Finally! The first real ‘big’ releases of the year! Hot Snakes, Preoccupations and Jack White in one week! And other cool stuff in and on the way. By the by, if you haven’t already looked, the Record Store Day list is out. Please look and let us know if there’s something on there you are gonna want, LET US KNOW ASAP!
…..picks of the week…..
Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop) LP
After a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes kick down the door with their new album, Jericho Sirens. The record blasts out of the speakers with the furious “I Need a Doctor,” inspired by Rick Froberg’s experience needing a doctor’s note in order to miss an important work function. Throughout Jericho Sirens, Froberg commiserates with the frustration and torrential apathy that seems to be a fixture in our daily lives, while also reminding us that we have no fucking clue. “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that,” he says. “No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.” Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, Michael Jackson, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down.” Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC.
File Under: Punk, Rock, Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu
Roberto Musci & Giovanni Venosta: Water Messages on Desert Sand (RER) LP
Water Messages on Desert Sand was the very first sound creation from the Italian avantgarde duo of Roberto Musci and Giovanni Venosta. A classic work in the genre, released by Chris Cutler’s Recommended Records in 1987. Back in the mid Eighties, Musci & Venosta, both on sampler, synthesizer, guitar, piano, effects and tapes were masters in overlaying and constructing rhythmic and harmonic pictures of transparent sound from electronic, acoustic and documentary source, taking ethnic field recordings (from Africa, Indonesia, Asia, India) as their thematic centre. “Water Messages” finds place In the realm of Eno-Byrne “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” but far more accomplished and developed. A rich moving and still very stimulating work and an essential purchase for anyone interested in adventurous modern art informed by ethnic music and sound explorations. In two words: Highly Recommended!
File Under: Experimental, Ambient
Czarface & MF Doom: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) LP
Rising from the wreckage of a war torn planet, Czarface joins forces with MF Doom in the epic Czarface Meets Metal Face! Blending Doom’s trademark abstractions and Czarface’s in-your-face lyrical attack, this album is ripe with cartoon violence, societal observations and pop culture musings. Over banging beats provided by The Czar-Keys, the armored team give you the witty unpredictable treats any hip-hop fan can sink their fangs into. Expect beats, rhymes, and metal as Czarface controlled by Wu-Tang Clan powerhouse Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric team up with everyone’s favorite villain, MF Doom. With track titles like “Nautical Depth”,”Meddle With Metal”, “Astral Traveling” to “Madness of Badness” this album packs a punch with 16 brand new tracks. Add that with features from Open Mike Eagle and Jedi Mind Tricks’ Vinnie Paz, we promise you mind-bending metaphors and brain-melting beats as this powerful pairing sounds off in March 2018!
File Under: Hip Hop
Dabrye: One/Three (Ghostly) LP
Combining the loose swagger of Detroit hip-hop (Slum Village) and the minimal glitch ethos of modern hybrid IDM (Chocolate Industries, Schematic), 2001’s One/Three is a concise, albeit bizarre study in abstract beatscapes. Under his Dabrye alias, Tadd Mullinix couples his oddball sense of humor with his love for the hip-hop instrumental, grinding out compelling cut-up beats that are as strangely listenable as some of the skittering R&B symphonies heard on pop radio lately. The first LP in a trilogy of the Dabrye sound, One/Three diminishes the space between the cerebral and the sexual in this blend of abstract electronics and attempts to tie the immediate past to the way-far future, with more than pleasurable results.
File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Dabrye: Two/Three (Ghostly) LP
Tadd Mullinix first made a name for himself as Dabrye in the early 2000s with a pair of instrumental albums combining the rhythmic finesse of Detroit hip-hop with the ingenuity of electronic music. But instrumental beats were only a temporary goal, a way for Mullinix to catch the ears of MCs. On Two/Three, his second Dabrye album for Ghostly, Mullinix brought together a formidable crew of local and national talent to make the statement he’d always intended. Released in 2006, Two/Three offered a fevered vision of rap’s future that remains just as intoxicating a decade on. Ahead of the long-awaited conclusion of Dabrye’s hip-hop trilogy in 2018, Ghostly is reissuing Two/Three. Dabrye’s move towards rap began in 2004 with the album’s first single, “Game Over” featuring Jay Dee and Phat Kat. An early inspiration of Dabrye’s, Jay Dee invited Mullinix to his crib in 2002 for a listening session during which he picked the “Game Over” beat to rap on. Crucially everyone involved was in accord that despite perceptions of their respective work this would be a hardcore rap song. Together with Kat, Jay delivered a one-two lyrical punch on “Game Over” that no one saw coming. Detroit made the world go round and everyone’s head spun. “Game Over” set the tone for the album and, over the next few years, became a Detroit anthem. Moody, propulsive, and above all ambitious, Two/Three emerges from a sonic stew of Detroit and UK dance music, Jamaican sound clashes, and hip-hop sampledelia. The guests, a who’s who of the mid-’00s underground rap scene, engage in a raucous rhyming session that pays as much attention to the realities of the streets as it does world events. MF Doom, Wildchild, Vast Aire, Beans, and AG represent for the various coasts while local talents – Waajeed, Ta-Raach, Invincible, Finale, Kadence, Guilty Simpson, Big Tone, Phat Kat, and Jay Dee – bring Two/Three alive with an infectious energy. In between bursts of raw rap and hard beats, Dabrye showcases detailed instrumentals that evoke bleak industrial futures, underwater meditations, and smoky late night sessions.
File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Dabrye: Three/Three (Ghostly) LP
When Tadd Mullinix began exploring hip-hop under the name Dabrye 20 years ago, he soon honed in on a startling vision of what the genre could be: ingenious, refined, daring. This vision came to life across two albums for Ghostly – 2001’s One/Three and its 2006 follow-up Two/Three – with each record further positioning the Michigan producer as one of his generation’s best, equally comfortable creating minimalist instrumental meditations or sharp rap salvos. In the late 2000s, following critical acclaim and accolades from both peers and inspirations (including the late Jay Dee with whom Mullinix collaborated before his untimely passing), Mullinix put the Dabrye moniker on ice and dedicated himself to other genres and ideas. All the while the influence of his work on a new generation of electronic musicians continued to make itself felt in subtle but meaningful ways. All this changes as Dabrye makes his long-awaited return with Three/Three, a razor-sharp rap album that brings to completion a prophetic trilogy. Mullinix’s incisive productions provide the backdrop for equally acute rhymes that run the gamut from intergenerational observations and being your best self to back alley deals and having fun in the ride. Guests include indie rap legend Doom, whose previous collaboration with Dabrye remains a point of reference for many, Wu Tang storyteller Ghostface Killah, L.A word fanatic Jonwayne, and Long Island’s rugged surrealist Roc Marciano. Most importantly Three/Three is, much like its predecessor, an unfettered celebration of Detroit-area talent with Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Kadence, Quelle Chris, Danny Brown, Shigeto, Clear Soul Forces and more all lending their touch to Dabrye’s return. The blend of American and British dance music, hip-hop sampling, and Jamaican sound clash energy that underpinned Two/Three remains a quiet, guiding principle. At the same time Mullinix rejoices in a refreshed perspective, having had time to incubate ideas and find clarity in the distance between albums and the evolution of scenes. The beats are looser and less angular, more embracing of repetition. Organic techniques inspired by soul and jazz round off some of the harsher sonics. The resulting broad palette of tracks reflects both this evolution and the range of the Dabrye persona: relaxed headnod (“Tunnel Vision”); nervous, slow-motion electro (“The Appetite”); glacial motifs (“Emancipated”); jazzy, cut-up funk (“Sunset”); minimal brutalism (“Electrocutor”); intricate layering (“Culture Shuffle”).
File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Dabrye: Instrmntl (Ghostly) LP
2002’s Instrmntl is a continuation of the beat experiments Tadd Mullinix aka Dabrye began with One/Three and a bridge to the diverse textures that would define Two/Three four years later. About half of its nine tracks (ten if you lived in Japan) were created at the same time as One/Three while the rest were newer or made specifically for the album. Once again Mullinix looked outside of hip-hop to techno, house, and drum & bass for stylistic and technical ideas while embracing the blissful minimalism of a good hip-hop instrumental and the rhythmic nuance of Detroit. Despite the similarities between Dabrye’s debut and this follow up, Mullinix didn’t simply replicate what had made One/Three so arresting. He pushed and pulled further between the two cornerstones of his approach to reveal more potentials. Instrmntl takes you deeper into electronic depths – the rugged synth stutter of “Won,” the tumbling, wobbling bass in “No Child Of God,” the electro get down of “Prospects (Marshall Law)” – while also treading more organic grounds by letting samples breathe and moods unfurl at a gentler pace (“Take Me Home,” “Evelyn” and “You Know The Formula Right?”). And then there are the moments where this push and pull finds balance and the result becomes more, as it does on the mournful march of “D-Town Tabernacle Choir” and the twinkling daydream of “This Is Where I Came In.” At just over 30 minutes, Instrmntl offers a snapshot of a time when potentials seemed infinite, when lines could be drawn between jazz, ragga jungle, techno, and hip-hop and the resulting shape divined an exciting future.
File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Final Tour (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis and John Coltrane first collaborated in 1955, when Davis recruited the tenor saxophonist alongside pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. This “first great quintet” debuted on record with ‘Round About Midnight, Miles’ first album for Columbia Records in 1957. These early recordings showcased the stunning contrasts between Miles’ spacious, melodic lines and Trane’s cascading high-energy solos, famously described by the critic Ira Gilter in 1958 as “sheets of sound.” While the quintet disbanded shortly after the release of ‘Round About Midnight, Coltrane was back in Miles’ ensemble in early 1958. A year later, the Miles Davis Sextet (Davis, Coltrane, Chambers, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianist Bill Evans and drummer Jimmy Cobb) recorded the historic Kind Of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. That same year, Coltrane built upon the modal jazz ideas of Kind Of Blue (based on scales or “modes” instead of chords) on his fifth studio album Giant Steps, released by Atlantic Records in 1960. Giant Steps established Coltrane as one of the most innovative bandleaders of the genre, and it became clear that his rising star would take him in a different direction than Davis. Even so, Miles could not immediately find a suitable replacement for a Jazz At The Philharmonic tour of Europe organized by jazz impresario Norman Granz, and persuaded his bandmate to join him one last time. It was Trane’s first trip to the continent, and his intense, exploratory playing often baffled audiences (who responded vocally). Nonetheless, these early performances from that European tour – Miles and Trane’s last outing together before Coltrane passed away in 1967 – showcased both musicians’ incredible influence on the changing sound of jazz. The beautiful music they made together at Copenhagen’s Tivolis Koncertsal on March 24, 1960 is presented here for the first time from the original ¼” analog tapes recorded by national broadcasters in Sweden.
File Under: Jazz
Decemberists: I’ll Be Your Girl (Capitol) LP
The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path as evidenced on synth-driven lead single “Severed.” “The songs tend to the darker, more absurdist side of things and feature a lot of nice vintage synth work by Jenny and Chris, some heavy drumming from Mr. Moen and, of course, the sort of baroque bass work you’ve come to expect from Nate Query. All in all, everyone acquitted themselves quite nicely,” explains the band.
File Under: Indie Rock
Dungen & Woods: Myths 003 (Mexican Summer) LP
For the third Marfa Myths release, we’re proud to present seven all-new songs written and recorded by Stockholm’s psychedelic masters Dungen and adventurous Brooklyn indie-folk pioneers Woods. In the case of Dungen and Woods, the two bands were tour mates in the summer of 2009, traversing America and bonding with one another in the process. The familiarity with one another’s music and personalities was already well in place, but the eight years that passed between the tour and the making of this record reveal that nothing was lost in the interim. That this is the most music assembled for a Marfa Myths release to date is telling of a rare and special connection between Dungen and Woods, reignited by the circumstances of the occasion. Myths 003 showcases a seamless merging of two bands following the same track to different locations throughout their career, as if they’d been playing together for decades, an exhilarating and buoyant example of how shared experiences can foster truly wonderful music.
File Under: Indie Rock
Green Druid: Ashen Blood (Earache) LP
Brooding. Atmospheric. Isolationist. With weighty riffs summoning the Lovecraftian horrors of the cosmos, Green Druid’s music entrances listeners with tales of the Old Blood and of dismal worlds too soon forgotten. Hailing from the land of Denver, Colorado – the first US city to legalize marijuana, Green Druid worships at the feet of the monolithic amplifier, and performs holy communion with the tremorous onslaught of murky tones that emanate from its maw. Ordained at the allowed altars of Sleep, Electric Wizard and all things THC, Green Druid’s full length debut album, Ashen Blood, descends upon the ears of the worthy in early 2018.
File Under: Stoner, Metal
Jimi Hendrix: Both Sides of the Sky (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix’s Both Sides of the Sky is the third volume in a trilogy of albums intended to present the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in the music legend’s archive beginning with Valleys of Neptune (2010) and followed by People, Hell and Angels (2013). This dynamic third release completes the spectacular recording event in epic fashion with 13 studio recordings made between January 1968 and February 1970, 10 of which have never before been released. Hendrix’s desire to push the boundaries of blues music can be heard throughout and Both Sides of the Sky additionally highlights his mastery of studio production and increasing use of these facilities as a proving ground for new sounds, material, and techniques. Pressed at QRP, this 180g 2LP set sounds amazing on vinyl. Many of the album’s tracks were recorded by the trio that would come to be known as Band of Gypsys: Jimi on guitar/vocals, Billy Cox on bass, and Buddy Miles on drums. For their first-ever recording session on April 22, 1969, Hendrix turned to their shared musical root, delta blues. Their previously unreleased, uptempo reworking of Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” opens the album and sets the tempo for what follows. “Lover Man” was a favored Hendrix original and the guitarist was determined to realize a finished master. Previous attempts by the original Experience had yet to yield this for Hendrix but this December 1969 effort by the Band Of Gypsys – complete with its homage to the popular Batman theme song – was his strongest effort to date. “Hear My Train A Comin'” features drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding from the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. This original blues composition had become a staple of Hendrix’s concerts. This previously unreleased April 1969 recording captured the furious power and dynamic tension that made the song so memorable. Previously unheard recordings of “Stepping Stone,” “Jungle,” “Cherokee Mist” (which features Hendrix on both electric guitar and sitar) as well as the January 1968 recording of “Sweet Angel” provide further highlights. Both Sides of the Sky also features an assortment of notable guest musicians. Stephen Stills befriended Hendrix at the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. In September of 1969 Stills was invited to a Hendrix session at the Record Plant in New York. Stills burst into the session with a song Joni Mitchell had recently composed, titled “Woodstock.” Joined by Hendrix and Buddy Miles, the trio recorded this version first – months before Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released their popular rendition of Mitchell’s song. Stills would also contribute “$20 Fine,” an original song that featured Hendrix on multiple guitars, Mitchell on drums, Stills on organ and lead vocals and Duane Hitchings (Buddy Miles Express) on piano. Another of the album’s unique band creations sees Hendrix and Johnny Winter on guitar, backed by Billy Cox and drummer Dallas Taylor of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. An excerpt of their rendition of Guitar Slim’s “Things I Used To Do” was initially heard as part of a 1990 nationally syndicated radio program and accompanying box set, but here it is presented in full, newly mixed by Eddie Kramer for Both Sides of The Sky. On “Georgia Blues,” Jimi is reunited with his old bandmate Lonnie Youngblood (vocals/sax) from his pre-fame days in Curtis Knight & The Squires. Briefly issued as part of the 2008 Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues series but out of print for nearly a decade, this special recording is once more available to Hendrix fans throughout the world on all audio formats. Both Sides of the Sky was produced by Janie Hendrix, John McDermott, and Eddie Kramer. Kramer served as recording engineer on every Jimi Hendrix album made during the artist’s life. In order to preserve the integrity and continuity of the Hendrix legacy, this same team has produced every Jimi Hendrix audio and visual release since 1996.
File Under: Rock
Moby: Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt (Arts & Crafts) LP
Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt is a glowing tapestry exploring spirituality, individuality and the brokenness of humanity and finds Moby returning to his orchestral, soul, trip-hop and gospel roots. Featuring LA-based soulstress Raquel Rodriguez, lead single “Like a Motherless Child” is a re-work of the well-known spiritual with origins in the slavery of the American South. The track describes the void left when one feels separated from a parent, higher power or similar guiding force. Over the years this powerful song has been reinterpreted by the likes of Odetta, Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson and Van Morrison. Moby also curated a playlist of artists that influenced the recording of his fifteenth studio album which includes Baby Huey, Marianne Faithfull, Grace Jones, Soul Makossa, Mulatu Astatke, Liquid Liquid, Fresh Four, Sly And Robbie, Simple Minds, James Brown, Talking Heads and Gil Scott-Heron.
File Under: Electronic, Pop, Trip Hop
Monster Magnet: Mindfuck (Napalm) LP
Monster Magnet put the pedal to the metal with Mindfucker, their tenth studio effort which mastermind Dave Wyndorf stated is “full-ahead Detroit-style, early 70s, MC5 and Stooges type of rock.” In terms of power driven stoner rock these gentlemen from New Jersey belong to the measure of all things. But Mindfucker is different, a step forward and a step back at the same time to the almighty roots of beat music. Wyndorf seeks and finds timeless songs here, kindled by the unpretentious protopunk era and manipulates his guitar with rich virility and the drive of his shifty soul throughout. Pumping and scratching at every turn, all things are in constant motion with a sound of groovy straightforwardness, always heading for the essence of the song. Up tempo, savage in both sound and spirit, Mindfucker is the real deal. The album has the potential to surprise and to whip up the love for the genre, while still giving the sludgies and stoner freaks exactly what they wish for in a new Monster Magnet album.
File Under: Stoner Rock, Psych
OST: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) LP
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. After creating the scores for the seven previous Star Wars films, five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams returned to compose and conduct his signature sweeping music for The Last Jedi. As with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, audiences can expect to hear quotations from earlier Star Wars themes. For Williams, incorporating the previous themes is part of the fun of scoring the Star Wars movies and helps create what he calls “the fabric of the films.” Many of the characters also have their own musical themes. Williams explains, “Rey has a theme, Kylo Ren has a theme, Finn has one, Rose has one…These thematic elements infuse the whole score and are part of what moves the film along, giving its sonic outline. In the Star Wars films, the orchestra can be as extrovert as it wants to be at given times, so it really becomes a big part of the fun and imagination of it all.”
File Under: OST
Preoccupations: New Material (Flemish Eye) LP
Preoccupations’ songs have always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility, and they’ve always done it with singular post-punk grit. The textures are evocative and razor-sharp. The wire is always a live one. But while that darker side may have been well-explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time it was, and the result is New Material, a collection that broadens and deepens Preoccupations to a true mastery of their sound. In it lies the difference between witnessing a car crash and crashing your own, between jumping into an ocean and starting to swallow the water. “It’s an ode to depression,’ singer Matt Flegel says plainly. “To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred.” Typically resilient, the months leading up to recording New Material brought a new order of magnitude to feelings that had been creeping up on Flegel for some time. New Material builds a world for that feeling, playing through its layers and complexities while hiding almost nothing. That inscrutable side is part of the magic, here, and a necessary counterweight to the straight-jab clarity of Flegel’s lyrics. You can deep-dive the lyrics or zone into a riff; you can face it or you can get lost in it. Opener “Espionage” kicks off with a clattering, rhythmic echo that gives way to sprinting percussion and a melody in the orbit of Manchester’s classics. “Manipulation” explores the futility of going through the motions, balancing a droney, minimal march with a thunder roll that brings it to the brink, and to the doomed romantic declaration, “please don’t remember me like I’ll always remember you.” “Dissaray” bursts up like a blackened confetti cannon, the song’s undeniably bright melody dancing over a refrain of “disarray, disarray, disarray” and literally nothing else. The hunt turns into a search-and-destroy mission on “Decompose,” a tense, speedy, “blow yourself up and start again” type of song. If the through-line unifying Preoccupations’ work is a furious, almost punishing cyclical quality, New Material does offer some relief. Closer “Compliance” may not seem revelatory on first listen, but it is deeply elemental, a crucial finale and the band’s first standalone instrumental. Flegel acknowledges it is more affecting to him than any other song on the record. It’s not redemption, more like a forced reprieve.
File Under: Indie Rock
Jeff Rosenstock: Post- (Polyvinyl) LP
Jeff Rosenstock wrote POST- in a double-wide trailer in the Catskill Mountain town of East Durham, the snow-covered hills surrounding him like a landscape of blank pages. The serene, empty space was a big change of scenery for a guy who bounces around the world like a human comet, playing super-catchy, super-devastating shout-alongs to dedicated fans around the world. Written in the days after the 2017 Presidential inauguration, POST-‘s lyrics get (really) heavy but the melodies are so catchy and the builds are so big and bright that the end result is more of a rallying cry than a surrender. The album was recorded in a one-week, 86-hour marathon recording session with Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Deafheaven) at the Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto, CA. “The four of us stood in a room without headphones on and just played the songs live to tape, and after that we had some friends (Dan Potthast, Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren, PUP) fill out some of the sound,” explains Rosenstock. So, if the record feels even more unifying than usual, like a party that turns into a sleepover that turns into egg-n-cheese sandwiches on the beach that turns into a protest march that unites a gang of buddies for eternity, well, maybe that’s why. “POST- is a confirmation of Rosenstock as one of punk rock’s greatest, most effusive living songwriters.” – Pitchfork
File Under: Punk
Suuns: Felt (Secret City) LP/DLX LP
There are those in our ranks who are touting this new triumphant collection from Montreal’s art-rock heroes Suuns as the most outright grooved record they’ve made. But hold it right there. Not so fast. Suuns have always had that deep groove on fucking lock, albeit oft-slithering within an austere and/or sneering veneer. Consider, if you will, how Kraftwerk had far more funk flowing through their wires and cables than most of we flesh bodies. Same goes for the necromancers of Suuns. And their world class drummer Liam O’Neill has heroically accepted the challenge of playing in and around programmed beats like a diabolical, sentient metronome. O’Neill’s kit is a bit more out front than it’s been in a hot minute and he’s as patient and ferocious as ever. Meanwhile, Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie’s sourmilk deliver is as frightening and enchanting as ever, but now coming from some deep area that feels like a human heart. And as alluded to by its title and neon-warm album art, Suuns’ Felt is gonna make you feel things. You’re gonna learn something about your body listening to cuts like on DJ Shadow-leaning, head-bobber “Look No Further” or “Make It Real,” which could be a radio signal of a lost Silver Apples cut – that is, before it becomes a doomsday siren breakup song. These four gentlemen could be making beats for 21 Savage or Migos. But for now, lucky for you, they’re ruthlessly set on being one of the planet’s finest, bravest bands.
File Under: Indie Rock
Piero Umiliani: Africa/Continente Nero (Dagored) LP
Dagored presents a double LP bundle of two first official Piero Umiliani reissues. Africa from Piero Umiliani’s M. Zalla moniker, originally released in 1972, and Continente Nero, released under Umiliani’s own name in 1975. The double LP bundle contains inserts with liner notes for each release; Edition of 500. From the liner notes for Africa, curated by Stefano Gilardino: “. . . Keep in mind the release year, January 1972, before approaching the matter covered in this precious jewel: the black rhythm of the incredible ‘Africa To-Day’, the ‘fourth world’ Jon Hassell-style of ‘Green Dawn’, the ‘exotic’ touch à la Martin Denny (‘Lonely Village’, ‘Echos’), the ‘Sortilège”s reference to the electronic new wave (really!), the folk influence (‘Rite’, ‘Folk-Tune’). With many years in advance, Umiliani synthesizes in Africa sounds and styles that will make then the fortune of well-celebrated and famous artists. . . .” From the liner notes for Continente Nero, curated by Luca Collepiccolo: “. . . The African continent rebuilt in ‘microsolchi’ by maestro Umiliani in 1975 is therefore a projection, an image that is influenced strongly by the affairs of overseas colleagues. All those artists from Duke Ellington to the Art Ensemble of Chicago, through Max Roach, who have been fundamental in the genesis of African-American culture . . . Over 40 years since its conception, it is a remarkable, pioneering work, a place of hypotheses and happy intuitions. . . .”
File Under: Library
Jack White: Boarding House Reach (Thirdman) LP
Boarding House Reach is the eagerly anticipated new album from Jack White, the 12x Grammy Award-winner’s third solo LP and first all-new album in nearly four years. The record sees White expanding his musical palate with perhaps his most ambitious work thus far, a collection of songs that are simultaneously timeless and modern. Written and conceived while holed up in a spartan apartment with no outside distractions, Jack replicated the identical environment and used the same gear as when he was a 15 year old (a quarter-inch four-track tape recorder, a simple mixer, and the most basic of instrumentation) to pen sketches of the songs. The album explores a remarkable range of sonic terrain – crunching rock ‘n’ roll, electro and hard funk, proto punk, hip hop, gospel blues, and even country – all remapped and born anew to fit White’s matchless vision and sense of restless experimentation. Boarding House Reach is a testament to the breadth of White’s creative power and his bold artistic ambition. The 13-track set features White on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and drums, organ, and synthesizers. He’s backed by a remarkable new lineup of musicians that includes: drummer Louis Cato (Beyoncé, Q-Tip, John Legend, Mariah Carey), bassists Charlotte Kemp Muhl (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger) and NeonPhoenix (Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z), synthesizer players DJ Harrison and Anthony “Brew” Brewster (Fishbone, The Untouchables), keyboardists Neal Evans (Soulive, Talib Kweli, John Scofield) and Quincy McCrary (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pitbull), percussionists Bobby Allende (David Byrne, Marc Anthony) and Justin Porée (Ozomatli), and backing vocalists Esther Rose and Ann & Regina McCrary of Nashville’s beloved gospel trio, The McCrary Sisters, as well as longtime collaborators like drummers Daru Jones (Nas, Talib Kweli) and Carla Azar (Autolux, Depeche Mode, Doyle Bramhall II). Singer-songwriter C.W. Stoneking also appears, contributing a stirring spoken word performance to the album’s “Abulia and Akrasia.” Boarding House Reach is ushered in by the rapidly acclaimed new single, “Connected By Love,” b/w “Respect Commander,” and was produced by Jack White and recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, Sear Sound in New York, NY, and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA; the album was mixed by Bill Skibbe, Joshua V. Smith, and White at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN.
File Under: Rock
Various: Eccentric Soul: The Saru Label (Numero) LP
The 20th volume of Numero Group’s flagship Eccentric Soul series has all the boxes checked: Gun-toting, skip-tracing record producers, child stars, rip-offs, the “World’s Greatest Bail Bondsman,” swindles, soaring falsettos, and a dwindling rust-belt cityscape offering mere glimpses of hope before the record industry escaped for the coasts. Helmed by the O’Jays Bobby Massey, Saru was a creative vortex that pulled Cuyahoga County’s greatest talent in, making a strong case for Cleveland to contend with Detroit, Philly, and Memphis as America’s soul music capital. Includes obscure and unknown sides from the Out of Sights, the Elements, Pandella Kelly, David Peoples, Sir Stanley, the Ponderosa Twins, the Ba-Roz, Bobby Dukes, and of course, the O’Jays.
File Under: Soul
Boards Of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Work And Non-Work (Warp) LP
Can: Monster Movie (Mute) LP
Johnny Cash: With His Hot & Blue Guitar (Wax Love) LP
Felt: The Seventeenth Century (Cherry Red) LP
Flying Lotus: Youre Dead! (Warp) LP
Nils Frahm: Solo (Erased Tapes) LP
Kayranada: 99.9% (Sony) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
Lamar; Kendrick: Damn (Collector’s Edition) (Aftermath) LP
Lcd Soundsystem: Sound Of Silver (DFA) LP
Massive Attack: Blue Lines (EMI) LP
Massive Attack: Mezzanine (EMI) LP
Meters: Fire On The Bayou (LP
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (
Os Mutantes: s/t (Lilith) LP
Pink Floyd: A Collection of
Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage (RVNG Intl.) LP
Marlon Williams: Make Way for Love (Dead Oceans) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP