Classic short week, not a lot in, but some bangers showed up today! A new Ghost Box release is always cause for celebration, especially when it’s The Advisory Circle. A few new slabs from our pals Marionette, including the excellent new Max Loderbauer. And who doesn’t need a grey wax copy of Bowie’s Heroes. Come 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…..
Advisory Circle: Full Circle (Ghost Box) 2×10″
Key Ghost Box familiar, Cate Brooks returns to the hauntological research centre with her first new venture as The Advisory Circle since 2018 – a masterfully nostalgic evocation of library music, sci-fi themes, early electronica. RIYL Wendy Carlos, Boards of Canada, Carl Craig, Ernest Hood. Leading down the garden path from her Café Kaput album ‘Maritime (Themes & Textures)’, and contributions to The Pattern Forms album ‘The Scenic Route’ for Belbury Music already in 2022, Brooks’ is left to her own devices with classic-sounding results on ‘Full Circle.’ Retro-futurist goggles firmly on, they scan visions of the past’s promise in 17 succinct parts that toggle the nostalgia nozzle between blissed melancholia and euphoric motorik electro kosmiche, with neatly flowing track sequencing allowing for an underlying narrative to emerge from implied instrumental gestures. While it’s maybe nothing new, the album is a resounding refinement and distillation of what makes The Advisory Circle tick. The cinematic fanfare of her titular opener gives way to synth folk mysticism on ‘Wait here Now’ and burnished echoes of The Conet Project in ‘Autres Voix’, with charming slugs of serpentine electro for sexy boffins in ‘Russian Doll’ and Schulman left in ‘Blueprint.’ The tangy melody and strutting energy of ‘Fit For Purpose’ dials up days fixed in front of a flickering tub-lit telly playing early computer games while ‘Away Days’ and ’The Architecture’ even recalls the sultriest Carl Craig, saving the frothed choral voices of ‘Sky Court’ and bedroom eyes of ‘The Luxury Spectrum’ for dessert (surely fruit cocktail and blancmange on quivering skin, or MD-infused brie).
File Under: Electronic, Library, Ambient, Psych, Kris’s Picks, Piyush’s Picks
Max Loderbauer: Petrichor (Marionette) LP
Max Loderbauer’s career in music spans the last 3 decades, yet he’s still managed to keep his listeners hungry by releasing only 3 solo albums to date. Two of those releases (Transparenz, 2013 and Donnerwetter, 2020) were on Tobias Freund’s label Non Standard Productions – his long time collaborator and Templehof studio mate. In between those releases, Loderbauer graced Marionette with Greyland in 2016, revealing a previously unheard youthful and sentimental side. Now in 2022, the seasoned mind voyager is back with Petrichor, making yet another rare and treasurable solo appearance. Petrichor distills the elements of Loderbauer’s work that are fundamental to the initiation of the label. With his Buchla, modular synth, and Haken fingerboard, Loderbauer’s improvised studio maneuvers dilate into imagined journeys from glacial peaks into the exosphere. This is Maxi at his most exhilarating state, morphing through bittersweet and optimistic soundscapes to bleak moments of throbbing unease – all while maintaining a sense of grace and elegance. Petrichor is a reflection of Loderbauer’s impactful trips to the mountains, and returning from these summits with an electrifying urge to paint this mighty perspective. The harmonies and melodies on the tracks simulate emotional peaks and valleys, with vibration and rhythm rooted in the foundation of the sound, as though it’s woven into the fabric of the fauna and flora. Legendary collaborations like Vilod (with Ricardo Villalobos), the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, Non Standard Institute, Sun Electric in the early nineties, and the newly formed Ambiq ensemble have gained this unique artist the respect of the underground and avant garde scenes alike.
File Under: Electronic, Kris’s Picks
David Bowie: Heroes (Parlophone) LP
Grey Vinyl! In 1976 David Bowie relocated to Berlin, enlisting Brian Eno and Tony Visconti to begin recording the albums that would become known as his “Berlin Trilogy”: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno. In fact the only album of the three to literally be recorded in Berlin was the second installment, Heroes. Joining the fold here was King Crimson’s Robert Fripp whose strapping guitar lines proved to be the perfect foil for Bowie and Visconti’s ahead of the curve sonic innovations. Propelled by the spectrum spanning singles “Heroes” and “Beauty And The Beast,” the LP peaked at No. 3 in the UK album chart in November 1977, a year in which it was also named Album Of The Year in both NME and Melody Maker. No mean feat considering the other great music that was released that year, not least of all, both of Iggy Pop’s first solo releases, The Idiot and Lust For Life, two records which Bowie also had a very big hand in. There’s old wave, there’s new wave, and there’s David Bowie!
File Under: Pop, Ian’s Picks, Kris’s Picks
Bad Religion: Generator (Epitaph) LP
1992’s Generator knocks about stirringly with a steadfast, mid-tempo punk roar, keeping the songs simple but continually on the upsurge. Brett and Greg Hetson’s guitars piggyback to ever-rousing heights, utilizing the essential chords and keeping limits on flashy things like solos or effects, never letting the enthusiasm or sentiment wane. With all players striving to turn each listening experience into a placard-waving melee, Bad Religion emblazons honest, dissatisfied-with-the-status-quo lyrics with an uberpunk spirit, Greg’s vocals growing more gravelly and endearing with each record. With the implicit understanding that strength lies in brevity, Bad Religion hew mighty exhortations to action out of a well-trampled happy-punk base, and the sheer motivational impact of “Generator,” “Only Entertainment,” “Atomic Garden” and “No Direction” sweeps clear any charges of oversimplification or sameness. Generator is a brutal noise that is louder, faster and angrier than ever! A plethora of power punching punk pedagogy. 30th anniversary edition colored vinyl LP.
File Under: Punk
Behemoth: Opvs Contra Natvram (Nuclear Blast) LP
Behemoth, the high priests of extreme metal, unleash their twelfth studio album, Opvs Contra Natvram, their most thought-provoking and arresting collection to date. The ten chapters of fury that make up Opvs Contra Natvram were written and recorded over the course of a very strange year for the globe – a situation which only heightened the level of craft seen in these 43 minutes and 15 seconds of searing wrath. As with previous studio outings, Opvs… was produced by Behemoth, with mixing handled by acclaimed studio legend Joe Barresi (Nine Inch Nails, Tool, QOTSA, Alice in Chains).
File Under: Metal
Can: Live in Cuxhaven 1976 (Mute) LP
Live in Cuxhaven 1976 is the third in a series of Can live concerts available in full for the first time on vinyl. Originally recorded on tape, these carefully restored live albums will comprise the entirety of each show in the format of a story with a beginning, middle and end, with Can’s performances taking on a life of their own. The band’s line up for this legendary 1976 performance features all four original members – Irmin Schmidt on keys, Jaki Leibezeit on drums, Michel Karoli on guitar, and Holger Czukay on bass. Can’s powerful influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in the bands who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, Sonic Youth, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Madlib and Radiohead – as well as across other disciplines such as visual art and literature.
File Under: Prog, Psych, Krautrock, Live
Ian William Craig: Music for Magnesium_173 (Fat Cat) LP
Vancouver’s Ian William Craig returns with a gorgeous new LP of material commissioned to soundtrack “Magnesium_173”, an elegant puzzle-based PC game inspired by quantum mechanics. The album comprises of 12 bold and immersive pieces, totalling 80 mins of new music, with Ian using modular synthesis for the first time. Anything but passive/ reserved background sound-beds, it possesses a real weight and power, displaying his peerlessness as an improvising composer able to summon and shape the sublime via modified tape decks, electronics and his beautiful voice, and forge a unique kind of choral-based, heavily-abrasive take on ambient composition. Craig is described by MOJO as “a trained opera singer manipulating analogue recordings of his own voice to conjure up bewitching traceries of phantom arias… creating something elegiac and profound” and by The Guardian as “like a collaboration between between Bon Iver and William Basinski”, and by Pitchfork as “like Tim Hecker producing the outré Jónsi Birgisson album many expected but never got”.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, OST
Death Grips: Powers the B (Harvest) LP
Death Grips’ landmark double 2015 album The Powers That B is the fourth studio album, and first double album, by Death Grips. The first disc’s instrumentation was performed entirely on a Roland V-Drum kit by drummer Zach Hill and features chopped vocal samples of Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk on every track. The second half features Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos, Julian Imsdahl, on guitar and organ respectively.
File Under: Hip Hop
Mac Demarco: 2 – 10th Anniversary (Captured Tracks) LP
Mac DeMarco’s debut full length, 2, released in 2012, cleaned up the songwriter’s warped take on soft rock and brought it to a broader audience. Given Mac DeMarco’s affinity for keeping things lo-fi – 2 was the first time he’d bothered to record demos – it’s revealing to hear these songs in their most embryonic form. The performances here are a little looser and the sound a little hazier than on the actual LP, lending an atmosphere of dreamy vulnerability, especially to ballads like “Annie” and the Lennon-esque “Sherrill.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Field Lines Cartographer: Dreamtides (Castles in Space) LP
“’Dreamtides’ was conceived after a dream. One of those genuinely strange, vivid, weird dreams that you just can’t shake-off after waking. The sense of the dream stuck around long after the specifics had faded: a strange coastline, a beach. A dream-world of hyper-vivid colours and a topography of regular geometric shapes, rather than natural forms. A sense of both peace and slight unease. Arcane but also oddly familiar and reassuring. And the dream seemed to be gesturing to some sort of truth, something ancient, something cosmic, even. ”The tracks were written, performed and recorded in the exact order they appear on the album: a long ‘shape’ track followed by a shorter ‘colour’ piece. A description in sound for something largely indescribable in words. ”I’m still not sure what the dream was about, but this record is an expression of something from my deep psyche, or that part of us, and perhaps the cosmos, or aether, or whatever you want to call it, where just maybe dreams come from. I know that listening to it in the right environment still transports me to an unusual place. ”’Dreamtides’ demands a lot of the listener: it’s long and requires patience and stillness to get the best from it and I’d like to thank everyone who listens for committing their time to this very personal project. But I really hope anyone who does listen can similarly experience something strange and hopefully wonderful.”
FIle Under: Ambient, Electronic
Makaya McCraven: In These Times (Nonesuch) LP
These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as Makaya McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working class musician community. It’s the recording that he’s been trying to create for 7+ years, as it’s been consistently in process in the background while he’s put forth a prolific run of releases including: In The Moment (2015), Highly Rare (2017), Where We Come From (2018), Universal Beings (2018), We’re New Again (2020), Universal Beings E&F Sides (2020), and Deciphering the Message (2021). With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Featuring orchestral, large ensemble arrangements interwoven with the signature “organic beat music” sound that’s become his signature, the album is an evolution and a milestone for McCraven, the producer. But moreover, it’s the strongest and clearest statement we’ve yet to hear from McCraven, the composer.
File Under: Jazz
Cass McCombs: Heartmind (Anti) LP
On Heartmind, Cass McCombs enters the double-digit-album phase of his career, a quantitatively rarified place for any songwriter; rarer still, though, is the fact that he does not yet seem to have settled into a qualitative sound or pattern, of singing the same thought twice (or perhaps even once). Songs like “Karaoke” are a god-level burst of power-pop perfection, as fetching as anything Cass has ever cut. The springy staccato guitar, the vaporized electric keys, the melody seemingly born for singing or clapping or dancing along: Cass triangulates a perch of his very own out among The Go-Betweens, The dB’s, and The Cure, and vibrates there, a beacon. And then, of course, there is the song’s playful if painful lyrical conceit – the lover who is making all the sacred motions of commitment but whose feelings may be no more deep or real than someone simply reading the lyrics for “Vision of Love” or “Stand by Your Man” from some crowded bar’s TV screen. There are, at least, some basic facts to share about Heartmind, logistical evidence that may in turn shape your own questions: Cass recorded these songs in multiple sessions on both coasts, in Brooklyn and Burbank. The great Shahzad Ismaily not only cut the staggering “Unproud Warrior” and four others here but also played lots of bass. Buddy Ross tracked “New Earth,” a paean of post-humanity renewal with several sharp wisecracks. Ariel Rechtshaid – now a dozen years into his collaboration with Cass, which began with 2009’s Catacombs – captured Cass’ scintillating guitars on “Belong to Heaven,” a thoughtful consideration of what we all lose when we lose an old friend to the inevitable end. The steadfast Rob Schnapf (who previously produced McCombs’ ANTI- debut, Mangy Love) mixed and merged it all. Wynonna Judd (yes, that one) offers harmonies, while her beau Cactus Moser provides some lap steel. Joe Russo, Kassa Overall, Danielle Haim, Nestor Gomez are featured on the album, too.
Razen: Regression (Marionette) LP
Razen is the collective consciousness of core members Brecht Ameel and Kim Delcour, who since 2010 have realized themselves through virtuoistic and highly expressive improvisations with lesser-heard instruments. Experimenting with repetition of tones through controlled breathing and phrasing, Razen arrive at a synesthetic playground of auditory textures and colorful imagery. The ensemble is carefully orchestrated for every occasion with the intent and desire to escape to environments unbeknownst to them, taking shelter in the fleeting ego-dissolving moments that arise, whether divine or disturbing. While the formula of instrumentation and like-minded peers may appear mundane on paper, it’s Brecht and Kim’s outlook and imagination beyond musical references that’s the immeasurable catalyst to their peculiar pursuits. Conversations about paintings, books, or films ultimately manifest themselves into live performances or album recordings – with the philosophy of embracing playfulness and exploration through the lens of a child’s eye. Only six collaborators have been invited to their inner circle to date. This is mainly attributed to the rarity of finding spiritual counterparts that are seeking freedom outside the confines of written musical scores. Trading notes and rhythms for strokes and color, the band embodies emotive and meditative drones that demand a deep listening state. Joined by Will Guthrie and Paul Garriau, Razen venture into their vision of Arcadia through Regression, proudly presented by Marionette. On this album, Brecht Ameel turns to his trusty prepared harmonium and celesta, while Kim Delcour controls air and breath on various wind and reed instruments. Featuring Will Guthrie on tuned and melodic percussion (timpani, glockenspiel, marimba, vibraphone), the recordings have a distinct flow and fluid movement when compared to some of Razen’s previous works where rhythm is taking a backseat. Hurdy-gurdy specialist, Paul Garriau, plays accompanying melodies and drones on Moon, Aether and Nebula. The album’s earthly elements deal with survival, timelessness, and simplicity; such as the life affirming rewards of finding refuge and the wonders of observing the interstellar. The unearthly elements pitch this narrative into the realm of mythology and superstition, in the hopes of trying to understand our primeval universe and thrive in the unknown. Regression also addresses Razen’s fascination with inhospitable places and how to adapt to the sorrows that come with this sort of brutalism. The resulting destination is a mind and time bending zone – one that can be reached by riding sound waves that transcend the past, future, and present.
File Under: Ambient, Drone
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Return of the Dream Canteen DLX (Warner) LP
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new surprise release Return of the Dream Canteen marks the band’s second album of 2022, hot on the heels of the platinum-selling chart topper Unlimited Love which was released in April. It is also the band’s second Rick Rubin produced record of 2022, and reinforces their reputation as a band at their absolute peak, riding the crest of an undeniable creative wave. “We went in search of ourselves as the band that we have somehow always been,” notes the group. “Just for the fun of it we jammed and learned some old songs. Before long we started the mysterious process of building new songs. A beautiful bit of chemistry meddling that had befriended us hundreds of times along the way. Once we found that slip stream of sound and vision, we just kept mining. With time turned into an elastic waist band of oversized underwear, we had no reason to stop writing and rocking. It felt like a dream. When all was said and done, our moody love for each other and the magic of music had gifted us with more songs than we knew what to do with. Well we figured it out. 2 double albums released back to back. The second of which is easily as meaningful as the first or should that be reversed. ‘Return of the Dream Canteen’ is everything we are and ever dreamed of being.”
File Under: Rock
Julian Sartorius: Mux (Marionette) LP
Since his Beat Diary debut (a 12xLP box set comprising 365 beats recorded daily over the course of a year), Julian Sartorius has immersed himself in unique and ambitious projects – trekking the path not travelled to arrive at rhythmic life forms through found objects and prepared instruments. Equally as mighty are his two other escapades, the most recent being Locked Grooves – 112 beats cut as endless loops on vinyl spanning 56 dense 1.8 second compositions per side. Preceding that is his auditory hike into the mountains (Hidden Tracks: Basel – Genève), wading through and playing the landscapes around him like a lithophone. While Julian’s previous releases focus on innovative and conceptual approaches to realizing an album, his new venture on Marionette (titled Mux) is a culmination of all his efforts thus far to mimic a synthesizer and drum machine. This impossible feat challenges Julian to experiment and develop a musical language that bridges the gap between organic timbres and electronic music. When listening to Mux, one might simply forget that the seemingly electronic sounds are only constructed organically via hand movements. The common thread in all his works is that the drums are treated as resonant bodies – free to flow and form rhythm and harmony in spacetime. This is Julian’s second outing for the label, the first being (the long out of print) Sulla Pelle with Valentina Magaletti in 2019. Other collaborations include prolific artists such as Matthew Herbert, Sylvie Courvoisier, Gyda Valtysdottir, Dimlite, Shahzad Ismaily and Dan Carey (Speedy Wunderground).
File Under: Electronic
Shabason & Krgovich: At Scaramouche (Idee Fixe) LP
The musical partnership of Joseph Shabason and Nicholas Krgovich orbits around a shared center of earnestness, slice-of-life poeticism, and the subtle everyday banality that becomes beautiful, even absurd, under their slight redirection. Where 2020’s Philadelphia placed domestic interiors under a microscope, documenting the indoor minutiae society was forced to examine mid-pandemic, At Scaramouche steps out into the sunlight squinting groggily and happily at the new day ahead– and particularly the night that follows. The first glassy keyboard hits of “Soli” indicate this sentiment before Krgovich even steps forward as the album’s host, and when he does, he immediately gets to work setting the scene of a weary parking lot stroll on a cool, street-lit evening after work– just one of so many unremarkable moments that become utopic under Krgovich’s poetic care. Glimmering pianos and brushy percussion calmly converse with fretless bass as a diffuse light spreads across this little world that’s being created. But where the duo’s previous effort Philadelphia would’ve camped permanently in the stillness, At Scaramouche lunges into the upbeat stroller “In the Middle of the Day”.
FIle Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Tom Waits: Blood Money (Anti) LP
Limited 20th anniversary edition, pressed on metallic silver vinyl. “Blood Money” is etched. It’s scratched out in bold, dark lines, with marimba, trumpet, and bass clarinet and contains some songs of Tom Waits’ most memorable melodies. The songs are declarative, sardonic, unforgiving, musical dispatches, from the bottom of the heap. “Blood Money is flesh and bone, earthbound,” said Waits. “The songs are rooted in reality: jealousy, rage, the human meat wheel…They are more carnal. I like a beautiful song that tells you terrible things. We all like bad news out of a pretty mouth. I like songs to sound as though they’ve been aging in a barrel and distressed.”
File Under: Rock
Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan: Districts, Roads, Open (Castles in Space) LP
“With my return to Warrington and Runcorn”, says Gordon Chapman-Fox, “The music began to reflect the social isolation of New Towns life. This was mirrored by its creation through two years of pandemic lockdown. “The music is perhaps the loneliest and most spacious I have created so far – the Open Spaces in the album title taking on multiple interpretations. The focus and feel of the album is not inspired by the architecture of new towns, but the lives lived in them. I think the precise planning new towns and creating specific zones for different activities – working, shopping and living – created an artificial way of life. One that failed to understand the sheer messiness of human existence. “Musically the canvas is more epic before. The first side comprising two epic tracks, and the second side introducing Euclidean sequencing to create disorientating, evolving melodies.” Chapman-Fox continues to find the wonder in his exploration of new towns and their impact on the lives and minds who worked and lived there. His Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan output to date has reached far and wide and garnered incredible responses from fans and critics across the world. Resonating with new town locals, architects, designers and anyone who appreciates beautifully constructed, evocative electronic compositions. He continues to work on further Warrington-Runcorn material while touring Districts, Roads, Open Spaces throughout the UK for the rest of 2022 and into the new year.
File Under: Electronic
Ataraxia: The Unexplained (Sacred Bones) LP
Bedhead: Transaction de Nova (Numero) LP
Bitchin’ Bajas: Bajascillators (Drag City) LP
Blood Incantation: Timewave Zero (Century Media) LP
Boygenius: s/t (Matador) LP
Built To Spill: When the Wind Forgets Your Name (Sub Pop) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train: Complete Masters – Stereo (Blue Note) LP
Death Grips: Money Store (Epic) LP
fIREHOSE: FromOhio (SST) LP
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Ella & Louis Again (Verve) LP
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto (Verve) LP
Gewgawly I & Thou: NORCO OST (Sacred Bones) LP
MF Doom: Operation: Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickles on the Dime (SST) LP
Moby: Play (AWAL) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile: Deviation 1 (Nothing) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Legacy) LP
Orville Peck: Bronco (Columbia) LP
Oscar Peterson Trio: We Get Requests (Verve) LP
Purple Mountains: s/t (Drag City) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze (Interscope) LP
Radiohead: King of Limbs (XL) LP
Jonathan Richman: I, Jonathan (Craft) LP
Screaming Trees: Anthology (SST) LP
Stone Roses: s/t (Sony) LP
System of a Down: Toxicity (American) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tyler, The Creator: Igor (Columbia) LP
Kanye West: College Dropout (Universal) LP
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Cool It Down (Secretly Canadian) LP