…..news letter #1009 – open…..

Alright! Another successful RSD Drop in the books. Thank you EVERYONE for your orders. Everything has arrived and is ready for pick up if you haven’t already come down to grab it. And thanks to everyone who’s been coming down this week for some in-store shopping! It’s been real chill and not nearly as weird or stressful as I expected. If you are coming down please remember we are currently operating under reduced hours for the time being….

 pick-ups – 11 am – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday 
 (if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
– in-store shopping – Noon – 5 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday
– Max 4 people in the store at a time
– Wear a mask (if you don’t have one, we’ll have some)
– Sanitize your hands (we’ll have some)

Hopefully the reduced hours won’t last too long, but we do need to feel out how things will go, so bear with us. We’re looking forward to seeing you all inside again!

.….picks of the week…..

Alice Coltrane: Kirtan: Turiya Sings (Impulse) LP
Alice Coltrane is the undeniable godmother of spiritual jazz and an acknowledged influence on everyone from Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington to Solange and Radiohead. Turyia Sings was originally released in 1982 on cassette as a collection of devotional songs including vocals, organ, strings, and synthesizers available only at Alice’s Sai Anantam Ashram. Kirtan: Turiya Sings features a sparser arrangement of organ and chanting, produced by Ravi Coltrane. “In this setting I felt the greatest sense of her passion, devotion and exaltation in singing these songs in praise of the Supreme. In that moment, I knew people needed to hear Turiya Sings in this context,” Ravi shares. “As her son, growing up and hearing her playing these songs on the very same Wurlitzer you hear on this recording, I recognize this choice maintains the purity and essence of Alice’s musical and spiritual vision. In many ways, this new clarity brings these chants to an even higher place.” The opening chords of Kirtan: Turiya Sings are a curtain opening into a realm of spirituality and devotion that only Alice Coltrane could conjure. This album is not jazz – it is not improvised. It is intentional, devotional, and spiritual. This music, sung in Sanskrit, is spacious and large, Alice’s voice has weight and power, her organ playing rock-solid, pulsing, a cauldron of musical influences you can hear from her life. Ravi summarizes the musical importance of this release best: “On this album, your ear will be turned toward the sound of the blues, to gospel, to the Black American church, often combined with the Carnatic singing style of southern India. You will hear beautiful harmonies influenced by Coltrane’s Detroit/Motown roots, her bebop roots, John Coltrane’s impact, and her absorption of European classical music, particularly that of her favorite: Igor Stravinsky. Yet, at the same time, this is functional music. Its purpose is, with light and love, to praise the names of the Supreme. On this album, your heart and spirit will be turned toward divine inspiration and appreciation.” Kirtan: Turiya Sings was mixed by Steve Genewick and mastered by Kevin Reeves from original 24-track masters. This is the same team that worked with producer Ravi Coltrane on Alice Coltrane’s last album, 2004’s Translinear Light. The lacquers were cut by Ryan D. Smith at Sterling Sound and pressed at Furnace.

File Under: Spirtual, Ambient, New Age, Jazz
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Kiri-UU: Creak-Whoosh (Stroom) LP
Creak​-​whoosh (Estonian, Ingrian and Votian song re​-​imagined in Australia by Olev Muska and Mihkel Tartu) ‘Creak Whoosh’ is a collection of choral ballads originating in the Finno-Ugric regions of Estonia and Ingria, electronically adapted predominantly by Olev Muska and Mihkel Tartu, based around the  contemporary arrangements of Veljo Tormis. Originally established as ‘Kiri-uu’, the project was undertaken by the children of Estonian refugees, most of whom grew up over 8,000 miles away in the metropolis of Sydney, Australia. With the majority having never visited the land of their ancestors prior to the tour of 1989, the first generations reshaping of these ancient folk tales conveys Seeger’s process amidst displacement and its subsequent fringe-culture. Estonian bards are carried forth this time into the 21st century, a revised selection of the original 1988 recordings accompanied by ‘Tšimmairuudiralla’ allowing for new perspectives and, perhaps crucially, a truly global audience.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Folk
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..…new arrivals…..

Misa Blam: Misa Blam I Oni Koji Vole Funky (Discom) LP
An official edition of the group who pioneered jazz-funk in the former Yugoslavia: Misa Blam i Oni Koji Vole Funky. This 12″ record on 45 RPM contains three songs from impossible to find EPs from the 70’s and one fantastic previously unpublished track ! Total must if you are into Herbie Hancock/  Headhunters and the likes! Mihailo “Misa” Blam (December 15, 1947, Belgrade, Yugoslavia – June 19, 2014, Belgrade, Serbia) was a Yugoslavian, Serbian and Jewish jazz musician (double bass player, arranger, composer), concert producer and publicist. Leaving a career in classical music (he was the only Yugoslavian musician who played in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan), he achieved a significant musical career as a jazz bassist- double bass player in New York, Munich, Israel, Dominican Republic, and Uganda (in Ini Amini’s court) and in Yugoslavia He played with Chet Baker, Frank Mantooth, Clark Terry, Ernie Wilkins, Alvin Queen, Hannes Beckmann, Tony Scott … During the period between 1982 and 1999, he has been involved in 16 recording sessions in the field of jazz. Under his own name he published the EP ’’Misa Blam I Oni Koji Vole Funky’’ (Diskos), 1975, LP album ’’Secanje”, (Beograd Disk) 1979, and cassette ’’Good Old YU Days” (1993). The record opens with a song called “Dobro Jutro ” (Eng. Good Morning), a track you will get in love with when you hear the opening 4 bars with Misa’s bass funky licks and Slobodan Markovic’s incredible ARP Odyssey riffs. Effective drums breaks, well structured electric piano solos and consistent funky rhythm-a good old 70’s jazz funk production.. In the same groove we continue in לילה טוב eng. (Eng. Good Night), a song which is releasing here for the very first time. Two new instruments appear: congas and guitars developing the initial groove and enriching the sonic landscape. This progression is even more exciting in the next song “Laku Noć” (also means Good Night) when the magical sounds of ARP Odyssey and it’s percussion responses are added to the same rhythmic pattern. However, the groove culminates in the final song “Gorila” (eng. Gorilla) on B side, a fantastic playing by a group which shows off its lavish talent in full color: finest drumming in tandem with smooth Fender jazz bass figures, fulfilled with five amazing solos: on tenor saxophone, guitar, electric piano, Wah bass and inevitable ARP Odyssey at the end! A gig that could easily open the performance of some of the jazz rock giants such as Billy Cobham & George Duke Band on Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976 for instance. Those who are not familiar with rare jazz funk groove records from Eastern Europe, will welcome this album with surprising enthusiasm and admiration. Others will enjoy the quality sound of the 45 RPM record which is cut directly from original master tapes and appreciate that they can finally afford the gem they have searched for years.

File Under: Jazz, Funk

Leon Bridges: Gold-Diggers Sound (Columbia) LP
Gold-Diggers Sound is the new album from Leon Bridges birthed from extended late nights at the Los Angeles, California studio of the same name. The R&B collection celebrates Leon’s immersive experience of creating music in the same East Hollywood room where he lived, worked and drank over the course of two years. The soulful collaboration between Leon as an artist and the space itself was so encompassing that he chose to name the album after the studio complex. Produced by Ricky Reed and Nate Mercereau, Gold-Diggers Sound features the Terrace Martin collaboration “Sweeter” plus further guest appearances by Robert Glasper and Ink. Bridges on lead single “Motorbike”: “The inception of the song started with this afrobeat-type instrumental that my homeboy Nate Mercerau made. Prior to the session, I was in Puerto Rico for my 30th with my best friends, and the energy of that trip totally inspired this song. ‘Motorbike’ is about living in the moment and escaping with someone. It’s the personification of that unspoken chemistry you have with that person.” Bridges released his second album Good Thing in 2018 and in 2020 collaborated with fellow Texans Khruangbin on the Texas Sun EP.

File Under: Soul
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Can: Delay (1968) (Spoon) LP
Pink vinyl! FINALLY IN! Can was founded in 1968 by Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit who formed a group which would utilize and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music. Throughout the changing eras of the band, they enlisted the talents of different powerful singers like Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki and collaborators such as Reebob Kwaku and Rosko Gee. Can’s wide-reaching influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in subsequent acts who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Kanye West and Radiohead to John Lydon, The Fall, Ariel Pink, Fuck Buttons, Sonic Youth, Factory Floor and Queens Of The Stone Age. Although the material on the appropriately titled Delay 1968 was originally recorded in the late ’60s and intended for Can’s debut, the songs wouldn’t see a commercial release until 1981 due to a lack of label support. Culled from archival tapes by bassist and co-founder Holger Czukay, the 7-song set features some of the band’s formative offerings with singer Malcolm Mooney including “Thief” which would be famously covered by Radiohead and the violently churning “Uphill.”

File Under: Krautrock, Prog, Psych
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Erika De Casier: Sensational (4AD) LP
Sensational expands the universe of Erika de Casier’s 2019 self-released debut album Essentials. Where Essentials dealt more with the infatuation stages of love, Sensational has more of an attitude, aiming to dismantle the stereotype of single women looking for love, tackling relationship dramas and the toxicity of dating. It was a chance to rewrite scenarios in ways that empowered her, fantasizing about what could’ve been. Sensational was produced by de Casier and Natal Zeks and is a breath of fresh air to anyone with a passion for music in all its genres, as much influenced by Aaliyah and Janet Jackson as house, garage and techno. With hushed, pillow-soft vocals and production that references turn-of-the-millennium sounds, de Casier’s sound surveys the past while looking to the future.

File Under: Soul
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Shamek Farrah and Folks: La Dee La La (Jazz Room) LP
Another top notch Funky Spiritual Jazz release from Paul Murphy’s Jazz Room Records – featuring Strata-East stalwart Shamek Farrah on Saxes and an all star cast including Trumpet Legend Malachi Thompson ! The music is a Funky Spiritual Afro-Latin Soul mix with the Miriam Makeba influenced title track a highlight and the Jazz Soul groove “Waiting For Marvin” sounding like it’s a call for a certain Soul Superstar to appear.

File Under: Jazz, Strata East
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Sam Gendel & Josiah Steinbrick: Mouthfeel/Serene (Full Bloom) LP
Los Angeleno leftfield specialists Sam Gendel and Josiah Steinbrick join forces for a pair of elliptical textural voyages, drawn in refracted shades of saxophone, synthesizer, and percussion. A channeling of sensory delight and nomadic fusion, serenading peripheries in bloom. Mouthfeel / Serene is:

a):  nonspecific saxophone-percussion-synthesizer not-jazz jams for modern times
b): experimental ambient rhythmic journey music for the digital nomadc):  light up a doobie to this one
d):   subtle portraits from the underside of the post-cultural rock
e):   none of the above.

File Under: Jazz, Ambient, Electronic
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C.R. Gillespie: Tracings in Honey (Séance Centre) LP
Tracings in Honey is an electronic travelogue by C.R. Gillespie, inspired equally by imagination, immersion, and the emotional terrain of both inner and outer landscapes. In anticipation of a trip to Northern Vietnam in 2019 with his partner, C.R. Gillespie created demos that would act as sonic vessels for the experiences and encounters he would discover. On his journey, he gathered field recordings in Hanoi and Hoi An (motorcycles, bustling marketplaces, children, and stray dogs), and the countryside of Pu Loung, Nihn Bin, Phong Na (birds, insects, cave explorations, running water, footsteps). When he returned home he completed the tracks, mixing memory and fantasy of place into a document of the headspace he was in at the time: happy, grateful, excited, and in awe of everything he was seeing. The resulting works sound akin to Cybe’s imaginary travelogues, but share cartographic qualities with Laurie Spiegel, Hiroshi Yoshimura, J.D. Emmanuel and Enno Velthuys. More than a sonic postcard, Tracings in Honey is an album that tries to reconcile the idea of a place with lived experience, our personal ways of listening/seeing, and the marks and mirages of travel. Limited pressing of 200 with special artwork and hand-stamped jackets.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Intersystems: IV (Waveshaper) LP
Toronto’s infamous psychedelic multimedia collective, Intersystems, makes a surprise return with a new full-length release. Coming out via Waveshaper Media, #IV documents Intersystems’ first new material since 1968! Even back when they arrived on the scene in the late 1960s, Intersystems stood out as uniquely ambitious and hard-to-define. Comprised of architect Dik Zander, light sculptor Michael Hayden, poet Blake Parker, and musician John Mills-Cockell (of Syrinx, Kensington Market and more), the group mounted groundbreaking pan-sensory events while releasing a trilogy of defiant and disorienting records that have since become coveted collector’s items. Where more conventional purveyors of psychedelia seemed content to use fuzztone guitar and orientalist tropes to approximate altered states, Intersystems built psychedelic experiences of their own from the ground up that embraced all the euphoric wonder and terror. The sonic aspect alone offered a singularly unsettling vision. They initially wrangled homespun gadgetry, feverishly spliced-together tapes, and mutant beat poetry, but soon became among the very frst to deploy a Moog Synthesizer. Their custom modular rig— purchased by Mills-Cockell directly from Robert Moog’s Trumansburg Headquarters—was the first of its kind in Canada. The 2015 reissue of Intersystems’ full discography by Alga Marghen prompted acclaim from a number of major outlets. Among them, PopMatters hailed the set as “one of those great lost recordings (three of ’em actually) that comes from the lysergic era.” Shortly thereafter Mills-Cockell’s complete work with Syrinx was reissued on RVNG Intl. to similar critical applause. Nearly fifty years after their “final” album Free Psychedelic Poster Inside, Hayden and Mills-Cockell decided to revive the long-dormant project with a series of sessions at Hamilton, Ontario’s storied Grant Avenue Studio (past clients include everyone from Brian Eno to Johnny Cash). The resultant music remains remarkably congruent with the project’s original impulse, yet irrefutably of the present moment. Taking cues from its stark, aforementioned predecessor, a modular Moog synthesizer system is the primary instrument, but here the sonorities that Mills-Cockell conjures are dynamic and diverse, blending barbed wire bass-lines, Subotnickesque chirps, gestural plumes of colour, percussive fligree and more. The 2007 death of poet/lyricist/ vocalist Blake Parker also drastically impacts Intersystems sound, especially since the alternative the group devised is so audacious. Parker’s words are rendered electronically and the computer-synthesized voices alternate between an eerily life-like delivery and slurred cybernetic faltering, bringing a glossy dystopian veneer to the group’s anxious surrealism. Intersystems may have cut their teeth in the 60s, but make no mistake: their resurfacing is neither a “comeback” nor a wrong-headed stab at reliving their heady glory days. Rather, #IV is a mature and fully-realized continuation that sees Mills-Cockell and Hayden returning to the project’s core ethos with the myriad experience they’ve both accumulated over the fve intervening decades. The aural concoctions it comprises are no less perplexing than their earlier counterparts; bursting with new psychoactive ingredients, while reminding listeners of just how radical Intersystems was in the first place.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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Jabir: Vuelo Por Las Alturas De Alhambra (Discos Transgénero) LP
Vuelo por las Alturas de Alhambra was originally published in 1988 on Discos Esplendor Geométrico and it is a hidden gem in the catalogue of this influential Spanish label. The album unfolds a series of subtle and mesmerizing compositions inspired by the legacy of Al-Andalus, the muslim Spanish civilisation. Both a polymath and erudite musician, Jabir decided to pay homage to the marriage of spirituality and science present in that bygone era. For that aim, he relied on a vast array of acoustic instruments (ney, violin, ud, bendir and daf), as well as on digital synthesizers and a complex system of computers able to generate aleatory melodies in Middle Eastern scales. Discos Transgénero is proud of making available again this extraordinary and highly sought masterpiece for the first time in more than three decades. The reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes with the approval and supervision of his author and includes new liner notes and unreleased pictures. Vuelo por las Alturas de Alhambra is a recommended listening for those into the most narcotic side of Muslimgauze, the Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s lps on Folkways, Jon Hassell’s Fourth World explorations or even the recent work of contemporary Iranian experimentalists like Sote and Saba Alizadeh.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Jason Kolar: Modified Perspectives (Stroom)  LP
Dream label STROOM 〰 induces lushest late night feels with Jason Kolàr’s ‘Modified Perspectives’, the label’s first release of original, contemporary – as opposed to vintage, archival – music, following a string of much celebrated ’70s/‘80s/‘90s pearlers. Recorded in the artist’s apartment during 2017, Modified Perspectives is presented by Kolàr as “a hidden place between science and magic. A secret playground where brainwaves rejoice and wander around.” And in that esoteric sense of magick, any attempt to grasp its misty dimensions may leave the person describing it effectively clutching at pretty air. But what we can tell you is, it beautifully recalls the meditative airs of Dominique Lawalrée or Vini Reilly, as well as the synthetic allure of so much Japanese ambient music, but ultimately it’s got a slightly smudged, just-outta-reach quality that really draws us deep…

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Suzanne Kraft: About You (Melody as Truth) LP
About You is a set of hazy-haloed pop songs crackling with the flutters of fresh love amidst a mind full of memory flashes. Written in the whirlwind of a hopeful affair, instantly transformed into long distance romance, it’s a head rush of affection with the universe bending blurrily around it — an archive of yearning from a year that rifted warm bodies adrift; an outline of the in-betweens, the familiar and foreign, hopeful promise and heartbreak. Suzanne Kraft has shaved silver linings from cloud formations and ignited them into crackling flames. It’s a full circle journey that floats on shimmering guitar tones, fluid vocals, and gently persuasive drum tracks chugging towards their destiny while revelling in the unknown. About You is a folding of time and space in album form and stands aloft as Suzanne Kraft’s next big step in fully becoming himself.

File Under: Dream Pop
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Mica Levi: Blue Alibi (Mica Levi) LP
Mica Levi is an Oscar-nominated musician and composer living in South East London who uses programming software, written notation and improvisation to produce music. They are currently a member of the groups CURL, Good Sad Happy Bad and Tirzah, and have composed scores for a number of films including Under The Skin, Jackie, Monos, Zola and Mangrove (part of the Small Axe series). Blue Alibi is the second album Mica released under their own name. This vinyl LP edition is released concurrently alongside Mica Levi’s first album Ruff Dog (2020).

File Under: Indie Rock
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Mica Levi: Ruff Dog (Mica Levi) LP
Mica Levi is an Oscar-nominated musician and composer living in South East London who uses programming software, written notation and improvisation to produce music. They are currently a member of the groups CURL, Good Sad Happy Bad and Tirzah, and have composed scores for a number of films including Under The Skin, Jackie, Monos, Zola and Mangrove (part of the Small Axe series). 2020’s Ruff Dog was the first album Mica released under their own name. This vinyl LP edition is released concurrently alongside Mica Levi’s second album Blue Alibi.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Nermin Niazi: Disco Se Aagay (Discostan) LP
“Disco Se Aagay,” a rediscovered synth-pop masterpiece from 1984. Discostan Records is proudly sets with the release of this one.. Rescued from obscurity, “Disco Se Aagay”— literally “Beyond Disco”— is an unexpectedly perfect storm of two unlikely sources: the visionary sound of British new wave seamlessly interwoven with the Pakistani musical heritage of its teenage dreamers, Nermin Niazi and Feisal Mosleh. Recorded over the course of a summer school holiday in 1984 at the storied Zella Studios, the album was produced by the legendary Oriental Star Agencies record label in Birmingham. Influenced by the likes of Depeche Mode and Human League as well as the luminous disco of subcontinental icons like Nazia Hasan, musical ingenues 14-year-old Nermin and her 19-year-old brother Feisal created a new wave masterpiece with an unexpected twist — Urdu-language lyrics and Hindustani melodic scales. Discostan Records is a Los Angeles-based record label, performance space and archival project. For more than a decade, the collective has celebrated the music and cultural traditions of the Arabic world, Subcontinent and Iran and beyond — from Beirut to Bangkok via Bombay. Released in partnership with the artists, the remastered album has been pressed on a limited vinyl run for a new generation of listeners. Each album comes with a download code.

File Under: Disco, Middle East
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N0V3L: Non-Fiction (Flemish Eye) LP
N0V3L’s debut full-length, Non-Fiction, comprises 11 tracks that function as a treatise on modern existence and the perverse parameters within which it’s experienced. It’s a collection of agile, carefully-constructed post-punk, new wave, funk, and garage rock that’s been zapped and warped by an opioid overdose crisis, mental illness, populism, and the merciless onward march of time. Intimate sadnesses and structural violences are blurred to the jagged quirk of sharp guitars, commanding bass, acrid saxophone, and mournful keys, all propelled ever forward by nimble drumming. It’s dark and occasionally danceable, a macabre late-capitalist disco under a pall of confusion. Non-Fiction was written between 2017 and 2020, and recorded on a Tascam-388 in the band’s since-torn-down rental home. Bryce Cloghesy (Military Genius, Crack Cloud) produced and mixed the record, which trades in the first EP’s martial rigidity for a broader approach to actualizing the band’s tensions. The Vancouver tear-down, previously the band’s headquarters for producing music, videos, and clothing, was slowly evacuated, as members moved out in advance of the inevitable; another casualty of Vancouver’s merciless housing market. N0V3L, once a concentrated machine, is now spread across the western province of British Columbia. Non-Fiction is just that: a factual communiqué which interprets and translates our living conditions into sometimes-spoken, sometimes-sung anti-capitalist couplets. Opener “Untouchable” hums in with fluorescent bass and synth fog before tightly-twined guitar lines ratchet up the tension, with vocalist Jon Varley documenting society’s marginalization of mental illness. “Falling In Line” jolts with sunny guitars before cutting to half-time while anesthetic sax stirs in the background: “Busy falling in line/Stuck waiting behind/Pacifying the mind/With another white lie,” Varley groans. “Pushers” is a brutalist, pounding missive against Big Pharma’s construction of the opioid overdose crisis. Frenetic synth pulses over anxious guitars while Varley, channeling lived experience with opiate addiction while working in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, mourns: “They’re taking a life over taking a loss/They lower the price while raising the cost!” Final track “Notice of Foreclosure” is a bitter, nostalgic submission to modernity, spiked with grief for a past forever gone and ambivalence for what lays ahead as Varley drones, “Forced adaptation, notice of foreclosure/Dragging us forward, an indifferent future.” The title Non-Fiction couldn’t be a clearer statement of intent. This is the true story of N0V3L.

File Under: Post Punk
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Papiro: La Finestra Dentata (Marionette) LP
Papiro’s approach to music is never technical, but always personal. Since the mid-Nineties, he has released a handful of noteworthy albums, each carefully put together and seemingly self-contained, yet all sharing an unmistakable musical language and a certain escapist aura.  La finestra dentata (The Toothed Window), is no exception. It includes both studio and concert recordings from 2016–2020. The sounds on this album appear infinite and full of marvels, ingenious in portraying imaginary creatures and environments. The title track and Anelli take up most of the first side and include live outtakes. Papiro likes to describe his performances as therapeutic. These swirly symphonies are specifically intended as immersive deep-listening experiences for concert venues, and have been edited for this album to meet the physical demands of vinyl and domestic use. Imagine the younger cousins of Laurie Spiegel’s Concerto Generator performance, or Terry Riley’s Shri Camel. However, those who know Papiro only from the stage might be unaware of a different side to his oeuvre; starry-eyed miniatures that may appear frivolous in comparison to the more heady tracks, but are nonetheless well worth discovering. Each piece adds a chapter to a phantasmagoric world populated by such characters as “Giant Duckling”, “King Hard-Beard”, or the “Bodulator”. Tracks like the opener Odilon or Il triciclo nascosto, meanwhile, emanate a candor rarely found in the domain of serious music, and revisit Papiro’s early days of instrumental storytelling.

File Under: Electronic
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Nigel Rolfe: Island Stories (Allchival) LP
Nigel Rolfe’s “Island Stories” is a unique record for 80’s Ireland. An unusually experimental electronic and abstract record for the time, it was originally released to little fanfare on Reekus records in 1986. Based around the DX7 synth and key collaborations with studio engineers and vocalists it was created as a soundtrack to a performance work of the same name. Born and raised in the Isle of Wight performance artist Nigel Rolfe has made Ireland his home since he arrived at Dublin Port in 1974. An art school graduate who witnessed the British rock explosion of the late 60s in person and as participant, he had been an organ player in a number of British rock bands of the time and a roadie for a number of the early 60’s UK tours by legendary US blues musicians. As the music world freaked out in the later part of the decade he moved with it, and after completing a fine art degree in the West Coast of England in the early 70s he moved to Ireland despite having no connections with the country – “ Drawn by the archeology” – settling straight into the experimental arts scene which was based around the Project Arts Centre where he worked. Organising exhibitions and teaching, his interest in music was rekindled by the explosion of punk. The key to his music making and this LP here was access to a studio – in this case Windmill Lane. A busy place in the early to mid 80s it had a production and video arm and acted as the centre for U2’s recording operations. Rolfe worked there doing carpentry and building jobs in exchange for off peak studio recording time. Coming in contact with the bands passing through and working closely with the engineers and tape operatives employed by the studio he was also able to take advantage of Brian Eno’s presence (he was there working with U2) and figure out the DX7 which forms the backbone of the LP and which – like most else – on the LP is played by Rolfe. Released by Reekus records in 1986 a year after it was completed, there was little expectation placed on the record and Rolfe had no careerist ambitions. We’ve remastered it and added a bonus track that was featured on the African Flower 12” off the LP “PW Botha’s Funeral March”.

File Under: Experimental
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Sigur Ros: Valtari (Krunk) LP
n 2011, Sigur Rós started the painstaking forensic task of piecing together a cohesive and magical work from disparate constituent parts. If this sounds unromantic, the results are anything but. Something alchemical occurs when the four members of Sigur Rós are in the room together, and even if Valtari is more a “studio based” album than any of its predecessors (which usually start life as rehearsal room jams), the long hours of experimentation and unsentimental editing yielded incredibly persuasive results. In English, Valtari translates as “steamroller,” and there is something right about the title in terms of the process of its creation. The last three tracks of Valtari are like one long slow gorgeous fade out, as the listener, having been softened up by the slightly more “songy” start to the album, is left with the subtly shifting, deep introspective beauty of the last 24 minutes. After that, penultimate track, “Valtari” is like the far heart of the album; eight minutes that feel like being alone in row boat on a chill day, small irregular waves lapping the wooden hull as a dense fog bank rolls in and ice slowly encases every surface. Valtari is Sigur Rós’ sixth studio album which was initially released in 2012 on XL Recordings. Completely out of print worldwide Valtari will now be reissued via the band’s own label, Krunk on double heavy weight vinyl LP.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Sofa/Houschyar/Okay Temiz: Selale (Second Circle) LP
Second Circle return with a special one-off album of music by Belgian producer soFa, German musician Houschyar and the legendary Turkish drummer and percussionist Okay Temiz. SC019 – Şelale (LP) is the result of a string of sessions that began in Istanbul during 2018, when soFa spontaneously teamed up with friend Houschyar for a series of smoky jams in the young producer’s 5th floor apartment. They would meet again a few months later, with a plan to finish the EP, and whilst having lunch, the two decided to pay a spontaneous visit to Okay Temiz, with whom soFa had worked previously. Welcoming the pair in the percussion workshop (Atölye) where he spends most of his days, Temiz was excited by their demos and the three of them began to jam around the tracks, with Temiz utilizing a number of his own homebuilt instruments. The duo had now become a trio, it seems, and back in their home studio the jams would be edited and reworked; with Okay adding further overdubbing and contributions to the tracks. Probably best known as a member of The Don Cherry Trio, for his own band Oriental Wind and for numerous collaborations with some of the best Jazz musicians in the world, Okay Temiz is considered to be one of the most innovative and outstanding musical figures in Turkey and beyond. A professional musician since 1955, Temiz’s career began in Jazz and traditional Turkish music, but he became increasingly fascinated with the possibilities of electronic and self-built instruments, which he would experiment within different forms. During the late 70ties Temiz also developed a special love for Brazilian instruments such as the Berimbau and Cuica, both of which are omnipresent on this album. In this latest collaboration, Okay Temiz weaves his percussive magic through six diverse psychedelic synthesizer and drum computer jams, alongside two exciting young producers. Şelale is mixed by Dusseldorf studio wizard Gordon Pohl.

File Under: Electronic
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Frank Turner: England Keep My Bones (Xtra Mile) LP
This 180g vinyl 2LP reissue commemorates the tenth anniversary edition of Frank Turner’s breakout fourth album England Keep My Bones. This is the album that saw Frank step up from underground, cult status to mainstream success. It originally entered the UK Album Chart at number 12 and has since been certified Gold by the BPI for sales of over 100K in the UK. It features the hit singles “Peggy Sang The Blues,” “If Ever I Stray” and “I Still Believe” and “Wessex Boy” both of which Frank performed at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012. At the end of the album campaign in April 2012 Frank headlined a sold out Wembley Arena. This tenth anniversary edition includes beautiful new artwork and is only available on double vinyl with the first disc featuring the standard album and the second featuring an exclusive demo from the El Paso Sessions.

File Under: Rock
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Type O Negative: Slow, Deep and Hard (Run Out Groove) LP
Brooding dark-rock icons Type O Negative’s groundbreaking early records – like their debut, Slow, Deep And Hard, the platinum Bloody Kisses and the gold-selling October Rust – displayed a sonic Venn Diagram where metal, goth and electro/industrial scenes forged a commonality that was fresh and engaging. The Brooklyn, NY outfit’s singular menace, noise, darkness and catharsis would continue to influence for another decade plus until vocalist, bassist, and principal songwriter Peter Steele’s death in 2010. Originally issued on Roadrunner Records in 1991, debut Slow, Deep and Hard was originally titled None More Negative and released in 1990 under the group’s former name Repulsion. Launching the band’s career as we know it, the album has a rawness that was prominent in Steele’s previous band, Carnivore, but incorporates elements that became the standard for Type O Negative going forward, merging styles including doom metal, gothic rock, new wave and industrial music. The record’s infamous cover image (voted one of the ‘Ten Greatest Covers in Roadrunner History’ by the label’s worldwide staff) is a close-up stolen from a pornography magazine. For the 30th anniversary of Slow, Deep and Hard, Roadrunner Records in conjunction with Run Out Groove, reissue the album in all its remastered glory on colored vinyl 2LP with tip-on gatefold packaging and an exclusive fold out color poster.

File Under: Goth, Rock
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Faye Webster: I Know I’m Funny Haha (Secretly Canadian) LP
Faye Webster loves the feeling of a first take: writing a song, then heading to the studio with her band to track it live the very next day. When you listen to the 23-year-old Atlanta songwriter’s poised and plainspoken albums, you can hear why: she channels emotions that are so aching, they seem to be coming into existence at that very moment. Webster captures the spark before it has a chance to fade; she inks lyrics before they have a chance to seem fleeting. Her signature sound pairs close, whisper-quiet, home-recorded vocals with the unmistakable sound of musicians together in a room. I Know I’m Funny Haha is Webster’s most realized manifestation yet of this emotional and musical alchemy. Continuing to bloom from her 2019 breakthrough and Secretly Canadian debut Atlanta Millionaires Club, Webster’s sound draws as much from the lap-steel singer-songwriter pop of the 1970s and teardrop country tunes as it does from the audacious personalities of her city’s rap and R&B community, where she first found a home on Awful Records. The album began for Webster with the stirring ballad “In a Good Way,” as in “You make me want to cry in a good way” – an instant-classic Faye Webster one-liner. It’s beguilingly simple, the kind of melody and arrangement that seem to have existed forever. A sense of relief charges the neo-psychedelic pop of “Cheers,” where Webster experiments with an overdriven guitar tone. She also collaborated, on “Overslept,” with the Japanese artist Mei Ehara, who she calls the biggest influence on her new music. “A Dream About a Baseball Player” is Webster’s oldest song on the record, a snapshot of her one-time teenage crush on Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. – who she actually met when she was invited to sing at a Braves game in 2019. The song is no doubt a testament to I Know I’m Funny Haha’s brilliantly colloquial title. But more than humor, Webster’s music is full of personality. Many of her songs contain bits of girl-group-esque talk-singing, which color her atypical story-songs. The title track, for example, reflects on a dinner with her partner and his sisters, one of whom told her she’s funny. The entirety of the album’s stunning, acoustic closer “Half of Me” was tracked by Webster alone at home. And the uncertainty of life in 2020 also seeped into some of her lyrics, as on the gorgeous “Better Distractions” (which landed on Obama’s playlist), a song about missing a loved one and wondering “What’s next?”

File Under: Indie Rock
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White Light/Jo Bogaert: Whale (Stroom) LP
After cropping up on a compilation EP (STREP-039) last year with the brooding balm of ‘Ambient Kinsky’, Jo Bogaert aka Thomas De Quincey (and tonnes more monikers) ‘fesses up to these languid and pretty cheesy cuts dating to his early years, spanning the Lemmiwinks-like strums and vox of ‘I Want You To Know Me’ and the prog-folk of ‘I Hear A Whale Song’ as part of White Light alongside Johan Guns, Kris Michiels, and Toon Vantilborgh, while the other two come from his 1983 solo album ‘None Of Them Are Green’, and follow his nose for black clad goth-rock and pop strums, including the vinegary strokes of ‘So Obscene.’

File Under: Indie Rock
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XVARR: Transitional Being (Aural Medium) LP
Transitional Being reveals another side of XVARR’s production palette — characteristically trance-inducing, this release highlights the transformational potential of dance music. Spanning the last ten years, these six tracks handpicked by Aural Medium align with a particular relationship to technology that has formed the central pillar to the XVARR studio set up. Often starting with a drum pattern and sequenced bass-line, the physical rhythm is stripped out and surrounding elements are drawn out and manipulated to convey the ‘hidden’ intention behind the track. With the tracks compiled here, he lets the rhythms ride. The influence of more ‘club-orientated’ music has remained firmly embedded in XVARR’s psyche, although typically the trip has been more introverted. The approach here may differ from other XVARR outputs, but the mood most definitely remains the same, with an overarching desire to channel emotion and passion from the other side of nowhere. XVARR recognizes the parallels between the ritualistic dance of the Witches’ Sabbath and a dark room filled with sweat, smoke, and sound. It is in this parallel void of transcendent possibilities that tracks such as “Running out of Time”, “The Crooked Path” (a nod to Andrew Chumbley) and “Universal” reside. There’s also a subtle presence of influences from Industrial music, with groups such as SPK, Conrad Schnitzler, Chris Carter and Cabaret Voltaire paving the way for XVARR’s early experiments with electronic music. The alchemical results on this EP float in a universe populated by such luminaries as AFX, Drexciya, and the constellation created by Chain Reaction, within a cosmos governed by the gravitational pull of Baldelli and Weatherall. Limited pressing of 300 with screen printed and hand-stamped disco sleeves.

File Under: Electronic
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Zenmenn: Enter the Zenmenn (Music From Memory) LP
Returning with another debut album for 2021, Music From Memory are delighted to introduce a new band, The Zenmenn, with their first ever release ‘Enter The Zenmenn’. Whilst little about the band is made known, their work is described by writer Winton Rousseauas an “experiment in harmonic convergence emerging from a deep respect for cosmic symmetry and a resistance to the prevailing Zeitgeist.” ‘Enter The Zenmenn’ sounds as old as it sounds new, as organic as it is electric, as harmonic as it is rhythmic, and the album’s fusion of different palettes, colours, tempos, instruments and sources offer a harmonious balance and unity that already feels like the perfect soundtrack to a better world. In a time of what they see as spiritual neglect, it offers a “human kind of stillness” through the “dualistic fusions of complexity and simplicity, mystery and clarity and East and West”. MFM054 will be released in LP and digital format, comes with artwork by Bráulio Amado, and is expected to be out on April 12th 2021.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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Various: Planet Love: Early Transmissions 1990-95 (Safe Trip) LP
Having previously celebrated the deep and colourful world of late ‘80s and early ‘80s Italian house via the popular Welcome To Paradise compilation series, Safe Trip has now turned its attention to the roots and formative years of trance music. Planet Love: Early Transmissions 1990-95 showcases the roots and formative years of trance via 13 loved-up, psychedelic, colourful, melodious and surprisingly varied dancefloor experiments from Europe, Australia and the United States. The compilation includes pioneering proto-trance and early trance tracks from the likes of Hawke (AKA influential San Francisco producer Gavin Hardkiss), Epilson 9, Spooky, Oliver Lieb, Holy Ghost Inc, Morgan Wild (an outfit whose members included early NYC techno titan Damon Wild), Mijk van Dijk, Glam and Paul van Dyk. Packed with must-have cuts, slept-on gems and sought-after rarities, Planet Love: Early Transmissions 1990-95 maintains the loved-up, listenable vibe of Welcome to Paradise while broadening its musical horizons. It is not a definitive history of trance music’s early years, but rather a colourful, life-affirming celebration of the varied strands that came together to create one of dance music’s most popular and enduring styles.

Various: Gost: A Spiritual Exploration into Greek Soundtracks (1975-1989) (Into the Light) LP
Having already explored the archives of a number of overlooked Greek composers, Into The Light is now turning its attention to the uncharted territory of Greek film soundtracks of the 70s and 80s –  a boom period for mystical, transcendental arthouse cinema in Greece. GOST: A Spiritual Exploration into Greek Soundtracks (1975-1989) is a passion project from the Greek filmmaker and composer Yannis Veslemes, that took years of engagement,  exhaustive research and persistence. The collection features a mixture of rare, hard-to-find and previously unreleased material from musicians and composers including Yannis Kostidakis, Thesia, Dimitris Papadimitriou, Michalis Christodoulides, Stamatis Spanoudakis, Haris Xanthoudakis, Vangelis Katsoulis and Charlotte Van Gelder . All material is accompanied by detailed linear notes from the curator Veslemes, explaining the stories behind the tracks and the movies they first featured on. The compilation celebrates the inventiveness and experimentation of Greek soundtrack composers in the ‘70s and ‘80s, by presenting a surprising mixture of musical hybrids that bridge the worlds of electronic and acoustic music, and compositions that bring together Western and Eastern musical traditions, in uniquely idiosyncratic ways.

File Under: OST, Experimental
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Cocteau Twins: Garlands (4AD) LP
Cocteau Twins: Victorialand (4AD) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: Complete Masters (Impulse) 3LP
Gal Costa: India (Mr. Bongo) LP
Lucy Dacus: Home Video (Matador) LP
Dinosaur Jr.: Sweep It Into Space (Jagjaguwar) LP
Drive Like Jehu: s/t (Hedhunter) LP
Fleet Foxes: Shore (Clear vinyl) (Anti) LP
Merope: Salos (Granvat) LP
Lee Morgan: The Cooker (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Jean-Jacques Perry: Moog Indigo (Vanguard) LP
Satyricon: Dark Medieval Times (Napalm) LP
Horace Silver: Further Explorations (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Thin Lizzy: Jailbreak (Universal) LP
McCoy Tyner: Tender Moments (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud (Merge) LP
Weeknd: After Hours (XO) LP
Kanye West: College Dropout (Universal) LP
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Universal) LP
Wolf Alice: Blue Weekend (RCA) LP
Yu Su: Yellow River (Music From Memory) LP

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