Not the heaviest week in the last couple of months, but hot damn there’s some killer sides in this week. If you haven’t heard it, listen to the Midora Takada record. Incredible! As you may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. 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. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….
…..Pick of the Week…..
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW/Palto Flats) LP
Highly recommended! Comes in a Stoughton “Tip-On” jacket; Includes printed inner sleeves. Palto Flats and We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present the highly-anticipated reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s sought after and timeless ambient/minimal album Through The Looking Glass, originally released in 1983 by RCA Japan. Considered a holy grail of Japanese music by many, Through The Looking Glass is Midori Takada’s first solo endeavor, a captivating four-song suite capturing her deep quests into traditional African and Asian percussive language and exploring contemplative ambient sounds with an admirably precise use of marimba. The result is alternatively ethereal and vibrant, always precise and mesmerizing, and makes for an atmospheric masterpiece and an unparalleled sonic and spiritual experience. Midori Takada is a composer, multi-percussionist, and theater artist renowned in Japanese vanguard circles. Midori has released two solo albums: Through The Looking Glass and Tree Of Life (1999) and wrote music for Tadashi Suzuki’s theater plays. Her hypnotic, minimalist music is based in the concept of coherence between sound and the human body. She performs solo on marimba and other percussion instruments. She debuted on the scene of Berlin Philharmonic, performing with the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin just after graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1974. She continued her career with solo concerts in Japan and abroad. In the 1980s, Midori began to explore the traditional music of Asia and Africa. Her fascination resulted in joint projects with Kakraba Lobi from Ghana, Lamine Konte from Senegal, Farafina Band from Burkina Faso, and Korean musicians: zither player Chi Seong-Ja, flute player Won-Il, and saxophone player Kang Tae-Hwan. She also led Mkwaju Ensemble’s innovative percussion project and still performs with free-jazz band Ton-Klami with Kang Tae-Hwan and jazz pianist Masahiko Satoh. Takada’s compositions have a remarkable way of affecting the imagination. Her minimalist, contemplative music is filled with the concept of infinity and reminds us of a moon voyage, falling stars, a journey into the ocean, or a walk in the garden. The trans melodies, initially simple, begin to loop and splinter, their rhythm breaking and thickening, slowly drawing the listener into another reality. This fully licensed reissue comes with extensive liner notes.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical, Minimal, Japan
6Lack: Free 6Lack (LVRN) LP
In tomorrow… Free 6LACK is the dark and moody debut studio album from rising Atlanta, GA R&B/hip-hop recording artist Ricardo Valentine aka 6LACK. Largely produced by go-to-guy Singawd and Nova, his candid lyrics and hypnotizing melodies are undeniably present in the emotional singles “Ex Calling” and “PRBLMS.” Peaking at No. 5 on the US Billboard Rap Albums Chart and No. 8 on the US Billboard R&B Albums Chart, Free 6LACK is a testament to 6LACK’s uncanny ability to inspire a new generation of R&B. “I wanted [the album] to serve as kind of a statement for everything, summarize the last five to six years of my life,” he tells Billboard. “I wanted to make a statement that I’m free from my older relationships and I’m free from all ways of thinking and my old feelings.”
File Under: R&B, Hip Hop
Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. Children of Alice have been quietly producing amorphous and intoxicating soundscapes as part of the Folklore Tapes collective for a number of years now, beginning in 2013 with “Harbinger of Spring” on the shared Ornithology release. This poetic conjuration of rebirth and new growth was the first unfurling of post-Broadcast creation from James Cargill, one half of the personal and artistic relationship at the heart of that epochal and increasingly feted band. The name Children of Alice was chosen as an act of tribute to the late Trish Keenan, for whom Alice in Wonderland and in particular Jonathan Miller’s summerhazy 60s idyll of an adaptation, was a presiding inspiration. The name invokes her abiding spirit and also creates a sense of continuity with the evolving Broadcast soundworld, which became more concentrated and individual as it refined itself and adapted to new configurations. The group (or perhaps we should call them a collaborative triad, since they occupy island territory far removed from the familiar shores of rock, though still keeping it in vision on the far horizon) consists of Cargill along with his former bandmate Roj Stevens (who played keyboards in Broadcast) and Julian House, co-founder of Ghost Box records, whose distinctive graphic design work also gives the label its signature look, and hidden prestidigitator behind The Focus Group. This self-titled LP brings together their entire output to date, on their first widely available release.
File Under: Abstract, Ambient, Electronic, Broadcast
Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Danza Del Molinero, originally released in 1972. This is the first album by these Catalan psych-progsters. Traditional Spanish songs receive a psychedelic/progressive/jazz-rock treatment with a tremendous rhythm section (drum breaks galore), fuzz-tone guitar, Hammond and analog keyboards, piano, and occasional string arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, Goblin, Arzachel, Le Orme, Collegium Musicum. Master tape sound. Original artwork in gatefold sleeve; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.
File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock
Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen Vivir (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Farsa Del Buen Vivir, originally released in 1974. This second album by Fusioon is one of the masterpieces from the ’70s Catalan/Spanish psychedelic and progressive scene. Produced by the great Josep Llobell, you’ll find here plenty of Hammond, Moog, effects, a solid rhythm section, distorted lead guitar, and highly inventive arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, The Nice, Focus, Goblin. Master tape sound. Original artwork; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.
File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock, Psych
Growing: Disorder (Important) LP
Disorder marks a few milestones for the band Growing; it is their ninth full-length release, in the fifteenth year of their band, as well as their first record in almost six years. Though this is their first record in quite some time, this by no means a reunion record. When asked, Joe DeNardo stated “We never ‘stopped’ doing Growing, it’s just that it was tough living on two different coasts. We work kinda slow so I think it just took us a while to adjust to how to make it work with the distances. As Kevin kind of built up his home studio in Olympia over the years, it got to a place where we couldn’t not use it for Growing – it’s such a great isolated spot to hunker down and chisel out some tunes.” With an entire country between the them, Kevin Doria has been focusing his energy on his Total Life project, releasing a handful of releases and touring with Fuck Buttons, GodSpeed You Black Emperor and a host of others. DeNardo has spent the last few years making various music-themed films and performing under the Ornament moniker. At first listen, one may be tempted to refer to this as “return to form” for the band: sonically heavy side-long pastoral excursions being a hallmark of their earlier recordings. But Disorder stands more as a refinement of Growing’s evolving sonic palette, employing dissonance as liberally as harmony, delivering the listener’s ear to a rather unsettling “comfort zone”. The effect could be stated as one of submersion. “Kevin’s Total Life records and live set really inspired me to take a look at a much simpler setup.” DeNardo went on to suggest, “I don’t think I succeeded necessarily, but the way he maximizes his sound sources really blew me away. And I think it affected what I was recording for Ornament, and so when we got to jamming for the record, it sort of evolved from that. We recorded to four-track reel-to-reel, it was a pretty minimal setup. It seems like a heavy record to me, these slow, subtle shifts that feel like a bad trip sometimes.” Disorder is neither revival nor bookend for Growing. Disorder is another mile marker on the long open road, both figuratively and literally. Double-sided, screen printed jacket by Neil Burke @ Monoroid; Heavy duty virgin vinyl; Edition of 250 copies.
File Under: Drone, Ambient
Abul Mogard/Maurizio Bianchi: Nervous Hydra/All This Has Passed Forever (Ecstatic) LP
Ecstatic’s stunning split release between Maurizio Bianchi, godfather of the Italian industrial noise scene, and Abul Mogard, the much loved and hyperstitious synthesist, conjures a spellbinding testament to the transcendent and transportive energies of electronic music. Although appearing to starkly contrast on the surface, both artists’ work patently shares a lust for the suggestive abstraction of raw current and its pareidolia-like capacity to generate rich and uncanny emotional responses from the end user. On the A-side, Maurizio Bianchi serves the obfuscated, coruscating atmosphere of “Nervous Hydra”; a 17-minute piece of sunken, desiccated harmonic structures and warped greyscale tones rinsed with ET radio signals and distant percussion that recall the sound of embers landing on tinfoil or snow. It evokes the experience of being caught in a quietly raging whiteout with only a dying fire for company, or equally a sense of subaquatic, amniotic serenity prior to being evacuated into a much colder world. Listeners can trust that the Italian artist’s first new work in several years is faithful to his ever-uncompromising oeuvre, but there’s also a tantalizingly elusive sense of redemption buried deep in there which marks it out from the rest of his canon and close to the work of his antecedents such as Kevin Drumm and Jim Haynes. In that piece’s tempestuous wake, Abul Mogard brings a sense of soothing, glacial calm with “All This Has Passed Forever” on the B-side. For 16 blissed minutes, Mogard spells out a nostalgic fantasy in creamy strokes of Farfisa organ and Serge modular synthesizer recorded at EMS studios, Stockholm, and later combined with field recordings to elicit a wistfully widescreen paean to his days on the workshop floor accompanied by the harmonious drones and cacophony of heavy machinery. No matter the piece’s provenance, though; it’s simply a sublime example of Abul Mogard’s gift for illusive, suspenseful ambient music which has seen his previous releases sky-rocket in second hand value since their earliest, sold-out editions. Over 30 minutes of ostensibly contrasting yet subtly, similarly spirited pieces that speak to the mystery and enigma of electronic music’s tortured, searching and romantic soul in equal measure. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering; Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient
Max Richter: Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Following the success of Sleep, Max Richter reveals his latest recording project – a new album entitled Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works. It’s drawn from his music to Wayne McGregor’s award-winning Royal Ballet production Woolf Works – inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – and will be released on Deutsche Grammophon. Just like the ballet, Richter’s new album has a three-part structure, built around themes from three of Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Fragments from her letters, diaries and other writings are woven into the work, with spoken words from Gillian Anderson, Sarah Sutcliffe and even Woolf’s own voice, reading the essay Craftsmanship from a 1937 BBC recording. Max Richter explains: “When we began to discuss making the ballet, I hunted around for material of all kinds, photographs, memoirs, biographies. I never expected to find a recording of Virginia Woolf – this is the only one to survive. It’s like a tremendous time machine which allows you to hear her voice and wonderful use of language. I’ve used spoken-word elements quite often in my work, so to come across Virginia Woolf reading her own words was like a Christmas present. That lit the fuse for the musical language of the ballet’s first act, based on Mrs Dalloway, and the piece grew from there.” Richter’s new album, which stems from his longer score for Woolf Works, features a vast palette of sounds – from solo instrumental and orchestral episodes, to electronic textures and music for wordless soprano. It opens with the chime of Big Ben, whose unmistakeable sound can still be heard above the noise of London traffic from the distance of Gordon Square in Bloomsbury, where Virginia Woolf lived before her marriage to Leonard Woolf. Woolf’s suicide note, her heart-rending farewell letter to her husband, read by Anderson, sets the contemplative atmosphere for Tuesday, the album’s final and longest track. The piece develops from the sound of breaking waves into a plaintive solo melody, constantly repeated yet ever-changing, and grows to become a dream-like meditation on life and death. “My approach goes back to the aesthetic pleasure of simple, well-made things,” Richter observes. “I believe ‘Tuesday’ connects to minimalism in painting and architecture; within the realm of what people call spirituality, it connects to Zen Buddhism. All those things flow together in the striving for the maximum from the minimum.”
File Under: Modern Classical, Electronic
SJOB Movement: Friendship Train (Cultures of Soul) LP
“SJOB Movement’s Friendship Train was the second LP by the group and one which saw the group rise to new heights. It’s a masterpiece of African music with its fluid Afro beat grooves and spaced out Moog synthesizer sounds. Here is an excerpt from the liner notes written and researched by Uchenna Ikonne: ‘Prince Bola Agbana might hardly be the most immediately recognizable name in the constellation of Nigerian music stars, but for a significant portion of the last half-century he labored in the shadows, dutifully serving as one of the key movers in its development: An in-demand session musician. An early and respected exponent of funk. A catalyst in the retrofit of juju into a modern pop genre. Most of all, though, he is recognized as the founder, leader, drummer and principal vocalist of the SJOB Movement. SJOB: Sam, Johnnie, Ottah, Bola. For a moment in the mid-1970s, they were le dernier cri in modern Nigerian music, representing the next step in the evolution of Afro rhythms, and a new paradigm for the band economy. Their first album, 1976’s A Move in the Right Direction, was a minor sensation and was swiftly followed by Friendship Train in 1977. Then it appeared that the movement stopped moving, and SJOB disappeared from the scene.”
File Under: Funk, Soul, Afrobeat
Rick Tomlinson: Phases of Daylight (Voix) LP
Rick Tomlinson of prog-folk luminaries Voice Of The Seven Woods unveils his latest album in the form of the brilliant ‘Phases Of Daylight’. Starting with the minimal horns and electro-acoustic chattering of ‘Final Sunrise Morning’, setting a languid but perceptible arc of crescentic bliss with GYBE-esque melodic counterpoints and stark icy minimalism. We see some more of the spacious and fulfilling ambient echoes skittering around in follower ‘Cloud Hum’ but rather than the steady swelling drone of horns, we get tuned percussives rattling around the stereo image, forming the titular hum around organic sweeps and reverberating dusted echoes. The solar interlude is a beautiful and hauntingly brittle acoustic piece, centred around a reticent plucked string riff, which sets the scene perfectly for the spacious rainforest chimes and sparse percussive elements in ‘Daylight Phase’. More often than not, true musical beauty can be distilled down to one or two elements, surprise artifacts in an otherwise expected outcome, and Tomlinson manages to make the most of this fact by keeping everything he does within the realms of improbability. ‘Visual Spirit’ is a prime example of this, with its soaring drone motif being punctuated with tickles of metallic percussion before segueing into a primal and glimmering eastern-influenced swell of sound, bringing together all of the previusly assembled instruments into a perfectly arced cacophony of percussion, drone and melody. Following on from the cosmic binary space-station radio interference of ‘Nail House’, rife with frequencies felt if not necessarily heard individually, the mesmerising alt-folk majesty of ‘Living Stream’ brings us to a crepuscular and fitting end with its driving acoustic motif and stabbing percussion. A mesmerising and beguiling collection of patiently forged sounds, beautifully collated instruments and curated with a defness and restraint rarely heard in experimental music today. Haunting, visceral and beautiful.
File Under: Folk, Ambient, Experimental
Zeitkratzer: Performs Songs From Kraftwerk 1 & 2 (Karlrecords) LP
Karlrecords celebrates its tenth birthday, and Zeitkratzer celebrate their 20th with necessary re-interpretations of early compositions by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. Founded in 1997 by Reinhold Friedl, Zeitkratzer have since been creating an impressive catalog of recordings that embraces 20th century avant-garde composers (Cage, Stockhausen, Lucier) as well as electronic artists (Carsten Nicolai, Terre Thaemlitz) or underground experimentalists like Throbbing Gristle or Column One. In their 20th anniversary year, the critically acclaimed ensemble will release a series of diverse albums that will explore new grounds in the typical, adventurous Zeitkratzer way – the first of these albums is dedicated to Kraftwerk and their early, kraut-esque albums Kraftwerk (1970) and Kraftwerk 2 (1972). As Kraftwerk never re-released these albums, Zeitkratzer gave its best to cover the first tranche of the songs. Recorded in Marseille/France in May 2016, the six tracks reveal a bucolic and even psychedelic aspect of the ensemble that’s mostly known (or feared) for its interpretative and aesthetic acerbity. And yet there’s no doubt that Songs From The Albums “Kraftwerk” And “Kraftwerk 2” is a true Zeitkratzer recording in the best and fullest meaning. Zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl are: Frank Gratkowski – flute, clarinets; Elena Kakaliagou – french horn; Hilary Jeffery – trombone; Reinhold Friedl – harmonium, piano; Didier Ascour – guitar; Maurice de Martin – drums; Lisa Marie Landgraf – violin; Burkhard Schlothauer – violin; Elisabeth Coudoux – violoncello; Ulrich Phillipp – double bass. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl; Includes insert and download code; Edition of 500.
File Under: Electronic, Classical
Various: Buzzsaw Joint Cut 2 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee present Cut 2 of the Buzzsaw Joint series, compiled by Astro138 and DJ Zorch. Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! This second deep cut, coming from two city of angels record demons, unearths more strange sounds from times past. Astro138 and DJ Zorch created The Vinyl Record Association, an online haven where a global network of rare record fanatics and friends regularly share favorite spins. They can also be heard on Radiocore.org. Sixteen blistering buzzsaw selections from Astro138 and DJ Zorch, all recorded between 1956-1962. Features: Cy Wagner Orchestra, Shades Of Rhythm, Dave Osborn, Whispering Pigg, The Bikinis, The Gimicks, J.J. Jones, The Pharaohs, Los Twisters, Doug Powell, Duke & The Ambers, Charlie Daniels, The Altecs, Billy Preston, The Merrylanders, and The Dream Girls.
File Under: Rock n Roll, Rhythm & Blues
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (Ardent) LP
Big Star: Radio City (Ardent) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Sire) LP
Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sound) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Music on Vinyl) LP
Duke Ellington: At Newport (MoFi) LP
Flaming Lips: Clouds Taste Metallic (Warner) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead (Warp) LP
Marvin Gaye: How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Motown) LP
Grateful Dead: s/t (Rhino) LP
Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Isaac Hayes: Black Moses (Enterprise) LP
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
The Knife: Deep Cuts (Mute) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Alison Krauss: Windy City (Universal) LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Legend (Universal) LP
Meters: Fire on the Bayou (Reprise) LP
Nails: Abandon All Life (Southern Lord) LP
Nails: You Will Never Be One of Us (Southern Lord) LP
Necks: Unfold (Idealogic Organ) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 Chambers (Get on Down) LP
Richard Pinhas: Reverse (Bureau B) LP
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
The Shins: Heartworms (Sony) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sublime: s/t (Universal) LP
Sublime: 40oz to Freedom (Universal) LP
Gabor Szabo: Sorcerer (Impulse) LP
Tanya Tagaq: Retribution (Sixshooter) LP
Teenage Bandwagon: Bandwagonesque (Music on Vinyl) LP
Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones (Island) LP