Happy Wednesday y’all! Feels so strange to be putting this together a day early, but WE ARE CLOSED tomorrow, July 1st, but we’re back Friday & Saturday for pick ups as usual. And if you missed this info last week, here’s a recap of our plan to reopen…
“We’ve been pretty busy running the store curbside and while reopening has been a constant thought, filling orders and servicing pickups has been our priority. Who knew running a closed store would be so much work! So we just aren’t quite ready in here. Between loads of used stuff, RSD Drops, and packing/shipping orders, the store is not very customer friendly, but we’re working on it. Our plan is to resume in store shopping on July 19th. We’ll likely start with reduced browsing hours and still expect masks and sanitizing etc. Thanks for your support and understanding!”
Oh.. also note, there’s a few new things up on the site that I couldn’t add to the news letter now for some ridiculous internet reason, but they’re up on the site! Take a peak.
…..pick of the week…..
Ulla: Limitless Frame (Motion Ward) LP
Ulla offers more precious room to breathe and space to think on ‘Limitless Frame’, dispensing a broader palette of instrumentation to evoke finer, ephemeral feels with a more timeless appeal. Her sound appears more porous to influence from strains of wistful jazz and blues here, vacillating and morphing her dreamlike ambient purview between parts of signature, aleatoric ambient pads and rustling room recordings, along with more classicist or traditionalist turns of guitars, sax and keys that call to mind K. Leimer via The Remote Viewer. It’s a perhaps surprising change in the winds of her music, and one we’re very happy to follow. In the artist’s own words “I made this music as a way to hug myself” and listeners can trust that hug will extend to them, too. She spends the first half of the record wrapping us up in clouds of pads, processed strums and fractured melodies, whisked to a gentle peak in the keening swoon of ‘Chest of Drawers’ around the middle, while the second half unravels into gorgeous loner arrangements. She captures the most wistful sensations akin to Annie Hogan’s parlour keys on ‘Something Inside My Body’, and crystalline trickles of guitars in ‘Clearly The Memory’, with the softly pealing wind of ‘Walk Alone’ calling to mind Loren Connors and Daniel Carter’s ‘The Departing of A Dream.’
File Under: Ambient
Asymmetrical: Blind Faith (Raw Culture) LP
Time is running and a lot of distorted frequencies have passed in our eardrums since that first self-produced release on Sony cassettes in 2016. Raw Culture turns 5 and for its fifth anniversary it is its handyman Asymmetrical to blow out the candles. After his first EP “For Muthafucka Use Only” released in 2017, Asymmetrical returns to his little baby with an album, Blind Faith. Inspired by Ben Elton dark, savagely comic novel where he imagine a post-apocalyptic society where religious intolerance combines with a confessional sex obsessed, self-centric culture to create a world where nakedness is modesty, ignorance is wisdom and privacy is a dangerous perversion, Blind Faith aims to be a critique of post capitalist society and to redesign the idea and the relationship in the contemporary club. Two densely engraved sides for a total of 8 tracks ranging from Ebm to techno, from electro to New Wave, all connected by raw rhythms, noise and distant voices.
File Under: Electronic
Bad Brains: s/t (ORG) LP
For fans of hardcore, many would agree that the holy grail of the genre is Bad Brains’ self-titled album, originally released back in 1982 as a cassette-only release on ROIR. The ensuing years after its initial release haven’t dulled the album’s fury and rage in the least, and it’s still impressive how the band can switch gears from red-hot hardcore to cool reggae dubs in the blink of an eye. All the classics are here: “Sailin’ On,” “Banned in D.C.,” “Pay to Cum,” “Right Brigade,” as well as one of their strongest reggae tunes, “I Luv I Jah.” The back of the album boasts a quote from the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, which sums up the proceedings simply, “the best punk/hardcore album of all time.” This reissue marks the second release in the remaster campaign, re-launching the Bad Brains Records label imprint. In coordination with the band, ORG Music has overseen the restoration and remastering of the iconic Bad Brains’ recordings. The audio was mastered by Dave Gardner at Infrasonic Mastering and pressed at Furnace Record Pressing.
File Under: Punk
Braids: Native Speaker (Flemish Eye) LP
Debut album, Native Speaker, from Montreal based Braids marks its 10 year anniversary with a colored vinyl LP reissue! With the release of Native Speaker in January 2011, Braids quickly became one of Canada’s bands to watch. Mixing pop, electronic and indie music together with Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s distinctive voice, their unique blend earned them heaps of praise: “Takes the beatific psychedelic washes of Animal Collective back to the testy clatter of punk-folk wild women the Raincoats â€” an at times nutty, at times serene, mash-up of pastoral guitar babble, minimal orchestral drones, loopy chorale vocals and porous, roiling rhythms.” – Rolling Stone “The four-piece deal with Animal Collective’s arpeggiated synths, chillwave’s hazy guitars & Gang Gang Dance’s tribal percussion.” – NME “Pairs glimmering, pastoral post-rock with foul-mouthed lyrics.” – SPIN
File Under: Indie Rock
Ian Carr: Belladonna (Mr. Bongo) LP
Official half-speed mastered re-issue of British trumpeter and bandleader Ian Carr’s iconic jazz-fusion-rock hybrid ‘Belladonna’ from 1972. Originally released on the Vertigo label, complete with collectable ‘swirl’ record centre design, this sought-after jazz-rock-fusion rarity features some of the cream of the UK jazz musicians of the 70’s. Comprised from groups such as Nucleus, Brian Auger’s band, Soft Machine, Stan Tracy group, the players included Brian Smith (tenor and soprano saxophones, alto and bamboo flutes), legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth, Dave MacRae (Fender electric piano), and bassist Roy Babbington, to name but a few. Seen as a benchmark point in Ian Carr’s career, ‘Belladonna’ is awash with atmospheric excursions and ethereal qualities, as well as a darker fusion aesthetic and prog-rock sensibility from Holdsworth’s exceptional guitar playing. The moody, yet funky, vibe of the album has echoes of Miles Davis’ electronic era à la ‘In A Silent Way’. The album is best enjoyed played in its entirety. There are ebbs and flows with certain tracks shining along the way. Standouts include the beautiful down-tempo track ‘Summer Rain’, which has a soundtrack / library style brilliance and emotional electric piano soloing. Though recorded in the 70’s, the track has a timeless sound, a melancholic funk so often used in hip-hop and beat tape productions to this day. ‘Mayday’s Shaft-like long extended intro builds the drama until the percussive release when the drums drop at over three minutes in. To give a record of such quality the treatment it deserves, we have once again been lucky to enlist the service of mastering and lacquer cutting engineering don Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios, to cut a brand-new half-speed master and let the music speak for itself.
File Under: Jazz
Christos Chondropoulos: Athenian Primitivisim (12th Isle) LP
ISLE011 is a collection of cassette recordings made in Athens by Christos Chondropoulos over the last five years. Coming from an avant-garde percussion background, Christos calls upon themes of ancient Greek folklore and musical tradition through a futurist lens depicting robotic societies in post-human harmony. He constructs worlds reminiscent of Marcello Giombini’s Mondial Folk series or Umiliani’s exoticised Omicron outings. By looking to the future rather than the far-off past, he builds upon these early instances of technologically charged cultural geography and presents an authentically Greek reading of a parallel Athenian basin. Where his last work for 12th Isle explored once-forbidden tunings and unplaceable tonalities, these recordings further expand on the artist’s simultaneous concern for heritage and imaginary projection. Across the final Side D, Chondropoulos explores themes of maternal love present across the album by working with local singer Sofia Sarri to record six piercing, beautiful acapella phrases.
File Under: Electronic
Larry Coryell: At the Village Gate (Culture Factory) LP
Late RSD arrival… Out of print LP with limited availability in the second-hand marketplace (the CD has been reissued by Real Gone Music). This deluxe package released as part of RSD Drops will include an OBI side spine on a single cardboard album jacket, printed inner sleeves, original record labels and “double split” blue translucent vinyl. At The Village Gate is a live album by jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, the “Godfather of Fusion”, recorded on January 21 and 22, 1971 at the Village Gate in New York City. It was released by Vanguard Records. Sadly, far too few people knew of this album at the time as its distribution was limited, but it’s a record that was recorded so well it could easily be considered a live studio release, and one that never fails to open eyes or expand horizons. It’s interesting to note that Larry’s wife Julie sings for the first time on this outing and that’s his son featured on the album jacket. “The Opening” | “After Later” | “Entardecendo en Saudade” | “Can You Follow?” | “Beyond These Chilling Winds”
File Under: Jazz
Miles Davis: Merci Miles! Live at Vienne (Rhino) LP
By 1991, the world’s most celebrated trumpeter could look back on five decades of musical evolution – his own, and that of the world around him. Miles Davis had found ways of marrying jazz with classical ideas, then later R&B, rock and funk, producing hybrid offspring that shaped the course of popular music and had come to define his legend. In 1985, he’d left Columbia after thirty years to sign to Warner Bros. Records, a label riding high with best-selling artists like Madonna, Van Halen and Prince, with whom he had a mutual admiration and friendship. Miles’ lifelong love for France is well-documented, and in July 1991, he became a Knight of their Legion of Honour. Davis received the award from French culture minister Jack Lang, who described him as: “The Picasso of jazz.” A few days before, he played this electrifying set at the Vienne Jazz Festival with the Miles Davis Group. He passed away two months later in September 1991. Miles Davis’ performance at Jazz a Vienne on July 1, 1991 became one of his final live performances before he passed away on September 28, 1991, and this previously unreleased set includes two songs written by Prince, “Penetration” and “Jailbait”. The package features liner notes from music historian, journalist, and producer Ashley Kahn, with art designed by Bruno Tilley.
File Under: Soul, R&B
Andre Ethier: Further Up Island (Telephone Explosion) LP
On Further Up Island, André Ethier completes the trilogy of solo albums that began with 2017’s Under Grape Leaves and 2019’s Croak In The Weeds. While not narratively linked in the traditional sense, these records document the musician’s ongoing collaboration with producer Sandro Perri. Like Robert Altman’s run of brilliant films with Shelley Duvall in the 1970s, the duo have developed a singular creative kinship over the course of three LPs. Since his days as the frontman of the Deadly Snakes, Ethier has cultivated an entirely different artistic practice as an acclaimed contemporary painter. At the same time, he has quietly slipped out a spellbinding body of work as a solo musician, with this album trifecta showcasing his skills as one of Canada’s most vastly underrated songwriters and storytellers. Ethier’s songs are casually played but carefully orchestrated, allowing each element to appear in sharp focus. “These albums are a series using the same palette,” explains Ethier, whose softly colored paintings also grace the covers of the trilogy. “The tools Sandro and I used on all three of them are similar so that the songs can almost be interchangeable. It’s a way of giving time to a creative relationship so it can blossom, like developing a shorthand with a co-worker. Nurturing that process allows it to grow.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Getting the Fear: Death is Bigger 1984-85 (Dais) LP
It’s testament to how fertile England’s mid-80’s musical landscape was that the splintering of short-lived post-punk pioneers The Southern Death Cult seeded so many memorable but divergent groups – from widescreen rock legends The Cult to romantic pop duo Into A Circle to “the Asian Public Enemy,” Fun-Da-Mental. But the band’s most potent subsequent cross-pollination was undoubtedly Getting The Fear, formed by The Southern Death Cult’s rhythm section of Barry Jepson, David ‘Buzz’ Burrows, and Aki Haq Nawaz Qureshi, joined by Temple Ov Psychic Youth associate Paul ‘Bee’ Hampshire on vocals. Galvanized by Margaret Thatcher’s “iron fist” austerity policies and the cultural liberation of punk, the group blazed to creative fruition, quickly landing a lucrative deal with RCA. But immediately after recording their 1984 debut single, “Last Salute,” a shake-up at the label left them stranded and without support. Rather than stall in music industry purgatory they chose to dissolve, escaping their restrictive contract. Bee’s lyrics on “Last Salute” are fitting final words: “If this must end let it pass me by / I’ll remain your friend, only flowers die.” But this is of course only part of the story. Death Is Bigger: 1984-1985 rectifies history’s error, collecting the group’s entire vault of demos and unreleased songs alongside liner notes and a photo gallery capturing Getting The Fear in all their high libertine glory. The compilation’s 10 tracks are alternately brooding, spiky, and sneering, fixated on dreams, sex, and Charles Manson (the sleeve of “Last Salute” famously features a detail from Manson’s embroidered waistcoat, unbeknownst to label execs). Razor wire guitars slice across tense rhythms, veering between minimal and melodic, occasionally flowering into psychedelic poetry, revealing Bee’s deep affinity with Psychic TV. Taken as a whole, the album showcases the breadth of forking paths facing UK post-punk in 1984: pop eating itself, new wave while still new, transgression as alternative not affectation. Getting The Fear’s music feels eclectic and unfettered, following whim, lust, and impulse, glinting with darkness against the fires of youth: “The earth is still beneath my feet, I start to sink to lose myself / Friends and lovers stand around unconcerned, their eyes in flames.”
File Under: Punk
P.J. Harvey: White Chalks Demos (Island) LP
2007’s White Chalk served as PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album and first new material since 2004’s critically acclaimed Uh Huh Her. It finds her once again teaming up with Flood and John Parish who had previously worked together on the Grammy-nominated To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire? White Chalk also includes musical contributions from Harvey’s long time associate Eric Drew Feldman, and Jim White from The Dirty Three. The album highlights Harvey’s incredible ability to consistently create a unique, yet always impactful experience with each new album. Her talents as a songwriter, musician, and producer have never been as powerful, or profound, as on White Chalk. The songs are wonderfully mesmerizing, leaving a hypnotic effect on the listener. This collection of previously unreleased White Chalk demos includes early versions of the singles “When Under Ether,” “The Piano” and “The Devil.” It also features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz. The artwork was overseen by Maria with Rob Crane. Mastering by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering, under the guidance of long time PJ Harvey producer John Parish.
File Under: Rock, Pop
P.J. Harvey: White Chalk (Island) LP
2007’s White Chalk served as PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album and first new material since 2004’s critically acclaimed Uh Huh Her. It finds her once again teaming up with Flood and John Parish who had previously worked together on the Grammy-nominated To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire? White Chalk also includes musical contributions from Harvey’s long time associate Eric Drew Feldman, and Jim White from The Dirty Three. The album highlights Harvey’s incredible ability to consistently create a unique, yet always impactful experience with each new album. Her talents as a songwriter, musician, and producer have never been as powerful, or profound, as on White Chalk. Featuring the singles “When Under Ether,” “The Piano” and “The Devil,” the songs are wonderfully mesmerizing, leaving a hypnotic effect on the listener. This 2021 vinyl LP reissue is faithful to the original recording and package, with cutting by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of original co-producer John Parish.
File Under: Rock, Pop
Lambchop: Showtunes (Merge) LP
In late 2019, as he has done so many times throughout his varied and fascinating career, Kurt Wagner was experimenting with something new, something that would eventually reveal itself as Lambchop’s Showtunes. By taking simple guitar tracks and converting them into MIDI piano tracks, “Suddenly I discovered I could ‘play’ the piano,” he says. “I was able to manipulate each note and add, subtract, arrange the chords and melody into a form that didn’t have any of the limitations I had with my previous methods of writing with a guitar.” Removing these limitations led to a surprising new sound, something akin to show tunes but with edges sanded down and viewed through Kurt’s own specific lens. “In general, it’s a genre I was none too fond of,” he admits, “with the exceptions of a few Great American Songbook – type of stuff or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits or early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael. I’d always wanted to make songs with a similar feel, but my skills were limited until now.” As for the content of the songs, it’s tempting to look at everything through the lens of the world we now live in. However, Kurt is quick to point out that these songs were conceived pre-COVID. “The words have no connection to the experience we now all share,” he says. “I find that to be a strong element in their favor. I’ve yet to reconcile the time I live in currently with something I care to enshrine in song. I’m searching for a way beyond that but I find it limiting, and I think good music deserves better.” Instead, this album looks beyond and behind the now.
File Under: Indie Rock
MacIntosh Plus: Floral Shoppe (Olde English Spelling Bee) LP
Vektroid’s alias for Floral Shoppe was Macintosh Plus, named after the computer of the same name. The album is frequently cited as an example of the then-emerging Internet-based vaporwave subgenre, along with works from other artists released by the record label Beer on the Rug. Prior to Floral Shoppe, she had previously produced other chillwave and vaporwave releases under multiple pseudonyms, including Vektroid, Laserdisc Visions, dstnt, and New Dreams Ltd. Adam Harper of Dummy, in an article about the vaporwave culture, described the album’s content as “chopped, glitching and screwed adult contemporary soul alongside twinkling spa promotional tunes.” Xavier’s production on the album is characterized by her use of looped and time-stretched samples of adult contemporary soul music, and its overall stylistic quality has been described as “chopped and screwed meets AOR, synth funk, contemporary R&B and new-age”. Xavier takes a rather unsettling approach to sampling throughout Floral Shoppe, with “voices slowed to wordless drawls, tempos abused at whim, [and] snippets mashed over each other at clashing time signatures.” Material sampled throughout the album includes several songs from new-age group Dancing Fantasy’s 1993 studio album Worldwide, various funk and R&B songs from the 1980s, and the soundtrack for the 1997 video game Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. The album’s second track, “リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー” (Lisa Frank 420 / Modern Computing), has become nearly synonymous with the term “vaporwave” within popular discourse. – Wikipedia
File Under: Electronic
Mother Mother: Inside (Warner) LP
Inside takes its inspiration from self-reflection, something Mother Mother frontman and songwriter Ryan Guldemond was forced to do in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After several months of writing and recording demos in his home, the album was recorded with Juno award-winning producer Howard Redekopp, who also helmed the band’s first two releases. Of creating Inside Guldemond says, “The world stopped, and all the sudden I had a lot more alone-time on my hands, which isn’t necessarily conducive to song writing. Usually, I like to venture out and find guidance from an external, interactive narrative – travelling, people, serendipities etc. I love that process – it’s almost like you’re in collaboration with the world. But since that wasn’t an option, I set about a different kind of travel, one more inward and personal, exploring different types of therapies, meditation, and journaling as a means to unearth songs from a deeper, interior place.”
File Under: Rock, Pop
O Yuki Conjugate: Sleepwalker (Utter) LP
Following on from their ‘Insect-Talk’ 12”, O Yuki Conjugate return to Utter for the vinyl version of their most recent album ‘Sleepwalker’. ‘Sleepwalker’ documents O Yuki Conjugate’s 2017-2019 live shows but also doubles as the soundtrack to a film of the same name by founder member Andrew Hulme. The music and images were conceived together and the resulting album comprises 10 tracks taken from 24 live performances in nine countries across Europe. ‘Sleepwalker’ captures OYC’s current musical direction, a blend of plangent keyboards, abstract guitars and electronic rhythms, presented in OYC’s inimical style. Originally released in 2019 on CD by German label Auf Abwegen, ‘Sleepwalker’ is finally available in vinyl form complete with three additional live studio recordings from OYC’s ‘Flesh and Bones’ NTS session of the same year. The album features a contribution from musician and actor Keeley Forsyth on ‘Eyelids Burn’ (courtesy of Leaf Records). It was mixed and mastered by Nurse With Wound’s Colin Potter and then transferred and cut by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering. The sleeve houses a 16 page 10”x10” size booklet displaying images and text from the ‘Sleepwalker’ film, a special 12”x12” tour insert plus codes to download the album and view the film.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Dorothea Paas: Anything Can’t Happen (Telephone Explosion) LP
Anything Can’t Happen is the long-awaited debut album from Dorothea Paas, one of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriters. For over a decade, Paas has played her unique, prismatic style of folk songcraft for audiences across North America, and lent her talents as a guitarist and vocalist to artists like Jennifer Castle, U.S. Girls and Badge Epoque Ensemble. The songs on this album have been through a near-infinite number of forms – Paas has played them solo and with a full band, electric and acoustic, at house shows and in sold-out venues. they manage to fit inside each context, like water taking the shape of its container. All of this makes Anything Can’t Happen feel far more mature and complex than a debut album. It’s a statement of purpose, a next step in a decade-long process of artistic growth and evolution, and a bridge between the DIY style of Paas’s previous cassette releases and a more refined studio sensibility. Recorded in studios in Hamilton and Toronto, and mixed by Max Turnbull of Badge Epoque and U.S. Girls and Steve Chahley, these songs bring a diverse range of musical influences into conversation: inflected with the layered reverberations of Grouper, shot through with the piercing harmonies of the Roches, electrified with the searing energy of Sonic Youth. You can hear Neil Young in the grittiness of the title track’s guitar; Joni Mitchell’s Hejira in the album’s lyrics, Fairport Convention in Paas’s voice. The influence of Stevie Wonder – one of Paas’s greatest musical role models – is present too, in the album’s conceptual foundations.
File Under: Rock, Pop
Pye Corner Audio: Black Mill Tapes Vol. 5 (Lapsus) LP
“In the beginning, there was just a box of tapes and ‘Fate’s Gentle Hand.’ It was the autumn of 2010, and an anonymous figure known only as the Head Technician, an employee of Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services, found himself at an auction in the village of Coldred, pop. 110. He was on the hunt for tobacco pipes when he chanced across a trio of boxes listed in the auction catalog, which described their contents only as ‘archived magnetic recordings.’ The sole bidder, he won the lot, and upon receipt of his purchase took possession of an unspecified number of moldering cassettes and ¼” reel-to-reel tapes. The collection contained no identifying information save for a single phrase scrawled on each box: Black Mill Sessions. And so, armed with razors, eyedroppers, and a bevy of solid-state circuitry, the Head Technician sat down at his machines and got to work . . . Some of the tapes displayed an unusual amount of degradation and … an unsettling amount of background noise, whether electrical in nature, or otherwise,’ wrote the Head Technician . . . It was a good yarn, and the music was better still. Like his contemporaries Demdike Stare and Ghost Box, Pye Corner Audio seemed to be tapping into some hidden energy current, channeling spirits via electrical means. The pioneering transmissions of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop could be detected lurking within the music’s staticky swirl; so could the ominous throb of John Carpenter’s film soundtracks. Drones and flutes commingled with chugging machine beats; miasmic clouds of haunted tone alternated with death disco. It all sounded eerie, otherworldly, possibly occult — yet also, in tracks like the glimmering ‘We Have Visitors,’ accented with a hint of mischief. Over the next few years, Martin Jenkins — for that, after all, was the Head Technician’s name — would go on to release three more volumes of Black Mills Tapes. Among the dozens of releases he has put out since 2010, they remain among the most beloved in his catalog. Now, ten years after Avant Shards first appeared, Lapsus is pleased to present Black Mill Tapes Volume 5: The Lost Tapes. The musical landscape has changed considerably in the past decade, but what is remarkable about the Black Mills Tapes material is that it hasn’t aged a day; its retro-futurist transmissions sound just as mysteriously compelling as they did the first time around. While they purport to faithfully transcribe the sound of yesterday’s technology, they end up being something more: a record of what we wish the past sounded like — a rickety tape transfer of desire itself, spooled and boxed, just awaiting discovery.” –Philip Sherburne
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
RAMZi: Multiquest Niveau 1: Camoufle (FATi) LP
The Grey world seems still. To the untrained eye the very briefest shimmers of light do nothing to break this mirage, they pose little threat to the zombi’s sense of reality. RAMZi is moving, unseen. At this stage the workings of it’s plan is cloaked in camouflé. This time, under the guise of a poodle moth hidden by nimbi, RAMZi continues to shake out sonic spores across the planet, coming to material form for the 4rd release on it’s own FATi records. A battle-talisman for it’s cosmic and spiritual guerrilla war against the zombification of the world, the first in the Multiquest series collects 11 quests, each one taking place on a different landscape, always championing interspecies harmony. Multiquest Niveau 1: Camouflé is the weaponisation of our unconscious creativity, to be used with deadly accuracy before slinking back into invisibility.
File Under: Electronic
The Roots: Do You Want More?!!??! (Geffen) LP
Do You Want More?!!!??! on Colored vinyl! Respect The Classics Campaign Reissue! Formed in 1987, in Philadelphia, PA, the legendary Roots Crew, consists of Black Thought (MC), Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (drums), Kamal Gray (electronic keyboards), F. Knuckles (percussion), Captain Kirk Douglas (electronic guitar), Damon Bryson (sousaphone) and James Poyser (electronic keyboard). The collective has become one of most respected hip-hop acts in the business and one of the greatest live groups around, currently residing as the official house band of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of The Roots’ official major-label debut album, Do You Want More?!!!??! Coming two years after their independent debut Organix (1993), the album marked a shift in how hip-hop sounded at the time. While Stetsasonic were known as a hip-hop band, The Roots took that distinction to a whole different level with a full band of talented musicians anchored by Questlove on the drums and two MCs in Black Thought and Malik B. The hip-hop classic opens with Black Though proclaiming, “You are all about to witness some organic hip-hop-jazz! One-hundred percent groove!” and The Roots follow up the claim and then some with plenty of instrumental and lyrical virtuosity and catalog highlights like “Mellow My Man” and “Essaywhuman?!!!??!” Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign, UMe will be reissuing this title back on colored vinyl in celebration of the milestone!
File Under: Hip Hop
Skee Mask: Pool (Ilain Tapes) LP
Just a continuation of things that have been done before and that will be done in the future. The plan is that there is no plan and the story goes on! 18 tracks about distinct moods, patterns and the pure joy of creation itself.
File Under: Electronic
Squarepusher: Feed Me Weird Things (Warp) LP
Clear vinyl! Warp Records presents a very special anniversary edition of Squarepusher’s debut album Feed Me Weird Things, virtually 25 years to the day from its original release in 1996. First released on the now inactive Rephlex label, the album has been out of print on vinyl for more than a decade. This complete colored 2LP + 10″ edition has been remastered from the original DATs and features two extra tracks which were first released on the B-side of the Squarepusher Plays… EP and later featured on the original Japanese release of this album. The edition also includes a 16 page booklet with personal photographs, ephemera and candid notes from Tom Jenkinson, throwing light on the early days of his career. The release follows Be Up A Hello, Squarepusher’s 2020 album that was filled with buoyant, dancefloor driven tracks which featured some of the same analogue and digital hardware that was used on Feed Me Weird Things. Be Up A Hello was also driven by the same hedonistic energy which is perfectly encapsulated in this pioneering album, the first tracks of which he recorded when he was only 19 years old. Musically, Feed Me Weird Things is more expansive than the electronic sub-genres it was hemmed into at the time, as it was the first release where Jenkinson highlighted his virtuosic bass playing. Like much of his output after, it also showcases disarmingly intricate melodic composition like on “Squarepusher Theme” and extraordinarily complex rhythmic sequences i.e. on “Tundra” whilst retaining an impressive cadence. The album was a key release for Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) and Grant Wilson-Claridge’s Rephlex label and has gone on to be regarded as one of Squarepusher’s best. As well as a close friendship there was perhaps a bit of healthy competition between Squarepusher and Aphex Twin at the time (Hangable Auto Bulb was released in ‘95 and is cited as an influence). However, strong jazz influences and accomplished bass playing set Tom apart from his contemporaries. Richard curated the track list for Feed Me Weird Things from tapes that Tom had given him and the record includes sleeve notes written by him too, the only time he has done so for another artist. It was on strength of this record and Squarepusher’s early EPs on various labels that caught the attention of Steve Beckett who signed Tom to Warp. The Port Rhombus EP on Warp came out later the same year, with the Vic Acid EP and the Hard Normal Daddy album following in 1997
File Under: Electronic
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (4AD) LP
Bill Evans Trio: Everybody Digs Bill Evans (OJC) LP
Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard (OJC) LP
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Ella & Louis (Verve) LP
Vijay Iyer: Uneasy (ECM) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Rita Lee: Build Up (Future Shock) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Mdou Moctar: Afrique Victime (Matador) LP
Nirvana: Bleach (Sub Pop) LP
Olympians: s/t (Daptone) LP
Orville Peck: Pony (Royal Mountain) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Pink Floyd) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow O.S.T. (Jagjagwar) LP
Tom Waits: Small Change (Anti) LP
Whit Boyd Combo: Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (Modern Harmonic) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music (Numero) LP
Various: Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP