What a morning! Went for a dig through a decent sized classical collection and pulled some nice 20th century stuff and early electronic stuff, some of that should hit the bins or site soon, if I don’t just keep it all! But until then, I just posted up 10 other tasty used pies on the site and some other real swell albums in this week as well…. the latest new age zoner from X.Y.R. is blissful as always. The most recent Vox Populi! reissue is a killer blend of world, psych, dub, funk, industrial grooves. Obviously, more great audiophile jazz reissues, the new Angel Olsen & Adrian Quesada from Black Pumas. Castle Face has collected 3LPs of the under-appreciated Laddio Bolocko (the only band I will accept comparisons to This Heat for). A couple new 20 Buck Spin bangers. A new ECM, and so much more!
Another small batch of used gems up on the site as well today…
– in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm Saturday
(if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
– We will be wearing masks, if you want to, great! If not, that’s also fine, but please be respectful of other people’s space and decisions.
– Sanitize your hands (we’ll have some)
…..picks of the week…..
X.Y.R.: Aquarealm (Not Not Fun) LP
The tenth official full-length by St. Petersburg synth savant Vladimir Karpov aka X.Y.R. is a liquid suite of surreal tranquility, divined and designed to soundtrack the shimmering mysteries of underwater life: Aquarealm. Inspired by vintage Soviet cartoons, nature documentaries, and his own colorful aquarium fish, the album’s seven songs share a mood of contemplative depths and dizzying beauty, adrift in deepwater currents and bioluminescent tides. Hazy tones swell and swirl while crystalline keys, loops, and echoes swim in the periphery, rising like bubbles to the surface. Karpov describes these compositions as flights of fantasy, born of an oceanic muse as idyllic as it is infinite. It’s music simultaneously serene and cinematic, conjuring blue horizons of kelp forests swaying above rainbow reefs, casting shadowplay on sandy floors. A realm both real and imagined, submerged but transcendent, rippling from the mind’s eye to the great beyond.
File Under: Ambient, New Age, Kris’s Picks
Vox Populi!: Aither (Emotional Rescue) LP
Cult French outfit Vox Populi! have already put out a subversive and superb album this year back in April on Touch Sensitive. Here it is the good folk at Emotional Rescue who snap up another one in the form of Aither, which has been remastered and repackaged 30 years after it first landed. We’re told it is the first of many to come in 2022 and that’s good news because it’s class – numerous musicians played as part of the band and traditional instrumental paired with folklore vocals make for a majestic melting pot of sound from the world of dub, funk, soul, psyche and oriental.
File Under: Psych, Funk, Industrial, World, Experimental, Ian’s Picks, Kris’s Picks
Acid Twilight: Mustang Zodiac (Not Not Fun) CS
Buenos Aires slow burner Acid Twilight’s second collection of modal voyaging spans 52 minutes of “curves and cliffs, immense dunes and quiet lagoons, nights through the desert in the light of the full moon,” attuned to a muse both contemplative and kaleidoscopic. Mustang Zodiac took shape quickly, sourced from sprawling sessions on organ, synth, guitar, and miscellaneous percussion, then focused into their ritual essence. Mantric ceremonies of keys and shakers, insects and wind, played outdoors under cryptic constellations. Music of flickering starlight and ancient ways, coaxing hidden embers while flames lick the dark.
File Under: Electronic, Tapes
Amenra /Cave In/ Marissa Nadler: Songs of Townes Van Zandt (Neurot) LP
My Proud Mountain and Neurot Recordings are thrilled to release Songs Of Townes Van Zandt III, continuing the tradition of well-known artists in the heavy music and dark genres covering the songs of Townes Van Zandt. This album features nine new and unique covers by Amenra, Cave In, and Marissa Nadler. Opener “Quicksilver Dreams of Maria” paints Nadler as a pastoral daydream of mournful siren vocals, embodying the lovelorn and lustful side of Van Zandt some listeners tend to overlook. Her covers of “Sad Cinderella” and “None But the Rain” capture the tender and weary surrender to hope in the face of turmoil, like a flower blooming on a gravestone. The melodic and rhythmic contributions of Milky Burgess help make the covers a hazy carnival of memories that may be real or imagined. Amenra strip back their sludge metal sound to just vocals and acoustic guitar to pay tribute to the tortured soul at the center of Van Zandt’s work. “The sadness and despair in his songs are unparalleled,” says guitarist Lennart Bossu. Tackling “Kathleen”, “Flyin’ Shoes”, and the eerie “Black Crow Blues”, Amenra shine a light on the real pain that made Van Zandt’s lyrics all the more haunting. The result is the Texas desert by way of Belgium, a set of stark and emotionally raw ballads for long night drives to nowhere. Cave In’s full-band covers of “The Hole” and “At My Window’ find them at their most cavernous, slowing down their high-wire sound to a sidewinder crawl to navigate the claustrophobic darkness. At nearly seven minutes long, their doomed-out cover of “The Hole” is as black as west Texas midnight.
File Under: Folk, Metal, Townes
Arovane: Reihen (12k) LP
12k is very happy to welcome Uwe Zahn, aka Arovane, to the roster. Arovane, a well-respected artist in the field, hailing from within the German countryside, has been active since the early 2000s beginning with releases on City Centre Offices and DIN in the heyday of the IDM and microsound years. He has since gone on to release work with n5MD, Pure Magnetik, and Strangely Isolated Place, among others. With Reihen he takes his characteristic pointillist synthetic structures and impeccable sound design and lays them in a web of fagility, decay and etherealism that feels like new a new direction for Zahn.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Erykah Badu: But You Caint Use My Phone (Motown) LP
Erykah Badu’s But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape came after a five year hiatus from releasing any new music. Working with producer Zach Witness she concocted a sound that fused hip hop, R&B, jazz, and art rock. The duo references a diverse collection of artists including the Isley Brothers, Usher, Egyptian Lover and New Edition. They offer up a reworking of Uncle Jamm’s Army’s “Dial-A-Freak,” a Drake cover and a collab with baby daddy Andre 3000.
File Under: Funk, Soul, Hip Hop
Blanck Mass: Ted K OST (Sacred Bones) LP
In February 2022 the story of the infamous Unabomber Ted Kaczynski received its theatrical debut in the new Tony Stone directed film, Ted K. Kaczynski is notorious for both tragically murdering three people (and wounding an additional 23) via bombs sent in the mail and for his numerous writings on the evils of technology he composed during his primitive residency in the woods of Montana. Stone’s choice to have the renowned electronic artist Blanck Mass score the film is somewhat ironic and creates an obvious tension perfect for the controversial and complex subject matter. 2020 saw the first Blanck Mass movie score, for the soundtrack to Nick Rowland’s acclaimed cinematic debut Calm with Horses. This expansion into new areas of melodic composition and textural exploration won Blanck Mass many new fans, with BBC’s acknowledged number one film buff Mark Kermode proclaiming the work the soundtrack of the year. In 2021, Blanck Mass won the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for best original film score and has firmly established himself at the forefront of the latest wave of experimental soundscape wizards. Recording during lockdown at his studio in Edinburgh, Scotland, Blanck Mass’s Ben Power was in the perfect setting for a musical piece intended to capture the isolation central to Kaczynski’s story. Power was also working with a director in a time zone 10 hours behind and thus many sessions required working in the middle of the night, which added a fitting intensity to the composition process. He said of the project “I wanted it to feel like an ‘epic'” and drew on the legends Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone for inspiration in encapsulating the energy of the perceived good vs. evil. The gentle madness of sound achieved is exquisite and slowly builds in intensity and desperation as the score moves along. Power is able to perfectly capture the complexity, the terror and the deep emotionality of the film while presenting an often breathtakingly beautiful and always masterful album that stands on its own as a work of art.
File Under: OST, Electronic
Crisis Man: Asleep in America (Digital Regress) LP
We haven’t gone soft quite yet, happy to present a long-awaited (and long pressing plant delayed) debut LP from Crisis Man. Featuring members of Smirk, Ceremony, and Acrylics, the new record continues the knuckle-dragging right where the last 7″ left it. Recorded back in 2020 but still prescient given our countries current war-hawking and manufacturing of consent. Asleep In America’s tightly-sprung cadence constantly driving and hammering mirrors the sensations of a steady decline in autonomy and quality of life. A thoroughly American experience. Edition of 500.
File Under: Punk
Daft Punk: Tron Legacy Reconfigured (Disney) LP
Tron: Legacy Reconfigured is a remix album of music by Daft Punk, originally released 5 April 2011. The album features remixes of selections of the Tron: Legacy film score by various contemporary electronic musicians such as M83, Avicii, Boys Noize, Moby, Paul Oakenfold and many more. Tron: Legacy Reconfigured charted in several countries and peaked at number one in the Billboard Dance/Electronic chart.
File Under: Electronic, OST
Drive-By Truckers: Welcome 2 Club XIII (ATO) LP
Arriving as Drive-By Truckers enter their twenty-sixth year, Welcome 2 Club XIII marks a sharp departure from the trenchant commentary of The Unraveling and The New OK (both released in 2020). Produced by longtime DBT collaborator David Barbe and mainly recorded at his studio in Athens, GA, Welcome 2 Club XIII took shape over the course of three frenetic days in summer 2021 – a doubly extraordinary feat considering that the band had no prior intentions of making a new album. Featuring background vocals from the likes of Margo Price, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, and Mississippi-bred singer/songwriter Schaefer Llana, Welcome 2 Club XIII was recorded live with most songs cut in one or two takes, fully harnessing Drive-By Truckers’ freewheeling energy. Songs like the epic, darkly thrilling “The Driver” and the spirited, horn-blasted “Every Single Storied Flameout” see the band – whose lineup also includes keyboardist/guitarist Jay Gonzalez, bassist Matt Patton, and drummer Brad Morgan – looking back on their formative years with both deadpan pragmatism and profound tenderness, instilling each song with the kind of lived-in detail that invites bittersweet reminiscence of your own misspent youth.
File Under: Country, Rock
Egregore: Word of His Law (20 Buck Spin) LP
Egregore, a hitherto unknown entity in the narrow boundaries of the material world, now appears for the first time with the obscure musical treatise The Word Of His Law: An address to Abraxas in his time and place, through his Grand Viseer, Thine Panpsycopompos. This enigmatic incantation offers a first glimpse of a developing musical universe in a state of primeval expansion. Upon the principal element of ancient chaotic underground black death metal, Egregore conjures an uncanny aura of supernatural presence, as though the songs simply pass through them from some other sphere of existence. A self-satisfied work of tradition alone was never in the cards, however, as Egregore brandish synths, arcane chanting and soaring guitar leads among other spells creating a truly underground work of creative vitality and occult sorcery. Album closer “An Address To Abraxas” even morphs into Neo-folk domains. Through the debut album The Word Of His Law, Egregore offer an evolved appeal to where spiritual underground art can go, never sacrificing the too often lacking mystical components of the clandestine, otherworldly and the truly unorthodox.
File Under: Metal
Mathias Eick: When We Leave (ECM) LP
Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick’s expressive playing, which according to the New York Times radiates a “pristine yet penetrating tone”, is remarkably well complemented in the company of his gifted supporting players and fellow travelers. Violinist Håkon Aase, one of the outstanding improvisers of his generation, shadows the leader with lines that reflect a profound background in folk as well as jazz. Drummers Helge Andeas Norbakken and Torstein Lofthus mirror their exchanges, as they interact with purring precision. Near the center of the action, pianist Andras Ulvo and bass guitarist Audun Erlien ferry ideas between frontline and rhythm section and make statements of their own. On several tracks, the delicate swell of Stian Carstensen’s pedal steel guitar adds a dimension of mystery. When We Leave was recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in August 2020.
File Under: Jazz
Bill Evans: You Must Believe in Spring (Craft) LP
Craft Recordings is proud to reissue You Must Believe in Spring, the celebrated 70th studio album from the pioneering jazz pianist Bill Evans. Recorded in 1977 and released in 1981, just months after Evans’ death, the album marks the artist’s final studio recording with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Eliot Zigmund and includes stunning performances of “We Will Meet Again (for Harry)” and “B Minor Waltz (for Ellaine).” You Must Believe in Spring features all-analog mastering, cut at 45-RPM from the original tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI Record Technology, Inc. (RTI), the album is presented as a 2LP-set in a gatefold package, with new liner notes from music journalist, author and historian Marc Myers. One of the most influential artists in the history of jazz, Bill Evans was known for his conversational interplay within his trios, his lyrical compositions and his matchless approach to the piano. His work with Gomez and Zigmund on You Must Believe in Spring offers a brilliant example of all three. At the time that they recorded the album, in August 1977, this particular iteration of the Bill Evans Trio had reached their apex, after three busy years of live performances and studio outings (including 1977’s Crosscurrents and I Will Say Goodbye). Speaking to Marc Myers, Zigmund recalls, “We had reached a high level of conversational playing … By Spring, we captured that ease of relating to each other.” Recorded over three days at Hollywood’s famed Capitol Studios, the album paired Evans with the legendary producer Tommy LiPuma, whose extensive credits included Barbra Streisand, George Benson and Natalie Cole, among many others. Together, they selected an introspective collection of material which, notes Marc Myers, gave the album “a gentle, melancholy feel and a music-box tenderness.” Among them were two deeply personal Evans originals: “B Minor Waltz (for Ellaine),” composed in the memory of the pianist’s late common-law wife, Ellaine Shultz, and “We Will Meet Again (for Harry),” written for the artist’s late brother. Two years later, Evans would revisit the latter composition, designating it as the title track of his final studio recording.
File Under: Jazz
Flora Purim: If You Will (Strut) LP
One of the all-time greats of Brazilian jazz fusion, Flora Purim, returns with her first studio album in over 15 years, ‘If You Will’, released on Strut on 29th April.
File Under: Jazz, Brazil
Frog Eyes: The Bees (Paper Bag) LP
Frog Eyes is back! After a brief stint as Soft Plastics, Frog Eyes – comprising Carey Mercer (vocals, guitar), Melanie Campbell (drums), and Shyla Seller (synthesizer, electric piano) – have chosen 2022 to release their latest album, The Bees. The ten expansive songs take the listener on a whirlwind adventure to meet the ghosts of Frog Eyes past, present, and future – each track possessing the tempo necessary to incite a room filled with people to move. Despite the past being an inspiration for the album, the sound is fresh, brimming with the vitality of the here and now. With its evocative lyrics, confident instrumentation, and virtuosic ease of sound that only a decades-long collaboration can yield, The Bees is the perfect album to herald in a new era.
File Under: Indie Rock
Go Sailor: s/t (Slumberland) LP
Go Sailor were a great, short-lived band from the mid-90s who represent a key link in the US indie music chain. Featuring Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, The Softies, Gaze, Brave Irene, Knife Pleats), Linton (Henry’s Dress, The Aislers Set) and Paul Curran (Take A Day fanzine, Crimpshrine, Monsula), they released three great singles and a few compilation tracks, and then went their separate ways. But what records they are! Basic and lovely in their song-writing, they’re perfect snapshots of where indie-pop was during that last burst of pre-internet indie activity. Touching on time-honored themes of friendship and love (lost and found), they resonate with honesty and purity of intention. The trio reunited in the early 2010s to play to enraptured crowds at the NYC and Athens Popfests, and their appearance at the Slumberland 20th Anniversary show was the stuff of legend. This album compiles all three of their 7″ singles (for Slumberland, Yoyo and Lookout!) and compilation tracks and was first released on vinyl in 2011. Due to pressing plant issues it quickly went out of print, so we are very happy to bring you this new edition, back on vinyl where it belongs with a new insert featuring liner notes and lots of cool band pictures and ephemera.
File Under: Indie Rock
Nico Gomez & His Afro Percussion Inc.: Ritual (Mr. Bongo) LP
Belgium, not the first place you’d think of when it comes to Latin or Afro funk. Yet one of the greatest records to blend both styles came from the small northern European country, masterminded by Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc. ‘Ritual’ is a perfect example of the kind of experimentation that was rife in the 70s and which, when done as well as on this album, proves quite simply timeless. Born Joseph Van Het Groenewoud, Nico Gomez was also known for his other Latin projects such as the Nico Gomez Orchestra, as well as his participation in the group The Chakachas, a Latin soul combo well known at the time. ‘Ritual’ was originally released in 1971 on the Dutch label Omega International (Gomez was born in Holland before moving to Belgium in the late 40s). Across its 11 tracks it delivers the kind of production, arrangement and musicianship that rightfully belong in a dictionary next to the definition of professional. Gomez’ band was tight, and they knew it. It is a multifaceted work which intertwines equal parts of funk, afro-bop and Latin traditions. The track ‘Lupita’ is a certified classic and a favourite of many discerning DJs. We hope this reissue brings its blazing funk grooves to both new ears and those already tuned in to this masterpiece’s legacy. Reproduced in original style packaging and pressed on red vinyl. Mastered from original tape.
File Under: Funk, Latin, Afrobeat
Handsome Boy Modeling School: White People (Tommy Boy) LP
2004’s White People, the long awaited second album from Handsome Boy Modeling School (Prince Paul (De La Soul) and Dan the Automator (Gorillaz)), followed right where their 1999 debut So… How’s Your Girl? left off. Bringing together all corners of the musical spectrum: hip-hop, rock, roots, alternative and even jazz, HBMS put together a seamless cast of players here that includes De La Soul, Mike Patton (Faith No More), Barrington Levy, Cat Power, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Jack Johnson, Alex Kapronos (Franz Ferdinand), Mars Volta, Pharell and more.
File Under: Hip Hop
Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (Blue Note) LP
Despite having performed on several of the most revolutionary avant-garde jazz records of the 1960s, including Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz and John Coltrane’s Ascension, Freddie Hubbard’s own albums tended to hew closer to the mainstream. Perhaps no other single album captures the trumpeter’s awe-inspiring breadth of ability and versatility than Breaking Point!, which was recorded in May 1964 shortly after Hubbard had departed Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in order to form his own band. On this 6-song set featuring 5 of Hubbard’s original compositions, his new quintet – with James Spaulding on alto saxophone and flute, Ronnie Mathews on piano, Eddie Khan on bass, and Joe Chambers on drums – moves assuredly across vast stylistic terrain. On the stunning title track alone the band shifts from free-form exploration into a playful Calypso and back with ease. The rest of the program traverses modal jazz (“Far Away”), the blues (“Blue Frenzy”), and stunningly beautiful balladry (Chambers’ “Mirrors”) to create one of the more remarkable albums in Hubbard’s formidable Blue Note oeuvre.
File Under: Jazz
Tomas Jirku: Touching the Sublime (Silent Season) LP
Canadian minimal veteran Tomas Jirku has been a little quiet of late, but now he makes a welcome and unexpected return with something quite different for Silent Season. You can hear echoes of his earlier work in the soundscapes he’s sculpted across Touching The Sublime, as high-definition sonic manipulation draws on his experience and eye for detail in wielding music technology, but rather than creating pointillist rhythmic structures, he’s more concerned with billowing clouds of ambience. It’s easy to draw parallels with the likes of Tim Hecker, but there’s space for more techno-oriented productions in the midst of the maelstrom. Epic in scope and powerfully rendered, this is an album that will feed your head for a long time to come.
File Under: Electronic
Chip Kinman: The Great Confrontation (In The Red) LP
“Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is attributed with the quote ‘The only constant in life is change’ and nothing sums up Chip Kinman’s latest creation—or his entire career—quite as well. Like each of Chip’s musical incarnations, The Great Confrontation seemingly has no connection whatsoever to the work that preceded it…unless the listener is savvy enough to spot the deeply buried but always present through lines. “The tracks on this album are wildly alien in every applicable sense of the word. The opener, ‘Let’s Go, Dark Shark’ sets the scene with drippy, space age chirping that slowly degenerates into slo-mo sludge like an astronaut running out of oxygen. ‘Ciao Raggazzi’—not to be confused with Jay And The Americans’ ‘Good Bye Boys, Good Bye (Ciao Raggazzi, Ciao)’ is a derailing train of a song. The vocals are spoken in Italian and presumably, snatches of conversation sampled from a Mafia crime film. ‘Speaking of crimes, Chip murders a couple of standards in cold blood purely for his own amusement. Both are traditional and absolutely unrecognizable. ‘Round About Danny’ is his take on the Irish ballad ‘Danny Boy’, written in 1913 and recorded relentlessly through the years by everyone from Judy Garland to Conway Twitty. The other’s a gospel hymn, ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’, originally performed by The Carter Family in the 1920s. “Imagine both songs sans vocals, filtered through a particle accelerator beam shot by a rogue robot from a 1950’s sci-fi B movie. Then pretend they got reinterpreted by a hippie in a ratty flea market cape who borrowed a Moog synthesizer so he could emulate Rick Wakeman from the prog rock band Yes. The hippie not only had no working knowledge of playing a synthesizer, he was tripping his brains out on Owsley’s premium LSD. “This album is all a huge departure from anything he’s ever done—but for Chip, that’s normal. I’m sure of this because I’ve known him since 1977, witnessing all his musical mutations and in many cases, the sources that inspired him to prolifically create original, cohesive and boundary-pushing sounds. As the old saying goes, what he’s done consistently is often imitated but never replicated.” —Pleasant Gehman
File Under: Electronic
Laddio Bolocko: ’97-’99 (Castle Face) 3LP
“The following story might be bullshit (drug use and memory enhancements): years ago I was sitting at home staring into the middle distance and the phone on the wall rang (that should denote how long ago this was). On the other end was the booker from The Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, who had never called me before. She was excited about the show they had that night and was calling people to invite them. Apparently the night before a band called Laddio Bolocko had played and were so mesmerizing, so strong that they had offered them the next night, which was open. I was intrigued as no band had ever warranted this invite previously to my knowledge. This was new and exciting territory. “I had my ass and ears handed to me that evening. Scorching, pummeling, deep waters ran over me as I stood, beer in hand, mouth open. My memory may be embellishing but I remember a sax as big as me, drums that were physically hanging on by a thread, and twin electric strings that reeled sinister sprites over my head in outwardly circular patterns. Aggressive, far out fractals burned in my brain. I had never seen anything like this band, and never have again. “That’s why it’s so shocking to wait around all these years for someone to pick up the thread and re-release these three perfect recordings on LP for the first time…and still be waiting. So, I’m happy to announce, Castle Face is here with a 3xLP remedy. We’ve been working with all the original members of Laddio Bolocko and sifting through to put together this concise LP box set of what is arguably their strongest home studio recorded material. Included here (for the first time on wax) are Strange Warmings Of Laddio Bolocko, In Real Time and As If By Remote. “Includes former members of Dazzling Killmen, Panicsville, the Psychic Paramount, and Mars Volta. For fans of Can, This Heat, The Residents, improvisation (really they are hard to compare, they are so singular in sound).” —John Dwyer
File Under: Punk, Post Punk
Ennio Morricone: Legend of 1900 OST (Music on Vinyl) LP
Ennio Morricone composed and arranged scores for more than 500 film and television productions, making him one of the most influential and best-selling film composers since the late-50s. The Legend of 1900 (Italian: La Leggenda Del Pianista Sull’oceano) is a 1998 Italian drama film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Tim Roth, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Mélanie Thierry. The film is inspired by Novecento, a monologue by Alessandro Baricco. The Legend Of 1900 was nominated for a variety of international awards, winning several for its soundtrack, including a Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture. It also includes the song “Lost Boys Calling” featuring Roger Waters & Eddie van Halen. 180g vinyl LP with insert.
File Under: OST
Angel Olsen: Big Time (Jagjaguwar) LP
Fresh grief, like fresh love, has a way of sharpening our vision and bringing on painful clarifications. No matter how temporary we know these states to be, the vulnerability and transformation they demand can overpower the strongest among us. Then there are the rare, fertile moments when both occur, when mourning and limerence heighten, complicate and explain each other; the songs that comprise Angel Olsen’s Big Time were forged in such a whiplash. Big Time is an album about the expansive power of new love, but this brightness and optimism is tempered by a profound and layered sense of loss. During Olsen’s process of coming to terms with her queerness and confronting the traumas that had been keeping her from fully accepting herself, she felt it was time to come out to her parents, a hurdle she’d been avoiding for some time. “Finally, at the ripe age of 34, I was free to be me,” she said. Three days later, her father died and shortly after her mother passed away. The shards of this grief – the shortening of her chance to finally be seen more fully by her parents – are scattered throughout the album. Three weeks after her mother’s funeral she was on a plane to Los Angeles to spend a month in Topanga Canyon, recording this incredibly wise and tender new album. Loss has long been a subject of Olsen’s elegiac songs, but few can write elegies with quite the reckless energy as she. If that bursting-at-the-seams, running downhill energy has come to seem intractable to her work, this album proves Olsen is now writing from a more rooted place of clarity. She’s working with an elastic, expansive mastery of her voice – both sonically and artistically. These are songs not just about transformational mourning, but of finding freedom and joy in the privations as they come.
File Under: Indie Rock
Bobby Oroza: Get on the Otherside (Big Crown) LP
Bobby Oroza puts his desire for the profound on wax with his sophomore album Get On The Otherside. Musically, he has updated the formula we were introduced to on the first record. But lyrically, songs are bravely rooted in the more complicated, ubiquitous inner tangles of life like self-examination and coming to terms with the vastness of the human experience. As we’ve come to expect, the songwriting still has that raw, direct edge to it. But an evolution has taken place. There are new points of view on familiar territory which in Bobby’s words “For me to love, I needed to take a bigger view of love. One with less ego and more empathy” really hold true. The result is a record with Bobby’s new found humility on full display and a message of encouragement to anyone who is struggling and can’t see a way out. It still may be hard to nail down and define Bobby and his sound. He’s no one thing more than the other. But what he’s showing us now, on Get On The Otherside, is that we can also label him a soulful, philosophical optimist. Someone who can say a lot with a little, and who wants us all to know that it’s us that has to do the hard lifting to truly live a life in love – both with the world and with yourself.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Pan American: The Patience Fader (Kranky) LP
The glacial distillation of Pan•American aka Mark Nelson’s “romantic minimalism” achieves unique fruition on his latest Kranky collection, The Patience Fader. A suite of solo guitar instrumentals accented with lap steel, harmonica, and twilit atmospherics, the strings smear and sparkle in elegant, windswept swells, a guitar mode once described by Brian Eno as “Duane Eddy playing Erik Satie.” These are elegies as much as songs, lulling and lilting in private currents of beauty and bereavement. Nelson speaks of the notion of “lighthouse music,” radiance cast from a stable vantage point, sending “a signal to help others through rocks and dangerous currents.” Composed during the highly isolated summer of 2020, the pieces took shape as meditations on “roots and mourning, trying to connect with those deep hidden rivers that lead to a greater communality.” There’s something ageless, scarred, and American about this music, both displaced and devotional, the ghost of rust belts and dust bowls looming in a horizon of deepening dusk.
File Under: Ambient
Robert Pollard: Our Gaze (GBV Inc) LP
On Oct 9, 2007, Robert Pollard simultaneously released two albums on Merge Records: Standard Gargoyle Decisions and Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love. Both now out of print, Pollard has reimagined and condensed the two as Our Gaze, a single fifteen song album. Because it’s better.
File Under: Indie Rock
Adrian Quesada: Boleros Psicodelicos (ATO) LP
Adrian Quesada delivers Boleros Psicodélicos, a sprawling and singular tribute to the golden era of Latin America psychedelic ballads. The brand new album from the Grammy-winning guitarist, producer and Black Pumas co-founder serves as a celebration of the super funky, slightly delirious and deeply soulful sounds that transcended the cultural boundaries of Latin America throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. The LP features vocals from Puerto Rican icon, Grammy-winner and former Calle 13 member iLe, Colombian-American visionary Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Mexican R&B star Girl Ultra, as well as Angelica Garcia, Gaby Moreno, contributions from living legends such as Marc Ribot and Beastie Boys musician Money Mark. Boleros Psicodélicos consists primarily of original Quesada compositions, as well as covers of La Lupe’s “Puedes Decir De Mi?,” Jeanette’s “El Muchacho De Los Ojos Tristes” and other balada classics. All 12-tracks were produced, engineered, mixed and largely performed by Adrian Quesada, honoring and extending the influence of a personal obsession that he has cultivated over the past 20 years.
File Under: Psych, Latin, Soul, R&B, Black Pumas
Emily Robb: How to Moonwalk (Petty Bunco) LP
How To Moonwalk is the brash n’ bold new one from Philadelphia-by-way-of-Maine-&-Montreal’s Emily Robb. With a formidable CV in the underground and sub-underground, Emily sits as the top contender for the East Coast’s most modestly masterful electric guitar abuser and this is the record to prove it. Though she served as top talent in efforts by Astute Palate, Storks, Louie Louie, & Lantern, How To Moonwalk marks Emily’s long-overdue, mucho-anticipated debut unencumbered release. And the album is, as they say, a motherfucker. Splattered across its eight or so tracks, How To Moonwalk shows a loyal respect to the rock n’ roll form while refusing to be held back by a single one of its limitations. No vocals, no artifice, barely even a drum. It’s a totally fried, mutant offering that’ll entice the twisted seekers– a sustained, distilled meditation on the unabashed revved up freedom of rock. Naturally, the folks here at Petty Bunco couldn’t be prouder to have our humble trademark of quality on it. Recommended for fans of the reductive threads that run through Link Wray, Poison Ivy Rorschach, Les Ralllizes Denudes, and the Smashchords. Recorded summer 2020 at Emily’s Suddenly Studio in Philadelphia with help from Bill Nace.
File Under: Psych
Joel Ross: Parable of the Poet (Blue Note) LP
Vibraphonist and composer Joel Ross returns with stunning conviction, issuing his third release for Blue Note Records: The Parable of the Poet. Steadfast in his commitment to skewing perceptions of improvisation and written composition, the critics’ favorite explores new, more expansive territory with his eight-piece Parables band, bringing together young artists of sharply defined expression: Blue Note labelmate Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone, Maria Grand on tenor saxophone, Marquis Hill on trumpet, Kalia Vandever on trombone, Sean Mason on piano, Rick Rosato on bass, Craig Weinrib on drums, and returning special guest Gabrielle Garo on flute. The album embodies Ross’ collaborative spirit. His lyrical aesthetic activates an ebb and flow from one movement to the next. Moments of intentional discourse drive sections of collective melody and spontaneous counterpoint. “This band is more than just the instruments,” says the Chicago-born, New York City-based artist. “Every person on here means something to me. They’re all my friends. Everybody involved committed themselves to the vision.” Ross’ vision for the music is at once explicit and mysterious. He seeks to express themes present in parable tellings and retellings, while leaving each story’s particulars open to interpretation. Each title of the seven movement suite references an emotional decision or experience for Ross. But in the studio he focused on fresh interpretations, allowing his past experiences to exist without dictating the band’s present treatment of the music. “I told them, ‘This is what the music is and this is how I want you to approach it – let everything we play be inspired by the melody.’ Not much else was decided,” says Ross, who enjoys “blurring the lines between melody and improvisation,” in part, as a way to facilitate communication and meaningful musical discourse. Obscuring divisions between scripted and spontaneous is more than a romantic notion. For Ross, it’s truthful and intrinsic. Each composition he explores on The Parable of the Poet represents a near intact improvisation, some dating back to 2017, all of which emerged during creative sessions with his friend and colleague, saxophonist Sergio Tabanico. “We would record it, then I would go back and flesh out the composition,” he says. “I tried my best not to change any harmonic information or add too much more than what was already there. I just tried to organize the information in a manner that would yield sensible improvised group interaction, while giving enough direction.” That choice prompts striking moments of deep listening and self-orchestrating among Ross and his fellow artists.
File Under: Jazz
Charles Rumback: Seven Bridges (Astral Spirits) LP
First pressing of 700 copies on Black Wax. With collaborative artwork from Adam Francis Scott & Jaime Zuverza. Seven Bridges features: Jim Baker – Analogue Synthesizer; Sima Cunningham – Voice; John Hughes – Electronics; Nick Macri – Bass; Ron Miles – Cornet; Charlie Rumback – Drums, Guitar; Jason Stein – Bass Clarinet; Macie Stewart – Violin, Voice; John Tate – Bass; Greg Ward – Alto Saxophone; Krystle Warren – Voice.
File Under: Jazz
Scout Island: Laurentian Voyage (Not Not Fun) CS
Named for a familial forested retreat on Wisconsin’s Shell Lake, Scout Island is the vessel for Jungle Gym audio boss Jared Carrigan’s compact and compelling instrumental guitar vignettes. His latest, Laurentian Voyage, charts a rich trip down river through the North Woods of Minnesota and beyond, a formative landscape of his youth (recently revisited during Covidian isolation). The collection’s 19 tracks flow through twilight psych, sunset jangle, dockside devotionals, and whispering pines soft rock, a gallery of glimpses into scenes and seasons come and gone. Lean guitar figures ripple, riff, refract, and reverberate, framed by filtered drum loops, organ, synth, or bass. The mood softly sways between reverie and reflection but skews more autumnal as it unfolds, a sense of waning warmer days, a paler shade of light, campfires long since lit. Even so, the embers of memory cast their own warmth: faces, cabins, summers, music drifting out across the water. The clarity of fleeting moments, captured in snippets of strings and melody, slicing through choppy waves like the nose of a boat towards distant lightning.
File Under: Electronic, Tapes
Slow Dawn: Into the Machine (Centripetal Force) LP
Slow Dawn is from Ottawa, Canada and have spent the past few years honing their craft with a series of self released titles, including 2020’s Experimental Farm, a rather angst-ridden and raw display of sonic power. They are led by guitarist Dan Druff, formerly of Holy Cobras, and are rounded out by Chris DiLauro on drums and Jesse Winchester (Masss) on bass and synthesizer. The band draws influence from the darker edges of the musical spectrum and places a majority of their energy on filling empty voids with as much sound as possible. Slow Dawn is a cacophony of reverberating distortion, swirls of echoing vocals, droning horns, and a steady din of plodding drums. Whether it’s Ottawa’s grim and cold winters or simply a sign of the times, the band’s sound is quite dystopian and is marked by a sense of solemn minimalism. It would be safe to say that with Slow Dawn, the glass is rarely half full. With six songs clocking in at about 22 minutes, Into the Machine Haus moves quickly and efficiently through a range of territories that include post-punk, psych, krautrock, noise, and even a little bit of goth. It’s a unique amalgamation of sound that demands attention. The band’s influences are easily read but integrated in a way that they escape the dreaded “sounds like” tag. And, to their credit, there are no wasted moments or frivolous meanderings. Their approach is straightforward, primal, and succinct. In the case of this album, less is definitely more.
File Under: Psych
Spread Joy: II (Feel It) LP
Spread Joy may as well be their own musical genre. An immediate flavor and mercurial ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est?’ begin their second album with the 45 second opener “Ow”. Coincidentally, the album spins at 45, just like Spread Joy’s self-titled 2021 debut. The Chicago group came out of nowhere, mid-pandemic, with a stunning ten track LP on Feel It. Returning to the warm analog environment at Jamdek Recording Co., Spread Joy have truly honed their craft across these 17 minutes and 17 seconds. This is the kind of punk-forward music that is made to be heard and felt, far from the distorted mirror of the web. A group living free, moving at their own speed, and making music that will be remembered – that’s Spread Joy, folks!
File Under: Punk
David Sylvian: Sleepwalkers (Groenland) LP
In the 00s, DAVID SYLVIAN produced two of his strongest and most solitary statements, BLEMISH and MANAFON. but those records don’t tell the whole story. during that the same period, SYLVIAN created an alternate body of work: a series of collaborations and side projects with leading talents of pop and improv, electronic and contemporary classical music. the best of these recordings are gathered here on SLEEPWALKERS, meticulously sequenced and remixed: the fruits of one-off meetings and lifelong partnerships, they jump from bliss to intrigue, romance to sensuality, as arch experiments lead into the lushest pop.
File Under: Electronic
Taking Back Sunday: Tell All Your Friends (Craft) LP
Late March of 2002 marked the beginning of Long Island, NY band Taking Back Sunday’s journey into the world of a little known genre called “emo.” Without having toured outside of the Long Island circuit, they released their seminal debut album, Tell All Your Friends on indie label Victory Records and landed on the New Artist Chart for the next two years. Featuring the fan favorites “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From The Team),” “Timberwolves at New Jersey,” “Great Romances of the 20th Century” and “You’re So Last Summer,” the gold-certified effort helped pave the way for the emo explosion in 2002 and opened the door for an entire culture of music fans that the world never knew existed before. The album provided a musical voice for the youth of the world at a time when there was none. Rolling Stone hailed Tell All Your Friends as “one of the best emo records ever made” while the Associated Press called it, “as close as it gets to a modern masterpiece…It will never be duplicated.” This 20th Anniversary Edition of the album includes a bonus 10″ with four previously unreleased demos.
File Under: Emo
Thick Air: Pillars of Creation (Not Not Fun) CS
Maine’s psychedelic fountainhead Matt LaJoie traffics in a multitude of mind-expanding entities (ML Wah, Herbcraft, Cursillistas, Endless Caverns, etc) but even by his standards Thick Air is a heady sphere. Longform improvisations on Yamaha PSS-270 and loop unit born of deep listening and higher consciousness, channeling notions of French mystics and astral planes. Pillars Of Creation takes its title from the iconic 1995 Hubble Space Telescope photo, and radiates a similarly interstellar mood. Bass tones wobble in spiral patterns beneath slow blooming arcs of celestial keys, like dawn breaking on some nameless gaseous moon. Gradually a gravity takes hold, drawing its disparate harmonic cosmos into a unified field, bound by some vast astral unknown. LaJoie cites intuition and accident as foundational to the Thick Air genesis, trusting the freefall process of creation and decay, motion and miasma. Tweaking presets through banks of FX in pursuit of a levitational singularity, soaring and swimming through solar winds, forever unfolding and unfound.
File Under: Electronic, Tape
Tindersticks: Past Imperfect (City Slang) BOX
“Nobody was between us and the records that we made,” says Tindersticks frontman Stuart Staples. Mavens of intimate and expansive mood-song, Tindersticks have forged paths of their own unobstructed making over three decades, avidly trend-averse in their dusky and far-reaching explorations of the heart. Released through City Slang on 25th March, Past Imperfect: The Best of Tindersticks ’92-’21 maps the band’s 30-year journey across a peerless 20-track chronology. “Each step a story,” as Staples said on “How He Entered”. And every song a fresh twist in a winding tale. It is the sound of an uncommonly ambitious band always seeking new ways to connect with their songs, rediscovering themselves as a unit at every turn so that everything familiar about their music sounds fresh again. Always, of course, by nobody’s measure but their own.
File Under: Indie Rock
Tortoise: s/t (Thrill Jockey) LP
Tortoise’s self-titled debut was originally released in 1994. This re-issue is pressed on high quality virgin vinyl, re-mastered by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering, and packaged in a chipboard jacket with insert and free download card. Tortoise’s self-titled debut incorporates many musical styles and influences and combines them into one very distance sound. So distinct that sometime after the release of this record they became recognized as the leaders of a new musical movement. Tortoise exploits the recording studio, in that they utilize the recording process as a compositional tool or “sixth member”, thus creating a boundless parameter in which to create music.
File Under: Post Rock
Treasury of Puppies: s/t (Digital Regress) LP
“I’m considering, I’m considering, a move to Gothenburg… Alongside being in possession of the last great previously untaken band name, Treasury of Puppies arrive with a debut album that adds increasing cogency to the argument that Sweden is producing the most interesting new music in the world right now, with Gothenburg its spiritual point of convergence. The association with Förlag För Fri Musik provides ideal context (possibly even the inspiration, given how central the label is to modern Swedish music?) for the music of Charlott Malmenholt and Joakim Karlsson, which finds a midpoint between the late 80s/early 90s scorched earth underground of Siltbreeze & Xpressway and a more European tradition of avant / neo folk volksmusik, speaking as much to the haunted music box melodies of Brannten Schnurre as it does Current 93s horror of the countryside. Is this Sweden’s hidden reverse? Or maybe this is just Sweden? You could resurrect a church inside this sound, devotional music that draws you in siren-like, the alternating sing-speak vocal deliveries both lullaby and gothic harbinger of… SOMETHING UNKNOWN. Can you levitate all the way to Gothenburg?” – World Of Echo
File Under: Experimental, Lo-Fi
Ufomammut: Fenice (Neurot) LP
For over twenty years, Ufomammut has combined the heaviness and majesty of dynamic riff worship with a nuanced understanding of psychedelic tradition and history in music, creating a cosmic, futuristic, and technicolor sound destined for absolute immersion. Fenice (meaning “phoenix” in Italian) symbolically represents endless rebirth and the ability to start again after everything seems doomed. The album is the first recording with new drummer Levre, and truly marks a new chapter in Ufomammut history. While the band are well-known for their psychedelic travels into the far reaches of the cosmos, Fenice is a much more introspective listening experience. It was conceived as a single concept track, divided in six facets of this inward-facing focus. Sonic experimentations abound in the exploration of this central theme: synths and experimental vocal effects are featured more prominently than ever before, as the band push themselves ever further into the uncharted territory of their very identity. The towering synths on the opening track “Duat” evoke an almighty machine rising from the depths of primordial ooze. There’s a shift to a frenetic garage-psych pace before mellowing out into a more familiar doomy stomp. “Kepherer” is a respite, albeit a slight one, returning to the pulsing rhythms of the album’s intro before plunging the listener into the menacing build and release of “Psychostasia” next. Each oscillation of this extraordinary album feels inevitable—Ufomammut are after all, masters of their craft, and when it comes to creating enveloping sonic journeys into the unknown, it’s their uninhibited sense of exploration that breaches new sonic ground. Fenice is the sound of a band whose very essence has been rejuvenated, and are welcoming the chance to create music in the way they know best: by unfolding carefully and attentively, by melding those extreme dynamics which render Fenice as a living and breathing creature—and by writing gargantuan riffs that herald their very rebirth.
File Under: Metal
Weird Nightmare: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
If you’re looking for a raw, sugary blast of distorted pop, look no further than Weird Nightmare. The debut album from METZ guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins contains all of his main band’s bite with an unexpected, yet totally satisfying, sweetness. Imagine The Amps covering Big Star, or the gloriously hissy miniature epics of classic-era Guided by Voices combined with the bombast of Copper Blue- era Sugar—just tons of red-line distortion cut with the type of tunecraft that thrills the moment it hits your ears. These ten songs showcase a new side of Edkins’ already-established songwriting, but even though the bulk of Weird Nightmare was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic some of its tunes date back to 2013 in demo form. “Hooks and melody have always been a big part of my writing, but they really became the main focus this time” he explains. “It was about doing what felt natural.” To be clear: Weird Nightmare is not a “pandemic album,” but an album—some of which had been gestating for quite a while—that just so happened to be recorded during the pandemic. “I had always planned on finishing these songs, but being unable to tour with METZ, and forced to lock down, really gave me a push.” After days spent homeschooling his son, Edkins would drive to the METZ rehearsal room and tinker deep into the night on these songs’ deceptively simple structures and rich, static-laden textures. “It was a godsend for me,” he states about the creative process. “The hours would disappear and I would get lost in the music and record. It was a beautiful escape.” Weird Nightmare is, in its own way, a study in extremes: Edkins’ melodic instincts and penchant for dissonance are both turned up to the max throughout, the latter reflecting not only the barn-burning tendencies of METZ, but Alex’s own sonic predilections. “It doesn’t sound right to my ears until it’s pushed over the edge.” He also cites other artists who are masterful at mixing the sublime and the punishing—Kim Deal and Scout Niblett among them—as influences on his own songwriting. “My favorite songs are the simple ones,” he explains. “I’ve never been attracted to virtuosity or technicality. Certain songs have the power to lift your spirits like nothing else can. I wanted to create that type of song.” A few guests pitch in on Weird Nightmare: Canadian alt-pop genius Chad VanGaalen adds his unmistakable touch to the ever-escalating “Oh No,” while Alicia Bognanno of Bully lends her distinctive pipes to the thrashing “Wrecked,” a collaboration that effectively saved the song. “I almost didn’t put it on the album because I thought it was missing something,” Edkins explains. “I sent it to Alicia and she lifted it way up.” And taking risks and reaching out of Edkins’ comfort zone was the name of the game when it came to making Weird Nightmare. “I found myself doing new things I didn’t have the guts to do before, recording everything by myself and trusting all of my musical instincts,” he states. “I think when music manifests quickly, a certain amount of honesty automatically comes along with it. When it is a purely instinctual creation, there is no opportunity to obscure the truth.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Metz
Gerald Wilson: Moment of Truth (Blue Note) LP
Born in Mississippi, Gerald Wilson spent formative years in Detroit before launching a celebrated career as a trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. After moving to Los Angeles, Wilson signed with Pacific Jazz and in 1961 began a decade-long run of spectacular recordings including 1962’s Moment of Truth. The action-packed 9-song set (including 7 originals) is a showcase for Wilson’s many strengths as he uses the vibrant colors his dynamic big band to paint a variety of musical scenes including the swaggering blues of the title track, the irrepressible Latin groove of “Viva Tirado,” a fleet-footed version of “Milestones” by Miles Davis, and the evocative textures of “Teri” featuring Joe Pass on guitar. Other notable members of the ensemble include trumpeter Carmell Jones, trombonist Lou Blackburn, alto saxophonist Bud Shank, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Jack Wilson, and drummer Mel Lewis.
File Under: Jazz
Wode: s/t (20 Buck Spin) LP
In 2021 Wode released their third album Burn In Many Mirrors via 20 Buck Spin to wide acclaim throughout the international metal underground. The band had evolved their sound into a searing amalgamation of black metal, death metal and flashes of classic heavy metal anthems and solos, never sacrificing the dark spirit for which they’d become known. Going back to 2016, Wode made their first full length statement, with their self-titled debut, now being re-released on vinyl by 20 Buck Spin. Here we find the pure black metal roots of Wode, influenced by the epic, vicious and freezing melody of the coldest Scandinavian black metal recalling ’90s-era No Fashion and Napalm Records artists. Having released their demo in 2011, in the intervening five years Wode sharpened and chiseled the songs on this debut into a venomous, deadly blast of withering intensity. Six years later the songs have lost none of their vitriolic potency.
File Under: Metal
X.Y.R.: Aquarealm: Sub-Aquatic (Not Not Fun) CS
Companion offering to the recent LP, Aquarealm Mixtape interweaves an array of choice album tracks with a selection of discography deep cuts for a one-hour saga of shape-shifting aquatic bliss. Drawing on the classic X.Y.R. palette of Formanta Mini, Korg M1, FX, a loop station, and field recordings, the mix’s 16 songs slipstream seamlessly, despite being sourced from across a decade of work – testament to the constancy of its creator’s vision and the renewable vastness of his muse.
File Under: Ambient, New Age, Tapes
Various: Aloha Got Soul (Strut) LP
Limited yellow vinyl pressing of a seminal compilation. ‘Aloha Got Soul’ encompasses a vibrant era of contemporary music made in Hawai’i during the 1970s to the mid-1980s as jazz, rock, funk, disco and R&B co-existed alongside Hawaiian folk music. Hawai’i’s identity had undergone huge change: statehood into America in ‘59 and the Vietnam War were the backdrop as Hawai’i’s youth found inspiration in a new wave of international music led initially by The Beatles and Stones and, later, by US R&B bands like Earth Wind & Fire and Tower Of Power. Garage bands flourished during the ‘60s and, by the ‘70s, live music was at its peak. Waikīkī was filled with clubs: The Point After, Infinity’s, Hawaiian Hut, Spats and more.
File Under: Disco, Funk, Soul
Various: Imaginational Anthem Vol. XI: Chrome Universe (Tompkins Square) CS
Curated by in-demand Nashville pedal steel maverick and Third Man recording artist Luke Schneider, the eleventh volume of Tompkins Square’s venerable acoustic guitar series Imaginational Anthem features exclusive tracks by legend BJ Cole, as well as leading exponents on the instrument including Susan Alcorn, Luke himself, and British expat / Nashville hotshot Spencer Cullum among others. Nashville native and Merge recording artist William Tyler has written a beautiful detailed history of the pedal steel for the package.
File Under: Pedal Steel, Tapes
Various: Luke Una Presents É Soul Cultura (Mr. Bongo) LP
With some of the best DJs and selectors there is a certain mysterious sound or underlying feeling which unites the music they play, regardless of genre, year or tempo. Luke Una is a master of telling a story through music and this compilation is a perfect example of his musical alchemy in action. Featuring tracks from Yusef Lateef, Airto Moreira, Crooked Man, Henri Texier and many more, it is a collection of new, old, rare and under-discovered music from around the world, all united by Luke under the banner of “E-Soul Cultura”. It’s best described by Luke himself, who writes: “As the 5AM city sleeps and the strobe lights are slowly turned off, we gather on the wrong side of town in a transcendental journey alone together. We are the late night disenfranchised holding on in various after parties, flats, lofts, random kitchens and basements into the outer cosmos with É Soul Cultura. Music from exotic tear jerkers, Afro-spiritual jazz, cosmic Brazilian celestial grooves, machine street soul, dark horses, lost B-sides, £1 bargain-bin bombs, hidden gems, late night Italo dubbing, deep velvet N.Y.C garage, bass buggin sonic futurism, wrong speed 33BPM pitched up +8 new beat, majestic sunset strings, sweet vocals from heaven, no half steppin jazz dancing in outer-space and odd numbers. Yes… magical moments, together, holding on in witness protection suburban cul-de-sacs and Castle Court flats. Cosmic É high, 3000ft above the city getting evangelical to murky, wonky timeless beautiful music. This thing of ours dreaming of better days. Fail we may, sail we must, the sun will come up again.” Beginning his career as an original Sheffield house young blood in the mid 1980s, Luke’s move to Manchester and partnership with Justin Crawford saw the birth of Electric Chair, a cornerstone cult night in the UK underground club scene, and later Electric Elephant, a Croatian festival paying homage to their wild eclecticism from Balearic to Brazilian to E soul, house, disco and techno. Luke’s much loved, long running Homoelectric night and more recently Homobloc sell out festival for 10,000 souls has been at the forefront of Manchester’s LGBTQ cultural landscape. Luke’s Friday evening show on Worldwide FM has captured imaginations and has already become a cult four hour must-listen monthly journey with fans all over the world. Today Luke remains, as ever, at the forefront of a changing scene, pairing the momentous legacy of Manchester’s 80s and 90s scene with the delivery of what today’s club communities need to get down.
File Under: Funk, Soul, Brazil
Various: Right On Time: Trojan Rock Steady (Music on Vinyl) LP
“Right On Time: Trojan Rock Steady is the second part of the exclusive Music On Vinyl’s Trojan compilation series, which celebrates the best works from the legendary reggae label Trojan Records. It was compiled by Laurence Cane-Honeysett, who also wrote the liner notes. Some of Trojan’s finest are featured on this compilation; as there are The Gladiators, The Melodians, The Gladiators, Ken Boothe. Right On Time: Trojan Rock Steady is available on black vinyl.”
File Under: Reggae
Various: Tougher Than Tough: Trojan Rude Boy Sounds (Music on Vinyl) LP
“Tougher Than Tough: Trojan Rude Boy Sounds is an exclusive release from Music On Vinyl’s Trojan compilation series, which celebrates the best works from the legendary reggae label Trojan Records. It was compiled by Laurence Cane-Honeysett, who also wrote the linernotes. Some of the artists featured on this compilation include Stranger Cole, The Pioneers and Alton Ellis. Tougher Than Tough: Trojan Rude Boy Sounds is available on black vinyl.”
File Under: Reggae
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Jimmy Carter & The Dallas County Green: Summer Brings the Sunshine (Numero) LP
Sanford Clark: They Call Me Country (Numero) LP
Dadawah: Peace & Love – Wadadasow (Antarctica Starts Here) LP
Destroyer: This Night (Merge) LP
Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (4AD) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: F#A# (Constellation) LP
Gordons: s/t + Future Shock (1972) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Live at Levitation (Reverberation Appreciation Society) LP
Lingua Ignota: Caligula (Profound Lore) LP
Metal Urbain: Panik! (Cleopatra) LP
Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People (PIAS) LP
National: High Violet (4AD) LP
O Yuki Conjugate: Into Dark Water (Emotional Rescue) LP
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (4AD) LP
Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (XL) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (XL) LP
Olivia Rodrigo: Sour (Geffen) LP
Max Romeo: War Ina Babylon (4 Men With Beards) LP
Sister Ray: Communion (Royal Mountain) LP
Smog: A River Ain’t Too Much to Love (Drag City) LP
Sonic Youth: Bad Moon Rising (Goofin’) LP
Spoon: Lucifer on the Sofa (Matador) LP
Tyler the Creator: Goblin (XL) LP
Uniques: Absolutely the Uniques (Antarctica Starts Here) LP
Ween: Mollusk (Plain) LP
Various: Soul Slabs 2 (Colemine) LP