…..news letter #787 – royal snail…..

Just a few short weeks and RSD will be upon us! Our ordering is done, and next week things should start shipping next week.  As usual, we’ll have all kinds of fun swag and give aways, including the always popular REGA Turntable giveaway! In the meantime, I’ve got a lot to receive right now… Enjoy….

…..pick of the week…..

weiss

Klaus Weiss: Time Signals (Trunk) LP
Trunk Records present a reissue of Klaus Weiss’s Time Signals, originally released on Selected Sound in 1978. This hectic mix of dark drums with plugged-in, way-out, funked-up studio gear has been high on library geeks’ want-lists for years. Made by Niagara drummer/library overlord Klaus Weiss, and including the monster that is “Survivor”, originals are super rare, going for up to $300 if you can ever get near one. Standard black vinyl comes in a varnished bronze sleeve – a replica of the original LP. Jonny Trunk on Time Signals: “It was way back in the mid-1990s when fellow record collector and library music head Gareth Godard (AKA Cherrystones) first played me Selected Sound library LP 67, Time Signals. At the time — and I think it’s still the case — Gareth was into Klaus Weiss. Weiss was the drummer for Munich supergroup Niagara, he could be found on library LPs we were digging up on the Conroy and Golden Ring labels, and his name would appear across early 1960s jazz LPs from Germany. His drumming sound was mechanical, peculiar, unpredictable and distinctive. But nothing he’d done that I’d heard sounded quite like Time Signals. It was more manic and experimental, and the sounds and slightly offensive rhythms burrowed into my brain almost instantly. It probably took about another three years to recover and find myself a copy, and even then I’d found the sounds completely at odds to anything else I knew about. A few years later Gareth also pointed out to me that this LP was all over Rockin’ With Seka, a jet set hardcore movie from 1980 starring Swedish sensation Seka and Big John Holmes. Obviously the sound department on the film got busy with Selected Sound as another cue from the LP Nymphe (1979) is also on the soundtrack. But that is exactly what library music is for; Selected Sound produced these amazing library LPs, all beautifully recorded, sent them out in their shiny bronze sleeves around the world with rough guides to what they might be good for and waited for the royalties to roll in. Time Signals is probably the most desirable LP in the 9000 series catalogue. It sounds like nothing else and there are many high points, certainly something for everyone. And as musical tastes change and develop, Time Signals just seems to move along and fit. What seemed like otherworldly music to me two decades ago now seems like the norm. So here is Time Signals in all its odd glory, offering you a futuristic musical trip like no other.”

File Under: Library, Funk, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

abramsJoshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Simultonality (Eremite) LP
Simultonality is the follow-up to Joshua Abrams’s critically acclaimed 2015 album Magnetoception. Credited to Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society (NIS), it is the first recording in the project’s nine year, four album history made by a regularly gigging manifestation, rather than a special assembly of friends. Recorded in 2014 and 2015 in single takes by the full ensemble during and after tours of the US and Canada, Simultonality once more affirms the project’s unique approach to joining traditional musics, American minimalism, and jazz with the Gnawa ceremonial instrument the guimbri. Stasis, continuity, and repetition, central qualities of Abrams language, defined Magnetoception, listed by many as one of the best records of 2015. These same qualities form the heart of Abrams’s music on Simultonality. But where Abrams once said Magnetoception is about “winter and death”, Simultonality, in Abrams’s words, is an album of “pure motion”. Without sounding frenetic it is the most explosive NIS music on record, and without sounding over-determined, it is Abrams’s most structured and through-composed music yet. Much of it is also fast, a mass of densely patterned elements swiftly orbiting constantly reconfiguring centers that are variously harmonic and rhythmic, clearly stated or implied. The music is at no time any more disorderly than a colony of bees pollinating a vast garden. Its many moving parts function in mutualistic relationship toward fulfilling Abrams’s long stated intention for the project: to help listener’s achieve a meditative center and to consciously use music as a gateway to living. Abrams credits William Parker as an inspiration for this intention. The musicians on Simultonality date back to the nascency of NIS. Along with Hamid Drake, Mikel Avery and Frank Rosaly are Abrams first-call drummers for the project. On Simultonality, Avery is in the left channel, Rosaly the right. Astute heads may recognize the rhythm in “Sideways Fall” as Jaki Leibezeit’s drum break in Can’s “Vitamin C”. At Abrams behest, the two drummers divided the beat into separate parts. According to Hamid Drake, the rhythm was popularized, if not originated, by John “Jabo” Starks and Clyde Stubblefield of the J.B.’s. Nearly ten years into its existence, Abrams and the NIS wear their influences with creativity and ease. Long standing NIS members, Ben Boye and Emmett Kelly, were previously together with Abrams, or not, in Bonnie Prince Billy’s band, and Abrams and Boye have at different times played in Kelly’s band The Cairo Gang. Harmonium player Lisa Alvarado contributes the large format pattern paintings used by NIS at concerts and for its album covers. Personnel: Joshua Abrams – guimbri, bass, small harp, bells; Lisa Alvarado – harmonium, Leslie, percussion; Michael Avery – drums and percussion; Ben Boye – chromatic electric autoharp, piano, Wurlitzer; Ari Brown – tenor saxophone (on “2128½”); Emmett Kelly – electric guitar; Frank Rosaly – drums and percussion, resonator bells. Pressed on premium quality audiophile vinyl by RTI, presented in replica audiophile dust sleeves and heavyweight Stoughton LaserDisc jackets screenprinted by Alan Sherry/Siwa. Edition of 825 copies.

File Under: Jazz
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lusurra

Alberich/Lussuria: Borgia (Hospital) LP
Following on from that hugely sought-after Green Graves issue by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement (2016), Hospital Productions re-examine a longstanding tradition of industrial ambient music on this exceptional collaboration between two of the label’s most consistently innovative, highly absorbing producers. Originally released in a private press run of handmade tapes in 2016, the collaboration was made in person with both Alberich and Lussuria making use of digital synths in homage to that distinctly European scene of the mid ’90s that combined hardcore industrial textures with ambient pulses. It’s a sound you’ll be familiar with if you’ve immersed yourself in the most unnervingly quiet sections of the last few Prurient albums, building a kind of futuristic soundscape situated somewhere between David Lynch, Kevin Drumm, and a more dystopian variant of Brad Fiedel’s distinctive soundtrack to The Terminator (1984). Alberich’s instinct for harsh propulsive rhythms is tempered here by Lussuria’s weird topography, the digital rendering adding a kind of artificial foundation quite removed from the throbbing earthiness you’d find on a hardware session. Instead, the more linear trajectory of so many dark ambient excursions is replaced with a constantly shifting landscape, veering from an oddly displaced vocal narrative into pounded, crumbling rhythms at some points, while those sinking sub bass sands keep things resolutely atmospheric for the duration. There are no concessions to that blackened aesthetic here, if you were into Green Graves or want to immerse yourself in one of the most brutally atmospheric albums you’ll hear this year, check this out. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial

afrodiscoteca_def

Alessandro Alessandroni: Afro Discoteca (Four Flies) LP
Four Flies Records is back in full force, this time with an EP that looks at the more sophisticated and modern dancefloor. The Italian label embarked on another journey of rediscovery, a specialty they seem to master. The destination of this trip was a dusty vault in Africa, where a famous Italian musician moved years ago… The Italian film and TV industry provided in the 60s and 70s countless opportunity for talented musicians to compose and produce a rich variety of music: soundtracks, library music, experimental music – an infinite amount of recordings that still represents a paradise for the most curious and passionate diggers. So here we have the proof that there’s still lot to discover. Alessandro Alessandroni is one of those pioneers, a maestro that built the legend of Italian soundtracks and library music along with Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and many others. His vault testifies how prolific had been those times, with hundreds of tapes and obscure recordings from that period. Among the many, a dusty tape bearing the hand-written label “Afro Discoteca” captured the attention of Four Flies. The music contained in the tape had never been released until now. When he listened to the tracks, Italian legendary DJ LEO MAS (one of the undisputed inventors of the Balearic sound) told us: “It is surprising to listen to something that sounds so modern… This EP is the perfect union of Afro influences and Italian taste. There’s something Afro lounge here but also incredibly cinematic – it makes me think of John Carpenter’s atmospheres. B1 (Afrodiscoteca) reminds me of clubs I’ve been in Malindi in the late 70s and the closing track is absolutely spellbinding. This is wonderful.” PAOLO SCOTTI, head of Déjà vu Records and an authoritative Italian jazz expert said: “Alessandroni’s contribution to music is huge, he’s a great musician and a great experimenter. Afrodiscoteca sounds like it’s been produced yesterday by a DJ of our times, an absolutely surprising EP and proof of Alessandroni’s spontaneous genius!”

File Under: Italian, Library, Funk
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birkin

Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique (Parlophone) LP
In October 2016, Jane Birkin along with the Polish Radio Orchestra under the baton of Michała Klauza in Warsaw recorded the album Birkin Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique comprised of evocative symphonic interpretations of the most beautiful songs by former collaborator and romantic partner Serge Gainsbourg. 25 years after the death of Gainsbourg, the British actress/singer, with the integral support of Philippe Lerichomme (artistic director, longtime Serge associate) and pianist Nobuyukiego Nakajima, has created a special project in honor of the man who for many years was the closest person in her life both artistically and privately. “It is a privilege that one of the greatest French writers wrote for me from the age of 20 to 45. In a way it never stopped. It’s a strange situation. What can I do for him now, even though it’s too late! At least I can wear him, take him with me. Say his words!”

File Under: French Pop
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brother ah

Brother Ah: Divine Music (Manufactured) 5LP
Five LP box set version. “Following the reissues of Brother Ah’s three studio albums in 2016, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present Divine Music, a collection of three unreleased albums from this jazz visionary: The Sea (1978), Mediation (1981), and Searching (1985). Moving from rich spiritual jazz to more meditative ambience, Divine Music further explores Brother Ah’s unique sound and musical vision. Released as a 5xLP box set, Divine Music includes an extensive interview with Brother Ah by Pitchfork and Resident Advisor contributor Andy Beta. Recommended for fans of Laraaji, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Popul Vuh, and the recent new age renaissance. The renowned French horn player known as Brother Ah (aka Robert Northern) is one of the most prolific and respected musicians in the history of jazz music, with a recorded output spanning more than 40 years. Born in 1934 and raised in the south Bronx, Brother Ah was playing jazz trumpet as early as fifteen years of age. Following a classical French horn education at Austria’s Vienna State Academy, he emerged in the late ’50s and established himself as a skilled and consistent session musician, playing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and numerous Broadway theater orchestras. Brother Ah recorded well into the ’60s with some of the most illustrious names in the genre, including Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Gil Evans and, perhaps most influentially, Sun Ra. In 1969, Ah formed his own group, The Musical Sound Awareness Ensemble, and released several works under his own name from 1974 onward. In the late ’60s, his interest in non-western music developed, and his ’70s and ’80s recordings, incorporated elements of Eastern and ‘Third World’ music, fusing them with jazz structures.”

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
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brugnolini

Brugnolini/Carnini: Beat Drammatico Underground Pop Elettronico (Schema) LP
A fantastic obscure record, whose tracks simply anticipate Techno and generally Electronic music of the early 70s, including Kraftwerk’s milestone “Autobahn”, Heldon and Lard Free. A mind-melting opera. While Kraftwerk released “Ralph & Florian”, and about one year before the releasing of the milestone “Autobahn”, maestros Sandro Brugnolini and Giorgio Carnini were already experimenting the deep sounds of analogue synthesizer ARP 2600. The set provides some blending Funk tunes driven by Experimental Electronic music, all with a heavy dramatic feel: the result is an unbelievable, unique and explosive library music LP. “Beat Drammatico Underground Pop Elettronico” is the title that Brugnolini and Carnini adopted for this collection of several TV synchronization the- mes. What we had is stunning Drama Cop scores and dark Electronic moods, all surrounded by loads of fuzzy vibes and all that weird, Industrial, Futuristic Synth FX and so on…This reissue gives back a long forgotten and obscure session originally released on Fonit label in 1973. Lorenzo Fabrizi / Sonor Music Editions

File Under: Library, Electronic
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zebra

Cohelmec Ensemble: Hippotigris Zebra Zebra (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s Hippotigris Zebra Zebra, originally released in 1971. The Cohelmec Ensemble celebrate, above all, the pleasure of collective music-making. A group without a designated leader, they base their approach on reciprocal listening, but also on a dialogue between written and improvised material, in which all members have an equal responsibility whatever their instrument. This is even demonstrated in their name: COH as in Jean Cohen (saxophones), EL as in Dominique Elbaz (piano) and MEC as in the brothers François and Jean-Louis Méchali (respectively, amongst others, bass and drums), joined for this album by Evan Chandlee, known for his participation in Love Rejoice (1969) by Kenneth Terroade, and accepted, of course, as a full group member. Fitting together like hand in glove, the five musicians build something together, rather than trying to destroy an established order, as was the thing to do at the start of the 1970s, leaving the expression of an openly political agenda to others. In France, there was a tendency to explore an imaginary folklore which allowed certain elements of free jazz to be circumvented without being ignored. Which is why it is reminiscent of, in the melody of “Hippotigris Zebrazebra” when played with collective intensity, the best of American cosmic jazz, while also occasionally hearing McCoy Tyner or even Cecil Taylor under the fingers of Dominique Elbaz, or the vibraphone of Walt Dickerson evoked by Jean-Louis Méchali. Globally, however, their identity is original (even seminal), a fact which was to be confirmed by their next two recordings. For the record, it should be noted that the first album by the Free Jazz Workshop (from Lyon), another French group with a similar approach, would only be published two years later. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold LP with obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv
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next

Cohelmec Ensemble: Next (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s Next. The Cohelmec Ensemble celebrate, above all, the pleasure of collective music-making. A group without a designated leader, they base their approach on reciprocal listening and equal responsibilities. This is reflected in their name, created from the first syllables of the founding member’s names, which would remain unchanged in spite of the subsequent personnel changes: COH as in Jean Cohen (saxophones), EL as in Dominique Elbaz (piano) and MEC as in the brothers François and Jean-Louis Méchali (respectively, amongst others, bass and drums), Evan Chandlee joined them after they had already been playing together for a while, at the time they recorded their first album, 1971’s Hippotigris Zebra Zebra. The follow-up (appropriately named Next) saw the original pianist leave, to be replaced by guitarist Joseph Dejean, who had already played with the Full Moon Ensemble, known for having accompanied Archie Shepp at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1970. In spite of the personnel changes, the understanding and cohesion remain total within Cohelmec. They also maintain their trademark ambitious mix of written and improvised material. From this point of view, Next is even more audacious than its predecessor Hippotigris Zebra Zebra. Relatively brief tracks follow hot on the heels of one another, bolstered by a poly-instrumentality which stands out even more than in the past, giving the album the feel of a contrasting suite. There is a lot going on, leading to evocative atmospheres in which rigor and fantasy go happily hand in hand. Which is enough to say that this album should please fans of a style of free (chamber?) jazz which includes intelligent composed structures, a form in which French musicians have always demonstrated a personal approach, as in the example of Oeil Vision by Jef Gilson in 1964. Profoundly original and, it has to be said, seminal. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold LP with obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv
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octobre

Cohelmec Ensemble: 5 Octobre 1974 (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s 5 Octobre 1974, originally released in 1974. Out of the musical effervescence in post May 1968 France were born the labels BYG and Futura Records. The concept of collective creation appeared as essential, of which Cohelmec Ensemble was a typical example: in such procedures, individual identities can of course still express themselves but framed within a non-hierarchical common thought process with the emphasis on experimentation. Music making becomes a shared pleasure with an established vocabulary, and is often accompanied by militant left wing activism; which feeds into an ethical form of creation. For their third, and what would turn out to be final album, the Cohelmec Ensemble chose to save for posterity their live performance work, on which their reputation was based. A concert recording was made, notable for the inclusion of trumpeter Jean-François Canape, and the group lost none of its subtlety in moving from studio to stage. On the contrary, the situation galvanized them on to higher energy levels, without leaving behind the typically complex structures, to which were added potent, flowing improvisations, longer than usual, confirming the high standard of free jazz being played in France in the 1970s. This was demonstrated not only by the Cohelmec Ensemble but also, in similar or quite different registers (who cares), by formations such Perception, Dharma Quintet, Free Jazz Workshop, Machi Oul, or Armonicord. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold double LP with obi strip; Edition of 500.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv

august

Counting Crows: August and Everything After (Geffen) LP
By the time the Counting Crows signed to Geffen in 1993, they had already built up a significant fanbase which payed dividends upon the release of their runaway hit debut August And Everything After later that same year. Produced by the great T-Bone Burnett, the album climbed all the way to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts thanks to the trio of ubiquitous singles “Mr. Jones,” “Rain King” and “Round Here,” selling over seven million copies in the U.S. alone in the process. It checks in at a respectable No. 67 on Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Best Albums of the Nineties’ who writes: “An artfully crafted, intimate song cycle, August and Everything After seemed to explode on impact. Vividly produced by T Bone Burnett, its post-punk bleakness married to old-school rock influences, August became that rare album over which both alterna-kids and classic rockers could bond.”

File Under: Alt-Rock

recovering

Counting Crows: Recovering The Satellites (Geffen) LP
By the time the Counting Crows signed to Geffen in 1993, they had already built up a significant fanbase which payed dividends upon the release of their runaway hit debut August And Everything After. Three hit singles and seven million copies later, the band returned in 1996 with the stunning Gil Norton-produced follow-up Recovering the Satellites. Featuring a darker, heavier sound and more introspective lyrics, compelling and emotive material like “A Long December,” “Angels of the Silences” and “Daylight Fading” found the band truly coming into their own amidst the mid-’90s alt-rock craze and its No. 1 Billboard showing proved that not only was their debut no fluke but they were just getting started.

File Under: Alt-Rock

manu dibango

Manu Dibango: Ceddo (Africa Seven) LP
For Africa Seven’s 2nd release they’ve resurrected the soundtrack to the African movie Ceddo. Composed by one of our favorite African artists, Manu Dibango, comes 6 funky tracks. Now it’s getting a full vinyl re-issue! The film takes place during the 17th century during the period of slave-trading and of the introduction of Christianity and Islam in West Africa. Ceddo is a film of reflection, bringing together bits and pieces of facts and authentic events that took place in a period spanning the centuries up to the present day.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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enhet

Enhet For Fri Musik: Inom Dig, Inom Mig (Aguirre) LP
Folk unit originated in the Swedish underground Enhet för Fri Musik – featuring members of Sewer Election,  Ättestupa,  Neutral,  Makthaverskan, and Blod – continually re-invent what music is about through free improvisation and lengthy folk meanderings. Embedded in the ever exciting Swedish underground scene, Enhet För Fri Musik continue the quest for innovation numerous legendary Swedish bands started during the ’70s – such as, Pärson Sound, Trad Gras Och Stenar, and Arbete Och Fritid. Taking the ideas of communal music craft and experimentation, on Inom Dig, Inom Mig, the group comes to a unique combination of Jandek-like atonal guitar, organ, tape effects, field recordings, and saxophone, with Sofie Herner’s amazing loner voice running over it. Adding another inspiring document to the world of open-minded music. Inom Dig, Inom Mig was originally release on cassette in 2015 on Forever United. Silkscreened sleeves by Marijke Loozen; Music by Dan Johansson, Gustaf Dicksson, Hugo Randulv, Sofie Herner; Mastered by Kris Delacourt; Artwork by Dan Johansson; Edition of 150.

File Under: Folk, Experimental, Psych

father john

Father John Misty: Pure Comedy (Sub Pop) LP/DLX LP
Pure Comedy, Father John Misty’s third album, is a complex, often-sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015) – and the recent “Real Love Baby” single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi. You could say a lot about Pure Comedy – including that it is a bold, important album in the tradition of American songwriting greats like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen – but it’s best to let its creator describe it himself. Tillman explains: “Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, finding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like “love,” “culture,” “family,” etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence. Something like that.” Pure Comedy was recorded in 2016 at the legendary United Studios (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Beck) in Hollywood, CA. It was produced by Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, with engineering by Misty’s longtime sound-person Trevor Spencer and orchestral arrangements by renowned composer/double-bassist Gavin Bryars (known for extensive solo work, and work with Brian Eno, Tom Waits, Derek Bailey).

File Under: Indie Rock
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ferrari

Luc Ferrari: Heterozygote/Petite Symphonie… (ReGRM) LP
In the field of biology Heterozygous (Hétérozygote) means: a plant whose heredity is mixed. It implies that Hétérozygote, composed between December 1963 and March 1964, is an attempt to engineer a language located both on the musical and on the dramatic plane. You could call this music “Anecdotal Music” for if the organization of events is purely musical, their choice suggests situations justified at two levels: the music and the anecdote. Luc Ferrari explains the piece Petite Symphonie Intuitive Pour Un Paysage De Printemps (1973-1974) in 2002: “This electroacoustic music is part of a series that could be called ‘imaginary soundscape’. Unlike ‘Presque Rien Ou Le Lever Du Jour Au Bord De La Mer (Almost Nothing Or Daybreak By The Seaside)’, where the landscape narrates itself, here a traveller discovers a landscape which he tries to convey as a musical landscape. Brunhild and I were in the Gorges du Tarn area. We chose to take a small path that was going up a rocky mountain for about ten kilometres. After a last turn, a totally unexpected landscape opened before my eyes. It was sunset. Before us, a vast plateau spread open with soft curves up to the horizon, up to the sun. The colours ranged from dry grass yellow to purple, in the distance, with the darkness of a few small groves punctuating the space. The almost bare nature was presenting itself to the eye, free from any obstacle. We could see everything. Later, when I recollected this place and the sensations I had experienced there, I tried to compose a music that could revive this memory. The ‘Causse Méjean’ is a high plateau, about 1000 m high, in the Massif Central mountain range. It is dotted by scattered farms. A few people bring their flocks of sheep home. I thought about evoking this solitary and hazy human presence by including snippets of conversations I had had with some of the shepherds. Human language is woven into the musical texture; the sound of the voice says more than its actually meaning. Once, a shepherd told me ‘… I am never bored. I listen to the landscape. Sometimes I play my flute and then I listen to the echo responding…’ Thinking of him, I used the flute and its echo in my music.”

File Under: Early Electronic, Musique Concrete
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folds

Ben Folds: Songs for the Silverman (Analog Spark) LP
In tomorrow… Throughout his career, Ben Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums, as well as unique collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner. Out of print on vinyl for over 10 years, 2005’s Songs For Silverman is the second solo studio effort from the acclaimed singer-songwriter. The ballad-based 11-track set is home to the warmhearted singles “Landed and “Jesusland,” the Elliott Smith dedication “Late” and “Time” which features a cameo from Weird Al. This is Songs For Silverman’s first vinyl reissue. Audio has been sourced from the original mix reels. Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed and plated at RTI. 180-gram vinyl pressing housed in a Stoughton old style “tip-on” jacket.

File Under: Rock

mediterraneoGruppo Afro Mediterraneo: 1972 Blues Jazz Session (Black Sweat) LP
Unreleased recordings of future members of Aktuala and I.P. Son Group. The history goes back in the alternative Milan of the early ’70s, to the flavor of the first jam-blues of that era where musicians from different parts of the world (India, Africa or South-America), and of disparate backgrounds and cultures, gathered together to experiment just with an authentic sense. These four tracks seem to retrace the path of that spirit with which great pioneers, such as John Mayall and Alexis Corner, the essence of the Afro-American music masters ferried from overseas. On 1972 Blues Jazz Session, the devotion to the blues roots remains strong but an aerial and wandering component, colored as if by a magic of exotic and spiritual accents, leaks into the compositions. Hypnotic patterns of guitars flowing almost like slowed raga-grooves, free-jazz horns blowing winds of the ancient seas of the south, while voices and percussions span distant Latin or African horizons. Gruppo Afro Mediterraneo throws its eye on a cultural dimension more extensive and composite and therefore constitutes a fundamental historical document for a crucial period of Italian underground.

File Under: Jazz
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jamal

Ahmed Jamal Trio: The Awakening (Be With) LP
Ahmad Jamal is a jazz giant and The Awakening is his iconic masterpiece. The landmark deep trio session – recorded in NYC and released on Impulse! in 1970 – is an essential album and perennially sought-after on vinyl, so Be With Records are delighted to make it available again. As a “Zen master of jazz piano” and one of its greatest innovators, Jamal evolved his elegant sound with this adventurous record. The Awakening showcased his fast, richly melodic chops in remarkable variation. A consummate orchestrator of his own complex arrangements, Jamal was emboldened here by his potent sidemen. Backed by the exquisite timing of bassist Jamil Nasser and the precision of Frank Gant’s drumming, he was liberated by the reliability of the trio setup. Free to juggle rhythmic dexterity with harmonic intricacy, Jamal brilliantly performed groove-oriented compositions written by himself, alongside wonderful renditions of tracks by Herbie Hancock, Oliver Nelson and Antonio Carlos Jobim. It is impossible to discuss The Awakening without acknowledging its indelible mark on golden age rap. A defining album of hip-hop culture, producers of the highest calibre have famously sampled elements of this timeless record to lace all-timers with a foundation for their most legendary tracks. Indeed, both the experimental “DJ Premier In Deep Concentration” and Shadez Of Brooklyn’s seminal “Change” utilised Jamal’s sparse title-track to stunning effect. A melancholy motif from “I Love Music” was employed by Pete Rock for Nas’s crucial “The World Is Yours” whilst, over a more abstract refrain from the same track, Jeru memorably delivered his “Me Or The Papes” ultimatum. Over in Chicago, No I.D. elevated Common’s peerless “Resurrection” by lifting a precise riff from Jamal’s plaintive rendition of “Dolphin Dance” whilst the head-nod quality of All Natural’s hypnotic “Renaissance” owes it all to the looped keys of Jamal’s take on “You’re My Everything”. With bold beauty and unhurried grace, Ahmad Jamal plays piano differently from everyone else. He was a huge inspiration to Miles Davis and influential to how Wynton Kelly performed across Kind of Blue. In his autobiography, Miles describes being blown away by Jamal’s dynamic “concept of space, his lightness of touch [and] his understatement”. It’s why The Awakening will always be so revered. In line with the quality of all Be With reissues, the record is presented in a luxurious gatefold sleeve and comes adorned with the original eye-catching artwork throughout, along with the original sleeve notes. Simon Francis’ sensitive mastering ensures the sonics are majestic throughout and, for the first time, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.

File Under: Jazz
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jamc

Jesus & Mary Chain: Damage & Joy (Ek Ok) LP
The legendary Jesus and May Chain – fronted by the quarrelsome Reid brothers Jim and William – release their long awaited brand new studio album Damage and Joy – their first studio effort since Munki, issued back in the summer of 1998. Produced by Martin Glover aka Youth and featuring contributions from former Lush bassist Phil King and the band’s touring drummer Brian Young, the highly anticipated 14-track set includes stunning lead single “Amputation” and a re-energized new version of “All Things Must Pass” which was previously showcased in the TV show Heroes. Creation Records boss and band manager Alan McGee exclaimed, “They’ve made another album! It’s a big deal! It’s kinda enormous.”

File Under: Rock
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kangding

Kangding Ray: Hyper Opal Mantis (Stroboscoptic) LP
Triple LP version. Includes download card. The tension between the natural and artificial, the body and mind, are central themes in electronic music in general, and techno in particular, as the means of creation, focused around technology and interactions with machines, contrast with the emotional response to sound, the mystical ritual of collective dancing, and the ethos of liberation and tolerance embedded in the culture it produced. We’re navigating a world of engineered pleasures, big data monitoring of movements and consumption habits, and falsely objective representations of reality, further blurred by a reduced attention span and several opaque layers of cultural interpretation and political manipulation. Manichean simplifications are used to create hate and fear in order to achieve domination and impose limits on freedom, and the irrational belief in endless growth, increasingly disconnected from nature, led to massive environmental destructions and waves of unprecedented extinctions of species. Our primal sensuous perception, vastly more abstract, emotional and sensual, make us feel the world as an ambiguous realm we are part of, but not in control of; a complex network of interacting forces and enigmatic patterns, a matrix of overlapping desires. Rebuilding our bonds with nature, reconnecting with our senses, and spreading love in the process become an essential act of resistance. Hyper Opal Mantis is a triptych on three states of desire, and the first long player of Kangding Ray for Stroboscopic Artefacts. Hyper is the primal, sensual lust, Opal is the emotional catharsis, a blissful desire for love. Mantis, like the insect it refers to, is the destructive, fatal attraction. French-born, Berlin-based composer and producer David Letellier, aka Kangding Ray, uses the combination of slowly swelling melodies and emotionally charged machine sounds to gives way to a sensitive, rhythmic symphony of staggering beauty – a juxtaposition of organic and synthetic, of acoustic instrumentation and digitized beats. His darkly textured techno grooves – a palette of throbbing bass lines, necromantic synths, processed guitar loops, rattling walls of distortion and unorthodox field recordings – accounts for a brooding, futuristic entity that connects him with both experimental and club culture.

File Under: Electronic
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konstruct1

Konstrukt: Molto Bene (Holidays) LP
Edition of 250. In the summer of 2015, A L’ARME! Festival invited Konstrukt to perform with William Parker and Holiday Records teamed up with Matt Bordin of Outside Inside Studio to invite the quartet to play two shows in Italy on their way to Berlin. Plans overlapped leaving two days off spent playing with no interruption at Matt’s studio in Montebelluna, capturing four incredible tracks. Now, Konstrukt are well known for their many collaborations with key players and real giants of worldwide jazz scene, but – once again – having the chance to listen to the music they produce when they play “by their own” is something special. Their tribute to the past is paid with every single tune they play, but these recordings are something that can only be described as “new music”.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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konstrukt2

Konstrukt & Alexander Hawkins: Live at Cafe OTO (Holidays) LP
Istanbul-based free music ensemble Konstrukt perform alongside special guest Alexander Hawkins, building the perfect groove in a sweaty Cafe OTO on August 10th, 2015. Two sets from the same night, each a 40 minute long improvisation. The first set is a psychedelic warm-up where the Turkish quartet welcomes Hawkins in a whirlwind of hypnotic funky tunes going electric in the Miles way. The second set starts with Hawkins piano keys bouncing along a silent background soon to be filled with a groovy odd drum tempo leading to a wall of sound where all parts build a perfectly unpredictable dialogue. Edition of 200.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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lischen

Lichen Gumbo: Boilin’ (Aguirre) LP
Lichen Gumbo is a lo-fi underground rock band from Finland. Boilin’ was recorded during a week of seclusion in a small cabin deep in the woods with no running water and at home during an exceptional heat wave hitting Finland in 2014, hence the Boilin’ title for this album of hazy tunes. The selected songs range from Throbbing Gristle hits to a more noisy garage style. Mixing heavily distorted drums and guitars, vocals varying in style going from garage, no wave to totally deranged, and synth bubbles which sound like they’re recorded straight from the water surface of hot springs (or perhaps they just borrowed a Moog from Acid Mothers Temple). Lichen Gumbo are Olli Aarni and Ville Oinonen. Olli has been recording under his own name since 2011 and mostly works with electronic sounds. He has released music as Ous Mal and Nuojuva. Ville joins him for the lo-fi ride that is Lichen Gumbo. Hand-assembled sleeves; Artwork by Olli Aarni, Ville Oinonen and Mia Tarkela; Mastering by Kris Delacourt; Edition of 150.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Electronic, Rock
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nardini

Nino Nardini: Musique pour le Futur (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of Nino Nardini’s e Musique Pour Le Futur, originally released in 1970. An experimental, musique concrete, sci-fi masterpiece, available for the first time since 1970. Originally recorded for Crea Sound Ltd., a sub-label of Louis Delacour’s Neuilly imprint, Musique Pour Le Futur finds the French composer, arranger, producer, possible time-traveler, and all around music library legend Nino Nardini experimenting with synthesizers, percussions, prepared piano, echo, and special effects. Fans of electronic oddities, eerie cinematic audio-landscapes, Piero Umiliani, or Bernard Parmegiani, will rejoice at this full-length musical adventure that could very well be the soundtrack for a film in which characters from a ’70s Italian horror movie visit a distant (forbidden) planet from a ’50s sci-movie. It’s bizarre, hypnotizing, slightly spooky, always out-of-this-world, and goddamn brilliant. Nino Nardini, also known as Georges Teperino, had a very fruitful career in library music, much like longtime collaborator Roger Roger. He composed a very large amount of works for French and British libraries which continues to be featured in numerous programs (radio, TV, films) all around the world. His passion for electronic music experimentations began in the late ’60s and kept going until the ’80s. Housed in a phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark, heavy cardboard sleeve.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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castlevania 3

OST: Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Castlevania franchise with the premiere vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1989 Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System Three-quel / Prequel: Dracula’s Curse. Dracula’s Curse is a dark horse for most beloved of the original NES/Famicom trilogy, as it was a happy marriage of the linear elements of the first Castlevania and the more exploratory elements of Simon’s Quest – a union that led to the introduction of multiple playable characters, multiple paths and multiple endings – that remain franchise staples even today. The story follows Trevor Belmont, Simon’s ancestor and his battles with the prince of darkness, alongside three other warriors: Grant Danasty the Pirate, Sypha Belnades the Mystic, and Alucard, Dracula’s Son, who makes series debut here, and will play a more pivotal role in the games to come. The soundtrack to Dracula’s Curse is important as well. Not only for fan favorite track ‘Beginning,’ a track you’d be nary to find excluded from any future Castlevania game, but for the dynamic audio introduced on the Japanese version of the game. The VRC6 Audio chip contained in the Japanese version allowed for a wider array of sound channels, producing a brighter, fuller soundtrack than on the cartridge released in the US. The Nintendo Entertainment System could not process this level of audio, so the version released in the US needed to have the audio scaled back. Despite this audio handicap the US version is still terrific, and the superiority of the which version best is still a matter of debate to this day. No need to choose though, since Mondo’s vinyl re-issue contains both, spread across two 12″ LPs, housed in a gatefold jacket featuring amazing new artwork by Sachin Teng.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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contra

OST: Contra 3: Aliens Wars (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Contra franchise with the premiere Vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1992 Super Nintendo sequel: The Alien Wars. Set 3 years after the original, Red Falcon and his legion have returned to Earth, this time with the intent of launching a full-scale war against it’s inhabitants. It’s up to Bill and Lance, our heroes to scale walls, ride motorcycles, and even cling to soaring missiles in an attempt to defeat the onslaught. The music of Contra 3: The Alien Wars is epic to say the least – the looping sequences of each level are longer, taking full advantage of the new audio capabilities available to the composers on the Super Nintendo. In some instances, like with ‘Battle Runner’ which operates on-the-rails for large stretches, it affords for the composers to have some sequences to go nearly two minutes before a single loop. The sweeping scope of these tracks leads to a chaos absent from the previous chapters of the run-and-gun series, while still obeying the structures and pacing of Video Game music… Just with more complex time signatures, and percussion patterns.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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galaxy force

OST: Galaxy Force II/Thunder Blade (Data Discs) LP
For Data Discs’ tenth release in partnership with SEGA of Japan, they are excited to offer two arcade classics – Galaxy Force II (1988) and Thunder Blade (1987) – together for the first time ever on vinyl. Composed by Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Tohru Nakabayashi, both soundtracks adopted an ambitious funk and fusion style, simulating an impressive range of real world instrumentation (think synthesizers, drums, slap bass and cowbells), which for its time and hardware limitations, is nothing short of astonishing. And yes, there’s even a coded slap bass solo. These two brief, but remarkable soundtracks each accommodate a single side of an LP, but work together seamlessly. Galaxy Force II includes a bonus arranged version of its leading track, Beyond the Galaxy, produced by Hiroshi “Hiro” Kawaguchi (composer of OutRun, Space Harrier) and features a full studio band, complete with brass section and a keyboard solo by Hiro himself. In addition, the Thunder Blade side includes three unused tracks.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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monstersquad

OST: Monster Squad (Mondo) LP
Available on vinyl for the first time, Mondo is proud to present Bruce Broughton’s score to Fred Dekker directed, Shane Black scripted cult classic The Monster Squad. The Monster Squad tells the story of six suburban kids who go toe-to-toe with some of the baddest monsters of all time: The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Gillman, and Dracula join forces to unleash evil on the world, and only the titular “Monster Squad” (with a little help from Frankenstein’s monster) can stop them. Produced by Mike Matessino and Dan Goldwasser.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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gimme danger

OST: Gimme Danger (Rhino) LP
When it comes to The Stooges’ place in rock history, there’s more or less a consensus among rock critics – or as close to a consensus as you’re ever going to get with rock critics, anyway – that they’re among the greatest rock bands of all time. As such, if a director was going to put together a documentary – or “rockumentary,” if you will – about the life and times of The Stooges, one would hope that it would prove to be as memorable and historic as the band itself. It’s safe to say Jim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger delivers the goods and more and you can rest assured that the soundtrack succeeds in equal measure. With material selected by Jarmusch and Iggy Pop himself, the soundtrack focuses on tracks from The Stooges’ first three studio albums and includes such proto-punk classics as “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Loose,” “Gimme Danger” and “Down On The Street” to name a few. It’s a great compilation, and if you’ve never owned a Stooges album, it’s also the perfect gateway drug into their catalog.

File Under: OST, Rock

panzer

OST: Panzer Dragoon (Data Discs) LP
We are proud to present the first ever vinyl edition of Yoshitaka Azuma’s score to SEGA’s classic rail-shooter, Panzer Dragoon. First released in 1995 to coincide with the North American launch of the Saturn console, Panzer Dragoon has since become a cult favourite, not only for its stark art direction, inspired by renowned French artist Jean “Mobieus” Giraud, but also for its sweeping soundtrack. Composed by the late Yoshitaka Azuma, whose previous solo albums for Nippon Columbia had drawn on everything from ambient, prog, krautrock and electronic minimalism, the music of Panzer Dragoon moves between swelling orchestral pieces, blasts of rhythmic synthesis and ambient passages that wouldn’t seem out of place in the Tangerine Dream discography. When viewed as a standalone concept album, Panzer Dragoon succeeds in somehow conveying, by the sum of its seemingly dissonant parts, that most basic of human fantasies; the sensation of being in flight. In the 90s.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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shinobi

OST: Revenge of Shinobi (Data Discs) LP
Collaborating once again with legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro, Data Discs is thrilled to present one of the most revered and timeless soundtracks of the 16bit era: The Revenge of Shinobi. Composed in 1989, the music for the Mega Drive game (known as The Super Shinobi in Japan) blended Western dance music with Japanese overtones, to create something truly unlike anything else before. The soundtrack was Koshiro’s first commissioned work for SEGA and served as a forerunner to his seminal Streets of Rage trilogy, where the concepts and styles he founded with Shinobi would be expanded upon to astonishing effect.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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other people

Other People Place: Lifestyles of the Laptop Café (Warp) LP
Tucked away in the great depths of the Warp catalog is this elegant, liquid heartache of a record. An album credited to the late James Stinson, one half of cult-Detroit techno unit (alongside Gerald Donald) Drexciya, Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café stands as one of the remarkable records of the genre. Stinson died a year after its 2001 release, lending this already beautiful work endless resonance. Where the dystopian aqua-tronics of previous Drexciya were often jet-black, cold, brittle and abrasive this is a yearning soul music, played out down rain soaked streets, the buzzing lights of industry flickering in the darkness, the warm blue of a new day ready to break. This is a record where techno reached its raw, most emotive peak. Sustained pads paint minor-key melodies while electroid-vocals are buried deep in the hydrothermal mass of squelching bass-clusters and funky-filtered bleeps. At its skittering percussion core, a stripped back 808 tapestry, sequenced into myriad jazz-inflected shapes, a pulsing kick drum the snapping heartbeat, ticking hi-hats bursting from every angle. All this tingles with the ghosts of records past, of Kraftwerkian humanoids, of first-wave Detroit, of refracted Hancock and Ayres, but as Stinson intones on the fifth track, ‘let me be what I wanna be’, Lifestyles is a creation all of its own special making, a sound that would inspire the latter day deep-house machinations of Omar S, Jus-Ed, Moodymann and influence – however indirectly – a wealth of current UK/US bass operators including Actress and Kyle Hall. More importantly it remains a beguiling epitaph to Stinson’s sadly distinguished life.

File Under: Electronic, House
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strumming

Charlemagne Palestine: Strumming Music (Aguirre) LP
The classic minimal music album, available again on vinyl for the first time since the ’70s. Primed with a glass of cognac, Charlemagne Palestine sits at the keyboard of a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. One foot firmly holds down the sustain pedal while both hands perform an insistent strum-like alternation on the keys. Soon Palestine and his Bösendorfer are enveloped in sound and bathed in a shimmering haze of multi-colored overtones. For 45 minutes, this rich pulsating music swells and intensifies, filling the air. When Strumming Music first appeared on the adventurous French label Shandar during the mid-1970s, it seemed a straightforward matter to place Charlemagne Palestine in the so-called minimalist company of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, whose work also featured in the Shandar catalog. Palestine too used a deliberately restricted range of materials and a repetitive technique, but as he has often pointed out in more recent times, the opulent fullness of his music would more accurately be described as maximalist. Strumming Music, recorded in Palestine’s own loft in Manhattan, has no written score. In an age of recorded sound he still feels no need for traditional notation. The surging energy of this particular recording stands comparison with the improvising of jazz visionaries who impressed and inspired him while living in New York as a young man. But, as Palestine himself has made clear, primarily he brings to music-making the sensibility of an artist rather than a musician. Although the technique of the piece has roots in Palestine’s daily practice, when a teenager, of playing the carillon at a church, hammering sonorous chimes from a rack of tuned bells, it also draws on his later work as a body artist, staging vigorously muscular, physically demanding and often reckless performances. In addition, Strumming Music can be heard as a sculptural tour de force, while its textures connect with the color moods, plastic rhythms, and tactile space of Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionist canvases. Strumming Music remains the essential index of Palestine’s singular creative vision. Fundamentally this fascinating piece is a collaboration between an artist and an instrument. Palestine had first encountered the Bösendorfer Imperial back in 1969. “The Bösendorfer at its best is a very noisy, thick molasses piano,” he has remarked. Charlemagne Palestine embraced its clinging sonorousness, its clangorous resonance and out of that embrace came the voluptuous sonic fabric of Strumming Music.

File Under: Minimal, Avant Garde
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pallbearer

Pallbearer: Heartless (Profound Lore) LP
Heartless is an inspired collection that presents Arkansas progressive doom metal quartet Pallbearer’s most monumental material to date, offering a complex sonic architecture that weaves together the spacious exploratory elements of classic prog, the raw anthemics of 90’s alt-rock, and stretches of black-lit proto-metal. Lyrics about mortality, life, and love are set to sharp melodies and pristine three-part harmonies. As the group explains: “Instead of staring into to the void – both above and within – Heartless concentrates its power on a grim reality. Our lives, our homes and our world are all plumbing the depths of utter darkness, as we seek to find any shred of hope we can.” From the gloriously complex, sky-lit opener “I Saw the End” to the heartbreaking 13-minute closer “A Plea for Understanding,” the entire group puts forth the full realization of their vision: More than a doom band, Pallbearer is a rock group with a singular songwriting talent and emotional capacity. Heartless finds the group putting forth their strongest individual efforts to date; vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell and bassist/vocalist Joseph Rowland, along with guitarist/vocalist Devin Holt and drummer Mark Lierly, turn in peak marathon performances. Both Campbell and Rowland also handle synthesizers alongside their normal duties, and there are plenty of ambient passages and gently strummed acoustic guitars amid the crunchy electric tones, adding a moody, ethereal sparseness that compliment the towering metal that lies at the essence of Heartless. Tracked in analog at Fellowship Sound Studios in Little Rock and mixed by acclaimed producer Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age, Melvins, Soundgarden), and featuring artwork by Michael Lierly.

File Under: Metal
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pentagram

Pentagram Home Video: Satanic Path (Death Waltz) LP
Pentagram Home Video return with their sophomore record for Death Waltz Originals. Continuing the (satanic) path carved out on their debut LP Who’s Out There, broody analog electronics weave in between a thumping kick drum and snares that can snap a back at 50 paces. What Pentagram does with the 80’s infused synth template is give it space to breathe. His music is as much about what’s happening in between the bass stabs as the actual melodies themselves which gives his music an other worldly feel, the only person you could even mildly compare him too is Pye Corner Audio. In a world full of retro synth merchants PHV stands out because there is no hint of cheesy 80’s revisionism here, the music is dark, foreboding and very eerie indeed.

File Under: Electronic, OSTesque
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pio

Giusto Pio: Motore Immobile (Soave) LP
Soave present the first vinyl reissue of Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile, originally released in 1979. One of the most striking documents of Italy’s minimalist movement, Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile is a masterwork with few equivalents. Produced by Franco Battiato in 1979, at the outset of a long and fruitful period of collaboration between the two composers, and issued by the legendary Cramps Records, its triumphs were met by silence, before falling from view. Emerging on vinyl for the first time since its original pressing, Motore Immobile now sits within a reappraisal of a large neglected body of efforts made by the Italian avant-garde during the second half of the 1970s and early ’80s. It is singular, but not alone. It resonates within a collective world of shimmering sound, one familiar to fans of Battiato, Lino Capra Vaccina, Luciano Cilio, Roberto Cacciapaglia, Francesco Messina, and Raul Lovisoni. An exercise in elegant restraint – note and resonance held to the most implicit need. Everything between root and embellishment has been stripped away. A sublime organ drone, against interventions of deceptively simple structural complexity – executed by piano, violin, and voice. A sonic sculpture reaching heights which few have touched. A thing of beauty and an album as perfect as they come. The reemergence of Motore Immobile heralds what is unquestionably one of the most important reissues of 2017.

File Under: Minimal, Ambient
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sollo

Jake Sollo: s/t (Africa Seven) LP
Jake Sollo was one of the most prolific innovative musicians from Nigeria in the 70s and 80s. His talents as a rhythm guitar player saw him through much of his career where he played with several Nigerian bands of varying styles. After a stint in the beat group the Hykkers (which he formed whilst studying at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka) then went on to wider recognition as a member of the Funkees. Sollo then went on to play with famed Afro-rock group Osibisa. His stint working alongside group leader Teddy Osei. The Funkees had become very popular, not just in Nigeria where a rough demo of the track “Akula Owu Onyeara” was on constant rotation at the East-Central State Broadcasting Service, but the track was went on to be picked up by the BBC DJ John Peel. After successes in bands, Sollo went solo and found a steady stream of work in London as a session musician and a producer. He returned to Nigeria in 1981 where he produced “bouncy, high gloss boogie” which was incredibly in demand. He had a distinctive playing and producing style and was incredibly popular. He utilized synthesizers which were uncommon in Nigeria at the time. The 1979 “Jake Sollo” self titled album was produced for Pye / Disques Esperance in London. Touches of pop, plenty of African groove, moments of psychedelica… all bound together with Jakes distinctive guitar playing and sleek production. These are sounds that are reminiscent of African music lovers contemporary of Sollo such as David Byrne and Talking Heads, and Paul Simon in Graceland, but with a glittering grooviness that is all Jake Sollo. Sadly Jakes career was cut short when he tragically died in a car accident in 1985. Depriving the world of no doubt what would have been decades of more innovative and creative music.

File Under: Africa, Psych, Boogie
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timber

Timber Timbre: Sincerely, Future Pollution (Arts & Crafts) LP
In Tomorrow… Timber Timbre’s music has always traced a shadowed path, using cues of the past to fuse the sound of a distant, haunted now. On its fourth record – Sincerely, Future Pollution – Timber Timbre coats the stark, sensual sound of 2014’s Hot Dreams in an oil-black rainbow of municipal grime. It is the cinema of a dizzying dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time. First single – “Sewer Blues” – is an ironclad groove marked by plodding, heavy rhythm, cavernous delay, and a backdrop of starry synthesizers. The scene is set with the long cold tones of album starter “Velvet Glove & Spit” and Taylor Kirk’s warm but mournful vocals. For the recording, the trio – armed with “secret weapon” Olivier Fairfield on drums – traveled to La Frette chateau outside Paris, where they looked to the studio’s array of archetypal synthesizers for the flesh of the songs. Be it the freedom of recording abroad, or the revelation of these unexplored instruments, Timber Timbre found a release from artistic constriction and created its most daring work yet. Perhaps for the first time, Timber Timbre indulged its alleged “decade drift” – from the self-titled record’s 50s doo-wop, to Creep On Creepin On’s oblique 60s folk, and Hot Dreams’ 70s caprice – allowing the tools to personify the songs. A blend of the album’s mid-apocalyptic setting and its idyllic recording, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a romance of neoteric machines and dark, futuristic hues: with promise as beautiful as it is unsettling. The result is a newfangled sound with the plastic, cinematic tint of 80s avarice. “Grifting” struts, literally grifts, a deep, synthetic funk, with brash determination never before heard in Timber Timbre’s earthy catalogue. “Moment” glints with dazzling synthesizers – hiding heartbreak with the mastery of Nick Cave’s most elegant dirges – before devolving into a fray of shredded guitar. The title track growls with low-end urgency then combusts in a cloud of chiming sequencers. “Western Questions” lurks like the exotic, deserted remnants of Hot Dreams’ “Grand Canyon,” while “Bleu Night” is electrified with vocoder verses and the poltergeist of seven billion handheld devices. If each Timber Timbre record is framed in genre play, on Sincerely, Future Pollution, the components are the most askew: the glam of Roxy Music; the plaintive pop of Talk Talk; the disquiet of Suicide; the invincibility of Talking Heads; the haunting This Mortal Coil. All (and more) unlikely references are present, tethering Timber Timbre’s experimentation to points of familiarity. The range is an acute angle from New Age to Popular French Disco Revival like Daft Punk and Air, filtered through Timber Timbre’s painterly imagination. Freshly exhumed, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a portent from the bygone year 2016:

File Under: Indie Rock
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tonstarts

Tonstartssbandht: Sorcerer (Mexican Summer) LP
Sorcerer is the first full-length studio album from Andy and Edwin White, the Florida / New York duo known as Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit). On Sorcerer, the brothers chart a heavenly course above the storm and stress, one explored over years of touring and a poetic language forged between performers and siblings. Sorcerer offers three long form depictions of Tonstartssbandht’s boundless spirit; ambitious noise rock narratives buoyed in a swampy sonic scene of delay, distortion, and virtuosic interplay. The album displays larger lyrical concepts within the framework of a guitar and drums duo; Andy’s guitar and vocal loops creating a cascading sheet of interpretative reverb and future melodies, Ed’s high-stakes drumming divided every which way but loose, a deep canvas of cohabitating sounds. Recorded live in the living room of Le Wallet, the affectionate name of Andy and Ed’s former Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment (additional vocals were added after a move back to their hometown – and present dwellings – of Orlando, Florida), elements of the environment Sorcerer was captured – a water heater’s hiss, a passing cop car siren, the rumble of the train – bleed in and out while the music fills the room to reflect its very shape. Lyrically shaped by relapse, recovery, and lost relationships, the brothers’ harmonized voices and trademark glossolalia shade the songs of Sorcerer with a beautiful, unsettled subtext. A desirous unmaking of design happens across the three album parts, eventually recovering and cohering as an earnest, honest experience. Andy and Ed never halt their working pace, and never cease to stroll the path they’ve invented despite the challenges at hand. Intentionally striving for and then subverting self-sabotage, weathering the storm they’ve summoned, Sorcerer is the romantic abstract of this invented space and the individual’s relationship with that space. It is raw and flawed, but brilliant and real because it is intentionally so. This is Tonstartssbandht at the height of their song – and story – craft, channeling pure motion and emotion through a soulful filter at the speed of sorcery. Witness the incantation and let the spell take hold.

File Under: Indie Rock
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zeit1

Zeit: Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records present a reissue of Zeit’s Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo, originally released in 1979. In the late ’70s, the Italian music scene’s renewed interest in sound research involved a stimulating fusion of popular elements, jazz improvisation, and suggestions of the middle-oriental classical heritage. Starting from the experience of Aktuala, the idea of a common “Mediterranean air” that could compare and harmonize rhythms and timbres of various regions, enlivened a large number of musicians. In this context, it also placed the short history of Zeit and one of their main member Andrea Tamassia, who played and recorded with Aktuala. Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo, their first album, seems to be a continuation of Aktuala’s music. It presents a compendium of styles and shapes, a collection of letters and visual notes from various places (Greece, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Maghreb, Balcan Area, etc.), rearranged in the form of a hypothetical diary, in order to create an unknown narrative scenario. In the music of Zeit, there are no formalistic or philological purposes, but it triumphs with an attitude of imaginative incorporation that is always changing. The rich poly-instrumentalism brings the rhythms of dance and ancient melodies, but also results in a palette of more abstract and ecstatic sounds, with rare experimental lyricism that approaches the Florentine ensemble to the significant European experiences of The Incredible String Band or Third Ear Band.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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zeit2

Zeit: Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records present a reissue of Zeit’s second album Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori, originally released in 1981. With Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori, Zeit re-propose their own vision of a new cultural multi-geographical mosaic without boundaries. The sound confirms the inspired and eclectic vein of previous work, suggesting a greater conviction and maturity of intent. The arrangements tend to dilate more alchemical and hypnotic sequences, while the range of inspirations (Balkan music, Greek, Turkish, Persian, African, etc.) and the poly-instrumentalism is more precious and varied. Decisively more experimental compositions such as “Gli Antichi Colori”, “Nuovo Orizzonte”, or “Kalimba”, are indicative of an unparalleled executive expertise that flows into meditative and introspective delights by resonances now more obscure or solar. The compresence of popular European and Middle-East atmospheres act as a strong reminder to the world of dance, suggesting once again the charm of the meeting between East and West, in view of brotherhood and solidarity among peoples. So, the “Circle” relieves itself almost like a sound tale of distant and ancient Byzantine, Arab, and Christian novels, according to a nomadic spirit that finds in music the preferred journey to joy and love. This reissue includes a 7″ with two unreleased live tracks, further enriching the repertoire of one of the most original group that Italy has ever known.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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sodiac

Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (Pure Pleasure) LP
The 1967 concept album, The Zodiac – Cosmic Sounds, features both music and spoken narration on the theme of signs of the zodiac. Based on an initial idea by Elektra chief Jac Holzman, it was a collaborative effort with music written by Mort Garson, words by Jacques Wilson, and narration by Cyrus Faryar. The early use of the Moog synthesizer was by Paul Beaver. There was no artist called either The Zodiac or Cosmic Sounds, a fact which confused some LP buyers. The back sleeve informed listeners that the record “Must Be Played In The Dark.” It was heavily played by John Peel on his Perfumed Garden shows, where he used it as a basis for a competition (he had been sent a copy by Clive Selwood, the then head of Elektra’s London office and later to become Peel’s manager). The LP was extremely popular with Perfumed Garden listeners and was mentioned in the lyrics of Geoffrey Prowse’s fan tribute to the program, “The Perfumed Garden Blues” or “John Peel’s Lament.” An absolutely essential conceptual psych masterpiece culled from the original analogue masters and pressed on 180g vinyl!

File Under: Early Electronic
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esterno giorno

Various: Esterno Giorno (Four Flies) LP
Chapter two of a compilation project centered around and inside the secret archives of RCA’s glorious soundtrack catalogue – full of unreleased tracks from great Italian soundtrack Maestros such as Gianfranco Reverberi, Armando Trovajoli, Piero Piccioni, Paolo Ormi, Nico Fidenco, and so on. Light and joyful music made for plein air sequences of 60’s and 70’s Italian cinema. Presented here is an explosive mixture of jazz, blues, funk, psychedelia, and spicy exotica, composed for a wide range of movies, from thrillers to sexy comedies, and from TV sci-fi to superhero films.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych

notte

Various: Esterno Notte (Four Flies) LP
A trip into unchartered Italian RCA film music vaults, including lots of unreleased gems from great Italian soundtrack Maestros such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Giuliano Sorgini, Piero Umiliani, Alberto Baldan Bembo, Giovanni Tommaso, and so on. As an uninterrupted flow of lost soundtracks from the most subversive and psychedelic age of Italian cinema, Esterno Notte evokes, above all, the night time cityscape settings of Italian movies of the 70’s (thriller, horror, erotic, comedy, noir, and action). It captures that spirit and its musical core with a captivating concentration of funk, jazz-funk, deep breaks, prog and psych – all capable of seducing even today’s dancefloors.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych

…..Restocks…..

David Axelrod: Messiah (RCA) LP
Badbadnotgood: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Bad Religion: Suffer (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion: No Control (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion: Generator (Epitaph) LP
Beach house: Devotion (Carpark) LP
Art Blakey: Moanin’ (Blue Note) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Sunset (Pias) LP
James Brown: Funky People 2 (Get on Down) LP
Cavern of Antimatter: Blood Drums (Duphonic) LP
Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
Gene Clark: No Other (Music on Vinyl) LP
Coil: Astral Disaster (Prescription) LP
Sam Cooke: One Night Stand (AS) LP
Betty Davis: Columbia Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Doom: Born Like This (Lex) LP
Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (Warp) LP
Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen (Sommer) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Kid Koala: Music to Draw To (Arts & Crafts) LP
King Crimson: Red (Disciple) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Liars: They Were Wrong So We Drown (Mute) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Berlin (Bornbad) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Marine Girls: Beach Party (Cherry Red) LP
MC5: Kick Out The Jams (Rhino) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Moon B: Lifeworld (Growing Bin) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (EMI) LP
NOFX: Punk in Drublic (Epitaph) LP
Paternoster: s/t (Now Again) LP
Peace: Black Power (Now Again) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow OST (Secretly Canadian) LP
SJOB Movement: Friendship (Cultures of Soul) LP
Smiths: Louder than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Songs: Ohia: Ghost Tropic (Secretly Canadian) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Rhino) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Toots & The Maytals: In The Dark (Get on Down) LP
Giuliano Sorgini: Zoo Folle (Four Flies) LP
Various: The Ballad of JFK (Iron Mountain) LP

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