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…..
Abul Mogard: Above All Dreams (Ecstatic) LP
Above All Dreams is Abul Mogard’s beautifully absorbing new album for Ecstatic — his first since the Circular Form and his popular Works compilation. Counting six original pieces in its 66-minute wingspan, there’s no mistaking that Above All Dreams is the most expansive solo release by Mogard to date. Taking into account its intangible divinity and cinematic quality — the result of no less than three years diligent work — it is arguably elevated to the level of his master opus; presenting a modular distillation of Mogard’s most intoxicating strain of hauntology. Consistent with Mogard’s music since the sought-after VCO tapes, c. 2012-2013, the allure to Above All Dreams lies in his ability to evoke and render feelings which are perhaps purposefully avoided in more academic echelons of drone music. Rather than a purist expression of physics through maths and geometry, Mogard voices his soul, improvising on modular synth for hours, days, months, and years in the same way a more conventional “band” develops group intuition. While hands-on, the intuitive evolution of process locates a newfound freedom in his music that implies a recognition of the metaphysical or post-physical, while Mogard explicitly points to influence from the Brazilian music of Tom Zé, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Chico Buarque, whose approach to shape and density, or perceptions of light and delicacy, also go some way to explaining the ephemeral intangibility of Above All Dreams. The results are best considered as the ephemera of non-verbal communications. From the gaseous bloom of “Quiet Dreams” to the opiated depth of “Where Not Even” to the starlit awn of “Upon The Smallish Circulation”, and through the B side’s keeling, 16 minute+ panoramas of “Above All Dreams” and “The Roof Falls”, the power of Abul Mogard’s dreams above all transcends sound, feeling, and physics in a truly remarkable way that evades words or concrete notation. RIYL: Alessandro Cortini, early Oneohtrix Point Never, Coil, Brian Eno. Master and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
David Hollander: Unusual Sounds
In the heyday of low-budget television and scrappy genre filmmaking, producers who needed a soundtrack for their commercial entertainments could reach for a selection of library music: LPs of stock recordings whose contents fit any mood required. Though at the time, the use of such records was mostly a cost-cutting maneuver for productions that couldn’t afford to hire their own composer, the industry soon took on its own life: library publishers became major financial successes, and much of the work they released was truly extraordinary. In fact, many of these anonymous or pseudonymous scores-on-demand were crafted by the some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century—expert musicians and innovative composers who reveled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by this most corporate of fields. Unusual Sounds is a deep dive into a musical universe that has, until now, been accessible only to producers and record collectors; a celebration of this strange industry and an examination of its unique place at the nexus of art and commerce. Featuring original art by Robert Beatty and an introduction by George A. Romero—whose use of library music in Night of the Living Dead changed film history— Unusual Sounds is mandatory reading for anyone interested in this enigmatic field and its hidden but pervasive cultural influence. David Hollander is an artist, filmmaker and collector. He is a co-founder of CineMarfa, a film festival dedicated to showcasing rare and unseen films in Marfa, Texas. He lives in San Antonio.
File Under: Library, Books
Acid Mothers Temple: Hallelujah Part 1 (Important) LP
Part One of Hallelujah Mystic Garden contains two long sides of blissed-out, super tight Acid Mothers Temple jams that somehow stretch into the future while staying strongly rooted in the group’s celebrated psychedelic history. Hallelujah! Another essential AMT classic including vocals from Cotton Casino! Recorded at Acid Mothers Temple, June 2016 to March 2017. Produced and mixed by Kawabata Makoto. Part Two will be released later in 2018 on Important Records. Personnel: Cotton Casino – voice, astral mama; Kawabata Makoto – guitar, fretless bass, bouzouki, organ, rhythm machine, electronics, tapes, speed guru; Higashi Hiroshi – synthesizer, noodle king; Mitsuko☆Tabata : guitar, guitar-synthesizer, voice, kisses & hugs; Satoshima Nani – drums, another dimension; S/T “Wolf” – bass, tapes, space & time. Packaged in a heavy duty single pocket sleeve with silver metallic inks. First pressing comes in an edition of 500.
File Under: Psych
Akwassa: In The Groove (Oom Dooby Dochas) LP
Oom Dooby Dochas present a first-time reissue of Akwassa’s In The Groove, originally released in 1977. Nigeria had an utterly strong popular music scene in the 1970s, Afro beat and Afro funk were the hottest musical creations of the day and garage rock-oriented bands like Ofege or funky monsters Akwassa were at the forefront of the movement. In The Groove is Akwassa’s second album, despite recording three albums released under the moniker Heads Funk Band with exactly the same line-up as Akwassa from 1975 to 1978. However, the main difference between In The Groove and the earlier records is a more slick and polished feeling and a strong reggae element. Next to this, there are definitely a few more up-to-date disco funk influences that outweigh the classic raw street funk you’ll find on the predecessors of In The Groove. So the development in sound and style is obvious. In The Groove has an easier, more relaxed feeling. The atmosphere is bright and certainly reaches out for a wider audience. In The Groove was a perfect album that will appeal to each and every fan of funky music. All the members of Akwassa stayed with music after the band dissolved in the late ’70s, some of them until recent years, others straight up into the ’80s or ’90s. Even though this important Nigerian band called out its quit at some point, they left a rich legacy of music. Colorful and inspiring, this album is made to last forever due to the memorable hooks and harmonies. This official reissue of this monster rarity was overdue, and Afro funk lovers around the world will leap for joy as nearly all tunes could be played in a row to set the dancefloor ablaze.
Daniel Bacalov: 1984/5 Il Ladro Di Anime (Soave) LP
Soave present a joint reissue of two of Daniel Bacalov’s albums: Il Ladro Di Anime (1984) and Diario Segreto Contraffatto (1985). Daniel Bacalov, composer of music for theater, cinema, and dance, studied classical guitar and percussion. He composed the music of numerous theatrical performances represented in many international theater festivals. His first two publications on LP were Il Ladro Di Anime, presented at the Venice Biennial of 1984 and Diario Segreto Contrattato. Soave offer these two fundamental documents of the period, reprinting them for the first time in a limited edition on double LP. The compositions are mainly structured on ethnic percussions played in a masterly manner, accompanied by acoustic guitars and synths of the time, in particular the DX7 and PPG Wave. The dictated rhythm unites the show as a universal and indeterminate single body. In those years the theater in Italy broke from its usual codes, mixing “high” and “low” culture, introducing a new language and new reflections, redefining the theatrical event and the need to investigate all the territories of creativity; in this panorama the sounds and the music assumed a central importance that today remain the most concrete testimony of that extremely creative experimental period.
Derek Bailey: Aida (Honest Jon’s) LP
Continuing their ongoing series of reissues of music by Derek Bailey, Honest Jon’s Records present a first vinyl reissue of Aida, originally released on the guitarist’s own Incus label in 1980. Expanded for this release, the present version of this masterwork adds two hitherto unreleased gems recorded solo for Charles Fox’s Radio 3 program Jazz in Britain, in the same few months of 1980 as the stunning original performances. The phrase “in the moment” is often bandied about with reference to free improvisation, and indeed there’s no better way to describe Derek Bailey’s playing. The acoustic guitar is notoriously lacking in natural reverberation — notes barely hang in the air for a couple of seconds before they disappear — which explains the almost non-stop flow of new material in these stellar performances. Bailey knew from one split-second to the next exactly where to find the same pitch on different strings, either as a stopped tone or a ringing harmonic, and there’s never a note out of place. “He who kisses the joy as it flies,” in the words of William Blake, “lives in eternity’s sunrise” — and this music is forever in the moment, constantly active but never gabby, kissing the joy. One of the special pleasures of the BBC set is the guitarist’s own laconic commentary, a deliciously deadpan description of what he’s doing while he’s doing it. “I like to think of it — as a kind of music” — and the interaction between words and music is a particular delight. “You may have noticed a certain lack of variety,” he quips, while unleashing a furiously complex volley. Is it a coincidence that the final seconds recall the famous cycling fifths of the coda to Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”? Surely not; Bailey, like Monk, was a note man par excellence; they’re both still alive and well in eternity’s sunrise.
Andrea Benini: Drumphilia Vol. 1 (Cristalline) LP
Andrea Benini’s Drumphilia Volume 1 is a rhythmic experiment that sits on the fault line between traditional instrumentation and analog electronics. The project is a response to Benini’s many years spent working with, learning about, and listening to African and Caribbean percussion. Traditional rhythmic influences are combined with analog drum machines and drum synths to create a hybrid sound that continues in the tradition of artists like Francis Bebey. There are no traditional harmonic instruments on the recordings — the aim was to create melody and texture using only carefully tuned percussion instruments, whether organic or electronic. Basslines were created by blending drum synth tones with the acoustic marimbula, a traditional Caribbean instrument that was often used in place of a bass guitar. Melodies were created with everything from log drums and thumb pianos to early Soviet drum modules and the trailblazing Pearl Syncussion SY-1. Various time signatures and textures are used across the album to produce melody out of rhythm — hypnotic, evolving tracks that celebrate and highlight the importance of rhythm in modern music. All the sessions were recorded at the Mop Mop Studio in Berlin between September and December of 2016. Written, performed, arranged and produced by Andrea Benini. Mixed by Andrea Benini and Andrea Scardovi at Duna Studio (RA) Italy. Andrea Benini – electronic drums, analog drum machines, drum synthesizers, bass synthesizers, syncussion, percussions, log drum, marimbula, kalimba, sansula; Danilo Mineo – Jew’s harp; Max Castlunger – balafon, kalimba, percussions. Instruments featured include: Log drum, marimbula, kalimba, sansula, krabebs, Pearl Syncussion SY-1, Vermona DRM1, MFB Tanzbär, MFB Tanzmaus RMIF Elsita, assorted drum machines, and talkboxes. Liner notes by Hugo Mendez.
Peter Brotzmann Octet: Machine Gun (Cien Fuegos) LP
Cien Fuegos present a reissue of the Peter Brötzmann Octet’s Machine Gun, originally released in 1968. One of the most important albums of European free jazz, finally in the Cien Fuegos series. Recorded May 1968 at “Lila Eule”, Bremen. Personnel: Peter Brötzmann – baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Peter Kowald – acoustic bass; Buschi Niebergall – acoustic bass; Sven-Ake Johansson – drums; Han Bennink – drums; Fred Van Hove – piano; Evan Parker – tenor saxophone; Willem Breuker – tenor saxophone.
Peter Brotzmann Octet: Machine Gun – Alternate Takes (Cien Fuegos) LP
Alternate versions, never before released on vinyl from Peter Brötzmann Octet’s Machine Gun (1968). Personnel: Peter Brötzmann – baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Peter Kowald – acoustic bass; Buschi Niebergall – acoustic bass; Sven-Ake Johansson – drums; Han Bennink – drums; Fred Van Hove – piano; Evan Parker – tenor saxophone; Willem Breuker – tenor saxophone.
Don Cherry: Home Boy, Sister Out (Wewantsound) LP
Don Cherry’s downtown Paris funk masterwork Home Boy, Sister Out, produced in 1985 by Ramuntcho Matta and originally released by Barclay in France only, finally gets a worldwide release on Wewantsounds. Featuring French post-punk muse Elli Medeiros, avant-garde poet Brion Gysin, and cult Senegalese drummer Abdoulaye Prosper Niang (Xalam), this is a unique soundbite of Paris in the early ’80s at its coolest when funk, jazz, and new wave were mingling with sounds from Africa, Jamaica, and Latin America. Recorded at the legendary Studio Caroline in Paris, a hotbed for the African diaspora in Paris the ’80s, and produced by cult French-Chilean musician and producer Ramuntcho Matta (his father is painter Roberto Matta and half-brother is cult New York artist Gordon Matta-Clark), Home Boy, Sister Out is one of Don Cherry’s funkiest albums. Coming back from New York where Matta had immersed himself in the downtown scene working with the likes of Peter Gordon, Arto Lindsay, The Talking Heads, Meredith Monk, and Laurie Anderson, he crossed path with the American trumpet player in Paris by chance. It was love at first sight and together they had the idea of an album where Cherry would not only play but also sing. Accompanied by a first class cast of musicians from the Paris scene, they recorded Home Boy, Sister Out in Spring 1985. Very little known outside of France, where it has achieved cult status in some circles, the album embodies the spirit of the “Sono Mondiale”, the multi-ethnic sound of ’80s Paris, pioneered by Radio Nova and Celluloid Records. Featuring legendary Senegalese drummer, Abdoulaye Prosper Niang (Xalam), Negrito Trasante, Elli Medeiros, Jannick Top, and Don Cherry on various instruments plus vocals, the album is a fascinating mix of Downtown New York funk, jazz, new wave, reggae, and African music. The release also includes a handful of bonus tracks taken from Ramuntcho Matta’s vaults including the cult 1983 single “Kick” featuring legendary multi-artist Brion Gysin who’s influenced such artists as David Bowie, Keith Haring, John Zorn, Brian Jones, Genesis P-Orridge, among others. A fascinating album. Newly remastered. Includes five bonus tracks.
Jean Cohen-Solal: Captain Tarthopom (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Jean Cohen-Solal’s Captain Tarthopom, originally released in 1973. “Nothing can stop a flutist. We can do whatever we want, whatever we feel. My flute, is a mirror of myself. I express feelings more easily with the flute than with language.” This is what Jean Cohen-Solal said on the cover of his first album released in 1972, Flûtes Libres, renowned for its adventurous overdubbing of alto, piccolo, and bass flutes, in treble or in C and ocarina. Mentioned on the famous Nurse With Wound list, the path followed by Jean Cohen-Solal included many exciting adventures in the 1970s, from his participation in the cult animation series Les Shadoks where his voice can be heard alongside the actor Claude Piéplu, to his proximity to the GRM where he worked alongside Bernard Parmegiani, François Bayle, Luc Ferrari, Guy Reibel, and Béatrice Ferreyra, or his involvement in progressive music with Captain Tarthopom, an album very much in the same style as that featured in Europe on the Vertigo label, but in an instrumental form, and even more audacious, without turning its back on the same classical influences as everyone else. It is impossible to pin a label on Jean Cohen-Solal, he is the equal of his Anglo-Saxon counterparts Bob Downes, Harold McNair, Jon Field (Jade Warrior), and Jeremy Steig, just to mention the most creative of the bunch. His affinity with strings, already heard in his work with Serge Franklin (author of the ineffable Free Sitar) on Flûtes Libres, is perfectly echoed here by the work of Jean-Claude Deblais, himself author of one of the little-known summits of sound illustration and French underground music: Le Miroir Du Fantastique (1977). Licensed from Jean Cohen-Solal. Includes eight-page booklet. Clear vinyl; Obi strip; Edition of 700.
Container: LP (Spectrum Spools) LP
Ren Schofield has returned with a new installment in his notorious LP series for Spectrum Spools. LP has all the earmarks of the classic Container sound with its uber-mangled, saturated tape garble and headlong tempo macabre. However, this new set of tracks feature an attention to composition unlike much of the Container you’ve previously heard. While the tracks unfurl across two sides of wax the contours and jagged edges of each sonic sculpture display a new refinement while maintaining the full capacity to vaporize any club floor with Container’s traditional recklessness. Miraculously, this new LP manages to incorporate some more traditionally “musical” elements thus far untouched upon in the projects output while simultaneously delivering it’s most damaged and blown out offering yet. Despite leaving a trail of albums that get more intense with each passing year, this LP is bar none the most loaded. The tracks feature a trajectory with narrative, surrounded by broken acid basslines grating against disintegrating tape loops. This is the infectious and singular hypnosis Container has become well-known for. Overloaded drum patterns, washes of feedback, and dying melodies — it’s all here and somehow it’s restructured to be different and better than ever before. With this latest installment, there are no longer shambles but merely dust left behind. As Container continues to evolve in an upward motion, LP presents a refreshing and welcome new chapter. Recorded in Cleveland, Ohio in October 2017 by Andrew Veres. Artwork by Ren Schofield.
Ian William Craig: A Turn of Breath (Recital) LP
Recital present a deluxe edition of Ian William Craig’s landmark debut album A Turn Of Breath, originally released in 2014. The first Recital album to get exceptional notoriety, here it is in its final form, with an additional LP of unpublished material. Here is the original description Sean McCann wrote four years ago for it’s original release: “Recital here presents the premiere LP by vocalist Ian William Craig (b. 1980, Edmonton). Ian, a trained opera singer, delivers an elegant balance between theatrical and ambient sentiments. A Turn Of Breath combines the essence of a choral LP from Angel Records or Deutsche Grammophon with the spontaneity of experimental home-recording. This collection holds twelve works for voice and ¼” tape, recorded from 2011-2013. Voice appears as the sun’s light through a vast storm; still obscured by tape malfunctions and manipulations. A system of reel-to-reels is employed, which yields a lovely sort of morphing repetition. Each iteration crumbles as more harmony is placed on top, residual tones spilling off the sides into nothingness. Craig’s innate ability to sing beautiful, sorrowful melodies carries each track. The pieces on A Turn Of Breath vary from grand choral meditations to quiet interludes, and even a few impressionistic ‘songs’ accompanied by faint acoustic guitar. An overarching warmth resonates through each side, making this a very pleasant listen. A suitable compliment to a pot of coffee in the morning or a glass of armagnac in the evening.”
De Leon: s/t (Mana) LP
“Gamelan and capoeira in dub. The collective behind this doesn’t like to talk much but their music is beautifully conversational. De Leon is the most organic and percussive of their shifting identities, developed on their Aught project in small-run, clear-shell cassette tape releases over the last few years. They’ve appreciated a cult interest for their takes on outernational rhythm, field recording, and the tension and relief on the knife-edge of dance music; all delivered with an impressive commitment to anonymity and clarity of vision through cut-and-dried aesthetic minimalism. These six pieces of music seem formed from wood, metal, air. Dramatic, balletic flourishes and tightly woven interlocking patterns are embedded in slowly changing and ‘live’ atmospheres. The shadow of a hand over the mixing desk makes gradual adjustments to alter the pressure and dimension of the space. Lean, organic, percussive, warmly engaging. A cracker. Bim.”
Donoto Dozzy: Filo Loves the Acid (Tresor) LP
For its 303rd release, Tresor present a commissioned work by Donato Dozzy, Filo Loves The Acid. Rome-based production maestro and DJ extraordinaire Donato Dozzy is unanimously considered as an illustrious leading light in all techno artforms. Along his long career and extensive discography, Dozzy has proven to use his instruments most interesting ways, always re-inventing his music, always presenting new approaches to both the deeper and the more rhythmic forms of electronic music. It was self-evident to Tresor to enroll Donato Dozzy’s talents for this assignment, a nod to the seminal Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. The result is a relentless collection of radical, propulsive, and bleeding-heart acid tracks. Donato Dozzy wishes to dedicate this work to his lifelong friend Filo.
Immortal: Northern Chaos Gods (Nuclear Blast) LP
“WHITE & BLACK SPLATTER VINYL – LIMITED TO 500 COPIES – INDIE-SHOPS-ONLY”. Founded in 1991 Immortal has often been the bench mark when it comes to quality extreme metal. The Norwegian natives released their debut album “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” in 1992. Since then they have released eight full length releases, the last two, “All Shall Fall” (2009) and “Sons of Northern Darkness” (2002), were released on Nuclear Blast.
File Under: Metal
Eiko Ishibashi & Darin Gray: Ichida (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle present the release of Ichida, the first release from the duo of two important, yet often underappreciated musicians, Eiko Ishibashi and Darin Gray. Ishibashi is a singer-songwriter, keyboardist, drummer, and multi-instrumentalist, known in Japan both for her own elaborately conceptual solo albums and for her frequent collaborations with figures such as Jim O’Rourke, Merzbow, and Phew. Darin Gray is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist known for a multitude of collaborations (with O’Rourke and Loren Connors, among many others), for On Fillmore, his cinematic post-exotica project with Glenn Kotche, and as one half of Chikamorachi with Chris Corsano, one of the finest free-jazz rhythm sections around. Presenting the entirely of a live set performed at Tokyo’s Super Deluxe in March 2013, the set begins as a duet for Ishibashi’s flute and Gray’s upright bass. Calmly melodic yet harmonically inventive, with shades of “spiritual jazz”, the pair’s acoustic ruminations are gradually joined by Ishibashi’s lush electronics, which randomly flicker between chords in a manner recalling the classic work of David Behrman. As the electronics build into a gloomy fog of slowly cycling loops, Gray lays his bass aside and turns to making strangely mournful interjections on a mouthpiece. Eventually Ishibashi moves to the piano, enveloping the audience in rippling pools of sustained, octave-doubled melody, provided by Gray’s bass with a fluid and dynamic foundation. For much of the second side, both Ishibashi and Gray turn to electronics, ultimately arriving in a bizarre space of melancholic arpeggios and random sputter and sizzle, oddly reminiscent of ’70s outsider prog acts like Wapassou. An uneasy coda of rich piano chords ends the set. Captured in warm room ambience and beautifully mixed by Jim O’Rourke, Ichida is a rare combination of improvisational acumen and emotional directness, both adventurous and immediately accessible. Cover pics by Jim O’Rourke. Design by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.
John Maus: Songs (Ribbon) LP
Broadly cut from the synth pop cloth, enigmatic Austin, MN musician John Maus has fashioned the frosty minimalism of its fabric into a cloak of infinite meaning, genuine grace and absurdist humor over the course of five defining albums since 2006, most recently being 2017’s Screen Memories and 2018’s Addendum. Ribbon Music is pleased to present heavyweight 180g vinyl reissues of Maus’s long out of print first three full length albums – Songs (2006), Love Is Real (2007) and We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011) – with audio sourced from the original masters and lacquers cut at Abbey Road Mastering. Questing synthesizers, tensely strung bass lines and chasing drum machines provide the perfect backdrop for Maus’s deeply resonant reverb-drenched vocals. Born in the decade of synth pop and sharing his birthday with George Frideric Handel, John started making music when Nirvana posters went up on every teenager’s wall. It’s this curious conflux of influences that help to describe John’s music. It’s a world where the Germs jam with Jerry Goldsmith, Cabaret Voltaire relocate to Eternia and Josquin des Prez writes a new score for RoboCop. The confrontation of punk, the fleeting poignancy of ’80s movie soundtracks, the insistent pulse of Moroder and the spirituality of Medieval and Baroque music all find salvation in his music. John’s debut album proper simply entitled Songs was released through Upset The Rhythm in 2006. It’s a record permeated with aching memories; a perfect testimony to lost romance and longing.
File Under: Synth Pop
John Maus: Love is Real (Ribbon) LP
Broadly cut from the synth pop cloth, enigmatic Austin, MN musician John Maus has fashioned the frosty minimalism of its fabric into a cloak of infinite meaning, genuine grace and absurdist humor over the course of five defining albums since 2006, most recently being 2017’s Screen Memories and 2018’s Addendum. Ribbon Music is pleased to present heavyweight 180g vinyl reissues of Maus’s long out of print first three full length albums – Songs (2006), Love Is Real (2007) and We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011) – with audio sourced from the original masters and lacquers cut at Abbey Road Mastering. Questing synthesizers, tensely strung bass lines and chasing drum machines provide the perfect backdrop for Maus’s deeply resonant reverb-drenched vocals. Born in the decade of synth pop and sharing his birthday with George Frideric Handel, John started making music when Nirvana posters went up on every teenager’s wall. It’s this curious conflux of influences that help to describe John’s music. It’s a world where the Germs jam with Jerry Goldsmith, Cabaret Voltaire relocate to Eternia and Josquin des Prez writes a new score for RoboCop. The confrontation of punk, the fleeting poignancy of ’80s movie soundtracks, the insistent pulse of Moroder and the spirituality of Medieval and Baroque music all find salvation in his music. John’s debut album proper entitled Songs was released through Upset The Rhythm in 2006. It’s a record permeated with aching memories; a perfect testimony to lost romance and longing. It’s awe-inspired follow-up Love Is Real (released on UTR, 2007) proved a more cohesive listen in terms of focus and emotional depth.
File Under: Synth Pop
Cecil McBee: Mutima (Everland Jazz) LP
A reissue of Cecil McBee’s Mutima, originally released in 1974. Licensed by Strata-East Records. “A landmark recording in early creative improvised modern music, bassist Cecil McBee’s recording for the Strata East label is an important document introducing him as a leader from the international jazz-based scene in New York City via his native Tulsa, OK and following a brief mid-60s stint in Detroit. McBee as a pure musician has staggering technique, rich harmonic ideas, and an indefatigable swing, but it is as a composer that he is set apart from other musicians of this mid-’70s era . . . In retrospect, McBee’s great career was ostensibly launched well before this recording, having worked with prominently with Charles Lloyd, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Yusef Lateef, Charles Tolliver, and countless others. Mutima (translated as ‘unseen forces’) undoubtedly solidified his stature and brilliance as a major player.”–Michael G. Nastos, All Music
Optiganally Yours: O.Y. in Hi Fi (Joyful Noise) LP
The Optigan was a chord organ made by Mattel in the early 1970s. This intriguing instrument played back lo-fi sound loops on flexible LP-sized discs, each disc containing optically-encoded rhythm section grooves in a particular style of music (ie country, bossa nova, etc), along with drum loops and keyboard tones. Think of it as the 1970s version of GarageBand, where amateur musicians could put together their own songs using loops of recordings by professional musicians. Optiganally Yours started in the mid 1990s when one of Rob Crow’s housemates, Pea Hix, became obsessed with the magnificent Optigan. When Pea had the idea to start a band around these haunting sounds, Rob chimed in and said “I’ll be the singer, and the band will be called Optiganally Yours.” O.Y.’s first album, Spotlight On Optiganally Yours, was released on Cargo/Headhunter Records in 1997, along with a suitably grainy music video for the single “Mr. Wilson” (which is, perhaps, the band’s most well-known song to date). In 2000, a second album, Optiganally Yours Presents: Exclusively Talentmaker, was released on Absolutely Kosher Records (US) and Vroomsound (Japan). This album jettisoned the Optigan in favor of two related instruments, which utilized the same technology: the Chilton Talentmaker and the Vako Orchestron. Shortly after the release of Exclusively Talentmaker, work began on a third release. Through much research and a little detective work, Pea rescued the original studio master tapes – which held all of the sounds recorded for the Optigan discs – from a SoCal garage, and set out to assemble basic tracks from the thousands of loops and samples the tapes contained. Since the tapes contained large amounts of material that never made it onto Optigan discs in the 1970s, there was a lot of fresh territory to explore. In contrast to the grainy, lo-fi sound of the Optigan discs, these sounds were all hi-fi studio quality. O.Y. in Hi-Fi was born. “Several of these sessions never became discs, so Pea chopped them up, as you would with a real Optigan,” says Crow. “And we wrote all these new songs using these materials, in addition to my guitar and voice of course. I think it’s the best record I’ve ever done.”
File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
Paul Page & His Paradise Music: Pacific Paradise (Subliminal Sounds) LP
Comes in thick, magazine-style format. 32-page booklet. Paul Page — poet, pagan, and playboy of Polynesian pop and Hapa Haole exotica. The music on this unusual exotic album, takes you right to the ocean’s edge, mingles you with jungle drums and animals, the booming surf, seagulls, and ocean liners in a coral kaleidoscope of sounds. This is the real deal authentic tiki bar soundtrack. Paul Page and his Paradise Music entertained in Polynesian themed restaurants all over Southern California from the late ’30s to the mid-60s, then all the way out to the Kona Coast during the late ’60s and early ’70s. The whole time, he kept leaving behind these little independent albums, recorded specifically for the purpose of selling them to the people coming to his small venue shows… which, when you think about it, is basically what all the most-worthy bands to dig do these days, outside the doting eye of the lame record industry. Dude was so ahead of his time! Paul Page was a singer, piano player, bandleader, writer/composer, radio, and TV host, artist of oils, professional basketball player, and much more. He published many albums during the 1950s-60s and wrote hundreds of songs. His story has never previously been told and his original recordings are very rare, in fact some of them are completely unknown and undocumented, and much sought after by collectors. Paul Page is really the only one to mix actual, authentic Hawaiian music and other Polynesian and Pacific Ocean influences, with the nomadic feel of the seafaring Anglo working sailor man with a sense of American pop sophistication, based in jazz-age. It is his cheerful insistence to employ every known cliché from the Polynesian pop dictionary that makes his stylings so charming to today’s tiki lounger. Subliminal Sounds now brings you the full Paul Page saga on this comprehensive compilation. Includes a 32-page booklet with in-depth liner notes by author and pop historian Domenic Priore, with a foreword by author and urban archeologist Sven Kirsten.
Gerald Pino & The Heart Beats: Afro Soco Soul Live
(Oom Dooby Dochas) LP
Oom Dooby Dochas present a reissue of Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats’ Afro Soco Soul Live, originally released in 1972. Pino was born in Sierra Leone in the 1930s. He was the son to a lawyer working in Nigeria, lost his mother and sister at a very young age, and found relief in music. He played social clubs by the early ’60s with his newly founded band The Heartbeats delivering cover-versions of American hits and Congolese rumba tunes that were then utterly popular in the West Africa area. The Heartbeats literally played until their fingers bled in popular night clubs in Sierra Leone, became one of the highest earning bands of Western Africa and were even able to put up their own television show after television had been introduced in Sierra Leone in 1962. All those developments put Geraldo Pino and his band in the position as leading figures in the African popular music that even Fela Kuti cited Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats as a major influence. Geraldo Pino lived and played in his area, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and created some of the hottest funky sounds with sophisticated sound gear, outstanding clothing, and songs that made your blood boil. After a few 7″ releases throughout the 1960s the first real album of Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats hit the scene in 1972. Afro Soco Soul Live is as the title suggests an album that has been recorded at a concert and Geraldo Pino often communicates with the utterly enthusiastic audience, gives longer announcements between the songs, or introduces his lead guitarist before he starts a simmering solo. All songs here have an average length of six minutes and, despite their composed parts, show this free jammy flow. The basic style is funk with soulful vocals which gets mixed up with traditional African percussion grooves. This album swallows you with its mesmerizing rhythms. The funky Hammond B3 organ is omnipresent on all the tracks and duels with the wild and completely unleashed lead guitar from time to time. Due to the crisp and clear sound, this record gives you the feeling of being right at the scene. It is no wonder that this record is a popular gem in Western Africa. Original copies of this album go for several hundred USD if they ever turn up. A sacred gem of African funk music reissued.
File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Soul
Promise Ring: Very Emergency (Jade Tree) LP
Very Emergency (1999) is the third album by The Promise Ring. This album sees the band continuing to explore the sounds they had started on their previous release Nothing Feels Good, a more pop – rock leaning when compared to their debut. The Promise Ring’s hook-packed pop sensibility was unique for the genre at the time and helped them inject a shimmery energy into emo that still feels fresh today. Hailing from Milwaukee, The Promise Ring weren’t just emblematic of ‘90s Midwestern emo: they were one of the most celebrated bands in the history of the genre. Under the leadership of frontman Davey Von Bohlen of Cap’n Jazz, their sound incorporated elements of power pop that would become more popular in later years. They broke up in 2002 and after nearly a decade of inactivity The Promise Ring officially reunited in February 2012.
File Under: Indie Rock, Emo
Jorges Reyes/Antonio Zepeda: A La Izquierda Del Colibri
(Emotional Rescue) LP
The late Jorge Reyes was a leading figure in Mexican experimental music, and this album recorded with Antonio Zepeda is one of his earliest and most striking works. Originally released in 1986, A La Izquierda Del Colibri is a worldly product of the era in the same way as the work of Jah Wobble and Brian Eno, rich in new wave funk but reaching to a higher plane thanks to all manner of sonic devices. From treated jungle sounds to swooping pads, the whole album feels like an exotic trek through the heat and mystery of Central America, at times leaving the Western world far behind and at other times embracing it. A captivating listen.
Ty Segall & White Fence: Joy (Drag City) LP
Ty Segall and White Fence are become one again, regrooving what we once called “Hair” into what is now “Joy”. If, as the dyphrenic duo indeed affirm on “Joy”, rock in 2018 is dead, don’’t come around here looking for no burial. Instead, find “Joy” caught up in the commencement of on-beyond rock; music made with the old tools, but emitted from a fresh new, single-celled organism. With “Joy”, Tim and Ty arrive without travelling from the same place, occupy one single headspace, finishing the other’s phrases, pulling licks from each other’s places. Both these fellows have been known to trifle with tropic pasts and reactivate vintage visions within their new music. Not now. Now is the only time this time – “Joy” is their own sound of today, a shared individuality, prisming all possible stances into an unseamly metastasis that FLOWS for 15 ebbcentric tracks.
File Under: Rock, Psych
Vox Populi!: Magiques Creations (Emotional Rescue) LP
Following the excellent reissue of Aither last year, Emotional Rescue return to the dreamy, decidedly tripped out sound world of French-Persian outfit Vox Populi! with this enchanting collection of early rarities from the early to mid 80s. There’s a range of moods on offer here, sounding very much of the era with dashes of On-U dub colliding with kosmische and the worldly outlook of Byrne, Eno, Hassell et al. It’s a varied listen and a wonderful introduction to a band that could have so easily been more widely appreciated if they had managed to break out of the French underground.
Kanye West: Ye (Def Jam) LP
Kanye West makes good on his promise of new music, dropping his eighth studio album, ye following weeks of buzz and notoriety surrounding its release. In true Kanye fashion, he premiered the album at a listening party in the wilds of Wyoming with dozens of celebrities, musicians, journalists and industry executives that were flown in for the festivities and he live streamed it for all of the world to witness. The follow-up to 2016’s Life Of Pablo is not without some Kanye trademarks, sample-leaning beats and a laundry list of featured artists that includes guest appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, John Legend, Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremih, Young Thug and Charlie Wilson. At only seven tracks, Kanye still manages to pack an emotional punch on ye, answering his critics and bringing to light some of his internal drama during his two-year hiatus through verse and some soulful samples.
File Under: Hip Hop
Various: Give Me My Flowers (Third Man) LP
“Powerhouse Gospel on Nashboro Records” .. Founded in 1951 by independent record store owner and radio show promoter Ernie Young, Nashville, TN’s Nashboro Records recorded some of the most potent and forceful gospel music of the time period. Although initially begun in response to overwhelming demand for gospel locally, Nashboro quickly became nationally applauded for its curatorial prowess (under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Morgan Babb of the Radio Four) and signature production style. The lightly-reverbed, clear sound of a Nashboro record is unmistakable. Give Me My Flowers is a compilation of some of the finest cuts released by Nashboro Records, many of which have not been previously reissued. It kicks off with a total banger, The Hightower Brothers’ “Until He Comes,” which would have made an amazing cover song for Spacemen 3. Iola and Sullivan Pugh, also known as The Consolers, top off the A-side of the compilation with the intensely potent namesake track, “Give Me My Flowers”. A final highlight is “Almighty God” from Sister Pope and the Pearly Gates; dare you to get it out of your head after you hear the chorus even once. Not only are the featured artists endlessly skilled at their craft, their songs are absolutely explosive. This is the opposite of indifference or irony; there is a mission here, steeped in a full-heartedness that can only be derived from selfless devotion. Additionally, the songs featured on Give Me My Flowers are representative of a far too overlooked and important chapter in Nashville’s music history. These musicians, store employees and businesspeople played a critical role in building the infrastructure for independent music to flourish in their city. Naturally, it is a cornerstone in Third Man’s long-term mission to support and highlight the complete music histories of Tennessee and Michigan, from the most rightfully revered to the most critically under-represented. All of these tracks were assembled with producer and journalist Mike McGonigal (Detroit Gospel Reissue Project, Temperature’s Rising: An Oral History of Galaxie 500) and transferred directly from the 45 collection of Kevin Nutt (Case Quarter Records, Sinner’s Crossroads radio program).
File Under: Gospel, Blues
Various: Onda De Amor (Soundways) LP
16 rare synth cuts from ’80s and ’90s Brazil, compiled by Brazilian DJ Millos Kaiser. Some crate-digging compilations are often the result of someone hand-picking their choice favorites from another country’s musical history, perhaps unaware or uninvolved with its cultural lineage in the process. On Soundway’s latest release — a treasure trove of synth jams, pop, samba boogie, Balearic, and electro from ’80s and ’90s Brazil — the tracks are picked by Millos Kaiser, one half of the Brazilian duo Selvagem, who are at the helm of throwing some of the country’s best dance parties. It’s a rare compilation that offers Brazilian music actually picked by a Brazilian. Whilst names such as Ricardo Bomba, Villa Box, Fogo Baiano, Electric Boogies, and Batista Junior may not be household names, they tell an untold, yet rich and important part of musical history in Brazil. The release also covers a decade that has been intentionally forgotten and brushed aside by many in the country. Onda De Amor is a release that is loaded with smooth grooves, bubbling bass, glistening synthesizers, funk-strutting guitar lines, and sheen of production that undeniably marks it of its time. For Kaiser this compilation is about reintroducing music during a period of reappraisal, catching a new wave and hoping contemporary listeners will ride it with him. “The idea is to do justice to these songs. Songs that combine all the right ingredients that should have put them on radio playlists when I was growing up or at least in the cases of more adventurous DJs.” Millos Kaiser is a DJ, digger, vinyl junkie/dealer born in Rio de Janeiro and living in São Paulo for the past eight years. He launched the dance party/club night Selvagem with partner Trepanado in 2010, bringing thousands of dancers one Sunday a month to a public square in the heart of São Paulo. RIYL: Music From Memory’s Outro Tempo Brazil compilation, Spacetalk compilations, Sabor Do Brasil compilations, Selvagem’s Boiler Room set, Mr Bongo’s Brazilian compilations. Features Ricardo Bomba, Vânia Bastos, Rosana Mendes & Grupo Veneno, Grupo Controle Digital, Villa Box, Batista Junior, Dado Brazzawilly, Anacy Arcanjo, Fogo Baiano, Dodô Da Bahia & As Virgens De Porto Seguro, Via Negromonte, Electric Boogies, Os Abelhudos, Nanda Rossi, André Melo, and Região Abissal.
Various: Shake Your Bones Vol 2 (Stag-O-Lee) LP
After the highly successful first volume in the Stag-O-Lee DJ set series, the label presents Volume 2. Again an 80-minute set, this time by Stuttgart-based DJ Joe Whirlypop. Joe is a jack of all trades, someone who can make a wedding crowd dance, is well-versed in new wave and punk and everything in between. But his biggest love is the ’50s and early ’60s. He is playing all over Stuttgart for years, but these two discs reflect his monthly Shake Your Bones residency at Stuttgart’s famous Goldmarks club. Expect all kinds of blues, from jump to rhythm and to raw electric. Features B.B. King, Varetta Dillard, The 5 Royales, Groovey Joe Poovey, Gene And Eunice, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bo Davis & Eddie Cochran, Little Sylvia, Little Walter, Joe Turner, Slim Harpo, Johnny Burnette, Moose Jackson and His Bearcats, Vince Taylor & His Playboys, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Muddy Waters, Joe Ann Henderson, The Mariners, Joe Benson, Sid King, Slim Rhodes, Chuck Miller, Thurston Harris And The Sharps, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Bill Haley, The Swallows, Johnny Otis, Preston Love, Ella Johnson, and Serge Gainsbourg.
File Under: RnB, Party Jams
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Lotsa Sea Lice (Matador) LP
Beak>: s/t (Temporary Residence) LP
Jean-Michel Blais: Dans Ma Main (Arts & Crafts) LP
Breeders: Last Splash (4AD) LP0
Nick Cave: From Her to Eternity (Mute) LP
Don Cherry: Complete Communion (Blue Note) LP
Childish Gambino: Because the Internet (Glassnote) LP
Sonny Clark: Cool Struttin’ (Blue Note) LP
Czarface: Every Hero Needs a Villain ( ) LP
Ella Fitzgerald: Mack the Knife (Verve) LP
Gorillaz: The Now Now (Parlophone) LP
Robert Haigh: Creatures of the Deep (Unseen Worlds) LP
Johann Johannsson: IBM 1401 (4AD) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Siren’s Song (New West) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Balloon (ATO) LP
MF Doom: Operation: Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Modern Lovers: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
OST: Akira (Milan) LP
Parquet Courts: Wide Awake (Rough Trade) LP
Princess Nokia: 1992 (Rough Trade) LP
Michael Rault: It’s A New Day Tonight (Sleepless) LP
US Girls: A Poem Unlimited (Royal Mountain) LP
Various: Habibi Funk (Habibi Funk) LP
Various: Son Cubano NYC (Honest Jon’s) LP