…..news letter #990 – lyra…..

Another sunny day, another week of killer slabs. Who could ask for anything more?

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

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 6 pm 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.


…..picks of the week…..

El Michel’s Affair: Yeti Season (Big Crown) LP
Coloured vinyl! Black vinyl! Deluxe Box! Fresh off of their 2020 offering Adult Themes, El Michels Affair is back with a new full-length release. Titled Yeti Season, this newest album has everything we’ve come to expect from EMA’s patented cinematic style of instrumental soul music. Where Adult Themes inspired a soundtrack to an imaginary film, Yeti Season brings us to a different place in time–with new inspirations. Taken with Turkish-styled funk and an almost Mumbai-esque take on soul, El Michels Affair offers us a different kind of drama and imagination with Yeti Season. If you’ve been following along, this shouldn’t be viewed as too far a departure for El Michels Affair. The first single off of Yeti Season showed their hand back in 2018. A double-sided banger, that release brought the musical textures to the fore that dominate this record. The first song, titled “Unathi,” is fully realized with the beautifully haunting-yet-hopeful vocals of Piya Malik, formally of 79.5–another Big Crown artist. Singing in Hindi, Piya’s ethereal voice is telling us to work and strive together toward progress. Even if you don’t understand her language, you can still hear the urgency of purpose, creating a lasting vibe that sits on top of it all. Piya appears on three other songs on Yeti Season: “Zaharila,” “Murkit Gem,” and “Dhuaan.” Each providing particular signatures to the album. “Zaharila” is a building and changing love song punctuated by blaring trumpets, driving drums, and Piya’s pleading lyrics. While the more upbeat “Murkit Gem” opens with a fuzzed out, Wu-Tang-esque baseline that buoys Piya’s stylings. The psychedelic guitar and Piya’s changing tones and textures singing about an all-consuming love are what pushed “Dhuaan” on to the second single from Yeti Season. There is also a vocal appearance from Shannon Wise of The Shacks, yet another Big Crown artist. Her song called “Sha Na Na,” lies more in the familiar EMA vein: melodic, hypnotic, soulfully visual. But between Shannon’s airy singing, the jumpy baseline, moody vibes, the active drum lines, it sounds like a pensive walk home after a strangely dramatic night. So what is Yeti Season? It could be more of a feeling than an actual place or time of year. It’s a heavy album – as evidenced by the signature musicianship and dramatic vocal expressions. But it’s also a hopeful record, with phrasings, textures, and chord changes that hint at something better – or fuller – coming our way. You hear it in songs like “Ala Vida,” with its stabby, pulsing chords laying a bedrock for EMA’s bright, atmospheric horn lines. Or even in “Fazed Out,” which leaves you with a feeling of determination, a striving for resolution even though the driving, march-like song structure should accompany some conquering army.

File Under: Funk, Soul, World
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Guided By Voices: Propeller (Scat) LP
Coloured vinyl! Propeller was the fifth album by Guided By Voices, and was intended to be the group’s last. Released as a limited edition of 500 LPs in 1992, the album featured handmade covers and blank labels to keep expenses as low as possible. Their other albums hadn’t sold much, why would this one? Robert Pollard had a family to support and his musical aspirations had not exactly been a boon to their bank account. As fate would have it, the band wound up releasing an album chock full of gems Pollard had stockpiled, and for the first time sounded distinctly like the band that fans have since come to love. Propeller also marks the return of Tobin Sprout to the GBV fold, along with an increased songwriting presence. From anthem-to-be “Over the Neptune” to the effortless melodies of closer “On the Tundra,” Propeller is a hell of a ride, and remains one of the most important albums in the band’s discography. The vinyl edition has been out of print for a decade, and features different cover art than previous pressings. The CD edition has been out of print for a minute as well, and is now housed in digipak format, also with a new, unique cover from one of the original pressings. And for the first time Propeller is available on cassette.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

Beherit: The Oath of Black Blood (Nuclear War Now) LP
NWN! is honored to release this definitive reissue of The Oath of Black Blood. Often regarded as the first BEHERIT album, The Oath of Black Blood is a compilation of Beherit’s Demonomancy demo and the Dawn of Satan’s Millennium EP, both of which were originally released in 1990. Beherit never intended for these recordings to be released as a compilation LP; a dispute with their label, Turbo Music, resulted in the label’s unilateral decision to compile the earlier recordings rather than wait for a proper album of new material, as Beherit intended. Nevertheless, for many people, The Oath of Black Blood was their introduction to Beherit, causing many to assume it was recorded as a proper album. Both Demonomancy and Dawn of Satan’s Millennium represent inflection points in Beherit’s evolution.

File Under: Metal
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The Clean: Mister Pop (Merge) LP
Originally released in 2009, Merge is thrilled to make Mister Pop readily available again. In 1978, The Clean were the seeds of New Zealand punk. In the years since, they have carved out a big sandbox for everyone to play in, and their influence resonates not only in NZ but around the world. A group that thrives when free of expectations, The Clean’s Robert Scott, Hamish Kilgour, and David Kilgour are, as Tape Op described, “a casually wonderful band.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Lo Fi
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The Clean: Unknown Country (Merge) LP
Originally released in 1996, Merge is thrilled to make Unknown Country readily available again. In 1978, The Clean were the seeds of New Zealand punk. In the years since, they have carved out a big sandbox for everyone to play in, and their influence resonates not only in NZ but around the world. A group that thrives when free of expectations, The Clean’s Robert Scott, Hamish Kilgour, and David Kilgour are, as Tape Op described, “a casually wonderful band.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Lo Fi
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Crucifix: Dehumanization (Kustomized) LP
Dehumanization is the only full length album from the band Crucifix. Recorded in 1983, it is considered a classic American hardcore album and a landmark of anarcho-punk. Dehumanization delivers a raging critique of war, violence, displacement, and the decimation of human rights and human dignity—themes at once global in scope and also completely endemic to Reagan-era America. The intensity of this message is matched only by the intensity of the sound: a heavy minimalist construction built on brutal guitar riffs, low-end distortion, hardcore fury and teenage speed. It is an album of pure raw power, a hot blast of personal and political outrage and musical adrenaline. Fusing California hardcore with metal and second wave British anarcho-punk, Crucifix carved out their own highly distinctive wall of sound on this release. Ignoring the rules of punk purism in favor of a well produced huge guitar sound, the album preceded much of the hardcore metal crossover of the mid-80s and played an influential but often unacknowledged role in the punk and metal subgenres that followed. “Annihilation,” the album’s opening track, has become iconic. Quoted often, it’s been sampled by Orbital and covered by A Perfect Circle and Sepultura. The original vinyl version of Dehumanization was released on the Crass Records offshoot label Corpus Christi in the UK, and has been out of print since the 1980s. This new Kustomized rerelease has been carefully remastered from an original vinyl source and adheres closely to the audio quality of the original. In addition, the six-panel foldout poster sleeve has been reproduced in its entirety. Taken together, the words, music and graphics of Dehumanization form a complete work and a resonant and enduring document of the period.

File Under: Punk
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Cthonic Lore: The Lesser Incantations of (Sentient Ruin) LP
Venezuelan aural plague Cthonica re-emerge from the sepulchers and sewers of Caracas with a new chapter in their abominable saga of repulsive and sepulchral ritualistic raw black/death metal. Hideous beyond comprehension and utterly horrific, “The Lesser Incantations of Chthonic Lore” was conceived as some kind of perverse telepathic link to the underworld and it reconfirms the Venezuelan necromancers as an absolute horror of creation. Across its three mammoth spells of slithering cacophony and ritualized horrors, on the horrific new MLP Cthonica regurgitate another stomach-churning thirty-minute subterranean emanation of death ridden incantations and complete aural deformities, rummaging the depths of total perversion and abandon to unearth one of the most nauseating, primitive, and hallucinatory rituals of aural blasphemies to have been vomited out of South America in recent years. Closing track “The Lesser Incantations of Chthonic Lore (Black Flame Plague)” features guest lead vocals by Abstracter vocalist M.A..

File Under: Metal
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Dwyer, John, Nick Murray, Brad Caulkins, Tom Dolas, Greg Coates: Witch Egg (Rock is Hell) LP
“Transmission incoming…alien sound waves have been bouncing off the side of our ship. We’ve managed to capture some of them on plastic. They seem to appear suddenly out of the vacuum. Projected by planets. Beamed through stars. Reflected off debris. Hanging in space like dust motes. “Witch Egg is an improvised set of songs by John Dwyer, Nick Murray, Brad Caulkins, Greg Coates and Tom Dolas. Another fired expedition out in the wilds. Recorded and mixed at Stu-Stu-Studio by John Dwyer. This one is a burner designed optimally for your eco-pod sound system. When you’ve left the world behind, you will need a soundtrack while you lay in dream stasis.” —John Dwyer

File Under: Psych, Punk, Oh Sees
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Hakuchi: Best Works 1991-1994 (Black Water) LP
Japan’s HAKUCHI (Niigata City) getting the long awaited vinyl treatment they deserve. Hakuchi spanned 1991-1994 and released 2 EPs and several demos and compilation appearances. Members would later go on to form one of the more prolific bands in the Japanese metal/punk scene, A.G.E.. While their early recordings follow the more classic Japanese hardcore tradition of the time, they morphed into their own unique crust punk style that peaked with their 1993 EP “God’s Disturb” on Overthrow Records. While you can hear nods to Amebix and Extreme Noise Terror, these punks were blazing their own trail.

File Under: Punk
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Here Lies Man: Ritual Divination (Riding Easy) LP
Four albums in, the convenient and generalized catchphrase for Here Lies Man’s erudite sound—if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat—might seem a little played out. But Ritual Divination is perhaps the best rendering of the idea so far. Particularly on the Sabbath side of the equation: The guitars are heavier and more blues-based than before, but the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave remains a constant. “Musically it’s an opening up more to traditional rock elements,” says vocalist / guitarist / cofounder Marcos Garcia, who also plays guitar in Antibalas. “It’s always been our intention to explore. And, as we travelled deeper into this musical landscape, new features revealed themselves.” The L.A. based band comprised of Antibalas members have toured relentlessly following their breakout 2017 self-titled debut. Their second album, You Will Know Nothing and an EP, Animal Noises, both followed in 2018. Third album No Ground To Walk Upon emerged in August 2019. All of them were crafted by Garcia and cofounder / drummer Geoff Mann (former Antibalas drummer and son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) in their L.A. studio between tours. Ritual Divination is their first album recorded as the full four-piece band, including bassist JP Maramba and keyboardist Doug Organ. This album continues with an ongoing concept of the band playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie, with each song being a scene. Musically and sonically, the album is also self-reflexive. “On this album the feel changes within a song,” Garcia says. “Whereas before each song was meant to induce a trancelike state, now more of the songs have their own arc built in.” “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,” Garcia continues. “Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.”

File Under: Metal
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Kings of Leon: When You See Yourself (RCA) LP
Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum rockers Kings of Leon follow-up 2016’s Walls, the quartet’s first No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with their eighth studio album When You See Yourself. Recorded at Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studios with Grammy Award-winning producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine), the album sees the band entering 2021 with a modern bent on their sound as heard on the warm keyboard washed singles “The Bandit” and “100,000 People.”  Frontman Caleb Followill explained to The Sun: “I try to write and convince myself that I’m writing about something else but a vein of my personal life flows through these songs. Sound-wise, Matthew really nerded out and found some cool vintage equipment. He was into organs and synthesizers as I was pulling teeth trying to get him to play more guitar! But when you hear that old equipment, it feels timeless and beautiful. A lot of the instruments on this album, you could’ve heard on Pink Floyd or Beatles albums. We really dug deep to find the proper equipment.”

File Under: Rock
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Willie Nelson: That’s Life (Legacy) LP
Honoring the enduring inspiration of Frank Sinatra, That’s Life is Willie Nelson’s second album of classics made famous by The Chairman Of The Board. Willie’s first ode to Frank, 2018’s My Way, earned Willie the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Solo Album, and That’s Life finds Nelson (who has penned a few standards himself) inhabiting 11 more of the most treasured songs in the Great American Songbook including the title track, “Luck Be A Lady,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” and “I Won’t Dance” (a duet featuring Diana Krall). Produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, That’s Life was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood – where Frank Sinatra, created a string of album masterpieces – with additional recording at Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas. Willie delivers 11 new studio performances, coming alive in a musical landscape animated by lush string and vibrant horn arrangements on an album mixed by recording industry legend Al Schmitt (who’s recorded and mixed more than 150 gold and platinum albums and won more Grammy Awards than any other engineer or mixer). The That’s Life album cover features a brand new painting of Willie and his iconic guitar, Trigger, standing in the glow of a twilight streetlamp, evoking classic Sinatra album covers of yore.

File Under: Country
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Noose Rot: The Creeping Unknown (Sentient Ruin) LP
Gruesomely regressed and appallingly involved, in their wretched and bludgeoning debut LP, NOOSE ROT (who feature in their ranks members of GATECREEPER, SKELETONWITCH, and WOLVHAMMER) spew forth a vomited cascade of complete aural filth that engulfs the listener in a blinding deluge of chainsawing guitars, steamrolling drums, and putridly tortured vocals. At its most delicate and refined The Creeping Unknown is nothing more than a coffin-born aural stampede of complete aural rot where caveman-death metal is taken to a sickening new extreme, conjuring similar diseased atmospheres as seen in bands like Cruciamentum, Vastum, Acephalix, Disma, and Grave Miasma.

File Under: Metal
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Obsequiae: Aria of Vernal Tombs (20 Buck Spin) LP
Coloured vinyl! Last year, 20 Buck Spin released the first vinyl edition of Obsequiae’s masterfully unique 2011 debut album Suspended in the Brume of Eos. Perhaps the only band that might fit as well on a label like Harmonia Mundi as on 20 Buck Spin, Obsequiae reemerges with Aria of Vernal Tombs, having painstakingly shaped their second opus over four years in the way an expert woodworker plies her trade to craft singular works of exquisite beauty. As before, traditional Medieval source material, this time interpreted via Vicente La Camero Marino’s sparse, sorrowful harp pieces, appears throughout Aria, providing a foundation upon which to build the longer, metal-based sagas forming the album’s core. Black metal, death metal, traditional heavy metal and Medieval music are all weaved seamlessly together in baroque yet abrasive reverence on Aria, resulting in a remarkably original long-player. With a wet clarity to the incandescent production that cites underrated obscurities like Sacramentum’s Far Away from the Sun and Eucharist’s A Velvet Creation along with the early works of Varathron, Samael and Rotting Christ, the atmosphere on Aria of Vernal Tombs brings to 2015 what such bands strangely but sincerely captured years ago. Every sound and shimmering tone is intentional and essential to this rite of Spring.

File Under: Metal
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Proclamation: Advent of the Black Omen (Nuclear War Now) LP
The long-awaited repress of Proclamation’s debut of unrelenting bestial black metal, in the unmistakable style of legends such as Blasphemy, Beherit, Impurity, and Sarcofago. Originally released in June of 2006. One of four Proclamation albums to be reissued in 2020/21.

File Under: Metal
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Serpentwithfeet: DEACON (Secretly Canadian) LP
Coloured vinyl! serpentwithfeet is not only imagining, but exploring a world wherein Black love is paramount. His new album, Deacon, is “a study rather than a story,” delving into Black, gay love and the tenderness present in the best companionships, romantic or otherwise. Fully self-actualized and more devoted than ever to personal fulfillment, Deacon highlights his growth as a songwriter, which he credits to taking a more straightforward approach to expression. Spending time with pop songwriters and observing how they traverse language encouraged serpent to take more risks lyrically, resulting in more purity. Raised by religious parents in Baltimore, Serpent’s flair for theatrical themes and gospel sensibilities can be traced to the Black church, a place where the artist had his earliest experiences with glamour and the ornate. Well-executed vocal flourishes and the implementation of a quickening vibrato are just a few of the skills he picked up during his time in a Pentecostal choir. He proudly follows in the tradition of R&B artists whose gifts were helmed in the church, and he approached Deacon with an undeniable passion and reverence for the genre. In his love for love, Serpentwithfeet is offering a look into the soul of a man who articulates his passion in a warmer, gentler way. He’s become wholly confident in his gift and messaging on Deacon, which is to be expected when one gives vent to maturity. Through his music, he allows compassion to be the backbone of his art, as he communes with his most loving self.

File Under: R&B, Soul, Electronic
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Sigur Ros: Takk.. (Krunk) LP
Critically acclaimed Icelandic band Sigur Rós reissue Takk… on their own label Krunk. Originally issued in 2005, their award winning highly lauded fourth studio album features the singles and fan favorites “Glósóli,” “Hoppípolla” and “Sæglópur.” Pressed on 2 x 12″ vinyl and including a single sided etched 10″, this beautifully packaged record is composed of a debossed gatefold sleeve with a single die cut page that holds the 10″. Written, performed and produced by the band (along with co-producer Ken Thomas) at their studio in Alafoss, Iceland, Takk… is the record to justify every amazing claim ever laid at this exceptional band’s door. Huge and intimate, orchestral and gossamer-light, rich, layered and essentially simple, Takk… is the work of a band operating at he very top of their game.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Sleepwalker: Noc Na Krayu Sveta (Sentient Ruin) LP
Russian/Japanese/American experimental ritualistic black metal entity 夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) emerge from slumber with “Noč Na Krayu Sveta” a two song/half-hour EP of liquefying hallucinogenic sonic alchemy and transcendental avant-garde excellence. In the vast two-song composition 夢遊病者 morph into their most abstract and defiant state yet, reaching a state of near-ethereal cinematic deconstructionism that only leaves vague traces and queues of their primordial and vast melting pot of influences. Within, black metal, kraut, noise rock, free-jazz, drone, middle-eastern incantations and ritualistic psychedelia are melted down in a lysergic kaleidoscopic frenzy of sounds and then sublimated to reach a new zenith of masterful immateriality which consecrates the band at its most ambitious and confrontational state yet. Challenging the listener’s senses and perception at multiple levels, “Noč Na Krayu Sveta” pries the mind open to enter its deepest levels, defying its boundaries and expectations almost with arrogant unpredictability, crossing thresholds of experimentalism and of creative ambition we hadn’t yet fathomed in the band’s still short but extraordinary career, but which we can now gaze into in complete awe and wonder. The result… something standing astonishingly between Ved Buens Ende, Zeni Geva, Bohren And Der Club of Gore, Galloping Coroners, Urfaust, and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.

File Under: Metal
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Spelljammer: Abyssal Trip (Riding Easy) LP
“The vastness of everything is something that I think about a lot,” says Spelljammer bassist / vocalist Niklas Olsson. And it certainly shows in both the expansive, sludgy sounds and contemplative lyrics of the Stockholm, Sweden based trio. Following a five year break between their previous album, Ancient Of Days—perhaps fittingly spent pondering said vastness—Spelljammer is back with an album that perfectly bridges the band’s earlier desert rock leanings and their later massive, slow-burning riffs. Abyssal Trip (note: carefully re-read that album title) takes its moniker from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The six song, forty-four minute album fittingly embodies that bleak realm with rumbling, oozing guitars intercut with dramatic melodic interludes. The songs take their time to unfurl, making them even more hypnotic. Likewise, the lyrics take a poetic approach to establishing the sonic scenery. The recording process for this album differs from previous releases in that the band—guitarist Robert Sörling, drummer Jonatan Rimsbo and Olsson—opted to capture the performances while holed up in the mental bathysphere of a house in the countryside near Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains. Indeed, the album sounds confident and meticulously arranged, afforded by the band’s isolation. Sörling mixed the album and it was mastered by Monolord drummer Esben Willems at Berserk Audio. Abyssal Trip is, just like its title suggests, an epic tour through desolate zones which yields much to discover.

File Under: Metal
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Teno Afrika: Amapiano Selections (Awesome Tapes from Africa) LP
The past five years have seen amapiano, South Africa’s electronic music movement born in the townships of the country’s Gauteng province, evolve from an underground sound to a nationwide mainstream staple. Even with its commercial success though, amapiano’s DIY ethos has continued to disrupt music creation and distribution in the country. Most amapiano commercial successes today began their careers on cracked versions of production software like FL Studio, distributed their work through file sharing platforms like datafilehost and marketed it using social media pages they controlled and influenced. Amapiano is partly a tasting menu of South Africa’s musical history, a lineage that has been as much a backdrop to the times as it has been a catalyst for change in the country. South African jazz has thrived pre and post-democracy, contributing international stalwarts of the genre, notably Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela. Kwaito music – which itself borrowed from other genres like marabi, kwela, mbaqanga, maskandi, bubblegum and others – was created and proliferated in the 90s partly because of the newly accessible House music imported into the country. In the early 2000s, Deep and Afro House dominated, to be followed by the rise of diBacardi, a percussion – heavy electronic music genre most popular in the city of Pretoria and its surrounding townships. Amapiano Selections, the debut album by DJ and producer Teno Afrika, gives listeners outside the movement’s online release economy an insight into the high-burn nature of amapiano that has spawned a distinct typology under its larger umbrella. 21-year-old Lutendo Raduvha has spent the bulk of his life moving between different townships on the outskirts of Johannesburg and Pretoria in the Gauteng province. The palette of amapiano styles on the album reflect these influences. But at first, South Africa’s youngest electronic music movement lived underground with a small, loyal following. “Amapiano is a genre that I chose because I have a passion for it,” says Teno “I started following amapiano in 2016 because I wanted to explore how it’s produced. It was not taken seriously in our country.” The record’s opening track, poignantly named “Ambassadors,” is the sound de jour in this current moment of amapiano’s evolution. Here organ solos riff over demure drums, bass and percussion for a sophisticated sound that is palatable to both seasoned and uninitiated ears. Teno Afrika does something similar on “Conka,” but this time referencing the Kwaito-influenced Amapiano popularized by DJ Sumbody and Cassper Nyovest’s collaborations and Focalistic’s lyrical dribbling which earned him the nickname Pitori Maradona (Maradona of Pretoria). The next two tracks, “Storytellers” and “8 Ubers” as well as tracks 6 and 7 (“Lerato La Bass” and “Trip to Vlakas”) are Teno Afrika’s hat tip to the sound evolving in the townships on the outskirts of Pretoria (Pitori to the hip) known locally as gong gong amapiano. From the home of diBicardi, the percussion and groove of the latter two especially are distinct for their almost off-tempo stride, an identifying feature of diBacardi. The high-pitched keyboard builds to a delayed break; once there, the drum is almost turned inside out to create a bass-line that becomes the driving force behind the track. As a counterpoint to the unrefined, chest rattling coarseness, fifth in the line-up “Smooth Criminal” is carried by the melody, given ample breathing space and balances the heavy bass on its back. Teno Afrika is referencing Harvard amapiano, named after the Ivy League US university for its supposedly more educated approach to production. Interestingly, Teno Afrika only gives vocals prominence on the closing track “Chants of Africa.” As a way of making their music recognizable and relatable for broadcast, amapiano producers have sometimes overly relied on vocals in the form of singing, catch-phrases and party refrains for the purpose. “It was my decision not to use vocals on this project,” says Teno “The reason is I wanted people to feel my instrumentals and style because this is my first album.” On his closing track the young producer gives a glimpse of the considered approach to music which buoys anticipation for greater things from his future releases.

File Under: Africa, Electronic
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James Wavey: Babe (Econo Jam) LP
“Again and again and again, JAMES WAVEY continues his winning streak with his third release for Econo Jam Records in so many years. “Babe” finds Mr Wavey (if you’re nasty) branching out further, trading loft parties and block parties for slow dances and smooth rides. It’s a hip-hop LP, sure, but it’s one colored through R&B and doo-wop lenses…and it’s got a freakin 60’s garage psych sample too!?! Features guest spots from fellow head BRYSON WALLACE and MAE POWELL. Limited to 150 copies and if after 3 records you haven’t been convinced of JW’s talents both on the mic and as a producer then I’m afraid that’s three strikes and you’re out boss cuz like the others these won’t last long!”

File Under: Hip Hop
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Weyes Blood: Cardamom Times (Mexican Summer) LP
On vinyl for the first time since its first sold-out pressing in 2015, this fifth anniversary edition of Weyes Blood’s (Natalie Mering) warm and elegiac record, Cardamom Times, features re-imagined cover art with the focal image of a desolate paradise during sunset – Jamaica Bay in Queens, NY surrounded by rust. A couple is laying on the ground, caught in a comfort beyond time. Since the EP’s release, Weyes Blood’s Front Row Seat to Earth (Mexican Summer, 2016) and Titanic Rising (Sub Pop, 2019) were both named Best New Albums by Pitchfork, with the latter making multiple Best Albums of 2019 lists, including The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Independent. Different from these elaborate albums, Cardamom Times was recorded onto reel-to-reel tape at Mering’s home studio in Rockaway Beach, New York. The songs of Cardamom Times demonstrate Mering’s reverence of devotional music and the avant-garde, channeling the domestic hymns of Sybille Baer through the lens of Baltimore’s experimental DIY scene; the minimal, melodic drones of Terry Riley accompanied by the voices of the Sacre Coeur; the confrontational words of Anaïs Nin along with the warm embrace of St. Augustine. With Cardamom Times, Mering invites listeners into that space of love and longing, struggle and change, surrounded by the decay of time that perpetually embraces us.

File Under: Indie Rock
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A.R.T. Wilson: Overworld (Numero) LP
A new age album that draws as much from ethno-groove, Chicago house, and G-funk, as it does from primitive percussion and ’80s library music. Relaxing, gentle, and warm, the 10-song ambient suite was made for a multidisciplinary modern dance performance described as “Neo-Paganism, Pop Divas, YouTube, Yoga, and Death Metal side by side in a live performance that searches for transcendence in the most unlikely places.”

File Under: New Age
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 75 Dollar Bill Little Big Band: Live at Tubby’s (Grapefruit) LP
Bikini Kill: Pussy Whipped (Bikini Kill) LP
Bikini Kill: s/t (Bikini Kill) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
David Bowie: Station to Station (Parlophone) LP
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician (Latino Bugger Veil) LP
Butthole Surfers: Rembrandt Pussyhorse (Latino Bugger Veil) LP
Chromatics: Closer to Grey (Italians Do It Better) LP
Leonard Cohen: Greatest Hits (Columbia) LP
Daft Punk: Random Accesss Memories (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Final Tour (Legacy) LP
Death: For the Whole World to See (Drag City) LP
Flaming Lips: American Head (Warner) LP
Mort Garson: Music From Patch Cord Productions (Sacred Bones) LP
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat) LP
Guided By Voices: Styles We Paid For (GVB Inc) LP
Incantation: Sect of Vile Divinities (Relapse) LP
Melvins: Working With God (Ipecac) LP
Kevin Morby: Singing Saw (Dead Oceans) LP
Osees: Protean Threat (Castleface) LP
Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Dolly Parton: Jolene (Legacy) LP
Tom Petty: Wildflowers and All the Rest (Warner) 3LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Mercury) LP
Shame: Songs of Praise (Dead Oceans) LP
Silver Jews: Natural Bridge (Drag City) LP
Stars of the Lid: Ballasted Orchestra (Kranky) LP
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie Prince Billy: Superwolf (Drag City) LP
T. Rex: Electric Warrior (Rhino) LP
T. Rex: The Slider (Demon) LP
Trees Speak: Ohms (Soul Jazz) LP
Colter Wall: Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs (Thirty Tigers) LP
Ween: Mollusk (Plain) LP
Various: Numero 95 (Numero) LP
Various: Cuba: Music & Revolution 1975-85 (Soul Jazz) LP