Another hefty week! Still waiting on one shipment, but I’ve added them all to the site, so you can buy them now but please WAIT FOR YOUR READY FOR PICK UP email if it says In tomorrow! in the write up or on the site. You should still have plenty of time to pick them up tomorrow, but they won’t be ready first thing.
Also! Like the Other Music Documentary, we are again teaming up with Oscilloscope Labs for the distribution/viewing of the new documentary TRUTH TO POWER, about System of a Down’s frontman Serj Tankian. Click the link to rent the film and we’ll get a cut of the proceeds. Rent it HERE
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…..picks of the week…..
Willie Dunn: Creation Never Sleeps, Creation Never Dies (Light in the Attic) LP
Limited red vinyl! How did you first experience the poetry, music, and film of Willie Dunn? In a Montreal coffeehouse during the mid-1960s? On a CBC Indian Magazine broadcast with host Johnny Yesno? At a Toronto record store or Native Friendship Centre at the turn of the 1970s? Waiting outside of the Mohawk Nation Longhouse? Maybe in your parent’s record collection on the Rez? A White Roots of Peace gathering? Pow wow? The Mariposa Folk Festival? Or was it that Save James Bay Benefit back in ‘73? On a good friend’s stereo? Sitting around a crackling campfire? How about an old NFB film reel or VHS tape in high school? Or while attending Manitou College? A German concert hall in the 1980s? Maybe a direct action protest on the colonial streets of Canada? Busking in Ottawa during the 1990s? College radio? At Willie’s celebration of life service in 2013 alongside Alanis Obomsawin and Willy Mitchell? LITA’s Grammy-nominated Native North America (Vol. 1) compilation or the very anthology you hold in your hands? There should be no judgement for coming to things when you do. All that’s important is remaining open to life-changing messages such as these… Willie Dunn shared truth through song and celluloid. His original composition, “I Pity the Country,” is an unparalleled statement on the greed and hate created by humankind, recorded in 1971 and still unfortunately needed today. “It’s like the reason you’re supposed to make music,” said Kurt Vile about the song to MOJO Magazine in 2015. With “Charlie,” Willie was the first to deliver the devastating story of Chanie Wenjack and the Canadian residential school system to the music community, nearly 50 years before the much-celebrated Secret Path, yet ignored outside of Indian Country and the folk festival circuit. Dunn’s film technique, featured in 1968’s The Ballad of Crowfoot (NFB), predates the “Ken Burns effect” to great effect. Are you catching the drift? Willie Dunn was not only a trailblazing leader in his time, but well ahead of the curve, simply without the PR push and big money backing of major label players. “He was our Leonard Cohen,” said singer-songwriter Eric Landry about his musical hero. The only difference is that Willie refused to play the Hollywood showbiz game. In talent, he is Cohen, Dylan, and Cash rolled into one and along with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, and A. Paul Ortega, brought a new set of perspectives and realities to the folk music tradition. Willie spoke directly to his people and Mother Earth through his creations, not only from experience, but by examining his roots and connecting with the world in which he lived. We are humbled to help honour Willie Dunn. May he never be forgotten… PEACE
File Under: Folk, Country, CanCon, Native North America
Sunn o))): Flight of the Behemoth (Southern Lord) LP
In tomorrow! 2002’s Flight of the Behemoth is the third album by Sunn O))). The band collaborated with legendary Japanese noise artist Merzbow, who mixed “O)))Bow 1” and “O)))Bow 2.” The first ever use of a drum machine on a Sunn O))) track is heard on “F.W.T.B.T.”, a deconstructive interpretation of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” This punisher also features the first ever vocals heard as evoked from the band themselves. Recorded between April 1998 and November 2000 in The Gas Chamber, Los Angeles. Mastered and cut at Metropolis January 2020. Vinyl 2LP-set in a case-wrapped gatefold jacket with full color 24″ x 36″ folded poster. “Grimm & Bear It” is a vinyl-only bonus track.
File Under: Metal, Doom, Drone
NSRD: Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings (Stroom) LP
Available again! Juris Boiko (1954-2002) and Hardijs Lediņs (1955-2004) were the core members of the NSRD, best known as a Latvian avant-garde, postmodern, experimental and underground music group active in 1980s. Their activities were widely multidisciplinary and they cannot be considered as purely musicians since none of them had a professional musical education. Their creativity was manifested through variety of media — music, performance and action art, visual arts, poetry, samizdat, the introduction video art in Latvia etc. NSRD also made a significant contribution to the explanation of the theoretical aspects of art in the interpretation of the postmodernist movement, and developed the independent concept of “Approximate Art”. At the end of the ’80s, NSRD got connected and performed with several artists and musicians living in West Germany, including Indulis Bilzēns, Micky Remann, Maximilian Lenz, aka Westbam, and others. Includes download code. Incredible!
File Under: Electronic, Left Field Pop, Weird, Experimental, Folk
A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Invisible Cities (Artificial Pine) LP
A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the composer collaboration between Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O’Halloran, are set to release new album ‘Invisible Cities’ on the 26th February 2021, the stunning score to the critically acclaimed theatre production directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner and produced by Manchester International Festival, Rambert, 59 Productions and Karl Sydow.
File Under: Ambient, Stars of the Lid
Azumah: Long Time Ago (Nyami Nyami) LP
Reissue of this 1989 South-African release. Azumah was the coming together of a group of talented young dancer-musicians from Soweto (South Africa) with musician and instrument-maker Smiles Mandla Makama of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). Long Time Ago is the surprising and enticing, resultant album from 1985, recorded in the house of theatre stalwarts Des and Dawn Lindberg in Johannesburg. Produced by David Marks (3rd Ear Music, Hidden Years Music Archive Project), Des Lindberg and Smiles Makama, this album takes us back to a priceless musical moment in the dark and wild eighties of apartheid South Africa. Smiles Makama is a gifted and visionary music-maker. He was born in South Africa but grew up in eSwatini, the small kingdom enveloped by South Africa and Mozambique on each side. He tells the story of the process leading to the recording of this remarkable album: “I was invited from Swaziland by a Soweto-based group, Azumah. […] One of the members knew that there was a wizard in the mountains in Swaziland, building instruments. As I was in the mountains in my hut and then I saw people arrive. They found me. It all started there.” Instead of simplistic images of a generic ‘Africanness’ or ‘South Africanness’ and pictures of constructed and exotic ethnic identity, a contemporary, fresh listen to this album encourages an appreciation of the composition and musical skill at play in this music. Few people speak about the individual innovation and experimentation involved in the creation of this music (or the music of Amampondo for instance). “Woza Moya” sticks out as a dark and melancholy creation, different tonally to what has come before, evoking the work of Naná Vasconelos or Don Cherry. One thing that remains the same decades later is that encouraging deeper listening to the sounds of the mbira, the nyunga-nyunga, the uhadi or makhoyane bows is still challenging. Discouraging the superficial, short-lived acknowledgement of this ‘unchanging’, ‘African cultural expression’ is the everlasting hurdle. This is made so much easier by albums like Long Time Ago: when artists create music to be loved and entangled with, to be challenged by, derived from the musical roots and structures of these instruments and then expanded upon with creative freedom, risk, humour and funk. Azumah did this in 1985 and we have this album again today, newly released, to remind us of that moment and the moments since when musicians have urned inward and done similar. As Smiles has it: “Indigenous music doesn’t fade out. It’s just waiting to be discovered, all the time.”
File Under: Africa
Beautify Junkyards: Cosmorama (Ghost Box) LP
Cosmorama is the fourth album for the Lisbon based band and their second on Ghost Box following on from The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards in 2018. Cosmorama is a beautifully crafted and lavishly produced adventure into tropicalia tinged psychedelic dream pop. Like a hallucinogenic fusion of Os Mutantes and Broadcast. Music that’s deeply influenced by Portuguese and Brazilian vocal traditions. Gauzy layers of male and female vocals shift dreamlike against a backdrop of masterly acoustic musicianship, complex percussion and haunted electronics making this album perfectly at home in the world of Ghost Box records. Joining the band as writing and performing collaborators on Cosmorama are: Nina Miranda (of Smoke City fame) on vocals on the title track and on Reverie and Parangolé, Alison Bryce of NYC’s Lake Ruth on vocals on Deep Green and classical & contemporary harpist Eduardo Raon on A Garden by the Sea and The Fountain. Sumptuous artwork as always is by Ghost Box Records in house designer, Julian House. The LP version is on heavyweight vinyl, with full colour inner sleeve and a free download code card.
File Under: Electronic, Pop, Psych
Beynelmilan: Yeralti Oyun Havalari (Korsan) LP
Beynelmilân is delivering some funky turkish sound to your ears. A drumbreak in each track, psychedelic vibes and funky groove revisited classic turkish folk songs. If you like 70’s anatolian Rock/Pop, Yeralti Oyun Havalari (Underground Belly Dances) is for you for sure. He recently contributed 2 tracks to the new Arşivplak record ‘Mirror’, which is a compilation of turkish disco folk with the typical psychedelic touch. After it was only released on tape finally with the slightly different vinyl version of Yeralti Oyun Havalari, there is a full length LP containing 10 delightful tracks to take you on a trip to the turkoholic mekka of 70’s anatolian psychedelic rock. Beynelmilân knows how to bring some heat to the dancefloor with tunes like ‘Adam Mi Oldun’ but also brings you down to a hypnotizing trip with tracks like ‘Yaniyorum’ which is topped with some melancholic vocals. Never missing the heavy drum breaks and intense melodies topped with some discoid flavour. Limited edition of 500 copies!
File Under: Turkey, Funk, Psych
Biosphere: Angel’s Flight (AD93) LP
Ever since he debuted on Origo/Apollo with the groundbreaking ’Microgravity’, now thirty years ago, Geir Jenssen has been a major force in ambient techno, steadily building a catalogue that’s rivalled only by few. After three wonderful albums on Biophon (2018’s ’The Hilvarenbeek Recordings’, that has Jenssen samplng a broad palette of Dutch farm sounds is a total store favorite) the Norwegian maestro has now landed on AD 93 with a thoroughly unique album. Originally composed in 2019 for Uncoordinated Dog, a dance production by the Norwegian Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt, It features twelve tracks based on Beethoven’s infamous String Quartet No. 14 – a piece that Beethoven himself considered to be one of the best works he ever composed. Jenssen manipulates and morphs the classical masterpiece into something entirely his own, giving the string harmonies a thin veil of Northern light on the first four parts before catapulting the German giant into space on the fifth and sixth movements. Proceedings get downright depressed on the heavy-hearted seventh movement ‘As Pale As A Pearl’ (which is, of course, not necessarily a bad thing), before Jenssen loops up some of the fourteenth most recognizable micro-melodies into two of the most striking pieces on the album in a way that resembles Akira Rabelais’ approach on the classic ‘Spellewauerynsherde’ and ‘Eisoptrophobia’ albums. It’s those two tracks (‘Faith and Reverence’ and ‘Unclouded Splendor’) that form the heart of this ominous and at times pitch-dark album that has Jenssen successfully crossing over from Nordic ambient to avantgarde postmodern classical. And although ‘Angel’s Flight’ may not be for everyone, it’s one of his most accomplished albums to date and one of the most interesting albums to come out this year so far. (RO) Angel’s Flight is the new album from highly-acclaimed producer and composer Biosphere, set for release on vinyl and CD in January 2021. It features twelve tracks based on Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 that deftly tread the peripheries of classical and electronic composition. Much of the music was initially composed for Uncoordinated Dog, a dance production by the Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt in 2019 that explored the personal, the ambiguous, exposure and beauty – which gives you a sense of what the album holds.
File Under: Ambient
Frank Black: Cult of Ray (Demon) LP
In tomorrow! First released in 1996, The Cult of Ray is Frank Black’s third studio album and includes the singles ‘Men In Black’, ‘The Marsist’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Hurt You (Every Single Time)’. Black Francis explains the Cult Of Ray “was the band that was also the band for the first Frank Black & The Catholics record. I hadn’t stumbled on to my live to 2 track obsession just yet, but I was quite enjoying the parameters of 16 track 2 inch. Fat and warm, aided by my sweet as candy pal Lyle Workman on lead guitar. Lyle can be best described as a HOT DOG with a telecaster in his large, supple hands. Super fun motorcycle ride.” Long out of print, this new vinyl reissue is pressed on 140g blue vinyl, housed in a printed inner sleeve
File Under: Rock, Pixies
Frank Black: Oddballs (Demon) LP
In tomorrow! First released in 2000, Oddballs is a compilation of remixed rarities and B-sides recorded between 1994 and 1997. Black Francis explains the album was given the title as “they’re ODDBALLS. There was once a time when even I was asked to provide additional content for auxiliary releases of main published works. It was great. They didn’t care what the new content was they just needed it. Yesterday. So awesome.” Long out of print, this new vinyl reissue is pressed on 140g silver vinyl, housed in a printed inner sleeve.
File Under: Rock, Pixies
Celer: Being Below (Acorn) LP
Being Below is a mini-album of short songs created with digital and analogue instruments, recorded in 2020. Written with a structure that reflects shifting states, overlooking the past and future as a split pathway with the present endlessly fluctuating between. The pangs of rumination. An exercise in loop-less writing. Mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung, and designed by Rutger Zuydervelt. Pressed in a limited edition of 150 crystal clear 12″ vinyl, 150 black 12″ vinyl in a reverse-board sleeve as a dual release from Past Inside the Present and Two Acorns. A CD edition in a reverse-board 4-panel package with glass-mastered CD is also available from Two Acorns. Afterword: Staring out, tense. Looking down isn’t so different than looking up, but it passes by faster. Contentment at the accomplishment that I’m here, and the fear that what I’ve always been looking for has passed by. Staring up and looking at the sky, wishing you were up here with me, here where you can see everything. Above, the surface drifts by, and the colors on the horizon in pale blues makes me calm. Then blue. Deep in pale blue. Again, in the morning. Close your eyes. Repeating this, repeating that, then it changes. Try to stay focused, but you’ve already moved out of sight. You’re a million miles away, and farther. Waiting for night. Stars, always beyond. Now, it’s already tomorrow.
File Under: Ambient
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: New Fragility (Clap Your Hands) LP
In tomorrow! What are we to make of the world? In many ways, the title New Fragility perfectly sums up our collective state of unease and anxiety, but it’s particularly apt for singer-songwriter Alec Ounsworth / Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the trauma he’s spent the best part of three years processing. “It’s pretty personal,” says Ounsworth. “It’s about what I think we’re all experiencing at the moment, certainly here in the United States anyway – trying to move forward amidst an almost cruel uncertainty.” Taken from the David Foster Wallace short story “Forever Overheard,” from the collection Brief Interviews With Hideous Men – “You have grown into a new fragility,” says the story’s adolescent narrator – the title track documents what happens directly after a long relationship comes to an end, and what’s discovered soon after. “There comes a period of making up for lost time in a changed world,” says Ounsworth, “and now is a time of predictable stupidity.” New Fragility finds Ounsworth asking the questions that haunt us all. Depression, divorce, getting older, and confronting the past are all raked over, as are the early years of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the pernicious influence of fame. And with such heartfelt lyrics married to his unique, eclectic music and distinctive voice, it’s another classic entry in the career of one of independent music’s brightest, and most durable, artists. The first singles taken from New Fragility, the double A-side of “Hesitating Nation” and “Thousand Oaks,” are deeply political, charting the decline of a nation. New Fragility is not without moments of beauty though. “Innocent Weight,” the first time Ounsworth has employed a string quartet, is a fragile, plaintive ballad that frames the dissolution of a relationship in heart-breaking terms (“I don’t know what I’ve done wrong”). Ditto the wondrously sad “Mirror Song,” which combines piano and toy piano to great effect, and deconstructs the pressure of touring, the perils of self-medication, and questioning one’s motives for pursuing music as a career. Personal yet universal, New Fragility confronts numerous modern ills. “Where They Perform Miracles,” a song concerning spirituality and alternative methods of healing, harks back to Ounsworth’s time as an anthropology student doing fieldwork in Mexico, while “Dee, Forgiven” is an intimate look at what harm anxiety, and the over-prescription of certain medication, has on the vitality of youth. The song contains one of Ounsworth’s strongest vocals yet – a quivering beacon that shifts from a wail to a low grumble in the blink of an eye, a remarkable expressive instrument that sits perfectly amid the understated orchestration. For 15 years, it’s been one of music’s most distinctive voices, and it’s never sounded as rich or poised. Together with his keen ear for melody and his unique, eclectic approach to composition – witness the gentle acoustic picking of “Where They Perform Miracles,” the spacious strings and woozy synths of “CYHSY, 2005,” or the rambling, slowed down bar-room blues of album closer “If I Were More Like Jesus” – New Fragility is the sound of an artist completely at ease in his work, and unafraid to confront the difficult questions that haunt us all. The album was produced by Alec Ounsworth, with additional production from Will Johnson, recorded by Britton Beisenherz in Austin, TX and mixed by John Agnello in New Jersey, mastered by Greg Calbi.
File Under: Indie Rock
CP/BW: Untitled (BW) LP
THE GOOPY GOONS ARE BACK with another collection of twisted American electronics. For those not familiar, CP/BW is a collaboration between Corporate Park (aka Shane English/Jonah Lange) and Beau Wanzer. This second LP collects tracks from various recording sessions done in Texas over the past 5 years. Humid ditties, bumpkin beats, toothless treats, and only for the freaks.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Punk
CV Vision: Tropical (South of North) LP
You could think of the collection of tracks here as a library record of sorts, and each track inhabits its own universe. Tropical fits various moods and situations, and it could soundtrack any number of activities at home or on a dancefloor – whether real, imaginary, or hallucinated. Strangely enough, it sounds like it could have been constructed from obscure Italian library breaks, when instead every instrument has been played and panned, several times over, across magnetic tape. The genesis of many of these tracks began when CV Vision moved to Berlin in 2014. His flat had a small chamber where he could fit a drum set, so he treated the walls with foam, and in true DIY style, dived headfirst into recording these tracks. It was the natural next step on an audio adventure that first began when CV Vision picked up the guitar in his teens, and a couple years later started recording with friends in his home town of Bayreuth. Fast forward ten years and here is his debut – a culmination of practising chops and learning instruments, mastering recording techniques and fine-tuning the CV Vision sound. It’s a sound that condenses elements of acid rock, psych soul, library funk and new wave oddities into a movie soundtrack for your mind. It’s a journey from ‘60s west coast LSD-drenched excursions to ‘80s synth and post-punk mutations. Tropical is a plunge into another time, another music you can simply swim around in and explore.
File Under: Electronic, Funk, Pseudo Library
Miles Davis: Miles in Tokyo (Music On Vinyl) LP
In tomorrow! Miles in Tokyo is a live album recorded on July 14, 1964, by the Miles Davis Quintet (featuring Sam Rivers, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams) at the Tokyo Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. It is the first recording of Davis in Japan and the only album to showcase an early incarnation of his Second Great Quintet featuring Sam Rivers on tenor saxophone, following George Coleman’s departure. After this, Wayne Shorter’s appointment completed the classic line-up which recorded such albums as ESP and Miles Smiles, through to Miles in the Sky. The legendary Miles in Tokyo album is now available on vinyl in Europe for the first time. The heavyweight gatefold contains a 4 page-booklet glued inside, like the original 1969 Japanese LP version.
File Under: Jazz
Martin Denny: A Taste of India (Pleasure for Music) LP
In tomorrow! Pleasure For Music present a reissue of Martin Denny’s A Taste Of India, originally released in 1968. This is the one and only Martin Denny diving into the highly exotic sounds of India. Originally released on Liberty Records, A Taste Of India stands as one of the best later Denny’s work. Here the king of exotica injects his gorgeous instrumental arrangements with tons of sitars and tanpuras as the main ingredients of another stylized sound trip. The album highlights include a memorable version of The Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Incense and Peppermints” and Denny’s own masterpiece, “Hypnotique”.
File Under: Exotica
Dolly Mixture: Demonstration Tape (Spa Green) LP
The return of the classic Demonstration Tapes double LP on vinyl from the one and only Dolly Mixture. Originally self released in 1984 – this 27 track set collects the band’s demos from 1979 to 1983 of perfectly executed pop, indie pop and ’60s girl group gems. The sound is raw but the charm and pure-pop songcraft manages to shine through. Dolly Mixture should have been massive – so just sit back and enjoy these charming songs that have aged like a fine wine. Original copies sell for silly money and even the Germs of Youth reissue sells for over £100. This reissue comes with a brand new sleeve design.
File Under: Indie Pop, Post Punk
Steve Earle: JT (New West) LP
On August 20, 2020 the world lost an amazing light with the passing of Justin Townes Earle. Justin was a vibrant songwriter who could play the blues, country, and rock n roll all in the same song. In his short career, Justin released eight albums and one EP that all manage to sound classic and yet inventive. Justin’s father, Steve Earle, pays tribute to his son by recording an album of songs written by Justin titled, J.T. The album consists of ten Justin Townes Earle songs as well as one song written by Mr. Earle. J.T. features fan favorites such as “Harlem River Blues,” “Far Away In Another Town” and “Champagne Corolla” along with lyrically heavy songs like, “The Saint of Lost Causes” and “Turn Out My Lights.” J.T. is a loving tribute to a loved son and beautiful songsmith who left this earth too early.
File Under: Folk, Country
Edan: Primitive Plus (Lewis) LP
In tomorrow! Lewis Recordings offers a first time repress of Edan’s Primitive Plus since its original release in 2002! Stanton Swihart of AllMusic gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5, calling it “a wild, weird, instantly left-field rap masterpiece from one seriously bugged-out, innovative loner.” Thomas Quinlan of Exclaim! described it as “an album that embraces the late ’80s/early ’90s of hip-hop, with old school beats and battle rhymes (the Primitive), while at the same time shaking hands with new school lyricism and space age effects (the Plus).” Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club wrote: “One of the year’s most promising debuts, Primitive Plus makes the beats of yesterday and the flows of today sound like the hip-hop of tomorrow.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Nils Frahm: Tripping with Nils Frahm (Erased Tape) LP
When Nils Frahm kicked off his world tour at Funkhaus Berlin in January 2018 to bring his highly acclaimed studio album All Melody to the stage, an ambitious journey was just to begin: Over the next two years, Frahm played more than 180 sold-out performances, including the Sydney Opera House, LA’s Disney Hall, the Barbican in London, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and several big festival stages around the globe. Yet the stunning setting of Funkhaus Berlin, renowned for its vintage grandeur and outstanding acoustics, and also home to Frahm’s magnificent studio where All Melody was recorded, had occupied a unique place in the artist’s heart. In December 2018, Nils Frahm eventually returned to Funkhaus Berlin to host another set of four shows, tickets sold out within hours. Frahm’s friend and film director Benoit Toulemonde – a collaborator since 2011 – captured the concerts on film, only using handheld cameras, and employing techniques he had mastered for the concert series Soirée de Poche.Tripping with Nils Frahm is an illustration of Nils’ lauded ability as a composer and passionate live artist as well as the enchanting atmosphere of his captivating, and already legendary Funkhaus shows: An extraordinary musical trip – rare and exclusive, close and intimate, bringing a unique concert experience to the screen and wax. “It was about time to document my concerts in picture and sound, trying to freeze a moment of this period where my team and I were nomads, using any method of travel to play yet another show the next day,” says Frahm. “Maybe tonight is the night where everything works out perfectly and things fall into place? Normally things go wrong with concerts, but by combining our favorite moments of four performances, we were able to achieve what I was trying to do in these two years of touring: getting it right!”
File Under: Piano, Classical, Ambient
Neal Francis: Changes (Demos) (Karma Chief) LP
In tomorrow! Here’s where it started. The initial demos that eventually became Neal Francis’ debut album, Changes. Since releasing his debut album to critical acclaim from KEXP, KCRW, NPR, and more. Neal has toured the country headlining and supporting acts such as Black Pumas, Lee Fields & The Expressions, and The Revivalists. As he prepares for his sophomore LP, we get to peek into the initial sketches at the onset of his career as a singer and songwriter. We are so proud to present these early demos from Neal Francis. Mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering, lacquers cut at Well Made Music, pressed at Gotta Groove Records, and housed in a high quality Stoughton tip-on jacket. One-time pressing of this special release
File Under: Funk, Soul, Colemine
Aretha Franklin: Young, Gifted and Black (Rhino) LP
A Nina Simone song provided the title for Young, Gifted and Black, and Aretha Franklin certainly embodied those qualities. Supported by an all-star ensemble including Billy Preston, Dr. John and guitarist Cornell Dupree, the Queen of Soul rises to new heights as both a keyboardist and a singer here, earning a Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy in the process. The gold-certified 1972 Atlantic set features four Franklin-penned tracks, two of which made the Pop Top 10 (“Day Dreaming” and “Rock Steady”), and the originals are joined by an eclectic array of covers (from The Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Elton John, among others) that the legendary performer makes uniquely her own. Young, Gifted and Black is an inspiring release that captures every facet of Aretha Franklin’s immense talents!
File Under: Soul
Freedom Affair: Freedom Is Love (Sunflower Soul) LP
In tomorrow! Freedom Is Love is the debut album from Kansas City’s newest soul juggernaut, The Freedom Affair. The album explores themes of love, heartache, empowerment, and togetherness through a varying landscape of hard-hitting funk, luscious soul, and everything in between. The Freedom Affair is a unique collective featuring three powerhouse female vocalists in front of a dynamic 6-piece band. On Freedom Is Love, each of the ladies get their time to shine individually, but the magic is on full display when all three come together in unison and harmony, symbolically embodying the messages that they sing about. The album was recorded and produced by Chris Hazelton, utilizing the best of vintage and new recording technologies to create an authentic experience, befitting of a soul record that would have been relevant 50 years ago as much as it will be 50 years from now.
File Under: Soul
Goat: Commune (Rocket) LP
In tomorrow! Swedish psychedelic rock troupe GOAT annihilate the usual expectations surrounding ‘the difficult second album’ with the bigger and bolder cosmos of Commune. Ricocheting off the unanimous acclaim of their debut LP World Music – to say nothing of their earned star reputation for putting on a killer live show – the Korpilombolo bunch double down on their fuzzed-out riffs and modern ritualist practices. Opener ‘Talk to God’ begins with precisely this sense of holy ceremony, as singing bowls chime in reverent reception of whip-smart highlife licks and a thunderous drum-bass dialogue. ‘Goatchild’ and ‘Goatslaves’ sees paces and heart-rates quicken in the tumult of percussive hypnotism and fuzz-wah punctuations with extra-dimensional force. As if an amplification of their sonic fervour wasn’t enough, Commune finds GOAT widening their scope to greet the universe with open arms, contradiction and all – life and death, dark and light – as we’re told on ‘To Travel the Path Unknown’: “there is only one true meaning with life / and that is to be a positive force in the constant creation of evolution”. GOAT send their message of oneness home with blistering closer ‘Gathering of Ancient Tribes’, a riotous six-plus minute fireball which ends where Commune began with the same singing bowl chimes, forming the run-time of the LP into a perfect circle.
File Under: Psych
HE6: Love Hurts/Beautiful Doll (Beatball) LP
Love Hurts / Beautiful Doll is the 5th and most prominent record by the He6, the frontrunner band of the 1970s golden age of ‘group sound’ bands in Korea. It features the band’s notable funk/psychedelia track ‘Beautiful Doll (Get Ready)’ which was sampled by DJ Shadow in ‘the Number Song’. Also includes ‘You Don’t Know’, the hit number driven by Choi Heon’s soulful vocals, as well as another must-listen He6 original tune, the perky brass rock number ‘I Can’t Tell’. The definitive reissue of the historical 1972 masterpiece of Korean rock!’ Amid the various modes by which pop cultured developed in the various regions of East Asia as they modernized, the path followed by postwar Korea was a very unique one. Due to the outbreak of the Korean War shortly after the peninsula’s liberation from Japan, American pop culture came to hold major sway on Korean pop culture. The conscious/subconscious aspirations and critiques regarding this fact have continually given rise to various layers of subculture in many fields, thus generating an energy that propelled the possibilities of local culture. In particular, the spectacular growth of pop music, which sprang from the peculiar background that was the ‘US 8th Army scene’, was recorded in the form of numerous records since the mid-60s. These include such unique rarities that stand out not only among the history of rock/pop music in Asia but throughout the world, foremost among them the works by Shin Joong-hyeon and the Add 4, Key Boys, and the He5. To better understand this history takes a closer look into the background and influence of the ‘entertainment scene’ that was formed around the US 8th Army bases at the time. The ASCOM (US Army Support Command) located in Bupyeong was a military complex providing combat support for the USFK, and comprised a sprawling array of facilities whose massive scale and varied functions earned it the nickname ‘ASCOM City’. The entertainment scene that encompassed 12 on-post clubs and the more than 20 clubs that were located off-post served as transmission channels for jazz, standard pop, and rock n’ roll. The multitude of musicians – including Bae Ho, Han Myeong-sook, Yoon Hang-gi, Shin Joong-hyeon, and Kim Hong-tak – conveyed the newest western musical styles such as jazz, blues, country, and soul and played a critical role in introducing them into Korean pop music. American authorities applied tighter quality controls during the roughly 10-year heyday of the ‘8th Army show scene’ since the mid-60s, leading musicians to pick up the newest repertoires even more swiftly. Meanwhile, the sheer diversity of styles and genres as required by the various stages, as well as the rapidly shifting trends in repertoire, encouraged musicians to further hone their chops while also broadening their musical spectrum. The unique facets of ‘adaptation’ and ‘transfiguration’ that arose as musicians from a jazz/big band background took in rock/psychedelic influences ended up being key drivers behind establishing locality. Into the late 60s, as musical activity was broadened to include ‘general stages’ (intended for the Korean public, as opposed to US servicemen), the development of ‘local music’ was further accelerated. Korean popular music, which had previously been dominated by trot or new folk music, now saw a new age of gayo featuring a greater variety of styles by incorporating elements of westernized musical language. The various festivals that took place around these years, such as the “National Men and Women’s Collegiate Jazz Festival” hosted by TBC TV since 1966 or the 1969 “Playboy Cup Vocal Group Tournament”, where young fans were abuzz with the heated rivalry between the Key Boys and the He5, attest to the possibilities of a budding youth culture and new currents that would give way to a new age of pop music. Regarding the matter of which band had the most ‘western’ sound, the immediate choice by many fans would’ve been the He5 and He6. Their discography shows us why: in addition to such ‘essential listening’ psychedelic tracks as ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’, they had also covered Sly & The Family Stone, the Jackson Five, as well as favorites from the musical such as ‘Aquarius’ and ‘Let the Sunshine In’ (presumably drawing on the versions by the 5th Dimension). In doing so, the He6 were able to imbue the tracks with their own distinctive musical feel, and at a level of individual and ensemble musicianship to rival that of any of their western contemporaries. The 1972 release by the He6, <Love Hurts / Beautiful Doll>, is a masterpiece that captures the unique sound of this band at the absolute top of their game. The greatest distinction between the He5 and He6 would like in the driving groove laid down by drummer Kwon Yong-nam. His soul-influenced rhythm patterns, and the thrilling dynamics between his heavy kick drum and punchy snare, had garnered a quiet following among ‘rare groove’ aficionados even before the Internet age. His beats also came to notice when master break sampler DJ Shadow used them near the end of ‘The Number Song’ off his legendary 1996 work, Endtroducing….. This drum solo segment, which appears on ‘Beautiful Doll’ (an adaptation of ‘Get Ready’ by Rare Earth), features a more relaxed tempo, focused solo playing, narrative development, and dynamic flow compared to the original, thus securing an enduring place in the storied history of drum breaks. However, bandleader Kim Hong-tak’s departure to the US after the album’s release made it the last de facto work by the He6 as a psychedelic/rock/soul outfit (the album released during the 80s under the He6 name features a different lineup, playing the disco-influenced gayo that gained prominence at the time), and via the vicissitudes of Korea’s modern history – including the proclamation of the Yushin constitution and the Emergency Decree No.9 – the album eventually faded from the public’s memory. Therefore, restoring and remembering this brilliant work, which was robbed of its rightful place in pop culture (or mass culture) will lay the foundations not only for a full understanding of the history and identity behind Korean pop culture but also for movements to bring forth, by building on such understanding, new discourse for the eras to come.
File Under: Funk, Psych, Group Sound. Korea
Craig Kupka: Crystals – New Music for Relaxation 2 (Folkways) LP
In tomorrow! The sonorous drift of four trombones, like gentle waves lapping at the edge of a celestial shoreline, opens Craig Kupka’s second album for Folkways, Crystals: New Music for Relaxation 2. Featuring two side-long compositions for trombone and synthesizer, the album is intended as an aid for meditation, a guided journey inward towards self-discovery. Before its original release in 1982, Kupka and his wife Nancy took these recordings to relaxation classes and dance studios, field-testing them with participants primed for a meditative experience, and received extensive positive feedback. Like works by contemporaries Michael Stearns, Iasos, and Steve Roach, this is healing music that opens the outer reaches of the mind. New vinyl reissue remastered from the original 1982 master tapes, packaged in classic Folkways-style tip-on jackets with liner notes. The vinyl edition is part of the Smithsonian Folkways Vinyl Reissue Series, bringing to light hidden gems from the extensive collection and revisiting some of the most iconic and influential albums released by the label.
File Under: New Age, Ambient
Ronald Langestraat: Searching (South of North) LP
Self recorded in 1984 to 4 track tape. Rhythmical patterns meet well balanced distortion, shaping the music into a mirror of his character, creating a unique blend of lo fi blue eyed soul jazz. TIP!! Ronald was part of several Dutch Latin and Jazz bands, including Cascada and Ritmo Natural. With the latter he performed at Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival. At this point Ronald is 78 years old, playing music every day. Instruments: Acoustic Piano, Fender Rhodes Piano, Farfisa Organ, String Ensemble, Tenor Sax, Alt Sax, Soprano Sax, Clarinet, Alt Clarinet, Organ Bass, Micro Moog, Drums, Longa & Voices.
File Under: Jazz
Lil’ Kim: Notorious K.I.M. (Rhino) LP
The first lady of Bad Boy Records, Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum rapper Lil’ Kim’s debut studio album Hard Core was certified Double Platinum and spawned three consecutive No. 1 rap hits: “No Time,” “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix),” and “Crush on You,” making the hip hop trailblazer the first female rapper with three consecutive No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003), were certified Platinum, making the Queen Bee one of the only female rappers to have at least three consecutive Platinum albums. Reissued here on colored vinyl 2LP just in time for its 20th anniversary, the edgy and sexually charged The Notorious K.I.M. climbed to No. 4 on the US Billboard 200 and hit the top spot on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums on the strength of the hit singles “No Matter What They Say” and “How Many Licks.”
File Under: Hip Hop
London Experimental Jazz Quartet: Invisible Roots (Roundtable) LP
Beyond the striking photography of the cover artwork, a cursory glance at this LP may appear misleading. One could be forgiven in thinking that what they had discovered was of a more obvious British provenance, but on closer inspection, the truth is revealed… London in fact refers to London, Canada, an artistic hotbed that famously spawned the highly influential insurgent noise ensemble, ‘The Nihilist Spam Band’. Less celebrated yet equally remarkable was the improvisational powerhouse ‘The London Experimental Jazz Quartet’, a short-lived group led by the forward-thinking saxophonist Eric Stach. Their debut album, Invisible Roots is an overlooked jewel from the Canadian jazz scene. Inspired by the revolutionary artists from the New York free-jazz movement, (namely Ornette Coleman, Archie Sheep and Cecil Taylor), and fuelled by the exciting possibilities afforded by a completely free approach to music, Invisible Roots is an album of potent spontaneous composition, exhibiting both fiery unharnessed blowing alongside lyrical streams of consciousness. In recent years, the album has achieved notoriety in certain record collecting circles mainly due to the track Destroy The Nihilist Picnic, an infectious piece of vamping Avant-funk. Despite the commanding presence of this track, it would be misguided to judge the merits of the album on this piece alone, for Invisible Roots is a much deeper and more complex musical statement. This is confirmed by the Iberian-jazz sketch, Spain Is For Old Ladies, the spiritual introspection of Jazz Widows Waltz or the ferocious yet soulful Eric’s Madness, a track which wouldn’t be out of place on an ESP-Disk or BYG Actuel album. Behold, a rare piece of fire music from the Canadian Free-Jazz underground.
File Under: Jazz
Los Yesterdays: Nobody’s Clown (Penrose) 7″
With their debut Penrose single still fresh in the playboxes of discerning Soul DJs across the globe, Los Yesterdays return with a one-two punch of mid-tempo excellence. This one’s a must for fans of Eddie Holman and Billy Stewart alike. The delicate, sparse piano intro of “Nobody’s Clown” — courtesy of Tommy ‘TNT’ Brenneck’ — gives way to a drop so deep we’ve named it the “Lie Detector Drop”. Why, you ask? Well, if you consider yourself a lover of soul music and your heart rate doesn’t waiver when that beat drops….you lyin’. Now that the grooves in you, allow Mr Victor Benavides to serenade you with his tale of a forlorn love affair. On the flip is a 6/8 moover that finds our protagonist pleading for one more chance. And after that A side, I think you’ll all agree… it’s a reasonable request.
File Under: Funk, Soul, Daptone
Ann McMillan: Gateway Summer Sound
In tomorrow! Ann McMillan did not record prolifically, but she was at the vanguard of electronic composition in New York in the 1970s. A student of groundbreaking composer Edgard Varèse, McMillan’s primary medium was magnetic tape, which she manipulated to create surreal soundscapes. On Gateway Summer Sound, her debut album released on Folkways in 1979 and recorded at the legendary Princeton-Columbia Electronic Music Center, she sources sounds from the natural world – frogs, insects, field recordings from the Gateway National Recreation Area in New York Harbor – along with gongs, bells, and a harpsichord to conceive remarkable, hypnagogic compositions. Like the music of Daphne Oram and Pauline Oliveros, her compositions for tape have been overshadowed by those of her male counterparts, but her work is no less revolutionary or vital. New vinyl reissue remastered from the original 1979 master tapes, packaged in classic Folkways-style tip-on jackets with liner notes. The vinyl edition is part of the Smithsonian Folkways Vinyl Reissue Series, bringing to light hidden gems from the extensive collection and revisiting some of the most iconic and influential albums released by the label.
File Under: Experimental, Field Recordings
Fumio Miyashita: Shion: Sky Music (Personal Affair) LP
We are proud to announce the reissue of the most important root of Japanese Ambient Music, Fumio Miyashita’s archives. The third release on this series is “SHION Sky Music” originally released on cassette from his label Biwa Records in 1985.
File Under: Ambient, New Age, Japan
Ennio Morricone: I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing (Sonor) LP
In tomorrow! Sonor Music Editions proudly announces the first commercial release on vinyl (shortly followed by a CD edition) of Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to the film “I DUE EVASI DI SING SING” from 1964, directed by the legendary Lucio Fulci and starring the famed Italian comedy characters Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. Shortly after what would have been his 92° birthday, the label presents a pseudo unreleased gem by the greatest all-time composer at the beginning of his career. This stunning recovery was possible thanks to the work of the producer Lorenzo Fabrizi (head of Sonor Music Editions) and the collaboration of Claudio Fuiano and Daniel Winkler, two significant connoisseurs in the field and maestro Morricone’s discography. The album was originally released on an impossible-to-find promo-only library release in the late ’60s with different titles, due to that the score remained concealed until now. With the recoup of the original MONO tapes Sonor was able to work with the original soundtrack sequence adding two bonus tracks from the original sessions. The music enhances the stories of two sloppy thiefs (Franchi and Ingrassia) in the styles of orchestral Jazz and Bossa Nova, with more sweet and cheerful themes built around the bewitching character of Gloria Paul.
File Under: OST
Jonny Nash & Teguh Permana: Poe (Melody as Truth) LP
Recorded over the course of March 2020 in Bandung and Amsterdam, ‘Poe’ is a collaboration between Jonny Nash and Teguh Permana. Permana is a renowned player of the Tarawangsa, a two-stringed instrument used in the sacred Tarawangsa music of Sunda, Indonesia. Poe’, meaning ‘Days’ in Sundanese, is a meditation on death and rebirth as reflected in the passing of time and the changing of the seasons. Permana is also active in the group Tarawangsawelas who released their debut album on Morphine records in 2017.
File Under: Ambient, New Age
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou Dahomey: s/t (Superfly) LP
“We’re proud to introduce the new Superfly reissue of ultra-rare ’70s Nigerian collection of some of their best 45s, full of funky psych killers, check ‘Wodeka Roe’ or the hit ‘Gbeti Madjro’ (though every single track is dynamite!). As usual, beautiful quality repress with paste on covers made in Japan, obi and 180 gram vinyl, limited to 1000 copies only!”
File Under: Africa, Afro Beat, Funk, Psych
Bobby Oroza: I Got Love (Big Crown) 7″
In tomorrow! The Finnish crooner, Bobby Oroza, is back with a new set of tunes that pick up right where his glorious 2018 debut album, This Love, left off. The A side “I Got Love” is a sweet soul anthem for those with their priorities straight and an encouraging reminder to those who may have lost sight of what is truly important in life. Bobby has penned another hit. He sings about choosing love over all things material and recognizing what you have when you have it. Bobby sings an earworm of a chorus that sums it up perfectly, “I got love, and that’s enough”. The B side, “Loving Body”, is as seductive as it is profound. Bobby propositions his love interest over a gorgeous Cold Diamond & Mink production for more than a light hearted love affair. Mr. Oroza is not your average Joe, and this is not your average roses and candy song. Bobby lays out his desire to become one loving body in the way two rivers become part of the sea. A beautiful song about attraction and desire that will be an instant staple in the sweet soul world and beyond.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Owen Pallett: Island (Secret City) LP
In tomorrow! Island is the latest album from Oscar-nominated composer and songwriter Owen Pallett. Almost entirely acoustic, Island begins with 13 darkened chords, and was recorded live at Abbey Road Studios with the London Contemporary Orchestra. The introduction is sound of waking up alone, and on the shore of a strange land. What follows is a shimmering and luscious orchestral album that draws across the full breadth of Pallett’s discography, from Heartland’s Technicolor to the glittering, fingerpicked guitar that marked Pallett’s first records with their trio, Les Mouches.
File Under: Indie Rock
Laurent Petitgirard: Suite Epique (Superfly) LP
“We’re proud to introduce the new Superfly reissue of French progressive jazz rarity originally released at tiny private label in 1972. This concept album, featuring Teddy Lasry and Bernard Lubat, is a totally unique cinematic jazz suite with a strong spiritual vibe! As usual, beautiful quality repress with paste on covers made in Japan, obi and 180 gram vinyl, limited to 1000 copies only!”
File Under: Jazz
Piper: I’m Not in Love (Ship to Shore) LP
In 1981, Piper grooved onto the City Pop scene with their album debut I’m Not In Love, cementing their smooth blend of soft rock and soulful funk that became a staple of the albums that followed and instantly acquiring a devoted fanbase that still exists today. The blueprint for what was to come is evident here in the aural form: cocktails by the pool & cool ’80s shades, mixed with a disco dancefloor sensibility that is just so infectious it can only be Piper. Now in 2021, Ship to Shore is proud to announce that I’m Not In Love will now be available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years in this limited edition pressing!
File Under: City Pop, Japan
Tiziano Popoli: Burn the Night/Bruciare la Notte (ReRVNG) LP
In tomorrow! Burn the Night / Bruciare la Notte: Original Recordings, 1983-1989 is the first archival collection of music by the Italian minimalist composer Tiziano Popoli. In his music, Popoli framed the Italian avant-garde and New Wave of the 80s through an architectural aesthetic distinctly detailed by a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, Roland TR909 drum machine, and early sampling technology. These fourteen pieces represent unreleased recordings for installations, theater, and radio broadcasts, and they each beam with unusual melody, radiant color, and generative life.
File Under: Italy, Experimental, Electronic
Sacbe: s/t (Favorite) LP
Reissue from Mexican Jazz Fusion masterpiece from 1977! Unique and beautifully recorded, with a breezy feel brought by the synthesizers, Sacbécould be likened to what Azymuth was doing at the same time in Brazil. Available as a vinyl-only limited pressing Deluxe Tip-On LP, coming with its original printed innersleeve. Sacbé was composed of Eugenio (keyboards), Enrique (electric bass) & Fernando Toussaint (drums), three brothers hailing from the huge Mexico city, and their friend and sax player Alejandro Campos. Growing up in a family of musicians, they quickly became familiar with jazz music. However they were mostly self-taught, most of them choosing at first to work and study outside the music industry, but somehow, Eugenio had the opportunity to start studies at the Berklee Music University. Before leaving, he deeply wanted to play jazz with his brothers. That’s how Sacbé was created on a hot day of October 1976. The band then built step by step a challenging repertoire including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Milton Nascimento, Focus, Passport, and many more… Gradually, Eugenio started to compose more tracks, and through a cooperative work of arrangement, Sacbé ended up playing only their own compositions. That was not an easy choice for the band, resulting in a lot fewer opportunities to play in bars and clubs at night, while they were cumulating small jobs duringthe daytime. But their dedication, tightness, and integrity started to attract a wider audience thanks to their sessions at the Musicafé and helped Sacbé to assert its imprint within Mexico’s creative artistic circles. A group of artists with similar attitudes was created and they began working almost as a team, holding live shows, exhibitions, and dance performances, all with a very unique and creative proposal. It’s at this period that the band met Luis Gil, a young designer and recording engineer, who had access to one of the best studios of the city called LAGAB. Recording at nights and weekends for free, the Toussaint brothers had, therefore, the chance to really put their band quite literally under the microscope. With tenacity, they explored all the possibilities of interpretations, structures and improvisations, collaborating with great musicians and finding themselves in the position of being their own producers, despite being only around 20 years old! This album is the result of this perfectionism ethics, shared by everyone involved. “Sacbé” means white road in the Mayan culture, it was the name for the roads connecting the main ceremonial centres with the jungle, made of roughly three feet of coral limestone. They were sacred roads used by high priests and warriors, which echoed the musical path of the three brothers. Putting the pieces together, they managed to create their own label and pressed 1000 copies of their reunited recordings in 1977. The artwork was painted by Enrique, inspired by the work of Le Douanier Rousseau and the Mayan jungle. Hopefully, the LP met some success in Mexico and California, opening many radio and TV doors for them. It was the starting point for a whole career of recordings, with a total of seven albums including various guests.
File Under: Jazz
Emily A. Sprague: Hill, Flower, Fog (RVNG Intl) LP
In tomorrow! Emily A. Sprague’s deeply rooted insight and clear-eyed foresight is harbored once again in the newly carved space of Hill, Flower, Fog. “Hill, Flower, Fog is a place and a poem,” says Emily, “a personal letter and vision for myself, outlining priorities that I aspire to incorporate during my time on earth: family, sustainability, patience, and growth.” Seeking language and dream between the stasis and shift of this year’s blur, Emily found nourishment in transformed daily practices, a process of retrieving the important things from the fog of past routines. Channeling deeply into the here and now fostered a far-reaching connectedness, a lifeline from the everyday to the cosmic. If Water Memory / Mount Vision, Emily’s first forays into formless music, read as earth-bound passages, HFF scatters more ineffable references across its pages. The maximal stretch of the universe, and germanely, its minimal density, are explored through compositions that search and embrace the infinitude and human condition mirrored, fragmented, and felt in both. On HFF, Emily invites meditation on perception and sensation in a six part spectra. “Moon View” and “Star Gazing” are cosmic commitments to look up, while “Horizon” and “Mirror” describe abstract views relating to the position of self and its projection outwards. “Woven” and “Rain” represent more textural and tactile impressions, elemental immersions in our earth’s perfectly imperfect patterns. Each piece varies subtly, yet remains soundly familial. HFF begins with the groove of a restrained, molluscan signal, our ears perceive signs of hope with twinkling momentum. Rippling out in florets of sound, we slide closer to the source as a deeper drone is braided through thrumming tones. A meticulous music box drops notes precisely on an ideal garden, until we reach the collection’s most fine-drawn and final entry, watching little comet tails lighting up a muted scape of the deepest indigo.
File Under: Ambient, New Age
Suffering Hour: The Cyclic Reckoning (Profound Lore) LP
In tomorrow! At forty-five minutes in length spanning five songs, the new album from Minnesota-based blackened death metal trio Suffering Hour The Cyclic Reckoning showcases the band firing on all cylinders. The music on this album is more representative of Suffering Hour as a whole than it ever was on past material, with every member making their presence more known than ever. This record also features the band sacrificing some of their technicality and chaos in favour of more atmospheric passages, as the band envisioned this record to be an unhindered display of negative emotion, seething or sombre. Based around themes of awakening, obsessions, and mental anguish, this is a natural continuation of everything that encompasses the band’s ideas on life, death and beyond. This is Suffering Hour at their most honest and fierce. Suffering Hour are a blackened death metal band from Forest Lake, Minnesota. Their unique sound garnered high acclaim with their 2017 debut record In Passing Ascension, a guitar-driven slab of nihilistic savagery. This sound was then further explored on their 2019 EP Dwell, a single eighteen minute track proving their unrelenting songwriting prowess. The band has since played numerous shows and fests across the globe, most notably: Maryland Deathfest, Covenant Montreal / Vancouver and Killtown Deathfest, plus a European tour with Malthusian and a U.S. run with Sinmara.
File Under: Metal
Tindersticks: Distractions (City Slang) LP
Just before the end of the year 2020, a mere 12 months, after the release of their celebrated record “No Treasure But Hope”, Tindersticks surprised everyone with mentioning a new album to be released in 2021. Stuart Staples was already nurturing seeds for a different kind of Tindersticks album before lockdown halted their tour in early 2020, singer. If 2019’s “No Treasure but Hope” saw the band rediscovering themselves as a unit, the follow-up reconfigures that unit so that everything familiar about Tindersticks sounds fresh again. “Distractions” is an album of subtle realignments and connections from a restless, intuitive band: rich in texture and atmosphere, it lives between its open spaces and details, always finding new ways to connect with a song. If it’s an album that resists easy summation, at least one thing is clear: though it isn’t untouched by the lockdown, “Distractions” is not ‘a lockdown album’. As Staples says, “I think the confinement provided an opportunity for something that was already happening. It is definitely a part of the album, but not a reaction to it.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Rik Van Boeckel: Deze Hoofden Praten (Raakvlak) LP
New label on the block Raakvlak returns for its second release, this time branching out into more local territories. Deze Hoofden Praten is a vast recollection of the idiosyncratic work of spoken-word guru Rik van Boeckel. Next in line for Raakvlak is a recollection of the wicked work of poet, spoken-word expert and all-round expressionist Rik van Boeckel. Deze Hoofden Praten is the result of two mid- eighties tapes released on Kubus Cassettes, the same label that accommodated the work of the mind- stretching ambient of subterranean-chill pioneer Enno Velthuys. Although van Boeckel’s oeuvre contains some similar elements, the outcome here is much wilder; a musical hodgepodge of new wave pop, ambient and quirky dub. What’s more, emphasis is just as much on the Dada- bordering poetry at present as on the sonical equivalent. Think Ton Lebbink’s cousin if he would’ve been into new age instead of punk. Certainly one to turn heads and ears alike, this may serve as a (re-)introduction of a singular mind to the wider universe
File Under: Experimental, Left Field, Ambient
Chad VanGaalen: World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener (Flemish Eye) LP
In tomorrow! 2020 was a terrible year for gardening. It was terrible for peppers, it was terrible for tomatoes, it was terrible for the condition of the soul. But Chad VanGaalen somehow raised a garden all the same: carrots and sprouts and broccoli and a revivifying new album, all of them grown at home. He likes to eat directly off the plant, he says – “I get down on my knees and graze. It’s nice to feel the vegetables in your face” – and the 13 songs on World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener were harvested with just such a spirit: in their raw state, young and vegetal, at the very moment, they were made. What that means is that the Calgary songwriter’s new album is a psychedelic bumper crop. A collection of tunes that does away with obsessiveness, the anxiety of perfectionism, in favor of freshness and immediacy – capturing the world as it was met while recording alone at home over a period of years. “Don’t overthink it,” VanGaalen told himself again and again, despite the push/pull love/hate of his relationship with songwriting. “I’m always trying to get outside of the song – but then I realize I love the song.” This is a record that gleams with VanGaalen’s musical signatures: found sound, reverb, polychromatic folk music that is by turns cartoonish and hyperphysical – like ultra magnified footage of a virus or a leaf. Apparently, the LP began life as a “pretty minimal” flute record. (There’s only a vestige now, on “Flute Peace” – one of three instrumentals.) Later it became an electronic record “for a while” and finally, “right at the last second,” it “turned into a pile of garbage.” The good kind of garbage: glinting, useful, free. Music as compost – leaves, and branches ready to be re-ingested by the earth, turned into a flower. Throughout these 40 minutes, VanGaalen floats from mania to solace to oblivion, searching for zen in all the wrong places. “Turn up the radio / I think we’re dead,” he sings on “Nothing Is Strange”; or, on the inside-out rocker “Nightmare Scenario”: “You’re stressed out when you should be feeling very well.” The singer’s mental landscape is rotting and redemptive, beautiful in spite of itself – and his soundscapes reflect this fertile decay. He has been influenced by his instrumental work on TV scores (Dream Corp’s third season began this fall), but still “nothing can really replace the human voice,” he admits. Like Arthur Russell or Syd Barrett, it’s VanGaalen’s vocals that shine a path through the swampland – from the cello-lashed “Water Brother” to “Starlight”‘s krautrock pipe-dream.
File Under: Indie Rock
Jane Weaver: Flock (Fire) LP
In tomorrow! Flock is the record that Jane Weaver always wanted to make, the most genuine version of herself, complete with unpretentious Day-Glo pop sensibilities, wit, kindness, humor and glamour. A consciously positive vision for negative times, a brooding and ethereal creation. The album features an untested new fusion of seemingly unrelated compounds fused into an eco-friendly hum; pop music for post-new-normal times. Created from elements that should never date, its pop music reinvented. Still prevalent are the cosmic sounds, but Flock is a natural rebellion to the recent releases which sees her decidedly move away from conceptual roots in favor of writing pop music. Produced on a complicated diet of bygone Lebanese torch songs, 1980’s Russian Aerobics records and Australian punk. Amongst this broadcast of glistening sounds is “The Revolution Of Super Visions,” an untelevised Mothership connection, with Prince floating by as he plays scratchy guitar; it also features a funky whack-a-mole bass line and synth worms. It underlines the discordant pop vibe that permeates Flock and concludes on “Solarised,” a super-catchy, totally infectious apocalypse, a radio-friendly groove for last dance lovers clinging together in an effort to save themselves before the end of the night. The musician’s exposure to an abundance of lost records served as a reminder that you still feel like an outsider in this world and that by overcoming fears you can achieve artistic freedom. Jane Weaver continues to metamorphosize…
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Various: Edo Funk Explosion Vol. 1 (Analog Africa) LP
It was in Benin City, in the heart of Nigeria, that a new hybrid of intoxicating highlife music known as Edo Funk was born. It first emerged in the late 1970s when a group of musicians began to experiment with different ways of integrating elements from their native Edo culture and fusing them with new sound effects coming from West Africa´s night-clubs. Unlike the rather polished 1980´s Nigerian disco productions coming out of the international metropolis of Lagos Edo Funk was raw and reduced to its bare minimum. The repetitive nature, the skeletal composition and the relentless exploitation of synthesizers, electric guitars and 80´s effect racks resulted in a spiced up brew with an odd psychedelic note. Double LP pressed on 140g virgin vinyl comes with a full color 20-pages booklet & digital album as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
File Under: Africa, Funk
Various: Jobcentre Rejects Vol. 2 (On the Dole) LP
Twelve tracks licensed from rare and hard to find New Wave Of British Heavy Metal-singles originally released in England 1978-1982. Kind of a Nuggets, Pebbles or Killed By Death for NWOBHM. Jobcentre Rejects will appeal to all metal fans, but also to punk fanatics, garagerock-maniacs, DIY-lovers and maybe even to a few powerpop afficionados. Jobcentre Rejects is for everyone into rock music history and anyone interested in British music- and culture history. Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Judas Priest and Saxon all got signed by majors and sold records galore, meanwhile bands in every village across England formed. Inspired by the energy and DIY attitude of the punk scene these acts recorded and released their records all on their own. The music heard on Jobcentre Rejects have so far been treasured only by NWOBHM connoisseurs. Jobcentre Rejects clearly shows that it is music far too good to be buried in the past. It’s music that deserve to be heard not only by the most die hard record collectors. Remastered and restored sound. Extensive liner notes by Kieron Tyler (Mojo Magazine). Richly illustrated with many rare photos
File Under: Metal
Various: Numero 95 (Numero) LP
In tomorrow! As escapism from corporate banality turned the corner in the ’90s, a new generation of vibrant, software generated soundscapes emerged. Communal access to the internet propagated the new hive mind of ideas online, giving way to smoother, stress-free textures. The PC revolution opened the gateway to ray-traced playgrounds of color and light, allowing for visions of utopic proportions to manifest themselves on screensavers far and wide. Boot up your machine, load the software on this floppy diskette, and drop out of a reality bounded by the physical laws of the universe. Numero 95 is the eighth entry in Numero’s Cabinet of Curiosities series.
File Under: Electronic
Various: Soul Slabs Vol. 2 (Colemine) LP
In tomorrow! Soul Slabs Vol. 2 is a collection of A-sides from the 7-inch catalog of Loveland Ohio’s Colemine Records. Specializing in heavy soul, funk, and R&B, Colemine prides itself on authenticity and an old school production style, while still making songs that seem fresh and are moving the genre of soul forward. This 3 record collection of 27 tracks puts their diverse catalog on full display, many of these songs being presented for the first time on an LP. Featuring artists such as Durand Jones & The Indications, Kelly Finnigan, Ben Pirani, Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Monophonics, Ikebe Shakedown, The Dip, The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, Soul Scratch, and more! Heavyweight triple vinyl box set produced by Colemine Records in 2021.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Julien Baker: little Oblivions (Matador) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Blessed: III (Flemish Eye) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
Gene Clark: No Other (4AD) LP
Karen Dalton: 1966 (Delmore) LP
Decemberists: Live Home Library LP
Delta 5: Singles & Sessions (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Drab Majesty: Modern Mirror (Dais) LP
Drab Majesty: The Demonstration (Dais) LP
Entourage Music & Theater Ensemble: Neptune Collection (Folkways) LP
Blaze Foley: Clay Pigeons (Lost Art) LP
Blaze Foley: Live at the Austin Outhouse (End of an Ear) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: F#A# (Constellation) LP
Hollow Ship: Future Remains (PNKSLM) LP
Hum: Inlet (Earth Analog) LP
Indian Summer: Giving Birth to Summer (Numero) LP
Iron Maiden: Power Slave (EMI) LP
Durand Jones: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Kikagaku Moyo: House in the Tall Grass (GuruGuru Brain) LP
Paul Leary: Born Stupid (Shimmy Disc) LP
Peggy Lee: Black Coffee (Verve) LP
Curtis Mayfield: There’s No Place Like America Today (Rhino) LP
Charlie Megira: Tomorrow’s Gone (Numero) LP
Mdou Moctar: Ilana: The Creator (Sahel) LP
Mogwai: As the Love Continues (Temporary Residence) LP
Kevin Morby: City Music (Dead Oceans) LP
Kevin Morby: Oh My God (Dead Oceans) LP
Kevin Morby: Sundowner (Dead Oceans) LP
Ngozi Family: 45000 Volts (Now Again) LP
Nurse with Wound: Merzbild Schwet (Dirter) LP
Purple Image: s/t (Tidal Wave) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (mono) (Rhino) LP
Jeff Tweedy: Love is the King (dBPM) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) BOX
Various: Pacific Breeze Vol 1 (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Wamono A to Z Vol 1 (180g) LP
Various: Wamono A to Z Vol 2 (180g) LP