Yikes, sooooo much stuff in this week. Loads of new stuff, reissues, restocks. Bonkers. BONKERS!
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out our new webstore… if not CHECK IT OUT! The inventory is live with the shop, so if it’s in stock there, it’s in stock in the store. We have an instore pick up option, so if you are local, but going out of town, or just don’t want to miss out on something, by all means, buy it through the site and it’ll be here waiting for you when you have time to get in.
…..picks of the week…..
John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once (Impulse) LP/2LP
In tomorrow… Sonny Rollins nails the significance and thrill of Both Sides at Once: The Lost Album, a previously unheard John Coltrane recording captured at Van Gelder Studios at the end of a two-week stint at Birdland in 1963: “[It’s] like find a new room in the Great Pyramid,” he says in the liner notes. Once you experience Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones in peak form, you’re certain to agree. Unknown until 2004 and unheard until now, the music on this album represents one of the most influential groups in music history both performing in a musical style it had perfected. Coltrane personally decided to stash away the material, which was ultimately lost to time until it was discovered by the family of his first wife and brought to the attention of Impulse! It is impossible to overstate the breadth, spirit, musicianship, and sound of these recordings, two of which are originals that were captured on tape here and here alone. The Deluxe Edition of the album also includes seven alternate takes of the tracks from the same session, including four renditions of “Impressions.” The first week of March in 1963 was busy for John Coltrane. He was in the midst of a two-week run at Birdland and was gearing up to record the famed John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, which he did on March 7. But there was a session the day before that was the stuff of legend, until now. On Wednesday, March 6, Coltrane and the quartet went to Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ and cut a complete album’s worth of material, including several original compositions that were never recorded elsewhere. They spent the day committing these to tape, taking time with some, rehearsing them two, three times, playing them in different ways and in different configurations. At the end of the day, Coltrane left Van Gelder Studios with a reference tape and brought it to the home in Queens that he shared with his wife, Naima. These tapes remained untouched for the next 54 years until Impulse! approached the family about finally releasing this lost album. Though the master tape was never found – Rudy Van Gelder wasn’t one for clutter – the reference tape was discovered to be in excellent condition. On this album, there are two completely unknown and never-before-heard originals. “Untitled Original 11383” and “Untitled Original 11386,” both played on soprano sax. “11383” features an arco bass solo by Jimmy Garrison, a relative rarity, and “11386” marks a significant structural change for the quartet, in that they keep returning to the theme between solos, not typical in the quartet’s repertoire. In addition to the two unheard originals, “One Up, One Down” – released previously only on a bootleg recording from Birdland – is heard here as a studio recording for the first and only time. It contains a fascinating exchange between Elvin Jones and Coltrane. “Impressions,” one of Coltrane’s most famous and oft-recorded compositions, is played here in a piano-less trio. In fact, McCoy Tyner lays out a number of times during this recording session. It’s one of the more interesting aspects of this session and reflects the harmonic possibilities that Coltrane was known to be discussing regularly with Ornette Coleman around this time. This studio session also yielded Coltrane’s first recording of “Nature Boy,” which he would record again in 1965, and the two versions differ greatly. The one we know is exploratory, meandering. This version is tight, solo-less and clocking in at just over three minutes. The other non-original composition on the album is “Vilia,” from Franz Lehár’s operetta “The Merry Widow”. The soprano version on the Deluxe Edition is the only track from this session to have been previously released. This incredible, once-in-a-lifetime discovery reveals a number of creative balances at work, like developing original melodies while rethinking familiar standards. Trying out some tunes first on tenor saxophone, then on soprano. Using older techniques like the arpeggio runs of his “sheets of sound” while experimenting with false fingerings and other newer sounds. This session was pivotal, though to call it such overlooks the fact Coltrane was ever on pivot, always pushing the pedal down while still calling on older, tested ideas and devices.
File Under: Jazz
Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures: Pentimento Volume One (Ndeya) LP
In tomorrow…Listening To Pictures: Pentimento Volume One is the first new album in nine years by a musical visionary and hugely influential figure in new music. Forty years since its creation, Jon Hassell’s Fourth World aesthetic remains a powerful influence on modern electronic music. Continuing his lifelong exploration of the possibilities of recombination and musical gene-splicing, fragments of performance are sampled, looped, overdubbed and re-arranged into beguiling unexpected shapes. Hassell applies the painterly technique of ‘pentimento’ to the arrangements, teasing out texture by the overlaying of sound upon sound, or a carefully timed reveal of the delicate bones pinning the frame of a track together. The release of this new album also sees the launch of Jon’s own label, Ndeya (pronounced “in-day-ya”), which will be a home for new work as well as well as selected archival releases, including re-presses of classic sides and some astonishing unreleased music.
Elph vs Coil: Worship the Glitch (Dais) LP
“Unexplainable” may well be the best explanation for the members of the UK based electronic outfit COIL. Making a radical shift from intentional accessibility, by means of traditional pop songwriting, to abstract happenstance, Coil had entered into a new phase in their career…uncharted waters utilizing what was then the newest computer technology, digital and analog synthesis and the newly formed ideas that something outside of themselves was steering the ship. During the studio sessions that developed into what would become “Worship the Glitch”, Coil became aware of random compositions emitting from their gear, and were at odds with constant “accidents” that were perpetually plaguing the recordings. The band called these unintentional emissions “ELpH”: a conceptual being that is one part physical equipment, one part celestial being… constantly playing the role of trickster, throwing a wrench into Coil’s methodology. Eventually, these accidents and mistakes were embraced by the band, and the process of misusing audio software to create intentional “errors” was adopted as a musical technique. The acceptance of the “mistake”, and the use of discovered mistakes as intentional elements slowly became the drive and concept behind the album, thus birthing the title “Worship the Glitch.” Originally released in 1995 on Coil’s in-house imprint Eskaton, Worship the Glitch was Coil’s first proper album-length attempt at conceptual ambient composition, with a radical focus on chance. Seamless vignettes of shattered electronics (though ebbing softly and in delicate balance with each other) provide an underlying uncertainty and discomfort to the listener. Both releases have been remastered by engineer Josh Bonati and supervised by Coil’s Drew McDowall, the double LP vinyl releases are packaged in a beautiful matte 24pt stock gatefold jackets.
Maurizio Abate/Riccardo Sinigaglia: Dialoghi Nel Vuoto (Soave) LP
In tomorrow… When No Pussyfooting was released in 1973 by two great pioneers like Eno and Fripp, that first whisper of their artistic association surprised many critics and fans. Yet, that kind of minimalist ambient sonority carried out by the two appeared in the ear like something absolutely new and innovative. Although nowadays we might be more accustomed to creative operations of this type, we are still fascinated, while listening, by the still possible achievement of relevant moments of musical epiphany, however distant we might be from that first eminent combination between keyboards and guitar which concerned electronic experimentation. Something similar occurred in this new collaboration between Riccardo Sinigaglia and Maurizio Abate; two generations in comparison, whose research developments unfold in the handful of different conceptions and experiences. Their music does not own a pre-defined structure; it receives its ultimate reason from the progressive and continuous metamorphosis of sound. It’s all the result of spontaneous sessions, during which a predisposition towards an active trance procedure, sustained by complementary flashes of lucidity, prevails. The dominant atmosphere is entirely oneiric, perpetually doubtful, still not linked to the passive remote unconscious: it’s rather reminiscent of lucid dreams, of phosphenes, of eidetic visualizations that belong to Tibetan tradition.
Bad Times: Streets of Iron (Goner) LP
In 1998, things were going south for friends Jay Reatard, Eric Oblivian, and King Louie Bankston. In between broken relationships, shattered homes, dissolving bands, and feeling low down, a collaboration was proposed. Jay and Eric trekked down from Memphis with some songs and ideas for songs, listening to Funkadelic and bad Killed By Death-styled punk songs for the six hours to see Louie in New Orleans. One day was spent learning songs, one day recording songs. Eventually they played one show in Normal, IL, opening up for Guitar Wolf. The result of this recording was a blast of punk, garage punk, and psychedelic mayhem. Indeed, the hours listening to Funkadelic did pay off. Jay stole some lyrics and some heavy fuzz solo style from George Clinton and the gang. Eric stole a couple songs from Japanese punk legends Friction and Texaco Leather Man, and tried to mention his favorite sumo wrestler Konishiki whenever possible. Fittingly, when Jay and Eric returned to Memphis, Jay found all his belongings—clothes, guitars, amplifiers—out on his front lawn, as his mom had returned to their house and kicked him out while he was away. Bad Times, indeed! A release on Sympathy For The Record Industry combined tracks from this session and from their one live show, and has become a cherished collector’s item going for top dollar on the second hand market. This edition restores the original tracks from the recording session—Eric’s “Wrong Way To Love” and Jay’s “Lick On My Leather,” eliminating two live tracks. A new track order provides a punchy new way to experience the music as well, and the music has been carelessly remastered from a dub of the original cassette. Behold the final product—this is how the Bad Times was meant to be heard!
File Under: Punk
Bebo Baldan: Vapor Frames 86/91 (Soave) LP
In tomorrow… Soave present a reissue of Bebo Baldan’s Vapor Frames 86/91, originally released in 1991. The alchemist Bebo Baldan, accompanied by Steve James on violin and sarod (as well as on instruments of various geographical extractions) mixes, in a personal way, sounds from a bevy of different cultures — from Mediterranean and Indian, to South American — with synths, samples, and loops. The result is a boundless music that carries you, riding soft waves and bobbing between Balearic ambient, jazz, and electronic, on islands that have been quietly, yet carefully cultivated; peaceful, fascinating, and reflective — places where time appears to dissolve. Vapor Frames 86/91 was originally released for Venetian Divergo — a non-profit label, which after the Baldan album, also released The Wind Collector by Gigi Masin and Alessandro Monti a few months later (1991). This reissue includes two added bonus tracks from the same sessions, both at the end of each side. The result is a stunning auditory atmosphere that relaxes the spirit in the same vein as a reiki treatment.
Franco Battiato: Clic (Superior Viaduct) LP
On his fourth album, Clic, Franco Battiato moves further out—into realms of pure and elemental approaches to sound—to create a seminal work that flows naturally from one musical form to the next. Every second ripples with orbital chords, kosmische textures and schizophrenic string quartets, yet somehow manages the same dramatic pacing and variety as his avant-rock albums Fetus and Pollution. Originally released in 1974 on Bla Bla, Clic features Battiato on VCS3 synthesizer and piano, along with trusted collaborators Gianni Mocchetti on guitar and Gianfranco D’Adda on percussion. While only “No U Turn” bears the maestro’s voice, these seven tracks contain some of his boldest melodies, an underlying thread that runs through the choral arrangements and meditative compositions. Clic’s dedication to Karlheinz Stockhausen comes into focus on the final piece, “Ethika Fon Ethica”—a rapidfire journey into Italian shortwave radio, interrupted by fleeting fragments of folk music from around the world (sampled from Henry Cowell’s celebrated Folkways compilations from the 1950’s). It’s the perfect ending to Battiato’s beautiful and expansive tour of the cosmos, signaling the uncompromising experimentalism that would dominate much of the composer’s mid-1970s oeuvre. Superior Viaduct presents the first-time domestic release of Clic. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket and booklet, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.
Ogon Batto: Hedoro (Aguirre) LP
Many years in the works, Ōgon Batto finally unleashes his album Hedoro. A journey into Japanese soundtracks and ’90s adventure-gaming. Ōgon Batto is Bent Von Bent from Antwerp, Belgium. Besides working as a visual artist around archiving systems and collections, he is also the co-runner of the Hare Akedod label, together with David Edren, aka DSR Lines. Following his debut release (2014), Ōgon Batto secretly started working on a second album Hedoro, meaning “slime” or “chemical ooze”. Bent is immensely fascinated by Japanese traditional and contemporary culture ever since he first visited the country. Mixing his European background with these Japanese influences, he shifts easily between abstract electronic tracks and pieces with a more classical Japanese tool kit. Think Oneohtrix Point Never or Mica Levi composing a soundtrack to a fantasy game. With an amazing sense for detail Hedoro’s musical story — entirely composed with synthesizers — is reduced to a collection of situations and drama, with space for suggestion and imagination. Every track, how short it may be, is essential to the whole, maximizing the general dramatic effect. The album was mixed in Sapporo, Japan with the typical sounds of cicadas on the background (not on the album though) and some glasses of sake. The ceramic sculpture on the front cover is a reinterpretation of Rolls Royce’s “Spirit of Ecstasy” and is created by Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx. Remastered by Kris Delacourt. High-glossy sleeve; Edition of 300.
Dave Bixby: Ode To Quetzalcoatl (Guerssen) LP
Repress in vintage-styled tip-on hard cardboard sleeve. Guerssen Records present a reissue of Dave Bixby’s Ode To Quetzalcoatl, originally released in 1969. Since its discovery in the late ’90s, Dave Bixby’s legendary $2000 private press album from 1969 is considered by all serious record collectors as the king in the loner/downer folk genre. After being involved in ’60s Michigan folk and garage-rock bands such as The Shillelaghs and Peter & The Prophets, Bixby started playing acoustic guitar and experimenting with LSD. After a year of drug abuse, he felt broken. Starting a soul-searching, spiritual journey, he wrote Ode To Quetzalcoatl and most of the material for his second album, Harbinger’s Second Coming (1970) in just one month and a half. Assisted by fellow musician Brian MacInness, who played some guitar parts on the album, Dave recorded Quetzalcoatl using an echo-laden four-track machine in a flat’s living room. The sound is lo-fi and sparse: just acoustic guitars and some occasional harmonica and flute, added to Bixby’s haunting, emotional vocals, spiritual lyrics, and solid songwriting. The opening cut, the eerie and painful “Drug Song” sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the album which contains more tormented titles like “666”, “Lonely Faces”, “Open Doors”, “Secret Forest” — never has an acoustic folk album sounded so intense. Carefully remastered sound from vinyl (no master tapes exists) done at Shadoks Music Studios. Includes insert with detailed liner notes by Matvei Procak, who found Bixby in 2006, plus some rare pictures.
Luc Ferrari: Atelier De Liberation De La Musique (Alga Marghen) LP
Alga Marghen present recordings from Luc Ferrari’s Atelier De Libération De La Musique, a collective he created together with Martin Davorin Jagodic, Philippe Besombes, and Alain Petit in 1975 for a series of performances at the Galliera Museum in Paris. It was in those years that Luc Ferrari investigated open forms and created some of the most experimental and elusive works of his entire catalog. “Exercices D’improvisation”, first recorded by Brunhild Ferrari with GOL, issued on PLANAM in 2010; but specially “Ou Donc Est-T-On?”, a very complex piece forthcoming on Alga Marghen including both “Dance”, issued on Alga Marghen on the occasion of the presentations at Centre Pompidou in 2009 and “Ephemere”, issued on CD by Alga Marghen in 2010, as well as the “Labyrinthe De La Violence”, an audio-visual permanent labyrinth for which Ferrari created four fantastic electronic music pieces forthcoming on Alga Marghen. After these experiences the composer decided to discontinue these open practices for a more controlled work in the studio. And within the “Labyrinthe De La Violence” installation Luc Ferrari conceived a series of electro-visual concerts to be performed by the newly created Atelier De Libération De La Musique. The collective included some of the most creative artists of the time: together with Luc Ferrari playing the electric organ you find on electric piano Martin Davoric Jagodic (whose masterpiece of electronic music titled Tempo Furioso was issued on Cramps in Italy that same year), on synthesizer Philippe Besombes (of Pole fame) and on sax, flute, and clarinet, Alain Petit (who was at the time collaborating with Besombes at the wonderful Besombes / Rizet double LP). These four artists met in February and March of 1975, rehearsing for a series of concerts to take place within the audio-visual labyrinth. It is the previously unheard recordings from these wild rehearsals which make up this incredible LP. The sound of Atelier De Libération De La Musique is a thrilling and overwhelming ride. Rattling, difficult polyrhythms play against droning, pulsing and simmering sonorities. These recordings are human and open, wild and incredibly ahead of their time. Obi strip; Edition of 500 (numbered).
Nils Frahm: Encores 1 (Erased Tapes) LP
For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio and making music at Funkhaus in Berlin. Out of that time came not only his 7th album, the universally acclaimed All Melody, but a huge amount of additional material, of which Encores 1 is the first offering. With only twelve out of sixty initial sketches forming All Melody, there was so much more music that needed to be heard. “The idea behind Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to do three releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts.” — Nils Frahm Meant as a companion to All Melody and with The Dane even becoming a live favourite on the current world tour, Encores 1 focuses on an entirely acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium. Perhaps suggesting the story of All Melody is far from over.
File Under: Ambient, Neoclassical
Gorillaz: The Now Now (Parlophone) LP
The Now Now, Gorillaz’s sixth studio effort, features 11 all-new songs from the World’s Most Successful Virtual Act, co-produced with James Ford and Remi Kabaka, and recorded entirely at Studio 13, London in February of 2018. In contrast to the cast of characters that joined the apocalyptic party thrown by Damon Albarn and his cartoon crew on 2017’s multiple-Grammy-nominated Humanz, The Now Now sees the band largely eschewing guest stars (save George Benson, Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle), taking it back to the core Gorillaz crew: blue-haired, sweet-natured dreamer 2D on vocals; whip-smart Japanese badass Noodle on guitar; Brooklyn-born philosopher and the meat – behind-the-beat Russel Hobbs on drums. And with Murdoc Niccals temporarily indisposed, bass duties on the new album have been taken up by erstwhile Gangreen Gang member Ace. Vibrant lead single “Humility” features legendary jazz guitarist George Benson. Heavyweight black vinyl 12″ LP in spined sleeve with printed inner bag and download card.
File Under: Rock, Pop
The Heads: RKT! (Rooster) LP
“A timely reissue of the first three releases The Heads put out on the Rocket label. From their first split 7-inch release (with Lilydamwhite) in 1998 to their much-lauded Sessions 2 freakout 12-inch from 2002 — all compiled here in their remastered glory, The Heads we quite prolific back in the late 90s / early 00’s, and in between the Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere album and Undersided album they released their jams and raw rehearsals via the burgeoning Rocket Label. Compiled here with extensive sleeve notes from Rocket founder Simon Healey, this limited 3xLP and 2xCD set captures the band at their most laconic and free. A psychedelic sprawling morass of sound and aural distortion grooves that draw both from the band’s wide influences and from simply plugging in and letting go.”
Tim Hecker: Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again (Kranky) LP
This is the first reissue of Tim Hecker’s classic 2001 debut full length release. The original recordings were remixed by Tim Hecker and mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering. “Haunt Me is alien, amorphous and occasionally noisy, but always welcoming.” —Pitchfork // “Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again is a brilliant album of subtle, evocative mood music.” —AllMusic// “Hecker was already on a different wavelength with Haunt Me, clearly seeking something that would trigger ASMR-induced enlightenment, and he ran with it.” —Stereogum
Tim Hecker: Radio Amor (Kranky) LP
This is the first reissue for Tim Hecker’s classic 2003 album. The original recordings were remixed by Tim Hecker and mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering. “Hecker at his most painterly and evocative.” —Pitchfork // “Radio Amor has a simultaneous tangible / intangible quality that is both miraculous and enigmatic.” —Tiny Mix Tapes // “Tim Hecker may be the finest sonic photographer around, the re-release of Radio Amor being further evidence for this claim.” // — Brainwashed // “Hecker’s 2003 standout is a stirringly emotional narrative, without the slightest aid of a single voice.” —Treble // “A slow-shifting mix of steely headrush and protracted morse code dispatches from the bottom of the ocean.” —Dusted
Heldon: Third (It’s Always Rock ‘N’ Roll) (Bureau B) LP
In tomorrow… Bureau B present a reissue of Heldon’s third album Third (It’s Always Rock ‘N’ Roll), originally released on Disjuncta in 1975. Third album from the French space-rock electro combo masterminded by Richard Pinhas. Heldon’s darkest work lays another stone in their sonic mosaic: synths, drones, fuzz, and trippy improvisations. There’s something wicked happening on Heldon’s third album It’s Always Rock And Roll. Richard Pinhas’s essential attack of searing guitar and space-bound synthesizer didn’t change radically after the first two Heldon albums, 1974’s Electronique Guerilla and 1975’s Allez-Teia. But there’s dark energy coursing through this double album, a chilly aura that makes even the quietest pieces shiver with tension. “At this time, I tried to turn Heldon into a darker band,” Pinhas admits. “But dark is not negative to me.” The darkness of It’s Always Rock And Roll is more about exploring what’s hidden and overturning convention — about diving beneath bright surfaces to find something more mysterious. If It’s Always Rock And Roll stands up in Heldon’s catalog, perhaps it’s due to expansion — both in the sense of big ideas and lengthy durations. Most tracks last over seven minutes, and two are side-covering epics. “I think the length of a track is part of the creation of the track,” says Pinhas. “There are imperatives. You can do something very complex with a lot of events in four minutes, and then some other things need to be done very slowly. You have to do the length that it demands.” “We recorded this after having met with Philip K. Dick in California for two days,” recalls Pinhas. “It was such an event for a 23-year old; he was to me one of the last real prophets. We talked about Jung, we talked about a lot of things. Maybe this encounter gave birth to all of Heldon Third.” So the sci-fi master spawned a dark audio creation to rival his own work. Like the Heldon albums that precede it, It’s Always Rock And Roll is undoubtedly Pinhas’ baby. But its depth-probing sounds earned it a godfather, too. 2018 remaster by Willem Makkee.
Heldon: Agneta Nilsson (Heldon IV) (Bureau B) LP
In tomorrow… Bureau B present a reissue of Heldon’s fourth album Agneta Nilsson, originally released on Urus Records in 1976. Agneta Nilsson opens with a mind-paralyzing track that proves stillness can have a pulse. “Perspective I” spends ten minutes poring through tectonic layers of heavy sound, piling everything so thick that the song becomes like quicksand for your brain. It’s one of the most daunting works in the Heldon catalog, made all the more impressive by how simple it is. It’s just sounds put together and turned up. It’s the vital alchemy of Richard Pinhas’s wizardry, deployed with maximum force. As on other early Heldon albums, the rest of Agneta Nilsson is diverse in a nearly contrarian way. Each track refuses to mimic its predecessor in a way that feels rebellious, like a child running away from home. This is true despite the fact that three of the four pieces are actually chapters of “Perspective”, partners in a thematic whole. “Each one is a different point of view on the same field,” explains Pinhas. “Different parts, different arrangements, but with a full concept in place.” It’s not easy to divine that concept in these pieces, but their sibling nature has a subconscious effect. The album-closing “Perspective IV” is one of Pinhas’s most unabashedly proto-prog guitar-hero epics, boosted by a technical upgrade. “This was the first album where I had enough money to rent one or two days in a real studio to do the drumming,” says Pinhas. “After that we had real budgets for studio time. That all changed with and after Agneta Nilsson — that was a good turn.” Pinhas parlayed Heldon’s change of direction into three more adventurous albums in the ’70s, and simultaneously spurred himself toward a solo career that continues to prod and probe the sonic universe today, over 40 years since he began. It would be wrong to say this album was the big bang of this singular career; the seeds of were planted years before, and every work Pinhas has been involved with sprouts more sounds and ideas that can grow into their own branches. But Agneta Nilsson is one of the most convincing pieces of evidence that Pinhas is incapable of sitting still. 2018 remaster by Willem Makkee.
Here Lies Man: You Will Know Nothing (Riding Easy) LP
Here Lies Man took the music world by storm in 2017 with their self-titled debut positing the intriguing hypothesis: What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat? Rough Trade named that album in their prestigious Top 10 Albums of 2017. BBC 6 and Classic Rock Magazine deemed it among the year’s best, as well as countless other press outlets singing its praises. This June, the L.A. band comprised of Antibalas members quickly follow their auspicious debut with the even more thoroughly realized album You Will Know Nothing. Its eleven tracks expand upon the band’s exploration of heavy riff-based rock and psych within the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave. Sonically, the dynamic range is thicker, crisper and more powerful on this album. It glistens as much as it blasts. The songs are even catchier, more anthemic, and the production reflects that of a band truly come into its own. While it also certainly maintains its gritty grooves, there’s an interesting conceptual mathematics to the entire proceedings. “There are interludes between each song that are 2/3 to 3/4 of the tempo of the previous song,” vocalist / guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia says. “The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa.” Lyrically, the album is also an equally more conceptualized effort that reflects upon states of being and consciousness—a driving force that carries throughout the words and moods of all of the band’s releases, interconnected to their trancelike music. This band have truly honed their sound and their focus, and soon, you will truly know nothing.
Kate NV: для FOR (RVNG Intl.) LP
Moscow is mythologized for its grandeur and gravity but its parable pleasures offer splendor and even absurdity. Over the ten, symmetrical pieces of для FOR, Kate NV scores her native urban environment with just enough whimsy to gurgle through the city cracks and grow psychotropic foliage. Each sound assumes its own personality, moving through the album metropolis like miniature, mutating molecules viewed from NV’s apartment window. Alternately a guitar-wielding, post-punker and one within the multitude of Moscow Scratch Orchestra’s avant-garde, NV is a versatile artist that maneuvers instinctively in whatever musical environs she finds herself. NV’s second solo album is an even more abstract endeavor than the hybrid pop of 2016’s Binasu. Inspired by casual moments of ephemeral sound from within and beyond her apartment walls, the record has a clarity arrived altogether and from right under her nose. Recorded at home, NV says it was as if the music was not written by herself, but her chair. для FOR inhabits a stage that Piero Milesi & Daniel Bacalov, Ann Southam, or Hiroshi Yoshimura may have written music for and dresses it with Viktor Pivovarov’s psychedelic depictions of Moscow – contorting bodies, flying pencils, and multi-dimensional faces dance with subtle arpeggiations, conversational voice synthesis, and anthropomorphic MIDI. Animating objects is essential to the album. Like a surreal still life, each piece is an alien arrangement of common elements that extend the everyday ritual into an eternal landscape of unconscious activity. Somewhere along that landscape, Kate awaits and greets with apples for hands and fish for feet. Like the album title, each composition contained within is represented as a three letter word, in Russian and English. The first half of для FOR was written in the spring. Starting with “yxo EAR,” previously released on the Peaceful Protest compilation cassette in 2017, melodies meander and lollygag. “двa TWO” incorporates human breath played like notes on a pump organ. “дуб OAK” offers a warm tune to tango. “как HOW” loops curious notes that bump into each other with a chirpy acknowledgement. “вас YOU,” the only track on для FOR with lyrics, sets a Wassily Kadinsky poem to song. The second half of the album was written in the autumn. The feathery edges of “раз ONE” extend like watercolors bleeding off a rubber scroll. “зря SEE” is a subdued, shadowy variation of “как HOW”, as if the same song were played in different weather, dimmer light, or by Kate’s devious doppelganger. The electronics unravel and unwind on “пес DOG” until the final track, “кто WHO,” ends with vague solemnity and rattled metals. A short online film series by Sasha Kulak will accompany the release of для FOR. The films follow a solitary figure performing ordinary tasks through a slow, warped lens — each song enacting a daily habit: waking, dressing, reading, and so on. In her live performances around the album, Kate NV will play each song from memory, allowing for variation from the recorded tracks, and scenes from the films will be re-created and improvised in the moment.
Khemmis: Desolation (20 Buck Spin) LP
Anticipation was high for the release of Hunted in 2016, the sophomore album from Denver’s Khemmis and follow up to acclaimed debut Absolution. Rather than the all too common sophomore slump, the band raised the stakes and blew everyone away with their rapidly progressing songwriting and production quality, culminating in Hunted being named Album Of The Year for 2016 by Decibel Magazine. Now in 2018, after wrapping up the Decibel Magazine Tour with Enslaved, Wolves In The Throne Room and Myrkur, the excitement for their third album Desolation is palpable across the metal spectrum. From the stadium-sized opening notes of “Bloodletting,” it is immediately evident that the band are again putting distance between themselves and their earlier influences to inform a sound that is singularly their own. Working for the third time with Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Denver, the band and producer now have the familiarity and mutual experience to arrive at the perfect symbiosis of songwriting, arrangement and production value. While Khemmis are undeniably influenced by doom and classic metal, to tag them with those labels doesn’t do justice to what’s accomplished on this album, a perfect representation of modern heavy metal in 2018 that integrates the past in a way only possible in the present.
File Under: Metal
Konstrukt: Oryantal (Holidays) LP
Istanbul based multi-instrumentalist Umut Çağlar founded the Turkish free jazz band Konstrukt at the beginning of 2008. Since then the band went through many line-up changes and collaborated with the likes of Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, William Parker, and Keiji Haino, continuously evolving its sound. The band is currently formed by Çağlar, Korhan Futacı, Apostolos Sideris, Erdem Göymen, and Berkan Tilavel and Oryantal — recorded at Hayyam Studio in Istanbul in 2017 with two drummers and a double bass player on board — shows a more melodic and groovy side of the band. The session explores their rhythmic roots with the use of traditional instruments such as bendirs, tefs, and double reeds, trying to carry these sounds to the future with the help of electronics. Edition of 300.
Ekrin Koray: Elektronik Turkuler (Pharaway Sounds) LP
In tomorrow… Technically his second LP after a collection of singles, this benchmark record from 1974 taught Istanbul’s musicians and pop fans how to put Turkish folk songs from the 17th century together with meaty, thundering guitar solos. With a crack bass player by his side (Ahmet Güvenç from Bunalim and Baris Manco’s Kurtalan Ekspres) and an electrified bağlama in his hands, Erkin Koray lets his gloomy baritone voice float over wiry double-reed melodies, bulging riffs, and hammer-ons that go on for-friggin’-ever. Savagery begins at home people, so make sure you get a physical copy of the best record by the Turkish Hendrix into your house.
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams: Vanished Gardens (Blue Note) LP
In tomorrow… Vanished Gardens is a transcendent new album that presents the fascinating collaboration between NEA Jazz Master saxophonist/composer Charles Lloyd and acclaimed Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams. Together they weave several threads of American music (Jazz, Blues, Americana, Country, and Rock) into a thrilling and uplifting musical hybrid. The Marvels are Bill Frisell on guitar, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar and dobro, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums. Vanished Gardens was produced by Lloyd, Dorothy Darr, and Don Was. “A friend had turned me on to Lucinda when Car Wheels On a Gravel Road came out,” Lloyd recalls. “Lu has worked a lot with Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz, so a couple of years ago she came to one of my Marvels concerts at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. It was our first meeting and I sensed a deep Southern crossroads connection. Not long after that meeting she invited me to guest at her UCLA concert and then I invited her to guest at one of my concerts about a year later…It was clear we had something we wanted to explore together.” Williams is featured on five of the ten tracks on Vanished Gardens, including expansive new versions of her well-known songs “Dust,” “Ventura” and “Unsuffer Me,” as well as a full-hearted interpretation of Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel” that closes the album. Alternating with the vocal tracks are five sublime instrumental offerings including three new Lloyd originals and versions of Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Mood” and the Roberta Flack popularized song “Ballad of The Sad Young Men.” “I’ve worked with a lot of poets,” Lloyd says, “especially during my Big Sur days; Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bukowski, Gary Snyder, Diane diPrima, Schyleen Qualls, Michael McClure, Bob Kaufman, James Dalessandro…putting words and music together. Lu is a poet. An authentic, American voice. Her sound is like an emotional barometer. A weather vane. Sometimes it swirls around in the tempest of a storm and sometimes it is sweet and pure as a Southern breeze carrying the intoxicating perfume of magnolia to you. As a poet, her imagery knocks me out. She is a reporter of the human condition, of life on planet Earth.”
File Under: Jazz
Melody’s Echo Chamber: Bon Voyage (Fat Possum) LP
In tomorrow… Made up of seven expansive tracks, Melody’s Echo Chamber’s second album marries Melody Prochet’s breathless soprano to the wildest sonic excursions, always pinned to an emphatic, clattering groove as she delivers her fables of spiritual search and emotional healing in multiple tongues (French, English and Swedish). Bon Voyage is a collaborative record between Prochet and Dungen’s Reine Fiske and The Amazing’s Fredrik Swahn with Melody sculpting and producing the sessions as well as encouraging the players around her to experiment, often with instruments that might be less familiar to them. It also features special guests Gustav Esjtes and Johan Holmegaard (both from Dungen) and Nicholas Allbrook (Pond). A musical journey of discovery, Bon Voyage delves deep into the collective musical psyche of Melody and her Swedish fellow travellers, who she met one serendipitous summer’s afternoon in Angers back in 2015. Prochet describes the members of Stockholm’s premier neo-psychedelic overlords Dungen as “soulmates and extreme beings, uncompromisingly intense and sensitive.” These kindred souls daydreamed about making music together, and then Prochet took matters into her own hands and moved to Sweden in the winter of 2016 to begin their adventure. Working in the woods of Solna, Melody says: “Swedish nature helped me to breathe and soothed me in times of anxiety. I had a majestic forest with a lake three minutes’ walk from my home. Recording sessions were a break in our lives, an escape from our frustrations as young adults, parents, musicians and embittered life jugglers. What transpired was a kind of modern fairytale full of duality: beautiful and disenchanted, happy and painful, internal and external, childish and mature, but also violent and measured. We had no structure and no limits and we stepped out of our comfort zones.” Bon Voyage arrives more than five years after Melody’s Echo Chamber’s debut, and it is the soundtrack to a trip back from the brink, the sound of spiritual renewal, and a pilgrimage to the sonic outer limits.
File Under: Pop, Rock, Psych
Melvins: Bullhead (Boner) LP
Available again with updated artwork and a new gatefold sleeve! Melvins’ follow-up to 1989’s Ozma was 1991’s groundbreaking Bullhead. The songs are longer, the mood is calmer, yet more menacing. “Boris” (which gave the Japanese group their name) is a long, slow, low death march of addiction and self-abuse. “Zodiac” is a frantic punk rock machine gun blasting away at Buzz’s demons (both inner and outer). “Cow” is a happy baboon bashing away at the best drum solo of his life. “It’s Shoved” is a groovy beat for the cast of Shindig to bop along to, until their carefree performances of The Pony, The Mashed Potato, and The Watusi are horribly interrupted by the soundstage tilting up and sliding them all into a mangled heap of screaming dancers, broken cameras and flaming electronic equipment at the bottom.
File Under: Metal
Monopoly Child Star: Make Mine, Macaw (Discrepant) LP
In tomorrow… Earlier this century, Spencer Clark, aka Monopoly Child Star Searchers, created a sound phantasy with Skaters and after that he pursued a new alchemy under various aliases (Charles Berlitz, Fourth World Magazine, Monopoly Child, Typhonian Highlife, etc.) and projects (like Egyptian Sports Network, Tarzana, or The Temple Defectors). The different aliases aren’t a mode of dispersion or to create confusion, they’re setups for the different possibilities he imagines for music. Make Mine, Macaw — previously released in 2010 as a limited CDR on Pacific City label — references a large long-tailed parrot and is part of a trilogy about birds, Spencer’s Tropical Bird Romance Audio, which also includes, Bamboo For Two (2010) and The Garnet Toucan (2012). A deep dive into this record makes it clear why it should be re-released. In the field of experimental-tropical-cocktail music, no one does it like Spencer Clark, especially through his output Monopoly Child Star Searchers. Make Mine, Macaw explores the best cocktail recipes through five colorful pieces, using Clark’s premium technique of blurry repetition and dreamy percussions. A tropical fantasy that starts in your ears, feeds your brain, and changes your life. You won’t know what a pacific city sound vision is until you see one. Make Mine, Macaw makes you see one clearly.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Gamelan
Neurosis: Pain of Mind (Neurot) LP
“Pain Of Mind marks the inception of one of the weirdest and most powerful bands there ever was as they begin their odyssey through the sonic landscape: thirty-three years, thirteen albums and counting. These gritty punk songs bear little resemblance to what Neurosis would become, but the future was written here, and if you listen closely to these kids—barely out of high school at the time, you can hear their early influences: the guitars and existential anguish of Amebix and Rudimentary Peni, the passionate politics of Crass, the heaviness of Sabbath—and here, too, they lay the foundation for some of their enduring concerns: the pursuit of transcendence, and contemplation on the downward suck of despair. “As Ian MacKaye coyly suggests in the East Bay Punk doc Turn It Around, there are ‘a lot of holes to fall into’ growing up in the Bay Area. In 1987 Dave Edwardson was 18, Scott Kelly was 19, Jason Roeder was 16, Chad Salter, the band elder, was 21, and they had already fallen into many of them, including, of course, the great abyss of depression. Only a teenager could write the punk anthems ‘Black,’ ‘Grey,’ ‘Life on Your Knees,’ and of course the title track, ‘Pain of Mind.’ They are songs of survival. “With Pain of Mind, Neurosis sunk their claws into the hearts and minds of the East Bay scene like no one else. They were fucking dark, gazing right into the abyss and refusing to turn away. The cacophony of vocals on this album—Kelly’s unhinged screams, and Edwardson’s guttural growl, suggested a familiar sort of internal mania: like the voices in an unquiet mind, paranoid, but for all the right reasons. And Jason Story’s original cover art perfectly captures that torment. “Neurosis shows in the Pain Of Mind-era were like nothing else. The pit was wild; people rolled around on the floor, climbed the walls, threw themselves off the stage. For a few days after a show, you always felt real mellow. “Neurosis reminded us that maybe we weren’t free, but at least we were locked up together. It sounds melodramatic, but Neurosis might have saved our lives.” — Anna Brown
File Under: Metal
Nine Inch Nails: Bad Witch (Null) 12″
In tomorrow… Nine Inch Nails complete the trilogy that began with 2016’s Not The Actual Events and 2017’s Add Violence with the new six track 12″ release Bad Witch. In support of the EP, the band will launch their Cold And Black And Infinite North America 2018 Tour with support from The Jesus and Mary Chain and bring their “musical, visual, emotional sensory onslaught” (The New York Times) to some of the most iconic venues in the USA.
File Under: Electronic, Rock, Pop
No Problem: Let God Sort Em Out (Deranged) LP
Standing on the precipice of a damaged world circling the drain Edmonton Punks No Problem are set to figuratively “kill’em all” with the release of Let God Sort’em Out, their ambitious third studio album out on Deranged Records. No Problem welcomes listeners into a frightening world filled with heavy riffs and nervous, gloomy, frustrated sounds. The perfect summer playlist to underscore our impending doom. A mainstay in Edmonton Alberta’s underground punk community, No Problem formed in 2010, blending the mutant sounds of early Canadian punk with the classic primitive stomp of American hardcore. Drenched in atmosphere No Problem have created the ultimate soundtrack to society’s impending doom. No Problem’s notorious high energy show has toured over twenty countries across three continents, sharing the stage with bands like Career Suicide, Fucked UP, DOA, Night Birds, Red Dons, The Regulations and many more. With three studio albums and over four 7”/EPs, No Problem are one of Canada’s top DIY exports.
File Under: Punk
Nurse With Wound Plays The New Blockaders: Changez Les Blockeurs LP
In tomorrow… In 1982 The New Blockaders self-released their debut LP Changez Les Blockeurs in an edition of only 100. Steven Stapleton was the very first person to purchase/hear the album and subsequently distributed copies via United Dairies. The LP has since attained a somewhat mythical/legendary status (Record Collector magazine included it in a list of the rarest, most collectable records ever) and 2017 was the 35th anniversary of its original release. In celebration of this, TNB invited Steven Stapleton to rework the original which is now available in all its glory here. The LP cover features brand new artworks by Steven (aka Babs Santini). It comes with an insert including a TNB/NWW article by Paul Hegarty, author of the much-acclaimed Noise Music: A History (2007). The cover is printed on heavy 550mcn matte laminated board, and the insert on 250 gsm art board. Edition of 300.
File Under: Experimental, Noise
Mike Nyoni & Born Free: My Own Thing (Now Again) LP
OBI strip and resealable “Japanese-style” plastic sleeve. 145 gram vinyl; Gatefold jacket; Hand-numbered edition of 1000. Download card for WAV files of the album and bonus tracks from solo releases from Nyoni and his Born Free band. Contains booklet that presents an overview of the Zamrock scene, Nyoni’s story, and the confluence of the Zimbabwean and Zambian rock scenes in the ’70s. “The latest release in Now-Again’s deluxe Reserve Edition series: the first ever anthology of Zamrock musician Mike Nyoni’s funky, psych-rock and folkloric 1970s recordings spread over 2 CDs. Zambian guitarist and singer/songwriter Mike Nyoni’s music is Zamrock only because he came of age during the country’s rock revolution. His preferred wah-wah to fuzz guitar, James Brown to Jimi Hendrix. His 70s recordings — often politically charged and ranging from despondent to exuberant — are amongst the funkiest on the African continent. He was also one of the only Zamrock musicians to see his music contemporaneously issued in Europe. This anthology collates works from his three 70s LPs — his first, with the Born Free band, and his two solo albums Kawalala and I Can’t Understand You — and presents a singular Zambian musician on par with celebrated artists Rikki Ililonga, Keith Mlevhu and Paul Ngozi. The package also features an extensive, photo-filled booklet contains an overview of the Zamrock scene and Nyoni’s story.”
Oiseaux-Tempete: Tarab (Sub Rosa) LP
In tomorrow… Red/white vinyl; Includes four-page insert and download code which includes a bonus track featuring Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, “Through The Speech Of Stars”. Tarab (in literary Arabic: euphoria, secular exaltation, ecstasy), Oiseaux-Tempête’s sixth release on Sub Rosa, is the result of live recordings captured during the AL-‘AN! tour. In a handful of improvised albums circumnavigating the troubled waters of the contemporary Mediterranean — Greece with the eponymous Oiseaux-Tempête, Turkey and Sicily for Ütopiya?, and Lebanon with AL-‘AN! — the collective Oiseaux-Tempête has stretched its electric arc over musical genres and borders, imposing itself in a river of tours and releases like a wild UFO within the hexagonal indie scene. It is little surprise that following the remix album — Re-Works — and collection of B sides — Unworks & Rarities 2012-15 — Oiseaux-Tempête unveils, by way of a new opus, an album entirely recorded in concert. Tarab is the result of live recordings captured during the AL-‘AN! tour which led the group, after a preliminary residency at l’Autre Canal in Nancy, to cross Europe and into Canada, performing at Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, opening for Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart in Montreal and Toronto, following Jerusalem In My Heart through France then from Brussels to Berlin, and closing at the Irtijal festival in Beirut. Tarab is a meeting of the Parisian founding members Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul, electronic sound wizard Mondkopf, G.W.Sok (The Ex), Sylvain Joasson (Mendelson), videographers As Human Pattern, and the Lebanese musicians Charbel Haber, Abed Kobeissy, and Ali El Hout (Two Or The Dragon). The studio pieces are stretched, deconstructed, and rearranged here while new works from the road — poems “Grasse Matinée” by Jacques Prévert and “Tuesday And The Weather Is Clear” by Mahmoud Darwish — find unique musical settings. It is in symbiosis, in the fever and visceral experimentation, that the musicians seek rapture. Arranged in a semicircle, they invoke the elements and attempt the catharsis, inviting the spectator to spiral with them, entwined in the sonic explosions, finding beauty and peace in the spaces of improvisation and elaboration. Marrying free-rock, organic electronics, traditional instruments, and unbridled electricity, Tarab, far beyond the vibrant testimony, is a generous invitation to experience, to meditate, and to share.
Colin Potter: The Where House? (Dark Entries) LP
Colin Potter is a sound engineer and musician currently based in London. He has worked within the fields of electronic and experimental music for over 35 years, collaborating with the likes of Current 93, The Hafler Trio, Organum, Andrew Chalk, and most notably as a key part of Nurse With Wound alongside Steven Stapleton. He started the esteemed ICR (Integrated Circuit Recordings) label in 1981 releasing a clutch of wonderful home recordings of his own, over half a dozen small run cassette only releases. ‘The Where House?’ was recorded in 1981 at IC Studio, a converted wash house in Sutton on the Forest in North Yorkshire. The album was self-released on cassette that same year via ICR. This expanded double LP edition features all 13 tracks from the original tape on vinyl for the first time plus 4 bonus tracks. ‘The Where House?’ is a prime example of early UK post-punk/industrial electronic music. “Combining dub, electro, and krautrock rhythms with psychedelic, kosmische noise in multiple mutations ranging from almost pop-wise songcraft to horizon-scanning motorik flights,” says Boomkat. Most of the damage was done by Colin using guitars, synths, sequencers, drum machines, percussion, and modified toy keyboards with fairly primitive 4-track recording equipment. He was assisted on some of the tracks by Stephan Jadd-Parry (guitar, percussions), Jon Caffery (guitar, bass, e-bow, percussion) and Nick Jackson (synth). All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is sleeved in a replica of the original cassette artwork by Jonathan Coleclough. Every copy includes a double sided postcard insert with notes from Colin.
File Under: Experimental, Post Punk, Electronic, Industrial
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fevers: Hope Downs (Sub Pop) LP
It’s rare that a band’s debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Hope Downs. To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their buzz-building EPs from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens’ jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. But don’t mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists: Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice. With the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in Northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that’s all the more impressive considering the band’s avoidance of traditional recording studios. If you loved Talk Tight and The French Press, you certainly won’t be disappointed here – but you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. There’s a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister’s Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.” Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us – their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment – as it is about the state of things at large. It’s a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground – and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you’re going to get from a rock band right now.
File Under: Indie Rock
Spacemen 3: For All The Fucked-Up Children of this World (Superior Viaduct) LP
In 1984, Spacemen 3 made their first-ever recording session and sold a few cassettes at now-legendary, incendiary gigs. Growing out of the dual guitar attack of Jason Pierce and Pete Kember, the band’s three-piece line up with Natty Brooker on drums offered a liturgical take on ’60s psychedelia, bare-knuckle blues and stunning feedback. This early glimpse into the Spacemen 3 cosmos—crafted by and for all the fucked-up children of this world—captures the band’s unorthodox approach to rock ’n’ roll with nuance and power. While the raw atavism of “Things’ll Never Be The Same” and “Walkin’ With Jesus” would be scaled back considerably on later recordings, the one-chord propulsion of “T.V. Catastrophe” and hardwired stomping of “Fixing To Die” draw from a primitive force that served as the impetus for the group’s formation. For All The Fucked-Up Children remains the perfect introduction to Spacemen 3. Not only do these demos reveal the auspicious beginnings of two teenagers born on the same day in Rugby, England, but also compelling clues that point toward the exploration and eventual refining of their signature sound.
Spacemen 3: Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs to (Superior Viaduct) LP
Amidst the swirl that is Spacemen 3’s discography, Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To occupies a pivotal position — one right at the nexus between their garage beginnings and their expansionist future. While much of this material is expanded upon via Sound Of Confusion and The Perfect Prescription, many devotees consider these urgent, minimally treated recordings as the prime document of Spacemen 3 at this stage. Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To casts Spacemen 3 alongside the mid-80s cadre of UK front-line rockers, contributing a distinct variation of high pop shining through layered noisy guitars. Ultimately, this collection serves to exalt the strength of Spacemen 3’s songwriting over the atmospherics and production assemblage that would permeate their later efforts. Be it the rave-up rendering of “The Sound Of Confusion” or the churning take on “Losing Touch With My Mind”, these full band recordings capture the excited and inspirational spark of psychedelia rather than deep-dive ruminations on sonics and space.
Jacques Thollot: More Intra Musique (Alga Marghen) LP
Produced in collaboration with the legendary Jac Berrocal’s label d’Avantage, More Intra Musique is the second LP in Alga Marghen’s series dedicated to previously unreleased recording by the drummer and experimentalist Jacques Thollot. While the furious Intra Musique free jazz first LP was centered on a live recording with Michel Portal, Eddie Gaumont, and Mimi Lorenzini at the Faculty of Law in Paris, on an evening in 1969, it is an unexpected Jacques Thollot that you encounter on this second LP, vivid and blazing even more than you might have already known. Jacques Thollot was a major force in the French free jazz scene, collaborating with artists at the level of Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Sonny Sharrock, Joachim Kühn as well as with French pioneers Jef Gilson and Barney Wilen. Starting from 1971 he released Quand Le Son Devient Aigu, Jeter La Giraffe A La Mer or Watch Devil Go on Futura and Palm Records, or some of the most relevant and revolutionary sonic masterpieces in France. More Intra Musique is free improvisations of course, but also synthetic jitters, musique concrete, and loop experiments, sketched pop songs, minimalist trances with African accents, or simply the promiscuity of a lullaby or the voice of a child posed like a bird in a Norman garden. These long-lost visionary recordings featuring Eddie Gaumont on prepared piano and Jacques Thollot on drums, piano, prepared piano, synth, and tapes are an absolute revelation which make you rethink everything you know about French free improvisation. Tape manipulation created as a potential background for a live set… Bursting rehearsal with Eddie Gaumont… Is the piano well prepared? Besides the stingy mention Intra Musique sticked on the reel, nothing is known of this recording. Edition of 350 copies.
File Under: Experimental, Free Jazz
Tin Man: Acid Acid Acid (Acid Test) 4LP
In tomorrow… Acid Test reissues the highly sought-after Acid Acid LP from Tin Man, originally released in 2005. Now titled Acid Acid Acid, it includes a fourth disc of unreleased material recorded from the period. Remastered by Stefan Betke.
File Under: Electronic, Acid
Tomb Mold: Manor of Infinite Forms (20 Buck Spin) LP
Bubbling up from the oozing sewers of Toronto like a bizarre insectoid of mutant genotype, Tomb Mold reanimates with their second album, and first for 20 Buck Spin, Manor Of Infinite Forms. Constructing monumental towers of obscure shape, jarring yet coherent, this band’s compositions evoke a distorted world alongside this one, where all manner of oddity and peculiarity are permitted. Songs on this album move in strange ways, recklessly contorting into cohesion until suddenly they’re proceeding with a force and purpose in perfect synchronicity to the universe that contains them. Disharmoniously melding the pulverizing heaviness of Finnish death metal with a never overbearing technicality, Tomb Mold careen through world after world of alien landscape with formidable singularity. Tracked in Toronto, this then landed in the hands of Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Pissgrave, Code Orange) to achieve its organically huge mix. A remarkable puzzle of an album, Manor Of Infinite Forms constitutes a creative high point for 2018’s many strong death metal releases.
File Under: Metal
Varg: Nordic Flora Series Pt. 5: Crush (Posh Isolation) LP
In tomorrow… Following on from the previous iterations of the series, particularly the widely acclaimed Nordic Flora Series Pt. 3: Gore-Tex City (2017), the cast of collaborators remain familiar. Some faces are more prominent on this occasion, while others were folded into the series for the first time at last year’s Berlin Atonal festival where Varg’s Nordic Flora program was unveiled. The album’s most tender moments arrive when the acoustic instrumentation and ambient ascents cross and tangle with the spoken word performances from AnnaMelina and Chloe Wise. They speak in lullabies of decadence. And the sincerity catches you out, tapering the rush, awakening the crush. When working with both AnnaMelina and Vanity Productions, the gentle details get scaled up for bigger arenas, the track signaling a kinship with last year’s Yung Lean collaboration. Not surprisingly, Varg configures this side of Crush alone, perhaps letting this stormy intensity out just the once in a mournful piece with Ecco2k. True to the Nordic Flora Series, the artwork comes from American multidisciplinary artist Cali Thornhill DeWitt. Features Morning Star, Ecco2k, AnnaMelina, Chloe Wise, Matti Bye, Christian Augustin, Henrik Söderström, and Vanity Productions.
Richard Wahnfried: Time Actor (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries is honored to re-issue one of the greatest and most overlooked albums of the 1970s. “Time Actor” was the result of a collaboration between legendary Crazy World & Kingdom Come visionary Arthur Brown and German synthesizer and ambient genius Klaus Schulze, recording under the pseudonym of his alter-ego Richard Wahnfried. “Richard” is the name of Klaus’ son born in 1979, and the first name of the German composer Wagner. “Wahnfried” is the name of Richard Wagner’s house, from the German “wähnen Frieden fand” (that his search and hopes will find peace). The album was a unique fusion of Brown’s eccentric musical vision and Schulze’s mastery of synthesis. The album was originally released in 1979 on the German Innovative Communication label. Time Actor stands out amongst Schulze’s massive catalog as a masterwork of avant garde new age. Schulze helms the project on electronics, and guests include Michael Shrieve on percussion, Vincent Crane on keyboards, and vocalist Arthur Brown, who sings – or should we say, speaks – on top of it all. Schulze describes the Wahnfried project in the liner notes as “the collective pseudonym of an idea: Time-Electronic, an experiment between avantgarde and muzak: Utility-music for sound-covered environment, in which a new generation grows up: Richard Wahnfried is this generation: Music between genius and nonsense: New ideas transported by an old medium to your ear.” This newly re-mastered reissue expands the original 60 minutes of music across a double LP to help with playback and distortion experienced on original pressings. We’ve added a bonus track in the form of a Cosmic 12-minute extended remix by Italian producer and DJ Maurizio Delvecchio from 1983. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Housed in a gatefold jacket with original album artwork featuring a surreal painting by German artist Peter Nagel plus lyrics and notes. “I wish you plenty of TIME” – Klaus Schulze
File Under: Electronic
Weeed: This (Important) LP
In tomorrow… Weeed’s debut for Important Records, titled This, has an expansive musical vision and an astonishingly mature sound from a young band. Despite their relatively young ages Weeed has been together for ten years — a fact made apparent by the fluidity and unity of their sound. Labels such as stoner/psych/jam/alt/krautrock fall short as the band draws from a deeper pool of inspiration including gnawa, traditional folk, jazz, minimalist orchestras, overtone singing, and much more. This is the product of both a desire to make such influences more apparent as well as a desire to explore the boundaries of the members’ abilities to connect with each other; to become, in essence, one mind. Though the skeleton of the album was written during practices, the dynamics and fullness of each song were often reconnoitered and spawned through the improvisations which occurred during live settings and tours. The idea was discovery through the act of being present, and This was the result. Sonically, This is an outgrowth of their last release, Meta (2017), which saw the band beginning to experiment with ambient and vocal looping, flutes, synthesizers. Those explorations are present here, as is the notable (and permanent) addition of a second drummer, which is defined through the mixtures of tight syncopations and pulsing polyrhythms present in these songs. Recorded and produced at Bear Creek studio in Woodinville, WA, This marks a shift in sound that will only lead to further exploration into new musical territory.
File Under: Garage, Psych
Wilkson/Edwards/Noble: 3 of a Kind (Bo Weavil) LP
The trio of Alan Wilkinson, John Edwards, and Steve Noble continue to plot their course ever outward and ever upward. These new songs, recorded in South London at that wonderful performance space — at the heart of the improve scene here at this moment — Iklectik, are the very beating heart of improvised music. It’s not that they are good, or even representative — such relative terms fail to express the continuum of which these sounds are a key part. This is music that evades the strictures of scientific measurement or critical theory. It just is. Wilkinson is a master of the tribal, balls-out approach to sax playing. He lets it all hang out. But there is great subtlety in what he does with his horn, in the range of inflection, the space between the phrases, the singing tone. At times he sounds like a tight knit sax section in a swinging big band all on his own. There is definitely jazz in there. Edwards and Noble form the rhythmic base for much that is good and beautiful in the improv scene today. Years of playing together and individual brilliance mean they mesh like the gears of a micro-tuned machine. Together the trio make music. And that is all that needs saying. Personnel: Alan Wilkinson – alto, baritone saxophones, bass clarinet; John Edwards – double bass; Steve Noble – drums.
File Under: Jazz
Francis Bebey: African Electronic Music (Born Bad) LP
Bell Witch: Longing (Flenser) LP
Glenn Branca: Lesson No. 1 (Superior Viaduct) LP
Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Columbia) LP
Leon Bridges: Good Thing (Columbia) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Legacy) LP
Grouper: Grid of Points (Kranky) LP
Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat) LP
Lhasa: s/t (Audiogram) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Oh Sees: Carrion Crawler (In The Red) LP
Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) LP
Orb: Birth (Castle Face) LP
OST: Blade Runner 2049 (Lakeshore) LP
Parquet Courts: Wide Awake (Rough Trade) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Pixies: Doolittle (4AD) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) 3LP
Terry Riley: Persian Surgery Dervishes (Aguirre) LP
Damien Rice: O (East West) LP
Scientist: Introducing Scientist (Superior Viaduct) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
Ty Segall: Sleeper (Drag City) LP
Ty Segall: Twins (Drag City) LP
Sleep: Volume One (Tupelo) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Evol (Goofin) LP
Sonic Youth: Sister (Goofin) LP
Stars of the Lid: Avec Laudenum (Kranky) LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of (Kranky) LP
Sunn o))): Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord) LP
Taake: Noregs Vappen (Napalm) LP
Chrissy Zebby Tembo: My Ancestors (Mississippi) LP
Various: Panama! 2 (Soundways) LP
Various: Spider Jazz (Trunk) LP
Zeal & Ardor: Stranger Fruit (MVKA) LP