi (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Deluxe remastered reissue of Barney Wilen’s 1972 album Moshi, featuring additional artwork and a 20-page booklet of rare pictures, sheet music, and the original liner notes. Includes a bonus DVD (packaged with exclusive artwork) of Caroline de Bendern’s 1971 film à l’intention de Mlle Issoufou à Bilma, documenting this amazing African journey. Limited edition of 1000. “In 1970 Barney Wilen assembled a team of filmmakers, technicians, and musicians to travel to Africa for the purpose of recording the music of the native pygmy tribes. Upon returning to Paris two years later, he created Moshi, a dark, eccentric effort fusing avant jazz sensibilities with African rhythms, ambient sound effects, and melodies rooted in American blues traditions. Cut with French and African players including guitarist Pierre Chaze, pianist Michel Graillier, and percussionist Didier Leon, this is music with few precedents or followers, spanning from extraterrestrial dissonance to earthbound, street-legal funk. Wilen pays little heed to conventional structure, assembling tracks like ‘Afrika Freak Out’ and ‘Zombizar’ from spare parts of indeterminate origins.” –Jason Ankeny, AllMusic
File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Field Recordings
Various: Black Cat Trail (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “Long before the era of digital reissues, the Mamlish blues compilation LPs served a critical role in in keeping the musical tradition alive. More than a genre primer, this meticulously curated and annotated set, featuring such key forces as Snooky Pryor, Elmore James and Robert Nighthawk, doesn’t just showcase long unavailable classics, it provides an emotionally charged, deeply satisfying listening experience.”
File Under: Blues
Various: Chicago Slickers 1948-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This issue of Nighthawk Records presents twenty-four classic recordings from Chicago’s heyday as a blues center. The rapid local proliferation of small independent labels during the postwar years and the shoestring economics practiced by their owners, fostered a fierce competitiveness more than matched in the musical community. Unfortunately, the failure of such small labels as Parkway, Tempotone and Random often obscured in extreme rarity even the most inspired performances by such regional heavyweights as Little Walter, Floyd Jones, John Brim and Johnny Shines. The resurrection of these important recordings will be cause for celebration in blues circles. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”
File Under: Blues
Various: Chicago Slickers 2 1948-1955 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “Chicago Slickers Vol. 2 presents another selection of the best and rarest Chicago blues recordings of the early postwar era. All of the selections included here were previously available on a limited edition double album on the Boogie Disease label, but in the many years since that important anthology was issued, several titles have been duplicated elsewhere, and thus the two discs have been re-edited down to one album of the most important and obscure sides.”
File Under: Blues
Various: Home Again Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “The post-war era’s feverish outbreak of independent blues recording captured some of the mightiest practitioners in the genre’s history, and this trove of long unavailable rarities is every fan’s dream come true. With prime cuts from such masters as Sunnyland Slim, Frankie Lee Sims and the soul stirring Brother Willie Eason, this classic Mamlish retrospective is a painstakingly compiled trove of electrifying mid-century blues.”
File Under: Blues
Various: Fluxus Anthology (Song Cycle) LP
In tomorrow… Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Fluxus Anthology: A Collection Of Music And Sound Events, originally released in 1989. Fluxus was a collaborative movement of artists that worked across the diverse artistic mediums of performance, music, dance, poetry, photography, architecture, painting, sculpture, and film during the 1960s. Emerging in New York City, and spreading to Europe and Japan, Fluxus was led by recognized artists such as George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, La Monte Young, and John Cage. Fluxus Anthology is a collection of works created by these visionary artists, featuring works by: Walter Marchetti, Juan Hidalgo, La Monte Young, Ben Vautier, Wolf Vostell, Milan Knizák, Robert Filliou, Alison Knowles, Emmett Williams, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Philip Corner, Eric Andersen, Robert Watts, and Ken Friedman. Released in collaboration with Maurizio Nannucci. Presented here on clear, 180 gram vinyl.
File Under: Fluxus, Experimental
Various: Hustle: Reggae Disco (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ reissue their long-out-of-print album Hustle! Reggae Disco in a new expanded 2017 edition which now features five bonus tracks. This ground-breaking album features non-stop killer reggae versions of original funk and soul classics in a disco style. Reggae disco updates of seminal classics by Anita Ward (“Ring My Bell”), Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman”), Michael Jackson (“Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,”) Sugarhill Gang (“Rappers Delight”) here performed by Derrick Laro and Trinity for producer Joe Gibbs and more, all showing the hidden but inseparable link between the dance floors of New York, Kingston and London. New bonus tracks to this collection include Derrick Harriott’s funky take on Eddie Drennon’s “Do It Nice & Easy,” the classic disco reggae of Risco Connection’s take on McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” and the London rare groove lovers rock take on Barbara Acklin’s soul classic “Am I The Same Girl.” Hustle! Reggae Disco has been one of Soul Jazz Records’ best-selling releases since its first issue 15 years ago (and subsequently featured heavily in the early Grand Theft Auto games). This new 3LP edition comes fully re-mastered and with all original titles plus the new tracks.
File Under: Reggae, Disco
Various: Lord Have Mercy (Playback) LP
In tomorrow… “A hard-hitting collection of 27 funky, fantastic Gospel gems from the Checker catalog! Includes Gospel legends The Soul Stirrers, Salem Travelers, The Violinaires and many more, featuring beats, grooves and vocal performances that rival any of R&B recordings of the era — the best of the label’s rich heritage of music the church!” Also features: The William Singers, The Gospel Classics, Charlie Brown, Stevie Hawkins, The Meditation Singers, The Masonic Wonders, The East St. Louis Gospelettes, Meditations, The Jordan Singers, Gospel Six, The Gospel Hi-Lites, Martha Bass, and The Harmonizing Four.
File Under: Gospel, Funk, Soul
Various: New Deal Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “When Mamlish first issued this superb collection of Depression-era blues in 1970’s, it was a bellwether in the reintroduction of a critically important form of traditional American music. Featuring such striking classics as Kansas Joe McCoy’s ‘Meat Cutter Blues,’ Memphis Minnie’s ‘Keep it to Yourself’ and Peanut the Kidnapper’s ‘Suicide Blues’ this lovingly assembled and annotated set is a compelling musical tour de force.”
File Under: Blues
Various: Spiritual Jazz 7: Islam (Jazzman) LP
In tomorrow… Esoteric, modal, and progressive jazz, inspired by Islam and recorded between 1957-1988. Songs ancient and divine – the seventh volume of Jazzman Records’ acclaimed Spiritual Jazz series examines the influence and impact of Islam on four decades of jazz innovation. Through Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the civil rights era in America saw African American liberation politics famously associated with Islamic belief. This was not the first time that radical developments in African American cultural life had been widely and famously associated with Islam – that distinction belongs not to political or sporting giants, but to the progressive jazz musicians of the bebop generation. Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Sahib Shihab, Gigi Gryce, Idrees Sulieman, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef; all these legendary jazz pioneers – and countless more – were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam. Their faith profoundly influenced the music that they made, and the presence of prominent and innovative Muslim musicians at the heart of jazz culture in America has been recognized ever since. The tracks on this collection follow the story of Islam and jazz from the 1950s to the 1980s. Recorded by Muslim jazz musicians, they often draw specifically on Middle Eastern or Islamic music, dream of an esoteric or spiritual Afro-East, or invoke the landscape and sound worlds of Islamic Africa. Spiritual Jazz 7 presents a selection of visionary music – inspired by faith, powered by jazz. Many tracks never before reissued. Features: Maurice McIntyre, Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio with Malachi Favors & Ari Brown, Pharoah Sanders, Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Creative Arts Ensemble, East New York Ensemble De Music, Idrees Sulieman, Jamila Sulieman, Yusef Lateef, Sabu Martinez & Sahib Shihab, Abdelrahman ‘Abdo’ Elkhatib, Solar Plexus, The Lightmen Plus One, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Dawan Muhammad. Double LP version comes in gatefold a sleeve with extensive liner notes and pictures.
File Under: Jazz
Various: Windy City Blues 1935-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This first issue of Nighthawk Records documents primarily the transitional work of Southern born bluesmen who immigrated to Chicago before the Second World War, but whose careers endured into the postwar era. The lure of the major studios and the easy availability of club work on the growing South side made the Windy City the natural destination of talented blues musicians and the local blues scene was firmly established by the late 20s when the vanguard included Tampa Red, Big Bill, and Georgia Tom. The 30s brought Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Washboard Sam and Memphis Minnie while the 40s produced Robert Lockwood, Johnny Shines and Muddy Waters. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”
File Under: Blues
Adele: 25 (XL) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (WCV) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Grails: Black Tar Prophecy 1, 2, & 3 (Temporary Residence) LP
Grails: Take Refuge in Clean Living (Temporary Residence) LP
Jonsi: Rice Boy Sleeps (XL) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Brazil (Born Bad) LP
Les Rallizes Denudes: Live 7 (Mono-Tone) LP
Stephen Malkmus: Mirror Traffic (Matador) LP
Moondog: Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jons) LP
Orb: COW/Chill Out, World (Kompakt) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Run D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Music on Vinyl) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dubmir) LP
Sleep: The Clarity (Southern Lord) LP
Colin Stetson: Sorrow (52Hz) LP
Various: Antologia de Musica Atipica Portuguesa (Discrepant) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 1 (Transworld) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 2 (Transworld) LP