Well, how’s everyone feelin’ now that the pandemic is apparently over!? It’s been a strange year, but it’s even weirder now. Hopefully things keep moving in the right direction! Anywhooo… loads of new stuff in this week again, so have a read…
On reopening…. “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!”
And don’t forget, July 17th is the second RSD Drop. Next week stuff should start showing up and we’ll start adding the titles to the site. Items will go live for purchase at 11am on the 17th.
..…picks of the week…..
Coil: Love’s Secret Domain (Infinite Fog) 3LP
Black or Gold vinyl available. In 1991, Coil released the third of their early classic full-length albums “Love’s Secret Domain”, seemingly casting aside the gloom and funereal beauty of its predecessors in favour of a painstakingly multi-layered hallucinogenic electronic beast, which unlike some of their fellow ex-industrial contemporaries’ releases of the time wasn’t an attempt at easy accessibility or (the-gods-forbid) danceability, but a vibrating psychedelic masterpiece unrivalled in their discography and still a landmark album. To mark its 30 year anniversary Infinite Fog are beyond proud to present an expanded, fully remastered re-release of this fan favourite available for the first time ever in its entirety on vinyl with 10 rare and mostly unreleased tracks and alternative versions from the period added as a bonus to a luxurious 3LP. Love’s Secret Domain contains among its many highlights the Lynchian William Blake tribute of its title track and the intoxicating single “Windowpane”, original versions of the later Coil live staple “Teenage Lightning” and the majestically warped classicisms of “Chaostrophy”. Marc Almond guests on the Typhonian “Titan Arch” and This Heat’s Charles Hayward provides some amazing drum stylings. This album is Coil pushing their sound ideas and probably their sanity to their very limits. Beyond the iconic Steven Stapleton cover art here reproduced in unseen definition the doors of perception still open wide for both long-term Coil aficionados and new-comers to this supremely innovative release to explore unknown depths. The long-overdue re-release illustrates how far ahead of the curve Coil were with the sounds on this album, which still sounds as fresh and mind-blowing as it did back in the early 90s.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial
Pye Corner Audio: Black Mill Tapes Vol. 1-5 (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. Whether anyone believed it or not, this was the framing device surrounding Pye Corner Audio’s Black Mill Tapes Volume I: Avant Shards, which took the mysterious tactics of artists like Boards of Canada and Burial and raised them exponentially . . . These were not compositions, we were told; they were tape transfers — ‘transcriptions’ of an unknown author, slathered with hiss and thick with ambiguity. 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. ‘I chose to edit around the worst of the unusual break-ups, but some still remain.’ 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 Records collects all four volumes along with a fifth disc of unreleased material…” –Philip Sherburne Color LPs; includes booklet.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Arsivplak: Moog Edits (Turkish Disco Folk) (Arsivplak) LP
A fantastic Turkish psych funk, disco-folk album, with sounds from the ’70s. Killer funky sound with Moog organ, bass guitar, and electric saz, alongside clapping riffs, wah guitar, clarinet, darbuka, and drum tunes. Really great disco-club samples are on this record, it’s got everything a DJ needs. A superb Turkish disco sound from beginning to end…
File Under: Psych, Disco, Turkey
Maki Asakawa: America No Yori (Universal Japan) LP
This is Maki Asakawa’s 19th album produced by Toshiyuki Honda, featuring Hideo Yamaki, Takayuki Hijikata and Souichi Nouriki.
File Under: Jazz, Japan
Maki Asakawa: Nothing at All to Lose (Universal Japan) LP
This is Maki Asakawa’s 23rd album, featuring Bobby Watson, Tony Maiden, Toshiyuki Honda, and Andre Fisher. This is an ambitious work that challenges the original English lyrics.
File Under: Jazz, Japan
Caterina Barbieri: Vertical (Cassauna) CS
Norelco plastic case. Vertical is Caterina Barbieri’s debut album and it was composed for vocals and Buchla 200 modular synthesizer. Vertical takes a meditative approach to primary waveforms and the polyrhythm of harmonics, stretching the boundaries between drone, minimalism and techno in multichannel systems. This minimalistic focus arises from the polyrhythmic and stratigraphic potential of voltage-controlled sequencers. Synthesis, drone and immersive listening are three fundamental conditions to enhance an advanced auditory art, not based on extrinsic links but solely built on the experience of the spectrum, able to develop our very limited ability of perceiving the vertical domain of music, involving us in a holistic way. Caterina Barbieri (1990) is a composer and performer of electro-acoustic music. Mostly interested in modular synthesis, three-dimensional spatialization and psychoacoustic aural sculpture, her music arises from a meditative approach to primary waveforms and the polyrhythm of harmonics. She received a degree in classical guitar and electro-acoustic music at the conservatory of Bologna, Italy (plus an exchange program at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden) with a thesis about time, space and spectrum in vertical music. She’s currently attending a Bachelor in Literature and she’s active as an audiovisual artist, acousmatic composer and guitarist. Her work has been commissioned and performed in festivals and venues of experimental music.
File Under: Electronic
Big Brave: Vital (Southern Lord) LP
Teal vinyl! Minimalism and instinct, structure/freedom and meticulous timing form the cornerstones of Big Brave’s precise, rhythmical sound. On their new album Vital, the recording features the core trio Robin Wattie, Mathieu Ball and Tasy Hudson, for their most collaborative record they’ve made so far. The band comments, “having cut our teeth in very different musical backgrounds respectively, our intuitions vary, which has an interesting effect on our individual approaches and ears.” Lyrically, Vital explores the weight of race and gender, endurance and navigating other people’s behaviors, observation and protest. The band further commented “this album involves what it means navigating the outside world in a racialized body and what it does to the psyche as a whole while exploring individual worth within this reality.” On Vital, Big Brave once again made the trek down to Rhode Island to record with Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets. They remark, “we fully trust his instinct as an engineer and his creative output, getting to experiment with textures, concepts, layers, and with pretty much every single recorded sound, the process of making records with Seth is an absolute journey in sonic exploration.”
File Under: Metal
Michele Bokanowski: Rhapsodia (ReGRM) LP
“Michèle Bokanowski’s art is one of densities, much like the density of a given color, a given depth. Her sound textures are, indeed, profound, both in the space occupied by their frequencies and the sharp temporal trail they leave behind. Here lies the composer’s immense talent that finds the right development for each sound, letting it blossom before altering it, adapting the musical structure to let the sounds ‘be’, even if it sometimes means returning to the most basic form, such as a loop. This is a sign of great honesty and artistic sensitivity; able to stand back and let the music become music. It is the most radical, the most accurate gesture of composition. The two pieces on this record, dissociated in time, both in their approach and destination, nevertheless reflect, each in its own way, Michèle Bokanowski’s highly singular and insightful musical intuition.” –François Bonnet, Paris, 2020. “Rhapsodia” (two movements and one interlude) is dedicated to Marceline Lartigue. The piece was created in the composer’s own studio; Technical collaboration: Jonathan Prager. “Battements solaires” is music for Patrick Bokanowski’s film. Produced in the Kira BM Films studios; Production: Kira BM Films with ARTE France and CNC contributions. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi; Cut by Andreas Kauffelt at Schnittstelle, Berlin, November 2020; Translations: Valérie Vivancos; Layout: Stephen O’Malley.
File Under: Electronic, Avant Garde
Anton Bruhin: Speech Poems/Fruity Music (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle offer up a rare serving of unheard works by legendary Swiss artist Anton Bruhin. Active as a visual artist, poet, and musician since the 1960s, Bruhin has created important work in forms as varied as concrete poetry and landscape painting, imbuing everything he does with wit, humility, and absurdist humor. A recognized master of the jew’s harp (or Trümpi, as this ancient folk instrument is known in Swiss German), Bruhin’s sound work also encompasses tape collage, sound poetry, and manipulated bird song. On Speech Poems/Fruity Music you are treated to 26 short pieces made between 2006 and 2008 using the audio software Fruity Loops. These pieces carry on Bruhin’s long-running project of exploring the creative use and misuse of cheap, accessible technologies. In many of his analog works, Bruhin explored the possibilities of simple cassette equipment. He invented DIY approaches to layering sounds by using multiple tape machines, experimented with distortion and tape speed, or, in his classic Inout (1981) created a maniacally single-minded audio monument to the pause button. Like the computer pixel drawings the artist produced around the same time as these recordings, Speech Poems/Fruity Music extends this approach to consumer software, presenting two parallel sequences of works that make use of Fruity Loops’ inbuilt synthetic instruments and its speech synthesis function. The instrumental works play like a twisted take on the aesthetics of 1980s video game soundtracks, using synthetic accordion and harpsichord sounds to realize jaunty little ditties that exploit their machine-realization by making use of improbable pitch-bends and humanly impossible tempos and articulations. Between these samples of Fruity Music, you are treated to the Speech Poems, a series of recitations by a lone computer-generated voice. Many of them are in fact songs, as the synthetic voice crudely and hilariously changes pitch as it moves through its fragmented syllables and odes to cream in coffee. Carrying on Bruhin’s interest in the creative misuse of technology, many of the Speech Poems attempt to force Fruity Loops’ voice synthesis, designed only to speak English, to speak German. By entering phonetic text into the program, Bruhin gets it to produce a passable German alphabet and a series of approximations to a proper pronunciation of his name. Hilarious while strangely austere, entertaining but bizarre, Speech Poems/Fruity Music is classic Anton Bruhin, arriving in a beautiful mosaic cover by the artist, with the text of the “abc für anglophone” on the back cover. Compiled by Marc Matter and Anton Bruhin. Mastered by Joe Talia.
File Under: Avant Garde, Experimental
William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin: s/t (Cold Spring) LP
Rare recordings of beat/cut-up writers and artists William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Comprises the complete recording of Burroughs reading live in Liverpool in 1982, plus performances by Gysin of a selection of his permutated poems, as well as home recordings made by the pair in Paris in 1970. All recordings are taken from original tapes in The British Library collection. 180 gram vinyl.
File Under: Spoken Word
Camera: Prosthuman (Bureau B) LP
With the band’s tenth anniversary in their viewfinder, Camera are all set to push the button on Prosthuman, their fifth studio album. The Berlin band never tire of changing themselves, their music or personnel. As Karlheinz Stockhausen noted: “New methods change the experience. New experiences change man.” Taking this as their lead, Michael Drummer (the drummer) and Camera surprise listeners more on Prosthuman as they reinvent and reformulate their sound without sacrificing the project’s identity which has matured over the past decade. Emotional Detox (BB 312CD/LP, 2018), the predecessor to this album, was distinguished by the presence of two keyboard virtuosos (Steffen Kahles and Camera founder member, Timm Brockmann). Finding replacements for Prosthuman was difficult; the two keyboardists had — in different creative periods –formed the backbone of a band structure. Decisive input came from an unlikely source: Tim Schroeder, who first teamed up with Camera as a performance and video artist on their 2017 USA tour. Over the course of jams and recording sessions, he was able to offer ample proof of his synthesizer skills. Alex Kozmidi, a musician and composer with a flair for experimentation, completed the triumvirate on guitar, with Michael Drummer adding his own guitar riffs. Change and friction can be useful allies in pursuit of creativity, something to which Drummer has grown accustomed as the only ever-present member of Camera. The pleasures and pain of isolation — suddenly a mass phenomenon in pandemic times –are well known to the quasi-front man of the group. Virus-induced social distancing and quarantine measures came into effect during the recording process (June 2019 to June 2020). Finding the musical framework for Prosthuman required a great deal of commitment, enthusiasm, and plenty of time. In spite of shifts in instrumentation, the ten tracks comprising the album fall into place like a progressively unfolding narrative. There is no apparent beginning to the record, no obvious ending — rather more a sense of being right in the middle, with no immediate reference to any of the previous albums. At the same time, traces of the paths travelled on past albums are discernible. Michael Drummer’s approach to drumming is more than a constant reference point, emerging as the decisive element which pins everything together.
File Under: Electronic
Clipping.: Wriggle (Expanded) (Sub Pop) LP
Loser Edition! The 2021 edition of Wriggle features new artwork, guests, and previously unreleased remixes. Included are the original versions of the title track, “Shooter,” “Hot Fuck No Love” (feat. Cakes Da Killa & Maxi Wild), “Our Time” (feat. Nailah Middleton), along with “Back Up 2021” feat. SB The Moor and a new verse from industrial-rap experimentalist Debby Friday. Wriggle also features remixes of the title track from Drum & Bass/Breakbeat act Homemade Weapons and Classicworks label co-founder Cardopusher, a rework of “Back Up” by Fade To Mind producer Dave Quam (formerly Massacooramaan), and Chicago footwork producer Jana Rush delivers both the “Hot Fuck No Love (Naughty Bitch Remix)” for the vinyl version, and “Shooter (Face Rearranged Remix)” for the digital release. The original, digital-only Wriggle was six tracks that weren’t finished in time to make it onto the group’s 2014 Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG. For “Shooter,” Clipping recorded themselves firing fifteen different guns, the sounds of which exclusively constituted the beat’s drums, augmented only by a synthesized tone-row. The verses referenced the well-worn technique of “hashtag rap,” but instead of using it to boast about the rapper’s personal wealth and masculine prowess, Clipping put forth imagistic narratives of three violent encounters. True to much of the group’s music, “Shooter” was an attempt to reframe a familiar style and test the limits of its formal capabilities. “Hot Fuck No Love” contains what might be the most explicit verse to date from Clipping’s favorite New Jersey rapper Cakes Da Killa. The EP’s title track, “Wriggle,” was built around a sample of the influential power-electronics song “Wriggle Like a Fucking Eel” by Whitehouse, transforming William Bennett’s torturous imperative into a instructional dance-floor banger. “Wriggle” and “Shooter” have become classic Clipping tracks and staples of their live show.
File Under: Hip Hop
Cold Diamond & Mink: From Us to You.. With Love (Timmion) LP
An internet image search of the Welsh countryside looks exactly like you might have pictured it. The grassy knolls, grass-topped rooftops, horses and lambs on the green pasture, the winding roads; beauty that manages to dodge the cliché by a hundred miles. When it comes to the instrumentals of Jeb Loy Nichols’ album “Jeb Loy”, recorded far away from his Wales home in a Finnish basement studio, modern pastoral soul might as well be the appropriate term. Void of Jeb’s raspy vocals, but still featuring his acoustic guitar, an air of serenity emerges from the tracks. The crow has flown away into the grey clouds leaving the misty airwaves for the drums and bass, guitars, organ and horns, the familiar tools of Cold Diamond & Mink. And these fellows know how to build an ambience, just have a listen to the instrumental version of “Living It Up”. “Jeb Loy” might be the independent soul album of the year. But as all of the single releases from it are vocal tracks, this release is your only chance to cop these instrumentals. You’ll find that they have stories of their own to tell. Some pretty, others joyful and all inspiring.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Cowell/Harper/Workman/Hart: Such Great Friends (Pure Pleasure) LP
A lost bit of late Strata East — and an all-star session that never lets up! The album’s a quartet effort – led by Stanley Cowell, but equally featuring participation from Billy Harper on tenor, Reggie Workman on bass, and Billy Hart on drums. The overall feel is a lot like Harper’s own work from the time — particularly his late 70s Japanese sessions – driven strongly by Cowell’s modal approach to the groove, a sound that’s perfectly executed by the team of Workman and Hart. The tracks are all quite long, spinning out with a freely expressive approach.
File Under: Jazz, Strata East
Alvin Curran: The Works (Our Swimmer) LP
The Works — one of the most famous pieces by brilliant American composer Alvin Curran — was not created by will and direct purpose but, as the composer himself states, as a “providential accident” which is to say quite organically. Combining piano and voice with found sound and a custom-built Serge modular synthesizer, The Works is a slowly developing piece where space and ambient tape are eventually overtaken by raga-esque chanting and frenetic piano playing, where synthesizer washes become full-on workouts all leading to a coda where the listener is “finally carried off on the wheels of the Berlin U-Bahn.” Curran — whose initial training and musical education was as a pianist — had been living in Roma, Italy, in the mid-70s returning to his roots and performing regularly in cocktail lounges on Via Veneto. It was this return to piano and vocals that became the genesis for The Works. In relearning the piano, a five-note “motive” took hold. Added to this was “a recording I had made of our 14 year old dachshund Caspar just before he died. It was, in fact, a love song which he persisted in singing all day after meeting a lovely bitch in heat in Piazza Navona. This I knew would be the beginning of the piece.” As the piece expands further the listener will hear “cows munching grass, the Rome-Florence express train, a horse-fly caught against a window pane, my footsteps approaching a Roman fountain and later going up the steps of my old studio, cicadas, an Amsterdam calliope, a tin can being kicked, and a series of sounds from La Serra di Lerici.” Though The Works has been performed in many incarnations over the years, it’s this performance — captured on February 24, 1980, and originally released that same year by the short-lived Italian avant-garde label Fore — that is the definitive version, and one of the finest recordings ever made by the celebrated composer.
File Under: Avant Garde
Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brothahood: LIVE (International Anthem) LP
Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brothahood’s LIVE was recorded in Berlin, Germany, during JazzFest Berlin 2019. It was the first show of Angel’s first European tour. Angel and her band experienced several instances of racially-charged mistreatment over the two days they spent in Berlin, and hence they rained fire from the stage. This music is intense! Angel says: “That show was very deep, and really helped me to process all the rage, and uncomfortable things I was feeling… It was a very freeing and beautiful show… we played our ass off!!”
File Under: Jazz
Die Welttraumforscher: Die Ruckkehr der Echten Menschheit (1981-1990) (Bureau B) LP
Flusch. Knirk. Finom! Since July 14th 1981, Die Welttraumforscher have been researching the dream of the world, becoming cassette creators in the process. A mission which has seen them seek out the folklore of outer space, visiting the continent of Binika and marveling at the metropolis of Darktown. In transit, they find support and succor in Bretzelberg pop, toytown tempests, a starman, bricoleurs, 4-track recorders and instant architecture. How elated they are when they happen upon a successful sound piece, taking clandestine delight in the return of genuine humanity. This first Bureau B retrospective devoted to Die Welttraumforscher covers the Swiss project’s early creative period from 1981 to 1990. The eccentric, heartwarming pop songs now sound like documents from a parallel world, interwoven with idiosyncratic fantasy, surreal stories and dreamlike apparitions. Considering their continuous and prolific output over the past four decades, it is quite remarkable how Die Welttraumforscher have remained under the radar for so long — that said, their cadre of admirers includes such illustrious artists as Mouse On Mars, Barbara Morgenstern, and Felix Kubin. It thus gives Bureau B immeasurable pleasure to offer a closer insight into the work of this incomparable project. All tracks have been remastered.
File Under: LoFi, Experimental, Pop
Die Welttraumforscher: Wir Arbeiten Fur Die Nachste Welt (1991-2012) (Bureau B) LP
A triumvirate obsessed with riddles, triplets on a cosmic expedition, Die Welttraumforscher delving into the depths of the sonic universe. Their research, so they say, knows no limits — from the living room to the workshops of Sideria, taking in the enchanting City of Water, Leguan Rätselmann’s geometric songs, seeing their friends Kip Eulenmeister and Ohm Olunde. They gather up twinkling star sounds and forgotten noises from the attic. They also say: “Our work is for the world to come”. The second collection sees Bureau B zoom in on the years 1992 to 2012 in the Welttraumforscher universe. A more pensive atmosphere of melancholy pervades the tracks documented herein, as if the more spherical musical journeys and expeditions undertaken by creator and sole member Christian Pfluger lead to increasingly enchanted worlds. It may be possible to trace pop-cultural references to artists like Andreas Dorau or The Residents, and yet the Welttraumforscher’s music has a life all of its own which appears increasingly sui generis with every album.
File Under: LoFi, Experimental, Pop
Sam Dunscombe: Outside Ludlow/Desert Disco (Black Truffle) LP
Outside Ludlow / Desert Disco is the first major solo release from Australian performer-composer Sam Dunscombe, now based in Berlin after residing for the past decade in San Diego and Tokyo. A virtuoso clarinetist who has performed in composed and improvised settings with artists such as Klaus Lang and Taku Sugimoto, their practice also embraces computer music, lo-fi electronics and field recordings, in addition to their long-term commitment to archiving, studying and performing the work of Romanian spectralist composer Horatiu Radulescu. The two side-long pieces presented on this LP began from a chance encounter in a specific geographic location (documented in the photographs that grace the record’s sleeve). Exploring California’s Mojave Desert with a friend, Dunscombe made the unlikely discovery of a tangle of quarter-inch tape snared on a cactus. The digitized version of this tape, variously edited and processed, as well as Dunscombe’s own transcription and embellished performance of some of its material on Hammond organ, makes up one of the main ingredients of the LP’s first side. The other is a field recording of the area outside the ghost town of Ludlow, where the tape was found, where haunted silence is punctuated by freight trains and clusters of explosions from gold mines and the local marine corps. Far from any kind of documentary approach, the resulting composition reaches back to the smeared atmospherics and overdriven tape crunch of Hands To, Small Cruel Party or Joe Colley, before the Hammond organ rises up to cast a spectral shimmer reminiscent of 1960s tape music classics like Arne Nordheim’s “Warszawa”. On “Desert Disco” (its title perhaps a clue to the content of the mysterious tape), Dunscombe zeroes in on a single fragment of the tape, accompanying it with analog synthesis to craft an immersive work based on a single chord. Throughout the course of this work, the monolithic opening sonority gradually splits apart, revealing an infinity of rhythmically phasing lines that swarm like a cloud of insects and patter like falling rain, placing Dunscombe’s piece in a lineage of patient electronic exploration that includes landmarks like Costin Miereanu’s Derives and the contemporary work of Jim O’Rourke. Limited edition vinyl with images by Sam Dunscombe and design by Lasse Marhaug. Mastered by Joe Talia at Good Mixture, Berlin.
File Under: Experimental
Eleh: Snoweight (Important) LP
Recorded during two days of extreme weather, ELEH’s Snoweight conveys the mesmerizing force of a winter storm with sonic realism and romanticism. These two new compositions evoke both warm security and wild, blanketing intensity in ways that are both emotionally arresting and time stopping. LP version is packaged in a heavy-duty jacket screen printed by Neil Burke at Monoroid; edition of 305 (hand numbered).
File Under: Ambient, Drone
Embryo: Opal (Ohr) LP
The Munich based band Embryo was founded in 1969. Opal was their first album. Released on the OHR label in 1970, the band led by Christian Burchard combined numerous genres into a huge crossover project. Jazz-rock, folk, blues, soul, contemporary music, and world music. Even if Opal doesn’t sound as perfect as later recordings, the album is considered very influential. Embryo themselves describe their style as follows: Pop music is the appropriate level of communication for Embryo, just as they found their origins in all musical styles, from folk blues to jazz soul to serious and contemporary music, the musical past of Embryo’s musicians is also connected to such different styles. The group has always remained true to this motto: Always open to new things and gladly committed to improvisation. In the 50th year of the release, the original magnetic tapes have been re-recorded and carefully remastered.
File Under: Prog, Jazz-Rock
Bill Evans Trio: On A Friday Evening (Craft) LP
Craft Recordings presents On a Friday Evening, a newly-discovered live performance by the Bill Evans Trio, featuring Eddie Gómez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums. The previously unreleased concert took place on June 20, 1975, at Oil Can Harry’s, Vancouver, BC. Captured for radio host Gary Barclay, it was aired on his popular CHQM jazz show. For nearly half a century, the tapes lay forgotten – until now! Thanks to audio restoration by Plangent Processes and meticulous mastering by Paul Blakemore, it sounds just as fresh today as it did in 1975. The 9-track, 180g vinyl 2LP outing includes liner notes from music journalist Neil Tesser, who incorporates new interviews with trio members Eddie Gomez and Eliot Zigmund, along with meticulous, track-by-track details on the evening’s program – which included both original compositions and standards. On a Friday Evening offers listeners the rare chance to hear Evans and his bandmates settling into a new reconfiguration of the trio, which Zigmund had joined just months before. Tesser explains that this live recording “merit[s] attention, and much of that comes from hearing Zigmund, in an intimate setting away from the concert hall, finding his place in the lineage of the most important piano trio of its era – a trio that for 15 years had exploded the established piano-plus-accompanists model and replaced it with a true trialogue among instruments.”
File Under: Jazz
Ryo Fukui: Mellow Dream (Slowboat) LP
This is their second album, recorded about a year after “Scenery”. The delicate yet emotionally rich performance is still there, but this album has more power, and the world that Fukui depicts comes closer with a clearer outline and a sense of three-dimensionality. The sweet and sad melody of “Mellow Dream” and the dynamic and fast-paced “Horizon” are among the dazzling performances. In addition, this album has three original songs, compared to only one in the previous album, and it is a pleasure to enjoy Fukui’s musicality even more. In light of its maturity and richness of content, it can be said to be a masterpiece that surpasses the first album. Sadly, Ryo Fukui passed away in 2016. His delicate touch, rich tone, and beautiful musicianship. I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the “earthly dreams” he showed me. (From the manufacturer’s information)
File Under: Jazz, Japan
Grauzone: Limited 40 Years Anniversary Box Set (WRWTFWW) BOX
WRWTFWW Records celebrate the 40-year anniversary of cult band Grauzone with the release of their definitive and comprehensive Limited 40 Years Anniversary Box Set. The release is packed with their complete discography, as well as a never-released-before live recording, an 80-page fanzine with an extensive biography written by Swiss music historian Lurker Grand, unseen archival material, and artist contributions, and a poster replica of an original concert flyer from 1980. Conceived, conceptualized and supervised by original band member Stephan Eicher, the box set includes the following exclusive content: Grauzone’s self-titled album from 1981 reissued as a 180 gram, double-LP with nine additional tracks, amounting to the band’s complete studio discography. Included are the classics “Eisbär”, “FILM 2”, “Raum”, “Moskau”, “Träume Mit Mir”, “Der Weg Zu Zweit”, and “Wütendes Glas (Maxi Version)”, as well as the deep and unconventional album cuts that make Grauzone so unique. The double-LP is housed in a heavy gatefold sleeve, with liner notes by Lurker Grand, an insert with the original album’s lyrics, and a special Xeroxed artwork imagined by Stephan Eicher. The box also includes Grauzone’s Live LP, a recording of their April 12th 1980 concert at Gaskessel in their hometown of Bern, Switzerland, with a sleeve artwork by Stephan Eicher. Also includes is an 80-page fanzine containing the history of Grauzone written by Lurker Grand, never-seen images of the band and their collaborators and incredible snapshots of the late ’70s/early ’80s underground scene in Switzerland, as well as artist contributions by Christian Marclay, Genesis P-Orridge, Sylvie Fleury, John Armleder, Maurizio Cattelan, Gregor Hildebrandt and more, cementing Grauzone’s art band with a punk attitude” ethos. Included as well is a 60×90 cm poster replica of Grauzone’s Spex (Bern) concert flyer from October 25 1980. Absolutely all the elements included in this box set collection were photocopied by hand with a vintage Xerox machine before being printed, as wished by Stephan Eicher (who took care of photocopy duties for a good chunk of the material). A bold artistic choice, a nod to the DIY ways of the era this release represents, and drawing a parallel between the acts of reissuing and photocopying. Lid-off box.
File Under: Electronic
Will Guthrie & James Rushford: Real Real World (Black Truffle) LP
Real Real World is the first collaborative effort from Nantes-based Australian drummer/percussionist Will Guthrie and Australian keyboardist/composer James Rushford. Primarily recorded in a fluid, spontaneous studio session in Nantes, with overdubs added later in Melbourne and Nantes, Real Real World presents five spacious, unhurried pieces that inhabit a unique sound world characterized by wheezing, half-voiced organ chords, chiming metal percussion, and eruptions of small sounds. Beginning with the eerily beautiful, shakuhachi-esque sound of Rushford performing on detuned portative organ, the opening title track is abruptly transformed by the entry of Guthrie’s sizzling cymbals, deep gong strikes, and rustling hand percussion. On the epic “Lumbering”, which occupies the majority of the record’s first side, organ chords define a space in which a kaleidoscopic succession of amplified thuds, chiming bells, rustled and dragged objects, and abruptly silenced clusters advance and recede in an oneiric blur, eventually making way for a passage of Guthrie’s virtuosic polyrhythms, itself unexpectedly overtaken by waves of melting fairground organ. The record reaches an energetic climax mid-way through the second side with the stunning “Slakes”, where lugubrious chords in the organ’s lowest register are joined by Guthrie’s skittering rhythms, which somehow manage to call to mind both the most chaotic moments of Balinese Gamelan and the stochastic breakbeats of late-90s Autechre. On this piece, Guthrie and Rushford are joined by Melbourne saxophone maverick Scott McConnachie, who contributes an alto sax solo of burning precision, working with a single-minded palette of piercing long tones and wild intervallic leaps. Though it makes extensive use of overdubbing, Real Real World retains a strong sense of having been performed, rather than constructed: while at times the fleeting succession of events can recall electroacoustic music, its primarily acoustic nature and unhurried pace is also reminiscent of the music of AACM affiliates or Marion Brown’s classic Afternoon of a Georgia Faun (1970). Immediately engaging while also hiding countless details in the folds of its polychrome fabric, Real Real World is a relaxed and joyous document of collaborative musical invention. Artwork by Patrizia Bach; Layout by Lasse Marhaug. Mixed and mastered by Joe Talia at Good Mixture, Berlin.
File Under: Experimental
Harlem Gospel Travelers: Nothing But His Love (Colemine) 7″
As the world around us succumbs to disgusting hate-fueled violence, folks are looking for answers….looking for a ray of hope. And while it may not save the world, we all certainly hope this new tune from The Harlem Gospel Travelers brings a note of positivity in your life. “God’s Gonna Move His Hand” is the B-side to “Nothing But His Love”, which was a part of our Brighter Days Ahead campaign with the goal of providing folks with new music while looking forward to better days in the future. We hope this 45 and the stirring B-side can do that!
File Under: Funk, Soul
Billy Harper: Black Saint (Our Swimmer) LP
Billy Harper is one of the great tenor saxophonists in the post-Coltrane mold. Originally from Houston, TX and with a degree from the venerable University of North Texas College of Music, Harper emerged on the New York City jazz scene in the late 1960s performing with Art Blakey, Max Roach, Lee Morgan, and others. Known for his soulful and propulsive tone, Harper was already a highly regarded and prolific session man before the release of his debut album as a leader on the cult favorite Strata-East label in 1973. Recorded in 1975, Black Saint was the second album for Billy Harper as bandleader and is the most acclaimed and fully realized of his long career. The inaugural release of the Italian label Black Saint — to which the album lent its name — is comprised entirely of Harper compositions; the peaceful and subdued opener “Dance, Eternal Spirits, Dance!,” the swinging and fiery “Croquet Ballet” and the side-long epic “Call Of The Wild And Peaceful Heart.” Harper’s group features trumpeter Virgil Jones — a graduate of Roland Kirk’s mid-60s groups and session player for McCoy Tyner, Charles Tolliver, and others — along with Joe Bonner on piano, David Friesen on bass, and Malcom Pinson on drums. Black Saint is too melodic and swinging to be free jazz but too forward-thinking to be described as modal post-bop; Harper’s advanced compositional sense and galvanic tenor work make this an album of pure fire music. This is a beautiful album back into print on its original format for the first time in over 40 years.
File Under: Jazz
Rip Hayman: Waves: Real and Imagined (Recital) LP
Captain Rip Hayman (b.1951, New Mexico) has come ashore again, bearing fresh cargo. A student of John Cage, Ravi Shankar, and Philip Corner, Rip was a founding editor of the revered Ear Magazine (1975-1991), and since 1977 has run New York’s oldest bar, the Ear Inn. The focused minimalism of his new LP Waves: Real and Imagined varies from the collaged spectacle of his first Recital LP, Dreams of India & China (2019). This oceanic dish holds two side-long works: “Waves for Flutes,” a multi-tracked flute composition recorded by the artist in 1977. “Angelic”, “Grave”, and “Sad” modes overlap an effect of medieval choral organum, as shifting patterns evoke water and wind variations of the shore and vast sea beyond. An enchanting and arresting piece. The second side holds “Seascapes,” which was recorded on the Pacific Ocean in February and March of 2020 — through calm seas and tempestuous storms. The ship as the instrument played by the sea. We feel both lost and saved when at sea, the landfall feared or longed for. The album is dedicated to all those whose souls have been lost and found at sea amidst the waves, for each sea wave is a child of Oceanus & Tethys, Greek gods of the sea, every one sent on their way to play… Includes download coupon; includes folded 11″ x 17″ insert with liner notes; edition of 300.
FIle Under: Experimental, Avant Garde
Kuni Kawachi and His Friends: KiriKyogen (King) LP
A session album (’70) by Kuni Kawachi, of the Happenings Four and Joe Yamanaka/Hideki Ishma of the Flower Travelling Band (FTB), is being reissued. The Happenings Four released a progressive/new rock album called “Hikiyo/Huroshio” in 1971, and FTB released their first album in the same year and one of the best Japanese rock albums, “Satori” in 1971. Released in 1970, when the Japanese rock scene was transitioning from group sound to new rock, this album is a historical masterpiece that rivals the masterpieces of both bands. The brilliant Hideki Ishma’s raga technique, Joe Yamanaka’s voice singing in Japanese (unlike FTB), and the underground feel of the songs written and composed entirely by Kuni Kouchi, this is the ultimate work, the only one of its kind, born at the dawn of the Japanese rock era. This is the ultimate piece of work, the only one of its kind, born at the dawn of Japanese rock.
File Under: Psych, Japan
Eli Keszler: Icons (LuckyMe) LP
LuckyMe present the new album from New York based percussionist and composer Eli Keszler. Icon offers up a latticework of melodic percussion, drum set, and electro-acoustic instrumentation, built upon fragments of American abstraction, ancient scales, industrial percussion, and jazz-age film noir to achieve its feeling of imperial decay. Keszler’s instrumental performances are framed by panoramic recordings of New York City and the Odyssey Cave, along with other on-location audio from his global travels, defining an expansive music that takes on hyperreal forms difficult to describe outside of the loss and wonderment that defines our age.
File Under: Electronic, Jazz
Kajsa Lindgren: Momentary Harmony (Recital) LP
Recital exhibit the new album by Swedish composer Kajsa Lindgren (b.1990). Typically working with field recordings and electroacoustic sounds, Momentary Harmony expresses her more emotive and lucent instrumental compositions. The music has taken a step away from her previous works, using only flickers of field recordings, instead tracing back to Kajsa’s childhood classical music roots: voice, violin, and piano. A warm tide grows and recedes through her album. Breathing in miniature lute ornaments and exhaling large choral plateaus. This polarity rests in narcotic limbo. The delicate arrangements remind one of Vikki Jackman or blurred Björk B-sides. Mixing instrument stems like clusters of field recordings, Lindgren laces harmonic gradients across the plain of this LP. Choirs clasp with cello overtones and piano washes. Alongside Kajsa Lindgren, the album has recurring topiary appearances by Vilhelm Bromander (bass), Maxwell August Croy (koto, voice, guitar), Åsa Forsberg (cello), Pär Lindgren (lute), Sean McCann (piano and voice), and Jörgen Pettersson (saxophone). Includes set of five postcards made for the album; also includes download coupon; edition of 250.
File Under: Experimental, Classical
Miriam Makeba: Keep Me In Mind (Strut) LP
This new reissue of ‘Keep Me In Mind’ is presented in its original artwork and features rare photos and new extensive liner notes by Francis Gooding of The Wire. Remastered from the original tapes by The Carvery.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Lionel Marchetti: Le Grande Vallee/Micro-climat (ReGRM) LP
“I wonder if my fascination for clouds (without being an obsession) may have risen at the end of the ’80s as, whilst composing ‘Micro-climat’, I would regularly wander between the Vercors mountains and the high plateaus of the Monts du Forez discovering, through my eyes, body, breath, active observation and walk, that natural forms when constantly changing and yet swollen with a unity of matter (in this instance, water) open one up to a deep, fundamental breath and a clear field for the mind. The sky and its forces: our ally. A model for a natural music which, although fixed, as in musique concrète (a rule of the genre), moreover on a recording tape, will remain charged with such a poetic quality that (isn’t it its role or rather its reality?) it will ensure a perpetual renewal for our senses, so as to reach another idea of the world, far more open and richer than what we could have imagined.” –Lionel Marchetti, 2011. “Lionel Marchetti is a major figure of the ‘third generation’ of concrète musicians, a term he values. Listening to these works, imbued with poetry and traversed by micro-narratives, one can indeed retrieve the original concrète spirit, the one that draws from the sonic world, with ears wide open, so as to extract a fertile, rich and multiple substance then shaped and conveyed towards a formal and musical abstraction. Lionel Marchetti has mastered this process, but his real distinctive feature is a truly unique talent for setting climates (as one sets traps) and keeping us on constant alert. The two pieces in this record perfectly illustrate the entrancing dimension of Lionel Marchetti’s music, whose charm leads us, through each successive listening, to become voluntary captives so as to better liberate ourselves.” –François Bonnet, Paris, 2020. “La grande vallée”: Musical composition, design and sound production carried out at the INA grm Studios (Paris) in 1993/95; Original audio recordings in the Drôme and the Mont Ventoux areas “Micro-climat” is the first movement of the Sirrus cycle (Micro-climat, Passerelle, Sirrus) composed in 1989/90; Musical composition, sound design and production, audio recordings in 1989/90 at the CFMI studios in Lyon (Lumière University, Lyon 2). Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi; Cut by Andreas Kauffelt at Schnittstelle, Berlin, November 2020; Translations: Valérie Vivancos; Layout: Stephen O’Malley.
File Under: Experimental, Avant Garde
Masonna: Freak (Urashima) LP
Urashima reissue Masonna’s Freak, originally released on cassette in 1995. Cascades of electronic noise, a psychedelic touch and vocal belching mixed together constitute the ingredients of Mademoiselle Anne Sanglante Ou Notre Nymphomanie Auréolé, the double-barreled name for Masonna. Maso Yamazaki founded his project in 1987, with a charismatic and glamorous personality who become a cult figure in “Japanoise” scene. Masonna’s abundant productions on his own legendary and astonishing label Coquette were presented in very limited edition, sometime totally confidential (one sole copy), and reflect his predilection for ’60s psychedelic music revisited in its own very peculiar way. He transforms his voice into noise, feeding the microphone back through a process of extreme distortion. His shouts become clipped bursts of overloaded sound, doubled and extended by a delay that displace the sounds into stuttered blasts of static. Freak is an ultra-rare cassette originally released in 1995 by Coquette in an edition of 36 copies in a special gold paper and now return for the first time in a flabbergasting vinyl format fully remastered. This mature work is very brash, earsplitting and mad. The distortion and effects on the vocals are top notch, they in combination with his awesome screaming create a complete audio assault. Sometimes pleading sobs are heard. And they are all, regularly, philologically broken, retouched, stiffened. And they mingle in the vortex. Or at most they come back to be slaughtered a little more only to be thrown back again, finally in the centrifuge. Everything is scraped, fast and beautiful and focuses an electrically overcharged universe, punctuating the thrilling and vocal sonorous power with some quite moments and brief interruptions, conferring a very particular dynamic to this work. Originally released as single side tape C30, this vinyl edition divided into two parts of about fifteen minutes each. Freak is an absolutely astounding piece of work by one of the great pioneers of extreme noise from Japan. This is bound to be a revelation for anyone and it can’t be missed. Includes A3 size poster with Masonna in “action pose”. Edition of 299.
File Under: Noise, Industrial
Eugene McDaniels: Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse (Real Gone) LP
“It was a black man in open, conscious resistance of the power that was trying to keep him enslaved—that was me…At last I had a chance to say what I believed in my deepest heart about politics, slavery, and about the genocide of Indians.”—Eugene McDaniels a/k/a the left rev mc d. talking about his album, Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse, Pitch Magazine 2002 The Nixon administration tanked the album, Questlove called him a genius, Prince put his music on his Paisley Park party playlist, Aloe Blacc compared him to Gil-Scott Heron and Marvin Gaye, but, as he said, “the lyrics are 10 times more potent”, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock, Gravediggaz, Busta Rhymes and De La Soul, among others, sampled tracks from this album, yet most people have never heard of this psychedelic soul jazz underground cult classic or of Eugene McDaniels himself. Now, 50 years after its release, Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse makes a timely and triumphant return in a special anniversary edition curated by Eugene’s widow, Karen McDaniels. Inside the newly-created gatefold jacket are artwork from Eugene’s private collection and unseen writings, while a 4-page insert features handwritten lyrics, the original lyric sheet, quotes from such admirers as Vernon Reid, Adrian Younge, Chicano Batman, and Alphonse Mouzon (who played on the record along with his Weather Report band-mate Miroslav Vitous), the original lyric sheet, and new liner notes by Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African and African American Studies, Duke University, Author, and host of Left of Black podcast. Neal’s essay gets to the heart of Headless Heroes: “Years after its release, Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse remains one of the most blatantly political musical tomes ever released commercially by a major label. The album contained critiques of blue-eyed soul (“Jagger the Dagger”), examined the phenomenon of “shopping while black” (“Supermarket Blues”)—years before “racial profiling” entered into the national lexicon—and the futility of race hatred (“Headless Heroes”). “The Parasite” was McDaniels’ most stinging critique though, as he gets at the root of American Imperialism and its relationship to the genocide of America’s native populations.” Real Gone Music’s deluxe, 50th anniversary release of Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse is limited to 1750 copies pressed in purple vinyl, and cut from the original LP master. It’s an album whose relevance—and prescience—reverberate ever more loudly. To quote the title track: “Better get it together, Better get it together, And see what’s happening, To you and you and you”
File Under: Funk, Soul, Jazz
Merzbow: Rainbow Electronics (Urashima) LP
Urashima reissue Merzbow’s Rainbow Electronics on vinyl, originally released on CD in 1990. Merzbow stands as the most important artist in noise music. The moniker of Japanese artist Masami Akita was born in Tokyo in 1979. Inspired by dadaism and surrealism, Akita took the name for his project from German artist Kurt Schwitters’s pre-war architectural assemblage The Cathedral of Erotic Misery or Merzbau. Working in his home, he quickly gained notoriety as a purveyor of a musical genre composed solely of pure, unadulterated noise. Originally released on CD in 1990 by Alchemy Records as part of the Good Alchemy Series, Rainbow Electronics marks the pinnacle of Merzbow’s late ’80s noise phase. Selected and transformed from about 21 hours tape of primitive raw material recorded during three years (1987-1990) in 14 fragments lasting about 74 minutes, this monumental work is an aural trip through a cold plotted universe of intergalactic space ships and golden celestial bodies. Remastered in December 2019 and split into four parts directly by the artist for the double vinyl version it opens up with a slow, kind of creepy tempo, reaching from dirty harsh noise flows coupled with eerie reverbed screeches and scrapes of iron objects. Noise and blasts come from every angle, and all you can do is sit and take it. Then continues with solid drumbeats briefly emerging from the static and disappearing just as quickly, again long stretches of subdued electronic drones buzzing along sleepily and the occasional sudden shift of noise into something more violent, though it all happens kind of slowly and gradually. A truly mesmerizing and immersive body of sound and its intense finish is something of pure artform. Gatefold cover, faithfully reproduces the original art work plus a 12″ size insert; edition of 299. Translated from Japanese liner notes of Alchemy Records CD by Toshiji Mikawa: “I don’t need a lot of words about Merzbow. All you have to do is immerse yourself in the sound.”
File Under: Noise, Industrial
MF DOOM: Operation: Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
2021 repress. “Back again on vinyl where it belongs, MF DOOM’s 1999 classic Operation: Doomsday is now presented on a premium grade LP, with audio re-mastered from the original Fondle’Em Records release, and a poster of the album cover art! Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF DOOM hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After KMD (his first group)’s 1994 sophomore album Bl_ck B_st_rds was shelved by Elektra in 1994 and his blood brother Subroc (one half of the sibling rap duo) passed away, surviving front-man Zev Love X mutated into the MC Avenger known as MF DOOM and the rap world is better for it. This 19-cut deep album is ridiculously dope, in a bizarro Ol’ Dirty Bastard kind of way. Doom sounds either high or drunk on most of the tracks, his self-produced beats are gritty, and his rhyme styles are almost indecipherable. On arguably the best track, ‘Rhymes Like Dimes,’ Doom weaves some pointed lyrics through his abstract wordplay, spitting ‘only in America could you find a way to earn a healthy buck / And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.’ ‘Who You Think I Am?’ features DOOM’s crew M.onster I.sland C.zars, while on ‘?’ he trades hot verses with former Columbia artist Kurious Jorge. Doom’s avant-garde ghetto-rhyme philosophies take even more intentionally weird twists on ‘Tick, Tick…’ where he and guest MC MF Grimm’s flows warble over a rhythm track whose tempo speeds up and slows down continually. The comic-book themed skits, will help take you deep into the mind of an MC who is as otherworldly as they come. And in today’s bland commercial rap universe, Operation: Doomsday’s left-of-center beats and rhymes are the perfect remedy.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Muslimgauze and The Rootsman: Amahar (Via Parigi) LP
First vinyl issue of these raw experimental dub collaborations between Muslimgauze and The Rootsman, written, recorded and mixed at the Third Eye Studio, Bradford, UK between 1997 and 1998. Originally released on CD by Russian label Aquarellist. Edition of 500.
File Under: Dub, Industrial
My Morning Jacket: Evil Urges (ATO) LP
My Morning Jacket’s Grammy-nominated Evil Urges (2008) is the band’s most ambitious and controversial album to date. On their fifth studio effort, an emboldened MMJ created a fiercely uncompromising, highly eclectic, and deeply personal record that catapulted the band into public consciousness and solidified their place as innovators and titans of indie rock. “I feel like Z is the perfect bridge from what we were gradually doing before and Z to Evil Urges is the perfect bridge between everything. On the first listen, there’s a lot of variety in a lot of different places, but I think after repeated listens, hopefully the listener would understand the similarities more than the differences,” explains frontman Jim James. In a matter of six years, MMJ evolved from just another alt-country band into something of bigger, more epic proportions. “There are parts of our band that are tied to roots,” James adds, “and there are also parts where we want to experiment.” Evil Urges is now available for the first time on a beautifully colored vinyl 2LP-set housed in a premium gatefold jacket.
File Under: Rock
Carlos Nino & Friends: More Energy Field, Current (International Anthem) LP
A definitive new peak in the recorded continuum of prolific producer/percussionist Carlos Niño, elegantly presented in his unique “Spiritual, Improvisational, Space Collage” style. Featuring contributions from more than a dozen exciting voices from the creative music constellation of Los Angeles.
File Under: Jazz, Ambient
Jay Richford & Gary Stevan: Feelings (Be With) LP
Be With Records present a reissue of Jay Richford and Gary Stevan’s Feelings, originally released in 1974. Since its original release on Italian label Carosello in 1974, Richford and Stevan’s Feelings has been described as the greatest library record ever released more than once. It’s a tough funk, street jazz masterpiece coveted for many years by collectors of all musical genres. As the story goes, these were the pseudonyms adopted by Stefano Torossi and Giancarlo Gazzani who wrote the album but couldn’t use their real names on the original release for legal reasons. But Torossi himself later both clarified and confused the tale further by explaining that fellow composers and musicians Sandro Brugnolini and Puccio Roelens also worked on Feelings. Infectiously funky, deliciously melodic and with impeccable, elegant production, Feelings record is the showcase for a stunning set of compositions and arrangements and with performances that are nothing short of virtuoso. The record’s first side lifts off with “Flying High”, soaring brilliant and shimmering with funk licks, menacing strings, and swaggering horns. The string-drenched cop-funk of “Going Home” raises the tempo with quick-fire bass lines and killer electric guitar. “Walking In The Dark” positively drips in blaxploitation-funk drama strings and horn struts, all laced with delicate drums, velvet piano, and more filthy wah-wah. “Fighting For Life” is another funk-fueled workout built around an effortlessly relentless drum track. The loping, open drum break that guides the much-loved “Feeling Tense” is filled out by heavy bass gloss, swirling strings, and ominous horns. “Running Fast” is a fine rollicking chase theme underpinned by frenetic (yet funky) Fender Rhodes and skipping bass and drums. “Loving Tenderly” envelops you in warm, velvety night-time vibes with easy listening horns and slinky strings. The pace picks up on the electrifying “Fearing Much” where strings dart around deep bass, buzzing guitars, and another funky drum break. The lush, melancholic “Being Friendly” is another easy beauty, all warm Rhodes and strings. The climactic “Having Fun” rides a pulsating, bass-heavy drum break with snatches of a funky guitar refrain, some luxurious keys, sweeping strings, and triumphant horns. Groove-laden bass, irrepressible horns, sweet flute lines, warm Rhodes, lush string arrangements, blaxploitation-styled wah-wah guitars and more make Feelings one of the finest instrumental soul LPs of the ’70s, if not of all time. Remastered for vinyl by Simon Francis and cut by Pete Norman. Remastered from the original tapes.
File Under: Library
The Sandals: The Endless Summer (Real Gone) LP
You never know when the magic is going to happen. Witness the saga of The Sandals’ 1966 album The Endless Summer. The San Clemente, CA-based surf group The Sandells had released their album Scrambler! on the World Pacific label in 1964 to little notice when they met up with surf documentary maker Bruce Brown. Brown had already made five surf-oriented movies, also largely ignored, but had hit upon an intriguing idea for his next one: tracking two surfers across the world as they followed the Summer sun from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere and back in search of the perfect wave. Brown was just beginning to edit his footage when The Sandells played him tunes from Scrambler!, hoping to sell him a song for the film. Brown was so smitten by the music that he used a number of tunes from Scrambler!, including the classic “Theme from Endless Summer,” which, even though it was recorded two years earlier, became the film’s musical calling card. The blend of the easygoing surf instrumentals with Brown’s spectacular footage proved to be pure gold: the movie The Endless Summer ran in New York for a full year and was instrumental (no pun intended) in spreading surf culture worldwide. As for The Sandells, they changed their name to The Sandals, and re-released Scrambler! as The Endless Summer in 1966, ensuring that the album took its rightful place as one of the greatest surf instrumental records of all time. Our Real Gone reissue comes in “ultra” violet vinyl with the original artwork…first-ever domestic reissue, sunscreen not included!
File Under: Surf, OST
Remko Scha: Guitar Mural 1 feat. The Machines (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle announce the first-ever vinyl reissue of Remko Scha’s Guitar Mural 1 featuring The Machines, originally published as a rare cassette edition by Taal Beeld Geluid in 1982. A computational linguist by profession, Scha played an important role in the development of sound, installation, and digital art in the Netherlands from the late 1970s onward, co-founding the performance and exhibition space Het Appolohuis in Eindhoven in 1980. Alongside Paul Panhuysen and Jan Van Riet, Scha was a founding member of the radical improvisation group The Maciunas Ensemble, though he is best known for his work with mechanized electric guitars, documented on the legendary 1982 LP Machine Guitars. Guitar Mural 1 documents an installation of Scha’s mechanical guitar ensemble The Machines held at a Groningen gallery space in 1982. Five electric guitars hang from the wall, their strings sounded by rotating rubber strings and a sabre saw controlled by a mechanical apparatus, as well as four ropes criss-crossing the five instruments on the wall. Once the mechanism was set up, Scha’s only intervention was to vary the speed at which it operated. Where Machine Guitars presents short excerpts clearly distinguished by rhythmic and timbral variation, here we are confronted with four enormous side-long slabs of percussive string attack and the resulting clouds of harmonics. Variation is minimal across the duration of each side, making for a sculptural listening experience, as if you are patiently examining each facet of a static object. But significant variety exists between the four sides, each of which shows off a different facet of what The Machines were capable of. The first two excerpts feature open strings sounded at rapid tempos, dissolving the percussive attack into a continuous stream of sound reminiscent of Charlemagne Palestine’s “strumming” technique. On the third side, the strings are partly muted and the tempo slightly lowered, resulting in layers of relentlessly chugging rhythm somewhere between an ensemble of hand drums and an early Velvet Underground bootleg. On the fourth side, havoc breaks loose in percussive waves of asynchronous repetition that bring Scha’s sound world close to that of another pioneer experiment in musical mechanization, the Solar Music of Joe Jones. Guitar Mural 1 is an exhilarating document occupying a unique space between kinetic sculpture, hardcore minimalism and rock & roll. Deluxe gatefold sleeve accompanied by stunning visual documentation of the original installation, remastered audio and new liner notes from Alan Licht and Van Lagestein.
File Under: Avant Garde
Selda: s/t (Pharaway) LP
Pharaway Sounds present a reissue of the first album by Selda Bagcan, originally released in 1976. A collection of well-known poems and folk-songs, recorded in cooperation with the most progressive Turkish musicians/arrangers of the ’70s: Mogollar, Dadaslar, Zafer Dilek, and Arif Sag. Combining traditional instrumentation from Anatolia with Western psychedelic grooves: fuzz-wah guitars, electric saz, funk drums and above all, Selda’s passionate vocals. Original artwork in gatefold sleeve. Includes insert with detailed liner notes by Kornelia Binicewicz (Ladies on Records). Newly remastered sound.
File Under: Turkey, Folk, Psych
Spacehog: Resident Alien (Real Gone) LP
It’s the first widespread vinyl release for this classic slab of mid-’90s British glam! Recorded at Bearsville in NY by a bunch of Leeds expats (hence the Resident Alien title), this Gold album features the hit “In the Meantime” and lots of other hooks ‘n’ riffs from “The Band That Fell to Earth” (featuring Antony & Royston Langdon, Jonny Cragg, and guitar hero Richard Steel). Newly-created gatefold packaging housing a limited pink vinyl pressing (Note: watch out for the “Untitled” track!).
File Under: Rock
Status / Non Status: 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years (You’ve Changed) LP
Status/Non-Status is the new name for the ongoing musical work of Anishinaabe community worker Adam Sturgeon (Nme’) and his longtime collaborators (formerly known as Whoop-Szo). The band spent a decade carving a path through Canada’s DIY scene before achieving their widest recognition with 2019’s acclaimed long player Warrior Down (You’ve Changed Records). This album confronted Sturgeon’s complex family history and identity and was long-listed Polaris Prize among numerous other accolades. Today, the band emerges renewed, with more stories to share. 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years was recorded in Mexico and is highlights the band’s unique mix of heavy psychedelia, anthemic indie rock, political story telling, and inter-cultural exchange.
File Under: Indie Rock
Tiny Tim: God Bless Tiny Tim (Real Gone) LP
If you think, based on “Tiptoe Thru’ the Tulips with Me” and his nationally televised marriage to Miss Vicki on The Tonight Show, that Tiny Tim was a mere novelty act, think again. Behind that ukulele, pasty white make-up, falsetto, and prominent proboscis was a serious scholar of American music, perhaps the only performer of the ‘60s (and certainly the only performer of his age group) keeping the torch alive for songs from vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley. Tim (born Herbert Buckingham Khaury) also was blessed with a stupendous vocal range, from baritone to his trademark falsetto, and was adept on not just ukulele but guitar, mandolin, and violin. Even with all that talent, though, had Tiny Tim just made a straight ‘20s trad jazz/pop/folk album for his debut record, God Bless Tiny Tim would not be the stone-cold cult classic it is today. But the album married Tim’s innate eccentricity with stupendously lush production from Richard Perry, who was fresh from working on Captain Beefheart’s debut, Safe as Milk, and would go on to produce everybody from Diana Ross to Rod Stewart. With Perry’s production, and Artie Butler’s arrangements, God Bless Tiny Tim featured an incredible assortment of instruments, from didgeridoo to koto to celeste to tympani, with nary a ukulele to be found on many of the tracks. Furthermore, the album was sprinkled with some of the psychedelic fairy dust that was in the air at the time (1968), full of non sequiturs both verbal and musical (like the cover of Sonny Bono’s “I Got You Babe”). The result: an album that stands outside of time, defying categorization or description. Now, Real Gone Music is releasing God Bless Tiny Tim on LP in an oh-so-appropriate yellow “tulip” vinyl edition limited to 700 copies. This record belongs in any serious—or not-so-serious!—record collection.
File Under: Rock, Psych, Lounge
Trees: s/t (Earth) BOX
It’s now over fifty years since Trees’ formation and, although ‘Acid Folk’ has now become a sub-category in the lexicon of record dealers and music critics, and although founder member David Costa feels the original noughties reissue helped consolidate a gathering wave of curiosity, they themselves remain in the shadows. Earth’s new Trees collection brings together both albums adding shiny alternate mixes of key tracks along with a selection of radio sessions and demos, all sounding brighter and cleaner than ever before. Trees first album, ‘The Garden of Jane Delawney’ (1970) snuggles nicely into contemporary nu-folkies’ idea of the genre, and shares some of the pastoral-whimsy that characterised The Incredible String Band or Donovan, offset by some stunning interpretations of traditional material and Bias’ own songs, which were somehow part of the tradition Trees had adopted. Readings of ‘Lady Margaret’, ‘Glasgerion’ and the old standard ‘She Moved Thro’ The Fair’, and the extended fade of the group’s own ‘Road’, presage the explosive instrumental duelling that would come to characterise the follow-up album, ‘On The Shore’. There’s a definite shift between the records, the second being darker and more ambivalent. Here Trees don’t tell you what to think. You’re left to formulate your own response to this odd, opaque music. The ‘Streets of Derry’ session version leans into the brain vibrating drone-groove they somehow found at the traditional tune’s centre. ‘Polly On The Shore’, another traditional tune, is one of the definitive moments of English folk-rock.
File Under: Folk, Psych
Voivod: The Outer Limits (Real Gone) LP
We’ve put out a lot of rare albums here at Real Gone Music, but this one might be the rarest: right now there’s just one copy for sale online for over $1000! That’s partly because this 1993 record only came out briefly on vinyl in Europe…but it’s also because The Outer Limits offers the unique blend of atonal riffs, off-time tempo changes, and sci-fi imagery that made this Quebec band such a shining star in the Canadian metal scene. The Outer Limits features a great cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Nile Song” (Voïvod had covered “Astronomy Domine” on their 1989 album Nothingface), but without question the album’s centerpiece is the winding 17-minute song “Jack Luminous,” which is something of a prog-rock masterpiece. Our first-ever domestic vinyl reissue comes with a jacket and inner sleeve boasting lyrics and drummer Michael Langevin’s illustrations. Blue with black swirl pressing limited to 1500 copies!
File Under: Metal
Yoshi Wada: The Appointed Cloud (Saltern) LP
Saltern present the first-time vinyl edition of Yoshi Wada’s The Appointed Cloud (1987), a work which Wada has often said is his favorite of his own. Staged at the Great Hall of the New York Hall of Science, The Appointed Cloud was Wada’s first large-scale, interactive installation and featured a custom pipe organ, among other homemade instruments, controlled by a computer with a customized interface and software designed by engineer David Rayna, known for his work with La Monte Young. This recording captures the opening performance for which Wada brought together four musicians on bagpipes (Wada, Bob Dombrowski, and Wayne Hankin) and percussion (Michael Pugliese) to perform with the installation, operated by David Rayna. Remastered from the original master tape by Stephan Mathieu, and cut to vinyl via Direct Metal Mastering by Hans-Jörg Maucksch at Pauler Acoustics. Pressed at RTI and printed at Stoughton. Includes a digital download of the album. Edition of 600. In Wada’s own words: “This performance [of The Appointed Cloud] was one of most memorable performances I’ve done. The space itself — the Great Hall of the New York Hall of Science — was incredible. The building was designed for the 1964-65 World’s Fair and had spaceships hanging from the ceiling so people felt like they were traveling in outer space. It was an amazing experience with the sound of the pipe organ, sheet metal, pipe gong, and bagpipes all together. 60 minutes may seem like a long duration, but it didn’t feel like it.”
File Under: Avant Garde, Drone
Amanda Whiting: After Dark (Jazzman) LP
Taking cues from Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane at their most delicate, renowned Welsh harpist Amanda Whiting’s mesmerizing Jazzman full-length After Dark arrives as soft as moonlight to gladden the soul and delight the ear — without forgetting to bring the swing. Summoning the nocturnal mood suggested by the album’s title, Whiting’s harp flows and cascades, dances and alights, broods and haunts, informed by a deep understanding of both classical and jazz music, ultimately revealing a top-drawer composer with rare melodic gifts at the top of her game. From the melancholy opening track “Time Stands Still” to the more rhythmically unorthodox “Who Knows” to the achingly beautiful title track, the album is underpinned by a supportive band, John Reynolds on drums and Aidan Thorne on bass, who are perfectly suited to engage in an effortless, intimate musical dialogue. Already an inveterate international jazz festival performer with Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Orchestra, Whiting has supported and performed with a diverse range of DJs and jazz and pop artists including Jamie Cullum, DJ Yoda, Rebecca Vasmant, True Jazzchild, Danii Minogue, Jazzanova, and Chip Wickham (who features on three tracks on After Dark, adding a touch of the graceful warmth for which he has been so justly acclaimed). And as jazz harp teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and RNCM, Amanda is as warmly received in the lecture hall as the concert hall. Be sure to expect more from Amanda in the not-too distant future.
File Under: Jazz
World Standard: s/t (HMV Japan) LP
World Standard is a stylish pop unit that incorporates a wide range of music from rock, techno to ambient. Their memorable first album, which debuted in 1985 on the Teichiku Non-Standard label produced by Haruomi Hosono, will be remastered and reissued under the supervision of Soichiro Suzuki!
File Under: Japan, Electronic
Joshua Abrams: Natural Information (Aguirre) LP
Joshua Abrams: Represencing (Aguirre) LP
Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher (Dead Oceans) LP
Lucy Dacus: Home Video (Matador) LP
Death Grips: Money Store (Epic) LP
Manual Gottsching: Inventions for Guitar (Made in Germany) LP
Grateful Dead: Olympia Theater (Rhino) BOX
Al Green: Let’s Stay Together (Fat Possum) LP
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (Panegyric) LP
Fela Kuti: Afrodisiac (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: I.T.T. (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: Zombie (Knitting Factory) LP
Hailu Mergia & The Walias: Tche Belew (Awesome Tapes from Africa) LP
Joni Mitchell: Blue (Rhino) LP
Monophonics: It’s Only Us (Colemine) LP
Mountain Goats: Dark In Here (Merge) LP
Tom Petty: Angel Dreams OST (Warner) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Meta Modern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Nancy Sinatra: Start Walkin’ 1965 – 1976 (Light in the Attic) LP
Sola: Un Muneco de Madera (Be With) LP
Hiromasa Suzuki: High Flying (Nippon Columbia) LP
Taylor Swift: Evermore (Republic) LP
Gabor Szabo: Dreams (Ebalunga!!!) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP