Author Archives: listenrecords

…..news letter #908 – rain…..

Well…. Summer lull is upon us. Not a whole lot in this week, but today was a super mail day! With boxes from Russia & Spain the new arrivals got a lot more exciting. And of course, there’s all them tasty used records hitting the bins.

Also, important scheduling note…

WE WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY JULY 29 – FRIDAY AUG 2 
We’re still here Sunday July 28 and reopen on Saturday Aug 3

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWS LETTER!!!!

…..pick of the week…..

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Coil: Live in Russia (Fanclub) LP
Coil’s performance at DK Gorbunova in Moscow, Russia on September 15, 2001. This was sold as a Feelee release by some outlets but has no such branding and appears to be an unofficial reissue. Limited edition of 400 in gatefold cover. Side D contains back-stage discussion and rehearsal audio, though it is unmentioned in the jacket’s track list.

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

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Albert Ayler & Don Cherry: Vibrations (ORG) LP
Recorded in Copenhagen in September of 1964, Vibrations is the second album released by American free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler’s quartet featuring Don Cherry, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray. Originally issued by the Freedom label, it was also released under the alternate title, Ghosts. Previously out of print for decades, Vibrations has now been specially remastered for an audiophile-grade 180-gram vinyl pressing at Pallas in Germany courtesy of ORG Music.

File Under: Jazz
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Bitchin’ Bajas/DSR Lines: Atlantis (Abstrakce) LP
Second volume of “The Encyclopedia of Civilizations”, a collection of split LP’s where selected artists offer their own insight into fascinating ancient cultures. In this volume the music is inspired by Atlantis, a legendary civilization surrounded by mystery. The LP is presented in a special limited edition (500 copies) with an extensive booklet that tries to shed some light on the myth of Atlantis and will help you to immerse yourself in this fascinating civilization while you listen to the music. The sleeve is printed in the old way, letterpressed with metal movable type as Gutenberg used to do it, as all of the Abstrakce editions. DSR lines is the project of Belgian electronic artist David Edren. He’s been releasing his music for almost two decades on labels such as Ultra Eczema, JJ Funhouse or Black Sweat. His Atlantis tracks are one of his best works (if not the best) so far, developing an exquisite use of modular synths. David presents a mature work, the result of an intense experimentation with synths such as Buchla 200 or Serge Synthesizer Systems. His arpeggios and oscillations sound like music that would be played in an Atlantean temple worshiping an ancient god (probably Poseidon or Minos) if this wise civilization had reached our days. Organic minimal electronics developing a very personal sound, a spiritual approach that could be a modern continuation of the investigations started by JD Emmanuel, Ariel Kalma or Michael Hoenig. Bitchin bajas is the project by Cooper Crain (also from the band Cave), Dan Quinlivan and Rob Frye. They have released material on labels such as Permanent records, Drag City, Hands in the Dark and Important records. They present an astonishing 20-minute-track inspired by the diaspora of the Atlantean people after the great cataclysm that sank their island at the bottom of the ocean and plunged its splendor into darkness forever. Warm, instrumental, psychedelic and melodic music that drinks from the electronic minimalism of the 60s and 70s (Terry Riley, La Monte Young..) blended with the spatial feeling of the kosmische maestros (Klaus Schulze,Harald Grosskopf, etc.). Deep electronics, hypnotic pulses and enigmatic melodies introducing acoustic instruments such as flutes or xylophones that will make you float in space while thinking about our Atlantean ancestors.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Ami Dang: Parted Plains (Leaving) LP
Ami Dang fuses sitar, voice, and electronics to create east-meets-west, ambient, experimental, psych music. On the experimental instrumental album Parted Plains, she draws inspiration from South Asian and Middle Eastern folktales, specifically, the four tragic romances of Punjab, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun, Heer Ranjha, and Mirza Sahiba; Flora Annie Steel’s Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India, and selected stories from One Thousand and One Nights. Galvanized by the Western interpretations of these stories, Parted Plains unfolds as a new sort of soundtrack for a yet-to-be written folktale that is neither Eastern nor Western, not traditional or contemporary–but somewhere in between.

File Under: Drone, Ambient, Psych
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Flaming Lips: King’s Mouth (Warner) LP
The Flaming Lips’ fifteenth album King’s Mouth follows the band’s 2017 release, Oczy Mlody and and sees the iconoclastic outfit once again tread uncharted territory. These 12 new originals are threaded together by cinematic narration courtesy of The Clash’s Mick Jones. Additionally, the music parallels front man Wayne Coyne’s immersive art installation of the same name. Introduced in 2015, the installation has showcased its psychedelic visuals and soundscapes through North America in museums such as Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, the Pacific Northwest College of Art Portland, OR and Wayne’s own creative space, The Womb, in Oklahoma City, OK. A true handcrafted marvel, it consists of a giant metallic head that welcomes spectators inside. Once inside of the foam month, an LED lightshow begins in tandem with music from the album. Now, the record doubles as the sonic companion to the exhibit and allows fans to experience the aural side at any time. Further expanding this multi-faceted world and detailing a fascinating creation myth, the accompanying literary tome, King’s Mouth: Immerse Heap Trip Fantasy Experience tells the story of the King’s Mouth through words and visuals by Coyne, adds yet another dimension to the project, which ranks among the band’s most ambitious thus far. Coyne notes, “The King’s Mouth immersive/child-like qualities are born from the same spark and womb as Flaming Lips live performances. The King’s Mouth adventure was made for humans of all sizes, ages, cultures, and religions.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Grateful Dead Fillmore West Feb 28 '69

Grateful Dead: Fillmore West Feb 28th, 1969 (Rhino) BOX
Pretty sure this is showing up tomorrow…. This is the second night of Grateful Dead’s Fillmore West show from February 1969. Includes “(Walk Me Out In The) Morning Dew” and their rendition of Slim Harpo’s blues classic, “I’m a King Bee”.

File Under: Rock
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Pablo Guerrero & Finis Africae: Los Dioses Hablan Por Boca De Los Vecinos (Abstrakce) LP
First vinyl edition ever of this lost experimental Spanish essential album. A delicate work that absorbs specific aspects of different music — minimalism, tribal sounds, new age, ambient, spoken word — to create its particular universe. With an absolutely contemplative recording climate, the poems and their sound environments explore the deepest self of the poet and singer from Extremadura, Pablo Guerrero. The work combines memories of childhood through the valleys of his native village, Esparragosa de Lares, with the evolution of life to reach the contemplative state in adulthood. A score written in a collaboration with two old friends, Juan A. Arteche Gual and Juan C. Fdez Puerta (Finis Africae), who weave a beautiful tapestry of electronic sounds so that the deep and serious voice of the poet shells all the images that his ode encloses. The recording, through fourteen poems, breathes an aroma of maturity, balance and total freedom. Maturity and balance with minimal arrangements, small gestures surrounded by abundant silences. Total freedom with instruments of the most varied, without restrictions or complexes: samplers, synthesizers and field recordings mixed with rattles, self-arches of the Appalachian Mountains, zithers, saxes made with reeds, conches, shortwave radios, plastic pipes, Hindu harmoniums…beauty can arise from any element and all these minimal arrangements come together to create the perfect ambience that sublimates the poem. Completed in the spring of 1996, the recording was moving in no man’s land until the end of 1999 saw the light in book format of poems, accompanied by a CD. Abstrakce Records recover this masterpiece of experimental Spanish music, contributing its bit to place the album where it deserves. Folder printed in letterpress with lead types; Includes extensive booklet in both English and Spanish containing liner notes, lyrics, an interview with Juan F. Puerta and a text by Juan A. Arteche about of the recording of the record. Remastered at Sountess Studio in 2018 by Pablo Peiró.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Fourth World
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Lingua Ignota: Caligula (Profound Lore) LP
Caligula, the new album from Lingua Ignota, takes the vision of Kristin Hayter’s vessel to a new level of grandeur, her purging and vengeful audial vision going beyond anything preceding it and reaching a new unparalleled sonic plane within her oeuvre. Succeeding her self-released 2017 All Bitches Die opus, this new one sees Hayter design her most ambitious work to date, displaying the full force of her talent as a vocalist, composer, and storyteller. Vast in scope and multivalent in its influences, with delivery nothing short of demonic, this is an outsider’s opera; magnificent, hideous, and raw. Eschewing and disavowing genre altogether, Hayter builds her own world. Here she fully embodies the moniker Lingua Ignota, from the German mystic Hildegard of Bingen, meaning “unknown language” —this music has no home, any precedent or comparison could only be uneasily given, and there is nothing else like it in the contemporary realm. Working closely with Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets studio, Hayter strips away much of the industrial and electronic elements of her previous work, approaching instead the corporeal intensity and intimate menace of her notorious live performances, achieved with unconventional recording techniques and sound sources, as well as a full arsenal of live instrumentation and collaborators including harsh noise master Sam McKinlay (The Rita), visceral drummer Lee Buford (The Body) and frenetic percussionist Ted Byrnes (Cackle Car, Wood & Metal), with guest vocals from Dylan Walker (Full of Hell), Mike Berdan (Uniform), and Noraa Kaplan (Visibilities). Caligula is a massive work, a multi-layered epic that gives voice and space to that which has been silenced and cut out.

File Under: Metal
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Orlando/Tomaga: Playtime – Music for Video Games (Abstrakce) LP
Vinyl edition from this imaginary soundtrack for videogames previously released on tape. “…the Association for the Re-Alignment of Magnetic Dust presents a split release between Orlando and Tomaga of music for video games. Inspired by fictional worlds, imagined quests, and surreal dreams, they soundtrack your adventures in gameland.” “Cathy Lucas’s new project Orlando, who share this cassette/download release with Tomaga. RAM Tapes (or The Association for the Re-Alignment of Magnetic Dust to give them their full title) re-use old tapes for that essential crackle and pop experience, and the theme is suitably 80s: video game soundtracks, kerbside frogs, ghost mazes, etc. It’s too sophisticated – at least to these cloth ears – to be just more chiptune landfill but it’s extremely playful all the same. The Orlando side is closer to Cornelius in terms of its invention and charm; the Tomaga side is a little more spacious, dubby, dronish. As an album it’s a pretty irresistible combination. Orlando’s opening track brings you the croaks of a telepathic amphibian, a bit of bossa nova and a steely science-fictional theme, all in 3 minutes and 25 seconds. While Tomaga’s ‘Giant Bitmap’ made me wonder whether Pacman ever got the cold sweats while cruising those haunted midnight mazes…” Both Bars On “TOMAGA channel various forms of multi-instrumentalism into music that moves by turns through industrial, jazz, psychedelia and minimalism, on it’s way to somewhere wholly other. Devoted to musical exploration, this London based duo obsessively deconstruct familiar tropes, looking for the tension that lies between improvisation and form. After their first, self-produced cassette, ‘Sleepy Jazz For Tired Cats’, which was released in 2013, TOMAGA released the acclaimed ‘Futura Grotesk’ LP on the Hands in the Dark label, followed quickly by ‘Familiar Obstacles’ – a cassette release for the boutique London label Blank Editions, that was subsequently released as a limited vinyl in October 2015. Meanwhile they have played countless concerts and festivals across the world including being invited to open for Deerhoof, Silver Apples and Wire, the latter for their UK tour in May 2015 (for full tourdates see below). In autumn 2015 Tomaga were invited by Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate to stage a performance using the artworks of Pedro Reyes: re-conditioned weapons confiscated by Mexican police from drug cartels and turned into instruments. The resulting performance will be released on a forthcoming live album. In spring 2016 Tomaga were invited to contribute a sound object to the Yoko Ono exhibition ‘Lumiere De L’aube’ at the Musee D’art Contemporain De Lyon.” JULIE TIPPEX web info Limited edition of 300 copies. Letterpress printed on black cardboard. Limited edition with green ink.

File Under: Electronic, Exotica
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Prince: Originals (Warner) LP
Prince will forever be remembered as a commanding live performer, chart-topping recording artist, and music business revolutionary. Yet for all the time he spent in the spotlight over his four-decade-long career, Prince also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to nurture talent and pen songs for the rising artists he respected. By the mid-80s, Prince was dominating the charts even as a writer/producer with songs he’d composed and recorded for others. In addition to releasing nine of his most commercially successful full-length albums, he also wrote and recorded endless reels of material for protégés The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, the Family, and Mazarati. Occasionally, Prince’s original demo recordings would be used as master takes on their albums, with only minor alterations to the instrumentation and a replacement of the vocal tracks. Other times, artists would rely on his demos to guide them through their own recording process, with Prince’s initial take informing their final version of his song. The aggregate effect was a complete saturation and transformation of the pop music landscape, with Prince both leading and subverting mainstream culture. Originals pulls back the curtain to reveal the origins of familiar hits, in addition to deeper album cuts such as Vanity 6’s “Make-Up,” Jill Jones’s “Baby, You’re a Trip,” and Kenny Rogers’ “You’re My Love.” The album also features Prince’s majestic original 1984 version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” released in 2018 as a standalone single.

File Under: Pop, RnB, Funk, Soul
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LDS04301__Sigur Ros: Agetis Byrjun 20th Anniversary (Krunk) LP
In 1999 Sigur Ros released Ágætis Byrjun (“A Good Start”) which Q Magazine went on to deem “the last great record of the 20th century.” By the end of the year it had won the inaugural US Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement in Music. Agaetis Byrjun was an album that came literally out of nowhere and seemed to tug at the heartstrings of those who least expected it. No one thought an album by an unknown band of four shy Icelandic men in their early-20s, singing in Icelandic, would become the worldwide music phenomenon it became. The record label projected the album to sell 1,500 copies – it has to date sold several million copies. 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Ágætis Byrjun and the band celebrates the occasion with a double heavyweight vinyl LP reissue complete with a download for demo and archive versions of all songs on the album, plus never-before-heard newly unearthed material from the era, rare B-sides and the full 95 minute concert played in Reykjavík on the day the record was released in 1999.

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Rock, Ambient
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Tycho: Weather (Ninja Tune) LP
Tycho are the Grammy nominated electronic music project led by Scott Hansen as primary composer, songwriter and producer. The highly anticipated release of their fifth studio album Weather is an exciting progression from their previous output, with most of the new tracks being vocal lead, while still retaining the signature Tycho sound. The sonic shift has been enhanced by the collaboration with exciting new vocalist Saint Sinner, who will be joining the live band following their time in the studio.

File Under: Electronic
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anima_ThomYorkeThom Yorke: Anima (XL) LP
Indie only orange vinyl! Radiohead figurehead Thom Yorke follows up his 2014 album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and 2018 score to Suspiria with his third full-length solo effort Anima. Produced by longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich, several of the album’s songs were debuted live during Yorke, Godrich and Tarik Barri’s Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes performances. Yorke notes that Anima was inspired by “dystopia, anxiety, and reaching a crisis point in our social system. The dystopian thing is one part of it, yes, but for me, one of the big, prevailing things was a sense of anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety it manifests itself in unpredictable ways, some people have over-emotional reactions. [For] some people the roots of reality can just get pulled out, you don’t know what’s happening. Then eventually reality comes back.” This standard black double vinyl LP edition is housed in a wide-spine single sleeve and includes the exclusive bonus track, “(Ladies & Gentlemen, Thank You For Coming).” A download card for the original nine-track album is also included in the sleeve.

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic, Radiohead
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Various: Bad Education Vol 1: Soul Hits of Timmion Records (Daptone) LP
For the better part of 15 years Helsinki’s own Timmion Records has released some of the most exciting soul sides happening today. To help spread the Timmion love Daptone staffers and brass made a list of their favorite Timmion tracks from the past couple years. Presented here is Bad Education, Vol. I, the culmination of weeks of deliberation and infighting (mainly due to their unusually high batting average) – 10 tracks that best represent the eclectic wealth of soulful riches Timmion Records has to offer.  Side 1 one gets cracking with “This is What Love Looks Like”, a mid-tempo, breezy dancer by NYC’s own Carlton Jumel Smith whose recent album, 1634 Lexington Ave, is poised to be one of the top Soul releases of 2019. Johnny Benavidez, the Texas-born, California-raised balladeer showcases his heartfelt falsetto with “Tell Me That You Love Me” – a beat ballad of the highest order, and a must for fans of Texas giants The Commands. Pratt & Moody, a vocal duo who have been making waves for sometime in their native Finland, serve up another heart-wrenching, head-bobbing ballad with “Lost, Lost, Lost”. Picking up the tempo we have the undisputed queen of Finnish Soul, Miss Nicole Willis! The New York native is already a household name on the UK Northern Soul scene, but now it’s time for this expat to make some noise Stateside. Closing out the side we have the leather-clad-fringed flute phenom know as Ernie “Scorpio Man’ Hawks. The Scorpio Walk’s deep groove laced with murmuring fuzz bass and surf guitar rushes the listener like a maniacal villain in an art house spy movie. Side 2 two packs even more soulful punches, starting with the unreleased track “Until Your Mine” by Wanda Felicia. Equal parts slick, Big City street harmony and raw, southern soul, the track evokes the very best of Fame era Candi Staton. Next up we have Bobby Oroza whose featured track “This Love” took the Soul scene by storm upon its release in 2016. His understated, earnest vocal let’s the sparse arrangement and heavy beat take you to a place where the sun shines bright and the low-riders shine brighter where the Sunday afternoon sun dances off the gold flecks of custom low-rider paint jobs. “Bad Education” the funky, afro-latin soul monster with a message (whose title graces the cover of this album) tips the hat to legends like Joe Bataan and Ray Barreto. The debut single by Bardo Martinez, already known for his work with Chicano Batman, lays down a fiery indictment of the educational system defining it as a mouthpiece for the military industrial complex. A heavy tune with a heavier message! Finnish born Emilia Sisco offers up another debut with “Don’t Believe You Like That”, another gorgeous beat ballad backed by Cold Diamond and Mink that is sure to appeal to the darkest end of the dance floor. There’s a special lane in the history for Soul of Soul for music this understated. Rounding out the side we have a man who needs ZERO introduction for those in the know. Louisiana born and raised Willie West has been making side after classic side since 1959. Whether it’s his early raw R&B, deep brooding ballads, or his black belt Funk anthem “Fairchild” all of his records are essential – “I’m still a Man (Lord Have Mercy)” is no exception. From top to bottom “Bad Education” Bad Education, Vol. I is a feast for discerning funk and soul freaks alike!

File Under: Funk, Soul
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…..Restocks…. 

Aggrolites: Reggae Now! (Pirates Press) LP
Amyl & the Sniffers: s/t (ATO) LP
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (Capitol) LP
Beatles: White Album (Mono) (Apple) LP
Jorge Ben: Big Ben (Elemental) LP
Boy Harsher: Careful (Nude Club) LP
Boy Harsher: Lesser Man (Nude Club) LP
Boy Harsher: Yr Body Is.. (Nude Club) LP
Charles Bradley: Changes (Daptone) LP
Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City) LP
Cocteau Twins: Four Calendar Café (Universal) LP
Cocteau Twins: Milk & Kisses (Universal) LP
Endless Boogie: Vol I & II (No Quarter) LP
Fugazi: Red Medicine (Dischord) LP
Harmonia: Musick Von Harmonia (Gronland) LP
Irreversible Entanglements: s/t (International Anthem) LP
Sharon Jones: I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone) LP
King Geedorah: Take Me To Your Leader (Big Dada) LP
Love: Four Sail (Warner) LP
Mdou Moctar: Ilana: The Creator (Sahel) LP
Lee Morgan: Rumproller (Blue Note) LP
Neu!: s/t (Gronland) LP
Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop) LP
Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information (Music on Vinyl) LP
Ben Pirani: How Do I Talk To My Brother (Colemine) LP
Placebo: Mtv Unplugged (Music on Vinyl) LP
Sleep: The Sciences (Third Man) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hollow (Rhino) LP
Gillian Welch: Soul Journey (Acony) LP
Various: Funky 16 Corners (Stones Throw) LP
Various: Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP

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…..news letter #907 – saw-whet…..

We are in the thick of the summer lull… yet shockingly, there’s some sweet new wax this week! The killer debut by local drone/psych outfit Holy Drone Travellers, new Metz, Drab Majesty, Purple Mountains. Loads to stick in yer ears… and don’t forget about all them used gems we’ve been putting out! Come dig.

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWS LETTER!!!!

…..pick of the week…..

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Holy Drone Travellers: जन्म/BIRTH (Saw-whet) LP
In Spring of 2018, cosmic forces lead to the meeting of three musical souls who eventually began performing together under the name of Holy Drone Travellers. They started by piecing together their musical idiosyncrasies of free-jazz, psych, and Hindustani classical music. After several performances and augmenting the group into a quartet, the Travellers grew louder, heavier, and even more abrasive. Such sounds can be heard on a limited demo tape quietly put out by the band earlier this year. जन्म/BIRTH is a testament of Holy Drone Travellers’ first refined jams before this aforementioned change in sound. These recordings portray the original trio in a meditative state with driving tabla percussion on top of layers of droning instrumentation and free-improvisation. It’s a sound that will make fans of La Monte Young, Pharoah Sanders, and Zakir Hussain feel right at home. Aside from being the debut proper release from Holy Drone Travellers, जन्म/BIRTH is also the first release on Edmonton-based experimental label Saw-whet Records.

File Under: Experimental, Psychedelic, Drone
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…..new arrivals…..

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Dorothy Ashby & Frank Wess: In a Minor Groove (Real Gone) LP
“Dorothy Ashby was probably the greatest — and certainly the most swinging — jazz harpist of all time, re-purposing an instrument best known for ethereal glissandos into a fully versatile voice in combo settings, capable of providing both instrumental embroidery and rhythmic drive. But she was always fighting an uphill battle in terms of garnering critical and commercial success; both her gender and the exoticism of her instrument often prevented her from being taken seriously among the hidebound environs of late ’50s and ’60s jazz. But it is that very uniqueness of her sound and station in the jazz world that has made her one of the most collectible musicians of her era, as her music has been sampled and celebrated by modern-day hip hop and world music artists (e.g. Jurassic Five, Bonobo) alike. In A Minor Groove is one of two albums she made in 1958 with flautist/saxophonist Frank Wess, and it is a marvel; backed by fellow Detroit native Herman Wright on bass and the great Roy Haynes on drums, she and Wess weave mesmerizing melodic threads through standards like ‘Alone Together’ and ‘Yesterdays’. But perhaps the most amazing track is ‘Bohemia After Dark’, which displays Ashby’s uncanny ability to turn her harp into a rhythm guitar! For this first ever domestic vinyl reissue of In A Minor Groove, we are using the original mono sources — not the rechanneled stereo and jumbled track listing that showed up on Prestige’s later repackaging called Dorothy Ashby Plays for Beautiful People — and pressing up a limited edition of 1000 in neon green vinyl! Original album art with Ira Gitler’s sleeve notes, too.”

File Under: Jazz
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LDB24930_Black Keys: Let’s Rock (Nonesuch) LP
Indie exclusive version is finally in! The Black Keys’ long-awaited album ninth album Let’s Rock, the band’s first in five years, is a return to the straightforward rock of singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney’s early days. Auerbach says, “When we’re together we are The Black Keys, that’s where that real magic is, and always has been since we were sixteen.” The 12-track collection was written, tracked live, and produced by Auerbach and Carney at Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville and features backing vocals from Leisa Hans and Ashley Wilcoxson. “The record is like an homage to electric guitar,” adds Carney. “We took a simple approach and trimmed all the fat like we used to.” Rolling Stone said that with lead single “Lo/Hi,” “the Keys have officially returned, louder than ever” while the New York Times hailed it as “the kind of garage-boogie stomp that the band never left behind.” Equally as infectious follow-up single “Eagle Birds,” is anchored by some stellar blues guitar work from Auerbach.

File Under: Rock
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James Blake: Assume Form (Universal) LP
In the eight years that separate his self-titled debut album from Assume Form, James Blake has quietly shifted the needle of popular music, creating spacious and thoughtful electronic pop while still leaving breadcrumbs for others to follow. Since his emergence, the landscape Blake once laid claim to is now populated by talented interlopers who pair evocative vocals with layers of loops and synths, some of whom appear on this very album. On the long-awaited Assume Form, released after a three-year gap, the English singer-songwriter and prolific producer not only reasserts his creative dominance but surpasses his biggest rival: himself. Emerging from the English dubstep scene in 2009, Blake took elements of electronica, ambient and soul, and chopped them up to create stirring ballads that sounded like no other. Never confined by such a pedestrian idea as “genre,” there are two guiding elements that kept Blake from being overshadowed by his own compositions: his inherent vulnerability and his radiant voice. While much of his previous work, including 2016’s The Colour In Anything and 2013’s Overgrown, is characterized by his signature falsetto, on Assume Form he uses his full range. The vulnerability is still there, but the sentiments, as well as the delivery, are more candid. Assume Form also continues his tradition of collaboration, drawing on the talents of rap giant Travis Scott, André 3000 of Outkast, fellow singer Moses Sumney and Latin newcomer Rosalía. Blake enlisted rap producer and hitmaker Metro Boomin to create the trap rhythms he further manipulates on the tracks “Mile High,” featuring Scott, and “Tell Them,” featuring Sumney. But in true Blake fashion, there are always a few surprises up his sleeve as well, such as incorporating elements of flamenco into “Tell Them” and adding strains of ’70s soul to “Can’t Believe The Way We Flow,” produced by the experimental composer Oneohtrix Point Never.

File Under: Electronic, RnB, Soul
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Sanford Clark: They Call Me Country (Numero) LP
Propelled by his 1956 Lee Hazlewood-produced hit “The Fool,” Sanford Clark was already a rockabilly legend in his own right by the time he swapped his hair gel and switchblade for a pair of cowboy boots on They Call Me Country. Recorded between 1965-67 and originally released as a series of singles for Phoenix’s Ramco label, the 12 tracks on this LP borrow Bakersfield’s outlaw sound and ignore Nashville’s countrypolitan flair, standing as a true lost masterpiece of country music’s third generation. Clark’s booming baritone tells tales of bar fights, heartaches, and drinking til you can’t stand, while Waylon Jennings provides a backdrop of fuzzed out guitar twang. Mastered from the original session tapes and back on vinyl for the first time since the Nixon administration.

File Under: Country
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Drab Majesty: Modern Mirror (Dais) LP
Since the 2015 release of Drab Majesty’s debut Careless, and the release of the acclaimed sophomore album The Demonstration the following year, artist Deb Demure and collaborator Mona D. have firmly established themselves amongst the pantheon of dark synth-pop greats, establishing a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence. Following intense and extensive touring in support of the first two albums, Drab Majesty escaped to the inspirational landscapes of Athens, Greece to channel the songs for their most ambitious album creation yet: Modern Mirror. Blowing the dust off the antiquarian myth of Ovid’s “Narcissus”, Drab Majesty uses its premise as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation. Each song tells a piece of the story, in which the listener’s own self-identity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. Setting the stage as a romantic saga of antiquity, “A Dialogue” asks the listener if they are truly in love amid a building wash of guitars and reverb. Elements of classic tragedy weigh heavily in the reflection of Modern Mirror in songs like “The Other Side,” possessing a fundamental sound that is energetic, luminous and hopeful. Fusing the sonic aesthetics of predecessors like New Order and The Cure within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, Drab Majesty has birthed a hybrid of dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment. First single, “Ellipsis,” romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt, while on “Long Division,” Deb’s resounding guitar cascades around the chorus shared with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz, wistfully warning us against our vanity and self-obsession. Even when hope for everlasting love peeks through in “Oxytocin,” a sparkling and stoic track sung by Mona D., we are firmly reminded our fleeting existence. Modern Mirror is a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world. Produced by Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) and mastered by Dave Cooley, with appearances by Jasamine White-Gluz (No Joy) and Justin Meldal-Johnson (NIN, Beck, M83, Air). Packaging and design by Juan Mendez of Jealous God/Silent Servant. Photography by Nedda Afsari (Muted Fawn).

File Under: Electronic, Darkwave
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Dexter Gordon: Clubhouse: Tone Poets Series (Blue Note) LP
One of the enduring mysteries of Blue Note history is that superb sessions such as Dexter Gordon’s Clubhouse (recorded in 1965) remained unreleased in the vault until the late 1970s. Recorded during the middle of Gordon’s “golden period” career renaissance after he signed with Blue Note in 1961, the tenor saxophone legend is joined by Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and the remarkable rhythm section of Barry Harris on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and the great Billy Higgins on drums. Long Tall Dexter’s rendition of the Sinatra evergreen “I’m a Fool To Want You” stands as one of his all-time greatest ballad performances. The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. The label brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), aka the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels. Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the deluxe gatefold jacket graphics and printing quality to superior mastering (all analog direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180-gram audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version.

File Under: Jazz
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Khruangbin: Hasta El Cielo (Dead Oceans) LP
Globetrotting Texan trio Khruangbin release Hasta El Cielo, the band’s glorious dub version of their second album Con Todo El Mundo. The full album has been processed anew along with two bonus dubs by renowned Jamaican producer Scientist. The band’s exotic, spacious, psychedelic funk aligns with the dub treatment particularly well. Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of music from around the world, infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Con Todo El Mundo, the band’s sophomore LP, took inspiration not just from South East Asia but similarly underdiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran.

File Under: Funk, Reggae
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Metz: Automat (Sub Pop) LP
Metz, the widely-adored and delightfully noisy three-piece punk band from Toronto have been laying waste to stages around the globe for over 10 years. During that tumultuous chunk of time Metz, comprised of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet’s most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock. Their love of the road and passion to create uncompromising and challenging music remains unwavering and has only grown over time. Their recorded output to date, a cornucopia of pop-inflected noise punk and damaged fuzz anthems, includes three critically-acclaimed LPs with Sub Pop, as well as a plethora of limited-edition releases, collaborations, covers, and rarities. Which brings us to Automat, a collection of non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009, available on LP for the first time, and including the band’s long out-of-print early (pre-Sub Pop) recordings.  Featured here are the band’s first three 7″ singles, recorded 2009-2010 and originally released by We Are Busy Bodies Records; a demo version of “Wet Blanket,” the explosive single from 2012’s Metz; two tracks from the limited-edition bonus single that accompanied preorders of Metz; “Can’t Understand,” originally released in 2013 by [adult swim]; and both tracks from the band’s 2015 single on Three One G. The vinyl format of Automat comes with a bonus single that includes three additional tracks: a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig,” from a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single originally released by Toronto’s Sonic Boom record shop; “I’m a Bug,” a cover of The Urinals’ art-punk classic, originally released on YouTube (not an actual record label) in 2014; and Metz’s previously unreleased rendition of Gary Numan’s “M.E.” All tracks on Automat have been lovingly remastered for maximum fidelity by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service.

File Under: Punk
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Purple Mountains: s/t (Drag City) LP
Purple Mountains is the new nom-de-rock of David Berman (Silver Jews) and also the name of what will be known as one of his greatest albums – full of double-jointed wit and wisdom, up to the neck in his special recipe of handcrafted country-rock joys and sorrows that sing legendary in cracked and broken hearts. The songs are produced impeccably by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earl, buffed up like a hardwood floor ready to be well-trod upon for an evening of romance and dance. The songs of Purple Mountains are a potent brew, stitched together from lifetimes, knitting the drift of the years with the tightest lyric construction Berman’s ever attempted. Honesty is archly in the air, but lines of incredible bleakness somehow give way to playful distraction and the hiding of surprises for close listeners.

File Under: Indie Rock, Silver Jews
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Rhye: Spirit (Last Gang) LP
“The sound of Spirit was born out of falling in love with playing the piano again. About a year and a half ago, my girlfriend surprised me with a borrowed piano. It wasn’t in the best shape, but it made itself at home in my apartment and I started playing it every morning…just messing around at first, but it slowly became a morning ritual I couldn’t shake. “As our Secular Sabbath events developed and moved around the world, we were fortunate to be able to meet and experiment with some inspiring musicians. Out of these experiments, new ideas were born and turned into songs with artists like Thomas Bartlett and Ólafur Arnalds, whose musical genius now grace this record. When I worked with each of them, both happened to play 80’s era Yamaha pianos. At a certain point, I knew I needed to get one for myself: the tone was speaking to me, through me. The first piano shop I wandered into in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and the first piano I see is an ’84 Yamaha U3 (a special edition hybrid!) It was the very piano I was looking for. It was fate. “My morning piano ritual met my new piano in my favourite studio. I made a rule for myself that I would start something brand new every day, work on that for two hours without judgement and just see what I came up with. Out of the many sketches, Spirit started to take shape: a collection of songs that I did alone in the studio with just a piano, intertwined with collaborations with some of my favourite piano-based musicians. These are songs about love in my life, but also about the love for piano brought back into my life.” – Mike Milosh

File Under: Electronic, Chillwave
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Sebadoh: Act Surprised (Fire) LP
Indie-rock pioneers Sebadoh return with their first new studio album in more than six years! Act Surprised continues the soulful collaboration that’s defined the band since 1991’s Sebadoh III and 1994’s Bakesale. The new batch of songs reaffirms how vital the creative partnership is between members Lou Barlow, Jason Loewenstein, and Bob D’Amico. When Barlow recently moved back to his home state of Massachusetts following a series of personal changes, he pressed the restart button and, in time, felt the incentive to reach out to Jason and Bob again to reunite and start work on a new album. The trio convened and began recording in their original stomping grounds in Northampton, MA where they first formed back in 1988. Along with producer/sound engineer Justin Pizzoferatto, Sebadoh have delivered one of the best records of their career. Act Surprised is a 15-song collection that’s as dynamic and visceral as anything the band has ever committed to tape.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Six Organs of Admittance: For Octavio Paz (Hermit Hut) LP
Hermit Hut is pleased to announce their first Six Organs Of Admittance release with a remastered For Octavio Paz, on vinyl for the first time since it’s original pressing of 500 on Time-Lag records in 2003 (which sold out in 24 hours). This new edition has been re-mixed and remastered from the original four-track cassettes to bring out the resonant tones of the acoustic guitars that were lost in the original transfer (2019 analog-to-digital technology has come a long way since early 2000 16-bit DAT machines). For Octavio Paz is considered by many to be a high point in the early Six Organs of Admittance catalog. Almost wholly instrumental, it is the only Six Organs record that sounds fully dedicated to touching the edges of an acoustic finger-style world that was still quite underground back in the first few years of the new century. The songs here utilize a variety of approaches to the acoustic guitar, both steel string and nylon, solo and overdubbed, but always in the service of atmosphere. The record ends with a side long solo steel string piece that sounds equally at home next to modern guitar players like Tashi Dorji as classic American Primitive players such as Robbie Basho. When released on CD in 2004, For Octavio Paz earned an 8.0 from Pitchfork who said, “Though they vary from melancholy to warm memory in between notes, the emotions that Chasny creates on For Octavio Paz are always stark and imagistic.”

File Under: Folk,Guitar Soli
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Brent Snyder: Cumulus (Morning Trip) LP
“Recorded in a Toronto apartment in 1985, Cumulus is an ultra-rare private-press ambient cassette release which was circulated amongst a small group of friends within the avant-garde theatre scene at the time. Brent Snyder’s interest and discovery of Frippertropics and Brian Eno inspired him to set up a 4 track tape recorder in the corner of his dining room to create the two slowevolving guitar loop-based pieces that make up Cumulus. The A side, ‘Excursion’, drifts between subtle dusty peaks and valleys in an almost Basinski-esque way, while the subtle hums and textures of ‘Cumulus’ gently levitates above the earth and settle into sublime tones similar to Steve Roach Structures From Silence and Brian Eno Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Credited as Music For Relaxation, Cumulus is the perfect music to encourage subconscious change, decrease blood pressure or pet the cat on the couch to. Recommended if you like: William Basinski, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp & Steve Roach.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Tallest Man on Earth: I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream (Rivers/Birds) LP
I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream. is the first album since 2015’s Dark Bird Is Home from The Tallest Man on Earth – written, produced and engineered by Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson and recorded almost entirely in his apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Matsson says “Of course there are some love songs and then there are some other songs. Making the album I was thinking a lot about the lenses we view our lives through and that, for some reason, our worst tendencies seem to be carried out so loudly, while our best can go unnoticed. I’ve come to realize that some of the most powerful, most inspiring moments in my life have been the most subtle and that so often the thing that deserves my attention, is trying the least to get it.” In recent years Matsson has undertaken single oriented projects that incorporate writing, producing and self releasing songs and videos in regular intervals, often with purposefully intense deadlines. He’s described finding inspiration in the entire process, and in particular in the satisfaction of making something and having it out quickly. For listeners and viewers the fascination has been in watching an artist work through his life, in problems and celebrations large and small, putting his thoughts out into the world while he’s still processing them himself and watching them evolve over time.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Uzeda: Quocumque Jeceris Stabit (Temporary Residence) LP
Uzeda – a national treasure of Italy’s underground rock scene, and one of the longest-running punk bands on the planet – returns with their first new album in 13 years. The album’s title, Quocumque jeceris stabit comes from the famous inspiration phrase that loosely translates in English to “Wherever you throw it, it will stand” – a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Uzeda. Like a buoy in turbulent waters, virtually everything around the band and its members has changed significantly since their last album, Stella, was released in 2006 on their previous longtime label, Touch and Go Records. Recorded, as always, by longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Albini, Quocumque jeceris stabit sees Uzeda picking up where they left off, albeit with the sands and scars of time cutting new creative paths within the reputable map through which the band has traveled for the past four decades. Vocalist Giovanna Cacciola’s fragile, dynamic rasp still cuts through the jagged guitar of husband and fellow Bellini member, Agostino Tilotta, while the rhythm section of bassist Raffaele Gulisano and drummer Davide Oliveri provide the sturdy foundation on which all Uzeda songs are built. But there’s something noticeably different now, a kind of melodic tension that was always hinted at but perhaps never fully displayed until now. It is a sound and a feel that Uzeda was made for, and one that unquestionably defines them.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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…..Restocks….

Childish Gambino: Awaken My Love (Glassnote) LP
Comet is Coming: Trust in the Lifeforce (Impulse) LP
D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah (Universal) LP
Mac Demarco: This Old Dog (Royal Mountain) LP
Kenny Dorham: Afro-Cuban (Blue Note) LP
Ryo Fukio: Scenery (We Release Jazz) LP
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
Dan Mangan: Club Meds (Arts & Crafts) LP
Pavement: Brighten the Corners (Matador) LP
Mark Pritchard: The Four Worlds (Warp) LP
Robyn: Body Talk (Universal) LP
Nina Simone: Pastel Blues (Universal) LP
Sunn o))): Life Metal (Southern Lord) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride (Columbia) LP
Various: Soul Stabs Volume 1 (Colemine) LP

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