Pretty good amount of stuff in this week considering it’s a short week. Especially exciting is the new Sarah Davachi! Also a much needed repress of the Cybe album on Stroom. Finally a repress of one of the two first two Blonde Redhead albums, absolutely essential. Following last week’s reissue of the earlier Scone Cash Players, their new album of organ driven funk is out on Daptone. And many more! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get a chance to price up some fresh used for the bins. Been busy buying, but so far, it’s just being horded away in the back. 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…..
Sarah Davachi: Two Sisters (Late Music) LP
Green vinyl! The new album from Sarah Davachi on her own Late Music imprint is a collection of nine extended compositions for chamber ensemble and solo pipe organ. The expanded instrumentation on this album includes carillon (a keyboard instrument comprised of very large cast-iron bells), choir, string quartet, low woodwinds, and trombone quartet, alongside sine tones and electronic drones. Among the pipe organs featured on the album is an extremely rare Italian tracker organ from 1742, housed now in the Southwest desert region of the United States. Davachi is accompanied in these recordings by a formidable group of musicians and interpreters, including the Apartment House ensemble. The carillon that sounds on the piece ‘Hall of Mirrors’ is the third largest in the world, with its heaviest bell weighing approximately twelve Imperial tons. Conceptually, there is a loose thread that runs through the compositional methods of Two Sisters, influenced by the allegory of ‘temperance’ in a minimalist aesthetic sense: “one foot on land, one foot in the water”, as it were, caught in the perpetual balance of restraint as delight and necessity. There are mirrored sonic and structural images throughout the album, also reflected in the iconography of the cover: the satyr and the subject, the shared gaze between head and body, the dialogue between cerebral and physical response, as above so below. It’s like there’s two sisters of faith and chance. All compositions by Sarah Davachi. Recorded between January and November 2021. Mixed by Sarah Davachi at Alms Vert in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Mastered by Sean McCann.
File Under: Ambient, Classical, Kris’s Picks
Cybe: Tropisch Verlangen (Stroom) LP
The wonderful STROOM 〰 label expand their precious archive of Lowlands-based synth music with a flowering compilation of Siebe Baarda aka Cybe’s ersatz exotic electronics; Tropisch Verlangen, or Tropical Desire, recorded in the 80’s and cast aside to languish in obscurity more or less ever since. Brilliant find this, tipped if yr into early Coil, YMO, Kode 9, Ryuichi Sakamoto. One of three cassettes issued by the then yung and nascent artist after travelling around India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bali and Java in the early ‘80s, Tropisch Verlangen channels the richness of the sights, smells and feelings Cybe experienced during those trips into an impressionistic moire of shimmering gamelan and nimble electro pieces that resonate with the vibes of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s B-2 Unit classic as much as K. Leimer’s Eastern-facing works or the new age psychedelia of Holland’s Chi Factory. Using authentically indigenous instruments – Tinklik, Sarong Barong, Genggong, Ching and Suling – as well as a wealth of other synthesisers, samplers, vocoder, gongs, computer and other percussive-melodic pieces like the xylophone and glockenspiel, the results are at once innocently searching and intricately realised. And while his sister, Betty Baarda contributes guitar on one song, The Moon Is Shining Above The Richfield, it’s rather impressively all the work of one man solo in his bedroom/studio. In that sense, it’s inarguably an ambitious effort, and one that was evidently, beautifully realised at that time. However a lack of recognition beyond a group cult in Amsterdam and a handful of gigs and concerts (especially difficult to play live with tape) meant that he would soon enough sell all his gear and forget about making music, but still listened to it a lot. The results thankfully live on thru STROOM 〰, reprising the feeling we last felt towards their reissue of Alain Pierre’s Jan Zonder Vrees soundtrack, but with a more piquant tang of unique scales and tingling percussions, including some utterly heart-melting moments in the sublime vignettes of Chinatown and the Sublime Frequencies radio series vibes of Loi Krathong, or the Bamboo Houses styles of Zen Tai.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Fourth World, Kris’s Picks, Ian’s Picks
Various: Sharayet El Disco: Egyptian Disco & Boogie Cassette Tracks 1982-1992 LP
Wewantsounds release Sharayet El Disco a selection of Egyptian ’80s disco and boogie tracks curated by Egyptian DJ Disco Arabesquo from his vast collection of cassettes. Most tracks have never been released on any other format and are making their vinyl debut with this set. A journey through the funky sound of ’80s Egypt, Sharayet El Disco (which can be translated by “Disco Cassettes”) features Simone, Ammar El Sherei, and more obscure names from Cairo’s cassette culture. Sharayet El Disco is part of an important mission for Moataz Rageb aka Disco Arabesquo. The Amsterdam-based Egyptian DJ has been collecting cassettes from Arab-speaking countries and its diaspora for many years and has amassed a vast collection of Egyptian music concentrating on the ’80s, the sound he grew up listening to. His goal has been to search for these rare sounds and make them known to a new vinyl-hungry audience. During this decade, the rich Egyptian music industry, which had seen such stars as Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, and Warda take the Arab world by storm in the ’60s and ’70s, was going through a new phase and the cassette format was the cause. This radical change enabled many young musicians and producers to spread their music directly to consumers duplicating cassettes themselves. A new vibrant music scene erupted in Cairo blending their sound with trends coming from the US and Europe including, of course, disco, soul, and funk. The cream from this scene was soon picked up by the most daring labels, including Mohsen Gaber’s Alam El Phan, Sout El Hob, and Americana. Sharayet El Disco gives you a glimpse of these great tracks which — for most of them — were only ever released on cassette. The set is a unique insight into the diversity of the Egyptian disco sound, from the pulsating disco of “Hezeny” by Hany Shenouda’s Al Massrieen band to the boogie of Simone’s “Merci”, via Firkit El Asdekaa’s tongue-in-cheek “Eklib el Sheriet” (“turn the cassette to the other side”), produced by legendary Egyptian musician Ammar El Sherei. The music is both inventive and funky and played with both Western and Arab instruments proving that quality of Egyptian music. Audio remastered for vinyl by David Hachour/Colorsound Studio in Paris. LP artwork by young Egyptian graphic designer Heba Tarek. Includes two-page insert featuring artwork of the original cassettes plus insightful liner notes by Moataz Rageb. Also features Afaf Rady, Dr. Ezat Abou Ouf & el four M, FIrkIt el Ensan, Eman el Bahr Darwish, Firkit Americana Show, and Lebleba.
File Under: Disco, Funk, Middle East, Piyush’s Picks
Afghan Whigs: How Do You Burn? (BMG) LP
In tomorrow! How Do You Burn?, the ninth studio album from The Afghan Whigs and first in five years, finds the band in peak form, making the most vaulting and thrilling music of their lives. The album is virile, ready-for-action, and finds frontman Greg Dulli as swaggering, enigmatic and darkly charismatic as ever, and singing up a storm. For his supporting cast, Dulli called upon several serial collaborators including the late Mark Lanegan, who was a regular in Dulli’s Twilight Singers, a partner in The Gutter Twins and a close friend. Lanegan makes his Afghan Whigs debut singing backup vocals on two tracks. “It was Mark who named the album,” Dulli remarked. Susan Marshall, who sang on the Whigs album 1965, returns to the fray for “Catch A Colt,” one of the album’s standout tracks, loose-limbed like Some Girls-era Rolling Stones and with the liquid polyrhythms of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. The multi-talented Van Hunt, who toured with the Whigs in 2012 and guested on Do to the Beast, brings his stacked-up, wall-of-sound vocals to both the plunging, voodoo-blues of “Jyja” and the audacious “Take Me There”, transforming the latter, says Dulli, “into this feral gospel song. We sing really well together, but what Van does production-wise… it’s unrelenting.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Blonde Redhead: La Mia Vita Violenta (Numero) LP
Forming in 1994, Blonde Redhead were thrown together following a chance meeting in New York between Japanese siren Kazu Makino and Milanese twin brothers, Amedeo and Simone Pace. Taking their name from a song by fellow New York no wave artists DNA, location was to prove key to the band’s initial experimentations. Forging a sound reflective of New York’s rich musical legacy, the early years of Blonde Redhead were very much haunted by the squalling underground scene that has forever pulsed throughout the city. While indebted to their geography, the release of their self-titled debut in 1995, swiftly followed by the self-produced La Mia Vita Violenta on Steve Shelley’s Smells Like label, showed signs that Blonde Redhead were soon to escape the shadow of New York. Teeming with the energy and grit of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, Blonde Redhead’s long out-of-print early recordings have finally crawled their way out of the ’90s basement.
File Under: Indie Rock, Kris’s Picks
Daft Punk: Alive 2007 (Daft Live) LP
In tomorrow! ‘Alive 2007’ is known as one of the most influential live albums ever, and this new reissue via Daft Punk’s parent label Daft Life cements that influence. Performed at the French venue Bercy, we feel much harder, better, faster and stronger as we listen eagerly to the the pair’s signature talkboxes, samples and hooks, this time drenched in crowd jeers and natural reverb. In this instance, Daft Punk manipulated their established material, transposing and deconstructing the structures of their studio tracks and paving the way for the future of live electronic music performance.
File Under; Electronic
Daft Punk: Human After All (Daft Life) LP
In tomorrow! With each album, Daft Punk threw down something new for their mammoth fanbase to deal with. Never ones to repeat themselves or play it safe, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo ruffled feathers when they followed up the pop-tastic heights of Discovery with the rock-tinted stylings of Human After All. In hindsight, with the world-beating project brought to an end, the album sounds like Daft Punk through and through, not least on lead single ‘Robot Rock’, but full credit to them for not taking the easy route to give the fans what they want. As we reflect on the legacy of one of the biggest dance acts of all time, it’s a fine time to revisit this album with a sparkling new pressing as part of the Daft Life Ltd series.
File Under: Electronic
Danzig: Skeletons (Nuclear Blast) LP
A Collection of Danzig’s favorite classic tracks reimagined by the god father of metal. Including renditions of tracks from Black Sabbath, Elvis, ZZ Top, Aerosmith & More!!! “These are my skeletons,” he affirms. “You may or may not know that I dig these songs. You could say that some of this music is the actual basis and skeleton of what I listened to growing up—ultimately informing the kind of music I like. It’s the foundation. If you took Elvis and Sabbath out of my life, I probably wouldn’t be the Glenn Danzig you know! I’m glad both sides are represented on this record.”
File Under: Rock, Punk
Emma DJ: Melon Siesto (L.I.E.S.) LP
The prolific shapeshifting artist known as Emma DJ is back on L.I.E.S. following his “FUSION” split lp from last year. His new nine track “Melon Siesto” lp is a deep dive into the warped world that is Emma DJ and his musical perversions. Mechanized soundblasts, tortured voices rising from the rubble, slowbeat mind destruction, and fast paced teeth grinding dance not dance make this album what it is. And what is it? Think about armor piercing bullets shot from close range with maximum blood splatter across your xxxl white tee while a tricked out Honda Accord sideswipes your falling and now lifeless corpse and you’re getting the idea. Limited to 250 copies worldwide.
File Under: Electronic
Fret: Because of the Weak (L.I.E.S.) LP
After two 12 inches, the legendary Mick Harris (Scorn, Napalm Death,Lull) steps up with his first full length double lp for L.I.E.S. under his FRET moniker. Over 10 tracks, “Only For The Weak” displays Harris in his most intense sonic form to date, blasting through the red with reckless abandon and destroying all weakeners and sound systems in his path. This is the definition of black hole industrial techno and while it’s completely pulverizing, Harris’ heavy trademark dubstyle elements are strongly present, coupled with deeply psychedelic textures swirling within the deadly onslaught of this album. While others have softened up through the years, Mick has upped the ante, staying true to the unrelenting intensity he pioneered behind the drum kit back in the 80s. Turn on the TV, witness the demise of humanity, put this album on and watch it all fall to pieces minute by minute. Never more could music of this magnitude be more relevant. Not recommended for those with medical conditions!
File Under: ELectronic
FUJI||||||||||TA: Noiseem (33-33) LP
Following on from acclaimed recent releases on Hallow Ground and Boomkat’s Documenting Sound series, NOISEEM is a major new work from Japanese sound artist/instrument inventor Yosuke Fujita, who performs under the name FUJI||||||||||TA. Where Fujita’s recent recorded output has focussed primarily on documentation of his remarkable self-built pipe organ, NOISEEM is the culmination of half a decade of work with highly amplified water. The evocative and timbrally rich sound of water has inspired concrete and experimental music practices since ground-breaking works such as Hugh Le Cain’s ‘Dripsody’ and Knud Viktor’s obsessively aquatic ‘Images’. However, other than his compatriot Tomoko Sauvage, few have explored the possibilities of water in live performance to the extent that Fujita has, constructing a series of water tanks that, with their pumps and amplification controlled by the performer, become a new musical instrument. The recordings contained here are drawn from live performances in Tokyo and London, edited and mixed by Fujita into two side-length pieces dominated by water, pipe organ, voice and subtle electronics.
File Under: Experimental, Japan
GA-20: Crackdown (Karma Chief) LP
GA-20 clearly is on to something big. It’s a movement, a new traditional blues revival. The dynamic, throwback blues trio are disciples of the place where traditional blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll intersect. “We make records that we would want to listen to,” says guitarist Matt Stubbs. “It’s our take on the song-based traditional electric blues we love.” Stubbs, guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty, and drummer Tim Carman have been at the forefront of this traditional blues revival since they first formed in 2018. It’s no wonder they skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard Blues Chart. According to Stubbs, “Since we started the band we’ve focused on the story, the melody, and on creating a mood. Playing live as much as we do, we’re finding more and more that people are discovering how cool it all is. Traditional country, soul and funk music have all had these massive recent revivals, but traditional blues so far has not.” With their new Colemine album, Crackdown, and an intensive tour schedule, that’s all about to change. On Crackdown, GA-20’s third full-length release, the band creates an unvarnished, ramshackle blues that is at once traditional and refreshingly modern. Expanding on their previous releases (2019’s Lonely Soul and 2021’s Try It…You Might Like It! GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor) GA-20 finds inspiration on the edges of the genre, where early electric blues first converged with country and rock ‘n’ roll. The album’s nine original songs include the loping, Louisiana-flavored “Dry Run,” the dirty, and bare-bones “Easy On The Eyes” and the melodic, garage-tinged “Fairweather Friend.” With tight, propulsive performances and a brevity and punk energy reminiscent of The Ramones, Crackdown is rowdy and fun, filled with instantly memorable, and well-crafted songs.
File Under: Blues, Rock, Funk
Geier Aus Stahl: Strapazen Und Genesung (Knekelhuis) LP
Geier aus Stahl is one of the many artistic guises of Leonard Prochazka. No superfluous elements take away from the core experience of his sound. Somewhere a statement from David Byrne crossed our path, able to highlight something of the essence of Leonard’s art: “No matter how alienated the subject or the singer might appear, the groove and its connection to the body would provide solace and grounding. But the edgy, uncomfortable stuff was still on the foreground”. The debut album ‘Strapazen und Genesung’ takes us to an exciting world that twists, squeaks and creaks, yet is grounded by an unmistakable groove.
FIle Under: Industrial, Post Punk
Daniel Johnston: Welcome to My World (Eternal Yip Eye) LP
Welcome To My World is a 27-track collection of some of Daniel Jonhston’s most-beloved songs and is now available on vinyl for the very first time! These are the songs that built the legend…a must-have for the legion of devoted Daniel Johnston fans as well as the perfect introduction for new listeners. Johnston’s music captivated fellow artists and fans with its childlike elements and lo-fi elements. The singer-songwriter-artist earned a cult following in the early ’80s, sharing homemade cassette tapes of his music, and his prominence was established after Kurt Cobain was publicly seen wearing a shirt with one of Johnston’s illustrations.
File Under: Indie Rock
Marcus King: Young Blood (American) LP
Anthemic is a theme that runs prominently through Marcus King’s new album Young Blood, which was recorded at Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville. “I was going through a lot during the album with addictions, breakups, and addictions because of breakups. I was overindulging in everything,” King says. “It’s not a big secret to my friends. I was in a real rough place for a while. I was trying to process the death of family members and I was on the wrong medications.” The record features contributions from Chris St. Hilaire (drums) and Nick Movshon (bass) with writing from King and Auerbach in collaboration with Desmond Child and Angelo Petraglia, who have collaborated with Aerosmith and Kings of Leon. “Music runs so deep in Marcus’s blood he might not even realize how born to do this he is. He’s the real deal,” Auerbach shared. “Marcus has Southern Soul as part of his foundation. If you’re going to play rock ‘n’ roll with Marcus, you have to understand that element. It’s just who he is. These songs are live performances. The whole damn thing is live – the solos and everything. It’s so rare in this day and age.”
File Under: Rock
Kinks: Muswell Hillbillies (BMG) LP
In tomorrow! The Kinks’ 1971 classic Muswell Hillbillies has been remastered from the original audio source for the album’s 50th Anniversary! This period’s first Kinks album, Muswell Hillbillies, is for many fans their favorite record from the band. It conversely looked back on Ray and Dave Davies’ London roots, telling tales of working-class families migrating from the war-torn and redevelopment-ravaged inner city to the strange, leafy suburbs of North London. All audio has been produced by Ray Davies and mastered by Kinks expert Tony Cousins at Metropolis studios. Expertly recreated and retouched original artwork with gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Rock
Suzanne Kraft: Talk From Home (Melody As Truth) LP
This is the standard version with no poster or hand numbered sleeve. Repress of this chiller classic from 2015. “Talk From Home” showcases Kraft’s emotional depth as a producer, and skill as a multi-instrumentalist. Recorded over a few weeks in the winter of 2014, the intimacy of the recordings shines through in a melancholic yet hopeful world of melody and tone.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Madlib: Medicine Show #3 – Beat Konducta in Africa (Madlib Invazion) LP
“Beat Konducta In Africa contains over forty instrumental hip hop tracks produced and mixed by Madlib. This epic ‘beat tape’ springs from obscure vinyl gems culled from the Afro-beat, funk, psych, garage-rock, prog-rock and soul movements of countries as diverse as Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Botswana and the Ivory Coast. The Madlib Medicine Show series is a combination of Madlib’s new hip hop productions, remixes, beat tapes, and jazz, as well as mixtapes of funk, soul, Brazilian, psych, jazz and other undefined forms of music from the Beat Konducta’s 4-ton stack of vinyl.”
File Under: Hip Hop
Gigi Masin: Wind (Bear on the Moon) LP
Restored and re-mastered from the original tapes comes Gigi Masin’s much sought after first album ‘Wind’ Never commercially released the LP was in fact only given away at a number of small concerts, with many of the remaining copies destroyed during floods in the Venice based musician’s house. Quickly becoming seen as something of a landmark ambient album in recent years, ‘Wind’ is now lovingly presented again in it’s entirety. True to it’s original private issue it is once again being made available through Gigi Masin’s very own ‘The Bear On The Moon Records’.
File Under: Ambient
Monophonics: In Your Brain (Ubiquity) LP
Available again! Over the past seven years, the Monophonics have staked their claim as one of California’s premier bands. Raised amid the Bay Area’s rich musical culture, the Monophonics have proudly carried on the tradition of music native to their hometown which flourished during the birth of psychedelia.
FIle Under: Funk, Soul, Psych
Jonny Nash: Exit Strategies (Melody As Truth) LP
finally repressed – a real beauty! Jonny Nash returns to Melody As truth following his ” Phantom Actors” EP. “Exit Strategies” puts Nash’s layered guitar textures at centre stage, further demonstrating his ability to draw emotion from the simplest of elements. A glimmering mini LP of lush and spacious compositions, surrounded by Nash’s own unique air and atmospheric touch. Beautiful, TIP!
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
OST: Stranger Things 4 (Legacy) CS
Stranger Things Season 4: Soundtrack from the Netflix Series includes essential music tracks evoking various classic eras and styles as featured in Stranger Things 4. Like all of the previous soundtracks, The Duffer Brothers utilize specific songs to augment aspects of the story. The trailer notably features the explosive Bryce Miller/Alloy Tracks Remix of Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” which opens the soundtrack while a new Steve Perry & Bryce Miller Extended Remix of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” closes the album with hit after hit rounding out the tracklist. From KISS’ “Detroit Rock City” soundtracking an intense game of D&D to Argyle’s arrival music, “Pass The Dutchie” by Musical Youth, to Kate Bush’s defining track of the season “Running Up The Hill (A Deal With God)” the music featured on Season 4’s soundtrack is perfectly woven into show moments to remember. The soundtrack album is conceptualized and produced by The Duffer Brothers and Nora Felder.
File Under: OST, Tapes
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry: King Scratch (Trojan) LP
In tomorrow! Lee Scratch Perry was one of reggae’s iconic producers, long associated with his friend Bob Marley, who he produced during a key period early 1970s while reggae was emerging as a new genre, resulting in classics such as “Soul Rebel,” “Duppy Conqueror, “Sun In Shining” and the later “Smile Jamaica” and “Punky Reggae Party.” Scratch was one of the key architects of reggae’s emerging sub-genre ‘dub,’ applying his eccentric personality to reshaping the sonic landscape and achieving global influence in the process. His famed Black Ark studio in the Washington Gardens neighborhood of Kingston was the center of reggae’s most progressive and experimental efforts from 1973-1983 and developed a readily recognizable sonic texture that producers try to imitate to the present day. This is where the famed recordings with The Congos, Junior Murvin, Max Romeo, George Faith, The Silvertones, and countless radical dub experiments were created. King Scratch: Musical Masterpieces Upsetter Ark-ive is the definitive anthology of the world’s greatest reggae producer collecting such hits as “People Funny Boy,” “Return Django,” “Jungle Lion,” “Hurt So Good,” Police and Thief” and more!
File Under: Reggae
Daniel Romano’s Outfit: La Luna (You’ve Changed) LP
Consisting of a single massive song in 12 individual parts, plus pulse quickening overture and truly grand finale, La Luna is an unprecedented artistic achievement by one of contemporary music’s most ambitious and consistently surprising practitioners. Daniel Romano sets his visionary poetry to exuberant tune – It is epic, immaculately and extravagantly arranged, and truly cinematic (a full length film of La Luna starring fellow You’ve Changed Records recording artist Julie Doiron in the lead role will debut in the fall of 2022.) La Luna is a hymnal or scroll for modern seekers, brought to life by the impeccably skilled Outfit, with swagger and joy, including star turns on lead vocals by Julianna Riolino, and newest member Carson McHone (Merge Records) in addition to Daniel’s own powerful vocals. Transcendently melodic, undeniably classic and shockingly contemporary, La Luna synthesizes teachings from the sacred texts of rock and roll and psychedelic-folk (Beatles, Fairport Convention, even the Stones, Queen….) into a new testament for a new time. La Luna arrives in a beautiful double-tip-on gatefold jacket, featuring original artwork by Daniel Romano and the full verse and measure of the lyrics.
File Under: Indie Rock
Scone Cash Players: Brooklyn to Brooklin (Daptone) LP
Daptone Records is proud to present Brooklyn to Brooklin, the Scone Cash Players inaugural release on Daptone Records. Longtime Daptone Hammond ace, Adam Scone was seduced when his traveling performances brought him from Brooklyn, New York to Brooklin, Brasil, where he found a trove of new love and music. Produced by Bosco Mann, and featuring Jimmy James (True-Loves, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio) on guitar and Neal Sugarman (Sugarman 3, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings) on tenor sax the group took this newfound inspiration into the studio and tracked some of the freshest soulful music we’ve heard in some time. With help from his intergalactic choir, the opening track, “Cold 40’s”, leaps out of the speakers with the screaming organ sound that has put Scone on the short list of goto organ players. The Hammond then gives way to a dreamy, funky groove that’s perfectly seasoned with ethereal background vocals that will transport you to a place where summer is on repeat. “Brooklyn to Brooklin” brings you deep into a fever-dream of tropical rhythms and seductive flourishes of psychedelia, sure to delight dancers and dreamers alike. Come take a trip!
File Under: Funk, Soul, Jazz
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Let’s Turn it Into Sound (Ghostly) LP
The central mysteries of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s ninth studio album, Let’s Turn It Into Sound, have to do with perception, expression, and communication: How can we communicate when spoken language is inadequate? How do we understand what it is we’re feeling? How do we translate our experience of the world into something that someone else can understand? For Smith, a self-described “feeler,” the answers are inspired by compound words in non-English languages, translation, sculptural fashion, dance, butoh, wushu shaolin, and other forms of sensory and somatic experience. Just like fashion uses lines, shapes, colors, textures, and silhouettes to communicate on a sensual level separate from the conscious mind, Let’s Turn it Into Sound strives to use sound to communicate what words alone cannot. “The album is a puzzle,” Smith says. “[It] is a symbol of receiving a compound of a ton of feelings from going out into a situation, and the song titles are instructions to breaking apart the feelings and understanding them.” The energized “Is it Me or is it You?” comes from traversing the gaps between how you see yourself and how another might see you, through a filter of their own projections. The hushed sense of revelation that brackets “There is Something” refers to the feeling of walking into a room and being subconsciously aware of the dynamic present. All the while, Smith interprets these feelings through sound. Underlying the album is a dynamic relationship between what Smith describes as six distinct voices, each a multifaceted storyteller. By acknowledging these characters, she was acknowledging her whole being: the woven plurality of self, the complex process of noticing and resolving inner conflicts, and the joy of finding harmony in flux. “I started to feel so embodied by all of these characters. This is all the felt, unsaid stuff [my inner community] wants to communicate but it doesn’t have the English language as its form of communication, and so [this album was a form of] giving space to let it talk and not judge it and just let it play.” By not adhering to expected song structures, each song feels even more like a conversation, with each character getting to express themselves in full. The result is a playful, inquisitive, excitable work which appeals to us as social, sensitive animals, and invites listeners into a wholly idiosyncratic world that is both experimental, and, feels like the most human thing in the world. Proceeding through Let’s Turn it Into Sound is like peeking into a secret realm: one that delights both in the discovery of the magic hidden in the everyday, and the shimmer that lingers long after the portal itself shuts.
File Under: Electronic
Spoon: Kill the Moonlight (Matador) LP
2002’s Kill the Moonlight finds Britt Daniel and long time musical conspirator Jim Eno destroying the form book and branching into uncharted territory. It is a staggering achievement, with stylistic range and emotional depth far beyond that of prior Spoon works. Far less linear than Girls Can Tell (2001), Kill the Moonlight is as sonically advanced as it is lyrically daring; no longer rooted to a strict guitar-bass-drum format, Spoon’s increased use of keyboards, self-created samples and implementation of studio effects is in stark contrast to the more traditionalist Girls Can Tell. That said, there is no killer gimmick at play, the weapon wielded most often is Daniel’s brain. There are no precedents for Britt’s channeling of Alan Vega on the claustrophobic opener “Small Stakes,” much as the falsetto vocal with minimalist backing of “Stay Don’t Go” sounds like nothing else in the band’s oeuvre. But if there is a common thread running through each of Spoon’s albums, it is in the way their songs are instantly memorable and impossible to shake. Cuts like “Jonathan Fisk,” “Someone, Something” and “The Way We Get By” certainly fit that bill here. First ever colored vinyl pressing issued as part of Matador’s catalog series Revisionist History.
File Under: Indie Rock
SRSQ: Ever Crashing (Dais) LP
Ever Crashing, the second LP by Kennedy Ashlyn aka SRSQ [pronounced ‘seer-skew’], is the summation of a nearly three-year journey of soul searching, songwriting, and self-discovery: “I became myself in the process of making this record.” From the first choral swells of opener “It Always Rains,” it’s clear this collection exists on an ascendant plane, capturing an artist in super bloom. Every song hits like a single, heaving with guitar, synth, strings, live drums, and oceans of Ashlyn’s astounding voice, balletic and illuminated. The tracks gleam with detail, often assembled from as many as 100 separate tracks, all of which were written and played solely by Ashlyn – a feat of world-building as daunting as it is devastating.
File Under: Electronic
Charles Stepney: Step on Step (International Anthem) LP
Chicago-born composer, producer and arranger Charles Stepney is known to some for his work with Earth, Wind & Fire, Deniece Williams, Ramsey Lewis, Rotary Connection, Minnie Riperton, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Terry Callier, and many more. In the decades since his untimely death in 1976, the presence of his name in liner notes has become a seal of quality for record collectors, while his sound has been sampled extensively by artists such as Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, MF Doom, and Madlib. Step on Step – which comes almost 50 years after Stepney’s passing – is the enigmatic producer’s eponymous debut album. It’s an album full of creative compositional seedlings – originally written, performed, and recorded by Stepney in the basement of his home in Chicago, between the late 1960s and early 1970s, using just primitive drum machines, early-gen Moog synthesizers, pianos, vibraphones, and a few other instrumental accessories.
File Under: Jazz
Taras Bulba: Venier Le Temps (Stroom) LP
Another unclassifiable oddity from the always on point Stroom, “Venier Le Temps” collects up choice cuts from impressively obscure German ethno-trance duo Taras Bulba. Cast yer mind somewhere between Vangelis, Steve Hillage, Jam & Spoon, quirky eastern euroopean Eurovision entries x Enigma for a vague idea of what’s inside. Taras Bulba was the duo of Tom Redecker (aka The Perc) and Volker Kahrs (aka Mist, of popular psych-rockers Grobschnitt), but barely made a mark with their two albums: 1993’s “Sketches of Babel” and its 1995 follow-up “Peyote Moon”. A selection of their tracks were compiled on 2009’s “The Best of Now & Zen”, but this one opts to highlight a different side of their output completely, showing off Redecker and Kahrs’ ability to mutate in and out of styles and forms. The most recognizable undercurrent throughout is early ’90s trance and downtempo – but they curl through lounge, new age, pop and ambient in a way that shouldn’t be unfamiliar to fans of the Stroom vibe. The duo take a left turn when they fold in folky vox and squelchy electronic bass, inhabiting a space between syrupy downtempo and fourth world new age sounds. They push more forcefully into trance architecture on ‘The Ashman’, but keep the tempo at a crawl, with a conscious nod to Daniele Baldelli’s cosmic disco. ‘A New Day’s Coronation’ meanwhile is a Michael Mann-esque VHS zoner, all rainfall shimmers and plastic synths that wouldn’t sound out of place on a death’s dynamic shroud LP. Things get muddy on ‘Pierres Sacradees’, when Kahrs and Redecker slide chunky rave organs into French electro samba, centering a Gauloises-textured vocal from Lea Saby, and on ‘Wintertanz’ there’s an awkward electroid re-imagining of a traditional folk dance. Taras Bulba’s approach doesn’t always work but that’s what makes it fascinating; they were operating at a time when concepts still felt permeable, where a TB-303 inserted into a Pagan folk jam didn’t seem off the wall. And when it does work, it fully inspires: ‘San Ma Riene’ is a euphoric centerpiece that buries folk influences in Balearic guitars, digital horns and chopped vocal vortexes for a properly mad slice of trippy brilliance.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Thou: A Primer of Holy Words (Sacred Bones) LP
Thou have a bit of a reputation for doing Nirvana covers, even releasing of a full album of them titled Blessings of the Highest Order during the height of quarantine. The infamously ravenous Thou fans were stuck in their rooms, drinking every drop and begging for more and just their luck the band decided to release a full-length compilation of their non-Nirvana covers they recorded and released from 2009-2022. All of the songs on A Primer of Holy Words appeared on limited pressings of various split EPs and benefit compilations. The range of bands being covered is wide: Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains from abandoned tribute projects; Born Against from a small press European compilation; Ginger Quail, an obscure New Orleans punk band from the late 90s; and so on. Regardless of their standing in the civilian world, all of these bands and songs have had a strong imprint on Thou–much more so than “sludge” or metal in general or “the swamp” of New Orleans. New Noise Magazine described some of the tracks saying “They’ve got a Black Sabbath ‘Sweet Leaf’ cover that they’ve dirtied up to the point where it sounds like a High on Fire original, a blackend-sludge version of Born Against’s ‘Well Fed Fuck,’ a bewitched version of Pearl Jam’s ‘Spin the Black Circle,’ and an appropriately gross and desperate cover of Shellac’s ‘Prayer to God.’ It’s as good or better than their Nirvana album imho.” And while the mentioned tracks will be on the vinyl version sans “Sweet Leaf” it will have a different track list from 2020’s digital release including a cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s iconic track “Maps”. This collection includes artwork from former New Orleans-now Mexico City artist Rachel Speck from her Tropical Goth imprint.
File Under: Metal
Christina Vantzou/Michael Harrison/John Also Bennett: s/t (Séance Centre) LP
A suite of raga-inspired compositions and improvisations that grew from a fertile collaboration between Christina Vantzou, Michael Harrison and John Also Bennett centered around a devotion to just intonation tuning, deep listening, and resonant spaces. Michael Harrison is a composer and pianist who is a dedicated practitioner of just intonation and North Indian classical music. He was La Monte Young’s protégé and piano tuner during The Well-Tuned Piano years and a disciple of Pandit Pran Nath, and has since developed his own customized tuning systems. Guided by conversations with Christina Vantzou, who provided structural frameworks for each piece and directed the sessions, the compositions drew from Harrison’s daily raga practice, using its ancient forms as starting points from which the compositions could blossom and morph. A resonant backdrop of modular synthesizers played by John Also Bennett, who also contributed piano improvisations played on Harrison’s custom tuned Steinway concert grand, expanded the sessions into true collective praxis. As noted by Parul Gupta, a conceptual artist based in New Delhi who contributed the stunning artwork for the album, “the songs feel like an extension of silence.” The notes from the piano emerge, resonate, and dissolve in measured and meditative sonic fields, allowing for a concentrated listening experience where every sound lives, breathes, and ultimately returns to silence. Contained within these aural ecologies are potentialities that emerge from a collective listening and improvising experience, and a resonant rebuttal of the standard equal tempered tuning system that has dominated Western music for centuries. This release collects the verdant recordings from the trio’s 2019 Berlin sessions on two 45rpm records, accompanied by a risograph printed insert featuring track credits and Harrison’s handwritten tuning charts used on the album. RIYL: Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, Emahoy Tsege Marium Gebru, Joanna Brouk, G. I. Gurdjieff / Thomas de Hartmann, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Utsav Lal
File Under: Minimalism, Drone, Ragas
We Jazz #4 – The Call (We Jazz) Magazine
The fourth issue of We Jazz Magazine, “The Call” for Horace Tapscott. 128 pages 174 x 250 mm in size and printed on 140g Edixion paper with laminated 300g Invercote covers. All articles presented IN ENGLISH. Stories include Horace Tapscott by Andy Thomas, Ava Mendoza by Stewart Smith, Tigran Hamasyan by Rui Miguel Abreu, Istanbul Scene by Alper Kaliber, Isaiah Collier by Daniel Spicer, Bill Frisell by Debra Richards, DJ Old Crank by Matti Nives, Tokyo Jazz Joints Vol. 2 by Philip Arneill, reviews, plus more.
File Under: Magazines
Yu Su: Roll with the Punches (Second Circle) LP
Available again! Second Circle are delighted to announce a five track EP from Kaifeng born, Vancouver based musician Yu Su, titled ‘泉出通川为谷 / Roll With The Punches’ Recorded on the Coast Salish territory in Vancouver, three tracks on the EP grew out of a live set Yu Su began developing in 2018 for a series of performances. The record also features two collaborations; on the opening track “Little Birds, Moonbath” Michelle Helene Mackenzie appears on modular synth, with Vancouver locals Pender Street Steppers joining Yu Su for an improvised jam, appearing on guitar and synth across “Tipu’s Tiger”. The title ‘泉出通川为谷 / Roll With The Punches’ as Yu Su herself explains, “Is a metaphor translated from an old Chinese proverb, that roughly translates as ‘The Spring flows over plains and The Valley is born’. The proverb explains the origin of ‘The Valley’ and also speaks of a very Daoist abstraction in which the ‘Thousand Things’ are born and will eventually co-exist in the metaphysical system of ‘The Valley’.”
File Under: Electronic
Various: Jazz A Vienne – Past & Future (Heavenly Sweatness) LP
Not every day do you celebrate a 40th birthday. That’s why, the most famous French Jazz Festival, “Jazz at Vienne” is marking the four-decade – emerald – anniversary of France’s signature jazz and blues event not once, but twice. After a truncated 2021 edition, the festival’s storied history, dating back to 1981, is being celebrated with a full concert schedule this year, alongside a compilation album, Past & Future in collaboration with Heavenly Sweetness. The album – an amalgam of stories, emotion and resonant echoes – captures the festival’s essence. Listen in closely, then once again. PAST Listen to the best moments of live music in Vienne Antic Theater. With prestigious names of jazz : McCoy Tyner, trio Romano / Sclavis / Texier, Hank Jones, Milt Jackson, Lalo Schiffrin, Roy Hargrove and world music Gilberto Gil, Banda de Santiago de Cuba. FUTURE A selection of the best young artists of the French jazz scene, chosen following a call for candidates of several months ! 7 unreleased tracks specially recorded for this album. The young talents who will hopefully be part of the festival in the coming
File Under: Jazz
Mahmoud Ahmed: Ere Mela Mela (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Altin Gun: On (Bongo Joe) LP
Big Star: Radio City (Craft) LP
Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer: Recordings from the Aland Islands (International Anthem) LP
Miles Davis: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Music on Vinyl) LP
Doors: LA Woman (Elektra) LP
Duster: Contemporary Movement (Numero) LP
Lauryn Hill: Miseducation of (Columbia) LP
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Jonathan Richman: I, Jonathan (Craft) LP
Strokes: New Abnormal (RCA) LP
Tall Dwarfs: Unravelled: 1981 – 2002 (Merge) BOX
Telesoniek Atelier: A Selection of Improvisations (Self Release) LP
Uncle Acid: Blood Lust (Rise Above) LP
Voivod: Synchro Anarchy (Century Media) LP
Roger Webb: Vocal Patterns (De Wolfe) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Capsoul Label (Numero) LP