Busy week! Loads of great new arrivals this week. Not one but TWO Ulla records, first the vinyl reissue of her excellent tape from Quiet Time. The new and first LP from Loris S. Sarid, bubbly oceanic bliss. Three killer Cabaret Voltaire reissues. The 50th anniversary half speed master of Ziggy Stardust. A repress (or found copies) of Gonzalez & Russom‘s monstrous Days of Mars. New kosmiche trippiness from 12th Isle. Thom Yorke’s new not quite Radiohead project, The Smile is finally out. But oddly, NO NEW BLUE NOTE!?!
But more importantly this Saturday is the second Record Store Day of the year! A drop date for releases that were pushed back due to supply chain issues. There’s not a ton of releases, but some real killer ones. We’re opening at 11 as usual, below is a list of the exclusives we’ll have on the shelf. As always, first come, first served, one per customer, etc.
Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Original Lost Elektra Sessions (Run Out Groove) LP
Collective Soul: Disciplined Breakdown (Craft) LP
Miles Davis: What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 (Legacy) LP
Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Altered Reels (USM) LP
Bobby Hamilton Quintet Unlimited: Dream Queen (Now-Again) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Music is Here (Wewantsound) LP
Hasaan Ibn Ali: Retrospect in Retirement of Delay (Omnivore) BOX
Otto Kentrol: No Mistakes (Modern Harmonic) LP
Nicki Minaj: Beam Me Up Scotty (Republic) LP
Ennio Morricone: Sans Mobile Apparent (Wewantsound) LP
OST: Royal Tenenbaums (Disney) LP
OST: Big Night (Varese Sarabande) LP
Pearl Jam: Live on Two Legs (Legacy) LP
Prince: The Gold Experience (Legacy) LP
Ramones: Sire Years (Rhino) BOX
Rationals: s/t (Rouge) LP
Rolling Stones: More Hot Rocks (ABKCO) LP
Sun’s Signature: s/t (Parisan) LP
Super Furry Animals: (Brawd Bach) Rings Around the World (BMG) LP
Tangerine Dream: Alpha Centauri (Esoteric) LP
Tangerine Dream: Live at Reims Cinema Opera (LMLR) LP
Kali Uchis: Sin Miedo (Interscope) LP
Viktor Vaugh: Vaudeville Villian (Get on Down) LP
Voivod: Nothingface (Real Gone) LP
Who: It’s Hard (USM) LP
Various: 100% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Go Ahead Punk, Make My Day (Craft) LP
Various: Jetstar Records – The Soul Sides (Sundazed) LP
Various: Sweet Relief (Legacy) LP
Various: Studio One Classics (Soul Jazz) LP
– 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…..
Ulla Straus: Big Room (Quiet Time) LP
Ulla’s productions reveal a discerning process of stripping tracks to their essence, letting space, silence, simplicity and repetition be her guide. They lend a magic touch to a difficult and minimal style of music, creating an album that is comforting and tranquil, yet hypnotizing and transportive. Most evidently, UIla’s music is inspired, by emotions and experiences unknown to us, but perhaps best represented in her own words: “keeping pictures on a wall left there by someone else. day dreaming about something not real. hearing a friend walk through the front door. letting a plant die. the silence of a room when the box fan is turned off.”
File Under: Ambient, Kris’s Pick
Loris S. Sarid: Seabed-Sunbath (Moon Glyph) LP
Loris S. Sarid is an ambient composer and artist born in Rome but now resides in Glasgow. His previous release, “Music for Tomato Plants”, was a quiet exploration of kalimba, glockenspiel and plucky synths. On his debut LP, “Seabed-Sunbath”, Loris submerges into aquatic terrain with an expanded palette of virtual pianos, soft horns, kalimba, strings, synthesized voices, textural field recordings and a wide array of soothing electronic tones. On “Oats with Sarah” and “Lobster Island”, he also incorporates live performance with collaborators on cello and voice. Many try to use computers to write human sounding compositions but Loris works in the inverse, emulating computer generated songs via his personal touch. The final results are mesmerizing, peaceful, distinctive and varied. “Seabed-Sunbath” is the sound of contemporary electronics bubbling underwater, flowing between ecosystems and settling into a quiet oceanic basin.
File Under: Ambient, New Age, Electronic, Kris’s Picks
Cabaret Voltaire: The Crackdown (Mute) LP
Initially released in 1983, The Crackdown was the band’s fourth album, and first after the exit of founding member Chris Watson. The album fuses their earlier experimental records with the electronic dance-funk sound that would become more prominent within their subsequent releases. The significance of The Crackdown has upheld over the decades, being enlisted to NME’s best albums of 1983. Cabaret Voltaire were very much ahead of their time, harmonizing dance music, techno, dub, house and experimental making them, without a doubt, one of the most influential acts in electronic music. Originally remastered in 2013, now reissued and repressed on colored vinyl.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Ian’s Picks
Michael Anklin: Mekonium (Sais) LP
Inspired by the pureness of ritual and traditional music, Mekonium sounds like a documentation of a fictional ceremony. Topics such as temporal consciousness, minimalism and anti-virtuosity, as well as sounds barely perceptible by our auditory system, influenced the production process. Drones, soundscapes and slowly morphing repetitive patterns establish a state of time. To represent the concept of reduction, each track starts off with a single instrument or sounding object on which the composition slowly started to grow. Like grapes fermented into wine, acoustic sounds developed into different sound manipulations, still preserving the „taste“ of the original sound sources. The Tracks „Exon“ and „Zymosis“ contain a musical deconstruction of Lucas Rössner’s bassoon. Sounds from the Instrument were dissected with different types of microphones and rejoined into a collage. Hagneck, a hydroelectric powerplant next to Lake Biel was stocked with a number of contact microphones resulting in a huge powerful drone which built the fundament of the track. Mekonium deals with the feeling, condition and dilation of time. Musical fragments are played simultaneously at different speed, acoustic sounds were frozen, deformed, stretched and rearranged.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Anteloper: Pink Dolphins (International Anthem) LP
‘Pink Dolphins’ is a major new step for ANTELOPER – a duo consisting of Jaimie Branch (Fly or Die, Exploding Star Orchestra, TV On The Radio, Matana Roberts, William Parker, etc) on trumpet & synths plus Jason Nazary (Helado Negro, Bear In Heaven, Little Women, Desertion Trio, etc) on drums & synths. The album was produced by Jeff Parker (The New Breed, Tortoise, Chicago Underground), who also plays guitar on some tracks.
File Under: Electronic, Jazz
Lynn Avery & Cole Pulice: To Live & Die in Space & Time (Moon Glyph) CS
Lynn Avery and Cole Pulice return with a new album of piano, synthesizers, tenor sax, wind synths and electronics. Following their excellent previous albums (Iceblink’s “Carpet Cocoon” and Cole Pulice’s “Gloam”) the duo moves into otherworldly ambience that straddles acoustic and digital spaces, evoking an uncanny world both strange and familiar. “To Live & Die In Space & Time” began with an improvised set at the 2020 Drone Not Drones festival in Minneapolis that unveiled new worlds of sonic possibilities the duo wanted to reapproach. Lynn and Cole continued exploring this palette of sounds and ideas in the months that followed, a practice that continued as they relocated across the country and settled in their now home of Oakland, California. Lynn and Cole were not initially intending to create an “album” – instead, they were just committed to a regular practice of improvising, recording, forgetting, reapproaching, alchemizing old & new ideas, and allowing material to shapeshift. Eventually, something like an album revealed itself, which Lynn and Cole honed into “To Live & Die in Space & Time.” The sounds of TL&DIS&T are elegant, transportive and vast, like being wrapped in a blanket of stars, finding warmth and comfort in the unknown spaces of transition that don’t immediately reveal meaning or purpose. In other words, the constellation of sounds on TL&DIS&T approach floating in “the void” as something less than ominous, perhaps even enchanting.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Tapes
Bad Religion: Process of Belief (Epitaph) LP
Recalling the ferocity of their earliest work with the unique harmonizing qualities that’ve helped define a thriving generation in the So-Cal punk scene, the reunited core team of Gurewitz, Graffin and Bentley upped the anti again in sound, volume and density on this 2002 slab. The Process Of Belief rivals and surpasses anything they’ve accomplished to date, emotionally, technically, and tactfully. Each of the fourteen tracks follow their own paths, embodying thoughts of discontentment and discouragement, questioning authority and humanity along the way and react with resolve, filtered with virtue, and far surpass previously trained ideas of punk music constraint. 20th Anniversary Edition pressed on colored vinyl LP.
File Under: Punk
Les Baxter: Hell’s Belles (Sidewalk) LP
Brilliant groovy rock score to the 1969 biker flick by the “king of easy listening” Les Baxter. Except this is hardly easy listening/exotica he is known for. It adopts acid rock elements like fuzz guitar and adds back breaking funk rock rhythms and horns. There’s lots of head nodding hard drums on here that have made its way into the sampling producer’s vocabulary. With tracks like “Hot Wind” and “Hogin’ Machine”, Hell’s Belles is a tried and true wall of fame, crate classic. For more Baxter goodness from the same era, check his Dunwich Horror soundtrack as well.
File Under: Lounge, Exotica
Yaya Bey: Remember Your North Star (Big Dada) LP
Enigmatic, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, Yaya Bey, is releasing her upcoming album Remember Your North Star, her most expansive work to date, on 17th June 2022 via Big Dada, available on clear blue LP and cassette. Remember Your North Star is a body of work that showcases Yaya’s experimental approach to R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae and Afrobeat music. The album explores the landscape of Black music via Yaya’s storyteller approach and examines themes of romantic turbulence, female empowerment, fraught parental relationships and self-actualization, with production primarily from Yaya, Aja Grant (of Phony Ppl) and DJ Nativesun. Yaya’s lyricism and unfiltered approach shine through with her new LP. Her previous EP, The Things I Can’t Take With Me, which centred around similar themes received high praise from publications such as, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, FADER, Noisey, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. With Pitchfork describing Yaya’s “flow [as] poised and unhurried.” Yaya has also garnered fans and co-signs from the likes of Moses Sumney, Phony Ppl, James Blake, Kota The Friend, Mndsgn, and more. Yaya has performed live at AFROPUNK and in 2016 she played an intimate show with Sofar Sounds. Forthcoming live shows include opening for Mndsgn at Elsewhere NYC on March 21st playing all released tracks with more dates to be announced in the US & EU.
File Under: R&B, Hip Hop
Ben Bondy: s/t (Quiet Time) LP
Out now on Quiet Time, prolific Brooklyn-based producer Ben Bondy presents a startlingly intimate and personal body of work worthy of the self-title. This collection created in 2020 captures a tender moment in Ben’s artistic timeline and listens like a diary – pain and remedy scribed in dust on pages of time folded over-and-over. Melodies wrung from tattered memories and broken voices, rhythms pulled from the earth, and spaces filled with traces of loved ones filtered through the hazy lens of hope. Even the light of the tiniest bits of beauty can fill a dark room. “Every sound on this record is a piece of my heart— moments I savor on the tip of my tongue— sweet, bitter, confusing. Something that made itself without me knowing it was happening. Something i had to look back on to taste.”
File Under: Electronic, Tapes
David Bowie: Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars 50th Anniversary (Parlophone) LP
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is the breakthrough album that catapulted David Bowie into the international spotlight. Over the past 50 years it has remained a touchstone record, growing in stature with each passing year. It is now ingrained in popular culture, its undeniable influence spanning musicians from Arcade Fire to Lady Gaga, to Harry Styles’s androgynous fashion sense to Noel Fielding’s shirts on The Great British Bake-Off to Ziggy make-up challenges on Tik-Tok. Bowie laid to rest the Ziggy Stardust persona in July 1973 at his infamous last show with the Spiders From Mars at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, but Ziggy’s impact reverberates to this day. This 50th anniversary vinyl LP pressing of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was cut on a fully customized late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully re-capped electronics from 192 kHz restored mastered of the original Trident Studios master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half speed was cut by John Webber at AIR Studios.
File Under: Rock, Pop
Cabaret Voltaire: Micro-Phonies (Mute) LP
Originally remastered in 2013, now reissued and repressed on colored vinyl, Micro-Phonies is Cabaret Voltaire’s most sleek dance record, home to the charting singles “James Brown” and “Sensoria.” Released in 1984, the record gained its reputation as the Cabs’ most mainstream album. Their partnership with Peter Care on the video for “Sensoria” received major airplay from MTV, and was famously one of the first music videos to be in the New York Museum of Art. Cabaret Voltaire were very much ahead of their time, harmonizing dance music, techno, dub, house and experimental making them, without a doubt, one of the most influential acts in electronic music.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial
Cabaret Voltaire: The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord (Mute) LP
Known for being their harder, more experimental album, The Covenant, The Sword and The Arm of The Lord was originally released in 1985. The album embodies Cabaret Voltaire’s industrial electro-funk sound and their punk ethos, lending its title to American political extremism. Cabaret Voltaire were very much ahead of their time, harmonizing dance music, techno, dub, house and experimental making them, without a doubt, one of the most influential acts in electronic music. Originally remastered in 2013, now reissued and repressed on colored vinyl.
File Under: Electronic, Industrial
Cave In: Heavy Pendulum (Relapse) LP
The legendary Cave In makes its highly anticipated return with their Relapse Records debut, Heavy Pendulum, their first full studio record in over a decade. The band (Stephen Brodsky – guitar/vocals, Adam McGrath – guitar/vocals, John-Robert Conners – drums) sees a revival following the addition of Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom) on bass and vocals. Produced by Kurt Ballou at God City, Heavy Pendulum showcases everything that has long established Cave In as one of the best contemporary rock, hardcore, and metal bands since their monumental 1998 debut Until Your Heart Stops. From the driving tracks such as crushing opener “New Reality” to the metallic edge of “Blood Spiller”, Heavy Pendulum sees Cave In look back at their discography and capture their most memorable, visceral, and forward-thinking moments to create a record that is all at once familiar and in true band fashion, ahead of the mainstream.
File Under: Metal
Coral Club: Lost Cities (Moon Glyph) CS
For Alexander Sirenko’s third release under his Coral Club moniker, he ventures deep into the fog-laden ruins of “Lost Cities”. Inspired by deserted urban cores during lockdown 2020, it brought to mind disappearing epochs and cultures, lost to time and entropy, nearly without a trace. To evoke this feeling, Sirenko has created a sonic landscape of billowing atmospheres, smeared vibrations of living sounds, lumbering rhythms and looping melodic incantations. The result is as heavy as it is ecstatic; cultivated in non-linear parts like a living ecosystem crumbling under its own historic weight.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Tapes
Dead Boys: Young, Loud & Snotty (Jackpot) LP
“The Dead Boys hailed from Cleveland, Ohio and relocated to New York to become one of the first US punk bands. Originally signed to Sire Records, the Dead Boys were notorious for their edgy attitude and songs. After frequent shows at CBGB, the club owner of CBGB became their manager. The Dead Boys debut studio album Young, Loud and Snotty was recorded and released in 1977 and quickly became one of the definitive US punk rock albums. Rolling Stone’s “Best Top 10 Punk Albums of All Time”. Sourced from the original mater tapes. Pressed at RTI for maximum fidelity.” Yellow vinyl with red streaks.
File Under: Punk
Dr. Dog: Be The Void (Epitaph) LP
New limited 10th anniversary edition pressed on red & clear galaxy coloured vinyl. Recorded in the summer of 2011, “Be The Void” seizes that vibrant spirit and transforms it into a 12-track song selection that’s at turns deadly catchy and dance-worthy, wistful and bittersweet, and earthy-earnest. Though each track feels richly textured and intricately layered, the band made a conscious effort to keep the recording process fast and loose. All throughout “Be The Void”, Dr. Dog delights in a playfulness that lends a refreshingly oddball feel even to the record’s more true-to-form tracks. “These Days”, for instance, backs its bouncy bassline with a dizzying swirl of sunny guitars, while the handclapping and hollering on the album-opening “Lonesome” help twist a downer of a refrain into a sweetly anthemic stomper of a song.
File Under: Indie Rock
Aretha Franklin: Amazing Grace (Atlantic) LP
Known the world over by her first name and as the undisputed, reigning “Queen Of Soul,” Aretha Franklin is truly peerless. Her ever-distinctive soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced the music charts for over four decades and her legendary live performances and rich legacy of recordings are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist. Timeless classics such as “Respect,” “A Natural Woman,” “Chain Of Fools,” “Think,” “Daydreaming” and “Freeway Of Love” are among the dozens of chart-topping records that have established her as a cultural icon with an unparalleled artistry as an interpreter of song, bar none. Originally issued on Atlantic Records in 1972, Aretha’s Grammy winning live gospel tour de force, Amazing Grace was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, CA in January 1972 with Reverend James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. Incendiary performances of tracks like “How I Got Over,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Wholy Holy” and an almost 11-minute rendition of the title track propelled the album into the Top 10 on its way to double platinum certification and it remains one of the best selling albums in Franklin’s daunting catalog as well as one of the biggest gospel records of all time. With recordings of this magnitude Cleveland is spot on when he proclaims, “She has never left the church!” Colored vinyl 2LP-set.
File Under: Soul
Gonzales & Russom: Days of Mars (DFA) LP
Double album of blissed out beatless Krautrock influenced soundscapes on DFA Records. The sounds on these recordings were made by layering live takes of keyboards & other instruments, many of which were designed and built specifically for this album. The Days of Mars is the debut album from artists Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom. It was released on October 10, 2005. All the music was created by layering live takes of custom built synthesizers and other instruments.” DFA duo skips stones across the same cosmic lake as forefathers Tangerine Dream, Terry Riley, and Mike Oldfield. (…) Still, in a landscape full of seen and unseen phenomena, where the unknown seems almost passé, Gonzalez and Russom make music for taking things in stride. By turns bleak and beautiful, this is music for a new, but vaguely familiar world.” – Pitchfork
File Under: Electronic, Kosmiche, Essential Grooves
Guru Guru: UFO (Cleopatra) LP
Guru Guru was formed in 1968 as The Guru Guru Groove by Mani Neumeier (drums), Uli Trepte (bass), and Eddy Naegeli (guitar) (later replaced by American Jim Kennedy. By the time of Guru Guru’s debut in 1970, Ax Genrich had replaced Kennedy to solidify the classic Guru Guru line up. The project was related to the free jazz scene both through their work with Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer and through Neumeier, who had already won several jazz prizes before forming Guru Guru. The band was also influenced by psychedelic rock artists including Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Rolling Stones, and early Pink Floyd. Special deluxe reissue of the krautrock pioneers’ landmark 1970 debut UFO featuring newly remastered audio and meticulously reproduced album artwork! Colored vinyl LP with gorgeous gatefold jacket packaging and a unique door hanger.
File Under: Prog, Psych, Krautrock
Jonathan Kawchuk: Everywhen (Paper Bag) LP
Everywhen is the second album from modern composer Jonathan Kawchuk via Paper Bag Records. This incredibly distinct modern, experimental release was recorded, mixed and mastered specifically to fully realize the technical advances offered by Dolby Atmos immersive audio.
File Under: Experimental, Classical
Paul Leary: The History of Dogs, Revisited (Shimmy Disc) LP
It’s time to revisit Paul Leary’s 1992 debut solo LP – the avalanche of sound he titled The History of Dogs, Revisited here with two additional tracks that did not appear on the original LP. It was way ahead of its time. Originally released on Rough Trade Records during the glory days of Butthole Surfers’ crash course across the stages of every music festival criss-crossing the globe, this is zany, complex, unhinged, and sometimes just gloriously weird music, but it also features some of the most catchy indie pop music anthems you’ll ever hear, and certainly far catchier than anything you’d ever hear from the BS catalog of psychedelic hysteria. Now it’s 2022 and Shimmy-Disc is reissuing Paul’s first solo LP, remastered for vinyl, with a vengeance.
File Under: Punk, Butthole Surfers
Mabu’s Madness: M-Square (Real Gone) LP
Another insanely rare and highly coveted soul-funk gem from the tiny Maple label, which was part of Sylvia Robinson’s All Platinum empire, and punched way above its weight when it came to ’70s R&B. The one creative constant at the imprint was producer Johnny Brantley, who worked with everybody from Lee Moses to the Ohio Players to Lou Donaldson and even produced some early sides with Jimi Hendrix. Brantley is again behind the board for this 1971 one-off, which was led by drummer/singer/arranger Brad “Mabu” Young; it’s full of funky surprises, not the least of which is the horn section playing “Sparks” from The Who’s Tommy during “Do the Best You Can!” M-Square sells for hundreds of dollars if you can find it, but you probably can’t; our first-ever LP reissue-remastered for vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision-comes in a fire orange with black streaks pressing limited to 1400 copies!
File Under: Soul, Funk
Mr. Fingers: Around the Sun Pt. 1 (Alleviated) LP
Mr. Fingers returns on Alleviated Records with a new album!!! Larry Heard (under his most notable monniker) continues on the path he’s set with ‘Cerebral Hemispheres’ in 2018. Encompassing all his influences from Jazz, R&B to Techno and Ambient these lush tracks with a feel that no one else expresses quite like Mr. Fingers. Right from the start with “Around the Sun” the ten track album pulls you in with these lush produced tracks and effortlessly captivates you with the always infectious grooves and perfectly spaced arrangements. No need to further elaborate… This is Larry Heard at his finest.
File Under: Electronic
Me’Shell Ndegeocello: Bitter (Run Out Groove) LP
Me’Shell Ndegeocello – Bitter (Deluxe Edition) First worldwide release on vinyl! Expanded to a 2-LP set that that includes bonus instrumental tracks making their debut on vinyl Feature deluxe packaging and is pressed on colored vinyl. Rhino – Me’Shell Ndegeocello – Bitter (Deluxe Edition)
File Under: Soul
Omar S: Can’t Change (FXHE) 4LP
Keeping ahead of inflation, Omar-S maintains reliably premium levels on his now-regular series of long players, squaring up 14 bangers over 76 minutes that will leave no one in doubt of his raw genius (but may leave the cupboards bare for a week). His 8th album since debuting in 2003, ‘Can’t Change’ shrugs off any notion of playing the game for a set that acknowledges, in all honesty, that Omar-S doesn’t give a fuck what you think, but you’re welcome to come for the ride – taking a passenger’s bucket seat in his Motor City muscle car between cuts of blazing piano house, thee nastiest Detroit rap delivered by Milf Melly & King Milo, and an instant-classic, Motown-debted soul stomper jamming with none other than UR supremo Mad Mike Banks. Few can measure up to Omar-S’ hit rate, and he’s on he’s top form here. – lighting up the pleasure centres of Detroit fiends like a pinball machine between his raw-ass Linn drum jak attack ‘Jump’, and the garage-fruity swang of ‘Outer Jass Authority’, which features one of number of killer vox by Supercoolwicked, who also turns out on the bumpty goodness of ‘Ice Cream’ with Alandra O Smith (AOS’ relation, we assume?), while we find Omar at his most inimitable on the likes of his joyful ‘Virgil’, featuring Mitchell Yoshida and splitting the difference between Jamal Moss and Julius Eastman to these ears, or the slow acid grind ‘My Momma & ‘Nem Said I Don’t have To!!!’, and most club-ready in the devilishly strong disco-house of ‘Multiple Orgasms’ and the African log-drum pulse of ‘Aaayoooooo’.
File Under: Electronic
Janiv Oron: Easel (Light of Other Days) LP
Easel is the solo debut by Basel based sound artist and composer Janiv Oron. The six track-strong EP is Janiv’s personal and playful examination of the legendary Westcoast synth-sound. Almost exclusively based on the Buchla-synth the six tracks on Easel do share a very distinctive sound and timbre but the main focus obviously lies on Janiv’s interest in patterns, sequences and rhythm. From the jump, Janiv invites us into a world of dense sounds, complex percussions and ever evolving and changing sequences. His sounds drift from delicate to harsh; the intensity starts to pick up, the rhythms get more driving and suddenly we find ourselves in a realm of sound that could be described as sci-fi folk music. Easel is reminiscent of modern minimalism but buried within the tracks the listener will hear some references to hedonistic dance and club music. This is hardly surprising as beside his recent work in the arena of theatre, opera and dance Janiv still is one of Switzerland’s most influential Club DJs.
File Under: Electronic
Pennywise: Full Circle (Epitaph) LP
1997’s Full Circle is the emotional and pivotal album that followed the tragic death of founding member and bassist Jason Mathew Thirsk. Dedicated to the memory of Thirsk, Full Circle is hard as nails, reflective and ultimately redemptive. Despite the somber task at hand, the record is exhilarating and uplifting. With the help of long time friend Randy Bradbury on bass, Pennywise was able to look inward and work through the issues that would have torn a lesser band apart. Full Circle also features a moving re-recording of “Bro Hymn” and a special hidden piano instrumental of “Unknown Road.” 25th Anniversary Edition pressed on colored vinyl LP.
File Under: Punk
Power Trip: Manifest Decimation/Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
As we near what has been a little over a year since Riley Gales’ passing, Southern Lord humbly brings Power Trip fans picture disc vinyl versions of the classic Manifest Decimation and Nightmare Logic albums. The label is extremely thankful to the Gale family for their support, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these albums will go to The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation, which will benefit several causes that Riley held dear. Rest in power Riley! Drawing from the sacred texts of the Cro-Mags, Vio-lence,Leeway, Exodus, and Nuclear Assault, Texas savages Power Trip unleashed their debut album with Southern Lord in 2013. They leave in their wake a multitude of crushed generic and feeble contemporaries. Power Trip don’t emulate they properly channel the old-school energy of the old cross-over gods and add their own brand of modern thrash warfare. Manifest Decimation was recorded/produced by Arthur Rizk (War Hungry, Mother of Mercy, Inquistion). The recording is absolutely face-peeling and will ensure maximum head-banging from the hordes. 2017 follow-up Nightmare Logic took Power Trip’s classic Exodus-meets-Cro-Mags sound to new places. With hooks and tightness rivaling greats like Pantera or Pentagram and production by the esteemed Arthur Rizk, Nightmare Logic punishes fans not only sonically but with pure songwriting skill. The sophomore release and second on Southern Lord Records, raised the bar and pushed Power Trip to new extremes.
File Under: Metal
Max Richter: The New Four Seasons (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
A decade on from the release of his mesmerizing Recomposed album, trailblazing composer Max Richter returns to the sound world of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Recorded with violinist Elena Urioste and the musicians of Chineke! Orchestra, The New Four Seasons sees Richter create a new version of his Recomposed score for period instruments – using gut strings and vintage synthesizers to create a “grittier, more punk rock sound”. Having performed Recomposed live many times in the last decade, Richter was inspired by a special rendition of the work on period instruments to take “a new trip through the text using Vivaldi’s own colours”. The New Four Seasons applies a Baroque palette to the score in which he transforms or subverts fragments from the original four violin concertos by refracting them through different musical prisms, spinning them into different shapes and colors and enveloping them in completely different orchestral settings. The result is a unique musical journey and an exceptional opportunity to hear one of Richter’s masterpieces in the vibrant colors of the Baroque. Discussing the new project, he quotes John Cage: “As artists, our business is curiosity. I just think that absolutely nails it. Creative work is about discovering things you didn’t know were there.”
File Under: Classical
Roxy Music: Siren (Republic) LP
Roxy Music, the art rock band synonymous with both style and substance, intoxicated with its cool cocktail of fashion, romance, nostalgia and futurism. The band’s album covers are also legendary and became an integral part of what Roxy Music represented: cinematic imagery set to startling, otherworldly music. For all their imitators and admirers, no one has ever successfully cloned the unique and indefinable fusion of elements that made Roxy Music. Fifth album Siren, released in 1975 and featuring Jerry Hall as the cover girl, includes arguably Roxy Music’s best-known song “Love Is The Drug,” which charted at No. 2 upon release, and second single “Both Ends Burning.” I think,” said Ferry, “that it is the best album we’ve done. It has the energy of the first two and the professionalism of the last two.” This 180g vinyl LP reissue is mastered at half-speed and cut by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios.
File Under: Rock
Emma Ruth Rundle: EG2: Dowsing Voice (Sargent House) LP
Emma Ruth Rundle’s second installment in her Electric Guitar series, EG2: Dowsing Voice, is almost like the soundtrack to a film that hasn’t been made. The mostly instrumental record follows her on a trip to the Welsh coast and down a magical well into the waters of nature, myth and the Old Golds – by way of her improvised music. The 40 plus minute album was sewn together from recordings channeled during her month-long solo journey in the early days of 2020 and completed before 2021’s critically lauded album Engine of Hell was even written. Unlike Electric Guitar One, EG2: Dowsing Voice features vocal improvisation, unconventional singing and extended vocal techniques free from lyrics – like the throat singing on “In the Cave…” which is meant to be the voices of crones gathering in a rhythmic and physical ritual. Rundle was led to these voices by unseen forces along with the immense impact of the Welsh water: ocean, rivers springs and wells that gave the album its extended title Dowsing Voice. While there is some focus on vocal and story here, her textural and even bombastic guitar improvisations are featured throughout the album. For Rundle, the Electric Guitar series will always be about inspired, unplanned moments like this at its core.
File Under: Rock
S A D: Studia Spiritual (12th Isle) LP
The latest offering from 12th Isle collects a variety of recordings from Vasily Stepanov and Vlad Dobrovolski as part of their on-going S A D project (Udacha/Muscut). As part of their process, S A D sample and distort old de-magnetised tapes, constantly adding to and reworking their own sound-world. Layers of kosmiche synthesisers, off-kilter woodblock percussion and lysergic field recordings interplay with dense ambient textures in a true collage-style approach to music making. Across the nine tracks, multiple collaborations and aliases coalesce to present a thorough look at both artists approach to communicating the world around them. Drawing influence from nature and the outdoor concerts of Vladislav’s band Kurvenschreiber as well as late night free jazz shows and a similar ‘hauntological’ approach seen in Dobrovolski’s recent ‘Playbacks for Dreaming’, the pair express a unique genre-traversing attitude.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmiche
Salamanda: Ashbalkum (Human Pitch) LP
Human Pitch is proud to welcome Salamanda to the label for the release of their 3rd LP, ashbalkum––a portal into unseen worlds, enchanting stasis and laughter in the face of our evolving realities. Across an effervescent 39-minute runtime, ashbalkum provides a spellbinding view into how we interact with the world around us––one where one’s own being, language, & nature itself are all rendered infinitely mutable. Written during the surrealist landscape of summer 2021 somewhere between a sweet dream & a beautiful nightmare, ashbalkum accesses a playful tranquility that mirrors our tumultuous present––distantly intimate, static & constantly changing, moving while standing still, all the while narrowly evading the pressures of our pre-apocalyptic world looming just overhead. Through their collaborative energy steeped in joy, friendship, & experimentation, Salamanda transports us towards even further surreality, taking their sound to wholly new frontiers, all the while aiming to just have fun creating together & living presently. Tonalities and intonations between ourselves and the natural world are weaved into an immersive cocoon of harmonious tones, brimming with vibrant geometries as they gleefully transform into kaleidoscopic shades of motion. Here, the duo’s shared love for the world building of film scores, the club’s radiant multiplicities, & the bold statements of minimalist composition are all playfully reconstructed into their unique & alluring musical vision. The voice is abstracted into the original instrument, alternating between soothing breathwork, layered choruses, & shards of hypnagogic pop before dissipating back into a swell of gaseous vapor. Each piece contains a percussive arrangement unique to its message––glimpses of vivacious reggaeton snares, the tectonic resonance of dembow rhythm and dub’s expansive perception of timelessness and spatial awareness. A streak of playfulness strikes through the duo’s diagonal rhythmic dexterity, maintaining a confident balance between irreverent composition & serpentine drum-work without sacrificing an ounce of danceability. It’s easy to picture any of these tracks maneuvering their way onto a tender dancefloor, or affectionately soundtracking the interlocking cadences of a conversation between loved ones. ashbalkum’s namesake stems from symbolic & phonetic reinterpretation––specifically, a Korean phrase for the realization that what you’ve been experiencing as “reality” is actually a dream. The transmutation of this humorous existentialism into new meaning forms the core of ashbalkum: blissfully maneuvering through life, basking in irreverent states of lucidity and attuning all frequencies to fellow dreamers within the dream. Do dreams always reflect what we think? Is what we feel within dreams real? Ultimately, Salamanda don’t seek to answer these questions, so much as revel in the delightful liminality of it all.
File Under: Electronic
Ty Segall: Whirlybird OST (Drag City) LP
Drag City presents the Whirlybird (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), featuring all-new music by Ty Segall, created for Matt Yoka’s compelling documentary. Released to great acclaim in Summer 2021, Whirlybird tells the story of Zoey Tur and Marika Gerrard, former partners and founders of the Los Angeles News Service, and deftly tracks their extraordinary and often-reckless pursuit of breaking news throughout the ’80s and ’90s – a time in which they pioneered the use of a helicopter to report on Los Angeles at its most chaotic, capturing historical moments like the 1992 riots and the O.J. Simpson slow speed pursuit. Working off notes and feels from Matt and responding to the images and story on screen, Ty crafted some of his most creative arrangements to date, using synth, drum machine, Wurlitzer keyboard, guitars, drums and percussion (plus saxes played by Mikal Cronin, who also cowrote the title track with Ty) to articulate a multitude of tones running through the film. For a shape-shifter like Ty, this apex of tone color is no mean feat, an achievement further highlighted by the full set of pieces. Rather than simply throw a bunch of songs-with-singing at the project, Ty’s score perfectly epitomizes the film’s ethos, providing an instrumental counterpart that dialogues with and helps frame the film’s provocative themes and images.
File Under: Rock, OST
Slift: Space is the Key & La Planete Inexploree (Slift) LP
Here is Space is The Key and La Planète Inexplorée, Slift’s 1st EP and 1st LP, gathered in a glorious double vinyl! For the occasion, illustrator Pierre Ferrero designed an alternative cover, and the two albums were mastered by Jim Diamond. Recorded in Toulouse, (2016 and 2017) by Lo Spider, those space rockets are made to be played loud.
File Under: Psych
The Smile: A Light For Attracting Attention (XL) LP
A Light For Attracting Attention is the debut from The Smile, but they’re “Not The Smile as in ha-ha-ha, more The Smile as in the guy who lies to you every day”… speaks Thom Yorke on the inspiration behind the supergroup that consists of his Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood, and drummer Tom Skinner of UK jazz outfit Sons of Kemet. The description was borne out of The Smile’s acerbic first single “You Will Never Work In Television Again,” a 2:48 blast of ragged, pulsing raw energy familiar to ‘The Bends’ era Radiohead. Additional singles “The Smoke”, “Skrting the Surface”, “Pana-Vision” – which epically closed the series finale of hit show Peaky Blinders – and “Free In The Knowledge” each encapsulate different aspects and dynamics of the project. All are collected on The Smile’s double LP, A Light For Attracting Attention, produced by Nigel Godrich and featuring the London Contemporary Orchestra, and a full brass section of UK jazz players. The limited edition yellow indie vinyl includes a gatefold with lyrics printed inside.
File Under: Rock, Pop, Radiohead
Spice: Viv (Dais) LP
The second LP by California rock n roll unit SPICE expands their palette of damaged anthems and addiction poetics with a more bristling, visceral sound, distilled from years in the trenches of bands, break-ups, and breakdowns. Singer Ross Farrar explains their chemistry succinctly: “We all got in a room and this is what came out.” Viv is named for a precursor project of bassist Cody Sullivan and violinist Victoria Skudlarek, but also alludes to broader notions of vividness, sonic, visual, and otherwise. Engineered by Jack Shirley and mixed/mastered by Sam Pura in Oakland, the mix achieves that rare balance of every element being elevated but distinct, with voices, strings, and drums each given space to blaze parallel paths. Opener “Recovery” captures SPICE at their stormy, weathered best, booming drums and East Bay riffs skidding out in a rockslide of rapture, regret, and bruised melody (“You sacrifice perfect days to laugh through the night / you have to get out of bed / and it’s hard / and it’s hard / it’s so hard to admit”), peaking in Ian Simpson’s poignant single-note vibrato guitar solo; Farrar agrees: “The guitar says what we cannot.” Other tracks embrace the group’s shredded pop potential (“Any Day Now,” “Dining Out,” “Live Scene”) and their speedway ripper mode (“Threnody”), with detours into oblique instrumentals (“Melody Drive”) and orchestral balladeering (“Ashes In The Birdbath”). But what unites and ignites these songs across different energies and arrangements is their specific sense of emotion. Rawness refined into reckonings, approaching truth, born of cold mornings, bad luck, and too many wrong turns. Waking up where you’re not supposed to be, living a life you don’t recognize. The album ends with no end to its narrative, still fighting, still slipping. Farrar calls “Climbing Down The Ladder” a “relapse song – telling people you’re okay but you’re still fucking up.” Heartbeat drums march under heartbroken guitars in an elegant downward spiral of defeat, delusion, and desperate hope, dreamed more than believed: “I said it was the last time / but I was up so high / 100 miles / 1000 miles / no me in sight / I saw into the next life / I wasn’t dead / I felt so vivid in the next life.”
File Under: Rock
Vic Bang: Burung (Moon Glyph) CS
Vic Bang is the artist, composer and sound designer Victoria Barca from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work captures the micro-sounds of the world, simultaneously crystalline and organic, carefully composed into unique and distinctive sound sculptures. On her latest album, “Burung”, the songs are increasingly airy and colorful, playfully bopping around one moment and releasing a digital exhale the next. Barca’s handling of percussion, texture and melody is sophisticated while always retaining the light-hearted exuberance of a fresh experimentalist. “Burung” is the sound of precise, beautiful computer music crafted with the fallible human touch.
File Under: Electronic, Tapes
Mal Waldron: Modal-Air (Naked Lunch) LP
The great Malcolm Earl “Mal” Waldron makes his debut on Naked Lunch with a collection of his own compositions recorded in New York City during the early 60’s on a Trio formation with George Tucker on Bass and Al Dreares at the Drums. The composing skills of Waldron as a post-bop key figure are here on full display on both sides, although pieces like “Modal-Air”, “Summerday”, “Ollie’s Caravan” and “Quiet Temple” really squeeze the creative juice off the Trio’s playing, with Tucker and Dreares laying the rhythmic textures on Mal’s many piano’s inventions.
File Under: Jazz
Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note) LP
Alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins follows-up his acclaimed debut Omega (New York Times – Best Jazz Album of 2020) with another striking album featuring his remarkable quartet with Micah Thomas on piano, Daryl Johns on bass, and Kweku Sumbry on drums plus special guest appearances by flutist Elena Pinderhughes and the Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble. The album consists of an hour-long suite comprised of seven movements that strive to bring the quartet closer to complete vesselhood by the end, where the music would be entirely improvised, channeled collectively. The title is derived from a question steeped in Biblical symbolism: If the number six represents the extent of human possibility, Wilkins wondered how it would sound to invoke divine intervention and allow that seventh element to possess his quartet. “It’s the idea of being a conduit for the music as a higher power that actually influences what we’re playing,” he says.
File Under: Jazz
Zombi: Zombi & Friends (Relapse) LP
The ever-prolific Zombi return once again with a brand new classic rock covers album! Zombi & Friends, Vol. 1 sees the band faithfully covering tracks ranging from The Doobie Brothers, to The Alan Parsons Project, Dionne Warwick, and Neil Diamond! Zombi & Friends, Vol. 1 features guest appearances from members of The Sword, Trans Am, Pinkish Black, Zao and more! Album art by Kane Banne.
File Under: Prog, Electronic, Metal
Various: Channel 1: Séance for the Gods (Light Sounds Dark) LP
Light Sounds Dark plate up super rare psychedelic hi jinx on the first volume of a covetable new series. Taking their role seriously as key psychopomps between the obscure vinyl netherworld and contemporary record shelves, on ‘Channel 1: Seance for the Gods’ LSD pluck out 16 wonders from behind the ear of late c.20th industrial, experimental synth and psychedelic zones for inspection by trembling new flesh. This lot is particularly abstract and illusive, full of hallucinatory, greyscale spectres and synth apparitions, and suffice it to say we’re struggling to ID any of them. Of course that’s half the craic with LSD sets, and until the Internet hive mind does its thing, the tracklist will remain outta sight for now. Best to let their narrative sequencing do the talking as its story arc emerges across the 16 tracks’ transition from steeply quizzical depths to melodic enlightenment.
File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Ambient, Industrial
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (R&S) LP
Les Baxter: Soul of the Drum (Real Gone) LP
Beach House: Teen Dream (Sub Pop) LP
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Touch & Go) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Charles Bradley: Changes (Daptone) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time for Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Chrome: Chronicles I (Cleopatra) LP
Chrome: Chronicles II (Cleopatra) LP
Chrome: Half Machine Lip Moves (Cleopatra) LP
Circle: Triumph (Fourth Dimension) LP
Cure: Pornography (Rhino) LP
Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Legacy) LP
Duster: Stratosphere (Numero) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Ronnie Foster: Two Headed Freap (Blue Note) LP
Future Islands: As Long As You Are (4AD) LP
Gang of Four: Entertainment (Parlophone) LP
Gang of Four: Solid Gold (Matador) LP
Guru Guru: Hinton (Cleopatra) LP
Hole: Live Through This (Geffen) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Sketches of Brunswick East (ATO) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
William Onyeabor: Atomic Bomb (Luaka Bop) LP
O Yuki Conjugate: A Tension of Opposites Vol 1 & 2 (World of Echo) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Legacy) LP
Orville Peck: Show Pony (Columbia) LP
Tom Petty: Wildflowers & All the Rest (Warner) LP
Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (XL) LP
George Russell: New York, N.Y. (Verve) LP
Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah (Alternative Fox) LP
Slift: Ummon (Slift) LP
Slint: Spiderland (Touch & Go) LP
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Emile Mosseri: I Could be Your Dog (Ghostly) LP
Squarepusher: Feed Me Weird Things (Warp) LP
Harry Styles: Fine Line (Columbia) LP
Sure Fire Soul Ensemble: Step Down (Colemine) LP
Toro Y Moi: MAHAL (Dead Oceans) LP
Ulla: Limitless Frame (Motion Ward) LP
Neil Young: Citizen Kane Jr. Blues (Reprise) LP
Neil Young: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 1971 (Reprise) LP
Neil Young: Royce Hall 1971 (Reprise) LP
Various: Driftless Dreamers: In Cuca Country (Numero) LP
Various: Tougher Than Tough: Trojan Rude Boy Sounds (Music on Vinyl) LP