…..news letter #984 – musick to play…..

Hoooooboy…. There’s a lot of new stuff this week. I almost didn’t bother opening this one order today, and then I decided I would and basically doubled the size of the news letter, so… lots to read, see and listen to, and buy! Some absolutely killer stuff in this week, hope you’ve been saving your pennies.

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. We’ll be at the shop 11-6 Monday – Friday & Saturday 11-4. Stay safe!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWS LETTER!!!!

…..picks of the week…..

Coil: Musick to Play in the Dark (Dais) LP
Clear/yellow splatter! We are pretty much sold out already, but hopefully will get some more next week… Few groups in recent history forged as confounding and alchemical a body of work as Coil, the partnership of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and John Balance. From album to album and phase to phase their recordings spelunk perplexing depths of esoteric industrial, occult electronics, and drugged poetry, both embodying and alienating parallel currents of their peers. The late 1990’s in particular were a fertile era for the duo, embracing chance, chaos, and collaboration, enhanced by recent advancements in synthesis and sampling. Fittingly, at the summit of the decade’s long, intoxicated arc, their divergent strains of interstitial ritual congealed into one of Coil’s most celebrated and hallucinatory creations: Musick To Play In The Dark. Convening at Balance and Christopherson’s vast Victorian house/studio in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, they began a series of ambitious sessions aided by inner circle associates Thighpaulsandra and Drew McDowall. Although the creative process was admittedly “iterative” and “a bit of a drug blur,” the results are astoundingly inventive and well realized, winding through shades of divination dirge, wormhole kosmische, noir lounge, ominous humor, and black mass downtempo, guided by Balance’s cryptic lunar muse, which he announces on the opening track: “This is moon musick / in the light of the moon.” What’s most remarkable about the album 20 years after its release is how brazen, insular, and unpredictable it still feels. The songs follow an allusive, altered state logic all their own, warping from microscopic ripples of glitch and breath to widescreen warlock psychedelia and back again, as much hyper-sensory as inter-dimensional. Even within a catalog as eclectic as Coil’s, Musick To Play In The Dark is a mystifying collection, oneiric evocations of desire, decadence, dinner jazz, and dietary advice, far beyond the pale of whatever gothic industrial ambiguity birthed such a journey. The record closes with a slow, starlit shuffle, bathed in seething sweeps of spectral texture and high cathedral keys, like approaching the altar of some arcane temple. As the trance thickens Balance’s voice rises, processed into an increasingly eerie, gaseous haze, but he resists these unseen forces, intent on delivering a final sermon: “Through hissy mists of history / the dreamer is still dreaming / the dreamer is still dreaming.” Reissued for the first time in over 20 years, now on double vinyl LP with the complete, unedited versions of each song and an exclusive “D-side” vinyl art etching. Packaged in a sturdy matte jacket with embossed lettering and spot-gloss design elements. Remastered by engineer Josh Bonati with restored artwork and layout by Nathaniel Young – all under the project supervision of Drew McDowall and Thighpaulsandra.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Industrial
Buy Here

Meitei: Kofū (Kitchen) LP
“We welcome you to Japan, a Japan that is unseen.” It began with Kwaidan, a simmering study on the lost art of Japanese ghost story-telling. Then there was Komachi, baptized in the earthly winds and static that define its comforting sonics. On Kofū, Meitei masterfully closes his trilogy of lost Japanese moods with an engaging interrogation of art forms and aesthetics as a provocation — or, as fashioned in the album’s subtitle, a “satire of old Japanese aesthetics”. Each entry’s distinct flavour has earned Meitei acclaim for conjuring a bygone culture through his transportive form of ambient music. Kofū arrives as a deconstruction of this approach. His first release with KITCHEN. LABEL, Meitei has quietly defied expectations set by his previous two albums, while continuing to challenge modern notions of Japanese sounds. Once again, Meitei resumes his focus on a Japan that has long ceased to be. This time, Kofū is deliberately playful in bridging a sensibility that connects this imagined past to the present. Fractured piano chords are the first to greet you on Kintsugi before they make way for a spectral elegance that parades the haunted mask of Kwaidan on Man’yō. But like an ambient soothsayer schooled in the art of the 808s, Meitei quickly drives Kofū with propulsion on Oiran I, which shares a sibling in Side B track Oiran II. On both songs, he builds tension served up by flickering hip-hop rhythms — achieved by carefully processing old drum and metal sounds — with a subversive spirit unforeseen in any of his work so far. Dissecting vocal recordings to the point of incomprehensibility, Meitei aims for something stirring beyond- words — not unlike J Dilla and his mountain of cut-up soul samples, or The Caretaker with decaying 78s. He abides by a principle attributed to the master Hayao Miyazaki: “Beyond logic speaks of human nature”. Kofū allows full immersion into fragments of the past without the trappings of nostalgia. The tracklist is denoted by prominent (and unseen) figures of this history. Tracks Sadayakko and Otojirō are named after renowned entertainers from the Meiji era, while Nyōbō is dedicated to a long-suffering line of working-class women within a patriarchal Japanese society. The sounds of Oiran, sharing the name of the title bestowed upon courtesans, were sparked after learning about the treatment of red-light district workers within this era. It paints a grim picture of baidoku (also known as syphilis) and its ravage spread. These stories cloud the overall mood of Kofū, but Meitei takes a Mizoguchi-like approach to mould that unimaginable pain with tenderness. Oiran I’s hidden subtitle is Hana, and Oiran II is Shiokaze. As Meitei explains, “Hana means gorgeous and glorious. Shiokaze is the sea breeze — for her life.” Tracks like Urameshi-ya and Gen’ei provide a meditative space amidst the turbulence, while Shōnen takes a turn for the cinematic. The eight-minute odyssey is engulfed by shadowy voice loops, mixed best for a headphone experience in a solitary setting. Meitei bids farewell to an expedition first sparked by a passion for a long-forgotten cultural past. Kofū is a definitive conclusion with an open invitation to listeners from Japan and beyond — encouraging continued appreciation of this sacred part of history, wholly untethered from the world at large. Available on limited edition LP and CD including 16-page inserts with words in Japanese and English from Meitei and design by KITCHEN. LABEL founder Ricks Ang. This record is mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama in Tokyo, Japan.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Samples, Hip Hop, Japan
Buy Here

Joshua Abrams: Represencing (Aguirre) LP
Joshua Abrams’ second album from 2012. With the release of Natural Information in 2010, Joshua Abrams entered into a new phase of his creative life, making music with a deep involving groove that communicates the pulsating energies of the human body and the incessant kaleidoscopic interplay of sensory perceptions. Represencing, recorded in Chicago in the summer of 2011 and originally released the following year by Eremite, was the next stride along this exhilarating path. Once again Abrams gives a key role to the guimbri, a North African bass lute, which he had started to play during the late ’90s following a trip to Morocco. Its sound when plucked is percussive, emphatic from moment to moment, yet also bouncy and rhythmically propulsive, as if naturally springing forward. A time-honored instrument, used traditionally in healing ceremonies, the guimbri in Abrams’ hands offers an invitation to the trance, an expanded present where time intersects with timelessness. As the title Represencing suggests, this is uplifting music with a serious mission — to express that ongoing present and to give voice to our presence, here and now, within time’s continuous flow. Once again, a fine selection of sympathetic friends help Abrams to craft this antidote to the current century’s compulsion to accelerate and its ever-diminishing attention span. They include saxophonist David Boykin, drummer Chad Taylor, and guitarists Jeff Parker and Emmett Kelly. Lisa Alvarado plays harmonium on two tracks. She also provides a painting for the cover art which matches the music beautifully, vivid and vibrant, its interlocking geometry binding fragmentary perceptions into a coherent pattern, self-sufficient yet also clearly part of a far larger picture. By 2012 this fascinating music was taking on a group identity, performed by Abrams with the Natural Information Society. That development was subsequently consolidated with the recording of Magnetoception, released in 2015. Represencing, however, conveys the excited air of an adventure unfolding. Reminiscent in passing of a variety of other musics — of tightly poised jazz, motoric rock and minimalism plus echoes from other cultural traditions — it remains nonetheless a singular statement by an artist rapidly finding his own distinctive voice. The music offered by Represencing is intricate yet direct, hypnotically repetitive yet constantly changing, built to last yet intimately present. Newly remastered at Dubplates & Mastering. 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

…..new arrivals…..

Joshua Abrams: Natural Information (Aguirre) LP
Joshua Abrams’ first Natural Information album from 2010. In his book Powershift, published in 1990, writer and businessman Alvin Toffler predicted that the century ahead would be defined by speed and that time itself is destined to become our most valuable commodity. When Joshua Abrams recorded Natural Information, originally released by Eremite in 2010, he was reacting against such commodification of time and the diminishing attention span that accompanies it by offering music with an irresistible groove, rooted in the sinuous rhythms of the human body and the full play of our senses. At the heart of this music is the sound of the guimbri, a North African three-stringed bass lute, which Abrams started to play following a visit to Morocco during the late ’90s. Traditionally the instrument has a key role in mystical healing ceremonies. Abrams, already a well-established figure in Chicago’s vibrant musical communities, had no desire to repackage tradition. He recognized however that the involving, springy and percussive sound of the guimbri was just the right voice to communicate vital data, to relay the natural information we all need in order to get back in touch with the pulsating continuities of a world we all share. With Natural Information, Abrams entered a new phase of his musical life, extending an invitation to the trance, where time intersects with timelessness. He carried with him a wealth of playing and listening experience. As a bass player he had worked with a host of notable musicians including guitarist Jeff Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake, and had been a member of back porch minimalism outfit Town And Country and the improvising trio Sticks And Stones. The guimbri is a shaping presence on this remarkable recording, but Abrams also plays bass, bells, kora, sampler and synthesizer. Sympathetic friends including guitarist Emmett Kelly, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, and drummers Frank Rosaly and Nori Tanaka join him for the project. They set out not to contrive some neat hybrid but to enable coordinated energies and enriching influences to pulse and flow through living, breathing music. Ten years further into a century seemingly dedicated, as Toffler foresaw, to the survival of the fastest, the deep involving groove of Natural Information seems still more relevant, more illuminating, more vital. Newly remastered at Dubplates & Mastering. 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Aging: Sentenced to Love (Gizeh) LP
Directly influenced by the film noir tradition and the hardboiled detective novels of yesteryear, Aging craft gloom heavy mood music that aspires to create a cinema without image. Sentenced To Love is the pinnacle of the band’s work. Led by David McLean, Aging’s fourth album is a direct continuation of the music he was commissioned to make during his 2017 Samarbeta Residency with The Crime Scene Ensemble, a 15-piece band of actors and jazz musicians formed to live soundtrack the short stories of pulp fiction writer and collage artist Phil Carney. Chronicling tales full of obsession, longing, double crosses, and murder, the same thematic and melodic gravitas is present in Sentenced To Love, largely due to a handpicked selection of musicians from Manchester’s avant-garde and experimental music scenes being involved in both. Whereas previous records by the band have largely been improvised, the six brooding scenes that complete Sentenced To Love reveal a new compositional rigor and emotional weight, whilst still retaining pockets of nocturnal improvisation, each carefully crafted to create their own distinct and filmic sound world. From the low lit, dive bar blues of “Nights In Amber” to the gun out chase theme of “The Trapped Man”, the nameless cowboy ghost story “A Shadow On My Name” and the redemptive odyssey of “Cursed With The Thirst”, Aging’s detailed mise-en-scene full of brass, double bass, simmering drums and reverb drenched guitars conjures the pantheon of noir cinema. This is no truer than on the album’s title track, a vampiric torch song whose crescendo soars with Ali Bell’s lamenting, tremulous vocals, which act as a midnight confession of a doomed romance. In an age where most musicians are attempting to free themselves from limitations, Aging’s Sentenced To Love stands proudly as a genre record, one evoking the tradition of the jazz ballad, designed to swallow the listener into the dark cascade of its drama.

File Under: Jazz, Noir
Buy Here

Richard Band: Ghoulies (WRWTFWW) LP+7″
180 gram pink vinyl; heavy gatefold sleeve with full movie gallery, obi strip, video store stickers, bonus 7″ vinyl. WRWTFWW Records announce the first ever release of Richard Band’s full uncut soundtrack for cult horror comedy classic Ghoulies (1985). One of the most sought-after soundtracks from horror/sci-fi/fantasy film scoring master Richard Band, Ghoulies is finally getting the full official release it deserves. Packed with 16 tracks, plus two bonuses by Fela Johnson (including the fan-favorite “Dancing with a Monster”, a true disco-monster!), it beautifully flows, covering all aspects of ’80s B-movie horror music, from eerie vibes to palpable tension, full on satanic darkness, epic momentums, and just the right amount of wackiness. Band has a true talent for subtle tones and precise moods, fully capable of taking you on an uninterrupted magical ride/listening experience — one that feels like a trip to a 1985 video store and a whole world of mysterious treasures to discover! This is released in conjunction with the soundtracks of Empire Pictures’ TerrorVision (WRWTFWW 046LTD) and Troll (WRWTFWW 045CD/LTD), also out on WRWTFWW Records. Established by producer and director Charles Band in 1986, Empire Pictures quickly became notorious for the horror-comedy classics made during its brief but legendary lifespan. With wild special effects, outrageous humor and over-the-top horror action, Ghoulies, Troll, and TerrorVision are three of Empire’s finest works, and each movie feature an unforgettable score by Charles’s award-winning composer brother, Richard Band. Contains liner notes by Richard Band himself.

File Under: OST
Buy Here

Richard Band: Terror Visions OST (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records announces the official reissue of Richard Band’s director’s cut soundtrack for sci-fi horror comedy classic, TerrorVision (1986). People of Earth Your planet is about to be destroyed… We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience. Conceived as a late 1960s Lost in Space type score with an ’80s electronic twist, TerrorVision is one of the most unique soundtracks in Richard Band’s discography. Part oddball adventure, part eerie soundscape, it mixes the fun and flashy colors of the era with synth explorations that flirt with minimalism and experimental music. Band composed with a Yamaha CS70 plus twin ARP 2800s, a mini Moog synthesizer, as well as DX5 and DX7 keyboards, creating a groovy twilight zone of electrifying alien funk. The soundtrack also includes five numbers by deliriously wild LA band The Fibonaccis. One of a kind — like the movie itself! This is released in conjunction with the soundtracks of Empire Pictures’ Ghoulies (WRWTFWW 047CD/LTD) and Troll (WRWTFWW 045CD/LTD), also out on WRWTFWW Records. Established by producer and director Charles Band in 1983, Empire Pictures quickly became notorious for the horror-comedy classics made during its brief but legendary lifespan. With wild special effects, outrageous humor and over-the-top horror action, Ghoulies, Troll, and TerrorVision were three of Empire’s finest works, and each movie featured an unforgettable score by Charles’s award-winning composer brother, Richard Band. Includes liner notes by Richard Band himself. 180 gram blue vinyl; heavy gatefold sleeve with full movie gallery, obi strip, video store stickers.

File Under: OST
Buy Here

Richard Band: Troll (WRWTFWW) LP
180 gram, yellow vinyl; gatefold sleeve with full movie gallery, obi strip, video store stickers. WRWTFWW Records announce the official reissue of Richard Band’s soundtrack for horror fantasy classic Troll (1986). The infamous Troll score is its very own kind of monster: an extended five-movement symphony conducted by Richard Band in full sorcery mode, creating exhilarating moments of excitement and seat-gripping intensity. At the center of the magnum opus lies the incredible “Cantos Profanae” and its chorus sung in a mix of old English, Gaelic, and Latin — an irresistible magic rhythm, an anthem of fantasy, a true cult classic. Richard Band often cites Troll as one of his favorite works — no wonder, it’s absolutely amazing. This is released in conjunction with the soundtracks of Empire Pictures’ Ghoulies (WRWTFWW 047CD/LTD) and TerrorVision (WRWTFWW 046LTD), also out on WRWTFWW Records. Established by producer and director Charles Band in 1983, Empire Pictures quickly became notorious for the horror-comedy classics made during its brief but legendary lifespan. With wild special effects, outrageous humor and over-the-top horror action, Ghoulies, Troll, and TerrorVision were three of Empire’s finest works, and each movie featured an unforgettable score by Charles’s award-winning composer brother, Richard Band. Contains liner notes by Richard Band himself.

File Under: OST
Buy Here

Steffan Basho-Junghans: Dancer on the Hill (Architects of Harmonic Rooms) LP
Steffen Basho-Junghans is a steel-string guitar maestro that has spent the last 50 years honing his craft. Growing up in the wild and natural landscape of Thuringia, in GDR Germany has greatly influenced his work and connection to nature. Being on the eastern side of the then still standing Berlin wall meant that 17-year-old Steffen Junghans had to teach himself the guitar by listening to the rare and much coveted dubbed-cassette tapes that managed to make it over the wall. “Outside” music might have been hard to come by but ensured that he had to go “inside” and carve his own special path. While John Fahey’s Takoma-school of American Primitive can be heard in his playing, none can be held in higher esteem than his name-sake Robbie Basho. He was so taken by the spirituality within Robbie Basho’s music, complimented by the power of the 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō’s poetry that he took on the name “Basho” to ensure Robbie’s name and (more importantly) the power of his music was not forgotten.

File Under: Guitar Soli, Folk, Blues
Buy Here

d

Harry Bertoia: Glowing Sounds (Sonambient) LP
Harry Bertoia’s Glowing Sounds LP contains three versions of the same composition, each transferred at different tape speeds in accordance with the artist’s instructions. This is the third LP to be released from Bertoia’s extensive tape archive and it’s the first, of many, to be released using instructions left behind by the artist himself. Bertoia wrote the concept for this Glowing Sounds LP on a note in 1975 and slipped it into the master tape case where it sat unread for 45 years. The idea was simple, transfer the original recording at its original speed and two slower speeds. Bertoia noticed that the results, however, were profound. Recorded on January 20, 1975 using two large gongs, Glowing Sounds is one of the most powerfully minimal recordings yet discovered in Bertoia’s collection. The artist’s note left with the tape indicated that it was recorded at a speed of 15 IPS (inches per second) but slowing it down to speeds of 7.5 IPS and 3.25 IPS were quite effective for enhanced playback. Side A features the original 15 IPS recording and the 50% slower 7.5 IPS recording. Side B features a 20-minute, ultra-slow version at 3.25 IPS. Long, deep drones and powerful overtones define the sound of this recording. Comparison of the three speeds provides a revealing magnification of Bertoia’s gongs, overtones and the artist’s inventive approach to performance, composition and recording.

File Under: Avant Garde, Drone, Sound Sculpture
Buy Here

Tim Blake: Crystal Machine (Trading Places) LP
Trading Places present a reissue of Tim Blake’s Crystal Machine, originally released in 1977. British synthesizer wizard Tim Blake became a mainstay of the adventurous musical Gong collective in the mid-1970s and joined legendary rockers Hawkwind by the end of the decade. In between, he recorded a number of experimental solo albums, of which the first, Crystal Machine, was the most innovative and ambitious. An album taken from epic live performances staged at the Seasalter festival in 1976 and at Paris’s Palace Theatre in 1977, the disc had four extended synthesizer suites and a locked fragment at the end, all featuring Blake on various futuristic keyboards, including an EMS Synthis A, a Minimoog, and an Elka Rhapsody, as well as an EMS Frequency Shifter, an MXR Flanger, and a Sony TC Tape Deck Echo, performing in tandem with a Spectra Physics 164 Argon Laser, and a Crystal Machine Projector, operated by Patrice Warrener for maximum trippy-ness. The result is an innovative masterpiece of ambient electronica with a touch of jazz-funk, as heard most noticeably on “Metro Logice” and “Last Ride Of The Boogie Child.” This is a deep dive into all that is possible in the realm of the synthesizer, repeated listening revealing the hefty skill woven in layers of dexterous playing. Licensed by Cherry Red.

File Under: Electronic, Prog, Synth
Buy Here

Clifford Brown & Max Roach: Study in Brown (Acoustic Sounds Series)
(Verve) LP

When these nine sides were cut in February 1955, trumpeter Clifford Brown was not even 25 years old, but he’d already emerged as jazz’s greatest trumpeter this side of Miles Davis. Whereas Davis made his mark through conception, composition, and cool tones, Brown was a blowing, blaring, blistering fire who navigated chord changes without a second’s pause. This record gives listeners plenty of chance to marvel at his fleet improvisations and sharp tone, which remarkably never lost its fullness at any speed. The m.o. of the quintet was pretty well set at this point: reinvigorated standards augmented by crafty introductions and taken at full bore; sprite originals with complex melodies; and an urgency unmatched in jazz before or since. Pianist Richie Powell and tenor Harold Land admirably keep pace with the leaders. This all-analog 180g vinyl LP reissue was mastered from the original analog tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound, pressed at QRP, and comes housed in a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket.

File Under: Jazz, Audiophile
Buy Here 

John Carpenter: Lost Themes III: Alive After Death (Sacred Bones) LP
Red vinyl! Much has changed in the musical life of renowned composer and director John Carpenter since 2016’s Lost Themes II. Following the release of that album, he went on his first-ever concert tour, performing material from the Lost Themes albums, as well as music from his classic film scores. He re-recorded many of those classic movie themes for 2017’s Anthology album, working alongside son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies. The following year, he was asked to executive produce and compose the music for the new Halloween movie directed by David Gordon Green, which promptly became the highest-grossing installment in the series. Now, he returns with his first album of non-soundtrack music in nearly five years, Lost Themes III: Alive After Death. Underpinning Carpenter’s renaissance as a musician has been his collaboration with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. They’ve composed and performed as a trio throughout this entire run, on studio albums, on soundtracks, and onstage. Here, the trio reaches a new level of creative mind meld. Richly rendered worlds are built in the interplay between Daniel’s guitar and the dueling synthesizers played by the Carpenters. “We begin with a theme, a bass line, a pad, something that sounds good and will lead us to the next layer,” John says of the trio’s process. “We then just keep adding on from there. We understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, how to communicate without words, and the process is easier now than it was in the beginning. We’ve matured.” John called the first Lost Themes album “a soundtrack for the movies in your mind.” On Alive After Death, those movies are even more vivid. The song titles here are among his most evocative, too. Lead single “Weeping Ghost” thrillingly conjures its title figure in a wash of synthesizer, making the listener’s neck hairs stand on end as the aural specter stalks the halls of a dilapidated mansion. The pulsing “The Dead Walk” makes the zombie apocalypse feel like a rave. The gloomy, atmospheric closing track “Carpathian Darkness” casts shadow on the album with its strikingly effective minimal piano and splashes of twinkling synth. Each of the ten songs is a universe unto itself. Whereas the original Lost Themes album came as a pleasant surprise after years of relative silence from Carpenter, the third installment sees him in the midst of a resurgent moment as a cultural force. The 2018 Halloween score gave his music its biggest audience in decades, and the world he releases his new album into is one that has, at long last, given him the credit he deserves as a founding father of modern electronic music.

File Under: Electronic, OST
Buy Here

Brian Case: Parallel Voices (Hands in the Dark) LP
Chicagoan Brian Case is returning to Hands in the Dark with his fourth release under his own name, Parallel Voices. In a sense, the album is elliptical: Whilst, musically speaking, the American artist comes back to the start of his solo work by producing a fully instrumental album, he also delivers a story which informs the landscape Case lives in now, and always imbibes it with a sense of tension and dark undercurrents. You might think at first that the voice he uses is abstract, however the work leads us to realise that music is the language itself, delivering a concrete narrative through the album. The message flows freely, with a palpable friction bubbling at the surface all the way through, mirroring the tense and disturbing atmosphere that has settled across the globe over the last few months. Brian Case takes us in a new artistic direction with his most personal album to date, in the form of an urgent and poignant testimony.

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Chromatics: Faded Now (Italians Do It Better) LP
CHROMATICS return with a fourteen-track album featuring both new material and remix tracks from their recent Closer To Grey album. Colored vinyl pressing.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Contemporary Jazz Quintet: The Black Hole (180 Proof) LP
“This previously unreleased limited edition legendary live concert, CJQ The Black Hole, 180 Gram 2xLP Gatefold vinyl of 1000 copies was remastered from the original reel to reel master tapes. The original artwork has been restored and includes the original design sketches for the album. Due to the unpredictability nature of live recordings, there is some noise distortion that we tried earnestly to fix!”

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Alvin Curran/Roberto Laneri/Giancarlo Schiaffer: Beat ’72 Lost Date (Eargong) LP
An unearthed treasure from the ’70s Italian avant garde archives! A previously unreleased recording from the legendary Beat72 club in Rome in 1973, featuring a one-off Italian-American all-star ensemble with Roberto Laneri founding member of the experimental vocal group Prima Materia, maverick American composer Alvin Curran co-founder of Musica Elettronica Viva. Trombone specialist Giancarlo Schiaffini from the historical Gruppo di improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Cello virtuoso Frances Marie Uitti, close collaborator of the likes of J. Cage and G. Scelsi. Bassist Bruno Tommaso from the legendary Gruppo Romano Free Jazz and American composer Tony Ackerman from the obscure Suonosfera group. Highly creative music which defies categories and boundaries. A historical document! Additional booklet contains extensive liner notes and photos.

File Under: Italian, Avant Garde
Buy Here

Dead Sea Apes & Black Tempest: The Sun Behind the Sun (Feeding Tube) LP
Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records present a long-awaited reissue of Dead Sea Apes & Black Tempest’s The Sun Behind The Sun. This reissue is presented in a reflective Mirri Board reflective outer sleeve. Manchester’s Dead Sea Apes and Godalming’s Black Tempest engage in a mind meld of galactic proportions on this; both band’s first outing on vinyl. Both entities weave together seamlessly as “Grey Alphabets” recalls Goblin’s giallo soundtracks, whilst “Wilder Penfield” pulses with post-punk metal-loid Harmonia kraut vibes. Side two is given over to the 25+minute “Heliopause” — a dubby astral meditation, where Oneida meet Tangerine Dream in an elongated komische drift. For fans of: Harmonia, Oneida, Goblin, Mogwai, Tangerine Dream.

File Under: Psych
Buy Here

Dead Sea Apes: Night Lands (Feeding Tube) LP
“Hot on the heels of last year’s drone masterpiece, The Free Territory, comes this hot bowl of noodles from Manchester’s most elegantly wasted quintet. And while there might be apt comparisons to be made to some of the best current psych purveyors, the central thrill provided by these sounds makes me think of naught but prime Bay Area ballroom scene acid spew. The guitar lines unspool like electrical cables filled with acid punch, and remain crackling in the air for moments longer than you imagine they can remain afloat. The keys have a bit of a German overtone, but it’s the same sort of one that led to the flash of Popol Vuh’s United Artist albums (which are themselves, at heart, paeans to the Bay.) The sound here is the sort of thing true believers recall as the highest moments of Man in live concert flight. Raging, raving guitars to soak your soul once and for all. Don’t fear the downpour. Revel in it.” –Byron Coley, 2020

File Under: Psych
Buy Here

Dead South: Served Live (Six Shooter) LP
The Dead South, a gold rush vibing four-piece acoustic set from Saskatchewan, infuse the genre’s traditional trappings with an air of frontier recklessness, whiskey breakfasts and grizzled tin-pan showmanship. Their sound, build on a taut configuration of cello, mandolin, banjo and guitar, speeds like a train past polite definitions of acoustic music into the grittier, rowdier spaces of the bluegrass world. Served Live is the new double-live album from The Dead South recorded in iconic venues during the band’s Served Cold Tour across Canada, the USA and, the UK in late 2019 and early 2020.
File Under: Folk, Country, Bluegrass
Buy Here

Jeremiah Fraites: Piano Piano (Dualtone) LP
The Lumineers co-founder, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremiah Fraites’ solo debut album “Piano Piano” will be release on January 22nd through Dualtone Records. A collection of songs that’s been in the works for the better part of a decade, “Piano Piano” features gorgeous, intimate piano-centric instrumental songs capturing Fraites’ reflective moments from his Denver home.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Joana Guerra: Chao Vermehlo (Miasma) LP
Chão Vermelho (Red Floor) is a collection of ritualistic, lamenting pieces influenced by the increasingly dry ground of the surrounding area of central Portugal from where cellist and singer Joana Guerra resides. An environment of experimentation and risk transports you to an apocalyptic scenario in which the extreme dryness of a ground where nothing can grow anymore is accompanied by dramatic, theatrical compositions. As a murmur or a pagan prayer, the pieces evoke the ever imminent possibility of regeneration: “The name of the album is inspired by the area where I live, with muddy soil. It fascinates me a lot, although the drought and its cracks make me feel terrible,” explains Joana. Perhaps because the floor covering the earth, like a skin of deep cracks, attests to the tiredness, the wrinkles, of civilization. Small blue-metallic flowers, a white animal about to go extinct, rare stones that only exist in two latitudes, the color red as a warning sign, ecological sound, but also as a sign of renewal, as in women in their blood cycles. All of this makes up the universe of Joana Guerra’s Chão Vermelho. And as long as the mycelium feels our presence, perhaps there is hope for this ground and for such a woman who in her cycles of renewal is too earthy to be holy. All compositions are by Joana Guerra who, in addition to cello and voice, her main instruments, ventures on Portuguese guitar, prepared electric guitar and keyboard. She is joined by Maria do Mar on the violin and Carlos Godinho on percussion and objects, as well as the contributions of Sofia Queiróz Orê-Ibir and Bernardo Barata, respectively bass and voice. Brick red vinyl; edition of 300.

File Under: Classical, Portugal
Buy Here

Guided By Voices: Styles We Paid For (GBV) LP
Styles We Paid For is Guided By Voices’ third album of 2020 and it stands as a testament to this Year In Isolation, reflecting these dark days through Robert Pollard’s prism, with the band sounding as confident and authoritative as ever. The fifteen tracks were recorded remotely during quarantine from five states (Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee) to comprise GBV’s ninth album since 2017. Pollard’s searing vocals hold center stage, with endless melodic invention and impeccable phrasing. The massively crescendo-ing opening track “Megaphone Riley” seems to be inspired by a diabolical politician-in-chief, and like an indie-rock Nostradamus, presciently highlights the “Jumbo Virus”, while in the final couplet of the album closer “When Growing Was Simple” Pollard urges “Don’t drink and drive / stay at home and eat”. Other album highlights include include Big Rock standouts like the incredibly hooky “Mr. Child” with the band in full arena rock power swing, while the titular protagonist is mentioned by name no less than sixteen times; the touching beauty and lyrical relevance of “Stops” and the majestically elegant “In Calculus Stratagem”, a bubbly pop rock joyride in “Crash at Lake Placebo”; the subtle current-day technological observations of “They Don’t Play The Drums Anymore” and the sleek “Electronic Windows To Nowhere” (written by a man who owns neither a smart phone or a computer). It’s notably heavy in it’s worldliness, lyrical content, texture, and approach—and rides out like a cinematic journey of the bizarro world one find oneself in. While other bands have been napping, GBV have achieved their second consecutive hat-trick (three albums per annum), and have further cemented their status as rock legends for achieving more in this bleak year then most bands do across their entire careers.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Judith Hamann: Shaking Studies (Blank Forms) LP
Nomadic Australian cellist and composer Judith Hamann presents two collections of her sonic inquiries into shaking and humming. Her LP, Shaking Studies, is a collection of iterative cello performance that foregrounds shaking as a generative subject. In addition to an arsenal of techniques for registrable shaking, Hamann’s conception of the term emphasizes micro and macro pulsing, including tremors, vibrato, wolf tones, and complex partial activity. Hamann begins with a sphygmological reading of the pulse of her cello, inciting it to shake audibly and visually as a symbiotic basis for determining the rate of her own left hand’s tremor and consequent direction of resonant frequencies. Following a thorough harmonic investigation of her shaking practice in two parts, she directs us to look outwards, combining beating chordal structures with electronics and recordings of real world shaking. From inner pulse to more macrocosmic quaking, Hamann’s alternative conception of shaking rejects measurement and regularity, order and control, instead alluding to a more responsive and intuitive mode of convulsive sounding. It’s presented alongside the CD set, Music for Cello and Humming (BF 018CD). Judith Hamann undertook her doctoral studies with renowned cellist Charles Curtis, with whom she is currently engaged in a discourse-based project, “Materialities of Realisation.” She has additionally demonstrated a superlative capacity for improvisation and engagement with sonic arts through work with artists Dennis Cooper, Éliane Radigue, Áine O’Dwyer, Ilan Volkov, Toshimaru Nakamura, La Monte Young, and Marian Zazeela, Golden Fur, Jessika Kenney, Anna Homler, Yvette Janine Jackson, and Lori Goldston, among others. Her recorded appearances include Tashi Wada’s Duets, Graham Lambkin’s Community, Alvin Lucier’s Illuminated By The Moon, and Gossamers, with Rosalind Hall. Edition of 500.

File Under: Avant Garde, Minimalism
Buy Here

PJ Harvey: Is This Desire? (Island) LP
Once again co-produced with Flood, PJ Harvey’s fourth studio album Is This Desire? followed-up the highly decorated To Bring You My Love. Recorded in London and Dorset between 1997 and 1998 while withdrawing from the celebrity that came as a by-product of her first three critically acclaimed albums, the cerebral 12-song set reflects that isolation with slow building soundscapes and hushed dynamics on singles like “A Perfect Day Elise” and “The Wind.” It attracted plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic and garnered nominations for The Brits and The Grammy Awards. This heavyweight 180g vinyl LP reissue is faithful to the original recording and package, with cutting by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey producer Head. Full color outer sleeve, with printed inner sleeve.

File Under: Rock, Pop
Buy Here

Heliocentrics: Quatermass Sessions: From the Deep (Now Again) LP
“Returning after their Last Transmission collaborative album with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs — Quatermass Studios — with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals Rolling Stone describes as ‘sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.;”

File Under: Funk
Buy Here

Michael Hurley: Blue Navigator (Feeding Tube) LP
“Pleased as punch are we to be reissuing Michael Hurley’s long-lost 1984 album, Blue Navigator. Admittedly, Secret Seven and Mississippi collaborated on a dandy 8-track version a decade ago, but the record has mostly been available as an obscure import CD — if at all — for many a year. The reason for this is that the Rooster Records HQ burned down in 1987, taking master tapes, extra covers and whatever else there was with it. This was a general bummer, but especially so for us Hurley fans, since his final LP with Rounder was Snockgrass in 1980, and he didn’t hook up with Fundamental to do Watertower until 1987. The disappearance of Blue Navigator from this earth left a sizable hole. Which we’d now like to think has been plugged. Recorded with a cast of Northern Vermont hepcats including guitarist Jon Weber (of Dan Hicks’ original Hot Licks), head Rooster William Wright on guitar and mandolin, Nancy Beavan on vocals, Gordon Stone on pedal steel and various other goners, all playing some sweet rural swing displaying exactly how Hurley became the toast of the snowmobile club circuit during his days in the North Country. A mix of old favorites — ‘Werewolf,’ ‘Open Up (Eternal Lips)’ — new favorites — ‘Code of the Mountains,’ ‘Ghost Woman Blues’ — and even a re-write — ‘Blue Navigator’ — it’s a great, very casual sounding session, revealing more layers the more you listen. The instrumentation varies a lot between tunes, but the music always flows with Snocky grace and assurance. For this reissue, Michael has written a set of illustrated liner notes that scoot around just the way his conversation does on a long car ride. Which makes me miss the open road as much as anything else today. Just close your eyes, sink back into the music on Blue Navigator and pretend you’re drifting through the hills and valleys of the Green Mountain State on your way to a cold growler of beer. You’ll soon feel like a million bucks. Promise!” –Byron Coley, 2020

File Under: Folk
Buy Here

Calvin Johnson: Cinder Grove (Vin Du Select Qualitite) LP
The follow-up to Chuck Johnson’s acclaimed Balsams LP (VDSQ 021LP), The Cinder Grove delves further into the compositional possibilities of the pedal steel guitar. This halcyon collection of tracks draws on a wider palette of sounds, adding strings and piano, to dive deeper into the sound bath of Johnson’s meditative music. The Cinder Grove is a profound, affecting statement on the nature of loss and irreplaceability as well as a major addition to the canon of Johnson’s work. It’s a suite of requiems for lost places. Many of the spaces that once fostered affordable living and creative work now only exist in sonic memory, like the echoes of ghosts. Like much of the California landscape in recent years, some of these spaces having succumbed to fire. Others, to the equally inexorable forces of gentrification. While his 2017 LP Balsams was intended to provide the listener with a space for respite and calm — even healing — The Cinder Grove seeks to remember what has been lost while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the natural world. In making The Cinder Grove, Johnson dug through archival recordings from Oakland DIY performance spaces to digitally extract their reverb and echo qualities. He then applied these effects — as well as the digitally modeled reverberation of a redwood forest — to the tracks on The Cinder Grove, allowing the pieces to bask in the lush virtual spaces, and in the process realized that these sonic re-constructions can only ever be approximations. We try to make spaces what we want them to be, whether in memory or in the material present.

File Under: Ambient, Guitar
Buy Here

July: The Second of July (Trading Places) LP
Trading Places present a reissue of July’s The Second of July, demos for their debut album recorded in 1968. The obscure west London psychedelic rock act, July, arose from the ashes of rhythm and blues group The Tomcats, who had some success in Spain in the mid-60s after absorbing members of fellow musical travelers, Second Thoughts. Back in London in 1968, co-founder Tom Newman, later known for his engineering and production work on Tubular Bells, shifted the group into psychedelic mode with his guitar friend, Pete Cook, writing material that would draw the guitarist/bandleader Spencer Davis in a management role, leading to a contract with Major Minor records for their self-titled debut LP, which failed to chart, but the inclusion of songs such as “My Clown”, “Dandelion Seeds”, and “The Way” on various compilations have assured a strong underground following. The rare demos that make up The Second of July date from before the debut album was recorded and reveal the group in all their evolving experimental glory, the sound not only blending psychedelic rock and pop with lush harmonies, intricate lead guitar, and scintillating keyboards, but also including Indian elements such as sitar and tabla (and Indian-derived chord sequences), plus trippy tape loops and phasing. Licensed by Cherry Red.

File Under: Psych
Buy Here

Alina Kalancea: Impedance (Important) LP
Alina Kalancea’s Impedance is an entirely instrumental album spanning four sides, contains powerful rhythmic sequences, heart-beating frequencies and hypnotic loops that are paradoxically encapsulated in carefully crafted compositions which are full of secret passages and hidden doors. Kalancea’s work creates ungraspable sonic experiences, which overtakes you, immersing its listeners in powerful and mind-altering soundscapes. There’s no quick payoff on Impedance. This is the sound of new, patient electronic music, full of depth and substance. Alina Kalancea is a Romanian sound artist and composer based in Modena, Italy. She has studied sound design and synthesis with Enrico Cosimi and collaborated with producer Alex Gamez, and artists Julia Kent and Raven Bush. Highly recommended to fans of Eleh, Caterina Barbieri, Shasta Cults, Jessica Ekomane, Eliane Radigue, and Alessandro Cortini. Packaged in a deluxe, heavy duty tip-on gatefold sleeves printed by Stoughton; cut by Golden Mastering and pressed at RTI.

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Sugai Ken: Tone River (Field) LP
Caught somewhere between environmental sound studies and surrealist sonic architecture, Sugai Ken helps mark the 30th release of Field Records with an ambitious new album. Commissioned by the Dutch Embassy in Tokyo, Tone River is the product of a year’s intensive work between artist and label, created in part to examine the relationship between Japan and the Netherlands with regard to water management. While its doors to the Western world were closed during the 17th and 18th centuries, Japan kept abreast of Western science via a Dutch trade post in the bay of Nagasaki. When the country changed from a feudal society to a modern democracy through the turn of the 19th century, Dutch engineers lent their expertise to large-scale water management projects. One of the most prestigious projects of the time was the Tone River, which stretches 322 kilometers across Honshu, Japan’s largest island. For this project, Sugai Ken traveled to three points across the Tone River and used regular, binaural and underwater microphones to record environmental sounds, seeking to express the change in landscape of the river in its flow into the Pacific Ocean. On Tone River, these varied recordings are interspersed and juxtaposed with Ken’s distinctive take on synthesis, where raw and precisely sculpted textures and tones interact in stark, neutral space. On this conceptually rigorous, yet beguiling and free-flowing record, Sugai Ken glides between the elemental and hyper-synthetic in a flexible exploration of sound and story.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Field Recording, Japan
Buy Here

Calvin Keys: Shawn-Neeq (Real Gone) LP
Calvin Keys’s 1971 debut album for the Black Jazz Records label announced the arrival of a new star in the jazz guitar firmament. Keys had spent the ‘60s backing up the crème de la crème of jazz organists—Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Richard “Groove” Holmes—but for his first record as a leader, he was eager to play with a piano player instead. So he recruited one of the best—Larry Nash, who, besides being a member of the L.A. Express, played with everybody from Eddie Harris to Bill Withers to Etta James. Bassist Lawrence Evans, drummer Bob Braye, and flautist-songwriter Owen Marshall rounded out the group on Shawn-Neeq, which might remind some of Pat Metheny’s early work (Metheny acknowledges Keys as an influence), or Grant Green. But what gives Shawn-Neeq extra depth is that it comes from the heart; as Keys says in Pat Thomas’ liner notes, which feature an interview with the artist: “My thing was, I write about some of the experiences that I’ve had in my life.” Keys has since become a fixture in the Bay Area jazz scene; this is the album that started his journey. Another gem from the celebrated Black Jazz catalog, freshly remastered for CD and vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision and ready to be savored!

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Erkin Koray: Halimem (Pharaway Sound) LP
Pharaway Sounds presents a compilation dedicated to Erkin Koray, the father of Anatolian rock/Turkish psych. Halimem includes rare single and cassette-only tracks (mostly from 1970-72, plus three killer ones from 1987). Expect a fabulous mix of Turkish melodies/grooves with hard-rock and psych. Artwork by Sara Gossett.

File Under: Psych, Turkey
Buy Here

The Last: Look Again (House Arrest) LP+7″
Blue vinyl & bonus 7″! The Last’s album, Look Again, was recorded 40 years ago and never released. The short story is that The Last’s debut, LA Explosion had made them one of the bigger bands in the LA scene playing shows with X, The Germs, even having The Go-Gos open for them a few times. Following the release of LA Explosion, The Last had major label attention but rather than sign and record using a label’s money, the band decided to record it themselves, shop it around and sign with the highest bidder. Simple enough. They went into the newly created studio owned and operated by Jo Julian of the band, Berlin, and recorded Look Again. Jo Julian wouldn’t let them touch his fancy new board and insisted on mixing the record himself. The band hated the resulting mix and ended up shelving the record rather than let anyone hear it. Despite the band hating the sound of the record, their manager had some test pressings made to shop. This time, not one label made an offer. Those test presses now fetch over $800 on Discogs. Everyone thought the record was lost forever, even the band. Through some luck another set of tapes from those original sessions were recently discovered and the band was able to take the tapes to a new studio and mix Look Again exactly how they always envisioned the songs sounding. And this is the record we have for you today. After 40 long years, The Last Look Again is here.

File Under: Punk
Buy Here

Peggy Lee: Black Coffee (Acoustic Sounds Series) (Verve) LP
Peggy Lee was 32 years old when she walked into the Decca label’s recording studios in midtown New York to lay down the tracks for what became the defining Black Coffee. Remarkably, it was the singer’s first album, even though she had a swathe of hit singles to her name. Recorded across three sessions – held on April 30 and May 1 and 4, 1953 – with producer Milt Gabler at the helm, Lee was accompanied by pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Max Wayne and drummer Ed Shaughnessy, plus a horn player, trumpeter Pete Candoli, who became a stalwart of the West Coast jazz scene. Sipping cognac sweetened with honey in between takes, Lee and her band recreated the intimate vibe of a jazz club performance, putting down eight tracks whose blend of languor and nocturnal reverie helped to cement Lee’s status as a torch-song goddess. Black Coffee wasn’t a random collection of songs. As Dr Tish Oney, author of Peggy Lee: A Century Of Song, explains: “She created one of the first concept albums with Black Coffee. To that point, albums hadn’t necessarily had any thread linking the songs together, but Black Coffee was one of the very first that had a theme. The songs have to do with love, but not in the manner that it had been dealt with previously. The album is a darker exploration of imperfect love relationships, and I think a lot of people could relate to that.” In 1954, the eight-song version of Black Coffee was issued on Decca as a 10″ LP, but in 1956 Lee added four more tracks to the album for a 12″ vinyl release. She cut them with a different set of musicians: pianist Lou Levy, guitarist Bill Pitman, bassist Buddy Clark, drummer/vibraphonist Larry Bunker and harpist Stella Castellucci. Together they accompanied Lee on an exquisite version of George Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” along with three contrasting ballads: “Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good To You,” the utterly bewitching “You’re My Thrill” and “There’s A Small Hotel.” “Black Coffee has never been really eclipsed,” noted Oney, summing up the album’s unique qualities. “The music is timeless. Peggy Lee’s expression and musical excellence on it is truly outstanding. She shows so many hats that she could wear and doesn’t sound like the same artist, song after song after song. That’s very hard to accomplish.” Though Peggy Lee went on to record albums that were more commercially successful, Black Coffee was a defining moment in her career and the artistic high point of her Decca tenure. This all-analog 180g vinyl LP reissue was mastered from the original analog tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound, pressed at QRP, and comes housed in a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket. 

File Under: Jazz, Audiophile
Buy Here

Bill Loose: Russ Meyer’s Cherry … & Harry & Raquel OST (Real Gone) LP
A western film noir mixed with softcore sex scenes and a Reefer Madness-style warning about the perils of marijuana…it’s all there in Cherry…& Harry & Raquel, one of Russ Meyer’s wackiest romps. But composer William “Bill” Loose is up to the task of bridging some yawning gaps in style and plot. Loose is one of those cult composers whose work you’ve heard much more than you’ve heard of the man himself. During WWII, he led the U.S. Army Air Forces Orchestra in New York, and then was hired in the mid-‘50s to be in charge of Capitol’s extensive musical cue library (at one time two dozen TV shows were using his cues)! From there he branched out into composing themes for shows like The Hollywood Squares and serving as Musical Director for The Doris Day Show. Starting in the late ‘60s, though, Loose’s career took a sharp left turn, as he composed soundtracks for some of the most notorious “B” movies of all time including the outlaw biker film The Rebel Rousers and Jack Hill’s The Swinging Cheerleaders. But what lends his career true cult status is without a doubt the work he did for sexploitation director Russ Meyer; Loose composed the soundtracks for many of Meyer’s films, but unfortunately Cherry…& Harry & Raquel is one of only two that were released on LP. Which is too bad…it’s a rollicking mix of rock and roll, absurdist program music, bump-and-grind jazz, and old-fashioned widescreen, string-heavy vistas, with an assist from fellow soundtrack composer Stu Phillips, whose fantastic garage pop tune “Toys of Our Time” (performed by “The Jacks & Balls”) appears twice, once in mono, once in stereo. Limited edition of 750 copies pressed in cherry red vinyl (first-ever vinyl reissue!), and mastered at 45 R.P.M for maximum audio pleasure!

File Under: OST
Buy Here

Bill Loose: Russ Meyer’s Vixen OST (Real Gone) LP
What does the soundtrack to the first film ever to get an “X” rating for its sex scenes sound like? Well, thanks to composer William “Bill” Loose, Vixen met its perfect musical match! Loose is one of those cult composers whose work you’ve heard much more than you’ve heard of the man himself. During WWII, he led the U.S. Army Air Forces Orchestra in New York, and then was hired in the mid-‘50s to be in charge of Capitol’s extensive musical cue library (at one time two dozen TV shows were using his cues)! From there he branched out into composing themes for shows like The Hollywood Squares and serving as Musical Director for The Doris Day Show. Starting in the late ‘60s, though, Loose’s career took a sharp left turn, as he composed soundtracks for some of the most notorious “B” movies of all time including the outlaw biker film The Rebel Rousers and Jack Hill’s The Swinging Cheerleaders. But what lends his career true cult status is without a doubt the work he did for sexploitation director Russ Meyer; Loose composed the soundtracks for many of Meyer’s films, but unfortunately Vixen is only one of two to be released on LP. Which is too bad…it’s a rollicking mix of rock and roll, absurdist program music, bump-and-grind jazz, and old-fashioned widescreen, string-heavy vistas. First-ever vinyl reissue, pressed in neon green vinyl limited to 750 copies, and mastered at 45 R.P.M. for maximum audio pleasure!

 File Under: OST
Buy Here

Microphones: In 2020 (PW Elverum & Sun) LP
As usual, lots of info on this one… you know what it is though, and you want it…
one long song
recorded nowhere
between May 2019 and May 2020

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Kan Mikami: I’m the Only One Around (Black Editions) LP
Black Editions present the first ever vinyl edition of Kan Mikami’s I’m the Only One Around. For 50 years, Kan Mikami has stood as a master of the Japanese blues and outsider folk. His unmistakable, powerfully evocative voice and surrealistic poetry reveal a gritty, transgressive life on the margins shot through with evocations of sex and violence, religion and romance. Released in 1991, I’m the Only One Around was Mikami’s first album with Tokyo’s legendary P.S.F. label and heralded an artistic renaissance. It marked the beginning of an incredibly productive and wildly creative era for Mikami that extends to the present day. This opening salvo presents the essential core of Mikami’s music; with nothing but his voice and a stripped-down electric guitar the album is a powerful, effortlessly emotional statement filled with moments of both brutal passion and gentle revelation. It is unrestrained, direct, brutally honest. It embodies Mikami’s philosophy: “If you’re going to make music, stake your life on it — it’s worth it. Making music is an intensely human act.” In the newly translated notes to the album, Hiroyuki Itsuki, one of Japan’s most renowned writers perhaps put it best: “What erupts here is all the fury and grief of Jōmon Man (the prehistoric people of the Japanese archipelago), lobbed into the middle of a 1990s city. Kan Mikami is unchanging, yet definitely in motion. He advances not forwards, but backwards. Not a retreat, rather he consciously progresses backwards. At the final destination for his full-steam astern poésie lies a massive, gaping black hole, exuding a dazzling, black light. This is the image evoked by the world of Kan Mikami that you can hear on this album.” Mikami would go on to release 15 solo albums with P.S.F. as well as numerous collaborative efforts with other giants of the Japanese underground including Motoharu Yoshizawa, Masayoshi Urabe, and Keiji Haino, with whom, along with Toshiaki Ishizuka he formed the group Vajra. Features lyrics translated by Drew Stroud and newly translated notes by Alan Cummings. Remastered and cut to vinyl at Elysian Masters Los Angeles, pressed by RTI, packaged in heavy Stoughton tip-on jackets with insert featuring textured paper, gold foil stamping and metallic inks.

File Under: Japan, Folk, Blues
Buy Here

Miyazawa/Sato/Togashi/Arakawa: Four Units (Le Tres Jazz Club) LP
Four Units is a kind of Japanese jazz “all star”. Recorded in Tokyo on April 1969, it was released the same year on Union records. On the first two long songs that open this album, “Four Units” and “Dull Slumber”, we can feel the influence of the “avant-garde” scene of US jazz (and in particular ESP Disk), without however the music sounding too “free”. A whole new vibe on the astonishing cover of “Scarborough Fair”, in a modal style, where the shadow of McCoy Tyner seems to hang over the piano. The next two tracks, “Rainbow Trout” and “Black Bass”, are still pretty much along the same line, sometimes oscillating towards “hard bop”, the album ending in a blaze of glory with a solo by Masahiko Togashi. While this album had a second pressing in Japan in the 70s, this is the first time it has been reissued with its gatefold cover.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

George Mukabi: Furaha Wenye Gita (Mississippi) LP
An almost mythical giant of African guitar, whose reinvention of acoustic fingerstyle quickly spread from western Kenya throughout East Africa, before his tragic death in 1963. Spellbinding guitar lines, sweet harmony vocals, every melody an instant classic, and a life story steeped in legend. 12-song LP comes packaged in a deluxe spot-color jacket, with a 12-page full color booklet featuring an oral history by GEORGE MUKABI’s family and peers, and lyrics in English and Swahili. Co-released by Raw Music International and Olvido Records.

File Under: Africa
Buy Here

Muslimgauze: Salaam Alekum, Bastard (Kvitnu) LP
It was not so long time ago in history of modern music, when influence of musicians on society was tectonic. When artist’s statement or position could impact the political situation in a country or sometimes even worldwide. When secret services like KGB, Mossad or CIA would consider some musicians as seriously dangerous for their agenda, because of artist’s influence on audience’s minds. When in some countries listening to forbidden bands could lead a person to appear in a concentration camp or even killed. When artist’s names would be an inspiration and a symbol of fight for freedom. It was also a time when artists would not censor themselves and their position in fear of being obstructed and hunted by mob for political incorrectness. When artistic freedom to honestly express their subjective views, no matter how harsh or extremely reactive the form of expression could be, was more valuable than any possible concerns or fear to hurt anyone’s feelings. When hurting feelings would mean that provocation reached it’s goal. When idea of speaking out their subjective truth had the highest value for artists, as one of true meanings of art. It was a time when music was not safe. And for us Muslimgauze is definitely one of those artists, whose honesty was neither safe nor correctly comfortable, but still endlessly inspiring. And the idea of “music as a weapon” became the keystone for this release’s cover artwork.

File Under: Electronic, Tribal, Industrial
Buy Here

Mythos: Berliner Schule Sequencing (Pilz) LP
The legendary PILZ label released the first album of the Berlin-based electronic group Mythos in 1972. The current album, Berliner Schule Sequencing, is a brand-new production and the first new release on the PILZ label for 45 years. Mastermind Stephan Kaske presents the typical sound cascades and sequences of the Berlin School.

File Under: Electronic, Prog
Buy Here

Rob Noyes: Arc Minutes (Vin Du Select Qualitite) LP
A dazzling display of 12-string melodicism, Arc Minutes is the second full-length LP from once New Englander, now Tokyo-based, instrumentalist Rob Noyes. If one had to pin an influence from the holy trinity, rather than the existential drift of Fahey or the raga-tinged interpretations of Robbie Basho, Noyes excels at Leo Kottke-style dynamics playing huge, bright runs within compact arrangements that explode with exuberance. Since his debut, Noyes has matured with an intense focus and here delivers a concise, powerful collection of acoustic virtuosity, further cementing his status among the most revered young players to emerge from the modern solo guitar set. “I’ve strayed from double thumb type fingerpicking and a little more towards unusual rhythmic patterns and tunings that are unique to the 12-string,” says Noyes. “There are general musical ideas I tend to focus on when writing, like dynamics, rhythm, how the texture shifts/develops, that were probably somewhat noticeable on the first record that I think are much more in the forefront this time. I’ve become a lot more comfortable playing over the past couple of years, so I feel I can play odd meter/polyrhythm type stuff with a lot more ease. It’s taken some time for my playing to catch up to my writing, so I think this new record is a much clearer statement musically.” These developments are front and center as Arc Minutes flows with a beguiling dexterity. While there are plenty of forceful displays of guitar picking, the album is punctuated by lovely ballads such as “Dwelling” and “And How” to show the gentler side of Noyes’s playing. But these moments of respite only highlight the record’s assertiveness. Noyes’s easygoing mannerisms offstage belie a fierce command of finger-picking and composition that result in an album that hits immediately and rings resoundingly. Injecting a fresh spirit into classic forms, Arc Minutes is an essential addition to the VDSQ catalog, a new peak.

File Under: Guitar Soli
Buy Here

Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version Instrumentals (Rhino) LP
Another WOW moment in Canadian distribution… Possibly the latest RSD release ever? Rare instrumental version of ODB’s iconic debut album. Previously a highly collectible promo-only release, these instrumental mixes are reissued on LP for the first time since 1994. The 2 X LP set includes a bonus 7” single featuring the new stripped versions of “Brooklyn Zoo” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” from the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition for the first time on vinyl.

File Under: Hip Hop
Buy Here

Pan Sonic: Oksastus (Kvitnu) LP
‘Oksastus’ (a Finnish word for the grafting of plants) documents Ilpo Väisänen & Mika Vainio’s hugely influential Pan Sonic in aktion and the results are intense and rewarding. Recorded by Stanislav Lomakovsky and produced by Dmytro Fedorenko, it’s a furnace blast of elemental voltage control, tempering furious noise, concussive kicks and icy electronics with unparalleled vision. The album has been edited down to eight tracks ranging from five minutes to seventeen in length for an exposition of experimental techno and power noise at its most brutal and visceral. Proper head-wrecking material from two of the best in the game, ever.

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Phantom Horse: Mehr Null (Umor Rex) LP
Mehr Null translates to “More Zero”. The title of Phantom Horse’s third record for Umor Rex could either be seen as a request (to the listener? to the sound engineer?) to expect or to do or to imagine less; or just as the description of a state. The Hamburg/Nijmegen based duo of Ulf Schuette and Niklas Dommaschk is indeed moving nearer to zero: the arrangements are less illuminated; there’s a significant nod to JD Emmanuel’s working-class vision of minimalism. Hitherto walking in the kraut tradition (but moving away more and more), Phantom Horse heads toward the synth swamps where the old-fashioned shamanic disco is not yet abandoned. From the light green melancholy of “Owl” to the unexpected playfulness of the title track, the duo has obviously worked hard on leaving things out. Still, there’s light-footed magic like in “Common Magic”, the background music for a comet rain coming into your world. You can find hints to the lower-key film scores by Tangerine Dream, but Phantom Horse’s approach fits more into a factory building where sad robots are working their night shifts on a sea horse machine. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the non-hungover day after. Pink, transparent vinyl; includes download code; edition of 300.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental
Buy Here

Rhye: Home (Last Gang) LP|
Following 2018’s JUNO-nominated Blood, Rhye’s new release Home is centered around the idea of home as the core of creativity and community. It’s familiar in its synthesis of propulsive beats, orchestral flourishes, piano ruminations and sultry, gender-nonconforming vocals, but never have they sounded more cohesive or alive. Written throughout 2019 and early 2020, Home was recorded at United Recording Studios, Revival at The Complex (Earth, Wind, & Fire), as well as Toronto-born, Los Angeles-based musician Michael Milosh’s home studio, and mixed by Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Interpol, My Bloody Valentine). Every element of Home is intentional and meant to reverberate on a higher extra-sensory plane. This attention to detail is prominent throughout the new single, “Black Rain.” Previous single, “Helpless,” relays love in its most intimate and romantic form over slinky R&B pulses, while “My Heart Bleeds,” the last song written for the album, speaks to the collective pain of 2020, insisting “we’re not enemies” and “we’ve got to feel some change” over ruminative, gentle disco and open-hearted singing. The album is bookended by celestial cantos sung by the Danish National Girls’ Choir, who Rhye performed with at a landmark concert in Denmark in 2017. The choir flew to LA to record with him for one day. It’s reflective of Milosh’s own experiences singing in choir as a boy, his entry point to the path that has informed his distinctive vocals.

File Under: Pop, R&B
Buy Here

Run the Jewels: RTJ 4 DELUXE (BMG) 4LP
Originally canceled for Canada, I guess they finally found us some copies…. Run The Jewels, the lauded duo of El-P and Killer Mike, return with their feverishly anticipated new album, Run The Jewels 4. The eleven song, 40 minute powerhouse is their most ferocious and focused effort to date, and sports a lineup of all-star guests including Pharrell Williams, Mavis Staples, 2 Chainz, Zack de la Rocha, Josh Homme, DJ Premier, and Greg Nice. Recorded primarily at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Studios and the iconic Electric Lady Studios in NYC, RTJ4 represents two years of intensive writing, recording, distilling, and amplifying the most potent elements of their music. The result is a collection of wall-to-wall bangers illuminating the group’s unique ability to straddle the worlds of pointed social commentary and raw, boisterous fun. The new album is preceded by two singles, both of which arrived to rapturous reception. The first, “Yankee and the Brave (Ep.4),” dropped during an impromptu Instagram Live session the duo held as shelter in place orders were starting to take hold. Days later, the second single “Ooh La La” (feat. DJ Premier & Greg Nice) made a surprise debut in the season finale of the hit Netflix series Ozark. The two explosive tracks brilliantly set the stage for the arrival of RTJ4! The deluxe vinyl 4LP-set includes the original album and the instrumentals plus an 8 page booklet with track listing, lyrics, liner notes and exclusive photography.

File Under: Hip Hop
Buy Here

George Russell: New York, N.Y. (Acoustic Sounds Series) (Verve) LP
The striking New York, N.Y. was a high point for influential jazz composer and arranger George Russell, an early proponent of “modal jazz,” which featured fewer chord changes and encouraged soloists to improvise on the melody not on the harmony. For this 1959 Decca classic, Russell assembled an all-star orchestra, including John Coltrane, Bill Evans (a frequent Russell collaborator), Art Farmer, Bob Brookmeyer and Milt Hinton. Singer Jon Hendricks provides beatnik-style, stream-of-consciousness narrations that opened and closed this landmark album. It was Russell’s intention to showcase many of the important jazz soloists on the New York scene in this program. He did so, pulling no punches in his writing, providing an intelligent, functional, dramatic frame for the soloists. The framework is not arbitrary, but a thematically controlled entity from beginning to end. New York, N.Y. moves from old jazz territories to new and back again, breaking the barriers of tonality, presenting the jazz orchestra in a truly modern, linear sense, yet retains the earthy taste basic to the idiom. “This is one of the most important albums made in a decade and the only one since the Basie era that is indispensable for anyone interested in U.S. culture today. The music is excellent, a triumph of indigenous feeling and concept that is bold, intuitive, and soft with love all at once. This a sumthin’ else record!” wrote Ralph J. Gleason in his original five star review for Down Beat. This all-analog 180g vinyl LP reissue was mastered from the original analog tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound, pressed at QRP, and comes housed in a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket.

File Under: Jazz, Audiophile
Buy Here

Somei Satoh: Emerald Tablet/Echoes (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records announce the full official reissue of two major works from the great Somei Satoh gathered into one LP: the mystic and meditative Emerald Tablet (1978) and Echoes (1981). Sourced from original masters and available on vinyl with liner notes by passionate Japanese music connoisseur/collector/critic/DJ, Masaaki Hara. Fall into the ambient vastness, let yourself go… Originally released by highly respected label ALM, these pivotal pieces of late ’70s/early ’80s Japanese experimental music majestically showcase Satoh’s intuitive approach to composition and mastery of creating infinite worlds of sound from very, very little. Emerald Tablet, recorded at the fabled NHK Studio of Electronic Music in 1978, is a spellbinding take on musique concrète meets tape music relying solely on sound harmonics from tubular bell, cymbals, and “kin” (Buddhist standing bell) overdubbed endlessly, voyaging into vertiginous sonic depths. Echoes was composed for the Mist, Sound, and Light Festival, a ten-day event organized by the hot spring tourist association of Kawaji, Tochigi Prefecture, held on May 20-29, 1981. It was played in the Kawaji hot spring’s Ojika river valley, with 8 gigantic loudspeakers set up on hills surrounding the stream and connected to an octuple channel-tape system — thanks to a combined length of cables exceeding one kilometer — while artificial fog rose from a ravine and laser beams shot up on the mountains. Cinematic and resonating, this breathtaking piece from Somei Satoh is a transcending sonic experience. Emerald Tablet / Echoes is reissued in conjunction with Somei Satoh’s Mandala Trilogy + 1 double-LP.

File Under: Japan, Electronic, Ambient
Buy Here

Somei Satoh: Mandala Trilogy +1 (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records announce the full official reissue of Somei Satoh’s magnificent Avatamsaka Sutra inspired Mandala Trilogy with one additional never-released piece. Sourced from original masters and available on double vinyl in heavy 350gsm sleeve with liner notes by passionate Japanese music connoisseur/collector/critic/DJ, Masaaki Hara. Deep deep deep into the abyss… The Mandala Trilogy blends Somei Satoh’s own slowed down Buddhist chant vocalization and early electronics to create a radiant and meditative atmosphere conveying serenity and timelessness. It includes three pieces recorded separately. “Mandala” was recorded at the NHK Studio of Electronic Music in 1982 and was included on the album Mandala/Sumeru, released on Kojima Recordings’ ALM. “Mantra” was an NHK commissioned work, recorded at the same studio in 1986. “Tantra” was recorded at Victoria University of Wellington’s Lilburn Studios for electronic music and recording in 1990. Included as a bonus is the 20-minute “Mai”, a composition commissioned by harpist Ayako Shinozaki and recorded at the Kioi Hall in Tokyo on November 11th, 2004. The piece was conducted by Tetsuji Honna and performed by the Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo. Satoh says: “The harp is one of my favorite instruments. Also, by combining my affectionate percussion instrument, the chromatic gong and steel drum, with the harp’s most beautiful tone, I attempted to bring out a mystical sound.” Although it is not an electronic music piece, the stunning composition elegantly complements the deep mystical world that Satoh expresses in his Mandala Trilogy. Mandala Trilogy + 1 is reissued in conjunction with Somei Satoh’s Emerald Tablet / Echoes LP.

File Under: Japan, Electronic, Ambient
Buy Here

John Scofield & Pat Metheny: I Can See Your House From Here (Tone Poet Series) (Blue Note) LP
John Scofield and Pat Metheny. What more needs to be said? A masterpiece meeting of musical minds, these two guitar virtuosos entered the studio in December 1993 with Steve Swallow on bass guitar and Bill Stewart on drums to create one of the greatest jazz guitar albums of all time. Produced by Lee Townsend, I Can See Your House From Here is an 11-track set of Scofield and Metheny originals including Sco’s expansive title track and Pat’s rocking “The Red One” and the stunning ballad “Message To My Friend.” Blue Note Records’ acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series continues in 2021. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label’s 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley

 File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Sexual Harrassment: I Need a Freak (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries is pleased to announce a deluxe reissue of Sexual Harrassment’s 1983 opus I Need A Freak. Lynn Tolliver, DJ/Program Director at Cleveland’s WZAK, adopted the pseudonym David Payton in order to keep his musical endeavors separate from his public persona. Sexual Harrassment (misspelled deliberately) was formed as a concept band, with members selected based on appearance and choreographic skill rather than musical ability. Tolliver’s explicit lyrics focused on the central themes of desire and sexual relations. Working at a studio in Akron, he recorded an album of quirky-yet-lurid electro funk, which was released on Heat Records. Tolliver remarks, “I learned as a youngster, sex sells! The things that are rated the worst – violence, horror and sex – are the things people want to see or hear about.” I Need a Freak was a surprise hit, selling over 100,000 copies. I Need A Freak is presented here for the first time on double LP, pressed at 45 rpm for maximum DJ-friendliness. While the album’s naughtier moments seem quaint by contemporary standards, the fusion of lo-fi funk and disaffected vocals still stuns today. On the eternal electro-raunch anthem “I Need a Freak”, minimalism serves to highlight the lasciviousness of the deadpan lyrics, which were inspired by Lourdes Figueroa, Tolliver’s girlfriend at the time. Tolliver’s whimsy shines on tracks like “If I Gave You a Party” and “K.I.S.S.I.N.G.”, which contrast nursery rhyme structures with decidedly R-rated lyrics. “Exercise Your Ass Off” lampoons the home exercise craze, but with a more-than-suggestive sexual bent. Also included are two bonus cuts, “We Want Prince” and “These Are The Things That I Like”, previously released as singles in 1984 and 1986, respectively. “We Want Prince” is both a homage to the Purple one and a gentle satire of obsessive fandom. I Need A Freak has been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The album comes in a gatefold sleeve featuring the original artwork. Included are lyrics, photos, and liner notes by Lynn Tolliver and drummer Dale Jackson. Tolliver’s sly provacateurship is best captured by the quote: “It’s funny – without sex, mankind is dead, yet we hide the very thing we need.”

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Skaphe: Skaphe3 (Mystiskaos) LP
Third full-length from SKÁPHE. Their most refined work to date in many ways, which only serves to accentuate the peculiarities of this project. Music by A.P, vocals by D.G. and drums by J.B. Self-recorded by the band. Mixed and mastered by NECROMORBUS. Cover art by KARMAZID. Additional artwork by H.V LYNGDAL.

File Under: Metal
Buy Here

St. Germain: Tourist Travel Versions (Warner) LP
When first released back in 2000, Tourist was a global success, selling over four million albums worldwide. It was Ludovic Navarre’s (aka St Germain) third studio album which really transformed his career into superstardom; combining elements of house and nu jazz to produce an impeccable album to chill out to. The album continues to be hugely popular to this day, with the critically acclaimed Jorja Smith doing a cover of “Rose Rouge.” To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Tourist, St Germain has invited UK, South Africa, USA, Reunion Island and France producers, DJs and remixers with various musical inspirations, from Deep House to Afro House and Chicago House. “I would like to thank all the people I asked to travel through their favorite Tourist album track,” Ludovic says. “Some of them worked on my last Africa-inspired album in 2015, like my dear friend Atjazz, who helped me a lot on this new project, and also Terry Laird DJ Deep and Traumer. I don’t have to introduce highly respected newcomers such as Nightmares On Wax, Jovonn, Ron Trent, Black Motion, Osunlade and Jullian Gomes. I truly enjoy their passion for music, their personality and musical integrity. I know they’ve got soul!”

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Tibor Szemzo: Snapshot from the Island (Fodderbasis) LP
Hungarian “minimalist” instrumentalist/composer Tibor Szemző is considered a genius by many, although his accomplishments as an artist are sometimes overshadowed by the likes of superstars, Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Snapshot From The Island was originally released by Leo Records in 1987 and now 33 years later the album gets the proper reissue on his own label. Snapshot From The Island is a wonderful excursion into ambient-electronic-acoustic dreamscapes which could also be considered an offshoot of what many call the “minimalist movement”. The title track, “Snapshot From The Island” is a 24-minute tone poem featuring Szemző performing on computer drums and flutes of various pitch. Here, Szemző provides a soft rhythmic undercurrent to balance the somewhat ethereal and delightfully hypnotic motif as he also electronically emulates bird and animal sounds which magnifies the mood or imagery of a faraway “Island” paradise. Szemző is a true artist, a painter with a fertile imagination, as he invites the listener into his introspective world of thoughts and dreams. Szemző’s lush, yet subtle flute work evokes a surreal landscape on “Water-Wonder”. On this piece, Szemző pursues circular passages while also intelligently utilizing a dash of echo to enhance the aura of a magical or mystical place, which for all intents and purposes seems timeless or otherworldly. “Let’s Go Out And Dance” is a dream-laden piece, featuring Szemző’s “cosmic” flute performances atop a soft pulse and László Hortobágyi’s synthesizer backwashes which conveys a sense of fulfillment or perhaps a scenario of — peaceful celebration. Again, Szemző offers up more visions of paradise, which could very well have been a subtitle to this beautiful recording. The overall organic nature of Tibor Szemző’s music makes it all seem so real or something that our imaginations can easily grasp. There are no hidden clues or underlying mysteries behind all of this as Szemző’s artistry speaks for itself. A museum piece for the ears. Remastered by István Szelényi, 2020.

File Under: Minimalism, Ambient
Buy Here

Talking Heads: The Name of this Band is Talking Heads (Rhino) LP
Double red vinyl! Formed in New York City in the mid-’70s, David Byrne, Chris Franz, Tina Weymouth, & ex-Modern Lover Jerry Harrison, soared out of their humble CBGB’s beginnings to become Rock & Roll Hall of Famers & one of the most adventurous and influential bands ever. The onstage energy that propelled the Talking Head rise to fame was well documented in the 1982 album The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads. Following them through several early evolutions from 1977 to 1981, this live gem is a riveting portrait of a stellar band on the rise. Exclusive heavyweight RED double vinyl produced by Rhino Records for the 2021 ‘Start Your Ear Off Right’ campaign. Only 4500 copies worldwide. Remastered in 2016 from the original analog source tapes.

File Under: Rock, Pop
Buy Here

Tolouse Low: Jumping Dead Leafs? (Bureau B) LP
Tolouse Low Trax’s fourth solo album, Jumping Dead Leafs. A 38-minute exorcism, Dionysac sexiness fueled with romanticism, made of mechanical incantations mixed with spectral vocals of forgotten imaginary tribes, words from a physicist (Incomprehensible Image), and mystical breathings… To remind you that music is demanding your soul and body, fully. A master irritator, disclosing this talent all the way, down to every chosen title, for the album itself and all of its components (would you put “Milk In Water”?) As repetitive or minimalist music may already make some of you feel nervous, it seems more accurate to talk here about primitive music — notwithstanding a non-violent anarchism. But those are only words and vain attempts to attach TLT to a region or a family. Neither the burden of classical European music legacy, which eventually lead to pop music, seemed to interfere with his wild mind, and if it is no surprising to hear Bach in German electronic music, there is here a clear statement that you are out of this syrupy prison… For D.W. is a sorcerer. He’s been empirically learning the language of trance with years of touring and experimenting with all kinds of audience and venues, from clubs to museums, from Mongolia to Brazil, from his performances with his bands Kreidler or Toresch to solo ones, sustained by a steady limited set up, as the one used when he’s recording : one MPC, rudimentary synths, few effects, and a mixer. No sound engineer on stage as only he knows his secret language… Raw dubmaking, leaning towards hip-hop, indubitably underlining here a significant distancing from his previous industrial inspirations. The bewitchment of this record is operating with no warning from the very first seconds until the last epiphany of “Sales Pitch”. He is using his knowledge of techno, psychedelia (“Inverted Sea”), UK bass (“Jumping Dead Leafs”), only to bring you out of it. We all tend to be slaves, without even being conscious about it, and a balance must be existing between being a slave and showing off. Mr. Detlef Weinrich’s answer is unsettling because it is an utter call to this balance, in our world of black-and-white and political correctness. From his recording technique mainly relying on one take, his adoration of mistakes and jeopardy, to the core essence of repetitive music, it is all here about being in the present.

File Under: Industrial
Buy Here

Tunes of Negation: Like The Stars Forever And Ever (Cosmo Rhythmatic) LP
Shackleton’s Tunes Of Negation ensemble return for a ceremonious second album trip into expansive psychedelic terrain following their acclaimed first chapter with a pineal payload where Gurdjieff meets Conrad Schnitzler in deep dub space. Regrouping Sam Shacketon, Takumi Motokawa, and Raphael Meinhart, with Heather Leigh guesting on album highlight “Naked Shall I Return”, Shackleton’s open-ended project continues to soar across musical borders with growing confidence in their astral clinamen that suggests themes of impermanence, rebirth, and transcendence. It’s primed for gently getting out of your gourd and gliding the astral armchair highways in a way which has signified all Shackleton’s best work of late. The six tracks are typically long enough to encourage full mind/body synchronization and immersion, aligning your chakras in a slowly purposeful flow from the cascading organs and babbling drums of “Mountain and Waterfalls”, through the spellbinding suspension of Heather Leigh’s possessed tongue in acres of Coil-esque synth plumes and militant snares on the outstanding centerpiece, “Naked Shall I Return”, with the rolling 15-minute epic “Impermanence” illustrating Shackleton’s transition from dubstep pied piper to modern day shaman. Like The Stars Forever And Ever is further evidence of mystic energy still out there in the ether between club music, the after-party-life, and lockdown bedrooms, and a sterling example of Shackleton’s vital role in the fabric of contemporary electronic music. Artwork by Zeke Clough. Mastered and Cut by Loop-o. Deluxe gatefold package; edition of 600.

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Vis-à-vis: Obi Agye Me Dofo (We are Busy Bodies) LP
As both a popular live act and in-demand studio musicians, Vis-A-Vis released 13 albums between 1975 and 1982, of which Obi Agye Me Dofo remains the most sought after. Led by vocalist Isaac “Superstar” Yeboah and featuring Sammy Cropper on guitar, Slim Manu on bass and Gybson “Shaolin Kung-Fu” Papra on drums, Vis-A-Vis helped propel K. Frimpong to fame as one of Ghana’s most popular stars of the 1970s. Obi Agye Me Dofo’s iconic title track, with its lilting Afrobeat groove embellished by jazz horns, cosmic synth keys and wandering guitar solo, is very much in the mold of Frimpong’s big hits. The eight-minute Kankyema shows how Vis-A-Vis could lock into a propelling funk groove with Superstar Yeboah’s soulful vocals riding on top, whilst, across side two, Vis-A-Vis display themselves as masters of a spiralling, hypnotic Highlife

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
Buy Here

Vis-à-vis: Odo Gu Aborow (We are Busy Bodies) LP
As both a popular live act and in-demand studio musicians, Vis-A-Vis released 13 albums between 1975 and 1982. Led by vocalist Isaac “Superstar” Yeboah and featuring Sammy Cropper on guitar, Slim Manu on bass and Gybson “Shaolin Kung-Fu” Papra on drums, Vis-A-Vis helped propel K. Frimpong to fame as one of Ghana’s most popular stars of the 1970s. On some of Frimpong’s albums, they also overlapped as part of his other recording band, the Cubano Fiestas.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
Buy Here

Zwartjes: Tapes 2 (Trunk) LP
Incredible follow-up to the sold-out Tapes 1 (JBH 065LP, 2017), this vinyl continuation takes you deeper into the sublime world of the cult Dutch director Frans Zwartjes’ soundtrack tape archive; dream-like, disjointed, disturbing, peculiar, sexy, unexpected, and totally unique. Frans Zwartjes is famous for his art-house films. A Dutch underground auteur, his prolific output dates from 1968. A unique talent, Zwartjes produced, directed, and edited his own films (his last work was in 1991), but more importantly he created and improvised the soundtracks too. Zwartjes and his large body of work is only now being recognized by a wider, more international crowd with screenings at the NFT and other important art-house cinemas across the world. The recordings on Tapes 2 were mixed directly from the Zwartjes soundtrack tape archive. They were assembled directly and in real time by Zwartjes archivist Stanley Schtinter and have never been issued before. The music and sound have been put together as two long, seamless sequences; they are dreamlike, unsettling, peculiar, plugged-in, prescient, and unlike any other soundtrack you have heard. All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle. Includes download.

File Under: Experimental, collage
Buy Here

Various: Cha-Cha au Harem: Orientica France 1960 – 1964 (Born Bad) LP
Includes printed undersleeve and download code; liner notes in French and English. France, which welcomed Omar Sharif’s first feature films outside of Egypt, produced a delirious amount of music of Latin or Middle Eastern inspiration, grouped behind the genre named “typical”. This “typical” production is enough to scare away the most motivated and adventurous of listeners: overabundant and often blurry versions, anonymous performers, and only a few noteworthy songs. Venturing into the moving waters of orchestral music undoubtedly causes disappointment, but one can find a few cha-cha-cha pearls played in a Cuban or Middle Eastern style. The Cha-Cha au Harem compilation offers a tender vision of pre-sexual revolution Gaullian France. Including all the stereotypes on exotic countries; culinary specialties, sensual oriental dances, exaggerated accents, bewitching chants performed on minor Hungarian scales by European instruments accompanied by percussion of an unknown origin. Bob Azzam, an Egyptian singer of Lebanese origin, made it popular in 1960 with “Mustapha” and “Fais-moi du Couscous, Chérie” (Make me Couscous, Darling). Léo Clarens the French-born Caliph of Francophone oriental Cha-Cha-Cha is omnipresent in this compilation, under his various stage names. In Paris, he recorded his first records for the Philips label in the 1950s thanks to the famous Jacques Canetti. Apart from his recordings under various pseudonyms (Kemal Rachid, the Kili-Cats), the Marseille musician became a popular arranger, in particular for Michel Sardou. Clarens was not the only one to give in to oriental cha-cha-cha. A number of musicians threw themselves to the task, most often with mediocre results, but with a few nice surprises such as Benny Benett or Los Cangaceiros. Benett is a jazz drummer, he discovered Cuban music through his first wife Cathalina. From then on, he recorded mambos, calypsos, boleros and cha-cha-cha including their oriental variations with the excellent “Couscous” and “Ismaëlia”. Los Cangaceiros were a Paris based band led by Yvan Morice. The omnipresence of percussion and drums on “Oriental Express” gives us some indication of Roger Morris’s favorite instrument: the drums. He published half a dozen EPs, mainly for the Homère label, as well as two albums, one typical of the early sixties (Surprise Party 2) and a second, Library at L’Illustration Musicale. Raymond Lefèvre’s career was much better documented. Present on this compilation thanks to his reinterpretation of the Lawrence of Arabia theme written by the great Maurice Jarre (father of Jean Michel) in a Bolero style. Also features Zina Nahid, Fred Adison Et Son Orchestre, Kemal Rachid Et Ses Ottomans, Staiffi Et Ses Mustafa’s, Los Matecoco, Trio Joroca, Mohammed Ben Abdel Kader, and Ali Baba Et Son Ensemble.

File Under: French, Exotica
Buy Here

Various: From Brussels with Love (Les Disques du Crepuscule) LP
To mark the 40th anniversary of From Brussels With Love, Les Disques du Crepuscule will issue three remastered editions: A deluxe 2xCD hardback earbook edition plus newly remastered vinyl and cassette editions of the iconic compilation. From Brussels With Love was the very first release on Crepuscule back in November 1980, and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. The cassette (TWI007) is a faithful reproduction of the 1980 original, complete with PVC wallet, 16 page booklet and tracklist insert. Originally released as a cassette with a 16 page booklet packaged in a PVC wallet, From Brussels With Love featured 21 exclusive tracks from the international avant-garde and new wave, as well as contributions from the celebrated Factory Records roster. Then, as now, the featured artists include A Certain Ratio, Gavin Bryars, Harold Budd, Thomas Dolby, Dome, The Durutti Column, John Foxx, Martin Hannett, Richard Jobson, The Names, Bill Nelson, Kevin Hewick + New Order, Michael Nyman and Der Plan. Running for 78 minutes, the cosmopolitan ‘cassette journal’ was curated by Michel Duval, Annik Honore and Wim Mertens, and also includes extended interviews with Brian Eno and legendary French film actress Jeanne Moreau. The cover art is by Jean-Francois Octave, with additional artwork in the booklet by Benoit Hennebert, Marc Borgers and Claude Stassart. From Brussels With Love quickly sold 6000 copies around Europe, earning rapturous reviews in the UK music press. “This is a reminder – without really trying, without being obvious – that pop is modern poetry. Is the sharpest, shiniest collection of experiences. Is always something new” (Paul Morley, NME). More recently, Dan Fox of art magazine Frieze described TWI 007 as “a masterpiece of distinctly northern European post-punk eclecticism.”

File Under: Post Punk, New Wave
Buy Here

Various: Original Sound of Mali (Mr. Bongo) LP
Blue vinyl! ‘The Original Sound of Mali’ compiled by David ‘Mr Bongo’ Buttle, Vik Sohonie (Ostinato Records) and Florent Mazzoleni. Malian music is a deep, lyrical form of African music. Those of us deeply entranced by Malian culture, and, in particular, the immense hypnotic beauty of Malian music, have put together a selection of songs from across the country.

File Under: Africa
Buy Here

Various: Singapore Nuggets – The Ladies (Akenaton) LP
During the ’60s and early ’70s, Singapore had one of most vibrant and interesting music scenes in Asia and even the world, and this compilation presents undeniable proof of it. Focusing exclusively on the female presence on the scene (be it as solo singers, backed by other bands or as band leaders), Singapore Nuggets. The Ladies presents such and amazing collection of songs many will be shocked by the sheer genius of this ladies. Ranging from naive pop to fuzzed-out garage (and more!) all within the confines of Pop Yeh-Yeh, the fresh, colorful, local sound of ’60s Singapore, in which western influences and Chinese, Arabic, and Indian sounds were mixed by locals to create a wonderfully idiosyncratic style. A must! Features Chew Yan And The Stylers, Lim Ling & Silvertones, Grace Lee And The Stylers, Violet Tang & Saints, Rita Chao & Quests, Sakura, Naomi & The Boys, Linda Yong And The Silvertones, Patrina with Maurice Patton & Melodians, Liu Hui Yun, Evey Lyn & The Siglap Five, Teresa Khoo & Her Five Notes, Doris Ang & The Sandboys, and Shang Guan Su Shen.

File Under: Psych, Asia
Buy Here

Various: Tchic Tchic: French Bossa Nova 1963-1974 (Born Bad) LP
Includes printed undersleeve and download code. Ever since the late 1950s bossa-nova revolution, Brazil’s influence on French music has been undeniable. Pierre Barouh, Georges Moustaki, and a vast array of lesser known artists, all made the Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB) an axis of promotion at the service of a cool and metaphysical, modern and mixed Brazilian lifestyle. Some were seduced by the poetic languor of the bossa, some were looking for fun, and others just loved the American hybridization of jazz-bossa, jazz-samba. With emotion, arrangements for violin and supple guitar licks, bossa nova rapidly changed. A transformation that can be heard in the Tchic Tchic: French Bossa Nova 1963-1974 compilation, the result of a cultural reappropriation, which traveled through the United States and supplemented itself in France. A musical revolution that has remained significant, bossa nova was born in Rio. From 1956 to 1961, Brazil lived through its golden years. In five years, the country had invented its modernist style. American jazzmen then took over. In particular, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and guitarist Charlie Byrd. In November 1962, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded a “Bossa-Nova” concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, inviting the genre’s pioneers. In Brazil, the 1964 military coup quickly ended this euphoria. The destructive atmosphere that ensued pushed many Brazilian musicians to leave, if not to exile. Thus, Tom Jobim, Sergio Mendes, and Joao Gilberto arrived to the United States. In New York, Joao Gilberto met saxophonist Stan Getz. At the time, he was married to the Bahianese Astrud Weinert Gilberto, who had a German father. She had never sung before, but she knew how to speak English. Getz therefore asked her to replace her husband on “The Girl From Ipanema”. The Getz/Gilberto record with Tom Jobim on piano, was released in March 1964. Phil Ramone, the “pope of pop” was in charge of sound. Bossa nova arrived in Paris through the classic “guitar-voice” channel. But France loved jazz and Paris had already welcomed its American contributors. Features Les Masques, Isabelle Aubret, Christianne Legrand, Jean Constantin, Billy Nencioli & Baden Powell, Marpessa Dawn, Jean-Pierre Sabar, Sophia Loren, Isabelle, Sylvia Fels, Frank Gérard, Ann Sorel, Charles Level, Andrea Parisy, Audrey Arno, Aldo Frank, Clarinha, Hit Parade des Enfants, Jean-Pierre Lang, Magalie Noël, and Françoise Legrand.

File Under: French, Bossa Nova, Exotica
Buy Here

…..Restocks…. 
  Maki Asakawa: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
Bikini Kill: Pussy Whipped (Bikini Kill) LP
Bikini Kill: Reject All American (Bikini Kill) LP
Blonde Redhead: Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (Touch & Go) LP
Blood Incantation: Starspawn (Nuclear War Now) LP
Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City) LP
Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City) LP
Carlton Melton: Where This Leads (Agitated) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Cut Worms: Nobody Lives Here Anymore (Dead Oceans) LP
Damned: Damned Damned Damned (BMG) LP
Dome: 3 (Dome) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
Eric’s Trip: Peter (Blue Fog) LP
The Fall: Perverted By Language (Superior Viaduct) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Fantomas: Wunderkammer (Ipecac) BOX
Etta James: At Last (Jackpot) LP
Ken Kesey: The Acid Test (Jackpot) LP
Khruangbin: Mordechai (Dead Oceans) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Infest the Rats Nest (ATO) LP
KMRU: Peel (Editions Mego) LP
Kali Malone: Sacrificial Code (Ideal) LP
Molchat Doma: etazhi (Sacred Bones) LP
Kevin Morby: Harlem River (Woodsist) LP
The National: The Virginia EP (Beggars) LP
Oh Sees: Help (In The Red) LP
Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) LP
Oliveros/Dempster/Panaiotis: Deep Listening (Important) LP
Mustafa Ozkent: Genclik Ile Elele (Jackpot) LP
Purple Mountains: s/t (Drag City) LP
Vastum: Patricidal Lust (20 Buck Spin) LP
Barry Walker Jr.: Shoulda Zenith (Holy Mountain) LP
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Universal) LP
Wilco: A Ghost is Born (Nonesuch) LP
Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal) LP
Wipers: Is This Real? (Jackpot) LP
Various: Ain’t It Funky Now! (BGP) LP
Various: Soul of Spanish Harlem (BGP) LP
Various: Westbound Funk (BGP) LP
 
%d bloggers like this: