Another busy week around here with lots of great stuff in and now up on the site. Going to try get a used batch today, but… only time will tell if that actually happens.
As for the new restrictions, they don’t really effect us. According to our business association’s clarification of the new restrictions, we are already doing what is required of us, limited capacity and mandatory masks. The vaccine exemption does not apply to retail stores. So mask up and keep your visit brief if it’s busy so no one has to wait outside.
– in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 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)
– Max 4people in the store at a time
– Wear a mask(if you don’t have one, we’ll have some)
– Sanitizeyour hands(we’ll have some)
…..picks of the week…..
Alvin Curran: Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle announce the first-ever vinyl reissue of Alvin Curran’s classic Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri, originally issued in 1978 on Ananda, the cooperative label run by Curran, Roberto Laneri, and Giacinto Scelsi. Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri (Light Flowers Dark Flowers) — its title inspired by an intersection in Milan — is the second in the series of four solo recordings Alvin Curran issued in the 1970s and early 1980s, preceded by Songs and Views from the Magnetic Garden (1975), followed by The Works (1980) and Canti Illuminati (1982). Each of these solo works combines field recordings with performances on synthesizer, various acoustic instruments, and voice, arranged in languorously paced, dreamy sequences. Far from the bracing pointillism of much musique concrete, the elements encountered on the meandering course followed by Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri — whether a frenetic piano improvisation, dense layers of Serge synthesizer and ocarina, or a monologue from Frederic Rzewski’s five-year old son, Alexis — often occupy the foreground of our attention for minutes at a time. As Curran explains, his approach is like that of a filmmaker in the editing process, working with “whole blocks of recorded time.” The purring of a cat, toy piano, a child counting, plaintive synthesizer tones, the cacophony of exotic birds at the London Zoo — each disappears into the next, until, on the LP’s second side, a solo piano performance takes center stage, moving unexpectedly from percussive minimalist permutations to a halting rendition of “Georgia on My Mind”. A subtle yet stunning work that more than forty years on still seems charged with possibility, Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri arrives in a loving reproduction of the original sleeve, featuring Edith Schloss’ beautiful cover painting, remastered audio and with new liner notes by Alvin Curran and Francis Plagne.
File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Ambient
O Yuki Conjugate: Equator (Aguirre) LP
British post-industrial/ambient group O Yuki Conjugate arrives on Aguirre Records with a vinyl run of their previously CD only 1995 release Equator. Coming four years after their lauded Peyote release, the group split and reformed into their Mk II phase with the two original members Roger Horberry and Andrew Hulme, along with Malcolm McGeorge, Dan Mudford, and Pete Woodhead. Making use of the emergent technology of the early ’90s, Equator was one of the first albms to be mixed with digital equipment, weaving together a blend of studio, live and location recordings to create their own deeply immersive, enveloping soundscapes. Brooding atmospheres unfold underneath a wide range of ethnic percussion and deep, meditative basslines — existing in a unique cross-section of Hassell-inspired 4th world mystery, Industrial landscapes and the rich middle-eastern projections pioneered by Muslimgauze. It’s a deeply hypnotic work that joins the dots between the late 80’s industrial scene and the smoked-out chill out rooms of the ’90s, which should have received more attention at the time, were it not for the haphazard Staalplaat label who ensured O Yuki Conjugate remained a total obscurity in their home country. Now revisited, this expanded vinyl edition features an additional 30 minutes of material, together with new glorious artwork from artist and actor Frederick Schimmelschmidt. Instrumentation: tongue drums, bass, thunderegg, voice, keyboards, samples, wireless, stratus, airtubes, skin, percussion, marimba, digital edits, dharbouka, roto-tom, sholak, finger cymbals, rain stick. Mastered by Pieter De Wagter. Smokey clear vinyl; gatefold cover with insert; edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Fourth World
Dean McPhee: Witch’s Ladder (Hood Faire) LP
Witch’s Ladder is the fourth full-length album from UK guitarist Dean McPhee, whose last LP Four Stones (2018) introduced a kick drum pulse, hypnotic loops and synth-like Ebow lines to his sparsely meditative, echo-laden solo guitar music. On this new album he uses his Telecaster, valve amp and effects to weave an even deeper spell, as fingerpicked melodies soar over hypnotic riffs, looped basslines and cosmic reverb trails. Recorded live with no overdubs and inspired by folklore, mysticism and the landscapes of the North of England, Witch’s Ladder represents a significant evolution in his sound, while also retaining the unique sense of depth and space that has drawn comparison with the likes of Loren Connors, Dylan Carlson, and Popul Vuh. The cover art to Witch’s Ladder features the stunning 1933 painting “The Primal Wing” by Agnes Pelton, a visionary symbolist who was not widely known during her lifetime but is now being recognized as a pioneer of spiritual abstract art alongside the likes of Hilma Af Klimt and Wassily Kandinsky. Witch’s Ladder is the twelfth release on the Hood Faire label, a venture overseen by Sam McLoughlin (Samandtheplants/Tongues of Light), David Chatton Barker (Folklore Tapes), and Dean McPhee.
File Under: Guitar, Solo, Ambient
94 East: Cookhouse 5 (Numero) LP
Gold vinyl! In 1975, Brooklyn transplant Pepe Willie booked time at Cookhouse Recording Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to demo five original compositions. Without roots in the Twin Cities’ insular scene, Willie had no fixed backing group to help realize the arrangements he and vocalists Marcy Ingvoldstad and Kristie Lazenberry had been rehearsing. Willie organized a young cast of backing musicians for the session, among them his wife’s cousin: a 16-year-old guitar prodigy named Prince Rogers Nelson. Known colloquially as “The Cookhouse 5” these recordings showcase Prince’s instantly recognizable guitar playing, seasoning to perfection 94 East’s short-but-sweet songbook. A crucial document concerning the origins of the Minneapolis Sound, the B-side boasts instrumental versions of each infectious tune, providing an even greater vantage point from which to admire the Purple One’s expressive playing style, already evident in his teenage years.
File Under: Funk, Prince, Soul
Barrabas: s/t (Sommer) LP
Also known as Música Caliente (Hot Music) and Wild Safari, this is the first album, released in 1972, by Barrabás, the acclaimed Spanish band created by Fernando Arbex after the demise of Brincos and Alacrán. A funk-rock/Latin/Afro bomb, loaded with worldwide hits like “Wild Safari” or “Woman”. First ever reissue with original artwork. Barrabás was created by Spanish genius drummer, songwriter and producer Fernando Arbex after the split of his post-Brincos power-trio Alacrán. Busy with his productions and as songwriter for many artists, Fernando still had in mind the desire of international success. Highly influenced by the beginnings of funk music and the Latin-rock of groups such as Santana (influences that were also already present on Alacrán), Arbex formed Barrabás along with his Brincos bandmates Miguel & Ricky Morales on guitars, ace keyboard player Joao Antonio Vidal (from Madrid based psych band Los Grimm), Afro-Cuban percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Ernesto “Tito” Duarte and Iñaki Egaña (Los Buenos, Alacrán) on vocals/bass. The name of Barrabás came after Fernando watched the movie of the same name by Richard Fleischer. In 1971, the band entered RCA Studios in Madrid for the recording of their first album, sung completely in English. The result was a fabulous mix of funk, Latin music, rock and afro sounds, housed in a striking cover designed by famous Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute. Songs like “Wild Safari” or “Woman” took the international dancefloors by storm, even reaching the first positions in the US black music charts, being championed by legendary DJs like David Mancuso (The Loft). The album also contained surprises like the mid-tempo “Cheer Up” or the Canned Heat sounding boogie rock of “Rock and Roll Everybody”. A groundbreaking debut album, essential to understand the roots of Spanish funk-rock, reissued for the first time on vinyl faithful to the original one. Heavy cardboard cover with obi and four-panel color insert with detailed liner notes in English/Spanish and photos. Remastered sound. RIYL: Santana, Osibisa, Malo, Mandrill.
File Under: Funk, Rock, Latin
Dean Blunt: Black Metal 2 (Rough Trade) LP
Mercurial UK artist Dean Blunt delivers his long awaited follow-up album, Black Metal 2, on Rough Trade Records. The original Black Metal was released in 2014 to widespread acclaim. “…Black Metal 2 is the most approachable album of his career without losing the vital ambiguity that has always made his records special. This is minimalist sophisti-pop, sung by a terminally downward-looking troubadour. It is the clearest Dean Blunt has ever sounded and one of his most thrilling releases to date” (Hubert Adjei-Kontoh, Pitchfork).
File Under: Electronic
Bulbous Creation: You Won’t Remember Dying (Numero) LP
Cream vinyl! A truly underground document of the national obsession with heavy, mind-bent psychedelia. Originating in the unassuming suburb of Prairie Village, Kansas, Bulbous Creation seem to have warped directly from the wrong side of the looking glass with a jabberwocky full of surreal lyrics and gratuitous guitar solos. Recorded and abandoned in the catacombs of Independence, Missouri’s Cavern Sound studio in 1969, Bulbous Creation’s eight-song screed invokes images of sinners, wage slaves, drugs, out of touch parents, jail, and the devil, naturally. “He was kind of a loner,” Jan Parkinson said of his younger brother Paul, singer and guitarist of Kansas City’s Bulbous Creation. Born and raised on the west side of the Missouri River in Prairie Village, Kansas, Paul used his semi-isolated surroundings as fuel for his fantastical lyrics. A series of informal bands were formed in high school with his childhood friend Jim “Bugs” Wine and revolving cast of drummers. The band was put on ice in 1966 for Wine’s enlistment, and he spent the next three years stationed in Korea, Germany, and Fort Riley, Kansas, where he spent his downtime honing his bass chops to a fine point. Discharged honorably into the heady climate of the ’60s final year, Wine waded into the potent stream of freedom and higher consciousness that was flowing in every city. He got an apartment in KC with another childhood friend whose hair was gathering around the collar and a job in avionics. It was here he reconnected with Paul Parkinson. Wine had already been looking into putting a band together. A personal ad in the K.C. Star put him in contact with guitarist Alan Lewis, who had a monstrous talent and a familiarity with Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. Lewis and Wine gelled immediately, but lacked the introspective nature of true songwriters. Wine invited the wordsmith Parkinson to apply his lyrics and melodic ideas to their heavy foundation. On the drum stool was Chuck Horstmann. For no identifiable reason, Lewis thought the term “Bulbous” applied to their sound, and wanted to name the band thus. His mates balked, but applying the slightly cosmic “Creation” to it at least let it roll off the tongue. Their all-originals set list made them a difficult booking, and profits did not materialize. In 1971, the quartet poured what little personal surplus they had into a full day of recording at Cavern Studios, tracking enough material for a full length album. Bulbous Creation wouldn’t stay together long enough to save up for a custom pressing. The deeply individualistic Parkinson left to perform his songs as he thought appropriate, as a solo act. He preferred coffee shops to concert halls, and would stick to his craft another 20 years before hanging it up. Horstmann followed suit. Wine and Lewis soldiered on, adding a few components and then shortening their name to the more sensible Creation on the path to a more progressive sound. The Bulbous Creation LP might’ve been doomed to oblivion but for the efforts of Rich Haupt, who issued the seven-song LP in 1995 on his Rockadelic imprint. When Paul Parkinson died of leukemia in 2001, a lone copy turned up amongst his possessions, proof enough that someone, somewhere, was listening.
File Under: Psych
Bunalim: s/t (Pharaway Sound) LP
Turkish band Bunalim (Turkish for “Depression”) is a true legend: They were the absolute wildest and crudest band from the Anatolian rock scene. Under the wing of Cem Karaça, who was their manager and producer, they released a few singles which are all collected here. Fierce Turkish folk-flavored psychedelic fuzz-rock circa 1970-1972. Remastered sound, including an insert with liner notes and pictures.
File Under: Psych, Turkey
John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter & Daniel Davies: Halloween Kills (Sacred Bones) LP
Orange vinyl! It’s just five notes plucked out on a piano, so sparsely arranged that it feels like barely more than a sketch, so simple that an untrained player can easily pick it up, but it’s one of cinema’s greatest musical accomplishments. By now, John Carpenter’s hypnotic theme to his 1978 horror masterpiece Halloween has embodied slasher-stalker anxiety for generations of filmgoers, and woven itself so into pop culture that it’s become musical shorthand for the entire horror genre. And like the seemingly unkillable Michael Meyers, it’s back once again. In 2018, Carpenter returned to the franchise his iconic creation spawned for the first time since 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, erasing the 40 years of sequels and reboots that happened under other filmmakers, and returning the story to his original vision. While directing duties for the new Halloween and its sequels have been turned over to David Gordon Green, Carpenter has stayed on to provide them with their unmistakable sonic identity, as integral to Halloween as Michael Meyers’ death’s-face mask and glimmering butcher knife. Carpenter has been composing and recording his own scores since he created the soundtrack to his first film, 1974’s Dark Star, on a EMS VCS 3 modular synthesizer. While originally a cost-cutting measure, he continued scoring most of his films even after he started making multiplex staples in the 80s and 90s, with the soundtracks to the Halloween series, They Live, and Escape from New York becoming classics in their own right. Over the past two decades, Carpenter’s directed only one feature (The Ward in 2010), but during that time he’s come to be recognized as much for his musical vision as his filmography. His boldly assertive compositions and pioneering use of synthesizers have inspired musicians in cinema and far beyond. His influence has been felt from the underground to pop radio, and played a foundational role in the modern synthwave movement. Since 2015, Carpenter’s released three albums of original music on Sacred Bones, created alongside Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, with remixes provided by some of his more notable fans. Like the film itself, Carpenter’s score to the second installment of the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, stays true to the spirit of what made the 1978 original great while bringing it firmly into the present. The music is unmistakably Carpenter: the sinister vintage synth tones, the breath-stealing sense of menace that he conjures with just a few dissonant notes. But with a broader sonic palette, new digital techniques at his disposal, and a deeper sense of musicality, the Halloween Kills score is the work of a master artist who nearly 50 years into his career continues to push his creative limits and find new ways to thrill and terrify his fans.
File Under: OST
Coldplay: Music of the Spheres (Parlophone) LP
Coldplay’s ninth studio album, Music of the Spheres was produced by hitmaker Max Martin and features twelve tracks, five of which are represented by emojis. The British pop-rock giants follow-up to 2019’s Everyday Life is introduced by the cosmic lead single “Higher Power” and experimental 10-minute closer “Coloratura,” an exhilarating, space-bound epic that includes namechecks for Galileo, Oumuamua and Betelgeuse. The band hints at further sci-fi themes with the note, “Everyone is an alien somewhere.” Colored vinyl LP.
File Under: Rock, Pop
Dame Area: La Soluzione E Una (BFE) LP
The Barcelona’s duo explores their more industrial (as in early industrial, not industrial noise) and minimal synth facets. Tribal elements are kept to just a couple of tracks. Metallic percussion, throbbing synths and arpeggios living together under the same roof. This release has it all: rhythm, experimentation and melody. FFO: Throbbing Gristle, Diseño Corbusier, Chris and Cosey, Liasons Dangerouses, Einstürzende Neubauten, Soft Moon, Cabaret Voltaire, Essaie Pas, DAF. All music by Dame Area. Recorded at Màgia Roja HQ 2018-2019. Mixed at la Isla with Pablo Miranda.
File Under: Industrial
Fennesz/Sakamoto: Cendre (Touch) 2×10″
Issued for the first time on vinyl, this classic album from 2007 was the first full-length pairing of these two maestros, before releasing Flumina in 2013 (TONE 046CD). Ryuichi Sakamoto and Christian Fennesz blend the unstructured and imaginative qualities of improvisation with the satisfying sculpture of composition. Sakamoto’s piano, his style reminiscent of Debussy and Satie, perfectly complements Fennesz with his powerful blend of shimmering guitar and passionate electronics. Cendre was recorded between 2004 and 2006, Fennesz would send Sakamoto a guitar or electronic track and Sakamoto would compose his piano piece. Vice versa — Sakamoto initiating a track with a piano composition and Fennesz responding. Meanwhile they met for live shows, or communicated via digital means to compare notes, swap ideas and develop themes. The cyclical process continued right up until they met up for the final mix in New York City February of 2006. Together they have combined to create 11 tracks of satisfying and challenging possibilities…
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Myriam Gendron: Ma Delire – Songs of Love Lost & Found (Feeding Tube) CS
“It has been a while since the release Myriam’s acclaimed 2014 debut album, Not So Deep as a Well (FTR 146-4LP). The intervening years have brought a smattering of live performances, a bouquet of children, Trump’s Pandemic, and much more . . . Different concepts for a new album were broached, but the seed of Ma Délire was planted when Myriam recalled a paper she written in university. It was about Leonard Cohen’s recording of “The Lost Canadian (Un canadien errant)” from Recent Songs. Ostensibly a cover of an old Quebecois ballad, Cohen stripped away the specificity of the lyrics, tying the song’s titular figure to the archetype of ‘The Wandering Jew’. The theme of this paper returned to Myriam when she had a residency at the Old Mill in Le Bic, QC in August 2016. Benoit Chaput had turned her on to the traditional tune ‘Au Coeur de ma Délire,’ from a 1971 album by Dominique Tremblay and Philippe Gagnon. The song was so haunting, she decided to record it right there in the Mill’s boat repair workshop. That is the very recording used here . . . This started Myriam musing about how the end of the Catholic hegemony in Quebec had the unanticipated consequence of making people think less of traditional Quebecois folk music, because so much of it was soaked in the blood of the lamb. It made sense this music should be explored and updated despite its dogmatic origins which Cohen had proved could be effectively expunged . . . Just as the world was shutting down, Myriam was awarded a grant which allowed her the time and space to fully investigate and develop this material. She had spent years sifting through traditional music from Quebec, France and the U.S., highlighting parts of songs and ideas she liked, discarding some she found abhorrent, and merging the good bits with her own writing or other cannibalized shards. At some juncture she flashed on this work’s common thread — its thematic roots were always in one type of romantic longing or another. And so, this album came together during the dark days of the General Lockdown. Mixing vocal tracks with instrumentals, singing in both French and English, using a syncretic blend of original, modern and traditional lyrics, Ma Délire fearlessly wanders through a universe of its own invention, daring us to open our minds wide enough to take it all in. Myriam initially recorded with just guitar and vocals. But when she began working with the sound engineer Tonio Morin-Vargas, he had some insightful suggestions about additional instrumentation that might broaden the album’s sound without confounding it. Myriam had already planned to ask her friends, Bill Nace and Chris Corsano, to add some things, so the whole shebang evolved as organically as most great records do…” –Byron Coley, 2021
File Under: Folk
Nikki Giovanni: Truth Is On Its Way (Modern Harmonic) LP
First reissue of this powerful blend of funk, soul, & poetry. Pressed on color vinyl and packaged in striking new artwork with liner notes by Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother). “Listen, the great Nikki Giovanni was protected. Inside the church, you can hear it. In the dusty silence, you can hear it. In the electric texture of the crowd, the buzz of the instruments, you can hear it. What you hear and feel is safe in the belly of the blues. Her voice loved like hands on the ivory keys of the church organ deep inside the spell of gospel. Nikki Giovanni is a poet at the pulpit righteous with spirit and energy. A poet in the choir hypnotized with the sound of the past, present and future. Nikki Giovanni inspires a new language rising out of the desolate and uncertain seventies.” – Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother, Irreversible Entanglements)
File Under: Funk, Soul
Julius Hemphill: Dogon A.D. (International Phonograph) LP
“Considered by many as a true jazz classic, Julius Hemphill’s Dogon A.D. is listed by the New York Times as one of the 100 most essential jazz recordings. A fundamental statement of a new era in jazz music, Hemphill’s performance here avoids the loud, instinctual blowing so many other jazz musicians defaulted to in the early 70s, and instead provides lean instrumentation, blues, funk, and avant-garde chamber jazz. Long out of print it’s now reissued on 200 gram vinyl with the bonus track ‘Hard Blues’! Remastered from original master tapes for vastly improved sound quality over previous vinyl pressings. Limited edition of 1,000. Julius Hemphill – alto sax, flute, Baikida E.J. Carroll – trumpet, Abdul Wadud – cello, Philip Wilson – drums.”
File Under: Jazz
Jon Hopkins: Opalescent (Just Music) LP
Opalescent was originally released in 2001 when Jon was 20 and just signed to ambient label Just Music, yet today it still sounds so distinctive, musically and emotionally complex. It is in the contradictions between beauty and bass, gentleness and volume, ecstasy and elegy, that Opalescent derives its enduring otherness.
File Under: Electronic
ICP Tentet: Tetterettet (Our Swimmer) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1977. Founded in Amsterdam in 1967 by saxophonist Willem Breuker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and percussionist Han Bennink, Instant Composers Pool (or ICP) was an independent free jazz label and orchestra that would go on to release over fifty albums featuring such pillars of the scene as Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Jeanne Lee, John Tchicai, and Steve Lacy. Based around the concept that improvisation was, in fact, an act of instantaneous composition, ICP’s legacy on improvised and free music is impossible to overstate. The ICP Tentet’s Tetterettet is made up of recordings from 14-17 of September, 1977, cut and spliced together by pianist/composer Misha Mengelberg in a style similar to Teo Macero’s work with Miles Davis. The first side is taken up entirely by Mengelberg’s multi-part title track that breaks in and out of different tempos, with a loose arrangement style owing more than a bit to Charles Mingus’s finest work on Black Saint or Ah Um. Traversing across decades and styles from free-jazz funereal marches, to carnivalesque excursions, broken piano rolls, and ear-splitting skronk, ICP Tentet show remarkable skill and chops in both their compositional craft and improvisational symbiosis. There’s a playful undercurrent here that finds its home in some previously uncharted land between Mingus and Spike Jones. Featuring numerous ICP regulars along with the brilliant Alan Silva on bass, and a return to the fold of the amazing saxophonist John Tchicai, Tetterettet is one of the best of ICP’s larger group recordings; humorous, unnerving, and ultimately, quite beautiful. This limited-edition reissue marks the first time this album has been in print on vinyl since its initial release.
File Under: Free Jazz
Khruangbin: Mordechai Remixes (Dead Oceans) LP
Khruangbin are no slouches when it comes to the remix. They’ve been reworked before, in 2016, with the highly collectible EP on Boogiefuturo. But this time, they’re taking it a step further with an album dedicated to the art. Entering the tight-knit world of a Khruangbin song can be a little daunting. They have created this entire universe in which the trio seem to function telepathically in the way the music is composed, arranged and played. To mess with their delicate eco-system can invoke feelings similar to that of an unwanted guest crashing a good-time party. “We write our music to be interpreted; this is another wonderful interpretation of the music,” reassure Khruangbin. “There is something very vulnerable about letting others work on your music. But through the correspondence with the different artists, we gained a bigger connection to the songs themselves.” The choice of remixers for this album is neither arbitrary nor accidental. They’re not names picked randomly out of a hat or chosen via a throw of the dice. All have some connection to the band, sometimes personal friendships, musical connections, or simply mutual musical appreciation. Harvey Sutherland and Ginger Roots have both toured with the band, Kadhja Bonet and Ron Trent had their own mutual fan club going on, Knxwledge sampled “White Gloves” on a recent mixtape, Natasha Diggs and Soul Clap’s Eli’s are recent buddy-ups, and Quantic is a mutual friend of Bonobo (crucial in the KB origin story). Some of these remixes were specifically made so you can dance your ass off while getting down to the Khruangbin sound, while some might better be appreciated horizontally with headphones on. The choice is yours. But all were made with love and respect for Khruangbin. “A good remix deconstructs, recontextualizes, or simply extends a good time,” say the band.
File Under: Funk, Psych, Remix
Giovanni Lami, Hannibal Chew III, Bardo Todol: Stories of the Dotted Indian Whale (Sucata) 3xCS
A three-part journey into an imaginary Indian sub-continent from three artists working on the fringes of field recordings. Stories of the Dotted Indian Whale features Italian artist Giovanni Lami, Hannibal Chew III aka Gonçalo F Cardoso, and Argentinean noise prankster Bardo Todol. First part from Italian sound artist Giovanni Lami, entitled Soap Wolf Giovanni presents a collection of ghost recordings from several places in India. Second part from Hannibal Chew III is a collection of re-assembled recordings and in situ jams made in Arambol, Jaipur, Pushkar, Varanasi, Thar Desert, Pondicherry & Auroville between 2009-2019. Re-assembled in 2020. The third and final part from Bardo Todol contains abrasive tape and digital field recordings manipulation made by Pablo Pico in Nepal, Kolkata, Varanasi and New Delhi in 2012. A new weird collection of re-interpreted field recordings from artists connecting the dots between musique concrete, naive improvisation and field recordings processing. Artwork by Pablo Picco.
File Under: Field Recordings, Electronic
Michael Masley: Cymbalom Solos (Morning Trip) LP
“There are constellations within the grooves of Cymbalom Solos. Innumerable points of light, rendered audible in glowing, radiant sound. There are entire worlds too – undiscovered, yet familiar — both terrestrial and celestial. There are moments of quiet comfort and exultant discovery. And all of it conjured by one man with a handful of ancient and invented instruments, recorded mostly-live, with precious few overdubs. Michael Masley has been a fixture of Berkley, California, since he arrived from Michigan in 1982. Even today, he remains a common sight, working as a street performer — catching the attention of passers-by as he summons otherworldly overtones from a coterie of arcane instruments. This is how he met fellow east-coast transplant and musical voyager, Barry Cleveland, in 1983. Cleveland was enraptured by the sound of Masley’s wildly innovative bowhammer cymbalom. The cymbalom is an ancient instrument, similar to a zither or hammered-dulcimer — originating in Eastern Europe in 1874, but with primitive early examples dating back as early as 3500 BC. Yet Masley’s approach to the instrument was wholly original. Masley replaced the two traditional cymbalom hammers, with bowhammers — an invention wherein he fitted each of his fingers with its own combination hammer/bow device, which allowed him to both strike the strings, and bow them like a violin. Outfitted with his bowhammers, Masley was able to wrest startlingly new sounds from a centuries-old instrument. In 1985, after performing together for a couple years, Cleveland produced Masley’s first solo endeavor, Cymbalom Solos. With the help of Cleveland’s timely production, Masley’s technique reached its zenith. His complex and beautiful compositions combined elements of Eastern-European classical, new minimalism, and Celtic/folk music, yet the end result falls squarely within the world of new age kosmiche. Music of the spheres, conjured by earthbound strings. Masley estimates that he sold tens-of-thousands of cassette copies of Cymbalom Solos over his years of performing. And now, Morning Trip is distinctly proud to offer it on vinyl for the first time ever — an album of startling, imaginative beauty, by a brilliant American folk artist.”
File Under: Ambient, New Age, Minimalism
Mcclellan, Randall: Healing Music of Rana Vol. 1 (Aguirre) LP
Originally released on cassette in 1983, now released on vinyl for the first time. Exceptional recordings by this new age maestro. Only recently re-discovered by his friend JD Emmanuel and the band Sun Araw. Randall McClellan was a founding member of the electronic music studio at the Eastman School of Music in 1967 where he later received a Ph.D. in Composition, Theory and Musicology. A growing interest in North Indian music and vocal technique prompted him to develop his personal compositional practice into an active platform for inducing altered states of mind. He constructed his concerts to be spaces for harmonization of mind and body through a musical practice informed by his esoteric studies of ancient mystery schools and sacred geometry, believing these to be primarily teachings on intentional resonance. These performances were given between 1977 and 1983 in semi-darkened spaces that allowed listeners to relax on carpeting while being enveloped by sound. Each improvisation lasts from twenty-five to forty-five minutes. An entire performance is up to three hours and is designed to provide an environment of meditative sound. They gained in popularity and were soon attended by larger audiences. His final live performance took place at New York City’s Alternative Museum in October, 1983. The “Music of Rana” Environmental Series uses synthesizers, drone box, tamboura, voice and tape delay to create an environment of continuously evolving multi-layered melody. Described as subtle, graceful and of other worlds. The name RANA, meaning “Sunbreath”, has its origin in ancient philosophical concepts that recognized vibration as the fundamental creative force and central principle of the many esoteric mystery schools of the ancient world. It is now evident that the use of music for its ability to alter mind states and for its effectiveness as a therapeutic aid was music’s original purpose and an important concept of these mystery schools. In the broadest sense, the practice of music for its healing ability may well stand as our oldest continuous musical tradition. This album is the first volume in the series, previously issued as a cassette in 1983, and part of the cassette box set published by Sun Ark in 2013. This music is based on principles outlined in Randall’s book, The Healing Forces of Music: History, Theory and Practice. These compositions are selected for their meditational and healing abilities. RIYL: Joanna Brouk, JD Emmanuel, Pauline-Anna Strom. Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, New Age
Mcclellan, Randall: Healing Music of Rana Vol. 3 (Aguirre) LP
Originally released on cassette in 1983, now released on vinyl for the first time. Exceptional recordings by this new age maestro. Only recently re-discovered by his friend JD Emmanuel and the band Sun Araw. Randall McClellan was a founding member of the electronic music studio at the Eastman School of Music in 1967 where he later received a Ph.D. in Composition, Theory and Musicology. A growing interest in North Indian music and vocal technique prompted him to develop his personal compositional practice into an active platform for inducing altered states of mind. He constructed his concerts to be spaces for harmonization of mind and body through a musical practice informed by his esoteric studies of ancient mystery schools and sacred geometry, believing these to be primarily teachings on intentional resonance. These performances were given between 1977 and 1983 in semi-darkened spaces that allowed listeners to relax on carpeting while being enveloped by sound. Each improvisation lasts from twenty-five to forty-five minutes. An entire performance is up to three hours and is designed to provide an environment of meditative sound. They gained in popularity and were soon attended by larger audiences. His final live performance took place at New York City’s Alternative Museum in October, 1983. The “Music of Rana” Environmental Series uses synthesizers, drone box, tamboura, voice and tape delay to create an environment of continuously evolving multi-layered melody. Described as subtle, graceful and of other worlds. The name RANA, meaning “Sunbreath”, has its origin in ancient philosophical concepts that recognized vibration as the fundamental creative force and central principle of the many esoteric mystery schools of the ancient world. It is now evident that the use of music for its ability to alter mind states and for its effectiveness as a therapeutic aid was music’s original purpose and an important concept of these mystery schools. In the broadest sense, the practice of music for its healing ability may well stand as our oldest continuous musical tradition. This album is the third volume in the series, previously issued as a cassette in 1983, and part of the cassette box set published by Sun Ark in 2013. This music is based on principles outlined in Randall’s book, The Healing Forces of Music: History, Theory and Practice. These compositions are selected for their meditational and healing abilities. RIYL: Joanna Brouk, JD Emmanuel, Pauline-Anna Strom. Edition of 500.
File Under: Ambient, New Age
Mengelberg/Brotzmann/Parker/Bennink/Rutherford/Bailey: Groupcomposing (Our Swimmer) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1978. Founded in Amsterdam in 1967 by saxophonist Willem Breuker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and percussionist Han Bennink, Instant Composers Pool (or ICP) was an independent free jazz label and orchestra that would go on to release over fifty albums featuring such pillars of the scene as Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Jeanne Lee, John Tchicai, and Steve Lacy. Based around the concept that improvisation was, in fact, an act of instantaneous composition, ICP’s legacy on improvised and free music is impossible to overstate. A live performance from May of 1970 in Rotterdam, Groupcomposing features a North Sea-crossing ICP lineup of British free improv luminaries Derek Bailey on guitar, Evan Parker on saxophone, and Paul Rutherford on trombone, along with ICP mainstays Han Bennink, his brother Peter, Misha Mengelberg, and Peter Brötzmann. The first side, “Groupcomposing, Part 1” is a nearly all-out assault with the reeds trio and Rutherford’s trombone blasting nigh-continuously for the album’s first side, culminating in a blistering Peter Bennink bagpipes solo. “Part 2” acts at first as the comedown, beginning with a playful piano and percussion back-and-forth before meandering a dark, brooding, path of trill horns to the album’s eventual, tense conclusion. Recorded just a few years into the ICP’s long tenure, it is hard to think of a release more representative of the label’s musical principles — or, more broadly, of the power of free group improvisation — than the aptly-named Groupcomposing. This limited reissue marks the first time the album has been in print on vinyl in over forty years.
File Under: Free Jazz
Marissa Nadler: Path of the Clouds (Sacred Bones) LP
The Path of the Clouds, Marissa Nadler’s ninth solo album, is the most stylistically adventurous, lyrically transfixing, and melodically sophisticated collection of songs in her already rich discography. Gripped by wanderlust while suddenly housebound at the start of the pandemic in 2020, Nadler escaped into writing, and came back with a stunning set of songs about metamorphosis, love, mysticism, and murder. Blurring the line between reality and fantasy and moving freely between past and present, these 11 deeply personal, self-produced songs find Nadler exploring new landscapes, both sonic and emotional. While she’s always been a brilliant guitarist, Nadler challenged herself to expand her palette for The Path of the Clouds, experimenting with synthetic textures that make the album feel untethered from time and space. A majestic grandeur sweeps through songs such as “Elegy,” shooting the listener into the stratosphere as synths swirl and entwine with Nadler’s celestial mezzo-soprano. Nadler also learned to play piano during the pandemic’s isolation, and she composed many of the songs on the album on keys rather than guitar, which further contributed to their exploratory feel. These songs are unmistakably Marissa Nadler’s, but they sound free to go places she’s never gone before. Nadler tracked the skeletons of the songs at home and then sent them to some choice collaborators, including experimental harpist Mary Lattimore and Simon Raymonde, the Cocteau Twins bassist and her Lost Horizons collaborator. Multi-instrumentalist Milky Burgess, having recently worked on the soundtrack to the film Mandy, adds intricate melodic power throughout the album. Jesse Chandler, Nadler’s piano teacher (as well as a member of Mercury Rev and Midlake), plays winding woodwinds and plaintive piano to luminous effect. Fellow singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle contributes a slinky guitar solo on “Turned Into Air,” while Black Mountain’s Amber Webber steps in as a vocal foil to Nadler, a ghostly apparition in the distance of “Elegy.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
Bruno Nicolai: Rendez Vous (Sounds from the Screen) LP
Licensed in 1975 by Gemelli, Rendez Vous is a holy grail in Bruno Nicolai’s long-running career as a composer. The orchestra director and musical editor has been active for at least 30 years and his majestic opus is a must for any avantgarde freak or obsessive moviegoer. While studying piano and composition at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, he befriended Ennio Morricone and formed a long working relationship with Nicolai eventually conducting for and co-scoring films with Morricone. Nicolai also scored a number of giallo exploitation films and wrote many scores for director Jesús Franco. His work was featured in the Quentin Tarantino films Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). Tension! Pretty much what this whole record is all about. An imaginary soundtrack that turned out to be an in-demand obscure library, Rendez Vous shows off the many skills of the composer and his alumni. Morricone is possibly playing muted trumpet in several episodes — “Diffidenza” and “Subdolamente” –absorbing thrilling experiences similar to the Maestro soundtracks for Dario Argento’s early movies (it’s not the case that Nicolai was the conductor for several adventures in movie sound theater such as L’Uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo, Il Gatto A Nove Code or 4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio). Rendez Vous is now ranked among the most adventurous of Nicolai’s soundtracks, a unique combination of classic contemporary arrangements and superb jazz noir sketches.
File Under: Library, OST
Notorious B.I.G.: Ready to Die (Rhino) LP
The Notorious B.I.G. took the music world by storm with his 1994 Bad Boy Records debut album Ready To Die, which has gone on to become one of the most beloved and enduring hip-hop albums of all time. Ready To Die was the only album issued during Biggie’s lifetime as he was murdered days before the 1997 release of his second and final full-length, Life After Death. Featuring the classic tracks “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” and “One More Chance,” Ready To Die single-handedly revitalized the East Coast hip hop scene after longstanding commercial dominance by the West Coast and has gone onto 6x Platinum sales and counting. A cinematic storyteller with an effortless flow, the authenticity of Biggie’s rhymes were in the details and a foreboding sense of doom which was all too real. Ready To Die is one of the highest rated hip hop albums on Rolling Stone’s list of the ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’: “B.I.G. (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls) took the gritty life experience of his hard-knock Brooklyn youth and crammed it into Ready to Die, hip-hop’s greatest debut. “Big Poppa” is the hit sex jam, “Juicy” made you laugh as you danced, and on “Things Done Changed” and “Everyday Struggle,” he relates gangsta tales in a voice as thick as his waistline.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Nudity: Is God’s Creation (Feeding Tube) LP
Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records bring to you for your listening pleasure Nudity Is God’s Creation. A retrospective release of recordings dating from 2005 to 2010 of orgasmic interstellar mayhem. Reissued and for the first time available domestically in the USA In 2004, a commune named Nudity, formed by four travelers from the astral plane, appeared in Olympia, Washington. The founding members were Dave Harvey (guitar) and Jon Quitty Quittner (bass, though Josh Haynes of the mighty guitar fuzz scorchers Feral Ohms plays bass on the majority of the tracks featured here), both of whom were former guitarists of Tight Bros From Way Back When and Eryn Ross (drums) from Growling. A couple of self-distributed CDrs and a 12″ on Discourage were a visual akin to colored liquid sloshing around on a transparency machine and were a pure drip feed for psych/kraut and Jap rock fiends around the world as Julian Cope and Terrascope raved about them. Alas for whatever reason no full-length LP arrived from the original line-up — something that at last has been rectified as now all these tracks have been brought together (along with some unreleased gems and a couple of live bonus download tracks). The sonic ear candy contained within the four sides of vinyl presented here go from Detroit fuzz blazing face melters to acid trippin’ head swirling raga’s via The Flower Travelin’ Band and Hawkwind. Nudity were the masters and for those that missed out the first time this double album was released — don’t make the same mistake a second time. Terrascope gushed about Nudity: “This is seriously fucking good; one of those quite literally extra-ordinary LPs that come along every once in a while which you just know instinctively are going to be dug out and played, sniffed and caressed for years.”
File Under: Psych
Ora Clementi: Sylva Sylvarum (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle present Sylva Sylvarum, an epic new work from Ora Clementi, the collaborative project of crys cole and James Rushford. Primarily conceived and recorded over several months together in Melbourne, Sylva Sylvarum is a stunning step forward from the mumbled, creaking sound world of the duo’s debut, Cover You Will Softer Me (PP 011LP, 2014). From the opening “Peach of Immortality”, which takes an unpredictable journey from layers of chiming bells, vocal harmonies and lush synth pads to a desolate landscape of half-animal, half-digital wooshes and cries, it is immediately clear that cole and Rushford are working here with an entirely unique sound palette. Throughout the record’s four sides, you hear a large array of carefully detailed synthesizer sounds (many of them recorded at the remarkable Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio), sparse drum machine hits, wind instruments and field recordings of animals, often with a twistedly late ’80s/early ’90s flavor that at various points calls up new age references, Robert Ashley’s later operas or the thinned-out textures of early digital GRM. Threaded through this distinctive array of sounds are the two musicians’ voices, sometimes singing, sometimes speaking through varying degrees of manipulation. A guiding thread through the pair’s collaboration, beginning with their initial experiments with lip-readings, the presence of these two voices — cole’s crisp and sibilant, Rushford’s rich and low — reinforces the sense that the music is immersed in itself, less performed by two people than occurring between them. On Sylva Sylvarum, these voices first come to the forefront on the third piece, “Dialogue Between a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller and a Genoese Sea Captain”, where in unison they intone fragments of a description of an imaginary space taken from a 17th century utopian text. The two voices resurface periodically thereafter, most stunningly in the unexpected turn into cushiony dream pop on “Magic Mountain”. Like the album’s title, these textual elements are drawn from various literary descriptions of utopias, a theme that also informed the pair’s musical approachThe uncanny sweep of the album’s fifteen pieces is expansive enough to take in stretches of crackling austerity, warped microtonal keyboard etudes and moments of stunning beauty, the latter most strikingly when cole and Rushford are joined by Callum G’Froerer on trumpet and Joe O’Connor on trombone for a series of dream-like moments moving from growling overtones to poignant lyricism. Mint green vinyl; gatefold sleeve. Artwork by Sabrina Ratté. Mixed and mastered by Joe Talia at Good Mixture, Berlin.
File Under: Ambient, Experimental
OST: Dracula vs Frankenstein (Real Gone) LP
As head of Publicity at Hemisphere Pictures and then founder of Independent-International Pictures Corp., Sam Sherman is truly one of the godfathers of the drive-in/grindhouse/horror/B-movie genre. We at Real Gone Music have teamed with Sam to release his favorite scores from his long and illustrious career in film production, each sporting rare publicity stills and a personal note from the man himself. Composer William Lava made his reputation scoring 1930s Westerns and serials for Republic Pictures including The Three Mesquiteers (with John Wayne) and Daredevils of the Red Circle. But for Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, Lava who was a friend of producer Sam Sherman and his favorite composer let his atonal freak flag fly, employing eerie glissandos and ominous rhythms to conjure suspense and dread. Special bonus: Independent-International Pictures’ amazing radio spot promoting the movie. Also comes with a full-color LP-sized insert featuring the cover illustration for its 50th anniversary in a pumpkin orange pressing limited to 1000 copies!
File Under: OST
OST: Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Real Gone) LP
As head of Publicity at Hemisphere Pictures and then founder of Independent-International Pictures Corp., Sam Sherman is truly one of the godfathers of the drive-in/grindhouse/horror/B-movie genre. We at Real Gone Music have teamed with Sam to release his favorite scores from his long and illustrious career in film production, each sporting rare publicity stills and a personal note from the man himself. Filipino composer Tito Arevalo’s score to the 1969 film Mad Doctor of Blood Island was so good that it was used twice more, once in Beast of Blood, the 1970 finale to Hemisphere Pictures’ Blood Island franchise, and again in Brain of Blood, which producer Sherman made with director Al Adamson in 1971! But this was the original and the best, utilizing a full orchestra to inspired effect, particularly on the ‘Dance’ sequences, which virtually invent the genre ‘horror exotica.’ Not only have we added as a bonus the truly unhinged radio spot that advertised Mad Doctor of Blood Island, but also the record closes with the ‘Oath of Green Blood Intro’ to the film, which advised audiences to drink the green ‘blood’ potion that was distributed as a gimmick before screenings of the movie. Also includes an LP-Ssized insert featuring the lurid front cover illustration pressed in green ‘Chlorophyll Blood’ vinyl limited to 1000 copies!
File Under: OST
Jin Hye Park: Before I Die (Ninja Tune) LP
박 Park (surname) 혜진 Hye Jin (first name) – a rapper, singer, DJ and producer from Seoul and now based in LA – quickly gained a reputation for dreamlike minimal house and techno productions and flawless DJ sets, winning her fans across the globe. Collaborating with the likes of Nosaj Thing, Blood Orange, Galcher Lustwerk and, more recently, Clams Casino & Take A Daytrip, gaining over 35 million cumulative streams across DSP platforms, receiving features in publications like Pitchfork, Vogue, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and playing shows at venues like Elsewhere in Brooklyn and Berghain in Berlin, 박혜진 Park Hye Jin has proven to be a breakout artist in the global electronic music scene. With her debut album Before I Die, 박혜진 Park Hye Jin is poised to establish herself as one of the new key players in electronic music throughout 2021 and beyond.
File Under: Electronic
Parquet Courts: Sympathy for Life (Rough Trade) LP
Green vinyl, or deluxe with book! On Sympathy For Life, Parquet Courts’ thought-provoking rock is dancing to a new tune. The album finds the Brooklyn band at both their most instinctive and electronic, spinning their bewitching, psychedelic storytelling into fresh territory, yet maintaining their unique identity. Built largely from improvised jams, inspired by New York clubs, Primal Scream and Pink Floyd and produced in league with Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Hot Chip, David Byrne) and John Parish (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, Dry Cleaning), Sympathy For Life was always destined to be dancey. Unlike its globally adored predecessor, 2018’s Wide Awake!, the focus fell on grooves rather than rhythm. “Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party,” says co-frontman Austin Brown. “Sympathy For Life is influenced by the party itself.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Punk
Pelt: Reticence/Resistance (Three Lobed) LP
For almost thirty years and over the course of countless releases, the American band Pelt has traversed non-idiomatic improv, Eastern-tinged psychoacoustic drones. The group once counted among its ranks the late guitarist Jack Rose, whose spirit continues to imbue Pelt’s music with a sound that is as forward-thinking as it is refreshingly unpretentious. “Reticence Resistance” was recorded in London over two nights in 2017 and is focused on piano, harmonium, fiddle, percussion, banjo, harmonium, bowls, and bells. The pieces as mesmerizing, harmoniously advancing and receding, at first almost imperceptibly, recalling Coltrane’s improvisations circa “India” as much as it does ocean currents and lapping waves. Pelt clearly possess a firm grasp of the American folk vernacular, and similarly honor this history without resorting to pastiche or cliché – “Reticence Resistance” is a crucial document of Ever Weird America, and quite possibly the band’s finest work to date.
File Under: Experimental, Drone
Pukwana/Bennink/Mengelberg: Yi Yole (Our Swimmer) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1979. Founded in Amsterdam in 1967 by saxophonist Willem Breuker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and percussionist Han Bennink, Instant Composers Pool (or ICP) was an independent free jazz label and orchestra that would go on to release over fifty albums featuring such pillars of the scene as Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Jeanne Lee, John Tchicai, and Steve Lacy. Based around the concept that improvisation was, in fact, an act of instantaneous composition, ICP’s legacy on improvised and free music is impossible to overstate. Yi Yole — recorded in 1978 — was the first time the legendary South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana had worked with the ICP. An innovator in the genre of Cape Jazz with the Blue Notes — which also featured Chris McGregor, Louis Moholo, and Johnny Dyani — who fled the apartheid regime for London in 1964, Pukwana’s style is the perfect complement to ICP co-founders Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg, who round out the trio here. Relaxed and somewhat understated for the ICP catalog, Yi Yole is the one and only time these leaders in European free improvisation would record together in a trio setting. This limited reissue marks the first time the album has been in print on vinyl since its initial release.
File Under: Free Jazz
Steve Roach: Structures from Silence (Telephone Explosion) LP
Justifiably one of the greatest ambient albums of all time. It hasn’t aged one bit since 1984. Essential. A longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, composer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Roach (born 1955 in La Mesa, California) drew on the beauty and power of the earth’s landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance. A onetime professional motorbike racer born in California in 1955, Roach — inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis — taught himself to play synthesizer at the age of 20; debuting in 1982 with the album Now, his early work was quite reminiscent of his inspirations, but with 1984’s Structures From Silence his music began taking enormous strides, the album’s expansive and mysterious atmosphere inspired directly by the natural beauty of the southwestern U.S.
File Under: Ambient, New Age, Essential Grooves
Sepultura: Sepulnation (BMG) BOX
Formed in 1984, Sepultura are arguably Brazil’s biggest music export having enjoyed huge global success throughout their career to date. This five album box set represents the second phase of the band’s career when vocalist Derrick Green joined the band on vocals after the departure of founding member Max Cavalera, although four out of the five of these records still feature his brother Iggor on drums. Spanning the years 1998 to 2009, Sepulnation contains the albums; Against, Nation, Roorback, Dante XXI and A-Lex, all of which are half speed cut, remastered and back on 180g vinyl for the first time in a decade.
File Under: Metal
White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Third Man) LP
The record that kick-started the garage-rock revival, The White Stripes’ White Blood Cells serves as the band’s commercial breakthrough, going gold and yielding the Top 20 modern rock hits “Fell In Love With A Girl” and “Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground.” While the band retains the characteristic elements of its previous two albums, the duo evolves, turning in more tuneful material pregnant with dynamic hooks, scorching riffs, and more pronounced vocals. Signs of the co-ed pair’s genius abound, whether on the acoustic-flavored ditty “Hotel Yorba” or the inside-out perspective of the moody “The Union Forever.” New wrinkles appear in the band’s sound, yet urgent vibes and modern updates of traditional blues resonate. Several songs find the White Stripes turning away from fun albeit simplistic punk stomps in favor of more complex, emotional, and involved arrangements steeped in aura and melody. No wonder White Blood Cells is on many best of the decade lists. As for the sonics, now better than ever, remastered from the original analog source? The White Stripes’ use of analog and low-fidelity equipment in the recording process partnered with a DIY approach created a simplicity of composition, arrangement and performance that sets them apart from their contemporaries. This music was meant to be experienced in analog. Get your copy today!
File Under: Rock
Hozan Yamamoto & Yu Imai: Akuma Ga Kitarite Fue Wo Fuku (Mr. Bongo) LP
We’ve got a bit of an obsession with Hozan Yamamoto here at Mr Bongo! A legend of Japanese jazz, he is rightly regarded as a true master and was recognised as a “living national treasure” by the Japanese government in 2002. Over five decades he pushed the genre into new directions, absorbing fusion, funk, spiritual jazz and many other sounds, resulting in a discography studded with gems of rare beauty. Exploring his back catalogue has taken us on an engrossing journey that now sees us reissuing another work from this ground-breaking musician. Though not translating perfectly into English ‘Akuma Ga Kitarite Fue Wo Fuku’, (kitarite has not been a modern expression in Japanese) roughly means ‘The Devil Comes Playing The Flute’ / ‘The Devil Is Coming While Blowing The Whistle’ or ‘Devils Flute’. It is the original soundtrack to Kôsei Saitô’s 1979 mystery and suspense movie, ‘Devil’s Flute’. The film is based on a story by the famous author, Seishi Yokomizo, and is centred around a much-loved fictional Japanese detective, Kosuke Kindaichi. A Japanese Sherlock Holmes that has been popular for generations. Hozan Yamamoto was invited to compose the soundtrack directly by the producer of the film, Haruki Kadokawa. Mr Kadokawa also hired keyboard player and producer Yu Imai as an assistant producer on the project, resulting in a stunning cosmic, breaks and beats-laden, funk, disco soundtrack extravaganza. When it comes to the soundtrack and the technology of the time, Hozan Yamamoto and Yu Imai got inventive, tripped out, funked up, and experimented, creating a quirky soundtrack masterpiece that needed to be heard more outside of Japan. Differing from the more traditional Japanese music orientation of some of his other albums such as ‘Beautiful Bamboo-Flute’ (also released on Mr Bongo) the album showcases a number of genres, from lush atmospheric incidental music to disco and funk grooves, experimental nuggets, drum and flute workouts, to neo-classical and more. A special record that showcases the further depths of this wonderful musician’s talents.
File Under: Jazz
Badbadnotgood: Talk Memory (XL) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (World Circuit) LP
Frank Black: Cult of Ray (Demon) LP
Carcass: Torn Arteries (Nuclear Blast) LP
Congos: Heart of the Congos (VP) LP
Ryo Fukui: Mellow Dream (WRWTFWW) LP
Ryo Fukui: Scenery (WRWTFWW) LP
Scott Gailey: Polysensuality (Séance Centre) LP
Jerusalem in My Heart: Qalaq (Constellation) LP
King Crimson: Larks Tongues in Aspic (Panegyric) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: I Told You So (Colemine) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Live at KEXP! (Colemine) LP
Liars: Apple Drop (Mute) LP
MF Doom: Mm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Minor Threat: s/t (Dischord) LP
Mdou Moctar: Afrique Victime (Matador) LP
Museum of No Art: s/t (Séance Centre) LP
Ngozi Family: Day of Judgement (Now Again) LP
Rush: 2112 (Mercury) LP
Superchunk: Here’s To Shutting Up (Merge) LP
Hiroshi Suzuki: Cat (We Release Jazz) LP
Neil Young: Carnegie Hall 1970 (Reprise) LP
Various: Sounds of Pamoja (Nyege Nyege Tapes) LP