As you can see, we are swimming in new stock this week! Needless to say, I’m swamped, so read on or better still, come down for a dig.
…..picks of the week…..
Yasuaki Shimizu: Music for Commericals (Crammed) LP
In tomorrow… You bought Kakashi (you did right?) now get Shimizu’s version of library music. Killer…. Yasuaki Shimizu’s Music For Commercials  is here given a much needed first ever reissue some 30 years since it appeared on Crammed’s Made To Measure library music series, which also included editions by Tuxedomoon and Hctor Zazou. Very safe to say that if you were enchanted by Visible Cloaks’ Reassemblage LP or their Fairlights, Mallets & Bamboo mixes, this one is a must! In 24 parts Shimizu unfolds a tightly packed lattice of crystalline gems and vignettes crafted for TV commercials, plus the 15 minute Ka-Cho-Fu-Getsu piece for a Computer Animation Video which is practically worth the price of entry alone. Presumably titled after the corporations who employed him, you’ll find stacks of super sweet, pastoral 4th world emulations patched from keys, sax, gamelan, drum machines and electronics for the likes of Seiko, Ricoh, Sharp, Honda, Knorr and Bridgestone, each as exactingly cute and piquant as the last. Known for his numerous albums, soundtracks, and collaborations including with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Bjork, this is perhaps Shimizu’s most sought-after and influential work and one that perfectly encapsulates our collective yearning for peace and quiet in an increasingly commercialised, chaotic world. Recommended!
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Jazz, Library
Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin: Buy Corals Online (Editions Mego) LP
One of my very favorites from last year, I’m not sure I’ve ever had enough stock to even put this in the news letter. An amazing slab of modern ambient/electronic… First outing for this collaborative effort from the prolific Posh Isolation mainstay Loke Rahbek and Frederik Valentin of KYO, also on the revered Danish label. As old friends circling around the same scene, this is the first time they have combined their respective perspectives. The results are an ambitious aquatic infused audio environment. Recorded near water at Valentin’s studio within the vicinity of the new aquarium in Copenhagen, Buy Corals Online channels the sensual floating aspects of such environments. “During Japan’s Edo period (1615-1868) the phrase ‘the floating world’ (ukiyo) evoked an imagined universe of wit, stylishness, and extravagance — with overtones of naughtiness, hedonism, and transgression. Implicit was a contrast to the humdrum of everyday obligation. The concept of the floating world began in the Japanese heartland, migrated eastward, and came to full flower in Edo (present-day Tokyo), where its main venues were popular Kabuki theaters and red-light districts.” –Wikipedia Buy Corals Online arrives as a suite of works embracing the joy of being close to something you don’t require interaction in order to experience. This enchanting aquatic infused audio hovers a sensual world rich in sensory experience. Loke Rahbek and Frederik Valentin’s debut outing conjurer’s a world both sensual and abstract as it moves casually alongside fantasy. Recorded 2016 & 2017, Copenhagen S, Natfabrikken. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, Germany 2017.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Jonny Nash/Lindsay Todd: Fauna Mapping (Island of the Gods) LP
Another of my favorites that might not have made the list late last year. Another killer outing from Island of the Gods, tropical Fourth World vibes full of lush found sounds, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… Jonny Nash (Gaussian Curve, Melody As Truth) and Firecracker’s Lindsay Todd get barefoot and turn out a stunner of an LP with Fauna Mapping. Over the course of twelve compositions, you’ll find the pair utilizing their recordings in a whole host of ways, avoiding the well-trodden clichés of the “exotic” and instead attempting to achieve a personal interpretation of the flora, fauna, and climate of the island. Spending time amidst the insects, rice fields, and scorching sun, the pair gathered a library of found sounds which were then taken back to a studio space to be stretched, mangled, and manipulated alongside a variety of electronic and acoustic instruments. The outdoor studio itself became a living instrument, with the duo setting up multiple microphones for durations of up to 12 hours around the space, layering and processing the results in tracks such as “Fauna Mapping” and “A Series Of Small Frogs”.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Field Recordings, Fourth World
Bell Witch: Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore) LP
In tomorrow… Finally some stock! These might all be gone before you even read this, but we’ll be getting more next week or so too… With their third full-length album Mirror Reaper, Seattle doom metal duo Bell Witch have created their most enormous and all-encompassing work to date.The band takes their blueprint for minimalistic, mournful, yet massive sound and expands it to a new level, doing the unthinkable in the genre: a continuous 83-minute piece unfolding as a single time-stretching track. Once again engineered and mixed by veteran producer Billy Anderson (who claims this as one of the milestones in his entire producing career) the duo of Dylan Desmond (bass, vocals) and Jesse Shreibman (drums, vocals, organ) push the sound even further beyond their landmark 2015 album, the genre-defining Four Phantoms. With organ adding a new layer, the album also sees honorary member and guest vocalist Erik Moogridge (Aerial Ruin) return once again offering an even more prominent presence with his vocals. On the themes surrounding the concept and lyrics, the band states: “Our original idea for this record was to write a two-song album titled As Above / So Below. These two songs would have been split into seven movements to correlate with the seven Hermetic principals. The process took a life of its own and upon completion we have one song spanning 83 minutes. It is titled in reference to the axiom ‘As Above So Below’. During the writing process we were devastated by the loss of our dear friend and former drummer, Adrian Guerra. Out of love for and in respect to his memory, we reserved an important yet brief section in the song for him that features vocal tracks left over from our previous album. We believe he would be proud of it.”
File Under: Metal
Alberto Boccardi & Stefano Pilia: Bastet (Nashazphone) LP
Collaboration piece between two major players in the contemporary Italian electro-acoustic music scene. Alberto Boccardi has studied composition and music theory at Milan’s Music Civic Academy and has frequently collaborated with Lawrence English, Nicola Ratti, and Maurizio Abate, among others. Stefano Pilia is a prolific guitarist and electro-acoustic theorist with a massive body of work and compositions. He has collaborated with Mike Watt, Nico Vascellari, David Tibet, and Valerio Tricoli, to name a few. “The sounding worlds of Boccardi and Pilia meet in quasi-narrative paths. Immediately, from the first glance at the tracklist, something seems to thematize the encounter in its two-faced nature: two dedications (‘Bastet’ and ‘Dayira’, the birth), each one in two parts, but also an encounter between electric guitar and percussions. The guitar being itself already an encounter between acoustic and electric sounds. Yet again, organic and electronic soundscapes are coupled down into introspection and vision. While ‘Bastet’ is set to follow an inner voyage along memories and ambiences where Popol Vuh and Robert Rich seem to faintly appear, it is ‘Dayira’ that is given the mission of projecting the inner vision into vast emotional landscapes. And at the very end something new is birthed, a minor chord that apparently has nothing to do with the drones and patterns preceding it, along the sound of the entire album. An intriguing surprise that is driven by an electronic, floating aura to a quasi-interrupted ending. Functioning as a promise that this voyage has yet to be finished.” –Massimilano Viel, Milano, Italy, January 2018 “I love this new album Bastet by Alberto Boccardi and Stefano Pilia right from my first listen I decided I would go to the sea (my pedro town is in the harbor of Los Angeles) to write my thoughts about it cuz the sea is what I first thought of when I heard the first sounds of it coming — I figured it was the sea cuz I had feelings from the music I had these sensations cuz I felt I was in the ocean — on a boat… actually not just on a boat but in the bottom of it — down in the bilge. The musical interaction between Alberto and Stefano is seamless and whole, free of potentially encumbering static structures. I’m drawn into the pitch and yaw, the port and starboard, the heave and ho. The piece is made of two parts (‘Bastet’ and ‘Dayira’) with each of those parts being made of likewise two parts. By the middle I feel lower in the bowels of the boat and in fact, this boat is now feeling like a submarine and so not only am I deep down up in the vessel itself, the world I feel around in is also deep down in it, deep down beneath the waves and so I feel the pushing of currents, the pressure of the depths compressing the bulkheads. On the very bottom of the hull’s inside, over the keel I place my head so the vibrations can pass right the bone of my skull. The last part of the voyage for me is a surprise cuz now the sub feels more like a train. We’re still moving but everything is no longer wet and there are many gifts falling into my eyes and I survey the passing landscapes. The mechanized sounds throughout the piece by now only confirm my suspicion they were only coincidences of chance and not purpose-built reels of barbed-wire to enforce fake borders. Maybe this ‘railroad’ in my head actually was the sea becoming a river and I got confused. Whatever, Alberto and Stefano created and preformed a whole and beautiful work that I feel we are very lucky to get to share with them. Music connected by imagination to let the spirit flow true. No wonder I read somewhere the cat-headed old Egypt deity of past was considered the guardian of the dream world. I am inspired. Grazie, fratelli.” –Mike Watt, San Pedro, California, January 2018
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
David Bowie: Heroes (Parlophone) LP
In 1976 David Bowie relocated to Berlin, enlisting Brian Eno and Tony Visconti to begin recording the albums that would become known as his “Berlin Trilogy”: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno. In fact the only album of the three to literally be recorded in Berlin was the second installment, Heroes. Joining the fold here was King Crimson’s Robert Fripp whose strapping guitar lines proved to be the perfect foil for Bowie and Visconti’s ahead of the curve sonic innovations. Propelled by the spectrum spanning singles “Heroes” and “Beauty And The Beast,” the LP peaked at No. 3 in the UK album chart in November 1977, a year in which it was also named Album Of The Year in both NME and Melody Maker. No mean feat considering the other great music that was released that year, not least of all, both of Iggy Pop’s first solo releases, The Idiot and Lust For Life, two records which Bowie also had a very big hand in. There’s old wave, there’s new wave, and there’s David Bowie!
File Under: Rock
David Bowie: Lodger (Parlophone) LP
In 1976 David Bowie relocated to Berlin, enlisting Brian Eno and Tony Visconti to begin recording the albums that would become known as his “Berlin Trilogy”: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno. The final installment, Lodger features no instrumentals and is the most pop-leaning of the trio of releases. Toeing the line of accessibility and and experimentation is a Bowie hallmark and he does it to perfection on the melodic and multi-layered standouts “DJ,” “Look Back in Anger” and “Boys Keep Swinging.” Frank Zappa guitarist Adrian Belew also replaces Robert Fripp this time around as well and his free-range playing helps define the underrated record. There’s old wave, there’s new wave, and there’s David Bowie!
File Under: Rock
David Bowie: Low (Parlophone) LP
This OBVIOUSLY would be a pick of the week had we not been massively shorted on our order, more soon hopefully! January 1977 saw the release of the first installment of what came to be known as David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. That album was the Bowie/Tony Visconti produced Low and it was followed later the same year by Heroes with the trilogy completed in 1979 by the arrival of Lodger. Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Brian Eno. Much has been written about the brilliance and braveness of the music on Low, and rightly so. It’s probably hard to imagine with the ears of today how absolutely unique the record sounded back in 1977. Apart from the obvious slicing of the album into two distinct sides, Visconti gifted Low that distinctive drum sound, among other things. Though Low was a record purportedly informed by the likes of Kraftwerk and other German musicians of the time, it actually sounded far more organic and not at all mechanized. This was in no small measure due to the nucleus of the band Bowie had favored during this whole period (starting with Station To Station), of Carlos Alomar (guitar), Dennis Davis (drums) and George Murray (bass). The album was a commercial success, peaking at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 11 on the US Billboard Pop Albums chart. “Sound and Vision” and “Be My Wife” were released as singles; the former reaching No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. Low sounds as fresh today as it ever did…thirty nine minutes of untouchable genius. Prepare to be transported by its gloriously uplifting melancholia and majestic musical language from a time and place that has yet to arrive.
File Under: Rock
David Bowie: Scary Monsters (Parlophone) LP
Berlin Trilogy producer Tony Visconti returned to co-pilot 1980’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) which found David Bowie back at the top of the charts and in more conventional rock & roll territory (by his standards anyway) for the first time in years. Incorporating aspects of his classic ’70s output, glam rock and the avant-garde – and featuring such world class guests as Robert Fripp, Pete Townshend and Roy Bittan – the inspired collection yielded the stylistic hits “Ashes to Ashes” and “Fashion” and is regarded as arguably the musical maverick’s final masterpiece.
File Under: Rock
S. Carey: Hundred Acres (Jagjaguwar) LP
At its heart, Hundred Acres – the third full-length from Wisconsin singer/songwriter S. Carey – finds him grounded and confident, writing the strongest songs of his career. More direct than ever, there is a wellspring of confidence in this new batch of songs that allow for ideas to remain uncomplicated while laying bare the intricacies of life. Written in between touring schedules and the growth of his family, Carey produced Hundred Acres at April Base in Fall Creek, WI with support from his regular crew and contributions from the likes of Rob Moose (yMusic), Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens) and Sophie Payten (Gordi). He employed a smaller, more focused scale of instrumentation than on his previous albums while writing mostly on guitar instead of his go-to piano. Using more traditional song structures instead of the Steve Reich-ian repetitions of his past work, a new balance is struck that creates something unique. The result is a collection of poetic yet clear-eyed songs that both stand brightly on their own and tightly weave together to create a powerful album.
File Under: Indie Rock
Robert Cohen-Solal: Les Shadoks (WRWTFWW) LP
Comes as a limited edition 12″ + 7″ vinyl album; High glossy gatefold; Includes an exclusive Shadok drawing by Robert Cohen-Solal. WRWTFWW Records announce the release of the complete soundtrack of cult French animated TV series Les Shadoks (1968-1974) by Robert Cohen-Solal, available for the first time ever in its entirety. It’s the right in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jacques Rouxel and René Borg’s legendary television cartoon. Electro-acoustic pioneer and eminent member of the illustrious GRM (Groupe de recherches musicales, the French equivalent of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), Robert Cohen-Solal has explored music and sound alongside luminaries such as Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, and Iannis Xenakis, and is responsible for numerous projects in the field of applied music, soundtracks (documentaries, shorts etc.), and experimental recordings. His work on Les Shadoks is simply extraordinary — a fascinating and bizarre collage of wacky electro pop (à la Jean-Jacques Perrey), drones, musique concrète, classical, and dadaist sound experiments seamlessly mixed into a cohesive and cinematic listening experience. The ideal soundtrack for what will remain one of the weirdest animated TV series ever created. A true literary, cultural, and philosophical phenomenon in France, Les Shadoks caused a sensation while airing between 1968 and 1974. Its unique combination of Alfred Jarry-style surrealism, off-centered British humor, and US comic strip inspiration, all brought to life by illustrated bird-like creatures (reminiscent of Paul Klee’s La machine à gazouiller, or Twittering Machine), left a lasting mark, making the term “Shadok” an oft-used satirical expression to describe policies and attitudes considered to be absurd.
File Under: OST, French, Pop, Musique Concrete
Conjoint: Earprints (Demdike Stare) LP
Demdike Stare present the first ever reissue of Conjoint’s Earprints, originally released in 2000. After a slew of acclaimed releases by Equiknoxx, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Shinichi Atobe, and Mica Levi in 2017, Demdike Stare start 2018 in typically unexpected style with a remastered reissue of David Moufang (Move D), Karl Berger, Jamie Hodge, Gunter Kraus, and Jonas Grossmann’s gorgeous sophomore Conjoint album, Earprints (2000). Conjoint was the little-known but hugely regarded ensemble founded by David Moufang two decades ago, featuring techno pioneer Jamie Hodge, Deep Space Network’s Jonas Grossmann, acclaimed jazz guitarist Gunter Ruit Kraus and, most intriguingly Karl Berger, the jazz pianist and vibraphone player for Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and George Clinton, to name a few. The ensemble are accompanied on Earprints by Andrew Pekler, Anna-Lena Fiedler, Burkhard Höfler, and Kai Kroker, among many others, and flesh out a full frequency spectrum of instrumental and electronic timbres, precisely yet louchely coalescing a timeless and cool blue sound that is entirely respectful to its roots, yet dares to imagine them in an altered context. In that respect it’s an influential, memorable precursor to Jan Jelinek’s acclaimed Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records that was released the following year. Democratic in its construction and flush with pregnant, contemplative space between and around the notes, the lasting impression made by Earprints is indelibly classic, quietly awaiting immersion by a new wave of listeners who will no doubt marvel at its many charms. If you’re into late night listening and have followed the work of Move D, Miles Davis, Tortoise, Detroit Escalator Company, Elodie, Terre Thaemlitz, or Jan Jelinek’s frayed, late night jazz minimalism, this one’s for you. Remastered by Matt Colton.
File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Abstract
Yves De Mey: Bleak Comfort (Latency) LP
“Following up Drawn With Shadow Pens on Spectrum Spools, Belgian sound artist Yves De Mey returns with Bleak Comfort, his third solo full-length. Geared towards serving up an intense musical experience, the album deconstructs regular club music to highlight some of its key elements in a transformative way. An album about absence, malfunction and disorientation, Bleak Comfort is equally packed with floor-functional material and left-of-center electronics. By turn sizzling and spherical, convulsive and atmospheric, Yves De Mey ushers his listener in a hypnotic kaleidoscope of sounds, providing a fascinating picture of his ever dynamic grammar at variable scales and tempos.”
File Under: Electronic
Felt: Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Anyone who has been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here. During the ‘80s Felt produced ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times. These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been re-mastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. Lawrence’s ambition was to release the best debut English album ever! Adrian Borland offered his services, but commitments with his band The Sound prevented this from happening. So Felt began a relationship with Swell Maps producer John A. Rivers. Recorded and mixed over six days, the band got a taste of how bitter reality fares compared to the “mellow fruitfulness” of blind ambition.
File Under: Indie Rock, Post Punk, Ethereal
Felt: Ignite the Seven Cannons (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Produced by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins and featuring the sky-scraping vocal of Elizabeth Fraser on the mighty Primitive Painters. Felt found themselves at the top of the independent charts. Unhappy with the overall sound though – it was as if some of Lawrence’s best songs were lost in an “ethereal swirl.” John A. Rivers has been given access to the original master tapes and six songs have been remixed. Also – side 2 has been focused, edited and “made symmetrical.” Finally these songs can be heard as intended by Felt. It has become at long last a cohesive whole.
File Under: Indie Rock
Felt: The Seventeenth Century (Cherry Red) LP
Previously named Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death, this album is now renamed The Seventeenth Century – the original name for the album was changed late in the day. This reversal of misfortune was classed as an awful mistake and Lawrence’s biggest regret. Fast forward to now and this situation can finally be rectified. “You can’t change the title of an album” – they told him – so he said; “if Kraftwerk can and Bowie can then I can too!!”
File Under: Indie Rock
Felt: The Splendour of Fear (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Lawrence escapes the contours of a bland city and retreats into his mind. Felt had risen from the underworld searching for a new horizon but only managed to slip into a desolate obscurity! Dark black slabs of creosote guitar – vast swathes of epic interplay – casting futuristic Shadows – an idiosyncratic and unobtrusively brilliant band, the music Felt made on this album is unlike anything attempted before. This really is a template for an age yet to come. And it pays to know that Maurice Deebank now resides in a monastery in Birmingham!
File Under: Indie Rock
Felt: The Strange Idols Pattern & Other Short Stories (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Before the Stone Roses and after Be-Bop Deluxe and Plastic Ono Band, John Leckie worked with Felt. Booked into a metal/reggae studio in Birmingham’s industrial wasteland he sculpted a Michelangelo slice of new rock – exquisite and beautiful guitar odysseys – quite unlike anything the city had experienced before. Merging pop with a classical nuance Felt stood alone as the forerunners of a brand new style. And Gary Ainge was finally allowed to use his high-hat!
File Under: Indie Rock
Fever Ray: Plunge (Mute) LP
Karin Dreijer makes her long awaited return as Fever Ray with the project’s second album Plunge, the first release since 2009’s celebrated Fever Ray. Featuring lead single “To The Moon and Back,” Plunge was largely recorded in Dreijer’s Stockholm studio in collaboration with the producers Paula Temple, Deena Abdelwahed, NÍDIA, Tami T, Peder Mannerfelt and Johannes Berglund. “Fever Ray’s Plunge…is Karin Dreijer at her most vulnerable and powerful, a righteous reclamation of kink that extends a knowing invitation,” writes NPR. “Across 11 tracks of coquettish synth-pop cut with neon, Dreijer is not just frank about her sexual desires, but how she desires them – with consent, with trust, with pain, with love.” Karin Dreijer is one half of the electronic duo The Knife along with her brother, Olof Dreijer. Mixed by Johannes Berglund. Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon Studios. Single LP edition with poster and download card.
File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
Fire!: The Hands (Rune Grammofon) LP
Very much a tight knit unit with three equal players, Fire! has been likened to powerful guitar led trios such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but with Johan Berthling’s heavy, doom-laden basslines being such a typical identifier, you can’t help but think of Black Sabbath’s debut album (1970) when it comes to hypnotic impact. The Hands is the trio’s sixth album and it once again displays a totally uncompromising and intriguing mix of (mostly) heavy, dark, and intensely burning music whether one decides to call it jazz or rock. The album closes on a quiet and reflective note with the appropriately titled “I Guard Her To Rest. Declaring Silence.” And you might say it’s easily their best so far. Personnel: Mats Gustafsson – tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, live electronics; Johan Berthling – electric and double bass; Andreas Werliin – drums, percussion and feedback.
File Under: Jazz
Keiji Haino & Sumac: American Dollar Bill Keep Facing Sideways You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On (Thrill Jockey) LP
Japan’s fearless multi-instrumentalist and cultural provocateur Keiji Haino has made a career out of his free-form musical improvisations and diverse collaborations. Whether deconstructing American blues to a few rogue notes hanging across chasms of empty space in his solo endeavors, sparring with the nebulous fringes of psychedelia in Fushitsusha, or teaming up with musicians like Faust, Boris, Jim O’Rourke, Stephen O’Malley, John Zorn, and Peter Brötzmann for fleeting aural experiments. Haino’s work is never pre-planned or structured, but rather a completely spontaneous exploration of chemistry, texture, and dynamics. SUMAC’s tenure is much younger than Haino’s, though guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner has covered a similarly large swath of musical territory across numerous projects and collaborations, from the sedated drones of recent projects with Daniel Menche and William Fowler Collins to the modern compositions of Mamiffer and all the way back to the restless evolutions of post-metal stalwarts ISIS. With his cohorts Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) on drums and Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass, Turner has dissolved the rigid forms of heavy music, searching for a balance between disciplined precision and unhinged musical barbarism, crafting music that vacillates between meticulously detailed instrumentation and uninhibited forays into oblique abstraction. For American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On, Keiji Haino and SUMAC met up in Tokyo’s Goksound recording studio to track a series of unrehearsed, completely non-premeditated sessions. Captured across several reels of tape, the collaboration harnessed Haino’s tension-inducing use of empty space on songs like “I’m over 137% a love junkie, and it’s still not enough” while pushing SUMAC’s dissident metal vocabulary on “What have I done (I was reeling in something white…)”. Throughout the course of its hour-plus length, American Dollar Bill pushes and pulls at the strictures of metal and bends the stylistic formalities of improvised music to create a sonic purge unencumbered by convention.
File Under: Metal, Noise
Russell Haswell: Respondent (Diagonal) LP
Russell Haswell returns to Diagonal with a new five-track mini-album called Respondent. Not quite an EP nor long enough for a full album, this record marks a significant shift in direction for Haswell, who collaborates with a vocalist, Sue Tompkins, for the first time in a career defined by its unorthodoxy, Haswell says Respondent is influenced by these formative years when he was exposed to new sounds and ideas but lacked the ability and equipment needed to express himself. “In a way I’m regressing, but I’m not trying to regress with the music,” he says. “What I’m trying to do is think about how I felt and the energy and what this stuff communicated to me.” Respondent’s juiciest cut is “Special Long Version (Demo)” featuring Sue Tompkins. One second shy of ten minutes, this is Haswell’s definition of house music. Taking cues from vintage Chicago tracks such as “Your Love” by Frankie Knuckles, Muff Man’s “Sit On the Face”, and Maurice Joshua’s “I Gotta Big Dick”, Haswell forces their essence through his filters, distilling the sexual energy to a crude groove, while Tompkins, a Glasgow-based artist formerly of the band Life Without Buildings, talks, shouts and sings, her voice distorted and dulcet. “I want your love,” she says at one point. “Let Suffering Become You” is a mangled acid stomp that starts with a sample from the 1980 punk documentary D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage (1980), with Guinness heir Jonathan Guinness haughtily observing: “An awful lot of people who enjoy punk would really like to be back in those days when they could actually see physical people hacking each other to death.” Elsewhere, “First In Man” is a cavernous dub-speckled track, with spasmodic lasers, dedicated to Diagonal co-founder Jaimie Williams. Haswell has chosen to release this material as a mini-album because he considers it an “underused format”, citing as a classic example New Order’s merger of their two early singles “Everything’s Gone Green” and “Temptation” on to one five-track 12-inch, titled 1981-1982 (1982), for the US market. He views this release as a stepping stone to his next project, an album featuring a number of guests. So don’t rule out that Kylie collaboration just yet. RIYL: Fad Gadget, John Bender, Smersh, LCD Soundsystem. Artwork by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Clear vinyl; Edition of 500.
File Under: Electronic
I Marc 4: Nelson Psychout (Vampisoul) LP
Italian library music expert Alessandro Casella on Nelson Psychout: “Welcome to the second release of Vampisoul’s Psychout series. In this album we dig into the record library of Nelson Records, founded in 1970 by the musicians Maurizio Majorana, Antonello Vannucchi and Roberto Podio after establishing the recording studio Telecinesound, right where the New Italian Library Sound was created. This is the sound that many collectors, musicians, record producers and film directors still like, look for, rediscover and re-use for their work. The New Italian Library Sound has the signature of I Marc 4, a quartet that recorded 20 albums from 1970 to 1980 but who also collaborated with the great masters of Italian soundtracks of the ’60s and ’70s, especially with Armando Trovajoli, bringing their own style into this new sound, mixing jazz, pop, rock and psychedelic music. Maurizio Majorana on bass, Antonello Vannucchi on Hammond organ and piano, and Roberto Podio on drums, were the backbone of the quartet, but the real soul was the guitarist Carlo Pes. Although Pes played with the RAI (Italy’s public broadcaster) orchestra together with his three colleagues, he did so as an external musician. He was a virtuoso guitar player with international experience who wrote music for the pop singers of the great RCA Italy label. His biggest hits were ‘Il Mondo’, sung by Jimmy Fontana, and ‘Che Sarà’ by José Feliciano. Thanks to their recording visits to Telecinesound, these four musicians were an experienced and very inspired studio band. Through their rhythmic experimentation they created a warm sound, sweet, most of the time sour-sweet, inspired by pop music of the period, filtered by their great technical execution. Their jazz roots did the rest to create the New Italian Library Sound. Any derivation of the pysch-groove genre is explored in this album. Despite having collaborated with the great artists of pop music, it is only in I Marc 4’s own records that we have the chance to hear a guitar so rough, aggressive and sometimes disturbing, as was required by the composers of the time. Enjoy the Psychout world of I Marc 4.”
File Under: Library, Funk, Psych
Makoto Kawabata/Richard Pinhas/Tatsua Yoshida: Trax
(Bam Balam) LP
Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Richard Pinhas (Heldon), and Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins). What else is there to say? Richard Pinhas is one of the more atypical French musicians of the last 40 years. He has been surprising everyone all these years — Always appearing where you expect him the least. Makoto Kawabata, who has been a big follower of Heldon, has also been a longtime friend and partner of Tatsuya Yoshida. So naturally, these three reunited in 2016 at the Studio Condorcet in Toulouse (France) to record a series of fiery improvisations and experimentations. Free noise, blues, and psychedelia are all intertwined, but there is an uneasiness to it, some anxiety matting the mix. The music is relentlessly broken down: percussive guitars turned bewitching metronome, while other guitars are taken on a sometimes lyrical but always chaotic journey, keeping the listener on edge. Repeat listens will trigger memories of German psychedelia or even the more recent noise rock or no-wave. Every title is named “Trax” followed by a number. The second “Trax” flirts with bands such as Can in their most primary form; that’s to say that it’s obsessivly repetitive. But the trio is so skillful that they turn influences into subliminal messages. Each “Trax” is a sonic outburst, relentlessly following each other. The musicians expose their most expressive and unbridled sides; it’s a free music but without the permanent collapse. Richard Pinhas’s guitar is a bit like Sonny Sharrock’s, but with some sort of Sonic Youth treatment applied to it, and you still can spot those particular effects reminiscent of the Heldon years.
File Under: Experimental
Tori Kudo: Gala-Kei (Bruit Direct) LP
Three levels of sound, based on an inspiration by Kudo Tori, with material added from the voicemail of Hashizaka Ai and her family, from a Maher Shalal Hash Baz 30th anniversary show in Shinjuku. Hashizaka’s sounds are full of the highly entropic sadness of northern Wakayama and Maher at Shinjuku sounds like they were a little angry. Kudo says that he picked up a sense of blankness and kindness from these fragments. Something like the feeling you get at an out-of-the-way bookstore that has a nice collection of books, or at a small cheap bar that has fried organ meat, or a bakery, or taking a long trip, or when you’re extremely busy with cooking, cleaning, housework, and child care, or other real experiences that make life worth living. RIYL: Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Tenniscoats, Pastels.
File Under: Folk, Pop, Japanese
Kendrick Lamar: Damn Collectors Edition (Aftermath) LP
In five whirlwind years, Kendrick Lamar has gone from being hip-hop’s hottest rising star to one of the most important voices of his generation. And as his latest album, DAMN., proves, he shows no signs of stopping. His third No. 1 in a row, the 7x Grammy-nominated release sees Lamar make another about-turn after the fearlessly creative excursions of 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly. If DAMN. is a more stripped-back, direct album, it’s also another utterly compelling one. With his laidback flow and thought-provoking lyrics, it finds Kendrick at the very top of his game, making the personal political – and vice versa – and ensuring that he leads the charge, at a time when the world very much needs a voice like his. Featuring the hit single “Humble” and guest spots from Rihanna, Zacari and U2, this numbered, colored collector’s edition of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. features the track listing in reverse beginning with “Duckworth” and closing with “Blood” plus alternative black and white artwork. “I think like a week after the album came out, [fans] realized you can play the album backwards,” Lamar told MTV News. “It plays as a full story and even a better rhythm…I don’t think the story necessarily changes, I think the feel changes. The initial vibe listening from the top all the way to the bottom is…this aggression and this attitude…You listen from the back end, and it’s almost the duality and the contrast of the intricate Kendrick Lamar. Both of these pieces are who I am.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Mica Levi: Delete Beach (Demdike Stare) 2×10″
Mica Levi presents her latest, stunning soundtrack, this time to the Phil Collins-directed anime short Delete Beach (2016), on Demdike Stare. Following on from the maverick pop auteur and film composer’s European Film Award-winning score to Under The Skin (2013), and her Jackie soundtrack (2016), this is Mica’s first musical accompaniment for animation, by revered designer Marisuke Eguchi, animated by STUDIO4ºC. Delete Beach is a sci-fi anime set in a near future where carbon-based energy is outlawed. The film supposes a paradoxical scenario, one where fossil fuels — the ostensible accelerator of humanity’s progress and decline — become energy for the toil against state oppression and enforced inequality. In doing so, it resonates with anime’s strong tradition of exploring eco-feminist themes and power dynamics, both socio-political and technological. Using a signature palette of dissonant strings and combustible electronics laced with skeletal percussive treatments, Levi paints a series of sweeping backdrops to the short’s blend of classically-schooled anime and up-to-the-second CGI designs. The central Delete Beach theme, a diaphanous section of airborne synth-string contours and charred guitar distortion carved in pirouetting turns-of-phrase, appears in Japanese and English narrated versions and an Instrumental mix. They are divided by the beat-driven “Interlude 1” and “Interlude 2″ parts, recalling a mix of string slashes mixed with opiated chopped ‘n screwed rhythms comparable to Micachu & The Shapes deconstructions of London Sinfonietta. After her work underlying and exploring complex characters in Jackie, a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the alien-woman metaphors of Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, her Delete Beach soundtrack follows suit with an impendingly tense, viscerally affective sound that reflects and conveys a sense of independence in the face of uncertainty, of a struggle against imposed forces or control systems. It’s another beguiling testament to Levi’s role as one of the most original and eminent composers of her generation. Gatefold jacket printed on reverse board; Includes 10″ x 10” 12-page color booklet of cells from the film. Master and cut by Matt Colton.
File Under: Electronic, OST
Magma: Retrospektiw (Southern Lord) 3LP
The first 10 years of Magma were celebrated on three memorable evenings in June 1980 at the Olympia theatre in Paris. This retrospective, reuniting most of the musicians who had performed in the group, was issued as two albums, Retrospektïẁ 1 / 2 (double) and Retrospektïẁ 3 (single). Issued first, Retrospektïẁ 3 comprises 3 titles Retrovision, a long piece in the style of the album Attahk, in which the vocalists Stella Vander, Guy Khalifa and Maria Popkiewicz turn in a blazing performance over a driving rhythm section; a supercharged version of Hhai, in which the trio Lockwood / Paganotti / Widemann works miracles; and finally La Dawotsin, where, in a more muted register, the voice of Christian Vander triumphs through its mastery and profound sensibility. Recorded, like Retrospektïẁ 3, during the soirees at Olympia in June 1980, Retrospektïẁ 1 & 2 is an absolutely fundamental album in which Theusz Hamtaahk, the first movement of the trilogy of the same name, is presented for the first time. The second and third movements, Wurdah Itah and Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh, were of course already well known. Although played in concert since 1974, Christian Vander had waited for years before recording it for posterity as he wanted every note to be as beautiful, magical, essential and definitive as possible. It is with the same respect for his music that he releases here the most successful version of Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh, considered outstanding on account of two incredible improvisations from Bernard Paganotti and Didier Lockwood. Klaus Blasquiz, who did not perform on Retrospektïẁ 3, is the lead vocalist on this version – and justifiably so, since he was indeed the Magma singer who first sang these two masterworks. There’s no doubt about it, Magma have left a legacy of music that defies any of the standard and convenient classifications of rock, operating instead in a realm of their own creation. Southern Lord looks forward to being part of their ever-evolving story… Retrospektïẁ 3LP collection, including Volume I + II and Volume III via Southern Lord on the 24th November. Available as a limited pressing of 1500 hand-numbered copies, remastered by Brad Boatright, including original artwork by Eva Nahon, also including the classic comicstrip by Solé, Dister and Gotlib depicting Magma’s trials and tribulations. Packaged in a beautiful triple-gatefold PLUS thick cardboard jacket/case.
File Under: Prog
Hany Mehanna: The Miracles of the Seven Dances (Radio Martiko) LP
Radio Martiko present a reissue of Hany Mehanna’s The Miracles Of The Seven Dances, originally released in 1973. A belly dance holy-grail from the organ king of Cairo, combining traditional rhythms with spaced-out modern sounds. Hany Mehanna, beloved musician and composer of the greatest artists from the Arab world, such as Oum Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez, shows himself from a more experimental side on his solo albums. The Miracles Of The Seven Dances is a pure work of genius: hypnotic organ grooves, psychedelic guitars, mystic strings, and haunting percussion. Belly dance as good as it gets! High quality pressing. Artwork and label design by Pieter Heytens. Includes download code.
File Under: Belly Dance, Egyptian, Organ, Psych
The Nazgul: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Lost-in-time kosmische/kraut/avant-garde artifact produced by Toby Robinson, aka The Mad Twiddler, circa 1975 for his private Pyramid label. Tolkien-inspired dark ambient soundscapes with spooky/ritualistic atmosphere, treated percussions, gongs and guitars, trippy Hammond and Mini-Moog, tape loops, weird noises, and drones… File under dark ambient, proto-industrial, kraut, experimental… RIYL: Kluster, Stockhausen, Taj-Mahal Travellers, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Lustmord, Cozmic Corridors. 24-bit domain remaster from the original tapes. Includes insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman. LP version includes download code. “A major work of electronic avant-garde — high quality deep esoterica of the weird and spooky kind.” –Alan Freeman
File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Industrial
Olden Yolk: s/t (Trouble in Mind) LP
Olden Yolk is a New York-based group whose penchant for dystopian folk, abstract poeticism, and motorik rhythms have enveloped them in a sound uniquely of-the-moment yet simultaneously time-tested. The project is led by songwriters, vocalists, and multi-instrumentalists Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, whose interlaced vocals are found guiding each composition on their enlivening self-titled debut. The project was initially conceived in 2012 by Butler as an outlet for one-off songs and visual art while touring and releasing albums with the band Quilt (Mexican Summer). Following the release of a split-record with Weyes Blood in 2014, Olden Yolk became a collaborative entity. On the album, Butler and Shaffer are joined by drummer Dan Drohan (Tei Shi, Uni Ika Ai) and guitarist Jesse DeFrancesco who round out the studio sessions and live-band. Drohan’s deep passion for jazz, hip-hop, and experimental percussion come to fore while Defrancesco’s minimal yet powerful guitar ambiences are heard swelling in the peripheries of each song. The album was recorded at Gary’s Electric in NYC by Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) with co-production, electronics, and mixing by Jon Nellen (Ginla, Terrible Records). Other guests, such as multi-instrumentalist John Andrews (Woods, Quilt, The Yawns) and violinist Jake Falby (Mutual Benefit, Julie Byrne), add to the mercurial nature of the record, creating a landscape tinged with beatific songwriting and transgressive underpinnings.
File Under: Indie Rock
Ought: Room Inside the World (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… On Room Inside the World—OUGHT’s third album and first for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer NICOLAS VERHES (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths. Ought approached this record with newfound patience, constructing a (digital) moodboard to set their intentions: Brian Eno and Stereolab synths, the Mekons’ 1985 album Fear and Whiskey, and Gerhard Richter and Kenneth Anger’s sexy, fluorescent hyperreal all made it into the melting pot. CD housed in 4-panel digipaks. LP in gatefold jackets with printed insert. Indie version LP pressed on coloured vinyl.
File Under: Post Punk, Indie Rock
Richard Pinhas: Rhizophere (Bureau B) LP
Bureau B present a reissue of Richard Pinhas’s Rhizosphere, originally released in 1977. Richard Pinhas is one of the most important French electronic space rock musicians. Following five albums with his band Heldon, he released his first solo record in 1977. Backed by Heldon’s congenial drummer François Auger but no longer bound by the group dynamic, he explores his freshly purchased Moog modular system in search of new sounds. It marked a departure into new realms. “We don’t need new technique: everybody has a technique. We need new sounds. Trying to find new sounds is difficult.” Finding new sounds is the task Pinhas set for himself on Rhizosphere. Not long before, he had acquired a Moog modular synthesizer, then settled into his home studio and began a committed relationship with his new instrument. Rhizosphere wasn’t his first solo recording with the Moog — Chronolyse was made a year earlier and released in 1978 — but it was the first to be released. On four of its five tracks, Rhizosphere presents just the 25-year-old Pinhas and his synth alone together, a melding of man and machine that gradually becomes an expansive, outward-bound journey. Pinhas’s simple approach spawned a galaxy of diverse sounds and ideas. Each track on Rhizosphere inhabits its own mini-universe sonically and emotionally. The range of moods traversed is stunning. The only other human being on Rhizosphere is drummer François Auger, who accompanies Pinhas on the title track. The escalating arc of its 18-minute run plays like a moonbound rocket-trip, with pulsing synth and roaming percussion made all the more otherworldly by the decision to filter Auger’s cymbals through an AKS modular synthesizer. In science, the word “rhizosphere” means the layer of soil that surrounds and is altered by the roots of a plant. Using it as an album title suggests music as a kind of Möbius strip, creating its own nourishment, feeding off of its own discoveries in order to find more. But for Pinhas the choice was philosophically-inspired: he adopted it from a book about arithmetic by his academic mentor Gilles Deleuze. “It’s about no gods, no sentimental things,” he explains. “It means everything is the same until an event appears on a planet … maybe music.” Music as an emerging phenomenon, puncturing the surface of what’s come before: Richard Pinhas certainly found what he was looking for on Rhizosphere. 2018 remaster by Willem Makkee.
File Under: Prog, Electronic, Psych
Tiziano Popoli/Marco Dalpane: Scorie (Soave) LP
Soave present an official reissue of Scorie, Tiziano Popoli and Marco Dalpane’s minimal wonder from 1985. Long coveted and hunted by collectors, Scorie falls among the strange and definition resistant artifacts of Italy’s remarkable avant-garde music scene of the ’70s and ’80s. An emblem of sonic diversity rendered through electronic sound, distilling a daunting number of traditions and ideas, while sculpting its own world of creative singularity, standing apart from the rest. While a great many of Italy’s avant-garde and experimental music practitioners began within the spectrums of popular music, slowly pushing into more explicitly ambitious and challenging realms as the years wore on, Tiziano Popoli and Marco Dalpane represent a change in the directional tide. Scorie is a part of movement toward, and the incorporation of, popular forms within avant-garde music which swept across the globe during the 1980s. As challenging and uncomfortable as it is seductive and inviting, Scorie weaves a world without boundary, of collision and harmony. A vision of possible futures, rendered in its present day. A melodic realm, almost entirely constructed through the use of synthesizers, with subtle interventions of electronic rhythm generators, bridging the metronomic territories explored by Terry Riley and Steve Reich and the drifting harmonics of new age, with the moodiness of new wave and the adventurous spirit of the avant-garde. Comes on color vinyl; Includes insert and CD.
File Under: Experimental, Italian
Prurient: Rainbow Mirror (Hospital) LP
Prurient announces Rainbow Mirror, in addition to the vinyl reissue of Buddha Strangled In Vines (1997), released as a four-CD through Profound Lore and as a seven-LP box set here on Hospital Productions, to coincide with 20th anniversary of the project.Rainbow Mirror is a release exceeding three hours in length, consisting of new material that delves into the glacial, meditative, and ambient side of Prurient creating an epic of pure “Doom Electronics”. Rainbow Mirror, which coincides with the 20 year anniversary of Prurient, a project that is steeped in history and origins. The cover art for Rainbow Mirror is the first collage created in the pre-recording era of Prurient. Like the first Prurient live performance 20 years earlier, the Rainbow Mirror lineup consists of three members. For this exhausting work, Dominick Fernow called upon Matt Folden (Dual Action) and Jim Mroz (Lussuria) to form the trio. All of the material was recorded live at Hospital Productions and later meticulously mixed and produced by Shifted in Berlin. Rainbow Mirror stands as another singular work amongst the vast repertoire that Fernow has amassed under the Prurient moniker. While familiar moments from the Frozen Niagara Falls (2015) album can be found within the massive scope of Rainbow Mirror, through the three-plus hour duration of this rural ambient industrial creation, Rainbow Mirror proves to be a monolithic, crawling psychological noisescape of time-stretching electronics, layered counterpoint feedback, machine loops, and maximalist pulsating synth passages. Like the infinite and distorted reflections produced by a hall of mirrors, Rainbow Mirror is a portrait in perpetual tension. Track listing for Rainbow Mirror, which will also include a short story of the same name written by Scott Bryan Wilson and Fernow in the spirit of violent dreams. Expert mastering by Paul Corley. Comes housed in a sturdy black-linen wrapped and pigment-stamped, debossed box with tip-on cover; Each record in its own individual printed jacket; Includes large format two-sided poster; Includes download code.
File Under: Ambient, Noise, Drone
Mark Renner: Few Traces (ReRVNG) LP
Few Traces surveys the total chapter of Mark Renner’s scarcely released and unreleased material from 1982 to 1990, embracing and evoking the timelessness of his artistic statement: a wordless translation of the individual’s musical experience, met with the poetic expression of being here. The sum of Renner’s music is one-part literary, one-part painterly. The artist cites the individualism of Herman Hesse as a guiding force, and there are overt references to W. B. Yeats and John Greanleaf Whittier among other authors. Lyrical themes evoke the presence of the ancient past, much like early Felt songs or the spiritual visions of Van Morrison. Compiled three decades after the music was originally put to tape, Few Traces collects Renner’s early music but strives not to simplify or reframe it. The instrumental explorations remain on par with the great ambient adventurers of the period (Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Roedelius), while the vocal and guitar-centric songs crystalize across similar terrains being transversed by Cocteau Twins and The Durutti Column. Few Traces highlights in intuitive sequence gems from Renner’s scarce discography and archive: the self-released debut All Walks of This Life (1986), the aptly titled follow-up Painter’s Joy (1988), plus early singles, compilation tracks, and exemplary songs that saw no original release. Few Traces allows an intimate look at an artist growing into their sound and surroundings, finding the in between echoes and spirituality of the individual. It comes complete with extensive liner notes from Brandon Soderberg and unseen ephemera.
File Under: Electronic, Rock
David Toop & Paul Burwell: Suttle Sculpture (Sub Rosa) LP
Never before released recordings from Logos Foundation live sessions with David Toop and Paul Burwell in Brussels, on May 7, 1977. David Toop on the recordings: “When Paul Burwell and I started playing together just after Christmas, 1969, we found ourselves wrestling with a new language of sound, listening, actions, objects and space. At first it was music. We studied in the improvisation classes given by John Stevens at Ealing College in 1971-2, and also took classes in African music at London’s Africa Centre. Most of the musicians lasted only one or two sessions so we resigned ourselves to being a duo and worked out an approach to free improvisation that expanded from simple structures and instrument combinations. Decomposition, we called it. We had worked intensively together, searching for techniques through which to decondition ourselves from orthodoxies, devising exercises in listening and instrument building, studying esoteric organology, bioacoustics, environmental sound, raw musics and anthropology. We were both fascinated by phenomena like diffraction, propulsion, resonance, projection, masking and heterodyning, and by shamanism, the symbolically grounded agency of shamanic drums, animal-becoming and noisy costume, the shaman’s capacity to enliven quotidian space with the commotion of discarnate audible entities from the spirit world. This recording is one of the very few that conveys anything of what we were about.” Personnel: Paul Burwell – percussion, whistles; David Toop – flutes, home-made reeds, whistle. Logos Foundation in Belgium is Flanders’s unique professional organization for the promotion of new music and audio-related arts by means of new music production, concerts, performances, composition, technological research, and other activities related to contemporary music. This organization was founded in 1968 by Godfried-Willem Raes.
File Under: Improv, Jazz, World
Cosey Fanni Tutti: Time to Tell (CTI) LP
The long-awaited deluxe special edition reissue of Cosey Fanni Tutti’s Time To Tell, originally recorded and released on cassette in 1982, sees a timely release after the success of Cosey’s recent autobiography Art Sex Music (published by Faber & Faber). Available now for the first time on vinyl, this deluxe special edition has been remastered and edited from the original audio tapes for this exclusive vinyl release. It is presented here on super clear vinyl, in a gatefold sleeve incorporating a foil block title and is accompanied by a 16-page full-color 12″ booklet containing the original cassette transcripts and photos, plus many new and updated statements and color photos.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Ambient
YoshimiO/Susie Ibarra/Robert AA Lowe: Flower of Sulphur (Thrill Jockey) LP
In December of 2016, three improvisational luminaries performed live together for the first time. Multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO, SAICOBAB), avant-garde percussionist Susie Ibarra, and artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens) met up in New York City for a singular evening of exquisite sound, documenting an exceptional performance and displaying their remarkable talents. YoshimiO is a drummer and member of the revolutionary group Boredoms who also plays guitar, keyboard and trumpet. She is the leader of the experimental band OOIOO, a member of Free Kitten with Kim Gordon (ex. Sonic Youth), and most recently the vocalist in SAICOBAB – a quartet who blend ancient Indian musical traditions and instruments with electronics and modern sounds. Known for her ability to improvise in a variety of contexts, YoshimiO has previously performed and recorded improvisational music with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke, and recently with Lowe, and then Ibarra during a series of collaborative performances in New York City, late in 2015. Susie Ibarra, is one of the most significant female percussionists and composers of our time, known for her work as a performer within contemporary, avant-garde, jazz, classical, and world music. Ibarra studied with jazz luminaries Earl Buster Smith (of Sun Ra Arkestra), Vernel Fournier and Milford Graves, and Philippine Kulintang gong-chime music with Danongan Kalanduyan. Ibarra has been recognized for her work as a musician and cultural documenter through her work with indigenous tribes in the Philippines, receiving a TED Fellowship, an Asian Cultural Council Rockefeller Fellowship, and an award from New York Foundation for the Arts. She has performed with the likes of: John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Yo La Tengo, Mamadou Kelly, Sylvie Courvoisier, Ikue Mori, Marc Ribot, Yuka Honda, Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith, and many more. Ibarra currently leads her band Dreamtime Ensemble with their new album Perception, blending strings, vocals, electronics and percussion in her compositions. Recent works include Mirrors and Water, a sound installation for Ai Wei Wei’s Circle of Animals at the National Wildlife Museum; Musical Water Routes of Fez, a music and architecture app for the Medina of Fez, Morocco in collaboration with architect Aziza Chaouni; Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms, an interactive game piece commissioned by Asia Society in partnership with the Pioneer Works residency program. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is strongly rooted in exploration of moments and the hypnagogic state. Movement and gesture play key factors within this process, and in the performance realm are focused on by voice and modular synthesizer. His most recent work has seen him curating an exhibition at the Museum Of Arts and Design in Manhattan called Subject to Gesture, as well as exhibiting works at the Rubin Museum in a show called the World is Sound as well as at the John Michael Kohler Art Centre in Sheboygan Wisconsin called An Encounter with Presence. Lowe has contributed music to Denis Villeneuve films Sicario and Arrival, and was a fixture of Chicago’s experimental community throughout the 90s and early 2000s prior to relocating to New York. Susie explains the idea: “We had all performed in different configurations before but never together as a trio. I think actually I have met each YoshimiO and Robert at different times when collaborating on larger works with Tarek Atoui. But we had not performed together as trio. I was very happy with the prospect to play a trio concert, as I could imagine the sonic palette could be very interesting, being that we each come from different aesthetic backgrounds but enjoy crossing into various sonic territories.” The resulting recording of their collaboration, Flower of Sulphur, is a transfixing piece of continuous improvisational work which explores the direct relationship between the artists and their individual configurations. The album takes the form of the trio each playing their principal instruments with no specific goal other than the exploration of the space in that moment. This spontaneous composition showcases the freedom and musical immediacy of all three artists’ ability to interplay as well as their individual unique techniques to create engaging experimental sounds. Flower of Sulphur was recorded at Roulette in Brooklyn in front of an audience; the trio are hoping to make additional live performances throughout 2018. The hour long instillation builds to a captivating crescendo elegantly fusing immersive layers, rewarding the listener with a true emotive experience.
File Under: Experimental, Improv
Various: Music From Planet Earth Volume 3 (Stag-O-Lee) 10″
Stag-O-Lee presents the third and final 10″ in a series devoted to space-age sounds from the ’50s and ’60s. Includes a signed and numbered 24×24 cm screenprint of the front cover drawn by well-known artist Marcel Bontempi. Features: Rose DuBats, Dave Diddle Day, Jean-Jacques Perrey, Les Baxter, Russ Garcia, Gale Storm, Butch Paulson, Gene Vincent, Frosty & The Diamonds, Sun Ra Arkestra, Space-Men, and Marty. “It’s a perennial starting point for conspiracy theories, the perfect excuse for lost homework or any kind of irrational behavior. Alien intervention solves everything. Things from other planets are a sustainable reason to many unanswerable questions and, across the music industry in the late ’50s and early ’60s, in the wake of a slew of space-based exploitation movies, a series of 45s and suitably unearthly concept albums emerged to capitalize on this burgeoning, bizarre and mysterious idea. Everyone was viewing far off planets with wonder, amazement and the occasional well-directed sound effect. No-one really knew what aliens could do, so the potential for music to accompany whatever they did was limitless. Over 50 years after these sides were released in a fit of futuristic creativity, we’re still asking about the potential of water on Mars, puzzling of the rings of Saturn and wondering if anything really did happen at Roswell. ‘Aliens stole my dog’ screams the headline in the National Enquirer. Of course they did.” –Dave Henderson, MOJO magazine, 2017
File Under: Space Age, Exotica, Lounge
Various: Roots of Salsa Volume 2 (Grosso) LP
Pablo Yglesias, aka DJ Bongohead, compiles an amazing series for Grosso Recordings, Roots Of Salsa, with classics tunes from Caribbean music that became great successes of “Salsa”. Yglesias on the compilation: “This is the second volume in our series on the roots of salsa… The main criterion was to pick tracks that sounded adequate for today’s DJs to play at a gig, or were sufficiently interesting (or enough of a surprise to fans of the later version) to merit inclusion. The other measuring stick was that they needed to come from the old-school, before the more modern era (from 1962 on) and all of its recording innovations and marketing strategies… for now, listen to these dozen gems and then go back to their more familiar cousins from recent times and compare and contrast, and we’re sure you’ll be enlightened and entertained.” Features: La Sonora Matancera, Conjunto Colonial de Nelo Sosa, Chappotín y Sus Estrellas, Trío Matamoros, José Curbelo and His Orchestra, Flores Valdéz y Su Conjunto Musical, Tito Rodríguez y Los Lobos Del Mambo, Estrellas de Chocolate, Pacho Alonso con Bebo Valdés y Su Orquesta, Conjunto Kuvabana de Alberto Ruíz, Conjunto Niágara, and La Orquesta Siboney de Pepito Torres. 140 gram vinyl; Includes insert with Spanish/English liner notes by Pablo “Bongohead” Yglesias; Includes CD; Edition of 700.
File Under: Salsa, Latin America
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Alvvays: Antisocialites (Royal Mountain) LP
Mulatu Astatke: Mulatu Steps Ahead (Strut) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Universal) LP
Boards of Canada: Trans Canada Highway (Warp) LP
James Brown: Superbad (Polydor) LP
James Brown: Excitement (Mr. Dynamite) (Polydor) LP
Budos Band: s/t (Daptone) LP
Nick Cave: Dig Lazarus Dig (Mute) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Cluster: Sowiesoso (Bureau B) LP
John Coltrane: My Favorite Things (Waxtime) LP
John Coltrane: Ole (Rhinio) LP
John Coltrane: Sun Ship (Impulse) LP
D’Angelo: Voodoo (Modern Classics) LP
DAF: Produkt (Bureau B) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Warner) LP
Dio: Holy Diver (Rhino) LP
Gord Downie: Grand Bounce (Universal) LP
Dr. Octagon: Octagonecologyst (Universal) LP
Marvin Gaye: Trouble Man (Universal) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Universal) LP
Marvin Gaye: When I’m Alone (Universal) LP
John Hassell: Dream Theory In Malaya (Glitterbeat) LP
High Rise: II (Black Editions) LP
Johann Johannsson: Orphee (Deutsche Grammofone) LP
Johann Johannsson: Sicario OST (Universal) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Jurassic 5: Power in Numbers (Universal) LP
King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King (Pangyric) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Man-Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France Soundtracks (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Waxtime) LP
Charles Mingus: Pithecanthropus Erectus (Waxtime) LP
Charles Mingus: Tonight at Noon (Waxtime) LP
Thelonius Monk: Underground (Music on Vinyl) LP
Nightmares on Wax: Shape the Future (Warp) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (Universal) LP
Psychic TV: Allegory & Self (Sacred Bones) LP
Psychic TV: Force the Hand of Chance (Angry Love) LP
Psychic TV: Pagan Day (Sacred Bones) LP
R.E.M.: Automatic For The People (Universal) LP
Roedelius: Jardin Au Fou (Bureau B) LP
Roedelius: Durch Die Wuste (Bureau B) LP
Slayer: Season in the Abyss (Universal) LP
Sonic Youth: Goo (Geffen) LP
Sonic Youth: Murray Street (Geffen) LP
Steeldrivers: s/t (Rounder) LP
Superchunk: What a Time to Be Alive (Merge) LP
Tragically Hip: s/t (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Late Great (Omnivore) LP
Velvet Underground: Quine Tapes (Sundazed) Box
Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Real Gone (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Blood Money (Anti) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 3 (Universal) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 4 (Universal) LP
Weezer: Blue (Universal) LP
Various: Duomo Sounds (Livingstone) LP
Various: Tokyo Flashback (Black Editions) LP