Well! Seems like the sync issues are resolved, for today at least. I’ve listed most of the stuff that wasn’t syncing last week below as well as this week’s new arrivals. Some absolutely killer slabs in this week! The FINAL Kikagaku Moyo album and as always, the Japanese group knocks it out of the park again. The FIRST album from SoCal soulster’s Thee Sacred Souls after a few killer singles. A monster comp of soul, funk, psych from Singapore. A small restock on the stone cold killer GREEN by Hiroshi Yoshimura. As well as more copies of Mingus’s Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. All in all a killer week, never mind all the fresh used that is sure to hit the bins as well. Come on down for a dig….
– 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…..
Kikagaku Moyo: Kumoyo Island (Guruguru Brain) LP
“The fifth studio album & last euphoric mind-trip to Kikagaku Moyo’s imagined island. Best-suited for counting stars, looking at the ocean, and dancing in one’s daydream.” In many ways ‘Kumoyo Island’ represents the culmination of a journey for Kikagaku Moyo. While their decade-long career can be summarized as a series of kaleidoscopic explorations through lands and dimensions far and near, there’s a strong intention in each of their works to take the listener to a particular place, however real or abstract they may be. In that sense, the title and cover art for the band’s fifth and final album draws you into a magical mass of land surrounded by water—but the couch suggests that ‘Kumoyo Island’may not be a fleeting stop, but rather a place of respite, where one could pause and take it all in. Reconvening at Tsubame Studios in Asakusabashi, Tokyo, where their earliest material had been recorded, the five members of Kikagaku Moyo found new inspiration in a familiar and comfortable environment. With their adopted homebase of Amsterdam under lockdown and their touring activities halted due to the pandemic, the band felt a renewed sense of freedom being back in shitamachi, or the old downtown area of their hometown. With unrestricted time in the studio, they began to build upon the demos and song fragments they’d amassed since their last tour. In the 1.5 months spent in Tokyo, everything started to come together. “Monaka”, its name taken from a type of Japanese wafer sweets, takes melodic inspiration from traditional minyofolk styles, while “Yayoi Iyayoi” is a rare instance of the band singing in their native tongue, its evocative lyrics utilizing archaic words taken from old poetry and nature books found in one of the many second-hand bookstores of Tokyo. For “Meu Mar”, an Erasmos Carlos cover, the original Portuguese lyrics were translated into English, then to Japanese. Strangely enough, the words seem to conjure an image of the protagonist floating among the clouds, looking down upon Tokyo Bay. In fact, it may be possible to draw a parallel between the topography of the band’s home country—an island nation, surrounded by bodies of water—and the mysterious isle of Kumoyo. Are they one and the same? Has the band finally made it back home? It’s up to the listener to decide.
File Under: Japan, Psych, Kris’s Picks
Thee Sacred Souls: s/t (Daptone/Penrose) LP
For Thee Sacred Souls, the first time is often the charm. The band’s first club dates led to a record deal with the revered Daptone label; their first singles racked up more than ten million streams in a year and garnered attention from Billboard, Rolling Stone, and KCRW; and their first fans included the likes of Gary Clark Jr., The Black Pumas, Princess Nokia, and Timbaland. Now, the breakout San Diego trio is ready to deliver yet another landmark first with the release of their self-titled debut. “Every step of the way has just been so organic,” says drummer Alex Garcia. “Things just seem to happen naturally when the three of us get together.” Indeed, there’s something inevitable about the sound of Thee Sacred Souls, as if Garcia and his bandmates – bassist Sal Samano and singer Josh Lane – have been playing together for a lifetime already. Produced by Bosco Mann (aka Daptone co-founder Gabriel Roth), Thee Sacred Souls is a warm and textured record, mixing the easygoing grace of sweet ’60s soul with the grit and groove of early ’70s R&B, and the performances are utterly intoxicating, with Lane’s weightless vocals anchored by the rhythm section’s deep pocket and infectious chemistry. Hints of Chicano, Philly, Chicago, Memphis, and even Panama soul turn up here, and while it’s tempting to toss around labels like “retro” with a deliberately analog collection like this, there’s also something distinctly modern about the band that defies easy categorization, a rawness and a sincerity that transcends time and place.
FIle Under: Funk, Soul
Various: Kribo Records – Sounds of Lecak Vol. 1 (Guruguru Brain) LP
Sitting atop a bean curd shop on grungy Geylang Road in Singapore, a room filled with vintage gear serves as the home and studio of Kribo Records, the home-grown independent label founded by the enigmatic musician and producer known simply as Maggot. This is where his madcap studio wizardry conjures up the muggy, sweaty, funky and groovy tunes that soundtrack his world within the melting pot culture of his homeland. This is the Sound of Lecak, a regional stamp on the global retro funk and soul movement, inspired by the indigenous word that can mean moist, wet, muddy or even naughty. Filtered through his love of global soul and rhythms of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Maggot and his collaborators offer up a vibe that’s equal parts Thai Luk Thung / Molam, African Afrobeat, 70’s U.S. funk, disco, psych, soul, and U.K. pop. This collection of Kribo Records singles provides a peek into Maggot’s singular musical attitude, and provides a window into the unique cultural landscape of the Nusantara archipelago.
File Under: Psych, Funk, World, Kris’s Picks
Bedhead: Transaction De Novo (Numero) LP
Their third and final album, 1998’s Transaction De Novo finds Bedhead destroying the sound it helped forge. No longer concerned with loud and quiet, the quintet uses distortion at its leisure. Tempos increase at will, chasing wave after wave with no break in sight. Desert-dry guitars jangle along, nearly jaunty at times, journeying through songs with no chorus or bridge. Steve Albini’s masterful ear keeps the entire 37 minute affair clean, giving Matt Kadane’s vocals the chance to creep above near-mumble. Thankfully, they never do.
File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
Lea Bertuci: Metal Aether/Resonant Field (NNA Tapes) LP
‘Metal Aether’: ‘Metal Aether’ continues to explore Lea’s acute interest in the nature of acoustics and the harmonic accumulation of sound, with it’s four pieces having been recorded in Le Havre, France in a former military base, and in New York City, at ISSUE Project Room. With her horn, Lea produces pulsing minimalist patterns, transcendent drones, and upper register squalls that envelop these spaces in waves of overtones, microtones, and psychoacoustic effects. ‘Metal Aether’ feels like the defining statement from an artist in elevated control of their form – a summary of concepts, ideas, and emotions given life from one’s mind and heart. Lea demonstrates the desirable ability to use her art to sincerely communicate in a language of one’s own personal invention, utilizing music and sound for their most meaningful and human purposes. ‘Resonant Field’: It is with tremendous pleasure that we announce ‘Resonant Field’, the brand new full-length album from New York-based sound artist and composer Lea Bertucci. Following up her critically acclaimed 2018 NNA full-length ‘Metal Aether’, Lea continues her devotion to the exploration of physical spaces by way of sound, channeled through her alto saxophone. Where her previous work investigated a variety of locations around the globe, ‘Resonant Field’ narrows her focus to one space in particular – the Marine A Grain Elevator at Silo City in Buffalo, New York. This formation of an intimate connection with her surroundings is both scientific and spiritual, putting Lea in a duality of roles as both an archaeologist of sound and as a sonic medium. The fact that these recordings took place during the partial solar eclipse of 2017 further contributes to the ceremonial, ritual quality of the work, making ‘Resonant Field’ a profound, industrial meditation on beauty, emptiness, and the deep melancholy of forgotten spaces.
File Under: Experimental, Avant Garde
Codeine: Dessau (Numero) LP
After the success of Codeine’s Frigid Stars LP, the trio of Stephen Immerwahr, John Engle, and Chris Brokaw booked time at Harold Dessau Recording in June 1992 to track an eight-song sophomore album. A few days and a couple of unexplainable high-pitched frequencies later, the record was scrapped, shelved, and forgotten about. Brokaw left the band shortly after, and these songs were re-tracked in various iterations for Codeine’s final LP. On its 30th anniversary, Numero has unearthed these recordings, restoring the original White Birch to the band’s exacting standards with producer Mike McMackin. A slowcore masterpiece hidden in plain sight.
File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
Coil: Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil (Dais) LP
The turn of the millennium ushered in an apex visionary phase for English esoteric duo Coil. Relocating from the city to the coastal quiet of Weston-super-Mare freed them to follow even more fringe obsessions, fully untethered from peer influence. During a single six-month stretch in 2000 they released the devious underworld sequel to Music To Play In The Dark, arcane drone summit Queens Of The Circulating Library, and a malevolent hour-long synthesizer exorcism prophetically titled Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil. This latter work remains one of the group’s most miasmic and mind-expanding creations, on par with Time Machines – a sustained divination of shuddering, psychoactive noise, rippling with the motion sickness of an all-seeing eye. Thighpaulsandra characterizes the album as “an exercise in brutality,” born from a thorny patch of his Serge modular unit that Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson found entrancing. Processing this sliver of electronics into a ravaged labyrinth was a trial and error process, aided by Christopherson’s visual sense of sound, stretching and manipulating it for maximum spatial disorientating. Frequencies nauseously crawl across the stereo field, burrowing into the ear like a sinister brainwashing experiment. An outlier / centerpiece is the 13-minute alien tribalist sea shanty, “I Am The Green Child,” guided by John Balance’s sung-spoken free verse concerning vengeance, oblivion, and insanity, culminating in the memorable refrain, “We’re swimming in a sea of occidental vomit.” But the rest of the record seethes in unhinged instrumental chaos, divided into 18 micro-movements of a composition called “Tunnel Of Goats.” Intended to scramble the functionality of a CD player’s shuffle mode, the piece throbs, thrashes, and flatlines in compressed frenzies of twisted synthesis, at the threshold of some bottomless purgatory, forbidding and unknown.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Industrial
Conan: Evidence of Immortality (Napalm) LP
From colossal opening track “A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots,” Conan’s newest magnum opus will overrun you like a steamroller. The British kings of brutally heavy slowness put their down-tuned pedals to the limit, crushing ears and minds when huge, rumbling chords and riff beasts muscle their way in over lances of infinite distortion. On tracks such as “Levitation Hoax,” Conan showcases their trademark sound combined with uptempo, fierce riffage, and a pounding, impulsive groove in epic caveman battle doom grandeur, before the song drags you into a safe, deep black hole. Second album single, “Righteous Alliance,” emphasizes that Conan are the masters of their craft, while Jon Davis spits his lyrics over the uber-synchronized power chord changes and tempo shifts of the anti-holy trio of bass, drums and guitar. Evidence of Immortality was recorded/mixed by Chris Fielding and mastered by James Plotkin, and also sees former band member Dave Perry performing on “Grief Sequence.”
File Under: Metal
Deliluh: Fault Lines (Tin Angel) LP
Learning about what Deliluh has been through these past two years brought the commands on a cassette player to mind: press rewind, forward, play and eject. The band, now a duo of Kyle Knapp and Julius Pedersen, relocated to Europe from their Toronto base with the ambition to plug into a continent that felt more cohesive in terms of a gig circuit and to map new spaces, both terrestrial and spiritual. This bold move came with several adjustments. Fault Lines is also a European record in its making. It first took shape at a session in Copenhagen in January 2019 where the band, still a four piece, recorded the beds before heading out on tour. The plan was to take a post-tour break and track some ideas that could be worked on remotely until everyone got back together in the early summer. Then everything “kind of went sideways”. Fault Lines stayed in an embryonic state for more than half a year, during which Deliluh reconfigured as a two piece. The lockdowns did, however, provide the time to rework material, or reposition ideas in line with the circumstances the pair found themselves in. Julius Pedersen: “We did a lot of heavy lifting at home together in Berlin and Marseille, taking turns training back and forth, throwing shit at the wall and experimenting.” After all this upheaval, does Deliluh still dream of going to another place? Are places different and do they really have a bearing on the creative path? “There’s always another place calling from beyond. Without it we would be stuck and hopeless.
File Under: Post Punk, Piyush’s Picks
Dope Lemon: Hounds Tooth (BMG) LP
2017 EP from Angus Stone’s (one half of sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone) psychedelic alt-pop project Dope Lemon on colored vinyl. Hounds Tooth features the warm, reverb-laden cuts “Home Soon,” “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “Where Do You Go.”
File Under: Rock, Psych
Steve Earl & The Dukes: Jerry Jeff (New West) LP
Steve Earle has been creating intimate and personal music for well over four decades now. His songwriting has wound itself along a path from Texas to Tennessee and his education came in the form of learning from the best. 2009’s Grammy-nominated record, TOWNES was a tribute to his dear friend and mentor, Townes Van Zandt. Ten years later Earle released, GUY. An album concentrated on paying homage to the late Guy Clark and the indelible friendship that they had formed in stories told through song. 2022 welcomes the release of JERRY JEFF. A 10-song collection of songs written by the gypsy songman, Jerry Jeff Walker. Featuring hits like, “Mr Bojangles” and “Gettin’ By”, Earle & The Dukes honor the late Texan by amplifying the concept and sound of each song with a full-band recording.
File Under: Country, Folk
Sam Gendel: Superstore (Leaving) CS
34-song SUPERSTORE is the Sam Gendel all genre follow-up album to 2021’s 52-song Fresh Bread. SUPERSTORE is more unreleased music from the enigmatic producer/saxophonist collected from personal archives of solo recordings and collaborations in various venues. Contributing players on select tracks include Blake Mills, Gabe Noel, Kevin Yokota, and Philippe Melanson.
File Under: Jazz, Electronic, Ambient
Girlpool: Forgiveness (Anti) LP
Forgiveness, which finds Girlpool embracing weirdo-pop decadence without sacrificing the poetic curiosity that has always made their music so absorbing, is also their slickest and most ambitious album to date. It’s filled with idiosyncratic and provocative gestures that simultaneously support and complicate the emotionally intricate material. With its unique blend of introspective earworms and surreal party music, Forgiveness reaches beyond the loosely sketched parameters of “indie rock,” challenging any preconceived notions of what a Girlpool album can or should be. To support their vision of a sound at the intersection of Hollywood futurism and post-grunge sincerity, Girlpool enlisted help from producer Yves Rothman (Yves Tumor, Miya Folick). While they had conversations with other potential collaborators, Rothman’s genuine enthusiasm for crafting music at that crossroads – freaky and fucked-up, but also heartfelt and grounded – helped seal the deal. Rothman’s input on Forgiveness marked the first time Harmony and Avery allowed someone all the way inside their intimate, borderline telepathic approach to song-making – a pure partnership that has remained constant, even as the music has evolved. The aesthetic and thematic breaking points explored on Forgiveness, a collection of songs written by two distinct artists with their own minds and hearts, could have resulted in an album that felt disjointed or unfocused. In Avery and Harmony’s hands, though, these fault lines generate more beauty than tension, as if in Girlpool’s world the movement of tectonic plates doesn’t spell disaster, but rather marks the beginning of something else, something exquisite and new. In this instance, it’s signaling a major step forward for two of this generation’s most accomplished chroniclers of life and love at the edge of the world.
File Under: Indie Rock
Green-House: Solar Editions (Leaving) CS
Green-House’s latest EP is a collection of unheard & rare recordings from 2021 & 2022. Imaginary department stores, Wendy Carlos-infused virtual classical, soundscape slices and bonus tracks are all situated radiantly along the spectrum of Solar Editions.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, New Age
Kiwi Jr: Chopper (Sub Pop) LP
Kiwi Jr. takes neon flight off the digital cliff on third album Chopper – like The Monkees starring in Blade Runner; like Michael Mann directs Encino Man. Ten songs with synth shimmer, zen gongs with yard strimmer. There’s a melancholy to all forms of flight, and the view out the Chopper is as hazy as it gets: mission-oriented, both stealth and self-realized. This album is decidedly anti-patio-sunscreen-Beach Boys bachelor cruise sing-a-long. Sure, these songs let a little light through the blinds, but they sting insomnia, corrupt mayors, Kennedy Curses, sex tapes, and deer rifles. Chopper is the bird’s eye view of the big event – a real nighttime character of oil stain, film grain, search light, night flight. It is muscular and fragile; loud yet quiet: both an observer and somehow the observed spectacle itself.
File Under: Indie Rock
N Kramer: Altered States and Slight Variations (Leaving) CS
Created over 2020-2022 as a variation on themes Niklas revisited over time with playful adjustment, Altered Scenes is the result of curiosity for complex harmony and composition techniques pursued via searching Youtube for tutorials on music theory. Inspirations were drawn from a variety of sources such as the mixing of Studio Ghibli chord progressions with Jon Hassell soundscapes. We can also hear the retain of acousmatic percussive/harmonic processes & performance established on 2021’s Habitat w/Berlin percussionist J Foerster. Compiling a series of scenes (or tracks) soundtracking an imaginary film in episodic fashion, these scenes feature various musical motives used in alternating contexts. *Presented with a scene sequence, the listener is invited to experience the album as an “Opening” scene, continuing through a “Soft Lit Room”, “Wading Through The Grass” in the next moment, and so on. *Altered Scenes reconciles opposites amidst ASMR backgrounds: serendipitous or random vs. designed or composed, static vs. the free-flowing, sparse & quiet vs. dense & pulsating.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Fela Kuti: Roforofo Fight (Knitting Factory) LP
“Roforofo Fight” is the 4th in the series of celebratory Fela 50th Anniversary reissues. Like its predecessors in the series, this version will be on color vinyl and the LP will be wrapped in a gold foil obi-strip with a brief essay on the album and Fela’s global impact on music. Like Fela’s other early 70’s releases he uses each side of his LPs to create a deep groove that pulls the listener in and follows with metaphoric lyrics that call out and critique the corrupt hangover of colonialism. The lyrics of the title track illustrate Fela’s frustration at intolerant, violent human behavior by depicting a fight that breaks out in the streets in Lagos. The second song ‘Go Slow’ is a 17:22 minute groove of super funk featuring the deep rhythmic interplay that is a hallmark of Fela’s Afrobeat. Lyrically, the song uses traffic jams in Lagos as a metaphor to criticize the harmful social and environmental impact of urbanization.
File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
Large Plants: The Carrier (Ghost Box) LP
Following his debut Large Plants single, a quirky psychedelic rock cover of Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’, Jack Sharp throws down a full album of contemporary analogue fluttered soundtrack rawk for Ghost Box. If you think about it, Large Plants’ debut album fits into the Ghost Box catalogue perfectly. While a rock album might initially feel counter to Ghost Box’s quirksome mix of early electronic bleeps and whimsical folk, “The Carrier” exists in the same parallel Gen X fantasy timeline, all tape fluttered and soundtrack-indebted. The aesthetic is a little different, but the spirit remains the same. “The Carrier” is Jack Sharp’s debut Large Plants album, and was recorded after a writing frenzy during 2020’s lockdown. The singer and guitarist for now defunct Jagjaguwar psych-rock act Wolf People, Large Plants was Sharp’s attempt to go it alone, and continue his obsessive recreation of ’70s rawk sounds unhindered by the rest of the band’s desires. Like the cheeky Madonna-covering advance single, these songs are balanced on a knowing wink that acknowledges the juxtaposition of writing music like this in the 2020s. Thankfully, Sharp’s vocals just stop the music from tipping wholeheartedly into pastiche. His folksy qualities nod to sturdy British legends like Pentangle, reminding of a simpler, more analogue era. Like the rest of the Ghost Box output, then.
File Under: Psych
Lightning Bolt: Oblivion Hunter (Thrill Jockey) LP
Lightning Bolt redefines what it means to be DIY. An utterly singular band in every way, unbridled creativity and energy propel them well past most categorical boundaries, least of which is the boundary between band and audience. Theirs is an immersive experience – a sound so huge it can swallow us all.
File Under: Punk, Noise Rock
Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak: An Evening with Silk Sonic (Atlantic) LP
The seeds of the Silk Sonic collaboration were planted in 2017 when Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars toured together on the European leg of his 24K Magic World Tour. One late-night jam session on the road unlocked immediate chemistry. Just before the world slipped into quarantine, Bruno called Anderson: “Remember that idea we had back in 2017? Let’s do it.” One studio session grew into to a months-long collaboration, culminating the “setlist of doom.” Legendary Bootsy Collins christened Silk Sonic and came in as the “special guest host” for An Evening With Silk Sonic, their 2021 debut album. Within less than a month, their debut single “Leave The Door Open” went nuclear and reeled in rave reviews, including Variety who noted it “could be a Best R&B Song Grammy winner from 1974.” Debuting at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 and topping the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and UK R&B Albums charts, An Evening With Silk Sonic also includes fellow hits “Skate” and “Smokin Out the Window.”
File Under: Soul, RnB
Nucleus: Alleycat (We Are Busy Bodies) LP
We Are Busy Bodies is proud to reissue two albums by Ian Carr’s Nucleus, starting with 1975’s Alleycat. Originally released on Vertigo as the group’s final release for the label, the album has been remastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Recording. The album was released the same year as Snakehips Etcetera and finds the same six-piece line-up. Nucleus was performing live and recording with so much frequency that Alleycat has a live recording feel.
File Under: Prog
Nucleus: Under The Sun (We Are Busy Bodies) LP
We Are Busy Bodies is proud to reissue two albums by Ian Carr’s Nucleus, including 1974’s Under The Sun. Originally released on Vertigo and not reissued since. The album has been remastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Recording. The album artwork is melancholy and reflects the overall feel of the album, which is more downtempo in nature than previous releases.
File Under: Prog
Oasis: Be Here Now (Big Brother) LP
Following up the massive success of Oasis’ breakout 1994 debut Definitely Maybe and 1995’s massive (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, 1997’s Be Here Now was one of the most anticipated album releases of all time. Moving over eight million copies to date, it was produced by Owen Morris and Noel Gallagher and recorded at Abbey Road, Ridge Farm, Air, Master Rock and Orinoco Studios between November 1996 and April 1997. Originally mastered by Mike Marsh at The Exchange; the album was then remastered in 2016 by Ian Cooper at Metropolis Studios. As well as “D’You Know What I Mean?,” the band’s third No. 1 single, the album features the ambitious 9-minute “All Around The World” plus evergreen classic “Stand By Me.” The epic elements of “Be Here Now” are contrasted by the heartfelt introspection of “Don’t Go Away” and the surreal psychedelia of “Magic Pie.” Be Here Now stands as a unique album in the Oasis catalogue with its unrepentant excess and supersize swagger. 25 years on, it enjoys legendary status as the sound of a generation-defining band at their absolute peak. 25th anniversary colored vinyl 2LP.
File Under: Rock
John Prine: Aimless Love (Oh Boy) LP
Fittingly for a former mailman, John Prine delivered songs that are both literate and personal. The skilled and compassionate storyteller enjoyed widespread critical acclaim in the wake of his groundbreaking eponymous debut and continued to write and perform songs that became central to our American musical heritage for nearly five decades. Among the English language’s premier phrase-turners with music relevant to any age, Prine’s 1984 release Aimless Love is available on vinyl from Oh Boy Records for the first time since the original pressings. The spare country-folk affair marked Prine’s first release on his own label Oh Boy and is anchored by the heartfelt standouts “Bottomless Lake,” “Oldest Baby,” “Somewhere” and “Unwed Fathers.” Noted fan Bob Dylan even covered “People Puttin’ People Down” in concert.
File Under: Folk, Country
Radio Birdman: Essential Radio Birdman (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Australia by Michigan native, guitarist Deniz Tek and vocalist Rob Younger, Radio Birdman was one of the crucial forebears of underground, high-energy punk. Blending the Motor City sound of bands like The Stooges and MC5 that permeated Tek’s youth, with elements of surf-rock, Radio Birdman developed a sound that was truly all their own. And yet, their recordings have remained obscure and generally unattainable. Until now. This 22-track, single disc collection is the first release of Radio Birdman material in the U.S. in over twenty years. This has newly designed cover art and contains remastered tracks from Burned My Eye EP, Radios Appear, and Living Eyes, as well as the live tracks from Paddo ‘77 that were included in the “Ashes” box set.
File Under: Punk
Rich Ruth: I Survived, It’s Over (Third Man) LP
Recorded under a loft bed in the guest bedroom of his Nashville home, Michael Ruth aka Rich Ruth’s I Survived, It’s Over starts in a humble space. And while many contemporary music projects are produced in such an environment, I Survived, It’s Over sets itself apart in its transformative properties as well as its transparency. What we have here is honest sound exploration, session musician-level instrumentation, and a true love for nature run through the fingers of a dude who can channel some acute and undeniable magic. Underneath the swell of the strings and the shredding of the guitars, this record has hard working, rustbelt, drum-heavy roots all over it (which makes sense as Ruth hails from outside of Toledo, the album was mixed by John McEntire from Chicago band Tortoise). Many of the flutes, saxophones, pedal steel, and other instruments were recorded remotely because we live in the future, but this only adds to the collage of sampled and sample-able material that Rich Ruth has to offer. The organic relationships between the artist and other musicians on the album is evident even in the compilation style sampling that needs to occur in putting such a project together. And those relationships pay off, because I Survived, It’s Over is a sonic meal. It’s rich with massive instrumentation that’s usually reserved for more symphonic delights. But at the same time it’s simple and leaves space to breathe – space you didn’t know you needed. Ruth’s heart and the peace that his presence produces is all over this album. And despite his midwestern humility and willingness to brush off any praise, he’s put together something really special that carries its own weight. It’s the kind of record that only comes around every once in a while and it’s worthy of all the head-bobs, acclaim, and celebratory potlucks that Mike and the gang have coming their way.
File Under: Ambient
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers: s/t (Omnivore) LP
Jonathan Richman formed The Modern Lovers in 1970 in Boston with Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), and Ernie Brooks and David Robinson (The Cars). The band recorded a series of demos, first with John Cale (The Velvet Underground) and later with producer Kim Fowley. Both sets of demos were eventually released, but not until the original group had disbanded. In 1975 Jonathan relocated to California and secured a recording deal with Beserkley Records. By 1976 he had pulled together a new version of The Modern Lovers. This group included the holdover David Robinson from the original band and added, Leroy Radcliffe and Greg ‘Curly’ Keranen (The Rubinoos). Co-Produced by Beserkley founder Matthew King Kauffman and Glen Kolotkin (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin), the self-titled release delivered on Richman’s desire for more acoustic and harmony-based material with tracks like “New England” and “Here Come The Martian Martians.”
File Under: Rock
Slipknot: We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner) LP
Masked metal juggernauts Slipknot return with their long-awaited sixth album, We Are Not Your Kind, the follow-up to 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter which debuted in the Top 5 in the official album charts of 19 countries around the world. Produced by Slipknot and Greg Fidelman (who also engineered and mixed Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and helmed .5: The Gray Chapter), the 14-track collection is introduced by heavy and hooky lead single “Unsainted.” “We are taking some really cool risks musically,” said singer Corey Taylor. “We’re dipping into some evil we haven’t played with in a long time, let’s put it that way. It’s got little hints of everything we’ve ever done, but it’s got some of the heaviest stuff we’ve ever done as well.” “This is most time we’ve had to write a record, and work stuff out together,” guitarist Jim Root adds. “One of my inspirations this time around was those artists that recorded full-length albums – not just songs. While the industry is moving toward singles, Slipknot wanted to make an album experience, front to back.” “These days the art we are making comes with the highest reward, because it’s taken the most time,” notes percussionist Shawn Crahan. “Almost four years to create this emotion and temperature, and the reward now is nothing short of salvation.”
File Under: Metal
Staples, Mavis & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home (indie shop edition/clear) (Anti) LP
Captured at Woodstock, New York’s Levon Helm Studios in the summer of 2011, ANTI- Records presents Carry Me Home, a new album that showcases the music of Mavis Staples and Levon Helm, two of the past century’s most iconic voices who came together in love and joy, tracing their shared roots and celebrating the enduring power of faith and music. Neither Staples nor Helm knew that this would be their last performance together – the collection marks one of Helm’s final recordings before his death – and listening back now, a little more than a decade later, tunes like “This May Be The Last Time” and “Farther Along” take on new, bittersweet meaning. The result is an album that’s at once a time capsule and a memorial, a blissful homecoming and a fond farewell, a once-in-a-lifetime concert – and friendship – preserved for the ages. “It never crossed my mind that it might be the last time we’d see each other,” says Staples. “He was so full of life and so happy that week. He was the same old Levon I’d always known, just a beautiful spirit inside and out.” The pair’s mutual love and admiration is on full display on ‘Carry Me Home’, which features a mix of Staples’ and Helm’s bands operating at the peak of their powers as they work their way through an eclectic setlist of tunes made famous by the likes of Nina Simone, The Impressions, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. “My dad built The Midnight Rambles to restore his spirit, his voice, and his livelihood,” says Helm’s daughter, Amy, who sang backup vocals with her father and Staples at their performance. “He’d risen back up from all that had laid him down, and to have Mavis come sing and sanctify that stage was the ultimate triumph for him.” When it was all over, Staples could hardly believe how quickly the time had flown. She dreaded the thought of leaving Woodstock, of leaving Levon, but duty called her back on the road, and so she ended her week the way it began: with a long embrace. “We hugged and hugged and hugged,” Staples recalls. “I just held on to him. I didn’t know it’d be the last time, but in my heart and in my mind, Levon will always be with me because I take him everywhere I go. Yes, indeed. I can see him right now. And some sweet day, we’ll be together again.” Opened to the public in 2004, Levon Helm Studios – which still hosts regular concerts and recording sessions to this day – is a magnificent, rustic space with broad wooden beams and a soaring, vaulted ceiling. Helm and fellow Band-mate Garth Hudson designed the room to be both sonically and socially perfect, an intimate gathering place where musicians and their fans could join in a shared night of musical transcendence.
File Under: Soul, Gospel
Nick Storring: Music From Wei (Orange Milk) LP
Nick Storring’s eighth album (and third release for Orange Milk Records) takes the one-person-orchestra approach for which he is acclaimed and translates it to a single instrument: the piano. Recorded on everything from the innards of an old upright piano to a Disklavier (a computer-controlled acoustic piano) housed at Yamaha’s Toronto offices, and using playing techniques that span conventional to idiosyncratic, Storring conjures a vast and vivid colour palette. Music from ‘Wéi 成为’ was composed for the choreography of his frequent collaborator, Yvonne Ng and began its life in a residency at the Banff Centre in December 2017. Just like the unique movement vocabulary found in Ng’s quintet dance Wéi 成为, Storring’s copiously layered score moves fluidly between tender lyrical phrases and driving interlocking figures, and from thick textural swarms to supple transparency.
FIle Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical
Temple: The Temple (Profound Lore) LP
New Zealand’s The Temple, an aural entity comprised of P.K. (guitars, bass, vocals) and J.W. (drums, lyrics), play viscerally morphing and shape-shifting death / black metal of an esoteric nature. Their self-titled debut album is an impenetrable sonic monolith that encompasses six immense tracks of tectonic shifting, inharmonious, honed and focused metal of crushing weight, searing ambience and immense magnitude. With the sprawling audial tapestry The Temple have laid out with their debut, the conveyance of this vision is one reflected through death worship and an invocation of plague, war, misery, and the cosmic apocalypse channeled through the spirit of misanthropic Gnosticism.
File Under: Metal
Bernie Worrell: All the Woo in the World (Music On Vinyl) LP
Bernie Worrell was a keyboardist and composer best known as a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic and for his work with Talking Heads. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Worrell broke genres, not only within funk, but also hip hop and rock. Critics described him as one of the most widly innovative and technically dazzling musicians in pop music history. In 1978 he released his solo debut album All The Woo In The World, which was produced by George Clinton, who was another mastermind behind Parliament-Funkadelic. The album features several guest performances by P-Funk alumni, including Junie Morrison, Garry Shider, Bootsy Collins and Eddie Hazel. All The Woo In The World is available as a limited edition of 1500 individually numbered copies on translucent red coloured vinyl.
File Under: Funk, Parliament
Various: Satan in Love: Rare Finnish Synth-Pop & Disco 1979 – 1992 (Svart) LP
This explosive set of 22 floor filling synth-italo-tech-disco blasts from the past charts the rise and heyday of the synthesizer in Finnish pop music. Compiled by renowned Helsinki DJ and music historian Mikko Mattlar, these 22 choice cuts from 1978 to 1992 include many cult hits and impossibly rare tracks, such as the Fenno-Italo-disco cult classic Satan in Love by Emilia and the synthetic experiments of Argon and Syntax.
File Under: Electronic, Disco
Altin Gun: Gece (ATO) LP
Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) LP
black midi: Schlagenheim (Rough Trade) LP
Lo Borges: s/t (Polysom) LP
Coil: Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil (Dais) LP
Elkhorn: Black River (Debacle) LP
Fontaines D.C.: A Hero’s Death (Partisan) LP
Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel (Partisan) LP
Handsome Boy Modeling School: So…How’s Your Girl? (black) (Tommy Boy) LP
Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (Nyeda) LP
Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (Sanctuary) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
Tim Maia: s/t (Polysom) LP
Mingus, Charles: The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Acoustic Sounds Series) (Impulse) LP
National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
Sister Ray: Communion (Royal Mountain) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Spoon: Transference (Matador) LP
Spoon: Lucifer On the Sofa (Matador) LP
Stevens, Sufjan: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Swift, Taylor: Lover (Republic) LP
Swift, Taylor: Evermore (Republic) LP
Tall Dwarfs: Unravelled: 1981-2002 (Merge)
Waits, Tom: Mule Variations LP
Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green (Light in the Attic) LP
Hiroshi Yoshimura: Music for Nine Postcards (Empire of Signs) LP
Various: Heisei No Oto (Music From Memory) LP