Yikes! So much stuff in this week, we’re gonna need an annex! Anyway, loads of great stuff in this week as well as some great fresh used stuff as well. Come have a dig while the weather’s hot!
As a special treat, Constellation Records has sent us an advance copy of the new DO MAKE SAY THINK record for your listening pleasure. This Saturday (May 13th) at 2pm we’ll be playing it in store. If you are dying to hear the new album, stop in and have a listen and enjoy our a/c.
Also, a couple of real nice chaps who also happen to work here are playing a show and releasing some new tunes on May 27th at our friend’s barber shop. So, if you’d like to see Slates, Switches, and Tee Tahs at Barber Ha, you’re gonna need a ticket, and we’ve got em. $15, cash only. Get em while you can.
…..pick of the week…..
It’s no secret that we love library records around here. If don’t know what library records are, well let me tell you… they are basically the music equivalent to stock photography. It was music made for use in radio and film production. Radio stations and studios would have a ‘library’ of music and when they needed music for an ad, or a show they would find something that suited their needs and use it, and then pay based on the usage. Many brilliant composers and musicians made library records in the 60s and 70s but these records were not available to the general public, so it wasn’t until the 80s and 90s, when radio/tv stations started dumping their vinyl libraries as they were going digital, that DJs and crate diggers started to finally get access to more of these records. The other thing is that library records, because they were used for such a specific small purpose, they also tend to be rather limited and rare. So now, in the golden age of reissues loads of great records are being made available again. This Italian label popped up last year and their releases have finally made their way into the shop! If you’ve dabbled in library records, some familiar names are here.. Alessandroni, Rocchi, Fabor, etc. As for the sound, library music is a broad world… everything from romantic chamber music to avant garde electronic, funky jazz breaks to sound effects, quirky electronic to ballroom.
File Under: Library, Italian
Afghan Whigs: In Spades (Sub Pop) LP
From its evocative cover art to the troubled spirits haunting its halls, The Afghan Whigs’ In Spades casts a spell that challenges the listener to unpack its dark metaphors and spectral imagery. On the one hand, In Spades is as quintessentially Afghan Whigs as anything the group has ever done – fulfilling its original mandate to explore the missing link between howling Midwestern punk like Die Kreuzen and Hüsker Dü, The Temptations’ psychedelic soul symphonies, and the expansive hard-rock tapestries of Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the same time, this new record continues to push beyond anything in the Whigs’ previous repertoire – another trademark, along with the explosive group dynamic captured on the recording. Indeed, the chemistry of the lineup – frontman Greg Dulli, guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, drummer Patrick Keeler, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and Whigs co-founder/bassist John Curley – set the tone for In Spades’ creation. When it came to follow up the band’s triumphant return to recording – Do To the Beast (2014), which was the band’s first ever Top 40 album, – the die was cast. “This is the first time since Black Love [the Whigs’ 1996 noir masterpiece] that we’ve done a full-blown band album,” Dulli says. The joys, sorrows, and upheavals of innocence and experience echo throughout In Spades: it powerfully documents where The Afghan Whigs have been, and where they might go next. For Dulli and Curley, it’s a journey that, since their origins as one of the first Sub Pop acts to be signed from outside the label’s Pacific Northwest base, has spanned decades. Dulli notes they were barely in their twenties when they first started the band, and yet here they are, fulfilling dreams long held and frequently realized. “Having a break from the Whigs helped me remember what made it so rewarding,” Curley says. “Over the course of a lifetime, there are constants, and there’s also change. You see who’s dropped off the vine – who’s going in reverse, and who’s still by your side. It’s interesting to see where life takes you, and where it doesn’t. That’s the journey and it hasn’t stopped.” In Spades was recorded at Rick Nelson’s studio Marigny Sound in New Orleans, LA.
File Under: Indie Rock
Vincent Ahehehinnou: Best Woman (Analog Africa) LP
Analog Africa present a reissue of Best Woman, Vincent Ahehehinnou’s first post-Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou album, originally released in 1978. In early 1978, Ahehehinnou left the Poly-Rythmo without explanation. He had been one of their principal vocalist since 1968 and had helped transform them from a hard-charging nightclub band into a musical powerhouse and Africa-wide sensation. On a business trip to Nigeria, Vincent met with Ignace de Souza of Benin’s Black Santiago band, who agreed to arrange Vincent’s songs, assemble musicians, and book a session at the legendary Decca Studios in Lagos. With everything in place Vincent returned to Cotonou, gathered together all the money he had saved over the years and set out again for Lagos. The nine-piece band, handpicked by de Souza, learned the songs and set them to tape in the span of only a week … but the results are as timeless and essential as anything to emerge from West Africa in the late 1970s. Vincent’s Afrobeat credentials are in full evidence on opening track “Best Woman” (English) whose driving beat, focused horns, and intricate vocal melody recall the raucous intensity of Poly-Rythmo. But the deep funk of the title track turns out to be only a warm-up for album-highlight “Maimouna Cherie” (French), a moving expression of love and longing which kicks off with a hi-hat and wah-wah guitar workout, but shifts gears mid-way into a more concentrated and contemplative groove. The funk and Afrobeat gems on Best Woman are balanced by songs that draw upon Sato, one of the many Vodoun rhythms of Vincent’s native Benin. Side one concludes with “Vi Deka” (Mina), an epic slow-burner propelled by some of the record’s most soulful vocals, while album closer “Wa Do Verite Ton Noumi” (Fon) all but dares you not to lose yourself in its sublime hypnotic trance. Best Woman was released on Nigeria’s Hasbunalau Records in 1978, and original pressings are now highly-prized collector’s items. Reissued on Analog Africa’s Dance Edition imprint — newly mastered by Nick Robbins, cut by to vinyl by Frank Merritt at the Carvery, and approved by Vincent himself. 180 gram vinyl; Gatefold sleeve with liner notes and pictures; 30×60 inlay/poster.
File Under: African, Afrobeat, Funk
Alessandro Alessandroni: Il Tempo Dello Spirito (Spettro) LP
Amongst the first bunch of this new label releases, we couldn’t miss a tribute to one of the greatest masters of libraries recordings, Alessandro Alessandroni, born in 1925. In his long career Alessandroni has published lots of soundtracks – and we mean lots of – and for this he’s considered a real star of Italian music. As a friend, and close collaborator of Ennio Morricone, he’s remembered as “the whistle man” for his fundamental contribution to the immortal scores of Sergio Leone’s movies. His class allowed him to range between genres and atmospheres, from beat to avant-garde, from funky to abstract compositions, always reaching and keeping the highest quality. This is immediately clear in “Il Tempo Dello Spirito”, originally published in 1971 for the meritorious Flirt label. It’s an album full of sacred music, gospel and spiritual, yet capable of personal flashes that make it interesting, particular and unique. Simple church songs? In some cases it may seems so – titles as Ave Maria, Gloria In Excelsis Deo, Pellegrinaggio or Messa Solenne do not leave much room for doubt and interpretations – but Alessandroni is able to astonish even in extreme cases like this. The best comes with songs like Il Peccato, Black Hallelujah, Deposizione, Elevazione and Concilio, in a crescendo of mysticism.
File Under: Library, Gospel, Organ
Antonia Arena & Fabio Fabor: Superman (Spettro) LP
1983, in the history of synths, is a key year. During the January edition of NAMM (the most important music fair in the US), indeed, MIDI – the standard protocol for electronic instruments interaction – was introduced to the world. Until then, programming and making synths work together was something practiced by a restricted elite of wizards, explorers armed with cables and analog patches, who could create new sonic worlds – but totally temporary, not replicable. Real superheroes of sonic synthesis, scientists of filters who, nowadays, are highly considered by musicians all over the world, after decades of forced exile. In Italy, the seeds of this tradition were planted in RAI’s Laboratory of Phonology (in Milan), in the middle of the 1950’s; later, pioneers like Piero Umiliani, Federico Monti Arduini (aka Il Guardiano Del Faro), Marcello Giombini, Giampiero Boneschi and Fabio Borgazzi (Fabio Fabor) introduced electronic music in pop. Fabor (together with Antonio Arena) is the protagonist of Superman, an album of library music released by the World label (owned by Minstrel group) in 1984. Borgazzi, born in 1920, lived through the whole saga of Italian easy listening music (from big orchestras to the digital revolution), always keeping up with the latest styles and trends. So it’s not a surprise, here, to see him using a LinnDrum and the first Japanes synths; and it’s perfectly natural to find some electro-funk touches (especially Rockit, by Herbie Hancock, which is a clear influence) between cosmic sounds and rock’n’roll songs – and, of course, here you will also find heavy traces of the typical dance pop of the era.
File Under: Library, Italian, Electronic
The Astral Dimension: Galassia M81 (Spettro) LP
Fabio Borgazzi – aka Fabio Fabor – played literally every known style of music, from baroque to satanic electronic, in his library music albums released during his career which lasted almost seven decades. Born in Milan in 1920, Fabor was one of the great artisans of post-war Italian popular music. Author, arranger and conductor with a classical background, he started writing songs (in the 1950’s and 1960’s) for popstars such as Nilla Pizzi, Johnny Dorelli and Milva; he then turned to music for theatre, cinema and tv, to which he dedicated the rest of his career. In 1981, when he released Galassia M81, Fabor was a veteran in the scene of library music, both as an author and an editor. It was the so-called golden age for the genre, just a moment before the advent of MIDI – which made everything easier, but flatter too, putting an end to the Italian Touch. The tracks featured here (credited to the fictional combo The Astral Dimension: Fabor together with his friend Antonio Arena) still have a definite Seventies taste, reminding the wave of German kosmische musik (especially the Darmstad school), but they also reflect the Moog-mania raging in pop music after the big success of Walter/Wendy Carlos with the Switched On series. Avant-garde and kitsch hand in hand, ambient for documentaries and background music for horoscopes… all in sequence, with the only purpose of being used and generating royalties. Apparently there’s nothing poetic here, but the deepest core of this music is full of substance and genius, mixing a classical background with a futuristic twist – something that made so special a lot of the best music written in Italy during the 20th century.
File Under: Library, Italian, Electronic
Albert Ayler: Prophecy (ESP) LP
ESP-Disk present a reissue of Albert Ayler’s Prophecy, originally released in 1975. Recorded in concert at the Cellar Cafe, NYC, June 14, 1964. Three weeks before this trio recorded ESP-Disk’s first jazz album, the epochal Spiritual Unity, it was captured “live” by Canadian poet Paul Haines, who also recorded the New York Eye and Ear Control soundtrack. This is one of the most influential groups in jazz history, a coming together of like-minded innovators who would be considered crucial influences by succeeding generations, so there is no question of the immense value of this material. Yoked, in the CD era, to the one-sided 1965 LP Bells, made with a different band in a very different style a year later, it is perhaps best appreciated on its own. Personnel: Albert Ayler – tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock – bass; Sunny Murray – drums; Paul Haines – engineer. Presented here on opaque yellow vinyl.
File Under: Free Jazz
Enriquez Luis Bacalov: La Seduzione (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of La Seduzione, originally released in 1973. An Italian soundtrack holy grail and one of the most highly regarded scores by the majestic Oscar Award winning maestro Luis Enriquez Bacalov. This is the original soundtrack for the drama/erotic film of the same name directed by Fernando Di Leo and shot in beautiful Sicily, Italy. The music on La Seduzione totally destroys all his soundtrack productions with a big orchestra selection, featuring some of the best Italian grooves ever – terrific funk beats, mind-melting scats, Brazilian influenced music with loads of dope exotic vibes. A gigantic Italian music masterpiece finally available for the joy of collectors. Features compositions by I Ninhos Pega (“Tucumania” and “Pinha Tamburim”) and Rosa Balistreri (“Mi Votu E Mi Rivotu”). 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.
File Under: Library, Funk
Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Best Troubador (Drag City) LP
With Best Troubador, Bonnie ‘Prince Billy pays homage to a long-time and forever hero, the late Merle Haggard. A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle Haggard song, Bonny has often cited Merle’s work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to Merle himself for Filter magazine in 2009. Merle’s body of work was considered by Bonny for a record such as this for some time, but his passing in April of 2016 almost put a stop to it. The goal was to participate in the handing forward of the songs of a living legend, as Merle had done so many times in his own career. With Merle gone, some of the impetus of the project was in peril. A plan to make the album in Nashville studios was abandoned. The songs still called to be played again, however — and so sessions were endeavored at home, capturing feeling, memory and new expression in familiar confines with the full-hearted playing and singing of the Bonafide United Musicians: Van Campbell, Nuala Kennedy, Danny Kiley, Drew Miller, Cheyenne Mize, and Chris Rodahoffer, with special guests Mary Feiock, Emmett Kelly, A.J. Roach and Matt Sweeney. The songs sung on Best Troubador are pulled from all over — from Haggard’s third album in 1967 though to his 47th in 2011 — but this is no simple hits compilation. Capable only of occupying a shared space between himself and Merle Haggard, Bonny chose personal favorites, singing the songs he wanted to sing, to find Merle and himself together in the music. Dedicated to new life and old, Best Troubador is wistful and bittersweet and no lament at all,v but a tribute instead, for the triumph of a life spent in unending pursuit of the goal: new and expressive music, as our inspirations and heroes once sang it.
File Under: Folk, Country
The Caretaker: Everywhere at the End of Time – Stage 2 (HAFTW) LP
The second of six albums issued under the title Everywhere At The End Of Time, The Caretaker’s fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia, takes a more wistful tack as our protagonist gradually realizes that all is not well and begins to rummage deeper into the recesses of his memory, masking emotions of grief, loss, fear, and uncertainty by deeper dwelling in the recesses of a decaying mind. As The Caretaker’s short term memory functions begin to more rapidly erode, the loop-based punctuation of previous installments begin to subtly unravel, leading his mind to drift off and ponder fuller segments of tea dance strings and horns which appear uncannily more inviting, seductive, and now even more tangible than the abbreviated reels of earlier editions. Loop points wilt away in autumnal greys and russet rustles as new information becomes more difficult to process, back pedaling down memory lane toward an opaque smudge of half-forgotten/remembered spaces, places and un/familiar faces which provide more comfort and clarity than the world around him. It feels strange to recommend undergoing this experience, albeit in such an impressionistic and detached manner, but it somehow feels like a conversely enlightening one for these strange, disingenuous and unpredictable end times that we inhabit right now. Artwork by Ivan Seal. Mastered and cut by Lupo.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Paolo Castiglione: Clouds (Spettro) LP
More than to reward the artistic ambitions of the artist, the majority of Library records were generally functional to sonorizations and conceived for a commercial use. So the main difficulty for the artist was to demonstrate his compositional versatility that allowed the use of his songs in different contests : documentaries, spaghetti western movies, television programs and dramas, news reports. “Clouds”, fourth chapter of this new and exciting Spettro series, is a classic library release in its purest form. Despite being credited solely Pasquale Castiglione, this is in effect a collaboration of the composer with Paolo Casa, here involved in arrangements and in conducting the orchestra. The two are less known respect to Umiliani, Alessandroni and Macchi, but they are surely worth of being rediscovered. Just listen to the super-classic eurofunk “Movimenti di Casa” to understand. “Clouds” was released in 1975 from the label Octopus. Amongst the songs clearly influenced by Ennio Morricone, you’re able to discover funk and jazz rock gems (“Chase” and “Games”), smooth and relaxed moments as in the lush title track, simple pop interludes (“Loneliness”) and even some experimental excursion similar to the ones of other “aquatic libraries” like in the song “Modern Expressions”.
File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk
Conrado, Scuderi & Montanari: Bass Modulations (Spettro) LP
Released by Octopus in 1973 and now available for the first time on vinyl by Spettro, “Bass Modulations” is a record included in many “hip hop breakbeats” charts and it pays specific attention on bass – as title – and percussions. Composers are Antonino Scuderi, who worked on 2 tracks, ‘Overtime’, with low frequencies and a primitive drum machine, and ‘Range in’, one of the most strange track of this compilation, Roberto Conrado, Roman composer, already member of Gli Apostoli in the 60s, and Piero Romano Montanari, Roman, scores’ author (long-lasting collaboration with cult director Joe D’Amato), bass player and session-musician for many Italian pop stars as Renato Zero, Ivan Graziani, Pino Daniele, Sergio Caputo and Claudio Baglioni, just to name a few. “Bass Modulation” is an easy listening collection of tracks, with no experimental fit and lot of funky hooks and 70s rhythms and dynamics. ‘Likewise’ is a groovy gem, led by guitar, bass and synth; ‘Pledge’ hangs between light psych and flutes, while ‘Properly’ is another little masterpiece of this record, full of fuzz guitar and afro percussions. Just let the groove overwhelm you, every track is devoted to bass modulations.
File Under: Italian, Library, Funk, Groove
Constantine: Day of Light (Not on Label) LP
Follow the sound of echoing flutes and sleeping bells; past the willows, far over the hill. Disappear on a journey down the forest path, where kings and magicians are hiding in the trees. Beware the darkness of the forest and enjoy the vibrant colors of the land; harpsichords and Mellotrons as your guide. Come wander til the day has vanished and a new day begins… Day of Light will lead you on a lysergic odyssey filled with Mellotron, harpsichord, sitar, studio effects & more. Fans of the 1969/70 dense, delicate and psychedelic acid folk sound need to get Day of Light into your ears!
File Under: Folk, Psych
Alessandro Cortini & Merzbow: s/t (Important) LP
Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails) and Japanese noise legend Masami Akita (Merzbow) share a mutual love for the EMS Synthi, a British synthesizer from the early ’70s notorious for its patch matrix, portability, and distinct tone. Astonishingly, these two disparate artists meld into a single sound as they flex the analog circuitry of the EMS Synthi in new ways; giving this classic synth a modern workout and proving that, in capable hands, a 40-year-old analog synthesizer is a tool for the ages. Metallic shimmer print on heavy duty jackets; 180 gram vinyl.
File Under: Synth, Noise, Nine Inch Nails
Dangerdoom: The Mouse & The Mask (Metal Face) 3LP
Back in 2005, super producer Danger Mouse and masked hip hop supervillain Doom came together for The Mouse And The Mask, a collaborative album released under the name Dangerdoom. Among Doom’s most successful projects both critically and commercially, the album was inspired by Cartoon Network’s latenight Adult Swim programming slate, and includes appearances from several Adult Swim characters, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost, Harvey Birdman, and more. The full 7-track 2006 Dangerdoom EP Occult Hymn is included, as well as two previously unreleased tracks, making this the definitive Dangerdoom collection.
File Under: Hip Hop
Faust: Fresh Air (Bureau B) LP
Faust’s new album Fresh Air differs in several respects from its predecessor, Just Us. The recordings were made at Jean-Hervé Péron’s rehearsal studio in Schiphorst in northern Germany, hypnotic pieces with the kind of noisemaking the band is known for. For the new album, Péron and Werner “Zappi” Diermaier were looking for communication with musician friends and the audience. The tracks were recorded in changing ensembles at changing locations in the USA (during a tour in 2016). In these community recordings, with friendly support from Péron’s database of field recordings, a strongly shaded noise music emerged which extends its feelers to the remotest corners of the here and now. Droning, swinging, lusting for freedom, here and there holding out quite stoically as machine-room blues. On board are the freely fabulous Barbara Manning in a live lecture, Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps) in overdub, and Ysanne Spevack as a wonderful wave-maker on the viola. The seven and a half minute title track begins with the poem by a French school friend of Péron (translated and recited in Polish) and ends in an industrial sound inferno. The singer cries for “Fresh Air” as if it is being taken away from him. Jean-Hervé Péron offers a political reading: “Can you breathe calmly here, or are we being poisoned?” “Engajouez Vous!” Péron presents this franco-Faustian artificial word to the audience and rewrites the Marseillaise for the here and now in the track “Chlorophyl”. And finally, Zappi has his mini-dada performance with “Schnobs” and “Bia”: a small dialect-based text piece, which starts with chlorophyl, goes over the meadow past the cow and lands with the farmer who drinks a beer and schnapps and suddenly sees two cows. The story of the band can tell that tale nicely. As Krautrockers, Faust had a worldwide career. On their first three albums in the early 1970s, they inhabited the vast field from improvisation to bricolage to rock’n’roll with the ease of rogues and the determination of declared sonic renegades. One can still feel the breathing of this music in current Faust pieces, in the stone-age thudding of “Fish”, which Faust anticipated in 1972 on “Mamie Is Blue”. “We let the music play through us,” says Jean-Hervé Péron. Jean-Hervé Péron has a little tip for us: Listen to the fish.
File Under: Krautrock
Fourth Sensation: s/t (Cinedelic) LP
Cinedelic Records present the first ever reissue of the sought after album Fourth Sensation, originally released in 1970. The band was formed by Ares Tavolazzi (I Giganti, Area) — who later was an active session musician as well as being a leading figure in the Italian jazz scene, accompanying Gil Evans, Steve Lacy, Max Roach, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, Franco D’Andrea, and many others — on guitar, Ellade Bandini on drums, keyboardist Vince Tempera — who, a few years later formed the progressive supergroup Il Volo with Mario Lavezzi and Alberto Radius and, in the late ’70s, composed a myriad of memorable TV and cartoon themes –, and Angelo Vaggi on bass. Musically, the project is precisely within the context of the year it was released, which coincided in Italy with the decline of the beat and the advent of the underground and psychedelic movements; in the Italian scene it inaugurated a trend of records of this type such as The Underground Set (1970), Blue Phantom’s 1971 album Distortions (KIS 4029CD), The Psycheground Group’s Psychedelic And Underground Music (1971), Silvano Chimenti’s Droga (1972) and others, still objects of worship by collectors worldwide. The composers of the songs are known to library music lovers, namely they are Stefano Torossi, Giuliano Sorgini, Massimo Catalano, and Sandro Brugnolini. Musically, it is undeniable the technical skill of the four interpreters in the ten tracks here, all curiously titled with the names of women, they are alternately a mix of acid blues, soul jazz, funk, and psychedelia, with the Hammond organ of Tempera in the foreground. Comes in a solid cardboard cover.
File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych
Mark Fry: Dreaming With Alice (Merlins Nose) LP
Merlins Nose Records present a reissue of Mark Fry’s Dreaming With Alice, originally released in 1972. Dreaming With Alice was already an obscurity by the time of its release. Recorded by a 19 year old Mark Fry for an Italian sub label of RCA, it presented a beautifully naive kind of psychedelic folk similar to what the Incredible String Band laid down at the same time just a bit more straight forwarded. Young Mark enchants his listeners with dreamy vocal melodies of utter beauty which create an outmost peaceful atmosphere. The picturesque tunes take the listener on a trip out to the English countryside, on a gentle and warm spring morning, and into a fairytale world. You might get lost within this colorful dream and not be willing to return to grey reality anymore, but this music burns as the flame of love within your heart. The direction, despite all psychedelic elements, is definitely determined by British folk music of the ’60s and ’70s. One charmingly odd aspect of the album is that the title track has been split up over the whole album as short sections flanking the longer tunes. Mark Fry plays his acid folk from the bottom of his soul without thinking about satisfying the demands of the mainstream audience. Dreaming With Alice is intriguing, keen, and absolutely one of a kind, with a mood changing from rainy days to sunny mornings out in the meadows. Original copies in good condition go for about 1600 Euros, so a reissue is welcome among fans of totally psyched-out music, with mostly acoustic instrumentation and vocals. A must have for all fans of acid folk from the late ’60s to the early ’70s era. RIYL: Perry Leopold, Incredible String Band, Steeleye Span, Woods Band, Pentangle.
File Under: Psych, Folk
Full of Hell: Trumpeting Ecstasy (Profound Lore) LP
Maryland / Pennsylvania experimental death-noise band Full Of Hell have embarked on quite the journey leading up to the their latest full-length album Trumpeting Ecstasy, their most punishing, virulent, and dynamic work to date. The embryonic beginnings of Full of Hell displayed their palette at its most primitive: d-beat and blast-ridden hardcore punk, with spats of noise and caustic rhythm. After the release of their Profound Lore Records debut Full Of Hell & Merzbow in late 2014, their third full-length album, the band began to truly come into their own, combining elements of their previous sound with grindcore, death / black metal, sonically laden power electronics and industrial pounding. The band followed this up with a direct collaboration album with The Body and several EPs, one of them being their most-recent split 7-inch with Nails (which debuted on #2 on the Billboard Top 100 Singles Chart). The band builds upon their Merzbow collaboration and the releases succeeding it with this latest—going into God City Studios with Kurt Ballou at the production helm, the result is their best and strongest. Sky tearing and sonically cataclysmic, this aural deluge also features guest appearances by Aaron Turner (Sumac / Old Man Gloom / Mamiffer / Isis), Nate Newton (Converge / Old Man Gloom), Andrew Nolan (Column Of Heaven / The Endless Blockade), and Canadian singer/songwriter Nicole Dollanganger.
File Under: Metal
Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt) 3LP+CD/CD
In the body of work of Cologne artist Wolfgang Voigt – who, like few others, has informed, shaped and influenced the world of electronic music with countless different projects since the early 1990s – Gas stands out in particular, a saturnine sound cosmos based on heavily condensed classic sequences. Even after nearly 20 years, the sound of Gas doesn’t seem to have lost any of its luster, as shown by the commanding success of Kompakt’s fall 2016 re-release of the essential back catalogue as a box set. The overwhelming feedback from a loyal international fan community and worldwide media outlets attests once again to the sheer timelessness of Gas. Which is why it will feel like hardly a day has passed since the release of the last official album Pop nearly two decades ago in 2000, when Wolfgang Voigt resumes this specific creative path with the upcoming new full-length Narkopop. Even in the here and now, the unmistakable vibe of Gas immediately hits home, taking the listener on an otherworldly journey with the very first sounds, drawing them into an impervious sonic thicket, down to the depths of rapture and reverie. From wafts of dense symphonic mist emerges a floating and whirling feeling of weightlessness, before the listener steps into an eerily beautiful forest of fantasy, pulled in by the allure of a narcotic bass drum. While earlier Gas tracks were often based on the hypnotic effects of looping techniques, the ten new pieces on Narkopop unfold their magic in a more entwined manner, sometimes with the sonic might of an entire philharmonic orchestra, at times subtle and fragile. A main characteristic of Voigt’s oeuvre, the coalescence of seemingly contradictory stylistic aspects such as harmonious and atonal, concrete and abstract, light and heavy, near and far is also a decisive feature of Narkopop. In accordance with the transgressive spirit of his collective work, Voigt carries the aesthetic conceptions of his music over to the realm of the visual. Based on his abstract forest pictures, the Gas artwork addresses Voigt’s artistic affinity to romanticism and the forest as a place of yearning. For the first time, a closer look at the cover of Narkopop reveals signs of architectural fragments which hint at another, maybe parallel world behind Voigt’s forest. Truth is the prettiest illusion.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
I Marc 4: G.L.P. 1001 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of I Marc 4’s G.L.P. 1001, originally released in 1970. The first volume in the Nelson Records series by the infamous Italian Jazz quartet. A seminal, deep underground session by a legendary Italian library studio combo, equipped with tons of sleazy sounds. Psychedelic guitar riffs, crazy tough funk and sharp groovy beats, to lovely jazz-arranged theme music, all influenced by the samba, bossa nova, and easy listening vibes of the time. I Marc 4 provided some of the best cinematic and theme music of the late sixties and early ’70s, and this is one of their deepest productions. Top Italian library LP production. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.
File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Groove
I Marc 4: G.L.P. 1002 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of I Marc 4’s G.L.P. 1002, originally released in 1970. G.L.P. 1002, marking their second record in the Nelson Records series, was the toughest session by the great I Marc 4 Italian jazz library combo. A killer album that is easily one of the top three albums from the Nelson Records series with no weak tracks at all. The music goes from insane psychedelic tunes to jazz, funk, and bossa and lounge tracks, with plenty of fuzz guitars, an amazing Hammond job, and totally catching drum breaks. An insane trip into early, golden Italian psychedelia and underground, with loads of laden beats and grooves, all with the mark of the legendary Italian quartet. Another essential jewel on Sonor Music Editions. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.
File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Groove
Modern Sound Quartet: Horoscope (Spettro) LP
Rome was, of course, the pulsating heart of Italian library music – it is the place where tv and movies are made, so editors and musicians tend to gather there. But we must not forget what was happening, at the same time, in Milan – where there was a very active music industry, but leaning more on the pop and jazz side. The Roman style was more connected to the classic and orchestral tradition, but the musicians in Milan adopted a more urban and international approach, in the vein of contemporary pop with some US jazz-funk instrumental deviations. It’s not a coincidence that among the most active artists in the library world we find people who – in the Seventies and Eighties – played in many records by Mina, Fabrizio De André, Gaber, Branduardi and Fausto Papetti. The quartet featuring pianist Oscar Rocchi, bassist Gigi Cappellotto, drummer Andy Surdi and guitarist Ernesto Verardi is behind many great library music albums, most of which released via the labels owned by Edizioni Minstrel. Horoscope was released in 1978, in a few hundred out of commerce copies, credited to Modern Sound Quartet (one of the many monikers used by the band), on Ring label. This album is a manifesto of the band’s style, using the concept of horoscope and zodiac signs to lay down a dozen of tracks perfectly reflecting their age: a good dose of disco (Lion, Aries, Sagittarius, Scorpion, Gemini), a hint of melodic pop (Virgin, Balance), a touch of prog (Fishes, Cancer), some light jazz-funk fusion (Capricorn) and b-movie atmospheres (Acquarius, Taurus).
File Under: Library, Italian, Disco, Jazz, Funk
Thurston Moore: Rock n Roll Consciousness (Caroline) LP
In tomorrow… Thurston Moore entered The Church studios in London to record new songs with producer Paul Epworth. Thurston, the founder of seminal US alternative rock experimentalists Sonic Youth and Paul, the celebrated producer and co-writer of Adele, The Pop Group, Florence & the Machine et al created a dynamic vibratory match (with the realization that they were both Leos, on the cusp of Cancer, born on July 25.) The session was mixed by Randall Dunn (Marissa Nadler, Sunn 0))), Earth, Boris) at Avast! Studios in Seattle. Thurston Moore Group had been touring since the critically acclaimed release The Best Day (2014, Matador) that introduced the core members James Sedwards (guitar), My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe (bass) and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (drums). Rock n Roll Consciousness is Thurston’s focus on this group’s strength, beauty and promise, with an unleashing of Sedwards’ brilliant guitar play, Googe’s minimalist groove ethic and Shelley’s in-the-pocket swing dynamism. The songs Thurston introduces here are expansive, anthemic and exploratory with lyrics, co-written with poet Radio Radieux, investigating and heralding the love between angels, goddess mysticism and a belief in healing through new birth. They range from the opener “Exalted,” an unfolding and emotional journey in homage to sacred energy and exaltation, to “Cusp” a springtime charging, propulsive piece with a feeling of Sonic Youth mixing in with My Bloody Valentine to “Turn On” a pop-sonic poem to holy love both intimate and kosmiche to the contemplative mystery of life-defining time travel in “Smoke of Dreams.” The record concludes with “Aphrodite,” a strange and heavy no wave rocker in salutation to the idol of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Rock n Roll Consciousness is a new and exhilarating chapter for Thurston Moore, and promises to be a creative highpoint for anyone interested in his legacy of avant-garde music and writing, as strong a statement as anything he has recorded these last three decades – serious and precocious and strangely accessible.
File Under: Indie Rock
Denis Mpunga & Paul K: Criola (Music From Memory) LP
A mini LP of works by Denis Mpunga and Paul K., all recorded between 1980-1984. Combining elements of traditional African music with experimental electronics, the Belgian/Congolese duo released only a handful of tracks, scattered across a few rare LP and cassette compilations that were put out in the mid-eighties by obscure European labels. This release also includes a few previously unreleased songs that were found on the original master tapes. Relocating with his family from the Congo to Belgium in 1973 at the young age of 13, Denis Mpunga grew up in Liege and quickly became deeply embedded in its musical scene, forming the group Gomma Percussions in 1979; a percussive group driven by West African influences. A side project Eko-Kuango formed by the Gomma Percussion members also saw the release in 1985 of the now much sought after 12″ Fura (1986), which also includes Denis Mpunga on vocals. Denis has continued to produce and compose music, perhaps most notably writing the soundtrack for the Dardenne brothers’s La Promesse (1996). Patrick Stas, who would release with Denis under the “Paul K.” moniker, was a well-known local musician in Liege and considered something of a luminary figure in the electronic and experimental music scene in Belgium. Patrick would set up the independent cassette and vinyl label Home Produkt. Both well-known figures in Liege’s music scene, the two of them would join forces in 1980 to work together on a soundtrack for a children’s animation company called CAMERA etc, recording the Intermezzo tracks which are included here. Keen to experiment further as a duo, Denis would propose the idea of combining some more traditional songs or percussive African elements with Patrick’s experiments with drum computers and synthesizers. Working around more conventional instruments such as guitar and bass, Denis would also bring balafons, senzas, and a zither to their recordings whilst Patrick would work with an array of synthesizers and drum machines, such as the Roland MC 202, TB 303, and TR 808, and the Korg MS20 and Monopoly. The recordings set out to play with and challenge preconceptions and expectations of African music and African culture. Together, Denis Mpunga and Paul K.’s, if somewhat brief, musical adventure would create a fascinating new musical language: African music born out of an industrial European landscape. 180 gram vinyl.
File Under: African, Electronic, Experimental
New Sound Quartet: Crazy Colours (Spettro) LP
Rome was, of course, the pulsing heart of Italian library music – it is the place where tv and movies are made, so editors and musicians tend to gather there. But we must not forget what was happening in the library music world, at the same time, in Milan – where there was a very active music industry, but leaning more on the pop and jazz side. The Roman style was more connected to the classic and orchestral tradition, but the musicians from Milan adopted a more urban and international approach, in the vein of contemporary pop with some US jazz-funk instrumental deviations. It’s not a coincidence that among the most active artists in the library world we find people who – in the Seventies and Eighties – played in many records by Mina, Fabrizio De André, Gaber, Branduardi and Fausto Papetti. The quartet featuring pianist Oscar Rocchi, bassist Gigi Cappellotto, drummer Andy Surdi and guitarist Ernesto Verardi is behind many great library music albums from the golden age, most of which released via the labels owned by Edizioni Minstrel. Crazy Colours (originally marketed in 1979 via BAM label, credited to the New Sound Quartet), is quite a big effort for a library music album, since it features a whole orchestra to back the quartet and soloist Hugo Heredia (always present on sax and flute in the albums by the four musicians). In these eight tracks, orchestral disco music is the main focus: in the vein of late Seventies, the biggest influences are to be found in Quincy Jones and Barry White. But the future is already there, since a few synths can be heard in the mix. To this landscape, Rocchi, Cappellotto, Surdi and Verardi add their personality, their experience in the pop field and the love for jazz – all with that peculiar Italian feel.
File Under: Library, Disco, Jazz
Bruno Nicolai: Femmine Insaziabili (Spettro) LP
Second release from the vaults of Spettro and another classic Italian gem of the late Sixties, a wonderful score from the genius of Bruno Nicolai, renowned for his long collaboration with Ennio Morricone and for countless and beautiful works for tv and cinema. Femmine insaziabili – also known as Carnal Circuit – is a 1969 Alberto De Martino giallo flick (with a young Romina Power) whose best part is without doubt the original soundtrack. With the help of the voice of the sublime Edda Dell’Orso, Nicolai delivers an amazing Italian giallo soundtrack, regarding an “insatiable female” as the title suggests, full of beat sound, orchestral landscapes, unbelievable themes and at least two or three classics like I Want It All (two versions, the instrumental ones being the best), I tuoi sospiri and Nostalgia di un incontro – some of the finest examples of Nicolai’s penchant for wordless female vocals in an instrumental setting.
File Under: OST, Library
Bruno Nicolai: Tempo Sospeso (Cinedelic) LP
Cinedelic Records present a reissue of Bruno Nicolai’s Tempo Sospeso, originally released in 1975. Bruno Nicolai was a leading figure in the world of Italian soundtracks although he is primarily known for being the most important of Ennio Morricone’s collaborators and his orchestra conductor in the period of Morricone’s greatest productions in the ’60s and ’70s. But Nicolai’s solo works are certainly not of lesser artistic relevance. Tempo Sospeso (“Suspended Time”) is one of the most representative albums in the sense that it was produced by Nicolai in 1975 without any filters or restrictions, in the period of his greatest artistic maturity. The style of his thriller soundtracks of the time, such as 1971’s The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave, 1972’s The Red Queen Kills Seven Times and Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key, and 1975’s Eyeball, is evident here, as well as the vibe of the “electrified” western, thanks largely to the acid fuzz guitar of Alessandro Alessandroni. The instrumentation is varied and the maestro plays piano, harpsichord, organ, and synth. What is presented here is library music that is definitely above average. The new graphic design of this edition was created by Daniel Martin Diaz from Tucson, Arizona, known for his symbolist works that have been published in The LA Times, NY Times, Juxtapoz, High Fructose, and Low Rider Magazine, as well as four of his own art books. Inside the LP is a postcard/photo of maestro Nicolai, a portrait in front of his Moog. Comes in a solid cardboard cover.
File Under: Library, OST, Italian
OST: Bob’s Burgers (Sub Pop) 3LP
Bob’s Burgers premiered on the Fox network January 2011, and quickly became one of the most watched series on television. After enjoying the highest-rated new season premiere of the 2010-11 season, Bob’s Burgers quickly settled into an average viewership of over 4 million per episode. The show has won an Emmy award and been nominated five times, including a current nomination for Outstanding Animated Program. It has inspired many popular spinoff items, including a recent, best-selling cookbook. With the seventh season currently in progress, Bob’s Burgers’ cultural influence only grows. Now comes The Bob’s Burgers Music Album, featuring 109 songs from the first 107 episodes (all six existing seasons), plus five special cover versions of songs from the show. Originally broadcast within the episodes – and often in abbreviated form – these songs appear here in their freestanding glory for the first time. The Bob’s Burgers Music Album – in both its standard edition and its impressive deluxe edition – is sure to be a must-have for any fan of the show (and, really, any sentient life-form). The album features the main cast members – Bob (Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) and their children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) – singing original songs that build on the show’s unique sense of humor. Also featured are many of the show’s recurring and special guests, from comedians like Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Kline, Bill Hader, Zack Galifianakis, and Fred Armisen, to musical guests Cyndi Lauper and Carly Simon. Includes five never-aired “Bob’s Buskers” cover versions of songs from the show performed by St. Vincent, The National, Lapsley, and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.
File Under: OST, Indie Rock
OST: Fight Club (Mondo) LP
Mondo are proud to present the soundtrack to Fight Club on vinyl for the first time in over 15 Years. The Dust Brothers only film score to date, Fight Club is arguably one of the most enjoyable soundtrack albums to come out of the 90’s and part of that has to do with the fact that it is one of the best sequenced scores of all time. Weaving all of the films cues from the film into 16 songs, the album winds up feeling like the best instrumental Trip-Hop album you’ve never heard. Buy it, or you will be incomplete. But be warned, this album is not beautiful, clean or perfect. It is not Mint, or even VG+. It is Fair at best. Just like you. You are not your record collection.
File Under: OST, Mondo
OST: The Girl With All The Gifts (Death Waltz) LP
We are absolutely thrilled to finally work with composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer. His work on the UK TV show Utopia is one of our most played records of the last few years, and he is surely one of the most original and unique voices in the world of soundtracks of the last decade. The fact that we get to work with him on one of THE best zombie films in years is the icing on the cake. Breathing new life into a stale genre is so hard to do, but The Girl with All the Gifts turns the genre on its head, managing to be intelligent, thrilling, scary and funny without sacrificing the gore or characterization. De Veer’s score is haunting, beautiful and so multi-layered I still haven’t tired of it after six months of constant listening. This truly is one of the best scores of 2017.
File Under: OST, Horror, Death Waltz
OST: Silent Hill (Mondo) LP
Set in the eponymous town of Silent Hill, you play as Harry Mason after a car crash leaves you stranded and searching for his missing adopted daughter, Cheryl. But this town is not what it seems, and Harry quickly discovers that his daughter’s disappearance may be a connected to the town’s mysterious cult activity. Mondo is proud present the premiere Vinyl release of the soundtrack to the haunting, original Playstation title Silent Hill. Don’t let the tone of the plucky mandolin driven opening track fool you, this is one of the most haunting soundtracks we’ve ever released. Full of hair-raising, pulse-pounding, industrial cues – this soundtrack is the stuff of nightmares – which is important, since Silent Hill (and its subsequent sequels) has it’s feet planted firmly in the legacy of survival horror gaming.
File Under: OST, Horror, Video Games
Pancrace: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
Penultimate Press present the debut recording from French outfit Pancrace. Music for pipe organ Stiehr-Mockers 1848, bird calls, baroque violin, tin whistle, boîtes à bourdons, landscape piano, motorized bow, Standuino Pi synth, microphones, hurgy toys, AM radio, church bells, uilleann pipes, and hulusi. Pancrace is an improvising quintet comprising French, British, and Austrian performers. The members include Prune Bécheau, Arden Day, Julien Desailly, Léo Maurel, and Jan Vysocky. Pancrace is also the name of the church in Dangolsheim Alsace located next to where the instrument inventor Léo Maurel lives. Maurel makes ingeniously designed instruments inspired by the hurdy gurdy. The recording emerged from a disruption of the traditional elements within the church, namely the church organ which was prepared inside out whilst the performers challenged its gregarious authority with an array of constructed and modified instruments. On Pancrace, one can hear many of these shape-shifting instruments and devices being twiddled without quite knowing which are bowed, plucked, hammered, or rubbed. The results are a maelstrom of sound and song which see-saw between the harrowing and the sublime with incredible detail to sonic content. Pancrace instigates proceedings in the confinement of an organ; a cyclops puffing its continuous and raucous breath only to be woken by instruments who, like horseflies, mischievously start tormenting proceedings with microtones and striated polyrhythms. The journey ends four sides later with the language of the birds imposing an unadorned silence on the church. Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, Drone
Oscar Rocchi & Tullio De Piscopo: Metamorphosis (Spettro) LP
The early Eighties marked a transition in popular music, especially for a generation of musicians (still heavily influenced by the previous decade) trying to assimilate the changes in aesthetics and technology which were occurring. Disco music is dead, so is prog, synths are still too expensive and unreliable, jazz is lost somewhere and the term fusion has become really popular. This the environment in which this album – released in 1981 by library music label Ring – was recorded by a bunch of jazz players and session men from the Milan area, led by pianist Oscar Rocchi and world famous drummer Tullio De Piscopo (respectively credited for seven and four tracks of the album). The stellar line-up features bass player Julius Farmer (from New Orleans), guitarist Sergio Farina, Argentinean sax and flute player Hugo Heredia and Cicci Santucci (trumpet and saxcorn). Metamorphosis is not the typical fragmented collection – something pretty common in the world of library music; this is a body of heterogeneous songs with a common ground, a solid body of work (which would surely fit in De Piscopo’s and Rocchi’s personal discographies). The genre is fusion, still positively influenced by jazz-funk (no muzak effect here!) but also following the impulse to experiment typical of the most progressive jazz-rock. De Piscopo is in top shape (it’s not a coincidence that, in 1981, Vai Mo by Pino Daniele was also released), sporting a bit less exuberant style of playing compared to his jazz albums of the same period – so he sounds really effective and sharp. With Farmer (who was playing with Dr. John and Professor Longhair before moving to Italy) he makes one of the best rhythm sections of Italian music of the Seventies and Eighties (if you’re not convinced, just listen to Carta Straccia and America Good-Bye, two amazing pop albums with a funk soul).
File Under: Library, Italian, Jazz, Funk
Puccio Roelens: La Musica Di Puccio Roelens (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of La Musica Di Puccio Roelens, originally released in 1969. This album by the great maestro and orchestra conductor Puccio Roelens, who’s responsible for some for the funkiest productions made in Italy, is considered a legendary album among Italian library junkies and Euro groove hunters. Music swings from jazz to funk and psychedelia, with loads of terrific beats, laden grooves, and top breakbeats simply to die for. Breathtaking psychedelic jazz arrangements, lounge funk tunes, catchy bossa, and terrific drums groove. One of the most desired items of the genre is finally available. Holy Grail Alert! 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.
File Under: Library, Italian, Jazz, Funk, Psych
Ruscigan: Disagio Sociale (Spettro) LP
Ruscigan is Guido Baggiani, neapolitan composer and trumpet player & Piero Umiliani, one of the most important Masters in Italian music, author of dozens of soundtracks and library recordings. “Disagio Sociale” was always considered as Umiliani’s solo work, even though it’s not part of his detailed and official discography as, i.e., “Viaggio nel domani”. Despite all the mystery and the discomfort of not knowing, the re-release of “Disagio sociale” is now available for the first time on vinyl. Title songs were and still are actual and prophetics: ‘Disoccupazione’ (unemployement), ‘Classe operaia’ (working class) (yes, but which one now?), ‘Campagne abbandonate’ (forsaken farmlands), ‘Casa di riposo’ (rest home), ‘Riformatorio’ (Reformatory), speak about Italy in the ‘70s, outdated yet still existing. Moods and textures belong to those years – we are in 1971, when ’68 political echoes still resound in citizens’ ears and minds. The Morriconian’s and almost western theme of ‘Movimento sindacale’ (labour movement) stands for redemption and labor and human rights, but melancholy and frustration are the main concepts of the album, highlighted by flutes and acoustic guitars (‘Casa di riposo’, unhappy starting from the title, and the two versions of ‘Riformatorio’). The strange experimental intermezzo in ‘Mano d’opera’ (manpower) is just an interlude, leading the listener to the last song “Coscienza di classe’ (class consciousness), expression of the social distress this record refers to. “Disagio Sociale” is a rare and beautiful album and it’s important that’s the first release of the newborn Italian label Spettro.
File Under: Italian, Library
Chris Stapleton: From A Room Vol 1 (Mercury) LP
In tomorrow… Chris Stapleton will follow up his Grammy Award-winning, double platinum 2015 debut Traveller with not one but two albums in 2017. From A Room: Volume 1 will be issued in May while second installment From A Room: Volume 2 will appear later in the year. The album takes its name from Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, where it was recorded during the winter of 2016-2017. Once again produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, Volume 1 features eight original songs as well as a rendition of “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning” written by Gary P. Nunn and Donna Sioux Farar and made famous by Willie Nelson. Other highlights include “Second One To Know” which Stapleton recently premiered at the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards as well as the album’s first single, “Either Way.” In addition to Stapleton on vocals and guitar and Cobb on acoustic guitar, the album features Morgane Stapleton on harmony vocals as well as longtime band-members J.T. Cure on bass and Derek Mixon on drums and musicians Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Robby Turner on pedal steel and Mike Webb on keys. “I’m real proud of this record,” Stapleton exclaimed at a record release party at RCA Studio A in Nashville, TN. “We made it right here in (RCA Studio A) like the last one. We camped out in here…and had a lot of fun recording things.”
File Under: Country
Sugar: Copper Blue (Demon) 3LP
Late UK RSD…. 2017 is the 25th anniversary of Copper Blue, the Top 10 debut album by American alternative rock band Sugar. In 1992 NME voted it Album Of The Year, and it was also included in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’. This limited edition reissue includes the classic album and a double LP of ‘Live At The Cabaret Metro, 1992’. The live show has never been available before on vinyl. Format: 3LP Gatefold on silver, gold & blue coloured vinyl.
File Under: Alternative Rock
Ugly Things #44
“Our headline stories this time include a candid, in-depth new interview with Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean, and a feature of ’60s Southern rock ‘n’ soul heroes The Uniques. We also reveal the stories of Sloan & Barri pop protégés The Thomas Group, Australian shock rocker Geoff Crozier, Swedish R&B long-hairs Sooner Or Later and New York garage teens Johnny Farfisa & The Individuals. Meanwhile Mike Medina delves into the mystery of drumming genius Eddie Hoh, who played with MFQ, the Monkees, the Mamas & the Papas and others before disappearing into night and fog at the end of the sixties. Our story about Southern California garage psych cult heroes Things To Come concludes, and Hunter Bennett interviews Tony Kinman of The Dils and Rank & File. Plus much more, including a new installment in Cyril Jordan’s ongoing Flamin’ Groovies saga, and our extensive review sections, the ultimate consumers’ guide to all the latest vinyl and CD reissues and rock’n’roll-related books.”
File Under: Magazines, Reading
Jaap Vink: s/t (Recollection GRM) LP
“The Institute of Sonology in Utrecht has earned its international reputation mostly for pioneering work in the field of computer-assisted algorithmic composition and digital sound synthesis by composers such as Gottfried Michael Koenig, Werner Kaegi, Paul Berg, and Barry Truax. Anyone familiar with the music of these composers would have to admit that even within this ‘genre’ there were no stylistic dogmas. The stylistic range of the Institute’s artistic output becomes even broader when the work of other staff and frequent guests is taken into account, for example the compositions based on field recordings and audio-visual projects by Frits Weiland, the radiophonic works and pieces for tape and instruments by Luctor Ponse, the cybernetic tape compositions by Roland Kayn, or the experiments with computer graphics by Peter Struycken, to name just a few. And then there was Jaap Vink. Jaap Vink studied engineering at first, but then became interested in electronic music. He attended courses in electroacoustics at Delft University of Technology and installed a pedagogical studio for electronic music in 1961 at the Gaudeamus Foundation . . . Jaap Vink always tried to break out of the periodicity of the sounds so abundantly available in the electronic music studio. Although his music was entirely produced with purely electronic sound material, its textures resemble the richness of orchestral sounds, or large natural sound-complexes, as a result of recursive processes. The density of this sound material increases and decreases by careful control of feedback networks with configurations of analog tape recorders (delay lines), filters, and modulators. It should come as no surprise that his work is being rediscovered at a time when a new generation of musicians has conquered the stage with modular synthesizer setups and ‘no-input mixers’, in which feedback of audio and control signals plays an important role. And although Jaap Vink’s music wasn’t performed live but produced and recorded on magnetic tape in the studio, it is exactly the human interaction with feedback processes that connects his work with the current generation of live electronic music performers. To some extent Jaap Vink’s pieces are indeed recorded live improvisations, and extending his patches and ‘rehearsing’ with them was an ongoing process. . . . The selection presented here gives an overview of Jaap Vink’s works made in Utrecht, ranging from his first composition Screen up to Tide 85.” –Kees Tazelaar Works selected by: François Bonnet and Kees Tazelaar.
File Under: Early Electronic
Jane Weaver: Modern Kosmology (Fire) LP
Modern Kosmology sees Jane Weaver’s melodic-protagonist channeling new depths of creative cosmic energy within. After the huge critical acclaim of 2012’s Fallen By Watchbird, followed by 2015’s exploratory Silver Globe LP winning her unanimous “record of the year accolades” and hefty measures of radio play-listing Jane Weaver’s conceptual trajectory has sent her neo-kosmische penchants to the point of no-return. Jane Weaver’s unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism. As snowclones go, Modern Kosmology is the new Silver. Another Spectrum to add to the tension. Jane Weaver also announces a short run of album launch shows in the UK this May, ahead of more extensive UK and European touring to be announced later in the year.
File Under: Kosmische, Pop
Various: Brown Acid: Fourth Trip (Riding Easy) LP
If you thought we were getting close to the end of the Brown Acid series with our last Trip, you were dead wrong…we’re only just getting rolling. The well of privately released hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal 45s is deep and we are nowhere near tapped out. Most of these records were barely released and never properly distributed so they ain’t easy to find, but they’re out there if you’re willing to dig…and we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty. Hard calluses have formed from handling the shovel and we’ve sifted through a lot of dirt, but we’ve dug up another ten tremendous records to share with all the heavy heads out there. This volume brings together eight insanely rare and skull-crushingly heavy 45s as well as two previously unreleased bangers. You may remember the Zekes’ jaw dropper “Box” from the First Trip. If you don’t, you better go back and refresh your memory, you stoner. That song rips! And so does this previously unheard recording we legally obtained from the Beverly Hills records vaults. “Comin Back” is the longest tune we’ve yet to include on this series and it’s a full-on rager! The only surviving copy of this recording came to us on the original 1/4” master tape from Hollywood’s long-defunct Demars & Duffy Music. We did our best to preserve the recording and we think you’ll appreciate the rawness. There have been numerous groups named Bad Axe over the years, but the one you hear here is the baddest. This five-piece fresh outta high school kicked out this jam (and a few others) in a Chicago studio in 1973 just for the hell of it. As a garage band, they were previously named The Burlington Express and they went on to be known as Bitch, but these dudes hit their stride as Bad Axe and “Coachman” is their crowning achievement. It went completely unreleased until 2014 when Permanent Records issued it and “Poor Man, Run” as a limited edition 45 with a killer picture sleeve. It’s long out-of-print and only obtainable now on Brown Acid. The rest of the records included on this volume vary in rarity, but at least two of them were virtually unknown until we discovered them. You’ll win the lottery before you find copies of all of the original 45s in even the best record stores. Many of the records included in this volume are owned only by the members of the bands and some of the band members don’t even have personal copies. That’s just how hard these guys hit it back in the day! We’re lucky some of these guys are still alive and well enough to give us permission to use their masters. And for that, we thank them. And you, for all your support. Brown Acid is here to stay…as long as you’ll have us. Plug in, turn up, and freak out…this is what RocknRoll is all about.
File Under: Rock, Psych
Various: Mono No Aware (Pan) LP
Mono No Aware is the first compilation to be released on PAN, collating unreleased ambient tracks from both new and existing PAN artists. Featuring Jeff Witscher, Helm, TCF, Yves Tumor, M.E.S.H., Pan Daijing, HVAD, Kareem Lotfy, ADR, Mya Gomez, Sky H1, James K, Oli XL, Bill Kouligas, Flora Yin-Wong, Malibu, and AYYA, the compilation moves through more traditional notions of what is called “ambient”, to incorporating wider variations that fall under the term. “Mono no aware”, “the pathos of things”, also translates as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”. A term for the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things. A meditation on mortality and life’s transience, ephemerality heightens the appreciation of beauty and sensitivity to their passing. In investigating the passing of time, the boundaries between memory and hallucination become blurred; between fiction and reality. The movement of time transforms into an eternal present. James K’s “Stretch Deep” features Eve Essex. Features photography by Molly Matalon; Design by Bill Kouligas. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Joshua Abrams: Simultonality (Eremite) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
TL Barrett: Like A Ship… (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Del: I Wish My Brother George Was Here (Traffic) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Frost/Bjarnason: Solaris (Bedroom Community) LP
Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Mort Garson: Plantasia (Great Thunder) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Cowboy in Sweden (Light in the Attic) LP
Karen Krog: Don’t Just Sing (Light in the Attic) LP
La Femme: Psycho Tropica Brazil (Bornbad) LP
La Femme: Mystere (Bornbad) LP
Clara Mondshine: Luna Africana (Great Thunder) LP
Monks: Black Monk Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Morphine: Cure for Pain (Modern Classics) LP
Picchio Dal Pozzo: s/t (Goodfellows) LP
Public Image LTD.: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling Out of Context (Audika) LP
Shocking Blue: At Home (Music on Vinyl) LP
Elliott Smith: Either/Or (Kill Rock Star) LP
This Heat: S/t (Modern Classics) LP
Virgo Four: Resurrection (Rush Hour) LP
Wipers: Is This Real (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Over The Edge (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Youth of America (Jackpot) LP
Yamasuki: Le Monde Fabuleux (Great Thunder) LP
Various: Africa Airways 1 (Africa Seven) LP
Various: Africa Airways 2 (Africa Seven) LP
Various: Hillbillies in Hell 2 (Iron Mountain) LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) LP
…. and much much more…..