Well, that sure was a day! Thanks a ton to everyone who came out and braved the sketchy weather, stood in line, was super chill, bought a bunch of stuff, and helped us all have a super rad time! Congrats to all our prize winners. Lastly a huge thanks to Elm Cafe for coming out and supplying coffee in the morning and 3 sweet coffee prize packs, and Local 124 for the sweet skateboards!
…..pick of the week…..
Graeme Miller & Steve Shill: The Moomins OST (Finders Keepers) LP
Imagine, if you will, a foreboding homemade electro-acoustic, new age, synth-driven, proto-techno, imaginary world music created on a Portastudio soundtrack for a Polish-made animated fantasy based on a Finnish modern folk tale and created for German and Austrian TV, composed in 1982 by two politically-driven post-punk theater performers from a shared house in Leeds. To even the most perspicacious and adventurous of alternative music fans, the genuine bloodline of this previously unreleased record already begins to sound like an entire record collection in one sitting. It would be surprising if this project’s ambitious and exotic credentials didn’t tick at least one box on your musical matrix and without one drop of unnecessary nostalgic hyperbole this project already sounds like the perfect fantasy record that you’ve never heard. From the same social landscape as Gang Of Four, The Mekons, and Impact Theatre Co-operative – armed with a Wasp synthesizer, an ocarina, and a cassette of the Robinson Crusoe music taped off the TV, Graeme Miller and Steve Shill used minimum means for maximum mayhem, instilling over 35 years of dream-like illusory fuzziness and freakiness into the memories of a generation of school age TV addicts waiting for the next five minute fix of outer national fuzzy felt folklore. Collected here, all in one place for the first time, Finders Keepers, in close collaboration with the original composers, present the first-ever full soundtrack release for the UK-specific cult animated series. Finders Keepers take the original homemade micro-melodies and reintroduce them to a musical landscape where fans of vintage electronics, concrète tape effects, pocket percussion, and domestic synths are finally ready to be reunited with the magnetic music of Moominvalley.
File Under: OST, Electronic, Fuzzy Felt Folk
Ellen Arkbro : Organ & Bass (Subtext) LP
For Organ And Brass is comprised of two works by the Stockholm-based composer Ellen Arkbro. Both works focus on tuning, intonation, and harmonic modulation. In previous projects, Arkbro composed for early music ensembles, wrote a series of durational pieces utilizing synthetic tones and processed guitars, and, most recently, presented a work lasting 26 days at the Stockholm Concert Hall. For Organ And Brass looks back to Arkbro’s studies in just intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and their disciple Jung Hee Choi in New York, as well as with kindred spirit Marc Sabat in Berlin. The title composition was written for an organ with a specific kind of historical tuning known as meantone temperament. It was only after locating an appropriate instrument — the Sherer-Orgel dating back to 1624 in St. Stephen’s Church in Tangermünde, Northeastern Germany — that Arkbro set about recording both for organ and brass and its counterpart, Three. “Hidden within the harmonic framework of the Renaissance organ are intervals and chords that bare a close resemblance to those found in the modalities of traditional blues music,” explains Arkbro. “The work can be thought of as a very slow and reduced blues music.” The work moves gradually through a series of long, sustained tones played by the organ and in parallel by a brass trio comprised of horn, tuba, and trombone. Arkbro’s treatment of pitch resembles the tuning strategies of La Monte Young. The brass parts were performed by microtonal brass trio Zinc & Copper, a group whose repertoire has included works by C.C. Hennix and Christian Wolff. In Arkbro’s words, “the brass instruments and the organ fall into patterns of interaction in which a new breathing instrument emerges.” Three, which follows the 20-minute title work, deploys the same principles of harmonic relativity. In removing the organ from the instrumentation and switching to a different meter, Three acts as an intimate counterpoint to the ritual drone cycles of the title piece. For Organ And Brass was recorded in Tangermünde, Germany in September 2016. The performers were Johan Graden (organ), Elena Kakaliagou (horn), Hilary Jeffery (trombone), and Robin Hayward (tuba). Ellen Arkbro’s work has been performed in Brooklyn, Stockholm, Norberg, Bologna, Gothenburg, Berlin, Birmingham, and Malmö, and on Swedish National Radio.
File Under: Ambient, Minimalism, Classical
Robbie Basho: The Grail & The Lotus (Takoma) LP
A reissue of Robbie Basho’s The Grail & The Lotus, originally released in 1966. It’s become an oft-quoted statement that John Coltrane was the Father, Pharaoh Sanders was the Son, and Albert Ayler, the Holy Ghost. It could arguably apply to the holy trinity of steel string guitarists as well. Many claim John Fahey to be the Father, Kottke was considered the Son, and Robbie Basho would certainly be considered the Holy Ghost. The Basho/Ayler similarities are many, and both pushed their idioms further physically and emotionally than all of their respective contemporaries. The Grail & The Lotus was Basho’s second release for the Takoma label, preceding the wildly prolific year of 1967 that produced three absolute classics with the Falconers Arm sets and Basho Sings. Supposedly the thematics of The Grail & The Lotus came to Basho while recovering from a feverish bout of pneumonia, and in that state Basho envisioned and expressed a simultaneous glimpse of the Feudal Age, European and Japanese evocations side-by-side, both co-mingling with Knighthoods in Flower. A truly outsider take on the American primitive genre, The Grail & The Lotus is finally reissued for the first time on vinyl, 50 years after its initial release. Beautifully remastered; Edition of 500.
File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
Robbie Basho: Basho Sings (Takoma) LP
A reissue of Robbie Basho’s Basho Sings, originally released in 1967. It’s become an oft-quoted statement that John Coltrane was the Father, Pharaoh Sanders was the Son, and Albert Ayler, the Holy Ghost. It could arguably apply to the holy trinity of steel string guitarists as well. Many claim John Fahey to be the Father, Kottke was considered the Son, and Robbie Basho would certainly be considered the Holy Ghost. The Basho/Ayler similarities are many, and both pushed their idioms further physically and emotionally than all of their respective contemporaries. Basho Sings was Basho’s fifth release for the Takoma label and as the title proclaims, Basho Sings showcases a unique voice that transcends the limitations of the vocal form. He’s left the pentatonic raga scales of his previous releases and showcases a unique and unparalleled take on the folk/blues song idiom. A truly outsider take on the American primitive genre, Basho Sings is finally reissued for the first time on vinyl 50 years after its initial release. Beautifully remastered; Edition of 500.
File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
Basic House: I Could Tell You… (Alter) LP
The second album from Basic House for Alter takes a sober turn towards the thematic intersection of occult knowledge and globalized black operations, brokering a piercing anxiety throughout, from the tension between the scale of the politics being invoked and the familiarity of the covert identity tactics to music cultures, subcultures, and the like. The opening track to I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me turns from a naive fatalism to an addled stream of consciousness that flirts, just about, with psychosis, establishing the record’s push-and-pull between the local and the global, the personal and the public. Swarming, hinged string sections light the way ahead, barely hinting at the edges of a space with a rhythm, as if attempting to induce claustrophobia with the engulfing rush of total darkness. In moments of continually tapering collages, Basic House appeals to paranoia. Never sustained to the point of exhaustion, it frames the placid momentum of its quieter passages when seemingly domestic recordings collapse into cracked dub motifs. However, more critically, it signals the play between the hyper-vigilant mindset that seeks to protect itself and its order, and the intuitive processes by which we code the means for this into our social signaling and general communication.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
Black Angels: Death Song (Partisan) LP
In tomorrow… Austin’s psych rock masters The Black Angels return with Death Song, the five-piece’s first full-length release in four years and their debut for Partisan Records. Written and recorded in large part during the recent election cycle, the music on Death Song serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. Opening cut “Currency,” a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building psychedelic earworm “Half Believing” questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion. Recorded between Seattle and Austin, Death Song features production from Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins). The 11-track collection offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound – menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream. Double vinyl LP comes with a sticker, poster, and digital download card.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Buttertones: Gravedigging (Innovative Leisure) LP
The Buttertones’ Gravedigging is more a movie waiting to happen than an album—or a soundtrack just waiting to inspire a movie, with scene after scene of action, tension and release set to a sound that takes everything good and true about American music before the Beatles prettied it up (surf, sweet soul, the boss saxophone-overdrive garage of the Northwest wailers like the Sonics) and matches it to punk energy, post-punk precision and the kind of personality that blows the circuit-breakers at a backyard party. The Buttertones started their own journey in 2011 as three music school misfits (or drinking buddies, they say) in the heart of Hollywood, happy to learn how to to play, produce and perform but less excited about frequent go-nowhere conversations with classmates who had little interest in either the past or the future of music. So that’s why bassist Sean Redman (also a former member of Cherry Glazerr) felt like he’d lucked out when he found guitarist/singer Richard Araiza and drummer/polyinstrumentalist Modesto ‘Cobi’ Cobiån: “Cobi and Richardwere the first guys I met where I thought they knew what they were talking about,” he says. “They had good influences—they weren’t just trying to pander. Their first rehearsals were in a Hollywood bedroom where Redman was living on an air mattress, then Araiza finally locked down Boettcher—who he’d often see responding to the same casting calls as he did—to replace another guitarist who was transitioning back to family life even as the Buttertones prepared their debut release, a self-titled cassette on L.A.’s garage-pop Lolipop label. Then they absorbed sax player London Guzmån (formerly in Long Beach’s Wild Pack of Canaries with breakout local Rudy De Anda) after spotting him at a local DJ night, recruiting him for their sophomore album American Brunch—and discovering the kind of chemistry they didn’t know they were missing. Says Araiza: “We’re proud to be a legit band. It’s a very collaborative process—we rely on each other. I feel that’s rare nowadays, especially with rock bands.” When it came time to make Gravedigging—the follow-up to a special issue 8” for Innovative, which ended up pulling them aboard the label full-time—they knew it was time to go deeper and get dirtier. Recorded at Jazzcats studio in Long Beach—home-away-from-home to fellow Innovative Leisure artists Hanni El Khatib, Tijuana Panthers, Wall of Death and more—in the spring of 2016, the sessions were supercharged with hard-won live experience from endless street-level shows and relentless midnight-to-six rehearsals at the Buttertones lock-out, then focused even further by the insight and vision of producer Jonny Bell. (“Jonny pushed us like crazy,” says Boettcher. “He had so many ideas all the time.”) Think of it this way: you might not yet know how the band that made Gravedigging is going to land—but you know it’s going to hit hard.
File Under: Rock
Don Cherry: Music, Wisdom, Love 1969 (Cacophonic) LP
Reaching a near-mythical status amongst fans of free jazz’s most worldly intrepid explorer, these seldom heard Paris soundtrack sessions known as Music, Wisdom, Love have evaded collectors’ grasps and confused historians for exactly 50 years. Instigated in Paris in 1967 and filmed during Don Cherry’s downtime on a visit to the Chat qui Pêche nightclub in March 1967, where he played with Karl Berger, Henri Texier, and Jacques Thollot, the bulk of this cinematic portrait was filmed on the streets of Paris under the direction of creative all-rounders Jean-Noël Delamarre and Nathalie Perrey, who, as their careers bloomed, would become pivotal figures in underground French cinema – straddling La Nouvelle Vague, adult entertainment, and cinema fantastique in what can only be described as speedball cinema. As the supportive creative family that primarily played home to French vampire/horrortica director Jean Rollin, both Nathalie and Jean-Noël, his brother Jean-Philippe Delamarre and a small team of other fans of oblique media would be responsible for a vibrant micro-culture that awkwardly flourished on the outskirts on the Parisian new wave – combining comic book culture, Lettrism, sexual liberation, psychedelic rock, graphic design, and, with this record as prime example, free jazz and avant-garde music. What previously might have been regarded as an unlikely coupling, with the benefit of half a century of archival hindsight, this release documents the essential cosmic collision of two fantastic planets. Available here for the first time ever and licensed from producer and director Jean-Noël Delamarre himself.
File Under: Jazz, Improv, OST
Jarvis Cocker/Chilly Gonzales: Room 29 (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
In tomorrow… Compelling new Deutsche Grammophon album Room 29, a unique collaboration between Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales, asks what the ghosts of Hollywood’s golden age can tell us about how we came to be where we are today. Standing at the west end of Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, the Chateau Marmont hotel has seen many a famous and infamous guest pass through its doors since it opened in 1929. A 2012 stay in one of its second-floor rooms inspired British lyricist and singer Jarvis Cocker to look into its history and led to this collaborative project with multi-faceted Canadian pianist and composer Chilly Gonzales. Gonzales’ score and Cocker’s lyrics conjure up the lives of some of Room 29’s previous occupants, as well as shining a light on the glittering fantasy and often bleak reality of Hollywood. “If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont,” noted Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures, in 1939. Cocker was intrigued by the hotel’s links to the history of the film industry. He found the key to creativity in the fact that Room 29 contained a baby-grand piano. What if it could “sing” of the life stories and events it had witnessed? The idea also ignited Gonzales’s imagination, and both artists embarked on a three-year journey of artistic discovery, unearthing details about guests such as Jean Harlow, Mark Twain’s daughter Clara, and Los Angeles mobster Meyer Cohen, alias “Mickey the Haberdasher.” As well as dramatizing some of those stories, their songs capture both the essential loneliness of the hotel room and the ways in which moving images have “moved” people in ways they don’t quite understand. Gonzales and Cocker have drawn on the 19th-century model of the song cycle for a structure capable of containing the broad sweep of emotions and states of mind elicited by the real and imaginary dramas of one unusual hotel suite. Room 29 emerges as metaphor for a place within each of us, home to our deepest desires and fantasies. The Hamburg-based string quartet Kaiser Quartett also plays a prominent part in Room 29, providing a sonorous tonal complement to Gonzales’ piano writing and accompanying Cocker’s vocals.
File Under: Classical, Vocal, OST
Derdiyoklar Ikilisi: Disco-Folk (Pharaway Sounds) LP
Pharaway Sounds present a reissue of Derdiyoklar Ikilisi’s Disco-Folk, originally released in 1984. More demented, brain-damaging Turkish electro-saz and synth drums galore by the mighty Derdiyoklar duo. Anadolu pop doesn’t get weirder than this. These two Turkish guys armed with electro-saz, guitar, drums, and synthesizers were hitting the Turkish market in Germany where they lived, playing their sets of traditional flavored electro-folk in weddings and circumcision feasts for Turkish emigrants in Germany. That crazy is the story, that crazy is their sound.
File Under: Turkish, Psych, Electro, Wedding Music
Die Todliche Doris: “” (Etats-Unis) LP
“Die Tödliche Doris was born out of West Berlin’s lively post-punk community in the early ’80s. Along with Einstürzende Neubauten, Malaria, Sprung Aus Den Wolken and Frieder Butzmann, Die Tödliche Doris ranks amongst the Geniale Dilletanten — which roughly translates as ‘ingenious dilettantes’ — who sought to democratize cultural productions beyond the grip of both Western capitalism and GDR socialism. The Geniale Dilletanten became synonymous with a free-for-all approach to music, film, painting and performance where participants encouraged raw expression through provocation and experimentation. Wolfgang Müller and Nikolaus Utermöhlen founded Die Tödliche Doris in 1980, presenting the public persona of Doris as a constantly shifting entity that deliberately engaged the contradictions of the human condition. The band often referenced themselves in the third person singular, alluding to Doris as a fully-formed female character with explosive, colorful emotions. For her debut album — originally released on Zickzack in 1982 and playfully titled ” ” (that is, blank space surrounded by quotation marks) — Doris most closely entertains the notion of a typical rock band with drums, bass and guitar. Produced by Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld, the thirteen songs presented here are disquieting lullabies of profound anxiety, savage and primitive deconstructions of German polka and manic lacerations of punk minimalism: all reflections of the many and fractured personalities of Doris. This first-time vinyl reissue includes a reproduction of the original 24-page booklet. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Experimental, No-Wave
Tod Dockstader: Eight Electronic Pieces (Etats-Unis) LP
“Originally self-released in 1961 and later issued by Folkways, Tod Dockstader’s Eight Electronic Pieces is a foundational document of American electronic music and a stunning first work from this revolutionary composer. Refused access to the resources and funding of the academy and without any interest from the record industry, Dockstader assembled his debut album through three years of his own private labor — recording after-hours at the New York radio station where he worked. Dockstader’s approach was informed by the laboratory experiments of his European contemporaries Edgar Varèse and Pierre Schaefer as well as by the aleatory compositional techniques and neo-dadaist aesthetics of John Cage. While Dockstader famously described his music as ‘organized sound,’ Eight Electronic Pieces is not pure musique concrète. Oscillators pulse and clash with fragments of incidental tape music, leaving collages of sound as tuneful and memorable as they are otherworldly. A visionary debut that presages the abstract ambience of modern IDM and an essential addition to any collection of early electronic music. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
El Michels Affair: Return to the 37th Chamber (Big Crown) LP
“The wait is over, Return To The 37th Chamber is El Michels Affair’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009’s underground cult classic Enter the 37th Chamber. Churning out classic records since then for the likes of Lee Fields, The Arcs, The Shacks, and tons more, it is clear that EMA’s signature sound is stronger & sharper than ever. This time, in addition to re-interpreting the Wu compositions for a live band, EMA pays homage to the production and sonic fog that makes a RZA beat so recognizable. Producer and bandleader Leon Michels recorded the album completely analog, sometimes hitting 6 generations of tape before it was ready for mixing, giving the Return to The 37th Chamber its own hazy sound. Adding to the unique fidelity, the record is laced with psychedelic flourishes, ‘John Carpenter’ synths, heavy metal guitars, triumphant horns, and traditional Chinese instruments that make up for the lack of the Wu’s superlative vocals. From start to finish it’s a dark trip that walks the line between RZA’s timeless hip-hop aesthetic and the cinematic soul EMA has become known for. El Michels Affair tackles some classics like ‘4th Chamber’ and ‘Wu Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit’, as well as some deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s ‘Snakes’, Raekwon’s ‘Verbal Intercourse’, and ‘Shaolin Brew’, Wu-Tang’s contribution to the St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign from 1994. This time El Michels brings some of the Big Crown family along for the ride. Lee Fields handles vocal duties on ‘Snakes’ and is joined by Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of ‘Tearz’, which pays as much homage to the Wendy Rene sample as it does to the Wu-Tang Clan. Lady Wray makes an appearance on the cover of Method Man’s hit, ‘All I Need’, lending her vocal prowess to what gave the Wu one of their biggest hits of all time. Interspersed throughout the record are some original interludes that are like the ‘rug that ties the room together,’ giving Return To The 37th Chamber a cinematic narrative that makes it a proper El Michels Affair record and not just a collection of covers. From the music to the presentation, this album is a perfect example of what can only be achieved through diversity. The end result is as much a kaleidoscope of influences and multiculturalism as the city it was recorded in. El Michels Affair is once again, ‘sounding out the city’ that raised them, pulling elements of art and culture from across the country and around the globe to create an album truly unique in its own right.”
File Under: Funk, Wu-Tang
Fiver: Audible Songs From Rockwood (Idee Fixe) LP
Simone Schmidt, aka Fiver, is a Toronto-based musician working within the frame of traditional North American folk music. Her latest album Audible Songs From Rockwood is a series of eleven fictional field recordings, gathered from case files of patients at the Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1854-1881. The rigour of Schmidt’s writing process is shown through the work: Over the course of 2 years, Schmidt pored over the asylum’s primary documents – patient files, architectural diagrams, superintendents’ diaries – spinning her findings into historical fiction and, from there, into song. The voices on the record are crafty, witty, evasive, despondent, and lucid. Audible Songs of Rockwood shapes its subject matter as expertly as any old bluesman would, with wit, baseless optimism, sadness, and even joy. Using a strictly acoustic sonic pallet and working with some heavies in the Old Time folk tradition (John Showman, Max Heineman, Chris Coole, Kristine Schmidt) and odd ball instrumentalists (Cris Derksen, Alia O’brien of Blood Ceremony) the performances carry forward potent gateways to explore the tragedy and optimism that gives traditional roots music its soul, while also giving voice to people, living in the margins of History, out of sight and mind. The album is accompanied by a book written by fictional ethnomusicologist, Simone Carver, written in the style of the liner notes of Smithsonian Folkways compilations. It includes lyrics and supplemental information about the historical context of the inmates and their songs along with original artwork by Darby Milbraith, Geneva Hailey, Jennifer Castle, Jeff Bierk and Julianna Neufeld. The package carries questions about the archive as an apparatus of colonial power, definitions of sanity and criminality, and the early settler-colonial agenda foundational to those modes of thought still operating in today’s carceral system. For almost a decade, Schmidt has been a cult figure in the Canadian underground, writing new life into and around the Folk, Country and Rock songs. Critically outspoken about politics, sharp, and largely evading the branding of the music industry proper by working under several aliases, Schmidt has several times been named one of Canada’s best songwriters. Anyone who has seen her perform remembers her distinctly either from her tenure as the front person and songwriter for celebrated country act One Hundred Dollars (2007-11) or psych rock unit The Highest Order (2011-ongoing), or from her psych folk solo work as Fiver (2012 – on). Schmidt has five LP’s to her writing credit, collaborations with artists as wide ranging as hardcore punk phenomenon Fucked Up, to the inimitable USGirls, and Old Time and Bluegrass veteran Chris Coole. Schmidt has produced original works for film (World Famous Gopher Hole Museum, Land of Destiny) and appears as a guest vocalist a number of records, including Doug Paisley, Tasseomancy and Shotgun Jimmie.
File Under: Folk, CanCon
Flying Saucer Attack: Distance (VHF) LP
First ever US vinyl of the second album by Bristol’s Flying Saucer Attack. This edition of the LP is produced in full collaboration with FSA / Dave Pearce. Originally released on VHF as a compact disc at the end of 1994, this was the second FSA album, compiling five tracks from impossible-to-get seven-inches with twenty minutes of previously unreleased (and good) material. Similar in blend to the band’s first LP (also newly issued in the USA on deluxe vinyl), the songs hang together as a collection that improves on the individual singles. The two proper singles that make up half of Distance — “Soaring High” / ”Standing Stone” and “Crystal Shade” / ”Distance” were instant collectables upon their release, so this album was compiled to make the songs permanently available. “Soaring High” and “Crystal Shade” are jagged bits of fuzzed-out pop genius; tracks like the mutant concrete “techno” of “Distance” and the two lengthy glissando workouts on “Oceans” and “Oceans II” offset the more conventional tunes, upping the overall impact as a whole album.
File Under: Space Rock, Shoe Gaze
Flying Saucer Attack: s/t (VHF) LP
“First-ever US vinyl of the debut album by Bristol’s Flying Saucer Attack, and first vinyl edition of any kind since 1993! This edition of the album is produced in full collaboration with FSA/Dave Pearce. Aka Rural Psychedelia, Flying Saucer Attack’s first album was released in 1993 after a couple of instantly sold-out singles. Released at the height of the shoegaze boom, the album is a blend of memorable fuzzed out songs and far-out instrumental doodles, sidestepping the rock bombast of many contemporaries in favor of a home-made aesthetic. FSA’s blend of razor-edged static, softly sung melody, and echoing atmospherics builds a dour beauty that sustains itself over the course of the entire program. ‘My Dreaming Hill,’ ‘Wish,’ and ‘The Season Is Ours’ are couched in fuzz and whispery reverb, but are beautiful and accessible tunes, able to stand on their own in any context. ‘Popol Vuh 1’ and ‘Popol Vuh 2’ are straight up tributes to the now much better known German masters, steeped in the hushed atmosphere of the best Vuh records (if not exactly the sound).”
File Under: Space Rock, Shoe Gaze
Future Islands: The Far Field (4AD) LP
The Far Field refines and builds on the breakthroughs of the Baltimore-based trio’s 2014 album Singles, bursting with undeniable hooks and disarmingly honest lyrics written by Samuel T. Herring (vocals, lyrics), William Cashion (bass, guitars) and Gerrit Whelmers (keyboards, programming). After the success of Singles and the hundreds of Future Islands shows played in that period, the band began writing new material on the coast of North Carolina, and continued throughout the year in Baltimore before road-testing these songs at a series of secret shows under fake names. Later that year, they traveled to Los Angeles to record with Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound, where everyone from The Beach Boys to Prince have laid down masterpieces. With string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn, The Far Field is the first Future Islands record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on David Letterman’s late night TV show. Blondie’s Debbie Harry also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate track “Shadows.” Across The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road, Future Islands brilliantly expresses the band’s central themes they’ve been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it.
File Under: Indie Rock, Synth Pop
Ganimian: Come With Me To The Casbah (Cacophonic) LP
Oft overlooked for over half a century while misfiled amongst exploit bellydance records and holidaymaker souvenirs this one-off twelve track album is the only existing full-length record by the best-kept mutant musical secret of the Armenian American diaspora, oud pop maestro Charles ‘Chick’ Ganimian. One of the earliest examples of any kind of recorded fusion between rhythm heavy pop music and traditional Turkish music, Ganimian’s developments in New York City – with his sadly unrecorded turk jerk combo The Nor-Ikes (New Dawn) combo – ran almost simultaneously alongside the rising Anadolou Pop scene in Turkey, resulting in his short lived powerhouse of Kif proto-rock under the changing names of Ganim’s Asia Minors, Ganimian & His Orientals and Ganimian & His Oriental Music Orchestra. Combining a line-up of mostly unknown musicians from his local community (where he was worked as a butcher), Ganimian, in a short unison with ATCO records, was fortunate enough to accommodate jazz guitarist Al Schactman as part of his studio personnel (launching the career of this Nina Simone regular) as well as French born Armenian folk singer Onnik Dinkjian and reid player Steve Bogoshian (both from the band The House Of The Seven Uncles) as well as the esteemed Turkish raised Kanun player Ahmet Yatman. As one of the very few early American recorded authentic Middle Eastern fusion record Come With Me To The Casbah has piqued a refined interest in a new generation of progressive world music collector resulting in a distinct drought in original Ganimian pressings on the collectors’ market earning Chicks name a rising placeholder on the want lists of DJs, vinyl hounds and ethno psychedelia collectors.This LP includes all of Ganimians recordings including the rare singles for Atco and East West which sit awkwardly next to bizarre and unique takes on popular American standards enhancing the exciting freak factor of this record which simply could not be made by today’s stifling self-aware anti-standards. Aside from rare (poorly recorded) private family tapes this album is the only chance to hear the music of this lost enigma of early world music, Eastern fusion and a missing kink in the fabric of New York pop music history captured before his short stint as an exotic Herbie Mann sideman which proceeded his migration into obscurity and his well-imparted tragic struggle with alcohol dependency depriving pop culture of a forward thinking pioneer who paved the way for the more credible exponents of the cross-continental Indo fusion enigma such as John Berberian and the later well pruned hard rock efforts of The Devils Anvil.
File Under: Jazz, World, Roma, Turkish, Jazz
Gerry & The Holograms: s/t (Cache Cache) LP
Well–documented as one of Frank Zappa’s favourite ever groups and instantly recognisable as the BLUEprint of 80’s Mancunian electro pop, the inflated alter–egos of Gerry & The Holograms (and their unrivalled brand of conceptual sarcastic synth pop) successfully remodelled, ridiculed and redefined plugged–in punk before hitting the self–destruct button and burying the evidence under a pile of hand–mutilated microgrooves for over 35 wet summers. Having risen from the electronic embers of Manchester’s first genuine psychedelic band, via Vertigo commissioned prog and experimental theatre, then refined through the musical mind behind the most inspired vinyl moments of Martin Hannett, John Cooper Clarke and Jilted John – the onliest discography of the GATH anti–band remains unrivalled as the most idiosyncratic and enigmatic pivotal post–punk artefact from the first electronic entrenchment of pop. A consistent inclusion on record collector want-lists, transcending both decades and musical genres, the first-and-only listenable 2 track record by this masked art-rock studio duo, entitled Meet The Dissidents originally appeared in record racks in 1979, selling-out instantly only to be sequelised by a totally unplayable situationist-inspired follow-up which was glued into its own sleeve destroying the grooves in the process (rivalling that of Peter Saville and Durutti Column’s Debordist sandpaper re-hash by at least 3 years). With a life-span shorter than the hours on their studio bill, the band would find bedfellows amongst other incognito groups like Naffi Sandwich, The Mothmen and Blah Blah Blah within the Absurd Records stable – a daring Mancunian imprint that sat awkwardly between older and younger half-sister labels Rabid and Relentless. With a 11 release library of mostly non-returning faceless atonal electronic punk/DIY industrial bands Absurd would spearhead and pre-empt the subsequent decades of Mancunian independent record labels that followed in the footsteps of the more commercially successful Factory Records (while also drawing comparisons with Spiral Scratch, Test Pressings, Object Music and Throbbing Gristles’ Industrial Records). Despite just one official title to their name however, the true identity behind Gerry And The Holograms would unify those sister-labels and collectively play an important supporting role in Manchester’s independent music history with a story which goes back as far as most rain soaked memories can attempt to forget.
File Under: Electro, Post-Punk
Gorillaz: Humanz (Parlophone) LP
In tomorrow… Gorillaz are back. The world’s most successful virtual band makes their highly anticipated return with the new studio album Humanz. Produced by Gorillaz, The Twilite Tone of D /\ P and Remi Kabaka and recorded in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Jamaica, Humanz comes seven years on from the release of albums The Fall and Plastic Beach. Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar), Russel Hobbs (drums) and 2D (vocals) are – as always – joined by a stellar line up of featured artists which includes Jehnny Beth (Savages), Danny Brown, Benjamin Clementine, De La Soul, D.R.A.M., Peven Everett, Anthony Hamilton, Grace Jones, Zebra Katz, Kelela, Mavis Staples, Vince Staples, Popcaan, Pusha T, Jamie Principle and Kali Uchis among others
File Under: Rock, Hip Hop
Ragnar Grippe: Sand (Dais) LP
Since its original release in 1977, Ragnar Grippe’s seminal debut album entitled Sand has been adorned with immense praise and influenced a myriad of ambient musicians and minimalist composers. Grippe’s unique approach of bonding post-modern classical composition into the tape techniques of musique concrète allowed him to be one of the leading experimental electronic musicians of the late 20th century. Originally trained as a classical cellist, Grippe had relocated to Paris in the early 70’s to study at the famous Groupe de Recherches Musicales (more commonly known as GRM) founded by musique concrète pioneers Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry and Jacques Poullin. Around the same time, Grippe had struck up a close friendship with French avant-garde minimalist Luc Ferrari. It was under Ferrari’s direction and guidance that the young Grippe started to build a shared experimental music studio, aptly named l’Atelier de la Libération Musicale (ALM), in which Ferrari shared his knowledge and instrumental supplies, thus forging Grippe’s implementation of harmonic tone within the confines of musique concrete. After a brief stint of electronic music study at McGill University in Montreal, Grippe returned to Paris in 1976 to compose with Ferrari at the now fully-realized ALM studio. One of the visiting artists passing through the creative epicenter of the Cité Internationale des Arts during this time was the painter Viswanadhan Velu. Velu’s recent works consisted of various Sand paintings which were to be exhibited at the Galerie Shandar, the avant-garde art gallery and home to the Shandar record label which was the home to minimalist composers Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Cecil Taylor and Charlemagne Palestine. Grippe was asked to compose a composition that was to be played during the Sand painting exhibition and was then to be released on the Shandar imprint in 1977. This release would be the first official album that would start Grippe’s career as a modern avant-garde composer and electronic musician. After a celebrated release, “Sand” has since been out-of-print on its original vinyl format for four decades and original copies fetch high prices amongst minimalist listeners and collectors.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Minimalism
Gerarado Iacoucci: Le Avventure (Finders Keepers) LP
Combining all the traits of an international superhero or intrepid comic book adventurer, the true identity, whereabouts and history of the spectacular Italian composer known as Gerardo Iacoucci has been a mystery to record collectors for many years. As a result of the best efforts of secretive archivists and DJs as well as and the overprotective force field that surrounds the clandestine world of Italian library music, the commanding experimental psychedelic pop music made single-handedly by this early pioneer of the anti-genre time after time rises to the top of collectors’ want lists, commands huge ransom notes, ignites dancefloors, and decimates genre tags before returning to its mythical status as one of the kings of the underworld without removing his mask. Despite the fact that original Italian copies of records by Gerardo Iacoucci are amongst the rarest, enigmatic fixtures of European psychedelia, his music simply refuses to be ghettoized and as the name of this album suggests the history of this artist reads like the memoirs of a genuine musical adventurer as well as a well-traveled prophet of experimental music and unsung pillar of Italian jazz and sound design. Recorded in early 1970, Iacoucci’s wide-eyed L’Avventura suite spanned six sides of loud, heavyweight monophonic vinyl for Romano Di Bari’s Deneb label and created an epically detailed blueprint for independent mood music companies whilst sharing release schedules with like-minded workaholics Alessandro Alessandroni and A. R. Luciani. However, Gerardo’s adventure didn’t begin here… As a published author, recorded musician, professor, film composer, gentleman, musicologist, and scholar, Gerardo Iacoucci has managed to cram the stories of nine lifetimes into one heroic existence, while maintaining a humble, earnest and near mythical status as one of the great lost progressive pop pioneers of one of the most important transitional eras of European music, cinema and general, seldom rivaled, creative super powers. When the needle drops, L’Avventura has only just begun.
File Under: Library, Psych
Bert Jansch: Birthday Blues(Superior Viaduct) LP
Bert Jansch’s freewheeling fifth album, Birthday Blues, occupies a unique place in his solo discography. Released in 1969, the same year Basket of Light propelled Pentangle into the UK pop charts, Birthday Blues almost sounds like a Pentangle LP missing John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee. Backed-up by bandmates Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, Jansch neither holds back his characteristic moodiness nor takes himself too seriously. What’s more, Jansch is in love. Heather Rosemary Sewell isn’t just the inspiration for one of the song titles; she also designed the cover, whose Hans Feurer front photo shows Bert holding the couple’s puppy. With just enough of a Donovanesque pop sense, Pentangle producer Shel Talmy keeps the overall feel of these recordings fresh, warm and immediate. As its playfully ambivalent title suggests, Birthday Blues reveals an artist fully comfortable in his own skin. Blues and folk influences are woven together into songs at once directly personal, yet generously light and free. The most “pop” of Jansch’s ‘60s solo recordings and perhaps one of his most underrated, Birthday Blues is a deep and rewarding family affair at the height of his musical powers. This vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger.
File Under: Folk
Bert Jansch: Rosemary Lane (Superior Viaduct) LP
“By the time Rosemary Lane was released in 1971, Bert Jansch had covered a great deal of territory on numerous albums as a solo artist, collaborations with John Renbourn and records by the band in which he and Renbourn sang and played guitar, Pentangle. Returning to the intimate economy of his self-titled debut LP from a half-dozen or so years earlier, Rosemary Lane was recorded on portable equipment by engineer/producer Bill Leader and featured Jansch with no accompaniment save his guitar and voice. Rosemary Lane has elements of many of the styles Jansch covered in his extraordinarily eclectic career — from the folk and blues that were his bedrock to medieval music — yet cuts to the heart of his strength as spell-binding storyteller and empathic interpreter of isolation and want. Occasional instrumentals vary the mood that, like much of his work, is usually somber and introspective. Jansch once again lights the way forward with detours through the past. His sparse arrangements seamlessly merge original songwriting and traditional folk songs, while Jansch’s imaginative lyrics charm every step of the way — as if speaking directly to the listener alone. This vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger.”
File Under: Folk
Joe Jones: In Performance (Etats-Unis) LP
“After studying with composers John Cage and Earle Brown, Joe Jones became a prominent figure in Fluxus, contributing to the movement’s first ‘yearbox’ alongside La Monte Young, György Ligeti and Nam June Paik. Beginning in late 1961, Jones began constructing his own music machines — drawing inspiration from the calliopes, automata and orchestrations of the 19th and early 20th century to create self-playing ensembles of stringed instruments, percussion and woodwinds — ‘played’ through an elaborate (yet decidedly lo-tech) system of rubber bands, balls and tin foil. Christened the Tone Deaf Music Company, this battery of automated musical instruments generates the sounds on In Performance (originally released in 1977 on the Harlequin Art imprint). With exacting conceptual precision and varied subtleties of natural motion — not unlike Harry Bertoia’s sounding sculptures — Jones’ machines produce richly-textured strata of sound and serve as engines of paradox. While bringing the figure of the artist-composer to the foreground, the machines ultimately dispense with the need for the performer entirely — a cunning subversion of the fetish for virtuosity and individual genius. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Experimental, Fluxus, Avant Garde
Mark Lanegan Band: Gargoyle (Heavenly) LP
Heavenly Recordings presents Gargoyle, the new album from the Mark Lanegan Band. The 10-track LP features guest appearances from long-time collaborators Josh Homme, Greg Dulli and Duke Garwood. The contributions of English musician Rob Marshall (who co-wrote six songs) fit perfectly with the direction Lanegan had been pondering: in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. While sharing roots with its two predecessors, on Gargoyle there’s a significant up-shift in the swaggering powerlode of such keynote songs as “Nocturne” and “Beehive,” while the lyrics’ tonal palette is more varied. The album title comes from a lyric in “Blue Blue Sea” – “Gargoyle perched on gothic spire” – and was chosen for its hint of self-deprecation. “I’m most proud of the songs that are atypical to stuff that I’ve done in the past,” Lanegan says. “So I really like Old Swan, because it’s an expression of positivity, which is completely anti-anything I’ve done before!”
File Under: Indie Rock
Le Forte Four: Bikini Tennis Shoes (Etats-Unis) LP
“The origins of Le Forte Four are those of the Los Angeles Free Music Society itself. Chip Chapman joined forces with Rick Potts (and shortly thereafter Tom and Joe Potts), taking up the LAFMS name in 1974. Ultimately baptizing themselves Le Forte Four, they began threading imagined lines between John Cage and The Residents, Cecil Taylor and Henry Cow — generating sounds completely unlike any of these and anything since. The inaugural release on the eponymous LAFMS imprint with only 200 copies pressed originally, Bikini Tennis Shoes is a staggering piece of anti-music that remains as refreshingly ground-clearing today as it was when it first appeared in 1975. Its 40 minutes (parceled out across nearly as many tracks) chart forays into free improvisation, Buchla misuse, filtered noise, begrudging and damaged melodic sorties (from the Star-Spangled Banner to Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’) and healthy doses of basement pablum. Le Forte Four emerged out of the lethargic American ’70s as a locus where, in their own words, ‘gamelans and ragas merged with serial and chance compositions finally melting together with instructional records and Beatles bootlegs.’ A wildly eclectic rummaging of postwar culture and 20th century sound, Le Forte Four’s Bikini Tennis Shoes preempts punk’s outsider ethos and DIY autodidactism. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Electronic, Musique Concrete
Stefano Marcucci: Tempo di Demoni, Papi, Angioli, Incensi e Cilici (Finders Keepers) 10″
The mythical, mysterious and misfiled transcription disc of a lost Italian demonic religious rock opera recorded at Pierre Umiliani’s Sound Workshop by Stefano Marcucci – beat group veteran, Fernando Arrabal collaborator and Libra affiliate. Featuring members of the wider Casa/Ducros family and future Federico Fellini collaborators, this previously commercially unavailable mini-LP features embryonic Minimoog, ecclesiastical organs and chorus alongside a tight psych funk rhythm section from Italian library music’s golden era. Imagine Jean Pierre Massiera’s Visitors restoring a scene from Juliette Of The Spirits, backed by a skeleton staff from Jean-Claude Vannier’s Chorale des Jeunesses Musicales de France on a foreign exchange program; on Halloween, in the Vatican… Continuing our mission to shine light on the genuine anomalies of 70’s Italian production music, Finders Keepers Records resurrects another unlikely transcription disc from the vaults of one of Rome’s most esoteric library music archives. This bizarre one-off theatrical project, composed and recorded at Umiliani’s studio, was commissioned for a short-run demonic religious performance entitled Tempo Di Demoni, Papi, Angioli, Incensi E Cilici under the musical direction of former Italian psychedelic beat-group member Stefano Marcucci. Instantly recognised by Flower Records founder Romano Di Bari as having commercial potential beyond its handful of church and small theatre performances in the early months of 1975, Marcucci agreed that they should commit these bizarre recordings to vinyl as a form of preservation with hope of attracting a wider commercial audience through Di Bari’s Television and Films synchronisation contacts. Sitting slightly ajar to the custom-made projects of its label bedfellows (swapping schedules with experimental theme-music by Alessandro Alessandroni, Gerardo Iacoucci and Anthonio Ricardo Luciani) and confusingly sharing an identical catalog number to another collectable Flower release called Ritimico by (close friend) Paolo Ferrara this album has slipped under the radar of many Library label completists over the years attracting confusion, scepticism, polarised opinion but nothing short of astonishment at the bizarre hidden synth-ridden psychedelic concept pop found behind some of the most striking duo-tone artwork to come out of Italy’s most experimental era.
File Under: Library, OST, Italian
Abdou el Omari: Nuits De Printemp (Radio Martiko) LP
First issue of this previously unreleased Oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds. Nuits De Printemps is the third part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. This album contains dazzling instrumentals, spiced up here-and-there with some traditional vocals. While playing his fine melodies, Abdou switches swiftly from his Farfisa Professional mothership to an analog ARP synthesizer. This new sound and some funky wah guitar riffs give his music an extra cosmic touch. Includes download code.
File Under: Electronic, Funk, African
OST: Les Demons (Finders Keepers) LP
The unreleased Euro pysch score to the French/Portuguese X-rated version of The Devils meets The Witchfinder General! Synchronised by Spanish anti-establishmentarian, sexual liberator, die-hard independent filmmaker and unrepentant voyeur Jess Franco (Vampyros Lesbos/De Sade). Composed entirely by French composer Jean-Bernard Raiteux aka Jean-Michel Lorgere (Sinner/Harlem Pop Trotters) and presented here in full soundtrack form for the first time. Proudly claiming the dubious accolade of the Spanish sexploitation version of The Devils as the distributor’s most bankable asset, this previously banned 1973 European witch flick would rip the art house facade from Ken Russell’s well polished box office smash and push the envelope way beyond the closet titillation of the gentrified new wave controversy seekers. Delivered on a comparable shoestring budget as the 55th feature in Jess Franco’s filmography of approximately 203 completed movies, The Demons (Les Démons), directed under the Anglicised pseudonym Clifford Brown, took many of the Franco’s sexually stylistic watermarks (epitomised in his Vampyros Lesbos trilogy) adding witchcraft, possession and nunsploitation against a rural Mediterranean backdrop before disappearing into the woods. Whilst clearly taking inspirational plot cues from Michael Reeve’s The Witchfinder General (UK 1968) and drawing comparisons with scenes from Eiichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna Of Sadness (Japan 1973) this B-Movie reduction of Franco’s wide palette of colourful ingredients has in recent years provided enthusiasts/champions/defenders of the workaholic horrotica bastion with a rare and treasured addition. Future-proofed by an essential component, omnipresent in Franco’s films, it is the mysterious commercially unobtainable soundtrack music that cements the unwaning interest in his risqué brand of unconventional shock/schlock sinema (not hindered my the enigmatic title card misinformation that often surrounds the original composers) and the music herein that has given Franco’s harshest critics a second chance/reason to reevaluate this man’s unapologetic art. Following on from Finders Keepers previous expanded release of Bruno Nicolai’s score for Franco’s 1970 adaptation of De Sade this record stands as another tribute to Franco’s life which he lived through the mechanisms of a camera with relentless zeal and a passion to challenge every aspect of movie making along the way. UNDERground, OVERambitious, RIGHT on, LEFTfield, BELOW the radar but ABOVE criticism. INdulgent and OUTrageous, but never middle of the road, Jess Franco was many things but he wasn’t pretentious and never delivered art for art’s sake and I feel honoured to have spent time with him. Franco was in fact a realist, he kept both feet firmly on the ground and a keen eye behind the right side of the lens and if Jess did have any demons his films were his exorcisms, the critics were the bloody judges and his legacy (through the medium of X-rated cinema of variable quality) is immortal.
File Under: OST, Psych
Max Richter: Infra (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Deutsche Grammophon presents the third physical release from Max Richter’s Retrospective catalog, Infra. Written for piano, electronics and string quartet, Infra is an expansion on Richter’s score for Wayne McGregor’s ballet of the same name that was created as a response to the London bombings on 7/7. Infra follows Richter’s latest album, Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works, an album featuring his score for another McGregor ballet, Woolf Works. This LP version of Infra also features the bonus track, “Sub Piano.”
File Under: Classical, Electronic
Valgeir Sigurosson: Dissonance (Bedroom Community) LP
History freely dilates and collapses on Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Dissonance, his first solo release since 2012. Its three large-scale works are haunted by the old Western tradition, infused with the ethereal workings of electronics and sound manipulation. Recorded and produced between September 2015 and November 2016 at Greenhouse Studios, Dissonance is disarmingly human, reflecting the most extreme four years of Sigurðsson’s life, full of ecstatic joy and deep sorrow. Dissonance is a personal and collective musical treatise to explore and question a world that is collapsing under its internal dissonances. Post-minimalist, post-ambient, post-something else.
File Under: Minimalist, Ambient, Electronic
Colin Stetson: All This I Do For Glory (52Hz) LP
“All this I do for glory” is a reasoning and exploration of the machinations of ambition and legacy, an examination of the concepts of afterlife, and the first half of a doomed love story in the model of the greek tragedies. As a narrative, it exists temporally somewhere between 2015’s “Never were the way she was” (with Sarah Neufeld) and the 1st volume of the NHW Trilogy. With this, his first solo outing since 2013’s “To See More Light”, Colin Stetson ventures into territory both familiar and strange. Here still, is the dogmatically stripped down approach to performance and capture (all songs recorded live with no overdubs or loops) but there is an immediacy to the album that belies a more invasive and thorough miking of the various instruments being utilized and a seeming influence drawn from the early nineties electronica of artists like Aphex Twin and Autechre, evident in the more pointed role played by the instruments’ many percussive elements. There are ancestries, motivic and timbral, woven through these six songs that plainly anchor them within the shared universe of his Trilogy, though the overall experience is one of extreme intimacy, the sounds and imagery more tangible and immersive than previous offerings. The brief and brutal “In the clinches” recalls (or presages) echoes of songs like “Judges”, though now feeling like one has fallen down the bell of Stetson’s ancient bass saxophone itself. “Spindrift”, crystalline and serene, calls to mind the ambient works of Aphex Twin, while “Between Water and Wind” with it’s “Immigrant Song” swagger, relentlessly carves it’s way into the bedrock here, paving the way with an increasing focus on the minute and the minimal, with a deepened sense of patience shared by most of the album’s six tracks. Engineered and mixed by Stetson himself, this album represents a decidedly independent approach across the entire creative process and finds him at the top of his game, both as a composer and instrumentalist as well as a
File Under: Electronic, Classical, Jazz, Experimental
Tragically Hip: Day For Night
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us
Tragically Hip: Trouble at the Henhouse (Universal) LP
All 17 of the Tragically Hip’s records rose into the Billboard Canadian Albums chart following their nationally televised final show last summer. Now, three of the band’s most beloved works are back on vinyl. Remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway mastering and on 180-gram vinyl. The reissues mark the first time the exceedingly rare records have come back to vinyl since their initial releases. Sites such as Discogs show that Day for Night has previously sold for nearly $500 CAD, while Trouble at the Henhouse has commanded up to $400 CAD in the past. A listing for an original pressing of Live Between Us also currently features an astronomical starting price of $1,171.05 CAD.
File Under: Rock
U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope) LP
2004’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was an album that not only led to three more Grammy Awards for U2, but heralded their momentous arrival in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From the very first sound of Larry Mullen Jr’s sticks and Bono’s count-in to “Vertigo,” there was no room for doubt that they were in the mood to complete the circle back to being the uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll band we first knew. The resolution to make a definitive rock ‘n’ roll record was unshakeable and Steve Lillywhite jumped aboard as the album’s principal producer. He was just the link with U2’s lean and formative persona that was required, chief among a cast of eight production contributors that included further longtime confidants Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Flood, and newer collaborators Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper and Carl Glanville. The calling card was the unstoppable “Vertigo,” the sort of definitive U2 single to give “rifferama,” as Bono called it, a good name. It was one of the earliest ideas for what became How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, a riff that immediately sounded like something from the annals of classic rock, somewhere between Zeppelin and the Stooges, but with a 21st century vitality that was entirely custom-made. The song smashed straight to No. 1 in the UK, their sixth chart-topping single. Two weeks later, when the album arrived, it was clear that U2 had outrun all of the misfortune to complete a record full of new signature tunes. Underpinned by rock guitar, they came in a wide variety of moods and tempos, from loud and extrovert on “All Because Of You” to contemplative on “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own.” Indeed, the album was immersed in that rare spirit that this quartet had developed over decades by now: never to be afraid of thinking big, with inspiring songs that put their arms around their entire world of devotees.
File Under: Rock
Jane Weaver: The Amber Light (Bird) LP
After almost two years of busy tour schedules and widespread unanimous critical acclaim longstanding experimental pop crusader Jane Weaver finally commits one of her most requested projects to vinyl in the shape of dedicated mini-album The Amber Light presented here on exclusive and limited Amber transparent vinyl. Originally issued as a limited CD only bonus disc for The Silver Globe album global re-release The Amber Light surprised fans expecting B-sides and outtakes with what for many stood up as its own isolated project including some of Jane’s best material to date including the pulsating synth anthem I Need A Connection which since became a radio favourite also appearing on film and fashion shows throughout the latter half of 2015. The Amber Light also included further collaborations with Finders Keepers Andy Votel as well as long awaited collaborations with Atari/Star Wars Synthesist Suzanne Ciani, Tom Furse (keyboardist from The Horrors) and Sean Canty from Demdike Stare. Recorded over the course of two long weekends between tours with her custom-built band operating at an energetic optimum, The Amber Light captures Jane exuding the passion, experimentalism and justified confidence which is instantly reflected with some of her best songwriting to date. Currently causing a stir with her collaboration with Beyond The Wizards Sleeves and within the final throes of recording a brand new LP it is still a very exciting time for this unique multi-tasking independent female composer who’s loyal long-running fan-base multiplies with every closely recorded breath. Trepidation is not required here, The Amber Light means you can go.
File Under: Indie Pop
Kanye West: Life of Pablo (Fanclub) LP
The Life of Pablo is the seventh solo album and eighth studio album by American rapper Kanye West. It was released on February 14, 2016, by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions took place from 2013 to 2016, in Italy, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Record production on the album was handled by West alongside a variety of producers such as Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Metro Boomin, Rick Rubin, Hudson Mohawke, and more. He also enlisted a wide array of guest vocalists, including Ty Dolla Sign, Desiigner, Kid Cudi, The-Dream, Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, and Frank Ocean.
File Under: Hip Hop, Pop
Various: Akwaba Abidjan (Oriki) LP
Akwaba Abidjan: Afrofunk In 1970’s Ivory-Coast, the new Oriki Music compilation, includes serious 1970s Afro dancefloor hits – A promising favorite among DJs, Afrofunk, and tropical music revival aficionados. Vinyl diggers can finally play some of Ivory Coast’s hardest to find deep funk, Afrobeat, Manding, and tropical rhythms tunes, recorded by such legends as Moussa Doumbia, De Frank Jr, or Francis Kingsley. Compiled by pioneer African music digger and respected DJ Greg De Villanova, a legend among Afro/tropical music collectors and DJs. The consistent liner notes focus on the original label history of Société Ivoirienne Du Disque, based on interviews with the producer. This compilation also marks the great return of the dormant French record label, which released such wonders as Orchestra Baobab’s A Night At Club Baobab (2006) or Moussa Doumbia’s Keleya (2007). Also features: Afro Train, Sewa Jacintho, Les Frères Kante, Les Nidrou, Afro Soul System, and L’orchestre De La RTI. Includes original and unreleased pictures of the artists and the city of Abidjan in the 1970s, and great artwork.
File Under: Africa, Funk, Afrobeat
Various: Musique Concrete (Cacophonic) LP
This record represents an important milestone in the development and progression of musique concrète – marking a crossroad for not only the genre itself but also in the paths of its originator Pierre Schaeffer and another of the genre’s most important and respected protagonists Pierre Henry. Undoubtedly one of the most influential experimental and electroacoustic musicians, Pierre Schaeffer is also credited as being the father of the theory of musique concrete as well as later name coining the term itself. Having found a job in 1936 at Radiodiffusion Française (later Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française or RTF) as an engineer, Scaeffer developed a newly found interest in music and with the blessing of his superiors made the most of his access to the Radiodiffusion Française studios, utilising his abilities as an engineer to experiment with sound whilst collaborating with musicians and composers that passed through the station’s hallowed doors. In 1942 Schaeffer and influential theatre director, producer and actor Jacques Copeau founded the Studio d’Essai (renamed Club d’Essai in 1946) as part of RTF in order to experiment with radiophonic techniques. Drawing on the works of French filmmaker, critic and novelist Jean Epstein, Schaeffer would occupy his time and his mind with the manner in which sound recordings “revealed what was hidden in the act of basic acoustic listening” and in 1948 formally set about his research in ernest – the results of which were presented as a series of studies known as Cinq études de bruits (Five Studies of Noises) during a concert in Paris. With word of his theories and experiments spreading, Schaeffer was able to press the RTF management to further finance and in doing so expand his research. However, for an undertaking of this size he would need help. Having previously collaborated as part of his early research with a young classically trained composer by the name of Pierre Henry, Schaeffer had no problem convincing the RTF executives he was the right man of the job. By adding a third prong to this sonic fork in the shape of sound engineer Jacques Poullin, Schaeffer was able to complete a powerhouse, which he renamed the Groupe de Musique Concrete, that would push his experiments further than he could have imagined. In1951, RTF handed the trio the keys to one of the earliest purpose-build electroacoustic studios (the other being the WDR Studio in Germany), furnishing it with state of the art bespoke equipment such as a Morphophone (designed by Poullin himself and capable of tape loop-delay) and a Phonogène (a multi-headed tape instrument also designed by Poullin). The studio went from strength to strength, attracting composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Edgard Varèse to collaborate, and in that same year Schaeffer and Henry produced and premiered what is considered to be the first opera concrète, Orphèe 51. As Schaeffer’s notoriety grew as did demand for his time and he found himself increasingly called away from the studio during which time he would hand the keys to over to his colleagues. Pierre Henry wasted no time in pursuing projects closer to his own heart, working with experimental filmmakers and choreographers like Maurice Béjart (the two would later collaborate with Michel Colombier on the cult classic Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes Pour Maurice Béjart). In 1957, following a particularly prolonged absence on RTF duties, Schaeffer returned unhappy with the direction the group had taken and tabled an idea to revitalise both their approach as well as personnel. As a result, Henry and several other key members left the group the following year leaving Schaeffer to lay the foundations in 1958 for a new collective called Groupe de Recherches Musicales – one of a number of theoretical and experimental groups overseen by Saeffer’s Service de la Reserche at RTF – and set about recruiting new members including Iannis Xenakis, Henri Sauguet, Luc Ferrari and Michel Philippot as well as usher in a new steady stream of eager musicians eager to study within what had rapidly become (and still is) a national institution – including a young Jean Michel Jarre! Featuring the full versions of these seminal early works (abridged versions of which had previously appeared across two 7” singles on Disques BAM) the recordings presented here are the first fruits of this new alliance and served to lay the bedrock for the future of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales research which would later count the likes of Ivo Malec, Philippe Carson, Romuald Vandelle, Edgardo Canton and François Bayle (who went on to coin the term Acousmatic Music) amongst its members and cement its place in the annals of experimental, electroacoustic and early electronic music history.
File Under: Musique Concrete, Duh
So many restocks…….