Author Archives: listenrecords

That’s a wrap!

Wow! What a bonkers day! When the snow started to fall this morning as we opened the floodgates, I didn’t expect today to be the best RSD yet, but IT WAS! Thanks to everyone who came out and hung out in the shop today. Great chill vibes all day! And now for the important part… our prizes! And keep an eye out and hold on to your tickets, if no one claims the prizes by end of day (6pm) MONDAY APRIL 24th we will redrawn!

The Descendents tickets…

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The coffee bundles from Elm Cafe…

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The skateboards from Local 124…

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And the Grand prize! The Rega turntable…

Congrats to all the winners. Please bring your winning ticket down to the shop to claim your prize! You have until 6pm Monday April 24th to claim get in touch, otherwise we’ll be redrawning! Thanks again for coming out today!

…..news letter #789 – rsd…..

 

Alright! Here we go! Weeks of ordering and receiving and plotting and in about 24 hours, all hell is gonna break loose around here. Tonight we’re gonna close up early and completely strip the walls and replace everything will all them glorious RSD exclusives.

AND just in case you don’t get what you wanted, or maybe you don’t want any of the exclusives, all the other records in the shop will be 20% off as well as gear and other accessories.

AND if that isn’t enough we’ll be giving away all kinds of swag through out the day.

AND if that isn’t enough, our pals from Elm Cafe will be here giving all you early birds free coffee.

AND our pal Nadir is coming down to play some music for y’all around 3:30 pm.

AND IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH SOMEONE IS GOING TO WIN A $500 REGA QUEEN TURNTABLE JUST FOR SHOPPING HERE ON SATURDAY! 

AND if you don’t win the turntable you could still win one of two boards from Local 124.

OR if you don’t win a skateboard you could win one of three coffee prize packages from Elm Cafe.

OR you could win a double guest pass to see the Descendents.

Not so fine print… We will be opening at an hour early, 10am. However,  people do start lining up well before that. We do try process this all as fast as possible, but it will likely be crisp out in the morning. Plan to spend a good while outside in line, and dress accordingly. Some exclusive releases are extremely limited, and we have very few copies. Others, not so much. Exclusives are first come, first served and one per customer.

Also, we’ll be launching some new Listen swag on Saturday…

…..top RSD picks…..

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Various: Function Underground: The Black & Brown American Rock Sound 1969-1974 (Now Again) LP
“14 tracks by Jimi Macon, Black Maffia, Blacklites and more, many reissued for the first time. Includes a 16 page booklet with extensive notes on an overlooked and important portion of rock n’ roll’s history & a download card to WAV files of the full album. Nearly everyone in the world can rattle off the great African-American musical forms. Jazz, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop, house, gospel. One influential genre is always left off of the list: a folk music known as rock n’ roll. Rock n’ roll was a term originally coined to market the white-friendly version of a genre that already existed; prior to 1965, the line between rock n’ roll and R&B was thin: Ike Turner recorded and released ‘Rocket ’88’ ‘ in 1951 and, while its Chess Records release reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, it is regarded by many as the first rock n’ roll record. The Great Divide between R&B and rock n’ roll came after the Beatles and the British Invasion decimated the Top 40 chart in 1964. Simultaneously, R&B entered a new phase, soon to be labeled ‘soul,’ which upped the music’s gospel quotient and turned its frantic twang. So somewhere in the mid to late-1960s, rock n’ roll became perceived as something for the Caucasian kids. When Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Lee made the scene, they were said to be black musicians entering into a white world. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, that false dichotomy has existed in America’s popular conscious ever since, to the point where the idea of a black rock musician is on the level with the idea of a black cowboy. In the mid-1960s, funk replaced soul as the rhythm that was going to move the world. We know all its progenitor – James Brown, The Meters, Kool & The Gang – and their innovations: the syncopated, 4/4 dance between the bass and drums, horns repurposed as percussion, chicken-scratch and wah-wah guitar. We can trace where they came from. But there is one crucial funk influence that no one seems to want to acknowledge — a devil-may-care attitude we can attribute to rock n’ roll. It’s not a stretch to say that funk is the African-American answer to psychedelia and hard rock rolled into one. The idea of ‘progressivism’ that took over rock music after psychedelia’s heyday in the late 1960s belatedly spilled over to funk. In the early 1970s, as the underground/psychedelic fire burnt out in the white rock world, it roared to a blaze in the black musical community. Nearly every American city with a large black population boasted self-contained funk bands that didn’t consider themselves simply revues or backup groups, but rather fully-operational ensembles in these bands, everything from composing, arranging, record production and distribution, was handled in house by band members. These are the bands whose music comprises this anthology, and while they’re all different, they’re unique in one way: they kept their ears open for new developments in funk and rock music. This anthology presents earnest questions as to why we know so little about these bands and the movement of which they were a part. While we don’t anticipate that we’ll ever find a definitive answer as to what these ensembles’ true goals were, then, we do know that they took their charges seriously. And they knew they were onto something different, something that, though only they and their immediate kin might recognize it, was more interesting than the status quo. Function Underground shines light on an important and overlooked part of rock n’ roll’s history and talented ensembles that toiled in the shadows, derided by their peers ‘Do you realize that Hendrix was dead before most black people in America knew he was a black man?’ Ebony Rhythm Band drummer Matthew Watson questions rhetorically. ‘We was scorned. In that era, everybody else in the black community was wearing three-piece suits, processes and Afro wigs and that shit. We was the first guys to wear bell bottoms. The first guys to wear big hats. We were off into a whole other thing.’ “

File Under: Funk

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Moondog: s/t (Sony Legacy) LP
He was born Louis Hardin, but the world knew him as Moondog—and his avant-garde compositions influenced a generation of minimalist composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Now, Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue’s seminal 1969 album recorded with producer James William Guercio, will be reissued on white vinyl, its first pressing in over a decade. Featuring original symphonic and classically-inspired works (including material dedicated to Charlie Parker and Benny Goodman), Moondog is an album that must be heard to be believed.

File Under: Experimental, Avant-Garde

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Various: Psychic Migrations (Cinewax) LP
For Record Store Day 2017, Cinewax is teaming up with influential California-based board sports and lifestyle brand Volcom to release the original soundtrack to their 2015 surf film Psychic Migrations. Directed by multifaceted surf filmmaker Ryan Thomas, Psychic Migrations was shot on Super 16-mm film & Red Digital Cinema in the West Indies, East Indies, Australia, Polynesia, and the Americas. The global scope of the film is complimented by an international cast of surfers, including Yago Dora, Ryan Burch, Ozzie Wright, Dusty Payne, Mitch Coleborn, and Kelly Slater, among others. To match the cinematic poetry of this psychedelic surf journey, a suitable soundtrack was necessary: proto-New Age piano music by Gurdjieff / de Hartmann, drone jams from Bitchin Bajas and Al Lover, and garage-psych from Thee Oh Sees, Cave and White Fence. An artistic synthesis of eclectic music, pulsating surf action, and mesmerizing scenery, this highly acclaimed film builds on and advances the rich history of surf flicks. The package is completed with a deluxe gatefold jacket, housing double pink vinyl and a digital download card for both the film and soundtrack. Limited to 1,000 copies worldwide.

File Under: Psych, Garage

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Various: Nuggets – Come to the Sunshine (Rhino) LP
Originally released as a 2004 compilation by Rhino Handmade, one of two new compilations using the Nuggets name. The title comes from the first track, “Come To The Sunshine” performed by Harpers Bizarre. This orange/yellow marble double vinyl set follows the Record Store Day 2016 release Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults. (Limited worldwide release of 3500.) SOFT LIKE A KITTEN. DEAL.

File Under: Soft Rock, Pop

popol vuh.jpgPopol Vuh: Cobra Verde (One Way Static) LP
One Way Static Records presents exclusively for Record Store Day 2017: COBRA VERDE (Original 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack composed by POPOL VUH). Born as Florian Fricke’s brainchild, Popol Vuh needs little introduction, the band stayed active between the late 1960s & late 1990s (until Florian’s passing in 2001). Regarded as pioneers in avant-garde German electronic music, their early works practically laid down the foundations for Kosmische Muzik (Space Music) with the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer joined with ethnic percussions. Later the group evolved to include all kinds of instruments (both electric and acoustic alike) shrouding their music in a spiritual & introspective mystical aura. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as “ethereal”, they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary ‘world music’, as well as of ‘new age’ and ‘ambient’. The band regularly contributed soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog that include classics like Aguirre, Nosferatu, Heart Of Glass & of course Cobra Verde. Cobra Verde (featuring Klaus Kinski) was the final collaboration between Popol Vuh & director Werner Herzog. Originally released in 1987, this is the first time the soundtrack gets a vinyl release outside of Europe. Regal chants accompanied by hand drums, guitars, piano and clavier in a sacred manner are alternated with synthesizer themes that have a tense/dramatic & haunting effect. African ceremonial music and the Choir of the Bavarian State Opera corner this as a landmark meditative & ambient piece of cosmic music. Out of print since 1987, now back available as a gorgeously packaged deluxe vinyl edition, exclusively for Record Store Day 2017. Strictly limited to 1000 copies on green vinyl & comes with insert and extensive liner notes. A necessary purchase for both Popol Vuh fans and Herzog collectors.

File Under: Kosmische, OST

…..RSD Exclusives…..

At this point almost all of this has shown up, some is due tomorrow, there may be some surprises, but this should all be here….

Against Me!: Stabitha Christie 7″
Air: Le Soleil Est Pres De 12″
Alexisonfire: Crisis LP
Alice In Chains: What The Hell Have I 7″
Alien Sex Fiend: Edit/Overdose LP
Andre 3000: All Together Now 7″
Animal Collective: Meeting of the Waters 12″
Atomic Bomb Band: Plays the Music of William Onyeabor LP
Band of Pain/Nurse with Wound: Abbey Rd LP
Banks & Steelz: Wild Season 7″
Ben Folds: Live in Perth LP
Bevis Frond: Triptych LP
Big L: Devil’s Son 12″
Big Star: Complete Third Vol 3 LP+Box
Blitzen Trapper: Unreleased Recordings Vol.1 12”
Blonde Redhead: 3 O’Clock LP
Blowfly: Forever Fly LP
Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Nathan Salsburg: Beargrass Song 7”
David Bowie: Bowpromo Box
David Bowie: Cracked Actor LP
David Bowie: No Plan LP
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Pol Pot’s Pleasure Penthouse LP
Brother Ali: Undisputed Truth LP
Danny Brown: Ain’t It Funny 10”
Harriet Brown: Contact LP
R.L. Burnside: Long Distance Call LP
Alex Calder/Homeshake: Nankhatai / Stuck Inside 7”
Camera/Pinhas: RSD 12″
Tristram Cary: Quatermass & the Pit (Electronic Cues) 10″
Tristram Cary Quatermass & the Pit OST LP
Johnny Cash: Children’s Album LP
Cat Party: s/t LP
Archie James Cavanaugh: Black and White Raven LP
Vic Chesnutt: West of Rome LP
Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur LP
Claypool Lennon Delirium: Lime and Limpid Green LP
Cleaners from Venus: Best Of… LP
Coheed & Cambria: Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV LP
Jerry Cole: Astro-Sounds From Beyond the Year 2000 LP
Colleen: Golden Morning Breaks LP
Colleen: Les Ondes Silencieuses LP
Colleen et les Boites: s/t LP
Inna Baba Coulibaly w/ Ali Farkar Toure: Sahel 10″
Crushed Butler: Uncrushed: British Punk from 1969-1971 LP
Curanderos (Bardo Pond): S/T LP
The Cure: Acoustic Hits LP
The Cure: Greatest Hits LP
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz LP
Czarface: First Weapon Drawn LP
Dave Matthews Band: Live at Red Rocks 8.15.9 Box
Deee-Lite: Groove is in the Heart 12″
Thomas De Hartmann: The Music of Gurdjieff 5LP Box
Dillinger Escape Plan: Instrumentalist 7″
Klaus Dinger & Prejapandorf: 2000! LP
Distillers: Coral Fang LP
Doors: Live at the Matrix LP
Steve Earle: Live 7″
Easybeats: Vigil LP
El Nino & The Southern Oscillators: s/t 10″
Faust/Ulan Bator: RSD 12″
Flamin’ Groovies/Dylan Gardner: Side By Side 7″
Flaming Lips: Onboard the ISS Concert for Peace LP
Flower Travellin’ Band: Anywhere LP
Blaze Foley: Sittin’ By the Road LP
Follakzoid w/J. Spaceman: London Sessions LP
Goat: Goatfuzz 7″
Goblin: Notturno LP
Gold Panda: Kingdom 12”
Dexter Gordon: Walk the Blues LP
Grateful Dead: P.N.E. Garden LP
Emmylou Harris: Queen of the Silver Dollar 5LP
Hawkwind: Best of United Artists LP
Hawklords: Live 1978 LP
Head & The Heart: Stinson Beach LP
Heads: Relaxing with LP
Heldon/Pinhas/Schizo: Singles Collection LP
Iron & Wine: Archive Series Vol No.3 12”
Jason Isbell: Live from Welcome to 1979 LP
Jane’s Addiction: Been Caught Stealin’ 12″
Robert Johnson: Centennial Collection LP
Glenn Jones & Matthew Azevedo: Waterworks LP
Sharon Jones: Heaven Bound 7″
Kinks: Got Love If You Need 7″
Kinks: All Day 7″
Kylesa: Live At Maida Vale Studio 10″
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam: Live at KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic LP
Lhasa: La Llorona LP
Lumineers: Song Seeds 10”
Luna: Penthouse LP
Madrigal: S/T LP
Marcy Playground: S/T LP
Marajita: This is Marajita LP
Mayer Hawthorne: Party of One LP
Metavari: Metropolis Re-OST LP
Meters: A Message from The Meters LP
Meredith Monk: Key LP
Moondog: s/t LP
Kevin Morby: Beautiful Strangers 7”
Beny More: El Barbaro Del Ritmo LP
Motorhead: Clean Your Clock LP
NBRQ: High Noon LP
Nico & the Fraction: Fata Morgana LP
Stevie Nicks: Rarities LP
Harry Nillson: Nilsson Schmilsson LP
Noise Addicts: 10,000 Kids LP
Notorious B.I.G: Born Again LP
Old 97’s: Off My Mynd EP 12”
Oneida: Live at Secret Project LP
OST: Abdullah LP
OST: Dark Crystal LP
OST: Don LP
Emmanuelle Parrenin: Maison Rose LP
Emmanuelle Parrenin: Perelandra LP
Dolly Parton: Puppy Love 7”
Pearl Jam: State of Love & Trust 7″
Penguin Cafe & Cornelius: Umbrella EP 12”
Art Pepper: Quintet LP
Pin Group: Ambivalence 7″
Pin Group: Coat 7″
Pink Floyd: Interstellar Overdrive LP
Iggy Pop Post Depression: Live From Albert Hall Box Set LP
Popol Vuh: Cobra Verde OST LP
Roberto Pregadio: Kriminal OST LP
Roberto Pregadio: Satanik OST LP
Prince: Batdance 12″
Prince: I Could Never… 12″
Prince: I Wish U Heaven 12″
Prince: Partyman 12″
Prince: Pop Life 12″
Prince: Sign o the Times 12″
Psychic TV: Fishscales Falling LP
Ramones: Singles Box 7″ Box
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Go Robot 12″
Lou Reed: Perfect Night LP
Ike Reiko: You, Baby LP
John Renbourn & Wizz Jones: Joint Control LP
Jody Reynolds: Devil Girls With Raven Hair LP
Malvina Reynolds: Little Boxes and Magic Pennies LP
Rockabye Baby!: Lullaby Renditions of the Doors LP
Run The Jewels Tote Bag+Pins
Sand: Golem LP
Sara & Tegan: Under Feet Like Ours LP
Lalo Schifrin: My Life in Movies LP
Sex Pistols: Singles Box 7″ Box
Sia: Spotify Sessions LP
Sinn Sisamouth & Ros Serey Sothea: Navy A Go Go 7″
Sloths: Makin’ Love 7″
Patti Smith: Hey Joe 7″
The Smiths: Boy With the Thorn in His Side 7″
Soul Assassins: Muggs Presents LP
Spacemen 3: For All the Fucked Up Children LP
Spacemen 3: Playing with Fire LP
Spacemen 3: Recurring LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts 12″
Bruce Springsteen: Hammersmith Odeon, London 75 4LP
Star Wars: New Hope OST 10”
Sun Ra: Janus LP
Superchunk: Cup of Sand LP
Super Furry Animals: Fuzzy Logic LP
Suuns: Hold/Still Remixes 12”
Sword: Low Country 12”
Tegan & Sara/Regrettes: Side By Side 7″
Temples/Kadhja Bonet: Fortune 7″
The Time: What Time is it? LP
U-Roy: Dread in a Babylon LP
U.K. Subs: Live n Loud 89 LP
Vangelis: Blade Runner LP
Vanishing Twin: Dream By Numbers 10″
Venom: At War with Satan LP
Arthur Verocai: s/t LP
Vitamin String Quartet: Performs Kanye West LP
War on Drugs: Thinking of a Place 12″
Dennis Wilson: Bambu LP
Wipers: Better Off Dead 7”
Link Wray: Be What You Want To LP
Link Wray: Beans and Fatback LP
Neil Young: Decade LP
Zombies: A Rose for Emily – Cello Version 7”
Various: Ciao! Manhattan OST LP
Various: Close to the Noise Floor LP
Various: Function Underground: The Black & Brown American Rock LP
Various: Giant Single LP
Various: Girls in the Garage: Groovy Gallic Gals Vol.10 LP
Various: Girls in the Garage: Oriental Special Vol.9 LP
Various: Guitars of the Golden Triangle LP
Various: Insane Times LP
Various: Let the Children Techno LP
Various: Like Nashville In Naija: Nigeria’s Romance With Country LP
Various: Lost in Space LP
Various: Magic Cube 10″
Various: Max Kansas City 1976 & Beyond LP
Various: Mighty R&B Instrumentals LP
Various: Nuggets: Come to the Sunshine LP
Various: Nigeria Soul Power 70 7” Box Set
Various: Pineapple Express OST LP
Various: Psychic Migrations OST LP
Various: Really Rock Em Right: Sun Records LP
Various: Rough Guide to Gospel Blues LP
Various: Rough Guide to Blues Women LP
Various: Rough Guide to Cuban Rare Groove LP
Various: Soho Scene ’61 LP
Various: Soul 70 7″ Box Set
Various: Soul Slabs Vol.1 LP
Various: Soul Transfusion LP
Various: Southwest Side Story Vol 19 LP
Various: Space Jam OST LP
Various: Studio One Hi-Fi Special 7″ Box
Various: We’re Gonna Have A Party! LP

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…..news letter #788 – eggs not rsd…..

Obviously, not a lot of new releases a week before Record Store Day, but there’s a few things in. If you don’t like waiting in lines, I recommend coming in over the Easter weekend this weekend and scooping the crowds on all the recent new releases. Speaking of Easter….

Friday April 14 – Noon – 5
Saturday April 15 – 11 – 6
Sunday April 16 – CLOSED
Monday April 17th – 11 – 6

Also, a couple of real nice chaps who also happen to work here are playing a show and releasing some new tunes on May 27th at our friend’s barber shop. So, if you’d like to see Slates, Switches, and Rhythm of Cruelty at Barber Ha, you’re gonna need a ticket, and we’ve got em. $15, cash only. Get em while you can.

…..pick of the week…..

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SATURDAY, APRIL 22nd is RECORD STORE DAY!
Needless to say we are busy, busy and BUSY getting things ready for next Saturday. Exclusive releases are starting to show up, other things are en route. Some things haven’t even shipped. Stress levels are rising. Typical RSD. Anywho.. you know the drill by now right? Come down early. Dress warm. Be prepared to wait in line. Etc. We are looking forward to seeing you that day!

Oh, and did I forget to mention, as with every Record Store Day, we’ll be running a draw to give away a REGA Queen Turntable! And if you don’t win that, you could win one of our other prize packages from our pals up the road at Local 124, or Elm Cafe (who also will be providing coffee for the early birds).

File Under: RSD, Parties

…..new arrivals…..

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Anjou: Epithymia (Kranky) LP
Ambient power duo Anjou’s sophomore statement continues in the vein of their 2014 debut, unfurling a full hour of mesmeric synthetic drift and veiled melodic undertow. Comprised of Mark Nelson (of pioneering post-rock experimentalists Labradford and Pan·American) and Robert Donne (of Labradford, Aix Em Klemm, Cristal), the group works largely in long-form suites of sound, alternately spacious and dense. Epithymia’s six pieces embrace flux and ambiguity: drones swell and shudder, hushed currents of noise glitch and dissolve, atmospheres congeal and liquify. As with the participants’ prior projects, Anjou evokes a shadowed, mysterious mood, variously melancholy and transcendent. The album is an accumulation of craftsmanship and experience, blurred forms traced in light and fog.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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arca

Arca: s/t (XL) LP
Arca’s self-titled record is the first to feature the Venezuela-born, London-based producer’s untreated singing voice. He sings in Spanish – the language of his childhood home, Caracus. It stands as a defiant, delicate statement of intent, and cements his position as one of this turbulent decade’s defining musicians. Previous work has incorporated snatches of song and Arca’s rapping, but on Arca, his voice is front-and-centre on eight of the album’s 13 tracks. Frequently, he has used his first-takes, untreated and without post-production: clicks of saliva and burrs of the throat carry melodies of staggering richness and delicacy. His masterful production knits together vocal tracks like “Sin Rumbo” and first single “Anoche” with instrumentals like “Whip” and “Urchin”, each as extreme as the other. Across the album, the tectonics of pure digital sound, his own piano playing and voice combine, weaving the album together like folds of skin, or wounds healing post-trauma. Arca has made some of most brazenly forward-thinking music of recent years, both on his previous solo albums Xen (2014) and Mutant (2015), and in collaboration with fellow futurists Björk (Vulnicura), Kanye West (Yeezus), and fashion collective Hood By Air.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Experimental
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Joey Bada$$: All Amerikkkan Bada$$ (Cinematic) LP
Joey Bada$$ is an American, independent hip-hop recording artist, who hails from Brooklyn, New York. With his rugged style, an invigorating outcome of his Brooklyn neighborhood and surroundings, Joey has been a staple in the hip-hop industry for maintaining an authentic, unique and versatile sound. Whereas other rappers may take less risks with formulaic projects, Joey never shies away from keeping his music raw and original. All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ is the politically minded sophomore full-length from Joey Bada$$ and follow-up to 2015’s B4.Da.$$. The project features such high profile guest artists as J. Cole, ScHoolboy Q, Styles P, Chronixx, Flatbush Zombies’ Meechy Darko, and Pro Era crewmates Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution. The album is ushered in by the powerful single “Land of the Free” and its stirring music video.

File Under: Hip Hop
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mars

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: Mars OST (Milan) LP
National Geographic Channel and Milan Records partner with artists/composers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis to deliver a cosmic title song and score for the original soundtrack of MARS, the network’s six-part global event series that predicts an international crew of astronauts’ critical, maiden mission to Mars. Directed by Everardo Gout (Days of Grace), who formerly collaborated with Cave and Ellis; executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard; and starring an ensemble cast, MARS tells the story of mankind’s first successful mission to Mars, human colonization and the precarious purpose of becoming an interplanetary series. Cave and Ellis deliver a pitch-perfect score to complement the thrilling yet daunting mission to a desolate alien planet in which the human species struggle to survive, thrive and forge an existence in this new world. “When I first started on MARS, I knew I wanted to make a series about people, not about machinery,” says Gout. “I wanted to create Das Boot in space and understand the emotional journey of the astronauts on this Martian mission. Having worked with Nick and Warren before, I immediately thought they would be perfect for this project. They bring such a visceral human quality to their scores, a sound so delicate and yet so powerful What does Mars sounds like? This was a challenge both in substance and form. We needed to create the musical universe with Mars as a veritable protagonist in our story. Equally, the sound of MARS not only had to underscore a futuristic grounded drama but an intelligent factual, scientific documentary, as well.” To coincide with the home release of the television series, the MARS soundtrack is getting the vinyl treatment. The soundtrack is pressed on rust red colored 180g vinyl so that the music disc itself appears like the eponymous planet. The LP is housed in a euro sleeve along with a download card for a digital version of the album. A high quality dress jacket completes the package.

File Under: OST, Bad Seeds
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darkDark: Anonymous Days (Void) LP
For the first time on vinyl, the killer second offering by UK Psych monsters Dark! Anonymous Days is the second studio album from Dark recorded 23 years after the first, the famous and highly collectible (and stone cold psychedelic classic) Round the Edges LP. The band’s line-up remains the same— Steve Giles, Ron Johnson, Martin Weaver and Clive Thorneycroft. Anonymous Days contains songs written between 1974 and 1995 and is the album that Dark always wanted to make, combining the Dark progressive rock style with more modern recording techniques. “The first album was recorded in about 24 hours, this one took an awful lot longer: that’s modern studios for you. The tracks are pure Dark combining complicated twin harmony guitar work with thought provoking lyrics and wide ranging musical structures. We thoroughly enjoyed getting back together again to write and rehearse after all those years, we even played a live gig in our home town of Northampton. At the start of the project Ron’s bass guitar was taken from the dust in his loft where it had lain undisturbed for over twenty years. After the album was finished he put it back in exactly the same place; ready for the next one?” —Martin Weaver, Northampton, England. June 2001.Anonymous Days was recorded between 1994-1996 at Outrider Studios Northampton, all tracks were composed between 1974-1995. Many of the songs were written in the wayback, some of them more recent but all Dark! This will sell out fast. 500x copies on black vinyl, with insert.

File Under: Psych
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ooh baby

Willie Mitchell: Ooh Baby, You Turn Me On (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. 1967’s Ooh Baby, You Turn Me On (retitled Soul Serenade in 1968) is another consummate slab from Mitchell featuring soul-infused instrumentals and excellent covers of standards like “Slippin’ and Slidin'” and “Sunny.” The album is appearing on vinyl for the first time since 1968, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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driving beat

Willie Mitchell: Driving Beat (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. 1966’s Willie Mitchell’s Driving Beat is one of his finest solo efforts, a funky and soulful affair that finds the Hi master working outside of the usual pop framework with killer results. Home to dancefloor dynamite like “Everything’s Is Gonna Be Alright” and “That Driving Beat,” the album is appearing on vinyl for the first time since its original release, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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dance time

Willie Mitchell: It’s Dance Time (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. 1965’s It’s Dance Time is a compelling collection of instrumental dance numbers highlighted by “Buster Browne” and “When My Dreamboat Comes Home” and rounded out by stylish covers of “Twine Time,” “Fever,” and “Since I Met You Baby.” It’s Dance Time is appearing on vinyl for the first time since its original release, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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robbins nest

Willie Mitchell: Robbin’s Nest (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. Mitchell kicked off the ’70s with Robbin’s Nest, another accomplished set of soul-infused funk highlighted by rock solid cuts like “Tails Out” and “Wade in the Water.” The album is appearing on vinyl for the first time since its original 1970 release, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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wdy

Various: Nicolas Winding Refn: The Wicked Die Young (Milan) LP
In 2016, Milan Records had the pleasure of releasing the soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, composed by Cliff Martinez. The synth-heavy electronic score went on to be one of the most critically-lauded soundtrack releases of the year, making numerous “Best of 2016” critic lists along the way. Refn now returns with his latest creation: The Wicked Die Young. The Wicked Die Young is the latest release in Milan’s “Nicolas Winding Refn Presents” series –  a sublabel of releases curated by director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon). Conceptualized as a companion album to The Neon Demon and curated by Refn, The Wicked Die Young compiles the music that he was listening to while writing and filming The Neon Demon. This album is a unique opportunity to enter the musical mind of one of the most visionary contemporary directors. This eclectic selection confirms his love of music from the disco of Giorgio Moroder and Tommy Seebach to the punk and rock of Suicide and 999! The album also features exclusive tracks by Cliff Martinez, Electric Youth and Julian Winding. Available on vinyl, The Wicked Die Young comes pressed on a pair of colored 180 gram vinyl discs housed in a beautiful gatefold jacket featuring liner notes by Nicolas Winding Refn. “The fourteen tracks on this compilation represent the various ideas I had while preparing The Neon Demon and each song represents a specific emotion. Some of the tracks are from the past and some the present including new material by Cliff Martinez, Julian Winding, and Electric Youth. Since I wanted my film to be both a horror film and a melodrama with camp, glitter, and vulgarity, as well as a comedy and of course a little science fiction, all these various tracks made me able to step into a parallel world to tell the story.” – Nicolas Winding Refn

File Under: Comps, Drive

resistance

Various: Resistance Radio (Columbia) LP
Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) was recently approached by the folks at Amazon to compile a companion piece to the network’s alternate dystopia hit show The Man in the High Castle. Officially dubbed Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle, the star-studded affair was helmed by Burton and co-producer Sam Cohen, who were already working together in the studio when the offer was broached. It features a curated collection of brand new covers versions of classic 1960s songs, including contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Beck, Benjamin Booker, the Shins, Angel Olsen, Michael Kiwanuka, Grandaddy, Kevin Morby, Kelis, Norah Jones and Karen O.

File Under: Indie Rock, Covers
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…..Restocks…..

Angel Witch: s/t (Real Gone) LP
Bauhaus: Crackle (Beggars) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Michael Chapman: Wrecked Again (Light in the Attic) LP
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (Light in the Attic) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Music on Vinyl) LP
Serge Gainbourg: Historie de Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Greg Graffin: Millport (Anti) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Cowboy in Sweden (Light in the Attic) LP
Kaytranada: 99.9% (XL) LP
Egisto Macchi: Bitmori (Roundtable) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island (Merge) LP
OST: Stranger Things (Lakeshore) LP
Outkast: Stankonia (Arista) LP
Pixies: Bossanova (4AD) LP
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Radiohead: Amnesiac (XL) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Light in the Attic) LP
John K. Samson: Winter Wheat (Anti) LP
Shellac: Terraform (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: 1000 Hurts (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughs (Matador) LP
XX: Coexist (Young Turks) LP

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…..news letter #787 – royal snail…..

Just a few short weeks and RSD will be upon us! Our ordering is done, and next week things should start shipping next week.  As usual, we’ll have all kinds of fun swag and give aways, including the always popular REGA Turntable giveaway! In the meantime, I’ve got a lot to receive right now… Enjoy….

…..pick of the week…..

weiss

Klaus Weiss: Time Signals (Trunk) LP
Trunk Records present a reissue of Klaus Weiss’s Time Signals, originally released on Selected Sound in 1978. This hectic mix of dark drums with plugged-in, way-out, funked-up studio gear has been high on library geeks’ want-lists for years. Made by Niagara drummer/library overlord Klaus Weiss, and including the monster that is “Survivor”, originals are super rare, going for up to $300 if you can ever get near one. Standard black vinyl comes in a varnished bronze sleeve – a replica of the original LP. Jonny Trunk on Time Signals: “It was way back in the mid-1990s when fellow record collector and library music head Gareth Godard (AKA Cherrystones) first played me Selected Sound library LP 67, Time Signals. At the time — and I think it’s still the case — Gareth was into Klaus Weiss. Weiss was the drummer for Munich supergroup Niagara, he could be found on library LPs we were digging up on the Conroy and Golden Ring labels, and his name would appear across early 1960s jazz LPs from Germany. His drumming sound was mechanical, peculiar, unpredictable and distinctive. But nothing he’d done that I’d heard sounded quite like Time Signals. It was more manic and experimental, and the sounds and slightly offensive rhythms burrowed into my brain almost instantly. It probably took about another three years to recover and find myself a copy, and even then I’d found the sounds completely at odds to anything else I knew about. A few years later Gareth also pointed out to me that this LP was all over Rockin’ With Seka, a jet set hardcore movie from 1980 starring Swedish sensation Seka and Big John Holmes. Obviously the sound department on the film got busy with Selected Sound as another cue from the LP Nymphe (1979) is also on the soundtrack. But that is exactly what library music is for; Selected Sound produced these amazing library LPs, all beautifully recorded, sent them out in their shiny bronze sleeves around the world with rough guides to what they might be good for and waited for the royalties to roll in. Time Signals is probably the most desirable LP in the 9000 series catalogue. It sounds like nothing else and there are many high points, certainly something for everyone. And as musical tastes change and develop, Time Signals just seems to move along and fit. What seemed like otherworldly music to me two decades ago now seems like the norm. So here is Time Signals in all its odd glory, offering you a futuristic musical trip like no other.”

File Under: Library, Funk, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

abramsJoshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Simultonality (Eremite) LP
Simultonality is the follow-up to Joshua Abrams’s critically acclaimed 2015 album Magnetoception. Credited to Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society (NIS), it is the first recording in the project’s nine year, four album history made by a regularly gigging manifestation, rather than a special assembly of friends. Recorded in 2014 and 2015 in single takes by the full ensemble during and after tours of the US and Canada, Simultonality once more affirms the project’s unique approach to joining traditional musics, American minimalism, and jazz with the Gnawa ceremonial instrument the guimbri. Stasis, continuity, and repetition, central qualities of Abrams language, defined Magnetoception, listed by many as one of the best records of 2015. These same qualities form the heart of Abrams’s music on Simultonality. But where Abrams once said Magnetoception is about “winter and death”, Simultonality, in Abrams’s words, is an album of “pure motion”. Without sounding frenetic it is the most explosive NIS music on record, and without sounding over-determined, it is Abrams’s most structured and through-composed music yet. Much of it is also fast, a mass of densely patterned elements swiftly orbiting constantly reconfiguring centers that are variously harmonic and rhythmic, clearly stated or implied. The music is at no time any more disorderly than a colony of bees pollinating a vast garden. Its many moving parts function in mutualistic relationship toward fulfilling Abrams’s long stated intention for the project: to help listener’s achieve a meditative center and to consciously use music as a gateway to living. Abrams credits William Parker as an inspiration for this intention. The musicians on Simultonality date back to the nascency of NIS. Along with Hamid Drake, Mikel Avery and Frank Rosaly are Abrams first-call drummers for the project. On Simultonality, Avery is in the left channel, Rosaly the right. Astute heads may recognize the rhythm in “Sideways Fall” as Jaki Leibezeit’s drum break in Can’s “Vitamin C”. At Abrams behest, the two drummers divided the beat into separate parts. According to Hamid Drake, the rhythm was popularized, if not originated, by John “Jabo” Starks and Clyde Stubblefield of the J.B.’s. Nearly ten years into its existence, Abrams and the NIS wear their influences with creativity and ease. Long standing NIS members, Ben Boye and Emmett Kelly, were previously together with Abrams, or not, in Bonnie Prince Billy’s band, and Abrams and Boye have at different times played in Kelly’s band The Cairo Gang. Harmonium player Lisa Alvarado contributes the large format pattern paintings used by NIS at concerts and for its album covers. Personnel: Joshua Abrams – guimbri, bass, small harp, bells; Lisa Alvarado – harmonium, Leslie, percussion; Michael Avery – drums and percussion; Ben Boye – chromatic electric autoharp, piano, Wurlitzer; Ari Brown – tenor saxophone (on “2128½”); Emmett Kelly – electric guitar; Frank Rosaly – drums and percussion, resonator bells. Pressed on premium quality audiophile vinyl by RTI, presented in replica audiophile dust sleeves and heavyweight Stoughton LaserDisc jackets screenprinted by Alan Sherry/Siwa. Edition of 825 copies.

File Under: Jazz
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lusurra

Alberich/Lussuria: Borgia (Hospital) LP
Following on from that hugely sought-after Green Graves issue by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement (2016), Hospital Productions re-examine a longstanding tradition of industrial ambient music on this exceptional collaboration between two of the label’s most consistently innovative, highly absorbing producers. Originally released in a private press run of handmade tapes in 2016, the collaboration was made in person with both Alberich and Lussuria making use of digital synths in homage to that distinctly European scene of the mid ’90s that combined hardcore industrial textures with ambient pulses. It’s a sound you’ll be familiar with if you’ve immersed yourself in the most unnervingly quiet sections of the last few Prurient albums, building a kind of futuristic soundscape situated somewhere between David Lynch, Kevin Drumm, and a more dystopian variant of Brad Fiedel’s distinctive soundtrack to The Terminator (1984). Alberich’s instinct for harsh propulsive rhythms is tempered here by Lussuria’s weird topography, the digital rendering adding a kind of artificial foundation quite removed from the throbbing earthiness you’d find on a hardware session. Instead, the more linear trajectory of so many dark ambient excursions is replaced with a constantly shifting landscape, veering from an oddly displaced vocal narrative into pounded, crumbling rhythms at some points, while those sinking sub bass sands keep things resolutely atmospheric for the duration. There are no concessions to that blackened aesthetic here, if you were into Green Graves or want to immerse yourself in one of the most brutally atmospheric albums you’ll hear this year, check this out. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial

afrodiscoteca_def

Alessandro Alessandroni: Afro Discoteca (Four Flies) LP
Four Flies Records is back in full force, this time with an EP that looks at the more sophisticated and modern dancefloor. The Italian label embarked on another journey of rediscovery, a specialty they seem to master. The destination of this trip was a dusty vault in Africa, where a famous Italian musician moved years ago… The Italian film and TV industry provided in the 60s and 70s countless opportunity for talented musicians to compose and produce a rich variety of music: soundtracks, library music, experimental music – an infinite amount of recordings that still represents a paradise for the most curious and passionate diggers. So here we have the proof that there’s still lot to discover. Alessandro Alessandroni is one of those pioneers, a maestro that built the legend of Italian soundtracks and library music along with Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and many others. His vault testifies how prolific had been those times, with hundreds of tapes and obscure recordings from that period. Among the many, a dusty tape bearing the hand-written label “Afro Discoteca” captured the attention of Four Flies. The music contained in the tape had never been released until now. When he listened to the tracks, Italian legendary DJ LEO MAS (one of the undisputed inventors of the Balearic sound) told us: “It is surprising to listen to something that sounds so modern… This EP is the perfect union of Afro influences and Italian taste. There’s something Afro lounge here but also incredibly cinematic – it makes me think of John Carpenter’s atmospheres. B1 (Afrodiscoteca) reminds me of clubs I’ve been in Malindi in the late 70s and the closing track is absolutely spellbinding. This is wonderful.” PAOLO SCOTTI, head of Déjà vu Records and an authoritative Italian jazz expert said: “Alessandroni’s contribution to music is huge, he’s a great musician and a great experimenter. Afrodiscoteca sounds like it’s been produced yesterday by a DJ of our times, an absolutely surprising EP and proof of Alessandroni’s spontaneous genius!”

File Under: Italian, Library, Funk
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birkin

Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique (Parlophone) LP
In October 2016, Jane Birkin along with the Polish Radio Orchestra under the baton of Michała Klauza in Warsaw recorded the album Birkin Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique comprised of evocative symphonic interpretations of the most beautiful songs by former collaborator and romantic partner Serge Gainsbourg. 25 years after the death of Gainsbourg, the British actress/singer, with the integral support of Philippe Lerichomme (artistic director, longtime Serge associate) and pianist Nobuyukiego Nakajima, has created a special project in honor of the man who for many years was the closest person in her life both artistically and privately. “It is a privilege that one of the greatest French writers wrote for me from the age of 20 to 45. In a way it never stopped. It’s a strange situation. What can I do for him now, even though it’s too late! At least I can wear him, take him with me. Say his words!”

File Under: French Pop
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brother ah

Brother Ah: Divine Music (Manufactured) 5LP
Five LP box set version. “Following the reissues of Brother Ah’s three studio albums in 2016, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present Divine Music, a collection of three unreleased albums from this jazz visionary: The Sea (1978), Mediation (1981), and Searching (1985). Moving from rich spiritual jazz to more meditative ambience, Divine Music further explores Brother Ah’s unique sound and musical vision. Released as a 5xLP box set, Divine Music includes an extensive interview with Brother Ah by Pitchfork and Resident Advisor contributor Andy Beta. Recommended for fans of Laraaji, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Popul Vuh, and the recent new age renaissance. The renowned French horn player known as Brother Ah (aka Robert Northern) is one of the most prolific and respected musicians in the history of jazz music, with a recorded output spanning more than 40 years. Born in 1934 and raised in the south Bronx, Brother Ah was playing jazz trumpet as early as fifteen years of age. Following a classical French horn education at Austria’s Vienna State Academy, he emerged in the late ’50s and established himself as a skilled and consistent session musician, playing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and numerous Broadway theater orchestras. Brother Ah recorded well into the ’60s with some of the most illustrious names in the genre, including Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Gil Evans and, perhaps most influentially, Sun Ra. In 1969, Ah formed his own group, The Musical Sound Awareness Ensemble, and released several works under his own name from 1974 onward. In the late ’60s, his interest in non-western music developed, and his ’70s and ’80s recordings, incorporated elements of Eastern and ‘Third World’ music, fusing them with jazz structures.”

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
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brugnolini

Brugnolini/Carnini: Beat Drammatico Underground Pop Elettronico (Schema) LP
A fantastic obscure record, whose tracks simply anticipate Techno and generally Electronic music of the early 70s, including Kraftwerk’s milestone “Autobahn”, Heldon and Lard Free. A mind-melting opera. While Kraftwerk released “Ralph & Florian”, and about one year before the releasing of the milestone “Autobahn”, maestros Sandro Brugnolini and Giorgio Carnini were already experimenting the deep sounds of analogue synthesizer ARP 2600. The set provides some blending Funk tunes driven by Experimental Electronic music, all with a heavy dramatic feel: the result is an unbelievable, unique and explosive library music LP. “Beat Drammatico Underground Pop Elettronico” is the title that Brugnolini and Carnini adopted for this collection of several TV synchronization the- mes. What we had is stunning Drama Cop scores and dark Electronic moods, all surrounded by loads of fuzzy vibes and all that weird, Industrial, Futuristic Synth FX and so on…This reissue gives back a long forgotten and obscure session originally released on Fonit label in 1973. Lorenzo Fabrizi / Sonor Music Editions

File Under: Library, Electronic
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zebra

Cohelmec Ensemble: Hippotigris Zebra Zebra (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s Hippotigris Zebra Zebra, originally released in 1971. The Cohelmec Ensemble celebrate, above all, the pleasure of collective music-making. A group without a designated leader, they base their approach on reciprocal listening, but also on a dialogue between written and improvised material, in which all members have an equal responsibility whatever their instrument. This is even demonstrated in their name: COH as in Jean Cohen (saxophones), EL as in Dominique Elbaz (piano) and MEC as in the brothers François and Jean-Louis Méchali (respectively, amongst others, bass and drums), joined for this album by Evan Chandlee, known for his participation in Love Rejoice (1969) by Kenneth Terroade, and accepted, of course, as a full group member. Fitting together like hand in glove, the five musicians build something together, rather than trying to destroy an established order, as was the thing to do at the start of the 1970s, leaving the expression of an openly political agenda to others. In France, there was a tendency to explore an imaginary folklore which allowed certain elements of free jazz to be circumvented without being ignored. Which is why it is reminiscent of, in the melody of “Hippotigris Zebrazebra” when played with collective intensity, the best of American cosmic jazz, while also occasionally hearing McCoy Tyner or even Cecil Taylor under the fingers of Dominique Elbaz, or the vibraphone of Walt Dickerson evoked by Jean-Louis Méchali. Globally, however, their identity is original (even seminal), a fact which was to be confirmed by their next two recordings. For the record, it should be noted that the first album by the Free Jazz Workshop (from Lyon), another French group with a similar approach, would only be published two years later. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold LP with obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv
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next

Cohelmec Ensemble: Next (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s Next. The Cohelmec Ensemble celebrate, above all, the pleasure of collective music-making. A group without a designated leader, they base their approach on reciprocal listening and equal responsibilities. This is reflected in their name, created from the first syllables of the founding member’s names, which would remain unchanged in spite of the subsequent personnel changes: COH as in Jean Cohen (saxophones), EL as in Dominique Elbaz (piano) and MEC as in the brothers François and Jean-Louis Méchali (respectively, amongst others, bass and drums), Evan Chandlee joined them after they had already been playing together for a while, at the time they recorded their first album, 1971’s Hippotigris Zebra Zebra. The follow-up (appropriately named Next) saw the original pianist leave, to be replaced by guitarist Joseph Dejean, who had already played with the Full Moon Ensemble, known for having accompanied Archie Shepp at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1970. In spite of the personnel changes, the understanding and cohesion remain total within Cohelmec. They also maintain their trademark ambitious mix of written and improvised material. From this point of view, Next is even more audacious than its predecessor Hippotigris Zebra Zebra. Relatively brief tracks follow hot on the heels of one another, bolstered by a poly-instrumentality which stands out even more than in the past, giving the album the feel of a contrasting suite. There is a lot going on, leading to evocative atmospheres in which rigor and fantasy go happily hand in hand. Which is enough to say that this album should please fans of a style of free (chamber?) jazz which includes intelligent composed structures, a form in which French musicians have always demonstrated a personal approach, as in the example of Oeil Vision by Jef Gilson in 1964. Profoundly original and, it has to be said, seminal. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold LP with obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv
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octobre

Cohelmec Ensemble: 5 Octobre 1974 (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s 5 Octobre 1974, originally released in 1974. Out of the musical effervescence in post May 1968 France were born the labels BYG and Futura Records. The concept of collective creation appeared as essential, of which Cohelmec Ensemble was a typical example: in such procedures, individual identities can of course still express themselves but framed within a non-hierarchical common thought process with the emphasis on experimentation. Music making becomes a shared pleasure with an established vocabulary, and is often accompanied by militant left wing activism; which feeds into an ethical form of creation. For their third, and what would turn out to be final album, the Cohelmec Ensemble chose to save for posterity their live performance work, on which their reputation was based. A concert recording was made, notable for the inclusion of trumpeter Jean-François Canape, and the group lost none of its subtlety in moving from studio to stage. On the contrary, the situation galvanized them on to higher energy levels, without leaving behind the typically complex structures, to which were added potent, flowing improvisations, longer than usual, confirming the high standard of free jazz being played in France in the 1970s. This was demonstrated not only by the Cohelmec Ensemble but also, in similar or quite different registers (who cares), by formations such Perception, Dharma Quintet, Free Jazz Workshop, Machi Oul, or Armonicord. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold double LP with obi strip; Edition of 500.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv

august

Counting Crows: August and Everything After (Geffen) LP
By the time the Counting Crows signed to Geffen in 1993, they had already built up a significant fanbase which payed dividends upon the release of their runaway hit debut August And Everything After later that same year. Produced by the great T-Bone Burnett, the album climbed all the way to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts thanks to the trio of ubiquitous singles “Mr. Jones,” “Rain King” and “Round Here,” selling over seven million copies in the U.S. alone in the process. It checks in at a respectable No. 67 on Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Best Albums of the Nineties’ who writes: “An artfully crafted, intimate song cycle, August and Everything After seemed to explode on impact. Vividly produced by T Bone Burnett, its post-punk bleakness married to old-school rock influences, August became that rare album over which both alterna-kids and classic rockers could bond.”

File Under: Alt-Rock

recovering

Counting Crows: Recovering The Satellites (Geffen) LP
By the time the Counting Crows signed to Geffen in 1993, they had already built up a significant fanbase which payed dividends upon the release of their runaway hit debut August And Everything After. Three hit singles and seven million copies later, the band returned in 1996 with the stunning Gil Norton-produced follow-up Recovering the Satellites. Featuring a darker, heavier sound and more introspective lyrics, compelling and emotive material like “A Long December,” “Angels of the Silences” and “Daylight Fading” found the band truly coming into their own amidst the mid-’90s alt-rock craze and its No. 1 Billboard showing proved that not only was their debut no fluke but they were just getting started.

File Under: Alt-Rock

manu dibango

Manu Dibango: Ceddo (Africa Seven) LP
For Africa Seven’s 2nd release they’ve resurrected the soundtrack to the African movie Ceddo. Composed by one of our favorite African artists, Manu Dibango, comes 6 funky tracks. Now it’s getting a full vinyl re-issue! The film takes place during the 17th century during the period of slave-trading and of the introduction of Christianity and Islam in West Africa. Ceddo is a film of reflection, bringing together bits and pieces of facts and authentic events that took place in a period spanning the centuries up to the present day.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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enhet

Enhet For Fri Musik: Inom Dig, Inom Mig (Aguirre) LP
Folk unit originated in the Swedish underground Enhet för Fri Musik – featuring members of Sewer Election,  Ättestupa,  Neutral,  Makthaverskan, and Blod – continually re-invent what music is about through free improvisation and lengthy folk meanderings. Embedded in the ever exciting Swedish underground scene, Enhet För Fri Musik continue the quest for innovation numerous legendary Swedish bands started during the ’70s – such as, Pärson Sound, Trad Gras Och Stenar, and Arbete Och Fritid. Taking the ideas of communal music craft and experimentation, on Inom Dig, Inom Mig, the group comes to a unique combination of Jandek-like atonal guitar, organ, tape effects, field recordings, and saxophone, with Sofie Herner’s amazing loner voice running over it. Adding another inspiring document to the world of open-minded music. Inom Dig, Inom Mig was originally release on cassette in 2015 on Forever United. Silkscreened sleeves by Marijke Loozen; Music by Dan Johansson, Gustaf Dicksson, Hugo Randulv, Sofie Herner; Mastered by Kris Delacourt; Artwork by Dan Johansson; Edition of 150.

File Under: Folk, Experimental, Psych

father john

Father John Misty: Pure Comedy (Sub Pop) LP/DLX LP
Pure Comedy, Father John Misty’s third album, is a complex, often-sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015) – and the recent “Real Love Baby” single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi. You could say a lot about Pure Comedy – including that it is a bold, important album in the tradition of American songwriting greats like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen – but it’s best to let its creator describe it himself. Tillman explains: “Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, finding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like “love,” “culture,” “family,” etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence. Something like that.” Pure Comedy was recorded in 2016 at the legendary United Studios (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Beck) in Hollywood, CA. It was produced by Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, with engineering by Misty’s longtime sound-person Trevor Spencer and orchestral arrangements by renowned composer/double-bassist Gavin Bryars (known for extensive solo work, and work with Brian Eno, Tom Waits, Derek Bailey).

File Under: Indie Rock
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ferrari

Luc Ferrari: Heterozygote/Petite Symphonie… (ReGRM) LP
In the field of biology Heterozygous (Hétérozygote) means: a plant whose heredity is mixed. It implies that Hétérozygote, composed between December 1963 and March 1964, is an attempt to engineer a language located both on the musical and on the dramatic plane. You could call this music “Anecdotal Music” for if the organization of events is purely musical, their choice suggests situations justified at two levels: the music and the anecdote. Luc Ferrari explains the piece Petite Symphonie Intuitive Pour Un Paysage De Printemps (1973-1974) in 2002: “This electroacoustic music is part of a series that could be called ‘imaginary soundscape’. Unlike ‘Presque Rien Ou Le Lever Du Jour Au Bord De La Mer (Almost Nothing Or Daybreak By The Seaside)’, where the landscape narrates itself, here a traveller discovers a landscape which he tries to convey as a musical landscape. Brunhild and I were in the Gorges du Tarn area. We chose to take a small path that was going up a rocky mountain for about ten kilometres. After a last turn, a totally unexpected landscape opened before my eyes. It was sunset. Before us, a vast plateau spread open with soft curves up to the horizon, up to the sun. The colours ranged from dry grass yellow to purple, in the distance, with the darkness of a few small groves punctuating the space. The almost bare nature was presenting itself to the eye, free from any obstacle. We could see everything. Later, when I recollected this place and the sensations I had experienced there, I tried to compose a music that could revive this memory. The ‘Causse Méjean’ is a high plateau, about 1000 m high, in the Massif Central mountain range. It is dotted by scattered farms. A few people bring their flocks of sheep home. I thought about evoking this solitary and hazy human presence by including snippets of conversations I had had with some of the shepherds. Human language is woven into the musical texture; the sound of the voice says more than its actually meaning. Once, a shepherd told me ‘… I am never bored. I listen to the landscape. Sometimes I play my flute and then I listen to the echo responding…’ Thinking of him, I used the flute and its echo in my music.”

File Under: Early Electronic, Musique Concrete
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folds

Ben Folds: Songs for the Silverman (Analog Spark) LP
In tomorrow… Throughout his career, Ben Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums, as well as unique collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner. Out of print on vinyl for over 10 years, 2005’s Songs For Silverman is the second solo studio effort from the acclaimed singer-songwriter. The ballad-based 11-track set is home to the warmhearted singles “Landed and “Jesusland,” the Elliott Smith dedication “Late” and “Time” which features a cameo from Weird Al. This is Songs For Silverman’s first vinyl reissue. Audio has been sourced from the original mix reels. Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed and plated at RTI. 180-gram vinyl pressing housed in a Stoughton old style “tip-on” jacket.

File Under: Rock

mediterraneoGruppo Afro Mediterraneo: 1972 Blues Jazz Session (Black Sweat) LP
Unreleased recordings of future members of Aktuala and I.P. Son Group. The history goes back in the alternative Milan of the early ’70s, to the flavor of the first jam-blues of that era where musicians from different parts of the world (India, Africa or South-America), and of disparate backgrounds and cultures, gathered together to experiment just with an authentic sense. These four tracks seem to retrace the path of that spirit with which great pioneers, such as John Mayall and Alexis Corner, the essence of the Afro-American music masters ferried from overseas. On 1972 Blues Jazz Session, the devotion to the blues roots remains strong but an aerial and wandering component, colored as if by a magic of exotic and spiritual accents, leaks into the compositions. Hypnotic patterns of guitars flowing almost like slowed raga-grooves, free-jazz horns blowing winds of the ancient seas of the south, while voices and percussions span distant Latin or African horizons. Gruppo Afro Mediterraneo throws its eye on a cultural dimension more extensive and composite and therefore constitutes a fundamental historical document for a crucial period of Italian underground.

File Under: Jazz
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jamal

Ahmed Jamal Trio: The Awakening (Be With) LP
Ahmad Jamal is a jazz giant and The Awakening is his iconic masterpiece. The landmark deep trio session – recorded in NYC and released on Impulse! in 1970 – is an essential album and perennially sought-after on vinyl, so Be With Records are delighted to make it available again. As a “Zen master of jazz piano” and one of its greatest innovators, Jamal evolved his elegant sound with this adventurous record. The Awakening showcased his fast, richly melodic chops in remarkable variation. A consummate orchestrator of his own complex arrangements, Jamal was emboldened here by his potent sidemen. Backed by the exquisite timing of bassist Jamil Nasser and the precision of Frank Gant’s drumming, he was liberated by the reliability of the trio setup. Free to juggle rhythmic dexterity with harmonic intricacy, Jamal brilliantly performed groove-oriented compositions written by himself, alongside wonderful renditions of tracks by Herbie Hancock, Oliver Nelson and Antonio Carlos Jobim. It is impossible to discuss The Awakening without acknowledging its indelible mark on golden age rap. A defining album of hip-hop culture, producers of the highest calibre have famously sampled elements of this timeless record to lace all-timers with a foundation for their most legendary tracks. Indeed, both the experimental “DJ Premier In Deep Concentration” and Shadez Of Brooklyn’s seminal “Change” utilised Jamal’s sparse title-track to stunning effect. A melancholy motif from “I Love Music” was employed by Pete Rock for Nas’s crucial “The World Is Yours” whilst, over a more abstract refrain from the same track, Jeru memorably delivered his “Me Or The Papes” ultimatum. Over in Chicago, No I.D. elevated Common’s peerless “Resurrection” by lifting a precise riff from Jamal’s plaintive rendition of “Dolphin Dance” whilst the head-nod quality of All Natural’s hypnotic “Renaissance” owes it all to the looped keys of Jamal’s take on “You’re My Everything”. With bold beauty and unhurried grace, Ahmad Jamal plays piano differently from everyone else. He was a huge inspiration to Miles Davis and influential to how Wynton Kelly performed across Kind of Blue. In his autobiography, Miles describes being blown away by Jamal’s dynamic “concept of space, his lightness of touch [and] his understatement”. It’s why The Awakening will always be so revered. In line with the quality of all Be With reissues, the record is presented in a luxurious gatefold sleeve and comes adorned with the original eye-catching artwork throughout, along with the original sleeve notes. Simon Francis’ sensitive mastering ensures the sonics are majestic throughout and, for the first time, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.

File Under: Jazz
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jamc

Jesus & Mary Chain: Damage & Joy (Ek Ok) LP
The legendary Jesus and May Chain – fronted by the quarrelsome Reid brothers Jim and William – release their long awaited brand new studio album Damage and Joy – their first studio effort since Munki, issued back in the summer of 1998. Produced by Martin Glover aka Youth and featuring contributions from former Lush bassist Phil King and the band’s touring drummer Brian Young, the highly anticipated 14-track set includes stunning lead single “Amputation” and a re-energized new version of “All Things Must Pass” which was previously showcased in the TV show Heroes. Creation Records boss and band manager Alan McGee exclaimed, “They’ve made another album! It’s a big deal! It’s kinda enormous.”

File Under: Rock
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kangding

Kangding Ray: Hyper Opal Mantis (Stroboscoptic) LP
Triple LP version. Includes download card. The tension between the natural and artificial, the body and mind, are central themes in electronic music in general, and techno in particular, as the means of creation, focused around technology and interactions with machines, contrast with the emotional response to sound, the mystical ritual of collective dancing, and the ethos of liberation and tolerance embedded in the culture it produced. We’re navigating a world of engineered pleasures, big data monitoring of movements and consumption habits, and falsely objective representations of reality, further blurred by a reduced attention span and several opaque layers of cultural interpretation and political manipulation. Manichean simplifications are used to create hate and fear in order to achieve domination and impose limits on freedom, and the irrational belief in endless growth, increasingly disconnected from nature, led to massive environmental destructions and waves of unprecedented extinctions of species. Our primal sensuous perception, vastly more abstract, emotional and sensual, make us feel the world as an ambiguous realm we are part of, but not in control of; a complex network of interacting forces and enigmatic patterns, a matrix of overlapping desires. Rebuilding our bonds with nature, reconnecting with our senses, and spreading love in the process become an essential act of resistance. Hyper Opal Mantis is a triptych on three states of desire, and the first long player of Kangding Ray for Stroboscopic Artefacts. Hyper is the primal, sensual lust, Opal is the emotional catharsis, a blissful desire for love. Mantis, like the insect it refers to, is the destructive, fatal attraction. French-born, Berlin-based composer and producer David Letellier, aka Kangding Ray, uses the combination of slowly swelling melodies and emotionally charged machine sounds to gives way to a sensitive, rhythmic symphony of staggering beauty – a juxtaposition of organic and synthetic, of acoustic instrumentation and digitized beats. His darkly textured techno grooves – a palette of throbbing bass lines, necromantic synths, processed guitar loops, rattling walls of distortion and unorthodox field recordings – accounts for a brooding, futuristic entity that connects him with both experimental and club culture.

File Under: Electronic
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konstruct1

Konstrukt: Molto Bene (Holidays) LP
Edition of 250. In the summer of 2015, A L’ARME! Festival invited Konstrukt to perform with William Parker and Holiday Records teamed up with Matt Bordin of Outside Inside Studio to invite the quartet to play two shows in Italy on their way to Berlin. Plans overlapped leaving two days off spent playing with no interruption at Matt’s studio in Montebelluna, capturing four incredible tracks. Now, Konstrukt are well known for their many collaborations with key players and real giants of worldwide jazz scene, but – once again – having the chance to listen to the music they produce when they play “by their own” is something special. Their tribute to the past is paid with every single tune they play, but these recordings are something that can only be described as “new music”.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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konstrukt2

Konstrukt & Alexander Hawkins: Live at Cafe OTO (Holidays) LP
Istanbul-based free music ensemble Konstrukt perform alongside special guest Alexander Hawkins, building the perfect groove in a sweaty Cafe OTO on August 10th, 2015. Two sets from the same night, each a 40 minute long improvisation. The first set is a psychedelic warm-up where the Turkish quartet welcomes Hawkins in a whirlwind of hypnotic funky tunes going electric in the Miles way. The second set starts with Hawkins piano keys bouncing along a silent background soon to be filled with a groovy odd drum tempo leading to a wall of sound where all parts build a perfectly unpredictable dialogue. Edition of 200.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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lischen

Lichen Gumbo: Boilin’ (Aguirre) LP
Lichen Gumbo is a lo-fi underground rock band from Finland. Boilin’ was recorded during a week of seclusion in a small cabin deep in the woods with no running water and at home during an exceptional heat wave hitting Finland in 2014, hence the Boilin’ title for this album of hazy tunes. The selected songs range from Throbbing Gristle hits to a more noisy garage style. Mixing heavily distorted drums and guitars, vocals varying in style going from garage, no wave to totally deranged, and synth bubbles which sound like they’re recorded straight from the water surface of hot springs (or perhaps they just borrowed a Moog from Acid Mothers Temple). Lichen Gumbo are Olli Aarni and Ville Oinonen. Olli has been recording under his own name since 2011 and mostly works with electronic sounds. He has released music as Ous Mal and Nuojuva. Ville joins him for the lo-fi ride that is Lichen Gumbo. Hand-assembled sleeves; Artwork by Olli Aarni, Ville Oinonen and Mia Tarkela; Mastering by Kris Delacourt; Edition of 150.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Electronic, Rock
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nardini

Nino Nardini: Musique pour le Futur (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of Nino Nardini’s e Musique Pour Le Futur, originally released in 1970. An experimental, musique concrete, sci-fi masterpiece, available for the first time since 1970. Originally recorded for Crea Sound Ltd., a sub-label of Louis Delacour’s Neuilly imprint, Musique Pour Le Futur finds the French composer, arranger, producer, possible time-traveler, and all around music library legend Nino Nardini experimenting with synthesizers, percussions, prepared piano, echo, and special effects. Fans of electronic oddities, eerie cinematic audio-landscapes, Piero Umiliani, or Bernard Parmegiani, will rejoice at this full-length musical adventure that could very well be the soundtrack for a film in which characters from a ’70s Italian horror movie visit a distant (forbidden) planet from a ’50s sci-movie. It’s bizarre, hypnotizing, slightly spooky, always out-of-this-world, and goddamn brilliant. Nino Nardini, also known as Georges Teperino, had a very fruitful career in library music, much like longtime collaborator Roger Roger. He composed a very large amount of works for French and British libraries which continues to be featured in numerous programs (radio, TV, films) all around the world. His passion for electronic music experimentations began in the late ’60s and kept going until the ’80s. Housed in a phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark, heavy cardboard sleeve.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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castlevania 3

OST: Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Castlevania franchise with the premiere vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1989 Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System Three-quel / Prequel: Dracula’s Curse. Dracula’s Curse is a dark horse for most beloved of the original NES/Famicom trilogy, as it was a happy marriage of the linear elements of the first Castlevania and the more exploratory elements of Simon’s Quest – a union that led to the introduction of multiple playable characters, multiple paths and multiple endings – that remain franchise staples even today. The story follows Trevor Belmont, Simon’s ancestor and his battles with the prince of darkness, alongside three other warriors: Grant Danasty the Pirate, Sypha Belnades the Mystic, and Alucard, Dracula’s Son, who makes series debut here, and will play a more pivotal role in the games to come. The soundtrack to Dracula’s Curse is important as well. Not only for fan favorite track ‘Beginning,’ a track you’d be nary to find excluded from any future Castlevania game, but for the dynamic audio introduced on the Japanese version of the game. The VRC6 Audio chip contained in the Japanese version allowed for a wider array of sound channels, producing a brighter, fuller soundtrack than on the cartridge released in the US. The Nintendo Entertainment System could not process this level of audio, so the version released in the US needed to have the audio scaled back. Despite this audio handicap the US version is still terrific, and the superiority of the which version best is still a matter of debate to this day. No need to choose though, since Mondo’s vinyl re-issue contains both, spread across two 12″ LPs, housed in a gatefold jacket featuring amazing new artwork by Sachin Teng.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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contra

OST: Contra 3: Aliens Wars (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Contra franchise with the premiere Vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1992 Super Nintendo sequel: The Alien Wars. Set 3 years after the original, Red Falcon and his legion have returned to Earth, this time with the intent of launching a full-scale war against it’s inhabitants. It’s up to Bill and Lance, our heroes to scale walls, ride motorcycles, and even cling to soaring missiles in an attempt to defeat the onslaught. The music of Contra 3: The Alien Wars is epic to say the least – the looping sequences of each level are longer, taking full advantage of the new audio capabilities available to the composers on the Super Nintendo. In some instances, like with ‘Battle Runner’ which operates on-the-rails for large stretches, it affords for the composers to have some sequences to go nearly two minutes before a single loop. The sweeping scope of these tracks leads to a chaos absent from the previous chapters of the run-and-gun series, while still obeying the structures and pacing of Video Game music… Just with more complex time signatures, and percussion patterns.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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galaxy force

OST: Galaxy Force II/Thunder Blade (Data Discs) LP
For Data Discs’ tenth release in partnership with SEGA of Japan, they are excited to offer two arcade classics – Galaxy Force II (1988) and Thunder Blade (1987) – together for the first time ever on vinyl. Composed by Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Tohru Nakabayashi, both soundtracks adopted an ambitious funk and fusion style, simulating an impressive range of real world instrumentation (think synthesizers, drums, slap bass and cowbells), which for its time and hardware limitations, is nothing short of astonishing. And yes, there’s even a coded slap bass solo. These two brief, but remarkable soundtracks each accommodate a single side of an LP, but work together seamlessly. Galaxy Force II includes a bonus arranged version of its leading track, Beyond the Galaxy, produced by Hiroshi “Hiro” Kawaguchi (composer of OutRun, Space Harrier) and features a full studio band, complete with brass section and a keyboard solo by Hiro himself. In addition, the Thunder Blade side includes three unused tracks.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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monstersquad

OST: Monster Squad (Mondo) LP
Available on vinyl for the first time, Mondo is proud to present Bruce Broughton’s score to Fred Dekker directed, Shane Black scripted cult classic The Monster Squad. The Monster Squad tells the story of six suburban kids who go toe-to-toe with some of the baddest monsters of all time: The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Gillman, and Dracula join forces to unleash evil on the world, and only the titular “Monster Squad” (with a little help from Frankenstein’s monster) can stop them. Produced by Mike Matessino and Dan Goldwasser.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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gimme danger

OST: Gimme Danger (Rhino) LP
When it comes to The Stooges’ place in rock history, there’s more or less a consensus among rock critics – or as close to a consensus as you’re ever going to get with rock critics, anyway – that they’re among the greatest rock bands of all time. As such, if a director was going to put together a documentary – or “rockumentary,” if you will – about the life and times of The Stooges, one would hope that it would prove to be as memorable and historic as the band itself. It’s safe to say Jim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger delivers the goods and more and you can rest assured that the soundtrack succeeds in equal measure. With material selected by Jarmusch and Iggy Pop himself, the soundtrack focuses on tracks from The Stooges’ first three studio albums and includes such proto-punk classics as “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Loose,” “Gimme Danger” and “Down On The Street” to name a few. It’s a great compilation, and if you’ve never owned a Stooges album, it’s also the perfect gateway drug into their catalog.

File Under: OST, Rock

panzer

OST: Panzer Dragoon (Data Discs) LP
We are proud to present the first ever vinyl edition of Yoshitaka Azuma’s score to SEGA’s classic rail-shooter, Panzer Dragoon. First released in 1995 to coincide with the North American launch of the Saturn console, Panzer Dragoon has since become a cult favourite, not only for its stark art direction, inspired by renowned French artist Jean “Mobieus” Giraud, but also for its sweeping soundtrack. Composed by the late Yoshitaka Azuma, whose previous solo albums for Nippon Columbia had drawn on everything from ambient, prog, krautrock and electronic minimalism, the music of Panzer Dragoon moves between swelling orchestral pieces, blasts of rhythmic synthesis and ambient passages that wouldn’t seem out of place in the Tangerine Dream discography. When viewed as a standalone concept album, Panzer Dragoon succeeds in somehow conveying, by the sum of its seemingly dissonant parts, that most basic of human fantasies; the sensation of being in flight. In the 90s.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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shinobi

OST: Revenge of Shinobi (Data Discs) LP
Collaborating once again with legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro, Data Discs is thrilled to present one of the most revered and timeless soundtracks of the 16bit era: The Revenge of Shinobi. Composed in 1989, the music for the Mega Drive game (known as The Super Shinobi in Japan) blended Western dance music with Japanese overtones, to create something truly unlike anything else before. The soundtrack was Koshiro’s first commissioned work for SEGA and served as a forerunner to his seminal Streets of Rage trilogy, where the concepts and styles he founded with Shinobi would be expanded upon to astonishing effect.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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other people

Other People Place: Lifestyles of the Laptop Café (Warp) LP
Tucked away in the great depths of the Warp catalog is this elegant, liquid heartache of a record. An album credited to the late James Stinson, one half of cult-Detroit techno unit (alongside Gerald Donald) Drexciya, Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café stands as one of the remarkable records of the genre. Stinson died a year after its 2001 release, lending this already beautiful work endless resonance. Where the dystopian aqua-tronics of previous Drexciya were often jet-black, cold, brittle and abrasive this is a yearning soul music, played out down rain soaked streets, the buzzing lights of industry flickering in the darkness, the warm blue of a new day ready to break. This is a record where techno reached its raw, most emotive peak. Sustained pads paint minor-key melodies while electroid-vocals are buried deep in the hydrothermal mass of squelching bass-clusters and funky-filtered bleeps. At its skittering percussion core, a stripped back 808 tapestry, sequenced into myriad jazz-inflected shapes, a pulsing kick drum the snapping heartbeat, ticking hi-hats bursting from every angle. All this tingles with the ghosts of records past, of Kraftwerkian humanoids, of first-wave Detroit, of refracted Hancock and Ayres, but as Stinson intones on the fifth track, ‘let me be what I wanna be’, Lifestyles is a creation all of its own special making, a sound that would inspire the latter day deep-house machinations of Omar S, Jus-Ed, Moodymann and influence – however indirectly – a wealth of current UK/US bass operators including Actress and Kyle Hall. More importantly it remains a beguiling epitaph to Stinson’s sadly distinguished life.

File Under: Electronic, House
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strumming

Charlemagne Palestine: Strumming Music (Aguirre) LP
The classic minimal music album, available again on vinyl for the first time since the ’70s. Primed with a glass of cognac, Charlemagne Palestine sits at the keyboard of a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. One foot firmly holds down the sustain pedal while both hands perform an insistent strum-like alternation on the keys. Soon Palestine and his Bösendorfer are enveloped in sound and bathed in a shimmering haze of multi-colored overtones. For 45 minutes, this rich pulsating music swells and intensifies, filling the air. When Strumming Music first appeared on the adventurous French label Shandar during the mid-1970s, it seemed a straightforward matter to place Charlemagne Palestine in the so-called minimalist company of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, whose work also featured in the Shandar catalog. Palestine too used a deliberately restricted range of materials and a repetitive technique, but as he has often pointed out in more recent times, the opulent fullness of his music would more accurately be described as maximalist. Strumming Music, recorded in Palestine’s own loft in Manhattan, has no written score. In an age of recorded sound he still feels no need for traditional notation. The surging energy of this particular recording stands comparison with the improvising of jazz visionaries who impressed and inspired him while living in New York as a young man. But, as Palestine himself has made clear, primarily he brings to music-making the sensibility of an artist rather than a musician. Although the technique of the piece has roots in Palestine’s daily practice, when a teenager, of playing the carillon at a church, hammering sonorous chimes from a rack of tuned bells, it also draws on his later work as a body artist, staging vigorously muscular, physically demanding and often reckless performances. In addition, Strumming Music can be heard as a sculptural tour de force, while its textures connect with the color moods, plastic rhythms, and tactile space of Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionist canvases. Strumming Music remains the essential index of Palestine’s singular creative vision. Fundamentally this fascinating piece is a collaboration between an artist and an instrument. Palestine had first encountered the Bösendorfer Imperial back in 1969. “The Bösendorfer at its best is a very noisy, thick molasses piano,” he has remarked. Charlemagne Palestine embraced its clinging sonorousness, its clangorous resonance and out of that embrace came the voluptuous sonic fabric of Strumming Music.

File Under: Minimal, Avant Garde
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pallbearer

Pallbearer: Heartless (Profound Lore) LP
Heartless is an inspired collection that presents Arkansas progressive doom metal quartet Pallbearer’s most monumental material to date, offering a complex sonic architecture that weaves together the spacious exploratory elements of classic prog, the raw anthemics of 90’s alt-rock, and stretches of black-lit proto-metal. Lyrics about mortality, life, and love are set to sharp melodies and pristine three-part harmonies. As the group explains: “Instead of staring into to the void – both above and within – Heartless concentrates its power on a grim reality. Our lives, our homes and our world are all plumbing the depths of utter darkness, as we seek to find any shred of hope we can.” From the gloriously complex, sky-lit opener “I Saw the End” to the heartbreaking 13-minute closer “A Plea for Understanding,” the entire group puts forth the full realization of their vision: More than a doom band, Pallbearer is a rock group with a singular songwriting talent and emotional capacity. Heartless finds the group putting forth their strongest individual efforts to date; vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell and bassist/vocalist Joseph Rowland, along with guitarist/vocalist Devin Holt and drummer Mark Lierly, turn in peak marathon performances. Both Campbell and Rowland also handle synthesizers alongside their normal duties, and there are plenty of ambient passages and gently strummed acoustic guitars amid the crunchy electric tones, adding a moody, ethereal sparseness that compliment the towering metal that lies at the essence of Heartless. Tracked in analog at Fellowship Sound Studios in Little Rock and mixed by acclaimed producer Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age, Melvins, Soundgarden), and featuring artwork by Michael Lierly.

File Under: Metal
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pentagram

Pentagram Home Video: Satanic Path (Death Waltz) LP
Pentagram Home Video return with their sophomore record for Death Waltz Originals. Continuing the (satanic) path carved out on their debut LP Who’s Out There, broody analog electronics weave in between a thumping kick drum and snares that can snap a back at 50 paces. What Pentagram does with the 80’s infused synth template is give it space to breathe. His music is as much about what’s happening in between the bass stabs as the actual melodies themselves which gives his music an other worldly feel, the only person you could even mildly compare him too is Pye Corner Audio. In a world full of retro synth merchants PHV stands out because there is no hint of cheesy 80’s revisionism here, the music is dark, foreboding and very eerie indeed.

File Under: Electronic, OSTesque
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pio

Giusto Pio: Motore Immobile (Soave) LP
Soave present the first vinyl reissue of Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile, originally released in 1979. One of the most striking documents of Italy’s minimalist movement, Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile is a masterwork with few equivalents. Produced by Franco Battiato in 1979, at the outset of a long and fruitful period of collaboration between the two composers, and issued by the legendary Cramps Records, its triumphs were met by silence, before falling from view. Emerging on vinyl for the first time since its original pressing, Motore Immobile now sits within a reappraisal of a large neglected body of efforts made by the Italian avant-garde during the second half of the 1970s and early ’80s. It is singular, but not alone. It resonates within a collective world of shimmering sound, one familiar to fans of Battiato, Lino Capra Vaccina, Luciano Cilio, Roberto Cacciapaglia, Francesco Messina, and Raul Lovisoni. An exercise in elegant restraint – note and resonance held to the most implicit need. Everything between root and embellishment has been stripped away. A sublime organ drone, against interventions of deceptively simple structural complexity – executed by piano, violin, and voice. A sonic sculpture reaching heights which few have touched. A thing of beauty and an album as perfect as they come. The reemergence of Motore Immobile heralds what is unquestionably one of the most important reissues of 2017.

File Under: Minimal, Ambient
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sollo

Jake Sollo: s/t (Africa Seven) LP
Jake Sollo was one of the most prolific innovative musicians from Nigeria in the 70s and 80s. His talents as a rhythm guitar player saw him through much of his career where he played with several Nigerian bands of varying styles. After a stint in the beat group the Hykkers (which he formed whilst studying at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka) then went on to wider recognition as a member of the Funkees. Sollo then went on to play with famed Afro-rock group Osibisa. His stint working alongside group leader Teddy Osei. The Funkees had become very popular, not just in Nigeria where a rough demo of the track “Akula Owu Onyeara” was on constant rotation at the East-Central State Broadcasting Service, but the track was went on to be picked up by the BBC DJ John Peel. After successes in bands, Sollo went solo and found a steady stream of work in London as a session musician and a producer. He returned to Nigeria in 1981 where he produced “bouncy, high gloss boogie” which was incredibly in demand. He had a distinctive playing and producing style and was incredibly popular. He utilized synthesizers which were uncommon in Nigeria at the time. The 1979 “Jake Sollo” self titled album was produced for Pye / Disques Esperance in London. Touches of pop, plenty of African groove, moments of psychedelica… all bound together with Jakes distinctive guitar playing and sleek production. These are sounds that are reminiscent of African music lovers contemporary of Sollo such as David Byrne and Talking Heads, and Paul Simon in Graceland, but with a glittering grooviness that is all Jake Sollo. Sadly Jakes career was cut short when he tragically died in a car accident in 1985. Depriving the world of no doubt what would have been decades of more innovative and creative music.

File Under: Africa, Psych, Boogie
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timber

Timber Timbre: Sincerely, Future Pollution (Arts & Crafts) LP
In Tomorrow… Timber Timbre’s music has always traced a shadowed path, using cues of the past to fuse the sound of a distant, haunted now. On its fourth record – Sincerely, Future Pollution – Timber Timbre coats the stark, sensual sound of 2014’s Hot Dreams in an oil-black rainbow of municipal grime. It is the cinema of a dizzying dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time. First single – “Sewer Blues” – is an ironclad groove marked by plodding, heavy rhythm, cavernous delay, and a backdrop of starry synthesizers. The scene is set with the long cold tones of album starter “Velvet Glove & Spit” and Taylor Kirk’s warm but mournful vocals. For the recording, the trio – armed with “secret weapon” Olivier Fairfield on drums – traveled to La Frette chateau outside Paris, where they looked to the studio’s array of archetypal synthesizers for the flesh of the songs. Be it the freedom of recording abroad, or the revelation of these unexplored instruments, Timber Timbre found a release from artistic constriction and created its most daring work yet. Perhaps for the first time, Timber Timbre indulged its alleged “decade drift” – from the self-titled record’s 50s doo-wop, to Creep On Creepin On’s oblique 60s folk, and Hot Dreams’ 70s caprice – allowing the tools to personify the songs. A blend of the album’s mid-apocalyptic setting and its idyllic recording, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a romance of neoteric machines and dark, futuristic hues: with promise as beautiful as it is unsettling. The result is a newfangled sound with the plastic, cinematic tint of 80s avarice. “Grifting” struts, literally grifts, a deep, synthetic funk, with brash determination never before heard in Timber Timbre’s earthy catalogue. “Moment” glints with dazzling synthesizers – hiding heartbreak with the mastery of Nick Cave’s most elegant dirges – before devolving into a fray of shredded guitar. The title track growls with low-end urgency then combusts in a cloud of chiming sequencers. “Western Questions” lurks like the exotic, deserted remnants of Hot Dreams’ “Grand Canyon,” while “Bleu Night” is electrified with vocoder verses and the poltergeist of seven billion handheld devices. If each Timber Timbre record is framed in genre play, on Sincerely, Future Pollution, the components are the most askew: the glam of Roxy Music; the plaintive pop of Talk Talk; the disquiet of Suicide; the invincibility of Talking Heads; the haunting This Mortal Coil. All (and more) unlikely references are present, tethering Timber Timbre’s experimentation to points of familiarity. The range is an acute angle from New Age to Popular French Disco Revival like Daft Punk and Air, filtered through Timber Timbre’s painterly imagination. Freshly exhumed, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a portent from the bygone year 2016:

File Under: Indie Rock
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tonstarts

Tonstartssbandht: Sorcerer (Mexican Summer) LP
Sorcerer is the first full-length studio album from Andy and Edwin White, the Florida / New York duo known as Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit). On Sorcerer, the brothers chart a heavenly course above the storm and stress, one explored over years of touring and a poetic language forged between performers and siblings. Sorcerer offers three long form depictions of Tonstartssbandht’s boundless spirit; ambitious noise rock narratives buoyed in a swampy sonic scene of delay, distortion, and virtuosic interplay. The album displays larger lyrical concepts within the framework of a guitar and drums duo; Andy’s guitar and vocal loops creating a cascading sheet of interpretative reverb and future melodies, Ed’s high-stakes drumming divided every which way but loose, a deep canvas of cohabitating sounds. Recorded live in the living room of Le Wallet, the affectionate name of Andy and Ed’s former Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment (additional vocals were added after a move back to their hometown – and present dwellings – of Orlando, Florida), elements of the environment Sorcerer was captured – a water heater’s hiss, a passing cop car siren, the rumble of the train – bleed in and out while the music fills the room to reflect its very shape. Lyrically shaped by relapse, recovery, and lost relationships, the brothers’ harmonized voices and trademark glossolalia shade the songs of Sorcerer with a beautiful, unsettled subtext. A desirous unmaking of design happens across the three album parts, eventually recovering and cohering as an earnest, honest experience. Andy and Ed never halt their working pace, and never cease to stroll the path they’ve invented despite the challenges at hand. Intentionally striving for and then subverting self-sabotage, weathering the storm they’ve summoned, Sorcerer is the romantic abstract of this invented space and the individual’s relationship with that space. It is raw and flawed, but brilliant and real because it is intentionally so. This is Tonstartssbandht at the height of their song – and story – craft, channeling pure motion and emotion through a soulful filter at the speed of sorcery. Witness the incantation and let the spell take hold.

File Under: Indie Rock
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zeit1

Zeit: Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records present a reissue of Zeit’s Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo, originally released in 1979. In the late ’70s, the Italian music scene’s renewed interest in sound research involved a stimulating fusion of popular elements, jazz improvisation, and suggestions of the middle-oriental classical heritage. Starting from the experience of Aktuala, the idea of a common “Mediterranean air” that could compare and harmonize rhythms and timbres of various regions, enlivened a large number of musicians. In this context, it also placed the short history of Zeit and one of their main member Andrea Tamassia, who played and recorded with Aktuala. Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo, their first album, seems to be a continuation of Aktuala’s music. It presents a compendium of styles and shapes, a collection of letters and visual notes from various places (Greece, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Maghreb, Balcan Area, etc.), rearranged in the form of a hypothetical diary, in order to create an unknown narrative scenario. In the music of Zeit, there are no formalistic or philological purposes, but it triumphs with an attitude of imaginative incorporation that is always changing. The rich poly-instrumentalism brings the rhythms of dance and ancient melodies, but also results in a palette of more abstract and ecstatic sounds, with rare experimental lyricism that approaches the Florentine ensemble to the significant European experiences of The Incredible String Band or Third Ear Band.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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zeit2

Zeit: Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records present a reissue of Zeit’s second album Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori, originally released in 1981. With Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori, Zeit re-propose their own vision of a new cultural multi-geographical mosaic without boundaries. The sound confirms the inspired and eclectic vein of previous work, suggesting a greater conviction and maturity of intent. The arrangements tend to dilate more alchemical and hypnotic sequences, while the range of inspirations (Balkan music, Greek, Turkish, Persian, African, etc.) and the poly-instrumentalism is more precious and varied. Decisively more experimental compositions such as “Gli Antichi Colori”, “Nuovo Orizzonte”, or “Kalimba”, are indicative of an unparalleled executive expertise that flows into meditative and introspective delights by resonances now more obscure or solar. The compresence of popular European and Middle-East atmospheres act as a strong reminder to the world of dance, suggesting once again the charm of the meeting between East and West, in view of brotherhood and solidarity among peoples. So, the “Circle” relieves itself almost like a sound tale of distant and ancient Byzantine, Arab, and Christian novels, according to a nomadic spirit that finds in music the preferred journey to joy and love. This reissue includes a 7″ with two unreleased live tracks, further enriching the repertoire of one of the most original group that Italy has ever known.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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sodiac

Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (Pure Pleasure) LP
The 1967 concept album, The Zodiac – Cosmic Sounds, features both music and spoken narration on the theme of signs of the zodiac. Based on an initial idea by Elektra chief Jac Holzman, it was a collaborative effort with music written by Mort Garson, words by Jacques Wilson, and narration by Cyrus Faryar. The early use of the Moog synthesizer was by Paul Beaver. There was no artist called either The Zodiac or Cosmic Sounds, a fact which confused some LP buyers. The back sleeve informed listeners that the record “Must Be Played In The Dark.” It was heavily played by John Peel on his Perfumed Garden shows, where he used it as a basis for a competition (he had been sent a copy by Clive Selwood, the then head of Elektra’s London office and later to become Peel’s manager). The LP was extremely popular with Perfumed Garden listeners and was mentioned in the lyrics of Geoffrey Prowse’s fan tribute to the program, “The Perfumed Garden Blues” or “John Peel’s Lament.” An absolutely essential conceptual psych masterpiece culled from the original analogue masters and pressed on 180g vinyl!

File Under: Early Electronic
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esterno giorno

Various: Esterno Giorno (Four Flies) LP
Chapter two of a compilation project centered around and inside the secret archives of RCA’s glorious soundtrack catalogue – full of unreleased tracks from great Italian soundtrack Maestros such as Gianfranco Reverberi, Armando Trovajoli, Piero Piccioni, Paolo Ormi, Nico Fidenco, and so on. Light and joyful music made for plein air sequences of 60’s and 70’s Italian cinema. Presented here is an explosive mixture of jazz, blues, funk, psychedelia, and spicy exotica, composed for a wide range of movies, from thrillers to sexy comedies, and from TV sci-fi to superhero films.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych

notte

Various: Esterno Notte (Four Flies) LP
A trip into unchartered Italian RCA film music vaults, including lots of unreleased gems from great Italian soundtrack Maestros such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Giuliano Sorgini, Piero Umiliani, Alberto Baldan Bembo, Giovanni Tommaso, and so on. As an uninterrupted flow of lost soundtracks from the most subversive and psychedelic age of Italian cinema, Esterno Notte evokes, above all, the night time cityscape settings of Italian movies of the 70’s (thriller, horror, erotic, comedy, noir, and action). It captures that spirit and its musical core with a captivating concentration of funk, jazz-funk, deep breaks, prog and psych – all capable of seducing even today’s dancefloors.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych

…..Restocks…..

David Axelrod: Messiah (RCA) LP
Badbadnotgood: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Bad Religion: Suffer (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion: No Control (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion: Generator (Epitaph) LP
Beach house: Devotion (Carpark) LP
Art Blakey: Moanin’ (Blue Note) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Sunset (Pias) LP
James Brown: Funky People 2 (Get on Down) LP
Cavern of Antimatter: Blood Drums (Duphonic) LP
Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
Gene Clark: No Other (Music on Vinyl) LP
Coil: Astral Disaster (Prescription) LP
Sam Cooke: One Night Stand (AS) LP
Betty Davis: Columbia Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Doom: Born Like This (Lex) LP
Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (Warp) LP
Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen (Sommer) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Kid Koala: Music to Draw To (Arts & Crafts) LP
King Crimson: Red (Disciple) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Liars: They Were Wrong So We Drown (Mute) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Berlin (Bornbad) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Marine Girls: Beach Party (Cherry Red) LP
MC5: Kick Out The Jams (Rhino) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Moon B: Lifeworld (Growing Bin) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (EMI) LP
NOFX: Punk in Drublic (Epitaph) LP
Paternoster: s/t (Now Again) LP
Peace: Black Power (Now Again) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow OST (Secretly Canadian) LP
SJOB Movement: Friendship (Cultures of Soul) LP
Smiths: Louder than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Songs: Ohia: Ghost Tropic (Secretly Canadian) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Rhino) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Toots & The Maytals: In The Dark (Get on Down) LP
Giuliano Sorgini: Zoo Folle (Four Flies) LP
Various: The Ballad of JFK (Iron Mountain) LP

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…..news letter #786 – harmonic…..

As usual, the next few weeks are apt to be a little slow on the releases as we move closer to Record Store Day, although, that said, there are some pretty big things out in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, we’ve got a lot on the go for RSD so you’ll want to be sure to stop in. You may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….

Did you know you can receive this weekly update in your email inbox? Click here to subscribe.

….pick of the week…..

galas

Diamanda Galas: All the Way (Interavenal Sound) LP
Diamanda Galas’s All the Way is a collection of radical re-workings of traditional and jazz standards such as “All the Way,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “The Thrill Is Gone” (made famous by Chet Baker). It also includes a solo piano interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight, and live voice and piano interpretations of the American traditional “O Death” and the country song, “Pardon Me I’ve Got Someone to Kill.” The album includes both electric live performances (recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, and East Sussex) and studio recordings made in San Diego, CA.

File Under: Jazz, Blues, Experimental
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…..new arrivals…..

sui

Causa Sui: Live in Copenhagen (El Paraiso) 3LP Box
Live In Copenhagen captures Causa Sui at two very special nights: at the release parties of Euporie Tide and Return To Sky. Since the band seldomly performs live, this may very well be the best chance to experience what the band are capable of at their best. One show was recorded at avant-garde institution extraordinaire, Jazzhouse, while the other captures Causa Sui at legendary underground venue Dragens Hule. Both shows were recorded multitrack with an A-grade selection of mics. During these three discs Causa Sui aren’t merely running through classic cuts from the catalog. Each track is explored, reinterpreted and given new life – often straying far away from its original roots with a fervent energy. One minute the band is bluesy and heavy, the next they’re repetitive and blissed-out or venturing into a cacophony of Ayler-like sax bursts, free-form electronics, and feedback. Swedish saxophone player Johan Riedenlow joins both shows and Papir-guitar player Nicklas Sørensen occasionally adds his magic to the Dragens Hule set – including a towering 13-minute version of “Eternal Flow”, that seems to channel the energy of mid-1970s Popol Vuh, as well as a breezy cover version of Agitation Free’s “First Communication”. “Ju-Ju Blues”, from the Jazzhouse set, is Causa Sui at their most fuzzed-out and Hendrixian, reaching new improvisational heights, whereas “Dawn Passage” feels like an obvious fusion of Tame Impala and Allman Brothers. On the Dragens Hule sets, the band goes all the way out. “Portixeddu / Tropic Of Capricorn” turns Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis into a crazed sludge-fest, and fan-favorites “El Paraiso” and “Red Valley” appear here in their ultimate versions. To cap things off, the band delivers a 17-minute exclusive tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” featuring both Johan Riedenlow and Nicklas Sørensen.

File Under: Psych
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dylan

Bob Dylan: Triplicate (Legacy) DLX 3LP
Bob Dylan’s newest musical endeavor is the three-disc studio album, Triplicate, featuring 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016. Triplicate is available in several configurations including this Deluxe 180g 3LP-set packaged in a numbered case-made book with 3 bound in swing pockets and four panel folder. For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters including Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”). The titles of the individual LPs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late. Dylan notes, “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I’ve hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.” The artist’s two previous album of classic American songs, 2016’s Fallen Angels and 2015’s Shadows in the Night, were both critically acclaimed worldwide hits and garnered Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Fallen Angels achieved Top Ten debuts in more than a dozen countries while Shadows in the Night debuted in the Top 10 in seventeen countries.

File Under: Folk
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feral ohmsFeral Ohms: s/t (Silver Current) LP
Feral Ohms is a power trio from Oakland, California, led by Comets On Fire / Howlin Rain / Heron Oblivion guitar and voice fireball Ethan Miller along with animal drummer Chris Johnson (Drunk Horse / Andy Human) and the loudest bassist in fifteen counties, Josh Haynes (Nudity). The band turns the spatial pyrotechnics and expansive spirit of classic psychedelia inside out, dragging it through the punk rock era kicking and screaming and boils it down into a series of explosions that start at needle drop and end when the record does. They blast pure action and outlaw rock ‘n’ roll joy through relentless, violent musical force, blowing the doors off psychedelic rock and letting loose the raw, wild, high speed feedback wail of something massive careening off the rails and into your ears. This is Feral Ohms’ debut studio album. Recorded by Eric “King Riff” Bauer (Ty Segall, White Fence, Heron Oblivion), Phil Manley (Earthless, Wooden Shjips) and mixed with scorched Earth policy by Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz). For fans of The Pink Fairies, ‘80s and ‘90s Nanjo led PSF records, Motorhead, Void, ‘70s & ‘80s Australian punk and “red album” Grand Funk.

 File Under: Psych, Comets on Fire
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fucked upFucked Up: Year of the Snake (Tankcrimes) LP
Year Of The Snake is the eighth installment of the Zodiac Series from long-running Canadian hardcore punk collective Fucked Up. Fusing all the prime tenets of rock, punk, metal, and psychedelia into a comprehensive and imposing opus of unyielding enormity, Fucked Up is sonically and conceptually devouring in ways few bands can emulate. Following the releases of 2006’s Year Of The Dog, 2008’s Year Of The Pig, 2009’s Year Of The Rat, 2010’s Year Of The Ox, 2012’s Year Of The Tiger, 2014’s Year Of The Dragon, and 2015’s Year Of The Hare, Fucked Up‘s latest entry into the Zodiac Series documents the journey of self-care and opening awareness through the use of psychedelics and medicinal plants. The 24-minute epic title track follows the narrative of a trip with strange instrumentation and electronics held together sonically with the bands own loose interpretation of hardcore punk.

File Under: Punk
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fussell

Jake Xerxer Fussell: What in the Natural World (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Entrancing guitarist and singer Jake Xerxes Fussell follows his celebrated self-titled debut (produced by William Tyler) with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. Featuring art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans—Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats)—as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah).

File Under: Folk, Blues
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geotic

Geotic: Abysma (Ghostly) LP
Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast his project Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you’ll get a simple response: Baths is active listening, Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct, reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator. Don’t mistake passive listening for anything remotely resembling apathy. Over the course of nine self-released albums plus a handful of singles & EPs (all released on Bandcamp), Wiesenfeld has certainly proved the contrary. With Abysma, his first release for Ghostly, Wisenfeld solidifies this notion as Geotic makes his label debut in tandem with the projects first ever physical offering. Abysma might be dance music created for at-home listening, but it’s replete with a quiet beauty and private communion that can rival anything made to command the totality of your attention span. In a world riven by noise and distraction, Abysma is as subtle as Sunday morning ritual, a tender epiphany in a bombastic fireworks show.

File Under: Electronic
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gnod

Gnod: Just Say No… (Rocket) LP
“It seems like we are heading towards even more unsettling times in the near future than we are in at present,” reckons Chris Haslam of Gnod. “2016 is just the beginning of what I see as the establishment’s systematic destruction of liberalism and equality as a reaction to the general public’s loss of faith in their system.” Charged by this outlook, Gnod’s new album, Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine, represents a hitherto uncharted level of antagonism and adversarial force for the band – an artistic statement as righteous, fervent and direct as its title. “On the surface it could almost seem like there’s no political art movement out there to oppose what’s happening, but there is – we know there is,” adds the band’s Paddy Shine. “Maybe that movement is struggling to find its voice as a cohesive whole right now but that will change.” Fueled by their militant drive and unyielding ardor, Just Say No refracts Gnod’s harsh and repetitive riff-driven rancor through a psychotropic haze of dubbed-out abstraction, with Paddy’s incendiary vocal delivery to the fore. Gnod – fiercely independent, never comfortable in one place artistically for any duration of time, always with their coordinates set on uncharted territory and the next challenge ahead, and delivering a monument of ire and iconoclasm.

File Under: Psych
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gnoomes

Gnoomes: Tschak! (Rocket) LP
Gnoomes, the threesome hailing from Perm, Russia, present Tschak!. It may only be eighteen months since the release of Ngan!, the band’s first release for Rocket Recordings, yet the band have already moved on to a sonic landscape still more adventurous and ethereal on Tschak!, not to mention an emotionally resonant approach that’s bewitching to witness. Taking in torrents of guitar, noise, and electronic extrapolations, both bliss-fully kosmische and aggressively abrasive, it exists outside of all or any convenient genres, a vivid and singular work by three dreamers-at-heart forced to manifest their vision into a psychic defense to the circumstances surrounding them. Working in splendid isolation, thanks to a studio space provided by their work for a local radio station, the band had time and space for the alchemical process of creating Tschak! entirely on their own terms. Central to this were a collection of Russian synths that they gathered, whose eccentric arpeggios and analog textures form crucial ingredients on songs like “Severokamsk” and the title track, which allows them arrive at a sound that forms a star-crossed and timeless marriage between the experimentation of krautrock and the lineage of Warp Records.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
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goldfrapp

Goldfrapp: Silver Eye (Mute) LP
Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album, is dance music which evokes a pagan ritual rather than a club soundtrack. Cold, metallic electronics with a hot current of blood running through them. A 21st century moon dance. It weaves together the two strands of Goldfrapp’s music like never before. If 2013’s Tales of Us, a set of noirish folk fables, roamed the same pastoral landscape as Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, then Silver Eye (a reference to the moon) belongs to the pulsing, electronic lineage of Black Cherry and Supernature only deeper and darker. The common thread between these two modes, apart from the consistently exquisite arrangements and Alison Goldfrapp’s extraordinary voice, is a set of enduring preoccupations, which inform both the lyrics and the visual aesthetic. “Mysticism, ecstasy, ritual, contemplation, metamorphosis, the elemental,” says Alison, who took all of the photographs and creatively directed all artwork visuals. “I’ve realised that there are things I feel passionate about on a deep level and they’re in this record.” On Silver Eye, for the first time, Alison and Will Gregory sought new collaborators as the songs were taking shape. They spent 10 days in Dallas with John Congleton, Grammy-winning producer of St. Vincent, John Grant and Wild Beasts. In London, they teamed up with electronic composer Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak. Alison describes Goldfrapp’s music-making as “a constant quest. I don’t think you ever feel like you’ve achieved everything, it’s impossible. You’re always searching, trying to attain some kind of utopia in what you do.” With Silver Eye, that search has taken them to yet another new place, one that’s full of mystery, menace and transcendent beauty. Goldfrapp’s quest continues.

 File Under: Pop, Electronic
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hills

Hills: Alive at Roadburn (Rocket) LP
Alive At Roadburn is Gothenburg based Hills’ third album with Rocket Recordings. Hot off the Swedish psychedelia revival of the past few years and after their hailed 2015 album Frid, Hills connect the dots to their country’s rich and intoxicating past with a handful of new sepia-toned tunes. Like their predecessors unholy trinity of Pärson Sound, International Harvester, and Träd Gräs Och Stenar, Hills penchant to stretch out beyond, performing what feels like openly casual exhortations into intricate Eastern tones and primal hypnotic rhythms. These four tracks sit deeply buried in oblivion, bones, skin, sweat, grooved with fearless intensity with no diminution of the interplay, spontaneity, and feeling onstage, the band are entombed in mantric repetition while the vapor trail of The Byrds’ (Untitled) epic; “Eight Miles High” descends into an Elysian Field, where the dead enjoy happy tranquility, until they come to life and rise up again.

File Under: Psych

holter

Julia Holter: In the Same Room (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to launch Documents, an irregular new series of live studio recordings designed to capture the ever-evolving arrangements of the label’s artists and bands in high fidelity. Taking its inspiration from classic BBC sessions, each Documents release will be recorded in no more than a day or two at a world class studio in London. Or at least that’s the plan. In The Same Room, a beautiful new release from Julia Holter, inaugurates the Domino Documents series. Named after a song from Holter’s 2012 album Ekstasis, this career-spanning collection is the fruit of two days recording by Julia and her tremendous band (Corey Fogel – drums/vocals; Dina Maccabee – viola/vocals and Devin Hoff – stand-up bass) at RAK Studios in the days after their main stage performance at Green Man Festival in Wales. Comprised of new arrangements of songs from three of her previous studio releases (Tragedy, Loud City Song and 2015’s breakthrough Have You In My Wilderness), Holter’s Domino Documents is an essential release for anyone who has witnessed her brilliant, beguiling band on tour around the world in the last five years as well as the perfect introduction to a truly important and innovative young artist.

File Under: Indie Pop, Electronic
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tapes

Magnetic Domain Tapes
A wonderful batch of tapes from the excellent Saskatchewan based Magnetic Domain. Three new releases, 4 sides of deep modular explorations from Chad Munson and a collection of experimental pieces for various instruments by musician and visual artist Jon Vaughn. As well as restocks of all of the still in print previous releases including Pulsewidth, Will Kaufhold, and Mehta Youngs.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Drone
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mastodon

Mastodon: Emperor of Sand (Reprise) LP
Emperor Of Sand finds the mighty Mastodon returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. “Emperor of Sand is like the grim reaper,” says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. “Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?'” “We’re reflecting on mortality,” adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. “To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It’s 17 years in the making, but it’s also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives.” Emperor Of Sand was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside Mastodon’s hometown of Atlanta, GA with producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine), who first worked with the band on their seminal 2009 album Crack The Skye. The majestic album artwork was created by Alan Brown aka Medusawolf.

File Under: Metal
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moonlandingz

Moonlandingz: Interplanetary Class Classics (Chimera) LP
Hailing from Sheffield, England, The Moonlandingz brings together bloodthirsty NME cover boys Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski (of Fat White Family) with oddball synth twiddlers Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer (of The Eccentronic Research Council). Produced by Sean Lennon, the whole is even loonier than the sum of its parts. Interplanetary Class Classics is a feast of swirling juddering synths, wailing guitars, motorik stomp and extraordinary songwriting. The Moonlandingz have proven themselves to be one of the best live bands in the UK and now they’ve produced an equally as compelling album’s worth of weird, catchy, glorious and filthy pop. Includes guest vocals by Yoko Ono, Rebecca Taylor (Slow Club), Randy “Cowboy” Jones (The Village People) and Phil Oakey (The Human League).

File Under: Psych, Electronic
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nabay

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang: Build Music (Luakabop) LP
Janka Nabay, the famed modernizer of indigenous Sierra Leonean Bubu music issues Build Music, his second album for Luaka Bop. The production harks back to his ‘90s Freetown cassette recordings, built on a foundation of multi-tracked drum machines, Casios, and samplers. Nabay began the process of recording with three original Bubu Gang members: Syrian-American singer-bassist Boshra AlSaadi (TEEN, Saadi), keyboardist-musicologist Michael Gallope (IE, Skeletons, Starring), and producer-engineer Daniel Schlett (Strange Weather Studios, White Bike). Soon they enlisted the help of Steve Marion (Delicate Steve) and Matthew Mehlan (Skeletons, Congotronics vs. Rockers). Mehlan ultimately played the role of producer, working closely with Nabay, AlSaadi, and Gallope to help sculpt three years’ worth of material. The result is a bubbling Bubu cocktail with Nabay as mixologist. Certain tracks retain the live band flavor of the previous record (“Build Music,” “Popeneh,” “Santa Monica” “Stop Jealous”), while others are culled from Voice Memos recorded on tour from an iPhone (“Game Over,” “Kadiatu,” “Tek Lak la Gben ba Kun”). Some are updated, reimagined versions of old songs Nabay had recorded in the 1990s (“Sabanoh”, “Angbolieh”), while others are vocals sung over original Sierra Leonean “riddims” (“Sabanoh”, “Bubu Dub”) that were created by collaborators back at home (Lanzo on D Beat, the late Tunni Boy, and the late Nfagie Kabeh of the Kabeh Brothers). Sung in Sierra Leone’s lingua franca, Krio, his native tribal Temne, as well as English and bits of Arabic, Nabay’s songs sound infectious, inventive, and entertaining on the surface. But a listen with the translations of Nabay’s lyrics in hand reveals complex layers of meaning and discontent. “Game Over” expresses a strange mixture of hope and despair. “Santa Monica” is a joyous affirmation that relates a traumatic story of being harassed by the Santa Monica police just prior to his performance at The Getty Museum. Others are drunken calls to celebrate (“Popeneh”), self-reflexive songs about the power of songwriting itself (“Build Music”), love songs (“Stop Jealous”), and pleas for social cohesion (“Combination”).

File Under: African, Highlife
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pharmakon

Pharmakon: Contact (Sacred Bones) LP
The release date of Contact marks the ten-year anniversary of Margaret Chardiet’s project, Pharmakon. While working on her newest release, she began to evaluate the project as a whole. Though the content of each record has been very different and specific, the pervading question, which has underlined them all, is what is means to be human. Her last album, Bestial Burden, focused on the disconnect between mind and body, looking at the human as an isolated consciousness stuck inside of a rotting vessel. For Contact, she wanted to look at the other side of the spectrum – the moments when our mind can come outside of and transcend our bodies.  Because an album is itself an object, she struggled with how to convey the transcendence of the physical, through a physical medium. She started to study trance states and equate her live performances to them. In trance states, music and the body are used to transcend the physical form and make contact with some outside force. In the live setting, she used sound and her body to create an exchange of energy and make contact with outside forces – humanity, empathy, the audience. This energy/empathy exchange has always been at the heart of a Pharmakon performance, but she felt that on records, it wasn’t translating. They were one-sided and flat – declarations rather than conversations. She decided to structure the compositions of each side of Contact after the four stages of trance: preparation, onset, climax, and resolution. By using these stages as a biorhythm for the album, she animates it, and instills the intention of communion into the music.

File Under: Experimental, Noise
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sadier

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble: Finding Me Finding You (Drag City) LP
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding You locates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn’t a surprise — Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget the long era of Stereolab) — but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind’s-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album. Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia’s favorite composer) graciously wrote “Deep Background” for her. The duet with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on “Love Captive” (not to mention Rob Mazurek’s distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You — that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others. Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!

File Under: Indie Rock, Stereolab
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saltland

Saltland: A Common Truth (Constellation) LP
A Common Truth is the second album by Saltland, the solo project of veteran Montréal cellist and composer Rebecca Foon. Following the acclaimed 2013 debut I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us, Foon performed Saltland live in various successful configurations, but as the concept and compositions for a new album began to materialize, she wished to further expand on an approach with her cello as primary source for all sounds on the record. Combining unadulterated, processed and sampled cellos, A Common Truth largely reflects this commitment and results in an album of gorgeous integrity, restraint, and meditative intensity. The one notable exception: longtime friend and prior collaborator Warren Ellis (Nick Cave, Dirty Three) is the album’s special guest player, contributing violin, pump organ and loops to the album’s four instrumental tracks. Working with engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes), Foon has produced a song cycle that alternates between wordless instrumentals and lyric-driven pieces, balancing austere, organic intimacy and lush, multi-layered expansiveness. The analog warmth of Lasek’s naturalistic rock production anchors Saltland’s juxtaposition of dry and processed strings, with the placement of Foon’s voice very much within the mix but never veiled or concealed; a voice described as “an instrument of somnolent, gossamer allure which floats gracefully amid the eddying, amniotic music” (Mojo, 2013). Electronic music strategies, via signal processing and re-sampling, are deployed minimally and judiciously – and all the more powerfully as such. A Common Truth also importantly channels other strands from Rebecca’s life: the record is about climate change and marks an attempt to musically translate a complex mix of emotional, social and political resonances in this regard. The album’s atmosphere and pace is guided by the coexistence of optimism and despair, resolve and resignation, the intimacy of the local/personal and the hope of the global/collective. Foon has devoted much of her life in recent years to working for decarbonization, land conservation and renewable energy – as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group cooperative, as founder of the conservation charity Junglekeepers, and as co-founder of Pathway to Paris, an international concert series bringing together musicians, writers and activists to help raise consciousness toward implementation of a robust international climate agreement. Rebecca Foon’s new Saltland album A Common Truth is a compelling coalescence and fullest musical expression of the inspiring trajectories charted by this committed and renowned artist, activist and organizer. Thanks for listening.

File Under: Indie Rock
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wire

Wire: Silver/Lead (Pink Flag) LP
Silver/Lead is the fifteenth studio album from musical pioneers Wire. It arrives on the 40th anniversary of their debut performance. Yet it’s about as far from nostalgia as you could get. This is the sound of a uniquely addictive 21st century psychedelic post-punk. Colin Newman and Matt Simms’s guitar work is alternately jagged and luminous, while bassist Graham Lewis’s ear-catching lyrics are vivid yet oblique. Meanwhile, drummer Robert Grey provides a virtual masterclass in percussive minimalism. But it’s how the various instruments mesh together that really counts. And Newman’s production creates a sonic space in which even the smallest gesture is accorded some recognition. Highlights include the optimistic dazzle of “Diamonds In Cups,” with its almost T. Rex-style buzz and chug, and the moody swing of “This Time.” Elsewhere on the musical spectrum, there’s the menacing widescreen grandeur of “Playing Harp for the Fishes” and breakneck-paced guitar pop of “Short Elevated Period.” Wire are one of the world’s most ground-breaking bands, their influence acknowledged by bands as diverse as Blur, Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and Savages. But they have never been interested in exploiting past glories. For Wire, there is only ever one possible direction: forwards. So it’s perhaps not surprising that over recent years, they’ve played strings of sold-out shows, achieved career-best record sales, and been cited as a strong influence by yet another generation of bands. Wire’s last three albums garnered nothing but rave reviews from 2013’s strangely beautiful Change Becomes Us to the crackling motorik of 2015’s Wire and 2016’s punchy mini-album Nocturnal Koreans. Consequently, although it may be being released on the band’s 40th anniversary, Silver/Lead is an album which has nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the future.

File Under: Rock, Post Punk
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…..Restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Boris: Pink (Sargent House) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison (Legacy) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Daughters: Hell Songs (Hydrahead) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Greg Graffin: Millport (Anti) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise) LP
Daniel Johnston: Hi How Are You (Eternal Yip) LP
Madlib: Bad Neighbor (Bang Ya Head) LP
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Moondog: Snaketime Series (Moondog) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts i-iv (Halo) LP
NOFX: White Trash (Epitaph)
NOFX: The Decline (Fat Wrecks) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Pink Floyd) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Rancid: Life Won’t Wait (Epitaph) LP
Rancid: And Out Come The Wolves (Epitaph) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
Smog: A River Ain’t Too Much To Love (Drag City) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) LP
Tool: Opiate (Zoo) LP

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…..news letter #785 – solder…..

Not the heaviest week in the last couple of months, but hot damn there’s some killer sides in this week. If you haven’t heard it, listen to the Midora Takada record. Incredible! As you may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….

…..Pick of the Week…..

takada.jpg

Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW/Palto Flats) LP
Highly recommended! Comes in a Stoughton “Tip-On” jacket; Includes printed inner sleeves. Palto Flats and We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present the highly-anticipated reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s sought after and timeless ambient/minimal album Through The Looking Glass, originally released in 1983 by RCA Japan. Considered a holy grail of Japanese music by many, Through The Looking Glass is Midori Takada’s first solo endeavor, a captivating four-song suite capturing her deep quests into traditional African and Asian percussive language and exploring contemplative ambient sounds with an admirably precise use of marimba. The result is alternatively ethereal and vibrant, always precise and mesmerizing, and makes for an atmospheric masterpiece and an unparalleled sonic and spiritual experience. Midori Takada is a composer, multi-percussionist, and theater artist renowned in Japanese vanguard circles. Midori has released two solo albums: Through The Looking Glass and Tree Of Life (1999) and wrote music for Tadashi Suzuki’s theater plays. Her hypnotic, minimalist music is based in the concept of coherence between sound and the human body. She performs solo on marimba and other percussion instruments. She debuted on the scene of Berlin Philharmonic, performing with the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin just after graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1974. She continued her career with solo concerts in Japan and abroad. In the 1980s, Midori began to explore the traditional music of Asia and Africa. Her fascination resulted in joint projects with Kakraba Lobi from Ghana, Lamine Konte from Senegal, Farafina Band from Burkina Faso, and Korean musicians: zither player Chi Seong-Ja, flute player Won-Il, and saxophone player Kang Tae-Hwan. She also led Mkwaju Ensemble’s innovative percussion project and still performs with free-jazz band Ton-Klami with Kang Tae-Hwan and jazz pianist Masahiko Satoh. Takada’s compositions have a remarkable way of affecting the imagination. Her minimalist, contemplative music is filled with the concept of infinity and reminds us of a moon voyage, falling stars, a journey into the ocean, or a walk in the garden. The trans melodies, initially simple, begin to loop and splinter, their rhythm breaking and thickening, slowly drawing the listener into another reality. This fully licensed reissue comes with extensive liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical, Minimal, Japan
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…..new arrivals…..

6lack

6Lack: Free 6Lack (LVRN) LP
In tomorrow… Free 6LACK is the dark and moody debut studio album from rising Atlanta, GA R&B/hip-hop recording artist Ricardo Valentine aka 6LACK. Largely produced by go-to-guy Singawd and Nova, his candid lyrics and hypnotizing melodies are undeniably present in the emotional singles “Ex Calling” and “PRBLMS.” Peaking at No. 5 on the US Billboard Rap Albums Chart and No. 8 on the US Billboard R&B Albums Chart, Free 6LACK is a testament to 6LACK’s uncanny ability to inspire a new generation of R&B. “I wanted [the album] to serve as kind of a statement for everything, summarize the last five to six years of my life,” he tells Billboard. “I wanted to make a statement that I’m free from my older relationships and I’m free from all ways of thinking and my old feelings.”

File Under: R&B, Hip Hop
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children

Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. Children of Alice have been quietly producing amorphous and intoxicating soundscapes as part of the Folklore Tapes collective for a number of years now, beginning in 2013 with “Harbinger of Spring” on the shared Ornithology release. This poetic conjuration of rebirth and new growth was the first unfurling of post-Broadcast creation from James Cargill, one half of the personal and artistic relationship at the heart of that epochal and increasingly feted band. The name Children of Alice was chosen as an act of tribute to the late Trish Keenan, for whom Alice in Wonderland and in particular Jonathan Miller’s summerhazy 60s idyll of an adaptation, was a presiding inspiration. The name invokes her abiding spirit and also creates a sense of continuity with the evolving Broadcast soundworld, which became more concentrated and individual as it refined itself and adapted to new configurations.  The group (or perhaps we should call them a collaborative triad, since they occupy island territory far removed from the familiar shores of rock, though still keeping it in vision on the far horizon) consists of Cargill along with his former bandmate Roj Stevens (who played keyboards in Broadcast) and Julian House, co-founder of Ghost Box records, whose distinctive graphic design work also gives the label its signature look, and hidden prestidigitator behind The Focus Group. This self-titled LP brings together their entire output to date, on their first widely available release.

File Under: Abstract, Ambient, Electronic, Broadcast
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fusion1

Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Danza Del Molinero, originally released in 1972. This is the first album by these Catalan psych-progsters. Traditional Spanish songs receive a psychedelic/progressive/jazz-rock treatment with a tremendous rhythm section (drum breaks galore), fuzz-tone guitar, Hammond and analog keyboards, piano, and occasional string arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, Goblin, Arzachel, Le Orme, Collegium Musicum. Master tape sound. Original artwork in gatefold sleeve; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.

 File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock
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fusioon

Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen Vivir (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Farsa Del Buen Vivir, originally released in 1974. This second album by Fusioon is one of the masterpieces from the ’70s Catalan/Spanish psychedelic and progressive scene. Produced by the great Josep Llobell, you’ll find here plenty of Hammond, Moog, effects, a solid rhythm section, distorted lead guitar, and highly inventive arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, The Nice, Focus, Goblin. Master tape sound. Original artwork; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.

File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock, Psych
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growing

Growing: Disorder (Important) LP
Disorder marks a few milestones for the band Growing; it is their ninth full-length release, in the fifteenth year of their band, as well as their first record in almost six years. Though this is their first record in quite some time, this by no means a reunion record. When asked, Joe DeNardo stated “We never ‘stopped’ doing Growing, it’s just that it was tough living on two different coasts. We work kinda slow so I think it just took us a while to adjust to how to make it work with the distances. As Kevin kind of built up his home studio in Olympia over the years, it got to a place where we couldn’t not use it for Growing – it’s such a great isolated spot to hunker down and chisel out some tunes.” With an entire country between the them, Kevin Doria has been focusing his energy on his Total Life project, releasing a handful of releases and touring with Fuck Buttons, GodSpeed You Black Emperor and a host of others. DeNardo has spent the last few years making various music-themed films and performing under the Ornament moniker. At first listen, one may be tempted to refer to this as “return to form” for the band: sonically heavy side-long pastoral excursions being a hallmark of their earlier recordings. But Disorder stands more as a refinement of Growing’s evolving sonic palette, employing dissonance as liberally as harmony, delivering the listener’s ear to a rather unsettling “comfort zone”. The effect could be stated as one of submersion. “Kevin’s Total Life records and live set really inspired me to take a look at a much simpler setup.” DeNardo went on to suggest, “I don’t think I succeeded necessarily, but the way he maximizes his sound sources really blew me away. And I think it affected what I was recording for Ornament, and so when we got to jamming for the record, it sort of evolved from that. We recorded to four-track reel-to-reel, it was a pretty minimal setup. It seems like a heavy record to me, these slow, subtle shifts that feel like a bad trip sometimes.” Disorder is neither revival nor bookend for Growing. Disorder is another mile marker on the long open road, both figuratively and literally. Double-sided, screen printed jacket by Neil Burke @ Monoroid; Heavy duty virgin vinyl; Edition of 250 copies.

File Under: Drone, Ambient
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mogard

Abul Mogard/Maurizio Bianchi: Nervous Hydra/All This Has Passed Forever (Ecstatic) LP
Ecstatic’s stunning split release between Maurizio Bianchi, godfather of the Italian industrial noise scene, and Abul Mogard, the much loved and hyperstitious synthesist, conjures a spellbinding testament to the transcendent and transportive energies of electronic music. Although appearing to starkly contrast on the surface, both artists’ work patently shares a lust for the suggestive abstraction of raw current and its pareidolia-like capacity to generate rich and uncanny emotional responses from the end user. On the A-side, Maurizio Bianchi serves the obfuscated, coruscating atmosphere of “Nervous Hydra”; a 17-minute piece of sunken, desiccated harmonic structures and warped greyscale tones rinsed with ET radio signals and distant percussion that recall the sound of embers landing on tinfoil or snow. It evokes the experience of being caught in a quietly raging whiteout with only a dying fire for company, or equally a sense of subaquatic, amniotic serenity prior to being evacuated into a much colder world. Listeners can trust that the Italian artist’s first new work in several years is faithful to his ever-uncompromising oeuvre, but there’s also a tantalizingly elusive sense of redemption buried deep in there which marks it out from the rest of his canon and close to the work of his antecedents such as Kevin Drumm and Jim Haynes. In that piece’s tempestuous wake, Abul Mogard brings a sense of soothing, glacial calm with “All This Has Passed Forever” on the B-side. For 16 blissed minutes, Mogard spells out a nostalgic fantasy in creamy strokes of Farfisa organ and Serge modular synthesizer recorded at EMS studios, Stockholm, and later combined with field recordings to elicit a wistfully widescreen paean to his days on the workshop floor accompanied by the harmonious drones and cacophony of heavy machinery. No matter the piece’s provenance, though; it’s simply a sublime example of Abul Mogard’s gift for illusive, suspenseful ambient music which has seen his previous releases sky-rocket in second hand value since their earliest, sold-out editions. Over 30 minutes of ostensibly contrasting yet subtly, similarly spirited pieces that speak to the mystery and enigma of electronic music’s tortured, searching and romantic soul in equal measure. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering; Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient

richter

Max Richter: Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Following the success of Sleep, Max Richter reveals his latest recording project – a new album entitled Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works. It’s drawn from his music to Wayne McGregor’s award-winning Royal Ballet production Woolf Works – inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – and will be released on Deutsche Grammophon.  Just like the ballet, Richter’s new album has a three-part structure, built around themes from three of Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Fragments from her letters, diaries and other writings are woven into the work, with spoken words from Gillian Anderson, Sarah Sutcliffe and even Woolf’s own voice, reading the essay Craftsmanship from a 1937 BBC recording. Max Richter explains: “When we began to discuss making the ballet, I hunted around for material of all kinds, photographs, memoirs, biographies. I never expected to find a recording of Virginia Woolf – this is the only one to survive. It’s like a tremendous time machine which allows you to hear her voice and wonderful use of language. I’ve used spoken-word elements quite often in my work, so to come across Virginia Woolf reading her own words was like a Christmas present. That lit the fuse for the musical language of the ballet’s first act, based on Mrs Dalloway, and the piece grew from there.” Richter’s new album, which stems from his longer score for Woolf Works, features a vast palette of sounds – from solo instrumental and orchestral episodes, to electronic textures and music for wordless soprano. It opens with the chime of Big Ben, whose unmistakeable sound can still be heard above the noise of London traffic from the distance of Gordon Square in Bloomsbury, where Virginia Woolf lived before her marriage to Leonard Woolf. Woolf’s suicide note, her heart-rending farewell letter to her husband, read by Anderson, sets the contemplative atmosphere for Tuesday, the album’s final and longest track. The piece develops from the sound of breaking waves into a plaintive solo melody, constantly repeated yet ever-changing, and grows to become a dream-like meditation on life and death. “My approach goes back to the aesthetic pleasure of simple, well-made things,” Richter observes. “I believe ‘Tuesday’ connects to minimalism in painting and architecture; within the realm of what people call spirituality, it connects to Zen Buddhism. All those things flow together in the striving for the maximum from the minimum.”

File Under: Modern Classical, Electronic
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sjob

SJOB Movement: Friendship Train (Cultures of Soul) LP
“SJOB Movement’s Friendship Train was the second LP by the group and one which saw the group rise to new heights. It’s a masterpiece of African music with its fluid Afro beat grooves and spaced out Moog synthesizer sounds. Here is an excerpt from the liner notes written and researched by Uchenna Ikonne: ‘Prince Bola Agbana might hardly be the most immediately recognizable name in the constellation of Nigerian music stars, but for a significant portion of the last half-century he labored in the shadows, dutifully serving as one of the key movers in its development: An in-demand session musician. An early and respected exponent of funk. A catalyst in the retrofit of juju into a modern pop genre. Most of all, though, he is recognized as the founder, leader, drummer and principal vocalist of the SJOB Movement. SJOB: Sam, Johnnie, Ottah, Bola. For a moment in the mid-1970s, they were le dernier cri in modern Nigerian music, representing the next step in the evolution of Afro rhythms, and a new paradigm for the band economy. Their first album, 1976’s A Move in the Right Direction, was a minor sensation and was swiftly followed by Friendship Train in 1977. Then it appeared that the movement stopped moving, and SJOB disappeared from the scene.”

File Under: Funk, Soul, Afrobeat
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tomlinson

Rick Tomlinson: Phases of Daylight (Voix) LP
Rick Tomlinson of prog-folk luminaries Voice Of The Seven Woods unveils his latest album in the form of the brilliant ‘Phases Of Daylight’. Starting with the minimal horns and electro-acoustic chattering of ‘Final Sunrise Morning’, setting a languid but perceptible arc of crescentic bliss with GYBE-esque melodic counterpoints and stark icy minimalism. We see some more of the spacious and fulfilling ambient echoes skittering around in follower ‘Cloud Hum’ but rather than the steady swelling drone of horns, we get tuned percussives rattling around the stereo image, forming the titular hum around organic sweeps and reverberating dusted echoes. The solar interlude is a beautiful and hauntingly brittle acoustic piece, centred around a reticent plucked string riff, which sets the scene perfectly for the spacious rainforest chimes and sparse percussive elements in ‘Daylight Phase’. More often than not, true musical beauty can be distilled down to one or two elements, surprise artifacts in an otherwise expected outcome, and Tomlinson manages to make the most of this fact by keeping everything he does within the realms of improbability. ‘Visual Spirit’ is a prime example of this, with its soaring drone motif being punctuated with tickles of metallic percussion before segueing into a primal and glimmering eastern-influenced swell of sound, bringing together all of the previusly assembled instruments into a perfectly arced cacophony of percussion, drone and melody. Following on from the cosmic binary space-station radio interference of ‘Nail House’, rife with frequencies felt if not necessarily heard individually, the mesmerising alt-folk majesty of ‘Living Stream’ brings us to a crepuscular and fitting end with its driving acoustic motif and stabbing percussion. A mesmerising and beguiling collection of patiently forged sounds, beautifully collated instruments and curated with a defness and restraint rarely heard in experimental music today. Haunting, visceral and beautiful.

 File Under: Folk, Ambient, Experimental
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zeitkratzer

Zeitkratzer: Performs Songs From Kraftwerk 1 & 2 (Karlrecords) LP
Karlrecords celebrates its tenth birthday, and Zeitkratzer celebrate their 20th with necessary re-interpretations of early compositions by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. Founded in 1997 by Reinhold Friedl, Zeitkratzer have since been creating an impressive catalog of recordings that embraces 20th century avant-garde composers (Cage, Stockhausen, Lucier) as well as electronic artists (Carsten Nicolai, Terre Thaemlitz) or underground experimentalists like Throbbing Gristle or Column One. In their 20th anniversary year, the critically acclaimed ensemble will release a series of diverse albums that will explore new grounds in the typical, adventurous Zeitkratzer way – the first of these albums is dedicated to Kraftwerk and their early, kraut-esque albums Kraftwerk (1970) and Kraftwerk 2 (1972). As Kraftwerk never re-released these albums, Zeitkratzer gave its best to cover the first tranche of the songs. Recorded in Marseille/France in May 2016, the six tracks reveal a bucolic and even psychedelic aspect of the ensemble that’s mostly known (or feared) for its interpretative and aesthetic acerbity. And yet there’s no doubt that Songs From The Albums “Kraftwerk” And “Kraftwerk 2” is a true Zeitkratzer recording in the best and fullest meaning. Zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl are: Frank Gratkowski – flute, clarinets; Elena Kakaliagou – french horn; Hilary Jeffery – trombone; Reinhold Friedl – harmonium, piano; Didier Ascour – guitar; Maurice de Martin – drums; Lisa Marie Landgraf – violin; Burkhard Schlothauer – violin; Elisabeth Coudoux – violoncello; Ulrich Phillipp – double bass. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl; Includes insert and download code; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Classical
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buzzjoint2

Various: Buzzsaw Joint Cut 2 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee present Cut 2 of the Buzzsaw Joint series, compiled by Astro138 and DJ Zorch. Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! This second deep cut, coming from two city of angels record demons, unearths more strange sounds from times past. Astro138 and DJ Zorch created The Vinyl Record Association, an online haven where a global network of rare record fanatics and friends regularly share favorite spins. They can also be heard on Radiocore.org. Sixteen blistering buzzsaw selections from Astro138 and DJ Zorch, all recorded between 1956-1962. Features: Cy Wagner Orchestra, Shades Of Rhythm, Dave Osborn, Whispering Pigg, The Bikinis, The Gimicks, J.J. Jones, The Pharaohs, Los Twisters, Doug Powell, Duke & The Ambers, Charlie Daniels, The Altecs, Billy Preston, The Merrylanders, and The Dream Girls.

File Under: Rock n Roll, Rhythm & Blues

…..Restocks…..

Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (Ardent) LP
Big Star: Radio City (Ardent) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Sire) LP
Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sound) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Music on Vinyl) LP
Duke Ellington: At Newport (MoFi) LP
Flaming Lips: Clouds Taste Metallic (Warner) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead (Warp) LP
Marvin Gaye: How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Motown) LP
Grateful Dead: s/t (Rhino) LP
Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Isaac Hayes: Black Moses (Enterprise) LP
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
The Knife: Deep Cuts (Mute) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Alison Krauss: Windy City (Universal) LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Legend (Universal) LP
Meters: Fire on the Bayou (Reprise) LP
Nails: Abandon All Life (Southern Lord) LP
Nails: You Will Never Be One of Us (Southern Lord) LP
Necks: Unfold (Idealogic Organ) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 Chambers (Get on Down) LP
Richard Pinhas: Reverse (Bureau B) LP
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
The Shins: Heartworms (Sony) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sublime: s/t (Universal) LP
Sublime: 40oz to Freedom (Universal) LP
Gabor Szabo: Sorcerer (Impulse) LP
Tanya Tagaq: Retribution (Sixshooter) LP
Teenage Bandwagon: Bandwagonesque (Music on Vinyl) LP
Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones (Island) LP

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…..news letter #784 – case…..

Well, just when we thing it’s spring, it starts to snow again! As long as it gets this out of it’s system before April 22nd cuz you know what that is right? Everyone’s favorite day to line up outside to buy all the records! If you haven’t seen, the rumored RSD list is starting to float around, but next week the official list drops. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. Enjoy….

…..pick of the week…..

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Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier
The new Brio is here! The Brio has a completely new case to house its improved circuits and parts. It now sits in a fully aluminium two-part case which boosts the Brio’s heat sinking capabilities and improves on Rega’s already solid build quality and reliability. The new Brio has a cleverly integrated headphone socket specially designed to avoid interference with the audio circuit when not in use and as you would expect, a very high specification moving magnet phono stage is built in as standard. Throughout the design process the Brio has been meticulously improved in every aspect, from the quality of materials to the manufacturing process, to make this new Brio a step ahead in Rega’s engineering and design for amplifiers.

File Under: Gear, Rega, Amps

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…..new arrivals…..

anohni

Anohni: Paradise (Secretly Canadian) 10″
The revelry of 2016’s Hopelessness helped reinvent Anohni (fka Antony and The Johnsons) in the mold of staunch political agitator. Self-aware and self-flagellating, Anohni speaks of deep concern for our very livelihood, as a species and as a civil society. Critically acclaimed, Hopelessness came to represent a new and necessary musical language. Anohni’s Paradise EP is the extension, into 2017, of a language of protest and distress. The songs – already featured in her arresting live performances – were made during the same sessions as Hopelessness, but rather than trimmings or bonus material, they are, instead, unique touch points for old problems and newly minted geo-political crises writ macabre. Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never co-produced the EP. Available on 10″ vinyl with art featuring portraits of the performers at Anohni’s worldwide shows.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
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brotz1

Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Elements (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0030). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “What reveals itself in the über energetics on display here is the ability of one quartet to take so much for granted and yet express so much in the process. Van Hove, for instance, shuns all conventions in his approach to the piano: he quotes Liszt and Schubert as well as Ellington and Peterson then wipes all of them out with his elbows as if erasing a chalkboard. His ‘Florence Nightingale’ is a perfect example. Texturally, he creates diversions from the fury while never disengaging from it. Brötzmann and Mangelsdorff are out and out challenging each other to see who can destroy their instruments first, and Han Bennick is the most proactive percussionist in jazz history. His use of anything and everything while simultaneously playing a trap kit that creates time is astonishing. Elsewhere, on Brötzmann’s ‘Elements,’ African percussion and slow, long opened tonal drones by Mangelsdorff create a backdrop for the other two to explore without rushing in. Brötzmann enters almost tenderly, looking for a room to exit out of, but engaging himself in the microtonalities created by the rhythm section. Van Hove’s long augmented chords create a mode for not opening but splintering that exit and Brötzmann ushers the band through in a hurry heading for the outer reaches of the possible. . . . one of the best documents of the period on any continent.” –Thom Jurek, AllMusic, 1991

File Under: Free Jazz

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Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Couscouss de la Mauresque (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “Brötzmann’s regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he’s updated his playing all the way. On ‘Couscouss De La Mauresque’, for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann’s wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff’s technique doesn’t hinder his fire, either, and he’s well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you’ll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist’s solo on ‘Couscouss’. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout.” –Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972

 File Under: Free Jazz

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Brotzmann/Van Hove/ Bennink + Mangelsdorff: The End (Cien Feugos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0050). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “The great thing about this trilogy/set is how naturally everything flows. . . . each subdividing of the group, each solo excursion, feels smooth and logical, as though the player(s) in question had nodded to the others as if to say ‘Gimme a minute here, I’ve got an idea,’ and received assent in response. There’s all the ferocity any free jazz diehard could ask for, but it never goes on so long that it becomes schtick, and it’s always countered by passages that are genuinely beautiful in the most conventional, you-could-play-this-for-your-mom sense. Even without Mangelsdorff, Brötzmann, Van Hove and Bennink were a remarkably empathetic and attuned team, and when he joined them (and these records document their second and third times playing together, ever), everyone’s game was raised.” –Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance, 2013

File Under: Free Jazz

cannibale

Cannibale: No Mercy For Love (Born Bad) LP
In tomorrow… Still unknown in rock territory, French band Cannibale gets its name from its “kind of exotic garage” music whose humid tropical groove is slowly eating up all the stereotypes about Born Bad Records releases. If there’s cannibalism to be found in No Mercy For Love, it’s in reference to the Caribbean rhythms here-and-there, and to the psychedelic sound from the backwoods that make this first album a peculiar occurrence in the land of strikes and wine drinkers. There’s never any silence with Cannibale and, as for the lambs, stick to the village in the middle of nowhere where the band members reside – a hamlet in Normandy with a total population of 300, including the cows. Rather than human flesh, these guys have been feeding on their own impatience. Lead guitarist Manuel and singer Nicolas met in junior high (which is the case for 99% of rock bands so far), but the members of Cannibale have a Frustration type profile – almost all of them are over forty. During the last twenty years, with unbending faith, these guys played in loads of bands that never made it to the top (Amib, De Rien, 7Questions, Kouyaté Neerman, Renza Bo, Blast) and even ended up playing as session musicians alongside Camile Bazbaz or Johnny Halliday. After winning the Inrocks Labs contest with Bow Low, their penultimate band, and releasing two albums with Because, the Norman guys finally decided to create Cannibale in 2016. In theory, considering the beginning of their career, or lack thereof, you couldn’t imagine you’d end up hearing the sounds from No Mercy For Love: a surprising mixture of cumbia, African rhythms and garage music. Or, if you will, a kind of missing link between Fela Kuti, The Doors, and The Seeds. A bunch of forty year-olds whose origins are as white as their soul is black. “Releasing the album in our forties, we think it’s a laugh. Of course we keep on believing, it’s all we do, it’s what’s keeping us alive.”

File Under: French, Garage, Psych
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ciulliniDaniele Ciullini: Domestic Exile Collected Works 82-86 (Ecstatic) LP
In tomorrow… Ecstatic resuscitate Daniele Ciullini’s “sonic polaroids” of odder ’80s pop, drone, and drum machine workouts in the detached dimensions of Domestic Exile: Collected Works 82-86. Compiling the Florentine artist’s standout ’83 cassette plus a whole other side of compilation obscurities on vinyl for the first time, it presents a series of brilliant, isolated self-portraits by a mail art and tape scene insider (also photographer, zine publisher) who operated on the periphery of electro-industrial and ambient zones. His music is little known outside of Italy, so all credit is due to Alessio Natalizia for bringing his wide-ranging and prescient work to a broader audience here. As Ciullini’s pal and bandmate in The Cop Killers (along with Masami Akita, no less), Vittore Baroni states on the liner notes that Domestic Exile was produced when Ciullini was in his late 20s and therefore possesses a more measured, mature approach than many of his contemporaries who were also scrabbling around similar sounds. Using the instantly identifiable Boss DR-55 and Roland TR 606 drum machines, plus a 303, Fender Stratocaster Electric, and Yamaha CD-5 fed direct to TEAC tape deck, these are beautifully concise, dynamic glimpses of a sharpened mind at work, proving equally adept at nipping shifty industrial drum patterns as well as brooding proto-shoegaze with “Soft Marble”, or European synth expressions like “Flowers in the Water”. A massive recommendation for fans of Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between (1980), early The Human League or John Bender. Compiled by Not Waving. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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cohn

Al Cohn: Cohn on the Saxophone (Modern Harmonic) LP
Al Cohn first sprung on the national scene as one of the saxophonists on the Woody Herman hit “Four Brothers,” a crazy arrangement of “Jeepers Creepers” featuring each “brother” on a wild-and-crazy swingin’ saxophone solo. Along with fellow “brother” Zoot Sims, Cohn became one of New York’s leading sax men, forming with Sims in a quintet that played in the hot beatnik jazz scene of the day, even backing up Jack Kerouac on a few poetry recordings. Cohn on the Saxophone finds our man Cohn taking the lead on a series of great jazz standards. Al’s sax voice on this session is smooth, lyrical; almost like he’s talking to you or telling a story. Dig his smooth, supple playing on “We Three,” or the gorgeously blue-toned notes he hits on “Singing The Blues” — Cohn is very much a man at home with his instrument, and the band lays back and lets him spin his tales. When Cohn on the Saxophone was originally issued in 1956, Downbeat magazine gave it the prestigious and rare five-star rating — and over 60 years down the pike it still sounds as vital and delicious as it did when it was released. This lost jazz classic is finally yours to enjoy again, pressed onto colored vinyl, and neatly slid into a beautifully restored package. Only on Modern Harmonic!

File Under: Jazz
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constant

Constantine: Hades (Bedouin) LP
In tomorrow… “The expression of two years’ field recording on the Greek islands of Kalymnos and Lesbos — deep inside a network of caves, and in the teeth of torrential winter storms — with added strings, grand piano, live drumming and orchestral percussion, in its confluence of ‘modern classical, metallic drone, dark ambient, and fuzz’. Guided by Steve Reich, Mika Vainio and Henri Bergson; haunted and spurred by the refugee crisis.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Classical
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dixon

Reverend Sam Dixon: My Soul Says Yes (Asherah) LP
In tomorrow… “DIY gospel, privately emitted from Ozone Park, Brooklyn sometime in the late 1970’s! Luckily for us, Rev. Samuel Dixon’s Samdy label stayed in business long enough to get a few copies of this deep soul children’s choir treasure into the atmosphere. Buried for 40 years, finally aloft for a new generation of homemade music fans” –Rob Sevier, Numero Group

 File Under: Gospel, Blues
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dodec

Dodecahedron: Kwintessens (Season of Mist) LP
Dodecahedron returns after four years to take black metal by the horns and launch the genre to new heights with their sophomore album Kwintessens. The band conjures a unique sound that is as alien as it is terrifying; dragging the listener through a horrific journey of atonal and dissonant moments, jarring tempo changes, and dramatic shifts in composition. Kwintessens sees Dodecahedron embrace the shifting from the light to the dark as they masterfully guide their signature style of bizarre, uneasy aggression into passages of cold, threatening calm. Kwintessens marks a new evolution for a band far ahead of their peers, and spares no one in its path of sonic demolition.

File Under: Black Metal
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jacaszek

Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly) LP
Michal Jacaszek is an absolute master of melancholy: the Polish composer who’s spun dramatic shades of darkness and light into gold for more than a decade now, from the trickle-down electronics of Treny and artful gloom of Glimmer to the vapor-trailed verses of their looming spiritual cousin Kwiaty. The album – which was inspired by An English anthology of metaphysical poetry from the 17th century – is the most vocal-driven material Jacaszek’s ever written, melding his stormy melodies with a breakout performance by Hania Malarowska (of the Warsaw-based rock band Hanimal) and the robust supporting roles of Joasia Sobowiec-Jamioł and Natalia Grzebała, with lyrics adapted from poems from Virgil and Robert Herrick.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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nouvelle1

Nouvelle Vague: s/t (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Nouvelle Vague is the revered French group’s 2004 self-titled debut. The album consists entirely of easy listening and bossa nova versions of songs that were written and recorded during the post-punk/new wave era by the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Clash, Public Image Ltd, XTC and The Cure among others. And in an interesting twist the songs were recorded with female vocalists who were unfamiliar with the tunes they would be covering. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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nouvelle2

Nouvelle Vague: Bande a Part (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Bande à Part is the revered French group’s second album, originally released in 2006. Like their eponymous debut, it’s a compelling collection of bossa nova cover versions of ’80s new wave tracks from artists like Echo & the Bunnymen, Buzzcocks, Blondie, New Order, The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees and U2 among others. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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nouvelle3

Nouvelle Vague: 3 (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. 3 is the revered French group’s third album, initially released in 2009. As with their previous releases, it consists entirely of cover versions, mostly of post-punk and new wave songs from the ’70s and ’80s. Four of the tracks are performed as duets, featuring the song’s original vocalist performing alongside one of Nouvelle Vague’s female singers. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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omari

Abdou El Omari: Nuits D’Ete Avec Naima Samin (Radio Martiko) LP
In tomorrow… First issue of this previously unreleased oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds. Nuits D’ete Avec Naima Samin is the second part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. This album contains heavenly compositions for the Moroccon diva Naima Samih and some moody instrumentals in a similar vein to the previous album, Nuits D’ete. Includes download code.

File Under: Psych, Electronic, Morocco
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pinback

Pinback: Some Offcell Voices (Temporary Residence) LP
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn’t quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn’t yet become their day job; it hadn’t yet become a well-oiled 5-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century.  Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback’s live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it’s only fitting that Temporary Residence revisit these poignant recordings – and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.

File Under: Indie Rock
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raney

Jimmy Raney: Visits Paris (Modern Harmonic) LP
By the time Jimmy Raney recorded the ultra-cool Visits Paris, he was already at the peak of his career. Having started in 1944 with the Jerry Wald band, he’d pass through a passel of great jazz combos before ending up with Stan Getz in his classic quintet. There, the guitarist became world-renowned, and just weeks before cutting this album, in 1954, he was voted the number one guitarist in the world by French magazine Le Hot Jazz. The album finds Raney on a (very) brief break from touring France, taking the opportunity to cut an album with some local musicians and putting himself very much in the foreground after having been a sideman on previous projects. He spins through a variety of songs, from his solo composition “Tres Chouette” (translation: “very cute”) to standards such as “Night and Day” and “Love For Sale” with his trademark smooth guitar style. The French band is very much up to the challenge, and the album’s bubbling energy on songs like “Too Marvelous For Words” is positively infectious. Long a sought-after jazz classic, Visits Paris is finally available again and pressed onto colored vinyl with lovingly-restored artwork. Only on Modern Harmonic!

File Under: Jazz
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realestateReal Estate: In Mind (Domino) LP
In Mind, the fourth full-length record from Real Estate, is a portrait of a mature band at the height of its power. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the band’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries Real Estate even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. On the new record, the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums – 2009’s Real Estate, 2011’s Days, and 2014’s Atlas – so beloved, and pushes their songs in a variety of compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist and vocalist Martin Courtney at his home in Beacon – a quiet town in upstate New York – In Mind offers a shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record casts the band in a new light – one that replaces the wistful ennui of teenage suburbia with an equally complicated adult version. The record not only showcases some of the band’s most sublime arrangements to date, it also presents a leap forward in terms of production, with the band utilizing the studio as a tool to broaden the sonic landscape of their music to stunning effect. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Cole M.G.N. (known for his work with the likes of Beck, Snoop Dogg, Dam-Funk, Nx Worries, and Julia Holter), the eleven tracks on In Mind deliver the same kind of warmth and soft-focus narratives that one has come to expect from the band – pastoral guitars, elegantly deployed arrangements, a sort of mindful melancholy – but there is also a newly adventurous sonic edge to the proceedings. Album opener – the ebullient pop number “Darling” – announces itself with a wash of synth tones rather than guitars. Elsewhere, on tracks like “Serve the Song” and “Two Arrows,” guitarist Julian Lynch employs a variety of distorted guitar sounds that might have felt out of place on previous Real Estate records, with the latter track stretching out beyond the six-minute mark – the closest thing to a jam the band has ever recorded. The band’s predilection for crafting airtight pop songs remains in full-effect here, with songs like “Stained Glass” and “Same Sun” occupying the same kind of rarefied universe as fan favorites like “Talking Backwards” or “It’s Real.” Glittering pop moments aside, the record’s most stunning moments are arguably it’s most restrained – “After the Moon” unspools in waltz-like fashion, while album closer “Saturday” offers In Mind’s most pointed take on moving beyond the fascinations of youth.

File Under: Indie Rock
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russell

Arthur Russell: Instrumentals (Audika) LP
In tomorrow… “Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, ‘I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.’ Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur’s ‘greatest achievements’. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur’s most elusive compositions, ‘Reach One’, and ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, ‘Reach One’ is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’ was inspired by Arthur’s work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur’s musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur’s coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time.”

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Experimental
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spectres

Spectres: Condition (Sonic Cathedral) LP
In tomorrow… The follow-up to Spectres’ acclaimed 2015 debut Dying, Condition was recorded by Dominic Mitchison and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road in London. It’s louder and more abrasive than their debut, but also a real progression. It sounds huge and adds a genuinely innovative and confrontational edge. “There were discussions about experimenting with electronics, but the idea soon petered out when we realized we still wanted to experiment with guitars,” reveals singer and guitarist Joe Hatt. As a result tracks such as “End Waltz” have a relentlessly pounding, almost techno structure, in contrast to the kinetosis-inducing dirge of “Dissolve”. Elsewhere, the almost restrained (by Spectres’ standards) white noise and wordplay of “A Fish Called Wanda” and the sprawling “Colour Me Out” are counterbalanced by brutal assaults such as “Neck” and “Welcoming The Flowers”. “On this album we became even less interested in actually playing guitar,” explains Hatt, “which meant that we got more into experimenting with the sounds we could get out of them when brutalizing them and letting the feedback do the talking.”

File Under: Noise Rock
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spoon

Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Hot Thoughts is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of Spoon’s trend setting career. With all due respect to earlier efforts which have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it is crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated. Produced by Dave Friedmann and back with Matador (third time’s the charm) helps position Spoon to mount the highest highs of their already spectacular career. Matador is overjoyed to be back in the Spoon business and in time for Britt Daniel’s spot in the pantheon of rock’s genius songwriters was well established way back – with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on Hot Thoughts, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.

File Under: Indie Rock
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drunk

Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) 4×10″
Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015’s The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The latest album titled Drunk is released via Brainfeeder and features production from Flying Lotus. Following his Grammy award winning contributions on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, Bruner delivers arguably his most ambitious work to date. Vocal features include Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell. In addition to Lamar, Thundercat has worked with a wide range of artists including Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Bilal, Suicidal Tendencies, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and more making him one of the most in demand musicians of our time.

File Under: Hip Hop, Fun, Soul, RNB, Disco, Electronic
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turinn

Turinn: 18 1/2 Minute Gaps (Modern Love) LP
In tomorrow… Outta the shadows and into the strobe-light, Alex Lewis, aka Turinn, debuts on Modern Love with a debut double-pack of sawn-off bruk-beats and anxious, nerve-riding grooves brewed in the ravines of North Manchester. Turinn emerges from a new generation of producers in the city that include longtime spar Willow, and upcoming producer Croww. Crooked and rugged, but tempered by an acute emotive sensitivity, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps renders a bleedin’ cross-section of mongrel, hybrid style ‘n pattern in a breathless, deceptively freehand fashion that comes riddled with an electric blue energy all of its own. Committing ten tracks of fractious, mutant funk and sore feels, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps serves to cap Turinn’s formative phase of production like a lead lid on a nuclear rave implosion; trapping original ‘ardcore ‘nuum, Detroit booty and dank post-punk elements in a perpetual flux of in-the-pocket grooves which ravenously attempt to split at the seams, alternately pushing into Muslimgauze-like buffer zones of distortion or resoundingly wide ambient dimensions, and often both at once. This ambiguous dichotomy is epitomized between the rare surge of quick/slow torque in “Ovum”, which almost sounds like Chris Carter sparring with Burial Hex, and then in his nod to the Italian new wave with “Elba”, which seems to find the square root between Lorenzo Senni and some skudgy as heck Kassem Mosse grind, whereas the bittersweet soul of “1625” finds compatible links with his close peer, Workshop’s Willow as well as Japan’s Shinichi Atobe and scene enabler Move D, while “Parratactico” swaggers into quantum dancehall meters. The album title track runs at a next level Detroit momentum like DJ Stingray flipping Derrick May and Carl Craig’s “Kao-tic Harmonies”, before “ESO” cuts in like a super cranky El-B wearing itchy Primark underwear, and the bone-rattling hardcore jungle of “Spawn” soon enough gives way to the sweet lad couplet of “Petrichor” and “Ondine”, where his elusive, distressed melodic touch really shines thru. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Pressed at Pallas.

File Under: Electronic, Dub, Techno
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typhonian

Typhonian Highlife: The World of Shells (Kraak) LP
In tomorrow… Typhonian Highlife is the new moniker of Spencer Clark. Clark is the ultimate shape-shifter, a trickster continuously mutating from a sci-fi hero, into a mystic guru or into a speculative visionary. As Typhonian Highlife, he assimilates juxtapositions of the natural world and fantastic technology to reanimate the manneristic tradition. His compositions envision possible futures and speculative pasts. They imagine a new vision upon mankind, as a mythical underwater creature who creates meaning through a prosaic mysticism. The World Of Shells works as an dream expedition that has overflowed itself into real time. Through continual material-world visualization, a technologically natured music unfolds as a series of movements outlining the existence of a mythological African creature. Travelling through Hollywood, Hanging Rock, Australia, and The Ear of Dionysus in Sicily, the creature was placed, and has enacted a music and art form that explores a sci-fi aquatic and wind-blown desert fusion to uncover the life and wanderings of this non-material being. Mastered by Christophe Albertijn. Artwork by Spencer Clark.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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vu3

Velvet Underground: Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes 3 (Tummy Tapes) LP
In tomorrow… The third and final installment of the massive trilogy of The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes. Recorded through a microphone jammed in the back of Lou Reed’s amp right around the release of The Velvet Underground’s third album (1969), The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury and a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing which in this set is a monolithic roar, a pulverizing electronic kaiju (strange beast) grinding the whole universe into pebble and sand. Recorded at the Boston Tea Party on March 15, 1969. Paste-on covers. Edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Rock

wilen

Barney Wilen: Moshi (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Deluxe remastered reissue of Barney Wilen’s 1972 album Moshi, featuring additional artwork and a 20-page booklet of rare pictures, sheet music, and the original liner notes. Includes a bonus DVD (packaged with exclusive artwork) of Caroline de Bendern’s 1971 film à l’intention de Mlle Issoufou à Bilma, documenting this amazing African journey. Limited edition of 1000. “In 1970 Barney Wilen assembled a team of filmmakers, technicians, and musicians to travel to Africa for the purpose of recording the music of the native pygmy tribes. Upon returning to Paris two years later, he created Moshi, a dark, eccentric effort fusing avant jazz sensibilities with African rhythms, ambient sound effects, and melodies rooted in American blues traditions. Cut with French and African players including guitarist Pierre Chaze, pianist Michel Graillier, and percussionist Didier Leon, this is music with few precedents or followers, spanning from extraterrestrial dissonance to earthbound, street-legal funk. Wilen pays little heed to conventional structure, assembling tracks like ‘Afrika Freak Out’ and ‘Zombizar’ from spare parts of indeterminate origins.” –Jason Ankeny, AllMusic

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Field Recordings
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black cat trail

Various: Black Cat Trail (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “Long before the era of digital reissues, the Mamlish blues compilation LPs served a critical role in in keeping the musical tradition alive. More than a genre primer, this meticulously curated and annotated set, featuring such key forces as Snooky Pryor, Elmore James and Robert Nighthawk, doesn’t just showcase long unavailable classics, it provides an emotionally charged, deeply satisfying listening experience.”

File Under: Blues

chicago

Various: Chicago Slickers 1948-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This issue of Nighthawk Records presents twenty-four classic recordings from Chicago’s heyday as a blues center. The rapid local proliferation of small independent labels during the postwar years and the shoestring economics practiced by their owners, fostered a fierce competitiveness more than matched in the musical community. Unfortunately, the failure of such small labels as Parkway, Tempotone and Random often obscured in extreme rarity even the most inspired performances by such regional heavyweights as Little Walter, Floyd Jones, John Brim and Johnny Shines. The resurrection of these important recordings will be cause for celebration in blues circles. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”

File Under: Blues

chicago 2

Various: Chicago Slickers 2 1948-1955 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “Chicago Slickers Vol. 2 presents another selection of the best and rarest Chicago blues recordings of the early postwar era. All of the selections included here were previously available on a limited edition double album on the Boogie Disease label, but in the many years since that important anthology was issued, several titles have been duplicated elsewhere, and thus the two discs have been re-edited down to one album of the most important and obscure sides.”

File Under: Blues

home again

Various: Home Again Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “The post-war era’s feverish outbreak of independent blues recording captured some of the mightiest practitioners in the genre’s history, and this trove of long unavailable rarities is every fan’s dream come true. With prime cuts from such masters as Sunnyland Slim, Frankie Lee Sims and the soul stirring Brother Willie Eason, this classic Mamlish retrospective is a painstakingly compiled trove of electrifying mid-century blues.”

File Under: Blues

fluxus

Various: Fluxus Anthology (Song Cycle) LP
In tomorrow… Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Fluxus Anthology: A Collection Of Music And Sound Events, originally released in 1989. Fluxus was a collaborative movement of artists that worked across the diverse artistic mediums of performance, music, dance, poetry, photography, architecture, painting, sculpture, and film during the 1960s. Emerging in New York City, and spreading to Europe and Japan, Fluxus was led by recognized artists such as George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, La Monte Young, and John Cage. Fluxus Anthology is a collection of works created by these visionary artists, featuring works by: Walter Marchetti, Juan Hidalgo, La Monte Young, Ben Vautier, Wolf Vostell, Milan Knizák, Robert Filliou, Alison Knowles, Emmett Williams, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Philip Corner, Eric Andersen, Robert Watts, and Ken Friedman. Released in collaboration with Maurizio Nannucci. Presented here on clear, 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Fluxus, Experimental

hustle

Various: Hustle: Reggae Disco (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ reissue their long-out-of-print album Hustle! Reggae Disco in a new expanded 2017 edition which now features five bonus tracks. This ground-breaking album features non-stop killer reggae versions of original funk and soul classics in a disco style. Reggae disco updates of seminal classics by Anita Ward (“Ring My Bell”), Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman”), Michael Jackson (“Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,”) Sugarhill Gang (“Rappers Delight”) here performed by Derrick Laro and Trinity for producer Joe Gibbs and more, all showing the hidden but inseparable link between the dance floors of New York, Kingston and London. New bonus tracks to this collection include Derrick Harriott’s funky take on Eddie Drennon’s “Do It Nice & Easy,” the classic disco reggae of Risco Connection’s take on McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” and the London rare groove lovers rock take on Barbara Acklin’s soul classic “Am I The Same Girl.” Hustle! Reggae Disco has been one of Soul Jazz Records’ best-selling releases since its first issue 15 years ago (and subsequently featured heavily in the early Grand Theft Auto games). This new 3LP edition comes fully re-mastered and with all original titles plus the new tracks.

File Under: Reggae, Disco

lord

Various: Lord Have Mercy (Playback) LP
In tomorrow…  “A hard-hitting collection of 27 funky, fantastic Gospel gems from the Checker catalog! Includes Gospel legends The Soul Stirrers, Salem Travelers, The Violinaires and many more, featuring beats, grooves and vocal performances that rival any of R&B recordings of the era — the best of the label’s rich heritage of music the church!” Also features: The William Singers, The Gospel Classics, Charlie Brown, Stevie Hawkins, The Meditation Singers, The Masonic Wonders, The East St. Louis Gospelettes, Meditations, The Jordan Singers, Gospel Six, The Gospel Hi-Lites, Martha Bass, and The Harmonizing Four.

File Under: Gospel, Funk, Soul

new deal

Various: New Deal Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “When Mamlish first issued this superb collection of Depression-era blues in 1970’s, it was a bellwether in the reintroduction of a critically important form of traditional American music. Featuring such striking classics as Kansas Joe McCoy’s ‘Meat Cutter Blues,’ Memphis Minnie’s ‘Keep it to Yourself’ and Peanut the Kidnapper’s ‘Suicide Blues’ this lovingly assembled and annotated set is a compelling musical tour de force.”

File Under: Blues

spiritual7

Various: Spiritual Jazz 7: Islam (Jazzman) LP
In tomorrow… Esoteric, modal, and progressive jazz, inspired by Islam and recorded between 1957-1988. Songs ancient and divine – the seventh volume of Jazzman Records’ acclaimed Spiritual Jazz series examines the influence and impact of Islam on four decades of jazz innovation. Through Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the civil rights era in America saw African American liberation politics famously associated with Islamic belief. This was not the first time that radical developments in African American cultural life had been widely and famously associated with Islam – that distinction belongs not to political or sporting giants, but to the progressive jazz musicians of the bebop generation. Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Sahib Shihab, Gigi Gryce, Idrees Sulieman, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef; all these legendary jazz pioneers – and countless more – were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam. Their faith profoundly influenced the music that they made, and the presence of prominent and innovative Muslim musicians at the heart of jazz culture in America has been recognized ever since. The tracks on this collection follow the story of Islam and jazz from the 1950s to the 1980s. Recorded by Muslim jazz musicians, they often draw specifically on Middle Eastern or Islamic music, dream of an esoteric or spiritual Afro-East, or invoke the landscape and sound worlds of Islamic Africa. Spiritual Jazz 7 presents a selection of visionary music – inspired by faith, powered by jazz. Many tracks never before reissued. Features: Maurice McIntyre, Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio with Malachi Favors & Ari Brown, Pharoah Sanders, Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Creative Arts Ensemble, East New York Ensemble De Music, Idrees Sulieman, Jamila Sulieman, Yusef Lateef, Sabu Martinez & Sahib Shihab, Abdelrahman ‘Abdo’ Elkhatib, Solar Plexus, The Lightmen Plus One, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Dawan Muhammad. Double LP version comes in gatefold a sleeve with extensive liner notes and pictures.

File Under: Jazz

windy city

Various: Windy City Blues 1935-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This first issue of Nighthawk Records documents primarily the transitional work of Southern born bluesmen who immigrated to Chicago before the Second World War, but whose careers endured into the postwar era. The lure of the major studios and the easy availability of club work on the growing South side made the Windy City the natural destination of talented blues musicians and the local blues scene was firmly established by the late 20s when the vanguard included Tampa Red, Big Bill, and Georgia Tom. The 30s brought Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Washboard Sam and Memphis Minnie while the 40s produced Robert Lockwood, Johnny Shines and Muddy Waters. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”

File Under: Blues

…..Restocks…..

Adele: 25 (XL) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (WCV) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Grails: Black Tar Prophecy 1, 2, & 3 (Temporary Residence) LP
Grails: Take Refuge in Clean Living (Temporary Residence) LP
Jonsi: Rice Boy Sleeps (XL) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Brazil (Born Bad) LP
Les Rallizes Denudes: Live 7 (Mono-Tone) LP
Stephen Malkmus: Mirror Traffic (Matador) LP
Moondog: Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jons) LP
Orb: COW/Chill Out, World (Kompakt) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Run D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Music on Vinyl) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dubmir) LP
Sleep: The Clarity (Southern Lord) LP
Colin Stetson: Sorrow (52Hz) LP
Various: Antologia de Musica Atipica Portuguesa (Discrepant) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 1 (Transworld) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 2 (Transworld) LP

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…..news letter #783 – reconciling…..

Not a HUGE list this week, but after the last few, I think we could all use some time to catch up. Lots of big releases coming up too, like Spoon, Depeche Mode, etc. Thundercat MIGHT be late. It’s not here yet but could show up tomorrow, but it didn’t sound promising…. anyway, back to my paperwork.

…..pick of the week…..

king-gizz
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
You may have missed this rockin’ slab a couple of weeks ago, and there was too much great stuff that week, so we’re bringing it to your attention again cuz it’s awesome! Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explains drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.” The Melbourne-based band plan to release five studio albums in 2017, an ambitious feat as each record will be its own unique sonic adventure.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

ie

Budgie: Bandolier (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation. Issued in 1975, Bandolier is the band’s classic fifth full-length and last album for MCA Records. It showcases Budgie at the height of their recording and songwriting acumen pursuing a much more accessible straight ahead rock sound. It was also notable for being their first of many releases with third drummer Steve Williams whose work Bourge said “complimented the type of stuff that Budgie did. It did make the band sound a bit more tasteful.”

File Under: Hard Rock
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budgie

Budgie: In For The Kill (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation.  1974’s In For The Kill is the fourth Budgie full-length and first sans the original power trio with Ray Phillips’ drum duties being taken over by Pete Boot (his only studio release with the group). As heavy as any of the band’s early offerings, Bourge’s guitar heroics dominate the proceedings with the title track featuring a contagious boogie in the vein of ZZ Top while the 9-minute plus fan favorite “Zoom Club” finds the group truly dropping the heavy metal hammer.

File Under: Hard Rock
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budgie1

Budgie: Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation. Never Turn Your Back On A Friend was the last release from the orinal trio as drummer Ray Phillips would depart the group in 1974 and it’s home to Budgie’s best-known song, the speed metal-esque “Breadfan” which was later covered famously by noted fans Metallica for their 1998 album Garage Inc.

 File Under: Hard Rock
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buzz

Buzzcocks: Time’s Up (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to be reissuing Buzzcocks’ Time’s Up, the 1976 album of demos recorded with founder and singer Howard Devoto and originally released as a bootleg. “It’s the buzz, cock.” Devoto read this headline from a February 1976 Time Out review of Rock Follies – the 1970’s TV musical drama following the ups and downs of the fictional female rock group Little Ladies. Adapting and appropriating it for the new band that he and Pete Shelley had just formed (having just realized what a Sex Pistol was before anyone else), the Buzzcocks were officially born. Howard and Pete went about organizing the now infamous 1976 Lesser Free Trade Hall gigs that brought punk to the provinces and galvanized the Manchester music revolution. The plan was to simply play support to the Pistols and see what happened next. The rest, as they say, is history! Featuring the original line-up of Howard Devoto (vocals & songwriter), Pete Shelley (guitar & songwriter), Steve Diggle (bass guitar) and John Maher (drums), Time’s Up was recorded at Revolution Studios, Bramhall Lane Stockport on the 18th of October 1976. The session, recording Buzzcocks’ live set at the time, cost around $55 and was engineered by Andy MacPherson.

File Under: Punk
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creation

The Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
The Creation were a dynamic band with an equally engaging image, they would burn brightly for less than two years, yet would leave an indelible mark upon music history. With producer du jour Shel Talmy at the helm (The Who, Kinks, Easybeats, Cat Stevens) The Creation went on an incredible two year tear of singles, including “Making Time,” “How Does It Feel To Feel,” “Tom Tom,” and “If I Stay Too Long.” By 1968 it was over. Eddie Phillips’ trademark guitar bowing would be nicked by Jimmy Page and Boney M would cheese-up “Painter Man.” Over the nearly five decades since, The Creation has seen a tremendous resurgence in interest. First it was the Jam flossing “Making Time” on the inner sleeve of All Mod Cons. A few years later Alan McGee formed the band Biff Bang Pow and his Creation record label. By the turn of the century a new generation had discovered the band via a strategic placement in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Presented here for the first time are twenty Creation studio recordings, remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band’s story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying booklet. Numero has rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.

File Under: Garage, Psych
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dude sincerely

Dude York: Sincerely (Hardly Art) LP
The Seattle-based trio Dude York – Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums – is announcing itself with an album that couches its themes of anxiety and eroding mental health in rock tracks that amp up the sweetly melodic crunch of power pop with massive distortion and bashed-to-heck drums. Sincerely is a loud, sweaty rebuke to those moments in life when it seems like nothing is working, a testament to the power of friendship, staring problems directly in the face, and finding solace in art. Longtime Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill producer John Goodmanson and The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato helped Dude York craft a more straightforward draft of Sincerely, one based on the energy of their live show but without any superfluous flourishes. The band’s thoughtful approach to putting together Sincerely’s songs echoes the album’s overarching themes of almost-punishing inward focus. Bringing England’s straightforward drawl into the mix underscores that idea, and its contrast to Richards’ excited yelp heightens the tension on Sincerely, a chaotic, yet ultimately triumphant album that’s a vital tonic for these increasingly confused times.

File Under: Indie Rock
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gnaw

Gnaw Their Tongues: Hymns for the Broken (Consouling Sounds) LP
The Dutch master of all things nightmare Gnaw Their Tongues returns with the release of his brand new offering Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent. The new album shows Gnaw Their Tongues at the top of its game. The band started out as a studio project, but has recently started performing live, and it feels like this carefully found its way into the music. Don’t get us wrong: oppressive, bleak and claustrophobic remain the key words when describing the unique output of this drone/noise/black metal infused miscreant of Mories. The music grabs you by the throat and sucks all the air out of the room. Although it leaves little more than an anaerobe environment, the music itself feels likes it has been breathing and organically growing into this true beast of an album.

File Under: Drone, Noise, Black Metal
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addy

Granddaddy: Last Place (30th Century) LP
In March 2017, Modesto, CA’s Grandaddy will release Last Place (on Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton’s 30th Century Records), the group’s long awaited first studio album since 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat. Produced by the band’s Jason Lytle, Last Place is wry, humane, poignant, fantastical, and very beautiful; a panoramic representation of everything that has always made Grandaddy so well-loved. After Grandaddy broke up in 2006, Lytle relocated to Montana, where he happily made two solo albums, and reconnected with the natural world around him. Eventually, though, life uprooted him again, taking him to Portland, OR until he eventually returned to his former home of Modesto. The return to California was practical (he needed to be near his bandmates) but also appropriate: he had started writing songs that he felt would be fitting for another Grandaddy album. He needed to let the ideas flow until he found the perfect chemistry for what is now Last Place, which he describes as: “just enough personal stuff and just enough escapism, just enough electronics and just enough acoustic elements. The full spectrum.” The result is a perfect addition to the band’s celebrated, critically-acclaimed catalogue, that includes their breakthrough sophomore album, Sophtware Slump, and their debut, Under the Western Freeway. It’s a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones. Lytle‘s voice sounds as warm and intimate as ever, giving graceful levity to the doomsday narratives that have dominated the Grandaddy output. When it came time to release the record, Grandaddy found an ally in artist, producer, and label owned Danger Mouse who notes, “Grandaddy’s music has had a big influence on me and the new album almost sounds like it could fit between Sophtware Slump and Sumday.”

File Under: Rock
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ibibio

Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai (Merge) LP
Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro. Since their self-titled debut in 2014, the band has forged a reputation as a high-energy live act. New album Uyai (pronounced ‘you eye’) means “beauty” in Ibibio language and refers to the strength and free spirit of women in general and in particular, the courage of the women in lead singer Eno Williams’ family, to whom she often refers in her writing…”The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.” The album opens with “Give Me a Reason,” a song about the 276 Chibok girls who were abducted in northern Nigeria in 2014 and remain missing to this day. Eno challenges, “Why should girls be denied the right to education, and why should people in general not be free to be who they want to be in their life?” “The Pot Is On Fire” is a food dance celebrating the “happy place” when the food will be ready soon. “It’s also metaphorical,” Eno writes. “Something is brewing which will soon bear fruit.” Folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Electronic, Funk
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lambchop

Lambchop: Is A Woman (Merge) LP
Lambchop’s 2002 album Is a Woman is a very quiet album best heard loud. On a musical landscape of sophisticated, uncluttered melancholy, Kurt Wagner’s lyrics are given unprecedented space, allowing every guttural detail of every single word to be heard, revealing densely poetic texts as intimate as they were incisive, as comic as they were confessional. To discover the true spirit of Is a Woman, however, one need only listen to the remarkable “My Blue Wave,” one of the band’s finest recordings to date. Here, Wagner depicts a world of helpless tragedy in which comfort can nonetheless be found in the smallest of gestures, as he journeys from the contented sight of his pets – “You lay around the house…Just bones and squirrels inside your head” – to recollections of a devastating phone call from friend and bandmate William Tyler: “And William called and tried to tell me / That his sister’s boyfriend has just died / He’s not sure what to do / And I’m not sure what to tell him he should do / Sometimes William, we’re just screwed / In my blue wave.” 15 years later, Lambchop continue to confound and astound in equal measures, but this startlingly private song captures the magic of Is a Woman at its most distilled. With their sound consistently shifting and surprising, the band’s line-up has morphed and adapted repeatedly since then, but the lingering mood of lachrymose but compassionate elegance of “My Blue Wave” helps explain why this extraordinary, idiosyncratic record is now considered to be one of the band’s finest. As Wagner himself asks on “Bugs”: “Think of things and how they got this way / Way above the rest / Isn’t this the fucking best?”

File Under: Folk, Country, Rock
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fiasco

Lupe Fiasco: Drogas Light (1st & 15th) LP
A decade after Lupe Fiasco exploded onto the hip-hop scene with his seminal 2006 debut Food & Liquor, the Chicago native is closing the chapter on his career with his most visualized projects yet. The independent rapper, who parted ways with his former label Atlantic Records following the release of 2015’s Tetsuo & Youth, hits his creative peak with a trilogy of albums – Drogas Light, Drogas and Skulls – the final curtain call on one of the most gifted lyricists and visionaries to grace the mic. If anything, Drogas Light, the first delivery to fans arriving in early 2017, is a testament to Fiasco’s artistic growth throughout the years. The 14-track LP is free of restraint, and daring by his standards: the sonic and storytelling palettes are vast and diverse, more so than ever before, traipsing genre and style with ease and touting songs to soundtrack everything from a night at the club to a quiet listen on headphones. Where Tetsuo & Youth leaned into more experimental pastures, Drogas Light is the embodiment of a musician whose foray beyond the boundaries of hip-hop feels increasingly natural, a glimpse into the genius that will be Fiasco’s legacy as he inevitably walks away from the spotlight. From the start of Drogas Light, Fiasco lays his rhyming skills bare, attacking a haunted beat accented by a screwed vocal sample on opener “Dopamine” that self-reflectively emphasizes the magnetism of the album (“Over-d off of this, but don’t fall asleep ‘til the dopamine hit!” he chants). The set is dotted with several trap-inflected songs – “NGL” featuring Ty Dolla $ign is a turn-up anthem that entertains the reasons why success comes slow to many, while the Streetrunner-produced lead single “Made in the USA” catalogues the various home-grown, illicit products manufactured in the country. Fiasco has often been pegged as a socially conscious emcee, likened to peers including Common and Nas, and he lives up to the reputation on “City of the Year,” where he explores the economic disparity of Chi-town. He flexes his storytelling muscle on the hypnotic, spinning “Jump,” on which he unfolds the tale of going from a “trapper to a rapper” by supplying a female adversary with a career boost. But it’s when the album hits the relax button that Drogas Light coasts on cushy grooves: “Kill,” also featuring Ty Dolla $ign, is an after-hours ode to women who work at gentleman’s clubs, and the vamping closer “More Than My Heart” is an emotionally charged hat-tip to all the mothers who would sacrifice anything for their children. While Drogas Light is just a taste of what he has to offer in the new year, it’s yet another earmark on a track record of an artist who continually comes into new bloom.

File Under: Hip Hop
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malek

Ahmed Malak & Flako: The Electronic Tapes (Habibi Funk) LP
In the early 1980s, Ahmed Malek was already in his 50s , when he discovered synthesizers and electronic music for himself and started to experiment with sounds. The result was a mixture of ambient synth music, field recordings he made in Cuba and a wide variation of different sound experiments that he also presented as different avantgarde music festivals in Cuba and the US.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Algerian
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marling

Laura Marling: Semper Femina (More Alarming) LP
Semper Femina is Laura Marling’s sixth studio album. It was largely written on the road, following the release of Laura’s acclaimed album, Short Movie, in the spring of 2015. Its loose lyrical thread strings together her keen, freshly observed take on womanhood, and what Laura describes as a particularly ‘masculine time in her life’. It’s a record that similarly addresses questions of how society views sexuality and gender but without seeking to provide definitive answers. It retains an openness to express and portray her own ‘voyage’ of self-discovery, but also to develop and learn as artist, performer, and as an individual over the course of her career. A rich and enriching listen, Semper Femina is a typically mature and raw record by one of our most talented and prolific young musicians of a generation. The deluxe vinyl LP edition includes an exclusive live bonus disc, recorded at Martyrs’ in Chicago. This deluxe product features two 140g vinyl discs, printed inner sleeves on reverse board with embossed sigil design, and wide spined sleeve. Also comes with digital download cards for both discs.

File Under: Folk
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mono

Mono: Under The Pipal Tree (Temporary Residence) LP
Under The Pipal Tree is the debut album by now-legendary Japanese experimental rock band MONO. Released in 2001 on avant-garde icon John Zorn’s Tzadik label, Under The Pipal Tree showcased a young Japanese quartet whose wide range of influences – most notably Sonic Youth, Mogwai, The Velvet Underground, and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse – were on ferocious and ambitious display. Though MONO would eventually become known for their expert marriage of metal and classical genres, Under The Pipal Tree highlights the band’s psychedelic roots. Long stretches of hypnotic, melodic washes give way to scorching guitar freakouts that evaporate into haunting silence. It’s remarkable not just for its earnest exploration, but for its startling execution. 15 years and 8 albums later, Under The Pipal Tree stands as one of the great debut albums by a seminal underground band. Finally released on vinyl for the first time ever, Under The Pipal Tree has been remastered for the format by longtime friend and tour mate, Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The double album is packaged in all new artwork, and is pressed onto audiophile-quality 100% virgin vinyl. This stunning album has never looked, sounded, or felt better.

File Under: Post-Rock
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shins

The Shins: Heartworms (Columbia) LP
The Shins present their fifth studio effort, Heartworms. In contrast to 2012’s Port of Morrow, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and was nominated for a Best Alternative Album Grammy, Heartworms ushers in a return to the handmade. The 11-track collecion was, as always, entirely written by James Mercer, with exception of “So Now What” (produced by band member Richard Swift). Heartworms is the first Shins album to be largely self-produced by Mercer since Oh, Inverted World in 2001. Heartworms also boasts Mercer’s most diverse lyrical ptalette to date, a cohesive, yet genre defying album marked by the frontman’s distinct voice and melodic composition. Unified by his singular vision, Mercer creates a sound that is both a nostalgic nod to the album’s predecessors and distinctly new. The album’s first single, “Name For You,” is a resounding call for female empowerment inspired by his three daughters.

File Under: Indie Rock
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smith

Elliott Smith: Either/Or: Expanded Edition (Kill Rock Stars) LP
1997’s Either/Or is widely regarded as Elliott Smith’s best album, and remains his best-selling. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this masterpiece, Kill Rock Stars proudly presents Either/Or: Expanded Edition which features the original tracks carefully remastered from original tapes under the supervision of Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Studios and archivist of the Estate of Elliott Smith plus a generous helping of bonus material. The additional content features five live multi-track recordings from the Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia, WA in 1997, as well as three previously unreleased studio recordings and one b-side gem. The double LP is packaged in a gatefold jacket with an insert of the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes, and several never-before seen photos. This gorgeous collection is an essential listen for longtime fans and newcomers alike!

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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soundgarden

Soundgarden: Ultramega OK (Sub Pop) LP
This remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s Ultramega OK is a long-planned “correction” of the legendary band’s Grammy-nominated debut full-length. The album was originally recorded and released in 1988 on SST Records. While the band enjoyed working with the original producer, Drew Canulette, they soon realized they weren’t quite happy with the final mix. Thus, shortly after the album’s release, the band decided to remix the album for subsequent pressings. However, success intervened: the band rapidly scored a deal with A&M and began work on their major-label debut, Louder Than Love, and the Ultramega OK remix project fell by the wayside as Soundgarden climbed their way to (ultra)mega-stardom. In 2016, after worldwide success, a breakup, a reunion, and many albums and tours, the band finally acquired the original multi-track tapes to Ultramega OK and carved out time to dig into the remix. They handed the tapes over to longtime friend and engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard), who worked with the band to create a fresh mix of the album that, for the band, ties up this persistent loose end and remedies the sound of their debut album. While they were at it, the band dug out six early versions of tracks that wound up on Ultramega OK. The songs were recorded in 1987 on 8-track tape by Endino and Chris Hanzsek at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, and mixed by Endino in 2016. These versions feature the band in raw, powerful form – sonically closer to the band’s Endino-recorded debut EP Screaming Life – and provide a fascinating window into the development of songs that eventually became staples of the band’s set. The six songs comprise what the band refers to as Ultramega EP, and they are included in this reissue. Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the ‘80s, the band – singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, and drummer Matt Cameron – combined a punk ethos, brutal metal soundscapes, and Cornell’s ravenous roar to capture the attention of the masses. Jagged and ferocious, their music was deeply at odds with the synth-pop and hair metal which dominated the 80’s airwaves. Early indie releases, including seminal Screaming Life and Ultramega OK, quickly led to a dedicated indie following as the band toured on both sides of the Atlantic. Subsequent albums, including Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down on the Upside, achieved multi-platinum sales and launched the band to international fame.

File Under: Grunge
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temples

Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
English four-piece Temples issue their sophomore set, Volcano, on Fat Possum Records. All the elements people loved about Temples’ debut, Sun Structures, remain intact, but this time, there is a noticeable evolution presented from the outset. It’s clear Volcano is the sound of Temples squaring up to their potential, immediately evident with lead single “Certainty.” Its beefed-up beats reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. Entirely self-produced and written by all four members of the band, Temples’ melodies seem to come effortlessly. There are sun-dazed numbers and lysergic dream-pop songs and those where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. One thing is certain; it’s harder to spot the influences this time around. Mystical language has been supplanted by something more direct. They’ve been broken down and blended together – fossilized into a single source of creative fuel, resulting in a sound that is undoubtedly Temples. As described by co-founding member Tom Warmsley, “we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates outwards.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
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tennis

Tennis: Yours Conditionally (Mutually Detrimental) LP
Critically acclaimed group Tennis returns with their highly anticipated fourth full length album, Yours Conditionally. The record was composed both on land and at sea during a five-month sailing trip through the Sea of Cortez. Upon returning, Tennis’ husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore self-produced the record in a small cabin in Fraser, CO. It was mixed by Spoon’s Jim Eno at Public HiFi. Lead track, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar,” has been hailed as “a smolderingly sardonic feminist anthem perfectly suited for social climate of today” by Consequence of Sound while The Verge added that the song is “a great introduction to their sound if you’re unfamiliar: a wistful piano line, a biting, sarcastic vocal from Alaina Moore, and a little fuzz to keep things grounded.” Their newest record comes on the heels of the group’s most recent release, 2014’s Ritual in Repeat, which received rave reviews across the board.

File Under: Indie Pop
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Universal) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
John Carpenter: Lost Themes II (Sacred Bone) LP
Michael Chapman: 50 (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Shirley Collins: Lodestar (Domino) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Legacy) LP
Miles Davis: In A Silent Way (Legacy) LP
Depeche Mode: Music for the Masses (Rhino) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Rhino) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Farm (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Bug (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: I Bet On Sky (Jagjaguwar) LP
Grails: Chalice Hymnal (Temporary Residence) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (Legacy) LP
Daniel Johnston: Yip Music (EYE) LP
King Woman: Created in the Image (Relapse) LP
Lady Gaga: Joanne (Universal) LP
Led Zeppelin: I (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: IV (Warner) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Melvins: Houdini (Thirdman) LP
Menahan Street Band: Make The Road By Walking (Daptone) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Daptone) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Workout (Blue Note) LP
Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Mogwai: Rock Action (PIAS) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Arrival (DG) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Polydor) LP
Portishead: s/t (London) LP
Andy Shauf: The Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Solange: A Seat At The Table (Columbia) LP
Songs: Ohia: Axxess & Ace (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: s/t (Secretly Canadian) LP
Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Caterpillar) LP

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…..news letter #782 – full up…..

Oi! Big week, some great soundtracks and some super great reissues. As well as some sweet new releases too. Another busy evening for me here so I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy….

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…..pick of the week…..

un uomo.jpgEnnio Morricone: Un Uomo Da Rispettare (Superior Viaduct) LP
In Tomorrow… Un Uomo Da Rispettare translates to “A Man to Respect,” which can easily be said of Ennio Morricone himself—the unparalleled maestro of the soundtrack. This 1972 crime film stars Kirk Douglas as a master safecracker at a crossroads in his life, emerging from prison yet tempted by one last big job. Morricone builds the main theme around Cicci Santucci’s flugelhorn as riveting leitmotifs reprise amidst variations of noir-jazz abstraction to frame the composer’s grand vision. A strident, two-note piano phrase sets the mood of heightened tension, while muted timpani and trance-like descending bass patterns sweep dramatically across the cinematic stereo field. On “18 Pari,” slinky rhythms and softened wah-wah guitars offer a distinctly Italian library music, adding elements of lightness to the overall avant-garde score. Un Uomo Da Rispettare’s dissonant chords and angular arrangements recall Morricone’s free improvisation work with Gruppo D’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. This first-time vinyl reissue is recommended for fans of Krzysztof Penderecki, Harry Partch and Sun City Girls. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

File Under: OST, Maestro
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…..new arrivals…..

barreca

Marc Barreca: Music Works for Industry (Freedom to Spend) LP
Music Works for Industry is a layered assertion, a phrase to turn over in the mind like so many loops on these recordings. Made with performance artists, musicians, and an instrument maker, Marc Barreca has spliced multiple labors into a collective whole. Barreca’s album offers succinct electronic compositions with social subtexts. Friend and fellow musician K. Leimer names Cluster, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis as Barreca’s contemporaries. Using synthesizers and altered, modified, and looped instruments and voices, Barreca manipulates sound into minimal arrangements. Ranging from under two minutes to just over four, each song is a fragment of modern life. On the second track, “Shopping”, ominous, whooshing, mechanical sounds are layered over with light, playful tones, perhaps representative of the clash of  production versus exchange values. On “Hotcake” we hear men’s voices, chains and hissing steam in a methodical but urgent progression that could be a soundtrack to the silent film, Metropolis. “Georgetown” assembles a dark, warm, video game ambiance slowed down to a walking pace. A woman’s voice coos seductively “Nerve Roots are Uncontrollable,” on the track of the same name. And on “Organized Labor” the music wobbles along quite appropriately as a voice speaks the acronym I.W.W. and you realize he is speaking of the International Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies. On the cover is a black and white photo of a figure in silhouette, backlit at a window, softened with curtains and plants. Maybe this is the room where the music was made: a private space, a refuge from industrial work. In a way, listening to the music is entering a space without work. One can imagine photographer Chauncey Hare listening to Music Works for Industry while documenting American office interiors. Soon after, Hare was driven to leave photography and become a therapist, publishing the self-help book, Work Abuse, in 1997. Perhaps peering into industry led to Barreca’s own career move. While exploring the original cassette, we found a business card was found tucked inside: Marc Barreca—bankruptcy judge in Seattle. Material traces of the cassette are evident in the record’s packaging. The album is a new form for the reissue. But even in post-industrial times, Barreca’s music offers listeners easily consumable musings on current work conditions.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Industrial
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besnard

Besnard Lakes: Are the Divine Wind (Jagjaguwar) LP
Early in 2016, The Besnard Lakes released their finest album to date, the magisterial A Coliseum Complex Museum and toured worldwide throughout the following months. Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the couple at the heart of the band, had spent the previous summer on their annual retreat to their namesake Besnard Lake. In a place with so much personal significance, they spent time writing the music that was to form the album. Culling the tracks down to an album proved a difficult task and inevitably there were tracks they loved that just didn’t quite fit with the overall album. So it is with delight that almost exactly a year on, the band are able to release this 12″ of two brand new, exclusive tracks written and recorded at the same time as the album. “Laura Lee” is a sibling track to the album’s illustrious first single, “The Golden Lion” – spacious reverb-y drums echo around an almost sci-fi vocal line sung by Goreas. Meanwhile, the title track “The Divine Wind” is the Besnard Lakes at their expansive, psychedelic best: a sustained keyboard building through to a bombastic coda, complete with Lasek’s unmistakable falsetto. If you ever needed a reminder of just how unique, beautiful and far-reaching this band is, then The Besnard Lakes Are the Divine Wind delivers.

File Under: Indie Rock
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bevis

Bevis Frond: It Just Is (Fire) LP
Released in 1993 ‘It Just Is’ was dedicated to one of Nick Saloman’s favourite guitarists Ollie Halsall, this beautifully poignant album is stripped back similarly to the earlier Bevis Frond releases with Nick going solo. Playing everything on the record, the hard hitting ‘Desperate’, ‘What’s It All About’ and ‘Can’t Stop Lying’ are notably more downbeat whilst the psych pop of ‘Dreamboat Sinking’ and ‘Day One’s lyrics make “this album for the dedicated Frond obsessive more than anyone else” (Allmusic).

 File Under: Psych, Power Pop
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beyene

Girma Beyene & Akale Wube: Ethiopiques 30 (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
Girma Bèyènè is a true legend when it comes to Ethiopian music. After an exile to the United States and a radio silence that lasted 25 years, he jubilantly accepted the invitation from the French group Akalé Wubé to return to the spotlight and perform once more. The comeback took place last September during a memorable concert alongside Akalé Wubé at the Studio de l’Ermitage (Paris 20). Tracks (Arte), Le Monde, Libération relayed this major event, which aroused many strong emotions amongst fans of Ethiopian Music. The adventure could not stop just yet… Under the direction of Francis Falceto (director of the famous Ethiopiques series) Girma and Akalé Wubé came together and recorded this album in order to immortalize this renaissance.

File Under: World, Ethiopian
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blanck-mass

Blanck Mass: World Eater (Sacred Bones) LP
As humans, we are aware of our inner beast and should therefore be able to control it. We understand our hard-wired primal urges and why they exist in an evolutional sense. We understand the relationship between mind and body. Highly evolved and intelligent, we should be able to recognize these genetic hangovers and control them as a means to act positively and move forward as a compassionate species. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Recent global events have proven this. The human race is consuming itself. World Eater, the new album by Benjamin John Power’s Blanck Mass project, is a reaction to this. There is an underlying violence and anger throughout the record, even though some of these tracks are the closest Power has ever come to writing, in his words, “actual love songs.” “Maybe subconsciously this was some kind of countermeasure to restore some personal balance,” Power explains. On World Eater, Power further perfects the propulsive, engrossing electronic music he has created throughout his impressive decade-plus career, both under the Blanck Mass moniker and as one-half of Fuck Buttons, as he elaborates upon the sound of 2015’s brilliant double album Dumb Flesh. As massive as the sonic world of the new record often feels, its greatest achievement is in its maximization of a limited set of tools, a restriction intentionally set by Power himself.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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brokeback

Brokeback: Illinois River Valley Blues (Thrill Jockey) LP
A sense of place has been essential to the music of Brokeback since guitarist/bassist Douglas McCombs first launched the project in 1995. Initially conceived as a solo outlet, the Chicago group has taken on new dimensions over the past two decades, morphing from the lean, pastoral ambience of the first album, Field Recordings from the Cook County Water Table, to the more muscular, taut arrangements and dynamic swells of the last release, Brokeback and the Black Rock, for which McCombs assembled a new quartet lineup. Each album develops with exacting detail, revealing McCombs’s gift for dialing in the essence of a mood, feeling, or distant locale with a handful of reverb-laden guitar tones, elegant and sustained, strategically placed and sparingly deployed. The instrumental landscapes he creates on Illinois River Valley Blues are utterly transportive, evoking familiar open-frontier soundtracks and charting out new sonic territory. Thematically this is McCombs’s most personal offering yet, reflecting on his early years growing up along the Illinois River corridor between Peoria and Chicago. The sepia-toned opener “Ride Ahead and Light the Way for Me” is drawn from memories of evening rides on the river with his father, while the noir album bookend “Night Falls on Chillicothe” is named for a river town north of Peoria near where McCombs’s grandparents lived. Though the inspiration is McCombs’s, the execution is wholly a group effort. With the same instrumentation and mostly the same lineup as the previous album, the band stretches its leader’s eternal fascination with the roots of American guitar music in bold new directions. A serpentine mystique runs through “Rise, Fernanda, Rise!,” and “Cairo Levee” conjures a desert atmosphere closer to the Sahara than the American southwest. Side one of the album closes with a moody, meditative take on “Spanish Venus,” a ballad written by cornetist and sometime Brokeback collaborator Rob Mazurek. Several songs feature lush, multi-layered vocals by Amalea Tshilds (the Paulina Hollers), who made a deep impression on McCombs with a spellbinding a cappella performance a couple years ago. McCombs’s singular approach to guitar and bass, characteristic of his work with Tortoise, is expertly enhanced here by James Elkington (Tweedy, Steve Gunn) on second guitar (moving over from drums on the last record). The two salute one of McCombs’s favorite bands, Television, with latticed dual leads on the stately yet aggressive “On the Move and Vanishing,” while Elkington’s subtle layers of pedal steel and organ burnish more ruminative forays like “Andalusia, IL” and “Ursula.” Their intertwining flights are anchored by the sturdy yet versatile rhythm team of bassist Pete Croke (Exit Verse, Tight Phantomz) and drummer Areif Sless-Kitain (the Eternals), the newest member of Brokeback. Illinois River Valley Blues is a winding, wistful travelogue that not only captures darker textures but mines their depths. That’s been part of McCombs’s vision for Brokeback from the start: “To me a song is not worth writing if it doesn’t have a strong sense of melancholy,” he says.

File Under: Post Rock
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astral

Coil: Astral Disaster (Prescription) LP
In 1998, Coil were invited to record at Sun Dial’s studios beneath the London Bridge Hop Exchange—a studio originally know as Samurai Studios, originally built and owned by Iron Maiden. The premises in Victorian times was an old debtors prison which had three underground levels, and still had the original chains, manacles and wrought iron doors from the old prison. This caught the attention of John Balance, who was very keen to record there. Coil spent a number of days recording at the studio during Halloween 1998. With Gary Ramon’s help, they developed a number of tracks, some of which resulted in this LP. Ramon produced and mixed the Astral Disaster recordings, as well as playing guitar and sitar on these sessions. A version of the album was later remixed by the band and released on their own label—but the Prescription mixes as released in 1999 are unique. This rare album was part of the legendary subscription-only Prescription label album series in the late 1990’s, issued in an edition of 99 signed and numbered copies, long since sold out. (If you are wondering, originals fetch £700+). This is the first time the album is being released officially since 1999. Taken from the original masters, this reissue comes with original sleeve artwork, insert, and the facsimile signatures of John Balance and Peter Christopherson that came with the first issue.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Industrial
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b85Coscia – Formini B85 (Schema) LP
Fonit’s “B 85”, part of the legendary Serie Usignolo, which bears the signatures of the mysterious Coscia (perhaps a moniker of accordionist Gianni?) and Formini, is another cult library music release: an orchestral pop record whose tracks are curiously recommended to accompany ‘viewings of vast parks, footage of agriculture, ads, moving crowds and congested traffic jams, American working-class districts’ with hilarious titles such as “Dayda”, “Schizzo”, “Palmas”, “Murlak” (which casts an incredible fuzz guitar), “Bronx” and “Ciresa Facaud”. In two words: a must! Although library music has always had the purpose of accompanying TV and radio shows, documentaries and TV news, it is difficult to track down most of these masterpieces composed by some of the greatest composers of those years. Anonymity is one of the distinctive traits of this music genre, being in most cases difficult, if not impossible, to find out where these tracks had been used. The liner notes of these works often spark the reader’s curiosity: the notes are in fact detailed descriptions of the instruments used and the atmospheres the music aimed to reproduce. Fonit’s “B 85”, part of the legendary Serie Usignolo, which bears the signatures of the mysterious Coscia (perhaps a moniker of accordionist Gianni?) and Formini, makes no difference in that sense. It is absolutely brilliant to read how these tracks are highly recommended to accompany ‘viewings of vast parks, footage of agriculture, ads, moving crowds and congested traffic jams, American working-class districts’ with hilarious titles such as “Dayda”, “Schizzo”, “Palmas”, “Murlak” (which casts an incredible fuzz guitar), “Bronx” and “Ciresa Facaud” (the latter a probable homage to Piedmont’s dialect that potentially translates in “Cherry, it’s hot!”). The music can be labelled as ‘orchestral pop’, to use terms that made Italian Library music worldwide famous. No hints of ‘country’ as the title seemed to suggest…

File Under: Italian, Library

davachi

Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
All My Circles Run is the third full-length release by Montreal-based electro-acoustic composer Sarah Davachi and her second outing for Students of Decay. In a move which may surprise followers of her previous output, the five compositions on this record eschew synthesizer entirely, each focusing on a different instrument, including strings, voice, organ and piano. What remains consistent, however, is her striking attention to detail and a commitment to tonal possibilities that characterize all of her work. The sinewy “For Strings” opens the album, with keening overtones stretching out in all directions to form a massive, slow-moving, radiant sound. “For Voice” charts an even more celestial course, as wordless vocals ebb and flow to awe-inspiring effect. The stunning, melancholic “For Piano” closes the record and is a high watermark in Davachi’s oeuvre, with plaintive piano figures nestled atop a shimmering string drone to create a rich, reverent atmosphere. All My Circles Run is a step forward from an exciting artist whose compositional and aesthetic tendencies steer her steadfastly toward both the subjunctive and the sublime.

 File Under: Ambient, Drone, Classical
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deep

The Deep: Psychedelic Moods of The Deep (Lion) LP
Expanded deluxe edition of The Deep’s one and only album, originally released in 1966 and now well-established as a psychedelic classic. One night in a darkened Philadelphia studio, the Deep (Rusty Evans, songwriting partner and producer Mark Barkan, the legendary David Bromberg, whose credits include playing with Bob Dylan and many others, plus a bevy of talented musicians) laid down tempestuous garage punkers, sweetly-twisted ballads and ambiguous weirdness, all rife with hyper-psychedelic lyrical flashes of a rolling midnight expressway through the subconscious mind. A perfect representation of the psychedelic sound: free-form poetry, infectious drum beats, fuzzed out guitar, and playfully plucked bass (and vibes and tympani and so on), swirl together, coalescing into some of the most impressive psychedelic rock you’ll hear. Cuts like ‘Your Choice To Choose,’ sound very Seeds-like or proto-Velvet Underground, Lou Reed snarl and all; others like ‘Shadows On The Wall’ and ‘Wake Up and Find Me’ are haunting acid ballads: the whole point of the album was to thoroughly explore the hallucinatory agony and ecstasy of a 12-hour Technicolor dream… although the end result is more amphetamine edgy than acid-soaked trippy. The Deep “Psychedelic Moods” pre-dates its closest kindred sprit in sound and energy (albeit not subject matter): “The Velvet Underground and Nico” came along five months later, and the world of music shifted on its axis—but too late for the Deep. This 3xLP release of “Psychedelic Moods” is taken from the original four-track master tapes. In addition to the superlative master takes, there are three sides of out-takes and alternates from the Deep original four-track session tapes. This set also marks the vinyl debut of all known recordings by Inner Sanctum (aka Hydro Pyro), another LSD trip project produced by Mark Barkan in 1966. Tip-on gatefold art has liner notes detailing the mysterious rise and fall of this New York City band. Made with full co-operation of original Deep producers, Mark Barkan and Rusty Evans. A definitive example of the psychedelic sound.

File Under: Psych, Garage
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b82

Fabio Fabor: B81/B82 – Ballabili Anni 70 (Schema) LP
Fabio Fabor is a mysterious composer and musician who wrote mostly operas, symphonies and chamber music,but also experimental and electronic library music, the latter being the case of this release: short tracks aiming to accompany radio and TV shows, orchestral Pop à la Bacharach, space age pop, hints of bossa and beat from the previous decade. Originally published by the legendary Seri e Usignolo, a sub-label of Fonit, this hard-to-find title is finally available again thanks to Schema Records. Due to an overwhelming number of reissues and to the steady and meticulous work of collectors and passionate music lovers who have been spreading the word about it, the realm of Italian library music has moved from being some kind of hidden cult to becoming a well defined niche. Authors such as Alessandroni, Umiliani, Sciascia, Tommasi and Sorgini have become more accessible to the uninitiated, while prices of the original presses of their records keep surging. Among the multitude of composers that wrote library music in their careers, Fabio Fabor is still surrounded by an aura of mystery. Born in Milan in 1920, Fabio Borgazzi (this was his real name) was a composer and musician who wrote mostly operas, symphonies and chamber music. Lingering between his love for the classic canon and pop and electronic experimentalisms, Fabor developed a parallel career as author of Italian pop music (his songs had been interpreted by popular singers as Fred Buscaglione, Nilla Pizzi e Nicola Arigliano at the renowned Festival di Sanremo) and – more interestingly for us – as a composer of experimental and electronic library music. Among the numerous releases he left, “B 81” and “B 82”, Ballabili “Anni 70” (Underground) are worth remembering: both published by the legendary Serie Usignolo, a sub-label of Fonit, these titles are available again now thanks to Schema Records. “B 81” and “B 82”, both released in 1970, are library music in its most traditional meaning: short tracks aiming to accompany radio and TV shows, orchestral Pop à la Bacharach, space age pop, hints of bossa and beat from the previous decade. If we take for good the description of “Paradiso Hippy”, one of the tracks on the record, the release is a ‘moderato pop, melodic, effectively nostalgic but vibrant’. Enjoy!

File Under: Italian, Library
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Precision 12" Elongated Spine

Funkadelic: Live – Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12th September 1971 (Tidal Waves) LP
Contained here is a unique snapshot of Funkadelic’s live performance at the height of their powers. Recorded live at Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan on the 12th of September 1971, this is the only official in-concert recording from their early career. The crystal clear recordings here (taken from the soundboard master tapes) provide you with an overdose of free-floating psychedelic black rock and spaced-out jams that can only be described as ‘Jimi Hendrix, James Brown & Sun Ra making a love-child live on stage’. This release also includes extensive & exhaustive liner notes from the Grammy-award winning professor of ethnomusicology ‘Rob Bowman’ who goes over each track in detail and also wrote down quotes from Bernie Worrell & Billy Bass. Featuring an all-star line up that includes George Clinton, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas, Ray Davis, Tyrone Lampkin, Eddie Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson, Bernie Worrell & former Isaac Hayes sideman Harold Beane.

File Under: Funk, Psych
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Precision 12" Elongated Spine

Funkadelic: Finest (Tidal Waves) LP
Compilations are tricky and hard to get right … Finest is that rare one that knocks it out of the park. This release focuses on George Clinton and crew at the height of their career & on their most renowned work. Comprised out of sixteen carefully selected tracks and covering a six-year period (1970-1976)Finest may be the best-assembled Funkadelic collection from this period yet, as both renowned band standards share space with several oft-overlooked tracks. The early tracks “I Got a Thing” and “I Wanna Know if It’s Good to You” show the band members still honing their rich ‘n’ funky sound, before they hit their stride with selections from the classic ‘Maggot Brain’ album. As a result, you get a healthy sampling of some of the best funk the ’70s had to offer, including “Hit It and Quit It,” “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks,” “Loose Booty,” “Cosmic Slop,” “Red Hot Mama,” and “Get Off Your Ass and Jam.” Finest is an exceptional sampler for those discovering the wild and wacky universe of Funkadelic. Out of print since 1997 and transferred from the original analogue master tapes, now finally back available as a deluxe Double-LP set with some of the craziest psychedelic crumb-style artwork you’ll ever see.

File Under: Funk, Psych
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copeland

Beverly Glenn-Copeland: Keyboard Fantasies (Invisible City) LP
Beverly Glenn-Copeland is already known amongst collectors and music heads for two sought-after albums of folky jazz in the key of Joni. But it was this album, originally self-released on cassette in 1986 that really caught our attention. The album, entirely recorded on DX-7 and TR-707, lies somewhere between digital new-age and (accidentally) early Detroit techno experiments. The inimitable style of BGC here is both peaceful and meditative while simultaneously rhythmic and bass heavy. The album was recorded in the northern Canadian town of Huntsville where BGC was living at the time and is a beautiful fusion of personal vision, technology and place.

File Under: Psych, New Age, Electronic
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harrison

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (Apple) 3LP
While it’s generally accepted that George Harrison bloomed late as a Beatles songwriter, there’s no denying it was worth the wait. The release of yearning masterpiece All Things Must Pass, in 1970, was like unstopping a bottle. An ambitious triple-album, it includes such unimpeachable classics as “My Sweet Lord,” “Wah-Wah,” and its contemplative title track. It also set the template for the nine studio albums that would follow. Co-produced with Phil Spector, the landmark All Things Must Pass topped the charts around the world and George became the first Beatle to have a solo No. 1 single in both the UK and America with “My Sweet Lord,” which also introduced his signature slide guitar playing. Harrison co-wrote the album’s opening track, “I’d Have You Anytime” with his friend Bob Dylan, who also penned “If Not For You.” The album also boasts a broad spectrum of all-star guests including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Pete Drake, Gary Wright, Klaus Voormann, John Barham and members of Badfinger and the Delaney and Bonnie band. “It is both an intensely personal statement and a grandiose gesture, a triumph over artistic modesty, even frustration. In this extravaganza of piety and sacrifice and joy the music itself is no longer the only message.” – Ben Gerson, Rolling Stone

File Under: Pop, Beatles
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hayward-masin

Charles Hayward/Gigi Masin: Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Volume 2 (Modern Classics) LP
Following the reissue of the entire recorded output of South London-based experimental act This Heat and its successor, Camberwell Now, Modern Classics Recordings holds the lens up to a special split album created by one of the driving forces behind those groups – drummer Charles Hayward – in collaboration with Italian musician Gigi Masin, whose looping, rhythmic, electronic compositions have seen his cult following grow in his four decades as a recording artist. Originally released on Belgium’s Sub Rosa label in 1989, Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Volume 2 is a split LP on which Masin’s eight tracks occupy side A and Charles Hayward’s long-form piece (at 21 minutes long), “Thames Water Authority”, occupies side B. Geography may have separated the two artists, who each recorded their pieces in isolation from the other, but there’s a commonality to their approach. Previously, Masin had released the inspired 1986 album Wind, while Hayward’s music had long been influenced by the landscape and society of London and the UK. For this album, the label challenged the two musicians to write about the waterways of their respective cities, Venice and London. For Masin, that meant describing the human interactions related to the Italian city’s famous landmarks. “Places, faces, memories… that’s what most of the people love to find when they travel to Venice – some kind of magic that’s deep in the city,” he writes in the new liner notes accompanying this new re-release. For Hayward, it meant describing the physicality of water, the “densities and energies” as he puts it, and the politics of it too. Writes Hayward: “Water was being privatized at the time, the profit margin had been factored in, cost-cutting was implicit, people were being poisoned. Water was a political thing; it still is.” Dive in.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, Experimental, This Heat
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high-plains

High Plains: Cinderland (Kranky) LP
High Plains is the duo of Scott Morgan and Mark Bridges. Morgan, based in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, is predominantly known for his drifting, textured soundscapes released under the pseudonym Loscil. Bridges is an accomplished, classically-trained cellist residing in Madison, Wisconsin. The two met in Banff, Alberta, while they were there on residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2014. In early 2016, the duo embarked on a collaborative set of compositions in the oxygen thin air of Wyoming, spending two weeks holed up in a refurbished school house in the town of Saratoga, where this album was recorded. Inspired by Schubert’s Die Winterreise and the rolling landscapes of their surroundings, the recordings evoke a shadowy, introspective and dizzying winter journey. Cinderland takes cues from classical, electronic and cinematic musical traditions but is mostly a product of the rugged, mythic landscape: vast and sprawling with a wild, uncertain edge. The recording was made with a portable studio and all sounds were sourced on site, most notably from Bridges’ cello, the resident Steinway D piano, and field recordings collected from the local soundscape. The results are a site-specific, wide-scope view of the high valley terrain — a mix of analog and digital, neoclassical and modern electronic sounds, a complementary series of tracks to become absorbed in, a truly deep listening experience.

File Under: Electronic, Classical, Ambient, Loscil
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first-narrows

Loscil: First Narrow (Kranky) LP
This is the first vinyl issue of the classic Loscil album originally released in May of 2004. First Narrows is the third Loscil album and the first where Scott Morgan uses real instruments and input from other musicians. Sound sources ranged from sampled instruments to miscellaneous lo-fi mini-cassette recordings with Morgan generating music on computer by custom programming sequencing and processing designed so that no two performances of the patches would be exactly the same. In turn, Jason Zumpano on fender rhodes piano, Tim Loewen on guitar and Nyla Rany on cello improvise over the electronic sequences. Morgan then edited and mixed the live and premixed sections together. Contains a bonus track not on original CD.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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lusine

Lusine: Sensorimotor (Ghostly) LP
From his early releases as Lusine onward, Jeff McIlwain’s electronic explorations make up one of the more diverse discographies of the past decade and a half. Effortlessly blurring the lines between techno, electro-pop and experimental composition, the Texas-raised/Seattle-based producer’s arrangements are meticulously constructed, but also filled with emotion and soul. With an introspective turn that’s hinted at in the record title, Lusine’s fourth album for Ghostly sees McIlwain diffusing the pop-leanings of 2013’s The Waiting Room with opaque, brush-stroked melodies washing over these new buoyant productions. Sensorimotor is a visceral album, with gorgeous opener “Canop”” slowly building into an empyrean cloud of music box chimes and an amorphous thrum. The following “Ticking Hands” is just as beguiling yet also more formed, with the processed melancholy vocals of McIlwain and his wife Sarah filtered into a chilling lament that unfolds over the song’s light skitters and Kraftwerkian pulse. Sensorimotor finds other past Lusine collaborators returning as well: Benoit Pioulard’s narcotic croon loops into a swirling arpeggio during “Witness,” and Vilja Larjosto’s sun-kissed vocal melodies are spliced and splayed across the steady pulsing bass and fluorescent synth pads of “Just a Cloud,” and later on “Won’t Forget.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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canterel

Martial Canterel: Navigations Volume I-III (Medical) 3LP
Medical Records proudly presents a special limited edition of all 3 “Forgotten Tracks, Sketches and Unfinished Work 2002-2004” by Martial Canterel as a triple gatefold set. Volume I was released previously in 2013, and Volume II and III are simultaneously being released by Medical Records as standalones. Sean McBride has been producing work under the Martial Canterel moniker dating back to 2002 as well as working as half of Xeno And Oaklander. These tracks capture the allure and depth of Sean’s early work exploring rhythms and perfectly crafted pop songs using a very early incarnation of limited instrumentation. Fans of Martial Canterel’s early work (think “Austerton” and “Sister Age”) will be instantly elated. This is the first time these tracks have been released on vinyl and have been remastered for this release by Martin Bowes at the Cage, UK.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Synthwave
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hayes

Hayes McMullan: Everyday Seems Like Murder Here (Light in the Attic) LP
Bluesman. Sharecropper. Church deacon. Civil Rights activist. Hayes McMullan should be a name on every Blues aficionados’ short-list and thanks to the preservation fieldwork carried out by one of the genre’s greatest researchers some 50 years ago – it might soon be. Born in 1902, Hayes McMullan was discovered by the renowned American roots scholar, collector and documentarian Gayle Dean Wardlow. Wardlow, author of the seminal blues anthology Chasin’ That Devil Music – Searching for the Blues, may be most famous for uncovering Robert Johnson’s death certificate in 1968, finally revealing clues to the bluesman’s mysterious and much disputed demise. Moreover, in his tireless and committed mission to preserve the Blues for future generations, he captured McMullan’s raw talent on tape and on paper. Wardlow recorded these sessions, transcribed the songs and now, writes the sleeve-notes for this landmark release. Wardlow and McMullan met by chance on one of the former’s record-hunting trips, in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, in 1967. Having introduced himself to McMullan on a hunch, it turned out this unassuming elderly man had not only heard of Wardlow’s idol, Charley Patton, but had played alongside him in the 1920s, as part of a brief musical journey that took him from the plantation to the open roads and juke joints of the Depression-era South. Striking up a friendship that was deemed unorthodox in 1960’s Mississippi, Wardlow traveled to McMullan’s sharecropper’s shack and convinced him to play guitar for the first time since he quit the Blues for the Church in the 30’s. “Hayes was playing like no one I had ever heard,” Wardlow writes with amazement. Wardlow visited McMullan on a handful of occasions, always taking his recorder, a guitar and some whiskey with him. It was during these visits that Wardlow captured – with surprising clarity – the songs that make up Everyday Seem Like Murder Here. Hayes McMullan passed away at the age of 84 in 1986, his talent and legacy largely unknown. “Reflecting now on our brief time together, I marvel at the small glimpse of something much larger I was lucky to have captured,” writes Wardlow. “The few old snapshots I took, the handful of tunes we recorded, and his brilliant performance of “Hurry Sundown” captured on film are all that’s left of the musical legacy of Hayes McMullan, sharecropper, deacon, and—unbeknownst to so many for so long—reluctant bluesman.”

File Under: Blues
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meat

Meatbodies: Alice (In The Red) LP
With Alice, MEATBODIES return ascending toward ground level. A “heavy-pop” concept, metal on molly. Chad Ubovich, Patrick Nolan, and Kevin Boog step out in new form, soaring through diverse stories, tones, and characters. Dancing between quiet and loud, funk and doom, pop and noise. Their message preached is celestial and deafening, a sacred scripture for today’s world: a warbling rhodes piano, a liquifying electric guitar, a ghostly synthesizer skating across the sands of a twelve-stringed acoustic. The band digs deep into the rich soils of Earth to reveal the chaotic sensual vibrations underneath the fields we walk upon. Connecting our limbs, our mouths, our consciousness to the microcosms of the grime, all while being lit by black light. Captured wriggling and alive in San Francisco by Ubovich and Eric Bauer at The Bauer Mansion, this album is a step in the right direction, a new direction, a new way of thinking. Watching the futures, watching the world burn. Vinyl includes digital download.

File Under: Garage, Psych, Hard Rock
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melvins

Melvins: King Buzzo (Boner) LP
Melvins: Dale Crover (Boner) LP
Melvins: Joe Preston (Boner) LP
In 1992 the Melvins’ fascination / adoration / denigration of the mighty Kiss rock and roll universe compelled them to excrete out three solo masterworks inspired by the Kiss solo LPs. The first in the series is King Buzzo, from the Melvins’ giggling guitar grumpus. Four songs of atmospheric clanging and rockin’ banging. Also features the many talents, drumming and otherwise, of a famous Grunge superstar, whose name sort of rhymes with New Wave Asshole. The second in the series is Dale Crover, from the Melvins’ sleepy drum caveman. Four songs of gloomy heaviness, with Dale doin’ the drummin’, singin’, guitarin’, and dancin’. The third in the series is Joe Preston, from the Melvins’ electronic beard warlord. Three songs of fuzz bass computer drone temper tantrum. All three 12-inches reissued on vinyl after 100,000 years out of print. Each with a magical digital download included.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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minusbear

Minus the Bear: Voids (Suicide Squeeze) LP
On their sixth album Voids, Minus the Bear started with a blank slate, and inadvertently found themselves applying the same starting-from-scratch strategies that fueled their initial creative process. Album opener “Last Kiss” immediately establishes the band’s renewed fervor. An appropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before the chorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus. From there the album flows into “Give & Take,” a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratory pulse of early Bear classics like “Fine + 2 Pts” while exploring new textures and timbres. “Invisible” is arguably the catchiest song of the band’s career, with Jake Snider’s vocal melodies and Dave Knudson’s imaginative guitar work battling for the strongest hooks. “What About the Boat?” reminds us of the “math-rock” tag that followed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguising an odd-time beat. “Erase,” recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronica that the band dabbled with on their early EPs, but demonstrates the Bear’s ongoing melodic sophistication and tonal exploration. By the time the band reaches album closer “Lighthouse,” they’ve traversed so much sonic territory that the only appropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy’s thunderous bass. Not since Planet of Ice’s “Lotus” has the Bear achieved such an epic finale. All in all, it’s an album that reminds us of everything that made us fall in love with Minus the Bear in the first place, and a big part of that appeal is the sense that the band is heading into uncharted territories. First pressing on 180g vinyl with die-cut jacket. Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

File Under: Indie Rock
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monopol

Monopol: Weltweit (Medical) LP
Medical Records collaborates with their good friends Anna Logue across the pond in Germany to present the long out of print Neu Deutsche Welle cult classic album Weltweit by Monopol. Released in 1982, Weltweit was the sole output of the band. It has appropriately become quite rare and difficult to find with the resulting high prices to obtain an original copy. Inspired by the greats such as Kraftwerk, YMO and Klaus Schulze, the three members crafted an exquisite collection of pop songs played on a very impressive collection of analog synthesizers, self-builds and drum machines that were considered cutting edge at the time. The band would have recorded a second album but split up before that was possible. Members of the band continued to be involved in the music industry at least peripherally but didn’t participate in further collaborations or bands. Also interestingly, Monopol was basically a studio-only project and actually never played live (despite some TV appearances). The album has been remastered by Martin Bowes at the Cage, UK.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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firewalk

OST: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Death Waltz) LP
Fire Walk With Me is an altogether more brooding affair than the Twin Peaks series soundtrack. Badalamenti won a grammy for the title track of this LP and it’s not hard to see why- it’s dangerous, and bursting with smokey jazz thanks to Jimmy Scott. We went back to the master tapes in the Warner Archives and had this recut to fit across two LPs as the score clocks in at 51 minutes. It sounds incredible and punchy, but super nuanced too.

File Under: OST, Jazz
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peltier

Tommy Peltier feat. Judee Sill: Chariot of Astral Light (Mapache) LP
Tommy Peltier was born in New Orleans and came out to Los Angeles with his mom on his 13th birthday. A decade later he was a regular playing cornet with his group the Jazz Corps at the famous jazz club, The Lighthouse. In 1966 the Jazz Corps cut an album for Pacific Jazz and featured the fantastic Roland Kirk. In 1970, due to an injury, Peltier could no longer play the horn and looked for other means for expression. Not one to be undone, he took a few chords that he had learned from friends like Jude Sill – who became occasional collaborator, sometime lover, and lifelong friend – and set out as a singer-songwriter. None of that music saw the light until It was collected together as Chariot of Astral Light. They worked together on a lot of Peltier’s material, and Judee pops up on half of the disc handling backing vocals, guitar and organ lines. He had a house in Echo Park where he held weekly Saturday recording sessions in his front room that a number of peripheral scenesters would attend (Lynn Blessing, Wolfgang Melz, Dave Parlato, and Barry McManus – all of whom appear here). Aside from the few takes done at actual studios, the bulk of the stuff was recorded in that tiny room.

File Under: Folk
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pow

Pow!: Crack an Egg (Castleface) LP
POW! continue their danse macabre in the laser glow of hi-beam synthesizers, with a new batch of synth-punk candy that will rot your teeth: Crack An Egg. Vacuum-sealed, chrome gleaming, propulsion pounding, eyebrows arched and slightly pixelated, this album is like the cupie-doll face beckoning from a digital billboard outside your hovercraft window. From a none-too-distant dystopia and on to your turntable — VCFs slowly open across a smogged-out horizon as they urge you to take that “Necessary Call,” warn moodily against a “Cyberattack,” and inexplicably “Crack An Egg” in honor of the human race. Synthetic earworms squirm into and out of view like twinkling city lights through evening’s opaque air, feasting on terse punk skeletons. The neon is buffed to an aerosol sheen by Chris Woodhouse behind the blinking motherboards, with a streetlight or two of Gary Numan’s slanting through the door. The automatons know where the party’s at — follow them.

File Under: Synth Punk
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power-glove

Power Glove: Trials of the Blood Dragon (Invada) LP
Power Glove’s crushing, synth-heavy soundtrack to the retro-futurist adventure game Trials Of The Blood Dragon, released through Invada in collaboration with Ubisoft. The follow up to their 2013 soundtrack to Farcry 3: Blood Dragon is delivered in true Power Glove fashion, with 31 tracks of ’80s-inspired nostalgia, rippled with vast arpeggios, power synths and the odd patch of proto-house. This soundtrack will appeal to fans of John Carpenter, Lazerhawk, Carpenter Brut and Miami Nights 1984.

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Drone, Noise
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ricci

Vito Ricci: A Symphony for Amiga (Intellegent Instruments) LP
“Last year’s stunning Music From Memory retrospective introduced a fresh generation of listeners to Vito Ricci’s obscure downtown magic, leaving young and old anaesthetized and invigorated in equal measure. But with no new material hitting the shelves since 1985, further digging proved a fruitless and disappointing endeavor. Good news then that Vito’s been back in the studio to put together another total masterpiece then! Working exclusively on the Commodore Amiga (with its infamous sound chip), Vito composed all the pieces found on this LP in ‘Music Mouse’, Laurie Spiegel’s pioneering software from the mid-80s. Traversing warbling ambient, warming drone, hypnotic minimalism and elements of aleatoric music, ‘Symphony’ sounds a million miles away from the Team17, Bullfrog and Gremlin games of my youth. Adding his own delicate guitar parts and Laurie Anderson styled vocals from Lise Vachon, Ricci successfully fuses the digital and the organic to create and intricate and expansive listening experience completely in tune with his earlier works. It’s time to drift into Vito’s unique sonic world once again.” (Piccadilly Records).

File Under: Ambient, Drone, New Age
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skyway-man

Skyway Man: Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye (Yewknee) LP
Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye is the follow-up to singer-songwriter-producer James Wallace’s More Strange News From Another Star. It’s a stew of B-movie sci-fi, cosmic boogie and psychedelic American music: an immersive, fully realized song cycle with a cinematic flair. Wallace has travelled a few skyways in his day. He brings this new batch of songs, intertwined by a fascination with UFO religion along for his debut outing as Skyway Man, a name he kept running across again and again. Was it the trickster of mythology, the soul of some long missing astronaut, or an old storyteller from another planet trying to get through? The answer is unclear, but the result is a nice slice of musical imagination. Recorded between Nashville and his hometown of Richmond, VA, the album features the Spacebomb house rhythm section of Pinson Chanselle & Cameron Ralston, who also provided horn arrangements, and Matthew E. White in a slide guitar cameo appearance. Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye offers the kind of sounds you would want on the radio for a first or last kiss, the songs playing in the bar scene from some forgotten Spielberg adventure, a soundtrack for the later (not quite latter) days of earth. Music for driving along the skyway, thank god the skyway is made of music anyway.

File Under: Folk Rock
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sleaford-english

Sleaford Mods: English Tapas (Rough Trade) LP
Call them minimalist agit-rock, beat-based political punk, or…don’t, but what you can’t call Sleaford Mods is half-assed. They’re aggressive, abrasive, and unabashed in their lyrical support for England’s working class and in railing against the oligarchs who deny people their basic human and civil rights. Vocalist Jason Wiliamson shouts against austerity-era Britain’s malaise and stagnation with plenty of profanity, but even more cleverness and wit; and while his lyrics specify conditions in his home country, his anger and call-to-arms can unite all of us who witness and work under a system that privileges the wealth of the few over the bare comfort, and even the survival, of the just-as-worthy many. With Andrew Fearn’s deceptively simple beats and melodies underpinning Williamson’s virtuosic vocal performances, this would be a fascinating record, message or no; but the drive, meaning, and compassion behind these catchy, and even dancefloor-ready tunes make this album as vital politically as it is artistically. Sleaford Mods are at their sneering, yowling best with English Tapas. “Undoubtedly, absolutely, definitely the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.” – Iggy Pop

File Under: Punk, Raps
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t2

T2: T2 (Lion) LP
Featuring the original line-up of Dunton/Cross and Jinks; with blistering lead guitar, mellotrons, flutes, and lengthy heavy/melodic tracks. For fans of classic well crafted UK hard rock and progressive music we think this must rank as one of the most important archival releases in this genre. Even though fame and fortune never came to pass for T2, their Decca album “It’ll All Work out in Boomland” has become an all-time classic amongst collectors of progressive and psychedelic music—and even in the techno and dj scenes. Apart from a BBC radio session, fans long assumed that “Boomland” was both the beginning and the end of the group’s recorded legacy. But some time back, Acme Records unearthed an eponymous second album of material, recorded in 1970 with the original line-up as demo tracks for a planned second album. This second T2 album, had it been released in 1970, could have put the band on the same level of fame with the likes of Deep Purple, Free, and King Crimson (bands with whom T2 shared a stage). It’s hard-driving opener ‘Highway,’ ablaze with wailing guitars, gives way to moody introspection, culminating with the LSD induced finale ‘T2.’ Those of you who were lucky enough to snap up a copy of the earlier limited edition of the Acme Deluxe pressings of this album can testify to the importance of these recordings. For those of you who missed out the first time around—or who have only recently discovered the greatness of the mighty T2—all we can say is, enjoy the power and glory of the second T2 album! “The original line-up of T2 only lasted for one year, and the music we recorded reflected a specific time and place. We are very grateful that so many people all over the world have continued to enjoy the music, and that our albums are still being released 40 years later. Thank you for your support” — Peter Dunton

File Under: Hard Rock, Psych
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thought-forms

Thought Forms: Songs About Drowning (Invada) LP
With their third full length release ‘Songs About Drowning’, Thought Forms kick it up yet another notch, pushing the boat out even further to create a strange, intoxicating album, their most accomplished to date and certainly their most fascinating. A contributing factor of this sea-change was the addition of bassist Jim Barr (Portishead, Get The Blessing), who also produced and recorded the album. Blending refined and colossal noise-scapes with a beautifully hypnotic and seductive style delivered with confidence, ‘Songs About Drowning’ is a richly deserving album which could see the band carrying the proud lineage of off-kilter noise-pop. This release will appeal to fans of My Bloody Valentine, Portishead, Thurston Moore, Beak> and White Hills.

File Under: Noise Pop, Shoegaze
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industria

Piero Umiliani: Gli Italiani e L’Industria (Four Flies) LP
From the legendary Omicron label secret archives, one of the rarest and nearly impossible to find album signed by Piero Umiliani. Gli italiani e l’industria is the soundtrack of a mysterious TV documentary by Romolo Marcellini broadcasted in 1967, and never appeared again from then, which was focused on virtue and vice of Italian post-economic boom industrialization. The music perfectly reflects the contrasts of the Italian society of that period, equally divided by consumerism and alienation, with a number of tracks deliberately easy-jazz and pop-beat on the one hand (with gorgeous ballads for vibraphone, like Natascia or Negozi alla moda, and killer organ tracks, like Music Box, later reused in some movies of the 70s, as Aragosta a colazione), and on the other with a bounce of compositions ultra-jazz, close to free jazz, with electronics and avant-garde solutions that Umiliani will explore completely in the further years (it is not by chance that 3 of those tracks are also included nine years after in a new library Umiliani’s LP named Atmospheres). An essential album of easy-listening and experimental sound, necessary to comprehend the richness of a genius of Italian soundtracks.

File Under: Italian, Library, OST
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wcpa

West Coast Pop Art Experiment Band: Part One (Jackpot) LP
Formed in Los Angeles in 1965, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band were considered by many to be the West Coast’s answer to the Velvet Underground. The group created California psych/rock music that was both fragile and dreamy. Part One was originally released in 1967 on Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records. Though they didn’t achieve the fame or notoriety of other bands from the area, they have nonetheless achieved a cult status among collectors and people curious about a rich, albeit short-lived musical genre known as West- Coast Psychedelia. First time reissued in MONO, from the original master tapes.

File Under: Psych
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wcpa2

West Coast Pop Art Experiment Band: Vol 2 (Jackpot) LP
Released in 1967 on Reprise Records as a follow up to Part One, Vol. 2 takes the band into more ambitious territory. Reaching out to more psychedelic territory than the debut LP, Vol. 2 maintains their unique pop sound mixed with ominous fuzz guitar, jumping from graceful folk-rock to wailing guitar freakouts, to multilayered avant-garde compositions at a moment’s notice. First time reissued in MONO, from the original master tapes.

File Under: Psych
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why

Why?: Moh Lhean (Joyful Noise) LP
The final words sung on the sixth album by Why? are an apt place to begin: “Hold on, what’s going on?” Because while there’s much familiar about the oddly named Moh Lhean – mastermind Yoni Wolf’s sour-sweet croon, his deadpan poet’s drawl and ear for stunningly fluid psych-pop-folk-whatever arrangement – a great deal has changed in the four years that have passed since 2012’s Mumps, Etc., an LP that honed the band’s orchestral precision and self-deprecating swagger to a fine point. It’s significant that this is the first fully home-recorded Why? album since the project’s 2003 debut. Made mostly in Wolf’s studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah, the result is obsessive, of course, but also intimate, and flush with warmth and looseness. While Moh Lhean never stoops to outright optimism, it chronicles our hero finding peace in the unknowing, trading the wry smirk for a holy shrug, and looking past corporeal pain for something more cosmic and, rest assured, equally weird. A low tone opens the album on “This Ole King” as acoustic pluck and upright bass form a Western bedrock beneath Wolf’s fragile voice. But as the song pushes on, the playing gets brighter and the vocal becomes a mantra-like hum inspired by Ali Farka Touré’s blues, before rolling into a second part rich with chiming keys and twisting harmony – Brian Wilson’s kaleidoscopic vision of pop. “The Water” handily morphs a moody folk tune into some strange new form of full-band dub while “One Mississippi” bounces along happily over a flurry of bizarre percussion, whistled melodies, and trippy synthesizer blips. Perhaps most impressive is “Consequence of Nonaction,” which vacillates between a quiet meditation for guitar/voice/clarinet, and wild, sax-strewn astral art-funk. Movement is a key theme of Moh Lhean. It’s a breakup album without a romantic interest – coded within the lyrics is a tale about fleeing the seductions of a wintry figure for something synonymous with spring. “Easy” plays like a ward against the old ghost who haunts “January February March,” while “George Washington” places our host in a tiny watercraft, “paddling for land/hand on heart and heart in hand” as that faceless malevolent force stays ashore. Moh Lhean’s gorgeously psychedelic closer, “The Barely Blur” with Son Lux, puzzles over the nature of existence. But rather than leave us with the macabre chill of death, as many a Why? LP has, the song dissolves into the infinite – the sound of the Big Bang.

File Under: Hip Hop
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cold4

Various: Cold Wave of Color Vol 4 (Lion) LP
Fourth volume of the completely sold out electronic compilation series from the 1980’s color tapes label. As with the other volumes you can find great examples of cold wave, minimal wave and synth electronics made by obscure British bands such as Disintegrators, Mystery Plane, Berserk In A Hayfield and Lives of Angels—all recorded between 1980-1985, vestiges of the 1980’s UK cassette underground scene. Comes with poster insert and reproduction of issue 3 of Color Tapes’ own in house “Purple Twilight” fanzine from 1985 that features articles on Insane Music, Space Brothers and Lives Of Angels. “Great stuff. A worthy companion of the “Cold Waves : Minimal Electronics” and “Mutazione” CDs. Anyone who is a fan of Cabaret Voltaire/Human League/Throbbing Gristle/Robert Rental/Chris & Cosey/Coil era electronics will find something they love on this.” ★★★★★ Amazon review “This retrospective is well overdue. As you might expect, much of the material sounds like a cross between early Depeche Mode, curious Italian coldwave and proto-EBM. Pleasingly all the material has been remastered by legendary engineer Denis Blackham, giving the original analogue sounds a whole new lease of life. Essential stuff” -Juno review “A must have collection of English post-punk rarities sourced from the legendary Color Tapes label” – Boomkat Review

File Under: Electronic, Coldwave

ghana

Various: Ghana Soundz (Soundway) LP
Ghana Soundz was the first ever Soundway compilation and became recognised worldwide due to the licensing of the Oscar Sulley track, ‘Bukom Mashie’ to the soundtrack of Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Last King of Scotland’. Pounding rhythms, blaring horns and pumping vocals – the music is a document of a time forgotten when flares and Cuban heels strutted the streets and night-spots of Accra, the sizzlingly hot and humid capital of Ghana.  Influenced as much by traditional rhythms and local highlife as by the music of Fela Kuti, James Brown and Santana, these tunes had almost become extinct – until now! Ghana Soundz was the first of three collections of rare afro-beat, afro-funk and afro-fusion that Miles Cleret painstakingly travelled the length and breadth of Ghana to assemble, the third compilation to be released late 2009.

File Under: World, Afrobeat, Funk

hell3

Various: Hillbillies in Hell Vol. 3 (Iron Mountain) LP
Down, down…deeper into the infernal depths. More unknown and unheralded Hillbillies and Delinquent Hayseed Balladeers. They croon. They yodel. And the flames leap ever higher. Cut on microscopic or private-press labels and distributed in minuscule amounts, these Tormented Troubadours sing of Satan, His diabolical offspring, the Grim Reaper, sinful trysts, suicide, murder, Devil trains, inebriates, cuckolds and lustful cadavers – all in one handy LP package. Years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ (Volume Three) presents a further 16 timeless testaments of sin, tribulation, cold graves and warm temptations. Originally issued on forgotten 45s, some of these sides are indescribably rare and are reissued here for the very first time. All for your licentious listening pleasure.

File Under: Country

…..Restocks…..

Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: Bumbug (Domino) LP
Baird Sisters: Until you Find Your Green (Ba Da Bing) LP
Bing & Ruth: City Lake (RVNG) LP
Blonde Redhead: Misery is a Butterfly (4AD) LP
Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) LP
Dan Brown: Atrocity Exhibition (Warp) LP
Butthole Surfers: Brown Reason to Live (Alt. Tentacles) LP
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician (Latino Bugger Ville) LP
Julie Byrne: No Even Happiness (Ba Da Bing) LP
Camberwell Now: The Ghost Trade (Modern Classics) LP
John Carpenter: Lost Themes (Sacred Bones) LP
Cat Power: Covers Record (Matador) LP
Cat Power: The Greatest (Matador) LP
Cat Power: You Are Free (Matador) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Daft Punk: 2007: Alive (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Tron: Legacy (EMI) LP
Emperor: Anthems to the Welki (Spinefarm) LP
Emperor: In the Nightside… (Spinefarm) LP
Flesh Eaters: Forever Came Today (Superior Viaduct) LP
Gonjasufi: A Sufi & A Killer (Warp) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man In Paris (Blue Note) LP
Grimes: Geidi Primes (Arbutus) LP
Grimes: Visions (Arbutus) LP
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note) LP
Isis: Wavering Radiant (Robotic Empire) LP
Bert Jansch: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
David Kauffman & Eric Caboor: Songs From Suicide Bridge (Modern Classics) LP
Kaytranada: 99.9% (XL) LP
Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone? (Thompkins Square) LP
Bob Marley: Legend (Universal) LP
Metallica: And Justice For All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Hardwired to Self-Destruct (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Kill Em All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
Misfits: Walk Among Us (Rhino) LP
Mission of Burma: Calls, Signals & Marches (Matador) LP
Lee Morgan: Sidewinder (Blue Note) LP
Nirvana: Bleach (Sub Pop) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged (Geffen) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is…? (Luaka Bop) LP
Parliament: Mothership Connection (Universal) LP
Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Matador) LP
Pavement: Brighten The Corners (Matador) LP
Preoccupations: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Universal) LP
Ty Segall: s/t (Drag City) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning The Threshold (Drag City) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Suicide: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Suicide: Alan Vega Martin Rev (Superior Viaduct) LP
Survive: MF064 (Monofonus) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Matador) LP

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…..news letter #781 – hyperspace records…..

I’m back, and I’m swamped, cuz I was away, so… here’s your weekly update! Enjoy.

…..pick of the week…..
60aa
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
In preparing for the first album of non-Hexadic Six Organs of Admittance music since 2012’s Ascent, Ben Chasny had a think about what he’d be saying in his own tongue for the first time in a half-decade. As ever, a head-full of ideas were driving him to think and speak music as a spirituality superimposed onto a reality, with the ghosts of both whispering at each other. In the end, what sits in our listening ears is the sound of communion. Burning the Threshold brings a wealth of Six Organs-styled lightness into one of his sweetest musical meditations yet. With a spacious acoustic sound stage, Burning the Threshold may actually more resemble 2011’s Asleep on the Floodplain or 2005’s School Of The Flower. All of this is speculative, comparative, unverifiable – but our sense of what is true tells us that nobody plays acoustic music quite like Six Organs of Admittance, and that furthermore, nothing sounds so much like Burning the Threshold as Burning the Threshold. Ben is in a particularly expansive mood this time around, singing and playing with all the thoughts affixed to a quiver of potent melodies launching forth and arcing out through dimensions, seeking infinite space. This space radiates out from the album’s first single, “Taken By Ascent,” a seven minute plus burner that engulfs the surrounding realm with empathetic waves. Featuring the thrilling vocal accompaniment of Haley Fohr, the massive drumming of Chris Corsano, and flourishing keys of Cooper Crain, “Taken By Ascent” exemplifies Six Organs of Admittance’s furvid push into new and thrilling territory with Burning the Threshold. With this new music, Ben Chasny has created a potent tonic for our times. Looking at the world through clear eyes beneath a knitted brow, but with a laugh rising up from its heart, Burning the Threshold brings us a powerful draught of essence.

File Under: Psych, Folk
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…..new arrivals…..

alvarb

Alvarius B: vs. Abdel Baqy Bryo in Cairo (Nashazphone) LP
“Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows he’s entertaining. It’s the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage – overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop. It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fan-club; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBC’s coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Service’s mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle. Bishop’s quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goat’s uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snotty’s Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and it’s an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks. All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan R’n’B crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically – the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient. Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe he’ll return after Ramadan, if only to crack open what’s left of their skulls like crème brulée, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not.” –Seymour Glass California, USA September 2016.

File Under: Experimental, Sun City Girls, Collage
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applehead

Applehead: Rache (Pre-Cert) LP
The return of Andy Votel’s most elusive alter-ego with a new album of delirious and darkened collage pieces brought to you by his own Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label, run alongside longtime spar, Sean Canty (Demdike Stare). Hiding behind “Cowardly Pseudonyms” inspired by the incognito exploits of Jean-Pierre Massiera and a long list of Italian library musicians, Applehead is the twice-removed alter-alter-alter ego project of Dead-Cert, Finders Keepers, Cacophonic, Pre-Cert label boss and designer Andy Votel, aka Anworth Kirk, aka Xian Orphic, aka Tandy Love, aka Tony Deval, aka Neotantrik, and the list goes on. This hang-dried and un-cured collection of low-brow electronics, oblique movie-tones, cold-funk, ready-made poetry and domestic plunderism spans five years since the debut Applehead LP on the Pre-Cert label (2011). Cut and pasted from a pool of overnight rare synth-lends, some obscure foreign-pop fix-ups and a stash of emotive tonal sketches and tape-edits (prepared when touring Milan and Rome with Suzanne Ciani and Northern Italy with the blink-missable Stanza Nera punk-funk project) these multifarious, Crepaxian comic-book compositions have clearly absorbed a strong Italian DIY muse. With respectful nods to Daniela Casa, Raskovich, Frizzi, and AR Luciani, Applehead also combines surrealist shlock with Letterist informed random Roman female spoken word and occasional back-handed salutes to Throbbing Gristle and NWW projects. This self-motivated, naturalistic response to the broad vista that has informed 20 years of Votel’s unwaning multi-dis adventures offers an infrequent opportunity to hear his personal problematic-pop and scalpel-happy art in the comfort of his own creative confides complete with square-pegs and sandpaper. Mastered by Matt Colton. Edition of 500.

File Under: Pseudo-Library, Electronic
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barker

Sue Barker: s/t (Hot Casa) LP
First reissue of Sue Barker’s sole album, a fantastic, rare soul-jazz LP recorded in Adelaide, Australia, in 1976, and originally released the same year by Crest International. 180-gram vinyl. Sue Barker is a jazz singer who was never afraid of throwing in a little soul — most of the album features covers of songs made famous by Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and James Brown. And Sue Barker is also more than just a vocal album — there’s a lot of space for instrumental solos from Barker’s team of top Adelaide musicians. Her hip seven-piece combo perfectly matches all of her vocal inflections — jazzy when needed, with more soul at other moments, and often with more of a ’60s acoustic mode than the more electric and groovy instrumentation used by other singers of the time. The arrangements are by Grahame Conlon, the guitarist in the group.

 File Under: Soul Jazz
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dolores

Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Dolores (PIAS) LP
Pias present a vinyl reissue of Dolores, the 2008 album by Germany’s doom jazz cult band, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, the slowest band on earth. The vinyl of Dolores was not available for a long-time and is now back in full glory as a double LP edition in a gatefold sleeve. Personnel: Robin Rodenberg – bass; Thorsten Benning – drums; Morten Gass – organ, vocoder, synthesizer, bass; Christoph Clöser – piano (Fender Rhodes), vibraphone, saxophone (tenor and baritone). Recorded and engineered by Christoph Clöser and Morton Gass; Mixed and mastered by Marcus Schmickler and Bohren & The Club Of Gore; Produced by Bohren & The Club Of Gore; Recorded and engineered at Dark Victory Studios Cologne and Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany. Artwork by Melanie Höner (drawing) and Jörg Follert (typography).

 File Under: Dark Jazz, Ambient
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dont

Brian Jonestown Massacre: Don’t Get Lost (A) LP
Don’t Get Lost was fully recorded and produced at Anton Newcombe’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin. It is the 16th full length release from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It was recorded from March 2016 to October 2016 with band members Ricky Maymi, Dan Allaire, Collin Hegna, and Ryan Van Kriedt. Saxophonist Emil Nikolaisen, from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh, joins the band, and there are vocal performances from Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Tess Parks, and Shaun Rivers. A new dynamic is heard on Don’t Get Lost, mixing a shoegaze and psychedelic sound with more experimental twists on some tracks you might hear from Public Image Limited’s Metalbox (1979), Primal Scream , or even Ornette Coleman. 14 tracks that will twist-and-turn through the known, and the unknown, Brian Jonestown Massacre. Anton Newcombe has been a very busy man these past two years, kicking off with the critically acclaimed Brian Jonestown Massacre album Revelation in May 2014. After a successful UK and European tour, the BJM followed this up with the + – EP in November of the same year. 2015 saw the release of Musique de film imaginé in April; an imaginary film soundtrack album featuring the track “Bonbon” which has, ironically, been used in Dheepan, the Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival of 2015. In June, Anton and Tess Parks embarked on a well-received tour of the UK and Europe to support the release of I Declare Nothing. Anton finished 2015 with a BJM mini-album release entitled Mini Album Thingy Wingy. In 2016, the band released two singles and the critically-acclaimed Third World Pyramid. The band have been touring the world since November 2015, playing Australia, New Zealand, and then, in 2016, USA, Canada, Europe, Chile, and Argentina.

File Under: Psych Rock
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cipriani

Stelvio Cipriani: UST 7013 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Stelvio Cipriani’s UST 7013, originally released as part of the Hi-Fi International series on Fonit Cetra in 1976. Probably written for some obscure movie, this infamous session from 1976, recently discovered, immediately became a grail for DJs and collectors alike. Outstanding score vibes, with several western and romantic movie themes in the vein of Ennio Morricone, mixed in with some insane beats and spacey avant-garde. Flipback sleeve replica of the original; Edition of 600.

File Under: Italian, Library
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blue-mike

Mike Cooper: Blue Guitar (Idea) LP
Mike Cooper’s Blue Guitar is a collection that first appeared on Cooper’s Hipshot CDr label in 2010 in a limited edition. It is presented here on Idea Records, for the first time on vinyl. Upon its initial release Cooper wrote: “For the past couple of years I have been collating a body of text culled (mostly) from Thomas Pynchon’s novels Gravity’s Rainbow and V and making cut-up collage pieces in the spirit of William Burroughs, Kurt Schwitters, Tom Phillips and others. Those two particular novels interest me because they are set in the period that I was born, however no reference to that period is intended in my pieces. Hopefully a more contemporary comment was found lurking within the words, lines, pages and paragraphs. Recently my interest in playing the guitar in a more or less ‘traditional’ manner, but still incorporating various ‘extended techniques’ (as opposed to using it purely as a sound source) has been re-kindled along with a renewed interest in blues, Greek rembetika, flamenco, Portuguese fado and other traditional and improvised music around the Mediterranean which in turn brought out the singer in me again… I have lived in the Mediterranean region for 30 years and listened to its music and I wanted to make something that would hopefully have some of its spirit without making reference to any of it musically.” “Things as they are / are changed upon the blue guitar” –Wallace Stevens, Man With The Blue Guitar (1937) “Sometimes when you cut into the present the future leaks out.” –William Burroughs. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Cover design by Tom Recchion. Comes on 180 gram vinyl; Includes a lyrics insert; Includes a postcard insert; Linen Wrapped/Foil Stamped; Comes in an Old Style Tip-On jacket.

File Under: Acoustic, Folk, Experimental

cooper

Mike Cooper: Reluctant Swimmer/Virtual Surfer (Discrepant) LP
The “icon of post-everything”, Mike Cooper, returns to Discrepant with a recording of a live set recorded at the Controindicazioni Festival of Improvised Music in Rome in 2003. Originally released as a CDr via his Hipshot label. The music moves very slowly through four movements: “Reluctant Swimmer”, “Movies Is Magic”, “Virtual Swimmer”, and “Dolphins”. Praise from an unknown source: “Floating in out of the exotic ether and disappearing like smoke, engulfed in the alien hugeness of nature… a very elegant set by a visionary artist.” Mike Cooper on the recording: “The first half is played on my old 1920s National tri-plate lap steel guitar and the second half on my Vietnamese electric lap steel. I also sing two songs along the way. ‘Movies Is Magic’ by Van Dyke Parks and ‘Dolphins’ by Fred Neil. It was the first time I had ever sung the last song.” RIYL: Exotica, Andrew Pekler, Dolphins Into The Future.

File Under: Exotica, Ambient
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cozmic

Cozmic Corridors: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Mental Experience present a reissue of Cozmic Corridors self-titled album. Cozmic Corridors is an underground kraut-kosmische monster, recorded and produced circa 1972-73 in Cologne by Toby “The Mad Twiddler” Robinson for his Pyramid label. The album was apparently released as an ultra-limited handmade edition back in the early ’70s, but no original copies have surfaced. Featuring Mythos drummer Hans-Jürgen Pütz on percussion and effects, alongside synth/keyboard freak Alex Meyer, poet/vocalist Pauline Fund, and the mysterious guitarist Peter Förster. Cozmic Corridors is an album if tripped-out electronic ambient soundscapes, dark atmospheres, drones, plenty of MiniMoog, gothic Hammond organ, Rhodes, electric and 12-string acoustic guitars, ritual chants, effects, and horror cinematic vibes. It is not advisable to listen to this alone in the dark. RIYL: Terry Riley, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Emtidi, Jacula, Franco Leprino, Dead Can Dance. Master tape sound; Insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman, head boss at Ultima Thule and author of The Crack In The Cosmic Egg (1996).

 File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
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darcy

Tim Darcy: Saturday Night (Jagjaguwar) LP
Saturday Night, the first proper solo album from Tim Darcy (Ought), comes from one of those crossroads-type moments in life where one has to walk to the edge before knowing which way to proceed. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. There are love/love lost songs like the standout, almost-New Wave “Still Waking Up” in which a Smiths-esque melody builds upon an underbrush that recalls 60s AM pop and country. Darcy’s unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, an instrument here: vital to the entire affair. There’s a line in “Tall Glass of Water,” the album’s Velvet Underground-nodding opening track, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: “if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” He barely pauses before the answer: “Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of Saturday Night. It’s about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It’s about how good it feels to make art, and how terrifying; how you don’t always get to choose whether you’re swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you’re going to keep diving in. That’s the impulse that links all the songs on Saturday Night, makes them glow.

File Under: Indie Rock, Ought
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dp

Dirty Projectors: s/t (Domino) LP
Dirty Projectors, the beloved, decade-plus-long recording pursuit of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist David Longstreth, presents the eighth full-length album in the band’s wildly varied and fascinating discography. As with previous Dirty Projectors albums, the release sees Longstreth lead a group of hugely talented contributors, including Solange Knowles, Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Dawn Richard (D∆WN and Danity Kane), in realizing his creative vision. Far from remaining idle, Longstreth has spent the intervening years steadily at work with a range of collaborators, contributing to releases by Joanna Newsom, Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney (writing on “FourFiveSeconds,” 2015); and Solange Knowles (writing and production on A Seat At The Table). Dirty Projectors exhibits Longstreth’s tremendous growth and strength as a producer. Classic Dirty Projectors trademarks remain – guitar, hocketing, powerful three-part vocal harmony, with the new addition of drum patterns. Fifteen years later after Longstreth’s first album Graceful Fallen Mango, the significance of the self titled album Dirty Projectors is clear; the album is both a homecoming and a rediscovery. Double LP heavyweight vinyl housed in a wide spine jacket containing a 16 page booklet, MP3 download card and an etched D side.

File Under: Indie Rock
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lo-sport

Remigio Ducros/Daniela Casa/Gian Piero Ricci: Lo Sport Vol 1 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Lo Sport Volume 1, with compositions by Remigio Ducros, Daniela Casa, and Gian Piero Ricci, originally released in 1971. Outstanding double LP production originally released on the very small Union label, founded by G.P. Ricci and Remigio Ducros. Lo Sport is one of the rarest library productions ever, and is considered a true holy grail for record collectors all over the world. This monster album features some of the hottest break-beats, funk, and psychedelic tunes from Italy, with mental grooves, samples, and themes. The absolute top-of-the-top in early ’70s Italian, classy sounds. Comes in a gatefold sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, Library, Funk, Psych
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fidenco

Nico Fidenco: Stati D’animo Vol 2 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Stati D’animo Vol.2, aka “Feeling”, originally released as part of the CmL series on CAM in 1973. The jam behind Stati D’animo Vol.2 featured Nico Fidenco (aka Donimak), Giacomo and Gianni Dell’Orso, and other musicians. Tracks appear signed by Donimak (Fidenco’s alias), Tamborelli (standing for Aldo Tamborrelli, aka Ghein), and the mysterious Nicoletta Bozzai behind the pseudonym, Morfina. A totally killer Italian library album, with the most outstanding funk and jazz-funk vibes and female vocals to die for, knitted drum patterns and top-notch, vintage dancefloor funk tunes. Moody and funky score music for action, movement, and romantic scenes. Renewed artwork; Includes original inner sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, Library
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doeuh

Group Doueh & Cheveu: Dakhla Sahara Session (Born Bad) LP
The random-access memory of an hourglass. On the one hand, there’s Cheveu, the French three-member band, whose soundtrack has never ceased to question music codes by exceeding various genres and pushing back their limits. On the other hand, you have Group Doueh, a Sahrawi band from the Sahara desert (Dakhla). Their music spans across many styles and hammers tradition with unprecedented finds. In between both their remote musical universes dwells a sound clash. It embodies the meeting between two arts of living music day by day, two ways of transmitting, of enchanting the world or refusing to do so, of exploring the repertoire as well as tradition and creation, two visions of the collective – the list of reasons why these guys should have probably never met or could have failed to get along is quite extensive. This piece was recorded in two weeks in Dakhla in January 2016. The mere project seemed like a surreal challenge, something that was almost impossible to achieve and for which time was going to hold major importance. It brought about a telluric big bang, an atomic creation, a story of primitive energies setting the record straight in the whole world. That is, two radically different understandings of time.

File Under: Psych, Post Punk, African, French
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guthrie

Will Guthrie: People Pleaser (Black Truffle) LP
Nantes, France-based drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie presents People Pleaser. Initially rising to prominence in Australia as a drummer in the fields of jazz and improvised music, Guthrie later turned increasingly toward electronics and amplified percussion, developing an idiosyncratic style of electroacoustic performance characterized by shimmering metallic textures, rapid-fire textural transformations, and aggressively high volume. Guthrie has since returned to the drum kit in both solo and collaborative work, pushing at the limits of his formidable technical abilities as a player in the free jazz tradition and working variations on short rhythmic units into an endless flow of non-metered pulse. Although drawing on many aspects of Guthrie’s past work, People Pleaser stands alone in his catalog. Working intuitively over a period of three weeks, Guthrie crafted a suite of song-length pieces that combine his drumming with electronics, field recordings, and sampled detritus. Inspired by the rough-and-ready sampling style of producers like the RZA, J Dilla, and Knxwledge, and by the endless possibilities of musique concrète, People Pleaser uses a highly divergent array of sound sources, building pieces from drum and percussion tracks left over from other projects, audio ripped from skate videos, noise electronics, fragments of a police interrogation, and anything else ready to hand. Guthrie’s unique rhythmic sensibility is the thread drawing all these elements together, his drum performances propulsively rhythmic yet insistently irregular in a way that sometimes brings to mind the uniquely open rhythmic space carved out by early Weather Report and other classic fusion. Drawing together manifold influences in an entirely sui generis way, People Pleaser is a raw, exciting, and surprisingly accessible peek into the laboratory of a unique sensibility. Designed by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, August 2016.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv, Percussion
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axis

Jon Irabagon/John Hegre/Nils Are Dronen: Axis (Rune Grammofon) LP
Filipino-American Jon Irabagon has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat’s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York’s 25 New York City Jazz Icons. A founding member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, he is also an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet, and Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor. John Hegre is a musician, songwriter, sound engineer, and a pioneer of the Norwegian noise music scene. He founded Jazzkammer with Lasse Marhaug in 1998, releasing their debut album Timex on Rune Grammofon the year after. He has been involved with close to 50 releases on various labels. Nils Are Drønen has been a player on the fertile music scene in Bergen since teaming up with Hegre 20 years ago. He is part of several constellations, including The Last Hurrah!!, playing on their The Beauty Of Fake album and The Great Gig In Disguise 10″. With Jazzkamer he has recorded six albums and toured Europe, Asia, and America.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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jaeger-orourke

Kassel Jaeger/Jim O’Rourke: Wakes on Cerulean (Editions Mego) LP
Timely outing from two grand masters of exploratory electronics. Kassel Jaeger is the moniker of French musician François Bonnet who works at the GRM and has released a number of books including the highly regarded The Order Of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago, published by Urbanomic in 2016. Jim O’Rourke is known to most through his explorations of the song and shapes, the high and low, the east and south. Wakes On Cerulean is a joint adventure where process folds upon process and the operation of procedure remains unknown. Amongst a mysterious cloud of excited high frequencies, tiny whistles howl. Frog leaps in technique lay out a thrilling and uplifting journey that runs from the soothing, to ecstatic, and back to the buoyant again. Wakes On Cerulean is a staggering feast of the joys found in electronic process. It is a malleable bubble of hovering excitement, melody and joyous refrain.

File Under: Electronic,  Experimental
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japandroids

Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life (Arts & Crafts) LP
FINALLY IN TOMORROW AFTER PRESSING ERRORS… Japandroids is a two-piece band from Vancouver, BC., which began in 2006 and consists of Brian King and David Prowse. Japandroids is one guitar, one set of drums, and two vocalizers. They are maximal in their delivery; a two- piece band sounding like a five-piece band. With the release of their second album, Celebration Rock in 2012 the band embarked on what seemed like an endless world tour, performing over 200 shows in over 40 countries, and played their final show in support of Celebration Rock in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2013. They would not perform live again for three years. Their third album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely throughout 2014 and 2015 in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (Fall of 2015), with one song, “True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will,” recorded at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC (February, 2015). The title, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, comes from a passage in the novel A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce: “He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.” Like their prior albums Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album. Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue. If Celebration Rock was the culmination of something, then Near To The Wild Heart Of Life can be considered the beginning of something else.

File Under: Indie Rock
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king-gizz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
IN TOMORROW… Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explains drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.” The Melbourne-based band plan to release five studio albums in 2017, an ambitious feat as each record will be its own unique sonic adventure.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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kink-gong

Kink Gong: Imer Zeillos (Discrepant) LP
Imer Zeillos is another unique document of Laurent Jeanneau’s collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time using two very different source recordings to create his own unique brand of alien music. Using contact mic recordings of various Turkish instruments – saz, cura, and tanbur (played by Remi Solliez) – Jeanneau alchemically collages them with his archival recordings of South East Asia to create a surreal space between the instrument’s tones and resonances with the other-worldly beauty of the field recordings.

File Under: Field Recordings, Collage, Asia

kubisch

Christina Kubisch & Fabrizio Plessi: Two and Two (Song Cycle ) LP
Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Two And Two, the outcome of the ambitious research developed by Christina Kubisch and Fabrizio Plessi, originally released in 1976. Two And Two was a collaborative effort towards the merging of visual and sound elements into a new form of intermedia. Influenced by the aesthetics of Fluxus, the duo produced a highly complex and articulated performance, involving two camera operators and several video screens, as well as a variety of objects and unconventional instruments – such as an electric vibrator, a Swanee whistle, a ventilator, an electronic metronome, and a water jet on a steel drum. The result is structured into four parts, inspired by the natural elements, in which single instruments lose their different sonic characteristics, becoming inseparable parts of a unique visual/acoustic process. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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lewin

Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone? (Tompkins Square) LP
American born Canada-based singer-songwriter Philip Lewin’s distinct 1975 loner folk debut album Am I Really Here All Alone? recorded between 1973 and 1975 and originally released in 1975 on his own label Gargoyle Records. Personal, primitive and honest folk music reissued on vinyl for the first time courtesy of the well-suited Tompkins Square.

File Under: Folk
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loscamp

Los Campesinos!: Sick Scenes (Wichita) LP
Sick Scenes is the sixth studio album by Los Campesinos! and follow-up to their highly acclaimed 2013 release, No Blues. The album was produced once again by long-time collaborator John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab For Cutie) and band member Tom Bromley and was recorded during Euro 2016 in Fridao, Portugal. The band have described the album as, “an expression of the pent-up aggression we felt due to being inactive for so long, but it’s also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends.” The themes of aggression and celebration that inspired the album have resulted in 11 tracks that find the band sounding as vital and life-affirming as ever.

File Under: Indie Rock
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massacre

Massacre: Killing Time (Spittle) LP
Spittle Records present an expanded reissue of Massacre’s Killing Time, originally released in 1981. Following the breakup of Cambridge’s avant-rock legends, Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith moved to NYC in 1979, and soon found himself deep in the heart of the city’s robust post-punk and free-jazz scenes. He performed with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher, from the group Material, as a power trio of sorts under the moniker of Massacre. The group quickly garnered a reputation around town, and around the world for that matter, as a heavy and heady band that experimented greatly with rhythm, time signatures, and tone. As Frith himself put it, “the group was a direct response to New York. It was a very aggressive group, kind of my reaction to the whole New York rock club scene.” Massacre released one album, Killing Time, before disbanding for nearly 20 years. Their first wave as a group crashed fast and furiously and this one album, recorded in part live in Paris, and in part at Brooklyn’s OAO Studio, is a perfect encapsulation of early ’80s NYC. In addition to the original album, first released on Celluloid in 1981, this deluxe three-sided double LP includes eight bonus tracks recorded live between ’80 and ’81 at The Stone in San Francisco, and Inroads and CBGB in NYC. Avant-jazz-post-punk-noise of the highest order from several legends and one of the most important projects Frith and Laswell were ever involved in.

File Under: Jazz, Punk, Noise
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milstein1

Phil X Milstein & Thurston Moore: Songs We Taught the Lord Voulme One (Feeding Tube) LP
“As I recall, the idea seemed pretty reasonable at the time. It was late 1996. I’d met Fahey a couple of years earlier, and partly as an outgrowth of that meeting he had decided he wanted to meet and play with ‘noise musicians.’ This resulted in a lot of music that made his olden fans weep, but who was I to argue with The Great Koonaklaster? Anyway, it was late ’96 and Fahey wanted to play some gigs on the east coast. He also wanted Thurston to be on the bill with him, and so Mr. Moore asked me for suggestions about who might be cool to duet with. We ruled out a lot of people for various reasons, then had a flash about asking the great Pep Lester (aka Phil Milstein). Although best known as a writer and designer, Phil had also done lots of music in various configurations, and I was hoping he’d deign to play the musical saw he had started practicing a few years earlier. Phil had other ideas, though, mostly revolving around the tape creations and loops he’d been doing with Thalia Zedek’s band, Uzi, in the mid ’80s. Thankfully, he also agreed to play some saw, and you will hear some of that instrument’s beautiful tones floating around the tape jabber and guitar circularity that makes up much of this record’s basis. This show was recorded on the first night of Fahey’s East coast jaunt, at the Iron Morse Music Hall in Northampton MA. The audience was primed for transcendental waterfalls, and didn’t seem too delighted by Phil and Thurston’s opening set, but fuck ’em. Fahey was enthralled. And when we pulled the tapes out to listen to for the first time in many a year, we were all pretty chuffed about how nuts and timeless the music sounded. Although the second night’s sound was previously issued by Chris Corsano’s Hot Cars Warp Records label, this is the first issue for this fantastic set. Roll yourself a fatty and swing!” –Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Jazz

milstein2

Phil X Milstein & Thurston Moore: Songs We Taught the Lord Volume Two (Feeding Tube) LP
“This album reissues the final recording (thus far) of the Milstein/Moore duo. It was originally released in 1997 by Chris Corsano’s Hot Cars Warp Records label. Chris had a choice of this tape — recorded December 4, 1996 at the Middle East in Cambridge MA — or the one from the previous night at the Iron Horse in Northampton (FTR 288LP). He chose this one, and the first volume was scheduled to appear on the Ecstatic Yod label. Why it never happened, who knows? Not me! The set was recorded opening for guitarist John Fahey, shortly after a horrible accident in Harvard Square, which involved Fahey’s belt breaking in the middle of Brattle St. and having his pants drop to his ankles as a result. Unable to bend enough to reach his feet, it fell upon one of the opening musicians to lend a hand. And I feel as though the incredible sense of horror involved in that process infuses this concert. Thurston’s guitar was quite unhinged that night, and Phil’s gabble of tape-voices had a relentless edge that seems designed to induce claustrophobic reactions. It is a bravura performance by any measure, and surely one of the wildest collaborations Thurston had been involved in up to that time. Listening now, I can only hope these two do more work together in the 21st century. We could all certainly use it. Remastered from original source tapes, this new edition of the album is best heard loud. Who cares what the neighbors think? They’re probably fascists anyway.” –Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Jazz

sme029lp_prod

Narassa/Zanagoria: Popfolkmusic (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Narassa and Zanagoria’s UST 7011 – Popfolkmusic, originally released as part of the Hi-Fi International series on Fonit Cetra in 1973. Narassa, aka Alessandro Brugnolini, and Zanagoria, aka Giogio Carnini, present a side each. This very rare, Italian library – still unknown in to some in the record collectors circle – features some of the most insane grooves made in Italy. Outstanding, spaced-out break-beats with the best up-tempo, hip hop beats and b-boy funk tunes that anyone could ever desire, all mixed in with easy listening scores and happy synthesizer themes. Flipback sleeve replica of the original; Edition of 600.

File Under: Italian, Library
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nascimento

Fabiano Do Nascimento: Tempo dos Mestres (Now Again) LP
“Tempo dos Mestres (Time of the Masters) is the second album from the tireless, young Brazilian guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento. It finds its roots in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, passed down through generations of Native Brazilians, and is imbibed by the Afro-Brazilian culture that arose after Portuguese colonization. This blend is not new in Brazil, and is represented musically by great Brazilian musicians both known and celebrated — the guitarist Baden Powell and catalyst Hermeto Pascoal, both direct influences on Do Nascimento — and less exposed, like the experimentalist Carioca, one of Do Nascimento’s mentors, and the Brazilian psychedelic pioneer Lula Cortes, whose album Paebiru rewrote Brazilian rock’s history in 1975. It is the third Brazilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz and Do Nascimento’s debut Dança dos Tempos. Do Nascimento’s is joined on Tempo dos Mestres by his long time percussionist, Ricardo ‘Tiki’ Pasillas on trap drums and percussion, and Sam Gendel on saxophone and flute. Vocals are performed by Thalma de Freitas and Carla Hasset. These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, straight to 2″ analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances. Do Nascimento’s fans include legendary percussionist Airto Moreira, who recorded Dança dos Tempos and can be found playing live with Do Nascimento. ‘He’s Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common.’ Moreira states. ‘Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy!’ Do Nascimento takes his music, and his place in Brazil’s lineage, seriously, and he often travels the vast country, spending time in the rainforest, living life as it was lived in the distant past, while studying with still living masters as he searches for new directions of the path trod by the geniuses whose influence abounds in contemporary music, but whose names are still unfamiliar. ‘Being a musician — feeling, studying, experiencing, living music — this comes first, right?’ Do Nascimento questions. ‘ Second, we hope that the depths of knowledge in the music from the masters before us can be shared more, each time, to the younger generations coming.’ In Tempo dos Mestres Do Nascimento answers himself with a beautiful entry into the evolving language of timeless Brazilian music.”

File Under: Brazil, Rock
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nww

Nurse With Wound: Spiral Insana (Rotorelief) LP
Deluxe metallic silver gatefold sleeve. Limited numbered edition of 1000. Rotorelief inaugurates its Silver Collection with this deluxe expanded reissue of Nurse With Wound’s 1986 masterpiece Spiral Insana. One of Nurse With Wound’s most deep and mysterious recordings, Spiral Insana is more ambient and user-friendly than many other NWW outings, without losing any of its surreal edge. Stapleton and guests Robert Haigh and David Jackman mix prepared piano, percussion, loops, and various bric-à-brac into an hour-long collage of mashed-up sound, jarring juxtapositions, buzz-saw distortion, and even a pipe organ. If that sounds disorienting, that’s because it is. This edition marks the definitive release of the complete Spiral Insana sessions, with the contents of the original 1986 LP augmented by three recordings from the same period: “Mourning Smile” (originally released on the 1987 LP Drunk With The Old Man Of The Mountains and later included on the 1997 United Dairies CD reissue of Spiral Insana), “Nihil” (first released on the 1997 Spiral Insana CD reissue), and “A Missing Sense,” a 25-minute tribute to Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing originally released as the NWW half of a 1986 LP split with Organum. Steven Stapleton: drums, cello, radio, guitar, bowed piano, percussion, loops, voice, tuba, organ, electronics; Robert Haigh: guitar; David Jackman: banjo, splutter, voice; Chris Wallis: acoustic guitar; David Tibet: trumpet; Diana Rogerson: voice; Andrew McKenzie: voice. Mastered by Denis Blackham. Cover art and pictures by Babs Santini. “Still stands as one of the clear highlights of Stephen Stapleton’s singularly daunting and mountainous discography. . . . Many of the varied interludes are noisy, fragmented, and somewhat abrasive, but there is always a playful sense of mischief lurking in the shadows, ready to blunder into the steadily darkening fever dream at any second. . . . a brilliantly skewed and excellent album that has not faded with age one bit.” –Anthony D’Amico, Brainwashed

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Drone, Noise
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odwyer

Aine O’Dwyer: Gegenschein (Penultimate Press) LP
Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer follows her highly acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II double LP (2015) with two LP releases, Gegenschein and Locusts. While continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, these two releases steer away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored. Gegenschein was recorded at the Franciscan Friary in Limerick, Ireland. O’Dwyer gained access to the Friary in 2012 and explored both the pipe organ and the space in its disused state. What becomes of a sacred space after the dispersion of the spirit, after the light has been switched off, after the deconsecration? Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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odwyer2

Aine O’Dwyer: Locusts (Penultimate Press) LP
Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer follows her highly acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II double LP (2015) with two LP releases, Locusts and Gegenschein. While continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, these two releases steer away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored. O’Dwyer recorded Locusts in 2015 at St. James’ Church in Barrow-in-Furness, England, and at the First Unitarian Congregational Society sanctuary in Brooklyn Heights, New York. The record presents itself as a celebration of the pipe organ’s acoustic capacity to tap into electronic pulses, and of O’Dwyer’s liturgical memories, which are, at times, pushed into horrorthon states. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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pissed

Pissed Jeans: Why Love Now (Sub Pop) LP
Pissed Jeans have been making gnarly noise for 13 years, and on their fifth album, Why Love Now, the male-fronted quartet is taking aim at the mundane discomforts of modern life – from fetish webcams to office-supply deliveries. Pissed Jeans’ gutter-scraped amalgamation of sludge, punk, noise, and bracing wit make the band – frontman Matt Korvette, Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums) – a release valve for a world where absurdity seems in a constant battle trying to outdo itself. Why Love Now picks at the bursting seams that are barely holding 21st-century life together. Take the grinding rave-up “The Bar Is Low,” which, according to Korvette, is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead.” The lyrics on Why Love Now are particularly pointed about gender relations and the minefield they present in 2016. “‘It’s Your Knees’ is about the endless, unrequested, commenting on if you’d fuck a girl,” Korvette explains. On “Love Without Emotion” Korvette channels Nick Cave’s guttural side while bemoaning his detachment over cavernous guitars. “Ignorecam” twists the idea of fetish cam shows into a showcase for Korvette’s rancid yelp and his bandmates’ pummeling rock. As they did on their last album, 2013’s Honeys, Pissed Jeans offer a couple of “fuck that shit type songs” about the working world. And the startling “I’m A Man,” which comes at the album’s midpoint, finds author Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls) taking center stage, delivering a self-penned monologue of W.B. Mason-inspired erotica. No Wave legend Lydia Lunch shacked up in Philadelphia to produce Why Love Now alongside local metal legend Arthur Rizk (Eternal Champion, Goat Semen). The combination of Lunch’s spiritual guidance and Rizk’s technical prowess supercharged Pissed Jeans, and the bracing Why Love Now documents them at their grimy, grinning best. While its references may be very early-21st-century, its willingness to state its case cement it as an album in line with punk’s tradition of turning norms on their heads and shaking them loose.

File Under: Punk
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riley-1

Terry Riley: Descending Moonshine Dervishes (Beacon Sound) LP
Beacon Sound present a reissue of Terry Riley’s Descending Moonshine Dervishes, originally released in 1982. Recorded live in Berlin in 1975, and largely improvised, Riley plays a modified Yamaha organ with variable resistors to facilitate tuning in just intonation. This is a 50+ minute recording divided into two halves for vinyl. Terry Riley turned the music world upside down with his 1964 work In C, a revolutionary concept based on 53 modules that can be improvised upon by any number of musicians for an indeterminate amount of time over a pulsing C note typically played on piano or mallet. Performed live for the first time by Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, and Jon Gibson, it has since been performed by everyone from the Shanghai Film Orchestra, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and the Malian musicians of Africa Express (featuring contributions by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn). Though referred to as the “father of minimalism”, the 81-year-old Riley has ranged widely in the intervening decades, deeply influenced by jazz, North Indian classical music, and a distinctly West Coast strain of radical spirituality – and in turn influencing practically everyone: The Who (“Baba O’Riley”), The Velvet Underground, collaborators The Kronos Quartet, as well as the legions of cutting-edge electronic musicians and contemporary composers making genre-defying music today. A resident of Grass Valley, CA, Riley is still touring the world. “Great for meditating to the cosmos” –Thurston Moore. Remastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri.

File Under: Drone, Experimental

riley2

Terry Riley: Songs for the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets (Beacon Sound) LP
Beacon Sound present a reissue of Terry Riley’s Songs For The Ten Voices Of The Two Prophets, originally released in 1983. Recorded live in Munich in 1982 using two Prophet synthesizers and voice, this album is a reflection of Riley’s ongoing interest in melding improvisation, electronic music, and the raga vocal stylings of his mentor, Pandit Pran Nath. Terry Riley turned the music world upside down with his 1964 work In C, a revolutionary concept based on 53 modules that can be improvised upon by any number of musicians for an indeterminate amount of time over a pulsing C note typically played on piano or mallet. Performed live for the first time by Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, and Jon Gibson, it has since been performed by everyone from the Shanghai Film Orchestra, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and the Malian musicians of Africa Express (featuring contributions by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn). Though referred to as the “father of minimalism”, the 81-year-old Riley has ranged widely in the intervening decades, deeply influenced by jazz, North Indian classical music, and a distinctly West Coast strain of radical spirituality – and in turn influencing practically everyone: The Who (“Baba O’Riley”), The Velvet Underground, collaborators The Kronos Quartet, as well as the legions of cutting-edge electronic musicians and contemporary composers making genre-defying music today. A resident of Grass Valley, CA, Riley is still touring the world. Remastered by Raphael Anton Irisarri. Includes original insert; Edition of 300. “His voice twists and curves in complicated arabesques, recalling Indian music, and especially the singing of Mr. Riley’s colleague and teacher, Pandit Pran Nath, who is also associated with Mr. Riley’s long-time friend LaMonte Young. The synthesizers create a hushed, meditative counterpoint of slowly unwinding melodies and cross-rhythms… the Prophet 5, a polyphonic synthesizer that is capable of rich viola-like sounds, is a winning instrument for Mr. Riley’s improvisations. After years of playing a Yamaha electric organ, he has turned to the synthesizer, which theoretically offers an infinite assortment of sounds. Rather than take advantage of the instrument’s ability to mimic vocal sounds and timbres, as composers like Jon Hassel and Brian Eno have done, Mr. Riley plays the synthesizer as a keyboard instrument, with a luminous sound and the ability to bend or inflect notes.” –New York Times, Feb 1984

File Under: Drone, Experimental
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sadies

The Sadies: Northern Passages (Dine Alone) LP
The essence of The Sadies’ story can be summed up with the powerful image of the aurora borealis adorning the cover of Northern Passages. Ever since the quartet, comprised of singer/guitarists Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky, first arrived on the North American scene 20 years ago, their music has never been less than awe-inspiring, with no embellishment necessary. Recorded in the basement of Dallas and Travis’ parents’ home north of Toronto over the winter of 2015, the familiar surroundings and lack of distractions resulted in a consistent feel, despite the eclecticism at the heart of The Sadies’ sound. The psych-folk flourishes on tracks such as “Riverview Fog” are no mere homage; this is the sound of our inscrutable world, and how we manage to survive in it. Adding to The Sadies’ running list of astounding collaborators–Neko Case, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gord Downie and Neil Young, to name a few–twang-folk troubadour Kurt Vile lends his signature vocals to album highlight “It’s Easy (Like Walking)”.

File Under: Folk Rock
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skullflower

Skullflower: The Black Iron That Fell From The Sky, to Dwell Within… (Nashazphone) LP
The inception of an audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus, and the Apep serpent. Volume one comprises of three received transmissions from the tunnels of Set via the physical envelopes of Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies operating as the occult cell known as Skullflower. The working, the concept, and guiding hand comes from Nashazphone, purveyors of artifacts, dreams and koans, who are currently re-creating and re-writing the myths and cycles of their native land.

File Under: Experimental, Drone, Noise
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thomas

Amedro Tommasi: Thomas (Sonar Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Amedeo Tommasi’s Thomas: Colonna Sonora Originale Del Film, originally released the on Gemelli label in 1970. The Infamous and legendary score for the film of the same name directed by cult Italian director Pupi Avati. An Italian soundtrack milestone and a pure masterpiece of Italian giallo, thriller, and exploitation. Scary, giallo vibes with stunning cinematic sinister beats. Features Edda Dell’Orso, who provides some astonishing frightful vocals. A mythical album for any Italian giallo/thriller enthusiast. Hard cover glossy sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, OST
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zos

Zos Kia/Coil: Transparent (Cold Spring) LP
Comes in a gatefold sleeve with a 12″ booklet of unseen images and includes a download card. The entire Transparent recordings released for the first time, completely remastered from the unedited tapes. Zos Kia was formed by John Gosling (Mekon), John Balance (Coil) and Min – with guest Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle). Their one and only album, Transparent, was released on August 23rd, 1983 in a cassette only edition on the now defunct Austria label Nekrophile. They were the first released recordings of both Coil and Zos Kia. It was reissued years later by Coil (Threshold House/Eskaton). Includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks by Ake (pre-Zos Kia). The music on Transparent is genuinely unsettling and disturbing, with a more primal Industrial feel than the Coil album which followed; Scatology (1984). An essential insight into the very early work of these extraordinary artists and an undeniable link between Coil and Throbbing Gristle.

File Under: Industrial, Coil
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oz-waves

Various: Oz Waves (Efficient Space) LP
Efficient Space continue to expose Australia’s esoteric musical history with Oz Waves – a collection of ’80s DIY recordings, compiled by odd wave anthropologist Steele Bonus. Definitive proof that inhabitants of the Down Underground were links in a global network of creative kooks, Oz Waves connects those who utilized mobile recording rigs and small press releases to create and disseminate misfit synth-punk, tape loop experiments, and inner city pop. Through overseas mail order exchanges, anonymous groups like Zerox Dreamflesh could find place on Belgian compilations, while Chris and Cosey lullabied their son to sleep with Irena Xero and her interdisciplinary art collective Zip. Bonus selects ten survivors from the fertile period (1982-1989), most of which were only issued on cassette in tiny editions of five to one-hundred copies. M Squared affiliates Prod join the extraterrestrial Software Seduction, He Dark Age’s minimal wave neglect and the irreverent cut ups of The Horse He’s Sick and MK Ultra & the Assassins of Light. The remaining tracks have been sourced from musicians’ private archives and are being officially released on Oz Waves for the first time – Andy Rantzen’s industrial dub Itch-E & Scratch-E precursor, the buoyant vocal-drone of Ironing Music, and Moral Fibro, Sydney’s short lived answer to Weekend and Marine Girls. With detailed track-by-track notes, lines are drawn to Severed Heads, Scattered Order, and other antipodean post-punk royalty. As a DJ, Steele Bonus has gained notoriety via the exquisite selections that form his ongoing mix series Odd Waves. Sydney-born, Amsterdam-based, his graphic design has not only been responsible for sleeves on Efficient Space, but also trusted Amsterdam connoisseurs Music From Memory and Young Marco’s Safe Trip. Includes a download card.

File Under: Synth Pop, Post Punk
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archipelago

Various: Sounds From the Archipelago: An Introduction to the Lush Indonesian Music Tradition Vol. 1 (Shiok) LP
The first volume of Sounds From The Archipelago: An Introduction To The Lush Indonesian Music Tradition gathers traditional music from different areas of the Indonesian archipelago, featuring music from Sulawesi, The Moluccas Islands (Spice Islands), and Central Java. In the first track from Sulawesi (“Gandrung Bulo”), the lead is taken by the percussion made of bamboo drums, later joined by two male voices in the second track. This is traditional entertainment music which is typically played at weddings, feasts, and others special occasions. The last track is an instrumental one featuring the story-telling of an epic ballad. The singer is playing a traditional Indonesian instrument called the sinrili. The track from the Moluccas (“Tjakalele”) is a typical warrior dance, and it was recorded in the main city of Maluku Islands. The music from Bali is performed by a chorus of seventy-eight men sitting in circle around the actors, during the representation of the so-called Ketchak (Monkey) Dance, which is still a big attraction for travelers coming to Bali. The selection from Central Java is a traditional piece called Perdjuritan dance (“Perdjuritan”), which is some sort of a soldiers’ dance. It is performed by a traditional Javanese orchestra (called Gamelan) which consists of drums, metal rattles and whistles. The last sample is recorded in the capital city of Jakarta and represents an example of the so called Sundanese music, typical of the western region of Java. Another example of traditional old entertainment music to be played during various festivities. Shiok! Records is a new record label dedicated to the discovery of the extensive and rich music tradition of the various South East Asian countries. Operating right from the heart of the region, in the strategic location of Singapore, Shiok! Records’ core mission is to provide a musical outlook on some “hidden gems” that are still mostly unknown to the vast majority of the western audiophile audience. By following a chronological and anthological approach, Shiok! Records will be publishing music deeply rooted in the history, folkways and traditions of the mighty and exotic territories of the East. With a specific focus on the lush production of Indonesia for its first issues, Shiok! Records will later venture into the various music genres of Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

File Under: World, Indonesian, Gamelan

arch2

Various: Sounds From the Archipelago: An Introduction to the Lush Indonesian Music Tradition Vol. 2 (Shiok) LP
The second volume of Sounds From The Archipelago: An Introduction To The Lush Indonesian Music Tradition covers music from the vast island of Sumatra (West Indonesia), The Moluccas Islands, and the island of Bali. In the first sample from Sumatra (“Gondang Mula Mula”), recorded near the awesome Lake Toba, is a ceremonial overture played during weddings and special occasions. The band is comprised of four instruments: two “Ketchapis” (sort of a two-string ukulele), one “Serenar” (a wind instrument), and one simple metal spoon tapped against a glass bottle. The second track (“Andung Andung”) is music conceived to put people in the right mood for working in the fields, or boating on Lake Toba. Some sort of predecessor, if you will, of the “Ayo kerja” slogan and movement. The third track (“Hasa Hatan”) is a coda to all ceremonies in the region, and carries a benediction. The track from Moluccas (“Menari Sawat”) is a Muslim traditional dance from the area (menari), while sawat is the name of this type of music. The recording is taken in a small fishing village. The album moves to Bali, where the first track (“Pubradaya”) is a sitting dance performed by a local Gamelan orchestra. The following four tracks (“Barong Dance: Preren, Omang, Castel, and Sadewa”) are all part of a suite of drums and gamelan music performed for the dance of a Barong, which is a mythical creature represented as half lion and half dog. The last two pieces are typical cremation music played on the tower at the cremation ceremonies in Bali, extremely interesting and unique. Shiok! Records is a new record label dedicated to the discovery of the extensive and rich music tradition of the various South East Asian countries. Operating right from the heart of the region, in the strategic location of Singapore, Shiok! Records’ core mission is to provide a musical outlook on some “hidden gems” that are still mostly unknown to the vast majority of the western audiophile audience. By following a chronological and anthological approach, Shiok! Records will be publishing music deeply rooted in the history, folkways and traditions of the mighty and exotic territories of the East. With a specific focus on the lush production of Indonesia for its first issues, Shiok! Records will later venture into the various music genres of Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

File Under: World, Indonesian, Gamelan

time-will

Various: This Time Will Be Different (Interstate) LP
This Time Will Be Different – The Sweet Soul Of Philadelphia: 1968-1982 is the first part in Interstate Records’ regional soul series. This Time Will Be Different documents the emerging Philly soul sound, as influenced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, but with a focus on more obscure artists and releases. Features writing, arrangement, and production by Jerry Ross, Norman Harris, Thom Bell and Linda Creed, and Bobby Martin, with appearances by Bunny Sigler, Billy Hill (The Essex), and more. Features: The Invitations, Lou Curtin, Festivals, Choice Of Colors, Broadway Express, The Futures, Phyllis Smith, The Courtships, Paradise, J. Kelly & The Premiers, The Geminiles, The Mello Moods, The Epsilons, The Blue Notes, and The Elegant’s.

File Under: Soul

this-love

Various: This Love is for Real (Interstate) LP
This Love Is For Real – The Sweet Soul Of Chicago: 1968-1981 is the second part in Interstate Records’ regional soul series. This Love Is For Real documents the Chicago sound, as popularized by Curtis Mayfield, The Chi-Lites or Impressions, but with a focus on more obscure artists and releases. Features writing, arrangement, and production by Leroy Hutson, Willie Henderson, Eugene Record, with appearances by Otil Leavill, Charles Jackson, and more. Features: Essence, Marzette Griffith, Harlem Meat Company, Magnum Force, Billy & The Bloodknots, The Lost Generation, The Stimulators, Hands Of Time, Chocolate Sunday, Bruce Thompson, The Vegas, The Ledgends, The Independents, The Cheers, Little Ben Norfleet, The Lovelites, and Windy City.

File Under: Soul

mountains

Various: Where the Mountains Meet the Sky (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Music from Ladakh recorded during the making of the film The Song Collector (2014) by director Erik Koto, with additional material recorded by Bill Kite in 1992. “Situated high in the Western Himalaya, Ladakh is one of the great cultural crossroads of Asia. For centuries, it sat at the hub of ancient trade routes that connected the Silk Road to India, Tibet, and Kashmir. Each year, once the winter snows had melted from the high passes surrounding Ladakh, its markets would buzz with merchants from throughout central Asia. They brought spices, wool, salt, and silk. They also brought their instruments and their folks songs. Over time, these diverse musical influences laid the foundation of Ladakh’s unique folk traditions. Folk music became central to the daily life of the Ladakhis with song serving as an essential form of communication, documentation, and entertainment. This collection of songs is intended to offer a sampling of the range of Ladakh’s folk music. These songs also celebrate one of the great folk artists of Ladakh, Morup Namgyal. Morup is an avid preservationist and during his 30-year career working at Ladakh’s only radio station (All India Radio, Leh) he recorded a vast archive of Ladakhi folk songs. This collection of over 1,000 recordings was unlike anything else in Ladakh and formed a crucial link to a dying folk tradition. Tragically, it burned to the ground in 2002 when a fire raged through the old wooden radio station building. The loss was devastating, but Morup immediately set about recreating the archive. Five of the songs on this album, recorded in 1992, are among the handful of tracks to have been spared by the fire. Today, Ladakh’s marketplaces bear little resemblance to the buzzing markets of old. Gone are the camel trains and merchants, replaced instead by Indian trucks belching smoke. Seemingly vanished too are the folk musicians, pushed aside by the synthetic beats of the latest Bollywood hit. But the folk artists have not vanished entirely, and if you wander beyond the blare of the latest pop song, you’ll discover a folk tradition that, thanks to the efforts of Morup Namgyal and others like him, is alive, evolving, and poised to endure the challenges of modernization.” –Erik Koto. LP comes with a full-size insert containing historic photos, song lyrics, and liner notes by Erik Koto.

File Under: World, India

…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Kevin Ayers: Joy of a Toy (Vinylisssimo) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (Reprise) LP
Cluster: Zuckerzeit (Lilith) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs from a Room (Legacy) LP
Leonard Cohen: Songs of (Legacy) LP
Sarah Davachi: Vergers (Important) LP
Betty Davis: This Is It (Vampisoul) LP
Echo & The Bunnymen: Ocean Rain (1972) LP
Equiknoxx: Bird Sound (DDS) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Carla Del Forno: You Know What It’s Like (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Gun Club: Fire of Love (Munster) LP
GZA: Liquid Swords (Universal) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasure (Rhino) LP
Kaleo: A/B (Atlantic) LP
Eyvind Kang/Tashi Dorji: Mother of… (Unrock) LP
Kinks: Mono Collection (Sanctuary) Box
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France (EMI) LP
Klara Lewis: Ett (Editions Mego) LP
Egisto Macchi: Messico (Cinedelic) LP
Egisto Macchi: Viiolenza (Cinedelic) LP
Egisto Macchi: Biologia Animale e Vegetale (Cinedelic) 3LP
Tim Mala: s/t (Vinylisssimo) LP
Massive Attack: Protection (EMI) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Universal) LP
Scientist: Meets the Space Invaders (Dub Mir) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dub Mir) LP
Scientist: Wins the World Cup (Dub Mir) LP
The Sound: Jeopardy (1972) LP
The Sound: Lions Mouth (1972) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds (Thirty Tigers) LP
Smiths: Louder Than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Sun Ra: Nubians of Plutonia (Cornbread) LP
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (EMI) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Mind Control (Rise Above) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP
Various: Go Devil Go! (Jerome) LP
Various: Poco Loco (University of Vice) LP
Various: Poco Loco 4 (University of Vice) LP
Various: Slow Grind Fever 5 (Stag-O-Lee) LP

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