What a weekend! Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated our anniversary last weekend. We saw lots of great folks and sold a ton of records. If you didn’t make it down, don’t worry, we still have loads of killer stuff lurking in the 50% off bins so come down for a dig. Actually a load of new stuff in this week, but probably just about the last of it for the year, time to start working on that year end list….
And speaking of top albums of the year… Looks like we’ll be HIRING someone again real soon! If you dream of hanging out and talking about records all day, then bring us a resume along with your top ten albums of 2019 and of all time!
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…..picks of the week…..
Arthur Russell: Iowa Dream (Audika) LP
“Over the past decade, the visionary musician Arthur Russell has entered something close to the mainstream. Sampled and referenced by contemporary musicians, his papers now open to visitors at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center in New York, and his name synonymous with a certain strain of tenderness, Russell is as widely known as he’s ever been. Thanks to Russell’s partner Tom Lee and to Steve Knutson of Audika Records, who have forged several records from Russell’s vast archive of unreleased material, the world now hears many versions of Arthur Russell. There’s the Iowa boy, the disco mystic, the singer-songwriter and composer, and the fierce perfectionist deep in a world of echo. While all of these elements of Russell are individually true, none alone define him. Now, after ten years of work inside the Russell library, Lee and Knutson bring us Iowa Dream, yet another bright star in Russell’s dazzling constellation. Blazing with trademark feeling, these nineteen songs are a staggering collection of Russell’s utterly distinct songwriting. And although Russell could be inscrutably single-minded, he was never totally solitary. Collaborating here is a stacked roster of downtown New York musicians, including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Henry Flynt, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Steven Hall, Jackson Mac Low, Larry Saltzman, and David Van Tieghem. Musician Peter Broderick makes a contemporary addition to this list: more than forty years after Russell recorded several nearly finished songs, Broderick worked diligently with Audika to complete them, and performed audio restoration and additional mixing. Several tracks on Iowa Dream Russell originally recorded as demos, in two early examples of his repeated brushes with potential popular success — first in 1974, with Paul Nelson of Mercury Records, and then in 1975, with the legendary John Hammond of Columbia Records. For different reasons, neither session amounted to a record deal. Russell kept working nearly up until his death in 1992 from complications of HIV-AIDS. At once kaleidoscopic and intimate, Iowa Dream bears some of Russell’s most personal work, including several recently discovered folk songs he wrote during his time in Northern California in the early 1970s. For Russell, Iowa was never very far away. ‘I see, I see it all,’ sings Russell on the title track: red houses, fields, the town mayor (his father) streaming by as he dream-bicycles through his hometown. Russell’s childhood home and family echo, too, through ‘Just Regular People,’ ‘I Wish I Had a Brother,’ ‘Wonder Boy,’ ‘The Dogs Outside are Barking,’ ‘Sharper Eyes,’ and ‘I Felt.’ Meanwhile, songs like ‘I Kissed the Girl From Outer Space,’ ‘I Still Love You,’ ‘List of Boys,’ and ‘Barefoot in New York’ fizz with pop and dance grooves, gesturing at Russell’s devotion to New York’s avant-garde and disco scenes. Finally, the long-awaited ‘You Did it Yourself,’ until now heard only in a brief heart-stopping black-and-white clip in Matt Wolf’s documentary Wild Combination, awards us a new take with a driving funk rhythm and Russell’s extraordinary voice soaring at the height of its powers. On Iowa Dream, you can hear a country kid meeting the rest of the world — and with this record, the world continues to meet a totally singular artist.”
File Under: Pop, Experimental, Folk
Orior: Still Strange (Demdike Stare) LP
Still Strange reaches back into the prized loft tapes of Jeff Sharp, aka Orior, following the revelatory discovery of his overlooked early ’80s gems on 2016’s Strange Beauty collection, as coaxed out by DDS dons Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty. Huddling another sublime, dusty set of analogue tapes freshly baked and remarkably well-restored by Andy Popplewell, Still Strange contains four gorgeous flashbacks to the era 1979-1983 surrounding and even pre-dating Strange Beauty, and then shifts focus to recordings that Orior made around the early ’90s. As with its predecessor, Orior is not alone on the material in Still Strange. From those feted early tapes, you’ll find Phil Hollis returning to lend jagged guitar on the drum machine sizzle of “Feels Like Summer”, while the mysterious synth player New Cross John makes vital contribution to “Invium”. Along with the aching synth sigh of “To Return”, which pre-dated all of these recordings, and the nine minutes of haunting bedsit strums in “Larbico Alt Mix” which came from the first batch, the early material is all arguably worth the price of admission alone for seekers of lost synth treasures — really this stuff is just so good. However, the album’s other six tracks expand knowledge of Orior’s work into the ’90s and also contain some extraordinary material. Salvaged from further loft tapes found in various states of degradation, and subsequently mixed down between London’s Goldsmiths College and Miles Whittaker’s Whalley Range attic (and elsewhere), they are decidedly more blunt and gloaming, especially in the Deathprod-like “Under Shadow” and the near static witching hour ambience of “Endless”, while shorter vignettes such as “Unknown Future”, “Gothic”, and “Another” point to pre-echoes of Board of Canada’s crepuscular scapes and even Bladerunner-esque sci-fi noir soundscapes. RIYL: Deathprod, John Bender, Boards of Canada, Vangelis. Restored from original 1/4″ analog tapes; Mixed by Miles Whittaker and Ian Gilbert; Mastered at Dubplates & Mastering.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Sarah Davachi: Let Night Come on Bells End the Day (Recital) LP
Finally available again!! Recital present the newest record by Canadian composer Sarah Davachi. Currently working on her PhD in Musicology at UCLA, her trajectory has been unorthodox. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, which, if you’ve never been there, doesn’t really scream “avant-garde” (Calgary is the rodeo capital of the world). It is important and interesting that she chose to study esoteric music; as Sarah could have easily been a cowgirl or a concert pianist had her ingrained love of synthesis and sonic phenomenology not taken the wheel. There are few people that have the diligence and resolve to take their time with music… especially in a live context. Recital label head Sean McCann: “The first time I saw Sarah perform, I presumptuously told her that her music reminded me of my favorite Mirror albums (the exceptional project of Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann). Sarah was not familiar with Mirror, so the compliment was initially lost on her. Years back I was in the same situation when a review compared my music to Andrew Chalk, who was unknown to me at the time. So I felt a kinship in our magnetic drift towards unspoken and clustered beauty.” Let Night Come On Bells End The Day follows the release of her “sound-wheel” LP All My Circles Run, which examines the isolation of different instruments. Let Night Come On, recorded mainly with a Mellotron and electronic organ, feels like a return to the nest. Burrowed in the studio, Davachi was the only performer on this album. She both splays her compositional architecture and re-contextualizes the essence of her early output. She chiseled careful and shadowed hymns; anchors of emotion. Two pillars of this album are “Mordents”, which may hints of her love for progressive rock music — and “Buhrstone”, comparable to a somber funeral march of piano and flutes. These two examine punctuations of early music, gently plucking melodies and movements. The three other compositions are tonal works, blowing slow jets of lapping harmonics.. Sean McCann: “I find it hard to separate ‘At Hand’ from filmmaker Paul Clipson, who made a melancholic film for this piece of Sarah’s. A fitting title for Sarah and Paul’s relationship — frequently working in orbit of each other, meticulous and tactile. I cherish this track as a memory of Paul.”
File Under: Ambient, Classical
Arve Henriksen: The Timeless Nowhere (Rune Grammofon) 4LP Box
In a world where being loud seems to be the only ticket for attention, Arve Henriksen has somewhat quietly and without much ado established himself as an important, major player on the European jazz scene. In his 20 years with Rune Grammofon counting 11 solo albums (including one for ECM) and 12 albums with Supersilent (including two for Smalltown Supersound), in addition to four albums with Food as well as numerous collaborations, far too many to mention here. During these years he has also performed quite extensively in Europe, in later years being more choose-y, often preferring more unique venues and locations. Consisting of unreleased material from around ten years back and up until 2019, The Timeless Nowhere is not a compilation in the traditional sense, but can still be seen as a career overview including many facets of his work, at the same time portraying an artist on an unstoppable quest for discovery through exploration. Indeed, these are also four individual albums that could easily have justified separate releases, but at this stage in Arve’s artistic journey it also made perfect sense to assemble them as a box set. The common denominator is about inspiration drawn from composers, collaborators, new discoveries and more specifically; spontaneous interaction with other musicians without other purposes than the music itself. No talk, no demands, no intentions, no explaining; just music in a timeless nowhere. “Captured Under Mountainsides” points to the wild landscape scenery of the area where Arve grew up in the western part of Norway; overwhelming and often strikingly beautiful, but also isolated and with a sense of melancholy. “Acousmograph” is Arve on his own, inspired by compositions and musicians, more experimental in nature and partly based on sketch recordings in odd locations. “Cryosphere” is a co-production with long-time collaborator Jan Bang re-modelling material from a series of evolving concert performances. “Towards Language – Live At Punkt” could be seen as a departure from Arve´s usual approach, but at the same time it´s not. This is not a static run through — Arve would never allow that — but rather the kind of re-imagining process that is such a vital part of his music making.
File Under: Jazz, Ambient, Electronic
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Mandatory Reality (Eremite) LP
Limited repress on clear vinyl. Double LP version. LPs pressed on premium audiophile-quality vinyl at RTI from Kevin Gray Lacquers; Presented in a textured gatefold Stoughton “laserdisc” jacket with a cover painting by Lisa Alvarado. Jackets, retro-audiophile sleeves and record labels hand-screen printed by Alan Sherry at Siwa Studios, Northern New Mexico. Mandatory Reality, the new album by Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society, is here. Setting aside (for the moment) the electric instrumentation of Simultonality and Magnetoception, Joshua Abrams conceived Mandatory Reality for an eight-piece acoustic manifestation of NIS, consisting of himself on guimbri, Lisa Alvarado on harmonium and gongs, Mikel Avery on tam-tam and gongs, Ben Boye on autoharp and piano, Hamid Drake on tabla and tar, Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, Nick Mazzarella on alto saxophone, and Jason Stein on bass clarinet. A double album, Mandatory Reality is comprised largely of two performances, both Joshua Abrams compositions, 24- and 40-minutes in length. While new to the band’s records, long duration pieces are familiar to those who’ve heard Joshua Abram and NIS in concert in recent years, where elaboration on a single composition for an hour or more is not unusual. Gradual tempos dominate Mandatory Reality. Recorded two months before the 2017 solar eclipse, Mandatory Reality is the sound of Joshua Abrams and NIS taking its time. Merging methodical compositions with sonically voluptuous orchestration, Abrams heightens the immersive and hypnotic qualities Abram and NIS music is known for, taking the band and the listener deep into a collective meditative space. A grand realization of long-form psychedelic music, Mandatory Reality is a dispatch from a sound world that is increasingly unique to itself. All performances on Mandatory Reality are full takes recorded live to tape by the full ensemble, magnificently captured by Greg Norman at electrical audio, Chicago — the first true “audiophile” recording of Joshua Abrams and NIS. Mastered by Helge Sten at Audio Virus, Oslo.
File Under: Jazz
Art & Technique: Clima-X (BFE) LP
B.F.E. Records present a reissue of the fantastic debut LP from France’s pioneer avant-electronic unit, Art & Technique. Clima-X was originally released in 1981 by Hi-Tech Records. Haunting obscure minimal electronic sounds, ambient and atmospheric ventures, minimal wave with some ethnic elements. And excellent use of rhythm boxes, sound generators and strange vocals, reminiscent of 23 Skidoo’s “7 Songs”, early Muslimgauze or O Yuki Conjugate’s sound. Remastered by former member Bernard Filipetti. Edition of 300.
File Under: Ambient, Industrial, Electronic
Beck: Hyperspace (Capitol) LP
On the heels of two Grammy-winning albums – Morning Phase, which saw him reunite in the studio with his Sea Change band, and Colors, which he created with Greg Kurstin – Hyperspace brings to fruition Beck’s 20-year wish to collaborate with Pharrell Williams. Hyperspace’s new dimensions in sound are the result of Beck’s most collaborative efforts to date. Seven of the album’s 11 tracks – including singles “Uneventful Days” and “Saw Lightning” – feature co-writing/co-production from Pharrell. “See Through” is co-written/co-produced by frequent collaborator Kurstin, “Stratosphere” features back-up from Chris Martin, the album’s title track features guest vocals from Terrell Hines and “Die Waiting” features backing vocals from Sky Ferreira. If “Saw Lightning” is a frenetic slice of Beck’s patented junkyard-blues hip-hop, “Uneventful Days” hints that Hyperspace is set to traverse a vast aural terrain. Built on a hypnotic electronic soundbed, the song conjures a liminal space that’s reflected in the lyrics, which find Beck facing “Uneventful days, uneventful nights/Living in the dark, waiting for the light.” Beck describes Hyperspace as “not really anything about outer space. It’s more of an interior space…The meditation of the record is finding peace in moment. I was thinking about music as a kind of escape…It sort of alters the room, alters a state of mind…every song does something different – it can be an escape from the moment.” As he told Zane Lowe, the album was inspired by the 80s video game Asteroids: “It had a button where you were about to get destroyed called Hyperspace, that would save your life. Each song has kind of a different way that different people hyperspace, or deal with the world.”
File Under: Pop, Indie Rock
Danny Brown: Uknowhatimsayin? (Warp) LP
Uknowhatimsayin? marks a buoyant new chapter in Danny Brown’s career, a transitional and celebratory moment. His profile has grown since Atrocity and now armed with a cable TV show and a co-sign from one of rap’s icons, he solidifies his positioning as a ubiquitous entertainer, independent rap hero, and one of the essential cultural voices of this era, while still retaining the edgy, maverick style that makes him a fan-favorite. Uknowhatimsayin? was executive produced by Q-Tip, includes guest appearances by Run The Jewels, Blood Orange and Obongjayar, and boasts production by Q-Tip, JPEGMAFIA, Flying Lotus, Paul White and Standing on the Corner. “This is my version of a stand-up comedy album,” Brown says. “Most of my close friends now aren’t rappers – they’re comedians and actors. So I wanted to create something that mixed humor with music. Something that was funny but not parody. There was no room for error. Q-Tip wanted me to go back to that ‘Greatest Rapper Ever’ era. I almost had to relearn how to rap again – an ego death type thing.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Comet is Coming: Afterlife (Impulse) LP
The Comet Is Coming is: Danalogue (synths), Betamax (drums) and King Shabaka (saxophone) and they follow up their critically acclaimed Trust in The Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery with The Afterlife EP. “The two records can be seen as companions, that cannot exist without each other, like day and night, light and dark, creation and destruction. They were made together, at the same time, and have always been intended to be experienced together,” says Danalogue. “The Afterlife has been a topic of deep consideration and one of the keys to spiritual mythology around the world for millenia… The idea of a form of continuation of consciousness from our perceived reality into another state brings an extra dimension of meaning into the gravitas of our actions in this life, our respect and reverence for our ancestors, as well as the sense of a continuum of life over an infinite, timeless void.”
File Under: Jazz
Alessandro Cortini: Volume Massimo (Mute) LP
In his solo work and as a member of Nine Inch Nails, Alessandro Cortini’s music casts the listener into an intricately rendered vortex of emotive dynamics, where he expertly maximizes the boundaries of contemporary electronic music. Volume Massimo, combines his fondness for melody with the rigor of experimental practice. It follows on from 2017’s universally acclaimed Avanti. This new record is eight tracks of deftly arranged synthesizers saturated with sonic artifacts and luscious pop sensibilities.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Dead Meadow: Feathers (Xemu) LP
Feathers is the fifth album by Dead Meadow. It was originally released in 2005 by Matador Records and is reissued here by Xemu Records. This reissue is an exact copy of the original double vinyl package with original art and masters and now also includes a demo rarities CD. The demo CD includes outtakes from the 2004 recording session as well as demos with different song structure/arrangements, plus two tunes that were axed off the final album. Feathers found Dead Meadow shifting from pure ’60s-’70s heavy-psych sounds to a more gentle and layered new-psych sound. Revered and as equally hated, this divisive record is a landmark in the band’s history and an important piece of the puzzle that has kept the boys rocking and relevant.
File Under: Psych
Deliluh: Beneath the Floors (Telephone Explosion) LP
Art-punks Deliluh have returned with their second album of 2019. Recorded in the same veterans hall 5 months prior to it’s sibling record (Oath Of Intent), Beneath The Floors delves deeper into their dark imagination, stretching further into stylistic extremes. Spoken stories that thread through the ringing clamour of post-punk anthems (Incantessa, Lickspittle: A Nut in the Paste) are juxtaposed by the soft whisper of ballads (Via 5A, Hangman’s Keep) and sinister instrumental passages (Falcon Scott Trail, Con Art Inc.) Rests between songs are seldom. Hard cuts and hiss from the reel-to-reel tape sessions inject a spirit of conviction through each passing movement, leaving behind a sense of wonder in their wake.
File Under: Punk
Dengue Dengue Dengue: Zenit & Nadir (Enchufada) LP
Dengue Dengue Dengue! continue expanding their carefully created aesthetic on Zenit & Nadir by diving into the deep and rich musical history of Afro-Peruvian music, already hinted in the first single “Ágni”, which is the inversion of the traditional Afro-Peruvian rhythm, Ingá. The ongoing exploration of the vast and rich musical heritage of the descendants of the former African slaves in Peru has become the main focus of their new album. Their interest in Afro-Peruvian music has led them to meet and record extensively with several members of the Ballumbrosio family, a renowned musical dynasty in Peru that has kept Afro-Peruvian musical traditions alive, masters of rhythms like landó, festejo, and crioullo music, with traditional dances and instruments such as the iconic quijada — a rattling percussive instrument made out of a donkey’s jawbone. The introduction of live recordings with the Ballumbrosio brothers has given a whole new dimension to their always-expanding sound, and they feature extensively all throughout the album. The marriage between the traditional and organic percussion of the Ballumbrosios with DDD’s hypnotic electronic production has created a whole new chapter for the band Features Kalaf, Sara Van, Mikongo, Prisma, and Martin Boder.
File Under: Electronic, Tribal
Donato Dozzy: One Instrument Sessions 05 (One Instrument) LP
For the fifth release on Grand River’s experimental label, One Instrument, synthesizer maestro Donato Dozzy gifts us with an incredible, psychedelic 38-minute journey. “Slow Train” has been created using the EMS Synthi AKS, an extraordinary and rare portable modular analog synthesizer, first manufactured in 1972. This One Instrument Sessions release highlights the artist’s most experimental side on what will be his seventh studio album. These tracks are the honest outcome from a long and intimate engagement with the instrument which were produced in his San Felice Circeo studio during an “altered state” night in October 2013. The resulting music is one of fluid continuity; Dozzy’s most extensive, vigorous, and determined application of real-time studio recording to date. The intensity of both parts of “Slow Train” are comparable to a mindfulness experience in which the listener’s perception of reality slows down enabling every small detail of the sound to become alive and increasingly vivid. Edition of 500. Few DJs and producers are as widely and universally acclaimed in techno circles as Italian Donato Dozzy. He has a rare ability to work his way into peoples’ minds in both contemporary and classical settings, conjuring real mood and atmosphere. Never one to pay heed to the zeitgeist, he prefers to deal in hypnotic soundscapes that really take you on a trip. Enigmatic as he is, and laidback as he seems, as an artist he is constantly unveiling new work. Displaying a large variation in terms of sound and method across many new releases each year — some of which come on his co-owned label Spazio Disponibile — he also puts out installations for public spaces and museums, uses obscure musical instruments, collaborates with like-minded producers, classical singers, or visual artists. Donato seems to continuously challenge himself on a creative level: whatever method he uses, though, he is always likely to permeate your cerebral cortex and rewire it in fascinating and compelling new ways.
File Under: Electronic
Jessica Ekomane: Multivocal (Important) LP
Jessica Ekomane’s debut LP, Multivocal, is brilliantly original, and will appeal to fans of Caterina Barbieri, Alessandro Cortini, Shasta Cults, ELEH, and the strand of minimal electronic music that runs through the Important catalog. Multivocal is a polyphonic maze that unfolds to both the body and the mind. A generative take on rhythm and spatial perception, it presents the same events in different configurations. The two pieces of the album, “Solid of Revolution” and “Never Odd or Even”, mirror each other with the same principle in different musical scales: steady pulses with one millisecond difference in tempo start beating together, then slowly phase organically and progress into ever-changing rhythmic patterns until they finally return to unison. Multivocal emphasizes shifts of attention in the listener’s experience and plays with the expectations that frame it. Originally conceived for quadraphonic sound, the pieces reveal the many different aspects and modes of perception that can arise within the same sequence of notes. In this way Multivocal is influenced by concepts of gestalt psychology such as multi-stable perception — a term describing ambiguous patterns that offer multiple interpretations at once. The minimalism and repetitive quality of the music also refers to trance-inducing and collective music practices, driven by the strong bodily affects induced through the use of rhythms. Those two compositions were recorded live during Ars Electronica 2018 at the occasion of the sleeping event “Sonatas for Sleep/less”, curated by multimedia artist Shu Lea Cheang and cultural theorist Matthew Fuller. First pressing in an edition of 500.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
The Field: From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt) LP
If Kompakt had to name one thing fans have been consistently asking for, it’s a vinyl version of The Field’s legendary first album From Here We Go Sublime: originally rolled out in 2007, this much-acclaimed full-length debut of what was to become one of the most celebrated projects in the label’s fold saw a regular CD edition and an accompanying 12″ sampler — but never a full vinyl release. Following Kompakt’s long sold out 2014 limited edition reissue for Record Store Day, the label welcome From Here We Go Sublime back as a double-LP in gatefold vinyl. Axel Willner, aka The Field, joined the Kompakt family in 2005, bringing forward a new fusion of ambient and techno that fed on his adoration for Wolfgang Voigt’s classic ’90s projects Gas and M:I:5 as well as the shoegazer rock of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Called a “techno pop landmark” by Pitchfork, From Here We Go Sublime almost immediately became a cult favorite, starting a trend that continues to this day — as can be seen with The Field’s 2013 full-length offering, Cupid’s Head, that has been lauded by critics and crowds alike. The most striking feat of From Here We Go Sublime must be its sonic cohesiveness, debuting a fully-formed artistic vision that — seven years and three albums later — hasn’t lost any of its luster. As a fixture in The Field’s discography, it remains as important as ever, with Axel Willner installing a blueprint that inspired many but sounds like no one else… except himself. Giving you a feeling of warmth and familiarity on first listen that you can’t quite grasp, it’s like this sound has always existed, when in fact it was the unique creation from one highly gifted producer. And it all starts here.
File Under: Electronic
Jacky Giordano: IM 26 (Organ Plus) (Le Tres Groove Club) LP
Le Tres Groove Club present a reissue of Jacky Giordano’s IM 26, also known as Organ Plus, originally released in 1978. An aura of mystery hangs over Jacky Giordano, a studio musician who has mostly worked for library music. He is the one behind the amazing label Freesound — Schifters (1974), Philopsis (1975) , Challenger (1974) — but as well on Montparnasse 2000 with Pop In Devil’s Train, on Timing (with Timing N°1 and Timing N°5, under the nickname Jacky Nodaro), on Musax with Boucles Rythmiques (under the nickname Joachim Sherylee, and reissued as well on Le Très Groove Club, LTGC 002LP), or Black Devil’s Disco Club (1978) whose paternity is still disputed between him and Bernard Fêvre. Jacky Giordano wasn’t an altar boy, far from it, and will have sadly been more known for his troubles with his troubles with justice than for his music. This is his work for the label l’Illustration Musicale (IM) which can now be re-discovered thanks to this new reissue on Le Très Groove Club. Organ Plus (IM 26) is the sequel to Organ (IM 24), also reissued by Le Tres Groove Club. The title is misleading here, organ not being a preponderant part of the record which honors the Fender Rhodes, string machine, bass synth, and clavinet. “Be Careful”, “Riffologic”, “Twillight”: Jacky Giordano offers slow tempo jazz funk without losing the melancholy and lo-fi groove that make his tracks immediately recognizable regardless of the record label or alias.
File Under: Library
Grant Green: Sunday Mornin’ (Slow Down Sounds) LP
Grant Green was a Blue Note mainstay and is a jazz icon. He has played on hundreds of recordings and released over 30 albums. Sunday Mornin’ was his fourth record and first with a pianist, Kenny Drew. About 3 minutes in on side one Drew makes his presence known and he keeps getting further and further out… the rhythm section of bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Ben Dixon “hold it down” throughout with transcending solos and Grant’s playing is just mind blowing. Legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder is like a 5th member of the session capturing the instruments, the air, the vibe of the studio, the stereo soundstage (unusual in those days) just perfectly. Upon hearing the Sunday Mornin’ analog tapes used for cutting this release, mastering engineer Kevin Gray gleefully proclaimed, “Rudy’s sound doesn’t get any better than this, it really doesn’t !”. He would know, Kevin has cut more Blue note lacquers than anybody in the world. Grant was seemingly always ahead. He composed the lead off song, “Freedom March” in 1961… 2+ years before what most consider the start of the modern day Civil Rights Movement. Jazz musicians, certainly not Grant Green, seldom receive the credit they deserved for their profound impact on the Civil Rights movement. Another Green original, the title cut, “Sunday Mornin'” is influenced by gospels but in a more spiritual, positive, happy way. Same goes for the cover of “God Bless The Child”… aching and beautiful. The record closes with a cover of the Miles Davis standard, “So What”… at the time barely a year old but Grant’s intuition told him the tune would become a vital piece of jazz history. Originally recorded in 1961 and released in 1962, Slow Down Sounds is proud to present this Authentic Analog Audiophile reissue pressing.
File Under: Jazz
Steve Hauschildt: Nonlin (Ghostly) LP
Chicago-based contemporary electronic musician Steve Hauschildt has composed panoramas of synthesized sound for over a decade. First within his former band, Emeralds, an American touchstone of 2000s home-recorded psychedelic noise music, and later across a steady and critically-acclaimed stream of solo releases spanning ambient techno, arpeggiated electronica and post-kosmische styles utilizing synthesizers, computers, and digital processing. In 2018, he extended a collection of rich, visceral tracks titled Dissolvi, his first release on Ghostly International and his most collaborative work to date. Just a year later, Hauschildt returns with Nonlin, an album that’s freer, leaner, and looser, both structurally and conceptually; less linear compared to its predecessor, but still captivating. Developed and recorded in several studios during and around the edges of tour – Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tbilisi, and Brussels – this material emulates an alienating encounter with a smattering of places, a replicant of culture shock, a solitary and stark experience with uncanny environments, melody and dissonance as oblique locales. Nonlin finds Hauschildt evolving his palette of tools, integrating modular and granular synthesis. The improvisatory and generative nature of modular systems, when paired with his signature grid-oriented and hand-played techniques, guides these compositions slightly out of line to hypnotic effect. Opener “Cloudloss” permeates the mix with an unsettling smog, which reappears and all but engulfs “A Planet Left Behind.” On cuts like “Attractor B” and “Subtractive Skies,” pockets of air rest between sequenced pulses, whose crumpling and flattening folds build into a restrained rapture of crisp frequencies and milky reverb-swallowed coruscations. The album’s title track and centerpiece logs on to a foreign network, a fractured percussion signal that modulates and stutters into static amidst curious melodic sparkling in the hazy bandwidth. “Reverse Culture Music” casts an elegant and brooding stream of strings, pizzicato and churning bow from Chicago cellist Lia Kohl, against chiming minimalist synth frameworks. A surprising pattern emerges in the taciturn systems at work. Hauschildt continues to expand his already horizon-wide repertoire, here exploring the effects of corrupting coordinates; a flight subject to the collapsable abilities of time in remote spaces, a smearing of the axis to elegiac ends.
File Under: Electronic
Land of Light: The World Lies Breathing (Melody as Truth) LP
After a seven-year hiatus since the release of their debut LP on ESP Institute, Kyle Martin and Jonny Nash’s Land Of Light return with The World Lies Breathing, their sophomore album for Melody As Truth. Written and composed over the course of two years, The World Lies Breathing reflects the pair’s shared development towards spacious, abstract composition crafted from a wide range of contrasting sound sources. Utilizing a combination of acoustic instruments, contact microphones and Martin’s self-built modular synthesizer The World Lies Breathing focuses on the space between sounds, conjuring up an organic yet alien landscape that exists on the edge of an unknowable void.
File Under: Ambient
Sean McCann: Puck (Recital) LP
Sean McCann on Puck (September 2019): “Puck is here. Music For Public Ensemble (R 022LP), my previous album, was released three years ago. And three years before that was Private Ensemble. Puck is both public and private in nature. A smear of chamber works from Stockholm, Moscow, New York, and Kansas. Three aged personal recordings from 2008, 2009, and 2010 are also poured in the batter: a bedroom violin trio, ambient music, and a sad plucked guitar piece. A marbled blend of new chamber works and older, boisterous recordings from the late-2000s. The first side is subtitled ‘Folded Portraits’ — a three-part suite: ‘Nightfall’, ‘Broth’, and ‘Damals’: German for ‘back then’ (or Remember When: the lowest form of conversation). The spine of it is an informal rehearsal session of Portraits of Friars (2018). Recorded at the fabled Fylkingen in Stockholm, the ten-person text and chamber piece grows and shrinks. False starts and stops and tests are outlined with the black ink of editing. Little moments become big moments. Nailed above that spine is Folded Rose (2018), a piece for piano and humming. A dainty march out of context, immersed in recordings of me gagging and yowling in my car. Sound artist Lia Mazzari shared the titular spoken piece with me. ‘Puck,’ a duet for dialogue about eggs and jewelry, premiered at Café OTO in 2018. I recorded my text in a dark bathtub in Toronto on my 30th birthday last year. The text is a mold growing on top of a quintet I wrote called Vilon (2017), sweetly performed by the Russian Kymatic Ensemble. Jackson Graham, skilled American percussionist, is a rod bolted through the album. He commissioned a work by me called Violet Fat (2017), which is spliced across both sides, hammered and bent to fit in place. A fusion of jubilation and gut clenching, Puck balances on the rooftop, tipping side to side in the fog.” Includes 12-page “Puck” pamphlet and two art cards with program notes and recollections. Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, Classical
Rose McDowall & Shawn Pinchbeck: Far from the Apple Tree
(Glass Modern) LP
Original music soundtrack from the film Far From The Apple Tree by Grant McPhee — A psychedelic pop-art fairytale. Soundtrack composed by Rose McDowall and Shawn Pinchbeck. “Far From the Apple Tree is an eclectic mix of ghost story, fairy tale and horror. Evocative of films like Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and The Wicker Man and with a truly magical soundtrack by Rose McDowall (Strawberry Switchblade) and Shawn Pinchbeck make Far From The Apple Tree a must-see for fans of Redemption and ethereal thrills.” –Salvation “Rose and Shawn’s soundtrack adds so much colour, mood, mystery and magic to our film that it would feel empty without it. I’m delighted that it is now being released on its own, and by Glass so that it can add those same qualities to anyone who picks up a copy for themselves. ” –Grant McPhee
File Under: OST
Nirvana: MTV Unplugged 25th Anniversary (Geffen) LP
Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York is reissued on 180g vinyl 2LP in celebration of the landmark record’s 25th anniversary in November 2019. Expanded to include five rehearsal performances previously only available on the DVD edition, the anniversary release also features an exclusive gatefold jacket adorned with anniversary silver foil detail on the front and back cover. 1994’s Unplugged In New York was the last Nirvana collection recorded before the suicide of alternative-rock icon Kurt Cobain and its stripped down, neo-acoustic arrangements and bridled fury caught many fans by surprise. However, the emotion and anguish revealed through the intimate performances here end up offering a new appreciation for the nuances of one of the greatest and most revered bands of their era, one that may have been on the verge of discovering a new sound and style. Standout tracks include stirring renditions of the Meat Puppets’ “Plateau,” “Oh, Me” and “Lake of Fire,” the Vaselines’ “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam,” David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” and Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” along with band classics like “About A Girl,” “Come As Your Are,” “Pennyroyal Tea,” and “All Apologies.” “Nirvana shine brightly on this striking live set because the volume is turned down just low enough to let Kurt Cobain’s tortured vulnerability glow. The powerful, reverent covers of Lead Belly, David Bowie and (three) Meat Puppets songs sum up Nirvana as a haunted, theatrical and, ultimately, truly raw band.” – No. 313 on Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’
File Under: Grunge
Yoshio Ojima: Une Collection des Chainons I: Music for Spiral (WRWTFWW) LP
Volume One. WRWTFWW Records announce a reissue of both volumes of Yoshio Ojima’s superb environmental music project Une Collection Des Chaînons I And II: Music For Spiral, originally released in 1988. The twenty-track opus is sourced from original masters and includes liner notes in English and Japanese. This marks the inaugural release from the Esplanade Series by WRWTFWW Records, which focuses on the works of Ojima and friends. Une Collection? gathers selected music pieces conceptualized and produced for sound-designing the Wacoal Art Center in Aoyama (Tokyo) also known as Spiral, a hub for a wide range of sophisticated cultural proposals spanning visual arts, theatre, music, design, fashion, and lifestyle. Spiral is a monumental work of architecture by Fumihiko Maki, designed according to the principles of Metabolism, a movement advocating evolving designs and constructions, adapting to human needs naturally. The first volume flows from the eerie and levitating “Entrance” to the quirky “Esplanade (Live)”, the gentle and reassuring “Flius”, and the measured and ravishing escalation of “Mensis.” On the second volume, the nanoscopic neoclassical lullaby “Les Trois Grâces” brings attention to the importance of small details, “Pulse at Soothe” starts with the minimalism of a Satoshi Ashikawa piece and slowly drifts into mystical landscapes and cavernous echoes, “Entomology” and its melancholic artificial forest evokes a Twin Peaks mirage, and “Atrium” literally feels like a floating visit of a gigantic open space structure. Sitting alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Ashikawa’s Still Way, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green (1986), or Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA, as a pivotal work of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalist music, Une Collection des Chaînons (which translates as a collection of links) is a delicately laid out sonic landscape connecting space and emotions, architecture and humanity, adjusting and transforming through the ears of the listeners. A note from Ojima: “Please listen to this album at around the same volume as daily life sounds such as air conditioners and refrigerators.” Une Collection Des Chaînons I And II: Music For Spiral is presented as two separate double LPs, RIYL: Midori Takada, Hiroshi Yoshimura, Satoshi Ashikawa, Yutaka Hirose. 2LP versions in 350gsm gatefold with selected UV high-gloss varnish, liner notes, sticker.
File Under: Japan, Ambient
Yoshio Ojima: Une Collection des Chainons II: Music for Spiral (WRWTFWW) LP
Volume Two. WRWTFWW Records announce a reissue of both volumes of Yoshio Ojima’s superb environmental music project Une Collection Des Chaînons I And II: Music For Spiral, originally released in 1988. The twenty-track opus is sourced from original masters and includes liner notes in English and Japanese. This marks the inaugural release from the Esplanade Series by WRWTFWW Records, which focuses on the works of Ojima and friends. Une Collection? gathers selected music pieces conceptualized and produced for sound-designing the Wacoal Art Center in Aoyama (Tokyo) also known as Spiral, a hub for a wide range of sophisticated cultural proposals spanning visual arts, theatre, music, design, fashion, and lifestyle. Spiral is a monumental work of architecture by Fumihiko Maki, designed according to the principles of Metabolism, a movement advocating evolving designs and constructions, adapting to human needs naturally. The first volume flows from the eerie and levitating “Entrance” to the quirky “Esplanade (Live)”, the gentle and reassuring “Flius”, and the measured and ravishing escalation of “Mensis.” On the second volume, the nanoscopic neoclassical lullaby “Les Trois Grâces” brings attention to the importance of small details, “Pulse at Soothe” starts with the minimalism of a Satoshi Ashikawa piece and slowly drifts into mystical landscapes and cavernous echoes, “Entomology” and its melancholic artificial forest evokes a Twin Peaks mirage, and “Atrium” literally feels like a floating visit of a gigantic open space structure. Sitting alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Ashikawa’s Still Way, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green (1986), or Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA, as a pivotal work of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalist music, Une Collection des Chaînons (which translates as a collection of links) is a delicately laid out sonic landscape connecting space and emotions, architecture and humanity, adjusting and transforming through the ears of the listeners. A note from Ojima: “Please listen to this album at around the same volume as daily life sounds such as air conditioners and refrigerators.” Une Collection Des Chaînons I And II: Music For Spiral is presented as two separate double LPs, RIYL: Midori Takada, Hiroshi Yoshimura, Satoshi Ashikawa, Yutaka Hirose. 2LP versions in 350gsm gatefold with selected UV high-gloss varnish, liner notes, sticker.
File Under: Japan, Ambient
Bill Orcutt: Odds Against Tomorrow (Palilalia) LP
“After two LPs and over half a decade spent toiling in the margins of the American Songbook, Bill Orcutt returns to original composition and the blues with his latest LP, Odds Against Tomorrow. Taking its title from Robert Wise’s 1959 film noir, Odds Against Tomorrow retrofits familiar folk/blues forms to the unique sound of Orcutt’s guitar and the result crackles with a freshness and authority that nostalgic retreads cannot deliver. Odds Against Tomorrow is more than an expansion of the territory charted by Bill Orcutt, his eponymous 2017 studio electric debut, although it’s certainly that. With its nods to existing musics, half-step fluctuations, and near-songwriter-ly manipulations of tension/release, Odds Against Tomorrow is a rock record — almost. Clearly and simply recorded through a clattering Fender Twin in Orcutt’s living room and lovingly mixed by Bay Area neighbor and pedal-steel savant Chuck Johnson, no one would mistake it for any era’s radio fodder, yet the precision of its technique and the swaying Child-ballad logic of its gentler improvisations comfortably seats it between John Mayall and Richard Thompson in your Ikea Kallax. Three songs (‘Odds Against Tomorrow,’ ‘The Writhing Jar,’ ‘Already Old’) are multi-tracked, an innovation that, for guitar buffs familiar with Orcutt’s stripped-down vernacular, jumps out of the grooves like a Les Paul sound-on-sound excursion in 1948, or a Jandek blues rave-up in 1987. Specifically evoking John Lee Hooker’s double-track experiments on 1952’s ‘Walking the Boogie,’ the steady chord vamps of ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’ and ‘Already Old’ form a harmonic turf on which Orcutt solos with lyrical abandon . . . For the more ‘contemporary-minded,’ ‘The Writhing Jar”s crashing overdubs recall the brassy six-string voicings of This Heat or Illitch. With the exception of the unreconstructed Elmore James-isms of ‘Stray Dog’ and the ‘Layla’-finale-like haze of ‘All Your Buried Corpses Begin To Speak,’ the remaining non-overdubbed tracks dovetail snugly with Orcutt’s previous solo output, reeling gently in a Mazzacane-oid mode or vibing up the standards (‘Moon River’). On their own, these tracks would still be an important contribution to Orcutt’s canon. As part of Odds Against Tomorrow’s greater whole, they provide a through line, connecting the idiosyncrasies of Orcutt’s past explorations with the scrambled tropes of his present work. Odds Against Tomorrow challenges contemporary solo guitar practice in a way that simultaneously nullifies hazy dreams of folk purity and establishes a new high-water mark for blues-rock reconstruction.” –Tom Carter
File Under: Jazz
Pink Floyd: The Later Years (Legacy) LP
Pink Floyd The Later Years 1987-2019 covers the material created by David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright from 1987 onwards. The period generated record sales of over 40 million worldwide and included three studio albums: A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, The Division Bell and The Endless River as well as two live albums, Delicate Sound Of Thunder and Pulse. This gatefold vinyl 2LP edition offers highlights from the staggering multimedia box set by offering 2019 remixes of twelve unreleased studio and live recordings plus a 24-page booklet containing previously unseen photos. Included are: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (Parts 1-5) [Live at Knebworth 1990]; “Marooned Jam” (Unreleased 1994 Recording); “One Slip” (new A Momentary lapse of Reason 2019 mix); “Lost For Words” (Tour Rehearsal 1994) (previously unreleased); “Us And Them” (Live, Delicate Sound Of Thunder); “Comfortably Numb” (Live at Knebworth 1990) (previously unreleased); “Sorrow” (new A Momentary lapse of Reason 2019 mix); “Learning To Fly” (Live, Delicate Sound Of Thunder); “High Hopes” (Early Version) [Unreleased 1994 Recording]; “On The Turning Away” (new A Momentary lapse of Reason 2019 mix); “Wish You Were Here” (Live at Knebworth 1990) (previously unreleased); and “Run Like Hell” (Live, Delicate Sound Of Thunder).
File Under: Classic Rock
Gareth Quinn Redmond: Laistigh den Ghleo (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records announce the release of Irish ambient/minimalist producer Gareth Quinn Redmond’s Laistigh den Ghleo, a companion album to Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2). “Conceptually derived from the work of Japanese minimalist composer Satoshi Ashikawa, I have composed an album which hopes to engage, enrich and reflect the listener’s surroundings, an Environmental Music” –Gareth Quinn Redmond. Working with Still Way as a base for inspiration, Gareth Quinn Redmond takes Ashikawa’s meditative sound designs to more dramatic and lyrical landscapes, gracefully instilling his personal touch into the master’s melodic patterns and presenting six pieces which blend and reflect the modern listener’s ever-changing environment. As Midori Takada explains in the liner notes, “Even though Gareth is deeply influenced by Still Way, he looks above, toward the air and the sky. He pays respect to Ashikawa’s approach, but adds bold elements from another dimension — Satoshi Ashikawa aspired to crystallize the sound structure of nature that exists in the environment. Gareth tries to capture what flourishes out of it.” Laistigh den Ghleo is released in conjunction with Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2) reissue on WRWTFWW Records. Liner Notes by Midori Takada and Gareth Quinn Redmond. LP version comes in 350gsm sleeve with selected UV high gloss varnish.
File Under: Ambient
Ruins: Marea/Tide (Music from Memory) LP
Music From Memory’s latest release sees the reissue of the lost art record Marea/Tide: Sound And Image Research Volume One by Italian Wave duo Alessandro Pizzin and Piergiuseppe Ciranna aka Ruins. Ciranna and Pizzin first conceived the Sound And Image Research series back in the early ’80s, when they were involved in various multimedia projects in art galleries and unique exhibition spaces across Italy. In 1984 Ciranna and Pizzin came across the works of Italian artist Luigi Viola, a painter whose work was already known internationally and who was active in galleries worldwide. When the opportunity arose for the three to come together it quite naturally led to the creation and production of the album Marea/Tide — a record not only inspired by the work of Viola but evolved in symbiosis with him. It was to be the first and sadly the only volume in Ruins’ Sound Image series. Marea/Tide was released in early autumn 1984 and showcased on November 24th of the same year at an exciting one-off event, alongside exhibitions of the visual works and listening sessions at the well-known Villa Sagredo in Venice. Further showcases were performed at galleries across Italy by the duo alongside Viola’s art. The records, for the most part were available solely at those events. The first (and only) edition of the album was limited to 600 copies, 200 of which also included an original screen-print of two different works by Viola; Cuore Veneziano/Venetian Heart, numbered and signed by the artist. Due to poor management and disagreements with the label which produced the record, 300 copies were held for many years in storage and then later sadly destroyed; Marea/Tide disappeared almost completely without trace. Includes bonus 7″ with four stunning unreleased tracks, and printed insert with updated liner notes.
File Under: Electronic, Minimal
Daniel Schmidt: Abies Firma (Recital) LP
The second album by the American Gamelan composer and instrument builder, Daniel Schmidt, following In My Arms, Many Flowers, his majestic debut on Recital. Abies Firma lies next chronologically, collecting works from 1976 to 1991, considered the second phase of his compositional form. “We were like children playing with new toys,” Daniel recalls of the early days of American Gamelan music. “Though, as we moved into the 1980s, I moved away from Javanese traditional formalism completely, no longer using a constant stream of notes.” Daniel became a father twice over in the early ’80s, transforming his compositional voice, finding himself open to new affects. Notably, the Sierra fir species, ‘abies firma’ — “These trees gave me a sense of rising and rising, all their branches reaching toward sun and sky. Looking at them across open spaces, I felt myself part of their upward striving. The tall mountain trees became rising themes and arpeggios, sometimes even sweeping across the six octaves of the gamelan.” This album holds a variety of recordings including an especially immersive tape-delay piece for the rebab, a bowed Javanese instrument. A sort of Eastern Frippertronics weaving the stereo field. Another standout is a semi-improvised flute and gamelan work, ebbing in slowly like a night’s wind. “Accumulation” and “Abies Magnifica”, the spirited opening pieces, exemplify the precision and dexterity of Daniel’s group, The Berkeley Gamelan, who at this time were constantly performing around North America. Two pieces on the album were co-composed by Schmidt and the late Lou Harrison, who helped conceive of the American style of gamelan and enjoyed a similarly long and varied musical career. “Unempins to Sociseknum” is based on arranging Harrison’s social security number against Schmidt’s unemployment insurance number. A window into the cooperative spirit and experimentation of the late 70s. LP comes with a CD including the additional piece “One White Crow,” a three-part tapestry of melodic fragments which epitomizes the second phase of Schmidt’s composing; a divergence from both Javanese and European music. Daniel states, “William James once said that one white crow would suffice to overturn science’s assertion that all crows are black. I felt myself to be ‘one white crow’ amidst the prominent, established musical styles.” Includes 20-page pamphlet holding program notes, scores, and a new essay on American Gamelan by Jay Arms.
File Under: Gamelan, Ambient
Carl Stone: Baroo (Unseen Worlds) LP
“I have always been searching for a way to articulate the intangible area between the recognizable and the unfathomable, a feeling perhaps informed by some long-abandoned experiments with psychedelics. This has been a continued pursuit starting with my tape experiments in the 1970’s until the present, with technological evolution driving new ways of expression. With the exception of ‘Xé May’, which is performed on an Elektron Octatrack, these pieces were constructed for live performance using a laptop computer running programs I have built in the MAX programming language. ‘Okajouki’ and ‘Xé May’ were composed in 2011, all the rest are from 2018. The pieces use a technique of time slicing that I first started doing back in the 90’s, notably with my piece MOM’s, wherein sound files are metaphorically shattered in time like glass and then reorganized into mosaic patterns. The technique used to require laborious preparation outside of real-time before the files could be brought onstage. Now not only can it be done spontaneously while performing, but also with a degree of flexibility that I find quite liberating. They are a lot of fun to play and hopefully to listen.” – Carl Stone
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Carl Stone: Himalaya (Unseen Worlds) LP
On the heels of his critically acclaimed collections Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties and Electronic Music from the Eighties and Nineties, Carl Stone quickly follows-up Baroo (March 2019) with a double-LP album of recent works, including the final section of “Fujiken”, his epic journey through southeast Asian field recordings and street cassette culture. On all six tracks, composed between 2013 and 2019, Stone’s pan-global playground of looping synths and Asian pop culture remains as fertile as ever, digitally shattered into unimagined patterns and gestures, either through the MAX programming language or (in the case of “Kikanbou”) by generating live loops within an Elektron Octatrack sampler. The title track is the first recorded release from Stone’s ongoing collaboration with the Japanese vocalist Akaihirume. Elsewhere new influences come from rock (the slow drum break of “Bia Bia”), disco (the Nile Rodgers-esque guitar riff “Kikanbou”) and hip hop (the frenetic percussion loop of “Han Yan”). Their diversity only adds to Stone’s borderless musical vision, a world where rhythm becomes atmosphere, song becomes beat, and pop becomes art.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Stone Harbour: Emerges (Out-Sider) LP
Out-Sider present a reissue of Stone Harbour’s Emerges, originally released in 1974. The absolute king of lo-fi basement psychedelia, originally released as a private pressing in 1974 by this duo from Ohio. From dreamy melancholic tracks to insane fuzzed-out heavy psych ones. Remastered sound; Insert with photos and liner notes by band member Ric Ballas; Includes download. “… It’s 1974, you’re young and have a head full of Hawkwind and Roky and the Elevators, old brutalist blues in the Hound Dog Taylor/Fred McDowell backwoods whisky-fucked mode, freak folk and LSD; you’re stuck in Hicksville, USA — that’s Youngstown, Ohio to you lot; the music scene sucks; glam’s dead or dying slowly; punk a good year or so from even starting to get itself born. Town’s too damn small to even muster up a band in. It’s just and your buddy and that’s it, man. So you grows your hair and wear satin, wander wide-eyed and tripping across small town railway tracks and hang loose at the weekend in your basement. You gather a bunch if cheapo instruments on the never-never and you start cutting low-fi bedroom demos… Stone Harbour were Ric Ballas (electric, acoustic and slide guitars; organ; piano; synthesizers; bass guitar, percussion, voice) and Dave McCarty (lead vocals, drums, and percussion), and out of nowhere and nothing, at entirely the wrong time, they cut an LP that will blow your head clean off. This is a trip into the true dark heart of psychedelia . . . Dave McCarty’s vocals emerge from some subterranean cave and the keyboards flicker, flicker, flash across the periphery of the song; ‘Rock & Roll Puzzle’ is dark, twisted fried garage punk blues brutality in the same mold as ‘White Faces’ or ‘Cold Night For Alligators’, pre-empting The Gories and Pussy Galore by a good ten years!! . . . Songs fade in and out; finger-picking blurs into screaming squelching synths; guitars melt in the mid-summer heat. ‘Grains Of Sand’ frazzles like The Stooges through a fucked-up amp and filtered through a transistor radio with the valves burning out. ‘Thanitos’ is the freak-out ending of ‘Julia’s Dream’ lost in suburban downtown US of A with the taillights cutting on the freeway… whilst ‘Summer Magic Is Gone’ is the most haunted, haunting song I’ve heard in many a long strange moon . . . Best record I’ve heard all year.” –Hugh Dellar (Shindig!)
File Under: Psych
Andy Stott: It Should Be Us (Modern Love) LP
First pressing on pink vinyl, limited available stock. Andy Stott’s first release since 2016 and first EP since 2011, It Should Be Us is a double EP of slow and raw productions for the club, recorded in 2019 and following a series of EPs that started with Passed Me By (LOVE 069LP) and We Stay Together (LOVE 072LP) early this decade. Recorded fast and loose over the summer, these eight tracks harness a pure and bare-boned energy, melodies subsumed by drum machines and synths; slow, rugged hedonism. It’s all about rhythmic heat and disorientation, pure dance and DJ specials rendered at an unsteady pace, from percolated house and percussive rituals to moody tripped-out burners. There’ll be a new Andy Stott album in 2020, but in the meantime… this one’s for dancing. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.
File Under: Electronic
Cecil Taylor: Indent (ORG) LP
Indent, a live solo album by Cecil Taylor, was recorded in Ohio in March 1973. It was originally released on Taylor’s own Unit Core label, subsequently more widely released on the Freedom label, and has received critical praise, including a 4/5 star review from the Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. Previously out of print for decades, the phenomenal work is finally coming back to vinyl with an audiophile-grade pressing from Pallas Group. The album was remastered for vinyl at Infrasonic Mastering. This white color vinyl pressing is exclusively available for RSD Black Friday.
File Under: Jazz
Tragically Hip: Day For Night (Half Speed Master) (Universal) LP
The Tragically Hip Half Speed Master 2 LP high end audio edition of ‘Day For Night’ has been cut by legendary engineer Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios in London. ‘Day For Night’ now joins other greats in the Half Speed Masters series with the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Brian Eno, Free, Blind Faith, Simple Minds, John Martyn, and CCR among many others. The album artwork has been changed from the original dark blue to a heavy stock reflective in honour of it’s 25th anniversary release. The High Speed Master edition also includes a certificate of authenticity from Abbey Road.
File Under: Rock
Mattias Uneback: Voyage Beneath the Sea (Subliminal Sounds) LP
Clear blue vinyl; edition of 500. Join Mattias Uneback (known from Ìxtahuele and The Test Pilots) on a fantastic underwater exotica adventure in sound. Sail the high seas, explore their depths, marvel at their strange and colorful inhabitants. Beneath the waves and through the depths, forgotten worlds lie waiting. Bioluminescent creatures that have never seen the light of day, ancient beasts of gigantic proportions, sunken continents and underwater caves all await you. The Voyage Beneath The Sea album project is about composing music based on underwater fantasy worlds, as well as actual places. A musical discovery below the surface of the ocean; the mysterious unknown and one of the last outposts still uninhabited by man, but also the cradle of all life on our planet. You travel in to the deep sea, as a parallel to, and parable with, the exploration of outer space, as well as the inner worlds of the mind and the subconscious. This is visionary music inspired by the space-age underwater themed exotica recordings of the early 1960s as well as the peculiar aquatic library type albums of 1970s. The songs are amusing and entertaining one moment, dramatic and fierce the next, but most of all: serenely beautiful. The production of the album has been an important process for Mattias and he feels it has seriously widened his views as a musical and composer. Using a variety of both classical and novel instruments; from exotic percussion and full-scale orchestra and choir to vintage electronics, Mr. Uneback paints a vivid and living tableau for the receptive listener. This is exotic orchestral seduction for those willing to embark on a journey of imagination. Submerge yourself in the sounds!
File Under: Exotica
Various: A Short Illness From Which He Never Recovered (Blackest Ever Black) LP
New vinyl-only compilation from Blackest Ever Black, consisting of all-new recordings unavailable elsewhere, plus a pair of tracks — Carla dal Forno’s much-loved cover of The Kiwi Animal’s “Blue Morning”, and Scythe’s zero gravity blues “Flower, Drop” — appearing on this format for the first time. Jonas Tiljander (Brainbombs, Bremen) dons his solo Brainman guise for the corrosive synth-scaping of “Kilonova”; Ian Martin, whose SEER radio broadcasts were a significant early influence on the label, manifests the pure astral melancholia of “Missing Realism”; Hypnotic Sleep and associated band The Fulmars offer two iterations of bittersweet Low-German DIY pop, and Unchained a gorgeous, evergreen-dazed guitar instrumental in “Gray d’Aboukir”. “Dawn Swoop”, a suspenseful miniature from Jam Money (Spillage Fete), might just be one the most perfect two minutes in the label’s catalog. There are contributions too from two superheroes in the BEB universe: Bobby Wratten (The Field Mice), with the gorgeous, tremulous “The Munich Post” from his current project Lightning In A Twilight Hour, and Bridget Hayden, who offer the heart-stopping, elegiac drowned-folk of “Solace”.
File Under: Electronic
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkey: Tranquility Base Hotel (Domino) LP
Battles: Juice B Crypts (Warp) LP
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (EMI)LP
Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (EMI) LP
Beatles: Abbey Road (Apple) LP
Beatles: Let it Be (Apple) LP
Beatles: Revolver (Apple) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Beck: Sea Change (Universal) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Black Flag: My War (SST) LP
Big Thief: Capacity (Saddle Creek) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Bon Iver: 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impusle) LP
Gal Costa: India (Mr Bongo) LP
Descendents: Milo Goes to College (SST) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Brian Eno: Ambient 1: Music for Airports (Astralwerks) LP
FKA Twigs: Magdalene (Young Turk) LP
Ryo Fukui: Scenery (We Release Jazz) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (Westbound) LP
Mort Garson: Mother Earth’s Plantasia (Sacred Bones) LP
Grant Green: Alive (Blue Note) LP
Johnny Griffin: Introducing… (Blue Note) LP
Andrew Hill: Point of Departure (Blue Note) LP
Mark Hollis: s/t (Universal) LP
Ikebe Shakedown: The Way Home (Colemine) LP
Ikebe Shakedown: Hard Steppin’ (Colemine) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Infest the Rats Nest (ATO) LP
Kiss: Hotter Than Hell (Universal) LP
Delvin Lamarr Organ Trio: Live at KEXP! (Colemine) LP
Delvin Lamarr Organ Trio: Close But No Cigar (Colemine) LP
Lingua Ignota: Caligula (Profound Lore) LP
Pusha T: Daytona (Universal) LP
Refused: War Music (Spinefarm) LP
Sam Rivers: Fuchsia Swing Song (Blue Note) LP
Wayne Shorter: Adam’s Apple (Blue Note) LP
Horace Silver: Blowin’ the Blues Away (Blue Note) LP
Horace Silver: Cape Verdean Blues (Blue Note) LP
Soul Scratch: Pushing Fire (Colemine) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sure Fire Soul Ensemble: Build Bridges (Colemine) LP
Tragically Hip: Day For Night (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: s/t (Universal) LP
Ulver: Kveldssanger (Century Media) LP
Ulver: Nattens Madrigal (Century Media) LP
Tom Waits: Heart of Saturday Night (Anti) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 1 (Mercury) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 4 (Mercury) LP
Wire: Pink Flag (Pink Flag) LP
Wire: Chairs Missing (Pink Flag) LP
Wire: 154 (Pink Flag) LP
Thom Yorke: Anima (XL) LP