Author Archives: listenrecords

…..news letter #759 – deck…..

Not the longest list we’ve had this month, but there’s some killer stuff in this week. And if those Floyd reissues aren’t enough for you, we’ve been getting some killer used stuff lately, so you should come for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

biosphere

Biosphere: Departed Glories (Smalltown Supersound) LP
It’s easy to forget that Norway shares a short stretch of frontier with Russia, right at the northernmost tip of the country. That region is where Geir Jenssen, the Norwegian electronic producer behind Biosphere, comes from, and where he has been composing his austere, disturbing and deeply textured ambience since the early-80s. His twelfth album Departed Glories is his first in almost five years and marks a new deal with the Oslo independent label Smalltown Supersound. On the cover is a photo of the Russian landscape taken more than a hundred years ago. It’s part of an incredible cache of recently discovered images by the photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, who pioneered a form of color photography using three sheets of glass, and left us with a collection of hauntingly beautiful pictures of a vanished world that could have been taken on an iPhone. These are one of the inspirations for Jenssen’s latest project, which he began working on this project around five years ago, while he was based temporarily in Krakow, Poland. Living near the Wolski forest, his daily walk took him past sites – beautiful and at the same time terrible – where Poles had been executed during the Second World War. After researching the area he discovered that a Polish medieval queen Bronislawa, had hidden among the trees with some nuns in the 13th century to escape the invading Tartar hordes, and that a monument to her memory had been built and then destroyed by invading Austrians in the 19th. It made him speculate about what kind of music someone like Bronislawa might have heard while trembling among the trees? Not real music, surely, but something the fears in the mind might conjure up. He went in search of local folk music, from Poland and Ukraine, and began to work with that material to transform it into something reflecting psychological trauma. Around the same time he stumbled on Prokudin-Gorsky’s photographs and was immediately struck by the way they brought history, with its long departed souls, a little bit nearer. One image in particular, of an Armenian woman in a forest in what is now Turkey, especially got under his skin. “The crystal clear yet haunting atmosphere fascinated me,” he says. All of these inspirational elements came together to provide the necessary propulsion to make Departed Glories, an album that sets the back of the neck hairs quivering in just the same way. It’s almost entirely constructed from hundreds of snippets of Eastern European And Russian folk music recordings, melted together to transform them into 17 unsettling and occasionally blindingly radiant beat less tracks. Each sample fragment is like a sliver of glass plate, and like the photos, it has left a music that is radiant, ghostly and unforgettable.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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…..new arrivals…..

allah-las

Allah-Las: Calico Review (Mexican Summer) LP
What really shines across the 12 songs that comprise Calico Review (their first for Mexican Summer), is the way that the Allah-Las have pivoted from specific influences and nods to the music they love, to crafting the feelings of freedom, grit, and melancholy in their music. That feeling – the peerless capture of music long in the tradition and mood of California pop, the sound that’s captured the essence of the LA experience – aligns with their stylistic technique and their experience in the studio environment to create their strongest album to date, one which showcases their developments in songwriting and arrangements. The process began with their self-titled debut, which captured the Allah-Las’ live set circa 2012 and continued onward with 2014’s Worship the Sun, where they began to experiment with overdubs and writing songs individually instead of as a band. Now, Calico Review showcases a band that’s grown confident in its own style to reflect the perspectives of each member, to craft an album that changes up the approach from song-to-song, while retaining their abilities as a cohesive unit. Audiences familiar with the band will recognize the levels of nuance and steadiness the Allah-Las have grown into throughout Calico Review. It’s immediate, the first thing you recognize about the band in the opening moves of “Strange Heat,” in the amount of control and character burning off of the band’s knack for restraint. Songs like “Famous Phone Figure” cradle character sketches over delicate strains of violin, organ, and Mellotron, Matthew Correia’s drumming carefully underlining a three-note theme that casts a phantom sadness over the proceedings, the group exerting a touch both light and steady enough to bring your mood to theirs. “Could Be You” works off a steady percussive gallop, guitarist Miles Michaud waxing reflexively on second chances while the band focuses on forward motion. “Roadside Memorial” applies the Bo Diddley beat to the open road, Pedrum Siadatian stepping up on vocals, and finding new ways to match his talents to propulsive musical ends. Elsewhere, “High & Dry,” featuring Correia on lead vocals, focuses on the Allah-Las most quintessential and peerless quality: writing emotionally resonant pop, at once direct and detached, casual and knowing, and instantly memorable. The dream factory itself gets called out in the fun, surf-stung number “200 South La Brea,” its carnival-like atmosphere reflecting the excitement and anxiety of those who await their judgment.

File Under: Indie Rock
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banhart

Devendra Banhart: Ape in Pink Marble (Nonesuch) LP
Nonesuch Records presents Devendra Banhart’s highly anticipated new album, Ape in Pink Marble. The 13-track release, Banhart’s ninth full-length studio effort, was written, produced, arranged, and recorded in Los Angeles, CA by the singer/songwriter/guitarist with his longtime collaborators Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick, both of whom also worked on Banhart’s most recent album, Mala (2013). Banhart was born in Houston, TX, and moved with his mother to her native Caracas, Venezuela, when his parents separated. The family relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years; it was there that he learned to speak English, skateboard, and play music. Banhart first began to perform in public while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. He has since lived in New York City, Paris, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where he currently resides. Banhart first attracted international notice with his 2002 debut album, Oh Me Oh My… The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit – a collection of recordings he had made for himself. Subsequent albums include Rejoicing in the Hands (2004), Niño Rojo (2004), Cripple Crow (2005), Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (2007), and What Will We Be (2009). Mala, his Nonesuch debut, was described by Q as a “career-best.” Banhart has collaborated with fellow musicians including Antony and the Johnsons, Beck, Vashti Bunyan, Os Mutantes, and Vetiver. He also has performed with both Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, and was part of a David Byrne – curated concert at Carnegie Hall. An accomplished visual artist, Banhart’s distinctive, minutely inked, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in galleries all over the world, including the Art Basel Contemporary Art Fair in Miami; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; and Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2015 Prestel published I Left My Noodle on Ramen Street, a collection of his of drawings, paintings, and mixed media pieces. He has created the cover art for most of his records, and in 2010 his artwork and packaging for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy.

File Under: Indie Rock
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coffins1

Coffins: Sacrifice to Evil Spirit (Osmose) LP
Coffins is a Japanese doom-death band, formed in 1996, that has scavenged the depths of evil and darkness throughout their decade-plus existence as they slowly work toward a flawless refinement of all the things we love about the genre. According to Exclaim!, Coffins might not innovate but instead “reanimate one of the darkest, most oppressive chapters of metal with consummate style and punishing panache.” Here we have Coffins’ original three-song demo from 2003 complete with a bonus Venom cover (“Warhead”) and some killer extra live, remix and rehearsal material. Limited double LP edition of this Coffins rarity from the venerable Osmose Productions.

File Under: Metal
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coffins2

Coffins: Mortuary In Darkness (Osmose) LP
Coffins is a Japanese doom-death band, formed in 1996, that has scavenged the depths of evil and darkness throughout their decade-plus existence as they slowly work toward a flawless refinement of all the things we love about the genre. According to Exclaim!, Coffins might not innovate but instead “reanimate one of the darkest, most oppressive chapters of metal with consummate style and punishing panache.” Here we have Coffins’ original three-song demo from 2003 complete with a bonus Venom cover (“Warhead”) and some killer extra live, remix and rehearsal material. Limited double LP edition of this Coffins rarity from the venerable Osmose Productions.

File Under: Metal
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coffins-blasphemy

Coffins: The Other Side of Blasphemy (Osmose) LP
Coffins is a Japanese doom-death band, formed in 1996, that has scavenged the depths of evil and darkness throughout their decade-plus existence as they slowly work toward a flawless refinement of all the things we love about the genre. According to Exclaim!, Coffins might not innovate but instead “reanimate one of the darkest, most oppressive chapters of metal with consummate style and punishing panache.” The band’s immense talent and power has been on full display ever since they unleashed their debut full-length, Mortuary in Darkness in 2005. A year later, they followed it up with their sophomore release, The Other Side of Blasphemy, released through Imperium Productions. This album managed to somehow increase the crushing heaviness of their first outing and found the band once again carrying the torch of obvious influences like Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Autopsy with pride. Limited double LP edition of this Coffins classic from the venerable Osmose Productions.

File Under: Metal
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dacus

Lucy Dacus: No Burden (Matador) LP
No Burden is the debut album from singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus. At the young age of just 20, she is already a force to be reckoned with in her hometown of Richmond, VA and is quickly gaining notoriety with her amazing and unique singing voice. The Fader recently listed Lucy in the top 20 artists to watch out for in 2016 proclaiming, “Her voice is beautiful, like none I’ve heard before. On her dynamic debut album No Burden…she warbles her country-rock songs like a humble new pal revealing old secrets about feeling lost and starting over.” After a childhood of primarily musical theater and Bruce Springsteen thanks to her mom and dad, she bought an acoustic guitar and taught herself some chords with hopes of one day being the cool girl at church camp. Luckily things changed in high school when kind friends showed her Broken Social Scene, Yo La Tengo, and Ava Luna. Lucy quickly fell in love with the Richmond music scene and did what she could to sneak into 18+ shows during her high school years, always content as a spectator, not yet participating despite the encouragement of friends. When she decided to study film in college, people were surprised and would say, “not music?” It took years of convincing, confidence building, and a great change of heart before Lucy decided to pursue music. With the help of Miles Huffman on drums, Mike Ferster on guitar, Jacob Blizard on guitar, and Noma Illmensee on bass, Lucy’s previously solo croons bite deeper and hit harder while the lyrics remain at the forefront, as honest and compelling as ever. No Burden was recorded one day in January 2015 in Nashville, TN with producer/engineer/longtime friend Collin Pastore.

File Under: Indie Rock
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hendrix

Jimi Hendrix: Machine Gun (Legacy) LP
Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings present Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69, fully documenting the debut performance of Jimi Hendrix’s short-lived but eternally influential Band of Gypsys. The group played four historic concerts at the Fillmore East in New York City – two on New Year’s Eve 1969, and two on New Year’s Day 1970. Never before has the first of these sets been available in its entirety. The vast majority of the performances have never seen the light of day in any configuration. Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 was produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott, the same team who have overseen all of Jimi Hendrix’s audio and audio visual releases by Experience Hendrix L.L.C. since 1995. Kramer served Jimi Hendrix as his primary recording engineer throughout his lifetime and newly mixed Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 from the original 1″ 8 track master tapes. The album was mastered by Grammy Award winner Bernie Grundman and is available here as a 180g 2LP-set. The revolutionary impact Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox, and Buddy Miles had upon the boundaries and definitions of rock, R&B, and funk can be traced to four concerts over the course of two evenings on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 documents the first of the group’s four legendary Fillmore East concerts. This set presents an assortment of fresh, exciting new songs such as “Earth Blues,” “Ezy Ryder,” “Stepping Stone,” “Burning Desire,” and “Machine Gun” – none of which had ever before been issued on disc. Moreover, nearly all of the group’s material had never been performed before an audience. “We decided that we couldn’t do any songs that had already been released,” explains Cox. “We wanted to give them something different. So we went at the project in a joyous, creative posture and ultimately developed the repertoire of the Band of Gypsys.” With the anticipation of the sold out Fillmore audience heightened to fever pitch, Hendrix led his trio through a scintillating, seventy-five minute opening performance. None of the eleven songs presented had yet to grace an Experience album. In the place of signature songs like “Purple Haze” and “All Along The Watchtower” were confident renditions of “Power Of Soul” and “Hear My Train A Comin.'” Jimi generously extended center stage to Miles, providing a showcase for “Changes” and a charged rendition of the Howard Tate R&B hit “Stop”. Former Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke, who authored this collection’s liner notes, describes “Stop” as being something akin to “a psychedelic power-trio Temptations.” Hendrix’s scalding version of Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” is the set’s only other cover, underscoring the new band’s emphasis on the blues. “Machine Gun” stands as one of Hendrix’s finest and most influential compositions. Hendrix pushed Delta blues into places its pioneers could not have imagined, fusing his extraordinary instrumental skills within his passionate expression of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. “Machine Gun” endures as a classic amongst the already classic-drenched Jimi Hendrix canon. Fricke notes of this version, the first that Hendrix and company had ever played in concert, “…Here it is, after 46 years, another revelation – a stunning essay in pain, rage and determined survival, fully formed in its initial outing.” Long sought after by the guitarist’s worldwide following, Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 presents the complete performance in its original sequence.

File Under: Rock
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marshall

Archy Marshall: A New Place 2 Drown (True Panther) LP
Archy Marshall, the London singer, songwriter and producer better known as King Krule releases a new mixed media project, A New Place 2 Drown, his first major release since his 2013 debut album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. Originally released digitally in compliment to a 208-page coffee-table book of artwork, poems and photographs assembled in collaboration with Marshall’s brother, A New Place 2 Drown is now available physically in a one time limited vinyl pressing of 2,000 copies. Unlike on his earlier King Krule release, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, where Marshall’s voice was the star, here he dissolves it into the grey mist of his beats. Mostly he croons or mutters over crackles, drips, and clanks. What it does share with his earlier releases is the ability to create a full fledged three-dimensional world in which the individual records coincide together, full of flickering halogen bulbs, sticky synth keys, and corroded outputs.

 File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop
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mcmoorrow

James Vincent McMorrow: We Move (Dine Alone) LP
Despite two successful albums in his home country of Ireland, multi-instrumentalist James Vincent McMorrow’s most popular song is still a cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.” It’s admittedly a beautiful rendition, marked by soft piano and McMorrow’s beautiful falsetto. Like with any cover though, you wonder if the artist behind it has any creative spark of their own. While his debut was made up of what you might expect from a cover artist, filled to the brim with acoustic guitar and simplistic piano arrangements, his second release, 2014’s Post Tropical, showed definite growth. We Move, McMorrow’s newest release, builds atop of the lush soundscapes and 808-fueled R&B croons of his sophomore LP by upping the tempo a bit and filling the sparseness of the instrumentals with psych rock inspired guitars and layers of reverb. McMorrow still manages to keep the intimacy and heavy-heartedness of his arrangements intact, mostly thanks to his supernatural upper register. That falsetto is powerful, able to evoke raw emotion and energy like few others can, and it’s what allows him to build each track off We Move to a cathartic conclusion. Lead single “Rising Water” capitalizes on the psychedelic influence with a relaxed jam about desperation after a lost love. Other highlights include “Evil,” featuring a crazy fun vocal-sample driven breakdown at the end and “Surreal,” a soaring ballad that shows off McMorrow’s voice perfectly.

File Under: Folk, Electronic, Soul
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okkervil

Okkervil River: Away (ATO) LP
“The new Okkervil River album is called Away. I didn’t plan to make it and initially wasn’t sure if it was going to be an Okkervil River album or if I’d ever put it out. I wrote the songs during a confusing time of transition in my personal and professional life and recorded them quickly with a brand new group of musicians. I got together the best New York players I could think of, people whose playing and personalities I was fans of and who came more out of a jazz or avant garde background, and we cut the songs live in one or two takes – trying to keep things as natural and immediate as possible – over three days in a studio on Long Island that hosts the Neve 8068 console which recorded Steely Dan’s Aja and John Lennon’s Double Fantasy. I asked Marissa Nadler to sing on it and got the composer Nathan Thatcher to write some beautiful orchestral arrangements, we recorded them with the classical ensemble yMusic and then I mixed the record with Jonathan Wilson out in Los Angeles. “2013-2015 had been a strange time for me. I lost some connections in a music industry that was visibly falling apart. Some members of the Okkervil River backing band left, moving on to family life or to their own projects. I spent a good deal of time sitting in hospice with my grandfather, who was my idol, while he died. I felt like I didn’t know where I belonged. When there was trouble at home, a friend offered me her empty house in the Catskills where I could go and clear my head. New songs were coming fast up there, so I set myself the challenge of trying to write as many as possible as quickly as possible. I wasn’t thinking about any kind of end product; the idea was just to write through what I was feeling, quickly and directly. Eventually, I realized I was writing a death story for a part of my life that had, buried inside of it, a path I could follow that might let me go somewhere new. “”Okkervil River R.I.P.” and “Call Yourself Renee” are good emotional transcriptions of that time. I wrote the latter on psylocibin mushrooms on a beautiful afternoon in early fall in the Catskills.”I think this record was me taking my life back to zero and starting to add it all back up again, one plus one plus one. Any part that didn’t feel like it added up I left out. Weirdly, it was the easiest and most natural record I’ve ever made. More than any time in my life before, I felt guided by intuition – like I was going with the grain, walking in the direction the wind was blowing. The closer it got to being finished, the more the confusion I’d felt at the start went away. It’s not really an Okkervil River album and it’s also my favorite Okkervil River album.” – Will Sheff

File Under: Indie Rock
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obscured

Pink Floyd: Obscured By Clouds (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd’s seventh album, Obscured by Clouds, was originally recorded as the soundtrack to the French film La Vallee (the band’s second Barbet Schroeder soundtrack following 1969’s More), but was also released as a standalone album in 1972 and anchored by the single “Free Four.” Also featuring the deep-cut favorite “Wots…Uh the Deal” and breathtaking “Childhood’s End,” the record is here remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman, James Guthrie, and Joel Plante. Long overdue but finally a reality, this audiophile-grade analog pressing of Obscured by Clouds sounds brilliant.

File Under: Rock
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pink-floydPink Floyd: Atom Heart Mother (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother remains a distinctive, diversified creation more than four decades after its release. A 23-minute-long orchestrated suite to begin record. A flurry of ideas, expressions, and impressionistic details. Iconic, simple cover art. It’s impossible not to love everything about this groundbreaking 1970 set, particularly now that it is available on this stunning-sounding 180g LP remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman, James Guthrie, and Joel Plante. Featuring the classic lineup of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason, the LP became the band’s first No. 1 record in the UK. Gilmour also makes his first lyrical contribution here with the gentle “Fat Old Sun.” Essential listening, all around.

File Under: Rock
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meddle

Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Epic, explorative, expressive: Pink Floyd’s ambitiously atmospheric Meddle lingers as an unforgettable masterpiece drenched in resplendent textures and pointillistic details. Remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman, James Guthrie, and Joel Plante, the 1971 album has never sounded better in any format. While it often sits in the shadows of The Dark Side of the Moon, a record that musically serves as its younger brother, the moody, brooding, often-dark work finds the band moving away from its original psychedelic sound and includes two timeless, largely instrumental pieces that showcase lead guitarist David Gilmour in all his vertiginous, keening glory: “Echoes,” which takes up the whole of Side One, and the gorgeous “One of These Days.”

File Under: Rock
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pixies

Pixies: Head Carrier (Pias) LP
The Pixies return with their sophomore “post-reunion” album Head Carrier. Recorded in just three weeks with producer Tom Dalgety (Killing Joke, Royal Blood), Head Carrier has all the sonic hallmarks of a classic Pixies album – tungsten guitar riffage, sun-soaked harmonies, rhythmic pummel and lyrical intrigue – while never pandering to nostalgia. The band – drummer David Lovering, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Black Francis and guitarist Joey Santiago – also officially welcomes bassist Paz Lenchantin to the Pixies’ permanent line-up here. Lenchantin has been the band’s touring bassist since January 2014, and played an integral part in the recording of Head Carrier. Aligned to its palpably fresh momentum, many of its songs have a poignant undertow, acknowledging its creators’ real time/real life journey. At least three songs, according to Black Francis, “fall into the sour grapes love song category,” though two of these – “Classic Masher” and “Bel Esprit” – feel quite exultant. The title track and “Plaster Of Paris,” meanwhile, share a somewhat thematic kinship, though the linkage is worthy of a cryptic crossword setter, turning upon the grisly fate of Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris. Elsewhere, the songs offer a typically varied buffet of Pixies esoterica: rural roadside prostitution in France and Belgium (“Um Chagga Lagga”), the Mesopotamian deity Baal (“Baal’s Back”) and the legendary American actor Jack Palance, who makes a cameo appearance in the rambunctious “Talent,” one of two songs whose primary musical influence Black Francis attributes to The Stranglers. The album’s emotional core, meanwhile, resides in its second half, amid the plangent “Tenement Song” and the closing “All The Saints.” And of course, the beatific “All I Think About Now,” a tribute to the Pixies’ past from its freshly alchemized now. That the Pixies could have a viable present in the 21st century, let alone a bright future, seemed impossible during the 10 years following their break-up in 1993, and again following Kim Deal’s departure. But there’s always been a whiff of alchemy to this band that confounds the natural order of things. It’s a large reason why they remain so special, and so beloved. Ten bands re-issue their albums on limited edition pink vinyl, all for one cause. This is the third year for the initiative that helped raise $65,000 for Gilda’s Club NYC, an organization that provides community support for both those diagnosed with cancer and their caretakers. It is named after comedian Gilda Radner, who passed away from the disease at the age of 43 in 1989. This year’s limited pink vinyl are from Anthrax, The Black Keys, Courtney Barnett, Ed Sheeran, Jim Breuer & The Loud & Rowdy, My Chemical Romance, NOFX, Opeth, Pixies and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The proceeds will sponsor Gilda’s Club NYC.

File Under: Indie Rock
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springsteen

Bruce Springsteen: Chapter & Verse (Columbia) LP
Chapter and Verse, the audio companion to Bruce Springsteen’s extraordinary forthcoming autobiography, will be released September 2016 on Columbia Records. The career-spanning compilation will be released four days before Simon & Schuster publishes Born to Run. Five of the album’s 18 tracks have not been previously released. Springsteen selected the songs on Chapter and Verse to reflect the themes and sections of Born to Run. The compilation begins with two tracks from The Castiles, featuring a teenaged Springsteen on guitar and vocals, and ends with the title track from 2012’s Wrecking Ball. The collected songs trace Springsteen’s musical history from its earliest days, telling a story that parallels the one in the book. Recordings from Steel Mill and The Bruce Springsteen Band feature musicians who would go on to play in The E Street Band. Solo demos of “Henry Boy” and “Growin’ Up” were cut in 1972 shortly before Springsteen began recording his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. The packaging will also include lyrics and rare photos.

File Under: Rock
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nigeria-soul-fever

Various: Nigeria Soul Fever (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ new Nigeria Soul Fever is their first release to explore the vast wealth of Nigerian music recorded in the 1970s. The new album comes with introductory sleeve-notes by Bill Brewster (author of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life). Packed-full with Afro-Funk, Disco and Boogie all from Nigeria, this triple album set brings together a stunning collection of diverse West African sounds. Whilst a small handful of the artists featured (Joni Haastrup, Tee Mac, Christy Essien) have seen the light of day outside Africa, this is essentially a collection of killer tracks by an array of artists completely unknown outside of Nigeria. Artists such as Don Bruce & The Angels, Akin Richards & The Executives, Angela Starr, Jimmy Sherry & The Music Agents. It’s no surprise that these records are extremely rare and expensive to buy individually so this album will save you going broke trying to find them. These recordings were made at a time when Nigeria’s trade restrictions banned imported records. Whilst new musical trends (such as American soul, funk, disco etc) entered and influenced the country, the local music scene remained just that – local. Consequently, these recordings remain practically unknown to anyone outside of the country.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Soul
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Banks & Steelz: Anything But Words (Warner) LP
Can: Soundtracks (Mute) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial (Matador) LP
City & Colour: Bring Me Your Love (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & The Harm (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Little Hell (Dine Alone) LP
City & Colour: Sometimes (Dine Alone) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Grimes: Halfaxa (Arbutus) LP
Steve Gunn: Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Lumineers: Cleopatra (Dine Alone) LP
Pavement: Brighten the Corners (Matador) LP
Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression (Loma Vista) LP
Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet (Kscope) LP
Pusha T: Darkest Before Dawn (Universal) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Akira Sakata & Jim O’Rourke: Flying Basket (Family Vineyard) LP
Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (EMI) LP

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…..news letter #758 – sod…..

Oi! Busy day here, buying used records, making other people unpack boxes, receiving records, making news letters, and so on and so forth. So anyway… some killer stuff in this week, break out your pocket books….

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…..picks of the week…..

2e4

Manuel Gottsching: E2-E4 (MG.ART) LP
In celebration of the 2016 35th anniversary of the December 12, 1981, recording of Manuel Göttsching’s legendary E2-E4, one of electronic music’s most influential recordings, Göttsching’s MG.ART label presents an official reissue, carefully overseen by the master himself. Includes six-page booklet with notes and pictures. “As the story is sometimes told, Göttsching stopped in the studio for a couple of hours in 1981 and invented techno. E2-E4 is the most compelling argument that techno came from Germany– more so than any single Kraftwerk album, anyway. The sleeve credits the former Ash Ra Tempel leader with ‘guitar and electronics’, but few could stretch that meager toolkit like Göttsching. Over a heavenly two-chord synth vamp and simple sequenced drum and bass, Göttsching played his guitar like a percussion instrument, creating music that defines the word ‘hypnotic’ over the sixty minutes … A key piece in the electronic music puzzle that’s been name-checked, reworked and expanded upon countless times.” –Mark Richardson, Pitchfork

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
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not-wavind

Not Waving: Redacted (Ecstatic) LP
With the first vinyl edition of Not Waving’s absorbingly raw sophomore solo LP Redacted, Alessio Natalizia reminds fans of his nascent psychedelic side in light of his lucid, “schizo” deviations on the Animals album for Diagonal. While there’s a mutual sense of technoid momentum to both albums, Redacted is a far gauzier, free-form and sensual beast; one richly steeped in proto/post-club atmospheres and allowing his imagination to run away with itself. Conceptually, Redacted pursues the “classified” themes of his remote viewing-inspired Umwelt LP into even murkier departments, drawing subtle parallels between the cold war atmospheres that birthed original post punk, industrial and proto-techno, and the current pallor of socio-political unrest. Omitting the original tape’s expansive closer for the sake of a single LP cut, this vinyl version plays out like an alternative soundtrack to scenes in the overgrown, radioactive zones of Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979), using an anachronistic palette of analog machinery to emphasize a sense of fluid, shimmering motion and out-of-place-and-timelessness that genuinely goes straight to the head with trippy effect. Swampy, slow techno horror themes vacillate with decayed pastoral panoramas and windows of synthetic optimism, both lush and disquietingly needling, using dissonance and sweeps of hazy noise to ultimately spell out a foreboding but dreamlike sort of electronic subterfuge and suspense that resonates with the nostalgic Stranger Things score as much as Leyland Kirby’s Intrigue & Stuff series. Redacted was originally issued in edition of 100 gold tapes in 2013. Newly remastered for vinyl by Matt Colton at Alchemy. RIYL: Pye Corner Audio, John Carpenter, Edward Artemiev. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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sunergy

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani: Sunergy (RVNG Int.) LP
Sunergy brings together synthesists Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Suzanne Ciani for the thirteenth installment of FRKWYS, RVNG Intl.’s intergenerational collaboration series. For this edition, a panorama of the Pacific Coast provides the place and head space for a musical appreciation and consideration of a life-giving form vast and volatile with change. Fortuitously (as is the freaky way), Smith and Ciani were discovered to be neighbors in the small coastal community of Bolinas, California. The two had become close friends, bonding over their experience as woman musicians and, more unusually, their shared passion for the Buchla synthesizer. The music of Sunergy embraces this kinship, with Ciani and Smith respectively performing on the Buchla 200 E and the Buchla Music Easel, two modern configurations of the innovative instrument developed in the ‘60s by Don Buchla. Sunergy was recorded in the Bolinas home where Ciani has lived for the last twenty-four years. Her living room overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a cliffside perch, creating an idyllic, inspired setting for music making. Setting up their synths side-by-side, Ciani and Smith took turns keeping time and freely improvising for the album sessions. As a complete piece, Sunergy is shaped by slow, pulsing forms and sinuous, melodic sequences that conjure both an oceanic world and the unlimited sound made possible by modular processing. For her part, Ciani has long been a Buchla voyager. Suzanne proselytized the live performance potential of Don’s synthesizer in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a document of which was uncovered in the improvised live recordings of Buchla Concerts 1975, recently released by Finders Keepers. After pioneering commercial sound design for Madison Avenue (including the ubiquitous Coca-Cola “Pop ‘n Pour” sound effect), Ciani was able to finance her debut album Seven Waves, a suite of original compositions orchestrated electronically and connected by Buchla-designed ocean sounds, and start her uniformly spirited label, Seventh Wave. Since its 1982 release, Seven Waves has become an important chapter of the ambient canon within which contemporary artists like Smith have developed their own synth syntax. Smith was born just a few years after the appearance of Seven Waves, growing up in Orcas Island, Washington. A place of profound natural beauty, the islands would inform Tides, her first instrumental collection from 2014. Smith composed Tides as an accompaniment for Yoga classes, ultimately freeing her from conventional songwriting into the exploratory, synth-based compositions demonstrated in ecstatic variety on 2016’s Ears. Despite the serene setting where Sunergy was realized, the album does not romanticize a complete oneness with nature. Smith and Ciani use their collaborative ground to reflect on the unstable forces at play across the Bolinas horizon. Sunergy takes stock of Bolinas in the 21st century, a once-thriving artist’s refuge now vulnerable to real estate pressure extending from affluent San Francisco, and more irreparably, the specter of climate change erasing its many waterfront habitats. A diametric dynamic is present in Sunergy; a somber meditation amidst the intense cultural and solar forces transforming the landscape, and a hopeful assertion of the surviving creative culture of Bolinas. Far from rehashing the gentle grace of the artists’ seminal works, Sunergy instead seeks to awaken and bear witness, employing the Buchla waveforms to mirror the infinite rhythms of the ocean and our essential relationship to it.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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…..new arrivals…..

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3/4hadbeeneliminated: Speak to Me (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle present Speak To Me, the sixth full-length release from 3/4HadBeenEliminated, the Italian trio of Stefano Pilia, Claudio Rocchetti and Valerio Tricoli. Based on source material recorded in Bologna and Berlin over the course of several years, the album is made up of two side-long pieces meticulously constructed in post-production by Tricoli in his singularly dense and unpredictable style. Although their live performances have always been entirely improvised, in their recorded work the group focuses on using improvised recordings as source material for compositions built up through layering, editing and analog manipulation, extending the practices of Teo Macero, Faust and This Heat. Melancholic instrumental ruminations sit alongside cracked electronics, concrete sounds and Tricoli’s whispered vocals, drawn together into dense assemblages animated by gradual transformations and sudden jump cuts. Beginning from the abstractions of their self-titled debut release in 2004, the group embarked on a trajectory that saw them move toward near-song structures, Tricoli’s voice becoming a dominant element amid an increasingly dense and layered production style. On Speak To Me, however, the listener feels confronted by the ghost of music, sonic memories echoing across a psychedelic expanse. Evacuated of any clear structure, the music becomes a reverb-saturated morass, from which crystalline details momentarily emerge: shimmering echoed guitar, bowed double bass, tactile hand percussion, skittering electronics. Suffused with a darkly pensive atmosphere, Speak To Me is an elegant summation of the distinctive blend of electroacoustic techniques, instrumental improvisation and contemporary psychedelia pioneered by 3/4HadBeenEliminated over the last decade. LP design by Stephen O’Malley with striking artwork by Stefano Pilia. Vinyl cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Electronic
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arashi

Arashi – Sakata/Berthling/Nilssen-Love: Semikujira (Trost) LP
Arashi presents Semikujira. Arashi is: Akira Sakata – alto saxophone, clarinet, voice; Johan Berthling – double bass; Paal Nilssen-Love – drums & percussion. The Wire about Arashi, the trio’s first release: “there are moments on this album when the energy is so furiously intense it feels like it’s going to spin out of control and take someone’s eye out. Sakata delivers wry alto phrases, as though from the corner of his mouth, before digressing into urgent flights of fancy, and finally launching into screaming, red-faced declamation – fueled by Nilsen-Love’s boiling pulse-time drums and the low bounce of Berthling’s double bass.” Cover image – “Black Submarine” by Sagaki Keita. Photos by Micke Keysendal. Recorded at Atlantis Grammofon, Stockholm by Janne Hansson, on May 20th, 2015. Mixed at Oodion, Göteborg by Mikael Werliin in December of 2015.

File Under: Free Jazz
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ashby

Dorothy Ashby: Fantastic Jazz Harp of (Spellbound) LP
Spellbound Music present a reissue of Dorothy Ashby’s sixth album, The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby, originally released in 1965. Ashby was a Detroit born jazz harpist who passed away in her early 50s in 1986. She left a rich legacy of music with The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby being one of her milestones. The music is purely bright and swinging with a joyful mood. Dorothy Ashby is always there upfront while the brass section mostly fills the background with color. Typical for the ancient jazz, there are no vocals on this record but this only adds to the depth and intriguing atmosphere of the music. Ashby starts where Coltrane left the field of real song-oriented albums for his experimental efforts and she really pulls it off. The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby is haunting but with a rather relaxed approach to this style. For the time it was released, this album was an utterly progressive effort and the pop sensibility of many tracks make it a great joy to spin. Jazz fans will dig it and open minded people who love the music of the ’60s will also develop a fondness for this beauty.

File Under: Jazz
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blitzen-trapper

Blitzen Trapper: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
Under the stewardship of Sub Pop and Vagrant records, Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper is 8 studio albums deep into the a successful career as a modern folk-rock band, led by Eric Earley, dubbed by Paste as the ”Tom Petty of the Northwest.” Earley’s songs read like stories you could’ve sworn you’ve heard before, and his band’s straightforward and every-so-slightly anthemic landscapes make for nearly universal likability ? a real feat in these days of niche tastes and fragmented genres. Blitzen Trapper brought their (quite welcome!) Pacific Northwestern sensibilities, along with swampy and distinctly Floridian opener Lauris Vidal to whet our collective whistle, to the Blue Room Stage on March 16, 2016. The live record that resulted, was cut direct-to-acetate on Third Man’s 1955 Scully lathe.

File Under: Indie Rock

brink

Thomas Brinkmann: A 1000 Keys (Editions Mego) LP
“How many can get a personal sound out of a fucking piano?!” – Lee Konitz. Thomas Brinkmann takes his seductive reductionism to the next level with A 1000 Keys, a harsh meditation on the expressive qualities of digital sound production. In translating the timbre of a grand piano into binary codes, thus rebuilding its corpus with “0 and 1s”, Brinkmann subverts the sensual qualities of this proto-romantic instrument in a sardonic way. Replacing the musician with a mathematically precise series of frenetic repetition and intriguingly dissonant difference, the result sounds at times like a violent ride through the brains of Schönberg or Webern, drained in amphetamines, at others like Feldman’s ephemeral sketches or Russolo’s futurist outburst. Brinkmann’s conceptual framework is resonating in the track titles. Using shortcuts of international airports, he refers to non-places that establish their own space-and-time continuum, while lacking individual identity and history. These functional scenarios are sterile passages for anonymous, objectified masses, at the same time there’s hardly a better place to grasp the very subjective character of time. A 1000 Keys is a fatal homage to minimalism and a consequent denial of virtuosity and the idea of creative genius. Paraphrasing the romantic idea of human perfection, Brinkmann found a way to create sonic algorithms of tenderness and brutality, establishing dramatic expressiveness in his constructivist analytics. The result is of radical beauty. Dedicated to Conlon Nancarrow.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal
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clutch

Clutch: Full Fathom Five (Weathermaker) LP
Compiled from four locations on the band’s 2007/2008 sold out headlining world tour (Boulder, Sayerville, Pittsburgh and Melbourne) these groove-laden live performances prove what the diehard fan base already knows; that Clutch have risen to the top of America’s live music pyramid. There’s plenty of classic Clutch riffage here including “Escape from the Prison Planet,” “Texan Book of the Dead,” “Elephant Riders,” and “Animal Farm.” Full Fathom Five – Clutch’s first ever release on their own label Weathermaker Music now available for the first time on double vinyl with gatefold packaging. Comes complete with several previously unreleased bonus tracks.

File Under: Rock, Blues Rock

curran

Alvan Curran: Natural History (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle present the first-ever vinyl issue of Alvin Curran’s Natural History, originally released on cassette by Edition Giannozzo Berlin in 1983. A founding member of the radical electronic improvising group Musica Elettronica Viva, since the early 1970s Curran has developed an idiosyncratic body of solo work that occupies a unique position in the post-Cageian experimental tradition. Singularly undogmatic, Curran’s work takes the Cageian experience as the starting point for a radical openness to all forms of music and sound. Refusing to abstract music from its human functions, his work draws on existing musical genres, cutting-edge electronics and environmental recordings to craft compositions that mimic the hazy texture of everyday life, moving from the abstract to the referential, from the observational to the emotive, from the structured to the random. As he reflects in the liner notes written especially for this edition: “This infinite stream of sound became my life and my music all at once”. Curran’s other classic solo works of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Songs and Views of the Magnetic Garden (1975) and Canti Illuminati (1982) are elaborate collages that combine keyboard and voice improvisation and composition with field-recorded environments. Natural History consists entirely of field recordings from Curran’s archive, arranged as a series of “still lifes”, sometimes layered, but without any additional processing. Sounds recorded over the course of nearly twenty years, at Curran’s home in Rome or while traveling: constructions sites, insects, children’s toys, a piano being tuned, foghorns, familiar to admirers of Curran masterful Maritime Rites (2004), lovemaking, a singing neighbor. It is, as Curran says, an attempt to “put the sound of the entire world on a cassette tape”. Heard against the backdrop of the increasing prevalence of field recordings in contemporary music over the last few years, Natural History is like a refreshing breeze, suffused with the joy of discovery. Gatefold sleeve with liner notes and photos by Alvin Curran and design by Stephen O’Malley. Vinyl cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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big_fun

Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Originally released in 1974, Big Fun presents music from three different phases of Miles Davis’s early-seventies “electric” period. Sides one and four (“Great Expectations” and “Lonely Fire”) were recorded three months after the Bitches Brew sessions and incorporate sitar, tambura, tabla, and other Indian instruments. “Ife” was recorded after the 1972 On the Corner sessions, and the framework is similar to tracks from that record. Recorded in March 1970, “Go Ahead John” is an outtake from Davis’s Jack Johnson sessions.

 File Under: Jazz
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dies

Dies Irae: First (Ohrwaschl) LP
Ohrwaschl Records present a reissue of Dies Irae’s First, originally released in 1971. German proto heavy metal and proto doom metal has always been more of an underground genre due to the fact that most bands only reached a regional level in every aspect. Dies Irae are certainly something of an exception to the rule when it comes to the quality. First is heavy and dark with open song structures that leave much room for experimentation. Despite the fact that the simmering fuzz guitar cuts through like a chainsaw, there are still many parts in each song showcasing a fondness for playful jazz-inspired passages where all musicians prove their skills and conjures a gloomy atmosphere. The musicians have a light-footed swing but in other cases, Dies Irae go utterly crazy in a psychedelic freak-out fashion. Trippy moments are abundant on First and come in between the hard-hitting, heavily-grinding doom outbursts. Nobody was even eager to call it doom yet but all the ingredients were there – Think of a jam session with Black Sabbath and Amon Düül II. This album is highly original and deserving of a place among the greatest krautrock albums of all times. The acid is audible and doing its work in a very skillful way. For fans of proto metal from the early ’70s, who dig music with a progressive edge and have a fondness for trippy psychedelic rock.

File Under: Prog, Psych
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el-perro

El Perro Del Marr: Kokoro (Ging Ging) LP
Sweden’s El Perro Del Mar (née Sarah Assbring) returns with her sixth album KoKoro. Written and produced by El Perro Del Mar and Jacob Haage, the 10 original songs of KoKoro are her most ambitious and musically adventurous to date, yet no less emotionally direct, covering themes that speak to both big and small matters of the heart. With the state of the planet – musically, politically, environmentally – on her mind since the birth of her son, Assbring sees KoKoro as not only an album but also as an aesthetic and political movement of sorts. With soundscapes that echo of Thailand, Sumatra, India, Ethiopia, and China, the orchestration of KoKoro is unlike any of El Perro Del Mar’s previous releases, a direction only hinted briefly on the Pale Fire LP highlight “I Was A Boy.” It features the Chinese string instrument Guzheng, the Japanese Shakuhachi flute, various other Asian flutes, Arabic strings, Dulcimer, and rhythms influenced by Ethiopian music. The album was recorded with multi-instrumentalist Andreas Söderström, jazz bassist Johan Berthling, drummer Mattias Bergqvist, who has collaborated with First Aid Kit, and wind multi-instrumentalist Per “Ruskträsk” Johansson, who has collaborated with Robyn, José González, among many others. First single “Breadandbutter” is about finding a means to communicate and find solidarity among people, while other songs on KoKoro implore for self-reflection and self-improvement across friendships, relationships, and life at large in an effort to reach enlightenment. And capitalism’s arguably toxic effect on the human spirit is addressed wholeheartedly on the pleading “Ding Sum.”

File Under: Indie Pop
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fakroun

Ahmed Fakroun: s/t (PMG) LP
PMG present an anthology of Ahmed Fakroun’s work. “Insanely popular across the Maghreb, name-checked in international spy novels and beloved of music adventurers like David Byrne, Libyan superstar Ahmed Fakroun is the most astounding raï-disco-electronica pioneer ever to be heard. His 1983 album, Mots D’Amour is regarded as a global fusion classic. This self-titled anthology of songs from the late ’70s is an altogether mellower affair. The grooves are slower and sweeter and Fakroun’s multi-instrumentalist chops on the saz, mandol and darbouka drum really come to the fore. The album includes tracks from two of Ahmed’s rarest and most sought-after 7 inches. ‘Nysan’ has an almost west coast vibe: think Ned Doheny via Benghazi. Balearic-minded collectors will love the haunting flute runs in ‘Awedny’, produced by Tommy Vance, and ‘Njoom Al Leyel’. There’s even a touch of lilting reggae on ‘Falah’ and ‘Yu Hussad.’ Ahmend Fakroun is the perfect late night, come-down album, especially after a hot and sweaty evening in a raï club, somewhere in North Africa.” — Peter Moore.

File Under: Disco, Funk, Rai
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fullblastFull Blast: Risc (Trost) LP
With all the projects Peter Brötzmann is currently working on, Full Blast — with the precise and dynamic Swiss rhythm section of Marino Pliakas and Michael Wertmüller — is the most consistent and the longest-running. Their fifth album finds the band in a studio again, with time and the desire to try something new. Seven compositions in the distinctive, strong Full Blast nature get an exciting electronic treatment by Michael Wertmüller (with electronics by Gerd Rische, recorded months before his death in October 2015) during and after the recording. For mixing the band decided to work with Gareth Jones (well-known for his work with Einstürzende Neubauten and Depeche Mode), whom they have used with Pliakas’s band Steamboat Switzerland before. Full Blast have created an album that in its nonconformity and richness in variety stands on his own in contemporary jazz. Peter Brötzmann: reeds; Marino Pliakas: e-bass; Michael Wertmüller: drums. Recorded live on March 11 and 12, 2015 at Garnison 7, Vienna. Mixed by Gareth Jones, London, November 2015. Mastered by Martin Siewert, December 2015. Produced by Konstantin Drobil and Michael Wertmüller. Cover art by Peter Brötzmann. Designed by Brötzmann and Klaus Untiet.

File Under: Jazz
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funkees

The Funkees: Now I’m A Man (PMG) LP
PMG present a reissue of The Funkees’s Now I’m A Man, originally released in 1976. Has there ever been a band as aptly named as The Funkees? Formed after the Biafran War to raise spirits in the east, they quickly conquered the dance floors of Lagos and in 1973 headed to London, playing at Ronnie Scott’s and tearing up the local scene. Now I’m A Man captures the band at the height of their London-era pomp. Africans were making soca, West Indians were playing Afro-funk and discolypso blasted from boom-boxes across West London. The Funkees soaked it all up and delivered it back – funkier, tighter and louder. Bookended by two Santana-esque jams, “I’m A Man” and “303”, The Funkees second album delivers slow burning Afro-beat (“Mimbo”), urgent jungle bongo chants (“Salam”) and straight-ahead floor-fillers (“Dance With Me”). Little wonder that legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, recorded two sessions with them. The Funkees soon disbanded after this album; Jake Sollo joined Osibisa, Sonny Akpabio and Harry Mosco pursued successful solo careers. Now I’m A Man shows The Funkees as they burned brightly as Nigeria’s most talented, inventive and funky band.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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kitajima

Osamu Kitajima: Benzaiten (PSI) LP
Psychedelic Sounds International present a reissue of Osamu Kitajima’s Benzaiten, originally released in 1976. Benzaiten is world music and ethno sounds with an obvious Japanese origin, meeting progressive rock and psych rock. The result is a captivating piece of melodic and deeply atmospheric music that paints pictures of life in ancient Japan. If Pink Floyd were Japanese, their music might have sounded like this album. The frequency of the arrangements on Benzaiten is reminiscent of what English prog bands created in the early to mid ’70s, just with a different ethnical approach. Benzaiten is even a more progressive effort than anything most British bands have ever managed to fabricate and is still utterly natural and vivid concerning the flow of the music. All participating musicians here are professionals and their performances are tight and still passionate. The sound is warm and vivid and the song structures are wide open and welcoming. Electronic elements in the percussion section add some oddity to the whole musical picture. The cool aspect of Benzaiten is the rocking guitar which keeps the whole album together. Must be the Japanese equivalent to German acts like Amon Düül II, Embryo and Guru Guru.

File Under: Psych, Japan
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lorelle

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete: Balance (Sonic Cathedral) LP
Mexican duo return with their fourth album, ‘Balance’, recorded by the band at their home studio, before being mixed by Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas) at MINBAL in Chicago and mastered in Melbourne by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring). The title track and opener blows away the layers of dusty psych from 2014’s ‘Chambers’, the duo’s previous album, to reveal a sparse and spare sound, embellished with new wave keyboards that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the early Magazine albums; ‘The Sound Of All Things’ is a mini-epic, opening with a two-and-a-half-minute soundscape, before roaring into life; ‘La Distinción’ is a driving drone-rocker, not dissimilar to ‘What’s Holding You?’ but with the addition of a surprisingly soulful chorus. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete count Robert Smith, Mani and Sonic Boom among their fans, but the most enthusiastic is Henry Rollins. Here’s what he said about ‘Balance’: “It lives up to its name by achieving a balance between fuzz and clarity, nuance and throttle. The mix, which is incredible, utilises the brilliance of the com-ponent parts of each song, with a subtlety and dexterity that is not nearly as frequent in the albums that came before. It feels more like there was such an accumulation of captured dreams and their interpretation, that eventually it filled an album.”

File Under: Psych, Shoegaze
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mars

Mars: Mars Archives 2 (Feeding Tube) LP
“The second amazing volume (of three), compiled by Mark Cunningham after culling every known live tape of Mars, documents the band in its first fully-matured form. Recorded at CBGB and Max’s in the early months of 1978, this captures the sound of Mars around the time their first single, ‘3E/11000 Volts,’ was released by the French Rebel label (a precursor of ZE). They’re still playing their early songs, and working out the material that would be on No New York (LR 102CD/LP). Two of the tracks (‘Cairo’ and ‘RTMT’) were never released in any form back in the day, and the whole album surges along like one of the weirdest rock rides anybody has ever imagined. There are still small tendrils of the more formal approach Mars took in their earliest days, but the function of the material is on its way to becoming utterly alien. Even though I saw the band around this time, the incredible strangeness of their approach is astonishing. Words fail me. No one else has ever created anything quite like the wall of sound they managed. On the second side, as an added bonus, the audience source tape is full of hooting and hollering by people like Lydia Lunch, Bradley Field, Kristian Hoffman, and various other reprobates with whom they were sharing rehearsal space at the time. Package looks great, too. Grainy, just the way it should be. Has an insert with brief notes by Mark, a couple of pics and handwritten lyrics that read better than I’d ever imagined them to be. Essential stuff.” — Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 500.

File Under: Post-Punk, No Wave
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nelson

Miss Nelson & Bruce Haack: Dance Sing and Listen (Aurora Rising) LP
Aurora Rising present a reissue of Miss Nelson & Bruce Haack’s Dance Sing And Listen, originally released in 1963. This album is somewhat of a curiosity for it was actually conceived as an educational, open-minded children’s music. The sound is a mash up of story-telling for kids and simple, happy sing-along music mixed with loads of electronic effects making it an utterly spacey affair. This reissue makes sure this cult album can be enjoyed by people crazy for early ’60s electronic music. Let go of all spiritual chains and float away with the tape looped rhythms and all the hissing and buzzing and chirping upon which Esther Nelson, actually a children’s dance teacher, and Bruce Haack, a composer and pioneer of electronic music, recite poems, give dance instructions or play melodies on primitive synthesizers. Dance Sing And Listen is meant to fire the imagination of children and due to its musical quality and weird mood, it may do the same with adults. From this pioneering piece came the sound bands like Kraftwerk and Neu! would head for about ten years later. Enjoyable children’s music that’s far out enough to make souls travel.

File Under: Children’s Music, Experimental, Electronic
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preoccupations

Preoccupations: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
When the four members of Preoccupations wrote and recorded their new record, they were in a state of near total instability. Years-long relationships ended; they left homes behind. Frontman Matt Flegel, guitarist Danny Christiansen, multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro and drummer Mike Wallace all moved to different cities and they resolved to change their band name, but hadn’t settled on a new one. And so where their previous album Viet Cong was built in some ways on the abstract cycles of creation and destruction, Preoccupations explores how that sometimes-suffocating, sometimes-revelatory trap affects our lives. Opener “Anxiety” articulates that tension: clattering sounds drift into focus, “Monotony” moves at a narcoleptic pace by Preoccupations’ standards, “Degraded” surprises, with something like a traditional structure and an almost pop-leaning melody to its chorus, and the 11-minute-long “Memory” is the album’s keystone, with an intimate narrative and a truly timeless post-punk center. All this adds up to Preoccupations: a singular, bracing collection that proves what’s punishing can also be soothing, everything can change without disrupting your compass. Your best year can be your worst year at the same time. Whatever sends you flying can also help you land.

File Under: Indie Rock
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scientists

Scientists: A Place Called Bad (Numero) LP
With a sound that was swampy, primal and modern-urban all at once – as much in the tradition of rock n’ roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists’ formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. The themes of getting wasted, driving around in hotted-up cars, being trapped in crap jobs, and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car-wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures to create a sound all their own. 2LP version boils the box down to 22 essentials, plus unpublished photographs, discography, and fold out Perth Punk family tree. “The Scientists proved to me that rock ‘n’ roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and real.” – Thurston Moore “They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What more could you ask for?” – Warren Ellis “The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!” – Jon Spencer

File Under: Post Punk
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mother

Sam Shalabi/Alan Bishop: Mother of All Sinners (Unrock) LP
Unrock’s Saraswati Series is mostly string orientated, zigzagging between the lines where underground and high-art performance overlap. Out jumps the first part of their actively anti-Western sub-series: Mother Of All Sinners, a part of the “Puppet on a String” twin albums. Osama Shalabi, a born Egyptian (best known for his work with Shalabi Effect & Land Of Kush), is an expert playing the oud. He’s a traveler between the Eastern and Western worlds and long-time contributor to the Montreal scene. Sam – who spent the last few years home in Cairo – breathes his own sense of space and time through the epic “Tamara”, an 18 minute long melodic, delightful improvisation. The other story, “Faith Of Our Fathers”, starts in Agouza, Cairo, where Sam Shalabi and Alan Bishop spent some time jamming. They’d run free, lose form, find intensity, and wound up creating a contemporary version of oriental psychedelic free form. A mind-blowing, wild, never mellow Cairo night, now documented here. It’s getting intense: A north-African sand storm. Mother Of All Sinners will be released as a one-time limited run pressing on 140 gram vinyl. It has an extra heavy deluxe cover and a solid printed inlay.

File Under: Experimental, Folk, Improv

shadowy_men_bundle

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet: Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham
Sport Fishin’
Savvy Show Stoppers
(Yep Roc) LP
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet is the seminal Canadian instrumental combo formed in Toronto, in 1984. They released three albums before disbanding in 1996, reconstituting once again in 2013. Yep Roc Records is proud to be re-releasing all three original studio albums digitally and on CD, vinyl in deluxe gatefold sleeves, with expanded artwork, liner notes by Bon Von Wheelie, Bry Webb and Scott McCaughey and contextual essays by band associates. Savvy Show Stoppers: Savvy Show Stoppers, the band’s debut full-length, contains “Having an Average Weekend,” which was used as the theme song to the sketch comedy TV show, The Kids in the Hall. Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham:  Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham is their second album. Sport Fishin: The Lure of the Bait, The Luck of the Hook: Sport Fishin: The Lure of the Bait, The Luck of the Hook, Is the third full-length release from Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet.

File Under: Experimental, Folk, Improv
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shango

Shango Dance Band: s/t (Comb & Razor) LP+7″
“In the early years of Fela Kuti’s career, well before he would define the genre of Afro-beat, and leave an indelible mark on the musical landscape, he was a struggling trumpet player, seeking to redefine the sound of his current group, the art-jazz ensemble Fela Ransome-Kuti Quintet. As he moved his group towards the then-popular genre of highlife in 1963, he lost his bassist in the move towards commercial success, but gained the company of Ojo Okeji, who had a sterling reputation both as a bassist and percussionist in groups like Lagos Cool Cats, Rex Williams’ Nigerian Artistes, and Western Toppers Highlife Band, a favorite of Kuti’s. Okeji impressed Kuti with his deft jazziness on the bass, so he was in on the spot, and the Fela Ransome-Kuti Quintet became Koola Lobitos. It was Okeji that introduced Kuti to the famed percussionist Tony Allen, (Who would subsequently join Kuti into his greatest years as an artist) as well as conguero Abayomi ‘Easy’ Adio. During his time in Koola Lobitos, Okeji not only contributed deeply melodic, and adeptly rhythmic baselines, but brought his own influence from emerging US soul artists like James Brown & The Famous Flames and Wilson Pickett, heavily pushing Koola Lobitos towards a more soulful direction. This push was often resisted by Kuti, who frequently clashed with Okeji. 1968 proved to be a turning point for the group, as the Nigerian Civil War broke out, and many starving musicians turned to the military for work. Okeji and Adio would leave for the army, while Kuti and Allen kept Koola Lobitos going, where it evolved through different names and iterations and grew into the worldwide Afro-beat force that made Kuti an icon during the ’70s and ’80s. But as Kuti and Allen rose to global recognition, Okeji and Adio would form a new band within the ranks of the 6th Infantry Brigade of the Nigerian Army. Their emblazoned blue jackets earned them the nickname ‘The Blues’, but Okeji preferred the name ‘Shango’ after the Yoruba thunder god. Shango took the fundamentals of Kuti’s famous Afro-beat and brought new layers of guitar and horn arrangements, while often invoking supernatural aesthetics, and maintaining a love for the US soul artists that influenced Okeji so much. Because Shango was an army band however, their records were not readily available to anyone outside of the military so their music, including their eponymous 1974 LP, remained relatively unknown even amongst the people of Nigeria. Decades later Comb & Razor is thrilled to present this long-lost Nigerian gem for the first time to a world-wide audience.”

File Under: Afrobeat
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shihab

Sahib Shihab: Sahib’s Jazz Party (Skokiaan) LP
Skokiaan present a reissue of Sahib Shihab’s Sahib’s Jazz Party, originally released in 1964. In a time before jazz music went free and avant garde, there were a couple of inspired souls who put an emphasis on extended jams and improvised, yet melodic parts based on a rather repetitive rhythm background. The result in turning away from the rather artistic and complicated bebop was the modal jazz that came up in the second half of the 1950s, lasting as the leading style until the mid to late ’60s. Sahib Shihab can be seen as one of the protagonists of modal jazz despite being more of an underground star in the scene and being more popular in Europe than in the USA, from where he originates. He often worked as a member of an ensemble but had a couple of albums out as a bandleader. Sahib’s Jazz Party is his third album as a bandleader. Recorded live in its entirety Sahib’s Jazz Party features a few highly entertaining announcements by the master himself leaving the impression that Sahib was a bit far out that day. The performance is beautiful and passionate. He plays flute and saxophone backed up by a Danish jazz orchestra even with an electric guitar, in clean mode of course. Especially in the third part of the “Conversation” piece the dialogues between saxophone and trumpet are amazing while in “Charade” Shihab uses his flute to conjure a mind-relaxing atmosphere. The rhythms are all quite hot and whipping. The drummers must be some kind of madmen. Yes, there are two drummers indicated for the “Conversation” long track and the ever pulsating and vibrating rhythm patterns will prove that right. Bass and guitar rather back up everything and fill the gaps with simple notes which add just enough to leave the whole picture feeling full and round. Sahib’s Jazz Party holds the same level as the most appreciated works of Miles Davis and John Coltrane during their modal jazz stint. All-in-all, the whole band is steaming and so full of passion, any listener will be electrified without fail.

File Under:
 Jazz
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sleep

Sleep: Sleep’s Holy Mountain (Earache) LP
“Setting heavy metal’s evolutionary clock back to the stone-age days of Saint Vitus with their debut Volume One was seemingly not enough for San Jose’s Sleep, who decided to time travel all the way back to the pre-historic days of earliest Black Sabbath with their second album, 1993’s Sleep’s Holy Mountain. Indeed, while Kyuss’ Blues for the Red Sun and Monster Magnet’s Spine of God are more frequently cited as the most influential and important albums in launching the American stoner/doom metal scene, not even these landmark releases compare to Holy Mountain for sheer devotion to unadulterated doom and copious weed consumption. In fact, as monolithic opener “Dragonaut” descends into a bass solo at its conclusion, one would be forgiven for expecting the band to segue straight into “N.I.B.” — such is their similarity to classic Sabbath. Instead, they grind into “The Druid,” which despite a quick nod to the Sabs’ “Electric Funeral,” actually begins to establish Sleep’s personality, as riff upon massive riff in the form of songs like “Evil Gypsy/Solomon’s Theme” and the groove-heavy “Aquarian” flow from the speakers like molten lava. In an age of machine-gun double-bass drums, Sleep’s most startling quality had to be their seemingly endless patience. As they slowly embark upon the mammoth power chords of the title track and “From Beyond,” they also prolong the buildup of tension before delivering a final release of cathartic proportions. Besides greatly inspiring next generation doomsters like Electric Wizard, such unwavering dedication to weed would also set the stage for their controversial and unfortunate swan song Jerusalem — featuring a single, mind-bending 52-minute track.” – AllMusic.

File Under: Metal
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tomorrow

Tomorrow the Rain Will Fall Upwards: Wreck His Days (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Wreck His Days is dubbed-out cosmic pastorals and politically exasperated techno-exotica from Blackest Ever Black’s most secretive and shape-shifting project, Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards. Guest contributors include Conrad and Jonnine Standish of HTRK, Genevieve McGuckin (These Immortal Souls), and Lucas Santanna. The ghosts of Les Baxter, Rowland S. Howard and Nina Simone are also in attendance. But whoever is pulling the strings remains hidden. Structurally Wreck His Days recalls the grand collective statements of This Mortal Coil or Massive Attack, but musically its dreamlike overtures have more in common with Deux Filles, Global Communication, Arthur Russell or Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It roams far and wide: from near-Balearic piano loops of the title track, to the Audrey Horne-worthy death-jazz of “Ghost From The Coast” and the hulking, bass-heavy soundsystem weapon “Reverberasia”. The swelling, uplifting astral psychedelia of “…And I Tried So Hard”, while “I Beat As I Sleep As I Dream” reprises the bleak existential synth drift of T.T.R.W.F.U.’s extraordinary 2014 10″, How Great A Fame Has Departed. A deep-seated socialist impulse drives the whole thing.

File Under: Industrial, Ambient
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touch

Touche Amore: Stage Four (Epitaph) LP
Touche Amore, is a Los Angeles based punk band whose earnest and artful approach to song writing, along with relentless touring, fueled their rise to prominence in the hardcore community. In 2013 Touche Amore crossed into new territory with their beloved release, Is Survived By. The band had reached a high point in notoriety when frontman Jeremy Bolm received news that his mother had been diagnosed with Stage Four cancer. With the band’s support, Bolm wanted to go on hiatus to care for his ailing mother. However, as his biggest supporter, she encouraged him to continue on living his dream. So he returned to the road with bandmates- guitarists Nick Steinhardt and Clayton Stevens, bassist Tyler Kirby, and drummer Elliot Babin. In October of 2014 while Touche Amore was headlining Fest in Gainesville, FL, the final stop on their tour, Bolm received a call that his mother passed. He went home the next day. Now from a band both living its dream and marred by loss comes their new album Stage Four. Triumphant in sound and cathartic in delivery, Stage Four is a powerfully creative leap for Touche Amore. The first single is the catchy “Palm Dreams,” and it’s instantly clear from Bolm’s vocals that Touche Amore is breaking new ground: the career screamer is actually singing, in a quite capable sing-speak harmony. The final track, the lush, jangly “Skyscraper,” featuring haunting guest vocals from Julien Baker, ends the album with an atmospheric departure, both sonically and in spirit.

File Under: Punk
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vatshad

Vatican Shadow: Media in the Service of Terror (Hospital) LP
Dominick Fernow laces up his Vatican Shadow boots for the project’s first set of drills since 2014 and one of its finest ever transmissions, trampling in the wake of his fierce new Prurient record, Unknown Rains (2016), for Hospital Productions. Reflecting on a world much unchanged, even intensified since his last dispatch, Media In The Service Of Terror works classic Vatican Shadow signatures, measured with increased momentum and propulsive energy, divided into seven parts and imbued with that dramatic melodic arrangements that works beyond the club. Stepping farther away from the floor, he’s in scowling, contemplative form with “Ziad Jarrah Studied Mathematics” and at his best when working between spheres, as with the industrial reggaeton roil of “Take Vows” in both its versions, and particularly the pensile atmosphere of “Interrogation Mosaic”. One of the best Vatican Shadow drops, bar none. Originally released as a limited cassette in June of 2016, this is Media In The Service Of Terror’s first vinyl edition. Features new artwork. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial
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waters

Muddy Waters: Folk Singer (Spellbound) LP
Spellbound Music present a reissue of Muddy Waters’s Folk Singer, originally released in 1964. Muddy Waters, real name McKinley Morganfield, is cited as the father of modern Chicago blues, having an influence on folk, jazz, blues, rock’n’roll and even heavy rock, he was a composer of quite a few popular standards. Folk Singer is his forth long player from 1964 and his first and only all acoustic affair. Backed by some big names from the blues community such as Willie Dixon on standing bass and a young Buddy Guy on second acoustic guitar, Waters created an album that was reduced to the bare bones. Every note played on these wooden guitars is so meaningful and vibrant. Even an acoustic version of a song like “Good Morning Little School Girl” rocks the hell out of the speakers. It is a remake of a Sonny Boy Williamson composition and develops from the strongly pronounced guitar play between Mr. Waters and Buddy Guy. His voice comes very much upfront but since he is the commander and preacher man, the storyteller and wizard, this comes as another advantage of this record. There is much room in the sound, so much space in between the instruments where passion and magic flow. The listener can hear how much of an obsession Waters and Guy have for their instruments, while Dixon pulls out the most laid-back bass lines possible, as not to disturb the master and his apprentice in firing smoking hot lead work from their fretboards. Folk Singer is indeed an album that has much more to say than most over amplified rock efforts which came later. Just listen and be enchanted.

File Under: Folk, Blues
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afterschool

Various: Afterschool Special (Numero) LP
The formula was simple: marry bubblegum and soul to the absolute sincerity of an enthusiastic child, cross your fingers and pray for airplay. But while the youthful sums of that formula may have grown up and walked away from their illusions of stardom, their permanent records remain. By 1973, Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Jackie were as hip as kids could get – household names, with lunchboxes, coloring books, a Saturday morning cartoon, and an Alpha-Bits cereal commercial pushing the J5 brand onto any kid with television reception. Their impressive run of four consecutive #1 singles playing on both pop and R&B stations cemented their appeal to both whites and blacks, prompting MGM to launch the Osmonds as the safer (read: white) alternative. And parents? Well Michael had that wrapped up with his impossible-not-to-love mini-James Brown thing. Even their song selection straddled both sides, with “Zip A Dee Do Dah” and “ABC” for kids, and contemporary standards “Standing In The Shadows Of Love” and “My Cherie Amour” for the older crowd. This extreme marketing and merchandising juggernaut created the kid soul explosion. A decade removed from Numero’s acclaimed Home Schooled compilation comes a fresh batch of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors, and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who’d made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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addis

Various: Beyond Addis 2 (Trikont) LP
Double-LP version. Includes download code. Trikont presents the second volume of the compilation series Beyond Addis, celebrating the music of Ethiopia as played by contemporary bands from all around the globe. Compiled by JJ Whitefield aka Jan Weissenfeldt, the mastermind behind the bands Poets Of Rhythm, Karl Hector & The Malcouns and the Whitefield Brothers. Features: Karl Hector & The Malcouns, The Daktaris, The Sorcerers, Debre Damo Dining Orchestra, Jungle By Night, Onom Agemo & The Disco Jumpers, Tezeta Band, Akalé Wubé/Manu Dibango, Transgressors, Les Frères Smith, Whitefield Brothers, Cosmic Analog Ensemble and Anbessa Orchestra.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, African
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katanga

Various: Katanga! 1 & 2 (Captain Trip) LP
Katanga! Ahbe Casabe: Exotic Blues & Rhythm Vol. 1 & 2 combines the first two volumes from the Exotic Blues & Rhythm compilation series named Katanga! (2013) and Ahbe Casabe! (2013) with two additional bonus tracks (CD only). This album is a colorful garden of delights consisting of R’n’B and rock’n’roll based songs from the 1940s to the early 1960s that all have this slightly exotic, dark and mystical feeling from the melody structures and instrumentation. Eddie Cole & Three Peppers with their hypnotizing groover “Police” for example present a Caribbean mento with a mambo and rhythm’n’blues feel. This piece finds its roots in the late 1940s and demonstrates how far even the predecessors of rock music already got in their development. It is only one out of 26 rare gems. The collection starts with the recognizable, gloomy bluesy tune named “Green Onions” played the Claus Ogermann Orchestra. The Ahbe Casabe portion is where the strange and quirky charm of exotica music captures souls even more. The title track for example is a song from the late ’50s written by proto hippie Ehden Ahbez and combines a Latin groove with a vocal melody speaking of dark backstreets in oriental cities. The backing vocal effects here are more than strange somewhere between a deep gnarling and chipmunk-style squeaking while the lead vocals on the other hand are soulful and striking as expected. Kip Tyler’s “Shadow Street” leaves the listener somewhere in between the jungle and a haunted oriental café in a town near the desert plains of Egypt. Next to master Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm with his exotic surf instrumental “Katanga” from the first part, good old rock’n’roll pioneer Bill Haley And His Comets should be the most famous contributor to this musical treasure chest. A nice little oddity bonus track is “The Riddle Of The Papawhos” by Danny Staton, based on old spirituals and gospels with a 1950s pop music base. The other bonus track by Elena Madera named “Pu-Chun-Ga”, is another outstanding mad Latin tune with wild female vocals. Also features: Artie Barsamin & Orchestra, Prince Conley, Joe Valino, Chance Halladay, The Chiefs, Jimmy Rushing, Sonny Til And The Orioles, Emmet Davis, Classie Ballou, Jack La Forge, Marti Barris, Steve Arlen, Bruce Cloud, Dickie Thompson, Rene Hall And His Band, Machito And His Orchestra, Mamie Perry, Lord Kitchener and Jamie Coe.

File Under: Exotica, Blues

taking-it

Various: Taking It To Heart (Treeline) LP
Calgary’s newest record label, Treeline Recordings, is pleased to announce the release of its first album, Taking it to Heart, Volume 1, featuring new or unreleased music from some of Canada’s best known artists and also emerging acts from across the country. 100% of net proceeds from the sale of the album, both on vinyl and digitally, will be donated to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Reading like an amazing playlist put together by your best friend, Taking it to Heart, Volume One  includes Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew’s aptly named instrumental, “Alberta”, while Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves shows up on an alternate version of Operators’ “Shape Of Things To Come”, Calgary weirdo Chad VanGaalen offers up “Delicious Plants”, while the hazy live version of The Besnard Lakes’  “46 Satires” closes out the thirteen song benefit compilation. Other artists on the compilation include Halifax slacker-rockers Nap Eyes, Cuff The Duke’s Wayne Petti, Winnipeg’s reunited Duotang with its first release in over a decade, along with contributions from Woodpigeon, We Are Wolves, Melted Mirror, SAVK, Pre Nup and a rare track from Noah’s Arkweld (aka Noah Mintz, formerly of hHead).  Noah Mintz also mastered the album at Lacquer Channel Mastering (Toronto, Ontario). Taking It To Heart, Volume One will be sold exclusively on Bandcamp.  The album will be released on 180-gram 12” coloured vinyl (blood red with black marbling), in a limited edition of 500 copies.  Each 12″ will be hand-numbered and will include a code for download.  The album can also be purchased digitally. Understanding the devastating impact heart disease or strokes can have on families, the label was launched as a way to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation and shine a spotlight on some amazing music being created across the country.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…..

African Head Charge: My Life in a Hole in the Ground (On-U Sound) LP
Amanaz: Africa (Now Again) LP
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino) LP
Anonymous: Inside the Shadow (Macchu Picchu) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Capitol) LP
Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Black Mountain: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe (Domino) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has The Right to Children (Warp) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time for Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Can: Soundtracks (Mute) LP
Case/Lang/Veirs: s/t (Anti) LP
Anthony Child: Electronic Recordings from Maui Vol 1 (Editions Mego) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Lana Del Rey: Honeymoon (Interescope) LP
Feist: Reminder (Arts & Crafts) LP
Fever Ray: s/t (Mute) LP
Four Tet: Rounds (Domino) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Grimes: Art Angels (Crystal Math) LP
Grimes: Geidi Primes (Arbutus) LP
Grimes: Visions (Arbutus) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
P.J. Harvey: Let England Shake (Island) LP
P.J. Harvey: To Bring You My Love (Island) LP
Daniel Johnston: Yip Jump Music (Eye) LP
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Strange Country (Big White Cloud) LP
Knife: Shaking the Habitual (Mute) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
Led Zeppelin: House of the Holy (Warner) LP
Mayhem: Deathcrush (Back on Black) LP
Mos Def/Talib Kweli: Black Star (Rawkus) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Interscope) LP
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
William Onyeabor: Who Is… (Luaka Bop) LP
Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance (Fire) LP
Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions (Def Jam) LP
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicans (Nonesuch) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond The Black Rainbow (Jagjaguwar) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (MCA) LP
Twenty One Pilots: Blurryface (Ace Fu) LP
Piero Umiliani: Genti E Paesi (Black Sweat) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Infiniheart (Sub Pop) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Jagjaguwar) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) LP
Kanye West: 808s And Heartbreak (Def Jam) LP
Kanye West: College Dropout (Def Jam) LP
Kanye West: Late Registraion (Def Jam) LP
Frank Zappa: Apostrophe (Zappa) LP
Zomby: Where Were U In 92? (Cult) LP
Various: Library of Sound: Action Beat & Psycho Grooves (Semi Automatic) LP

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…..news letter #757 – yaaard…..

Well, short week = short list, but there are some major releases this week! And it won’t be stopping for the next few weeks. Lots of great stuff coming out in the next couple of months, so hopefully your student loan came through. Some nice used stuff hitting the crates this week as well, come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

nick

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seeds) LP
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ sixteenth studio album, Skeleton Tree, will be issued in September 2016 and follows-up the group’s most critically and commercially successful release of recent times, Push the Sky Away (2013). Skeleton Tree began its journey in late 2014 at Retreat Studios, Brighton, with further sessions at La Frette Studios, France in autumn 2015. The album was mixed at AIR Studios, London in early 2016. The first opportunity anyone will have to hear any of the songs from the album will be to watch One More Time With Feeling, directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly). The film will screen in cinemas across the world on September 8, 2016, immediately prior to the release of Skeleton Tree the following day. Originally a performance based concept, One More Time With Feeling evolved into something much more significant as Dominik delved into the tragic backdrop of the writing and recording of the album. Interwoven throughout the Bad Seeds’ filmed performance of the new album are interviews and footage shot by Dominik, accompanied by Cave’s intermittent narration and improvised rumination. Filmed in black-and-white and color, in both 3D and 2D, the result is stark, fragile and raw.

File Under: Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

ahbezEden Ahbez: Wild Boy (Bear Family) LP
In tomorrow… Gatefold sleeve. “14 rare/unreleased recordings. Guest appearances by Paul Horn, Eartha Kitt, and more. 180 gram vinyl. Fully annotated, with never before seen pictures. By now psychedelic music is a mainstay of popular taste. But questions of its origins still linger. As such, Bear Family Records now submits Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez as fresh evidence in the quest for answers. Over the past twenty years Ahbez has gone from cult figure to harbinger of the sixties flower-power movement. This notion is born out largely by his 1948 anthem of universal love, ‘Nature Boy’, and his rare solo album from 1960, titled Eden’s Island — one of popular music’s earliest concept albums. Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez both expands the Ahbez catalog and deepens the notion of a psychedelic movement having roots in the 1950s. Side one acts as a compilation of music that Ahbez wrote in the aftermath of ‘Nature Boy’. Inclusion of songs like ‘Palm Springs’ by the Ray Anthony Orchestra and ‘Hey Jacque’ by Eartha Kitt give listeners the chance to hear obscure cuts by big-name artists in the context of Ahbez for the first time. Side two shows the songwriter inching closer to Eden’s Island and the actual hippie movement, with absurdist rock/exotica tracks like ‘Wild Boy’ and ‘Surfer John’, as well as sweet psych-pop like the unreleased Monterey (featuring Paul Horn on the flute). The album ends with an unreleased cut, titled ‘The Clam Man’, which Ahbez recorded as an ode to a fellow bearded hermit down in Baja, CA. In total, Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez offers seven unreleased cuts and as many rare singles to produce an overview of the songwriter’s lost work from 1949-71. What Ahbez misses in hallucinogenic content, he more than makes up for with his primitive chord structures, expansive arrangements, and lyrics about travel, leisure, free-love, and spirituality. As such, the canon of psychedelic music and that of Hippie #1 just got bigger.”

File Under: Exotica
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3-boys

The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut, Three Imaginary Boys, on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. After touring for almost all of 1977 as a quartet, the band rearranged their line-up with the sacking of Porl Thompson, giving birth to an unusual power trio. This line-up lasted only for their first record, making it unique in its essentially minimal sound. The year was now 1978, and the three (imaginary?) boys soon signed to Chris Parry’s Fiction Label. The album was subsequently released in the US with a different title (Boys Don’t Cry – after one of the band’s best selling singles) and featured a slightly different track listing.

File Under: Post Punk, New Wave
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head-door

The Cure: The Head on The Door (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. The Cure’s 1985 album Head On The Door – their sixth full-length overall – marked another turning point for the band with its emerging pop sensibilities and talented new line-up that saw the return of bassist Simon Gallup, the re-induction of early-era guitarist Porl Thompson, and the debut of drummer Boris Williams. Co-produced with David M. Allen, the adventurous 10-track effort is still dark yet danceable and altogether infectious, home to the vibrant hit singles “In Between Days” and “Close To Me.” Head On The Door was the first glimpse of the pop heights the Cure was perfectly capable of reaching.

File Under: New Wave
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faith

The Cure: Faith (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. The band’s classic third album, 1981’s Faith, took The Cure further down the road of despair they’d initiated with Seventeen Seconds in 1980. It’s an album full of mournful atmospheric tracks, including their hit single, “Primary” and is often seen as the mid-point in a “Dark Trilogy” that began with Seventeen Seconds and concluded with Pornography.

File Under: Post Punk, Goth, New Wave
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seventeen

The Cure: Seventeen Seconds (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity.  Originally issued in 1980, the group’s sophomore album Seventeen Seconds introduced the darker, emotionally weighted sound for which the band would become renowned in large part due to the evolution of Robert Smith’s songwriting and a line-up change that saw bassist Michael Dempsey replaced by Simon Gallup as well as the addition of keyboardist Mathieu Hartley. Seventeen Seconds marked the onset of the Cure’s “Dark Trilogy” which also included follow-up efforts Faith and Pornography.

File Under: New Wave
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porno

The Cure: Pornography (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. 1982’s Pornography, their fourth full-length effort overall, is still considered by many to be the finest and darkest effort of the trailblazing group’s career. The final release in a “Dark Trilogy” that began with Seventeen Seconds (1980) and Faith (1981), Pornography cemented The Cure’s role as beacons of the emergent gothic rock genre, and the band sported their signature red lipstick and big hair look for the first time during this tour.

File Under: New Wave, Goth
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july-talk

July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
In tomorrow… July Talk took their self-titled debut album to impressive heights, pushing out an expanded version and reissuing it for international audiences, and now they’re ready to deliver the highly anticipated follow-up. Touch arrives as the band graces the cover of Exclaim!’s September issue, and it features previously shared singles “Push + Pull” and “Strange Habit.” Following the roll out of those tracks, Exclaim! is giving you a preview of the album in its entirety. Kicking off with “Picturing Love,” taking listeners through the tales of “Johnny + Mary” and “Lola + Joseph,” then wrapping it all up with the title track, the album is an exploration of what it means to connect to one another in the modern age. The ten new songs hear the band attempting to bring their explosive, visceral live shows into recorded form, offering listeners a sense of real connection and an antidote to a mirror and screen obsessed world. Bassist Josh Warburton recently told Exclaim! that the band tried out a variety of styles — writing “country tunes, straight-up pop tunes, all kids of different variations of music that we love” — but ultimately knew what direction they wanted to take things in after hitting on “Push + Pull” and “Strange Habit.” “There’s danceability but there’s also this darkness,” guitarist and singer Peter Dreimanis explained. “The songs all had to contain a certain amount of darkness while still moving your muscles uncontrollably.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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lanois

Daniel Lanois: Goodbye to Language (Anti) LP
In tomorrow… Daniel Lanois is a name that deserves to be mentioned alongside the finest sonic experimenters of the 20th century – and the 21st century too. Whatever you’re listening to – whether it be acoustic or electronic, roots or futurist, underground or pop – if you listen closely you’ll hear traces of the sonic signatures of Daniel Lanois. And what’s more he’s still experimenting as eagerly as he ever has, creating music as beautiful and new as ever before. It is a refusal to sit still, a constant hunger for new ideas and techniques, that has defined both his work as a world renowned producer and his solo works. Most recently, he has hit a rich creative seam, so apparent on the gorgeous, weightless album Goodbye to Language, which comes out September 2016. On this new album, and its widely acclaimed predecessor Flesh and Machine, Lanois connects the most forward-looking instincts that constant contact with studio technology can develop with the natural rootedness that only a lifetime in music can give a person. The work he did on Brian Eno’s ambient albums has entered into legend and would lead him onto working on some of the biggest selling records of the time. Working with Bob Dylan he brought out a roland TR-808 drum machine to use as a compositional tool – kickstarting the groove of the Oh Mercy album, and helping make it one of the most dramatic creative reinventions in Dylan’s career. A few years later, he and Eno helped bring the electronic music culture that they themselves had helped to inspire into U2′s Achtung Baby. Goodbye to Language is the perfect joining of the dots, through the world-changing experiments of his early days with Eno, through his flights through the most rarefied atmospheres of the mainstream of music. Constructed entirely from the sounds of the pedal steel guitar, Daniel on the pedal steel and his mate Rocco Deluca on the lap steel with compositional rigor that recalls the 20th century dreamscapes of Ravel and Debussy, with a sense of sonic futurism and yet also with the naturalness that can only come from someone rooted in centuries of grassroots music. And while fusions of influence can sometimes lead to homogenisation in the blending of source material, this record does precisely the opposite: it’s about highlighting the highest common factors from a lifetime of influences. Or as he succinctly puts it: “I operate under the banner of soul music – music that just feels right and comes from a truthful place.” When a musician with as much expertise and experience as Daniel tells their own personal truth, you should really listen closely.

File Under: Rock, Post Rock
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sneaks

Sneaks: Gymnastics (Merge) LP
In tomorrow… On September 9, welcome Sneaks to Merge Records with the reissue of Eva Moolchan’s debut full-length Gymnastics. Sneaks songs are the mesmerizing post-punk incantations of Washington, DC’s Eva Moolchan. Bass and drum machine underpin Moolchan’s compelling vocals, and the music straddles several decades of serious minimalist fun. Sneaks is currently recording her sophomore album Hi Spirits with Mary Timony and Jonah Takagi, to be released on Merge in early 2017. See the band on tour now, with more dates to be announced soon.

File Under: Post Punk
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white

Jack White: Acoustic Recordings (Third Man) LP
Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 is the definitive Jack White songwriting collection, spanning his entire 20+ year career. It includes White’s acoustic-based recordings with the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and his acclaimed solo projects. The music included here is all-encompassing, highlighting White’s versatility, and the songs are presented with unique character in chronological order. The completely remastered 26-track collection includes album tracks, B-Sides, remixes, alternate versions, and previously unreleased studio recordings – and is a must for any fan of the genius that is Jack White. The album includes acoustic songs made famous by The White Stripes, beginning with “Sugar Never Tasted So Good” (originally found on The White Stripes’ second-ever 7-inch single) and then lighting upon favorites like “Apple Blossom” and “I’m Bound To Pack It Up” (remixed here from the original recordings on 2000’s De Stijl), “Hotel Yorba” and “We’re Going To Be Friends” (from 2001’s White Blood Cells), “You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket” and “Well It’s True That We Love One Another” (from 2003’s Grammy Award-winning Elephant), “Forever For Her (Is Over For Me),” “White Moon” and “As Ugly As I Seem” (from 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan), “Effect & Cause” (from 2007’s Icky Thump), and the Beck-produced “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap,” first found on the B-side to The White Stripes’ final single, 2007’s “Conquest.” “City Lights” (below) was written for The White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan but then forgotten until White revisited the 2005 album for Third Man’s Record Store Day 2015 vinyl reissue and finished the recording in 2016. The track is the first new, worldwide commercially released White Stripes song since 2008. Also featured are “Never Far Away” (recorded for 2003’s Cold Mountain soundtrack) and “Love Is The Truth” (written and recorded for Coca-Cola’s 2006 What Goes Around campaign) as well as the Bluegrass Version of “Top Yourself” and an acoustic mix of the epic murder ballad, “Carolina Drama,” both written by White and Brendan Benson for The Raconteurs’ Grammy Award-winning 2008 album, Consolers of the Lonely. White’s two chart-topping solo albums, 2012’s Blunderbuss and 2014’s Lazaretto, are represented by a remarkably diverse range of material including “Love Interruption,” “On And On And On,” “Blunderbuss,” “Entitlement,” “Want And Able,” and alternative mixes of “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy,” “Just One Drink,” “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep,” and B-side, “Machine Gun Silhouette.” The 26 tracks featured on Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 were remastered by Andrew Mendelson at Nashville, TN’s Georgetown Masters. All songs were written and produced exclusively by Jack White, except “Never Far Away” (produced by T Bone Burnett), “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap” (produced by Beck), “Top Yourself (Bluegrass Version)” and “Carolina Drama” (written & produced by White & Brendan Benson), and “Machine Gun Silhouette” (written by White & Rob Jones). As noted American author and music journalist, Greil Marcus, conveys in the albums liner notes: “The lack of electric guitar opens songs up to their own contrivance, and cuts out pretentions of seriousness and grandiosity in favor of the quiet, the ridiculous, the sly.”

File Under: Rock, Folk, Blues
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wilco

Wilco: Schmilco (Anti) LP
In tomorrow… Wilco’s tenth studio album, Schmilco, features twelve new songs written by frontman Jeff Tweedy and serves as the group’s third release on their own dBpm Records. Recorded at the band’s Chicago studio the Loft, Schmilco was produced by Tweedy and Tom Schick and follows Star Wars, which was released for free and as a surprise in July 2015. Mostly an acoustic collection, Schmilco bears neither the vicious, fuzz-glam guitars of Star Wars, nor the dazzling, baroque-ish arrangements that fans have come to expect from Wilco. But in their place is a spaciousness and chaos that might feel welcome after 20-some years of enjoyed but now-familiar Wilco releases. It is an intentionally loose affair. Schmilco finds band leader Tweedy in a state of alienation: how to cope with dissonance between self-identity and the public perception of his band – to maintain an innocence and earnestness even as some have come to see him as more (or less) than human, and Wilco as something other than six musicians? “I think this record is ‘joyously negative’,” Tweedy said. “It’s sad in a lot of ways but not in any that reach a conclusion of doom or hopelessness…I just had a lot of fun being sour about the things that upset me.”

File Under: Rock
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young3

Neil Young: Time Fades Away (Reprise) LP
A bold, emotionally naked snapshot of the against-the-grain attitude embraced by Neil Young as he channeled the troubled moods of the mid-1970s, Time Fades Away serves as Young’s first live album comprised of previously unreleased material recorded with the Stray Gators while on his Harvest tour in 1972. Out of print on vinyl for decades, it is here restored to newfound sonic peaks on an audiophile pressing mastered from the original master tapes. Unprecedented at the time for an artist to release a live recording of previously unreleased songs, the rough-and-tumble Time Fades Away was captured in the wake of the overdose of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and at the height of Young’s fame. It finds the singer/songwriter undergoing a deep catharsis which is palpable throughout. In typical Young fashion, brilliant songs like “L.A.” and “Don’t Be Denied” emerge amidst the courageousness, looseness, and impromptu chaos. Young on the album: “It was recorded on my biggest tour ever, 65 shows in 90 days. Money hassles among everyone concerned ruined this tour and record for me but I released it anyway so you folks could see what could happen if you lose it for a while. I was becoming more interested in an audio verite approach than satisfying the public demands for a repetition of Harvest.”

File Under: Rock
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young2Neil Young: Tonight’s the Night (Reprise) LP
One of the most harrowing, weary, mournful, and emotionally raw albums ever made, Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night remains an uncompromising reflection of life, loss, and torment. Revealing the inner depths of the singer-songwriter’s pain, and presenting every note and ragged vocal expression with staggering realism, this audiophile reissue of Tonight’s the Night is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on dead-quiet vinyl for the ultimate listening experience. Recorded in the wake of the drug overdoses of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and friend and roadie Bruce Berry, the unflinchingly somber affair serves as a eulogy to both men and is dark and moving in equal measures. The nocturnal, come-as-you-go arrangements and Young’s loose performances make a perfect match. Recognized by Rolling Stone as the 330th greatest album ever made, and looked upon by countless listeners as a inimitable masterwork, Tonight’s the Night is as honest, frayed, and direct as rock n’ roll gets.

File Under: Rock
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young1

Neil Young: On The Beach (Reprise) LP
The middle album of Neil Young’s “Ditch Trilogy,” 1974’s gold-certified On the Beach was actually recorded after Tonight’s the Night but released almost a year prior. Meticulously mastered from the original analog master tapes and pressed with the utmost care on dead-quiet vinyl, this analog reissue presents the album in unsurpassed sound and brings On the Beach back to standalone LP for the first time in decades. The songs’ minimalist and mellow production frames Young’s acerbic songwriting to great effect with highlights coming in the form of the often-covered opener “Walk On,” “Revolution Blues,” and “Ambulance Blues.” The critically acclaimed set remains one of Young’s most lyrically unsparing efforts, with the singer taking everyone from the president to critics to Los Angeles celebrities to task with an unflinching mix of directness, humor, and wit that, ultimately, reveals an artist getting personal, channeling the dour moods of the era, and drawing inspiration from serenity and directness.

File Under: Rock
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zappa

Frank Zappa: Hot Rats (Zappa) LP
Shattering conventions – musical, social, political – was the life’s work of Frank Zappa, the iconoclastic musical genius, rock legend and intellectual firebrand of the late twentieth century whose work is equally revered by hardcore rockers and serious musical scholars. By 1969, after releasing a ‘mother lode’ of Mothers of Invention classics, Frank was ready to breakthrough other musical barriers that were still holding popular music in a conservative headlock. Being one if not the first album to be recorded using 16 tracks (twice the number being used at the time on both sides of the Atlantic), Hot Rats became a leading edge in both modern recording technology and the evolution of jazz/rock-fusion. Mostly instrumental, it features six original compositions, three of which are loose jam pieces, the remainder being tight ensemble arrangements. Some of the finest players around come together in varying combinations, all the while simultaneously showcasing Zappa’s guitar virtuosity. Among others, Lowell George of Little Feat lends guitar; jazz violinists Don ‘Sugarcane’ Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty and fellow Mother Ian Underwood contribute keyboard and woodwind work; and the legendary Captain Beefheart brings his unique pipes to “Willie The Pimp.” Also here is the concert staple and fan favorite “Peaches En Regalia,” a modern jazz standard, and eventually covered by the likes of Phish and The Dixie Dregs.

File Under: Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Air: Virgin Suicides (EMI) LP
Aphex Twin: Cheetah (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Broadcast: Work & Non-Work (Warp) LP
Burzum: Belus (Back on Black) LP
Don Cherry: Organic Music Society (Caprice) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Waxtime) LP
Miles Davis: On the Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Galactic Zoo Dossier #10 Mag
Lumineers: Cleopatra (Dine lone) LP
Ennio Morricone: Paura (Rustblade) LP
Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Pharaoh Overlord: #1 (Hydrahead) LP
Porcupine Tree: Coma Divine (Kscope) LP
Pretty Things: SF Sorrow (Madfish) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Sundazed) LP
Andy Shauf: Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Swans: Glowing Man (Young God) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs… (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Rhino) LP
Kanye West: My Beautiful Twisted (Universal) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #756 – vinegar…..

First day of school for a lot of kids out there today, which means one thing… Fall new releases! Some big titles in this week and some even bigger ones on their way for next week. I hope you got your student loan all sorted out.

…..pick of the week…..

twin peaks

OST: Twin Peaks (Death Waltz) LP
These are almost all gone already, so… don’t sleep. Twin Peaks – Original Score LP. Music by Angelo Badalamenti. Artwork by Sam Smith, full package design by Jay Shaw. Pressed on 180 Gram ‘Damn Fine Coffee’ colored vinyl. One of the greatest scores ever recorded is finally back in print for the first time in 25 years! Death Waltz went back to the Warner archives, where engineer Tal Miller cut brand new vinyl masters. They then worked with Dave Cheppa at Plush Vinyl to cut new lacquers. Finally they asked Rainbo to press the record on 180g vinyl for the best possible sound quality. The record comes housed inside a 425gsm gatefold sleeve featuring lyrics and liner notes by composer Angelo Badalamenti; the cover image by Sam Smith comes approved by David Lynch himself! The gatefold sleeve is then housed within a bespoke die cut outer jacket designed by Jay Shaw featuring super subtle white spot varnish text. The whole affair is finished with a top loading obi strip & pressed on ‘Damn Fine Coffee’ colored vinyl. “I’m glad that after 25 years, Death Waltz Recording Company has re-released the original soundtrack for Twin Peaks for a new audience to enjoy. This is my defining work as a composer and I’m happy it will get a fresh listen” – Angelo Badalamenti, 2016

File Under: OST. Electronic, Death Waltz
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…..new arrivals…..

bonar

Haley Bonar: Impossible Dream (Thirty Tigers) LP
Haley Bonar has been releasing music under her own name for over a decade now, and she seems to get stronger with every iteration. Her newest endeavor is Impossible Dream, the follow-up to 2014’s critically acclaimed, Last War, and she made a concerted effort to write from a different perspective for each of the record’s 10 songs.  Impossible Dream was recorded on analog tape at Pachyderm Studios in Minnesota and produced by Bonar and Jacob Hansen. Here’s how she lays it out: “Everybody wants a story. Something to sell. I’m here to tell you that there isn’t one with this album, at least in the traditional sense, but ten. Perhaps each of them contain more stories, sitting inside each other like nesting dolls. I could sit here and tell you that some of the songs are about growing up in the Black Hills. Some of the songs are about my parents. Some of the songs are about sexuality. Some of the songs are about loss of youth, teenage parenthood, the lines of social disorder for women, or the terror of jealousy and suspicion. “But what I write is borne of my own set of memories and ideas, and once they are released into the world, they do not belong to me anymore. The interpretation is all yours, therefore these stories are yours. What I can tell you is this: My name is Haley Bonar (rhymes with “honor”). I’m 33 years old, a Taurus, and I live in Saint Paul, MN with my daughter Clementine. I also sing in a band called Gramma’s Boyfriend.”

File Under: Rock
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chills

The Chills: Kaleidoscope World (Flying Nun) LP
Kaleidoscope World is not just the starting point for The Chills, but a story of how it all began and an insight into the world of New Zealand guitar-pop and the ‘Dunedin Sound’ – an influence which carries on to indie-pop bands around the world today. Originally released in 1986, the compilation captures the best of the magical early period recordings of The Chills and simply oozes excitement and possibility. The zany brightness of the cover art against the black background only hints at the wonder contained within. Now re-issued again on a deluxe 2xLP and CD set, featuring six bonus, b-sides, demos and live tracks plus an expanded gatefold cover with photos, posters and liner notes from journalist Martin Aston. As Flying Nun label founder Roger Shepherd put it – Kaleidoscope World is “complex, varied but simple and direct. Musically sophisticated but joyous, poppy and accessible. Essential.”

File Under: Alt Pop, New Zealand
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frierson

Johnnie Frierson: Have You Been Good to Yourself (Light in the Attic) LP
Followers of our output might have a pang of recognition on reading the name Frierson. That was the surname of Wendy Rene, whose work was collected into the 2012 LITA anthology After Laughter Comes Tears, and indeed, Johnnie Frierson is Wendy’s brother – a fellow member of her mid-’60s Stax four-piece The Drapels. But Have You Been Good To Yourself will come as a surprise to anyone expecting more of the beat-driven R&B Johnnie and his sibling produced – including that compilation’s much-sampled title track. A mix of spoken word and gospel songs laid down direct to cassette, these ultra-rare home recordings draw from Johnnie’s religious upbringing and his history in the music business, which was interrupted in 1970 when he was sent to fight in Vietnam. Crate digger Jameson Sweiger found Have You Been Good To Yourself and a companion album, Real Education, released under the name Khafele Ojore Ajanaku in a Memphis thrift store, but it was noticeably Frierson’s work. They hadn’t made it far – they would originally have been sold at corner stores and music festivals in the Memphis area, where Frierson continued to perform and host a gospel radio show, all the while working as a mechanic, laborer and teacher. The seven songs on Have You Been Good To Yourself are overtly religious; some, such as “Out Here On Your Word,” are strident and faithful; others, like the self-questioning “Have You Been Good To Yourself,” are more meditative. They reflect the difficult situation that Frierson was in when recording, shell-shocked from his time in the military and grieving the untimely death of his son. “He was really trying to find his way,” remembers Frierson’s daughter Keesha in Andria Lisle’s liner notes. “And writing and making music were a way out for him.” Remastered and released professionally for the first time, the message spread by Frierson – who passed away in 2010 – remains undimmed.

File Under: Folk, Gospel
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frightnrs

The Frightnrs: Nothing More to Say (Daptone) LP
The Frightnrs escort Daptone into the world of long-playing reggae with both the sweetest and the roughest record of the decade. Crafted under the meticulous eye of black-belt reggae mastermind/producer Victor Axelrod (AKA Ticklah), Nothing More to Say is a rocksteady masterpiece the likes of which has not reared it’s head since the golden era of Studio One. However, you’ll find no imitation here – none of the faux-jamaican cliches of lesser reggae bands. Like all things Daptone, this record is above all soulful and honest. With the exception of two soul covers (both from the Daptone catalog: Bob & Gene’s “Gotta Find a Way” and Saun and Starr’s “Gonna Make Time”,) the record is populated by original compositions of the highest order. They are simply great songs, and though their treatment here is masterful, each one of them has the melodic and lyrical substance to hold it’s own in any genre. “Till Then” invokes the coquettish hyper-rhymes of top-form Smokey Robinson, while “Hey Brother” sounds like it fell off the desk of Gamble and Huff, and “Purple” defies any comparison at all. From the first cracking snares of “All My Tears” through the final pulsing echoes of “Dispute,” the murderous rhythms of Rich Terrana (drums,) and brothers Preet and Chuck Patel (bass and piano, respectively) can be heard chunking mercilessly towards oblivion as Dan Klein pours his endearing poetry over over the top like some other-worldy falsetto potion. The combination is a sound birthday-suit raw, mesmerizing, infectious, and above all, lovely. This record will long be treasured by lovers of reggae, lovers of soul and lovers of love.

File Under: Reggae
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callus

Gonjasufi: Callus (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Callus begins with a musical grimace. The solitary drums enter first, their slow syncopation and rifle-shot echo setting a tone of instant, obdurate menace. The cacophony of a crowd and the oscillation of electronics pass beneath the beat, shaping veins of discord and discontent. A guitar shrieks with feedback and snarls with distortion, the teeth bared for the start of some very significant statement. And then it arrives, the voice of singer, producer, and deeply existential sage Gonjasufi, delivered from the pit of the stomach like a last will and testament. “Is anybody private?” he bellows, his pitched tone suggesting a desperate quest for breath. “Is anything sacred?” This is the countenance of Callus, Gonjasufi’s third album for Warp Records and the most challenging and raw recording of his career. In the past, Gonjasufi’s music, however dissonant it became, would faithfully drift ahead, but for these nineteen tracks, created during the last five years and in three studios scattered across two states, Gonjasufi exposes the scars of a lifetime, digging beneath the surface coat of a callus to strike nerves and expose his reality. If the earliest Gonjasufi records suggested an effort to overcome, the scowling violin drone and electronically mangled vocals of “Poltergeist” and colossal riff and crushing rhythm of “The Kill” make it clear that he’s now facing them, sans fear or hesitation. This is the other side of Gonjasufi, then, ready to battle for what he believes. Negotiating pain on record requires some time and some new skills. In the four years since 2012’s MU.ZZ.LE, Gonjasufi has grown vastly in his skills as a musician. The Cure guitarist Pearl Thompson plays on three of these tracks and, through close collaboration, showed Gonjasufi new ways to approach songs. In the past, Gonjasufi’s records have summoned worlds of sound, with ideas and instruments imported from across the globe. Here, he sculpts it all – synthesizer drone and sitar riffs, static walls and industrial beats – into a unified journey. In his own words, “It has to be authentic. Fuck a filter. Just throw the mic to the tape,” he says. “This is love. All the pain and misunderstanding still burns, but I’m here to pull all that into me and give something that will help everybody get through that. No one can stop it”

File Under: Electronic, Trip Hop, Lo-Fi
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guryan

Margo Guryan: 29 Demos (Modern Harmonic) LP
Margo Guryan’s honeyed voice and gorgeously sweet songwriting have become a favorite of the soft-pop set. As a successful songwriter, her compositions have been recorded by the likes of Jackie DeShannon, Spanky & Our Gang, Astrud Gilberto, Claudine Longet, Oliver, Cass Elliot, Glen Campbell, Saint Etienne and Harry Belafonte. Her only solo album, the magnificent Take A Picture (featuring the hit “Sunday Morning”), has become a cult classic since its release in 1968, and no wonder: its combination of marvelously funky sunshine arrangements and Margo’s delicious melodies are a heady combo. She’s influenced everyone from the Wondermints to Belle and Sebastian to Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (who listened to Take A Picture while writing Juno). In 2001, Margo released 25 Demos, a collection of fully-fleshed out demos from her personal collection. Most people’s demos are mere sketches – Margo’s are little baroque masterpieces, featuring string arrangements, circus organ, chamber-pop rhythm sections and tons of glorious echo. Now, Modern Harmonic presents the biggest collection yet, 29 Demos, all lovingly wrapped in a gorgeous gatefold jacket loaded with liner notes. Finally, an album worthy to follow Take A Picture – two LP’s worth of magnificent soft-pop.

File Under: Pop, Psych
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horseback

Horseback: Dead Ringer (Relapse) LP
Dead Ringers, Horseback’s newest full-length album, is a lush, heady, and singular blend of organic and synthetic textures. The new LP sees the one-man Chapel Hill, NC experimental project continuing to evolve while staying true to their distinctive sound. Written, produced, engineered, and mixed by the mastermind Jenks Miller, Dead Ringers finds Horseback weaving a bright web of drone, krautrock, shoegaze, metal and psychedelic elements, driven by wispy guitars, synths, beats, and clean vocals, and bolstered by dense layers of hypnotic resonance. The music is heavy yet light, taking influence from the doomiest grooves and the nuance of minimal electronics, and is the most cohesive representation of Horseback’s musical vision to date.

File Under: Metal, Drone, Psych
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howlin' wolf

Howlin’ Wolf: His Greatest Sides Vol 1 (Jackpot) LP
Continuing in our series of Chess Record Reissues, Jackpot Records presents this compilation of landmark original studio singles, from Chicago blues artist Howlin’ Wolf. Originally recorded from 1954-1965. Howlin’ Wolf electrified the sound of the Mississippi Delta blues and brought it to Chicago, laying down what would become the foundation of rock and roll in the early 1950s. Delivered in his gruff, haunting voice, his lyrics spoke of his hard life experiences and his signature growlin’ mesmerized audiences and blues musicians alike. Howlin Wolf helped make Chess Records a historic label and solidified Chicago as the worlds capital of blues.

 File Under: Blues
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meridian arc

Meridian Arc: Aphantasia (Broken Press) LP
There is a deep irony within Meridian Arc’s new album. Its title, Aphantasia, refers to a neurological disorder that prevents the creation of visuals in the brain — where there should be images there’s only a void. But to listen to Meridian Arc is to be subjected to an onslaught of visions: ghouls clawing their way out of rotten soil, a maniac on the hunt through back alleys, explorers scouring a sunless planet for signs of life. Conceived, written and performed by Andrew Crawshaw (owner and operator of design company Broken Press), his synthesized compositions are journeys through worlds that are both familiar and completely unpredictable. Crawshaw cut his teeth bashing out rhythms behind a drum kit for bands such as Terminal Fuzz Terror and A Story of Rats, before moving onto analog instrumentation which, while more anodyne, evokes much richer and bleaker landscapes. It has allowed him to blend hypnotic tempos with layered arrangements that create immersive atmospherics. Haunting, unnerving and at times almost beautiful, Aphantasia is Meridian Arc’s ode to a classic sound and a vision for its future.

File Under: Electronic, Synth
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lee moses

Lee Moses: Time & Place (Future Days) LP
Lee Moses was a huge talent and if he’d had the big hit album he richly deserved, Time And Place would’ve been it. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Moses cut his teeth in the clubs of Atlanta, the ‘Motown of the South’, where he frequently performed alongside his contemporary Gladys Knight (who reportedly wanted him for the Pips, but couldn’t pin him down). It was, however, in New York in the ‘60s that Moses made his greatest bid to find the solo fame he desired. Moses began working there as a session player, even playing frequently with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix, but his close relationship with producer and Atlanta native Johnny Brantley eventually saw him getting his own break via a series of 45s in 1967 – most notably with covers of Joe Simon’s “My Adorable One”, The Four Tops’ “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” and The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”. It was 1971 before Moses’ dream of being at stage front was realized, when he released his Brantley-produced LP Time And Place for Maple Records. Recorded with a band including members of The Ohio Players and Moses’ own backing group The Deciples, it was, nonetheless, Moses himself whose star quality shone through, via his scratchy guitar riffs, his throat-ripping vocals and the stirring mood that permeates the LP’s heady mix of funk, soul and R&B. The LP did no business, and Moses’ dream quickly crumbled. Though details on his life are scarce, it’s believed he fled New York disenchanted with the music industry, feeling he’d been double-crossed by Brantley both in credit and remuneration for the countless records he’d played on. Back in Atlanta, Moses returned to playing the clubs, married twice, and fell into depression and drug dependency. He died in 1997 at the age of 56. Time And Place soon became a much-sought-after item for collectors, and its cult has continued to grow over the years. Here, we re-present it on deluxe vinyl, with brand new liner notes from Sarah Sweeney including interviews with Moses’ sister and his closest collaborator, the singer and guitarist Hermon Hitson. Through them, Moses becomes a little – but just a little – less of an enigma.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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angel olsen

Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
Anyone reckless enough to have typecast Angel Olsen according to 2013’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness is in for a rethink with her third album, My Woman. The crunchier, blown-out production of the former is gone, but that fire is burning wilder. Her disarming, timeless voice is even more front-and-center. Yet, the strange, raw power and slowly unspooling incantations of her previous efforts remain. Over two previous albums, she gave us reverb-shrouded poetic swoons, shadowy folk, grunge-pop band workouts and haunting, finger-picked epics. My Woman is an exhilarating complement to her past work, and one for which Olsen recalibrated her writing/recording approach and methods to enter a new music-making phase. As the record evolves, one gets the sense that the “my woman” of the title is Olsen herself, absolutely in command but also willing to bend with the influence of collaborators and circumstances. An intuitively smart, warmly communicative and fearlessly generous record, My Woman speaks to everyone. That it might confound expectation is just another of its strengths.

File Under: Indie Folk
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crashOST: Crash (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to present the third of our Cronenberg / Shore summer trilogy: the 20th anniversary release of Howard Shore’s score to David Cronenberg’s Crash. Crash is an utterly audacious piece of work from Shore—using 6 electric guitars, 3 orchestral harps, 3 woodwinds and 2 percussionists. Shore crafts a meticulous sonic landscape. Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard, Crash deftly explores the complex interpersonal relationships of a select few, who find themselves colliding head-on with the world of car-crash fetishism. Crash is the first Cronenberg film to premiere at Cannes. John Bender wrote “Shore’s calculated instrumentation, mostly electronically manipulated guitars, harps and percussion, give Crash a cold and burnished metallic sound.” The perfect companion to an uncompromising filmmaker like David Cronenberg. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of this complex film, Mondo and Howe Records are pleased to present Howard Shore’s score for Crash for the first time ever on Vinyl, with original artwork by Rich Kelly.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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pearl jam

Pearl Jam: No Code (Legacy) LP
The 1996 sessions for No Code featured longtime producer Brendan O’Brien (his third consecutive collaboration with the band) and drummer Jack Irons, who’d joined Pearl Jam at the end of the Vitalogy sessions. They explored new approaches to writing and recording, developing songs out of jam sessions and eschewing their stadium-rock style for self-examining ballads, garage rock and even psychedelic sounds. No Code became the band’s third consecutive No. 1 album, with lead single “Who You Are” topping Billboard’s Modern Rock chart. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of No Code, Pearl Jam is pleased to reissue the highly sought after album back on vinyl. This is the first time the album has been available on the format since its original 1996 release and the first time the album is being mastered specifically for vinyl, by Grammy Award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig. The reissue will also feature recreations of the album’s original packaging, including the set of nine random replica Polaroid/lyric cards.

File Under: Rock
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yield

Pearl Jam: Yield (Legacy) LP
On 1998’s Yield, Pearl Jam and Brendan O’Brien teamed up once again for a spirited session marked by the breakthrough of band members (guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Jack Irons) bringing in finished songs for Eddie Vedder to add his signature lyrics to. With a more accessible mainstream rock sound and a full-scale tour (and replacing Irons with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, the band’s drummer to this day), Yield became the band’s fifth straight album to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Pearl Jam is pleased to reissue the highly sought after Yield back on vinyl for the first time since its original 1998 release in celebration of the 20th anniversary of it’s 1996 predecessor No Code. The album has been mastered specifically for the vinyl format, by Grammy Award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig and features a recreation of its original packaging. Vinyl pressings of Yield currently command triple-digit prices on the secondary market. The original singles from the album are also being released separately on 7″ vinyl.

File Under: Rock
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prairie

Prairie WWWW: Wu Hai (Gurugurubrain) LP
Prairie WWWW is an experimental folk band from Taipei, Taiwan. Their music combines poetry, folk, ambient and tribal elements. From lo-fi drones, ambient flute/synth/guitar interplay, chanting and trippy rhythmic percussion, Wu Hai is a Taiwanese feedback folk funeral march, buzzing with consciousness of the hive mind.

File Under: Psych, Taiwan
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pylon

Pylon: Pylon Live (Chunklet) LP
Back in 1983, Athens, GA legends Pylon had just released Chomp, their second album and toured the country extensively, and played several opening slots for then up-and-comers, U2. Without a hint of explanation, they suddenly quit. This is their final show at the Mad Hatter in Athens, full of a frenzy of minimal disco thud, post-punk guitar scree and deliriously inspired howl. There’s little arguing that the Athens powerhouse trifecta of R.E.M., the B-52’s, and Pylon is peerless. While all three bands have achieved great critical acclaim, only the first two had the commercial acclaim they deserved. Pylon Live intends to correct that. “Randy Bewley & Michael Lachowki’s simple lines display untoward rhythm & melody, respectively. Curtis Crowe bangs away so obdurately it’s hard to understand why he didn’t become rich. Vanessa Briscoe Hay barks & brays whatever incantatory phrases seem called for. Timeless. Cool.”—Robert Christgau

File Under: Post-Punk
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repeated

Repeated Viewing: Frozen Existence (Lunaris) LP
Since 2009, Alan Sinclair’s Repeated Viewing project has produced a series of soundtracks for imagined films and beyond. Following his long running involvement in Scotland’s noise and experimental scene, Sinclair has now swapped drones and feedback for melody and structure. More recently the imagined films have become reality with Repeated Viewing providing soundtracks for Daire McNab’s “The Three Sisters” and Play4films debut short, “Art Imitates” as well as contributing tracks to Astron 6’s “The Editor”. RV’s latest offering, Frozen Existence, was recorded in 2011 but is finally getting the intended vinyl release after a series of unfortunate events. The amazing cover artwork illustrated by Adam Burke is complemented by the design styling of Eric Adrian Lee. A full color insert of the cover artwork is included.

File Under: Soundtrack
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shaggs

The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World (Light in the Attic) LP
In 1968, three sisters from Fremont, New Hampshire strapped on their instruments and declared themselves The Shaggs. At that moment begun a peculiar tale that would last far beyond the group’s five-year run. Dot, Betty and Helen (and occasionally Rachel, the fourth sister) played in the group on the insistence of their father, Austin Wiggin Jr., who was convinced they were going to be big. Years earlier, Austin’s mother gave him a palm reading, predicting that her son would marry a strawberry blonde woman, that he would have two sons after his mother died, and that his daughters would form a popular music outfit. The first two became reality, so Austin was certain the third would follow suit. With pure confidence and his mother’s bold prediction, Austin decided that his daughters would forgo attending the local high school in favor of home schooling interspersed with a strict regiment of instrumental and vocal practice, along with jumping jacks and sit-ups. Soon after The Shaggs would enter Fleetwood Recording studios in Revere, Massachusetts to record their sole album, Philosophy Of The World, a collection of garage rock tunes that balanced charm and discordance in equal measure. Austin would spend most of his savings not only on the session but also on the manufacturing costs to press up 1,000 copies of the album (900 of which mysteriously vanished upon completion). Throughout the album’s simple truths are revealed through the pen of sister Dot, the songwriter of the band. The rich people want what the poor people got, just as the poor people want what the rich people got. Your parents love you. There is happiness in nearness and sadness in the farness. The album failed to fulfill Austin’s expectations of rock stardom, though the group remained together until their father’s death, performing frequently at the Fremont town hall and a local nursing home, no further albums were released. That might have been the end of it, until rock band NRBQ discovered a copy at a Massachusetts radio station and re-released it in 1980.Rolling Stone’s reviewer at the time described it as “the most stunningly awful wonderful record I’ve heard in ages”. Nearly 50 years later, the album ranks among the most polarizing LPs of all time. Some said it was the worst thing ever made. Others felt it was one of the great long players of the 20th century. Frank Zappa famously dubbed the band “better than The Beatles”, while Kurt Cobain placed the album at #5 on his list of Top 50 favorite albums. Original copies of the album fetch for $10,000. Decades later and one could argue that maybe Austin was right all along. We’re all here, still enthralled by the purity of The Shaggs.

File Under: Folk Rock
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super super blues band

Super Super Blues Band: s/t (Jackpot) LP
Super Super Blues Band started out merely as Super Blues, a conglomerate of blues pillars Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Little Walter. When Little Walter bowed out and was replaced by Howlin’ Wolf, they rightfully threw another Super on the name, and went on to release this burning, irreverent and even sometimes hilarious set of drunken, wild-eyed electric blues. Long form jams roll on in a trance as the trio of blues legends flex egos, talking shit to each other, trading off leads and ducking blasts of unexpected wah-wah guitar lines. Songs are peppered with an incredible level of banter between the trio of bandleaders that predicts the call and response sing- talking of early hip hop, laced with random screams in the background that teeter between celebration and danger. That these three ever got into the same room together is a miracle, and that they produced something so intense, energetic and weird is another almost unbelievable feat. The record is special enough as a stand-alone document of this meeting/melting of the minds before you find out the backing band consists of Hubert Sumlin, Otis Spann and freaking Buddy Guy. Lordy. Might have needed one more “super” in there.

File Under: Blues
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titus

Titus Andronicus: S+@DIUM ROCK (Merge) LP
In July of 2015, noted rock band Titus Andronicus made history, twice. The wider world shook upon the impact of The Most Lamentable Tragedy, the triple-LP rock opera that immediately established itself as the most ambitious punk record of all time, a distinction challenged only by a foolish few. Meanwhile, in the hallowed halls of Shea Stadium, NYC’s longest running active all-ages DIY space, Titus Andronicus was doing the unthinkable again, becoming the first band in the history of NYC DIY to sell out five consecutive nights at the same venue. While these epic shows ostensibly served as a record-release celebration for TMLT (as well as an uproarious shindig for the 30th birthday of singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles), they shattered the limits of mere promotional exercise and reached mythical status. Sadly for the wider world, you had to be there…until now. The band and their patient patrons at Merge Records are pleased to announce the new live LP, S+@dium Rock: Five Nights at the Opera, a record which will allow fans everywhere their chance to relive the auspicious occasion from the comforts of their own home. Titus Andronicus’ position as the most thrilling live act in rock and roll has long been etched in stone, but never before has that riveting energy been captured on wax as it is here. The A-side to S+@dium Rock revisits some of TMLT’s most celebrated hits in a newly concise context, stripping away all studio wizardry until only the primal passion remains. The B-side offers fresh electric arrangements of the largely acoustic fifth act of TMLT’s rock opera narrative, presenting a new perspective on the material Tiny Mix Tapes praised for “emotional intensity…unrivaled anywhere in rock music,” as well as debuting the previously unreleased TMLT outtake, “69 Stones.” Taken as a whole, S+@dium Rock is a whirlwind journey through a moment in time never to be repeated, preserved for future generations starving for “the real deal.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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tuns

Tuns: s/t (Royal Mountain) LP
Tuns is a Canadian indie super-group made up of Chris Murphy (Sloan), Matt Murphy (Super Friendz/Flashing Lights) and Mike O’Neill (The Inbreds). Having already toured the world, releasing critically acclaimed records and receiving multiple accolades (including several JUNO nominations) with their bands respectively – Chris, Matt and Mike have blended their worlds to create Tuns. With songs that are summer sweet and jangly, Tuns has been described as an “’90s indie fan’s dream” – AUX.

File Under: Indie Rock, Super Group
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pu

Piero Umiliani: Due Temi Con Variazioni (Schema) LP
Many words were spent on the long and fruitful collaboration between Piero Umiliani and the director Luigi Scattini: new light has been shed recently on some of their works, in lieu of the reissue of soundtracks such as “Angeli bianchi… angeli neri”, “Questo sporco mondo meraviglioso” along with “La ragazza fuoristrada”, “Il corpo” and “La ragazza dalla pelle di luna” (the famous trilogy starring Zeudi Araya as a main character). In 1977 Scattini, a world famous Mondo Movie author, directed “Blue Nude”, one of his masterpieces: shot in New York, the movie falls between fiction and documentary, and investigates the world of hardcore pornography (Rocco Spinone, the main character, is an Italian porn actor). The movie is raw and uncompromising as demanded by the script, and anticipates Paul Schrader’s more popular “Hardcore” by a couple of years. “Blue Nude” relied on Piero Umiliani’s expert hands for its soundtrack. The Maestro decided to return to his jazz roots and composed fifteen tracks, recorded with some of the best Italian musicians of the time: Cicci Santucci, Sam Genovese, Roberto Scoppa, Enrico Pieranunzi, Franco D’Andrea, Bruno Tommaso, Gegè Munari, Carlo Coppotelli and Antonello Vannucchi. Unexpectedly, the soundtrack wasn’t released simultaneously with the movie and the music ended up being used by Umiliani one year after in an unusual music library LP, released in 300 copies under the moniker of ‘Rovi’ and titled “Due temi con variazioni” (Two themes with variations). The two themes are ‘Blue’ and ‘Easy’, and gave name to all the compositions. The soundtrack had been eventually released on CD in 2014 by the Rome-based label Beat Records, while now we can finally get our hands on the Sound Work Shop LP thanks to this reissue, destined to all those who love scores such as “I soliti sospetti” and Umiliani’s jazz works.

File Under: Italian, Library
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vomitface

Vomitface: Hooray for Me (Help Yourself) LP
Jared Micah (vocals/guitar) and Preetma Singh (drums) found themselves trapped in their Jersey City, NJ, home during Hurricane Sandy. Drawing inspiration from their depressing surroundings and a shelf full of equally depressing records – Slint, Shellac, and Babes in Toyland, to name a few – Micah and Singh decided they had nothing better to do than to write loud songs. Those songs eventually became a band that they decided to call Vomitface, despite several industry professionals subsequently telling them that was a bad idea. From the beginning, Vomitface pledged to steer clear of the latest production trends and micro-genre tags, but despite their best efforts they soon became known as New York City’s buzziest “black-surf avant-grunge sludge-pop” band (a term Micah may have coined himself). In 2014, Vomitface released their debut EP, S/T, followed immediately by a second EP, Another Bad Year_, in 2015. The quick output, combined with a slew of DIY shows and tours, landed Vomitface on a list of “Hardest Working Bands in NYC” (_Oh My Rockness), an accolade that contradicted a number of previous articles that had them pegged as “best new slacker rock.” Following the release of Another Bad Year, Vomitface headed into the studio with bass player Angela Phillips (not pictured) and engineer Steve Albini to record their debut full-length, Hooray for Me. Recorded in two days in mostly single takes, Vomitface left the studio with an album that finally encompassed the raw and unhinged energy the band had been striving for all along. After the session, Albini even went so far as to tell the band that the songs “sounded fine.” The final product is an album full of sharp, deceptively catchy songs, each delivered with a self-deprecating smirk. The son of a Tennessee preacher, Micah began writing songs in high school around the same time he started working at the local record store, where he would book after-hours shows and sneak out punk records behind the manager’s back (he was fired). Singh is a law school graduate, who can beat the shit out of the drums and do a spot-on Courtney Love impression at karaoke. Singh’s booming drum kit is the first thing you hear on opener “Senior Pictures,” with Micah’s buzzsaw guitar following close behind. On “Dramamine” and “It’s Me,” vocal harmonies layer over voyeuristic glimpses into the band’s collective misfortunes. The band’s nihilism and generational self-loathing boils over on “Chew Toy,” a five minute dirge that ends with Micah sarcastically showing off his millennial participation trophies (“I hear applause it’s all for me / Hooray for me”). Vomitface recently relocated from NYC to Singh’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. With a new home base, multiple tours on the horizon, and a debut LP, Hooray for Me – making a tumultuous splash via Help Yourself Records – the pessimists in Vomitface may very well experience their long-awaited first good year.

File Under: Garage Rock
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…..Restocks…..

A Day To Remember: Bad Vibrations (Epitaph) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Ella & Louis (Wax Time) LP
Feist: Reminder (Arts & Crafts) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire De Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin: J’Taime… (Light in the Attic) LP
Jayhawks: Paging Mr. Proust (Thirty Tigers) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Mistress Mary: Housewife (Companion) LP
Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson (Music on Vinyl) LP
OST: The Neon Demon (Milan) LP
Paul Parrish: The Forest of My Mind (Mapache) LP
Armando Sciascia: Impressions in Rhythm and Sound (Roma) LP
Armando Sciascia/Fabio Fabor: Infini (Roma) LP
Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (EMI) LP
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (EMI) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Rhino) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tinariwen: Amassakoul (Modern Classics) LP
Venom: Black Metal (Back on Black) LP
Venom: Possessed (Back on Black) LP
Ryley Walker: Golden Sings That Have Been Sung (Dead Oceans) LP
Various: Ork Records (Numero) 4LP Box

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #755 – mud…..

Oi! This is a lot later than I had hoped today, but my day went sideways. Anyway, some really rad stuff in this week, so I won’t keep you…

…..pick of the week…..

pye

Pye Corner Audio: Stasis (Ghost Box) LP
At least one leap year cycle since his last album with the GB’s, Sleep Games, right now this one feels like a stygian trudge into bleakest futures, operating at such a stoned pace that it moves slower than actual time, and by submitting to its temporal warp we’re allowed to regress back into a pre-digital epoch of paranoid cold, or even civil war atmospheres and paranoia. It could almost be the soundtrack to a Ben Wheatley flick (low budget, not the over-glossy high rise) about British time travellers, forgoing Dr. Who queso for a more hard-boiled, furtive vibe about anachronistic assassins sent back to kill Nigel Farage at birth, only to uncover that he’s part of an exceedingly dangerous non-human race with ties to Johnson, Cameron and all the other pebble-people, so they round them all up and lock them in a hostel in Middlesbrough with a broken kettle and packet of poisoned monster munch between the lot. Of course, that fantasy is all set to a soundtrack of wistful electronic mists and pulsating arpeggios that could be right out of some late ‘70s / early ‘80s synth library, and ultimately shows that whilst technology has advanced in the meantime, that ostensibly archaic music still reflects an underlying eldritch darkness contemporary and relevant to both eras, then and now.

File Under: Electronic, Synth, Nostalgia
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…..new arrivals…..

atobe

Shinichi Atobe: World (Demdike Stare) LP
Demdike Stare prise another absolute gem from Japan’s Shinichi Atobe; presenting six tracks of original, previously unreleased material recorded sometime in the last 20 years in Saitama, Japan, perfectly complementing the sublime ambient house zen of his Butterfly Effect album. The reclusive artist has seen a lot of justified, and somewhat overdue, praise surrounding the reissue of his sole early release, the Ship Scope 12″ by Demdike Stare, originally issued by Berlin’s Chain Reaction label in 2001, whilst the dispatch of his distinguished and subtly diverse Butterfly Effect album arguably came as a surprise for many heads who had him pegged out solely as a dub house producer. His new World will expand those preconceptions again, coursing a beautifully louche and debonair vibe from the most minimal loops and motifs – the kind that one could play all day and would hardly ever tire of hearing them. The supple, floating DX7 bass contours and vaporous jazz chords of “Intro” start up like some Chicago or NYC deep house classic lost in its own reverie, and could go on for as long as it wants, before the rainy day piano house melancholy of “World 1” promptly inverts that supple aesthetic with a fizzing, hazy sort of depth perception and “World 2” switches again to a sort of trim dub momentum in stepping, swinging equilibrium, riding the groove like no other. Turnover and the lingering, slowed-down stroke of “World 3” sounds like it got waylaid from a session with Wolfgang Voigt, whilst “World 4” jettisons the bass altogether to whiz and skip away in the highest registers with an intoxicatingly heady, mesmerizing appeal which also makes the uniquely brittle but spacious breakbeat trip of “World 5” so narcotically seductive. This is highly idiosyncratic, exceptional material, with the highest recommendations to anyone with a taste for house and ambient’s refined, soulful and experimental echelons. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. RIYL: DJ Sprinkles, Larry Heard, Kassem Mosse, SND.

File Under: Minimal, Techno
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DS031LP_PROD

Mario Bertoncini: Arpe Eolie (Die Schachtel) LP
Arpe Eolie is the first ever vinyl release of the works by Italian maestro Mario Bertoncini, relentless experimental composer, philosopher, artist and builder of sounds. The LP presents a selection of his compositions for Aeolian constructions: in the early ’70s he started to produce sound aggregates, true “sound sculptures” based on the Aeolian sound principle. Amongst his more spectacular installations were “Vele”, a massive Aeolian harp (more than seven meters high); “Venti” (winds), for 20 Aeolian sound generators and 40 performers; and “Chanson Pour Instrument À Vent”, an assemblage for Aeolian harps, Aeolian gongs, and one performer. By their very nature these sound objects (“sound sculptures” that liberate the concept of sound form from time development) convey a sense of natural sounds beyond the grasp of composition and musician. Bertoncini’s self-built harps and gongs are excited by blows of compressed air, or by the composer’s own breath, resulting in a musical blueprint that takes minimalist drone to a massive scale: the music unleashes itself. There’s no sense of a composer’s hand present. If at superficial levels they may sound like electronic music (long drones and swooshes of otherworldly sounds), at a close listening they reveal the intensity of a pure sound of air, far removed from both any artificial or measurable principle as well as from any casual or chance method of composition. Deluxe silver cover with silver foil design. Custom inner sleeve and four-page booklet in English and Italian. Edition of 400.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Italian
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cantu1

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: Songs of Forgiveness (Pre-Echo) LP
Originally released in the summer of 2014 as a cassette by Baro Recordings, Jefre Cantu – Ledesma’s Songs Of Forgiveness is now available for the first time on vinyl. Edition of 500 copies via the New York imprint Pre-Echo. Composed by Cantu – Ledesma during his first winter after relocating to Brooklyn, NY, this suite of six discrete tracks are formed by colliding micro orbits of guitar, drum machine and synth, all purposefully phasing in-and-out of sync, and painted with chords of ecstatic melancholia and tape hiss that typifies much of Cantu – Ledesma’s work. Pre-Echo Press was started in 2016 by New York based visual artist Matt Connors as a platform for disseminating a diverse and idiosyncratic array of recorded and printed matter.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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cantu2

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: Songs of Remembrance (Pre-Echo) LP
Originally released in the summer of 2014 as a cassette by Psychic Troubles, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s Songs Of Remembrance is now available for the first time on vinyl. Edition of 500 copies via the New York imprint Pre-Echo. Compiled from recordings spanning two years and various locations, the 21 tracks on Songs Of Remembrance act as snapshots of various times and places, cover a wide range of sonic ground and call to mind any number of imagined spaces via drum machine, guitar, synth and tape explorations. Pre-Echo Press was started in 2016 by New York based visual artist Matt Connors as a platform for disseminating a diverse and idiosyncratic array of recorded and printed matter.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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chilton

Alex Chilton: Dusted in Memphis (Bangkok) LP
First time re-issue of the legendary Alex Chilton album Dusted In Memphis, originally released in 1980. For many, this is Alex’s finest. Includes a second bonus album full of unreleased material; covers, alternate versions, fantastic demos, and infamous complete KUT radio session. All culled from the period between 1975 and 1980, a troubled – but prolific and brilliant – time for Chilton. This is deconstructed rock n roll, perfect pop songs perversely pureed, punkabilly before the term was coined, chaotic, trashy, beautiful. Allegedly, the only copy of these recordings that anyone associated with was lost in the house fire that claimed Alex Chilton’s mother’s life. If this is true, and the masters have been lost, it is truly a great, great shame as these are possibly the best post-Big Star recordings of Alex’s long solo career. This quite legendary bootleg bridges the gap between Sister Lovers (1978) and Like Flies On Sherbert (1979). It contains the Elektra demos with some songs that might be regarded amongst Big Star’s finest if they would have found a proper release. This is a great shame as it is an excellent document of where Alex was at during this stage of his career (he wooed the critics during his time in NY, but not the major labels). File between: Skip Spence’s Oar (1969), Panther Burns’s Behind The Magnolia Curtain (1981), Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night (1975) and early Cramps.

File Under: Rock, Punk
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cosmonauts

Cosmonauts: A-Ok! (Burger) LP
Cosmonauts are a California-based band known for their simple, physically powerful songs and punishing stage volume. The group’s super killer fourth album A-OK! is being released in August 2016 on Burger Records. Get Bent proclaims, “It’s audible, vociferous, pulverizing and bursting at the seams with trippy-ish fuzzy layers of cacophonic synchronization and disharmonic reverberation in a specifically `60s beatnik drug-den, is-that-purple-zebra-in-sunglasses-ally there sort of way.”

File Under: Garage, Punk
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dom keller

Cult of Dom Keller: Goodbye to the Light (Fuzz Club) LP
12″ coloured vinyl. TCODK – a four-piece from the UK Midlands – make experimental goth- tinged psych – fans of Swans and The Icarus Line will find plenty to entertain them here. The thing that first impresses on hearing TCODK is the sheer scale of their intentions.. Take ‘Deepest Pit Of Emptiness’ for example – its prog leanings combined with a decided-ly English vocal delivery are as distinctive and profound as anything released this year. TCODK have pushed themselves sonically on this album, it’s by far their most experi-mental release to date. It’s also an album rooted in darkness.

File Under: Psych
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dalthom

Dalthom: Frame Slip (Feeding Tube) LP
“Thrilling second album by the duo made up of Greg (Gary War) Dalton and Rob (Sunburned Hand of the Man) Thomas. The first album was recorded and pressed a while ago but has yet to be actually released. Perhaps because these guys are operating under Nigel Senada’s Theory of Obscurity (see The Residents’ Not Available). Or perhaps not. Only time will tell. Regardless, this sophomore effort is nothing but a goddamn corker. Knowing something about the work ethic of this pair, I had suspected this LP would be filled to the bong-lip with loosely unstructured jams and zingers. And while those elements are indeed part of the parcel, they are mere details in a large, richly varied and luminous whole. Dalton brings his multi-various musical New Zealand ex-pat weirdnesses to the party, and Thomas draws deeply on his intense Massachusetts record collector powers to create tunes and bridges and sighs that make sonic images skip across the surface of your brain like the smoothest stone on the planet. The two conjure up all the sounds on their lonesome, apart from some drum bits by New Zealand form-manster, Kraus, and some background vocals by fellow kiwi Clementine of Purple Pilgrims fame. You can hear twinges of all kinds of heavy cult tunage smeared into the corners — a bit of Hoelderlin here, a smudge of Relatively Clean Rivers there — but what it most recalls are the highest echelon exploit-o drug-powered records like LSD Underground 12 or The Happening by Fire & Ice Ltd. As a piece of music it’s as thoroughly toasted as either of those, managing to be higher key and low-key at same time. Pretty fuggin’ brilliant. Let’s hope the other album gets cut loose soon!” — Byron Coley, 2016. Edition of 300.

File Under: Electronic, Folk, Psych
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delt

Morgan Delt: Phase Zero (Sub Pop) LP
The invocation of classic west coast psychedelia that permeates Morgan Delt’s Sub Pop debut LP feels like a continuous sunrise, never concealing its influences yet perfectly putting its songs through a gauzy lens that blurs and obscures. After releasing a 6-song cassette in 2013 followed by a full length for the Trouble In Mind label, the California native now fine-tunes his sound world outwardly rather than honing in on a specific trajectory, allowing all of his influences to coexist together in a unique yet undoubtedly Californian vision. The resulting 10-song collection, performed entirely by Delt, recorded in his Topanga Canyon studio, and mastered by JJ Golden, is a home-fi construction with a more subtle, brain-tickling character than its predecessor, and somewhat reflects a realist take on the flower power fantasy of 1967. Doused in echo and haze, slow chords lap in like Pacific waves, flanked by gentle whispers of multi-tracked, cooing vox, phased guitars and fuzz that calmly surrounds the listener’s head less than it jabs at the cortex. It takes a creative mind to make psychedelic rock music – tablas, drones, hallucinatory vocal effects, and all – without slipping into cliché, but Delt can transport what would normally be a dark-n- druggy blanket into a much more optimistic and friendly listening experience. Despite his voice being channelled through hallucinatory effects, it’s warm and inviting, projecting a sense of hope (particularly in “Some Sunsick Day,” which evokes the hopeful “We’ll Meet Again” as the world explodes at the end of Dr. Strangelove, later covered by the Byrds). It’s more or less just an invite to watch the sun rise too.

File Under: Punk, Rock
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equi

Equiknoxx: Bird Sound Power (Demdike Stare) LP
Equiknoxx is one of the hottest, most innovative dancehall squads from Jamaica. Bird Sound Power is their debut collective show of strength, packing twelve avant, crooked riddims by core members Gavsborg and Time Cow, plus Bobby Blackbird and Kofi Knoxx, with vocals by Kemikal, Shanique Marie and J.O.E. (R.I.P). The set was parsed and pieced together by Jon K & Demdike Stare, and now thanks to link ups via Swing Ting’s Balraj Samrai, it is issued on Demdike’s DDS imprint, replete with Jon K’s sleeve design. Easily identified by the squawking bird idents peppering their cuts, Equiknoxx productions have been big in the dance since Gavin Blair, aka Gavsborg, produced Busy Signal’s billboard hit “Step Out” in 2005, followed by key instrumentals for Beenie Man, Aidonia, Masicka and T.O.K. – with many released on 7″ through their Equiknoxx Musiq label, and some of which, such as Aidonia’s “Negative”, are included in this set. Bird Sound Power arguably marks up the most striking riddim album from Jamaica in 2016, weighted with the potential to open up perceptions of current dancehall thanks to the mad character and broad reference points of its producers, encompassing King Jammy’s foundational digi-dub and Dave Kelly’s Mad House sound as much as rugged New York hip-hop and the wigged-out, feminine pressure of Virginia Beach’s Timbaland or The Neptunes. The oldest tune inside dates to 2009, but the rest are relatively recent dancehall mutations, including a number of exclusives produced in the last 12 months. Each one represents Equiknoxx’s unique aspects, such as Jordan Chung’s, aka Time Cow, brilliantly bizarre, layered arrangements of film samples, sawn-off hooks and digi-tight beats, whilst also a result of as their distinguished family vibe, Bird Sound Power exists in a paradox, contemporary but classic, and with as much potential to turn new heads onto current Jamaican sounds as Mowax’s Now Thing set back in 2001. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. All on vinyl for the first time ever.

File Under: Electronic, Reggae
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ertunc

Huseyin Ertunc Trio: Musiki (Holidays) LP
Holiday Records present a reissue of Hüseyin Ertunç Trio’s Mûsikî, originally released in 1974 on Intex Records. This cosmic free jazz improvisation by this legendary trio guided by Hüseyin Ertunç – on drums – with his then-regular partners Michael Cosmic and Phil Musra – on saxophones and additional percussion – reveals the primitive and physical approach of the trio, with Ertunç’s massive cymbals drumming building a carpet of trance-driving vibe where the reeds can freely dance without any structure. “A new world of improvisational freedom opened up for me when I first heard drummer Huseyin Ertunç’s 1974 LP Mûsikî, with reedmen/multi-instrumentalists/brothers Phil Musra and Michael Cosmic. Ertunç returned to his native Turkey about twenty years ago (and performs with the Konstrukt collective), but Musra – this tune’s composer – now resides in Los Angeles and, as regular readers of this blog know, is still active in music. Although I initially assumed that Mûsikî and Musra’s companion LP The Creator Spaces (1974) were recorded at the same session, in truth Mûsikî was recorded months earlier. The Creator Spaces is a bit more spacious than Ertunç’s date, though both are quite intense documents of self-produced and spiritually-directed improvisation. Knotty and weird, there’s a folksy unhinged-ness that really spoke to me in a way quite different from Albert Ayler, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and other music I was spending time with when I dropped the needle on the trio’s debut album. Ertunç’s percussion work really shocked me and it’s still absolutely fascinating, and Cosmic’s organ playing behind/around Musra’s tenor is just something else.” — Clifford Allen. Edition of 400.

File Under: Free Jazz
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holidays boxHuseyin Ertunc/Dogan Dogusel/Cem Tan/Umut Caglar: Gumusluk Sessions (Holidays) 4LP
“Recorded over two days yet retaining a continuous, immediate vibe, Gumusluk Sessions: At Lon’s feature a stirring quartet with Hüseyin Ertunç on piano, Doğan Doğusel at double bass, the young drummer Cem Tan, and Umut Çağlar – a stalwart of the Konstrukt group – on reeds and percussion. In the caliber of multi-album statements like Cecil Taylor’s Nuits de la Fondation Maeght (1969) and string instrumentalist and composer Alan Silva’s Seasons (1970), Gümüslük Sessions: At Lon ‘s stretches out texturally and conceptually, although there’s a loose, homegrown informality unique to these musicians’ orbit (partly attributable to the dry, open recording quality). The initial marathon pace relaxes into nattering trails and the full ensemble falls away to reveal spare duos and trios over the course of eight sides. Ertunç’s piano ebbs as zurna, flutes and bamboo reeds, auxiliary percussion and voices draw out the music’s connection to folk forms, as well as the interleaved East-West textures of Yusef Lateef and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. As ‘out’ as the music gets, there’s always a center in Ertunç’s keyboard approach; moreover, his linkages with the pliable, allover percussive buzz and thrumming pizzicato create a constant burble of jabbing movement. This is a clunky, Monkish swing or a playful push-pull, rather than the ‘tinka-tinka-ting’ of bebop. Concentrated, unflagging and incredibly spiritual, Ertunç, Cağlar, Doğusel and Tan have convened to structure an incredibly personal artistic document that speaks to the universal possibilities of freedom.” — Clifford Allen. Turkish liner notes by Volkan Terzioğlu. Colored cardboard box set with printed inner sleeves. Edition of 200.

File Under: Free Jazz
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fire

Fire! Orchestra: Ritual (Rune Grammofon) LP
Fire! Orchestra follow their acclaimed 2014 album Enter with Ritual, slimming the ensemble down from 28 of northern Europe’s finest jazz and improvisational musicians to a mere 21. Since the release of Enter, this energetic and dynamic mass ensemble has gone from intimate jazz settings to the main hall at the Molde International Jazz Festival and a major stage at the prestigious Roskilde Festival. As brilliant as Enter is, with Ritual they have outdone themselves and produced a beast of beauty and power, extremely well executed, beautifully recorded, and produced from only two days in the studio. Free improvisations, spontaneous horns, keyboard frenzy, abstract electronics, and guitar mayhem, not to mention those glorious twin voices from heaven and hell. It’s about mysteries and rituals in music and in life. Fire! originated as the trio of Swedish improv masters Mats Gustafsson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass), and Andreas Werliin (drums). None of them are what one would call jazz purists; they all play in many different groups and contexts, including The Thing (Gustafsson), experimental folk-electronica outfit Tape (Berthling), and skewed blues-pop unit Wildbirds & Peacedrums (Werliin). Those important singers, Sofia Jernberg and Mariam Wallentin, have been on board since the beginning, and the same goes for horn players Niklas Barnö, Jonas Kullhammar, Mats Äleklint, Per Åke Holmlander, and Anna Högberg. Basically a Swedish ensemble, the orchestra also counts Norwegian, Danish, and French players among its ranks. Members of Fire! Orchestra share a wide background, combining jazz, improvised music, contemporary music, rock, garage, psych, and more. As they proclaim on their website, “please make up your own genre and mind — listen freely — don’t buy our labeling attempts…labeling sucks.”

File Under: Free Jazz
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gangloff

Cara & Mike Gangloff with the Great American Drone Orchestra: Knock on Life’s Door (Mie) LP
MIE presents Knock on Life’s Door from Cara & Mike Gangloff With The Great American Drone Orchestra. “There’s a particular twinkle in the great expanse of American songwriting. This has seen countless nostalgic exploitations over the years – collections of popular songs strung together under the banner of the so-called ‘Great American Songbook’ that have reiterated the form of many of these songs without contemplating their depths. In terms of thoughtful, emotive synthesis, few have understood it in the way that Cara and Mike Gangloff understand it on this new album. They have taken older American songs, popular songs that we’ve come to understand as standards, and stretched them out into the rolling hills and vast expanses that gave birth to the nation’s earliest music. American history is a history of tension. A group of aristocrats saw fit to bestow a limited degree of freedom upon the underclasses. They called this democracy, co-opting a concept that terrified them in the hopes that the implications of its meaning might placate the unwashed masses. Within that sliver of freedom, incredible heights were reached. Blues. Jazz. Mountain music. And on and on. The songs on this record are recognizable. They’re classics. And yet here they play out in ways the songwriters could never have predicted. Cara and Mike Gangloff have married the colloquial with the eternal. With certain songs, like ‘Sentimental Journey’, they lift the material out of its saccharine setting and into the troubling and sublime nation from which it springs. ‘All of Me’ is rendered utterly psychotic, teasing apart the song’s desperate, masochistic, violent implications. The songs become essays about themselves, investigations into their own histories of terror and escape. ‘Mood Indigo’ becomes a haunting dirge. ‘Cry Me a River’ is a rhythmically jarring lightning rod of unease. The inventiveness of interpretation is spirit-raising. The cultural history of the country is one of cosmic entertainment in the face of excruciating injustice. Transcendence has always been necessary. For better or worse, the United States of America is a nation defined by expanse.” — Matt Krefting, 2016. The Great American Drone Orchestra is: Sharon Stacy, Charlie Andersen, Matt Peyton, Sonya Austin, Joe Dejarnette, Sally Anne Morgan, Isak Howell, Scott Prouty, Anne Hartman, Tatsuya Nakatani, Nathan Bowles, Michelle Dove, Reilly Stacy Blackwell, Abriel Stacy Blackwell and Willa Shea-Gangloff.

File Under: Drone, Experimental
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hooker

D.R. Hooker: The Truth (Veals & Geeks) LP
Genuine reissue of D.R. Hooker’s The Truth (1972) from the original audio sources; new analog transfer with improved mastering. “It’s a miracle any copies of this privately pressed album survived — but be thankful it did, for here is an individual vision. Some people worry about when we’ll run out of oil. A rather smaller proportion of us worry about when we’ll run out of discoverable, deep-end thrills like this. There is just no way in the world items like Donald Hooker’s 40-year-old privately pressed LP should even exist as a thing — it more than likely only ran to about 99 copies in its original format, so how the hell did even one of those survive to create these new digital and analogue versions decades later? Connecticut-based Hooker — a tall, slim hippy with a history of substance abuse — was much given to wearing the sort of austere robe he sports on the sleeve, a fairly outré move even then. In early 1972 he hired a gang of local scene musicians to flesh out his wonderful songs and after a few brief rehearsals the band began recording. As soon as they were done they split — some never even heard the finished album, and what a treat they missed. Hooker’s arrangements are truly beautiful; a simple, swinging pop song like Weather Girl exists somewhere between the Doors and Curtis Mayfield, whereas The Bible (‘If they’re knocking the Bible, be sure they are bent/ Just see and you’ll understand the book is heaven sent’) has the propulsive drive of a pained George Harrison ballad crushed up against some of Neil Young’s freeform, string-banging joy. Then there’s The Sea, with its rolling religious allegories and the remarkable Free which marries a growling hard rock throb to a vampirically groovy synth line. Hooker’s masterpiece is Forge Your Own Chains, which is part conga-led, lounge-funk soul and part, questing psychedelic dream. To think this entirely individual worldview would have once languished, unloved, in a series of under-the-racks cutout bins. And how much more magic like this is there out there?” –Rob Fitzpatrick, “The 101 strangest records on Spotify: DR Hooker — The Truth,” The Guardian, April 24, 2013

File Under: Psych, Private Press
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kon1

Konstrukt/Peter Brotzmann/Huseyin Ertunc/Dogan Dogusel/Barlas Tan Ozemek: Eklisia Unday (Holidays) LP
Eklisia Sunday was recorded live in front of a small audience on May 15th, 2011 at Eklisia – an old chapel built in the 17th century in Gümüşlük, a small village near Bodrum. This improvisation features the Konstrukt collective – which is Korhan Futacı (tenor & soprano saxophones), Umut Çağlar (electric guitar), Özün Usta (double bass, djembe, gong, bells), Korhan Argüden (drums) – incredibly enriched by the presence of Peter Brötzmann (on tenor), Hüseyin Ertunç (acoustic piano, küstüfon, gong), Doğan Doğusel (double bass, küstüfon) and Barlas Tan Özemek (electric guitar). The result of the combination is simply marvelous, because Brötzmann’s unique phrases perfectly match with the sound of what confirms to be a well-coordinated collective. “The Turkish free jazz outfit Konstrukt might be considered the most evolved improvisational band working in jazz today. Founded, not in the hotbeds of jazz, London, New York, Chicago, Wuppertal or Krakow, their isolation is the key to their success. Well, isolation and observation.” — Mark Corroto, All About Jazz. Edition of 350.

File Under: Free Jazz
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lababababa

Joan La Barbara: Tapesongs (Arc Light) LP
Tapesongs (1977) is the second of two crucial Joan La Barbara reissues on Arc Light Editions, following Voice Is The Original Instrument (1976). Joan La Barbara is a composer, performer, sound artist and actor, renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, which have influenced generations of composers and singers. This reissue is presented in full collaboration with La Barbara. Tapesongs makes use of early electronics, and multi-tracked tape techniques to manipulate La Barbara’s signature extended vocal techniques. It includes two essential pieces: John Cage’s Solo For Voice 45 and a burning take-down of Cathy Berberian in “Cathing”. In 1977, La Barbara was living in NYC, playing concerts internationally and performing regularly with John Cage, who she described as a mentor. “I began working with John Cage in 1976 and we had done several performances of his ‘Solo for Voice 45’ from Song Books in concert,” says Joan. “Cage determined the 13-minute version for this version, overlaying all 18-pages of the score so that one hears the entire work in layers. Hearing it again after all these years is wonderful and brings back many memories.” “Cathing” uses a recording of a radio interview Cathy Berberian did during the intermission of one of La Barbara’s concerts at the Holland Festival: “She basically trashed those of us doing extended vocal techniques,” she says. “She used the interview for her own self-promotion rather than taking on the mantle of the ‘mother’ of vocal explorations. Rather tragic, I thought. So I created a work exploring extended vocal techniques and manipulating her spoken voice.” “Thunder” is for six tympani and voice, using electronic devices (the same as used in “Vocal Extensions” from Voice Is The Original Instrument), and explores patterns through instruments and real-time composition with two jazz improvising musicians. The original artwork is an incredible shot of Joan buried to her neck in reel -to-reel tape. Remastered from original tapes by Rashad Becker. Kraftliner outer sleeve & art paper inner sleeve.

File Under: Experimental, Avant Garde
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mccomb

Cass McCombs: Mangy Love (Anti) LP
Over the past decade, Cass McCombs has established himself as one of our premier songwriters – diverse, cryptic, vital and refreshingly rebellious. It’s a career that’s twisted and turned, from style to subject, both between records and within them. Eighth studio full-length album, Mangy Love, is McCombs at his most blunt: tackling sociopolitical issues through his uniquely cracked lens of lyrical wit and singular insight. Throughout, he uses himself as a mirror to misguided and confounding realities, confronting them head on. The severity of his lyrics is contrasted by the music, which ventures into groovy realms of Philly soul, Norcal psychedelia and New York paranoia, articulating the spontaneity and joy of his live show better than ever before. Hip-hop and Beat poetry influences have never been more evident, with several songs employing a speech-style and clever fast-paced wordplay. There are guest appearances by many fellow musicians of his tribe ranging from Angel Olsen (on “Opposite House”) to Blake Mills, under the production of veteran Rob Schnapf and Dan Horne. Mostly written during a bitter New York City winter and while traveling in Ireland, Mangy Love is McCombs reaching new sonic heights, creatively evolving lyrically, and resulting in his most provocative, yet immediate record yet.

File Under: Indie Rock
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mcgregor

Chris McGregor & The Castle Lager Big Band: Jazz/The African (Jazzman) LP
One of the most important African records of all time released worldwide for the first time. Chris McGregor’s Jazz/The African Sound (originally released in 1963) is a lost global jazz classic, and a true holy grail for collectors of afro-jazz. A cornerstone of South Africa’s illustrious jazz history, it has been out of print since before the end of apartheid. This painstakingly restored reissue is the long-delayed first chance to hear Chris McGregor’s debut recording as leader. In addition to fully restored audio, the package features previously unpublished photographs by Basil Breakey and new sleeve notes by author Francis Gooding. Ten years before the Brotherhood of Breath blew the cobwebs out of British jazz, Chris McGregor had already recorded as a leader with a big band composed of South Africa’s leading jazz lights. Put together in 1963, The Castle Lager Big Band was a multi-racial group, a risky endeavor in apartheid South Africa. Modernist in outlook and dedicated to showcasing South African composers, the 17-piece band featured a galaxy of South African jazz stars, including Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, and Kippie Moeketsi. Though the band lasted only a few weeks and played a just a handful of shows, they made it into the studio to record, and the result was Jazz/The African Sound, a unique masterpiece of afro-Ellingtonia that the band hoped would put South African jazz on the international map. But history intervened, and their jazz message to the world never arrived — until now. Non-numbered repress.

File Under: African Jazz
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niagara

Niagara: s/t (PMG) LP
Reissue of Niagara’s self-titled debut, originally released in 1970. Niagara was more a project than an actual band, formed by German jazz drum legend Klaus Weiss. He formerly worked with another jazz legend from his mother country, Klaus Doldinger, and gained fame in the German jazz circuit of the ’60s and ’70s. His 1971 works with Niagara was the offspring of the vision to create an orchestra made entirely of drummers and percussionists. Despite the fact that there is definitely no regular melody instrument to be heard on this album, the two lengthy compositions are arranged in such an enthralling way, they still have a rather catchy and memorable feel. Among the cult drummers featured on this album are Udo Lindenberg (yes, the icon of German rock and pop started as a drummer) and session hero Keith Forsey. So what both compositions offer is an ever pulsating rhythm inferno, a maelstrom of different grooves and sounds. This album is not full of pop tunes. Niagara enchants and hypnotizes with a massive wall of percussion sounds, dragging the listener deeper and deeper into a state of trance, which is utterly addictive. Niagara goes deeper than most psychedelic rock with dreamy melodies and heavy organ work. Incomparable to anything else, this is an ultimate rhythm experience.

File Under: Jazz, Afrobeat, Afro-Cuban
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prince

Prince: Lotusflow3r (Because) LP
Originally released in 2009. For more than thirty years, Prince indefatigably attacked the bulwarks which separate funk, rock, pop and hip-hop. This is a deluxe gatefold release composed of two slabs of vinyl (Lotusflow3r and MPLSound also included on CDs) as well as a poster. “On LotusFlow3r Prince has a specific mission: showcasing his long-underrated guitar playing. Whether it’s the spare funk of ‘Wall of Berlin,’ the metal grind of ‘Dreamer’ or the hazy cover of ‘Crimson and Clover,’ the music kicks into high gear when Prince starts soloing, delivering one epic face melter after another in a style halfway between David Gilmour’s and Eddie Hazel’s.” Gavin Edwards (Rolling Stone, 2009)

File Under: Funk, Pop
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ratkje

Maja S.K. Ratkje: Crepuscular Hour (Rune Grammofon) LP
Double LP version. Includes CD and DVD; DVD is PAL format, region-free, with 5.1 and stereo audio. Crepuscular Hour is an epic, hypnotic one-hour piece for three choirs, three pairs of noise musicians, and church organ, to be performed in a cathedral or similar location with musicians surrounding the audience. The room fills with sound in an intense, but almost meditative hour, as the voices blend with the distortion, the noise sometimes takes over, and the organ eventually takes the music to a new level. The visual design of this concert is a play on the crepuscular rays — rays of sunlight that appear to radiate through clouds from the point in the sky where the sun is located — with the light filtered by the obstacles and musicians in the room. All texts are from the Nag Hammadi library, a collection of Gnostic texts discovered in Upper Egypt in 1945. These texts have provided a major re-evaluation of early Christian history. This recording of a performance of the piece includes a DVD of the whole concert, beautifully directed by Kathy Hinde (DVD is PAL format, region-free, with 5.1 and stereo audio). Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (born 1973) is quite a remarkable musician, singer, improviser, and composer. Her music has been performed worldwide by the Klangforum Wien, the Oslo Sinfonietta, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Fretwork, TM+, the Cikada String Quartet, the Mivos Quartet, the Quatuor Bozzini, the Quatuor Renoir, Crash Ensemble, The Peärls Before Swïne Experience, Torben Snekkestad, Marianne Beate Kielland, SPUNK, Frode Haltli, POING, and many more. Ratkje has been composer in residence at festivals like Other Minds in San Francisco; Trondheim Chamber Music Festival; Nordland Music Festival in Bodø, Norway; Avanti! Summer Festival in Finland; Båstad Chamber Music Festival; and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Ratkje is active as a singer/voice user and electronics performer and engineer, as a soloist and in groups such as SPUNK and BRAK RUG. Other collaborators include Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stephen O’Malley, Lasse Marhaug, POING, and many more. Ratkje has performed her own music for films, dance, theater, installations, and numerous other projects. Visual art and text are often parts of her work, in installations or staged works. She has made large gallery works with SPUNK and made music for a radio play by Elfriede Jelinek, and in 2003, she played a part in her own opera, also based on texts from the Nag Hammadi library.

File Under: Electronic, Classical
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DS032LP_PROD

Arke Sinth: s/t (Die Schachtel) LP
Studio and live recordings, May/June 1973. Arke Sinth documents the brief and intense life of a group formed at the beginning of the 1970s within the fertile and stimulating cultural environment of the town of Padua (Italy), where electroacoustic and computer music pioneer Teresa Rampazzi had started, a few years earlier, the Nuove Proposte Sonore (New Sound Proposals) Group. Arke Sinth was a group of four young musicians and artists, who decided to perform their own music, an experimental venture into collective composition and unusual timbre associations, with possibly no references whatsoever to previously existing music genres. The rigorous music of Arke Sinth gave a sonic body to meticulously planned graphic scores and at times was associated with visuals created by one of the members of the group, Michele Sambin (one of the first Italian experimental video-artists). Arke Sinth also tried to closely link collective composition and performance, making also use of improvisational elements but refusing the premises of the American live electronics experiences, for which composition was simply the “trigger” of an almost immutably informal and/or automatic process (David Tudor, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier), or alternatively it was “dissolved” into free improvisation (MEV). Together with Michele Sambin on cello and saxophones, were his brother Marco, an accomplished saxophone player, Giovanni De Poli on EMS Synthi A and Alvise Vidolin on electronic organ and mixing. De Poli and Vidolin at that time were both pupils of Teresa Rampazzi, and shortly after the experience of Arke Sinth were involved in the foundation of the Computer Music Center of the University of Padua. Deluxe silver cover with silver foil design. Custom inner sleeve and four-page booklet in English and Italian. Edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Avant Garde
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sonic youth

Sonic Youth: The Eternal (Matador) LP
In 2009 Sonic Youth returned to an indie label after years of being on Geffen, with their sixteenth proper studio album, the aptly titled The Eternal. Self described as a “celebration of newfound freedom,” The Eternal is a supercharged rocker, recalling aspects of the Evol-Sister-Daydream Nation holy trinity but with cleaner, louder production and more straightforward momentum. With Pavement’s Mark Ibold joining on bass, and producer John Agnello back at the controls, The Eternal takes the melodic songwriting of 2006’s Rather Ripped and slams down the accelerator pedal. The band’s self-written bio references as influences: hardcore punk matinees; both the MC5 AND Sonic’s Rendezvous Band; Neu!, Kevin Ayers, and the Wipers. The Eternal served as the most alive, excited album the band had made in a long time. “Sure, other bands skew further towards the avant-garde. Yet no rock group better views guitars, amplifiers, and drums as a core heap of wires, strings, skins, and plugs that, once reassembled and re-imagined, produces exhilarating music that violates rules and inverts perspectives within accessible melodic frameworks. Sparked by a forward-driving momentum, The Eternal engages by way of alternate tunings, tonal shadings, sulfuric harmonics, and radical chords.” – Bob Gendron, TONE Audio, Issue 22

File Under: Indie Rock
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subrosaSubrosa: For This We Fought The Battle of Ages (Profound Lore) LP
Salt Lake City’s Subrosa are one of America’s most singular and important doom / chamber-metal bands. Their 2013 breakthrough album More Constant Than The Gods garnered the five-piece (including two electric violinists) acclaim from Pitchfork, NPR, Decibel Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly, to name just a few. In the wake of that album, they toured with bands such as Boris, Deafheaven, and Cult Of Luna, also playing prominent festivals like Roadburn, Hellfest, Southwest Terror Fest, along with many others. With this latest album, Subrosa has crafted their most triumphant and biggest release to date. For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages is their masterpiece and establishes them as one of the most important American heavy metal bands today.

File Under: Metal
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um1

Piero Umiliani: Tensione (Black Sweat) LP
The incomparable Piero Umiliani (under his mysterious Moggi moniker) weighs in with another AWOL library gem of 1979. The Italian maestro goes resolutely left field and off track with an intra-personal exploration of the disturbed inner psyche within the human condition. Distressed electro beacons are unleashed as de-tuned predatory Carpenter-esque synth patterns come to the fore (check “Clavinet Suspence: for primal audio blastings to a lost unnamed ’80s slasher movie). With the electric eighties buzzing on the horizon, Umiliani was quick to capitalize on this cultural shift, utilizing his Moog synthesizers to tap in to changing musical zeitgeists via cost cutting experimentations for TV, adverts and documentaries. Followers of the esoteric and strange can finally dig in here with this lavishly created reissue featuring original artwork, master tape laquer cutting and Umiliani’s autograph notes on the project.

File Under: Library, Italian
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um2

Piero Umiliani (M. Zalla): Mondo Inquieto (Black Sweat) LP
Maestro Piero Umiliani returns in the alter ego guise of M. Zalla for the 1974 compositional library piece Mondo Inquieto (Restless World) via his far reaching, experimentalist imprint Sound Work Shop. Ambient tensions are represented via a dramatic cross fertilization of orchestral strings, layered synths and primeval percussion with the Maestro on moody, reflective compositional duties. Stand out cut “Strategia” (“Strategy”) harnesses the dopest Wu Tang beats alongside swathes of high end electro blankets and is a sample classic aching to be reworked into further outer cosmos soundscapes. Black Sweat has again transferred the elements of this little known Umiliani microcosm into a respectful reissue via an integration of the stark, haunting sleeve design, laquer cutting from the original master tapes and Umiliani’s autograph notes on the project.

File Under: Library, Italian
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um3

Piero Umiliani: Genti e Paesi del Mondo (Black Sweat) LP
The mid ’70s presented mature, fertile grounding for maestro Piero Uimiliani’s Sound Workshop Studio, exploring side ways explorations in to gravitational soundscapes and beyond. Released in 1975 via his prolific Omicron imprint, Genti e Paesi Del Mondo (Peoples and Countries of the World) is a return to the ethnic flavors so beloved of Umiliani’s zeitgeist. Umiliani turns anti-clockwise, launching a left field mental audio pad to uncharted territories. On Genti e Paesi Del Mondo sparse, eerie electronic confections spar in unison alongside moody transgressional vibes. Umiliani’s mysterious pathways unlock a trinket box echoing the Germanic stylings of Wolperath’s Plank Studio and Herzog-era Popol Vuh. This loving reissue recreates the original artwork, master tape laquer cutting and Umiliani’s autograph notes on the project.

File Under: Library, Italian
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vakula

Vakula: Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa (Dekmantel) LP
The Ukraine based producer, Vakula, presents his triple-LP album, Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa, on Dekmantel. “This album is about cycles, repetition and interaction”, says Vakula. Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa is a dashing experimental record that evokes the endless and captivating potential of electronic music, creating a mesmerizing journey through various music genres, exhibiting a singular sonic experience, whilst he works through a process of improvisation and refinement. Once again, the mastermind proves to be capable of creating complex, yet diverse musical pieces beyond genres and trends. The result: an audio adaptation of his fascinating mind; “There are two parallel processes that come together in my work: me writing music and working on the sound I want to achieve and the energy from outside that flows and transforms into thoughts, correlations, and actions.” The track titles relate to the source of Vakula’s inspiration and connect the dots between his obsession for the vastness of the universe and electronic music; ”To wonder about the universe and to dig into mythology and scientific research discovering at least some of its secrets is what keeps me endlessly motivated as a producer.”

File Under: Electronic, Dub, Techno, House
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walker1

Scott Walker: Childhood of a Leader OST (4AD) LP
Scott Walker’s orchestral soundtrack to The Childhood Of A Leader is being released by 4AD in August 2016. A key and compelling component to Brady Corbet’s directorial debut, it is Walker’s first O.S.T. work since his remarkable score for Pola X in 1999. Partly inspired by Jean-Paul Sartre’s short story of the same name, The Childhood Of A Leader is a tense psychological drama tracing the formative years of a young boy and set against the backdrop of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference that led to the establishment of the Treaty of Versailles. Walker continues to work with long-term collaborators Peter Walsh (co-producer) and Mark Warman (musical director), with the latter conducting an orchestra comprised of 46 string players and 16 brass for the studio recording. Both Walsh and Warman were involved in the live film score performance of The Childhood Of A Leader, alongside a 74-strong orchestra, an event which closed the Rotterdam Film Festival in February 2016.

File Under: OST
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wipers

Wipers: Rarities (Bang) LP
Finally an official vinyl release of what was only previously released as a bootleg CD-R in the early ’90s, based on the original recordings and with new mastering. Two LPs full of Wipers rarities, including their almost impossible-to-find debut single from 1978, “Better Off Dead,” as well as other rarities from B-sides, compilation tracks, and acoustic and electric performances from 1978 to 1990. A totally necessary release for all fans of this legendary American band that put down the roots of ’80s and ’90s noise and underground rock! Deluxe gatefold sleeve with full details.

File Under: Punk
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worlds

World’s Experience Orchestra: The Beginning of a New Birth & As Time Flows On (Now Again) 2LP
Double LP version. Tip-on gatefold jacket. 160-gram vinyl. Includes booklet with previously unpublished photos and download code for WAVs. “Both World’s Experience Orchestras albums were recorded in and around Boston, Massachusetts in the mid to late 1970s and committed to vinyl in minuscule press runs by a visionary, bassist/composer/arranger John Jamyll Jones. Jones is a magical type, who communicates with his instrument, his ensembles, and jazz’s ancient lineage in a manner so profound that his late-’70s album are out of time with jazz’s trajectory, but timeless when presented today. By the late ’90s the music of World’s Experience Orchestra was circulating throughout the collections of esoteric jazz fans, the likes of Gerald ‘Jazzman’ Short and Gilles Peterson, who played ‘The Prayer’ for those, the Coltrane-enthralled searching for something new, something different. Something spiritual and honest. Peterson first offered to reissue ‘The Prayer’, as part of an anthology he was putting together with Los Angeles reissue label Ubiquity Records and that, to date, is the only official issue of any of Jones’ music. This set is the definitive catalog of Jones’ ensembles’ released work. ‘I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know when,’ says Jones of the road to seeing his music re-issued. ‘It’s 35 years or more now, and I’ve been waiting for this, and I’m quite sure I’m not the only one.'”

File Under: Jazz
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zomby

Zomby: Where Were U In 92? (Cvlt) LP
2016 repress on black vinyl. Previously released on yellow vinyl for RSD 2012. When first released as a CD on Actress’s Werk Discs imprint in 2008, Where Were U In 92? was instantly hailed as the rave album that was never made in the early ’90s, a tumbling anthemic barrage of lost mixtape masterpieces from an artist who was starting to take the electronic dance scene by storm. However, Where Were U In 92? is not just some facsimile-style homage to the past; it takes a firm grip of the energy and sheer rushing dynamics of early hardcore breakbeat, and places those sounds and styles smack in the center of right now.

File Under: Electronic, Breakbeat
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fever

Various: Fever (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Stag-O-Lee present a new series called Journey to the Centre of the Song, celebrating one song at a time, and it’s many guises and interpretations. This volume focuses on the song “Fever”, features ten versions of the song and is compiled by Chris Sick. Liner notes from Chris Sick: “I’m not sure what the first version of ‘Fever’ I ever heard (hopefully Elvis, probably Bon Jovi) but it has become engrained into my psyche. This song is covered scores of times a year and has become album filler for tired artists trying to find that last track before the hand in date. This belies the history of one of the most sultry songs ever written. A burning, intoxicating and poisonous feeling of yearning, lust and passion that is ageless and endless. Sexy just doesn’t cover it. It smolders and breathes hot sweat on the back of your neck. For a crash course in ‘Fever’, check out the original Little Willie John and Peggy Lee, Elvis and the Cramps. Then listen to this… This collection tries to show the many diverse guises I have discovered lurking in the darkness. These are the versions overlooked, and often uncompiled till now. I hope this song infects you like it has me – But what a lovely way to burn…” Features: Bobby Freeman, Frankie Avalon, The Knockouts, Pete Bennett and the Embers, Little Caesar and the Romans, Ray Peterson, Sid Cooper, Sam Butera and the Witnesses, Earl Grant and Medicine Men.

File Under: Exotica

boomstix

Various: Boomstix!: More Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Stag-O-Lee present Boomstix!: More Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Volume 10, the tenth volume in their successful Exotic Blues & Rhythm series. Amazing and danceable tunes from the late ’50s and early ’60s – a handful of Popcorn dancefloor smashes, a few grinding tittyshakers and awesome rhythm & blues – most of them with an exotic twist. Twelve songs on a nice 10″ vinyl. Features: David Hill, The 5 Royales, The Gay Poppers, Guy Mitchell, Louisiana Red, Nellie Rutherford, Curley & The Jades, Bobby Sharp, Ernie Washington, Ruben Fort, Danny Owens and Bach Yen.

File Under: Exotica, Blues & Rhythm

nigeria

Various: Nigeria Freedom Sounds! (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ new Nigeria Freedom Sounds! features a stunning selection of material spotlighting the vibrant musical scene in Nigeria at the start of the 1960s. With a wealth of musical and cultural history and newly independent from Britain, Nigerian music during this era was complex, diverse and forward-thinking, with musicians as excited in exploring their country’s own musical lineage with styles such as Juju and Apala as they were in adapting and absorbing outside influences such as Ghanaian Highlife, Caribbean Calypsos and Mambo and more. This album features many of the defining artists of this time who helped shape the Nigerian musical scene. Artists include I.K. Dairo and his Blue Spots, Haruna Ishola and his Group, E.C. Arinze, Sammy Akpabot and His All Stars, Godwin Omobuwa and his Soundmakers, Ganiyu Kale and His Guinea Mambo Orchestra and many more. Few nations on earth are as diverse as Nigeria, and the wide assortment of Nigerian music styles collected on this album reflect the country’s rich variety of cultures. Western-influenced dance music, played on European instruments such as guitar, brass, and woodwind sits alongside traditional musical styles, made with indigenous instruments such as the talking drum, marimba, or obo. And there is also religious musical styles first brought to Nigeria by European Christians and Islamic traders from North Africa. And of course, there are points where these musical styles overlap, merging into one another to create unique new sounds. This album is released as CD + booklet + slipcase, heavyweight gatefold double vinyl edition + download code, and digital release. The CD includes a large outsize 48-page book containing extensive sleevenotes by compiler Danny Fitzgerald, original photography, artist biographies, as well as selection of Nigerian adverts celebrating its independence and original artwork from some of the rare original Nigerian 45s on which this music was first (and only ever) released. The heavyweight gatefold 2xLP comes with full sleevenotes and download code.

File Under: Jazz, African, Calypso, Highlife

shadrach

Various: Shadrach: Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Volume 9 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Stag-O-Lee present Shadrach: Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers Volume 9, the ninth volume in their successful Exotic Blues & Rhythm series. Amazing and danceable tunes from the late ’50s and early ’60s – a handful of Popcorn dancefloor smashes, a few grinding tittyshakers and awesome rhythm & blues – most of them with an exotic twist. Twelve songs on a nice 10″ vinyl. Features: Jay Abbott, Chance Halladay, Johnny West, The Ken Jones Orchestra, Merle Kilgore, Oberia Martinez, The Rhythm Kings, Dorsey Burnette, Billy Duke, The Cords, The Wanderers and Little Walter.

File Under: Exotica, Blues & Rhythm

tremblin

Various: Tremblin’: Steamy & Atmospheric Female R’n’B Vocals (Pancho) LP
Pancho Records presents Tremblin’ – Steamy & Atmospheric Female R’n’B Vocals. Sixteen never-before-reissued tracks of the sexiest and coolest atmospheric female R’n’B. Compiled and designed by Jordi Duró. Features tracks from: Byrdie Green, Yvonne Baker, Carol Hall, Barbara McNair, Lula Reed, Wini Brown, Dolores Gibson, Berna Dean, Paula Grimes, Donna Dee, Ruth Brown, Bettye Smith, Oberia Martin, Johni Naylor and Dora Hall.

File Under: RnB

…..Restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Dorothy Ashby: Afro-Harping (Cadet) LP
Dorothy Ashby: The Rubaiyat of (Cadet) LP
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Touch & Go) LP
Blood Orange: Freetown Sound (Domino) LP
Brother Ah: Sound Aware (Manufactured) LP
Brother Ah: Move Ever (Manufactured) LP
Brother Ah: Key to Nowhere (Manufactured) LP
Busta Rhymes: The Coming (Get on Down) LP
Anthony Child: Electronic Recordings from the Maui Jungle Vol 1 (Editions Mego) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
El-G: Mauve Zone (Nashazphone) LP
Genius/GZA: Liquid Swords (Get on Down) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Hole: Live Through This (Geffen) LP
Konstrukt/Akira Sakata: Live (Holidays) LP
Konstrukt: Live at Tarcento (Holidays) LP
Lumineers: Cleopatra (Dine Alone) LP
Majical Cloudz: Are You Alone? (Arts & Crafts) LP
Metallica: And Justice For All (Blackened) LP
National: Boxer (Beggars) LP
Pavement: Wowee Zowee (Matador) LP
Pavement: Terror Twilight (Matador) LP
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (4AD) LP
Porcupine Tree: Up The Downstair (Kscope) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Go Beat!) LP
Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet (Def Jam) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Like Clockwork (Matador) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze (Music on Vinyl) LP
Velvet Underground: s/t (MGM) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
Various: Brand New Wayo (Razor & Comb) LP

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…..news letter #754 – back…..

You may have noticed a lack of update last week, or maybe you didn’t…. well there wasn’t one. I was away. But I’m back and this week’s list contains everything in from last week and this week, which still isn’t THAT much, but that’s ok, cuz there’s some real gems this list…

…..picks of the week…..

expo 70

Expo 70: Exquisite Lust (Sonic Meditations) 2LP
Originally released on CDr in 2006 with Kill Shaman and quickly caught the eye and ears of Aquarius Records in San Francisco. With the help of carrying the CDr release, Wright produced around 650 CDr’s to keep with the demand of Aquarius’ review from their list no. 243. “Gorgeous drifting ethereal krautrocky ambience is what Expo ’70 is all about, and eyes closed, you’d be hard pressed to not think this was some Ash Ra Tempel disc or some long lost A.R. and The Machines lp. Crafted entirely from guitars, sitar and Moog, each track here is some sort of lengthy, mesmerizingingly blissed out minimal drone jam. Guitar figures are looped into hypnotic cycles, over shimmery whirls of fuzzy sound and distant drones, the looped riffs slowly shifting and gently changing shape. It’s almost like some sort of new age space rock Steve Reich.” Aquarius couldn’t have summed up the etherial mystique around Wright’s developing project better. Newly mastered after being out of print since 2009, this classic album finally graces 2 LPs, both in limited editions on Sonic Meditations. Gatefold tip-on jackets, gold 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Kosmiche, Psych, Ambient
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rose.jpg

Jack Rose: Dr. Ragtime & His Pals
Jack Rose: s/t
Jack Rose: I Do Play Rock and Roll 
(3Lobed) LP

John Coltrane died at age 40, and in retrospect it seems as if the intensity of activity in his last years, the sheer torrent of notes, was an attempt at purging the music from his soul before it was too late. The guitarist Jack Rose died at 38, in 2009, and listening back to his catalog one has a similar notion. Like Coltrane, Jack Rose’s last years were marked by a shimmering intensity, an outpouring of his spirit, onto audiences and records. I believe Jack Rose felt the duty of preservation but was by no means bound by it. With his virtuoso fingerstyle technique and restless guitar explorations–modal epics, bottleneck laments, uptempo rags–it’s easy to hear a connection to tradition and at the same time a pulsing modernism: “ancient to the future” in the words of chicago’s association for the advancement of creative musicians. Ultimately, it’s no use attempting to explain the unexplainable (natural disasters, god, art, death). as the air gets heavy before a thunderstorm, Jack Rose’s vivid guitar picking awakes in us a peculiar awareness, something ancient and american. Jack Rose’s work exists along the established continuum of american vernacular music: gospel, early jazz, folk, country blues and up through the post-1960s “american primitive” family tree from John Fahey and Robbie Basho and outward to other idiosyncratic american musicians like Albert Ayler, the No-Neck Blues Band, Captain Beefheart and Cecil Taylor. His process can best be heard as an evolution; renditions of songs would transform over time, worked out live, with changes in duration, tempo or attack, in the search for a song’s essence.

Dr. Ragtime & His Pals marks Rose’s step into the world of group interplay with versions of his standard repertoire arranged for a band. in its finished form, it exists as a sort of “party record” within his discography. Highlights are raucous and many, including “Linden Avenue Stomp,” “Knoxville Blues,” the spiritual “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” and Sam McGee’s “Buckdancer’s Choice.” In assembling this album, Jack chose musicians with distinctive personalities and their own personal connections to old-time music; people he could learn from. His …pals rotated often and in this case include the banjo player Mike Gangloff (Jack’s old accomplice in Pelt as well as the Black Twig Pickers), Micah Blue Smaldone on guitar, Glenn Jones on guitar, Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers) on washboard, and philadelphia legend Harmonica Dan (“Knoxville Blues”). The result is a late night back porch jam session, fueled by whisky, friendship, and a shared love of the old weird american music found on forgotten 78s.

Rose’s self-titled album was originally released in 2006 on the arCHIVE label, and later reissued as a CD two-fer with Dr. Ragtime and His Pals. It contains a combination of studio and live recordings. Jack Rose is marked by a sense of forward momentum, the result of several years of constant playing, with fresh versions of a number of previously attempted songs. Blind Willie Johnson’s spiritual “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground” is manipulated into a wailing slide-guitar lament. “Levee” pops like a warning. “St. Louis Blues” (in this and its several other incarnations across his entire catalog) is a good example of Jack’s innate sense of swing, a crucial characteristic of his playing perhaps lost on some of his fingerpicking followers. The centerpiece of the album, however, is the nearly sidelong “Spirits in the House,” which begins with tentative weeping glissandos, and slowly reveals itself as a stately fingerpicked blues meditation.

I Do Play Rock and Roll, the title a mystifying nod to Mississippi Fred McDowell’s electric period, finds Jack Rose in extended drone mode, coaxing open-tuned raga meditations from his 12-string guitar. “Calais to Dover” first appeared on Rose’s classic Kensington Blues in a somewhat truncated form. The version heard here is more expansive and open-hearted, a waxing-and-waning piece of introspection. “Cathedral et Chartres” shares the same quiet romanticism, with rotating patterns and the chime of open strings. “Sundogs,” the sidelong drone abstraction that occupies Side B, stands alone among Jack’s solo work. A long-form live rendition of a track that appeared on the genre-defining triple album compilation by the fruits you shall know the roots, it is perhaps most evocative of Pelt, Jack’s previous band, a minor-key free drone, with only miniscule dynamic shifts and the occasional recognizable string accent. It is territory Rose seldom traveled but completely and fully invigorating.

Jack Rose was a larger than life man with a hearty spirit–a no-bullshit gentleman–and his death continues to reverberate among the community of musicians and music people he called friends. This spirit, as evidenced within his recorded output, has proven to be indomitable and continually vital. –Scott McDowell, May 2016–

Three Lobed’s 2016 reissues on LP are pressed on 140 gram dutch vinyl by Record Industry. housed within old style Stoughton jackets. Released in connection with Jack Rose Estate.  Accompanied by download coupons for DRM-free digital files of the downloader’s choice.

File Under: Folk, Blues, Guitar Soli

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…..new arrivals…..

92982

William Basinski: 92982 (Temporary Residence) LP
Recorded in 1982 and eventually released in 2009 on CD via William Basinski’s own 2062 label, 92982 has become one of his most celebrated works. Finally available on vinyl for the first time, the album has been remastered from the original master tapes, and packaged in an exquisite custom die-cut package with interchangeable heavyweight inner sleeves featuring previously unpublished artwork and photographs from 1982. “You can’t help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point? Whatever the reasoning, we’re certainly reaping the benefits of the influential ambient composer’s stockpile, and 92982 proves to be a real highlight in his output of recent years. Despite the minimalist essence of Basinski’s oeuvre there’s a pronounced sense of variety, diversity and depth at work in these four tracks, with each taking on its own specific persona. Essential.” – Boomkat

File Under: Ambient
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bitter fictions

Bitter Fictions: Jettison (Shaking Box) LP
Calgary’s Devin Friesen is the mastermind behind local label Shaking Box Music, which shines a light on Calgary’s noisier side of sound, and puts out some ambitious avant-garde, psych and drone recordings from many acts. His newly released Jettison, under his solo moniker Bitter Fictions, is a seven-song collection of nebulous noise, self-recorded in a library basement. This solo effort shows ingenuity in practice, because it’s just one guy and his guitar. However, the ideas that emanate from the meditational ambience shine through. Friesen balances precarious notes atop indistinguishable sources of feedback and resonance. Of course we have a loop pedal, we have all the standard modulation found in this style, such as reverb and delay among others, but the shivers, quakes and pulverizing blasts of distortion are unique to say the least, especially because of the limited instrumentation. Witnessed during a performance at 2016’s Sled Island, one way Friesen alters his guitar’s sound was on display. He places a drumstick beneath his guitar strings and uses another to prod, poke, caress and bang on the former, creating dense vibrations that create a foundation for anything he wants to lay over top. And the result? Calming and introspective drone-scapes replete with sporadic layerings of melody.

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Guitar
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blood orange

Blood Orange: Freetown Sound (Domino) LP
Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange is set to release Freetown Sound, his third proper full-length album, and the most expansive statement of his career. Written and produced by Hynes, Freetown Sound is a tour de force, a pastiche of Hynes’ past, present, and future that melds his influences with his own established musical voice. For well over a decade, Hynes has proven himself a virtuoso of versatility, experimenting with almost every conceivable musical genre under a variety of monikers. After moving to New York City in the mid-2000s, Hynes became Blood Orange, plumming the oeuvres of the city’s musical legends to create a singular style of urgent, delicate pop music. Freetown Sound, which follows 2011’s Coastal Grooves and 2013’s breakthrough Cupid Deluxe, builds upon everything Hynes has done as an artist, resulting in the most expansive artistic statement of his career. Drawing from a deep well of techniques and references, the album unspools like a piece of theater, evoking unexpected communions of moods, voices, and eras. Freetown Sound derives its name from the birthplace of Hynes’ father, the capital of Sierra Leone. Thematically, it is profoundly personal and unapologetically political, touching on issues of race, religion, sex, and sexism over 17 shimmering songs. Each song echoes into another, with leitmotifs carefully stitched throughout, yielding a sound palette that gently recalls elastic funk, slinky R&B, and pure pop, but resisting easy categorization. For Hynes, the process of self-discovery involved in creating Freetown Sound proved as valuable as the finished product. “This record really tries to say things that I’ve been wanting to express for many years,” he says. “It looks into my childhood and examines who I am at this point in my life. There are so many crazy layers to it that it’s actually quite hard to talk about it, but the record is very reflective of how my brain works. It’s been very interesting for me trying to understand and tie all of these things together. It’s been a way of working through it.”

File Under: Indie Funk/Soul, Electronic
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pills

Blues Pills: Lady in Gold (Nuclear Blast) LP
The young American-Swedish-French quartet Blue Pills create a very unique, intense and extraordinary rock atmosphere while at the same time having a major mainstream appeal that takes you right back to the time of the band’s ancestors like Aretha Franklin, the original Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Cream. The multi-national sensation returns in August 2016 with their eagerly awaited second album Lady In Gold. Just as it’s highly successful predecessor Lady In Gold was once again produced by Don Alsterberg (Graveyard, Division of Laura Lee, Gonzalez, Jerry Williams). Commented singer Elin Larsson on the choice of the album’s title: “Lady gold is a character who symbolizes death. We wanted a twist on the typical stereotype of death being the grim reaper. So instead we made her a lady in gold.”

File Under: Blues Rock, Stoner Rock
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brotherhood

Brotherhood Of Lizards: Lizardland (Captured Tracks) LP
By late May of 1989, Cleaners from Venus man Martin Newell and Peter Nice aka Nelson finished their first album, Lizardland, and handed it over to upstart indie Deltic Records. Though there is a fair amount of Cleaners from Venus DNA in the mix due to the charms of the definitely lo-fi recording methods, the music of the Brotherhood of Lizards has a sharp sound all its own. And, the story doesn’t stop there. Towards the end of 1989, label head Andy McQueen, who knew Newell’s aversion to touring, asked if there was any possibility that the duo might go on a promotional tour. Newell replied, “Only by bicycle.” Soon after, whilst studying a map of England and its regional radio stations, it struck Newell that a bicycle tour might be a real possibility. Thus, amazingly, in early October, the two set off on bicycles, instruments on backs, tiny amps in front carriers, for a 600-mile busking tour of the entire southern half of England. The media became unexpectedly interested. More through sheer eccentricity than eco-activism, at the turn of a turbulent decade, the Lizards had unwittingly hitched a ride on a brand new zeitgeist. They were called “The First Eco Rock Band” and the tour became the subject of a number of news items. As 1990 rolled around, however, there was one big problem, for Newell at least: while the Lizards cycled and busked, an EMI employee saw Nelson on TV and thought he would be great replacement bass player for New Model Army. Nelson attended and passed the New Model Army audition and stayed with that band for well over two decades, although it spelled the end of the Brotherhood of Lizards. In spring of 1990, almost two years after they had begun, it was all over. They traveled over a thousand miles on bikes, busked their way around England and made all of the music contained here in this collection.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Indie Rock
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butler

Will Butler: Friday Night (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Will Butler returns with Friday Night, an album of live performances from the tour in support of his solo debut album, Policy. Recorded mostly at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on June 4, 2015, Friday Night includes five brand-new songs, five from Policy, and two songs he wrote for The Guardian newspaper last year. Capturing the energy of the dynamite Will Butler band was the major inspiration for this release. Miles Arntzen (EMEFE, Antibalas) played drums (standing up at a full kit – he didn’t use a hi-hat pedal, so he could stand on that leg while working the kick drum with the other), Julie Shore played synth bass, and Sara Dobbs played synth leads and Mellotron pads. Everybody sang backing vocals. Will wrote of the album: “Think of this as a comedy record. In some ways literally – Brooklyn comedian Jo Firestone does the introduction and the “solo” in “Friday Night” – but also, it’s an album based on working out ideas in a room full of people, playing off their energy and expectations. It’s about taking complicated emotions and wringing communal joy from them, and then translating that joy onto record. So here you go!” Featuring artwork by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson, Friday Night is the perfect companion to Policy and an exciting look ahead to what we can expect from Will Butler in the future.

File Under: Indie Rock, Arcade Fire

carter

Tom Carter: Long Time Underground (3Lobed) LP
A man in a crisis, Faulkner once wrote, always falls back upon what he knows best. Three summers ago, Brooklyn-via-Houston guitarist Tom Carter was in crisis. On tour in Europe with his pioneering psych-folk unit Charalambides, Carter was stricken with pneumonia, complications from which impelled doctors in Berlin to place him in a medically induced coma. Family members, bandmates and lovers of otherworldly music everywhere watched and waited during the six weeks Tom spent in the intensive care unit and the additional month in a rehabilitation facility. Sighs of relief were exhaled throughout the worldwide warrens of underground music when Tom finally returned to New York in August 2012, convalescent. The steady stream of outstanding recorded music Tom Carter has released over the last two years, both solo and collaborative, suggests a man more than returned to form—falling back on what he knows best, but somehow better. Tom Carter’s new solo album, Long Time Underground, is nothing short of stunning. While Carter shrugs off suggestions that long time underground represents some sort of sea change in his approach to making music, this (along with its companion post-illness release, Numinal Entry, on Halatern) comprises his first solo work this decade. Long Time Underground, moreover, is the first solo studio recording Carter has ever done. Long Time Underground is almost unsettling in its purity. A collection of fractal guitar études, the album is comprised mostly of composed material—some of which was written in the studio, some worked out in performance over the past few years. Each song was set down live without overdubs, and the result is an almost confessional intimacy. Although even long time fans may be startled by the sheer completeness of the worlds Carter manages to summon with a single guitar recorded in real time. The shock, I think, is the emotional clarity of the work. The album eschews the searching, exploratory (sometimes aimless) quality typical of latter-day psychedelia because it always seems so assured of precisely where it is headed. This may, of course, be attributable to the predominance of composed over improvised material on Long Time Underground. But it may also be the emotional groundedness of a man long detained from friends and loved ones and so possessed of immensely richer sense of home. As aesthetically and emotionally complete a musical experience as you are likely to have all year, Long Time Underground is simply the work of man, mortal but still illuminated. –Brent Sirota–

File Under: Ambient, Guitar Soli
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copeland

Eric Copeland: Black Bubblegum (DFA) LP
Black Bubblegum is the newest LP from Eric Copeland, and we are not kidding when we emphasize it sounds like nothing he has done in the past. The title of the record says it all: chewy, sticky pop that doesn’t taste quite like any chewy, sticky pop you’ve had before. Recorded at Copeland’s old practice space in South Williamsburg, Black Bubblegum contains songs with more conventional sounds and songwriting than any of his previous releases. While there are similarities with Copeland’s earlier work in the drum patterns, major scales and vocals, Black Bubblegum moves away from his trademark psychedelic dub towards strange and fantastical pop; imagine Arthur Russell going into the studio with the Ramones. Wanting to take a more “hands on” approach to these recordings, Copeland exchanged sample-driven tech and hardware for keyboards, guitars and effect pedals, creating a new sound that is oddly easy to digest despite its rejection of melody in favor of discord and dissonance. For a long time, Copeland considered this collection of songs to be recordings which would never be heard. This invariably influenced certain decisions made during the creation of Black Bubblegum, blessing Copeland with the unique freedom that comes from making music never intended to be heard, let alone released. When asked about what influenced this new album and sound, Eric replied “glam holes, glitter dreams, money troubles, apocalypse paranoia, one hit wonders, manifest destiny, my family’s westward migration, body troubles (was passing kidney stones almost the entire time), LGBT disco parties, Jonathan Richman, Missing Foundation, Neil Diamond, New Orleans, poverty, getting pushed out of another Brooklyn neighbourhood…No Beach Boys, no Beatles, no Buddha…More Bad News Bears.” Copeland has been sound clashing at full volume for over twenty years, first carving out a named for himself as one third of the legendary NY-via-Providence band Black Dice. A wildly prolific solo artist, Copeland has played shit houses, party palaces and seemingly everything in between all over the world. A long time Brooklyn, resident, Eric recently relocated to where the L Train does not run – Palma de Mallorca, Spain. While maintaining a relatively humble and low key presence in a highly competitive musical world, he has releases a prolific amount of music every year through indie labels such as L.I.E.S., Escho (Iceage), PPM (No Age), Paw Tracks (Animal Collective) and DFA.

 File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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damned

The Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette (Chiswick) LP
The Damned’s classic third album Machine Gun Etiquette was issued by a different Damned to that which made 1977’s Damned Damned Damned and Music For Pleasure. They split in early 1978 and guitarist/main songwriter Brian James set off to pastures new. On reforming, bassist Captain Sensible switched to guitar, his main instrument. Rat Scabies and Dave Vanian were back too. Bassist Algy Ward was new, had recently left the Saints and was from Croydon like Captain. The new Damned swiftly picked up momentum, first as Les Punks with stop-gap bassist Lemmy, then the Doomed and finally under their old name. Chiswick Records saw what a live draw they were and picked them up, initially with a one-off deal for the “Love Song” single. It charted. The album followed. It charted too. Issued in November 1979, Machine Gun Etiquette was more than a valediction. A thrilling, wild ride, it took in hyper-speed, guitar-driven pop, psychedelic pop and surreal pop songs drawing from the girl’s comic Bunty and Vanian’s fascination with Hollywood and horror. Pop, though, was what the album was about. Tunes. Whether with the hard-edged anthem “Noise, Noise, Noise” (featuring members of the Clash on vocals; they were recording London Calling at the same studio booked by the Damned), the kinetic “Liar” or the astonishing, atmospheric “Plan 9 Channel 7,” this new Damned prioritized melody. There is no filler here: even the cover of the MC5’s “Looking At You” slotted in without breaking the flow. Machine Gun Etiquette hit shops within weeks of London Calling and Public Image Limited’s Metal Box, both benchmark albums showing how far their creators had moved beyond what had been defined as punk. The same applied to the Damned, who likewise recognized no musical barriers and did what they wanted: the true defining characteristic of punk. They didn’t care about definitions anyway. Which is why this classic, essential album sounds as fresh now as it did in 1979.

File Under: Punk, Rock
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damned black

The Damned: The Black Album (Chiswick) LP
The Damned’s The Black Album was ambitious, even more so than its multi-faceted predecessor, Machine Gun Etiquette. Reviewing the new album, weekly music paper the NME pointed to a Terry Riley influence while Syd Barrett and the Beach Boys were name-checked in Sounds’ review. Thinking of the Damned as a punk rock band was no longer possible. Their fourth album – and second since reforming in 1978 after splitting earlier in the year – was issued in November 1980. It was a double. Sides One and Two featured 11 songs. Side Four included six tracks recorded live at Shepperton Studios in July 1980, one of which was a version of their 1976 debut single “New Rose,” British punk rock’s first record. Side Three was taken up by one song, the 17-minute “Curtain Call.” In four years, the Damned had gone from a short, sharp shock to the epic. While the title was a sideways Beatles’ reference, the Black and the White albums actually were counterparts as each featured songs with diverse styles. The introspective “Silly Kids Games” can be read as a look back at the band’s past. “Wait For The Blackout” had an irresistible forward momentum and an equally memorable melody. “Drinking About My Baby” was the closest to punk that it got. “Twisted Nerve” was imbued with darkness. “History Of The World Part 1” nodded to the Kinks. And then, there was the momentous portmanteau aural drama “Curtain Call,” with its lyrics of “the crack of the whip” and “the snapping sound of someone’s nerves.” The Damned felt they could do anything and The Black Album proved they could. Ambitious? Yes. But also confirmation that the Damned were at a peak which would be hard to reach again.

File Under: Punk, Rock
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death grips

Death Grips: Bottomless Pit (Harvest) LP
Experimental rap-noise duo Death Grips, consisting of Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett and Zach Hill originally formed during late 2010 in Sacramento, CA. In 2014 after releasing four uncompromising full-length albums the group announced their dissolution and that their double set The Powers That B would be their fifth and final record. Now the group returns in 2016 with their surprise sixth album entitled Bottomless Pit. The 13-track, 35 minute affair includes the previously released track “Hot Head” and the recently unveiled “Eh.”

File Under: Rap, Noise
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factoryFactory Floor: 25 25 (DFA) LP
Factory Floor return in 2016 with 25 25, their second album and the follow up to their acclaimed 2013 self-titled debut. With their music stripped to a mesmerising dance of percussion, fragmented voice and melody, it captures the next vital stage in the evolution of one of the UK’s most restless and exploratory groups. The dazzlingly sharp, dubbed-out acid disco of ‘Meet Me At The End’ opens 25 25 in a surge of raw momentum. Both Factory Floor’s sparsest and most overtly club-centred track to date, it sets the tone for the rest of the album. Written and recorded by Gabriel Gurnsey and Nik Colk Void in late 2015 and early 2016, it’s the product of the last three years of intensive musical activity — non-stop live performances, artistic collaborations, writing new music and reconfiguring the limits of their sound. Inspired by playing a growing number of late night club shows, the pair’s music gradually evolved into the sound captured on their second album and in their current live incarnation: a stark, ultra-minimalist and eerily soulful dancefloor pulse, yet one that still bears Factory Floor’s unmistakable hallmarks of hypnotic repetition and jagged, punkish intensity. The close friendships and collaborations they’ve established along the way attest to those connections, among them Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti of Throbbing Gristle/Chris & Cosey, Perc, Optimo, New Order and Simon Fisher Turner. Mixed with razor precision by David Wrench (FKA twigs, Caribou), the results are all the more forceful for that newfound space.

File Under: Electronic, Electro
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gunn t

Gunn-Truscinski Duo: Sand City/Ocean Parkway (3Lobed) 2LP
The best musical partners play as if there is a direct connection between their brains. Steve Gunn (guitar) and John Truscinski (drums) possess that certain ESP / telepathy / majick – whatever *you* elect to call it. We’ve all heard folks whose operate on these otherworldly levels – Sandy Bull and Billy Higgins, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp, Alan Vega and Martin Rev, John Coltrane and Rashied Ali – and know just how special it can be when folks ascend to those sorts of rarefied heights. Over the course of a few short years these men recorded two albums, Sand City (2010) and Ocean Parkway (2012), that captured their unique and private musical language. Originally released as two separate smallish and now long out of print editions, those two albums are now presented within a singular gatefold package. Whether you are a recent convert to Gunn’s lyric and expressive guitar styling or an old-timer who has never investigated this particular corner of his discography, there is a lot to be rewarded by within the confines of both Sand City and Ocean Parkway. The first of the duo’s two albums, Sand City, saw release following a late winter conversation between Gunn and Three Lobed Recordings on a bench in Tompkins Square Park. Old friends who had spent a lot of time playing together both in public (including within the later incarnations of raga dronesters GHQ) and private, Truscinski and Gunn were looking to lay down some of their well-honed compositions in a studio setting. Sand City is informally split into “electric” and “acoustic” sides, both reflecting the duo’s well fluid and expressive style. Ocean Parkway followed quickly thereafter and features a collection of electrifying material honed while the duo was on a 2011 European tour. Gunn’s playing across all of this material, while always truly exploratory and aimed for the stars, takes on the more expansive reach typically reserved for his live performances when anchored by Truscinski’s textured and expressive backbeat. These two albums, while recorded at different times, share such a familiar tone that they seem and feel as if they are two sides of the same coin. Paired together they meld into a seamless listening experience.

File Under: Guitar, Folk
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jesu

Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: s/t (Caldo Verde) LP
Mark Kozelek and Justin Broadrick release their debut collaboration as Jesu/Sun Kil Moon through Caldo Verde Records/Rough Trade. The passionate ten track album is 79 minutes in length and includes guest appearances by Rachel Goswell of Slowdive, Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk of Low, Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, and Will Oldham aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy among others. Home to the beautiful and romantic numbers “Good Morning My Love,” “A Song of Shadows” and “Exodus,” the outfit’s eponymous album will be also supported live with the addition of Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) on drums.

File Under: Indie Rock, Shoegaze
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mingus

Charles Mingus: Blues & Roots (Stateside) LP
Originally released on Atlantic Records in 1960, Blues & Roots finds jazz legend Charles Mingus in full swing leading a stellar big band comprised of the likes of Horace Parlan/Mal Waldron (piano), Jackie McLean/John Handy (alto saxophone), Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone), Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone), Jimmy Knepper/Willie Dennis (trombone) and Dannie Richmond (drums). The soulful 6-track set is as accessible as anything in Mingus’ catalog and finds the maestro and company tackling the blues, gospel and old-time New Orleans jazz with aplomb. “This record is unusual, it presents only one part of my musical world, the blues. A year ago, Nesuhi Ertegün suggested that I record an entire blues album in the style of Haitian Fight Song, because some people, particularly critics, were saying I didn’t swing enough. He wanted to give them a barrage of soul music: churchy, blues, swinging, earthy. I thought it over. I was born swinging and clapped my hands in church as a little boy, but I’ve grown up and I like to do things other than just swing. But blues can do more than just swing. So I agreed.” – Charles Mingus

File Under: Jazz
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nonkeen

Nonkeen: Oddment of the Gamble (R&S) LP
Nonkeen return to R&S Records with the swift follow up to their debut album The Gamble. Oddments of the Gamble is a continuation of the unique, analogue concoctions that formed the first album – very much like a ‘part two’ in many ways. Although it inevitably draws on a similar formula to the previous LP – pensive loops and melodies, sweeping arpeggios, post-rock jams, and rolling nu-jazz breaks – Oddments of the Gamble still stands alone as another statement from the trio despite originating from the same recording session. Fresh listeners will encounter the holistic expressiveness of a substantial and beautifully put together album; while existing fans of Nonkeen can expect another facet of the band to emerge on this record, one that is distinctively more euphoric than that of the hazier, more brooding prequel. Those in possession of their debut album, The Gamble, will require little introduction to the band’s most loyal member, chance. Choosing only their favorite tracks for the debut album The Gamble turned out to be a challenging endeavor: there were still too many for a single album. The only solution, therefore – according to the band – was to make several albums, but this didn’t make things much easier: the next question was which album to release. Refusing to let such matters get the better of them, they agreed to flip a coin: let chance decide and the band would follow, with the winning album known as The Gamble. But the warm reception that followed its release flattered Gmeiner, Frahm and Singwald, encouraging them to make available the collection that had first lost the toss: The Oddments Of The Gamble. After all, everything – just like everyone – deserves a second chance.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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pelican

Pelican: City of Echoes/Live in Poland (Hydrahead) LP
Pelican’s instrumental heaviness was full-formed at birth in 2001 with a monstrous debut that Hydra Head bestowed upon the world. The brutalist forms of metal were long a grounding presence in the songs of Pelican; but in the years leading up to their iconic 2007 album City Of Echoes, the band shed some but certainly not all of the metal tropes that informed their first fruits. An ebullient temperament teases through the guitar work that laces through City Of Echoes from Trevor de Brauw and Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. Pelican’s sharp mimesis of the Takoma ellipsis and the dangling participles of math-rock complication paralleled the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Rodan with a gifted knack for lachrymose celebration. Yet time and again, Pelican’s reprises the violent crack of metal through the heavy riffage of downtuned post-hardcore chug and double-kick blastbeats, making any Pelican song an unpredictable journey. The albums opening cut “Bliss In Concrete” sets the stage with a series of interlocked riffs of crunched guitar and bass, with the stylistic transitions pronounced by the drums of complicated time signatures rapidly changing course only to double up on the snare and kick, only to glide into a pop-punk immediacy of the now. Similarly, the titular track skips to a doleful guitar jangle out of the early ’90s indie-rock playbook, then taking a very Pelican left-turn with a mighty crescendo of galloping hardcore that never seems out of place. Assymetrical by design, City Of Echoes erupts through its kinetic compositions deliberately seeking a panoply of emotional content through melody, harmony, dissonance, and noise. No words necessary for these sermons of jubilation tempered with aggression and consternation.

File Under: Post Rock, Metal
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pharaoh overlord

Pharaoh Overlord: #1 (Hydrahead) LP
Since the inception of the trio Pharaoh Overlord in 2001, they’ve carved up imposing, yet weirdly cozy monoliths erected in the epic desert of original rock and roll. Pharaoh Overlord’s stoner rock klang on their debut 1 is down-to-earth due to sheer weight of the riffs. The light touch and the ease with which Leppänen, Lehtisalo and Westerlund lift the weight of the riffs off the ground and propel them on abysmal orbits works like a magician’s trick, a cathartic sleight of hand. In the case of Pharaoh Overlord, the magic endures.

File Under: Space Rock, Psych
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scientists

Scientists: A Place Called Bad (Numero) 4CD
With a sound that was swampy, primal and modernurban all at once—as much in the tradition of rock n’ roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists’ formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. The themes of getting wasted, driving around in hotted-up cars, being trapped in crap jobs, and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car-wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures to create a sound all their own. “The Scientists proved to me that rock ‘n’ roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and r eal.” —Thurston Moore // “They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What mor e could you ask for?” —Warren Ellis // “The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!” —Jon Spencer

File Under: Post Punk
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sdre

Sunny Day Real Estate: How it Feels to be Something On (Sub Pop) LP
Sunny Day Real Estate’s third album, How It Feels to Be Something On, is now back in print on vinyl, after more than a decade of fetching high prices on the collectors market. In 1997, Sub Pop approached Sunny Day’s members for help in compiling a rarities album. Because there were so few usable tracks, band founders Jeremy Enigk and Dan Hoerner agreed to get together and write some new material to augment the archival songs, but they wound up crafting an entire new album in a matter of days. Without Mendel, who remains with Foo Fighters to this day, Sunny Day reunited to record How It Feels to Be Something On, which Sub Pop released in September 1998. After 2000’s The Rising Tide, the band split, with Mendel continuing his work with the Foo Fighters, though Enigk, Goldsmith, and Mendel did reconvene to record an album under the name The Fire Theft in 2003. Sunny Day Real Estate reunited for a series of shows in 2010. Single-LP jacket with CD-size booklet and download coupon.

File Under: Indie Rock
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tobacco

Tobacco: Sweatbox Dynasty (Ghostly) LP
It’s been almost two decades since baby Tobacco first plugged in a tape deck, popped the top, and found the dark magic that’s fueled so many sonic forays into his genre less bog of beat-blasted hypnagogia and otherworldly-yet-earthen pop. The Pennsylvanian experimentalist has since helmed countless Black Moth Super Rainbow releases, remixed outsiders as offbeat as Health and unexpected as White Zombie, and produced MCs ranging from Aesop Rock to Beck. But it’s on his fourth solo album that Tobacco winds up coining an apt name for his vast empire of moldering electrofied dirt: Sweatbox Dynasty. The new LP – his second for Ghostly International – finds the rural recluse resurrecting an old approach to hack a new path through the muck. This may be his most unintentionally psychedelic and left-field creation yet, full of rhythms that start and stop like a tractor on its last piston, resonating melodies made to fuel transcendental meltdowns, and vocals that hiss, gurgle, and growl. “It’s my baby,” says Tobacco – a disturbing mental image if you overlook the beauty in his decrepit works. A song like “Human Om,” for example, swirls revving analog synths, drum machine clatter, blown-out gong hits, sitar hum, and all manner of unidentifiable noise to create an unexpected sense of calm. It’s an almost trance-inducing space where our host gets touchy-feely in his own way, voice seething, “You can be my light come up in the morning/And I can be your spiral spinnin’ down.” The cheery na-na-na’s and punchy rhythms of “Gods in Heat” similarly contrast against dirging chords and heavy distortion, while “Warlock Mary” swaths a springy funk riff in thick layers of warped tones. Interstitial pieces like “Wipeth Out” or “The Madonna” are exactly that – strange, minimal fuzz bombs that jerk and groove to alien cadences. On an album with no guests, the tape deck is Tobacco’s one true collaborator – the Second Zombie Beatle there to eff up all his prettier inclinations. Like how the sticky coast and thump of “Dimensional Hum” keeps getting derailed by what sounds like a fritzy radio dial, and the stonery dub of “Fantasy Trash Wave” bends and snaps over its slippery breakbeats. “An album of linear songs is just boring at this point,” says Tobacco, and he makes extra good on his promise to innovate ever more crudely with Sweatbox Dynasty’s closer. At over six minutes, “Let’s Get Worn Away” first plays like eleven more songs spliced together at unpredictable intervals – jock jams collide against rap bumps, synthesizer ether, and shadowy electro-pop. But on repeated listens, madness clearly becomes method, as our anti-hero lulls us into a state of intense, earned peace. This time when he stops, he’s got closure, and we’re the ones left with an undeniable urge to dig our hands back into that aural gunk once again.

File Under: Electronic
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walker

Ryley Walker: Golden Sings That Have Been Sung (Dead Oceans) LP
The preceding years have been extraordinary for Ryley Walker. In March 2015, his second album, Primrose Green, emerged to critical hosannas from the likes of NPR, Village Voice, Uncut, and Mojo – in the process, earning admiration of musicians who had chalked up no shortage of turntable miles in Walker’s life. Robert Plant declared himself a fan – as did double-bass legend Danny Thompson, with whom Ryley would later embark on a British tour. A sprawling tour of the USA around Primrose Green presented a perfect chance to workshop ideas for what would eventually become his third studio album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung. On the album, “The Roundabout” represents a symbolic return to Chicago, while other songs are directly wedded to Ryley’s actual return there. Perhaps more than any other song on the record, the somnambulant sun-dappled intimacies of opening track “The Halfwit In Me” most audibly bear the imprint of Ryley’s improvisational sessions with Wilco multi-instrumentalist, Chicagoan and producer Leroy Bach, while “Funny Thing She Said” is an unflinching study of separation set to a shimmeringly supple ensemble performance. Soft, slo-mo explosions of melody intermittently burst through the distant thunder of the verses on “A Choir Apart.” Intriguing, surreal images are meted out by “I Will Ask You Twice”, like a malfunctioning slide projector; and, perhaps best of all, the stunning finale, “Age Old Tale”, which spiders out from an Alice Coltrane-inspired reverie into a sustained rapture that very few artists have managed to achieve.

File Under: Folk
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wye oak

Wye Oak: Tween (Merge) LP
The word “tween” implies a certain, very specific kind of awkwardness, and those implications are rarely positive. But think about it like this: Something “tween” is in the process of becoming something else, and there’s a very specific kind of beauty in that becoming. There’s something rewarding in recognizing and celebrating it – in meeting it halfway. Wye Oak’s Tween is a collection of eight songs born, raised, and almost abandoned for various reasons during the years between 2011’s breakthrough Civilian and 2014’s reinvention-of-sorts, Shriek. Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack described these songs as “not emblematic of a step forward, but a step sideways in time.” In other words, they just didn’t make sense for album number five – which will happen at some point in the future. But just because they didn’t belong there doesn’t mean they don’t belong anywhere. To wedge them onto Shriek would’ve been dishonest; to orphan them would’ve been somewhere on the line between criminal and just plain silly. Now that your expectations are lowered, let’s build them back up, because Tween is full of gorgeous Wye Oak songs whose only crime was timing and context, made by two people at the height of their game. At first these songs sounded too disparate to me to be called an album, but the more Tween sank in, the more it made sense: One minute Jenn and Andy are embracing their floatiest Cocteau Twins instinct (“If You Should See”), the next they’re back in Civilian territory a bit (“No Dreaming”), and later they’re slinky and electronic and gorgeously ‘80s (“On Luxury”). The common thread: These are no castaways or cutouts. In fact, pound for pound, Tween might actually be more directly accessible than Shriek. It should join the pantheon of amazing not-albums of history whose names try to downplay how good they actually are, like R.E.M.’s Dead Letter Office, The Who’s Odds and Sods, maybe even Dinosaur Jr.’s Whatever’s Cool With Me.

File Under: Indie Rock
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xiu xiu

Xiu Xiu: Plays the Music of Twin Peaks (Polyvinyl) LP
Australia’s Gallery of Modern Art commissioned Xiu Xiu to reinterpret the music from Twin Peaks for their David Lynch: Between Two Worlds exhibition. Since then, the band has performed select concerts all over the globe culminating in a proper studio album of the compositions. This is an entirely new interpretation of the music of Twin Peaks; one emphasizing its chaos, drama, fear, noise and sidelong leering glances. Like the show, their music is am alluring cross-talk of jarring signifiers – elusive flirtations with genre, dream logic, dark-lit explorations of sexual deviance – which, taken whole, form an uncomfortable sense, a penetrative, unspoken truth it seemed impossible to arrive at. “The music of Twin Peaks is everything that we aspire to as musicians and is everything that we want to listen to as music fans. It is romantic, it is terrifying, it is beautiful, it is unnervingly sexual. The idea of holding the “purity” of the 1950s up to the cold light of a violent moon and exposing the skull beneath the frozen, worried smile has been a stunning influence on us. There is no way that we can recreate Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch’s music as it was originally played. It is too perfect and we could never do its replication justice. Our attempt will be to play the parts of the songs as written, meaning, following the harmony melody but to arrange in the way that it has shaped us as players.” – Jamie Stewart, Xiu Xiu

File Under: Indie Rock, OST
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earthNeil Young: Earth (Reprise) 3LP
Neil Young’s unconventional new release Earth is a 98-minute collection comprised of 13 live songs from his 2015 tour with Promise of the Real (Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), Corey McCormick (bass), Tato Melgar (percussion), Anthony LoGerfo (drums)) mixed with the sounds of nature. The songs span the breadth of Young’s career and all incorporate an environmental theme including “Mother Earth,” “Vampire Blues,” “Hippie Dream,” “After the Goldrush,” and “Love & Only Love,” plus four tracks from 2015’s The Monsanto Years and the new “Seed Justice” aka “I Won’t Quit.” “98 uninterrupted minutes long, Earth flows as a collection of 13 songs from throughout my life, songs I have written about living here on our planet together. Our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience as well and the animals, insects, birds and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times. “We made a live record and every creature on the planet seemed to show up. Suddenly all the living things of Earth were in the audience going crazy. Then they took over the stage, letting their wild sounds mingle with the Vanilla Singers perfect corporate harmony. Earth’s creatures let loose, there were Bee breakdowns, Bird breakdowns and yes, even Wall Street breakdowns, jamming with me and Promise of the Real. The show was non stop bliss for 98 minutes, no breaks. Earth does not fit on iTunes. It breaks all their rules (and couldn’t all really be heard that way anyway). No one who was there will ever forget the love, wonder and beautiful madness of Earth. I know I won’t.” – Neil Young

File Under: Rock
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celestial

Various: Celestial Blues (BGP) LP
2015 was the year jazz hit the mainstream again. The catalyst for this was saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s 3CD masterpiece The Epic, influenced by the symphonic, spiritually aware jazz of the early 70s. Celestial Blues is a compilation that shines a spotlight on some of the music that may have influenced The Epic. The ten tracks range from the evidently spiritual – such as Gary Bartz’s classic “Celestial Blues” or Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane’s astounding collaboration on “Fire,” to less obvious but just as relevant recordings by drummers Roy Brooks and Joe Chambers. Charles Earland’s contribution bears a remarkable resemblance to “Henrietta Our Hero,” a stand-out track from The Epic, whilst Carlos Garnett and Azar Lawrence’s mix of saxophone, strings and voices could be a template for Washington’s whole sound. The compilation is completed by fine examples of the era’s jazz from Hampton Hawes and Bayeté Umbra Zindiko. And Oliver Nelson’s “Aftermath” is an apt closer.

File Under: Jazz

…..Restocks…..

Avalanches: Wildflower (Astralwerks) LP
Avett Brothers: True Sadness (Universal) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Geffen) LP
Blonde Redhead: Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch & Go) LP
Blonde Redhead: Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (Touch & Go) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Burzum: Belus (Back in Black) LP
Burzum: Filosofem (Back in Black) LP
The Clash: Sandinista! (Epic) LP
The Clash: Give Em Enough Rop (Epic) LP
The Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Darkthrone: A Blaze in the Northern Sky (Peaceville) LP
Darkthrone: Hate Them (Peaceville) LP
Darkthrone: Panzerfaust (Peaceville) LP
Darkthrone: Sardonic Wrath (Peaceville) LP
Darkthrone: Under A Funeral Moon (Peaceville) LP
Miles Davis: Live Evil (4 Men With Beards) LP
Dead Kennedys: Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
El Michel’s Affair: Enter the 37th Chamber (Fat Beats) LP
Alessandro Escovedo: Gravity (New West) LP
Flipper: Generic Flipper (4 Men With Beards) LP
Jose Gonzalez: Veneer (Mute) LP
Steve Gunn: Boreum Palace (Three Lobed) LP
Lauren Hill: Miseducation of (Universal) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Blue Spirits (Blue Note) LP
Kayranada: 99.9% (XL) LP
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) LP
M83: Junk (Mute) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Neon Indian: Vega Intl. Night School (Mom & Pop) LP
Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: In Person (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: The Soul Album (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: Live in Europe (Sundazed) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Refused: Shape of Punk to Come (Epitaph) LP
Andy Shauf: The Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
The Smiths: Hatful of Hollow (Rhino) LP
The Smiths: Louder than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Scott Walker: Tilt (Drag City) LP
Walker Brothers: Nite Flights (Music on Vinyl) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP

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…..news letter #753 – south…..

Another nice stack of new wax in this week, perhaps if you are actually in town with nothing else to do, you’ll make it in for a dig. We’ve been pricing up some sweet used LPs as well.

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…..pick of the week…..

Cosmic_Dead_Rainbowhead_BRR306_large

Cosmic Dead: Rainbowhead (Blackest Rainbow) LP
The Cosmic Dead return with their first full length album since 2014’s Easterfaust. For the uninitiated The Cosmic Dead are a quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, making some of the best raging freak out psych right now. ‘Rainbowhead’ is a brand new LP, featuring four tracks of spaced out, heavy psych formed from insane chugging bass, trippy synth blasts, krautrock infused metallic guitar riffin’ and furious cascading drum cycles. The band’s constant positive vibes have led to them touring all over the UK and Europe, playing the prestigious Liverpool Psych Fest and the band are due to play Psycho Festival in Las Vegas in August alongside Sleep, Candlemass, Yob, Mudhoney, Death and more. ‘Rainbowhead’ follows records on Cardinal Fuzz, Evil Hoodoo, Who Do You Trust?, Sound of Cobra and some of the best underground labels around. The band said: “A few days before appearing at Cry Parrot’s ‘Music Is The Music Language’ Festival in Glasgow, The Cosmic Dead journeyed north to a remote cottage near Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands of Scotland. Isolated from technology and with the help of focaccia aficionado & sound engineer Luigi Pasquini, we recorded sounds wrought from the textures and folds of the surrounding landscape clasping its craggy links to the Inner Sea. A place we call Rainbowhead.”

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

beak

Beak: Couple In A Hole OST (Invada) LP
Soundtrack written by Geoff Barrow, Billy Fuller & Matt Williams to the Tom Geens directorial debut and psychological drama: Couple In A Hole. Film has an advanced level of nationwide and EU distribution. Geoff Barrow has a long history of scoring films (Ex-Machina, Exit Through The Giftshop etc). BEAK> have been touring the UK promoting the film with DJ sets and Q&As alongside the cast at various cinemas and theatres throughout the UK.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, OST
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bell

Sandra Bell: Dreams of Falling (Straight to Video) LP
Sandra Bell’s debut album Dreams of Falling is an experimental tour de force that ranges from ethereal sound collage to poetic industrial noise. Originally released as a cassette on New Zealand’s Xpressway label in 1991, the record also features Peter Jefferies (This Kind Of Punishment), Peter Gutteridge (The Clean, Snapper), Alastair Galbraith (The Rip), Kathy Bull (Look Blue Go Purple), and David Mitchell (3Ds). It is at once a deeply personal work and a nodal point, focusing the inspiration of predecessors like The Raincoats and This Heat and projecting it into the future. Essential listening for any NZ underground music fan.

File Under: Art Rock, New Zealand
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car seat headrest

Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial (Matador) LP
With Teens of Denial, his first real “studio” album with an actual band, Will Toledo moves from bedroom pop to something approaching classic rock grandeur and huge (if detailed and personal) narrative ambitions, with nods to the Cars, Pavement, Jonathan Richman, Wire, and William Onyeabor. Teens of Denial refracts Toledo’s particular, personal story of one difficult year through cultural touchstones such as the biography of Frank Sinatra, the evolution of the Me Generation as seen in Mad Men and elsewhere, plus elements of Eastern and Western theology. The whole thing flaunts a kind of conceptual, lyrical, and musical ambition that has been missing from far too much 21st-century music. Horns, keyboards, and elegant instrumental interludes set off art-garage moments; vivid vocal harmonies follow punk frenzy. The selfish captain of the capsized cruise liner in the Mediterranean in 2013 becomes a metaphor for struggles of the individual in society, as experienced by one hungover young man on the verge of adulthood. Teens of Denial was produced by Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Beat Happening, Soundgarden) at his studio in Seattle from July through September 2015. This is the first full album of new music from Car Seat Headrest released on Matador Records. “One of the most exciting records we have ever heard, hands down…Staggering…The kind of record I could see a generation from now people still being obsessed with.” — NPR All Things Considered

File Under: Indie Rock
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William Fowler Collins & James Jackson Toth: Under Stars and Smoke (Blackest Rainbow) LP
Under Stars and Smoke is the soundtrack to an imaginary landscape wherein various “actual” locales are thematically superimposed atop one another to suggest new, alien terrain. Both the New Mexico-based William Fowler Collins and the Kentucky-based James Jackson Toth find a great deal of inspiration in their adopted home regions: While Collins translates via mighty drones the vast, occasionally unforgiving mesas of the American southwest, Toth bends and blends the sounds and textures of traditional bluegrass and mountain music. Complete with frame-worthy “pastoral psychedelia” cover art by visual artist Claudia X. Valdes, Under Stars & Smoke is an album as explicitly American and distinctly postmodern as the maverick artists who created it. James Jackson Toth (b.1978) is a writer, recording artist, and musician currently based in Kentucky. He appears, under the moniker Wooden Wand and in countless collaborations, on over a hundred records, and in 2015 founded, with his wife Leah, the experimental label Footfalls Records. William Fowler Collins (b.1974) is a composer/musician and recording artist whose work explores and synthesizes both musical and extra-musical elements. Collins has released music on the SIGE, Type, Handmade Birds, Daymare, Digitalis and Root Strata labels. Current projects include collaborations with Aaron Bradford Turner and Raven Chacon (in Mesa Ritual).

File Under: Folk, Drone

cosmic dead

Cosmic Dead: Inner Sanctum (Evil Hoodoo) 2LP
There are an elite bunch of musicians in this world who aren’t happy writing the usual songs we’re all used to. You know… a verse, bridge, chorus and some nice lyrics all packaged up in 5 minutes or under. For some musicians this is way too pointless and boring and instead of mainly entertaining the listener, they insist on taking them on a cosmic trip. Hailing from Glasgow, The Cosmic Dead are a member of this elite bunch and play what I like to call mind blowing space rock. They have been smashing out brain melting jams since 2010 and as they mainly record live their releases arrive thick and fast. Inner Sanctum is their 2013 opus which is now out available as a limited coloured 2LP, it contains a mere 4 tracks but comes in over the 70 minute mark…. Woohoo! It kicks off with ‘Gustav Björnstrand’ a psychedelic jam chock full of rhythmic lashes with all kinds of wonderful guitar tones flying about. There are also trippy synth noises and incomprehensible retro voice samples which keep it all sounding fresh and vibrant. It puts a barrier between your brain and the real world and makes you feel like your floating away to somewhere awesome and possibly magical. If you like bands like Earthless, Carlton Melton, White Hills and Eternal Tapestry… you’re in for a right treat.

File Under: Psych, Space Rock
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cotten

Elizabeth Cotten: Vol 2 – Shake Sugaree (Folkways) LP
Originally released in 1965 Elizabeth Cotten’s second album Vol. 2 Shake Sugaree is another gem featuring her idiosyncratic, self-taught upside-down left-handed guitar playing, plus banjo. The song “Shake Sugaree” is a folk classic featuring her great granddaughter Brenda Evans on vocals. This is an absolutely essential collection from an American folk legend.

File Under: Folk
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betty

Betty Davis: Columbia Years (Light in the Attic) LP
BACK IN STOCK! One can hardly imagine Prince, Erykah Badu, or Outkast without the influence of Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can’t be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music. Betty penned the song “Uptown” for The Chambers Brothers and wrote the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty’s career would be her unbending DIY ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn’t fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal. In 1968, she married Miles Davis and quickly influenced him on the magic of psychedelic rock along with introducing him to Jimi Hendrix—personally inspiring the classic album, Bitches Brew. Miles and Betty fans have long debated the truth of a near mythological session recorded in Studios B and E at Columbia’s 52nd Street Studios on May 14th and 20th, 1969. The landmark session was produced by Miles and Teo Macero and featured Betty on vocals, accompanied by Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, guitarist John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock on keys, and Dylan/Miles session bassist Harvey Brooks. Other players included bassist Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys), saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and organist Larry Young. Now, Light In The Attic, with full support from Betty herself, presents these recordings to the public for the very first time. These historic sessions—never heard, never bootlegged—predate Miles’ revolutionary album, Bitches Brew, and are the true birth of Miles’ jazz-rock explorations, along with the roots for Betty’s groundbreaking funk that came years later, starting with her self-titled debut in 1973. While, ultimately, these recordings would go unreleased for nearly half a century, they would greatly shape each of their careers. The vibe is intrinsically unique, fresh, and futuristic—jazz heavyweights playing psychedelia, rock, and jazz-fusion long before the term became commonplace. The songs include Betty originals and covers of classics by Creedence and Cream. The concepts explored on these previously unheard sessions fueled concepts that wouldn’t be fully realized until years later with Miles’ seminal On The Corner. Additionally, included here is the first time rerelease of a 1968 Columbia single, recorded in October 1968 at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles. The session was produced by Jerry Fuller and featured South African maverick Hugh Masekela on trumpet and arrangements, plus members of jazz-funk pioneers The Crusaders—including trombonist Wayne Henderson and pianist Joe Sample. Two of the three tracks included here from this session are previously unreleased. This deluxe package is a treasure trove for both Betty and Miles fans, including rare documents from the pen of co-producer Teo Macero, rarely seen photos from legendary photographer Baron Wolman, and new interviews with Mrs. Davis herself, Harvey Brooks, and Hugh Masekela—the entire project overseen with Betty’s full blessing.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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day dead

Day of the Dead: Terrapin Station (Suite) (4AD) 12″
A limited edition four-song 12” from the Day Of The Dead compilation featuring members of Grizzly Bear, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo and Bryce Dessner of The National. The Grateful Dead’s ‘Terrapin Station’ was the first time the Dead unveiled a more symphonic and progressive sound. To compliment the full recreation of the ‘Terrapin Flyer’ section, Bryce Dessner expanded the piece with an additional two minutes of original composition.

File Under: Indie Rock, Grateful Dead
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deadc

Dead C: Trouble (Ba Da Bing) LP
“There’s a reason why our relationship with The Dead C is Ba Da Bing’s longest running. It’s not because they are the hardest working band we’ve ever met. It’s not because they are the largest selling band we’ve ever released. It’s not because we’re inspired to support our local music scene. “Yes, there’s definitely a reason… please give me a minute… oh, ok, I got it (just put on this record). Like every time I hear their recordings, I’m reminded that they are one of the greatest rock bands to ever pick up a guitar and attempt to play it wrong. Listening to The Dead C causes me to think differently. It brings up emotions with which I’m otherwise un- familiar. It strikes to the essence of my being and reveals what otherwise remains hidden. I take solace in knowing that one out of every thirty of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. “On the spectrum of The Dead C’s sound output, Trouble could very well be seen as springing from the same realm as the massive “Driver UFO,” one of the band’s greatest tracks ever, off Harsh 70s Reality. There’s a youthful aggression here, a churning anger, deadened by pounding drone. Much like H70s, this record serves as a gateway drug— if you were ever looking for an album to play to a newbie curious about experimental rock, this would be it. The visceral strength of their per- formance trembles out of the speakers. The magnificence of their stamina survives each album side. “We are in a creative highpoint for the trio at the moment. Bruce Russell has just released a captivating solo album on Feeding Tube, while Michael Morley’s solo project Gate just put out a release on MIE. Robbie Yeats has been performing of late as backup for Alastair Galbraith. The fact that there are still means to commute between Lyttelton and Port Chalmers on the South Island of New Zealand means these three can still find time to get together, and allows for what we have here today. And it’s fucking glorious. ’’

File Under: Experimental, Noise, Rock
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zoo

Galactic Zoo Dossier #10 Magazine
After a four-year wait, “the world’s greatest psychedelic underground hand-drawn pro-zine” is back, and celebrating it’s 10th issue and 20th anniversary. Features sixteen interviews with legends like Arthur Brown, Comus, Edgar Broughton, Shirley Collins, Peter Daltery of Kaleidoscope, Judy Dyble of Fairport Convention, Jesse Hector, and others. Also included is a cassette compilation with unreleased music from Comus, Bang, Broughton, Richard Pinhas, Dyble, Michael Yonkers, Red Square, Daltrey, Michael Chapman and others.

File Under: Psych, Magazine

gibson

Luke Gibson: Another Perfect Day (Mapache) LP
Recorded in 1971, “Another Perfect Day” is Luke Gibson’s first solo album. A veteran of the garage blues group Luke and the Apostles and the psych pop Kensington Market, Gibson now turned his focus inwards to produce one of the best (and most underrated) singer-songwriter albums to be released in Canada in the 70’s. These sessions were produced by Gene Martynec (of Kensington Market) and capture all the raw emotions of a musician at the peak of his career. Another Perfect Day is an unsung gem; sauntering through folk, country, and rock to create a wholly unique and enjoyable salt-of-the-earth experience.

File Under: Folk, SSW
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goggsGoggs: s/t (In The Red) LP
Chapter Two: We find our man stumbling through the darkness in the garden of illusion and fame. Chris Shaw smokes the microphone while Ty Segall and Charles Moothart trade lizardian licks and skin hits. Guest GØGGS include Cory Hanson, Mikal Cronin and Denée Petracek. Ten tracks of misanthropic noise to bring home to mom’s house on fire. Boots to your face after the high speed chase, Then! A death trip down memory lane. The lead actor dies first and the shotgun shooter flashes chipped teeth. Created in Los Angeles in the middle of the summer of 2015: three years of planning, thirty days of writing, one week of ripping. A severed finger on the button, the player ends the game. Final notice has been served.

File Under: Rock, Ty Segall
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graham

Davy Graham & Holly: Godington Boundary (Acme) LP
Davy Graham needs no introduction here, as he is one of the UK’s most influential and legendary guitarists. Drawing on influences as diverse as folk, jazz and blues, “Godington Boundry” is one of his later classics, which has (incredibly) been out of print on vinyl for decades. Taken from the original analogue studio master tapes. “With his unorthodox playing style, Davy Graham exploded onto the 1960s folk scene to become one of the UK’s most influential guitarists. Drawing upon diverse folk, jazz and blues influences Davy flew in the face of what was then deemed commercial, recording a string of critically-acclaimed albums that reflected his exotic tastes. Revered by his peers as much for his guitar prowess and for his musical integrity, he is widely credited as the founder of ‘baroque folk’ and broke new ground when he introduced elements of what might now be termed ‘world music’ into his work. In keeping with the records Graham made for Decca, “Godington Boundry” is an unashamedly esoteric blend of the influences dear to his heart. As well as takes on the perennial ‘Worksong,’ then-contemporary covers of the Beatles’ ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ and the Incredible String Band’s ’Everything’s Fine Right Now,’ jazz standards such as ‘Round Midnight’ are also featured. Tabla player Kesh Sathe contributes his mastery to ‘Afta’ and ‘Nadu Silva,’ and Holly Gwyn lends her stunning vocals to ‘On Green Dolphin Street’ and the rousing ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.’ Enjoying cult status for a new generation of fans, Davy Graham’s mystique endures and he remains one of the UK’s foremost guitar greats.” Import edition limited to 250x copies.

File Under: Folk, Jazz, Guitar

hurly

Michael Hurley: Bad Mr. Mike (Mississippi) LP
A new LP by the great Michael Hurley! Michael is one of the world finest and most prolific songwriters – and he’s still cranking out hits. The well is far from dry. This LP features home recordings with Michael on guitar, banjo and organ. Sublime and sometimes a little strange – a new classic for the ages. Songs include the Kentucky 3 – a beautiful instrumental medley of songs evocative of Kentucky, Charona – a great banjo ballad, Tender is the guitar – a mournful organ driven ballad, Boone and Jocko – a longstanding favorite epic from Michael’s live sets on record at last, Cuckoo Rock and Lo Bonney – two unique rewordings of traditional ballads, Dragging the Indian – a stark instrumental, and much more. Don’t sleep on this work of genius. Cover art by Michael himself.

File Under: Folk

lost river

Johnny Jewel: Lost River OST (Italians Do It Better) 3LP
Original score by Johnny Jewel, with additional music from Glass Candy, Chromatics, Desire, and Symmetry. Triple LP pressed on 180-gram opaque purple vinyl and packaged in thick, full-color pocket sleeves with stills from the film.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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lindstrom

Lindstrom: Windings (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Received a Best New Track rating from Pitchfork for “Closing Shot.” Like one of his endlessly building tracks, Hans-Peter Lindstrom is only moving further upwards. The Norwegian space-disco wizard’s new EP, Windings, is three tracks of that now-classic sound closely associated with Lindstrøm’s name: skyward synths, effervescent rhythms, and melodies that spiral beautifully into the great unknown. This is Lindstrøm in the zone—and if you’ve been paying close attention over the last decade, it’s a zone he’s never left. Recorded over the past year, Windings represents Lindstrøm’s latest crystallization of the aesthetic that the greater world was introduced to on the 2006 compilation It’s a Feedelity Affair, as well as the tangy pop of 2012’s masterful Smalhans. This isn’t to say Lindstrøm’s repeating himself—far from it, in fact. Windings finds our arpeggiator-obsessed hero refining an aesthetic that already sounded perfect—a zenith that, much like the music itself, hits new peaks even when it seems that there’s no more ceiling to breach.

File Under: Electronic, House
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miminokoto

Miminokoto: Otomejima No Otome (Blackest Rainbow) LP
Brand new LP from Japanese psych blues rock trio of Shimura Koji (Acid Mothers Temple), Suzuki Junzo (Overhang Party, Astral Travelling Unity), and Takuya Nishimura (Che-SHIZU and formely of Suishou No Fune). Any self respecting Japanese underground fan should be ready for some killer cuts here. For the uninitiated, this trio creates some great garage soaked psych blues, with some wild guitar action and vocals from Junzo, solid drumming from Koji, and classy bass from Nishimura. Edition of 250 copies pressed on 180 gram pink and white swirl vinyl packaged in full colour sleeve with UV gloss finish.

File Under: Japanese, Psych
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mary

Mistress Mary: Housewife (Companion) LP
Songwriter and multi-careerist Mary Afton recorded exactly one album of music in late 1968 at Darrel Cotton’s Ion Studio in the Hacienda Heights area. The session was led by Cotton and steel guitarist Carl Walden and several players sat in over the course of the 5 days it took to record including Walden, Clarence White & early rockabilly artist Johnny Redd. The group worked out most songs on the fly with Mary strumming out the songs on guitar and the band riffing off her. Brilliantly packaged with lush glamour girl photo front and bored housewife pics back (and with hand-penned liners introducing herself as a “Wife – Mother – Civic Leader – etc. – Artiste”), 500 copies of the album were cut as a demo and maybe 50 of those were sent out as promos to industry folks (she saw to it that one of these copies made its way to Elvis Presley). Walden & Cotton thought the world of Mary and encouraged her efforts but after a year or two of little response she moved onto one of her many other careers (these include stints as an auto mechanics instructor for women, running a class on female self-defense, belly dance instruction and a lucrative multi-year gig as a disco dance instructor). With her earnings Mary bought a beautiful ranch style home in Southern California where she lives to this day alongside four generations of daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters. When she’s not attending to the needs of her grandchildren and great grandchildren she’s throwing huge 500+ people pool parties in her backyard with a view.

File Under: Folk, Country
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ohsees

Thee Oh Sees: A Weird Exits (Castle Face) LP
Emerging from the distant light is the new double-LP from John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees—the first studio recordings to capture the muscular rhythm section of twin drummers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon with ringer bassist Tim Hellman cracking spines. The groove and bludgeon one has come to expect from the band’s live shows is captured seamlessly here—they go from zero to head-splitter, and on the rare occasions they do let up on the gas a bit, you’re treated to some locked-in hypnotizers, too. The guitar sounds more colossal and ethereal at the same time, riding roughshod over the vacuum-sealed rhythm section, spiraling skywards, and diving into the emerald depths so quick your guts tingle. Synths, strings and smoke-soaked things crawl behind the scenes to make an extra far-out party platter, served on 45 RPM plates for most excellent listening quality. With amazing visuals (including a side-D etching by airbrush-van-art maestro Robert Beatty) and packed in vape-proof goatskin, it’s a beast and, come August 12th, it can be yours should you so choose.

File Under: Garage, Punk
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tp0004c_Double_Gate_Cover_only

OST: Altered States (Waxwork) LP
Waxwork Records is thrilled to release the deluxe LP re-issue of Altered States. Directed by Ken Russel, the film focuses on Professor Edward Jessup’s (William Hurt) research conducted in isolation tanks under the influence of psychoactive drugs like mescaline, ketamine, and LSD. The film is also the film debut of actors William Hurt and Drew Barrymore. Waxwork’s new release is a deluxe re-issue of the now classic 1980 score by Pulitzer Prize winning, Oscar winning, and five time Grammy winning composer, John Corigliano. The audio has been sourced from the original masters, and this new LP re-issue has been officially and enthusiastically approved by the composer. The album artwork is created by Australian artist duo, We Buy Your Kids, and the heavyweight old-style gatefold jacket features a deluxe Glitter Coating. Exclusive liner notes have been provided by composer John Corigliano and are featured on a 12”x12” insert with artwork by We Buy Your Kids. The re-mastered-for-vinyl Grammy nominated score has been pressed to 180 Gram Purple and Violet “Hallucination” Swirl vinyl and sounds incredible.

File Under: OST
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baskin

OST: Baskin (Invada) LP
Invada Records are proud to present Ulas Pakkan’s soundtrack to the highly anticipated and award winning cult Turkish horror film ‘Baskin’. The soundtrack has picked up nearly as many accolades as the film itself. Baskin first screened at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11th 2015, and is being compared to ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ for its theme of childhood and dreams, plus its lavish use of blood and gore. The soundtrack can be compared to Daft Punk’s ‘Tron’, Cliff Martinez’s ‘Drive’, Clint Mansell’s ‘Requiem For A Dream’, but with a unique Turkish flavor.

File Under: OST, Electronic
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castlevania

OST: Castlevania (Mondo) 10″
Available for the first time on vinyl, the original soundtrack to the NES classic Castlevania. Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the beloved franchise, Mondo are proud to present a physical release to the iconic first chapter that started it all. Featuring original artwork by Becky Cloonan.

File Under: OST, NES
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dead ringers

OST: Dead Ringers (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to present the premiere Vinyl release of a true classic of 1980’s thriller scoring, Howard Shore’s soundtrack for David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. The Film tells the story of Elliot and Beverly Mantle, identical twins who operate a fertility clinic that provides for their twisted relationship; Elliot seduces patients then passes them onto the less confident Beverly, but their world is literally split when Beverly falls in love with one of them embarks on a self-destructive journey of obsession and drug addiction. Its classic Cronenberg, and when you get that you also get classic Shore. Shore’s score is deceptive at first, with a main title orchestrated for 50 strings and 3 french horns to create a beautiful yet mysterious atmosphere. He continues with this palette, adding a single oboe to echo the 3 horns’ opening theme, an underscores both relationships with a sense of subtlety and melodrama. However, Shore constantly uses the string orchestra to represent the sinister, pervading through the otherwise normalcy. It’s typical subversion from Shore and Cronenberg, and approaches the operatic tones a more mainstream audience are used to from the composer. But things happening under the surface is what Dead Ringers is all about – and why its such an enduring classic in score and picture.

File Under: OST
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hannibal

OST: Hannibal Season 3 Volume 1 (Invada) LP
Hannibal Season 3 soundtrack is taken from the final Hannibal NBC TV series. Brian Reitzell is known for his work with Kevin Shields on the Lost In Translation Soundtrack, also being the drummer in ‘Air’, and previous soundtrack work including ‘30 Days Of Night’ (film) and ‘Watch Dogs’ (game). The soundtrack features contributions from Siouxsie Sioux and Marc Almond.

File Under: OST
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hannibal1OST: Hannibal Season 3 Volume 2 (Invada) LP
Hannibal Season 3 soundtrack is taken from the final Hannibal NBC TV series. Brian Reitzell is known for his work with Kevin Shields on the Lost In Translation Soundtrack, also being the drummer in ‘Air’, and previous soundtrack work including ‘30 Days Of Night’ (film) and ‘Watch Dogs’ (game). The soundtrack features contributions from Siouxsie Sioux and Marc Almond.

File Under: OST
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parrish

Paul Parrish: The Forest of My Mind (Mapache) LP
Arranged by Mike Theodore and prolific guitarist Dennis Coffey—who later worked together on Rodriguez’s Cold Fact—1968’s The Forest of My Mind is a solid dose of soul-soothing mellow tunes, rich with captivating pastoral odes. The album is a unique synthesis of pop, folk and psychedelic sounds flecked with a touch of Donovan Leitch-like whimsy, all steered into righteous and refined waters by future Motown staff producer Clay McMurray (Gladys Knight & The Pips, David Ruffin, The Temptations, the Four Tops) and aided by the wizened influence of the Motor City’s R&B/soul session-men of the era. Despite the awe-inspiring sounds this near-masterpiece is bursting with, the album didn’t receive the accolades it rightly deserved in its day (due to some unfortunate flightiness from the original issuing label). One listen to the grandeur of The Forest of My Mind will have you singing the same tune as project producer McMurray: that the world must see how “simply wonderful this hidden jewel is.”

File Under: Soft Rock, Psych
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horror zone

Max Romeo: Horror Zone (NuRoots) LP
Max Romeo has teamed up with UK based, Grammy Nominated Producer Daniel Boyle; to create a stunning return to form, Roots Reggae album with accompanying Dub versions. ‘’Max is noted for his critically acclaimed work with Lee Scratch Perry in the 1970’s, and for his timeless classic songs penned over the last 50 years – Such as ‘War ina Babylon’ ‘Melt away’ ‘one step forward’ and the worlds most sampled reggae song ever -‘’Chase the Devil’. Picked up by artists such Jay Z, Kanye West, The Prodigy and Blockbuster hit movies. Max and Daniel have teamed up with an all-star cast of musicians to create a true Part 2, to Max’s legendary; ‘’War Ina Babylon’’ album. Using strictly Studio equipment ranging from between the 1950’s – 1970’s, recorded and mixed in 100% analogue format, and presented with stunning artwork in Physical format. Among the line-up of 12 musicians we have: Glen Da Costa (Bob Marley and the Wailers / Black Ark Upsetters) on Saxophone. Vin Gordon (Studio One / Black Ark Upsetters ) on Trombone Robbie Lyn (Black Ark Upsetters) on Keys Dorit Chrystler (Marilyn Manson, The Strokes, Dinosaur jr) On Theremin Lee Scratch Perry – backing vocals, percussion and effects Hornsman Coyote – (Back on the controls) On Trombone Hughie Issachar – (Back on the Controls) Bass / Guitar Puraman – (Lost Ark Music) Drums

File Under: Reggae
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simone

Nina Simone: Philips Years (Verve) 7LP Box
Nina Simone’s combination of classical training, smokey-alto vocal delivery and the influence of modern jazz made her a novel and inspiring jazz singer and instrumentalist. And her very name is synonymous with the passion, talent and raw emotion that she put into every note she sang and played. The Phillips Years is a fine collection of seven albums released by Simone during her tenure on the label from 1964-1967. Simone’s albums covered topics as diverse as romance, politics, Broadway, civil rights and more. The essential recordings included in this package areNina Simone in Concert (1964), Broadway-Blues-Ballads (1964), I Put a Spell on You (1965), Pastel Blues(1966), Let It All Out (1966), Wild is The Wind (1966) and High Priestess of Soul (1967). All albums comes pressed on 180 gram vinyl and are housed in a limited edition box set. Individual LPs also available.

File Under: Jazz
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skullflowerSkullflower/Voltigeurs/Black Sun Roof: Split (Blackest Rainbow) LP
Brand new three way split featuring 3 projects from Matthew Bower and Samantha Davis. ‘Hexenturm’ from Voltigeurs is a vortex of basement black metal terror, caaried by furious percussion buried beneath layers of metalic riffs and distortion. This leads directly into Black Sunroof’s ‘Pal Beach Violation’, with a crushing distorted layers of guitar and effects. The flip is Skullflower’s ‘PSH’, a tribute to one of the finest actors of our generation. ‘PSH’ is a much more psych-upped affair than the previous tracks, but remains layered in metaliic effects and swirling dark cosmic tones. It’s an interesting listen to have three spearate projects performed by the two core performers, but each have different styles, sounds and approaches. Pressed on 180 gram red vinyl in an edition of 333 copies packaged in full colour UV gloss sleeve.
Play at 45 or 33. Includes download

File Under: Experimental, Noise
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fanstastic

Alex Somers: Captain Fantastic OST (Invada) LP
Invada Records are proud to announce Alex Somers’ (Jónsi & Alex/Sigur Rós) original score to Matt Ross’ (American Psycho) latest film “Captain Fantastic”, starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord Of The Rings). The soundtrack also features contributions from Jónsi (Sigur Rós). The film has debuted to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival this year, with The Guardian calling it “heartfelt, comedic and gorgeous”. Appropriately, the soundtrack beautifully mirrors the story’s strange, otherworldly settings with Somers creating a score that is at once delicate yet haunting, fragile and moving to conjure up a gorgeously ethereal atmosphere. The soundtrack will appeal to fans of Sigur Rós.

File Under: OST, Sigur Ros
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starship

Starship Commander Woooo Woooo: Mastership (Left Ear) LP
“How are you doing, Earthling?” That’s how Omer Coleman, Jr. addressed his public in the 80s, driving around Kansas City, Missouri in the electric space-car built especially for his alter ego Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo. Left Ear Records went back to Coleman’s original master tapes for their vinyl reissue of the Commander’s 1981 private press album Mastership, a lost electronic funk classic. Coleman performs in an alien voice that comes not from electronic filtering but from his own natural vocal distortions. This visitor from Mars wants people to be happy and, like his song goes, “Laugh and Dance.” It’s an endearing and very personal space-age funk that blends George Clinton and Kraftwerk in a vision of a better and happier world. Born and raised in Kansas City, Coleman was musically inclined from an early age. His parents couldn’t afford to buy him a real drum for orchestra, so he took up electrical wiring and wood shop instead, which fed his muse in a different direction. Omer built enormous speaker cabinets. In the late ‘70s he was a DJ, and ran a Mobile Disco business that took him across the country, hosting parties. After a trip to California, he came back to Kansas City inspired to dress up as Commander Wooooo Wooooo. The future commander began working at the Armco Steel Mill in Kansas City when he was 18. He was inspired by older machinists who demanded perfection in their work and in their character. It was while he was working at the steel mill that Coleman came up with Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo. One day coworker John Manley came up to Coleman with a vision of an electric car, and built it. His coworkers built all of his equipment, from lighting and fog machines to big steel eyeglasses. Coleman’s sister, a seamstress, created his outfits. Coleman started his own label in 1985 but took some time off from music to raise his children, and when they came of age his son recorded with Coleman as a gospel vocalist. When his son was killed in an auto accident in 2004, it took something out of him, and he stopped making music. But he’s starting to get the feeling again. Now 62, he’s currently enjoying his retirement from a long stint with the IRS. The former Commander is in the middle of a house project where he’s using metal ceiling tiles to line his walls. It’s starting to look like a spaceship. Coleman promises, “There is a real good possibility that we have not seen the last of Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo!”

File Under: Electronic, Funk, Private Press
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suicide1Suicide: Alan Vega & Martin Rev (Superior Viaduct) LP
After crystallizing a reputation for confrontational live performances and releasing their essential debut LP, Suicide went into the studio to record their stunning follow-up. Producer Ric Ocasek lends a pop sensibility to the band’s sound, constructing an atmosphere at once light and catchy, yet still crazed and venomous. Originally released in 1980 on ZE Records, Alan Vega Martin Rev features an array of glistening keyboards and early preset rhythm machine sounds whose harsh simplicity suggests the discreet zones and confined movements of urban life. While his vocal treatments are more refined than before, Alan Vega is still cool as ice, visceral and evocative. Superior Viaduct is honored to present Suicide’s under-appreciated second album. For the first time since its initial release 35+ years ago, this vinyl release includes the original track list and artwork. If there can be a quintessential New York band, it is without a doubt Suicide.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Synth Pop
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shigeoShigeo Tanaka: Yumi Kagura (Em) LP
“Deep session! It is rare to hear folk music from Japan in such beautiful fidelity and incredible dynamics. This recording is intensely gorgeous and hauntingly disarming. This should open up a whole new world of adventurous listening for folks outside (and inside!) Japan.” – Brian Shimkovitz (Awesome Tapes From Africa)  “Sounds absolutely great! Super interesting and engaging.” – Ben (UFO) “Just Give Me That Old Time Religion, It’s Good Enough For Me.” – Japan Blues A hotline to the gods! Kagura is a thousand-year-old form of Japanese Shinto sacred music and dance, accompanying the chanting of myths; the word “kagura” can be translated as “god-entertainment”. Passed down over countless generations, the music is rare and recordings even rarer. Shigeo Tanaka was a master of the yumi (bow), an uncommon single-string percussion instrument, which is a true bow: arrows are fired off at the end of each ceremony to fend off evil sprits. The instrument is difficult to play; it’s hard to draw out the proper sound and maintain the rhythm. Yumi Kagura is the oldest of all the various forms of Kagura. The Tanaka family, based in rural Jōge-cho, Hiroshima prefecture, has passed down this yumi kagura tradition for hundreds of years; this lineage continues to this day in the person of his daughter Ritsuko Tanaka. The Jōge-cho yumi kagura, which prays for family well-being, bountiful crops and good fortune, was designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1971. The piece featured here, “Takusa saimon”, based on the myth “Ama no iwato” (The Rocky Celestial Cave), is mesmeric, reaching back across ages to the time before time, with Tanaka’s voice and yumi, accompanied by flute and metal percussion, drawing us closer to the primal activities of the gods. Listeners may find affinities with aspects of musics as diverse as German electronic minimalism like E2-E4, certain Ethiopian music, “spiritual jazz” and more, all tapping into the deep root of forever. Previously available only on a ridiculously obscure 1991 cassette release, Yumi-kagura is the first collaborative release by EM Records and Riyo Mountains, a Japanese folk song research team. Available on LP and CD, with the CD featuring a bonus track: “Inagahachiman jinja yumi kagura hōnō” recorded in 2016 by Tanaka’s daughter and successor Ritsuko Tanaka.

File Under: Japanese, Folk
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tenementTenement: s/t (Deranged) LP
On the heels of 2015’s highly praised double-LP masterpiece, Predatory Headlights, comes a new 12-inch by the Wisconsin punk outfit Tenement. This self-titled record includes the five newly remastered tracks from the band’s recent limited tour cassette, as well as two new unreleased songs. From day one, Tenement has incorporated myriad influences into their polychromatic sound, and no single release fully represents their musical identity. Like most of their works, Tenement showcases a new side of the band—one that’s a little less punk and a little more pop. It’s a sound that’s been poking its way through the group’s decade-long tarp, finally stretching a hole large enough to crawl through. Here lies yet another piece to the ongoing Tenement puzzle, one many fans hope they won’t be solving anytime soon.

File Under: Punk
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hangman's bluesVarious: Hangman’s Blues (Iron Mountain) LP
From the people who brought you ‘Hillbillies In Hell’… Grim tales of jailbirds, cutthroats, cuckolds, executioners, murderers and popcorn-dusted escapees. Prison ballads form part of the historic lifeblood of Country music and saw a distinct resurgence after the May 1960 execution of controversial convict Caryl Chessman. Here Iron Mountain Analog Research presents 16 of the very best, many seldom heard since their original release (often on obscure, microscopic or private-press labels). Running the gamut from smooth balladeers of woe to ramshackle and plaintive backyard rockabillies, The Hangman’s Blues features fevered declarations of innocence, profound diatribes on capital punishment and mournful odes to that Last Mile. Years in the making – The Hangman’s Blues will chill, thrill and bedevil the dreams of all who hear it. Originally issued on forgotten 45s, some of these sides are indescribably rare and are reissued here for the very first time. All in one handy LP package.

File Under: Folk, Country

soul segaVarious: Soul Sega Sa! (Bongo Joe) LP
In the 17th century, slaves were deported from Africa, Madagascar and the pristine islands of Mauritius, Réunion and the Seychelles in the South Western corner of the Indian Ocean to work on coffee and sugar cane plantations. They gathered secretly to escape their daily woes by singing, dancing and beating rhythms. This gave birth to the Afro-Malagasy-inspired sega, or (t)chega music. During the course of the 19th century, the Creole population’s gradual adoption of Western instruments and traditional melodies of old Europe (quadrille, waltz, polka, schottische, romance, mazurka) together with the cultural impact of hired workers from India, laid the foundation for contemporary sega. This crossroads of influences kept expanding, especially in the 50s, when the first gramophones hit the market and all sorts of records were played, from pop to jazz, soul, rock and roll, and even Cuban and Brazilian music. For sega music, this hailed the beginning of an intense period of creativity which would linger on into the 60s and 70s when amplified instruments appeared and violins and accordions were replaced by electric guitars, bass guitars, drums and keyboards. Record production boomed, an abundance of micro-record labels emerged and immensely talented arrangers honed their skills. These included Marclaine Antoine, Gerard Cimiotti, Eric Nelson, Claude Vinh San and Narmine Ducap, who went on to explore the many facets of sega. Psychedelic keyboards, fuzz guitars and bouncy bass lines came to complement the manic ternary polyrhythms of drums, ravannes, bongos, claves, triangles and maracas, and created a unique style. FolkWelt and Bongo Joe Records have carefully selected and compiled some gems from this golden age of sega from Mauritius, the Seychelles and Reunion.

File Under: African, Funk, Soul, World

…..Restocks…..

Aesop Rock: Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers) LP
Marc Barreca: Twilight (Palace of Lights) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
David Bowie: Pinups (RCA) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: Complete Masters (Impulse) 3LP
Cramps: Psychedelic Jungle (Vinylissimo) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Legacy) LP
Deerhunter: Cryptograms (Kranky) LP
Deerhunter: Microcastle (Kranky) LP
Deux Filles: Silence & Wisdom/Double Happiness (Dark Entries) LP
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes (Warp) LP
Jose Gonzalez: Vestiges & Claws (Mute) LP
Fugazi: Red Medicine (Dischord) LP
Goblin: Roller (AMS) LP
Goblin: Tenebre (AMS) LP
Francoise Hardy: Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: La Premier Bonheur Du Jour (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: Mon Amie La Rose (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: L’amite (Future Days) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
K. Leimer: Closed System Potentials (Palace of Lights) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Carrion Crawler (In The Red) LP
Om: God is Good (Drag City) LP
OST: La Planet Sauvage (Superior Viaduct) LP
OST: Ninth Gate (Silva Screen) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Radiohead: I Might Be Wrong (XL) LP
Stereolab: Cobra & Phases Group (1972) LP
Stereolab: Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1972) LP
Subrosa: More Constant Than… (Profound Lore) LP
Suicide: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Tragically Hip: Up to Here (Music on Vinyl) LP
Tragically Hip: Man Machine Poem (Universal) LP
Kurt Vile: God is Saying This to You (Mexican Summer) LP
Woods: City Sun Eater in the River (Woodsist) LP
Various: Heartworn Highways (Light in the Attic) LP/CD
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP

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…..news letter #752 – hike…..

What better way to fill the dog days of summer, than a massive stack of new wax! It’s been a busy week around here, with shipments and buying up used records. Needless to say, the bins are stuffed and waiting for your fingers to do some flipping.

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…..pick  of the week…..elg

Elg: Mauve Zone (Nashazphone) LP
Since 2004, Èlg (Laurent Gérard) has drawn concentric sound spirals made of musical pipes and entrails. He uses an arsenal of instruments and methods, constantly renewed while building improbable bridges between musique concrete and French song-writing, cartoon-like radiophonic creations and cosmic pop as well as lo-fi Dada-esque experimentation with electronic tentacles. Èlg is half of the electronic botanic duo Opera Mort, and a third of big band trios Orgue Agnes (with the members of Kaumwald) and Reines d’Angleterre (with Jo Tanz and Ghédalia Tazartes). He’s had albums released by Kraak, SS-Records, Lexi Disques, Fonal, Hundebiss Records, and Alter, among others. ?I DIG COSMIC MUSIC WITH ROCKS OFF? anathema to top 40, Èlg is the holy ghost of the new sound. his music deals with the altered state with muscle -> primed on transcendence like naked hug, the fire music of his previous duos or the zap force of his earlier Nashazphone jam ?Capitaine Present 5,? it feels hip to stay forever eternal in the house of mirrors & emerge on the cyclone. coney island baby bataille. there’s a dimensionality of miracles herein, we were born on earth…as humans. Then there’s Èlg, Laurent Gérard -> he’s a love lodge, a sonic native. this is immersion music? climb upward, go down and deep. my fave cosmic strip here is in cool color? the rare moment on this LP when the guitar solo explodes from the narrative ripping a hole in “song.? through the planet of one voice, we hear the inimitable Dylan Nyoukis and the one and only OG Alan Bishop. these heads are perfect jam vehicles to hang with Laurent. Then there’s the paramour lady Catherine Hershey, forever muse?roast tongue. brand new language, brave nu world. this grabs the tusk of Francois Tusques and rides Mother Gong, all glissando and Kobaïan. learned from Shandar and transporting with a freer range Lard Free, organic music that slays all inner city mountains, outer realm gotham. bluer than noon. contempo lone gunman exploratory moderne with the controls set to the heart of love. we’re in the “Mauve Zone”, where is bananafish? hearing is believing. a transport to future analog and digital dialup. call this dude, he’s beyond rap. what a crazy fucking life.? — Matt “MV” Valentine; Guilford, VT; spring 2016.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Left Field
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…..new arrivals…..

5599

5599: Heureusement Que le Sang Seche Vite (Nashazphone) LP
5599 is a new duo featuring France’s electronic improvisation giant Jean-Marc Foussat on EMS Synthi AKS and current golden boy Augustin Brousseloux on electric guitar and alto saxophone. Heureusement que le sang seche vite features 3 tracks where guitar and saxophone interplay with analog synthesizer to create psychedelic, dense and textured soundscapes of aggressive noise onslaughts and moments of bliss. Born in Oran (Algeria) in 1955, Jean-Marc Foussat played in several experimental rock groups before he started a career as a sound engineer in diverse studios which progressed towards recording live improvised music around 1979. He has collaborated with labels such as Incus, Hat Hut, Po-Torch, Rift, Rec Rec, and Celluloid where he recorded a number of songs for Bill Laswell’s seminal Massacre on the album Killing Time in 1981. In 1983, he self-released the groundbreaking Abattage which deserves its position on a pedestal amidst the greatest French improvisation records. Since the 1990s he returned to playing in improvisation groups such as Marteau Rouge, alongside Makoto Sato and Jean-Francois Pauvros, and Aliquid with Sylvain Guerineau. Born in 1999, saxophonist and guitarist Augustin Brousseloux is a young prodigy currently storming the French improvisation underground. At the age of 16, he has already collaborated — live and on albums — with heavyweights such as Noel Akchote, Costes and Jean-Marc Foussat.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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birge

Birge Gorge: Avant Toute (Souffle Continu) LP
Have you ever imagined what a meeting between the Silver Apples and Sonny Sharrock would sound like? In 1974, Jean-Jacques Birgé, one of the first French synthesizer players (ARP 2600) along with Francis Gorgé, virtuoso guitarist, created some unique improvised pop music. The unreleased and flamboyant recordings featured on Avant Toute would be the source for the cult 1975 Défense de album by Birgé, Gorgé, Shiroc before founding Un Drame Musical Instantané with Bernard Vitet. Limited edition of 700 black & white vinyl. 350 gram sleeve. Obi Strip. Insert with photos and liner notes by Jean-Jacques Birgé & Francis Gorgé.

File Under: Electronic, Free Improv
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cage

John Cage with David Tudor: Variations IV (Modern Harmonic) LP
Anything can happen and often does. This is John Cage. A seminal example of indeterminate music from an icon on experimental sounds. It could be argued that there is no more controversial figure in music history as the avant-garde electronic composer. Perhaps best known for his composition “4’33,” which consisted of Cage sitting at a piano for four-plus minutes of total silence, he was both loved and loathed in the ’60s and ’70s as a leading light in avant-garde music and as an entertainingly weird guy who used radios, televisions, live dancers and his own Adam’s apple as instruments in his live performances. Cage’s music blurred the line between music, performance art and visual art in a way that no other composer has before or since. Cage’s performances were often wild one-of-a-kind happenings, and the shows that make up the recording of Variations IV are no different. The fourth in a series of concerts that stretched the boundaries of what music was, IV was designed for a group of performers playing literally anything they could get their hands on. They were also encouraged, if they got bored playing, to do “other activities” in addition to the music. The score consisted of two circles and seven points on a transparent sheet, to be interpreted however the performers saw fit. The end result: a wild album of music-concrete that should sound familiar to fans of the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” – no question Cage’s composition influenced Lennon and Ono’s experiments. Modern Harmonic/Sundazed brings you this gorgeous reissue of John Cage’s masterpiece, Variations IV, pressed on clear colored vinyl and wrapped in restored artwork that captures the unique and strange beauty of this headphone classic. Join the avant-garde!

File Under: Avant-Garde, Electronic, Modern Classical
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clams

Clams Casino: 32 Levels (Columbia) LP
Iconoclast hip-hop producer Clams Casino presents the long-awaited release of his debut album 32 Levels, out July 2016 on Columbia Records. The album includes 12 original tracks and features vocal appearances from an impressive crew of collaborators, including A$AP Rocky, Lil B, Vince Staples, and more. Instrumental versions of every track on the album are also presented here on the second LP. With 32 Levels, Clams expands upon his distinctive musical vocabulary. He lends ballads an otherworldly, percussive sheen; confessional crooning a devastating sense of atmosphere; and trunk-rattling bangers a swaggering menace. It’s a cinematic trip, with an expertly selected cast of characters that rise to the challenge of matching the emotional heft and sonic breadth of the production. Rolling Stone calls Clams a “visionary” and says his “richly textured, poignant sound stands entirely on its own,” while The Guardian deemed him “most likely to change the face of hip-hop.” SPIN calls his work “fascinating and ominously exhilarating.” Born and raised in New Jersey, Clams Casino aka Michael Volpe, began his career as a teenager, sending beats that he made in his mother’s attic to rappers on MySpace. While studying to be a physical therapist, Clams released a free compilation of instrumental versions of his production, the now classic Instrumentals. Featuring Clams’ signature hypnotic, kaleidoscopic beats, Instrumentals quickly earned acclaim and led to close collaborations with the likes of A$AP Rocky, Lil B, Mac Miller, and Vince Staples. His production work has also appeared on albums from The Weeknd, Schoolboy Q, FKA Twigs, A$AP Ferg, Foster The People and Jhene Aiko.

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop
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chupame

Chupame El Dedo: s/t (Discrepant) LP
Chupame El Dedo, from Bogota, Colombia present their self-titled album. Recorded live in the studio, Chupame El Dedo recreates the live performance by delving deeper in grind-core, speed and black metal clichés whilst marrying a tropical rhythm section made of salsa, cumbia, currulao & reggaeton. Tropical disoriented madness, stylistic dislocation and very fast drums.

File Under: Electronic, Latin, Grind
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costes

Costes: Pas Encore Mort (Nashazphone) LP
“Costes has caused me so much trouble. Even today, 25 years after the last time I performed with him, I still have a hard time booking shows because he has not mellowed as I have and the venues are afraid, because of my past association with him, that there will be piss, shit, violence, genitalia, racial tension, cops, etc. Costes has caused himself so much trouble. He’s been taken to court five times over his art, received countless death threats. When’s the last time you can think of that ART has been taken so seriously — as a life and death matter? And he perseveres. I think Costes is extraordinary. He ostentatiously thumbs not only his nose, but every single body part external AND internal, at any authority there is. Pas Encore Mort, a re-release of a 1997 CD, is uncharacteristically introspective, pretty, and sad. It is unsettling to see the man behind the gross warrior exposed, vulnerable, alone. I love and hate this album.” — Lisa Carver, Maine, U.S., April 2, 2016. Born in 1954, Jean-Louis Costes is possibly France’s most transgressive and independent artist. He is a musician, singer/songwriter, performance artist, painter, writer, actor and director. His highly expressionist trash style is instantly recognizable no matter which mode of expression he adopts. A unique and uncompromising artist, Costes has released over 70 albums since 1986. His songs are mostly recorded in his home studio and display very raw explicit lyrics, with music alternating between rock, pop and noise. He is renowned for his infamous “Porno-Social” Operas, which can be described as an explosive mix of live music, theater, violent actions, sex, noise, chansons, romanticism, mysticism and social issues. He has toured Europe, North America and Japan. In the late 1990s, he began publishing his own texts, and since 2003, has authored four novels.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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FUR104LP_PRODCrotaphytus: Acanthosaura (Further) LP
Robert Witschakowski takes a break from rewiring the rules of electro with his prolific The Exaltics project to deliver the eerie soundtrack album, Acanthosaura. Working with Nico Jagiella – with whom he co-runs the Solar One label – the pair have created the soundtrack for a world of flickering shadows, dark ambient textures and ominous bass tones. It’s the first Crotaphytus release in six years and according to Witschakowski, a project stemming from his love of reptiles and movie soundtracks. Like previous Crotaphytus releases on Solar One, Acanthosaura is a deeply atmospheric affair. With each track title a reference to different types of lizards, from the death-paced drums of “Cyclura Cornuta” to the slow-motion ebm-disco groove of “Xenosaurus Platyceps” and the murderous subs of “Caiman Latirostris”. In between, the dark ambient passages of “Conolophus Subcristatus” and “Amblyrhynchus Cristatus” as well as nods to The Exaltics’s spaced-out electro in “Iguana Delicatissima”. However, Robert insists that the album remains true to the project’s ethos: “Crotaphytus is always dark and haunting. The project has no rules and that gives us the total freedom to make everything with it. I make also different styles with The Exaltics, but I have a concrete vision every time. With Crotaphytus, we let it flow and see where we land at the end. For this album, we tried to create an atmosphere like you are in a deep jungle, chased by giant lizards. Ambient has really the power to transport feelings. I guess this is subliminal in us from watching films. Most soundtracks have a lot of music without beats, so we collected tracks with beats and also ambient ones.” You can hear the sound of the jungle at night as “Xenosaurus Platyceps” draws to an end or on the dusky dread that sets in on album closer “Amblyrhynchus Cristatus”. “I’m a sucker for atmospheric music. I need to imagine things by hearing music. Other worlds, fantasy, come down from a daily struggle. I could say half of Crotaphytus, the atmosphere, that is me, and the other half, is the power Nico gives to the project,” he points out. Mastered by Alden Tyrell & cut by Christoph Grote-Beverborg at Dubplates & Mastering. Artwork by Chloe Harris. 180 gram vinyl & reverse board jacket.

File Under: Electronic, Dark Ambient
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descendents

Descendents: Hypercaffium Spazzinate (Epitaph) LP
On their first album in 12 years, vocalist Milo Aukerman, drummer Bill Stevenson, guitarist Stephen Egerton, and bassist Karl Alvarez channel an energy just as raw and jittery as in their earliest days – a time when the band was driven by the equally mighty forces of “rejection, food, coffee, girls, fishing, and food.” Born from the all-for-one spirit that’s forever fueled the band, Hypercaffium Spazzinate returns to the frenetically catchy sound that launched a generation of pop-minded punk acts and continues to widen the Descendents’ following around the world. The band’s first Epitaph Records release since 1996’s Everything Sucks, Hypercaffium Spazzinate began taking shape soon after the Descendents surfaced from extended hiatus for a series of gigs in 2010. With Milo now living in Delaware, Karl and Bill in Colorado, and Stephen in Oklahoma, the album came to life over a three-year period in which the band sent tracks back and forth and occasionally met up in Karl and Bill’s adopted hometown of Fort Collins. With Hypercaffium Spazzinate featuring the classic Milo cartoon as its cover art – this time, he’s got his head affixed to a lab flask in an attempt to “synthesize some bonus caffeine,” as Milo explains – the album finds the band both honoring their past and living fully in the moment. “Since the dawn of rock-and-roll every band’s tried to pretend they exist in the age group of 18 to 35, no matter how old they get,” says Karl. “But this band’s very honest about the fact that we’re not teenagers anymore.” Still, thanks in part to their enduring legacy within skate culture and punk communities, the Descendents maintain a vitality that’s amply reflected on the new album. “Each time we make a record it’s almost like the first time all over again,” adds Bill. “There’s a quote from Ornette Coleman about how the song is the territory, and what you do with the song is the adventure. We’re definitely still going on all these little adventures together.”

 File Under: Punk
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dinojr

Dinosaur Jr.: Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguwar) LP
In tomorrow…? Let’s face facts: in 2016 it is remarkable that there’s a new Dinosuar Jr. album to go ape over. After all, the original line-up of the band (J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph) only recorded three full albums during their initial run in the 1980s. Everyone was gob-smacked when they reunited in 2005. Even more so when they opted to stay together, as they have for 11 years now (on and off). And with the release of Give a Glimpse Of What Yer Not, this trio redivisus has released more albums in the 21st Century than they did in the 20th. It’s enough to make a man take a long, thoughtful slug of maple-flavored bourbon and count some lucky stars.

File Under: Indie Rock
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dwarvesDwarves of East Agouza: Bes (Nawa) 2LP
Double LP version on 140-gram colored vinyl. Includes download code. The Dwarfs of East Agouza are a trio from Cairo featuring Maurice Louca (Alif, Bikya), Sam Shalabi (Land of Kush, Shalabi Effect) and Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls, The Invisible Hands, Alvarius B.). Born during 2012, the trio’s instrumental improvisation-based explorations are propelled by Louca’s North African percussion loops and shimmering keys, Shalabi’s West African tinged free jazz guitar and grounded by Bishop’s driving Krautrock-style acoustic bass. Following many a late night jam session, the band recorded hours of material during a three-day studio run in April 2014. After compiling and mixing the album in Montreal’s Break Glass studio in July 2015, the refined result is Bes. From the lilt of the four-minute Ethiopian tinged “Resinance” to the 30-minute free-form epic “Museum of Stranglers”, the album skirts the outer limits of a psychedelic soundtrack to a North African road trip.

File Under: World, Electronic, Jazz, Psych
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elmichels

El Michels Affair: Sounding Out The City (Big Crown) LP
“Over 10 years ago, Leon Michels released his first full length record, Sounding Out The City. It was Michels’ first full length record under the moniker El Michels Affair. At the time, the budding retro soul scene consisted of mostly organ quartets a la The Meters and of course, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings were in the early days of their ascent to world domination. Leon Michels, who was 18 when recording Sounding Out The City began, had just released Thunder Chicken, the first record by his high school band The Mighty Imperials. At the time of SOTC, Michels was just discovering early rocksteady, Afro-beat, and ’60s garage rock, which inevitably crept its way into the songwriting. He purchased a Tascam 388, an ’80s 1/4″ reel to reel 8 track intended for home recordings, and began recording music in a 10×10 box with no windows that also doubled as his childhood bedroom. Along with fellow Mighty Imperials Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, and Sean Solomon, and Michael Leonhart, Thomas Brenneck, and some of the musicians from The Dap Kings, Michels recorded the LP over a two year period. Upon its release, it received some rave reviews and the small deep funk community ate it up, but due to the lack luster promotion and distribution the rest of the world was slow to catch on to the instrumental gems featured on SOTC, which Michels appropriately labeled as ‘cinematic soul’. However, in 2005 it found its way into the hands of the people who were organizing a series of concerts for Scion that paired bands with MC’s. El Michels Affair was contacted about playing one show with Raekwon The Chef of Wu Tang Clan fame. The show was such a success it led to a tour, and then to another set of concerts that featured multiple members of the Wu-Tang Clan. This eventually led to the release of El Michels Affair’s second record, Enter the 37th Chamber which introduced them to a much larger audience and has been their most successful release to date.”

File Under: Funk, Daptone
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fireFire #1 Mag
Fire Magazine present their no 1. Issue March/April 2016. In the last few years there has been a resurgence of classic rock and heavy psych. An increasing number of labels are dedicated to stoner rock, doom, heavy psych, sludge, occult, drone, ambient, space rock and other related subgenres. It seems that the past is the new future. People again dig the values of the ’70s and that certain kind of attitude, they like people who can play their instruments, but they also love the spirit, the vibe, the analog recordings, the vintage gear, even the look and the outfits on stage because this is an honest and genuine way to make music. In many hard and heavy magazines, big bands are getting big features, great coverage and long articles. On the other hand there is less written about underground bands. In this magazine, there is less of the usual big names that occupy the spotlight in the glossy, more popular publications. Fire Magazine wants to put in the forefront those very good, valuable bands that don’t have wider recognition. The aim of this bi-monthly magazine is to create a place where fans can find what they like the most. Crafting a well-packaged, well-presented, full-color magazine, with a lot of regular features and in depth surveys, not only interviews and reviews. Fire Magazine chose the name Fire due to its multiple meanings. Fire is energy, fire is purification, fire is the flame of psychedelia, fire is the fuel of rock’n’roll, fire is the spirit that Jimi Hendrix gave his guitar and last but not least Fire is the masterpiece by Arthur Brown, a real pioneer and a godfather of our musical genre. Issue No. 1, March/April 2006 features: Hawkwind (cover story); Fresh Blood (Mountain Tamer – Psychedelic Witchcraft, Zun, Hexvessel, Oranssi Pazuzu, Abysmal Grief, Graves At Sea, Black Rainbows, Blood Ceremony, Church Of Misery, Spiritual Beggars, Sourvein, Mars Red Sky, Holy Grove, Hypnos, Deadsmoke Hounds Of Hasselvander, Blizaro, Black Mountain, 20 Editions Of Roadburn; Arik Roper: The Magic World Of Mushrooms, Come To The Sabbat: Rituals Of Doom, From The Crypt: “Louder Than God”: The story of Blue Cheer, Saint Vitus (commented discography), Perfumed Garden: Angel Witch reissue: (Monster Magnet – Paul Chain); News; Reviews. SIZE: 210mm X 297mm. FILE UNDER: heavy psych, stoner, doom, sludge, occult, dark, ’70s hard rock.

File Under: Magazines, Psych

france

France: Do Den Haag Church (Mental Groove) LP
Mental Groove presents a vinyl reissue Do Den Haag Church from France. Originally released on CD in 2009. The recording is raw and the mastering is fat. The first two pressings made in 2014 and 2015 were distributed confidentially and during the numerous live performances of the band. This pressing features brand new artwork. “France is a French trio that uses drums, bass and amplified hurdy-gurdy. They only perform live, in the middle of the audience – turned to face each other – full on smoke machines and strobes. They play only one ‘song’ for the duration of their hour-long set. And it’s the most transfixing live experience of intense physical and mental focus. The distorted hurdy-gurdy plugs France’s sound into the country’s history of folk music and popular festivities, of communal trance and immersive pleasure. The rhythmic basis is pretty much the same throughout the whole set. One doesn’t need to actually be tripping balls for the auditory illusions to start coming thick and fast. Those who’ve stayed for the whole duration of their performances know they’ve shared something, however disparate the phantom forms each might have discerned in the midst of the howls and groans. Gigs like this you leave feeling you’re not quite the same person who went in, even though you’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint precisely what has changed.” — David McKenna (The Quietus).

File Under: Minimalism, Psych
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guider

MJ Guider: Precious Systems (Kranky) LP
“Precious Systems is inspired and influenced by the landscape in and near New Orleans, particularly the juxtaposition of the natural with industrial and commercial constructs as they reflect life here. The songs on the album attempt to create contrasts of their own as one means to induce unreality or alter perspective. While it is greatly influenced by science fiction, its sounds and stories often become it themselves. The sounds come from a variety of sources, but are anchored by a few aging, outmoded machines. A beloved Rickenbacker 3000 in combination with a Roland R-8 drum machine, and RE-501 tape echo set the tone of technology in subsidence. Melissa Guion is MJ Guider. She lives and works in New Orleans and previously released the Green Plastic extended play cassette in early 2014 on the Constellation Tatsu label. Employing heavy washes of bass and a deft touch in mixing, she uses stark contrasts to construct a semi-surreal aural space. What results are songs that exist in a wholly contained sound environment, minimal yet lush, spare yet saturated, and most importantly, entirely compelling.”

File Under: Electronic, Ethereal
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head tech

Head Technician: Zones (Ecstatic) LP
Not Waving’s Ecstatic label catch Martin Jenkins (Pye Corner Audio) in Head Technician garb for a slippery set of slow, plasmid acid workouts titled Zones. Originally issued on a super-limited tape (2015), presented here on vinyl. Over the years since he first mooted the Pye Corner Audio sound in 2010, Jenkins has used the Head Technician alter ego as a sort of evil engineer Hyde analogous to his day-to-day Jekyll, a sort of “hyperstitious” studio partner in a time-honored tradition of sleeve credits ghost chasing. Where Pye Corner Audio’s pieces may tend to be lustrous and optimistic, the Head Technician’s Zones LP hems to the shadows of the ‘floor with a furtive, noirish quality that works a treat in the right situations, whether sound-tracking gas lamp-lit raves or midnight street patrols seeking out ne’er-do-wells and laudanum dealers. Fired on a classic trinity of Roland TR-606 drum machine with an MC-202 (a beast to program, he admits) and TB-303 to sequence his baselines, it clearly makes explicit reference to the early days of Detroit techno and UK bleep ‘n bass, but the vibe is more anachronistic, out-of-time, possibly thanks to his patented, lagging basslines and slowly unfolding arrangements, bridging that imaginary, dilated gap between fuzzy dancefloor head melt and curtains-drawn next day gouch out. As Martin Jenkins explains : “It’s really satisfying to set up patterns on each machine, let them run and tweak and adjust as the track unfolds. All of these pieces were initially live takes, with just a couple of overdubs and some edits to tighten up the arrangements. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the 202, I can’t get enough of that square wave bass that it does, but it’s such a beast to program.” Includes two previously unreleased tracks that were not included on the tape edition. Vinyl remastered and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Pye Corner Audio
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helm

Helm: Olympic Mess Remixes (Pan) 12″
Limited 12″ (white label/hand-stamped) of two remixes of the Helm album, Olympic Mess (PAN 063CD/LP). Remixes by Beatrice Dillon and N1L.

File Under: Electronic
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higgs

Daniel Higgs: The Fools Sermon, Part 1 (Ideologic Organ) LP
Part 1 of The Fools Sermon as composed by and recorded by Daniel Higgs. Features Eli Winograd on bass and bass keyboard and Fumie Ishii on drums & voice and Higgs on banjo and voice. “Daniel Higgs once told me that the Earth is actually in its 34th life cycle. That everything has been conceived, created, grown, withered and ultimately been destroyed a grand total of thirty three times to date. As for quite how long this ourobouros-esque pattern will continue, he never enunciated. For enunciation is at the very heart of The Fools Sermon. Or I should say ‘Ee-nun-see-a-she-on’, as language in the hands of Higgs becomes a play-thing; syllables coil and retreat as if in eternal competition over the course of this 35 minute address. Anyone versed in Higgs’ vocabulary over his 30 year-plus career as musician, poet and orator, The Fools Sermon will feel like a worthy distillation of his other-world view: a raw vision of the sacred and the profane, the physical and the metaphysical, The Proterozoic and the present. At points, the results conjure a Flannery O’Connor penned pulpit-bound preacher elucidating as a huddle of Tribe Records personnel channel Amiri Baraka’s ‘Black Dada Nihilismus’; at others the narcoleptic exotica of Eden Ahbez shakes hands with Blind Joe Death. One imagines Gene Roddenberry’s ‘Captain’ turning his attention to the Philosopher’s Stone, to boldly go where no man and everyman has been before and forever will go again.” — Anthony Sylvester, 2016. Cut by Christoph Grote-Beverborg at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Cover photo by Fumie Ishii. Back cover photo by Micke Keysendal.

File Under: Experimental, Folk
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holcomb

Roscoe Holcomb: Across the Rocky Mountain (Jeanne Dielman) LP
Jeanne Dielman present Across The Rocky Mountain, a magical collection of Kentucky’s own Roscoe Holcomb. Roscoe Holcomb is one of the most legendary figures of Appalachian music and a huge influence on the ’60s folk scene. Playing banjo, guitar, and singing in that beautiful high lonesome sound, this compilation spans his recordings from the late ’50s and early ’60s, mostly done in the “field” with a single microphone. A coal miner for most of his life, Roscoe knew the world he sang of all too well, his authenticity is unassailable. Though he found some success in the ’60s thanks to the Greenwich Village scene, Holcomb stayed a laborer in Kentucky and passed away in 1981 at the age of 68, suffering for years from asthma and emphysema, the results of his years in the coal mines. Essential Americana.

File Under: Appalachian Folk, Banjo, Americana
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human rays

Human Rays: A Tension (Further) LP
Human Rays – Stockholm, Sweden producer Robin Smeds Mattila – says that the music on A Tension was made during nocturnal sessions in a studio full of mostly cheap analog and digital gear, all in one take. “I kind of let the mood guide me and just go with it,” he says. The result is a gripping four track suite of emotionally charged minimal ambient that was created quickly but sounds like it was rigorously sweated over for many weeks. After a handful of releases that explored noisy, quasi-industrial techno, Mattila deviates into a more abstract, melancholy mode with A Tension. His creative process involves experimenting “to see how far I can push a sound with a pretty lo-fi setup. Improvisation and limitations are part of the thing that makes it interesting.” This approach yields riveting dividends right from the start on A Tension. On “Condensity”, the sparse pinging and distant, muted beats commingle with what sounds like rough wind or waves, hinting at the Arctic vibes that Biosphere conjured on Substrata (BIO 005LP, 1997). It’s at once chill and chilling, tranquil and unsettling. “Between The Hours” places spindly, woody beats beneath a dramatic sweep of synthetic strings, ebbing and flowing like Fripp & Eno’s monumental “An Index Of Metals” on Evening Star (1975). “Neverendless” might be even more redolent of the North Pole than “Condensity”, its severely minimal isolationist ambience suggesting Mick Harris’ none-more-cold Lull or Thomas Köner’s Permafrost (1993). On “Manual Litany I”, Mattila takes what sounds like a sentimental synth melody and smears it into a mantra of compelling drudgery. He notes that the track draws inspiration from William Basinski, who’s famous for his series of profoundly poignant Disintegration Loops albums (2002-2003). “It’s an attempt at making an organic loop, so it’s just me playing the same thing over and over on a synthesizer and letting the mistakes become part of the composition together with just playing around with an effects processor.” From these simple, humble means, Mattila forges a record that triggers subtle, intricate feelings. A Tension is that rare kind of music that freezes out all extraneous stimuli and submerges you in a frigid netherworld in which calm and disquiet exist in iced-out harmony. Mastered by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering. Artwork by Chloe Harris. 180 gram vinyl & reverse board jacket.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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caroline

Caroline K: Now Wait for Last Year (Blackest Ever Black) LP
First ever vinyl reissue of Caroline K’s outstanding 1985 album, Now Wait For Last Year. This haunting, wistful work of post-industrial synthesizer music – the late Nocturnal Emissions co-founder’s only solo record – has accrued a fervent cult following over the past 30 years, and copies of the original pressing are today extremely sought-after. Tags like industrial, minimal synth or proto-techno can’t really do justice to the richly cinematic sound-world that Caroline Kaye Walters, aka Caroline K, describes as “from the sustained ambient tension of sidelong opener ‘The Happening World’ to the future-primitive rhythms and stately piano flourishes of ‘Animal Lattice’, and the melancholic, deep-frozen synth sequences of ‘Chearth’.” Fans of Wendy Carlos’s A Clockwork Orange, Chris Carter’s The Space Between, and early Detroit techno should pay special attention, but this searching, future-proof masterpiece demands to be heard by all.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial
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korea

Korea Undok Group: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
After a run of extremely under the radar cassette releases, Penultimate Press is proud to present the first vinyl collection of works by the Winnipeg outfit Korea Undok Group. With more hiss than a valley of snakes, the various monikers here cover the gamut of contemporary practice traversing industrial decay, rhythmic pulse onwards to piano etudes and fractured possession. All these forms come debossed with the signature destroyed tape aesthetic which makes these sharks so lonely. 180 gram vinyl on beautiful reverse board sleeve with incognito booklet, all designed by KUG. This is a total package that befits this unique scene of one, or many.

File Under: Experimental, Ambient
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lacy chery

Steve Lacy with Don Cherry: Evidence (Modern Silence) LP
Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy continued his early exploration of Thelonious Monk’s compositions on Evidence, originally released in 1961. Lacy worked extensively with Monk, absorbing the pianist’s intricate music and adding his individualist soprano saxophone mark to it. On this release, he employs the equally impressive Don Cherry on trumpet, who was playing with the Ornette Coleman quartet at the time, drummer Billy Higgins, who played with both Coleman and Monk, and bassist Carl Brown. Cherry proved capable of playing outside the jagged lines he formulated with Coleman, being just as complimentary and exciting in Monk’s arena with Lacy. Out of the six tracks, four are Monk’s compositions while the remaining are lesser known Duke Ellington numbers: “The Mystery Song” and “Something to Live For” (co-written with Billy Strayhorn). Edition of 500.

File Under: Jazz
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metronomy

Metronomy: Summer 08 (Because) LP/CD
Entirely written, played and produced by Metronomy himself, Summer 08 finds the multi-instrumentalist reflecting on his experiences around the time that Metronomy first landed a major breakthrough with Nights Out — the guilt of missing key moments in loved ones’ lives and the confused mania of finding himself a critical darling. It’s a concept that’s been gestating ever since, but the opportunities and challenges that resulted in the expansive, ambitious and Mercury Prize-nominated The English Riviera and the Motown-inspired Love Letters understandably took precedence. “I wanted to make another record with the naivety of Nights Out: ten tracks, straight up, upbeat. Write another banger, then another, and don’t really think about it.” Summer 08 is a mature, eclectic pop record in the vein of OutKast, David Bowie and Daft Punk. Recorded in Black Box Studios in France with mixing courtesy of Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie) and Neal Pogue (OutKast), it’s the most daring and creative Metronomy album. The album’s first single “Old Skool” is a cowbell-clattered cocaine pop belter that glimpses ’00s London from the backseat of an Addison Lee. It descends into a chaotic scratch frenzy courtesy of Beastie Boys’ turntablist and Mount’s childhood hero Mix Master Mike. As for the lyrics: “I was living in East London in 2008 and felt like all this stuff was happening in the West end. It’s nonsense really, but I felt it was this privileged end of town, all the musicians there had wealthy parents and were living in Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill. So that song’s about being totally idiotic and just jealous.” “Night Owl” is even more immediate as its disco-groove – at once laidback, then nervously on edge – captures the ambience of a downbeat soul lost in the nocturnal summer swelter of the capital. Elsewhere, there’s warbling festival anthem-in-the-making “Miami Logic”, which sounds like “Word Up” as performed by Devo; an early East-Coast hip-hop rough ride called “16 Beat” about a love affair between man and drum machine; and a brilliant moment of Bowie worship titled “Mick Slow”. It’s the album’s duet with Swedish superstar Robyn, “Hang Me Out To Dry”, mixed by Erol Alkan, that’s the songwriter’s favorite though.

File Under: Synth Pop
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modest

Modest Mouse: Night on the Sun (Glacial Pace) LP
Modest Mouse was originally formed in 1993 in Issaquah, WA and over the last two decades has become the indie rock standard and one of the few bands capable of treading the narrow path where massive popularity is possible without sacrificing their longtime fans. Night On the Sun is a limited run Japan-only EP Modest Mouse recorded in January 1999 at Jupiter Studio with Phil Ek and originally released on CD the same year. All of these songs are different versions from those found on subsequent full-length releases The Moon & Antarctica (2000) and Everywhere And His Nasty Parlour Tricks (2001). The versions on Night On The Sun are generally longer.

File Under: Indie Rock
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mogadorMogador: Overflow Pool (Further) LP
Some records just barely nudge your consciousness, but they do so in such an intriguing manner that their tentativeness and ephemerality lure you in deeper than you expect. Such is the case with Overflow Pool by Will Long’s project Mogador. This prolific producer — who is best known for his profoundly meditative ambient music under the name Celer — favors the long-form, beatless approach to composition, as he lets his rigorously honed tones unspool with a gentle insistence. Overflow Pool consists of two lengthy pieces full of lingering, aqueous chords spaced out by suspenseful lacunae. Each piece revolves around episodes of briskly struck piano chord-clusters that are left to decay to near-silence for maximal contemplation. These are followed by a lower-keyed retort, as if to keep the listener from becoming overly optimistic after the preceding burst of Harold Budd-on-uppers tones. Similarities to Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon (1985) are also evident, as Mogador methodically doles out morsels of oceanic calm geared to align your chakras like some 21st-century Steven Halpern LP. It sounds ideal for flotation tanks, deep-tissue massages, and general relaxation. Long observes that Mogador differs from his Celer output “because it’s completely unprocessed. This is a pure room recording with no extra effects; only piano and reeltoreel delay.” The Yokohama, Japan-based musician says that his primary aim with Overflow Pool “was to make something that doesn’t happen all the time — it’s so sparse, that it blends into the room. It happens so seldom that it’s easy to forget about. You just catch it here and there. That’s the feeling I wanted.” It’s a feeling that’s all too rare in modern music — peacefulness without sentimentality. 180-gram LP in reverse-board sleeve. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Artwork by Nao Watahiki.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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moor

Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides: Rebetika (Discrepant) LP
Andy Moor (guitar) and Yannis Kyriakides (computer) lovingly deconstruct and reassemble their favorite rebetika music in a set of nine pieces that encompass a wide scope of musical vision. This is an unusual and original take on the so-called “blues” music of the Greek diaspora of the early 20th century. This live set was recorded in 2006, first released as an exclusive download for the UK-based Seven Things download-only label, released on CD by Unsounds in 2010, and is now available on vinyl for the first time.

File Under: Greek, Rebetika, Guitar
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bedazzled

Dudley Moore: Bedazzled OST (Trunk) LP
A legendary soundtrack to a legendary film. Originally written by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore for the cult British movie Bedazzled (1967). A sublime musical mixture of pop, jazz, psyche and stupidity, this rare score sadly became the victim of terrible bootlegs in the late ’90s, when classic 1960s scores became very much in demand to the easy/jet-set/soundtrack in-crowd. First pressings have always been very hard to find. This is the first legal repress. It comes with the first ever repress of Peter Cook And Dudley Moore Cordially Invite You To Hell, an LP that was given out at the premier consisting of Cook And Moore’s improvised radio spots for the film. All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle. Limited pressing.

File Under: OST, Weirdness
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muslimgauzeMuslimgauze: Ali Zarin (Staalplaat) LP
With the massive amount of material Bryn Jones had left in the vaults when he passed away in 1999, it’s hard to truly assess his progression, stylistic or otherwise, over the years. And his reasons for choosing to release one tape’s worth of material over another’s were sometimes as mysterious as anything else about his work as Muslimgauze. But upon stumbling onto the material found on the undated tape known as Ali Zarin, it’s hard not to wonder how it would have been received if it had been released during Jones’s lifetime. The three-part, 43-minute title-track (the only part of the material to be given a proper title) makes for some of Jones’s most relentlessly driving work ever. As soundbites about occupation and Israel float in and out of the mix, a series of crashes and scrapes and a distorted beat contort themselves into shapes and patterns, wearing a cracked, scraping groove into the ground. For almost 22 minutes, the first part of “Ali Zarin” finds frantic beauty in the dense repetition of these elements; when the sounds remain but shift place and emphasis in “Part 2,” it’s almost shocking. Even more than most Muslimgauze releases, “Ali Zarin” sounds like it could have come out in the mid-’90s and remain equally contemporary. Although “Ali Zarin” could easily stand on its own, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the contents of the tape aren’t worth sharing as well. These four untitled demos and a brief “Rest Track” sketch show more directions in which Jones might have gone (but didn’t, at least based on what has been uncovered so far), especially the prowling late-night ambience and conventional drum kit loop of “Demo-01” and the densely looped bass pulses of “Demo-04.” It just serves to confirm the breadth of riches in Jones’s archive, and make the listener wonder what else is waiting to be unearthed. Limited edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Techno
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nilovic

Janko Nilovic: Chorus (Underdog) LP
Following the recent reissues of Pop Impressions, Super America and Soul Impressions, Underdog Records label follows-up to the series with another brilliant album, Chorus, by French underrated composer and producer, Janko Nilovic. Janko Nilovic certainly was one of the greatest studio talents of Europe in the ’70s. He is a musician who devotes himself to music, which resulted in a great number of published works, but most of them made for library music labels and also not available for sale. His oeuvre stretches from classical, jazz and funk to pop, psyche and easy listening and has been sampled many times by hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z, Dre, Dafuniks or Guts.

File Under: French, Library
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pan sonic

Pan Sonic: Atomin Paluu (Blast First Petite) LP
Double LP version. Atomin Paluu features the final studio recordings made under the name Pan Sonic (Mika Vainio & Ilpo Vaisanen). Recorded per their usual working methods at Mika’s home studio in Berlin from 2005 to 2011 and subsequently edited into this album format by Mika in 2015. The film, Atomin Paluu (2015) is a Finnish production, created by Jussi Eerola and Mika Taanila, documents the building of the first nuclear power plant since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986 – a project that fell foul of much bureaucratic wrangling and control which manifested itself in the need for over forty cuts of the film. Atomin Paluu, the soundtrack, shows Pan Sonic uniquely using selected third-party field recordings from filming at the building site. As the film’s soundtrack, these recordings were also bound up in a complex series of delays in the release of the film. The pre-release screenings of the film it won the highly coveted 2015 Nordic Dox Award at the world renowned CPH:DOX festival in Copenhagen. The soundtrack itself brought the greatest recognition and went on to win Best Soundtrack at the Jussi Awards Festival (known as the Finland’s Oscars). In typical Pan Sonic style neither member bothered to attend the awards to collect their statuettes.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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partchHarry Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances… (Jeanne Dielman) LP
Born in Oakland, CA, but raised in New Mexico, Partch learned mandolin, violin, piano, reed organ, and cornet as a child. Clearly a unique talent, even that early on, Partch went to USC Music School but was dissatisfied with his teachers, and instead studied music on his own where he learned to reject many of the Western constructs of music and began experimenting with using scales of unequal intervals in just intonation, and was one of the first Western composers of the 20th century to use microtonal scales. These recordings were some of the first made after Partch settled in Sausalito and founded his legendary Gate 5 studio. Debuted in 1953 on KPFA radio, these compositions still sound otherworldly and cutting edge today. Essential American 20th Century composer Harry Partch, on Jeanne Dielman.

File Under: Classical, Contemporary
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porestPorest: Modern Journal of Popular Savagery (Nashazphone) LP
Porest’s fourth long-player, Modern Journal of Popular Savagery is a damning collection of parallel realities told in song and sound. Following 2006’s masterful Tourrorists, MJoPS pits post-globalized hate pop, cabalistic text-to-speech drama and violent tape music against soapbox anthems and swirling barbed-wire psychedelia — sometimes within the same track. The result: a terrifying and ridiculous audio shakedown that both avoids and completely indulges the inherent trappings of art and politics. Fuzzed out guitars and keyboards, epic modulated grooves, “samples” and far-out fucking field recordings index the colonization of our consciousness. You’re already dead — and none of your intellectual friends can save you. Guests include Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Peter Conheim (Negativland), and Jake Rodriguez (Bran?Pos). Recorded between California, Syria, Vietnam and points in between. Across decades, Porest (aka Mark Gergis) has issued a trail of confounding agitprop sound art, tilted pop, diabolical radio dramas and carefully rearranged realities on the Abduction, Seeland and Resipiscent labels. Porest’s blatant embezzlement of human syntax and cultural misunderstanding broadcasts vital mixed messages. Collaborations have included: Aavikko (Finland), Sun City Girls (USA), and Negativland (USA) among others. Gergis was a co-founder of the long-running experimental Bay Area music and performance collective Mono Pause — as well as its offshoot Neung Phak, performing inspired renditions of southeast Asian musics. Since 2003, with the Sublime Frequencies label, an ethnographic music and film collective out of Seattle, Washington — and more recently, with his own record label — Sham Palace, Gergis has shared decades of research and scores of archived international music, film footage and sound recordings acquired during extensive travels in the Middle East, South East Asia and elsewhere.

File Under: Experimental, Rock
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salemSalem’s Pot: Pronounce This! (Riding Easy) LP
This is a full length album. The format is a gatefold, double LP, and Side D is an etching. There is 6 songs and over 50 minutes of rock n roll. The new album by mysterious Swedish quintet Salem’s Pot delivers truly gritty and captivating heavy rock in high contrast technicolor: a sonic equivalent of The Last House On The Left, El Topo and Blood Feast. Similar to the way such films made up for their lack of flashy, expensive effects with dim lighting and implied violence, a hallucinogenic sense of true evil lurks in the dark corners of Salem’s Pot’s sound. Lest we forget, the band’s name itself is a pun on Stephen King’s stark, modernized vampire masterpiece. Where previous Salem’s Pot releases honed doom riffs to perfection, Pronounce This! sees the band expanding its horizons to the far corners of imagination. It’s a hazy fever dream of dark, thrilling excess. It’s equal parts of The Cramps’ Psychedelic Jungle, Pentagram’s Relentless, Roky Erickson’s The Evil One and The Stooges Raw Power, as much heirs to Deep Purple as Dead Moon – metal, garage punk, acid rock and a belladonna trip gone wrong. It’s not heavy metal, this is a mutant monster that cannot be tamed.

File Under: Metal, Psych
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shalabiSam Shalabi: Iris & Osiris (Nashazphone) LP
“Sam Shalabi presents Isis And Osiris; a dystopian fantasia for ud ruminations and iterated tape manipulations. Listening to Sam’s music or playing with him is always a psychedelic bliss. When Isis And Osiris penetrates my ears I am possessed by an emergent universe where immanence and alienation, abjection and love meet. Nothing will be the same. The transformative effect of Sam Shalabi’s cosmology is one of the most joyful and inspiring estrangement I experienced.” — Alexander St. Onge; Montreal, Quebec, March 2016. Sam Shalabi is an Egyptian-Canadian composer, improviser and guitarist living between Montreal and Cairo. Starting out during the late ’70s punk era, his work has evolved into an experimental synthesis of modern Arabic Music that incorporates free improvisation, traditional Arabic music, noise, classical, text, and jazz. He has released five solo albums, five albums with Shalabi Effect, a free improvisation quartet that bridges western psychedelic music and Arabic Maqam and three albums with Land Of Kush, an experimental 30-member orchestra for which he composes. He has appeared on over 30 albums and toured Europe, North America and North Africa. Projects include collaborations with Alvarius B, Stefan Christoff and The Dwarves Of East Agouza, a Cairo-based trio with Maurice Louca and Alan Bishop. He is a founding member of Shalabi Effect.

File Under: Experimental, Folk
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tak shindoTak Shindo: Mganga! (Modern Harmonic) LP
Afro-Asian Exotica. Jungle beats and lush rhythms from the famed film and television composer. An early stereo marvel from the original 1958 tapes. Takashi “Tak” Shindo was one of the most prominent purveyors of that gorgeous genre known as Exotica, a magnificent and surreal style of music which took the sounds of cultures at the time unknown or mysterious and blended it into a swingy, sexy stew. As a Japanese-American, Shindo brought a unique cultural perspective to the proceedings – he combined the sounds of his own heritage into a brilliantly orchestrated shabu-shabu that made him a highly in-demand arranger and composer (Shindo would later become known for his TV scores, including Gunsmoke). Nowadays, we’d call it “appropriation,” but at the time Exotica knew no such boundaries – anybody’s culture and sound was fair game, often leading to unusual and thrilling combinations of sound. Mganga! is Shindo’s exploration of African sounds – it’s obvious that his knowledge of African and Afro-Cuban musical forms was based not only on a knowledge of traditional native music but also from soundtracks and “fantasy” versions of music from the African diaspora. Drums and congas abound, as do guttural chants and thrilling Cuban rhythms (and the ever-present exotica sound effects!). But Shindo’s own love of Japanese sounds crop up here and there too – listen for Japanese scales and traditional instruments such as the koto. Modern Harmonic/Sundazed presents the thrilling Mganga! the way it was meant to be heard – thrillingly mastered from the master tapes, pressed onto gorgeous colored vinyl and wrapped in restored packaging that reproduces the groundbreaking neo-tribal graphics. Pour yourself an exotic cocktail, turn the lights down low and let Tak Shindo take you to his own crazy, sexy version of Africa!

File Under: Exotica
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slowSlow Season: Westing (Riding Easy) LP
Contrary to the band’s name, downtime is a rarity for Slow Season. Sandwiched between summer 2015’s extensive tour with their RidingEasy labelmates Mondo Drag and Electric Citizen, plus several short west coast jaunts, the hard-working quartet also found time to hammer out its most powerful and ambitious album yet. Written, engineered, produced and mixed themselves on their own equipment, entirely on analog tape, Westing is a hard-hitting and powerful reminder of how at one time a rock ‘n’ roll band could be a transcendent experience.

File Under: Metal
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tricoliValerio Tricoli: Clonic Earth (Pan) LP
The experimental Italian composer, Valerio Tricoli, returns to PAN with a new album, Clonic Earth. His ongoing output for the label has long-presented his electroacoustic sound compositions which utilizes analog live sampling and real-time editing of field and studio recordings by manipulation of 1/4 inch tape. Asides from being a founding member of the Italian avant-rock group 3/4HadBeenEliminated, he has worked extensively with various musicians, choreographers and multimedia artists including Thomas Ankersmit, Antoine Chessex, Werner Dafeldecker, Anthony Pateras, and Robert Piotrowicz. His studio compositions often explore themes of the internal – psychological and physical – and of the occult, which, with the use of spoken text, makes them often deeply existential works, self-investigations of the irrational horror within. Clonic Earth is a perturbing, yet compelling mind-expanding work, marked by compositional strategies of exploded narratives, psychological insight and oracular literary references, where questions about the boundaries of spatial perception in the decoding processes of acousmatic music. Tricoli’s allegorical and philosophical universe takes the form of an unhinged mind’s landscape swarming with estranged sound objects in the complexity of details and surrealistic effects of Hieronymus Bosch’s larger paintings. Compared to his previous works, the content of Clonic Earth explores more synthesized and heavily processed sounds, especially vocals, often appearing in the form of a religious, electrified chanting. The record is described by its author as a natural consequence of the internal collapse depicted in his previous record, Miseri Lares: “As if all the debris left inside my loudspeakers have been ignited to expand into the ether, to find a justification at the principle of Chaos, or Cosmos alike.” This movement is expressed by references to the theme of fire as original matter in the Chaldean Oracles which, together with the later work of Philip K. Dick, are the main sources for the vocal/text elements of the composition. Fire serves the author a metaphor for the acousmatic listening experience itself: a borderline perception of sounds eternally fixed in their spasmodic disappearance, which could eventually drag us into a different layer of reality, drastically changing, subverting, or expanding the space in which they are diffused. A ritual, somehow, which may link the listener and the perceptive space that he inhabits with whatever lies beyond the loudspeakers – beyond the vibrating surface of the world. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M. Artwork by Bill Kouligas.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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turtleMichal Turtle: Phantoms of Dreamland (Music from Memory) LP
Following their release of the Michal Turtle 12″ Are You Psychic?/Astral Decoy, Music From Memory present Phantoms Of Dreamland; a compilation of works by the UK musician recorded between 1983-1985. This double LP features tracks drawn from the recording sessions for Turtle’s album Music From The Living Room (1983) and also collects material Turtle recorded shortly after that, for an album which would never materialize. With three tracks taken from Music From The Living Room and the rest of the compilation entirely made up of unreleased tracks, Phantoms Of Dreamland draws on an illustrious period for Michal. In 1982, at the age of only 22, Michal Turtle set up a portable four track studio in his family’s South London home, over-running his parents’ front room with synthesizers, amps and instruments. Here he would create layered and deeply hypnotic tracks that were often built around live jams with musicians he would invite to his home. Although the music can appear to be sample based, all instruments were played live and any voices or sound effects were recorded directly to tape or from tiny cassette loops. Combining electronics with live percussion throughout, Phantoms Of Dreamland reflects a deep sense of musical exploration and creates a uniquely other-worldly musical language of its own.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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uptightUp-Tight: s/t (Desastre) LP
Up-Tight are a three-piece psych group based in Hamamatsu, Japan with a history dating back to 1992 has released around 10 records. Up-Tight’s current line-up (2016) is original members T. Aoki (vocal & guitar) T. Ogata (bass) and T. Shirahata (drums). The ghosts of The Velvet Underground, Les Rallizes Dénudés and Amon Düül loom large over their personal feedback song-destruction universe. This LP is the first re-issue of their original CD-R-only release in Japan in 1999 in a very limited edition of 100 copies. It has been remastered in Berlin from original recordings and presented here in an edition of 300. Here is what David Keenan (Wire magazine) thought about this first CD-R released in 1999 : “Up-Tight are a noxious young trio from south Tokyo, all acolytes of the legendary Japanese psych group Les Rallizes Dénudés, who augment their sound with crushing, Sabbath-styled dynamics, earsplitting acid leads and beautiful Velvets-inspired ballads… Song structures are mostly kept loose, allowing for lots of noisy improvisation. Generally the album is anchored by heavy riffs. Just when you thought you’d got to grips with Tokyo’s paradigm destroying psych scene, this one hits like a sucker punch.” All songs are five to ten minutes long, varying from very melodic ballads to psychedelic journeys. The album ends with an epic track, “無題”, which is an 18 minutes tour-de-force, that takes you to another dimension as if the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray” would have a child with Acid Mothers Temple, while listening to Amon Düül under codeine. Up-Tight are from the generation that emerged with the madness of the Tokyo ’90s and the P.S.F Records scene. Close to Acid Mothers Temple (the two bands recorded an album together), Up-Tight has a unique sound and is one of the most important underground reference in the Japan psychedelic scene.

File Under: Psych, Japanese
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xennaisIannis Xenakis: La Legende d’Eer (Karlrecords) LP
The second release in the Perihel series is one of the most famous electroacoustic compositions by Iannis Xenakis. When Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001), who had fought against the occupation as part of the communist resistance, moved to Paris in 1947 it was the start of a highly creative and impressive career. Xenakis not only studied composition with Olivier Messiaen and became one of the most innovative composers of the 20th century, he also worked as assistant to Le Corbusier and realized a.o. the Philips Pavilion for the World Exhibition in Brussels, 1958. His compositions often are based on mathematical principles (in 1966 he founded the CEMAMu – Centre d’Etudes de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales), which give his music an unprecedented aesthetic and as The Guardian would say, a “shocking otherness”. The most famous works of Xenakis, who won the Polar Music Prize (considered the unofficial Nobel Prize for music) in 1999, are his compositions for orchestra Metastasis, Pithoprakta and Terretektorh (where the 88 musicians are spread within the audience) and the electroacoustic compositions Persepolis, Concret PH, Bohor and La Légende d’Eer where Xenakis integrated his stochastic synthesis sounds for the first time. As legendary as this piece is, there is an impenetrable thicket of versions and stories around La Légende d’Eer, it exists in different releases, with wrong sample rates or digitized backwards. This version uses the 8-track-version that Xenakis himself presented at Darmstädter Ferienkurse in August of 1978. As the automatic spatialization is lost, this became the only original version of this composition and is presented here (mixed down to stereo by Martin Wurmnest who tried to preserve the spatial movements as perceptible as possible. La Légende d’Eer not only became a milestone of electroacoustic music but is also an important reference for noise and industrial musicians up to the present day. Mixed by Martin Wurmnest, mastered & cut by Rashad Becker, La Légende d’Eer is available here as 180 gram vinyl. Includes download code. Includes insert with liner notes by Reinhold Friedl.

File Under: Avant-Garde, Electro-Acoustic
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zxbZomby x Burial: Sweetz (Hyperdub) 10″
VINYL-ONLY !! ONE-SIDED 10″ !! LIMITED EDITION !! Long time mutual admirers, Zomby and Burial get together for this one-sided white label taken from Zomby’s forthcoming album ‘Ultra’, with probably the most toxic track from either of their back catalogues to date.

File Under: Electronic
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britxoticaVarious: Britxotica Goes East! (Trunk) LP
Britxotica! (pronounced “Britzotica”) neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles British musical scene where famed UK composers as well as unknown singers and bandleaders threw convention on holiday and went wild, A breathtaking follow-up to the successful Britxotica! LP (JBH 057LP) Britxotica Goes East!: Persian Pop And Casbah Jazz From The Wild British Isles! takes the listener on a magic carpet ride to a place where the sphinx, Sheiks, sand dances, tales of yashmaks, Turkish coffee, bizarre belly dances and caravans of camels are the magical, musical norm. But this is music made by post war jazz musicians and show girls from London. Yes, this is perfect Persian pop and killer Casbah jazz made by Eastenders. Features charismatic vocal cues about pyramids, late night desert tristes and outrageous Sutlans. It’s also British music as rare and as beautiful as Tutankhamun’s treasure. Offers a lost recording of “Caravan”, an insane Eastern Kazoo number, several fierce instrumental dance numbers (one penned by Basil Kirchin) that will get you sand dancing all over the shop. Mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle. Features: Beverley Sisters, Chico Arnez, Stanley Black, Johnny Keating And The Z Men, Charles Blackwell, Philip Green And His Mayfair Orchestra, Kenny Day, Tony Osbourne, Yana, Johnny Keating Kombo. Laurie Johnson, Roy Tierney, Reg Owen and Ray Ellington.

File Under: Exotica
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divineVarious: Divine Disco 1974-1984 (Cultures of Soul) LP
“Cultures of Soul Records is proud to present Greg Belson’s Divine Disco – American Gospel Disco 1974 to 1984, curated and researched by Gospel Soul music authoritarian Greg Belson. Greg Belson’s Divine Disco is a snapshot in time encapsulating the raw power of a spiritual performance, set to the pulsating 4/4 rhythms that were in vogue with the dance floors of the day. Labels like Savoy played a key part in identifying artists that fit nicely into this brand new style with performers like Shirley Finney and The Gospelaires, both of whom were established within the scene, but carried the ‘Disco’ torch brightly with their tunes featured here. Divine Disco also paints a picture of the lesser known acts that privately released their message to the hopeful masses, such as the Gospel Ambassadors and the Inspirational Souls, whose recording budgets would have been significantly less than any ‘major’ label. As proven here, they had no less of an impact to the listener. Other tracks on this compilation such as Betty Griffin’s ‘Free Spirit’ have become big club spins for the likes of the NYC Downlow and Horse Meat Disco crews. Also included are recently discovered tunes like the Masters of Music’s ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’ as well as a future classic by The Testimonial Singers, which features several young members of the Winans Family. We’ve got you covered too for those more modern soul, boogiefied moments with rarities from Delores Fuller, Herman Harris and two offerings from the killer LP by Enlightment. This compilation also includes remixes and edits by Steve Cobby (who was a member of Fila Brazillia) and Rahaan.”

File Under: Disco, Gospel
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sky girlVarious: Sky Girl (Efficient) LP
Sky Girl is a mysteriously unshakeable companion, a deeply melancholic and sentimental journey through folk-pop, new wave and art music micro presses that span 1961-1991. It’s a DIY collection of different genres, from different countries across different decades, that are all bound by the same longing sentiment. A concept compilation! A seemingly disparate suite of selections of forgotten fables by more or less never-knowns, Sky Girl forms a beautifully coherent and utterly sublime whole deftly compiled by French collectors DJ Sundae and Julien Dechery. From Scott Seskind’s adolescent musical road movie to Karen Marks’ icy Oz-wave, the charming DIY storytelling of Italian-American go-getter Joe Tossini and the ethereal slow dance themes of Parisian artists Nini Raviolette and Hugo Weris, Sky Girl resonates on a wide spectrum historically, geographically and stylistically. It unites in a singular, longing, almost intangible ambience. If the names sound wholly unfamiliar that doesn’t matter, the nature of the compositions swiftly nurtures an intimacy with these lonely, poignant, openhearted wanderers. Most were available in a very limited capacity at the time of their release, some were never really released at all – Gary Davenport declined to release “Sarra” after he split with the girl for whom the track is named – years later a friend convinced Davenport to allow him to put 100 copies online to sell and DJ Sundae was quick enough to snare one. Beyond their scarcity, these tracks are bound together by a certain raw beauty that’s achievable when music is made and no one is listening. Sky Girl comprises of fifteen officially licensed songs, a two year international scavenger hunt through long-folded home label operations, the depths of internet forums and traceless acetates. Both compilers are well trained record sleuths – DJ Sundae’s labels Hollie and Idle Press have reissued Arthur Russell affiliate Nirosta Steel and DIY relic Pitch, while Julien Dechery previously compiled Fire Star, a retrospective on Tamil film composer Ilaiyaraaja, for Bombay Connection. Released by popular NTS show “Noise In My Head” offshoot Efficient Space, Sky Girl is enriched with artwork from Perks and Mini mutant Misha Hollenbach and appropriately elegant sleeve notes courtesy of Ivan Smagghe. Includes digital download. Also features: Linda Smith, Bruce Langhorne, The Seraphims, Some of My Best Friends Are Canadians, The Rising Storm, Warfield Spillers, Joyce Heath, Angel, Nora Guthrie and Once.

File Under: Lo-Fi, New Wave
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…..Restocks…..

 Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Mississippi John Hurt: 1928 (Yazoo) LP
Jurassic 5: Quality Control (Get on Down) LP
MF Doom: Special Blends 1 & 2 (Metal Face) LP
Janko Nilovic: Soul Impression (Underdog) LP
Janko Nilovic: Pop Impressions (Underdog) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Eureka (Drag City) LP
OST: Terminator (Milan) LP
Pere Ubu: Modern Dance (Fire) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Jack Rose:  Kensington Blues (VHF) LP
Shooting Guns: Brotherhood of the Ram (Riding Easy) LP
Soft Machine: s/t (Sundazed) LP
Soul of Mischief: 93 til Infinity (Traffic) LP
J Spaceman/Sun City Girls: Mr. Lonely (Drag City) LP
Suicide: Half Alive (Roir) LP
Sunn o))): Black One (Southern Lord) LP
Sunn o))): Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord) LP
Swans: My Father… (Young God) LP
Swans: The Seer (Young God) LP
Swans: To Be Kind (Young God) LP
Swans: The Glowing Man (Young God) LP
Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
White Stripes: Icky Thump (Warner) LP
Various: Voodoo Party Volume 1 (University of Vice) LP

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…..news letter #751 – door…..

Alright, we are in the thick of the summer lull as far as new releases. Fortunately we’ve had a decent stream of used stuff trickling in and hitting the bins, so you should probably come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

p2

Rega Planar 2
The Planar 2 turntable returns to the line-up. The new Planar 2 was developed over the past two years alongside the recently released Planar 3. Featuring the brand new RB220 tonearm which is packed with groundbreaking new features. A new 24v, low noise motor, acrylic laminated plinth, newly designed central bearing and so much more. Every feature of this innovative new turntable is designed to extract the maximum amount of information and detail from your vinyl collection.

Tonearm – Featuring the brand new RB220 tonearm which is packed with groundbreaking new features. Incorporating new ultra low friction, Rega designed, bespoke, zero play ball bearings (Patent Pending), housed within a brand new, stiffer and lightweight bearing housing which was developed with a new automatic bias setting negating the need for the user to set bias, making it almost completely plug and play apart from simple arm balancing. The new housing also includes an integrated arm clip and uses Rega’s latest custom aluminium arm tube.
Hub bearing – The Planar 2 has a new 11mm self securing brass bearing (Patent Pending) offering improved fit and less stress on the bearing preventing the transfer of potential energy.
Plinth – High gloss acrylic laminated plinth, stiffer and vastly improved appearance with ergonomically positioned power switch. Two plinth finishes at launch: gloss black & gloss white
Motor – New 24v low noise, low vibration motor assembly and new PCB.
Platter – New float glass ‘Optiwhite’ 10mm – Improved accuracy platter.
Other features :
Re-designed feet – New improved foot assembly to increase stability and reduce vibration transfer.
Carbon cartridge – supplied as standard on all Planar 2’s for simple plug and play convenience.
Motor cover tray – with integrated cooling.
Optional lid / plinth protectors – supplied to prevent marks on the plinth and keep it looking its best.
Instructions – Easy to use multi-lingual quick start guide for easy set up.

File Under: Gear

…..new arrivals…..

bill

Bloodshot Bill: Guitar Boy (Norton) LP
Bloodshot Bill is heir apparent to our own Hasil Adkins and now takes his own crown with his newest hot as Hades release GUITAR BOY. Slated as this summer’s sizzler, this slab slams the rock-n-roll hit parade just in time for the one man band roadshow circuit – catch him on tour in support of the album! TRACKLIST: The Wobble / Love Me Twice / Mary Ann / Be My Own / Big Eyes, Crazy Curls / I’m Telling You / That Lonesome Feeling / Hypnotize / Gonna Get Gone / Don’t Wanna See You Anymore / Bad Bad Girl / Last Call / Break My Heart / Pretty Little Gal Fro Mars / Tell Me You Love Me / Baby Farewell

File Under: Electronic
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khanate

Khanate: s/t (Hydrahead) LP
After being out of print for well over a decade, Khanate’s s/t 2001 debut is finally available on vinyl again. Khanate is Stephen O’Malley (Sunno))), etc), James Plotkin (Old, Jodis, etc), Alan Dubin (Old, Gnaw, etc), and Tim Wyskida (Blind Idiot God, etc). Expanded edition includes audio re-mastered by James Plotkin, the “No Joy” 12”, and deluxe packaging by Stephen O’Malley. This is music about power — the exaltation, manifestation, the consolidation, and the earth-shattering use of sound entwined with power as means to the insular mythologies of Khanate. Call it doom. Call it sludge. Call it drone-metal. Call it anything you like, as long as the neologism focuses on the gravitational axis of power and sound. Khanate’s collective history of slow corrosion and avant-metal practice lends to the supergroup conceit that was applied from afar. At that time, O’Malley had recently formed SunnO))) and come to the conclusion of Burning Witch; Plotkin’s presence in the more adventurous camps of metal and dark electronica is highlighted by his work in Old, Phantomsmasher, The Lotus Eaters (with O’Malley), etc; Tim Wyskida providing the convoluted rhythmic foundation to Blind Idiot God; and Alan Dubin’s distinctive tortured invocations had been nakedly displayed in Old (with plokin). Together, they produced an immensely influential body of work that stands as an endurance test of crushing torpor, beginning with this self-titled album. Two versions of “No Joy” land on the remastered repress of the eponymous record, taking Iggy’s snarl about “No Fun” to one logical extreme of negation for the human condition under the duress of a slow choke.

File Under: Metal, Doom
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khanate1

Khanate: Things Viral (Hydrahead) LP
Expanded edition includes extra tracks, audio re-mastered by James Plotkin and deluxe packaging by Stephen O’Malley. Khanate — the quartet of Stephen O’Malley (guitar), James Plotkin (bass), Tim Wyskida (drums), and Alan Dubin (vocals) — released their second album, Things Viral, in 2003 to considerable international acclaim. This still stands as an opus of systematically deconstructed metal and crawling avant-rock tropes. The slow pace of these recordings follows that of Khanate’s eponymous debut, with the band sterilizing much of the grime and distortion to highlight the space between. Things Viral deliberately vacates and erases the sustained tone that is often liberally employed as a doom/drone standard, leaving behind an emaciated structure of rhythmic heft, subharmonic progressions, and Dubin’s torturous vocalizations. Thanks to this reductive ethos, these demonic vocals puncture through like knives blindly stabbed into the dark. His poetics of psychopathic delusions and death-blink finality require such a harsh scrape from throat and larynx to achieve the dismal affect. This re-issue expands the original to include the track “Dead” (not on the Southern Lord cd) and a reprised version of “Commuted” (not on the Load 2LP).

File Under: Metal, Doom
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mstrkrft

MSTRKRFT: Operator (Last Gang) LP
After a five year hiatus, Canadian electronic music agitators MSTRKRFT (Jesse F. Keeler & Al-P) return with the highly anticipated new album Operator. The duo quietly began work on Operator in late 2013 at their Toronto studio, optimizing their analog attack with an arsenal of synths, 808s, 909s and other equipment to track and perform what would eventually become Operator. They left the computer set to “record” and banged out hundreds of hours of music to draw from. “The ‘operator’ concept for us was essential in the creation of the music on this album, but I’m not sure what came first, the title or the idea,” says Keeler. “While browsing military related websites and blogs, mostly consisting of vets talking to each other like any civilian I suppose, I noticed repeated reference to something they called ‘operator culture.’ It seemed to be something that was sometimes laughed at, sometimes caused disdain, but was referenced constantly and seemed to be understood by everyone. I came to believe the operator concept is one of detachment.” “For example, an operator of a tank referring to himself as merely the operator, rather than defining himself by what he is actually doing with the tank,” he continues. “‘Operating’ a sniper rifle would seem to be a much easier concept to deal with than the reality of what being a successful sniper means. In the comfort of our rehearsal space, we had been going through a similar phase of discovering detachment. As we had decided to work entirely with hardware, all our old drum machines and modular synth collection, we had begun to feel more like operators than musicians.”

File Under: Electronic
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neon

OST: The Neon Demon (Milan) LP
The Neon Demon is the latest film from acclaimed director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives). Starring Elle Fanning (Maleificent, Trumbo), The Neon Demon follows Jesse, a young woman who moves to the neon-drenched city of Los Angeles to pursue a career in fashion modeling. Soon thereafter a group of beauty-obsessed women begin to circle her, hungering for her youth and vitality. Before long, Jesse finds herself caught in the sinister world of Los Angeles’ unforgiving underbelly. Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, John Wick), Christina Hendricks (Drive) and Jena Malone (The Hunger Games series) round out the principal cast. Director Refn turned once again to his frequent collaborator Cliff Martinez (Drive, Traffic) for scoring duties. Martinez has created a powerful, modern tapestry of sound utilizing synthesizers as a framework for the dark corners and vibrant vistas that make the City of Angels. The soundtrack also features the dark electro piece “The Demon Dance” by Julian Winding, as well as “Mine” a pop track by Sweet Tempest. “Waving Goodbye,” an original song written by Australian singer Sia and produced by the Grammy Award-winning producer Diplo serves as a bookend to the album. The vinyl release features two colored 180-gram vinyl LPs, housed in a pair of Euro sleeves and a double tip-on jacket. A download card for a digital version of the album is also included.

File Under: OST
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…..Restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Psychedelic Sounds (Snapper) 2LP
Aesop Rock: Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers) LP
Aphex Twin: Cheetah (Warp) CS
Avalanches: Wildflower (Astralwerks) LP
The Band: The Last Waltz (Rhino) LP
Bathory: s/t (Black Mark) LP
Black Mastiff: Music Machine (New Damage) LP
Burzum: Filosofem (Back on Black) LP
Neko Case: Blacklisted (Anti) LP
Johnny Cash: American Recordings (American) LP
Johnny Cash: American VI (American) LP
City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone) LP
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Get on Down) LP
Death Grips: Money Store (Sony) LP
Doors: s/t (Rhino) LP
Faith No More: Angel Dust (Rhino) LP
Charlie Feathers: Tip Top Daddy (Norton) LP
Charlie Feathers: Wild Side of Life (Norton) LP
Charlie Feathers: Honky Tonk Kind (Norton) LP
Charlie Feathers: Long Time Ago (Norton) LP
Flaming Lips: Transmissions From The Satellite (Warner) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes (Warp) LP
Lauryn Hill: Miseducation of… (Sony) LP
Massive Attack: Mezzanine (Virgin) LP
MF Doom: Mm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Misfits: Earth A.D. (Caroline) LP
Misfits: Static Age (Caroline) LP
Mos Def/Talib Kweli: Black Star (Universal) LP
Mumford & Sons: Sign No More (Glassnote) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Getaway (Warner) LP
Pharoah Sanders: Karma (Impulse) LP
Andy Shauf: Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Wayne Shorter: Night Dreamer (Blue Note) LP
Slayer: God Hates Us All (Universal) LP
Slayer: Seasons in the Abyss (Universal) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hallow (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Strangeways Here We Come (Rhino) LP
Regina Spektor: Soviet Kitsch (Warner) LP
Them Crooked Vultures: s/t (Interscope) LP
Venom: Possessed (Back on Black) LP
White Stripes: Complete Peel Sessions (Third Man) LP
Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal) LP
Amy Winehouse: Lioness (Universal) LP

 

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…..news letter #750 – bags…..

Once again, not a huge list this week. This will likely be a running theme for the next few weeks, as it is every summer. But all that 90s stuff is priced and available now. And, I just bought a bunch of 80s hard rock/metal. More mainstream than last summer’s metal haul, but still some cool stuff to look for in the bins soon.

…..pick of the week…..

mtumeMtume Umoja Ensemble: Alkebu-Lan – Land of the Blacks
(Live at the East) (Strata-East) 2LP

180-gram exact repro reissue, originally released in 1972. Hyper-afro spiritual jazz teetering between avant-garde inventiveness and free jazz madness. “This album is a mean motherfucker. It’s an amazing document of the pure fire of Black Nationalist Free-Jazz. I discovered it during a period when I was picking at the outer reaches of Leroy Jenkins’ discography (he’s a member of this ensemble). At the time I had exhausted his output as a band leader and as a member of the Revolutionary Ensemble and was desperate to hear more. It begins with an Afro-Spiritual/Political monologue. Even before the music started, I knew I was onto a good thing. When its first notes cried out, I nearly fell out of my chair. It’s astounding. I spent years desperately trying to track down a copy. It doesn’t turn up often and when it does, it’s rarely cheap. I waited it out and got lucky. The ensemble is lead by James Mtume, a percussionist who during this period was playing regularly with with Miles Davis, Buddy Terry, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders and others. He released two albums as a leader. Both are great representations of 1970’s New York Free-Jazz, and among the best displaying the possibilities of larger ensembles. Alkebu-Lan – Land Of The Blacks was recorded at The East, a radical venue in the Clinton Hill Neighborhood of Brooklyn, remembered for the Pharoah Sanders album bearing its name, and notable for not allowing White people to pass its doors. Mtume left the world of Jazz in the late 70’s and went on to have a fairly successful career as a Modern Soul and Disco artist. This phase in his career didn’t produce many things I like, and is probably most noted for the track Juicy Fruit, which was famously sampled by Notorious B.I.G. Of all the albums I’ve chosen for this list, Alkebu-Lan stands slightly at odds. Most of the artists featured here, like Mingus, use complex orchestration to capture the depth of their anger and emotion. To achieve this, they exacted remarkable control over the emotional realization of their music. Alkebu-Lan is the other end of the spectrum. It is a howling storm set forth on the world. There isn’t an ounce of restraint on its four sides. It makes the emotional onslaught of Punk and Hardcore sound like a childish temper tantrum. Despite all that it unleashes, somehow its sound still returns me to Mingus. It’s not only the scale of the ensemble, but how the musicians play off each other. The album embraces the rising tide of the whole rather than the brittle interplay of single musicians. The dissonances they create despite their energy and emotion feel considered and composed. It’s a rare and wonderful thing. If you spend the time it takes to hunt it down, you won’t be disappointed.” The Hum

File Under: Free Jazz
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…..new arrivals…..

aphex

Aphex Twin: Cheetah (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. The new Aphex Twin Cheetah EP uses digital sound generation techniques combined with wave sequencing technology to bring you sounds with movement and depth rarely found on records today. To assure you that your Cheetah EP will give you many years of enjoyment, please be sure to read the owners manual carefully before attempting to operate. All forms of the EP come encased in high gloss packaging with silver foil detailing to ensure a high quality product experience.

File Under: Electronic
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avalanches

Avalanches: Wildflower (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow... Sixteen years after the release of their critically acclaimed, award winning debut Since I Left You, The Avalanches return with their second album, Wildflower. Astralwerks is thrilled to be releasing the long-awaited album from the influential and genre-defying Australian band stating, “It is an absolute honor to be working with The Avalanches on their return. They made an incredible impact with their first album and fans all over the world have been waiting for this. The wait is over.”  Created by the band’s core duo – Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi – Wildflower is like The Beach Boys’ Smile re-imagined in the Daisy Age: a mind-bending cartoon road movie that’s best viewed with closed eyes and an open mind. The first single, “Frankie Sinatra,” draws from a variety of eras, cultures and genres, and exemplifies the rich tapestry of samples and sonics that is distinctly The Avalanches. An infectious, old world, carnival-inspired rollercoaster of a song, “Frankie Sinatra” features Danny Brown and MF Doom on vocals and masterfully weaves in 20th century works by influential calypsonian Wilmoth Houdini and the musical theatre team of Rodgers & Hammerstein. Since I Left You – released in Australia in 2000 and in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2001 – perfectly captured the hazy millennial zeitgeist. Pitchfork awarded it a 9.5/10 rating, noting, “Since I Left You sounds like nothing else…this is an album brimming with spontaneity, joy, sadness, humor, reflection, and general human-ness” while NME hailed the album as a “joyous, kaleidoscopic masterpiece of sun-kissed disco-pop.” Since I Left You was named one of 2001’s best albums by numerous critics – and its enduring influence was underscored when it placed in the top 10 of Pitchfork’s Top 200 Albums of the 2000s. The Avalanches, meanwhile, have become the stuff of folklore. The announcement of the release of Wildflower comes after years of speculation and rumors. “What kept us going during the making this record was a belief in the day-to-day experience of music as a life force – as life energy,” says The Avalanches’ Robbie Chater. “Hearing a certain song on a certain morning can change your day; it can make the world look different, changing the way you perceive light refracting through the atmosphere for the rest of the afternoon. Literally changing the color and feeling-tone of your world.”

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop
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barreca

Marc Barreca: Twilight (Palace of Lights) LP
“Marc Barreca has been creating and performing electronic music since the mid 1970s. Following recent vinyl reissues of Barreca’s 1983 cassette Music Works for Industry via the RVNG spin-off Freedom To Spend, and a compilation of early cassette tracks on Vinyl On Demand’s acclaimed American Cassette Culture, Palace of Lights has reissued the artist’s first album for the label. 1980’s Twilight was one of the earliest releases on Palace of Light, and is part of an ongoing program of documenting the roots of the Pacific Northwest independent impulse. This remastered and expanded edition includes one previously unreleased track on the LP and an additional six bonus tracks via the enclosed download card. Twilight struck out in a distinct direction, taking steps into the ambient and industrial while carrying along a phonographic sensibility. Using sounds derived from a variety of acoustic as well as electronic sources, Twilight foreshadowed the diversity and pliability of sampled, industrial and lowercase musics, ensuring the album was remarkably prescient and remains resiliently fresh to this day. Textura (reviewing Tremble) said ‘Barreca’s lava-like soundworlds are heady constructions whose sounds spill forth in thick clusters and collectively present themselves as heaving conglomerations of shape-shifting sound… a word like organic is less applicable than geologic, given the immense tectonic force with which its material convulses.'”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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fantasy

Sharon ‘Mhati’ Chatham: Fantasy (Cinedelic) LP
Cinedelic Records presents a reissue of Fantasy (1973) by Sharon “Mhati” Chatam. Originally released in 1973 on RCA, this obscure library music title was produced by Maestro Gian Franco Reverberi using the pseudonym of Ninety as previously done before for other records like Psycheground Group Library on Lupus and the two Underground Set releases. The style is different from the aforementioned albums and is closest to the style of murky erotic cult soundtracks created for Renato Polselli as “Fire Shadows In The Sunset” features congas, groovy piano, spacey synthesizers and vocals. It contains many other amazing tracks like “I’ve Got An Idea” which includes insane fat drums, hypnotic bass, trippy piano and beautiful phased flutes, or the jazz groove “Closed In a Drugstore”, the up-tempo funk “You’re So Vain” (Carly Simon), the hip-hop drum on the cover versions of “Daniel” (Elton John, Bernie Taupin), “Sylvia’s Mother” (Shel Shilverstein) and “Vincent” (Don McLean), and the slow psychedelic cinematic lounge of “Quel Che Non Saprei Dirti Mai A Parole”. Comes in glossy cover. Includes digital download code. Edition of 500.

File Under: Library
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CNLP047LP_PROD

Stelvio Cipriani: Rhythmical Movement (Cinedelic) LP
Cinedelic Records presents a reissue of Rhythmical Movement (1980) from Stelvio Cipriani. Maestro Cipriani is one of the most known and appreciated composers of Italian soundtracks, whose unmistakable style makes it one of the most appreciated and collected. Rhythmical Movement came out only as a promo-library LP for CAM records in 1980 and is therefore a very rare album pressed in limited quantity. But what impresses most is the high level content and, as explicitly expressed in the title, no rhythm decreases. After a jazz intro depart sequentially tunes full of funk, soul, samba and disco, with references also to the classic tradition of Italian poliziotteschi films for which Cipriani is the absolute master. Alternating on a drum and congas base are wah-wah guitar, but also often distorted as in fierce riffs of “Storm In A Teacup” and “Do Not Tamper With My Things”, piano-electric and horns. Two tracks, “What Can I Do” and “Living And Loving” were composed with Michael Fraser, the famous UK musician and producer very active in Italy since the early ’70s. Also of note are the curious “Percussion Gun” and “Chicago U.S.A.” built on the popular bassline of “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly. An unmissable record to listen and dance to. Comes in a wonderful minimal mirror-cover. Includes a digital download code. Edition of 500.

File Under: Library
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miles ahead

Miles Davis: Miles Ahead OST (Legacy) LP
Miles Ahead tells the story of a few lost days in the life of Miles Davis (Don Cheadle), the virtuoso, fighter and genius, as he bursts out of his silent period, conspires with a Rolling Stone writer (Ewan McGregor) to steal back his music, and relives the years he had with his great love, Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Davis’ mercurial behavior is fueled by memories of his failed marriage to the talented and beautiful dancer. During their romance and subsequent marriage, Frances served as Davis’ muse. It was during this period that he released several of his signature recordings including the groundbreaking Sketches of Spain and Someday My Prince Will Come. “Miles was many things…a supreme artist and a national treasure but also an enigma to those around him, especially during his so-called quiet period,” said director and star Cheadle. “With the family’s blessing and Miles’ tenets on creativity as our guide, we used these cloistered years as a jumping off point to compose the story of a self-exiled artist creating his own ‘centrifugal adventure’ to spin himself back into playing music again.” The accompanying original motion picture soundtrack features 11 essential tracks spanning 1956 to 1981, select dialogue from the film featuring Cheadle in character, and five original compositions written, co-written, produced and/or performed exclusively for Miles Ahead by Robert Glasper. These include “What’s Wrong with That?” (a jam that closes the movie imagining Cheadle as Miles playing in the present day with guest performers Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gary Clark, Jr., Esperanza Spalding and Antonio Sanchez) and “Gone 2015,” an end-credits song featuring guest verses from rapper Pharoahe Monch. Comes complete with revelatory new liner notes penned by Cheadle.

File Under: Jazz, Soundtrack
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inter

Inter Arma: Paradise Gallows (Relapse) LP
After already having taken forward-thinking extreme music to unprecedented heights over the course of their short but propulsive career, Richmond’s Inter Arma are back with another opus of epic proportions. Like the band’s previous works, the new album Paradise Gallows is direct and foreboding while maintaining a nuanced, artful perspective. Inter Arma’s signature palette of dissonant high-end and abyssal low-end has been augmented with swathes of thick, impressionistic melody that lend Paradise Gallows a truly biblical sense of scale, both lyrically and in terms of the album’s sonic content. Harsh and acoustic passages (including the band’s first-ever foray into clean vocals) spar with complex rhythmic structures across nine sweeping tracks over 71 minutes of expansive, progressive heaviness. Dense, funereal, and richly evocative, Paradise Gallows is a vibrant blend of doom, post-metal, sludge, avant-garde, black and death metal, and is a singular and powerful new addition to the band’s already monumental discography.

File Under: Metal
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leimerK. Leimer: Closed System Potentials (Palace of Lights) LP
“Following the RVNG reissues of A Period Of Review (ranked the #7 reissue of 2014 by The Wire) and Artificial Dance (ranked the #2 reissue of 2015 by The Wire), Closed System Potentials, recorded in 1979 and originally released in 1980, finds its way back to vinyl in a completely remastered and expanded edition. The LP includes two previously unreleased tracks, and the download card includes an additional two unreleased tracks, all taken from the original Closed System Potentials sessions. In their review of A Period of Review, Pitchfork said, ‘These pieces most closely evoke the work of Roedelius and Moebius in Cluster: meditative, wistful, lovely, giving off gentle glimmers of light. In trying to think if the closest American corollary for this set, the possibility emerges that Kerry Leimer is one of the lone examples of American kosmische music, that elegant hybrid that falls somewhere between the Velvets-style mesmerism of Can in the early ’70s and the placid tones of new age music that arose in the next decade. It’s a sound that applies to mid-’70s Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Popul Vuh, the second side of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, and others.’ K. Leimer founded the Palace of Lights label in 1979. Leimer’s early work was reissued by Autumn and RVNG in 2014 and 2015, and his early cassette work is in the critically acclaimed Vinyl On Demand box set American Cassette Culture. He has been actively producing music since the mid 1970s – his current catalog includes 16 still-in-print albums plus two collaborative albums with Marc Barreca.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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crash

Dave Matthews Band: Crash (Legacy) LP
RCA Records and Legacy Recordings celebrate Dave Matthews Band’s 25th anniversary in July 2016 with the first-ever vinyl release of Crash, the group’s best-selling second studio album. Newly re-mastered from the original flat analog tapes, Crash will be available as a 2LP set, pressed on 180g 12″ vinyl and housed in a gatefold jacket that features an eight-page booklet packed with previously unpublished photographs of the band. Produced by Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, The Pogues), and originally released on RCA Records on April 30, 1996, Dave Matthews Band’s Crash brought the band three Grammy nominations and one award for Best Rock Vocal for the hit single “So Much To Say.” The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified seven times platinum by the RIAA, in recognition of seven million copies sold. Following its success with Crash, the Virginia-based Dave Matthews Band – singer/guitarist Dave Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford, saxophonist LeRoi Moore, violinist Boyd Tinsley and bassist Stefan Lessard – became the first band in history to have six consecutive studio albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 – Before These Crowded Streets, Everyday, Busted Stuff, Stand Up, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King and Away from the World. The group has sold a collective 38 million albums and DVDs combined and more than 20 million tickets to its live performances.

File Under: Alt-Rock
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minor

Minor Victories: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Comprised of Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Editors’ Justin Lockey and his brother James, Minor Victories were born out of Justin’s desire to create an extreme noise EP topped off with delicate female vocals. It became quickly apparent that the power of the resulting tracks was more than enough to lay the foundation stones of a full album, and so Minor Victories became a cinematic ten-track LP. Masterfully crafted by four band members who have somehow never all been in the same room together, it was also produced and engineered by Justin.

 File Under: Shoegaze
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drive

OST: Drive (Lakeshore) LP
Available again! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the acclaimed 2011 Nicolas Winding Refn film Drive compiled and composed by Cliff Martinez. The film stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stunt driver moonlighting as a wheelman who discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong. In addition to Martinez’s own late-’60s German experimental inspired compositions, the soundtrack features material by French DJ Kavinsky (“Nightcall”), The Chromatics (“Tick of the Clock”) and College featuring Electric Youth (“A Real Hero”). “[Driver] is half man, half machine,” says Refn. “But the machinery, his car, is an antique. Late ’70s bands like Kraftwerk inspired my idea of making a movie where the score was electronic, but at an infant stage – crude in its technology, yet extremely poetic. Drive is like Pretty in Pink with a head smash. When I was cutting the movie, people kept asking, ‘Why are you using the entire songs?’ I said, ‘Because John Hughes did.’ He never played just a clip. It almost becomes a musical in that sense.” “One thing that was unique for me about this project was having songs exert such a strong influence on the score,” said Martinez. “That helped to create a unified, one-size-fits-all, style of soundtrack…the 80s electronic pop style made a lot of sense to me. I knew that Nicolas (Refn, director) was in love with that sound and I saw a way to acknowledge it with vintage synth sounds and cover most of the dramatic food groups while referencing that style.”

File Under: OST
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rodier

Roger Rodier: Upon Velveatur (Sagara) LP
Canadian folk-rock from Roger Rodier, featuring acoustic guitar, lush orchestral arrangements, and fantastic female backing vocals. Drawing inspiration from British contemporaries such as Al Stewart and Nick Drake as well as a major talent to the south in Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Rodier is a talented crafter of songs, ranging from lilting to eviscerating, and all points in between. Fetching outrageous sums in the online market, this Canadian singer-songwriter rarity is finally back in print on LP.

File Under: Folk Rock
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sonic youth

Sonic Youth: Murray Street (Geffen) LP
Murray Street is Sonic Youth’s twelfth full-length studio effort and first to feature the all-out collaboration (writing, playing and production) of the great Jim O’Rourke. Named after the New York street where the band’s studio was situated and where a plane engine landed on September 11, 2001, Murray Street finds the band building their signature avant garde explorations within a more song oriented framework. The results are obliquely melancholic yet tuneful and the album moves effortlessly and enjoyably between tones, structures, textures and melodies with new found purpose and precision. Songs like “The Empty Page,” “Disconnection Notice,” and “Rain On Tin”) easily hold their own among the many highlights in SY’s vast and varied catalog.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Aesop Rock: Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers) LP
Air: Moon Safari (EMI) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Black Mastiff: Music Machine (New Damage) LP
Black Mountain: IV (Jagjaguwar) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Heathen (Columbia) LP
Can: Future Days (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Push the Sky Away (Bad Seeds) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Waxtime) LP
Dr. Dre: The Cronic (Interscope) LP
Durutti Column: LC (Factory Benelux) LP
Earl Sweatshirt: I Don’t Like Shit… (Columbia) LP
Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong: Ella & Louis (Waxtime) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man in Paris (Blue Note) LP
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast (BMG) LP
Iron Maiden: Powerslave (BMG) LP
J Dilla: Jay Love Japan (Vintage Vibes) LP
Shelia Jordan: Portrait of Shelia (Blue Note) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid… (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) LP
M83: Junk (Mute) LP
John Mayall: And Blues Breakers (Sundazed) LP
MF Doom: Special Herbs 1 & 2 (Metal Face) LP
Hank Mobley: No Room for Squares (Blue Note) LP
Modest Mouse: Lonesome Crowed West (Glacial Pace) LP
Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners (Original Jazz Classics) LP
Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Dream (Waxtime) LP
Mumford & Sons: Babel (Glassnote) LP
Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me (Drag City) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Interscope) LP
Jim O’Rourke: The Visitor (Drag City) LP
Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression (Loma Vista) LP
Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet (Def Jam) LP
Lou Reed: Transformer (Legacy) LP
Terry Riley/Don Cherry/Karl Berger: Live in Koln (Modern Silence) LP
Sigur Ros: Takk (Krunk) LP
Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth (Atlantic) LP
Soul Asylum: Grave Dancer’s Union (Brookvale) LP

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