If you can imagine.. not a lot of new stuff this week. Although there are a couple of much anticipated stragglers from last year in finally… looking at you King Gizzard and Lorde. But really, the important thing is…….
RSD is next week! Stuff is starting to arrive and a lot is shipped and en route now. Fills are all over the place, as usual. Next week we’ll be updating the Facebook event (HERE) with what is in. We’ve got our pal Stu coming down from Collective Arts Brewing to pour samples in the afternoon, and as usual, WE’RE GIVING AWAY A REGA RP1 TURNTABLE! So clear your day, you’re going to want to spend your April 21st here!
…..pick of the week…..
Klaus Schulze: Cyborg (Brain) LP
Along with Tangerine Dream’s Zeit, Klaus Schulze’s Cyborg stands as one of the supreme achievements of Germany’s early 1970’s space cadet nexus. Dark and disturbing, yet eerily hypnotic, Cyborg is a panoramic voyage from the outer limts of far-flung galaxies to the even more stranger inner landscapes of the human brain. It’s basically over an hour and a half of cosmic background radiation filtered and amplified through little more than a VCS3 synthesizer and a Farfisa organ. Its simplicity is almost primal; its effect on the listener is nothing short of mind altering. The opening track “Synphara” reminds one of a seance being conducted in the absolute darkness of the intergalactic void. The ominous drone of detuned oscillators and Schulze’s hovering Farfisa create a sinister backdrop for a barrage of cosmic debris distilled and modulated through pulse, triangle and sawtooth wave fluctuations. “Conphara” continues this otherwordly invocation by slightly changing the pitch of the fundamental drone and adding the ghostly presence of a full orchestra that drifts in and out of the sonic interstices created by Schulze’s humming generators. The overall effect is like being in a cathedral floating through the asteroid belt. “Chromengel” roils with the menace of an approaching thunderstorm, its leaden cellos rising and falling like a low pressure front as a hail of electronic effects ricochet in the consuming darkness. The final cloudburst of shrieking high-voltage energy unleashes a sheet of synthetic rain that sweeps the piece into brooding silence. “Neuronengesang” (trans. “Song of Neurons”) reverses polarity and charts a course directly to the stormy hemispheres of the listener’s brain. Its massive synthesized drones crash like shards of lightning across convoluted gray matter terrain while charged particles of electronic noise crackle and explode in the atmospheric flux. Its subtle shifts of timbre and tonality almost resemble the static flow of electricity trapped in a Tesla coil. Imagine standing at the center of a power station where invisible speeds of energies race so fast they stand still, where blue fire flickers snap and hiss and shuttle through the humming air, where pulsing currents crawl across the skin like a prickling electric spider–these are the impressions “Neuronengesang” evokes. Long before it was fashionable, Schulze had gone where no one had dared to explore, and Cyborg is the travelogue of that strange but fascinating voyage.
File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
A Place To Bury Strangers: Pinned (Dead Oceans) LP
For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers has become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume. Pinned, their fifth full-length album, finds the band converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann lived, worked, and created with complete freedom. There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies (“Execution”), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate (“There’s Only One of Us”). It all opens with “Never Coming Back,” a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Dion Lunadon’s unrelenting bass. It’s a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for the band as a whole.
File Under: Indie Rock
Aksak Maboul: Un Peu de L’ame de Bandits (Crammed) LP
Founded in 1977 by Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis, Aksak Maboul already contained some of the key elements of the Crammed aesthetics: eclecticism, internationalism, deliberate and playful mixing of forms, cultures and genres. Un Peu De L’ame De Bandits (1980) was recorded by a lineup featuring English musicians Fred Frith and Chris Cutler. More intense and “experimental” than their debut, this album’s music contains complex, completely written sections as well as totally improvised hardcore ambient pieces, not to mention drum machines, bassoons, sampling before samplers existed, Bulgarian, Pygmy, Polynesian and Delta Blues voices, tango, a Turkish tune, crypto-punk and pseudo-Varese music. Even the most ambitious moments are infused with Aksak Maboul’s customary playfulness: “Tango” for example is based on various existing tangos, the scores of which were cut-up, shuffled and randomly glued back together; the musicians then proceeded to learn the resulting “opus”, and actually performed it live in one take; “A Modern Lesson” contains recorded fragments taken from every single other track on the album; the last section of “Cinema” is an improvised impression of a late-night program on Bulgarian radio. Un Peu De L’ame De Bandits’ first reissue on vinyl includes a booklet and previously-unreleased recordings on an accompanying download.
File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Avant Garde
Bad Religion: The Gray Race (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Over the past three decades the band has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen. Newly remastered, 1996’s The Gray Race is Bad Religion’s ninth full-length effort overall and follow-up to their highly successful 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction. Produced by The Cars’ Ric Ocasek and serving as the band’s first recorded sans original guitarist Brett Gurewitz, it’s home to such fan favorites as “A Walk,” “Punk Rock Song,” “Pity the Dead” and “Spirit Shine.”
File Under: Punk
David Bowie: Aladdin Sane (RCA) LP
45th anniversary edition on coloured vinyl! Originally released in 1973, Aladdin Sane came right at the height of David Bowie’s new superstar status and followed up the breakthrough Ziggy Stardust. It’s also the final album on which the Spiders’ classic lineup of Mick Ronson (guitar, piano, backing vocals), Trevor Bolder (bass), and Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey (drums) appears and marks the debut of one of avant-jazz pianist Mike Garson. In addition to vocals, Bowie plays guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone on a set that has more than stood the test of time. Described by Bowie as “Ziggy goes to America,” Aladdin Sane saw him create a rockier, more frenetic album than its predecessor, with the Rolling Stones a possible influence on album opener “Watch That Man” and a transgressive cover of their song, “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Elsewhere, Muddy Waters’ influence is heard in the riff of the UK #2 single “The Jean Genie” and “futuristic nostalgia” of “Drive-In Saturday.” “Cracked Actor,” possibly Bowie’s most decadent moment, was written after he had toured Hollywood Boulevard, translating the images and environment into raw rock n’ roll. The addition of Garson and his remarkable talents, infuse some of the album’s key tracks, in particular the title track with its dissonant improvisation, the Brechtian cabaret of “Time,” and album closer “Lady Grinning Soul” with an edgy, schizophrenic quality.
File Under: Pop, Rock
Jean Dubuffet: Musical Experiences (Etats-Unis) LP
“The legendary French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet exalted naivety and spontaneity in visual art, and his brazenly experimental recordings on Musical Experiences evince the same spirit through sound. He once reflected, ‘Certain unexpected windfalls … come of improvising on an instrument one doesn’t really know how to use.’ Dubuffet, who famously founded the art brut (or outsider art) movement, began making music in the early 1960s with avant-garde figure Asger Jorn. With no training, they played a range of instruments: saxophone, bassoon, detuned piano, hurdy-gurdy, cabrette, bombarde and so on. Soon, Dubuffet reserved a room in his home for making music and bought two tape-recorders in order to manually edit the results. He wrote fondly of the recordings’ crudeness and the sense that they ‘had no beginning and no end but were simply extracts taken haphazardly from a ceaseless and ever-flowing score.’ Dubuffet’s discography begins in 1961 with the release Expériences Musicales, a six 10-inch record set produced in an edition of fifty with original artwork and lithographed sleeves. Musical Experiences, compiled by composer Ilhan Mimaroglu and released in 1973 on his Finnadar imprint, collects eight of the twenty pieces on the much sought-after Expériences Musicales. First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Avant Garde
John Duncan: Organic (Etats-Unis) LP
“The inter-disciplinary maverick John Duncan emerged in 1970s Los Angeles as a confrontational performance artist and, as the decade progressed, aligned himself with the experimental-music collective Los Angeles Free Music Society. His sound art appeared on various self-released cassettes and alongside artists such as Jim Pomeroy and Yoshi Wada on the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art’s influential compilation Sound. Duncan’s debut album, Organic, released in a tiny edition on the artist’s own AQM imprint in 1979 and distributed through LAFMS, collects some of his earliest and most absorbing noise experiments. Recorded live, Organic is composed of two sidelong pieces: ‘Broken Promise,’ a patient, murky dirge featuring Duncan on tape and percussion, plus Michael Le Donne-Bhennet on bassoon; and ‘Gala,’ a kinetic, durational percussion piece featuring Duncan alone. The meditations on texture and unpredictability, realized with unconventional and found sounds, anticipate his later work with shortwave radio. First-time standalone reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Warner Jepson: Totentanz (Etats-Unis) LP
“Considered as the first piece of electronic music to accompany a ballet, Totentanz is the arrestingly abstract and mightily expressive result of Warner Jepson’s experiments with tape and Don Buchla’s groundbreaking synthesizer, the Buchla 100. Totentanz, originally self-released in 1972, reveals a composer relieved of convention. In the 1950s and 1960s, Jepson was part of an informal circle of Bay Area artists that included Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Morton Subotnick and Steve Reich. A fixture of the legendary San Francisco Tape Music Center, Jepson was among the performers who realized the world-premiere of Riley’s seminal minimalist composition In C and worked closely with postmodern dance figure Anna Halprin as well as the Welland Lathrop Dance Company. Jepson’s affection for the performing arts meant that he was thrilled to be commissioned by the San Francisco Ballet Company to compose a piece to accompany Carlos Carvajal’s beguiling, danse macabre-inspired Totentanz. Jepson, who passed away in 2011, incorporated concrete sounds from his collection as well as creations on the Buchla 100, which had recently migrated to Mills College. As the composer once wrote, ;Don Buchla’s box … offered numerous sound possibilities without a map.’ First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Electronic, Avant Garde
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Gumboot Soup (ATO) LP
In tomorrow… Australian rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard said they would issue five full-length LPs in 2017 alone and with the release of Gumboot Soup at the tail end of the year they accomplished the mean feat. Gumboot Soup follows February’s Flying Microtonal Banana, June’s Murder of the Universe, August’s Sketches of Brunswick East, and November’s Polygondwanaland. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, the band’s Stu Mackenzie described their final record of 2017 as a “place for us to put a lot of different ideas that we’re trying to experiment within the song, rather than within the whole record. And for me, some of my favorite songs of the year are on the fifth record. It’s more song-oriented than album-oriented.”
File Under: Psych
King Tuff: The Other (Sub Pop) LP
The ten tracks that make up The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for Kyle Thomas aka King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier outings in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and a childlike, creative energy untarnished by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album’s first moments: introduced by the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, “The Other” is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of “the other,” a kind of siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like “Thru the Cracks” and “Psycho Star” balance psychedelia with day-glo pop hooks. “The universe is probably an illusion, but isn’t it so beautifully bizarre?” he asks on “Psycho Star,” providing one of the record’s central tenets. At a time when everything in the world feels so deeply spoiled and the concept of making meaning out of the void seems both pointless and impossible, why not try? Thomas self-produced the record, as he did his 2007 debut, Was Dead, but on a far grander scale. He recorded it at The Pine Room, the home studio Thomas built to work on the record, and playing every instrument aside from drums and saxophone. He pulled Shawn Everett (War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes) in to assist with the mixing process. While it would be easy to think of The Other as a kind of reinvention for King Tuff, Thomas views the entire experience of the record as a kind of reset that’s not totally removed from what he’s done in the past.
File Under: Psych, Garage
Annea Lockwood: Glass World (Etats-Unis) LP
“New Zealand-born sound artist and composer Annea Lockwood received formal training at various institutions before exploring the sonorous potential of glass in a series of performances in the late 1960s. With plates of wired glass, glass discs, chunks of green cullet glass, glass tubing, sheets of micro-glass, glass jars and other incarnations of the material, Lockwood elicited a staggering array of sounds, some subtly uncanny and others as outlandish and alien as anything emitted from the era’s early synthesizers. Lockwood’s glass concerts yielded a text-score published in Northern California new-music journal Source: Music of the Avant-Garde and attracted the attention of South African producer Michael Steyn, who encouraged her to record the glass pieces for his label Tangent. They worked for two years in a small, resonant church in London to document a veritable catalogue of the materials’ tone and timbre; Lockwood wished to present each sound as if it were a piece of music in and of itself. Glass World originally appeared on Tangent in 1970. ‘I wanted to entice people into really listening intensively,’ Lockwood once reflected. ‘Into really listening. I wanted a deep immersion in the sounds of themselves, for the audience.’ First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Avant Garde, Sound Art
Lorde: Melodrama (Lava) LP/DLX LP
In tomorrow… New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Lorde scored her first US No. 1 album when her long-awaited second LP Melodrama topped the Billboard 200 in the summer of 2017. Co-written and co-produced with Jack Antonoff (Fun, The Bleachers), each track – including captivating singles “Green Light,” “Liability,” “Sober,” and “Perfect Places” – is an intimate portrayal of late teenage years, which makes her wide appeal all the more impressive. The Fader called lead single “Green Light,” “a true pop anthem – made for both earbud strutting and the club”; Billboard praised “Liability” as “an absolute jaw-dropper”; and SPIN hailed “Sober” as “the strangest, coolest Melodrama song yet.” The universally acclaimed Melodrama was nominated for Album of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Featuring double sided record sleeve and double sided photo insert.
File Under: Pop
Mien: s/t (Rocket) LP
Rocket Recordings are pleased to reveal the self-titled debut album by MIEN, the exciting new four piece band comprised of The Black Angels’ Alex Maas, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and The Earlies’ John-Mark Lapham. Inhabiting a modern-day realm in which what is termed ‘psych’ is all-too-often a codified and predictable incarnation entirely at odds with the original free-flowing spirit of psychedelia, it can be a struggle to find a band who can marry the essence of its inception with an adventurous mindset – one with the ability to render their creations beyond clichéd genre trappings and studied thriftstore cool. Who knows whether through study or serendipity, but MIEN – a Transatlantic four-way collision of considerable force involving luminaries who have each forged a reputation for head-spinning audial magick in their own right – are just such a band. What’s more, their eponymous Rocket recordings debut is no less than a rich tapestry of third-eye visions and nocturnal serenades both vivid and vital. The chemistry between these four gures is manifest amidst a kaleidoscopic series of atmospheres and excursions whereby the fertile songwriting of the golden age of ‘60s psychedelia is transmitted into a transcendental realm above and beyond the second decade of the 21st century.
File Under: Psych
Bruno Nicolai: Indio Black (Dagored) LP
Dagored present a reissue of Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack for the 1970 spaghetti western Adiós, Sabata. The great Bruno Nicolai, one of the closest collaborator of Ennio Morricone, composed this epic score for the second film of the western cult classic Sabata Trilogy, starring the legendary Yul Brinner, employing a dramatic style creating what is considered one of the great masterpieces of Italian western music. First time complete soundtrack on vinyl. Orange vinyl; Edition of 500.
File Under: OST, Italian
Remko Scha: Machine Guitars (Etats-Unis) LP
“Gnashing, thrashing and teeming with enchanting microtones — Machine Guitars is the definitive recorded work of Remko Scha, although the late Dutch artist didn’t play a single note himself. Rather, Scha arranged a motorized, rotating wire brush and saber saw in front of suspended electric guitars and let these metallic torrents flow. Scha was a linguist and generative artist, enamored of computers’ capacity for algorithmic creativity. A leading researcher at the University of Amsterdam, he also cofounded the famed arts-space Het Apollohuis in a former cigar-factory in 1980. This haven for intellectuals and underground autodidacts served as the recording studio for most of Machine Guitars (as well as Ellen Fullman’s brilliant The Long String Instrument), which originally appeared in 1982 on the small Dutch label Kremlin. Machine Guitars, as the critic Byron Coley has noted, ranks among the best of the era’s minimalist-inspired, avant-garde guitar statements by Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham. The semiautonomous sound-making sculptures also evoke contemporaneous work by Christian Marclay. Scha’s work falls somewhere between conceptual art and avant-garde music — a total revelation for minimalists and No Wave fans alike. First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”
File Under: Experimental, Noise, Rock
Piero Umiliani: Requiem per un Agente Segreto (Dagored) LP
Dagored present a reissue of Piero Umiliani’s soundtrack for the 1966 film Requiem Per Un Agente Segreto. A catching exploration of easy listening and lounge music by the legendary Piero Umiliani, one of the Italian score masters who penned some of the most outstanding film music from the ’60s and ’70s. Composed for the Italian spy thriller Requiem Per Un Agente Segreto starring Stewart Granger and Bond-girl, Daniela Bianchi. First time complete edition on vinyl. Green vinyl; Edition of 300.
File Under: OST, Italian
Wye Oak: The Louder I Call.. (Merge) LP
For The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack flew to one another’s cities – she in Durham, NC, he in Marfa, TX – for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. They discarded past rules about how to write a record, instead funneling all those experiences and experiments into perfectly unified statements. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music Wye Oak has ever made. Louder… pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its 12 tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. It arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment.
File Under: Indie Rock
Alvvays: s/t (Royal Mountain) LP
Bahamas: Earthtones (Republic) LP
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Tough & Go) LP
Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (Sundazed) LP
Butthole Surfers: Electriclarryland (Plain) LP
Brainticket: Celestial Ocean (Lilith) LP
Brainticket: Psychonaut (Lilith) LP
Brainticket: Cottonwoodhill (Lilith) LP
CCR: Green River (Fantasy) LP
CCR: Chronicle Vol 1 (Fantasy) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Final Tour (Columbia) LP
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Island) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Essaie Pas: New Path (DFA) LP
GZA: Liquid Swords (Universal) LP
Herbie Hancock: Speak Like A Child (Blue Note) LP
Joy Division: Preston 28 February 1980 (Get Back) LP
Led Zeppelin: s/t (Warner) LP
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (MMS) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies To Paralyze (Music on Vinyl) LP
Spacemen 3: Sound of Confusion (Fire) LP
Spacemen 3: Recurring (Space Age) LP
Swans: The Glowing Man (Young God) LP